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meant Babylon in Assyria. So " Beza, " Lightfoot, ° Basnage. Cave, who supposeth P the first epistle of St. Peter to have been writtem at Babylon in Assyria, thinks that '! his second epistle was written at Rome. They who reject this opinion say, that* the Assyrian Babylon was at that time almost deserted. On the contrary, they who embrace it, say, there * were multitudes of Jews in that country. Which may be true. For there were many Jews in most countries. But it would have been moré to the purpose to produce some evidence from antiquity, that Peter was in that country. The primitive christians had in their hands St. Peter's first epistle. And it was universally received as his. And it is dated at Babylon. And yet ecclesiastical history affords no accounts, that this apostle was in Assyria or Chaldea. Is not this a proof, that *there was not any very ancient tradition, that he was in that country ? We just now observed passages of Origem, Epiphanius, Gregory Nazianzen, Jerom, Chrysostom, relating to St. Peter's travels. But mone have mentioned Babylon as a place where he travelled and preached the gospel. . Says Mr. Beausobre : * As " Peter was the apostle of the
m Babylona proprie accipio pro celebri illâ Assyriæ urbe in quâ tum esset Petrus, circumcisionis apostolus. Bez. in 1 Pet. v. 13. " See his sermon upon 1 Pet. v. 13. Vol. ii. p. 1141—1147, and many other places in his works. ° Basn. ann. 46. mum. xxvii. P Verum ego priorem sententiam, tamquam longe verisimiliorem, amplector, tum quod in Babylone Parthicâ magna esset Judæorum frequentia, &c. Cav. in Petro, H. L. p. 6. Q Epistola secunda Romæ, ut videtur, paullo ante mortem scripta. Id. ibid. * An urbem illam S. Petrus adire maxime concupivit, quam Prophetarum vaticinio, et justo Dei judicio percussam esse novit? Pearson, ubi supr. sect. iv. Paullatim igitur defecit Babylon, a regibus primo, deinde a populo deserta. Ib. num. v. * In Assyriâ, ubi Babylon, immensa fuit Judæorum multitudo, quos sub Petrinum cecidisse apostolatum, certum, exploratumque est ; ut nusquam gentium provinciam administrare suam felicius potuerit. Basnag. ann. 46. num. XXvii. * Sunt qui in dictâ Petri epistolâ Babylonis nominenon Romam, sed Babylonem ipsam, quæ caput fuit Assyriorum, designari contendunt. Verum hi omnium veterum patrum testimonio refelluntur. Certe qui Petrum Babylone sedisse volunt, ostendant nobis oportet successionem episcoporum, qui Babylonis ecclesiam post Petrum administrârunt. Quæ (malum !) impudentia est, id quidem quod nemo veterum dixit, temere affirmare, Petrum scilicet sedem fixisse Babylone ; id vero quod veteres omnes scriptores disertissime prodiderunt, pertinaciter negare ! Vales. Annot. in Euseb. l. 2. cap. 15. p. 33. Negant enim Petrum Romæ fuisse; quod testatur antiquitas. ' Affirmant autem Babylone fuisse, vel in /Egypto, vel in Chaldæâ; quod nulla prodit historia. Est in 1 Pet. v. 13. " Comme il étoit l'apótre des Juifs dispersés paryi les Payens, S. Jacques étant demeuré en Judée, il alla à Babylone et dans les provinces voisines, où “Jews scattered abroad among the Gentiles, St. James hav‘ing stayed in Judea, he went to Babylon, where a great ‘ number of the Israelites had remained.” 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 stayed in Judea. It is allowed. We are certain of it from the history in the Acts. Nevertheless he did not confine his regards to the Jews in the land of Israel. For he wrote an epistle, addressed “to the twelve tribes scattered abroad.” And if Peter also was an apostle, chiefly, of the circumcision; it was not of those only, who were in Gentile countries, 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 ascenSHOI]. Mr. Beausobre says, “Peter went to Babylon, where a ‘great number of Israelites had remained.’ That is, he imagined that he did so. And it was fit for him so to do. As Basnage, in a passage " cited not long ago, says: “There was a multitude of Jews in Assyria, where was ‘Babylon. Nor could he any where more successfully ‘ execute his apostolical commission.” And because we imagine that Peter might very fitly preach the gospel in Assyria, we conclude that he went thither. But such reasonings, if calmly considered, are of no weight. It would be much better to allege some ancient testimonies, in behalf of St. Peter's journey into Assyria, or Parthia. Mr. Wetstein thinks that St. Peter's first epistle was written in the country of Babylon, in Mesopotamia. As there is somewhat new in his argument, I place below " a large part of it. In particular, he says, that when a per
il étoit resté un bon nombre d'Israélites. Hist. de Manich. l. 2. ch. 3. T. I. p. 181. * See note *. " Cur Babylon in Italià potius, aut AEgypto, quam in Mesopotamiã sit quaerenda, causam mon video. Veteres quidem Roman intelligunt.—— Quod recentiores observant, Babylonem proprie dictam, quo tempore Petrus haec scribebat, habitatam nonfuisse, verum est. At (praeterquam quod et Stephano Byzantino et Lucano constat, etiam Seleuciam eo tempore nomine Babylonis fuisse appellatam) possumus Babylonem interpretari non urbem, sed totam regionem.——Huic observationi addo aliam, quae licet mihi nunc primum in mentem venerit, suum tamen apud me pondus habet. Nimirum ubi de pluribus vel provinciis vel urbibus loguimur, vel ubi ad plures scribi— mus, ordini naturae convenientius et simplicius videtur, ut incipiamus non ab eå, quae loquentibus, vel scribentibus est remotissima, sed proxima. Hunc ordinem servavit Paulus, Col. iv. 13. et Joannes ex Patmo, Apoc. i. et ii. Hunc ordinem accurate servavit etiam Petrus, si scripsit ex Mesopotamiã minime autem, si vel ex AEgypto, vel ex Italiá eum scripsisse existimemus. Wetsten. in 2 Pet. v. 13. T. II. p. 697, 698.
son writes to the people of several cities, or countries, 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, says he, is also accurately observed by St. Peter, if he wrote from Mesopotamia, not if we suppose him to have written from Italy or Egypt. But such observations, though ingenious and plausible, are not demonstrative and decisive, even when they are just and right. Which cannot be said of this. For supposing St. Peter to have been in Mesopotamia, the country nearest to him would be Cappadocia, as lying more eastward and more 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 see. Beside all this, there offers an argument, which appears to me decisive. If the Assyrian Babylon was not now subject to the Romans, but to * the Parthians, (which I suppose to be allowed by all,) it cannot be 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 epistle he must have been within the territories of the same empire, 1 Epist. ii. 13, 14, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, for the Lord’s sake : whether it be to the king,” or rather emperor, as formerly y shown, “as supreme : or unto governors ... }. Rome] by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well.” Again, ver. 17, “Honour the king :” or rather, the emperor. If St. Peter had not now been within the Roman territories, he would have been led to express himself in a different manner, when he enforced obedience to the Roman emperor. 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 defect lies. St. Peter requires subjection to governors sent by the emperor: undoubtedly 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 con
* Vid. Strab. 1. 16. p. 1081. in al. p. 745. y See Vol. i. p. 89.
cerning the date of this epistle. Which is, that by Babylon St. Peter figuratively means Rome. This is the opinion of * Grotius, and * Whitby, and "Walesius, and all the learned writers of the Roman communion in general. They have, confessedly, in their favour, the testimony of antiquity ; which is no small advantage. Eusebius having an account of St. Mark’s gospel, and of its having been written at the request of St. Peter's hearers at Rome, adds: “ and * it is said, that Peter mentions “this Mark in his epistle, which, they say, he wrote at * Rome: and that himself calls that city Babylon figura‘tively in those words: “The church that is at Babylon, ‘salutes you, as does Mark my son.”’ This interpretation some suppose Eusebius to ascribe to Papias. But "Spanheim denies it. And perhaps it is not certain. Whether Papias said so or not it was the prevailing opinion in the time of Eusebius. Jerom in his book of Illustrious Men, in his article of St. Mark, transcribes the just cited passage of Eusebius, but expresseth himself more positively. “Peter “ makes men‘tion of this Mark in his first epistle, figuratively denoting ‘Rome by the name of Babylon. “The church which is ‘ at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you, as ‘ does Mark my son.””
* De Babylone dissident veteres et novi interpretes. Veteres Roman interpretantur, ubi Petrum fuisse memo verus christianus dubitabit; novi Babylonem in Chaldaea. Ego veteribus assentior. Nam quod Roman Babylonem vocavit, non in hoc tantum serviit, utsi deprehenderetur epistola, non posset inde Sciri, quibus in locis viveret. Verum etiam—congruentias plurimas inter Babylonem et Roman vide, Orosii ii. 2, 3, 4. Grot. ad 1 Pet. v. 13. * See him upon 1 Pet. v. 13. * Romam Petrus figurate Babylonem vocavit, vel ob magnitudinem et potentiam, vel propter impietatem.——Potest etiam alia ratio hujus cognominis afferri, quod Scilicet, ut Babylonii Judaeos in servitutem redegerant, sic Romani tune Judaeos ditioni suae subjecissent. Sunt qui in dictä Petri epistolà Babylonis nomine non Roman, Sed Babylonem ipsam, quae caput fuit Assyriorum designari contendunt. Verum hi omnium veterum patrum testimonio refelluntur. Wales. Annot. ad Euseb. H. E. l. 2. c. 15. p. 33. * Te 6s Mapks pivnuovsvstv Tov IIsrpov sv rp trporépg strisoxy, in kat ovvraśat pagw str'avrmc "Poping omuaweiv to rer' avrov rmv troAw rportkoTepov Bağv\ova, trpoostrovra öta rerwy. Ao Ta&srat juaç i sv Bağv\ovt ovvskàskrm, kat Mapkoç 6 vioc pia. Eus. H. E. l. 2. c. 15. * Atqui primus omnium Eusebius narrationi de Marco haec subjungit: * Esse, qui dicerent Roman figurate Babylonem appellari.’ Nec tamen Papiae ipsi adscribi eam interpretationem, quidquid vulgo sentiant, Walesio ipso verba haec a prioribus sejungente, supra demonstratum est. Vid. P. III. num. xii. Spanhem. Diss. de fictà Profect. Petri ad Rom. Part iv. num. ii. tom. II. p. 375. * Meminit hujus Marci et Petrus in epistolà primă, sub nomine Babylonis figuraliter Romam significans: Salutat vos quae in Babylone est coélecta, et Marcus filius meus. De V. I. cap. viii.
Bede, by Babylon understood Rome, as did & CEcume
nius. However, it may be here properly recollected, that" formerly we saw an author, Cosmas of Alexandria, in the sixth century, who hereby seems to have understood Babylon in Assyria. 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 written at Rome, at the request of Peter's hearers, and that Mark here mentioned is the evangelist. Nor is this contradicted by Cosmas, but confirmed by him. For he expressly says, “that ' Mark, the ‘second evangelist, wrote his gospel at Rome by the direc‘tion of Peter.” They k who reject this interpretation, affect to slight Papias: whereas there is no good reason for it. If he said so, certainly his testimony 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 insinuate likewise, that the reason why Jerom 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. Jerom 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 written at Rome, and that Peter preached and suffered martyrdom there. His two epistles therefore, probably, were written 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" he is for Rome,
* Babylonem typice Roman dicit, videlicet propter confusionem multiplicis idololatriae, &c. Bed. expos. 1 Pet. v. 13. * BasłvXava Ös rmv Papuny &ta to Treptopavec ca)\et, Ö kat Bağv\wv troX\p Xpovip soxmks. CEcum. in loc. tom. II. p. 526. A. * See vol. v. p. 97, and 100. | P. 94, and 336. * Quodsiut Rufinus interpretatur, teste Papiá nititur, infirmo same tibicine fultum est. Nec temere ad tropum in nominibus urbium aut regionum est recurrendum, nisi ubi propria vocis significatio locum habere non potest. Wetsten. N. T. tom. II. p. 697. * C'est une imagination de Papias, que les anciens ont adopté avec trop de facilité, et que S. Jérome auroit rejettée avec mépris, si, dans la mauvaise humeur où il étoit contre Rome, il n'est été bien aise de la confondre avec Babylone. Beaus. Hist. Manich. l. 2. ch. 3. T.I. p. 181. " Romae eam scriptam fuisse, notant ex traditione veterum Eusebius, Hieronymus in Catalogo, et alii permulti. Hanc enim Babylonis nomine designatam voluit Petrus, ceu communitum temporis apud Judaeos suos appel