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We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
And he brought hin to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said,
Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which
is by interpretation, A stone.' (Chap. i. 35-43.)

Now here we observe first, that the day and the hour of the occurrence are minutely marked. It was the day which followed the testimony of John the Baptist to Christ; it was two days after the mission of the priests and Levites from Jerusalem who came to inquire into the claims of John; and it was the tenth hour of the day, i. e. (if the Evangelist followed the Jewish computation), two hours before sunset. (2) We find the position of the two principal actors in the scene minutely described, the one standing, the other walking. John, looking upon Christ, directs the attention of his two disciples to Him; and the exact words which he utters—the same as those which he had employed the preceding day – are recorded. (3) The act of the two disciples consequent upon the words of John, and that of Christ, as He turned, and saw, and addressed them, are described in words so simple, so natural, and yet so precise that the whole picture becomes at once present to the eye. (4) The inquiry of our Lord, which is met, not by a direct answer, but by another question-so natural if we are reading a real narrative, so unlike an artificial scene- and that of the disciples, as well as the following invitation of Christ, are all expressed in the direct, not in the oblique form,— What • seek ye?' 'Where dwellest thou?' 'Come and see.' (5)

• The Hebrew appellation Rabbi, an appellation perfectly natural at that time, but one which had only just grown into use amongst the Jews,* is as naturally interpreted for the benefit of those who were not acquainted with the Hebrew language.

The same minuteness of detail characterises also the account which follows of Nathanael's introduction to Christ, terminating with that double Amen (* Verily, Verily ') which a Greek forger of the second century would have been unlikely to introduce, and with that significant allusion to Jacob's ladder which such a writer would have been as unlikely to invent. Each particular in the narrative is stamped with the impress of truth. Thus e.g. it may be inferred from chap. i. 50, that the fig-tree was already in leaf when Nathanael was seen under it. This precisely accords with chap. ii, 12, where the feast of the Passover is assigned to a date very shortly subsequent to the call of Nathanael. The coincidence is too minute to admit of the supposition that it was designed.


* See Lightfoot's Works, vol. iv. p. 383. 1822.



Again, the account of the miracle wrought at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee is, in many respects, strongly corroborative of the genuineness of the fourth Gospel. The position of the miracle at the beginning of our Lord's ministry, before those dark shadows had fallen which obscured its close, is in itself suggestive rather of a genuine narrative than of a late invention. The geographical objection raised by Schenkel is founded on the erroneous supposition that the ‘Bethany be'yond Jordan where John was baptising' was in the neighbourhood of Jericho, and consequently that our Lord must have traversed a distance of about ninety miles within one, or at most two days. The identification of Tell Anihje (the Arabs often substitute Tell, hill, for the ancient Beth, house) with Beth Anihje, or Bethania, not only removes the whole of the alleged difficulty but affords strong evidence of the minute accuracy of the incidents recorded in the first and second chapters.* On the day following that of the writer's introduction to the Lord, as we suggest, 'Jesus would go forth

into Galilee, and findeth Philip.'† Philip, we are told, in verse 44 (and again incidentally, chap. xii. 21), was of the city of Bethsaida. Now had our Lord come direct from Bethania to Cana in one day, He would have had to traverse a distance of about twenty-one miles, but had He gone round the head of the lake to Bethsaida on the day in which He found Philip, and from thence on the third day to Cana, He would have travelled, on the latter day, about fifteen miles, and might easily have arrived at Cana in time for a feast which was ordinarily celebrated in the evening. The fact recorded in chap. ii. v. 1, that the “ Mother of Jesus was there,' accords precisely with the statements of the Synoptists respecting the

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* The grounds upon which this identification rests are stated by Dr. Caspari with much clearess and cogency. (See Chronological • Introduction to the Life of Christ,' pp. 92, 93, 112. T. and T. Clark. Edin. 1876.)

† i. 43.

* It deserves notice that Nathanael, who was called at the same time as Philip, is elsewhere said to have belonged to the city of Cana (xxi. 2). This accounts for his acquaintance with the general reputaiion in which the neighbouring city of Nazareth was held (v. 46), and possibly may afford an explanation of the fact recorded in ii. 2, that not only our Lord but also His disciples, who had been so recently called, were invited to attend the marriage feast in the city of Cana. "If the

mother of Zebedee's children'(St. Matt. xxvii. 56) be rightly identified with the mother's sister' of our Lord (St. John xix. 25), we have a sufficient explanation of the presence of St. John on this occasion.


abode of Joseph in the neighbouring city of Nazareth, but ill accords with the arbitrary supposition that the writer of the fourth Gospel • deliberately desired to deny the connexion of * Jesus with Nazareth and Galilee.'* The mention of the number, the capacity, and the use of the water-pots, betokens the presence of an eye witness acquainted with Jewish customs, as the familiar phrase, What have I to do with thee ?' (Lit. · What to me and to thee') indicates the familiarity of the writer with Hebrew phraseology. Those who are accustomed to compare genuine narratives with works of imagination will not fail to be struck with the vividness and life-like character of each incident which is recorded, and with the fidelity to the natural sequence of events with which the whole scene is portrayed. They will observe, for example, the rehearsal, in the words of the speakers, of the conversation between our Lord and His mother, and of the directions given by both to the servants. They will notice the simple and natural manner in which the observance of the directions given is related. They will take account of what may be called the side-lights of the narrative, such as the casual but important notice, parenthetically introduced, that whilst the table-master' was ignorant whence the new supply of wine had been obtained, “the servants “which drew the water knew; ' or such again as the notice of the calling' of the bridegroom-perhaps from his place at the table-and of the remark addressed to him by the * table-master,' respecting the superiority of the wine last produced over that which had been already drunk.

The closing remark of the Evangelist affords another, and perhaps even a more striking, proof that we have here the account of a contemporary writer, personally concerned in the transactions which he records : This beginning of miracles *did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; . and His disciples believed on Him.' It will at once commend itself to the mind of every impartial reader that these are not the words of one who invented the miracle with the preconceived idea of exalting the Divine Logos, or of magnifying the impression produced by the first . manifestation of His glory.' Whilst such an one would have enlarged upon the effect produced upon the whole company by the miracle recorded, the writer of the fourth Gospel, mindful of the effect produced upon his own mind, and upon that of his companions, contents himself with the simple assertion--so natural, if his own experience be recorded, so unnatural, if the utterance of a Greek

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Supernatural Religion, vol. ii. p. 447.


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writer of the close of the following century — And His disciples believed on Him.'

The general truth of the narrative is strongly corroborated by the words which follow : ' After this He went down to * Capernaum, He and His mother, and His brethren, and His

disciples.' The first point which strikes the observant reader here is the aptitude of the expression went down,' inasmuch as Cana, if rightly identified with Kana el-Jelîl, lies on the broad plateau to the west of the Sea of Gennesaret, whilst Capernaum lay on much lower land, on the shore of the same

The next point for remark is that we find the brethren' of Christ included amongst those who accompanied Him to Capernaum. Now, no mention has been made of the presence of our Lord's brethren at Cana. Nazareth, however, was but six or eight miles distant from it. The report of a miracle wrought at Cana may well have reached the ears of Christ's brethren who may have joined Him and His mother at that place; or, which is equally probable, He and His mother may have visited Nazareth before proceeding to Capernaum. In any case, when viewed in connexion with the Synoptical account of the departure from Nazareth at a subsequent period, and of the abode in Capernaum,* the remark that Christ was accompanied by His brethren in His journey to the latter place deserves attention; and it may, we think, not unreasonably be inferred from the words, “And they continued there not many • days, that the writer was aware of that other and more prolonged sojourn at Capernaum which, according to the Synoptical accounts, followed upon the imprisonment of John the Baptist.

One more illustration must suffice-viz, the account of the dialogue with Nicodemus; and we select this the rather because the discourses of our Lord, as recorded in the fourth Gospel, have been made the special subject of hostile criticism, and also because this discourse in particular has been singled out by the author of Supernatural Religion' as 'artificial in the extreme, • and certainly not genuine ; '† whilst, in another place, he observes that there can be no doubt that the scene was ideal, and

it is scarcely possible that a Jew can have written it.' # We shall have occasion to refer hereafter to the general grounds of objection which have been taken to the discourses of our Lord as recorded in the fourth Gospel, as different in style and character from those contained in the Synoptic Gospels-as too

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* St. Mark iv. 13.

† Vol. i.


469. # Vol. ii. p. 446.

long to be capabie of being correctly related after the lapse of many years—and as according in a very remarkable manner with the general style of the writer himself, both in this Gospel and also in the first of the Epistles which are commonly ascribed to St. John. Contenting ourselves for the present with the single remark that if all these grounds of objection could be substantiated, they would go but little way towards proving that the fourth Gospel could not have been written by an Apostle, we proceed to notice some indications contained in the discourse with Nicodemus which appear to us to point to a conclusion altogether different from that at which the author of • Supernatural Religion’ has arrived.

(1.) The account of the visit of Nicodemus and his allusion to the miracles wrought by our Lord* falls in naturally with the statement contained in chap. ii. 23, that many in Jerusalem believed on Him, seeing the miracles which He did.

(2.) The name of Nicodemus, which occurs only in the fourth Gospel, is found in the Talmud, and was a name of not unfrequent occurrence amongst the Jews, as well as amongst the Greeks to whom it appears naturally to belong. The adoption of such a name, therefore, if the scene be ideal, was either the result of a happy chance, or it indicates a more accurate acquaintance with Jewish nomenclature than the writer of the fourth Gospel is accredited with by his opponents.

(3.) The fact that our Lord's answer, as contained in v. 3, is addressed rather to the thoughts which were passing in the mind of Nicodemus than to the words which were spoken by him, is in precise accordance with the ordinary custom of Christ, as represented in the Synoptic Gospels, but does not well accord with the theory of an ideal scene.

(4.) The allusions to Nicodemus in chapter vii. 50, 51, and again in chapter xix. 39, are too incidental to suggest the idea of deliberate inventions, with a view to the support of the historical character of chapter iii. ; whilst, if incidental and undesigned, they afford strong corroboration of the substantial truth of the account contained in that chapter, † and the more so, inasmuch as the effect of the interview with our Lord

Chap. iii. v. 2. † Nicodemus is described in chap. iii. 1 as 'a ruler of the Jews' (åpxwv), a n:ime employed to designate the Sanhedrin (St. Luke xxiii. 13; xxiv. 20). The allusion to his position in chap. vii. as one of these same rulers (cf. v. 50 with v. 48), is either an undesigned coincidence corroborative of the reality of the scene described in chap. iii., or it is an instance of astute forgery such as is not common in the literature of the second century. VOL. CXLV. NO. CCXCVII.


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