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Nicholas of Xyra

the archbishop of Canterbury in a series of hear­ings at a provincial synod held at London, and, his answer being unsatisfactory, was excommu­nicated July 1, 1382. He went to Rome and ap­pealed to the pope, stating there his conclusions; but he was condemned by pope and cardinals and sentenced to life imprisonment. It is thought that only the favor of the pope for English scholars pre­vented the sentence of Nicholas to the stake. Nich­olas escaped from imprisonment during a popular uprising, probably in June, 1385, and returned to England. In 1386 a writ was issued for his appre­hension, but he was still at liberty Aug. 10, 1387. Later he was captured and imprisoned, and finally recanted. He was taken under royal protection Dec. 12, 13%, when he was made chancellor of Hereford Cathedral. This post he gave up between 1394 and 1399. In 1397 he became treasurer of Hereford, after 1410 also prebend of Pratum Minus, resigning both offices and retiring to the cloister at Coventry probably in 1417.

To Nicholas of Hereford is due the honor of being a collaborator with Wyclif in the work of tranda­ting the Bible into English, the Old Testament be­ing the part assigned to him. The original manu­script, with the first hand corrections interlined, is fortunately preserved in the Bodleian Library (no. 959 [3093]), and there is also a very early copy of this in the same place (MS. Douci, 369), made be­fore the corrections were inserted in the original, in which appear the words " explicit translacion Nich­olay Herford." Both manuscripts break off in the middle of Baruch iii. 20. This break is usually (and without doubt correctly) explained as resulting from the judicial process against Nicholas and the summons to appear before the synod at London which condemned him. The rest of the Old Testa­ment was by another hand, whose style differs from that of Nicholas. The latters translation is schol­arly, so far as his basal teat permitted, but stiffly literal and somewhat stilted, and therefore not so well adapted for popular use as the work of Wyclif on the New Testament. It was worked over and improved in the edition of John Purvey (q.v.). Besides this work there are extant his Condtusiones and his Responaio at the synod (both in the Paaci:­culi zizaniorum Magieln; Johannis Wydij, ed. W. W. Shirley, in Rolls Series, pp. 303 sqq., 319 aqq., London, 185$). Other works ascribed to him have perished, there having been numerous orders from the king that his writings be seized together with those of Wyclif.

BrnrjoaRAPBY: Fawkuti siwsior~ ed. Shirley, pp. a>iv.,

274, 289‑329, 816 517; J. Fox, Acts and Monuments, iii.

2!‑¢7, 187‑189, 279‑285, 808, ed. of London, 1855; G.

Lechler, John Wycliffe and his English Pr‑sons, pas­

sim, b. 1884; G. M. Trevelyan, England in the Ape of

Wtwii8, passim, ib. 1900; J. Gairdner, LoUardy and the

Rejorma&n in England, i. 21. 22, 24‑27, 59, ib. 1908;

DNB, xl. 418‑420; and the literature under BIBI,v Vaa­stoas, B, IV., Lorcssne, and W:cur, JOHN.

NICHOLAS OF METHONE: Bishop of that city (the modern Modon) in Messenia during the reign of Emperor Manuel I. Comnenus (1143‑80). There are no trustworthy data concerning his life, and he seems to have died before the synod of 1166. He developed a very extensive literary activity, but

only one of his writings was printed before the nine­teenth century, and some still await publication. They furnish an insight into the Greek theology of the twelfth century; chiefly polemic writings against the Latins, or dealing with subtle theological questions and apologetics. To the latter he devoted his Anaptuxia against Proclus, which, in spite of DrAseke's objection, is almost certainly genuine. Polemical works against the Latins deal largely with the procession of the Holy Spirit. Of treatises against the Latins still unpublished are to be men­tioned those on the wafer, the Sabbath fasts, and the primacy of the pope. One treatise, addressed to the Emperor Manuel, treats of the defense of the deposition of Patriarch Kosmas. During the last years of his life Nicholas discusses whether the Trinity or the Son only is the object to whom the sacrifice of the Eucharist is made. He also wrote against the Bogomiles (see Nacw MArnemerrs) and on the problem of predestination. His theology is not original, leaning principally upon Gregory Nasi­anaen and Peeudo‑Dionysius. God is for him the absolute and unconditioned cause, and in his doc­trine of the Trinity and his Christology he follows closely the church doctrine, as he does in his taeat­ment of salvation, not transgressing the limitations of'Greek theology. A thoroughgoing investigation of the theology of Nicholas is yet to be undertak n. (N. Boatwcmsca7

BrauooasanT: His tract on the Eucharist is prints/d in MPL, exxxv. b09‑514; two other tracts, ed. J. T. Boemel, were issued at Frankfort, 1825‑28; another on the pro­cession of the Holy Spirit appeared London, 1859; A. Demetrakopuloe edited two tracts, Leipsio, 1886‑88; and still another, ed. V. VaeWevekii, appeared St. Petersburg, 1888. Consult: Ullmann, in TB$, 1833, pp 701‑743; J. Dr&wke, in ZRG, a (1888), 405‑431, 586690, xviii (1897), 546‑571; idem, in TSH, l:viii (1895), 589‑819; Krumbaoher, GerAichte, pp. 85‑87, 128 (where further litemture is given).

NICHOLAS OF MYRA: Bishop, confessor, and saint; b. perhaps at Patera in Lycia; d. between 345 and 352. There is extant little authentic in­formation concerning him, though the extent to which he is venerated in both orient and oceident and the abundance of legends glorifying his memory, rivaling those which circle about St. George, make him one of the favorite saints of the populace. Legend declares that from infancy he fasted twice a week and worked miracles; that after a pilgrimage to Egypt and Palestine he became bishop of Myra in Lyeia and as such continued to perform miracles of mercy of various kinds, which persisted even after his death‑healing balsam is said to have flowed from his grave, not only soon after his death, but also again after his body had been removed from the orient to Bari in Apulia under Pope Victor III. in 1087. [St. Nicholas was, so to speak, the saint of the people‑of citizens, laborers, merchants; he was the protector of the weak, the poor, the cap­tive, of the young, especially of poor orphans. His kindness to children is supposed to be especially manifested at Christmas, when he rewards with gifts those whose conduct has been exemplary. He is most lavishly honored by the dedication to him of churches, those of St. Nicholas being far more numerous than of any other minor saint.] Hence,

Nicholas of Strasbura THE NEW SCHAFF‑HERZOG 166


in art St. Nicholas is represented with the anchor

as patron of sailors; or with three loaves of bread,

as patron of the bakers' gild; or with three chil­

dren who, praying, lift up their hands to heaven,

as protector and friend of the children; or finally

with three balls or purses (the sign of pawnbrokers),

as benefactor of the poor. He has been painted by

such famous artists as Cimabue, Andrea del Sarto,

and Titian. The day of his commemoration in the,

Roman Church is Dec. 6. For one of the celebrations

on his day see BOY‑BISHOP. (0. ZOCIMPRt.)

BiBraoaawrax: A considerable literature, dealing with early

editions of the sources and with later works more or lose

founded upon them is in Potthast, Wepweiser, pp. 1491­

1492. An early anonymous Vita is in L. Surius, Hia­

torias au vita sanctorum, vi. 795‑810, Venice, 1581; other

early material is collected in Analeda Bollandiana, ii

(1883), 143‑156, iv (1885), 169‑192. Later studies of

the life or legends are by E. Schnell. Raveneburg, 1886;

J. Laroche, Paris, 1893; Mrs. A. Jameson, Sacred and

Legendary Art, ii. 57‑71, Boston, 1893; J. Praxmarer,

Munster, 1894; DCB, iv. 4112.


two German ecclesiastics.

1. A Dominican; d. after 1329. For a time he

was lector in the Dominican monastery at Cologne

(ALKG, iv. 318). In 1325 he was commissioned

by Pope John XXII., to visit the Dominican mon­

asteries in the province of Teutonia and thus became

involved in the case against Eckhart (q.v.). But

he seems to have retained the favor of the pope, for

after Eckhart's condemnation he is still called

vicar (ALKG, iv. 317, note). He left in manuscript

a work De adventu Christi; but since Denifle has

shown that the first and third parts are almost ver­

batim reproductions of two treatises of the Domin­

ican John of Paris, it is hardly possible to use the

work for a characterization of Nicholas. There

remain only the thirteen sermons published by

Pfeiffer (pp. 261‑305), which were delivered in part

before Dominican nuns at Freiburg and the neigh­

boring Adelhausen; the hearers therefore were like

those of Eckhart. But there is a great difference

in the sermons. Nicholas has not the deeply mysti­

cal thoughts in which Eckhart moves as in his

element; but he insists upon spirituality and inner

truth of the religious life in general. He empha­

sizes true repentance and conversion which appro­

priates the merit of Christ‑a merit so exceeding

great that by it alone is the forgiveness of all guilt

given. Like Eckhart, he lays greater stress upon

the performance of duty and upon patient bearing

of the sufferings sent from God than upon specific

works of piety and penances. In the form of ques­

tion and answer, by examples and parables, in a

simple, clear style, he makes his ideas easily intel­

ligible. In popularity he surpasses Eckhart, though

he falls short of him in beauty of language.

2. A Carthusian (Nicolaus Kemph de Argentina);

b. at Strasburg 1397; d. at Gaming (65 m. w.a.w.

of Vienna), Lower Austria, 1497. He studied the­

ology at Vienna under Dinkelabilhl and had also

Henry of Langenstein (q.v.) as teacher. In 1440 he

entered the monastery at Gaming and joined the

Carthusiana. For many years he was prior in differ­

ent monasteries, but retired in 1490 to Gaming. Of

his writings, of which Pez mentions thirty‑six, the

few which have been printed include a Dialogus de recto studiorum fine ac ordine (in Pez, iv. 257‑192; for the most part trahslated into German by Rosier, pp. 280‑348), a Trsctatua de disere4ione (Pez, ix. 379­532), and an Expoeitio mystics in canticum cartti­corum (xi‑xii.). Nicholas belongs to the mystic theologians of the fifteenth century. He speaks very highly of Jean Gerson, and like him exhorts to earnest study of the Bible (with a recommenda­tion of Nicholas of Lyra). On the whole he follows the tendencies of the more famous and learned Dionysius (see DloNyslus Tam CARZHus1AN), who was endowed also with a wider and freer penetration. S. M. DEuTscHt.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: On 1 consult: g. Schmidt, Johanna Tauler, pp. 5‑6, Hamburg, 1841; F. Pfeiffer, Deutsche Afydiker des viersehnten Jahrhunderts, i. pp. xxii‑xxv., Leipsic, 1845; W. Prager, Geschichte der deutachea My" im Mit­telalter, ii. 67‑89, Leipsie, 1881; Denifie, in Zoitechri)t far deutsches Alterthum, mx (1885), 259 sqq.; idem, Der Plapiator Nikolaus won Strasaburg, in Archie Jar Liferatur and Kirchenpeschichte des Miudaltere, iv (1888), 312‑329.

On 2 consult: The biographical notices in B. Pes, Bs3­liothxa aspetica, preface to vols. iv. and xi., 12 vols., Re­geneburg, 1723‑40; N. Paulus. Der Karthdussr Nikolaus van Strambury and seine Schrift De recto studiorwm fine ac ordine, in Der Katholik, ii (1891), 346 sqq.; A. RSsler, Der Karthduser Nikolaus Kemph, pp. 281 aqq., Freiburg, 1894.

NICHOLAS, WILLIAM: Irish Methodist; b. at WeaPord (82 m. s. of Dublin), County Wexford, Dec. 22, 1838. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (B.A., 1879), held numerous pastorates in his denomination in Dublin and Belfast from 1861 to 1895, when he was made president and theologi­cal professor in the Methodist College, Belfast, both of which positions he still retains. He is a member of the London Council of the Evangelical Alliance and of the Senate of the Royal University of Ireland. In theology he is a broad evangelical, and has writ­ten Sermons on Jesus the Christ (Dublin, 1883); The Case Against Home Rule (1886); Newman and Ritah alism (London, 1889); and Christianity and Social­ism (1893; Fernley Lecture).

NICHOLS, WILLIAM FORD: Protestant Epis­copal bishop of California; b. at Lloyd, N. Y., June 9, 1849. He was educated at Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. (A.B.,1870), and Berkeley Divinity School from which he was graduated in 1873. He was ordered deacon in 1873 and priested in 1874. He was curate of Holy Trinity, Middletown, Conn. (1873‑75), rector of St. James's, West Hartford, Conn. (1875‑76), Grace, Newington, Conn. (1876­1877), Christ Church, Hartford, Conn. (1877‑.87), and St. James's, Philadelphia (1887‑90), private secre­tary to Bishop Williams of Connecticut (1871‑76), professor of church history in Berkeley Divinity School (188587), and assistant secr6tary of the House of Bishops (1886). After having declined to be bishop coadjutor of Ohio in 1888, he was con­secrated bishop coadjutor of California in 1890, and three years later became bishop of the diocese.

BIBwooEA.P87: W. S. Perry, The Episcopate in America, p. 323, New York, 1895.

NICHOLSON, ISAAC LEA: Protestant Episco­pal bishop of Milwaukee; b. at Baltimore, Md., Jan. 18, 1844; d. at Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 29, 1906.

187 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Nicholas of stratburs


He was graduated from Dartmouth College (A.B.,

1869) and Virginia Theological Seminary (1871),

being ordered deacon in the same year and priested

in 1872. He was curate of St. Thomas's, Hanover,

N. H. (1871‑72) and of St. Paul's, Baltimore (1872­

1875), and rector of the Church of the Ascension,

Westminster, Md. (1875‑79), and of St: Mark's,

Philadelphia (1879‑91). In 1891 he was conse­

crated bishop of Milwaukee, after having declined

the proffered see of Indiana in 1883.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. S. Perry, The Episcopate in America,

p. 335, New York, 1895.


Episcopal; b. in Green County, Miss., Jan. 8, 1822;

d. at Philadelphia, Pa., June 7, 1901. He gradu­

ated from La Grange College, Ala., 1840; became

pastor of the Poydras Street Methodist Episco­

pal Church, New Orleans, La., 1842; entered the

Protestant Episcopal Church, and became rector

of St. John's, Cincinnati, O., 1849; of St. Paul's,

Boston, 1859; of Trinity Church, Newark, N. J.,

1872; he then entered the Reformed Episcopal

Church, and took charge of the Second Reformed

Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, 1874. In 1876

he was consecrated bishop, and later was chosen

dean of the Reformed Episcopal Theological Semi­

nary of Philadelphia. He wrote, besides numerous

tracts on doctrinal subjects, The Bearing of Prophecy

on Inspiration in The Inspired Word, ed. A. T.

Pierson (New York, 1888).




B, I., 7.


in the monastery of Dionysius on Mount Athos;

b. on the Island of Naxos 1748; d. at Mount Athos,

in the monastery of the Skourteeans above Karyes,

1809. His life passed quietly, except that he was

involved in the Kolywa controversy which in the

second half of the eighteenth century arose over

the question whether the memorial celebrations

for the dead should take place on Satilrday according

to the opinion of the old orthodox or on Sunday.

Nicodemus adhered to the orthodox tendency, had

to suffer for it, but was finally justified. His im­

portance lies in his extensive literary work. He

was not a creative spirit, but reproduced old Greek

orthodoxy, putting it in the garb of popular Greek

and thus making it the common possession of his

church. His principal departments are hagiogra­

phy, asceticism, mysticism, liturgics, canon law,

and practical exegesis. Among his works on hagi­

ography is to be mentioned especially: " Ritual

for the Twelve Months of the Year" (3 vols.,

Venice, 1819; 12 vole., Constantinople, 1841 sqq.;

3 vols., Zakynthos, 1868), a rich source for

the study of the worship of saints in the

Greek Church. Other works are: " The New

Martyrology " (ib., 1799) ; " The New Choice "

(Venice, 1803). He also edited " A Collection

of the Divine Utterances and the Inspired

Doctrines of the Holy Fathers " (Venice, 1782),

a work of Paulos, the founder of the monastery

of Euergetis. In the sphere of aseeticism and mysticism he published: " Love of Beauty of the Holy Ascetics " (Venice, 1782); " The Invisible Battle " (Venice, 1796); " Spiritual Exercises " (Venice, 1800); " Handbook of Directions " (Vi­enna, 1801); " The Excellence of Christians " (Venice, 1803). For the use of the Church in the narrower sense he published a " Book of Confes­sion " (1794, 7th ed., 1854) which is still used. But he achieved his highest fame by the compila­tion of the corpus of Greek canon law, " Rudder of the Intellectual Ship of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church " (Leipsic, 1800 and later editions). In the sphere of exegesis he wrote an interesting commentary on the Catholic Epistles (Venice, 1819) and translated Euthymius Zygabe­nus' commentary on the Psalms into popular Greek (Constantinople, 1819‑21). (PHILIPP MEYER.)

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A sketch d' his life is prefixed to the " Rit­ual," ut sup. Consult further: R. Nicolai, Gewhichts der ueupriechiechen Litteratur, Leipsic, 1876; L. Petit, in Ethos dorsent, 1899, pp. 321 sqq.; A. D. $yriakos, Ge­whOda der orsentaliwhen Kirrhen, p. 155, Leilsie, 1902.

NICOL, THOMAS: Church of Scotland; b. at Castleton of Kincardine, parish of Fordoun, Kin­cardineshire, Oct. 21, 1846. He was educated at the universities of Aberdeen (M.A., 1868), Edin­burgh (B.D., 1871), and Titbingen (1871), after which he was minister at Kells, Kirkcudbrightshire (1873‑79), and Tolbooth Parish, Edinburgh (1879­1899). Since 1899 he has been professor of divinity and Biblical criticism in the University of Aberdeen. He was also editor of the Church of Scotland Mission Record from 1886 to 1900, Croall lecturer in 1897­1898, and Baird lecturer in 1907, and has been con­vener of the Church of Scotland Jewish Mission Committee since 1896. In addition to translating J. T. Beck's Pastorallehren des Neuen Testament,@ (Giiteraloh,1880) in collaboration with J. A. M'Cly­mont (Pastoral Theology of the New Testament, Edinburgh, 1885), and editing the Church of Scotland Sabbath School Teachers' Book (1890), he has written Recent Explorations in Bible Lards (1892); Recent Archa;ology and the Bible (Croall lectures; 1898); The Present Position taped Prospects of Biblical Science (1899); and The Pour Gospels in the Earliest Church History (1908).

NICOLAI, nf're6‑lair, PHMIPP: German Lu­theran theologian and hymn‑writer; b. at Menger­inghausen (12 m. n. of Waldeck) Aug. 10, 1556; d. at Hamburg Oct. 26, 1608. In 1575 he visited the University of Erfurt, and subsequently Wittenberg. In the year 1583 he was called as Evangelical preacher to his father's former field of labor at Herdecke, Westphalia; in 1587 to Nieder‑Wild­ungen, and almost immediately to Alt‑Wiidungen, where he was court preacher to the Lutheran count­ess of Waldeck, and tutor to her son. Here he be­came involved in the conflict with encroaching Calvinism, which he opposed with his pen. In 1596 he accepted a call as preacher at Unna, Westphalia, where the Lutherans, after a long struggle with the Calvinists, had gained the supremacy. Here he wrote that notorious book: Kurzer Bericht von der Calvinisten Gott and ihrer Religion (1598). The evil reports about his manner of life, scattered abroad by




the Calvinists, and the retaliation which he brought upon himself by'hie unrestrained polemics (followed by deaths in his family during a severe epidemic), reduced him to such a state of distress that he post­poned all disputations, and occupied all his time in prayer and meditation, concerning eternal life and the estate of faithful souls in the )ieavenly paradise. The fruit ofr these meditations was his Preuden­spwgd des ewigen Lebena, das iat, grtlndlwJw Be­schreaung des herrlichen Wesens (Frankfort, 1599). Three spiritual hymns form an appendix to the first edition of PreudensPiegd.

Hardly had the epidemic passed, before renewed controversial attacks came forth from the Cal­vinists, prompting Nicolai to complement his Frettdenspiegel with Spiegd des blown Geidea, der rich in der Calvriniaten Bachern regt (Frankfort, 1599). When forty‑four years of age he married the widow of a pastor at Dortmund. He now resolved to avoid all polemics for a season, and occupied himself with a somewhat extensive dogmatic work on the " Mystical Temple of God." In the year 1601 he was elected chief pastor at St. Catherine's Church, Hamburg, where his writings, especially the Freude»apiepd, had gained him friends. He preached every Sunday and Thursday to a well­filled church, exercising alike by his words and by his personal acts a devout influence upon his congre­gation, his colleagues, and all the city. He was revered and praised in wide circles as " another Chryeostom," a godly man and faithful shepherd of souls, a talented writer, and a pillar of the Lutheran Church. He felt especially called upon to preserve and confirm among the Hamburg preachers the peace and confessional unity of the Church, the pure Evangelical doctrine, as grounded hl divine Scripture, and witnessed and repeated in the Book of Concord of 1580 and its Apology. A counterpart to his Preudenapiegd was the Theoria vita amerna; (1606) written the year before, during an epidemic at Hamburg. A posthumous work was the polemic De Amichrtdo Romano (Rostock, 1609).

Nicolai is known mainly by four spiritual hymns, produced in 15": (1) " Mag ich Unglaek nicht widerstan," a partizan hymn against the Calvinists; (2), " So wiinsch ich nun sin guts Nacht," on Ps. xlii.; (3) " Wie schrin leucht' uns der Morgenstern," on Pa. xlv. (Eng. tranel. by several persons, includ­ing Miss Catherine Winkworth, " 0 Morning Starl how fair and bright "); (4) " Wachet suf I ruft uns die Stimme," on Matt. xxv. (in Eng. by the same translator, " Wake, awake; for night is flying "). Of these four hymns especially the two latter belong to the gems of the Evangelical hymn treasury. Both mark the beginning of a new period of lyric subjec­tiveaess, by their ardent reflection and loving ten­derness, which are outwardly facilitated by their poetic and musical rhythm.,. There is also a rich coloring reflecting the supernatural, such as is still foreign to hymns of the Reformation era. Although circulating widely, and adopted by church hymnals, they were not supplied with melodies equal in sub­limity and favor until the appearance of the Meio­deyert&aaWbuch, by J. and H. Pratorius, Sehneider­mann, and Decker (Hamburg, 1604). The three‑

hundredth anniversary of his death was celebrated throughout northwestern Germany Oct. 26, 1908. VICTOR SCHULTZE.

Brsuoassrar: NiooWs works were edited by Dedeken. 6 vole., Hamburg. 1811‑17. Lives have been written by

V. Schultze, Mengerinabsusen. 1908; L.' Gwrtae, Belle.

1859: R. Rocholl, Berlin, 1860: and a.Eckart, Qlaok‑

stadt. 1909. Consult further: H. H. Wendt. Vorkawpen

labor Phaipp Nicdai, Hambur& 1859; 8. W. Duffield, NeoUA avnp., pp. 228‑227, New York, 1886; V. Schultze,

Watdeckisdw Reformatioaapewhichte. Leipsio, 1903;Julian.

HymwolooU, pp. .

11ICOLAITAIIS: A sect mentioned in the Apoc­alypse of John which had adherents in some of the churches of Asia Minor. The community of Ephe‑

sus is praised on account of its oppo­Censured by sition to them (ii 6), while the

St. John. community of Pergamos is blamed

(ii. 14‑15) because it suffered such people in its midst. The latter community is re­proached with the sin into which the Israelites were once led by Balsam, namely, that of unehastity and of the partaking of meat offered to idols, and also with adopting such teachings (ii. 15, 24). The same sect is certainly alluded to in the address to the " Angel " of the community of Thyatira: " I have a few things against thee, because thou suffer­eat that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols " (ii. 20). Since according to the better reading the teat does not give " the wife " but " thy wife " (of. Zahn), the reference is not to the wife of any one of the community (Holtzmann, Weiz­sacker, Bousset, etc.), and still less to the priestess of the Chaldean sibyl Tambethe, in Thyatira (Scharer and Vblter). It would seem more plausi­ble to understand by " angel," the bishop, and to suppose that his wife was accused (Zahn and others); but that she should be leading such an immoral life in Thyatim without restraint is incredible in view of the praise awarded to the angel of the community. It is much more probable that in these words the weakness of King Ahaz toward his idolatrous wife Jezebel is compared with the weakness of the gov­ernment of the community toward the Nicolaitans, and that Jezebel is only regarded as‑a type of the sect. While the Nicolaitans encountered energetic resistance in Ephesus and gained few adherents in Pergamos, in Thyatira they exercised a wide‑spread influence. It is probable that their leaders laid claim there to the possession of prophetic inspiration (ii. 20) and to a knowledge of " the depths of Satan " (ii. 24). This probably signifies a dualistic con­ception, by which evil is referred to the powers of the under‑world, thus doing away with human guilt. It is these leaders of the sect, not Jewish teachers (Zahn), disciples of John (Eichhora), or Judaizers (Ewald, Gebhardt), who are the false apostles mentioned in the address to the church at Ephesus (ii. 2).

The picture thus derived of the Nicolaitans strongly resembles that of the antinomian libertin­ism in Corinth, as shown in the epistles to the Corin­thians. It may be inferred therefore that the former also had its origin in the Gentile Christianity of Paul. However, what was merely a tendency in



Corinth, became here a sect led by agitators. In Corinth also the evil custom prevailed of eating meat sacrificed to idols (I Cor. viii.) and unchastity

(I Cor. v. 1 sqq.), in connection with Relation the claim of possessing superior knowl­to Paul. edge (I Cor. iv. 6 sqq., v. 2, viii. 1, xv. 12 sqq.). But in Ephesus, from the simple extenuation of these sins by an appeal to Paul's doctrine of freedom in Christ, there arose a teaching combined with dualistic speculations. Thereupon the spiritual pride of the libertines in­creased to such an extent that their leaders claimed prophetic gifts (ii. 20) and apostolic rank (ii. 2). Nevertheless, the view is unfounded that the Apoc­alypse of John combats in these passages the apostle Paul and his helpers (Baur, Schwegler, Holtzmann, Hilgenfeld, etc.); for Paul was no longer living, while all the statements in question refer to a con­temporary condition, and the helpers of Paul laid no claim to apostolic rank. Besides this, these very airs are just as sternly condemned by Paul as they are in the Apocalypse; for example, unchastity (I Cor. v. 1 sqq., vi. 12 sqq.), as well as the eating of meat sacrificed to idols (x. 18 sqq.). Paul also refers here to the warning example of Israel's cor­ruption by Balsam (I Cor. x. 8), and in general he peremptorily disposed of the libertinistic tendency (II Cor. vi. 14 sqq., xii. 20, xiii. 10). Another un­tenable view is that which finds the Montanists in the false apostles, the Balaamites, and the prophet­ess Jezebel (Rev. ii. 2‑14), while the Nicolaitans who differ from these signify Gnostics like the Ophites (Vtilter). The reproach of unchastity and of eating meat sacrificed to idols is in too great discord with the ascetic morality of the Montanists; and nothing indicates Gnostics of the second century. Equally groundless is the conjecture that the pas­sages mentioning the Nicolaitans were a later interpolation (V61ter).

What the Church Fathers have to say about the Nicolaitans rather opposes the contention that they

first originated in the second century, Patristic or indeed that, apart from the Nicolai­Data. tans of the Apocalypse, there was any

sect of that name in the second century (Neander and others). That the Nicolaitans are not mentioned until the time of Irenaeus does not signify that they originated or reappeared during the interval. It is true that in every list of heretics the Nicolaitans are named after Basilides and Sa­tornilus; but the order in the lists of heretics is in no wise chronological (cf. Lipsius, Quellen der dlteren Kdzergeachichte, pp. 28, 35, 47), and the comparative agreement of these lists is explained by their com­mon dependence upon Irenmus. The latter, how­ever, expressly says (Hter., III., xi. 1) that the Nicolaitans, " long before " Cerinthus, held a simi­lar doctrine and that John wrote his Gospel against both. This shows that he placed the Nicolaitans in apostolic times, and his ranking them after Basilides and Cerinthus is only because of the similarity of their doctrines to those of these heretics. What he relates of the Nicolaitans, however, is almost ex­clusively derived from the Apocalypse. It is still clearer that everything Tertullian says of them comes from the Apocalypse. His remark (Her.,

xxxiii.) that in his time there were also Nicolaitans, only of another kind, called the heresy of Gaius, ex­pressly excludes the idea that there was any con­temporary sect of this name. The statements of Hippolytus are founded on those of Irenams. In all the patristic data concerning the Nicolaitans the only statements to be regarded as based on histori­cal tradition independent of the Apocalypse are the assertion of Irenaeus that their teacher was Nicolaos, one of the seven deacons of the primitive commun­ity (Hter., I,, xxvi. 3), and the statement, probably earlier than Hippolytus, that this Nicolaos had been led into grievous errors through jealousy of his wife. It is possible that this last statement may be mythical, and that even the first is only based on conjecture; since, however, it is assumed in the Apocalypse that the name Nicolaitan was known to its readers, it is at least probable that this name is not derived as a symbolical designation from that of Balsam (" lord " or " conqueror of the people "; Vitringa and Hengstenberg), but from the name of the leader of the sect.

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