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upon Nicodemus is not recorded in chapter iii., and can be inferred only from the part which he took in later transactions.
(5.) The words and phrases which occur in the narrative are not such as would readily have suggested themselves to a Greek writer of the second century, whilst they are in exact accordance with what might be expected from a Jew of the first century. Amongst these we may note the following: (a) The title of Rabbi, and the description given of our Lord as aóteacher come from God.'* (6) The double · Amen’of vv. 3, 5, which is as remote from the style of a Greek writer of the second century as it is in accordance with that of a Jew of the first century. (c) The Hebraic expression in v.3,' to see • the kingdom of God,' explained in v. 5 as equivalent to another Hebraistic phrase, 'to enter into the kingdom of God.'t (d) The expression, · The Son of Man,' ó vids toữ dvspúsrov, f peculiar to our Lord Himself during His sojourn upon earth, and only used once by any other respecting Him after His ascension into heaven. § (e) The explanation of the typical character of the brazen serpent, an application of Old Testament history, very natural in the mouth of a Jew, not so likely to be employed by a philosophical Greek. (f) The Hebraic expression,
doing truth' || so characteristic of all the writings ascribed to St. John. It would be superfluous to adduce further illustrations. It is easy for a writer who possesses no acquaintance with the Ilebrew language, or with Jewish modes of thought, to assert that it is ‘scarcely possible’ that a Jew could have written this conversation. Those who are competent to form any conclusion on such a subject will, if we are not greatly mistaken, be inclined to substitute the word “Greek’ in the place of Jew.'
We shall now proceed, following for the most part the order observed by the author of • Supernatural Religion,' to consider the force of some of those internal objections to the genuineness of the fourth Gospel which he has collected with considerable assiduity, and with an imposing parade of authorities, from the sceptical writers of the present century. The first objection is the alleged divergence in language, in style, • and in religious views and terminology,' between the fourth
* Cf. St. Matt. xix. 16; St. Mark x. 17.
† Cf. Job xvii. 15; xxxiii. 28; Ps. xvi. 10; xxvii. 13; lix. 10; Apoc. i. 12.
Verses 13, 14.
The approximating expression "son of man,' viòs à vopiórov, without the article, equivalent to Daniel's bar enosh, occurs twice in the Apocalypse (i. 13; xiv. 14).
|| v. 21.
Gospel and the three Epistles on the one hand, and the Apocalypse on the other, the whole of which are “ asserted, and the Gospel and the Apocalypse expressly declared, by the • Church' to have been composed by John the son of Zebedee. We are left to form our own conjectures as to the sense in which the author of · Supernatural Religion ’here employs the designation the Church ;' and consequently we are in ignorance to what “ assertion’ or express declaration of the
Church' he refers. We are quite content, however, to accept the statement itself, so far at least as it relates to the Gospel and the first Epistle on the one hand, and to the Apocalypse on the other, as expressing the prevailing belief of the Catholic Church of all ages respecting the authorship of these works. Nay more, we attach considerable argumentative importance to the truth of the statement, inasmuch as it so happens that we have very early testimony to the Johannine authorship, both of the first Epistle commonly ascribed to St. John, and of the Apocalypse. If, then, the identity of authorship of the Gospel and the first Epistle be, as is almost universally allowed, incontestible, and if, as we believe, the proofs of identity of authorship of the Gospel and the Apocalypse greatly outweigh the real or alleged discrepancies, in style, in thought, and in terminology, which are said to exist between them, we are entitled to employ the evidence of the earliest witnesses respecting the Johannine authorship of the first Epistle and of the Apocalypse as affording presumptive evidence also of the Johannine authorship of the Gospel.*
The diversities in style, in terminology, and in sentiment between the fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse, on which the author of Supernatural Religion’ lays so much stress, appear to us to have been unduly magnified. It is alleged that the • barbarous Hebraic Greek' of the Apocalypse could not have proceeded from the same pen to which we are indebted for the * polished elegance of the fourth Gospel; and that whereas
the abrupt and inelegant diction of the one is precisely what might be expected from the unlearned and ignorant fisherman
of Galilee,' the peculiar smoothness, grace, and beauty which we observe in the other afford clear and decisive indications that the fourth Gospel must be ascribed to one who possessed great facility of composition in the Greek language.
* It is admitted by the author of Supernatural Religion' (ii. p. 392) that “the external evidence that the Apostle John wrote the Apocalypse
is more ancient than that for the authorship of any book of the New Testament, excepting some of the epistles of Paul.”
We shall not now pause to discuss the question of the Galilean origin or residence of St. John. We will observe only that, whilst it appears to have been customary for the inhabitants of Judæa to resort to the Sea of Galilee for the purpose of fishing, especially during the month immediately preceding the feast of the Passover, the absence of any allusion to the Galilean dialect of John, though present together with Peter at our Lord's trial, the reference to his acquaintance with Caiaphas the high priest," and the statement—too casually introduced to admit of the supposition of design--that from the hour at which he received the charge he took the mother of his Lord to his
own house,' t--all accord with the supposition that the ordinary abode of the beloved disciple was not in Galilee, but in Jerusalem.
This supposition will not only suggest a probable explanation of the fact that so large a portion of the fourth Gospel is devoted to the Judæan ministry of our Lord, throughout the greater part of which the writer may well be supposed to have been His constant companion, but when coupled with the allusions to the independent position of Zebedee and of Salome, will render it not improbable that even in early life St. John may have acquired some acquaintance with the Greek language, a language very widely diffused over Palestine at this time, and commonly spoken by a large number of those Jews who periodically attended the great feasts at Jerusalem. The reference to Peter and John in Acts iv. 13 as “ unlearned and ignorant men’ does not appear to us to warrant the conclusion which the author of • Super* natural Religion has drawn from it, and to which he again and again refers in support of the impossibility that • a work of such polished elegance' as the fourth Gospel could have emanated from such a writer. The fact that Peter, not John, was the speaker on the occasion to which reference is made, warrants the conclusion that it was to the former rather than to the latter that the observation of the Sanhedrin had primary reference; whilst, in regard to the two epithets applied to these Apostles, the one cypleje w 4T06, unlearned, ' probably denotes no more than the absence of rabbinical learning, acquired in the Jewish schools, and the meaning of the other word isätal, ignorant' (as is apparent from St. Paul's use of the word in regard to his own speech,' 2 Cor. xi. 6), depends altogether upon the context in which it stands.
further, if we assume for the present the strict accuracy
* St. John xviii. 13.
† Ibid, xix. 27.
of our author's account of the literary characteristics of the fourth Gospel and of the Apocalypse-in which we submit that few impartial critics will be found to agree with him--we have still to complain that he overlooks circumstances connected with their composition which would go far towards accounting for the discrepancies which exist between them. The entire difference in the subject-matter of the two books would of itself lead us to anticipate a corresponding difference in their style. In the case of the Gospel, the writer—though subject, as we maintain, to certain directing and controlling influences-was still free to
exhibit the same distinctive peculiarities of style which we observe in other writings both of the Old and of the New Testament. In the case of the Apocalypse, the writer was, to a very considerable extent, a passive instrument; alike as regards the visions which he saw, and the words which he was commissioned to record. And yet further, whereas the fourth Gospel was not composed until the latter part of the first century, the Apocalypse, according to the author of Super' natural Religion,' was committed to writing in 68-69 A.D.; a conclusion than which, we are assured, no result of criticism
rests upon a more secure basis.'* If, then, a period of some twenty years or upwards elapsed between the composition of the fourth Gospel and that of the Apocalypse, during the greater portion of which time the writer-as all antiquity testifies--had his usual place of abode at Ephesus, one of the chief centres of Grecian civilisation and philosophy, it cannot be regarded as a thing altogether incredible that two works exhibiting very considerable differences of style and of sentiment, should have proceeded at such different times, and under such different circumstances, from the pen of the same writer.
It is almost superfluous to observe that if we would arrive at any sound conclusion on this subject we must have recourse to the works of those scholars who have directed their particular attention to the subject of Hellenistic Greek. From such we shall learn that, whilst many of the most striking peculiarities of the Apocalypse are by no means without parallel in classical Greek, the Hebraisms of the fourth Gospel are much more numerous than the author of . Supernatural
Religion' supposes; and that the prevailing characteristics of that Gospel, both as regards style and expression, are such
* Vol. ii. p. 395.
† It is only fair to state that we do not ourselves adopt the chrono. logy of the author of 'Supernatural Religion' in regard to the date of composition of the Apocalypse.
as accord in a very remarkable manner with the known history of the Apostle John. Moreover, we discover, upon a more careful investigation of the Greek of the Apocalypse, that the alleged barbarisms on which the author of 'Supernatural • Religion ’ lays so much stress are not the results of ignorance of the laws of Greek composition, but-whether adequate reasons can, or cannot, be assigned for their introduction-are designed emancipations from the ordinary rules of grammar. On the other hand, the numerous and remarkable coincidences which exist between the fourth Gospel and the Apocalypsewhilst for the most far too recondite to answer the end of the forger-confirm in a very remarkable manner the correctness of the external testimony which ascribes their authorship to the same person. In both of these writings (and in no other book of the New Testament), is the Incarnate Saviour described as the Logos, the · Word' of God.
Both assert His preexistence; both represent Him as the sin-atoning Lamb. In both His relations to His people are depicted under the similitudes of a Bridegroom, and of a Shepherd. In both He is represented as making His tabernacle with (or among) men. In the one He speaks of His own body under the similitude of a Temple; in the other He is represented as the Temple of the New Jerusalem; and in both He is said to make His abode in the hearts of His people. In both He supplies the true manna, and the living water, In both He is the source of Light and of Life; and in both it is to Him that the work of judgment is committed.
Numerous linguistic peculiarities are common to the two writings. In both, Hebrew words not unfrequently occur, and in both, they are explained by their Greek equivalents. In both, the quotations from the Old Testament generally follow the Septuagint version, but with such deviations as prove the familiarity of the writer with the Hebrew text; and there are many words and phrases which are found in both of these works, but which occur rarely or never elsewhere. *
* Amongst the words common to both works we may notice (1) "Εβραϊστί, which occurs once in the Gospel, and six times in the Apocalypse, and nowhere else; (2) Énkertair, which occurs once in the Gospel, and once in the Apocalypse, and nowhere else; (3) opic, which occurs twice in the Gospel and once in the Apocalypse, and nowhere else; (4) Toppúpeos, which occurs twice in the Gospel and twice in the Apocalypse, and nowhere else. Amongst the phrases and idioms which are characteristic of both works we may notice (1) the use of ποιείν with words such as αμαρτία, δικαιοσύνη, κρίσις, &c. ; (2) the use of eis or êr with és or it instead of the simple genitive ;