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Bible Commentaries

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

- John

by Heinrich Meyer





















T HE translation of this first part of Dr. Meyer’s Commentary on John has been executed from the fifth edition of the original by the Rev. William Urwick, already known as the translator of several works published by the Messrs. Clark. It has, however, been revised and carried through the press by myself at the request of Dr. Dickson, who, with the assent of the publisher, had asked me to join him in the editorship of the series. In order to secure as great uniformity as possible between this volume and the two already edited by Dr. Dickson, that gentleman was kind enough to read the proofs of the first few sheets, and I also had the benefit of his judgment and experience upon some points of difficulty that occurred in the earlier pages. References have been made not only to Dr. Moulton’s translation of Winer’s Grammar of New Testament Greek (published by Messrs. Clark), but also to the translation of Alex. Buttmann’s Grammar (New Testament Greek), by Professor Thayer, of the Theological Seminary, Andover, which has recently appeared. These references, it is hoped, will be useful to students of the original. A list of exegetical works upon the Gospel of John will be prefixed to the second volume, which will complete the Commentary upon the Gospel.



ST. ANDREWS, 3 d August 1874.


T HE Gospel of John, on which I have now for the fifth time to present the result of my labours, still at the present day continues to be the subject recently, indeed, brought once more into the very foreground of so much doubt and dissension, and to some extent, of such passionate party controversy, as to increase the grave sense of responsibility, which already attaches to the task of an unprejudiced and thorough exposition of so sublime a production. The strong tendency now prevalent towards explaining on natural grounds the history of our Lord, ever calling forth new efforts, and pressing into its service all the aids of modern erudition, with an analytic power as acute as it is bold in its free-thinking, meets with an impassable barrier in this Gospel, if it really proceeds from that disciple whom the Lord loved, and consequently is the only one that is entirely and fully apostolic. For it is now an admitted fact, and a significant proof of the advances which have been gradually achieved by exegesis, that the pervading supranaturalism clearly stamped on it in all the simplicity of truth cannot be set aside by any artifices of exposition. This, however, does not prevent the work of a criticism, which obeys the conviction that it is able , and that for the sake of the right knowledge of the Gospel history it ought , to establish the non-apostolic origin of the fourth Gospel. Accordingly, in pursuance of the programme which was traced for it fifty years ago by Bretschneider, and of the ampler investigations subsequently added by the criticism of Baur, unwearied efforts have been made with augmented and more penetrating powers, and to some extent also with a cordial appreciation of the lofty ideas which the Gospel presents, to carry out this project to completion. Such critical labour submits itself to be tried by the judgment of scholars, and has its scientific warrant. Nay, should it succeed in demonstrating that the declaration of the Gospel’s apostolic birth, as written by all the Christian centuries, is erroneous, we would have to do honour to the truth, which in this case also, though painful at first, could not fail to approve itself that which maketh free. There is, however, adequate reason to entertain very grave doubts of the attainment of this result, and to refuse assent to the prognostication of universal victory, which has been too hastily associated with these efforts of criticism. Whoever is acquainted with the most recent investigations, will, indeed, gladly leave to themselves the clumsy attempts to establish a parallelism between the Gospel of John and ancient fabrications concocted with a special aim, which carry their own impress on their face; but he will still be unable to avoid the immediate and general duty of considering whether those modern investigators who deny that it is the work of the apostle have at least discovered a time in which putting aside in the meanwhile all the substantive elements of their proof the origin of the writing would be historically conceivable. For it is a remarkable circumstance in itself, that of the two most recent controversialists, who have treated the subject with the greatest scientific independence, the one assumes the latest, the other the earliest possible, date. If now, with the first, I place its composition not sooner than from 150 to 160, I see myself driven to the bold assertion of Volkmar, who makes the evangelist sit at the feet of Justin a piece of daring which lands me in a historical absurdity. If I rightly shrink from so preposterous a view, and prefer to follow the thoughtful Keim in his more judicious estimate of the ecclesiastical testimonies and the relations of the time, then I obtain the very beginning of the second century as the period in which the work sprang up on the fruitful soil of the church of Asia Minor, as a plant Johannine indeed in spirit, but post-Johannine in origin. But from this position also I feel myself at once irresistibly driven. For I am now brought into such immediate contact with the days in which the aged apostolic pillar was still amongst the living, and see myself transported so entirely into the living presence of his numerous Asiatic disciples and admirers, that it cannot but appear to me an absolutely insoluble enigma how precisely then and there a non-Johannine work one, moreover, so great and so divergent from the older Gospels could have been issued and have passed into circulation under the name of the highly honoured apostle. Those disciples and admirers, amongst whom he, as the high priest, had worn the πέταλον , could not but know whether he had written a Gospel, and if so, of what kind; and with the sure tact of sympathy and of knowledge, based upon experience, they could not but have rejected what was not a genuine legacy from their apostle. Keim, indeed, ventures upon the bold attempt of calling altogether in question the fact that John had his sphere of labour in Asia Minor; but is not this denial, in face of the traditions of the church, in fact an impossibility? It is, and must remain so, as long as the truth of historical facts is determined by the criterion of historical testimony. Turning, then, from Volkmar to Keim, I see before my eyes the fate indicated by the old proverb: τὸν καπνὸν φεύγοντα εἰς τὸ πῦρ ἐκπίπτειν .

The necessary references have been made in the Introduction to the substantive grounds on which in recent years the assaults have been renewed against the authenticity of the Gospel, and there also the most recent apologetic literature upon the subject has been noticed. After all that has been said for and against up to the present time, I can have no hesitation in once more expressing my delight in the testimony of Luther quoted now and again with an ironical smile that “ John’s Gospel is the only tender, right, chief Gospel, and is to be far preferred before the other three, and to be more highly esteemed .” 1 [1] In order to make the confession one’s own, it is not necessary to be either a servile follower of Luther or a special adherent of the immortal Schleiermacher. I am neither the one nor the other, and in particular I do not share the individual, peculiar motive, as such, which underlies the judgment of the former.

[1] 1 So Luther, in that section of his Preface to the New Testament containing the superscription, “Which are the right and noblest books of the New Testament?” This section, however, is wanting in the editions of the New Testament subsequent to 1539, as also in the edition of the whole Bible of 1534.

Since the publication of the fourth edition of my Commentary (1862), many expository works upon John and his system of doctrine, and among these several of marked importance, have seen the light, along with many other writings and disquisitions, [2] which serve, directly or indirectly, the purpose of exposition. I may venture to hope that the consideration which I have bestowed throughout upon these literary accessions, in which the one aim is followed with very varying gifts and powers, has not been without profit for the further development of my work, probably more by way of antagonism (especially towards Hengstenberg and Godet) than of agreement of opinion. In our like conscientious efforts after truth we learn from each other, even when our ways diverge.

[2] The essay of Riggenbach, “ Johannes der Apostel und der Presbyter ,” in the Jahrb. f. D. Theologie , 1868, p. 319 ff., came too late for me to be able to notice it. It will never be possible, I believe, to establish the identity of the apostle with the presbyter, and I entertain no doubt that Eusebius quite correctly understood the fragment of Papias in reference to this point. To my regret, I was unable, also, to take into consideration Wittichen’s work, Ueber den geschichtlichen Charakter des Evang. Joh . The same remark applies to the third edition of Ebrard’s Kritik der evangel. Geschichte , which appeared in 1868, and in which I regret to observe a renewed display of the old vehemence of passion. Renan’s Life of Jesus , even as it has now appeared in its thirteenth edition, I have, as formerly, left out of consideration. The first part of Holtzmann’s dissertation upon “The Literary Relation of John to the Synoptics” (Hilgen-feld’s Zeitschrift , 1869, p. 62 ff.) has just been published, and the conclusion is still to follow. Of course, before the latter appears, no well-founded judgment can be passed upon this essay of this acute theologian; but I have doubts whether it will ever be successfully shown that in the case of the fourth Gospel there is any dependence of a literary kind upon the Synoptics, especially upon the Gospel of Luke.

The statement of the readings of Tischendorf’s text I was obliged to borrow from the second edition of his Synopsis , for the reasons already mentioned in the preface to the fifth edition of my Commentary on Mark and Luke. The latest part of his editio octava , now in course of appearance, was published last September, and extends only to John 6:23 , while the printing of my book had already advanced far beyond that point. I may add that the deviations in the text of this editio octava from that of the Synopsis in reference to the various readings noticed in my critical annotations down to John 6:23 , are not numerous, and scarcely any of them are of importance exegetically. Of such a nature are those, in particular, in which this highly meritorious critic had in his Synopsis too hastily abandoned the Recepta, [3] and has now returned to it. I would fain think that this may also be the case in future with many other of the readings which he has now adopted, where apparently the Cod. Sinait . has possessed for him too great a power of attraction. [4]

[3] John 1:18 , where the Synopsis has μονογενὴς θεός , the editio octava has restored ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός : John 3:13 , where ὁ ὤν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ was deleted in the Synopsis , these words have again been received into the text.

[4] E.g. with the reading θαυμάζετε in John 5:20 ; in the same way with φεύγει , which is found only in א of all the Codd. In the great predominance of testimonies against it, I regard the former as the error of an ancient copyist, while the latter appears to me as a marginal gloss, quite inappropriate to the strain of tender feeling in which John speaks of Jesus, which perhaps originated in a similar manner, as Chrysostom, while reading in the text ἀνεχώρησεν , says by way of explanation, ὁ δὲ Χριστὸς φεύγει . Had φεύγει been the original reading, and had it been desired to replace it by a more becoming expression, then probably ἐξένευσεν from John 5:13 , or ἀνῆλθεν in John 6:3 , to which passage πάλιν in ver. 15 points back, would have most naturally suggested themselves.

In conclusion, I have to ask for this renewed labour of mine the goodwill of my readers,

I mean such a disposition and tone in judging of it as shall not prejudice the rights of critical truth, but shall yet with kind consideration weigh the difficulties which are connected with the solution of the task, either in itself, or amidst the rugged antagonisms of a time so vexed with controversy as the present. So long as God will preserve to me in my old age the necessary measure of strength, I shall continue my quiet co-operation, however small it may be, in the service of biblical exegesis. This science has in fact, amid the dark tempests of our theological and ecclesiastical crisis, in face of all the agitations and extravagances to the right and left, the clear and lofty vocation gradually, by means of its results, which are only to be obtained with certainty through a purely historical method, and which are not to be settled by any human confession of faith, to make such contributions to the tumult of strife as must determine the course of a sound development, and finally form the standard of its settlement and the regulative basis of peace. And what writing of the New Testament can in such a relation stand higher, or be destined to produce a more effective union of spirits, than the wondrous Gospel of John, with its fulness of grace, truth, peace, light, and life? Our Lutheran Church, which was born with a declaration of war and had its confession completed amid controversy from without and within, has raised itself far too little to the serene height and tranquil perfection of this Gospel.


HANOVER, 1 st December 1868.





J OHN’S parents were Zebedee, a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, probably not of the poorer class (Mark 1:20 ; Luke 5:10 ), and Salome (Mark 15:40 ; comp. Matthew 27:56 ). To his father the evangelists ascribe no special religious character or personal participation in the events of the Gospel history; but his mother was one of the women who followed Jesus even up to His crucifixion (comp. on John 19:25 ). To her piety, therefore, it is justly attributable that John’s deeply receptive spirit was early fostered and trained to surrender itself to the sacredly cherished, and at that time vividly excited expectation of the Messiah, with its moral claims, so far at least as such a result might be produced by a training which was certainly not of a learned character. (Acts 4:13 .) If, too, as we may infer from John 19:25 , Salome was a sister of the mother of Jesus, his near relationship to Jesus would enable us better to understand the close fellowship of spirit between them, though the evangelists are quite silent as to any early intimacy between the families; and in any case, higher inward sympathy was the essential source out of which that fellowship of spirit unfolded itself. The entrance of the Baptist on his public ministry to whom John had attached himself, and whose prophetical character and labours he has described most clearly and fully was the occasion of his becoming one of the followers of Jesus, of whom he and Andrew were the first disciples (John 1:35 f.). Among these, again, he and Peter, and his own brother James the elder, brought by himself to Jesus (see on John 1:42 ), formed the select company of the Lord’s more intimate friends; he himself being the most trusted of all, [5] the one whom Jesus pre-eminently loved, and to whose filial care He on the cross entrusted Mary (John 19:26 ). Hence the ardent, impetuous disposition, which led the Lord Himself to give to him and his brother the name Boanerges , and which he exhibited on more than one occasion (Mark 3:17 ; Mark 9:38 ff.; Luke 9:49 f., Luke 9:54 ), connected even though it was with an ambition which his mother had fostered by her sensuous Messianic notions, Matthew 20:20 ff.; Mark 10:35 ff.), is by no means to be deemed of such a character as to be incapable of gradually subjecting itself to the mind of Jesus, and becoming serviceable to its highest aims. After the ascension he abode, save perhaps when engaged on some minor apostolical journey (such as that to Samaria, Acts 8:14 ), at Jerusalem, where Paul met with him as one of the three pillars of the Christian church (Galatians 2:1 ff.). How long he remained in this city cannot, amid the uncertainty of tradition, be determined; and, indeed, it is not even certain whether he had already left the city when Paul was last there. He is certainly not mentioned in Acts 21:18 , but neither is he in Acts 15:0 , though we know from Galatians 2:1 ff. that he nevertheless was present; and therefore, as on the occasion of Galatians 1:19 , so on that of Acts 21:0 , he may have been temporarily absent. In after years he took up his abode at Ephesus (Iren. Haer . iii. 3. 4; Euseb. iii. 1. 23), [6] probably only after the destruction of Jerusalem; not by any means, however, before Paul had laboured in Ephesus (Romans 15:20 ; 2 Corinthians 10:16 ; Galatians 2:7 f.), although it cannot be maintained with certainty that he had not even been there before Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians: for, in the enigmatic silence of this epistle as to all personal references, such a conclusion from the non-mention of his name is doubtful.

[5] On account of his devoted love to the person of the Lord, on which Grotius finely remarks: “Quod olim Alexandrum de amicis suis dixisse memorant, alium esse φιλαλέξανδρον , alium φιλοβασιλέα , putem ad duos Domini Jesu apostolos posse aptari, ut Petrum dicamus maxime φιλόχριστον , Johannem maxime φιλοιησοῦν , … quod et Dominus respiciens illi quidem ecclesiam praecipuo quodam modo, huic autem matrem commendavit.”

[6] It is no argument at all against this, that Ignat. ad Ephes . 12 mentions Paul, but not John; for Paul is mentioned there as the founder of the church at Ephesus, and as martyr , neither of which holds good of John. Besides, this silence is far outweighed by the testimonies of Polycarp in Irenaeus, Polycrates in Euseb., Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, etc. To account for these, as Keim in particular now attempts to do ( Gesch. J . I. p. 161 ff.), by supposing some confusion of John the Presbyter with the Apostle John, is in my opinion futile, simply because the silence of Papias as to the apostle’s residence in Asia proves nothing (he does not mention the residence of any of the Lord’s apostles and disciples, to whom he makes reference), and because it seems scarcely conceivable that Irenaeus should have so misinterpreted what Polycarp said to him in his youth regarding his intimacy with John, as to suppose he spoke of the Apostle , when in fact he only spoke of the Presbyter of that name. It is pure caprice to assume that Eusebius “ lacked the courage ” to correct Irenaeus. Why so? See, on the other hand, Steitz in the Studien u. Kritiken , 1868, p. 502 ff.

The distinguished official authority with which he was invested at Ephesus, the spiritual elevation and sanctity ascribed to him, cannot be better indicated than by the fact that Polycrates (Euseb. iii. 31, v. 24) not only reckons him among the μεγάλα στοιχεῖα (great fundamental elements of the church; comp. Galatians 2:9 ), but also calls him ἱερεὺς τὸ πέταλον [7] πεφορηκώς . Of his subsequent fortunes we have only untrustworthy and sometimes manifestly false traditions, amongst the latter of which is one based on Revelation 1:9 , [8] but unknown even to Hegesippus (ap. Euseb. iii. 20), of his banishment to Patmos under Domitian (first mentioned by Irenaeus and Clem. Alex.), an event said to have been preceded by others of a marvellous kind, such as his drinking poison at Rome without injury (see especially the Acta Johannis in Tischendorf’s Acta Apocr . p. 266 ff.), and his being thrown into boiling oil, from which, however, he came out “nihil passus” (Tertullian), nay, even “purior et vegetior” (Jerome). The legend is also untrustworthy of his encounter with Cerinthus in a bath, the falling in of which he is said to have foreseen and avoided in time (Iren. Haer . iii. 3. 28; Euseb. iii. 28, iv. 14); it is only indirectly traceable to Polycarp, and betrays a purpose of glorifying the apostle at the expense of the heretic, although there may be little ground for the assertion that it is only what we should expect from the author of the Apocalypse (Baur, Kanon. Evang . p. 371). The great age to which John attained, which is variously stated, according to Irenaeus, Eusebius, and others, about a hundred years, reaching down to Trajan’s time, gave some countenance to the saying (John 21:23 ) that he should not see death; and this again led to the report that his death, which at last took place at Ephesus, was only a slumber, his breath still moving the earth on his grave (Augustine). In harmony, however, with a true idea of his character, though historically uncertain, and first vouched for by Jerome on Galatians 6:10 , [9] is the statement that, in the weakness of old age, he used merely to say in the Christian assemblies, Filioli, diligite alterutrum . For love was the most potent element of his nature, which had been sustained by the truest, deepest, and most affectionate communion in heart and life with Christ. In this communion John, nurtured in the heart of Jesus, discloses, as no other evangelist, the Lord’s innermost life, in a contemplative but yet practical manner, with a profound idealizing mysticism, though far removed from all mere fiction and visionary enthusiasm; like a bright mirror, faithfully reflecting the most delicate features of the full glory of the Incarnate One (John 1:14 ; 1 John 1:1 ); tender and humble, yet without sentimentalism, and with the full and resolute earnestness of apostolical energy. In the centre of the church life of Asia he shone with the splendour of a spiritual high-priesthood, the representative of all true Christian Gnosis, and personally a very παρθένιος (“virgo mente et corpore,” Augustine) in all moral purity. From the startingpoint of an apostle of the Jews, on which he stands in contrast (Galatians 2:9 ) with the apostle of the Gentiles, he rose to the purest universalism, such as we meet with only in Paul, but with a clear, calm elevation above strife and conflict; as the last of the apostles, going beyond not only Judaism, but even Paul himself, and interpreting most completely out of his own lengthened, pure, and rich experience, the life and the light made manifest in Christ. He it is who connects Christianity in its fullest development with the person of Christ, a legacy to the church for all time, of peace, union, and ever advancing moral perfection; among the apostles the true Gnostic, in opposition to all false Gnosticism of the age; the prophet among the evangelists, although not the seer of the Apocalypse. “The personality of John,” says Thiersch ( die Kirche im apostol. Zeitalt . p. 273), “left far deeper traces of itself in the church than that of any other of Christ’s disciples. Paul laboured more than they all, but John stamped his image most profoundly upon her;” the former in the mighty struggle for the victory, which overcometh the world; the latter in the sublime and, for the whole future of the gospel, decisive celebration of the victory which has overcome it.

[7] The plate of gold worn by the high priest on his forehead. See Ewald, Alterth . p. 393 f., Exodus 3:0 ; Knobel on Exodus 28:36 . The phrase used by Polycrates is not to be taken as signifying relationship to a priestly family (John 18:15 ; Luke 1:36 ), but as symbolic of high spiritual position in the church , just as it is also used of James the Lord’s brother in Epiphanius, Haer . xxix. 4. Compare now also Ewald, Johann. Schriften , II. p. 401 f.

[8] See especially Düsterdieck on the Revelation, Introduction , p. 92 ff.

[9] Earlier attested (Clemens, Quis div. salv . 42) is the equally characteristic legend (Clement calls it μῦθον οὐ μῦθον , ἀλλὰ ὄντα λόγον ) of a young man, formerly converted by the apostle’s labours, who lapsed and became a leader of robbers, by whose band John, after his return from Patmos, voluntarily allowed himself to be taken prisoner in order to bring their captain back to Christ, which he succeeded in doing by the mere power of his presence. The robber chief, as Clement says, was baptized a second time by his tears of penitence. Comp. Herder’s legend “ der gerettete Jüngling ” in his Werke z. schön. Lit . vi. p. 81, ed. 1827.


With regard to the external testimonies , we remark the following:

1. Chap. 21 could only serve as a testimony, if it proceeded altogether from another hand, or if the obviously spurious conclusion should be made to include John 21:24 . See, however, on John 21 2 Peter 1:14 also, and the Gospel of Mark, cannot be adduced as testimonies; since the former passage cannot be shown to refer to John 21:18 f., while the second Gospel was certainly written much earlier than the fourth.

2. In the apostolical Fathers [10] we meet with no express quotation from, or sure trace of any use of, the Gospel. Barnabas 5, 6, 12 (comp. John 3:14 ), and other echoes of John in this confused anti-Judaizing epistle, to which too great importance is attached by Keim, as well as Herm. Past. Simil . 9, 12 (comp. John 10:7 ; John 10:9 ; John 14:6 ), Ignat. ad Philad . (comp. John 3:8 ) 9 (comp. John 10:9 ), ad Trall . 8 (comp. John 6:51 ), ad Magnes . 8 (comp. John 10:30 ; John 12:49 ; John 14:11 ), ad Romans 7:0 (John 6:32 ff; John 7:38 f.), are so adequately explained by tradition, and the common types of view and terminology of the apostolical age, that it is very unsafe to attribute them to some definite written source. Nor does what is said in Ignat. ad Romans 7:0 , and ad Trall . 8, of Christ’s flesh and blood, furnish any valid exception to this view, since the origin of the mystical conception of the σάρξ of Christ is not necessarily due to its dissemination through this Gospel, although it does not occur in the Synoptics (in opposition to Rothe, Anfänge d. Chr. Kirch . p. 715 ff.; Huther, in Illgen’s Zeitschr . 1841, iv. p. 1 ff.; Ebrard, Evang. Joh . p. 102; Kritik d. evang. Gesch . Exodus 2:0 , p. 840 ff.; Tischend. Ewald Jahrb . V. p. 188, etc.). Hence the question as to the genuineness of the several epistles of Ignatius, and their texts, may here be altogether left out of consideration. Just as little from the testimony of Irenaeus ad Florin . (ap. Eus. v. 20) to Polycarp, that in all the latter said of Christ he spoke σύμφωνα ταῖς γραφαῖς , may we infer any use of our Gospel on Polycarp’s part, considering the generality of this expression, which, moreover, merely sets forth Irenaeus’ opinion, and does not necessarily mean New Testament writings. When, again, Irenaeus ( Hœr . v. 36. 1 f.) quotes an interpretation given by the “ presbyteri apostolorum discipuli ” of the saying in John 14:2 (“ In my Father’s house ,” etc.), it must remain doubtful whether these presbyteri knew that saying from our Gospel or from apostolical tradition, since Irenaeus quotes their opinion simply with the general words: καὶ διὰ τοῦτο εἰρηκέναι τὸν κύριον .

[10] It is true that Barnabas, 4, quotes, with the formula sicut scriptum est (which is confirmed, against Credner, by the Greek text of the Codex Sinaiticus), a passage from Matthew (Matthew 20:16 , Matthew 22:14 ; not Esther 8:3; Esther 8:3 , as Volkmar maintains). To find, however, in this alone canonical confirmation of the fourth Gospel (Tischendorf) is too rash a conclusion, since the close joint relation of the four, as composing one fourfold Gospel, cannot be proved so early as the apostolical Fathers; nor do even Justin’s citations exhibit any such corpus evangelicum. Besides, that very remarkable us ὡς γέγραπται makes it probable that the passage in Matthew may have erroneously appeared to the writer of the epistle as taken from the Old Testament . Again, it is incorrect to say (with Volkmar) that the citation in Barnabas 5 of Psalms 22:21 tells against our Gospel, since that citation has no bearing on the spear-thrust spoken of in John 19:34 , but simply refers to death on the cross as such, in contrast with death by the sword .

3. Of indirect but decided importance, on the other hand, assuming, that is, what in spite of the doubts still raised by Scholten must be regarded as certain, that the Gospel and First Epistle of John are from one author, is the use which, according to Euseb. iii. 39, Papias [11] made of the First Epistle. That in the fragment of Papias no mention is made of our Gospel , should not be still continually urged (Baur, Zeller, Hilgenf., Volkmar, Scholten) as a proof, either that he did not know it, or at least did not acknowledge its authority (see below, No. 8). Decisive stress may also be laid on Polycarp, ad Phil . 7 ( πᾶς γὰρ ὃς ἂν μὴ ὁμολογῇ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθέναι ἀντίχριστός ἐστι ), as a quotation from 1 John 4:3 ; Polycarp’s chapter containing it being unquestionably genuine, and free from the interpolations occurring elsewhere in the Epistle. It is true that it may be said, “What can such general sentences, which may have circulated anonymously, prove?” (Baur, Kanon. Evangel . p. 350); but it may be answered that that characteristic type of this fundamental article of the Christian system, which in the above form is quite peculiar to the First Epistle of John, points to the evangelist in the case of no one more naturally than of Polycarp, who was for so many years his disciple (comp. Ewald, Johann. Schriften , II. p. 395). It is nothing less than an unhistorical inversion of the relations between them, when some (Bretschneider, and again Volkmar) represent John’s Epistle as dependent on Polycarp’s, while Scholten tries to make out a difference in the application and sense of the respective passages.

[11] A disciple of the Presbyter John. From the fragments of Papias in Eusebius, it is abundantly clear that he mentions two different disciples of the Lord called John, John the Apostle , and John the Presbyter , who was not one of the twelve, but simply a disciple, like Aristion. The attempt to make the Presbyter, in the quotation from Papias, no other than the Apostle, leads only to useless controversy. See especially Overbeck in Hilgenteld’s Zeitschr . 1867, p. 35 ff.; Steitz in the Stud. u. Krit . 1868, p. 63 ff., in opposition to Zahn in the Stud. u. Krit . 1866, pp. 649 ff.

4. It is true that Justin Martyr, in his citations from the ἀπομνημονεύματα τῶν ἀποστόλων (“ ἃ καλεῖται εὐαγγέλια ,” Apol . I. 66), which also served as church lessons, [12] has not used our canonical Gospels exclusively (the older view, and still substantially held by Bindemann in the Stud. u. Krit . 1842, p. 355 ff., and Semisch, d. apost. Denkw. Justins , 1848; also by Luthardt, Tischendorf, and Riggenbach); but neither has he used merely an “uncanonical” Gospel (Schwegler), or chiefly such a one (Credner, Volkmar, Hilgenfeld), as was “a special recension of that Gospel to the Hebrews which assumed so many forms” (Credner, Gesch. d. Kanon , p. 9). For he used not only our canonical Gospels, but also in addition other evangelic writings now lost , which rightly or wrongly he must have looked upon as proceeding from the apostles, or from disciples of theirs (comp. Tryph . 103: ἐν γὰρ τοῖς ἀπομνημονεύμασιν , ἅ φημι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων αὐτοῦ καὶ τῶν ἐκείνοις παρακολουθησάντων συντετάχθαι ); and hence his variations from our canonical Gospels hardly agree more than once or twice with the Clementines. His Apologies certainly belong (see Apol . i. 46) to somewhere about the middle of the second century. [13] His citations, even when they can be referred to our canonical Gospels, are generally free, so that it is often doubtful where he got them. (See Credner, Beitr . I. p. 151 ff.; Frank, in the Würtemb. Stud . XVIII. p. 61 ff.; Hilgenf. Krit. Untersuch. üb. die Evang. Justins , etc., 1850; Volkmar ueber Justin .) From Matthew and Luke only five are verbally exact. He has also borrowed from John, [14] and indeed so evidently, that those who would deny this are in consistency obliged, with Volkmar, to represent John as making use of Justin, which is an absurdity. See Keim, Gesch. J . I. p. 137 ff. It is true that some have found in too many passages references to this Gospel, or quotations from it (see against this, Zeller, Theol. Jahrb . 1845, p. 600 ff.); still we may assume it as certain, that as, in general, Justin’s whole style of thought and expression implies the existence of John’s writings (comp. Ewald, Jahrb . V. p. 186 f.), so, in the same way, must the mass of those passages in particular be estimated, which, in spite of all variations arising from his Alexandrine recasting of the dogma, correspond with John’s doctrine of the Logos . [15] For Justin was conscious that his doctrine, especially that of the Logos, which was the central point in his Christology, had an apostolic basis, [16] just as the ancient church in general, either expressly or as a matter of course, traced the origin of its doctrine of the Logos to John. It is therefore unhistorical, in the special case of Justin, merely to point to an acquaintance with Philo, and to the Logos-speculations and Gnostic ideas of the age generally (against Zeller, Baur, Hilgenf., Scholten, and many others), or to satisfy oneself possibly with the assumption that Paul furnished him with the premisses for his doctrine (Grimm in the Stud. u. Krit . 1851, p. 687 ff.), or even to make the fourth evangelist a pupil of Justin (Volkmar). It seems, moreover, certain that Apol . i. 61, καὶ γὰρ Χριστὸς εἶπεν · ἄν μὴ ἀναγεννηθῆτε , οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν . Ὅτι δὲ καὶ ἀδύνατον εἰς τὰς μήτρας τῶν τεκουσῶν τοὺς ἅπαξ γεννωμένους ἐμβῆναι , φανερὸν πᾶσίν ἐστι , is derived from John 3:3-5 . See especially Semisch, p. 189 ff.; Luthardt, l.c . XXXII. p. 93 ff.; Riggenb. p. 166 ff. It is true, some have assigned this quotation, through the medium of Matthew 18:3 , to the Gospel to the Hebrews, or some other uncanonical evangelic writing (Credner, Schwegler, Baur, Zeller, Hilgenfeld, Volkmar, Scholten), or have treated it as a more original form of the mere oral tradition (see Baur, against Luthardt, in the Theol. Jahrb . 1857, p. 232). But in the face of Justin’s free manner of quoting, to which we must attribute the ἀναγενν . instead of ΓΕΝΝ . ἌΝΩΘΕΝ ,

ἌΝΩΘΕΝ being taken, according to the common ancient view, in the sense of denuo (comp. also Clem. Recogn. vi. 9), this is most arbitrary, especially when Justin himself gives prominence to the impossibility of a second natural birth. Moreover, in the second half of the quotation ( οὐ μὴ εἰσελθ . εἰς τ . βασιλ . τῶν οὐρ .), some reminiscence of Matthew 18:3 might easily occur; just as, in fact, several very ancient witnesses (among the Codices, א *) read in John l.c . βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν , the Pseudo-Clemens ( Homil . xi. 26), by quoting the second half exactly in this way, and in the first half adding after ἈΝΑΓΕΝΝ . the words ὝΔΑΤΙ ΖῶΝΤΙ ΕἸς ὌΝΟΜΑ ΠΑΤΡῸς , ΥἹΟῦ , ἉΓΊΟΥ ΠΝΕΎΜΑΤΟς , exhibits a free combination of Matthew 28:19 ; Matthew 18:3 . Other passages of Justin, which some have regarded as allusions to or quotations from John, may just as fitly be derived from evangelic tradition to be found elsewhere, and from Christian views generally; and this must even be conceded of such passages as c. Tryph . 88 (John 1:20 ff.), de res . 9 (John 5:27 ), Apol . I. 6 (John 4:24 ), Apol . I. 22 and c. Tryph . 69 (John 9:1 ), c. Tryph . 17 (John 1:4 ). However, it is most natural, when once we have been obliged to assume in Justin’s case the knowledge and use of our Gospel, to attribute to it other expressions also which exhibit Johannean peculiarities, and not to stop at Apol . I. 61 merely (against Frank). On the other hand, the remarkable resemblance of the quotation from Zechariah 12:10 in John 19:37 and Apol . I. 52, leaves it doubtful whether Justin derived it from John’s Gospel (Semisch, Luthardt, Tisch., Riggenb.), or from one of the variations of the LXX. already existing at that time (Grimm, l.c . p. 692 f.), or again, as is most probable, from the original Hebrew, as is the case in Revelation 1:7 . It is true that the Epistle to Diognetus, which, though not composed by Justin, was certainly contemporary with and probably even prior to him, implies the existence of John’s Gospel in certain passages of the concluding portion, which very distinctly re-echo John’s Logos-doctrine (see especially Zeller, l.c . p. 618, and Credner, Gesch. d. neut. Kanon , p. 58 ff.); but this conclusion (chapp. 11, 12) is a later appendix, probably belonging to the third century at the earliest. Other references to our Gospel in the Epistle are uncertain.

[12] For the course of the discussions upon Justin’s quotations, and the literature of the subject, see Volkmar, Ueb. Justin d. M. u. s. Verh. z. uns. Evangelien , 1853; Hilgenfeld, Evangelien , 1855; Volkmar, Urspr. d. Evang . 1866, p. 92 ff. See also in particular, Luthardt, Justin d. M. u. d. Joh. Evang ., in the Erlanger Zeitschr. f. Protest. u. K . 1856, xxxi. parts 4 6, xxxii. parts 1 and 2; Ewald, Jahrb . VI. 59 ff.; Riggenbach, Zeugn. f. d. Ev. Joh . p. 139 ff.

[13] The controversy as to the date of the first Apology (Semisch, A.D. 138 139; Volkmar, about 147; Keim, 155 160) need not here be discussed, since in any case our Gospel is in the same position as the Synoptics, so far as Justin’s use and estimate of it are concerned.

[14] He has made most use of Matthew, and then of the Pauline Luke, but also of Mark. That he has taken very little comparatively from John, seems to be due to the same reason as his silence in respect of Paul, which is not tantamount to an exclusion of the apostle of the Gentiles; for he is rich in Pauline ideas, and there can be no mistake as to his knowledge of Paul’s epistles (Semisch, p. 123 ff.). It is probably to be explained by prudential consideration for the antagonism of the Jewish Christians to Paul’s (and John’s) anti-Judaism. In the obvious possibility of this circumstance, it is too rash to conclude that this Gospel had not yet won the high authority which it could not have failed to have, had it really been a work of the apostle (Weisse, d. Evangelienfr . p. 129); or even, that “had Justin known the fourth Gospel, he would have made, not only repeated and ready, but even preferential use of it. To assume, therefore, the use of only one passage from it on Justin’s part, is really to concede the point” (Volkmar, üb. Justin , p. 50 f.; Zeller, p. 650). The Clementine Homilies (see hereafter under 5) furnish an analogous phenomenon, in that they certainly knew and used our Gospel, while yet borrowing very little from it. The synoptic evangelic literature was the older and more widely diffused; it had already become familiar to the most diverse Christian circles (comp. Luke 1:1 ), when John’s Gospel, which was so very dissimilar and peculiar, and if not esoteric (Weizsäcker), certainly antichiliastic (Keim), made its appearance. How conceivable that the latter, though the work of an apostle, should only very gradually have obtained general recognition and equal authority with the Synoptics among the Jewish Christians? how conceivable, therefore, also, that a man like Justin, though no Judaizer, should have hesitated to quote from it in the same degree as he did from the Synoptics, and the other writings connected with the Synoptic cycle of narratives? The assumption that he had no occasion to refer frequently and expressly to John (Luthardt, op. cit . p. 398) is inadmissible. He might often enough, where he has other quotations, have quoted quite as appropriately from John.

[15] See Duncker, d. Logoslehre Justins d. M ., Göttingen 1848, and Luthardt as above, xxxii. pp. 69 ff., 75 ff.; Weizsäcker in the Jahrb. f. D. Theol . 1862, p. 703 ff.; Tischendorf, wann wurden uns. Ev. verf . p. 31 ff., Exodus 4:0 ; Weizsäcker, d. Theol. d. M. Just., in the Jahrb. f. D. Theol . 1867, p. 78 ff. Great weight is due to Justin’s doctrine of the incarnation of the Logos ( Apol . i. 32, 66; c. Tryph . 100), which is foreign to the system of Philo, etc., and is specially Johannean.

[16] Hence his frequent reference to the ἀπομνημονεύματα τῶν ἀποστόλων . On one occasion led to do so casually, because he is speaking directly of Peter, he refers definitely to the ἀπομνημονεύματα τοῦ Πετροῦ ( c. Tryph . 106: μετωνομακέναι αὐτὸν Πέτρον ἕνα τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ γεγράφθαι ἐν τοῖς ἀπομνημονεύμασιν αὐτοῦ , κ . τ . λ .). Here Credner ( Beitr . I. p. 132; Gesch. d. Kanon , p. 17) quite correctly referred αὐτοῦ to ΙΙέτρον (Lücke conjectures that αὐτοῦ is spurious, or that τῶν ἀποστόλων is to be inserted, so that αὐτοῦ would refer to Jesus), but he understood these ἀπομν . to be the apocryphal Gospel of Peter, the more groundlessly, that the substance of Justin’s quotation is from Mark 3:17 ; Justin understood by ἀπομνη . τοῦ Πετροῦ the Gospel of Mark . So also Luthardt, op. cit . xxxi. p. 316 ff.; Weiss, in the Stud. u. Krit . 1861, p. 677; Riggenb. and others; comp. Volkmar, Urspr. d. Evang . p. 154. According to Tertullian, c. Marc . iv. 5, “Marcus quod edidit evangelium, Petri adfirmatur, cujus interpres Marcus.” Comp. Irenaeus also, 3:10. 6, 3:1. 1. According to this, compared with what Papias says of Mark, Justin might have expressed himself exactly as he has done. With respect to the controversy on the subject, see Hilgenfeld, Krit. Unters . p. 23 ff., and Luthardt, l.c .; comp. on Mark, Introduction. Notice also how unfavourable the passage seems to the notion that Justin’s Memorials are a compilation (Ewald and others).

5. To the testimonies of the second century, within the church, the Clavis of Melito of Sardis certainly does not belong (in Pitra, Spicileg. Solesmense , Paris 1852), since this pretended κλείς , wherein the passages John 15:5 ; John 6:54 ; John 12:24 , are quoted as contained “ in Evangelio ,” is a much later compilation (see Steitz, Stud. u. Krit . 1857, p. 584 ff.), but they include the Epistle of the Churches at Vienne and Lyons (Eus. v. 1), where John 16:2 is quoted as a saying of the Lord’s, and the Spirit is designated the Paraclete: Tatian, Justin’s disciple, ad Graec . 13, where John 1:5 is cited as to τὸ εἰρημένον ; chap. 19, where we have indications of an acquaintance with John’s prologue (comp. chap. 5); and chap. 4, πνεῦμα ὁ θεός , compared with John 4:24 ; also the Diatessaron of this Tatian, [17] which is based on the canon of the four Gospels, certainly including that of John: Athenagoras, Leg. pro Christ . 10, which is based upon a knowledge of John’s prologue and of John 17:21-23 : Apollinaris, Bishop of Hierapolis, in a Fragment in the Paschal Chronicle , ed. Dindorf, p. 14 ( ὁ τὴν ἁγίαν πλευρὰν ἐκκεντηθεὶς ὁ ἐκχέας ἐκ τῆς πλευρᾶς αὐτοῦ τὰ δύο πάλιν καθάρσια ὕδωρ καὶ αἷμα · λόγον κ . πνεῦμα , comp. John 19:34 ), where Baur, of course, takes refuge in a tradition older than our Gospel; also in another Fragment in the same work ( ὍΘΕΝ ἈΣΥΜΦΏΝΩς ΤῈ ΝΌΜῼ ΝΌΗΣΙς ΑὐΤῶΝ ΚΑῚ ΣΤΑΣΙΆΖΕΙΝ ΔΟΚΕῖ ΚΑΤ ̓ ΑὐΤΟῪς ΤᾺ ΕὐΑΓΓΈΛΙΑ ), where, if we rightly interpret it, [18] John’s Gospel is meant to be included among the εὐαγγέλια : Polycrates of Ephesus, in Euseb. v. 24, where, with a reference to John 13:23 f., John 21:20 , he designates the Apostle John as ἘΠῚ ΤῸ ΣΤῆΘΟς ΤΟῦ ΚΥΡΊΟΥ ἈΝΑΠΕΣΏΝ . The Clementine Homilies (ed. Dressel, Götting. 1853) contain in xix. 22 an undeniable quotation from John 9:2-3 ; [19] as also, in iii. 52, a citation occurs from John 10:9 ; John 10:27 (see, against Zeller and Hilgenf., especially Uhlhorn, d. Homil. u. Recogn. des Clem . p. 223); and after these undoubted quotations, there is no longer any reason to question a reference also in John 11:26 (compare above, under 4) to John 3:3 . On the other hand, no great stress must be laid on the citations in the Recognitions , since this work is to be placed (in opposition to Hilgenfeld, Merx, Volkmar) somewhat later, though still in the second century, and now only exists in the obviously free Latin translation of Rufinus ( Recogn . vi. 9, comp. John 3:3-5 ; Recogn . ii. 48, comp. John 5:23 ; Recogn . v. 12, comp. John 8:34 ). The first Father who quotes our Gospel by name is Theophilus, ad Autolyc . ii. 31 (John 2:22 ): Ὅθεν διδάσκουσι ἡμᾶς αἱ ἅγιαι γραφαὶ καὶ πάντες οἱ πνευματοφόροι , ἐξ ὧ Ἰωάννης λέγει · ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος , κ . τ . λ . Besides this, according to Jerome ( Ep . 151, ad Aglas .), he composed a work comparing the four Gospels together, which, like Tatian’s Diatessaron, implies the recognition of John by the church. Of importance also here is the testimony of Irenaeus, Haer . iii. 1 ( ἔπειτα Ἰωάννης ὁ μαθητὴς τοῦ κυρίου , ὁ καὶ ἐπὶ τὸ στῆθος αὐτοῦ ἀναπεσών , καὶ αὐτὸς ἐξέδωκε τὸ εὐαγγέλιον , ἐν Ἐφέσῳ τῆς Ἀσίας διατρίβων ), comp. iii. 11. 1, 7, 8, 9, v. 10, 3, and especially ap. Eus. v. 8; partly because in his youth Polycarp was his teacher, and partly because he was an opponent of Gnosticism, which, however, could easily find, and did actually find, nutriment in this very Gospel. Hence the assumption is all the more natural, that the Gospel so emphatically acknowledged and frequently quoted by Irenaeus had Polycarp’s communications in its favour, either directly , in that Polycarp made Irenaeus acquainted with John’s Gospel, or at any rate indirectly , in that he found confirmed by that Gospel what had been delivered to him by Polycarp as coming from the apostle’s own mouth respecting the words and works of Jesus, and which had remained vividly impressed in his recollection ( Epist. ad Florin , in Eus. v. 20).

Finally, here belong, because we may take it for granted they are not later than the second century, the Canon of Muratori, [20] and the Canon of the Syrian church in the Peschito, and in the Fragments of the Curetonian text. The Itala also, if its origin really falls within the second century (Lachmann, N. T. Praef . p. x. f.), may be quoted among the testimonies of this century.

[17] According to Theodoret ( Haeret. fab . i. 20), who from his account must have known it accurately, and who removed it from his diocese as dangerous, it was nothing else than a brief summary by way of extract of our four Gospels, in which the genealogies, and all that referred to Christ as a descendant of the seed of David, were left out. This account must (see also Semisch, Tatiani Diatess ., Vratisl. 1856) prevail against modern views of an opposite kind; it agrees also with what is said by Euseb. iv. 29, who, however, did not himself exactly know the peculiar way in which Tatian had combined the four. The statement of Epiphanius, Haer . xlvi. 1, “Many called it καθʼ Ἑβραίους ,” is, on the other hand, simply an historical remark, which decides nothing as to the fact itself. According to the Jacobite bishop of the thirteenth century, Dionysius Bar-Salibi (in Assemanni Bibl. Orient . i. p. 57 f., ii. p. 159), the Diatessaron of Tatian, who therefore must have laid chief stress on John, began with the words, In the beginning was the Word ; he also reports that Ephraem Syrus wrote a commentary on the Diatessaron. Credner ( Beitr . I. p. 446 ff.; Gesch. d. neut. Kanon , p. 19 ff.), whom Scholten follows, combats these statements by showing that the Syrians had confounded Tatian and Ammonius and their writings with one another. But Bar-Salibi certainly keeps them strictly apart. Further, the orthodox Ephraem could write a commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron the more fitly, if it was a grouping together of the canonical Gospels. Lastly, the statement that it began with John 1:1 agrees thoroughly with Theodoret’s account of the rejection of the genealogies and the descent from David, whereas the work of Ammonius cannot have begun with John 1:1 , since, according to Eusebius (see Wetstein, Proleg . p. 68), its basis was the Gospel of Matthew, by the side of which Ammonius placed the parallel sections of the other evangelists in the form of a synopsis. The testimony of Bar-Salibi above quoted ought not to have been surrendered by Lücke, De Wette, and various others, on the ground of Credner’s opposition. What Credner quotes in his Gesch. d. neut. Kanon , p. 20, from Ebed-Jesu (in Maii Script. vet. nova collect . x. p. 191), rests merely on a confusion of Tatian with Ammonius on the part of the Syrians; which confusion, however, is not to be charged upon Dionysius Bar-Salibi. Further, there is the less ground for excluding the fourth Gospel from the Diatessaron, seeing that Tatian has made use of it in his Oratio ad Graecos .

[18] The correct explanation is the usual one, adopted by Wieseler, Ebrard, Weitzel, Schneider, Luthardt, Bleek, Weizsäcker, Riggenbach, and many others, also by Hilgenfeld, Volkmar, Scholten: “ and the Gospels, according to them (in consequence of their asserting that Jesus, according to Matthew, died on the 15th Nisan), appear to be at variance ” (namely, with one another). This ground of refutation rests on the assumption (which, however, is really erroneous) that there could be no disagreement among the Gospels as to the day when Jesus died, while there would be such a disagreement if it were correct that, according to Matthew, Jesus died on the 15th Nisan. Now it is true that Matthew really has this statement; only Apollinaris does not admit it, but assumes that both the Synoptics and John record the 14th Nisan as the day of Christ’s death, so that on this point harmony reigns among the Gospels, as in fact, generally, the real disagreement among them had not come to be consciously observed. Comp. Clem. Al. in the Chron. Pasch .: ταύτῃ τῶν ἡμερῶν αῇ ἀκριβείᾳ … καὶ τὰ τὰ εὐαγγέλια συνῳδά . According to Schwegler ( Montanism , p. 194 f.), Baur, Zeller, the sense must be: “According to their view, the Gospels are in conflict with the Law .” This, however, is incorrect, because, after having given prominence to the irreconcilability with the Law, a new point is introduced with στασιάζειν , bearing on the necessary harmony of the Gospels . Moreover, there is no need whatever, in the case of στασιάζειν , of some such addition as ἐν ἑαυτοῖς or the like, since τὰ εὐαγγέλια represents a collective totality supposed to be well known. Comp. Xen. Cyrop . viii. 8. 2, ἐπεὶ μέντοι Κῦρος ἐτελεύτησεν , εὐθὺς μὲν αὐτοῦ οἱ παῖδες ἐστασίαζον . Often so in Greek; comp. also Hilgenfeld, Paschastreit , p. 258.

[19] See Uhlhorn in the Gött. gel. Anz . 1853, p. 1810; Volkmar, ein neu entdeckt. Zeugn. über d. Joh. Evang ., in the theol. Jahrb . 1854, p. 446 ff. In spite of this clear testimony, however, Volkmar places the date of John’s Gospel and of the Homilies so near each other (150 160 A.D.), that the former must have been used by the author of the Homilies directly after its origination “as an interesting but unapostolic Novum ” ( Urspr. d. Evang . p. 63). This use manifestly implies dissemination and admitted apostolic authority such as Matthew and Luke, and a Gospel of Peter, possibly used by him, must have possessed in the opinion of the author. Comp. Luthardt as above, XXXI. p. 368 ff. This also tells against Baur, who, in the Theol. Jahrb . 1857, p. 240, strangely enough thinks to weaken this testimony as a “casual and external” use of the Gospel; while Scholten ( die ältesten Zeug . p. 60 ff.), in a precarious and artificial fashion, raises doubts as to the use itself.

[20] Credner erroneously maintains in the Theol. Jahrb . 1857, p. 297, and Gesch. d. neut. Kanon , p. 158 f., that the Canon Murat. distinguishes John the Evangelist as a simple discipulus Christi from the Apostle . See, on the other hand, Ewald, Jahrb . IX. p. 96; Weiss in the Stud. u. Krit . 1863, p. 597.

6. Among the heretics of the second century, besides the Tatian already referred to, we must name Marcion as a witness for our Gospel. He rejected, according to Tertullian ( c. Marc . iv. 3), Matthew and John, and, according to the same writer, de carne Christi 3, John, a fact which implies their apostolic authority, and that Marcion knew them to be apostolic, [21] although Hilgenfeld, Volkmar, and Scholten, following Zeller and Schwegler, assume the contrary. But he rejected the non-Pauling Gospels, not on critical grounds, but as a one-sided adherent of Paul, and, as such, in Tertullian’s judgment (“ videtur ”), chose Luke’s Gospel, in order to shape it anew for the purpose of restoring the pure gospel of Christ, and in such a way, in fact, that he now “evangelio scilicet suo nullum adscribit auctorem,” Tertull. c. Marc . iv. 2, by which he deprived Luke of his canonical position (“ Lucam videtur elegisse, quem caederet ”). To question Tertullian’s credibility in the above passages (Zeller, Baur, Volkmar), though he too frequently judged with the hostility of a partisan those whom he opposed, is yet without sufficient warrant, since he states particularly ( c. Marc . iv. 3) how Marcion came to reject the other canonical Gospels; that is, namely, that he strove, on the ground of the Epistle to the Galatians (chap. 2), to subvert the position of those Gospels “quae propria et sub apostolorum nomine eduntur vel etiam apostolicorum , ut scilicet fidem, quam illis adimit, suo conferat.” Comp. Weizsäcker, p. 230 ff. (who, however, misunderstands videtur in the above passage), and Riggenb. p. 130 ff. Marcion, therefore, must in consistency have renounced the gain to Gnosticism with which John could have furnished him. The opposite course would have been inconsistent with his Paulinism. Again, that Tertullian understood, by the “Gospels peculiarly and specially apostolical,” those of Matthew and John (against Zeller, who, with Volkmar, understands the apocryphal Gospels of the Jewish Christians), is clear from c. Marc . iv. 2 : “Nobis fidem ex apostolis Johannes et Matthaeus insinuant, ex apostolicis Lucas et Marcus.” Further, the Valentinians used our Gospel fully and in many ways, in support of their fine-spun fancies (Iren. Haer . iii. 11. 7); indeed, Heracleon, who is not to be rejuvenated into a contemporary of Origen, [22] wrote a commentary on it (see the Fragments from Origen in Grabe, Spicil. Patr . ii. p. 85 ff.); and Ptolemaeus (in Epiphan. Haer . xxxiii. 3 ff.) cites John 1:3 as an apostolical sentence, and according to Irenaeus, i. 8. 5, expressly described John’s prologue as proceeding from the apostle; and Theodotus also (according to the extracts from his writings appended to the works of Clem. Alex.) often quotes the Gospel of John. Whether Valentinus himself used it, is a question on which also, apart from other less evident proofs, we are not without very distinct testimony since the publication of the Philosophumena Origenis , which were probably composed by Hippolytus; for in the Philos . vi. 35, among the proof-texts used by Valentinus, John 10:8 is cited: so that the subterfuge, “ The author likes to transfer the doctrines of the disciple to the Master ” (Zeller, Hilgenfeld, Volkmar, comp. Scholten), can be of no avail here, where we have an instance to the contrary lying clearly before us (see Jacobi in the Deutsch. Zeitschrift , 1851, No. 28 f., 1853, No. 24 f.; Ewald, Jahrb . V. p. 200 f.). When, therefore, Tertullian says, Praescr. Haer . 38, “Valentinus integro instrumento uti videtur ,” we may find this videtur in respect of John’s Gospel simply confirmed by the Philosophumena [23] (see further, Bleek, Beitr . I. p. 214 ff.; Schneider, p. 27 ff.; Luthardt, l.c . p. 100 ff.; Tisch. l.c . p. 45 ff.; Riggenbach, p. 118 ff.).

That, again, even Basilides, who is not, however, to be looked upon as a disciple of the Apostle Matthias (Hofstede de Groot), used our Gospel, a point which Baur even, with unsatisfactory opposition on the part of Hilgenfeld, Volkmar. and others, concedes, and that he has employed as proof-texts in particular John 1:9 ; John 2:4 , is likewise proved by the Phil. Orig . vii. 22, 27, with which many of the author’s errors in other things are quite unconnected.

The Gospel also was in use among the Naassenes ( Philos. Or . v. 6 ff.) and Peratae (v. 12 ff.), who belong to the close of the second century.

It is true that Montanism had not its original root in the Gospel of John, but in the doctrine of the Parousia; still, in its entire relation to the church and its doctrine (see especially Ritschl, Althathol. Kirche , p. 477 ff.), and particularly in its ideas of prophecy, its asceticism, and its eschatology, it had no occasion to reject our Gospel, though some have erroneously found some evidence to this effect in Irenaeus, [24] though at the same time dependence on this Gospel cannot in its case be proved. There was a rejection of the Gospel on the part of the Alogi, consequently on that of the opponents of Montanism (Epiph. Haer . li. 3 f.), in the interests, indeed, of dogmatic Antimontanism, though they also adduced harmonistic reasons; but by this very rejection they furnish an indirect testimony to the recognition in their day of our Gospel as an apostolic work, both in the church and among the Montanists. They ascribed it to Cerinthus, who was yet a contemporary of John, a proof how ancient they thought it, in spite of their rejection of it.

[21] Which certainly can be least of all doubted in the case of John’s Gospel, of which Asia was the native country. The rejection of John as one of the twelve apostles is easily enough explained by Marcion’s anti-Judaizing temper.

[22] Origen himself (in Joann . ii. c. 8) alleges that Heracleon was esteemed a trusty disciple ( γνώριμος ) of Valentinus.

[23] When Baur and Zeller, on the other hand, lay stress on the fact that among the texts adduced by the Valentinians in proof of their doctrine of the Aeons, none occur from John, and hence conclude that the Valentinian system which Irenaeus there describes does not imply the existence of our Gospel at that time, it is still adverse to their view that Irenaeus immediately, 1:8. 5, adduces quotations from John out of Ptolemaeus, and in 3:11. 7 testifies to the most ample use of our Gospel (“ plenissime utentes ”) on the part of the Valentinians. So, also, the fact that Irenaeus, 1:20. 2, cites among the proof-texts of the Marcosians none from John, cannot serve to prove that the “Valentinian system originally stood in no connection with the fourth Gospel.” Zeller, 1845, p. 635. Assuredly the whole theosophy of Valentinus was intertwined with, and grew upon, the ground and soil of John’s distinctive theology. “Valentinus … non ad materiam scripturas (as Marcion), sed materiam ad scripturas excogitavit , et tamen plus abstulit et plus adjecit, auferens proprietates singulorum quoque verborum et adjiciens dispositiones non comparentium rerum.” Tertullian, de praescr. haer . 38. The Valentinian Gnosis, with its Aeons, Syzygies, and so on, stands related to John’s prologue as a product of art and fancy to what is simple and creative. Attempts to weaken the testimonies of the Philosoph. Orig . as to a use of John’s Gospel on the part of Valentinus and Basilides, have been very unsuccessfully made: Zeller, in the Theol. Jahrb . 1853, p. 144 ff.; Volkmar, ibidem , 1854, p. 125 f.; Baur, ib . p. 269 f.; Hilgenf. in his Zeitschrift , 1862, p. 452 ff.; Scholten, d. ält. Zeug . p. 67 ff.; and Volkmar, Urspr. uns. Evang . p. 70 ff.

[24] This is in answer to Bretschneider, Probab . p. 210 ff. The passage in Irenaeus, iii. 2. 9, reads thus: “Alii vero, ut donum Spiritus frustrentur, quod in novissimis temporibus secundum placitum patris effusum est in humanum genus, illam speciem non admittunt, quae est secundum Johannis evangelium, in qua Paracletum se missurum Dominus promisit; sed simul et evangelium et propheticum repellunt Spiritum, infelices vere, qui pseudoprophetae quidem esse volunt, prophetiae vero gratiam ab ecclesia repellunt.” He is here speaking of the opponents of Montanism, who for a polemical purpose did not acknowledge the characteristic Johannean nature of this Gospel, recognisable by the promise of the Paraclete; by which course Irenaeus thinks they reject equally both the Gospel (of John) and the prophetical Spirit also (who, in fact, was to be sent precisely as the Paraclete ), “truly unhappy men, who indeed ascribe it (the Gospel) to a false prophet, while they are repelling the grace of prophecy from the church.” The passage is not to be regarded, with Neander, as a Montanist interpolation; nor must we admit in the last words the conjecture “ pseudo-prophetas ” (so Merkel, Aufklärung d. Streitigk. der Aloger , p. 13; also Gieseler, Kirchengesch . I. i. p. 200, and Tischendorf), or pseudoprophetae esse nolunt (so Lücke), or pseudoprophetas esse nolunt (so Ritschl). Rather is pseudoprophetae to be taken as genitive: that “ it is the work of a false prophet .” Accordingly the “ pseudoprophetae esse volunt ” answers to the preceding “ evangelium … repellunt,” while the “ prophetiae vero gratiam “answers to the “ propheticum repellunt Spiritum .” Hence also we must decline Volkmar’s conjecture, that in Greek ψευδῶς Προφῆται stood instead of ψευδοπροφηται .

7. Celsus, whom we must certainly not assign, with Volkmar, to so late a date as the third century, has been cited as a witness of the second century standing outside the church, all the more important, indeed, because her enemy , and, from the Fragments of his work as cited in Origen, we may certainly infer that he was to some extent acquainted with the evangelic tradition and the evangelic writings, for he even alludes to the designation of the Logos and other peculiar points which are found in John, especially c. Cels . ii. 36, comp. John 20:27 ; c. Cels . i. 67, comp. John 2:18 . He assures us that he drew his objections chiefly from the writings of the Christians ( c. Cels . ii. 74). Now it is highly probable that the Gospel of John was also among them, since he ( c. Cels . ii. 13) expressly distinguishes the writings of the disciples of Jesus from other works treating of Him, which he proposes to pass over.

A weighty testimony from the oldest apocryphal literature might be furnished by the Acta Pilati , which are quoted even by Justin and Tertullian (see Tischendorf, Evang apocr. Prolegg . p. liv. ff.), if their original form were satisfactorily determined, which, however, cannot be successfully done. Just as little do other apocryphal Gospels furnish anything which we may lay hold of as certain. The labour expended by Tischendorf therefore leads to no results.

8. By the end of the second century, and from the beginning of the third, tradition in the church testifies so clearly and uniformly in favour of the Gospel, that there is no need of additional vouchers (Clem. Al., Tertull., Hippolyt., Orig., Dionys. Al., etc.). Euseb. iii. 25 places it among the Homologumena.

From this examination of witnesses, it is clear [25] that our Gospel ation of any New Testament writing. The continuity in particular goes back, by means of Irenaeus through Polycarp, and by means of Papias, so far as he testifies to twas not merely in use in the church, and recognised by her as apostolical, from about 170 A.D. (Hilgenfeld, A.D. 150), and composedof the church, are as evident as we ever can and do require for the external confir somewhere about 150 A.D. (Hilgenfeld, 120 140), but that the continuity of the attestations to it, and their growing extent in connection with the literature mhe use of John’s first Epistle , even if not directly (Iren., Hieron.), yet indirectly (Euseb., Dionys.), that is, through the Presbyter John, to the Apostle himself . That the Fragment of Papias in Euseb. iii. 39 does not mention John’s Gospel , cannot be of any consequence, since it does not quote any written sources at all from which the author drew his accounts, but rather describes his procedure as that of an inquirer after sayings of the apostles and other of the Lord’s disciples (such as Aristion and John the Presbyter), and expressly enunciates the principle: οὐ γὰρ τὰ ἐκ τῶν βιβλίων τοσοῦτόν με ὠφελεῖν ὑπελάμβανον , ὅσον τὰ παρὰ ζώσης φωνῆς καὶ μενούσης . Papias here throws together the then existing evangelic writings ( τῶν βιβλίων ), of which there was a multitude (Luke 1:1 ), all without distinction, not probably some merely apocryphal ones (Tischendorf; Riggenbach, p. 115); and as he included among them the Gospel of Matthew and that of Mark, both of which he specially mentions subsequently, so he also may have intended to include the Gospel of John among τῶν βιβλίων , since he manifestly does not indicate that he has any conception of canonical Gospels as such (comp. Credner, Beitr . I. p. 25), and has no occasion to note the distinction. When, further on, Eusebius quotes two statements of Papias on the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, this does not indicate that our Gospel did not exist in his day (Baur), or was at any rate not recognised by him (Hilgen., Credner, and Volkmar); but these two statements are simply made prominent, because they contain something specially noteworthy as to the origin [26] of those Gospels, just as Eusebius refers to it as specially worthy of remark that Papias makes use of proofs from two epistolary writings [27] (1 John and 1 Peter), and has a narrative which occurs in the Gospel to the Hebrews. [28] Further, in opposition to the weighty testimony of Justin Martyr, it is incorrectly urged that, if he had known of John as evangelist , he would not have referred to him as the author of the Apocalypse with the bare words ( c. Tryph . 81), ἀνήρ τις , ᾧ ὄνομα Ἰωάννης , εἷς τῶν ἀποστόλων τοῦ Χριστοῦ . Justin had, in fact, no occasion at all, in the context of this passage, to describe John as evangelist, and all the less that to himself it was self-evident that in εἷς τῶν ἀποστόλων were included the authors of the ἀπομνημονεύματα τῶν ἀποστόλων .

[25] Comp. the acknowledgment of Keim, Gesch. J . i. p. 137: “It is used in the extant literature as early as the Synoptics.” In opposition both to the usual determination of the date, which fixes on the last quarter of the first century, and to the criticism of Baur, Hilgenfeld, and Volkmar, Keim (pp. 146, 155) assigns the origin of the Gospel to Trajan’s time, between A.D. 100 and 117. The difficulty here is, that, according to Keim, the Epistle of Barnabas necessarily implies the use of our Gospel in its time. This epistle, however, he places in Hadrian’s day, about 120 A.D. In this case, the interval during which the Gospel had to become known and recognised is much too narrow; and besides, the date he assigns to Barnabas is by no means so certain as Keim is disposed to infer from chap. 4 and 16. Hilgenfeld plates it under Nerva; Ewald and Weizsäcker even in that of Vespasian. The question is, in any case, still uncertain.

[26] When, in this statement, Papias intimates in regard to Mark: οὔτε γὰρ ἤκουσε τοῦ κυρίου οὔτε παρηκολούθησεν αὐτῷ , we may observe here a contrast to other evangelists who had heard the Lord and followed Him; which was not the case with Mark, whose credibility depended rather on Peter. Such other evangelists were Matthew and John.

[27] Why Eusebius makes this prominent, we cannot tell, since we do not know on what occasions Papias used these epistolary testimonies. We can hardly connect this prominent reference with the question of the genuineness of the epistles, to which the subsequent mention of the Gospel to the Hebrews would not at all be appropriate. Probably Eusebius mentions the reference to the two ‘epistles only as an exceptional procedure on the part of Papias, who elsewhere dispenses with the citation of written testimonies. Comp. the passage previously adduced from the Fragment. Scholten ( d. ältest. Zeugn . p. 17) very arbitarily, and without any reason, doubts whether Papias held the epistle to be a work of the apostle.

[28] Besides, it is not to be overlooked that Papias may somewhere else in his book have mentioned the fourth Gospel, which he does not name in the Fragment in Eusebius. “We do not know, since the book is lost. See also Steitz, in the Stud. u. Krit . 1868, p. 493. It is true, a Latin Codex of the ninth century, in the Vatican, expressly testifies to such a mention (see Aberle in the Tüb. Quartalschr . 1864, p. 1 ff.; Tisch. as above, p. 118 f.; Zahn, in the Stud. u. Krit . 1867, p. 539 ff.); but less importance is to be attached to it, since the testimony is connected with the statement that Papias put together what was dictated by the apostle, a late and worthless legend (occurring also in Corder. Caten. Prooem .), which might easily enough have originated from Irenaeus’speaking of Papias as Ἰωάννου ἀκουστῆς . See, moreover, Hilgenf. in his Zeitschr . 1865, p. 75 ff.; Overbeck, ibidem , 1867, p. 63 ff.

A historical argument specially adduced by some against our Gospel is derived from the history of the Easter Controversy . See, on the one side, Bretschneider, Prob . 109 f.; Schwegler, Montanism , p. 191 f.; Baur, p. 343 ff., and in the Theol. Jahrb . 1844, p. 638 ff., 1847, p. 89 ff., 1848, p. 264 ff. On the opposite side, Weitzel, d. christl. Passafeier der drei ersten Jahrb ., Pforzheim 1848, and in the Theol. Stud. u. Krit . 1848, p. 806; in answer to which, again, Hilgenfeld, in the Theol. Jahrb . 1849, p. 209 ff., and in his Galaterbrief , p. 78 f.; Baur, d. Christenth. d. drei ersten Jahrb . p. 141 ff.; Scholten, d. Evang. nach Joh. krit. hist. Untersuch . p. 385 ff., and d. ältest. Zeugnisse , p. 139 ff. See further, for the genuineness of John: Ewald, Jahrb . V. p. 203 ff.; Schneider, p. 43 ff.; Bleek, Beitr . p. 156 ff., and Einl . p. 187 ff.; Steitz, in the Stud. u. Krit . 1856, p. 721 ff., 1857, p. 741 ff, 1859, p. 717 ff., and in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theologie , 1861, p. 102 ff.; against whom, Baur, in the Theol. Jahrb . 1857, p. 242 ff., and in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschr . 1858, p. 298; Hilgenf. Theol. Jahrb . 1857, p. 523 ff., and in his Zeitschr . 1858, p. 151 ff., 1862, p. 285 ff., 1867, p. 187 ff. On the whole course of the investigations, Hilgenf., d. Paschastreit d. alt. Kirche , 1860, p. 29 ff.; Kanon u. Krit. d . N. T. 1863, p. 220 ff. Comp. also the apologetic discussion by Riggenbach, d. Zeugnisse f. d. Ev. Joh . p. 50 ff. The reasons derived from the Easter controversy against the genuineness of the Gospel are obviated, not by forcing the fourth Gospel into agreement with the Synoptics in their statements as to the day on which Jesus died (see on John 18:28 ), which is not possible, but by a correct apprehension of the point of view from which the Catholic Quartodecimani in Asia Minor, who appealed for their observance of their festival on the 14th Nisan to apostolic custom, and especially to the example of John (Polycarp in Eusebius v. 24; and Polycrates, ibidem ), regarded the observance of this particular day of the month. The opponents of the Gospel, it is true, say, If the custom of those in Asia Minor to celebrate the Lord’s last supper on the 14th Nisan, contemporaneously with the Jewish passover, mainly originated with and pd proceeded from the Apostle John, then this apostle could not have written the fourth Gospel, because that custom agrees exactly with the Synoptic account of the last supper and the day of Jesus’ death, while the fourth Gospel states the exact opposite, namely, that Jesus kept His last supper, and therefore no true passover, on the 13th Nisan, and was crucified on the 14th Nisan. But the men of Asia Minor celebrated the 14th Nisan, and that, too, by terminating the fast kept upon this day in remembrance of Christ’s passion, down to the hour of His death, and by a joyous celebration of the Lord’s supper immediately after, in gratitude for the accomplishment of His work of redemption, not because Jesus ate the passover on that day, but because He died on that day, and by His death became the real and true Paschal Lamb of whom the Mosaic paschal lamb was the type (1 Corinthians 5:7 ; John 19:36 ); comp. also Ritschl, Altkath. Kirche , p. 269. Accordingly, they might justly maintain (see Polycrates in Euseb. l.c .) that their festival on the 14th Nisan was κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον (for any disagreement in the Gospels in reference to the day of Jesus’ death was not yet perceived, and the passover meal of Jesus in the Synoptics was looked upon as an anticipation), and κατὰ τὸν κανόνα τῆς πίστεως , this latter, namely, because Jesus, by the observance of the passover on another day, would not have appeared as the antitype of the slaughtered paschal lamb. Also πᾶσα ἁγία γραφή might be rightly quoted in proof by Polycrates, since in no part of the Old Testament does any other day occur as that on which the paschal lamb was slaughtered, except the 14th Nisan, and Jesus was in fact the true Paschal Lamb. It is self-evident that John’s example, which the Catholics of Asia Minor urged in favour of their “Quartodecima,” perfectly agrees with the account of the fourth Gospel, and that the κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον of Polycrates, though by it no single Gospel, but the written evangelic history collectively, is meant, does not exclude, but includes John’s Gospel, since its existence and recognition at that time is perfectly clear from other proofs. True, there was also a party of Quartodecimans in Asia Minor [29] who formed their judgments from a Judaistic (Ebionite) stand-point, whose celebration of the 14th Nisan did not rest on the assumption that Jesus, as the true Paschal Lamb, died on this day, but on the legal injunction that the passover was to be eaten on this day, and on the assumption that Jesus Himself ate it on the very same day, and did not suffer till the 15th Nisan (comp. Steitz, 1856, p. 776 ff.). These [30] men stirred up the so-called Laodicean controversy, and had as opponents, first Melito of Sardis and Apollinaris of Hierapolis, and afterwards Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Clement, and others (Eus. iv. 26. 3). They were attacked partly by their own weapon the law according to which Christ could not have been put to death, that is, slain as the true Paschal Lamb, on the first day of the feast; partly by an appeal to the Gospels , in respect of which it was assumed that they agree in reporting the 14th Nisan as the day of Jesus’ death (Apollinaris, in the Chron. Pasch . p. 14 : ἀσυμφώνως τε νόμῳ ἡ νόησις αὐτῶν καὶ στασιάζειν δοκεῖ κατʼ αὐτοὺς τὰ εὐαγγέλια . See above, under 5, the note on this passage). Moreover, it was urged by some who appealed to Matthew (Apollinaris, l.c ., διηγοῦνται Ματθαῖον οὕτω λέγειν ), that according to the words of Jesus, ΟὐΚΈΤΙ ΦΆΓΟΜΑΙ ΤῸ ΠΆΣΧΑ (comp. Luke 22:16 ), He did not eat of the legal passover, but died as the perfect Paschal Lamb on this day, and indeed before the time of eating the meal appointed by the law. See Hippolytus, in the Chron. Pasch . p. 13 : ὁ πάλαι προειπὼν , ὅτι οὐκέτι φάγομαι τὸ πάσχα , εἰκότως τὸ μὲν δεῖπνον ἐδείπνησεν πρὸ τοῦ πάσχα , τὸ δὲ πάσχα οὐκ ἔφαγεν , ἀλλʼ ἔπαθεν , οὐδὲ γὰρ καιρὸς ἦν τῆς βρώσεως αὐτοῦ ( i.e. “because the legal period for eating the passover had not even come,” it only came several hours after the death of Jesus); and just before: πεπλάνηται μὴ γινώσκων , ὅτι ᾧ καιρῷ ἔπασχεν ὁ Χριστὸς , οὐκ ἔφαγε τὸ κατὰ νόμον πάσχα , οὗτος γὰρ ἦν τὸ πάσχα τὸ προκεκηρυγμένον καὶ τὸ τελειούμενον τῇ ὡρισμένῃ ἡμέρᾳ (on the 14th Nisan). That, however, Justin Martyr himself regarded the first day of the feast as the day on which Jesus died (so Baur and Hilgenfeld), is an erroneous assumption. For when he says ( c. Tryph . 111, p. 338), καὶ ὅτι ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ πάσχα συνελάβετε αὐτὸν καὶ ὁμοίως ἐν τῷ πάσχα ἐσταυρώσατε , γέγραπται , he plainly means by ἘΝ ἩΜΈΡᾼ ΤΟῦ ΠΆΣΧΑ , and by ἘΝ Τῷ ΠΆΣΧΑ , the day on which the paschal lamb was eaten the 14th Nisan; since he shows immediately before that Christ was the true Paschal Lamb, and immediately after continues: Ὡς ΔῈ ΤΟῪς ἘΝ ΑἸΓΎΠΤῼ ἜΣΩΣΕ ΤῸ ΑἿΜΑ ΤΟῦ ΠΆΣΧΑ , ΟὝΤΩς ΚΑῚ ΤΟῪς ΠΙΣΤΕΎΣΑΝΤΑς ῬΎΣΕΤΑΙ ἘΚ ΘΑΝΆΤΟΥ ΤῸ ΑἿΜΑ ΤΟῦ ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ . Comp. chap. 40, p. 259. He might therefore have regarded Christ not as dying on the 15th Nisan, but simply on the 14th, as this is expressed in the second fragment of Apollinaris, [31] without our needing to understand “ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τοῦ πάσχα ” of the 15th Nisan. [32] Thus it is also said in the Chron. Pasch . p. 12 : ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ τοῦ πάσχα ἡμέρᾳ , ἤτοι τῇ ιδʼ τοῦ πρώτου μηνὸς , παράσκευῆς οὔσης ἐσταύρωσαν τὸν κύριον οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι , καὶ τότε τὸ πάσχα ἔφαγον . Comp. p. 415: ἐν ἡμέρᾳ δὲ παρασκευῇ σταυρωθῆναι τὸν κύριον διδάσκουσιν τὰ θεόπνευς τα λόγια , ἐν τῇ τοῦ πάσχα ἑορτῇ . On this fourteenth day the passover was celebrated according to the practice prevailing in Asia Minor, because on that day the true Paschal Lamb, Christ, was slain. Thus had Philip, John, Polycarp, and other μεγάλα στοιχεῖα , whom Polycrates mentions, already acted, and so John’s example in this particular agrees with his own Gospel.

[29] Characteristically referred to thus by Apollinaris in the Chron. Pasch . p. 14 : ἔνιοι τοίνυν οἳ διʼ ἄγνοιαν φιλονεικοῦσι περὶ τούτων , συγγνωστὸν πρᾶγμα πεπονθότες · ἄγνοια γὰρ οὐ κατηγορίαν ἀναδέχεται , ἀλλὰ διδαχῆς προσδεῖται Comp. Hippolyt. ibid . p. 13 : ὁρῶ μὲν οὖν , ὅτι φιλονεικίας τὸ ἔργον , κ . τ . λ . With the mild description of these people in Apollinaris agrees also Philos. Orig . viii. 18, where they are simply distinguished as ἕτεροί τινες , and indeed as φιλόνεικοι τὴν φύσιν and ἰδιῶται τὴν γνῶσιν , while it is said of them that in other points they agree with the doctrine of the apostles. Against Baur and Hilgenfeld, by whom the distinction between Catholic and Judaic Quartodecimani is alleged to be pure fancy, see Steitz, 1856, p. 782 ff., 1857, p. 764; also in Herzog’s Encyclop . xi. p. 156 ff. Even the ἔνιοι of Apollinaris and the ἕτεροί τινες of Hippolytus should have precluded them from thinking of the Asiatic church. On the other hand, Hilgenfeld, in his Paschastreit , pp. 256, 282, 404, is evasive.

[30] Whose observance is not to be regarded as a mere Jewish simultaneous celebration of the passover, which John assented to, as a custom which he found in existence in Ephesus (Bleek, De Wette, following Lücke). See, on the other hand, Hilgenfeld, Kanon u. Krit. d. N. T . p. 224 ff. The difference rests on a fundamental opposition. Comp. Ritschl, Altkath. Kirche , pp. 123 f., 269 f.

[31] To the same effect is p. 14 : ἡ ιδʼ τὸ ἀληθινὸν τοῦ κυρίου πάσχα , ἡ θυσία ἡ μεγάλη , ὁ ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀμνοῦ παῖς θεοῦ , ὁ δηθεὶς , ὁ δήσας τὸν ἰσχυρόν , καὶ ὁ κριθεὶς κριτὴς ζώντων καὶ νεχρῶν , καὶ ὁ παραδοθεὶς εἰς χεῖρας ἁμαρτωλῶν , ἵνα σταυρωθῇ , ὁ ὑψωθεὶς ἐπὶ κεράτων μονοκέρωτος , καὶ ὁ τὴν ἁγίαν πλευρὰν ἐκκεντηθεὶς … καὶ ὁ ταφεὶς ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τοῦ πάσχα , ἐπιτεθέντος τῷ μνήματι τοῦ λίθου .

[32] Recently Steitz also (in Herzog’s Encyklop . xi. 1859, p. 151), who formerly agreed with Baur, has admitted that Justin, agreeing with the other Fathers of the second and third centuries, did not in the above passage, c. Tr . p. 338, mean the 15th, hut the 14th Nisan. Comp. Leviticus 23:5-6 ; Numbers 28:16 f.; 1 Thessalonians 1:0 5th Nisan is called postridie paschatis , Numbers 33:3 , Joshua 5:11 . Hilgenfeld’s objection ( d. Paschastr. d. alten Kirche , p. 206), that the arrest mentioned by Justin as taking place likewise on the ἡμέρα τοῦ πάσχα does not suit the 14th Nisan , is altogether futile. Justin correctly includes the arrest in the day of crucifixion, as, c. Tryph . 99, the agony in Gethsemane is already put by him τῇ ἡμέρᾳ , ἧπερ ἔμελλε σταυροῦσθαι .

If some have also argued (see Hilgenfeld, Baur, Volkmar) against the early existence of our Gospel, from the antiquity and fixedness of the tradition which represented the ministry of Jesus as lasting for one year only (see Homil. Clem . xvii. 19), it is, on the other hand, certain that this tradition occurs in many writers who recognised the Gospel as the genuine work of John (Clem. Al., Orig., Ptolemaeus; and see generally Semisch, Denkw. Justin’s , p. 199 f.); whence it is clear that it does not imply the non-existence of the Gospel, but seemed just as reconcilable with John as with the Synoptics. It may have originated from the Synoptic history (see on Luke 4:19 ); but the counter statement of John, even if it actually existed, did not disturb it. It is the same also with the antiquity and fixedness of the tradition of the 14th Nisan as the day of Jesus’ death, which nevertheless does not imply non-acquaintance with the synoptic Gospels.

If, further, the reasons which are alleged for a Johannean origin of the Apocalypse are likewise urged, especially by the Tübingen critics, as evidence against a similar origin for the Gospel , yet, on the other hand, an opposite procedure is equally justifiable; and, apart from the utter futility of those reasons in other respects, the testimonies for the Apocalypse, which was excluded even from the Peschito, do not attain to any such general recognition as those for this Gospel. The attribution by the unanimous judgment of the church (alleged to be erroneous) of the latter work to the apostle, would, if it only originated in the first half of the second century, be the result of a few decenniums, brought about as by a stroke of magic; and would be, historically, the more enigmatical and incomprehensible, in proportion as the contents and character of our book are the more peculiar, compared with the other Gospels, and the more divergent from the Apocalypse, which existed long before our Gospel, and was reputed to be apostolic. For in this book it is not a spiritualized apocalypse that is exhibited, [33] but simply an independent Gospel, set forth in profound spiritual perfection, is to be recognised, whose linguistic and other characteristics, and whose doctrinal contents, spirit, and aim, are, on the whole, so specifically different from those of the Apocalypse, in spite of various Christological points of connection, that it can only have come from a totally different author (against Hengsten., Godet, Riggenb., and others). The Gnostic tendency of the time, in which some have sought for the solution of that incomprehensible enigma, does not solve it, since the strong reaction in the church against Gnosticism would certainly rather have condemned a Gospel furnishing the Gnostics with so much apparent support, and with materials so liable to be misused, than have left to opponents so rich a mine, to be worked out for their designs, if its apostolic origin had not been known and acknowledged as an established fact.

[33] Against Baur, Schwegler, Köstlin, Hilgenf., and others. How some have represented even the Synoptics as dependent on the Apocalypse, see especially in Volkmar, zur Apok. u. Ursp. uns. Evang . p. 158 f. Nothing can be more futile.


As an internal testimony to its apostolic origin, we have, above all, the whole grand ideal peculiarity of the book, wherein the πνευματικὸν εὐαγγέλιον (Clem. Al.) is delineated with so much character and spirit, with such simplicity, vividness, depth, and truth, that a later fabricator or composer who, moreover, could have occupied no other standing-point than that of his own time becomes an impossibility, when we compare with it any production of Christian authorship of the second century. The Gospel of John, especially through the unity and completeness of its Christological idea , is no artificial antithesis (Keim, Gesch. J . p. 129), but the πλήρωσις of the previous evangelic literature, to which the Pauline Christology appears as the historical middle term. But such a creation, which constitutes such a πλήρωσις , without any imitation of the older Gospels, is not the work of some later forger, but of an immediate eye-witness and recipient. [34] In it there beats the heart of Christ, as the book itself has been justly named (Ernesti). But, say some (Lützel., Baur and his school), it is precisely this tender, fervent, harmonious, spiritual character of the Gospel, which is as little in keeping with those traits of the Apostle John himself exhibited in the other Gospels (Mark 3:17 ; Luke 9:49 ; Luke 9:54 ; Mark 9:38 ; Mark 10:35 ), as the testimony borne to his anti-Pauline Judaism (Galatians 2:0 ) is to the ideal universalism which pervades his Gospel (see especially John 4:24 , John 10:16 , John 12:20 ). Yet the Judaizing partisanship which is said to be chargeable on John, is first simply imported into Galatians 2:0 , and cannot without utter arbitrariness be inferred from the conflicts with Judaism in Paul’s subsequent epistles. And as to the destination of an apostle of the Jews, a position which John certainly, in common with Peter and James, still adopted at the time of the Apostolical Council, might it not afterwards (though even Keim discovers in this assumption a mockery of history and psychology) expand gradually into that universalism which appears in the Gospel? Might not, in particular, the fuller insight into Paul’s work which John attained (Galatians 2:0 ), and the bond of fellowship which he formed with that apostle (Galatians 2:0 ), as well as his entrance subsequently into the sphere of Paul’s labours in Asia Minor, have contributed powerfully to that expansion and transformation which went beyond that of Paul himself; for the perfecting of which, down to the time when our Gospel [35] was composed, so long a period of church history and of personal experience had been vouchsafed? Moreover, like Paul, he still retained his Israelitish theocratic consciousness as an inalienable inheritance (John 4:22 ; his use of the Old Test.). With regard to the traits of character indicated in the Synoptics, is not the holy fervour of spirit which everywhere pervades his Gospel, and still marks his First Epistle, to be conceived as the glorified transfiguration of his former fiery zeal? And as to this transfiguration itself, [36] who may define the limits in the sphere of what is morally possible to man, beyond which, in a life and labours so long continued, the development of the new birth could not extend under influences so mighty as the apostles experienced by means of the Spirit’s training in the school of the holiest calling? What purification and growth did not Peter, for example, experience between the time of his smiting with the sword and denial on the one hand, and his martyrdom on the other? Both his labours and his Epistle bear witness on this point. Similarly must we judge of the objection, that the higher, nay, philosophical (or rather Christian speculative) Hellenistic culture of the evangelist, especially his doctrine of the Logos, cannot be made to suit (Bretschneider, Baur, and others) the Galilean fisherman John (comp. also Acts 4:13 ), for whom the fathomless hardihood of modern criticism has substituted some highly cultured Gentile Christian (so even Schenkel), who, wishing to lead heathen readers (John 19:35 , John 20:31 ) to Christian faith, exhibited the remarkable phenomenon “of historical evangelic authorship turning away from the existing Christian communities, for whom there were already Gospels enough in existence, to appeal to the educated conscience of the heathen world” (Hilgenfeld, d. Evangelien , p. 349). Even the fact that John was, according to John 18:15 , an acquaintance of the high priest, is said to be unsuited to the circumstances of the Galilean fisherman (see Scholten, p. 379), a statement wholly without adequate ground.

[34] In order to make the unique peculiarities of the Gospel agree with a non-apostolic author, neither the Epistle to the Hebrews nor the Apostle Paul ought to be brought into comparison. Both of them belong to the apostolic age, and the latter was called in an extraordinary manner by Christ, as a true apostle, and furnished with a revelation. To suppose that the author of this Gospel also received a revelation in a similar way , and yet to make him compose his Gospel no earlier than the second century, is unhistorical; and to attribute to any one deemed worthy of such a revelation the design of passing off his work as John’s, is unpsychological, and morally opposed to the spirit of truth which pervades and underlies it. The originating creative energy of the Spirit had no longer, in the second century, its season ordained by God, as is clearly shown by the entire literature of that later period, not excepting even the most distinguished (such as the Epistle to Diognetus). And the assumption of the apostolic guise would have been, in the case of that creative energy, as unworthy as unnecessary. The pseudonymous post-apostolic literature of the early church may be sufficiently accounted for by the custom excusable, considering the defective conception at that time of literary property of assuming the name of any one according to whose ideas one intended to write (see Köstlin in the Theol. Jahrb . 1851, p. 149 ff.); but the deliberate purpose on which this custom was founded, would, in the case especially of a book so sublime, and in an intellectual point of view, so thoroughly independent as our Gospel, have been utterly incongruous a paradox of the Holy Ghost.

[35] The well-known words of Polycrates, τὸ πέταλον πεφορηκώς , ought not to have been used as a proof that, in his later ministry in Asia, John was still the representative of Judaism, for they describe high-priestly dignity (see sec. 1) in a Christian, spiritual sense. Again, the words which John is said to have uttered, according to Irenaeus, iii. 3, when he encountered Cerinthus at the bath: φύγωμεν μὴ καὶ τὸ βαλανεῖον συμπέσῃ ἔνδον ὄντος Κηρίνθσυ , τοῦ τῆς ἀληθείας ἐχθροῦ , are alleged to be inappropriate to our evangelist. Why so? The very designation of Cerinthus as τῆς ἀληθείας ἐχθροῦ in the legend points to the evangelist, with whom ἀλήθεια was one of the great fundamental conceptions, whereas the author of the Apocalypse never once uses the word. The allegation that the latter, again, in Revelation 21:14 , compared with John 2:4 , testifies to the anti-Pauline sentiments of the Twelve, and hence of the Apostle John also, is simply foisted into the passage by a criticism on the look-out for it.

[36] Keim (p. 160) says, inappositely, of Mark and Luke: “Since they clearly imply the death of the apostles (of all?), they have not even allowed a possibility of further developments.” Neither Mark nor Luke undertook to write in their Gospels any history at all of the apostles , but of Jesus .

It is true the author does not give his name , just as the other historical works of the N. T. do not designate their authors. But he shows himself to have been an eye-witness in the plainest possible way, both at John 1:14 (comp. 1 John 1:1 ; 1 John 4:14 ) and at John 19:35 (comp. John 21:24 ); while the vividness and directness of so many descriptions and individual details, in which no other Gospel equals ours, as well as its necessarily conscious variation from the synoptic representation as a whole and in particular points of great importance, can only confirm the truth of that personal testimony, which is not to be set aside either by interpreting ἐθεασάμεθα , John 1:14 , of the Christian consciousness in general, or by the pretext that ἐκεῖνος in John 19:35 distinguishes the evangelist from such as were eye-witnesses (Köstlin, Hilgenfeld, Keim, and several others). See the exegetical remarks on those passages. And as a proof that the eye-witness was, in fact, no other than John, the significant concealment of the name John is rightly urged against Bretschneider, Baur, and others. Though allowed to be one of the most intimate friends of Jesus, and though the Gospel describes so many of his peculiar and delicate traits of character, this disciple is never referred to by name, but only in a certain masked, sometimes very delicate and thoughtful way, so that the nameless author betrays himself at once as the individual who modestly suppresses his name in John 1:35 ff. The true feeling of the church, too, has always perceived this; while it was reserved only for a criticism which handles delicate points so roughly, [37] to lend to the circumstance this explanation: “The author speaks of his identity with the apostle, as one, simply, to whom the point was of no consequence: his Gospel was meant to be Johannean, without bearing the apostle’s name on its front; at least the author had no intention of once mentioning the name in order to make it his own, but the reader was merely to be led to make this combination, so as to place the Apostle John’s name in the closest and most direct connection with a Gospel written in his spirit” (Baur, p. 379). In fact, a fraud so deliberately planned, and, in spite of its attempting no imitation of the Apocalypse, so unexampled in its success, a striving after apparent self-renunciation so crafty, that the lofty, true, transparent, and holy spirit of which the whole bears the impress, would stand in the most marked contradiction to it! Moreover, the instances of other non-apostolic works which were intended to go forth as apostolic, and therefore do not at all conceal the lofty names of their pretended authors, would be opposed to it. On the other hand, the universal recognition which this nameless author as the Apostle John obtained in the church is the more striking, since a later production of this kind, which had been anticipated by so well-known a work of a totally different character, passing for Johannean, that is, the Apocalypse, in contrast to the latter recognised as apostolic, while not once mentioning the name of that disciple, would be an historical phenomenon hardly conceivable. At least it is far more intelligible that the Apocalypse, bearing John’s name on its very face, and solemnly repeating it to the end more than once, should, in an uncritical age, make good its claim to be an apostolic work, though not permanently (comp. Ewald, Jahrb . v. p. 182 f.; Düsterd. on the Apocalypse , Introduction). Further, the circumstance that in our Gospel John the Baptist is always mentioned simply as Ἰωάννης , never as ὁ βαπτιστής , is not so weighty (in opposition to Credner, Bleek, Ebrard) as to prove that the writer was the apostle , who, as its author, would have had no occasion to point out the other John distinctly by that appellation, for the name ὁ βαπτιστής was by no means designed to mark any such distinction. But we may probably be of opinion that a writer who had simply to appropriate the evangelic materials in the Gospels already existing, and develope them further in a peculiar way, would hardly have failed to employ the surname of the Baptist so commonly and formally used in the Gospels. It is, however, possible that our apostle, having been a personal disciple of the Baptist, and having a lively recollection of his former close relation to him, mentions him by his bare name, as he had been wont to do when he was his disciple, and not with the designation ὁ βαπτιστής , which had come down to him through the medium of history .

[37] See, besides the Tübingen critics and Scholten, also Weisse, d. Evangelienfr . p. 61, according to whom, if John could have designated himself the disciple beloved by Christ, there would be in this an offensive and impudent sell-exaltation: comp. also Keim, Gesch. J . i. p. 157 f. See for the opposite and correct view, Ewald, Johann. Schrif . i. p. 48 ff.

In the extended discourses of Jesus, in the chronological arrangement of the historical materials, in the prominence given to the Lord’s ministry out of Galilee , in the significant and peculiar narratives omitted by the Synoptics (among which the most noteworthy is that of the raising of Lazarus), in the important variations from the Synoptics in parallel narratives (the chief of which are in the history of the last supper, and in the date of the day when Jesus died), in the noticeable omissions of evangelic matter (the most remarkable being the silence as to the institution of the supper, and the agony in Gethsemane) which our Gospel exhibits, we recognise just so many indications of an independence , which renders the general recognition of its apostolic authorship in the church only explicable on the ground of the indubitable certainty of that fact. It was this certainty, and the high general reputation of the beloved disciple, which far outweighed all variations from the form and contents of the older Gospels, nay, even subordinated the credit and independence of the Synoptics (for instance, in the history of the last supper, which even in them was placed on the 13th Nisan). All these points of difference have therefore been wrongly urged against the apostolic authorship; they make the external attestation all the stronger, far too strong to be traceable to the aims and fictions of a writer of the second century (comp. Bleek, Beitr . p. 66 ff.; Brückner on De Wette, p. xxviii. f.). With regard especially to the discourses and conversations of Jesus (which, according to Baur’s school, are wanting in appropriateness of exposition and naturalness of circumstances, and are connected with unhistorical facts, and intended to from an explication of the Logos-Idea), they certainly imply [38] a free reproduction and combination on the part of an intelligent writer, who draws out what is historically given beyond its first concrete and immediate form, by farther developing and explaining it. Often the originality is certainly not that of purely objective history , but savours of John’s spirit (compare the First Epistle of John), which was most closely related with that of Jesus . This Johannean method was such that, in its undoubted right to reproduce and to clothe in a new dress, which it exercised many decenniums after, it could not carry the mingling of the objective and subjective, unavoidable as it was to the author’s idiosyncrasy, so far as to merge what constituted its original essence in the mere view of the individual. Thus the λόγος , especially in the distinct form which it assumes in the prologue , does not reappear in the discourses [39] of Jesus, however frequently the λόγος of God or of Christ, as the verbum vocale (not essentiale [40] ), occurs in them. All the less, therefore, in these discourses can the form be externally separated from the matter to such an extent as to treat the one as the subjective, the other as the objective (Reuss in the Strassb. Denkschr . p. 37 ff.), a view which is inconceivable, especially when we consider the intellectual Johannean unity of mould, unless the substance of the matter is to be assigned to the sphere of the subjective along with the form. The Jesus of John, indeed, appears in His discourses as in general more sublime, more solemn, frequently more hard to understand, nay, more enigmatical, more mysterious, and, upon the whole, more ideal, than the Jesus of the Synoptics, especially as the latter is seen in His pithy proverbs and parables. Still, we must bear in mind that the manifestation of Jesus as the divine human life was intrinsically too rich, grand, and manifold, not to be represented variously, according to the varying individualities by which its rays were caught, and according to the more or less ideal points of view from which those rays were reflected, variously, amid all that resemblance of essential character, and peculiar fundamental type, in which it allowed itself to be recognised by manifold receptivities, and under dissimilar circumstances. It was on the soul of this very apostle that the image of that wonderful life, with which his inspired recollections were connected, was, without a single discordant feature, most perfectly delineated, and in all the deep fulness of its nature: it lives in him; and his own thinking and feeling, with its profound contemplativeness, is so thoroughly intertwined with and transfigured by this life and the ideal it contains, that each individual recollection and representation becomes the more easily blended by him into harmony with the whole . His very language must needs ever retain that inalienable stamp which he once involuntarily received from the heart and living word of Christ, and appropriated and preserved in all its depth and transparency in the profoundly spiritual laboratory of his own long regenerate life. (Comp. Ewald, Jahrb . III. p. 163, X. p. 90 f., and his Johan. Schriften , I. p. 32 ff.; also Brückner on De Wette, p. 25 ff.) Some have assigned to the Gospel the honour rather of a well-devised work of art, than of a truly earnest and real history (Keim, Gesch. J . I. p. 123). It is both, in the inseparable unity and truth of the art of the Holy Ghost.

If, again, some have urged that the author of the fourth Gospel appears as one standing apart from any personal participation in the history he was writing, and from Judaism (compare the frequent οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι , John 5:16 , John 7:1 ; John 7:19 ; John 7:25 , John 8:17 , John 10:34 , etc. [41] ), still we should bear in mind, that if John wrote his Gospel at a later time, and among a community moulded by Hellenistic culture, after the liberation of his Christian nature from the Judaism by which it had long been penetrated, and when he had long been familiar with the purest spiritual Christianity and its universalism, as well as raised through the medium of speculation to a higher standpoint in his view of the Gospel history, he certainly did stand much further apart than the earlier evangelists, not indeed from his history strictly speaking, but from its former surroundings and from Judaism. This, however, does not warrant the substitution in his place of a non-Jewish author, who out of elements but slightly historical and correlative myths wove a semblance of history. On the contrary, many peculiar traits marked by the greatest vividness and originality, revealing a personal participation in the history (see John 1:35 ff., John 5:10 ff., John 7:1 ff.; chap. John 9:11-12 , John 13:22 ff., John 18:15 ff., John 19:4 ff., John 19:21 ), rise up in proof, to bridge over the gulf between the remoteness of the author and the proximity of a former eye-witness, in whose view the history throughout is not developed from the doctrine, but the doctrine from the history. [42] Hence, also, he it is who, while he rose much higher above Judaism than Paul, yet, like Matthew in his Gospel, though with more individuality and independence, took pains to exhibit the connection between the events of the Gospel history and Old Testament prophecy. In this way, as well as by the explanations of Jewish facts, views, appellations, and so on, which are interspersed, he shows himself to belong to the ancient people of God, as far as his spiritual renewal was, and necessarily must have been, compatible with this connection. (Comp. Weizsäcker, Evang. Gesch . p. 263.) Lastly, the historical contradictions with the Synoptics are either only apparent (for instance, a ministration on several occasions at Jerusalem is implied, Matthew 23:37 , Luke 13:34 ), or such as cannot fairly lead to the conclusion of a non-apostolic authorship, since we do not possess Matthew in its original form, and therefore are not prevented by the counterweight of equally apostolic evidence from assigning to John a preponderating authority, which especially must be done in regard to such very striking variations as the date of the day on which Jesus died, and the account of the last supper. Besides, if what was erroneous and unhistorical might, after the lapse of so long a time, have affected even the memory of an apostle, yet matters of this sort, wherever found in particular passages of our Gospel, are rather chargeable on commentators than on the author, especially in the exceptions taken to the names of such places as Bethany, John 1:28 , and Sychar, John 4:5 . On the whole, the work is a phenomenon so sublime and unique among productions of the Christian spirit, [43] that if it were the creation of an unknown author of the second century, it would be beyond the range of all that is historically conceivable. In its contents and tone, as well as in its style, which is unlike that of the earlier Gospels, it is so entirely without any internal connection with the development and literary conditions of that age, that had the church, instead of witnessing to its apostolic origin, raised a doubt on that point, historical criticism would see assigned to it the inevitable task of proving and vindicating such an origin from the book itself. In this case, to violate the authority of the church for the sake of the Gospel, would necessarily have a more happily and permanently successful result than could follow from opposing the Gospel. After having stood the critical tests originated by Bretschneider and Baur, this Gospel continues to shine with its own calm inner superiority and undisturbed transparency, issuing forth victorious from never-ceasing conflicts; the last star, as it were, of evangelic history and teaching, yet beaming with the purest and highest light, which could never have arisen amid the scorching heat of Gnosticism, or have emerged from the fermentation of some catholicizing process, but which rose rather on the horizon of the apostolic age, from the spirit of the disciple most intimate with his Lord, and which is destined never again to set, [44] the guide to a true catholicity, differing wholly from the ecclesiastical development of the second century, [45] and still remaining as the unattained goal of the future.

[38] It cannot be shown that he records the experiences of the later apostolic age, and makes Jesus speak accordingly (see Weizsäcker, p. 285 f.). The passages adduced in proof (John 17:20 , John 20:29 , John 14:22 , John 17:9 , John 17:3 , John 3:13 , John 6:57 ; John 6:62 f., John 4:36-38 ) are fully explained exegetically without the assumption of any such ὕστερον πρῶτον .

[39] Although the essential conception of the Logos , as regards its substance , is everywhere with John a prominent feature in the consciousness of Jesus, and is re-echoed throughout the Gospel. (Comp. John 3:11 ; John 3:13 ; John 3:31 , John 6:33 ff., John 6:62 , John 7:29 , John 8:12 ; John 8:23 ; John 8:58 , John 16:28 , John 17:5 ; John 17:24 , and other places.) To deny that John exhibits Jesus as having this superhuman self-consciousness, is exegetically baseless, and would imply that (in his prologue) the evangelist had, from the public life of the Lord, and from His words and works, formed an abstract idea as to His nature, which was not sustained, but rather refuted, by his own representation of the history, a thing inconceivable. This, in general, against Weizsäcker in d. Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theologie , 1857, p. 154 ff., 1862, p. 634 ff.; Weiss, Lehrbegr . p. 244. See my comments on the particular passages (also against Beyschlag). The idea of the Logos, moreover, is related to that of the ζωή , not as something accidental, but in such a way that the Logos is conceived as the original and personally conscious substratum of the latter. Thus was it given to the author by the history itself, and by his profoundly vivid realization of that history through communion with Him in whom the ζωή dwells. The Logos is the same fundamental conception (only in a more definite speculative form) as the υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ .

[40] Comp. Weizsäck. Evangel. Gesch . p. 257.

[41] See Fischer in the Tüb. Zeitschr . 1840, II. p. 96 ff.; Baur, Neut. Theol . p. 390 f.; Scholten and others. On the other side, Bleek, p. 246 ff.; Luthardt, I. p. 143 ff. Compare notes on John 1:19 , John 8:17 ; also Ewald, Johann. Schriften , I. p. 10 f.

[42] Compare Weizsäcker in the Jahrb. f. D. Th . 1859, p. 690 ff. See the opposite view in Keim, p. 127. Scholten comes even to the melancholy conclusion: “The contents of the fourth Gospel cannot be of use as historical authority in any single point.” The author threw into the form of an historical drama what was subjective truth to himself, unconcerned as to its historical accuracy.

[43] Gfrörer, of course, makes it a product of dotage and fancy. Origen, on the other hand, calls it τῶν εὐαγγελίων ἀπαρχήν , and says of it, οὖ τὸν νοῦν οὐδεὶς δύναται λαβεῖν μὴ ἀναπεσὼν ἐπὶ τὸ στῆθος Ἰησοῦ , and, τηλικοῦτον δὲ γενέσθαι δεῖ τὸν ἐσόμενον ἄλλον Ἰωάννην , ὥστε οἱονεὶ τὸν Ἰωάννην δειχθῆναι ὄντα Ἰησοῦν ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ . Hence, also, we can understand the constant recurrence, so as to make them regulate the presentation of the history, both of the ideas lying at the basis of Christ’s whole work, and of the fundamental views which John, beyond any other evangelist, had derived from the history itself, in which he had borne a part on the breast of Jesus. Thus, with him, the grand simple theme of his book is through all its variations in harmonious and necessary concord, a lively monotone of the one spirit, not a “leaden” one. (Keim, Gesch. J. p. 117.)

[44] If the apostle, in composing his work, employed an amanuensis, which is not improbable, judging from similar cases in the New Testament Epp. (see especially Ewald, Jahrb . X. p. 87 ff.), though it is not proved by John 19:35 , still the writer must be regarded only as simply drawing up what the apostle dictated , a conclusion arising out of the peculiar character, tenderness, and profundity of the book, and its entire resemblance to the First Epistle of John.

[45] Comp. Holtzm. Judenth. u. Christenth . 1867, p. 713.

Nor can the attempt be successful to treat only a certain nucleus of our Gospel as genuinely apostolical, and to assign the rest to disciples of John or other later hands. The reasons for this procedure are inadequate, while it is itself so destitute of all historical evidence and warrant, and runs so entirely into caprice and diversity of subjective judgment, and hence also presents such a variety of results in the several attempts which have been made, that it would be in any case critically more becoming to leave still unsolved the difficulties in the matter and connection of particular passages, rather than to get rid of them by striking them out according to an arbitrary standard. This remark applies not merely to some of the older attempts of this kind by Eckermann, Vogel, Ammon (Progr. quo docetur, Johannem evang. auctorem ab editore huj. libri fuisse diversum, 1811), and Paulus, but also to Rettig’s opinion ( Ephemer. exeg . I. p. 83 ff.): “Compositum esse et digestum a seriori Christiano, Johannis auditore forsitan gnosticae dedito philosophiae, qui, quum in ecclesiae Ephesinae scriniis ecclesiasticis vel alio loco private plura Jesu vitae capita per Johannem descripta reperisset, vel a Johanne ipso accepisset, iis compositis et ordinatis suam de λόγῳ philosophiam praefixit;” and even to the more thorough attempts made by Weisse (both in his Evang. Gesch . I. p. 96 ff., II. p. 184 ff., 486 ff., 520 ff.; as also in his Evangelienfrage , 1856, p. 111 ff.) and Alex. Schweizer ( d. Ev. Joh. nach s. innern Werthe kritisch untersucht, 1841). According to Weisse (compare, however, his partial retractation in his Philos. Dogmat . 1855, I. p. 153), John, for the purpose of setting forth his own idea of Christ and doctrinal system in discourses of Jesus, selected such discourses, adding those of the Baptist and the prologue. After his death, one of his adherents and disciples (John 19:35 ), by further adding what he had learnt from the apostle’s own mouth, and from the evangelic tradition, but without any knowledge of the Synoptics, worked up these “ Johannean Studies ” into a Gospel history, the plan of which was, of course, very imperfect; so that the apostle’s communications consequently form only the groundwork of the Gospel, though among them must be reckoned all the strictly didactic and contemplative portions, in determining which the First Epistle of John serves as a test. According to Schweizer (comp. also Schenkel, previously in the Stud. u. Krit . 1840, p. 753 ff., who resolves the apostolical portion into two sets of discourses), such sections are to be excluded from the apostle’s original work, as are “quite disconnected and abrupt, interwoven with no discourses, are altogether without any important word of Jesus, permeated by an essentially different estimate and idea of miracle, without vividness of narration, and moreover are divergent in style, and agree, besides, in recounting Galilean incidents.” These excluded sections, along with which especially fall to the ground the turning of the water into wine at Cana, the healing of the nobleman’s son, the miraculous feeding (John 2:1 ff., John 4:44 ff., John 6:1 ff.), are said to have originated with the author of chap. 21, who also, according to Scholten, is said to have added a cycle of interpolated remarks, such as John 2:21 f., John 7:39 , John 12:33 , John 18:32 . All such attempts at critical dismemberment, especially in the case of a work so thoroughly of one mould, must undoubtedly fail. Even Weizsäcker’s view ( Untersuch. üb. d. evang. Gesch . 1864, p. 298 ff.), that our Gospel was derived from the apostle’s own communications, though not composed by his own hands, but by those of his trusted disciples in Ephesus, is based on insufficient grounds, which are set aside by an unprejudiced exegesis (see also Ewald, Jahrb . XII. p. 212 ff.). This hypothesis is all the more doubtful, if the Gospel (with the exception of chap. 21) be allowed to have been composed while the apostle was still living; it is not supported by the testimony of Clem. Alex. and the Canon of Muratori, [46] and in fact antiquity furnishes no evidence in its favour.

[46] Clement of Alexandria, in Euseb. vi. 14, says John composed the spiritual Gospel προτραπέντα ὑπὸ τῶν γνωρίμων πνεύματι θεοφορηθέντα . How different is this statement from the above view! Just as much at variance with it is the similar testimony of Muratori’s Fragment, which lays special stress upon the composition by the apostle himself, and indeed supports it by 1 John 1:1-4 . Moreover, see on John 18:15 , John 19:35 , John 21:23 f.

Literature: (1.) Against the Genuineness: Evanson, Dissonance of the Four Evangelists , Ipswich 1792. (Vogel), d. Evangelist Joh. u. s. Ausleger vor d. jungsten Gericht , I. Lpz. 1801, II. 1804. Horst, in Henke’s Mus. I. 1, pp. 20 ff., 47 ff., 1803. Cludius, Uransichten des Christenth. , Altona 1808, p. 40 ff. Ballenstedt, Philo u. Joh. , Gött. 1812. The most important among the older works: Bretschneider, Probabilia de evangelii et epistolarum Joh. apost. indole et origine , Lpz. 1820, who makes the Gospel originate in the first half of the second century, in the interest of Christ’s divinity. Later opponents: Rettig, Ephem. exeg. I. p. 62 ff. Strauss, Leben Jesu , despite a half retractation in the third edition (1838), the more decidedly against in the fourth (1840). Weisse, Evang. Gesch. 1838, and d. Evangelienfrage , 1856. Lützelberger, die Kirchliche Tradition üb. d. Apostel Joh. 1840. B. Bauer, Krit. d. evang. Gesch. d. Joh. 1840, and Kritik d. Evangelien , I. 1850. Schwegler, Montanism , 1841, and nachapost. Zeitalter , 1846. Baur, [47] Krit. Untersuchungen üb. d. Kanonischen Evang. , Tüb. 1847, p. 79 ff. (previously in the Theol. Jahrb. 1844). Zeller, in the Theol. Jahrb. 1845, p. 579 ff., and 1847, p. 136 ff. Baur, ibidem , 1848, p. 264 ff., 1854, p. 196 ff., 1857, p. 209 ff.; and in his Christenth. d. drei ersten Jahrh. p. 131 ff.; also in his controversial work, An Herrn Dr. Karl Hase , Tüb. 1855; and in his treatise, “ die Tübinger Schule ,” 1859. Hilgenfeld, d. Evang. u. die Briefe Joh. nach ihrem Lehrbegr. dargestellt , Halle 1849, and in the Theol. Jahrb. 1849, p. 209 ff.: also in his works, die Evangelien nach ihrer Entstehung u. s. w. , Lpz. 1854, p. 227 ff.; and in his controversial treatise, das Urchristenth. in d. Hauptwendepunkten seines Entwickelungsganges , Jena 1855; also in the Theol. Jahrb. 1857, p. 498 ff., and in the Zeitschr. f. wissenschaft Theol. 1859, p. 281 ff., 383 ff.; similarly in the Kanon u. Krit. d. N. T. 1863, p. 218 ff., and in his Zeitschr. 1863, 1 and 2, 1867, p. 180 ff. Köstlin, in the Theol. Jahrb. 1851, p. 183 ff. Tobler, die Evangelienfrage , Zürich 1858 (anonymously), and in the Zeitschr. f. wiss. Theol. 1860, p. 169 ff. Schenkel [48] in his Charakterbild Jesu , chap. 2. Volkmar, most recently in his work against Tischendorf, “d. Ursprung uns. Evangel.” 1866. Scholten, d. ältest. Zeug. betr. d. Schriften d. N. T. , translated from the Dutch by Manchot, 1867 (compare his Evang. according to John , translated by Lang). Keim, Geschichte Jesu , 1867, I. p. 103 ff. (2.) For the Genuineness , and especially against Bretschneider (comp. the latter’s later confession in his Dogmat. Exodus 3:0 , I. p. 268: “The design which my Probabilia had namely, to raise a fresh and further investigation into the authenticity of John’s writings has been attained, and the doubts raised may perhaps be now regarded as removed”): Stein, Authentia ev. Joh. contra Bretschn. dubia vindicat. , Brandenb. 1822. Calmberg, Diss. de antiquiss. patrum pro ev. Joh. authentia testim. , Hamb. 1822. Hemsen, die Authent. der Schriften des Ev. Joh. , Schleswig 1823. Usteri, Comment. crit., in qua ev. Joh. genuinum esse ex comparatis quatuor evangelior. narrationib. de coena ultima et passione J. Ch. ostenditur , Turici 1823. Crome, Probabilia haud probabilia , or Widerlegung der von Dr. Bretschneider gegen die Aechtheit des Ev. u. d. Briefe Joh. erhobenen Zweifel , Lpz. 1824. Rettberg, an Joh. in exhibenda Jesu natura reliquis canonicis scriptis vere repugnet , Gött. 1826. Hauff, die Authent. u. der hohe Werth des Ev. Joh. , Nürnberg 1831.

Against Weisse: Frommann, in the Stud. u. Krit. 1840, p. 853 ff.; Hilgenfeld, in the Zeitschr. f. wiss. Theol. 1859, p. 397 ff.

Against Schweizer: Luthardt, i. p. 6 ff.

Against Baur and his school: Merz, in the Würtemb. Stud. 1844, ii. Ebrard, d. Ev. Joh . u. die neueste Hypothese üb. s. Entstehung , Zürich 1845; and in his Kritik d. evang. Gesch. ed. 2, 1850, p. 874 ff. Hauff, in the Stud. u. Krit. 1846, p. 550 ff. Bleek, Beiträge z. Ev. Krit. 1846, p. 92 ff., u. Einl. p. 177 ff. Weitzel, in the Stud. u. Krit. 1848, p. 806 ff., 1849, p. 578; also De Wette, Einl. , whose final judgment, however (§ 110 g.), only declares against the view which would deny to the apostle any share in the composition of the Gospel. See, besides, Niermeyer, Verhandeling over de echtheid d. Johanneischen Schriften, s’ Gravenhage 1852. Mayer (Catholic), Aechtheit d. Ev. nach Joh. , Schaffh. 1854. Schneider, Aechth. des Joh. Ev. nach den äusseren Zeugen , Berl. 1854. Kahnis, Dogmat. I. p. 416 ff. Ritschl, Altkath. K p. 48. Tischendorf, wann wurden uns. Ev. verfasst? 1865; 4th enlarged edition, 1866. Riggenbach, d. Zeug. f. d. Ev. Joh. neu unters. 1866. Dr. Pressensé, Jes. Christus, son Temps , etc., 1866. Oosterzee, d. Johannes-evang., vier Vorträge , 1867 [Eng. trans.]; also Hofstede de Groot (against also the previously mentioned work of Scholten), Basilides als erster Zeuge, für Alter und Auctorit. neutest. Schr. , German edition, 1868. Jonker, het evang. v. Joh. 1867. Compare generally, besides the Commentaries, Ewald, Jahrb. III. p. 146 ff., V. p. 178 ff., X. p. 83 ff., XII. p. 212 ff. Grimm, in the Hall. Encykl. ii. 22, p. 5 ff.

[47] According to Baur’s school, the Gospel, the existence of which is only conceivable at the time of the church’s transition into Catholicism, originated about the middle of the second century (according to Volkmar, only towards 150 160; according to Hilgenfeld, as soon as 120 140, contemporaneously with the second Jewish war, or soon after). The author, who, it is said, appropriated to himself the authority of the Apostle John, the author of the Apocalypse, transfigured in a higher unity into the Christian Gnosis the interests of Jewish and Pauline Christianity, while going beyond both, so that the historical materials taken from the Synoptics, and wrought up according to the ideas of the prologue, form merely the basis of the dogmatic portions, and are the reflex of the idea. To bring the new form of the Christian consciousness to a genuine apostolic expression, the author, whose Gospel stands upon the boundary line of Gnosticism, and “now and then goes beyond the limits,” made an ingenious and artistic use of the relative points of connection with the Apocalypse, in order to spiritualize the Apocalypse into a Gospel. The relation of the Gospel to the parties of the time (whose exciting questions it touches), especially to Gnosticism, Montanism, Ebionism, the Easter controversy, is indeed very variously defined by Baur’s school, yet always in such a way that the historical character of the contents is given up. In exchange for this loss, the consolation is offered us, that “the Christianity thus fashioned into a perfect theory was simply a development of that which, according to its most primitive and credible representation, the religious consciousness of Jesus contained in creative fulness,” Hilgenfeld ( d. Evangelien , p. 349), who even makes John’s theology stand in the same relation to the religious consciousness of Jesus, “as, according to the promise in John 16:12 , the work of the Paraclete, as the Spirit leading the church into all truth, was to stand to the teachings of its Founder.” The most extravagant judgment is that of Volkmar: the Evangelist “ starts from the Gospel of the dualistic anti-Judaical Gnosis of Marcion, and overcomes it by the help of Justin’s doctrine of the Logos with its Monism .” Tobler, though attributing the first Epistle to the apostle, makes the author of our Gospel to be Apollos , whom he also regards as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and of First and Second John. See against this error, which makes the Gospel to have been intended for the Corinthians, Hilgenf. in the Zeitschr. f. wiss. Theol . 1859, p. 411 ff. Moreover, what Tobler has subsequently advanced in the Zeitschr. f. wiss. Theol . 1860, p. 169 ff., cannot support his hypothesis.

[48] According to this modern notion of Schenkel, our Gospel originated about 110 120 A.D., under the influence of the Christian doctrine of wisdom prevailing in Asia Minor. The author, he says, certainly did not write a work of fiction or fancy, but separated a cycle of evangelic traditions from their historical framework, and forced them up into the region of eternal thought, etc. Thus, Jesus was such, as the author depicts Him, not always in reality , but in truth. At this result Keim also substantially arrives: he attributes the Gospel to a Jewish Christian of liberal opinions and friendly to the Gentiles, probably one of the Diaspora in Asia Minor about the beginning of the second century, who published it under the name of the Apostle John. He wrote with the just conviction that the apostles and John would have so written, had they been living in his time, and did not aim at establishing an external history, but at exhibiting the spirit which sits enthroned in every history of the life of Jesus. According to Scholten, the Gospel was written about 150 A.D., by a philosophically enlightened Gentile Christian, assuming the guise of an ideal apostle, setting aside what was untrue in the various tendencies of the day (Gnosticism, Antinomianism, Montanism, Quartodecimanism), but recognising the correlated truths, and expressing them in appropriate forms, though it was recognised as apostolic only towards the close of the second century.


John himself, John 20:31 , tells us very distinctly the purpose of the Gospel which he wrote for the Christians of his own day. It was nothing else than to impart the conviction that Jesus was the Messiah, by describing the history of His appearance and of His work; and through faith in this, to communicate the Messianic life which was revealed in Jesus when on earth. While it has this general purpose in common with the other Gospels, it has as its special and definite task to exhibit in Jesus the Messiah, as in the, highest sense the Son of God , that is, the Incarnate Divine Logos; and hence John places the section on the Logos at the very beginning as his distinctive programme, therewith furnishing the key for the understanding of the whole. In the existing name and conception of the Logos, he recognises a perfectly befitting expression for his own sublime view of Christ, the humanly manifested divine source of life; and accordingly, he has delineated the human manifestation and the historical life of the divine in Christ with creative spirit and vividness, in order that the eternal and highest power of life, which had thus entered bodily into the world, might be appropriated by faith. Even the Gospel of Matthew (and of Luke) grasps the idea of the Son of God metaphysically, and explains it by the divine generation. John, however, apprehends and explains it by raising it into the premundane and eternal relation of the Son to the Father, who sent the Son; just as Paul also earnestly teaches this pre-existence, though he does not conceive of it under the form of the Logos, and therefore has nothing about a beginning of divine Sonship by a divine generation in time. John therefore occupies a far higher standing-point than Matthew; but, like the other evangelists, he developes his proof historically , not sacrificing historic reality and tradition to idealism (against Baur and his school), but now selecting from the materials furnished by the extant tradition and already presented in the older evangelic writings, now leaving these, and carefully selecting solely from the rich stores of his own memory and experience. In this way, it is quite obvious how important the discourses of Jesus, especially upon His divine Messianic dignity in opposition to the unbelief of the Jews, were as elements of John’s plan; and further, how necessary it was that the testimonies of the Baptist, the prophetical predictions, and the select miraculous proofs, the latter forming at the same time the bases of the more important discourses, should co-operate towards his purpose. The general similarity of his aim with that of the current Galilean tradition on the one side, and on the other hand its special distinctiveness, which is due to his own more sublime and spiritual intuition and his purpose to delineate Jesus as the Incarnate Logos, the possessor and imparter of divine and eternal life, as well as his independence in both these respects, as a most intimate eye and ear witness, of all the previous labours of others, and his original peculiar arrangement and reproduction of the doctrines of Jesus as from a centre, determining every detail and binding them into one, this, and the primary destination of the work for readers who must have been acquainted with Graeco-Judaic speculations, gave the book the characteristic form which it possesses. The intellectual unity, which thus runs through it, is the reflection of the author’s peculiar view of the whole, which was not formed à priori , but as the result of experience (John 1:14 ; comp. Hauff, in the Stud. u. Krit . 1846, p. 574 ff.), the fruit of a long life in Christ, and of a fulness and depth of recollection such as he only, among the living, could possess. Written after the destruction of Jerusalem, and by that disciple who had long advanced beyond Jewish Christianity, and in the centre of Asiatic culture was still labouring amidst the highest esteem, as probably the only aged apostle remaining, this Gospel could not have an eye to Palestinian readers, [49] as had been formerly the case with Matthew’s Collection of Logia, and the Gospel which originated from it. It was very naturally destined, first of all, for those Christian circles among which the apostle lived and laboured, consequently for readers belonging to churches originally founded by Paul, and who had grown up out of Jewish and Gentile Christian elements, and had been carried on by John himself to that higher unity for which Paul could work only amidst continual conflict with yet unconquered Judaism. The Gospel of John, therefore, is not a Pauline one, but one more transfigured and spiritual, plainly rising more sublimely above Judaism than Paul, more tender and thoughtful than his, and also more original, but agreeing as to its main ideas with the doctrine dialectically wrought out by Paul, though exhibiting these ideas at a calmer height above the strife of opposing principles, and in harmony with the full perfection of fundamental Christian doctrine; and thus communicating for all time the essence, light, and life of the eminently catholic tendency and destination of Christianity. It represents the true and pure Christian Gnosis, though by this we are not to suppose its design was a polemical one against the heretical Gnostics , as even Irenaeus in his day (iii. 11. 1) indicates the errors of Cerinthus and of the Nicolaitans as those controverted by John, to which Epiphanius ( Haer . Leviticus 12:0 , lxix. 23) and Jerome ( de vir. illustr .) added also those of the Ebionites , while even modern writers have thought that it controverted more or less directly and definitely the Gnostic doctrine, especially of Cerinthus (Erasmus, Melanchthon, Grotius, Michaelis, Storr, Hug, Kleucker, Schneckenburger, Ebrard, Hengstenberg, and several others). It is decisive against the assumption of any such polemical purpose, that, in general, John nowhere in his Gospel allows any direct reference to the perverted tendencies of his day to appear; while to search for indirect and hidden allusions of the kind, as if they were intentional, would be as arbitrary as it would be repugnant to the decided character of the apostolic standpoint which he took up when in conscious opposition to heresies. In his First Epistle the apostle controverts the vagaries of Gnosticism, and it is improbable that these came in his way only after he had already written his Gospel (as Ewald, Jahrb . III. p. 157, assumes); but the task of meeting this opposition, to which the apostle set himself in his Epistle, cannot have been the task of his Gospel, which in its whole character keeps far above such controversies. At any rate, we see from his Epistle how John would have carried on a controversy, had he wished to do so in his Gospel. The development of Gnosticism, as, it was in itself a movement which could not have failed to appear, lay brooding then, and for some time previously, in the whole atmosphere of that age and place; it appears in John pure, and in sententious simplicity and clearness, but ran off, in the heresies of the partly contemporaneous and partly later formed Gnosticism, into all its varied aberrations, amid which it seemed even to derive support by what it drew from John. That it has been possible to explain many passages as opposed to the Gnostics, as little justifies the assumption of a set purpose of this kind, as the interpretation favourable to Gnosticism, which is possible in other passages, would justify the inference of an irenical purpose (Lücke) in respect of this heresy, since any express and precise indication of such tendencies does not appear. Similarly must we judge the assumption of a polemical purpose against the Docetae (Semler, Bertholdt, Eckermann; Niemeyer, de Docetis , Hal. 1823; Schneckenburger, Schott, Ebrard), for which some have adduced John 1:14 , John 19:34 , John 20:20 ; John 20:27 ; or an opposition to Ebionism and Judaism (Jerome, Grotius; Lange, die Judenchristen, Ebioniten und Nikolaiten d. apost. Zeit ., Lpz. 1828; Ebrard, and many others); or to the plots of the Jews who had been restored after the destruction of Jerusalem (Aberle in the Tüb. Quartalschr . 1864, p. 1 ff.). At the same time, it seems quite arbitrary, nay, injurious to John’s historical fidelity and truth, to set down his omissions of evangelic circumstances to the account of a polemical purpose; as, for example, Schneckenburger, Beitr . p. 60 ff., who regards the omission of the agony as based on an anti-Gnostic, and the silence as to the transfiguration on the mount on an anti-Docetic interest. A controversial reference to the disciples of John (Grotius, Schlichting, Wolzogen; Overbeck, über d. Ev. Joh . 1784, über d. Ev. Joh . 1784; Michael., Storr, Lützelberger, and others, even; Michael., Storr, Lützelberger, and others, even Ewald) is not supported by such passages as John 1:6-8 ; John 1:15 ; John 1:19-41 , John 3:22 ff., John 5:33-36 , John 10:40 f., since the unique sublimity of Jesus, even when contrasted with John who was sent by God, must have been vindicated by the apostle in the necessary course of his history and of his work; but in these passages no such special purpose can be proved, and we must assume that, with any such tendency, expressions like that in Matthew 11:11 would not have been overlooked. Besides, those disciples of John who rejected Christ ( Recogn. Clem . i. 54, 60), and the Zabaeans or Mendeans (Gieseler, Kirchengesch . I. 1, p. 76, Eng. trans. vol. I. p. 58), who became known in the seventeenth century, were of later origin, while those who appear in Acts 18:25 ; Acts 19:1 ff., were simply not yet accurately acquainted with Christ, and therefore as regards them we should have to think only of a tendency to gain these over (Herder, vom Sohne Gottes , p. 24; also De Wette); but we cannot assume even this, considering the utter want of any more precise reference to them in our Gospel.

[49] Hence the interpretations and explanations which presuppose the readers to be non-Palestinian , John 1:38 ; John 1:41 f., John 4:25 , John 5:2 , al .

Moreover, in general, as to the development of heresy, so far as it was conspicuous in that age, and especially in Asia (comp. the Epistles to the Galatians and Colossians), we must assume as an internal necessity that John, in opposition to its errors, especially those of a Gnostic and Judaizing character (according to Hengstenberg, to the inundation of Gentile errors into the church), must have been conscious that his Gospel ought to set forth the original truth , unobscured by those errors. We must therefore admit generally, that the influence of the existing forms of opposition to the truth, for which he had to testify, practically contributed to determine the shape of his treatise, but only to the extent that, while abiding solely by his thesis, he provided therein, by its very simplicity, the weightiest counterpoise against errors (comp. Reuss, Denkschr . p. 27), without stooping to combat them, or even undertaking the defence of the Gospel against them (Seyffarth, Specialcharakterist . p. 39 f.; Schott, Isag . § 40; De Wette, Hengstenberg, and many others), his task being elevated far above the then existing conflicts of opinion. [50] This must be maintained, lest on the one hand we degrade the Gospel, in the face of its whole character, into a controversial treatise, or on the other hand withdraw it, as a product of mere speculation, from its necessary and concrete relations to the historical development of the church of that age.

[50] Even Baur, p. 373, acknowledges that “John’s Gospel stands amid all the oppositions of the age, without anywhere exhibiting the definite colour of a temporary or local opposition.” But this is really only conceivable if the Gospel belongs to the apostolic age, and its author stands upon an apostolic elevation; it is inconceivable if it originated in the second century, when those oppositions were developing and had already developed into open and deep-seated divisions, and where the conditions necessary for the production of such a Formula Concordiae were utterly wanting in the bosom of the time.

Seeing that our Gospel serves in manifold ways not only to confirm , but moreover, on a large scale (as especially by relating the extra-Galilean journeys, acts, discourses) as well as in particulars, to complete the synoptic accounts, nay, even sometimes (as in determining the day of the crucifixion) in important places to correct them, it has been assumed very often, from Jerome (comp. already Euseb. iii. 24) downwards, and with various modifications even at the present day (Ebrard, Ewald, Weizsäcker, Godet, and many others), that this relation to the Synoptics was the designed object of the work . So regarded, however, this view cannot be supported; for there is not the slightest hint in the Gospel itself of any such purpose; and further, there would thus be attributed to it an historico-critical character totally at variance with its real nature and its design, as expressly stated, John 20:30-31 , and which even as a collateral purpose would be quite foreign to the high spiritual tone, sublime unity, and unbroken compactness of the book. Moreover, in the repetition of synoptical passages which John gives, there are not always any material additions or corrections leading us to suppose a confirmatory design, in view of the non-repetition of a great many other and more important synoptical narrations. Again, where John diverges from parallel synoptical accounts, in the absence of contradictory references (in John 3:24 only does there occur a passing note of time of this kind), his independence of the Galilean tradition fully suffices to explain the divergence. Finally, in very much that John has not borrowed from the synoptical history, and against the truth of which no well-founded doubt can be urged, to suppose in such passages any intentional though silent purpose on his part to correct, would, be equivalent to his rejection of the statements. In short, had the design in question exercised any determining influence upon the apostle in the planning and composition of his work, he would have accomplished his task in a very strange, thoroughly imperfect, and illogical manner. We may, on the contrary, take it for granted that he was well acquainted with the Galilean tradition, [51] and that the written accounts drawn from the cycle of that tradition, numbers of which were already in circulation, and which were especially represented in our Synoptics, were likewise sufficiently known to him; for he presupposes as known the historical existence of this tradition in all its essential parts. [52] But it is just his perfect independence of this tradition and its records keeping in view his aim to bring fully out the higher Messianic proof, and the abundant material from which his own recollection could so fully draw which enables us to understand the partial coincidence, and still greater divergence, between him and the Synoptics, and his entire relation to them generally, which is not determined by any special design on his part; so that the confirmation, correction, and enlargement of their narratives often appear as a result of which he is conscious, but never as the object which he had sought to accomplish in his treatise. As to any design, so understood, of correcting the Synoptics, the silence of John upon many portions of the cycle of synoptic narrative is undoubtedly very significant, in so far as the historical truth of these in their traditional form would have been of special value for the apostle’s purpose. This holds true particularly of the account of the temptation, the transfiguration, and the ascension as actual occurrences, as well as of the cure of demoniacs as such. As criticism, however, is here pledged to special caution, so the opposite conclusion viz. that facts which would have been of great importance even for the synoptical Messianic proof, but which are recorded only in John, cannot be regarded as originally historical in the form in which he gives them is everywhere inadmissible, especially where he speaks as an eye-witness, in which capacity he must be ranked above Matthew: for Matthew did indeed compose the collection of discourses which is worked up into the Gospel that bears his name, but not the Gospel itself as it lies before us in its gradually settled canonical form. If, while taking all into account, the complete, unbiassed independence of John in relation to the Synoptics, above whom he stands distinguished by his exact determination of the succession of time, must be preserved intact; we must at the same time bear in mind that, as the last evangelist and apostle, he had to satisfy the higher needs of Christian knowledge, called forth by the development of the church in this later stage, and thus had boldly to go beyond the range of the whole previous Gospel literature. [53] This higher need had reference to that deeper and uniform insight into the peculiar eternal essence of Christianity and its Founder, which John, as no other of his contemporaries, by his richly stored experience was fitted and called to impart. He had thus, indeed, as a matter of fact, supplemented and partly corrected the earlier evangelists, though not to such an extent as to warrant the supposition that this was his deliberate object. For, by giving to the entire written history its fullest completion , he took rank far above all who had worked before him; not doctrinally making an advance from πίστις to γνῶσις (Lücke), but, in common with the Synoptics, pursuing the same goal of πίστις (John 20:31 ), yet bringing the subject-matter of this common faith to a higher, more uniform, and universal stage of the original γνῶσις of its essence than was possible in the earlier Gospel histories, composed under diverse relations, which had now passed away, and with different and (measured by the standard of John’s fellowship with Jesus) very inferior resources.

[51] According to Ewald, John only compared and made use of what is assumed by Ewald to be the “oldest Gospel,” “the collection of discourses,” and “the original Mark.” But a limitation to these three books, considering the number already existing (Luke 1:1 ), is in itself improbable, and is all the less demonstrable, that the first and third treatises named by Ewald have themselves only a very problematical existence.

[52] See Weizsäcker in the Jahrb. für Deutsche Theol . 1859, p. 691 ff. He goes, however, too far, when ( Evang. Gesch . p. 270) he calls the fourth Gospel, without enlargement from other sources, “a misty picture without reality.” Taken all in all , it contains even more concrete history than the Gospels whose range is limited to Galilee.

[53] Comp. Keim, Gesch. Jesu , p, 106 f.

John prosecutes his design, which is to prove that Jesus is the Messiah in the sense of the incarnate Logos, by first of all stating this leading idea in the prologue, and then exhibiting in well-selected [54] historical facts its historical realization in Jesus. This idea, which belongs to the very highest Christological view of the world, guided his choice and treatment of facts, and brought out more clearly the opposition which the author had constantly in view with unbelieving and hostile Judaism; but so far from detracting from the historical character of the Gospel, it appears rather only to be derived from the actual experience of the history, and is in turn confirmed thereby. To defend the Gospel against the suspicion of its being a free compilation from synoptical materials, used merely to subserve some main idea, is, on the one hand, as unnecessary for him who recognises it as of necessity apostolic, and as a phenomenon conceivable only upon this supposition; as it is, on the other hand, impossible, as experience shows, to do so successfully, considering the total difference of presuppositions, in the face of the man who can place it in the second century, and ascribe to so late a period so great a creative power of Christian thought.

[54] In connection with this, the selection made of the miracles of Jesus is specially noteworthy. Only one of each kind is chosen, viz. one of transformation, John 2:1 ff.; one fever cure, John 4:47 ff.; one cure of lameness, John 5:1 ff.; one feeding, John 6:4 ff.; one walking on the sea, John 6:16 ff.; one opening the eyes of the blind, John 9:1 ff.; one raising from the dead, John 11:1 ff. The number seven is hardly accidental nor yet the exclusion of any instance of the casting out of demons. That a paragraph containing an account of an instance of casting out has fallen out after chap. 5 (Ewald), finds no support in the connection of chap. 5 and 6 or elsewhere, and has left no trace appreciable by criticism in evidence of its existence; while that completed number seven, to which an eighth miracle would thus be added, is against it. This number seven is evidently based upon 3 + 3 + 1, viz. three miracles of nature , three of healing , and one of raising the dead. An eighth miracle was only added in the appendix, chap. 21, after the book was finished.


The main source is John himself (1 John 1:1 f.), his own inalienable recollection, his experience, his life of fellowship with Christ, continued, increased, and preserved in its freshness by the Spirit of truth, together with the constant impulse to preach and otherwise orally communicate that sublime view of the nature and life of Jesus, which determined the essential contents of his work, as a whole and in details. Accordingly, the credibility of the work asserts itself as being relatively the highest of all, so that it ought to have the deciding voice in case of discrepancies in all essential portions, where the author speaks as an eye and ear witness. This also applies to the discourses of Jesus, in so far as their truthfulness is to be recognised, not indeed to all their details and form, for they were freely reproduced and resuscitated by his after recollection, and under the influence of a definite and determining point of view, after the Lord’s thoughts and expressions had by a lengthened process of elaboration been blended with his own, which thus underwent a transfiguration, but as to the subject-matter and its characteristic clothing and thoughtful changes and variations, in all their simplicity and dignity. Their truthfulness is, I say, all the more to be recognised, the more inwardly and vividly the apostle in particular stood in harmony with his Lord’s mind and heart. So familiar was he with the character and nature of Christ’s discourses, and so imbued with His spirit, that even the reflections of his own which he intertwines, as well as his Epistle, nay, even the discourses of the Baptist, bear one and the same stamp; a fact, however, which only places the essential originality of the Johannean discourses so much the more above suspicion. [55]

[55] Ewald, Jahrb . III. p. 163 f.: “As, under the Old Covenant, it is just the earliest prophets who are the strictest and purest interpreters of Him who, though never visible in bodily form, yet moves, lives, and speaks in them as if He were; so at the very close of the New Testament a similar phenomenon reappears, when the Logos comes on the scene in bright and clear manifestation. The Spirit of the historical Christ was concentrated in His former familiar disciple in the most compact strength and transparent clearness, and now streams forth from him over this later world, which had never yet so understood Him. The mouth of John is for this world the mouth of the glorified Christ, and the full historical resuscitation of that Logos who will not reappear till the end of all things.”

In those portions in which we have no vouchers for personal testimony, the omission is sufficiently supplied, by the author’s connection with Christ and his fellow-apostles (as well as with Mary), and by the investigations which we may assume he made, because of his profound interest in the subject; and by the living, harmonious, and comprehensive view of Christ’s life and work with which he was inspired, and which of itself must have led to the exclusion of any strange and interpolated features.

The supposition that in his own behoof he made use of notes taken by himself (so Bertholdt, Wegscheider, Schott, and others), does not, indeed, contradict the requirements of a living apostolic call, but must be subordinated so as to be compatible with the unity of spirit and mould of the whole work; a unity which is the gradually ripened and perfected fruit of a long life of recollection, blending all particulars in one true and bright collective picture, under the guidance of the Divine Spirit as promised by Christ Himself (John 14:26 ).

The synoptical tradition was known to John, and his Gospel presupposes it. He was also certainly acquainted with the evangelic writings which embodied it those at least that were already widely spread and held in esteem; but all this was not his source properly so called: his book itself is proof enough that, in writing it, he was independent of this, and stood above all the then existing written and traditional authorities. He has preserved this independence even in the face of Matthew’s collection of discourses and Mark’s Gospel, both of which doubtless he had read, and which may have suggested to him, unintentionally and unsought for on his part, many expressions in his own independent narrative, but which can in no way interfere with its apostolic originality. Comp. Ewald, Gesch. Christi , p. 127 ff. We cannot determine whether he likewise knew the somewhat more recent Gospel of Luke (Keim and others); for the points of contact between the two are conceivable upon the supposition of their writing independently side by side, especially as Luke had a rich range of sources, which are to us for the most part unknown. That John likewise knew the Gospel of the Hebrews is not made probable by the saying which he records concerning “the birth from above.” The combination, on that account, of this saying with the corresponding quotation made by Justin and the Clementines (see above, sec. ii.) rests upon the very precarious premiss that both of these cite from the Gospel of the Hebrews.

As to the question whence John derived his representation of the divine element in Christ as the Logos , see on chap. John 1:1 .

As to the PLACE where the Gospel, which was certainly written in Greek, not in Aramaic (against Salmasius, Bolten, and partly Bertholdt), was composed, the earliest tradition (already in Iren. iii. 1, Clement of Alex., Origen, Eusebius, etc.) distinctly names Ephesus; and the original document is said to have been preserved there to a late period, and to have been the object of believing veneration ( Chron. Pasch . p. xi. 411, ed. Dind.). By this decision as to the place we must abide, because the Gospel itself bears upon its very face proofs of its author’s remoteness from Palestine, and from the circle of Jewish life, along with references to cultured Greek readers; and because the life of the apostle himself, as attested by the history of the church, speaks decidedly for Ephesus. The tradition that he wrote at Patmos (Pseudo-Hippolytus, Theophylact, and many others, also Hug) is a later one, and owes its origin to the statement that the Apocalpyse was written on that island. With this, the tradition which tries to reconcile both, by supposing that John dictated his Gospel in Patmos and published it at Ephesus (Pseudo-Athanasius, Dorotheus), loses all its value.

The assumption that a long time elapsed before it gained any wide circulation, and that it remained within the circle of the apostle’s friends in Ephesus, at whose request, according to a very ancient tradition (Canon Muratori, Clement of Alexandria, in Euseb. vi. 14), he is said to have written it, is not indeed sanctioned by the silence of Papias concerning it (Credner), but receives confirmation by the fact that the appendix, chap 21, is found in all the oldest testimonies, leading us to conclude that its publication in more distant circles, and dissemination through multiplication of copies, did not take place till after this addition.

As to the TIME of its composition, the earliest testimonies (Irenaeus, Clement of Alex., Origen) go to prove that John wrote subsequently to the Synoptics, and (Irenaeus) not till after the deaths of Peter and Paul. A later and more precise determination of the time (Epiphanius, Haer . Leviticus 12:0 ), [56] in the advanced old age of the apostle, is connected with the desire to ascribe to the Gospel an anti-heretical design, and therefore loses its critical weight. The following points may perhaps be regarded as certain, resulting as they do from a comparison of this tradition with historical circumstances and with the Gospel itself. As John certainly did not settle in Ephesus until after St. Paul’s removal from his Asiatic sphere of labour, nor indeed, doubtless, until after the destruction of Jerusalem, where until then John resided; as, further, the distance from Palestinian circumstances, so evident in the Gospel, implies an already prolonged residence away from Palestine; as the elaborate view of the Logos is a post-Pauline phase of the apprehension and exposition of Christ’s higher nature, and suggests a longer familiarity with philosophical influences; as the entire character and nature of the book, its clearness and depth, its calmness and completeness, most probably indicate the matured culture and clarifying influence of riper years, without, however, in the least degree suggesting to us the weakness of old age, we must put the composition not before the destruction of Jerusalem (Lampe, Wegscheider), but a considerable time after; for if that catastrophe had been still fresh in the recollection of the writer, in the depths of its first impression, it could hardly, on psychological grounds, have escaped express mention in the book. No such express reference to it occurs; but if, notwithstanding, Jerusalem and its environs are to be regarded, and that rightly, as in ruins, and in the distant background of the apostle’s view, the ἦν in John 11:18 , John 18:1 , John 19:41 , reads more naturally than if accounted for from the mere context of historical narration, while on the other hand the ἜΣΤΙ in John 5:2 may retain its full appropriateness. If a year is to be definitely named, A.D. 80 [57] may be suggested as neither too far back nor too far on. [58]

[56] Διὸ ὕστερον ἀναγκάζει τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα τὸν Ἰωάννην παραιτούμενον εὐαγγελίσασθαι διʼ εὐλάβειαν καὶ ταπεινοφροσύνην , ἐπὶ τμ γηραλέᾳ αὐτοῦ ἡλικίᾳ , μετὰ ἔτη ἐνενήκοντα τῆς ἑαυτοῦ ζωῆς , μετὰ τὴν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς Πάτμου ἐπάνοδον τὴν ἐπὶ Κλαυδίου γενομένην Καίσαρος , καὶ μετὰ ἱκανὰ ἔτη τοῦ διατρίψαι αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τῆς Ἀσίας ἀναγκάζεται ἐκθέσθαι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον . These last words are not corrupt, nor is ἀπὸ τῆς Ἀσίας to be joined with ἀναγκάζεται as if it meant ab Asiae episcopis (Lücke); but we must render them, “and many years afterwards, after he had lived far from Asia, he was obliged,” etc., thus taking the words in their necessary sense, “many years after his extra-Asiatic sojourn,” many years after his return from Patmos. The genitive, τοῦ διατρίψαι αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τ . Ἀσίας , denotes that the time spent is the point of departure from which the ἱκανὰ ἔτη begin to run. See Kühner, II. pp. 164, 514. Comp. Bernhardy, p. 138.

[57] There therefore lies between the Apocalypse and the Gospel a space of from ten to twelve years. Considering the maturity of mind which the apostle, who was already aged in the year 70, must have attained, this space was too short to effect such a change of view and of language as we must suppose if the apocalyptist was also the evangelist. This also against Tholuck, p. 11.

[58] It is evident from the distinctive and internal characteristics of the Gospel, and especially from the form of its ideas, that it was written after the downfall of the Jewish state and the labours of St. Paul; but we cannot go so far as to find reflected in it the beginning of the second century ( i.e . a time only 20 or 30 years later), nor to argue therefrom the non-apostolic origin of the Gospel (and of the Epistle). The interval is too short, and our knowledge of church movements, especially of Gnosticism, is not direct and precise enough, so far as they may be said to belong, at least in their stages of impulse and development, to the beginning only of the new century, and not to the two or three preceding decades of years. This tells, at the same time, against Keim, Gesch. J . I. p. 147 ff. How can it be said, on any reliable grounds, that “the Gospel discloses the state of the church just about the year 100, but not the state of the church about the year 80”?

Note .

As to PLAN, the Gospel divides itself into the following sections:

After the prologue, John 1:1-18 , which at once sets before the reader the lofty point of view of the most sacred history, the revelation of the glory of the only-begotten Son of the Father (which constitutes the theme of the Gospel, John 1:14 ) begins, first through John the Baptist, and its self-revelation onwards to the first miracle, and as yet without any opposition of unbelief, down to John 2:11 . Then (2) this self-revelation passes on to publicity, and progresses in action and teaching amid the antithesis of belief and unbelief, onwards to another and greater miracle, John 2:12 to John 4:54 . Further, (3) new miracles of the Lord’s in Judea and Galilee, with the discourses occasioned thereby, heighten that antithesis, so that there arises among the Jews a desire to persecute and even to kill Him, while among His disciples many fall away, 5 6:71. After this, (4) unbelief shows itself even among the brothers of Jesus; the self-revelation of the Only-begotten of the Father advances in words and deeds to the greatest miracle of all, that of the raising of the dead, by which, however, while many believe upon Him, the hostility of unbelief is urged on to the decisive determination to put Him to death, 7 11:57. There ensues, (5) in and upon the carrying out of this determination, the highest self-revelation of Christ’s divine glory, which finally gains its completed victory in the resurrection, 12 20. Chap. 21 is an appendix. Many other attempts have been made to exhibit the plan of the book; on which see Luthardt, I. p. 255 ff., who (comp. also his treatise, De composit. ev. Joh ., Norimb. 1852; before this Köstlin, in the Theol. Jahrb . 1851, p. 194 ff., and afterwards Keim, Gesch. J . I. p. 115 f.) endeavours on his part to carry out a threefold division of the whole and of the several parts; and in Godet, Comment . I. p. 111. The arrangement which approaches most nearly to the above is that of Ewald, Jahrb . III. p. 168, comp. VIII. 109, and Johann. Schr . I. p. 18 ff. In every method of division, the opposition of the world’s ever-increasing unbelief and hatred to the revelation of the divine glory in Christ, and to faith in Him, must ever be held fast, as the thread which runs systematically through the whole. Comp. Godet, [59] as before.

[59] Who (p. 121) gives what he calls the “ photographic de l’histoire ” as follows: “La foi nait, 1 4; l’incrédulité domine, 5 12; la foi atteint sa perfection relative, 13 17; l’incrédulité se consomme, 18, 19; la foi triomphe, 20 (21).” Such special abstract designations of place give too varied play to the subjectivities, still more so the subdivision of the several main parts, as by Ewald especially, and Keim, with different degrees of skill; but the latter considers that his threefold division and subdivision of the two halves (1 12, 13 20) “has its root in the absolute ground of the divine mystery of the number three,” a lusus ingenii .




[It has not been deemed necessary to include in the following list more than a selection from the works of those who have published commentaries upon St. John’s Gospel. For full details upon the literature of the controversy regarding the authenticity and genuineness, the reader is referred, in addition to Meyer’s own Introduction, vol. i., to the very copious account appended by Mr. Gregory to his translation of Luthardt’s work on the authorship of the Gospel, recently published by the Messrs. Clark.]

AGRICOLA (Francis): Commentarius in Evangelium Ioannis. Coloniae, 1599.

ALESIUS (Alexander): Commentarius in Evangelium Ioannis. Basileae, 1553.

AMYRALDUS (Moses): Paraphrase sur l’évangile selon Saint Jean. Salmuri, 1651.

AQUINAS (Thomas): Aurea Catena in Lucae et Ioannis Evangelia. Venetiae, 1775. English translation, Oxford, 1841 45.

ARETIUS (Benedictus): Commentarius in Evangelium Ioannis. Lausannae, 1578.

ASTIE (S. J.): Explication de l’évangile selon Saint Jean, avec une traduction nouvelle. Genève, 1864.

AUGUSTINE: Tractatus 124 in Ioannem. Ed. 1690, iii. p. 2. 290 826. English translation, 2 vols. (T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh). 1873 74.

BAEUMLEIN (W.): Commentar über das Evangelium Johannis. Stuttgart, 1863.

BAUMGARTEN (Crusius): Theologische Auslegung der Johanneischen Schriften. 2 vols. Jena, 1844 45.

BAUMGARTEN (S. J.): Auslegung des Evangelii Johannis, cum Jo. Salomonis Semleri praefatione. Halae, 1762.

BEZA (Theodore): Commentarius in Novum Testamentum. Geneva, 1556; ed. quinta, 1665.

BENGEL (J. A.): Gnomon Novi Testamenti. Latest ed., London, 1862. English translation, 5 vols. and 3 vols. (T. & T. Clark). 1874.

BISPING (A.): Exegetisches Handbuch zu den Evangelien, etc. Erklärung des Evangelium nach Johannes. Münster, 1869.

BROWN (Rev. David, D.D.): Commentary on St. John (in his Commentary upon the Four Gospels). Glasgow, 1863.

BUCER (Martin): Enarrationes in Ioannem. Argentorati, 1528.

BULLINGER (Henry): Commentariorum in Evangelium Ioannis libri Septein. Tiguri, 1543.

CALVIN (John): Commentarius in Evangelium secundum Ioannem. Genevae, 1553, 1555; ed. Tholuck, 1833. Translated into English by Rev. W. Pringle. 1847.

CHRYSOSTOM: Homilies on the Gospel of St. John, translated with Notes and Indices. Library of the Fathers. Oxford, 1848 52.

CHYTRAEUS (Dav.): Scholia in Evangelium Ioannis. Francofurti ad Moenum, 1588.

CRUCIGER (Caspar): Enarratio in Evangelium Ioannis. Witembergae, 1540. Argentorati, 1546.

CYRILLUS (Alexandrinus): Commentarii in Sancti Ioannis Evangelium. English translation by Dr. Pusey. Oxford, 1875.

DANAEUS (Lamb.): Commentarius in Ioannis Evangelium. Genevae, 1585.

DE WETTE (W. M. L.): Kurzgefasstes Exegetisches Handbuch zum Neuen Testament. Kurze Erklärung des Evangeliums und der Briefe Johannes. Funfte Ausgabe von B. Brückner. Leipzig, 1863.

DUNWELL (Rev. F. H.): Commentary on the authorized English version of the Gospel according to St. John. London, 1872.

EBRARD (J. H. A.): Das Evangelium Johannis und die neueste Hypothese über seine Entstehung. Zürich, 1845.

EUTHYMIUS ZIGABENUS: Commentarius in IV. Evangelia, graece et latine, ed. Matthaei. 4 vols. Berolini, 1845.

EWALD (H.): Die Johanneischen Schriften übersetzt und erklärt. 2 vols. Göttingen, 1862.

FERUS (J.): In sacro sanctum Iesu Christi Evangelium secundum Joannem piae et eruditae juxta Catholicam doctrinam enarrationes. Numerous editions. Moguntiae, 1536. Romae, 1517.

FORD (J.): The Gospel of John, illustrated from ancient and modern authors. London, 1852.

FROMMANN (K.): Der Johanneische Lehrbegriff in seinem Verhältnisse zur gesammten biblisch-christlichen Lehre dargestellt. Leipzig, 1839.

GODET (F.): Commentaire sur l’évangile de Saint Jean. 2 vols. Paris, 1863. [New ed. preparing.]

GROTIUS (H.): Annotationes in Novum Testamentum. 9 vols. Gröningen, 1826 34.

HEINSIUS (Dan.): Aristarchus Sacer, sive ad Nonni in Joannem Metaphrasin exercitationes: accedit Nonni et sancti Evangelistae contextus. Lugduni Batavorum, 1627.

HEMMINGIUS (Nicol.): Commentarius in Evangelium Joannis. Basileae, 1591.

HENGSTENBERG (E. W.): Commentar zum Evangelium Johannes. 2 vols. English translation (T. & T. Clark). 1865.

HEUBNER (H. L.): Praktische Erklärung des Neuen Testamentes. 2 vols. Evangelien des Lucas und Johannes. 2d ed. Potsdam, 1860.

HILGENFELD (A.): Das Evangelium und die Briefe Johannis nach ihrem Lehrbegriff. Halle, 1849.

HUNNIUS (Aegidius): Commentarius in Iesu Christi Evangelium secundum Joannem. Francofurti, 1585, 1591, 1595.

HUTCHINSON (G.): Exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to John. London, 1657.

JANSONUS (Jac.): Commentarius in Joannis Evangelium. Louanii, 1630.

KLEE (H.): Commentar über das Evangelium nach Johannes. Mainz, 1829.

KLOFUTAR (L.): Commentarius in Evangelium Joannis. Viennae, 1862.

KOSTLIN (C. R.): Lehrbegriffe des Evangelium und der Briefe Johannis. Berlin, 1843.

KUINOEL (Ch. G.): Commentarius in Novi Testamenti libros Historicos. 4 vols. Leipzig, 1825 43.

LAMPE (F. A.): Commentarius analytico-exegeticus, tam litteralis, quam realis Evangelii secundum Joannem. III Tomi. Amstelodami, 1724, 1726. Basileae, 1725, 1726, 1727.

LANGE (T. G.): Das Evangelium Johannis übersetzt und erklärt. Weimar, 1797.

LANGE (J. P.): Theolog: Homiletisch: Bibel Werk. Das Evangelium nach Johannis, 1860. English translation, greatly enlarged. ed. Philip Schaff, London and Edinburgh, 1872 75.

LAPIDE (Cornel. A): Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram. 10 vols. (last ed.) Lugduni, 1865.

LASSUS (Gbr.): Commentaire Philosophique sur l’évangile St. Jean. Paris, 1838.

LUCKE (G. Ch. F.): Commentar über die Schriften Johannis. 4 vols. Bonn, 1840 56.

LUTHARDT (Ch. E.): Das Johanneische Evangelium nach seinen Eigenthumlichkeiten geschildert und erklärt. 2 vols. Nürnberg, 1852 53. New ed. Part 1st, 1875. (English translation preparing.)

LUTHARDT (C. E.): St. John the author of the Fourth Gospel. Translated by C. R. Gregory. Edinburgh, 1875.

MAIER (Adal.): Commentar zum Evangelium Johannis. 2 vols. Carlsruhe and Freiburg, 1843.

MALDONATUS: Commentarii in IV Evangelia curavit Sauser. Latest ed. Mainz, 1840.

MATTHAEI (J.): Auslegung des Evangelium Johannis zur Reform der Auslegung desselben. Gothingen, 1837.

MELANCHTHON (Phil.): Enarrationes in Evangelium Joannis. Wittenbergae, 1523.

MORUS (S. F. N.): Recitationes in Evangelium Joannis. ed. G. J. Dindorf. Leipzig, 1796.

MUNTER (J.): Symbolae ad interpretandum Evangelium Johannis ex marmoribus et nummis maxime graecis. Kopenhagen, 1826.

MUSCULMS (Wolf G.): Commentarii in Evangelium Joannis in tres Heptadas digesti. Basileae, 1552, 1564, 1580, 1618.

MYLIUS (G.): Commentarius in Evangelium Johannis absolutissimus. Francofurti, 1624.

NONNUS: Metaphrasis Evangelii Johannis. red. Passow. Leipzig, 1834.

OECOLAMPADIUS (I.): Annotationes in Evangelium Johannis. Basileae, 1532.

OLSHAUSEN (H.): Biblischer Commentar über d. Neue Testament fortgesetzt von Ebrard und Wiesinger. Evangelium des Johannes. 1862. English translation (T. & T. Clark). 1855.

ORIGEN: Commentarii in Evangelium Joannis. ed. 1759, vol. iv. 1 460.

PARITIUS (F. H.): In Joannem Commentarius. Romae, 1863.

PAULUS (H. E. G.): Philologisch-Kritischer und Historischer Commentar über das Evangelium des Johannes. Leipzig, 1812.

PELARGUS (Christ.): Commentarius in Joannem per quaesita et responsa, ex antiquitate orthodoxa magnam partem erutus. Francofurti, 1595.

ROLLOCK (Rob.): Commentarius in Evangelium Joannis. Genevae, 1599, 1608.

ROSENMULLER (J. G.): Scholia in Novum Testamentum. 5 vols. Leipzig, 1815 31.

SARCERIUS (Erasm.): In Johannis Evangelium Scholia justa ad perpetuae textus cohaerentiae filum. Basileae, 1540.

SCHMID (Sebast.): Resolutio brevis cum paraphrasi verborum Evangelii Joannis Apostoli. Argentorati, 1685, 1699.

SCHOLTEN (J. H.): Het Evangelie naar Johannes. Leyden, 1865. Supplement 1866. French translation by Albert Reville in Revue de Théologie . Strasburg, 1864, 1866. German translation by H. Lang, Berlin, 1867.

SCHWEIZER (Alb.): Das Evangelium Johannis Kritisch untersucht. Leipzig, 1841.

SEMLER (J. Sal.): Paraphrasis Evangelii Joannis, cum notis et Cantabrigiensis Codicis Latino textu. Halae, 1771.

TARNOVIUS (Paul.): In sancti Johannis Evangelium Commentarius. Rostochii, 1629.

THEODORE (of Mopsuestia): In Novum Testamentum Commentaria. Ed. Fritzsche. Turici, 1847.

THOLUCK (A.): Commentar zum Evangelium Johannis. 7th ed. 1857. English translation (T. & T. Clark), 1860.

TITTMANN (K. Ch.): Metetemata Sacra, sive Commentarius critico-exegeticus-dogmaticus in Evangelium Johannis. Leipzig, 1816. (English translation in Biblical Cabinet, T. & T. Clark.)

TOLETUS (Franc.): Commentarii et Annotationes in Evangelium Joannis. Romae, 1588, 1590; Lugduni, 1589, 1614; Venetii, 1587.

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