« EdellinenJatka »
that the reference backwards is to the nearest particulars, preceding the commencement of the feast. For such special acts as rising from a seat, and the like, are not dated by days, but only by hours and minutes. What sort of meaning could the expression have: A day before the feast, He arose from His seat? It is quite otherwise with the expression : Several minutes before the beginning of the feast, He stood up from His seat. That this is the right interpretation, we have a confirmation in the parenthetical: είς τέλος ηγαπησεν αυτούς. For it refers evidently not only to the sufferings of Jesus, but also to the coptû Toll tráoxa. The Evangelist, however, has his own good reasons for remarking that Jesus took in hand the washing of the feet before the feast commenced; for this was, without doubt, in accordance with
, the actual order of events. Still less does it follow from the passage, xiii. 29, according to which the disciples, not understanding the words of Jesus addressed to Judas Iscariot—That thou doest, do quickly!-partly supposed He had enjoined him to buy those things which they needed for the feast, that the Evangelist regarded the feast as about to take place only on the following day. For if the whole of the next day was still at their disposal for the necessary purchases, the disciples would have had no occasion whatever for interpreting the words of Jesus as a hasty despatch of Judas to buy what was needed with the least possible delay. But this thought might well occur to them, on hearing the urgent summons of Jesus, if for this purchase only a few minutes, perhaps not even so much, still remained. The difficulties started by Bleek in reference to the assumption of the Synoptists, that Jesus was put to death on a Jewish feast-day, have been met by Baur with important counterconsiderations, founded on Wieseler's Chronological Synopsis (p. 107, etc.). But when Von Baur himself is of opinion (Remarks, etc., Jahrb. 1847, p. 112) that the author of the fourth Gospel, in order to represent Jesus in every respect as the real paschal Lamb, with the killing of which the typical Passover had come to an end, was compelled at once toomit the celebration of the Old Testament Passover, and to transfer the date of the crucifixion of Christ back to the 14th Nisan, he has exhibited no special insight into the New Testament idea of the fulfilment of Old Testament types. According to New Testament conceptions, Jesus might quite well have kept the paschal feast with the disciples on the 14th
Nisan, in the evening (in the beginning of the 15th Nisan), and on the morning of the 15th Nisan Himself have become the true Passover. The synoptists give sufficient warrant for this remark in their description of the paschal celebration of the Lord's Supper. But if, in order to such a New Testament realization of an Old Testament type, sameness of date had also belonged, as Von Baur asserts, the early Church must, according to this supposition, have necessarily transferred the Sunday to the Jewish Sabbath-day, so as to be able to see in it the higher transformation in every respect of the Jewish Sabbath. Apart from this idea of a collision between the fourth Evangelist and the synoptists, Bleek has defended the authenticity of the Gospel in a masterly and cogent manner; see pp. 201 et seq. The question, how a Gospel of this kind could have appeared after the middle of the second century, without combating in a distinct manner the various already existing errors of Gnosticism, Montanism, etc., must still be answered, and is certainly not disposed of by the assertion of the Tübingen school (vid. Bleek, as above cited, against Baur and Schwegler, pp. 218 ff.; Zeller, 1847, p. 169), that the Gospel was a writing intended to harmonize various antagonistic systems. The proper fundamental error of Gnosticism, the assumption that matter is essentially evil, is not here, even in the least degree, grappled with; and it is even so with the fundamental error of the Montanists, that the Holy Spirit constitutes a new and distinct economy, disjoined from the economy of the Son. Least of all can the question raised by Bleek be answered, how it was possible that the quartodecimally disposed church of Lesser Asia could have received in blind haste, and with the utmost readiness, a pseudo-gospel which appeared to combat their views. See further, in opposition to the attacks referred to, Ebrard and Bleek in the writings above cited. Finally, to the arguments adduced by Bleek in favour of the genuineness of the fourth Gospel, we must still add one, which, it is to be hoped, will acquire an ever increasing importance. It consists in the fact, that only by the addition of the fourth do the first three Gospels arrange themselves into a harmonious whole, in a chronological and pragmatical, and partly even in a doctrinal point of view. The fourth Gospel is the key to the harmony of the three first. We believe we have given the proof practically in the combined illustration of them.
2. In the hands of the Saxon Anonyme, the sacred individualisms of the fourth Gospel, which in part he has again acutely remarked, have been distorted into profane and immoral egotisms. See Die Evang., etc., pp. 8 and 371. His allegorical taste celebrates, in the explanation of the fourth Gospel, the achievement of its own perfection. The six water-pots at the marriage-feast of Cana mean the Jewish ordinances and customs, which Christ filled with the wine of the Spirit of truth; and in accordance with this, the Gospel of John may be divided into six parts (the six water-pots). Towards the end of the work, however, he furnishes us with a remarkable paragraph in favour of the authenticity of the fourth Gospel (see p. 421).
3. Other analyses of the contents of the fourth Gospel, see in Lücke, Commentar i. pp. 177 ff.
4. There is a series of passages in the Gospel of John which indicate a close or retrospect; and for the appreciation of the structure of the Gospel the following are of importance: chap. i. 18, xii. 37-50, xvii., xix. 35-37, xx. 30, 31, xxi. 24.
THE PROLOGUE.—THE PRE-HISTORICAL ETERNAL DOMINION
OF CHRIST. THE ETERNAL EXISTENCE, THE GLORIOUS
(Chap. i. 1-18.) The entire singularity of the manifestation of Christ rests on His pre-historical eternal dominion. It constitutes the blossom of His eternal incarnation, or of His great advent in the wider sense. This advent, however, rests on His eternal exist
The Gospel of His eternal existence, in relation to Himself, is announced in the words, In the beginning was the Word! and this is His eternal relation to God: and the Word was with God, and God was the Word.
This relation to God is His first and highest relationship: The same was in the beginning with God.
On this eternal relation of the Word to God rests His relation to the world. First, His relation to the origin of the world :
: All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. Then His relation to the world of manifestation : In Him is' life!- Especially His relation to mankind; in the first instance, to paradisaic man: And the life was the light of men. Finally, also, His relation to historical fallen man: And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness did not hold it fast (i.e., did not bind it, or hinder its shining through).
These are the eternal relationships of the Logos. The absolute Word, which was already in the beginning (of all things), can be nothing else than the absolute spiritual intelligence which precedes all things, the ripe capacity of utterance in the premundane spiritual life, the perfect expression and impression of the eternal consciousness, the form of the eternal personality. Thus the eternal Word stands opposed to all heathenish conceptions of the original ground of all things—to Ahriman and to eternal matter, to the blind and to the dark primeval source, to the evolution and to the emanation of the divine. It is the crown of the Christian conception of the universe, the triumph
· The reading éo7ı has been probably pushed aside by the preceding Syéveto and the following mv.
? The natural meaning of xatíncßey, and likewise the connection, have constrained me to give up the interpretation of Lucke, Baumgarten-Crusius, Tholuck, and others, which I had previously followed above, vol. v. p. 172, and to turn to the idea of most of the ancient Greek interpreters. I have been led, in the first instance, to this conclusion by perceiving that John, in a passage in which he closes the description of the entire eternal relation of Christ to the world, in order to make a transition to the historical, could not possibly have ended with a negative result. How could he have thereby announced the historical breaking forth of the eternal light through the darkness ? Further, it would be a thing too self-evident to say, that the darkness did not receive the light. John understands by the darkness, not mankind, but the darkening of the minds of men ; and this, according to its nature, could not receive the light. In the expression, The darkness did not receive the light, he would have said something entirely meaningless, nay, beside the purpose. As respects the term employed, x«tihaßey does not indeed mean to suppress, but it does mean to hold fast, to chain, to hold captive. Besides, there is a great difference between this expression generally and the mapenasoy of ver. 11.
of Christianity over the world with respect to the personality of God and the origin of the world; and, as the watchword of pure religion, it is in most intimate alliance with the watchword of all pure ethics : Man is a personal being.
This Word is different from God, because it is wholly Word, the perfect expression of His power; and yet also it is one with God, because it is the whole Word, the perfect expression of His being. It is different from Him, as the determined is from the eternally determining, and one with Him as the expression of His eternal self-determination. Thus it is the image of the selfcontemplation of God, the exact reflection of God. Therefore also the innermost being of this Word of God is its relationship to God: it is with God.
And God was the Word. As the one Word, in whom all thoughts, all powers, all words, all beings, which should be made, nay, all the depths of the Godhead, are concentrated, He is the absolute refulgence itself. Because He is before all things, the eternity and supra-mundane character of God are proper to Him. Because He is before all things, and thus is the ground of all things, and still is the Word, the act of God, not a passivity of God (Emanation), He is the pure, free revelation of Omnipotence itself.
In this is the absoluteness of His supra-mundane character expressed : The same was in the beginning with God. His first relationship is His relation to God, not to the world.
But the Word has also an eternal relationship to the world, which lies in the very fact that He is the Word, the perfected form of revelation. This relationship has realized itself : All things were made by Him. The highest spiritual intelligence lies thus at the foundation of all things; all things rest on a free spiritual operation of God, on the ripeness for utterance of all His thoughts and purposes, which are comprehended in the intelligent refulgence of the one Word; all things stand in the most intimate spiritual connection with each other—they are
1 Here also the principle holds good : as the man is, so is his God. To assume therefore an impersonal God, implies a theoretical tendency towards the impersonality of the thinking spirit, a corrosion of the personal consciousness.
? Emanation takes place from blind necessity, not as a free manifestation of the love and the intelligence of the eternal Spirit.