Available Chapters - John - Godet's Commentary on Selected Books - Bible Commentary - StudyLight.org (2023)



Federico Luis Godet

Third edition

From the translation of

third edition in french

By Timothy Dwight, Yale College


The commentary on the Gospel of John, now presented to American readers in its third edition, has been well known to New Testament scholars for twenty years. It was originally published in 1864-65 and immediately attracted attention. Ten or eleven years later, an expanded and greatly improved edition appeared, which was translated into English shortly thereafter. The first volume of the third edition was released to the public in 1881; the second and third volumes were published that year (1885). Unlike most German commentators of the last few days, Godet not only revised what had previously been written for each new edition, but also largely prepared a new work. This is surprisingly true of the introductory volume to this latest edition of the original, which covers the first two hundred and nineteen pages of this translation. It is also true, as the reader who compares the two will recognize by close study, that in the Commentary proper each paragraph has been given careful scrutiny, and even when the subject is not entirely new, the sentences have been extensively revised. . -written, with changes sometimes important for thought and sometimes apparently only for stylistic purposes. All who have read the second and third editions together will agree that the work has been greatly improved by these new works by the author. Additions and revisions have been made almost as well since the book was first published as when it was first published. Among the commentaries on this gospel, it can be considered one of the finest books that any student or minister can read, both for the light it throws on this most interesting part of the New Testament and for its inspiration to the Christian. Thought.

When the first proposal was made to publish a new translation in this country, it was assumed that it would be ready for printing at a much earlier date. However, soon after the work was completed, it turned out that the second and third volumes would be the third editionTHIS work by Godet is published in its third French edition in three volumes, one containing the introduction and the other two containing the commentary. In this American translation, as in the French edition, the preface to the complete work is at the beginning of the first volume; However, since the translation will be published in two volumes rather than three, it was felt better to include the author's preface to the commentary at the beginning of the second volume rather than in the middle of the volume. I. where the commentary itself begins. The commentary index, found in the original work at the end of Vol. III., also precedes this second volume.

The American publisher draws the reader's attention to its own additional notes on the Gospel chapters (VI-XXI) contained in this volume and asks that you consider the thoughts and suggestions contained therein. These additional notes are on pages 457-542.

Timotheus Dwight


Julio4º, 1886.


For the third time I submit to the Church this commentary on what I consider to be her most precious jewel, about the life of Jesus in which his closest friend preserved his most glorious and sacred memories. I feel all the responsibility of this job, but I also know its beauty; and immediately I humble myself and rejoice.

God has blessed the publication of this commentary beyond what I could have imagined when I first wrote it. To do something for the Church of France in my weakness, perhaps the branch nobler than the tree that came from the ChurchSenfkörnerexposed, but whose situation seems more serious to me at this hour than in the days of bloody persecution, all that was my ambition; It even seemed to me that it bordered on presumptuous. And now I receive testimonies of loving sympathy and close fellowship of spirit from many quarters, and see this work being translated into German, English, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and exerting its influence far beyond the circle I sought to reach. . According to the apostle, God did more than he couldquestionsor inclusivethink.

In the previous issue he had completely revised the treatment of critical questions and collected all discussions about the origin of the Fourth Gospel in a special volume. This arrangement was retained; yet there is hardly a page, hardly a movement from the previous edition that has not been revised and, as it were, newly composed. The reason for this fact lies not only in the deep feeling I had for the imperfections of the previous works, but also in the appearance of more recent works, which I was forced to give special consideration to. I am particularly referring to theologyjoaninoby M. Reuss, in his large work onhis bible(1879), in M. Sabatier's essay on the encyclopediareligious studies, T.vii. Pages. 173-195 (1879), to the sixth volume of M. Renan's book on theOrigins of Christianity(1879) and to the latest edition of Hase's work,Jesus story(1876).

The result of this re-study in my case was increasing firmnessscientificConviction of the authenticity of the Scriptures left to us by the Church under the name of John. There is a different kind of conviction that arises in the heart just by reading a book like this. This conviction does not grow; it is immediate and therefore complete from the first moment. It resembles, at first glance, trust and love, that crucial impression unadded by the integrity of thirty years of coexistence and mutual devotion.

Scientific studies cannot make such a connection; all you can do is remove the hostile pressure that threatens to loosen or break it. In truth, I can say that I have never felt this scientific certainty so reaffirmed as I do after this re-examination of the evidence on which it is based and the reasons recently put forward against it.

The reader will judge whether it is a beautiful illusion; whether the conclusion formulated at the end of this volume is, in fact, the result of a complete and unbiased examination of the facts, or whether it came about simply because it was intended to be so. It seems to me that I can put my book to the test with even more confidence than before.

May all that has come from the heart of Jesus to the heart and writing of John be abundantly communicated to my readers, so that the wish of the Holy Apostle may be fulfilled in them: "We write these things to you, that your joy may be full."


June29º, 1881.


It is not without hope that I submit to the Church the third edition of this commentary, the introductory volume of which was published in 1881. When I first published this work, the two theories of Baur and Reuss dominated scientific thought, one in Germany and the other in France. . The first taught us to see in the Johannine narrative almost nothing other than a novel intended to illustrate the idea of ​​the Logos and to permeate the Church. The other showed a little more respect for the story told in that book, but regarded the discourses included in this table simply as the author's own theology, whoever he was, John or anyone else; Theology that he himself derives from the contemplation of Jesus and his Christian experience.

As we pay close attention to the shift in opinion, we marvel at the gradual shift in appreciation of this scripture. To speak only of the most important points, Renan, in the masterly dissertation which he put at the end of the thirteenth edition of hisRivalwhich I had to pay special attention to. I am particularly referring to theologyjoaninoby M. Reuss, in his large work onhis bible(1879), in M. Sabatier's essay on the encyclopediareligious studies, T.vii. Pages. 173-195 (1879), to the sixth volume of M. Renan's book on theOrigins of Christianity(1879) and to the latest edition of Hase's work,Jesus story(1876).

The result of this re-study in my case was increasing firmnessscientificConviction of the authenticity of the Scriptures left to us by the Church under the name of John. There is a different kind of conviction that arises in the heart just by reading a book like this. This conviction does not grow; it is immediate and therefore complete from the first moment. It resembles, at first glance, trust and love, that crucial impression unadded by the integrity of thirty years of coexistence and mutual devotion.

Scientific studies cannot make such a connection; all you can do is remove the hostile pressure that threatens to loosen or break it. In truth, I can say that I have never felt this scientific certainty so reaffirmed as I do after this re-examination of the evidence on which it is based and the reasons recently put forward against it.

The reader will judge whether it is a beautiful illusion; whether the conclusion formulated at the end of this volume is, in fact, the result of a complete and unbiased examination of the facts, or whether it came about simply because it was intended to be so. It seems to me that I can put my book to the test with even more confidence than before.

May all that has come from the heart of Jesus to the heart and writing of John be abundantly communicated to my readers, so that the wish of the Holy Apostle may be fulfilled in them: "We write these things to you, that your joy may be full."


June29º, 1881.


It is not without hope that I submit to the Church the third edition of this commentary, the introductory volume of which was published in 1881. When I first published this work, the two theories of Baur and Reuss dominated scientific thought, one in Germany and the other in France. . The first taught us to see in the Johannine narrative almost nothing other than a novel intended to illustrate the idea of ​​the Logos and to permeate the Church. The other showed a little more respect for the story told in that book, but regarded the discourses included in this table simply as the author's own theology, whoever he was, John or anyone else; Theology that he himself derives from the contemplation of Jesus and his Christian experience.

As we pay close attention to the shift in opinion, we marvel at the gradual shift in appreciation of this scripture. To speak only of the most important points, Renan, in the masterly dissertation which he put at the end of the thirteenth edition of hisRival vonJesus demonstrated, by the most robust analysis, the undeniable historical character of most of John's narratives and the superiority of synoptic history which in many respects should be attributed to them. Below, by the way, as he expressed himself in a conversation that was reported last yearChristianity in the 19th century.and sie:cle (April 1884): “The historical character of the Fourth Gospel impresses me more and more. As I read, I say to myself: That's right." Yesit is soWhat can one say about Baur's opinion!

hate, in youJesus story(1876), gave in the introduction a very careful study of the sources of this story, especially the Gospel of John. She decides to be inauthentic, but after making a series of preambles that lead directly to the opposite conclusion. One feels that through sheer force of will one has overcome all the scientific reasons best suited to justify the contrary belief. And he is easily persuaded that the basis of this decision, contrary to the premises, is nothing other than the rationalist denial of the miracle. A judgment can be formed from these words of the venerable scribe: “Through the golden sternum of the Logos doctrine we feel (in the Jesus of the Fourth Gospel) the beating of a true human heart, moved by joy and pain, and into this imagewe recognize the apostlewith all the fullness of his memory.” How far removed are we from the estimates of Baur and Keim!

The two most important works that have appeared in Germany in the last few days in relation to our topic are theseCommentary on the Gospel of Johnby Bernhard Weiss (in the collection of Meyer's commentaries, sixth edition, 1880) and thelife of Jesusby the same author (1882). The historical veracity of the entire narrative of John is fully recognized and proven. As for the speeches, Weiss no doubt makes partial concessions to the criticism that I do not think sufficiently warranted; Readers can judge for themselves. But the difference to Reuss is still a difference.over the sky, so the few imported elements Weiss admits do not, in his opinion, detract from the book's authenticity.

It is to be hoped that this move back will not be unanimous. The Tubingen school never ceased to work in the direction given by its teacher's genius. Here we only name the writings in which this tendency reached its climax, so to speak. It is from A. Thomas:The Origin of the Gospel of John(1882). At one point this author breaks with the tradition of the school: he recognizes the close kinship of our gospel with Judaism and the Old Testament. But, on the other hand, what phantasmagoria of allegorization fires the imagination of this writer! The discoveries of Baur and Reuss are surprisingly superior in this respect. It is not a story of Jesus, it is the story of Christianity itself, which the author of our Gospel, a second-century Alexandrian Christian, wanted to write. From the condition of infancy described by the Synoptics, the new religion had reached the splendor of youth. All sorts of elements had already risen up in the church and were fighting in its midst. The characters that are part of our gospel are nothing but freely created personifications of these different tendencies. Caiaphas is a false prophecy; The brothers of Jesus represent fleshly Israel fighting against the Church. Pilate is Roman despotism; the Greek proselytes from ch. 12 embody paganism striving after truth. The various Christian holidays are also represented, particularly by the Bethanien family; Festival of the Works of Marta; that of faith through Mary; Christian Essenism, by Lazarus. The most clever twist in this onemental gamesIt is the declaration of the person of James, the brother of Jesus. It is Judaism in its form that is hostile to Christianity. His name is intentionally omitted throughout the narrative, but replaced by that of Judas; however, its importance is alluded to,the suppressor, By the way,Juan 13:18, where Jesus remembers the words ofPsalms 41:0: “Whoever eats bread with me hasraised heelagainst me". We will get an idea of ​​the author's critical method if we know, for example, that the passageJuan 1:13: „Those born not of blood or... but of God', was composed by the Alexandrian author through the following three passages:Romans 8:29("the firstborn among many brothers");Hebrews 2:13("with the children that God has given me");1 Corinthians 15:48("As the heavenly, ... so is the heavenly"). These are examples of what is now called by this party the discovery of the origin of the Fourth Gospel.

Fortunately, to the extent of these excesses, which may be called the Saturnalia of Criticism, they also seem to have helped restore sobriety and common sense to people's minds. We are happy to collect testimonials such as the following:

Franke, a young scientist teaching in Halle, recently published a paper entitled:The Old Testament in John, a work of prudence and solid erudition, in which he proves, as I have tried to prove, that the thought of the Fourth Gospel writer penetrates the very fabric of the Old Testament. As he puts it at the end of his preface: "A constant study of the writings of John has led me with increasing vigor to the conviction that their interpretation cannot be successfully carried out unless their composition is resolutely maintained by John the Apostle. " . ”

Another young scholar, Schneedermann, professor in Basel, about his work:Judaism andchristian sermonNOevangeles (1884) writes: “When I came to the explanation of the Fourth Gospel in the period of my academic study, I was uncertain of its provenance, but determined to state without hesitation that I must remain undecided, and why must I remain undecided. so... To my own surprise, the result of my work was the discovery set forth above that the Fourth Gospel cause and gospel history is not in such a bad state. as some would have us believe... I have the impression that nothing prevents us from seeing in the author of the Fourth Gospel a gifted Jewish thinker with strong religious enthusiasm, and our appreciation of this author, who is aware of his character as a Eyewitness is aware of the apostle John."

These voices rising among the younger generation and the contemporaneous experiences they express bode well; announce a new phase of criticism. So I first expressed a sense of hope. After this violent crisis, the old motto that became the Gospel of John is reaffirmed:

Much more: Fighting with me is fun, because a lot more hammers are used.

I hope I have not overlooked anything that might help keep this commentary on par with the scholarly work that is being done with such diligence on the Fourth Gospel today. I have particularly benefited from the commentaries by Weiss and Keil that have appeared since my last issue. You will scarcely find a page in this book which does not show traces of work aimed at improving it and making it less unworthy of its subject.

May the Lord give strength and victory to His Word in the midst of the Church and throughout the world!



march21call up, 1885.



When the intelligent reader of the New Testament comes to the Fourth Gospel, the difference between it and the three previous accounts of the life of Jesus is immediately apparent. Although each of these earlier writings has certain idiosyncrasies that set it apart from the other two, it is in a preeminent sense a biography written to tell its own story. When another object is in view, as it certainly can be, it is secondary rather than primary, or, to put it mildly, left to the reader to discover without the author making a direct statement. But one cannot open the fourth gospel and read the verses of the first chapter without realizing that the book has a new character. The writer is obviously moving in the realm of big ideas and not just in a biographical narrative. It is evident that he intends to tell his story for a purpose that goes beyond simply recording it. He does not intend to give his book to those who receive it and then have them find in the works or words of Jesus a glimpse of his person or influences on their own spiritual life that they can discover for themselves. Instead, he has an idea of ​​his own. He has studied the Master's life for himself and, if possible, wishes to impress on the reader the conviction instilled in him.

What is this belief? What is this purpose? These are the questions that immediately arise. The phenomena presented to us in the book and the direct statements contained therein, if any, should provide the answer. If we carefully search these readings from beginning to end, we shall first discover the remarkable statements of what is commonly called the prologue, and the equally astonishing words ofJuan 20:30-31who close the job. What is even more remarkable, we find that while the words and phrases which appear to occupy the foremost place in the prologue disappear entirely after its conclusion, the last verses of chapter 20, just alluded to, with those phrases and phrases in were obviously related. These last few verses also clearly state the purpose of the book. The phenomena of this gospel, therefore, are the great thoughts of the introductory verses about the Logos, the story of Jesus forming the content and content of the book, and the formal statement at the end that the author aims with his writing to stimulate the readers to Jesus to believe who, he cannot doubt, will give them the true life of the soul. In a word, he strives to write a new narrative of the gospel, not just to retell, or in a slightly different way, a story that has been told before, but to tell the truth to his readers by telling it can prove their own conception of their master and thus can attain the greatest good.

Let's briefly consider the foreword in relation to the work plan. There is no doubt that the two main ideas of the first eighteen verses are those of John 1:1 and 2Juan 1:14: The Logos was in the beginning, was with God and was God; and the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us. In connection with the first of these declarations, a number of additional declarations, obviously of a subsidiary nature, are madeJuan 1:3-4; Logos was the key player in creation; as to the living part of created things, He was life; and as for the part capable of intelligence and spiritual life, He was the light. He was therefore the source of all existence of any kind that any part of creation can possess. It seems obvious that there is a constant movement and progress here along the line of the idea of ​​revelation. The movement is towards the spiritual region, and of course because that is the mind of the author. These introductory verses therefore point out what the Word itself indicates, regardless of its origin, whether it be from the Old Testament or from Alexandrian Jewish philosophy, namely that John's thought is that God made himself to the world and in the world as revealed differs from God in his unrevealed form. state or its hidden nature. The Logos is the revealer. This Revealer worked in the world from beginning to end, giving the true light, but the world did not take full possession of what He offered. “Light shines in the dark; and darkness did not possess him. Hence, there became a need for a clearer way to manifest oneself as well as the light; and for this reason the Logos became flesh. Without attempting to determine at this point what exactly the author's idea is in using these words, we cannot doubt that he intends to portray the Logos as somehow intruding into human life in the person of a human penetrates. . This is evident not only from the contrast of the words σάρξ ἐγένετο with the sentences of the first verse, but also from the peculiar phrase ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν and from the wordswe saw his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father.

Finally, the direct connection of John 1:17-18 withJuan 1:14through the wordsgrace and truthand the verb ἐξηγήσατο, which carries the idea of ​​revelation, shows that the person in whom the Logos took up residence, in a sense to give the clearer light that people needed, was Jesus Christ. The content of the prologue statement, therefore, is that somehow it is not necessary at this point in our discussion to discover and definitively establish that Jesus Christ is the Logos who was with God in the beginning and was God, and that he was so in a later time meat was made. The narrative of the earthly life of Jesus, which occupies the space between the prologue and the last verses, i.e. actually makes up the content of the work, is the means that the author uses to realize his project. History is the proof. Rather than backing up his claim that Jesus is the Incarnate Logos with doctrinal discourse argument, he simply relates what he did and said, evidently believing that life will bear the strongest testimony to the doctrine.

That he should have chosen this method of proof was natural, because the establishment of the theorem under consideration was not the ultimate aim he had in mind. This purpose, as he himself asserts, was practical and should be realized in the lives of his readers. They must have life in the name of this Logo incarnate. But this life (ζωή) was not only in the eyes of this author a matter of the future to be experienced in eternity. It was a present experience of the individual soul that transferred the life of Jesus, so to speak, to the believing disciple and became his. There could be no better way, therefore, of fulfilling its dual purpose, doctrinal and practical, than by leading the reader to believe the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, by telling the narrative of his earthly career told.

However, there are two distinctive elements in the narrative that further distinguish it from the narratives of the synoptic gospels. The first of them is directly related to the teaching character of the book. Since the story is told to prove the truth just mentioned, the author sees it throughout in the light of testimony. The Greek word conveying the idea of ​​testimony appears in this Gospel thirty-three times in its verbal form and fourteen times in its noun form. It is found in almost every chapter and almost everywhere related to Jesus. It appears uniquely in two places in the prologue that reveals the testimony of John the Baptist, once immediately after the first key statement about the Logos (John 1:1-4) and a second time after the second key statement (John 1:1- 4), John 1:14). Then the historical part of the first chapter is opened and introduced a third time with a detailed exposition of what the Baptist said. Of course, the biography is, we could say, based on eyewitness testimony; And to put it more simply, or even the only explanation that can be given that does not express respect for the prologue, is that the author wanted to connect each of his two great movements with that testimony of the antecedent that was in a certain sense , an authenticating word of God. The same. We find the Word also in those central and vital chapters of the first major divisions of the book, the fifth and eighth, in which the proofs of His claim to the divine Sonship are given by Jesus Himself and brought to the knowledge of His disciples. . . . Opponents The testimony directs the spirit and steps of the early disciples to Jesus. The believer immediately becomes a witness, as we see for example with the Samaritan woman. The apostolic work in the present and future must bear witness. The words and deeds that Jesus speaks bear witness to Himself. The spirit that will appear after being glorified will always bear His divine testimony. The author himself writes his book as one who has seen and witnessed. If we find that idea fills the book, and end up realizing that the author obviously chose his material to the exclusion of much that he could have included ("many other characters, etc. not written in this book" ) , we cannot doubt that his principle of selection is related to this idea.

The second of these two elements appears first in the verses that follow the prologue and extend to the middle of the second chapter. This passage can be described as a historical introduction to the gospel. The careful reader will find that Jesus' entry into his public service as described in this book is described inJuan 2:13next. The passage from John 1:19 to John 2:12 contains only one account of five or six people who came to Jesus while he was still alive in his personal and family life. The history connected with these persons begins with the mention of two, only one of whom is mentioned, who were addressed to Jesus by John the Baptist and apparently came to him at his suggestion. If we look closely at the record of John's testimony, we will see that there are not three independent testimonies from him (Juan 1:19-28;Juan 1:29-34;Juan 1:35f.) given only to make known what he said. But on the contrary, there is a clear movement from the first to the third, as if to show that it is to the advantage of the last that the other two are introduced. When John sends in the two disciplesJuan 1:36, "Behold the Lamb of God", the absence of all other words makes it clear that he must have explained the term more fully on an earlier occasion. The reader's mind is therefore immediately transported to the previous day (John 1:29) when he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world," and then added the account as he recognized it at the baptism of Jesus that He was indeed the Lamb of God. This was the explanation and this the explanation they had to prepare when they saw him again, in order to meet him. But when John tells the crowd that surrounds him that second day that Jesus, whose office it is to take away sin, is the one of whom he said: "After me comes a man who is etc. and who is himself came to baptize with water In order that this greater cause may be revealed to Israel, thought returns to the testimony given on the first day (Juan 1:26, comp. also John 1:15). So the first day prepares for the second and the second for the third. The whole story revolves around the two disciples, and the Baptist's testimony is given of his influence on them. Indeed, the author indicates just that, by carefully marking the consecutive days, which could scarcely matter in relation to the testimony alone. The result of the testimony in the lives of those who receive it is clearly presented to us; and, as in the μαρτυρία ofJuan 1:19, which is developed in the following verses, we have the beginning of the proof that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,Juan 20:31and therefore in the case of these disciples we find the first beginning of gaining life in His name by faith, which is the practical end to be assured by trials,Juan 20:31B. When we respond to the element of testimony, we discover the element of experience.

But this experiment is limited to five or six people. Indeed, in the verses for which John's testimony prepares the way (John 1:35-40), it is limited to two. Undoubtedly, the story of these two people is the starting point from which the entire account of Jesus' life develops. Rather than beginning with an account of the birth and genealogy of Jesus, as Matthew and Luke do, or with His baptism and entrance into His public ministry, as Mark does, this author begins with a brief interview that these two disciples of John Baptist had. with him, and the first impressions they left in their minds from what they heard him say. They share their impressions with one or two others and persuade them to come to Jesus. Two more are made disciples the next day, and then the small group goes to the wedding feast at Cana, where their faith is strengthened by a miracle. Then the public life and work of Jesus begins. But there is ample evidence that the account of this public life and ministry as given by the author refers continually to the disciples, and at the end he sums up the whole book by saying that although Jesus had many others Signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written here, these signs, these σημεῖα (or wondrous proofs of what He was) He did in His presence, etc. The plan of this Gospel on this point is certainly very remarkable, compared with that of the Synoptics or the common plan of a biography. No reasonable explanation can be given except that we believe the writer intended to relate the evidence that Jesus was the Logos to the new life and faith of these disciples. But the opening story suggests more than thatIndividuallyExperience. How does the placement of such a small narrative at the beginning of the entire biography account for the development of everything that in a sense follows from it?

The narrative seems so insignificant in itself that it is unlikely that the average historian will draw any attention to it. It is presented with little or no detail. One of the characters is, as far as the reader can tell from the words of the story itself, unknown even by name. Andrew and someone else, we don't know who, went to Jesus one afternoon and spent two hours with him and they began to believe in him as the Messiah. That's all. But that's what the future narrative, the whole book, is based on. How impossible it seems that a writer of another century, or altogether distant from the experience and life of the apostles, could have opened his work in this way. Now if the author himself was the anonymous disciple, if that brief conversation with Jesus was the beginning of his own faith, if new life was born in his soul that afternoon and thus the event mentioned here was the crucial point of his story, folks, everything is clear. The little story takes on a clear meaning. It may very well be the basis for everything that follows. The author gives the account of the life of Jesus.as he knew it.He tells his readers: Let me tell you about this wonderful man I lived with years ago, what I heard him say and what I saw him do. Let me take you back to when I first met him and then take you through the story. Let me show you how I came to believe and how I grew in my faith, and I hope that the story I share with you can lead you too to believe with sincere and saving faith. But if the writer was not the nameless disciple, if on the contrary he had never seen Jesus or the apostles. and life only knew a hundred years later, this story makes no sense and its insertion is inexplicable. The whole book is a mystery up to its beginning, if this encounter with Jesus were not something essential in the author's own life. It springs forth in clarity and light and has such a wonderful naturalness and power that we find the author of the narration in the disciple whose name is not mentioned.

That the element of personal experience in the book is important, and indeed centered, so to speak, on the author's own experience, is supported by other evidence. Among these, the following can be particularly mentioned.

1. The great importance attached to the word πιστεύειν. This word, which occurs only thirty-five times in the three synoptic gospels, and one hundred and three times from the beginning of Acts to the end of Revelation (excluding 1 John), occurs ninety-eight times in this gospel. . The whole story revolves around her. Just as the words and deeds of Jesus, the statements of John, the sermons of the apostles, the working of the Spirit, the Scriptures and the voice of God are seen in the light of testimony, so everywhere the attitude of people to testimony is marked by the verb πιστεύειν . When they receive the testimony of Christ, they say they believe. If you deny it, don't believe it. When they are partially affected by it but not yet affected in the innermost principle of their lives, they are called believers ( ἐπίστευσαν), but not in order that Jesus might trust them ( οὐκ ἐπίστευεν αὐτὸν αὐτοῖς,Juan 2:23-24, comp.Juan 8:31Please). As they grow in faith, as in the case of the Twelve, contextual clues keep calling them believers, the word becoming more and more meaningful with each repetition. When Jesus' final blessing is recorded, it is a blessing to those who have not seen and believed. If the author wants to express the purpose of his writing, it is up to the reader to believe it. If you want to tell them how to secure eternal life, do it in the words: "so that you may believe that you have life". In addition, this ever-repeated word on which everything vital to the human soul is based is thatVerb, which expresses the action, not theNoun.The noun πίστις, the doctrinal word that Paul uses so frequently (nearly one hundred and fifty times in his epistles) and that even occurs twenty-four times in the Synoptic Gospels, does not appear in this book. The author does not move in the realm of teaching as far as the human side of truth is concerned, but of life. In fact, as we have already seen, the real argument to prove divine teaching is the life of Jesus. What can this salient feature of this gospel mean, except that for the author the living experience of the soul was paramount? And how exactly do the last words that state the aim and purpose of the book (John 20:30-31) answer this thought? gateway to life.

2. Again, when we look at this verb as the author uses it in relation to the apostles, how clearly the same is indicated. No careful student of this gospel can fail to notice that, as the disciples are told again and again at various times in history, in view of what they have seen or heard, the Word is to be believedbelievetakes on a new meaning. There is steady progress from the first to the last day, from the moment Andrew and his anonymous companion went to Jesus for a two-hour talk, to the day Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and my God” and the Master Himself turned to him as a believer. One can almost see the meaning of the word growing as successive stories are read. It is also, incidentally yet surprisingly, characterized by statements about certain things that the disciples only understood and believed after Jesus rose from the dead. What more vivid picture could be given of the development of faith, and hence of the most intimate personal experience, than that suggested by this word, which means each new day more than the previous one and has its limits in the Lord? life on earth so carefully that this or that mystery only became clear to the believing soul when His life on earth ended. And finally, this word refers to the author himself, considering that he was the companion of Andrés in chap. 1 and the one who ran with Peter to Jesus' tomb on the morning of the resurrection. Apparently, like Andrew, he was made to believe in the hours of that first interview. He is evidently among the disciples who believed as a result of the first miracle at Cana. But what progress had he made when he entered the tomb that Sunday morning (John 20:8) and saw and believed.

3. The same is shown by all the evidence proving that the disciple whom Jesus loved, who is implied but not named in various places in the book, is the author. There is no need to dwell on this topic, as Godet addressed it extensively in his introduction. But we would briefly introduce some points. The phenomena of the book in this regard are as follows: First, that while the other main characters in the story are mentioned by name and are always so mentioned, there is one prominent student who is only alluded to or told about simply by us presented a descriptive sentence; secondly, although it is not so clear that he is beyond the possibility of questioning, this unidentified person is always the same, but in case of doubt there are only two (Juan 1:35ff., John 18:15-16), the odds strongly suggest that the person referred to is identified with the disciple whom Jesus loved who is mentioned in all the others. Godet seems to question this in the second case (see p. 30 and note on John 18:15). But the argument is strong even in this case :(C) The very fact that in other places there is only one disciple actively participating in a scene like this, and who is not yet identified by name, makes it likely that this is the same person. (X) The fact that this "other disciple" (if he was the author of the Gospel) was known to Annas will easily explain the account of the interrogation before this dignitary which he makes during the trial before Caiaphas of which the other, omitted will speak gospels. Annas knew him and was therefore let into his house. But since he was not in the same condition as Caiaphas, he was not present at the trial. (j) The relationship of this other disciple to Peter corresponds to what is presented elsewhere than between Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved. (z) If the disciple whom Jesus loved was the author of the book and was therefore familiar with the scenes of the time and with Peter, it is hardly possible that he did not know who this other disciple was and mentioned his name (let it be for, which, of course, he himself was the person). Or conversely, if the author was of a later age, may we ask whether the name of Peter's companion was likely to have been forgotten on that occasion? The story of Peter's denial certainly belonged in the wider tradition, and the whole attendant scene was striking and impressive. The only objection that can be raised on the other side is the omission of the article ὁ before ἄλλος μαθητής. But given the author's care in concealing the name of this beloved disciple, this omission can hardly be of sufficient weight to outweigh the above considerations. For the other case (Juan 1:35ss), the points already mentioned are sufficient to show that Andrew's companion was the disciple whom Jesus loved. But it can also be seen that this companion of Andrew appeared to be in the same relationship to himself and to Peter as John was, as the other Gospels depict, and that their relationship or connection predated the ongoing call for discipleship, as here described, suggesting corresponds to that proposed inMarkus 1:16-20;Markus 1:29;Lukas 4:38;Lukas 5:1itself.

But if the person mentioned in John 18:15 andJuan 1:35, so it is with that supposed disciple whom Jesus loved, we find the direct statement in itJuan 21:24that he is the author of a statement by himself or by others who declare that they know his statement to be true, and that because of the present tense μαρτυρῶν as opposed to the aorist γράψας he must have written his afterword as he did Godet in his lifetime has noted: We also find the direct statement from John 19:35 that the author was present at the crucifixion; and we find, again, leading to the same end, all those incidental things which mark the account of an eyewitness; comp., for example the story inJuan 1:35ff., the Last Supper in chap. 13, that of the first part of chap. 18 etc. With reference toJuan 19:35, Godet has sufficiently demonstrated the untenability of the position of those who deny that the author is speaking of himself. But we can add in a word that the introduction of an entirely new character at this point in the story without any description other than having seen the scenes is entirely improbable and also entirely different from the author's path elsewhere. . Since the disciple whom Jesus loved was mentioned ten verses earlier than being present at the crucifixion, it is infinitely more likely that he is the person mentioned. If this is not the case, the writer attempts to give weight and force to an explanation of the two facts mentioned, citing for them a testimony wholly unknown to his readers, and then attempts to corroborate his statement about this man, of whom they knew nothing said: he knows that he is telling the truth. Who he is is the question of all questions, whether his statement has any value. But there is no answer to this question. Also, it is claimed that this unknown man knows he is telling the truth thatOf(the reader)you can believe tooSurely no intelligent writer would ever write such a sentence or present such a testimony. Let's remember that this book should confront the opponents and defenders of other systems and provide them with evidence. How much would such a test be worth? On the other hand, if "he who saw" is the beloved disciple, how much greater is the emphasis and how much more likely is the insertion of the verse when the author makes a solemn declarationhis ownKnowledge and truthfulness, as if simply assuring the readers that this student (who was someone other than himself and lived many years prior to this writing) knew the truth of what he was saying. There is only one difficulty in the passage when referring to itself, and that is the use of the third person pronoun. But this belongs to the other expression, the disciple, etc., which is also in the third person, and is caused by his desire to remain somewhat hidden. But the other interpretations of the judgment are confronted with all the difficulties that the nature of the matter permits, and the improbability can hardly rise higher than with them. The verse largely or completely loses its emphasis and meaning unless the author is the one making the statement. It can be added that the current time and intellectual agreement with the verses expressing the purpose of the book (John 20:30-31) should not be overlooked and provide evidence for the same conclusion.

Testimony and Inner Experience: Testimony originally provided by the writer and his fellow students and his own personal inner experience in receiving and believing the testimony; these are the two essential elements of the author's plan. In the light that we get regarding them, we can explain the peculiarity of the prologue. Why does the writer open his book with the word logos without explaining its meaning and after completing the few introductory verses without further allusion to it? The use of this term without explanation was intended to indicate that it was so familiar to its readers that it was easy to understand. The fact that he omits it at the end of the prologue suggests that he only intended to connect the book to questions or discussions that occupied the minds of thinking men in the region where the author lived. If the subject represented by this word were entirely new to the original readers, we can say with certainty that the phenomena of the prologue could not be what they are. Whatever may have been the origin of the term logos used here, we can therefore believe that it was used in the philosophical debates of the time when learned and intelligent men sought an answer to their questions represented by this term. . We can also believe that these questions related to the possibility and the way of God to reveal himself to the world or in the world. The author found such men who pondered this great subject and gave as many explanations or theories as they could. He found them in uncertainty or in the dark, questioning without answer or wandering through the gross errors Paul speaks of in the letter to the Colossians and errors beyond that. He wanted to connect his book to their questions and let them know he had the answer they needed. The man he lived with was the Logos. He was the full and final revelation of God. The Logos was with God in the beginning and was God, but now he has incarnated in Jesus Christ. Let me show you, he sort of says. But let me achieve this end, not because I could present you with a mere collection of evidence or arguments that have no immediate personal connection with myself or even with Him as part of the daily life He led among men... . Rather, let me do it by giving you the picture of the living man, walking along the path of his earthly career with his contemporaries, and especially with his early followers. That way I can present him to you as he was and you can see the evidence he has given. You can live with him, so to speak, and listen to him talk about heavenly things. For these readers, the term logos may have come from Alexandrian Jewish philosophy, while for them it is straight out of the Old Testament. It may have had a different meaning to him than it did to her, to some extent, and much deeper. But it served as a link between his answer and their questions, and having made it useful for that purpose, he turned them from fruitless discussions to contemplating Jesus as they knew him. At the same time, his book would please any casual reader whose path it came across and, if possible, draw their attention through testimonies and life experiences.

When we explain the gospel in this way, all becomes clear, and the book springs, as its rich and deep thoughts show, from the depths of a thoughtful soul in personal union with Christ when on earth. But if we place the writer in the second century, what are we to believe? We must prove that from some happy notes of the Apostle João, or apart from anything of his, from synotic narrations, the writer fabricated a story about the life of Jesus that presented him as moving with his disciples and gradually his characters affect and his life. Yes, even more; that he did it so successfully in relation to the person of the disciple whom Jesus loved that the great majority of the Church at all times believes that the author is that disciple. To achieve such a result a century after the end of history would require an imagination of the highest order, an ability to project it into the life of a distant time rarely possessed by men of genius. Such power belongs only to the higher order of poets or novelists. But this author, whoever he was, had no such ability. We may not know his name, but the special qualities of his spirit and soul are so clearly shown in his writings that he stands before us with distinction and individuality. He was not a novelist or a poet of the order mentioned. He was a man who more than anyone in New Testament history, or indeed almost anyone in any age, lived within himself, in the realm of contemplation, and not of contemplating intellectual subjects, but of spiritual growth. mental life. Introspective, brooding over himself and his own character, having deep thoughts only as they grasped his soul's relationship to God and brought out the inner man, imagining the glory of heaven, like that godlikeness to come To see Him as He is, such a man would be the last of all who could project his experience into the life of another, or desire or imagine someone other than himself. For such a man, the inner workings are too precious and personal to represent as not his own. It is too individual to surpass the one who owns it as the central point of his being.

We might add that it would not have been easy for anyone as close to the life of Jesus as Paul or Apollos, let alone one living in the second century, to present their own Christian life as if they were grown up become. in personal connection with Him when He was on earth. The deplorable failure of all attempts, even in our day, to give a realistic picture of these apostolic scenes may show us how difficult it must have been to successfully continue such a work. But in some respects it must have been more difficult for the early Christians because the dividing line between the apostles and themselves as those who had seen the Lord and those who had not was wide, and they never failed to see the Lord lost sight sir. Sir, for the view. But here is a success that has deceived the centuries, and a success achieved by a man who had great thoughts, but who was not the fictitious genius living in his friendship with the Lord, but who did not himself once could have imagined for himself. neither for others. Other. than grow under conditions other than those that really suited it. We dare to keep it that waythe reasonspeculative or theological in nature, which has led some to believe that the story is being told by the author as if he were the apostle, when he is not. The evidence of the evangelist's mental character that we find in his works is not that he was a speculative philosopher, concerned with propositions or truths for his own sake, or that he was prepared to construct a theological theory. System to teach it or to introduce new theories into the Church. His thoughts relate only to character and life. He doesn't care about them except when they enrich the soul. He even writes his story of Jesus to prove his divine nature and work simply because he is certain that belief in the truth will bring eternal life to the believer. And these character-building thoughts are of interest to him primarily because they capture and beautify his own character.

If we examine the first epistle in the context of the gospel, we will find out what these thoughts were and where the writer first received them in his mind. The great truth is that God is light and in Him there is no darkness. Of this absolute and perfect spiritual light the human soul must partake according to its abilities in order to attain its highest life. The life of the soul is light. Damage payment1 Juan 1:5, Senor.Juan 1:4. How can this life be secured? That is the question your mind is fully occupied with. How can he be secured by him and all other people? The day he connected him to Jesus Christ, he answered the question. The years and meditations that followed from that first meeting to his final age only made the answer more complete and satisfying. Therefore, thinking moves along this line. The gracious and truthful relationship of the personal Jesus to your individual soul is the starting point of all thought, and it is around this relationship that the nature of Jesus, his ministry, and all about him revolve in their absorbing interest. . Friendship with Jesus was the environment in which he lived. The meditations on friendship and the empirical study of their power to develop the inner man, not the speculations on philosophy or theology, occupied his life. So we find him coming to write to the world, first in the gospel the simple story of what Jesus did and said, and then in the epistle. with the words at the beginning: What we have heard, seen and discussed of the word of life, which was with the Father and was revealed to us, we announce to you. The aim sought in the latter case is the same as in the former: "that you (the readers) may have fellowship with us, whose fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ."

No New Testament writer has been more unable, by the peculiar qualities of his nature, to find interest in inventing a story for the purpose of developing an idea. No class of thinking people, at any time, turns to mere speculation for their own sake than those who, like this author, always study with great delight the progress of their own souls in real life. Let us try to imagine a speculative philosopher, of earlier or later times, presenting himself to his readers with a made-up story, told in plain gospel style, and then saying: What I have heard, seen, and touched, I explain to you. , that you may have fellowship with me in God and in Christ, and I write this to you that my joy may be fulfilled. The intimate nature of the two classes of men is different. The author of the Fourth Gospel was neither a school philosopher nor a contemplative mystic. He lived through the experience and memories of a personal friendship and found eternal life in that friendship. He could not have created the story of his life with Jesus from his imagination if he wanted to because his nature was such that it had to be based on reality. The deeper souls of their particular order, as we have already said, cannot imagine their own experience as that of another; much less can they, if possible, make a fictional narrative that contradicts the supreme facts of their personal life in order to impressively present a theological idea to the world.

Among the figures of apostolic history that live and move before us on the pages of the New Testament, the author of this gospel takes his place like any other. Paulo and Pedro don't come out more clearly as living characters than he does either. Indeed, in several of the tales it is presented as if he were in his physical presence and through the intimate knowledge he has with the details of history and with the geography, customs and people of the region he is describing , demonstrated . But he appears even more clearly to us in his inner character and personality. The testimony of thousands of men who communed with him spiritually and devoted themselves to the contemplation of his deep thoughts bears witness to what he was, and his testimony is the same through the ages. The book he wrote testifies to him as truthfully and completely as the Pauline Epistles testify to their author. This clearly shows that he was a member of the apostolic group that assisted Jesus during the years of his ministry, as the apostle's writings to the Gentiles prove he was not.

The outward testimonies to the authenticity of the gospel, as presented by Godet and many other authors, are extremely strong. That of Irenaeus, so amply given, is in itself sufficient, since he knew Polycarp, who had known John. But we are convinced that the book carriesin himselfhis strongest evidence. And that evidence is woven into its texture, made all the stronger for being so random and unplanned. We have made some suggestions in this regard which can, to a certain extent, supplement what Godet set out in his excellent introduction. In the presentation plan, the topic can be presented in much more detail and completeness. But in the limited space it leaves us, all we want to do is follow a train of thought, and even within it we can do no more than point out what may open up a wide field of study for the attentive reader of this book. Gospel. Before concluding these introductory remarks on the book, however, we wish to draw attention to two or three scenes in the story narrated by the author where the reality of a past experience gives them all their life and power. The scene recorded inJuan 1:35next. That's one of those things, we've already talked about that. But he's far from the only one. In the account of the last night of Jesus' life, the author depicts him comforting the hearts of the disciples before his near death with the promise of a future reunion in heaven. He begins by assuring them that there are many dwellings in his father's house, adding that he will prepare a place for them there. But between the two statements is a word that has been difficult for many to explain: "If it weren't so, I would have told you." Where does the strength of this expression come from? Where does its meaning come from? Surely of the life lived with the disciples and only of her. If spoken by a stranger or by anyone other than a friend, the words would have little to no meaning. But as they possessed each day of those three years of their life together, as they remembered all He had been and done for them, as they opened to the depths of His love and friendship that was so wonderful within their core revealed intimacy. Experience became the strongest testimony to the truth of what he said at the time of his departure. Your past experience can testify that I would not deceive you, I can prove to you that there is a place for you in the Father's house, because if there were not, I would not have stopped telling you. But they have this special character that makes it unlikely, almost impossible, that a writer of another generation would have dreamed of putting them in. To the soul of the beloved student they would be a precious memory for life, a word of love often remembered with the sweetest memory. They speak of a living friendship and appeal to a past. But the one to whom they spoke thus must have known the past and shared the living friendship. Stories created to present a theological idea do not fall within the realm of such expressions. The Christian author of the third or fourth generation of believers may have put in Jesus' mouth a promise that He would prepare a place for his followers, or an assurance that there is a place for them in heaven, but that little phrase does not they never found a place in his thought or in his narrative. It belongs to the night it is said to have been spoken and to the experience of those who have heard it from the Lord Himself. Testifies the authorship of the book by a hearing witness.

Or, again, in the same scene of the previous night, who could have registered those words by anyone present and witnessing the exchange of thoughts of the successive momentsJuan 16:5-6:: “But now I go to him that sent me; and none of you ask me where he is going,” after reporting earlier in the conversation that one of the disciples had suggested that very question, John 14:5? However, for those who remembered the scene as if they had been a part of it, those words had a vivid freshness, evoking the pain and disappointment of their hopes, which filled everyone's hearts to think only of their own future thought. and not in the future. the salvation that must come from Jesus. How completely does he place us in the midst of apostolic society and speak to us of the living experience of the hour. What we find here is not the effort of the defender of any concept or intellectual theory, but the thought of a loving friend who, even in his last life, always carried with him what Jesus felt and said in one of his moments. .highest in the past.

Or, if we look at the morning story of the resurrection, the surprising way in which the faith of the disciple whom Jesus loved is presented as confirmed by what he saw in the tomb, while that of Peter is not mentioned , on such historical inside knowledge the former, indicating that the author was referring to himself. The same is true of the realistic picture presented to us in chapter twenty-one. Not only is it utterly improbable that a writer who had never been in view of the event reported, and who was writing after the death of the beloved pupil, would have used this method to correct the error suggested; but the story takes us right into the heart of the author through its inimitable naturalness in responding to the feelings of the two participants in the final part of the scene with Jesus remembering everything that happened.

Or finally, just to point out another passage, how is the touching incident in to be explainedJuan 19:25-27, where Jesus entrusts his mother to the care of the beloved disciple? She had children of her own to take care of her, or if they weren't children, nephews who were like children to her. Why doesn't Jesus entrust her to his care? The fact that they were unbelievers at the time does not explain this particular act, for they would become believers within days of Jesus' death (cf. Acts 1:14), and He must have foreseen it. The only answer to the question the verses suggest is that in the last hour, Jesus rose above the power of earthly relationships and, in the face of his separation from both, connected the two friends with whom he was most closely related. . in affection, as son and mother. But if this was the reason why he gave one to the other, the act bears in itself the consequence of a long and real life of soul in all three related to each other. It all depends on a life experience. And whose experience is the anonymous participant in this scene? Is it the creator of a system, the defender of an idea, the thoughtful philosopher who weaves into a fictional narrative a small incident like this that might be uninteresting compared to much that his Logos doctrine might have directly emphasized? ? On the other hand, is it not the man who, in the last years of his life, reexamines the facts of his own connection with his Master and finds therein all the strength of a holy friendship with his own soul?

All of these things testify to reality, if one can form a judgment at all as to what is true in the case of a man's utterance or writing. Their meaning depends on the reality of what is being told. And the only satisfactory explanation for its appearance in the book is that the author witnessed what he had seen and heard. The suggestion that such stories were told to uphold a theory or to glorify one of the apostles at the expense of another is almost absurd. They are not suitable for any purpose to any significant extent. They take on the tenderest feelings of the heart and are alien to the field of rivalry or discussion. And the fact that its full meaning is to be sought and found only beneath the surface adds to the evidence that the writer and the apostle he was writing about were the same person.

It is often said that the Bible Student must sympathize with her if he is to gain a deeper understanding of what she is and what she teaches. This is undoubtedly true, for the unsympathetic mind does not reach the perfect light in any field of study. But in a special sense it is necessary for anyone approaching the study of the Fourth Gospel to have some understanding of the inner life of a Christian believer growing into Christlikeness through personal fellowship with the One who remains. in the region of his own mind and moves up and down in the sphere of divine friendship. It is not enough to dissect the propositions, or to consider theological teachings, or to try to adapt the narrative to an idea, or to trace the possible development of thought under certain influences based on synoptic history. The man who wrote the book himself needs to be understood, for after all, in his own inner workings, he is the biggest factor in it. The student of its writings must see it personally. You must like him if you are willing to appreciate the evidence he has provided as to his personality. It is the want of that sympathy, springing from the lack of that peculiar faith which gave him his truest life, that has singled out some writers in his gospel from its central and intimate part. They dissected the book but did not recognize the man.

But when we meet the man, we understand the book and we don't see any poetry or fiction in the book; the author did not live in the realm of the imagination: it was not the writing of one creating a doctrine or system through his own reflection; his reflections were of a very different nature: not the effort of a man trying to save Christianity from the influence of Judaism, or to reconcile parties and unite the Church, or to elevate or demean one or the other in society . he is not a partisan or outspoken peacemaker: but the simple story of how a man of the richest inner life, who lived with Jesus, experienced his essence and wonderful spiritual power both in his association with him and in the meditations of the years, who followed.

The Christian system does not depend on the authenticity of the Fourth Gospel, so if the latter could be disproved, the former would fail. But there is no doubt that the author of this gospel has penetrated in his thoughts to the very heart of the Christian system as understood by the Church. The issue of authorship therefore becomes extremely important. If the author was that trusted disciple of Jesus of whom the book speaks so often, then he took his conception of Christ and the new faith from the Lord Himself, and he cannot be wrong. His book is the flowering and perfection of apostolic thinking. It is inspired by God in the truest and highest sense. Trying to deny the system is futile once this gospel is firmly established. Given this fact, it may seem divinely ordained that the book should remain in the world as it always was, bearing its own evidence. Addressing the readers to whom his first letter was addressed, the writer says that he is writing what he has seen and heard so that they, like him, may have fellowship with the Father and His Son Jesus. Christ. It is a wonderful fact in the history of the centuries that have elapsed since he wrote that those who were persuaded to believe by his story, and who because of their faith were conscious that they had fellowship with God, had a confidence that he said what he heard and saw, and that it was those who rejected peculiar teachings and ways of life who questioned the reality of the author's experience as a disciple whom Jesus loved. The past can give us confidence in the future; and we can foresee with certainty that he and his gospel will be among the steadfast pillars of the church until the author's inner life ceases to bear that testimony.


Every book is a mystery whose secret only the author has. The foreword can certainly lift a corner of the veil; but there are books without a foreword, and the writer may not tell the whole truth. It is the task of literary criticism, as it is understood today, to solve the problem posed by every notable work in the world. For a book is only fully understandable in so far as the obscurity of its origin is removed.

The science that is commonly calledholy criticismÖIntroduction to the Old and New TestamentIt was instituted by the Church to accomplish this task in relation to the books containing the subject matter of her faith and the norms of her development. Putting into perspective the origin of each of these writings and thereby revealing its original idea, it has the function of shedding a ray of light over its entire content, illuminating the smallest of details.

The ideal of Holy Criticism, according to Schleiermacher, is to put the current reader in the place of the original reader and, through the artifice of science, to provide him with the foreknowledge that he possessed by nature. Valuable as such a result is, it seems to me that the critique should aim even higher. Its real task is to put the reader in the mind of the author at the moment when he is conceiving or elaborating his work and to make him present in the composition of the book in much the same way as the contemporary viewer. casting a bell, and who, having seen the metal being melted in the furnace, sees the stream of fire flowing into the mold in which it is to receive its permanent form. This ideal includes that of Schleiermacher. Well, one of the essential elements in the mind of the author in preparing his work is certainly the idea he has of his readers and their conditions and desires. Identifying with him is therefore also identifying with them.

To achieve this goal, or at least to come as close as possible to it, the critic uses two kinds of means: 1. Those he borrows from the history, especially the history of literature, of the time that witnessed the publication of the writings. holy, or those who followed her; 2. Those derived from the book itself.

Among the first we count, first, the positive testimonies that Jewish or Christian antiquity has given us about the composition of one or other of our biblical writings; then the quotations or reminiscences of passages from these books, found by later authors, proving their existence and influence at a particular point in time; finally, the historical facts with which these writings stood in a cause-and-effect relationship. These are theexternData.

The second class includes all statements contained in the book itself that respect the person of its author and respect the circumstances under which he worked and the motive that prompted him to write. These are theinternData.

Combining these two types of data to extract as harmonious a result as possible is the work of the critic.

We have undertaken this task with regard to one of the most important books in the New Testament and the entire Bible. Luther is reported to have said that if a tyrant succeeded in destroying the Scriptures and missed a single copy of Romans and the Gospel of John, Christianity would be saved. He spoke truthfully; for the Fourth Gospel presents the subject of Christian faith in its most perfect splendor, and Romans describes with unparalleled clarity the way of faith leading to that subject. What more does it need to preserve Christ for the world and give birth to the ever new Church?

The following will be the course of our study. After a general look at the genesis of our gospel literature, we will follow the course of discussions about the composition of the fourth gospel. These will be the subject of two introductory chapters.

Then we come to the study itself, which will cover the following topics:

1. The life of the apostle to whom the fourth gospel is generally attributed.

2. The analysis and specifics of this letter.

3. The circumstances of its composition: its date; the place of origin; his actor; The goal that the author pursued when writing. After examining each of these points as separately as possible, we will summarize the particular results thus obtained in a summary which, if we were not mistaken, will offer the solution to the problem.

Jesus promised His Church the Spirit of Truth to lead them into all truth. We place ourselves under the leadership of this leadership.


OUR first three gospels certainly have a common origin, not only because all three tell one and the same story, but also because at the time of their publication there was already some kind of elaboration of that story. composition and stamped the three narratives with a common seal. Indeed the remarkable agreement between them, easily observable both in the general plan and in a certain series of identical reports, and finally in numerous clauses exactly alike in two of these writings, or in all three of these writings, this general and particular The concordance makes it impossible to doubt that, before being thus recorded, the story of Jesus had already been cast in a form in which it had acquired the more or less solid form in which we find it in our three narratives . Many think that this primitive type of gospel consisted of a written document, either one of our three gospels, the other two of which were only free reproductions, or one or even two now-lost writings, all three of which our evangelists attracted. This hypothesis of the written sources has been and is presented in many different ways. We don't think it can be accepted in any way; for it always leads to the assumption that the later writer sometimes deliberately altered his model by introducing changes in real gravity, sometimes he took the act of copying most literally, and this while often using these two methods in opposition to one and the same Verse; and finally on other occasions that it made the text suffer because it used an infinity of ridiculous modifications because they were insignificant. Have anyone consult a synopsis and things will become obvious. Is it psychologically conceivable that serious and faithful writers, convinced of the supreme importance of the subject they are dealing with, would employ such methods in relation to it? and above all, who applied them to the rendering of the Lord Jesus' own teachings?

As common as this way of explaining the relationship between our three gospels is today, we are convinced that criticism will eventually dismiss it as a moral impossibility.

The book of Acts seems to show us the simple and natural solution to the problem where it speaks ofteach apostles, as one of the foundations on which the Church of Jerusalem was built (Acts 2:42). In this early apostolic teaching, the accounts of the life and death of Jesus certainly came first. These narratives, repeated daily by the apostles and evangelists taught in their school, must have quickly assumed a more or less solid and fixed form, not only as regards the content of each story, but also as regards the union of several stories into one. . . Group that was usually the subject of a single lesson. What we claim here is not pure hypothesis. Saint Luke, in the preface to his Gospel (the oldest document we have on the subject), tells us about the first written accounts of the events of the Gospel, which "were drawn up according to the history that has come down to us, of which we have been witnesses from the beginning , and the ministers of the word became.” ThesewitnessesmiPrime ministerthey can only have been the apostles. Their accounts, transmitted to the Church through oral instruction, therefore passed like them into the writings of their first scribes. The pronounusemployed by Luke shows that he was among the writers who were instructed by the oral testimony of the apostles.

The early apostolic tradition is therefore the type that is at once firm and yet malleable within certain limits, and which left an indelible mark on our first three gospels. In this way, on the one hand, the general and particular similarities that make these three writings one and the same narrative are explained satisfactorily; and, on the other hand, of the differences which we observe between them, from the most considerable to the most insignificant.

These three works are therefore three independently executed elaborations of the primitive tradition formulated in the Palestinian churches and then repeated in all countries of the world. It is three branches that emanate from the same trunk, but branches that have grown under different conditions and in different directions; and here is the explanation of the peculiar physiognomy of each of the three books.

In the first, the Gospel of Matthew, we find the matter of the preaching of the twelve in Jerusalem preserved in the form which comes closest to the archetype. This fact seems simple enough when one considers that this writing was intended for the Jewish people and thus precisely for the readership for which the oral sermon was originally formulated. The dominant idea in Palestinian preaching must have been the messianic dignity of Jesus. This is also the thought that forms the unity of the first gospel. It is listed as your program at the beginning of the book. The formula:let it be fulfilled, which is repeated like a refrain throughout the story, always remembers that first idea; finally bursts into full light in the conclusion, which leads us to consider the full realization of the Lord's messianic purpose. For what purpose was this redaction of the original apostolic testimony published? Apparently the author wanted to make a final appeal to those who were dying of their own unbelief. So this book was written just as the final catastrophe was being prepared. A word of Jesus (Matthew 24:15), commanding his disciples to flee across the Jordan as soon as war breaks out, is recorded by the author with significant meaning.observe well, which confirms the date just given.

Twenty years earlier, the preaching of the gospel had crossed the borders of Palestine and penetrated the Gentile world. Numerous churches, almost all composed of a small core of Jews and a multitude of Gentiles clustered around them, grew out of the preaching of the apostle Paul and his associates. This mighty work could not end without the solid foundation laid at the beginning by the Twelve and the evangelists in Palestine and Syria: the articulated account of the acts, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In this fact lies the urgent need that has led to our Third Gospel, written by one of the most distinguished companions of the Apostle of the Gentiles, Saint Luke. According to the pagans, the messianic dignity of Jesus and the argument drawn from the prophecies no longer had the same meaning as they had for the Jews: all of this is omitted in the third gospel. As the Savior of mankind, Jesus had to be specially introduced to them; To this end, Luke, after gathering the most accurate information, in his account of our Lord's earthly ministry, emphasizes all that distinguished the salvation he institutedfreimiUniversal-Salvation. Hence the close correspondence between this Gospel and the writings of St. Paul. What the first sketches historically, the second carries out theoretically. But in spite of these differences from the work of Matthew, as the same author explains in his preface, the Gospel of Luke is always based on the apostolic tradition initially formulated by the Twelve. He only endeavored to complete it and give it a more rigorous disposition, in the view of gentle scholars like Theophilus, who called for a more complete and complete teaching.

Would a third way be possible? Yes; this traditional type, preserved in its rigid and vigorous originality by the first evangelist for the Jewish people, enriched and supplemented by the third for the Gentile churches, may be published again in its original form, as in the first Gospel, this time with a view to to Gentile readers, as in the third, and that is certainly Mark's gospel. This work contains none of the valuable additions that Luke added to the Palestinian sermon; here it refers to the first gospel. But on the other hand, the numerous references to the prophecies and most of Jesus' long discourses to the people and their rulers, which give Matthew's gospel its decidedly Jewish character, are omitted; he also adds detailed explanations of Jewish customs not found in Matthew, obviously intended for non-Jewish readers. Linked in purpose to Luke and in content to Matthew, it is the link, so to speak, between the two previous forms. This intermediate position becomes clear in the first word of the work: "Gospel of Jesus, theChristo(Messiah),God's Son."The title ofChristoremember Jesus' special relationship with the Jewish people; what ofGod's Son, which marks the mysterious relationship between God and this unique man, exalts this being to such a height that his appearance and action must necessarily concern the whole human race. This first word of the book also responds to the last, which shows us how, from heaven, Jesus continues to play throughout the world the role of heavenly messenger, divine evangelist, which he began to exercise on earth. Let's also note a peculiarity of this story: in each painting one finds, so to speak, pencil marks that are one's own and betray an eyewitness. They are always traditional stories at heart, but evidently transmitted by a witness who personally took part in the narrated scenes and who, in narrating them orally, naturally blended them with details suggested by the vividness of his own memories.

This is how our first three gospels are presented to the discerning, qualified readersynopticfor the three stories can easily be placed in three parallel columns for comparison. The date of origin must have been almost the same (between the 60's and 70's). In fact, the first is, so to speak, the last apostolic appeal to the people of Israel before their destruction; the third is to give its historical basis to the preaching of St. Paul in the Gentile world; and the second is the reproduction of an eyewitness sermon that brings the early preaching of the Palestinian gospel to the gentile world. If the composition of these three writings really took place at about the same time and in different countries, this fact is consistent with the opinion expressed above that each of the writings was composed independently of the other two.

In these three monuments of the first popular proclamation of the gospel, did the Church possess that which enabled her to fully meet the needs of believers who did not know the Lord? Must there be many elements in the ministry of Jesus that the apostles did not know how to bring into their missionary preaching? Had they not been prompted to remove many of Jesus' sayings, because of the elemental and somewhat catechetical nature of this primitive teaching, which went beyond that level and reached a height which only the most advanced minds could follow. This in itself is very likely. We have already seen that a great deal of painterly detail absent from Matthew colors the ancient folk tradition more vividly in Mark. The important additions in Luke show even more clearly how the richness of Jesus' ministry exceeded the measure of the ancient oral tradition. Why did not an immediate witness of Jesus' ministry feel compelled to rise once more above all these traditional accounts, to draw directly from the source of his own memories, and to omit all the well-known scenes, which have passed into the common narrative? , to paint in one fell swoop the picture of the moments that were most amazing in the service of his Master, most impressive to his own heart? As we well understand, there was no conscious selection, no artificial distribution. The division of the gospel material was the natural result of the historical circumstances in which the organization of the Church took place.

This course of events is so simple that in a way it justifies itself. The apostolic origin of the Fourth Gospel can be disputed, but no one can deny that the situation given is probable, and the part attributed to the author of such writing is natural. It remains to be seen whether this is likely to happenreal, and the naturalTRUE.It is precisely this question that we need to clarify.


In the following brief overview we can summarize in a single chronological order all the writings, whatever their tendency, in which the present subject was treated. But it seems to us preferable, for the sake of clarity, to divide the authors we must enumerate into three distinct series: 1. The supporters of all falsehood of our gospel; 2. Defender of its absolute authenticity; 3. Proponents of an intermediate position.


By the end of the 17th century the question had not even been asked. It was known that in the early church a small sect mentioned by Irenaeus and Epiphanius attributed the Fourth Gospel to Cerinthus, the apostle John's adversary at Ephesus. But the knowledge of theologians, as well as the feeling of the Church, confirmed the conviction of the first Christian communities and their leaders, who unanimously saw in it the work of that apostle.

A few minor attacks from the English Deist party, which flourished two centuries ago, opened the conflict. But it didn't erupt in earnest until a century later. 1792 the English theologian,Evanson, for the first time raised significant objections to the general condemnation. He focused on the differences between our gospel and the apocalypse. He credited the writing of the first of these books to a second-century Platonic philosopher.

The discussion did not take long to be transplanted to Germany. Four years after Evanson,EckermannHe questioned the authenticity, although he agreed that certain redactions of John must have formed the first basis of our gospel. These notes were fused with the historical lore the author drew from John's lips. Eckermann recanted in 1807.

Several German theologians continued the conflict that had begun at that time. Contradictions have been asserted between this gospel and the other three, as well as the exaggerated nature of the miracles, the metaphysical tone of the speeches, the apparent similarities between the author's theology and that of Philo, the lack of traces in the literature proving the Existence of this writing in the second century. In 1801 the matter of authenticity seemed so endangered that a German superintendent,Vogel, he believed himself capable of summoning the evangelist John and his interpreters to appear in court. However, it was still only the first phase of the discussion, the time of the skirmishes that mark the prelude to the great field battles.

It was also a German foreman who opened the second round of talks. In a famous work published in 1820,Board-cutterhe summarized all the previous objections and added new ones. He developed particularly strongly the objection that derives from the contradictions of our Gospel compared to the three previous ones, both in relation to the form of the discourses and in relation to the content of Christological teaching. The Fourth Gospel must, in his opinion, have been the work of a Gentile presbyter, probably of Alexandrian origin, who lived in the first half of the second century. This erudite and vigorous attack by Bretschneider evoked numerous reactions, of which we shall speak later, and after which this theologian (1824) declared that the reactions given to his book were "more than sufficient" and ( 1828) that it had achieved its intended goal, that of eliciting a clearer demonstration of the authenticity of the Fourth Gospel.

But the seeds of such work could not be uprooted by these rather misleading depictions, which had purely personal value. From 1824 the cause of inauthenticity was asserted againradishThe author of the gospel is a disciple of John. The apostle himself was certainly not so modest as to refer to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved."To herdo not giveintroductionFirst published in 1826, without taking a positive stand against authenticity, he admitted the impossibility of proving it by indisputable evidence. In the same year,Reuterdahl, following in Vogel's footsteps, attacked the account of John's sojourn in Asia Minor as fictitious.

the publication ofStrauss' Life of Jesus, 1835, initially had a much more decisive influence on the criticism of the Jesus story than on that of theDocumentswhere this story was transmitted to us. Strauss evidently did not devote himself to a specific study of the genesis of the latter. As for the Synoptics, he proceeded from the two theories of Gieseler and Griesbach, according to which our gospels were the redaction of the apostolic tradition, which, after long circulating in purely oral form, finally slowly established itself. . in our Synoptic (Gieseler); and that first in the writings of Matthew and Luke, then in that of Mark, which is nothing more than a compilation of the other two (Griesbach). As for Johannes, he gave Bretschneider's reasons as valid: insufficient testimony in the early church, contradictory content to that of the first three gospels, etc. And when, in its third edition in 1838, it acknowledged that in its view the authenticity was less untenable, it lasted it did not take long for this concession to be withdrawn in the following edition (1840). In fact, the slightest evasion on this point shattered his entire hypothesis of mythical legends. The underlying maxim, that the ideal should not be exhausted in detail, would be wrong, since the Fourth Gospel contained, even to a small extent, the account of an eyewitness. The great shock that Strauss' work unleashed in the scholarly world, however, soon found its way into the gospel criticism.

Cristian Herman WeisseHe particularly pointed out the close connection between criticism of the Jesus story and that of the scriptures in which it is transmitted. He questioned the authenticity of our gospel, but not without recognizing a true apostolic basis in it. The Apostle John, in order to retain the image of his Master, which became more and more vague to him as reality diverged from him, and to make clear the impression he had retained of the person of Jesus, had expanded certain "studies" which , became the Discourses of the Fourth Gospel. These more or less authentic parts were later adapted to a completely fictional historical setting. From this point of view, we can understand how Weisse managed to defend the authenticity of 1 John.

At this point a similar revolution took place in the critique of the fourth gospel as at the same time in the consideration of the first three.Wilkethen he tried to prove that the differences which distinguish the synoptic accounts from one another were not, as has always been supposed, simple involuntary coincidences, but that it was necessary to recognize in them modifications deliberately and deliberately introduced by each author . manner in the narrative of its predecessor or predecessors.Bruno Bauerhe extended this mode of explanation to the fourth gospel. He asserted that the Johannine narrative was by no means the repository of a mere legendary tradition, as the treatise of Strauss assumed, but that this story was the product of an individual conception, the reflective work of a Christian thinker and poet conscious of his behavior. The story of Jesus was thus reduced to a single line, in Ebrard's witty expression: "At that time it happened... that nothing happened."

In the same year, Lutzelberger attacked the tradition of Johannes' stay in Asia Minor more thoroughly than Reuterdahl. The author of our gospel, he believes, was a Samaritan whose parents had emigrated to Mesopotamia between 130 and 135, at the time of the renewed rebellion of the Jews against the Romans, and he wrote this gospel in Edessa. The "disciple whom Jesus loved" was not John, but Andrew.

In a famous articleFischerhe tried by using the term οἱ᾿Ιουδαῖοι in our Gospel to prove that its author could not be of Jewish origin.

We come here to the third and final period of this protracted conflict. It dates from 1844 and takes as its starting point the famous work published at the time byFernando Cristiano Baur.The first phase lasted over twenty years, from Evanson to Bretschneider (1792-1820); the second, also from the late 1920s, from Bretschneider to Baur; the third lasted more than thirty years. It's a deadly fight. The dissertation that was the sign for it is certainly one of the most ingenious and brilliant compositions that theological science has ever produced. The purely negative results of Strauss' critique required a positive construction as a complement; on the other hand, the arbitrary and subjective character of Bruno Bauer did not correspond to the wishes of a time eager for positive facts. Therefore, the discussion was, as it were, embroiled in insoluble difficulties.

Baur understood that it was his task to remove them from this position and that the only effective remedy was to discover in the progress of the second-century church a clearly marked historical situation which could, so to speak, be the basis for the imposing building of the Fourth Gospel. He believed to have found the situation he was looking for in the last third of the second century. So actuallyGnosisBlossom, at the borders of which our gospel touches with all its content. At that time thinkers were engaged in the idea ofLogos, that is exactly the subject of our work. The need was increasingly felt to unite in one great Catholic Church the two rival factions which had hitherto divided the Church and which had gradually united it through a series of compromises; the fourth gospel was adapted to serve them as a peace treaty. There was a strong spiritual reaction against the episcopacy: Montanism; our gospel has emphasized this tendency by borrowing from Montanism the truth it contains. Then finally the famous dispute broke out between the churches of Asia Minor and those of the West over the question of the Easter rite. Now our gospel has modified the Passion chronology in such a way that it decided people's opinion in favor of the western rite. Here, then, was the situation fully revealed for the composition of our gospel. At the same time, following Bruno Bauer, Baur shows with wonderful skill the well thought-out and systematic unity of this work; explaining its logical progression and practical applications, it refutes in one fell swoop the hypothesis of mindless myths on which Strauss' work was based and any attempt to choose between certain authentic and certain spurious parts in our gospel. After all, Baur fixes the date of origin as around the year 170, but at least 160; because all the specified circumstances occurred at that time. But he did not attempt to name the "great unknown" to whom we owe the pen of that masterpiece of highly mystical philosophy and shrewd ecclesiastical politics that has exercised such a decisive influence on the fortunes of Christendom.

All the forces of the school worked together to support the teacher's work in its various parts. since 1841,Schweglerhe had paved the way for this with his treatise on Montanism. In his work on the post-apostolic period, the same author assigned each of the New Testament writings its place in the development of the conflict between apostolic Jewish Christianity and Paulinism, and presented the Fourth Gospel as the culmination of this long elaboration.Zellerhe completed his masterpiece with a study of the ecclesiastical testimonies, a study which aimed at erasing from history all traces of the existence of the fourth gospel before the time given by Baur.foodin a famous work aboutPseudonym Literaturin the early church he tried to prove that the pseudopigraphic process, to which Baur traced the composition of the four-fifths parts of the New Testament, corresponded to literary models and the ideas of the time.VolkmarHe strove to avoid the blows his teacher's system was continually threatened with by the less and less controversial citations of the Fourth Gospel in the second-century writings of Markion and Justin, for example, and in the writings of Markion and JustinClementine Homilien.Finally,HilgenfeldHe went deeper than Baur into the dispute over Easter and its relationship to the authenticity of our gospel.

Thus supported by this bevy of famous critics working together, though not without marked differences, Baur's opinion may for a moment seem as if it had achieved a complete and decisive triumph.

Within the school itself, however, there was a divergence which in many respects undermined the hypothesis so skillfully worked out by the teacher. Hilgenfeld renounced the date set by Baur and thus renounced part of the advantages of the situation he had chosen. He started composing the Gospel of John thirty or forty years ago. According to him, this work was mainly associated with the emergence ofValentinianHeresy, c. 140. The Gospel writer set about introducing this Gnostic teaching into the church in a weakened form. And since already around the year 150 "the existence of our gospel could hardly be questioned", he shifts its dating to the period 130 to 140.

since 1860,JR Tobler, besides the ideal character of the narrative to find a lot of geographical notes or really historical narratives, came up with the idea of ​​attributing our Gospel to Apollo (after him the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews), compiled at the end of the first century based on Information from Juan.

Michael NicholasIn 1862 he proposed the following hypothesis: A Christian from Ephesus relates in our gospel the ministry of Jesus according to the accounts of the apostle John; and that person is the one referred to as the in the two lettersold man (the old man), and the one that history introduces to us by the name of Juan Presbítero.D’Eichthalaccepted Hilgenfeld's idea of ​​a relationship between our gospel andGnosis.the work thatstagepublished in his collection Critical Studies in the same year, it is nothing more than a non-original rendering of all the ideas of the Tubingen school.

In 1864 two important books appeared. Weizsácker, in his work on the Gospels, attempted to extract from our own gospel the evidence for the distinction between the publisher of this writing and the apostle John, which he used as evidence. The former only wished to give freely the impressions he had while listening to the apostolic testimony that described the life of the Lord.

The second book takes a more decided position: it is that ofScholten.The author of the Fourth Gospel is a Christian of Gentile descent, initiated into Gnosticism and striving to make this tendency profitable for the Church. It also attempts to keep Marcionite antinomianism and Montanist exaggeration within reasonable bounds. As far as the Easter dispute is concerned, the evangelist does not decide according to the western rite, as Baur thinks; Rather, it wants to guarantee the triumph of Pauline spiritualism, which completely abolishes the festivals in the church. According to these data, the author writes around the year 150. He succeeds in presenting to the world, under the guise of the mysterious figure known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, the ideal believer, truly spiritual Christianity, capable of become universal religion. . Reville explained and developed Scholten's point of view in theFlashback to two worlds.

Let us also remind the reader here of the work ofVolkmar(Page 19), which is directed against Tischendorf personally as well as against his book,When were our gospels written?As deplorable as its tone, this work eruditely and accurately states the position of the Baur school. The author places the date of our gospel between 150 and 160.

1867, dieJesus story, vonKeim.This scholar, in the introduction, firmly opposes the authenticity of our gospel. The philosophical character of this writing particularly stands out; then to the contradictions of history with the nature of things, with the data provided by the writings of São Paulo and with the synoptic accounts. But on the other hand, it proves the traces of its existence from the beginning of the second century. "The testimonies," he says, "go back to the year 120, so the composition dates to the beginning of the second century, to the reign of Trajan, between 100 and 117." The author was a Christian of Jewish origin who belonged to theDiasporaof Asia Minor, in full sympathy with the pagans and thoroughly acquainted with everything to do with Palestine. In a recent writing, a popular reproduction of his great work, germ deviates from this beginning date and presents reasons for this change which, we may say, are not of great importance. He now fixes the composition around the year 130 with Hilgenfeld. What follows from a period of ten years? From one of these last dates, as well as from the other, it would follow that twenty or thirty years after the death of John at Ephesus, the Fourth Gospel was ascribed to this apostle by the presbyters of the country in which he lived. he spent the last part of his life and where he died. Under these circumstances, how can the success of a forgery be explained? Keim recognized this difficulty and endeavored to eliminate it. For this he found no other way than to stick to the idea proposed by Reuterdahl and Lutzelberger and to classify Juan's stay in Asia Minor as pure fiction. For this course he even goes beyond the Tübingen school. Because Baur and Hilgenfeld did not question the truth of this tradition. His criticism is essentially based on the reality of John's sojourn in Asia, firstly because the Apocalypse, whose Johannine composition serves as the fulcrum at the beginning of the Gospel, implies that sojourn, and secondly because both argue from the Easter passage The Controversy dies down as soon as the apostle John's permanence is no longer recognized in this country. Well, on the contrary, when the hostile critic of our gospel is ashamed of this permanence, he ruthlessly rejects it. According to Keim, this tradition is only the result of a semi-deliberate misunderstanding on the part of Irenaeus, who applied to the apostle John what Polycarp had related in the presence of another character of the same name.Scholtenachieve the same result by different means. In his opinion, this error in tradition can be explained by confusing the author of the Apocalypse, who was not the apostle but used his name, with the same apostle; This is how the sojourn of John in Asia was imagined, where the Apocalypse seems to have been written. Be that as it may, and whatever the explanation for the traditional misunderstanding, the discovery of this error “removes,” says Keim, “the ultimate support for the idea of ​​the Gospel being composed by the son of Zebedee. "

We see that two of the foundations of Baur's criticism, the authenticity of the apocalypse and John's sojourn in Asia, are currently being undermined by the men who have continued his work, with this denial appearing to be the only means of ending authenticity . our gospel.

In 1868 the English writer wrotedavidson, took its position among the opponents of authenticity.Holtzmann, like Keim, sees in our gospel an ideal, but not entirely fictional, composition. This book is of the same period as the Epistle to Barnabas (first third of the 2nd century); it can be proved that the church received it favorably from the year 150 onwards.Tort, in 1871, defended the permanence of João in Asia; He credits this apostle with composing the Apocalypse but not the Gospel.

The anonymous English work,supernatural religion, which reached a very large number of copies in just a few years, disputes its authenticity with common arguments.

The year 1875 saw the appearance of two works of considerable importance. These are two introductions to the New Testament thatHilgenfeldand the third edition of Bleek's work, published with original notes byfodder beets.In his book, Hilgenfeld summarizes all critical works of the past and the present. As far as John is concerned, in certain aspects he continues to defend the cause to which he had dedicated the first fruits of his pen: the lack of authenticity of the Fourth Gospel, which he believes was written under the influence of Valentinian Gnosticism. . Mangold accompanies the passages in which Bleek defends the apostolic origin of our gospel with very revealing critical remarks, in which he very often tries to refute these scholars. External evidence seems sufficient to confirm its authenticity. But, in his opinion, at least until now, it has not been possible to overcome internal difficulties.

1876 ​​Attorney,o Uechritz, published a book in which he attributes our gospel to a disciple of Jesus from Jerusalem, probably John the Presbyter, who took on the mask of the disciple whom Jesus loved and wrote this work for him. This critic finds unjustified the widespread opinion that the portrayal of Jesus depicted in the Synoptics is less sublime than the conception of Him given to us in John.

Here four writers remain to be mentioned, three French and one German, who in our previous edition were on the list of defenders of absolute or partial authenticity and who went to the opposite camp,Renan, Reuss, SabatiermiHase.

The first showed from the outset a marked aversion to the speeches ascribed to Jesus in the Fourth Gospel. However, he always highlighted the remarkable signs of authenticity associated with the narrative portions of this writing. He was ready in this sense in the first editions of hislife of Jesus, recognizing as the basis of the historical parts not only the traditions which come from the apostle John, but also "accurate records written by him". In the truly admirable dissertation that concludes the thirteenth edition, in which he elaborates on the question, analyzing the Gospel story from story to story from this point of view, he shows that the contradictory phenomena are almost exactly balanced and end positively. affirm nothing more than this alternative: either the author is Juan, or he wanted to impersonate Juan. Finally, in his latest book entitledChurchChretienne, comes to the conclusion that could have been foreseen. The author may have been a Christian keeper of the traditions of the apostle, or at least the traditions of two other disciples of Jesus, John the Elder and Aristion, who lived in Ephesus towards the end of the first century. We can even go so far as to assume, according to Renan, that this scribe is none other than Cerinthus, John's adversary in Ephesus at the same time.

Reuss and Sabatier have also just completed their development in the same direction. In all his previous works, Reuss stuck to two theses that were difficult to reconcile: the almost completely artificial and fictitious character of Jesus' speeches in our Gospel and the apostolic origin of the work. It was not difficult to foresee two things: 1. That one of these theses would exclude the other; 2. That it would be first that would triumph over second. That just happened. in his theologyjoanino, Reuss gives his final verdict on this matter: The fourth gospel does not come from the apostle John. However, Reuss hesitates to let this work come from a forger. And there is no need to admit that, since the author expressly differs from the apostle John in more than one place and confines himself to tracing back to him the origin of the stories contained in his book. Thus, point by point, we find Weizsäcker's opinion mentioned above.

Sabatier has also maintained the authenticity of our gospel in his excellent little work on the sources of the life of Jesus. But once he had entered into Reuss's views on the evaluation of Jesus' discourses, he was compelled by fate to follow them to the end. In your article on the Apostle John in the Encyclopédie, you made a clear argument against authenticityreligious studies:An author whose constant inclination is to glorify the apostle John cannot be John himself. It is one of his disciples who, believing that he can identify with him, wrote the Gospel in its Asia Minor form; That's how the church gives itspiritual apocalypse, a counterpart to the actual Apocalypse written by the Apostle.

Beginning in 1829, Hase defended the Johannine origin of the Fourth Gospel in various editions of his Handbook on the Life of Jesus. In 1866 he published a discourse in which he presented this work as the last product of the mind of the apostle when he had reached full maturity. But this scholar has submitted to the same fateful law as the three previous authors. In his story of Jesus, published in 1876, he dispenses with authenticity, albeit not without painful fluctuations. “Let's see”, he says, to end the discussion, “the eight reasons advanced against the Johannine origin: they were not decisive; however, it has not been possible to refute them all completely... So I see that science has led to an adequate conception to reconcile the opposing reasons. A tradition different from the other gospels, which already contained the concept of the logos, developed in Asia Minor under the influence of the accounts of John. It remained in a purely oral state as long as John lived. After his death (ten years later, or perhaps more), this tradition was recorded by a very gifted disciple of the apostle. He wrote as if he were writing himself.

Thus the evangelist can appeal simultaneously to the testimony of his own eyes (Jn 1:14) and that of another who is different from him. "Who was the author? Elder John? That is possible. But it could also be an unknown person. The first letter could be from the same author who wrote under the mask of John; but it may also have come from John and served as a model for the gospel style. This hypothesis, according to this author, is a compromise between contradictory facts. "It was not without regrets," he adds, "I shook faith in the full authenticity of the Johannine Scripture." Finally, a little further back, he also says: “The time has come in German theology when anyone who dares to recognize the Fourth Gospel as a source of historical value jeopardizes his scholarly honor. It was not always so, even among those not lacking in strength or freedom of spirit. But it can also change again: the zeitgeist also exerts power in science. What reflections do these sad confessions of the Jena veteran not suggest!


This persevering struggle against the authenticity of the Gospel of John is like besieging a fortress, and it has reached a point where many believe they see the besieger's banner soaring victorious over the walls of the place. The defenders did not remain idle, however, and the incessant changes to which the attacks underwent leave no doubt as to the relative success of their efforts, as the above account shows. Let's make a short list of works dedicated to defending authenticity.

The oldest attack, called that of the 2nd century sectariansAlogui, did not go unanswered; pois seems certain that it is a writing of Hippolytus (not early third century), whose title does not appear in any of his catalogs raisonnés as ῾Υπὲρ τοῦ κατὰ᾿Ιωάννου εὐαγγελίου καὶ ἀπύ, ";In the name of the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse' directed at her.

The attacks of the English Deists were repelled in Germany and Hollandthe clericmiThe light bulb;of the latter in his famous commentary on the Gospel of John.

two Englishmen,PriestleymiSimpson, Evanson responded immediately.Sturmand Suskind settled the objections raised soon afterwards in Germany, and did so with such success that Eckermann and Schmidt declared that they had withdrawn their doubts.

After this first phase of the fightSquirrel(1810),hug(1808), miBertholdt(1813) in his well-known Introductions to the New Testament,WegscheiderWith one work in particular, but also with others, they have unanimously sided with authenticity; so that by the turn of the century the storm seemed to have abated and the matter settled in favor of the traditional view. the historianGeisel, in his admirable little work On the Origin of the Gospels (1818), expressed his decision in the same way, expressing the idea that John had composed his book for the instruction of pagans who were already advanced in the Christian religion.

Bretschneider's work, which suddenly broke through this apparent calm, aroused an infinite number of reactions, of which we shall only mention those ofOlshausen,Chrom, miHauff.The first editions of the commentaries ofgap(1820) mitholuck(1827) also appeared at the same time. As a result of the first of these publications, Bretschneider declared his objections to be over; so that peace seemed to have returned, andSchleiermacher, with all his schooling, yielding without appreciable resistance to his affection for our gospel. From the beginning of his scientific career, Schleiermacher in hisAttitudesuperreligion die, proclaimed that the Christ of John was the true historical Christ, and asserted that the synoptic presentation must be subordinated to our gospel. Critics as erudite and independent asSchottmiCrednerHe also stuck to the issue of authenticity in his introductions back then. Only de Wette made a slightly different voice audible at this point.

The appearance of Strausslife of Jesus, in 1835, it was like lightning striking a silent sky. This work spawned a legion of apologetic writings; especially those oftholuckabout the credibility of the gospel story and thelife of JesusvonNeander.The concessions made by the latter Strauss have often been misinterpreted. They only attempted to establish a minimum of indisputable facts and refrained from contestable ones. And it was this work, so moderate, so impartial, and in which we sense in every word the incorruptible love of truth, that Strauss for the moment seems to have been most deeply impressed and taken with him in reference to the Gospel of John, a kind of retreat that in his third edition announced.

freezes, although starting from a very different point of view than the two previous authors, defended the authenticity of our gospel against Strauss.Frommannin turn, Weisse's hypothesis was refuted. From 1837 to 1844,Nortonpublished his great work on the Evidences for the Authenticity of the Gospels andGuericke, 1843, his Introduction to the New Testament.

In the years that followed, the works ofebrardon evangelical history, the truth of which he bravely defended against Strauss and Bruno Bauer, and the third edition of Lucke's commentary (1848). But this last author made such concessions to the credibility of John's discourses and christological teaching that opponents soon turned his work against the very thesis he wished to defend.

We come to the last period, that of the struggle against Baur and his school.ebrardhe was the first to appear in the gap. At his side was a young scholar attempting to deflect historical criticism that seemed to have strayed from him in Baur's hands, in a work brimming with rare patristic scholarship and insight from primary sources. we meanThiersch, whose work is modestly titledProbe, is still one of the most useful guides in the history of the first two centuries for beginners. Baur did not tolerate this call for order from such a young writer directed at him, a veteran of science. In the excitement of irritation he wrote that violent pamphlet in which he accused his opponent of fanaticism and which almost had the character of a denunciation. Thiersch's reply was remarkable for its decency and dignity of tone, as well as for the excellence of the general remarks it contained on the criticism of scriptures. The correctness of some of Thiersch's ideas may be questioned, but it cannot be denied that both his works are rich in witty and original points of view.

At that time, a strange job appeared. The author is often quoted by that name in German criticismthe anonymous Saxon;today it is known that he was a Saxon theologian, calledHasert, who was then one of the Thurgovinian clergymen. He defended the authenticity of our gospels, but with the intention of showing just for that authenticity how the apostles of Jesus, the authors of these books, even these pamphlets, worked only to denigrate and slander one another.

The most skilful and scientific answer to the work of Baur and Zeller was that ofBlass, 1846. In addition to this work article inhauffThey deserve a special mention.

In the coming yearsWeitzelmiSteitz, discussed and learned with great care the argument drawn by Baur from the Easter controversy towards the end of the second century. follow in the footsteps ofHeretic(1842),semiticdemonstrated Justin Martyr's use of our four gospels. In 1852 two very interesting works appeared: that of the Dutch writerNiemeyer, which was to prove, by a subtle and careful study of the writings attributed to John, that the Apocalypse and the Gospel could and should have been composed by him, and that the differences in content and form which distinguish them must be explained for the profound spiritual Revolution that took place in the Apostle after the destruction of Jerusalem. A similar idea was voiced at the same time byHase.The second work is the commentary ofLuthardtin the fourth gospel, the first part of which contains a series of characteristic portraits of the main characters of the gospel drama according to John, intended to make the living reality of all these characters tangible. These portraits are full of sharp and fair observations.

EwaldLike Hase, he defends authenticity, but he does so by giving almost no historical credibility to the speeches the apostle ascribes to Jesus and even to the miraculous events he narrates. An inconsistency that Baur sharply criticized in his reply to Hase. Such defenses of a gospel are almost tantamount to judgments of condemnation, nay, they are self-destructive. The same applies to the opinion ofBunsen, who regards the Gospel of John as the only monument of the gospel history of an eyewitness who goes so far as to assert that otherwise "there is no longer any historical Christ", and who even refers to the realm of legend a fact so crucial as that of the resurrection .Blass, in his Introduction to the New Testament, andMeyer, Hengstenberg, miLange, have advocated authenticity in their comments, as has Astie (who takes Niermeyer's point of view), the author of these lines. The Johannine question has been treated instructively in its relation to that of the synoptic gospelsvonPress.

The study of patristic testimonies has recently been the subject of two works, one more popular and one purely scholarly: the small treatise onTischdorfat the time of writing our Gospels and the academic program ofRiggenbach1866 on the historical and literary testimonies in favor of the Gospel of John. The solidity and impartiality of this last work has been recognized by the author's opponents.

To these two writings we can add that in which the Groningen professor,Hofstede de Groot, dealt with the question of dating the quotations from Basilides and John, especially in the case of the Gnostic writers. The cause of authenticity was also advocated by Abbot Deramey (1868).

The tradition of John's stay in Asia Minor was bravely defended by KeimSteitzmiwabniz Wittichen, taking his position from his own point of view, renounces the apostle John's sojourn in Asia, but he does so to better substantiate the authenticity of our gospel, while claiming that it was composed by the apostle in Syria for the Purpose of fighting the Ebionites bent by Essene. Therefore, this work would be from the period immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem. John of Asia Minor was the presbyter, the author of the Apocalypse. Here we have the antithesis of the Tubingen Theses.

In two plants, one of themZahn, the other throughRiggenbach, the question of the existence of John the Presbyter as a figure other than the apostle was debated. After carefully studying the famous passage of Papias on this question, they came to a negative conclusion.Leimbachlikewise in a special study he does the same and the teacherMilligan, also from Aberdeen, in an article inJournal of Spiritual Literature, justifiedJohn the Presbyter(October 1867).

The historical credibility of Jesus' discourses in the Fourth Gospel has been defended against modern objectionsJesus, in the first volume of the second edition of his work on the Person of our Lord, and especially ofH.Meyerin a very remarkable thesis. The English work ofPrepareDate of the year 1872 and that of the SuperintendentLeuschnera courageous little job that hits germ and Scholten particularly hard.

We end this review by citing six notable recent works, all dedicated to defending authenticity. Three are products of learning German. The first is the critical examination of theLuthardt, which, in a special volume, forms the introduction to the second edition of his commentary on the Fourth Gospel. The second is the brilliant work ofBeyschlagNOstudies and reviews, which contains perhaps the best answers to modern objections.Bernhard Weiss(in the sixth edition of Meyer's Commentary) dealt with the question of the origin of our gospel both profoundly and concisely. He vigorously defends the authenticity without, however, strictly preserving the historical character of the speeches.

The French plant isNyegaard.It is a diploma thesis that is dedicated to examining external certificates for authenticity. This same subject is specially treated by one of the two English works, that ofEsra Abad, Professor at Harvard University. This work seems to me to have exhausted the subject. A thorough knowledge of modern discussions, a thorough study of the testimonies of the second century, moderation and discernment in judgment, nothing is lacking. The other English work is the Commentary onWestcott, Professor at Cambridge. In the introduction, all critical points are treated with erudition and sensitivity.


Pressured by the reasons given for and against authenticity, various theologians have tried to please both sides by resorting to a middle position.

Some have attempted to make a choice between the truly Johannine portions and those added later. For this reasonwhite, to which we should ascribe an important role in the history of the struggle against authenticity (p. 19), would be willing to say that John himself chap.Juan 1:1-5;Juan 1:9-14, certain passages in chap. 3 and finally the speeches in chap. 14-17 (while removing parts of dialogue and narrative elements).

Schweizersuggested another selection mode. The narratives that have Galilee as the theater should, in his opinion, be eliminated from Johannine Scripture; they were added later to facilitate the correspondence between the narrative of John and that of the Synoptics. It's not the guy. 21 for example a manifest addition?pernahe had previously suggested considering the orations as the primitive work and adding the historical parts as later. But when the unity of composition of our gospel was triumphantly demonstrated, the division so outward was abandoned. We are not aware of any recent attempts of this kind.

This long list, which contains only the most notable works, alone proves the seriousness of the matter. Let's summarize the previous exhibition. We can do this by creating the following scale, which includes all the points of view mentioned.

1. Some deny any involvement, even moral and indirect, on the part of the Apostle John in the writing of the work that bears his name. With the exception of some elements taken from the synoptic, this work contains only a fictional story (Baur, Keim).

2. Others make our gospel a free redaction of the Johannine traditions carried on after the apostle's sojourn in Ephesus in Asia Minor; the author thought he could innocently pass himself off as the apostle John himself (renan, rabbit).

3. A third party does not admit that the author wanted to impersonate João; On the contrary, they think that he expressly distanced himself from the apostle, whose stories served as his authority (Weizsäcker, Reuss).

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4. Mediators go a little further. You will discover in the Gospel a certain number of passages or notes written by John himself and later expanded (Weisse, Schweizer).

5. Finally, there are the defenders of authenticity themselves, who are still divided on one point; some recognize in the text how there are more or less substantial insertions (the incident of the angel at Bethesda, chap. 5; the story of the woman caught in adultery, chap. 8) and the important addition of chap. twenty-one; others accept the common text as authentic in its entirety.

Which rung of this ladder should we step on to be with the truth? Only a careful examination of the facts can teach us that.


I. John at his father's house.

All documents show that John came from Galilee. He belonged to that northern population whose lively, industrious, independent and warlike character Josephus has made known to us. The pressure exerted on the nation by Jerusalem-based religious authorities did not carry the same weight in this remote land. Free from prejudice, more open to the direct impression of truth, the Galilean hearts offered Jesus the receptive ground his work required. Thus all of his apostles, with the exception of Judas Iscariot, seem to have been from this province, and it was there that he was able to lay the foundations of his church.

John lived on those shores of the Sea of ​​Gennesaret, which in our day present only great solitude to the eye, but which were then covered by towns and villages which according to Josephus had a total of many thousands of inhabitants. Did Juan, they say, have his home in Bethsaida? This is the conclusionLukas 5:10, where he is appointed along with his brother James asPairby Simon andJuan 1:44, where it says Bethsaidathe city of Andrés and Pedro.Nevertheless, John could have lived in Capernaum, which could not have been far from the city of Bethsaida, for when Jesus left the synagogue of that city, he immediately entered Peter's house (1:29).

John's family consisted of four people of whom we know: his brother James, who appears to be his elder brother, as he is usually known before him; his father Zebedee, who was a fisherman (March 1:19-20), and his mother, who must be called Salome because in the two apparently parallel passagesMateo 27:56, miMarkus 15:40, where the women who were present at the crucifixion of Jesus are mentioned, the nameSalomein Mark is the equivalent of the title:the mother of the sons of Zebedeein Matthew. Wieseler tried to prove that Salome was the sister of Maria, the mother of Jesus; from which it would follow that John was our Lord's German cousin. We cannot assume that this hypothesis has any sufficient basis, either exegetical or historical. The enumeration inJuan 19:25, in which Wieseler meets four people: 1. The mother of Jesus; 2. his mother's sister; 3. Mary, the wife of Cleopas, and 4. Mary Magdalene, seem to us to encompass only three, the wordsMary, the wife of Clopasthe explanatory addition of the words is very natural,your mother's sister(see exegesis). And in that case, how is it possible that our Gospels show no trace of such a close relationship between Jesus and John? Wieseler asks how two sisters can both bear the name Maria. But there is no keeping the wordSisterhere, as is so often the case, it is to be understood in the sense ofSister in law.This meaning is most likely because, according to a very old tradition (Hegesippus), Clopas was Joseph's brother and thus the brother-in-law of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

John's family enjoyed some competition. In accordance withMarkus 1:20, Zebedee has laborers; Salome is included among the women (Matthew 27:56) who accompanied Jesus on his journey and who (Luke 8:3)servedhe and the twelveits substance.According to our gospel (John 19:27), John had his own house where he conceived the mother of our Lord. Is it necessary, like some of these indicators of competence, to consider his family's relationship to the high priest mentioned at John 18:16? This conclusion is less justified as it cannot be proventhe other studentMentioned in this passage was one of Zebedee's sons, John or James. The prosperous situation of the family was undoubtedly due to the then very lucrative fishing business and the considerable trade associated with it.

Two moments in Salome's life reveal a lively religiosity: the zeal with which, as we have just seen, she dedicated herself to the service of Jesus, and the request that she dared one day to put to the Lord on behalf of her two sons (Mt 20, 20). Such a request reveals an ardent heart and an ardent devotion but imbued with earthly messianic hopes. No doubt he had worked to elevate his children's religious patriotism in the same direction. So as soon as the forerunner appeared on the scene, John rushed to his baptism. He even became attached to him as his disciple (Juan 1:0); and in his presence Jesus met him as he returned from the desert, where he had gone after his baptism to begin his work.

II. John a follower of Jesus.

As John passed smoothly from his father's house to the baptism of the forerunner, so he seems to have passed from the school of the latter to that of Jesus without violent crisis. In this progressive development there was no shock, no break. It was enough for him to follow the inner formation, the teaching of the Father, according to the profound expressions that he himself used to climb step by step to the summit of truth. It was the royal way described in that declaration of the Lord to Nicodemus: "Whoever does the truth shall come to light, because his works are done in God" (John 3:21). Because of this calm and continuity in his development, John seems to be the opposite of Paul in the spiritual world.

The story of his calling as a believer is preserved in the first chapter of our Gospel; because everything suggests that the student who accompanied André in this crucial hour of the founding of the new society was none other than João himself. From the banks of the Jordan, Jesus then returned with him and the few Galilean youths, accompanied by John the Baptist whom he had united to himself, first to Cana and then to Nazareth, whence he departed shortly thereafter, accompanied by his mother and his Children, brothers, to dwell with them in Capernaum (Juan 2:12; Draft Matthew 4:13). As a member of his own family, Jesus had sent these young men back to his bosom. But when, a few days later, the time came for him to begin his ministry in Judea, in the theocratic capital, he called them to follow him steadfastly, and severed for them as for himself the ties of domestic life. . This new calling took place on the shore of the Sea of ​​Galilee near Capernaum. The account of this is given in Matthew 4:18 and parallel passages.

Later, as the company of His disciples grew in number, He chose twelve from among them, to whom He bestowed the special titleApostle(Lukas 6:12SS.;Markus 3:13Please). In the front row stood the two brothers João and Tiago with their two friends Simão and André, who were also brothers. And then among these four, the two sons of Zebedee and Simon were honored for a very special intimacy with Jesus. So we see her alone in the resurrection of Jairus' daughter and in the two scenes of the Transfiguration and Gethsemane. John was also entrusted with Peter with the secret mission of preparing for Easter (Lk 22:8). It was undoubtedly this kind of affection that both he and his brother aspired to that encouraged Salome to solicit for them the first places in Messiah's kingdom.

Should we concede an even closer measure of exquisite friendship in favor of John? We must see in him that disciple whom Jesus made his friend in the most peculiar sense of the word, and who is repeatedly referred to in the Fourth Gospelthe disciple whom Jesus loved(Juan 13:23;Juan 19:26;Juan 20:2;Juan 21:7;Juan 21:20Q)? This was the unanimous opinion of the Church in the post-Apostolic period. Irenaeus says, "John the disciple of the Lord, who rested in her bosom, also published the gospel while he was at Ephesus in Asia." Polycrates, the bishop of Ephesus, specifically says, "John who rested in the breast of the Lord...is buried in Ephesus." John even had this title:the disciple who rests on the breastthe teacher's.

Lutzelberger was the first to question this application of the passages quoted to John, confirming that Jesus' beloved disciple was Andrew, Peter's brother. But why this apostle, who is named several times in the first part of the Gospel (Juan 1:41;Juan 1:45;Juan 6:8; John 12:22) suddenly mentioned in the second part in this anonymous way? Spath assumed the beloved student was the one named Nathanael (Juan 1:46H.H.); and that this name what it meansA gift from God, designates this disciple as the ordinary Christian, the true gift of God to his Son. But why in this case is he sometimes referred to by the name Nathanael (Juan 1:46; John 21:2), and sometimes through this mysterious paraphrase.

Holtzmann also identifies the disciple who is loved by Jesus with Nathanael, but sees in this figure only a fictitious being, the purely ideal-typical Paulinism.

Scholten also considers this anonymous disciple to be an artificial figure; he is, in the author's intention, the symbol of true Christianity in opposition to the Twelve and their imperfect understanding of the gospel.

Is it worth refuting such whims of the imagination? in chap. 19, the author certainly makes this disciple a real being, since it is to him that Jesus entrusts his mother and receives her into his house; unless we are prepared to interpret this mother entrusted to him symbolically and to see in her nothing other than the Church itself. This explanation of meaning would surpass in arbitrariness the masterpieces of allegorization to which this passage has sometimes given rise in Catholic writers.

As we read the fourth gospel, we cannot doubt that the disciple whom Jesus loved was, first, one of the Twelve and second, one of the three who had a special intimacy with the Savior. Of these three, it cannot be Peter since this apostle is mentioned several times.Withthe beloved disciple Nor can it be Santiago who died prematurely (around AD 44).Atos 12:0) for spreading the word in the church that he would not die (Juan 21:0). John is therefore the only one of the three to whom this title could be appropriate. We come to the same conclusion in another way. InJuan 21:2are assigned seven disciples: "Simon Peter, Thomas, who is called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples." Among these seven was the one whom Jesus loved, for he takes part in the following scene (Juan 21:20ss.) Well, it can't be Peter, nor Thomas, nor Nathanael, the three are mentioned by name in the course of the Gospel and in the same place, nor one of the last two disciples mentioned, whom the author does not name, no doubt, because they were not of the number twelve. So it remains to choose between the two sons of Zebedee; and between these two, as we have just seen, no vacillation is possible.

Two features in John's behavior during his Master's service draw our attention; a modesty driven to the point of restraint and a vivacity sometimes to the point of violence. The fourth gospel likes to tell us about the impressive words of Peter; it speaks of Andrés and Felipe's conversations with Jesus, of the manifestations of Thomas's devotion or unbelief. In the Synoptics, Peter always speaks. But in both stories Juan plays only a very secondary and obscure role. Only three words are attributed to him in our Gospel, all of which are remarkable for their brevity: "Master, where art thou?" (John 1:38), "Lord, who is it?" (John 13:25), " It is the Lord!” (John 21:7).

Moreover, of these three expressions, the first was probably uttered by Andrés; and the second came out of John's mouth only at Peter's suggestion. What then is the meaning of this fact, which apparently corresponds so little with the very peculiar relationship of this disciple to Jesus? This Juan was one of those natures who live more inside than outside. While Pedro was in the foreground of the scene, João stayed in the background, watching, contemplating, drinking love and light, content with his quiet character that blended so well with his receptive and profound character. We can understand the charm this character must have for our Lord. In this relationship, which continued to be the common secret, he found that complement which male natures seek in family ties.

Besides this trait, which by nature reveals a shy and thoughtful character, there are certain events in which João reveals an impressive vivacity, capable of reaching passion; as when he proposes with his brother Jesus that fire should fall from heaven on the Samaritan village that refuses to receive him (Luke 9:54), or when he becomes angry when he sees a man who, without himself, connect the disciples, he takes liberty to cast out demons in the name of Jesus and forbids him to continue doing so (Luke 9:49). We can compare with these two attributes that claim first place in the messianic kingdom, thereby discovering the impure alloy still mixed with their faith.

How can these two seemingly contradictory character traits be explained? There are natures that are tender, ardent and shy at the same time; that they normally close their impressions within themselves, the more so the deeper these impressions are. But when it turns out that those people are no longer their own, long-suppressed emotions erupt in sudden outbursts that shock everyone around them. Didn't John and his brother belong to that order of characters? If so, Jesus could describe them better than giving them their last namesBoanerges, Sons of Thunder(3:17 March)? I cannot imagine how the fathers thought that Jesus wanted this surname to express the gift of eloquence that distinguished them. I can no longer admit that in one of the cases mentioned (Lc 9.54) he wanted to perpetuate the memory of his suffering. But as the electricity slowly builds in the cloud until it suddenly erupts in thunder and lightning, so Jesus watched these two passionate and loving beings as faint impressions built up within them until the moment it came through them from without circumstance, they exploded violently; and that's what he wanted to describe. Saint John is often portrayed as sweet and tender to the point of being effeminate. Doesn't your writing insist primarily on love? Were not the old man's last sermons: "Love one another"? This is true; but should we not forget the traits of a different kind which, in the early and late periods of his life, reveal something definite, incisive, absolute, and even violent about him?

In assessing the character of John in this way, we think we agree with the truth and not with Sabatier, where he concludes his judgment of the apostle with these words: "It is remarkable that the name of John does not appear in the Synoptics, except in relation to censorship". But we must forget that in one case he accused himself (Lk 9:49), and in another case he rebuked himself out of excessive zeal for the glory of Jesus (Lk 9:54). ; and that in the third case the jealous indignation of his fellow disciples arose from the same cause as the ambitious request of Salome's two sons (Markus 10:41, comp.Markus 10:42next.)? Above all, should we forget the place that, according to the Synoptics, Jesus himself gave to John and to Peter and James in their intimate friendship? Compensation also the incident inLukas 22:8. The purpose of this way of presenting the subject is explained as follows: "Here," the writer continues, "there is a unique contrast to the image of the beloved disciple leaning over the bosom of Jesus, the ideal disciple hiding and is revealed, albeit at the same time in the fourth gospel." It was then a stepping stone to something else! The biography was in the service of criticism.

If we take into account all the given facts, we will recognize in João one of those natures that are passionately devoted to the ideal and, at first sight, surrender unreservedly to the being that seems to achieve it. But the devotion of such people easily acquires a certain exclusivity and intolerance. Anything that doesn't fully match their enthusiasm irritates them and arouses their outrage. They don't understand what a divided heart is, just as they don't know how to have a divided heart. Go all out! That's his motto. Where the perfect gift is wanting, there is nothing left in their eyes. Such affections are not without an alloy of selfishness in them. A divine work is necessary in order that the devotion that forms its basis may eventually emerge purified and manifest in all its majesty. Thus Juan, even in his own faults, was worthy of the intimate friendship of the best of men.

3. John in front of the Judeo-Christian Church.

John's role in the church after Pentecost was exactly as the record leads us to expect. On that stage where Peter and James, brother of John, the first martyr among the apostles, moved and acted, and where even mere helpers of the apostles, such as Stephen and Philip, and finally Paul and James, the Lord's brother John, appear only on two occasions: when he goes up to the temple with Peter (Atos 3:0), and when he accompanies the same apostle to Samaria to complete the work begun by Philip (Atos 8:0). And on each of those two occasions, Pedro stars; John appears to be just his assistant. As we have already seen, the disciple whom Jesus loved was not a man of action; he did not take the victorious initiative; his mission, like his talent, was intrinsic. His time would come later, after the organization of the Church. Meanwhile a profound work was taking place in his soul, the continuation of what Jesus had begun in him. The promise he himself had made to us: "The Spirit will glorify me in you" was fulfilled in his case. After surrendering, he found himself in his glorified Master and surrendered even more completely.

But from that moment on, he had a special duty to fulfill what his dying master left him. Peter had entrusted the leadership of the Church to Jesus; Juan, his mother's care.

Where did Maria live? It is unlikely that he was attracted to a residence in Jerusalem. Her fondest memories took her back to Galilee. No doubt it was there too, on the shore of the Sea of ​​Galilee, where John had itLargowhere he received her and gave her the attentions of filial piety. This circumstance also explains why he rarely participated in missionary work in those early days. If he had lived in Jerusalem, Paul would no doubt have seen him as did Peter and James on his first visit to that city after his conversion (Galatians 1:18-19).

Later traditions, but traditions that do not prevent us from taking them for granted, place Mary's death around the year 48. After this time John undoubtedly had a more significant involvement in the direction of the Christian work. At the time of the gathering commonly referred to as the Jerusalem Council (Atos 15:0), in 50 or 51, is one of the apostles with whom Paul confers in the capital, and classifies him (Galatasaray 2:0) among those who were considered thecolumnsthe church. At this point, an important and much-discussed question about Juan arises.

The Tübingen school assumes that these three people, James, Peter and John, who at the time represented the Judeo-Christian Church against Paul and Barnabas, held an opinion contrary to the latter's on the question of maintaining the legal order in the Church. . The only difference he recognizes between the apostles andthe false brothers were brought privately, of which Paul is speaking (Galatians 2:4), and it is not to the advantage of the former, is this: The false brethren, the Pharisaic invaders, held their position against Paul and tried to get him to yield, while the apostles, cowed from his vigor and the splendor of his successes among the Gentiles, they gave upStrictly speakinghis beliefs and despite these men agreed to share missionary work with him. Thus, the significance of that sign of cooperation given by the apostles Paul and Barnabas in reaching out to them the right hand of fellowship at the moment of their separation would be reduced to insignificant importance (Galatians 2:9).

We can easily understand the interest attached to this question. If this was really John's personal conviction, it is clear that he could not have been the author of the fourth gospel, or only on condition that he had first undergone the crisis of total transformation. The same Schürer, who is independent of the Tubingen view, says: "The John of the second chapter of Galatians, who argues with Paul about the law, cannot have written our fourth gospel."

But is it true that the abolition of the law for Gentile converts was a concession that St. Paul, against his inner conviction, had to extract from the apostles? Is it even true that there was a fundamental difference between Paul and the Twelve on the legal issue? This subject has been debated without measure for the past thirty years, and I don't think the scales have generally tipped in the direction of Baur's claims. I shall return here to only one crucial passage, which is most frequently raised by this school and which Hilgenfeld believes is, so to speak, its impregnable fortress. That isGalatians 2:3-4: "But Titus, who was with me, as a Greek, was not compelled to be circumcised, and that because of (διὰ δέ) the false brethren brought privately..." Hilgenfeld argues thus: not to say to Paul: I have not given upforthe false brothers; but I didn't give upbecause of you.Then who fought back? Obviously for others besides these. These others can only be the apostles. So it was the apostles who demanded the circumcision of Titus. Consequently they claimed, and John with them, the right to impose circumcision on Gentiles. Hilgenfeld's observation is correct; but the conclusion he draws from it is wrong. The apostles urged Paul to circumcise Titus, and he did not comply.because of the false brothers.Indeed it is. But which test? That the false brethren demanded this circumcision in a very different spirit than that of the twelve. They requested it asan obligationwhile the apostles asked this of Paul only as a complimentary concession on behalf of the Jerusalem Christians who abhorred the idea of ​​having sexual relations with an uncircumcised person. Therefore Paul could say: Without the false brothers he could have given in to the twelvethis conformity(τῇ ὑποταγῇ, Gal 2:5) that every Christian should show his brothers in matters which in themselves are indifferent. And he really did every time he gotAccording to the lawwith those under the law (1Co 9:20); Draft of the Circumcision of Timothy. But it was impossible for him to act like that at the moment.because of the false brothers, who were willing to make use of this concession to make it creditable to the pagansmandatorypreceding. The Twelve understood this reason and did not insist. If the case continues like this, the matter is settled. For legal reasons, the Twelve did not impose any law on the Gentiles. They personally observed it among the Christians of Jewish descent, but not as a condition of salvation, in which case they could not exempt the Gentiles. They watched until God, who had put this system on them, put an end to it. Paul had only informed them that for him the cross was already the expected repeal for the Jews themselves (Galatians 2:19-20). Of course, for those of the apostles who, like John, survived the fall of the temple, that event must have removed the last doubt about them and their nation.

This point of view does not compel us to create a conflict between Paul's epistles and the narrative of Acts. It is also consistent with our synoptic gospels, which are full of statements from Jesus that contain what the abolition of the law means. This sentence: “It is not what goes into a person that defiles him, but what comes outthe heart of man' involves, in principle, the total abolition of the Levitical system. The other proverb: “The Son of Man issir till saturday' undermines the basis of the Sabbath order in its Mosaic form, and with it the entire ceremonial institution of which the Sabbath was the center. Compare your new economy to a new dress that needs replacinglike an everythingFor the ancients, Jesus expressed a vision of the relationship between the gospel and the law beyond which the apostle of the Gentiles could not go. And it is the apostles who transmitted all these words to the church; and yet they have done it, they say, without understanding the practical application! So, apart from Paul's epistles and Acts, we must conclude that what is (wrongly) called Paulinism must have existed as a more or less latent belief in the minds of the apostles from the time of Jesus. ministry. The death of Christ, the day of Pentecost, and the work of Paul could not miss these seeds.

Irenaeus very faithfully described this state of affairs in these words: “They themselves (the apostles) adhered to the ancient customs and behaved piously as to the institution of the law; but to us Gentiles they gave us liberty by giving us the Holy Spirit.”

4. John in Asia Minor.

After the Council of Jerusalem we lose every trace of John until the moment when Tradition describes him exercising his apostolic ministry among the churches of Asia Minor. It is unlikely that he became aware of these remote lands before the destruction of Jerusalem. Certainly he accompanied the Judeo-Christian Church as it migrated to Perea at the time the war against the Romans broke out. This departure happened around the year 67. It was only later, when as a result of the death of Paul and perhaps his helpers in Asia Minor, Titus and Timothy, the important congregations of this area converted, when all the apostolic leaders were robbed, that John went there. He does not seem to have been the only apostle or an apostolic figure who chose this place of residence. The story tells of the ministry of the apostle or deacon Philip in Hierapolis; we also find some references to Andrew's stay in Ephesus. As Thiersch says, “The focus of the church wasno longerin Jerusalem and wasNot yetIn Rome; it was in Ephesus.” Like the circle of golden candlesticks, the numerous and prosperous churches founded by Paul in Ionia and Phrygia were the shining point upon which the eyes of all Christendom were fixed. "From the fall of Jerusalem," says Lucke, "Asia Minor was the liveliest part of the church until the second century." What caught the interest of these churches was not simply the energy of their faith; it was the intensity of the struggle they had to keep up against heresy. “After my farewell,” Saint Paul said to the shepherds of Ephesus and Miletus (Acts 20:29-30), “savage wolves will come upon you, and will not spare the flock; and men will rise up from among you, speaking perverse things, to drag disciples after them.” This prophecy has been fulfilled. It is not surprising, then, that John, one of the last surviving apostles, substituted for the place of apostle to the Gentiles in those regions, watering as Apollo had previously done at Corinth what Paul had sown. .

Reports of John's stay in Asia are numerous and positive. However, in recent days, Keim and Scholten, following the example of Vogel, Reuterdahl and especially Lutzelberger, have questioned the accuracy of this tradition. The first holds that the figure named John whom Polycarp met was not the apostle but the presbyter of the same name who must have lived in Ephesus towards the end of the first century; and that Irenaeus, by mistake and even with some willpower, imagined that this teacher of his own teacher was the apostle. This was the starting point of the error that later became so widespread. On the contrary, Scholten believes because the Apocalypse has been erroneously attributed to the Apostle John and because the author of this book appears to have lived in Asia (Revelation 2:3.), it was concluded from these false premises that the apostle John was staying in this region.

Let's start by establishing the tradition; we shall see the importance of this later.

Irenaeus says: “All the elders who met John the Lord's disciple in Asia testify that he said these things to them; for he lived with them until the time of Trajan. And some of them saw not only John, but other apostles as well.” This entire passage, but especially the last sentence, implies that the person concerned is theApostle, and not just any other John. This is further expressed precisely in the following words: "Then John the disciple of the Lordthe one leaning on his chest, published the gospel while living in Ephesus, Asia. Elsewhere we read: "Even the church founded by Paul at Ephesus, in which John lived until the time of Trajan, is a faithful witness of apostolic tradition." And again: “Polycarp not only had been taught by the apostles and lived with various men who had seen Christ, but he had also been appointed bishop in the Church of Smyrna.from the apostlesthat they were in Asia; and we ourselves have seen it in our youth, because he lived many years and grew old and left this life after a glorious martyrdom, constantly teaching what he had heard ofthe ApostleThere can be no doubt, therefore, that the following words, referring to the Apocalypse, apply to the apostle: "This number (666) is found in all exact and ancient manuscripts and is attested by all of themwho saw John face to face.

This is what Irenaeus says in his main work. We also have two letters from you in which you express yourself in the same way. One is addressed to Florinus, his former colleague from Polycarp, who had devoted himself to Gnostic teachings. Irenaeus tells him: “These are not the teachings given to you by the ancients who lived before us and lived after the apostles; for I saw you when I was a child in the lower part of Asia with Polycarp... And I could even show you the place where he used to sit teaching and caring for himhis relationships with John and with the others who saw the Lord, and how he spoke of what he had heard from them concerning the Lord, his wonders, and his doctrine, and how in full accord with Scripture he related all that he had received from the eyewitnesses of the Word of Life.” To the others Irenaeus addressed a letter to Victor, Bishop of Rome, on the occasion of the Easter dispute: “When the blessed Polycarp visited Rome at the time of Anicetus, there were small differences of opinion on a few points. , peace was made very soon. And they didn't even get into an argument about the main topic.

Because Aniceto could not dissuade Policarpoobserve[14. Nisan, as Passover day] because he always celebrated it with John the Lord's disciple andthe other apostleswho he lived with. And Policarpo, for his part, failed to convince Anicetonote[on the same day], the latter retorting that he should preserve the habit he had received from his predecessors. After this state of affairs, they gave each other Communion, and in the assembly Aniceto entrusted the office of celebration of the Eucharist to Policarpo as an honor; and they parted peacefully. Thus Polycarp was considered a disciple of John in Rome and Gaul no less than in Asia Minor.the apostle, and the arguments of the bishops of Rome twice became ineffective in the second century, 160 (or rather 155) and 190, when they were confronted with this fact, which, according to everyone, rose above all controversy. We find another witness of the same tradition in Asia Minor around 180. Apollonius, an anti-Montanist writer, reported at the time that John had raised a dead man in Ephesus. And it is certainly the apostle to whom he attributes this act. Because he is speaking here of the author of the Apocalypse, and we know that the churches in Asia at that time had no doubt about the writing of this book by the apostle.

But even before Ireneo and Apolonio, Justino has a few words about Juan that hint at the idea of ​​his sojourn in Asia. He says: "A man among us,one of the apostles of Christ, prophesied in the Revelation given to him (ἐν ἀποκαλύψει γενομένῃ αὐτῷ). Since the fact that the Apocalypse was composed in Asia is not disputed (although Scholten seems inclined to dispute this), it follows from this statement by Justin that he had no doubt that the apostle resided in Asia. This statement is all the more interesting because it appears in the account of a public discussion that Justin himself had with a Jewish scholar in Ephesus. This work dates from 150-160.

We have at last an authoritative document, issued by the bishops of Asia at the end of the second century, which testifies to their unanimous conviction on the matter at hand. It is the letter addressed to Victor by Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, under the same circumstances that gave rise to the letter from Irenaeus quoted above (c. 190). He, a man in whose family the bishopric of this metropolis was, so to speak, hereditary (since seven of his relatives had held it before him), he writes with the consent of all the bishops of the surrounding province. the following words: "We celebrate the true day... For in Asia some great lights have gone out, which will rise again at the return of the Lord... Philip, one of the twelve apostles,... and John , who in on the breast of the Lord, who was high priest and clothed in gold foil, and who was a witness and teacher, and who is buried in Ephesus... All these kept Easter on the fourteenth day, according to the Gospel. ”

These are the testimonies of Asia Minor. You are not the only ones. To them we can add one from Egypt. Clement of Alexandria, c. 190, writes these words in the preamble to the story of the young man whom John rescued from his mistakes: “After the tyrant had died, John returned to Ephesus from the island of Patmos, and there visited the surrounding countries the commission to constitute bishops and to organize the churches".

We omit the later witnesses (Tertullian, Origen, Hieronymus, Eusebius), who of course depend on the older reports.

By what means is one trying to undermine such an old and widespread tradition?

The Acts of the Apostles, says Keim, does not speak of such a stay of John in Asia. Is he a serious man talking like that? With such logic, Leuschner replies, it can also be shown that Paul is not dead at this point in time. As if Acts were a biography of the apostles and as if it did not end before the time John lived in Asia!

But the silence of the Ephesians and Colossians and the Pastoral Letters? Scholten adds. As if the writing of these writings in the second century was such an established fact that it could serve as a starting point for new conclusions! Can the critical conjecture go further?

It is more likely that the silence of the letters from Ignacio and Policarpo is asserted. Ignatius reminds the Ephesians, Polycarp the Philippians, of Paul's ministry in their churches; both are silent about John's in Asia. As for Ignatius, these are the words the apostle Paul uses to remind the Ephesians: “You arethe transit point(πάροδος) of those led to God, of those initiated with Paul, of those initiated... in whose footsteps I find myself! It is not about Paul's sojourn in Ephesus in general, but specifically about his lastticketthrough Asia Minor, when on his way to Rome he brought to the elders of these churches the parting words related in the book of Acts and connected them in a certain way with the consecration of his martyrdom. The analogy of this moment with the position of Ignatius when he wrote to the Ephesians on the way to Rome is evident. A similar comparison could not be made with the life of Juan. Moreover, the eleventh chapter of the same letter provides perhaps an allusion to the presence of John in Ephesus: “The Christians of Ephesus,” says Ignatius, “always lived in full harmony (συνῄνεσαν)with the apostles, in the power of Jesus Christ.” Finally, we must not forget that Ignatius was from Syria and did not meet John in Asia Minor.

Polycarp, writing to the Macedonian Christians, had no particular reason to remind them of John's ministry at Ephesus. If he speaks to you of Paul, it is because this apostle planted and visited his church several times; and if he mentions Ignatius, it is because at that very moment the revered martyr had passed through Philippi on his way to Rome.

The similar objection arising from the account of Polycarp's death in the records of his martyrdom in the Church of Smyrna is no more serious. Sixty years have passed since John's death, and yet this congregation could not have written a letter without mentioning him! Incidentally, Hilgenfeld rightly refers to the titleapostolic teachergiven to Polycarp (chap. 18), who records his personal acquaintance with one or more of the apostles.

Keim and Scholten find the decisive argument in Papias' silence; they even see in the words of this father the express denial of any connection with the apostle. Irenaeus did not understand Papias that way. On the contrary, he thinks he can call ita John listener(᾿Ιωάννου ἀκουστής). But on this very point, it is said, there is an error which Eusebius noticed and corrected by studying the terms used by Papias more closely. The importance of Papias' testimony in this matter is evident. Leimbach names up to 45 authors who have recently dealt with this topic. We are forced to study it more closely.

First, how old is Papias and what is the date of his work? Ireneo adds to the titleJohn's listener, which gives that ofPolycarp's companion(Partner of Polycarpou). This term denotes acontemporary.Now, the most recent investigations place Polycarp's martyrdom at 155 or 156, and this date seems to be generally accepted today (Renan, Lipsius, Hilgenfeld). Since Polycarp himself states that he spent eighty-six years in the service of the Lord, his birth must be placed in the year 70. If Papias was his contemporary, then he lived between 70 and 160; and if John died about the year 100, this priest may chronologically have been in contact with the apostle up to his thirtieth year. Irenaeus also calls Papias a man of ancient Christianity (ἀρχαῖος ἀνήρ); Papias, therefore, like Polycarp, belonged to the generation immediately succeeding the apostles. Finally, in the fragment that we will examine, there is an expression that leads us to the same conclusion. Papías says he asked “what Andrés and then Pedro, Felipe etc. etc.this(εἰπεν), and what Aristion and John the Presbyter, the disciples of the Lord,say(they say)." That contrast between the pastthisand the presentsayit's too distinctive to be random. This implies, as modern-day Keim, Hilgenfeld, and Mangold acknowledge, that at the time Papias wrote the last two individuals mentioned were still alive; and, since both are referred to asTypDisciples of Jesus could have lived around the years 110-120 at the most. So this time was also the last that Papias wrote. He was then thirty or forty years old.

Now follows the fragment quoted by Eusebius. The question will be whether Papias has a personal relationship with the apostle JohnFest, as Irenaeus thinks, oreliminated, as Eusebius attests, by the terms used in this much-discussed passage.

“Now I will not stop emphasizing to my explanations also (συγκατατάξαι ταϊς ἑρμηνείαις) everything that I recalled before myth well and very well -° π π π π. π π For I did not buy, as in great numbers, those who speak much, but those who teach true things; not those who proclaim foreign commandments, but those who proclaim the commandments which the Lord's faith has given and which proceed from their own truth. Y si, a veces, también, uno de los que apperkpañó a los ornos se me ocurrió (εἰ δέ που παὶ παρακουθ suit τις τις & es esges es ώώ θ & IGES. Og. Or Johannes, or Matthäus, or Matthäus, or other two disciples of the Lord (ἠ τις ἕτερς τῶν τοῦ κ κυbol. then inTheARISSION AND THE PRESBITER John the Lord's disciples say o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o € as the one who comes of the living and abiding Word.

This passage consists of two separate paragraphs, the second of which begins with the words: "And if sometimes(from time to time)Also.Hilgenfeld and others think that the second paragraph is just the comment on the first and refers to the same fact. But this interpretation violates the text, as the first words prove:Even if sometimes(εἰ / δέπου καί). This transition indicates a breakthrough, not an identity. The two paragraphs therefore refer to different facts.

In the preceding paragraph, Papias is evidently speaking of what he has kindly received and rememberedthe elders themselvesthat is, by a communication from them to him personally. This is implicit in the use of the preposition παρά (von), whose usual meaning is direct communication; 2. By the adverb ποτέ (until now), who, by locating these messages in a distant past, shows that such a relationship was no longer possible and consequently belongs to the author's youth.

The essential question behind the meaning of this first paragraph is: Who are these?On another siteWhom did Papias listen to in his youth? They cannot, as Weiffenbach argued, be or be the greatestSeniorsused by the apostles in the churches. For how could Papias, Polycarp's contemporary, have been one of the men of the generation before Irenaeus' opinionuntil now(in his youth) taught by these disciples of the apostles! The anachronism that follows from this explanation is glaring. Instead, as has been said, these elders can no longer simply and exclusively be themApostle.In this case, Papias would have used that term, not the termOn another site.The Elders of the Titleold people) has a relative importance among fathers, as Holtzmann has well noticed. For Irenaeus and the men of the third Christian generation whoOn another sitethey are the men of the second, the Polycarps and the Papias; for these latter are primarily the men of the first apostles, and besides them all the immediate witnesses and disciples of the Lord. This is evident in the second paragraph, in which Papias lists those whom he calls elders; includes seven apostles and twodisciples of the Lordwho were not apostles, Aristion and old John. Since the apostle John was named among the seven, it seems to me impossible, despite the reasons given by Zahn and Riggenbach, to identify this presbyter of the same name with the apostle. He is a second John who lived in Asia Minor and whom the special surname Elder or Presbyter was perhaps intended to distinguish from the apostle who was simply called John or the apostle John.

It follows that Papias states in the first paragraph that in earlier years he had personally listened to Jesus' immediate disciples (apostles or non-apostles). He doesn't name her; but we have no right to exclude the apostle John from that number, and by that assertion to falsify the words of Irenaeus, as Eusebius does in his story: “Papias, a fellow disciple of Polycarp, andJohn's listener.And all the more so since Irenaeus, who came from Asia Minor, probably knew Papias personally, and his own since EusebiusChronic, confirms the personal connection of Papias, as well as that of Polycarp, with Saint John.

In the second paragraph, Papías moves from personal to indirect relationships. He explains how at a later date, when he was prevented from communicating with them by distance or death, he went to work to continue gathering material for his book. He took every opportunity that the visits to Hierapolis gave him to question everyone who had met somewhere with the elders; and because of this statement he mentions the latter by name: "I asked him what Andrés, Pedro ... Juan etc.this(while they were alive) about this or that circumstance in the life of the Lord, “and what the two disciples of the Lord, Aristion and the old Johnsay"(Present). And why, even having communicated directly with some of these men in his youth, Papias cannot have attempted to obtain any indirect information from the lips of those who enjoyed such relations more recently or more plentifully In any case, since it clearly does not follow from the first paragraph that Papias did not know John, it follows just as clearly from the second paragraph that he was not personally taught by John the Presbyter, and thus a second error on the part of Eusebius must be corrected

So what of the modern argument (Keim et al.), taken from the Papias passage, against John's sojourn in Asia? “Papias himself declares,” it says, “that he did not know any of the apostles, while affirming that he knew John the Presbyter personally. Hence Irenaeus, speaking of him as the hearer of the apostle John, confused the apostle with the presbyter. The fact is: 1. What Papias claims to have knownOn another site(among which may be John the Apostle); 2. That he denies personal knowledge of John the Elder; and 3. that theexpresslydistinguishes John the Apostle from John the Presbyter. We see the value of the objection drawn from this testimony.

But it is said that Irenaeus may have been mistaken when he claimed that the John known to Polycarp was the apostle, when in fact that person was only the presbyter. And this error of Irenaeus may have thrown the entire tradition that goes out from him overboard. Keim supports this assertion with the following expression of Irenaeus in his letter to Florinus when he speaks about his relations with Policarpo: "when I was a child(παῖς ἔτι ὤν)”, and with this other similar expression in his Magna work on the same occasion: “In our early youth(does not mean ήλικίᾳ). But anyone familiar with the Greek language knows perfectly well that the terms are tais, especially the word translated asNiño(παῖς), usually denotes an adolescent; and could the younger Christian, who was old enough to listen to Polycarp and hear his tales, mistake a mere old man for the apostle John? Moreover, Polycarp himself came to Rome shortly before his martyrdom; appealed in the presence of Aniceto to the authority of the Apostle John to support the celebration of Easter in Asia Minor. The misunderstanding, if it existed, would inevitably have been cleared up at that time. Finally, the testimony of Irenaeus, even if based on error, cannot have had the decisive influence on the tradition attributed to it. For there are other utterances which are contemporaneous with his and which are necessarily independent of them, such as that of Clement in Egypt and that of Polycrates in Asia Minor; or even before him, like those of Apollonius in Asia, Polycarp in Rome, and Justin. It is therefore an impossibility to try if we try to get all the lore on this point from Irenaeus. Irenaeus wrote in Gaul around 185; How could it have dragged behind it all those writers or witnesses going back in a continuous line from 190 to 150 in all parts of the world!

Scholten acknowledged the impossibility of explaining the error in Keim's way. He believes it arose from the Apocalypse attributed to the Apostle John and suchhe appearedwere composed in Asia.

Mangold himself, quite correctly, replied that, on the contrary, it was only the certainty of John's sojourn in Asia that could have led the churches of that region to attribute the composition of the Apocalypse to him. If Justin himself, while residing at Ephesus, where he held his public dispute with Trypho, had not ascertained the certainty of John's sojourn in that country, he might have conceived the idea of ​​attributing a book to him so positively, the first chapters ? which clearly indicates an Asian origin?

Moreover, this tradition was so widespread in the churches of Asia Minor that Irenaeus is said to have known about itvarious elders, that for hispersonal relationshipswith the apostle John, testified to the authenticity of the number 666 (in contrast to the variant 616). Finally, how can we dispose of the testimony contained in the letter to Florino? Scholten tried to prove that this document is not authentic. Hilgenfeld calls this attemptdesperate adventure.We will add: and useless even if successful; because Ireneo's letter to Victor, which no one wants to dispute, remains and suffices. Furthermore, there is nothing weaker than the arguments with which Scholten seeks to justify this act of critical violence. Only one real reason emerges from the admission: if the epistle were authentic, Polycarp's personal relationship with the apostle John could no longer be denied. Very good! we can say that the authenticity of this letter remains unchallenged, and by Scholten's own admission, Polycarp's personal relationship with John cannot be denied.

But it is claimed that since the Apocalypse assumes the death of all the apostles as a fait accompli, and that in the year 68 the apostle John could not have been alive in the year 100. And then what are the words of The Apocalypse of the Apostles, from which the death of all the Apostles is concluded? They read as follows, according to the now established text (John 18:20): “Rejoice, O heavens, and ye saints, apostles, and prophets (οἱ ἅγιοι καὶ οἱ ἅπόστολοι καὶ οἱ προφῆται), for God hath avenged himself unto him on earth. This passage certainly proves that at the time of the writing of the Apocalypse there were a certain number of saints, apostles and prophets in heaven who had been martyred. But these apostles are so far from itatthe apostles should be like these saintsatthe Holy!

With this, the objections to the unanimously authenticated historical fact of John's stay in Asia, about which critical prejudices arose, no longer apply.

Tradition not only attests to John's sojourn in Asia in general; he also enumerates many specific incidents that have been reinforced but perhaps not entirely fabricated. In any case, these anecdotes imply a deep-rooted belief in the reality of this residence.

There is, for example, the encounter of John with the heretic Cerinthus in a public bath in Ephesus. "There are still lifes," says Irineu (Erw. Arkansas.3.4), "People who heard Polycarp report that John, after entering a bath house in Ephesus and seeing Cerinthus there, suddenly withdrew without having bathed and said: Let us go out, lest the house collapse because of Cerinthus, the enemy of truth, is here." This well-witnessed incident recalls the vividness of the impressions upon the young apostle who denied the right to healing in the name of Jesus to the believer who did not go outside with the apostles, or who wished to call down fire from heaven hostile to the criminal career he had embarked on. This episode evokes the ardor of love of the young disciple who, at his first encounter with Jesus, gave himself completely to him and to himHis friend.

Clement says that after the death of the tyrant of Patmos, the apostle returned to Ephesus. Tertullian (From the predisposition. Airw. 36) reports that this exile was preceded by a trip to Rome; and adds the following detail: "After being dipped in boiling oil and coming out safe and sound, the apostle was banished to an island." According to Irenaeus, the tyrant seems to have been Domitian. Some scholars claim that a reminder of this punishment suffered by John is found in the epithetwitnessmartyr) given by Polycrates. But perhaps there is only a fiction in this story, from which the words of Jesus to the two sons of Zebedee may have emerged: “You are baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized”, words whose literal realization is sought in vain in life Jesus John. As for the exile on Patmos, one can also assume that this story is just a conclusionRevelation 1:0. However, Eusebio says: “It is said to be tradition(λόγος ἔχει);' and as history proves the fact of such exiles under Domitian and just for the crime of the Christian faith, there may well be more than the product of an exegetical combination. Epiphanius places this banishment and the writing of the Apocalypse in the reign of Claudius (from the years 41 to 54). This date is downright absurd because at that time the churches in Asia Minor to which the apocalypse is addressed did not yet exist. Renan suggested that the legend of John's martyrdom might have arisen from the fact that this apostle had to pass judgment in Rome at the same time as Peter and Paul. But this hypothesis is not sufficiently supported. Finally, according to Augustine, he drank a poisoned cup without feeling harm, and according to the anti-Montanist writer Apollonius (c. 180), John raised a dead man in Ephesus (Eusebius, John 5:18); two legends that can be linked to Matthew 10:8 andMarkus 16:18. Steitz suspected that the latter was just a variation of the story of the young bandit who was saved from sinking by John.

Clement of Alexandria thus describes the apostle's building and organizational work in Asia: "He visited the churches, appointed bishops and arranged matters." Rothe, Thiersch and Neander themselves ascribe to him the very stable church constitution of Asia Minor in the second century, traces of which we can trace found already in the apocalypse (the angelof the Church) and a little later in the letters of Ignatius. History thus proves the fact of a visit to these churches by an important apostle like Saint John, who crowned the edifice built by Paul. But the finest monument of John's visit to these regions is the maturity of faith and Christian life to which his ministry raised the churches of Asia. Polycrates, in his enthusiastic and symbolic language, represents for us St. John at this time in his life, wearing, like the Jewish high priest, the golden plate inscribed "Holiness to the Lord" on his forehead. "John," he says, "who rested in the bosom of the Lord and became the priest, bearing the golden plate, both witness and teacher." An attempt was made to find absurdity in this passage by taking it literally; but the thought of the old bishop is clear: John, the last survivor of the apostolate, had made the impression in the Church of Asia of a pope whose brow shone with the brightness of Christ's holiness. It is not impossible that in these three titles that Polycrates gives him, Polycrates alludes to the three main books attributed to him: inKaplanwith the priestly front for the apocalypse; in that ofwitness, to the gospel; in that ofLehrer, to the letter.

For Simão Pedro, the time to work came first; he had founded the Church in Israel and planted the banner of the new covenant on the ruins of the theocracy. Paul had followed him: it had been his work to free the church from the shackles of decadent Judaism and to open the door of the kingdom of God to the Gentiles. They were followed by John, who came to Jesus first and whom his Master saved for last. He achieved the fusion of those heterogeneous elements from which the Church was formed, and elevated Christianity to the relative perfection to which it was then receptive.

According to all records, John never had any other wife than the Lord's Church, nor any family other than those whom he calls "my children" in his letters. Hence the nicknamevirgin(ὀ parthenios), for whom it is sometimes referred (Epiphanius and Augustine).

We find an anecdote from Juan Casiano that describes well the memory he left in Asia.

V. The Death of Saint John.

All the Fathers' statements about the end of Juan's career agree that his life stretched to the limit of old age. Jerome (Ep. on Galatians 6:10) reports that after he had reached a very old age and was too weak to speak any longer to the meetings of the church, he was carried thither by the young men, and that, having lost the strength to speak much, he contented himself with saying, "My children, love one another." And when asked why he keeps repeating that one word, his answer was, "Because it is the commandment of the Lord, and if it is done, it is enough." According to Hieronymus himself, he died 68 years after the Passion of the Lord, i.e. around the year 100, oppressed by old age. Irenaeus says "that he lived up to the time of Trajan", which is after the year 98. According to Suidas, he lived to be one hundred and twenty years old. Polycrates' letter proves that he was buried in Ephesus (οὗτος ἐν᾿Εφέσῳ κεκοίμηται). In this city also two tombs were shown, each said to be that of the apostle (Eusebius,IS.7,25; Jerome,the sick front., w. 9), and on the basis of this fact Eusebius tries to advance the hypothesis of a second John calledThe old, contemporary of the apostle. It had also come up with the idea of ​​relieving John of the need to pay the joint death toll. The words that Jesus addressed to him (John 21:22) are quoted: "If I want him to stay until I come, what about you?" And we learn from Saint Augustine that even his death was this strange idea didn't let it go away. In Treatise 124 of the Gospel of John he reports that according to some the apostle still lived peacefully asleep in his tomb, evidenced by the fact that the earth was gently moving with his breath. Isidoro de Sevilla relates that Juan had his tomb dug when he felt the day of his departure had come; and when he said goodbye to his brothers, he lay down on it as if it were a bed, which he believes leads some to claim that he is still alive. Some went further and claimed that he was assumed into heaven, like Enoch and Elijah.

A more important fact would be related in a fragment of the chronicle of Georgius Hamarto=der (9th century) edited by Nolte. “After Domitian, Nerva reigned for a year, who, after expelling John from the island, allowed him to inhabit Ephesus (ἀπέλυσεν οἰκεῖν ἐν᾿Εφέσῳ). The only survivor of the twelve disciples, after writing his gospel, he was found worthy of martyrdom; for Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, who testified to the fact (αὐτόπτης τούτου γενόμενος), recorded in the second book of thespeeches of the Lordwho was killed by the Jews (ὅτι ὑπὸ᾿Ιουδαίων ἀνῃρέθη), thus fulfilling, like his brother, the word that Christ had said about him: You will drink the cup that I must drink. And the learned Origen also confirms in his interpretation of Matthew that John suffered martyrdom in this way.

Keim and Holtzmann immediately regarded this event as conclusive and without hesitation placed it in Palestine because there was a cluethe Jews, they extracted aundeniableEvidence against John's residence in Asia Minor. This approach proves only one thing: the credulity of science when it comes to proving what it wants. And first, weren't Jews in Ephesus also capable of killing the apostle? So the fragment itself does not place the scene in Asia: “Nerva allowed John to returnto Ephesus"Besides, it's like being awitnessof the scene reported by Papias. So Papias lived in Palestine? After all, supposing that this account displeased the critics and contradicted their system, they would surely wonder how it is possible that none of the fathers who owned his book knew about it, if Papias' work really contained this passage. alleged martyrdom of John, or did he mention it? They would tell us that Hamart's quote of Origen is wrong, because that father certainly reports exile to Patmos, but no more; etc. etc. And if so, your criticism would certainly be justified. All unbiased scholars have admitted that the chronicler was holding a false Papias or an interpolated Papias. But definitely if we keep this point in mind:murdered by JewsIt is logical to see how in the testimony that Papías gives of this facteyewitness, sure evidence of the personal relationship between Papias and the apostle in Asia Minor. And yet Keim and Holtzmann find the means to see the exact opposite!

We conclude that if John was, as can be assumed, between twenty and twenty-five years old when he was called by Jesus around the year 30, he was between ninety and ninety-five around the year 100, three years after Trajan's accession to the throne old The Tron. There's nothing improbable about that. Consequently he may have had personal connections with Polycarps and Papias, born about the year 70, and with many other still younger presbyters who, Irenaeus says,love to lovewhile he lived in Asia until the time of Trajan.

MOUNTAINS. John's character.

Burning affection, lively intuition, these seem to have been the two dominant traits in Juan's nature from the emotional and intellectual standpoints. These two tendencies must have worked together strongly to produce the close personal union that arose between the disciple and his master. Loving, Juan thought, and the more he thought, the more he loved. He was absorbed by this intuition of love and drew his inner life from it. Therefore he does not analyze faith and its object like Paul did. "John doesn't argue," he says of Pressense, "he asserts." It is enough for him to tell the truth so that those who love him may receive it as he received it himself, more through direct intuition than through reason . To the apostle John we can apply in the highest degree what Renan said of the Semite: "He works by intuition, not by deduction." With a leap, John's heart reached the radiant height where faith is enthroned. He already feels in absolute possession of victory: "He who is born of God sins not." The ideal is his, realized in the one he loves and believes in.

Pedro was distinguished by his original practical power, which was incompatible with delicate receptivity. With active energy and supreme practical skill, Paul combined the penetrating power of an incomparable dialectic. For although he was a Semite, he spent his early years in one of the most brilliant centers of Hellenic culture, and there acquired the sharp forms of the western mind. John is completely different from the two. He could not have laid the foundation of the Christian work like Peter; he could not have fought against Jewish rabbinism with dialectical sensitivity like Paul and composed the letters to the Galatians and the Romans. But in the last period of the Apostolic Age it was he who took it upon himself to complete the work of developing the primitive Church which St. Peter had founded and St. Paul emancipated. He bequeathed to the world three works in which he raised to their sublime perfection these three supreme intuitions of the Christian life: that of the person of Christ in the gospel; that of the individual believer in the first epistle; and that of the Church in the Apocalypse. Same theme in three aspects: divine life realized in man, time-filling eternity. An expression of John himself summarizes and unites these three works:eternal life that dwells in us.This life appears in a state of full realization in the first, progress and struggle in the other two. Through his writings and his person, John is like an earthly foretaste of the divine feast.


Biedermann, en suChristian dogmatics(p. 254), calls the Fourth Gospel "the most marvelous of all religious books." And he adds: "From one end of this work to the other, the deepest religious truth and the most fantastic monstrosity are found not only in the other, but also in the other." Neither this admiration nor this contempt can surprise us. For the Johannine conception possesses in the highest degree these two features, one of which repels pantheism and the other attracts it: the transcendence of the divine personality and the immanence of perfect life in finite being.

Chapter One: Analysis.

We do not intend here to discuss the various levels of the Johannine narrative proposed by the commentators. We will only give the development of the narrative as it emerges from a close study of the book itself.

UE.The narration is preceded by aPreamblewhich, as the interpreters almost unanimously acknowledge, contains the first eighteen verses of the first chapter. In this introduction the author sets out the sublime greatness and vital importance of the subject he is about to deal with. Indeed, this matter is nothing less than the appearance of the perfect revealer in Jesus, the communication of God's own life to mankind in His person. reject itWord made fleshSin and misfortune will thus prevail, as the example of the rebellious Jews shows; to receive it will be to know and possess God, as the experience of all believers, Jew and Gentile, already shows. The three aspects of the gospel fact are therefore emphasized in this prologue: 1. TheWortas agent of divine work; 2. Therejectionof word, by deedUnbelief;3. OSwitchgiven to the Word by the act ofzB.The first of these three ideas is the dominant one inJuan 1:1-5; the second insideJuan 1:6-11; the third insideJuan 1:12-18. But we must not regard these three aspects of the following narrative as equally important. The original and fundamental fact of this story is the appearance and manifestation of the Word. On this enduring basis, the two secondary facts are presented to alternately see disbelief and belief, the progressive manifestations of which determine the phases of the narrative.

II.ÖNarrativebegins with the story of the three days,Juan 1:19-42, in which the work of the Son of God began on earth and in the heart of the evangelist, if true, as most expositors admit, Andrew's anonymous companion,Juan 1:35ss., is none other than the author himself.

On the first day, before an official Sanhedrin delegation, John the Baptist proclaimed the amazing fact of the real presence of the Messiah among the people: "There is one among you whom you do not know" (John 1:26). The next day he personally points out to Jesus two of his disciples as the one of whom he wanted to speak; On the third day, he makes so much effort to tell them what he had said the day before that the two disciples decide to follow Jesus. This day also becomes the birthday of faith. Both recognize the messianic dignity of Jesus. Then Andrew brought Simon his brother to Jesus; a little clueJuan 1:42(see Exegesis) seems to indicate that the other student also brings his own brother (James, John's brother). The first nucleus of the society of believers is formed.

Three days follow (John 1:43 to John 2:11); the first two result in the addition of two new believers, Philip and Nathanael, to the previous three or four; the third day, the wedding day at Cana, serves to strengthen everyone's budding faith. Thus the faith born of the witness of the forerunner and of the first disciples' contact with Jesus himself is prolonged and confirmed by the growing spectacle of his glory (John 2:11).

Returning to Galilee and still surrounded by his family, Jesus left Nazareth and settled in Capernaum, a much better suited city to become the center of his ministry (John 2:12).

But the Easter party is coming. The time has come for Jesus to begin the messianic work in the theocratic capital of Jerusalem.Juan 2:13-22. From that moment on he calls his disciples to accompany him constantly (John 2:17). The cleansing of the temple is an important appeal to the conscience of every Israelite; the people and their rulers are invited by this bold act to work all together in the spiritual uplift of the theocracy under the leadership of Jesus. If the people gave in to this impulse, everything would be won. Instead, they stay cool. This is the sign of secret hostility. The future victory of unbelief has been decided in principle, so to speak. Jesus recognizes and reveals the seriousness of this moment with a deep word (John 2:19).

However, some symptoms of faith appear in the face of this growing opposition (John 2:23 to John 3:21); but a carnal garter interferes with this good movement. and howa miracle workerthat Jesus draws attention. It is not a remarkable example of this beliefzBhe appears in the person of Nicodemus, Pharisee, member of the Sanhedrin. Like several of his colleagues and many other believers in the capital, he recognizes a divine mission befitting Jesus, as evidenced by his miracles (John 3:2). Jesus tries to give him a purer understanding of the person and the work of the Messiah than is derived from the Pharisaic teaching, and with this hopeful farewell (John 2:21) he sends him to the light. The continuation of the gospel will show the fulfillment of this promise; DraftJuan 7:50SS.;Juan 19:39itself.

These few beliefs, however, do not counteract the great fact of growing national unbelief. This tragic event is the subject of a final testimony that John the Baptist gives to Jesus before leaving the scene (John 3:22-36). Both baptize in Judea; John uses this proximity to proclaim him again as the husband of Israel. Then, in the face of the marked indifference of the people and the rulers towards the Messiah, he expresses that ominous final echo of the thunders of Sinai, the last word of the Old Testament (John 3:36): "He that disobeys the Son you do not see life; but the wrath of God abides upon him.

On the occasion of this momentary simultaneity of the two offices of Jesus and John, the evangelist makes the following surprising observation (John 3:24): "Because John had not yet been thrown into prison." Nothing in the above narrative could have led to the assumption that John had already had been arrested. Why this baseless declaration? Surely the author wants to correct an opposite opinion that he suspects in the minds of his readers. The comparison with Mat 4:12 and Mar 1:14 explains this incidentally introduced correction.

Against this general disbelief on the one hand and this lack of faith on the other is the spectacle of a whole city receiving Jesus by faith, without the help of a miracle, as all Israel should have received him. And it is Samaria that sets this example of faith (John 4:1-42). It is the beginning of the future destiny of the gospel in the world.

Jesus returns to Galilee a second time (John 4:43-54). The reception He finds among His countrymen is more favorable than that found in Judea; they are honored by the stir their fellow citizen has created in the capital. But it's always the miracle worker whomiracle workerwhom they praise in Him. As an example of this disposition, the healing of the son of an eminent person who was hurrying from Capernaum to Cana at the first news of Jesus' arrival is told.

We also find here a remark (John 4:54) designed to combat a misconception to which the preceding narrative could not have given rise: the confusion between the two returnees to Galilee that had been mentioned earlier ( John 1:44 and John 4:3). The author brings the distinction between these two arrivals by the difference in the two miracles, both performed at Cana, which marked them. The source of the confusion he seeks to dispel is easy to see: it lies in the narrative of our Synoptics; Draft In addition to the passages already quotedLukas 4:14(along with all context that precedes and follows).

So far we have seen the work of Jesus gradually expanding to all parts of the Holy Land, and we have various manifestations of true faith (among the disciples and inhabitants of Sychar) or faith mixed with a carnal alloy (among the believers) seen from Jerusalem and Galilee) or from the indifference or total disbelief (in Jerusalem and Judea) it aroused. We believe it is the evangelist's idea to pause in the narrative here at the end of the fourth chapter. Up to now we have only had a preparatory period in which various moral phenomena have been announced instead of clearly emphasizing them. A cap change is made. 5 off. The general movement, especially in Jerusalem, is in the direction of unbelief; continues to rise to the end of ch. 12, where it reaches its temporary limit. Here the author looks back to look for the causes of this moral catastrophe and to point out its incurable gravity. So what from chap. 5 to the end of chap. 12, forms the third part of the book, the second part of the actual narrative.

thirdThe Development of National Unbelief (chap. 5-12). Although Jesus had decided to leave Judea as a result of a malicious report to the Pharisees about his work in that region (Juan 4:1; John 4:3), from chap. 5 we find him again in Jerusalem. He wanted to make another attempt in this capital. For this he uses one of the national holidays, probably Purim, which was celebrated a month before Easter; His intention was undoubtedly to extend his stay in the capital until this last party if possible. But the healing of the paralytic on Saturday exploded the hidden hatred of those in power against him; and when he justifies himself by asserting his filial duty to cooperate in the work of redemption which his father is doing, their indignation knows no bounds; He is accused of blasphemy for making himself equal to God. Jesus defends himself by showing that this alleged equality with God is in fact the deepest dependence on God.

Then, in support of this testimony which he himself gives, he cites not only that of John the Baptist, but especially that of the Father, firstly in the wonderful works that he gives him to do, and secondly, especially in Sacred Scripture. , in the writings of Moses, in whose name he is accused. By this defense, given irresistible strength by the miracle recently wrought, he escapes present danger; but he must immediately leave Judea, which remains closed to him for a long time.

in chap. 6 So we find him again in Galilee. Easter is near (John 6:4). Jesus cannot go to Jerusalem to celebrate. But God is preparing an equivalent in Galilee for both himself and his disciples. He goes with them to a deserted place; Crowds follow him there; He receives her with compassion and improvises a divine feast for her (the multiplication of the loaves). People are excited; but it is not the hunger and thirst for justice that excites them; it is the expectation of earthly joys and the greatness of the messianic kingdom that seems at hand; they wishto make him king(John 6:15). Jesus knows the danger with which this carnal enthusiasm threatens his work. And knowing how open his apostles are still to this spirit of error, and perhaps recognizing in some of them the author of this movement, he hastens to separate them from the people and send them back across the sea. He himself stays alone with the crowd to calm them down; then he returns to entrust his work to the Father in solitude, and then he walks on the water and joins his disciples fighting against the wind; and the next day, in the synagogue of Capernaum, where the people meet him, he speaks in a way to cool his false zeal. He makes them understand that He is by no means the Messiah they seek, that He is "the bread of heaven" designed to feed spiritually hungry souls. He carries his resistance to accepted ideas so far that almost the entire host of his disciples who habitually follow him break with him. Not satisfied with this purification, Jesus wants to make it penetrate even further, even into the circle of the twelve, to whom he boldly also gives freedom to withdraw. We can understand that he opened the door in this way especially to Judah, the representative of the messianic flesh idea among the twelve; the same evangelist comments at the end of this unique story (John 6:70-71).

A whole summer goes by from which we learn nothing. The Feast of Tabernacles draws near (chap. 7). Jesus has an interview with his brothers; They are amazed that, having already stopped going to Jerusalem to celebrate the two feasts of Easter and Pentecost, he does not want to recognize this in order to reveal himself to his followers in Judea as well. He replies that the time has not yet come for his public manifestation as the Messiah. That moment, He well knows, will inevitably be that of His death; now his work is not finished. But he goes to Jerusalem, but secretly, so to speak, and only in the midst of society; So he surprises the authorities and gives them no time to take action against him. On the last and great day of the festival, he compares himself to the rock in the desert, whose water once quenched the thirst of powerless people. Lively discussions about him break out among his listeners, with every word he says he is interrupted by his adversaries, and although some of his listeners recognize him as a prophet, some even declare him to be the Christ, he is obliged to accuse others of have inspired feelings towards. who is a liar and a murderer from the start. All the speeches that fill the caps. 7 and 8 are summed up, he says, in these two words:judgementmia testimony;Judgment on the moral condition of the people, testimony to their own messianic and divine character. A first legal action is taken against him: the authorities send officials to arrest him in the temple where he is speaking (John 7:32). But the power of His Word over their conscience, and the power of public opinion, even favorable to Jesus, bind them; they return without laying hands on him (John 7:45). The rulers then take a new step. They declare all who accept Jesus as the Messiah to be excommunicated from the synagogue (cf. Jn 9:22); and on the basis of one of his words, which strikes them as blasphemy ("Before Abraham was, I am", Jn 8:58), they make a first attempt to stone him.

Chapter 9 also refers to this sojourn at the Feast of Tabernacles. A new miracle on Saturday, the healing of the blind from birth, drove those in power to despair. In the name of the legal system, this miraclehe mustI don't know,can nothe was. The blind man argues backwards: the miracleEs;therefore the Sabbath was not broken. This uncertain conflict ends with the violent expulsion of the blind man. Jesus reveals his divine character to this man and, having healed him of his double blindness, accepts him among his own. Then in chap. 10, describes himself as the divine shepherd bringing his own sheep out of the ancient theocratic fold to bring them to life while the bulk of the flock is led to the slaughterhouse by those who represented their leaders and teachers. Finally, he heralds the addition of new sheep from other folds to his flock (John 10:16). Listening to this speech, there is an even clearer division among the people, between His opponents and His supporters (John 10:19-21).

Three months passed; the evangelist does not speak of the use made of them. It cannot be assumed that Jesus spent the whole time in Jerusalem or even in Judea. The one who could only show up in Jerusalem by surprise before the scenes of this character. He undoubtedly returned to Galilee. At the end of December, Jesus goes to the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22-39). The Jews surround him, determined to wrest from him the great statement: "Tell us if you are the Christ." Jesus, as always, affirms the matter by avoiding the word. It emphasizes his perfect union with the Father, which necessarily implies his messianic character. Enemies are already gathering rocks to stone him. Jesus lets them fall from his hands with this question (John 10:32): “I have shown you many good works from my Father; what are you stoning me for He knew full well that it was his two earlier miracles (chapters 5 and 9) that made his hatred overflow. He then appeals to the charge of blasphemy of the divine character which the Old Testament itself ascribes to theocratic authorities, a fact that should prepare Israel to believe in the divine character of the Supreme Messenger, the Messiah.

From Jerusalem Jesus goes to Perea, to the regions where John baptized, to the region that was the cradle of his ministry (John 10:40-42).

There (chap. 11) the call of the sisters of Lazarus reaches him. We were surprised to see (John 10:1) that Bethany was referred to asthe city of Mary and Martha.Since these two sisters have not yet been named, how can their mention serve to give the reader information about the city? In fact, here too it must be admitted that the author alludes to other traditions that he assumes are known to the readers (cf.Lukas 10:38-42; then also John 11:2 with Mat 26:6-13 and Mar 14:3-9). The miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus completes that for which the previous two had prepared the way. He ripens the plans of Jesus' enemies. At the suggestion of Caiaphas (John 11:49-50), the Sanhedrin decides to get rid of the impostor. And when Jesus retreats north near a remote city called Ephraim, the rulers finally decide to take the first public action against him. Every Israelite is called to say where Jesus is found (John 11:57). Perhaps at that moment the first thought of betrayal entered the heart of Judas. A little later, six days before Easter, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem; He stops in Bethany, where he discovers the first manifestation of Judas' murderous hatred at a party given to him by his friends (John 12:4-5).

The next day Jesus' royal entry into his capital takes place; This event fulfills the wish of His brothers expressed six months earlier. His miracles, especially the raising of Lazarus, excited to the utmost the enthusiasm of the pilgrims who came to the festival; the rulers are paralyzed, so to speak, and do nothing. This is how the great messianic act is fulfilled, through which Jesus said at least once publicly to Israel: "Behold, your king". But at the same time, the anger of his adversaries is intensified (John 12:9-19). According to John, the raising of Lazarus and the resulting public homage were the two immediate causes of the long-awaited catastrophe.

Jesus was not unaware of this; He didn't care. He was given the opportunity to express in the temple itself the impressions of his heart in those days when he saw the end drawing near. Certain Greeks asked to speak to him (John 12:20). Like an instrument whose strung strings resonate at the first touch of the bow, his soul answered that call. The Greek? Yes, of couse; the Gentile world is about to open up; Satan's power is about to collapse in this vast empire of the Gentile world to give way to the power of the divine monarch. But words do not suffice for such a work; death is necessary. From the height of the instrument of punishment, Jesus will draw all men to Himself, and what dread does that cursed prospect terrify Him! Even your soul is moveddisturbedfor this reason. Only John has preserved the story of this extraordinary hour for us. It was the end of his public work. After challenging the Jews once again to believe in the light that was to be hidden from them, he "went away," he says, "and hid himself from them" (John 12:36).

At this point the evangelist turns his attention to the path he has covered, to Jesus' public work in Israel. He wonders how the unbelief of the Jews could withstand so many and such great miracles (Juan 12:37ss.), so many and so powerful teachings (Juan 12:44s.).

However, this general blindness was not universal (John 12:42). Divine light has entered many hearts, even among members of the Sanhedrin; only the fear of the Pharisees prevented them from professing their faith. Even in that part of the Gospel devoted to tracing the progress of national unbelief, the element of faith is not entirely absent. Throughout history we can trace the steps of a parallel development of faith, albeit subordinate to that of unbelief: as in Peter's Confession, chap. 6; at the election that takes place in Jerusalem (chap. 7, 8); in the blind from birth in chap. 9, and in that of those sheep, in chap. 10 who follow him out of the theocratic fold at the shepherd's call; finally to the numerous followers at Bethany and to the crowd that accompanied Jesus on Palm Sunday. These are the hearts that are ready to plant the Pentecostal church.

4.From chap. 5, we saw the tide of unbelief take over, then, from ch. 13 belief in the person of the disciples becomes the dominant element of the story; and that until that faith has reached its relative perfection and can give thanks to Jesus for the finished work (chap. 17). This development is brought about by manifestations, no longer of power, but of love and light. First of all, there is the washing of feet, to make them understand that true glory is to be found in ministry, and to pluck from their hearts the false messianic ideal which in this sense still hid from them the divine thought realized. with Jesus. . . Then there are the speeches in which he explains to them in words what he has just revealed to them in facts.

First, it calms their thoughts about the impending separation (John 13:31 to John 14:31); a close encounter will follow, His spiritual return. For death will be the way to glory for Him, and if you cannot follow Him now in perfect communion with the Father, you can do so later on the way He will open for you. In the meantime, through the power he gives you, you will do in his place the work that only he could prepare you to do. If you love him, rejoice in his departure instead of sadness, and accept his peace as your final farewell. Later, Jesus puts them in their minds to the time when they will live in him through the bond of the Holy Spirit and he in them, like a branch on a vine (Jn 15:1 to Jn 16:15). ; He reminds them of the only obligation of this new condition,stay tunedby obedience to his will; then he unreservedly describes to them the hostile relationship that will form between them and the world; but he also reveals to them the power that will fight through them and by which they will conquer; The ghost,who will glorify him in them.In conclusion (John 16:16-33) He finally returns to this impending separation that troubles his mind so sadly. It vividly shows its brevity as well as its great results. And to sum up the object of his faith in these four sentences that answer one another (John 16:28): “I came from the Father and came into the world; and now I leave the world and go to the Father,” illuminates their thoughts with such vivid clarity that the promised day seems to have come, that of the Holy Spirit, and they exclaim: “We believe that you have come from God! Jesus answers them:You finally believe!And to this creed he adds in chap. 17, the seal of thanksgiving and prayer. He asks the Father to restore him to his indispensable state of glory so that he may bestow eternal life on those who believe in him on earth. He thanks you for winning these eleven men; Pray for their preservation and their total consecration to the work entrusted to them. Finally, he intercedes for the whole world, to whom his word must bring salvation. This sentence from chap. 17 sums up in the most solemn way the work done in the chapters of his disciples. 13-17, as well as the review at the end of chap. 12 summarized the development of unbelief in the nation and among its rulers (chap. 5-12). But just as the element of faith was not lacking in the part describing unbelief, the fact of unbelief is also found in this picture of the development of faith. He is represented in the closest circle of disciples by the traitor, whose presence in chap. 13. The departure of Judas (17:30) marks the moment when this impure element finally gives way to the spirit of Jesus.

The story of Jesus contains more and other things than the revelation of God's character and the impressions of faith and unbelief that this revelation evokes in man. The essential fact of this story is the accomplished work of atonement, preparing the way for God's own life to be communicated to believers. For this reason, in addition to the framework of his teaching ministry, the story of Jesus contains the account of his death and resurrection. Through these ultimate facts, faith will come into full possession of its object and reach its full maturity, just as through them will the rejection, which is the final unbelief, be accomplished.

v.The whole passion story, in chap. 18 and 19, is told from the point of view of Jewish unbelief, which found its consummation in the death of the Messiah. This part is linked to the previous one, which tells the development of this unbelief (5-12). From the outset we note the complete omission of the Gethsemane scene; but after the numerous allusions to the synoptic accounts which we have already made, these words: “After he had said these things, he went out with his disciples over the brook Kidron.in a garden which he entered with his disciples", can only be interpreted as a reference to the description of this struggle known from earlier writings. Then follows the deliverance of the disciples through the powerful impact of the words "It is I." At the stroke of the sword of the servant of the high priest, Peter and Malchus are only mentioned by name in this gospel. The story of Jesus' trial mentions only the preliminary investigation that took place in the house of Annas. But by expressly designating this court appearance as theFirst(Juan 18:13: "The AnnasFirst'), although a second one is unrelated, and when it refers to the sending of Jesus to Caiaphas (Juan 18:24: "Anas sent Jesus bound to the high priest Caiaphas"), the evangelist insinuates with the greatest possible clarity that he suspects that other reports are known that complete what is missing in his.

Saint Peter's three denials are unrelated; but they are, as indeed they must have been, interwoven with the stages of Jesus' trial (John 18:15-27). The description of the appearance before Pilate (John 18:28 to John 19:16) reveals with admirable accuracy the daring and cunning tactics of the Jews. The instinct for truth and respect for the mysterious person of Jesus that restrains Pilate until he finally gives in to the demands of self-interest, the subterfuge of the Jews who shamelessly jump from one charge to the next and finally squeeze Pilate through them what they fear despairing of getting from him in the name of justice, but who win this shameful victory only by abandoning their dearest hope and joining as vassals to the pagan empire (Juan 19:15: "We have no king but Caesar"), all of this is portrayed with unparalleled expertise. This is perhaps the masterpiece of the Johannine narrative.

One feature of the story is particularly noteworthy. InJuan 18:28, the Jews are unwilling to enter Pilate's palace "not to defile themselves, but to eat the Passover." According to our gospel, Easter was not yet celebrated on the day of Christ's death; it would only take place at night. Hence it was the 14th of Nisan, the day ofthe preparationEaster This circumstance is so consciously emphasized in several other places (Juan 13:1;Juan 13:29;Juan 19:31, etc.), which leads us to think of other narratives that place Christ's death only in thethe followingDay 15 Nisan, and after the Easter supper. Well, that's what the synoptic account seems to do. A new proof of the enduring relationship between the two narratives.

In the picture of the Crucifixion, Jesus' beloved disciple, that mysterious figure who had already played a rather peculiar role the previous night, stands alone among the disciples next to the cross. Jesus entrusts his mother to him. He is also the one who sees water and blood flowing from the pierced side of Jesus and who confirms in this one fact the simultaneous fulfillment of two prophecies.

VI.The story of the resurrection (chap. 20) contains the description of three apparitions that took place in Judea: that given to Mary Magdalene in the tomb; the one that took place at night in the presence of all the disciples and in which Jesus renewed his commission to the apostles and gave them the first fruits of Pentecost; and finally, what happened eight days later, in which Thomas's stubborn unbelief was overcome. From this it can be seen that, just as the element of faith is not entirely absent in the Passion scenes (suffice it to recall the roles of the disciples loved by Jesus, the women, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus), so too is the element of unbelief not present, most missing in the part intended to describe the final triumph of faith. The cry of worship uttered by Thomas: "My Lord and my God!" in which the faith of the most unbelieving of all disciples suddenly takes the boldest flight and, as described in the prologue, fully reaches the height of its divine goal, forms the conclusion of the story. This is how the end connects to the starting point.

These three aspects of gospel fact, already indicated in the Prologue: the Son of God, the unbelief of the Jews, and the faith of the Church, are therefore now dealt with in detail; the topic is out of date.

VIII.The last two verses of chap. 20 is the end of the book. The author declares the proposed object in it. It's not the whole story I wanted to tell; it is, as we have proved ourselves, the selection of a certain number of points designed to inspire in the reader faith in the messianism and divinity of Jesus, a faith in which they will find life as he did himself has found.

VIII.Individually. 21 is an addition as a result of the above. Is it by the author? The positives and negatives continue to be maintained. It is a matter of very little importance; for even if it is by another author, he has done nothing but write a story which has come from the author's lips many times; so similar is the style and narrative to that of the book itself. This appendix must have been added very early and before the publication of the work, as it is not absent from any manuscript or version. Complete the story of Jesus' appearances by telling an appearance in Galilee. Through a symbolic act that follows on from their previous worldly activity, Jesus gives the disciples the assurance of the great success that they will achieve in their future apostolate (John 21:1-14). He then restores Peter to that office and announces his future martyrdom, by which he will completely erase the stain of his denial. The author takes this opportunity to recover the exact tenor of a phrase that Jesus uttered on that occasion about the disciple he loved; It was falsely reported that he said that this student would not die.

In this appendix we readily notice a division alien to the rest of the gospel. It is an inconsistent narrative whose unity can only be somewhat artificially created. It is to be seen as an amalgamation of different reminiscences that came out of the narrator's mouth on different occasions.

Juan 21:24-25, which close this appendix are undeniably by a hand other than that of the Gospel writer. "We know“, it says on behalf of several. The singular is undoubtedly making a comebackJuan 21:25: „I guess.“But the one who speaks thus in his own name is none other than the member of the aforesaid collective body (John 21:24) holding the pen for his fellows. Suddenly they testify (John 21:24) with their pen (John 21:25) that Jesus' most beloved disciple is the one "who testified to these things and wrote them down". The contrast between the presentwitnessand the pasthe wrote, it follows of course that the authors of these lines added them during the author's lifetime and after the completion of his work.

The entire book therefore consists ofandParts of itcincothey form the main part of the story or narrative itself;likeforms the preamble:likeConclusion: TheOctaveis an addition

The abiding basis of the story told is the revelation of Jesus as Messiah and Son of God (John 20:30-31). Building on this, they initially appear confused (John 1:19 aJuan 4:53.), then more and more clearly these two crucial moral facts: unbelief and belief; unbelief, which rejects the object of faith as it is more fully revealed (John 5-12), and faith which takes hold of it with increasing enthusiasm (John 13-17); unbelief that comes to try to destroy it (John 18-19), and faith that finally possesses it in its glorious majesty (Juan 20:0).

This disclosure alone would be sufficient to rule out any hypothesis contrary to the unity of the work. The Fourth Gospel is indeed, in Strauss' phrase, "the seamless garment around which lots may be cast, but which cannot be parted". It is an admirably degraded and shadowed picture of the development of unbelief and belief in the Word made flesh.

Chapter Two: Characteristics of the Fourth Gospel.

BEFORE we turn to the questions pertaining to the manner in which our gospel was composed, we should be precise not only about the content of the work, but also about its nature, tendency, and literary characteristics. . We must now devote ourselves to this study. It is all the more indispensable because in modern times completely different ideas have emerged on these various topics than was customary in the past.

Thus Reuss maintained and maintains in his early works that the direction of the Fourth Gospel is not historical but purely theological. The author prefaced his book with a speculative idea; We see from his own narrative, and by comparing it with that of the Synoptics, that he is not afraid to modify the facts in the service of this idea, and he develops it more clearly in the discourses he puts into the mouth of Jesus, and the den make up most of your book.

Baur shares this opinion. In his opinion, the Fourth Gospel is a purely speculative work. The few truly historical elements found in it are facts drawn from the synoptic tradition. germ also in hislife of Jesus, denies this work any historical value.

Another point that the two leaders of the Strasbourg and Tubingen schools tried to demonstrate is the anti-Jewish tendency of our gospel. It was generally believed that this work was related by respectful and compassionate faith to the revelations of the Old Testament and to all theocratic dispensations. These two critics have endeavored to prove that, in the author's opinion, there is no connection between Judaism and the gospel and that, on the contrary, there is a sense of hostility towards the entire Israeli economy in his book.

Therefore, let us first try to clarify the following three points as much as possible without meddling in questions of gospel authenticity and finality reserved for the Third Book.

1. The distinctive features of the Johannine narrative and its relation to that of the Synoptic Gospels.

2. The attitude this work takes towards the Old Testament.

3. The forms of ideas and style peculiar to him.

§ 1. The narrative of the fourth gospel.

Our examination here must relate to three points: the general idea of ​​the book; the facts; they talk

I. The dominant idea of ​​the work.

At the beginning of this narrative there is a general idea, the concept ofembodyLogos, which can actually be described as the dominant idea of ​​the entire narrative. This feature, it is claimed, profoundly distinguishes our gospel from the synoptic scriptures. The latter are nothing more than haphazard collections of isolated facts and loose phrases, and their historical character is evident; while this speculative term, placed here at the beginning of the gospel narrative, immediately denounces a dogmatic tendency and puts the stamp of an a on the whole booktheological treatise.Reuss even goes so far as to affirm this notionGospelit cannot be applied to this work in the sense in which it is applied to the other three when it comes to naming a history of Jesus' ministry. It is necessary to go back to the very spiritual sense that this term had at the beginning when, in the New Testament, it indicated the message of salvation itself, without the slightest notion of a historical interpretation of it.

This general estimate seems to me to be based on two errors. A dominant idea formulated in the prologue certainly informs and summarizes the narrative that follows. But is this a special feature of the fourth gospel? It is found in the first Gospel, which begins with these words and, as we have seen, contains a whole program: "Genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham". Needless to say, again, how this notion of Jesus' messianic kingship and His fulfillment of all the promises made to Israel in David and to the world in Abraham permeates even the smallest details of Matthew's narrative. The same is true of the Gospel of Mark, which begins with these words: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." This is the formula that sums up the entire story that follows: Jesus, in his life as Messiah-King, recognized the wisdom and power of a being who came from God. St. Luke himself did not express the idea that governs his book; yet it is easy to discover: the Son of man, the perfect representative of human nature, bringing God's salvation freely to all who bear the name of man. If the Fourth Gospel also has its original idea that the Son of God appeared in the form of the Son of Man, this characteristic by no means represents a “major difference” between this work and the Son of God, as is claimed. . . The central idea differs from these last three: that's all. Everyone has their own idea, because none of the four authors told their story for the sake of telling. They tell their story, each of them to emphasize an aspect of the person of Jesus that they present particularly to the faith of their readers. Everyone suggests not to satisfy curiosity, but to save money.

The second mistake related to Reuss's assessment is this: a general idea put at the beginning of a narrative can only spoil its historical character. It is not so. The description of the life and conquests of Alexander the Great became a didactic treatise because, as an introduction to the story, the author introduced that great idea that his hero was called to realize: the fusion of East and West exists very separate and hostile , in a civilized world? Or would the author of a life of Napoleon jeopardize the fidelity of his narrative by bringing it under the control of this idea: the restoration of France after the revolutionary storm? Or should one, in order to relate Luther's life according to today's truth, refrain from giving him the title The Church Reformer? Every great historical fact is the expression, the realization of an idea; and this idea constitutes the essence, the greatness, even the truth of the fact. Pointing this out early doesn't mean making it suspicious; is to make it understandable. Therefore, the presence of an idea at the beginning of a story does not preclude its historical character. The only question is whether this idea is true, whether it has evolved from fact or been introduced into it. Hase put it this way: “The nerve of the objection would be cut off if Jesus were really what our gospel teaches (the Word made flesh) in a metaphysical sense. I dare not say. And in line with the statement that Goethe puts in Faust's mouth: "I really know the message," he says, "but I lack the faith." Good and good! This lack of faith is an individual matter. But the writer confesses that irradiating an idea with a fact does not turn it into a myth. A fact without an idea is a body without a soul. Such a notion has no place except in the materialistic system.

So the prologue of the Gospel of John has nothing incompatible with the strictly historical character of the following narrative.

No, not necessarily, they say; but is it not to be feared that once the idea has taken hold of the author's mind, it will more or less profoundly affect the way in which he views and presents the facts? Couldn't he, in good faith, invent the situations and events that seemed most appropriate to illustrate his idea? Let's see if that's the case in our case.

II. The Facts.

Baur claimed that, with the exception of a small body of material from the Synoptics, the facts presented here are nothing more than the creations of the author's genius, who in this dramatic form sought to reveal the inner dialectic of the Logos idea. Reuss, without going so far, considers the story freely modified in the name of the idea or created entirely for its use. Nicodemus the Samaritan, the Greeks of chap. 22, are just fictional characters created by the author to give the opportunity to put in Jesus' mouth the idea of ​​himself that he made up for himself. The story that is told in this gospel has so little reality that it seems to have come to an end right from the start (chap. 5): The Jews already want to kill Jesus (John 5:16)!

The visits to Jerusalem, which are the salient points of the narrative, are fictional scenes set to contrast light (Jesus) and darkness (the Jewish authorities) and to give Christ an opportunity to bear witness to divinity. from Jesus, your person. For this very reason the miracles of the Fourth Gospel are more marvelous than those of the Synoptics; and moreover, they are no longer presented as works of mercy, but as signs of the divinity of Jesus. The author therefore intertwines them in his theory of the logos. The account of the Last Supper is omitted because the author is content, from an idealistic point of view, to describe his spiritual nature in chap. 6. The Gethsemane scene is omitted because it would represent the Logos in a state unworthy of his divine greatness. The healing of a demonic is not reported, for unclean spirits are unworthy enemies for such a being. The miraculous birth is not mentioned because this child prodigy is overshadowed by the greater miracle of incarnation and so on. that of the synoptician reveals at each step the changes due to the influence of the idea in history.

In order to examine this serious question with the scrupulous rigor it requires, we must begin by identifying the essential features of the story that we must attend to.

The first is undoubtedly the powerfulUnithistory. The story begins and ends exactly where the game plan specifies. As we have seen, the author intends to narrate the gradual and simultaneous development of unbelief and belief under the dominion of the increasing manifestations of Christ as the Son of God. The starting point of his narrative is therefore the day on which Jesus revealed himself as such for the first time through the testimony given to him by John the Baptist, even without naming his name, before the Sanhedrin delegation on a day which consequently , also that the first glimpse of faith in Jesus in the hearts of his early disciples. On the other hand, the end of the story places us at the moment when faith in Christ, fully revealed through His resurrection, reaches its culmination and, if we can so say, its normal level in the confession: “My Lord and my God . ' comes from the lips of the least credulous of the disciples.

Between these two extremes, history moves in a related and progressive way, both on the part of Jesus, who on every occasion and especially on every feast of revelation adds a new trait to himself in accordance with a given new situation (Juan 3:14: the bronze serpent;Juan 4:10: living water;Juan 5:19: the son who works with the father;Juan 6:35: the bread of life;Juan 7:37: the rock that pours living water;Juan 8:56: the one in which Abraham rejoices;Juan 9:5: The Light of the World;Juan 10:11: The good shepherd;Juan 11:25: resurrection and life;Juan 12:15: the humble king of Israel;Juan 13:14: the Lord who serves;Juan 14:6: The way, the truth and the life;Juan 15:1: the true vine;Juan 16:28: He who came from the Father and returns to the Father;Juan 17:3: Jesus the Christ;Juan 18:37: the king in the realm of truth;Juan 19:36: the true Easter lamb;Juan 20:28: our Lord and God), and in relation to the faith that grows through the acquisition of each of these testimonies in works and words, and the course of which is often marked by such expressions: "And his disciples believed on him" (Juan 2:11; DraftJuan 6:68-69;Juan 11:15;Juan 16:30-31;Juan 17:8;Juan 20:8; Jn 20:29), and with reference to the unbelief of the Jews, whose hostile measures are followed in all verifiable stages by an increase in violence (Juan 2:18-19: refusal to participate in messianic reform;Juan 5:16-18: first outburst of hate and lust for murder;Juan 7:32: first active action on behalf of the bailiffs to arrest Jesus;Juan 8:59: a first attempt to stone him;Juan 9:22: Excommunication of anyone who acknowledges him as Messiah;Juan 10:31: new and more determined attempt to stone him;Juan 11:53: Session of the Sanhedrin, in which the death of Jesus is established in principle, so that only the ways of carrying it out have to be found;Juan 11:57: first official measure in this regard through public calls for witnesses against Jesus;Juan 13:27: contract between the ruler and the traitor;Juan 18:3: Application for a delegation of Roman soldiers to carry out the arrest;Juan 18:13;Juan 18:24: interrogation sessions in the house of Annas and trials in the house of Caiaphas;Juan 18:28: Request for execution to Pilate;Juan 19:12: last resort of intimidation to obtain your consent;Juan 19:16: The execution).

This is the story traced in the fourth gospel. And yet Reuss can seriously ask this question: "Is there anywhere the slightest trace of progress, development, in any direction?" (p. 23); and Stap can claim that "the resolution can be found on both the first and last page"; and finally, Sabatier can speak of a "merging at a point" that marks the course of our gospel! Isn't it rather the synoptic presentation against which this reproach can be leveled? For in this story, Jesus suddenly goes from Galilee to Jerusalem and dies in that city after only five days of conflict. Is that sufficient preparation for such a catastrophe?

Reuss is offended that inJuan 5:16, is to be searched for him in order to kill him. But exactly the same can be read in the Gospel of Mark, which according to him is the most primitive kind of narrative.Juan 3:6: “Then the Pharisees took counsel with the Herodians against himto kill itThis is said after one of the first miracles and at the beginning of the Galilean ministry.

Finally, the strong unity of the Johannine record is shown in the precise and complete dates which somehow delineate the course of Jesus' ministry, so that by this work, and only by this work, we can establish and - delineate its key dates. Here is the data she gives us,Juan 2:12-13: a first Easter, when Jesus begins his public ministry; several months of work in Judea followed, and finally a return to Galilee via Samaria, around December of the same year; Individually. 5: a festival in Jerusalem, no doubt Purim, the following spring and a month before Easter;Juan 6:4: the second Easter that Jesus cannot celebrate after Jerusalem, so great is the hostility towards him, and that it takes place in Galilee;Juan 7:2: the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall of this second year, to which Jesus could only goincognitoand, so to speak, surprising;Juan 10:22: the Feast of Inauguration, two months later, in December, when he appears again in Jerusalem; Finally,Juan 12:1: the third Easter when he dies. Here is a series of dates, drawn with a firm hand at natural intervals, which give us sufficient information as to the course and duration of our Lord's ministry, and give us the means of drawing a reasonable description of it. The only story that does not fit organically into this hermetic fabric is that of the adulterous woman, who logically belongs neither to the evolution of unbelief nor to faith and therefore suspect to a tender ear, even if the witnesses are outsiders, would not be so positively excluded as they are.

But at the same time, this story, so complete, so sequential, so staggered, forming such a beautiful whole, is surprisingpatchy.It begins in the midst of the ministry of John the Baptist without having described the first part of it. It ends with the Thomas scene without mentioning the later appearances in Galilee or the Ascension itself.

emJuan 6:70: Jesus says to the apostles: “Have I not chosen you, the twelve?” And yet not a single word has yet been spoken about the establishment of the apostolate; the reader knows only five of the disciples from the first chapter.

NOJuan 6:71, Judas Iscariot is referred to as a perfectly well-known figure; and yet this is the first time he has appeared on the scene.Juan 14:22; the presence of another Judas would become known among the twelve; and has not yet been mentioned.Juan 11:1, is called Bethanythe city of María and Marta, her sister;and yet the names of these two women have not yet been mentioned.Juan 11:2, Mary is referred to as "the one who anointed the Lord with ointment"; and yet this incident, supposedly known to the reader, is told later.Juan 2:23, it speaks of those who believed in Jerusalemsee the miracles that Jesus did;3:2, Nicodemus alludes to these miracles, andJuan 4:45, the Galileans are said to have welcomed Jesus when he returnedbecause they had seen the miracleswhat he did in Jerusalem; and yet none of these miracles are associated with each other.

We have seen this from the first Easter to Jesus' return to Galilee, chap. 4, 7 or 8 months passed (from April to December). Well, of everything that happened during this period of this long sojourn in Judea, except for a conversation with Nicodemus, we know only one fact: the continuation of the baptism of John the Baptist along with that of Jesus and the last testimony given by the progenitor (Juan 3:22s.).

Of Jesus' return to Galilee, chap. 4, on his new journey to Jerusalem, chap. 5 (Feast of Purim) three months passed, which the author summarizes in this simple expression:after these things,Juan 5:1.

Between this journey to Jerusalem and the second Passover, chap. 6, there's a whole month we don't know anything about except this one statement,Juan 6:2: "And a large crowd followed him because they saw the miracles that he did on the sick." Of these numerous miracles that drew crowds, not a single one is reported!

Between this Easter, chap. 6, and the Feast of Tabernacles, chap. 7, that is, certainly a lot happened during the six months from April to October; We only have these two linesJuan 7:1: “After this Jesus went through Galilee; because he did not walk in Judea.

between this party andJuan 10:22(December), two months, and then, from then until Easter, three months of which nothing is told (except the raising of Lazarus). So, out of two and a half years, we have twenty months to play, about which there is complete silence!

emJuan 18:13It is said that Jesus was taken to the house of AnnasFirst;This expression announces a subsequent session elsewhere. The report of this meeting is omitted. It is actually stated (Juan 18:24: "And Annas sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas the high priest"), but without reference; and yet it is one of the most indispensable links in history, since a simple examination was made in the session at Annas, and a death penalty required an official session of the Sanhedrin to render the verdict. pronounced. pronounced in certain certain ways. The subsequent appearance before Pilate, when the Jews sought confirmation of the verdict, leaves no doubt that it was actually pronounced. Well, all of this is left out of our narrative, both the sitting in the house of the high priest Caiaphas and the pronouncement of judgment. How to explain the omission of such facts?

emJuan 3:24, those words, "Well, John hadn't been thrown in jail yet," imply in the reader's mind the idea that by that point he had already been arrested. But there is not a single word in the foregoing that would be suitable for causing such a misunderstanding.

Isn't this kind of storytelling an eternal mystery? On the one hand such a solid and closed texture and on the other hand so many empty and full places, both omissions and matter? Is there an assumption that can somehow explain two of these contradictory features of the same narrative? Yes; and in the relation of our fourth gospel to the three precedents we must seek this solution, as we shall try to show.

The relationship of the Johannine narrative to that of the Synoptic Gospels can be characterized by these two features: Constantcorrelation, on the one hand and strikingindependence, it is includedsuperiority, in the other.

1. There is no closer fit between two wheels assembled together in a wheelset than is observed upon somewhat closer study between the two narratives we are comparing. The full parts of one respond to the voids of the other, just as the reflections of the latter respond to the voids of the former. John begins his narrative with the last part of the ministry of John the Baptist, without having described the first half, without having even related the baptism of Jesus; exactly the opposite of what we find in the Synoptics. It recounts the calling of the first believers on the banks of the Jordan without mentioning their subsequent elevation to the rank of permanent disciples on the shores of the Sea of ​​Galilee; again in contrast to the synoptic narrative. It establishes a considerably long ministry in Judea, preceding the Galilean ministry, which the Synoptics omit; then, when he reaches the period of Galilean service so amply described by his predecessors, he relates with them a single scene that belongs to him, that of chap. 6 (we shall see why he makes this exception) and as during the remaining ten to twelve months of the Galilean work he confines himself to giving its structure and divisions, completing them only with the two brief summaries, John 3:1 of Cape. . 6 and John 3:1 from chap. 7. These subjects left blank can, of course, only be explained as references to other narratives that the author knows his readers are familiar with. But while he goes on without going into the slightest detail about the whole Galilean ministry, he dwells fondly on the visits to Jerusalem, which he describes in the most circumstantial way, and the omission of which is so conspicuous in the Synoptics. empty in its history. In the final visit to Jerusalem, he omits the awkward questions to Jesus in the temple, but carefully narrates the Greeks' efforts to see him, which are omitted in all other narratives. In describing the Last Supper he avoids the disciples' foot washing and omits the institution of the Last Supper; and in the account of the trial of Jesus, he learns of the apparition at the house of Annas, which is omitted by everyone else, and instead passes in silence the great session of the Sanhedrin at the house of Caiaphas, at which Jesus was sentenced to death death death. In describing the crucifixion he recalls three statements of Jesus that his predecessors do not speak of and omits the four mentioned. Among the appearances of the risen Lord, those of Mary Magdalene and Thomas are laboriously described, omitted, or only alluded to by the Synoptics; Only one of the others is recalled and given in rather peculiar detail.

Could the close relationship of this gospel to the Synoptics to which we have referred be expressed more clearly? We do not in any way conclude that John told his storyto be able to complete itHe certainly had higher aspirations, but we think we can say he wrotethey completethis accomplishment was not his aim, but one of the guiding principles of his story. There was a choice on the part of the author, a choice determined by the narratives of his predecessors. If his work leaves us in doubt on this point, we should be persuaded by the final statement: "Many otherJesus did signs before his disciples that are not writtenin this book(ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τούτῳ). The expressions used here mean two things: 1. that he omitted some of the facts which he might as well have related; 2. That he omitted these facts because they were already mentioned in foreign writings (this book, Not like the others). What were those books? It is impossible to overlook our three synoptic gospels by the following references: The election of the twelve referred to by John in theJuan 6:70, is told in Mar 3:13-19 andLukas 6:12-16. The two named sisters Marta and María inJuan 11:0, as if they were already known, are introduced into the Gospel scene by Luke (Lk 10:38-42). The confusion of the first two returns to Galilee (cf.Juan 1:44; John 4:3), which John apparently carefully scatters (John 2:11 and John 4:54), is found in all three of our Synoptics (Matthew 4:12 and parallels); and the idea that no activity of Jesus in Judea preceded the arrest of John the Baptist, an idea which John corrects (John 3:24), is explicitly mentioned in Matthew and Mark (passages already quoted). How then can we doubt the close and intentional correlation of John's narrative with that of the synoptic gospels? Renan always recognized that. And Reuss, after more or less questioning it, now admits it. He goes so far, as we shall all soon see, that he turns this correlation into a reliance on John's part in relation to the Synoptics. Baur and Hilgenfeld also recognize this relationship, so this can count as a point won.

Proceeding from this fact, then, we have no right to say that two narratives so closely and constantly related cannot be written from quite different points of view, and that, if the first, searching in each one of its three forms , in order to highlight one of the most salient features of the person of Jesus, pursuing this goal on a truly historical path, the same must be done with the other, which completes it at every step and, in turn, is completed by him?

It may be objected that the author of the Johannine tale, as a most able man, works with all that he borrows from the previous tales not to break with the generally accepted tradition, and at the same time for all that he adds new material he tries how Herr Reuss says to enforce his dogmatic view, in other words, to secure the triumph of his logos theory.

This statement must be examined in the light of the other two features we have noted in the relationship between our gospel and the Synoptics. I refer to the complete independence and even the decided historical superiority of the former.

Baur had asserted John's reliance on the synoptic narrative for any truly historical information; Holtzmann attempted to prove this in detail, and Reuss now, despite his earlier denials, declares himself converted to this view.

In fact, a distinction must be made here between the connection that we have just pointed out, which like all relationships is a kind of dependency (but only in terms of the way it is told), and the dependency that has to do with a lot of factual knowledge. Just as we affirm the first, we are ready to deny the second and affirm that the author of the Johannine narrative has a source of information peculiar to him, which makes him absolutely independent of the synoptic in relation to the subject of the narrative. Tradition. Let's look at the facts.

He does not know from the Synoptics the public testimony given by the forerunner Jesus. For before Jesus' baptism none of them are imputable or imputable to him, and after baptism the Synoptics mention no more than this one phrase of John, which is more an expression of doubt: "Are you the one who is to come, or are you waiting." we on another?Mateo 21:23, and parallels) implies the existence of an infamous public testimony of the progenitor, like that of John inJuan 1:19itself.

John did not derive the account of Jesus' first dealings with his first disciples from the Synoptics (chap. 1); and yet these relations are necessarily presupposed by the calling of the latter to the trade of fishers of men on the shores of the Sea of ​​Galilee (Mateo 5:18s.).

John does not learn from the Synoptics that Jesus opened his public ministry with the cleansing of the temple, since they put this act on his last visit to Jerusalem. Now all probabilities speak for the time that Juan ascribes to this fact. Reuss himself acknowledges this, for if Jesus was in Jerusalem several times (which he acknowledges), in his opinion it is almost impossible to claim that he was indifferent the first time, which on a later occasion might arouse his holy indignation.

It is certainly not from the Synoptics that John borrows the correction he brings to his own story,Juan 3:24, recalling the fact that Jesus and His Forerunner were baptized in Judea at the beginning of the Lord's ministry at the same time, andJuan 4:54(cf. John 1:44 and John 4:3), clearly distinguishing between the first two returns of Jesus to Galilee, which are fused into one by the synoptic narrative. And yet all must admit that these corrections are well-founded corrections and are in accordance with the real course of history; for (1) if Jesus had not originally taught publicly in Judea, the arrest of John the Baptist would not have been a reason for His retreat and departure to Galilee (Weizsäcker); and (2) there remains an apparent gap in the synoptic narrative between the baptism of Jesus and the arrest of John the Baptist, a gap which the Johannine narrative precisely fills (Holtzmann). Westcott says with perfect accuracy: “Matthew 4:12 and March 1, 14, have meaning only if you look at themJudeMinistry of Jesus which these books have not told.

John does not borrow the account of the visits to Jerusalem from the Synoptics; Here is the feature that most profoundly distinguishes his narrative from hers. And yet, if the Johannine narrative has a clear superiority character over the others, we can say that it certainly does at this point. However, Keim speaks very pathetically of these “breathless journeys” of Jesus to Jerusalem! However, not everyone agrees on this issue. Weiss puts it this way: "All historical considerations speak in favor of the account of John, and in the summarizing reports themselves there is no lack of clues that lead to this kind of understanding of history." Renan himself comments that "the people transplanted a few days earlier [the disciples, assuming they had not visited Jerusalem before either] would not have chosen that city as their capital..." And he adds: "If the If things had happened as Mark and Matthew would say, Christianity would have developed especially in Galilee. Hausrath and Holtzmann express themselves similarly. Without continuing this list, we confine ourselves to quoting Hase, who seems to sum up the matter in a few lines: "From what we know of the circumstances at the time, it was natural that Jesus sought national recognition [of his messianic dignity] in the midst of human life, in the holy city; and even the deadly hatred of the priests in Jerusalem would be harder to explain if Jesus had never threatened them up close. But it is quite natural that these voyages to Jerusalem should disappear as chronological terms from the Galilean tradition and be confused with the one and last voyage that led to the death of Jesus. Traces of an earlier stay of Jesus in and around the capital are preserved in the Synoptic Gospels: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often would I gather your children into a hen gathering her chicks under the wings; and you don't want to! ’” This sorrowful exclamation, escaping the depths of Jesus’ heart, finds no satisfactory explanation in the visit that Jesus made to that city for a few days, according to the Synoptics. Baur's declaration is a pretext that he believes the children of Jerusalem are being taken here as representative of the whole people, while this exclamation is more specifically and locally addressed to Jerusalem itself; just as it is also a mere diversion from Strauss to find here the citation of a passage from a lost work ("The Wisdom of God"), a passage which could only be put on the lips of Jesus anyway as a public opinion, she recalled contact him from more than one visit to Jerusalem. Also, also according to the Synoptics, Jesus has hosts in Bethany, to whose house he returns every night. preparing Easter dinner in Jerusalem, Joseph of Arimathea, who will ask for his body. It is hard to believe that all of Jesus' dealings in Judea were entered into just in the few days leading up to the passion. Finally, let us not forget the remarkable fact that Luke himself places Jesus' first visit to the house of Martha and Mary at a much earlier time (Juan 10:38s.).

Reuss cannot deny the weight of these reasons. To further think that the choice of this theater was dictated to the author "by the nature of the antithesis, of the antagonism between Gospel and Judaism", which is consequently the theological conception that created this framework, is not wrong. admit "that there are clear indications of a more frequent presence of Jesus in Jerusalem" than that mentioned in the Synoptics. But if the historical truth is soapparentlyOn the other hand, how can one say from João's side that "it is the theological conception that owes this framing"?

Reuss, too, is tempted by the facts to give preference to itchronologicallyOutline of John's account, which ascribes a duration of two and a half years to Jesus' ministry and not just one year as the synoptic account seems to do. "We don't think," he says, "that it can be said that Jesus spent a single year of his life influencing the minds of those around him." Weizsácker makes the same observation: “The transformation of the apostles' earlier ideas, views, and beliefs must have penetrated to the depths of their minds in order that they might survive the final cataclysm and be resurrected immediately afterwards. For this it was necessary to teach a longer relationship with Jesus. Neither instructions nor emotions were enough here; there was a need to grow within and to achieve a personal union with the Master”. Renan also states that the mention of Jesus' various visits to Jerusalem (and consequently his two or three year tenure) "represents a decisive triumph for our gospel." There are no small details here of John's relationship with the Synoptics. It's the main point. Given such claims, how can it be argued that the Fourth Gospel is dependent on its predecessors? On the contrary, how can we not recognize the total independence of the materials at his disposal and his particular oneshistoricalSuperiority to the tradition recorded in the Synoptics.

In last night's account, the first two synoptics divide the words of Christ into three groups: 1. The revelation of betrayal and the traitor; 2. The institution of Holy Communion; 3. Personal impressions of Jesus. Lucas the same, but in reverse order. There are always three different groups next to each other. This disposition was that of the traditional narrative, which tended to group homogeneous elements. But it is not that of real life: therefore it is not found in John. Here the Lord returns several times both to Judas' betrayal and to his own impressions. The same difference is evident in the account of Peter's denial. The three acts of denial are united in the Synoptics as if they were in the same place and time; This narrative was one of the ἀπομνημονεύματα (traditional stories), each of which formed a small and complete whole in the popular narrative. In John we do not find these three acts artificially grouped; they are divided among other facts, as they certainly were in reality; the narrative has found its natural articulations. This quality did not escape Renan's shrewdness, who puts it this way: 'The same superiority in the presentation of Pedro's denials. This whole episode is more circumstantial, better explained, in our author's case."

We know that according to the tradition of John, the day of Christ's death was Nisan 14, the day of the preparation of the Easter supper, and not, as appears at first sight in the Synoptics, the 15th, the day after supper. . It has been confirmed that this difference is due to the writer of the Fourth Gospel wanting the moment of Jesus' death to coincide with the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, a ceremony that took place on the afternoon of the 14th; and this out of purely dogmatic and typological interest. It is difficult to understand what the author would have gained by such a violent implementation of the central fact of the gospel, that of the cross. For the typical relationship between the sacrifice of the lamb and the crucifixion of Christ does not depend on the simultaneity of these two acts. This relationship had already been proclaimed by Paul (1 Corinthians 5:7: "Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us"); it was recognized by the whole Church, starting from the sacramental words: "Do this in memory of me", with which Jesus replaced the Passover lamb. On the other hand, it is easier to understand the loss suffered by the author by subjecting history to such a change; He compromised in the Church the authority of his work and thereby (to put us in the point of view of those who make this statement) even that of his conception of the Logos, which incidentally had nothing to do with typology and Judaism. symbolism, and even contradicted it. But beyond that we shall show, through the Synoptics themselves, that the Johannine date is the true one. Reuss cannot avoid admitting this to us for the same reasons (the given facts).Markus 14:21; March 14:46 and parallels that could not have occurred on a Sabbath, as was the case on Nisan 15). Here, too, it is John's account that brings to light the true course of events, which the synoptic narrative has left in the dark.

We will not go into the detailed study of the Passion and Resurrection accounts. I can confine myself to quoting this general judgment of Renan on the last days of Jesus' life: "The Fourth Gospel contains in this whole passage certain information infinitely superior to that of the Synoptics." And on the fact of the resurrection of Lazarus he adds: “Now, a unique fact is that this narrative is so closely connected with the last pages [of the gospel account] that if we reject it as imaginary, the whole edifice of the last Weeks of Jesus' life, so solid in our gospel, collapse with the same blow." And indeed all things are historically connected in the Johannine narrative: the raising of Lazarus determines the Palm Sunday ovation; and this, together with the betrayal of Judas , forcing the Sanhedrin to speed up the resolution.

It is true that Hilgenfeld gave this explanation of the relationship between John and the Synoptics as "ahumiliatingof the latter they are only erroneous beginnings, which John would be the work of censoring. Reuss expresses the same idea several times: "A unique way of strengthening the Christian's faith by suggesting the idea that what you have previously read in Matthew or Luke is in dire need of correction." But to complete means to confirm the preceding and the following by filling the gap; and to correct an inaccuracy of detail in a narrative does not undermine its authority altogether, but, on the contrary, strengthens it. John's corrections and additions to synoptic history have been known to the Church from the earliest days, but they have not in the least damaged the Church's confidence in these writings.

We now have the necessary elements to resolve these two questions: Does the Fourth Gospel depend on the Synoptics for the truth it tells? Where he differs from them, does the author alter the story according to a favorite and preconceived theory?

As to the first question, the strictly tested facts have just shown that the author of the Fourth Gospel has a source of information independent of the synoptic tradition. The negative solution of the second follows clearly from the fact that in the event of a difference between the two accounts, the Johannine account applies in all cases,from a historical point of view, deserves preference. A story that is always historically superior is safe from suspicion of being the product of an idea.

What is held against this conclusion of the facts, which are largely admitted by the same opponents? It is said that, despite everything, there are traces of dependence on the synoptic presentation in the Johannine presentation. Holtzmann exercised his critical ability in this area. Below are some of their findings. says JuanJuan 1:6: "There was a man" It is an imitation of: "A word came ( ἐγένετο ῥῆμα)",Lukas 3:2. John says (John 1:7): ​​"This one came;" copy this: "And he came",Lukas 3:3. . . . The expression, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps" (John 11:11) reproduces and parallels that of 5:39: "He is not dead but sleeps" (although Mark's term καθεύδει differs from John, κεκοίμηται) Lazarus -Illness (Juan 11:0) is a copy of the depiction of Lazarus covered with boils in the parable ofLukas 16:20, and the whole account of the resurrection of Lazarus of Bethany is nothing more than a fiction created from the parable of the wicked rich man. According to Renan, the opposite is true. The two statements have the same value. In Luke, Abraham refuses in vain to send the dead Lazarus to earth; in John Jesus brings him back to the living: what an imitation! From this point of view it is also affirmed that the presentation of Martha and Mary, chap. 11, is an imitation of the inLukas 10:38Please; or that Philip's two hundred pence (John 6:7) is derived from the text ofMarkus 6:37, as the three hundred of Jude (John 12:5) are taken from the textMarkus 14:5; or also that the strange term νάρδος πιστική (clean nard, trustworthy) in John (John 12:3) comes from Mark (Mark 14:3). The comparison of the three reports about the anointing of Jesus in Bethany impressed Reuss so much that he decided to convert to Holtzmann's view of dependence. According to him, the Synoptics actually record two different anointings; what happened in Galilee by a sinful woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee (Lukas 7:0), and what happened in Bethany in favor of a woman from there, in the house of Simon the leper (Mateo 26:0;Markus 14:0). "Now," says Reuss, "the author of the fourth gospel gives us a third version," which is only to be understood as a fusion of the other two. He puts the same words from the story of Mark into Jesus' mouth. And at the same time he borrows from Luke this characteristic detail that the oil was not poured on his head (Mark and Matthew) but on his feet. In addition, he thinks it good to deviate from the presentation of the first two Synoptics and to transfer the scene from the house of the leper Simon to that of Lazarus, who has just risen from the dead.

The truth is: 1. That John tells exactly the same scene as Mark and Matthew; but 2. That he tells it more precisely; and 3. do not contradict them in the slightest. It is more precise: it indicates exactly the day of dinner; it is the arrival of Jesus in Bethany, coming from Jericho, on the eve of Palm Sunday; in Matthew and Mark there is no chronological determination. It mentions the anointing ofthe feet, as it concerns the head, which is understood as something natural, since it is an act of general courtesy (cf.Psalm 23:5; Luke 7:46), during the anointingthe feetwith a similar perfume was quite an extraordinary waste. It was precisely this extraordinary fact that provoked some students' gossip and the ensuing conversation. Then only John mentions Judas as the instigator of the discontent that broke out among some of his colleagues. Matthew and Mark use only vague terms here:the disciples; some.But the same Gospels, because of the place they assign to this story, make it an interposition and, so to speak, an episode of the betrayal of Judas (cf.Markus 14:1-2;Markus 14:10-11, and the parallels in Matt.) indirectly testify to the accuracy of this very precise detail of John's account. Tradition has given this anointing story that place precisely because of Judas' role on that occasion, which was a prelude to his betrayal. It was an association of ideas that Juan substituted for the true chronological situation. Finally, the narrative of John in no way contradicts the parallel narrative of the two Synoptics about the house where the Lord's Supper took place. For the expression “And Lazarus was one of those who sat down with him” (in John) in no way proves that the feast took place in the house of Lazarus, but is exactly the opposite. It goes without saying that Lazarus sat at the table in his own house and served Martha there. The identical detail of the three hundred denarii and the common term πιστική remain. Surely it would not be impossible that John, after considering Mark's tale, should have borrowed so few details from it; however, its overall historical independence would remain intact. But these credits are dubious; because 1. the narrative of John, as we have seen, contains details that are entirely original; 2. The term πιστική was a technical term, in contrast to the equally technical,Narde(see Pliny); 3. The two numbers, which are certainly historical, can be given in two independent accounts. Furthermore, in the story of the multiplication of the loaves, the portions in John attributed to Philip and Andrew reveal the same information independence that we just demonstrated in the anointing of Bethany.

We come to the solution of the second and most crucial question: whether the philosophical idea of ​​the Logos, which is supposed to be the soul of the story, has not exerted an unfavorable influence on the presentation of the facts, and whether it is such an influence that we must not attribute most of the differences that we find between this account of the Jesus story and that of the three Synoptics.

The facts just proved generally contain the answer to this question. If we have found discrepancies in the previously examined cases, this is irrefutable in all caseshistoricalSuperiority of John's narrative, what follows from this fact? That the author had too much respect for the story he was telling to allow the idea that inspired it to be detrimental to the faithful presentation of the facts, or that this guiding idea, belonging to the story itself, was deferred to the narrative , not as a cause of change, but as a healthy and conservative rule.

However, let us go into detail and note the particular disagreements cited to show the theologically unfavorable effect. The question is factualomitted, or storiesrepeated, with or without modifications, or finally of characteristicsAggregate, for the joanic story.

There are three facts in particular thatomissionof which various critics consider the temptation, the institution of the sacrament, and the agony in Gethsemane to be significant. It is believed that the first and third of these facts seemed undignified to the author of the Logos; As for the second, from a spiritistic point of view it was enough for him to explain his nature in the discourse of chap. 6; after that the outer ceremony was worthless to him. Isn't that the same for baptism? It does not give an account of its institution any more than in the first case, but reveals its essence,Juan 3:5. We believe that John's silence on these two facts must be explained quite differently. If the author feared jeopardizing the dignity of the Logos by bringing it into conflict with the invisible adversary, he would have him say:Juan 14:30: "I won't talk to you much anymore because the prince of the world is coming?" It should not be forgotten that the starting point of John's narrative is the fact of temptation. The same applies to the baptism of Jesus, which is also unrelated, but which the author does not wish to deny in his dreams because it is clearly alluded to in the verse attributed to John the Baptist,Juan 1:32: "I saw the spirit come down from heaven like a dove and settle on him." The Gethsemane scene is omitted; but it is sufficiently indicated by this statement, which is actually a reference to the synoptic narratives,Juan 18:1: “After Jesus had said these things, Jesus went with His disciples to the other side of Kidron Creek,where was a garden which he and his disciples entered.John proceeds here exactly as he did during the great session of the Sanhedrin at which Jesus was executed; However, he does not relate the scene that necessarily presupposes the appearance before Pilate, but is content to indicate it in words,Juan 18:24, “And Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest” (cf. also the words “to AnnasFirst", John 18:13). This tacit reference to the Synoptics is part of John's narrative style. Limited to a delicate lace to serve asobserve well, miss points that you know your readers are sufficiently familiar with. If he feared endangering the dignity of the Logos, as he explained in chap. 12, in a scene that only he saved from oblivion, that inner struggle whose mystery Jesus was not afraid to reveal to those around him,Juan 18:27:: "And now my soul is troubled; and what should I say, how should I do itI'm sorrybefore the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35) and represent him astroubled in your mindin the presence of the traitor (John 13:21)? The omission of the institution of Holy Communion is no less easy to explain. John did not write the gospel for neophytes; he told his story in the midst of churches established long ago, where Holy Communion was celebrated probably every week. Far from attempting to describe the ministry of Jesus in its entirety, he laid bare the manifestations of work and word that particularly contributed to his revealing himself as Christ, the Son of God; DraftJuan 20:30-31. Now this purpose did not compel him to pay special attention to the institution of the sacrament; and as this ceremony was well known and celebrated, its institution could safely be omitted. There is no further account of the institution of baptism, although it is alluded to in John 3:5 and 2Juan 4:2.

Three examples should show a cautious reviewer how cautious he must be if he can infer the author's hidden intentions from such omissions. He omits the story of the selection of the twelve apostles; Is that to belittle her? But he himself puts this word in Jesus' mouth (John 6:70): "I have notchosen onesYou theresnooze?Assuming that statement were not to be found there, what consequences would a passionate critic not draw from the omission? The fourth gospel does not tell of the ascension; does it mean to deny it? But inJuan 6:62, we find these words in the mouth of Jesus: “How will it be when you see the Son of man?rise where it was before?The reason for the omission is simply that the end of the story, the Thomas-related scene, precedes this event, which incidentally suited the idea of ​​the logo very well. . If there was one fact in the Synoptics fit to be used in favor of this theory, it was surely that of the Transfiguration. Very good! omitted, no less than the Gethsemane scene. Such examples should be enough to set the critic back on the wrong path along which he has wandered for the last forty years, trailing in his wake a vast audience swearing blindly to agree with him.

But we're stuck here on our course. If the writer of the Fourth Gospel, we are told, really intended to complete the other two, why does he relate a certain number of facts which they have already related: for example, the expulsion of the traders and the multiplication of the loaves of bread which Anointing of Mary in Bethany and Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday?

We have said it before: the author does not write to complete. He sets a higher goal to which he himself pointsJuan 20:30-31. But in the same verses he also defines his method, which is thischoose, among things already written or not yet written, the one that best suits the goal he pursues: to give the foundations of his faith in Christ, the Son of God, to reproduce the same faith in his readers : "Jesus fulfilled many other signs...which are not written in this book, butthese are written like this...” This type of selection implies the omissions we have pointed out, but also allows repetitions if the author deems them necessary or even sensible for his purpose.

So he tells of the expulsion of the human traffickers (chap. 2), because he knows that he played a much more serious role in the ministry of Jesus and in the development of national unbelief than is given to him. in the synoptic account. The latter, placing this event at the end of Jesus' ministry, prevented the taking into account of the bold step with which Jesus had called his people to unite with him, at the beginning of the spiritual reformation of the theocracy; the refusal of the people of that time and their rulers was therefore no longer the first step on the path of resistance and rejection.

The multiplication of the loaves (chap. 6) appears in the Synoptics as just one of Jesus' many miracles. The important part about the crisis in the history of Jewish unbelief that resulted from this event has been almost completely erased from them. It is this side of the event that John brings back into full light. It shows the carnal-political character of the Galilean enthusiasm, which on this occasion wants to proclaim the kingship of Jesus and on the next occasion is repelled by the utterances with which it refuses to promise anything but the satisfaction of hunger and spiritual thirst. At the same time, the fact thus presented becomes a very striking milestone in the history of faith, since it makes clear the contrast between the abandonment of Jesus by the majority of his former disciples and St. Peter's vigorous confession: "Who else shall we go?...? You are the Holy One of God".

The story of the anointing at Bethany (chap.Juan 12:1ss.) is related on the one hand to the resurrection of Lazarus, which we just told about in the previous chapter, and on the other hand to the betrayal of Judas, which will play such an important role in the painting. of the Last Supper. This double connection does not appear in the Synoptics, who ignore the raising of Lazarus and replace vague expressions with the name Judas:some(Marke),the disciples(Matt.), prevented the connection between this malevolent manifestation and the monstrous act to come from being seen.

Entry into Jerusalem (Juan 12:12ss.) is told by Johannes so summarily that it is nothing more than a supplement to the synoptic narrative. Therefore, when he says: "After he found a donkey", and when he adds that after the ascension "the disciples remembered that these things were written andwhat they had donethese things', while they have done nothing to him in his own narrative, it is evident that he is referring to other lore already known for the full picture of the scene. Only he is obliged to remember the fact, presenting it on the one hand as the effect of the raising of Lazarus (John 12:17-18) and on the other hand as the cause that compelled the Sanhedrin to execute the murderer's sentence already against Jesus issued (John 12:19).

We can therefore easily see that these stories are not useless repetitions, but are integral parts of the overall picture that the author intends to paint. Take them away and you have not just a simple omission, but a crack in the very structure of the narrative.

It remains for us to consider a last class of facts which are supposed to be particularly sensitive to the influence exerted on history by the dogmatic conception which filled the mind of its author. These are the facts and details that John adds to the narrative of his predecessors.

Certainly one of the features that most distinguishes this gospel from the previous ones is the chronological framework outlined above. The question is whether this structure is the product of the idea or whether it belongs to actual history. We have already shown that after Reuss's admission, the second answer is the true one. Furthermore, what significance would it have for the idea of ​​the Logos for the ministry of Jesus to continue for a year or two years or more? that he taught and baptized in Judea for a first year before settling in Galilee, as John relates, or, on the contrary, that he went to that land immediately after being baptized by the forerunner, as seems implied in the Synoptics ( Matthew 4:12 and parallels)? On the contrary, it seems that the shorter the stay of the Logos on earth, the more splendidly the power of the work He has accomplished shines forth.

Or are these long, completely factless intervals of one to three or even six months mere inventions of the author in favor of the Logos theory? But to be fair, Sabatier asks, "If the author had invented this structure, how could he have forgotten to complete it?" (p. 188).

Contrary to the historical trend of the Johannine narrative, Reuss believes he is citing a crucial fact when he says: "A single fact fills an entire season."Juan 6:4-Juan 7:2.” But how can you not see that this author's almost total silence about the content of that whole six months between Passover and Tabernacles is irrefutable proof that he did not invent “this time” for some speculative purpose? ? sight, and that he only mentions it for a truly historical purpose.

The fact of the visits to Jerusalem is thought to be the clearest demonstration of the influence of the idea in the Johannine narrative. The great conflict between light and darkness required the capital as a setting. But those who so argue are compelled to recognize in these visits to Jerusalem related by John an indispensable element of history, a factor without which neither the tragic catastrophe of Jerusalem nor the establishment of the Church in that place would be possible. City. understood (see page 76, 77). So these visits are not the product of the idea. One can only say that they werechosen onesand highlighted by the author as the main subject of his narrative, considering it particularly apt to emphasize the main idea of ​​his work. Let us add here, however, that this conception is by no means a metaphysical conception like that of the Logos, but the fact of the development of faith and unbelief in relation to Jesus Christ. Besides thatIdealexplanation of the visits to Jerusalem, Sabatier rightly objects to the narrative of chap. 6: “It may surprise us,” he says, “to see how in Galilee, in the synagogue of Capernaum, begins the crisis whose outcome will come in Jerusalem. We cannot explain such a partial cancellation of the system,” we say to ourselves:HamSystem "of the author, apart from the very clear recollection he had of the crisis in Galilee".

At this point a difficult question undoubtedly arises, the darkest of all concerning the relationship between John and the Synoptics: that of the latter's failure to visit Jerusalem. We have seen that his entire report assumes and requires these visits; How come they don't notice? This strange omission seems to us explicable only by these two facts: first, that our three Synoptics are the editors of the popular tradition that took shape in Jerusalem after the day of Pentecost; the other, that this tradition has, for some reason that can only be conjectured, sidelined such visits from the beginning. As we have seen, the various allusions to Judas' betrayal at the Last Supper (Juan 13:0) have been conflated into one in the traditional and synoptic histories, and that the narrative of John is needed to restore it to its true place; that also the story of Peter's denials, which form a single and unbroken cycle in the Synoptics, found its natural expression again in the Gospel of John, so that a similar event probably occurred in relation to the journeys to Jerusalem. In the popular narrative, everyone was puzzled on this last journey, the only one that really decisively told the story of the messianic work and which consequently remained in tradition. When we study the three accounts of the Galilee ministry in the Synoptics, we easily find that they are divided into distinct groups or cycles, each containing the same set of stories; what Lachmann calledfragments of the gospel story.Trips to Jerusalem did not fall into any of these groups. And when the evangelical tradition thus divided and grouped was transferred to Scripture, these ways remained in shadow. The content of the discourses that Jesus delivered in the capital can also contribute to this omission in the ordinary proclamation of the Gospel. It was not easy, for the multitude of Jews and Gentiles who heard the Gospel for the first time, to reproduce discourses like those in the fifth chapter of St. John, on the Son's dependence on the Father and on the various testimonies that the Father gives to the Son ; or discussions as reported in the chapters. 7 and 8, where Jesus can no longer say a word without being interrupted by malicious listeners. The speech of chap. 6 made in Galilee could not be reproduced for the same reason, while the fact of the multiplication of the loaves it caused remained in tradition. How much simpler, more natural, and more immediately useful was it to narrate various scenes like that of life in Galilee, or moral discourses and discourses like the parables or the Sermon on the Mount? For all these reasons, or for some other reason unknown to us, this important part of Jesus' ministry was omitted from the tradition and later from our Synoptics as well. But, as Hase rightly points out, “as was the nature of things, those who, like Luke, wished to describe the life of Jesus without having lived with him, had to go by what was published and believed in the Church . respect this life; Hence it was also natural that if a trusted disciple of the Lord were to undertake this work, he should dwell far less on the common theme, accidentally and unknowingly formed, than on his own reminiscences. Then such a man was less bound by a pious respect of this sacred tradition; for he too was a living source of it. It does not surprise me, therefore, that a Gospel of John, in its great originality, departs from this common theme; Long ago, if a gospel published under the name of that disciple merely repeated that collective heritage and differed no more than the Synoptics, in that case I would doubt the authenticity of that gospel.

An objection also arises from the wonderful works against the number seven mentioned in our gospel; it has to do with these four points: 1. These works are of an even more wonderful character than those of the Synoptics; 2. They are presented as manifestations of the glory of the Logos and no longer as simple effects of Jesus' compassion; 3. Several of these miracles are omitted from the Synoptics, a fact which renders them more suspect even on account of their extraordinary size; 4. Casting out a demon is not mentioned.

1. We thought it would be difficult to say where the change from water to wine takes place in Cana, chap. 2, is more extraordinary than the multiplication of the loaves and fishes related by our four gospels. Is it more wonderful to transform the properties of matter than to produce them? Doesn't this last act have a greater analogy to the creative act?

If in the healing of the royal official's son, chap. 4, the miracle happens from afar, with the centurion's servant in Capernaum the fact is no different,Mateo 8:0, and in the daughter of the Canaanite woman,Mateo 15:0

The Powerless Man of Bethesda,Juan 5:0, was ill for thirty-eight years: but what do we know of the time when the impotent man, of whose healing the Synoptics record with circumstantial particularity, was paralyzed?

If in the story of walking on water,Juan 6:0, which docks the boat shortly after Jesus' arrival, Matthew's account presents a no less extraordinary detail that the person of Peter did in order to participate in the miracle wrought in the person of Jesus.

Two miracles remain in which John's account seems to go beyond the analogous events reported by the Synoptics: the healing of ato be bornblind, chap. 9 and the resurrection of the dead Lazarusfour days.Through these two very peculiar circumstances, the author is said to have wanted to glorify the Logos in an extraordinary way.

But how can such an intention be reconciled with several words that the same author puts in the mouth of Jesus in which he explicitly denies, or at least belittles, the value of miracles as a statement of faith? "Unless you see wonders and signs, you will not believe" (John 4:48): With this rebuke, Jesus accepts the request of the royal official. "If you do not believe me, at least believe my works" (John 10:38); draft tooJuan 14:11. And yet the author who preserved such statements of Jesus, whose authenticity and high spirituality everyone recognizes, becomes the toady of the crudest religious materialism, invents new miracles and gives them a more wonderful character!

2. Is it true that our gospel is in contrast to the Synoptics in that the latter present miracles as works of compassion while in the former they are signs of the glory of the Logos?

But first, let's note that in the Gospel of John the miracles are not even attributed to the power of Jesus. It is one of the characteristics of this work that turns miracles into deeds as far as Jesus is concernedprayer, while operational power is attributed only to the father. "I cananythingfrom me," says Jesus,Juan 5:30, after healing the impotent man. "It is workingGod gave medo, these works bear witness to me,” he adds,Juan 5:36. Miracles are a testimony of the Father only because it is the Father who performs them in His name. InJuan 11:41-42, Jesus says publicly in front of the tomb of Lazarus: “Father, I thank you becauseDid you hear me...; I know thatyou always listen to meHe must therefore ask, ask for His miracles as any of us would; and these actions are said to be the glorification ofHis owndivine power? Undoubtedly it also meansJuan 2:11, after the miracle at Cana, which “was revealedyour glory, „zJuan 11:4that "the sickness of Lazarus is for the glory of God," for which it is added "that the Son of God might thereby be glorified." If that glory is not what He derives from His own power, what can it be? Which obviously comes from His compassion manifested in His prayer, just as the Father's glory comes from His love manifested in hearing that prayer. Here indeed is glory “full ofGraciaand the truth”, of which the author himself speaksJuan 1:14. It is therefore all too easy to escape from the contrast that Reuss makes between the miracles of compassion (in the Synoptics) and those of revelation and personal glorification (in John). The glory of the Son in the latter consists precisely in thisreceiveof the father, asking for his sympathy. For example, how is the raising of Lazarus introduced into our gospel? For those words that overflow with tenderness and that have no equivalent in the Synoptics: "And Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus" (John 11:5). In order to fully understand the way in which miracles are presented in our gospel, one must actually assume that this is trueseeof these actions went far beyond the relief of the suffering being that was the object of those actions. If Jesus was moved only by compassion for individual suffering, why didn't he end the world's blindness instead of giving sight to some of the blind? Why, instead of raising two or three dead, did he not destroy death itself? He didn't, although his compassion certainly prompted him to do so. For the suppression of suffering and death is only a blessing to mankind as a result of the destruction of sin. The latter must therefore precede the former; and the miracles wereSign, which is to reveal Jesus as the one for whom first sin, then suffering and death, will one day end radically. Just as collective love for humanity does not exclude compassion for a particular individual, so John's conception of miracles does not exclude the synoptic view but includes it and subordinates it to a more general view.

3. But how is it that of the seven miracles recorded by John, five are omitted from the early Gospels? The one at Cana, of course, coincided with the first year of ministry, which they missed. Those of Bethesda and those of the man blind from birth are omitted from the Jerusalem visits of which they are a part. That of the royal official's son was not uncommon, and had its counterpart in a miracle related in the Synoptics, the healing of the centurion's servant, which we think many even mistakenly equate with the miracle related by John.

The Synoptics' omission of the resurrection of Lazarus is the most difficult fact to explain. It is not enough to say that the miracle happened in Judea; for at the time it came to pass the Synoptics present the Lord as a pilgrim in Perea and the southern districts. We have only one explanation: Tradition is silent on this out of deference to Lazarus and his two sisters. This family lived a stone's throw from Jerusalem and was therefore exposed to enemy attacks from the Sanhedrin. In John 12:10 we read that "the chief priests also agreed to kill Lazarus with Jesus" because the vision of this man who rose from the dead influenced many pilgrims. Arrival in the capital. The case may have been exactly the same after the day of Pentecost; and for this reason it may have been thought prudent to ignore this fact in traditional gospel history. The names of Martha and Mary in the anointing story (see Mark and Matthew), or the name Bethany when the two sisters were referred to by their names (see the account at Luke 10:38), were also omitted. . No doubt for a similar reason, in the account of Jesus' arrest in Gethsemane, the name of the disciple who drew the sword is suppressed in tradition (see all three summary accounts), while it is unscrupulously mentioned by John, who in a Moment, in which Pedro could not suffer any further harm from this precise statement. It is objected that the synoptic accounts were written after the deaths of Peter and the members of the Bethany family; Why then these precautionary measures (see Meyer)? But we in no way attribute these precautions to thatauthorsof these works; we attribute them to the evangelical tradition that arose in Jerusalemfrom the days after Pentecost.We see from the account of the abuses to which the Sanhedrin subjected the apostles, the martyrdom of Stephen and James, and the persecutions of which Saul became the instrument, that at that time the power of Jesus' enemies was still intact and was being exercised most violently. Their hatred increased as the church progressed; and there must have been a fear that anyone who publicly staged those who had played a part in this story would pay a heavy price for the honor. John, who composed his work at a time when there was no Sanhedrin, Jewish people, or Temple, and who wrote not under the influence of tradition but from his own memoirs, was able to fearlessly restore the facts in their integrity. . This is why he designates Peter as the author of the blow in the Gethsemane scene, while at the same time by alluding to that name he recalls that of Malchus the wounded; Therefore he gives himself over to the joy of retracing in every detail the wonderful scene of the resurrection of Lazarus.

4. We won't dwell too long on omitting cures for the possessed. The author himself does not say that there is also in the story of JesusnumerousWunder,andersfrom the ones you mentioned (Juan 20:30: many and other points); Jesus doesn't speakJuan 14:30, the “prince of this world who comes to him”? So nothing would stop the evangelist from speaking of Jesus' victories over his demonic agents. Cases of possession are rarely mentioned in Greek lands (Athos 15:17). They were less well known there.

The lack of historical character that critics accuse of the miracle stories of the Fourth Gospel is rediscovered in itcharacterswho this book brings to the stage. They are, he claims, not living creatures, but mere types. Nicodemus is the epitome of learned self-righteousness. "We see it coming, but we don't see it going"; this is a favorite comment of Reuss; he passes from one of his works to another. And he adds: "In any case, there is no longer any doubt about him." Finally, he affirms that Jesus' reply to this nocturnal visitor "concludes in a theoretical exposition of the Gospel" and is therefore in no way addressed to him. The same estimate of the Samaritan woman, in chap. 4; This woman simply embodies "the naïve and trusting belief of the poor in spirit". And the same also from the Greeks from ch. 12: represent paganism's longing for salvation. What would be the point of Felipe and Andrés' mediation, which they resorted to and which was not at all necessary in the presence of a being whom everyone could freely approach? They are therefore ideal figures, as corresponds to the essential character of a book that is nothing other than a theological treatise.

No doubt Reuss would have wanted the account of the conversation with Nicodemus to be followed by this remark: And Nicodemus returned home. The narrator did not consider this detail necessary. He thought it more useful to keep us in chap. 7 that in the plenary session of the Sanhedrin, the same senator who came to Jesus firstThe night, he had the courage to defend himself and to expose himself to the insults of his companions. He also chose to show us, on the day of deepest darkness when Jesus' closest friends were desperate for Him and His work, that same man who offered His dead body at the foot of the Cross as a royal homage and made Your body known to the public faith . in Him in whom he recognized at that hour the true bronze serpent, risen for the salvation of the world; DraftJuan 3:14-15. Here, it seems, there are characteristics that testify to the reality of a man, and in the presence of which one should not say: "In any case, there is no longer any doubt about him." It is also completely wrong to end Jesus' conversation with him in chap. 3, "a theoretical exposition of the gospel"; for each word of Jesus establishes a feature of the true messianic program in direct contrast to the false Pharisaic program that Nicodemus brought: the Messiah must be raised as a bronze serpent; which means: and not like a new Solomon. This is how God loved the world: and not just the Jews. The Son came to save the uncircumcised, not to judge them. Condemned is he who does not believe: and not the heathen as such. He who believes will be saved, but not the Jew as such. Add that last word: “He who practices the truthcome to light', it is very clear to anyone who puts himself in the situation that Jesus makes an encouraging allusion to the step Nicodemus had taken; Here is a goodbye full of kindness that is a guarantee of your future progress. Everything in this story is therefore related to himself from the first to the last word. Can one imagine a more real and realistic scene than that of Jacob's well? That exhaustion of Jesus to exhaustion (κεκοπιακώς); that malicious comment from the woman, "How can you ask me for a drink that I'm a Samaritan?" this jar of water that she leaves behind as a pledge of her speedy return; those Samaritans who run towards Jesus, whose zeal gives him the impression of a harvest already ripe, after a recent sowing; that sower who rejoices at least once in his life to see his work finished at Thanksgiving, those people of Sychar who so naively testify to the difference between their first creed, founded solely on the woman's story, and her stream of faith, the fruit of her contact with Jesus himself ... What painter makes us our author when he ascribes such words, such a picture to his creative imagination?

Can we say that the Greeks really lost sight of Jesus' response to Philip and Andrew's message? But to whom then does the expression at John 12:32 apply: “When I am exalted above the earth, I will createAll menFor me?" Our Lord means: My teaching and my miracles will not suffice to extend the kingdom of God on earth and bring in all peoples; my crucifixion will be necessary, followed by my exaltation. Only then, "after the seed is planted in the earth (John 12:24) Gentiles, which cannot yet be realized at this time Jesus' answer is therefore in her mind that of the Canaanite woman: “I am (during my earthly career) not sent, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." It matters little to us afterward whether or not the Greeks were admitted to a brief communion with the Lord. It was the moral situation itself and its gravity for Israel and the world which the narrator wished to describe as Jesus himself had so solemnly characterized him at that time; and what proves that it was indeed Jesus who spoke thus is the following picture of the profound emotion which this first contact with the pagan world arouses in him : “And now my soul is troubled; And what shall I say, father, save me from this hour? But that's why I came to this hour. It's safe to say: Here are words that weren't invented and certainly weren't invented in the interest of Logos Theory! Well, if those words are historical, the whole scene couldn't be otherwise. As for the Philip and Andrew mediation, it is actually more difficult to understand the objection than to resolve it.

Having recognized the difficulties involved, we ourselves began to raise some against itIdealExplanation of the Johannine narrative. The historical differences between this gospel and the previous ones supposedly result from the influence of the Logos theory that this work seeks to uncover. But many details in John's narrative are unrelated to, or even contradict, this alleged intention.

We wonder what interest there might be in the given perspectivetenth hourso specifically mentioned inJuan 1:40, or that first sojourn of Jesus in Capernaum, given inJuan 2:12, about which the author does not tell us the smallest detail; where it is beneficial to mention the idea of ​​the logo,Juan 8:20that the place where Jesus spoke was the named placethe treasureof the temple orJuan 10:23that "it was winter" and that "Jesus was walking in Solomon's porch"; either,Juan 11:54, that after the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus withdrew to a place called Ephraim and near the desert, without our knowing what he was doing and saying there. What gains the idea of ​​the Logos, knowing that the name of the servant whose right ear Peter cut off was called Malchus, and that he was the brother of a servant of the High Priest; that it was the apostle Andrew who discovered the child carrying the two barley loaves and the five fish; or that the disciples had gone twenty-five stadia when Jesus caught up with them at sea (John 6:18-19); or that in the tomb scene, John moved faster than Peter, but Peter was braver than John; that it was Philip who said, "Show us the Father"; Thomas asking, "Let us know the way"; Judas, "not Iscariot," wanting to know why Jesus reveals himself only to believers and not to the world (chap. 14)? Is it fictional realism that the author introduces these names, these numbers, these minute details, or does he ascribe symbolic meaning to them in relation to the Logos theory? The seriousness of the work does not allow for the first explanation, common sense excludes the second.

What is more, countless details in the narrative are in open contradiction to the Logos idea, as attributed to our author. Logos is tired and thirsty! The Logos stays in Galilee to avoid the death that threatens him in Jerusalem and goes only to that cityheimlich!The Logos then stirred in His soul and even in His spirit and began to weep; pray and eventually he gets so upset he doesn't know how to pray! It is easy to see that in none of our gospels is the truly human side of the person of Jesus so seriously emphasized as in the story of the fourth. If the subject of the narrative is contained in these words, "The Word became flesh," then the predicate in this sentence is at least as prominent in the narrative as the subject.

But suppose, despite so many details alien or contradictory to the philosophical conception of the Logos, the author wished to proclaim this new thesis and win the Church over to it: what was the use of introducing it? Mods generally accepted that they could only make everything suspicious?

Why create in any way a new life story of our Lord, when it was so easy for him, as the discourse following the account of the multiplication of the loaves (chap. 6) shows, to combine his pet theory with the facts already widely known and accepted .

Finally, we can say, without insurmountable psychological contradiction, that the author believed his own fictions until he merged them into the same story with the facts most sacred to him, those of the Passion and the Resurrection, or that didn't believe? , presented them as real to his readers with the aim of strengthening and developing their faith (John 20:30-31)? In particular, we can imagine that on these miracles of his own invention he bases the great charge that he elaborates to close the portion of chap. 5 to 12, against Jewish unbelief: “although I had done itthere were so many signs before them that they would not believe on him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled...” (John 12:37-38). And yet the one who wrote thus knew perfectly well that these signs, in the name of which he condemns his people, never happened! Here we have reached the limits of madness.

More and more men like Weizsäcker, Hase and Renan feel compelled to recognize a real and significant historical basis in the Fourth Gospel. No doubt they stop halfway; but the public conscience will not rest on that. After the present crisis has been overcome, the purely historical character of the entire work will be impressed on this consciousness; and we look forward with confidence to the moment when the narrative we have just studied will be repaired. As it turns out, this won't be the first retraction he's drawn from science.

3. The discourses.

But if the telling of the facts has not been altered for the sake of the speculative idea, can the same be said of the other part, and it is the most significant part of our gospel, namely the sayings it puts in the mouth of Jesus? According to Baur, these speeches are nothing more than the evolution of the idea of ​​the logos presented in its various aspects. Reuss believes that the author takes certain authentic statements from Jesus as a starting point, but expands them freely and develops them from his own Christian experience. In favor of this opinion are asserted the flagrant improbabilities observed in the account of most of these speeches; the unique correspondence of thought and style between the author's way of making Jesus speak and the language he ascribes to the precursor, or his own language, in the prologue and epistle; finally, and above all, the complete contrast of matter and form that exists between what Jesus says in our Gospel and what he teaches in the Synoptics.

To cover this important topic in detail, we will examine the following three questions:

1. Should the sayings of Jesus in this gospel be considered mere variations on the speculative theme the author puts at the beginning of his book? Or, on the contrary, should we consider the prologue as a summary, a quintessence of the story and lessons told in the narrative that follows?

2. Do the alleged difficulties invalidate the historical character of the speeches?

3. Can we come to such an idea of ​​the person of Jesus that the Johannine teaching proceeds from him just as naturally as the synoptic sermon?

A. The relation of the prologue to the speeches and the narrative in general.

First, let's determine the true meaning of the so-called Logos theorem. It is claimed that by opening his book in this way the author places the reader not in the field of history but in that of philosophical speculation. This claim can only be sustained on one condition, and that is to limit the prologue, as Reuss does, and Reuss alone, to the first five lines. As soon as we prolong it, which the continuation forces us to do, as soon asJuan 1:18, we see that the author did not think to teach thisHeuin God a Logos in it, yes it would be a speculative theorem, but that this Logos, this divine being,he appearedin Jesus Christ, which is not a philosophical idea but a fact, an element of the story, at least as the author understands it. And surely, John the Baptist,Juan 1:6-9, does not testify to the existence of the Logos, but to this historical fact: that the true divine light was manifested in Jesus. John doesn't say itJuan 1:11that the guilt of the Jews was that they refused to believe in the existence of a Logos, but that they did not accept that divine being as their Messiah when it appeared in Jesus. The Beatitudes of the Church (Jn 1:14-18), according to him, do not derive from the fact of having believed in the dictum of the Logos, but from the fact of having conceived and possessed him as a Son in Jesus Christ, source of Grace and the TRUTH. The question in the prologue, therefore, is precisely what Jesus is, the one whose story the author is about to tell. The central idea of ​​this preamble is historical and religious, not metaphysical.

But more than that: the true conception of the person of Jesus is in itself only one of the essential ideas of the prologue. This passage contains two other ideas which are no less important and which are even more clearly pertinent to the story. They are those of the rejection of Jesus by the Jews (Jn 1:11): "He came into his own, and his own did not receive him", unbelief with its consequence, the destruction, and that of the faith of the church (Jn 1 ,11). 1:16): "And out of his fullness we received all grace for grace" the happiness and salvation of all believers, both Jew and Gentile. These two ideas are not metaphysical concepts; They are, no less than the appearances of Christ, real events which the author saw happening before his own eyes and which he tried to follow in his story. He considered them fulfilled the moment he wrote, as soon as he looked at the world around him. So don't tell us about "abstract formulas at the beginning of this book, as a kind of program! It is the very essence of the story that he will be tracing, which the author previously summarized in this preamble.

In his opinion there is such a correlation between the following Gospel story and the prologue that the course of the latter determines the plan of the former precisely. The narrative presents three events unfolding simultaneously: the increasing revelation of Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God (John 20:30-31); the refusal of the Jewish nation as such to accept this revelation; and the belief of a certain number of persons in these testimonies, which are of fact and word. This course of the story can be found exactly in the prologue:Juan 1:1-5, das Logo?Juan 1:6-11, the rejected logos;Juan 1:12-18, received the logos. Now who could doubt for a moment whether history was invented according to this plan, or whether this plan was conceived and worked out according to history?

Notice also that Jesus' speeches were one of the most important factors in the development of history. What in a war are the successive battles that bring ultimate victory or defeat, so were in the ministry of Jesus these solemn gatherings in which the Lord witnessed to the work that God had just done through him, or among those who were in the city on the one hand this aversion and this hatred, on the other hand this sympathy and devotion, which decided the outcome of his coming. If so, how, in his opinion, could the author's reported discourses from Jesus only be free theological compositions? Just as the double result implied in the prologue, the rejection of Israel and the founding of the Church, are real facts, so it must also be the words of Jesus that have contributed so powerfully to bringing history to this double end. no less real from your point of view.

Finally, there is a rather remarkable and often remarked fact, which absolutely contradicts the view that the discourses of Jesus in our gospel are to be regarded as developments of a speculative theory peculiar to the author; is that the term logos, respWort, which so clearly characterizes the prologue, never occurs in the same sense in Jesus' speeches. The expressiongodswordit is often used in them to denote the content of divine revelation. There was only one step left to apply this term to the developer himself, as in the prologue. The author did not give in to this temptation. It is possible that he had more than one occasion to have Jesus speak in this way, especially in the conversation ofJuan 10:33next. The Jews accuse the Lord of blasphemy because as a man he makes himself God. He replies that in the same Old Testament the title is given to theocratic judgesof the;DraftPsalm 72:6: "I said you are gods." With these words the psalmist addressed the members of the Israelite court as organs of divine justice here below. From these words Jesus extracts the following argument: When Scripture, which cannot blaspheme, calls menTo whom is the word of God addressed?Gods, as you say, I blaspheme, I... almost infallibly I wait here: I who am the Word itself. But not; the phrase ends with these words: "I whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world." The author therefore does not succumb to theological seduction; it stays within the confines of the Lord's own language.

Other facts also testify to the loyalty with which he confines himself to his role as a historian, even in the discursive part of his work. In his prologue he ascribed to the Logos the role of the divine agent in the work of creation. He had done this by beginning with Jesus' testimonies to his pre-existence and completing them with the account of Genesis, and especially with this apt expression: "Let's do itman insideourimage” (cf. also Gen. 3:22). However, he had not heard this notion of the creative Logos expressly from the lips of Jesus; hence he does not include it in any of his speeches. And yet, as you wrote, it might have been presented to you more than once. That's why Jesus says when he prays, "Give me back the glory that I had with you before the world was created." How easy it would have been to replace those last words with the following: Before I made the world, or Before you made the world for me. In the prologue, the Logos is also presented as the enlightener of mankind in the ages before His coming (Genesis 3:5; Genesis 3:9-10). This idea, once voiced by the evangelist, has played an important role in theology since the dawn of Christianity. The author reveals it nowhere in Jesus' discourses. And yet, in a passage likeJuan 10:16, where Jesus declares that he tooother sheepthat they are not of this (Jewish) flock and that he will bring them soon, or in the discourse of chap. 6, where he repeatedly expresses the idea that a divine precursor is necessaryto teachmiDesignIn order to believe in Him, how natural it would be to resort to the idea of ​​the illumination of the human soul by the educating light of the Logos! No, certainly, the one who had Jesus say, "I will not say anything except what my Father teaches me," could not be persuaded to speak on his own terms. As he himself explains1 Juan 1:1: "What he announces to his brothers is only what he has seen andhe listened."Far from the discourses of Jesus being merely the development of a theorem placed at the beginning of the book, the prologue to the whole work is just what is the argument placed at the beginning of a chapter and extracted from its contents .” to the chapter of a history book. It is a forced, freely formulated synthesis of the story and lesson told in the work itself.

We would confirm this result in a fact often pointed out by Reuss, if this fact were proved on our side as completely as on his. According to this critic, we often find in the discourses of the Lord utterances that tend to establish a doctrine that directly contradicts the speculative theory of the prologue. This doctrine is that of Jesus' submission to God, which, it is emphasized, contradicts the idea of ​​the Son's perfect divinity so clearly taught in the prologue. Reuss believes that in this very contradiction he finds proof of the fidelity with which our evangelist preserved the teaching of Jesus in certain points, despite his own theology. But we will carefully avoid this argument based on a completely wrong interpretation of the data in the prologue. For it is easy to show that the subjection of the Logos to the Father is taught in this passage, as it is throughout the rest of the Gospel.

Before we leave this topic, let us introduce a strange observation made by the same author. The question relates to the words ofJuan 17:3. The distinction betweenJesus Christmithe only true godthere is one strongly emphasized fact which, according to Reuss, also contradicts the prologue's teaching on the divinity of the Saviour. This judgment on his part would not be at all surprising if, in his opinion, these words had actually been spoken by Jesus; they would fall into the category of those we just spoke of. But not; According to this reviewer, these words are made up by the author, just like those in the prologue. In this case, the evangelist would impute contradictory words to Jesus about his own theology!

So far we have been assured that he composed the speeches freelyis destroyedtheology in them, and behold, now he lets Jesus speak to fight against himself. In what a labyrinth of contradictions does bad criticism get lost here!

B. The alleged difficulties regarding the historical nature of the speeches.

Today there is a widespread opinion that Jesus could not have spoken like our evangelist. Renan regards the Johannine speeches as "pieces of theology and rhetoric to which we must ascribe neither historical reality nor the speeches which Plato places in the mouth of his teacher at the moment of death".

1.This opinion is initially based onimprobabilities inherent in the discourses themselves.

The argument comes first from theDarknessof teachings. It would have been a strange lack of pedagogical wisdom if Jesus had taught in such an incomprehensible way. "We would say that Jesus is ready to speak in riddles, always to fly to the highest regions impervious to the understanding of ordinary people." By teaching in this way, he would never have "won hearts and born that enthusiastic faith who survived the catastrophe of Calvary". Certainly not, if He always spoke like this, never otherwise. But our gospel does not claim to be more complete in doctrine than in fact. We prove it: This work traces only twenty selected occasions of a service of two and a half years. There were days, and these were most, when Jesus led his listeners through the lower or middle slopes of the mountain he wanted mankind to climb; but there were others where he wished to bring them closer to the high peaks and glimpse their sublime beauties. Without talking of the first kind there would have been no connection between their souls and his. Without those of the second, he would not have raised the Church to the height where it should conquer and rule the world. It is precisely these last discourses that the Fourth Evangelist rendered in a special way, because this higher element of the Savior's teaching did not find a sufficient place in the primitive tradition of popular evangelization. While we can understand that realistic and brilliant parables, strong moral maxims, and the like, would have provided the material for catechetical instruction in earlier times, and that teachings of a higher nature would have remained in the background, they are, as we shall see, utterly defective.

With that first charge, it is associated with something specificMonotony.Basically, according to Sabatier, there is “one single discourse” in the whole gospel; Reuss would even find two of them. According to the first of these authors, this is done through the same idea: "I am the way, the truth, the life." According to the second, this theme is developed, sometimes in relation to the unregenerate world, sometimes in relation to those who already belong to Jesus Christ.

Do the facts, when seriously challenged, support this assessment? On the contrary, does not every discourse of this Gospel have its originality, its particular point of view, just like the teachings of the Synoptics? As Jesus Nicodemus thespiritual naturethe kingdom of God, as opposed to the earthly conception which the Pharisees made of it; when he teaches the Samaritan womanuniversalityof the cult he wants to establish on earth, as opposed to the local character of the ancient cults; when he reveals the mystery of in Jerusalemaction communitybetween the father and the son and the total dependence on the latter; when he exhibits his in Capernaumrelation to the lost world, and he offers himself to his hearers as the bread of heaven, which gives men the life of God; when, in chap. 10, He reveals to the people of Jerusalem the formation of thenew herdthat he is about to take out of the old, and that he will fill with the sheep brought out of all the other folds; when in the last night he announces to his disciples the commission he entrusts to them to take his place on earth,do greater worksthan yours; if He describes it to themworld hateof which they will be, and when finally, before taking his final leave of absence and commending them to the Father in prayer, he promises to do sonew helper, by which they will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment and achieve complete victory in His name, can this always be the same teaching? Isn't there some partisan interest in this process? Monotony reigns in the sunlight; but what variety in their reflections! The same is in the infinite blue of the sky; but what a contrast to the manifold lines of the earthly horizon! The basis of all Johannine discourses is an open heaven, the heart of the Son in communion with that of the Father. But this living, personal heaven is in constant relation to the infinitely diverse individuals that surround it and to the changing situations that it passes through throughout life. The monotony imposed on the evangelist is not uniformity but unity.

The crime is committed with the same monotonyMethodused by the evangelist to introduce the exposition of his theology. It regularly begins with a figurative expression attributed to Jesus, leaving the listener in a gross and absurd misunderstanding; then Jesus develops his thinking and shows his superiority, and this usually takes his thinking to the point of utter contradiction with that of his interlocutor. Such is the case with Nicodemus the Samaritan woman, the people after the multiplication of the loaves, and finally the conflicts in Jerusalem. There is a way of the author here that, as they say, cannot belong to history. But if the people surrounding Jesus were carnal in their aspirations, they must also be carnal in their understanding; because in the moral realm both light and darkness emanate from the heart; Jesus himself says thisMateo 6:22. What is more natural than the constant repetition of this clash at every encounter between the mind of Jesus and that of his contemporaries? On the one hand, the direct view of things from above; on the other hand, the grossest carnal incomprehension. According to the same Synoptics, what level of spiritual development did the apostles reach after two full years of daily conversations with Jesus trying to initiate them into a new perspective? He warns them: "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees"; and they imagine that he is reproaching them for the forgetfulness into which they have fallen in providing themselves with bread for the planned journey! Jesus has to say to them: "Have you no understanding, are you hardened, with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear?" (Markus 8:17-18.) And yet the critic would declare impossible a similar misunderstanding in the case of Nicodemus the Samaritan, his listeners in Galilee or Jerusalem, who first spoke to him. And besides, one must not forget that Nicodemus' thought is simply this: "But is it not possible that..." meaning the μή (negative question mark) with which his question begins; and in other cases, such asJuan 7:35;Juan 8:22, the Jews' apparent misunderstanding is really just a tongue-in-cheek joke on his part. Regarding the incomprehension of the inhabitants of Capernaum,Juan 6:0, many others were also later deceived here, despite Jesus' explanation,Juan 6:63: "The spirit is the one that gives life, the flesh is useless at all." The phenomenon called suspicious is therefore only a feature extracted from the fact.

The same applies toDialogformin which many of Jesus' teachings are presented, especially in chap. 7 and 8 and in chap. 14. How could such minute details be preserved, either in the individual memory of the author or traditionally? "These questions and objections," it says, "do not belong to the story, but to the form of writing." They beautifully represent the state of mind of men like thatAuthorfound before him when he wrote, but not as when Jesus preached. But are we so intimately acquainted with the difference which the state of mind of men may have shown at the beginning of the second century or in the middle of the first? And how can it be seriously argued that the following questions and objections fit the mood of Asia Minor at the beginning of the second century better than the Palestinian prejudices of Jesus' day? “Then came the Christ from Galilee…? Isn't he from Bethlehem, the village where David was? (Juan 7:41-42.) “We know where this man comes from; but when the Christ comes, no one will know whence he came” (John 7:27). "Aren't we right when we say that you are a Samaritan?" (Juan 8:48.) "Are you then greater than our father Abraham?" (Juan 8:53.) "We are descendants of Abraham, and we were never slaves of anyone" (John 8:33). "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (Juan 6:52.) “Isn't that Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? Then how do you say that I came down from heaven? (Juan 6:42.) If you want to find spoken evidence in our gospel for the truly historical character of Jesus' teaching, you must look for it precisely in these dialogues. Suffice it to open a commentary to convince us that we have here living manifestations of Jesus' contemporary Palestinian Judaism. Also, this form of dialogue is not constant; in chap. incorrectly stated. 3, 4, somewhat further developed in Chap. 6, is fully capitalized dominant. 7, 8 something that fits the situation perfectly as this is the climax of the conflict between the Lord and his opponents in Jerusalem. We find almost no trace of him in chap. 10 where Jesus begins to withdraw from the battle. It appears expressly only in Chap. 14, where he is naturalized again depending on the situation. It is the last moment of the conversation between Jesus and his people; take the opportunity to freely express the doubts that each of them still has in their hearts. Imagine a second-century Christian exclaiming with the simplicity of Philip, "Lord, show us the Father, and it will suffice us!" or, pretending to share Thomas' ignorance, saying, "We know not where you are going, and how shall we know the way?" or ask with Judas, "Why do you want to show yourself to us and not to the world?" and again for a little while, and will you see me? We can't say what he says. The situation that gave rise to these questions and doubts only existed for a moment, on that final night that John's story poses it. From the days that followed, all these mysteries received their solution through the great acts of salvation that have since been accomplished. These objections and questions, said to have been raised in the second century, are therefore of their time and of the essence of the House of Lords; hence the same thing happens with the answers that correspond to them.

GUThistorical contradictionsare also claimed. Below are the two main ones. Individually.Juan 10:26In the account of Jesus' visit at the inauguration festival in December, the evangelist put this reproach in her mouth: "You are not my sheep,like i told you’, which is supposed to be a quotation from the words addressed to the Jews at the Feast of Tabernacles a few months earlier (cf. the allegories of the Shepherd, the Fool and the Good Shepherd, in the first part of the same chapters). He therefore forgets by making Jesus speak in such a way that the audience had changed completely from one feast to another. But why has it changed? let's ask It was not the pilgrims who were strangers that Jesus had spoken so harshly to a few months ago. It was a group of Pharisees who mockingly asked him (John 9:40), "Are we blind too?" So they were speaking on behalf of the whole party, and that party, as we know, was based in Jerusalem. I cannot say with certainty that the inauguration feast was the sameindividualsthat they met Jesus face to face again; but in fact it was the same class of people, the Pharisees of Jerusalem, together with the populace of that city, who were completely governed by his spirit. Besides, everyone knows that the words:like i told you, on which all color rests, are omitted from six of the most important capital letters, most notably theSinaitischmiVatican.

Another similar argument comes from Jesus' discourse, which is reproduced inJuan 12:44next. It is "a recapitulation of Protestant theology," says Reuss; and the author puts it here in the mouth of Jesus without considering that Jesus, according to his own narrative, has just "retired and disappeared from public view." Here is a fact, adds this critic, which is well suited "to give us a fair idea of ​​the nature of Jesus' speeches" in this work. Baur had already concluded from this passage that historical situations are nothing more than mere forms for the author. It is not the evangelist's fault if his narrative is so judged. He had readers who would not doubt his common sense. He had just ended the account of Jesus' public ministry with this solemn sentence: "And he went and hid himself from them" (John 12:36). And yet he is said to have put a solemn speech to the people in His mouth immediately afterwards! NO; from John 12:37 the author himself began to speak; he gives in to the sad contemplation of the failure of such an extraordinary ministry. He provides facts demonstrating the ineffectiveness of Jesus' many miracles in overcoming people's unbelief (John 12:37-43). so cleanJuan 12:44, in the same recapitulation, passes from miracles to doctrines rendered ineffective, like miracles, by such obstinacy; and to convey what Jesus' entire ministry in Israel was, he summarizes in the discourse:Juan 12:44-50, which is to the words of Jesus what John 12:37 was to His marvelous ministry, a simple summary: "Yet he cried out with a loud voice!" Then follows the announced summary of all unsuccessful solemn testimonies. This passage also differs from all actual speeches in that it does not containonlynew idea; for each word two or three parallels from earlier discourses can be quoted. Reuss is therefore not satisfied with the suggestion that from this speech, which is not in the spirit of the evangelist, the true standard for the appreciation of all those who put themselves in the mouth of our Lord in this work.

Finally, the veracity of the speeches was also questioned, since the author could not possibly retain them in his mind until the time, no doubt very late in his life, when he wrote them. Reuss drops this objection. He holds that the words of Jesus, in so far as the author heard them himself or borrowed them from tradition, "must have been the object of his meditations all his life, and must have impressed him all the more the more he has engraved himself and fed on them. " them. If, indeed, it is a question of the earnest discussions that took place in Jerusalem (chap. 7, 8), how could they not impress themselves plainly on the memory of one who witnessed them with such zeal? What the In all cases of somewhat lengthy speeches, such as those in Chapters 5 and 6 10, 15-17, the memory of the listener finds support in a clearly formulated central idea at the beginning, which later develops into a series of individual ideas that support this first idea So in chapter 5, the first part of Jesus' apologetic discourse is contained, as in its germ, in that admirable phrase ofJuan 5:17: "My father works until now, and [consequently] I work too." This idea of ​​the son's necessary collaboration with his father is developed in a first cycle under two aspects: the son looks at the father and the father reveals his work to the son.Juan 5:19-20. Then this first cycle, which is also very summary in its character, becomes the starting point of a new, more precise development, in which the work of the Son unfolds even in its most concrete applications in the realization of the thought of the God Son .Father. This work consists of the two divine acts ofAcceleratemiRichter(Jn 5:21-23), is that each of them is successively summarized and accompanied by all its historical phases until its full realization, first spiritually, then externally and materially (Jn 5:24-29).

Almost the same thing happens in the second part of this discourse (John 5:30-47), in which everything is subordinate to this main idea: "There is another [the Father] who testifies of me", and in which the threefold The testimony of the Father's is presented on behalf of the Son, with a final application binding on the listeners.

in chap. 6 it is easy to see that all talk and talk is equally subordinate to one grand idea, the one that naturally emerges from the previous day's miracle: "I am the bread of life." This affirmation develops in a series of concentric cycles that eventually lead to this sharp and concrete expression: "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in yourselves" in chap. 17, in the second part of the priestly prayer, which contains Jesus' intercession for his disciples, his thinking goes in the same direction. The general idea, "I pray for them," soon splits into two particular ones, each becoming the center of a subordinate cycle: "keep them"(Note),Juan 17:11, meaning: “The work that I have done in them must not be jeopardized” and: “sanctify us(sanctify),Juan 17:17, that is: "Full and complete your consecration."

If in these several instances the thoughts of Jesus really developed in the form best suited to the nature of religious contemplation, we can easily understand how such words were not difficult for an attentive listener to render. It was enough for him to focus his attention sharply on the central thought clearly engraved in his memory, and then to mentally repeat the same evolutionary process that produced language from that seed. In this way he recovered the subordinate ideas from which he got down to the most concrete details. However, Jesus did not always speak in this way; we have the proof of this in our Synoptics and in the same Fourth Gospel. This method was natural when the situation indicated a subject of great wealth, as in chap. 5 and 6. But we find none of this in the conversation with Nicodemus or in those of chap. 14, which proves that we don't have to see an evangelical style in it. Here's what probably happened in the latter cases. The conversation with Nicodemus certainly lasted much longer than the few moments we spent reading it, and Jesus' final conversations with the disciples, which occupied much of the night, must have lasted several hours. It must therefore be admitted (unless this is all made up) that a work of condensation was done in the narrator's mind, in which essential thoughts were gradually separated from secondary thoughts and transitions, and then went straight and unconnected. , linked together as they really appear to us in John's account. Therefore, we are left with only the main points of these discussions. Nothing could be simpler than this process.

The conclusion of this study, therefore, is that there is no serious internal difficulty preventing us from acknowledging the historical truth of Jesus' teachings contained in our gospel.

II.But a more serious objection arises from the correspondence of these speeches with those ofJohn the Baptist, and with lessons from the author himselfno prologuemiin his first letter.

Jesus speaks in Saint John as John the Baptist (cf.Juan 1:15;Juan 1:29-30; Jn 3:27-36), as the same evangelist does in his own writings. Isn't there obvious evidence here that the sayings of Jesus, like those of John the Baptist, came from himself? There can be no question of style here in terms of grammatical and syntactical forms; Indeed, how is it possible that the style is not that of the evangelist? Neither Jesus nor John the Baptist spoke Greek; and in order to render his speeches tolerably in that language, the genius of which is exactly the opposite of the Aramaic language in which the Redeemer and his Forerunner spoke, a literal translation was impossible. In any case, the author was forced to go under the words to the thoughts and then to provide them with a new expression taken from the language in which he told them. Why, in such a work of assimilation and reproduction, could not the language of John the Baptist take on a nuance like that of Jesus, and the language of both the language of the evangelist's style? The problem here is not one of outward expression; it is the faithful preservation of thoughts. When translating the words of John and Jesus, is it likely that the author changed their meaning? Did you add something of your own? Or did he compose himself in complete freedom? It is assumed that an affirmative answer can be given. First the speech of John the Baptist,Juan 3:27-36, it is claimed. Reuss safely concedes that two phrases in this discourse come from the precursor that introduces it: "I am not the Christ" and the word that forms its center: "He must increase, but I must decrease." Furthermore, the critic , "There is not a word among all that which does not find an equally good place, nay a hundred times better, in the mouth of a Christian who is thoroughly imbued with the dominant ideas of this book, and which is not reproduced elsewhere, as far as its substance is concerned, in the Speeches attributed to Jesus himself. But what! It may be that these words constituted the Baptist's entire response to his disciples, who bitterly accused Jesus of ingratitude! We believe that he developed them a little, and in particular to include among the number of authentic expressions that word of inimitable beauty (Jn 3:29): "He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom who is present and hears him rejoices greatly with the voice of the bridegroom, and this joy of mine is fulfilled.Man did not invent this way in the second century, as our apocryphal books testify!Let us go further: if we accept the story of the Synoptics , after which the Forerunner would have heard the Father's voice saying to Jesus: "You are my beloved Son; I am well pleased with you", it is impossible to admit that the same man uttered these words which the evangelist puts into his mouth ( John 3:35): "The father loves the son, and put everything in his hands?

If, according to the Synoptics, it is still true that John saw the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus in the form of a dove, that is, in His organic and indivisible fullness, it is incredible that he spoke in this way about Jesus. , after John, inJuan 3:34: “Speak the words of God; forGod gives you the spiritwithout measure (or: the Spirit gives them without measure)?” And when John the Baptist expresses himself at the beginning of his work as the Synoptics have him say: “You snake race, who taught you to fleeof the coming wrath?Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire!" (Matthew 3, 7-10), it is not a matter of course for him to end his public activity with this warning: "Whoever disobeys the Son the wrath of God abides on him." Here is the final echo of the thunder from Sinai, taking its rightful place in the mouth of the last representative of the old covenant. But the objection falls on the saying, "He testifies what he has seen and heard, and no one accepts his testimony," and asks how it is possible that John the Baptist took the statement of Jesus himself so literally in his conversation with Nicodemus has repeated . (John 3:11): "Truly, truly, I say to you, what we know we say, and what we have seen we testify, and you do not accept our testimony." However, he was not at that conversation present! NO; but you may have been told something about it; And even if it were otherwise, what is the meaning of the words of the Baptist just recalled: “The friend of the bridegroom who is present and hears is very happyby the bridegroom's voice;mithis is my joyHas it come true? Hear the bridegroom's voice! So some word from Jesus reached his ear. And isn't it quite natural that while John and Jesus were baptizing close together (John 3:22-23), the apostles, who had been disciples of the Forerunner, took a few steps to greet their former teacher, and should have informed him of what Jesus did and said? The speech of John the Baptist is thus explained from beginning to end. And the word to which Reuss reduced itJuan 3:30, it was just his central idea. In fact, all that precedes (John 3:27-29) is the development of the second phrase, "I must lose weight" and all that follows,Juan 3:31-36She is the first: "It has to grow."

But it is possible to regard as historical the words put into the mouth of John the Baptist in the prologue,Juan 1:15, and repeated later in the narrative itself,Juan 1:30: "Was he the one behind me in front of me?" Could John know and explain the divine pre-existence of Jesus? If this statement had only been mentioned in the prologue, which is the composition of the evangelist, doubts would have been possible. But a little later the author explicitly puts it back into its historical context (John 1:30). It tells how it was in Betania that the progenitor pronounced it the day after the Sanhedrin deputation. There would be a peculiar affectation, not to say palpable bad faith, in these ancillary indications of time and place if the words were the author's invention. They also have a stamp of originality and mysterious conciseness alien to later fiction. And why shouldn't they be authentic? When John the Baptist began his ministry, we know that the program of his work was the double prophecy ofIsaiah 40:3: "Voice crying out in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord", andMalachi 3:1: "Behold, I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me" (Mateo 3:3;Mateo 10:10;Markus 1:2-3;Lukas 1:17; Luke 7:27). Well, in the second of those two passages, always so closely connected, he-hefrom youthe Messenger (Jehovah) is none other than he who is about toconsequenceshe (Jehovah as Messiah); this is irrefutably proven by words,before me, in the prophetic statement. If John the Baptist were familiar with this passage, could he not understand what I am saying? could stop understanding that theto come afterhe (the Messiah) was theFrom youhim, and consequently hispredecessoron the stage of history the invisible theocratic king. Then the question arises again: could John the Baptist read?

The similarity in matter and form between theforewordand the discourses of Jesus present no more serious difficulty. For, on the one hand, we have seen that the question of the teachings of the Prologue is in large part only a summary of those very discourses; and on the other hand, it is impossible that the author, in translating them from Aramaic into Greek, has not clothed them in some way in his own style. The stated compliance is therefore an easily explainable fact.

It is the correspondence between the discourses andthe first letterbe seen as more compromising to the authenticity of the former? With regard to the form, the similarity can be explained by the reasons already indicated when one speaks of the prologue. But from this external point of view, too, H. Meyer found a kind of impoverishment in the vocabulary of the epistle compared to that of the sentences. About thirty nouns, about twenty verbs - that's the whole linguistic background of the letter. What a contrast to speeches so rich in lively, original words and impressive, varied images! On the other hand, there are also certain special expressions that belong to the epistle and are foreign to the gospel, such asborn of God(1 Juan 2:29;1 Juan 3:9;1 Juan 4:7;1 Juan 5:1; Draft Prologue, Gosp. John 1:13); EITHERanointingof the ghost (1 Juan 2:20; 1Jo 2:27); or title ofParacleteapplied to Jesus (1 John 2:1).

On the subject, we find even more striking differences between the epistle and the gospel, which prove that the author has carefully observed the boundary between his own thinking and the teaching of Jesus. We shall particularly emphasize three points which occupy an important place in the letter and which are not mentioned anywhere in the speeches:

1. The atonement value of the death of the Lord (1 Juan 1:7;1 Juan 1:9;1 Juan 2:2;1 Juan 4:10; 1 Juan 5:6);

2. The coming of the Antichrist (1 Juan 2:18;1 Juan 2:22; 1 Juan 4:1-3);

3. Waiting for the parousia (Juan 1:18;Juan 1:28; Jo 3:2).

These three terms, while closely linking our epistle to the synoptic gospels, profoundly distinguish it from the discourses of John. More recently, attempts have been made to explain this difference by attributing the letter to an author other than the Gospel. This hypothesis did not hold up, not even within the school in which it arose. Baur's students, such as Hilgenfeld, Ludemann, etc., unanimously reject him. How can we explain this unique difference? Several critics have been led to believe that the author of the two works was still steeped in his ancient Jewish ideas when he wrote the letter, and that it was only later that he rose to the lofty spirituality that characterizes the gospel. Therefore, the epistle would predate the gospel. We do not believe that this hypothesis can be supported. The discourses contained in the Gospel differ from the teachings of the Epistle by a power of thought and a power of expression which indicate an earlier date than the composition of the latter work. In addition, the man who is not only addressed in the letterKindermiteenagers, for .... As wellLandfamilies and all members of the Church, calling them “my little children” (1 John 2:1;1 Juan 2:18; 1 John 2:28; 1 John 5:21), could only have been very advanced in old age. It is not under these conditions that a man rises from the style of the Epistle to that of the Gospel, from the somewhat slow and even hesitant tempo of the one to the direct and powerful flight of the other. Further evidence that the writing of the speeches preceded that of the letter is the fact that all the ideas presented in the speeches recur in the letter in historical, occasional, current form applicable to particular circumstances and listeners. abstractly as general Christian maxims and in some form as elements of a religious philosophy. Jesus said in the Gospel: "God so loved the world" or "You loved me before the foundation of the world". The letter says, "God is love." Jesus said, "The father from whom you are descended is the devil, and you do the works of your father." The Epistle says, "Whoever commits sin is of the devil." Jesus said, "You didn't choose me, I chose you." The letter says: “We do not love God; it was he who loved us.” Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness.” The letter says, “God is light...the true light is shining now.” Jesus said, "I have a greater testimony than that of men." The epistle says, "When we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater." Isn't it obvious that these aphorisms of the second work are nothing but realistic generalizations of the particular statements belonging to the first? The gospel is history; The letter is the spirit of the story. Consequently, to put the latter before the former defies all reasonable criticism.

So the difference between these two works must be explained differently. It is an undeniable fact that the ideas we have presented, which clearly distinguish the epistle from the gospel, belong to synoptic teaching and are consequently part of the apostolic faith and the teaching of the church in general. Here, then, was the subject upon which the author drew in writing the letter. But when he wrote the five or six speeches he has preserved for us, he neither went beyond their original meaning nor inserted, as Reuss affirms,Sentencehis theology. limited to what i hadhe listenedon these special occasions. The epistle thus forms a natural link between the teachings of John and those of the Synoptics. And the more it is ideally connected with this, the more it becomes a confirmation of the historical character of both.

Comparison of the speeches with the author's own compositions is therefore not a cause for suspicion, but becomes evidence of the fidelity with which he reproduced the former, and the author nowhere seems to have crossed the line between what he was heard had and what he had composed himself.

thirdHere we come to the more difficult side of the question with which we have to deal. In the first three Gospels we have three perfectly harmonious and indisputable documents containing the teachings of Jesus. These teachings appear in a simple, popular, and practical way; They are what they should have been to charm the crowd and gain their approval. How could the sombre and theological discourses of the Fourth Gospel come from the same spirit and from the same lips? "We have to make a choice," says Renan: "If Jesus had spoken the way Matthew wanted, He could not have spoken the way John wanted." "Well," he adds, "between the two authorities there is no Critics doubted or will doubt."

Is the contrast thus suggested really as inexplicable as claimed? We shall devote the following pages to the study of this question.

OneContentsAmong the teachings, the discourses of John in particular seem to differ from those of the Synoptics in three respects: 1. The difference in the share ascribed to the person of Jesus in matters of salvation; 2. The Johannine conception of the existence of Jesus as a divine being before his earthly life; 3. The omission of all statements by John regarding his visible return as judge of the world.

Regarding the role of Jesus in the question of salvation, it is argued that while Christ the Synoptics merely proclaims the kingdom of God, thegood newsOnly John's Christ himself can preach about the approaching coming of this glorious state and say what relates to God and what relates to the world. While the synoptic teachings focus on the most diverse moral obligations, charity, humility, truthfulness, seclusion, vigilance, prayer, in a word, are inthe righteousness of the kingdom,On the other hand, according to the expression of Jesus himself, in John all duty is reduced to holding fast to that which has come down from heaven, in which God reveals himself and gives himself up. Among the Synoptics, Jesus is the preacher of salvation; in John He is salvation itself, eternal life, everything.

Is the difference as clear as claimed and is the contrast inexplicable? No this can not be; for himcentralThe position occupied by the person of Christ in the teaching of John is also decisively ascribed to him in the first three gospels. The moral commandments given by Jesus in the latter are closely related to his own person; and among the duties of human life they, like John, predominate in faith in Christ, the sine qua non of salvation. Let the reader judge for themselves.

“Sell what you have and give to the poor…thenfollow meJesus said to the rich young ruler (Mt 19:21). The second of these commands explains the first; one is the condition, the other the end. “Truly I tell you, as soon as you have done it to one of my brothers, you have done it to onemi(Matthew 25:40). is sympathy forIs, Jesus, who constitutes the value of this help and is, so to speak, the good work in a good work (cf. Mt 10:42). Jesus adds (Matthew 25:41) addressing the condemned: “Go awayFrom my, damned! Perdition is the breaking of all union withIs.ReceiveIsit receives God, he explains to his disciples (Matthew 10:40). The most indisputable proof that one possesses the humility necessary to enter the Kingdom is the birth of a child.In the name of Jesus;that is, as if Jesus himself were conceived; and the offense which will inevitably annihilate the one unfortunate enough to cause it is that which is causedone of those little ones who believe in him(Matthew 18:5-6); It is so true that the good in good is loveIs, and the crime within the crime is the evil done to himIs.The infallibly effective prayer is the prayer of two or three personsin your name(Matthew 18:20). True vigilance is waitingIs, the second coming of the Lord, and the condition of entering into His glory with Him is being ready to receiveIsat his coming (Luke 12:36). If the foolish virgins are rejected, it is because they have failed in their duty to do soIs(Matthew 25:12). confessIsHere below is the way to be acknowledged by Him above as well as to denyIsis to pronounce the sentence itself (Mateo 10:32-33; 8:38 March). The most intimate and sacred relationships of human life must remain constantly subordinate to the bond that binds the believer to Jesus, lest the believer be willing to break them, "Father, mother, son, wife, to hate life itself" when this is the case. The highest bond requires such a sacrifice (Mt 10:37). Otherwise you wouldn't beworthy of him, or what is equivalent tobe counted among the culprits, and are deleted with them (Mateo 7:23; Matthew 25:12). Without considering the gifts entrusted by Himyour business, increaseIt will be deletedWealth down here for having been for itIt will be deleteduseless servant, that's enough to throw someone inouter darkness, where there is only weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30). The most crucial act of moral life, a sine qua non for being able to do itmeetGiving up your life again in the future, giving uploseitself this action can only be performedbecause of you(Matthew 10:39). How else could Jesus have described man's relationship to God Himself?

There is one fact in the Gospel omitted by John but preserved by all three Synoptics, which shows more clearly than any Proverbs how Jesus really made his whole religious and moral life out of a personal union with himself. . It is the institution of the Lord's Supper, together with these two statements that explain it: "This is my blood, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins"; and "The Son of man came to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mateo 26:28; Matthew 20:28). Accepting Jesus means appropriating life. Jesus is not only the preacher of salvation; He is also, as in John, salvation itself. The role of Jesus in the question of salvation is therefore not fundamentally different in the two teachings; and therefore the Church has never experienced the indicated contrast. Only here, it seems to me, lies the difference and its origin. The Synoptics were fond of seeing why, tracing the popular and everyday sermons of Jesus, in which he sought to awaken the moral life of his hearers and stimulate the spiritual instincts that could only lead them to him. . Now those listeners were Jews who had grown up expecting the Messianic Kingdom from childhood. Jesus therefore, like John the Baptist, takes this glorious hope as the starting point of his teaching and tries to spiritualize it and to locate holiness as an essential characteristic of this future situation. To this end, it strongly emphasizes the moral qualities that its members must possess. But that was only the elementary and propaedeutic teaching, the general basis (common to the law and the prophets) of the particular and truly new proclamation which he brought to the world. This sermon referred to the role that his person played in the work of redemption and kingdom establishment. And when he deals with this subject in the Synoptics, he emphasizes, no less than in the Fourth Gospel, the vital importance of faith in him and the concentration of salvation in his person and work. Without the first form of teaching, he would have found his listeners deaf. Without the second, he would never have gotten her to the height he wanted her to be. Although the Synoptics have especially described the first to us, they have faithfully preserved the second; and in this we especially find, as we have just done, the common ground between them and John.

But there is a point where the Fourth Gospel seems to go decidedly beyond the content of synoptic teaching. It's fromdivine preexistencefrom Jesus. Should we recognize here an idea introduced by the author of the fourth gospel into the Lord's teaching, or should we regard this idea as a real element in Jesus' self-testimony?

Three words in particular in the Gospel of John obviously contain this idea: “What will happen when you see the Son of man ascending?where was i before(John 6:62). "Truly, truly, I tell you,BeforeAbraham was meIn(John 8:58). “And now, father, glorify me with you in glorythat I had with youbefore the world was” (John 17:5); or indeed as Jesus says inJuan 17:24, "because you loved me before the foundation of the world." Beyschlag, Weizsäcker, Ritschl and others try to give this pre-existence only an ideal meaning: Jesus felt and recognized himself as the man whom God had foreseen, loved, chosen and destined to be the savior of mankind from eternity, and the feeling of this eternal predestination formulated itself in him as a consciousness of his personal pre-existence. But this attempt at explanation is very far removed from the meaning of the words just quoted. "WhereIsit was before" can only denote such a real, personal existence as the present existence of the one who speaks in this way. And in the other two statements the comparison with Abraham ("before Abraham was", literallybecame, γενέσθαι) and with the world ("before the world was"), two perfectly real beings, does not allow one to ascribe in the first place to the one compared to them an existence less real than theirs. So the only question is whether JesusThe samesaid so, or whether another person attributed such utterances to him.

First, let us recall that the idea of ​​the divinity of the Messiah was one of the fundamental points of the teaching of the prophets. Only an exegesis determined not to bow to the texts can dispute this. If the critics want it, we will not insist on the second Psalm, although we are convinced that the words: "You are my son" and these: "Kiss the Son" can mean nothing other than the participation of the Messiah in divine existence and the obligation of men to worship him. But what cannot be denied are the titles ofMighty GodmiEternal fatherthat Isaiah "gives the Son that is born unto us" (Isaiah 9:5); the contrast that Micah makes (Is 9:2) between the earthly birth of the ruler of Israel, inBelen, and His higher origin that isfrom eternity;identifying Jehovah with the suffering Messiah in Zechariah in that vainly tormented expression: “They will lookmiwho do they havePerforated' (Zechariah 12:10); Finally, and most importantly, the promise Malachi puts in whose mouth? Jehovah or Messiah? obviously of both, for he identifies them, as we have already seen: "Behold,I sendmy messenger (the forerunner), and he will prepare the waybefore meand the lord you seekthe angel of the pactwhoever you want will appear suddenlyis destroyedTemple; behold, he is coming, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:1). The coming of the Messiah is the coming of the Lord,Adonis, a name given only to God; is coming fromCovenant Angel, of that angel of the Lord of whom the Pentateuch speaks often, and whom Isaiah calls "the angel of his presence" (Isaiah 63:9), of that mysterious being in which the Lord appears from earliest times when He wills himself sensually intelligible ways, and of which God says (Numbers 23:21): "My name(my manifested essence) is in Him.” It is this mysterious being who, in these words of Malachi, which can be considered the culmination of Messianic prophecy, proclaims himself both the Messiah who will follow the Forerunner and the God who will sends him and is worshiped in Jerusalem. And let's not say we put things in this section that aren't there, or at least weren't there in Jesus' day. We already have evidence to the contrary. This saying of John the Baptist, "He who comes after me was before me", he derived from this source through the enlightenment of the spirit. But we have another proof, namely the words that Luke put into the mouth of the angel when he announced to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist: “He (John) will bring back many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. , Ishe will precede itin the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers to children..." He will go before him... Before whom? The foregoing words expressly state: "before the Lord your God.And if we could doubt that these words are a rendering of those of Malachi, that doubt would disappear before the following words, "in the spirit and in the power of Elijah," taken literally from the next chapter of the same prophet (Malachi 4: 5-6). Therefore, no man in Israel who knew the prophecies could refuse to ascribe a superhuman nature to the person of Messiah. From a natural point of view, therefore, it would not be surprising if Jesus, who declared himself the Messiah, at the same time affirmed his divine pre-existence.

A second instructive fact is presented to us in the New Testament. The pre-existence of Christ is not only taught in the discourses of John; it is taught in the epistles of Paul. In accordance with1 Corinthians 8:6, because according to the prologue of John, it is Christ whocreatedeverything. After the same letterJuan 10:4, the invisible rock that led Israel into the wilderness and delivered Israel, was Christ. In accordance withColossians 1:15-17, He is “the firstborn over all creation”; He is "before all things"; it is “through him that all things were created, celestial and earthly; everything is through him and for him everything is in him”. And not only São Paulo represents this idea. The Epistle to the Hebrews, which also by its fate testifies to the faith of the early Palestinian Church, declares that it is Christ who created the world, whom angels worship, who founded the earth and heaven, who is always the same, and he is exalted like Moses, since he who built the house is greater than the house itself (Juan 1:2;Juan 1:6;Juan 1:10;Juan 1:12; John 3:3). What's more, the same idea is found again in the Apocalypse, that Judaizing book it claims to be. Jesus is called in him, as Jehovah himself is in IsaiahThe First and the Last;that is, as the author himself explains, theStartIt is inFilm(ἀρχὴ καὶ τέλος) of all creation; All creatures prostrate themselves before the Lamb who sits on the throne and before the Father. Hence it is not for any individual (neither real nor pseudo-John), nor for any school (that of Ephesus), nor for any semi-Gnostic party, nor for any church in Asia Minor, that the doctrine of the Deity and Vor -existence belonging to Christ; it is for the Church, represented in all its parts by the authors and readers of the writings just quoted. If so, this commonly accepted conception of the person of Christ must be based on positive testimonies that flowed from the mouth of Jesus, such as we find in the fourth gospel.

The first three gospels, far from contradicting this conclusion, confirm it. We have already shown that these Scriptures give the person of Christ absolutely the same centrality in relation to the human soul that the Old Testament gives to God. To whom did Moses and the prophets place absolute trust and love? Jesus claims them in the Synoptics in the name of our salvation. Would Jewish monotheism, so strict and so jealous of God's rights, allow Jesus to take such a position if he did not have the clear awareness that there is a divine personality at the bottom of his human existence? As a believing Jew, he cannot want to be for us what the Synoptics demand of him, unless he is what he himself claims to be in John.

A large number of specific facts in the Scriptures themselves support this general conclusion. We have just seen how in Luke the one who comes after the forerunner is named in the preceding words:the Lord your God.In Mark the person of the Son is placed above even the most exalted creatures: "No one knows that day, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son [at the time of his humiliation], but only the Father" (John 13:32). In Matthew the Son stands between the Father and the Holy Spirit, the breath of God: "Baptize all nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). In the parable of the vinedressers, Jesus represents himself as opposed to theEmployeessent before him as the son and heir of the owner of the vineyard (Mt 21:37-38). It would be in vain to ask Jesus' question (Matthew 22:45), "If David calls Christ his Lord, how is he his son?" to all imaginable manipulations; The thoughts of Jesus will always appear simple and clear to those who do not seek to find difficulty where there is none. If on the one hand the Christ is David's son by virtue of his earthly origin, on the other hand he is nevertheless his Lord by virtue of his divine personality. Micah said as much (Matthew 22:2). And how, if he didn't have the consciousness of his divinity, could Jesus speak of itIt will be deletedangel (Matthew 13:41), fromIt will be deletedglory (Matthew 25:31), finally fromIt will be deletedName under whose invocation the faithful gather? The Old Testament did not authorize any creature to appropriate Jehovah's attributes in this way. Now, for Jesus, the notion of his pre-existence was implicit in that of his divinity.

However, in the Synoptics we do not find statements as precise as those from the Johannine discourses just quoted. But we do not find in the Gospel of Luke the prodigious amount of material that we would lack entirely if we had only Matthew and Mark; for example the three parables of grace (Lukas 15:0; the lost sheep, the lost coin, the prodigal son); those of the unfaithful steward and the rich wicked (Lukas 16:0); those of the unjust judge, the tax collector and the Pharisee (Lukas 18:0); the story of Zacchaeus; the incident of the converted thief and so many other treasures that Lucas saved from oblivion where the other writings of tradition had left them and which only he preserved for the Church? So how can we use the omission of these few words from our first three gospels as an argument against their authenticity? If such impressive images, such popular stories as those we have just recalled, had found their way neither into the oral proclamation of the gospel nor into any of its written compositions, how much easier could three or four expressions of the supreme spirit and profoundly mysterious character been deleted? . of tradition, only to reappear later as reminiscences of a listener who was particularly attentive to everything that related to himself in Jesus' teaching? The dogmatic interest that these statements have for us did not exist to the same extent at the time; for the impression of the person of Jesus, contemplated daily in his living fullness, filled all hearts and filled all special places. Moreover, let us not forget that one of these three sayings is found in the discourse after the multiplication of the loaves, a discourse which the Synoptics omit entirely; the second, in a discourse given in Jerusalem, which is also omitted, along with all the visitation of which it is a part; the third in priestly prayer, which they also gave no account of. As for Juan, according to his plan, he definitely needs to remember it if he wants it to appear inJuan 20:30-31, to explain the signs by which he recognized the Christ in Jesus,The Son of God, and that can help instill the same level of confidence in its readers. These highlights of Jesus' testimony about his person could not be missing in such a picture.

the difference remainsEschatological Ideas.In the synoptic a visible return of the Lord, an outer final judgment, a bodily resurrection of believers, a kingdom of glory; in John no other return of Christ than his coming into hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit; no other resurrection than that of the soul through regeneration; no other judgment than the division wrought between believers and unbelievers by the preaching of the gospel; no other kingdom than the life of the believer in Christ and God. "The whole gospel is designed," says Hilgenfeld, "to present the historical coming of Christ as his only appearance on earth."

But is this exclusive spiritualism attributed to the Fourth Gospel really a reality? John certainly emphasizes the return of Jesus in the Spirit. But is this to completely replace and deny His visible return? No, the first, in his opinion, is preparation for the second: “I will return”, here is the spiritual return. Then he adds, "And I will take you to be with me, so that you may be with me where I am (in my Father's house, where there are many dwellings and where Jesus himself is going now)."Juan 14:3; here is a kind of completion. "If I want him to stay until I come, what's it to you?" (Juan 21:23.) And in the first letter: "My children, abide in him that we may have confidence when he appears" (1 John 2:28). "We know that when he appears we shall be like him" (1 John 3:3).

The spiritual judgment that John teaches is, according to him, also the preparation for the outer judgment in which the economy of grace will end. "I will not accuse you before the Father, but Moses, in whom you trust." “The hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear the voice of the Son of Man and come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment” (John 5:45 and John 5:28-29). Here indeed an outward judgment and a bodily resurrection are duly proclaimed. Scholten thinks that these lines must be an interpolation. For what reason? They are not missing in any manuscript, in any version. NO; but the criticism decreedFirstwhat must the fourth gospel be to be the antithesis of the other three. And how do these verses present an obstacle to that sovereign decisionis destroyedcriticism, he takes his scissors and cuts them off. That's what it's currently calledScience.Besides, little is gained from these violent procedures. Four times in a row in chap. 6, Jesus actually comes back to these problematic facts of Judgment Day and the resurrection of the dead: "That I should not lose anything that the Father has given me, but may raise it up on Judgment Day" (John 6:39); "that whoever sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:40); “No one can come to me unless the father draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44); "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood...; I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:54). It must be admitted that it takes considerable boldness to claim that a book containing such a series of statements teaches neither final judgment nor the resurrection of the body. Unfortunately, critics rightly have an audience that they don't question critically.

The truth is that the writer of the Fourth Gospel, as was his habit, speaks less of outward results than of spiritual preparations, because the popular preaching, and consequently the Synoptics, did exactly the opposite. Without the coming of the Holy Spirit and His work in the heart (Lukas 24:48-49;Mateo 28:19;Lukas 12:11-12, etc.), the early gospels of the church had conveyed in detail Jesus' teaching about the destruction of Jerusalem and his visible return at the end of time (Mateo 24:0,Markus 13:0,Lukas 21:17). Juan had nothing to add to these various points. When we read the conclusions that the critics draw from his silence, we cannot hide a sense of astonishment; here are the men who claim that Jesus' great discourse on the end times in the Synoptics was never delivered by him; that it is simply a composition by a Jewish or Judeo-Christian author of 67 or 68; and the same men dare to cite John's absence from this inauthentic speech as the reasonagainstthe reliability of this gospel! Should criticism become juggling?

Therefore, it is impossible to recognize aBasicDifference, that is, a doctrinal difference, between the Synoptics and the Fourth Gospel.

But what to think of the completely differentSchimmelin which Jesus expresses himself in the Johannine speeches and in the synoptic sermon? Here short moral maxims, strong, popular, easy to grasp; there speeches of great and, in a certain sense, theological importance. Here, as Keim says, "the jewel of the parable"; not a single such photo there. In a word, there is the simple and practical spirit; here a mystical, sublime and dreamy tone.

Oneparable, is indeed absent from John, at least in the form in which we find it in the early Gospels; but we must remember that nothing was more apt than this type of discourse to form the substance of popular evangelism in the early days of the Church. in the tradition and came from there to the first evangelical writings. What could the Fourth Gospel's author have been aiming for in suppressing those doctrines with which he should be familiar and which would have lent credence to his book, given that its narrative was fiction? But if he was only telling the story, what would be the use of repeating what anyone could read in scriptures already available to all? It could only have been led on a different course if the parables had been a necessary milestone in the history of the apostolic faith which they purported to describe; but obviously it wasn't. Besides, if we don't find in the fourth gospel the parable in the form ofStory, we find it in a closely related form, that ofAllegories.Here is the analogue of what is called that in the Synopticsparablesyeast or mustard seeds; such as the images of the shepherd, the door and the Good Shepherd (chap. 10), or that of the woman who suddenly turns from excessive sadness to joy (Jn 16:21), or even that of the vine and branches (Juan 15:1Please). It is still the figurative and picturesque language of the one who addresses the people in the first gospels with these words: “What did you want to see in the wilderness? A reed shaken by the wind......? (Mateo 11:7.) This question is almost reminiscent of the saying of

Jesus in our gospel (John 5:35); “John was a lamp that shines and burns; and you wanted to enjoy its light for a while. Also compare the following similarities: The Spirit is like the wind that blows where it will, and whose presence we only know because we hear its sound (John 3:8). The unbeliever is like the criminal who seeks the night to do his evil deeds (John 3:19-20). Spiritual emancipation is the liberty formula that the son of the house utters over the slaves (John 8:36), etc. Each of these figures is a budding parable which the author could have developed as such if he wished.

As for the highmysticIn the character of Jesus' speeches, the language contrasts with the simple, lively, and piquant tone of the synoptic speeches. But first let us note that this contrast has been oddly exaggerated. Sabatier himself admits: "The comparison of these discourses with those of the Synoptics proves that the difference between them is not really so great as it seems at first sight." How can we not recognize the voice that so impresses us in the Synoptics, in those brief and powerful words of the Johannine Christ that seem to spring from the depths of another world? "My father works until now and I work too." "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." "You can't do anything without me." “Unless the grain is thrown into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but when it dies it bears much fruit.” “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” "The prince of this world is coming, but he has nothing on me." There is one undeniable fact: we find at least twenty-seven sayings of Jesus in John that are found in almost exactly the same form in the Synoptics (see list in footnote). Very good! No one can claim that these sayings detract in the slightest from the texture of the text of John or of the synoptic text. Indeed, this fact proves that the indicated difference was singularly exaggerated. If, in fact, words as original as Jesus' can occupy a place in both types of documents at the same time and without the slightest surprise, this proves that these documents are fundamentally homogeneous.

Above all, the critics reproach some expressions that belong to the Johannine style and are foreign to the Synoptics, for example the conceptsLuzmiDarkness;or expressions used in the second that are absent in the first, such asthe kingdom of heavenFrom God), which John replaces with the less Jewish and more mystical termEternal life.But the contrast ofLuzmiDarknessis also found in the Synoptics, as Luke 11:34-36 and testifiesMateo 6:22-23. Isn't it already very common in the Old Testament? What about the Joanan expression?Eternal life, is used in the Synoptics as the equivalent ofGod's kingdom, just like it is with John. We draw attention to the examples cited in the note, which Beyschlag brought with great pleasure. Incidentally, in his conversation with Nicodemus, John twice uses (Juan 3:3; Jo 3:5) o termoGod's kingdomfrom heaven, not Sinaitic MS.).

After all this, what is left that suffices to create an irresolvable contrast between Jesus' words in John and his language in the Synoptics? A certain difference remains; I don't deny it. It consists of something very peculiar of holy solitude and, if one may say so, of heavenly softness, which distinguishes not only our Evangelho but also the first João letter from all other products of human thought and what clothes does a literature write for itself? with the difference already noted, however, that while the line of thought in the Gospel is consistent and strictly logical, in the Epistles things are treated more gently, hesitantly, and more ramblingly. .

As we have seen, in order to explain the real contrast between the Fourth Gospel and the preceding ones, we must first consider the influence which the peculiar style of the translator and the work has on the form of the discourses. of condensation which was the condition of this reproduction. But after that, something remains, somehow irreducibleremained, which requires a separate examination. That's what the rumors saythe unexplained remainsin science they are the cause of great discoveries. We don't have the ambition to make a big discovery; but we would like to be able to explain a little more clearly than before the difference with which we are dealing.

The question is whether that particular tone that can be called JoanianTimbre, Jesus was so alien that our evangelist was his true Creator, and he attributed it to the Redeemer of his own accord; or whether it was part of the language of Jesus himself, at least at certain moments in his life. We have seen that the scenes related in our gospel represent only a number of days or even moments divided into an activity of two and a half years. And so one may ask oneself whether these scenes, obviously chosen on purpose, did not have an extraordinary character that distinguished them for the choice of the author. He made a choice among the facts, true, and He Himself declares it (John 20:30-31). Why couldn't he have done one in between speeches as well? The selection in this case must have been made in relation to the design of His work, which was to show that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." If so, he was naturally compelled to select, from among the many teachings of Jesus, those few words of a particularly sublime character which above all contributed to making him see and hear for himself the sublime riches of the being to which he had the good fortune to behold .

We have an expression that the author puts in the mouth of Jesus, according to which Jesus himself distinguished between two types of discourse that were incorporated into his teaching. He says NicodemusJuan 3:12: "If I tell youearthly things(τὰ ἐπίγεια) and you do not believe as you will believe when I tell youheavenly things(τὰ ἐπουράνια)?” By expressing himself in this way, Jesus reminded Nicodemus of the teachings he had received since his arrival in Jerusalem. Which, in fact, proved that their listeners were not arrested by them (I hadn't believed), is the fact that Nicodemus himself could only cite his miracles as proof of the divine superiority of the Lord's teaching (John 3:2). What were Jesus' teachings in which he spoke about earthly things? His preaching in Galilee, as found in the Synoptics, can give us an idea. It was the earth, that is, human life, with all its various obligations and relationships, viewed from the heavenly point of view. For example, it was that high morality that we find developed in the Sermon on the Mount: human life related to God. But Jesus expressly distinguishes what he calls the doctrine of from this elementary moral teachingheavenly things.The object of the latter is no longer the earth valued from heaven; it is heaven itself with its infinite riches. This heaven in which Jesus lived constantly while he acted on earth. He himself says it in the following verse: “No one has ascended into heaven except him who came down from heaven, the Son of man.who is in heaven(John 3:13). In the intimate and uninterrupted relationship that he cultivated with the Father, down here he had access to divine thoughts, to eternal intentions, to the plan of salvation and was able to reveal himself to his fellow human beings, friends or enemies, at certain moments. how in the course of this nocturnal conversation with the pious counselor the facts were made concerning this higher realmheavenly things.He would not have fully accomplished his mission if he had absolutely hidden from the world what he himself was to his Father's heart and what his Father was to him, had not Jesus explained to them the infinite value of the gift that God had given them in His person had? Isn't love measured by the price of the gift, by the size of the sacrifice? On the other hand, this revelation of heavenly things could not be thathabitualsubject of the teachings of the Lord. Hardly a disciple or two would have followed him if he had stayed on those heavenly heights; the still rude mass of the people, who longed only after their own carnal heart for a Messiah, a king who could give them their daily bread in the true sense of the word (Juan 6:15; John 6:34) would have remained alien to his influence and would soon have left him alone with his two or three initiates.

No doubt for the same reason these teachings about heavenly things in general have remained outside the confines of early apostolic preaching and oral retelling of gospel history.

Even if this were the case, however, it would be unlikely that all traces of this superior mode of instruction in content and tone would have entirely disappeared from the synoptic narrative. And indeed, two of our evangelists who, along with John, did most to transmit to us the teachings of Jesus, Matthew and Luke, preserved for us the story of an extraordinary moment in the life of the Lord is presented to us by the example naturally sought . In Luke especially we must seek the faithful account of this (chap. 10). Jesus sent seventy of his disciples, weak spiritual children, into the fields and villages of Galilee, to whom he entrusted the task of making the people understand the importance of the present work and the nearness of the kingdom. . Full of joy, they return to him and report the complete success of their mission. At that moment the evangelist tells us: “Jesus rejoiced in his spirit and said: I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to children! Yes, father, that it seemed good to you in your eyes. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is but the Father, nor who the Father is but the Son, and to whomever the Son chooses to reveal him.” As we read these words, ask whether it is really St. Luke or St. Matthew that we are reading and not St. John. What does this fact prove? That, according to the Synoptics themselves, in certain extraordinary moments of exaltation Jesus' speech really took on that sweet tone whichmysticDyeing, as it was called, it is no longer correct to sayheavenly?of which we find in them no more than a single instance, and of which six or seven discourses in John more or less give the impression. This passage from Luke and Matthew has been referred to as an erratic block of Johannine rock lost on Synoptic soil. The figure is fairly fair; What proof? The smallest fragment of granite deposited on the limestone slopes of the Jura is irrefutable proof for geologists that somewhere in the high Alpine peaks all the rock is in place. Otherwise this block would be a thorn in the side of science. The same applies to this fragment of John's discourse from the synoptic gospels. It is quite sufficient to demonstrate the existence of this so-called Johannine language in the teaching of Jesus at certain times. The real difference between John and the Synoptics on this crucial point boils down to the fact that the latter gave us only one example of this way of speaking, John preserved for us several examples chosen for a particular purpose.

Since on the one hand the peculiar style of the translator has naturally colored that of the preacher whose speeches he reproduces, on the other hand the passage from the Synoptics just quoted, there is no doubt that the language of the Lord made a deep impression on the soul of the evangelist and his style had a decisive and lasting influence. There was a reflex action here, if I may put it that way, the secret of which no one can quite unravel.

Moreover, the sayings of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel bear within them the stamp of their true origin for all who have eyes to see them, and the Church will always know what to think, despite the claims of scholars. from them. An intimate, filial, and unchanging communion with the God of heaven and earth, as here revealed through the mouth of Jesus, must be lived to express what I am about to say, so that we may have at least a whiff of it ORinventorof such speeches he would be more than a first-rate genius; he would have to be a son of God himself, a Jesus like the real one. Such an assumption only embarrasses the critic further.

C. The Johannine conception of the person of Jesus.

Is it possible that we return to the single source from which, like two diverging streams, spring the two forms of Jesus' teaching that we have just noted? Let us first set aside the now widespread opinion that dualism can also be seen in the teaching of our gospel. Two scholars, Baur and Reuss, confirmed that the author of this work had no actual incarnation of the Logos; that in his opinion the divine nature in Jesus remained in possession and in the exercise of his heavenly attributes, so that his humanity was only a temporary and superficial shell, in no way altering the state he possessed before he came to earth . . Starting from this point of view, Reuss finds in our Gospel a series of contradictions between certain words of Jesus, which he considers authentic, and the view that is manifested in the expansions written by the evangelist. While in the first Jesus clearly asserts his inferiority to the Father, the author of our gospel equates him as God with his own conception of the Logos. It is difficult to imagine a more complete farce of the Johannine narrative. We have already shown that no gospel presents more clearly than this the true humanity of Jesus, body, soul and spirit. the body isexhausted(John 4:6); the soul is chargeddifficulty(John 12:27); is the mind itselfhectic(John 13:21) andmoans(John 11:33). What place is left in such a being for the presence of aimpassivelogos? Moreover, according to the prologue, the work of the evangelist, the Logos himself, in his state of divine pre-existence, is certainly inclined towards itto Godas to its center (John 1:1); He dwells in God as a firstborn sonOn the chesthis father (John 1:18). Where in this representation is the place of a beingevenWith God? NO; the Son's submission to the Father is as clearly affirmed by the evangelist as Jesus could have been when speaking of himself; and as to his true humanity, the same evangelist emphasizes it more than any Synoptic writer.

There is no trace of a contradictory double theology in our gospel. This assumption is, by its very nature, highly improbable. It implies a fact that is very difficult to admit. The fact is that a thinker as profound as the one who wrote this work, the most powerful mind of his time, without having the slightest knowledge of it, could simultaneously teach two opposing views on the subject that occupied the first place in his thoughts and in your heart

The idea that the evangelist formed of the person of Christ, which is in perfect harmony with the smallest historical or didactic details of the whole story, is clearly formulated by the author in the prologue: "The Word became flesh," which obviously means that is what it means verb callsalienatedof his divine state and all the attributes that made him up, to turn him into a fully human state, with all the attributes of weakness, ignorance, sensitivity to pleasure and pain that make up our particular way of life here on earth. This way of understanding the person of Christ during his sojourn on earth is not peculiar to John; It is also that of Paul, who tells us in Philippians, "He who was in the form of God ... emptied himself, took the form of a servant, made himself in the likeness of men" (John 2:6). -7). ; and also in 2 Corinthians: "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for love of you he became poor, that through his poverty we might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). The same teaching is found in the Epistle to the Hebrews and in the Apocalypse, although it would take up a lot of space to show it here. Here is the key to all the Christological ideas of the New Testament. It is in particular the explanation of this double form of teaching that we find in the mouth of Christ, in John and in the Synoptics.

Until his baptism, Jesus lived in filial fellowship with God; proof of this is the 12-year-old's comment: "Shouldn't I take care of my father's business?" (Lukas 2:49.) But he still did not have the clear awareness of his eternal and essential relationship with the Father; Her fellowship with Him was moral; it sprang from her pure consciousness and her burning love for him. In this state he must have felt like the doctor of sinful mankind, like the Messiah. But an immediate divine testimony was required before he could undertake the work of salvation. This testimony was given to him at his baptism; at that moment heaven opened up to him; the heavenly things that he would reveal to others were revealed to him. At the same time, the secret of his own person became clear to him; He heard the father's voice saying to him, "You are my beloved son." From that day on he knew himself perfectly; and know yourselfifthe nativeSohnAs the object of all the Father's love, he also knew how much the Father loved the world to which he gave himself: as a man he knew the Father himself perfectly,the fatherin the full range of meanings of this word.

So from that day on He carried Heaven in His heart while He lived on earth. I had two sources of information, so to speak: On the one hand, the experience of theearthly thingsthat he had come to know in the thirty years of his life here on earth as a mere human; the other, the permanent intuition ofheavenly thingsthis had been revealed to him just at the moment of baptism. How can we wonder, then, that Jesus, according to the needs of his hearers, spoke alternately of one and the other, finding in the first the commonality he needed to arouse their interest and attention, while he found in the second emerged? , the question of the new revelation through which he would change the world? On the one hand were man's moral obligations, his dealings with things treated from the divine point of view, as we see especially in the Synoptics; on the other hand, the higher mystery of the love relationship between the Father and the Son and his love for a world immersed in sin and death, a world to which the Father gives the Son and the Son gives himself.

It seems to me that if we take this point of view, we can see, as if out of a kind of moral necessity, the two teachings that amaze science but not the Church. We do not know of young men or mature men who, having lived a perfectly moral life, suddenly see before them, through the mysterious act of regeneration, the sanctuary of communion with Christ, the life of adoption, the inner joy of being the Father's love god? Her speech then takes on a new character at certain moments, which amazes anyone who hears her speak like this and wonders if it really is the same man. There is something sublime in his tone, something sweet that was foreign to them before. Words are, so to speak, words that come from a higher region. We are tempted to shout at the poet:

Oh! Who would not forget all this: this heavenly voice! Your word is a song... but even without adding: nothing human remains.

Because this divine language is the most human language that can be spoken. Then, after that moment of exaltation and ordinary life has resumed its own course, ordinary language returns with it, though always solemn, always holy, always dominated by the immediate relationship with God that henceforth forms the background of all life. . Such experiences are not uncommon; they serve to explain the mystery of the double teaching and the double language of the Incarnate Word from the moment it was revealed through the Father's testimony.

But although we cannot reach in thought the lofty point where in the person of Christ the two converging lines of humanity rising highest and divinity lowering meet meet, we do not know that this is mathematically possible is not the case, one refuses to recognize the reality of the point where the two lines called asymptotes meet when they occur infinity, and that the operations are carried out with respect to this point as with respect to a positive quantity become? Weiss rightly says: "One must indeed consider that the appearance of Jesus itself, as the fulfillment of a divine human life, was too rich, too great, too varied not to be represented differently according to the different circumstances that received its rays, and according to the more or less ideal points of view from which these rays were reflected, while this difference could not, however, affect the unity of the fundamental impression and essential character in which that personality manifested itself.

Critics have often compared the difference that interests us with that shown by the two portrayals of the person of Socrates drawn by Plato and Xenophon. At first, historians of philosophy sided with Xenophon, believing that the simple, practical, multifaceted, and popular twentieth-century Socrates was the true historical type.Memories.At the time, Plato's Socrates was considered only a speaker chosen by that author to expound on his own theory of Ideas. Xenophon was the historian, Plato the philosopher. But the critics changed their minds; Schleiermacher, above all, has taught us that if the doctrine of Socrates did not have speculative elements, as Plato ascribes to it, and elements about which the other writer is absolutely silent, the relationship which so closely bound the school of Socrates could not be Plato to the person of Socrates, or the extraordinary attraction he exercised on the most outstanding and speculative minds of his time, or the profound revolution he carried out in the advance of Greek thought. Only in Xenophon is there a position that we can only fill with the help of Plato. This fact follows, on the one hand, from the particular object of Xenophon's book, which was to morally defend his teacher; on the other hand, from the fact that Xenophon, a practitioner, lacked the necessary philosophical ability to grasp the higher elements of the Socratic doctrine. Zeller also concedes that Xenophon did not understand the scientific value of Socrates; "that Socrates could not have been the exclusive and unscientific moralist that he was thought to be for so long", while the starting point of the criticism was Xenophon's work alone. 'There is,' he says, 'in the account of each of the two writers, aexcess(surplus), which can easily be brought into the common portrait”. Undoubtedly, Plato put his own theory of ideas into the mouth of Socrates. But it was only the development of Socrates' own doctrine; and it must be admitted that where he puts Socrates on the stage as a historical figure (in theI'm sorryIt is inSymposium, for example), does not take this course.

This parallel presentsanalogous, several notable correspondences in detail. But above all it offers this fundamental analogy that in both Socrates and Jesus we are dealing with two portraits of one historical figure whose perfect synthesis is impossible to achieve. If philosophy continues to seek the fusion of the two portraits of the wisest Greek, we should be amazed that theology has not yet succeeded in completing that of the two images of Christ. Can the riches of the former, a man whose influence on the moral history of his people was so grave and yet so ephemeral, be compared with the riches of him whose advent continually renewed and renewed the world? And if in the first there is what gives meaning to two portraits, both true and yet not reducible to one, why should we be surprised if the same phenomenon reappears in relation to what could have exclaimed in Greece : "Here is one who is greater than Socrates", as he exclaimed in Judea, "Here is one who is greater than Solomon".

"Nobody knowsThe sonButthe fathersays Jesus in the Synoptics. The point of convergence of the two accounts, the Johannine and the Synoptic, is thus the awareness that the Son had of himself. We certainly won't be able to reconstruct it perfectly here on Earth.

we are thinking aboutlikesun in the arc of the sky; and yet what a difference between its fiery reflection on the slopes of the Alpine glaciers and its serene and majestic image in the waves of the ocean! The light source is one, but the two mirrors are different. We summarize:

1. The original idea of ​​the Johannine work did not necessarily diminish its historical character.

2. The truth of the narration is evident when the story is compared with that of the Synoptics, which it invariably outclasses in those cases where they differ.

3. The veracity of the relation of speech, which is supported by such strong positive reasons, does not really come up against any insurmountable difficulty.

The Fourth Gospel is therefore a truly historical work.

§two. The Relation of the Fourth Gospel to Old Testament Religion.

Modern criticism believes that the Fourth Gospel shows a decidedly anti-Jewish tendency. Baur believes that the author of this book wanted to introduce anti-Jewish Gnosticism into the church; who was a docetist and dualist, professing the unreality of Jesus' body and the eternal contrast between darkness and light. Without going so far, Reuss says "that he speaks of the Jews as a class of foreigners with whom he had no relation"; that "everything that preceded Jesus, according to him, belongs to a worthless past and can only serve to mislead people and make them miss the door of salvation" (John 10:8). Renan also credits the evangelist with a "strong aversion" to Judaism. Finally, Hilgenfeld is who he was and goes further to confirm this thesis. He originally attributed our gospel to a second-century Gnostic writer; he has since softened that claim; he thinks that the author, although a member of the Church, "nevertheless walks a considerable path with Gnosticism". According to the fourth evangelist, “Judaism, like paganism, belonged to the darkness that preceded the gospel”; Old Testament religion had "only an imperfect and obscure foreshadowing of Christianity." Knowledge of the true God was as defective as Samaritan paganism.

What is claimed in the justification of such judgments? First some detailsConditions, known to the evangelist, thus:the Jews, an expression he uses in an always hostile sense towards that city; or this other expression:your law, a term that reveals a sense of contempt for the Mosaic institution and for the Old Testament. But the unfavorable sense attached to the name in our gospel,the JewsTo designate the enemies of the light does not come from a subjective feeling of the evangelist, but from the fact itself, i.e. from the attitude taken towards Jesus from the beginning (Juan 2:0) by the mass of the nation and its rulers. The author also uses this term when the occasion arises (which is rare) in a completely neutral sense, as inJoão 2:6("The Purification of the Jews") andJuan 19:40("the Jewish custom of embalming corpses"); or even in a favorable sense, as in the passagesJuan 4:22(“Salvation belongs to the Jews”) andJuan 11:45(“Many of the Jews who came to Mary believed in him”). We can also cite the use of the name hereIsraelite, applied as an honorific to Nathanael (John 1:48). In the Apocalypse, which claims to be an absolutely Judaizing work, the Jews who stubbornly oppose the gospel are described much more severely: “Those who call themselves Jews and are not, but areto Satan's synagogue”(Juan 2:9; Draft John 3:9). The great crisis that drove Israel out of the kingdom of God and henceforth made it an alien entity and even an enemy of the Church had already begun during Jesus' ministry. The author reveals this with this term:the Jews, which is contrasted in his story with the term:the discipleslet Jesus sayyour law, the evangelist could not have intended to belittle the Mosaic institution any more than he could have had Jesus say, "AbrahamHis father(John 8:56), he dreamed of belittling that patriarch. On the contrary, he glorifies it in the same verse, revealing the joyful sympathy he experiences in a higher state of being for himself and his work: “Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it. And he was happy." In the same way,Juan 10:34, after using the expression:your law, He immediately adds these words to the OT passage just quoted: "And since the Scripture cannot be broken," he doesto herthus a divine and infallible revelation. Elsewhere he declares that "the Scriptures testify of him" (John 5:39); that the sin of the hearers is that "the word of God abides not in them" (John 5:38), and though the real cause of their unbelief in him is none other than their unbelief in thewrittenby Moses (John 5:46-47). The evangelist who lets Jesus speak is obviously not trying to despise the law; the contradiction would be too blatant. So Jesus, using the expressionyour law, means: "the law that youyourecognizes as sovereign" or: "the law which you invoke against me and on whose behalf you wish to condemn me". It should be noted that he could not say: "our law' because his personal relation to that institution was too different from that of ordinary Jews to be grouped under the same pronoun; just as he could not say when he spoke of God: "ourfather" but only "midad and "AreFather” (John 20:17).

It has been noted that Jesus never speaks of it in this gospelto heras the principle on which the life of the new community must be based. This is true; but that is because it presupposes that the law has become the lawinternprinciple of the life of believers by the fact of their fellowship with Him.

Critics also bemoan the freedom with which Jesus was willing to violate that in his healingsJewish SabbathHilgenfeld even discovers the intention to abolish this institution in the wordsJuan 5:17: "My father works until now, and I work too." As to the Sabbath healings, they are found in both the Synoptics and John; and there, as here, it is these acts that begin to kindle the deadly hatred of the Jews against Him (Luke 6:11). But we formally dispute the position that Jesus actually violated the terms of the Mosaic commandment by these healings. It didn't exceed more than that.Ceilingof arbitrary statutes with which the Pharisees saw fit to surround the fourth commandment. Jesus remained in our gospel from beginning to end as in others,the Minister of Circumcision(Romans 15:8), that is, the diligent observer of the law. As for the words ofJuan 5:17, do not in any way contradict the idea of ​​the Sabbath rest; they only mean: "Since the Father is at work in the salvific work of mankind, and this work is evidently never interrupted, even less so on Saturday than on any other day, the Son cannot sit back and let the Father do his work. alone." This statement does not contradict the Sabbath rest if properly understood.

Hilgenfeld also claims the following two passages:Juan 4:21, miJuan 8:44. In the first, Jesus says to the Samaritan woman: “The hour has come when you will worship the Father no more, either on this mountain or in Jerusalem”, which he believes proves that Jesus wanted to oppose the Jews no less than they did Samaritans, and consequently when he says in the next verse, "You worship what they do not know," that judgment applies to both the former and the latter. According to these words of Jesus, the Jewish religion would be just as wrong as all the others.

But there is enough in the next few words, "for salvation is of the Jews" to refute this explanation; to, insteadWeil, the author should have said in this caseAlthough:Althoughthe Jews are as ignorant as you and everyone else, it pleased God to bring salvation from among them.” EITHERWeil(ὅτι) is meaningless unless Jesus in the above words had granted the Jews a knowledge of God superior to that of the Samaritans. This fact proves that the words: "We lovewhat we know” applies not only to him, Jesus, personally, but to him together with allIsrael.The true meaning of the words of John 8:21 is explained byJuan 8:23(Summary of John 8:21): "Your worship as it concerns you Samaritans will not be confined to this Mount Gerizim, nor will it be transported and resettled in Jerusalem." In fact, this second alternative must have appeared to woman as the only possible one after the first had been ruled out.

in the passageJuan 8:44, according to the usual construction, Jesus says to the Jews: “You areof a father the devil.Hilgenfeld translates as safely as grammatically possible: “You arethe father of the devilThis father of the devil, according to him, is the god of the Jews, the creator of the material world, who in some Gnostic systems (Ophites, Valentinians) was actually presented as the father of the devil. That's not all; Jesus says at the end of the same verse: "When he lies, he speaks of himself, because he is a liar,And your father', which is usually understood in this sense: because he is a liar and the father of the liar (or the lie). But Hilgenfeld explains: Because he (the devil) is a liar,like your father(he is a liar). And here for the second time he meets the devil's father, who is called "both a liar and his son" because throughout the Old Testament the God of the Jews posed as the supreme god, while he was only a lesser deity.

The author of this statement is amazed that it could be considered egregious and states "that no one has yet uttered the first reasonable word against it". However, you must recognize the following facts: 1. The devil's father is a character totally alien to the biblical realm, and the author of our gospel would have greatly jeopardized the success of his deceit if he had presented him on the stage. 2. The idea of ​​two opposing and personal gods, the second being a being other than the devil, is so contrary to the Israelite and Christian monotheism professed by the author (John 8:44) that it is impossible to admit this is a lesson. Here. 3. What Jesus wants to prove to the Jews in the whole context is that they areKinderof the devil, but not of himsiblings, as Hilgenfeld's translation would imply: "You are born of the devil's father." This whole passage is about lineage versus lineage, father to father. "You do what you saw your father do," said Jesus.Juan 8:38. The Jews answered him: "We have but one Father, God" (John 8:41). And Jesus' answer mirrors theirs: "You were born of a father who is the devil." The first epistle offers a crucial parallel (John 3:10). "By thatchildren of godare manifest, andsons of the devil.4. Finally, notice that when the first words of the verse on thefather devil, it is necessary to apply to the same character the whole series of the following sentences, including the last one. These words, "because he is a liar just like his father", would then mean (according to Hilgenfeld's explanation): The devil's father is a liar, but his father is. After seeing the devil's father appear, we must meet here in the presence of your grandfather! All these phantasmagorias disappear before a single comma is inserted between the two genitives πατρός (of the father) and τοῦ διαβόλου (of the devil), making the second noun appositional to the first rather than its complement. The need for this explanation from a grammatical point of view arises from the contrast toJuan 8:41: "We have only one Father [who] is God", and religiousJuan 2:16, where the temple of the God of the Jews in Jerusalem (which, according to Hilgenfeld, was to be the house of the devil's father) is called "my father's house" by Jesus. So it is certainly according to our gospelonly true god(John 17:3) worshiped in Jerusalem.

Hilgenfeld and Reuss also rely on the words ofJuan 10:8: "All who have gone before me are thieves and robbers"; They believe that Jesus wanted to use these two terms to characterize all important men of the old covenant. Who else? The patriarchs and Moses, the psalmists and the prophets? And this in a book in which the author has Jesus say that to believe Moses is to believe him by implication (John 8:46-47); in which he himself states that Isaiah saw in a vision the glory of the Logos before his incarnation and foretold the people's unbelief concerning the Messiah (Juan 12:38; John 12:41); in which the words of a psalmist are quoted as the word of God that cannot be broken (John 10:34-35); depicting Abraham rejoicing beyond measure to see the coming of Christ (John 8:56)! NO; the phrase quoted simply refers to the actual rulers of the nation who had long been in power by the time Jesus did His work in Israel. This is clearly indicated by the present tense: εἰσί,they are, and not,They are, since the word was sometimes translated carelessly. "The ones that came before methey arethieves and robbers."

Reuss asserts that, in general, no expression of this work more specifically connects the Church to Judaism: and Hilgenfeld affirms that this work "breaks all ties between Christianity and its Jewish roots." And yet the second of these scholars cannot avoid acknowledging what the first tries in vain to deny: that in the statement ofJuan 1:11: “He came to himself, and his own did not receive him”, says the author reallythe Jews, contemplating them, he himself adds "as the people of God or of the Logos". No doubt he later endeavors to escape the consequences of this compelling fact, but by evasions scarcely worth mentioning. Consider also the following facts: The temple in Jerusalem is “father's house“of Jesus Christ (John 2:16); salvation comes fromthe Jews(John 4:22); the sheep that Jesus gathers from the theocracy form the nucleus of the true Messianic flock (John 10:16); the Easter lamb sacrificed in Jerusalem represents the sacrifice of the Messiah in such minute detail that the bones of both must remain intact (John 19:36); the most powerful testimony of the Father in Jesus' name is given by the writings of the old covenant (John 19:39). Finally, the author himself explains that he wrote his book to prove that Jesus is not just himGod's Son, as is often said, but above allChristus, the promised Messiah to the Jews (John 20:30-31). EITHERmessianischThe character of Jesus is expressly emphasized before hisdivineCharacter. From start to finish, our gospel makes the coming and ministry of Jesus the final evolution, the culmination of the old covenant.

As for all the passages that Hilgenfeld purports to prove that Jesus denies Judaism any true knowledge of God (Juan 7:28;Juan 8:19;Juan 15:21;Juan 16:25, etc.), they prove absolutely nothing; This oft-repeated reproach is directed not against the Jewish religion as such, but against the carnal and proud Jews surrounding them, that they did not know God, the God who nevertheless revealed himself to them. All the prophets spoke in the same way and differed from the mass of the people (these people, Isa 6:10) the elect, “the holy remnant” (John 6:13). They certainly weren't for that reasonantijudicial

responsible fordualism, which is particularly directed against our Gospel of Hilgenfeld, misses this simple observation by Hase: “AMoralSo relation is incorrectly translated into ametaphysischrelationship". It is necessary to find a dualistic term in this phrase of Jesus: "ToOfthe mysteries of the kingdom are made known; but forShenot given” (Matthew 13:11)? or, in this other,Mateo 13:38: “The good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of evil? or again in the contrast that St. Paul makes,1 Corinthians 2:14-15, Betweenmentallyman who cannot understand spiritual things and theTiresman who judges all things? Who ever dreamed of attributing the idea of ​​two to Jesus and Paul through these wordsRunone from God, the other from the devil. Scripture teaches that a holy power and an evil power are at work simultaneously in the heart of man, and that the heart can be freely given to one or the other. The more decidedly the choice is made in one direction or another, the more man surrenders to the moral current that sweeps him along, and so it can happen that along the path of evil man becomes incapable of knowing and feeling anything. more attraction than benefit. Are hereinabilitythat Jesus so often accuses the Jews; it is his own act; Otherwise, why should they be reproached, and to what end should they be called back to repentance and renewal of faith? This harshness is relative only because it is voluntary; Jesus says it most clearly in that profound explanation of the Jews' unbelief (John 5:44): "How can you believe, receiving your glory from one another, and not seeking the glory that comes from God alone?" If then theycan notbelieve me it's because theyI do not go, because they became slaves to some good contrary to the advantages that faith gives,of human glory.This dualism is moral, voluntary, not metaphysical or natural. To teach otherwise would be the author contradicting himself; for did he not say in the prologue that "all things were made by the Logos, and that nothing, not even a single thing, came into being without him?" Without a doubt, Hilgenfeld claims that the existence of darkness,Juan 1:5, not having been declared caused by anything, implies the eternity of the principle of evil; but after the foregoing (the creation, the original state) it is quite natural to find here the appearance of evil in man, the fall as narrated after creation in the Genesis account, which the author is following, that is, step by step Step. step by step

Baur found the spirit of the Gnostic in our gospelDocetism, which would be nothing short of dualism, contrary to the spirit of the Old Testament. But at present all seem to have abandoned this view, and we think we can appeal to exegesis to prove its emptiness. In order to preserve it we must torture the meaning of that expression in which the entire work is summed up: "The Wordmadeflesh", and must reduce its force to this idea: The word wasDresstogetherbody appearanceThe entire Fourth Gospel rejects this kind of explanation of the incarnation, which Reuss also ascribes to it to a certain extent. A being weary and thirsty, whose soul is troubled by the nearness of suffering, and whose bones must be saved by extraordinary circumstances; a being that rises from the dead and says, "Don't touch me," or even "Put your finger here," surely has a real and material body, or the author doesn't know what he's saying.

Hilgenfeld finally discovered contradiction to our gospelWeil?Evidence of his anti-Jewish spirit. "The whole gospel," says this writer, "is so arranged that it presents the historical coming of Christ as His only appearance on earth." characteristics of a Jewish tendency. Hase correctly says: "This was the belief of almost the entire Church in the second century and even well into the third." But also, as the same author adds: "Our gospel does not contradict this hope, although it distracts from all that pleases the senses." We actually saw it; with many repetitions a glorious resurrection is spoken offrom the bodypromised to believers, and in alast day.But here, as in all things, John makes his study to establish the spiritual preparation, which the Synoptics had not elaborated upon, and not the outward results so vividly and forcefully described by the latter.

In this chapter we have developed only those points concerning the characteristics of our Gospel, without touching on what goes into the question of its origin, its composition by this or that author. In studying this last topic we will look for the origin of the term and the conceptLogosAt this point we were concerned with fully establishing the relationship between our gospel and the old covenant. This relationship is twofold, as we have demonstrated: on the one hand, the Gospel of John fully recognizes the divinity of the Old Testament, the Law, and the Prophets; on the other hand, he sees in the work and teaching of Christ a decided superiority over the ancient revelations. The God of Israel is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but patriarchal and prophetic revelation has only imperfectly made Him known. It is the only begotten Son who rests in her womb and has come to reveal it to us. "The law was given by Moses" preparing his faithful subjects to receive Jesus Christ; but only in him does the believer receive a divine "fullness of grace and truth" (John 1:16-18). The Word had to be in IsraelLargo, long prepared on earth; but regeneration, by which man receives the life of God, is impossible except through faith in the Word that came in the flesh (John 1:12-13).

The evangelist began by recognizing Jesus as the promised Christ; from there he rose to the knowledge of the Son of God (Juan 1:41;Juan 6:69; John 16:28-29). The expression inJuan 20:31, summarizes this development.

§ 3. The Style of the Fourth Gospel.

It remains for us to study our gospel from the literary point of view. In the introduction to his short commentary, Tholuck did a good job of emphasizing the uniqueness of the evangelist's language. In all literature, whether sacred or profane, there is nothing like it; childlike simplicity and transparent depth, holy melancholy and no less holy liveliness; above all the sweetness of a pure and tender love. "Such a style could only come from a life," says Hase, "that rests in God and in which every contrast between the present and the future, between the divine and the human, comes to an end.

Let's try to accurately indicate the specifics of this style.

1. Vocabulary is generalarm.They are generally the same expressions, repeated from end to end:Luz(light) twenty-three times?glory be praised(Glory, glorified) forty-two times?live your life(life, ζῇν) fifty-two times?testify, testify(witness, Zeugnis) siebenundvierzig Mal;Zobel(white) fifty-five times?Welt(world) seventy-eight times?believe(believe) ninety-eight times?work(work) dreiundzwanzig Mal?Name(noun) andTRUE(true) every twenty-five times?Sign(σημεῖον) seventeen times. Not only does the author hesitate to repeat these words in his work, but he does so again and again in very closely spaced sentences. This gives your style a monotonous character at first glance; But only at first glance. These expressions soon compensate the reader for their small number by their inner richness. They are not, as one might think at first glance, purely abstract concepts, but powerful spiritual realities that can be viewed from an infinite number of perspectives. If the author has few terms in his vocabulary, these words can be likened to the gold coins that great lords pay with. This quality is in line with the oriental spirit that loves to immerse itself in the infinite. The Old Testament already knows these rich expressions and their deep meaning:Light, Darkness, Truth, Lies, Glory, Name, Life, Death.

2. Certain favorite forms, which, without violating the laws of the Greek language, are foreign to this language, betray aHebrewMindset So to denote the most intimate spiritual union, the use of the termZobel;to indicate the moral dependence of another being, the termsbe inside( is in ),dwell in it(μένειν ἐν); to characterize the relationship between a spiritual principle and the person in whom it is embodied, the termson, the son of perdition(son of perdition)? certain forms of purely Hebrew origin:rejoice with joy(happy happy),forever(in the century)? eventually the Hebrew words changed into Greek terms, as in the formula:amen, amen(ἀμήν, ἀμήν), which occurs only in John.

3. The construction issimply;Ideas are juxtaposed rather than fitting organically into the nature of Greek construction. This peculiarity is particularly observed in some striking examples (Juan 1:10;Juan 2:9;Juan 3:19;Juan 6:22-24;Juan 8:32; John 17:25), where it would not have been difficult to form a truly syntactical sentence, as a Greek writer surely would have done. The very frequent ones are also closely related to this purely Hebrew formthey cannot be greedy, after which the dominant thought is first introduced by an absolute noun, and then repeated by a pronoun interpreted according to the rules; DraftJuan 6:39;Juan 7:38;Juan 17:2. We know these cases are even more common in the apocalypse.

4. Despite the abundance of particles belonging to the Greek language, the author only makes useNow(δέ), more common thanmi( mi ),So(oὖν), miif(ὡς or καθώς). Μέν, so mean, is almost unknown in his work. I believe he appears only once (John 19:24). OmimiSotake its placevavconvertible, which is sort of the only Hebrew particle. EITHERSoestablishes the providential necessity which, according to the author, unifies the facts. EITHERmiis often used in cases where we should expect the opposite particleBut;So: "The light shines in the darkness,midarkness has not taken hold of him” (John 1:5); or also: “And they sawmihe hated me and my father” (John 15:24). "We speak what we knowmiyou do not receive our testimony” (John 3:11). Luthardt sharply notes that this form is the mark of a spirit that has risen above the first sense of surprise or indignation evoked by an unforeseen outcome and has come to face it in the future with the calm of indifference or to look at with such pain has no bitterness. The use of the particleif(cf. eg chap. 17) is inspired by the need to make analogies; this quality is one of the most characteristic of the spirit that created this style. This tendency even goes so far as to identify the earthly symbols of divine things with these: "IInthe true vine; yeahInThe good shepherd." In the eyes of those who write like this, reality is not the earthly phenomenon, but the divine, invisible fact; the sensual phenomenon is the copy.

The author also uses the conjunction frequentlyfor what(ἵνα) in a weakened sense and apparently synonymous with the plain Latin termso that, let him;However, we think with Meyer that this is only apparently the case. The problem in these cases isdivineGoal. And here, too, a peculiarity of the author's thinking is revealed - the teleological tendency, which belongs to the spirit of sacred historiography. What seems to be just a story in the eyes of the peopleResult, appears from a higher point of view as the realization of God's plan.

5. There is a unique contrast in narrative forms. On the one hand somethingIt is, for example, spread the form so common in the dialogues: "He answered and said;" or the repetition of proper names, John, Jesus, where a Greek writer would have used the pronoun (something also belonging to the Eastern style: Winer, Gram. N. T., § 65); or that persistent construction by which, after a fact has been established, a participle with its dependent nouns unexpectedly enters in order to bring one aspect of the stated fact more clearly to light (cf.Juan 1:12; Jo 3:13;Juan 5:18;Juan 6:71; John 7:50); or finally, instead of the finite verb, the heavier form of the verbbebound to a participle, a form which in certain cases is undoubtedly based on reasons as in the classical style, but which is used here too frequently not to be, as Thiersch has remarked, a reproduction of the analogous form belonging to the Aramaic Language; and on the other hand, the frequent occurrence of short sentences, interrupting the sentence like a sudden interruption: "And Barabbas was a thief" (John 18:40); "It was evening" (John 13:30); "it was the tenth hour" (John 1:40); “it was Saturday” (John 1:9); “Jesus loved Martha and Mary” (John 11:5); "Jesus wept" (John 11:35). Here are rays of an inner fire that, with their sudden outbursts, break the usual stillness of serene contemplation. This is indeed the Semite; An exciting memory can snap you out of the majestic calm you normally surround yourself with.

6. In the way ideas are connected we notice three distinctive features: Or, as we have seen, a short and summarized word is put in the middle and around it develops a series of cycles, always expanding exhaust more. primary thought even in its most concrete applications. Or is there a whole series of sentences with no external context, as in the first twenty verses of chap. 15, let everyone follow each otherAsindeton;it seems that every thought had all its own value and deserved to be weighed separately. Or finally there is a connection of a special kind resulting from the repetition in the following sentence of one of the nouns of the previous sentence, for example:Juan 10:11;Juan 13:20;Juan 17:2-3;Juan 17:9;Juan 17:11;Juan 17:15-16; and beyond,Juan 1:1-5. Each clause is thus like a ring connected to the previous ring. The first two forms are repugnant to Hellenic genius, the third is taken from the Old Testament (Psalms 121:0, miGenesis 1:1s.).

7. We have already pointed out the figurative character of the style; Let's add here that it's deepsymbolicCharacter; then the expressionsdraw, teachwhen speaking of God;see hearwhen it comes to Christ's relationship to the unseen world;to be hungry, thirstyin a spiritual sense. It is always the oriental seal and mainly the Hebrew.

8. We only mention two other properties; Oparallelismof the clauses, which are known to be the distinctive mark of poetic style among the Hebrews, and theKoro, which is also used between them. Whenever the speaker's feeling is heightened or his soul is touched by the contemplation of some high truth which he bears witness to, these two forms appear in the Old Testament. It's the same with John. For parallelism seeJuan 3:11;Juan 5:37;Juan 6:35;Juan 6:55-56;Juan 12:44-45;Juan 13:16;Juan 15:20;Juan 16:28; for the choirJuan 3:15-16;Juan 6:39-40;Juan 6:44; DraftGenesis 1:0: “And it was night” etc.;Amos 1:2; and in other places, especially in the Psalms.

So how should we judge the style and literary character of this work? On the one hand, Renan tells us: "This style has nothing Hebrew, nothing Jewish, nothing Talmudic." And he is right when we mean by style only the very external forms of language. We do not find in the Fourth Gospel, as in certain parts of Luke (in the first two chapters, for example after John 1:5), the actual Hebraisms imported exactly as they are in the Greek text (hence thevavconversion), nor, as in the LXX. translation, grossly Hellenized Hebrew expressions. On the other hand, a scholar who has studied the genius of the Semitic languages ​​no less deeply, Ewald, puts it this way: “No language can be more purely Hebrew in spirit and in the breath that animates it than that of the Hebrew of our author. ' And he is equally right when we consider the intrinsic qualities of the style, which all previous examination has amply proved.

In the language of John only the clothing is Greek, the body Hebrew; or, as Luthardt says, there is a Hebrew soul in the Greek language of this evangelist. Keim devoted a beautiful page to the style of the Fourth Gospel; He sees in it “the lightness and flexibility of the purest Hellenism, adapted to the Hebrew mode of expression, with all its openness, its simplicity, its wealth of images and sometimes also its strangeness. No studied sophistication, no pathos; everything in it is simple and flows as in life; but everywhere at the same time, sharpness, variety, advancement, poorly marked moves forming an image in the mind of the thoughtful reader. Everywhere mysteries that surround and await you, signs and symbols that we would not take literally if the author had not confirmed their reality, coincidences and small details that are complete at the same time. of meaning; cordiality, calm, harmony; amidst struggles, sadness, jealousy, anger, irony; finally, at the end, at the farewell dinner, on the cross and in the resurrection, peace, victory, greatness”.

From this examination of the historiographical, theological, and literary features of our gospel, it follows:

1. That the narrative of the fourth gospel bears the seal of historical reliability both in deed and in speech.

2. That, marking the progress of the gospel beyond Old Testament religion, it affirms the complete harmony of the two covenants.

3. Although the style is Greek in its forms, it is nevertheless Hebrew in its substance.


We come to the main theme of this study, the compositional style of the work, which occupies our attention. This matter includes the following four points: 1. TheErasin which this book was written; two.ÖAuthorto whom it is to be attributed; 3. TheOrtwhere did it come from 4. ThePurposewho presided over its composition. The means at our disposal for solving these various questions, in addition to the indications contained in the work itself, are the information which we can draw from the remains of second-century religious literature, from the canonical collections of the churches of the time, and from the facts of the early history of Christianity.

The remains of second-century literature are few; they resemble the fragments of a shipwreck. They are first and foremost the lyrics ofClemensfrom Rome to the Church of Corinth, towards the end of the first century or the beginning of the second, and the so-called Epistle ofBarnabas, from the same period. Then the letters comeIgnacio, dating from the first half of the second century, if we accept its authenticity in whole or in part, and the writing ofPolycarpto the Philippians a little later, but with the same caveat. EITHERShepherd of Hermas, the letter toDiognet, and a sermon named after the second epistle ofClemensFollow below in order. The date of all these works is fixed in various ways. We turn next to the writings of mid-century apologists;Justin Martyrwith its three main works;Tatiana, his pupil;Athenagorasa message addressed to Marco Aurelio with his apologies;Theophilusand his work addressed to Autolycus;MelitomiApollinariuswith the few remaining fragments of his writings; Finally,Irenaeusof lion,Clemensof Alexandria andTertullianof Carthage, forming the transition to the third century.

All these writers belong to the orthodox line. Parallel to this we find in the heretical linebasilidsand your school;Marchioness;SoLoverwith his four chief disciples,Ptolemy, Herakleon, Marcus and Theodotus, all of whom were authors of various works, some of which we read in Irenaeus, Clement, and Hippolytus; the work of this last author, recently discovered and titledphilosophers, is particularly important. Finally, let us mention the Judeo-Christian novelClementine Homilien.

The canonical collections of this period with which we are acquainted are three: Those of the Syrian Church referred to in the translationFisch;that of the Latin Church in the translation bearing the nameItalian, and the so-called fragment ofMaurer, which represents the canon of an Italian or African church in the mid-2nd century.

Through all of these documents, as well as the clues contained in the gospel itself, we must choose between the following four main dates that critics today ascribe to the writing of our gospel.

Chapter one: time.

For this very reason, the traditional view that attributes this book to the apostle John places its composition in the first century, at the end of the apostolic era.

At the other end of this traditional date is the date set by Baur, the director of the Tübingen school. According to him, our work was composed between 160 and 170; he puts its origin in a special connection with the Easter dispute that broke out at the time.

The Baur disciples gradually shifted the date of origin to between 130 and 155: Volkmar, around 155; Zeller and Scholten, 150; Hilgenfeld, 130-140; almost a quarter of a century before what Baur thought. This is evident from the fact that several of these authors relate the composition of our gospel to the heyday of Gnosticism around the year 140.

Many critics today take a step back. Holtzmann believes our gospel is contemporary with Barnabas; Schenkel speaks of 115-120; Nicholas, Renan, Weizsácker, Reuss, Sabatier, all considering the Fourth Gospel a product of the school in which the Johannine traditions were preserved at Ephesus, place its composition in the first quarter of the second century. Keim was of this opinion when he wrote his great work in 1867The history ofJesusde Nazara;he gave the years 100-120 (p. 146), more precisely 110-115 (p. 155) as the date. More recently it has returned to the Hilgenfeld dating (130) in its popular editions.

Here are four suggested situations that we must now put to the test. Should we start with the advanced or with what is further away? In our previous edition, we adopted the first of these two courses. A lack of logic was found because, in short, the facts against the previous data provide the evidencea stronger oneagainst the second, and yet they are not pointed out until after the discussion of the second has already taken place. This is true; but we trust the logic of our readers enough to hope that they will make this calculation themselves, and that if, for example, in discussing the date of 140 they arrive at a fact that proves it is too late , they won't do that. . I do not add this fact to those for whom data after this one has already been refuted. We still prefer the retrograde chronological order because, as Weizsäcker conceded, it makes the presentation of the facts more interesting. On the progressive path, any fact proving an earlier date makes it unnecessary to discuss more recent dates.

160-170. (Bau).

Eusebius declared early in the fourth century that "the gospel of John, which is well known to all the churches under heaven, must first be accepted" (Hist. Eccl., 3:24); and consequently considered it among the writings which he calls Homologoumena, that is, generally accepted by the churches and their teachers. As he spoke, he had before his eyes all the literature of past centuries collected in the libraries of his predecessor Pamphilus in Caesarea and Bishop Alexander in Jerusalem. This statement proves that in studying these Scriptures he found no gaps in the testimonies showing the use of our gospel by the fathers and churches of the first three centuries. Here it is to be considered with what accuracy and frankness Eusebius mentions the slightest sign of vacillation about the biblical writings; For example, he does not fail to point out the omission of a quotation from the Letter to the Hebrews in Ireneo's main work (an omission which we can verify ourselves), although in his opinion this letter is among the fourteen São Paulo. Supposing you had found a complete gap in the Patristic literature up to the date 160-170 regarding the existence and use of our gospel, could you in good faith express yourself as you do in the passage quoted?

Origen, ca. 220, places the Gospel of John among the four "who alone shall surely be received into the church of God which is under heaven" (Euseb. H.E., John 6:25). Would this place have been awarded unanimously if it had only been known after 170?

Eusebius and Origen are not the bearers of tradition; but they are the originators of the critique that gathered information from previous centuries and from it developed the first summaries of the case.

Clement of Alexandria, Origen's teacher, is already in a slightly different position; he collected the information he received from the elders whose line of succession is connected with the apostles (ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνέκαθεν πρεσβυτέρων). He thinks particularly of Pantaenus, a missionary in India who died in 189. The following is the information bestowed upon him by these venerable witnesses: “John received the first three gospels, noting that corporeal things (the outward facts) of our Lord's life were recorded in him, he wrote at the urging of the famous men of the church a spiritual gospel" (Euseb. H.E., John 6:14). Could Clement, writing about 190, have spoken in this way of a work that was only twenty or twenty-five years old? To do this, he must have invented this tradition himself. We'll add that somewhere else (Strom.iii., p. 465), citing a saying of Jesus contained in a non-canonical gospel called the Gospel of Egypt, warns: “We do not find that sayingin the four gospels that have been transmitted to us' (among the four gospels given to us). The contrast that Clemens makes here clearly shows that there has traditionally been a radical difference between the Gospel of John and a gospel like that of the Egyptians.

Tertullian, born about the year 160, frequently quotes our gospel as an authority for the whole church. Would that be possible if this father and this work were born in the same year, one in Asia and the other in Africa? Note that he quotes it according to a Latin translation of which he says (Practice ads.): "It is in use among our people (is in our practice).” And not only was it in use and so respected that Tertullian did not feel free to deviate from it, even if he disagreed with it, but this Latin translation had already taken the place of an earlier one of which Tertullian says (the monogamous, w. 11) “that decayed (came into use).” And yet all of this could have happened between this father's birth and the time he was writing!

Irenaeus wrote his great work in Gaul around 185Against heresies.More than sixty times he quotes our gospel with the fullest conviction of its apostolic origin. The one who does this in this regard was born in Asia Minor around the year 130, and spent his youth there in the school of Polycarp, a friend and disciple of St. John. How could he without deceit date a gospel to apostolic times, which at the time he wrote it had existed no more than fifteen or twenty years, and which he had never heard of in the churches where he had spent his youth had? And what should have been the cradle of this work? In 177 Irenaeus wrote a letter to the churches of Asia and Phrygia on behalf of the churches of Vienne and Lyon, to inform them of the terrible persecution that had just punished them under Marcus Aurelius. This letter has come down to us from Eusebius (H.E., John 5:1). He says, speaking of one of the martyrs, "having the Paraclete within"; and in another place: "Thus was fulfilled the word of our Lord, that the time will come when he who kills you will think that he is serving God." These are two quotes from John (John 14:26 and John 16:2). The quote was given about ten years after the date of origin given by Baurin Gaulof our gospel as Scripture with canonical authority!

Around 180, Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, addresses his pagan friend Autolycus with an apology for Christianity; In it he quotes the prologue of John and puts it this way (John 2:22): “That's whatThe Holy Scripturesand all spirit-enlivened people teach usunder which John says(Continue with John 1:1). Can it be admitted that scarcely fifteen or twenty years after the publication of our gospel did the bishop of Antioch speak in this way? He equated it so perfectly with the other three, which were received everywhere and at all times, that he published oneHarmonyof the Gospels described by Jerome (The Virgin.25) as “uniting the words of the four gospels in a single work (unite the words of the four gospels into a single work).” The opponents of authenticity cite the fact that this is the first case in which the author of our gospel is named. But what does such an accidental fact prove? Irenaeus is the first church writer to name Saint Paul as the author of Romans. Must it be concluded from this fact that belief in the apostolic authorship of Romans first arose in the consciousness of the church at this time? Since it was not customary to quote verbatim, it was also not customary to quote the author's designation.

Apollinaris, bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, contradicted the opinion of the people who were observing the Passover meal on the night of Nisan 14, around 170, at the same time that the Jews were eating the Passover meal; for, as they say, according to Matthew, Jesus had eaten the Passover with his disciples that night, and was not crucified until the next day. Apollinaris responded to this in two ways: 1. That this view was "contrary to the law"; for according to the law the paschal lamb was sacrificed on the 14th and not on the 15th; therefore Christ must die that day; 2. If this opinion were justified, "the gospels would contradict each other". This second observation can only relate to the account in the Gospel of John which puts Jesus' death on the 14th and not on the 15th as the Synoptics seem to do. Thus Apollinaris in 170 referred to the Fourth Gospel as a fully recognized authority, even by his opponents, and at the same time, according to Baur, it began to circulate as a completely new work! This critic no doubt attempted to tear this passage from its natural meaning; but this attempt was unanimously rejected. Moreover, the same Apollinaris also quotes the Fourth Gospel elsewhere. He calls Jesus "the one whose holy side was pierced, and from whose side were shed water and blood, the word and the Spirit"; DraftJuan 19:34.

At the same time Melito, Bishop of Sardis, also wrote on the same subject. Otto (notCorpus apologeta., vol. ix.) published a fragment of this father, which states: “Jesus, who is both God and perfect man, demonstrated his divinity with his miracles in the3 yearsthat followed his baptism and his humanity in the thirty years that preceded him. These three years of service can only come from the account of Johannes.

About the same time (176) Athenagoras, in his apology to Emperor Marcus Aurelius, said: “The Son of God is the word of the Father; by him all things were made.” Here is an undeniable quote; Volkmar himself admits it.

It gives through the same use of the fourth gospelhereticof this time, especially from the disciples of Valentino. One of them, Ptolemy (in a fragment preserved by Irenaeus), used these words to recall the passage inJuan 12:27:: “Jesus said: And what shall I say? I don't know. He claimed (also after Irenaeus) that the same apostle John had taught the existence of the first Ogdoad (the basis of Valentino's teaching) at the beginning of his gospel. Ireneo and Epifanio have preserved his letter to Flora in which he quotes John 1:3 as saying: “The apostle declares that the creation of the world belongs to the Redeemer, since everything was made by him and nothing was done apart from him. he". In the fragments of Theodotus preserved in the works of Clement of Alexandria there are seventy-eight quotations from the New Testament, twenty-six of which are taken from the Gospel of John. The most important fact to quote here is the commentary that Herakleon wrote about the Fourth Gospel At what time Around the year 200, says Volkmar, but Origen, who refuted this work, names its authora well-known acquaintanceof Valentine (Οὐάλεντίνου γνώριμος); now the latter taught between 140 and 160. Yes, replies Volkmar, but Irenaeus does not mention Herakleon, proving that he lived after 185, the date on which he wrote against the heretics of his time. This claim, as Tischendorf has shown, is a factual error, arising simply from the omission of the name Heracleon from the naming records in Massuet's and Stieren's editions at the end of Irenaeus' work. In fact, this father specifically saysJuan 2:4: "and all other aeons of Ptolemy andHerakleão.So this last one lived and wrote before Irenaeus, at the latest around 170 or even 160. And what did he write? A running commentary on the Gospel of John. This fact alone implies that our gospel enjoyed universal and longstanding authority in the church of that time. Well, men only comment on a book that proves everyone right to some extent. So how much time must have passed since this work was composed! Also Irenaeus (Juan 3:12; John 3:12), testifies that the Valentinians “made abundant use of the gospel of John” (make full use of what agrees with John).

The sermons of Clementine, published around the year 160, are as follows (3:52): “Therefore saith the true prophet: I am the bearer of life (ἡ πύλη τῆς ζωῆς); whoever enters through me enters into life... My sheep hear my voice (τὰ ἐμὰ πρόβατα ἀκούει τῆς ἐμῆς φωνῆς). This is an apparent quote fromJuan 10:3;Juan 10:9;Juan 10:27; but it is not enough for Baur, Scholten, Volkmar, Hilgenfeld, etc., to admit the use of the Gospel of John by the vehemently Judaizing writer who wrote this pamphlet against the teaching and person of St. Paul. Dressel's discovery of the end of this still unknown book in 1853 was necessary to thwart all critical subterfuges. In the nineteenth sermon, chap. 22, there is this undeniable quote from the story of the man born blind, told in the ninth chapter of John: "This is why our Lord also answered those who asked him, 'Has this man sinned, or his parents, who was born blind?' became? ? ? ?

Neither he nor his parents sinned, but that the power of God should be manifest through him and heal the errors of ignorance." The slight change made by the author of thesermonswhich he introduces in the last words of this Johannine verse is connected with the particular idea which he is trying to emphasize at this point. If Volkmar finds a reason for rejection here even in the presence of such a quote, Hilgenfeld says openly on the contrary (introduction, P. 734): "The Gospel of John is also used without scruple by opponents of the divinity of Christ, as the author of the Clementines". What must have been the authority of a book that even opponents of the teaching contained in the work used in this way! This is what happened around 160, and yet Baur tries to claim that this work was created between 160 and 170!

A pagan philosopher, Celsus, wrote a book entitledthe true word(λόγος ἀληθής), to challenge Christianity; He wanted, he said, to kill Christians "with his own sword", ie to refute Christianity with the writings of his founder's own disciples. In his work he therefore proceeded from the generally recognized authenticity of our gospels. Did he also use the fourth gospel for this purpose? Surely; for it recalls the claim that the Jews made of Jesus in the temple to prove by a sign that he was the Son of God (John 2:18). Compare the water and blood that flowed from the body of Jesus on the cross (John 19:34) to that holy blood that mythological stories caused to flow from the bodies of the blessed gods. It speaks of the appearance of Mary Magdalene (this woman πάροιστρος) near the tomb. He reveals this contradiction between the narratives of our gospel that according to some (οἱ μέν) two angels appeared at Jesus' tomb, according to others (οἱ δέ) but only one. And indeed, Matthew and Mark speak of a single angel, Luke and John mention two. The use of John at this point, which Zeller still dared to deny, is now acknowledged by Volkmar himself, but this confession ends, as usual, in a subterfuge: "And who tells us that Celsus wrote before the beginning of the third century? And by a passage from Origen, the meaning of which is misrepresented, an attempt is made to prove that this priest spoke of Celsus as his contemporary. Tischendorf lived up to this approach. It was enough for him to quote Origen correctly to show that he said nothing of the sort. He also recalled another passage from this father where he specifically refers to Celsus as "a man who died long ago (ἤδη καὶ πάλαι νεκροῦ)". If we accept the latest date for Celsus' work, that of Keim (178), it remains impossible that a heathen could have published a work composed by one of Jesus' disciples only eight years earlier. And if Celso lived much earlier?

From the canonical collections of apostolic writings already in existence in the churches of the second century we have three documents left. A Syriac translation of the New Testament was being read in Syria towards the end of this century, and certainly our Fourth Gospel was a part of it, for the only New Testament books missing from this collection were: according to undeniable evidence, four of the epistles are Catholics and the Apocalypse. It is even clear from various Syriac fragments published by Cureton that this supposed translationFisch, which contained both the Old and New Testaments, was preceded by a predecessor. At the opposite end of the Church, in Italy, in Gaul and in the province of Africa, the Latin translation we speak of in relation to Tertullian already existed at the same time. In this canonical collection, which also contained the Old Testament, the New Testament writings seem to have been divided into five groups: 1. The body of the four gospels,The Gospel Instrument, collection of documents; So,the apostolic instruments, namely: 2. TheAtos 3:0. by Pablo; 4th John (Revelation and 1st John); 5. A group of disputed writings (1 Peter, Hebrews, Jude). It can be assumed that by the last quarter of the second century a work which appeared only between 160 and 170 had already been translated into Syriac and Latin and had attained canonical dignity in countries which were, so to speak, the antipodes of the Church. ?

The famous document found in the Milan library by Muratori in the last century, bearing the name of this scholar, is between the years 160 and 170. It is a treatise on the writings that would have been read publicly in the churches. . In it, the author refers to the custom of the Church of Italy or Africa to which he belongs. The Gospel of John is mentioned as the fourth. The author details how it was written by the apostle John and highlights some of its distinctive features. This is what was written in Italy or Africa on the same date that Baur assigns to the writing of this gospel!

No one will be surprised, having enumerated these facts, that the so-calledcriticalThe school found it impossible to maintain the position chosen by his teacher. It made its retreat far and wide, and as it retreated into the second century it sought a more tenable situation. Before proceeding, let us note the fact that the Fourth Gospel existed between 160 and 170 in Greek, Latin, and Syriac, and was read publicly in all churches from Mesopotamia to Gaul. Facts like these imply not just two or three decades, but at least half a century of existence.

130-155. (Volkmar, 155; Zeller, Scholten, 150; Hilgenfeld, 130-140; Keim (desde 1875), 130).

Instead of the fifty years we ask to explain the facts just mentioned, we are only granted twenty or thirty. Let's see if this admission is enough to explain the facts that have yet to be pointed out. Our means of guiding our course in examining this new datum are the writings of Justin Martyr, the Montanist movement, and the two great Gnostic systems of Marcion and Valentine.

Justin, born in Samaria, crossed the east and then came to Rome around the year 140 to found a school of Christian instruction. We have three universally recognized works on his left: thegreatermismall excuse, which is usually considered obsolete since Volkmar's works, the first of 147; the second, which complements the first, from one of the following years; they are addressed to the emperor and the senate. The third work isDialogue with Trypho the Jew;is the report of a public debate in Ephesus. It's a little later than sorry. Justin was sentenced to death in 166.

In these three works the author cites seventeen times as a source for the facts of the story of Jesus which he claims titled Scriptures,Memoirs of the Apostles( ἀπομνημονεύματα τῶν ἀποστόλω ), and the crucial question in the subject that concerns us will be whether the Fourth Gospel was included in the number of writings included in this collection.

To understand the importance of the question posed here, we must remember that the writings cited by Justin as his authorities were not just his private property. According to the famous passage of the first Apology (1:67), in which Justin describes the worship of Christians in the first half of the second century, the memoirs of the apostles were read side by side every Sunday in the public meetings of the church the books of the apostles , prophets; and it is very evident that, in the author's opinion, this description applies not only to the cult celebrated by the Church of Rome, but to that of Christianity in general; this derives from the expressions he used: "All who live in the cities and in the fieldsmeet in one place." Justin had visited Asia Minor and Egypt; he therefore knew how worship was celebrated, both in the East and in the West. In addition, he defended before the Emperor not only the Christians of Rome, but the Church in general. Consequently says he in this passage on the celebration of public worship and in some others on baptism (apol.1.61) and the Last Supper (apol.1.66) must then be applied to all Christianity.

What, then, were these apostolic memoirs, so venerated by the second-century churches that they were read publicly in worship, and the book which the church, like Jesus and the apostles, regarded as the divine word, the Old Testament? Justin does not give us the specific titles of these writings; it is our job to determine them.

1. First, let's establish a probability that is almost equal to certainty. We have seen above that Irenaeus, writing thirty years after Justine (180-185), spoke in Gaul of our four canonical Gospels as the only ones received in the Church. This usage was so established even in his day that he calls our evangelical collection the Gospel of the Four Forms (τετράμορφον εὐαγγέλιον) and compares these four writings to the four cherubs of the Old Covenant and the four corners of the horizon. They form an inseparable unit for him. About the same time, in Egypt, Clemens also names our Gospels, as we have seen: "The fourthat were by themselvestransferfor us” (p. 141). Theophilus is composing a harmony of these four stories in Syria at the same time (pp. 142ff.). Finally, somewhat earlier still (c. 160), the Muratori fragment listing the gospels accepted for public reading is expressed thus: "On the third place, the book of the Gospel according to Luke...;on fourth place, the Gospel of John...” Then there is nothing more about writings of this kind; He continues with Acts and the Epistles. It can be admitted that the Apostolic Memoirs that Justin is telling us about were generally read in Christian worship twenty or thirty years agoother writingsthat those which these Fathers and the Churches themselves so distinguished from all other writings of the same genus, or at least were not part of the collection which the Martyr had already given a place in worship alongside the prophetic writings of the Old Testament? To that end there must have been a revolution in Christian worship in that short time, a substitution of holy scriptures for scriptures of which history shows not the slightest trace and which is absolutely impossible on the basis of history. Universality and prominence of the use of the memoirs Justin speaks of and for the stability of apostolic uses in this period. The Fathers, like Irenaeus, were present to oversee the matter and would not have allowed the documents from which the Church derives its knowledge of Jesus' life to be altered without pointing it out.

2. A special fact proves an even more direct connection between Justin on the one hand and the somewhat later fathers (Irenaeus, etc.) on the other. Justin had a student named Tatian who had composed a similar work before Theophilus. Eusebius tells us (IS.4.19) that this book was titledDiatessaron, I think,consisting of fourWell, according to the Syrian Bishop Bar Salibi (12th century), who knew this work by citing it in his commentary on the Gospels, this writing began with these words from the Prologue of John (John 1:1): "In the beginning was the Word". According to the same author, Ephrem, the well-known deacon of Edessa (died 373), would have written a commentary on the same work by Tatian, the Armenian translation of which was recently discovered and published (Venice, 1876). This translation confirms everything what the Fathers reported about Tatian's harmonyTeaching of Addaeus(from the middle of the third century), which tells the story of the establishment of Christianity in Edessa, states: “The people gather for the prayer service and for the [reading] of the Old Testament and [the Newim DiatessaronThis work of Tatian was therefore widely distributed in the East, since in the East it was even read in the public service instead of the four gospels. This is confirmed by the account of the bishop of Cyrus in Cilicia, Theodoret (c. 420). He reports that he found two hundred copies of Tatian's book in the churches of his diocese and that it replaced this heterodox harmony in some respects.The Gospels of the Four Evangelists“Hence our four separate gospels, the ones that Tatian combined into one. If we recall the relationship Tatian had with Justin, the identity of the Master's Apostolic Memoirs with thefourfused into one by the disciple cannot be doubted. Also in hisTalk to the GreeksTatian himself quotes Mateo, Lucas and Juan; the latest,Juan 1:3: "All things were made by him" (the Logos);Juan 4:24: "God is Spirit"; Finally,Juan 1:5, this formula indicating a holy authority: "This is what is said (τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ εἰρημένον): The darkness did not grasp the light; ... now the light of God is the verb."

3. But if so, why does Justin call these books the unusual name ofMemories, rather than simply calling them the Gospels? Because it is not aimed at Christians, but at emperors and senates, who would not have understood the Christian name of the gospels, for which there was no example in profane literature. On the other hand, anyone with the ἀπομνημονεύματα (Memories) by Xenophon. Justin uses this common name just as it replaces Christian terms.BaptismmiDomingothe conditionsbathroommiSunday.Finally, Justin himself, in one of the passages quoting the memoirs (Revelation 1:4;Revelation 1:4, 66), specifically adds: “written by the apostles and called the gospels(which is called ὐαγγέλια)”, and in another passage (To mark.103) is expressed as follows:

The memoirs I am telling were written by the apostles and by those who accompanied them' which, whatever some critics may say, applies only to our four gospels, of which, as is the case, two were written by apostles and two by apostlesapostolic helpers.All the critical errors will not change the evidence at all.

4. But finally, let's look at Justin's quotes from his own memoir. No one today disputes this Father's use of the three Synoptics. In 1848 Zeller lent it to Luke; 1850 Hilgenfeld on Mateo; the same in 1854 in relation to Marcos; Credner 1860, Volkmar 1866, Scholten 1867 recognized him in connection with all three. The Gospel of John remains. As early as 1867, Keim wrote (Vol. I, p. 138): "It is easy to show that the martyr had a whole series of Johannine passages in mind," and Hilgenfeld said in 1875 (introductionP. 734): "The first trace of the Gospel of John is found in Justin Martyr." In the same year, Mangold formulates the result of all discussions that have taken place recently on this point as follows: "It is certain that Justin knew and used the fourth gospel, and there is also no doubt that he used it as a work of Apostle John." And indeed, the Logos teaching of John appears in all of Justin's writings; that is its fundamental peculiarity. Let us cite a single example from each of these writings: "His Son, the only one who can properly be called Son , the Logos begotten of him before things were created, when he created all things for him... His name is Christ." (Revelation 2:6;Revelation 2:6). “The first power after God, Father and Teacher of all, is the Son, the Word, made flesh in a way, made man (apol.1.32).To mark.105: "For he was the only begotten Son of the Father of all things (μονογενὴς ὅτι ἦν τῷ πατρὶ τῶν ὅλων)." The relationship between Justin and John at this crucial point is so evident that Volkmar was finally forced to acknowledge it; but it is released by a resource unrelated to a clown trick. According to him, it's not Justin who imitated John; he is a pseudo-John who, writing c. 155, imitated Justin, whose writings circulated from 147-150. Justin traced the first traces of the Logos theory; the fake John developed and perfected it. "But", answers Keim to this supposition, "who can seriously think of making the brilliant and original author of the Fourth Gospel the pupil of a mind as mediocre, dependent, compiling and poor in style as the martyr?" We shall add: the theology of the former is the simple expression of his religious conscience, of the immediate effects which the person of Jesus produces in him, while Justin's distinguishing feature, as Weizsäcker has clearly shown, is to serve as mediator between Christians, Thoughts and speculations that prevailed outside of Christianity in his day. Justin teaches us that the Logos emanates from the Father as a fire is kindled with another fire without being extinguished; he explains that it differs from the father inNumber, but not insideThought, etc. etc. How dare we say that Justin surpasses John in simplicity? The truth is that John is the witness and Justin is the theologian. The prologue of John is only that the point is that the Logos in our gospel is the original revelation, in its simple and apostolic form; Justin's writings present us with the first attempt to appropriate this revelation through reason.

Let's also hear from Justin himself,To mark.105: "I have shown before that he was the only begotten Son of the Father of all things, his Logos and his power, born of him and then made man through the Virgin,as we learn through memoirs.Justin himself tells us here from what source he derives his doctrine of the Logos; it was from his Apostolic Memoirs. Hilgenfeld claimed that Justin did not invoke the memoirs except for the second of the two facts mentioned in that passage: the miraculous birth; but the two facts given are connected by one and the same conjunction ( ὅτιThe), in verbal ideas;I showed, mihow we learnMoreover, according to the whole context, the main term is that ofonly begotten son(μονογενής), which belongs to the first of the two subordinate clauses. Our conclusion is explicitly confirmed by what Justin says (To mark.48); he speaks of some Christians who disagree with him on this point, stating that if he does not think like them, it is not only because they are a minority in the church, but "because we have not been guided by human teachings to Christ to believe." [in this way], but by the teachings of the holy prophets and those of Christ Himself ( τοῖς διὰ τῶν προφητῶν κηρυχθεῖσι καὶ δἰ αὐτοῦ δσδα)δ." Now, outside of the Gospel of John, where can we find Christ's teachings about his preexistence?apol.1.46: “That Christ is the first-born Son of God, the Logos, in whom all the human race participateswhat they taught us(taught). we see itus, applied to Christians in general, and by the termtaught, that Justin was by no means the author of the doctrine of the Incarnation of the Logos, but that by naming Jesus by that name he feels carried away by the great current of doctrine given in the Church, and by which the Die Source must necessarily be in the scriptures or at least in one of the scriptures of the apostles used.

5. Finally, Justin's use of our gospel is revealed in several special quotations,To mark.88: “And since the people supposed that he [John the Baptist] was the Christ, he himself cried out to them: “I am not the Christ, but the voice of him who calls ( οὐκ εἰμὶ ὁ Χριστὸς, ἀλλὰ φωνὴ βοῶν). comp.Juan 1:20;Juan 1:23. Hilgenfeld acknowledges this quote.To mark.69, Justin says that Jesus healed the blindFrom birth(those who are born drunk)? Is such healing ascribed to him only in the Gospel of John (John 9:1)? Juan uses the same term from birth. Another interesting passage can be found inTo mark.88: "The apostles wrote that the Holy Spirit shone like a dove upon Jesus as he came up out of the water." This is the only instance in which Justin uses the expression,wrote the apostles.It obviously applies to both the gospels of Matthew andJohn. To mark.29, Justin proves that Christians are no longer bound by the Jewish Sabbath, and he does so by reminding that God rules the world on this day as well as on others. in c. 27, also points out that boys are circumcised on the eighth day, even though it falls on a Saturday (κἂν ἦ ἡμέρα τῶν σαββάτων). Here we can easily see the relationshipJuan 5:17; Jo 7:22-23 .apol.1.52 quotes Justin Zach's words.Juan 12:10: "Sie werden den suchen, dem sie ausgeliefert sind (and then they look to whom they have extorted)". This form differs from both terms in the Hebrew text („sie werden sehenIn mewhom they...") and the LXX, "They will look at me because they mocked me." We are now reading the same passage in the Fourth Gospel exactly as Justin quotes it (Juan 19:0): a little a little Some no doubt think that Justin could have taken this passage from the Book of Revelation, where it is also quoted,Juan 1:7: "And all eyes will see him, including those who pierced him." But Justin's text is more closely related to that of the Gospel. Other reasons are claimed, such as the possibility of a variation of the ancient text in the LXX; We must not, therefore, insist too much on this fact.

Here, however, is an important and even crucial passage.apol.1.61 Justin informs the Senate that when a man has been convinced of the truth of the gospel, “he will be taken to a place where there is water, to be born again like the believers who went before him; and that he be bathed in water in the name of God, the Father and Lord of all things, and of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit; for Christ said: Unless ye are born again ( ἂν μὴ ἀναγεννηθῆτε) ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Now that it is impossible - Justino continues - for those once born to enter again into the wombs of those who begot them, it is evident to all.” The connection to John 3:3-5 is evident; It appears especially in the last words, which without any necessity and in the most clumsy way convey the meaning of Nicodemus' objection in the story of John (John 3:4). However, many dispute that Justin wrote this under the influence of John's narration. They claim these two differences: Instead of the term ἄνωθεν γεννηθῆναι (born from above or again), says Justin born again (reborn); then for the expressionGod's kingdom, substituteKingdom of heaven.But these two changes don't have the importance that some critics attribute to them. As for the former, the abbot proves that Irenaeus, Eusebius, Athanasius, Basil, Ephrem, Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, Anastasius Sin. as well as in most Latin authorities (reborn) who all took from the Gospel of John and still quote that passage as Justin does. It is no doubt because the term ἄνωθεν γεννηθῆναι has been obscure and a subject of debate, and because it is only read once in Scripture, while the other is clearer and more common (1 Pedro 1:3;1 Pedro 1:23; 1 Peter 2:2). As for the expressionKingdom of heaven, appears in Justin apparently from the gospel of Matthew, which was most widely read in the early days of the Church and where this term is commonly used. Abad proves that the same change in quoting this passage occurs with the Greek and Latin fathers, all of whom held John in their hands. But the next is a more serious objection, namely that this very saying of Jesus is quoted in theClementine Homilien(John 9:26) with exactly the same changes as Justin's, which seems to prove that the two authors borrowed from a common source other than John; for example from the Gospel of the Hebrews. Here the passage fromClementine's;the reader will be able to judge: “This is what the true prophet swore to us: Truly I say to you, unless you are born again of living water (ἐὰν μὴ ἀναγεννηθῆτε ὕδατι ζῶντι), in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” We see the difference between Justin and theClementine's, as Abad says, is much larger than between these two works and Juan. The reason is that the text of theClementine'sis not only, like Justins, influenced byMateo 18:3, but above all forMateo 28:19(the formula of baptism).

Finally, let's recall a quote from 1 John found in Justin's book.To mark.w. 123, says: "Suddenly we are called to be children of God, and we are", which is reminiscent1 Juan 3:1(according to the reading currently adopted by many critics): “Behold, God loves us very much, that we should be called God's children; and so are we." Hilgenfeld acknowledges this quote.

Given all these facts, how is it conceivable that Reuss could put it like this (p. 94): “We conclude that Justin did not include the fourth gospel among those which he commonly cites under the name Memoirs of the Apostles. What argument, then, is strong enough, in your opinion, to neutralize the value of the numerous quotations cited? "Justin," he says, "did not, as might be expected, turn to our gospel when he used the historical facts he uses wanted, wanted to investigate." But don't we know that there is nothing more misleading in criticism than arguments drawn from what a writer should have said, or did, and what he did not say, or did not say? Abbot leads quaintly on this Examples from contemporary history. We have already recalled that the Gospel of Matthew was the most widely used source in the early days of the Church. This is also the case with Justin, who uses Luke much less than Matthew and Mark much less than Luke. João is used more than Marcos.

For ourselves we believe we have proved 1. that the Fourth Gospel existed in the time of Justin and was part of his Apostolic Memoirs; 2. that it was read publicly in the churches of the East and the West as one of the authentic documents of the history and teachings of Jesus; 3. That consequently even at this time it possessed, together with the other three, a very ancient notoriety and a general authority equal to that of the Old Testament. It is now impossible that a work which held this position in the Church in the year 140 could not have been composed until around the year 130.

In the same year 140 that Justin settled in Rome, one of the most famous representatives of the Gnostic teachings, Valentino, also came to this city. After running a school in this capital for a long time, he went to Cyprus around the year 160 to finish his career. We already know some of his chief disciples, Ptolemy, Herakleon, Theodotus, and we know how much he preferred the fourth gospel. in her life schools; history confirms this statement of Irenaeus about them: "to use the Gospel of John to the fullest". Therefore, it is very likely that your teacher set an example in this regard. Tertullian contrasts Valentine with another Gnostic, Marcion, noting that the former accepted the sacred collection as a whole and did not invent Scripture according to his teaching, but adapted his teaching to Scripture. We know your system; represented as pairs of aeons (beginnings of things) emerging successively from the eternal and divine abyss, the first four of which formed what he called theOgdoade(the holy eight). The names of these eons were:Logos, Light, Truth, Grace, Life, Only Begotten Son, Paraclete.The influence of John's Prologue is easy to see here, as all of these names are found together in this passage, except for the last one, which appears later in the Gospel and is used in the Epistle. True, he wondered if he was not the evangelist who wrote his prologue under the influence of Valentinian Gnosticism, and Hilgenfeld thought his aim might have been to infiltrate and soften this new doctrine in the Church. . We have already seen how forced interpretations (fromJuan 8:44, for example, and other passages), this scholar was guided by this point of view. Let us add that the terms Valentino uses to designate his aeons are given an artificial, forced, and mythological sense in his system, while in John's prologue they are understood in their simple, natural, and moreover biblical sense; for they all already belong to the language of the Old Testament. Certainly it was not John who turned the divine actors in Gnostic drama into mere religious ideas; Quite obviously the opposite has happened: "Everything leads us to believe," says Bleek, "that the Gnostics used these expressions, taken from a prized work, as bases for their speculative system." "John," says Keim in the same direction, “knows nothing of these aeons, this pleroma, these male and female pairs, and all this long line of machines designed to bring God to the finite; so he is undoubtedly the first to lay the foundations of the building, as Irenaeus indicates. Hilgenfeld asserts that John's Logos is just a concentration of Valentinus' series of eons. Hase replies that we can claim, at least with equal justification, that it is the only Logos of John shared by the Gnostics in their series of eons. insidephilosophers(John 6:35) Hippolytus tells Valentino: “Is said( φησί ) that all the prophets and the law spoke after the Demiurge, the foolish god, and therefore the Savior said: "All who were before me are thieves and robbers." This is an explicit quote fromJuan 10:8. The critic replies: Maybe it wasn't Valentino himself who made that statement, but one of his successors. Let's admit it, despite the very positive words.Is saidby Hippolytus. The Ogdoad remains with their Johannine names, which form the basis of the entire Valentinian system; and it would be very strange if the principal of the school were not the one who laid the foundations of the system. We do not therefore believe that in the case of Valentino himself, an impartial critic can deny the use of the Fourth Gospel.

Two years before Valentino, in 138, Marcion arrived in Rome; he came from Pontus, where his father was a bishop and where he was raised in the Christian faith. Tertullian alludes to his Christian past when he uses an apostrophe (By Carne Christi, w. 2): "You who, when you were a Christian, fell and rejected what you believed before, as you acknowledge in a certain epistle." So he did this rejection (End) that Tertullian reproaches him and that he witnessed his spiritual decline, you mean? The answer is given to us by two other passages from the same father. In the work specially designed to refute the teachings of Marcion, Tertullian (Erw. Bagazo.4.3) that Marcion “studying Galatians found that Paul commanded the apostles not to do thisactually walled in, and that he used this accusation to destroy people's confidence in the gospels published under the name of the apostles and apostolic men, and to justify faith in the name of his own gospel, which superseded them. We know, in fact, that Marcion preferred the Gospel of Luke and, having mutilated it to suit his system, gave it to his churches as a rule of faith. Well, what is the conclusion from which you drewGalatasaray 2:0Prove? The apostles mentioned in this chapter are Peter and John. If Marcion derives the rejection from this passagefrom themGospels, it must be that he had a Gospel of Peter in his hands. Was that Mark? and a Gospel of John. From that moment he refused the books of canon that his father, the bishop of Sinope, had transmitted to him. insideBy Carne Christi, Individually. 3 we read a second expression that leads to the same result as the previous one: “If you didn't haverejectedthe scriptures that contradict your system, the gospel of john would be there to convince you. Certainly, for Marcion to reject this writing, it must have existed, and Marcion must have previously possessed it. And let us note that he rejected it not because it was not apostolic; but on the contrary that it was so. For the twelve apostles, steeped in Jewish prejudice, had not understood Jesus in their thinking; hence their gospels (Matthew, Mark, John) must be set aside. Only Paul understood the Master, and the Gospel of Luke alone, his Companion, must be an authority.

Volkmar turned the Fourth Gospel writer into a supporter of Marcion who tried to bring his teachings to the Church. But what does Marcion's fierce hatred of Jewish law and the God of the Jews have in common with a gospel in which the Logos coming to Israel comes?alone, and entering the Temple of Jerusalem, he declares that he is in the house ofHis father?And how can it reasonably be said that a writer whose thought has all his roots in the soil of the Old Testament is a student of a teacher who rejected from the New everything that the Old Testament implied divinity? In saying this we answer the same author's question, who asks why, if John existed before Marcion, then Marcion did not choose to make his gospel the gospel of his sect instead of Luke. The old heretic was more perspicacious than the modern critic; She realized that in order to use John she had to somehow mutilate him from end to end, and she preferred to reject him outright.Endas Tertullian says.

At the same time that Justin, Valentine and Marcion were meeting in Rome, a fanatical sect called Montanism was emerging in Asia Minor. Their leader wanted to react against the casualness of Christianity and the mechanical approach of the official clergy. Montano announced the imminent coming of Christ and attempted to bring about the promised descent of the last days of the Church of the Spirit, which he called the ChurchParaclete, apparently in accordance with the promise of Jesus inJuan 14:16;Juan 14:26, etc. He even identified himself with this spirit, if it is true, as Theodoret claims he gave the title to himselfParaclete, Logos, Bridegroom.But it's not just these expressions taken from John, it's the whole Spiritist movement, it's this vigorous reaction against the increasingly dominant ritualism that implies the existence of a scripture in the Church that was an authority and could serve as a reference. .Base for such an energetic movement.

Thus, in the year 140 Justin, martyr belonging to the Orthodox Church, Valentinus, the Egyptian Gnostic Marcion, who came from Pontus, Montanus, in Phrygia, can know the Gospel of John and, besides Marcion, use it with consent to substantiate his teaching and its churches on it; Would all this be possible if this work only existed for a decade? The 130-140 date falls before these events, just as the 160-170 date has disappeared in the presence of those previously alleged.

Let's move on to the third position critics are attempting today.

110-125. (Reuss, Nicolás, Renán, Sabatier, Weizsäcker, Hase).

The story here offers us four points for our guide: the Gnostic Basilides and the three Apostolic Fathers, Papias, Polycarp and Ignatius. Finally we will consult the appendix of our gospel, chap. 21 which, although related to the work, is not strictly related.

Basilides flourished in Alexandria around 120-125; died shortly after 132. Before teaching in Egypt, he is said to have worked in Persia and Syria. At workThe Discussion of Archelaus and Manetis, it says: "A certain Basilides, even older, was a preacher among the Persiansshortly after the time of the apostles.Epiphanio Sea (Haer.23:1-7; 24:1), had also been at work in Antioch. Its activity therefore goes back to the beginning of the 2nd century. He himself claimed to have taught only what the apostle Matthias had taught him according to the secret instructions he had received from the Lord. Certainly, for this assertion to have any shred of veracity, it must have beencapablefind that apostle somewhere; a fact which takes us back to the time of his birth at the beginning of the first century.

A sermon on Lucas attributed to Origen states that "Basilides already had the audacity to write a Gospel according to Basilides". The wordvonproves that Basilides was considered to belong to the earliest days of Gnosticism. To expression:A Gospel according to BasilidesIt is very doubtful whether it is necessary to understand in this way a gospel account designed to compete with our gospels. However, Basilides himself understood this term not as a mere narrative, but as “the knowledge of supernatural things” (ἡ τῶν ὑπερκοσμίων γνῶσις) (Philosophyby Hippolytus, John 7:27). We are also told that his account of the birth of Jesus agrees entirely with that of our gospels (Philosophy, ibid.), and the story bears not the slightest trace of an apocryphal basilid gospel. But we know of Eusebius (IS.4.7. 7) who wrote this Gnostic24 Books on the Gospel(εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον), which were vigorously refuted by a Christian writer named Agrippa Castor, whose work was still in the hands of Eusebius. The true nature of this work by Basilides emerges from a quotation given to Clement of Alexandria in theStroma(Book IV), where it is put as follows: “Basilides says in his twenty-third bookExegetical Treatises....” So it was a task of clarification; but in what text? The answer appears first from Eusebio's expression: “twenty-four booksone(em)the gospel', and secondly from the passage fromphilosophers(John 7:22), according to which Basilides expressed himself thus: "This is what is said in the Gospels (τὸ λεγόμενον ἐν τοῖς ἐυαγγελίοις)". From all this we conclude that this Gnostic presented his theory of the origin of things in the form of exegetical explanations, based on the text of the Gospels received in the churches of his time. But the question we need to clarify is whether he also worked on the Fourth Gospel. Now we have two passages that seem to leave no doubt on this point; One is the one I just mentioned (Philosophy7.22): "Here, says he [Basilides], it says in the Gospels: It was the true light that enlightens every man that comes into the world"; the other, a little later, chap. 27: "All things shall have their time," he [Basilides] says, this is what the Savior sufficiently explains when he says: "My hour has not yet come." These two quotations are apparently relatedJuan 1:8;Juan 2:4.

The critic who opposes the authenticity of our gospel is obliged to do everything possible to escape the consequences of these Johannine quotations from Basilides; for they amount to nothing less than going back from the composition of the fourth gospel to the first century. Indeed, in this way, men only cite a book that already has recognized authority. It has therefore been asserted that in mentioning these quotations from Basilides, Hippolytus did not distinguish the writings of the master from those of his later disciples. The termis said, he claims, referring in his mind simply to the adversary, whoever he was, Basilides or the Basilidians, Valentinus or the Valentinians; and in support of this assumption has been adduced the alleged fact that Hippolytus represents the Basilidian system in a later form, when Irenaeus was still known. According to the latter, the system was indeed dualistic; this was the oldest form; according to Hippolytus, on the other hand, he is entirely pantheistic; so there is a newer form here. The discussion can be extended in relation to this difference. We ourselves are ready to accept the statement of Charteris (canonical, P. lxiii.), according to which Irenaeus did not return to its first foundations in his account of the system. Behind his apparent dualism was a hidden pantheism, and Hippolytus, who studied even the Master's writings, grasped and explained the original principles more thoroughly than Irenaeus. Be that as it may, with this explanation it does not seem to us possible for a serious author to quote a whole series of texts which he attributes to an earlier author and to repeat the formula over and over againis said, and even mentions the author several times without having his work under his eyes. Renan says simply and openly (Churchchrétienne, p. 158): "The author of Philosophumena undoubtedly made this analysis with reference to the original works of Basilides." And that's what Weizsäcker said a few years ago (subP. 233): "There is no doubt that these are quotations from a work by Basilides in which the Gospel of John was used." He's now changed his mind. For what reason? For these quotations attributed to Basilides refer to biblical writings written after the time of Basilides himself. And what are these writings? It can only be the letters to the Colossians and to the Ephesians, which this Gnostic often quotes in excerpts from the Philosophumena, and perhaps the Gospel of John itself. Does this scholar have to be made aware that he is falling into a vicious circle here? Well, he bases his views precisely on the point in question. If Weizsäcker argues thus: Hippolytus' Basilides quotes the Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians; hence there is a false Basilid here, since these letters did not yet exist at the time of the true Basilids; We who believe in the authenticity of these letters have no right to argue otherwise, and say Basilides quotes these writings: therefore they existed in his time and were accepted in the Church. This conclusion, valid for Colossians and Ephesians, also applies to the Gospel of John.

Keim also made a discovery proving that our gospel is according to Basilides. This Gnostic author claimed that the Jews mistakenly crucified Simon of Cyrene instead of Jesus and that Jesus laughed at them all along. Here, says the author oflife of Jesus, explains the omission of the story of Simon's bearing of the cross in the Fourth Gospel. Pseudo-John became aware of Basilides' misuse of this incident and therefore suppressed it. We don't need to discuss this argument much. We elaborate on John's omissions and show that they must be explained simply by the futility of such repetition. To what end does he narrate what two or three widely circulated scriptures have already sufficiently reported? It would certainly be interesting if one of our critics would undertake the task of explaining all the gaps in the Fourth Gospel through allusions to Gnostic systems!

Papias was a contemporary of Basilides. We have already seen (p. 43) that by this expression: "What Aristion and John the Presbytersay' clearly shows that these two men, immediate disciples of Jesus, were alive at the time he wrote. The years 110-120 are therefore the last period to which we can attribute the origin of his work. Even then a whole body of literature had been created that worked to falsify the meaning of the gospel accounts. Papias also states that "he dislikes books in which many things are narrated and in which he seeks to impose strange and different precepts on the church than those given by the truth itself." It seems likely to me that with this utterance he is alluding to the first appearance of Gnostic writings, such as those of Cerinthus, the Ophites, the Setians, Saturninus, perhaps Basilides himself.

It is now generally asserted that Papias lacks all traces of the fourth gospel, and this fact is considered the decisive evidence for the later composition of the gospel of John. We urge the unbiased reader to carefully consider the following facts:

Titled from the work of PapíasCommentaries on the Words of the Lord(in five books) we have only about thirty lines left which Eusebius saved for us; they undoubtedly belonged to the foreword. Papías explains there the preference, which he felt obligated for the purpose he proposed, to give preference to the text of Matthew over that of Mark; at least that is the meaning we give to his words. There is an account of the sources from which he obtained the anecdotes about the life of Jesus not found in our Gospels and through which he attempted to explain his words. These sources, as we have seen, were of two kinds: first, were the reports which the elders (the Lord's immediate disciples) had previously given themselves; So it was the stories he collected from the mouths of the visitors that also had the benefit of conversing with the apostles and disciples of Jesus. He asked them: What did Andrew, or Peter, or Philip, or Thomas, or James, or John, or Matthew, or any other of the Lord's disciples say to you, and what did Aristion and John the Elder, the Lord's disciples, say? , say? Let's say." This list offers food for thought.Andrémentioned at the beginning and before Peter himself? This order contradicts the constant and somewhat stereotypical usage of the Synoptists; see all apostolic catalogs (Mateo 10:0;Markus 3:0;Lukas 6:0). Only the first chapter of John gives the answer to this question: Andrew (along with John himself, whose name remains anonymous) was the first to come into the presence of the Redeemer; He is the first character in the gospel story. According to Andreas, Papias says:PedroIn accordance withJuan 1:0Andrés, his brother, actually brought him to Jesus that same day. Then Papias says:Felipe;he is exactly the one who immediately follows Andrew and Peter in the Johannine narrative (Juan 1:43Please). Also, Andrew and Philip are the two apostles most frequently quoted later in our Gospel (Juan 6:5-9; John 12:20-22). Then comeTomás.Nathaniel is omitted here (Juan 1:46ss.), we don't know why; is included in the type ofetc.whereupon the incomplete list ends: "or any other of the Lord's disciples." As for Thomas, he is the one who among all the other disciples, along with the preceding ones, plays the most prominent role in the Fourth Gospel (Juan 11:16;Juan 14:5;Juan 20:24Please). then comesJaimemiJohn.Why so late, those who are always mentioned immediately after and with Peter in the Synoptics? We must also seek the explanation for this phenomenon in the fourth gospel. The two sons of Zebedee are not mentioned once throughout the story; they are not expressly mentioned, except in the appendix, chap. 21, where their names are found, as here, at the end of the list of apostles mentioned there. Among all the other apostlesMateusonly Papias names him; and it is no doubt rightly supposed that it is the mention of the fourth evangelist that here leads to the mention of the first. It can also be assumed that these three names. James, John, and Matthew take this secondary position because the subject in that passage was that the apostles provided Papias with the oral traditions that he used. Now James had died too soon to reveal much information, and John and Matthew had devoted most of it to their writing. Finally, Papias mentions two characters who are still alive,emergenceIt is inolder John, whom he calls “disciples of the Lord.” It is exactly the same as the Johannine enumeration.Juan 21:2, concludes: “And two other of his disciples” [not apostles]. If we add to these striking similarities the fact that all these disciples mentioned by Papias (except Peter, James and John) do not take part in the synoptic narrative, we are led to realize that the idea that this father possessed in the history of The evangelical faith was formed on the basis of the fourth gospel record, even more so than on the other three. In his articles on the Papias fragment, Ludemann does not question the newly found similarity. "It is a fact," he says, "that the Papias fragment is closely related to the Johannine idiom, both in the expressions ἐντολαί,bids, This is true ,TRUE(see the fragment, pp. 43-45), and at the beginning of the list of apostolic names ... The unexpected entry of Thomas in Papias does not make us think of anything other than the Fourth Gospel either. But after this open statement come the files that never fail. "In the circle from which the Johannine writings emerged in Asia, there was a way of speaking and thinking which, on the one hand, retained certain elements in the writings of Papias (between 120-140), and on the other hand found its full bloom in the approximately writings of the pseudo-Johannes that were written at the same time.” This explanation would be entirely permissible if it is a question of a fact of evangelical history reported by the two authors at the same time or the use of common terms such as e.gbidmiTRUE.But an enumeration of proper names, such as those mentioned in the passage from Papias, which reflect the whole of evangelical history, cannot explain them. Holtzmann recognized the damage to his cause involved in his colleague's admissions; he tried to avoid the blow in other ways. He explains the order of the apostles in the Papias fragment by the geographical location of the countries in which they are said to have been active as missionaries. This solution remains the exclusive property of its author.

Two facts still seem to us to testify to the existence of the fourth gospel before the time of Papias. Eusebius testifies that in his work this father used passages from 1 John as well as 1 Peter as evidence. Now we prove that John's letter is forThe same thingAuthor as the fourth gospel, and which was composedafterthe latter. So if Papias knew and used the letter, how could he not know and use the gospel written by the same author?

In the Vatican Library is a 9th-century Latin manuscript of the Gospels in which the Gospel of John is preceded by a preface that reads: “The Gospel of John was published by John and given to the churches while he was alive, as Papias was of Hierapolis, John's beloved disciple, in his five exoteric books, i. H. the last one told”. These last words are obviously from a wrong copy, like so many of the sentences in the Muratori fragment. Instead of exoteric, we should definitely readexegetical;design the title of Papias' book: "exhibitions(ἐξηγήσεις) of the words of the Lord. In addition, this statement is followed by some legendary details, which, however, are not attributed to Papias himself. The fact that Papias spoke of the Gospel of John in his five books is nonetheless attested by this passage.

Ireneo sometimes quotesaltwho lived with John in Asia Minor until the time of Trajan. Hence they were contemporaries of papias and polycarp. Here is an explanation he ascribes to them (verse 36): “As the elders say: Those who are judged worthy to enjoy the heavenly tabernacle will find their place there, while the rest will take the city [earthly Jerusalem ] to be inhabited; and for this reason the Lord said, "In my Father's house there are many mansions." If it is the word of Jesus that is being toldJuan 14:2, so the elders obviously interpreted it, then the Gospel of John was already in their hands. This also appears in the passage of Irenaeus,Juan 2:22, where he ascribes to them the idea that Jesus had reached the age of forty or fifty, which can hardly be due to a misreading of the words of the Jews,Juan 8:57: "You are not yet fifty years old and have seen Abraham!"

According to Irenaeus, Polycarp wrote a large number of letters, of which only one survives, consisting of only thirteen short chapters. The Fourth Gospel is not quoted in it; but we can, on the other hand, prove the truth of the statement of Eusebius, who declares that both Polycarp and Papias testified to 1 Peter and 1 John; This prompted him to place these works under thecounterpart.In fact, in Polycarp's letter to the Philippians (chap. 7) we read these words: "Anyone who does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is an antichrist." This is the principle laid down by John,1 Juan 4:3: “Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God; and that is the spirit of the Antichrist.” The coincidence of these two sentences cannot be accidental. The way out devised by Baur and Zeller, which would only find a saying circulating in the church of this time, and that by Volkmar, who claims that it was Johannes who imitated Polycarp and not vice versa, are implausible. Ten verses from João read together with ten verses from Policarpo show which side originality and priority are on. We must therefore conclude that if this letter from Polycarp is authentic, as Zahn has so learnedly shown, and if, as appears from its contents, it is of the period immediately after the martyrdom of Ignatius (in the year 110), the first The letter of John, and with it the gospel, already existed at this time.

But he wonders how, in this case, Papias and Polycarp have not made more use of such a plant. In particular, the silence of Eusebius regarding any citation of our gospel by these two fathers contrasts with his explicit mention of their use of the first epistle.

If Eusebius specifically pointed out the latter fact, it is because both Peter and John are part of the collection of Catholic letters, all of which, with the exception of these two, were controversial writings. He therefore endeavored to mark his extraordinary character ascounterpartin this collection a character that results from the use that two men like Papías and Policarpo have made of it. It was quite different with the gospel, which undeniably belonged to the class of generally accepted books. The usage that these two apostolic fathers may have made has entered common parlance. Eusebius himself gives an explanation of his general method (IS.3:3, 3): “He wishes,” he says, “to point out which ecclesiastical writings made use of disputed books and which of those books made use of them; then what things [or some of the things that] were said with respect to the generally accepted New Testament scriptures, and all that was said (ὅσα) with respect to those not so received. He mentioned some interesting details about the Homologoumena (as we know he did about Mateo and Marcos), and then related all he could glean about the Antilegomena, that was the end he had set for himself. So, just because he placed John in the first class with the whole church, he felt no specific obligation to point out the use these fathers made of this gospel. But on the other hand, if he had discovered in such men a total emptiness with regard to this work, he could not have asserted his general assumption as he does. Furthermore, a word in Eusebius' discussion of the fragment of Papias he has preserved for us clearly shows that he found numerous passages relating to the fourth gospel from this father. On the occasion of mentioning the name ofJohnin the enumeration of the two apostles by Papias he warns that this Pai apparently intends to refer to "the evangelist" (σαφῶς δηλῶν τὸν εὐαγγελιστήν) as such. He could say:the apostle, but enters the thought of Papias himself and says:the evangelist, which clearly proves that he found constant evidence in his work that John was the author of a gospel. As for Polycarp, nothing compelled him to quote the Gospel of John in precisely the eight pages that are left to us. Which preacher quotes all the New Testament Scriptures that he recognizes as authentic in every sermon he preaches?

The endless discussions that led to the letters of the Bishop of Antioch, Ignatius, in the early second century are well known. An almost unanimous tradition, supported by the testimonies of authors writing in the same Antioch, such as Crisóstomo and Evagrio, states that he died in Rome, being devoured by the beasts of the circus, as a result of a judgment by the Emperor Trajan. During his time as a prisoner in this capital (between 107 and 116) he would have written the seven letters, which in themselves can claim authenticity. These letters exist in double form, one longer, the other simpler and more concise. Zahn, in his book aboutIgnatius of Antioch, has proved unequivocally that the first of these two texts is the result of a deliberate work of interpolation; probably pointed out the originator of this scam. At the same time he demonstrated the authenticity of the seven letters as they have come down to us in the shortest possible form. The historian Eusébio already knew only these seven, in this text. It is true that three of these seven have recently been discovered in Syriac in an even shorter form; and at first the learned world was inclined to regard this text as the only faithful rendering of the work of Ignatius. It seems to us that Zahn fought victoriously against this opinion and showed that this text is nothing more than an excerpt made by a Syriac monk from an earlier translation into that language. Only one alternative remains; the authenticity of the seven letters as Eusebius knew them, or their complete lack of authenticity.

Two reasons in particular are given for the latter view: 1. The episcopal constitution as it appears in these letters is said to belong to a much later period in the second century from Ignatius; 2. The Gnosticism combated in them also denounces a time after Ignacio's death. These reasons do not seem decisive to us. The episcopate, as its character is indicated in these epistles, remains aparishThe service, as in apostolic times, is not the lastprovincialepiscopate. The only thing that distinguishes it from the ministry of the same name in apostolic times is that it seems concentrated in one person. But that already happens in the apocalypse, wherethe angelof the Church designates precisely the man who concentrates the priestly power in himself. and indeed long before we find men like James the Lord's brother in Jerusalem, then his cousin and successor, Simeon, Anianus in Alexandria, Evagrius in Antioch, Linus in Rome, occupying exactly the same position one that Ignatius dem Bishop ascribes to his time. As for the heresy suggested in these letters, it had all its preconditions as early as the first century; We can see this in 2 Corinthians (John 11:3-4), in Colossians and in Apocalypse where a form of Gnosticism is already clearly hinted at (Juan 2:20; John 2:24). The germs of heresy were sown in abundance in the Orient at the time of Ignatius. What, in our opinion, invalidates the hypothesis of the inauthenticity of these letters is that it seems impossible to invent not only such an original style and such a strange thought, but above all such a character. There is a man in these letters and a man not made.

Below are some quotes from our gospel contained in the seven letters whose text can claim authenticity.ROM.(c. 7): “The living water that speaks within me tells me inwardly: Come to the Father; I take no pleasure in perishable food, or in the pleasures of this life; I long for the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ... I long for his blood, which is immortal love, as a drink.” The whole of John's Gospel is, as it were, enclosed in the cry of this martyr; but comp. especially the wordsJuan 4:14;Juan 14:6;Juan 6:27;Juan 6:32;Juan 6:51;Juan 6:55-56.Install Philad.(c. 7): “The Spirit does not deceive those who come from God; because he knows where he comes from and where he goes, and he damn secret things" (Juan 3:8; John 3:20). In the same epistle (ca. 9): "He who is the gate of the Father (θύρα τοῦ πατρός), through which entered Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the prophets, the apostles, and the church" (John 10:7-9 ) . . . . In the Epistle to the Ephesians (ca. 7), Jesus is named (ἐν σαρκὶ γενόμενος θεός)God came in flesh:and in it tooMagnesianos(c. 8) an expression is used (this is a special word),your everlasting wordthe idea of ​​spiritualitycommunity(ἕνωσις), which forms the substance of these letters, like that of Polycarp, is based onJuan 17:0, as Riggenbach emphasized.

Hilgenfeld, who places the composition of these letters in 166, finds no difficulty in seeing that our Gospel (published after him in 130) is actually used in the passages quoted in the Epistles to the Romans and to those of Philadelphia; he even states that "the entire theology of the Epistles of Ignatius is based on the Gospel of John". We welcome this statement and conclude that, despite the low level of authenticity of this martyr's letters, the existence and use of the Gospel of John dates back to the second century.

It remains for us to question one final witness of the appendix at the end of the fourth gospel, since it is the twenty-first chapter, especially the twenty-fourth verse, the authenticity of which cannot be disputed. At the end of this account of one of Jesus' final appearances after his resurrection from the dead, the exact text of a sentence that Jesus addressed to Peter about John and which erroneously circulated in the Church is restored. Jesus had to say that John would not die. The author of the appendix, John himself or one of his fellow men who heard him narrate this scene (cf. p. 64 ff.), remembers that Jesus did not put it this way, but simply said: : "If I want him stay until I come back, what do you care?" At what point can we assume that this correction was deemed necessary? Where does Keim place the composition of this passage at the end of the second century? But at that moment the word of Jesus was either forgotten, or, if it was repeated, it was already too late to remove the offense it might cause. No, sure; there was only one period when this correction would have taken place. Then the people saw the old apostle weakening and asked themselves: Will he then die in spite of the promise of the Lord? Or if he has just died and the offense was actually committed. This passage therefore bears its dating within itself; it dates from the days before or immediately after John's death. The contrast between theGiftParticiple: "This is the disciplewho testifies(los testimonios) of these things”, and thePastParticiple: "And whohe wrotethey (καὶ γράψας)”, it seems to me decided by the first alternative. The disciple whom Jesus loved was alive and testifying when this passage was written. However that may be, this twenty-first chapter is necessarily later than the gospel; hence it follows that this work derives from the life of John.

We believe that we have thus proved that the third position the critics are attempting - that of 110-125 - is as irreconcilable with the facts as the other two, and that we are forced to take another step back and tighten the composition situate this work in the late first century. But we don't think we can go back to an earlier date. Some writers, for example Wittichen, Lange, tried this. The first dates our Gospel from 70-80 (see p. 25); The latter places it before the destruction of Jerusalem. A time so long ago is incompatible with the knowledge of our three synoptic gospels, which the author not only possesses but presumes to possess his readers from beginning to end. The distribution of these three works, published shortly before or shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem, requires a considerable length of time between their composition and that of our gospel. The date of the latter must therefore probably be between the years 80 and 90, according to the facts we have just uncovered.

Chapter Two: The Author.

MANGOLD formulates his judgment on the external testimonies of the Fourth Gospel as follows: "The external testimony is scarcely less strong than that of the Synoptic Gospels"; Then he adds: "It would suffice for authentication if there weren't internal reasons against the promise of authenticity, which have so far, at least for me, remained insurmountable." This second class of considerations must now occupy us in particular. We are approaching the central and decisive question, the solution to which everything that has been said so far has only paved the way. It has sometimes been asserted that our gospel remains what it is, whoever its author may be. Those who support this claim do not seriously believe what they claim; otherwise they would not so eagerly dispute the Johannine origin of this work. And when Keim puts it this way: “The beauty of this book, its uplifting quality, its sacredness...; for you cannot help but notice that the sayings put into the mouth of Jesus and the conception of his person revealed in this book have a very different value for the Church, says the Lord's beloved Apostle, who gives us an account of what he has seen and heard, or a second-century thinker doing everything on his own terms.

We have here four subjects to examine: 1. Thechurch testimoniesrelate in particular to the person of the author; 2. Theobjectionraised by modern criticism against the result of this tradition; 3. Theinternal audit, derived from studying the book itself; 4. The director's examinationhypothesiswhich in our days are opposed to the traditional view of Juanino origin.

§ 1. The traditional testimonies.

Our starting point is the period when the general conviction of the Church is expressed through a collection of indisputable testimonies, in the last third of the second century.

Here we find Clement of Alexandria telling us the origin of the fourth gospel as follows: "John, the latter, perceiving that the corporeal things (τὰ σωματικά, the external facts) had been related in the gospels, … composed a spiritual gospel” (Eus.IS., 6.14).

Polycrates of Ephesus puts it this way: “In Asia famous men are buried, Philip ... in Hierapolis; and also,Johnwho rested in the bosom of the Lord and was buried in Ephesus" (Eus.IS., 5.31). This testimony proves that John was considered the author of the gospel at Ephesus, since no one doubted that he was the beloved disciple spoken of at EphesusJuan 13:25.

Irenaeus concludes his account of the composition of the Gospels thus: “AfterwardJohn, the disciple of the Lord, who rested in her bosom, also published the gospel while she was living in Ephesus, Asia" (Erw. Arkansas.3.1).

We have already quoted the testimony of Theophilus: “All inspired men evenJohnsays: In the beginning was the word. Thus the Muratorian fragment tells the origin of our gospel: “The author of the fourth of the gospels isJohn, one of the disciples. When his classmates and the bishops exhorted him [to write], he said to them: Fast with me these three days, and we will tell one another what should have been revealed to each. That same night, it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles, that John should tell everything in his own name and check everyone else's [his account]... What is surprising, then, that John, in his Epistle, sets out these things in detail and says concerning himself: What we saw with our eyes, what we heard with our ears, and what our hands touched, we have written to you. So he declares himself successively an eyewitness and an auditory witness and, moreover, the writer of the miracles of God. Hilgenfeld affirms that in this account we find an allusion to the doubts then existing about the Johannine origin of our gospel. Hesse, in his excellent work on the Muratorian fragment, has shown that this passage reveals no such intention. The expression "What is amazing?" it applies not to the gospel but to the epistle.

From here let us try to trace the stream of tradition back to the apostolic period and look for the first signs of that conviction which is so universally expressed at the end of the second century. Between 140 and 150, it seems to us to be expressed in an indubitable way.

We have seen that Justin presents our gospel in accordance with almost universal insight to the number of memoirs on the life of Jesus which he ordinarily uses. He calls these writings memoirsthe apostle, and explains that some were written by apostles and others by apostolic helpers. Consequently, if the Fourth Gospel were part of it, Justin could only ascribe it to one apostle, and that apostle could only be John, because no one has ever attempted to ascribe this book to any other apostolic figure other than John. And since, according to Justin, the memoirs of the apostles already formed a collection which combined with that of the prophets and was read alongside it in the public worship of Christians, it must have been at this time that the at the beginning of the gospels were given four titles with set in an identical frame: "after Matthew ... after John". This denomination by titles, the work of the Church, accompanied their unification in a canonical collection. Title,to Juan, is thus an expression of the general attitude of the churches towards this book in the middle of the second century.

And not only the orthodox churches had this idea at that time; it was also the sects that separated from the great Church; Witnesses, on the one hand, Marcion, who rejected our Gospel, not because it did not come from an apostle of Jesus, but on the contrary because it was written by one of them, namely John (see p. 156). . ; This is also testified to by the famous Valentino student Ptolemy, who quotes our gospel in his letter to Flora and says: “TheApostleexplained” (p. 144). According to Irenaeus, based on the prologue of the Gospel, Ptolemy confirmed that the true author of Valentinian was OgdoadJohn(S. 144).

If we go even further back in time, from which only rare monuments remain, we always discover the same conviction.

We have already seen that, according to Papias, John was not only an apostle butan evangelist, and that it is this quality of gospel authorship that most naturally explains the position he assigns to it alongside Matthew in his famous list of apostles (cf. pp. 43, 160f.).

If we have no particular testimony from Polycarp, there is one fact far more important than any statement he may have. Polycarp lived until the middle of the second century; It was then, during his ministry as Bishop of Smyrna, that our gospel began to circulate and spread throughout the Church as the work of John. If I had not believed in the Johannine origin of this work, I would not have failed to deny it; because the use which the Gnostics made of this book made it very compromising to the Church of which Polycarp was the most revered leader; and the slightest denial on the part of such a man would have deeply shaken the mind of the Church. But none of that happened. History shows not the slightest trace of vacillation, either on the part of Polycarp himself or among the members of the Church. None of the elders spoken of by Irenaeus, who "lived with John in Asia down to the time of Trajan," expressed any doubt that our gospel would be received unopposed from one end of the world to the other like the work of John. This absence of protest is a negative fact of very positive significance. We must not confuse it with a mere literary silence that can be explained by fortuitous circumstances.

But from that time, and even from the circle in which John lived, positive testimony is heard: “It is this disciple [whom Jesus loved] who testified to these things and wrote them; and we know that their testimony is true.” We'll read thatJuan 21:24. Who are those who speak to us in this way and thus testify to the writing of the fourth gospel by the disciple whom Jesus loved? They know him personally because, based on their knowledge of him, they believe that they can guarantee the correctness of his statement. They do it in his lifetime because they say of him, “Whotestifiesmihe wrote(p. 166). So they live on him, and it is in their hands without a doubt that he has laid down his book; and before making it available to the public they deliver this afterword, fully realizing that it will have some difficulty in enforcing it because of the differences between this work and its predecessors. How can one escape the power of such a testimony? Reuss assumes that it was those who gave itRealdeceived, and who lived long after John's death, took him for the anonymous writer who wrote the gospel through his narratives. But we have already seen that this twenty-first chapter could only have been written at a time very close to John's death, when such a mistake was not possible. Using the present tense: "the one whotestifies' confirms this observation. There is only one possible assumption, and that is that pseudo-John himself gave this testimony in the course of the second century. After donning the mask of San Juan, he attempted to prop up his first cheat by adding a second. He introduced himself to a group of friends of the apostle and wrote the postscript we have just read under their name. Composers of apocryphal works were often excused when speaking of pious fraud. But here we must obviously have something else; we should even reach the limits of dishonesty. And the one who devised such a course is the man to whom we must attribute the qualities of moral purity, profound holiness, and intimate communion with God necessary for the framing of such a gospel! The psychological and moral sense protests.

In all of the second century, to our knowledge, there is a single denial of the Johannine origin of the fourth gospel. A party that Epifânio gave its name toAlogui(ἄλογοι, those who deny the Logos), held that the author of this work was not the apostle John, but the heretic Cerinthus, his adversary in Ephesus. This rejection was not based on traditional testimony. "The foundations on which these people settled," says Zeller himself, "as far as we know, arose from internal criticism..." What follows from this fact, the only one that opponents of authenticity can claim? Two things: first, that the Alogi lacked the full support of tradition; second, that there can be no doubt that our Gospel was composed at Ephesus in the time of St. John, since Cerinthus, to whom it is attributed, was a contemporary and rival of that apostle. The only opponents become witnesses and defenders.

§ 2. Objections.

This result of what might be called a unanimous tradition is opposed by many scholars today, and we must now examine their reasons.

hate, in youJesus story, lists eight objections to authenticity; after removing them one by one, a novena is made that cannot be resolved and that determines their negative vote. Let us follow him in this very clear exposition. Of these nine objections we wish to point out only a few which he associates with the others and which we think preferable to deal with separately. As we shall see, the first seven have already found their solution implicitly on the preceding pages.

UE.ÖBe silentof the oldest fathers, especially those of Asia Minor, about the fourth gospel. It seems to us that the two preceding chapters have settled this objection. Hase rightly observes that "nothing is more uncertain than this assertion that a writer must have spoken about a certain thing or a certain person". The Synoptic Gospels circulated abroad for a long time; they formed the substance of the knowledge the Church possessed of the story of Jesus for a generation. The relatively recent Gospel of John had not yet caught on or exerted its own influence; time must be given to take its place before its narratives can be drawn upon in the same way as those of the earlier Gospels. We believe this is only after Justin's time.

II.John, essenceJudaizanteAs he was, he cannot be the author of a gospel as spiritual as that which bears his name. This seems to be the strongest objection to Schurer's view: "It is psychologically inconceivable that an apostle, in his middle age, who was still arguing with Paul about the enduring value of the law, should later write a gospel whose anti-Judaism surpasses even that of Paul."

We believe we have shown that this assessment is appropriate from John's point of viewGalatasaray 2:0it is badly justified. The apostles personally observed the law, but not with the idea of ​​its enduring salvific value; otherwise they must have imposed it on the Gentiles; and instead of shaking hands with Paul and Barnabas, they would have separated from them for good. The difference is a matter ofpractice, not in principle, the fall of Jerusalem must have led to its establishment, to the breaking of the last vestige of solidarity between the apostles and their own people. Hase rightly observes that John's sojourn in Asia Minor, his activity in Paul's field, and the immense influence he exercised in that land of Greek culture demonstrate the breadth, flexibility, and freedom of spirit with which he adapted to this new region. and he knew how to become a Greek with the Greeks.

thirdThe Christianity of the churches of Asia Minor had onelegalCharacter. If John was the author of such a teaching, he cannot have been the author of our gospel. But what is this affirmation of the Judaizing character of the churches of Asia Minor based on? In his thick chiliasm he answers himself. We have already seen that almost all of the second-century church and most of the third century were devoted to millenarianism; however, he was not a Jew. In addition, the Easter rite of these churches is imputed, in which their Jewish sympathies are betrayed. The churches of Asia celebrated the Lord's Supper on the evening of Nisan 14, regardless of which day of the week that monthly date fell, while the other churches, particularly Rome, celebrated the Lord's Supper on Nisan tomorrow, the Sunday after Good Friday, on whichever day day of the month that falls on Sunday. What were the reasons that determined the rite adopted by the Churches of Asia? Or they wanted to celebrate the evening of the day on which, according to the fourth gospel, Christ died (Nisan 14, the day before Easter); for whatever Baur says, the Asiatic Rite is based on the Passion narrative according to the Fourth Gospel, and thus testifies to the authenticity of that work; this rite is therefore entirely independent of Jewish legalism. Or the Asian churches celebrated communion on the night of the 14th because the Jews celebrated Easter that night, and that is the explanation that certain statements by the Church Fathers make more likely. Is this a symptom of Jewish legality? But Saint Paul himself saw in the Paschal Lamb the symbol of Christ (1 Cor 5:7); observed the Jewish holidays, especially Passover, with great care, as evidenced byAthos 20:6: "After the days of unleavened bread we left Philippi" and1 Corinthians 5:8, where it presents the Christian life as a constant feast of unleavened bread, precisely at the time of Passover (cf. John 16:8). It is therefore likely that it was Paul and not John who originally instituted this Easter rite in Ephesus, which John simply continued. We find here the same symbolism by which Jesus, at the institution of the Lord's Supper, transformed the memorial of deliverance from Egypt into the memorial of eternal salvation.

4Deviations from the Synoptics.We have already covered this subject and shown at length that they are all of benefit to the Fourth Gospel and evidently prove its historical superiority, so far from forming a point in the argument against the authenticity of this work they are one the most crucial evidence for his claim.

v. The sublime and for the crowd often evenincomprehensible, content of the speeches of Jesus. This subject has been covered extensively; no need to come back to it.

VI. How could a Galilean fisherman arrive?wisdom so deeplike what shines in many parts of our gospel? But again we shall ask how we can appreciate what an intimate and sustained contact with the Lord might have produced in a fervent and deep soul, as must have been the case with John. "If," says Hase admiringly, "Christianity is the supreme human wisdom, mustn't it be admitted that next to a being like Jesus, a young man with a rich and deep soul could have grown up and, so to speak, kindled it?" In any case, a spirit as powerful as Jesus is associated not only with a true and loyal heart, but also with a spirit that has high goals and aspirations. If John had only had the apostolic simplicity and culture of the Galilean fishermen when he taught in Asia, he certainly would not have left in that land the lasting impression of admiration and reverence that he left there.

VII. The author of the fourth gospel was fromGnosticSecond-century circles, not the College of Apostles. We weighed this proposal and found it very weak. Certainly there was an elementary gnosis that reached back to the apostolic period and with which the letters of Paul and the letters of the Apocalypse already had to contend; the first epistle of John is directed against this. It has nothing in common with the great Gnostic systems of the second century except general tendency; and the Fourth Evangelist, far from being formed under the influence of these latter systems, has furnished in his book part of the materials with which the leaders of these schools erected their edifices upon the very foundation of Christianity.

VIII.We have reached the turning pointthe doctrine of the logos.The Jewish-Alexandrian origin of this idea and this term is historically documented; that alone is enough to prove that an apostle of Jesus could not have written a book based solely on it. It must be admitted, therefore, that just as Philo, the leading exponent of Alexandrianism at the time, used the ideas of Greek philosophy to rationalize the religious content of his Jewish faith, so did the author of the Fourth Gospel, z In turn he used Philo to speculatively appropriate the content of his Christian faith.

Two facts obviously speak for this explanation of the Johannine doctrine: 1. TheExpressionLogos at the beginning of our Gospel, which is precisely how Philo expresses the essence of his philosophy; 2. TheIdeain itself an intermediary being between God and the world, through which the absolute being communicates with finite beings. But that's where the whole analogy ends. And it remains to be asked whether the commonality of the two writers in this respect is not explained by a higher source from which they both drank, or whether the fourth evangelist was really trained in the school of the Alexandrian philosopher.

In the latter case there can no doubt be differences in detail between them, but the same general trend will necessarily be found in both. Well, there is none of that. For Philo, the concept of the logos is a metaphysical theory; with Juan, an act of divine love. Because the first, God, who is above any particular destiny, cannot be grasped by human reason and can communicate with matter only through the being in which it manifests; the Logos is the divine reason that comprehends finite things and actualizes them in the material world. In John, on the other hand, the idea of ​​this being is a postulate of eternal love. "Because you loved me before the creation of the world" (John 17:24); and to this love of God for the Logos corresponds that of the Logos for God himself: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God"; literally reaching out for God, moving toward God. There is no small difference here; we are in the presence of two different tendencies; on the one hand that of philosophical speculation, the need to know; on the other hand, that of mercy, the need for redemption. I am not saying that Philo lacks piety and Juan lacks knowledge. The problem here is the fulcrum of the two teachings in the souls of the two authors.

Connected to this fundamental difference is the following fact: the doctrine of the Logos with Philo has its own value, as an indispensable idea for human speculation; In John this idea is only in the service of a historical fact to explain the divine element that the author perceived in the person of Jesus Christ. Reville complains several times that speculative data on the nature and activity of the Logos "are extremely limited in John's prologue... A little more speculation would not have precluded the clarity of the narrative." Place” (p. 37). , 38). This accusation is naive; the young writer demands of the Fourth Gospel that it should be as it should have been if it were as he wished it to be. He wants to turn it into a philosophical work, and since it does not meet this requirement, he censors it instead of directing his criticism against his own theory. There is no philosophical speculation in the prologue; it is merely an idea of ​​the person of Jesus expressed by a term commonly used in the philosophical language of the time.

Moreover, this term is understood in a very different sense than in speculation in general and philo in particular. In the case of the latter, the word logos is used in the sense ofReason;denotes divine reason dwelling in God or realized in the world of finite beings, in the sense that the Stoics spoke of reason diffused through all beings (ὁ κοινὸς λόγος ὁ διὰ πάντων ἐρχόμενος). So Philo sometimes calls ideas ideas (ἴδέα ἰδεῶν) or metropolises of ideas. It is the ideal of the finite world, in its entirety and in its particulars, as it exists in divine understanding. In John the term logos is obviously understood in the sense ofWort;this is its constant meaning throughout the Gospel, where it signifies divine revelation, and also in the Prologue, where the creative Word of Genesis is personified by that name. When Philo wants to express this idea, he adds the term ῥῆμα (Wort, with no particular sense of the word). Hence this passage: "God creates the one and the other (the heavens and the earth) τῷ ἑαυτοῦ λόγῳ ῥήματι (by himselfLogos-Wort).” Or does he simply use the second term: “The whole world became διὰ ῥήματος τοῦ αἰτίου (forword, causeof things). This difference stems from the fact that Philo moves in the realm of speculation, John in the realm of divine work for the salvation of mankind.

How different is the role played by the Logos in one and in the other! Philos Logos is a universal principle, the universal law of things; it has nothing to do with the person of the Messiah; while in John the Messiah himself is that Word made flesh, the gift that the Father gives to the world and through which he comes to save it. The mere assumption of the incarnation of the Logos, whatever Reville says, would be outrageous to Philo. Does not sin arise from matter, and does not the impurity of the human soul result from its union with a body? What blasphemy, then, to represent the Logos as appearing in a human person with soul and body! Philos Messiah is also just a man who will bring the Jews back from their dispersion and restore them to the glory to which they are entitled.

In the spiritual world itself, the part occupied by the Logos is quite different in Philo's view than in John's. For the latter, Logos is theeasy men(John 1:4), and if there is darkness in the world, it is because the world has not known the One who continues to work in His creationenlighten everyone(John 1:9-10). For Philo the Logos is certainly the interpreter of God, but not for people who belong to the rank ofthe perfect.The true sage rises to the knowledge of God through the act of direct contemplation without needing the help of the Logos. The Logos is the god of the imperfect, who, unable to climb the model, has to content himself with contemplating the portrait. The Logos of Philo, says Gess, is a guide that does not lead to the end, to God himself; a god in which the true god is not possessed. To speculate is to work on the Logos, on the divine reason manifested in the world; but by no means does one come to God Himself in this way; It is reached only through the path of direct intuition, which passes through the Logos on one side. Here is not the Logos of the fourth gospel, in which Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; none comes to the Father except through me.”

Finally, the intention of the Philo-Logos theory is to protect God from any compromising contact with the material world. God is an absolutely transcendent being who cannot unite with the finite world without restriction. Indeed, Reville cites a number of examples in which God appears to be endowed with goodness and grace and acting of his own free will in the finite world. This is a remnant of the influence that the living monotheism of the Old Testament had on the thinking of the Jewish philosopher. We may add such passages to the numerous proofs of contradiction found in Philo's speculation; but it is also possible that he ascribes these divine communications to the action of God, confused with that of the Logos. The divine being, with John the One whom he absolutely callsGoodit is not an indeterminable essence; He is a person full of will, activity, love; He isthe father, who loves not only the son he sacrifices, but also the world to which he gives him; that of an inner teaching and attraction exerted on peoplebringshe to the Son himself; "No one," says Jesus, "can come to me except the Father who sent me."draw it... all this the fatherI fromwill come to me" (Juan 6:44; John 6:37). This Father "witnesses the Son" through physical works, miracles (John 6:36). He even sounds an external voice in the temple in answer to Jesus' prayer (John 12:28). Thus John's conception is so completely opposed to that of Philo that he makes the Father a mediator between Jesus and men, so that Jesus can utter those words which would have been the height of absurdity for Philo: "They were thine, and you gave it to me” (John 17:6).

So profound is the difference between John and Philo that Gess, who has studied them most closely, said: 'Anyone who thinks he can combine the thoughts of John and Philo understands nothing of John. or Philo.” They differ not only in certain details but also in the trend itself. And yet, as we have seen, there are certain analogies between the two, the cause of which must be found. But is that so hard to find out? Were not Philo and John, both Jews, educated in the school of the law and the prophets?

Three converging lines in the Old Testament lead to a single ending: 1. The notion ofWortGod, as a manifestation of his almighty and creative will in the finite world. This active principle of God is often personified even in the Old Testament. So, when, inPsalms 107:20, it says: “He sends out his word and heals them” orSalmo 147:15: "He sends his word to the earth and runs fast"; eitherIsaiah 55:11: "My word will do everything I sent it to do." However, it is obvious that this is only a poetic personification. 2. The concept ofwisdomin the book of Proverbs, especially in chap. 8. The author presents him describing himself as what he is to God: “He possessed me from the beginning of his way, before his works...; I was a laborer with him, and I was continually his delight. Of course he remains a mere poetic personification. The word is an action; wisdom, one intelligence and one conceivedPhilippe 3:0. At various points in Genesis there is talk of a being in which Jehovah himself appears in the physical world. Sometimes it is distinguished from Him by name.angel of the Lord, sometimes confused with Him because of the way he expresses himself, saying:UE, when speaking of Jehovah himself. Some theologians see in him some angel, perhaps not always the same one, who each time fulfills a special mission. Others even deny him personality and see in him only a sensuous form, the transient mode of Jehovah himself. Both of these interpretations are destroyed against the passageExodus 23:21, where God speaks of this angel of the Lord: “Attention! For he will not forgive you your sin;My nameit's in. The name is the reflection of the essence. Here this name is the reflection of the holy nature of God, unyielding to the stubborn will to sin. Such quality implies personality. It is therefore a real person of divine character in which God Himself is manifested (my name on it). This angel is also mentioned by Isaiah (Isaiah 63:9): "The angel of the presentJehovah's, and Malachi identifies him with the Messiah in the last step at the end of the Old Testament: “Suddenly the Lord whom you seek will enter into his temple, and the angel of the covenant whom you desire; behold, he comes, saith the Lord of hosts.” In this third idea we find not only divine intelligence or power personified, but a living divine being, the One who should come to save his people as Messiah.

Such remarkable clues did not go unnoticed by the ancient Jewish physicians. It seems that from the beginning they struggled to unite these three lines in a single idea; that of the being that God uses on every occasion in which he relates to the outside world. Sometimes they refer to it by nameSchechina(Accommodation), ÖJekara(seem), sometimes and more commonly by nameArchitectÖRemember Jehovah(God's word). The Chaldean Paraphrases of the Old Testament, calledI produce, this being constantly introduces where the Old Testament speaks simply of the Lord. It is true that these writings may only date from the third or fourth century of our era; but, as Schurer says, there is no doubt that these paraphrases are based on older works and are the product of elaboration over the centuries. Fragments of similar writings from the 2nd century survive.BeforeJesus Christ, since João Hicano. Even before the fall of Jerusalem, a Targum to the Book of Job is mentioned, and the Mishnah (from the 2nd century AD) already speaks of translations of the Bible into Chaldean. Furthermore, it is infinitely unlikely that Jewish theologians would have accepted such a positive view of their religion from Christians. Well, the following are some examples of how these doctors rewrote the Old Testament. it says in itGenesis 21:20when it comes to Ishmael: "God was with the child"; the paraphrase reads: "The word of Jehovah was with the boy."Genesis 28:21, where Jacob says, "The Lord shall be my God"; the Targum makes it say, "The word of Jehovah shall be my God."Genesis 39:21, instead of "The Lord was with Joseph", ... "the Memra (the Word) was with Joseph".Exodus 19:17, instead of “And Moses led the people to meet God” … “And Moses led the people to meet the word of Jehovah.”Numbers 10:20pm, instead of “God came to Balaam.” … “The word of the Lord came to Balaam.”Deuteronomy 4:24, instead of “God is a consuming fire”… “The word of Jehovah is a consuming fire.”Isaiah 1:14, instead of “My soul hates its new moons.” … “My word hates” …Genesis 42:1, instead of “My soul delights in him.” … “My word delights” … etc. etc. It is therefore undeniable that by the time John wrote, Jewish theology was already under the particular name ofWort, definitely expressed the idea of ​​God communicating with the outside world. It will be noted that this form is used particularly in those passages where Scripture ascribes to God some human emotion, such as remorse, dislike, complacency, hatred.

The question now is whether these physicians presented this self-manifesting God as a real person other than the person of God Himself. On this point, as well as on the nature of the Logos of Philo, passages with opposite meanings can be presented. Gess considers the passage incompatible with the notion of a real person.1 Rey 8:15, in which the targum replaces the expressions,CanmiHandJehovah the following:the word(Architect) mithe willJehovah, the first proclaims, the second executes. In the same way,Jeremiah 32:41, or againGenesis 22:16, where the Targum has the Lord say "I swear by my word" rather than "I swear by myself". But must one assume that the paraphrases are systematically consistent with themselves in such a mysterious and obscure realm? Also, it seems to me much more difficult to explain how God should swear by his word when he is not a person like himself than when he is a personal being; and as for the first pass, the termWortseems to regain its ordinary meaning, since the two termsWortmiÖcorrespond to the two acts: speaking and acting. It is impossible not to find the idea of ​​personality in all of the following passages: “My wordOdia," "My wordhave fun', 'the word will beMy God;"the word will fight for you"; “The splendor of the Lord has risenand said.So much so that in several places the simple name of Jehovah is substituted for the simple name of Jehovah instead of the word or shine of Jehovah for the angel of the Lord, for example:Exodus 4:24, miRichter 4:14. Gess objects that if this theory of a second divine person called the Word of Jehovah had been received in Palestine at that time, it could not be entirely absent from the writings of St. Paul. But this apostle's teaching came from the revelation he received and not from the teachings of his early teachers. Paul may not have found a call to use this term in the region where he was teaching and at the time he was teaching, while John was in great center Ephesus at the end of the first century in attractive circumstances that drew your attention. Pay special attention to this term. tickets1 Corinthians 8:6, where creation is attributed to Christ, and1 Corinthians 10:5, where Christ is presented as the leader of Israel in the desert, certainly show that he was as familiar with this concept as John; and that is the main point.

If the point is carefully considered, the paraphrasers, in denying all human emotions to God, can attribute them to GodArchitectIndeed (the Word) gives this revealed God the more pronounced stamp of personality than God himself. But perhaps they are like Philo, whose conception of the Logos personality seems to be quite shaky. Zeller clearly showed the cause of this oscillation in the mind of this philosopher. On the one hand, the Logos must belong to the essence of God, which apparently converts it into a simple divine quality (reason or divine wisdom) and consequently excludes personality; on the other hand, it must relate to matter in order to intrude into it the particular types on which finite things are formed, and this function presupposes a being other than God and, consequently, personal. The same applies to Eastern paraphrases; and this correspondence between them would not be at all surprising if, as Schurer thinks, Philo's philosophy exerted an influence on his exegesis.

Now we can close. Philo was primarily educated in the Old Testament school; I had learned in him, through all the facts to which we have pointed out above, the existence of a personal or impersonal entity through which God acts upon the world when in relation to it. And he thought he could interpret the idea of ​​this being philosophically, explaining it through the Logos or divine reason of the Greek philosophers. That's why he calls sometimesLogosÖsecond god(second god) when speaking as a student of these schools, and sometimesArchangel, High Priest, Son, Firstborn Son, when he returns to the Jewish language. It is so certain that the portico and the academy provided him with the key to his Judaism that in one example he even says: "the immortal."ideas(immortal reasons) which we call [Judeus].anjos.

John, on the other hand, was also in the Old Testament school; He also came to know in that sacred book the existence of that being, sometimes different from, sometimes mistaken for, the Lord, to whom God spoke when He said: "Let's do itMan in Our Image”, who consistently participated in the creative act that breathes life into all things, but which, with its luminous imprint, particularly marked every human soul, which is ultimately the constant actor in the theophanies of the Old Testament. John is so imbued with this vision that in the person of Adonaithe gentleman, who calls Isaiah (chap. 6) to the prophetic ministry, acknowledges the same divine being who later revealed His glory in human life in Jesus Christ (John 12:41); just as St. Paul, in the leader of Israel through the desert, recognizes the divine nature manifested in Christ (1 Cor 10:4) and, as the author of the letter to the Hebrews, finally ascribes to the Son the creation and preservation of all things, as well as the cleansing sacrifice for our sins (Heb 1 ,1-3).

But here is the difference between John and Philo: Instead of going from the Old Testament to the schools of Plato and the Stoics, John went to that of Jesus. And seeing in Him that singular glory, full of divine grace and truth, which he described in John 1:14, hearing expressions like these: "He who has seen me has seen the Father"; "You loved me before the foundation of the world"; "Before Abraham was, I am"; he understood what lay before him, and without difficulty brought about in his mind that fusion between the eternal instrument of God and the Christ, which the Alexandrian philosopher had not dreamed of. Philo is the Old Testament explained through Greek philosophy; John is the Old Testament completed and explained by Jesus Christ.

OneExpressionThe Logos in which John settled to signify the divine being which he had recognized in the person of Christ was, as we have seen, offered to him by the Old Testament; the role played by the word of God in that book, particularly in the creation account, was enough for him to prefer that term to all others. what ofSohn, as Gess rightly says, simply expressed the personal relationship between God and the divine being that John wished to characterize. The termWortOn the contrary, it expressed his double relationship, on the one hand with the God who reveals himself in him and on the other hand with the world to which he reveals himself. And if this name Verb was already used in the Jewish schools (as the paraphrases seem to show), we can understand much more easily how it could have first occurred to the apostle. It is noteworthy that this title appears as a designation for Christ in all three Johannine scriptures (John 1:1;1 Juan 1:1-3; Ap 19:13), and only in these three writings. It's like an indissoluble bond that connects them. The fact that this name occurs even in the Apocalypse, the author of which is certainly not suspected of Alexandrianism, completes the proof that its source is Jewish and by no means philolean. Finally, since it was established in Ephesus, that focal point of religious syncretism into which all the philosophical teachings of Persia, Greece and Egypt flowed, John could have heard the term many times in religious and philosophical teachings or discourseWortappliedGod has manifested.In writing it at the beginning of his narrative, it was as if he were saying: “We Christians possess this Logos, about which you speculate without coming to any real knowledge of it. We have seen and heard Him for ourselves, and it is He whose story we shall tell you."

We see, then, that nothing compromises the Johannine origin of the Fourth Gospel in this term logos, which the critic stubbornly clings to and is used in a way that belittles his scholarly impartiality.

IX. After Hase has done justice to all these considerations, he declares himself dominated by a ninth and last one, namely: Certain incidents in our gospel have a legendary stamp and cannot have been related by an eyewitness; thus the figure of John the Baptist and the first disciples of Jesus, the turning of water into wine and the multiplication of the loaves of bread, finally the appearances of Jesus after his resurrection from the dead. Hase long believed he could escape the brunt of this reasoning by claiming that John was not present when the events leading up to these legends took place. Now he realizes that it was a coercive measure and lays down his arms. The answer this theologian attempted was in fact a flimsy pretense, and he did well to forgo it. But the argument that the Jena veteran gives in to no longer counts; because no matter how much Hase thinks he can claim otherwise, it simply boils down to the question of the supernatural.

X.Baur particularly insisted on the argument derived from iteaster disputeLate 2nd century, but from a different point of view than we have already dealt with this question (p. 172). He affirms that by establishing Nisan 14 as the day of Christ's death, which the Synoptics put at 15, the writer of the Fourth Gospel intended to completely suppress the Easter rite of the Asian churches, which celebrated Easter at night on the 14th. In fact, it shifts the day of Christ's last supper to the night of the 13th. Now that Jesus instituted Easter at this supper, the author creates a conflict between the gospel story and the Asiatic rite. And since John must have been the author of this rite, he cannot have composed a gospel designed to dispute it. This argument is based on the idea that an annual commemorative holiday is observed on the day that holiday was observed.furnished, and not the day on which the triggering event occurred. Everyone immediately sees the falsity of this view. Furthermore, we have already shown that John's narrative on this point is historically justified by the Synoptics themselves (p. 78). So it was not invented in the service of ecclesiastical tactics. The rite of the Asian churches probably did not depend on any date in the Passion story, but on the day of the Easter supper in the Old Testament. In any case, if the evangelist had wanted to privilege the Roman Church, which celebrated Holy Communion on Easter Sunday, and to fight against the Asiatic rite, which put it on the night of the 14th, it would have been of no use to him. Schedule the institution of Holy Communion on the afternoon of the 13th; In order to achieve this goal, it would have been necessary to put it on Sunday morning and make it the first act of Jesus after the resurrection! (See the commentary at the end of Chapter 19 for more details.)

XI.The difference of matter and form between the gospel and theApocalypse.The impossibility of attributing these two works to the same author had become something of a axiom for critics. Consequently, it was thought fair to prefer earlier and more positive testimonies to the apocalypse than to the gospel, and to reject the latter's Johannine origin. Baur, Hilgenfeld and many others argue the same way. But the dilemma on which this conclusion is based is currently being increasingly questioned. This is firmly ruled out by Hase, who cites as an analogy the clear difference between the first and second parts of Goethe's work.Faustus;He also thinks that the apocalypse that testifies to John's sojourn in Asia confirms the tradition of the gospel. Weizsácker cannot avoid acknowledging that the Apocalypse, despite different authorship, is "organically connected with the spirit of the gospel". Baur himself testifies to the complete identity of the two works and calls the Gospel of John "a spiritualized apocalypse". If it can indeed be shown that there is a need for a spiritual interpretation of the poetic imagery and plastic forms of the Apocalypse, how, according to Baur himself, will it differ from the Gospel? Let us add that the superiority ascribed to the witness of tradition over the apocalypse is a fiction that does not become truer through constant repetition. Keim and Scholten consider the apocalypse to be just as little attested as the gospel and reject both.

In our opinion, the choice between these works is by no means necessary, as they clearly bear the signature of their composition by the same author.

And (1) from the point of view ofStyle.The accusation leveled against the author of the Apocalypse of violating the rules of Greek grammar or syntax is one of those mistakes that should not be repeated. The preposition ἀπόvonis used with the nouns ὁ ὤν (WHO) and the coming (who comes). A barbarity! exclaims the critic. The Gospel, on the other hand, is written in correct Greek. But in the same verseJuan 1:4, we find the same preposition ἀπόvon, regularly interpreted with the genitive of the seven spirits (the seven spirits). And that goes for the rest of the book without exception! The construction criticized is thus, far from being a school mistake, the bold anomaly of a teacher who wanted to represent through the immutability of the word the immutability of the designated subject, namely God. Nominative apposition numbers are charged with nouns in the genitive or dative. Damage paymentJuan 2:20(Tisch.)Juan 3:12, etc. But again and again in the same book we find appositions in their regular cases (cf.Juan 1:10-11;Juan 3:10, etc). In cases of the opposite kind, the author apparently wanted to give greater autonomy to the noun or appositional participle by challenging the grammar. The Gospel offers us similar irregularities in several cases (cf.Juan 6:39;Juan 17:2, etc).

It is also observed that the gospel uses abstract terms where the apocalypse is willing to cover the idea with a figure. someone will sayLifewhere the other saysliving springs of water;einzelLuzwhere the other saysthe lamp of the holy city;einzelthe world, the otherthe pagans;einzelTod, the otherthe second death, etc. etc. As a complete answer, it suffices to recall with Hase that "The Apocalypse employs those forms of poetry which are reasonable (sensual).” Let us also not forget that the Apocalypse is a work of ecstasy and vision and that John conceived it ἐν πνεύματι (taken into the mind), while the Gospel is the serene and conscious rendition of mere historical reminiscences and is written ἐν νοί (in a carefree mood).

There is also talk of the Aramaeisms of the Apocalypse, which stand in contrast to the Greek accuracy of the Gospel. A crucial fact must be considered here. The Apocalypse is written under the constant influence of the prophetic imagery of the Old Testament, whose stylistic coloring is therefore manifested in a style of its own, while the Gospel is limited to recounting the events that the author witnessed, regardless of any extraneous models Among these very much different conditions of writing, as the Dutch critic Niermeyer aptly notes, the complete absence of differences between the two writings (assuming both are by the same author) would give "reason for justifiable astonishment". Winer has observed that Josephus' style has a more Aramaic tinge when he tells OT history and is influenced by the Scriptures than when he describes in the Biblejewish war, the events unfolding before their eyes.

But for all that, what a genuine and fundamental stylistic homogeneity between these two works in the eyes of those who don't stop at the surface! In this sense, we recommend the excellent study by Niermeyer (see p. 23 f). The same favorite expressionsmake a lie, make the truth; keep the commandments or the word; to hunger and thirst, to denote the deep desires of the soul; The termamen, amen, which so often begins the sayings of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel, and in the Apocalypse becomes the personal name of Christ himself; the figure ofCordero, applied in the Gospel (with the term ἀμνός) to the sacrifice burdened with the sin of the world, and used in the Apocalypse with the neutral and more emphatic term ἀρνίον to denote the glorified Lord and to form the counterpart of the term θηρίον, the beast. Finally, the name Verb or Word of God given to Christ, which throughout the New Testament belongs only to the three Johannine writings and unites them, as it were, by an indissoluble bond. Let us add complete descriptions to these analogies of expression; For example,Revelation 3:20, where the author describes Christ's intimacy with the believer: “Behold, I am at the door, knocking; If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Compare this expression withJuan 14:0, especially in verse 23d, "we will come to him and dwell with him." Or the description of the heavenly happiness of believers,Revelation 7:15-17: “And whoever sits on the throne will dwell with them. They will never be hungry again and they will never be thirsty again. Eyes". Here we find several characteristic expressions of the Johannine style: σκηνοῦν ἐν (live in a shop), com.Juan 1:14; they are hungry, thirstyto be hungry, thirsty), com.Juan 6:35; Pfarrer (feed)Juan 10:1-16;Juan 21:16; to lead (guide)Juan 16:13; and as for the last point, which represents the tenderness of God, he does not remember the expression of Jesus,Juan 14:21: "He who loves me will be loved by my father?"

A final analogy that establishes the above seal is found in the quote from Zechariah (John 12:10),Revelation 1:7, where the author corrects the translation of the LXX. just as the Gospel writer does, inJuan 19:37.

2. Regarding theaffair, the correspondence between the two writings is no less remarkable.

It has sometimes been said that the God of revelation is a God of wrath, while the God of the gospel is all love. It seems forgotten that in the Gospel there is this threat: "Whoever does not obey the Son will be met with the wrath of God" (John 3:36), and this other threat: "You will seek me, but I will." die in your hands.” sins” (John 8:24); and on the other hand, that it is the Author of the Apocalypse who twice (John 7:17 and John 21:4) recites that loving promise of Isaiah of all contained in Scripture: "God will wipe away every tear from our eyes." Love reigns in the gospel , because this book describes the first coming of the Son of God, howThe saviour;Severity in the Apocalypse because it is the depiction of the second coming of the Son, likeRichter.

The Christology of Revelation is identical to that of the Gospel. We have already shown (p. 113) that the designation of Christ as ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ,the beginning of God's creation(John 3:14) is not to be understood in the sense of a temporal beginning, as if Jesus himself were part of creation, but in the sense that eternity can be described as the beginning, i.e. the beginning of creation. This meaning is derived from the passages in which the termStart(ἀρχή) ends with the termFilm(τέλος) and em that the parallel epithet,First, is also terminated withlatest.We must not forget that these expressions are borrowed from Isaiah, for whom they are, so to speak, the banner of Jehovah's special glory. If Jesus himself was part of creation, so the author of Revelation, as Hilgenfeld claims, how could he call it ὁ ζῶν,the living(John 1:18)? This word recalls one of the expressions of the gospel,Juan 1:4: "In him was life" andJuan 6:51: “I am the living bread”, a term which in context implies the meaning oflife-giving.The homage of the adoration of all creatures is addressed simultaneously to the Lamb and to the Father (John 6:15); a fact that can be adequately compared withRevelation 22:9: "To the serviceGood(only).” But at the same time the son is subject to the father. As for the revelation "which he gives to his servants," it is in the same book "God who gave him" (John 1:1 ). In the gospel, Jesus also declares that he "is the Father who gives the Son, that he may have life in himself” (John 1:26), and that “his Father is greater than he” (John 14:28). .WortmiSohn, common to both works, both imply this dual notion of dependence and communion of nature.

The meaning ofjustificationbefore God they are absolutely equal in both works; There is no question in Revelation about circumcision or any legal work. "Redemption" descends "from the throne of God and of the Lamb" as a divine gift (Rev. 7:10). The same number applies to theriver of living water(Rev 22:1). is notBlood of the Lambthe elect shall wash their clothes” (Rev. 7:14); "By this blood they gain victory over Satan" (Rev. 12:11). Justification and sanctification are therefore the fruit of faith in the work of Christ. When the guard ofthe commandments of Godis often spoken, it is the same in the gospel (Juan 14:21; John 15:10) and in the first letter (1 Juan 1:2, etc). And it is quite evident that this obedience is the one that springs from faith. Above all, critics emphasize the accusation that the bishop of Pergamum is accused of tolerating people who “teach people after the example of BalaamEating meat sacrificed to idolsand commit fornication” (John 2:14). The teaching thus questioned is said to be none other than that of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 8-10). So here is a declaration of war against Paulinism and the obvious reference to a Judaizing tendency; it is the antithesis of the fourth gospel. But one and the same thing can be said with two very different minds. Paul in 1 Cor. it starts with allowing people to eat meat sacrificed to idols in the name of monotheism and freedom of belief; the Christian should not be afraid of becoming infected with the contamination of material food; but then it limits this permission in two ways: 1. The exercise of this right is subordinated to charity towards the conscientious brethren; 2. It should never go so far as to take part in holy festivals celebrated in pagan sanctuaries, because such an act implies a close connection with idolatry (John 10:14-21), and because in such circumstances the believer, “ who thinks it is his foot” can easily fall (1 Cor 10:12). Apparently what he means is falling into the impurity of that vice that was so widespread in Corinth and against which he had just warned the members of the church, chapter 6 Apocalypse his voice, as evidenced by the close connection between these two expressions:Eating meat sacrificed to idolsmicommit fornicationWhat a temptation to this last vice could there be, eating such food at a private table, either in the Christian's own home or in the home of a brother who invited him! And that is the only thing Paul authorizes (1 Cor 10:25-27). On the contrary, we know that at the end of the first century and from the beginning of Gnosticism, heretics began to recommend the consumption of meat sacrificed to idols, exactly in the sense in which Paul had forbidden it. Therefore they tried to reconcile Christianity with paganism. Irineu says (1:6): “They eat without scruple the meat offered to idols, thinking that they will not be defiled with it, and whenever a feast is prepared among the pagans in honor of two idols, they are the first to be there." There." We can understand the resulting falls. Irenaeus also immediately adds, "that these Gnostics give themselves greedily to the lusts of the flesh"; and when the Jew Tryphon reproaches Justin for Christians eating sacrificial meat, he replies without hesitation that "only Valentinians and other heretics do so". Basilides taught according to the account of Eusebius (IS., 4:7) so that in times of persecution one could eat sacrificial flesh and deny the faith to save one's life. The first of these acts was only the outward form of the second. These are the abominations against which the author of the apocalypse protests. What do they have in common with the case authorized by Pablo? We have discussed this passage at length because it is one of the main pillars on which the current notion of the Judaizing character of the Apocalypse rests.

It has been argued that when the author guards the Church of Ephesus “from those who call themselves apostles and are not, and consider them liars,” he means St. Paul. But what! In a letter to a church that Paul founded during a three-year stay and from which Christianity spread to all neighboring countries, a man dared to claim that this man's apostleship was a lie! Was it not in that region of Asia Minor where, through the work of the apostle, those crowds of converts were found whose triumph the author of the Apocalypse records in chap. 7 and elsewhere? Luthardt responds to such a statement simply: "He who proves too much proves nothing." Volkmar made another discovery: the false prophet, the beast with the horns of the lamb, an accomplice of the Antichrist who seeks to bring the whole world under his power, is Saint Paul again; for in Romans (chap. 13) he teaches Christians the duty of submission to higher powers, which is tantamount to forcing them to receive the mark of the beast. Isn't this more of a bad joke than a serious fight? The way of subjection pointed out by Paul is the one that all Scripture teaches concerning earthly powers. It was what Jeremiah marked for the last kings of Judah to Nebuchadnezzar. Jesus knows no other: "Put your sword in its sheath, for whoever wounds with the sword will perish by the sword." The same author of the Apocalypse commends it to Christians persecuted by the Antichrist, responding to this threat with every desire for active resistance: “Whoever leads into captivity will go into captivity; sword, he too shall be put to death by the sword. Are herepatiencemizBof the saints". The strength of the persecuted church, as Isaiah said, willkeep Calmtrust only in God. The Reformed Church in France carried this attitude to heroism, and when it deviated from it for a time it had no cause to congratulate itself.

Regarding the design ofChurch, is absolutely the same in the Apocalypse as in the Fourth Gospel and in Paul; and it is a serious mistake, like Volkmar, to believe that there are only believing paganstolerated, in this book, and form only one type ofcommonerin the Holy City. As Hase says: “After the one hundred and forty-four thousand who were sealed out of the tribes of Israel, John sees an innumerable multitude of the twelve Gentiles from every nation, from every tribe, from every tongue, clothed in white robes . . “ (Chapter 7). "They are before the throne of God, serving him day and night in his temple" and "God dwells with them...and wipes away every tear from their eyes" (1 Corinthians 10:15-17). Is this the reception for a vile rabble? This statement is so utterly false that the one hundred and forty-four thousand Jews spoken of above are still not believers. His conversion is only mentioned in chap.Juan 14:1next. in chap. 7 are onlysealed(reserved) to be consecrated later. But as one would wish on this last point, and although these 144,000 constituted the elite assembly of the Church, in assigning them this place, Apocalypse would agree with St. Paul, who in the eleventh chapter of Romans compares the Gentile converts to wild branches grafted onto the patriarchal root in place of the Jews, the natural branches; and also with the author of the fourth gospel, who is mentioned in chap. 10, places the sheep of the Israelite flock at the center of the church and depicts the so-called sheep of other nations simply grouping around this original core (John 14:16). The divine work that the author of the Apocalypse celebrates from beginning to end when he puts the song of the Lamb in the mouths of all believers without distinction; if he gives them all the titlesEyesmipriestfrom God the Father, whom Israel normally only carried; when to the twelve elders who represent the twelve tribes of Israelite Christendom he adds another twelve who are perfectly like the first and together with them represent before the throne the Christians of the Gentile world, all this new creation with which he regards ecstasy and which he glorifies is none other than the work of St. Paul. And yet, in this book, Saint Paul is the false prophet in the service of the Antichrist!

but not the authorscatologicalVisions damn us by accident? This is embarrassing even for Niermeyer.Jerusalemof modern times, which seems to perpetuate the dominance of Judaism even in the completed state of the kingdom of God. "Yes," he says, "theLandJerusalem could be removed from the apocalyptic picture, this book would bevergeistigtjust for that fact.” It is not difficult to meet this demand. The author depicts (John 21:16) the wall of the future Jerusalem as having a height equal to its length and breadth, thus forming a perfect cube. This cube has twelve thousand stadia in each dimension, which is almost fifty miles. Can one reasonably believe that a real city is imagined in such a monstrous form? But this image, grotesque if we take it in the material sense, becomes sublime as soon as it is understood spiritually. The Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and temple was in the shape of a perfect cube, while the sanctuary was in the shape of a rectangle. What does the author mean by this number? That the New Jerusalem will be fully what the Holy of Holies once was: the dwelling place of God's Holy Thrice. It is the fulfillment of Jesus' last prayer: "May they be one in us as we are one"; the state in which Paul presents himself1 Corinthians 15:28: "God all in all". And if anyone hesitates to believe that this glorious state of affairs in the Apocalypse applies to believers other than those of Jewish origin, read:Juan 21:2-3, these words: “I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, descending from God out of heaven, and I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God.is among men.And to leave no doubt as to the meaning of the wordMen, the author adds: “And they [those who were not his people]it will be your people, and God himself will be with them, their God.” when talking about itFinaleJerusalem Niermeyer simply forgets that this future Jerusalem is by no means a restoration of the old Jerusalem, but that the author describes it as oneneuJerusalemdescend from God out of heaven.It is the Church in its full extent and in all its perfection, embracing all that has been given to Christ in all mankind. Here we find the broadest universalism. And of course, if it is so with the holy city itself, the same method of spiritual interpretation must be extended to everything that makes up its beauty: the gates, the walls, the square, the river, the trees. And all these images, understood spiritually, if the gospel is really a spiritualized apocalypse (Baur), lead us directly to this result: that the apocalypse is basically identical with the gospel.

A general comparison of apocalypticTheaterwith the narrative contained in our gospel also makes us assert that its author was the same. Truc, the opposite is claimed. The Apocalypse is said to exude the most intense hatred of non-Jews by a Jewish author; the gospel retains all its hatred for the Jews because it is written by a non-Jewish author. It goes on to say that the Apocalypse moves between scenes of the last days unknown to the Gospel; the latter, on the other hand, deals only with the hostile relationship between Jesus and the Jews during his sojourn on earth. These two objections fall on a single observation. The work of Jesus is twofold. In the first place it referred to the Jews; then camethe times of the Gentilesin which salvation was offered to the latter. The Gospel tells of the first of these relationships, the Apocalypse deals with the second; and the two works are finished, as if they were the two halves of the same whole, which might be entitled The Substitution of the Kingdom of God by the Kingdom of Satan throughout the Earth. The actors in the two dramas are basically the same. These are three:Christ, Faith, Unbelief.In the Gospel: the Christ as Christin humiliation;Faith represented bythe disciples;unbelief, represented bythe Jews.In the Apocalypse, the Christ as theglorified Lord;Faith represented byGirlfriend, or the church; unbelief, e.gthe pagans, most of whom reject the call of the gospel just as most Jews of Jesus' day had rejected it. Therefore, there are no prejudices in this book. On the one hand the believing Gentiles, an innumerable multitude whom the author regards with triumphant ecstasy before the throne, just as there were believing Jews in Jesus' lifetime who were raised into intimacy with him. On the other hand, a mass of unbelieving Gentiles increasingly drew on the judgments of the glorified Lord (seals, trumpets, bowls), just as the mass of Jews hardened and grew more and more angry against the Lamb of God in their midst. The only difference between the two dramas, the evangelical and the apocalyptic, and this difference lies in the nature of things, is that in the first the Passion and the Resurrection; the foundations of salvation for all are related; in the second, the return of Christ, as the completion of salvation and judgment for all. This difference is another link between the two works; for in this way the apocalypse always puts the gospel behind it, and the gospel puts the apocalypse in front of it anyway; and so we understand where the almost total absence of the eschatological element in the gospel comes from. EITHERProgressmistagesof the struggle, there with the Jews, here with the Gentiles, they are exactly the same too. In both works, the end seems close from the start. But nevertheless it is considered postponed; we await it in Revelation after the sixth seal, after the sixth trumpet; however, it is again postponed, as in the Gospel, where John repeats the phrase several times: "But his hour has not yet come." EITHERResultAlso . is basically the same, albeit in two respects: Satan's outward victory over the kingdom of God: in the gospel by the murder of Jesus; in the Apocalypse for the annihilation of the Church under Antichrist; but also in both the victory, first spiritual, then outward, of the advocate of the cause of God; there by the resurrection of Christ; here, for the glory of the Church. We see that only the two subjects are different: on the one hand, Christcame, on the other hand the ChristarriveBut nonetheless, one of the two works seems to imitate the other, both in terms of the role of the actors and the rhythm of the plot.

These two works can only contradict each other in one way: namely, as Luthardt says, by falsely materializing the apocalypse and falsely spiritualizing the gospel. With this maneuver you can blind the common people; but this is no longer science, but fiction. Both works exist; and sooner or later the truth regains its rights.

If the results of our study are substantiated, then all the external evidence for the Johannine origin of the apocalypse, which Baur, Hilgenfeld, and Volkmar value so highly, becomes so much confirmation of the Johannine origin of the gospel.

XII. There is one objection which seems to have made the decisive impression on our French critics, such as Renan and Sabatier. John is called in the fourth gospelthe disciple whom Jesus loved:this is a clear superiority attributed to him over his fellow apostles. That's not all; He is constantly being exalted to fully match or even surpass Peter, not only in agility but also in intelligence and availability of faith. This spirit of jealousy and petty rivalry cannot have been the spirit of John himself: it must be recognized that the writing of our Gospel is indebted to at least one disciple of this apostle, who at all costs wanted to exalt the person and the role of the revered teacher , whose stories and lessons he collected. Here we are evidently in the presence of a tendential process. There are related facts; For what purpose are they related? One replies: Because it happened that way, the other is looking for secret intentions and soon discovers them; He attributes the facts to the narrator's imagination, moved by a particular vision. It is serious to base conclusions on such methods of interpretation which can have decisive consequences for the church. In this specific case, it turns out that the alleged intention is in clear contradiction to many facts. in chap.Juan 1:43Peter comes to Jesus only as a third person.

But if the point was to exalt John at the expense of that disciple, the author, uncaring for the story, should have given John himself the role of the one who introduced Peter to Jesus. It doesn't; attributes this honor to Andrés, son of Pedroown brotherwith this expression he explains this role played by him and assigns its cause historically. As for John, he is not directly referred to in this scene, either by name or by any other paraphrase. Not only that; but inJuan 1:41, even before André brings Pedro when he is presented on stage for the first time, he is already referred to asBrother of Simon Peter, that Peter who has not yet appeared, who therefore presents himself from the beginning as the protagonist of the entire Gospel story together with Jesus. As if all this were not, in the author's opinion, enough to give due praise to the person and part of Peter, Jesus at first sight recognizes in him his main helper and at the same time marks him with an honorable name Time that Makes. none of this in relation to the other four or five disciples who were called at the same time. And yet, critics can detect in this scene intent to belittle Peter or glorify John! Individually. 6 puts us back in the center of the apostolic circle. Who is part of this friendship scene?

It's Philip, it's Andrew, referred to as againBrother of Simon Peter(Juan 1:5; John 1:8). Then, at the end of the whole story, when, faced with the abandonment of almost all the Galilean disciples, one of the apostles, in response to Jesus' question, begins to speak: "Do you also want to go away?" proclaimed unshakable faith in Jesus' messianism? Is Juan? Is it a little-known disciple whose rivalry would be of little danger to this apostle? It is the same Peter that our evangelist wants to despise! At the Last Supper, Peter motions to John, who is seated next to Jesus, to ask him to ask the Master. But if it really happened like that, what conclusion can be drawn from it? And who could seriously claim otherwise? Is there an impossibility here? Doesn't the following story really prove by some insignificant circumstance that Peter was not on Jesus' side (John 1:5-6)? Finally, in the same passage, the evangelist does not ascribe to Peter an expression in which all his devotion, all his faith, burst forth; "Not only my feet, Lord, but also my hands and my head!" (John 13:9).

The after-dinner discussions provided a wonderful opportunity for the evangelist to introduce his favorite disciple, whom Jesus loved. Questions from Tomás, Felipe, Judas are mentioned; but not the slightest allusion is made to the presence of that pupil. It is reminiscent of Peter's devotional cry: "I give my life for you"; Could this be a display of Machiavellianism, to make its conceit clearer and then to emphasize its denial? But as for this fall of Peter, it is precisely John who relates it in the gentlest way. No oaths, no curses in Pedro's mouth; that simple wordIs said.

Peter is brought before the high priest's houseanother student, who was known to this character; but nothing tells us that this disciple was John. And even if he were Johannes, it would be little honor to have been associated with the spiritual leader of the nation in a work whose direction is said to be so strongly anti-Jewish. In Gethsemane it is Peter who wounds with the sword in our gospel. Compared with the thought of Jesus, this act is undoubtedly a mistake; but given the cowardice of the rest of the disciples, who all flee, it is certainly an honor. Pedro is not afraid to put into practice the commitment he has made. As the two disciples run to the tomb on the morning of the resurrection, John approaches him.More quickly, and this is said to be one of this apostle's conscious claims of superiority over his colleague... Critics dare to write such childishness! If so, at least refrain from naming such a work with Hilgenfeld "the Gospel in Eagle's Flight"! Immediately afterwards, John comes to believe in the resurrection (John 20:8) through mere vision of the order that prevails in the tomb, although this is said not to have been the case with Peter. Here we have something that looks a little more suspicious. But it is precisely here that one of the most decidedly autobiographical features of the Fourth Gospel lies. It is the innermost fact, that of faith, and John simply tells us how that fact itself was realized. Can you tell exactly what happened to your colleague? If the light penetrated your heart toothis momentmiIn this way?

Maybe he always ignored it. But since both Paul and Luke tell us of a post-resurrection appearance of Jesus granted to Peter on the same day, this circumstance makes it likely that the apostle stood at the tomb with a confused presentiment that turned only into faith. real by this appearance. As an aside, let us note that there is no mention of any special appearances granted to John. The scene from chapter twenty-one remains. If the writer really wanted to draw a parallel between the two apostles, it must be recognized that the contrast is entirely in Peter's favour. It is true that John recognized the Lord since they were in the boat; but he doesn't move while Peter immediately jumps into the water. John does not participate in the after-dinner conversation; Peter is the only object of the Lord's attention. Not only does Jesus restore him as an apostle; but he expressly entrusts him with the leadership of the church and also of the apostolate: “Feed my lambs! Lead my sheep!” And as the culmination of his service he promises him the honor of bloody martyrdom.

After that, it is he, and only he, whom he invites to follow him in order to receive, in a confidential conversation, the communications that he still has to make. The disciple loved by Jesus, without being called, allows himself to humbly follow them; it is Peter himself who brings it to the stage by questioning the Lord somewhat indiscreetly about him. But, it is said, John's superiority reappears here; for the promise that was made to himthat shouldn't die, dwarfs even the martyrdom Peter had just suffered. So be it, if anyone wants it; it must only be admitted that the following explanation of the evangelist in this case must not immediately invalidate the claimed promise! What a contrast between these two expressions, the one referring to John: "Well, Jesus didn't say he should die"; the other about Peter: "Now he said this about death, by which Peter was to glorify God."

In fact, there remains only one expression that can be used to the advantage of the objection we are dealing with; is the designation:The disciple whom Jesus loved.Weisse was, I believe, the first to be shocked by this expression and to see in it a repulsive boast. Sabatier thinks that if Juan had written it "it would be difficult to count humility among his virtues". The finest intuition and the fairest judgment that Hase shows! He says: "Weisse did not understand this joyful pride in being, in all humility, the object of undeserved love." Between all the rays of gloryfull of grace and truththat the Word made flesh had shown down here, there was one that had fallen on John and that he had to reproduce in his work: the Son of God had stooped to the point where he had ita friend.Remembering such a sweet memory was not pride, but humble gratitude. To veil one's own name with this paraphrase was not to glorify the man; it glorified the tenderness of him who had condescended to descend so low. He no longer knew himself except as the forgiven believer knows himself as the object of the most wonderful love. Paul speaks of himself in this way2 Corinthians 12:2-5.

XIII.We have long held that Reuss's position on the Fourth Gospel is untenable. To admit the apostolic origin of this work, and at the same time to regard the discourses contained therein as a treatise on mystical theology which the author voluntarily put into the mouth of Jesus, is here an evident moral impossibility. Reuss had to look for ways to resolve this contradiction and recently discovered it. is the passageJuan 19:35. Following the example of Weisse, Schweizer, Keim and Weizsäcker, he believes that in this passage he recognizes the completely clear distinction made by the author of the gospel himself between himself and that of the apostle John, who was handed down to him orally - the authentic material of his narrative. . Let's study this text more closely. It consists of three sentences: “And he who saw it bore witness; and his testimony is true; and he knows he speaks the truth for you to believe. Up until now it was thought to be herwitnesshe himself spoke here. 1. He declares that his testimony as to the reported event (the simultaneous fulfillment of the two prophecies by the Roman soldier's apparently accidental thrust of the spear) is now given (the perfect μεμαρτύρηκε): It is a matter that is dictated by history itself was done; DraftJuan 1:34;Juan 2:0. He bears witness to the truth of this testimony; 3. He solemnly reaffirms the deep sense he has for the reality of the event reported, and this so that the readers (Of) can fully believe.

In that third sentencethe authorto talk about testimonies use the pronoun ἐκεῖνος ,The, and many find in this word a proof that he speaks of the witness as oneandersperson of himself, and that can be none other than the apostle. But first, the author can properly refer to himself in the third person, as Paul does2 Corinthians 12:2-5, or as Jesus himself does when commonly referred to by nameson of a man, and consequently you can use the third-person pronoun in all its forms. The reason why he chooses the pronoun ἐκεῖνος here,The, because this word has a special and constant meaning in the fourth gospel. To designate a being as that in this bookexclusivelyit has a specific character, a specific function; therefore it is not a personremote controlunlike another who iscloser, but oneeinzelperson as opposed toatother; for this reasonJuan 1:18: “No one has ever seen God…; the only begotten sonIsit is (ἐκεῖνος) who proclaimed it;' ÖJuan 12:48: "My word...,It is, he alone ( ἐκεῖνος ) will judge him;" DraftJuan 5:39: "The font...,Sheare they (ἐεῖνοι) which ones...?"Juan 16:14: "The ghost...Is(ἐκεῖνος) will glorify me”, etc., etc. Jesus, too, when he speaks of himself, uses this pronoun; DraftJuan 9:37: “You have seen him (the Son of God), and the one who speaks to you isIs(not νος). It's exactly the same asJuan 19:35. With this pronoun he describes himself as the one who, as the only witness of what happened among the apostles, can attest to this with the certainty of an eyewitness. There is thus no well-founded logical or grammatical objection to the generally accepted sense of the passage.

Now see what sense the authors mentioned above are trying to give to this.

1. Suggestion: AEditorof the gospel declares that it is thewitness(the apostle) who informed him of the circumstance he had just related. This meaning is not impossible, although we are surprised to see here suddenly the distinction between these two characters, of which the narration offers not the slightest trace up to now.

2nd sentence: The writer testifies to the truthfulness of the story that he has from the lips of the witness. This is not self-evident, since it would be proper for the witness to testify to the truth of the fact reported by the evangelist. An unknown and anonymous publisher posing as the guarantor of the story of the witness and a witness who is an apostle! That would be pretty strange. Where would he derive that right and authority from?

3rd thesis: The writer testifies to the deep sense that the witness brings to the reality of the reported event. "He knows (the apostle-witness) that he is telling the truth." It becomes completely incomprehensible; for how can a human be witness to what is going on in the inner consciousness of another individual? We can understand the editor's statement: “AndI knowwho tells the truth." That would mean: Someone likeUEI know he is, I'm sure he can't mispronounce. But with the form "he knows(the one) who tells the truth,” the statement makes no sense. Finally, the editor adds, "so that you may believe." If it is John who says this to clarify the purpose of the story he has just written, we understand what he means: "I, the witness, am inwardly aware that what I am telling you is true is,You too until the end(who reads)i can believe(As I have seen).' His testimony will be to those who read what the vision itself was to him. But if, on the other hand, the subject is the oral narrative that the apostle gave to the author long before, that statement no longer makes sense; because there is no direct connection between such testimonies and the readers of the present work; the words "to the end that you may believe" are no longer valid.

Finally, we need to note the two present tense verbs: “Heyhe knows" is hetells truth.What are you testing? That at the time of writing these lines the witness to the facts was still alive. And in this case, what is gained by replacing him as editor with one of his students? However, the gospel remains a narrative written under the eyes and with the consent of John himself.

Moreover, there is another passage that absolutely condemns this sense given by Reuss and many others to John 19:35; is the analogous declaration ofJuan 21:24. Here the men in a position recognized and respected by the Church expressly affirm what these critics on the basis of this denyJuan 19:35, that is, the identity of the evangelist-editor with the apostle's testimony: “This disciple (the one whom Jesus loved) is thewho testifies(ὁ τῆρουρίῶν) dessas coisas ewho wrote it(ὁ γράψας), and we know that his testimony is true. True, Reuss claims that these men made a mistake and that some time after John's death they in good faith mistook the apostle for the editor. But these witnesses, who had the power to endow the gospel with a postscript not wanting in any manuscript or version, should have taken an active part in the publication of the work; they must consequently have been the first keepers of it. Under these conditions, how could an error on your part be possible? To express themselves in this way, they must have never read the book they self-published, at least the passageJuan 19:35, because according to Reuss, the author in the statement there is explaining exactly the opposite of what they solemnly affirm. Finally, in comparing these two passages, one must not forget that the witnesses of chap. 21 say:We know, and nothe knows, like the one discussed in Chap. 19 says. The first person plural distinguishes them from the witness of the apostles just as clearly as the third person singular,he knows, the author of John 19:35 identifies with this testimony. How then can Reuss say, “The sentence of John 21:24recurringelsewhere in the Gospel; the analogy is obvious. Yes, but the difference is still obvious.

Hilgenfeld has clearly seen that it is impossible to find in John 19:35 the distinction deliberately made by the writer between himself and the witness. It admits, therefore, that the author, after wanting to pose as the apostle John throughout the work, forgot himself for a moment in the passageJuan 19:35, and who accidentally drops his disguise. In fact, only this file remains. But is it allowed? The reader will judge. In any case, we must refrain from speaking of the supreme competence of an author to whom such negligence can be ascribed!

XIV. Do I need to address a final objection that some critics seem to attach some importance to? How, it is said, could a man have viewed Jesus as a divine being after three years of intimate relationship with him? But this conviction developed in him only gradually. And it was precisely this everyday knowledge that robbed him of any overwhelming element for dogmatic reflection. The Apocalypse, the work commonly ascribed to the apostle in the so-called critical school, poses exactly the same problem. Jesus is represented there asFirstmilatest;His name isThe Saintmithe truth, as Isaiah calls Jehovah; and yet it is attributed to the apostle. The recognition of Jesus' messianic dignity was a first step in facilitating the transition to recognition of his divinity.

At the end of this long survey of all the objections that modern criticism has raised against the unanimous tradition of the Church, we can present a curious phenomenon that is not without psychological importance for the assessment of this discussion. Is it not surprising that each anti-authenticity seems to be particularly impressed by one of these fourteen objections, which makes the other critics look weak and in comparison he himself attaches little importance to all others? We leave the explanation of this fact to the reader, who has given us food for thought more than once.

§ 3. The inner judgment.

In his introduction to the New Testament (§ 93), Credner summarized this evidence as follows: "If we had no historical statement as to the author of the Fourth Gospel, we should nevertheless be led to a positive conclusion by the evidence that the book itself offers the nature of the language, the freshness and dramatic liveliness of the narration, the accuracy and precision of the statements, the peculiar way in which the forerunner and the sons of Zebedee are mentioned, the love, passionate tenderness of the author for the person of Jesus, the irresistible The attraction of the gospel account presented from this ideal vantage point, the philosophical reflections with which this gospel begins, all lead us to the following conclusion: The author of this work can only be a man born in Palestine. . , only an eyewitness of the ministry of Jesus, only an apostle, only the beloved apostle; it can only be that John whom Jesus connected to his own person through the heavenly magic of his teaching, this John who leaned on his bosom, who he was on the cross and that during his sojourn in a city like Ephesus he not only drawn to philosophical speculation, but even preparing to take his place among those Greeks distinguished by their literary culture.

We can do nothing better than to follow the path outlined in this admirable paragraph, in which we only want to change the two terms,Idealmiphilosophicalthat don't seem to give us the true shadow of thought. If we take this summary as a program, we will also start from the periphery to gradually approach the center.

UE. the author is christianJudeOrigin. This is proven by his style, which, without being hebrewized, nevertheless shows the inner peculiarities of the Hebrew language (see p. 135 ff.).

This is also evident from the author's corrections in the LXX translation. suffer from a certain number of quotations after the Hebrew original. We believe with Westcott that the fact is undeniable in the following three passages:Juan 6:45(Jes 54,13);Juan 13:18(Sl 41:9);Juan 19:37(Zechariah 12:10); and we will add without hesitation,Juan 12:40(Isaiah 6:10). On the contrary, the evangelist never quotes from the LXX. disagree with the Hebrew.

The inner harmony of Jesus' teaching with the Mosaic Law and the prophets, his constant references to models from Jewish history, the perfect spiritual communion established between Abraham and Jesus - all these characteristics stand out so strongly that we have to join the Weizsácker process : Just a Jew who had stayed in the foreign region in which he livedthe legacy of your youth, so you could tell his story. The development of the author's personal faith certainly proceeded through these two normal phases of Judeo-Christian faith: acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah and belief in Him as the Son of God. For the first of these two steps compare the creed of the first disciples,Juan 1:42;Juan 1:46, and for the second, the entire sequence of narration. This course of development is indicated again in the expression that sums up the Gospel (John 20:31): “That you may believe that Jesus isthe Christ, the Son of God.

A final and crucial piece of evidence comes from the author's knowledge of Jewish usage. He is well acquainted with the Jewish festivals (Passover, Feast of Tabernacles), not only the major ones, but also the minor ones that the law did not establish, such as the FeastPurim, 5.1 (see comment), and that ofMission, 22.10. He knows the addition of an eighth day to the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:37) and the prohibition of any medical treatment on the Sabbath (John 9:14); Jewish views that the coming of the Messiah must precede that of Elijah and that the Messiah must come from an utterly obscure origin (Juan 1:21; John 7:27). He is not unfamiliar with the animosity that prevails between Jews and Samaritans, nor with the more spiritual character of the latter's messianic expectation (Juan 4:9; John 4:25-26). The Jewish method of embalming, which differed from that of the Egyptians (John 19:40), the custom of the Jews to cleanse themselves on entering their homes (John 2:6), excommunication from the synagogue (John 9:22 ) , the custom of closing burial caves with large stones (Juan 11:38; Jn 21:1), the sale of animals and the exchange of money in the temple (Jn 2:14), all these circumstances, some of which are not mentioned in the Synoptics, are familiar to him. He knows the scruples of the Jews, both entering the home of a non-Jew and leaving the bodies of the condemned exposed to the public beyond the day of execution (Juan 18:28; John 19:31). He knows that a rabbi does not speak to a woman (John 4:27); that the nation's religious leaders treat with the deepest contempt that portion of the people who have not received rabbinical teaching (John 7:49); and finally, that in the event of a conflict between the law of the Sabbath and that of eighth-day circumcision, the latter takes precedence over the former (John 7:22-23).

II. This Jew did not live in a foreign land; he is aPalestinianJew. He talks about different places in the Holy Land like a man who knows them himself and who knows all the topographical details of this land. He knows that besides the places he speaks of, there are other places called Cana and Bethsaida, which he refers to by the epithet:from Galilee(Juan 2:1; John 12:21). He knows that Bethany is fifteen stadia from Jerusalem (John 11:18); that Ephraim is on the edge of the desert (John 11:54); that Aenon is near Salim (John 3:23); that a distance of twenty-five or thirty stadia is nearly half the breadth of the Sea of ​​Tiberias (Juan 6:19, comp. with Matthew 14:24); that the circumnavigation of the north coast of this sea can easily be done on foot (Juan 6:5; John 6:22); that it is necessary to go from Cana to Capernaumto dismount(John 2:12); that Kidron must be crossed by a bridge to get from Jerusalem to the foot of the Mount of Olives (John 18:1); that the pool of Siloam is very close to Jerusalem (John 9:7); and that there are temporary springs near the temple (John 9:7). He also knows where the sacrificial boxes are in the temple (John 8:20) and Solomon's porch (John 10:23). The picture of the entrance to the valley of Shechem, in the scene of Jacob's well, can only have been drawn by a man looking at Mount Gerizim, which towered over the valley, and at the magnificent fields of wheat that stretched out along the side of the valley . Muchna Plain. Renan says: "Only a Jew from Palestine who often passed the mouth of the Shechem Valley could have written that."

The author is no less informed than thathistorical circumstancesthe time in which the events described take place. He knows that the right to kill has recently been taken away from the Jews (John 18:31); he knows that by the time Jesus first appeared in the temple, the rebuilding of that building had already taken 46 years (John 2:20). He knows the family ties and sympathies that bind the present High Priest to the former High Priest, and the influence the latter continues to exercise in the course of events (John 18:13-28).

Baur believed he discovered a multitude of historical and geographical errors in our gospel. This allegation is now dropped. "There is no reason," says Keim himself, "to believe these alleged errors" (p. 133). Renan elaborates on this point of view: "The oft-repeated opinion that our author was acquainted neither with Jerusalem nor with Jewish affairs seems to me utterly unfounded" (p. 522).

thirdWe can prove in many details that this Palestinian Jew was acontemporaryfrom Jesus and awitnessits history; We also add, in order not to go into too much detail and prolong the discussion,an apostle

This is evident from the abundance of minute details that abound in the narrative, which cannot be explained by any dogmatic or philosophical idea, and which can only be the very simple and almost involuntary expression of personal memory.

And first, with respect to times and occasions: "It was about the tenth hour" (John 1:40); "It was about the sixth hour" (John 4:6); "And he was there two days" (John 4:40); “Yesterday about the seventh hour” (John 4:52); "It was winter" or "It was stormy weather" (John 10:22); "It was night" (John 13:30); "Thirty-eight years sick" (John 13:5). As for the designation of places: the treasury of the temple (John 8:20); Solomon's porch (John 10:23); Jesus stopped outside the city (John 11:30). As for the numbers: the six water jars in the porch (John 2:6); the four soldiers (John 19:23); the hundred pounds of perfume (John 19:39); the two hundred cubits away and the one hundred and fifty-three fishes (Juan 21:8; John 21:11). All sorts of details lead us into the inner circle of Jesus and his disciples. The author recalls the loving relationships that Jesus had with them, for example towards Philip (John 6:5-7); Andrew's intervention (John 6:8-9); the boy eating the bread; the indirect warning to Judas (John 6:70); the name of this apostle's father (John 6:71); Thomas' rude but generous statement (John 11:16); his incredulous exclamation and his cry of worship (Juan 20:25; John 20:28); the questions of Thomas, Philip, and Jude last night (chap. 14); the turning point when the light finally came to all of them and they proclaimed their faith (John 16:30); the sudden request of Jesus: "Get up, let's go" (John 14:31). Points like these can also be noted: "They kindled coals..." (John 18:18); "The cloak was seamless, woven all over it" (John 19:23); “After putting the sponge round the hyssop stalk” (John 19:29); "The servant's name was Malchus" (John 18:10), etc., etc. "So many precise details," says Renan, "which are perfectly understood when one sees in them the memories of an old man of wonderful freshness"; but, we shall add, they become repulsive in so serious a tale when they are no more than fictitious details intended to hide the novelist under the historian's mask. Only a profane charlatan could toy with the person and character of the best-known actors of evangelical drama, and with the person of the Lord himself. Weitzel has rightly pointed out how this delicate narrative initiates us into all the nuances of the intimate life of the apostolic circle. The author does not designate the disciples by their names commonly accepted in the Church, which they bear in the apostolic registers, but by what they bear among their fellow disciples; So instead of Bartholomew it says Nathanael (Juan 1:46-50; John 21:2), and three times denotes Thomas by the Greek translationlet's do it together(Gemini) as if it were a personal memory for him that is close to his heart (Juan 11:16;Juan 20:24; Jo 21:2).

To all these details we add the great scenes in which the open eyewitness pencil is shown: the story of the calling of the first disciples (chap. 1); of the visit to Samaria (iv.); the confidential scenes of the resurrection of Lazarus and the washing of the disciples' feet (chapters 11 and 13); and finally the incomparable picture of Pilate's dealings with the Jews (chap. 18 and 19).

If, after all these facts, we had any doubts about the author's quality as an eyewitness, these would disappear before his own testimony, which today no one, neither Weizsácker nor Reuss and Sabatier, can be accused of fraud like Baur did.

This testimony is expressed in the following three passages:Juan 1:14;Juan 19:35, mi1 Juan 1:1-4.

The author expresses himself inJuan 1:14; "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory..." It is said first that what is at issue here is only the inner vision of faith, which is the privilege of every Christian. Paul is not saying, "With unveiled face we see the glory of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18); and John himself: "He who sins has not seen him" (1 Jn 3:6)? This is how Keim and Reuss speak. There is indeed a spiritual reflection of Jesus to which the quoted words refer; but these words are not found in the letters from which they were taken, in connection with the presentation of the fact of the Incarnation, as in the passageJuan 1:14: "The wordbecameMeat, ...moraba,...We areconsidered...” At the beginning of a historical work which begins in this way and in which the earthly life of Jesus is to be narrated, such a declaration can have no other purpose than the solemn onelegitimizethe following narrative. We must not confuse this context with that of a letter in which the author describes the spiritual condition common to all Christians.

The passage John 19:35 has already been examined. There the identity of the author of the gospel with the apostle who witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus is positively confirmed. "This passage," Sabatier objects, "is too similar in tenor to the appendix (John 21:24) for us to draw the same conclusion." But we have already shown (p. 185) that, on the contrary, the tenor of the two passages is completely different, in chap. 19:(he knows), the witness affirms his identity with the author of the gospel; in chap. twenty-one: (we know), the author's friends and witnesses confirm his identity with the disciple whom Jesus loved; thus all affirm essentially the same thing, but in a way that is appropriate to their particular position and role.

There is a second work, evidently from the same pen as the Gospel, and the author also proclaims himself a witness of fact and an apostle, with a clarity that leaves nothing to be desired for the unwilling. close your eyes to the light We read, 1 Ep. In1 Juan 1:1ss.: “What was from the beginning, what we heard, what we saw with our eyes, what we looked at and touched with our hands the word of life … have fellowship with us; … and these things will say, we write to you that your joy may be fulfilled; and this is the message which we have heard from him and which we bring to you...' In the face of such statements, how can one deny that the author intended to pose as an eyewitness and hearing witness? from the facts of gospel history? Someone tells us what stronger terms they could have used to describe themselves as such. Reuss says: “The fact that Jesus lived the life of mortals is enough for any believer to say: we have seen him, we have heard him and we have touched him.” Yes, but on condition that he so that he does not expressly confront other believers whom they have not seen, heard or touched, and to whom he says: "Usproclaimfor you, ... uswriteto youthese things so that you have a part in them and your joy is as great as ours." Reuss says: "Any preacher who passes the truth on to a new generation will always be able to express himself immediately." We leave the man in his happy Silence that can be calmed by such a pretense Obviously there is the same contrast here as inJuan 20:29, among those whohave seenand those who have tobelieve without seeing, or, as inJuan 19:35, between themhave seenmiOfwho is for itbelieve.Sabatier draws on a different resource. He believes that these words can be explained by the author's desire "not to give historical testimony, but to fight Docetism". In these words, then, there is nothing more than "the positive affirmation of the reality of the flesh of Jesus Christ" (p. 193). But if that were the case, why should I start with these words: What wasfrom the beginning, which are developed in the second verse as follows: “Ythe life that was with the fatherappeared, and we have seen it and bear witness to it? We see that the author's thought is not to contrast the reality of the body of Jesus with the idea of ​​a mere appearance, but to bring to light these two facts that seemed contradictory and whose union was crucial to his vision: on the one hand, thedivine, the eternal essence of Christ; on the other hand, the total reality, not only of his body, but of his as wellhumanExistence. It is the same thought formulated in the gospel thematic expression: "The Word was made flesh." Moreover, the Docetae did not deny the physical phenomena of the Lord's life, and the apostle would have done nothing to object if he had affirmed them.

It remains, therefore, for those who insist on taking the texts as they are and not letting them say what they want, that the author explicitly reveals himself in two of these texts, and that he reveals himself in the third of his friends who know him personally as witnesses to the events related in this book; and if any one refuses to admit this double testimony, he cannot escape the necessity of making him an impostor. We are grateful to modern writers who, like Reuss and Sabatier, avoid such a consequence; but we believe that it is impossible to do so unless sacrificing the exegetical conscience.

4. Finally, when we try to name this apostle who is both witness and editor of gospel facts, we must recognize in him the disciple whom Jesus loved, John himself.

And first:The disciple whom Jesus loved.The author explainsJuan 19:35to be the one who saw with his own eyes two prophecies simultaneously fulfilled by the pagan soldier's javelin blow. Now his narrative mentions only one apostle who was present at the crucifixion of the Lord, the one whom Jesus loved (John 19:26). It is evident, therefore, that he surrenders himself as that disciple. We have already noted the description of how the disciple whom Jesus loved believed in the resurrection (John 20:8-9). The absolutely autobiographical character of this story leaves no doubt as to the identity of this disciple with the author. The same applies to the confidential and very personal information about Peter's relationship with him at the Last Supper (John 13:24-27) and the story of his last conversation with Jesus after his appearance in Galilee (John 13:24-27). 27) John 13:24-27) John 21:19-22). Let us add that no one could have been more anxious than the disciple whom Jesus loved to correct the meaning of a word that troubled him and that was being circulated in a way that belittled Jesus' dignity.

We continue to say:John, son of Zebedee.In all apostolic catalogues, John and James are named first by Simon Peter, and this position constantly assigned to them is justified by the special differences they shared with that apostle. How is it that in the fourth gospel, in the only place where the sons of Zebedee are mentioned (John 21:2), they come last among the five named apostles, after Thomas and Nathanael? This circumstance can only be explained if the author of this story is exactly one of these two brothers. In the synoptics, the forerunner of Jesus is constantly mentioned: Johnthe Baptist;that was the title bestowed on him not only by the Christian but also by the Jewish tradition, as we see in Josephus (ancestors18.5. 2.): „Juan,Taufnamewhom Herod killed.” In our gospel, on the other hand, he is always called John. From this fact, of course, it must be concluded that the author of this story had known the precursor before fame added the title of Baptist as an inseparable epithet, that is, from the beginning of his public activity. Thus, if we have reason to believe that the author himself had the name John, we can more easily understand why he did not feel the need to give the progenitor an appropriate title to distinguish it from another, no less well-known, John . in the church. Because the idea of ​​a confusion between him and his namesake must have been, as Hase says, "very far removed from his consciousness". Finally, one crucial fact remains: it is the absence of any mention of João's own name or the names of other family members in the narrative. His mother, Salome, is mentioned in the Synoptics among the women present at Jesus' crucifixion (Mateo 27:56; Mar 16:1) is not mentioned here in the parallel listing (John 19:25). Santiago is never mentioned in the scene of the call of the first disciples (chap. 1), where, however, a light touch of tenderness reveals his presence. This approach differs fundamentally from that of counterfeiters. "The latter," says Reuss, "emphasize in their study the names that are supposed to serve as passports." This complete and consistent omission from one end of the work to the other of the names of three people who occupied one of the foremost places in society around Jesus leaves no doubt that the author had a special relationship with the three.

We cannot fail to take the pleasure of quoting here, in conclusion, a beautiful paragraph from Hase (p. 48): Let us say, veiled, which sometimes appears, but without lifting the veil. We cannot believe that the author himself did not know who this disciple was.whom Jesus lovedit was he who rested on his bosom at the Last Supper, who followed his Master with Peter when he was taken prisoner, to whom his Master left his mother entrusted, and who, running with Peter, reached the tomb first. There must therefore be a special relationship between the author and this character, and a reason of its own for not naming him. Why is it not natural to think that he himself is described by that paraphrase which encapsulates the loftiest content and all the happiness of his existence?

§ 4. Counter-Hypotheses.

We will deal here only with hypotheses of a serious character. We therefore leave aside, without discussion, fantasies like those of Tobler and Lutzelberger, who attribute our gospel the first to Apollo and the second to a Samaritan emigre in Edessa, in Mesopotamia, around the year 135.The great unknownvon Baur and his school, who are said to have written the Roman des Logos sometime before or after the middle of the second century; the man who calls the germ "the brightest flower that followed the age of the apostles." One thing strikes us at first glance about this hypothesis: it is precisely this title of incognito that critics have to give the author of such a work. Everyone knows the mediocrity of the characters and writers of the second century compared to those of the first. The era of creative production was followed by that of smooth reproduction. What is this letter from Clement of Rome to which Eusebius ascribes the epithets?great and wonderful( ἐπιστολὴ μεγάλη τε καὶ θαυμασία )? A good and pious letter, as an ordinary Christian of our day would write. Polycarp and papias are not superior to Clement. Ignacio surpasses them in originality; but what oddity and eccentricity! Hermas is oppressively monotonous. The letter to Diognet shows a certain literary superiority; but as to thought, and even that which is striking in its exposition, it is founded entirely on the epistles of Paul and on the fourth gospel. If you borrow from them what is borrowed from these writings, you fall back into common mediocrity. And yet in the midst of this period of weakness there emerges a singular man, whose writings are of such original character as to form a class quite separate from the whole of Christian and human literature; this man does not live like a hermit; According to Baur, he takes an active part in the conflicts of his time; He speaks the word of pacification in all matters that concern him; In an incomparable work he lays the foundations of Christianity and the wisdom of the time to come, and this man, this "flower of his time", no one has seen bloom; the Church, witness of his life and work, has forgotten even the vestige of his existence. No one can tell where this extraordinary star rose and set. Indeed, a strange story! Critics rightly say: “Are not the authors of the book of Job and the author of Hebrews also “great unknowns”? We answer: The distant antiquity, from which the first of these works comes, remains buried in deep darkness for us; What a contrast to that second century of the Church of which we have so much and so detailed data! The Epistle to the Hebrews is nothing more than a simple theological treatise, undoubtedly an important and original work; but what a difference from a work that contains a much new story of Jesus, the head of all affairs in the vision of the church! The author of one is lost in the splendor of the apostolic period; while the author of the other should shine like a first-magnitude star in the dimly lit second-century sky.

Let us add that a pseudo-John would have been careful not to jeopardize the success of his work at a time when the image of Jesus was fixed by three world reports and already distinguished from all other writings of the same genre. Fraud that deviates from the commonly accepted story of Jesus. Renan rightly says: “A forger who had written a gospel from imagination about the year 120 or 130 [to say nothing of the period 130-160!] would have been content to treat the extant history according to his own imagination , like the Apocryphal Gospels...they do, and they would not have brought down to their foundations what have been taken to be the essential lines of Jesus' life. Or, as Weizsácker also states: "Whoever wrote this gospel to introduce certain ideas into the church would never have dared to invent a historical basis so different from that offered by the dominant traditions." The author who modified, corrected, and completed the synoptic narrative with sovereign and masterly authority could not have been a mere unknown; must have feltAcceptedas a master in this field and will surely find credibility for his story within the Church.

Hase also rightly points out that a writer detached from the facts, who wanted to offer the people of his time an image of the person of the Logos, would not have failed to reduce in this fictional image the human to a minimum and pursue the absolutely wonderful History of a god, in his opinion only a mere oneSchimmel;while the Fourth Gospel presents us with exactly the opposite phenomenon: “Everywhere in Jesus the most perfect and tender humanity; Everywhere, beneath the logo's golden breast, beats the heart of a true man, be it in joy or in pain.”

Hilgenfeld believes that with such a work the unknown author wanted to lead the churches of Asia back from the Judaizing Christianity of the Apostle John to the pure spiritualism of St. Paul, which was originally anchored in these churches. In general, the counterfeiters justify their actions by allowing the alleged perpetrator to speak as they believe he would have spoken in the circumstances in which they live. This is how Keim also excuses the pseudo-John: "Our author wrote with the justifiable conviction that John would have written like this if he had been alive in his day." May our two reviewers agree, if they may! According to the second, the author intends to continue the Johannine work in Asia; after the former, he's working to bring him down, and he's doing it by borrowing João's own mask! This second degree of pious deceit comes very close to ungodly deceit.

In recent times the instrument of pious deceit has been misused in a unique way, as if the conscience of the Church itself had allowed this device against its will. That it was frequently used the facts prove indisputably; but that the Church ever consented to it, the facts vehemently deny. It was in vain for the author of the well-known book:The Acts of Paul and Theclato confirm that he wrote this little story with good intentions and out of love for the apostle Paul (that he did it for the love of Paul); However, after confessing his mistakes, he was forced to resign as an elder (convicted and confessed to having died on the spot). This is what happened, according to Tertullian, in a church in Asia Minor in the 2nd century. And yet this letter was nothing more than an innocuous anecdote of which Pablo was the hero, while the fourth Gespel was nothing less than a fictional story of the novel's character, the Lord!

This mysterious X from the Tübingen review is really just oneimaginary amount.Once we face the world of realities, we understand that this great unknown is nothing but something bigrecognizedone, same John.

Therefore, it was necessary to pass judgment on a name. Nicholas suggestedalter Johannes, and for that character, Renan seems ready to make up his mind at the moment. But this hypothesis raises no less great difficulties than the previous one. First, such a man, an immediate disciple of Jesus and a contemporary of John, cannot be supposed to intend to pose as that apostle by expressing himself as the author does in the passageJuan 19:35. Besides, with what intention but to disguise himself could he have so carefully erased from his narrative the names of this apostle, his brother, and his mother? Can such a role be assigned to the older disciple of the Lord? After all, this pious old man can only have been a second-rate man. Papias, listing his authorities, gives him last place even after Aristion. Polycrates does not mention this figure in his letter to Victor, in which he recalls all the famous men who made famous the Church of Asia, the apostles Philip and John, Polycarp of Smyrna, Thrasias of Eumenia, Sagaris of Laodicea, Melito of Sardis 'We must therefore', rightly says Sabatier (p. 195), 'leave him in the shadow and in the second position, where the documents place him in front of us. It does not help to solve the Johannine question".

And what are Reuss, Sabatier, Weizsäcker and others doing? They flee into a kind of chiaroscuro. Since they cannot deny the accuracy, the accuracy, the historical superiority of the information on which our Gospel is based, and, on the other hand, are determined not to recognize the authenticity of Jesus' speeches, they cite an anonymous author and content themselves with to find in him one of the members of the school of Ephesus, adisciple of the apostle, who mixed her tradition with Alexandrian wisdom. But can this semi-authenticity be enough? Above all, does it not contradict the statement of the author himself, who, as we have seen, declares himself in his letter as a personal witness of the facts and in the gospel as a witness of the facts, and the disciple whom Jesus loved? However, it does not contradict the statements of his colleagues, the other members of the same school, who unanimously state thatJuan 21:24that the editor testifies that he is none other than the disciple whom Jesus loved? The more we are compelled to trace the composition of this work back to the time of John himself, the more we must recognize the improbability of the assumption of fraud. It must have been arranged and executed not just by one individual but by the entire community around John. Even this little credible assumption is incompatible with the admirable originality of Jesus' speeches. Indeed: either these discourses are the work of the apostle John, in which case there is no longer any reason to question the Johannine composition of all the rest of the work; or they are the work of an anonymous disciple of this apostle, in which case it is necessary to apply here what Sabatier says of the priest John's hypothesis: that "the disciple remains infinitely greater than the one who served as his patron". And how are we likely to apply all of the many details we use to prove the truth of John to a disciple of John in Ephesus?Judeorigin, thePalestinianhouse, propertiescontemporarymiwitness, from the author of this gospel story. In fact, the teacher may have passed to aYounger Editorthe main lines of the narrative; but that multiplicity of particular and minute details which distinguishes this account from one extreme to the other can only be explained if the writer and the witness are the same person.

In conclusion, we say with B. Weiss that any hypothesis that defies authenticity encounters even greater difficulties than the traditional opinion. Keim proudly says: "Our time has reversed the judgment of the times." But is Baur's school “our time”? And if so, no age is infallible. Enough of an infallibility proclaimed in our day without adding one from the left to one from the right as well.

Third chapter: The place of composition.

If John is indeed the author of the gospel and this apostle fulfilled the second part of his apostolate in Asia Minor, nothing is more probable than the fact that this gospel was written in Ephesus. This is the unanimous tradition of the early church (see pp. 38ff.); and this region is certainly the one in which we can most readily imagine the appearance of such a work. A large amount of detail prevents us from believing that it was written for Palestinian readers. For what purpose do ancient Hebrew terms translate asRabbi, Messias, miSiloamto highlight the termmartesas a Hebrew name and to explain Jewish customs (Juan 1:39;Juan 1:42; Jo 4:25;Juan 5:2;Juan 9:7;Juan 2:6;Juan 19:40, etc.)? Other points, of course, direct our thinking towards a Greek country: first, the language; then the smugness with which the author points out certain facts of Jesus' ministry that relate to the Greeks, such as the ironic question of the Jews, "Will he go to those scattered among the Greeks?" (John 7:35), or the request of the Greeks who wanted to speak to Jesus just before the Passion (John 12:20). In the Hellenic sphere these memories would have their full adequacy. But there were Greek churches in other places besides Asia Minor; So thought some scholars in different countries: Wittichen from Syria; Farmer from Egypt. Very good! Regardless of tradition, we thought there was still a reason to make our choice in favor of Asia Minor. This country, says Renan, 'was the scene of a curious movement of syncretic philosophy; all the germs of Gnosticism already existed.” From this fact it is easy to understand the use of the term logos, alluding to the discussions likely to have arisen in such a theological and religious center. Moreover, isn't it in this country that the influence of the Gospel of John is felt most strongly throughout the second century? And is not the heresy against which the first epistle of John seems particularly directed, the heresy of Kerinthus, who taught in Ephesus in the last period of the apostle's life? Let us add that it is to the churches of Asia Minor that Paul's epistles are addressed, which treat the subject of the person of Christ from exactly the same point of view as the Fourth Gospel; We are referring to the letters to the Colossians and to the Ephesians. Undoubtedly it was in these regions where human speculation has tended to belittle the dignity of Christ, and where the churches most needed enlightenment on the subject. These indications seem to us sufficient and even decisive.

Fourth Chapter: Occasion and Purpose of the Fourth Gospel.

Tradition is not as unanimous on this point as on previous ones. The statements of the Fathers undoubtedly agree that John only decided to write at the behest of those around him. The Muratorian Fragment states: "John was exhorted to write by his classmates and by the bishops." Clement of Alexandria states that he did this "at the instigation of the leaders and under the inspiration of the Spirit". As Eusebius puts it: "The apostle, supposedly urged by his friends, wrote the things which the early evangelists had left out." numerous churches was compelled to write something more profound about the divinity of the Redeemer and to rise to heights. of the word of God." This fact, witnessed in many respects, is interesting because it agrees with what we know of the fundamentally receptive character and lack of outward initiative that characterized the apostle John. The feather must have been caused by external circumstances .; and the following is what naturally comes to mind.John long taught by living voice in these churches.When the Synoptics reached these regions, their hearers noticed and appreciated the differences which distinguished their apostle's accounts from these other accounts ; and it was the impression produced by this discovery which no doubt prompted the entreaties which were later addressed to him. This explanation is corroborated by the statement of Clemens. "John the last, who sees that outward things (physically) was described in the Gospels (the Synoptics) at the instigation of leading men...spiritualgospel.” Eusebius also says that “when Matthew, Mark, and Luke had each published his gospel, and these writings had come into the hands of all, and into the hands of John, he approved them, . . . and what is of his Urged by friends, he wrote ...” (see above). These friends of John's who prompted him to write were undoubtedly the trustees of his book and the ones who arranged for its publication; and it was they also who, in fulfillment of that duty, gave him the postscript which has followed him round the world and come down to us (John 21:24).

But whatseeDid the apostle specifically want to fulfill this wish? This is where ancient and modern writers differ. The author of the Muratorian Fragment seems to give the evangelist no other purpose than to instruct and edify the Church. According to him, João had the position of onerelative;the other apostles present (Philipp, Andreas?)criticizeThese expressions imply ahistoricalmipracticalsee.

However, if the synoptic gospels were already in the hands of both author and reader, it is impossible that the new narrative would not have been designed with them in mindcomplete, or in some respects to correct previous narratives. Otherwise, for what purpose should a new one be created? Therefore, several fathers do not hesitate to set this second goal, closely linked to the first. Eusebius explains that the apostle wrote down those things which were left out by the early evangelists, and in particular that he made up for the omission of what Jesus had done at the beginning of his ministry; then he adds: “If Matthew and Luke preserved thatGenealogyfrom Jesus after the flesh (γενεαλογία), John took his divinity (θεολογία) as his starting point.” “This,” he adds, “was the part which the Divine Spirit reserved for him as the most excellent of all” (John 3 ,24). Clement of Alexandria attaches a very high and quite spiritual importance to John's intention to complete the Synoptics: "Since physical things are described in the Gospels, he was asked to write a spiritual Gospel", d Speeches of Jesus in this one narrative preserves theGeistof the events reported in the Synoptics.

For thishistorical-didacticSome Fathers add as an aim the intention to combat various errors that arose at the end of the first century.controversialThe object that Irenaeus assigns, if not to the whole Gospel, as they say, at least to the prologue: “John, disciple of the Lord, who wanted to uproot the seed that Cerinthus had sown in the hearts of men, and before that by the Nicolaitans . .. and to establish in the Church the rule of truth, it began thus" (Juan 3:11; John 3:1). Jerome puts it the same way: "When John was in Asia, and the seed of heretics multiplied, like Cerinthus, Ebion, and others, denying that Christ had become flesh... and they prayed with him unto God what happened." . After that, the revelation by which it was fulfilled burst into this prologue: In the beginning was the Word. (ibid.) Some modern authors have retained these assumptions or added new ones. Erasmus, Grotius and Hengstenberg cling to the idea of ​​a counter-polemicRequirement.Lessing, de Wette and others agree with Hieronymus that the author had the Ebionites in mind in particular. Semler, Spiral Burger, and Ebrard believe he had the Docetae in mind; Grotius, Storr and Ewald;the disciples of John the Baptist.

Finally, the modern school, which rejects with a sort of contempt the various ends we have just indicated and thinks of ascending to a higher conception of our Gospel, ascribes to him a pure onespeculativetake note. Lessing had already declared that Johannes had saved Christianity, which without him would have disappeared as a Jewish sect, by teaching a higher view of the person of Christ. Where did he get this new idea of ​​Christ? Lessing made no statement in this regard, probably out of caution. Modern criticism has taken it upon itself to explain them in their place. Lucke thinks John's purpose is to elevate to the status of the simple faith of the Church, which is threatened by the double heresy of Ebionism and GnosticismGnosisof superior knowledge. Reuss ascribes no other goal to the author of this work than to publish his own "Protestant theology based on the idea of ​​the Deity of the Saviour" (p. 29). Hilgenfeld, as we have seen, believes that the pseudo-John wrote to revive in Asia Minor the pattern of Paulinism that had been overthrown and superseded by John's Jewish Christianity. According to Baur, all but some of the synoptic material in this work is fictional, designed to resolve all the burning questions of the second century without seemingly touching on them. The author credits Gnosticism with introducing the theory of the Logos into the Church; it softens the Montanist uprising; settles the Easter question at the expense of the Asian churches but in favor of the other churches; it reconciles the two parts, the Pauline and the Judeo-Christian; and finally succeeds in founding the one and universal Church, which Christianity aspired to from the beginning; complete the apostolic work.

Our task is to examine these different conceptions and see how much truth or error each of them contains.

Our four gospels have a single purpose, to awaken and strengthen faith by historically presenting its ultimate goal, Jesus Christ. But everyone does this in their own way, that is, everyone presents this subject of the Church from a different aspect. Matthewshow, regarding the Jews, and by the agreement of history and prophecy. Lukeexposed, guarding for the Gentiles the treasures of universal divine grace. brandrepresent, whereby the Admirable came to life again when the witnesses saw him. When John reports, no more than other cases, for reporting purposes only. Much like the others, it relates to strengthening the church's faith, first in messianism, then in the divinity of Jesus. That's what he says in the oft-quoted passageJuan 20:30-31, where he himself explains the purpose of his book: to show Jesus as the Messiah (Christus) First and thenThe Son of Godso that everyone may find eternal life in him.

This statement says nothing morehistoricalmipracticalGoal that the author of the Muratorian Fragment implicitly ascribes to our gospel; and its content is fully confirmed by the content of the book itself. How does the author actually deal with this? It tells the story of the development of his faith and that of the other apostles from the day that the two disciples of John the Baptist recognized Jesus.Christus(chap. 1), until the day Thomas worshiped him as his lord andyour God(Chap. 20). Here are the starting point and the goal. The narrative between these two borders only leads from one to the other; and that fact alone is sufficient to enlighten us as to their purpose. John wants to show his readers the path his own faith has taken in the Society of Jesus; he wants to enlighten the Church by the whole series of facts and doctrines which have enlightened him; he desires in his vision to glorify the divine object of faith in the same way that Jesus was glorified in his own vision: by contemplating and listening to the Incarnate Word. In expressing ourselves in this way, we are merely paraphrasing John's own words at the beginning of his first letter (John 1:1-4) and commenting on that expression:in the presence of his disciples, in the Gospel passage where its purpose is explained (John 20:30).

But precisely because the story he is tracing has already been set forth in three works that belonged to him and his readers, it is inevitably linked to these earlier tales. And here's why he refuses to tell all the facts, as if his writing is the first or the only one. in the statementJuan 20:30-31, specifically reminds us that "Jesus did many other things in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book." As a result, it is also natural for him to try to fill in gaps in these narratives when he finds gaps that seem important to him, or to try to not fully present some facts. Light, he must strive to let the real rays fall on her. As I said, John certainly didn't writeto complete, but often supplemented or corrected, in passing and withoutloseview of its purpose of showing the earthly glory of the Son of God before the eyes of faith. Thus, he omits the Galilean service so richly described by his predecessors, and devotes particular attention to the visits to Jerusalem, where the glory of the Lord shone inextinguishably in his heart, struggling with the power of darkness concentrated there. This intention of completing the preceding narratives, either from the historical point of view, as Eusebius thought, or in a more spiritual respect, as Clement of Alexandria explained, is therefore entirely factual; we call it a secondary end and, better said, a means inferior to the main end. Reuss argues that this combination of certain sub-goals with the main goal "only reveals the weakness of these hypotheses". But is there a single historical work that truly pursues a single goal and does not occasionally allow itself to work towards some side result? Certainly Thiers did not write the history of the Consulate and the Empire with the aim of completing previous narratives. But when the occasion calls for it, will he refuse to give special attention to facts which his predecessors have omitted, or to correct those which he feels have been inaccurately or incompletely presented? So, as "slaves of the most vulgar patristic tradition," we do not hold, as Reuss says, "such a deplorable thesis." Because of the facts, the undeniable facts to which Reuss himself was finally forced to open his eyes in his last work, we hold to this opinion.

We still adhere to a third opinion, no less opposed to that of this critic. We keep within certain limits the truth ofcontroversyGoal ascribed to our gospel by various fathers and a considerable number of modern scholars. The first epistle of John provides undeniable evidence that the author of our gospel lived in a region where many heresies had already arisen within the church. We fully agree with Keim and many others in acknowledging that the main heresy attacked in this letter was that ofrequirement, known to the fathers as an adversary of John in Ephesus. He taught that the true Christ, the Son of God, was not that poor Jew, the son of Joseph named Jesus, who died on the cross, but a heavenly being who descended upon him at his baptism and temporarily adopted him as his son organ , but that he left her to return to heaven before the Passion. Nothing gives a better account of the controversy of1 Juan 2:22: "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?" compensation tooJuan 4:1-3. Now can it be denied that the central word of our gospel, "The Word became flesh," abridges this error by affirming, together with the fact of the Incarnation, the organic and enduring union of deity and humanity in the person of Jesus Christ? ? This expression, on the one hand, leaves aside ordinary heresyEbionitas, who, without falling into the subtleties of Cerinto, simply denied the divinity of Christ and, on the other hand, theGnostican error, perhaps already present in some, of a divine Christ who accepted nothing other than the appearance of mankind. In this way, John placed a rock in the center of the church upon which the waves of the most opposing false teachings would break. This was an indirect polemic, the only one consistent with any historical work, but to which the letter's more direct polemic lent richness and definition.

Nor does this letter of John allow us to deny, in certain passages of the Gospel, the intention to reject the claims of the disciples of John the Baptist, who from the beginning were reckoned among the enemies of the Lord. Where the apostle says:1 Juan 5:6: "This is he who came through water and blood,bisJesus Christ; not only with water, but with water and blood,” there is no doubt that he wants to nullify the supposed messianism of John the Baptist, whom his disciples proclaimed to be the Christ, even though he only offered the world the symbolic cleansing of water baptism, and not an actual one cleansing through atonement? If we return to the statements of the gospel from this apparently controversial passage: “He [John] was not the light; but came to testify of the light” (John 1:8); "Who are you?" "And he neither confessed nor denied, but confessed, I am not the Christ" (John 1:19-20); “And his disciples came and said to him, Behold, baptize him of whom you testified. … John answered: You are my witnesses that I said to you, I am not the Christ” (John 3:26 ) - 28), however, it will be necessary to bow to the evidence and recognize that John in in these words and in these stories had in mind the first disciples of the Forerunner who, driven by a jealous hatred of Christ and the Gospel, went to the point of declaring that his former Master was the Messiah.

The objective at issue therefore appears objectively justified as a secondary objective. And what could, in fact, be more natural? When we state a truth, especially a truth of primary importance, we state it for its own sake, with certainty and in relation to its proper meaning; but not without at the same time wanting to avoid the mistakes that could suppress them or paralyze their beneficial effects.

There is only one item among those listed which we must absolutely exclude; is that we are repeating Reuss' great offensespeculativeObjectively, the only one that allows this criticism. Let's explain. According to Reuss and many others, the Fourth Gospel is intended to establish in the Church a new theory about the person of Jesus, which the author personally formed by identifying Christ with the divine Logos with whom he came to know himself. through the teaching of Alexandrian philosophy. We have shown that, upon serious examination, the facts do not agree with this view, which, moreover, contradicts the author's own testimony (John 20:30-31). For in this passage he does not speak of his intention to elevate faith to speculative knowledge, but simply of his desire to strengthen faith itself by presenting to it its object, Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God, in its fullness and fullness imagines conformity. to all the signs with which he made his incomparable glory shine forth in his presence and in that of his disciples. In such a program there is no place for a Christ who is merely the fruit of the evangelist's metaphysical speculations. Moreover, in our gospel, faith is never anything but the acquisition of testimony (John 1:7); and the testimony relates to historical fact, not to idea. We can easily imagine Thiers writing the history of Napoleon to show the greatness of his hero; we can also imagine him supplementing and occasionally correcting his own previous narratives, or indirectly justifying the great monarch's political and financial actions by alluding to erroneous theories circulated abroad on these issues. But what the historian certainly would never have done would have been to use his hero's persona as spokesman to disseminate to the world any theory relating to him, attributing to it deeds he did not perform or speeches . that he had not acted, that he had never spoken.

To confirm the theological and speculative purpose he ascribes to our gospel, Reuss wonders "whether this is not the book which served as the basis and starting point for the Nicaea and Chalcedon formulas" (p. 33). I answer: No; for the subject of these formulas was not the texts of John. It was the very fact of the incarnation, the union of the divine and the human in the person of Christ, in terms of the way understanding was sought. Now this fact is not only taught in the Fourth Gospel. It is taught, as we have seen, in the Epistles of Saint Paul (Kolosser 1:0,1 Corinthians 8:10, etc.), in the Epistle to the Hebrews (chap. 1 and 2), in the Apocalypse, in the Synoptics themselves. The Gospel of John discovered the expression which best represents the unity of the Divine and the human in Christ; but this union itself forms the basis of all New Testament writings. So it was not the Fourth Gospel, it was the fact of Christianity that compelled the fathers of Nicaea and Chalcedon to look for adequate formulas to explain this contrast that makes Christianity the supreme greatness and at the same time its greatest mystery .

I am pleased to conclude the study of this subject with the following lines from B. Weiss, in which I find my own opinion fully expressed: “Revealing the glory of the divine Logos as he saw it in the earthly life of Jesus. (John 1:14), to reveal himself more and more magnificently in the fight against unbelieving and hostile Judaism and to lead receptive souls to an ever firmer faith, an ever more blessed contemplation, that is what the evangelist wants. This basic idea of ​​the story in no way diminishes its historical character, since it is derived from the same events that were a living experience for the author and because it limits itself to demonstrating their realization in history.

Shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem, the apostle John, relieved of all his duties to his own people, came to settle in Asia Minor. There the magnificent plantations prospered through the work of the Apostle Paul. But the prophecy of the same apostle, "I know that after my departure ravening wolves will come among you, sparing not the flock" (Acts 20:29) began to be fulfilled. It took an apostolic hand to lead these churches. The most beautiful field of Christian work extended around Ephesus. We have said it before with a great writer: “The center of gravity of the church was no longer in Jerusalem; not yet in Rome; it was in Ephesus.” Moreover, this city was not only the great trading post between Asia and Europe, but also the center of a rich and active intellectual exchange between the religious and philosophical movements of Eastern and Western culture. It was the meeting place for speakers from all schools, supporters of all systems.

In such a theater the Palestinian apostle had to grow day by day, no doubt in knowledge of the person and ministry of Jesus, but in understanding of the multiple relationships, of sympathy or hostility, between the gospel and the various tendencies of human philosophy. . Those Christian peoples to whom St. Paul opened the way of salvation, teaching them the contrast between the state of sin and the state of grace, and showing them the means of passing from one to the other, John now presented in full knowledge . from the person of the same Savior; he set before him a great number of impressive facts which tradition had for one reason or another left obscure, and many sublime teachings engraved deep in his heart and which only he preserved; he described the loving and condescending relationships the Lord had with his own friends and the evidences he gave them in his intimate fellowship of his divine greatness and filial relationship with the Father. All these elements of the knowledge of Christ that he brought with him acquire a new value through the connection in which they were placed in such a region with all kinds of speculation circulating there.

No doubt after many years the day came when the churches said to themselves that the apostle who was the custodian of such treasures would not live forever and did not belong only to them; and judging the distance between the teaching they had received and what they found recorded in the surviving Gospels, they begged John to undertake to write down what he had said to them. He agreed and opened his work with a preamble in which he related his narrative to the struggles of human wisdom he witnessed daily, holding firmly to the central fact of evangelical history, the Incarnation, and reminding each reader of the essential part remembered the story he wanted to read: The Christ, the subject of this narrative, would be for himLifeas for the disciples, he was received;Todas for the Jews when he rejected them (John 1:1-18).

At a later date, thefirst letterfrom the same Apostle came from his apostolic activity in the same communities, in whose writing he addresses mature men, youth and children as father and in which from the first lines he alludes to the witness he continually bears among them regarding this great fact of the Incarnation that he has, so to speak,seen with the eyesmimanipulated by hand.Some are willing to find in it1 Juan 1:4: "And we write to you" (cf.1 Juan 2:14;1 Juan 2:21;1 Juan 2:26, etc.), alluding to the composition and transmission of the Gospel. We do not believe that we are authorized by the context to apply these terms to any work other than the letter itself.

Ötwo small letterswere issued in the same area. Indeed, they seem to us to belong to the same author. Regardless of style identity, who but John could have simply referred to themselves by this title:The oldest(ὁ πρεσβύτερος) without adding his name? An official elder of the Church of Ephesus could not have done this, having colleagues, elders, and himself; and if this word is taken here in the sense it has in the Papias fragment:an immediate disciple of the Lord, none other than the apostle John could appropriate this name so absolutely and as an exclusive title.

Finally, John undoubtedly composed his last work even later, during a temporary exile and under the impact of Domitian's recent persecution: theApocalypse, in which the contemplation of the past and the following century, as if from the top of a mountain, completes the idea of ​​Christforfor the christcome again, and prepares the Church for the protracted conflicts and ultimate crisis that will precede his return.

A fact is likely to arouse the thought of thinking people. St. Paul, the founder of the churches in Asia Minor, cannot help but impress his kind of teaching deeply into the life of these churches. And yet by the second century the Pauline seal had been erased from the entire theological literature of Asia Minor. And this disappearance is by no means the result of a weakening, a decline: there is a replacement. There is the appearance of a new sign, at least of the same dignity as the previous one, the trace of another influence, no less Christian, but of a different character. There passed through another equally powerful personality, who put a peculiar and quite new stamp on Christian life and thought in those countries. This phenomenon is all the more remarkable since the history of the Church in the West presents a completely opposite phenomenon. Here the Pauline type continues; ruled without rival until the third and fourth centuries; it is always found in the conflicts of a purely anthropological nature that move this part of the Church. And as it gradually fades, it is not meant to give way to something so lofty, so spiritual, but rather a path of gradual weakening and a process of increasing materialization and rituality.

This great fact should suffice to prove that the two books of John which are documents of a new kind printed in the churches of Asia, the Fourth Gospel and the First Epistle, are not the works of a second-rate Christian of an unknown kind. . disciples, but who come from one of theparenof the Apostle of the Gentiles, one of those disciples who drank from the first fountain, an immediate and especially trusted heir of Christ.

We understand very well what remains for a certain number of eminent minds when it comes to bringing the acts of this great process before the court of their own conscience in order to make a decision in favor of the apostolic origin of our gospel. They fear that if they recognize the appearance of a divine being in Christ, they will lose the true man in him. This fear will disappear as soon as the traditional conception of the Incarnation is replaced by the true biblical conception of this ultimate fact. Indeed, in Christ, from a truly biblical point of view, there are not two opposite and contradictory ways of being moving side by side in the same person. What the apostles show us in him is a human way of lifereplaced, for the voluntary humiliation of the savior of men, forHis divine mode of existence, which was then transformed through normal and holy evolution to serve as the organ of divine life and to actualize the original glory of the Son of God. And let us not forget that this transformation of our human existence into a glorified humanity is not accomplished only in Christ; it is realized in him only to the end of its realization through him in all who are united to him by faith: “To all who received him he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe on his name . ” ; and [indeed] the Word became flesh” (John 1:13-14). When the Son gives up the divine condition for a time in order to descend into our kind of humanity, he is to impel us to that ascending movement, which he imprints in his own person in the history of mankind from the day of his incarnation as well communicates to all believers from the day of Pentecost and whose end will be:God in everything, since his starting point was:God all in one.

the domain ofbeit goes infinitely beyond thinking, not beyond absolute thinking, but beyond our own. Even in our limited human lives do we not see the inspirations of love infinitely exceeding the calculations of the mind? How much more when it comes to inspirations of divine love related to the thoughts of the human mind.

Accepting the living gift of eternal love and letting it descend in faith into the sphere of human life means doing three equally wholesome things. It shall dethrone the man in his own heart; for the Son of God, who humbles himself voluntarily, calls us to sacrifice ourselves (Philippians 2:5Please). It shall open heaven to him; for such a gift is an indissoluble bond between the heart of God and that of every man who accepts it. It is to make the believer the eternal dwelling place of God; for Christ in him is God in him. This is how God rules.

But suppress that gift by rejecting or belittling it, and that is the aim with which those who make the Fourth Gospel a theological treatise instead of a history include the human sphere again; the man gets up immediately; it feeds on nothing more than itself; God withdraws. Man ascends the throne and reigns here on earth.

The thought of the gift of the only begotten Son is not the fruit of human speculation; it bears within itself the seal of its divine origin. Only God could have that thought, because only God can love like that.

With this certainty let us now enter into the study of the pages in which this great fact of divine love was clearly revealed on earth; and let the same pages speak louder than any lawyer, and the time will come when they will need no lawyer!


After the general introduction contained in the first part of this volume, we only have to deal with the in the special introduction to the commentaryplanoof the Gospel and the most importantDocumentsin which the text of this document has been preserved.


There is a clear difference between the exegesis of the fathers and modern works on the gospel of John. In the former, the thought of a plan, of a systematic arrangement, hardly seems to exist, so completely has the historical character of the story been assumed. The narrative is viewed as a simple reproduction of history. This is no longer the case in modern conception. The effectiveness of a dominant idea emerges in the story. According to the view that Baur's work remains the most important expression, theIdeastill plays such a crucial role in this evangelical composition that it not only determines its arrangement, but furnishes the substance of the story to such an extent that, according to this critic, the fact as such is almost annihilated and that the exposition is allegorical, the name of which hitherto has been on reminded of the worst days of exegesis has again become the true method of interpretation. The Fourth Gospel, a completely systematic work, is as independent of real history as Spinoza's ethics can be of sensible reality.

This reversal of perspective happened gradually. The works of Lampe, de Wette, Schweizer and Baur seem to me to be the outstanding points of this scientific elaboration.

According to Lucke, Lampe was the first to propose a general division of the gospel. It was still very imperfect. Set between a prologue (John 1:1-18) and an epilogue (John 20:30 to John 21:25), the narrative is divided into two parts: A. The public ministry of the Lord, John 1:19 toJuan 12:50. B. The last deeds of his life,Juan 13:1-Juan 20:29. In doing so, Lampe had laid his finger on one of the main articulations of the gospel. All who have blurred the dividing line between ch since his time. 12 and 13 seem to me to have fallen behind in understanding John's work.

Eichhorn made no changes to this division. He simply labeled the two main parts of the narrative differently: 1. The first, John 1:19 a.Juan 12:50, proves that Jesus is the Promised OneMessiah;2. The second, chap. 13-20, contains the account oflast daysof your life. There was no real improvement here. What Eichhorn states as the content of the first twelve chapters actually only applies to the first four; and the affairs of the two parties so designated are not logically coordinated.

Before Eichhorn, Bengel had attempted to base the division of the gospel on a different principle. After reading the correspondence between the opening week (John 1:19 to John 2:11) and the closing week (Juan 12:1- Joh 20,31), he structured the intermediate story according to the journeys to the festivals: Easter,Juan 2:13; Pentecost (after Bengel)Juan 5:1; tabernacle,Juan 7:2. But this arrangement evidently underlies a very external order of events; because it has the inconvenience of erasing the separation between the caps, clearly marked by the same Evangelist and already suggested by Lampe. 12 and 13

However, Bengel was followed by Olshausen, who took over the next four parts according to this principle of division; 1st chap. 1-6; 2. 7-11; 3. 12-17; 4. 18-21. In his first two editions, Lucke himself lost hope of reaching a deeper level and contented himself with trying to improve the classification based on this principle.

De Wette first recognized and presented the development of a single idea in our gospel. EITHERglory of Christ, in his opinion this is the central idea of ​​the entire work: 1. The first chapter presents the idea in a summarized form; 2. The first part of the narrative (ii.-xii.) shows us how we were brought into the service of Jesus, namely: A, by special cases (ii.-vi.); B, for preparing for the catastrophe during Jesus' last sojourns in Judea (vii.-xii.); 3. The glory of the Lord is revealed in all its splendor in the second part of the narrative (xiii.-xx.), namely: A, internally and morally, in his sufferings and death (xiii.-xix.); and B, externally and rationally, by the triumphant fact of His resurrection (xx.).

This grandiose and beautiful notion, with which de Wette certainly marked an epoch in the understanding of our gospel, dominated exegesis for a time. Lucke succumbed to his influence in its third edition; but he has introduced into this plan a division which must not be lost sight of. It's the separation between the covers. 4 and 5. Up to chap. 4, however, the contrast to Jesus is not clearly perceptible. From chap. 5 ff. is the leading element of the narrative and develops up to ch. 12

Using de Wette's conception and Lucke's subdivision, Baumgarten-Crusius presented the following arrangement: 1. The works of Christ, chap. 1-4; 2. Their struggles, chap. 5-12;

3. His moral victory, chap. 13-19; 4. His final glory, chap. 20. That was De Wette's idea, better formulated than De Wette's. It was the first fully rational division of the entire content of our gospel. Almost all the main articulations of the narrative have been fixed and marked: those between chap. 4 and 5; that between chapters 12 and 13; finally this enters the chap. 19 and 20

This division, however, took into account only the divine and objective factor of the narrative, if one can so speak, Christ and his manifestation. But there is another element in John's narrative, the human, subjective factor, people's attitude toward the Lord at His revelation, the belief of some and the unbelief of others.

Alexander Schweizer demanded a place for this human element in the narrative arrangement. He has even given her the pivotal role, with special emphasis on the side of unbelief. He adopted the following plan, which contains precisely the main articulations we have just indicated. 1. The fight is known from afar; Individually. 1-4; 2. Explodes in all its might, chap. 5-12; 3. The result, chap. 13-20 Understood in this way, the gospel becomes drama and acquires a tragic interest. But in people's attitude toward the Lord, unbelief is only one side. Isn't the element of faith in Schweizer's conception very much in the background? The factor so neglected could not help but take revenge.

Before arriving at this easily foreseeable point, some remarkable works should be mentioned which seem to us, if not historically, at least in principle, to be related to the points of view already mentioned. Like de Wette and Baumgarten-Crusius, Reuss bases the general arrangement of the gospel on the revelation of Christ. It consists of three parts: 1. Jesus reveals himselfthe world, Individually. 1-12; (A) write first, ch. 1-4; (B) after, selecting, chap. John 5:1aJuan 12:2. he reveals himselfHis own, Individually. 13-17, striving to penetrate into their hearts the speculative ideas dogmatically or polemically expressed in the first part, and to transform these ideas into their most intimate lives. So far the order is logical, and in this short word form are contained many of the ideas that are useful in illuminating the progress of Christ's work in our gospel. But here a difficulty arises from the general view Reuss takes of John's work; the rational division is exhausted. There is no third term that can be logically placed next to theWeltmibelieversAnd yet the gospel is not finished, and a place must be assigned to the three remaining chapters. Reuss works them into a third part, which he titles "The Result of the Two Previously Established Relationships"; Individually. 18-20 It is difficult to see how the account of Christ's death and resurrection can untie the knot formed by Jesus' dual relationship with the world and with believers. Here is this author's response: "Jesus remains dead to the unbelievers and rises victorious to the believers." If a witty sentence would suffice in a matter of this kind, one could declare oneself satisfied. But can Reuss be himself? You don't have to realize that this purely historical resolution is incompatible with a speculative gospel, aIdealwork likeis destroyedThe Gospel of John is? Along the way we must reach the point where we see nothing in this recent historical fact but a religion or ethical system in action. And indeed, how does Reuss end his analysis of the gospel? In these words: "Thus is history to the end the mirror of religious truths." The! the events of the Savior's death and resurrection are placed on the same level as John's metaphysics! But there is no other way Reuss can make the gospel into a homogeneous whole and logically coordinate the third part with the other two. We see at what price this superior conception must be bought, after whichJohn's reflectionsthey form the substance of the fourth gospel in the person of Christ!

Ebrard returns to Bengel's plan and realigns the order of our gospel to the festive journey. But he ascribes a deeper meaning to this apparently quite external principle of separation. He rightly states that Jesus' journeys to Judea are the natural turning points of history, since Jerusalem was the focal point of opposition and every visit of Jesus to that capital, rather than being a step toward His glorious coming, a step toward became catastrophe. However, we have already seen and will see even more the inadequacy of this division.

Since de Wette based everything on the objective element, the manifestation of Jesus' glory, and Schweizer made one of the two subjective factors, unbelief, particularly visible, it was natural for an interpreter to cling to the other, belief. Bauer did that. He sees in our gospel the (ideal) history of the development of faith. Baur devoted to this task the resources of a very astute mind, determined not to shy away from any obstacle presented by the text; and thus went a long way towards demonstrating the unity of John's work. He divides the gospel into nine sections, which, however, can be reduced to five by omitting the prologue and neglecting certain secondary sections: 1. The first manifestations of the word and the first symptoms of faith and unbelief that resulted from it. i-vi.; 2. The (dialectical) victory of belief over its opposite, unbelief, chap. 7-13; 3. The positive development of faith, chap. 13-17. At this point, Baur is in the same difficulty as Reuss. what's nextIdeato history, from the dialectical development of faith to the positive facts of the Redeemer's death and resurrection? The idea requires nothing else.

So Baur continues; 4. The death of Jesus appears as a work of unbelief; 5. His resurrection as the fulfillment of faith. This is the meaning of xchap. 18-20 But from the author's point of view, this last part is still a superfetation, as in the case of Reuss. The Passion and the Resurrection are events of too serious a character to seriously mark their place in the account of the dialectical development of faith and to become mere milestones on the way leading from Nathanael's objection (chap. 1) to the call of faith by Thomas (chap. 20). We must idealize the Fourth Gospel to the end, or retrospectively, starting from the truly historical character of the last part, also recognize that of the preceding parts.

Luthardt almost completely accepted the results of Baur's work in relation to the specific point at issue. Only he correctly justifies the historical revelation of Christ, so duly emphasized by de Wette, as the basis for the development of faith. The Son shows His glory; Faith springs up, but at the same time unbelief awakens; and soon Jesus is unable to further manifest the divine principle that is within him except in conflict with the hostile elements around him. But in the midst of this conflict faith grows stronger among the disciples, and the time comes when Jesus, having broken with the people and their rulers, surrenders fully to the faith of his own followers and prints the seal of integrity. . . So Luthardt proceeds from the following three parts: 1. Jesus begins to reveal himself as the Son of God, chap. 1-4; 2. Jesus continues to bear witness to himself as he fights against the unbelief of the Jews, chap. 5-12; 3. Jesus gives himself completely to his own faith, xiii-xx.

Luthardt, following in Baur's footsteps, seems to me more successful than anyone else in penetrating the spirit of the book and the inner thought that guided the course of the narrative. And yet the flaw in the plan he proposed is evident; It's in the last section. How do we find a place for the passion narrative in the third section entitled:Jesus and his people?Here Luthardt mixes completely heterogeneous elements in one group.

The Meyer spinoff feels more like a step backwards than a step forward. On the one hand, it elevates the secondary parts to main parts; for example in the first eleven chapters which Meyer divided into four sections: 1. The first revelations of the glory of the Son, John 1:1 aJuan 2:11;Juan 2:0. Continuation of this revelation in the face of increasing faith and unbelief, John 2:12aJuan 4:54.Juan 4:3. The New Revelations and the Progress of Unbelief, Ch. John 5-6.Juan 5:4. Unbelief has reached its climax, chap. 7-11. On the other hand, Meyer merges very different parts into one when he puts the spinning tops together. 12-20 in a group entitled: 5. The supreme manifestation of Jesus' glory before, during and after the Passion.

According to the party trip, Arnaud returned to the Bengel, Olshausen and Ebrard Division. Thus he points out five parts between the prologue and the resurrection, which correspond to the five ways pointed out by the evangelist:1 Juan 2:13;1 Juan 2:13, (Easter); 2nd chap. 5, (an unassigned part);3 Juan 1:7;3 Juan 1:7:2, (booths); 4.Juan 10:22;Juan 10:22, (Mission); 5.Juan 12:1;Juan 12:1, (Easter). In addition to the disadvantage already mentioned, which is mentioned by the evangelist at the end of chap. 12 this subdivision is intended to pose an external question to the whole part of the narrative, which is however so important that it precedes the first party trip, John 1:19 aJuan 2:12.

Lange discovers seven sections in the story: 1. The acceptance of Christ by the friends of light, John 1:19 aJuan 4:54;Juan 2:0. The conflict between Christ and the elements of darkness, John 5:1aJuan 7:9;Juan 3:0. The Ever-Increasing Fermentation, John 7:10aJuan 10:21;Juan 4:0. The complete separation between the heterogeneous elements, John 10:22aJuan 13:30;Juan 5:0. The Lord among the Friends of Light, John 13:31aJuan 17:26;Juan 6:0. The Lord in the midst of his enemies, victorious over outward defeats, John 18:1aJuan 19:42;Juan 7:0. The victory won, chap. 20. This division strikes me as a step backwards, not progress. F. de Rougemont, in his translation ofOlshausenCommentary, 1844, laid out the plan which seems to me closer to the distinction and arrangement of the parts of the truth:

1. Jesus draws to himself souls who practice the truth, chap. 1-4; 2. It is revealed to the world that rejects it, chap. 5-12; 3. He fully reveals himself to his disciples, chap. 13-17; 4. Having accomplished everything, he dies, chap. 18-19; 5. He rose from the dead and became a fountain of life for believers through the Holy Spirit, chap. 20. In my view, the only flaw in that provision lies in the way in which it describes the content of certain parts and in the absence of any clear logical relationship being established between them.

The previous review has successively highlighted three major factors in our gospel narrative: 1. Jesus and His manifestation; 2. faith; 3. unbelief; or, to be more precise, the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah and Son of God; the birth, growth, and fulfillment of faith in the disciples; the parallel development of national unbelief. De Wette, Schweizer, and Baur, in their plans, have shown us the most notable examples of three divisions based solely or principally on one of these factors. But we saw the impossibility of fitting any part of the narrative into the framework proposed by these three men. This fact has a simple explanation if our gospel is a work of a truly historical nature. A purely rational framework applied to history must always retain something artificial and reveal its inadequacy from somewhere. The fact must always transcend the idea because it contains the unpredictable element of freedom. Let us therefore abandon the synthetic divisions more or less associated with the notion that the Fourth Gospel is an essentially speculative work and, without bringing any prejudice to this question, let us let history and its own mystery act on us reveal. It seems to me that we can easily distinguish five groups which have a natural gradation and which have successively brought to light the efforts already indicated.

1. Juan 1:19aJuan 4:54:Jesusreveals himself as the Messiah. With this are connected fundamental facts, on the one hand, the birth and early growth of faith; on the other hand, the first barely perceptible signs of disbelief.

2nd chap. 5-12.: Or nationalunbeliefit develops rapidly and powerfully, and this on the basis of the increasing revelation of Jesus, who manifests himself more and more clearly as the Son of God; At the same time, the development of faith in the disciples is aided by the same struggles.

3. Cloak. 13-17:Feit develops and reaches its highest point of power and light in the disciples during the last hours they spend with their Master; and this development takes place through the last revelations of Jesus and as a result of the expulsion of the unfaithful disciple, in whose person unbelief had also spread within the college of apostles.

4. none. 18-19: Nationalunbeliefcompleting his work in the slaying of the Messiah, while the serenity of his glory pierces this dark night, and continues the quiet growth of faith in the few disciples whose eyes are yet open to receive that divine splendor.

5. Cap. 20 (21): Ahresurrection, this supreme revelation of Jesus as the Son of God, completes the victory ofzBabout the last remnants of unbelief in the Society of the Twelve.

Exegesis will show whether this summary of the narrative corresponds to the text and spirit of Scripture. In this case the three main elements to which we have pointed are rediscovered and developed simultaneously and face to face in all parts of the narrative, but with the difference that the first, the revelation of Jesus, forms the ongoing basis of the narrative.narrative . , and that on this permanent base the other two alternately unfold, one with ever brighter brilliance, the other with ever darker colors. In summary: From John 1:18 to John 20:29 we see Jesus continually revealing himself as the Christ and the Son of God; under the influence of this growing manifestation, faith is born and disbelief awakened, chap. 1-4; the latter gaining dominion in the midst of the nation, chap. 5-12; the first reaches its relative perfection in Jesus' final conversations with his disciples, chap. 13-17; finally unbelief is accomplished, chap. 18-19; and faith reaches its fullness, chap. 20 (21).

There is nothing systematic in this arrangement, nothing fictitious. It's the photo of the story. If exegesis proves that this draft, at once so natural and so profound, is precisely that of this book, we shall find in this fact an important confirmation of the truly historical character and the seriously practical purpose of our gospel.

Of the plans that have been suggested since this comment was published, we mention only the following:

Milligan and Moulton's is very much the same as the one just sketched, except for the last two parts, the Passion and the Resurrection, which under this heading unite unbelief's apparent victory and actual defeat. We don't think this is progress. The element of faith is thus largely extinguished.

Westcott accepts the great division of Reuss: Christ's Revelation to the World (i.-xii.); Revelation of Christ to the Disciples (the latter extending to the end) Ch. 13-20 But it is not possible to place the passion story under the general heading of Revelation to the Disciples.

One in 1871, onemagazineshelterScientific Theology, honey, presented the following plan: The manifestation of the Logos in the person of Jesus that is the general idea. It takes place in three phases: 1. Chap. 1-6: the manifestation of the Logos; 2nd chap. 7-12: the choice between the opposite elements; 3rd chap. 13-20: The cataclysm that results from this selection, leading to the victory of the Logos. But we do not fully see the reason for the opposition thus created between the first two parties. The choice between the opposing elements began with the first chapter; and the revelation of Jesus goes according to chap. 6, as before. The same goes for the last part. The revelation of the Logos remains the basis of the narrative to the end, as the beginning of a selection whose description also fills the whole book.

As on a spring day, the sun rises in a clear sky; the snow-covered ground greedily absorbs its warm rays; all living things awaken and come alive; Nature is at work. But after a few hours, fumes rise from the damp earth; they come together and form a shady canopy; the sun is veiled; the storm looms. The plants, under the impulse received, nevertheless make their silent progress. Finally, when the sun has reached the meridian, the storm breaks loose and rages; nature is left to the destructive forces; loses for some time the star that gives him life. But at night the clouds disperse; Calm returns and the sun, reappearing with a splendor more splendid than that which accompanied its departure, sends a last smile and a sweet farewell to all the plants that are daughters of its rays; This is how the work of Saint John develops, it seems to us. This plan, if real, is not the work of theological reflection; it is the product of a long meditated history. Conceived in the stillness of memory and the sweetness of possession, it has nothing in common with the combinations of metaphysical effort or the refined calculations of church politics except what a critic alien to the spirit of this book tries to attribute to its author.


The text of our gospel has come down to us in three types of documents;Manuscripts, AncestorsThe versionand quotes fromLand.

I. The Manuscripts.

Manuscripts (MSS.) are known to be divided into two large classes: those written in uncial letters, calledCapital letter(Mjj.), and those in which we have used circular and italic since the 10th century AD,the small(Minnesota.). The text of our gospel is contained in whole or in part in 31 Mjj. and about 500 million which are now known.

UE.The capital letters, the oldest of which acquired some individual value in critical scholarship, can be divided into three groups: 1.the oldest, that's itthose of the IVth and Vth centuries, eight in number. 2. Thealt, from the sixth and seventh centuries, in the number of six. 3. Theviejo, or simple veterans, dating from the VIII, IX and X centuries, numbering seventeen. They have been denoted by the capital letters of the Latin, Greek or even Hebrew alphabet since Wetstein's time.

The first group currently includes four more or less complete manuscripts and four more or less fragmentary documents.

1.Cod. Sinaitic(א); In Saint Petersburg; discovered by Tischendorf on February 4, 1859 in St. Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai; dating according to this scholar to the first half of the fourth century; according to other Volkmar z. B. from the end of the 4th or beginning of the 5th century; probably written in Alexandria; corrected by different brokers. It contains our gospel without gaps. Published by Tischendorf, Leipzig, 1863.

2.Cod. The Vatican(B); According to Tischendorf, dating to the middle of the 4th century; after the majority before the previous and oldest of all; probably written in Egypt; contain our gospel without gaps; Posted by Tischendorf,November Testimony Vatican City, Lipsia, 1871.

3.Cod. Ephraim(C), No. 9 of the Imperial Library of Paris,rewritten;according to Tischendorf from the early 5th century; probably written in Egypt; retouched in the 6th and 9th centuries. In the twelfth century the text of the New Testament was erased to make room for the works of Ephrem, the father of the Syrian Church. The ancient writing has been restored by chemical means, but there are still significant gaps in this manuscript. Only the following eight passages have been found from our Gospel:Juan 1:1-41; I 3:33aJuan 5:16; I 6:38 toJuan 7:3; I 8:34 amJuan 9:11;Juan 11:8-46; I 13:8 toJuan 14:7; I 16:21 toJuan 18:36; John 20:26 to the end of the gospel.

4.Cod. Alexander(TO); in London; from the second half of the 5th century; probably written in Alexandria. A single gap in our gospel:Juan 6:50-Juan 8:52.

5. Seven palimpsest fragments (I) found by Tischendorf in Egypt; which dates from the fifth and sixth centuries, and in John, which reproduces some passages from chap. 4, 11, 12, 15, 16 and 19.

6. Fragments from an Egyptian monastery (I b); in London; according to Tischendorf from the 4th or 5th century; contains in John some verses from chs. 13 and 16

7. A fragment of Palimpsest (Q); 5th century (according to Tischendorf), found in the Wolfenbüttel Library; contains in our gospel the following two passages:Juan 12:3-20;Juan 14:3-22.

8. Some fragments of aCable. Borgiano(T); In Rome; 5th century (Tischendorf), which with the Egyptian translation, called Sahidic, on the opposite page contains the two passages:Juan 6:28-67; I 7:6 aJuan 8:31.

Ösecondgroup is rarer. It contains only one manuscript and five fragments or collections of fragments.

9.Bacalhau. Cambridge(D); at Cambridge; mid 6th century (Tischendorf); Although bearing certain Alexandrian forms, it was undoubtedly written in western and probably southern Gaul (see Bleek,introduction, 3rd ed., edited by Mangold, p. 816). Parallel to the Greek text there is a Latin translation that predates Jerome's. Two major gaps in our gospel: John 1:16aJuan 3:26; I 18:13 toJuan 20:13.

10. A fragment of Palimpsest (P); in Wolfenbuttel; 6th century; with three passages from our gospel;Juan 1:29-41;Juan 2:13-25;Juan 21:1-11.

11. Fragments of a splendid manuscript (N), of which four leaves were found in London, two in Vienna, six in Rome, thirty-three in Patmos; late 6th century (Tischendorf); contains only the Gospel of JohnJuan 14:2-10;Juan 15:15-22.

12. Fragments preserved from Tischendorfporphyrylibrary ( Θ & supc yg;); 6th century; chapter passages. 6 and 18

13. Some fragments (Tb); In Saint Petersburg; 6th century; chapter passages. 1, 2 and 4 of our gospel.

14. Marginal Notes (F a ) onBacalao. coislinianofrom the Epistles of Paul (H 202 of the National Library of Paris); which contains some verses from John from a seventh-century text (vv. 35 aJuan 6:53; Jo 6:55).

The third group is the most important; it contains eleven manuscripts, more or less complete, and fragments of another six.

15.Cod. from basel(AND); in Basel; eighth century; it seems to have been used in public worship in one of the churches of Constantinople; Contains the entire Gospel of John.

16. The beautiful cod. from Paris (L); eighth century; he just wants John 21:15 to the end.

17. Fragments of cod. in the Barberini Library (Y); eighth century; it contains from our gospel: John 16:3 aJuan 19:41.

18Bacalhau. Sangallensis(Δ); written in the 9th century by Scottish or Irish monks from the monastery of St. Hiel; completely exceptJuan 19:17-35. That cod. contains an interlinear Latin translation which is neither Jerome's nor the version before that father.

19Code. Boreal(F) in Utrecht; 9th century; contains the portion of our gospel from John 1:1 bisJuan 13:34; but with many shortcomings.

20Code. Die Seidels(GRAMS); brought by Seidel from the east; in London; 9th or 10th century; two flaws:Juan 18:5-19, miJuan 19:4-27.

21. One secondCode. Die Seidels(H); in Hamburg; 9th or 10th century; some holes in the covers. 9, 10, 18 and 20.

22Bacalao. Zypriotisch(K); In Paris; 9th century; brought to the Colbert Library from the island of Cyprus; complete.

23. Codfish. Andsome camps(METER); In Paris; 9th century; a gift to Louis XIV the abbot of the camp in 1706; complete.

24. Fragments of cod. from Mount Athos (O); In Moscow; 9th century; containsJuan 1:1-4, miJuan 20:10-13.

25. A fragment of the Moscow Library (V); 9th century; which contains John 1:1aJuan 7:39.

26. A cod. brought from the east by Tischendorf (Γ); in Oxford and St Petersburg; 9th century; with John 4:14aJuan 8:3,a Jo 15:24aJuan 19:6.

27. A cod. himself brought from the east ( Λ ); at Oxford; 9th century; complete.

28. Fragments of cod. (X) in the library of the University of Munich; with passages from chap. 1, 2, 7-16.

29. Code of Tischendorf (Π) brought from Smyrna; ninth century; complete.

30. The Vatican Code (S); from the year 949; complete.

31. The Venice Code (U); tenth century; complete.

It is known that the oldest of these MSS. They show almost no trace of stress, punctuation, or separation between words and periods. These different elements were only gradually introduced into the text; and here we have one of the means employed in estimating the age of the manuscripts. We must therefore not concede any authority to these text elements.

II.from the five hundredlowercase lettersdeposited in the various libraries of Europe, a large number have not yet been collected. Although all are more recent in origin than thatCapital lettermany of them occasionally provide interesting reading.

II. B. Old versions.

Translations (vss.) have the disadvantage that they do not reproduce the New Testament text directly, but leave it to guesswork. However, they can render an important service to textual criticism, especially when it comes to the omission or insertion of words and passages, and even more so when some of them are much older than our oldest manuscripts.

There are two of them that surpass all others in vital importance; called the old Syriac translationFisch, and the Old Latin translation for which the nameItalianit was given by a passage in Augustine.

UE.Fisch(Mister.). This translation (whose name appears to be thesimply, Öfell) is believed to date from the 2nd century AD; in accordance withWestcottmikurz, in its current form must be between 250 and 350. At first it seems to have had an ecclesiastical purpose. It is what its name suggests, faithful without servility. The main edition from which it is quoted by Tischendorf is that of Leusden and Schaaf, 1709 and 1717 (Syr. sch.). Cureton published fragments of a Syriac translation of the Gospels in 1858 from a fourth-century Syriac manuscript discovered in an Egyptian monastery, which has been expanded upon by some others more recently. They contain the following parts of John:Juan 1:1-42; I 3:6 aJuan 7:37;Juan 14:11-28(Mr. Cur.). There is another Syriac version made at the beginning of the sixth century; is calledFiloxenianoTranslation (Mr. S.). It's absolutely literal.

II.Italian(The.). A Latin translation of the New Testament existed long before St Jerome, probably in the middle of the second century. He certainly came from proconsular Africa, where the Greek language was less common than in Italy. He was overly submissive and extremely rude, but he existed in many different guises. We have several copies of these ancient Latin versions, either in the Bacalhau bilingual manuscripts. D contain, for example, the Latin translation marked d or, in particular, manuscripts such as theVercelli, fourth century, (a); Ofrom Verona, 4th or 5th century, (b); EITHERColbertensis, Eleventh Century, (c) usw.

Towards the end of the fourth century, St. Jerome revised this first translation in accordance with ancient Greek manuscripts. This new version thatVulgate(Vg.) It has come down to us in several documents of great antiquity, but quite differently from one another; like codstrange as it may seem(am.), thatfrom Fulda(full.), both 6th century.

Of the other ancient translations, the three are the most interesting for critical useEgyptianversions; the fragments ofsahidischTranslation (Sah.), in the dialect of Upper Egypt; EITHERCopticTranslation (Cop.), in the of Lower Egypt and in theBashmurianTranslation (Bas.), into a third dialect believed by young Champollion to be that of Fayum (from John, John 4:28-53 only). What makes these versions particularly interesting is, first, their dating (the third century, or even, according to Bishop Lightfoot, the second century) and, second, their close relation to the text of our oldest Greek manuscripts.

3. C.Os parents

Quotations from the New Testament in the writings of the fathers have rightly been called "fragments of ancient manuscripts." It need only be remembered that very often the Fathers quote only from memory and from the meaning. However, their citations remain, in many cases, an important critical means of establishing the state of the text in an age to which our MSS. don't come back The most important are Irenaeus (Ir.), Clement of Alexandria (Clem.), Tertullian (Tert.), Origen (Or.), Chrysostom (Chrys.). The readings of the heretics also have a certain value, especially for the Gospel of John, those of Heracleón, a second-century Gnostic, of the school of Valentino; is the author of the oldest commentary on this writing. Origins saved some bits of this interesting work for us.

D. The text in general.

These suggestions, as concise as possible, suffice to enable the reader to understand that part of our commentary which relates to textual criticism, and to make available to him Tischendorf's eighth edition, in whose notes the result found is found. concentrated collection of the immense works of this scholar.

Since Bengel it has been observed that critical documents are grouped more or less regularly in variants. Thus, if we go through several pages of a list of variations in the Pauline epistles, together with the indication of their respective authorities, it will suffice to lead us very soon to the observation that the documents often divide more or less into three fixed groups. In the Gospels these opposing camps tend to be reduced to two. But the conflict is permanent. It is reasonable to assume that these two or three groups of manuscripts represent the different textual forms that have spontaneously developed in the main regions of the Church since the second and third centuries. Since the NT scriptures were hand-copied in Syria, Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, the Roman province of Africa, and Italy, why not introduce them and then perpetuate them and establish different readings for each? those regions where the Church flourished? Up to recent times, three main places of origin of our text documents have been admitted, and as a result three main variations: 1. Egypt with its large manuscript factory in Alexandria; 2. The West, especially Italy and proconsular Africa, with the two centers of Rome and Carthage; 3. Palestine and Syria, whose capital Antioch was replaced by the new world capital Byzantium from the beginning of the fourth century; and with these three ecclesiastical regions correspond more or less the three main families of manuscripts: 1. TheAlexandrinerGroup composed mainly of B. C. L., then also א and finally A, although these last two, especially the second, have a large share in other texts: 2. TheOccidentalÖGreek-LatinGroup chiefly including the somewhat less ancient majuscules, D.F.G., etc., whose western origin can be readily discerned from the Latin translation accompanying the Greek text; 3. TheByzantineÖSyriaGroup containing almost all the last majuscules of the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries and almost all the lowercase ones. Among the former are the Egyptian versions; second, the old Latin version, the Itala; to the third, the Syriac version, called Peshito. The oldest Syriac translation, fragments of which Cureton has recovered, mainly reproduces the Alexandrian text. Among the Fathers, Clemente de Alex. and Origen gives more of the Alexandrian readings; the Latin Fathers, western readings; Chrysostom and Theodoret, the Byzantine Readings. Although criticism and exegesis seem more and more openly inclined to prefer the Alexandrian text, the documents of which appear to be the oldest, to the other two, the latter two are not denied all authority. Tischendorf, in particular, believed in his seventh edition, until the discovery of the Sinaitic manuscript, that he should reintroduce into the text many Byzantine readings that he had previously omitted.

ButkurzmiWestcott, after immense work, arrived at an entirely different view of the textual history; and one which, if accepted, would completely change this earlier way of judging. After that we have to distinguish on the one hand the Syriac or Byzantine text and on the other hand three texts before it. The former dates only to the first half of the 4th century, while the latter dates back to the 2nd century. These are: 1. The Alexandrian text; 2. The Western Text; Is

3. A text they callneutral, that is, it has neither the Alexandrian nor the Western features; which thus comes closer to the apostolic text. The latter has come down to us more faithfully in the Vatican manuscript than in a lesser degree of purity in the Sinaitic, so that where these two manuscripts agree there is little room for dispute, even if all other authorities agree on the other side. . As for the Syriac text, it is a simple compilation of the other three, having no original reading and no date prior to the previous three. His own reading is nothing other than the product of skilful revision work at the end of the third century. Therefore, there is no reason to consider this text, even if others disagree. It is absolutely without authority. Thus the revolution initiated by Mill and Bentley and continued by Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf and Tregelles is finally complete. The Byzantine text, under the name ofreceived SMS, who ruled as sovereign from Erasmus until the 18th century, received his full and final resignation.

However, allow me not to accept this judgment as a final judgement. I find it hard to believe that the Church in Syria, the first to be founded in a pagan country, did not preserve a text for itself as well as for the other countries of Christendom and was forced to borrow the text entirely from foreign documents its official translation. , the Peshito. I am not unaware that Cureton's Syriac, which seems to have an older text than that of the Peshito, is closer to Alexandrian. And those of us who are more learned than I am have given up trying to explain the relationship between this text and that of Peschito with our current means. But how can we believe that a man like Crisóstomo would have taken over Peschito's to make it the basis of his sermons, if that text had only been the product of a fairly recent compilation, not based on any kind of local authority. To these reasons we must add what I think the exegetical experience contributes to. Just as there are cases where, in my opinion, the Graeco-Latin text is certainly preferable to the so-called neutral text of B and א, and indeed to the reading of all the others, there are also cases, and in considerable numbers, since those of Hort and Westcott's anti-Syrian texts are decidedly inferior to the Byzantine readings when weighed in context. Meyer himself often has to admit this.

So I simply ask that we keep the protocol open, that the documents are not used in a totally superficial and mechanical way, and that common sense and exegetical tact prevail in each individual case.


This title appears in the MSS. In different ways. We find the simplest in א B D: κατὰ᾿Ιωάννην (to Juan). A majority of Mjj. and א (without book end): Gospel according to John,Gospel according to John.T. R., with a large number of Mnn.: τὸ κατὰ᾿I. holy,The Gospel according to John.Stephen's third edition adds saints (holy) before εὐαγγ. , with several men. some men Lease: ἐκ τοῦ κ ᾿Ι. εὐαγγ O vs. also vary: evangelical John (Lord); possibly from Jo. (Gothic.); possibly after John (Police.); possibly the holy sermon of John the Herald (according to a certain edition of the Syriac).

All these variations seem to prove that this title does not come from the hand of the author or publisher of the Gospel. If it originally belonged to the body of the work, it would be the same or almost the same in all documents. It was undoubtedly added as the Gospels were collected in the churches, this collection occurring more or less spontaneously in each place, as evidenced by the different ordering of our four Gospels and the New Testament Scriptures in general in the canons of the Church. The differences in the titles are no doubt explained by the same cause.

But what is the exact meaning of this formula: "Juan Sea?"Since the time of the Manichaean Faust (Augustine,against fist, 32.2) there are scholars to this day who have given κατά,in accordance with, in a very broad sense: gospel in the manner of the preaching of Matthew, John, etc. This is how Reuss works (History Salvation Schr. NEW TESTAMENT., § 177) and Renan (live ofJesus, p. xvi.), seem to understand the word. The consequence of this would be that these four formulas would not testify to the fact that our Gospels were written by the four men named in the title, but would, on the contrary, rule them out. But no one in the early church ever dreamed of attributing to these four writings authors other than those named in the titles; The thought of those who formulated these titles cannot therefore have been the one attributed to them. Also this feeling ofin accordance withit cannot fit the second or third gospel; because Mark and Luke were never considered the founders of an independent personal tradition, but only as the authors of the reports that come from Peter and Paul. Therefore the title of these two writings should have been: GospelsPeter's Seamisea ​​Paul, if the wordin accordance withit really had in the minds of the authors of the titles the meaning given to it by the wise authorities we defy. The error of these authorities stems from the fact that they specify the termGospela sense that it did not have in the early Christian language. In fact, in that language, that word did not denote aBuch, a scripture that narrates the coming of the Redeemer, but the good news ofGoodfor humanity, that is, that very arrival; eraser e.g.Markus 1:1;Romans 1:1. . . . So the meaning of our four titles is not: "Book compiled according to the tradition of," but: "The most holy coming of Jesus Christ, handed down by the care or pen of..." We often find the preposition κατά used as it is here, to to name the author himself; so with Diodorus Siculus, when he calls the work of Herodotus “The history according to Herodotus (ἡ καθ᾿῾Ηρ. ἱστορία)”, or with Epiphanius (Haer. Joh 8:4), when he says: “The Pentateuch according to Moses ( ἡ κατὰ). Thanks for the answer)." Reuss objects to the title of the apocryphal gospel, εὐαγγ.κατὰ Πέτρον, but it is quite obvious that the one who intended to transmit this gospel under the name Petercertainlyto ascribe the wording to this apostle and thus to give the wordin accordance withthe same meaning we give to it. As for the well-known phrases εὐαγγ. after the apostles, like Jews, like Egyptians (in accordance withthe twelve apostles, the Hebrews, the Egyptians), it is clear that κατά in these cases denotes the ecclesiastical circle from which these writings should come or in the midst of which they were common.

final remark

If we now go through the book briefly, looking at its progress from beginning to end, we find the first chapter (after the prologue) which introduces us to the first disciples, the persons in the story who are in a special sense the representatives of the disciples . . mentioned inJuan 20:30. The evidence given to these disciples immediately begins to be presented. They are made up of actions and words. the proof ofthe jobsis transmitted from ch. 2 to chap. 12. It goes in many cases accompanied by that of words, but the works have a certain special emphasis. From chap. 13 the evidence forjust the wordsIt was presented. In this section of the book, however, we finally have the great miracle of the resurrection as the last σημεῖον. The section wherethe jobsSpeeches with the Jewish people and rulers with unbelievers and believers stand out. that, in whichWordsthey are presented only to the reader and relate only to the innermost circle of believers (chap. 13-17). So the order of the great trials is the natural order.

Of the miracles, that at Cana was an exercise of power to strengthen the five or six disciples in their first faith; the one in which the nobleman's son was healed revealed the power of Jesus working from afar; that of Bethesda, so effective in a man who had suffered from his illness nearly forty years; walking on the sea and multiplying the loaves showed his power over the elements and unlimited character; that in the case of the man blind from birth he showed power to heal sickness to the uttermost, and in the case of the raising of Lazarus even power over death; finally the great miracle of his own resurrection showed the infinite life force within him. There is no repetition here, but a steady progression, following the chronological order of Jesus' life, but evidently guided in the author's choice of materials by a desire to present ever more and stronger evidence of the truth.

Also the proofs and testimonies relating to miracles and given in discourse and discourse follow the natural order. Sometimes they are clear and decisive; sometimes suggestive, but penetrating the depths of Christian truth far more deeply than the disciples could comprehend. The testimony of Nicodemus is about the new spiritual birth and the divine providence to bring people to true life through the resurrection of the Only Begotten Son. One in chapter five deals with the relationship of the Son to the Father in connection with the judgment and resurrection, together with the evidence establishing it. that of chap. 6 presupposes and reveals eternal life founded on the Son and faith in Him. 8, 10 goes deeper into the nature of the Son, into his pre-existence, into his equality with God. The two chapters 13-16 relate to what he is and does for the life and innermost needs of his disciples, and they speak of the deeper things in the personal relationships of the believer and his Lord.

Of the constant growth of faith in the minds of the disciples, examination of the chapters discussed in these notes has shown consistent evidence. The feeble beginning of the words "We have found the Messiah," which needed the miracle of Cana to establish itself in order to grow in the time to come, ends up becoming a declaration of Christ's divinity proclaimed by the one who accepted the faith. , and testifies to the existence of a company-wide belief that could never happen.

The suggestions in these brief notes have been largely aimed at noting this progress and developmenta testimonymiBelievewithin the limits set by thebiographicalCharacter in the book They were necessarily partial and imperfect. But it is believed that a careful study of this gospel by any sincere scholar, uninfluenced by any preconceived theory, will lead him to be more fully convinced of the error of those who assert that the book is but a repetition of the same end- to-end idea that there is no orderly movement that is the work of a speculative philosopher constructing his facts to fit his theory or subordinating the development of evidence as it goes down the line of biography, ever-re-declaring an alleged truth . The writer was not a speculative philosopher but a man who wrote from the happy memories of his own personal experience and inner life.

That the writer was the disciple whom Jesus loved is proved by the peculiar way in which this disciple at times attracts the reader's attention; from the obvious indications that this disciple was the anonymous companion of Andrew, who attended the event mentioned in chap.Juan 1:35-40; in the words of chap.Juan 19:35, according to the only explanation that can be given for them being presented for the purpose which the author evidently has in mind; through the clear and positive statement of Chap.Juan 21:24, if this verse was written by the author of the gospel or by contemporaries who knew it; and most impressive to the spirit ready to receive that which comes from such a source, for the constant and evident evidence which the book brings that it is the fruit of an intimate friendship with Jesus while on earth was.

That the disciple whom Jesus loved was the apostle John is beyond doubt from all the evidence showing that he belonged to the apostolic society; that if he were of this company he must be one of the three on whom the Lord had his deepest and strongest affection; and of these three we cannot assume that it was Peter, as he is distinctly different from that apostle or James on account of the early death of James. Therefore, as we advance from the central and innermost recesses of the book to the clearest statements it makes in words, we find everywhere and at every step of our progress evidence that it is the work of John, and what the Register is not only from the life of Jesus, but also from your own life with Jesus.

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