5 Διὰ ζῆλον καὶ ἔριν Παῦλος ὑπομονῆς βραβεῖον ὑπέδειξεν, 6 ἑπτάκις δεσμὰ φορέσας, φυγαδευθείς, λιθασθείς, κήρυξ γενόμενος ἔν τε τῇ ἀνατολῇ καὶ ἐν τῇ δύσει, τὸ γενναῖον τῆς πίστεως αὐτοῦ κλέος ἔλαβεν, 7 δικαιοσύνην διδάξας ὅλον τὸν κόσμον καὶ ἐπὶ τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως ἐλθών· καὶ μαρτυρήσας ἐπὶ τῶν ἡγουμένων, οὕτως ἀπηλλάγη τοῦ κόσμου καὶ εἰς τὸν ἅγιον τόπον ἐπορεύθη, ὑπομονῆς γενόμενος μέγιστος ὑπογραμμός.
Comment: This passage provides extra-biblical evidence concerning the life of Paul. Clement writes that Paul traveled “west” of Rome and that Paul made it to the furthest reach of the west, i.e., Spain. Grant sees a potential reference to Malachi 1:11
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 1:11 (ESV)
The relevant phrase in the LXX reads, “διότι ἀπ̓ ἀνατολῶν ἡλίου ἕως δυσμῶν”. Grant further writes:
The statement that “he earned well-merited faith for his faith” is purely Hellenic, as is the mention of the “limits of the west”….for Roman Clement, as for Strabo, ‘the limits’ to the west or of the inhabited world are Cadiz and the Pillars of Hercules….In Clement’s view, then, Paul visited Spain as he had planned to do (Grant & Graham, 26).
In the face of jealousy and strife, Paul showed forth the prize: endurance. How? Seven times in bonds, fleeing for his life, being stoned – a herald from the eat to the west: he received the noble glory of his faith. Teaching righteousness to the whole world; going to the boundaries of the West; testifying before governors: in this way he was removed from the world and sent to the holy place; having become a majestic example of endurance.
Διὰ ζῆλον καὶ ἔριν: On account of/because of jealousy and strife
Παῦλος ὑπομονῆς βραβεῖον ὑπέδειξεν: Paul (nom) set forth (aorist, ὑποδείκνυμι) the prize (accusative, βραβεῖον– direct object) of endurance.
Categorizing the genitive presents difficulties: the endurance is a basis for the prize being awarded by God – the endurance does not award the price; thus, this is not a genitive of product (although cf. Wallace, 107, example of Heb. 1:9). Thus, it would be best to categorize this is a genitive of source, despite the note of Wallace, “This is a rare category in Koine Greek….Since this usage is not common, it is not advisable to seek it as the most likely one for a particular genitive that may fit under another label” (Wallace, 109).
ἑπτάκις δεσμὰ φορέσας: seven times bonds he bore/bearing (in the past) bonds seven times
The dependent adverbial participle (aorist active) is antecedent the primary verb (Paul’s example which set resulted in his prize) – that is Paul bore the bonds and then was rewarded. This and the following clauses set forth the content of Paul’s patient endurance.
Φυγαδευθείς: aorist passive participle: fled/caused to flee. Holmes has “had been driven into exile”. I don’t think “exile” fits here, because exile entails a permanent removal, usually political, from one’s home country. Paul was often forced to flee from a city, typically not his home. Perhaps Antioch could qualify as his home (as opposed to Jerusalem or Tarsus or the Roman Empire), but in that case it was an escape not an exile (we don’t call an escaped prisoner an “exile”). Acts 17:1-8. This passage in particular may have been in mind for Clement:
But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. Acts 17:5 (ESV)
Verse 10 informs us that Paul was sent away for his safety:
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Acts 17:10 (ESV)
Λιθασθείς: aorist passive participle: stoned, being stoned. See, Acts 17:19-23.
κήρυξ γενόμενος ἔν τε τῇ ἀνατολῇ καὶ ἐν τῇ δύσει: having been/became a herald/preacher in the east and in the west. This sentence tells us nothing new about Paul in terms of his work east of Rome. However, the NT contains no information concerning Paul actually having made it west of Rome. Paul had expressed a desire to be sent on by Rome to the west (Romans 15:23-24). The datives are locative, in the location of ….dative of place.
τὸ γενναῖοντῆς πίστεως αὐτοῦ κλέος ἔλαβεν: the noble/illustrious fame/glory of his faith he received.
The article is separated by an adjectival phrase from the noun: fame; this is a first attributive position (Wallace, 306).
The adjective γενναῖονappears nowhere in the NT, although it is not a rare words otherwise.
Κλέος: means fame or glory – a report, hence a good report.
τῆς πίστεως αὐτοῦ: the faith of him, i.e., his faith: attributive genitive (Wallace, 86-88).
ἔλαβεν: aorist, he received.
From whom did Paul receive the “noble renown” (Lightfoot)? It sounds similar to Paul’s “crown of boasting” mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 2:19:
The “crown of exultation” alludes to the wreath which was awarded to the victor in an athletic contest: victory in such a contest afforded the victor and all associated with him ample ground for καύχησις (“boasting”). Paul repeatedly portrays the Christian life, and in particular his apostolic ministry, in athletic terms: in earthly races, he says, the contenders run “to receive a perishable wreath (στέφανος), but we an imperishable” (1 Cor 9:25). Here and now his converts are his prize, the token that he has not “run in vain” (Gal 2:2); but he looks forward to the occasion of final review and reward, when he will present his converts to the Lord who commissioned him, as evidence of the manner in which he has discharged his commission.
F. F. Bruce, vol. 45, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998), 56. In the case of 1 Thess. 2:19, Paul makes plain that this crown is “before the Lord Jesus at his coming.” There is not a further definition here. If this is an eschatological reference (in parallel to the reference to Peter in the preceding verses, “his appointed place of glory” (Lightfoot/Holmes)), it would be similar also to promises such as in 1 Peter 1:7 that preserving through trial “may result in praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Otherwise, this is a reference to a good reputation in the church and the renown of Paul’s work. However, in light of the references to eternal glory for Peter and Paul in 1 Clement 5:7, it seems better to take this as the boast of God’s reward.
δικαιοσύνην διδάξας ὅλον τὸν κόσμον: having taught the whole world righteousness.
This is an example of a double accusative, object-complement of the aorist participle “taught”. Paul taught the whole world. According to Wallace, “If one of the two is articular, it will be the object.” Here Paul (the teacher) taught the whole world (the student). Righteousness is the complement, it is the content of what Paul taught. Wallace explains that where the complement comes in the beginning of the phrase, the complement falls in the definitive-qualitative range (Wallace, 185). Paul did not teach a righteousness, Paul taught the righteousness. An emphasis upon The Righteousness (of God) seems quite appropriate to one writing from Rome (see, e.g., Rom. 1:17, 3:21, et seq.).
καὶ ἐπὶ τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως ἐλθών: coming to the terminus, the furthest reaches/limit extent boundary of the west.
This passage seems to indicate that Paul made it to Spain, as he had hoped and planned. The participles “teaching/having taught”, elaborate on the basis for which Paul received the reward: He received the reward because he taught.
Based on the work of Lightfoot, it is generally acknowledged that the most natural meaning of τὸ τέρμα τῆς δύσεως, “the limits of the West,” is as a reference to the pillars of Hercules at the Straits of Gibraltar, based on references in Strabo (2.1.4; 3.1.5) and Velleius Paterculus (1.2; citations in Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, part 1, vol. 2, p. 30; cf. also E. Dubowy, Klemens von Rom über die Reise Pauli nach Spanien, BibS(F) 19.3 [Freiburg im Breisgau: Herder, 1914]). But even if the reference to Spain is disputed, the tradition is a strong witness to Paul’s release after the events in Acts 28.
An interesting parallel is round in On the Life of Moses On the Life of Moses by Philo:
1) I have conceived the idea of writing the life of Moses, who, according to the account of some persons, was the lawgiver of the Jews, but according to others only an interpreter of the sacred laws, the greatest and most perfect man that ever lived, having a desire to make his character fully known to those who ought not to remain in ignorance respecting him,
(2) for the glory of the laws which he left behind him has reached over the whole world, and has penetrated to the very furthest limits of the universe; and those who do really and truly understand him are not many, perhaps partly out of envy, or else from the disposition so common to many persons of resisting the commands which are delivered by lawgivers in different states, since the historians who have flourished among the Greeks have not chosen to think him worthy of mention,
Philo of Alexandria and Charles Duke Yonge, The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995), 459.
καὶ μαρτυρήσας ἐπὶ τῶν ἡγουμένων: having witnessed to governors.
Witnessed does not seem to have completely become a technical term for martyrdom as of this time, because it carries the basic understanding of speaking as opposed to dying: Paul did not died before multiple governors. Yet, we cannot discount that hint of death because Clement immediate shifts over to death in the next clasuse.
Epi + genitive here is spatial: near, before.
τῶν ἡγουμένων: a generic term for political rulers.
οὕτως ἀπηλλάγη τοῦ κόσμου: thus he departed from the world.
ἀπηλλάγη: aorist passive ἀπαλλάσσω: he was departed, made to depart (?).
τοῦ κόσμου: from the/this world. Genitive of separation. Wallace notes, “In classical Greek, the idea of separation was found frequently enough with the simple genitive. In Koine Greek, however, the idea of separation was increasingly made explicit by the present of the preposition apo or sometimes ek. Hence, a genitive of separation will be somewhat rare in the NT, while the preposition apo (or ek) + genitive will be somewhat commonly used for separation” (Wallace, 108). The article is probably monadic or deictic: This world, or the world, the only one like this.
καὶ εἰς τὸν ἅγιον τόπον ἐπορεύθη: and he went to the holy place.
εἰς τὸν ἅγιον τόπον: the accusative is governed by the preposition. A first position adjectival construction (article – adjective – noun).
ἐπορεύθη: Aorist passive, verb “to go/depart”. Both verbs of movement in this passage are passives. The question for translation is whether to bring out the passive element. Most translators translate the verbs as active. However, the Roberts-Donaldson translation reads, “Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience.”
In light of the use of two passive verbs, it seems best to translate at least one of the verbs as passive if not both: thus, he was removed from the world and was sent to ….
ὑπομονῆς γενόμενος μέγιστος ὑπογραμμός: having been a remarkable example of endurance/patience (patience endurance).
ὑπογραμμός: is used once in the NT to refer to Jesus as the one who par excellence set forth an example of patient endurance in trial: 1 Peter 2:21.