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larly, the eighth chapter. And how wisdom ought to be understood as spoken of by Solomon, is shown, if I may be allowed to say so, inc a discourse upon Prov. viii. 17, Moreover the beginning of St. John's gospel should be compared with the beginning of his first epistle, particularly ch. i. 1, 2.
According to the account now given, what St. John says at the beginning, is a very proper introduction to his gospel : where he largely shows the guilt of those, who rejected the manifestation of the wisdom, the word, the will of God, in the person of Jesus.
Upon the whole, I see no reason to think, that, in the introduction to his gospel, St. John opposed any christian heresies, or had any regard to them.
Consequently, the foregoing argument, that St. John's gospel was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, or about the time of that event, remains entire,
XI. I shall now mention some observations upon
1. There is no need to show here, particularly, from the gospel itself, as we did of the former evangelists, that St. John did not write his gospel till after converts had been made from among Gentiles: because it is allowed by all, that St. John did not write till after the other evangelists, about the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, or afterwards: before which time the apostles must have left Judea, to go abroad, and preach to Gentiles. Nevertheless one signal passage may be here taken notice of, which is not far from the beginning of this gospel. Ch. i. 11, 12, 13, " He came to his own, and his own received him not: but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." That is, he came to the Jews, and first appeared and taught among them, and they generally rejected him. But upon all who believed in him, whether Jews or Gentiles, of whatever country, or nation, or people they were, he bestowed the privilege of being the people of God, and all the blessings appertaining to
2. Eusebius says, The other three evangelists have re'corded the actions of our Saviour for one year only, after 'the imprisonment of John the Baptist.' Jerom speaks to the like purpose in his book of Illustrious Men, just
See Vol. ix. p. 164, 165.
See Vol. iv. p. 95.
now transcribed. But it should have been said,' one year, ' and somewhat more:' meaning the time and actions of our Lord's most public ministry. For it seems to me, that the ancients supposed our Lord's ministry to have lasted, in the whole, somewhat more than two years; as was shown, Vol. ii. p. 448, 449. Eusebius indeed computed our Lord's ministry to have consisted of three years and a half, and supposed St. John's gospel to have in it four passovers. He seems to have been the first christian who advanced that opinion: and he is now generally followed by harmonizers of the gospels, and by ecclesiastical historians. Sir Isaac Newton & however computes five passovers in our Saviour's ministry; as does likewise Dr. Edward Wells in his Historical Geography of the New Testament. And others may be of the same opinion, or make more. But none of these opinions appear to me to have any foundation in the gospels. The opinion of Eusebius, and those who follow him, is much more probable, than theirs who yet farther enlarge the number of the passovers of our Saviour's ministry. The first passover in St. John is that mentioned by him, ch. ii. 13. At ch. v. 1, it is said: "After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." They who follow Eusebius, and make four passovers in our Lord's ministry, reckon this feast to be a passover. But they who compute his ministry to have lasted only two years, and somewhat more, suppose this to be some other feast, possibly, the feast of tabernacles, next succeeding the passover, mentioned, ch. ii. 13. At ch. vi. 4, " And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh :" this, according to different computations, is either the second, or the third passover in our Lord's ministry. The third, or, according to others, the fourth, is that mentioned by all the evangelists, at which our Lord suffered. It is mentioned by St. John, ch. xi. 55. and xii. 1.
3. St. John has omitted the greatest part of those things which are recorded by the other evangelists: which much confirms the testimony of ancient writers, that the first three gospels were written and published among the faithful before St. John wrote; that they were brought to him, and that he affirmed the truth of their relations, but said, that some discourses and miracles of our Saviour were omitted by them, which might be usefully recorded.
Indeed, there is little or nothing in his gospel, which is not new and additional, except the account of our Saviour's prosecution, death, and resurrection, where all four coincide See before, p. 429. Observations upon Daniel, p. 156, 157.
in many particulars: though even here also St. John has divers things peculiar to himself. In St. John's gospel is no account of our Saviour's nativity, nor of his baptism by John; though, undoubtedly, it is there supposed, and referred to. He takes no notice of our Saviour's temptation in the wilderness, nor of the call or names of the twelve apostles, nor of their mission in our Saviour's life-time, nor of our Lord's parables, or other discourses of his, recorded by them, nor of our Saviour's journies, of which they give an account, nor any of those predictions relating to the desolations of Jerusalem, which are in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Nor bas he any miracles recorded by them, excepting only that one of the multiplication of small provision for feeding five thousand, with the extraordinary circumstance of the return to Capernaum from the country, where that miracle had been wrought, ch. vi. 4-21. And it is likely, that this miracle was recorded by him, for the sake of the discourses, to which it gave occasion, and which follow there, ver. 22-71.
However, it should be observed, that he has one thing recorded by all the evangelists, Peter's striking a servant of the high priest, and cutting off his ear. Ch. xviii. 10, "Then Simon Peter having a sword, drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus." Which, as St. Luke informs us, Jesus touched, and healed, ch. xxii. 51. Peter's action is mentioned by all the three evangelists, Matt. xxvi. 51; Mark xiv. 47; Luke xxii. 50. But St. John alone mentions Peter by name, and the name of the servant. I thought proper to take notice of this, though St. John does not particularly mention the miracle of healing.
St. John likewise, ch. ii. 14-22, gives an account of our Lord's cleansing the temple at his first passover, when he went to Jerusalem. All the other evangelists have a like account of our Lord's cleansing the temple, at his last passover, Matt. xxi. 12, 13; Mark xi. 15, 16; Luke xix. 45, 46. But I suppose them to be quite different actions, and that our blessed Lord twice cleansed the temple, as already shown.
4. Though the first three evangelists have not particularly recorded our Saviour's several journies to Jerusalem, as St. John has done, but have only given a particular account of his preaching there at his last passover, they were not unacquainted with them.
This may be concluded from divers things in their histories. To those, who came to apprehend him, our Lord said:
"I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me," Matt. xxvi. 55. And compare Mark xiv. 49; Luke' xxii. 53. And among the accusations brought against him by the Jewish rulers before Pilate, they say: "He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee, to this place," Luke xxiii. 5. Peter preaching at Jerusalem, soon after our Lord's ascension, says: "Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles, and wonders, and signs: which God did by him in the midst of you, as yourselves also know," Acts ii. 22. And at the house of Cornelius, in Cæsarea: "That word, you know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee," Acts x. 37- "And we are witnesses of all things, which he did, both in the land of the Jews, and at Jerusalem," ver. 39. And it appears from their histories, that our Lord's fame had early reached Jerusalem. Many attended him in Galilee from thence, and from other parts. Says St. Matthew: "And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan," ch. iv. 25. Comp. Mark. iii. 7, 8. Again: "And the scribes, which came from Jerusalem, said: He has Beelzebub.”- -Mark iii. 22-30. Compare Matt. ix. 34, Luke xi. 14-26. "Then came to Jesus scribes and pharisees, which were of Jerusalem," Matt. xv. 1. Compare Mark vii. 1. And says St. Luke, ch. v. 17, "And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were pharisees, and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present to heal them." And in every one of the evangelists we may meet with scribes and pharisees oppos ing our Lord, watching his words and actions, cavilling with him, and reflecting upon him and his disciples.
Moreover, in St. Luke, ch. ix. 51-56, is an account of a remarkable incident, when our Lord was going from Galilee through Samaria to Jerusalem, at one of their feasts supposed by some to be the feast of tabernacles, by others the feast of dedication, preceding his last passover. See likewise Luke xiii. 22, and xvii. 11.
However, after all, I do not think it was needful, that our Lord should go often to Jerusalem, or that all his jour nies thither, and discourses there, should be recorded. It was indeed highly expedient, that his ministry should be public: so it might be, without going often to Jerusalem. h Vid. Cleric. Harmon. p. 234, 235. See Dr. Doddridge's Family Expositor, Sect. 127. Vol. ii. p. 183.
John the Baptist was a man of great reputation, though he never went up to Jerusalem during the time of his showing himself unto Israel, that we know of, Luke i. 80. And it is manifest from the first three evangelists, as well as from St. John, that our Lord's ministry was very public, and well known in all parts of Judea, and the regions round about, and to men of all ranks therein. In them we find our Lord to have been notified before-hand by John the Baptist. He sent out once his twelve apostles, and then seventy other disciples," two by two, to go before him, and prepare men for him, in every city and place where he should come." In them we find him teaching in synagogues, in cities and villages, and desert places, crowded by throngs, attended by multitudes of people, and miraculously feeding at one time five thousand, at another four thousand men, beside women and children.
It was fit, that our Lord's ministry should be very public; it is manifest, from all the four evangelists, that it was so; which cannot but be the ground of great satisfaction to
5. The genuineness of the twenty-first or last chapter of St. John's gospel ought not to be contested.
Grotius indeed was of opinion that St. John concluded his gospel with the words which are at the end of the twentieth chapter: and that what is in the twenty-first chapter was added after St. John's death by the church of Ephesus.
Against that opinion the general, or1 even universal consent of manuscripts and versions is a great objection. For it is very probable, that this gospel was published before St. John's death. And if there had been an edition without this chapter, it is very likely, that it would have been wanting in some copies. To which may be added, that we do not find, that any of the ancient christian writers ever made a question, whether this chapter was composed by St. John, or by another. Finally, the style is St. John's. In
* Omnino arbitror, quæ hic sequuntur, conclusionem esse totius operis, et ibi finusse Joannem librum, quem edidit. At, sicut caput ultimum Pentateuchi, et caput ultimum Josuæ, post Mosis et Josuæ mortem additum est a Synedrio Hebræorum; ita et caput, quod sequitur, post mortem Joannis additum ab ecclesiâ Ephesina, hoc maxime fine, ut ostenderetur impletum quod de longævitate ac non violentâ morte Joannis Dominus prædixerat, &c. Grot. ad Jo. xx. 30. 'Cæterum in tanto codicum et versionum consensu, eoque prorsus universali, cogitari non debebat, caput hoc ab ecclesià demum Ephesinâ accessisse. Quis enim negare tuto potest, evangelium Joannis ante ipsius obitum, adeoque ante additum hoc, quod creditur, supplementum accessisse? Et quis crediderit, vel sic omnes codices in exhibendo isto capite tam constanter consentire potuisse? Wolf. in Joh. cap. xxi. in.
Rejicimus hic sententiam eorum, qui ab aliâ manu, quam ipsius Joannis