THE JOHANNINE AND THE SYNOPTIC REPRESENTATION
Jewish scholarship has pronounced that Jewish scholars, steeped in Eabbinic lore, find when they come to study the Gospels carefully that they have not passed into a strange world1; and that, if 'the Gospel of Matthew stands nearest to Jewish life and the Jewish mode of thinking,' 'a greater familiarity with Jewish rites, with Jewish personalities, and with the geography of Palestine' is shown by the Fourth Gospel. ' The whole book was written by a born Jew2.' And such, generally speaking, was a conclusion arrived at in the preceding chapter. A Jewish background was recognized; and albeit in regard to some points hesitation occasionally merged in doubt, it was decided that our Gospel bears the traces of a Jewish pen. Yet a contingency was reckoned with that the alleged eye- and ear-witness of its allusions might be not so much author of as authority for a work impregnated with Jewish thought.
Another stage of inquiry is entered. Hitherto ancient authorities have been questioned; and, the ground of external evidence traversed, there followed a general survey of our Gospel which passed from direct to indirect evidence. The time has now come when, confronting that Gospel with its three companions, we must institute that comparison which will pave the way for more definite conclusions on the three-fold question of its date, authorship, and claims to historicity3.
To turn to the immediate subject. As every student knows, comparisons between the Johannme and Synoptic representations have been instituted again and again; with the result, in many
1 Abrahams, CBE, pp. 164, 181.
2 Kaufmann Kohler, JE, ix, p. 251. See also Brooke, CBE, pp. 318 f.; Jülicher, op. cit. p. 375.
3 The question of substantial accuracy, it is said, is 'ultimately the more important,' Schmiedel, EB, ii, col. 2518; Heitmüller, SNT, ii, p. 707.
quarters, that an array of reasons is advanced for disallowing not only the genuineness but the credibility of a Gospel which, from its generally recognized peculiar character, is placed in a category by itself apart. And although 'the day is now over, or almost over, when the Fourth Gospel and the Synoptists could be played off against each other in a series of rigid antitheses1,' yet it will serve the present purpose to summarize objections and make some independent study of the situation.
Now, where objection is raised, the marked peculiarity of the Fourth Gospel is highly accentuated. It is regarded, not as the record of historical events, but as a manual of instruction of which the theme is Jesus, the divine Logos manifested in the flesh. The view further is that the Synoptic Jesus, human in his every lineament and child of his own age and people, is altogether unrecognizable in the Johannine Christ. As for the former, he is sharer in all the experiences which are the common lot of man, and, moved by tender pity, he performs his deeds of love; as for the latter, a God who walks this earth as a stranger, his signs are done but to manifest his own glory and omnipotence, to lead up to profound spiritual meditations. The one is the prophet-preacher who proclaims the Kingdom, the other is for ever discoursing of himself; the one is friend of sinners, the other prefers the company of seekers after truth; the one prays and the other can dispense with prayer. Nor is stress laid only on a sharp diversity in the portraiture of him who is the central figure; it is further urged that our Gospel and the Synoptists part company in the case of other personages, and that they are utterly at variance on matters, amongst others, of locality and date. The Baptist of the earlier Gospels is the great preacher of repentance, while as portrayed by the Fourth Evangelist he plays no independent role; whereas in the former ease the recorded vision at the Baptism is a sign to Jesus, in the latter case all mention of the Baptism is suppressed, while the vision is granted to the Baptist to assure him as to who and what Jesus really is. With the Synoptists the scene is mainly laid in Galilee; with the Fourth Gospel it is largely transferred to Judaea and Jerusalem; in the former case the events are crowded
1 Moffatt, op. cit. p. 540.
into one short year, in the other the Ministry is extended over three Passovers. In the one case the Jewish people are described with picturesque variety of type and class and section; not so in the other case, with 'John' they dwindle down to Pharisees and Priests and rulers of the people; as for the Pharisees they have become the very core of unbelieving Judaism in its hostility to Jesus. The Jews are pictured as in hopeless case; away with them to the devil, the Greeks for Jesus and for God! And again, the difference between the Johannine and the Synoptic representations of the Passion, the Death, and the Resurrection is regarded as fundamental1.
For reasons such as these there is wide-spread agreement that, whatever be its interest and value as an early Christian document, the Fourth Gospel must be ruled out as a source for the Life of Jesus.
As we shall realize presently, the Fourth Gospel does, in many respects, present a striking contrast to its three companions. Common features and resemblances there may be; the fact remains that discrepancies are both numerous and of such a nature as to stare the instructed reader in the face. Nor is it destitute of significance that the very points which were raised a century and more ago are reiterated, often with next door to verbal coincidence, in the modern world. But in view of undisguised preferences for the Synoptic representation, room shall be made here for some remarks on the Synoptic Gospels.
It cannot be said of any one of them that it emanates directly from an eye-witness of the life of Jesus. They are alike in this respect that they are anonymous compositions. They are not three distinct and entirely independent narratives; on the contrary, two of the three are dependent on the third; the First and Third Evangelists (Mt., Lk.) had the Second Gospel (Mk) before them, and between them they incorporated the bulk of it into their respective works. They drew also on 'the non-Marcan document,' a collection of Sayings generally designated by the symbol 'Q'; otherto us quite unknownsources were respectively at their command, with the result that both Mt. and Lk. have, each one,
1 So, generally, Wernle, op. cit. pp. 14 ff.
additional matter peculiar to his own Gospel. The Synoptic Gospels are composite works; several strata of evangelic record are embedded in them, primary and secondary traditions. As for the earlier traditions, the primary elements, they are, generally speaking, to be looked for in 'Q' and in the Marcan Gospel. Or in other words; of our Four Canonical Gospels 'John' is certainly the latestand perhaps the latest by a long way; as for the remaining three, they are nearer to the events they purport to relate, and it is safe to say of the Synoptic tradition that it stretches back to Apostolic times and to the very days of Jesus. The earlier the narrative the greater, generally speaking, the likelihood of its substantial historicity; and hence preferences accorded to the Synoptic representation are well grounded. Nor would such preference necessarily become unreasonable were it proved to demonstration that the Fourth Evangelist was none other than the Apostle John; for in that case account might not unnaturally be taken of failing memory consequent on extreme old age.
Let it be borne in mind that preference for the Synoptic representation as against 'John' is not invariably bound up with, dogmatic prejudiceswith the view that the historic Jesus never outsteps the limits of the purely humanbut that it is compatible with a recognition of the claims made by the Johannine Christ.
There is another consideration. It has been said that answers to the questions inevitably raised when our Gospel is confronted with the Synoptics are certain to vary with the varying conceptions of a divine revelation to mankind; the remark follows that it is nothing short of a boon that Christian thought is no longer fettered by outworn mechanical theories of inspiration and interpretation in the case of the Bible literature1. to narrow down to the Gospels; in the old and disastrous view the Evangelists were passive agents, men who could not choose but write down words from divine dictation, 'living pens grasped and guided by an Almighty hand2.' A more enlightened view obtains; and todayat all events in instructed circlesaccount is taken of thier respective
1 Barth, op. cit. pp. 13 f.
2 'Das Bibelbuch galt als Einheit, die Einzelverfasser nur als Griffel des hl Geistes,' von Dobschütz, Der gegenwärt. Stand der N.T. Exegese.
personalities. Illustrating a marked diversity of type, of temperament, and of environment, their own proper individuality is never lost. Each one tells his own tale, and tells it in his own way. Neither to the men themselves nor to their respective writings does infallibility attach.
A contrast of some sort between 'John' and the Synoptics, then, there can scarcely fail to be. Diverse are the individualities of the respective Evangelists; what more natural than that there should be some display of diversity of style and standpoint and manner of presentment? Similarly in regard to choice of matter;there would be nothing necessarily abnormal were this or that Evangelist, say at once the Fourth Evangelist, to refrain, on the one hand, from attempting to cover the whole ground, or, on the other hand, to supply what he deemed lacking in the other narratives1. Neither he nor the Synoptics are infallible. If he corrects them and makes his alterations in them, it is exactly what two of them have already done with a third; Mt. and Lk. have treated Mark with a very free hand. Let us add that mere priority is not in itself an absolute guarantee of accuracy, nor is inaccuracy necessarily connoted by lateness of date.
To proceed without further delay to a comparison which will fasten on the following questions:Chronology, The Scene of the Ministry, John the Baptist, Miracle, The Discourses, The Synoptic and the Johannine Portrait of Jesus.
I. Chronology. The independent attitude of the Fourth Evangelist is manifested in his extension of the duration of the Ministry and in his bold transpositions of events and dates.
One instance is the date of the beginning of the Ministry. According to the Marcan Gospel2, it was not until after the Baptist's imprisonment that Jesus entered upon his work; not so in the Fourth Gospels where he is pictured as already active at a time when the Baptist, still at liberty, was still drawing followers to himself3. The narratives appear to be mutually exclusive; yet attempts have been made to bring thm into some sort of harmony by urging that the otherwise unexplained readiness of Simon,
1 Zahn, Einl. ii, p. 499.
2 Mk i, 14; cf. Mt. iv, 12.
3 Jn iii, 23 ff.
Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee to obey the call of Jesus1 is accounted for by a discipleship which dated back to that earlier stage of the Ministry told of by the Fourth Evangelist, who does but amplify the Marcan narrative in a way which it necessitates and positively invites. Whether such a conjecture meets the case is another matter2.
Again. It certainly appears from the Synoptic representation that the public Ministry of Jesus began and ended within a single year; otherwise the Fourth Evangelist, who expands it to a period which includes at the least three Passovers3. Here, too, attempt is made to reconcile the discrepancy; it has been urged, by no means to conviction, that all three Passovers were, in reality, one and the same. The contention, again, is that, apart from hints and allusions to seasons of the year which themselves are suggestive of the longer period4, it is impossible to conceive of the many events recorded by the Synoptists as happening within the space of one short year5. The Fourth Evangelist, it is maintained, is nearer the mark; and the companion Gospels are, implicitly, in agreement with his reckoning. Very likely such is the case.
To turn to the Cleansing of the Temple. According to the Fourth Gospel it occurred at the beginning of the Ministry6, while it is placed by the Synoptics at the close of the Ministry7, and is evidently regarded by them as the decisive act which precipitated the Death of Jesus.
Harmonists have struggled to escape the difficulty. One suggestion is that there were really two Cleansings of the Temple, the one at the outset and the other at the closing scenes8; few to-day would venture to advance and uphold it9, and perhaps many
1 Mk i, 14 pars.
2 Wernle, op. cit. p. 23.
3 Jn ii, 13 (? v, 1); vi, 14; xi, 1. Stanley (Sermons on Apos. Age) remarks on the far longer Ministry alluded to by Irenaeus.
4 Cf. Mk ii, 23.
5 Westcott, op. cit. p. lxxxi.
6 Jn ii, 13 ff.
7 Mk xi, 15 ff, pars.
8 So Hengstenberg, op. cit. i, pp. 156 f. Askwith (Hist. Value of Fourth Gospel, p. 197) is 'of opinion that the repetition of the occurrence is the simplest and most natural explanation of the contents of the documents.' Hitchcock (Fresh Study of 4th Gosp. p. 22) finds it 'quite possible to believe that the Temple required and received a second purification.'
9 'Un tel expédient,' says Loisy (op. cit. p. 295), 'aurait fait sourire le grand Origène.'
would agree that 'such a demonstrative act, the expression of a holy zeal, can only once be morally justified1.' Where preference obtains for the Johannine dating, it is maintained that the conflict had really begun at the very first, and that the Galilaean Ministry of the Synoptics, rightly conceived of, had been but a series of retreats from a prolonged but intermittent Ministry at the very head-quarters of Jewish orthodoxy. The case would accordingly be one in which the Fourth Evangelist has corrected a Synoptic blunder. But to this there is good ground for demur.
The balance of probability is surely against the Johannine dating2; for the position of the story in the Synoptics is natural, while in the case of our Gospel it has rather the effect of an anticlimax3.
Another instance of 'violent alteration,' as it would appear, is that of the respective datings of the Death-Day of Jesus.
Take first the Synoptic representation. Jesus, it would appear, celebrates the Passover with the Twelve. They depart from the Upper Room; the scene changes from the Mount of Olives to 'a place which was named Gethsemane'; quickly there follows the Arrest. As for the Crucifixion, it takes place the day after the Celebration of the Passover4. Not so, says the Fourth Evangelist; he tells of a Supper partaken of by Jesus and his friends while nowhere stating that the number of the latter was limited to The Twelve. Far from identifying that Supper with the Paschal Meal, he is at pains to make it understood that the Passover lay still ahead5; and that, when the night of its celebration had arrived, the body of Jesus was already in the tomb. The two authorities are thus far in agreement that they refer the Crucifixion to a Friday.
1 Wendt, op. cit. p. 12.
2 A displacement of the narrative in the Fourth Gospel is suggested. Sanday (DB, ii, p. 613) prefers the dating of that Gospel. Baldensperger (Prolog. des 4. Evglm. p. 65) finds a sequence of thought from the preceding story, Jn ii, 1 ff., but that is quite another matter.
3 von Soden, op. cit. p. 403.
4 Mk xiv, 1-xv, 32 pars.
5 Jn xiii, 1 ff.; xviii, 28; xix, 14. 'Das φαγειν το πασχα kann man nach dem herschenden jüdischen und christlichen Sprachgebrauch gewiss nicht anders verstehen, als von der Passahmahlzeit,' Neander, Das Leben Jesu Christi, p. 580, note.
At once they part company, and in regard to the day of the month; the Synoptists assign it to the 15th of Nisan, 'John' to the 14th. They are, accordingly, in flat contradiction in regard to date.
Reconciliation1 being hazardous, not to say impossible, the one question is: Which of the two datings is correct?
There is a strong consensus of opinion in favour of the Johannine dating. Jewish scholarship is in no doubt at all: 'the one possible date of the Crucifixion' is that given by the Fourth Evangelist2. It is urged in other quarters that, albeit the Synoptists are apparently convinced that the 'Last Supper' was a legal Passover3, yet their narratives when closely scrutinized reveal such glaring inconsistencies and incongruities4 as to make them 'bear unwilling testimony'5 to the emphatic statements of the Fourth Gospel, while traces of early confusion are detected in a recorded Saying which points to Paschal anticipations which, entertained by Jesus, were frustrated in the event6. And further, appeal is held to lie to the Apostle Paul; for although his account of the Institution of the Eucharist7 is quite inconclusive in regard to
1 Thus when it is argued by Zahn (op. cit. ii, p. 514) that 'to eat the Passover' was a facon de parler; a vague term popularly used of the whole seven-dayseven-and-a-half-dayFeast which began with the slaughter of the Paschal lamb, and that the men referred to Jn xviii, 28, were really thinking of the Chagiga, or sacrificial meal of 15th Nisan, which was held, not like the Passover, after sunset but in the course of the day. Sanday, at one time inclined to such a view (DB, ii, p. 634), has since abandoned it. B. Weiss (Das Joh. Evglm. p. 248) is unconvinced by Zahn's 'Polemik.' Another line of argument is to the effect that the Passover celebrated by Jesus was not the legal, but an anticipated Passover.
2 Kaufmann Kohler, JE, ix, p. 25.
3 Though silent as to formal rites and accessories of Paschal observance, they apparently specify certain concomitants (not the lamb) of the Passover-meal, while the recorded singing of a hymn might be significant. Spitta (Das Evglm. Joh. p. 295) takes the contrary view.
4 They relate (Mk xiv, 2) a decision to take no action on the 'feast day,' yet it is on that very day that the Arrest takes place, white they naively tell of occurrences and transactions (Mk xiv, 47; xv, 21; xv, 46) altogether incompatible with enactment or impracticable at the time in question.
5 Sanday, DB, ii, p. 634.
6 Lk. xxii, 15. The conjecture here is that the phrase 'this Passover' does not point to a Passover then and there being celebrated but to the Passover of the morrow which, greatly desired by Jesus, would not be celebrated until after his Death. See JTS, July 1904.
7 1 Cor. xi, 23 ff.
date, there are two beautiful comparisons which suggest a dating of the Crucifixion identical with that afterwards insisted on by the Fourth Evangelist. In the one case Paul conceives of Jesus as the true Paschal lamb whose Death on the Cross was exactly coincident with the slaughtering by thousands of lambs destined for the Paschal meal: 'for our Passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ1.' In the other case Paul's thoughts turn from first-fruits offered in the Temple on the Resurrection Sunday to the Risen Lord: 'now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of them that are asleep2.' Nor does appeal stop short with Paul; a passage in one of the Apocryphal Gospels is regarded as significant: 'the sun must not go down upon a murdered person on the day before their Feast, the Feast of unleavened bread3.'
Yet Paul's thought of Jesus as 'the Christian's Paschal Lamb' is not necessarily decisive for historic date, while it may have 'induced the Fourth Evangelist to transfer Jesus' hour of Death to the day on which the Paschal lamb was sacrificed4.' So runs a suggestion; and in any case voices are raised on behalf of the Synoptic dating of the Crucifixion5. Such dating, it is maintained, is perfectly conceivable, nor do the earlier Evangelists relate any single occurrence which might not quite well have happened on the feast-day; their statement is deemed far more deserving of credit than is that of 'John6.' And besides, objections raised to the Synoptic dating of the 15th Nisan (it is said) by no means necessarily establish the date of the 14th, but rather tend to favour hypotheses advanced by daring critics who, contesting both dates, proceed to assign the Crucifixion to one or other Friday prior or
1 1 Cor. v, 7 f. Yet, as O. Holtzmann (Das Joh. Evglm. p. 35) points out, without specific reference to any Paschal lamb.
2 1 Cor. xv, 20.
3 Rendel Harris, Newly Recovered Gosp. of Peter, pp. 43 f., 64 f.
4 Weinel, St Paul, the Man and his Work, p. 303.
5 Hitchcock (op. cit. p. 24) takes refuge in the suggestion that the discrepancy 'might be explained away by an appeal to the original languages,' and adds: 'the four Evangelists are, however, unanimous that Jesus suffered on the 14th Nisan.'
6 'De geschiednis leert dus, dat Jezus med zijne discipelen op den 14den van Nisan het gewone pascha der Joden geviert heeft,' writes Scholten (Het Ev. n. Joh. p. 306). To like effect Schmiedel, Das 4. Ev. gegen den drei Ersten, pp. 96 ff.; Jülicher, op. cit. p. 379; Schenkel, op. cit. pp. 253 ff.
subsequent to the Paschal week1. It is also said that artificiality is a conspicuous feature of the Johannine representation generally; and that in this particular instance the provisions relative to the Paschal lamb have been transferred, with characteristic symbolism and disregard of fact, to the Passion and the Death of the Johannine Christ2. So run the arguments, and they occasion pause.
The case here is probably one 'where the record in the Fourth Gospel may claim the greater internal probability3,' whereas in the former case it must be allowed that the Evangelist has 'divorced the Cleansing of the Temple from its tragic connexion with the final catastrophe4.'
II. The scene of the Ministry. This, by the Synoptists, is laid in the Galilaean homeland of Jesus; and, recording certain journeys outside Galilaean territory5, they have nothing to say of visits paid to Jerusalem6 save only the one which issued in his death. In sharp contrast is the representation of the Fourth Evangelist; for with him the scene on which Jesus moves during the period of his Messianic activity is Judaea7, and in particular Jerusalem; but rarely does he appear in Galilee, and when there his stays are of brief duration8. No wonder that the discrepancy is insisted on9.
The difficulty is scarcely met where the point is laboured of Synoptic hints and allusions which pre-suppose a familiarity on the part of Jesus with Judaea and Jerusalem10. Such familiarity might well be matter of assumption in the case of one who, himself a pious Jew, would naturally go up at feast-times to the metropolis from his Galilaean home; the strange thing would be were he
1 Loisy, op. cit. p. 67.
2 Wellhausen, Erweit. und Änder. im 4. Ev. pp. 30 f. See also W. F. Loman, Het vierde Ev., Kenbron van Jezus' Leer en Leven, p. 31.
3 Wendt, op. cit. p. 13.
4 von Soden, op. cit. p. 443.
5 Mk vii, 24; viii, 27; x, 1.
6 Apart from the story of the Childhood, Lk. ii, 41 ff.
7 Which (Jn iv, 44 f.) is conceived of as his native land. The Saying is taken over from the Synoptics (Mk vi, 4), who naturally refer it to Galilee. Cf. Schwalb, op. cit. p. 208; Wendt, op. cit. p. 108; Moffatt, op. cit. p. 553.
8 Jn ii, 1 ff.; iv, 43 ff.; vii, 10 ff.
9 Heitmüller, SNT, ii, p. 704; Schmiedel, op. cit. pp. 6 ff.; Holtzmann, Das Ev. des Joh. p. 3. The list of names might be easily enlarged.
10 Mk iii, 7 f.; xiv, 3; xi, 1 ff.; xiv, 12 ff.
represented as being entirely without friends and acquaintances, not to say sympathizers, in and in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. The question at issue, however, relates definitely to the public activities of Jesus, and hence mere familiarity with particular scenes is not in itself to the point.
It is open to doubt whether the Synoptic and Johannine representations are so mutually exclusive as to necessitate a categorical 'eitheror'; and the probability is that the discrepancy may be in part accounted for on the theory of diversity in respect of choice of matter. If so, it might be said of our Evangelist that, recognizing that Galilee had actually been a field of action1, he decides that he himself will go into detail in respect of that Judaean Ministry which the Synoptists, not explicitly denying, insufficiently relate. As for the Synoptists, the probability again is that they not only invite assumptions of, but actually testify to a prolonged Judaean Ministry in that two of them fasten on that pathetic lament over Jerusalem2 which is strongly suggestive of repeated effort and repeated failure in the course of frequent mission-journeys from Galilee to Judaea.
It may be so. On the whole it appears quite likely that such was really the case. The recorded utterance 'is a very important piece of evidence3,' nor is it altogether childish play4 to regard it as bearing out one feature of the Johannine representation5. And besides, were our Evangelist, in any case a Jew, a Jew of Jerusalem, he would naturally prefer to tell of the Judaean Ministry.
The contingency must be reckoned with that the Fourth Evangelist was also specially concerned to establish it against hostile voices that, far from having dragged out an obscure existence in such an out-of-the-world region as Galilee, Jesus had appeared and laboured openly at Jerusalem, at the very centre of
1 'Wir finden auch in diesem Evglm.,' says Neander (op. cit. p. 384). 'selbst guten Raum für die galiläische Wirksamkeit Christi.'
2 Mt. xxiii, 37; Lk. xiii, 34. The Saying stood in Q, but is placed by Mt. and Lk. in different connexions.
3 Wendt, op. cit. p. 10. Otherwise Scheukel, who (op. cit. pp. 13 f.) makes room for but one, and prolonged, stay in Jerusalem.
4 'Ein kindliches Vergnügen,' Jülicher, op. cit. p. 379.
6 J. Weiss, SNT, i, p. 377.
Jewish life, as it behoved one who desired to be regarded as the Messiah1.
III. John the Baptist. The contention here is that the Baptist who figures in the Fourth Gospel wears but slight if any resemblance to the Baptist of the Synoptic representation; that the two portraits are singularly unlike.
A question might be whether either of them be strictly true to life; for there can be little doubt that 'the prophet's life was spread over a longer period of time, his mission more independent in character, his influence upon his own and upon succeeding generations more far-reaching, than' is implied by the manner of the Gospel representation2; and it is possible that the real Baptist at no time definitely attached himself to the cause of Jesus3, but went his own way and rushed to a self-invited fate.
But this by the way. The Synoptic and the Johannine portrait of the Baptist are, no doubt, in some things unlike. In each case, however, the portrait is of a strong man, while the Johannine representation is not less decisive than the Marcan for an eminent personage4. Yet the fact remains that a process of subordination of John to Jesus is noticeable, which, setting in with Mark and continued in the two later Synoptics, reaches its climax in the Fourth Gospel. If the Baptist is magnified as recipient of knowledge supernaturally vouchsafed5, a relatively unimportant office is assigned to him, and it would seem that his sole function is to bear witness to Jesus6. A time comes when he is dispensed with7. The strong soul,it has been said, is conceived of as a mere 'voice8,' but this is surely to go too far.
1 Cf. Baldensperger, op. cit. p. 120; Wrede, Charakter u. Tendenz des Joh. Evglms. pp. 48 f. And see Herder, op. cit. p. 307.
2 Blakiston, John Baptist and his relation to Jesus, Preface. And see p. 194.
3 Thus, positively, Schwalb, op. cit. p. 206.
4 Herder rightly says (op. cit. pp. 269 f., 308) that our Evangelist shows no small honour to the Baptist.
5 Jn i, 15, 27, 29, 30, 32.
6 Jn i. 7, 8, 15, 19 f. Wellhausen, Das Ev. Joh. p. 103. According to Schwalb (op. cit. p. 207) the Baptist of the Fourth Gospel preaches, not repentance, but the Gospel; he has the same conception of Jesus as the Evangelist.
7 Jn v, 30 ff.
8 Baldensperger, op. cit. p. 59. Cf. Forbes, op. cit. p. 158.
We conclude that in the Johannine representation the Baptist is pre-eminently a foil to Jesus; and hence precisely those features are preserved which tell of one who, anything but a lay figure, was in high renown1. It is said in effect: John towered above his fellows, but Jesus is incomparably greater than he. Let it be added that the studied representation of the Baptist as a witness might be due to circumstances which, pointing to Baptist-disciples of a later day2, had made it imperative to differentiate sharply between the 'lamp' and 'the light of the world3.'
IV. Miracle. The contention is raised that the Fourth Gospel is in contrast with the Synoptics in that, along with changed motives and with significant omissions, the element of the miraculous is strongly enhanced.
To venture some preliminary remarks. In the popular mind, no doubt, a miracle is nothing short of a prodigy4; a startling occurrence which, in itself improbable, not only runs counter to experience but implies violation of Natural Law by one with whom 'all things are possible' and who plays as it were the part of a divine magician. With loftier conceptions of Deity the preference will ever be for the more sober view that the given occurrence, be it never so surprising and perplexing, may be, and probably is, the expression of Law as yet undiscerned or but partially understood, and that present difficulty will be resolved with a larger understanding of the range and meaning of nature. Faith not for a moment identified by him with mere credulity, the candid inquirer, prepared to encounter instances of the marvellous, will ever be resolute to cross-examine his documents and to apply every practicable test. More careful, more hesitating, will be his judgement 'in regard to stories of the miraculous which have come down from antiquity'; there may be this or that story in the Gospel
1 Jn i, 19 ff. It may be remarked that the Evangelist, who (i, 29 f.) advances ample reason why John should yield allegiance to 'the Lamb of God' and 'Son of God,' gives (iii, 23 ff.) more than a glimpse of the real John in his independent role.
2 Acts xviii, 25; xix, 1 ff. It is not said of the disciples here instanced that they regarded the Baptist as Messiah.
3 Weizsäcker, op. cit. ii, p. 226; von Soden, op. cit. p. 415.
4 'Eine Abart des Wunders,' Traub, Die Wunder im N.T. p. 7.
records which he will elect to 'put quietly aside,' and it may be that he will have to 'leave it there for ever'; on the other hand its meaning may one day so dawn on him that it will then assume a significance of which he had never dreamt1. It will certainly be present to his mind that, if 'psychology is still very far from being an exact science,' 'the whole burden of recent research is in favour of the belief that we, even the least of us, are greater than we know2'; and, alive accordingly to the mysterious power exercised by mind on mind, and perhaps by mind on matter, he, not slow to admit that 'exceptional manifestations of psychic and spiritual force . . . were only to be expected in a Being of exceptional elevation and fullest capacity3,' will probably go on to own that, however the case might stand with the disciples, Jesus is the greatest spiritual force the world has ever known. It will not necessarily follow that the recorded Gospel-miracles one and all will be accepted as they stand; on the contrary, some will quite possibly be referred to the misunderstandings of a later day and others to imperfect knowledge with consequent miraculous interpretation of what, for moderns, would be the natural event. Yet such deductions made, a residuum will clamour for acceptance.
But this is a digression. Reverting to the main question, we will observe in the first instance that one particular class of miracles is excluded by the Fourth Evangelist4. In the case of the Synoptics there is frequent mention of demoniac-cures performed by Jesus; and, by the way, it is widely conceded that he did actually heal many a sufferer who, in the conception of the age, was possessed by an evil spirit5. No such narratives occur in the Fourth Gospel;
1 Harnack, What is Christianity?, pp. 28 ff.
2 Eaven, op. cit. p. 46.
3 A. W. Robinson, Sermon.
4 Otherwise H. Ewald (Die Joh. Schriften, i, pp. 25, 58, 221), who, discovering a gap between Jn v and vi, argues that the Evangelist, concerned to give a specimen of every class of miracle, had actually given a specimen of the class in question in the conjectured missing section. In like manner Spitta (Zur Geschichte und Literatur des Urchristentums, pp. 189 ff.) accounts for the absence of any account of the Institution of the Eucharist.
5 Harnack, op. cit. p. 28; Traub, op. cit. p. 41; Bousset, Jesus, pp. 23 f. Bousset finds the parable of the Unclean Spirit suggestive of frequent failure and relapse.
'John knows nothing whatsoever of the most frequent wonderworks of Jesus, the healing of demoniacs1'; or rather, he declines to admit such Synoptic stories into his own Gospel. It is not that, assuming independent knowledge on the part of his readers of the 'many things that Jesus did,' our Evangelist refrains from needless repetition; nor will it do to plead that such stories are implicitly confirmed by his allusion to crowds who followed Jesus 'because they saw the signs wrought on them that were diseased2.' The suggestions are alike precarious; and the inference is preferable that stories told of cures which others besides Jesus could perform3 were deliberately suppressed by our Evangelist because out of keeping with his conception of Christ4.
What miracles, 'signs5,' are related by him? As commonly enumerated, these: The Water turned into wine6, the Healing of the 'nobleman's' son7, the Impotent man made whole8, the Feeding of the Five Thousand9, the Walking on the sea10, the Man blind from his birth made to see11, and the Raising of Lazarus12. The question, then, is whether there be really 'enhancement of miracle' with altered motive, and, the 'signs' being precisely seven, whether there be significance in the sacred number?
1 Wernle, op. cit. p. 18.
2 Jn vi, 12.
3 Lk. xi, 19. See Forbes, op. cit. p. 156.
4 Loisy (op. cit. p. 58) infers reluctance to bring Jesus into direct conflict with demons. In the view of Neander (op. cit. pp. 307 f.) the omission is due to the fact that in Jerusalem, where the scene is chiefly laid, demoniac cases were rare. According to Herder (op. cit. p. 267) the Evangelist refused to allow such a Palestinian superstition to become 'ein wesentlicher Zug des Christenthums, ein Vorwurf der spottenden oder ein Glauben der thörichten Welt.' See also Lützelberger, op. cit. p. 286; Ballenstedt, Philo und Johannes, p. 73.
5 The Fourth Evangelist generally prefers the term σημειον.
6 Jn ii, 1 ff.
7 Jn iv, 46 ff. RV (margin) 'King's Officer.' In the Greek τις βασιλικος.
8 Jn v, 2 ff.
9 Jn vi, 4 ff.
10 Jn vi, 19 ff.
ll Jn ix, 1 ff.
12 Jn xi, 1 ff. The Resurrection (Jn xx) and the Take of fishes (Jn xxi)
are included by some, and others extend the list with instances of invisibility (Jn viii, 59: 'une sorte de miracle permanent,' Loisy, op. cit. p. 65), of omniscience (Jn i, 47 ff.), and of ability to pass through solid matter (Jn xx, 19 f., 26). According to Alex. Schweizer (op. cit. pp. 130 ff.) the genuine Johannine miracles are to be found Jn i, 49 ff.; ii, 13 ff.; iv; 16-18; v, 1-10; ix, 1-7; xi, 1 ff. And see Cludius, op. cit. p. 71.
There is a preliminary question; might it not be argued that the number could be reduced; inasmuch as two if not three of the 'downright wonders of omnipotence' which are held to illustrate enhancement are not peculiar to the Fourth Gospel but make their appearance in the Synoptics1, and in that case there remain but, say, four 'signs' for consideration, e.g., the occurrence at Cana, the healing at the pool of Bethesda, the blind man given his sight, and the dead man brought back to life? Yet such a conclusion is unsafe; for, to begin with, the resemblance between the Synoptic story of the Centurion's servant and the Johannine story of the 'nobleman's' son, if striking, is not altogether decisive for identity; and secondly, assuming such identity elsewhere, there are added touches which differentiate between the respective representations2. That there are seven Johannine 'signs' to be reckoned with3 must be allowed.
It must be said, then, that there is enhancement4. With the works of healing the effect is heightened; in one case the cure is performed from a considerable distance, in another blindness is from birth, in a third it is emphatically said of the sick man that he had been no less than 'thirty and eight years in his infirmity.' The enhancement may not be so marked with the Walking on the Sea and the two Nature-miracles, but it is nevertheless present. The very climax is reached with the Raising of Lazarus. In the case of Jairus' daughter it would appear that death had not actually supervened5, while it is safe to assume the decease but a few hours past of the son of the Widow of Nain6. Otherwise the narrative which, pointing to Bethany, suggests unmistakably that the corpse already four days in the tomb had seen corruption7.
1 Mk vi, 34 ff. pars.; Mk vi, 45 ff. par.; Mt. viii, 5 ff. par.
2 With allusion to the Feeding of the 5000 and the Walking on the Sea Schwalb (op. cit. p. 221) writes: 'Unser Evangelist aber hat sie noch ver-grössert.' On the other hand Hart (Exp. 7th ser. v and vi), with similar allusion, eliminates the miraculous elements altogether.
3 'Die ganze Reihe dieser Allmachtswunder steht doch als etwas völlig Neues da,' Wernle, op. cit. p. 18.
4 As, writing in 1838, was affirmed by Hennell, op. cit. p. 106.
6 Mk v, 39: το παιδιον ουκ απεθανεν αλλα καθευδει.
6 Lk. vii, 12 ff. According to Eastern custom but a very short interval elapsed between death and burial.
7 Jn xi, 39: ηδη οζει. 'Lazarus' Leiche strömt bereits Verwesungsgeruch aus ehe er erweckt wird,' Wrede. op. cit. p. 7. Of the contrary opinion Neander, op. cit. p. 355, note.
To pass on1. The further admission appears unavoidable that the Johannine 'signs' are conceived of as wrought with transformed purpose. The Synoptic Jesus is 'moved with compassion' for the leper2; his sympathies go out to Jairus3, and to the father of the epileptic boy4; lest those who 'have nothing to eat' should 'faint in the way' to their homes, he supplies their physical needs5; the blind beggar is heartened to come into his presence6. Scarcely so with the Johannine Christ; his 'signs' are proof of his divine omnipotence and manifest his glory. Thus when at Cana he bestows his gift of wine; nor is there much trace of tenderness in the stories told of the 'nobleman' of Capernaum, of the sick man at Bethesda, of the man blind from birth. It is said of Jesus that he 'wept'7 at the grave of Lazarus, yet he had not been promptly responsive to the sisters' message; and, knowing that his 'friend' was dead, he dwells on issues which shall mean a glorification of the Son of God and the awakening of faith. It is true to say that 'whereas the miracles of healing in the Synoptists are miracles of mercy and compassion, wrought because Jesus had sympathy with
1 Yet not without noting that the feature just instanced is highly characteristicnot always with dignified restraintsof the Gospel which bears the name of Matthew. The First Evangelist, 'on a lower level of spirituality,' occasionally displays 'an unreality, a lack of reserve, a desire to astonish, that makes one suspect that they (his recorded miracles) are pinchbeck and tinsel rather than the authentic gold.' 'They are too like the man-invented wonders of the religious romances.' 'One feels that they derogate from the dignity of Jesus' (Raven, op. cit. pp. 115 f.). This cannot be laid to the charge of the Johannine representation.
2 Mk i, 41.
3 Mk v, 22.
4 Mk ix, 14 ff.
5 Mk viii, 2 ff.
6 Mk x, 49.
7 For some remarks on the significance of Jn xi, 35 f. see Oort, TT, 1909, pp. 536 f. Let the remark be ventured that, despite its beauty and its pathos, there is an anti-climax in the story. On the one hand it points to 'that higher eternal life which Jesus, in other places besides, claims to bestow on all who believe, a life which dwells in them even now, and because it is a life eternal and divine, survives the temporal death'; on the other hand it apparently descends to a lower level when it goes on to point to the mere prolongation of that earthly life to which, according to the story, Lazarus came forth from his grave (Wendt, op. cit. p. 101). The majestic words: 'I am the resurrection and the life' are rung out; what follows in the narrative robs them of their deep spiritual significance.
the sufferers, the miracles recorded by the Fourth Evangelist tend to the glory of him who wrought them. They are proofs, not of his humanity, but of his divinity1.'
It has been affirmed of the 'signs' related by the Fourth Evangelist that they are 'downright marvels of omnipotence as God alone can "conjure" them2.' Let it be asked here: What of the verdict to be pronounced on them from the modern point of view? Some, perhaps, admit of a natural explanation3; scarcely so others4, and, a variety of suggestions notwithstanding, it must be allowed that they present serious difficulty. True, no doubt, that 'what is regarded as a miracle to-day may be known to be a scientific fact to-morrow5'; yet it must be owned that, taking the narratives as they stand, they are without satisfactory explanation within the known laws of nature, nor are such conditions fulfilled as might win for them the readier acceptance. It is certainly curious, and perhaps significant, that the Raising of Lazarus, which, according to the Fourth Evangelist, precipitates the closing scenes, is apparently unknown to the Synoptists; who, with greater show of probability, regard the Cleansing of the Temple as the decisive act which instigated the chief priests and the scribes to seek how they might destroy Jesus6.
1 Percy Gardner, op. cit. p. 280. In like manner Bruckner, Die vier Evangelien, p. 75. And thus Calmes (op. cit. p. 2): 'C'est le Fils de Dieu operant des miracles pour manifester sa divinité.'
2 Wernle, op. cit. p. 18.
3 E.g. The Healing of the 'nobleman's' son and of the impotent man.
4 The Water turned into Wine, the man blind from birth, the Raising of Lazarus. With allusion to the Walking on the Sea, Granger (The Soul of a Christian, p. 109) pleads that 'there are serious reasons for hesitating before we declare that a human body cannot . . . float along the sea in defiance of gravity.' Schweitzer (von Reimarus zu Wrede, p. 373) thinks that the story of the multiplication of the loaves is true if the words 'they were filled' be struck out; others suggest O.T. influences (cf. Jn vi, 5 ff.; 2 Ki. iv, 42 ff.). As for the Lazarus story, the theory of catalepsy is advanced, 'nicht die geringste Spur eines wirklichen Todes' (Ammon, op. cit. iii, pp. 114 ff.).
5 Hudson, Law of Psychic Phenomena, pp. 372 f.
6 Mk xi, 18. See Bacon, op. cit. p. 349; Loisy, op. cit. p. 72; Burkitt, Gospel History, p. 222. Percy Gardner (op. cit. pp. 283 f.) is 'disposed to think that there was some actual historic foundation for the narrative,' and that 'it may be that the Fourth Evangelist has worked up the tale from his own point of view, and made it loom very large in the prospect.' Yet it is scarcely safe to say with A. V. Green (op. cit. p. 101) of the Raising of Lazarus that it was the one thing which above all others 'decided the definitely hostile action of the Jewish authorities.'
A possibility must be reckoned with that a miraculous interpretation had been read into occurrences which would be otherwise apprehended and narrated at the present day.
But what of the Johannine 'signs' in the view of the Evangelist himself?
It is impossible to believe that the stories are of his own construction. In all likelihood they, or some of them, have reached him, in whatever form, from the lips or the pen of others; and, the decision made to utilize them, he tells them in his own way1. He scarcely troubles himself to ask whether they occasion doubt; if in his eyes they be literally true, it is unfair to charge him with 'crass credulity2' when he did but share beliefs which were common to the age. It might be near the mark to say of them that, while not deliberately constructed allegories3, they really become such, as, employing them for his own ends4, he is far more concerned for their spiritual meaning than for historical fact, albeit an appearance of historicity is conserved by him5. Their very number, conceivably, proclaims that, for the mystic who records them, their symbolism is the main thing6. 'As the Evangelist soars above the literal value of the words of his master, so he regards His mighty works as valuable indeed to impress the people in their natural form, but far more valuable in the higher meaning which shines through them7.'
1 'He may have taken many liberties with his material. His treatment of Christ's words and deeds probably went much beyond "dotting the i's and crossing the t's," to use Sanday's phrase,' Johnston, Philosophy of the Fourth Gospel, p. 120.
2 Wellhausen, op. cit. p. 103.
3 'Grossartig angelegte Allegorien . . . kunstvoll gebildet,' Bruckner, op. cit. p. 75. But see Calmes, op. cit. p. viii.
4 von Soden, op. cit. p. 396.
5 Cf. Loisy, op. cit. p. 83.
6 See Schwalb, op. cit. p. 218. The Johannine signs, says Herder (op. cit. p. 268) are 'symbolische Pacta, typische Denksäulen.'
7 Percy Gardner, op. cit. p. 277. Prof. Gardner adds: 'M. Doutté, who had a long experience in Algeria, tells us that he made the acquaintance of many local saints . . . and that the working of marvels was the seal of this vocation. . . . The Fourth Evangelist takes this view as natural and universal.'
To bring this section to a close. The modern reader will be well-advised if, forgetting the 'outward narrative' of the Johannine 'signs,' he loses himself 'in its deeper significance1.' His thoughts will then turn from earthly bread ministered by disciples and fasten on the Bread of Life for the soul2. The wine which has failed at Cana will speak to him of Judaism, the good wine thereupon provided of a new religion on its way to conquer the world: 'the waters of legal purification turned into the wine of marriage joy3.' As for the story of the man born blind, he will be quick to find it pointing to him who is 'the light of men.' Similarly with the perplexing story of the Raising of Lazarus: It is deeply suggestive of that moral and spiritual change4 which Paul conceives of as a death, a burial and a resurrection. The like figure occurs in the Burial Service prayer; 'We meekly beseech thee, O Father, to raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness.'
V. The Discourses. Here, again, the Synoptic and Johannine representations are held to be mutually exclusive:'Jesus must have spoken just as the Synoptists make him speak5'; the Christ of the Fourth Gospel adopts 'the theological and philosophical language of the schools6.' So, briefly stated, run multitudinous objections; and, as has been noted in another connexion, there is a strong family likeness between the criticisms of time past and time present. Let two specimens be placed side by side:'Here (in the Synoptics) the popular form of oriental proverb-wisdom and inventive parable, there (in the Fourth Gospel) the profound allegory with appeal to profound reflexion; instead of pithy and concise sayings alike luminous and easy to retain, a series of witnessings and disputings in exalted tone and with utter disregard for the capacity of the hearers. . . . According to the Synoptics the demands of Jesus are for self-renunciation, for compassionate love,
1 von Soden, op. cit. p. 390.
2 Philochristus, pp. 213 ff.
3 Wernle, op. cit. p. 24.
4 See Calmes, op. cit. p 75: 'la résurrection corporelle de Lazarus symbolise la résurrection à la vie mystique par la foi.'
5 Jülicher, op. cit. p. 372.
6 von Soden, op. cit. p. 441. According to Keim (Jesus von Naz. i, p. 112) 'Jesus selbst ist zum subtilsten Dogrnatiker geworden.' And see Wernle, op. cit. p. 24; Jülicher, op. cit. p. 421.
for a taking of one's self in hand, for work for others; his warnings are directed against the danger of riches, worldly desires and anxieties; above all he preaches about the Kingdom of God and the conditions of entrance therein. Not so in the Fourth Gospel; the preaching of the Kingdom recedes, while Jesus becomes the dialectician who treats of his own divinity, and withal in singular, and by no means popular, style. In both cases he figures as teacher; in the Fourth Gospel the subject-matter of his teaching is well-nigh exclusively himself1.' Thus speaks modern criticism; now for that of a century ago: 'Jesus, as pictured in the earlier Gospels, whether he be speaking, preaching, or disputing, never has resort to dialectic skill, to the ambiguity of artifice, to a mystical style; on the contrary, there is utmost simplicity and clearness, a certain natural eloquence which owes far more to mental genius than to painfully acquired art. In the Fourth Gospel he disputes as the dialectician; ambiguous is his language and mystical his style; he deals to such an extent in obscurities that even very learned people are quite in the dark as to the real significance of many of his words. In the one case there are short and pregnant sayings, parables so full of beauty and of inward truth as to grip attention and to sink deep into the soul; in the other the parabolic mode of teaching is practically absent. Here the question turns on conduct, rules of life, the Mosaic Law, errors of the Jewish people; there the speaker is concerned with dogma, with metaphysics, with his own divine nature and dignity2.'
It may, perhaps, strike us that, in such-like allusions to the Synoptic Jesus, there is, in both cases, something which recalls the words of Justin Martyr; when, referring to 'the very doctrine delivered by Christ himself,' he goes on to say: 'short and pithy
1 H. J. Holtzmann, op. cit. pp. 430 f. And see von Soden, op. cit. pp. 409 ff.; Loisy, op. cit. pp. 56 ff. With allusion to our Gospel Wernle (op. cit. p. 19) states the case thus: 'statt der Sache überall nur die Person.'
2 Bretschneider, op. cit. pp. 1 f. An entirely opposite view is that of Bertholdt, who (Histor. Krit. Einl. iii, p. 1303) prefers the speech of the Job. Christ and says of the Synop. Jesus that he speaks for the most part 'in dem gemeinen trockenen Lehrton jüdischer Rabbinen, ohne allen Sohwung und Schmuck und Tiefe der Ideen.' It might be added that Wernle, in the remark cited in the previous foot-note, is reminiscent of one of Bretschneider's predecessors, viz. Cludius (op. cit. pp. 87 ff.).
are his discourses; no sophister was he1.' On the assumption that the Fourth Gospel was actually known to Justin, it might be inferred that, if contrast was discerned by him, he nevertheless reconciled it to his own satisfaction. Perhaps he too would have said: 'it is not true then, that the Johannine Christ speaks like a sophist, and abstains from using brief and concise sayings2.'
But let us look into the matter for ourselves.
We have already remarked on a certain monotony which pervades our Gospel as a whole. There is an absence of variety in the manner of the discourses generally, no matter who the speaker may be; the several characters, that is, hold converse in Johannine phraseology3, and without individuality whether of idea or speech; conversations are reported at length when, apparently, there was no third person at hand. The question here being narrowed down to a single issue, the discourses placed by the Evangelist in the lips of his Christ, the fact must be reckoned with that, if 'some actual sayings of the historic Jesus4' be embedded in our Gospel, it is certainly not throughout a depository of genuine utterances of Jesus. Of verbatim report there can be no question; and the same thing holds good of the three companion Gospels5.
Now, the position has been aptly stated thus: 'Jesus cannot have had, at the same time, the style and method of teaching which the Synoptists describe and that which the Fourth Gospel reflects. We must therefore attribute the language, the colour, and the form of these Johannine discourses to the Evangelist. The Gospel of John is a distillation of the life and teaching of Jesus from the alembic of the Apostle's own mind. It is his interpretation of the meaning of Christ's words, deeds and person derived
1 Apol. i, 14: βραχεις δε και συντομοι παρ' αυτου λογοι γεγονασι: ου γαρ σοφιστης `υπηρχεν.
2 Drummond, op. cit. p. 20.
3 The Evangelist, according to Eichhorn (Einl. in das N.T. ii, pp. 269 ff.), 'scheint sich einen eigenen relig. Dialekt, einen eigenen τροπος παιδειας, gebildet zu haben.' In the interesting conjecture of Stronck (De Doctrina et Dictione Joh. Ap. ad Jesu magistri Doctrinam et Dictionem composita), he had made the style of Jesus his own. See P. Ewald, op. cit. p. 833.
4 Percy Gardner, op. cit. p. 62. And see Burkitt, Two Lectures.
5 'It is undeniable that in no case can we be quite confident that we possess the ipsissima verba of our Lord,' McNeile, CBE, p. 220.
from intimate personal relations with him, and coloured and shaped by a long life of Christian thought and experience1.'
It will be observed that the writer here quoted accepts the 'venerable tradition' as to Apostolic authorship. Where, and by well-nigh general agreement2, he hits the mark is in his description of the Johannine discourses as a distillation from the alembic of the Evangelist's own mind. But he invites pause on a question which, raised by him in his opening sentence, recalls the assertion: 'a Jesus who preached alternately in the manner of the Sermon on the Mount and of Jn xiv-xvii is a psychological impossibility3.'
And first in respect of manner. Not unreasonably might it be urged that, with ready adaptation to their environment, men doubly gifted with simplicity and profundity will naturally 'speak in the vernacular'not descending to vulgarityto uninstructed hearers, while they will adopt other modes of speech when dealing with more cultured and reflective minds. So it may have been with Jesus; his Galilaean hearers being, generally speaking, of a very different type from those with whom he came in contact in Judaea, he would be, as it were, one person in Galilee and quite another person in Jerusalem; to the Galilaean populace a man of the people and to scholars of Jerusalem one of themselves4. It was in the Holy City that his deeper teaching would naturally be givento those who by comparison with the 'motley crowd' away in Galilee were 'cultured and responsible people5.' And besides, a reminder comes that the Synoptic Jesus is represented as speaking, on one occasion at least, in precisely the same manner as the Johannine
1 Stevens, Theology of N.T. p. 172. And see Herder, op. cit. p. 329; Johnston, op. cit. p. 119.
2 'Tout le monde admet volontiers maintenant que les discours de Jésus sont écrits dans le style de l'évangeliste,' Loisy, op. cit. p. 54.
3 Jülicher, Introd. to N.T. p. 421. (The Engl. tr. of an earlier edition.)
4 Delff, Rabbi Jesus, pp. 138 ff. But cf. Hase, Geschichte Jesu, p. 41.
5 Swete, Studies in the Life of our Lord, p. 130. 'Poscunt aliae dicendi causae, alii auditores aliam formam dicendi, admittit dives Jesu ingenium varietatem,' Fleck, De Imagine Christi Joan, et Synop. p. 10. And according to Hengstenberg (op. cit. iii, p. 404, see also p. 393) Jesus had 'eine doppelte Lehrweise.'
Christ;when, 'in a moment of intense emotion, He turns from earthly hearers and addresses Himself to God1.'
Secondly in regard to subject-matter. It is contended that the discourses placed by the Fourth Evangelist in the lips of Jesus leave men utterly in the lurch when it comes to the vitally important question: What is it that God looks for and what is alone decisive for life or death? The answer of the Fourth Gospel is this: believe on the Son of God who came down from heaven and believe that he is Jesusan answer which has had a baneful effect on Christendom, for it is only too easy to make such a profession of belief without drawing nearer to God and becoming a better man. Very different is the answer of the Synoptic Jesus; with him everything is contingent on that doing the Will of God which involves uprightness, brotherly love, trust in God, humility, yearnings for God's Kingdom; of those who do the Will of God he says that they are for him mother or sister or brother2. Counter arguments are strong; it is urged that inasmuch as 'Christianity was a great crisis of civilisation' 'because it changed the internal man, creeds, sentiments, because it regenerated the moral man, the intellectual man3,' the expectation is nothing short of reasonable that its Founder was far more than a great moral teacher. The personal equation cannot but come in; the question is not only of how and what Jesus taught, but of what he was in himself. It might further be argued that there are passages in the Synoptics in which he, clearly pointing to himself, assumes a position of authority and lays claim to the exceptional reverence of men. And again; if the Johannine Christ be represented as discoursing more frequently of himself, one reason, it is said, is not far to seek; the scene being laid mainly in Jerusalem, it was only natural that, with assertion of his Messiahship, he should have discoursed of himself at the headquarters of Judaism; and with resort to a terminology which, abstruse as it might be to some, was not necessarily
1 See on the 'Agalliasis' utterance (Mt. xi, 27 = Lk. x, 22) Raven, op. cit. pp. 130 ff.; McNeile, St Matthew, pp. 173; P. Ewald, op. cit. p. 834. The Saying, it stood in Q, is, in the view of J. Weiss (SNT, i, pp. 320 f.), 'Schwerlich ein Wort Jesu, sondern eher em Stück Gemeindetheologie.'
2 So, generally Wernle, op. cit. pp. 31, 19.
3 Guizot, Hist. of Civilisation, i, p. 12. And see Barth, op. cit. p. 44.
unintelligible to cultured Jewish hearers1. Once more; it is simply not true that our Gospel is altogether silent in regard to the importance of the life lived. On the contrary, the same Johannine Christ who requires belief in himself emphatically demands personal conduct inspired by and in harmony with such belief in the pregnant utterance: 'he that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God2.' As it has been pointedly said: 'it is precisely in John's Gospel that the thoroughly practical spirit of early Christianity makes itself felt most powerfully; the Word has become true man, as such he has revealed the Father, together with the revelation of the Truth (that is, the moral being of God) he has also taught men to do the Truththat is, to follow the Will of God, to love God, and to love the brethren also3.' And again, a 'thoroughly practical Christianity' is 'mirrored' in the Fourth Gospel4.
Yet it is a question whether considerations such as these, however weighty they may be and are, adequately account for features which stare one in the face; 'say what we will about differences of audience and of situation demanding different forms of address, and allowing for exceptional instances, the contrast between the terse axiomatic sayings, the simple parables of the Synoptics, and the elaborate arguments of the Johannine discourses, is too great to be explained away5.'
1 'My own general impression, without asserting an early date for the Fourth Gospel, is that that Gospel enshrines a genuine tradition of an aspect of Jesus' teaching which has not found a place in the Synoptics,' Abrahams, Studies in Pharisaism and the Gospels, p. 12. And see this scholar's remarks in CBE, p. 181. Yet, as Cohu (op. cit. pp. 453 ff.) shrewdly remarks, the one discourse singled out in our Gospel as a 'hard saying' was 'delivered, not to Jerusalem scribes or Pharisees, but to Galilaean multitudes.' On the significance of σκληρος (Jn vi, 60) see Oort, op. cit. p. 530. Spitta's manipulation (op. cit. pp. xx ff., 133 ff.) of the entire chapter, by the way, is interesting.
2 Jn iii, 21. 'Right action is right thought realized,' Westcott, St John's Gosp. in loc.
3 von Dobschütz, Das Apos. Zeitalter, pp. 68 f.
4 von Dobschütz, Christian Life in the Prim. Church, p. 231. And thus Wetzel (NKZ, xiv, p. 674): 'An klaren, aufs Praktische und Sittliche gerich-teten Stücken fehlt es auch im Ev. Joh. nicht.' Of the contrary opinion Schwalb, op. cit. pp. 258 f.
5 J. H. Bernard, Church Congress (1903) Paper.
The contrast is sharp. It is recorded of the Synoptic Jesus that men 'heard him gladly1,' and small wonder that they did so when, 'being so much in earnest with the matter, he had in a unique degree the manner at command2'; of the Johannine Christ it was reported that 'never man so spake3,' and the phrase, scarcely explained by the context, has been regarded as generally significant of abstruseness in the matter and manner of his discourse4. In the one case he so speaks as to attract and often win sympathy; in the other he talks above people's heads5, he positively invites misunderstanding: 'there is an argumentativeness, a tendency to mystification, about the utterances of the Johannine Christ which . . . is positively repellent . . . it is quite inconceivable that the historic Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels could have argued and quibbled with opponents as He is represented to have done in the Fourth Gospel.' 'He exasperates the Jews6.'
Not so spoke Jesus of Nazareth. And besides; 'In the Johannine discourses . . . we feel that it is not the visible and audible Jesus who is speaking, but the Christ who is the life of the Church7'; and the only possible explanation is that the Fourth Gospel 'is not history, but something else cast in an historical form8.' The real hearers of the Johannine Christ, it might be truly said, are the readers of the Fourth Gospel9.
1 Mk i, 22; xii, 37.
2 See the fine passage in which Bousset (Jesus, E. T. pp. 36 ff.) treats of Jesus as 'Master of the parable'; also Loisy, op. cit. p. 75. But see also Abrahams, Studies in Pharisaism, pp. 90 ff.
3 Jn vii, 46.
4 The saying Mk iv, 11 ff., probably inapt in regard to the parables, might be much to the point if applied to some of the Johannine discourses.
5 Thus when (Jn iv, 29), holding converse with the Samaritan woman, he treats of spiritual worship and a universal religion, while the one thing that impresses her is that he, a stranger, knows all about her private life. See Loisy, op. cit. p. 72; Percy Gardner, op. cit. pp. 112 ff. Otherwise Herder (op. cit. p. 318), who, with allusion to the discourses generally, says: 'ein unbefangenes Weib, eine Samariterin, verstand sie besser als zu Jerusalem die Rabbinen und Schriftgelehrten.' But see Alex. Schweizer, op. cit. p. 43.
6 Burkitt, Gospel Hist. pp. 227 f. 'Jésus lui-meme parle une langue philosophique, inintelligible pour ses auditeurs,' Réville, op. cit. p. 299. And see Oort, op. cit., passim.
7 Percy Gardner, op. cit. pp. 115 f.
8 Burkitt, ib.
9 'Der 4te Evangelist," wrote Schwalb (op. cit. p. 194), 'versteht ganz gründlich die Reden Jesu, denn grösstentheils hat er sie selbst erdacht.'
VI. The Synoptic and Johannine portraits of Jesus. It is here contended that there is no escape from a categorical 'eitheror': if the one be true to life, the other most certainly is not; the sharp contrast, it is said, is reducible to 'the simple formula: here manthere God1.' While the Synoptic Jesus 'advances practically nothing as to his divine nature, and judging from his utterances, solely holds himself endowed with divine gifts, sent by God, Messiah,' the Johannine Christ 'makes everything turn on himself, pre-existence is claimed, one with God he has shared the divine glory, he had come down from heaven in all the plenitude of divine knowledge and might, he is about to return speedily to the throne on high2.' Therein speaks the criticism of a century ago; in like manner that of more recent times: never does the Synoptic Jesus 'step outside the bounds of the purely human3'; as for the Christ of the Fourth Evangelist, he is 'complete from the outset, for Him there is neither childhood nor youth, He is throughout the divine word manifested in the flesh4.' And so again, when it is said that in the Fourth Gospel . . . we have 'a versionor perversionof the Master's life by a disciple who has portrayed him, not in his self-sacrificing love, . . . but as the mighty superhuman being demanding recognition of the divine Sonship and Messianic glory5.'
We will make some independent study of the two portraits.
He who looks down from the Synoptic canvas is assuredly true man. To drop metaphor, the Jesus of at any rate the Marcan representation has already reached manhood when he comes on the scene, and it is clear from the manner of the allusions that he shares the experiences which are common to the race. He is conscious of physical needs; the strain of continued action tells on
1 Wernle, op. cit. p. 25.
2 Bretschneider, op. cit. p. 2.
3 Bousset, Jesus, p. 98.
4 H. J. Holtzmann, Einl. p. 432.
5 Weinel, St Paul the Man and his Work, p. 320. See further Soltau, Unsere Evangelien, p. 111; von Soden, op. cit. p. 393; Wrede, op. cit. pp. 31, 37; Scholten, Het Evan. naar Joh. p. 216; Réville, Le Quatrième Év. pp. 299 f.; Loisy, op. cit. pp. 72 f. Let it be remarked that, where there is inability to recognize the historic Jesus in the Fourth Gospel representation, stress is often laid on the supreme claims of him who is 'leader to God for every period and for every people' (Bousset, op. cit. pp. 102 f.; cf. Wernle, op. cit. p. 1) to the reverence and devotion of mankind.
him; stirred by emotions manifold he is moved to compassion by the spectacle of suffering and pain1; he both wins and displays affection; capable of sternness he gives vent to wrath. Rebuff astonishes him, and he finds himself powerless to act2; he disclaims omniscience; if he puts questions it is because he has need to be informed. Great spiritual crises are experienced by him, and the meaning of temptation is realized to the full3. He cannot do without prayer; hence, seeking strength, he goes apart to be alone with God. Yet strength fails him; in Gethsemane deep terror seizes him, and he pleads as hoping for deliverance to the last. Bitter is the cry wrung from him in his dying moments.
There is more to be said. The Jesus who looms large in the Marcan Gospel is exceptionally great. Wondrous is the influence exerted by him; stir and movement follow in his path; and burst of enthusiasm or outbreak of hostility is equally significant of a forcefulness of personality which is realized quite as much by enemies as by friends. His 'come ye after me' is no sooner heard than obeyed; unclean spirits are subdued at a word; his fame spreads, and, seek privacy though he may, he is sought out and found by the crowd. He holds his hearers spell-bound by the manner and the matter of his teaching. Himself full of God-consciousness he makes God a reality; he ever seeks to 'call into life in the souls of others the treasures of His own soul4.' Persuaded of a God-entrusted mission, he spends himself heroically in the discharge of duty. ' His Passion and his Death are in truth his Coronation5.'
Yet more must be said. Great with no ordinary greatness the Marcan Jesus is evidently more than mere man. If on the one hand he takes his stand on the side of humanity, so, on the other hand, he appears to range himself over against men in virtue of
1 Here, perhaps, there is a reminder of a line in Goethe's Faust; 'Der Mensohheit ganzer Jammer fasst mich an.'
2 'The Jesus of Mark is a man with a man's wrath and disappointment,' Estlin Carpenter, First Three Gospels, p. 217.
3 See in this connexion Heb. ii, 18.
4 von Soden, op. cit. p. 3. And see Wernle, op. cit. p. 30; Arno Neumann, Jesus, p. 76. As another writer has said: 'He knew the Father as none else did, and He had the power of conveying this knowledge to others through His own personality.'
5 Bousset, Jesus, p. 110.
a relationship to God1. It may well be the case that, 'straitened' in his earthly life2, he is an enigma to himself; yet he positively affirms his divine origin3 and Sonship4. He asserts his sovereignty. He is persuaded that he can forgive sins. His own importance is clear to him, and he accentuates it; allegiance to his person is insisted on by him; he is conscious of an authority which is not of man. His 'I say unto you' is deeply significant; his own utterances are regarded by him as of transcendent and eternal weight and import. The designation 'the Christ, the Son of the Blessed,' is accepted by him. That, not mere man, he is removed above the angels he says plainly5; and, if in the same connexion he subordinates himself to God, it is noteworthy that, in another saying which may be genuine in his lips, he can speak of the Father and of himself in the same breath6. The very fact that an Apocalyptic phrase is occasionally adopted, and, albeit not without ambiguity, applied by him to himself, is eminently suggestive; superhuman that he knows himself to be, he is, or is destined to be revealed as, the glorious pre-existent Son of Man7.
What if allowance must be made for some repainting and gilding which is ultimately traceable to the Church's faith8? True, no doubt, that even the earliest Evangelist sets out from an already definite Christology9; the one point here is that he who is subject of the Synoptic portrait is exalted above purely human greatness. In his majesty he is unique10. An impression, it is said, is conveyed that 'the relation in which he stood to God was not only different in degree from that in which we stand, but also unique in kind11.'
1 Barth, op. cit. p. 256.
2 Lk. xii, 50. See Scott (The Kingdom and the Messiah, pp. 228 ff.) for some excellent remarks on the significance of συνεχομαι.
3 Mk i, 38 (cf. Lk. iv, 43). The allusion may, however, be simply to a departure from the house.
4 Mk i, 11. An experience doubtless personal to himself.
5 Mk xiii, 32.
6 Mt. xxiii, 9 f.
7 A few of the above sentences are adapted from my Eschatology of Jesus, pp. 324 ff.
8 Bousset, Jesus, pp. 89 f.
9 J. Weiss, Christus, p. 74. The allusion being to Mark, Wrede (Messiasgeheimnis, p. 125) says with truth: 'Denn das leidet keinen Zweifel, sein Zweck war ja eben der, Jesus mit seiner Schrift als Sohn Gottes zu schildern und zu erweisen.'
10 Cf. Beyschlag, N.T. Theology, i, p. 75.
11 Lotze, Philosophy of Religion, p. 172. Otherwise Raven, op. cit. p. 188: 'A Christ who differs from us in kind is, however much we may try to disguise the fact by talking vaguely about impersonal humanity, simply not man at all.'
'The Synoptic picture of Christ,' so it has been said1, 'is the finest flower of religious poetry.' To turn from it to the portrait of the Johannine Christ.
A portrait of 'sweet, unearthly beauty2' as it has been called, it is certainly of an exalted personage. There is an air of imperiousness about the Christ of our Evangelist, as, issuing his commands, he expects obedience from those who are rather summoned as his subjects than invited as his friends3. The multitudes are eager to make him a King; precisely because they own him a force to be reckoned with, his destruction is compassed by his foes. His discourse is of high matters, and it is with conscious dignity that he refers to himself. Majestic is the part played by him in the closing scenes; whether in the Garden, in the high priest's court or in the Praetorium his mien is stately and his speech serene. He 'decides His own fate4.'
But the Johannine representation does not stop short here; on the contrary, it is plain that the regal personage depicted transcends mere manhood. He manifests a celestial glory. He knows all men as knowing what is in man. If he tell of heavenly things it is as having seen and known them; he has come down from heaven, and thither he will soon return. He can say: 'My Father worketh hitherto and I work'; if eternal life be for him knowledge of 'the only true God,' it is equally to know himself; dishonour done to him is dishonour done to God; with deliberation does he say; 'The Father is in me and I in him'; recognizing a distinction, he affirms that he and the Father are 'one.' Pre-existent as he claims to be, he is conceived of as 'the Word' that was with God from all eternity; and the very climax is reached with the great confession in any case reminiscent of the very first sentence of the Gospel: 'My Lord and my God.'
Yet other features are discernible; and they are such as to
1 By Brandt.
2 von Soden, op. cit. p. 416.
3 Cf. Ecce Homo (20th ed.), p. 67.
4 Jülicher, Einl. p. 358. 'Die Kraft, durch eigenen Willen uud eigene That in den Tod zu gehen, bildet Jesu Herrlichkeit,' Lütgert, Die Joh. Christologie (1st ed.), p. 90.
suggest that this 'King of men,' in all his superhuman royalty, is, after all, true man. Manhood is expressly affirmed of him in the Prologue, nor yet there only; elsewhere touches are met with which are a revelation of the humanity he wears. He is spoken of as 'a man'; he companies with 'his mother and his brethren'; his 'father and mother1,' it is said without demur, are known. Because 'wearied with his journey' he is fain to rest and to ask for water from the well. Strong attachments are formed by him. He knows what it is to be glad, while a groan of mingled wrath and anguish comes from him in the presence of bereavement and of death. By implication he realizes the need of prayer; is he not confident that he is always heard2? There are moments when he is 'troubled in the spirit,' albeit the conjecture is precarious that he pleads for deliverance from his impending fate3. Protesting his innocence, he stands on his defence. 'The keen expression of
1 The allusion raises the 'perennial question' of the 'Virgin-birth.' From the silence of Mark and of the Pauline Epistles, it would seem that the doctrine formed no part of the earliest stratum of Apostolic teaching. Ultimately traceable to the sources of the opening chapters of Matt. and Luke, it would be known to our Evangelist, for he was acquainted with the Synoptic Gospels. His own silence is explained in two ways: he deems it unneccessary to repeat what is already well-known and accepted; he deliberately brushes the Nativity stories aside. According to O. Holtzmann (Das Johannesevangelium, p. 47) he agrees with the opponents of Jesus that Joseph is really the earthly father of Jesus; according to Zahn (Einl. ii, pp. 504 f.) he so portrays the origin of the children of God (Jn i, 13) after the pattern picture of the origin of the only Son of God who is such in the fullest sense that his readers will be at once reminded of a begetting and a birth without carnal impulse and will of man. It is allowed by Baldensperger (Der Prolog, pp. 28, 123) that the Johannine theology is by no means incompatible with representations having their basis in the Virgin-birth. But see Grill, Untersuchungen über die Entstehung des 4. Evglm. pp. 330 ff. This, however, is not the place for any lengthy discussion of the 'difficult and anxious question,' yet let the following sentences be quoted: 'There have been saintly and profound Christian intellects who have confessed that the statement in St Matthew almost repels them. No one can say that of St John's infinitely higher and truer idea of the Incarnation' (Cohu, op. cit. p. 439. See also Ammon, op. cit. i, p. 77; Herder, op. cit. pp. 264 ff.). In any case Joseph would be regarded as the legal father of Jesus (Dalman, Words of Jesus, pp. 318 f.).
2 'Es ist eine Entstellung des Gedankens wenn man von einem "Schein-gebet" redet,' Lütgert, Die Joh. Christologie (1st ed.), p. 34.
3 Jn xii, 27. See Westcott, St John, p. 182; Oberney, Der Gottesbrunnen der Menschheit, p. 116.
bodily exhaustion1' is discovered in his almost dying words; and if that be really so the 'sour wine' offered by men whose mockery has been exchanged for pity is 'received' as sorely needed by his tortured human frame. But this is doubtful2.
We conclude that there is something lacking in the descriptions instanced at the outset of the portrait of the Johannine Christ; in that, justly accentuating the divinity which radiates from it, they disallow the humanity on which, in his own way, our Evangelist insists3.
It must nevertheless be frankly conceded that, while there are resemblances and common features, the two portraits, in respect of style and colouring and of lights and shades, are diverse in type. Their subject is, no doubt, the same, yet it is treated differently; and of the two artists, representative of two painter-schools, the one is an adept at drawing graphic sketches, while the forte of the other lies in painting 'soul-portraits4.' To drop metaphor; as for the Synoptists, their thoughts are for the most partnot by any means exclusivelyconcentrated on the earthly Jesus as he 'went about doing good'; as for the Fourth Evangelist, he writes as having sought to penetrate into the inmost soul of the Jesus of his spiritual vision. 'Who would not confess that in his sweet unearthly picture he has given us the true religious import of that sacred Life5?'
In fine. The 'simple formula: here manthere God' will scarcely work. The Synoptic Jesus is, in any case, more than one who towers above his fellow-men. The features of a true humanity are not entirely absent from the Johannine Christ if they be far less conspicuous than those which tell of the divine6.
1 Westoott, St John, p. 277.
2 See Percy Gardner, op. cit. p. 304. W. M. Pryke (Mod. Churchman, vii, p. 223) points out that 'the "I thirst" is spoken only that the scripture might be fulfilled.'
3 'Im Johannesevangelium wird auf die volle Menschheit Jesu überall Gewicht gelegt,' Oberhey, op. cit. p. 111. And see Réville, op. cit. pp. 329 f.; J. Weiss, Christus, p. 85; Lütgert, op. cit. p. 70; Percy Gardner, op. cit. pp. 79 f.; Calmes, op. cit. p. 64.
4 Angus Mackay, A reasonable Faith, pp. 102 f.
5 von Soden, op. cit. p. 417. Cf. Schenkel, op. cit. p. 25.
6 'Still, on the whole, the λογος predominates over the σαρξ in this Evangelist's presentation of the life of Christ' says Johnston (op. cit. p. 43). 'Der Logos ward Fleisch, aber nicht Mensch' is the formula by which Schwalb (op. cit. pp. 215 f.) abides. Or, as Schmiedel (Das Vierte Evglm. p. 122) puts it: 'Ihn zieht nur das Göttliche an.' See also Brückner, op. cit. p. 86; Hennell, op. cit. p. 112; Forbes, op. cit. p. 161; De Wette, op. cit. ii, p. 216. And thus Herder (op. cit. p. 379): the Evangelist 'vergass, wenn ich so sagen darf, das Irdische seines palastinischen, an Ort und Zeit gebundenen Freundes, um das Himmlische, das Ewige in ihm darzustellen.' It must further be remembered that there is no room for the temptation in the Johannine conception; and Ballenstedt's remarks on the question (op. cit. pp. 67, 73) are decidedly interesting, see also Cohu, op. cit. p. 400.
To bring this chapter to a close with a rapid summary of conclusions which are suggested by the comparison between the Fourth Gospel and the Synoptics which has now been instituted; and in so doing to dwell yet again on the fact that strong preferences for the Synoptic representation are not of necessity incompatible with unfeigned acceptance of what is held to be a cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith. Let it further be remembered that the Gospels one and all were 'written by living men whose life entered into their writings,' and that the 'colour and temper' of the mind of each several author would naturally be reflected by his work1. Diversity of individuality must accordingly be allowed for; that the Evangelists should tell their story each one in his own way and that the ground traversed should not in every case be the same, is only what might be expected2.
It must nevertheless be owned that a contrast is presented which finds no sufficient explanation in any natural diversity as between man and man. It admits, perhaps, of reduction: for, the question being of chronology and scene, it, speaking generally, has perhaps been exaggerated if discrepancies remain; looking to the Baptist-representations, it is plain that they are of the self-same great personage, if in course of time necessity has arisen for drawing distinctions between John and Jesus. It is far from being confined to the mere correction 'in a delicate manner,' of 'the
1 Newman Smyth, Old faiths in new Light, p. 26.
2 Hunger (Freedom of Faith, p. 16) aptly writes: 'However the Spirit of God may have used for His higher purposes the minds of men, He did not overpower their natural habits of expression, or hold individual genius passive in the grasp of His Almighty hand.'
faults of his predecessors1' by one whofrom whatever quarter may have 'heard many details of the life of Jesus2,' and who, on some points at all events, may have had more accurate knowledge at his command3. It is both marked and significant in regard to the miraculous. When every allowance has been made for powers of adaptation and varied environment, it is impossible to believe that the historic Jesus was really accustomed to discourse after the manner of the Johannine Christ. The former lives and moves in the Synoptic Gospels; as for the latter, the human lineaments notwithstanding, he is pre-eminently the Christ of experience, the life of the Church4.
The modern student cannot but feel that to turn from the Synoptics to the Fourth Gospel is to breathe another atmosphere, to be transported to another world5. The contrast is, indeed, sharp; and it may well have been the case that men looked askance at 'John's' Gospel when first it came into their hands, and that it was slow to win its way to general recognition and acceptance6.
'Another world.' The world, to a certainty, of Greek life and thought7; the world of Asia Minor, of Ephesus. But to what particular period in the history of the world? In other words, is help forthcoming from our Gospel which shall enable us to speak more definitely in regard to its date?
To that question we will address ourselves in the next chapter.
1 Michaelis, Introd. to N.T. i, p. 95.
2 Percy Gardner, op. cit. p. 87.
3 In particular of the closing days of our Lord's earthly life.
4 'Le quatrième évangéliste a été le Platon de son Socrate, non le Xénophon,' Réville, op. cit. p. 335. So at an earlier date Bleek, cited by Loisy, op. cit. p. 41; see also Lange, op. cit. p. 22. The analogy, not, of course, to be pressed, is admirably discussed by Percy Gardner, op. cit. pp. 101 ff.
5 So Calmes (op. cit. p. 1), A. R. Loman (Het Evan. van Joh. naar Oor-sprong, Bestemming, en Gebruik in de Oudheid, p. 5), and many others.
6 'Il est fort probable qu'au début son oeuvre ne dut satisfaire personne,' Réville, op. cit. p. 330, cf. p. 65.
7 'Sodann stehen wir auf griechischem Boden, es umgibt uns griechische Luft,' Wernle, op. cit. p. 28.
Go to the Tables of Contents of The Problem of the Fourth Gospel
Please buy the CD to support the site, view it without ads, and get bonus stuff!