the Jews who heard him gladly and accepted his teaching. But, on the other hand, this agreement was eclipsed by the fact that his teaching was obnoxious and roused hostility because it opened the door of hope to a despised and hated class.
Moreover, serious friction arose, because whereas the teaching of Jesus went beyond that of the Pharisees in the intensive value attached to the Uw, as claiming the obedience of desires and wishes as well as of actions, he refused to go as far in the extent of the control which it demanded over conduct. Jesus put on one side the Sabbath law and the ceremonial law. He regarded with abhorrence the meticulous care which the Scribes devoted to indifferent actions. It was on this point that vvllisions most often arose, and heated controversy ensued. The synoptic narratives are full of this controversy, largely because it was continued in * modified form by the apostles, and therefore «ppealed to the present as well as to the historic interest of the writers of the gospels.1
* Ufa again worth noting how far the writer of the fourth gospel 4vt*rU from the facts, and rewrites them in the light of the \\«tiwewy of his own time. The discussion with the Jews remain:a; but it is scarcely at all concerned with the observance of tfc* law. The question discussed is the nature and functions of Wul which had, of course, become the burning point of dispute Mwtrn Christians and Jews a generation after his death, but was »*!V«ly discussed at all during his life. In this instance, too, the
The polemic against the Pharisees and Scribes in the gospels has always been recognized: but that against the Zealots is quite as important, and has unfortunately been often overlooked.1 Much of the teaching of Jesus becomes intelligible only when lwe place it in contrast to that of the Zealots. He ! demanded that men should believe that the kingdom would come, not because of their fighting, but because of their suffering. " In your suffering —your patient endurance—shall you win your lives99; "he that suffers to the end shall be saved99; "resist not evil" and similar passages seem to be clearly directed against the exactly opposite Zealot teaching.
The positive side of this teaching is carried still further. It calls upon men to give up all their possessions, to abandon their wealth, to cut themselves loose from the ties of family; it excludes the • rich from the kingdom—at least, that seems to be the plain meaning—and it calls on men to follow one who has not where to lay his head. It is the synoptic narrative justifies its historical nature. Second-century Christianity would never have invented a story concerned only with a controversy which, even if it still existed, was no longer the main issue.
honourable exception must be made oi H. Windisch: Der messiantsche Krieg und das Urchristenlum, and K. P. Proost: De Bergrede, hare herkomst en sirekking (The Sermon on the Mount, its Origin and Tendencies).
extremest negation of all possible kinds of what * we call social values. It is a call to men to set themselves free of everything that ties them down and binds them to society as it is. I submit that it is only intelligible if you understand that it comes from a circle which believed that society in «its existing form was doomed, and that those would have the best chance—the only chance, indeed—of entering into the coming age, the new society, the kingdom of God, who were not tied, down and smothered by that which was so soon to perish.
After all, if we were quite certain that this world was going to cease to exist in a few months, we should not take any interest in social conditions or politics, or even in the smaller problems of private life; nor would it be rational for us to do so. The reason why it is rational for us to do these things9 and is wrong for us not to take a lively interest in them, is because we are as firmly assured that society is going to continue as the disciples of Jesus were convinced that it was coming to an end.
But if this view of the gospels be correct do we not reduce the whole teaching of Jesus to something which is negligible, because it was based on a complete misconception of what was going to happen? On the contrary, for that very reason it was able to put certain values of the greatest possible importance into clear light, and it could have done so in no other way. It cut out the
• social values. That is true, but an illustration will serve to show the gain of this omission. Those who have ever studied photography know that usually they are dealing with plates which are too sensitive to blue and insufficiently sensitive to yellow light, so that difficulties arise if they want to photograph something which contains a great deal of yellow. They therefore use a screen of yellow glass, which cuts out the other rays of light, so that they obtain artificially a world in which there is little except yellow light, and thus overcome the limitations of their plates. Prom the point of view of this illustration our minds are photographic plates which are too sensitive to certain social
• values, and not sensitive enough to certain spiritual values; and I believe that the eschatological point of view of the Jews and of Jesus has served as the yellow screen which has enabled us to overcome this lack of proportion.
Broadly speaking, it may be said that there are two aspects of ethical teaching. The first is that with which in modern times we are so familiar, the teaching which says that the first thing a man has ✓to do is to be a good citizen. This is the world-
affirming ethic which says that this world as we have it is God's world. That is a perfectly true statement: We are put here to work, and if we scorn society, and do not do our fair share, we are shirking the responsibility which has been put upon our shoulders. Therefore it is our duty to take part in all such things as social, political, and national duties (which may not appeal to us very much in themselves), because they are the things which we are put here to do.
But there is also another kind of ethical teaching—the teaching which denies the world; which says that these social and national claims are doubtless valid, but there is something beyond them all, and a man is more than a good citizen. There are times when he has the right and the duty not to be hurrying about, and busily doing something, but rather to go aside and think about the meaning of life. There come times when he will not even be able to do his work in the world properly, if he do not throw aside the world altogether for a moment, and stand apart from the hurry and toil of life as it is now, to ask himself what he will do in the end thereof. This is the world-renouncing1 ethic which says that, although
1 It is not quite clear to me whether "world-renouncing" is really the best possible expression for what is intended. In some ways many possessions and wide interests enable a man . not only to enjoy life, but also to do much good to other people, if he be not able at times to throw pff all their claims he becomes the slave of his own surroundings.
Stated in terms of modern life, it reminds us that although it be true that society, so far as we can see, is permanent, and that the world is not speedily coming to an end by means of some dra-' ma tic cataclysm, it is nevertheless true that we ,personally are coming to an end, so far as the world or society is concerned, within a period which, after all, cannot be so very long. And, stated in the terms of ancient Jewish life, it is this ethic which is presented most vividly and most strongly in just those parts of the New Testament which represent the teaching of Jesus when he and his hearers were looking at life under the influence of the eschatological expectation.
The effect of that expectation was to hide almost entirely the more obvious duties of a "world-
"self-renouncing" would be better; but this also is not wholly satisfactory, and therefore, though with some hesitation, I have conformed to the usual phraseology. What however is important is to distinguish clearly between the world-renunciation or self-renunciation of Jesus, which does not imply any dualistic theory that the "world" or the "self" is inherently evil, and the Gnostic doctrine which demanded world-renunciation because it condemned the world as incurably evil.
affirming ethic" in daily life, but in the darkness thus induced some of the eternal lights shone out, as the stars during an eclipse. It is the fashion. to call an ethic conditioned by the eschatological expectation an "interim ethic," but though there is of course a sense in which the phrase is correct, it is well to remember that the "interim" element is not inherent in the ethic, but rather in the circumstances to which it is applied. In a very real sense no ethic is so truly "interim" as that which affirms a world to which our relationship is but the transitory and fleeting measure of earthly existence; and none deserves the name so little as that which emphasizes man's ephemeral nature, even though it form an inaccurate image of the method of his passing away.
Of course there are other views as to the interpretation of the gospels. For instance there are critics who maintain that all the eschatological teaching is a later addition to the gospel. They cut it out by the somewhat free use of the critical knife. But I do not think that they are successful in explaining its origin. If it be not genuine, who invented it? Can they seriously ascribe it to a later generation, living when the expectation of the coming of the kingdom had been shown by the event to be illusory? Moreover they nearly always explain away the world-renouncing teaching.
But by this sort of interpretation they are surely not giving us what the historic Jesus really said in all its strength and vividness. They are giving us a mixture of what he said toned down by what they feel to be the claims of the world-accepting ethics which are necessary for modern society. And the tragedy, to my mind, is that they give us something which is neither very good world-accepting ethic nor very good world-renouncing ethic. They bring it all down to a commonplace level, and, by cutting out the eschatological element from the gospels, they not only make Jesus into some one who does not really belong to the first century, but also, to my mind, does not, with their reconstruction, really belong quite adequately to any century. Their Jesus is not historical, and the just nemesis is that they do not seem able to give an adequate answer to the rising school of students of literature in Germany which has more or less taken their reconstruction of the historic Jesus, and has said that it is not an historic figure at all, but a production of second-century Christianity. But this reconstruction of e historic Jesus which they attack is really the product not of second-century Christianity but 1 of nineteenth-century Liberalism.
There arises here, however, another difficulty. If the teaching of Jesus was the suggested combination of a Jewish eschatological expectation of the coming of the kingdom with a world-re-\ nouncing ethic, why was he crucified by the Romans at the instigation of the high priests? One answer which is sometimes given is that the Messianic claim was deeply resented as blasphemous. This was no doubt used as an excuse to secure a condemnation, but it does not appear that Jesus ever openly claimed to be the Messiah: that was in any case a secret revealed only to a very small circle of disciples who were forbidden to make it public. It is even possible that this secret was what Judas betrayed,1 but it is in any
1 The betrayal is a difficulty which is not at first felt, and is often overlooked. Usually it is supposed that Judas betrayed some secret hiding-place; but there is nothing in the narrative to justify this. What the priests wanted was evidence to justify a condemnation, not information to lead to an arrest. It is also probable that the publication of the Messianic secret (perhaps perverted, see p. 45) was the reason why the crowd in Jerusalem so suddenly changed from cries of "Hosanna" to shouts of "Crucify him." They gladly welcomed the announcement of the coming of the kingdom, but the claim to be Messiah, when the kingdom was obviously not yet come, was regarded as a blasphemous absurdity. Possibly, too, the choice of Barabbas by the crowd case clear that the official hostility is inadequately explained by a secret which had played no part in the public teaching of Jesus. We are thus driven to look in a different direction to find the reason for the hostility of the priests, and especially for its suddenness.
So far as we can see, there is no serious controversy between Jesus and the priests, often identified with the Sadducees,1 until the last week in Jerusalem. This is natural: the priests were certainly as much opposed to the Zealots as was Jesus, and they do not appear to have accepted the Scribes' teaching as to the law. They were probably rich and somewhat politically minded ecclesiastics; to have doubted that the kingdom of was a movement towards Zealotism in preference to Quietism; but the problem of Barabbas is very difficult.
1 The view which is generally accepted is that the Sadducees were a political party rather than a sect, and that the priests mostly belonged to it. This fact would be connected with the meaning of Sadducee, which is probably merely "Zadokite," from Zadok, David's high priest. It is unnecessary to discuss the question here, but I would wish to protest that the whole question of the real nature of Pharisees and Sadducees is not yet settled. The evidence of Josephus is usually less widely studied than that of Schfirer, whose deservedly famous work has in some circles been treated with more respect than the documents on which it is based. There are instructive articles by B. D. Eerdmans and H. Oort in the Thed. Tijdschrift, January and May, 1914, on the question of the Pharisees, and my friend, Prof. Wensink, has drawn my attention to Lessynski, Die Sadduc&er.
God was coming—ultimately—would have seemed to them a dangerously sceptical opinion, but the interin\jethic which appealed to them was the« adequate support of institutions rather than the promulgation of new ideas. That a Galilean fanatic was convinced that the kingdom of God was coming immediately might be disturbing to the crowd, but fortunately his teaching that men should abandon their possessions would go far to neutralize any bad results; and the doctrine that it was better to suffer persecution rather than rise in rebellion would have a positively beneficial effect upon minds apt to be inflamed by the dangerous incitements of the Zealots. But this complacent attitude received a rude shock when Jesus reached Jerusalem, and at once protested by word and action against the sale of animals and the changing of money in the Temple.
We are apt to overlook the significance of this event; but it was, I think, the immediate cause of the crucifixion. The priests were in possession of a commercial monopoly: in practice1 no one could offer a sacrifice in the Temple except by buying a victim in a market controlled by the
1 In theory it was no doubt possible, if any one were fortunate enough to find a victim which the priests would accept as without defect.
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