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in him, saw, and clearly discerned him to be the promised Messiah, the great prophet that should come into the world.
The apostles, in their addresses to the Jewish people, never fail to give assurances, that Jesus Christ had acted by the authority of the one true God, the God of their ancestors. So Acts ii. 22, " Ye men of Israel, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles which God did by him in the midst of you. And ch. iii. 13, "The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers has glorified his Son Jesus.”also ver. 22-26. Ch. v. 30, "The God of our Fathers has raised up Jesus."--The epistle to the Hebrews begins in this manner: " God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son."
Indeed this is necessary for the satisfaction of all men, both Jews and Gentiles; for there is no other God but one, even the God of the patriarchs and prophets: nor can any true revelation come from any but him.
In all the gospels our Lord ascribes all his miracles, and all his authority, to the one God, "his Father who is in heaven." Matt. xii. 28, "If I cast out dæmons by the Spirit of God, then is the kingdom of God come unto you." Luke xi. 20, “If I by the finger of God cast out dæmons, no doubt the kingdom of God is come unto you." Matt. xi. 27, "All things are delivered unto me by my Father." Compare Luke x. 22. Matt. xv. 13, "Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up." Matt. xvi. 27," For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father." -Comp. Mark viii. 38. And the like in
many other places.
But in none of the gospels does our Lord so frequently and expressly ascribe all his authority to God the Father, as in St. John's gospel: thereby plainly showing the guilt of those who did not receive him. John v. 19," The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do."
-Ver. 30, "I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who hath sent me." Ver. 36, 37, "But I have greater witness than that of John. For the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."Ver. 43, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not."—And at ver. 45-47, our Lord appeals to Moses and his writings, which were allowed to be of divine but he was decked with the glory of holiness, grace, truth, and the power of 'miracles.' Lightfoot's Exercitations upon St. John, vol. II. p. 521.
original, as bearing testimony to him. Then ch. vi. 27,"Him hath God the Father sealed." Ch. vii. 16, “ I am not alone. But I, and the Father, that sent me." Ch. x. 36,"Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world: thou blasphemest: because I said, I am the Son of God?" And to add no more, ch. xi. 41, 42, when he wrought that great miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead," Jesus lift up his eyes and said, Father, I thank thee, that thou hast heard me and I knew that thou hearest me always; but because of the people which stand by, 1 said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me."
Agreeable to all this is the introduction, where, beside other, are these expressions: "He came to his own, and his own received him not.- -The word was made flesh, and dwelled among usAnd we saw his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father. The law was given by Moses; but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time, the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him." So ends the introduction. And it is what St. John has largely and fully shown in his gospel.
But it will be asked: whence came it to pass, that St. John made use of that term, " the Word ?"
1 answer: I am of opinion, that it was not out of regard to Philo, or any Platonic writers. But I suppose, this way of speaking to have been very common with the Jewish people, and, perhaps, more especially with those of them who were most zealous for the law, and most exempt from foreign, and philosophical speculations. Who by "the Word," or "the Word of God," understood, not a spirit separate from God, and inferior to him, but God himself, as St. John does.
Plerique observant, similem locutionem frequenter occurrere in Paraphrasibus Chaldaicis, quæ veterum Hebræorum catechesin, et antiquas loquendi formulas, exhibent. Quoties de Deo nobiscum conversante sermo est, toties vero Targumistæ, pro Deo, vel Jehovâ, substituerunt verbum Jehova. Pro exemplo hæc paucula ex innumeris sunto. Gen. xxi. 20, Deus fuit cum illo. Onkelos. Verbum Domini fuit illi auxilio. Ib. comm. 22. Deus est tecum. Onkelos. Verbum Domini enim tibi subsidio. Deut. xx. 1, Ne timeto ab eis. Nam Deus tuus tecum est. Onkelos.-co quod Jehova Deus tuus, Verbum ejus auxilio tibi est, quod eduxit te ex terrâ Egypti. Num. xi. 20, Eo quod reprobâsti Jehovam. Onkelos. Eo quod fastidistis Verbum Domini, cujus Shechinah (Divina Majestas) habitat in vobis. Exod. xvi. 8, Non contra nos murmurationes vestræ, sed contra Jehovam. Onkelos.-sed contra Verbum Jevæ. Infinita sunt similia. Unde colligitur, receptum eo tempore Hebræis fuisse, ut Deum, quâtenus cum populo suo agit, Verbum vocaverint: cui ea attribuerunt, quæ Dei sunt. Wits. Miscell. Sacr. tom. ii. p. 88, 89. Exercita. iii. Tepi Te λoye. sect. ii. Omnia igitur talia conscribere volens discipulus Domini, et regulam veritatis constituere in ecclesià quia est unus Deus Omnipotens, qui per Verbum suum omnia fecit, et visibilia et
Numb. xxiii. 8, "How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? or, how shall I defy whom the Lord has not defied?" Upon which verse Patrick says, In the Jerusalem Targum this verse is thus paraphrased: "How shall I curse the house of Israel, when the Word of the Lord has 'blessed them? Or, how shall I diminish the family of Israel, when the Word of the Lord has multiplied them?"
It is well known, that in the Chaldee paraphrases, it is very common to put Mimra Jehovah, the Word of the Lord, for Jehovah, or God. When those paraphrases were made, is not certain; whether before, or after the time of our Saviour: but their great antiquity is generally allowed. And it is very probable, that this way of speaking was common, and much used before. It is likely,' says a learned friend, that Mimra Jehovah was used before the paraphrases were committed to writing, because it would be an unrea'sonable thing to use a phrase, which the common people ' did not understand: for it is supposed, that the paraphrases were chiefly made for them.'
Let me add, that the use of this phrase, "the Word of God," or "the Word of the Lord," as equivalent to God himself, seems to be founded in the original language of the Old Testament. In behalf of which I would allege the following texts. Gen. i. 1, Gen. i. 1," In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Ver. 3, "God said: let there be light. And there was light." Comp. Ps. xxxiii. 6, By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." And Ps. cv. 19," Until the time that this word came: the Word of the Lord tried him."
When St. John says, ch. i. 1, 2, 3, " In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made," he seems to allude to Solomon says of wisdom in the book of Proverbs, particuinvisibilia; significans quoque, quoniam per Verbum, per quod Deus perfecit conditionem, in hoc et salutem his qui in conditione sunt, præstitit hominibus; sic inchoavit in eâ, quæ est secundum evangelium, doctrinâ; In principio erat Verbum. Iren. 1. 3. cap. xi. in Massuet.
Et Cerinthus autem quidam in Asiâ, non a primo Deo factum esse mundum docuit, sed a Virtute quadam valde separatâ et distante ab eâ Principalitate, quæ est super omnia. Id. 1. 1. cap. xxv. al. 26. in.
Deus autem, totus existens mens, et totus existens logos, quod cogitat, hoc et loquitur; et quod loquitur, id et cogitat. Cogitatio enim ejus logos, et logos mens, et omnia concludens mens, ipse et Pater. Id. 1. 2. cap. xxviii. n. 5. p. 57. See the passage of Vitringa quoted just now,
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, in 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 this gospel.
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 ' them.'
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. d See Vol. iv. p. 95, 96.
e 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. 8 Observations upon Daniel, p. 156, 157.