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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John

- John

by Johann Albrecht Bengel

ON THE

GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST JOHN. [1]

[1] He is the chief of the Evangelists, whom we could least afford to be without. He takes for granted very much that is recorded in the three former Gospels; viz. all the events which preceded the Lord’s baptism : first of all, the place of His nativity , comp. ch. John 7:42 ; also the name of the mother of Jesus; His temptation in the wilderness [John’s representation of Jesus returning by way of Bethabara to Galilee, ch. John 1:28-29 ; John 1:43 , as if from the wilderness, is quite in accordance with the view of the Synoptic Evv.: the interview with John the Baptist took place after the Lord’s baptism, as appears John 1:32-33 ; and as the temptation followed the baptism immediately, and the interview was followed at once by a return to Galilee, the interview, John 1:29 , must have taken place between the temptation and the return to Galilee]; John’s own name, and that of his brother and of the other apostles; the circumstances which caused the Baptist to be imprisoned [the imprisonment itself he expressly alludes to. ch. Joh 3:24 ], also his death; the Transfiguration, although John was himself present at it; lastly, the agony at the Mount of Olives , and Jesus’ prayer that the ‘cup’ might pass from Him. Harm. , p. 38. In modern expression, one may call John’s Book a Supplement to the Gospel History, as set forth by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And in this Supplement, one may fix on four divisions the first of them, chapters 1 5; the second, ch. 6; the third, ch. 7 10; the fourth, ch. Joh 11:21 Harm. , p. 155.

In this book is set forth the history of the Son of God dwelling among men, and that

I. The history of His earliest days: wherein the writer, after premising a summary of the whole Gospel truth, [2] Joh 1:1-14

Records the testimony which John the Baptist gave after the Lord’s baptism; as also His drawing disciples after Him for the first time. Herein is noticed,

What happened

On the first day, Joh 1:15-19

On “the next day,” Joh 1:29

On “the next day” [after that], Joh 1:35

On “the day following,” Joh 1:43-51

On “the third day,” [3] Joh 2:1

“After this,” Joh 2:12

II. The history of the two years’ intervening period, marked chiefly by His journeys to Jerusalem.

I. His journey to His First Passover, Joh 2:13

1. His acts in the city:

1. His zeal for His Father’s house, Joh 2:14

2. The miraculous power and wisdom of Jesus [“He knew what was in man”], Joh 3:23-25

3. His instructing Nicodemus, Joh 3:1-21

2. His sojourn in Judea; the crowning testimony of John the Baptist concerning Him, Joh 3:22-36

3. His setting out from Judea, through Samaria, to Galilee, where He heals the nobleman’s son, John 4:1 ; John 4:4 ; John 4:43 ; Joh 4:46-54

II. His journeys to the Feast of Pentecost, Joh 5:1

Here are set down acts of His,

1. In the city, Joh 5:2-47

2. In Galilee, before the Second Passover, and subsequently, John 6:1 ; John 6:4 ; John 6:22-71 ; Joh 7:1

III. His journey to the Feast of Tabernacles, Joh 7:2-13

Here are set down acts of His,

1. In the city,

1. In the very middle of the Feast of Tabernacles, and on the last day of it, John 7:14 ; John 7:37-53 ; Joh 8:1

2. Next in order, Joh 7:2 to Joh 10:21

3. At the Feast of the Dedication, Joh 10:22

2. Beyond Jordan, Joh 10:40-42

III. The history of His last days, which were,

I. The days preceding the great week [the week of His death]; wherein is presented to our view,

1. The account of the two days spent outside of Judea, during which Lazarus fell sick and died, Joh 11:1-6

2. The journey into Judea; the raising of Lazarus; the counsel of Caiaphas; the sojourn of Jesus in Ephraim,John 11:54; John 11:54 : the ‘commandment’ of His adversaries concerning Him, John 11:57 ; Joh 11:7-57

3. The sixth day before the Passover: the supper at Bethany; the anointing of Jesus, Joh 12:1-11

II. In the great Week itself, [during which occurred] His Third Passover. There was,

1. On the first day, and the next two days consecutively, His royal entry into the city; the desire of certain Greeks to see Him; the obstinate unbelief of the Jews, John 12:37-43 ; the solemn testimony of Jesus, 44, etc., Joh 12:12-50

2. On the fourth day, His washing the disciples’ feet; His declaring the traitor, followed by Judas’ going out by night, Joh 13:1-30

3. On the fifth day,

1. His discourse,

1. Before the Passover Supper, John 13:31 ; John 13:36-38 ; John 14:5 ; John 14:8 ; Joh 14:22-31

2. After the Passover Supper, followed by His prayer, Joh 13:15-17

2. The beginning of His Passion [last suffering , Old Engl.],

1. In the garden, Joh 18:1-11

2. Before Caiaphas, Joh 18:12-27

4. On the sixth day:

1. His Passion [sufferings] under Pilate:

1. In the Prætorium or Hall of Judgment, Joh 18:28 to Joh 19:16

2. On the Cross, Joh 18:17-30

2. His death, Joh 18:30-37

3. His burial, Joh 18:38-40

III. After the great Week:

1. On the very day of the Resurrection, Joh 20:1

2. Eight days after, Joh 20:26-31

3. Subsequently, Joh 21:1-25

[2] As to the pre-existing divinity, and the subsequently assumed humanity of the Word. E. and T.

[3] The third day from the day last mentioned, v. 43. One day is occupied on the journey. The day but one after that in v. 43 is the third day. E. and T.