St Paul the Traveller and Roman Citizen

The following public domain book is now available for free download in PDF:

William M. Ramsay, St Paul the Traveller and Roman Citizen. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1895. Hbk. pp.394.

St Paul

Chapter I.

The Acts of the Apostles

I. Trustworthiness. The aim of our work is to treat its subject as a department of history and of literature. Christianity was not merely a religion, but also a system of life and action; and its introduction by Paul amid the society of the Roman Empire produced changes of momentous consequence, which the historian must study. What does the student of Roman history find in the subject of our investigation? How would an observant, educated, and unprejudiced citizen of the Roman Empire have regarded that new social force, that new philosophical system, if he had studied it with the eyes and the temper of a nineteenth century investigator?
As a preliminary the historian of Rome must make up his mind about the trustworthiness of the authorities. Those which we shall use are: (1) a work of history commonly entitled the Acts of the Apostles (the title does not originate from the author), (2) certain Epistles purporting to be written by Paul. Of the latter we make only slight and incidental use; and probably even those who dispute their authenticity would admit that the facts we use are trustworthy, as being the settled belief of the Church at a very early period. It is, therefore, unnecessary to touch on the authenticity of the Epistles; but the question as to the date the composition, and the author of the Acts must be discussed. If the main position of this book is admitted, it will furnish a secure basis for the Epistles to rest on.

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