Paraphrases on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, the Epistles of Peter and Jude, the Epistle of James, the Epistles of John, and the Epistle to the Hebrews

Paraphrases on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, the Epistles of Peter and Jude, the Epistle of James, the Epistles of John, and the Epistle to the Hebrews: Volume 44

General Editor Robert D. Sider
translated and annotated by John J. Bateman
Volume: 44
Copyright Date: 1993
Pages: 413
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/9781442677715
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  • Book Info
    Paraphrases on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, the Epistles of Peter and Jude, the Epistle of James, the Epistles of John, and the Epistle to the Hebrews
    Book Description:

    Erasmus yearned to make the Bible an effective instrument in the reform of society, church, and everyday life. He therefore composed paraphrases in which the words of Holy Scripture provided the core of a text, vastly expanded to embrace the reforming `philosophy of Christ.' The Paraphrases were successful beyond all expectations, and were quickly translated into French, German, English, and other languages.

    This is the fourth volume of Paraphrases to be published in the New Testament Scholarship Series in the CWE. The volume includes the Paraphrases on the Pastoral Epistles and the Catholic, or General, Epistles, as well as the Paraphrase on Hebrews. These books, in the biblical text, address the central issues of the Christian life within the context of family, church, and community. The Paraphrases sharpen the accent of the biblical message, speaking in an idiom appropriate to the sixteenth century but also surprisingly relevant to our own age: they condemn, for example, every form of tyrannizing in the home and self-aggrandisement in the church; perhaps above all, the Paraphrases expose the social injustice (inevitable, Erasmus would have us believe) of those who have acquired great personal wealth.

    Erasmus also reformulates, and sometimes develops, some of the great theological themes already defined in earlier volumes of this series. Is sin congenital, or do we sin simply in `imitation' of Adam? How do the Hebrew Scriptures attest to the presence of divine grace in the world before the birth of Christ? What is faith if not a vision of eternal realities so sure that we can clearly recognize the things of this passing world as the shadows they are?

    These Paraphrases address the modern reader with the relevance of the moral issues they define and the perennial importance of the theological questions they raise. Erasmus clarified and interpreted biblical text with immense rhetorical skill. Professor Bateman's bold and accurate translation brings both the pleasure and the force of Erasmus' rhetoric to the English-speaker of today.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7771-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    RDS
  4. Translatorʼs Note
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  5. PARAPHRASE ON FIRST TIMOTHY In epistolam Pauli Apostoli ad Timotheum priorem paraphrasis
    (pp. 1-38)

    In these wintry months, my Lord Bishop, though the fields lie bare and barren everywhere, the good corn-land of literature never ceases to bear some kind of crop, nor is midwinter ever so bleak that the harvest-carts of learning cannot come home full. To me it seemed right that some share of this harvest should be set aside for the bishop, as the leader in this sort of husbandry. For when we do our best to aid the business of the Gospel, we in our turn are taking a part of your pastoral burden upon our shoulders. I have done...

  6. PARAPHRASE ON SECOND TIMOTHY In epistolam Pauli Apostoli ad Timotheum secundam pamphrasis
    (pp. 39-54)

    Since in the previous epistle Paul had led Timothy, his agent in Ephesus, to expect his return and there was now no way that he could do this because he was being held in chains in Rome, he sends a letter encouraging him not to be dejected by the storm of persecutions but following Paul′s own example to prepare his soul for martyrdom.¹ Dangerous times were threatening because of certain persons who, under the pretext of godliness, were trying to overturn true godliness and in this way to boost themselves. They thought that Christian godliness consisted in words, not, as...

  7. PARAPHRASE ON TITUS In epistolam Pauli ad Titum paraphrasis
    (pp. 55-68)

    The Apostle had placed his disciple Titus, whom he treated like a son, in charge of the most noble island of Crete because of Titus′ extraordinary talents, and on his own departure from there had consecrated him an archbishop. He is writing to him from the city of Nicopolis, which is on the coast near Actium.¹ His situation is apparently still fairly peaceful² since there is no mention of sufferings or persecutions. Paul advises Titus to finish and complete what he himself had begun in Crete, and to appoint bishops, whom he also calls elders, in the individual cities -...

  8. PARAPHRASE ON PHILEMON In epistolam Pauli ad Philemonem paraphrasis
    (pp. 69-74)

    According to the Greek tradition¹ this Philemon was a Phrygian by nationality. The unruly and slavish character of this nation is intimated by the Greek proverb, ′A Phrygian is corrected by blows.′² Nevertheless, Paul counted Philemon among his closest friends because of his godliness and his services to the saints. Philemon′s slave, Onesimus, had stolen something - a common act on the part of slaves - and had run away to Rome.³ After hearing Paul, who was under arrest there at the time, he accepted the teachings of the gospel and was Paul′s servant in prison. Paul, however, sends him...

  9. PARAPHRASE ON FIRST PETER Paraphrasis in epistolam Apostoli Petri prior em
    (pp. 75-108)

    Often had I looked about me for some offspring of my labours which might answer to your eminent position, that eminence which hitherto has discouraged me from daring to dedicate to you any of my works;² and after all, I find I have been foolish on two counts. In the first place, how could there be anything in me, whether in expression or invention, which, even if I exerted myself to the utmost, could achieve the standard of your greatness, whether one considers your exalted station, your intellectual gifts which are so worthy of that station, or the kindness with...

  10. PARAPHRASE ON SECOND PETER Paraphrasis in epistolam Petri Apostoli posteriorem
    (pp. 109-122)

    Peter wrote this letter, it seems, when he was quite old and already close to death, inasmuch as he mentions his own departure. He writes to all Christians without distinction,¹ exhorting them to live pure lives and deterring them from shameful acts by examples from antiquity and by the terror of the last judgment. At the same time he rails vehemently at those who would corrupt the minds of simple people with their perverse teachings when they deny that Christ will come.

    The End

    I, Symeon¹ Peter, was once a follower of the law of Moses but am now a...

  11. PARAPHRASE ON JUDE Pamphrasis in epistolam ludae Apostoli
    (pp. 123-130)

    Jude rages at some length against those who, blinded by their own desires, were opposing the gospel. This opposition should not, however, be thought to be something novel because the opponents were destined long ago for this end and it was predicted by the apostles that people of this sort would creep into the Christian flock.¹ He arms his readers against them by urging them to be ready either to restrain these men through reprimands or to save them through admonitions. But if his readers are unable to accomplish this, they are at least to get themselves ready for the...

  12. PARAPHRASE ON JAMES In epistolam lacobi canonicam paraphrasis
    (pp. 131-170)

    I thought I had already reached the end of my race, and was intending to give myself a rest, at any rate from studies of this kind, having now explained all the Epistles which I thought genuinely Pauline. I have added Peter′s two and one by Jude to them, because they not only stand close to the Pauline Epistles in the vigour of their gospel teaching but are even more involved in obscurity than Paul′s are. As for the so-called Epistle to the Hebrews, not only can it be gathered from many indications that it is not Paul′s, but it...

  13. PARAPHRASE ON THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN In epistolam loannis primam paraphrasis
    (pp. 171-202)

    I lately offered you James, speaking both in Latin and more lucidly; now I am offering you John. Thus I take my labour in stages piece by piece, and I do not overwhelm your Eminence when you are fully occupied with the business of the empire² - if, that is to say, I may assume that you have any time to spare for looking over what I write. My best wishes to your Lordship.

    Louvain, 6 January

    The very character of the language is proof that this Epistle is by John the apostle, the author of the Gospel. It abounds...

  14. PARAPHRASE ON THE SECOND EPISTLE OF JOHN In secundam loannis epistolam paraphrasis
    (pp. 203-206)

    I, John the Elder, write to the elect Lady and also to her children, whom I love sincerely. I am not alone in this love but all with me who know evangelical truth likewise love. Nor do they love for any other reason except that they understand that the sincerity of the evangelical profession which we follow abides in us¹ and will abide forever. May² grace, mercy, and peace be always increased for you³ by God the Father and by the Lord⁴ Jesus Christ as you persevere in the truth of evangelical doctrine and in mutual love.

    I rejoiced greatly...

  15. PARAPHRASE ON THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN In tertiam loannis epistolam paraphrasis
    (pp. 207-210)

    The Elder to Gaius, a man worthy of much love, whom I love sincerely.

    Dearly beloved, I ask Jesus Christ in my prayers that just as your soul prospers in its perseverance in evangelical doctrine, so with Christ′s blessing it may prosper in everything else. For I have received no small pleasure from the statements of the brothers who have come to us and who have given testimony to your sincerity. They are true witnesses just as you are a true follower of evangelical truth, not only in your public confession but also in your desires and in your whole...

  16. PARAPHRASE ON HEBREWS Paraphrasis in epistolam ad Hebraeos
    (pp. 211-260)

    It is only right, my Lord Bishop, that for your goodness and your distinguished support of liberal studies your name should be commended to posterity by everyone who writes; not that your modesty cares for any praise from men, but because many will be encouraged to pursue higher studies if they see that eminent persons who have deserved well of the Christian polity are not deprived of the fame which they have not sought and thereby deserve all the more. It was right, in return for all that you have done for me, that there should be no page in...

  17. Notes
    (pp. 261-378)
  18. THE SEQUENCE AND DATES OF THE PUBLICATION OF THE PARAPHRASES
    (pp. 380-380)
  19. EDITIONS OF THE PARAPHRASES CITED BY DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE NOTES
    (pp. 381-382)
  20. WORKS FREQUENTLY CITED
    (pp. 383-386)
  21. SHORT-TITLE FORMS FOR ERASMUS′ WORKS
    (pp. 387-390)
  22. Index of Scriptural Passages Cited
    (pp. 391-398)
  23. Index of Greek and Latin Words Cited
    (pp. 399-401)
  24. General Index
    (pp. 402-413)
  25. Back Matter
    (pp. 414-414)