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Bible Commentaries

Godet's Commentary on Selected Books


- John

by Frédéric Louis Godet



Frederick Louis Godet

Third Edition

Of the translation from the

Third French Edition

By Timothy Dwight, Yale College


THE Commentary on the Gospel of John which is now presented, in its third edition, to American readers, has been well known to New Testament scholars for twenty years. It was originally published in 1864-5, and immediately commanded attention. Ten or eleven years later an enlarged and greatly improved edition was issued, which was soon afterwards translated into English. The first volume of the third edition was given to the public in 1881; the second and third volumes have appeared during the present year (1885). Unlike most of the German commentators of recent days, Godet has, with each new edition, not simply revised what he had written at an earlier date, but, in large measure, prepared a new work. This is very strikingly true of the introductory volume of 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 with minute study will perceive, that in the commentary properly so called every paragraph has been subjected to careful examination, and even where the matter is not altogether new, sentences have been very largely re-written, with changes sometimes of importance to the thought and sometimes apparently only for purposes of style. That the work has been greatly improved by these new labors of the author will be admitted by all who read the second and third editions in connection with each other. It may be almost said, that as great a service has been rendered by the additions and revisions since the book was first issued as was rendered by its original publication. Among the commentaries on this Gospel, this may be ranked as one of the best a book which every student and minister may well examine, both for the light which it throws upon this most deeply interesting portion of the New Testament and for its suggestiveness to Christian thought.

When the proposal was first made to publish a new translation in this country, it was supposed that it would be ready for publication at a considerably earlier date. But soon after the work was undertaken, it was ascertained that the second and third volumes of the third edition would THIS work of Godet, in its third French edition, is published in three volumes, one of which contains the introductory matter and the other two the Commentary. In this American translation the preface to the whole work is placed, as in the French edition, at the beginning of the first volume; but as the translation is issued in two volumes instead of three, it has been thought best to insert the author's preface to the Commentary at the opening of the second volume, instead of placing it in the middle of Vol. I., where the Commentary itself begins. The table of contents of the Commentary, which in the original work is found at the end of Vol. III., is also placed at the beginning of this second volume.

The American Editor would call the attention of the reader to his own additional notes on the chapters of the Gospel (VI.-XXI.) which are included in this volume, and would ask his consideration of the thoughts and suggestions presented in them. These additional notes will be found on pages 457-542.

Timothy Dwight


July 4 th, 1886.


I AM permitted for the third time to present to the Church this Commentary on the book which seems to me to be its most precious jewel, on the narrative of the life of Jesus in which His most intimate friend has included his most glorious and most sacred recollections. I feel all the responsibility of this office, but I know also the beauty of it; and I at once humble myself and rejoice.

God has blessed the publication of this Commentary beyond all that I was able to imagine when I wrote it for the first time. To do something, in my weakness, for the Church of France the noblest branch, perhaps, which the tree that came from the grain of mustard-seed has put forth, but whose position seems to me more serious at this hour than in the days of bloody persecution, this was all my ambition; it appeared to me even to border upon presumption. And now I receive from many quarters testimonies of affectionate sympathy and intimate communion of spirit, and I see this work translated into German, English, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and exerting its influence far beyond the circle which I had proposed to myself to reach. God has done, according to the expression of the apostle, more than all that I was able to ask or even to think.

In the preceding edition, I had completely remodelled the treatment of the critical questions, by uniting all the discussions relative to the origin of the fourth Gospel in a special volume. This arrangement has been maintained; nevertheless, there is scarcely a page, scarcely a phrase of the preceding edition which has not been recast, and, as it were, composed anew. The reason of this fact is found, not only in the profound sense which I had of the imperfections of the previous work, but also in the appearance of recent works which I was obliged to take into the most special consideration. I allude particularly to the Theologie johannique of M. Reuss, in his great work on La Bible (1879), to the essay of M. Sabatier in the Encyclopedie des sciences religieuses, t. vii. pp. 173-195 (1879), to the sixth volume of M. Renan's book on the Origines du christianisme (1879), and to the last edition of Hase's work, Geschichte Jesu (1876).

The result of this renewed study has been in my case the ever more firm scientific conviction of the authenticity of the writing which the Church has handed down to us under the name of John. There is a conviction of a different nature which forms itself in the heart on the simple reading of such a book. This conviction does not grow up; it is immediate, and consequently complete, from the first moment. It resembles confidence and love at first sight, that decisive impression to the integrity of which thirty years of common life and mutual devotion add nothing.

Scientific study cannot form a bond like this; what it can do is only to remove the hostile pressure which threatens to loosen or to break it. Truly, I can say that I have never felt this scientific assurance so confirmed as after this new examination of the proofs on which it rests and the reasons recently alleged against it.

The reader will judge whether this is an amiable illusion; whether the conclusion formulated at the end of this volume is indeed the result of a profound and impartial study of the facts, or whether it has only been reached because it was desired in advance. It seems to me that I can, with yet more confidence than before, submit my book to this test.

May all that which passed from the heart of Jesus into the heart and the writing of John communicate itself abundantly to my readers, so that the wish of the Holy Apostle may be accomplished in them: “We write these things unto you, that your joy may be full.”


June 29 th, 1881.


IT is not without a feeling of hope that I present to the Church the third edition of this Commentary, the introductory volume of which appeared in 1881. At the time when I first published this work, the two theories of Baur and Reuss held sway over scientific thought, one in Germany, the other in France. The former taught us to see in the Johannean narrative scarcely anything but a romance designed to illustrate the idea of the Logos and to cause it to pervade the Church. The other showed a little more respect to the history related in this book, but regarded the discourses inserted in this framework simply as the theology of the author himself, whoever he was, John or some one else; theology which he had himself derived from the contemplation of Jesus and from his Christian experience.

When we follow attentively the progress of opinion, we are struck with the change which is gradually taking place in the estimate of this sacred writing. To speak only of points of most importance, Renan, in the masterly dissertation which he has placed at the end of the thirteenth edition of his Vie which I was obliged to take into the most special consideration. I allude particularly to the Theologie johannique of M. Reuss, in his great work on La Bible (1879), to the essay of M. Sabatier in the Encyclopedie des sciences religieuses, t. vii. pp. 173-195 (1879), to the sixth volume of M. Renan's book on the Origines du christianisme (1879), and to the last edition of Hase's work, Geschichte Jesu (1876).

The result of this renewed study has been in my case the ever more firm scientific conviction of the authenticity of the writing which the Church has handed down to us under the name of John. There is a conviction of a different nature which forms itself in the heart on the simple reading of such a book. This conviction does not grow up; it is immediate, and consequently complete, from the first moment. It resembles confidence and love at first sight, that decisive impression to the integrity of which thirty years of common life and mutual devotion add nothing.

Scientific study cannot form a bond like this; what it can do is only to remove the hostile pressure which threatens to loosen or to break it. Truly, I can say that I have never felt this scientific assurance so confirmed as after this new examination of the proofs on which it rests and the reasons recently alleged against it.

The reader will judge whether this is an amiable illusion; whether the conclusion formulated at the end of this volume is indeed the result of a profound and impartial study of the facts, or whether it has only been reached because it was desired in advance. It seems to me that I can, with yet more confidence than before, submit my book to this test.

May all that which passed from the heart of Jesus into the heart and the writing of John communicate itself abundantly to my readers, so that the wish of the Holy Apostle may be accomplished in them: “We write these things unto you, that your joy may be full.”


June 29 th, 1881.


IT is not without a feeling of hope that I present to the Church the third edition of this Commentary, the introductory volume of which appeared in 1881. At the time when I first published this work, the two theories of Baur and Reuss held sway over scientific thought, one in Germany, the other in France. The former taught us to see in the Johannean narrative scarcely anything but a romance designed to illustrate the idea of the Logos and to cause it to pervade the Church. The other showed a little more respect to the history related in this book, but regarded the discourses inserted in this framework simply as the theology of the author himself, whoever he was, John or some one else; theology which he had himself derived from the contemplation of Jesus and from his Christian experience.

When we follow attentively the progress of opinion, we are struck with the change which is gradually taking place in the estimate of this sacred writing. To speak only of points of most importance, Renan, in the masterly dissertation which he has placed at the end of the thirteenth edition of his Vie de Jesus, has, by the soundest analysis, demonstrated the indisputably historical character of the greater part of John's narratives, and the superiority to the Synoptic story which must be accorded to them in many respects. The following, moreover, is the way in which he expressed himself, last year, in a conversation reported in the Christianisme au XIX e sie:cle (April, 1884): “The historical character of the Fourth Gospel is continually more impressive to me. When reading it, I say to myself: It is so.” If it is so, what becomes of Baur's opinion!

Hase, in his History of Jesus (1876), has given in the Introduction a very careful study of the sources of this history, especially of the Gospel of John. He decides, it is true, for its non-authenticity, but after having laid down a series of preambles which lead directly to the opposite conclusion. One feels that he must have overcome by sheer force of will all the scientific reasons which were most fitted to justify the contrary conviction. And one is easily convinced that the ground of this decision, which is contrary to the premises, is nothing else than the rationalistic denial of the miraculous. A judgment can be formed from these words of the venerable writer: “Through the golden breastplate of the Logos-doctrine we feel (in the Jesus of the Fourth Gospel) the beating of a true human heart which is moved by joy and grief, and in this picture we recognize the apostle with all the fulness of his recollection.” At what a distance we are from the estimates of Baur and Keim!

The two most considerable works, in relation to our subject, which have appeared in Germany in these most recent days, are the Commentary on the Gospel of John by Bernhard Weiss (in the collection of Meyer's Commentaries, sixth edition, 1880) and the Life of Jesus by the same author (1882). The historical verity of the entire narrative of John is fully recognized and proved. As to the discourses, Weiss no doubt makes partial concessions to criticism, which I cannot regard as sufficiently justified; the readers will be able to judge of them for themselves. But the difference as compared with Reuss is nevertheless a difference toto coelo, so that the few imported elements which Weiss allows do not in the least degree compromise, in his view, the authenticity of the book.

It may well be expected that this return movement will not be unanimous. The Tubingen school has not ceased to work in the direction which was given to it by the genius of its master. We will mention here only the writing in which this tendency has, so to speak, reached its climax. It is that of A. Thoma: Die Genesis des Johannes-Evangeliums (1882). On one point this author breaks with the tradition of the school: he acknowledges the close relations of our Gospel to Judaism and the Old Testament. But, on the other side, to what a phantasmagoria of allegorizing does the imagination of this writer surrender itself! The discoveries of Baur and Reuss on this path are astonishingly surpassed. It is not a history of Jesus, it is that of Christianity itself that the author of our Gospel, an Alexandrian Christian of the second century, wished to write. From the condition of infancy described by the Synoptics, the new religion had arrived at the brilliant period of youth. Already all sorts of elements had arisen in the Church and were struggling in the midst of it. The personages who play a part in our Gospel are nothing else then personifications, freely created, of these different tendencies. Caiaphas is false prophecy; the brethren of Jesus represent carnal Israel struggling against the Church. Pilate is the Roman despotism; the Greek proselytes of ch. 12 personify paganism eager for truth. The different Christian parties are also represented, in particular by the family at Bethany; the party of works, by Martha; that of faith, by Mary; Christian Essenism, by Lazarus. The most skilful turn in this jeu d'esprit is the explanation of the person of James, the brother of Jesus. It is Judaism under its form which is hostile to Christianity. His name is designedly suppressed throughout the whole narrative, but is replaced by that of Judas; nevertheless, allusion is made to its signification, the supplanter, in the passage, John 13:18, where Jesus recalls to mind the words of Psalms 41:0: “He that eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.” One will form an idea of the author's critical method when he learns, for example, that the passage John 1:13: “ Those who are born not of blood nor...but of God,” was composed by the Alexandrian author by means of the following three passages: Romans 8:29 (“the first-born among many brethren”); Hebrews 2:13 (“with the children whom God has given me”); 1 Corinthians 15:48 (“as the heavenly, the heavenly”). Such are specimens of what at the present day is called, by this party, the discovery of the genesis of the Fourth Gospel.

Happily these excesses, which may be called the Saturnalia of criticism, seem also to have contributed, according to their measure, to bring the minds of men back to sobriety and good sense. We gather together, with satisfaction, testimonies like the following:

Franke, a young scholar teaching at Halle, has recently published a work under the title: Das alte Testament bei Johannes, a work full of sagacity and sound erudition, in which he proves what I also have sought to prove, that the thought of the author of the Fourth Gospel penetrates with all its fibres into the soil of the Old Testament. The following is the way in which he expresses himself, as he closes his preface: “A continuous study of the writings of John has led me with ever-increasing force to the conviction that their interpretation cannot be undertaken with success except by decidedly maintaining their composition by John the apostle.”

Another young scholar, Schneedermann, Professor at Basle, in his work: Le judaisme et la predication chretienne dans les evangiles (1884), writes the following lines: “When in the period of my academic course I came to the explication of the Fourth Gospel, I was uncertain respecting its origin, but determined to declare without mental reservation that I must remain undecided, and why I must remain so....To my own surprise, the result of my work was the discovery, set forth in what precedes, that the cause of the Fourth Gospel and of the evangelic history is not in so bad a state as some would have us believe....The impression to which I have been brought is, that there is nothing to oppose our seeing in the author of the Fourth Gospel a richly gifted Jewish thinker, of a powerful religious enthusiasm, and our recognizing in this author, conscious of his character as eye-witness, the apostle John.”

These voices which rise in the midst of the younger generation and the concordant experiences which they express are of good augury; they announce a new phase of criticism. This is the reason why, as I began, I expressed a feeling of hope. Following upon this violent crisis, there is verified anew that old motto which has become that of the Gospel of John:

Tant plus a: me battre on s'amuse, Tant plus de marteaux on y use.

I hope that I have neglected nothing which could contribute to keep this Commentary at the height of the scientific work which is carried on at the present day, with so much solicitude, in relation to the Fourth Gospel. I have especially derived great advantage from the Commentaries of Weiss and Keil, which have appeared since my previous edition. There will scarcely be found a page in this book which does not present traces of work designed to improve it and to render it less unworthy of its object.

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

F. Godet


March 21 st, 1885.



THE intelligent reader of the New Testament, when he comes to the Fourth Gospel, is at once impressed by the difference between it and the three narratives of the life of Jesus which precede it. Each of these earlier writings, though having certain peculiarities of its own which distinguish it from the other two, is, in some prominent sense, a biography written for the purpose of telling the story itself. If there is a further end in view, as undoubtedly there may be, it is rather secondary than primary, or, to say the least, it is left to the reader to discover, without any direct statement of it on the author's part. But one cannot open the Fourth Gospel and read the verses of its first chapter without realizing that the book has a new character. The writer is evidently moving in the sphere of great thoughts, and not merely of a biographical narrative. He is evidently intending to relate his story for an end which is beyond the mere record. He does not mean to commit his book to those who may chance to receive it, and then let them find in the works or words of Jesus whatever idea of His person or influences for their own spiritual life they may be able to discover for themselves. He has, on the other hand, a thought of his own. He has studied the life of the Master for himself, and he would impress, if possible, upon the mind of his reader the conviction which has been impressed upon his own.

What is this conviction? What is this purpose? These are the questions which immediately present themselves. The phenomena brought before us in the book, and the direct statements, if there be any such, which it contains, must furnish the answer. If we look for these reading carefully from the beginning to the end we discover, first of all, the remarkable declarations of what is commonly called the Prologue, and the equally striking words of John 20:30-43.20.31, which close the work. What is, if possible, still more remarkable, we find that, while the words and propositions which evidently hold the most prominent place in the Prologue disappear altogether after it reaches its termination, the last verses of the twentieth chapter, just alluded to, have a manifest connection with these propositions and words. These last verses, also, clearly set forth the purpose of the book. The phenomena of this Gospel are, therefore, the great thoughts of the introductory verses respecting the Logos, the story of Jesus which forms the substance and contents of the book, and the formal declaration, at the end, that the author's object in writing is to induce the readers to believe with regard to Jesus that which, as he cannot doubt, will give them the true life of the soul. In a word, he is moved to write a new Gospel narrative, not merely to tell once more, or in a somewhat different way, a story which had been told before, but in order that, by telling it, he may prove to his readers the truth of his own conception of his Master, and that they, by this means, may attain to the highest good.

Let us consider the Prologue briefly with reference to the plan of the work. There can be little doubt that the two leading ideas of the first eighteen verses are those of Joh 1:1 and John 1:14: The Logos was in the beginning, was with God, and was God; and the Logos became flesh and tabernacled among us. In connection with the first of these statements, certain additional declarations, evidently of a subordinate character, are made in John 1:3-43.1.4; The Logos was the instrumental agent in creation; with reference to the living part of created things He was the life; and with respect to the part capable of intelligence and spiritual life He was the light. He was thus the source of all existence, of any sort, which any portion of the creation is able to possess. That there is a steady movement and progress here in the line of the idea of revelation seems evident. The movement is towards the spiritual region, and naturally so, because it is in that region that the author's mind is dwelling. These earliest verses, therefore, indicate what the word Logos in itself indicates, whatever may be its origin whether the Old Testament or the Jewish-Alexandrian philosophy namely, that the thought of John is of God as revealing Himself to and in the world, as distinguished from God in His unrevealed state or His hidden being. The Logos is the revealer. This revealer was working in the world, from the beginning, to the end of giving the true light, but the world did not fully lay hold of what He offered to it. “The light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not.” Some clearer mode of manifesting Himself as manifesting also the light became, therefore, a necessity; and, accordingly, the Logos became flesh. Without attempting to determine, at this point, precisely what the author's idea, in the use of these words, is, we cannot doubt that he intends to represent the Logos as, in some way, coming into human life in the person of a man. This is made clear, not only by the contrast of the words σάρξ ἐγένετο with the propositions of the first verse, but also by the peculiar phrase ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν and by the words we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father.

Finally, the immediate connection of Joh 1:17-18 with John 1:14, through the words grace and truth and the verb ἐξηγήσατο which carries in it the idea of revelation, show that the person in whom the Logos, in some sense, took up His abode for the purpose of giving the clearer light which men needed was Jesus Christ. The substance of the statement of the Prologue is, accordingly, that in some way, which it is not necessary at this point of our discussion to discover and definitely establish Jesus Christ is the Logos who was in the beginning with God and was God, and who, at a later period, became flesh. The narrative of the earthly life of Jesus which occupies the space intervening between the Prologue and the closing verses that is, which really forms the substance of the work is the means which the author adopts for the accomplishment of his purpose. The story is the proof. Instead of establishing his proposition that Jesus is the Logos incarnate by arguments appropriate to a doctrinal treatise, he simply gives the narrative of what He did and said, evidently believing that the life will bear the strongest testimony to the doctrine.

That he should have adopted this method of proof was natural, because the establishment of the doctrinal proposition in itself considered was not the final end which he had in view. This end was, as he himself states, a practical one, to be realized in the life of his readers. They were to have life in the name of this incarnate Logos. But this life ( ζωή ) was not merely to the view of this writer a thing of the future, to be experienced in eternity. It was a present experience of the individual soul the life of Jesus transferred, as it were, to the believing disciple and made a possession of his own. There could be no better way, therefore, of accomplishing his twofold purpose the doctrinal and the practical than to lead the reader to believe the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, by giving the narrative of His earthly career.

There are, however, two peculiar elements in the narrative which further distinguish it from the narratives of the Synoptical Gospels. The first of these is immediately connected with the doctrinal character of the book. As the story is told for the purpose of proving the truth just mentioned, it is viewed everywhere by the author in the light of testimony. The Greek word which conveys the idea of testimony occurs in this Gospel in its verbal form thirty- three times, and in its substantive form fourteen times. It is found in almost every chapter, and almost universally with reference to Jesus. Very singularly it appears in two places in the Prologue as bringing out the witness borne by John the Baptist once, immediately after the first leading statement respecting the Logos ( Joh 1:1-4 ), and again, after the second leading statement ( Joh 1:14 ). Then, at the opening of the historical section of the first chapter, it is introduced a third time with a detailed setting forth of what the Baptist said. It is plain that the biography is, as we may say, founded upon testimony; and the simplest, or even the only explanation which can be given, as regards the Prologue, is that the author desired to connect each of His two great propositions with that witness of the forerunner which was, in a sense, the accrediting word from God Himself. We find the word, also, in those central and vital chapters of the first main division of the book the fifth and the eighth, in which the evidences for His claims to Divine Sonship are given by Jesus Himself, and pressed upon the attention of His adversaries. Testimony turns the minds and footsteps of the earliest disciples to Jesus. The believer becomes immediately a witness, as we see, for example, in the case of the Samaritan woman. The apostolic work in the present and the future is to be that of testifying. The words and works which Jesus speaks and does bear testimony to Him. The Spirit who shall appear after He is glorified shall be always giving His divine witness. The author himself writes his book as one who has seen and testified. When we discover this idea thus filling the book, and observe at the end that the writer has evidently selected his materials, excluding much that he might have inserted (“many other signs, etc., which are not written in this book”), we may not doubt that his principle of selection was connected with this idea.

The second of the two elements referred to appears first in the verses which follow the Prologue and which extend as far as the middle of the second chapter. This passage may be called the historical introduction of the Gospel. It will be noticed by the attentive reader that the entrance of Jesus on His public ministry, as given in this book, is described in John 2:13 ff. The passage Joh 1:19 to Joh 2:12 contains only an account of the coming of five or six persons to Jesus while He was still continuing in His private and family life. The story, as related to these persons, opens with the mention of two, one of whom only is named, who were directed to Jesus by John the Baptist and apparently came to Him at John's suggestion. If we observe closely the record of John's testimony, we shall see that there are not three independent statements of it (John 1:19-43.1.28; John 1:29-43.1.34; John 1:35 f.), which are given merely for the purpose of making known what he said. But, on the contrary, there is a manifest movement from the first to the third, in such a way as to show that it is for the sake of the last that the other two are introduced. When John says to the two disciples in John 1:36, “Behold the Lamb of God,” the absence of all further words makes it evident that he must have given a more full explanation of the term on a previous occasion. The mind of the reader is thus carried back immediately to the preceding day ( Joh 1:29 ), when he said: “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world,” and then added the account of the way in which he came to know at the baptism of Jesus that He was indeed the Lamb of God. This was the declaration and this the explanation which they needed to make them ready, when they saw Him again, to go to Him and form His acquaintance. But, as John tells the company around him on that second day that Jesus whose office is to take away sin is the one of whom he had said, After me cometh a man who is etc., and that he had himself come baptizing with water in order that this greater one might be made manifest to Israel, the thought is again carried back to the witness which had been borne on the first day (John 1:26, comp. also Joh 1:15 ). The first day is thus preparatory to the second, and the second to the third. The whole story centres upon the two disciples, and the Baptist's testimony is given because of its bearing upon them. The writer, indeed, suggests this even by the careful marking of the successive days, which, as related to the testimony considered in itself alone, could scarcely have any importance. The result of the testimony in the life of those who receive it is thus distinctly brought before us; and, as in the μαρτυρία of John 1:19, which is unfolded in the following verses, we have the beginning of the proof that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, John 20:31 a, so in the case of these disciples we find the first beginning of that gaining of life in His name through faith which is the practical end to be secured by the proof, John 20:31 b. Answering to the element of testimony, therefore, we discover that of experience.

But this experience is confined to five or six persons. Indeed, in the verses for which the record of John's testimony prepares the way ( Joh 1:35-40 ), it is limited to two. There can be no doubt that the story of these two persons is the starting-point from which the whole narrative of the life of Jesus is developed. Instead of beginning, as Matthew and Luke do, with an account of Jesus' birth and genealogy, or as Mark does, with His baptism and entrance upon His public work, this writer takes his departure from a brief interview which these two disciples of John the Baptist had with Him, and the first impressions produced upon their minds by what they heard Him say. They communicate their impressions to one or two others and persuade them to come to Jesus. Two more are gained as disciples on the next day, and then the little company go to the wedding-feast at Cana, where their faith is strengthened by a miracle. Then the public life and work of Jesus begin. But there is abundant evidence that the record of this public life and work, as given by the author, has constant reference to the disciples, and, at the end, he sums up the whole book by the statement, that, while Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples which are not written here, these signs these σημεῖα (or miraculous proofs of what He was) which He did in their presence are written, etc. The plan of this Gospel in relation to this point is certainly very remarkable, as compared with that of the Synoptics or with the ordinary plan of a biography. No reasonable explanation can be given of it, except as we hold that the writer intended to connect the evidences that Jesus was the Logos with the new life and faith of these disciples. But, more than this, the opening story points to individual experience. How are we to account for the placing of such a little narrative at the beginning of the whole biography for the development, in a certain sense, of everything out of it?

The narrative seems so insignificant in itself as to make it improbable that an ordinary historian would find it even arresting his attention. It is presented with little or no detail. One of the characters in it is, so far as the reader discovers from the words of the story itself, unknown even by name. Andrew and some one else, we know not who, went to Jesus on a certain afternoon and spent two hours with Him, and began to believe in Him as the Messiah. This is all. But on this the future narrative, the entire book, is founded. How impossible it seems, that a writer of another century, or removed entirely from the experience and life of the apostles, should have opened his work in this way. If, now, the author was himself the unnamed disciple, if that brief conversation with Jesus was the beginning of his own faith, if the new life came into being in his soul on that afternoon and thus the event here mentioned was the deciding point of his personal history, everything is made clear. The little story rises into marked significance. It may well be the foundation for all that follows. The author gives the record of the life of Jesus as he had known it. He says to his readers, Let me tell you of that wonderful man whom I lived with years ago, of what I heard Him say and saw Him do. Let me carry you back to the hour when I first became acquainted with Him, and take you along with me through the subsequent history. Let me show you how I came to believe and how I grew in my belief, and I hope that the story as I give it may lead you also to believe with an earnest and saving faith. But, if the writer was not the unnamed disciple, if, on the other hand, he had never seen Jesus or the apostles. and knew only the life of a hundred years later, this story has no meaning and its insertion is inexplicable. The whole book, as related to its beginning, is a mystery, if this meeting with Jesus was not a vital thing in the author's own life. It breaks forth into clearness and light and has a wonderful naturalness and power, so soon as we find the writer of the narrative in the disciple whose name is not given.

The fact that the element of personal experience is an important one in the book, and indeed that it is centered, as it were, upon the experience of the writer himself, is made evident also by other indications. Among these the following may be particularly mentioned.

1. The great prominence given 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 John's first Epistle), is found ninety-eight times in this Gospel. Around it the whole narrative turns. As the words and works of Jesus, the declarations of John, the preaching of the Apostles, the work of the Spirit, the Scriptures and the voice of God, are all viewed in the light of testimony, so everywhere the attitude of men towards this testimony is marked by the verb πιστεύειν . If they receive the witness which is borne to Christ, they are said to believe. If they reject it, they do not believe. If they are partly influenced by it, but yet not affected in the inmost principle of their life, they are described as believing ( ἐπίστευσαν ), but not so that Jesus could trust Himself to them ( οὐκ ἐπίστευεν αὐτὸν αὐτοῖς , John 2:23-43.2.24, comp. John 8:31 ff.). If they grow in faith, as in the case of the Twelve, they are repeatedly spoken of as believing the indications of the context being, with each repetition, that the word has a growing fullness of meaning. If the final blessing of Jesus is recorded, it is a blessing on those who have not seen and yet have believed. If the author wishes to express the purpose of his writing, it is that the readers may believe. If he desires to tell them the way of securing eternal life, it is in the words “that believing you may have life.” Moreover, this ever-repeated word, in which all that is most vital to the human soul rests, is the verb, which expresses action, and not the noun. The substantive πίστις , the doctrinal word, which is so frequently used by Paul (nearly one hundred and fifty times in his Epistles), and which even occurs twenty-four times in the Synoptic Gospels, is not found in this book. The author is not moving in the sphere of doctrine, so far as the human side of truth is concerned, but of life. Indeed, as we have already seen, the very argument to prove the Divine doctrine is the life of Jesus. What can be the meaning of this striking feature of this Gospel, except that, to the author's mind, the living experience of the soul was the thing of all importance? And how exactly do the closing words, which give the object and purpose of the book ( Joh 20:30-31 ), answer to this thought I write that you may believe the doctrine because, and only because, I know that believing is the gate-way of life.

2. Again, if we look at this verb as the author uses it with reference to the apostles, how plainly is the same thing indicated. No attentive student of this Gospel can fail to see that, as the disciples are said, again and again, at different points of the history, to believe in view of what they had seen or heard, the word believe gains a new fullness of meaning. There is a steady progress from the first day to the last, from the time when Andrew and his unnamed companion went to Jesus for a two hours' conversation to the day when Thomas exclaimed “My Lord, and my God,” and was addressed by the Master as believing. One can almost see the growth of the word in significance as the successive stories are read. Moreover, the same thing is marked, in a very incidental and yet striking way, by the statements which occur with regard to certain things, that the disciples only came to understand and believe after Jesus rose from the dead. What more vivid picture of developing faith, and thus of inmost personal experience, could be given than that which is suggested by this word, which means on each new day more than it did on the day before, and which has its limits during the Lord's earthly life so carefully pointed out, by the declaration that this or that mysterious thing did not become clear to the believing soul until after His earthly life was ended. And finally this word is connected with the author himself, if we hold him to be the companion of Andrew in chap. 1 and the one who ran with Peter to the tomb of Jesus on the morning of the resurrection. Evidently, like Andrew, he was led to believe in the hours of that first interview. Evidently, he is included among the disciples who believed in consequence of the first miracle at Cana. But what progress had been made, when ( Joh 20:8 ), on entering into the tomb on that Sunday morning, he saw and believed.

3. The same thing is shown by all the indications which prove that the disciple whom Jesus loved, and the one who is alluded to, but not named, in different parts of the book, is the author. It will be unnecessary to enter in this matter at length, for Godet has dwelt upon it largely in his Introduction. But we would give a brief presentation of a few points. The phenomena of the book, in this regard, are the following: first, that, while the other principal characters in the story are mentioned by name, and always thus mentioned, there is a prominent disciple who is only alluded to, or is set before us simply by means of a descriptive phrase; secondly, that, while it is not made so plain as to be beyond the possibility of questioning, that this unnamed person is always one and the same, yet in the doubtful cases, which are only two in number (John 1:35 ff., Joh 18:15-16 ), the probabilities strongly favor the identification of the person referred to 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 Joh 18:15 ). But the argument, even in this case, is a strong one: ( w) The very fact that elsewhere there is but one disciple who takes an active part in any scene, such as this one here takes, and yet is not named, makes the supposition probable, that here also the same person is intended. ( x) The fact that this “other disciple” (if he was the author of the Gospel) was known to Annas, will easily account for the report of the examination before that dignitary which he gives, while he omits the judicial trial before Caiaphas of which the other Gospels speak. He was an acquaintance of Annas, and so was admitted to his house. But not being on the same terms with Caiaphas, he was not present at the trial. ( y) The relation of this other disciple to Peter corresponds with that which is set forth elsewhere as existing between Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved. ( z) If the disciple whom Jesus loved was the author of the book, and therefore familiar with the scenes of the time and with Peter, it is scarcely possible that he should not have known who this other disciple was, and have given his name (unless, indeed, he was himself the person). Or, on the other hand, if the author was of a later time, we may ask whether it is probable that the name of Peter's companion on this occasion could have been forgotten? The story of Peter's denials certainly belonged to the widest circle of tradition, and the whole scene connected with them was a marked and impressive one. The only objection which may be urged on the other side is the omission of the article ὁ before ἄλλος μαθητής . But, in view of the writer's care in concealing the name of this beloved disciple, this omission can scarcely be regarded as having such weight as to overbalance the considerations mentioned. As to the other case (John 1:35 ff), the points already alluded to are sufficient to show that the companion of Andrew was the disciple whom Jesus loved. But it may also be remarked that this companion of Andrew stood apparently in the same relation to him and Peter in which John stood, as represented by the other gospels, and that their acquaintance or association before the permanent call to discipleship, which is indicated here, corresponds to that which is hinted at in Mark 1:16-41.1.20; Mark 1:29; Luke 4:38; Luke 5:1 ff.

But, if the person alluded to in Joh 18:15 and John 1:35, is the same with the one called the disciple whom Jesus loved, we find the direct statement in John 21:24, that he is the author a statement either from himself, or from others who declare that they know his testimony to be true, and who, by reason of the present μαρτυρῶν as distinguished from the aorist γράψας , must have written their postscript, as Godet has pointed out, during his lifetime: we also find the direct declaration of Joh 19:35 that the author was present at the crucifixion; and we find, once more, bearing to the same end, all those incidental things which mark the narrative of an eye-witness; comp., for example, the story in John 1:35 ff., that of the supper in chap. 13, that of the early part of chap. 18, etc. With reference to John 19:35, Godet has sufficiently shown the untenableness of the position of those who deny that the author is speaking of himself. But we may add, in a single word, that the introduction of an entirely new person, at this point in the story, with no description except that he saw the scenes, is wholly improbable, and also wholly unlike the author's course elsewhere. As the disciple whom Jesus loved has been mentioned, ten verses earlier, as present at the crucifixion, it is infinitely more probable that he is the person referred to. If he is not so, the writer attempts to give emphasis and force to a statement of the facts mentioned by citing for them a witness utterly unknown to his readers, and then attempts to confirm his testimony this man whom they knew nothing of by saying: he knows that he tells the truth. Who is he, is the question of all questions, if his testimony is to be of any value. But no answer to this question is given. Moreover, this unknown man is declared to know that he says the truth, that you (the readers) also may believe. Certainly, no intelligent writer would ever write such a sentence, or bring forward such testimony. Let us remember that this book was to meet adversaries and the advocates of other systems, and was to exhibit proofs to them. What would such a proof be worth? If, on the other hand, the “one who hath seen” is the beloved disciple, how far greater the emphasis, and how far more probable the insertion of the verse, in case the author is making a solemn declaration of his own knowledge and truthfulness, than if he is simply assuring the readers that that disciple (who was another person than himself and who had lived many years before this writing) knew the truth of what he said. There is but one difficulty in the passage, if he means himself namely, the use of the third person of the pronoun. This, however, belongs with the other expression: the disciple, etc., which is also in the third person, and is occasioned by his desire to keep himself in a sense concealed. But against the other views of the sentence every difficulty, which the nature of the case allows, arises, and improbability can scarcely reach a higher point than it does as related to them. The verse loses, largely or wholly, its emphasis and its significance, unless the author is the one who makes the declaration. It may be added that the present tenses and the correspondence in thought with the verses expressing the purpose of the book ( Joh 20:30-31 ) should not be overlooked and they give their evidence for the same conclusion.

Testimony and inward experience testimony originally coming to the writer and his fellow disciples, and their own personal inward experience as they received and believed the testimony; these are the two essential elements of the author's plan. In the light which we gain in connection with them, we may explain the peculiarity of the Prologue. Why does the writer open his book with the word Logos, giving no explanation of its meaning and, after the few introductory verses are ended, making no further allusion to it? The use of this term with no explanation must indicate that it was so familiar to his readers as to be readily understood. The laying it aside at the close of the Prologue suggests that it was only intended to connect the book with inquiries or discussions, which were occupying the minds of thoughtful men in the region where the author was living. If the subject represented by this word was a wholly new one to the original readers, we may safely say that the phenomena of the Prologue could not be what they are. Whatever, therefore, may have been the origin of the term Logos as here used, we may believe that it was employed in the philosophical disputations of the time that learned and intelligent men were asking for an answer to their questions which were represented by this term. We may, also, believe that these questions had reference to the possibility and manner of God's revealing Himself to or in the world. The writer found such men considering this great subject and giving what explanations or theories they could. He found them in uncertainty or in darkness, inquiring with no answer or wandering off into the gross errors of which Paul speaks in the Epistle to the Colossians and errors which even passed beyond these. He desired to connect his book with their inquiries and to tell them that he had discovered the answer which they needed. The man with whom he had lived was the Logos. He was the full and final revelation of God. The Logos was in the beginning with God and was God, but had now become incarnate in Jesus Christ. Let me prove this to you, he says, as it were. But let me accomplish this end, not as I might do by setting before you a mere collection of evidences or arguments, which have no immediate personal connection with myself, and none even with Him as a part of the daily life which He led among men. Let me do it, rather, by giving you the picture of the living man as He walked with His contemporaries, and especially with his earliest followers, along the pathway of His earthly career. In this way I can place Him before you as He was, and you can see the evidences as they were given by Himself. You can live with Him, as it were, and hear Him speak of the heavenly things. To these readers the term Logos may have come from the Jewish-Alexandrian philosophy, while to him it came directly from the Old Testament. To him it may have had a different meaning, in some degree, from that which it had for them, and a far deeper one. But it served, nevertheless, as a connecting-link between his answer and their questionings, and having made it useful to this end, he leads them away from fruitless discussion to the contemplation of Jesus as he had known Him. At the same time, his book would have its adaptation to every chance reader, in whose way it might fall, and would call his mind, if possible, through the testimony and the experience to the life.

If we explain the Gospel in this way, everything becomes plain, and the book comes forth, as its rich, deep thoughts would indicate, from the depths of a meditative soul in personal union with Christ when He was on earth. But if we locate the writer in the second century, what must we believe? We must believe that out of a few notes made by the Apostle John, or, apart from anything of his, out of the Synoptic narratives, the writer manufactured a history of Jesus' life which he represented as moving along with his disciples and gradually influencing their characters and their living. Yes, even more than this; that he did this so successfully, so far as relates to the person of the disciple whom Jesus loved, that the great majority of the Church in all ages have believed the author to be that disciple. To accomplish such a result, a century after the history was ended, would require an imagination of a high order, a power of transferring oneself to the life of a remote past period such as even men of genius rarely have. Such a power belongs only to the higher order of poets or writers of fiction. But this author, whoever he may have been, did not possess this faculty. We may not know his name, but the peculiar characteristics of his mind and soul are exhibited so clearly in his writings, that he stands before us with distinctness and with individuality. He was no writer of fiction or poet of the order mentioned. He was a man who, beyond any other in the New Testament history, or, indeed, almost any other of any age, dwelt within himself, in the region of contemplation, and that not the contemplation of intellectual themes, but of the growth of the soul's life. Introvertive, meditating upon himself and his own character, thinking deep thoughts only as they took hold upon the relation of his soul to God and brought the inward man into the light, picturing to himself the glory of heaven only as that likeness to God which should come from seeing Him as He is such a man would be the last of all to transfer his experience to the life of another, or either to desire or be able to picture another as himself. To such a man, the inward life is too precious and too personal to be represented as if it were not his own. It is too intensely individual to pass beyond the one to whom it belongs as the central thing of his being.

We may add, that it would have been no easy thing for any man, as near even to the life of Jesus as Paul or Apollos were and surely not for one living in the second century to represent his own Christian life as if it had grown up in a personal association with Him when He was on earth. The sorry failures of all attempts, in our day even, to give a life-like picture of those apostolic scenes may show us how hard a task it must have always been to do such a work successfully. But, in some respects, it must have been more difficult for the early Christians to do it, for the dividing line between the apostles and themselves, as those who had seen the Lord and those who had not, was a broad one and one of which they never lost sight. But here is a success which has deceived the ages, and a success accomplished by a man who had great thoughts, yet not at all the genius of fiction who lived in his friendship with the Lord, but could not have pictured it to himself or others as growing up under different conditions from those which actually belonged to it. We venture, also, to maintain that the motive of a speculative or theological character, which has led some to believe that the story is told by the author as if he were the apostle when he was not, did not exist. The evidences as to the mental character of the writer of the Gospel, which we find in his works, are not that he was a speculative philosopher, that he dwelt upon propositions or truths for their own sake, that he was ready to construct a theological system for the purpose of teaching it, or to introduce new theories into the Church. His thoughts relate only to character and life. He cares nothing for them except as they enrich the soul. He even writes his story of Jesus for the purpose of proving His Divine nature and work, only because he is assured that belief in the truth will bring life eternal to the believer. And these thoughts which grow into character are, first of all, interesting to him for the reason that they take hold of and beautify his own character.

If we examine the First Epistle in connection with the Gospel, we find what these thoughts were, and where the writer first received them into his mind. The great truth is that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. This absolute and perfect spiritual light, is what the human soul, according to the measure of its capacity, must participate in, if it is to have its highest life. The life of the soul is light. Comp. 1 John 1:5, Gosp. John 1:4. How is this life to be secured? This is the question with which his mind is wholly occupied. How shall it be secured by himself and by all other men? The day which brought him into communication with Jesus Christ answered the question. The years and the meditations which followed from that first meeting to his latest age, only made the answer more full and more satisfying. Thought, therefore, moves along this line. The relation of the personal Jesus, full of grace and truth, to his individual soul is the starting-point of all thinking, and the nature of Jesus, His work, and everything respecting Him centre, in their all-absorbing interest, around this relation. Friendship with Jesus was the atmosphere in which he lived. The meditations of friendship and the study, in experience, of its power to develop the inward man not the speculations of philosophy or theology were what occupied his life. Hence we find him, when he comes to write for the world, telling first, in the Gospel, the simple story of what Jesus did and said, and afterwards, in the Epistle. saying at the outset, “That which we have heard, seen, handled of the Word of life, which was with the Father and was manifested unto us, declare we unto you.” The end in view, in the latter case, is also 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 writer in the New Testament was more unfitted by the peculiar characteristics of his nature to find interest in creating a history for the purpose of developing an idea. No class of thinking men in any age turn with less readiness to mere speculations for their own sake than those who, like this writer, are ever studying with intense delight the progress of their own souls in true living. Let us try to imagine a speculative philosopher, of earlier or later times, coming before his readers with a manufactured history, told in the simple style of the Gospel, and then saying: That which I have heard and seen and handled I declare to you, that you may have fellowship with me in God and Christ, and these things I write that my joy may be fulfilled. The inmost nature of the two classes of men is different. The author of the fourth Gospel was not a philosopher of the schools, nor a contemplative mystic. He lived in the experience and recollections of a personal friendship and found in that friendship the eternal life. He could not have created the story of his life with Jesus by his imagination, if he would, for his nature was such that it must rest on reality. The deepest souls, of his peculiar order, as we have already said, do not and cannot picture their own experience as that of another; much less, if possible, can they make a fictitious narrative contradicting the supremest facts of their personal life, for the purpose of impressively presenting to the world a theological idea.

Among the personages of the apostolic history who live and move before us on the pages of the New Testament, the writer of this Gospel takes his place as truly as any other. Paul and Peter, even, do not stand forth as living characters more clearly than he does. He comes forward, indeed, as if in his bodily presence, in several of the narratives, and by reason of the familiar acquaintance which he shows with the details of the history and with the geography, the customs, the men of the region which he describes. But with far greater distinctness even, does he appear to us in his character and inward personality. The testimony of thousands of men who have communed with him in spirit, as they have given themselves up to the contemplation of his deep thoughts, bears witness as to what he was, and their testimony, in all the ages, is the same. The book which he has written gives evidence with regard to him as truly and as fully as the Pauline Epistles do for their author. It shows as plainly that he was one of apostolic company who attended Jesus in the years of His ministry, as the writings of the apostle to the Gentiles prove that he was not.

The external testimonies for the authenticity of the Gospel, as Godet and many other writers have shown, are exceedingly strong. That of Irenaeus, given so abundantly, is in itself sufficient, for he knew Polycarp, who had known John. But we are persuaded that the book carries within itself its strongest evidence. And this evidence is inwoven into its whole texture, and is the more powerful in its impressiveness because it is so incidental and undesigned. We have given a few suggestions with regard to it, which may, in a measure, supplement what Godet has presented in his excellent introduction. The subject might be set forth with much greater detail and with more of completeness in the plan of presentation. But in the limited space allowed us, we have desired only to move along one line of thought, and have been able, even in this line, to do no more than indicate what may open a wide field of study for the thoughtful reader of this Gospel. Before concluding these introductory remarks upon the book, however, we will call attention to two or three scenes in the story related by the author, in which the reality of a past experience is what gives them all their life and power. The scene recorded in John 1:35 ff. is one of these. Of this we have already spoken. But it is by no means the only one. In the narrative of the last evening of the life of Jesus, the author represents Him as comforting the hearts of the disciples in view of His approaching death by the promise of a future reunion in heaven. He begins by assuring them that there are many mansions in His Father's house, and adds the declaration that He is going to prepare a place for them there. But between the two statements there is a word inserted, which has been to many difficult of explanation: “If it were not so, I would have told you.” Whence does the force of this expression come? Where does it get its significance? Surely, from the past life with the disciples, and from that alone. As spoken by a stranger, or by another than a friend, the words would have had little or no meaning. But as taking hold upon every day of those three years of their life together, as recalling all that He had been to them and done for them, as opening the depths of His love and friendship so wonderfully revealed to their inmost experience, they became the strongest testimony to the truth of what He said at the parting hour. Your experience in the past may bear witness that I would not deceive you may prove to you that there is a place for you in the Father's house, for, if it were not so, I would not have failed to tell you. But they are of that peculiar character which makes it improbable, almost to the extent of impossibility, that a writer of another generation would have dreamed of inserting them. To the soul of the beloved disciple they would be a precious memory for a lifetime, a word of love to be often recalled with tenderest recollection. They speak of living friendship and appeal to a past. But the one to whom they spoke thus must have known the past and have shared in the living friendship. Stories created for the presentation of a theological idea do not move in the sphere of such expressions. The Christian author of the third or fourth generation of believers might, perhaps, have put into the mouth of Jesus the promise that He would prepare a place for His followers, or the assurance that there was room for them in Heaven, but this little sentence would never have found place in his thought or his narrative. It belongs to the evening on which it is said to have been uttered and to the experience of one who heard it from the Lord Himself. It testifies of the authorship of the book by an ear-witness.

Or again, in the same scene of the last evening, who but one who was present and witnessed the changing thoughts of successive moments could have recorded those words of John 16:5-43.16.6: “But now I go unto him that sent me; and none of you asketh me whither goest thou,” after having related in the earlier part of the conversation, that one of the disciples had suggested this very question, Joh 14:5 ? To one, however, who remembered the scene as himself participating in it, these words had a living freshness and recalled the grief and disappointment of their hopes, which so filled the hearts of all that they thought only of their own future, and not of the blessedness which should come to Jesus. How completely does this place us in the midst of the apostolic company and tell us of the living experience of the hour. It is not the effort of the advocate of some intellectual conception or theory that we find here, but the thought of a loving friend who always bore with him, even to his latest life, what he had felt and what Jesus had said in one of the supreme moments of the past.

Or, if we look at the story of the morning of the resurrection, the striking way in which the faith of the disciple whom Jesus loved is represented as confirmed by what he saw in the tomb, while that of Peter is not spoken of, points to such knowledge of the inner history of the former as indicates that the writer was referring to himself. The same is true of the life-like picture presented before us in the twenty-first chapter. Not only is it wholly improbable that a writer, who had never stood at the standpoint of the event related, and who was writing after the death of the beloved disciple, would have taken this method of correcting the error alluded to; but the story, by its inimitable naturalness as answering to the feeling of the two participants in the last part of the scene with Jesus, carries us into the heart of the writer as he remembers all that happened.

Or, finally to refer only to one more passage how are we to account for the touching incident in John 19:25-43.19.27, where Jesus entrusts his mother to the care of the beloved disciple? She had children of her own who could care for her, or, if not children, nephews who were to her as if sons. Why does not Jesus commit her to their care? The fact that they were unbelievers at the time will not explain this peculiar act, for they were to become believers within a few days after the death of Jesus (comp. Act 1:14 ), and He must have foreseen this. The only answer to the question which the verses suggest is that, at the final hour, Jesus rose above the power of earthly relationships, and, in view of His separation from them both, joined the two friends, to whom He was most closely bound in affection, as son and mother. But, if this was the reason of His giving the one of the two to the other, the act bears within itself the result of a long-continued and real life of the soul in all the three as related to one another. It is wholly dependent on a living experience. And whose experience is to be found in the unnamed sharer in this scene? Is it the originator of a system, the defender of an idea, the meditative philosopher, who brings into a fictitious narrative a little incident like this, which could have no interest as compared with many things that might have directly emphasized his doctrine of the Logos? Is it not, on the other hand, the man who, in the later years of his life, goes over once more the facts of his own association with his Master and finds in them all the power of a holy friendship for his own soul?

All these things if any judgment of what is true can be formed in the case of any man's utterance or writing testify of reality. They depend on the reality of that which is related for their significance. And the only satisfactory explanation of their appearance in the book is that the author was bearing witness of what he had seen and heard. The supposition that such stories were told for the purpose of maintaining a theory or of glorifying one of the apostles at the expense of another is little less than absurd. They are not fitted in any considerable measure for either purpose. They take hold upon the tenderest feelings of the heart, and are foreign to the sphere of rivalry or discussion. And the fact that their full meaning is to be sought and found only beneath the surface adds to the evidence that the writer and the apostle of whom he wrote were one and the same person.

It is often said that the student of the Bible must be in sympathy with it, if he would reach the deepest understanding of what it is and what it teaches. This is no doubt true, for the unsympathetic mind never reaches the perfect light in any line of study. But, in a peculiar sense, it is necessary for one who comes to the investigation of the fourth Gospel, that he should have some comprehension of the inner life of a Christian believer who grows into the likeness of Christ by personal communion with Him who abides within the region of his own spirit, and moves upward and onward in the sphere of a divine friendship. It is not enough to dissect the sentences, or consider the theological doctrine, or attempt to fit the narrative to an idea, or trace the possible development of thought under certain influences on the foundation of the Synoptic story. The man himself who wrote the book must be understood, for he is, after all, in his own inner life, the greatest factor in it. The student of his writings must see him himself. He must be in sympathy with him, if he would be prepared to appreciate the evidence which he has furnished as to his personality. It is the want of this sympathy, arising from the want of that peculiar belief which gave him his truest life, that has placed many writers on his Gospel quite outside of its central and inmost part. They have dissected the book, but they have not known the man.

But when we know the man, we comprehend the book and we recognize in the book not a poem or a work of fiction; the author did not live in the region of the imagination: not the writing of one who created a doctrine or system for himself by means of his own reflection; his musings were of a far different order from this: not the effort of a man who tries to save Christianity from the influence of Judaism, or to reconcile parties and unify the Church, or to elevate or depreciate one or another of the apostolic company; he is neither a partisan nor a professed peacemaker: but the simple story of what a man of the richest inward life, who had lived with Jesus, learned of His nature and His wonderful spiritual power, both in his association with Him and in the meditations of the years that followed.

The Christian system is not dependent on the genuineness of the fourth Gospel, so that, if the latter could be disproved, the former would fail. But there is no doubt that the author of this Gospel penetrated in his thought into the centre of the Christian system, as it has been understood by the Church. The question of the authorship becomes, therefore, one of gravest importance. If the author was that most intimate disciple of Jesus of whom the book speaks so frequently, he gained his conception of Christ and the new faith from the Lord Himself, and he could not be mistaken. His book is the flower and consummation of the apostolic thought. It is in the truest and highest sense inspired of God. The attempt to deny the system is a hopeless one, so soon as this Gospel is established on a firm foundation. In view of this fact, it may well seem divinely ordered that the book should stand in the world as it has ever done, bearing within itself its own evidence. The writer of it, in addressing the readers for whom his first Epistle was intended, says that he writes that which he has seen and heard, in order that they may have fellowship, as he himself has, with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. It is a wonderful fact in the history of the centuries which have passed since he wrote, that those who have been persuaded by his story to believe and who have been conscious, as the result of their faith, that they had fellowship with God, have had an abiding confidence that he told of what he had heard and seen, and that it is those who have rejected the doctrine and the peculiar life, who have questioned the reality of the author's experience as the disciple whom Jesus loved. The past may give us confidence in the future; and we may safely predict that, until the inner life of the author ceases to bear this witness, he and his Gospel will be among the unshaken pillars of the Church.


Every book is a mystery of which the author alone has the secret. The preface may, no doubt, lift a corner of the veil; but there are books without a preface, and the writer may not tell the whole truth. It belongs to literary criticism, as it is understood at the present day, to solve the problem offered to the world by every work which is worthy of attention. For a book is not fully intelligible except so far as the obscurity of its origin is dissipated.

The science which is commonly called Sacred Criticism or Introduction to the Old and the New Testament was instituted by the Church, to fulfill this task with regard to the books which contain the object of its faith and the standards of its development. By placing in a clear light the origin of each one of these writings and thus revealing its primal thought, it has as its office to shed upon their whole contents the ray of light which illumines their minutest details.

According to Schleiermacher, the ideal of Sacred Criticism consists in putting the present reader in the place of the original reader, by procuring for him through the artifice of science, the preliminary knowledge which the latter, as a matter of course, possessed. However valuable a result like this may be, it seems to me that criticism should propose to itself a yet more elevated aim. Its true mission is to transport the reader into the very mind of the author, at the time when he conceived or elaborated his work, and to cause him to be present at the composition of the book almost after the manner of the spectator who is present at the casting of a bell, and who, after having beheld the metal in a state of fusion in the furnace, sees the torrent of fire flow into the mold in which it is to receive its permanent form. This ideal includes that of Schleiermacher. For one of the essential elements present to the mind of the author at the time when he prepares his work, is certainly the idea which he forms of his readers, and of their condition and wants. To identify oneself with him is, therefore, at the same time to identify oneself with them.

To attain this object, or, at least, to approach it as nearly as possible, Criticism makes use of two sorts of means: 1. Those which it borrows from the history, and especially from the literary history, of the time which witnessed the publication of the sacred writings, or which followed it; 2. Those which it derives from the book itself.

Among the former we rank, first of all, the positive statements which Jewish or Christian antiquity has transmitted to us respecting the composition of one or another of our Biblical writings; then, the quotations or reminiscences of any passages of these books, which are met with in subsequent writers, and which prove their existence and influence at a certain date; finally, the historical facts to which these writings have stood in the relation of cause or effect. These are the external data.

To the second class belong all the indications, contained in the book itself, respecting the person of its author, and respecting the circumstances in which he labored and the motive which impelled him to write. These are the internal data.

To combine these two classes of data, for the purpose of drawing from them, if possible, a harmonious result such is the work of Criticism.

This is the task which we undertake with regard to one of the most important books of the New Testament and of the whole Bible. Luther is reported to have said that if a tyrant succeeded in destroying the Holy Scriptures and only a single copy of the Epistle to the Romans and of the Gospel of John escaped him, Christianity would be saved. He spoke truly; for the fourth Gospel presents the object of the Christian faith in its most perfect splendor, and the Epistle to the Romans describes the way of faith which leads to this object, with an incomparable clearness. What need of more to preserve Christ to the world and to give birth ever anew to the Church?

The following will be the course of our study. After having cast a general glance at the formation of our Gospel literature, we shall trace the course of the discussions relative to the composition of the fourth Gospel. These will be the subjects of two preliminary chapters.

Then, we shall enter upon the study itself, which will include the following subjects:

1. The life of the apostle to whom the fourth Gospel is generally ascribed.

2. The analysis and distinctive characteristics of this writing.

3. The circumstances of its composition: Its date; The place of its origin; Its author; The aim which the author pursued in composing it. After having studied each of these points, as separately as possible from one another, we shall bring together the particular results thus obtained in a general view, which, if we have not taken a wrong path, will offer the solution of the problem.

Jesus has promised to His Church the Spirit of truth to lead it into all the truth. It is under the direction of this guide that we place ourselves.


OUR first three Gospels certainly have a common origin, not only in that all three relate one and the same history, but also by reason of the fact that an elaboration of this history, of some sort, was already in existence at the time of their composition, and has stamped with a common impress the three narratives. Indeed, the striking agreement between them which is easily observed both in the general plan and in certain series of identical accounts, and finally in numerous clauses which are found exactly the same in two of these writings, or in all the three this general and particular agreement renders it impossible to question that, before being thus recorded, the history of Jesus had already been cast in a mold where it had received the more or less fixed form in which we find it in our three narratives. Many think that this primitive gospel type consisted of a written document either one of our three Gospels, of which the other two were only a free reproduction, or one or even two writings, now lost, from which our evangelists, all three of them, drew. This hypothesis of written sources has been, and is still presented under the most varied forms. We do not think that in any form it can be accepted; for it always leads to the adoption of the view, that the later writer sometimes willfully altered his model by introducing changes of real gravity, at other times adopted the course of copying with the utmost literalness, and that while frequently applying these two opposite methods in one and the same verse; and, finally, at still other times, that he made the text which he used undergo a multitude of modifications which are ridiculous by reason of being insignificant. Let any one consult a Synopsis, and the thing will be obvious. Is it psychologically conceivable that serious, believing writers, convinced of the supreme importance of the subjec f which they were treating, adopted such methods with regard to it; and, above all, that they applied them to the reproduction of the very teachings of the Lord Jesus?

Common as, even at the present day, this manner of explaining the relation between our three Gospels is, we are convinced that Criticism will finally renounce it as a moral impossibility.

The simple and natural solution of the problem appears to us to be indicated by the book of Acts, in the passage where it speaks to us of the teaching of the apostles, as one of the foundations on which the Church of Jerusalem was built ( Act 2:42 ). In this primitive apostolic teaching, the accounts of the life and death of Jesus surely occupied the first place. These narratives, daily repeated by the apostles, and by the evangelists instructed in their school, must speedily have taken a form more or less fixed and settled, not only as to the tenor of each account, but also as to the joining together of several accounts in one group, which formed ordinarily the subject-matter of a single teaching. What we here affirm is not a pure hypothesis. St. Luke tells us, in the preface of his Gospel (the most ancient document respecting this subject which we possess), of the first written accounts of the evangelic facts as composed “according to the story which they transmitted to us who were witnesses of them from the beginning, and who became ministers of the Word.” These witnesses and first ministers can only have been the apostles. Their accounts conveyed to the Church by oral teaching had passed, therefore, just as they were, into the writings of those who first wrote them out. The pronoun us employed by Luke, shows that he ranked himself among the writers who were instructed by the oral testimony of the apostles.

The primitive apostolic tradition is thus the type, at once fixed, and yet within certain limits malleable, which has stamped with its ineffaceable imprint our first three Gospels. In this way a satisfactory explanation is afforded, on the one side, of the general and particular resemblances which make these three writings, as it were, one and the same narrative; and, on the other, of the differences which we observe among them, from those which are most considerable to those which are most insignificant.

These three works are, thus, three workings-over wrought independently of one another of the primitive tradition formulated in the midst of the Palestinian churches, and ere long repeated in all the countries of the world. They are three branches proceeding from the same trunk, but branches which have grown out under different conditions and in different directions; and herein lies the explanation of the peculiar physiognomy of each of the three books.

In the first, the Gospel of St. Matthew, we find the matter of the preaching of the Twelve at Jerusalem preserved in the form which approaches nearest to the primitive type. This fact will appear quite simple, if we hold that this writing was designed for the Jewish people, and therefore precisely for the circle of readers with a view to which the oral preaching had been originally formulated. The dominant idea in the Palestinian preaching must have been that of the Messianic dignity of Jesus. This is also the thought which forms the unity of the first Gospel. It is inscribed at the beginning of the book as its programme. The formula: that it might be fulfilled, which recurs, like a refrain, throughout the entire narrative, recalls this primal idea at every moment; finally it breaks forth into the full light of day in the conclusion, which brings us to contemplate the full realization of the Messianic destiny of the Lord. With what purpose was this redaction of the primitive apostolic testimony published? Evidently the author desired to address a last appeal to that people, whom their own unbelief was leading to ruin. This book was composed, therefore, at the time when the final catastrophe was preparing. A word of Jesus ( Mat 24:15 ) in which He enjoins upon His disciples to flee to the other side of the Jordan as soon as the war should break out, is reported by the author with a significant nota bene, which confirms the date that we have just indicated.

Already twenty years before this, the preaching of the Gospel had passed beyond the boundaries of Palestine and penetrated the Gentile world. Numerous churches, almost all of them composed of a small nucleus of Jews, and a multitude of Gentiles grouped around them, had arisen at the preaching of the Apostle Paul and his fellow-laborers. This immense work could not in the end dispense with the solid foundation which had been laid at the beginning by the Twelve and the evangelists in Palestine and Syria: the connected narrative of the acts, the teachings, the death and the resurrection of Jesus. In this fact lay the imperative want which gave birth to our third Gospel, drawn up by one of the most eminent companions of the apostle of the Gentiles, St. Luke. The Messianic dignity of Jesus, and the argument drawn from the prophecies, had no more, in the estimation of the Gentiles, the same importance as with the Jews: all this is omitted in the third Gospel. It was as the Saviour of humanity that Jesus needed especially be presented to them; with this purpose, Luke, after having gathered the most exact information, sets in relief, in his representation of our Lord's earthly ministry, everything that had marked the salvation which He introduced as a gratuitous and universal salvation. Hence the agreement, which is so profound, between this Gospel and the writings of St. Paul. What the former traces out historically, the latter expounds theoretically. But, notwithstanding these differences as compared with the work of Matthew, the Gospel of Luke rests always, as the author himself declares in his preface, on the apostolic tradition formulated at the beginning by the Twelve. Only he has sought to complete it and to give it a more strict arrangement with a view to cultivated Gentiles, such as Theophilus, who demanded a more consecutive and profound teaching.

Was a third form possible? Yes; this traditional type, preserved in its rigid and potent originality by the first evangelist with a view to the Jewish people, enriched and completed by the third with a view to the churches of the Gentile nations, might be published anew in its primitive form, as in the first Gospel, but this time with a view to Gentile readers, as in the third, and such, in fact, is the Gospel of Mark. This work does not have any of the precious supplements which that of Luke had added to the Palestinian preaching; in this point it is allied to the first Gospel. But, on the other hand, it omits the numerous references to the prophecies and most of the long discourses of Jesus addressed to the people and their rulers, which give to the Gospel of Matthew its so decidedly Jewish character; besides, it adds detailed explanations respecting the Jewish customs which are not found in Matthew, and which are evidently intended for Gentile readers. Thus allied, therefore, to Luke by its destination and to Matthew by its contents, it is, as it were, the connecting link between the two preceding forms. This intermediate position is made clear by the first word of the work: “Gospel of Jesus, the Christ (Messiah), Son of God. ” The title of Christ recalls the special relation of Jesus to the Jewish people; that of Son of God, which marks the mysterious relation between God and this unique man, raises this being to such a height that His appearance and His work must necessarily have for their object the entire human race. To this first word of the book answers also the last, which shows us Jesus continuing from heaven to discharge throughout the whole world that function of celestial messenger, of divine evangelist, which He had begun to exercise on the earth. Let us notice also a distinctive characteristic of this narrative: in each picture, so to speak, there are found strokes of the pencil which belong to it peculiarly and which betray an eye-witness. They are always, at the foundation, the traditional accounts, but evidently transmitted by a witness who had himself taken part in the scenes related, and who, when recounting them by word of mouth, quite naturally mingled in them points of detail suggested by the vividness of his own recollections.

As such do our first three Gospels present themselves to attentive readers being called Synoptic because the three narratives may without much difficulty be placed, with a view to a comparison with one another, in three parallel columns. The date of their composition must have been nearly the same (between the years 60 and 70). Indeed, the first is, as it were, the last apostolic summons addressed to the people of Israel before their destruction; the third is designed to give to the preaching of St. Paul in the Gentile world its historical basis; and the second is the reproduction of the preachings of a witness carrying to the Gentile world the primitive Palestinian Gospel proclamation. If the composition of these three writings really took place at nearly the same time and in different countries, this fact accords with the opinion expressed above, that the writings were composed each one independently of the two others.

Did the Church possess in these three monuments of the primitive popular preaching of the Gospel that by which it could fully answer the wants of believers who had not known the Lord? Must there not have been in the ministry of Jesus a large number of elements which the apostles had not been able to introduce into their missionary preaching? Had they not, by reason of the elementary, and in some sort catechetical nature of that teaching of the earliest times, been led to eliminate many of the sayings of Jesus which reached beyond such a level and rose to a height where only the most advanced minds could follow Him? This is, in itself, very probable. We have already seen that a mass of picturesque details, which are wanting in Matthew, more vividly color the ancient popular tradition in Mark. The important additions in Luke prove still more eloquently how the richness of the ministry of Jesus passed beyond the measure of the primitive oral tradition. Why may not an immediate witness of Jesus' ministry have felt himself called to rise once above all these traditional accounts, to draw directly from the source of his own recollections, and, while omitting all the scenes already sufficiently known, which had passed into the ordinary narrative, to trace, at a single stroke, the picture of the moments which were most marked, most impressive to his own heart, in the ministry of his Master? There was not in this, as we can well understand, any deliberate selection, any artificial distribution. The division of the evangelic matter was the natural result of the historical circumstances in which the founding of the Church was accomplished.

This course of things is so simple that it is, in some sort, its own justification. The apostolic origin of the fourth Gospel may be disputed, but it cannot be denied by any one that the situation indicated is probable, and the part assigned to the author of such a writing natural. It remains to be discovered whether in this case the probable is real, and the natural true. This is precisely the question which we have to elucidate.


IN the rapid review which is to follow, we might unite in a single series arranged chronologically all the writings, to whatever tendency they belong, in which the subject which occupies us has been treated. But it seems preferable to us, with a view to clearness, to divide the authors whom we have to enumerate into three distinct series: 1. The partisans of the entire spuriousness of our Gospel; 2. The defenders of its absolute authenticity; 3. The advocates of some intermediate position.


Until the end of the seventeenth century, the question had not even been raised. It was known that, in the primitive Church, a small sect, of which Irenaeus and Epiphanius make mention, ascribed the fourth Gospel to Cerinthus, the adversary of the Apostle John at Ephesus. But the science of theologians, as well as the feeling of the Church, confirmed the conviction of the first Christian communities and their leaders, who saw in it unanimously the work of that apostle.

Some attacks of little importance, proceeding from the English Deistic party, which flourished two centuries ago, opened the conflict. But it did not break out seriously until a century later. In 1792, the English theologian, Evanson, raised note-worthy objections, for the first time, against the general conviction. He rested especially on the differences between our Gospel and the Apocalypse. He ascribed the composition of the former of these books to some Platonic philosopher of the second century.

The discussion was not long in being transplanted to Germany. Four years after Evanson, Eckermann contended against the authenticity, while yet agreeing that certain Johannean redactions must have formed the first foundation of our Gospel. These notes had been amalgamated with the historical traditions which the author had gathered from the lips of John. Eckermann retracted in 1807.

Several German theologians continued the conflict which was entered upon at this time. The contradictions between this Gospel and the other three were alleged, also the exaggerated character of the miracles, the metaphysical tone of the discourses, the evident affinities between the theology of the author and that of Philo, the scarcity of traces in literature proving the existence of this writing in the second century. From 1801, the cause of the authenticity seemed already so far compromised that a German superintendent, Vogel, believed himself able to summon the evangelist John and his interpreters to the bar of the last judgment. However, it was yet only the first phase of the discussion, the time of the skirmishes which form the prelude of great pitched battles.

It was also a German superintendent who opened the second period of the discussion. In a work which became celebrated and was published in 1820, Bretschneider brought together all the objections previously raised and added to them new ones. He especially developed with force the objection drawn from the contradictions in our Gospel as compared with the three preceding ones, both with reference to the form of the discourses and in respect to the very substance of the Christological teaching. The fourth Gospel must, according to his view, have been the work of a presbyter of Gentile, probably of Alexandrian origin, who lived in the first half of the second century. This learned and vigorous attack of Bretschneider called forth numerous replies, of which we shall speak later, and following upon which this theologian declared (in 1824) that the replies which had been made to his book were “more than sufficient,” and (in 1828) that he had attained the end which he had proposed to himself: that of calling out a more searching demonstration of the authenticity of the fourth Gospel.

But the seeds sown by such a work could not be uprooted by these rather equivocal retractions, which had a purely personal value. From 1824, the cause of the unauthenticity was pleaded anew by Rettig. The author of the Gospel is a disciple of John. The apostle himself certainly was not so far wanting in modesty as to designate himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” De Wette in his Introduction published for the first time in 1826, without positively taking sides against the authenticity, confessed the impossibility of demonstrating it by unanswerable proofs. In the same year, Reuterdahl, following the footsteps of Vogel, assailed the tradition of John's sojourn in Asia Minor as fictitious.

The publication of Strauss' Life of Jesus, in 1835, had, at first, a much more decisive influence upon the criticism of the history of Jesus than upon that of the documents in which this history has been transmitted to us. Evidently Strauss had not devoted himself to a special study of the origin of these latter. He started, as concerning the Synoptics, from the two theories of Gieseler and Griesbach, according to which our Gospels are the redaction of the apostolic tradition, which, after having for a long time circulated in a purely oral form, at length slowly established itself in our Synoptics (Gieseler); and this, first, in the redactions of Matthew and Luke, then, in that of Mark, which is only a compilation of the two others (Griesbach). As to John, he allowed as valid the reasons alleged by Bretschneider: insufficient attestation in the primitive Church, contents contradictory of those of the first three gospels, etc. And if, in his third edition, in 1838, he acknowledged that the authenticity was less indefensible to his view, he was not slow in retracting this concession in the following edition (1840). Indeed, the least evasion in regard to this point shook his entire hypothesis of mythical legends. The aximo which lies at its foundation: The ideal does not exhaust itself in one individual, would be proved false, provided that the fourth Gospel contained, in however small a measure, the narrative of an eye-witness. Nevertheless, the immense commotion produced in the learned world by Strauss' work soon reacted upon the criticism of the Gospels.

Christian Hermann Weisse drew attention especially to the close connection between the criticism of the history of Jesus and that of the writings in which it has been preserved. He contended against the authenticity of our Gospel, but not without recognizing in it a true apostolic foundation. The Apostle John, with the design of fixing the image of his Master, which, in proportion as the reality was farther removed from him, came to be more and more indefinite in his mind, and in order to give himself a distinct account of the impression which he had preserved of the person of Jesus, had drawn up certain “studies” which, when amplified, became the discourses of the fourth Gospel. To these more or less authentic parts, a historical framework which was completely fictitious was afterwards adapted. We can understand how, from this point of view, Weisse was able to defend the authenticity of the first Epistle of John.

At this juncture there occurred in the criticism of the fourth Gospel a revolution like to that which was wrought at the same time in the mode of looking at the first three. Wilke then endeavored to prove that the differences which distinguish the Synoptical narratives from one another were not, as had been always believed, simple involuntary accidents, but that it was necessary to recognize in them modifications introduced by each author, in a deliberate and intentional way, into the narrative of his predecessor or predecessors. Bruno Bauer extended this mode of explaining the matter to the fourth Gospel. He claimed that the Johannean narrative was not by any means, as the treatise of Strauss supposed, the depository of a simple legendary tradition, but that this story was the product of an individual conception, the reflective work of a Christian thinker and poet, who was perfectly conscious of his procedure. The history of Jesus was thus reduced, according to Ebrard's witty expression, to a single line: “At that time it came to pass...that nothing came to pass.”

In the same year, Lutzelberger attacked, in a more thoroughly searching way than Reuterdahl, the tradition as to the residence of John in Asia Minor. The author of our Gospel was, in his view, a Samaritan, whose parents had emigrated to Mesopotamia, between 130 and 135, at the epoch of the new revolt of the Jews against the Romans, and he composed this Gospel at Edessa. The “disciple whom Jesus loved” was not John, but Andrew.

In a celebrated article, Fischer tried to prove, from the use of the term οἱ᾿Ιουδαῖοι in our Gospel, that its author could not be of Jewish origin.

We arrive here at the third and last period of this prolonged conflict. It dates from 1844 and has as its starting-point the famous work published at that time by Ferdinand Christian Baur. The first phase had lasted twenty and odd years, from Evanson to Bretschneider (1792-1820); the second, also twenty and odd years, from Bretschneider to Baur; the third has now continued more than thirty years. It is that of mortal combat. The dissertation which was the signal of it is certainly one of the most ingenious and brilliant compositions which theological science has ever produced. The purely negative results of Strauss' criticism demanded as a complement a positive construction; on the other hand, the arbitrary and subjective character of that of Bruno Bauer did not answer the wants of an era eager for positive facts. The discussion was, therefore, as it were, involved in inextricable difficulties.

Baur understood that his task was to withdraw it from that position, and that the only efficacious means was to discover in the progress of the Church of the second century a distinctly marked historical situation, which might be, as it were, the ground whereon was raised the imposing edifice of the fourth Gospel. He believed that he had discovered the situation which he sought in the last third of the second century. Then, indeed, Gnosis was flourishing, the borders of which the narrative of our Gospel touches throughout all its contents. At that time thinkers were pre-occupied with the idea of the Logos, which is precisely the theme of our work. The need was felt more and more of uniting in one great and single Catholic Church the two rival parties which, until then, had divided the Church, and which a series of compromises had already gradually brought near together; the fourth Gospel was adapted to serve them as a treaty of peace. An energetic spiritual reaction against the episcopate was rising: Montanism; our Gospel furnished strength to this tendency, by borrowing from Montanism the truth which it contained. Then, finally, the famous dispute between the churches of Asia Minor and those of the West on the subject of the Paschal rite burst forth. Now, our Gospel modified the chronology of the Passion in just such a way as to decide the minds of men in favor of the occidental rite. Here, then, was the situation fully discovered for the composition of our Gospel. At the same time, Baur, following the footsteps of Bruno Bauer, shows with a marvelous skill the well- considered and systematic unity of this work; he explains its logical progress and practical applications, and thus overthrows at one blow the hypothesis of unreflective myths, on which the work of Strauss rested, and every attempt at selection in our Gospel between certain authentic parts and other unauthentic ones. In accordance with all this, Baur fixes, as the epoch of the composition, about the year 170 at the earliest, 160; for then it was that all the circumstances indicated meet together. Only he has not attempted to designate the “great unknown” to whose pen was due this master-piece of high mystical philosophy and skillful ecclesiastical policy, which has exercised such a decisive influence on the destinies of Christianity.

All the forces of the school co-operated in supporting the work of the master in its various parts. From 1841, Schwegler had prepared the way for it by his treatise on Montanism. In his work on the period which followed that of the apostles, the same author assigned to each one of the writings of the New Testament its place in the development of the conflict between the apostolic Judaeo-Christianity and Paulinism, and set forth the fourth Gospel as the crowning point of this long elaboration. Zeller completed the work of his master by the study of the ecclesiastical testimonies, a study whose aim was to sweep away from history every trace of the existence of the fourth Gospel before the period indicated by Baur. Koestlin, in a celebrated work on pseudonymous literature in the primitive Church, endeavored to prove that the pseudepigraphical procedure to which Baur ascribed the composition of four- fifths of the New Testament was in conformity with literary precedents and the ideas of the epoch. Volkmar labored to ward off the blows by which the system of his master was unceasingly threatened by reason of the less and less controvertible citations of the fourth Gospel in the writings of the second century in those of Marcion and Justin, for example, and in the Clementine Homilies. Finally, Hilgenfeld treated, in a more profound way than Baur had done, the dispute concerning the Passover and its relation to the authenticity of our Gospel.

Thus learnedly supported by this Pleiad of distinguished critics, devoted to the common work, although not without marked shades of difference, Baur's opinion might seem, for a moment, to have obtained a complete and decisive triumph.

Nevertheless, in the midst of the school itself a divergence became manifest which, in many respects, was detrimental to the hypothesis so skillfully contrived by the master. Hilgenfeld abandoned the date fixed by Baur, and consequently a part of the advantages of the situation chosen by him. He carried back the composition of the Johannean Gospel thirty or forty years. According to him, this work was connected especially with the appearance of the Valentinian heresy, about 140. The author of the Gospel proposed to himself to introduce this Gnostic teaching into the Church in a mitigated form. And as already about 150 “the existence of our Gospel could scarcely be any longer questioned,” he put back its date even to the period from 130 to 140.

In 1860, J. R. Tobler, discovering, side by side with the ideal character of the narrative, a mass of geographical notices or of narratives truly historical, conceived the idea of ascribing our Gospel to Apollos (according to him, the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews) who compiled it about the end of the first century from information obtained from John.

Michel Nicolas advanced, in 1862, the following hypothesis: A Christian of Ephesus related in our Gospel the ministry of Jesus according to the accounts of the Apostle John; and this personage is the one who, in the two small Epistles, designates himself as the Elder (the presbyter), and the one whom history makes known to us under the name of John the Presbyter. D'Eichthal accepted Hilgenfeld's idea of a relationship between our Gospel and Gnosis. The work which Stap published in the same year, in his collection of Critical Studies, is only a reproduction, without originality, of all the ideas of the Tubingen school.

In 1864 two important books appeared. Weizsacker, in his work on the Gospels, sought to bring out from our Gospel itself the proof of the distinction between the editor of this writing and the Apostle John, who served as a voucher for him. The former wished only to reproduce in a free way the impressions which he had experienced when hearing the apostolic witness describe the life of the Lord.

The second book takes a more decided position: it is that of Scholten. The author of the fourth Gospel is a Christian of Gentile origin, initiated in Gnosticism and desirous of rendering that tendency profitable to the Church. He seeks, also, to restrain within just limits the Marcionite antinomianism and the Montanist exaltation. As to the Paschal dispute, the evangelist does not decide in favor of the Western rite, as Baur thinks; he seeks rather to secure the triumph of Pauline spiritualism, which abolishes feast days in the Church altogether. According to these indications, the author wrote about 150. He succeeded in presenting to the world, under the figure of the mysterious personage designated as “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” the ideal believer the truly spiritual Christianity which was capable of becoming the universal religion. Reville has set forth and developed Scholten's point of view in the Revue des Deux-Mondes.

Let us also remind the reader here of the work of Volkmar (page 19), directed against Tischendorf personally, as much as against his book, When were our Gospels written? However deplorable is its tone, this work exhibits with learning and precision the point of view of Baur's school. The author fixes the date of our Gospel between 150 and 160.

In 1867, appeared the History of Jesus, by Keim. This scholar energetically opposes, in the Introduction, the authenticity of our Gospel. He lays especial stress upon the philosophical character of this writing; then upon the inconsistencies of the narrative with the nature of things, with the data furnished by the writings of St. Paul, and with the Synoptic narratives. But, on the other hand, he proves the traces of its existence as far back as the earliest times of the second century. “The testimonies,” he says, “go back as far as to the year 120, so that the composition dates from the beginning of the second century, in the reign of Trajan, between 100 and 117.” The author was a Christian of Jewish origin, belonging to the Diaspora of Asia Minor, in full sympathy with the Gentiles and thoroughly acquainted with everything relating to Palestine. In a more recent writing, a popular reproduction of his great work, Keim has withdrawn from this early date, stating as the ground of this change reasons which, we may say, have no serious importance. He now, with Hilgenfeld, fixes the composition about the year 130. Of what consequence here is a period of ten years? It would follow from the one of these last mentioned dates as well as from the other, that, twenty or thirty years after the death of John at Ephesus, the fourth Gospel was ascribed to this apostle by the very presbyters of the country where he had spent the closing portion of his life and where he had died. How can we explain the success of a forgery under such circumstances? Keim felt this difficulty and made an effort to remove it. To this end he found no other means except to attach himself to the idea put forth by Reuterdahl and Lutzelberger, and to rate the sojourn of John in Asia Minor as a pure fiction. By this course, he goes beyond even the Tubingen school. For Baur and Hilgenfeld did not call in question the truth of that tradition. Their criticism even rests essentially on the reality of John's sojourn in Asia, first, because the Apocalypse, the Johannean composition of which serves them as the point of support for their onset upon that of the Gospel, implies this sojourn, and, then, because the argument which they both draw from the Paschal controversy falls to the ground as soon as the sojourn of the Apostle John in that country is no longer admitted. Now, on the contrary, when the criticism hostile to our Gospel feels itself embarrassed by this sojourn, it rejects it unceremoniously. According to Keim, that tradition is only the result of a half-voluntary misunderstanding of Irenaeus, who applied to John the apostle what Polycarp had related in his presence of another personage of the same name. Scholten reaches the same result by different means. This error in the tradition is explained, according to him, by the confounding of the author of the Apocalypse, who was not the apostle, but who had taken advantage of his name, with the apostle himself; in this way the sojourn of John in Asia, where the Apocalypse appears to have been composed, was imagined. However this may be, and whatever may be the explanation of the traditional misunderstanding, the discovery of this error “removes,” says Keim, “the last point of support for the idea of the composition of the Gospel 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 undermined at this hour by the men who have continued his work this denial appearing to them the only means of making an end of the authenticity of our Gospel.

In 1868, the English writer, Davidson, took his position among the opponents of the authenticity. Holtzmann, like Keim, sees in our Gospel an ideal composition, but one which is not entirely fictitious. This book dates from the same epoch as the Epistle of Barnabas (the first third of the second century); it can be proved that the Church has given it a favorable reception since the year 150. Krenkel, in 1871, defended the sojourn of John in Asia; he ascribes to this apostle the composition of the Apocalypse, but not that of the Gospel.

The anonymous English work, Supernatural Religion, which has in a few years reached a very large number of editions, contends against the authenticity with the ordinary arguments.

The year 1875 witnessed the appearance of two works of considerable importance. These are two Introductions to the New Testament that of Hilgenfeld and the third edition of Bleek's work, published with original notes by Mangold. Hilgenfeld gives a summary, in his book, of the whole critical work of past times and of the present epoch. With regard to John, he continues in certain respects to defend the cause to which he had consecrated the first fruits of his pen: the non-authenticity of the fourth Gospel, which was composed, according to him under the influence of the Valentinian Gnosticism. Mangold accompanies the paragraphs in which Bleek defends the apostolic origin of our Gospel with very instructive critical notes, in which in most cases he seeks to refute that scholar. The external proofs would seem to him sufficient to confirm the authenticity. But it has not been possible, in his opinion, at least up to the present time, to surmount the internal difficulties.

In 1876, a jurist, d'Uechtritz, published a book in which he ascribes our Gospel to a Jerusalemite disciple of Jesus probably John the Presbyter who assumed the mask of the disciple whom Jesus loved and composed this work under his name. This critic does not find the opinion justified, which is so widely spread, that the representation of Jesus traced in the Synoptics is less exalted than the idea which is given us of Him in St. John.

Four writers remain to be mentioned here three French and one German, who, in our preceding edition, figured in the list of the defenders of the absolute or partial authenticity, and who have passed over into the opposite camp, Renan, Reuss, Sabatier and Hase.

The first from the outset manifested a marked antipathy to the discourses ascribed to Jesus by the fourth Gospel. Nevertheless, he always set forth prominently the remarkable signs of authenticity connected with the narrative parts of this same writing. He showed himself disposed, accordingly, in the first editions of his Life of Jesus, to recognize as the foundation of the historical parts not only traditions proceeding from the Apostle John, but even “precise notes drawn up by him.” In the truly admirable dissertation which closes the thirteenth edition, and in which he thoroughly discusses the question, analyzing the Gospel one narrative after another from this point of view, he shows that the contradictory appearances almost exactly balance each other, and ends by positively affirming nothing but this alternative: either the author is John or he has desired to pass himself off as John. Finally, in his last book, entitled l'Eglise chretienne, he arrives at the result which might have been foreseen. The author was perhaps a Christian depositary of the traditions of the apostle, or, at least, of those of two other disciples of Jesus, John the Presbyter and Aristion, who lived at Ephesus about the end of the first century. We might even go so far, according to Renan, as to suppose that this writer is no other than Cerinthus, the adversary of John at Ephesus, at the same period.

Reuss and Sabatier have likewise just finished their evolution in the same direction. In all his previous works, Reuss had maintained two scarcely reconcilable theses: the almost completely artificial and fictitious character of the discourses of Jesus 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 end in excluding the other; 2. That it would be the first which would prevail over the second. This is what has just happened. In his Theologie Johannique, Reuss declares his final judgment on this subject: The fourth Gospel is not by the Apostle John. Nevertheless, Reuss is reluctant to allow that this work is by a forger. And it is not necessary to admit this, since the author expressly distinguishes himself from the Apostle John in more than one passage, and limits himself to tracing back to him the origin of the narratives contained in his book. We thus find again, point for point, the opinion of Weizsacker mentioned above.

Sabatier, in his excellent little work on the sources of the life of Jesus, had also maintained the authenticity of our Gospel. But, having once entered into the views of Reuss, with respect to the estimation of the discourses of Jesus, he was by a fatality obliged to follow him even to the end. He has just distinctly declared himself against the authenticity, in his article on the Apostle John, in the Encyclopedie des sciences religieuses: An author whose constant inclination is to exalt the Apostle John cannot be John himself. It is one of his disciples who, believing that he was able to identify himself with him, has drawn up the Gospel history in the form which it had assumed in Asia Minor; he thus gives to the Church the apocalypse of the Spirit, a counterpart of the Apocalypse, properly so called, written by the apostle.

Since 1829, in the different editions of his Manual on the Life of Jesus, Hase had supported the Johannean origin of the fourth Gospel. In 1866, he published a discourse in which he represented this work as the last product of the apostle's mind when it had reached its full maturity. But this scholar has yielded to the same fatal law as the three preceding writers. In his History of Jesus, published in 1876, he gives up the authenticity, though not without painful hesitation. “Let us cast a glance,” he says in closing the discussion, “at the eight reasons alleged against the Johannean origin: they have not proved to be decisive; nevertheless, it has not been possible to refute them all completely....I thus see science driven to a conception fitted to reconcile the opposite reasons. A tradition different from that of the other Gospels, and already containing the notion of the Logos, had taken form in Asia Minor under the influence of the accounts given by John. It had remained in the purely oral state, so long as John lived.” After his death (ten years afterwards, or perhaps more), this tradition was recorded by a highly gifted disciple of the apostle. He wrote as if the latter himself were writing.

In this way it is, that the evangelist is able to appeal at once to the testimony of his own eyes ( Joh 1:14 ) and to that of another, different from himself. “Who was the writer? The Presbyter John? This is possible. But it may be also an unknown person. The first Epistle may have proceeded from the same author, writing under the mask of John; but it may also have been from John himself and have served as a model for the style of the Gospel.” This hypothesis is, according to this author, a compromise between the facts which are contradictory to each other. “I have not without a heavy heart,” he adds, “broken away from the belief in the entire authenticity of the Johannean writing.” Finally, a little further on, he also says: “The time is come in German theology when he who even ventures to recognize in the fourth Gospel a source possessing an historical value compromises his scientific honor. It has not always been thus, even among those who are lacking neither in vigor nor in freedom of mind. But it may also change again: the spirit of the times exercises a power even in science.” What reflections do not these sad avowals of the veteran of Jena suggest!


This persevering contest against the authenticity of the Johannean Gospel resembles the siege of a fortress, and things have reached the point where already many think they see the standard of the besieger floating victoriously over the ramparts of the place. Nevertheless, the defenders have not remained inactive, and the incessant transformations which the onsets have undergone, as the preceding exposition proves, leave no room for questioning the relative success of their efforts. Let us rapidly enumerate the works devoted to the defence of the authenticity.

The oldest attack, that of the sectaries of the second century, called Alogi, did not remain unanswered; for it seems certain that the writing of Hippolytus (at the beginning of the third century), whose title appears in the catalogue of his works as ῾Υπὲρ τοῦ κατὰ᾿Ιωάννου εὐαγγελίου καὶ ἀποκαλύψεως , “ In behalf of the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse,” was directed against them.

The attacks of the English deists were repulsed in Germany and Holland land by Le Clerc and Lampe; by the latter, in his celebrated Commentary on the Gospel of John.

Two Englishmen, Priestley and Simpson, immediately answered Evanson. Storr and Suskind resolved the objections raised soon afterwards in Germany, and this with such success that Eckermann and Schmidt declared that they retracted their doubts.

Following upon this first phase of the struggle, Eichhorn (1810), Hug (1808), and Bertholdt (1813), in their well-known Introductions to the New Testament, Wegscheider in a special work, and others also, unanimously declared themselves on the side of the authenticity; so that at the beginning of this century the storm seemed to be calmed and the question settled in favor of the traditional opinion. The historian Gieseler, in his admirable little work on the origin of the gospels (1818), pronounced his decision in the same way, and expressed the idea that John had composed his book for the instruction of Gentiles who had already made progress in the Christian religion.

The work of Bretschneider, which all at once broke this apparent calm, called forth a multitude of replies, among which we shall cite only those of Olshausen, Crome, and Hauff. The first editions of the Commentaries of Lucke (1820) and Tholuck (1827) appeared also at this same period. In consequence of the first of these publications, Bretschneider, as we have already said, declared his objections solved; so that once more the calm appeared to be restored, and Schleiermacher, with all his school, could yield himself, without encountering any opposition worthy of notice, to the predilection which he felt for our Gospel. From the beginning of his scientific career, Schleiermacher, in his Reden uber die Religion, proclaimed the Christ of John to be the true historic Christ, and maintained that the Synoptic narrative must be subordinated to our Gospel. Critics as learned and independent as Schott and Credner likewise maintained at that time the cause of the authenticity in their Introductions. De Wette alone at that moment caused a somewhat discordant voice to be still heard.

The appearance of Strauss' Life of Jesus, in 1835, was thus like a thunderbolt bursting forth in a serene sky. This work called forth a whole legion of apologetic writings; above all, that of Tholuck on the credibility of the evangelical history, and the Life of Jesus by Neander. The concessions made to Strauss by the latter have been often wrongly interpreted. They had as their aim only to establish a minimum of incontrovertible facts, while giving up that which might be assailed. And it was this work which is so moderate, so impartial, and in whose every word we feel the incorruptible love of truth, which seems, for the moment, to have made upon Strauss the deepest impression, and to have drawn from him, with reference to the Gospel of John, the kind of retractation announced in his third edition.

Gfroerer, although starting from quite another point of view as compared with the two preceding writers, defended the authenticity of our Gospel against Strauss. Frommann, on his side, refuted the hypothesis of Weisse. From 1837 to 1844, Norton published his great work on the evidences of the authenticity of the Gospels, and Guericke, in 1843, his Introduction to the New Testament.

In the following years appeared the work of Ebrard on the evangelical history, the truth of which he valiantly defended against Strauss and Bruno Bauer, and the third edition of Lucke's Commentary (1848). But this last author made such concessions as to the credibility of the discourses and of the Christological teaching of John, that the adversaries did not fail soon to turn his work against the very thesis which he had desired to defend.

We reach the last period, that of the struggle maintained against Baur and his school. Ebrard was the first to appear in the breach. At his side a young scholar presented himself, who, in a work filled with rare patristic erudition and knowledge drawn from the primary sources, sought to bring back to the right path historical criticism, which, in the hands of Baur, seemed to have strayed from it. We mean Thiersch, whose work, modestly entitled an Essay, is still at the present day for beginners one of the most useful means of orientation in the domain of the history of the first two centuries. Baur did not brook this call to order which was addressed to him to him, a veteran in science by so young a writer. In an excitement of irritation, he wrote that violent pamphlet in which he accused his adversary of fanaticism, and which had almost the character of a denunciation. The reply of Thiersch was as remarkable for its propriety and dignity of tone as for the excellence of the general observations which are presented in it on the criticism of the sacred writings. The justness of some of Thiersch's ideas may be called in question, but it cannot be denied that his two works abound in ingenious and original points of view.

A strange work appeared at this time. The author is commonly quoted in German criticism under the name of the Anonymous Saxon; it is now known that he was a Saxon theologian, named Hasert, who was, at that time, one of the Thurgovian clergy. He defended the authenticity of our Gospels, but with the intention of showing, by this very authenticity, how the apostles of Jesus, the authors of these books, or rather of these pamphlets, had labored only to decry and traduce one another.

The most able and most learned reply to the works of Baur and Zeller was that of Bleek, in 1846. By the side of this work, the articles by Hauff deserve to be specially mentioned.

In the following years, Weitzel and Steitz, discussed with much care and erudition the argument drawn by Baur from the Paschal controversy, near the end of the second century. Following in the footsteps of Bindemann (1842), Semisch demonstrated the use of our four Gospels by Justin Martyr. The year 1852, saw the appearance of two very interesting works: that of the Dutch writer, Niermeyer, designed to prove by a subtle and thorough study of the writings ascribed to John, that the Apocalypse and the Gospel could and must have, both of them, been composed by him, and that the differences of contents and form, which distinguish them, are to be explained by the profound spiritual revolution which was wrought in the apostle after the destruction of Jerusalem. A similar idea was expressed, at the same time, by Hase. The second work is the Commentary of Luthardt on the fourth Gospel, the first part of which contains a series of characteristic portraitures of the principal actors in the evangelical drama, according to St. John, designed to render palpable the living reality of all these personages. These portraitures are full of acute and just observations.

Ewald, like Hase, defends the authenticity, but does so, while according scarcely any historical credibility to the discourses which the apostle assigns to Jesus, and even to the miraculous deeds which he relates. This is an inconsistency which Baur has severely criticised in his reply to Hase. Such defences of a gospel are almost equivalent to sentences of condemnation pronounced against it, or rather they destroy themselves. We can say almost the same of the opinion of Bunsen, who regards the Gospel of John as the only monument of the evangelical history proceeding from an eye-witness, who declares even that otherwise “there is no longer an historical Christ,” and who yet remits to the domain of legend so decisive a fact as that of the resurrection. Bleek, in his Introduction to the New Testament, and Meyer, Hengstenberg, and Lange, in their Commentaries, have declared themselves in favor of the authenticity, as well as Astie (who adopts Niermeyer's point of view), and the author of these lines. The Johannean question, in its relation to that of the Synoptic Gospels, has been treated in an instructive way by de Pressense .

The study of the patristic testimonies has recently been made the object of two works, one of a popular character, and the other more exclusively scientific: the little treatise of Tischendorf on the time of the composition of our Gospels, and the Academic programme of Riggenbach in 1866, on the historical and literary testimonies in favor of the Gospel of John. The solidity and impartiality of this latter work have been recognized by the author's opponents.

We may add to these two writings that in which the Groningen professor, Hofstede de Groot, has treated the question of the date of Basilides and of the Johannean quotations, especially in the Gnostic writers. The cause of the authenticity has also been maintained by the Abbe8 Deramey (1868).

The tradition of the sojourn of John in Asia Minor has been valiantly defended against Keim by Steitz and Wabnitz.Wittichen, taking his position at a point of view which is peculiar to himself, gives up the sojourn of the Apostle John in Asia, but does this in order so much the better to support the authenticity of our Gospel, while he maintains that it was composed by the apostle in Syria for the purpose of combating the Ebionites who were of Essenic tendency. This work would thus date from the times which immediately followed the destruction of Jerusalem. As for the John of Asia Minor, he was the presbyter, the author of the Apocalypse. We have here the antipode of the Tubingen theses.

In two works, one by Zahn, the other by Riggenbach, the question of the existence of John the Presbyter, as a distinct personage from the apostle, has been treated. After a careful study of the famous passage of Papias relative to this question, they come to a negative conclusion. Leimbach likewise, in a special study, does the same thing, and Professor Milligan, of Aberdeen, also, in an article in the Journal of Sacred Literature, entitled John the Presbyter (Oct. 1867).

The historical credibility of the discourses of Jesus in the fourth Gospel has been defended against modern objections by Gess, in the first volume of the second edition of his work on the Person of our Lord, and more especially by H. Meyer in a very remarkable licentiate-thesis. The English work of Sanday dates from the year 1872, and that of the superintendent Leuschner a brave little work which especially attacks Keim and Scholten.

We close this review by mentioning six recent and remarkable works, all of them devoted to the defense of the authenticity. Three are the products of German learning. The first is the critical study of Luthardt, forming in a special volume the introduction to the second edition of his Commentary on the fourth Gospel. The second is the brilliant work of Beyschlag in the Studien und Kritiken, which contains perhaps the most able replies to the modern objections. Bernhard Weiss (in the sixth edition of Meyer's Commentary) has treated, in a manner at once profound and concise, the question of the origin of our Gospel. He vigorously defends the authenticity, without, however, maintaining strictly the historical character of the discourses.

The French work is that of Nyegaard. It is a thesis devoted to the examination of the external testimonies relating to the authenticity. This same subject is specially treated by one of the two English works, that of Ezra Abbott, professor in Harvard University. This work seems to me to exhaust the subject. A complete acquaintance with modern discussions, profound study of the testimonies of the second century, moderation and perspicuity in judgment nothing is wanting. The other English work is the Commentary of Westcott, professor at Cambridge. In the introduction all the critical questions are handled with learning and tact.


Pressed by the force of the reasons alleged for and against the authenticity, a certain number of theologians have sought to give satisfaction to both sides by having recourse to a middle position.

Some have attempted to make a selection between the truly Johannean parts and those which have been added later. Thus Weisse, to whom we have been obliged to attribute an important part in the history of the struggle against the authenticity (page 19), would be disposed, nevertheless, to ascribe to John himself chap. John 1:1-43.1.5; John 1:9-43.1.14, certain passages in chap. 3, and, finally, the discourses contained in chaps. 14-17 (while striking out the dialogue portions and narrative elements).

Schweizer has proposed another mode of selection. The narratives which have Galilee as their theatre must, according to him, be eliminated from the Johannean writing; they have been added later to facilitate the agreement between the narrative of John and that of the Synoptics. Is not chap. 21 for example, a manifest addition? Schenkel had formerly proposed to regard the discourses as forming the primitive work, and the historical parts as added subsequently. But since the unity of the composition of our Gospel has been triumphantly demonstrated, the division in such an external way has been given up. We are not acquainted with any more recent attempts of this kind.

This long enumeration, which contains only the most noteworthy works, proves of itself the gravity of the question. Let us sum up the preceding exposition. We may do this by making the following scale, which includes all the points of view which have been mentioned.

1. Some deny all participation, even moral and indirect, on the part of the Apostle John in the composition of the work which bears his name. With the exception of certain elements borrowed from the Synoptics, this work contains only a fictitious history (Baur, Keim).

2. Others make our Gospel a free redaction of the Johannean traditions, which continued in Asia Minor after the sojourn of the apostle at Ephesus; the author thought that he could innocently pass himself off as the Apostle John himself (Renan, Hase).

3. A third party do not admit that the author wished to pass himself off as John; they think, on the contrary, that he has expressly distinguished himself from the apostle, whose stories served him as authorities (Weizsacker, Reuss).

4. The partisans of a middle course go a little further. They discover in the Gospel a certain number of passages or notes which are due to the pen of John himself and which were amplified at a later time (Weisse, Schweizer).

5. Finally, there come the defenders of the authenticity properly so called, who are yet divided on one point; some recognize in the text as it exists more or less considerable interpolations (the incident of the angel at Bethesda, chap. 5; the story of the woman taken in adultery, chap. 8), and the important addition of chap. 21; others adopt as authentic the common text in its entirety.

On which of the steps of this scale must we place ourselves in order to be with the truth? This is what the scrupulous examination of the facts alone can teach us.


I. John in His Father's House.

IT appears from all the documents that John was a native of Galilee. He belonged to that northern population, with whose lively, laborious, independent, warlike character Josephus has made us acquainted. The pressure exerted on the nation by the religious authorities having their seat at Jerusalem did not bear with equal weight upon that remote country. More free from prejudice, more open to the immediate impression of the truth, Galilean hearts offered to Jesus that receptive soil which His work demanded. Thus all His apostles, with the exception of Judas Iscariot, seem to have been of that province, and it was there that He succeeded in laying the foundations of His Church.

John dwelt on those shores of the lake of Gennesaret, which, in our day, present to the eye only a vast solitude, but which were then covered with towns and villages having in all, according to Josephus, many thousands of inhabitants. Did John, as is often said, have his home at Bethsaida? This is the conclusion drawn from Luke 5:10, where he is designated, along with his brother James, as a partner of Simon, and from John 1:44, where Bethsaida is called the city of Andrew and Peter. But, notwithstanding this, John may have dwelt at Capernaum, which could not have been far removed from the hamlet of Bethsaida, since on coming out of the synagogue of that city Jesus enters immediately into Peter's house ( Mar 1:29 ).

The family of John contained four persons who are known to us: his brother James, who seems to have been his elder brother, since he is ordinarily named before him; their father Zebedee, who was a fisherman ( Mar 1:19-20 ), and their mother, who must have borne the name of Salome, for in the two evidently parallel passages, Matthew 27:56, and Mark 15:40, where the women are mentioned who were present at the crucifixion of Jesus, the name Salome in Mark is the equivalent of the title: the mother of the sons of Zebedee in Matthew. Wieseler has sought to prove that Salome was the sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus; from which it would follow that John was the cousin-german of our Lord. We cannot regard this hypothesis as having sufficient foundation, either exegetically or historically. The enumeration in John 19:25, in which Wieseler finds four persons: 1. The mother of Jesus; 2. The sister of His mother; 3. Mary, the wife of Clopas, and 4. Mary Magdalene, appears to us to include only three, the words Mary, the wife of Clopas being quite naturally the explanatory apposition of the words, the sister of His mother (see the exegesis). And how is it possible in that case that our Gospels should not present some trace of so near a relationship between Jesus and John? Wieseler asks, it is true, how two sisters could, both of them, have borne the name of Mary. But there is nothing to prevent the word sister here from being taken, as it is so frequently, in the sense of sister-in-law. This sense is the more probable, inasmuch as, according to a very ancient tradition (Hegesippus), Clopas was the brother of Joseph, and consequently brother- in-law of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

John's family enjoyed a certain competency. According to Mark 1:20, Zebedee has day-laborers; Salome is ranked ( Mat 27:56 ), in the number of the women who accompanied Jesus as He journeyed, and who ( Luk 8:3 ) ministered to Him and the Twelve of their substance. According to our Gospel ( Joh 19:27 ), John possessed a house of his own, into which he received the mother of our Lord. Is it necessary to reckon, as some have done, among these indications of competency, the relation of his family to the high-priest, of which mention is made in Joh 18:16 ? This conclusion has the less foundation since it cannot be proved that the other disciple mentioned in that passage was one of the sons of Zebedee, either John or James. The prosperous condition of the family was undoubtedly due to the then very lucrative business of fishing, and to the considerable commerce which was connected with it.

Two points in the life of Salome betray a lively religious sentiment: the eagerness with which she consecrated herself, as we have just seen, to the service of Jesus, and the request which she had the boldness one day to present to the Lord on behalf of her two sons ( Mat 20:20 ). Such a petition reveals an enthusiastic heart, and a piety which was ardent, yet imbued with the most earthly Messianic hopes. She had labored, no doubt, to exalt in the same direction the religious patriotism of her sons. So, as soon as the forerunner appeared on the scene, John hastened to his baptism. He even attached himself to him as his disciple (John 1:0); and it was in his presence that Jesus met him when he returned from the desert, whither he had betaken Himself after His baptism, with the design of beginning His work.

II. John a Follower of Jesus.

As John passed quietly from the paternal hearth to the baptism of the forerunner, he seems also to have passed without any violent crisis from the school of the latter to that of Jesus. In this progressive development there was no shock, and no rupture. He had only to follow the inward drawing, the Father's teaching, according to the profound expressions which he himself employs, in order to rise from step to step even to the summit of truth. It was the royal road described in that utterance of the Lord to Nicodemus: “He that doeth the truth cometh to the light, because his works are wrought in God” ( Joh 3:21 ). By this calm and continuous character of his development, John appears to be, in the spiritual world, the antipode of Paul.

The story of his call as a believer has been preserved to us in the first chapter of our Gospel; for everything tends to make us believe that the disciple who accompanied Andrew, at that decisive hour in which the new society was founded, was no other than John himself. From the banks of the Jordan, Jesus then returned, with him and the few young Galileans in the company of John the Baptist, whom He had attached to Himself, first to Cana and then to Nazareth, which He left soon afterwards in company with His mother and His brethren, to establish Himself with them at Capernaum (John 2:12; comp. Mat 4:13 ). Jesus, as Himself still belonging to His family, had sent back these young men to the bosom of their own. But when, a few days afterwards, the moment arrived when He must enter upon His ministry in Judea, in the theocratic capital, He called them to follow Him in a permanent way and severed for them, as for Himself, the ties of domestic life. This new call took place on the shores of the lake of Gennesaret, near Capernaum. The account of it is given in Mat 4:18 and the parallel passages.

Subsequently, as the company of His disciples became more and more numerous, He chose twelve from among them, on whom He conferred the special title of apostles (Luke 6:12 ff.; Mark 3:13 ff.). In the first rank were the two brothers, John and James, with their two friends Simon and Andrew, who were also brothers. And soon among these four the two sons of Zebedee and Simon were honored by a more especial intimacy with Jesus. Thus we see them alone admitted to the raising of Jairus daughter and to the two scenes of the transfiguration and Gethsemane John was also, together with Peter, charged with the secret mission of preparing the Passover ( Luk 22:8 ). It was, doubtless, this sort of preference of which he, as well as his brother, was the object, which emboldened Salome to ask for them the first places in the Messiah's kingdom.

Must we admit in favor of John a still closer degree of select friendship? Must we see in him that disciple whom Jesus had made His friend in the most peculiar sense of the word, and who, in the fourth Gospel, is several times designated as the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23; John 19:26; John 20:2; John 21:7; John 21:20 f.)? This was the unanimous opinion of the Church in the age which followed the time of the apostles. Irenaeus says: “John, the disciple of the Lord, who rested upon His bosom, also published the gospel while he lived at Ephesus in Asia.” Polycrates, the bishop of Ephesus, says expressly: “John who rested on the bosom of the buried at Ephesus.” John even bore this title: the disciple who rests on the bosom of the Master ( μαθητὴς ἐπιστήθιος ).

Lutzelberger was the first to call in question this application of the passages quoted to John, and to contend that the disciple loved by Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Peter. But why should this apostle, who, in the first part of the Gospel, is several times designated by his name (John 1:41; John 1:45; John 6:8; Joh 12:22 ) be, all at once, mentioned in the second part in this anonymous way? Spath has supposed that the beloved disciple was the one who is called Nathanael (John 1:46 ff.); and that this name, which signifies gift of God, designates this disciple as the normal Christian, the true gift of God to His Son. But why, in that case, designate him sometimes by the name of Nathanael (John 1:46; Joh 21:2 ), and sometimes by this mysterious circumlocution.

Holtzmann likewise identifies the disciple whom Jesus loved with Nathanael, but does so while seeing in this personage only a fictitious being, the purely ideal type of Paulinism.

Scholten also regards this unnamed disciple as a fictitious personage; he is, in the writer's intention, the symbol of true Christianity, in opposition to the Twelve and their imperfect conception of the gospel.

Is it worth our while to refute such vagaries of the imagination? In chap. 19, the author certainly makes of this disciple a real being, since it is he to whom Jesus entrusts His mother, and who receives her into his house; unless we are ready also to interpret in a symbolic sense this mother who was thus entrusted to him, and to sec in her nothing else than the Church itself. This explanation of the sense would surpass in point of arbitrariness the master- pieces of allegorizing of which this passage has sometimes been the occasion among Catholic writers.

In reading the fourth Gospel, we cannot doubt that the disciple whom Jesus loved was, in the first place, one of the Twelve, and then, one of the three who enjoyed especial intimacy with the Saviour. Of these three, he cannot be Peter, for that apostle is named several times along with the beloved disciple. No more can he be James, who died too early (about the year 44, Acts 12:0) for the report to have been spread abroad in the Church that he would not die (John 21:0). John is, therefore, the only one of the three for whom this title can be suitable. We reach the same result, also, by another way. In John 21:2, seven disciples are designated: “Simon Peter, Thomas, called Didymus, Nathanael, of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.” Among these seven was the one whom Jesus loved, since he plays a part in the following scene (John 21:20 ff.) Now he cannot be Peter or Thomas or Nathanael, all three of whom are designated by name in the course of the Gospel and in this very passage, nor again one of the two last- mentioned disciples whom the author does not name, doubtless because they did not belong to the number of the Twelve. It only remains, therefore, to choose between the two sons of Zebedee; and between these two, as we have just seen, no hesitation is possible.

In the conduct of John, during the ministry of his Master, two features strike us; a modesty carried even to the extreme of reserve, and a vivacity reaching sometimes even to the point of violence. The fourth Gospel is fond of relating to us the striking sayings of Peter; it speaks of the conversations of Andrew and Philip with Jesus, of the manifestations of devotion or of incredulity in Thomas. In the Synoptics Peter speaks at every moment. But in the one narrative and the other John plays only a very secondary and obscure part. Three sayings only are ascribed to him in our Gospel, and they are all very remarkable for their brevity: “Master, where abidest thou?” ( Joh 1:38 ), “Lord, who is it?” ( Joh 13:25 ), “It is the Lord!” ( Joh 21:7 ).

Moreover, of these three expressions the first was probably uttered by Andrew; and the second came from the mouth of John only at Peter's suggestion. What significance, then, has this fact, which is apparently so little in accord with the altogether peculiar relation of this disciple to Jesus? That John was one of those natures which live more within themselves than without. While Peter occupied the foreground of the scene, John kept himself in the background, observing, contemplating, drinking in love and light, and satisfied with his character of silent personage which so well suited his receptive and profound nature. We can understand the charm which this character must have had for our Lord. He found in this relation, which remained their common secret, that complement which manly natures seek in family ties.

Along with this feature which reveals a character naturally timid and contemplative, we meet certain facts in which John betrays a vivacity of impression capable of rising even to passion; as when, with his brother, he proposes to Jesus to cause fire to descend from heaven on the Samaritan village which has refused to receive Him ( Luk 9:54 ), or when he is irritated at the sight of a man who, without joining himself to the disciples, takes the liberty of casting out demons in the name of Jesus, and forbids him to continue acting in this way ( Luk 9:49 ). We may bring into comparison with these two features that request for the first place in the Messianic kingdom, by which we discover the impure alloy which was still mingled with his faith.

How can we explain these two apparently so opposite traits of character? There exist natures which are at once tender, ardent and timid; which ordinarily confine their impressions within themselves, and this the more in proportion as these impressions are the more profound. But if it happens that these persons once cease to be masters of themselves, the long restrained emotions then break forth in sudden explosions which throw all around them into astonishment. Was it not to this order of characters that John and his brother belonged? If it was so, could Jesus better describe them, than by giving them the surname of Boanerges, sons of thunder ( Mar 3:17 )? I cannot think, as the Fathers believed, that by this surname Jesus meant to mark the gift of eloquence which distinguished them. No more am I able to admit that He wished to perpetuate thereby the remembrance of their passion in one of the cases indicated ( Luk 9:54 ). But, as electricity is slowly accumulated in the cloud, until it suddenly breaks forth in the lightning and the thunderbolt, so Jesus observed in these two loving and passionate beings, how the impressions were silently stored within until the moment when, as the result of some outward circumstance, they violently broke forth; and this is what He meant to describe. St. John is often represented as a nature sweet and tender even to effeminacy. Do not his writings before and above all things insist upon love? Were not the last preachings of the old man: “Love one another?” This is true; but we must not forget the traits of a different nature which, both in the earlier and later periods of his life, reveal in him something decided, trenchant, absolute, and even violent?

In thus estimating the character of John we believe ourselves to be in accordance with the truth, rather than Sabatier, where he closes his judgment of the apostle with these words: “It is worthy of remark, that the name of John does not occur in the Synoptics except in connection with censure.” But are we to forget that, in one case, he accused himself ( Luk 9:49 ); that, in another, it was by excess of zeal for the honor of Jesus that he drew upon himself a reprimand ( Luk 9:54 ); and that, in the third case, the jealous indignation of his fellow-disciples sprung from the same cause as the ambitious petition of the two sons of Salome (Mark 10:41, comp. Mark 10:42 ff.)? Are we, above all, to forget the place which, according to the Synoptics themselves, Jesus had given to John, as well as to Peter and James, in His most intimate friendship? Comp. also the incident in Luke 22:8. The design of this manner of presenting the subject is explained by what follows: “There is here,” continues the writer, “a singular contrast to the image of the beloved disciple who leans upon Jesus' bosom, of that ideal disciple who conceals and reveals himself at the same time in the fourth Gospel.” It was, then, a stepping-stone to something further! The biography was at the service of the criticism.

If we take account of all the facts which have been pointed out, we shall recognize in John one of those natures passionately devoted to the ideal which, at the first sight, give themselves without reserve to the being who seems to them to realize it. But the devotion of such persons easily takes on somewhat of exclusiveness and intolerance. Everything which does not answer in sympathy completely to their enthusiasm irritates them and excites their indignation. They have no comprehension of what a dividing of the heart is, any more than they know how to have such a divided heart themselves. The whole for the whole! Such is their motto. Where the complete gift is wanting, there is no longer anything to their view. Such affections do not exist without containing an alloy of egoism. A divine work is necessary to the end that the devotion which forms their basis may at last come forth purified and may appear in all its sublimity. Such was John worthy, even in his very faults, of the intimate friendship of the best of men.

III. John at the Head of the Jewish-Christian Church.

John's part in the Church after the day of Pentecost was that which such antecedents lead us to expect. On that stage where Peter and James, the brother of John, the first martyr among the apostles, and where even mere assistants of the apostles, such as Stephen and Philip, and finally Paul and James, the Lord's brother, moved and acted, John appears only on two occasions: when he goes up to the temple with Peter (Acts 3:0), and when he accompanies this same apostle to Samaria, in order to finish the work begun by Philip (Acts 8:0). And on each of these two occasions Peter is the one who plays the principal part; John seems to be only his assistant. As we have already seen, the disciple whom Jesus loved was not a man of action; he did not take the initiative as a conqueror; his mission, like his talent, was of a more inward character. His hour was not to strike until a later time, after the Church was founded. Meanwhile, a deep work, the continuation of that which Jesus had begun in him, was being wrought in his soul. That promise which he has himself preserved for us “The Spirit shall glorify me in you” was finding its realization in his case. After having given himself up, he found himself again in his glorified Master, and he gave himself up still more fully.

But from this moment he had a particular task to fulfill that which his dying Master had left as a legacy to him. To Peter, Jesus had entrusted the direction of the Church; to John, the care of His mother.

Where did Mary live? It is scarcely probable that she felt any attraction towards a residence in Jerusalem. Her dearest recollections recalled her to Galilee. Undoubtedly, it was there also, on the shores of the lake of Gennesaret, that John possessed that home where he received her and lavished upon her the attentions of filial piety. This circumstance likewise serves to explain why, in those earliest times, he took little part in missionary work. Had he lived at Jerusalem, Paul would undoubtedly have seen him, as well as Peter and James, at the time of his first visit to that city after his conversion ( Gal 1:18-19 ).

Later traditions, yet traditions which nothing prevents us from regarding as well-founded, place the death of Mary about the year 48. After that time, John undoubtedly took a more considerable part in the direction of the Christian work. At the time of the assembly, commonly called the council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:0), in 50 or 51, he is one of the apostles with whom Paul confers in the capital, and the latter ranks him (Galatians 2:0) among those who were regarded as the pillars of the Church. An important and much discussed question with respect to John presents itself at this point.

The Tubingen school ascribes to these three personages, James, Peter and John, who represented the Jewish-Christian Church at that time over against Paul and Barnabas, an opinion opposed to that of these last as to the matter of maintaining legal observances in the Church. The only difference which it recognizes between the apostles and the false brethren privily brought in, of whom Paul speaks ( Gal 2:4 ), and it is not to the advantage of the former, is this: the false brethren, the Pharisaical intruders, held their ground in opposition to Paul and attempted to make him yield, while the apostles, intimidated by his energy and by the eclat of his successes among the Gentiles, abandoned in fact their convictions, and agreed, in spite of these men, to divide with him the missionary work. Thus would be reduced to insignificance the import of that sign of co-operation which the apostles gave to Paul and Barnabas, in extending to them the right hand of fellowship at the moment when they separated from each other ( Gal 2:9 ).

We can readily understand the interest which attaches to this question. If such was really the personal conviction of John, it is obvious that he could not be the author of the fourth Gospel, or that he could be so only on the condition of having previously passed through the crisis of a complete transformation. Schurer himself, who is independent of the Tubingen point of view, says: “The John of the second chapter of Galatians, who disputes with Paul respecting the law, cannot have written our fourth Gospel.”

But is it true that the abrogation of the law for the converted Gentiles was a concession which St. Paul was obliged to wrest from the apostles, contrary to their inward conviction? Is it true, in general, that there was on the question of the law a fundamental difference between Paul and the Twelve? This question has been discussed beyond measure during the last thirty years, and I do not think that, on the whole, the scale has turned in the direction of Baur's assertions. I will only take up here one decisive passage the one which that school most habitually puts forward, and which, to the view of Hilgenfeld, is, as it were, its impregnable fortress. It is Galatians 2:3-48.2.4: “But Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was not compelled to be circumcised, and that because of ( διὰ δέ ) the false brethren brought in privily...” The following is the way in which Hilgenfeld reasons: Paul does not say: I did not yield to the false brethren; but, I did not yield because of them. To whom, then, did he make resistance? Evidently to others than these. These others can only be the apostles. It was the apostles, therefore, who demanded the circumcision of Titus. Consequently they claimed, and John with them, the right to impose circumcision on the Gentiles. The observation from which Hilgenfeld starts is correct; but the conclusion which he draws from it is false. The apostles asked of Paul the circumcision of Titus, and he would not yield to them because of the false brethren. Such, indeed, is the fact. But what does it prove? That the false brethren demanded this circumcision in an altogether different spirit from the Twelve. They demanded it as an obligation, while the apostles asked it of Paul only as a free concession in favor of the Christians of Jerusalem, who were offended at the thought of intercourse with an uncircumcised person. This is the reason why Paul was able to say: Apart from the false brethren, I might have yielded to the Twelve with that compliance ( τῇ ὑποταγῇ , Gal 2:5 ) which every Christian should exhibit towards his brethren in the things which are in themselves indifferent. And this is what he really did every time that he put himself under the law with those who were under the law ( 1Co 9:20 ); comp. the circumcision of Timothy. But it was impossible for him at this time to act thus because of the false brethren, who were prepared to make use of that concession in order to turn it to account in relation to the Gentiles as an obligatory precedent. The Twelve understood this reason, and did not insist. If the case stands thus, the question is solved. As a matter of right, the Twelve did not impose the law upon the Gentiles. They personally observed it, with the Christians of Jewish origin, but not as a condition of salvation, since, in that case, they could not have exempted the Gentiles from it. They observed it until God, who had imposed this system upon them, should Himself put an end to it. Paul had anticipated them in knowledge on this point only: that to his view the cross was already for the Jews themselves the expected abrogation ( Gal 2:19-20 ). For those of the apostles who, like St. John, survived the fall of the temple, that event must naturally have removed the last doubt in relation to themselves and their nation.

This view does not force us to establish a conflict between the epistles of Paul and the narrative of the Acts. It is likewise in accord with our Synoptic gospels, which are filled with declarations of Jesus containing what involves the abolition of the law. That sentence: “It is not that which entereth into the man which defileth the man, but that which cometh out of the heart of the man,” contains in principle the total abolition of the Levitical system. That other saying: “The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath,” saps the foundation of the Sabbath ordinance in its Mosaic form, and thereby the entire ceremonial institution of which the Sabbath was the centre. By comparing His new economy to a new garment, which must be substituted as a whole for the old, Jesus gives expression to a view of the relation between the Gospel and the law beyond which the apostle of the Gentiles himself could not go. And it is the apostles who have transmitted all these words to the Church; and yet they did this, it is said, without at all comprehending their practical application! Independently, then, of the epistles of Paul and the Acts, we are obliged to affirm that what is (wrongly) called Paulinism must have existed, as a more or less latent conviction, 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 fail to develop these germs.

Irenaeus has very faithfully described this state of things in these words: “They themselves (the apostles) persevered in the old observances, conducting themselves piously with regard to the institution of the law; but, as for us Gentiles, they granted us liberty, committing us to the Holy Spirit.”

IV. John in Asia Minor.

After the council of Jerusalem, we lose all trace of John until the time when tradition depicts him as accomplishing his apostolic ministry in the midst of the churches of Asia Minor. It is not probable that he repaired to those remote countries before the destruction of Jerusalem. He undoubtedly accompanied the Jewish-Christian Church when it emigrated to Perea at the time when the war against the Romans broke out. This departure took place about the year 67. Only at a later period, when, in consequence of the death of Paul, and perhaps of the death of his assistants in Asia Minor, Titus and Timothy, the churches of that region, which were so important, found themselves deprived of every apostolic leader, John removed thither. He does not seem to have been the only apostle or apostolic personage who made choice of this place of residence. History speaks of the ministry of Philip, either the apostle or the deacon, at Hierapolis; we find, also, some indications of a sojourn of Andrew in Ephesus. As Thiersch says, “The centre of gravity of the Church was no longer at Jerusalem, and it was not yet at Rome; it was at Ephesus.” Like the circle of golden candlesticks, the numerous and flourishing churches founded by Paul in Ionia and Phrygia were the luminous point towards which the eyes of all Christendom were directed. “From the fall of Jerusalem,” says Lucke, “even into the second century, Asia Minor was the most living portion of the Church.” What excited an interest on behalf of these churches was not merely the energy of their faith; it was the intensity of the struggle which they had to maintain against heresy. “After my departure,” St. Paul had said to the pastors of Ephesus and Miletus ( Act 20:29-30 ), “ravenous wolves shall enter in among you not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” This prophecy was fulfilled. It is not surprising, therefore, that John, one of the last survivors among the apostles, should have gone to supply in those regions the place of the apostle of the Gentiles, and to water, as Apollos had formerly done in Corinth, that which Paul had planted.

The accounts of this residence of John in Asia are numerous and positive. Nevertheless, Keim and Scholten, after the example of Vogel, Reuterdahl, and especially Lutzelberger, have in these latter days controverted the truth of this tradition. The former thinks that the personage, named John, whom Polycarp had known, was not the apostle, but the presbyter of the same name, who must have lived at Ephesus about the end of the first century; and that Irenaeus erroneously, and even with some willingness, imagined that this master of his own master was the apostle. This was the starting-point of the error which was afterwards so generally disseminated. Scholten believes, rather, that as the Apocalypse was falsely ascribed to the Apostle John, and as the author of that book appeared to have lived in Asia (Revelation 2:3.), the residence of the Apostle John in that region was inferred from these false premises.

Let us begin by establishing the tradition; we shall afterwards appreciate the importance of it.

Irenaeus says: “All the presbyters who met with John, the disciple of the Lord, in Asia, give testimony that he conveyed to them these things; for he lived with them even to the time of Trajan. And some among them saw not only John, but also other apostles.” This whole passage, but especially the last sentence, implies that the person in question is the apostle, and not some other John. This is still more precisely set forth in the following words: “Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, he who leaned on His breast, published the gospel while he dwelt at Ephesus, in Asia.” We read elsewhere: “The church of Ephesus, which was founded by Paul and in which John lived until the time of Trajan, is also a truthful witness of the tradition of the apostles.” And further: “Polycarp had not only been taught by the apostles, and lived with several men who had seen Christ, but he had been constituted bishop in the church of Smyrna by the apostles who were in Asia; and we ourselves saw him in our early youth, since he lived a very long time and became very aged, and departed this life after a glorious martyrdom, having constantly taught what he had heard from the apostles. ” It cannot be doubted, therefore, that the following words, having reference to the Apocalypse, apply to the apostle: “This number (666) is found in all the accurate and ancient manuscripts, and it is attested by all those who saw John face to face.

Thus speaks Irenaeus in his principal work. Besides this, we have two letters of his in which he expresses himself in the same way. One of them is addressed to Florinus, his old fellow-pupil under Polycarp, who had embraced the Gnostic doctrines. Irenaeus says to him: “These are not the teachings which the elders who preceded us and who lived after the apostles handed down to thee; for I saw thee, when I was still a child, in lower Asia with Polycarp....And I could still show thee the place where he sat when he taught and gave an account of his relations with John and with the others who saw the Lord, and how he spoke of what he had heard from them respecting the Lord, His miracles and His doctrine, and how he recounted, in full accord with the Scriptures, all that which he had received from the eye-witnesses of the Word of life.” The other letter was addressed by Irenaeus to Victor, Bishop of Rome, on occasion of the controversy carried on with regard to the Passover: “When the blessed Polycarp visited Rome in the time of Anicetus, slight differences of opinion having become manifest respecting certain points, peace was very soon concluded. And they did not even give themselves up to a dispute upon the principal question.

For Anicetus could not dissuade Polycarp from observing [the 14th of Nisan, as the Paschal day], inasmuch as he had always observed it with John, the disciple of the Lord, and the other apostles with whom he had lived. And, on his side, Polycarp could not persuade Anicetus to observe [the same day], the latter replying that he must maintain the custom which he had received from his predecessors. This being the state of things, they gave each other the communion, and in the assembly Anicetus yielded the office of administering the Eucharist to Polycarp, by way of honor; and they separated in peace.” Thus at Rome and in Gaul, no less than in Asia Minor, Polycarp was certainly regarded as the disciple of John the apostle, and the arguments of the bishops of Rome were rendered powerless twice in the second century in 160 (or rather 155) and 190 as they met this fact which was, to the view of all, raised above all controversy. We find in Asia Minor, about 180, another witness of the same tradition. Apollonius, an anti-Montanist writer, related, at that time, that John had raised a dead man to life at Ephesus. And it is to the apostle, certainly, that he attributed this act. For he is speaking here of the author of the Apocalypse, and we know that, at this period, the churches of Asia had no doubt as to the composition of that book by the apostle.

But, already before Irenaeus and Apollonius, Justin has some words relative to John, which imply the idea of his residence in Asia. He says: “A man among us, one of the apostles of Christ, has prophesied in the revelation which was given to him ( ἐν ἀποκαλύψει γενομέναὐτῷ ).” As the fact of the composition of the Apocalypse in Asia is not doubtful (although Scholten seems desirous of disputing it), it follows from this statement of Justin that he had no doubt that the apostle had resided in Asia. This declaration is the more interesting since it is found in the account of a public discussion which Justin had to maintain at Ephesus itself with a learned Jew. This work dates from 150-160.

We possess, finally, an official document, emanating from the bishops of Asia towards the close of the second century, which attests their unanimous conviction in regard to the matter with which we are engaged. It is the letter which Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, addressed to Victor under the same circumstances which occasioned that of Irenaeus quoted above (about 190). He a man in whose family the office of bishop of that metropolis was, as it were, hereditary (since seven of his relatives had already filled it before him) writes, with the assent of all the bishops of the province who surround him, the following words: “We celebrate the true day....For some great lights are extinguished in Asia and will rise again there at the return of the Lord...Philip, one of the twelve apostles,...and John, who reclined on the Lord's bosom, who was high priest and wore the plate of gold, and who was a witness and teacher, and who is buried at Ephesus....All these celebrated the Passover on the fourteenth day, according to the gospel.”

Such are the testimonies proceeding from Asia Minor. They are not the only ones. We can add to them one coming from Egypt. Clement of Alexandria, about 190, in the preamble to the story of the young man whom John reclaimed from his errors, writes these words: “After the tyrant was dead, John returned from the island of Patmos to Ephesus, and there he visited the surrounding countries in order to constitute bishops and organize the churches.”

We omit the later witnesses (Tertullian, Origen, Jerome, Eusebius), who naturally depend on the older accounts.

By what means is the attempt made to shake so ancient and widely established a tradition?

The Acts of the Apostles, says Keim, do not speak of such a residence of John in Asia. Is it a serious man who speaks thus? With such logic, answers Leuschner, it might also be proved that Paul is not yet dead even to the present hour. As if the book of Acts were a biography of the apostles, and as if it did not end before the time when John lived in Asia!

But the silence of the Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, and of the Pastoral Epistles? adds Scholten. As if the composition of these writings in the second century were a fact so thoroughly demonstrated that it could be made the starting point for new conclusions! Can critical presumption go further?

With more show of probability is the silence of the epistles of Ignatius and Polycarp alleged. Ignatius recalls to the Ephesians, Polycarp to the Philippians, the ministry of Paul in their churches; they are both silent with respect to that of John in Asia. As to Ignatius, these are the terms in which he recalls the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians: “You are the place of passage ( πάροδος ) of those who have been taken up to God, the co-initiated with Paul the consecrated one..., in whose footsteps may I be found!” The question is not of a residence of Paul in Ephesus in general, but quite specially of his last passage through Asia Minor, when, as he was repairing to Rome, he gave to the elders of those churches the farewell words reported in the Acts, and, in some sort, associated them with the consecration of his martyrdom. The analogy of that moment with the position of Ignatius, when he wrote to the Ephesians on his way to Rome, is obvious. There was no similar comparison to be made with the life of John. Moreover, the eleventh chapter of this same letter furnishes, perhaps, an allusion to the presence of John at Ephesus: “The Christians of Ephesus,” says Ignatius, “have always lived in entire harmony ( συνῄνεσαν ) with the apostles, in the strength of Jesus Christ.” Finally, we must not forget that Ignatius was from Syria, and that he had not been acquainted with John in Asia Minor.

Polycarp, writing to Macedonian Christians, had no particular reason for recalling to them John's ministry at Ephesus. If he speaks to them of Paul, it is because this apostle had founded and several times visited their church; and if he mentions Ignatius, it is because the venerated martyr had just passed through Philippi, at that very moment, as he was going to Rome.

The similar objection, derived from the account of the death of Polycarp, in the Acts of his martyrdom, by the church of Smyrna, is no more serious. Sixty years had passed since John's death, and yet that church could not have written a letter without making mention of him! Hilgenfeld, moreover, rightly notices the title of apostolic teacher given to Polycarp (chap. 18), which recalls his personal relations with one or with several of the apostles.

Keim and Scholten find the most decisive argument in the silence of Papias; they even see in the words of this Father the express denial of all connection with the apostle. Irenaeus, it is true, did not understand Papias in this way. He thinks, on the contrary, that he can call him a hearer of John ( ᾿Ιωάννου ἀκουστής ). But, it is said, precisely at this point is an error, which Eusebius has noticed and corrected by a more thorough study of the terms which Papias employed. The importance of the testimony of Papias in this question is manifest. Leimbach cites as many as forty-five writers who have treated this subject in these most recent times. We are compelled to study it more closely.

First of all, what is the epoch of Papias, and what the date of his work? Irenaeus adds to the title of hearer of John, which he gives to him, that of companion of Polycarp ( Πολυκάρπου ἑταῖρος ). This term denotes a contemporary. Now, the most recent investigations place the martyrdom of Polycarp in 155 or 156, and this date appears to be generally adopted at the present day (Renan, Lipsius, Hilgenfeld). As Polycarp himself declares that he had spent eighty-six years in the service of the Lord, his birth must be placed, at the latest, in the year 70. If Papias was his contemporary, therefore, he lived between 70 and 160; and if John died about the year 100, this Father might, chronologically speaking, have been in contact with the apostle up to the age of thirty. Irenaeus, at the same time, calls Papias a man of Christian antiquity ( ἀρχαῖος ἀνήρ ); Papias belonged, then, like Polycarp, to the generation which immediately followed the apostles. There is, finally, in the very fragment which we are about to study, an expression which leads us to the same conclusion. Papias says that he informed himself concerning “that which Andrew, and then Peter, Philip, etc., etc., said ( εἰπεν ), and that which Aristion and John the Presbyter, the disciples of the Lord, say ( λέγουσιν ).” This contrast between the past said and the present say is too marked to be accidental. It implies, as at the present day Keim, Hilgenfeld and Mangold acknowledge, that at the time when Papias wrote the two last-named personages were still living; and, since they are both designated as personal disciples of Jesus, they can only, at the latest, have lived until about the year 110-120. It was, then, at this period also at the latest that Papias wrote. He was then thirty to forty years old.

Now the following is the fragment quoted by Eusebius. The question will be whether the personal relation of Papias with John the apostle is affirmed, as Irenaeus thinks, or excluded, as Eusebius claims, by the terms employed in this much discussed passage.

“Now I shall not fail to add to my explanations also ( συγκατατάξαι ταϊς ἑρμηνείαις ) all that which I have formerly very well learned and very well remembered from the elders ( παρὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων ), while guaranteeing to thee the truth of the same. For I did not take pleasure, like the great mass, in those who relate many things, but in those who teach true things; nor in those who spread abroad strange commandments, but in those who spread abroad the commandments given to faith by the Lord and that come from the truth itself. And if, at times, also, one of those who accompanied the elders came to me ( εἰ δέ που καὶ παρακολουθηκώς τις τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις ἒλθοι ), I inquired about the words of the elders ( τοὺς τῶν πρεσβυτέρων ἀνέκρινον λόγους ): what Andrew said, or Peter ( τί᾿Ανδρέαςτί Πέτρος εἰπεν ), or Philip, or Thomas, or James, or John, or Matthew, or some other of the disciples of the Lord ( ἠ τις ἕτερος τῶν τοῦ Κυρίου μαθητῶν ); then about what Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say ( ἅ τε᾿Αριστίων καὶπρεσβύτερος᾿Ιωάννης , οἱ τοῦ Κυρίου μαθηταὶ , λέγουσιν ), for I did not suppose that that which is derived from books could be as useful to me as that which comes from the living and permanent word.”

This passage is made up of two distinct paragraphs, of which the second begins with the words: “ And if at times (now and then) also. ” Hilgenfeld and others think that the second paragraph is only the commentary on the first, and refers to the same fact. But this interpretation does violence to the text, as the first words prove: And if at times also ( εἰ / δέ που καί ). This transition indicates an advance, not an identity. The two paragraphs, therefore, refer to different facts.

In the former paragraph, Papias evidently speaks of what he has favorably received and remembered from the elders themselves that is to say, by a communication from them to him personally. This is implied by the use of the preposition παρά ( from), the regular sense of which is that of direct communication; 2. By the adverb ποτέ ( formerly), which, by placing these communications in a past already remote, shows that such a relation has for a long time been no more possible, and that it, consequently, belongs to the youth of the author.

The essential question in relation to the meaning of this first paragraph is the following: Who are these elders whom Papias heard in his youth? They cannot be, as Weiffenbach has maintained, the elders or presbyters appointed in the churches by the apostles. For how could Papias, the contemporary of Polycarp, one of the men of the older generation to the view of Irenaeus, have been formerly (in his youth) instructed by these disciples of the apostles! The anachronism resulting from this explanation is a flagrant one. No more, on the other hand, can these elders be, as has been claimed, simply and exclusively the apostles. In that case Papias would have used this term, and not the term elders. The title elders ( πρεσβύτεροι , seniores) has, with the Fathers, as Holtzmann has well remarked, a relative meaning. For Irenaeus and the men of the third Christian generation, the elders are the men of the second, the Polycarps and the Papiases; for these latter, they are the men of the first the apostles, first of all, and, besides them, every immediate witness and disciple of the Lord. This clearly appears from the second paragraph in which Papias gives an enumeration of those whom he calls the elders; it includes seven apostles and two disciples of the Lord who were not apostles, Aristion and the presbyter John. As the Apostle John has been named among the seven, it appears to me impossible to identify with the apostle this presbyter having the same name, notwithstanding the reasons given by Zahn and Riggenbach. He is a second John, who lived in Asia Minor, and whom the special surname of elder or presbyter was intended, perhaps, to distinguish from the apostle, who was called either simply John, or the Apostle John.

It follows from this, that, in the first paragraph, Papias declares that he had in former years heard personally from the immediate disciples of Jesus (apostles or non-apostles). He does not name them; but we have no right to exclude from this number the Apostle John, and, because of this statement, to declare false, as Eusebius does in his History, the words of Irenaeus: “Papias, a fellow-disciple of Polycarp and hearer of John. ” And this even more, since Irenaeus, a native of Asia Minor, had probably been personally acquainted with Papias, and since Eusebius himself, in his Chronicon, affirms the personal connection of Papias, as well as that of Polycarp, with St. John.

In the second paragraph, Papias passes from personal to indirect relations. He explains how, at a later period, when he found himself prevented by distance or by the death of the elders from communicating with them, he set himself to the work of continuing to collect the materials for his book. He took advantage of all the opportunities that were offered him by the visits which he received at Hierapolis, to question every one of those who had anywhere met with the elders; and it is on occasion of this statement, that he designates the latter by name: “I asked him what Andrew, Peter...John, etc., said ” (when they were alive) respecting such or such a circumstance in the life of the Lord, “and what the two disciples of the Lord, Aristion and the presbyter John say ” (at the present time). And why, indeed, even after having communicated directly in his youth with some of these men, may not Papias have sought to gather some indirect information from the lips of those who had enjoyed such intercourse more recently or more abundantly than himself? At all events, as it evidently does not follow from the first paragraph that Papias had not been acquainted with John, so it does follow with equal clearness, from the second, that he was not personally instructed by John the Presbyter; and thus a second error of Eusebius is to be corrected.

What becomes, then, of the modern argument (Keim and others), drawn from the passage of Papias, against the residence of John in Asia? “Papias himself declares,” it is said, “that he was not acquainted with any one of the apostles, while he affirms that he was personally acquainted with John the Presbyter. Irenaeus, therefore, in speaking of him as the hearer of the Apostle John, has confounded the apostle with the presbyter.” The fact is: 1. That Papias affirms his having been acquainted with elders (among whom might be John the Apostle); 2. That he denies a personal acquaintance with John the Presbyter; and 3. That he expressly distinguishes John the Apostle from John the Presbyter. We see what is the value of the objection drawn from this testimony.

But, it is said, Irenaeus may have been mistaken when alleging that the John known to Polycarp was the apostle, whereas this person was actually only the presbyter And this mistake of Irenaeus may have led astray the whole tradition which emanates from him. Keim supports this assertion by the following expression of Irenaeus in his letter to Florinus, when he is speaking of his relations with Polycarp: “ When I was yet a child ( παῖς ἔτι ὤν ),” and by that other similar expression, in his great work, on the same occasion: “ In our first youth ( ἐν τῇ πρώτήλικίᾳ ).” But every one acquainted with the Greek language knows well that such expressions, in particular the word translated by child ( παῖς ), often denote a young man; and could the youngest Christian, who was of such an age as to hear Polycarp, in listening to his narratives, confound a simple presbyter with the Apostle John? Besides, Polycarp himself came to Rome, a short time before his martyrdom; he appealed in the presence of Anicetus to the authority of the Apostle John, in order to support the Paschal observance of Asia Minor. The misapprehension, if it had existed, would infallibly, at that time, have been cleared up. Finally, even if the testimony of Irenaeus had been founded on an error, it could not have had the decisive influence on the tradition which is ascribed to it. For there exist other statements which are contemporaneous with his, and which are necessarily independent of it such as those of Clement in Egypt and Polycrates in Asia Minor; or even anterior to his such as those of Apollonius in Asia, Polycarp at Rome, and Justin. It is consequently to attempt an impossibility, when we try to make the whole tradition on this point proceed from Irenaeus. Irenaeus wrote in Gaul about 185; how could he have drawn after him all those writers or witnesses who go back in a continuous series from 190 to 150, and that in all parts of the world!

Scholten has acknowledged the impossibility of explaining the error in Keim's way. He thinks that it arose from the Apocalypse, which was attributed to the Apostle John, and which appeared to have been composed in Asia.

Mangold himself has replied, with perfect justice, that it is, on the contrary, only the certainty of John's residence in Asia which could have brought the churches of that region to ascribe to him the composition of the Apocalypse. If Justin himself, while he resided at Ephesus, where he maintained his public dispute with Trypho, had not ascertained the certainty of John's residence in that country, could he have conceived the idea of ascribing to him so positively a book, the first chapters of which manifestly imply an Asiatic origin?

Moreover, this tradition was so widely spread abroad throughout the churches of Asia Minor, that Irenaeus says that he had been acquainted with several presbyters, who, by reason of their personal relations with the Apostle John, testified to the authenticity of the number 666 (in opposition to the variant 616). Finally, how can we dispose of the testimony contained in the letter to Florinus? Scholten, it is true, has attempted to prove this document to be unauthentic. Hilgenfeld calls this attempt a desperate undertaking. We will add: and a useless one, even in case it is successful; for the letter of Irenaeus to Victor, which no one tries to dispute, remains and is sufficient. Besides, there is nothing weaker than the arguments by which Scholten seeks to justify this act of critical violence. There is but one true reason that which arises from the admission: If the letter were authentic, the personal relation of Polycarp to John the apostle could be no longer denied. Very well! we may say, the authenticity of this letter remains unassailable, and, by the admission of Scholten himself, the personal relation of Polycarp to John cannot be denied.

But it is claimed that, as the Apocalypse presupposes the death of all the apostles as an accomplished fact, and that in the year 68, the Apostle John could not have been still living about the year 100. And what, then, are the words of the Apocalypse from which the death of all the apostles is inferred? They are the following, according to the text which is now established ( Joh 18:20 ): “Rejoice thou heaven and ye saints and apostles and prophets ( οἱ ἅγιοι καὶ οἱ ἅπόστολοι καὶ οἱ προφῆται ), because God has taken upon the earth the vengeance which was due to you.” This passage assuredly proves that, at the date of the composition of the Apocalypse, there were in heaven a certain number of saints, apostles and prophets, who had suffered martyrdom. But these apostles are as far from being all the apostles as these saints are from being all the saints!

Thus the objections against the unanimously authenticated historical fact of the residence of John in Asia, to which critical prejudices have given rise, vanish away.

Tradition does not merely attest John's residence in Asia in a general way; it reports, in addition, many particular incidents which may indeed have been amplified, but which cannot have been wholly invented. In any case, these anecdotes imply a well-established conviction of the reality of this residence.

There is, for example, the meeting of John with the heretic Cerinthus in a public bath, at Ephesus. “There are still living,” says Irenaeus ( Adv. Haer. 3.4), “people who have heard Polycarp relate that John, having entered a bath-house at Ephesus and having seen Cerinthus inside, suddenly withdrew, without having bathed, saying: Let us go out, lest the house fall down because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is there.” This well attested incident recalls the vividness of impressions in the young apostle, who refused the right of healing in the name of Jesus to the believer who did not outwardly walk with the apostles, or who desired to bring down fire from heaven on the Samaritan village which was hostile to Jesus. Or, again, there is the incident, related by Clement of Alexandria, of the young man who was entrusted by John to a bishop of Asia Minor, and whom the aged apostle succeeded in bringing back from the criminal course upon which he had entered. This incident recalls the ardor of love in the young disciple who, at the first meeting with Jesus had given himself up wholly to Him, and whom Jesus had made His friend.

Clement says that the apostle returned from Patmos to Ephesus after the death of the tyrant. Tertullian ( De praescript. haer. c. 36) relates that that exile was preceded by a journey to Rome; and he adds the following detail: “After the apostle had been plunged in boiling oil and had come out of it safe and sound, he was banished to an island.” According to Irenaeus it would seem that the tyrant was Domitian. Some scholars claim that a reminder of this punishment undergone by John may be found in the epithet witness (or martyr) which is given him by Polycrates. But perhaps there is in that narrative simply a fiction, to which the words addressed by Jesus to the two sons of Zebedee may have given rise: “Ye shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with,” words the literal realization of which is sought for in vain in the life of John. As to the exile in Patmos, it might also be supposed that that story is merely an inference drawn from Revelation 1:0. Nevertheless, Eusebius says: “ Tradition states ( λόγος ἔχει );” and as history proves the fact of exiles of this sort under Domitian, and that precisely for the crime of the Christian faith, there may well be more in it than the product of an exegetical combination. This exile and the composition of the Apocalypse are placed by Epiphanius in the reign of Claudius (from the year 41 to the year 54). This date is positively absurd, since at that epoch the churches of Asia Minor, to which the Apocalypse is addressed, had no existence. Renan has supposed that the legend of the martyrdom of John might have arisen from the fact that this apostle had had to undergo a sentence at Rome at the same time as Peter and Paul. But this hypothesis is not sufficiently supported. Finally, according to Augustine, he drank a cup of poison without feeling any injury from it, and according to the anti-Montanist writer, Apollonius, (about 180), John raised to life a dead man at Ephesus (Eusebius, Joh 5:18 ); two legends, which are perhaps connected with Mat 10:8 and Mark 16:18. Steitz has supposed that the latter was only an alteration of the history of the young brigand rescued by John from perdition.

Clement of Alexandria thus describes the ministry of edification and organization which the apostle exercised in Asia: “He visited the churches, instituted bishops and regulated affairs.” Rothe, Thiersch and Neander himself attribute to the influence exerted by him the very stable constitution of the churches of Asia Minor in the second century, of which we already find traces in the Apocalypse ( the angel of the Church), and, a little later, in the epistles of Ignatius. History thus establishes the fact of a visit to these churches made by an eminent apostle, such as St. John was, who crowned the edifice erected by Paul. But the most beautiful monument of the visit of John in these regions is the maturity of faith and Christian life to which the churches of Asia were raised by his ministry. Polycrates, in his enthusiastic and symbolic language, represents to us St. John at this period of his life, as wearing on his forehead, like the Jewish high-priest, the plate of gold with the inscription, Holiness to the Lord. “John,” he says, “who rested on the bosom of the Lord, and who became a priest wearing the plate of gold, both witness and teacher.” The attempt has been made to find in this passage an absurdity, by taking it in the literal sense; but the thought of the aged bishop is clear: John, the last survivor of the apostolate, had left in the Church of Asia the impression of a pontiff whose forehead was irradiated by the splendor of the holiness of Christ. It is not impossible that, in these three titles which he gives him, Polycrates alludes to the three principal books which were attributed to him: in that of priest wearing the sacerdotal frontlet, to the Apocalypse; in that of witness, to the Gospel; in that of teacher, to the Epistle.

The hour for work had struck in the first place for Simon Peter; he had founded the Church in Israel and planted the standard of the new covenant on the ruins of the theocracy. Paul had followed: his work had been to liberate the Church from the restrictions of expiring Judaism and to open to the Gentiles the door of the kingdom of God. John succeeded them, he who had first come to Jesus, and whom his Master reserved for the last. He consummated the fusion of those heterogeneous elements of which the Church had been formed, and raised Christianity to the relative perfection of which it was, at that time, susceptible.

According to all the traditions, John had never any other spouse than the Church of the Lord, nor any other family than that which he salutes by the name of “my children” in his epistles. Hence the epithet virginal ( ὀ παρθένιος ), by which he is sometimes designated (Epiphanius and Augustine).

We find in John Cassian an anecdote which well describes the memory which he had left behind him in Asia.

V. The Death of St. John.

All the statements of the Fathers relative to the end of John's career, agree on this point, that his life was prolonged even to the limits of extreme old age. Jerome (Ep. to the Gal 6:10 ) relates that, having attained a very great age, and being too feeble to be able any longer to repair to the assemblies of the Church, he had himself carried thither by the young men, and that, having no longer strength to speak much, he contented himself with saying: “My little children, love one another.” And when he was asked why he repeated always that single word, his reply was: “Because it is the Lord's commandment, and, if this is done, enough is done.” According to the same Jerome, he died, weighed down by old age, sixty-eight years after the Lord's Passion that is to say, about the year 100. Irenaeus says “that he lived until the time of Trajan:” that is, until after the year 98. According to Suidas, he even attained the age of one hundred and twenty years. The letter of Polycrates proves that he was buried at Ephesus ( οὗτος ἐν᾿Εφέσῳ κεκοίμηται ). There were shown also in that city two tombs, each of which was said to be that of the apostle, (Eusebius, H. E. 7.25; Jerome, de vir. ill., c. 9), and it is by means of this fact that Eusebius tries to establish the hypothesis of a second John, called the presbyter, a contemporary of the apostle. The idea had also been conceived, that John would be exempt from the necessity of paying the common tribute to death. The words that Jesus had addressed to him ( Joh 21:22 ) were quoted: “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is it to thee?” And we learn from St. Augustine that even his death did not cause this strange idea to pass away. In the treatise 124, on the Gospel of John, he relates that, according to some, the apostle was still living peacefully sleeping in his grave, the proof of which was furnished by the fact that the earth was gently moved by his breathing. Isidore of Seville relates that, when he felt that the day of his departure was come, John caused his grave to be dug; and, bidding his brethren farewell, he laid himself down in it as if in a bed which, he says, leads some to allege that he is still alive. Some have gone even further than this, and alleged that he was taken up to heaven, as Enoch and Elijah were.

A more important fact would be that which is related in a fragment of the chronicle by Georgius Hamarto=los(ninth century), published by Nolte. “After Domitian, Nerva reigned during one year, who, having recalled John from the island, permitted him to dwell at Ephesus ( ἀπέλυσεν οἰκεῖν ἐν᾿Εφέσῳ ). Being left as the sole survivor among the twelve disciples, after having composed his Gospel, he was judged worthy of martyrdom; for Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, who was a witness of the fact ( αὐτόπτης τούτου γενόμενος ), relates in the second book of the Discourses of the Lord that he was killed by the Jews ( ὅτι ὑπὸ᾿Ιουδαίων ἀνρέθη ), thus fulfilling, like his brother, the word which Christ had spoken respecting him: Ye shall drink the cup which I must drink. And the learned Origen, also, in his exposition of Matthew, affirms that John thus underwent martyrdom.”

Keim and Holtzmann, at once regarding this event as established by evidence, and locating it without hesitation in Palestine because there is a reference to the Jews, have drawn from it an unanswerable proof as opposing John's residence in Asia Minor. This proceeding proves only one thing: the credulity of science when the matter in hand is to prove what it desires. And, first of all, were there not then in Ephesus also Jews capable of killing the apostle? Then, does not the fragment itself place the scene in Asia: “Nerva permitted John to return to Ephesus. ” Still further, it is as having been a witness of the scene that Papias is said to have related it. Did Papias, then, live in Palestine? Finally, supposing that this account were displeasing to the critics and contradicted their system, they would certainly ask how it is possible, if the work of Papias really contained that passage, that none of the Fathers who had his book in their hands, should have been acquainted with this alleged martyrdom of John, or have made mention of it? They would tell us that the quotation which Hamarto=los makes from Origen is false, since that Father relates, indeed, the banishment to Patmos, but nothing more; etc., etc. And, in that case, their criticism would undoubtedly be well founded. All unprejudiced scholars have, in fact, admitted that the chronicler had a false Papias, or an interpolated Papias, in his hands. But in any case, if we accept this point in the account: killed by the Jews, it is only logical to see in the testimony given to this fact by Papias as an eye-witness, a sure proof of the personal relation which had existed between Papias and the apostle in Asia Minor. And yet Keim and Holtzmann find the means of seeing in it quite the opposite!

We conclude: If, as may be supposed, John was twenty to twenty-five years old, when he was called by Jesus about the year 30, he was from ninety to ninety-five about the year 100, three years after the accession of Trajan. There is nothing improbable in this. Consequently, he might have been in personal relations with the Polycarps and Papiases, born about the year 70, and with many other still younger presbyters who, as Irenaeus says, saw him face to face while he was living in Asia until the time of Trajan.

VI. The Character of John.

Ardor of affection, vividness of intuition, such seem to have been, from the point of view of feeling and that of intelligence, the two dominant traits in John's nature. These two tendencies must have powerfully co- operated in bringing about the very close personal union which was formed between the disciple and his Master. While loving, John contemplated, and the more he contemplated, the more he loved. He was absorbed with this intuition of love and he drew from it his inner life. So he does not, like St. Paul, analyze faith and its object. “John does not discuss,” says de Pressense, “he affirms.” It is enough for him to state the truth, in order that whoever loves it may receive it, as he has himself received it, by way of immediate intuition, rather than of reasoning. We may apply to the Apostle John, in the highest degree, what Renan has said of the Semite: “He proceeds by intuition, not by deduction.” At one bound, the heart of John reached the radiant height on which faith has its throne. Already he feels himself in absolute possession of the victory: “He who is born of God sinneth not.” The ideal appertains to him, realized in Him whom he loves and in whom he believes.

Peter was distinguished by his practical originating power, scarcely compatible with tender receptivity. Paul united to active energy and the most consummate practical ability the penetrating vigor of an unequalled dialectic. For, although a Semite, he had passed his earliest years in one of the most brilliant centres of Hellenic culture and had there appropriated the acute forms of the occidental mind. John is completely different from both. He could not have laid the foundations of the Christian work, like Peter; he could not have contended, like Paul, with dialectic subtlety against Jewish Rabbinism, and composed the Epistles to the Galatians and the Romans. But, in the closing period of the apostolic age, it was he who was charged with putting the completing work upon the development of the primitive Church, which St. Peter had founded and St. Paul had emancipated. He has bequeathed to the world three works, in which he has exalted to their sublime perfection those three supreme intuitions in 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. Under three aspects, the same theme: the divine life realized in man, eternity filling time. One of John's own expressions sums up and binds together these three works: eternal life abiding in us. That life appears in the state of full realization in the first, of progress and struggle in the two others. John, through his writings and his person, is, as it were, the earthly anticipation of the divine festival.


Biedermann, in his Christian Dogmatics (p. 254), calls the fourth Gospel “the most wonderful of all religious books.” And he adds: “From one end to the other of this work, the most profound religious truth and the most fantastic monstrosity meet not only with one another, but in one another.” Neither this admiration nor this disdain can surprise us. For the Johannean conception possesses in the highest degree these two traits, one of which repels pantheism and the other attracts it: the transcendency of the divine personality and the immanence of the perfect life in the finite being.

Chapter First: Analysis.

WE do not intend to discuss here the different plans of the Johannean narrative proposed by the commentators. We shall only indicate the course of the narrative as it becomes clear from an attentive study of the book itself.

I. The narrative is preceded by a preamble which, as interpreters almost unanimously acknowledge, includes the first eighteen verses of the first chapter. In this introduction, the author sets forth the sublime grandeur and vital importance of the subject which he is about to treat. This subject is nothing less, indeed, than the appearance in Jesus of the perfect revealer, the communication in His person of the life of God Himself to humanity. To reject this word made flesh will thus be the supreme sin and misfortune, as is shown by the example of the rebellious Jews; to receive Him will be to know and possess God, as already the experience of all believers, Jews and Gentiles, proves. The three aspects of the evangelical fact are, consequently, brought out in this prologue: 1. The Word as agent of the divine work; 2. The rejection of the Word, by the act of unbelief; 3. The reception given to the Word by the act of faith. The first of these three ideas is the dominant one in John 1:1-43.1.5; the second in John 1:6-43.1.11; the third in John 1:12-43.1.18. But we must not regard these three aspects of the narrative which is to follow as being of equal importance. The primordial and fundamental fact in this history, is the appearance and manifestation of the Word. On this permanent foundation the two secondary facts are presented to view alternately unbelief and faith the progressive manifestations of which determine the phases of the narrative.

II. The narrative opens with the story of the three days, John 1:19-43.1.42, in which the work of the Son of God began on the earth and in the heart of the evangelist, if it is true, as the greater part of the interpreters admit, that the anonymous companion of Andrew, John 1:35 ff., is no other than the author himself.

On the first day, John the Baptist proclaims before an official deputation of the Sanhedrim the startling fact of the actual presence of the Messiah in the midst of the people: “There is in the midst of you one whom you know not” ( Joh 1:26 ). The day following, he points out Jesus personally to two of his disciples as the one of whom he had meant to speak; the third day, he lays such emphasis in speaking to them upon that declaration of the day before that the two disciples determine to follow Jesus. This day becomes at the same time the birthday of faith. Both recognize the Messianic dignity of Jesus. Then Andrew brings Simon, his brother, to Jesus; a slight indication, John 1:42 (see the exegesis), seems to show that the other disciple likewise brings his own brother (James, the brother of John). The first nucleus of the society of believers is formed.

Three days follow ( Joh 1:43 to Joh 2:11 ); the first two have as their result the adding of two new believers, Philip and Nathanael, to the three or four preceding ones; the third day, that of the marriage-feast at Cana, serves to strengthen the nascent faith of all. Thus faith, born of the testimony of the forerunner and of the contact of the first disciples with Jesus Himself, is extended and confirmed by the increasing spectacle of His glory ( Joh 2:11 ).

Jesus, on His return to Galilee and still surrounded by His family, abandons Nazareth and comes to take up His abode at Capernaum, a city much more fitted to become the centre of his work ( Joh 2:12 ).

But the Passover feast draws near. The moment has come for Jesus to begin the Messianic work in the theocratic capital, at Jerusalem, John 2:13-43.2.22. From this moment, He calls His disciples to accompany Him constantly ( Joh 2:17 ). The purification of the temple is a significant appeal to every Israelitish conscience; the people and their rulers are invited by this bold act to co- operate, all of them together, for the spiritual elevation of the theocracy, under the direction of Jesus. If the people yielded themselves to this impulse, all was gained. Instead of this, they remain cold. This is the sign of a secret hostility. The future victory of unbelief is, as it were, decided in principle. Jesus discerns and by a profound saying reveals the gravity of this moment ( Joh 2:19 ).

Some symptoms of faith, nevertheless, show themselves in the face of this rising opposition ( Joh 2:23 to Joh 3:21 ); but a carnal alloy disturbs this good movement. It is as a worker of miracles that Jesus attracts attention. A remarkable example of this faith which is not faith is presented in the person of Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a member of the Sanhedrim. Like several of his colleagues, and many other believers in the capital, he recognizes as belonging to Jesus a divine mission, attested by His miraculous works ( Joh 3:2 ). Jesus endeavors to give him a purer understanding of the person and work of the Messiah than that which he had derived from Pharisaic teaching, and dismisses him with this farewell which was full of encouragement ( Joh 2:21 ): “He that doeth the truth cometh to the light.” The sequel of the Gospel will show the fulfillment of this promise; comp. John 7:50 ff.; John 19:39 ff.

These few traces of faith, however, do not counterbalance the great fact of the national unbelief which becomes more marked. This tragic fact is the subject of a final testimony which John the Baptist renders to Jesus before he leaves the scene ( Joh 3:22-36 ). They are both baptizing in Judea; John takes advantage of this proximity to proclaim Him yet once more as the Bridegroom of Israel. Then, in the face of the marked indifference of the people and the rulers towards the Messiah, he gives utterance to that threatening the last echo of the thunders of Sinai, the final word of the Old Testament ( Joh 3:36 ): “He that refuseth obedience to the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

On the occasion of this momentary contemporaneousness of the two ministries of Jesus and John, the evangelist makes the following remark which surprises us ( Joh 3:24 ): “For John had not yet been cast into prison.” Nothing in the preceding narrative could have given rise to the idea that John had already been arrested. Why this explanation without ground? Certainly the author wishes to correct a contrary opinion which he supposes to exist in the minds of his readers. The comparison with Mat 4:12 and Mar 1:14 explains for us this correction which is introduced by the way.

With this general unbelief, on the one hand, and this defective faith in some, is joyfully contrasted the spectacle of a whole city which, without the aid of any miracle, welcomes Jesus with faith, as all Israel should have received Him. And it is Samaria which gives this example of faith ( Joh 4:1-42 ). It is the prelude of the future lot of the Gospel in the world.

Jesus returns to Galilee for the second time ( Joh 4:43-54 ). The reception which He there meets from His fellow-countrymen is more favorable than that which He found in Judea; they feel themselves honored by the sensation which their fellow-citizen has produced in the capital. But it is always the worker of miracles, the thaumaturgist, whom they salute in Him. As an example of this disposition, is related the healing of the son of a prominent personage who hastens from Capernaum to Cana at the first report of the arrival of Jesus.

We meet here also with a remark ( Joh 4:54 ) intended to combat a false notion for which the preceding narrative could not have given occasion: the confusion between the two returns to Galilee which had been previously mentioned ( Joh 1:44 and Joh 4:3 ). The author brings out the distinction between these two arrivals by means of the difference in the two miracles, both performed at Cana, which signalized them. The cause of the confusion which he labors to dispel is easily pointed out: it is found in the narrative of our Synoptics; comp. besides the passages already cited, Luke 4:14 (together with the entire context which precedes and follows).

Up to this point we have seen the work of Jesus extend itself to all parts of the Holy Land in succession, and we have looked upon various manifestations either of true faith (in the disciples and the inhabitants of Sychar), or of faith mingled with a carnal alloy (in the believers of Jerusalem and Galilee), or of indifference or entire unbelief (at Jerusalem and in Judea), which it called forth. We think that it is in harmony with the evangelist's thought, to make here, at the end of the fourth chapter, a pause in the narrative. Till now we have had only a period of preparation, in which various moral phenomena have been announced, rather than distinctly emphasized. A change is made from chap. 5 onward. The general movement, especially at Jerusalem, determines itself in the direction of unbelief; it goes on ever increasing as far as the end of chap. 12, where it reaches its provisional limit. Here the author arrests himself, to cast a glance backward, in order to search into the causes of this moral catastrophe and to point out the irremediable gravity of it. What is related, therefore, from chap. 5 to the end of chap. 12, forms the third part of the book, the second part of the narrative properly so called.

III. The development of the national unbelief (chap. 5-12). Although Jesus had determined to leave Judea in consequence of a malevolent report made to the Pharisees respecting His work in that region (John 4:1; Joh 4:3 ), from chap. 5 onward we find Him again at Jerusalem. He desired to make a new attempt in that capital. For this purpose He takes advantage of one of the national feasts, probably that of Purim, which occurred a month before the Passover; His thought undoubtedly was to prolong His sojourn in the capital, if it were possible, until this latter feast. But the healing of the impotent man on a Sabbath caused the concealed hatred on the part of the rulers against Him to break forth; and when He justifies Himself by alleging His filial duty to labor in the work of salvation which His Father is accomplishing, their indignation knows no longer any limits; He is accused of speaking blasphemy in making Himself equal with God. Jesus defends Himself by showing that this alleged equality with God is, in fact, only the most profound dependence on God.

Then, in support of this testimony which He bears to Himself, He cites not only that of John the Baptist, but especially that of the Father, first, in the miraculous works which He gives Him to perform, and then in the Scriptures in particular, in the writings of Moses, in whose name He is accused. By this defense, to which the recently accomplished miracle gives an irresistible force, He escapes the present danger; but He sees Himself obliged immediately to leave Judea, which for a long time remains shut against Him.

In chap. 6 we find Him, therefore, again in Galilee. The Passover is near ( Joh 6:4 ). Jesus cannot go and celebrate it at Jerusalem. But God prepares for Him, as well as for His disciples, an equivalent in Galilee. He repairs with them to a desert place; the multitudes follow Him thither; He receives them compassionately and extemporizes for them a divine banquet (the multiplication of the loaves). The people are enraptured; but it is not the hunger and thirst for righteousness which excites them; it is the expectation of the earthly enjoyments and grandeurs of the Messianic Kingdom, which seems to them close at hand; they desire to make Him a King ( Joh 6:15 ). Jesus measures the danger with which this carnal enthusiasm threatens His work. And as He knows how accessible His apostles still are to this spirit of error, and perhaps discerns in some one among them the author of this movement, He makes haste to isolate them from the people by causing them to recross the sea. He Himself remains alone with the multitudes, in order to quiet them; then, He commends His work anew to the Father in solitude, and thereafter, walking on the waters, He rejoins His disciples who are struggling against the wind; and on the next day, in the synagogue of Capernaum, where the people come to rejoin Him, He speaks in such a way as to cool their false zeal. He gives them to understand that He is by no means such a Messiah as the one whom they are seeking, that He is “the heavenly bread” designed to nourish souls that are spiritually hungry. He pushes so far His opposition to the common ideas that almost the whole body of His disciples who habitually follow Him break with Him. Not content with this purification, Jesus even wishes to make it penetrate further, even into the circle of the Twelve, to whom with boldness he gives the liberty of withdrawing also. We can understand that it was especially to Judas, the representative of the carnal Messianic idea among the Twelve, that He thus opened the door; the evangelist himself remarks this as he closes this incomparable narrative ( Joh 6:70-71 ).

A whole summer passes, respecting which we learn nothing. The feast of Tabernacles draws near (chap. 7). Jesus has an interview with His brethren; they are astonished that, having already failed to go and celebrate at Jerusalem the two feasts of the Passover and Pentecost, He does not seem disposed to repair to this one, in order to manifest Himself also to His adherents in Judea. He replies to them that the moment for His public manifestation as the Messiah has not yet come. This moment, indeed He knows it well will infallibly be that of His death; now His work is not yet finished. He repairs to Jerusalem, however, but secretly, as it were, and only towards the middle of the feast; He thus takes the authorities by surprise, and gives them no time to take measures against Him. On the last and great day of the feast, He compares Himself to the rock in the wilderness whose waters of old quenched the thirst of the fainting people. Lively discussions in regard to Him arise among His hearers. At every word which He utters He is interrupted by His adversaries, and while a part of His hearers recognize in Him a prophet, and some even declare Him to be the Christ, He is obliged to reproach others with cherishing towards Him feelings inspired by the one who is a liar and murderer from the beginning. All the discourses which fill chaps. 7 and 8 are summed up, as He Himself says, in these two words: judgment and testimony; judgment on the moral state of the people, testimony given to His own Messianic and divine character. A first judicial measure is taken against Him. Officers are sent out by the authorities to lay hold of Him in the temple where He is speaking ( Joh 7:32 ). But the power of His word on their consciences and the power of the public sentiment, still favorable to Jesus, arrest them; they return without having laid hands upon Him ( Joh 7:45 ). The rulers then take a new step. They declare every one excommunicated from the synagogue who shall recognize Jesus as the Messiah (comp. Joh 9:22 ); and in consequence of one of His sayings which seems to them blasphemous (“Before Abraham was, I am,” Joh 8:58 ), they make a first attempt to stone Him.

Chapter 9 also belongs to this sojourn at the feast of Tabernacles. A new Sabbath miracle, the healing of the man who was born blind, exasperates the rulers. In the name of the legal ordinance, this miracle should not be, cannot have been. The blind man reasons in an inverse way: the miracle is; therefore, the Sabbath has not been violated. This unsettled conflict ends with the violent expulsion of the blind man. Jesus reveals to this man His divine character, and, after having cured him of his double blindness, receives him into the number of His own. Thereupon, in chap. 10, He describes Himself as the divine Shepherd who brings His own sheep from the ancient theocratic sheepfold, in order to lead them to life, while the mass of the flock is led to the slaughter by those who have constituted themselves their directors and masters. Finally, he announces the incorporation in His flock of new sheep brought from other sheepfolds ( Joh 10:16 ). On hearing this discourse, there is a still more marked division among the people, between His adversaries and His partisans ( Joh 10:19-21 ).

Three months elapse; the evangelist does not speak of the use made of them. It cannot be supposed that, in the condition in which matters were, Jesus passed all this time at Jerusalem or even in Judea He who, before the scenes of this character, had been able to reappear at Jerusalem only unawares. He undoubtedly returned into Galilee. At the end of December, Jesus goes to the feast of the Dedication ( Joh 10:22-39 ). The Jews surround Him, resolved to wrest from Him the grand declaration: “Tell us whether thou art the Christ?” Jesus, as always, affirms the thing while avoiding the word. He emphasizes His perfect unity with the Father, which necessarily implies His Messianic character. The adversaries already take up stones to stone Him. Jesus makes them fall from their hands by this question ( Joh 10:32 ): “I have shown you from my Father many good works; for which one do you stone me?” He well knew that it was His two previous miracles (chaps. 5 and 9) which had caused their hatred to overflow. Then He appeals, against the accusation of blasphemy, to the divine character attributed by the Old Testament itself to the theocratic authorities a fact which should have prepared Israel to believe in the divine character of the supreme messenger, the Messiah.

From Jerusalem Jesus betakes Himself to Perea, into the regions where John had baptized, into that region which had been the cradle of His work ( Joh 10:40-42 ).

It is there (chap. 11) that the appeal of the sisters of Lazarus reaches Him. We are surprised to see ( Joh 10:1 ) Bethany designated as the village of Mary and Martha. As these two sisters have not yet been named, how can the mention of them serve to give the reader information respecting the village. It must, indeed, be admitted, here also, that the author makes an allusion to other narratives which he supposes to be known to the readers (comp. Luke 10:38-42.10.42; then also Joh 11:2 with Mat 26:6-13 and Mar 14:3-9 ). The miracle of the raising of Lazarus completes that for which the two preceding ones had prepared the way. It brings to maturity the plans of Jesus' enemies. At the proposal of Caiaphas ( Joh 11:49-50 ), the Sanhedrim decide to rid themselves of the impostor. And while Jesus withdraws to the north, to the neighborhood of an isolated hamlet named Ephraim, the rulers determine at length to take a first public measure against His person. Every Israelite is called upon to tell the place where Jesus is to be found ( Joh 11:57 ). At that time, perhaps, there sprang up in the heart of Judas the first thought of treachery. Shortly afterwards, six days before the Passover, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem; He stops at Bethany, and there, at a banquet which is offered Him by His friends, He detects the first manifestation of the murderous hatred of Judas ( Joh 12:4-5 ).

On the next day the royal entrance of Jesus into His capital takes place; this event realizes the wish which His brethren expressed six months before. His miracles the raising of Lazarus, in particular have excited to the highest degree the enthusiasm of the pilgrims who came to the feast; the rulers are paralyzed, as it were, and do nothing. Thus is accomplished the great Messianic act by which, once at least, Jesus says publicly to Israel: “Behold thy King.” But, at the same time, the rage of His adversaries is pushed thereby to extremity ( Joh 12:9-19 ). The resurrection of Lazarus and the public homage which resulted from it these, therefore, according to the narrative of John, were the two immediate causes of the catastrophe which had long since been preparing.

Jesus was not ignorant of what was passing; He was not indifferent to it. The occasion was afforded Him of giving utterance in the temple itself to the impressions of His heart, in these days when He saw the end approaching. Certain Greeks asked that they might speak with Him ( Joh 12:20 ). Like an instrument whose stretched strings become sonorous at the first contact with the bow, His soul responded to that appeal. The Greeks? Yes, certainly; the Gentile world is about to open itself; the power of Satan is about to crumble in this vast domain of the Gentile world and to give place to that of the divine monarch. But words cannot suffice for such a work; death is necessary. It is from the height of the instrument of punishment that Jesus will draw all men to Himself. And what anguish does not that bloody prospect cause Him! His soul is moved, even troubled by it. John alone has preserved for us the story of that exceptional hour. It was the close of His public ministry. After having yet once more invited the Jews to believe in the light which was about to be veiled from them, “He departed,” he says, “and did hide Himself from them” ( Joh 12:36 ).

Having arrived at this point, the evangelist casts a glance backward on the way which has been gone over, on the public ministry of Jesus in Israel. He asks himself how the unbelief of the Jews has been able to resist so many and so great miracles (John 12:37 ff.), so many and so powerful teachings (John 12:44 ff.).

This general blindness, however, had not been universal ( Joh 12:42 ). The divine light had penetrated into many hearts, even among the members of the Sanhedrim; the fear of the Pharisees alone prevented them from confessing their faith. In fact, even in this part of the Gospel which is devoted to tracing the progress of the national unbelief, the element of faith is not entirely wanting. Throughout the whole narrative, we can follow the steps of a development of faith parallel with, although subordinate to that of unbelief: thus, in the confession of Peter, chap. 6; in the selection which is effected at Jerusalem (chaps. 7, 8); in the case of the man born blind, in chap. 9, and in that of those sheep, in chap. 10, who, at the shepherd's call, follow Him out of the theocratic sheepfold; finally, in the case of the numerous adherents in Bethany and in that of the multitudes who accompany Jesus on Palm Sunday. These are the hearts prepared to form the Church of Pentecost.

IV. As since chap. 5, we have seen the tide of unbelief prevailing, so, from chap. 13, it is faith in the person of the disciples which becomes the preponderant element of the narrative; and that even till this faith has reached its relative perfection and Jesus is able to give thanks for the finished work (chap. 17). This development is effected by manifestations, no longer of power, but of love and light. There is, first, the washing of the feet, intended to make them understand that true glory is found in serving, and to uproot from their hearts the false Messianic ideal which still hid from them, in this regard, the divine thought realized in Jesus. Then there are the discourses in which He explains to them in words that which He has just revealed to them in act.

First of all, He quiets their minds with regard to the approaching separation ( Joh 13:31 to Joh 14:31 ); it will be followed by a near reunion, His spiritual return. For death will be for Him the way to glory, and if they cannot follow Him now into the perfect communion of the Father, they will be able to do so later in the way which He is about to open to them. In the meantime, by the strength which He will communicate to them, they will accomplish in His stead the work for which He has only been able to prepare. If they love Him, let them rejoice, therefore, in His departure, instead of sorrowing because of it, and let them, as a last farewell, receive His peace. After this, Jesus transports them in thought to the moment when, by the bond of the Holy Spirit, they will live in Him and He in them, in the same manner as the branch lives when united to the vine ( Joh 15:1 to Joh 16:15 ); He points out to them the single duty of this new condition, to abide in Him through obedience to His will; then He describes to them, without any reserve, the relation of hostility which will be formed between them and the world; but He reveals to them also the force which will contend by means of them, and by means of which they will conquer; the Spirit, who shall glorify Him in them. Finally, in closing ( Joh 16:16-33 ), He returns to that impending separation which so sorrowfully preoccupies their thoughts. He vividly portrays to them its brevity, as well as its grand results. And, summing up the object of their faith in these four propositions which answer to one another ( Joh 16:28 ): “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; and now I leave the world, and go to the Father,” He illuminates their minds with such a vivid clearness that the promised day, that of the Holy Spirit, seems to them to have arrived, and they cry out: “We believe that thou camest forth from God!” Jesus answers them: “ At last ye believe! ” And to this profession of their faith he affixes, in chap. 17, the seal of the act of thanksgiving and prayer. He asks of the Father for Himself the reinstatement in His condition of glory which is indispensable to Him, in order that He may give eternal life to those who believe in Him on the earth. He gives thanks for the gaining of these eleven men; He prays for their preservation and their perfect consecration to the work which He entrusts to them. He intercedes, finally, for the whole world, to which their word is to bring salvation. This prayer of chap. 17 recapitulates, in the most solemn form, the work accomplished in His disciples chaps. 13-17, after the same manner as the retrospective view at the end of chap. 12 summed up the development of unbelief in the nation and among its rulers (chaps. 5-12). Nevertheless, as the element of faith was not wanting in the part describing unbelief, so also the fact of unbelief is found in this picture of the development of faith. It is represented in the inmost circle of the disciples by the traitor, whose presence is several times recalled to mind in the course of chap. 13. The departure of Judas (17:30), marks the moment when that impure element finally gives place to the spirit of Jesus.

The history of Jesus contains something more and other than the revelation of the character of God and the impressions of faith and unbelief to which that revelation gives rise among men. The essential fact in this history is the work of reconciliation which is accomplished, and which prepares the way for the communication of the life of God Himself to believers. Here is the reason why the history of Jesus includes, besides the picture of His ministry of teaching, the account of His death and resurrection. It is by means of these last facts that faith will enter into complete possession of its object and will reach its full maturity, as it is by means of them, also, that the refusal will be consummated which constitutes final unbelief.

V. The whole story of the Passion, in chaps. 18 and 19, is related from the point of view of Jewish unbelief, which is consummated in putting the Messiah to death. This part is connected with the previous one, in which the development of this unbelief was related (5-12). At the very outset, we remark the complete omission of the scene in Gethsemane; but, after the numerous allusions to the Synoptical narratives which we have already established, these words: “Having said this, He went away with His disciples beyond the brook Cedron into a garden, into which He entered with His disciples,” can only be regarded as a reference to the account of that struggle which was known from the earlier writings. Then follows the deliverance of the disciples by reason of the powerful impression of the words: “I am he.” On the occasion of the striking of the high priest's servant with the sword, Peter and Malchus are designated by name in this Gospel only. The story of the trial of Jesus mentions only the preliminary examination which took place in the house of Annas. But by expressly designating this appearance for trial as the first (John 18:13: “to Annas first ”), even though a second one is not related, and by indicating the sending of Jesus to Caiaphas (John 18:24: “Annas sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas, the high priest”), the evangelist gives us to understand, as clearly as possible, that he supposes other accounts to be known, which complete what is omitted in his own.

The three denials of St. Peter are not related in succession; but they are, as must in reality have been the fact, interwoven with the phases of the trial of Jesus ( Joh 18:15-27 ). The description of the appearance before Pilate ( Joh 18:28 to Joh 19:16 ) reveals with an admirable precision the tactics of the Jews, at once audacious and crafty. The instinct of truth and the respect for the mysterious person of Jesus which restrain Pilate until he finally yields to the requirements of personal interest, the cunning of the Jews, who pass without shame from one charge to another, and end by wresting from Pilate through fear what they despair of obtaining from him in the name of justice, but who only obtain this shameful victory by renouncing their dearest hope and binding themselves as vassals to the heathen empire (John 19:15: “We have no king but Caesar”), all this is described with an incomparable knowledge of the situation. This is, perhaps, the master-piece of the Johannean narrative.

One feature of the story should be particularly noticed. In John 18:28, the Jews are unwilling to enter into Pilate's palace “that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.” The Paschal feast was therefore not yet celebrated on the day of Christ's death, according to our Gospel; it was to be celebrated only in the evening. It was, therefore, the 14th of Nisan, the day of the preparation of the Passover. This circumstance is so purposely made prominent in several other passages (John 13:1; John 13:29; John 19:31, etc.), that we are led to think of other narratives which placed the death of Christ only on the following day, the 15th of Nisan, and after the Paschal supper. Now this is what the Synoptical account seems to do. A new proof of the constant relation existing between the two narratives.

In the picture of the crucifixion, the disciple whom Jesus loved that mysterious personage who had already played a quite peculiar part in the last evening is found, as the only one among the disciples, near the cross. To him Jesus entrusts His mother. It is he, also, who sees the water and the blood flow from the pierced side of Jesus, and who verifies in this single fact the simultaneous accomplishment of two prophecies.

VI. The story of the resurrection (chap. 20) includes the description of three appearances which took place in Judea: that which was granted to Mary Magdalene, near the sepulchre; that which, in the evening, took place in the presence of all the disciples, and in which Jesus renewed to the apostles their commission, and imparted to them the first-fruits of Pentecost; and, finally, that which occurred eight days afterwards, and in which the obstinate unbelief of Thomas was overcome. From this we see that, just as the element of faith was not entirely wanting in the scenes of the Passion (it is sufficient to recall to mind the parts played by the disciple whom Jesus loved, the women, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus), so the element of unbelief is no more wanting in the portion intended to describe the final triumph of faith. The exclamation of adoration uttered by Thomas, “My Lord and my God!” in which the faith of the most incredulous of the disciples suddenly takes the boldest flight and fully reaches the height of its divine object, as it is described in the prologue, forms the conclusion of the narrative. Thus it is that the end connects itself with the starting-point.

These three aspects of the evangelical fact already indicated in the prologue: the Son of God, Jewish unbelief, and the faith of the Church are, accordingly, now fully treated; the subject is exhausted.

VII. The last two verses of chap. 20 are the close of the book. The author declares therein the aim which he set before himself. It is not a complete history that he has desired to relate; it is, as we have ourselves proved, the selection of a certain number of points designed to produce in the readers faith in the Messiahship and divinity of Jesus a faith in which they will find life as he himself has found it.

VIII. Chap. 21, in consequence of what precedes, is a supplement. Is it from the hand of the author? The affirmative and negative are still maintained. It is a matter of very little importance; for, even if it is from another writer, the latter has only written out a story which frequently came from the author's lips; so similar are the style and manner of narrating to those of the book itself. This appendix must have been added very early, and before the publication of the work, since it is not wanting in any manuscript or in any version. It completes the story of the appearances of Jesus by giving an account of one which took place in Galilee. Jesus gives to the disciples, by a symbolic act which connects itself with their former worldly occupation, a pledge of the magnificent success which they will obtain in their future apostleship ( Joh 21:1-14 ). Then He reinstates Peter in this office, and announces to him his future martyrdom by which he will completely efface the stain of his denial. The author takes advantage of this opportunity to restore the exact tenor of a saying which Jesus had uttered on that occasion with regard to the disciple whom He loved; He had been erroneously reported as saying that this disciple would not die.

In this appendix we easily remark a want of connection which is foreign to the rest of the Gospel. It is a desultory narrative, and one whose unity can only be established in a somewhat artificial way. It must be considered as an amalgam of various reminiscences, which came on different occasions from the lips of the narrator.

John 21:24-43.21.25, which close this appendix, are unquestionably from another hand than that of the author of the Gospel. “ We know,” is said in the name of several. The singular, no doubt, returns in John 21:25: “ I suppose. ” But he who speaks thus in his own name is none other than that member of the preceding collective body ( Joh 21:24 ) who holds the pen for his colleagues. They bear witness, all of them at once ( Joh 21:24 ), by means of his pen ( Joh 21:25 ), that the disciple especially loved by Jesus is the one “who testifies these things and wrote these things.” From the contrast between the present testifies and the past wrote, it naturally follows that the writers of these lines added them during the lifetime of the author and when his work was already finished.

The entire book, thus, is composed of eight parts, of which five form the body of the story, or the narrative properly so called; one forms the preamble: one the conclusion: the eighth is a supplement.

The permanent basis of the history which is related is the revelation of Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God ( Joh 20:30-31 ). On this basis there appear, at first in a confused way ( Joh 1:19 to John 4:53.), then more and more plainly, those two decisive moral facts: unbelief and faith; the unbelief which rejects the object of faith in proportion as it reveals itself more completely (John 5-12.), and the faith which apprehends it with an increasing eagerness (John 13-17); the unbelief which even goes so far as to try to destroy it (John 18-19), and the faith which ends by possessing it in its glorious sublimity (John 20:0).

This exposition would, of itself, be sufficient to set aside every hypothesis which is opposed to the unity of the work. The fourth Gospel is indeed, according to the expression of Strauss, “the robe without seam for which lots may be cast, but which cannot be divided.” It is the admirably graduated and shaded picture of the development of unbelief and of faith in the Word made flesh.

Chapter Second: Characteristics of the Fourth Gospel.

BEFORE approaching the questions which relate to the way in which our Gospel was composed, it is fitting that we should give an exact account not only of the contents of the work, but also of its nature, of its tendency, and of its literary characteristics. This is the study to which we are now to devote ourselves. It is the more indispensable, since in modern times very different ideas on these various subjects have been brought out from those which were previously current.

Thus Reuss maintained even in his earliest works, and still maintains, that the tendency of the fourth Gospel is not historical, but that it is purely theological. The author has inscribed a speculative idea at the beginning of his book; we see from his own narrative, and from 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 most prominently in the discourses which he puts into the mouth of Jesus, and which form the largest part of his book.

Baur shares in this view. The fourth Gospel is, according to him, an entirely speculative work. The few truly historical elements which may be found in it are facts borrowed from the Synoptical tradition. Keim also, in his Life of Jesus, denies all historical value to this work.

Another point which the two leaders of the schools of Strasburg and of Tubingen have sought to demonstrate, is the anti-Judaic tendency of our Gospel. It was generally believed that this work connected itself with the revelations of the Old Testament and with all the theocratic dispensations by a respectful and sympathetic faith. These two critics have endeavored to prove that, to the author's view, the bond between Judaism and the Gospel has no existence, and that there reigns in his book, on the contrary, a sentiment hostile to the entire Israelitish economy.

We shall seek, therefore, first of all to elucidate the following three points, so far as it shall be possible to do this without encroaching upon the questions of the authenticity and aim of the Gospel, which are reserved for the Third Book.

1. The distinctive features of the Johannean narrative and its relations to that of the Synoptic Gospels.

2. The attitude assumed by this work with reference to the Old Testament.

3. The forms of idea and style which are peculiar to it.

§ 1. The Narrative of the Fourth Gospel.

Our examination here must bear upon three points: the general idea of the book; the facts; the discourses.

I. The ruling idea of the work.

At the beginning of this narrative is inscribed a general idea, the notion of the incarnate Logos, which may indeed be called the ruling idea of the entire narrative. This feature, it is asserted, profoundly distinguishes our Gospel from the Synoptical writings. The latter are only collections of isolated facts and detached sayings accidentally united together, and their historical character is obvious; while this speculative notion, placed here at the beginning of the evangelical narrative, immediately betrays a dogmatic tendency and impresses on the whole book the stamp of a theological treatise. Reuss even goes so far as to claim that the term gospel cannot be applied to this work in the sense in which it is given to the other three, as designating a history of the ministry of Jesus. It is necessary to go back to the wholly spiritual sense which this term had at the beginning, when, in the New Testament, it denoted the message of salvation in itself considered, without the least notion of an historical setting forth of it.

This general estimate seems to me to rest upon two errors. A ruling idea, formulated in the prologue, certainly presides over the narrative which follows, and sums it up. But is this feature peculiar to the fourth Gospel? It is found again in the first Gospel, which is opened by these words, containing, as we have seen, an entire programme: “Genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” It is unnecessary to show again how this notion of the Messianic royalty of Jesus and of the fulfillment by Him of all the promises made to Israel in David, and to the world in Abraham, penetrates into the smallest details of Matthew's narrative. The same is true of the Gospel of Mark, which opens with these words: “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” This is the formula which sums up the whole narrative that is to follow: Jesus, realizing, in His life as Messiah-King, the wisdom and power of a being who has come from God. St. Luke has not himself expressed the idea which governs his book; but it is nevertheless easy to discover it: the Son of man, the perfect representative of human nature, bringing gratuitously the salvation of God to all that bears the name of man. If, then, the fourth Gospel also has its primal idea that of the Son of God having appeared in the form of the Son of man this feature by no means constitutes, as is claimed, a “capital difference” between this work and the other three. The central idea is different from those of these latter three: that is all. Each of them has its own idea, because no one of the four writers has told his story solely for the purpose of telling it. They tell their story, each one of them, in order to set in relief one aspect of the person of Jesus, which they present especially to the faith of their readers. They all propose, not to satisfy curiosity, but to save.

The second error connected with the estimate of Reuss is this: a general idea, placed at the head of a narrative, cannot fail to impair its historical character. This is not so. Would the description of the life and conquests of Alexander the Great become a didactic treatise, because the author gave as an introduction to the history that great idea which his hero was called to realize: the fusion of the East and the West, long separated and hostile, into one civilized world? Or would the author of a life of Napoleon compromise the fidelity of his narrative because he placed it under the control of this idea: the restoration of France after the revolutionary tempest? Or must one, in order to relate in conformity with the actual truth the life of Luther, give up bestowing upon him the title: The reformer of the Church? Every great historic fact is the expression, the realization of an idea; and this idea constitutes the essence, the greatness, even the truth of the fact. To make this prominent even at the beginning is not to render the fact suspicious; it is to render it intelligible. The presence of an idea at the beginning of a narrative does not, then, exclude its historical character. The only question is to determine whether this idea is the true one, whether it is evolved of itself from the fact, or whether it is imported into it. Hase expresses himself thus on this point: “The nerve of the objection would be cut if Jesus was really, in the metaphysical sense, that which our Gospel teaches (the Word made flesh). I dare not affirm it.” And borrowing the avowal which Goethe puts in the mouth of Faust: “I know the message indeed,” he says, “but I lack the faith.” Well and good! This lack of faith is an individual matter. But the writer confesses that the beaming of an idea across a fact does not resolve it into a myth. A fact without an idea is a body without a soul. A notion like this has no place except in the materialist system.

The prologue of the Johannean gospel has, therefore, in itself nothing incompatible with the strictly historical character of the narrative which is to follow.

No, not necessarily, it is said; but is there not reason to fear that the idea, when once it has taken possession of the author's mind, will influence more or less profoundly the way in which he considers and sets forth the facts? Might it not even happen that, in all good faith, he should invent the situations and events which seemed to him most fitted to place in a clear light the idea which he has formed? Let us see whether it is thus in the case with which we are concerned.

II. The facts.

Baur claimed that excepting the small number of materials borrowed from the Synoptics, the facts related here are only creations of the genius of the author, who sought to set forth in this dramatic form the internal dialectics of the idea of the Logos. Reuss, without going quite so far, regards the narrative sometimes as freely modified on behalf of the idea, sometimes as wholly created for its use. Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, the Greeks of chap. 22, are only fictitious personages, placed on the scene by the author in order to afford the opportunity of putting into the mouth of Jesus the conception of His person which he has formed for himself. The history related in this Gospel has so little reality, that even from the beginning (chap. 5) it seems to have reached its end: the Jews wish already to put Jesus to death ( Joh 5:16 )!

The visits to Jerusalem, which form the salient points of the narration, are fictitious scenes, the theatre of which has been chosen with the design of contrasting the light (Jesus) with the darkness (the Jewish authorities), and of furnishing to Christ the opportunity of testifying of the divinity of His person. For this same reason, the miracles of the fourth Gospel are made more wonderful than those of the Synoptics; and, besides, they are presented, no longer as works of compassion, but as signs of the divinity of Jesus. The author thus interweaves them into his theory of the Logos. The account of the Last Supper is omitted, because, from his idealistic point of view, the author is satisfied with having set forth the spiritual essence of it in chap. 6. The scene in Gethsemane is left out, because it would present the Logos in a state little worthy of His divine greatness. No healing of a demoniac is related, because the unclean spirits are too ignoble adversaries for such a being. No mention is made of the miraculous birth, because that prodigy is thrown into the shade by the greater miracle of the incarnation, etc., etc. It is thus that the study of the narrative, both in itself and in a comparison of it with that of the Synoptics, reveals at every step the alterations due to the influence of the idea upon the history.

In order to study this grave question with the scrupulous fidelity which it demands, we must begin by verifying the essential characteristics of the narrative which we have to estimate.

The first is certainly the potent unity of the story. The narration begins and ends precisely at the point determined by the plan of the work. The author, as we have seen, proposes to relate the gradual and simultaneous development of unbelief and faith under the sway of the increasing manifestations of the Christ as the Son of God. His narrative has, thus, as its starting-point the day on which, for the first time, Jesus was revealed as such by the testimony which John the Baptist, without naming Him as yet, bore to Him in presence of the deputation of the Sanhedrim a day which was, as a consequence, also that of the first glimmering of faith in Jesus in the hearts of His earliest disciples. On the other hand, the end of the narrative places us at the moment when faith in Christ, fully revealed by His resurrection, attained its height, and, if we may so speak, its normal level in the profession: “My Lord and my God,” coming from the lips of the least credulous of the disciples.

Between these two extreme points the history moves in a connected and progressive way, both on the side of Jesus, who, on each occasion and especially at each feast, adds to the revelation of Himself a new feature in harmony with a newly given situation (John 3:14: the brazen serpent; John 4:10: the living water; John 5:19: the Son working with the Father; John 6:35: the bread of life; John 7:37: the rock pouring forth living water; John 8:56: the one in whom Abraham rejoices; John 9:5: the light of the world; John 10:11: the good shepherd; John 11:25: the resurrection and the life; John 12:15: the humble king of Israel; John 13:14: the Lord who serves; John 14:6: the way, the truth and the life; John 15:1: the true vine; John 16:28: He who has come from the Father and returns to the Father; John 17:3: Jesus the Christ; John 18:37: the king in the kingdom of truth; John 19:36: the true Paschal lamb; John 20:28: our Lord and God), and with respect to faith, which increases by appropriating to itself each one of these testimonies in acts and words, and of which the progress is frequently marked by forms of expression such as this: “And his disciples believed on him” (John 2:11; comp. John 6:68-43.6.69; John 11:15; John 16:30-43.16.31; John 17:8; John 20:8; Joh 20:29 ), and with reference to Jewish unbelief, the hostile measures of which succeed each other with an increase of violence all whose stages we can verify (John 2:18-43.2.19: refusal to participate in the Messianic reformation; John 5:16-43.5.18: first explosion of hatred and desire for murder; John 7:32: first active measure, in the order given to the officers to arrest Jesus; John 8:59: a first attempt to stone Him; John 9:22: excommunication of every one who acknowledges Him as the Messiah; John 10:31: new and more decided attempt to stone Him; John 11:53: meeting of the Sanhedrim in which the death of Jesus is in principle determined upon, so that there remains nothing further except to discover the ways of carrying it into execution; John 11:57: first official measure in this direction through the public summoning of witnesses against Jesus; John 13:27: contract of the rulers with the traitor; John 18:3: request for a detachment of Roman soldiers to effect the arrest; John 18:13; John 18:24: sittings for examination in the house of Annas and for judgment in that of Caiaphas; John 18:28: demand for execution addressed to Pilate; John 19:12: last means of intimidation employed to obtain his consent; John 19:16: the execution).

Such is the history which the fourth Gospel traces out. And yet Reuss can seriously put this question: “Is there anywhere the least trace of a progress, a development, in any direction?” (p. 23); and Stap can affirm that “the denouement might be found on the first page as well as on the last;” and, finally, Sabatier can speak of “shufflings about on one spot,” which mark the course of our Gospel! Is not the Synoptic narrative, rather, the one against which this charge might be made? For in that narrative Jesus passes suddenly from Galilee to Jerusalem, and dies in that city after only five days of conflict. Is this a sufficient preparation for such a catastrophe?

Reuss takes offence at the fact that, in John 5:16, it is said that they already seek to put Him to death. But he may read precisely the same thing in the Gospel of Mark the one which, in his view, is the most primitive type of the narration John 3:6: “Then the Pharisees took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death. ” This is said after one of the first miracles, and at the beginning of the Galilean ministry.

The strong unity of the Johannean narrative appears, finally, in the precise and complete data by means of which the course of Jesus' ministry is, in some sort, marked out, so that, by means of this work, and this work only, can we fix its principal dates and make anew the outline of it. Here are the data which it furnishes us, John 2:12-43.2.13: a first Passover, at which Jesus inaugurates His public work; it is followed by a working for several months in Judea, and finally by a return to Galilee by way of Samaria, about the month of December in that same year; chap. 5: a feast at Jerusalem, doubtless that of Purim, in the following spring and a month before the Passover; John 6:4: the second Passover, which Jesus cannot go to Jerusalem to celebrate, so great is the hostility towards Him, and which He passes in Galilee; John 7:2: the feast of Tabernacles, in the autumn of this second year, to which Jesus is only able to go incognito and, as it were, by surprise; John 10:22: the feast of Dedication, two months later, in December, when, again, He makes but one appearance in Jerusalem; finally, John 12:1: the third Passover, when He dies. Here is a series of dates outlined by a steady hand, with natural intervals, which gives us sufficient information as to the course and duration of our Lord's ministry, and which affords us the means of tracing out a rational delineation of it. The only story which does not enter organically into this so strongly united whole is that of the adulterous woman, which logically appertains neither to the development of unbelief, nor to that of faith, and which would thus be suspicious to a delicate ear, even if the external testimonies did not as positively exclude it as they do.

But, at the same time, this narrative, so thoroughly one, so consecutive, so graduated, forming such a beautiful whole, is found to be astonishingly fragmentary. It begins in the middle of John the Baptist's ministry, without having described the first part of it. It stops with the scene concerning Thomas, without any mention being made of the subsequent appearances in Galilee, or of the ascension itself.

In John 6:70: Jesus says to the apostles: “Have not I chosen you, the Twelve?” And yet there has not been up to this time a single word said of the foundation of the apostolate; the reader is acquainted with only five of the disciples, from the first chapter onward.

At John 6:71, Judas Iscariot is named as a perfectly well-known personage; and yet it is the first time that he is introduced on the scene. John 14:22; the presence of another Judas among the Twelve is supposed to be known; and yet it has not been mentioned. John 11:1, Bethany is called the village of Mary and Martha, her sister; and yet the names of these two women have not as yet been given. John 11:2, Mary is designated as she “who had anointed the Lord with ointment;” and yet this incident, supposed to be known to the reader, is not related until afterwards. John 2:23, those are spoken of who believed at Jerusalem on seeing the miracles which Jesus did; 3.2, Nicodemus makes allusion to these miracles, and John 4:45, it is said that the Galileans received Jesus on His return because they had seen the miracles which He did at Jerusalem; and yet not one of these miracles is related.

We have seen that from the first Passover to Jesus' return to Galilee, chap. 4, seven or eight months elapsed (from April to December). Now, of all that occurred during this time in this long sojourn in Judea with the exception of the single conversation with Nicodemus, we know only one fact: the continuance of the baptism of John the Baptist by the side of that of Jesus and the last testimony given by the forerunner (John 3:22 ff.).

From the return of Jesus to Galilee, chap. 4, to His new journey to Jerusalem, chap. 5 (feast of Purim), three months elapsed, which the author sums up in this simple expression: after these things, John 5:1.

Between this journey to Jerusalem and the second Passover, chap. 6, there is a whole month of which we know nothing except this single statement, John 6:2: “And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on the sick.” Of these numerous miracles which attracted the crowds not one is related!

Between this Passover, chap. 6, and the feast of Tabernacles, chap. 7, that is to say, during the six months from April to October, many things certainly occurred; we have only these two lines thereupon, John 7:1: “And after that Jesus walked in Galilee; for He would not walk in Judea.”

Between this feast and John 10:22 (December), two months, and then, from that time to the Passover, three months, of which nothing (except the resurrection of Lazarus) is reported. Thus, of two years and a half, we have twenty months touching which there is complete silence!

In John 18:13, it is said that Jesus was led to the house of Annas first; this expression gives notice of a subsequent session in another place. The account of this session is omitted. It is indicated, indeed (John 18:24: “And Annas sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas, the high-priest”), but not related; and yet it is one of the most indispensable links of the history, since in the sitting in the house of Annas a simple examination was carried on, and in order to a capital execution an official session of the Sanhedrim was absolutely necessary, at which the sentence should be pronounced according to certain definite forms. The subsequent appearance before Pilate, when the Jews endeavored to obtain from him the confirmation of the sentence, leaves no doubt as to the fact that it had actually been pronounced. Now all this is omitted in our narrative, as well the session in the house of the high-priest Caiaphas as the pronouncing of the sentence. How are we to explain the omission of such facts?

In John 3:24, these words: “Now John had not yet been cast into prison,” imply the idea in the mind of the reader that, at that moment, he had already been arrested. But there is not a word in what precedes which was fitted to occasion such a misapprehension.

Is not such a mode of narrating as this a perpetual enigma? On one side, a texture so firm and close, and on the other as many vacant places as full ones, as much of omission as of matter? Is there a supposition which can in any way explain two such contradictory features of one and the same narrative. Yes; and it is in the relation of our fourth Gospel to the three preceding ones that we must seek this solution, as we shall attempt to show.

The relation of the Johannean narrative to that of the Synoptic Gospels may be characterized by these two features: Constant correlation, on the one hand, and striking independence, and even superiority, on the other.

1. There is no closer adaptation between two wheels fitted to each other in wheelwork, than is observed, on a somewhat attentive study, between the two narratives which we are comparing. The full parts of the one answer to the blanks of the other, as the prominent points of the latter to the vacant spaces of the former. John begins his narrative with the last part of the ministry of John the Baptist, without having described the first half of it, without even having given an account of the baptism of Jesus; just the reverse of what we find in the Synoptics. He relates the call 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 lake of Gennesaret; again, the reverse of the Synoptic narrative. He sets forth a considerably long ministry in Judea, anterior to the Galilean ministry, which the Synoptics omit; then, when he reaches the period of the Galilean ministry so abundantly described by his predecessors, he relates, in common with them, only a single scene belonging to it that of chap. 6 (we shall see with what motive he makes this exception), and, as for all the rest of these ten to twelve months of Galilean labor, he limits himself to indicating the framework and the compartments of it, without filling them otherwise than by the two brief summaries, Joh 3:1 of chap. 6 and Joh 3:1 of chap. 7. These compartments, left vacant, can only be naturally explained as references to other narratives with which the author knows his readers to be acquainted. But, while he passes on thus without entering into the least detail respecting the entire Galilean ministry, he dwells with partiality upon the visits to Jerusalem, which he describes in the most circumstantial way, and the omission of which in the Synoptics is so striking a blank in their narrative. In the last visit to Jerusalem, he omits the embarrassing questions which were addressed to Jesus in the temple, but he relates carefully the endeavor of the Greeks to see Him, which is omitted by all the other narratives. In the description of the last meal, he gives a place to the act of washing the disciples' feet, and omits that of the institution of the Lord's Supper; and in the account of the trial of Jesus, he takes notice of the appearance in the house of Annas, which is omitted by all the others, and, in exchange, passes over in silence the great session of the Sanhedrim in the house of Caiaphas, at which Jesus was condemned to death. In the description of the crucifixion, he calls to mind three expressions of Jesus, which are not reported by his predecessors, and he omits the four mentioned by them. Among the appearances of the risen Lord, those to Mary Magdalene and Thomas, omitted or barely hinted at by the Synoptics, are described in a circumstantial way; one only of the others is recalled, and it is given with quite peculiar details.

Could the closely fitting relation of this Gospel to the Synoptics which we have pointed out be manifested more evidently? We do not by any means conclude from this that John related his story in order to complete them he set before himself, surely, a more elevated aim but we believe we may affirm that he wrote completing them; that to complete was, not his aim, but one of the guiding principles of his narration. There was on the author's part a choice, a selection, determined by the narratives of his predecessors. If his work left us in any doubt on this point, the declaration which closes it must convince us: “ Many other signs did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book ( ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τούτῳ ).” The expressions here employed signify two things: 1. That he has left aside a part of the facts which he might also have related; 2. That he has omitted these facts because they were already related in other writings than his own ( this book, in contrast with others). What were these books? It is impossible not to recognize our three Synoptic Gospels, from the following indications: The choice of the Twelve, which John refers to in John 6:70, is related in Mar 3:13-19 and Luke 6:12-42.6.16. The two sisters, Martha and Mary, designated by name in John 11:0, as if persons already known, are introduced on the Gospel stage by Luke ( Luk 10:38-42 ). The confusion of the first two returns to Galilee (comp. John 1:44; Joh 4:3 ), which John so evidently makes it a point to dispel ( Joh 2:11 and Joh 4:54 ), is found in our three Synoptics ( Mat 4:12 and parallels); and the idea that no activity of Jesus in Judea had preceded the imprisonment of John the Baptist an idea which John corrects ( Joh 3:24 ) is found expressly enunciated in Matthew and Mark (passages already cited). How, then, can we doubt the close and deliberate correlation of John's narrative with that of the Synoptic Gospels? Renan has always recognized it. And Reuss, after having more or less called it in question, now consents to admit it. He goes even so far, as we all shall soon see, as to transform this correlation into a relation of dependence on the part of John with reference to the Synoptics. Baur and Hilgenfeld likewise recognize this relation, so that it may be regarded as a point which has been gained.

Starting from this fact, therefore, have we not the right to say: That two narratives which are in so close and constant relation to each other cannot be written from entirely different points of view, and that if the first, while seeking, in each of its three forms, to bring out one of the salient characteristics of the person of Jesus, pursues this end on a truly historical path, the same must be the case with the other, which, at every step, completes it and, in its turn, is completed by it?

It will be objected, perhaps, that the author of the Johannean narrative, being an exceedingly able man, labors, by means of all that he borrows from the earlier narratives, not to break with the universally received tradition, and at the same time, by all that he adds of new matter, attempts to make his dogmatic conception prevail, as M. Reuss says: in other words, to secure the triumph of his theory of the Logos.

This explanation must be examined in the light of the other two features which we have pointed out in the relation between our Gospel and the Synoptics. I mean, the complete independence and even the decided historical superiority of the former.

Baur had affirmed the dependence in which John stands with relation to the Synoptic narrative, as concerning all truly historical information; Holtzmann has sought to prove this in detail, and Reuss now declares himself, in spite of his previous denials, converted to this opinion.

It is necessary, indeed, to distinguish here between the correlation which we have just proved and which, like every relation whatsoever, is a sort of dependence (but only as to the mode of narrating), and the dependence which has a bearing upon the very knowledge of the facts. As we affirm the first, so we are prepared to deny the second, and to affirm that the author of the Johannean narrative is in possession of a source of information which is peculiar to himself, and which, as to the matter of the narrative, renders him absolutely independent of the Synoptical tradition. Let us consult the facts.

It is not from the Synoptics that he knows the public testimony which the forerunner rendered to Jesus. For, before the baptism of Jesus, nothing of the kind is or could be attributed to him by them, and, after the baptism, the Synoptics do not mention anything beyond that single saying of John, which is rather an expression of doubt: “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” And yet the answer of Jesus on occasion of the official inquiry of the Sanhedrim respecting His Messianic authority, (Matthew 21:23, and parallels), implies the existence of a public and well-known testimony of the forerunner, such as that which John relates in John 1:19 ff.

It is not from the Synoptics that John has derived the account of the first relations of Jesus with His earliest disciples (chap. 1); and yet these relations are necessarily presupposed by the call of the latter to the vocation of fishers of men, on the shores of the lake of Gennesaret (Matthew 5:18 ff.).

It is not from the Synoptics that John has learned that Jesus inaugurated His public ministry by the purification of the temple, since they place this act in His last visit to Jerusalem. Now all the probabilities are in favor of the time assigned to this fact by John. Reuss himself acknowledges it, since according to him, if Jesus was at Jerusalem several times (a fact which he accepts), it is almost impossible to hold that He had been indifferent the first time to that which on a later occasion could excite His holy indignation.

It is certainly not from the Synoptics that John borrows the correction which he brings to their own story, John 3:24, by recalling the fact that Jesus and His forerunner had baptized simultaneously in Judea at the beginning of the Lord's ministry, and John 4:54 (comp. Joh 1:44 and Joh 4:3 ), by clearly distinguishing between the first two returns of Jesus to Galilee which are blended into one by the Synoptic narrative. And yet every one is obliged to admit that these corrections are well-founded rectifications and in harmony with the actual course of the history; for (1) if Jesus had not at first taught publicly in Judea, the imprisonment of John the Baptist would not have been a reason for His withdrawing and departing again for Galilee (Weizsacker); and (2) there remains a manifest gap in the Synoptic narrative between the baptism of Jesus and the imprisonment of John the Baptist, a gap which the Johannean narrative exactly fills (Holtzmann). Westcott with perfect fitness says: “ Mat 4:12 and Mar 1:14 have a meaning only on the supposition of a Judean ministry of Jesus, which these books have not related.”

It is not from the Synoptics that John borrows the account of the visits to Jerusalem; here is the feature which most profoundly distinguishes his narrative from theirs. And yet, if the Johannean narrative possesses a pronounced character of superiority to the other, we may say it is certainly in this point. Keim speaks very pathetically, it is true, of these “breathless journeys” of Jesus to Jerusalem! Nevertheless, all are not agreed on this subject. Weiss expresses himself thus: “All the historical considerations speak in favor of John's narrative, and in the Synoptic narratives themselves there are not wanting indications which lead to this way of understanding the history.” Renan himself remarks that “persons transplanted only a few days before [the disciples, on the supposition that they also had not previously visited Jerusalem] would not have chosen that city for their capital...” And he adds, “If things had occurred as Mark and Matthew would have it, Christianity would have been developed especially in Galilee.” Hausrath and Holtzmann express themselves in the same way. Without pursuing this enumeration, let us limit ourselves to quoting Hase, who, in a few lines, appears to us to sum up the question: “So far as we are acquainted with the circumstances of the time, it was natural that Jesus should seek to obtain the national recognition [of His Messianic dignity] at the very centre of the life of the people, in the holy city; and even the mortal hatred of the priests at Jerusalem would be more difficult to explain, if Jesus had never threatened them near at hand. But it is very natural that these journeys to Jerusalem, in so far as they are chronological determinations, should be effaced in the Galilean tradition and blended in the single and last journey which led Jesus to His death. In the Synoptic Gospels are preserved the traces of an earlier sojourn of Jesus in the capital and its neighborhood: ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings; and ye would not!’” This sorrowful exclamation which escaped from the deepest depths of the heart of Jesus, finds no satisfactory explanation in the visit of a few days which Jesus made in that city according to the Synoptics. The explanation of Baur is a subterfuge he thinks that the children of Jerusalem are taken here as representatives of the whole people, while this exclamation is addressed in the most precise and local way to Jerusalem itself; as also it is a mere shift of Strauss to find here the quotation of a passage from a lost work (“The Wisdom of God”), a passage which, in any case, could have been thus put into the mouth of Jesus only as the public mind remembered more than one visit to Jerusalem. Moreover, according to the Synoptics also, Jesus has hosts at Bethany, to whose house he returns every evening....” Sabatier calls to mind, besides, the owner of the young ass at Bethphage, the person at whose house Jesus caused the Passover supper to be prepared at Jerusalem, Joseph of Arimathea who goes to ask for His body. It is difficult to believe that all these relations of Jesus in Judea were contracted in the few days only which preceded the Passion. Finally, let us not forget the remarkable fact that Luke himself places at a considerably earlier period the first visit of Jesus at the house of Martha and Mary (John 10:38 ff.).

Reuss cannot deny the weight of these reasons. While continuing to think that the choice of this theatre was dictated to the author “by the very nature of the antithesis, the antagonism between the Gospel and Judaism,” that it is, consequently, the theological conception which created this framework, he is nevertheless obliged to admit “that there are evident traces of a more frequent presence of Jesus in Jerusalem” than that of which the Synoptics speak. But if historical truth is so evidently on the side of John, how can it be maintained, on the other hand, that “it is to the theological conception that this framework is due?”

Reuss is likewise led by the facts to give the preference to the chronological outline of John's narrative, which assigns to the ministry of Jesus a duration of two years and a half, and not of a single year only, as the Synoptic narrative seems to do. “We do not think,” he says, “that it can be affirmed that Jesus employed only a single year of His life in acting upon the spirit of those around Him.” Weizsacker makes the same observation: “The transformation of the previous ideas, views and beliefs of the apostles must have penetrated even to the depths of their minds, in order to their being able to survive the final catastrophe and to rise anew immediately afterwards. In order to this, the schooling of a prolonged intercourse with Jesus was necessary. Neither instructions nor emotions were sufficient here; there was necessity of growing into the inner and personal union with the Master.” Renan also declares that the mention of the different visits of Jesus to Jerusalem (and, consequently, of His two or three years of ministry) “constitutes for our Gospel a decisive triumph.” Here is no secondary detail in the relation of John to the Synoptics. It is the capital point. How can it be maintained, after such avowals, that the fourth Gospel is dependent on its predecessors? How can we fail to recognize, on the contrary, the complete independence of the materials of which it disposes and their decided historical superiority to the tradition recorded in the Synoptics.

In the account of the last evening, the first two Synoptics divide the sayings of Christ into three groups: 1. The revelation of the betrayal and the betrayer; 2. The institution of the Holy Supper; 3. The personal impressions of Jesus. Luke the same, but in the inverse order. There are always three distinct groups in juxtaposition. This arrangement was that of the traditional narration, which tended to group the homogeneous elements. But it is not that of real life: so it is not found again in John. Here the Lord reverts several times both to the betrayal of Judas and His own impressions. The same difference is seen in the account of Peter's denial. The three acts of denial are united in the Synoptics as if in one place and time; this narrative was one of the ἀπομνημονεύματα (traditional stories), which formed each of them a small, complete whole, in the popular narration. In John we do not find these three acts artifically grouped; they are divided among other facts, as they certainly were in reality; the narrative has found again its natural articulations. This characteristic has not escaped the sagacity of Renan, who expresses himself thus: “The same superiority in the account of Peter's denials. This entire episode in the case of our author is more circumstantial, better explained.”

We know that, according to John's account, the day of Christ's death was the 14th of Nisan, the day of the preparation of the Paschal supper, and not, as it seems, at the first glance, in the Synoptics, the 15th, the day after the supper. It has been claimed that this difference arose from the fact that the author of the fourth Gospel wished to make the time of Jesus' death coincide with that at which the Paschal lamb was sacrificed a ceremony which took place on the 14th in the afternoon; and this in a purely dogmatic and typological interest. It is difficult to understand what the author would have gained by making so violent a transposition of the central fact of the Gospel, that of the cross. For, after all, the typical relation between the sacrifice of the lamb and the crucifixion of Christ does not depend on the simultaneousness of these two acts. This relation had already been proclaimed by Paul (1 Corinthians 5:7: “Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us”); it was recognized by the whole Church, on the ground of the sacramental words: “Do this in remembrance of me,” by which Jesus substituted Himself for the Paschal lamb. It is easier, on the other hand, to understand the loss which the author risked by subjecting the history to an alteration of this kind; he compromised in the Church the authority of his work and thereby (to put ourselves at the point of view of those who give this explanation) even that of his conception of the Logos, which, moreover, had nothing to do with typological and Judaic symbolism, and was even contrary to it. But more than this, we shall show, and that by the Synoptics themselves, that the Johannean date is the true one. Reuss cannot help admitting this, with ourselves, for the same reasons (the facts indicated Mark 14:21; Mar 14:46 and parallels, which could not have occurred on a Sabbatical day, such as the 15th of Nisan was). Here also, accordingly, it is John's account which brings to light again the true course of things, left in obscurity by the Synoptic narrative.

We shall not enter into the detailed study of the accounts of the Passion and resurrection. I may limit myself to quoting this general judgment of Renan respecting the last days of Jesus' life: “In all this portion, the fourth Gospel contains particular points of information infinitely superior to those of the Synoptics.” And with relation to the fact of the resurrection of Lazarus, he adds: “Now a singular fact this narrative is connected with the last pages [of the Gospel history] by such close bonds that, if we reject it as imaginary, the entire edifice of the last weeks of Jesus' life, so solid in our Gospel, crumbles at the same blow.” And, in fact, all things in the Johannean narrative are historically bound together: the resurrection of Lazarus determines the ovation of Palm Sunday; and this, joined with the treason of Judas, constrains the Sanhedrim to precipitate the denouement.

It is true that Hilgenfeld regards this explanation of the relation between John and the Synoptics as “a degrading of these last, they being nothing more than defective beginnings, of which John's work would be the censor.” Reuss several times expresses the same idea: “A singular way of strengthening the faith of the Christian by suggesting the idea that what he may have previously read in Matthew or in Luke has great need to be corrected.” But to complete, is to confirm that which precedes and that which follows the gap which is filled up; and to correct an inaccuracy of detail in a narrative is not to unsettle the authority of the whole it is, on the contrary, to strengthen it. The corrections and complements brought by John to the Synoptic story have been noticed since the first ages of the Church, but they have not in the least impaired the confidence which the Church has had in those writings.

We now have the necessary elements for resolving these two questions: Is the fourth Gospel, in the truth which it relates, dependent on the Synoptics? In the points where he differs from them, does the author modify the history according to a preconceived and favorite theory?

As to the first question, the facts, as rigidly examined, have just proved that the author of the fourth Gospel possesses a source of information independent of the Synoptic tradition. The negative solution of the second follows plainly from the fact that in case of a difference in the two narrations, it is, in every instance, the Johannean narrative which, from the historical point of view, deserves the preference. A narrative which is constantly superior, historically speaking, is secure from the suspicion of being the product of an idea.

What is urged in opposition to this result from facts, which are for the most part conceded by the objectors themselves? It is claimed, in spite of all, that there are found in the Johannean narrative certain traces of dependence on the Synoptic narrative. Holtzmann has exercised his critical adroitness in this domain. The following are some of his discoveries. John says John 1:6: “There was a man” ( ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος ).” It is an imitation of: “There came a word ( ἐγένετο ῥῆμα ),” Luke 3:2. John says ( Joh 1:7 ): “This one came;” he copies the: “And he came,” Luke 3:3. The expression: “Lazarus our friend sleepeth” ( Joh 11:11 ), reproduces that of Mar 5:39 and parallels: “She is not dead, but sleepeth” (although Mark's term καθεύδει is different from John's, κεκοίμηται ). The sickness of Lazarus (John 11:0) is a copy of the representation of Lazarus covered with sores in the parable of Luke 16:20, and the whole account of the resurrection of Lazarus of Bethany is only a fiction created after that parable of the wicked rich man. According to Renan, the reverse is the case. The two assertions are of equal value. In Luke, Abraham refuses, as a useless thing, to send back Lazarus who is dead to the earth; in John, Jesus brings him back among the living: what an imitation! It is claimed also, from this point of view, that the representation of Martha and Mary, chap. 11, is an imitation of that in Luke 10:38 ff.; or that the two hundred denarii of Philip ( Joh 6:7 ) are derived from the text of Mark 6:37, as the three hundred of Judas ( Joh 12:5 ) are borrowed from the text of Mark 14:5; or again that the strange term νάρδος πιστική (pure nard, trustworthy) in John ( Joh 12:3 ) comes from Mark ( Mar 14:3 ). The comparison of the three accounts of the anointing of Jesus at Bethany has produced on Reuss so great an impression, that it has decided his conversion to the view of dependence, maintained by Holtzmann. According to him, indeed, two different anointings are related by the Synoptics; that which took place in Galilee by the hands of a sinful woman, in the house of Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:0), and that which took place at Bethany on the part of a woman of that place, in the house of Simon the leper (Matthew 26:0; Mark 14:0). “Well,” says Reuss, “the author of the fourth Gospel gives us a third version,” which can only be understood as an amalgam of the other two. He puts into the mouth of Jesus the same words as the narrative of Mark does. And at the same time he borrows from Luke this characteristic detail, that the oil was not poured on His head (Mark and Matt.), but on His feet. Moreover, he thinks it good to deviate from the account of the first two Synoptics by transferring the scene from the house of Simon the leper to that of Lazarus, who has recently been raised from the dead.

The truth is: 1. That John relates exactly the same scene as Mark and Matthew; but 2. That he relates it with more precise details; and 3. Without contradicting them in the least degree. He is more precise: he indicates exactly the day of the supper; it is that of the arrival of Jesus at Bethany from Jericho, the evening before Palm Sunday; in Matthew and Mark all chronological determination is wanting. He mentions the anointing of the feet, that of the head being understood as a matter of course, since it was an act of ordinary civility (comp. Psalms 23:5; Luk 7:46 ), while anointing the feet with a like perfume was a prodigality altogether extraordinary. It was precisely this exceptional fact which occasioned the murmuring of certain disciples and the following conversation. Then, John alone mentions Judas as the fomenter of the discontent which manifested itself among some of his colleagues. Matthew and Mark employ here only vague terms: the disciples; some. But these Gospels themselves, by the place which they assign to this story making it an intercalation and, as it were, an episode in that of the treachery of Judas (comp. Mark 14:1-41.14.2; Mark 14:10-41.14.11, and the parallels in Matt.), indirectly bear testimony to the accuracy of this more precise detail of John's narrative. Tradition had assigned this place to the story of the anointing precisely because of the part of Judas on this occasion, which was as if the prelude to his treachery. It was an association of ideas for which John substitutes the true chronological situation. Finally, John's narrative does not, by any means, contradict the parallel narrative of the two Synoptics as to the house in which the supper took place. For the expression: “And Lazarus was one of those who were at table with him” (in John), far from proving that the feast took place in the house of Lazarus, is the indication of exactly the opposite. It would not have been necessary to say that Lazarus was at table in his own house, and that Martha served there. There remains the identical detail of the three hundred denarii and the common term πιστική . There would be no impossibility surely in the fact that, having the narrative of Mark under his eyes, John should have borrowed from it such slight details; his general historical independence would, nevertheless, remain intact. But these borrowings are themselves doubtful; for 1. John's narrative possesses, as we have seen, details which are altogether original; 2. The term πιστική was a technical term, which was used in contrast with the similarly technical one, pseudo-nard (see Pliny); 3. The two numbers, being certainly historical, might be transmitted in two accounts which were independent of each other. Moreover, in the narrative of the multiplication of the loaves, the parts ascribed to Philip and Andrew betray in John the same independence of information which we have just proved in that of the anointing in Bethany.

We come to the solution of the second question, the most decisive question: whether the philosophical idea of the Logos, which is believed to be the soul of the narrative, has not exerted an unfavorable influence on the setting forth of the facts, and whether it is not to this influence that we must attribute most of the differences which we notice between this narrative of the history of Jesus and that of the three Synoptics.

The facts which we have just proved contain, in a general way, the answer to this question. If in the cases of divergence previously examined, we have established, in every instance, the incontrovertible historical superiority of John's narrative, what follows from this fact? That the author had too much respect for the history which he was relating, to permit the idea which inspired him to be prejudicial to the faithful statement of the facts, or that this governing idea, belonging to the history itself, moved over the narrative, not as a cause of alteration, but as a salutary and conservative rule.

Let us, however, enter into details and take notice of the particular divergences which are cited as specimens of the unfavorable effect of the theological standpoint. The question is either of facts omitted, or of narratives repeated, with or without modifications, or finally of features added, by the Johannean story.

There are three facts, especially, the omission of which seems to several critics significant, the temptation, the institution of the Holy Supper, and the agony in Gethsemane. The first and third of these facts, it is thought, appeared to the author unworthy of the Logos; as for the second, it was enough for him, from his spiritualistic point of view, to have unveiled the essence of it in the discourse of chap. 6; after that, the outward ceremony had no more value to his view. Does he not proceed in the same way with respect to the baptism? He does not, any more than in the former case, give an account of its institution, but he sets forth its essence, John 3:5. We believe that John's silence respecting these two facts is to be explained in quite a different way. If the author was afraid to compromise the dignity of the Logos by placing Him in conflict with the invisible adversary, would he make Him say, John 14:30: “I will no longer talk much with you, for the prince of the world cometh?” It must not be forgotten that the starting-point of John's narrative is later than the fact of the temptation. It is the same with the baptism of Jesus, which is also not related, but which the author does not dream of denying, since he distinctly alludes to it in the saying attributed to John the Baptist, John 1:32: “I have seen the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove and abiding upon him.” The scene of Gethsemane is omitted; but it is sufficiently indicated by that statement, which is really a reference to the Synoptical narratives, John 18:1: “After that Jesus had said these things, he went forth with his disciples beyond the brook Cedron, where there was a garden into which he entered, himself and his disciples. ” John takes precisely the same course here as he does with relation to the great session of the Sanhedrim, at which Jesus was condemned to death; that scene, which is necessarily presupposed by the appearance before Pilate, he nevertheless does not relate, but contents himself with indicating it by the words, John 18:24, “And Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas, the highpriest” (comp. also the words “to Annas first,” Joh 18:13 ). This tacit reference to the Synoptics belongs to John's mode of narrating. Limiting himself to a delicate hint, which should serve as a nota bene, he passes over the points with which he knows his readers to be sufficiently well acquainted. If he was afraid of compromising the dignity of the Logos, how should he have related in chap. 12, in a scene which he alone has preserved from oblivion, that inward struggle, the secret of which Jesus did not fear to betray to the people who were about him, John 18:27: “And now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say?” How should he make Him weep at the tomb of Lazarus ( Joh 11:35 ) and represent him as troubled in His spirit in the presence of the traitor ( Joh 13:21 )? The omission of the institution of the Holy Supper is no less easily explained. John was not writing the Gospel for neophytes; he was relating his story in the midst of Churches which had been long since founded, and in which the Holy Supper was probably celebrated every week. Far from wishing to describe the ministry of Jesus in its entireness, he set forth the manifestations in acts and words which had especially contributed to the end of revealing to himself the Christ, the Son of God; comp. John 20:30-43.20.31. Now, this aim did not oblige him to take particular notice of the institution of the Supper; and as this ceremony was sufficiently well-known and universally celebrated, he could omit the institution of it without detriment. No more does he give an account of the institution of baptism, although he makes an allusion to it in Joh 3:5 and John 4:2.

Three examples ought to show to a cautious criticism how much it needs to be on its guard, when the question is of drawing from omissions like these conclusions as to the hidden intentions of the author. He omits the story of the selection of the twelve apostles; is this in order to disparage them? But he himself puts in the mouth of Jesus ( Joh 6:70 ) this word: “Have not I chosen you, the twelve? ” Let us suppose that this declaration were not found there, what consequences would not an impassioned criticism draw from the omission? The fourth Gospel does not give an account of the ascension; does it mean to deny it? But in John 6:62, we find these words in the mouth of Jesus: “How will it be, when you shall see the Son of man ascending where he was before? ” The ground of the omission is, very simply, the fact that the close of the narrative, the scene connected with Thomas, is anterior to this event, which, besides, was suited in the best possible way to the idea of the Logos. If there was in the Synoptics a fact fitted to be used to advantage in behalf of this theory, it was, certainly, that of the transfiguration. Very well! it is omitted, no less than the scene of Gethsemane. Such examples should suffice to bring criticism back from the false path in which it has been wandering for the last forty years, and into which it is drawing after itself an immense public who blindly swear according to it.

But we are arrested in our course here. If the author of the fourth Gospel, they say to us, really proposed to himself to complete the two others, why does he relate a certain number of facts already reported by them: for example, the expulsion of the dealers and the multiplication of the loaves, the anointing by Mary at Bethany and the entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday?

We have already said: the author does not write for the purpose of completing. He proposes to himself a more elevated aim, which he himself points out in John 20:30-43.20.31. But in these same verses he also defines his method, which consists in selecting, among the things already written or not yet written, that which best suited the end which he is pursuing: to give the grounds of his faith in Christ the Son of God, in order to the reproduction of the same faith in his readers: “Jesus did many other signs...which are not written in this book; but these are written in order that...” This mode of selecting implies omissions we have remarked them but it also authorizes repetitions, on every occasion when the author judges them necessary or even useful to his purpose.

Thus the driving out of the dealers (chap. 2) is related anew by him, because he knows that it played, in the ministry of Jesus and in the development of the national unbelief, a much more serious part than that which was attributed to it in the Synoptical narrative. The latter, by placing this fact at the end of Jesus' ministry, prevented it from being looked upon as the bold measure by which Jesus had called His people to join themselves with Him in beginning the spiritual reform of the theocracy; the refusal of the people and their rulers on that occasion ceased thus to be the first step in the path of resistance and rejection.

The multiplication of the loaves (chap. 6) appeared in the Synoptics only as one among the numerous miracles of Jesus. The important part appertaining to the crisis in the history of Jewish unbelief which resulted from this fact, was in them almost completely effaced. It is this side of the event which John restores to full light. He shows the carnal and political character of the Galilean enthusiasm, which desires, on this occasion, to proclaim the royalty of Jesus, and which, immediately afterwards, is offended at the declarations by which He refuses to promise to His own anything else than the satisfaction of spiritual hunger and thirst. At the same time, the fact thus presented becomes a very conspicuous landmark in the history of faith, by displaying the contrast between the abandoning of Jesus by the greater part of His former disciples and the energetic profession of St. Peter: “To whom else shall we go...? Thou art the Holy One of God.”

The story of the anointing at Bethany (chap. John 12:1 ff.) is, on the one side, connected with the resurrection of Lazarus, which has just been related in the preceding chapter, and, on the other, with the treachery of Judas which is to play so important a part in the picture of the last supper. This twofold connection did not appear in the Synoptics, who gave no account of the resurrection of Lazarus, and who, by substituting for the name of Judas the vague expressions: some (Mark), the disciples (Matt.), prevented the connection between this malevolent manifestation and the monstrous act which was about to follow from being perceived.

The entrance into Jerusalem (John 12:12 ff.) is related so summarily by John that it is really nothing but a complement of the Synoptic narrative. Thus, when he says: “Having found a young ass,” and when he adds that, after the ascension, “the disciples remembered that these things were written and that they had done these things,” while in his own narrative they have done nothing at all to Him, it is evident that, for the complete picture of the scene, he refers to other narratives already known. Only he is obliged to recall the fact to mind, in order to present it, on the one hand, as the effect of the resurrection of Lazarus ( Joh 12:17-18 ), and, on the other, as the cause which forced the Sanhedrim to precipitate the execution of the judgment already given against Jesus ( Joh 12:19 ).

We can easily see, therefore, how these narratives are, not useless repetitions, but essential features in the general picture which the author proposes to himself to trace. Take away these, and you have, not merely a simple omission, but a rent in the very texture of the narrative.

It remains for us to consider a last class of facts in which it is believed that one may detect, in a peculiarly sensible way, the influence exerted upon the narrative by the dogmatic conception which filled the mind of its author. These are the facts and particular features which John adds to the narrative of his predecessors.

One of the features which most profoundly distinguish this Gospel from the preceding ones is, certainly, the chronological framework traced out above. The question is, whether this framework is a product of the idea, or whether it belongs to the actual history. We have already shown that, by the admission of Reuss, the second answer is the true one. What significance would it have, moreover, for the idea of the Logos that the ministry of Jesus continued for one year, or for two years and more? that He taught and baptized during a first year in Judea, before establishing Himself in Galilee, as John relates, or, on the contrary, that He betook Himself to that country immediately after His baptism by the forerunner, as appears to be indicated by the Synoptics ( Mat 4:12 and parallels)? It seems rather, that the shorter the sojourn of the Logos on the earth was, the more magnificently does the power of the work accomplished by Him shine forth.

Or again, those large intervals, entirely destitute of facts, which extend from one to three, or even six months, are they to be considered pure inventions of the author for the benefit of the Logos theory? But with justice, Sabatier asks, “if the author had invented this framework, how should he have neglected to fill it out?” (p. 188).

Reuss thinks he cites a decisive fact against the historical tendency of the Johannean narration, when he says: “A single fact fills an entire season John 6:4 - John 7:2.” But how is it that he does not see that this almost total silence of the author respecting the contents of these six entire months, between the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, is the unanswerable proof that he has not invented “this season” with a speculative end in view, and that he mentions it only with a truly historical purpose.

It is in the fact of the visits to Jerusalem that the influence of the idea on the Johannean narration can, as it is thought, be most clearly proved. The great conflict between the light and the darkness demanded the capital as its theatre. But those who reason thus, are themselves forced to recognize in these visits to Jerusalem related by John, an indispensable element of the history a factor without which neither the tragical catastrophe at Jerusalem, nor the foundation of the Church in this same city, can be understood (see pages 76, 77). These visits are not, then, a product of the idea. All that can be claimed is that they have been chosen and made prominent by the author as the principal object of his narrative, because he has judged them particularly fitted to bring out the principal idea of his work. Let us add here, however, that this idea is, by no means, a metaphysical notion, like that of the Logos, but the fact of the development of faith and of unbelief towards Jesus Christ. Moreover, to this ideal explanation of the visits to Jerusalem, Sabatier rightly opposes the narrative of chap. 6: “We may well be surprised,” he says, “to see beginning in Galilee, in the synagogue at Capernaum, the crisis whose denouement is to come in Jerusalem. We cannot explain such partial annulling of the system” we say, for ourselves: of the alleged system “of the author, except by the very distinct recollection which he had of the Galilean crisis.”

At this point there arises, undoubtedly, a difficult question the most obscure of all those which are connected with the relation between John and the Synoptics: that of the omission of the visits to Jerusalem in the latter. We have seen that their whole narrative supposes these visits and requires them; how is it that they give no account of them? This strange omission seems to us explicable only by means of these two facts: one, that our three Synoptics are the redaction of the popular tradition which took form at Jerusalem after the day of Pentecost; the other, that this tradition had, from the beginning, left these visits in the background for some reason which can only be conjectured. As we have seen that the various allusions to the treachery of Judas during the last supper (John 13:0) were blended into one in the traditional and Synoptic story, and that the narrative of John is necessary in order to restore them to their true places; that, in the same way, the story of the denials of Peter, which, in the Synoptics, form a single and unbroken cycle, has found again in John's Gospel its natural articulation so a similar fact probably occurred with reference to the journeys to Jerusalem. In the popular narration, they all came to be mingled together in that last journey the only one which really told decisively on the history of the Messianic work, and which consequently remained in the tradition. We readily notice, in studying the three accounts of the Galilean ministry in the Synoptics, that they are divided into certain groups or cycles, each containing the same series of stories; what Lachmann has called the corpuscula historiae evangelicae. The journeys to Jerusalem did not fall within any of these groups. And when the evangelical tradition thus divided and grouped was committed to writing, these journeys remained in the shade. The very contents of the discourses which Jesus had spoken in the capital might, likewise, contribute to this omission in the ordinary proclaiming of the Gospel. It was not easy to reproduce for the Jewish and Gentile multitudes who heard of the Gospel for the first time, discourses such as that of the fifth chapter of St. John, on the dependence of the Son as related to the Father, and on the various testimonies which the Father bears to the Son; or discussions such as those which are reported in chaps. 7 and 8, where Jesus can no longer say a word without being interrupted by evil-minded hearers. The discourse of chap. 6 held in Galilee, could not be reproduced for the same reason, while the fact of the multiplication of the loaves, which had given occasion to it, remained in the tradition. How much easier, more natural and more immediately useful it was to reproduce varied scenes, like those of the Galilean life, or moral discourses and conversations, like the parables or the Sermon on the Mount? For all these reasons, or for some other besides these which is unknown to us, this important part of the ministry of Jesus was omitted in the tradition and also, afterwards, in our Synoptics. But, as Hase so well says, “as it was in the natural order of things that those who, like Luke, desired to describe the life of Jesus without having lived with Him, should keep to that which was published and believed in the Church respecting that life; so it was natural also that, if an intimate disciple of the Lord came to undertake this work, he should keep much less to the common matter which had been accidentally and involuntarily reduced to form, than to his own recollections. Then, such a man was less bound by pious regard for that sacred tradition; for he was also himself a living source of it. I am not at all surprised, therefore, that a Johannean Gospel, in its high originality, deviates from that common matter; much rather, if a Gospel published under the name of this disciple did nothing but repeat that collective inheritance, and did not differ from it more than the Synoptics differ from one another, should I in that case doubt the authenticity of that Gospel.”

An objection is also derived from the miraculous works, to the number of seven, which are related in our Gospel; it bears upon these four points: 1. These works have a more marvelous character even than those of the Synoptics; 2. They are presented as manifestations of the glory of the Logos, and no longer as the simple effects of the compassion of Jesus; 3. Several of these miracles are omitted by the Synoptics a fact which, by reason even of their extraordinary greatness, renders them more suspicious; 4. No casting out of a demon is mentioned.

1. We think that it would be difficult to say wherein the change of the water into wine at Cana, chap. 2, is more extraordinary than the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, related by our four gospels alike. Is it more marvelous to transform the qualities of matter, than to produce it? Has not the latter act a greater analogy to the creative act?

If, in the healing of the son of the royal officer, chap. 4, the miracle is wrought at a distance, the fact is not otherwise in the case of the servant of the centurion at Capernaum, Matthew 8:0, and in that of the daughter of the Canaanitish woman, Matthew 15:0

The impotent man of Bethesda, John 5:0, was sick for thirty-eight years: but what do we know of the time during which the impotent man, whose healing the Synoptics relate with circumstantial particularity, was paralyzed?

If in the story of the walking on the water, John 6:0, the bark reaches the shore immediately after the arrival of Jesus, the story in Matthew presents a no less extraordinary detail the person of Peter made to participate in the miracle accomplished in the person of Jesus.

Two miracles remain in which the narrative of John appears to go beyond the analogous facts related by the Synoptics: the healing of the one born blind, chap. 9, and the resurrection of Lazarus, who had been dead four days. By these two altogether peculiar circumstances, the author proposed, it is said, to glorify the Logos in an extraordinary way.

But how can we make such an intention accord with several sayings which the same author puts into the mouth of Jesus, and in which the value of miracles, as a means of laying a foundation for belief, is expressly combated or at least depreciated. “Unless ye see wonders and signs, ye will not believe” ( Joh 4:48 ): it is with this reproach that Jesus receives the request of the royal officer. “If ye believe not me, at least believe the works” ( Joh 10:38 ); comp. also John 14:11. And yet the author who has preserved such declarations of Jesus, the authenticity and elevated spirituality of which every one recognizes, makes himself the flatterer of the grossest religious materialism, by inventing new miracles and giving them a more wonderful character!

2. Is it true that our Gospel forms a contrast with the Synoptics, in the fact that the latter present the miracles as works of compassion, while in the former they are the signs of the glory of the Logos?

But let us observe, first of all, that in the Gospel of John the miracles are not even ascribed to the power of Jesus. It is one of the characteristic features of this work, that it makes the miracles, so far as Jesus is concerned, acts of prayer, while the operative power is ascribed to the Father alone. “I can do nothing of myself,” says Jesus, John 5:30, after the healing of the impotent man. “The works which God has given me to do, these works testify for me,” He adds, John 5:36. The miracles are an attestation of the Father only because it is the Father who accomplishes them on His behalf. In John 11:41-43.11.42, Jesus says publicly, before the grave of Lazarus: “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me...; I know that thou hearest me always. ” He must therefore ask, beg for His miracles, as one of us might do; and is it claimed that these acts are the glorification of His own divine power? No doubt, it is also said, John 2:11, after the miracle at Cana, that “he manifested his glory,” and John 11:4, that “the sickness of Lazarus is for the glory of God,” then it is added: “in order that the Son of God may be glorified thereby.” If this glory is not that which He derives from His own power, what can it be? Evidently that which results from His compassion manifested in His prayer, as the glory of the Father results from His love manifested by hearing it. Here, indeed, is the glory “full of grace and truth,” of which the author himself spoke in John 1:14. It is, therefore, very easy to escape from the antithesis which Reuss establishes between the miracles of compassion (in the Synoptics) and those of revelation and of personal glorification (in St. John). The glory of the Son in the latter consists precisely in obtaining from the Father that which His compassion asks for. How, for example, is the resurrection of Lazarus introduced in our Gospel? By those words which overflow with tenderness, and which have nothing like them in the Synoptics: “And Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” ( Joh 11:5 ). In order to apprehend completely the manner in which the miracles are presented in our Gospel, it must, indeed, be considered that the true aim of these acts passed far beyond the relief of the suffering being who was the object of them. If Jesus was moved only by compassion for individual suffering, why, instead of giving sight to a few blind persons only, did He not exterminate blindness from the world? Why, instead of raising two or three dead persons, did He not annihilate death itself? He did not do it, although His compassion would certainly have impelled Him to it. It was because the suppression of suffering and death is a blessing for humanity only as a corollary of the destruction of sin. The latter must, therefore, precede the former; and the miracles were signs, intended to manifest Jesus as the one by whom sin first, and then suffering and death, are to be one day radically exterminated. As collective love for humanity does not exclude compassion towards a particular individual, so the notion of miracles in John does not exclude the Synoptic point of view, but includes it, while subordinating it to a more general point of view.

3. But how does it happen that of the seven miracles related by John, five are omitted in the previous Gospels. That of Cana naturally fell out with the first year of the ministry which they omitted. That of Bethesda and that of the man who was born blind are omitted with the visits to Jerusalem of which they form a part. That of the son of the royal officer had nothing peculiarly striking in it and had its counterpart in a miracle which is related by the Synoptics, that of the healing of the centurion's servant, which many even identify wrongly, in our view with the miracle reported by John.

The omission of the resurrection of Lazarus in the Synoptics is the most difficult fact to explain. It is not enough to say that the miracle took place in Judea; for at the time when it occurred the Synoptics present the Lord to us as sojourning in Perea and in the southern districts. We have only one explanation: tradition remained silent with respect to this fact through consideration for Lazarus and his two sisters. This family lived within a stone's throw of Jerusalem and was thus exposed to the hostile stroke of the Sanhedrim. We read in Joh 12:10 that “the chief priests took counsel that they might put Lazarus also to death” together with Jesus, because of the influence which the sight of this man who had been raised from the dead was exerting upon the numerous pilgrims arriving at the capital. The case might have been precisely the same after the day of Pentecost; and it is probable that it was found prudent, for this reason, to pass over this fact in silence in the traditional Gospel story. Either the names of Martha and Mary, in the story of the anointing (see Mark and Matthew), or the name of Bethany, when the two sisters were designated by their names (see the account of Luk 10:38 ), were likewise omitted. It was, undoubtedly, for a similar reason that, in the account of the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane, the name of the disciple who drew the sword was suppressed in the tradition (see the three Synoptical narratives), while it is mentioned without scruple by John, who wrote at a time when no harm could any longer come to Peter from this precise indication. Objection is made, it is true, that the Synoptic narratives were drawn up after the death of Peter, and after that of the members of the Bethany family; to what purpose, then, these precautions (see Meyer)? But we too, do not, by any means, ascribe these precautions to the authors of these works; we ascribe them to the Gospel tradition, formed at Jerusalem from the days which followed the day of Pentecost. We see from the account of the ill treatment to which the Sanhedrim subjected the apostles, from the martyrdom of Stephen and of James, and from the persecutions of which Saul became the instrument, that, at that time, the power of the enemies of Jesus was still unimpaired, and that it was exercised in the most violent manner. Their hatred went on increasing with the progress of the Church; and there must have been an apprehension, that if any one should put publicly on the scene those who had played a part in that history, he would make them pay very dearly for such an honor. John, who composed his work at a time when there was no longer any Sanhedrim or Jewish people or temple, and who wrote under the sway, not of tradition, but of his own recollections, could, without fear, re- establish the facts in their integrity. This is the reason why he designates Peter as the author of the blow which was given in the scene in Gethsemane, while at the same time, at the suggestion of this name, he calls to mind that of Malchus, the one who was injured; this is the reason why he gives himself up to the happiness of tracing in all its details the wonderful scene of the resurrection of Lazarus.

4. We shall not dwell long upon the omission of the cures of demoniacs. Does not the author himself say that there are also in the history of Jesus numerous miracles, different from those which he has mentioned (John 20:30: πολλὰ καὶ ἄλλα σημεῖα )? Does not Jesus speak, John 14:30, of “the prince of this world coming to Him”? There would be nothing, therefore, to prevent the evangelist from speaking of the victories of Jesus over his demoniacal agents. Cases of possession are mentioned only rarely in Greek countries (Acts 15:17). They were less known there.

The want of historical character, which criticism charges against the accounts of miracles in the fourth Gospel, it discovers again in the personages whom this book brings on the stage. They are not, it claims, living beings, but mere types. Nicodemus is the personification of learned Pharisaism. “We see him come, but we do not see him go away;” this is a favorite observation of Reuss; it passes from one of his works to another. He adds: “In any case there is no more question as to him.” Finally, he asserts that the reply made by Jesus to this nocturnal visitor “ends in a theoretical exposition of the Gospel,” and, consequently, is not at all addressed to him. The same estimate of the Samaritan woman, in chap. 4; in this woman is simply personified “the artless and confident faith of the poor in spirit.” And the same also of the Greeks of chap. 12: they represent heathenism yearning for salvation. What meaning, indeed, would the mediation of Philip and Andrew have, to which they have recourse, and which was, by no means, necessary in the presence of a being whom every one could freely approach? These are, then, ideal figures, as suits the essential character of a book which is nothing but a treatise on theology.

Reuss would wish, no doubt, that the account of the conversation with Nicodemus had been followed by this remark: And Nicodemus returned to his house. The narrator has not considered this detail necessary. He has judged it more useful to relate to us, in chap. 7, that, in a full session of the Sanhedrim, this same senator, who at the beginning came to Jesus by night, had the courage to take up His defense and to expose himself to insult from his colleagues. He has also preferred to show us, on the day of deepest darkness, when the most intimate friends of Jesus were despairing of Him and His work, this same man offering to His dead body at the foot of the cross a royal homage, and publicly making known his faith in Him, in whom he recognized, at that hour, the true brazen serpent lifted up for the salvation of the world; comp. John 3:14-43.3.15. Here, it seems, are features which attest the reality of a man, and in presence of which it ought not to be said: “In any case there is no more question as to him.” It is also wholly false to call the end of the conversation of Jesus with him, in chap. 3, “a theoretical exposition of the Gospel;” for every word of Jesus sets a feature of the true Messianic programme in direct opposition to the false Pharisaic programme which Nicodemus brought with him: The Messiah must be lifted up like the brazen serpent; which means: and not like a new Solomon. God so loved the world: and not only the Jews. The Son is come to save: and not to judge the uncircumcised. The one who is condemned is whoever does not believe: and not the Gentile as such. The one who is saved is whoever believes: but not the Jew as such. Through the addition of this last word: “He who does the truth comes to the light,” it is very clear, for every one who puts himself in the situation, that Jesus makes an encouraging allusion to the step which Nicodemus had taken; there is here a farewell full of kindness which is a guaranty for his future progress. Everything in this story, therefore, from the first word to the last, applies personally to Him. Is it possible to picture to oneself a scene more real and life-like than that at Jacob's well? That fatigue of Jesus carried to the extreme, even to exhaustion ( κεκοπιακώς ); that malicious observation of the woman: “How dost thou ask drink of me, who am a Samaritan woman?” that water-pot which she leaves and which remains there as a pledge of her speedy return; those Samaritans hastening towards Jesus, whose eagerness makes upon Him the impression of a harvest already ripening, after a sowing which has just taken place at that very moment; that sower who rejoices to see, once in His life at least, His labor ending in the harvest feast, those people of Sychar who so artlessly attest the difference between their first act of faith, founded solely on the woman's story, and their present faith, the fruit of their contact with Jesus Himself...What a painter is made of our author by attributing to his creative imagination such words, such a picture?

Can we say that the Greeks were really lost from sight in the answer which Jesus makes to the communication of Philip and Andrew? But to whom, then, does that expression of Joh 12:32 apply: “When I shall be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me?” Our Lord means: My teaching and my miracles will not suffice to extend the Kingdom of God over the earth and to make all peoples enter into it; my elevation upon the cross will be needed, followed by my elevation to the throne. Then only, “after it shall have been cast into the earth, will the grain of seed bear much fruit ( Joh 12:24 ).” Then only will it be possible for the great fact of the fall of Satan's power and of the conversion of the Gentiles to be accomplished, which cannot yet at this moment be realized. The answer of Jesus, therefore, is equivalent, in its meaning, to that which He gave to the Canaanitish woman: “I am not sent (during my earthly career), except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” It matters little to us, after this, to know whether the Greeks were admitted or not to a few moments of conversation with the Lord. It was the moral situation in itself and its gravity for Israel and for the world, which the narrator wished to describe, as Jesus Himself had so solemnly characterized it on that occasion; and what proves that it is, indeed, Jesus who spoke in this way, is the following picture of the profound emotion which this first contact with the Gentile world produces in Him: “And now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour.” Most certainly it may be said: here are words which were not invented, and which, in any case, were not invented in the interest of the Logos-theory! Now if these words are historical, the entire scene cannot be otherwise. As for the mediation of Philip and Andrew, it is in truth more difficult to comprehend the objection, than to solve it.

After having given an account of the difficulties which have been raised, we ourselves proceed to raise some against this ideal explanation of the Johannean narrative. The historical differences between this Gospel and the preceding ones arise, it is said, from the influence exerted by the Logos theory which this work is designed to set forth. But a mass of details in John's narration are either wholly foreign or even opposed to this alleged intention.

We ask of what interest, from the point of view indicated, can be that tenth hour so expressly mentioned in John 1:40, or that first sojourn of Jesus in Capernaum, indicated in John 2:12, but of which the author does not tell us the least detail; wherein is it of advantage to the Logos idea to mention, John 8:20, that the place where Jesus spoke was the place called the Treasury of the temple, or John 10:23, that “it was winter” and that “Jesus was walking in Solomon's porch;” or, John 11:54, that after the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus withdrew to a place named Ephraim and near the desert, without our learning anything of what He did and said there. What does the Logos idea gain from our 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 small lad carrying the two barley-loaves and the five fishes; or that the disciples had already gone twenty-five furlongs when Jesus overtook them on the sea ( Joh 6:18-19 ); or that in the scene at the tomb John moved more quickly than Peter, but Peter was more courageous than John; that it was Philip who said: “Show us the Father;” Thomas who asked: “Make known to us the way;” Judas, “not Iscariot,” who wished to know why Jesus would reveal Himself only to believers and not to the world (chap. 14)? Is it fictitious realism which the author here indulges in as he introduces these names, these numbers, these minute details, or does he attach to them some symbolic meaning in connection with the theory of the Logos? The seriousness of the work does not allow the first explanation, common sense excludes the second.

More than this: a multitude of details in the narrative are in open contradiction to the notion of the Logos as it is ascribed to our author. The Logos wearied and thirsty! The Logos remaining in Galilee in order to escape the death with which He is threatened at Jerusalem, and going to that city only secretly! The Logos agitated in His soul and even in His spirit, then, beginning to weep; praying and, at a given moment, troubled even to the point of not knowing how to pray! It is easy to see that in no one of our Gospels is the truly human side of Jesus' person so earnestly emphasized as in the story of the fourth. If the theme of the narrative is contained in these words: “The Word was made flesh,” the predicate in this proposition is made prominent in the narrative at least as much as the subject.

But let us suppose, in spite of so many details which are foreign or contradictory to the philosophical notion of the Logos, that the intention of the author was to proclaim this new thesis and to win over the Church to it: what advantage was there for this end in introducing into the generally received narrative modifications which could only render the whole work suspicious?

Why create, in some sort as a whole, a new history of our Lord's life, while it was so easy for him, as is shown by the discourse which follows the account of the multiplication of the loaves (chap. 6), to connect his favorite theory with the facts already known and everywhere admitted.

Finally, can we, without an insurmountable psychological contradiction, hold either that the author believed his own fictions so far as to amalgamate them in one and the same narrative with the facts which were most sacred to him those of the Passion and resurrection, or that, not himself believing them, he presented them to his readers as real, with the purpose of strengthening and developing their faith ( Joh 20:30-31 )? In particular, can we conceive that he founded on these miracles, invented by himself, the grand indictment which he draws up, in closing the part from chap. 5 to 12, against Jewish unbelief: “ Although he had done so many signs before them, they believed not on him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled...” ( Joh 12:37-38 ). And yet he who wrote thus knew perfectly that these signs, in the name of which he condemns his people, had never occurred! We reach here the limits of folly.

Thus more and more men like Weizsacker, Hase and Renan feel themselves obliged to recognize in the fourth Gospel a real and considerable historical basis. They stop at the half-way point, no doubt; but the public consciousness will not rest there. The purely and simply historical character of the entire work will impress itself upon that consciousness, as soon as the present crisis shall have passed; and we await with confidence the moment when reparation will be made to the narrative which we have just been studying. This, as has been seen, will not be the first retractation which it will have wrested from science.

III. The Discourses.

But if the narrative of the facts has not been altered by reason of the speculative idea, can the same thing be affirmed of the other part and it is the more considerable part of our Gospel, namely, the Discourses which it puts into the mouth of Jesus? According to the opinion of Baur, these discourses are only the evolution of the Logos idea presented in its various aspects. Reuss thinks that the author takes for his starting point certain authentic utterances of Jesus, but that he freely amplifies them, by giving them developments borrowed from his own Christian experience. In favor of this view, the glaring improbabilities are alleged, which are observed in the account given of most of these discourses; the singular conformity of thought and style between the way in which the author makes Jesus speak and the language which he ascribes to the forerunner, or his own language in the prologue and in his epistle; finally, and especially, the complete contrast in matter and form which exists between the discourses of Jesus in our Gospel and His teaching in the Synoptics.

In order to treat this important subject thoroughly, we shall study the following three questions:

1. Are the discourses of Jesus in this Gospel to be regarded as simple variations of the speculative theme which is placed by the author at the beginning of his book? Or, on the contrary, must we regard the prologue as a summing up, a quintessence, of the history and the teachings related in the following narrative?

2. Do the alleged difficulties render the historical character of the discourses inadmissible?

3. Can we rise to such a conception of the person of Jesus that the Johannean teaching shall flow from it as naturally as the Synoptic preaching?

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

Let us determine, in the first place, the true import of what is called the theorem of the Logos. It is claimed that, in thus opening his book, the author places the reader, not on the ground of history, but on that of philosophical speculation. This assertion can be sustained only on one condition, that of restricting the prologue, as Reuss, and he alone, does, to the first five verses. As soon as we extend it, as the sequel forces us to do, as far as John 1:18, we see that the author's thought is not to teach that there is in God a Logos in this, indeed, there would be a speculative theorem but that this Logos, this divine being, has appeared in Jesus Christ which is not a philosophical idea, but a fact, an element of history, at least as the author understood it. And in fact John the Baptist, John 1:6-43.1.9, does not testify of the existence of the Logos, but of this historical fact: that in Jesus the true divine light has been manifested. John does not say, John 1:11, that the fault of the Jews consisted in refusing to believe in the existence of a Logos, but in not receiving, as their Messiah, this divine being when he had appeared in Jesus. The blessedness of the Church ( Joh 1:14-18 ) does not, according to him, flow from the fact that it has believed in the theorem of the Logos, but from the fact that it has received Him and that it possesses Him, in Jesus Christ, as the Son, the source of grace and truth. The question in the prologue, therefore, is only of what Jesus is, the one whose history the author is about to relate. The tendency of this preamble is historical and religious, not metaphysical.

But more than this: the true notion 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 belong still more manifestly to history. They are that of the rejection of Jesus by the Jews ( Joh 1:11 ): “He came to his own, and his own received him not” unbelief, with its consequence, perdition, and that of the faith of the Church ( Joh 1:16 ): “And of his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace” the happiness and salvation of all believers, Jews and Gentiles. These two ideas are not metaphysical notions; they are, no less than the appearance of Christ, real facts, which the author had seen accomplished under his own eyes, and which he proposed to himself to trace out in his history. He contemplated them as realized, at the very moment when he was writing, so soon as he cast a glance on the world which surrounded him. Let us not be told, then, of “abstract formulas placed at the beginning of this book, as a kind of programme! It is the essence of the history itself which he is about to trace out, that the author sums up by way of anticipation in this preamble.

There is, to his view, such a correlation between the Gospel history which is to follow and the prologue, that the course of the latter has exactly determined the plan of the former. The narrative presents to us three facts which are developed simultaneously: the growing revelation of Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God ( Joh 20:30-31 ); the refusal of the Jewish nation, as such, to accept this revelation; and the faith of a certain number of individuals in these testimonies, consisting in acts and words. This course of the history is found again exactly in that of the prologue: John 1:1-43.1.5, the Logos; John 1:6-43.1.11, the Logos rejected; John 1:12-43.1.18, the Logos received. Now, who could hesitate for an instant as to the question whether the history was invented according to this plan, or whether this plan was conceived and traced out according to the history?

Let us remark, also, that the discourses of Jesus were one of the most important factors in the development of the history. What in a war the successive battles are which bring final victory or defeat, this same thing in the ministry of Jesus were those solemn encounters in which the Lord bore testimony of the work which God had just accomplished through Him, or in which there was formed in the people, on one side, that aversion and hatred, on the other, that sympathy and devotion which decided the result of His coming. If it is so, how could the discourses of Jesus which are related by the author be to his view only free theological compositions? Truly as the double result indicated by the prologue, the rejection by Israel and the foundation of the Church, are real facts, so truly must the discourses of Jesus, which so powerfully contributed to lead the history to this two-fold end, be facts no less real to his view.

Finally, there is a quite singular and often noticed fact, which is absolutely opposed to the view that the discourses of Jesus in our Gospel are to be regarded as the developments of a speculative theory peculiar to the author; it is that the term Logos, or Word, which characterizes the prologue so strikingly, does not in a single instance figure, as taken in the same sense, in the discourses of Jesus. The expression word of God is frequently employed in them to designate the contents of the divine revelation. There was only one step more to be taken in order to apply this term to the revealer himself, as in the prologue. The author has not yielded to this temptation. He might have had, more than once, occasion to make Jesus speak thus, particularly in the conversation of John 10:33 ff. The Jews accuse the Lord of blaspheming, because, being a man, He makes Himself God. He replies to them that, in the Old Testament itself, the theocratic judges receive the title of gods; comp. Psalms 72:6: “I have said, ye are gods.” It was in these terms that the Psalmist addressed himself to the members of the Israelitish tribunal, as organs of the divine justice here below. From these words Jesus draws the following argument: If the Scripture, which cannot blaspheme, calls men to whom the word of God is addressed gods, how say you that I blaspheme, I..., we almost infallibly expect here: I who am the Word itself. But no; the sentence closes with these words: “I whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world.” The author does not yield, then, to any theological allurement; he remains within the limits of the Lord's own language.

Other facts still attest the fidelity with which he can confine himself to his role as historian even in that which concerns the discourse-portion of his work. He had, in his prologue, attributed to the Logos the part of divine agent in the work of creation. He had done this, starting from the testimonies of Jesus respecting His pre-existence and completing them by the narrative of Genesis, and especially by that striking expression: “ Let us make man in our image” (comp. also Gen 3:22 ). Nevertheless, he had not heard this notion of the creative Logos coming forth expressly from the lips of Jesus; therefore he does not bring it into any of His discourses. And yet it might very naturally have presented itself to him, as he wrote, on more than one occasion. Thus, when Jesus prays, saying: “Restore to me the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.” How easy would it have been to substitute for these last words the following: Before I made the world, or: Before thou madest the world by me. In the prologue, the Logos is also presented as the illuminator of humanity during the ages previous to His coming (Genesis 3:5; Gen 3:9-10 ). This idea, once expressed by the evangelist, has played a great part in theology since the earliest ages of Christianity. The author does not bring it out anywhere in the discourses of Jesus. And yet, in such a passage as John 10:16, where Jesus declares that He has also other sheep which are not of this (Jewish) fold, and that He will ere long bring them, or in the discourse of chap. 6, where He several times expresses the idea, that there is needed a divine preliminary teaching and drawing in order to believe in Him, how natural it would have been to recur to the idea of the illumination of the human soul by the educating light of the Logos! No, surely, he who made Jesus say: “I say nothing except what my Father teaches me,” did not allow himself to make Him speak after his own fancy. As he himself declares, 1 John 1:1: “That which he announces to his brethren is only that which he has seen and heard. ” Far from the discourses of Jesus being only the development of a theorem placed at the beginning of the book, the prologue is to the entire work only that which the argument placed at the head of a chapter, and drawn from the contents of it, is to the chapter of a book of history. It is a forcible synthesis, freely formulated, of the history and teachings related in the work itself.

We should find a confirmation of this result in a fact frequently pointed out by Reuss, if this fact were as fully proved to our view as it is to his. According to this critic, we often meet in the Lord's discourses expressions which tend to establish a doctrine directly contrary to the speculative theory of the prologue. This doctrine is that of the subordination of Jesus in relation to God, which, it is urged, is contradictory to the notion of the perfect divinity of the Son, so clearly taught in the prologue. Reuss thinks that he finds in this very contradiction the proof of the fidelity with which the teachings of Jesus, on certain points, have been preserved by our evangelist, in spite of his own theology. But, for ourselves, we shall carefully refrain from using this argument, which rests on a completely false interpretation of the data of the prologue. For it is easy to prove that the subordination of the Logos to the Father is taught in this section, as well as in all the rest of the Gospel.

Before leaving this subject, let us bring forward a strange observation of the same writer. The question is as to the words of John 17:3. The distinction between Jesus Christ and the only true God is there very strongly emphasized a fact which, according to Reuss, is also contradictory to the teaching of the prologue respecting the divinity of the Saviour. This judgment on his part would have nothing surprising in it, if, in his view, those words had been really uttered by Jesus; they would come into the category of those of which we have just spoken. But no; according to this critic, these words are invented by the author, as well as those of the prologue. The evangelist, then, would ascribe to Jesus, in this case, words contradictory to his own theology!

We have been assured up to this point, that he freely composed the discourses in order to put his theology into them, and lo, now, he makes Jesus speak in order to combat Himself. In what a labyrinth of contradictions poor criticism here loses itself!

B. The difficulties alleged against the historical character of the discourses.

There is a very prevalent opinion, at the present day, that Jesus could not have spoken as our evangelist makes Him speak. Renan regards the Johannean discourses as “pieces of theology and rhetoric to which we must not ascribe historical reality, any more than to the discourses which Plato puts into the mouth of his master at the moment of dying.”

1. This opinion is, first of all, founded on the improbabilities inherent in the discourses themselves.

The argument is, first, from the obscurity of the teachings. It would have been a strange want of pedagogic wisdom on Jesus' part to teach in a way so little intelligible. “One would say that Jesus is anxious to speak in enigmas, to soar always in the higher regions inaccessible to the understanding of the common people.” By such a mode of teaching He would never have “won hearts given birth to that enthusiastic faith which survived the catastrophe of Golgotha.” Assuredly not, if He had always spoken in this way, never otherwise. But our Gospel does not claim to be any more complete with regard to teachings, than with regard to facts. We have proved this: this work traces out only a score of occasions selected from a ministry of two years and a half. There were days and they were the largest number when Jesus led His hearers on the lower or middle slopes of the mountain which He wished to make humanity climb; but there were others when He sought to bring them near to the lofty summits and to give them a glimpse of their sublime beauties. Without the discourses of the first sort, no bond would have been formed between their souls and His own. Without those of the second, He would not have raised the Church to the height from which it was to conquer and rule the world. It is these last discourses which the fourth evangelist has especially reproduced, because this higher element of the Saviour's teaching had not found a sufficient place in the primitive tradition intended for popular evangelization. We can understand, indeed, that the life- like and brilliant parables, the very forcible moral maxims, and all the elements of this sort, would rather have supplied the material for the cate- chetical instruction of the earliest times, and that the teachings of a more elevated nature would have remained in the background in it, without, however, as we shall see, being altogether wanting.

With this first charge is connected that of a certain monotony. At bottom, there is in the whole Gospel, according to Sabatier, “only a single discourse;” Reuss would, indeed, find two of them. According to the first of these writers, it is throughout this same idea: “I am the way, the truth, the life.” According to the second, this theme is developed, sometimes with regard to the unregenerate world, sometimes with regard to those who already belong to Jesus Christ.

Do the facts, when seriously questioned, confirm this estimate? On the contrary, has not every discourse in this Gospel its originality, its particular point of view, as much as the teachings contained in the Synoptics? When Jesus reveals to Nicodemus the spiritual nature of the kingdom of God, in opposition to the earthly idea which the Pharisees formed of it; when He teaches the Samaritan woman the universality of the worship which He comes to inaugurate on the earth, in opposition to the local character of the ancient worships; when, at Jerusalem, He unfolds the mystery of the community of action between the Father and the Son, as well as the total dependence of the latter; when, at Capernaum, He sets forth His relation to the lost world, and offers Himself to His hearers as the bread from heaven which brings the life of God to mankind; when, in chap. 10, He reveals to the people of Jerusalem the formation of the new flock which He is about to take out of the old one, and which He will fill up by the sheep brought from all the other folds; when, on the last evening, He announces to His disciples the commission which He entrusts to them of supplying His place on earth by doing works greater than His own; then, when He describes to them the hatred of the world of which they will be the objects, and when, finally, before saying a last farewell to them, and commending them to the Father in prayer, He promises the new Helper, by means of whom they will convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment, and will obtain in His name a complete victory can this be the teaching always of the same thing? Is there not some partisan interest in this judgment? There is monotony, if you will, in the light of the sun; but what variety in its reflections! There is the same in the boundless azure of the sky; but what richness in its contrasts with the varied lines of the earthly horizon! At the foundation of every Johannean discourse there 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 different individuals who surround it, and to the changing situations through which it moves along its life. The monotony which is charged upon the evangelist, is not that of uniformity, but of unity.

Offense is taken at the same monotony in the method employed by the evangelist to introduce the exposition of his theology. He regularly begins, by means of a figurative expression which he ascribes to Jesus, with making the hearer fall into a gross and absurd misapprehension; whereupon Jesus develops His thought and displays His superiority, and that, ordinarily, by pushing His thought even to the extreme of contradiction to that of His interlocutor. This is the fact in the case of Nicodemus, and in that of the Samaritan woman, in the case of the people after the multiplication of the loaves, and, finally, in the conflicts at Jerusalem. There is here a manner adopted by the author, and one which cannot, it is said, belong to the history. But if the people who surrounded Jesus were carnal in their aspirations, they must have been so also in their understanding; for in the moral domain it is from the heart that both light and darkness proceed; Jesus Himself says this, Matthew 6:22. What then more natural than the constant repetition of this shock at every encounter between the thought of Jesus and that of His contemporaries? On one side, immediate intuition of things above; on the other, the grossest fleshly want of understanding. What point of spiritual development had the apostles reached, according to the Synoptics themselves, after two whole years, during which Jesus had sought, in the conversations of every day, to initiate them into a new view of things? He gives them this admonition: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees;” and they imagine that He means to reproach them with the forgetfulness into which they had fallen in respect to providing themselves with bread for their proposed journey! Jesus is obliged to say to them: “Have you no understanding, have you your heart still hardened, eyes not to see, and ears not to hear?” (Mark 8:17-41.8.18.) And yet the critic would declare a similar misunderstanding impossible in the case of Nicodemus, of the Samaritan woman, of His hearers in Galilee or in Jerusalem, who conversed with Him for the first time. And, moreover, it must not be forgotten that the thought of Nicodemus is simply this: “It is not, however, possible that...” this is what the μή (negative interrogation), which begins his question, signifies; and that in other cases, such as John 7:35; John 8:22, the apparent misapprehension of the Jews is, in reality, only derisive bantering on their part. As to the misapprehension of the people of Capernaum, John 6:0, many others were deceived here, even afterwards, in spite of the explanation of Jesus, John 6:63: “It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.” The phenomenon which is marked as suspicious is, therefore, simply a feature drawn from fact.

The same is true of the dialogue-form in which many of the teachings of Jesus are presented, especially in chaps. 7 and 8 and in chap. 14. How could such minute details have been preserved, either in the individual recollection of the author, or traditionally? “These questions and objections,” it is said, “do not belong to the history, but to the form of the redaction.” They wonderfully depict the state of men's minds, as the author found it before him when he wrote, but by no means as it was when Jesus was preaching. But are we then so exactly acquainted with the difference which the state of men's minds may have presented at the beginning of the second century or about the middle of the first? And how can it be seriously maintained that the questions and objections which follow suit better the state of mind in Asia Minor at the beginning of the second century, than the Palestinian prejudices in the time of Jesus? “Doth the Christ, then, come out of Galilee...? Doth he not come from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” (John 7:41-43.7.42.) “We know whence this man is; but when the Christ shall come, no one will know whence he is” ( Joh 7:27 ). “Are we not right in saying that thou art a Samaritan?” (John 8:48.) “Art thou, then, greater than our father Abraham?” (John 8:53.) “We are Abraham's seed, and have never been in bondage to any one” ( Joh 8:33 ). “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (John 6:52.) “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then doth he say: I came down from heaven?” (John 6:42.) If one desires to find a speaking proof of the truly historical character of the teaching of Jesus in our Gospel, it is precisely in these dialogues that it must be sought. To open a commentary is enough to convince us that we have here living manifestations of the Palestinian Judaism which was contemporary with Jesus. Besides, this dialogue-form is not constant; barely indicated in chaps. 3, 4, a little more developed in chap. 6, it is altogether dominant in chaps. 7, 8 a thing which is perfectly suited to the situation, since here is the culminating point of the conflict between the Lord and His adversaries at Jerusalem. We find scarcely any traces of it in chap. 10, where Jesus begins to withdraw from the struggle. It reappears in an emphatic way only in chap. 14, where it is again rendered natural by the situation. It is the last moment of conversation between Jesus and His own; they take advantage of it to express freely the doubts which each one of them still has in his heart. Let one picture to himself a Christian of the second century crying out, with the simplicity of Philip: “Lord, show us the Father and it sufficeth us!” or, with the pretence of sharing in the ignorance of Thomas, setting himself to say: “We know not whither thou goest, and how shall we know the way?” or asking with Judas: “Why wilt thou make thyself known to us, and not to the world?” or murmuring aside like the disciples ( Joh 16:17 ): “What is this that he saith: A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again a little while, and ye shall see me? We cannot tell what he saith.” The situation which gave rise to these questions and these doubts existed but for a moment, on that last evening in which John's narrative places them. From the days which followed all these mysteries had received their solution through the great facts of salvation which were from this time forward accomplished. These objections and questions, which it is claimed are to be placed in the second century, carry therefore their date in themselves and belong in their very nature to the upper chamber; it is, consequently, the same with the answers which correspond to them.

Certain historical contradictions are also alleged. The following are the two principal ones. Chap. John 10:26, in the account of the visit of Jesus at the feast of the Dedication, in December, the evangelist places in His mouth this reproach: “Ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you,” which is supposed to be a quotation of the words addressed to the Jews, some months before, at the feast of Tabernacles (comp. the allegories of the Shepherd, the Door, and the Good Shepherd, in the first part of the same chapter). He forgets, therefore, as he makes Jesus speak thus, that the audience had entirely changed from the one feast to the other. But why changed? we will ask. It was not to pilgrims who were strangers, that Jesus had spoken so severely some months before. It was to a group of Pharisees who asked Him, mocking, ( Joh 9:40 ): “And are we also blind?” They spoke thus in the name of their whole party, and this party, we know, had its seat at Jerusalem. I do not say certainly that at the feast of the Dedication it was the same individuals who found themselves again face to face with Jesus; but it was indeed the same class of persons, the Pharisees of Jerusalem, together with the population of that city which was entirely governed by their spirit. Besides, every one knows that the words: as I said unto you, on which all the complaint rests, are omitted in six of the principal majuscules, particularly in the Sinaitic and Vatican.

Another similar argument is drawn from the discourse of Jesus, reported in John 12:44 ff. It is “a recapitulation of the evangelical theology,” says Reuss; and the author puts it into the mouth of Jesus here, without thinking that, according to his own narrative, Jesus has just “withdrawn and disappeared from the public view.” Here is a fact, adds this critic, which is well fitted “to give us a just idea of the nature of the discourses of Jesus” in this work. Baur had already concluded from this passage that the historical situations are for the author nothing but mere forms. It is not the evangelist's fault if his narrative is thus judged. He had counted on readers who would not doubt his common sense. He had just expressly concluded the narrative of the public ministry of Jesus by this solemn sentence: “And departing, he did hide himself from them” ( Joh 12:36 ). And yet he is said to put into His mouth, immediately afterwards, a solemn address to the people! No; from Joh 12:37 the author has himself begun to speak; he gives himself up to the sorrowful contemplation of the unsuccessfulness of such an extraordinary ministry. He proves by the facts the inefficacy of the numerous miracles of Jesus to overcome the unbelief of the people ( Joh 12:37-43 ). Then, in John 12:44, he passes, in this same recapitulation, from the miracles to the teachings, which, as well as the miracles, had remained inefficacious before such obduracy; and in order to give an understanding of what the entire preaching ministry accomplished by Jesus in Israel had been, he sums it up in the discourse, John 12:44-43.12.50, which is, in relation to the discourses of Jesus, what Joh 12:37 was to His miraculous activity, a simple summary: “And yet he cried aloud!” Then follows the summary, thus announced, of all the solemn testimonies which had remained fruitless. This passage, also, is distinguished from all the real discourses, in that it does not contain a single new idea; for every word, two or three parallels can be cited in the preceding discourses. Reuss, therefore, is unfortunate in proposing to draw from this discourse, which is not one in the intention of the evangelist himself, the true standard for the estimate of all those which, in this work, are put into the mouth of our Lord.

Finally, objection has also been made to the truth of the discourses by reason of the impossibility that the author should have retained them in memory up to the time, no doubt quite late in his life, when he wrote them out. Reuss abandons this objection. He thinks that the words of Jesus, so far as the author either heard them himself or borrowed them from the tradition, “must have been throughout his life the subject of his meditations, and must have been impressed the more deeply on his mind the longer he fed upon them.” In fact, if the question is of the earnest discussions carried on at Jerusalem (chaps. 7, 8), how should they not have been distinctly impressed on the memory of the one who witnessed them with such lively anxiety? As for the discourses which are somewhat extended, like those of chap. 5 and 6 10, 15-17., the hearer's memory found, in every case, a point of support in a central idea which was clearly formulated at the beginning, and which unfolded itself afterwards in a series of particular notions subordinated to this primal idea. Thus in chap. 5, the first part of the apologetic discourse of Jesus is contained, as if in its germ, in that very striking saying of John 5:17: “My Father worketh hitherto, and [consequently] I also work.” This idea of the necessary co-operation of the Son with His Father is developed in a first cycle under two aspects: The Son beholding the Father, and the Father revealing His work to the Son, John 5:19-43.5.20. Then, this first cycle, which is also very summary in its character, becomes the starting-point of a new, more precise development, in which is unfolded, even to its most concrete applications, the work of the Son in execution of the thought of the Father. This work consists in the two divine acts of quickening and judging ( Joh 5:21-23 ), acts which are taken up each one of them successively, and followed out through all their historical phases even to their complete realization, at first spiritual, then external and material ( Joh 5:24-29 ).

It is nearly the same in the second part of this discourse ( Joh 5:30-47 ), in which everything is subordinated to this principal thought: “There is another [the Father] that beareth witness of me,” and in which is set forth the three- fold testimony of the Father on behalf of the Son, with a final forcible application to the hearers.

In chap. 6, it is easy to see that everything discourse and conversation is likewise subordinated to a great idea, that which naturally arises from the miracle of the preceding day: “I am the bread of life.” This affirmation is developed in a series of concentric cycles, which end finally in this most striking and concrete expression: “Unless ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye will not have life in yourselves.” In chap. 17, in the second part of the sacerdotal prayer, which contains the intercession of Jesus for His disciples, His thought follows the same course. The general idea: “I pray for them,” soon divides itself into those two more particular ones which become, each of them, the centre of a subordinate cycle: “ Keep them ” ( τήρησον ), John 17:11, that is to say: “Let not the work be impaired which I have accomplished in them,” and: “ Sanctify them ” ( ἁγίασον ), John 17:17, that is to say: “Perfect and finish their consecration.”

In these several cases, if the thoughts of Jesus really were unfolded in this form, which best suits the nature of religious contemplation, we can readily understand how it was not difficult for an attentive hearer to reproduce such sayings. It was enough for him to fix his attention strongly on the central hought, distinctly engraved upon his memory, and then inwardly to repeat the same process of evolution which, from this germ, had produced the discourse. He thus recovered again the subordinate ideas, from which he reached even the most concrete details. Jesus, however, did not always speak in this way; we have the proof of this in our Synoptics, and in the fourth Gospel itself. This method was natural when a theme of great richness was indicated to Him by the situation, as in chaps. 5 and 6. But we do not find anything of the kind either in the conversation with Nicodemus, or in those of chap. 14 which proves that we need not see in this a style peculiar to the evangelist. The following is, probably, what happened in the last mentioned cases. The conversation with Nicodemus certainly continued much longer than the few moments which we use in reading it, and the last conversations of Jesus with the disciples, having filled a great part of the evening, must have lasted some hours. It must therefore be admitted (unless all this was invented) that a work of condensation was wrought in the mind of the narrator, in which the essential thoughts gradually became separated from the secondary thoughts and transitions, and then were directly, and without a connective, joined to one another, as they actually appear to us in the account given by John. There remain for us, therefore, of these conversations only the principal points. Nothing could be more simple than this process.

The conclusion of this study, therefore, is that there is no serious intrinsic difficulty to prevent us from admitting the historical truth of the teachings of Jesus contained in our Gospel.

II. But a more serious objection is drawn from the correspondence of these discourses with those of John the Baptist, and with the author's own teachings in the prologue and in his first epistle.

Jesus, in St. John, speaks just as John the Baptist does (comp. John 1:15; John 1:29-43.1.30; Joh 3:27-36 ), just as the evangelist himself does in his own writings. Is there not here an evident proof that the discourses those of Jesus, like those of John the Baptist are his own composition? There can be no question here of style, as to its grammatical and syntactic forms; how, indeed, is it possible that the style should not be that of the evangelist? Neither Jesus nor John the Baptist spoke in Greek; and to reproduce their discourses in a tolerable way in that language, whose genius is precisely the opposite of that of the Aramaean language, in which the Saviour and His forerunner spoke, a literal translation was impossible. The author was obliged in any case, therefore, to go underneath the words to the thoughts, and then to clothe these again with a new expression borrowed from the language in which he was relating them. In such a work of assimilation and reproduction, why might not the language of John the Baptist have taken a coloring like that of the language of Jesus, and the language of both the coloring of the evangelist's style? The question here is not of the external forms of speech; it is of the faithful preservation of the thoughts. In translating the words of John and Jesus, is it to be supposed that the author altered their meaning? Was there anything of his own added? Or did he even compose with entire freedom? It is supposed that an affirmative answer can be given. First of all, the discourse of John the Baptist, John 3:27-43.3.36, is alleged. Reuss grants, no doubt, that two expressions of this discourse proceed from the forerunner that which forms the opening of it: “I am not the Christ,” and the word which is its centre: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Moreover, continues the critic, “there is not in all the remainder a word which does not find a place quite as well, or rather a hundred times better, in the mouth of a Christian wholly imbued with the dominant ideas of this book, and which is not reproduced elsewhere, as to its essence, in the discourses ascribed to Jesus Himself.” But what! can it be that these words made up the whole of the Baptist's answer to his disciples, who were bitterly accusing Jesus of ingratitude! Let it be allowed us to believe that he developed them somewhat, and, in particular, to place in the number of the authentic expressions that word of inimitable beauty ( Joh 3:29 ): “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice; and this my joy is fulfilled.” Men did not invent after this fashion in the second century, as our Apocryphal books bear witness! Let us go still further: if we admit the narrative of the Synoptics, according to which the forerunner had heard the voice of the Father saying to Jesus: “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased,” is it impossible to admit that the same man should have uttered these words, which the evangelist puts into his mouth ( Joh 3:35 ): “ The Father loveth the Son, and hath put all things into his hand?”

If it is also true still according to the Synoptics that John saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus in the form of a dove, that is, in His organic and indivisible plenitude, is it incredible that he should have expressed himself with regard to Jesus as he does, according to John, in John 3:34: “He speaketh the words of God; for God giveth him the Spirit without measure (or: the Spirit giveth them to him without measure)?” And if John the Baptist expresses himself at the beginning of his ministry as the Synoptics make him speak: “Brood of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire!” ( Mat 3:7-10 ), is it not very natural that he should close his public activity with this warning: “He that refuseth to obey the Son, the wrath of God abideth on him.” Here is the last echo of the thunders of Sinai, which is in its appropriate place in the mouth of the last representative of the old covenant. But the objection falls back on the saying: “He testifieth of what he hath seen and heard, and no man receiveth his testimony,” and it asks how it can be that John the Baptist should so literally repeat the declaration of Jesus Himself in His conversation with Nicodemus ( Joh 3:11 ): “Verily, I say unto thee, we speak that which we know and testify that which we have seen, and ye receive not our testimony.” He was not present, however, at that conversation! No; but it may well be that something of it had been reported to him; and, even if it was otherwise, what meaning would the words of the Baptist have which we were just now calling to mind: “The friend of the bridegroom who standeth and heareth, rejoiceth exceedingly because of the bridegroom's voice; and this my joy is fulfilled?” He hears the voice of the bridegroom! Some word of Jesus, then, has come to his ears. And is it not natural indeed, that, while John and Jesus were baptizing in each other's neighborhood ( Joh 3:22-23 ), those of the apostles who had been disciples of the forerunner should have taken a few steps to go and salute their former master, and should have reported to him what Jesus did and said? The discourse of John the Baptist is thus explained from beginning to end. And the word to which Reuss reduced it, John 3:30, was simply its central idea. Indeed, all that precedes ( Joh 3:27-29 ), is the development of the second proposition: “I must decrease,” and all that follows, John 3:31-43.3.36, is that of the first: “He must increase.”

But is it possible to regard as historical the words put into the mouth of John the Baptist in the prologue, John 1:15, and repeated afterwards in the narrative itself, John 1:30: “He who cometh after me was before me?” Could John know and declare the divine pre-existence of Jesus? If this declaration had been mentioned only in the prologue, which is the composition of the evangelist, the doubt would be possible. But the author expressly places it again, at a little later point, in its historical context ( Joh 1:30 ). He relates how it was at Bethany that the forerunner uttered it, on the day which followed that of the deputation of the Sanhedrim. There would be a singular affectation, not to say, palpable bad faith, in these subsidiary indications of time and place, if the words were the invention of the author. Besides they have a seal of originality and of mysterious conciseness which is foreign to the later fictions. And why should they not be authentic? When John the Baptist began his ministry, we know that the programme of his work was the double prophecy of Isaiah 40:3: “A voice crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord,” and of Malachi 3:1: “Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me” (Matthew 3:3; Matthew 10:10; Mark 1:2-41.1.3; Luke 1:17; Luk 7:27 ). Now, in the second of these two passages, always so closely bound together, He who sends the messenger (Jehovah) is none other than He who is Himself soon to follow him (Jehovah as Messiah); this is unanswerably proved by the words, before me, in the prophetic utterance. If John the Baptist was acquainted with this passage, could he not understand what do I say? could he fail to understand, that the one coming after him (the Messiah) was the one sending him, and consequently his predecessor on the scene of history, the invisible theocratic King. The question comes back, then, to this: Did John the Baptist know how to read?

The resemblance in matter and form between the prologue and the discourses of Jesus does not constitute a difficulty which is any more serious. For, on the one hand, we have seen that the matter of the teachings of the prologue is, in great part, only a resume of these very discourses; and, on the other, it is impossible that, in translating them from Aramaic into Greek, the author should not, in a certain measure, have clothed them in his own style. The conformity indicated is, therefore, a fact which is easily explained.

Is the conformity between the discourses and the first Epistle to be considered more compromising for the authenticity of the former? As to the form, the resemblance is explained by the causes already pointed out, when speaking of the prologue. But even from this external point of view, H. Meyer has discovered a kind of impoverishment in the vocabulary of the epistle, as compared with that of the discourses. Some thirty substantives, some twenty verbs this is the whole linguistic fund of the epistle. What a difference from the discourses, so rich in living and original words, and in striking and varied images! There are also, on the other hand, certain particular expressions which appertain to the epistle and which are foreign to the Gospel, such as to be born of God (1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:9; 1 John 4:7; 1 John 5:1; comp. the prologue, Gosp. Joh 1:13 ); the anointing of the Spirit (1 John 2:20; 1Jn 2:27 ); the title of Paraclete applied to Jesus ( 1Jn 2:1 ).

As to the matter, we discover even much more remarkable differences between the epistle and the Gospel, which prove that the author observed very carefully the line of demarcation between his own thoughts and the teachings of Jesus. We shall set forth three points, especially, which hold an important place in the epistle, and which are not mentioned anywhere in the discourses:

1. The expiatory value of the Lord's death (1 John 1:7; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10; 1Jn 5:6 );

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

3. The expectation of the Parousia (John 1:18; John 1:28; Joh 3:2 ).

These three notions, while connecting our epistle closely with the Synoptic Gospels, distinguish it profoundly from the Johannean discourses. The attempt has been, not long since, made to explain this difference by ascribing the epistle to another author than the Gospel. This hypothesis has not been able to maintain itself, even in the midst of the school in which it arose. The disciples of Baur, such as Hilgenfeld, Ludemann, etc., are agreed in rejecting it. How then can we explain this singular difference? Several critics have been led to think that the author of the two works was still imbued with his old Jewish ideas when he composed the epistle, and that he rose only at a later time to the sublime spirituality which distinguishes the Gospel. The epistle would, thus, be older than the Gospel. We do not believe that this hypothesis can be sustained. The discourses contained in the Gospel are distinguished from the teachings of the epistle by a force of thought and a vigor of expression, which indicate for them a date anterior to the composition of this latter work. Besides, the man who, in the epistle, addresses himself not only to the children and young men, but also to fathers of families and to all the members of the churches, calling them “my little children” ( 1Jn 2:1 ; 1 John 2:18; 1Jn 2:28 ; 1Jn 5:21 ), cannot have been otherwise than far advanced in age. It is not under such conditions that a man rises from the style of the epistle to that of the Gospel, from the somewhat slow and even hesitating step of the one to the straightforward and powerful flight of the other. A further proof that the composition of the discourses preceded that of the epistle, is the fact that all the ideas which in the discourses are presented in a form which is historical, occasional, actual, applicable to particular circumstances and hearers, reappear in the epistle in an abstract form as general Christian maxims, and, in some sort, as the elements of a religious philosophy. Jesus said in the Gospel: “God so loved the world,” or “Thou didst love me before the foundation of the world.” The epistle says: “God is love.” Jesus said: “The Father whose offspring you are is the devil, and you do the works of your father.” The epistle says: “He that commits sin is of the devil.” Jesus said: “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” The epistle says: “It is not we who have loved God; it is He who has loved us.” Jesus said: “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.” The epistle says: “God is light...the true light now shineth.” Jesus said: “I have a witness greater than that of men.” The epistle says: “If we receive the witness of men, that of God is greater.” Is it not evident that these aphorisms of the second work are nothing but the generalization of the special affirmations, full of reality, which belong to the first? The Gospel is history; the epistle is the spirit of history. It is consequently contrary to all sound criticism to place the latter before the former.

The difference between these two works must, therefore, be explained in another way. It is an indisputable fact that the ideas which we have pointed out as clearly distinguishing the epistle from the Gospel, appertain to the Synoptic teaching, and consequently form a part of the apostolic beliefs and of the doctrine of the Church in general. Here, then, was the matter from which the author drew when writing the epistle. But when he wrote out the five or six discourses which he has preserved for us, he did not allow himself to go beyond their original purport, nor to introduce into them, as Reuss claims, the whole of his theology. He limited himself to that which he had heard on those particular occasions. The epistle forms thus a natural link of connection between the Johannean teachings and those of the Synoptics. And the more closely it attaches itself to the latter in the substance of the ideas, the more does it become a confirmation of the historical character both of the one and the other.

Far then from giving us grounds of suspicion, the comparison of the discourses with the author's own compositions is converted into a proof of the fidelity with which he has reproduced the former, and the author seems nowhere to have crossed the line of demarcation between what he had heard and what he himself composed.

III. We here reach the most difficult side of the question with which we have to do. We possess in the first three Gospels three documents, perfectly harmonious and of undisputed value, containing the teachings of Jesus. These teachings appear therein in a simple, popular, practical form; they are what they must have been in order to charm the multitudes and win their assent. How could the abstruse and theological discourses of the fourth Gospel have proceeded from the same mind and the same lips? “We must choose,” says Renan: “if Jesus spoke as Matthew would have Him, He could not have spoken as John would have Him.” “Now,” he adds, “between the two authorities no critic has hesitated, or will hesitate.”

Is the contrast thus indicated really as inexplicable as is asserted? It is to the study of this question that we are going to devote the following pages.

As to the contents of the teachings, three points, especially, appear to distinguish the discourses of John from those of the Synoptics: 1. The difference in the part assigned to the person of Jesus in the matter of salvation; 2. The Johannean notion of the existence of Jesus, as a divine being, anterior to His earthly life; 3. The omission in John of every expression relating to His visible return, as judge of the world.

With regard to the part of Jesus in the matter of salvation, it is alleged that, while the Christ of the Synoptics simply announces the kingdom of God the good tidings of the near coming of that glorious state of things, the Christ of John can only preach Himself, and tell what He is as related to God and what He is as related to the world. While the Synoptic teachings bear upon the most varied moral obligations, beneficence, humility, veracity, detachment from the world, watchfulness, prayer in a word, upon the righteousness of the kingdom, according to the expression of Jesus Himself, in John, on the contrary, every duty is reduced to the attaching of oneself to that being come from heaven, in whom God reveals and gives Himself. In the Synoptics, Jesus is the preacher of salvation; in John, He is salvation itself, eternal life, everything.

Is the difference thus pointed out as considerable as it is said to be, and is the contrast inexplicable? No, this cannot be; for the central position which the person of Christ occupies in the Johannean teaching is also decidedly ascribed to Him in that of the first three Gospels. The moral precepts which Jesus gives in the latter are placed in intimate relation with His own person; and among the duties of human life, that which takes precedence of all the rest is, in them as in John, faith in Christ the indispensable condition of salvation. Let the reader judge for himself.

“Sell that thou hast and give to the poor..., then follow me,” says Jesus to the rich young man ( Mat 19:21 ). The second of these commands explains the first; the one is the condition, the other the end. “Verily I say unto you that, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me ” ( Mat 25:40 ). It is the sympathy for Him, Jesus, which constitutes the worth of this help, and which is, if we may so speak, the good work in the good work (comp. Mat 10:42 ). Jesus adds ( Mat 25:41 ), as He turns towards the condemned: “Depart from me, ye cursed!” Perdition is the rupture of all union with Him. To receive Him is to receive God, He declares to His disciples ( Mat 10:40 ). The most indisputable proof that one possesses the humble disposition which is necessary in order to enter into the kingdom, is that of receiving a child in the name of Jesus; that is, as if one were receiving Jesus Himself; and the offense which will infallibly destroy him who has the unhappiness to occasion it, is this that it is caused to one of these little ones who believe in Him ( Mat 18:5-6 ); so true is it that the good in the good is love for Him, and the crime in the crime is the evil which one does to Him. The infallibly efficacious prayer is that of two or three persons praying in His name ( Mat 18:20 ). Real watchfulness consists in waiting for Him, the returning Lord, and the condition of the entrance with Him into His glory is the being ready to receive Him at His coming ( Luk 12:36 ). If the foolish virgins are rejected, it is for not having fulfilled their duty towards Him ( Mat 25:12 ). To confess Him here below is the way to be acknowledged by Him above, as also to deny Him is to pronounce one's own sentence (Matthew 10:32-40.10.33; Mar 8:38 ). The most intimate and sacred relations of human life must remain constantly subordinated to the bond which unites the believer to Jesus, so that the believer must be ready to break them, “to hate father, mother, child, wife, his own life,” if the supreme bond requires this sacrifice ( Mat 10:37 ). Otherwise one would not be worthy of Him, which is equivalent to being ranked among the workers of iniquity, and being excluded with them (Matthew 7:23; Mat 25:12 ). Not to have turned to account the gifts entrusted by Him for working in His cause, for increasing His wealth here below, to have been His unprofitable servant, this is enough to cause one to be cast into the outer darkness, where there are only weeping and gnashing of teeth ( Mat 25:30 ). The most decisive act of the moral life, the indispensable condition to being able to find one's life again in the future, to give oneself, to lose oneself this act can be accomplished only for His sake ( Mat 10:39 ). Could Jesus describe otherwise the relation of man to God Himself?

There is one fact in the Gospel history omitted by John, but preserved by the three Synoptics, which shows, more clearly than all the sayings can do, how Jesus really made the whole religious and moral life of His own consist in personal union with Himself. It is the institution of the Holy Supper, together with those two declarations which explain it: “This is my blood which is shed for many for the remission of sins;” and, “The Son of Man came to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 26:28; Mat 20:28 ). To incorporate Jesus into oneself, is to appropriate life to oneself. Jesus is not only the preacher of salvation; He is also, as in John, salvation itself. The part of Jesus in the matter of salvation, therefore, does not fundamentally differ in the two teachings; and so the Church has never experimentally felt the contrast indicated. Herein only, as it seems to me, is the difference and its origin. The Synoptics, with a partiality for them we have seen the reason of this traced out the popular and daily preachings of Jesus, in which He sought to awaken the moral life of His hearers and to stimulate the spiritual instincts which alone could lead them to Him. Now, these hearers were Jews, brought up from infancy in the expectation of the Messianic Kingdom. Jesus, like John the Baptist, takes, therefore, this glorious hope for the starting-point of His teaching, while endeavoring to spiritualize it and to set forth holiness as the essential characteristic of that future state of things. With this purpose, He emphasizes forcibly the moral qualities which its members must possess. But this was only the propaedeutic and elementary teaching, the general basis (which was common to Him with the law and the prophets) of the special and truly new preaching which He brought to the world. This preaching had reference to the part played by His person in the work of salvation and in the establishment of the kingdom. And when He comes to this subject in the Synoptics, He insists, no less than in the fourth Gospel, on the vital importance of faith in Him, and on the concentration of salvation in His person and work. Without the first form of teaching, He would have found His hearers only deaf. Without the second, He would never have carried them on to the point to which He desired to raise them. While describing to us particularly the first, the Synoptics have nevertheless faithfully preserved the second; and it is in this that we especially discover, as we have just now done, the common matter, as between them and John.

But there is a point on which the fourth Gospel seems to pass decidedly beyond the contents of the Synoptic teaching. It is that of the divine pre-existence of Jesus. Must we recognize here an idea imported by the author of the fourth Gospel into the Lord's teaching, or should we regard this notion as a real element in the testimony of Jesus respecting Himself?

Three sayings, in the Gospel of John, in particular, evidently contain this notion: “What will happen when you shall see the Son of man ascending up where he was before ” ( Joh 6:62 ). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am ” ( Joh 8:58 ). “And now, Father, glorify thou me with thyself, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” ( Joh 17:5 ); or indeed, as Jesus says in John 17:24, “because thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” Beyschlag, Weizsacker, Ritschl, and others attempt to give to this pre- existence only an ideal sense: Jesus felt and recognized Himself as the man whom God had from eternity foreseen, loved, chosen, and destined to be the Saviour of mankind, and the feeling of this eternal predestination formulated itself in Him as the consciousness of His personal pre-existence. But this attempt at explanation stops far short of the meaning of the words which we have just quoted. “Where He was before” can only designate an existence as real, as personal, as the present existence of Him who thus speaks. And in the other two declarations, the comparison with Abraham (“before Abraham was,” literally, became, γενέσθαι ), and with the world (“before the world was”), two perfectly real beings, does not allow us to ascribe to Him who is compared with them, in the point of precedence, a less real existence than theirs. The sole question, consequently, is whether Jesus Himself spoke in this way, or whether some other person attributed to Him such assertions.

Let us, first of all, recall to mind the fact that the idea of the divinity of the Messiah was one of the fundamental points of the doctrine of the prophets. Only an exegesis thoroughly determined not to bow before the texts can deny this. If the critics will have it so, we will not insist upon the second Psalm, although, according to our conviction, the words: “Thou art my Son,” and these: “Kiss the Son,” cannot denote anything else than the participation of the Messiah in the divine existence, and the obligation on the part of men to worship Him. But what cannot be denied is the titles of Mighty God and Eternal Father which Isaiah gives to “the child who is born to us” ( Isa 9:5 ); the contrast which Micah institutes ( Isa 9:2 ) between the earthly birth of the ruler of Israel, at Bethlehem, and His higher origin which is from eternity; the identification, in Zechariah, of Jehovah with the suffering Messiah, in that expression which is tortured in vain: “They shall look on me whom they have pierced ” ( Zec 12:10 ); finally and above all, that promise which Malachi puts in the mouth of whom? of Jehovah or of the Messiah? evidently of both, since it identifies them, as we have already seen: “Behold, I send my messenger (the forerunner), and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye seek, the angel of the covenant whom ye desire, shall suddenly enter into his temple; behold, he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts” ( Mal 3:1 ). The coming of the Messiah is the coming of the Lord, of Adonai, a name which is given only to God; it is the coming of the angel of the covenant, of that angel of the Lord of whom the Pentateuch speaks many times, and whom Isaiah calls “the angel of his presence” ( Isa 63:9 ), of that mysterious being in whom the Lord appears, ever since the earliest times, when He wishes to manifest Himself in a manner apprehensible to the senses, and of whom God says ( Num 23:21 ): “ My name (my manifested essence) is in Him.” It is this mysterious being who, in these words of Malachi which may be called the culminating point of Messianic prophecy declares Himself to be at once the Messiah who is to follow the forerunner and the God who sends Him, and who is worshiped at Jerusalem. And let it not be said that we put into this passage things which are not in it, or which, at least, were not yet seen in it in the time of Jesus. We have already had the proof of the contrary. That saying of John the Baptist: “He who cometh after me was before me,” was derived by him from this source through the illumination of the Spirit. But we possess yet another proof it is the words which Luke puts into the mouth of the angel, when he announces to Zachariah the birth of John the Baptist: “He (John) shall turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children....” He shall go before him...Before whom? The preceding words say expressly: “ before the Lord, their God. ” And if we could doubt that these words are a reproduction of those of Malachi, this doubt would fall away before the following words: “in the spirit and power of Elijah,” which are literally taken from the following chapter of the same prophet ( Mal 4:5-6 ). No man in Israel, therefore, to whom the prophecies were familiar, could refuse to ascribe to the person of the Messiah a superhuman nature. There would be, consequently, even from the natural point of view, nothing surprising in the fact that Jesus, who proclaimed Himself the Messiah, should, at the same time, have affirmed His divine pre-existence.

A second instructive fact presents itself 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. According to 1 Corinthians 8:6, as according to John's prologue, it is Christ who created all things. According to the same epistle, John 10:4, the invisible rock which led Israel in the wilderness, and which delivered Israel, was Christ. According to Colossians 1:15-51.1.17, He is “the first-born before the whole creation;” He is “before all things;” it is “by Him that all things are created, the heavenly and the earthly; all is by Him and for Him, all subsists in Him.” And it is not only St. Paul who enunciates this idea. The epistle to the Hebrews which, by its destination even, testifies to the faith of the primitive Palestinian Church, declares that it is Christ who made the world, whom the angels worship, who laid the foundations of the earth and the heavens, who is always the same, and is as much more exalted than Moses as the one who has built the house is greater than the house itself (John 1:2; John 1:6; John 1:10; John 1:12; Joh 3:3 ). More than this: the same idea is found again in the Apocalypse, that Judaizing book as it is claimed. Jesus is therein, as Jehovah Himself is in Isaiah, called the first and the last; that is to say, as the author himself explains it, the beginning and the end ( ἀρχὴ καὶ τέλος ) of the whole creation; all creatures fall down before the Lamb seated on the throne, as well as before the Father. It is not then either to any individual (whether the true, or the pseudo-John), or to any school (that of Ephesus), or to any semi-Gnostic party, or to any Church of Asia Minor, that the doctrine of the divinity and pre-existence of the Christ belongs; it is to the Church represented in all its parts by the authors and the readers of the writings which we have just quoted. If it is so, this idea, so generally received, of the person of Christ must have rested upon positive testimonies which proceeded from the mouth of Jesus, such as those which we find in the fourth Gospel.

The first three Gospels themselves, far from contradicting this result, confirm it. We have already shown that these writings attribute to the person of Christ absolutely the same central position, as related to the human soul, which the Old Testament ascribes to God. For whom were absolute trust and love reserved by Moses and the prophets? Jesus claims them for Himself in the Synoptics, and this even in the name of our salvation. Would Jewish monotheism, which was so strict and so jealous of the rights of God, have permitted Jesus to take a position like this, if He had not had the distinct consciousness that in the background of His human existence there was a divine personality? He cannot, as a faithful Jew, wish to be for us that which in the Synoptics He asks to be, except so far as He is what He declares Himself to be in John.

A large number of particular facts in the same writings add their force to this general conclusion. We have just seen how, in Luke, He who comes after the forerunner is called, in the preceding words, the Lord their God. In Mark, the person of the Son is placed even above the most exalted creatures: “Of that day knoweth no one, not even the angels who are in heaven, nor even the Son [during the time of His humiliation], but the Father only” ( Joh 13:32 ). In Matthew, the Son is placed between the Father and the Holy Spirit, the breath of God: “Baptize all the nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” ( Mat 28:19 ). In the parable of the vine-dressers, Jesus Himself represents Himself, in contrast with the servants sent before Him, as the son and heir of the Master of the vineyard ( Mat 21:37-38 ). It will be in vain to subject the question of Jesus ( Mat 22:45 ): “If David calls the Christ his Lord, how is he his son?” to all imaginable manipulations; the thought of Jesus will ever come forth simple and clear for him who does not try to find difficulties where there are none. If, on one side, the Christ is the son of David by His earthly origin, on the other side He is, nevertheless, his Lord, in virtue of His divine personality. This is what Micah had said already ( Mat 22:2 ). And how, if He did not have the consciousness of His divinity, could Jesus speak of His angels ( Mat 13:41 ), of His glory ( Mat 25:31 ), finally, of His name under the invocation of which believers are gathered together? The Old Testament did not authorize any creature thus to appropriate to himself the attributes of Jehovah. Now the notion of His pre-existence was for Jesus implicitly included in that of His divinity.

Undoubtedly, we do not find in the Synoptics any declaration as precise as those which we have just now quoted from the Johannean discourses. But do we not discover in the Gospel of Luke the immense quantity of materials which would be entirely wanting to us if we possessed only those of Matthew and Mark; for example, the three parables of grace (Luke 15:0; the lost sheep, the lost drachma, the prodigal son); those of the unfaithful steward and of the wicked rich man (Luke 16:0); those of the unjust judge, and of the publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:0); the story of Zacchaeus; the incident of the converted thief, and so many other treasures which Luke has rescued from the oblivion where the other redactions of the tradition had left them, and which he alone has preserved to the Church? How, then, can we make of the omission of these few sayings in our first three Gospels an argument against their authenticity? If pictures so impressive, narratives so popular, as those which we have just recalled had not entered into the oral preaching of the Gospel, or into any of its written redactions, how much more easily could three or four expressions of a very elevated and profoundly mysterious character have been obliterated from the tradition, to reappear later as the reminiscences of a hearer who was particularly attentive to everything in the teaching of Jesus which concerned His person? The dogmatic interest which these declarations have for us did not exist to the same degree at that time; for the impression of the person of Jesus, contemplated daily in its living fullness, filled all hearts and supplied all special vacancies. Let us not forget, moreover, that of these three sayings one is found in the discourse which follows the multiplication of the loaves, a discourse which the Synoptics omit altogether; the second, in a discourse pronounced at Jerusalem, and which is likewise omitted in them, together with the entire visit of which it forms a part; the third, in the sacerdotal prayer of which they have also given no report. As to John, according to his plan he must necessarily call them to mind, if he wished, as appears from John 20:30-43.20.31, to give an account of the signs by which he had recognized in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, and which might contribute to produce the same assurance of faith in his readers. These culminating points of the testimony of Jesus respecting His person could not be wanting in such a picture.

There remains the difference in the eschatological ideas. In the Synoptics, a visible return of the Lord, a final external judgment, a bodily resurrection of believers, a reign of glory; in John, no other return of Christ than His coming into the hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit; no other resurrection than that of the soul through regeneration; no other judgment than the separation which is effected between believers and unbelievers through the preaching of the Gospel; no other reign than the life of the believer in Christ and in God. “This entire Gospel is planned,” says Hilgenfeld, “so as to present the historical coming of Christ as His only appearance on the earth.”

But is this exclusive spiritualism which is attributed to the fourth Gospel indeed a reality? John certainly emphasizes the return of Jesus in the spirit. But is this in order wholly to supersede and to deny His visible return? No, according to him, the first is the preparation for the second: “I will come again,” here is the spiritual return. Then he adds: “And I will take you unto myself, that where I am (in my Father's house, where there are many mansions, and where Jesus Himself is now going), you may be also with me,” John 14:3; here is, in some sense, a consummation. “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” (John 21:23.) And in the first epistle: “My little children, abide in Him, to the end that, when he shall appear, we may have boldness” ( 1Jn 2:28 ). “We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him” ( 1Jn 3:3 ).

The spiritual judgment which John teaches is likewise, according to him, the preparation for the external judgment in which the economy of grace will end. “It is not I who will accuse you before the Father, it is Moses in whom you hope.” “The hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear the voice of the Son of man, and shall come forth; those who have done good, to a resurrection of life; those who have done evil, to a resurrection of judgment” ( Joh 5:45 and Joh 5:28-29 ). Here, surely, an external judgment and a bodily resurrection are duly proclaimed. Scholten thinks, it is true, that these verses must be an interpolation. For what reason? They are not wanting in any manuscript, in any version. No; but the critic has decreed a priori what the fourth Gospel must be in order that it may be the antipode of the other three. And as these verses present an obstacle to this sovereign decision of his criticism, he takes his scissors and cuts them out. This is what at the present time is called science. Moreover, little is gained by these violent proceedings. Four times successively in chap. 6, indeed, Jesus returns to these troublesome facts of the last day and the resurrection of the dead: “That I may not lose anything of what the Father hath given me, but that I may raise it up at the last day” ( Joh 6:39 ); “that whosoever beholdeth the Son and believeth on Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” ( Joh 6:40 ); “no man can come unto me, except the Father draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day” ( Joh 6:44 ); “he who eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood...; I will raise him up at the last day” ( Joh 6:54 ). It will be confessed that considerable boldness is needed to maintain that a book, in which such a series of affirmations is found, does not teach either a last judgment or the resurrection of the body. But the critics count, and unfortunately with good reason, upon a public which does not examine critically.

The truth is that, in conformity with his custom, the author of the fourth Gospel speaks less of external results than of spiritual preparations, because the popular preaching, and as a consequence the Synoptics, did just the reverse. Without omitting the coming of the Holy Spirit and His action in the heart (Luke 24:48-42.24.49; Matthew 28:19; Luke 12:11-42.12.12, etc.), the first Gospels had transmitted to the Church, in all its details, the teaching of Jesus respecting the destruction of Jerusalem and His visible return at the end of time (Matthew 24:0, Mark 13:0, Luke 21:17). John had nothing to add on these various points. As for ourselves, in reading the conclusions which the critics draw from his silence, we cannot conceal a feeling of astonishment; here are men who maintain that the great discourse of Jesus on the end of time, in the Synoptics, was never spoken by Him; that it is only a composition of some Jewish or Jewish-Christian author in the year 67 or 68; and the same men dare to allege the absence in John of this unauthentic discourse, as a reason against the trustworthiness of this Gospel! Should criticism become a matter of jugglery?

It is impossible, then, to detect an essential difference, that is to say, one bearing on the matter of the teaching, between the Synoptics and the fourth Gospel.

But what is to be thought of the entirely different form in which Jesus expresses Himself in the Johannean discourses and the Synoptic preachings? Here, brief moral maxims, strongly marked, popular, easy to be retained; there, discourses of a lofty and in a sense theological, import. Here, as Keim says, “the jewel of the parable;” there, not a single picture of this kind. In a word, there the simple and practical spirit; here a mystic, exalted, dreamy hue.

As to the parable, it is in fact wanting in John, at least in the form in which we find it in the first Gospels; but we must recall to mind the fact, that nothing was more adapted than this kind of discourse to form the substance of the popular evangelization in the earliest times of the Church All that could be recalled of such teachings was, therefore, successively put in circulation in the tradition, and passed from thence into the first evangelical writings. What could have been the object of the author of the fourth Gospel in suppressing these teachings with which he must have been acquainted, and which would have given credit to his book, on the supposition that his narrative was a fiction? But if he was simply recounting the history, what purpose would it serve to repeat that which every one could read in writings which were already within the reach of all? He could only have been led to take a different course if the parables had been a necessary land-mark in the history of the apostolic faith which he had it in mind to describe; but this was evidently not the case. Moreover, if we do not find in the fourth Gospel the parable in the form of a complete story, we do find it in a form closely allied to this, that of allegory. Here is the analogue of what are called, in the Synoptics, the parables of the leaven or of the grain of mustard-seed; thus, the pictures of the Shepherd, the Door, and the Good Shepherd (chap. 10), or that of the woman who suddenly passes from the excess of grief to that of joy ( Joh 16:21 ), or again that of the vine and the branches (John 15:1 ff.). It is still the figurative and picturesque language of Him who, in the first Gospels, spoke to the people in these terms: “What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind.....? (Matthew 11:7.) This question very nearly recalls the saying of

Jesus in our Gospel ( Joh 5:35 ); “John was a lamp which shineth and burneth; and ye were willing to rejoice for a season in his light.” Let the following similitudes, also, be compared: The Spirit is like the wind which blows where it wills, and the presence of which we know only because we hear the sound of it ( Joh 3:8 ). The unbeliever is like the evil doer who seeks the night to accomplish his evil works ( Joh 3:19-20 ). Spiritual emancipation is the formula of manumission which the son of the house pronounces upon the slaves ( Joh 8:36 ), etc. Each of these figures is a parable in the germ, which the author could have developed as such, if only he had wished to do so.

As to the elevated, mystical character of the discourses of Jesus, the language forms a contrast, it is true, with the simple, lively, piquant cast of the Synoptic discourses. But let us notice, first of all, that this contrast has been singularly exaggerated. Sabatier himself acknowledges this: “A comparison of these discourses with those of the Synoptics proves that, at the foundation, the difference between them is not so great as it appears to be at the first view.” How can we fail to recognize the voice which strikes us so impressively in the Synoptics, in those brief and powerful words of the Johannean Christ, which seem to break forth from the depths of another world? “My Father worketh hitherto and I also work.” “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days.” “Apart from me ye can do nothing.” “Except the grain be cast into the earth and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it beareth much fruit.” “He who hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” “The prince of this world cometh, but he hath nothing in me.” There is a fact which is beyond dispute: we discover at least twenty-seven sayings of Jesus in John which are found in almost exactly the same form in the Synoptics (see the list in the note). Very well! no one can maintain that these sayings in the least degree harmfully affect either the texture of John's text or that of the Synoptic text. This fact proves, indeed, that the difference which has been pointed out has been singularly exaggerated. If, in fact, sayings of such an original cast as those of Jesus can, simultaneously and without surprising us in the least degree, occupy a place in the two sorts of documents, this fact proves that these documents are fundamentally homogeneous.

Several expressions are especially alleged by the critics which belong to John's style and which are foreign to the Synoptics, for example, the terms light and darkness; or expressions in use in the latter which are wanting in the former, like the kingdom of heaven (or of God), for which John substitutes the less Jewish and more mystical term eternal life. But the contrast of light and darkness is found, also, in the Synoptics, as witness Luk 11:34-36 and Matthew 6:22-40.6.23. Is it not already very common in the Old Testament? And as to the Johannean expression eternal life, it is employed in the Synoptics as the equivalent of the kingdom of God, absolutely as it is in John. We call to witness the examples quoted in the note, which have been very happily brought forward by Beyschlag. John, moreover, in the conversation with Nicodemus, twice uses (John 3:3; Joh 3:5 ) the term kingdom of God (or of heaven, in the Sinaitic MS.).

What is there left, after all this, which suffices to establish, in respect to the form, an insoluble contrast between the words of Jesus in John and His language in the Synoptics? A certain difference remains; I do not deny this. It consists in that altogether peculiar tone of holy solemnity, and, if I may venture to speak thus, of heavenly suavity, which distinguishes not only our Gospel, but also the first Epistle of John, from all the other products of human thought, and which makes of these writings a literature by itself; with this difference, however, which has been already pointed out, that, while the course of thought is steady and of a strictly logical tenor in the Gospel, the subjects are treated in the epistles in a softer, more hesitating, and more diffuse way.

In order to explain the real contrast between the fourth Gospel and the preceding ones, we must first of all, as we have seen, take into account the influence exercised on the form of the discourses by the peculiar style of the translator, and by the work of condensation which was the condition of this reproduction. But, after this, there is still left a certain, in some sort, irreducible remnant, which demands a separate examination. It is said that the unexplained remainders in science are the cause of great discoveries. We are not ambitious of making a great discovery; but we would like, nevertheless, to succeed in giving, a little more clearly than has been given hitherto, an account of the difference with which we are concerned.

The question is whether this particular tone, which might be called the Johannean timbre, was foreign to Jesus, in such a degree that our evangelist was the real creator of it and, of his own impulse, attributed it to the Saviour; or whether it appertained to the language of Jesus Himself, at least in certain particular moments of His life. We have seen that the scenes related in our Gospel represent only a score of days, or even of moments, distributed over an activity of two years and a half. And it is consequently permitted us to ask whether these scenes, chosen evidently with a design, did not have an exceptional character which marked them out for the author's choice. He has made a selection among the facts, that is certain, and himself declares this ( Joh 20:30-31 ). Why might he not also have made one among the discourses? The selection in this case must have been with reference to the design of his work, which was to show that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” If it is so, he was naturally obliged to choose, from among the numerous teachings of Jesus, the few words of an especially elevated character, which had, most of all, contributed to make him understand for himself the sublime richness of the being whom he had the happiness to see and to hear.

We have an expression which the author places in the mouth of Jesus, and according to which Jesus Himself distinguished between two sorts of discourses which were included in His teaching. He says to Nicodemus, John 3:12: “If I have told you earthly things ( τὰ ἐπίγεια ) and ye believe not, how shall ye believe when I tell you heavenly things ( τὰ ἐπουράνια )?” In expressing Himself thus, Jesus recalled to Nicodemus the teachings which He had given since His arrival in Jerusalem. What proved, indeed, that His hearers had not been laid hold of by them ( had not believed), is the fact that Nicodemus himself was able to put forward, as the proof of the divine superiority of the Lord's teaching, only His miracles ( Joh 3:2 ). What were those teachings of Jesus, in which He spoke of earthly things? His preachings in Galilee, such as we find them in the Synoptics, may give us an idea of them. It was the earth, that is, human life, with all its different obligations and relations considered from the heavenly point of view. It was, for example, that lofty morality which we find developed in the Sermon on the Mount: human life as related to God. But from this elementary moral teaching Jesus expressly distinguishes that which He calls the teaching of heavenly things. The object of the latter is no longer the earth estimated from the heavenly point of view; it is heaven itself with its infinite richness. This heaven Jesus lived in it continually while acting upon the earth. He says this Himself in the following verse: “No man hath ascended to heaven but he who came down from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven ” ( Joh 3:13 ). In the intimate and uninterrupted relation which He sustained to the Father, He had access here below to the divine thoughts, to the eternal purposes, to the plan of salvation, and He was able, in certain hours, to unfold to those who surrounded Him, friends or enemies, as He did in the progress of this nocturnal conversation with the pious councilor, the facts appertaining to this higher domain of the heavenly things. He would not have fully accomplished His mission, if He had absolutely concealed from the world what He was Himself for the heart of His Father, and what His Father was for Him. How could men have comprehended the infinite love of which they were the objects on heaven's part, if Jesus had not explained to them the infinite value of the gift which God made to them in His person. Does not love measure itself by the cost of the gift, by the greatness of the sacrifice? On the other hand, this revelation of the heavenly things could not be the habitual object of the Lord's teachings. Scarcely would one or two disciples have followed Him, if He had stayed upon these heavenly heights; the yet gross mass of the people who asked only for a Messiah after their own carnal heart a king capable of every day giving them bread in the proper sense of the word (John 6:15; Joh 6:34 ), would have remained strangers to His influence, and would soon have left Him alone with His two or three initiated ones.

It is undoubtedly for the same reason, that these teachings respecting the heavenly things remained, in general, outside of the limits of the first apostolical preaching and the oral telling of the Gospel story.

Nevertheless, even if this was the course of things, it is improbable that every trace of this mode of teaching, more lofty in matter and tone, would have completely disappeared from the Synoptic narrative. And, indeed, two of our evangelists those who, along with John, have labored most to transmit to us the teachings of Jesus Matthew and Luke, have preserved for us the account of a moment of extraordinary emotion in the Lord's life which presents us the example naturally looked for. It is in Luke especially, that we must seek the faithful representation of it (chap. 10). Jesus has sent into the fields and villages of Galilee seventy of His disciples, weak spiritual children, to whom He has entrusted the task of making the population understand the importance of the work which is being accomplished at this time, and the nearness of the kingdom. They return to Him filled with joy, and inform Him of the complete success of their mission. At this moment, the evangelist tells us, “Jesus rejoiced in His spirit, and said: I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes! Yea, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things have been delivered unto me by my Father, and no one knoweth who the Son is but the Father, nor who the Father is but the Son, and he to whom the Son willeth to reveal him.” In reading these words, we ask ourselves whether it is indeed from St. Luke or St. Matthew that we are reading, and not from St. John. What does this fact prove? That, according to the Synoptics themselves, in certain exceptional moments of elevation, the language of Jesus really assumed that sweet tone, that mystic tinge, as it has been called is it not more correct to say, heavenly? of which we find in them but one single example, and of which six or seven discourses in John bear, in greater or less degree, the impress. This passage of Luke and Matthew has been called an erratic block of Johannean rock strayed into the Synoptic ground. The figure is quite just; what does it prove? The smallest fragment of granite deposited on the calcareous slopes of Jura, is for the geologist the undeniable proof that somewhere in the lofty Alpine summits the entire rock is in its place. Otherwise this block would be a monstrosity for science. The same is true of this fragment of Johannean discourse in the Synoptic Gospels. It is fully sufficient to prove the existence, at certain moments, of this so-called Johannean language in the teaching of Jesus. The real difference between John and the Synoptics, on this most decisive point, amounts to this: while these last have handed down to us but a single example of this form of language, John has preserved for us several examples selected with a particular purpose.

As, on the one hand, it is certain from the very nature of things, that the peculiar style of the translator has colored that of the Preacher whose discourses he reproduces, on the other hand, the passage of the Synoptics, which we have just quoted, places beyond doubt the fact that the language of the Lord Himself had stamped its impression deeply on the soul of the evangelist, and exercised a decisive and permanent influence on his style. There was here, therefore, if I may venture to express myself thus, a reflex action, the secret of which, undoubtedly, no one will ever completely disclose.

Moreover, the discourses of Jesus in the fourth Gospel bear in themselves, for every one who has eyes to see them, the seal of their true origin, and, notwithstanding all the assertions of learned men, the Church will always know what it should think of them. An intimate, filial, unchanging communion with the God of heaven and earth, like that which here reveals itself by the mouth of Jesus, must be lived in order to be thus expressed what shall I say, in order to our having even a glimpse of it. The inventor of such discourses would be more than a genius of the first rank; he would need to be himself a Son of God, a Jesus equal to the true one. Criticism gains only one more embarrassment by such a supposition.

C. The Johannean notion of the Person of Jesus.

Is it possible for us to go back even to the single source from which flow forth, like two diverging streams, the two forms of Jesus' teaching which we have just established. First of all, let us set aside the opinion, at present somewhat widespread, which holds that a dualism can be discerned even in the teaching of our Gospel. Two scholars, Baur and Reuss, have claimed that the author of this work did not hold a real incarnation of the Logos; that, according to him, the divine being continued in Jesus in the possession and exercise of His heavenly attributes, in such a way that His humanity was only a passing and superficial covering, which did not modify, in any respect, the state which He had possessed before coming to the earth. Starting from this point of view, Reuss finds in our Gospel a series of contradictions between certain words of Jesus, which he believes to be authentic, and that conception which is exhibited in the amplifications due to the pen of the evangelist. While in the former, Jesus distinctly affirms His inferiority to the Father, the author of our Gospel, filled with his own notion of the Logos, presents Him as equal with God. It is difficult to conceive a more complete travesty of the Johannean narrative. We have already shown that no Gospel sets forth with more pronounced features than this one the real humanity of Jesus, body, soul and spirit. The body is exhausted ( Joh 4:6 ); the soul is overwhelmed in trouble ( Joh 12:27 ); the spirit itself is agitated ( Joh 13:21 ) and groans ( Joh 11:33 ). What place remains in such a being for the presence of an impassible Logos? More than this: according to the prologue, which is certainly the work of the evangelist, the Logos Himself, in His state of divine pre-existence, tends towards God as to His centre ( Joh 1:1 ); He dwells in God, as a first-born Son in the bosom of His Father ( Joh 1:18 ). Where in this representation is the place for a being equal with God? No; the subordination of the Son to the Father is affirmed by the evangelist as distinctly as it could have been by Jesus when speaking of Himself; and as for His real humanity, it is emphasized by this same evangelist more strongly than by any one of the Synoptics.

There is, then, no trace of a twofold contradictory theology in our Gospel. This supposition is already, in its very nature, in the highest degree improbable. It implies a fact which it is very difficult to admit. This fact is, that so profound a thinker as the one who composed this work, the most powerful mind of his epoch, could, without being in the least degree aware of it, simultaneously teach two opposite conceptions respecting the subject which occupied the first place in his thoughts and in his heart.

The idea which the evangelist formed of the person of Christ, and which is in perfect accord with even the smallest historical or didactic details of the entire narrative, is clearly formulated by the author in the prologue: “The Word was made flesh,” which evidently signifies that the being whom he calls the Word divested Himself of His divine state and of all the attributes which constituted it, in order to exchange it for a completely human state, with all the characteristics of weakness, ignorance, sensibility to pleasure and pain, which constitute our peculiar mode of life here below. This mode of conceiving of the person of Christ during His sojourn on the 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, taking upon him the form of a servant, and being made in the likeness of men” ( Joh 2:6-7 ); and also in Second Corinthians: “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though he was rich, for your sakes became poor, that ye, through his poverty, might become rich” ( 2Co 8:9 ). The same teaching is found in the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Apocalypse, though it would require too much space to show this here. Here is the key to all the Christological ideas of the New Testament. It is, in particular, the explanation of that double form of teaching which we find in the mouth of Christ, in John and in the Synoptics.

Up to His baptism, Jesus had lived in a filial communion with God; that saying of the child of twelve years is the proof of this: “Must I not be in that which belongs to my Father?” (Luke 2:49.) But He had not as yet the distinct consciousness of His eternal, essential relation to the Father; His communion with Him was of a moral nature; it sprang from His pure conscience and His ardent love for Him. In this state, He must, indeed, have had a presentiment that He was the physician of sinful humanity, as the Messiah. But an immediate divine testimony was necessary, in order that He should be able to undertake the redemptive work. This testimony was given to Him at His baptism; at that moment the heavens were opened to Him; the heavenly things, which He was to reveal to others, were unveiled to Him. At the same time the mystery of His own person became clear to Him; He heard the voice of the Father which said to Him: “Thou art my beloved Son.” From that day He knew Himself perfectly; and knowing Himself as the only-begotten Son, the object of all the Father's love, He knew also how greatly the Father loved the world to which He was giving Him: He knew fully, as man, the Father himself, the Father in all the riches of the meaning of this word.

Thus it was that, from this day onward, He carried heaven in His heart, while living on the earth. He had, then, if we may so speak, two sources of information: one, the experience of the earthly things which He had learned to know during the thirty years of life which He had just passed here on earth as a mere man; the other, the permanent intuition of the heavenly things which had just unveiled themselves to Him at the hour of the baptism. How can we be surprised, therefore, that Jesus spoke alternately of the one and the other, according to the wants of His hearers, finding in the first the common ground which was needed by Him to excite their interest and gain their attention, deriving from the second the matter of the new revelation, by means of which He was to transform the world? On the one side, there were the moral obligations of man, his relations to things here below, treated from a divine point of view, as we see particularly in the Synoptics; on the other, the higher mystery of the relation of love between the Father and the Son, and of the love of both towards a world sunk in sin and death, a world to which the Father gives the Son and the Son gives Himself.

It seems to me that, by placing ourselves at this point of view, we may see springing up, as if by a sort of moral necessity, the two modes of teaching which fill science, but not the Church, with astonishment. Do we not know young persons or mature men who, after having led a perfectly moral life, see all at once opening before them, through the mysterious act of the new birth, the sanctuary of communion with Christ, the life of adoption, the inward enjoyment of the fatherly love of God? Their language assumes then, at certain moments, a new character which astonishes those who hear them speak thus, and ask themselves whether it is, indeed, the same man. There is in their tone something elevated, something sweet, which was previously strange to them. The words are, as it were, words coming from a higher region. We are tempted to cry out with the poet:

Ah! qui n'oublierait tout a: cette voix celeste ! Ta parole est un chant... but without adding, with him, ou: rien d'humain ne reste.

For this divine language is, nevertheless, the most human language which can be spoken. Then, when this moment of exaltation has passed, and the ordinary life resumes its own course, the ordinary language returns with it, although ever grave, ever holy, ever dominated by the immediate relation with God which henceforth forms the background of the entire life. Such experiences are not rare; they serve to explain the mystery of the twofold teaching and the twofold language of the Word made flesh, from the moment when He had been revealed to Himself by the testimony of the Father.

But, even if we cannot reach in thought the sublime point where, in the person of Christ, the two converging lines of the humanity which rises to the highest point, and the divinity which humbles itself most profoundly, meet together, do we not know that, in mathematics, no one refuses to acknowledge the reality of the point where the two lines called asymptotes meet when infinitely produced, and that the operations are carried on with reference to this point as with reference to a positive quantity? Weiss rightly says: “It is necessary, indeed, to consider that the appearance of Jesus in itself, as the realization of a divinely human life, was much too rich, too great, too manifold, not to be presented in a different way according to the varied individualities which received its rays, and according to the more or less ideal points of view at which these rays were reflected; while, however, this difference could not be prejudicial to the unity of the fundamental impression, and of the essential character in which this personality made itself known.”

Criticism has often compared the difference with which we are concerned to that which is presented by the two representations of the person of Socrates, traced by Plato and Xenophon. At the outset, the historians of philosophy turned to the side of Xenophon, thinking that they could recognize the true historical type in the simple, practical, varied, popular Socrates of the Memorabilia. At that time, the Socrates of Plato was regarded as only a mouth-piece chosen by that author in order to set forth his own theory of ideas. Xenophon was the historian, Plato the philosopher. But criticism has changed its mind; Schleiermacher, above all, has taught us that, if the teaching of Socrates had not contained speculative elements, such as Plato attributes to him, and elements as to which the other writer is completely silent, no account could be given either of the relation which so closely united the school of Plato to the person of Socrates, or of the extraordinary attractive power which the latter exercised over the most eminent and most speculative minds of his time, or of the profound revolution effected by him in the progress of Greek thought. With Xenophon alone, there remains a vacancy a vacancy which we cannot fill except with the aid of Plato. This fact arises, on the one hand, from the special aim of Xenophon's book, which was to make a moral defense of his master; on the other, from the circumstance that Xenophon, a practical man, lacked the philosophical capacity which was necessary for the apprehension of the higher elements of the Socratic teaching. Zeller also acknowledges that Xenophon did not comprehend the scientific value of Socrates; “that Socrates cannot have been that exclusive and unscientific moralist for which he was so long taken,” while the starting-point for criticism was made from the work of Xenophon only. “There is,” he says, “in the exposition of each of the two writers, a surplus (Ueberschuss) which can without difficulty be introduced into the common portrait.” No doubt, Plato has put into the mouth of Socrates his own theory of ideas. But it was only the development of the teaching of Socrates himself; and it must be admitted that where he puts Socrates on the stage as an historical personage (in the Apology and the Symposium, for example), he does not take this course.

This parallel presents, mutatis mutandis, several remarkable correspondences in detail. But it offers, above all, this fundamental analogy that, in the case of Socrates as in that of Jesus, we find ourselves in the presence of two portraits of an historical personage, the perfect synthesis of which it is impossible to make. Now, if philosophy is still seeking after the fusion of the two portraits of the wisest of the Greeks, are we to be surprised that theology has not yet succeeded in effecting that of the two pictures of Christ. Is the richness of the former, a man whose influence on the moral history of his people was so serious, but so transient, to be compared to the richness of Him whose appearance has renewed and is constantly renewing the world? And if there was in the former that which furnishes matter for two portraits, both of them true and yet not reducible to a single one, why should we be surprised to see the same phenomenon reappearing with regard to Him who could have exclaimed in Greece: “A greater than Socrates is here,” as He did exclaim in Judea: “A greater than Solomon is here.”

“No one knoweth the Son but the Father,” says Jesus in the Synoptics. The point of convergence of the two representations the Johannean and the Synoptic, is accordingly the consciousness which the Son had of Himself. We shall, undoubtedly, not be successful in reconstructing it perfectly here on earth.

We behold one sun in the arch of heaven; and yet what a difference between its burning reflection on the slopes of the Alpine glaciers and its calm and majestic image in the waves of the ocean! The source of light is one, but the two mirrors are different. We conclude:

1. The primal idea of the Johannean work did not by any means necessarily impair its historical character.

2. The truthfulness of the narrative appears manifestly from the comparison of the story with that of the Synoptics, to which it is invariably superior in the cases where they differ.

3. The truthfulness of the account of the discourses, which is supported by such strong positive reasons, does not in fact encounter any insurmountable difficulty.

The fourth Gospel is, therefore, a truly historical work.

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

Modern criticism believes itself able to prove a tendency in the fourth Gospel decidedly hostile to Judaism. Baur thinks that the author of this book desired to introduce anti-Jewish Gnosticism into the Church; that he was a Docetist and dualist, professing the non-reality of the body of Jesus and the eternal contrast between darkness and light. Without going as far as this, Reuss says, “that he speaks of the Jews as of a class of foreigners, with whom he had no connection;” that “all that preceded Jesus belongs, according to him, to a past without any value, and can only serve to lead men astray and cause them to miss the gate of salvation” ( Joh 10:8 ). Renan also attributes to the evangelist a “lively antipathy” to Judaism. Hilgenfeld, finally, is the one who has gone, and still goes, the farthest in the affirmation of this thesis. He originally ascribed our Gospel to some Gnostic writer of the second century; he has since softened this assertion; he thinks that the author, while belonging to the Church, “nevertheless goes a considerable distance along with Gnosticism.” According to the fourth evangelist, “Judaism belonged, as much as paganism, to the darkness which preceded the Gospel;” the religion of the Old Testament possessed “only an imperfect and dim prefiguration of Christianity.” The knowledge of the true God was wanting to it as much as to Samaritan paganism.

What is alleged in justification of such judgments? In the first place, some particular terms, familiar to the evangelist, such as this: the Jews, an expression which he employs in a sense always hostile to that people; or that other expression: your law, a term in which a feeling of disdain for the Mosaic institution and the Old Testament betrays itself. But the unfavorable sense attached in our Gospel to the name, the Jews, to designate the enemies of the light, proceeds not from a subjective feeling of the evangelist, but from the fact itself that is to say, from the position taken towards Jesus from the beginning (John 2:0) by the mass of the nation and by their rulers. The author uses this term also, when there is occasion for it (which is rare), in an entirely neutral sense, as in John 2:6 (“the purification of the Jews”) and John 19:40 (“the custom of the Jews to embalm bodies”); or even in a favorable sense, as in the passages John 4:22 (“salvation is from the Jews”) and John 11:45 (“many of the Jews who came to Mary believed on him”). We may also cite here the use of the name Israelite, applied as a title of honor to Nathanael ( Joh 1:48 ). In the Apocalypse, which is affirmed to be an absolutely Judaizing work, the Jews who obstinately resist the Gospel are designated in a much more severe way: “Those who say they are Jews and who are not, but are the synagogue of Satan ” (John 2:9; comp. Joh 3:9 ). The great crisis which had cast Israel out of the kingdom of God, and which had made it henceforth a body foreign and even hostile to the Church, had begun already during the ministry of Jesus. This is what the author sets forth by this term: the Jews, which is contrasted in his narrative with the term: the disciples. In making Jesus say your law, the evangelist cannot have had the intention of disparaging the Mosaic institution, any more than in making Jesus say: “Abraham your father ” ( Joh 8:56 ), he dreamed of depreciating that patriarch. He exalts him, on the contrary, in that very verse, by setting forth the joyous sympathy which he experiences in a higher state of existence for Himself and His work: “Abraham rejoiced in expectation of seeing my day, and he saw it and was glad.” In the same way, John 10:34, after having used the expression: your law, He immediately adds, in connection with the passage of the O. T. which he has just quoted, these words: “And since the Scripture cannot be broken,” making the law thus a divine and infallible revelation. Elsewhere He declares that “it is the Scriptures which testify of him” ( Joh 5:39 ); that the sin of the hearers consists in “not having the word of God abiding in them” ( Joh 5:38 ), and even that the real cause of their unbelief towards Him is nothing else than their unbelief with respect to the writings of Moses ( Joh 5:46-47 ). The evangelist who makes Jesus speak thus evidently does not seek to disparage the law; the contradiction would be too flagrant. Jesus, therefore, in using the expression your law, means: “that law which you yourselves recognize as the sovereign authority,” or: “that law which you invoke against me, and in the name of which you seek to condemn me.” It must be remarked that he could not say “ our law,” because His personal relation to that institution was too widely different from that of the ordinary Jews to be included under the same pronoun; just as He could not say, when speaking of God: “ our Father,” but only “ my Father,” and “ your Father” ( Joh 20:17 ).

It has been remarked that Jesus never speaks in this Gospel of the law as the principle on which the life of the new community is to rest. This is true; but this is because He supposes the law to have become the internal principle of the life of believers through the fact of their communion with Him.

Critics also allege the freedom with which Jesus, in His cures, was ready to violate the Jewish Sabbath. Hilgenfeld even discovers the intention of abolishing that institution in the words of John 5:17: “My Father worketh hitherto, and I also work.” As to the Sabbath cures, they are found in the Synoptics as well as in John; and there, as here, it is these acts which begin to excite the deadly hatred of the Jews against Him ( Luk 6:11 ). But we formally deny the position that by these healings Jesus really violated the terms of the Mosaic command. He transgressed nothing else than that hedge of arbitrary statutes by which the Pharisees had thought fit to surround the fourth commandment. Jesus remained, from the beginning to the end, in our Gospel as in the others, the minister of the circumcision ( Rom 15:8 ), that is to say, the scrupulous observer of the law. As to the words of John 5:17, they are by no means contrary to the idea of the Sabbath rest; they only mean: “As the Father labors in the work of the salvation of humanity and this work evidently suffers no interruption at any moment whatsoever, still less on the Sabbath day than on any other the Son cannot fold His arms and leave the Father to labor alone.” This declaration does not contradict the Sabbatic rest when properly understood.

Hilgenfeld alleges also the two following passages: John 4:21, and John 8:44. In the first, Jesus says to the Samaritan woman: “The hour cometh when ye shall no longer worship the Father either in this mountain or at Jerusalem,” which proves, according to him, that Jesus wished to set Himself in opposition to the Jews no less than to the Samaritans, and that consequently, when he says in the following verse: “Ye worship that which ye know not,” this judgment applies to the former as well as to the latter. The Jewish religion would therefore be, according to these words of Jesus, as erroneous as all the rest.

But there is enough in the following words: “because salvation comes from the Jews,” to refute this explanation; for, instead of because, the author would have been obliged in that case to have said although: Although the Jews are as ignorant as you and all the others, it has pleased God to make salvation come forth from the midst of them.” The because ( ὅτι ) has no meaning unless Jesus in the preceding words had accorded to the Jews a knowledge of God superior to that of the Samaritans. This fact proves that the words: “ We worship that which we know” apply not only to Him, Jesus, personally, but to Him conjointly with all Israel. The true meaning of the words of Joh 8:21 is explained by John 8:23 (which resumes Joh 8:21 ): “Your worship, as for you Samaritans, will not be confined to this mountain Gerizim, nor will it, any more, be transported and localized anew at Jerusalem.” Indeed, this second alternative must have appeared to the woman the only one possible, when once the first was set aside.

In the passage John 8:44, Jesus says to the Jews, according to the ordinary construction: “You are of a father, the devil. ” Hilgenfeld translates, as is no doubt grammatically possible: “You are of the father of the devil. ” This father of the devil is, according to him, the God of the Jews, the Creator of the material world, who in some of the Gnostic systems (Ophites, Valentinians) was actually presented as the father of the demon. This is not all; Jesus says at the end of the same verse: “When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, because he is a liar, and his father,” which is ordinarily understood in this sense: because he is a liar and the father of the liar (or of the lie). But Hilgenfeld explains: because he (the devil) is a liar, as also, his father (is a liar). And he finds here a second time the father of the devil, who is called “a liar as well as his son,” because, throughout the entire Old Testament, the God of the Jews made Himself pass for the supreme God, while He was only an inferior divinity.

The author of this explanation is astonished that it could have been regarded as monstrous, and claims “that no one has yet advanced the first reasonable word against it.” He must, nevertheless, acknowledge the following facts: 1. The father of the devil is a personage totally foreign to the Biblical sphere, and the author of our Gospel would have greatly compromised the success of his fraud by introducing him on the stage. 2. The notion of two opposite and personal Gods, of whom the second is another being than the devil, is so opposed to the Israelitish and Christian monotheism professed by the author ( Joh 8:44 ), that it is impossible to admit such a teaching here. 3. What Jesus, according to the entire context, wishes to prove to the Jews, is that they are the children of the devil, but not his brothers, as would follow from Hilgenfeld's translation: “You are born of the father of the devil.” In this whole passage the matter in hand is that of contrasting filiation with filiation, father with father. “Ye do that which ye have seen with your father,” Jesus said, John 8:38. The Jews replied to Him: “We have only one father, God” ( Joh 8:41 ). And Jesus' answer is the echo of theirs: “Ye are born of a father, [who is] the devil.” The first epistle offers a decisive parallel ( Joh 3:10 ). “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. ” 4. Finally, let us remark, that if the first words of the verse are applied to the father of the devil, it is necessary to apply to this same personage the whole series of the following propositions, even inclusive of the last. These words: “because he is a liar as well as his father,” would signify, then (according to the explanation of Hilgenfeld): the father of the devil is a liar and his father none the less so. After having seen the father of the devil make his appearance, we should find ourselves here in the presence of his grandfather! All this phantasmagoria vanishes away before a single comma introduced between the two genitives πατρός (of a father) and τοῦ διαβόλου (of the devil), which makes the second substantive appositional with the former, and not its complement. The necessity of this explanation from the grammatical standpoint appears from the opposition to John 8:41: “We have one father [who is] God,” and religiously from John 2:16, where the temple of the God of the Jews, in Jerusalem (which, according to Hilgenfeld, ought to be the house of the devil's father), is called by Jesus “the house of my Father.” It is certainly, therefore, according to our Gospel, the only true God ( Joh 17:3 ) who is worshiped at Jerusalem.

Hilgenfeld and Reuss rest also upon the words of John 10:8: “All those who came before me are thieves and robbers;” they think that Jesus meant to characterize by these two terms all the eminent men of the Old Covenant. Who then? The patriarchs and Moses, the psalmists and the prophets? And that in a book in which the author makes Jesus say, that to believe Moses is implicitly to believe in Him ( Joh 8:46-47 ); in which He Himself declares that Isaiah beheld in a vision the glory of the Logos before His incarnation, and foretold the unbelief of the people towards the Messiah (John 12:38; Joh 12:41 ); in which the words of a psalmist are quoted as the word of God which cannot be broken ( Joh 10:34-35 ); in which Abraham is represented as rejoicing exceedingly at the sight of the coming of the Christ ( Joh 8:56 )! No; the quoted expression applies simply to the actual rulers of the nation, who already for a considerable period were in possession of power at the time when Jesus was accomplishing His work in Israel. This is clearly indicated by the present: εἰσί , are, and not, were, as the word has sometimes been rather thoughtlessly translated. “Those who came before me are thieves and robbers.”

Reuss maintains that, in general, no expression in this work connects the Church in a more special way with Judaism: and Hilgenfeld affirms that this work “breaks every bond between Christianity and its Jewish roots.” And yet the second of these scholars cannot help acknowledging what the first tries in vain to deny: that in the declaration of John 1:11: “He came to his own, and his own received him not,” the author really speaks of the Jews, considering them, he himself adds “as the people of God or of the Logos.” No doubt, he endeavors afterwards to escape from the consequences of this conclusive fact, but by means of subterfuges which do not deserve even to be mentioned. Moreover, let the following facts be weighed: The temple of Jerusalem is “ the house of the Father ” of Jesus Christ ( Joh 2:16 ); salvation comes from the Jews ( Joh 4:22 ); the sheep whom Jesus gathers from the theocracy constitute the nucleus of the true Messianic flock ( Joh 10:16 ); the Paschal lamb slain at Jerusalem prefigures the sacrifice of the Messiah, even in the minute detail that the bones of both are to be preserved unbroken ( Joh 19:36 ); the most striking testimony of the Father on behalf of Jesus is that which is given to Him by the Scriptures of the Old Covenant ( Joh 19:39 ). Finally, the author himself declares that he wrote his book to prove that Jesus is not only the Son of God, as he is so often made to say, but, first of all, the Christ, the Messiah promised to the Jews ( Joh 20:30-31 ). The Messianic character of Jesus is expressly pointed out before His divine character. From end to end, our Gospel makes the appearance and work of Jesus the final evolution, the crowning of the Old Covenant.

As to all the passages which Hilgenfeld alleges with the design of proving that Jesus denies to Judaism all true knowledge of God (John 7:28; John 8:19; John 15:21; John 16:25, etc.), they do not prove anything whatever; it is not to the Jewish religion as such, it is to the carnal and proud Jews who surround Him, that this often repeated reproach is addressed, that they did not know God, the God who nevertheless had revealed Himself to them. The prophets had all spoken in the same way, and had distinguished from the mass of the people ( this people, Isa 6:10 ) the elect, “the holy remnant” ( Joh 6:13 ). They surely were not, for this reason, anti-Jewish.

The charge of dualism, directed against our Gospel by Hilgenfeld particularly, falls before this simple remark of Hase: “A moral relation is thereby falsely translated into a metaphysical relation.” Is it necessary to find a dualistic notion in that saying of Jesus: “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom; but to them it is not given” ( Mat 13:11 )? or, in that other, Matthew 13:38: “The good seed are the children of the kingdom; the tares are the children of the evil one?” or, again, in the contrast which St. Paul makes, 1 Corinthians 2:14-46.2.15, between the psychical man who cannot understand spiritual things and the pneumatic man who judges all things? Who ever dreamed, because of such words, of imputing to Jesus and to Paul the idea of two human races, one proceeding from God, the other from the devil. The Scriptures teach throughout that a holy power and an evil power act simultaneously on the heart of man, and that he can freely surrender himself to the one or the other. The more emphatic the choice is in the one direction or the other, the more is the man given up to the moral current which bears him away, and thus it may happen that on the path of evil a man becomes incapable of discerning and feeling any longer the attraction of what is good. Here is the incapacity which Jesus so often charges upon the Jews; it is their own act; otherwise, why reproach them with it, and to what purpose call them again to repentance and to a renewal by faith? This hardness is only relative, because it is voluntary; Jesus declares this most expressly in that so profound explanation of Jewish unbelief ( Joh 5:44 ): “How can ye believe, ye who receive your glory one from another, and seek not the glory which comes from God only?” If, then, they cannot believe, it is because they will not, because they have made themselves the slaves of a good which is opposite to the benefits which faith procures, of human glory. This dualism is moral, the effect of the will, not metaphysical or of nature. By teaching otherwise, the author would contradict himself; for has he not said in the prologue that “all things were made by the Logos, and that nothing, not even a single thing, came into being without Him?” Undoubtedly, Hilgenfeld claims that the existence of the darkness, John 1:5, not having been explained as caused by anything, implies the eternity of the evil principle; but following upon that which precedes (the creation, the primitive state), it is altogether natural to find here the appearance of evil in humanity the fall, as it is related after the creation in the story of Genesis, which the author follows, as it were, step by step.

Baur found in our Gospel the spirit of Gnostic Docetism, which would be, no less than dualism, in contradiction to the spirit of the Old Testament. But every one seems, at the present day, to have abandoned this opinion, and we believe that we can remit to exegesis the charge of proving the emptiness of it. In order to maintain it, we must torture the meaning of that expression in which the whole work is summed up: “The Word was made flesh,” and must reduce the force of it to this idea: The Word was clothed with a bodily appearance. The fourth Gospel throughout repels this mode of explaining the incarnation, which is also, up to a certain point, that which Reuss attributes to it. A being who is fatigued, who is thirsty, whose soul is troubled at the approach of suffering and who must be preserved by extraordinary circumstances from the breaking of his bones; a being who rises from the dead, and who says: “Touch me not,” or, again: “Reach hither thy finger,” has certainly a real and material body, or the author does not know what he is saying.

Hilgenfeld discovers, finally, in the opposition of our Gospel to Chiliasm a proof of its anti-Judaic spirit. “The entire Gospel,” says this writer, “is planned in such a way as to present the historical coming of Christ as His only appearance on the earth.” But, first, it is false to regard Chiliasm, the expectation of a final reign of Christ over mankind, as the mark of a Judaistic tendency. Hase rightly says: “This was the belief of nearly the whole Church in the second century, and even till far on in the third.” But further, as the same author adds, “our Gospel, while turning the attention away from everything which delights the senses, does not contradict that hope.” We have seen this, indeed; with many repetitions, mention is made of a glorious resurrection of the body which is promised to believers, and of a last day. But here, as in all things, John makes it his study to set forth the spiritual preparation on which the Synoptics had not dwelt, rather than the outward results described by the latter in so lively and striking a way.

We have, in this chapter, developed only the points which are related to the characteristics of our Gospel, without touching upon that which comes into the question of its origin, of its composition by this author or by that. It is in studying this last subject that we shall seek for the origin of the notion and the term Logos. What concerned us at this point was to thoroughly establish the relation of our Gospel to the Old Covenant. This relation is a double one, as we have proved: on the one side, the Johannean Gospel fully recognizes the divinity of the Old Testament, law and prophets; on the other, it sees in the work and teaching of Christ a decided superiority to the old revelations. The God of Israel is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but the patriarchal and prophetic revelations only made Him known imperfectly. It is the only-begotten Son, reposing in His bosom, who has come to reveal Him to us. “The law was given by Moses;” it prepared its faithful subjects to receive Jesus Christ; but it is only in Him that there is accorded to the believer a divine “fullness of grace and truth” ( Joh 1:16-18 ). The Word had in Israel His home, long since prepared on the earth; but the new birth through which a man obtains the life of God is impossible except through faith in the Word who has come in the flesh ( Joh 1:12-13 ).

The evangelist began by recognizing in Jesus the promised Christ; thence he rose to the knowledge of the Son of God (John 1:41; John 6:69; Joh 16:28-29 ). The expression in John 20:31, sums up this development.

§ 3. The Style of the Fourth Gospel.

It remains for us to study our Gospel from a literary point of view. Tholuck, in the introduction to his brief commentary, has well set forth the unique character of the evangelist's language. There is nothing analogous to it in all literature, sacred or profane; childlike simplicity and transparent depth, holy melancholy and vivacity no less holy; above all, the sweetness of a pure and gentle love. “Such a style could only emanate,” says Hase, “from a life which rests in God and in which all opposition between the present and the future, between the divine and human, has wholly come to an end.

Let us try to state precisely the peculiarities of this style.

1. The vocabulary, upon the whole, is poor. It is, in general, the same expressions which reappear from one end to the other: light ( φῶς ) twenty- three times; glory, to be glorified ( δόξα , δοξάζεσθαι ) forty-two times; life, to live ( ζωή , ζῇν ) fifty-two times; to testify, testimony ( μαρτυρεῖν , μαρτυρία ) forty- seven times; to know ( γινώσκειν ) fifty-five times; world ( κόσμος ) seventy-eight times; to believe ( πιστεύειν ) ninety-eight times; work ( ἔργον ) twenty-three times; name ( ὄνομα ) and truth ( ἀλήθεια ) each twenty-five times; sign ( σημεῖον ) seventeen times. Not only does the author not hesitate to repeat these words in his work, but he does this, and with reiteration, in sentences which are very closely allied to one another. At the first glance, this gives to his style a monotonous character; but only at the first glance. These expressions soon compensate the reader for their small number by their intrinsic richness. They are not at all, as one thinks at the first sight, purely abstract notions, but powerful spiritual realities, which can be contemplated under a multitude of aspects. If the author possesses in his vocabulary only a small number of terms, these words may be compared to pieces of gold with which great lords make payments. This feature is in harmony with the oriental mind, which loves to plunge into the infinite. The Old Testament already is familiar with these so rich expressions and their deep meaning: light, darkness, truth, falsehood, glory, name, life, death.

2. Certain favorite forms, which, without precisely offending against the laws of the Greek language, are nevertheless foreign to that language, betray a Hebraistic mode of thinking. Thus, to designate the most intimate spiritual union, the use of the term to know; to indicate moral dependence with respect to another being, the terms to be in ( εἶναι ἐν ), to dwell in ( μένειν ἐν ); to characterize the relation between a spiritual principle and the person in whom it is incarnated, the expression son, the son of perdition ( υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας ); certain forms of a purely Hebrew origin: to rejoice with joy ( χαρᾷ χαίρειν ), for ever ( εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ); finally, Hebrew words changed into Greek terms, as in the formula: Amen, amen ( ἀμήν , ἀμήν ), which is found only in John.

3. The construction is simple; the ideas are rather placed in juxtaposition, than organically fitted together after the manner of Greek construction. This peculiar feature is especially observed in some striking examples (John 1:10; John 2:9; John 3:19; John 6:22-43.6.24; John 8:32; Joh 17:25 ), where it would not have been difficult to compose a truly syntactical sentence, as a Greek writer certainly would have done. With this altogether Hebraic form are also closely connected the very frequent anacolutha, according to which the dominant idea is first placed at the beginning by means of an absolute substantive, and then repeated afterwards by a pronoun construed in accordance with the rules; comp. John 6:39; John 7:38; John 17:2. We know that these cases are still more frequent in the Apocalypse.

4. Notwithstanding the abundance of particles belonging to the Greek language, the author only makes use of now ( δέ ), more frequently of and ( καί ), then ( οὖν ), and as ( ὡς or καθώς ). Μέν , which is so common, is almost unknown in his work. I think that it appears only once ( Joh 19:24 ). The and and then take the place of the vav conversive which is, in some sort, the only Hebrew particle. The then sets forth the providential necessity which in the author's view binds the facts together. The and is frequently used in cases where we should expect the particle of opposition but; thus: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not” ( Joh 1:5 ); or again: “And they have seen and have hated both me and my Father” ( Joh 15:24 ). “We speak that which we know, and ye receive not our testimony” ( Joh 3:11 ). Luthardt acutely observes that this form is the sign of a mind which has risen above the first emotion of surprise or indignation produced by an unforeseen result, and which has come to contemplate it for the future with the calmness of indifference, or with a grief which has no bitterness. The use of the particle as (comp. for example, chap. 17) is inspired by the necessity of setting forth the analogies; this feature is one of the most characteristic ones of the mind which created this style. This tendency goes even so far as to identify the earthly symbols of divine things with these latter: “I am the true vine; I am the good shepherd.” To the eyes of him who writes thus, the reality is not the earthly phenomenon, but the divine, invisible fact; the sensible phenomenon is the copy.

The author also very frequently uses the conjuction in order that ( ἵνα ) in a weakened sense, and one which, as it seems, is tantamount to the simple notion of the Latin ita ut, so that; nevertheless, we think, with Meyer, that this is only apparently the case. The question in these cases is of a divine purpose. And here also there is revealed a peculiarity of the author's turn of mind: the teleological tendency, which belongs to the spirit of sacred historiography. That which, to the eyes of men, seems only an historical result, appears, from a more elevated point of view, as the realization of the design of God.

5. A singular contrast is observed in the narrative forms. On the one hand, something slow, diffuse, for example, that form so frequent in the dialogues: “He answered and said;” or the repetition of proper names, John, Jesus, where a Greek writer would have used the pronoun (a thing which also appertains to the oriental stamp of style: Winer, Gram. N. T., § 65); or again that dragging construction, in virtue of which, after the statement of a fact, a participle with its dependent words comes in unexpectedly, with the purpose of bringing out in a clearer light one of the aspects of the fact mentioned (comp. John 1:12; Joh 3:13 ; John 5:18; John 6:71; Joh 7:50 ); or finally, instead of the finite verb, the heavier form of the verb to be joined with a participle, a form which, in certain cases, is undoubtedly founded on reasons, as in the classical style, but which is too frequently employed here not to be, as Thiersch has observed, a reproduction of the analogous form belonging to the Aramaic language; and on the other hand, the frequent appearance of short clauses which break the sentence as if by an abrupt interruption: “And Barabbas was a robber” ( Joh 18:40 ); “now it was night” ( Joh 13:30 ); “it was the tenth hour” ( Joh 1:40 ); “it was the Sabbath” ( Joh 1:9 ); “Jesus loved Martha and Mary” ( Joh 11:5 ); “Jesus wept” ( Joh 11:35 ). Here are jets of an internal fire which, by its sudden outbursts, breaks the habitual calmness of serene contemplation. Such indeed is the Semite; an exciting recollection may draw him all at once out of the majestic repose with which he ordinarily thinks it fit to envelop himself.

6. In the manner in which the ideas are connected together, we remark three characteristic features: Either, as we have seen, a brief, summary word is placed as a centre, and around it is unrolled a series of cycles, which exhaust more and more, even to its most concrete applications, the primary thought. Or there is a whole series of propositions without external connection, as in the first twenty verses of chap. 15, which all follow one another by asyndeton; it seems as if each thought had its whole value in itself and deserved to be weighed separately. Or, finally, there is a bond of a peculiar nature which results from the repetition, in the following clause, of one of the principal words of the preceding, for example, John 10:11; John 13:20; John 17:2-43.17.3; John 17:9; John 17:11; John 17:15-43.17.16; and, above all, John 1:1-43.1.5. Each clause is, thus, like a ring linked with the preceding ring. The first two forms are repugnant to the Hellenic genius, the third is borrowed from the Old Testament (Psalms 121:0, and Genesis 1:1 ff.).

7. We have already called attention to the figurative character of the style; let us here add its profoundly symbolic character; thus the expressions to draw, to teach, in speaking of God; to see, to hear, in speaking of the relation of Christ to the invisible world; to be hungry, thirsty, in the spiritual sense. It is always the oriental and especially the Hebraic stamp.

8. We will only cite two more features; the parallelism of the clauses, which is known to be the distinctive mark of the poetic style among the Hebrews, and the refrain, which is likewise in use among them. At all times when the feeling of the one who speaks is elevated, or his soul is stirred by the contemplation of a lofty truth to which he is bearing testimony, these two forms appear in the Old Testament. It is exactly the same in John. For the parallelism, see John 3:11; John 5:37; John 6:35; John 6:55-43.6.56; John 12:44-43.12.45; John 13:16; John 15:20; John 16:28; for the refrain, John 3:15-43.3.16; John 6:39-43.6.40; John 6:44; comp. Genesis 1:0: “And the evening was,” etc.; Amos 1:2; and elsewhere, especially in the Psalms.

What judgment shall we pass, then, on the style and literary character of this work? On the one hand, Renan tells us: “This style has nothing that is Hebraic, nothing Jewish, nothing Talmudic.” And he is right, if by style we understand only the wholly external forms of the language. We do not find in the fourth Gospel, as in certain parts of Luke (in the first two chapters, for example, after Joh 1:5 ), Hebraisms, properly so called, imported just as they are into the Greek text (thus the vav conversive), nor, as in the translation of the LXX., Hebrew terms of expression roughly Hellenized. On the other hand, a scholar, who has no less profoundly studied the genius of the Semitic languages, Ewald, expresses himself thus: “No language can be, in respect to the spirit and breath which animate it, more purely Hebraic than that of our author.” And he is equally right, if we consider the internal qualities of the style; the whole of the preceding examination has sufficiently proved this.

In the language of John, the clothing only is Greek, the body is Hebrew; or, as Luthardt says, there is a Hebrew soul in the Greek language of this evangelist. Keim has devoted to the style of the fourth Gospel a beautiful page; he sees in it “the ease and flexibility of the purest Hellenism adapted to the Hebraic mode of expression, with all its candor, its simplicity, its wealth of imagery, and sometimes, also, its awkwardness. No studied refinement, no pathos; everything in it is simple and flowing as in life; but everywhere at the same time, acuteness, variety, progress, scarcely indicated features which form themselves into a picture in the mind of the reflective reader. Everywhere mysteries which surround you and are on the watch for you, signs and symbols which we should not take in the literal sense, if the author had not affirmed their reality, accidents and small details which are found, all at once, to be full of meaning; cordiality, calmness, harmony; in the midst of struggles, grief, zeal, anger, irony; finally, at the end, at the farewell meal, on the cross, and in the resurrection, peace, victory, grandeur.”

From this study of the historiographical, theological and literary characteristics of our Gospel, it follows:

1. That the narrative of the fourth Gospel bears, both with respect to the facts, and the discourses, the seal of historical trustworthiness.

2. That, while marking the advance of the Gospel beyond the religion of the Old Testament, it affirms the complete harmony of the two covenants.

3. That though Greek in its forms, the style is, nevertheless, Hebrew in its substance.


WE come to the principal subject of this study, the mode of composition of the work which occupies our attention. This subject includes the following four points: 1. The epoch at which this book was composed; 2. The author to whom it is to be attributed; 3. The place where it had its origin; 4. The purpose which presided over its composition. The means which we have at command for resolving these various questions are, besides the indications contained in the work itself, the information which we draw from the remains of the religious literature of the second century, from the canonical collections of the churches of that epoch, and from the facts of the primitive history of Christianity.

The remains of the literature of the second century are few in number; they resemble the fragments of a shipwreck. They are, first, the letter of Clement of Rome to the Church of Corinth, about the end of the first century or at the beginning of the second, and the so-called Epistle of Barnabas, belonging to the same period. After this come the letters of Ignatius, of the earlier part of the second century, provided we admit their authenticity either in whole or in part, and the letter of Polycarp to the Philippians, of a little later date, but with the same reservation. The Shepherd of Hermas, the letter to Diognetus, and a homily which bears the name of the Second Epistle of Clement follow next in order. The date of all these works is variously fixed. We come next to the writings of the Apologists about the middle of the century; Justin Martyr with his three principal works; Tatian, his disciple; Athenagoras with his apology, message addressed to Marcus Aurelius; Theophilus and his work addressed to Autolycus; Melito and Apollinaris with the few fragments which remain of their writings; finally, Irenaeus of Lyons, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian of Carthage, who form the transition to the third century.

All these writers belong to the orthodox line. Parallel with them we find in the heretical line Basilides and his school; Marcion; then Valentinus, with his four principal disciples, Ptolemy, Heracleon, Marcus, and Theodotus, all of them authors of several works, some fragments of which we read in Irenaeus, Clement and Hippolytus; the work of the last-mentioned author, recently discovered and entitled Philosophumena, is particularly important. Finally, let us mention the Jewish-Christian romance called Clementine Homilies.

The canonical collections of this epoch with which we are acquainted are three in number: That of the Syrian Church in the translation called Peschito; that of the Latin Church in the translation which bears the name of Itala, and the so-called fragment of Muratori, which represents the canon of some Italian or African Church about the middle of the second century.

It is by means of all these documents, as well as of the indications contained in the Gospel itself, that we must choose between the following four principal dates which at the present day are assigned by criticism to the composition of our Gospel.

Chapter First: The Time.

THE traditional opinion, in attributing this book to the Apostle John, by this very fact places its composition in the first century, towards the end of the apostolic age.

At the opposite extreme to this traditional date is that for which Baur, the chief of the Tubingen school, has decided. According to him, our work was composed between 160 and 170; he places its origin in special connection with the Paschal controversy which broke out at that epoch.

The disciples of Baur have gradually moved back the date of the composition as far as the period from 130 to 155: Volkmar, about 155; Zeller and Scholten, 150; Hilgenfeld, 130-140; thus, a quarter of a century, nearly, earlier than Baur thought. This arises from the fact that several of these writers place the composition of our Gospel in connection with the efflorescence of Gnosticism, about 140.

Many critics, at the present day, make a new step backward. Holtzmann believes our Gospel to be contemporaneous with the Epistle of Barnabas; Schenkel speaks of 115-120; Nicolas, Renan, Weizsacker, Reuss, Sabatier, all regarding the fourth Gospel as a product of the school in which the Johannean traditions were preserved at Ephesus, fix its composition in the first quarter of the second century. This was also the opinion of Keim, when he published, in 1867, his great work, l'Historie de Jesus de Nazara; he indicated as the date the years 100-120 (p. 146), and more precisely 110-115 (p. 155). More recently, in his popular editions, he has come back to the date of Hilgenfeld (130).

Here are four situations proposed, which we must now submit to the test of facts. Shall we begin with that which is most advanced, or that which is most remote? In our preceding edition, we adopted the former of these two courses. A want of logic has been noticed in this, since, in short, the facts which speak against the earliest dates give proof a fortiori against the most recent ones, and yet they are not pointed out until after the discussion of the latter has already taken place. This is true; but we have confidence enough in the logic of our readers to hope that they will themselves make this reckoning, and that when, for example, they reach, in the discussion of the date 140, a fact which proves it too late, they will not fail to add this fact to those by which the dates more recent than this had been already refuted. We continue to prefer the course which is chronologically regressive, because, as Weizsackerhas been willing to acknowledge, it gives more interest to the exposition of the facts. On the progressive path, every fact giving proof in favor of an earlier date renders the discussion respecting the more recent dates unnecessary.

160-170. (Baur).

Eusebius declared, in the first part of the fourth century, “that the Gospel of John, well-known in all the churches which are under heaven must be received as in the first rank” (Hist. Eccl., 3:24); and he consequently reckoned it among the writings which he calls Homologoumena, that is to say, universally adopted by the churches and their teachers. When speaking thus, he had before his eyes the entire literature of the preceding centuries collected together in the libraries of his predecessor Pamphilus, at Caesarea, and of the bishop Alexander, at Jerusalem. This declaration proves that in studying these writings he had found no gap in the testimonies establishing the use of our Gospel by the Fathers and the churches of the first three centuries. It is necessary to recall to mind here with what exactness and what frankness Eusebius mentions the least indications of a wavering in opinion with regard to the Biblical writings; for example, he does not fail to mark the omission of any citation from the Epistle to the Hebrews in the principal work of Irenaeus (an omission which we can ourselves also verify), although that epistle takes rank, according to him, among the fourteen epistles of St. Paul. Let us suppose that he had found in the patristic literature up to the date 160- 170 an entire blank in relation to the existence and use of our Gospel, would he have been able in all good faith to express himself as he does in the passage quoted?

Origen, about 220, places the Gospel of John in the number of the four “which are alone received without dispute in the Church of God which is under heaven” (Euseb. H. E., Joh 6:25 ). Would this place have been thus unanimously accorded to it, if it had been known only after 170?

Undoubtedly, Eusebius and Origen are not the bearers of the tradition; but they are the founders of criticism who grouped the information from the preceding centuries and evolved from it the preceding summations of the case.

Clement of Alexandria, the master of Origen, is already in a little different position; he collected the items of information which were transmitted to him by the presbyters whose line of succession is connected with the apostles ( ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνέκαθεν πρεσβυτέρων ). In speaking thus, he is thinking especially of Pantaenus, a missionary in India, who died in 189. The following is the information which had come to him through those venerable witnesses: “John received the first three Gospels, and observing that the corporeal things (the external facts) of our Lord's life had been recorded therein, he, being urged by the prominent men of the Church, wrote a spiritual Gospel” (Euseb. H. E., Joh 6:14 ). Could Clement, who wrote about 190, have spoken thus of a work which had been in existence only twenty or twenty-five years? He must, for this to be so, have invented this tradition himself. Let us add that in another passage ( Strom. iii., p. 465), when quoting a saying of Jesus contained in an uncanonical gospel, called the Gospel of the Egyptians, he makes this reservation: “that we do not find this saying in the four Gospels which have been transmitted to us ” ( ἐν τοῖς παραδεδομένοις ἡμῖν τέτταρσιν εὐαγγελίοις ). The contrast which Clement here establishes, clearly shows that, from the standpoint of tradition, there was a radical difference between the Gospel of John and a gospel such as that of the Egyptians.

Tertullian, born about 160, frequently cites our Gospel as being an authority in the whole Church. Would this be possible if this Father and this work were born in the same year, the one in Asia, the other in Africa? Let us notice that he quotes it according to a Latin translation of which he says ( Ad. Prax.): “It is in use among our people ( In usu est nostrorum).” And not only was it in use and so held in respect, that Tertullian did not feel free to turn aside from it, even when he was not in accord with it, but also this Latin translation had already taken the place of another earlier one of which Tertullian says ( De Monogam, c. 11) “that it has fallen into disuse ( In usum exiit).” And yet all this could have occurred between the birth of this Father and the time when he wrote!

Irenaeus wrote in Gaul, about 185, his great work Against Heresies. More than sixty times he quotes our Gospel in it with the most complete conviction of its apostolic origin. He who acts thus respecting it was born in Asia Minor about the year 130, and had spent his youth there in the school of Polycarp, the friend and disciple of St. John. How could he, without bad faith, have dated from the apostolic age a Gospel which had not been in existence more than fifteen to twenty years at the moment when he was writing, and which he had never heard spoken of in the churches where he had spent his youth and which must have been the cradle of this work? In 177, Irenaeus drew up, on the part of the churches of Vienne and Lyons, a letter to the churches of Asia and Phrygia, for the purpose of giving them an account of the terrible persecution which had just smitten them under Marcus Aurelius. This letter has been preserved to us by Eusebius (H. E., Joh 5:1 ). It says, speaking of one of the martyrs, “Having the Paraclete within him;” and in another place: “Thus was the word uttered by our Lord fulfilled, that the time shall come when he who killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” These are two quotations from John ( Joh 14:26 and Joh 16:2 ). Thus, about ten years after the time of composition indicated by Baur, quotations were taken in Gaul from our Gospel as if from a writing possessing canonical authority!

About 180, Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, addresses to his heathen friend Autolycus an apology for Christianity; he quotes in it the prologue of John, expressing himself thus ( Joh 2:22 ): “This is what the holy writings and all the men animated by the spirit teach us, among whom John says ” ( Joh 1:1 follows). Can it be admitted, that only fifteen to twenty years after the appearance of our Gospel, the bishop of Antioch spoke in this way? He so fully placed it in the rank of the other three, which were received everywhere and at all times, that he had published a Harmony of the Gospels, which Jerome describes to us ( De Vir. 25) as “uniting in a single work the words of the four Gospels ( quatuor evangeliorum in unum opus dicta compingens).” The adversaries of the authenticity bring forward the circumstance, it is true, that here is the first instance in which the author of our Gospel is designated by name. But what does so accidental a fact prove? Irenaeus is the first ecclesiastical writer who names St. Paul as the author of the Epistle to the Romans. Would it be necessary to conclude, from this fact, that the belief in the apostolic authorship of the Epistle to the Romans began only at that moment to dawn on the mind of the Church? As it was not up to that time the custom to quote textually, so also it was not the custom to quote with a designation of the author.

Apollinaris, bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, about 170, contended against the opinion of persons who celebrated the Holy Passover Supper on the evening of the 14th of Nisan, at the same time that the Jews ate their Passover meal; for, as they alleged, according to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus had eaten the Passover on that evening with His disciples, and He had not been crucified until the next day. Apollinaris made reply to this in two ways: 1. That this view “was in contradiction to the law;” since, according to the law, the Paschal lamb was slain on the 14th, and not on the 15th; it was consequently on that day that the Christ must die; 2. That if this view was well founded, “the Gospels would contradict each other.” This second remark can only refer to the account in the Gospel of John, which places the death of Jesus on the 14th, and not the 15th, as the Synoptics appear to do. Thus, in 170, Apollinaris rested upon the fourth Gospel as on a perfectly recognized authority, even on the part of his adversaries, and yet at this same epoch, according to Baur, it began to circulate as an altogether new work! This critic has endeavored, to be sure, to wrest this passage from its natural meaning; but this attempt has been unanimously discarded. Besides, the same Apollinaris in still another passage, also, adduces the fourth Gospel. He calls Jesus, “The one whose sacred side was pierced and who poured forth from His side water and blood, the word and the Spirit;” comp. John 19:34.

At the same period Melito, bishop of Sardis, wrote also on the same subject. Otto (in the Corpus apologet., vol. ix.) has published a fragment from this Father, in which it is said that “Jesus, being at once perfect God and man, proved his divinity by his miracles in the three years which followed his baptism, and his humanity during the thirty years which preceded it.” Those three years of ministry can come only from the Johannean narration.

About the same time (in 176), Athenagoras thus expresses himself in his apology addressed to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius: “The Son of God is the Word of the Father; by him all things were made.” Here is an undeniable quotation; Volkmar himself acknowledges it.

There is the same use of the fourth Gospel on the part of the heretics of this period, particularly on the part of the disciples of Valentinus. One of them, Ptolemy (in a fragment preserved by Irenaeus), recalled in these words the passage in John 12:27: “Jesus said: And what shall I say? I know not.” He maintained (also according to Irenaeus) that the Apostle John himself had taught at the beginning of his Gospel the existence of the first Ogdoad (the foundation of the doctrine of Valentinus). Irenaeus and Epiphanius have preserved for us his letter to Flora, in which he cites Joh 1:3 in these words: “The apostle declares that the creation of the world belongs to the Saviour, inasmuch as all things were made by him and nothing was made without him.” In the fragments of Theodotus preserved in the works of Clement of Alexandria, there are found seventy-eight quotations from the New Testament, of which number twenty-six are taken from the Gospel of John. The fact most important to be cited here is the commentary which Heracleon wrote on the fourth Gospel. At what time? About the year 200, Volkmar asserts; but Origen, who refuted this work, calls its author a familiar acquaintance of Valentinus ( Οὐάλεντίνου γνώριμος ); now the latter taught between 140 and 160. Yes, replies Volkmar, but Heracleon is not at all mentioned by Irenaeus, which proves that he lived after 185, the date at which the latter wrote against the heretics of his time. This assertion is, as Tischendorf has shown, an error of fact arising simply from the omission of the name of Heracleon in the registers of names in the editions of Massuet and Stieren, at the end of Irenaeus' work. In fact, this Father expressly says John 2:4: “and all the other AEons of Ptolemy and Heracleon. ” This latter person lived and wrote, therefore, before Irenaeus at the latest, about 170 or even 160. And what did he write? A continuous commentary on the Gospel of John. This single fact implies that our Gospel enjoyed in the Church at that period an authority which was of long standing and general. For men do not comment except on a book which, up to a certain point, gives law to every one. How long a time must have elapsed, therefore, since this work was composed! Moreover, Irenaeus (John 3:12; Joh 3:12 ), testifies that the Valentinians “made abundant use of the Gospel of John” ( eo quod est secundum Johannem plenissime utentes).

The Clementine Homilies which are located about the year 160, express themselves thus (3:52): “This is the reason why the true prophet has said: I am the gate of life ( ἡ πύλη τῆς ζωῆς ); he who enters through me enters into life...My sheep hear my voice ( τὰ ἐμὰ πρόβατα ἀκούει τῆς ἐμῆς φωνῆς ).” This is an evident quotation from John 10:3; John 10:9; John 10:27; but it is not enough to make Baur, Scholten, Volkmar, Hilgenfeld, etc., admit the use of the Johannean Gospel by the vehement Judaizing writer who composed this pamphlet against the doctrine and person of St. Paul. The discovery made by Dressel, in 1853, of the end of this book as yet unknown, was needed to cut short all critical subterfuges. In the nineteenth homily, chap. 22, there is found this unquestionable quotation from the story of the man born blind related in the ninth chapter of John: “This is the reason why our Lord also replied to those who asked him: Did this man sin, or his parents, that he was born blind?

Neither did this man sin nor his parents, but that through him might be manifested the power of God healing the faults of ignorance.” The slight modification which the author of the Homilies introduces into the last words of this Johannean saying is connected with the particular idea which he is endeavoring to make prominent in this passage. If Volkmar finds herein a reason for denial even in the presence of such a quotation, Hilgenfeld, on the contrary, frankly says ( Einl., p. 734): “The Gospel of John is employed without scruple even by the adversaries of the divinity of Christ, such as the author of the Clementines.” What, then, must have been the authority of a book which even the adversaries of the teaching contained in the work used in this way! Here is what occurred in 160, and yet Baur tries to maintain that this work was composed between 160 and 170!

A heathen philosopher, Celsus, wrote a book entitled The True Word ( λόγος ἀληθής ), to controvert Christianity; he wished, he said, to slay the Christians “with their own sword,” that is to say, to refute Christianity by the writings of the very disciples of its founder. He started in his work, therefore, from the universally acknowledged authenticity of our Gospels. Did he make use of the fourth Gospel also with this purpose? Certainly; for he recalls the demand which the Jews addressed to Jesus in the temple to prove by a sign that He was the Son of God ( Joh 2:18 ). He compares the water and the blood which flowed from the body of Jesus on the cross ( Joh 19:34 ), to that sacred blood which the mythological stories made to flow from the body of the blessed gods. He speaks of the appearance to Mary Magdalene (that πάροιστρος woman) near the sepulchre. He sets forth this contradiction between our Gospel narratives, that, according to some ( οἱ μέν ), two angels appeared at the tomb of Jesus, according to the others ( οἱ δέ ), on the contrary, only one. And in fact Matthew and Mark speak of only one angel, Luke and John mention two. The use of John in this passage, which Zeller still ventured to deny, is now acknowledged by Volkmar himself, but this avowal ends, as usual, in a subterfuge: “And who tells us that Celsus wrote before the beginning of the third century?” And by means of a passage of Origen the purport of which is incorrectly given, the attempt is made to prove that that Father spoke of Celsus as his contemporary. Tischendorf has done full justice to this procedure. It was enough for him to quote Origen correctly, in order to show that he said nothing of the sort. He has, in addition, recalled another passage of this Father, where he expressly designates Celsus as “a man already and long since dead ( ἤδη καὶ πάλαι νεκροῦ ).” If we adopt the latest date for the work of Celsus, that of Keim (in 178), it still remains impossible that a heathen should have held a work published only eight years before to be composed by one of the disciples of Jesus. And how will it be if Celsus lived much earlier?

There remain to us three documents of the canonical collections of apostolic writings, already existing in the churches of the second century. In Syria, about the end of this century, a translation of the New Testament in the Syriac language was read, and our fourth Gospel certainly formed a part of it, for the only books of the New Testament which were wanting in this collection were, according to unquestionable data, four of the Catholic epistles and the Apocalypse. It even appears, from several fragments in the Syriac language which Cureton has published, that this translation which is called Peschito, and which contained the Old Testament as well as the New, had been already preceded by another more ancient one. At the same period, at the opposite extremity of the Church, in Italy, in Gaul, and in the province of Africa, the Latin translation already existed of which we have spoken in connection with Tertullian. In this canonical collection, which also contained the Old Testament, the writings of the New Testament seem to have been divided into five groups: 1. The body of the four Gospels, the evangelical instrument, collection of documents; then, the apostolical instruments, to wit: 2. That of the Acts 3:0. That of Paul; 4. That of John (Apocalypse and 1 John); 5. A group of disputed writings (1 Peter, Hebrews, Jude). Is it possible to suppose that in the last quarter of the second century, a work which did not appear until between 160 and 170, had already been translated into Syriac and into Latin, and had become possessed of canonical dignity in countries which, so to speak, formed the antipodes of the Church?

The famous document which was recovered in the last century by Muratori in the Library of Milan, and which bears the name of that scholar, is located between 160 and 170. It is a treatise on the writings which were said to have been read publicly in the churches. The author indicates in it the custom of the Church of Italy or of Africa to which he belongs. The Gospel of John is mentioned in it as the fourth. The author gives an account in detail of the manner in which it was composed by the Apostle John, and brings out some of its peculiarities. This is what was written in Italy or in Africa at the very date which Baur assigns to the composition of this Gospel!

It will not be surprising to any one, after the enumeration of these facts, that the so-called critical school has judged it impossible to maintain the position chosen by its master. It has effected its retreat movement throughout, and has sought, by going backward in the second century, a more tenable situation. Before we follow it, let us note the fact that between 160 and 170 the fourth Gospel existed in the Greek, Latin and Syriac languages, and that it was publicly read in all the churches, from Mesopotamia even to Gaul. Facts like these imply, not only two or three decades of years, but at the least a half century of existence.

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

Instead of the fifty years which we ask for in order to explain the facts which we have just mentioned, only twenty or thirty are granted us. Let us see whether this concession is sufficient to account for the facts which we have yet to point out. Our means for guiding our course in the examination of this new date are the writings of Justin Martyr, the Montanist movement, and the two great Gnostic systems of Marcion and Valentinus.

Justin, born in Samaria, had traversed the Orient and then had come to Rome to establish a school of Christian instruction, about 140. There remain to us three generally acknowledged works of his: the greater and smaller Apology, which, since the labors of Volkmar, are ordinarily regarded as dating, the first from 147; the second, a supplement to the first, from one of the succeeding years; they are addressed to the emperor and the senate. The third work is the Dialogue with Trypho the Jew; it is the account of a public debate held at Ephesus. It is a little later than the Apologies. Justin was put to death in 166.

In these three works the author cites seventeen times, as the source of the facts of Jesus' history which are alleged by him, writings entitled, Memoirs of the Apostles ( ἀπομνημονεύματα τῶν ἀποστόλω ), and the decisive question, in the matter which occupies us, will be whether the fourth Gospel was in the number of the writings comprised in this collection.

In order to understand the importance of the question here proposed, we must recall to mind the fact that the writings cited by Justin as his authorities were not only his private property. According to the famous passage of the first Apology (1:67), in which Justin describes the worship of the Christians in the first half of the second century, the Memoirs of the Apostles were read every Sunday in the public assemblies of the Church, side by side with the books of the prophets; and it is very evident that this description does not, in the writer's thought, apply only to the worship celebrated by the Church of Rome, but to that of Christendom generally; this follows from the expressions used by him: “ All those who dwell in the towns and in the country meet together in one place.” Justin had visited Asia Minor and Egypt; he knew, therefore, how the worship was celebrated, as well in the East as in the West. Moreover, he defended before the emperor, not only the Christians of Rome, but the Church in general. Consequently, what he says in this passage of the celebration of public worship, and in several others of that of baptism ( Apol. 1.61) and of the Holy Supper ( Apol. 1.66), must be applied to the whole of the Christendom of that epoch.

What, then, were these Apostolic Memoirs which were venerated by the churches of the second century so far as to be read publicly in worship equally with the book which, according to the example of Jesus and the apostles, the Church regarded as the Divine Word, the Old Testament? Justin does not indicate to us the particular titles of these writings; it is our task to determine them.

1. First of all, let us note a probability which rises almost to certainty. We have seen above that Irenaeus, who wrote thirty years after Justin (180-185), spoke, in Gaul, of our four canonical Gospels as the only ones received in the Church. This usage was already so fixed at his time, that he calls our evangelical collection the four-formed Gospel ( τετράμορφον εὐαγγέλιον ), and that he compares these four writings to the four Cherubim of the Old Covenant and to the four quarters of the horizon. They form for him an indivisible unity. Nearly at the same time, Clement, in Egypt, also calls our Gospels, as we have seen, “ the four which alone have been transmitted to us” (p. 141). Theophilus, in Syria, at the same epoch, composes a Harmony of these four narratives (p. 142f.). Finally, a little earlier still (about 160), the fragment of Muratori, enumerating the Gospels which are adopted for public reading, expresses itself thus: “ Thirdly, the book of the Gospel according to Luke...; fourthly, the Gospel of John...” Then there is nothing more with regard to writings of this kind; it passes to the Acts and Epistles. Can it be admitted that the Apostolic Memoirs, of which Justin tells us that they were generally read in the Christian worship twenty or thirty years before, were other writings than those which these Fathers and the churches themselves distinguished thus from all the other writings of the same kind, or that they did not, at least, make a part of the collection to which the Martyr already assigned a place in the worship by the side of the prophetic writings of the Old Testament? To this end there must necessarily have been wrought, during that short space of time, a revolution in Christian worship, a substitution of sacred writings for sacred writings, of which history does not present the least trace, and which is rendered absolutely impossible by the universality and publicity of the use of the Memoirs of which Justin speaks, and by the stability of the apostolic usages at that period. The Fathers, such as Irenaeus, were at hand keeping watch over the matter, and they would not have permitted a change of the documents from which the Church derived its knowledge of the life of Jesus to be accomplished, without indicating it.

2. A special fact proves a still more direct connection between Justin, on the one side, and the Fathers of a little later date (Irenaeus, etc.), on the other. Justin had a disciple named Tatian, who had already, before Theophilus, composed a work similar to his. Eusebius tells us ( H. E. 4.19) that this book was entitled Diatessaron, that is to say, composed by means of the four. Now, according to the report of the Syrian bishop Bar Salibi (xii. cent.), who was acquainted with this work since he quotes it in his Commentary on the Gospels, this writing began with these words of John's prologue ( Joh 1:1 ): “In the beginning was the Word.” According to the same author, Ephrem, the well-known deacon of Edessa (died in 373), had composed a commentary on this same work of Tatian, an Armenian translation of which has been recently recovered and published (Venice, 1876). This translation confirms everything which the Fathers have reported respecting Tatian's Harmony. In a work of an apocryphal character, the Doctrine of Addaeus (of the middle of the third century), in which the history of the establishment of Christianity at Edessa is related, it is said: “The people meet together for the service of prayer and for [the reading of] the Old Testament and [for that of the] New in the Diatessaron. ” This work of Tatian, therefore, was very widely spread abroad in the East, since it was read in the East, even in the public worship, instead of the four Gospels. This is confirmed by the report of the bishop of Cyrus, in Cilicia, Theodoret (about 420). He relates that he had found two hundred copies of Tatian's book in the churches of his diocese, and that he had substituted for this Harmony, which was heterodox in some points, “ the Gospels of the four evangelists ( τὰ τῶν τεττάρων εὐαγγελίστων ἀντεισήγαγον εὐαγγέλια )” thus, our four separate Gospels, those which Tatian had combined in a single one. If we recall to mind the relation which united Tatian to Justin, the identity of the Apostolic Memoirs of the master with the four blended in one by the disciple cannot be doubted. Moreover, in his Discourse to the Greeks Tatian himself quotes Matthew, Luke and John; from the last, John 1:3: “All things were made by him” (the Logos); John 4:24: “God is a spirit;” finally, John 1:5, with that formula which indicates a sacred authority: “This is that which is spoken ( τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ εἰρημένον ): The darkness did not apprehend the light; the light of God is the Word.”

3. But why, if it is so, does Justin designate these books by the unusual name of Memoirs, instead of calling them simply Gospels? Because he addresses himself, not to Christians, but to the emperor and senate, who would not have understood the Christian name of Gospels, which was without example in profane literature. Every one, on the other hand, was acquainted with the ἀπομνημονεύματα ( Memoirs) of Xenophon. Justin has recourse to this ordinary name, exactly as he substitutes for the Christian terms baptism and Sunday the terms bath and day of the Sun. Finally, Justin himself, in one of the passages where he quotes the Memoirs (Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:4, 66), adds expressly: “ which are composed by the apostles and called Gospels ( ἃ καλεῖται εὐαγγέλια ),” and, in another passage ( Dial. 103) he expresses himself thus:

The Memoirs which I say were composed by the apostles and by those who accompanied them,” which, whatever some critics may say, can only apply to our four Gospels, of which, as the fact is, two were composed by apostles and two by apostolic helpers. All the critical quibbles will not alter the evidence at all.

4. But let us, finally, consider the quotations taken by Justin from the Memoirs themselves. No one, at the present day, any longer denies the use of the three Synoptics by this Father. In 1848, Zeller conceded it with respect to Luke; in 1850, Hilgenfeld, with respect to Matthew; the same, in 1854, with respect to Mark; Credner in 1860, Volkmar in 1866, Scholten in 1867, have acknowledged it with respect to all the three. The Gospel of John remains. Keim, already in 1867 (vol. i., p. 138), wrote: “It is easy to show that the Martyr had under his eyes a whole series of Johannean passages,” and Hilgenfeld said in 1875 ( Einl. p. 734): “The first trace of the Gospel of John is found in Justin Martyr.” Mangold, in the same year, formulates thus the result of all the discussions which have recently taken place respecting this point: “That Justin knew and used the fourth Gospel is certain, and it is also beyond doubt that he makes use of it as a work proceeding from the Apostle John.” And in fact John's doctrine of the Logos appears in all the writings of Justin; this is their fundamental peculiarity. Let us quote a single example taken from each of these writings: “His Son, the only one who may be properly called Son, the Logos who was begotten by him before created things, when he created all things by him, called Christ” (Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:6). “The first power after God, the Father and Master of all, is the Son, the Word, who, having in a certain way been made flesh, became a man ( ὅς τινα τρόπον σαρκοποιηθεὶς ἄνθρωπος γέγονεν )” ( Apol. 1.32). Dial. 105: “Because he was the only begotten Son of the Father of all things ( μονογενὴς ὅτι ἦν τῷ πατρὶ τῶν ὅλων ).” The relation between Justin and John on this capital point is so evident that Volkmar has been obliged finally to acknowledge it; but he extricates himself by an expedient which not a little resembles a clown's trick. According to him, it is not Justin who has imitated John; it is a pseudo-John who, writing about 155, has imitated Justin, whose writings were in circulation since 147-150. Justin had drawn the first lineaments of the Logos theory; the false John has developed and perfected it. “But,” answers Keim to this supposition, “who can seriously think of making out of the genial and original author of the fourth Gospel the disciple of a mind so mediocre, dependent, disposed to the work of compiling, and poor in style, as the Martyr?” We will add: The theology of the former is the simple expression of his religious consciousness, of the immediate effects produced on him by the person of Jesus, while, as Weizsacker has clearly shown, the characteristic trait of Justin is to serve as an intermediary between Christian thought and the speculations which were prevailing at his epoch outside of Christianity. Justin teaches us that the Logos comes from the Father as a fire is kindled by another fire, without the latter being diminished; he explains to us that he differs from the Father in number, but not in thought, etc., etc. How can one venture to affirm that Justin surpasses John in simplicity? The truth is that John is the witness, and Justin the theologian. John's prologue it is there only that there is any question of the Logos in our Gospel is the primordial revelation, in its simple and apostolic form; the writings of Justin present to us the first effort to appropriate this revelation to oneself by the reason.

Besides, let us listen to Justin himself, Dial. 105: “I have previously shown that it was the only begotten Son of the Father of all things, his Logos and his power, born of him and afterwards made man by means of the Virgin, as we have learned through the Memoirs. ” Justin himself tells us here from what source he had derived his doctrine of the Logos; it was from his Apostolic Memoirs. Hilgenfeld has claimed that Justin did not appeal to the Memoirs except for the second of the two facts mentioned in this passage: the miraculous birth; but the two facts indicated depend equally, through one and the same conjunction ( ὅτι that), on the verbal ideas; I have shown, and as we have learned. Moreover, the principal notion, according to the entire context, is that of the only begotten Son ( μονογενής ) which belongs to the first of the two dependent clauses. Our conclusion is expressly confirmed by what Justin says ( Dial. 48); he speaks of certain Christians who were not in accord with him on this point, and he declares that, if he does not think as they do, it is not merely because they form only a minority in the Church, but “because it is not by human teachings that we have been brought to believe in Christ [in this way], but by the teachings of the holy prophets and by those of Christ himself ( τοῖς διὰ τῶν προφητῶν κηρυχθεῖσι καὶ δἰ αὐτοῦ διδαχθεῖσι ).” Now, where can we find, outside of the Gospel of John, the teachings of Christ respecting His pre-existence? Comp. also Apol. 1.46: “That Christ is the first-born Son of God, being the Logos of whom all the human race is made participant this is what has been taught us ( ἐδιδάχθημεν ).” We see from this us, which applies to Christians in general, and by the term taught, that Justin was by no means the author of the doctrine of the incarnation of the Logos, but that, when calling Jesus by this name, he feels himself borne along by the great current of the teaching given in the Church, and of which the source must necessarily be found in the writings, or at least in one of the writings, of the apostles of which he made use.

5. The use of our Gospel by Justin appears, finally, from several particular quotations, Dial. 88: “And as men supposed that he [John the Baptist] was the Christ, he himself cried out to them: I am not the Christ, but I am the voice of one crying ( οὐκ εἰμὶΧριστὸς , ἀλλὰ φωνὴ βοῶντος ).” Comp. John 1:20; John 1:23. Hilgenfeld acknowledges this quotation. Dial. 69, Justin says that Jesus healed those who were blind from birth ( τοὺς ἐκ γενετῆς πηρούς ); the Gospel of John alone ( Joh 9:1 ) attributes to Him a healing of this kind; the same term ἐκ γενετῆς is used by John. Another interesting passage is found in Dial. 88: “The apostles have written that, when Jesus came out of the water, the Holy Spirit shone above him like a dove.” This is the only case where Justin uses the expression, the apostles have written. It evidently applies to the two Gospels of Matthew and John. Dial. 29, Justin proves that Christians are no more bound to the Jewish Sabbath, and he does this by calling to mind the fact that God governs the world on that day as well as on the others. In c. 27, he also points out the fact that infants are circumcised on the eighth day, even though it falls upon a Sabbath ( κἂνἡμέρα τῶν σαββάτων ). We easily recognize here the relation to John 5:17; Joh 7:22-23 . Apol. 1.52, Justin quotes the words of Zach. John 12:10: “They shall look on Him whom they pierced ( καὶ τότε ὄψονται εἰς ὃν ἐξεκέντησαν ).” In this form it differs both from the terms of the Hebrew text (“they shall look on me whom they...”) and from that of the LXX: “They shall look on me because they have mocked me.” Now we read this same passage in the fourth Gospel exactly in the form in which Justin quotes it (John 19:0): ὄψονται εἰς ὃν ἐξεκέντησαν . Some think, no doubt, that Justin may have derived this passage from the book of the Apocalypse, where it is likewise quoted, John 1:7: “And every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him.” But Justin's text is more closely connected with that of the Gospel. Other grounds are alleged, it is true, such as the possibility of an ancient variation of text in the LXX.; we shall, therefore, not insist much upon this fact.

Here, on the other hand, is an important, and even decisive passage. Apol. 1.61, Justin relates to the senate that when a man has been convinced of the truth of the Gospel, “he is led to a place where there is water, to be regenerated like the believers who (have) preceded him; and that he is bathed in the 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 into the kingdom of heaven. Now that it is impossible,” continues Justin, “for those who have once been born to enter again into the womb of those who gave them birth, is evident to all.” The relation to Joh 3:3-5 is manifest; it appears especially from the last words, which reproduce, without any sort of necessity and in the most clumsy way, the meaning of the objection of Nicodemus in John's narrative ( Joh 3:4 ). Many, however, deny that Justin wrote thus under the influence of John's narrative. They allege these two differences: instead of the term employed by John, ἄνωθεν γεννηθῆναι ( to be born from above or anew), Justin says ἀναγεννηθῆναι ( to be born again); then, for the expression Kingdom of God, he substitutes Kingdom of heaven. But these two changes do not have the importance which some critics attribute to them. As to the first, Abbot proves that it is found also in Irenaeus, Eusebius, Athanasius, Basil, Ephrem, Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, Anastasius Sin., as well as in most of the Latin authorities ( renasci), all of whom made use of the Gospel of John and yet quote this passage as Justin does. Undoubtedly, it is because the term ἄνωθεν γεννηθῆναι was obscure, and subject to discussion, and because it is read only once in the Scriptures, while the other is clearer and more common (1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:23; 1Pe 2:2 ). As to the expression Kingdom of heaven, it arises in Justin evidently from the Gospel of Matthew, which, from a mass of proofs, was much the most read in the earliest times of the Church, and in which this term is habitually employed. Abbot proves that this same change occurs in the quotation of this passage in the Greek and Latin Fathers, all of whom had John in their hands. But the following is a more serious objection, namely: that this same saying of Jesus is found quoted in the Clementine Homilies ( Joh 9:26 ) with precisely the same alterations as in Justin, 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 is the passage from the Clementines; the reader can judge: “This is what the true prophet has affirmed to us with an oath: Verily I say unto you that 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 shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” We see that the difference between Justin and the Clementines, as Abbot says, is much greater than that between these two works and John. The reason is, because the text of the Clementines is influenced not only, like that of Justin, by Matthew 18:3, but especially by Matthew 28:19 (the formula of baptism).

Let us, finally, recall a quotation from the first Epistle of John which is found in Justin. Dial. c. 123, he says: “All at once we are called to become sons of God, and we are so,” which recalls 1 John 3:1 (according to the reading adopted at the present day by many critics): “Behold, what love God has had for us, that we should be called children of God; and we are so.” Hilgenfeld acknowledges this quotation.

How is it conceivable that, in the face of all these facts, Reuss can express himself thus (p. 94): “We conclude that Justin did not include the fourth Gospel among those which he cites generally under the name of Memoirs of the Apostles.” What argument, then, is powerful enough to neutralize to his view the value of the numerous quotations which we have just alleged? “Justin,” he says, “did not have recourse to our Gospel, as would have been expected, when he wished to establish the historical facts of which he was desirous to avail himself.” But do we not know that there is nothing more deceptive in criticism than arguments drawn from what a writer should have said or done, and has not done or said? Abbot cites curious examples of this drawn from contemporary history. We have already recalled to mind the fact that the Gospel of Matthew was, in the earliest times of the Church, the source which was most generally used. This is also the case with Justin, who uses Luke much less frequently than Matthew, and Mark much less even than Luke. John is used more than Mark.

For ourselves, we think we have proved: 1. That the fourth Gospel existed in the time of Justin and formed a part of his apostolic Memoirs; 2. That it was publicly read in the churches of the East and West as one of the authentic documents of the history and teachings of Jesus; 3. That, as a consequence, it possessed already at that period, conjointly with the other three, a very ancient notoriety and a general authority equal to that of the Old Testament. Now it is impossible that a work which held this position in the Church in 140, should have been composed only about the year 130.

In the same year 140, when Justin came to settle at Rome, there also arrived in that city one of the most illustrious representatives of the Gnostic doctrines, Valentinus. After having carried on a school for quite a long time in that capital, he went away to end his career in Cyprus, about 160. We already know some of his principal disciples, Ptolemy, Heracleon, Theodotus, and we know how much favor the fourth Gospel had in their schools; history confirms this saying of Irenaeus respecting them: “making use, in the most complete way, of the Gospel of John.” It is, therefore, very probable that their master had given them an example on this point. Tertullian sets Valentinus in opposition to another Gnostic, Marcion, remarking that the former accepted the sacred collection as a whole, not making up the Scriptures according to his doctrine, but rather adapting his doctrine to the Scriptures. We are acquainted with his system; he presented as emanating successively from the eternal and divine abyss pairs of AEons (principles of things), of which the first four formed what he called the Ogdoad (the sacred eight). The names of these AEons were: Logos, Light, Truth, Grace, Life, Only begotten Son, Paraclete. The influence of John's prologue is easily recognized here, since all these names are found united together in that passage, with the exception of the last, which appears only later in the Gospel, and which is used in the epistle. It has been asked, it is true, whether perhaps it may not be the evangelist who composed his prologue under the influence of the Valentinian Gnosis, and Hilgenfeld has thought that his aim may have been to cause this new doctrine to penetrate the Church, by mitigating it. We have already seen to what forced interpretations (of John 8:44, for example, and other passages), this scholar has been led from this point of view. Let us add that the terms by which Valentinus designates his AEons receive in his system an artificial, strained, mythological sense, while in the prologue of John they are taken in their simple, natural and, moreover, Biblical meaning; for they, all of them, belong already to the language of the Old Testament. It certainly is not John who has transformed the divine actors of the Gnostic drama into simple religious ideas; it is very evidently the reverse which has taken place: “Everything leads us to hold,” says Bleek, “that the Gnostics made use of these expressions, which they drew from a work which was held in esteem, as points of support for their speculative system.” “John,” says Keim in the same line, “knows nothing of those AEons, of that Pleroma, of those masculine and feminine pairs, and of all that long line of machinery which was designed to bring God into the finite; it is he, therefore, undoubtedly, who is the earliest, and who, as Irenaeus indicates, laid the foundation of the edifice.” Hilgenfeld claims that the Logos of John is only a concentration of the series of AEons of Valentinus. Hase replies to him, that we can maintain, and with as good right at least, that it is the single Logos of John which was divided by the Gnostics into their series of AEons. In the Philosophumena ( Joh 6:35 ), Hippolytus relates of Valentinus the following: “ He says ( φησί ) that all the prophets and the law spoke according to the Demiurge, the senseless god, and that this is the reason why the Saviour said: “All those who came before me are thieves and robbers.” This is an express quotation from John 10:8. Criticism replies: Perhaps it was not Valentinus himself who expressed himself thus, but one of his successors. Let us admit it, notwithstanding the very positive words He says of Hippolytus. The Ogdoad, with its Johannean names, which form the basis of the whole Valentinian system, remains nevertheless; and it would be very strange that the chief of the school should not have been the one who laid the foundation of the system. We do not think, therefore, that an impartial criticism can deny in the case of Valentinus himself the use of the fourth Gospel.

Two years before Valentinus, in 138, Marcion arrived in Rome; he came from Pontus, where his father was bishop, and where he had been brought up in the Christian beliefs. Tertullian makes an allusion to his Christian past, when he apostrophizes him thus ( De carne Christi, c. 2): “Thou who, when thou wert a Christian, didst fall away, rejecting that which thou hadst formerly believed, as thou dost acknowledge in a certain letter.” To what did this rejection ( rescindendo) with which Tertullian reproaches him, and which had attended upon his spiritual falling away, refer? The answer is given us by two other passages from the same Father. In the work specially designed to refute the doctrines of Marcion, Tertullian relates ( Adv. Marc. 4.3), that Marcion, “in studying the Epistle to the Galatians, discovered that Paul charged the apostles with not wallcing in the truth, and that he took advantage of this charge to destroy the confidence which men had in the Gospels published under the name of the apostles and apostolic men, and to claim belief on behalf of his own Gospel which he substituted for these.” We know, indeed, that Marcion had selected by preference the Gospel of Luke, and that, after having mutilated it in order to adapt it to his system, he gave it to his churches as the rule of their faith. Now, what does the conclusion which he drew from Galatians 2:0 prove? The apostles mentioned in that chapter are Peter and John. If Marcion inferred from that passage the rejection of their Gospels, it must be that he had in his hands a Gospel of Peter was this Mark? and a Gospel of John. He rejected from this time those books of the Canon which had been handed down to him by his father, the bishop of Sinope. In the De carne Christi, chap. 3, we read a second expression which leads to the same result as the preceding: “If thou hadst not rejected the writings which are contrary to thy system, the Gospel of John would be there to convince thee.” In order that Marcion should reject this writing, it certainly must have been in existence, and Marcion must have previously possessed it. And let us notice, that he rejected it, not on the ground that it was not apostolic; but, on the contrary, that it was so. For to his thought the twelve apostles, imbued with Jewish prejudices, had not understood Jesus; so their Gospels (Matthew, Mark, John) must be set aside. Paul alone had understood the Master, and the Gospel of Luke, his companion, must alone be an authority.

Volkmar has made the author of the fourth Gospel a partisan of Marcion, who sought to introduce his doctrines into the Church. But what is there in common between the violent hatred of Marcion against the Jewish law and the God of the Jews, and a Gospel in which the Logos, in coming to Israel, comes to His own, and, in entering into the temple of Jerusalem, declares that He is in the house of His Father? And how can it be reasonably maintained that a writer whose thought strikes all its roots into the soil of the Old Testament, is the disciple of a master who rejected from the New everything that implied the divinity of the Old? In saying this, we have answered the question of the same author, who asks why, if John existed before Marcion, the latter did not choose to make his Gospel rather than Luke the Gospel of his sect. The ancient heretic was more clear-sighted than the modern critic; he understood that, in order to use John, he must mutilate it, in some sort, from one end to the other, and he preferred to reject it at one stroke rescindendo, as Tertullian says.

At the same period in which Justin, Valentinus and Marcion met each other in Rome, a fanatical sect arose in Asia Minor, Montanism. Its leader wished to make a reaction against the laxness of Christendom and the mechanical course of the official clergy. Montanus announced the near coming of the Christ, and pretended to cause the descent upon the Church of the Spirit who was promised for the last days, and whom he called the Paraclete, evidently in accordance with the promise of Jesus in John 14:16; John 14:26, etc. He even identified himself with this Spirit, if it is true, as Theodoret affirms, that he gave himself the titles of Paraclete, Logos, Bridegroom. But it is not only these expressions, borrowed from John, it is the whole spiritualistic movement, it is that energetic reaction against the more and more prevailing ritualism, which implies the existence in the Church of a writing which was an authority, and was capable of serving as a point of support for so energetic a movement.

Thus, then, in 140, Justin, the martyr belonging to the orthodox Church, Valentinus, the Egyptian Gnostic, Marcion, who came from Pontus, Montanus, in Phrygia, are acquainted with and, excepting Marcion, use with one consent, the Gospel of John, in order to found upon it their doctrine and their churches; would all this be possible, if that work had only been in existence for a decade of years? The date 130-140 falls before these facts, just as the date 160-170 vanished in presence of those which were previously alleged.

Let us come to the third position attempted by criticism in our days.

110-125. (Reuss, Nicolas, Renan, Sabatier, Weizsacker, Hase).

History offers us here four points for our guidance: The Gnostic Basilides, and the three apostolic Fathers, Papias, Polycarp, and Ignatius. Finally, we shall interrogate the appendix of our Gospel, chap. 21, which, while connected with the work, does not properly form a part of it.

Basilides flourished at Alexandria about 120-125; he died a little after 132. Before teaching in Egypt, he is said to have labored in Persia and Syria. In the work Archelai et Manetis disputatio, it is said: “A certain Basilides, more anciently still, was a preacher among the Persians a little after the time of the apostles. ” According to Epiphanius ( Haer. 23:1-7; 24:1), he had also labored at Antioch. His activity, consequently, goes back as far as the earliest period of the second century. He himself claimed that he taught only what had been taught him by the Apostle Matthias according to the secret instructions which he had received from the Lord. That this assertion should have any shadow of probability, it is certainly necessary that he should have been able to meet with that apostle somewhere; a fact which carries us back for the period of his birth to a quite early time in the first century.

In a homily on Luke, attributed to Origen, it is said that “Basilides had the boldness already to write a gospel according to Basilides.” The word already proves that Basilides was regarded as belonging to the earliest times of Gnosticism. As to the expression: a gospel according to Basilides, it is very doubtful whether it is necessary to understand thereby an evangelical narrative designed to come into competition with our Gospels. By this term, indeed, Basilides himself understood, not a simple narration, but “the knowledge of supersensible things” ( ἡ τῶν ὑπερκοσμίων γνῶσις ) ( Philos. of Hippolytus, Joh 7:27 ). We are told, also, that his narrative of the birth of Jesus accorded entirely with that of our Gospels ( Philos., ibid.), and history does not present the least trace of an apocryphal Basilidian gospel. But we know from Eusebius ( H. E. 4.7. 7), that this Gnostic wrote twenty-four books on the Gospel ( εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ), which were refuted in a striking way by a Christian writer, named Agrippa Castor, whose work was still in the hands of Eusebius. The real nature of this work of Basilides appears from a quotation which Clement of Alexandria makes from it in the Stromata (Bk. iv.), where he expresses himself thus: “Basilides says in the twenty-third book of his exegetical dissertations....” It was, therefore, a work of explanations; but on what text? The answer appears first, from the expression of Eusebius: “twenty-four books on ( εἰς ) the Gospel,” and second, from the passage from the Philosophumena ( Joh 7:22 ), according to which Basilides is said to have expressed himself as follows: “Here is what is said in the Gospels ( τὸ λεγόμενον ἐν τοῖς ἐυαγγελίοις ).” From all this we conclude that this Gnostic set forth his theory respecting the origin of things in the form of exegetical explanations, having reference to the text of the Gospels which were received at his time in the churches. But the question for us to determine is whether he also worked upon the fourth Gospel. Now, we have two passages which seem to leave no doubt on this point; one is that we have just mentioned ( Philos. 7.22): “Here, says he [Basilides], is what is said in the Gospels: It was the true light which lighteneth every man coming into the world;” the other, a little further on, ch. 27: “Let everything have its own appropriate time, says he [Basilides], is what the Saviour sufficiently declares when he says: My hour is not yet come.” These two quotations are evidently connected with John 1:8; John 2:4.

The criticism which is opposed to the authenticity of our Gospel is obliged to make all efforts to escape the consequences of these Johannean quotations in Basilides; for they amount to nothing less than the carrying back of the composition of the fourth Gospel even into the first century. In fact, men only quote in this way a book which has already a recognized authority. It has been claimed, therefore, that, in mentioning these quotations from Basilides, Hippolytus did not distinguish the writings of the master from those of his later disciples. The term he says, it is claimed, related simply in his thought to the adversary, whoever he was, Basilides or the Basilidians, Valentinus or the Valentinians; and in favor of this supposition, the alleged fact has been adduced, that Hippolytus sets forth the Basilidian system in a later form than that in which Irenaeus still knew it. According to the latter, indeed, the system was dualistic; this was the earliest form; according to Hippolytus, on the contrary, it is rather pantheistic; there is here, therefore, a more recent form. Discussion can be carried on at great length respecting this difference. For ourselves, we are disposed to accept the explanation given by Charteris ( Canonicity, p. lxiii.), according to which Irenaeus did not, in his exposition of the system, go back to its first foundations. There was a hidden pantheism at the source of its apparent dualism, and Hippolytus who had examined even the writings of the master has, more completely than Irenaeus, apprehended and set forth the original principles. However it may be with this explanation, it does not seem to us possible that a serious writer quotes a whole series of texts which he attributes to an earlier writer, repeating over and over again the formula he says, and even several times indicating the author by his name, without having his work under his eyes. Renan says, quite simply and frankly ( L' Eglise chretienne, p. 158): “The author of the Philosophumena undoubtedly made this analysis with reference to the original works of Basilides.” And Weizsacker, a few years ago, expressed himself also in the same way ( Unters. p. 233): “It cannot be doubted that we have here quotations from a work of Basilides, in which the Johannean Gospel was used.” At the present time, he has changed his opinion. For what reason? Because these quotations ascribed to Basilides relate to Biblical writings whose composition is later than the time of Basilides himself. And what are these writings? They can only be the Epistles to the Colossians and the Ephesians, quoted many times by this Gnostic in the extracts from the Philosophumena, and perhaps the Gospel of John itself. Is it needful to call the attention of this scholar to the fact that he falls here into a vicious circle? For he rests his views precisely upon the point which is in question. If Weizsacker reasons thus: The Basilides of Hippolytus quotes the letters to the Ephesians and the Colossians; therefore there is here a false Basilides, since those letters did not yet exist at the time of the true Basilides; have not we the right we who believe in the authenticity of those epistles to reason in an opposite way, and to say: Basilides quotes those writings: therefore in his time they existed and were acknowledged in the Church. This conclusion, valid for Colossians and Ephesians, is also valid for the Gospel of John.

Keim has also made a discovery which is said to prove that our Gospel is posterior to Basilides. This Gnostic writer asserted that the Jews by mistake had crucified Simon of Cyrene instead of Jesus, and that Jesus was all the time laughing at them. Here, says the author of the Life of Jesus, is that which explains the omission of the story of Simon bearing the cross in the fourth Gospel. Pseudo-John had noticed the abuse which Basilides made of this incident, and for this reason he suppressed it. We need not long discuss such an argument. We have treated in detail John's omissions and have shown that they are to be explained simply by the uselessness of such repetitions. To what purpose relate again what two or three widely-spread writings had already sufficiently related? It would be curious, certainly, to see one of our critics taking upon himself the task of explaining, by allusions to the Gnostic systems, all the gaps in the fourth Gospel!

Papias was a contemporary of Basilides. We have already seen (p. 43) that by this expression: “What Aristion and John the Presbyter say,” he indicates clearly that these two men, immediate disciples of Jesus, were still living at the moment when he wrote. The years 110-120, are, therefore, the latest period to which we can assign the composition of his work. Already at that time, there was rising a whole literature which labored to falsify the meaning of the Gospel narratives. Papias also declares that “he does not take pleasure in the books in which many things are related, and in which the attempt is made to impose on the Church precepts that are strange and different from those which were given by the Truth itself.” It seems to me probable that in expressing himself thus he alludes to the first appearance of the Gnostic writings, such as those of Cerinthus, of the Ophites and the Sethians, of Saturninus, perhaps of Basilides himself.

It is quite generally affirmed in our days that all trace of the fourth Gospel is wanting in Papias, and this fact is regarded as the most decisive proof of the later composition of the Gospel of John. We pray the impartial reader carefully to consider the following facts:

Of Papias' work entitled Explanations of the Words of the Lord (in five books), there remain to us only some thirty lines, which Eusebius has preserved for us; they undoubtedly belonged to the preface. Papias explains therein the preference which he had thought himself obliged to give, for the end which he proposed to himself, to the text of Matthew over that of Mark; this, at least, is the meaning which we attribute to his words. He gives an account of the sources from which he had drawn the anecdotes respecting the life of Jesus, which were not contained in our Gospels, and by means of which he tried to explain His sayings. These sources, as we have seen, were of two sorts: they were first the accounts which the elders (the immediate disciples of the Lord) had formerly given to him himself; they were, next, the reports which he had gathered from the mouth of visitors who had also had the advantage of conversing with apostles and disciples of Jesus. He asked them “What Andrew had said to them, or Peter, or Philip, or Thomas, or James, or John, or Matthew, or any other of the Lord's disciples, and what Aristion and the Presbyter John, disciples of the Lord, say.” This enumeration offers food for thought. Why is Andrew named at the beginning and before Peter himself? This order is contrary to the constant and in some sort stereotyped usage of the Synoptics; see all the apostolic catalogues (Matthew 10:0; Mark 3:0; Luke 6:0). The first chapter of John alone gives the answer to this question: Andrew (with John himself, who remains unnamed), was the first who came into the presence of the Saviour; he figures as the first personage in the evangelic history. After Andrew, Papias says: Peter. According to John 1:0, Andrew, his brother, brought him, indeed, on the same day to Jesus. Then Papias says: Philip; he is precisely the one who immediately follows Andrew and Peter in the Johannean narrative (John 1:43 ff.). Moreover, Andrew and Philip are the two apostles who are afterwards most frequently named in our Gospel (John 6:5-43.6.9; Joh 12:20-22 ). Then comes Thomas. Nathanael is here omitted (John 1:46 ff.), we know not why; he is included in the sort of et cetera with which the incomplete list closes: “or any other of the Lord's disciples.” As for Thomas, he is the one among all the rest of the disciples who, together with the preceding ones, plays the most striking part in the fourth Gospel (John 11:16; John 14:5; John 20:24 ff.). Afterwards, come James and John. Why so late, these who are always named in the Synoptics immediately after and with Peter? It is in the fourth Gospel also, that we must seek the explanation of this phenomenon. The two sons of Zebedee are not once named in the whole course of the narrative; they are not expressly designated, except in the appendix, chap. 21, where their names are found, as here, at the end of the list of the apostles who are mentioned in that passage. Among all the other apostles, Matthew only is further named by Papias; and it has been supposed, rightly no doubt, that it is the mention of the fourth evangelist which here leads to the mention of the first. It may be presumed also that these three names. James, John and Matthew, occupy this secondary position because the question in this passage was of the apostles as having furnished to Papias the oral traditions which he used. Now James had died too early to be able to give much information, and John and Matthew had consigned the greater part of theirs to their writings. Finally, Papias names two personages who were still living, Aristion and the Presbyter John, whom he calls “disciples of the Lord.” It is exactly in the same way that the Johannean enumeration John 21:2, closes: “And two others of his disciples” [not apostles]. If we add to these similarities, which are so striking, the fact that all these disciples named by Papias (except Peter, James and John), play no part whatever in the Synoptical narrative, we shall be led to acknowledge that the idea which this Father possessed of the evangelical history was formed on the foundation of the narrative of the fourth Gospel, even more than on that of the three others. Ludemann, in his articles on the fragment of Papias, does not call in question the similarity which we have just established. “It is a fact,” he says, “that the fragment of Papias is closely related to the Johannean manner of speaking, both in the expressions ἐντολαί , commandments, and ἀλήθεια , truth (see the fragment, pp. 43-45), and in the beginning of the list of the apostolic names...The unexpected coming in of Thomas, in Papias, likewise does not allow us to think of anything but the fourth Gospel.” But after this frank declaration come the expedients which are never wanting. “There existed in the circle from which the Johannean writings came forth in Asia a mode of speaking and thinking, which, on the one hand, has left certain elements in the writings of Papias (between 120-140), and which, on the other, has found its full blossoming in the writings of pseudo-John, composed at nearly the same time.” This explanation would be strictly admissible, if the question were of some fact of the evangelical history related simultaneously by the two authors, or of the use of some common terms such as commandment and truth. But it cannot account for an enumeration of proper names, such as those mentioned in the passage of Papias and in which the whole evangelical history is reflected. Holtzmann has perceived the injury to his cause which was involved in the admissions of his colleague; he has attempted to ward off the blow in another way. He explams the order of the apostles in the fragment of Papias by the geographical situation of the countries in which they are thought to have labored as missionaries. This solution will remain the exclusive property of its author.

Two facts seem to us further to attest the existence of the fourth Gospel before the time of Papias. Eusebius attests that this Father quoted as evidence, in his work, passages from the first Epistle of John, as well as from the first Epistle of Peter. Now we have proved that that letter of John is by the same author as the fourth Gospel, and that it was composed after the latter. If, then, Papias was acquainted with and used the Epistle, how should he not have been acquainted with and have used the Gospel composed by the same author?

In the Vatican library there is found a Latin manuscript of the Gospels, of the ninth century, in which John's Gospel is preceded by a preface wherein it is said: “The Gospel of John was published and given to the churches by John while he was still living, as Papias of Hierapolis, the beloved disciple of John, relates in his five exoteric books, that is to say, the last ones.” These last words evidently come from an incorrect copy, like so many of the sentences in the Muratorian fragment. Instead of exoteric, we must, at all events, read exegetic; comp. the title of Papias' book: “ Expositions ( ἐξηγήσεις ) of the words of the Lord.” Besides, this statement is followed by some legendary details, which, however, are not ascribed to Papias himself. Notwithstanding all this, the fact that Papias spoke in his five books of the Gospel of John is yet attested by this passage.

Irenaeus sometimes quotes the elders who lived with John in Asia Minor until the time of Trajan. They were, thus, contemporaries of Papias and Polycarp. Here is an explanation which he ascribes to them (v. 36): “As the elders say: Those who shall be judged worthy of enjoying the heavenly abode will find their place there, while the rest will inhabit the city [the earthly Jerusalem]; and it is for this reason that the Lord said: “In my Father's house there are many mansions.” If it is the saying of Jesus related in John 14:2, which the elders interpreted in this way, as seems evident, then the Gospel of John was already in their hands. This appears, likewise, from the passage in Irenaeus, John 2:22, where he attributes to them the idea that Jesus had attained the age of forty or fifty years which can scarcely have arisen except through a misunderstanding of the words of the Jews, John 8:57: “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and thou hast seen Abraham!”

Polycarp wrote, according to Irenaeus, a very large number of letters, of which there remains to us but a single one consisting of only thirteen brief chapters. The fourth Gospel is not quoted in it; but we can prove, on the other hand, the truth of the statement of Eusebius, who declares that Polycarp, as well as Papias, borrowed testimonies from the first Epistle of Peter and the first Epistle of John; this is what induced him to place these works among the homologoumena. In fact, we read in Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians (chap. 7) these words: “Whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is an antichrist.” This is the principle laid down by John , 1 John 4:3: “Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God; and this is the spirit of antichrist.” The coincidence of these two sentences cannot be accidental. The expedient devised by Baur and Zeller, who would find herein only a maxim circulating at this period in the Church, and that of Volkmar, who claims that it is John who copies Polycarp, and not the reverse, are destitute of probability. Ten lines of John read by the side of ten lines of Polycarp show on which side are the originality and priority. We must, therefore, conclude that if this letter of Polycarp is authentic, as Zahn has with so much learning demonstrated, and if it dates, as appears from its contents, from the time which closely followed the martyrdom of Ignatius (in 110), the first Epistle of John, and consequently the Gospel, already existed at that period.

But it is asked how it happens, in that case, that Papias and Polycarp did not make more abundant use of such a work. Especially is the silence of Eusebius respecting any citation whatever from our Gospel, on the part of these two Fathers, set in contrast with the very express mention which he makes of the use of the first epistle, by both of them.

If Eusebius has expressly noticed this last fact, it is because the two epistles of Peter and John form a part of the collection of the Catholic Epistles, which, with the exception of these two, were all of them disputed writings. He was desirous, therefore, of marking their exceptional character as homologoumena in this collection, a character appearing from the use which was made of them by two such men as Papias and Polycarp. It was quite otherwise with the Gospel, which indisputably belonged to the class of books universally received. The use which these two apostolic Fathers might have made of it entered into the general usage. Eusebius himself gives an explanation respecting his general method ( H. E. 3.3, 3): “He wishes,” he says, “to point out what ecclesiastical writings made use of disputed books, and what ones among these books they made use of; then, what things, [or some of the things which] have been said respecting the universally received writings of the New Testament, and everything which has been said ( ὅσα ) respecting those which are not so received.” To mention certain interesting details respecting the Homologoumena (as we know that he has done with regard to Matthew and Mark), then to report everything which he could gather respecting the Antilegomena this was the end which he proposed to himself. It was therefore precisely because he, together with the whole Church, ranked John in the first class, that he did not think himself obliged expressly to point out the use which these Fathers made of this gospel. But, on the other hand, if he had discovered, in the case of such men, a complete blank with respect to this work, he could not have affirmed, as he does, its universal adoption. Still more: a word in the discussion of Eusebius respecting the fragment of Papias which he has preserved for us, clearly shows that he had found in that Father numerous passages relating to the fourth Gospel. On occasion of the mention of the name of John in the enumeration of the apostles by Papias, he remarks that this Father means evidently to designate thereby “the evangelist” ( σαφῶς δηλῶν τὸν εὐαγγελιστήν ). He might have said: the apostle, but he enters into the thought of Papias himself, and says: the evangelist, which clearly proves that he found in his work the constant evidence of the fact that John was the author of a Gospel. As to Polycarp, nothing obliged him, in precisely those eight pages of his which remain to us, to quote the Gospel of John. What preacher quotes in every one of his sermons all the writings of the New Testament which he recognizes as authentic?

The interminable discussions are well known, to which the letters of Ignatius, the bishop of Antioch at the beginning of the second century, have given rise. A nearly unanimous tradition, supported by the testimony of authors who wrote at Antioch itself, such as Chrysostom and Evagrius, declares that he perished at Rome, being devoured by wild beasts in the circus, in consequence of a sentence of the Emperor Trajan. It was while on his way as a condemned person to that capital (between 107 and 116), that he is said to have written the seven letters which alone can claim authenticity. These letters exist in a double form, one longer, the other more simple and concise. Zahn, in his book on Ignatius of Antioch, has clearly proved that the first of these two texts is the result of a deliberate work of interpolation; he has even very probably pointed out the author of this fraud. He has, at the same time, demonstrated the authenticity of the seven letters, as they have been preserved for us in the briefer form. The historian Eusebius, already was acquainted only with these seven, and in this text. It is true that there have been recently discovered three among these seven, in Syriac, in a still briefer form; and, at the first moment, the learned world was inclined to regard this text as the only faithful reproduction of the work of Ignatius. Zahn seems to us to have victoriously combated this opinion, and to have proved that this text is only an extract, made by some Syrian monk, from a more ancient translation in that language. There remains but one alternative; the authenticity of the seven letters, as Eusebius knew them, or their entire unauthenticity.

Two reasons especially are alleged in favor of this last opinion: 1. The Episcopal constitution, as it appears in these letters, belongs, it is said, to an epoch much later in the second century than the time of Ignatius; 2. The Gnosticism which is combated in them, betrays likewise a time posterior to Ignatius' death. These reasons do not seem to us decisive. The Episcopate, as its character is implied in these letters, is still a purely parochial ministry, as in the apostolic times, it is not the later provincial Episcopate. That which alone distinguishes it from the ministry of this name in the time of the apostles, is that it appears to be concentrated in a single person. But this is already the case in the Apocalypse, where the angel of the Church designates precisely the man who concentrates in himself the presbyterial power; and indeed long before this we meet already men like James, the Lord's brother, at Jerusalem, then his cousin and successor, Simeon, Anianus at Alexandria, Evagrius at Antioch, Linus at Rome, who occupy a position exactly similar to that which Ignatius ascribes to the bishop of his time. As to the heresy implied in these letters, it already had all its antecedent conditions in the first century; we can see this in the second Epistle to the Corinthians ( Joh 11:3-4 ), in the Epistle to the Colossians, and in the Apocalypse, where a form of Gnosticism is already clearly indicated (John 2:20; Joh 2:24 ). The germs of heresy were sown abundantly in the East at the time of Ignatius. What in our view renders the hypothesis of the unauthenticity of these letters inadmissible, is that it seems impossible to invent, not only a style so original and a thought so strange, but especially such a character. There is a man in these letters, and a man who is not manufactured.

The following are some quotations from our Gospel which are contained in the seven letters, the text of which can lay claim to authenticity. Rom. (c. 7): “The living water which speaks in me says to me inwardly: Come to the Father; I take no pleasure either in corruptible food or in the joys of this life; I desire the bread of God which is the flesh of Jesus Christ...I desire as drink His blood which is incorruptible love.” The entire Gospel of John is, as it were, included in this cry of the martyr; but comp. more specially the words John 4:14; John 14:6; John 6:27; John 6:32; John 6:51; John 6:55-43.6.56. Philad. (c. 7): “The Spirit does not deceive, he who comes from God; for he knows whence he comes and whither he goes, and he condemns secret things” (John 3:8; Joh 3:20 ). In the same epistle (c. 9): “He who is the door of the Father ( θύρα τοῦ πατρός ) by which Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the prophets and the apostles and the Church enter” ( Joh 10:7-9 ). In the letter to the Ephesians (c. 7), Jesus is called ( ἐν σαρκὶ γενόμενος θεός ) God come in the flesh: and in that to the Magnesians (c. 8) the expression is used ( αὐτοῦ λόγος ἀΐδιος ), His eternal word. The idea of spiritual communion ( ἕνωσις ), which forms the substance of these letters, as of that of Polycarp, rests on John 17:0, as Riggenbach has remarked.

Hilgenfeld, who places the composition of these letters in 166, finds no difficulty in acknowledging that our Gospel (published according to him in 130) is really used in the passages quoted in the letters to the Romans and Philadelphians; he even affirms that “the entire theology of Ignatius' letters rests upon the Gospel of John.” We welcome this declaration and conclude that, however little authentic matter there may be in the letters of this martyr, the existence and use of the Gospel of John are attested from the beginning of the second century.

It remains for us to interrogate a final witness the appendix placed at the end of the fourth Gospel, as the twenty-first chapter, in particular the twenty-fourth verse, the authenticity of which cannot be contested. At the end of this account of one of the last appearances of Jesus after He rose from the dead, the exact text of a saying is restored which Jesus addressed to Peter with regard to John, and which circulated in the Church in an incorrect form. Jesus was made to say that John was not going to die. The author of the appendix, who is either John himself or one of those who surrounded him, and who had heard him relate this scene (see p. 64f.), recalls the fact that Jesus had not expressed Himself thus, but that He had simply said: “If I will that He tarry till I come, what is it to thee?” At what time can we suppose that this correction was judged necessary? At the end of the second century, where Keim places the composition of this passage? But at that time, either the saying of Jesus was forgotten, or, if it was still repeated, it was somewhat late to remove the offence which it might cause. No, surely; there was but one period when this correction would have been in place. It was when men saw the aged apostle growing feeble, and asked themselves: Is he, then, going to die, in spite of the Lord's promise? Or when he had just died, and the offence was really occasioned. This passage, therefore, carries its date in itself; it comes either from the days which preceded, or from those which immediately followed John's death. The contrast between the present participle: “This is the disciple who testifies ( ὁ μαρτυρῶν ) of these things,” and the past participle: “and who wrote them ( καὶ γράψας ),” appears to me to decide in favor of the former alternative. The disciple whom Jesus loved was still living and testifying when this passage was written. However this may be, this twenty-first chapter is necessarily later than the Gospel; hence it follows that this work dates even from the life of John.

We think we have thus proved that the third position attempted by criticism that from 110-125-is as irreconcilable with the facts as the two others, and that we are forced to take a new step backward, and to place the composition of this work in the latest times of the first century. But we do not think that we can go back to an earlier date. Some writers for example, Wittichen, Lange have attempted to do this. The former dates our Gospel from 70-80 (see p. 25); the latter places it before the destruction of Jerusalem. A period so far back is incompatible with the knowledge of our three Synoptical Gospels, which the author not only himself possesses, but which he supposes, from beginning to end, to be in the possession of his readers. The dissemination of those three works, published either a little before or a little after the destruction of Jerusalem, requires a considerably long interval of time between their composition and that of our Gospel. The date of this latter, therefore, must probably in accordance with the facts which we have just set forth be placed between 80 and 90.

Chapter Second: The Author.

MANGOLD formulates his judgment respecting the external testimonies relative to the fourth Gospel in these terms: “The external attestation is scarcely less strong than that for the Synoptical Gospels;” then he adds: “It would be sufficient to authenticate it, if the internal reasons did not oppose to the admission of its authenticity objections which, for me at least, remain up to this time insurmountable.” It is this second class of considerations which is now especially to occupy us. We approach the central and decisive question the one for whose solution everything that precedes has only served to prepare the way. It has been sometimes claimed that our Gospel remains what it is, whoever may be its author. Those who maintain this proposition do not themselves seriously believe what they affirm; otherwise they would not be so zealous in contending against the Johannean origin of this work. And when Keim expresses himself thus: “The beauty of this book, its edifying quality, its saintliness...all this does not depend on a name,” he will permit us to reply to him: You deceive others, or you deceive yourself; for you cannot conceal from yourself the fact that the discourses put into the mouth of Jesus, and the conception of His person which is set forth in this book, have for the Church an altogether different value, according as it is the beloved apostle of the Lord who gives us an account of what he has seen and heard, or a thinker of the second century who composes all this after his own fancy.

We have here four subjects to investigate: 1. The ecclesiastical testimonies bearing more particularly on the person of the author; 2. The objections raised by modern criticism against the result of this tradition; 3. The internal proof, derived from the study of the book itself; 4. The examination of the principal hypotheses which are in our days set in opposition to the traditional opinion of the Johannean origin.

§ 1. The Traditional Testimonies.

Our point of departure is the period at which the general conviction of the Church expresses itself by a collection of indisputable testimonies, in the last third of the second century.

We find here Clement of Alexandria, who relates to us the origin of the fourth Gospel in the following manner: “ John, the last, perceiving that the bodily things ( τὰ σωματικά , the external facts) had been related in the Gospels,...composed a spiritual Gospel” (Eus. H. E., 6.14).

Polycrates of Ephesus, at the same time, expresses himself thus: “Illustrious men are buried in Asia, Hierapolis; and, moreover, John, who rested on the bosom of the Lord, and who is buried at Ephesus” (Eus. H. E., 5.31). This testimony proves that at Ephesus John was regarded as the author of the Gospel, since no one doubted that he was the beloved disciple who is spoken of in John 13:25.

Irenaeus thus closes his report respecting the composition of the Gospels: “After that, John, the disciple of the Lord who rested on His bosom, also published the Gospel while he dwelt at Ephesus, in Asia” ( Adv. Haer. 3.1).

We have already quoted the testimony of Theophilus: “All the inspired men, among whom John says, In the beginning was the Word.” The following is the way in which the Muratorian fragment relates the origin of our Gospel: “The author of the fourth among the Gospels is John, one of the disciples. As his fellow-disciples and the bishops exhorted him [to write], he said to them: Fast with me these three days, and we will mutually relate to each other what shall have been revealed to each one. In that same night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles, that John should relate everything in his own name, all the others revising [his narrative]...What is there, then, surprising in this, that John, in his epistles, sets forth these things in detail, saying in reference to himself: That which we have seen with our eyes, that which we have heard with our ears, and that which our hands have handled, we write unto you. Thus he declares himself successively eye and ear-witness, and, moreover, a redactor of the wonderful things of God.” Hilgenfeld claims that we find in this report an allusion to doubts which existed at that time respecting the Johannean origin of our Gospel. Hesse, in his excellent work on the Muratorian fragment, has shown that this passage betrays no such intention. The expression “what is there surprising?” applies not to the Gospel, but to the epistle.

Starting from this point, let us try to ascend the stream of tradition even to the apostolic times, and to search out the earliest indications of that conviction which shows itself so universally at the end of the second century. Between 140 and 150, it expresses itself, as it seems to us, in an unquestionable manner.

We have seen that Justin, according to the nearly universal admission at the present day, places our Gospel in the number of the Memoirs respecting the life of Jesus, of which he habitually made use. He calls these writings Memoirs of the apostles, and declares that some were composed by apostles and others by apostolic helpers. Consequently, if the fourth Gospel formed a part of them, Justin could ascribe it only to an apostle, and this apostle could only be John, since no one has ever attempted to ascribe this book to any other apostolic personage than John. And as, according to Justin, the Memoirs of the apostles already formed a collection, which was joined with that of the prophets and read, side by side with the latter, in the public worship of the Christians, it must have been at that period that the four identically-framed titles were placed at the beginning of the Gospels: “according to Matthew...according to John.” This designation by titles a work of the Church accompanied the uniting of them in a canonical collection. The title, according to John, is, therefore, the expression of the general sentiment of the churches touching this book in the middle of the second century.

And it was not only the orthodox churches which, already at that period, had this thought; it was also the sects which were separated from the great body of the Church; witness, on one side, Marcion, who rejected our Gospel, not because it was not by an apostle of Jesus, but, on the contrary, inasmuch as it was composed by one of them, that is to say by John (see p. 156); witness also the most illustrious disciple of Valentinus, Ptolemy, who, in his letter to Flora, quoted our Gospel, saying: “The apostle declares” (p. 144). According to Irenaeus, Ptolemy even went so far as to affirm, because of the prologue of the Gospel, that the true author of the Valentinian Ogdoad was John (p. 144).

Going still further back to a period from which only rare monuments remain to us, we discover always the same conviction.

We have already seen that, in the view of Papias, John was not only an apostle, but an evangelist, and that it is this quality of author of a Gospel which most naturally explains the position which he assigns to him in his famous list of apostles by the side of Matthew (see pp. 43, 160f.).

If we do not posses any special testimony of Polycarp, there is a fact of much more considerable importance than any declaration whatever could have. Polycarp lived up to the middle of the second century; it was, then, during his activity as bishop of Smyrna, that our Gospel began to be circulated, and that it was spread throughout the whole Church as John's work. If he had not believed in the Johannean origin of this work, he would not have failed to deny it; for the use which the Gnostics made of this book rendered it very compromising for the Church, of which Polycarp was the most venerated leader; and the least denial on the part of such a man would have profoundly shaken the opinion of the Church. But nothing of the kind occurred. History does not indicate the least trace of hesitation, either in the case of Polycarp himself or among the members of the Church. No one of the presbyters of whom Irenaeus speaks, and who “lived with John in Asia up to the time of Trajan,” expressed a doubt so that our Gospel was received without dispute, from one end of the world to the other, as the work of John. This absence of protestation is a negative fact of a very positive importance. We must not confound it with a mere literary silence which can be explained by accidental circumstances.

But from this period and from the circle even in which John lived, a positive testimony makes itself heard: “This disciple [the one whom Jesus loved] is he who testifieth of these things and who wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.” This is what we read in John 21:24. Who are those who speak to us in this way, and who thus attest the composition of the fourth Gospel by the disciple whom Jesus loved? They are personally acquainted with him, since, in virtue of the knowledge which they have of him, they believe themselves able to guarantee the truth of his testimony. They do this during his life, since they say of him: “who testifieth and wrote ” (p. 166). They live about him, therefore, and it is in their hands, undoubtedly, that he deposited his book; and, before giving it to the public, they supply this postscript, clearly perceiving that, by reason of the differences which exist between this work and its predecessors, it will have some difficulty in opening a way for itself. How can the force of such testimony be escaped? Reuss supposes that those who gave it were bona fide deceived, and that, living already quite a long time after John's death, they confounded with him the anonymous writer who had, by means of his narratives, composed the Gospel. But we have already seen that this twenty-first chapter can only have been written at a period very near to the death of John, when such an error was not possible. The use of the present: “he who testifieth,” confirms this remark. There would be only one possible supposition, namely: that the pseudo-John, in the course of the second century, had himself furnished this attestation. After having assumed the mask of St. John, he attempted to sustain his first fraud by adding to it a second. He imagined a circle of friends of the apostle, and himself composed, under their name, the postscript which we have just read. The composers of apocryphal works have often been excused by speaking of pious fraud. But here we should evidently have something more; we should even come to the borders of knavery. And he who imagined a course like this, is the man to whom we must attribute the qualities of moral purity, profound holiness, intimate communion with God, which were necessary for the composition of such a Gospel! The psychological and moral sense protests.

In the whole course of the second century, there exists, so far as our knowledge extends, but one single denial of the Johannean origin of the fourth Gospel. A party, to which Epiphanius gave the name Alogi ( ἄλογοι , those who deny the Logos), maintained that the author of this work was, not the Apostle John, but the heretic Cerinthus, his adversary at Ephesus. This rejection was not founded on any traditional testimony. “The grounds on which those persons rested,” says Zeller himself, “were, so far as we are acquainted with them, derived from internal criticism...” What follows from this fact the only one which the adversaries of the authenticity can allege? Two things: first, that the Alogi lacked all support from tradition; secondly, that there did not exist a shadow of doubt respecting the fact that our Gospel was composed at Ephesus in the time of St. John, since Cerinthus, to whom they ascribed it, was the contemporary and rival of this apostle. The sole opponents are, thus, transformed into witnesses and defenders.

§ 2. The Objections.

It is in opposition to this result of a tradition which may be called unanimous, that many scholars rise up at the present day, and we have now to examine their reasons.

Hase, in his History of Jesus, enumerates eight objections against the authenticity; after having successively set them aside, he makes for himself a ninth which he does not succeed in solving, and which determines his negative vote. We shall follow him in this very clear exposition. Only of these nine objections we shall detach some which he unites with the others, and which it seems to us preferable to treat separately. The first seven, as we shall see, have already found their solution implicitly in the preceding pages.

I. The silence of the most ancient Fathers, particularly those of Asia Minor, respecting the fourth Gospel. It seems to us that the two preceding chapters have solved this objection. Hase justly observes that “nothing is more uncertain than this assertion: a writer must have spoken of a certain thing or a certain person.” The Synoptical Gospels had been for a long time spread abroad; they had already for a generation formed the substance of the knowledge which the Church possessed of the history of Jesus. The Gospel of John, which was quite recent, had not yet made its way nor exerted its own influence; time must be allowed for it to take its place, before an appeal could be made to its narratives in the same way as to those of the earlier Gospels. We find this to be the fact only after the time of Justin.

II. John, being Judaizing as he was, cannot be the author of a Gospel as spiritual as that which bears his name. This, as it seems, is the strongest objection in the view of Schurer : “It is psychologically inconceivable that an apostle who, in his mature age, still disputed with Paul respecting the permanent value of the law, should have afterwards written a Gospel whose anti-Judaism surpasses even that of Paul.”

We think we have shown that this estimate of John's standpoint according to Galatians 2:0 is ill founded. The apostles personally observed the law, but not with the idea of its permanent value for salvation; otherwise they must have imposed it on the Gentiles; and instead of giving the hand of fellowship to Paul and Barnabas, they would have finally broken with them. The difference being a matter of practice, not of principle, the fall of Jerusalem must have resulted in the settlement of it, by breaking up the last remnant of solidarity between the apostles and their own people. Hase rightly remarks, that the residence of John in Asia Minor, his activity in the field which had been sowed by Paul, and the immense influence which he notoriously exercised in that country of Greek culture prove with what breadth, flexibility and freedom of mind he adapted himself to this new region, and knew how to become a Greek with the Greeks.

III. The Christianity of the churches of Asia Minor had a legal character. Now, if John was the author of such a teaching, he cannot have been the writer who composed our Gospel. But on what does this affirmation of the Judaizing character of the churches of Asia Minor rest? On their gross Chiliasm, it is answered. We have already seen that almost the whole Church of the second and of the greater part of the third century was devoted to Millenarianism; nevertheless it was not Judaistic. Moreover, the Paschal rite of these churches is alleged, in which their Judaistic sympathies are betrayed. The churches of Asia celebrated the Holy Supper of the Paschal feast on the 14th of Nisan in the evening, independently of the day of the week on which this monthly date fell, while the other churches, Rome in particular, celebrated the Holy Paschal Supper on the Sunday morning which followed Good Friday, whatever might be the day of the month on which that Sunday occurred. What were the reasons which had determined the rite which the churches of Asia had adopted? Either they wished thus to celebrate the evening of the day in the afternoon of which, according to the fourth Gospel, Christ died (the 14th of Nisan, the day before the Passover); in that case, whatever Baur may say, the Asiatic rite rests on the narrative of the Passion according to the fourth Gospel, and bears witness thereby to the authenticity of this work; this rite is, therefore, entirely independent of Jewish legality. Or the churches of Asia celebrated the Supper on the evening of the 14th, because it was on that evening that the Jews celebrated the Paschal feast, and this is the explanation which certain expressions of the Fathers render most probable. Would this be a symptom of Jewish legality? But St. Paul himself saw in the Paschal lamb the symbol of Christ ( 1Co 5:7 ); he very carefully regarded the Jewish feasts, particularly that of the Passover, as is proved by Acts 20:6: “After the days of unleavened bread, we set sail from Philippi,” and 1 Corinthians 5:8, where, exactly at the time of the Passover feast (comp. Joh 16:8 ), he represents the Christian life as a permanent feast of unleavened bread. It is probable, therefore, that it was Paul, and not John, who had originally introduced at Ephesus this Paschal rite which John merely continued. We find here the same symbolism in virtue of which Jesus, in the institution of the Holy Supper, had transformed the memorial of the deliverance from Egypt into a memorial of eternal redemption.

IV: The divergences from the Synoptics. We have already treated this subject, and shown in detail that they are all to the advantage of the fourth Gospel, and evidently prove its historical superiority, so that, far from forming a point in the argument against the authenticity of this work, they are one of the most decisive proofs in favor of it.

V. The elevated, and, for the multitude, often even incomprehensible, contents of the discourses of Jesus. This subject has been treated at length; it is unnecessary to return to it.

VI. How could a Galilean fisherman have attained such profound wisdom as that which shines forth in many parts of our Gospel? But, we will ask in our turn, how can we estimate what an intimate and prolonged contact with the Lord may have produced in an ardent and profound soul, such as John's must have been? “If,” says Hase, admirably, “the highest human wisdom has come from Christianity, must it not be allowed that, in proximity to a being like Jesus, a young man with a rich and profound soul may have been developed and, as it were, set on fire? A mind so powerful as that which, in any case, Jesus had, does not merely attach itself to a faithful and loyal heart, but also to a mind which has lofty aims and aspirations. Most certainly, if John, when he taught in Asia, had only possessed the apostolic simplicity and culture of the Galilean fisherman, he would not have produced in that country the enduring impression of admiration and veneration which he left there.”

VII. The author of the fourth Gospel came forth from the Gnostic circles of the second century, not from the apostolic college. We have weighed this proposition, and it has been found to be too weak. There was certainly an elementary Gnosticism which dated from the apostolic times, and with which already the epistles of Paul and the letters in the Apocalypse contended; it is against this that the first epistle of John is directed. It has nothing in common with the great Gnostic systems of the second century, except the general tendency; and the fourth evangelist, far from having been formed under the influence of these latter systems, furnished in his book a part of the materials by means of which the leaders of those schools constructed their edifices on the very ground of Christianity.

VIII. We come to the decisive point, the doctrine of the Logos. The Judaeo-Alexandrian origin of this idea and this term is historically proved; this alone is enough to prove that an apostle of Jesus cannot have written a book which rests altogether upon it. It must, therefore, be admitted that, as Philo, the principal representative of Alexandrianism at that period, made use of the ideas of Greek philosophy to give a rational account of the religious contents of his Jewish beliefs, in the same way the author of the fourth Gospel, in his turn, made use of Philo in order to appropriate to himself speculatively the contents of his Christian beliefs.

Two facts give an apparent support to this explanation of the Johannean teaching: 1. The term Logos inscribed at the beginning of our Gospel, which is precisely the one by which Philo expresses the fundamental notion of his philosophy; 2. The idea itself of an intermediate being between God and the world, by means of whom the absolute being communicates with finite beings. But it is to this point that the whole analogy is limited. And it remains to inquire whether what the two writers have in common in this relation is not explained by means of a higher source from which they both drew, or whether the fourth evangelist was really formed in the school of the Alexandrian philosopher.

In this last case, there may be differences of detail between them, undoubtedly, but the same general tendency will necessarily be found in them both. Now, there is nothing of this. The notion of the Logos is for Philo a metaphysical theory; with John, a fact of Divine love. For the former, God, being raised above all particular determination, is not apprehensible by the human reason, and cannot communicate with matter except by means of the being in whom He manifests Himself; the Logos is the Divine reason, which conceives finite things and realizes them in the material world. With John, on the contrary, the idea of this being is a postulate of eternal love. “For thou didst love me before the creation of the world” ( Joh 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, tended to God, moved toward God. There is no secondary difference here; we are in the presence of two different tendencies; on the one side, that of philosophical speculation, the need of knowing; on the other, that of piety, the need of salvation. Not that I would say that all piety is wanting to Philo, and all need of knowing to John. The question here is of the point of support of the two teachings in the souls of the two writers.

With this fundamental difference is connected the following fact: The doctrine of the Logos with Philo has its value in itself, as an idea indispensable to human speculation; with John, this idea is only at the service of an historical fact, a means of explaining the divine element which the author perceived in the person of Jesus Christ.Reville complains several times of the fact that the speculative data respecting the nature and activity of the Logos “are extremely limited in the prologue of John...A little more speculation, for the clearness of the narrative, would not have been misplaced” (pp. 37, 38). This charge is naive; the young writer demands of the fourth Gospel that it should be what it ought to have been, assuredly, if it were that which he would desire it to be. He wishes to make of it a philosophical work, and, as it does not respond to this demand, he censures it instead of turning his criticism against his own theory. There is no philosophical speculation in the prologue; there is simply a conception of the person of Jesus expressed by means of a term which was current at that period in the philosophical language.

And further, this term is taken in a wholly different sense from that which it has in speculation generally, and in that of Philo in particular. With the latter, the word Logos is used in the sense of reason; it denotes the Divine reason, whether residing in God or as realized in the world of finite beings in the sense in which the Stoics spoke of reason diffused through all beings ( ὁ κοινὸς λόγοςδιὰ πάντων ἐρχόμενος ). Thus Philo calls it sometimes the idea of ideas ( ἴδέα ἰδεῶν ) or the metropolis of ideas. It is the ideal of the finite world, in its whole and in its details, as existing in the divine understanding. With John, the term Logos is evidently taken in the sense of word; this is its constant meaning throughout the Gospel, where it denotes the divine revelation, and even in the prologue, where the creative word of Genesis is personified under this name. When Philo wishes to express this idea, he adds to the word Logos (reason) the term ῥῆμα ( word, in the special sense of the word). Thus in this passage: “God creates the one and the other (the heaven and the earth) τῷ ἑαυτοῦ λόγῳ ῥήματι (by his own Logos-word).” Or he uses only the second term: “The whole world was made διὰ ῥήματος τοῦ αἰτίου (by the word, the cause of things).” This difference arises from the fact that Philo moves in the sphere of speculation, John in that of the divine action for the salvation of humanity.

How different, also, the part played by the Logos in the one and in the other! The Logos of Philo is a universal principle, the general law of things; it is not placed in any relation to the person of the Messiah; while, with John, the Messiah is Himself this incarnate Word, the gift which the Father makes to the world and by means of which He comes to save it. The mere supposition of the incarnation of the Logos would be, whatever Reville may say, an enormity to the view of Philo. Does not sin arise from matter, and does not the defilement of the human soul result from its connection with a body? What blasphemy, therefore, would it not be, to represent the Logos as having appeared in a human person having a soul and body! The Messiah of Philo is, also, only a simple man who will bring back the Jews from their dispersion and will restore to them the glorious state to which they are entitled.

In the spiritual world itself the part sustained by the Logos differs entirely in the conception of Philo from what it is in that of John. With the latter, the Logos is the light of men ( Joh 1:4 ), and, if there is darkness in the world, it is because the world has not known Him Him who continues to act in His creation by illuminating every man ( Joh 1:9-10 ). To the view of Philo, the Logos is indeed the interpreter of God, but not for the men who belong to the rank of the perfect. The true sage rises by the act of immediate contemplation even to the knowledge of God, without depending on the aid of the Logos. The Logos is the God of the imperfect, who, not being able to rise as far as the model, must be content to contemplate the portrait. The Logos of Philo, says Gess, is a guide who does not lead to the end, to God Himself; a God, in whom one does not possess the real God. To speculate is to work on the Logos, on the Divine reason manifested in the world; but, on this path, one will by no means reach God Himself; one comes to Him only by the way of immediate intuition, which passes one side of the Logos. Here is not the Logos of the fourth Gospel, in which Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one cometh to the Father but by me.”

Finally, the intention of the theory of the Logos with Philo is to preserve God from all compromising contact with the material world. God is an absolutely transcendent being who cannot, without derogation, unite Himself with the finite world. Reville, indeed, cites a certain number of cases where God seems endowed with goodness and grace, and acts by Himself in the finite world. This is a remnant of the influence exercised on the thought of the Jewish philosopher by the living monotheism of the Old Testament. We might add such passages to the innumerable proofs of inconsistency which are found in the speculation of Philo; but it is also possible that he attributes these divine communications to the action of God confounded with that of the Logos. The Divine being, with John He whom he calls absolutely God is not an indeterminable essence; He is a person full of will, of activity, of love; He is the Father, who loves not only the Son whom He sacrifices, but also the world to which He gives Him; who, by an inward teaching and an attraction exercised on human individuals, brings them to the Son Himself; “No man,” says Jesus, “can come to me except the Father who hath sent me draw him...All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me” (John 6:44; Joh 6:37 ). This Father “Himself beareth witness to the Son” through acts wrought in the domain of matter, the miracles ( Joh 6:36 ). He even causes to resound in the temple an outwardly perceptible voice in answer to a prayer of Jesus ( Joh 12:28 ). Thus the conception of John is so completely the opposite to that of Philo, that it makes of the Father an intermediate agent between Jesus and men, so that Jesus can utter those words, which would have been, for Philo, the height of absurdity: “Thine they were, and Thou gavest them me” ( Joh 17:6 ).

The difference between John and Philo is so profound, that Gess, the one who has most thoroughly studied them both, has said: “He who believes that he can unite in one the thought of John and that of Philo, understands nothing either of John or of Philo.” It is not in certain details-only, it is in the tendency itself, that they differ. And yet there are between the two, as we have seen, certain analogies of which it is necessary to find the cause. But is it so difficult to discover it? Are not Philo and John, both of them, Jews, reared in the school of the law and the prophets?

Three converging lines in the Old Testament lead to a single end: 1. The notion of the Word of God, as a manifestation of His all powerful and creative will in the finite world. Very frequently this principle of action in God is even personified in the Old Testament. Thus when, in Psalms 107:20, it is said: “He sendeth His Word, and it healeth them,” or Psalms 147:15: “He sendeth His Word on the earth, and it runneth swiftly;” or Isaiah 55:11: “My Word shall do all the things for which I have sent it.” There is evidently here, however, only a poetic personification. 2. The notion of wisdom in the book of Proverbs, especially in chap. 8. The author represents it as itself describing what it is for God: “He possessed me from the beginning of his way, before his works...; I was a workman with him, and I was his delight continually.” Still a mere poetic personification, surely. The word is a power of action; wisdom, an intelligence and a conceived Philippians 3:0. In several passages of Genesis, a being is spoken of in whom Jehovah Himself appears in the sensible world. He is sometimes distinguished from Him by the name Angel of the Lord, sometimes confounded with Him by the way in which He expresses Himself, saying: I, in speaking of Jehovah Himself. Some theologians see in him only an ordinary angel, not always the same one, perhaps, each time accomplishing a special mission. Others even deny Him personality, and see in Him only a sensible form, the passing mode of appearance of Jehovah Himself. These two interpretations are wrecked against the passage, Exodus 23:21, where God, in speaking of this Angel of the Lord, says: “Beware! For he will not pardon your sin; my name is in him.” The name is the reflection of the essence. Here this name is the reflection of the holy essence of God, inflexible towards the will which is obstinate in sinning. Such a quality implies personality. The question, therefore, is of a real person, having a divine character, and in whom God Himself manifests Himself ( my name in him). This angel is also called by Isaiah ( Isa 63:9 ): “ The Angel of the Presence ” of Jehovah, and Malachi, at the end of the Old Testament, taking the final step, identifies him with the Messiah: “Suddenly the Lord whom ye seek and the Angel of the Covenant whom ye desire shall enter into his temple; behold, he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts.” In this third idea we find no longer only the divine intelligence or force personified, but a living divine being, Him who should come to save his people as Messiah.

These so remarkable indications did not remain unnoticed by the ancient Jewish doctors. They appear to have early endeavored to bring together these three lines into a single idea; that of the being of whom God makes use on every occasion when He puts Himself in connection with the external world. They designate Him sometimes by the names Shekinah ( habitation), or Jekara ( brightness), sometimes, and most frequently, by the name Memar or Memra di Jehovah ( Word of the Lord). The Chaldaic paraphrases of the Old Testament, called Targums, constantly introduce this being where the Old Testament speaks simply of the Lord. These writings, perhaps, date only from the third or fourth century of our era, it is true; but, as Schurer says, it is beyond doubt that these paraphrases rest upon more ancient works, and are the product of an elaboration for ages. Fragments of similar writings are preserved, dating from the second century before Jesus Christ, from the time of John Hyrcanus. Already before the fall of Jerusalem, mention is made of a Targum on the book of Job, and the Mischna (of the second century after Jesus Christ) already speaks of translations of the Bible into Chaldee. It is infinitely improbable, moreover, that the Jewish theologians would have accepted from the Christians a notion so favorable to the religion of the latter. Now, the following are some examples of the manner in which these doctors paraphrase the Old Testament. It is said in Genesis 21:20, in speaking of Ishmael: “God was with the lad;” the paraphrase says: “The Word of Jehovah was with the lad.” Genesis 28:21, where Jacob says: “The Lord shall be my God;” the Targum makes him 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 brought forth the people to meet God”...“And Moses brought forth the people to meet the Word of Jehovah.” Numbers 22:20, instead of “God came unto Balaam.”...“The Word of Jehovah came unto 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 hateth your new moons.”...“My Word hateth,”... Genesis 42:1, instead of “My soul delighteth in him.”...“My Word delighteth,”...etc., etc. It is therefore indisputable that, at the time when John wrote, the Jewish theology had already, by the special name of Word, definitely expressed the idea of the God who enters into connection with the external world. It will have been noticed that this form is particularly used in the passages in which the Scriptures ascribe to God a human feeling, such as that of repenting, of aversion, of complacency, of hatred.

The question now is to determine whether these doctors represented this manifested God to themselves as a real person and distinct from the person of God Himself. There can be brought forward in relation to this point, just as in relation to the nature of the Logos of Philo, passages having opposite meanings. Gess regards as incompatible with the notion of a real person the passage 1 Kings 8:15, in which the Targum substitutes for the expressions, the mouth and the hand of Jehovah, the following: the Word ( Memar) and the will of Jehovah, the first as declaring, the second as executing. In the same way, Jeremiah 32:41, or again Genesis 22:16, where the Targum makes the Lord say: “I swear by my Word,” instead of: “I swear by myself.” But is it necessary to suppose the paraphrasts systematically consistent with themselves in a region so mysterious and obscure? Besides, it appears to me much more difficult to explain how God should swear by His Word, if it is not a person like Himself, than if it is a personal being; and as to the first passage, the term Word seems to regain its ordinary meaning, since the two terms word and will correspond to the two acts: speaking and acting. It is impossible not to find the idea of personality in all the following passages: “My Word hates,” “My Word has pleasure,” “the Word shall be my God; ” “the Word shall contend for you;” “the Brightness of Jehovah arose and said. ” So much the more, since in several passages, instead of the Word or the Brightness of Jehovah, it is the Angel of the Lord who is substituted for the simple name of Jehovah, for example, Exodus 4:24, and Judges 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 period, it could not be altogether wanting in the writings of St. Paul. But the teaching of that apostle is drawn from the revelation which he had received, and not from the lessons of his early masters. Paul may not have found in the region where he taught, and at the time when he taught, a call to use this term, while in the great centre, Ephesus, at the end of the first century, John found himself in circumstances which drew his particular attention to this term. The passages 1 Corinthians 8:6, where creation is attributed to Christ, and 1 Corinthians 10:5, where Christ is represented as the leader of Israel in the wilderness, show in any case that the notion itself was as familiar to him as it was to John; and this is the essential point.

If the point is carefully considered, the paraphrasts, in denying to God all human emotions, in order to attribute them to the Memar (the Word), give in fact to this manifested God the seal of personality in even a much more pronounced way than to God Himself. But perhaps it is with them, as with Philo, whose idea respecting the personality of the Logos seems to be quite fluctuating. Zeller has clearly shown the cause of this oscillation in the mind of this philosopher. On one side, the Logos must appertain to the essence of God, which seems to make him a simple divine attribute (the divine reason or wisdom), and consequently to exclude personality; on the other side, he must be in relation with matter, in order to cause the particular types to penetrate it on which finite things are formed, and this function supposes a being distinct from God, and, consequently, personal. A similar observation may be made with regard to the oriental paraphrasts; and this correspondence between them would have nothing surprising in it if, as Schurer thinks, Philo's philosophy exercised an influence on the exegesis of these latter.

We may now conclude. Philo was formed, above all, in the school of the Old Testament; he had learned in it, through all the facts which we have pointed out above, the existence of a being, personal or impersonal, by means of whom God acts upon the world, when He puts Himself in connection with it. And he believed that he could philosophically interpret the idea of this being, through explaining it by means of the Logos, or divine reason, of the Greek philosophers. For this reason he calls him sometimes Logos or second God ( δεύτερος θεός ) when he speaks as a disciple of these schools, and sometimes Archangel, High-priest, Son, First-born Son, when he resumes the Jewish language. So true is it that the Porch and the Academy furnished him the key of his Judaism, that in one instance he even goes so far as to say: “the immortal ideas ( ἀθάνατοι λόγοι ) which we [Jews] call angels.

John, on his side, was also in the school of the Old Testament; he also learned from this sacred book the existence of that being, sometimes distinct from the Lord, sometimes confounded with Him, with whom God conversed when He said: “ Let us make man in our image,” who consequently participated in the creative act, who communicates life to all things, but who has especially marked with His luminous impress every human soul, who finally is the permanent agent in the theophanies of the Old Testament. John is so penetrated by this view, that in the person of Adonai, the Lord, who calls Isaiah (chap. 6) to the prophetic ministry, he recognizes the same divine being who, at a later time, in Jesus Christ manifested His glory in a human life ( Joh 12:41 ); exactly as St. Paul recognizes the divine being, manifested in Christ, in the leader of Israel through the wilderness ( 1Co 10:4 ), and as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, finally, attributes to the Son the creation and preservation of all things, as well as the sacrifice of purification 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 passed to that of Jesus. And when he beheld in Him that unique glory, full of divine grace and truth, which he has described Joh 1:14 when he heard declarations such as these: “He who hath seen me, hath seen the Father;” “Thou didst love me before the foundation of the world;” “Before Abraham was, I am;” he comprehended what He whom he had before him was, and without difficulty accomplished, in his mind, that fusion between the eternal agent of God and the Christ, which had not entered into the mind of the Alexandrian philosopher. Philo is the Old Testament explained by Greek philosophy; John is the Old Testament completed and explained by Jesus Christ.

As for the term Logos, on which John fixed in order to designate the divine being whom he had recognized in the person of Christ, it was offered to him, as we have seen, by the Old Testament; the part which the Word of God plays in that book, particularly in the account of the creation, was sufficient to make him prefer this term to every other. That of Son, as Gess rightly says, only expressed the personal relation between God and the divine being whom John wished to characterize. The term Word, on the contrary, expressed His double relation, on one side to the God who reveals Himself in Him, and on the other to the world to which He manifests Himself. And if this name of Word was already used in the Jewish schools (as seems to be shown by the paraphrases), we may so much more easily understand how it may have been the first one which presented itself to the apostle's mind. It is remarkable that this title is found as a designation of Christ in the three Johannean writings ( Joh 1:1 ; 1 John 1:1-62.1.3; Rev 19:13 ), and in these three writings alone. It is, as it were, an indissoluble bond which unites them. The fact that this name is found even in the Apocalypse, whose author, assuredly, is not liable to the suspicion of Alexandrianism, completes the proof that its source is Jewish, and by no means Philonean. Finally, being established at Ephesus, that focus of religious syncretism, whither all the philosophical doctrines flowed in from Persia, from Greece and from Egypt, John might have often heard, in the religious and philosophical teachings or conversations, the term Word applied to the manifested God. When he inscribed it at the beginning of his narrative, therefore, it was as if he had said: “This Logos, respecting whom you are speculating, without coming to the real knowledge of Him, we possess, we Christians. We have seen and heard Him Himself, and He it is whose history we are about to relate to you.”

We see, consequently, that there is nothing compromising to the Johannean origin of the fourth Gospel in this term Logos, to which criticism clings with tenacity, and which it uses in a way that does little honor to its scientific impartiality.

IX. After having done justice to all these considerations, Hase avows himself overpowered by a ninth and last one, namely this: Certain incidents in our Gospel have a legendary stamp, and cannot have been related by an eye- witness; thus, the picture of John the Baptist and the first disciples of Jesus, the change of the water into wine and the multiplication of the loaves, finally, the appearances of Jesus after He rose from the dead. Hase, for a long time, believed that he could escape the force of this consideration by holding that John was not present when the facts occurred which gave rise to these legends. He now acknowledges that this was a forced expedient, and lays down his arms. The reply attempted by this theologian was, in fact, only a poor subterfuge, and he did well to renounce it. But the argument before which the veteran of Jena gives way, is of no more importance for that reason; for, however Hase may think he can affirm the contrary, it simply amounts to the question of the supernatural.

X. Baur has especially insisted upon the argument derived from the Paschal dispute at the end of the second century, but from a different point of view from that from which we have already treated this question (p. 172). He claims that in fixing on the 14th of Nisan as the day of Christis death, which the Synoptics placed on the 15th, the author of the fourth Gospel sought to completely put an end to the Paschal rite of the churches of Asia, which celebrated the Passover on the 14th in the evening. In fact, he displaces thus the day of the last meal of Christ and carries it back to the evening of the 13th. Now, as it was at that meal that Jesus instituted the Passover, the author creates thereby a conflict between the Gospel history and the Asiatic rite. And as John must have been the author of that rite, he cannot have composed a Gospel designed to contest it. This argument rests on the idea that an annual commemorative festival is celebrated on the day on which that feast was instituted, and not the day on which the event that gave rise to it occurred. Every one at once perceives the falsity of this view. Besides, we have already shown that the narrative of John respecting this point is historically justified, and that by the Synoptics themselves (p. 78). It was not invented, therefore, in the service of ecclesiastical tactics. The rite of the churches of Asia probably depended, not on any date whatever in the history of the Passion, but on the day of the Paschal meal in the Old Covenant. In any case, if the evangelist had desired to favor the Roman Church, which celebrated the Holy Paschal Supper on the Sunday of the resurrection, and to combat the Asiatic rite which placed it on the evening of the 14th, it would have served no purpose to place the institution of the Holy Supper on the 13th, at evening; to reach this end, it would have been necessary to place it on Sunday morning, and to make it the first act of Jesus after His resurrection! (See, for further details, the Commentary, at the end of chap. 19.)

XI. The difference of matter and form between the Gospel and the Apocalypse. The impossibility of referring these two works to the same author had formerly become a kind of axiom for criticism. Consequently, it was thought that, as the Apocalypse has in its favor earlier and more positive testimonies than the Gospel, it was just to give it the preference and to reject the Johannean origin of the latter. Thus even Baur, Hilgenfeld and many others reason. But the dilemma on which this conclusion rests is more and more doubted at present. It is positively set aside by Hase, who cites, as an analogy, the difference which is so marked between the first and second parts of Goethe's Faust; more than this, he thinks that the Apocalypse, bearing testimony to John's residence in Asia, rather confirms thereby the tradition relative to the Gospel. Weizsacker cannot help acknowledging that, notwithstanding the difference of author, the Apocalypse is “in organic connection with the spirit of the Gospel.” Baur himself has borne witness to the complete identity of the two works, by calling the Johannean Gospel “a spiritualized Apocalypse.” If, indeed, it can be proved that it is necessary to interpret spiritually the poetic images and plastic forms of the Apocalypse, wherein, according to this declaration of Baur himself, will it differ from the Gospel? Let us add that the superiority which is attributed to the testimony of tradition in relation to the Apocalypse is a fiction, which does not become more true for being continually repeated. Keim and Scholten find the Apocalypse as insufficiently attested as the Gospel, and reject them both.

In our view, a choice between these works is by no means necessary, for they bear distinctly the seal of their composition by one and the same author.

And (1) from the standpoint of style. The charge made against the author of the Apocalypse of transgressing the rules of grammar or of Greek syntax, is one of those mistakes which it would be well not to repeat any further. The preposition ἀπό from is construed with the nominatives ὁ ὤν ( who is) and ὁ ἐρχόμενος ( who is to come). A barbarism! cries the critic. The Gospel, on the contrary, is written in correct Greek. But in the same verse, John 1:4, we find this same preposition ἀπό from, construed regularly with the genitive τῶν ἑπτὰ πνευμάτων ( the seven spirits). And the same is the case, without a single exception, throughout all the rest of the book! The construction which is found fault with, far from being a schoolboy's error, is, therefore, the bold anomaly of a master who wished to picture, by the immutability of the word, the immutability of the subject designated, namely God. Numbers of appositions in the nominative with substantives in the genitive or dative are charged. Comp. John 2:20 (Tisch.) John 3:12, etc. But constantly we find in the same book appositions in their regular cases (comp. John 1:10-43.1.11; John 3:10, etc.). In the cases of the opposite kind, the author, in setting grammar at defiance, has evidently desired to give a greater independence to the appositional substantive or participle. The Gospel, in several instances, offers us analogous irregularities (comp. John 6:39; John 17:2, etc.).

It is remarked further that the Gospel uses abstract terms, where the Apocalypse is disposed to clothe the idea with a figure. The one will say life, where the other says living fountains of waters; the one light, where the other says the lamp of the holy city; the one the world, the other the Gentiles; the one death, the other the second death, etc., etc. It is sufficient, as a complete answer, to call to mind, with Hase, that “the Apocalypse employs the forms of poetry which are sensible ( sinnlich).” Let us, also, not forget that the Apocalypse is the work of ecstasy and of vision, and that John conceived it ἐν πνεύματι ( carried away in the spirit), while the Gospel is the calm and deliberate reproduction of simple historical recollections, and that it is written ἐν νοί (in an unexcited state of mind).

The Aramaisms of the Apocalypse are also spoken of, which form a contrast with the Greek accuracy of the Gospel. Account must here be taken of a decisive fact. The Apocalypse is written under the constant influence of the prophetic pictures of the Old Testament, the coloring of whose style, as a consequence, comes out in its own style, while the Gospel simply relates the events of which the author was a witness, independently of every foreign model. Under these so very different conditions of redaction, as the Dutch critic Niermeyer justly observes, the entire absence of difference between the two writings (on the supposition that they are both by the same author) would “afford ground for legitimate astonishment.” Winer has remarked how the style of Josephus has a more Aramaic coloring when he relates the history of the Old Testament, and when he is under the influence of the sacred writings, than when he describes, in the Jewish War, the events which happened under his own eyes.

But with all this, what real and fundamental homogeneousness of style between these two works, to the view of every one who does not stop at the surface! We recommend, in this regard, the excellent study of Niermeyer (see p. 23 f). The same favorite expressions, to make a lie, to do the truth; to keep the commandments, or the word; to hunger and thirst, to designate the deep wants of the soul; the term Amen, Amen, which so often begins the declarations of Jesus in the fourth Gospel, becoming in the Apocalypse the personal name of Christ Himself; the figure of the Lamb, applied in the Gospel (with the term ἀμνός ) to the victim burdened with the sin of the world, and used in the Apocalypse, with the neuter and more emphatic term ἀρνίον , in order to designate the glorified Lord and to form the counterpart of the term θηρίον , the Beast. Finally, the name Word or Word of God, given to Christ, which belongs only to the three Johannean writings in the entire New Testament, and unites them, as it were, by an indissoluble bond. To these analogies of expression let us add that of entire descriptions; for example, Revelation 3:20, where the author describes the intimate communion of Christ with the believer: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Let this expression be compared with John 14:0, more particularly with the 23d verse: “We will come to him and make our abode with him.” Or the description of the heavenly happiness of believers, Revelation 7:15-66.7.17: “And he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell with them. They shall hunger no more, and they shall thirst no more...., because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and shall lead them to living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.” We find here brought together several characteristic expressions of the Johannean style: σκηνοῦν ἐν ( to dwell in a tent), comp. John 1:14; πεινᾶν , διψᾶν ( to hunger, to thirst), comp. John 6:35; ποιμαίνειν ( to feed) John 10:1-43.10.16; John 21:16; ὁδηγεῖν ( to guide) John 16:13; and as to the last point, depicting God's tenderness, does it not recall the expression of Jesus, John 14:21: “He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father?”

A final analogy, which sets the seal on the preceding, is found in the quotation from Zechariah ( Joh 12:10 ), Revelation 1:7, where the author corrects the translation of the LXX. precisely as the author of the Gospel does, in John 19:37.

2. With regard to the matter, the agreement between the two writings is no less remarkable.

It has been sometimes said that the God of the Apocalypse is a God of wrath, while the God of the Gospel is all love. It seems to be forgotten that it is in the Gospel that this threatening is found: “He that obeyeth not the Son, the wrath of God abideth on him” ( Joh 3:36 ), and that other threatening: “Ye shall seek me, but ye shall die in your sins” ( Joh 8:24 ); and, on the other hand, that it is the author of the Apocalypse who twice reproduces ( Joh 7:17 and Joh 21:4 ) that promise of Isaiah the most tender of all which the Scriptures contain: “God shall wipe every tear from their eyes.” Love rules in the Gospel, because this book describes the first coming of the Son of God, as Saviour; severity in the Apocalypse, because it is the representation of the second coming of the Son, as Judge.

The Christology of the Apocalypse is identical with 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 the creation of God ( Joh 3:14 ), must not be understood in the sense of a temporal beginning, as if Jesus Himself formed a part of the creation, but in the sense in which eternity may be called the beginning, that is to say, the principle of the creation. This sense follows from the passages in which the term beginning ( ἀρχή ) is completed by the term end ( τέλος ) and in which the parallel epithet, the first, is also completed by the last. We must recall to mind the fact that these expressions are borrowed from Isaiah, with whom they are, as it were, the insignia of the peculiar glory of Jehovah. If Jesus Himself formed part of the creation, according to the author of the Apocalypse, as Hilgenfeld claims, how could he call Him ὁ ζῶν , the living one ( Joh 1:18 )? This word reminds one of the expressions of the Gospel, John 1:4: “In him was life,” and John 6:51: “I am the living bread,” a term which, in the context, implies the sense of life-giving. The homage of worship from all creatures is addressed to the Lamb at the same time as to the Father ( Joh 6:15 ); a fact which may fitly be compared with Revelation 22:9: “Worship God (only).” But, at the same time, the Son is subordinate to the Father. As for the revelation “which He gives to His servants,” in this very book, it is “God who gave it to Him” ( Joh 1:1 ). In the Gospel, Jesus declares also that it is “the Father who giveth the Son to have life in Himself” ( Joh 1:26 ), and that “His Father is greater than He” ( Joh 14:28 ). The terms Word and Son, which are common to the two works, both of them imply this double notion of dependence and community of nature.

The means of justification before God are absolutely the same in the two works; there is no question in the Apocalypse either of circumcision, or of any legal work. “Salvation” descends “from the throne of God and of the Lamb” as a divine gift ( Rev 7:10 ). The same figure is applied to the river of living water ( Rev 22:1 ). It is “in the blood of the Lamb that the elect wash their robes” ( Rev 7:14 ); it is “through this blood that they gain the victory over Satan” ( Rev 12:11 ). Justification and sanctification are, therefore, the fruit of faith in the work of Christ. If the keeping of the commandments of God is frequently spoken of, the case is exactly the same in the Gospel (John 14:21; Joh 15:10 ) and in the first epistle (1 John 1:2, etc.). And it is very evident that this obedience is that which springs from faith. Critics especially urge the reproach addressed to the bishop of Pergamos, of tolerating persons who, “after the example of Balaam, teach men to eat meats sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication” ( Joh 2:14 ). The teaching thus made the subject of accusation is none other, it is said, than that of St. Paul in First Corinthians (1 Corinthians 8-10). Here, therefore, is a declaration of war made against Paulinism, and the evident indication of a Judaizing tendency; it is the antipode of the fourth Gospel. But one and the same thing may be said in two very different spirits. Paul in 1 Cor. begins by permitting, in the name of monotheism and the freedom of faith, the eating of the meats sacrificed to idols; the Christian should not be afraid of contracting defilement from material food; but afterwards he restricts this permission in two ways: 1. The exercise of this right is subordinate to the duty of charity towards brethren having conscientious scruples; 2. It must never be carried to the point of participation in the sacred feasts celebrated in the heathen sanctuaries, because such an act implies a close union with idolatry ( Joh 10:14-21 ), and because in such circumstances the believer “who thinks that he stands” may easily fall ( 1Co 10:12 ). Evidently he means by this: fall into impurity that vice which was so prevalent in Corinth and against which he had just put the members of the Church on their guard, in chap. 6. Now it is precisely against this second manner of eating the sacrificial meats that the author of the Apocalypse also raises his voice, as is shown by the close connection which is made between these two expressions: to eat meats sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication. What temptation to this latter vice could have resulted from the fact of eating such food at a private table, either that of the Christian himself, or at the house of a brother who had invited him! And this is the only thing which Paul authorizes ( 1Co 10:25-27 ). We know, on the contrary, that, towards the end of the first century, and from the beginnings of Gnosticism, the heretics set about recommending the eating of meats sacrificed to idols, precisely in the sense in which Paul had prohibited it. They sought thereby to reconcile Christianity with Paganism. Irenaeus says (1:6): “They eat without scruple the meats which have been sacrificed to idols, thinking that they do not defile themselves thereby, and whenever there is among the heathen a festival prepared in honor of the idols, they are the first to be there.” We can understand the falls which resulted from this. Irenaeus also immediately adds, “that these Gnostics give themselves up to the lusts of the flesh with greediness;” and when the Jew Trypho reproaches Justin with the fact that the Christians eat sacrificial meats, the latter replies, unhesitatingly, that “it is only the Valentinians and other heretics who act in this way.” Basilides taught, according to the report of Eusebius ( H. E., 4.7), that, in time of persecution, one might, in order to save one's life, eat sacrificial meats and deny the faith. 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 have they in common with the case which is authorized by Paul? We have discussed this passage at considerable length, because it is one of the principal supports on which the opinion rests, which is so widely extended at the present day, as to the Judaizing character of the Apocalypse.

It has been maintained that when the author puts the Church of Ephesus on its guard “against those who say they are apostles and are not, and has found them liars,” he means to designate St. Paul. But what! in a letter addressed to a Church which Paul had founded during a residence of three years, and from which Christianity had spread through all the countries of the neighborhood, a man dared to maintain that the apostleship of this man was an untruth! Was it not in that region of Asia Minor that there were found those multitudes of converts due to the labor of the apostle, whose triumph the author of the Apocalypse celebrates in chap. 7 and elsewhere? Luthardt simply says, in answer to such an assertion: “He who proves too much proves nothing.” Volkmar has made another discovery: the false prophet, the beast with the horns of a lamb, the confederate of the antichrist, who seeks to bring the whole world under the power of the latter, is again St. Paul; for in the Epistle to the Romans (chap. 13), he teaches Christians the duty of submitting themselves to the superior powers, which is equivalent to binding them to assume the mark of the beast. Is not this a poor jest, rather than a serious argument? The way of submission marked out by Paul is that which the entire Scriptures teach with regard to earthly powers. It was that which Jeremiah marked out for the last kings of Judah towards Nebuchadnezzar. Jesus knows no other: “Put up thy sword into the sheath, for he that smiteth with the sword shall perish by the sword.” The author of the Apocalypse himself recommends it to the Christians persecuted by the antichrist, for he sets in opposition to every desire for active resistance this threatening: “If any one leadeth into captivity, into captivity he shall go: if any one slayeth with the sword, he also shall be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints.” The strength of the persecuted Church will be, as Isaiah already said, to keep itself at rest, relying upon God alone. The Reformed Church in France has carried this line of conduct even to heroism, and, when it has for a time departed from it, it has had no occasion to congratulate itself.

As to the conception of the Church, it is absolutely the same in the Apocalypse as in the fourth Gospel and with St. Paul; and it is a gross error to maintain, as Volkmar does, that the believing Gentiles are only tolerated, in this book, and constitute only a sort of plebs in the Holy City. As Hase says: “After the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are sealed from among the tribes of Israel, John sees an innumerable multitude from the twelve Gentiles, of every nation, of every tribe, of every tongue, clothed with white robes” (chap. 7). “They are before the throne of God and serve him night and day in his temple,” and “God dwells with them...and He wipes away every tear from their eyes” ( 1Co 10:15-17 ). Is this the reception given to a vile plebs? This assertion is so entirely false, that the one hundred and forty-four thousand Jews, who are previously spoken of, are not even yet believers. Their conversion is not related until chap. John 14:1 ff. In chap. 7 they are merely sealed (reserved) in order to be consecrated afterwards. But, however it may be with this last point, and even if these one hundred and forty-four thousand formed the elite of the assembly of the Church, the Apocalypse in giving them this place would be in agreement with St. Paul, who, in the eleventh chapter of Romans, compares the converted Gentiles to wild branches grafted upon the patriarchal root in the place of the Jews, the natural branches; and also with the author of the fourth Gospel, who, in chap. 10, makes the sheep taken from the Israelitish fold the centre of the Church and presents the sheep called from other nations as simply grouped about this primitive nucleus ( Joh 14:16 ). The divine work which the author of the Apocalypse celebrates from the beginning to the end, when he puts into the mouth of all believers, without distinction, the song of the Lamb; when he gives to them all the titles of kings and priests of God the Father, which Israel had borne only typically; when to the twelve elders representing the twelve tribes of Israelitish Christianity, he adds twelve others perfectly equal to the first, and representing, together with them, before the throne the Christians of the Gentile world, all this new creation which he beholds with rapture and which he glorifies, is nothing else than the work of St. Paul. And yet in this book, St. Paul is the false prophet in the service of the antichrist!

But do not the author's eschatological views condemn us perchance? Even Niermeyer feels himself embarrassed by that Jerusalem of the end of time, which seems to perpetuate the preponderance of Judaism even in the perfected state of the kingdom of God. “If,” says he, “the earthly Jerusalem could be removed from the Apocalyptic picture, this book would be spiritualized throughout by this fact alone.” It is not difficult to satisfy this demand. The author represents ( Joh 21:16 ) the wall of that future Jerusalem as having a height equal to its length and its breadth, and as forming, consequently, a perfect cube. This cube is of twelve thousand furlongs, which is nearly fifty leagues, in each dimension. Can it reasonably be believed that he is picturing to himself a real city of so monstrous a shape? But this image, grotesque if we take it in a material sense, becomes sublime as soon as it is spiritually understood. The Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and in the temple had the form of a perfect cube, while the Holy Place had that of a rectangle. What, then, does the author mean by this figure? That the New Jerusalem will be wholly what the Most Holy Place was in the former times: the dwelling-place of the Thrice Holy God. It is the realization of the last prayer of Jesus: “That they may be one in us, as we are one;” the state which Paul sets forth in 1 Corinthians 15:28: “God all in all.” And if any one hesitates to believe that this glorious state of things applies, in the Apocalypse, to other believers than those of Jewish origin, let him read, John 21:2-43.21.3, these words: “I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, and I heard a great voice from heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is among men. ” And as if to leave no doubt respecting the sense of the word men, the author adds: “And they [they who were not his people] shall be his peoples, and God Himself shall be with them, their God.” In speaking of the final Jerusalem, Niermeyer simply forgets that that future Jerusalem is by no means a restoration of the ancient Jerusalem, and that the author describes it as a new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It is the Church in all its extent and all its perfection, comprehending all that which, throughout the whole of humanity, has been given to Christ. We find here the widest universalism. And if it is thus with the holy city itself, the same method of spiritual interpretation must, of course, be extended to all that which constitutes its beauty: the gates, the walls, the square, the river, the trees. And all these images, spiritually understood, lead us directly, if the Gospel is really a spiritualized Apocalypse (Baur), to this result: that the Apocalypse is fundamentally identical with the Gospel.

A general comparison of the Apocalyptic drama with the narrative contained in our Gospel leads us also to hold that their author was the same. Truc, the contrary is affirmed. It is said that the Apocalypse breathes the most intense hatred towards the Gentiles it is by a Jewish author; the Gospel reserves all its hatred for the Jews it is by a Gentile author. It is further said, that the Apocalypse moves amidst the scenes of the last times, which are unknown to the Gospel; the latter, on the contrary, treats only of the hostile relation of Jesus to the Jews during His sojourn on the earth. These two objections fall before a single observation. The work of Jesus is twofold. In the first place it concerned the Jews; then came the times of the Gentiles in which salvation was offered to these last. The Gospel gives an account of the first of these relations, the Apocalypse treats of the second; and the two works complete each other, as if the two halves of one and the same whole, which might have for its title: The substitution of the kingdom of God for that of Satan throughout the whole earth. The actors in the two dramas are also, at the foundation, the same. They are these three: Christ, faith, unbelief. In the Gospel: the Christ, as Christ in humiliation; faith, represented by the disciples; unbelief, represented by the Jews. In the Apocalypse, the Christ, as the glorified Lord; faith, represented by the Bride, or the Church; unbelief, by the Gentiles, the majority of whom reject the call of the Gospel, in the same way as the majority of the Jews had rejected it in the time of Jesus. There is, therefore, no partiality in this book. On the one side, believing Gentiles, an innumerable multitude, whom the author with rapture beholds triumphant before the throne, precisely as, during the life of Jesus, there had been believing Jews, raised into the most intimate communion with Him. On the other side, a mass of unbelieving Gentiles who draw upon themselves, more and more, the judgments of the glorified Lord (seals, trumpets, bowls), precisely as the mass of the Jews had been hardened and infuriated more and more against the Lamb of God in the midst of them. The sole difference between the two dramas, the Evangelic and Apocalyptic and this difference appertains to the very nature of things is that in the former the Passion and Resurrection; the foundations of the redemption of all, are related; in the latter, the second coming of Christ, as the consummation of salvation and judgment for all. This difference is one more bond of union between the two works; for thereby the Apocalypse all along supposes the Gospel behind itself, so to speak, and the Gospel, the Apocalypse before itself, in some sort; and thus we understand from what source comes the almost complete absence of the eschatological element in the Gospel. The progress and phases of the struggle, there with the Jews, here with the Gentiles, are also exactly similar. In both works the end seems near, even from the beginning. But, nevertheless, it is found to be deferred; we expect it in the Apocalypse after the sixth seal, after the sixth trumpet; nevertheless, it is again postponed, as in the Gospel where John repeats several times the phrase: “But his hour was not yet come.” The denouement, also, is fundamentally the same, though under two different forms: outward victory of Satan over the kingdom of God: in the Gospel, by the murder of Jesus; in the Apocalypse, by the extermination of the Church under the Antichrist; but in both also, victory, at first spiritual, then soon afterwards external, of the champion of the cause of God; there, through the resurrection of Christ; here, through the glorification of the Church. We see that the two subjects only are different: on one side, the Christ having come, on the other, the Christ coming. But, nevertheless, the one of the two works seems to be made in imitation of the other, both in relation to the part of the actors and the progress of the action.

There is only one way by which these two works can be successfully placed in contradiction to each other: it is, as Luthardt says, to materialize the Apocalypse unduly, and unduly to spiritualize the Gospel. By this manoeuvre the common crowd may be dazzled; but this is no longer science, it is fiction. The two works exist; and, sooner or later, the truth recovers its rights.

If the results of our study are well founded, all the external proofs in favor of the Johannean origin of the Apocalypse, to which Baur, Hilgenfeld and Volkmar attach so high a value, become so many confirmations of the Johannean origin of the Gospel.

XII. There is an objection which seems to have produced on the minds of our French critics, such as Renan and Sabatier, the decisive impression. John is called in the fourth Gospel the disciple whom Jesus loved: this is a marked superiority which is ascribed to him as related to his fellow apostles. This is not all; he is constantly exalted in such a way as to become fully the equal of Peter or even to surpass him, not only in agility, but also in intelligence and in readiness of faith. This spirit of jealousy and mean rivalry cannot have been the spirit of John himself: it must be acknowledged that the redaction of our Gospel, at least, is due to a disciple of this apostle, who wished at any cost to exalt the person and the role of the venerated master whose narratives and lessons he had gathered together. We find ourselves here evidently in the presence of a tendency-process. There are facts related; with what purpose are they related? One answers: because they happened in this way, the other searches after secret intentions and soon discovers them; he attributes the facts to the imagination of the narrator as being moved by some particular view. It is a serious thing to found conclusions, which may have decisive consequences for the Church, on such methods of interpretation. In this particular case, it happens that the supposed intention is in manifest contradiction to a very large number of facts. In chap. John 1:43, Peter, it is true, only comes to Jesus as the third one.

But if it were to exalt John at the expense of that disciple, the author, who does not trouble himself with the history, should have assigned to John himself the part of the one who introduced Peter to Jesus. This he does not do; he ascribes this honor to Andrew, Peter's own brother by this expression he explains this part played by him, and assigns the cause of it historically. As for John, he is not directly designated in this scene, either by his name or by any paraphrase whatever. Not only this; but in John 1:41, even before Andrew brings Peter, when he is introduced for the first time on the scene, he is already designated as the brother of Simon Peter, of that Peter who has not yet appeared, and who is thus presented, from the beginning, as the principal personage of the whole evangelical history by the side of Jesus. Finally, as if all this were not yet sufficient, in the view of the author, suitably to exalt the person and part of Peter, Jesus, at the first sight, discerns in him His principal auxiliary, and marks him by an honorable name, while he does nothing of the kind with regard to the four or five other disciples who were called at the same time. And yet in this scene it is that the critics are able to discover the intention of disparaging Peter or exalting John! Chap. 6 places us again in the midst of the apostolic circle. Who plays a part in this scene of friendship?

It is Philip, it is Andrew, who is again designated as the brother of Simon Peter (John 1:5; Joh 1:8 ). Then, at the end of the whole narrative, when, in presence of the defection of nearly all the Galilean disciples, one of the apostles begins to speak in reply to the question of Jesus: “Will ye also go away?” who is the one to whom the evangelist gives the post of honor, and who proclaims in the name of all his immovable faith in the Messiahship of Jesus? Is it John? Is it some little known disciple whose rivalry would be little dangerous to this apostle? It is Peter himself, he whom our evangelist wishes to disparage! At the last supper, Peter beckons to John, who is seated next to Jesus, to request him to make inquiry of the Master. But if the thing really happened in this way, what conclusion is to be drawn from it? And who would be able seriously to affirm the opposite? Is there here an impossibility? Does not the following story actually prove, by an insignificant circumstance, that Peter was not at Jesus' side ( Joh 1:5-6 )? Finally, in the same passage, does not the evangelist attribute to Peter an expression in which all his devotion, all his faith, breaks forth; “Not only my feet, Lord, but also my hands and my head!” ( Joh 13:9 ).

The conversations which follow the supper presented to the evangelist an admirable occasion for placing upon the scene his favorite disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. Questions of Thomas, of Philip, of Judas are spoken of; but not the least allusion is made to the presence of this disciple. Peter's exclamation of devotion: “I will lay down my life for thy sake,” is recalled to mind; can this be a piece of Machiavellism, for the purpose of more strikingly pointing out his presumption and afterwards making more prominent his denial? But as to this fall of Peter, John is precisely the one who relates it in the mildest way. No oath, no curse in Peter's mouth; this simple word He said.

Peter is introduced into the High-Priest's house by another disciple, who was an acquaintance of that personage; but nothing tells us that this disciple was John. And even if it were John, it would be a scanty honor, in a work whose tendency is said to be so strongly anti-Jewish, to have been in relation with the spiritual head of the nation. In Gethsemane, it is Peter who, in our Gospel, smites with the sword. When judged in relation to the thought of Jesus, this act is a fault, no doubt; but in contrast with the cowardice of the rest of the disciples, all of whom flee, it is assuredly an honor. Peter is not afraid to put into practice the profession of devotion which he had made. On the morning of the resurrection, when the two disciples run to the tomb, John reaches it most quickly, and this is said to be one of the deliberate claims on behalf of this apostle of superiority to his colleague....Do the critics dare to write such puerilities! If it is so, let them abstain, at least, from calling such a work, with Hilgenfeld, “the Gospel with an eagle's flight!” Immediately afterwards, from the mere sight of the order which reigns in the sepulchre, John reaches the belief in the resurrection ( Joh 20:8 ), while it is not said that this was the case with Peter. Here we have what seems a little more suspicious. But precisely here is one of the most decidedly autobiographical features of the fourth Gospel. The question is of the most internal fact, that of faith, and John simply tells us how this fact was accomplished in himself. Could he tell so exactly what took place in his colleague? whether the light came into his heart, also, at that moment and in that way?

Perhaps he was always himself ignorant of it. But as Paul and Luke, both of them, speak to us of an appearance of Jesus after He rose, which was granted to Peter on that same day, this circumstance renders it probable that that apostle remained near the tomb with a confused presentiment, which was only transformed into real faith by means of that appearance. Let us remark, in passing, that no special appearance accorded to John is mentioned. There remains the scene of the twenty-first chapter. If the writer truly desired to establish a parallel between the two apostles, it must be acknowledged that the contrast is altogether in favor of Peter. John, it is true, discerns the Lord from the time when they were on the boat; but he does not stir from the place, while Peter immediately leaps into the water. John does not play the least part in the conversation which follows the meal; Peter is the sole object of the Lord's attention. Not only does Jesus reinstate him as an apostle; but He expressly entrusts to him the direction of the Church, and even that of the apostolate: “Feed my lambs! Lead my sheep!” And as the crown of his ministry, He promises him the honor of a bloody martyrdom.

After this, it is he, and he only, whom He invites to follow Him, in order to receive, in a confidential conversation, the communications which He has still to make to him. The disciple whom Jesus loved allows himself, without having been summoned, to walk modestly behind them; it is Peter himself who puts him on the scene, by means of the question which he addresses somewhat indiscreetly to the Lord with regard to him. But, it is said, the superiority of John reappears even here; for the promise which is made to him, that he should not die, eclipses even that of martyrdom which had just been made to Peter. Let it be so, if one will; only it must be admitted that the following explanation of the evangelist, in that case, ought not immediately to invalidate the pretended promise! What a contrast between those two expressions, the one relative to John: “Now Jesus did not say, that he should not die;” the other relative to Peter: “Now he said this concerning the death by which Peter should glorify God.”

There remains, in reality, only one expression that can be used to the advantage of the objection against which we are contending; it is the designation: The disciple whom Jesus loved. Weisse was the first, I believe, who was shocked at this expression, and saw in it a repulsive vainglory. Sabatier thinks that, if John had written it himself, “it would be difficult to place humility among his virtues.” How much more delicate tact and more just a judgment does Hase show! He says: “Weisse did not comprehend this joyous pride of being in all humility the object of the most unmerited love.” Among all the rays of the glory full of grace and truth, which the Word made flesh had displayed here below, there was one which had fallen upon John, and which he must reproduce in his work: the Son of God had carried condescension even to the point of having a friend. To recall to mind so sweet a remembrance was not pride: it was humble gratitude. To disguise his own name under this paraphrase was not to glorify the man; it was to exalt the tenderness of Him who had deigned to stoop so low. He knew himself no longer except as the pardoned believer knows himself as the object of the most marvelous love. It is thus that Paul speaks of himself in 2 Corinthians 12:2-47.12.5.

XIII. We have long since expressed the conviction that the position of Reuss with regard to the fourth Gospel is untenable. To admit the apostolic origin of this work, and at the same time to regard the discourses which are contained in it as together forming a treatise of mystical theology, which the author, of his own will, has put into the mouth of Jesus there is here an evident moral impossibility. Reuss was obliged to seek the means of extricating himself from this contradiction, and he has recently discovered it. It is the passage John 19:35. Following the example of Weisse, Schweizer, Keim, and Weizsacker, he thinks that he sees in this passage the perfectly clear distinction, established by the author of the Gospel himself, between his own person and that of the Apostle John, who orally furnished him the authentic materials of his narrative. Let us study this text more closely. It is composed of three propositions: “And he that hath seen, hath borne witness; and his witness is true; and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye may believe.” Until now, it had been thought that it was the witness himself who spoke here. 1. He declares that his testimony respecting the fact related (the simultaneous accomplishment of the two prophecies by the thrust of the lance, apparently accidental, of the Roman soldier) is now given (the perfect μεμαρτύρηκε ): it is a thing done, done by the story itself; comp. John 1:34; John 2:0. He attests the truth of this testimony; 3. He solemnly affirms the deep sense which he bears within himself of the reality of the fact related and this, to the end that the readers ( you) may fully believe it.

In this third clause the author, in speaking of the witness, uses the pronoun ἐκεῖνος , that one, and many find in this word the proof that he speaks of the witness as of a different person from himself and one who can be no other than the apostle. But, first, the author may with perfect propriety speak of himself in the third person, as Paul does in 2 Corinthians 12:2-47.12.5, or as Jesus Himself does, when He designates Himself habitually under the name Son of man, and consequently he may employ the pronoun of the third person in all its forms. The reason why he chooses here the pronoun ἐκεῖνος , that one, is because this word has a peculiar and constant signification in the fourth Gospel. It designates, in this book, a being who exclusively possesses a certain character, a certain function; consequently, not a person remote in contrast with another who is nearer, but a single person in contrast with every other; thus John 1:18: “No one hath seen God at any time...; the only-begotten Son, he it is, ( ἐκεῖνος ), who hath declared him;” or John 12:48: “My word..., it, it alone ( ἐκεῖνος ), shall judge him;” comp. John 5:39: “The Scriptures..., they are they ( ἐκεῖνοι ) which...;” John 16:14: “The Spirit... he ( ἐκεῖνος ) shall glorify me,” etc., etc. Jesus, also, in speaking of Himself, designates Himself by this pronoun; comp. John 9:37: “Thou hast seen him (the Son of God) and he that speaketh unto thee is he ( ἐκεῖνος ).” It is exactly the same with John 19:35. He designates Himself by this pronoun as the one who, having been the only witness of the fact among the apostles, can alone attest it with the certainty of an eyewitnessing. There exists, therefore, no well founded logical or grammatical objection against the most generally admitted sense of the passage.

See now the sense which the before-mentioned writers endeavor to give to it.

1st proposition: The redactor of the Gospel declares that it is the witness (the apostle) who has informed him concerning the circumstance which he has just related. This meaning is not impossible, although we might be surprised to see suddenly appearing here the distinction between these two personages, of which the narrative does not, up to this point, offer the least trace.

2d proposition: The writer attests the truth of the story which he has from the lips of the witness. This is unnatural, for it would rather belong to the witness to attest the truth of the fact related by the evangelist. An unknown and anonymous redactor, presenting himself as guarantee for the story of the witness, and of a witness who is an apostle! This would be strange enough. Whence would he derive this right and this authority?

3d proposition: The redactor attests the deep sense which the witness bears within himself of the reality of the fact related. “He knoweth (the apostle- witness) that he saith true.” This becomes altogether unintelligible; for how can a man testify of that which takes place in the inner consciousness of another individual? We might understand the redactor's saying, “And I know that he saith true.” That would mean: Such an one as I know him to be, I have the certainty that he cannot speak falsely. But with the form, “ he knows (he) that he says true,” the declaration has no meaning. Finally, the redactor adds: “to the end that ye may believe.” If it is John who says this, to indicate the purpose of the story which he has just committed to writing, we understand what he means: “I, the witness, have the inward consciousness that what I relate to you is true, to the end that you also (who read) may believe (as well as I who have seen).” His testimony is to become for those who read, what the sight itself has been for him. But if the matter, on the other hand, is of the oral narrative which the apostle gave to the author a long time before, this statement has no longer any meaning; for there is no direct connection between such a testimony and the readers of the present work; the words “to the end that you may believe” have no longer any justification.

Finally, we must notice the two verbs in the present tense: “He knows ” and “he says true. ” What do they prove? That, at the moment when these lines were written, the witness of the facts was still living. And in that case, what is gained by substituting for him, as a redactor, one of his disciples? The Gospel remains nevertheless, a narrative composed under the eyes and with the approbation of John himself.

There is, moreover, another passage which absolutely condemns this sense given to Joh 19:35 by Reuss and by many others; it is the analogous declaration of John 21:24. Here men, in a position which was recognized by the Church and respected, expressly affirm that which these critics deny on the foundation of John 19:35, to wit, the identity of the evangelist-redactor with the apostle witness: “This disciple (the one whom Jesus loved) is he who testifieth ( ὁ μαρτυρῶν ) of these things and who wrote them ( ὁ γράψας ), and we know that his testimony is true.” Reuss claims, it is true, that these men fell into an error, and that, a certain time after John's death, they, in good faith, confounded the apostle with the redactor. But these attestors, who had the power to provide the Gospel with a postscript which is not wanting in any manuscript or in any version, must have taken an active part in the publication of the work; they must, consequently, have been the first depositaries of it. Under these conditions, how could an error on their part be possible? Then, in order to their expressing themselves as they do, they must never have read the book which they themselves were publishing, at least the passage John 19:35, since, according to Reuss, the author declares, in the statement there made, precisely the opposite of what they solemnly affirm. Finally, when these two passages are compared, it must not be forgotten that the attestors of chap. 21 say: We know, and not he knows, as the one who speaks in chap. 19 says. By the first person plural they distinguish themselves as clearly from the witness-apostle, as by the third person singular, he knows, the redactor of Joh 19:35 identifies himself with this witness. How, then, can Reuss say: “The sentence of Joh 21:24 recurs in another place in the body of the Gospel; the analogy is patent.” Yes, but the difference is none the less patent.

Hilgenfeld has clearly perceived that it is impossible to find in Joh 19:35 the distinction, intentionally made by the writer, between himself and the witness. He admits, therefore, that the author, after having desired to pass himself off, throughout the whole work, as the Apostle John, forgot himself for a moment in the passage John 19:35, and that he inadvertently drops his disguise. There remains, in fact, only this expedient. But is it admissible? The reader will judge. In any case, if it is so, we must give up speaking of the supreme ability of an author to whom it is believed that such an oversight can be ascribed!

XIV. Will it be necessary to stop at a last objection, to which some critics seem to attach a certain importance? How, it is said, could a man have regarded Jesus as a divine being, after having lived on familiar terms with Him for three years? But this conviction formed itself in him only gradually. And precisely this familiar acquaintance of every day took away from it whatever overpowering element it might have had for dogmatic reflection. The Apocalypse, that work which, in the so-called critical school, is generally ascribed to the apostle, raises exactly the same problem. Jesus is there represented as the first and the last; He is called the Holy One and the True, just as Isaiah calls Jehovah; and yet it is ascribed to the apostle. The recognition of the Messianic dignity of Jesus was a first step, which rendered the transition easier to the recognition of His divinity.

Having reached the end of this long review of all the objections raised by modern criticism against the unanimous tradition of the Church, we may be permitted to bring forward a curious phenomenon which is not without psychological importance in the estimate of this discussion. Is it not surprising that every adversary of the authenticity seems to be especially impressed by some one among these fourteen objections, which makes only a feeble impression on the rest of the critics, and in comparison with which he himself attributes to all the others only a slight importance? We leave to the reader the work of explaining this fact, which has more than once given us food for thought.

§ 3. The Internal Evidence.

In his introduction to the New Testament (§ 93), Credner has summed up this evidence in the following manner: “If we had no historical statement respecting the author of the fourth Gospel, we should, nevertheless, be led to a positive result by the indications which the book itself affords. The nature of the language, the freshness and dramatic vivacity of the narrative, the exactness and precision of the statements, the peculiar manner in which the forerunner and the sons of Zebedee are mentioned, the love, the passionate tenderness, of the author for the person of Jesus, the irresistible charm diffused over the evangelical history as presented from this ideal point of view, the philosophical reflections with which this Gospel begins, all this leads us to the following result: The author of this work can only be a man born in Palestine, only an eye-witness of the ministry of Jesus, only an apostle, only the beloved apostle; he can only be that John whom Jesus had bound to His own person by the heavenly charm of His teaching, that John who leaned upon His bosom, who stood near the cross, and who, during his residence in a city such as Ephesus was, not only felt himself attracted by philosophical speculation, but even prepared himself to hold his place among these Greeks who were distinguished for their literary culture.”

We cannot do better than follow the course traced out in this admirable paragraph, in which we would only desire to change the two terms, ideal and philosophical, which seem to us not to give the true shade of thought. Taking this summary as a programme, we shall also make our beginning from the circumference, so as gradually to approach towards the centre.

I. The author is a Christian of Jewish origin. This is proved by his style which, without Hebraizing, nevertheless, has the inward peculiarities of the Hebrew language (see p. 135f.).

This follows also from the corrections which the author makes the translation of the LXX. undergo in accordance with the original Hebrew in a certain number of quotations. We believe, with Westcott, that the fact is beyond dispute in the three passages which follow: John 6:45 ( Isa 54:13 ); John 13:18 ( Psa 41:9 ); John 19:37 ( Zec 12:10 ); and we will add, without hesitation, John 12:40 ( Isa 6:10 ). In no single instance, on the contrary, does the evangelist quote according to the LXX. in disagreement with the Hebrew.

The inner harmony of the teaching of Jesus with the Mosaic Law and the prophets, His constant references to the types of the Jewish history, the perfect communion of spirit established between Abraham and Jesus, all these features are brought out so forcibly that we must subscribe to Weizsacker's judgment: Only a Jew who, in the foreign region where he was living, had preserved the inheritance of his youth, could relate his history in this way. The development of the author's personal faith has certainly passed through these two normal phases of Jewish-Christian faith: the recognition of Jesus as the Messiah, and faith in Him as the Son of God. Compare, for the first of these two steps, the profession of faith of the first disciples, John 1:42; John 1:46, and for the second, the whole sequel of the narrative. This course of development is again suggested in the expression which sums up the Gospel ( Joh 20:31 ): “That ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

A final and entirely decisive proof appears from the acquaintance which the author shows with Jewish usages. He is perfectly acquainted with the Jewish feasts (the Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles), and not only the greater ones, but also the minor ones, which the law had not instituted, as the feast of Purim, 5.1 (see the Commentary), and that of the Dedication, 10.22. He knows of the addition of an eighth day to the Feast of Tabernacles ( Joh 7:37 ) and the prohibition of all medical treatment on the Sabbath ( Joh 9:14 ); the Jewish opinions, according to which the coming of the Messiah must be preceded by that of Elijah, and the Messiah must spring from an entirely obscure origin (John 1:21; Joh 7:27 ). He is not ignorant either of the hostility prevailing between the Jews and the Samaritans, or of the more spiritual character of the Messianic expectation among the latter (John 4:9; Joh 4:25-26 ). The Jewish manner of embalming bodies, different from that of the Egyptians ( Joh 19:40 ), the custom on the part of the Jews of purifying themselves on entering their dwellings ( Joh 2:6 ), the synagogal excommunication ( Joh 9:22 ), the custom of closing the sepulchral caves with great stones (John 11:38; Joh 21:1 ), the sale of animals and the money exchange established in the temple ( Joh 2:14 ), all these circumstances, several of which are not mentioned in the Synoptics, are familiar to him. He is acquainted with the scruples which the Jews feel, both as to entering into the house of a Gentile, and as to leaving the bodies of condemned persons publicly exposed beyond the very day of execution (John 18:28; Joh 19:31 ). He knows that a Rabbi does not engage in conversation with a woman ( Joh 4:27 ); that the religious leaders of the nation treat with the most profound disdain the portion of the people who have not received the Rabbinical teaching ( Joh 7:49 ); and finally, that, in case of a conflict between the law of the Sabbath and that of circumcision on the eighth day, the latter takes precedence of the former ( Joh 7:22-23 ).

II. This Jew did not live in a foreign land; he is a Palestinian Jew. He speaks of different places in the Holy Land as a man who is acquainted with them for himself and to whom all the topographical details of that country are familiar. He knows that there are other places of the name of Cana and Bethsaida than those of which he is speaking, and which he marks by the epithet: of Galilee (John 2:1; Joh 12:21 ). He knows that Bethany is fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem ( Joh 11:18 ); that Ephraim is situated on the borders of the desert ( Joh 11:54 ); that AEnon is near to Salim ( Joh 3:23 ); that a distance of twenty-five or thirty furlongs is nearly equal to one-half of the breadth of the sea of Tiberias (John 6:19, comp. with Mat 14:24 ); that the circuit of the northern shore of this sea can be easily made on foot (John 6:5; Joh 6:22 ); that in order to go from Cana to Capernaum, one must go down ( Joh 2:12 ); that Cedron must be crossed by a bridge in order to go from Jerusalem to the foot of the Mount of Olives ( Joh 18:1 ); that the pool of Siloam is very near to Jerusalem ( Joh 9:7 ); and that there are intermittent springs in the neighborhood of the temple ( Joh 9:7 ). He also knows the place in the temple where the boxes designed to receive the offerings are found ( Joh 8:20 ), and Solomon's porch ( Joh 10:23 ). The picture of the entrance to the valley of Sichem, in the scene of Jacob's well, can only have been traced by a man who had looked upon Mount Gerizim towering above the valley, and the magnificent fields of wheat which stretched to the right of the plain of Mukhna. Renan declares: “A Jew of Palestine, who had often passed through the entrance of the valley of Sichem, could alone have written this.”

The author is no less well-informed as to the historical circumstances of the epoch in which the facts which he describes occur. He knows that the right of putting to death has been recently taken away from the Jews ( Joh 18:31 ); he knows that, at the moment when Jesus appears for the first time in the temple, the work of the reconstruction of that edifice has already continued for forty-six years ( Joh 2:20 ). He is thoroughly acquainted with the relations of family and sympathy which unite the present highpriest with the former high-priest, and the influence which the latter continues to exercise upon the course of affairs ( Joh 18:13-28 ).

Baur believed that he had discovered in our Gospel a multitude of historical and geographical errors. This accusation is abandoned at the present day. “There is no reason,” says Keim himself, “to believe in these alleged errors” (p. 133). Renan abounds in his expressions of this view: “The too often repeated opinion that our author was neither acquainted with Jerusalem nor with Jewish matters, seems to me altogether destitute of foundation” (p. 522).

III. We can prove by a mass of details that this Palestinian Jew was a contemporary of Jesus and a witness of His history; let us even add, in order that we may not enter too much into detail and prolong the discussion too far, an apostle.

This appears from the mass of minute details, abounding in the narrative, which it is impossible to explain by a dogmatic or a philosophical idea, and which can only be the quite simple and almost involuntary expression of personal recollection.

And, first, with reference to times and occasions: “It was about the tenth hour” ( Joh 1:40 ); “It was about the sixth hour” ( Joh 4:6 ); “And he abode there two days” ( Joh 4:40 ); “Yesterday, at the seventh hour” ( Joh 4:52 ); “It was winter,” or “It was stormy weather” ( Joh 10:22 ); “It was night” ( Joh 13:30 ); “In infirmity for thirty-eight years” ( Joh 13:5 ). As to the designation of places: the treasury of the temple ( Joh 8:20 ); Solomon's porch ( Joh 10:23 ); Jesus stopped outside of the village ( Joh 11:30 ). As to numbers: the six water-pots in the vestibule ( Joh 2:6 ); the four soldiers ( Joh 19:23 ); the hundred pounds of perfume ( Joh 19:39 ); the two hundred cubits of distance, and the one hundred and fifty-three fishes (John 21:8; Joh 21:11 ). We are introduced by all sorts of details into the inmost circle of Jesus and His disciples. The author recalls the relations full of pleasantness, which Jesus sustained towards them towards Philip, for example ( Joh 6:5-7 ); the intervention of Andrew ( Joh 6:8-9 ); the small boy having the loaves; the indirect warning given to Judas ( Joh 6:70 ); the name of the father of this apostle ( Joh 6:71 ); the rough, but generous declaration of Thomas ( Joh 11:16 ); his incredulous exclamation and his cry of adoration (John 20:25; Joh 20:28 ); the questions of Thomas, Philip, and Judas, on the last evening (chap. 14); the decisive moment when the light finally came to them all, and when they proclaimed their faith ( Joh 16:30 ); the sudden invitation of Jesus: “Arise, let us go hence” ( Joh 14:31 ). Points such as these may also be noticed: “They had kindled a fire of coals...” ( Joh 18:18 ); “The robe was without seam, woven from the top throughout” ( Joh 19:23 ); “Having put the sponge around the hyssop-stalk” ( Joh 19:29 ); “The servant's name was Malchus” ( Joh 18:10 ) etc., etc. “So many precise details,” says Renan, “which are perfectly understood if one sees in them the recollections of an old man of a wonderful freshness;” but, we will add, which become repulsive, in so serious a narrative, if they are only fictitious details designed to conceal the romance- writer under the mask of the historian. Only a profane charlatan could thus trifle with the person and character of the best-known actors in the evangelical drama, and with the person of the Lord Himself. Weitzel has properly noticed how this delicate narrative initiates us into all the varied shades of the inmost life of the apostolic circle. The author designates the disciples, not according to their names as generally received in the Church the ones which they bear in the apostolic catalogues, but according to that which they bore among their fellow-disciples; thus, instead of Bartholomew, he says: Nathanael (John 1:46-43.1.50; Joh 21:2 ), and three times he designates Thomas by the Greek translation Didymus (twin), as if it were for him a matter of personal reminiscence, dear to his heart (John 11:16; John 20:24; Joh 21:2 ).

To all these details, let us add the great scenes in which, as if openly, the pencil of the eye-witness shows itself: the story of the calling of the first disciples (chap. 1); of the visit to Samaria (iv.); of the confidential scenes at the resurrection of Lazarus and at the washing of the disciples' feet (chap. 11 and 13); and finally, the incomparable picture of the negotiations of Pilate with the Jews (chap. 18 and 19).

If, after all these facts, any doubts could remain for us with reference to the author's having the character of an eye-witness, they would fall away before his own testimony, which no one at the present day neither Weizsackernor Reuss and Sabatier, can bring themselves to charge with imposture, as the school of Baur did.

This testimony is expressed in the three following passages: John 1:14; John 19:35, and 1 John 1:1-62.1.4.

The author expresses himself thus in John 1:14; “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory....” It is at present claimed that the question here is only of the interior sight of faith, which is the appanage of every Christian. Does not Paul say, “We behold the glory of the Lord with unveiled face” ( 2Co 3:18 ); and John himself: “Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him” ( 1Jn 3:6 )? Thus speak Keim and Reuss. There is a spiritual beholding of Jesus, it is true, to which the quoted words refer; but these words are not found, in the epistles from which they are taken, in connection with the representation of the fact of the incarnation, as in the passage John 1:14: “The Word became flesh, dwelt,...and we beheld...” At the beginning of an historical work, which commences thus, and in which the earthly life of Jesus is to be related, such a declaration cannot have any other intention than that of solemnly legitimizing the narrative which is to follow. We cannot confound such a context with that of an epistle in which the author describes the spiritual state common to all Christians.

The passage Joh 19:35 has already been examined. The identity of the author of the Gospel with the apostle who was witness of the crucifixion of Jesus, is there positively affirmed. “This passage,” Sabatier objects, “is of too similar a tenor to that of the appendix ( Joh 21:24 ), for us not to draw from it the same conclusion.” But we have already shown (p. 185) that the tenor of the two passages is, on the contrary, entirely different, in chap. 19: ( he knows), the witness affirms his identity with the redactor of the Gospel; in chap. 21: ( we know), the friends of the author and witness affirm his identity with the disciple whom Jesus loved; thus each affirms fundamentally the same thing, but in a manner apposite to his particular position and role.

There exists a second work, coming evidently from the same pen as the Gospel, and whose author likewise declares himself a witness of the facts and an apostle, with a clearness which leaves nothing to be desired on the part of any one who does not wish to close his eyes to the light. We read, 1 Ep. of 1 John 1:1 ff.: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have beheld and our hands have handled of the Word of life,...we declare it unto you, that you may have fellowship with us;...and we write unto you these things, that your joy may be fulfilled; and this is the message which we have heard from him and declare unto you....” How can we deny, in the face of expressions like these, that the author had the intention of giving himself out as an eye and ear-witness of the facts of the Gospel history? Let any one tell us what more forcible terms he could have used in order to designate himself as such. Reuss says: “The fact that Jesus lived the life of mortals is enough to enable every believer to say: We have seen, heard, touched Him.” Yes, but on the condition that, in speaking thus, he does not place himself in express contrast to other believers who have neither seen nor heard nor touched, and to whom for this reason he says: “ We declare unto you,...we write to you these things, to the end that you may have part in them, and that your joy may be as complete as ours.” Reuss says: “Every preacher who hands over the truth to a new generation will constantly be able to express himself in the same way.” We leave in his happy quietude the man who can bring himself into tranquillity by such a subterfuge. There is evidently here the same contrast as in John 20:29, between those who have seen and those who must believe without having seen, or, as in John 19:35, between the one who has seen and you who are to believe. Sabatier has recourse to another expedient. He thinks he can explain these words by the author's desire, “not to give an historical testimony, but to combat Docetism.” There is nothing more in these words therefore, he says, than “the positive affirmation of the reality of the flesh of Jesus Christ” (p. 193). But, if it were so, to what purpose the commencing with these words: That which was from the beginning, which are developed in the second verse by the following: “And the life which was with the Father was manifested, and we have seen it, and we bear witness of it?” We see that the thought of the author is not to contrast the reality of Jesus' body with the idea of a mere appearance, but to bring out these two facts which seemed contradictory, and the union of which was of vital importance to his view: on one side, the divine, eternal being of Christ; on the other, the perfect reality, not of His body only, but of His human existence. It is the same thought as that which is formulated in the expression which is the theme of the Gospel: “The Word was made flesh.” Moreover, the Docetae did not deny the sensible appearances in the life of the Lord, and the apostle would not have accomplished anything in opposition to them by affirming these.

It remains incontrovertible, therefore, for every one who is determined to take the texts for what they are, and not to make them say what he wishes, that the author expressly gives himself out in two of these texts, and that he is given out in the third by his friends who know him personally, as the witness of the facts related in this book; and if one refuses to admit this double testimony, one cannot escape the necessity of making him an impostor. We are thankful to the modern writers who, like Reuss and Sabatier, shrink from such a consequence; but we believe that it is impossible to do so except by sacrificing the exegetical conscience.

IV. If we endeavor, finally, to designate this apostle, at once the witness and redactor of the evangelical facts, we are forced to recognize in him the disciple whom Jesus loved, John himself.

And first: The disciple whom Jesus loved. The author declares himself, John 19:35, to be the one who saw with his own eyes two prophecies fulfilled at the same time by the thrust of the heathen soldier's spear. Now, his narrative mentions only one apostle as present at the crucifixion of the Lord the one whom Jesus loved ( Joh 19:26 ). It is evident, therefore, that he gives himself out as that disciple. We have already noticed the description of the way in which the disciple whom Jesus loved reached the belief in the resurrection ( Joh 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 is the case with the confidential and entirely personal details which are given respecting the relation of Peter to him at the last supper ( Joh 13:24-27 ), and of the story of his last conversation with Jesus following upon His appearance in Galilee ( Joh 21:19-22 ). Let us add that no one ought to have been more anxious than the disciple whom Jesus loved to set right the meaning of a saying which concerned him, and which was circulating in a form that was compromising to the dignity of Jesus.

We say further: John, the son of Zebedee. In all the apostolic catalogues, John and James are named in the first place after Simon Peter, and this rank which is constantly assigned to them is justified by the peculiar distinctions which they shared with that apostle. How does it happen that in the fourth Gospel, in the single case in which the sons of Zebedee are mentioned ( Joh 21:2 ), they are placed last among the five apostles who are named, and thus after Thomas and Nathanael? This circumstance can be explained only if the author of this narrative is precisely one of these two brothers. In the Synoptics, the forerunner of Jesus is constantly called: John the Baptist; this was the title which had been conferred upon him not only by the Christian, but also by the Jewish tradition, as we see from Josephus ( Antiq. 18.5. 2.): “John, surnamed Baptist, whom Herod had killed.” In our Gospel, on the contrary, he is always called simply John. It must naturally be inferred from this fact, that the author of this narrative had learned to know the forerunner before fame had added to his name, as an inseparable opithet, the title of Baptist, consequently from the beginning of his public activity. Then, if we have reasons for holding that the author himself bore the name of John, we can the more easily understand how he did not feel the need of giving to the forerunner a title suited to distinguish him from some other John, not less known in the Church. For the idea of a confusion between him and the one who had the same name with him must have been, as Hase says, “entirely remote from his consciousness.” Finally, there remains a decisive circumstance: it is the absence from the narrative of any mention both of the name of John himself, and of the names of the other members of his family. His mother, Salome, who is mentioned in the Synoptics among the women present at the crucifixion of Jesus (Matthew 27:56; Mar 16:1 ) is not named here in the parallel enumeration ( Joh 19:25 ). No more is James mentioned in the scene of the calling of the first disciples (chap. 1), where, however, a slight touch full of delicacy betrays his presence. This way of proceeding is absolutely different from that of forgers. “The latter,” says Reuss, “make it their study to lay emphasis upon the names which are to serve them as a passport.” This complete and consistent omission, from one end of the work to the other, of the names of three personages who occupied one of the first places in the company that surrounded Jesus, does not permit us to doubt that the author was in a peculiar relation to all the three.

We cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of quoting here, in closing, a beautiful paragraph from Hase (p. 48): “While the Apostle John is nowhere named, there passes across the entire Gospel an unknown and, as it were, veiled figure, which sometimes comes forth, but without the veil ever being raised. We cannot believe that the author did not himself know who this disciple whom Jesus loved was, who at the last supper rested on His bosom, who with Peter followed his Master when made a prisoner, to whom his Master left His mother as a charge, and who, running with Peter, came first to the tomb. There must have existed, therefore, a peculiar relation between the author and this personage, and a reason, personal to himself, for his not naming him. Why is it not natural to think that he is himself designated by this circumlocution which included in itself the sublimest contents and the whole happiness of his existence?”

§ 4. The Contrary Hypotheses.

We shall occupy ourselves here only with the hypotheses which have a serious character. We set aside, therefore, without discussion, fancies such as those of Tobler and Lutzelberger, who ascribe our Gospel, the former to Apollos, and the latter to a Samaritan emigrant at Edessa in Mesopotamia, about 135. We meet, in the first place, “ the great unknown ” of Baur and his school, who is said to have written, a little before or after the middle of the second century, the romance of the Logos; the man whom Keim calls “the most brilliant flower which followed the age of the apostles.” One thing strikes us, at the first glance, in this hypothesis: it is precisely this title of unknown which the critics are obliged to give to the author of such a work. Every one knows the mediocrity of the personages and writers of the second century, as compared with those of the first. To the epoch of creative production that of tame reproduction had succeeded. What is that Epistle of Clement of Rome, to which Eusebius adjudges the epithets great and wonderful ( ἐπιστολὴ μεγάλη τε καὶ θαυμασία )? A good, pious letter, such as an ordinary Christian of our day would write. Polycarp and Papias are in no way superior to Clement. Ignatius surpasses them in originality; but what strangeness and what eccentricity! Hermas is of the most oppressive dullness. The Epistle to Diognetus shows a certain superiority in a literary point of view; but as to the thoughts, and even as to what it has of a striking character in the exposition of them, it rests absolutely on the epistles of Paul and the fourth Gospel. If what is borrowed from these writings is taken away from it, it falls back into the general mediocrity. And yet in the midst of this period of feebleness there rises a unique man, whose writings have so original a character that they form a class wholly by itself in the entire body of Christian and human literature; this man does not live as a hermit; he takes, according to Baur, an active part in the conflicts of his time; he pronounces the word of pacification respecting all the questions which disturb it; in an incomparable work, he lays the foundation of the Christianity and of the wisdom of future ages, and this man, this “flower of his age” no one has seen blooming; the Church, the witness of his life and work, has forgotten even the trace of his existence. No one can tell where this extraordinary star rose and set. In very truth, a strange history! The critics say, it is true: “Are not also the author of the book of Job, and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews “great unknown” persons? We answer: The remote antiquity from which the first of these works comes, remains for us buried in profound darkness; what a difference from that second century of the Church, respecting which we possess so many and so detailed points of information! The Epistle to the Hebrews is only a simple theological treatise, an important and original writing, no doubt; but what a difference as compared with a work containing a history, in many respects new, of Jesus, that chief of all subjects to the view of the Church! The author of the one is lost in the splendors of the apostolic period; while the author of the other ought to shine as a star of the first magnitude in the badly-lighted sky of the second century.

Let us add that at that epoch, when the image of Jesus was fixed by means of three universally disseminated narratives which were already distinguished from every other writing of the same kind, a pseudo-John would have carefully guarded himself against compromising the success of his fraud, by deviating from the generally received history of Jesus. Renan rightly says: “A forger, writing about the year 120 or 130 [how much more in the period from 130-160!] a gospel of imagination, would have contented himself with treating the received story after his own fancy, as the apocryphal gospels do, and would not have overturned from the foundation what were regarded as the essential lines of Jesus' life.” Or, as Weizsacker also observes, “He who could have written this Gospel in order to introduce into the Church certain ideas, would never have ventured to invent an historical basis so different from that which the prevailing traditions presented.” The author who, with a sovereign and magisterial authority, has modified, rectified, completed the Synoptical narration, cannot have been a mere unknown person; he must have felt himself to be recognized as a master on this ground, and assured of finding credence for his narrative in the bosom of the Church.

Hase also justly calls attention to the point, that a writer removed from the facts and desirous of offering to the men of his time a picture of the person of the Logos, would not have failed, in this fictitious image, to reduce the human element to a minimum and to trace the absolutely marvelous history of a God, according to him only a mere earthly form; while the fourth Gospel presents to us precisely the opposite phenomenon: “Everywhere in Jesus the most complete and tender humanity; everywhere, under the golden breastplate of the Logos, the beating of the heart of a true man, whether in joy or in grief.”

Hilgenfeld thinks that the unknown author, in composing such a work, wished to bring back the churches of Asia from the Judaizing Christianity of the Apostle John to the pure spiritualism of St. Paul, which was originally established in those churches. Ordinarily, the course of forgers is justified by saying, that they make the alleged author speak as they think that he would have spoken in the circumstances in which they are themselves living. It is in this way that Keim also excuses the pseudo-John: “Our author has written in the just conviction that John would have written precisely so, if he were still living at his time.” Let our two critics put themselves in accord, if they can! According to the second, the author aims at continuing the Johannean work in Asia; according to the first, he labors to overthrow it, and that by borrowing the mask of John himself! This second degree of pious fraud draws very near to impious fraud.

The expedient of pious fraud has been singularly abused in these last times, as if this device had been allowed without reluctance by the conscience of the Church itself. That it was frequently made use of, the facts indisputably prove; but that the Church ever gave its assent to it, the facts quite as positively deny. It was in vain for the author of the wellknown book: The Acts of Paul and Thecla, to allege that he had composed that little story with a good intention and out of love for the Apostle Paul ( id se amore Pauli fecisse); he was nevertheless obliged, after having confessed his faults, to give up his office of presbyter ( convictum atque confessum loco decessisse). Here is what took place, according to the report of Tertullian, in a church of Asia Minor, in the second century. And yet the question in the case of that writing was only of a harmless anecdote of which Paul was the hero, while, in the case of the fourth Gespel, the romance would be nothing less than a fictitious history of the person of the Lord!

This mysterious X of the Tubingen criticism is in truth only an imaginary quantity. As soon as we place ourselves in the presence of the world of realities, we understand that this great unknown is no other than a great unrecognized one, John himself.

It was necessary, therefore, to make trial of a name. Nicolas has proposed the presbyter John, and it is for this personage that Renan seems disposed, at present, to decide. But this hypothesis raises difficulties of no less magnitude than the preceding one. First of all, it cannot be supposed that such a man, an immediate disciple of Jesus and contemporary of John, would have tried to make himself pass for that apostle, by expressing himself as he makes the author do in the passage John 19:35. Moreover, with what other intention than that of disguising himself, could he have effaced so carefully from his narrative the names of this apostle, of his brother and his mother? Can such a role be attributed to the aged disciple of the Lord? Finally, this pious presbyter can only have been a man of the second rank. Papias, in the enumeration of his authorities, assigns to him the last place, even after Aristion. Polycrates, in his letter to Victor, in which he recalls to mind all the eminent men who had made the Church of Asia illustrious, the apostles Philip and John, Polycarp of Smyrna, Thrasias of Eumenia, Sagaris of Laodicea, Melito of Sardis, makes no mention of this personage. “We must therefore,” says Sabatier rightly (p. 195), “leave him in the shade and in the secondary rank where the documents set him before us. He is of no assistance for the solution of the Johannean question.”

And what do Reuss, Sabatier, Weizsacker and others do? They take refuge in a sort of chiaroscuro. Not being able to deny the exactness, the precision, the historical superiority of the information on which our Gospel rests, and, on the other side, being thoroughly determined not to acknowledge the authenticity of the discourses of Jesus, they revert to an anonymous author, and are satisfied with finding in him one of the members of the school of Ephesus, a disciple of the apostle, who has mingled the tradition emanating from him with Alexandrian wisdom. But can this demi-authenticity suffice? Is it not, first of all, contrary to the testimony of the author himself, who, as we have seen, declares himself, in his epistle, a personal witness of the facts, and, in the Gospel, a witness of the facts, and the disciple whom Jesus loved? Is it not contrary, furthermore, to the testimony of his colleagues, the other members of the same school, who attest with one accord, John 21:24, that the witness redactor is no other than the disciple whom Jesus loved? The more we find ourselves forced to carry back the composition of this work even to the epoch of John himself, the more are we obliged to acknowledge the improbability of the supposition of a fraud. It must have been concerted and executed, not by an individual only, but by the whole community who surrounded John. This supposition, which has so little probability, is, moreover, irreconcilable with the admirable originality of the discourses of Jesus. In fact: either these discourses are the work of the Apostle John, and, in that case, there is no longer any reason to contest the Johannean composition of all the rest of the work; or they are the work of an anonymous disciple of this apostle, and, in that case, it is necessary to apply here what Sabatier says with reference to the hypothesis of the presbyter John: that “the disciple remains infinitely greater than he who served him as a patron.” And how can we apply with any probability to an Ephesian disciple of John all that multitude of details by which we have proved the Jewish origin, the Palestinian home, the characteristics of contemporary and witness, of the author of this Gospel narration. The master might indeed have handed over to a disciple-redactor the great lines of the narrative; but that multitude of particular and minute details which distinguish this representation from one end to the other, can only be explained if the redactor and the witness are one and the same person.

We conclude by saying, with B. Weiss, that every hypothesis which is opposed to the authenticity strikes against even greater difficulties than the traditional opinion. Keim proudly says: “Our age has set aside the judgment of the ages.” But is the school of Baur “our age”? And were it so, no age is infallible. There is quite enough of one proclaimed infallibility in our days, without adding also one of the left to that of the right.

Chapter Third: The Place of Composition.

IF John is indeed the author of the Gospel, and if this apostle fulfilled the second part of his apostleship in Asia Minor, nothing is more probable than the fact of the composition of this Gospel at Ephesus. This is the unanimous tradition of the primitive Church (see pp. 38ff.); and that region is certainly the one in which we can most easily picture to ourselves the rise of such a work. A mass of details prevent us from thinking that it was composed for Palestinian readers. To what purpose to translate for the ancient Jews Hebrew terms, such as Rabbi, Messiah, and Siloam, to mark the term Bethesda as a Hebrew name, and to explain Jewish usages (John 1:39; John 1:42; Joh 4:25 ; John 5:2; John 9:7; John 2:6; John 19:40, etc.)? Other points naturally direct our thoughts towards a Greek country: first, the language; then the complacency with which the author points out certain facts in the ministry of Jesus which have reference to the Greeks, as that ironical question of the Jews: “Will he go to those who are dispersed among the Greeks?” ( Joh 7:35 ), or the request of the Greeks who, shortly before the Passion, desired to converse with Jesus ( Joh 12:20 ). It is in an Hellenic sphere that these recollections would have their complete appropriateness. But there were Greek churches elsewhere than in Asia Minor; so some scholars have thought of different countries: Wittichen, of Syria; Baur, of Egypt. Very well! even independently of the tradition, we think that there would still be cause for making our choice in favor of Asia Minor. This country, says Renan, “was at that time the theatre of a strange movement of syncretic philosophy; all the germs of Gnosticism existed there already.” We easily understand from this fact the use of the term Logos, which alludes to the discussions which were probably raised in such a theological and religious centre. Is it not, moreover, in this country that the influence of the Johannean Gospel makes itself quite peculiarly felt during the whole course of the second century? And is not the heresy against which the first Epistle of John seems especially to be directed that of Cerinthus, who taught at Ephesus in the latest period of the apostle's life? Let us add, that it is to the churches of Asia Minor that the epistles of St. Paul are addressed, which treat the subject of the person of Christ from precisely the same point of view as the fourth Gospel; we mean the Epistles to the Colossians and the Ephesians. It was in these regions, no doubt, that human speculations tended to lower the dignity of Christ, and that the churches had the most need of being enlightened on this subject. These indications seem to us sufficient, and even decisive.

Chapter Fourth: The Occasion and Aim of the Fourth Gospel.

THE tradition is not as unanimous on this point, as on the preceding ones. The statements of the Fathers agree undoubtedly in declaring that, if John determined to write, it was solely at the instance of those who surrounded him. In the Muratorian Fragment, it is said that “John was exhorted to write by his fellow disciples and by the bishops.” Clement of Alexandria, states that he did it “at the instigation of the leading men and under the inspiration of the Spirit.” Eusebius expresses himself thus: “The apostle, being urged, it is said, by his friends, wrote the things which the first evangelists had omitted.” Finally, Jerome, in his emphatic style, declares that “he was constrained by almost the whole body of the bishops of Asia, and by deputations from numerous churches, to write something more profound respecting the divinity of the Saviour and to soar upwards even to the Word of God.” This circumstance, attested in so many ways, is interesting in that it accords with what we know of the essentially receptive character, and the absence of outward initiative, which distinguished the Apostle John. But the foreign impulse which induced him to take up his pen must itself have been called forth by some external circumstance; and the following is that which naturally presents itself to the mind. John had for a long period taught by the living voice in those churches. When the Synoptics reached those regions, his hearers noticed and appreciated the differences which distinguished the accounts given by their apostle from these other narrations; and it was the impression produced by this discovery which, no doubt, occasioned the solicitations that were thereafter addressed to him. This explanation is confirmed by the testimony of Clement. “John, the last, seeing that the external things ( corporeal) had been described in the Gospels (the Synoptics), at the instigation of the leading men...composed a spiritual Gospel.” Eusebius also says that “when Matthew, Mark and Luke had each published his Gospel, these writings having come into the hands of all, and into John's hands, he approved them,...and that, being urged by his friends, he wrote...” (see above). These friends of John, who had induced him to write, were undoubtedly the depositaries of his book and those who took charge of its publication; and it was they also who, in acquitting themselves of this duty, furnished it with the postscript which has accompanied it throughout the whole world and has reached even to us ( Joh 21:24 ).

But what aim did the apostle especially propose to himself in acceding to this desire? Here the ancient and modern writers differ. The author of the Muratorian Fragment does not seem to admit any other intention in the evangelist than that of instructing and edifying the Church. John had, according to him, the office of relating; the other apostles present (Philip, Andrew?) that of criticising. These expressions imply a purely historical and practical aim.

If, however, the Synoptical Gospels were already in the hands both of the author and of the readers, it is impossible that the new narrative should not have been designed to complete, or in certain respects to correct the earlier narratives. Else, to what purpose draw up a new one? So several of the Fathers do not hesitate to set forth this second aim, which is closely connected with the first. Eusebius declares that the apostle wrote the things which were omitted by the first evangelists, and, quite specially, that he supplied the omission of that which Jesus had done at the beginning of His ministry; then he adds that “if Matthew and Luke have preserved for us the genealogy of Jesus according to the flesh ( γενεαλογία ), John has taken as his starting-point His divinity ( θεολογία ).” “This,” he adds, “was the part which the Divine Spirit had reserved for him as the most excellent of all” ( Joh 3:24 ). Clement of Alexandria gives a very elevated and altogether spiritual import to John's intention of completing the Synoptics: “As the corporeal things were described in the Gospels, he was solicited to write a spiritual Gospel,” that is to say, a Gospel fitted to set forth, by means of the discourses of Jesus preserved in this narrative, the spirit of the facts which are related by the Synoptics.

To this historico-didactic aim some Fathers add the intention to combat different errors which were beginning to come to light at the close of the first century. This polemical aim Irenaeus attributes, if not to the whole Gospel as is frequently said, at least to the prologue: “John, the Lord's disciple, wishing to root out the seed which was scattered abroad in the hearts of men by Cerinthus, and already before him by the Nicolaitans..., and to lay down in the Church the rule of truth, began thus” (John 3:11; Joh 3:1 ). Jerome expresses himself almost in the same way: “As John was in Asia and the seed of the heretics, such as Cerinthus, Ebion and others who deny that Christ has come in the flesh, was already multiplying.... he replied to his brethren who solicited him, that he would write if all fasted and prayed to God with him, which was done. After which, the revelation by which he was filled broke forth in this prologue: In the beginning was the Word.” ( Ibid.) Some modern writers have laid hold upon these suppositions, or have added new ones to them. Erasmus, Grotius and Hengstenberg adhere to the idea of a polemic against Cerinthus. Lessing, de Wette and others think, with Jerome, that it is especially the Ebionites whom the author had in mind. Semler, Schneckenburger and Ebrard believe that he had the Docetae in view; Grotius, Storr and Ewald; the disciples of John the Baptist.

Finally, the modern school, rejecting with a sort of disdain the different aims which we have just indicated, and thinking to rise to a higher conception of our Gospel, ascribe to it a purely speculative aim. Lessing had already declared that John had saved Christianity which would, without him, have disappeared as a Jewish sect by teaching a loftier conception of the person of Christ. Whence had he drawn this new notion of the Christ? Lessing did not enter into an explanation as to this point, through prudence no doubt. Modern criticism has undertaken to give the explanation in his place. Lucke thinks that John proposed to himself to raise the simple faith of the Church, threatened by the double heresy of Ebionitism and Gnosticism, to the state of Gnosis, of higher knowledge. Reuss attributes to the author of this work no other aim than that of publishing his own “evangelical theology founded on the idea of the divinity of the Saviour” (p. 29). Hilgenfeld, as we have seen, maintains that pseudo-John wrote in order to raise again in Asia Minor the standard of Paulinism, which had been overthrown and supplanted by the Judaic-Christianity of John. According to Baur, everything is fictitious, except some Synoptical materials, in this work which was designed to solve all the burning questions of the second century, apparently without touching them. The author brings Gnosis into credit in the Church by introducing the theory of the Logos into it; he moderates the Montanist exaltation; he resolves the question of the Passover at the expense of the churches of Asia, but in a way favorable to the other churches; he reconciles the two parties the Pauline and the Judaic-Christian; and finally succeeds in founding the one and universal Church after which Christianity aspired from its origin; he consummates the apostolic work.

Our task is to examine these various conceptions and to discern the portion of truth or of error which each one of them may contain.

Our Gospels propose to themselves all four of them a single aim, that of giving rise to faith and strengthening it, by presenting to it historically its supreme object, Jesus Christ. But each one does this in its own way, that is to say, each one presents this object to the Church under a different aspect. Matthew demonstrates, with a view to the Jews and by means of the agreement between the history and the prophecies. Luke expounds, by setting forth for the Gentiles the treaures of the universal divine grace. Mark depicts, by making the Wonderful One live again as the witnesses beheld Him. If John relates, it is no more than in the other cases, merely for the purpose of relating. Altogether like the others, he relates for the sake of strengthening the faith of the Church, first in the Messiahship, then in the divinity of Jesus. This is what he declares in the often-quoted passage John 20:30-43.20.31, where he himself gives an explanation respecting the aim of his book: to show in Jesus the Messiah ( the Christ) first, and then the Son of God, to the end that every one may find in Him eternal life.

This declaration indicates nothing else than that historical and practical aim, which the author of the Muratorian Fragment implicitly ascribes to our Gospel; and its contents are fully confirmed by the contents of the book itself. How, indeed, does the author set about this? He relates the history of the development of his own faith and that of the other apostles, from the day when the two disciples of John the Baptist recognized in Jesus the Christ (chap. 1), even to the day when Thomas worshiped Him as his Lord and his God (chap. 20). Here are the starting-point and the goal. The narrative included between these two limits only leads from the one to the other; and this fact alone is sufficient to enlighten us with respect to its aim. John wishes to present anew for his readers the path which his own faith had gone over in the company of Jesus; he wishes by the entire series of facts and teachings which have enlightened himself, to enlighten the Church; he wishes to glorify in its view the divine object of faith by the same means by which Jesus was glorified to his own view: by beholding and hearing the Word made flesh. In expressing ourselves thus, we do nothing but paraphrase the words of John himself at the beginning of his first epistle ( Joh 1:1-4 ), and comment upon that expression: in presence of his disciples, in the passage of the Gospel where he explains himself respecting his aim ( Joh 20:30 ).

But by reason of the very fact that the history traced by him was already set forth in three works which he possessed and which his readers possessed, he inevitably places himself in connection with those earlier narratives. And herein is the reason why he gives up relating the totality of the facts, as if his redaction were the first or the only one. In the declaration John 20:30-43.20.31, he expressly reminds us of the fact that “Jesus did many other things in the presence of His disciples which are not written in this book.” It is natural also, as a consequence, that where he finds in those narratives gaps which seem to him of some importance, he should seek to supply them, or that, if some facts do not seem to him to be presented in a full light, he should endeavor to make the true rays fall upon them. As we have said, John certainly did not write for the purpose of completing, but he often completed or corrected, in passing, and without losing sight of his aim: to display the earthly glory of the Son of God to the view of faith. It is thus that he omits the Galilean ministry, abundantly described by his predecessors, and devotes himself particularly to the visits to Jerusalem, where the glory of the Lord had shone forth in an indelible manner for his heart, in the struggle with the power of darkness concentrated in that place. This intention of completing the earlier narratives, whether from an historical point of view, as Eusebius thought, or in a more spiritual relation, as Clement of Alexandria declared, is therefore perfectly well-founded in fact; we mention it as a secondary aim and, to express it in a better way, as a means subservient to the principal aim. Reuss thinks that this combination of certain secondary aims with the principal one “only betrays the weakness of these hypotheses.” But is there in existence a single historical work, which really pursues only one end, and which does not allow itself, occasionally, to work towards some secondary result? Thiers, surely, did not write the history of the Consulate and the Empire with the purpose of completing earlier narratives. But will he refuse, when occasion calls, to notice particularly the facts which his predecessors may have omitted, or to correct those which, according to him, have been presented inexactly or incompletely? It is not, then, as “slaves of the most vulgar patristic tradition” that we maintain, as Reuss says, “so sorry a thesis.” It is because of the facts, the undeniable facts, respecting which Reuss himself, in his last work, has found himself at length compelled to open his eyes, that we continue to maintain this view.

We persist even in a third opinion, no less opposed to the view of this critic. We maintain the truth, within certain limits, of the polemic aim attributed to our Gospel by several Fathers, and by a considerable number of modern scholars. The first epistle of John incontrovertibly proves that the author of our Gospel lived in a region in which many false doctrines had already arisen in the bosom of the Church. We are perfectly in accord with Keim and many others in recognizing that the principal heresy combated in this epistle was that of Cerinthus, known by the Fathers as the adversary of John at Ephesus. He taught that the true Christ, the Son of God, was not that poor Jew, the son of Joseph, called Jesus, who had died on the cross, but a celestial being who descended upon Him at His Baptism, who took Him temporarily as an organ, but who left Him to return to heaven before the Passion. Nothing gives a better account, than this teaching, of the polemic of 1 John 2:22: “Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?” Comp. also John 4:1-43.4.3. Now, can it be denied that the central word of our Gospel: “The Word became flesh” cuts short this error by affirming, together with the fact of the incarnation, the organic and permanent union of divinity and humanity in the person of Jesus Christ? This same expression set aside, on the one hand, the ordinary heresy of the Ebionites, who, without falling into the subtleties of Cerinthus, simply denied the divinity of Christ, and, on the other, the Gnostic error, perhaps existing already in some, of a divine Christ who had assumed nothing of humanity but the appearance. John thus placed a rock in the midst of the Church against which the waves of the most opposite false doctrines would have to break. This was an indirect polemic, the only one which was in harmony with an historical work, but one to which the more direct polemic of the epistle gave completeness and precise definition.

This epistle of John also does not allow us to deny, in certain passages of the Gospel, the intention to repel the claims of the disciples of John the Baptist, who from the first were ranked among the adversaries of the Lord. Where the apostle says, 1 John 5:6: “This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood,” is it not beyond dispute that he means to set aside the pretended Messiahship of John the Baptist, whom his disciples announced as the Christ, though he had offered to the world only the symbolic purification of the baptism of water, and not the real purification through the expiatory blood? If from this evidently polemical passage we come back to the declarations of the Gospel: “He [John] was not the light; but he came to bear witness to the light” ( Joh 1:8 ); “Who art thou?” “And he confessed and denied not, but confessed: I am not the Christ” ( Joh 1:19-20 ); “And his disciples came to him and said unto him: Behold, He to whom thou hast borne witness, He baptizeth!...John answered: Ye are my witnesses that I said unto you: I am not the Christ” ( Joh 3:26-28 ), it will be necessary for us, nevertheless, to yield to the evidence and acknowledge that John had in view in these words and these stories early disciples of the forerunner who, impelled by jealous hatred of Christ and of the Gospel, went so far as to pronounce their old master to be the Messiah.

The polemic aim, as a secondary aim, seems to us, therefore, to be justified by the facts. And what, indeed, could be more natural? When we establish a truth, especially a truth of the first importance, we establish it for itself, surely, and in consideration of its intrinsic importance; but not without desiring to set aside, at the same time, the errors which might supplant it or paralyze its beneficent effects.

There is but one aim, among those which have been pointed out, which we find ourselves forced to exclude absolutely; it is we repeat it to the great offence of Reuss the speculative aim, the only one which this critic allows. Let us explain. In the opinion of Reuss and many others, the fourth Gospel is intended to cause a new theory to prevail in the Church respecting the person of Jesus, which the author had personally formed through identifying Christ with the divine Logos, with which he had become acquainted through the teaching of the Alexandrian philosophy. We have shown that the facts, when seriously inquired into, are not in accord with this view, which, moreover, contradicts the author's own declaration ( Joh 20:30-31 ). For in that passage he does not speak of his intention to elevate faith to the condition of 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 His fullness and conformably to all the signs by which He had caused His matchless glory to shine forth in His own presence and in that of His disciples. There is no place in such a programme for a Christ who is only the fruit of the metaphysical speculations of the evangelist. Moreover, faith is never, in our Gospel, anything else than the assimilation of the testimony ( Joh 1:7 ); and the testimony relates to an historical fact, not to an idea. We may easily picture to ourselves Thiers writing the history of Napoleon with the design of displaying the greatness of his hero; we may also picture him to ourselves as occasionally completing and correcting the narratives preceding his own, or as indirectly justifying the political and financial measures of the great Monarch, by alluding to false theories which were spread abroad respecting these questions. But what the historian certainly would never have done, would be to make use of the person of his hero as a mouth-piece for disseminating in the world any theory whatever which pertained to himself, and to attribute to him with this aim acts which he had not performed or discourses which he had never spoken.

To the end of confirming the theological and speculative aim attributed by him to our Gospel, Reuss asks “if this is not the book which served as the foundation and starting point for the formulas of Nicaea and Chalcedon” (p. 33). I answer: No; for the subject of those formulas was not the texts of John. It was the fact itself of the incarnation, of the union of the divine and human in the person of Christ, respecting the mode of which an understanding was sought for. Now, this fact is not taught only in the fourth Gospel. It is taught, as we have seen, in the Epistles of St. Paul (Colossians 1:0, 1 Corinthians 8:10, etc.), in the Epistle to the Hebrews (chaps. 1 and 2), in the Apocalypse, in the Synoptics themselves. The Johannean Gospel has discovered the expression which best sets forth the union of the divine and human in Christ; but that union itself forms the basis of all the writings of the New Testament. It was not, therefore, the fourth Gospel, it was the Christian fact, which constrained the Fathers of Nicaea and Chalcedon to search out formulas fitted to give an account of this contrast, which makes the supreme grandeur of Christianity, at the same time that it is its greatest mystery.

I take pleasure in closing the study of this subject with the following lines from B. Weiss, in which I find my own opinion fully expressed: “To set forth the glory of the divine Logos as he had beheld it in the earthly life of Jesus ( Joh 1:14 ), as it had more and more magnificently revealed itself in conflict with unbelieving and hostile Judaism, and as it had led receptive souls to a faith ever more firm, to a contemplation ever more blessed, this is what the evangelist desires. This fundamental idea of the narrative is in no degree detrimental to its historical character, because it is derived from the facts themselves which had been a living experience to the author, and because he confines himself to the demonstration of their realization in the history.”

Soon after the destruction of Jerusalem, the Apostle John, freed from all duty to his own people, came to Asia Minor to settle there. There the magnificent plantations which were due to the labors of the Apostle Paul were flourishing. But the prophecy of that same apostle: “I know that after my departure grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock” ( Act 20:29 ), began to be fulfilled. An apostolic hand was needed to direct these churches. Around Ephesus was spread out the fairest field of Christian labor. We have already said, with a great writer: “The centre of gravity of the Church was no longer in Jerusalem; it was not yet in Rome; it was in Ephesus.” Moreover, this city was not only the great commercial entrepot between Asia and Europe, but also the centre of a rich and active intellectual exchange between the religious and philosophical movements of the Orient and occidental culture. It was the rendezvous of the orators of all schools, of the partisans of all systems.

On such a theatre the Palestinian apostle must have grown daily, not, doubtless, in the knowledge of the person and work of Jesus, but in the understanding of the manifold relations, sympathetic or hostile, between the Gospel and the different tendencies of human philosophy. Those Christian populations to which St. Paul had opened the way of salvation by instructing them with respect to the contrast between the state of sin and the state of grace, and by showing them the means of passing from the one to the other, John now introduced into the full knowledge of the person of the Saviour Himself; he spread out before their eyes a great number of striking facts which, for one reason or another, tradition had left in obscurity, and many sublime teachings which had been deeply engraved on his heart, and which he alone had preserved; he described the relations, full of love and condescension, which the Lord had sustained towards His own friends, and the proofs which He had given them, in their intimate association, of His divine greatness and His filial relation to the Father. All these elements of the knowledge of Christ, which he brought with him, gain a new value through the connection in which they were placed, in such a region, with the speculations of all sorts which were there current.

The day came, after many years no doubt, when the churches said to themselves that the apostle, who was the depositary of such treasures, would not live always, and did not belong to them alone; and, measuring the distance between the teaching which they had enjoyed and that which they found recorded in the existing Gospels, they requested John to commit to writing what he had related to them. He consented, and he opened his work with a preamble in which, putting his narrative in connection with the efforts of human wisdom of which he was daily a witness, he fixed with a firm hand the central fact of the evangelical history, the incarnation, and reminded every reader of the vital importance of the history which he was about to read: The Christ, the subject of this narrative, would be for him life as for the disciples if he received Him; death as for the Jews if he rejected Him ( Joh 1:1-18 ).

At a later time, the first Epistle of the same apostle proceeded from his apostolic working in the same churches, in which writing he addresses himself as a father to mature man, to young men and to children, and in which he makes allusion in the very first lines to the testimony which he bears unceasingly among them respecting that great fact of the incarnation which he has, as it were, seen with his eyes and handled with his hands. Some have been disposed to find in 1 John 1:4: “And we write unto you” (comp. 1 John 2:14; 1 John 2:21; 1 John 2:26, etc.), an allusion to the composition and sending of the Gospel. We do not think that we are authorized by the context to apply these expressions to any other work than the epistle itself.

The two small epistles were issued in the same surroundings. They seem to us, indeed, to belong to the same author. Independently of the identity of style, what other person than John could have designated himself simply by this title: The Elder ( ὁ πρεσβύτερος ), without adding to it his name? An official presbyter of the Church of Ephesus could not have done this, since he had colleagues, elders as well as himself; and if this word is taken here in the sense which it has in the fragment of Papias: an immediate disciple of the Lord, no other than the Apostle John could appropriate to himself this name in so absolute a way and as an exclusive title.

Finally, it was no doubt still later, during a temporary exile and under the impression of the recent persecution by Domitian, that John composed his last work: the Apocalypse, in which, beholding, as if from the summit of a mountain, the century which had passed away and those which were to follow, he completes the idea of the Christ come by that of the Christ coming again, and prepares the Church for the prolonged conflicts and for the final crisis which are to precede His return.

One fact is fitted to excite the reflection of thinking men. St. Paul, the founder of the churches of Asia Minor, cannot fail to have left his type of doctrine deeply impressed on the life of those churches. And yet the Pauline imprint is, as it were, effaced in all the theological literature of Asia Minor in the second century. And this disappearance is by no means the effect of a weakening, of a decay: there is a substitution. There is the appearance of a new imprint, of equal dignity at least with that which preceded it, the trace of another influence no less Christian, but of a different character. Another equally powerful personality has passed that way, and given a peculiar and altogether new stamp to the Christian life and thought of those countries. This phenomenon is the more remarkable, since the history of the Church of the West presents an entirely opposite one. Here the Pauline type continues; it reigns without a rival even to the third and fourth centuries; it is found anew at every moment in the conflicts of a purely anthropological character which agitate this portion of the Church. And when it is gradually effaced, it is not in order to give place to another quite as elevated, quite as spiritual, but it is by a way of gradual enfeeblement and a process of growing materialization and ritualism.

This grand fact ought to be sufficient to prove that the two Johannean books, which are the documents of the new type impressed on the churches of Asia the fourth Gospel and the first Epistle are not the works of a Christian of second rank, of some unknown disciple, but that they proceed from one of the peers of the apostle to the Gentiles, from one of those disciples who had drunk from the first source, from an immediate and peculiarly intimate heir of Christ.

We well understand what stays a certain number of excellent minds, at the moment of closing in the tribunal of their own consciousness the acts of this great process by a decision favorable to the apostolic origin of our Gospel. They are afraid that, by recognizing in Christ the appearance of a divine being, they will lose from Him the true man. This anxiety will vanish away as soon as they shall have substituted for the traditional notion of the incarnation the true Biblical notion of that supreme fact. From the truly Scriptural point of view, indeed, there are not in Christ two opposite and contradictory modes of being, which move together side by side in one and the same person. What the apostles show us in Him is a human mode of existence substituted, by the voluntary humiliation of the Saviour of men, for His divine mode of existence, then transformed, by a holy and normal development, in such a way as to be able to serve as an organ for the divine life and to realize 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 in Christ alone; it is accomplished in Him only to the end of its realization through Him in all those who unite themselves to Him by faith: “To all who received Him gave he the power to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name; and [indeed] the Word became flesh” ( Joh 1:13-14 ). If the Son for a time abandons the divine condition in order to descend into our human mode of being, it is to impel us to that upward movement which, from the day of His incarnation, He impresses, even in His own person, upon the history of humanity, which He communicates, from the day of Pentecost, to all believers, and the end of which is to be: God all in all, as its starting-point was: God all in one.

The domain of being passes infinitely beyond that of thought not of absolute thought, but of ours. Do we not see, even in our human life which is so limited, the inspirations of love outrunning infinitely the calculations of the understanding? How much more when the question is of the inspirations of the divine love as related to the thoughts of the human mind.

To accept the living gift of eternal love by letting it descend through faith into the sphere of human life, is to accomplish three equally salutary things. It is to dethrone man in his own heart; for the Son of God, by voluntarily humbling Himself, impels us to the sacrifice of self (Philippians 2:5 ff.). It is to 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. By this means, God reigns.

But suppress this gift by refusing or lessening it, and this is the end for which those are laboring who make the fourth Gospel a theological treatise instead of a history, the human sphere shuts in again upon itself; immediately man raises himself erect; he feeds no longer upon anything except himself; God withdraws. Man assumes 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 in itself the seal of its divine origin. God alone can have had this thought, because God alone can love thus.

Let us enter now, with this certainty, upon the study of the pages in which this great fact of the divine love has been distinctly revealed on earth; and may those pages themselves speak with a louder voice than any pleader, and the moment come when they shall no more need an advocate!


AFTER the General Introduction contained in the first part of this volume, it only remains for us, in the Special Introduction to the Commentary, to treat of the plan of the Gospel and of the most important documents in which the text of this writing has been preserved to us.


THERE is a marked difference between the exegesis of the Fathers and modern works on the Gospel of John. With the former the thought of a plan, of a systematic arrangement, seems almost to have no existence, so completely is the historical character of the story assumed. The narrative is regarded as the simple reproduction of the history. It is no longer so in the modern conception. The agency of a governing idea is made to appear in the story. According to the view of which Baur's work is still the most remarkable expression, the idea plays even so decisive a part in this evangelical composition, that it not only determines its arrangement, but furnishes the substance of the story so far that, according to this critic, fact, as such, is almost annihilated, and that the allegorical exposition, the name of which until now recalled the worst days of exegesis, is again become the true method of interpretation. The fourth Gospel, a thoroughly systematic work, is as independent of real history as the Ethics of Spinoza can be of sensible reality.

This reversal of the point of view has been brought about gradually. The works of Lampe, de Wette, Schweizer and Baur seem to me to be the noteworthy points in this scientific elaboration.

Lampe was the first, according to Lucke, to propose a general division of the Gospel. It was still very imperfect. Placed between a prologue ( Joh 1:1-18 ) and an epilogue ( Joh 20:30 to Joh 21:25 ), the narrative is subdivided into two parts: A. The public ministry of the Lord, Joh 1:19 to John 12:50. B. The last acts of His life, John 13:1 - John 20:29. Lampe had thus put his finger on one of the principal articulations of the Gospel. All those who, since his day, have effaced the line of division between ch. 12 and 13 seem to me to have retrograded in the understanding of John's work.

Eichhorn made no change in this division. He merely designated the two principal parts of the narrative in a different way: 1. The first, Joh 1:19 to John 12:50, proves that Jesus is the promised Messiah; 2. The second, chap. 13-20, contains the account of the last days of His life. Here was no real improvement. What Eichhorn indicates as the contents of the first twelve chapters is really applicable only to the first four; and the subjects of the two parts, thus designated, are not logically co-ordinate with each other.

Before Eichhorn, Bengel had attempted to found the division of the Gospel on another principle. After having ingeniously marked the correspondence between the initial week ( Joh 1:19 to Joh 2:11 ) and the final week (John 12:1 - Joh 20:31 ), he divided the intermediate history according to the journeys to the feasts: Passover, John 2:13; Pentecost (according to Bengel)John 5:1; Tabernacles, John 7:2. But this arrangement evidently rests on a too external order of events; since it has the disadvantage of effacing the division, distinctly marked by the Evangelist himself and already pointed out by Lampe, between chs. 12 and 13.

Bengel was, nevertheless, followed by Olshausen, who assumed, according to this principle of division, the following four parts; 1. chap. 1-6; 2. 7-11; 3. 12-17; 4. 18-21. Lucke himself, in his first two editions, despaired of reaching a more profound plan, and contented himself with endeavoring to improve the division which is founded on this principle.

De Wette, first of all, discerned and set forth the unfolding of a single idea in our Gospel. The glory of Christ, such is, according to him, the central thought of the entire work: 1. The first chapter sets forth the idea in a summary way; 2. The first part of the narrative (ii.-xii.) exhibits it to us as translated into action in the ministry of Jesus, and that: A, by particular examples (ii.-vi.); B, by the preparation of the catastrophe during the last sojournings of Jesus in Judea (vii.-xii.); 3. The glory of the Lord manifests itself in all its splendor in the second part of the narrative (xiii.-xx.), and that: A, inwardly and morally, in His sufferings and death (xiii.-xix.); and B, outwardly and sensibly, by the triumphant fact of His resurrection (xx.).

This grand and beautiful conception, by means of which de Wette has certainly made an epoch in the understanding of our Gospel, governed exegesis for a certain period. Lucke yielded to its influence in his third edition; but he introduced into this plan a subdivision which must not be lost sight of. It is the separation between chs. 4 and 5. Until ch. 4, indeed, the opposition to Jesus does not become distinctly noticeable. From ch. 5, onward it is the governing element in the narrative, and goes on increasing up to ch. 12.

Baumgarten-Crusius, taking advantage of the conception of de Wette and of the subdivision introduced byLucke, presented the following arrangement: 1. The works of Christ, chap. 1-4; 2. His struggles, chap. 5-12;

3. His moral victory, chsp. 13-19; 4. His final glory, chap. 20. This was de Wette'sidea, better formulated than it had been by de Wette himself. It was the first altogether rational division of the entire contents of our Gospel. Almost all the principal articulations of the narrative were established and pointed out: that between chs. 4 and 5; that between chs. 12 and 13; finally, that between chap. 19 and 20.

This division, however, only took account of the divine and objective factor of the narrative, if we may so speak, Christ and His manifestation. But there is another element in John's narration, the human, subjective factor the conduct of men towards the Lord on occasion of His revelation, the faith of some and the unbelief of others.

Alexander Schweizer demanded a place for this human element in the arrangement of the narrative. He accorded to it even the decisive part, and this while especially laying emphasis on the side of unbelief. He adopted the following plan, which brings out precisely the leading articulations that we have just indicated. 1. The struggle makes itself known in the distance; chap. 1-4; 2. It breaks forth in all its violence, chap. 5-12; 3. The denouement, chap. 13-20. Understood in this way the Gospel becomes a drama, and assumes a tragic interest. But in the conduct of men towards the Lord, unbelief is only one side. Does not the element of faith remain too much in the background in this conception of Schweizer? The factor thus neglected could not fail to obtain its revenge.

Before coming to this point which was easy to be foreseen, we ought to mention some remarkable works which appear to us to connect themselves, if not historically, at least in principle, with the points of view already indicated. Like de Wette and Baumgarten-Crusius, Reuss makes the general arrangement of the Gospel rest upon the revelation of Christ. He assumes three parts: 1. Jesus reveals Himself to the world, chap. 1-12; (A) first, enrolling, chap. 1-4; (B) then, selecting, chap. Joh 5:1 to John 12:2. He reveals Himself to His own, chap. 13-17, endeavoring to cause the speculative ideas, expressed in a dogmatic or polemical form in the first part, to penetrate their hearts, and to transmute these ideas into their inmost life. Up to this point the order is logical, and in this brief form of words are comprehended many of the ideas fitted to throw light upon the progress of the work of Christ in our Gospel. But here a difficulty presents itself, which arises from the general point of view at which Reuss takes his stand with regard to the work of John; the rational division is exhausted. There is no third term which can be logically placed beside the world and the believers. And yet the Gospel is not ended, and a place must be assigned to the three chapters which still remain. Reuss makes of them a third part, which he entitles: “The denouement of the two relations previously established;” chap. 18-20. It is difficult to understand how the narrative of the death and resurrection of Christ can undo the knot formed by the twofold relation of Jesus to the world and believers. Here is the reply of this author: “In that Jesus remains dead for the unbelievers, and rises victorious for the believers.” If in a matter of this kind a clever phrase were sufficient, one might declare oneself satisfied. But can Reuss be so himself? Must he not perceive that this purely historical denouement is not consistent with a speculative Gospel, an ideal work such as his Gospel of John is? By this course we must reach the point of seeing in these last historical facts nothing but a religion or a system of ethics in action. And indeed how does Reuss close his analysis of the Gospel? By these words: “It is thus that the history, even to the end, is the mirror of religious truths.” What! the events of the death and resurrection of the Saviour placed in the same rank with the metaphysics of John! But there remains no other way for Reuss to make of the Gospel a homogeneous whole, and logically to co-ordinate the third part with the two others. We see at what a price this higher conception must be purchased, according to which the reflections of John on the person of Christ form the substance of the fourth Gospel!

Ebrard returns to the plan of Bengel, and once more bases the order of our Gospel upon the feast-journeys. But he attaches a more profound meaning to this apparently quite external principle of division. He justly remarks that the journeys of Jesus to Judea are the natural turning points of the history, since, Jerusalem being the central point of opposition, each visit of Jesus to that capital, instead of being a step towards His glorious coming, became one towards the catastrophe. Nevertheless, we have already seen, and we shall see still further, the insufficiency of this division.

As de Wette had made everything rest upon the objective element, the manifestation of Jesus' glory, and as Schweizer had made especially conspicuous one of the two subjective factors, unbelief, it was natural that an interpreter should lay hold of the other, faith. This is what Baur has done. He sees in our Gospel the (ideal) history of the development of faith. Baur consecrated to this task the resources of a mind most sagacious and most fully determined not to recoil at the presence of any obstacle which the text presented to him; and he has thus powerfully contributed to demonstrate the unity of John's work. He divides the Gospel into nine sections, which, however, the prologue being set aside and certain secondary divisions passed without notice, can be reduced to five: 1. The first manifestations of the Word, and the first symptoms of faith and unbelief which resulted therefrom, i-vi.; 2. The (dialectic) victory of faith over its opposite, unbelief, chap. 7-13; 3. The positive development of faith, chap. 13-17. Having reached this point, Baur meets the same difficulty as Reuss. How to pass from idea to history, from the dialectic development of faith to the positive facts of the death and resurrection of the Saviour? The idea demands nothing further.

This is the way in which Baur continues; 4. The death of Jesus appears as the work of unbelief; 5. His resurrection, as the consummation of faith. Such is the meaning of xchap. 18-20. But, from this author's point of view, this last part remains, nevertheless, a superfetation, as in the case of Reuss. The Passion and Resurrection are facts of too weighty a character to make it possible for them to have their place seriously assigned in the account of the dialectic development of faith, and to be made mere landmarks on the road which leads from the objection of Nathanael (ch. 1) to the cry of faith given by Thomas (ch. 20). We must either idealize the fourth Gospel to its very end, or, by a retroactive conclusion, starting from the truly historical character of the last part, must recognize also that of the preceding parts.

Luthardt accepted almost wholly the results of the work of Baur in regard to the special point with which we are now concerned. Only he justly lays down as the basis of the development of faith the historic revelation of Christ, so properly emphasized by de Wette. The Son displays His glory; faith springs up, but at the same time unbelief awakes; and soon Jesus is unable to manifest further the divine principle which is in Him, except in conflict with the hostile elements which surround him. Nevertheless, in the midst of this conflict faith gathers strength among the disciples, and the moment arrives when Jesus, after having broken with the people and their rulers, gives Himself entirely to the faith of His own followers and impresses upon it the seal of completeness. Accordingly, Luthardt supposes the following three parts: 1. Jesus begins to reveal Himself as Son of God, chap. 1-4; 2. Jesus continues to give testimony to Himself, while contending with Jewish unbelief, chap. 5-12; 3. Jesus gives Himself completely to the faith of His own, xiii-xx.

Luthardt, in the footsteps of Baur, seems to me more successfully than any one else to have penetrated into the spirit of the book and into the inner thought which directed the course of the narrative. And yet the defective point in the plan which he proposes is obvious; it is found in the last section. How are we to find a place for the account of the Passion in the third section, entitled: Jesus and His own? Luthardt here mingles in one group elements which are altogether heterogeneous.

Meyer's division appears to me to be rather a retrograde step than an advance. On the one hand, it raises secondary parts to the position of principal parts; for example, in the first eleven chapters, which Meyer divides into four sections: 1. First revelations of the glory of the Son, Joh 1:1 to John 2:11; John 2:0. Continuation of this revelation in the presence of growing belief and unbelief, Joh 2:12 to John 4:54. John 4:3. New revelations and progress of unbelief, chap. John 5-6. John 5:4. Unbelief having reached its culmination, chap. 7-11. On the other hand, Meyer unites quite distinct parts in one, when he joins together chaps. 12-20 in one group, entitled: 5. The supreme manifestation of the glory of Jesus before, in, and after the Passion.

Arnaud has returned to the division of Bengel, Olshausen and Ebrard, according to the feast-journeys. Thus, between the prologue and the resurrection, he points out five parts corresponding with the five journeys indicated by the evangelist: 1 John 2:13; 1 John 2:13, (Passover); 2. chap. 5, (a feast not designated); 3 John 1:7; 3 John 1:7:2 , (Tabernacles); 4. John 10:22; John 10:22, (Dedication); 5. John 12:1; John 12:1, (Passover). In addition to the disadvantage already pointed out, of effacing the resting point of the narrative which is clearly marked by the evangelist at the end of ch. 12, this division has the further one of making an outside matter of that entire portion of the narrative, so important nevertheless, which precedes the first feast-journey, Joh 1:19 to John 2:12.

Lange discovers seven sections in the narrative: 1. The welcome given to Christ by the friends of the light, Joh 1:19 to John 4:54; John 2:0. The conflict between Christ and the elements of darkness, Joh 5:1 to John 7:9; John 3:0. The continually increasing fermentation, Joh 7:10 to John 10:21; John 4:0. The complete separation between the heterogeneous elements, Joh 10:22 to John 13:30; John 5:0. The Lord among the friends of the light, Joh 13:31 to John 17:26; John 6:0. The Lord in the midst of His enemies, a conqueror in outward defeat, Joh 18:1 to John 19:42; John 7:0. The victory accomplished, chap. 20. This division seems to me a movement backward, rather than an advance. F. de Rougemont, in his translation of Olshausen's Commentary, 1844, has traced the plan, which, so far as relates to the distinction and arrangement of the parts, seems to me to approach most nearly to the truth:

1. Jesus attracts to Himself the souls which do the truth, chap. 1-4; 2. He reveals Himself to the world which rejects Him, chap. 5-12; 3. He manifests Himself fully to His disciples, chap. 13-17; 4. After having accomplished everything, He dies, chap. 18-19; 5. He rises from the dead and becomes through the Holy Spirit the source of life for believers, chap. 20. The only defect in this arrangement appears to me to lie in the designation of the contents of certain parts and in the absence of a distinct logical relation established between them.

The foregoing review has made evident, in succession, the three principal factors in the narrative of our Gospel: 1. Jesus and His manifestation; 2. Faith; 3. Unbelief; or to state it more precisely, the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah and as Son of God; the birth, growth, and completing of faith in the disciples; the parallel development of the national unbelief. De Wette, Schweizer and Baur have shown us in their plans the most remarkable examples of three divisions founded solely or mainly on one of these factors. But we have seen the impossibility of making either one or another part of the narrative find its place in the frame-works proposed by these three men. This fact has an easy explanation, if our Gospel is a work of a really historical character. A purely rational framework applied to history must always retain something of artificiality, and betray its insufficiency on some side. Fact must always go beyond the idea, because it includes the incalculable element of freedom. Let us, then, renounce synthetical divisions which are more or less connected with the opinion that the fourth Gospel is a work essentially speculative, and, without bringing to this question any preconceived idea, let us allow the narrative to act upon us and reveal to us its own secret. It seems to me that we shall, without difficulty, discern five groups which have a natural gradation and which the efforts already indicated have successively brought to light.

1. Joh 1:19 to John 4:54: Jesus reveals Himself as the Messiah. With this fundamental facts are connected, on the one side, the birth and the first growths of faith; on the other, the first scarcely perceptible symptoms of unbelief.

2. chap. 5-12.: The national unbelief develops itself rapidly and powerfully, and that on the foundation of the growing revelation of Jesus manifesting Himself ever more clearly as the Son of God; at the same time, there is wrought out, subsidiarily, the development of faith in the disciples, by means of those very struggles.

3. chap. 13-17: Faith develops itself and reaches its highest point of strength and light in the disciples during the last hours which they spend with their Master; and this development is wrought by means of the last revelations of Jesus, and in consequence of the expulsion of the faithless disciple in whose person unbelief had gained a foothold, even in the bosom of the apostolic college.

4. chap. 18-19: The national unbelief consummates its work by the murder of the Messiah, while the calm radiance of the glory of the latter penetrates that gloomy night, and the silent growth of faith continues in the few disciples whose eyes are still open to receive these divine splendors.

5. chap. 20 (21): The Resurrection, that supreme revelation of Jesus as the Son of God, completes the victory of faith over the last remnants of unbelief in the company of the Twelve.

Exegesis will show whether this summary of the narrative is in conformity with the text and the spirit of the writing. If it is, the three principal elements, which we have pointed out are met with again, and are developed simultaneously and face to face in all parts of the narrative, but with this difference, that the first, the revelation of Jesus, forms the continuous basis of the narrative, and that the two others unfold themselves alternately, the one with an ever clearer brightness, the other in more and more sombre colors, on this permanent basis. To sum up: From Joh 1:18 to Joh 20:29 we see Jesus revealing Himself continuously as the Christ and the Son of God; under the influence of this growing manifestation, faith is born and unbelief awakes, chapp. 1-4; the latter gets the mastery in the midst of the nation, chap. 5-12; the former attains its relative perfection in the last conversations of Jesus with His disciples, chap. 13-17; finally, unbelief is consummated, chap. 18-19; and faith reaches its completeness, chap. 20 (21).

There is in this arrangement nothing systematic, nothing factitious. It is the photography of the history. If exegesis proves that this plan, at once so natural and so profound, is indeed that of this book, we shall find in this fact an important confirmation of the truly historical character and the seriously practical aim of our Gospel.

Of the plans which have been proposed since the publication of this commentary, we mention only the following:

That of Milligan and Moulton is absolutely the same with the one which we have just sketched, with the exception of the last two parts, the Passion and the Resurrection, which they combine in a single one under this title: the apparent victory and real defeat of unbelief. It does not seem to us that this is an advance. The element of faith is thereby too far effaced.

Westcott accepts the grand division of Reuss: revelation of Christ to the world (i.-xii.); revelation of Christ to the disciples (extending this latter even to the end) chap. 13-20. But it is not possible to place the story of the Passion under the general title of the revelation to the disciples.

In 1871, in the Zeitschrift fur wissenschaftliche Theologie, Honig, presented the following plan: The manifestation of the Logos in the person of Jesus this is the general idea. It unfolds itself in three phases: 1. chap. 1-6: the manifestation of the Logos; 2. chap. 7-12: the selection between the opposite elements; 3. chap. 13-20: The catastrophe resulting from this selection and issuing in the victory of the Logos. But we do not altogether see the reason of the opposition thus established between the first two parts. The selection between the opposite elements has begun from the first chapter; and the revelation of Jesus continues after chap. 6, as before. The same is the case in the last part. The revelation of the Logos remains even to the end the groundwork of the narrative, and that as the principle of a selection the description of which also fills the whole book.

As on a day in spring the sun rises in a serene sky; the ground, moistened by the snows, absorbs greedily his warm rays; everything which is susceptible of life awakens and revives; nature is in travail. Nevertheless, after some hours vapors rise from the moist earth; they unite and form an obscure canopy; the sun is veiled; the storm threatens. The plants under the impulse which they have received, nevertheless accomplish their silent progress. At length, when the sun has reached the meridian, the storm breaks forth and rages; nature is abandoned to destructive forces; it loses for a time the star which gives it life. But at evening the clouds are scattered; the calm returns, and the sun reappearing with a more magnificent splendor than that which accompanied its rising, casts on all these plants children of his rays a last smile and a sweet adieu; thus, as it seems to us, the work of St. John unfolds itself. This plan, if it is real, is not the work of theological reflection; it is the product of history, long meditated upon. Conceived in the calmness of recollection and the sweetness of possession, it has nothing in common with the combinations of metaphysical effort or the refined calculations of ecclesiastical policy, except what a criticism which is foreign to the spirit of this book tries to ascribe to its author.


THE text of our Gospel has come down to us in three sorts of documents; Manuscripts, ancient Versions and citations of the Fathers.

I. The Manuscripts.

The manuscripts (MSS.) are divided as is well-known, into two great classes: those which are written in uncial letters, called majuscules (Mjj.), and those in which we find the rounded and cursive writing in use since the tenth century of our era, the minuscules (Mnn.). The text of our Gospel is contained, in whole, or in part, in 31 Mjj. and about 500 Mnn. which are now known.

I. The majuscules, of which the most ancient have acquired in some sort an individual value in critical science, can be divided into three groups: 1. The vetustissimi, i.e., those which date from the fourth and fifth centuries, eight in number. 2. The vetustiores, going back to the sixth and seventh centuries, six in number. 3. The vetusti, or simple veterans, which proceed from the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries, seventeen in number. They are designated, since Wetstein's time, by means of the capital letters of the Latin, Greek or even Hebrew alphabets.

The first group at present includes four MSS., more or less complete, and four documents more or less fragmentary.

1. Cod. Sinaiticus ( א ); at St. Petersburg; discovered by Tischendorf, Feb. 4th, 1859, in the monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai; dating, according to this scholar, from the first part of the fourth century; according to others, Volkmar for example, from the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century; written probably at Alexandria; retouched by several correctors. It contains our Gospel without any lacuna. Published by Tischendorf, Leipsic, 1863.

2. Cod. Vaticanus (B); dating, according to Tischendorf, from the middle of the fourth century; according to most, earlier than the preceding and the most ancient of all; probably written in Egypt; containing our Gospel without any lacuna; published by Tischendorf, Nov. Testam. Vaticanum, Lipsiae, 1871.

3. Cod. Ephraemi (C), No. 9 of the Imperial Library of Paris, rescriptus; according to Tischendorf, of the first part of the fifth century; written probably in Egypt; retouched in the sixth and ninth centuries. In the twelfth century, the text of the New Testament was effaced to make room for that of the works of Ephrem, a father of the Syrian Church. The ancient writing has been restored by chemical means, but this manuscript presents still considerable lacunae. Of our Gospel, only the following eight passages have been recovered: John 1:1-43.1.41; Joh 3:33 to John 5:16; Joh 6:38 to John 7:3; Joh 8:34 to John 9:11; John 11:8-43.11.46; Joh 13:8 to John 14:7; Joh 16:21 to John 18:36; Joh 20:26 to the end of the Gospel.

4. Cod. Alexandrinus (A); at London; of the second half of the fifth century; written probably at Alexandria. One lacuna only in our Gospel: John 6:50 - John 8:52.

5. Seven palimpsest fragments (I) found by Tischendorf in Egypt; dating from the fifth and sixth centuries, and in John containing some passages of chaps. 4, 11, 12, 15, 16 and 19.

6. Fragments brought from an Egyptian monastery (I b ); at London; dating from the fourth or fifth century, according to Tischendorf; containing in John some verses of chaps. 13 and 16.

7. A palimpsest fragment (Q); of the fifth century (according to Tischendorf), found in the WolfenbuttelLibrary; containing in our Gospel the two following passages: John 12:3-43.12.20; John 14:3-43.14.22.

8. Some fragments of a Cod. Borgianus (T); at Rome; fifth century (Tischendorf), containing, with the Egyptian translation, called the Sahidic, on the opposite page, the two passages: John 6:28-43.6.67; Joh 7:6 to John 8:31.

The second group is more meagre. It includes only one manuscript, and five fragments, or collections of fragments.

9. Cod. Cantabrigiensis (D); at Cambridge; of the middle of the sixth century (Tischendorf); although presenting certain Alexandrian forms, it was, no doubt, written in the West, and probably in Southern Gaul (see Bleek, Einl., 3d ed., publ. by Mangold, p. 816). Parallel with the Greek text a Latin translation is found, earlier than that of Jerome. Two large lacunae in our Gospel: Joh 1:16 to John 3:26; Joh 18:13 to John 20:13.

10. A palimpsest fragment (P); at Wolfenbuttel; of the sixth century; containing three passages of our Gospel; John 1:29-43.1.41; John 2:13-43.2.25; John 21:1-43.21.11.

11. Fragments of a splendid manuscript (N), four leaves of which are found at London, two at Vienna, six at Rome, thirty-three at Patmos; of the end of the sixth century (Tischendorf); containing of John's Gospel only John 14:2-43.14.10; John 15:15-43.15.22.

12. Fragments obtained by Tischendorf from the Porphyric Library ( Θ & supc and g;); of the sixth century; passages from chaps. 6 and 18.

13. Some fragments (T b ); at St. Petersburg; of the sixth century; passages from chaps. 1, 2 and 4 of our Gospel.

14. Marginal annotations (F a ) in the Cod. Coislinianus of the Epistles of Paul (H 202 of the National Library of Paris); containing some verses of John from a text of the seventh century (v. 35, and John 6:53; Joh 6:55 ).

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

15. Cod. Basileensis (E); at Basle; of the eighth century; it appears to have been used in public worship in one of the churches of Constantinople; it contains the entire Gospel of John.

16. The beautiful Cod. of Paris (L); of the eighth century; it wants only Joh 21:15 to the end.

17. Fragments of a Cod. in the Barberini Library (Y); of the eighth century; containing, of our Gospel: Joh 16:3 to John 19:41.

18. Cod. Sangallensis ( Δ ); written in the ninth century by the Scotch or Irish monks of the monastery of St. Gall; complete, with the exception of John 19:17-43.19.35. This Cod. contains an interlinear Latin translation, which is neither that of Jerome nor the version anterior to this Father.

19. Cod. Boreeli (F) at Utrecht; of the ninth century; containing the portion of our Gospel from Joh 1:1 to John 13:34; but with numerous lacunae.

20. Cod. Seidelii (G); brought from the East by Seidel; at London; of the ninth or tenth century; two lacunae: John 18:5-43.18.19, and John 19:4-43.19.27.

21. A second Cod. Seidelii (H); at Hamburg; of the ninth or tenth century; some lacunae in chaps. 9, 10, 18 and 20.

22. Cod. Kyprius (K); at Paris; of the ninth century; brought from the island of Cyprus to the Colbert Library; complete.

23. The Cod. of des Camps (M); at Paris; of the ninth century; a gift to Louis XIV. from the Abbe8 des Camps in 1706; complete.

24. Fragments of a Cod. from Mount Athos (O); at Moscow; of the ninth century; containing John 1:1-43.1.4, and John 20:10-43.20.13.

25. A fragment belonging to the Library of Moscow (V); of the ninth century; containing Joh 1:1 to John 7:39.

26. A Cod. brought from the east by Tischendorf ( Γ ); at Oxford and St. Petersburg; ninth century; containing Joh 4:14 to John 8:3, and Joh 15:24 to John 19:6.

27. A Cod. brought by the same from the East ( Λ ); at Oxford; ninth century; complete.

28. Fragments of a Cod. (X) in the University Library at Munich; containing passages from chaps. 1, 2, 7-16.

29. A Cod. brought from Smyrna by Tischendorf ( Π ); ninth century; complete.

30. A Cod. of the Vatican (S); of the year 949; complete.

31. A Cod. at Venice (U); of the tenth century; complete.

It is well known that the oldest of these MSS. bear almost no trace of accentuation, punctuation, or separation between words and periods. These different elements were only gradually introduced into the text; and herein we have one of the means which are employed in estimating the age of the manuscripts. To these elements of the text, therefore, we should not allow any sort of authority.

II. Of the five hundred minuscules deposited in the various libraries of Europe, a large number have not yet been collated. Although they are all of more recent origin than the majuscules, many of them occasionally offer interesting readings.

II. B. The Ancient Versions.

The translations (Vss.) have the disadvantage of not directly furnishing the text of the New Testament, but leaving it to be conjectured. Nevertheless, they may render important service for the criticism of the text, especially when the question is as to the omission or interpolation of words and passages, and the more so as some of them are much earlier than our most ancient manuscripts.

There are two of them which, for critical importance, surpass all the others; the ancient Syriac translation called Peschito, and the ancient Latin translation to which the name Itala has been given from a passage in Augustine.

I. Peschito (Syr.). This translation (whose name apparently signifies the simple, the faithful) goes back, according to the common opinion, as far as the second century of our era; according to Westcott and Hort, it must in its present form be placed between 250 and 350. It seems to have had, at first, an ecclesiastical destination. It is what its name indicates, faithful without servility. The principal edition, according to which it is cited by Tischendorf, is that of Leusden and Schaaf, 1709 and 1717 (Syr. sch. ). Cureton published in 1858, from a Syriac manuscript of the fourth century, discovered in an Egyptian convent, fragments of a Syriac translation of the Gospels, which more recently have been still further increased by some others. They contain the following parts of John: John 1:1-43.1.42; Joh 3:6 to John 7:37; John 14:11-43.14.28 (Syr. cur. ). Another Syriac version exists, which was made at the beginning of the sixth century; it is called the Philoxenian translation (Syr. p. ). It is absolutely literal.

II. Itala (It.). Much earlier than St. Jerome, probably even from the middle of the second century, there existed a Latin translation of the New Testament. It certainly came from proconsular Africa, where the Greek language was less widely extended than in Italy. It was servile to excess and of an extreme rudeness, but it existed in very varied forms. We possess several copies of these ancient Latin versions, either in the bilingual manuscripts the Cod. D, for example, which contains the Latin translation designated by d or in particular manuscripts, such as the Vercellensis, of the fourth century, (a); the Veronensis, of the fourth or fifth century, (b); the Colbertensis, of the eleventh century, (c), etc.

Near the end of the fourth century St. Jerome revised this primitive translation, according to ancient Greek manuscripts. This new version, the Vulgate (Vg.) has been preserved to us in several documents of a high antiquity, but quite different from each other; thus the Cod. Amiatinus (am.), and the Fuldensis (fuld.), both of the sixth century.

Among the other ancient translations, the most interesting for critical use are the three Egyptian versions; the fragments of the Sahidic translation (Sah.), in the dialect of Upper Egypt; the Coptic translation (Cop.), in that of Lower Egypt, and the Baschmuric translation (Bas.), in a third dialect, which the younger Champollion supposed to be that of Fayoum (of John, only Joh 4:28-53 ). What gives these versions a special interest is, first, their date (the third, or even, according to Bishop Lightfoot, the second century), and, then, their intimate relation to the text of our most ancient Greek manuscripts.

III. C. The Fathers.

The quotations from the New Testament in the writings of the Fathers have, with reason, been called “fragments of ancient manuscripts.” Only it must be remembered that very frequently the Fathers cite merely from memory and according the sense. But their citations, nevertheless, remain in a multitude of cases an important critical means of establishing the condition of the text at an epoch to which our MSS. do not go back. The most important are Irenaeus (Ir.), Clement of Alexandria (Clem.), Tertullian (Tert.), Origen (Or.), Chrysostom (Chrys.). The readings of the heretics have, also, a certain value, particularly for the Gospel of John, those of Heracleon, a Gnostic of the second century, of the school of Valentinus; he is the author of the oldest commentary on this writing. Origen has preserved for us some parts of this interesting work.

D. The Text in general.

These suggestions, as much abridged as possible, will be sufficient to place the readers in a condition to comprehend the portion of our commentary which relates to the criticism of the text, and to render accessible to them the eighth edition of Tischendorf, in the notes of which the result of the immense labors of that scholar is concentrated.

Since the time of Bengel, it began to be established that the critical documents have a tendency to group themselves, in case of variants, after a more or less regular manner. Thus, in the Epistles of Paul, if we run over several pages of a list of variations, together with an indication of their respective authorities, it will be sufficient to lead us to remark very soon that the documents separate themselves frequently into three more or less fixed groups. In the Gospels, these opposing camps tend, rather, to reduce themselves to two. But the conflict is permanent. It is natural to suppose that these two or three groups of manuscripts represent the different forms of text which were spontaneously formed in the principal regions of the Church from the second and third centuries. As the writings of the N. T. were copied by hand in Syria, in Greece, in Asia Minor, in Egypt, in the Roman province of Africa and in Italy, why should not various readings have been introduced, and then perpetuated and fixed in each of these regions where the Church flourished? Three principal original homes of our textual documents have up to these most recent times been admitted, and as a consequence three principal courses of variations: 1. Egypt, with its great manufacture of manuscripts at Alexandria; 2. The West, particularly Italy and proconsular Africa, with the two centres, Rome and Carthage; 3. Palestine and Syria, whose capital, Antioch, was superseded from the beginning of the fourth century by the new capital of the world, Byzantium; and with these three ecclesiastical regions the three principal families of manuscripts are made in greater or less degree to correspond: 1. The Alexandrian group, composed especially of B. C. L., then also of א and finally A, although these last two, especially the second, partake in large measure of other texts: 2. The Western or Greco-Latin group, including principally the Majuscules which are a little less ancient, D. F. G., etc., whose Western origin is easily recognized by the Latin translation which accompanies the Greek text; 3. The Byzantine or Syrian group, containing nearly all the later Majuscules of the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries and almost all the Minuscules. To the first the Egyptian Versions belong; to the second the Old Latin Version, the Itala; to the third the Syriac Version, named Peschito. The most ancient Syriac translation of which Cureton recovered fragments, reproduces especially the Alexandrian text. Among the Fathers, Clement of Alex. and Origen present more the Alexandrian readings; the Latin Fathers, the Western readings; Chrysostom and Theodoret, the Byzantine readings. Although criticism and exegesis appear, more and more, disposed openly to prefer the Alexandrian text, the documents pertaining to which are evidently the most ancient, to the two others, yet there is no denial of all authority to these last two. Tischendorf, in particular, in his seventh ed., and up to the discovery of the Sinaitic MS., believed that he ought to readmit into the text many Byzantine readings, which he had before set aside.

But Hort and Westcott, after immense labors, have arrived at quite a different view of the history of the text; and one which, if it should come to be accepted, would modify completely this earlier mode of judging. According to them we must distinguish, on one side, the Syrian or Byzantine text and, on the other, three texts anterior to that. The first dates only from the earliest part of the fourth century, while the formation of these last goes back even to the second century. They are: 1. The Alexandrian text; 2. The Western text; and

3. A text which they call neutral, that is to say, which has neither the Alexandrian peculiarities, nor the Western peculiarities; which consequently approaches most nearly to the Apostolic text. This last has been preserved for us in the most faithful manner in the Vatican MS., then, in a less degree of purity, in the Sinaitic, so that, where these two manuscripts are in accord, there is scarcely any room for discussion, even when all the other authorities are on the other side. As for the Syrian text, it is a simple compilation, made by means of the three others, which does not have any reading which is original and of a date anterior to the three preceding ones. Its own readings are only the product of a work of revision cleverly accomplished at the end of the third century. There is, therefore, no reason to take the least account of this text, even when the others are not in agreement. It is absolutely without authority. Thus the revolution begun by Mill and Bentley, continued by Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf and Tregelles, is at last consummated. The Byzantine text, which, under the name of Received Text, had reigned as sovereign from the time of Erasmus to the eighteenth century, has received its complete and final dismissal.

Let me be allowed, however, not to accept this verdict as a sentence without appeal. I can hardly believe that the Church in Syria, the first established in a heathen country, did not preserve a text for itself, as well as the other countries of Christendom, and that it was obliged to borrow wholly from foreign documents the text of its official translation, the Peschito. I am not ignorant that the Syriac of Cureton, which seems to present a more ancient text than that of the Peschito, approaches more nearly to the Alexandrian. And more learned persons than myself give up the attempt to explain, with our present means, the relation between this text and that of the Peschito. But how can we believe that such a man as Chrysostom would have adopted that of the Peschito for the purpose of making it the foundation of his sermons, if that text had been only the product of a quite recent compilation, not resting on any sort of local authority. To these reasons is to be added that which exegetical experience appears to me to furnish. As there are cases where in my opinion the Greco-Latin text is certainly preferable to the so- called neutral text of B and א , and in general to the reading of all the others, there are also cases, and in considerable numbers, where the texts called ante-Syrian by Hort and Westcott are decidedly inferior, when weighed in the balance of the context, to the Byzantine readings. Meyer himself is obliged to acknowledge this very frequently.

I ask, then, simply that we should keep the protocol open, that the documents should not be used according to an altogether external and mechanical method, and that in each particular case the casting vote should be accorded to exegetical good sense and tact.


This title appears in the MSS. in different forms. The simplest is that which we find in א B D: κατὰ᾿Ιωάννην ( according to John). The majority of the Mjj. and א (at the end of the book): εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ᾿Ιωάννην , Gospel according to John. T. R., with a large number of Mnn.: τὸ κατὰ᾿Ι . εὐαγγ . , The Gospel according to John. Stephen's third edition adds ἅγιον ( holy) before εὐαγγ . , with several Mnn. Some Mnn. read: ἐκ τοῦ κ . ᾿Ι . εὐαγγ . The Vss. vary also: evang. Johannis (Syr.); ev. per Joh. (Goth.); ev. secundum Joh. (Cop.); ev. sanctum praedicationis Joh. praeconis (according to certain edd. of the Syriac).

All these variations seem to prove that this title did not proceed from the hand of the author or the editors of the Gospel. Had it belonged originally to the body of the work, it would be the same, or nearly the same, in all the documents. It was doubtless added when the collection of the Gospels was made in the churches, which formation of a collection was brought about more or less spontaneously in each locality, as is shown by the different order of our four Gospels and of the New Testament writings in general in the canons of the churches. The differences in the titles are, doubtless, explained by the same cause.

But what is the exact sense of this formula: “ according to John? ” From the time of the Manichean Faustus (Augustine, contra Faustum, 32.2) even to our day, scholars have been found who have given to κατά , according to, a very broad sense: Gospel drawn up according to the type of preaching of Matthew, John, etc. It is thus that Reuss ( Gesch. der heil. Schr. N. T., § 177) and Renan ( Vie de Jesus,, p. xvi.), appear to understand the word. The result of this would be that these four formulas, instead of attesting the fact of the composition of our Gospels by the four men designated in the titles, would, on the contrary, exclude it. But no one in the primitive church ever dreamed of assigning other authors to these four writings than those who are named in the titles; the thought of those who formulated these titles cannot therefore, have been that which is thus ascribed to them. Moreover, this sense of according to cannot be at all suitable to the second or the third Gospel; since Mark and Luke have never been regarded as the founders of an independent personal tradition, but only as the redactors of narrations proceeding from Peter and Paul. The title of these two writings should therefore have been: Gospels according to Peter and according to Paul, if the word according to had really had in the thought of the authors of the titles, the meaning which the learned authorities whom we are opposing give to it. The error of these authorities arises from the fact that they give to the term Gospel a sense which it did not have in the primitive Christian language. In that language, in fact, this word did not at all designate a book, a writing relating the coming of the Saviour, but the good-tidings of God to mankind, that is to say, that coming itself; comp. e.g., Mark 1:1; Romans 1:1. The meaning of our four titles, then, is not: “Book compiled according to the tradition of,” but: “The blessed coming of Jesus Christ, related by the care or the pen of...” We find the preposition κατά frequently employed as it is here, to designate an author himself; so in Diodorus Siculus, when he calls the work of Herodotus “The history according to Herodotus ( ἡ καθ᾿῾Ηρ . ἱστορία )” or in Epiphanius (Haer. Joh 8:4 ), when he says “The Pentateuch according to Moses ( ἡ κατὰ Μωϋσέα πεντάτευχος ).” Reuss presents by way of objection the title of the apocryphal Gospel, εὐαγγ . κατὰ Πέτρον . But it is very evident that the one who wished to make this Gospel pass under the name of Peter intended to attribute the redaction to this apostle, and so gave to the word according to the same sense which we give. As for the well-known phrases εὐαγγ . κατὰ τοὺς δώδ . ἀποστόλους , καθ᾿῾Εβραίους , κατ᾿ Αἰγυπτίους ( according to the twelve Apostles, the Hebrews, the Egyptians), it is clear that κατά designates, in these cases, the ecclesiastical circle from which these writings were supposed to proceed, or that in the midst of which they were current.

Concluding Note.

If we now briefly review the book and observe its progress from the beginning to the end, we find the first chapter (following the Prologue) introducing to us the earliest disciples the persons in the story who are, in a peculiar sense, the representatives of the disciples mentioned in John 20:30. The proofs given to these disciples begin at once to be set forth. They consist in works and words. The evidence from the works is carried forward from ch. 2 to ch. 12. It is, in many cases, accompanied by that of the words, but the works have a certain special prominence. Beginning with ch. 13 the evidence from the words alone is presented. In this section of the book, however, we have at last the great miracle of the resurrection, as the final σημεῖον . The section in which the works are made prominent contains the discoursings with the people and the Jewish rulers with unbelievers, as well as believers. That in which the words alone are brought before the reader has relation only to the inmost circle of believers (chs. 13-17). The order of the great proofs is thus the natural one.

Of the miracles, the one at Cana was an exercise of power for the purpose of confirming the five or six disciples in their first faith; that in which the nobleman's son was healed manifested the power of Jesus as working at a distance; that of Bethesda, as effective in the case of a man who had been suffering from his malady for nearly forty years; that of the walking on the sea and the multiplication of the loaves displayed His power over the elements and the unlimited character of it; that in the case of the man who had been blind from birth exhibited the power of remedying maladies even to the utmost limit, and that of the raising of Lazarus the power even over death; finally, the great miracle of His own resurrection showed the endless life-force inherent in Himself. Here is no repetition, but steady progress following the chronological order of Jesus' life, indeed, but manifestly guided, in the author's choice of his materials, by the desire of presenting a continually growing and strengthening proof of the truth.

The proofs and testimonies also which are connected with the miracles, and are given in conversations and discourses, move on in the natural order. They are sometimes clear and decisive; sometimes suggestive, but penetrating the depths of Christian truth far more deeply than the disciples could then understand. The testimony to Nicodemus is of the new spiritual birth and of the Divine provision for bringing men to the true life through the lifting up of the Only-begotten Son. That of the fifth chapter is of the relation of the Son to the Father as connected with judgment and the resurrection, together with the evidences which establish this. That of ch. 6 takes up and unfolds the eternal life as founded upon the Son and upon belief in Him. That of chs. 8, 10 enters more fully into the nature of the Son, His pre-existence, His equality with God. Those of chs. 13-16 relate to what He is and does for the inmost life and needs of His disciples, and speak of the very deepest things in the personal relations of the believer and His Lord.

Of the steady growth of faith in the minds of the disciples, the examination of the chapters, as we have discussed them in these notes, has shown constant evidence. The weak beginning in the words “We have found the Messiah,” which needed the miracle at Cana to establish it, so that it could grow in the coming time, turns at the end into the declaration of the Deity of Christ, which is uttered by the one who was slowest to believe, and which bears witness of the existence of a faith in the whole company that could never pass away.

The suggestions of these brief notes have been largely devoted to the setting forth of this progress and development of testimony and belief within the limits imposed by the biographical character of the book. They have been necessarily partial and imperfect. But it is believed that a careful study of this Gospel by any candid scholar, uninfluenced by a preconceived theory, will tend to convince him the more fully, as he pursues his investigation more thoroughly, of the error of those who claim that the book only repeats the same idea from one end to the other that there is no orderly movement that it is the work of a speculative philosopher creating his facts to suit his theory, or subordinating the development of proof as moving along the line of biography to the ever-renewed statement of an alleged truth. The writer was not a speculative philosopher, but a man who wrote from the joyful recollections of his own personal experience and inner life.

That the writer was the disciple whom Jesus loved is proved by the peculiar manner in which this disciple is brought before the reader's notice from time to time; by the evident indications that this disciple was the unnamed companion of Andrew who came to Jesus on the day mentioned in ch. John 1:35-43.1.40; by the words of ch. John 19:35, according to the only explanation which can be given of them as introduced for the purpose which the author evidently has in view; by the distinct and positive declaration of ch. John 21:24, provided this verse was written by the author of the Gospel or by contemporaries who knew him; and in the most impressive way for the mind which opens itself to receive what comes from such a source, by the constant and manifest evidence which the book bears within itself that it is the outgrowth of an intimate friendship with Jesus while He was on the earth.

That the disciple whom Jesus loved was the apostle John is placed beyond reasonable doubt by all the proofs which show that he belonged to the apostolic company; that, if belonging to that company, he must have been one of the three to whom the Lord gave His deepest and strongest affection; and that of these three we cannot suppose him to be Peter, since he is clearly distinguished from that apostle, or James, because of James' early death. As we move, therefore, from the central and inmost recesses of the book outward until we come to the most distinct statements which it makes in words, we find, everywhere and at every step of our progress, the evidence that it is the work of John and that it is the record not only of Jesus' life, but also of his own life with Jesus.