in this shorthand version in the longhand manuscript sent to the Galatian churches for reading and copying. Why did St. Paul not see and correct the error? There is plenty of evidence that St. Paul suffered from poor eyesight, possibly even an eye affliction. He dictated his Epistles, and if he wrote anything it was only at the end and 'in large letters'. His Galatians (4:15) had once been ready to give him their own eyes! Before the Sanhedrin (Acts, 23:4-5) he had been unable to distinguish the High Priest from the rest. 4
Otherwise it may also be observed that St. Luke’s year for St. Paul’s second post conversion visit to Jerusalem – the year of Herod Agrippa’s death, 44 A.D. – was indeed 14 years after the Ascension. Indeed it has been noted that in their quotes of Galatians 2:1 the late second century Fathers St. Irenaeus and Tertullian both omit ‘again’ (Greek: palin). They have St. Paul saying: ‘It was not until fourteen years had passed that I went up to Jerusalem again.’ Perhaps St. Paul was in fact referring to this fourteen years which had elapsed since the Ascension. Since St. Luke was clearly locating St. Paul’s second journey to Jerusalem in 44, the ‘fourteen years’ may be read either as ‘four years’ or as referring to the fourteen years since 30, the year of the Ascension. Notes Appendix 2 “What was he doing during these long years? … It is remarkable that a man of Paul’s burning zeal could have been lost for all this time.” H. V. Morton, In the Steps of St. Paul (London, 1936) In 238 B.C. Ptolemy III had first ordered (for Egypt) the leap year system of the Calendar as we have it today. In 47 B.C. Julius Caesar, ordering that the Calendar be brought back into line with the seasons by making 46 B.C. a total of 445 days long, applied this Egyptian system throughout the whole Roman Empire. He also ordered that the year should no longer begin on 25 March (the spring equinox in those days) but on 1 January. In the first century counting methods for time were not standardised. Counting could be inclusive or exclusive or neither. From Sunday to Sunday could be counted as eight days (inclusive), six days (exclusive), or seven days. Thus between St. Peter's confession and the Transfiguration there lapsed 'six days' (St. Matthew 17:1, St. Mark 9:1) or 'eight days' (St. Luke 9:28). We would say 'seven days'! The Jewish tradition was that sailing was only safe from the feast of Pentecost until the feast of Tabernacles (i.e. from May until September). In the Roman Empire, until the fourth century, winter shipping was forbidden by custom and, in the case of imperial transports, by law, from the end of October until the beginning of April. The calendar laid down by the military writer Vegetius in his De Re Militari (4:39) was apparently in effect: from March 10 to May 27 (spring), and from September 14 to November 11 (autumn), sea travel was possible but dangerous; from November 11 to March 10 the seas were ‘closed.’
Published on Nov 29, 2011
Published on Nov 29, 2011
This survey of how the New Testament came to be written is also a chronicle of the first 40 years of the history of the Christian Church. It...