AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT by A H McNeile. Copyright A H McNeile - first published at the University Press, Oxford 1927. 2nd Edition revised by C S C Williams 1953. - This Edition prepared for Katapi in Arial Unicode MS by Paul Ingram 2003.

Chapter IX

Lindisfarne Gospels: John: Folio 209b (section)


HOME | Contents A | Contents B | Relation to the synoptists | composition | authorship | place of origin | date | original language | the historical element | (pages 267-300)


This Gospel has long been one of the chief battlegrounds of New Testament criticism.
To estimate the true inwardness of the Johannine problem it is essential to obtain a grasp of the contents of the Gospel as a whole.
Many analyses have been made, but none of them has succeeded in exhausting 'the brooding fullness of thought and the inner unity of religious purpose, which fill the book,' (Moffatt).
It is clear that the writer's purpose was religious rather than biographical;
and it is from that point that we can go on to study the relation of the Gospel to the Synoptic three, its authorship, and the historical trustworthiness of its narrative.

Apart from ch.xxi, which has been added as an appendix (see pp.277 f.), the book divides into two sections of unequal length, i-, and i-xx, which teach respectively that Christ brought Life into the world, and that the Life became fully available only through His self-sacrifice and death.

A. i-. Christ brought Life info the world




The fact is involved in the eternal Nature of the Logos, and in His Incarnation.


15-51. Witnesses to Him.





The religion of the new Life is spiritual, superseding all others.




Christ illustrated this by 'signs':


vv. 1-11,

Water turned to Wine, i.e. the New is better than the Old;

The Marriage at Cana - Paolo Veronese (c1528-88)

vv. 12-22,

Cleansing of the temple, i.e. the New purges out the Old;


vv. 23-25,

the signs produced apparent belief.




The same is taught in three discourses:



Christ teaches Nicodemus that Christianity is the religion of spiritual regeneration;


vv. 22-36,

the Baptist declares that Christ is superior to himself, for He is from above, and giveth the Spirit without measure;



Christ teaches the Samaritan woman that Christianity is a spiritual and therefore universal religion.





The new Life is health and peace.




Christ illustrated this by 'signs':



The healing of the nobleman's son;



The healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda. (In the latter case the peace which he wins is not only health but freedom from the law of the Sabbath.)




The same is taught in a discourse:



The Son can give the new Life because of His oneness with the Father in power and function;



Witness was borne to Him by John (in whom they delighted), Scripture (in which they thought to have eternal life), Moses (in whom they hoped), and, greater still, by the works which His Father had given Him to do, and by the Father Himself.




Two more signs:



The Feeding of the Five Thousand, i.e. the preservation of life;



The immediate arrival of the boat when He came to them on the water, i.e. the preservation of peace.




Discourse on the Bread of Life.





The offer of the new Life sifts believers from unbelievers.




The Spirit that giveth Life,



i.e. Christ's teaching,



sifted those disciples who deserted Him from the others,



and Judas Iscariot from the rest of the twelve;



the Jews sought to kill Him;



His brethren did not believe in Him;



and the multitude were divided.



vii.14-52;' viii.12-59.

Two discourses on His Nature, in conflict with His opponents.




ix, x.

The new Life gives the Light of truth in contrast with the darkness of error.




Christ illustrated this by a 'sign': the healing of the man born blind.




The discourse takes the form of the man's dialogue with the Jews, followed by



The Lord's comment to the effect that He does not give light to those who think that they see.




Discourse on the Good Shepherd, leading to



Renewed division and opposition.



[the story of the woman taken in adultery, is a later addition to the Gospel.]




xi, .

The new Life is reached through Death.




Christ illustrated this by a 'sign': the raising of Lazarus.




The Sanhedrin plot to kill Him, i.e. they unwittingly acted so as to bring about life through death; and



Caiaphas unwittingly pronounced the truth.




The anointing at Bethany was an unwitting consecration to death.




The triumphal Entry was the crowd's un?witting pronouncement of the truth.




The same is taught in a discourse.






Summary of Christ's teaching.



B. i-xx. The Self-sacrifice and Death which issued in Life




In figure and prediction.

Ecce Homo - Antonio Ciseri (1821-91)




In discourse.




In act.

No account is here taken of the transpositions that have been suggested (see pp.274 ff.).
If they are accepted the analysis will be slightly modified, but the writer's meaning and method as a whole are not affected.
Action, 'sign', and discourse are carefully planned in such a way as to make the whole story of Christ's life and death a working out of a grand thesis. [See H. Windisch, Der Johanneische Erzahlungsstil, Eucharisterion, ii.175-213, cf. W. F. Howard, The Fourth Gospel in Recent Criticism and Interpretation, 2nd ed., '935, pp.109-24.]

relation to the synoptists.

The Fourth Evangelist is so largely independent that some have doubted whether he even knew the other Gospels; e.g. Windisch [Zeitschr.f. d. mutest. Wiss., 1911, p.174: but later he held that 'John' in?tended, by his 'absolute Gospel', to displace the others.], because
(1) the evangelist says so little in actual words to show that he was consciously correcting them;
(2) the agreements are too few;
(3) to make divergences so wide from writings recognized by the Church would be too bold.

But it would be surprising that none of the Synoptic Gospels should have been known to a writer in Ephesus, or still more in Antioch, at a date at least twenty years after the publication of the earliest of them;
and of course the earlier they are dated the more surprising it becomes.
In language, and in some ideas and narratives, there is more affinity with Mark and Luke than with Matthew.
[See Moffatt, Introd. Lit. N.T., pp.535 f.; Streeter, The Four Gospels, pp.393-426; cf. Jn.i.34 א Syr.' With Lk.ix.35, xi.35.]

P. Gardner-Smith [St. John and the Synoptic Gospels, 1938.], however, followed Windisch's earlier views, maintaining that the Fourth Evangelist neither knew nor used any of the Synoptic Gospels.
Even the view that he was familiar with Mark and perhaps Luke is set aside on the ground of insufficient evidence.
Divergences from the Synoptic Gospels far outweigh any similarities.
Any striking agreements are due to common oral tradition.
If the Fourth Evangelist wrote independently of the other three, then the terminus a quo hitherto set for the Fourth Gospel by the latest of the Synoptic Gospels, probably Matthew, is removed.
The Fourth Gospel may have been written earlier than has been supposed and it may have incorporated traditions older than those found in the other three Gospels. T. Sigge's [Das Johannes-Evangelium und die Synoptiker, 1935.] arguments against Windisch remained, however, unanswered as did also C. H. Dodd's [Expositor, 1921, pp. 286 ff.], when he showed that is based on, the Fourth Evangelist knowing the 'doublet' of the journey in Mark and using the latter in written form, not departing from Mark's order of events.
After a most careful examination of the evidence Sir Edwyn C. Hoskyns and F. N. Davey [The Fourth Gospel (one-vol. ed. 1947), pp. 67-85.] concluded that the original readers of the Fourth Gospel knew much about the life and death of Jesus 'and what they knew, they knew roughly at least in the form in which it lies before us in the Marcan Gospel'.
They had some knowledge of Luke and even of Matthew.
The Fourth Evangelist 'presumes this synoptic material to be less before the eyes of his readers than in their hearts'.
If so, one may go farther than R. H. Strachan [The Fourth Gospel, 1941, p.28.] when he finds in the Fourth Gospel sources 'parallel to and cognate with those employed by Mark and Luke'.

A few of the more important divergences of John from Mark and Luke may be noted.
In Mk.i.10 f. the vision of the Dove, with the Voice at the Baptism, is experienced only by Jesus (εἶδεν - eiden);
in Matthew and Luke it is not clear whether others saw it;
but in Jn.i.32 f. it was specially vouchsafed to the Baptist, and a prediction is recorded that he should see it.
In Lk.iii.23 Jesus was 'about thirty years' of age;
but in Jn.viii.57 'Thou art not yet fifty years old' seems to imply that He was a good deal more than thirty.
The Synoptists place the cleansing of the Temple at the end, John at the beginning.
In Matthew and Mark Jesus is not recorded to have visited Judaea between His departure to Galilee after the temptations and the triumphal entry into Jerusalem;
Luke, however, has indications, and (according to the best reading in iv.44) one explicit statement, that He was in Judaea during part of His ministry (see the writer's note on Matt.v.1);
in John He went four times to Jerusalem (ii.13; v.1; vii.10; x.23), and once to Bethany in Judaea (xi.7), before the later visit to Bethany and the entry, and the greater part of the Gospel is concerned with His work at the capital.
According to Jn.iii.22-24 Jesus began His ministry and was baptizing in Judaea while 'John was not yet cast into prison';
but it is as clearly stated in Matt.iv.12; Mk.1, 14, and implied in Lk.iii.18-20, that His ministry began after John's imprisonment.
As against the Synoptic records of teaching in Galilee the only piece of Galilean teaching in John is in vi.26-59, part of which (vv.41-59) is placed in the synagogue at Capharnaum, where, however, a controversy with 'Jews' (vv.41, 52) is unexpected.
In Matthew and Mark, if not in Luke, the Last Supper is the Passover;
in John it is held on the day before.
In Matthew and Mark there are Resurrection appearances in Galilee;
in John, as in Luke, they are confined to Jerusalem and the neighbourhood.
These instances will illustrate the way in which the writer dealt with the Synoptic traditions.
On some points he probably had the more trustworthy information;
in other cases alterations and rearrangements were the result of his use of the events as falling into line with the spiritual scheme of thought, which the Gospel presents.

More important than discrepancies in historical details are the differences in the portraiture of our Lord.
In his attractive work According to St. John (1926), ch.ix, Lord Charnwood is compelled to show 'the ways in which this falls short, or seems to do so, of presenting to us our Lord as we can believe Him to have been'.
He thinks, indeed, that chs.-xvii set before us, for the most part, a figure of our Lord which is very vivid, and, so far, true to the impressions which we get from the other Gospels, adding to its consistency, its compactness, and its force.
On the other hand there are elements in the portraiture, chiefly in chs.i-xi, which are felt to be discordant with that in the Synoptists.
There is an absence of practical counsel on the details of daily moral life;
and an absence of the human compassion of the Man who went about doing good;
both of which impress us deeply in the other Gospels.
By the time of the evangelist it had become necessary to guard the Christian community from being merged in surrounding masses, and its belief from fading out amid a chaos of loose, fantastic ideas;
and, therefore, with the sharp line which he felt obliged to draw between the brotherhood and the world, between the believer and the unbeliever, 'it is not surprising that we miss certain notes which sound loudly elsewhere in the New Testament; only in missing them we miss what we believe to have been the accents of our Lord'.
Another note that we miss is the 'elasticity' with which our Lord discouraged the idea of a saved and exclusive community;
the writer, as a divine rather than a missionary, shows no positive sign of such vitality of human sympathy.
Again, 'The Jesus of the other Gospels is meek, and above all forgiving.
Is He so here, and, if at all, has the Evangelist himself acquired His temper? ...
Strange that no echo of this wonderful note, which sounds throughout the story, is heard when we read the Fourth Gospel.
The very design of the book is fraught with the writer's anger.'
Above all, in this Gospel our Lord from the very first publishes
His own personal claim, and confronts the Jewish people with challenging statements of it.
But 'no sort of gain-saying of Christ's personal attributes could, according to the other Gospels, be His ground of quarrel with any man... 
The business in hand is the kingdom, not Himself.
There is here the whole difference which again and again in history has distinguished the man who leads and governs from the man interested in obtaining due acknowledgement of his right to govern.'
The evangelist enters into the cloud, and sees a transfigured Christ, so that in attempting to convey his impression of the 'glory' of the Incarnate Logos he departs from the threefold portrait of the Jesus that we know.


A broad distinction between the Synoptic Gospels and the Fourth is that while the former are compilations the latter, is a composition.
Nothing satisfactory has yet been written, though many have taken in hand to draw up schemes, to show that an editor or editors have, with expansions and additions, incorporated an originally apostolic writing.
Ch.xxi, indeed, is an addition to the Gospel as originally written, and the writer who was responsible for that may perhaps have touched up chs.i-xx in respect of some details.
But the general unity of plan and spirit forbids the idea either of partition into sources or of extensive revision.
Instances of attempts of this kind may be seen in Moffatt (op. cit., pp. 558-61).
And see Cheetham, Church Quart. Review, April 1924, pp. 14-35.
The author had, indeed (as Moffatt says), 'access to some reliable historical traditions for his work', and among them 'a certain oral tradition (Johannine or not) upon the life of Jesus, which had hitherto flowed apart from the ordinary channels of evangelic composition'.
But that is something quite different from the editorial working up of written sources.

Despite the failure of previous attempts, R. Bultmann1 has tried to rearrange the text of this Gospel, which he believes reached the editor in complete chaos, though the latter has reduced it partly to order.
At the same time Bultmann thinks that sources can be discerned, the most important of which are the Offenbarungsreden or Redenquelle, which were derived from a pre-Christian or Gnostic author, imbued with an early form of eastern Gnosticism, but saved from a thoroughgoing dualism by the influence of the Old Testament.
1[Das Evangelium des Johannes, 1941.
As this work consists simply of com?mentary, without introduction or summary of results, the review by B. S. Easton (J.B.L. Ixv, 1946, pp. 73 ff.) and his article (ibid., pp. 143-56) are indispensable for the study of it.
The influences of Form criticism and of Barthian theology are apparent throughout the commentary.]

These sayings came to the editor in Aramaic or Syriac, cast into the form of Semitic poetry, except for Jn.x., which is in prose.
Next in importance comes the Semeia-quelle or Miracle-story source with its rough style and odd Greek phrases.
Bultmann discerns ten or more other smaller sources, some of which may belong to either of the two mentioned above, and some of them akin to synoptic or to oral tradition.
Ch. xxi he takes to be the work of an editor weaving together an account of a Resurrection appearance with that of the commission to Peter.
The Prologue, however, is part of the Gnostic Redenquelle, which speaks of a real incarnation of the Revealer (i.14) and later of his real atoning death, x.11.
Bultmann does not know where to place vi.28-29 and he suspects viii.26-27 of being corrupt.
He ignores vii.53-viii.11 but the rest of the Gospel he has, in effect, rearranged in what he thinks was the original order because it seems to him to be the logical one.
(Any value that this rearrangement has is due to its presentation of themes handled in the Fourth Gospel.)
On this view the body of the work falls into two parts:
(A) The Revelation to the World, ii-,
and (B) The Revelation to the Church, i-xx.
The themes under (A) include 'Encounter with the Revealer', 'Revelation as Judgment', 'Encounter with the World', and 'The secret Victory',
and those under (B) 'The Farewell' and 'Passion and Easter'.
As Easton says, the rearrangements are too drastic.
'How did the text ever arrive at the utter confusion that Bultmann postulates?'
If the four winds scattered the leaves of the original roll or codex, it seems strange that none of the breaks occur in the middle of a word or sentence.
Perhaps, as Easton suggests, the theory is that the evangelist originally wrote sentences on separate slips of papyrus and his not too competent editor did his best to put them into an order now achieved by Bultmann.

While, however, if we reject such views the general unity of the book is recognized, it cannot be denied that it contains difficulties which suggest the possibility of dislocations, some, perhaps, scribal and accidental, others, apparently, editorial and deliberate.
Bacon[The Fourth Gospel in Research and Debate, ch.xix.] points out the anticipation by Tatian of some of the modern proposals of transposition.
The instances given here are not all equally striking, but they will show the sort of difficulties that present themselves.
[Cf. W. F. Howard, op. cit., pp. 125-41, cf. App, D., p. 264.]

John's witness of himself in i.15 is an awkward parenthesis referring by anticipation to his words in v.30;
it may originally have stood elsewhere, or was possibly a marginal note, perhaps on v.8.
In iii.22 the statement that Jesus came into the land of Judaea is a little strange, because, according to the present order of the text, He went thither from Jerusalem; and some would transpose iii.22-30 to follow ii.12, so that He would go from Capharnaum into the land of Judaea, where He stayed and baptized, and then to Jerusalem.
In iv.43 f. we are told that, after spending two days in the Samaritan district, the Lord departed thence into Galilee, 'for Jesus Himself witnessed that a prophet in his own country (πατρίς - patris) hath no honour'.
Since Samaria was not His own country, the words, as they stand, seem to refer to Judaea which He had just left (iv.3);
but the evangelist knew that though Bethlehem was the village in which He was actually born, Galilee and not Judaea was His πατρίς (vii.41 f.).
If the words are in their right place we must adopt some such explanation as that of Brooke [Peake's Commentary, ad loc.]: 'Jesus in spite of His success stays only two days.
His true work is in Galilee, His own country, where He is not likely to receive honours which at present would be dangerous.' But this is difficult, and the words may belong to another context.
Some writers wish to transpose chs.v, vi, because the words 'Jesus went away across the sea of Galilee' imply that He had been in Galilee and not in Jerusalem (as in ch.v).
He will then have crossed after being in Cana (iv.46), and fed the Five Thousand before going to Jerusalem at the unnamed feast (v. i), which in that case would be Pentecost.
During that visit the Jews persecuted Him (v.16), and sought to kill Him (v.18); and vii.1, in which this is given as His reason for going to Galilee, naturally follows at once the account of the danger.
Further, besides the transposition of chs.v, vi, there is something to be said for transposing vii.15-24 to follow ch.v.
The question 'Is not this He whom they wish to kill?' (vii.25) is strange immediately after Jesus had spoken with the Jews about it (vv.19, 20), but not unnatural if He had been away in Galilee, and had just come up secretly to the feast, and taught in the temple {v.14).
In the latter case 'Behold He speaketh openly' {v.26) follows well upon v.14;
also 'How knoweth this man writings', &c. (v.15) suitably echoes 'If ye believe not his writings', &c. (v.47).
In x.1 the metaphor of the sheepfold is introduced so abruptly that some would place vs.1-18 after v.29, following sayings about sheep.
And this brings into closer conjunction the second σχίσμα - schisma (x.19) with the first (ix.16).
[It may be noted that the only textual support for any dislocation according to the papyri is found in P44 where ix.3-5 follows x.10.]

In .44 'Jesus cried and said', &c. is unexpected after v.36b 'Jesus departed and was hidden from them'.
The whole statement of His rejection by the Jews (vv.36b-43) is a natural conclusion of the narrative before the final events, and it seems probable that vv. 44-50 should be transposed to follow v. 36a.
In xiv.31 the words 'Arise, let us go hence' scarcely seem to leave enough time for the further long discourse in chs.xv, xvi.
The sequence of thought is as good, if not better, if these chapters are placed before ch.xiv, bringing 'I am- the Vine' into conjunction with the Last Supper, and the words about unfruitful branches into conjunction with the departure of Judas.
Writers disagree as to the exact point to which they belong; either before 'Now is the Son of Man glorified' (i.31b) or after i.38 would be suitable, xviii.13-24 has very likely suffered dislocation.
In v.13 Caiaphas is stated to be high priest; and in v.19 'the high priest' questions Jesus;
but not till v.24 is it related that Annas sent Him to Caiaphas.
Again, it is hardly probable that the story of Peter's denial was originally broken into two pieces, vv.15-18 and 25-27, the last words of v.18 being repeated almost verbally at the beginning of v.25.
For a rearrangement in this case we are able to point to some textual support: Syr.sin places v.24 between vv.13 and 14, and vv.16-18 between vv.23 and 25, which is not the arrangement of the Diatessaron in any form known to us.
The latter transposition may also have stood in the Old Latin codex e, in which case the evidence is greatly strengthened. [See C. H. Turner, J.T.S. i, 1900, pp. 141 f.; C. F. Burkitt, Evang. da-Mepharreshe, ii. 316.]
On the other hand, it may be best to compare the Fourth Gospel with an opera.
The Prologue corresponds to the 'overture' in which the dominant themes of the work are anticipated, after which the themes are presented, variations are introduced, new themes appear, and old themes are then taken up in a new guise, while the unity of the work as a whole is apparent.

Further, although F. R. Hoare [The Original Order and Chapters of St. John's Gospel, 1944.], who has presented the most thorough exposition of the theory of textual dislocation in the Fourth Gospel, has taken into account that every section transferred to its 'original order' must be a multiple of the same spatial unit and also that 'every interval between these breaks in the text throughout the book must be the equivalent of one or more physical units', even he has not faced all the difficulties confronting any theory of dislocation at all. As W. G. Wilson [J. T.S. 1, 1949, pp. 59 f.; cf. F. G. Kenyon, Books and Readers in Ancient Greece and Rome, 1932, p.53.] has shown, critics have assumed that the original text was written on sheets of papyrus which were accidentally disarranged before being pasted together to form a roll or that the pages in an original codex became displaced.
Against the former view he cites Sir Frederic Kenyon's statement that 'the scribe did not write his text on separate sheets and then unite them to form a roll, for the writing frequently runs over the junction of the sheets';
and against the latter view, Wilson argues that if leaves in a codex became displaced the length of each passage so dislocated, and the space between its 'original' and its present position would in every case be equivalent to a multiple of two pages (i.e. sufficient to cover one or more complete leaves of two pages each).
Wilson takes seven widely favoured dislocations and finds that in no case is his two-page test satisfied.

Two passages, the story of the woman taken in adultery (vii. 53-viii. n) and the last chapter (xxi), were not originally parts of the Gospel.
In the former case the manuscript evidence3 as well as the style and vocabulary are decisive, though there can be little doubt that it is a genuine incident.
The latter is obviously an Appendix added after the conclusion of the Gospel (xx.30 f.).
3[It is omitted in B א[C) 33 L ψ0124 W θ 157 1080 a f q Cop. Arm. Geo., and it is found after Lk.xxi.38 in the Caesarean fam.13 but at the end of Jn. in other Caesarean manuscripts, fam.1 1076 1582 and some Armenian codices.]
Moffatt [Introd. Lit. N.T., p.572.] thinks that it was not the work of the evangelist, and notes some linguistic features and peculiarities in which it differs from the Gospel.
Are they striking enough to make the difference of authorship certain?
M. E. Boismard (Revue Biblique, liv, 1947, pp. 473-501, cf. M. Goguel, Introd. au NT. ii, 1924, pp.285-91.] shows that while xxi contains characteristic phrases found in i-xx, it also has 'figures of grammar and style' which cannot reasonably be attributed to the evangelist.
He notes the points of contact with Luke and suggests tat 'a disciple of John' familiar with Luke's Jerusalem sources wrote xxi.


The results here arrived at on this disputed subject are as follows:

(1) The Fourth Gospel was not written by John the son of Zebedee, but by a person known as John the Elder, who exercised authority in the Church at Ephesus towards the end of the first century.
(It must be stressed that this statement is keenly debated and it must be treated as a 'working hypothesis'.)
(2) He was accustomed to think in the Aramaic language, and had been in Jerusalem, where he obtained some of his material from local tradition.
(3) He had been an eyewitness of the Crucifixion, which must have been in his boyhood; and had known something of John the son of Zebedee, whom he deeply revered, and thought of as the ideal disciple of Jesus, him whom He loved;
[The identity of the Beloved Disciple with the son of Zebedee is proved by J. H. Bernard, Commentary, vol. i, pp.xxxiv ff.] and from him he gained some more material.

The internal evidence, apart from a single verse, is all against the apostolic authorship:
(a) The author nowhere claims to be an apostle; the writing is anonymous.
(b) It is in the last degree improbable that he should have spoken of himself as 'the disciple whom Jesus loved',
(c) It is very unlikely that the son of Zebedee, one of the innermost and most intimate circle of the twelve, should have made use of the work of St. Mark and St. Luke (if he did so, pace Windisch and Gardner-Smith), who were not apostles,
(d) It is very unlikely that the son of Zebedee would have reached the type of thought that is sketched in the following words of Streeter (pp.424 f.):

The Gospels of Mark, Luke and John form, it would seem, a series - Luke being dependent on Mark, and John on both the others.
This conclusion of documentary analysis is confirmed by its correspondence with a parallel evolution in the doctrinal emphasis in the several Gospels.
Here also Mark, Luke and John form a progressive series the characteristic direction of which is a tendency to make more and more of the idea of Christianity as the universal religion, free from the limitations of its Jewish origin, and, along with this, to lay less and less stress on the original Apocalyptic expectation of an immediate visible return of the Master.
The Fourth Gospel is thus the climax reached in the development of theology in the New Testament towards the naturalisation of Christianity in the Hellenic world.

One verse in the Appendix (xxi.24),1 written in the first person plural, declares that the writer of the Gospel was the beloved disciple with whom the foregoing incident is concerned:

This is the disciple who witnesses concerning these things and who wrote these things,
and we know that his witness is true.'

The words would not have been written if the fact had not been disputed;
and the leaders at some Church centre found it necessary to write them.
But could the authorship of such a book, if it was really written by one of the Twelve, have been for one moment disputed anywhere?
In the fight against Gnosticism it became necessary to urge the continuity of tradition from the apostles;
and the result was that in some cases writings which formed a very early factor in that tradition were believed to be not only 'apostolic', but actually written by the pen of apostles. Matthew and Hebrews are instances in point. 
1[There is no textual doubt about this verse, as there is often alleged to be about the last verse, xxi.25;
but H. J. Milne and T. C. Skeat have shown with the help of ultra-violet photography that in
א v.24 was followed by a regular coronis and subscription but that these were washed out and verse 25 was superimposed, with a new coronis and title to follow, by the original scribe.
The evidence of the inclusion of 25 is as old as that of its omission!
א omitted, it was unique.
(Scribes and Correctors of Codex Sinaiticiis, 1938.)]

John xxi.24 is probably the earliest evidence of that belief in the case of the Fourth Gospel.
But the same necessity for defending the apostolic authorship was felt in the West till the end of the second century. Irenaeus (c. 190) is at pains to emphasize the fact that there can be, from the nature of things, neither more nor less than four Gospels, in opposition to some who accepted more and some less.
Hippolytus, at the close of the century, in Rome, wrote a work, not now extant, 'In defence of the Gospel and Apocalypse of John'; and, as Streeter says, 'no one defends what nobody attacks'.
The attacks do not appear to have come from heretics; most of the Gnostics accepted the Fourth Gospel; Basilides knew it, c. AD117-38, and c. 170-80 Ptolemaeus and Heracleon also, the latter being author of a commentary on it:
[Cf. J. N. Sanders, The Fourth Gospel in the Early Church, 1943, pp. 37-55.
He suggests that Irenaeus was the first Catholic writer to overcome the prejudice which appears to have been felt against the Fourth Gospel, at least in Rome, c. 180 (p. 66), but Streeter, op. cit., p. 441, suggested that Justin, quoting from the Fourth Gospel as from the 'Memoirs of the Apostles' had already intro?duced it to the West (c. 145), as authoritative; contrast Sanders, op. cit., p. 32.]

and the Montanists valued it highly for its teaching on the Spirit, the Paraclete.
But some persons whom Epiphanius nicknames Alogi, i.e. ἄλογοι - alogoi, which 'may be translated equally well by "Anti-Logosites" or "Irrationalists"' (Streeter), ascribed both the Gospel and the Apocalypse to the heretic Cerinthus, and, among other criticisms, laid stress on the differences of order between it and the Synoptic Gospels.
And Gaius of Rome, whether he was one of their number or not, ascribed the Apocalypse to the same heretic, he himself being quite an orthodox person in his opposition to the Montanists.
Once more, the writer of the Muratorian fragment, expressing, perhaps, the official view of the Roman Church (see p.360), reveals the same need for the defence of the apostolic authorship, stating that the Gospel was written by the apostle John, with the endorsement of all the apostles;
and therefore that the divergences in the Gospels do not affect the faith of believers.
And in speaking of 1 John he says of the writer, 'For so he declares himself not an eye-witness and a hearer only, but a witness of all the marvels of the Lord in order', which looks like an answer to the criticisms of the Alogi.

The Logos doctrine was at first alien to Western Christian thought (though it was derived from Jewish thought, the Word, identified with the Torah, being the mediating prin?ciple in creation and revelation while at the same time it was connected with the Logos of Hellenistic speculations [P. H. Menoud, L'evangile de Jean d'apres les recherches recenles, and ed., 1947, pp.50-53.]), and might be considered to have a Gnostic tendency.
So that for something like a century after the Gospel was written, Rome does not seem to have felt itself bound by any ancient and authoritative tradition of the apostolic authorship.

Further, we should expect that many in earlier days who did believe the Fourth Gospel to be the work of an apostle would say so, or indicate in some way their belief in its apostolic authorship.
And yet the study of its canonical recognition (see pp. 314-25) shows that there is 'a steady decrease in the employment and recognition of the Fourth Gospel by those who might reasonably be supposed to know it, as we approach the date and region where its currency and authority should be at a maximum' (Bacon [The Fourth Gospel in Research and Debate, 2nd ed., 1918, p. 334.]).
A striking instance is seen in Ignatius.
If the apostle John died in Ephesus within twenty years before the letters of Ignatius, it is strange that the latter should write to the Ephesians, 'Ye are associates in the mysteries of Paul', and say not a word about the authority of John, which would to them be supreme, and that although it is pretty clear that he knew the Fourth Gospel.
The 'silence of Ignatius', in spite of all attempts to explain it, remains difficult.
[J. N. Sanders does not think that it is certain that Ignatius knew or used the Fourth Gospel (op. cit., pp. 12-14), though according to The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, 1905, p. 83, 'Ignatius's use of the Fourth Gospel is highly probable, but falls some way short of certainty' (W. R. Inge).]

And not less so is the silence of Polycarp, if (as Irenaeus said) he was a companion of John.

The uncertainty in the patristic traditions has been caused by a complex of facts:
(1) A John was known at a late date at Ephesus.
(2) The name John is claimed by the author of the Apocalypse, who wrote to the Churches of Asia.
(3) Papias speaks of a John whom he calls the Elder.
(4) The author of 2, 3 John styles himself the Elder.
(5) Dionysius of Alexandria had heard of two Johns buried at Ephesus.
(6) The Apostolic Constitutions, usually dated c. AD 370 but preserving older material, had access to an authentic list of the bishops of Smyrna while for the bishops of Ephesus it gives 'Timothy ordained by Paul;
and John ordained by (the Apostle) John'. [B. H. Streeter, The Primitive Church, 1929, pp. 96 f.)
(7) A. Mingana [Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, xiv, 1930, pp. 333 ff.] quotes a Syriac manuscript dated 1749 but probably copied from an eighth-century manuscript.
Before the gospel it has 'The holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (according to) the preaching of John the Younger' and after it, 'Here ends the writing of the holy Gospel (according to) the preaching of John who spoke in Greek in Bithynia'.

Irenaeus writes:

'All the elders, who consorted in Asia with John the disciple of the Lord, witness that John delivered [the Apocalypse];
for he abode with them till the times of Trajan' (II.x.5, Eus. H.E. iii. 23).
'And there are those who heard him [sc. Polycarp], and that John the disciple of the Lord went, &c.' (III.iii.4, Eus. H.E. iv. 14).
'The Church that is in Ephesus was founded by Paul, but John, who abode with them till the time of Trajan, is a true witness of the tradition of the apostles' (ibid., Eus. H.E. iii. 23).

He speaks of Polycarp, whom he had seen in lower Asia when he was himself a boy, and 'his companionship with John, as he declared, and with the rest of those who had seen the Lord' (Epist. to Florinus, Eus. H.E. v. 20).
Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus, wrote to Victor of Rome on the Paschal question, AD195.
In his letter he says:

'And further, John also, who lay on the Lord's bosom, who became a priest wearing the priestly plate (τὸ πέταλον - to petalon), and a martyr and teacher, he sleeps at Ephesus' (Eus. H.E. iii. 31; v. 24).

And Eusebius states (H.E. v. 18) that Apollonius (c. 186)

'used passages from John's Apocalypse, and relates that a dead man, through the power of God, was raised to life by John at Ephesus'.

For all the Aramaic colouring of its language the Gospel was suited to readers surrounded with Hellenistic perils, which supports the tradition of its Asiatic origin.
And the knowledge of its characteristic teaching and vocabulary shown in the Odes of Solomon, and by Ignatius and Polycarp whether they knew the actual Gospel or not, tends to confirm this.

Irenaeus nowhere speaks of 'John the Apostle', but, as has been said, it is improbable that (apart from the Baptist) he ever meant any other John.
In I.ix.2 the name John and the title Apostle are applied to him in successive clauses;
and the collocation of John with 'the rest of those who had seen the Lord' (Ep. to Florinus) should be compared with words in III.iii.4 (Eus. H.E. iv. 14):
'Polycarp was not only taught by apostles, and companioned with many who had seen the Lord, but was appointed bishop by apostles', &c.
If, then, his recollections of Polycarp's words are correct, and if Polycarp meant the apostle, it follows that the latter did, in. fact, visit Asia.
But we must not underrate the facility with which writers in an uncritical age could confuse the early Christian traditions.
Thus James the son of Zebedee was not infrequently confused with James the head of the Church in Jerusalem.
Irenaeus himself appears to do this in III..14.
And he actually refers to the account of St. Peter in Acts v.15 as if the words applied to Jesus.
[In his work Εἰς πίδειξιν τῶν ποστόλως κηρύγματος, ch. 71. Texte u. Untersuch. xxxi.1, p. 40; cf. J. A. Robinson, St. Irenaeus, The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 1920, p. 132.]
He argues on the basis of doctrine and Scripture, but also states on the authority of 'the Gospel and all the elders in Asia who associated with John' that John had taught that our Lord's life was extended to fifty years, so that His ministry was some twenty years in length (II.xxv.5).
And he states that Papias, a companion of Polycarp, was a hearer of John, a mistake pointed out by Eusebius (H.E. iii. 39). Another signal instance is that of Polycrates who confuses Philip the deacon with Philip the apostle (Eus. H.E. iii. 39), and Eusebius apparently accepts the confusion without demur.
See Salmon [Introd. N.T., pp. 313 f.], who concludes:
'We can believe, then, that in process of time the veneration given Philip as a member of the Apostolic company caused him to be known as the Apostle... and eventually to be popularly identified with his namesake of the Twelve.'
If a mistake of that magnitude could be made about Philip and James it could be made about John.
It cannot, then, be pronounced impossible that Irenaeus was mistaken in the recollections from boyhood, which he claimed to have of Polycarp's teaching.
He stood, according to his own statement (iv. xxvii. 1), in the third generation after the apostles, and it is quite possible that the John with whom Polycarp had been associated was another than the apostle.
It is true that other contemporaries of Polycarp were alive;
but if he could make other obvious slips without correction he could make this one;
and the more easily because those who could have corrected him were in Asia, and he was in Gaul where there was probably no one who could.

That the person with whom he confused the apostle was John the Elder is suggested by a passage of Papias, to which Eusebius refers to show that Irenaeus was mistaken (H.E. iii. 39):

And I shall not hesitate to put down, together with my own interpretations, all that I carefully learnt at any time from the elders and carefully remembered, guaranteeing their truth.
For I did not take pleasure, as the many do, in those that say a great deal, but in those who teach what is true, nor in those who remember foreign commandments, but in those who remember the commandments given from the Lord to faith, and coming to us from the Truth itself.
If, further, anyone came who had actually been a follower of the Elders, I used to enquire as to the words of the Elders, (about) what Andrew or Peter said, or Philip, or Thomas or James, or John or Matthew or any other of the Lord's disciples;
also as to what Aristion and the Elder John, the Lord's disciples, say.
For I supposed that things out of books were less useful to me than what could be learnt from a living and abiding voice (i.e. of one who is still alive).

It is possible that 'as to what Aristion, &c.' should be 'about what Aristion, &c.'
The former makes ἅ τε ριστ. depend upon 'inquire' (ἀνέκρινον), the latter upon the λόγοθς of the Elders.
But the former is the more probable, because Papias's dependence on the Elders was for information as to the apostles, not as to Aristion and John who were alive in his day.
The contrast between 'said' and 'say' must be allowed its full force.
The word 'about' has been inserted in the translation to make clear the probable meaning, i.e. that the Elders were not Andrew and the other members of the Twelve, but that the words of the Elders were the source of information about what Andrew, &c. said.
[Contrast, however, H.J. Lawlor andJ. E. L. Oulton, Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 1928, ii. 112 f.]

It may be noted in passing that it is difficult to reconcile the late date of the apostle's death with the evidence of Papias. Many who had been in personal contact with St. John would still be alive in or near Hierapolis, and yet Papias was obliged to depend upon third-hand information about him, according to the above translation [Not even by G. Salmon, Dictionary of Christian Biography, iii. 398-401.).
Moreover, he would have had an importance for him so great that it is scarcely possible that he could mention him only sixth in a list of seven apostles, even though, as Lightfoot pointed out, the order and selection of names is that of the Fourth Gospel itself.

So far nothing' has been written which proves that Eusebius, in insisting on the two Johns, misunderstood Papias, though he may wrongly represent him as claiming to have been an actual hearer of Aristion and the Elder John.
This Elder John need not be considered more shadowy than Aristion.
Probably he was the 'Elder' of a, 3 John, and if so, of the Fourth Gospel and the First Epistle.
In that case he cannot have been the author of the Apocalypse (see p.264), as Eusebius suggests when referring to the tradition of Dionysius that there were two tombs of Johns at Ephesus.

Behind the 'Anti-Marcionite' Prologue to John2 may lie the germ of truth that John the Apostle was the authority behind but not the actual author of the Fourth Gospel.
For while at the end of the Lucan Prologue there is a reference to Luke writing Acts after the third Gospel, followed by the words, 'Afterwards John the Apostle' (the Greek has 'of the Twelve' as well) 'wrote the Apocalypse in the island of Patmos and after this the Gospel' (the Latin adds 'in Asia'), the writer of the Johannine Prologue, which is extant only in Latin, has:
2[de Bruyne, Revue Benedictine, 1928, pp. 193; A. von Harnack, Sitzungsberichte der preussischen Akademie, Phil.-hist. Kl., 1928, pp. 322 ff.; A. Huck and H. Lietzmann, A Synopsis of the First Three Gospels (Eng. ed. By F. L. Cross, 1935) p. viii.]

Evangelium lohannis manifestatum et datum est ecclesiis ab lohanne adhuc in corpore constitute sicut Papias nomine Hiera-politanus, discipulus lohannis carus, in exotericis (id est in extremis) quinque libris retulit, descripsit vero evangelium dictante lohanne recte;
verum Marcion hereticus, cum ab eo fuisset im-probatus eo quod contraria sentiebat, abiectus est ab lohanne.
Is vero scripta vel epistulas ad eum pertulerat a fratribus qui in Ponto fuerunt.

The Prologue-writer was unfamiliar with Papias's five Exegetical Books and the words in brackets id... extremis are an obvious gloss on the impossible exotericis.
The Prologue also calls Papias 'the beloved disciple of John' and attributes to Papias, the Chiliast, the penning of the Fourth Gospel which stresses 'realized eschatology' almost but not quite to the exclusion of futurist eschatological views.
It also assumes that John the Apostle was alive in AD120 and capable of dictating accurately to Papias, who nourished then.
The usual interpretation of the Latin is as follows:
[T. W. Manson, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, xxx, 1946-7, pp. 3128".]

The Gospel of John was published and given to the churches by John still present in the body, as Papias, entitled Hierapolitanus, the beloved disciple of John, related in the five Exegetical Books; indeed, he, Papias, took down the Gospel, John dictating accurately.
But the heretic Marcion, when he had been condemned by him, Papias, because he held opposed views, was expelled by John.
Marcion indeed had brought documents or letters to him, Papias, from the brethren who were in Pontus.

But as B. W. Bacon [J. T.S. xi, 1921-2,pp. 134-60 and Journal of Bibl. Lit. xlix, 1930, pp. 43-54.] has suggested, the Prologue-writer was probably dependent on Tertullian's work 'against Marcion' (iv. vi):
'He (Marcion) has erased everything that was contrary to his own opinion' and the Prologue-writer has misunderstood Tertullian, On the Flesh of Christ, iii, 'If you had not purposely rejected in some instances, and corrupted in others, the Scriptures which are opposed to your opinion, you would have been confuted in this matter by the Gospel of John...'
The interpretation of the second part of the Prologue therefore should be:
'But the heretic Marcion was expelled by John, when he had been condemned by him (John).
Marcion indeed had brought documents or letters to John...'
The Prologue-writer was guilty of the anachronism of making the son of Zebedee a contemporary of Marcion (fl. 140) and has missed Tertullian's point that the Johannine writings condemned Marcionite doctrine long before Marcion appeared.
Finally, manifestatum would seem more applicable to Revelation than to the Gospel.
If Papias had indeed written anything resembling the above Prologue in the five Exegetical Books,
why did not Eusebius, who used Papias as a source concerning Gospel origins, quote this passage?
Would it have escaped the eyes of other Patristic searchers too engaged on a similar quest?
It would seem that this and the other Anti-Marcionite Prologues must sacrifice their pride of place in the last edition of Huck's synopsis where they stand before Irenaeus as though they were prior to and independent of him and of Tertullian.

In addition to these problems, there is some evidence, which is valued differently by different minds that the apostle did not live to an advanced age and die a peaceful death, but suffered martyrdom.
Both sides of the problem must be considered:

(1) In Mk.x.39 Jesus said to the two sons of Zebedee 'the cup which I drink of ye shall drink, and with the baptism wherewith I am baptized ye shall be baptized'.
The obvious conclusion some would say, which only the strongest evidence could prove mistaken, is that the evangelist who preserved that saying must have known that John, as well as his brother James, suffered martyrdom.
And the confused traditions of an aged John at Ephesus, in which the apostle and the writer of the Apocalypse came to be identified, can hardly be called strong enough to empty our Lord's plain and explicit statement of half its meaning.
Those who accepted the Apocalypse as the apostle's work were able to persuade themselves that the words were fulfilled by his banishment to Patmos [Orig. in Matt., tom. xvi. 6, Eus. H.E. iii. 18; and especially Jer. on Matt. xx.23.].
And yet, later, Eusebius gives a tradition, not of banishment but of flight to the island (see p.263);
whoever John was, he fled from persecution in Asia, which is far from being a fulfilment of our Lord's words to the sons of Zebedee.
[In Rev.i.9 the writer does not speak of banishment.
He had been a sharer with his readers in their affliction, and his words are quite consistent with flight, at the same time very likely expressing his purpose of Christian teaching in the island (
διὰ τὸν λόγον κτλ.).]
Attempts to get nearer to a fulfilment are probably to be seen in the stories that he was compelled by Domitian to drink poison, which did not hurt him [James, The Apocryphal N.T., p. 228; cf. Mk. xvi. 18.], or that he was plunged into boiling oil, and suffered nothing [Tert. De Praescr. 36, Jer. in Matt.], and in each case banished afterwards.
Perhaps also in the modified form in which the words appear in Syr.sin:
'Ye are able that ye should drink... ye are able that ye should be baptized';
similarly Syr.cur (in Matt.): 'Ye are able that ye should drink.'
But those who cannot accept any of these expedients feel irresistibly the force of Christ's words as evidence of St. John's martyrdom, or at least of the evangelist's belief in it.
To sit on Christ's right and left hand would be thought of as an equal reward for equal suffering, while mere endurance of persecution, and faithfulness during a long life, would not be thought of as suffering equal to martyrdom.
The force of the words is enough to carry conviction to some, even if the subsequent references to St. John's martyrdom could be proved to be only deductions from them.

The first of these is a quotation from Papias, who has shown us that John the presbyter was distinct from John the apostle.
In the Coislin MS. (ninth century) of Georgius Hamartolus we read:

'Papias in the second logos of the Dominican Logia states that he [John] was killed (ἀνῃρέθη [The word which is used in Acts .2 of the death of James his brother.]) by Jews.'

Georgius adds, 'thus plainly fulfilling together with his brother the prediction of Jesus about them, and their own confession and agreement concerning them', and then quotes Mk.x.39.

This is supported in an extract printed by C. De Boor [Texts u. Untersuch. v. 2, 1888, p.170.] from an Oxford manuscript of 7th or 8th (M. R. James, 14th) century, an epitome probably based on the Chronicle of Philip of Side (fifth century):
'Papias in his second logos says that John the θεολόγος [This word 'theologian' or 'divine', as Sanday suggests, was probably added by the writer of the fragment.] and James his brother were killed by Jews.'
As Swete says, 'With this testimony before us it is not easy to doubt that Papias made some such statement...
But if Papias made it, the question remains whether he made it under some misapprehension, or merely by way of expressing his conviction that the prophecy of Mk.x.39 had found a literal fulfilment.
Neither explanation is very probable in view of the early date of Papias.' (Apocalypse, p. clxxv.]

A Syriac calendar early in the fifth century commemorates on 27 December John and James together as martyrs, with which the Armenian and the Gothico-Gallic agree.
And a calendar of Carthage (early in the sixth century) on the same day places together John the Baptist and James the Apostle;
but since the former is commemorated on 24 June, John the Apostle is evidently meant.
All the existing Western calendars are based on the Hieronymian martyrology, which commemorates on 27 December the 'Assumption' of St. John the Evangelist and the consecration to the episcopate of St. James, the Lord's brother.
This, perhaps, detracts from their value, but it does not affect the Syriac martyrology;
nor does Gregory of Nyssa [De Persecutione, xi (cf. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, i. 401).], who shows that he accepted the Ephesian tradition, and the attempt to harmonize it with our Lord's words by the story of the boiling oil, and by John's continual willingness to die for the name of Christ.

Aphrahat (Aphraates] in his De Persecutione (AD344) writes,

'After Him [sc. Christ] was the faithful martyr Stephen whom the Jews stoned.
Simon also and Paul were perfect martyrs.
And James and John walked in the footsteps of their Master Christ.

He does not speak of James and John as martyrs, but he knew that the former certainly was, and clearly implies that what was true of one was true of the other.
And in the anti-Cyprianic North African treatise De Rebaptismate (c. AD260) occur the words,
'He said to the sons of Zebedee, Are ye able?
For He knew that the men had to be baptized not only in water but in their own blood.
Some have found other possible, but uncertain, traces of the tradition.
[Aphraat was not a scholarly but a simple, pastorally minded monk, capable of misquoting Matt.xxviii.19, cf. C. S. C. Williams, Church Quarterly Review, cxlv, 1947, pp. 48-58 and Alterations to the text of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts, pp. 33-36.]

(2) On the other hand it can be shown that the Epitomizer of Philip of Side was dependent on Eusebius for any knowledge of Papias.
The Epitomizer or his source was a bungler and he used of the martyrdom of James the Great a phrase which really belonged to the martyrdom of James the Just according to the Chronicle of Eusebius.
[J. H. Bernard, Studia sacra, 1917, pp. 271 f. and Commentary on John, vol. i, 1928, pp. xxxviii-xlii.]
'All that can be said with confidence is that the sentence as found in the Epitome is corrupt, and that no historical inference can be drawn from a corrupt sentence in a late epitome of the work of a careless and blundering historian' (Bernard).
Neither Eusebius nor Irenaeus, who both knew what Papias wrote, hints at such a statement as the one alleged by the late Epitomizer and still later George the Sinner.
Secondly, the early church-calendars commemorated the great 'leaders of the apostolic chorus' after Christmas, irrespective of their witness being by death or by life. [Bernard, Commentary, vol. i, pp. xlii-xliv.]
Thirdly, 'it is more likely that Mark x.35 gave rise to the idea that the two brothers must have suffered martyrdom than that not a trace of such an event should have survived in early Christian literature'.
[W.F. Howard, The Fourth Gospel in Recent Criticism and Interpretation, p. 250, cf. Menoud, op. cit., p. 9.]
The words of Mk.x.39 f. were misinterpreted to convey the idea of a 'baptism of blood', whereas 'to drink the cup' and 'to be baptized with' were Old Testament metaphors meaning 'to undergo tribulation' or 'to be overwhelmed with calamity', but not necessarily 'to die'. [Bernard, Commentary, vol. i, p. xlv.]

Another reference to John as a 'witness', μάρτυς, rather than as a 'martyr' was made by Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus, who wrote to Victor, Bishop of Rome, in AD 190 on the question of the date of the observance of Easter, defending the Quartodeciman custom of Asia Minor of keeping Easter on Nisan 14.
He mentions the 'great, principle men' among his fore-runners in the Church there who followed this custom.
After mentioning Philip the Apostle and his daughters, he cites John, Polycarp, and four others in an order due no doubt to that of their appearance as μεγάλα στοιχεῖα - megala stoicheia of his church (Eus. H.E. v. 24, 2-7).
He describes John as 'he who "leant back" on the Lord's "breast", who was a priest wearing the sacerdotal plate, both witness and teacher.
He has fallen asleep at Ephesus.'
It is clear that Polycrates intended to refer to John the Beloved Disciple and not to the Elder. It cannot be supposed [Contrast Bernard on xviii. 15 f., Commentary, ii. 594 ff.] that the son of Zebedee was ever high priest among the Jews and mention of the 'petalon' or sacerdotal plate is probably due to the (uncertain) identification of the Beloved Disciple with 'the other disciple [R. H. Strachan suggests that the 'other disciple' was the evangelist himself as opposed to the son of Zebedee, the Beloved Disciple, and that the former was a converted Sadducee, The Fourth Gospel, pp. 85 f.] who was known to the high priest', Jn.xviii.16. γνωστός - gnostos could mean 'acquainted with' or 'kinsman of and tradition probably turned the 'other disciple' not only into the beloved one but also into a member of the High Priest's family and one who had been High Priest himself.
If Polycrates confused Philip the Evangelist with Philip the Apostle, he may well have given credence to such a tradition.

place of origin.

During his boyhood Irenaeus, who came originally from Ephesus, had known Polycarp, who in turn had known at least a John there, probably about AD90. [Eusebius, H.E. v. 20.]
Irenaeus [Ads. Haereses, in. i. i.] himself says, 'John, the disciple of the Lord, who leaned back on His breast, himself too set forth the Gospel while dwelling in Ephesus, the city of Asia'.
But Irenaeus, who may have confused the two Johns, may also have been mistaken on this point too.
For the two tombs at Ephesus to which Dionysius of Alexandria [H.E. vii. 25, 16.] drew attention in distinguishing the author of the Gospel from that of Revelation need not have been those of the Apostle and the Elder, despite Eusebius.
Yet the tradition that the Fourth Gospel originated in 'Asia' and particularly in Ephesus has some support in

(a) Papias being the first external witness, unless Clement of Rome [C. C. Tarelli, J.T.S. xlviii, 1947, pp. 208 ff.] was even earlier in quoting the Fourth Gospel,
(b) the rejection of this Gospel by the Alogi and its popularity among the Montanists, and
(c) the connexion between this Gospel and the Apocalypse and the Johannine Epistles, the last especially being closely connected with 'Asia'.
But if the evangelist wrote in Ephesus, how can one explain the silence of Ignatius even in his letter to the Ephesians or of Polycrates in his letter to Victor of Rome?

According to manuscripts of the Armenian version of Ephraem's commentary on the Diatessaron cited by F. C. Conybeare [Zeitschr. f. d. mutest. Wiss. iii, 1902, pp. 193 ff.], 'John wrote in Antioch, where he lived till Trajan's time'.
It is possible that a first draft of the Gospel was made in Antioch before it was taken to Ephesus, as Goguel [Op. cit. ii. 550, cf. T. W. Manson, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, xxx, 1946-7, pp. 325-8.] suggests.

Goguel discussed the hypothesis of an Egyptian origin, saying that it could be envisaged but that one could scarcely invoke in its favour only the affinity of Johannine thought with Judaeo-Alexandrian speculation and perhaps certain other forms of Egyptian thought.
The arguments of this kind are far from decisive, he said, for an age when the exchange of ideas was active in the Mediterranean basin.
J. N. Sanders has advanced other arguments in favour of Alexandria as the place of origin besides the Logos doctrine used by Philo (op. cit., p. 40).
He has suggested affinities between this Gospel and the Epistle of Barnabas and both parts of the Epistle of Diognetus, for all of which an Alexandrian origin has been suggested. He has pointed to the use of the Gospel by Egyptian Gnostics;
certainly their welcome of it might explain to some extent the reluctance of the Church in the West to receive it at first.
In fact he thinks that the early Church in Alexandria was not orthodox (p.41).
He points also to the existence of papyri of an early date (see below, p. 294) found in Egypt showing a knowledge of John there.
But little is known of the early Church in Alexandria. As Sir Idris Bell [Harvard Theol. Rev., xxxvii, 1944, p. 190.] has said, 'There is no satisfactory evidence in our documents for the existence of a Christian community at Alexandria in the first century of our era;
but that does not justify the inference that no such community existed.
The probabilities are all the other way.'
Sanders, however, concludes tentatively, 'There is some evidence to point to Alexandria as the place of origin but this suggestion is not advanced as more than a possibility where certainty is not to be expected' (p. 66).
The possibility had already been mentioned by Lake [Introd. to N.T., p. 53.] and has been discussed independently by A. M. Perry. [Journal of Biblical Lit. Ii, 1944, pp. 99-106.)


That the writer does not refer to the fall of Jerusalem is no evidence that he wrote before 70.
Nor is the present tense in v. 2 ('There is in Jerusalem at the sheep gate a pool') an indication that the city had not yet been destroyed.
The past tense is used in iv.6; xi.18; xviii.1.
As said above (p.236), it was a common literary usage.
The past tense is actually substituted in the Syriac, Egyptian, and Armenian versions.

The limits within which the book must lie are fixed by the use of Luke by the author if he used it, and the use of John or of Johannine thought by Ignatius, i.e. between 85 and 115.
On the one hand, there had been time for the Third Gospel to come from Rome to Ephesus or Antioch or Alexandria, and for the Elder to have meditated upon it and absorbed its material into his thoughts.
On the other, there had been time for those thoughts to have influenced the outlook and theology of Ignatius at Antioch.
This probably reduces the limits to 90 and 100.
But the Elder could speak (if 1 John is his) of what he had heard and seen (i.1), unless he speaks there not in his own name but in that of the community, and could claim to have been an eyewitness of the Crucifixion (John xix.35).
And this must bring the date nearer to the earlier than to the later limit.
It is sometimes said that Johannine language, found in patristic writers who make no distinct quotations, may have been due not to the Gospel but to the teaching of the Ephesian school, 'a compact body of teaching like that which we find in the Fourth Gospel' (Sanday).
But at least the evangelist must have created and inspired the school, if there was one, and not vice versa.

On the other hand, if the evangelist used no Synoptic Gospel but only sources akin to them, the terminus a quo may be earlier than 90; [Cf. E. R. Goodenough, 'John a Primitive Gospel', ibid. Ixiv, 1945, pp. 145-82; contrast R. P. Casey, ibid., pp. 535-42.]
in the mind of a religious genius the development of the Logos Christology might have occurred at any time after the Epistle to the Colossians.

But confirmation of the terminus ad quern being c. 100 has come from one if not two papyrological discoveries.
In 1935 Sir H. Idris Bell and T. C. Skeat [Fragments of an Unknown Gospel, 1935.] published a papyrus from the Nile valley dated within the first half of the second century containing what may be a 'mosaic' [The description used by M. J. Lagrange, Critique textuelle, ii, La critique rationelle, 1935, pp. 633-49.] of Synoptic and Johannine phrases.
But did the author use our Fourth Gospel?
It is possible to conclude with G. Mayeda that this Papyrus Egerton 2 represents a type of popular Christian literature, not a canonical Gospel, but dating from the time before the Canon was formed, and independent, at least to some extent, of the Gospels and perhaps as early as they are. [Das Leien-Jesu-Fragment Papyrus Egerton s und seine Stellwg in der urchrist-lichen Literaturgeschichte, 1946; cf. Sir Idris Bell's favourable review, Harvard Theol. Rev, xlii, 1942, pp. 53-63. In the Revue des sciences religieuses, xvii, 1937, pp. 54 ff., L. Vaganay discusses the affinity of this papyrus with Tatian's text.]

But also in 1935 C. H. Roberts published a fragment of a papyrus codex of John containing xviii.31-34 (recto) and 37-38 (verso), also from Egypt, and also dated on palaeographical grounds within the first half of the second century.
This papyrus, now styled P52, proves conclusively that those critics were wrong who used to date the Fourth Gospel c. 130 or later.
[An unpublished fragment of the Fourth Gospel in the John Rylands Library (1935), cf. the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, xx, 1936, pp.45-55 and Catalogue of the Greek and Latin Papyri in the John Rylands Library, iii, 1938, pp. 1-3, cf. H. Lietzmann, Zeitschr. f. d. mutest, Wiss. xxxiv, 1935, p. 285, and Sir. H. I. Bell, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, xxi, 1935, pp. 266 f.]

But it must be added that if Sanders's suggestion is right and the Gospel was written in Alexandria, less time presumably would be needed for its dissemination and copying than if the Gospel had been penned in distant Ephesus or Antioch. Bultmann [Das Evangelium des Johannes, p.203.], however, is satisfied that this P52 shows that the Fourth Gospel must have been known in Egypt c. AD 100, when taken in conjunction with Papyrus Egerton 2.

original language.

It is remarkable that while the contents of the book are obviously suited to minds that needed an antidote to docetic Gnosticism, the language and literary style are markedly Aramaic.
The simplest explanation is that a Jew wrote it [Cf. Bernard's discussion of the evangelist as a Jew, Commentary, i, pp. Ixxviii-Ixxi.] whose native tongue was Aramaic, and who thought in that language, but who went to live in Asia, and found that the Christians there were sorely in need of such a book as he could write.
If he wrote it in Greek, which he had acquired, and with which he was not perfectly familiar, it would naturally be coloured more or less strongly with Aramaisms, and in this respect be comparable with Mark (see p.42).
But a theory, suggested as early as 1645 by Salmasius, that it is a Greek translation of an Aramaic original, has been revived by C. F. Burney [The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel (Oxford, 1922).], who adduces not only a large number of Aramaisms in the grammar and syntax, but several passages in the Greek which he thinks point clearly to mistranslation.

They can only be enumerated here, and must be studied in his book. דְ with a relative sense mistranslated by ἵνα = 'who', 'which' (i.8; v.7; vi.30, 50; ix.36; xiv.16); by ὅτι = 'who' (viii.45; ix.17;
less certainly i.16); by ἵνα = 'when', properly 'which ... in it' (.23; i.1; xvi.2, 32). דְ = 'because' mistranslated as a relative (i.3, 13). דְ a relative, lacking gender and number, has led to misunderstanding:
in x.29 the true reading ὅ is a mistranslation, the variant ὅς, found in most manuscripts, being a correction which gives the right sense.

Similarly xvii.11, 12 ᾧ, and xvii.24 ὅ are rightly corrected in some manuscripts to οὕς.

vi.37; xvii.2 πᾶνὅ  (with no variant) meant 'all who' (masc.) in the original Aramaic, i.5; .35 καταλαμβάνειν = קַבֵיל 'take', 'receive' is a misunderstanding of אַקְבֵיל 'darken'.

i.9 ἦν = Kin is a mis?reading of הוּא 'he'.

i.15 γέγονε = ''in is a misreading of the participle הָוֵי 'is going to be'; and πρῶτός μου = קָדָמי of קַדְמי 'because He was First (of all)'.

i.29 ἀμνός 'lamb' = טַלְיָא which means also παῖς 'boy', 'servant'.
There is a play on the word, the reference being to the suffering Servant of Is.liii, who was meek as a lamb when brought to the slaughter.

ii.22 ἔλεγεν 'He was saying' = אָמַר הֲרָא  is a misreading of אֲמַר הֲוָא 'He had said'.

vi.63 (perhaps 68) ῥήματα should mean 'things', a sense which the Aram. מִלָה can bear.

vii.37, 38 κοιλίας 'belly' = מְעִין is a misreading of מַעְיָן 'fountains'; changing the punctuation Burney renders, 'He that thirsteth let him come unto Me; and let him drink that believeth in Me. As the Scripture hath said, Rivers shall flow forth from the fountain of living waters.' viii.56 ἠγαλλιάσατο 'exulted'; Western Aramaic probably had a word like the Syriac [syriac scrypt] which in Peal and Pael means both 'exulted' and 'longed', the latter being the required meaning.

ix.25 ἕν = חֲדא is a misreading of הָדָא 'this', which is the read?ing of the 'Palestinian' Syriac.
xx.2 οὐκ οἴδαμεν 'we know not' = לא יְדָעְנָא is a misreading of לא יְדָעָנָא 'I am not knowing'.
xx.18 ἑώρακα 'I have seen' = חֲמֵית is a misreading of חַמְיַת 'she had seen'.

Burney studies also the twenty quotations in the Gospel from the Old Testament. Six of these (i.23, 51; vi.45; .39 f.; i.18; xix.37) presuppose direct use of the Hebrew, con?taining points for the explanation of which the Hebrew is vital. But some of the remainder conform to the LXX. (A. Faure, Zeitschr.f. d. mutest. Wiss. xxi, 1922, pp. 99-121.] The writer, says Burney, cannot have quoted some from the one and some from the other. The assimilations to the LXX might be due to an editor or redactor, but are probably the work of the translator.

Torrey accepts Burney's theory, but rejects some of his instances of retranslation, while advancing some further ones of his own. This raises suspicion against the theory, which ultimately rests on the mistranslations; and it has not found universal acceptance. [Harvard Theol. Rev., 1923, pp. 305-44; The Four Gospels, a new translation, 1923; Our Translated Gospels; cf. E. Littmann, Zeitschr.f. d. neutest. Wiss. xxxiv,1935. pp. 20-34.]

T. W. Manson [Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, xxx, 1946-7, pp. 322 f.] has suggested that as the Aramaisms to which Burney drew attention are not evenly distributed throughout the Gospel it is possible to separate certain blocks

(A), in which they are found, from other blocks (B), in which they are not.

(A) would include i.1-34, ii.13-22, iii.1-6, iv.1-26, 31-38, v.1-47, vi.22-71, vii.14-24, 32-52, viii.12-59, ix.8-41, x.1-18, 22-39, xi.1-44, 47-53, .20-50, i.1-30, xiv.1-4, 8-21, 25-31, xv.1-27, xvi.11-15, 25-33, xvii.1-26, xviii.1-11, 19-24, 28-37, xix.1-16,31-37.

(B) would include the rest with the exception of the Pericope Adulterae.

But Torrey finds two Aramaisms in i.51, five in ii.23-25, one in vi.21, two in vii.3-8, two in .6-11, one in xiv.7, also in xiv.22, xvi.18, but he has retracted his earlier suggestion that there are traces of Aramaisms in xxi.

Similarly J. de Zwaan ('John wrote in Aramaic', Journ. of Bib. Lit. Ivii, 1938, pp. 155-71; cf.J. A. Montgomery, ibid. liii, 1934, pp. 79-99.), who on the whole supports Torrey, finds some in .7, 11, xvi.16. Matthew Black (J.T.S. i, 1941, pp. 69 f.), who suggested translating Jn.1. 16 'even grace instead of disgrace' because the Heb. חסד , Aram. חסדא means both, in his more recent work (An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts, 1946.) has treated the whole subject with caution.
Out of five instances of Burney for Jn.1 alone, Black rejects three while he approves of two.
His conclusion (p.207) is that the evidence of mistranslation is not unimpressive, especially of de, but he doubts whether written documents covered the whole of the Fourth Gospel;
there may have been an Aramaic sayings-tradition probably in an early Greek translation.
This verdict is not unlike G. R. Driver's [The Jewish Guardian, 5 and 12 Jan. 1923.] that John was mentally translating, as he wrote, logia, handed down by tradition and current in Christian circles in Aramaic, from that language into the Greek in which he was actually composing the Gospel.
A view still more strongly opposed to Burney's and Torrey's is that of E. C. Colwell.
[The Greek of the Fourth Gospel, 1931, cf. W. F. Howard's Appendix to Moulton's Grammar of N.T. Greek, ii, 1929.]
He makes the most of the disagreements between Aramaic scholars on this subject and then he examines the papyri and the works of Epictetus for similar phenomena to those alleged.
But while his denial that the Greek of the Fourth Gospel is a translation from a written Aramaic document may be correct, he goes too far in suggesting that no Aramaic influence in thought and diction can be seen.
In conclusion it may be said that the theory of an Aramaic written document underlying this Gospel still remains to be proved but even if parts of the Gospel were shown to be derived from Aramaic written sources, such as collections of sayings rather than narratives, the most probable hypothesis would be that the translator was the evangelist who imposed his own style on to his material, making the style of the whole book essentially one just as he made the Fourth Gospel a unity.
[Cf. E. Schweizer, Ego Eimi, 1939, the importance of whose criterion of the 'Johannine characteristics' has been stressed by P. H. Menoud, op. cit., pp. 14-16.) (Cf. E. Schweizer, Ego Eimi, 1939, the importance of whose criterion of the 'Johannine characteristics' has been stressed by P. H. Menoud, op. cit., pp. 14-16.)]

the historical element.

'One result of our studies throughout this book', writes W. F. Howard [The Fourth Gospel in Recent Criticism and Interpretation, p. 236.], 'is the discovery how inadequate any interpretation of this Gospel is which ignores the Evangelist's interest in the actual events of the past.' H. Scott Holland [The Fourth Gospel, 1923.] and J. A. Robinson [The Historical Character of the Fourth Gospel, 2nd cf., 1929. Cf. his article on 'Jesus Christ', Enc, Brit., 11th ed., xv, pp. 348-58.] cannot be dismissed as conservative scholars pleading a case. Nor can Goguel [The Life of Jesus, Eng. trans. O. Wyon, 1933.], who has made a real attempt to combine genuine historical details given in this Gospel with those in the Synoptic narratives.
While he recognizes that the evangelist is actuated by doctrinal and religious motives in such a way that he has made not 'plain biography' but a selection of profound meditations on the deeds and sayings of Jesus, to bring out their spiritual meaning, yet in so doing John has adopted early traditions in the Church, which can be picked out and reconstructed despite the accretions that have grown about them.
Though the warp and woof of the 'seamless robe' of the Fourth Gospel are history and interpretation, many of its historical threads can be selected, tested, and found strong.
One of Goguel's criteria is provided by 1 Cor.xv.3 f.
A deed or saying implying ideas foreign to those that St. Paul had received must go back to such very early tradition that it may be accepted as genuine.
Another criterion is provided by contradictions and anomalies within a section of this Gospel, revealing traits that do not fit John's scheme nor support his doctrinal motives.
A third criterion, for sayings, is that if they have been handed on in a pure or highly original Hebraic form, they are older than the transposition of the material from the Jewish-Christian to the Hellenistic milieu.
Goguel concludes that after being a follower of John Baptist for many months, Jesus conducted a ministry lasting more than a year.
Contradictions in iii.22-iv.3 reveal that Jesus disagreed with John over Baptism and left him no longer to preach only Baptism and Repentance but also the imminence of the Kingdom, the coming of which would be due to no meritorious act of man but to the forgiving, compassionate God.
The Law was but a means to an end.
After leaving John Baptist, He ministered in Galilee.
His teaching on submission to authority led to Pharisaic hostility;
He incurred Herod's suspicion and then enmity, which led to His becoming a wanderer and a fugitive from him.
Yet the Feeding of the Multitude revealed that He was undismayed, being dispenser of the Messianic Banquet.
It is historically true that the people on this occasion sought to make Him king - a fact omitted by Mark from fear of political repercussions - from which time onwards His claim to be Messiah was foremost.
Since Jesus recognized evil to lie not in men's circumstances but in their hearts, His consciousness of His own sinless purity is especially important 'when we remember that the moral consciousness of Jesus was extremely fine and sensitive' (p. 389).
This sense helped Him to believe in His unique vocation, leading Him to see that He was God's Son and Messenger as others are not.
This was the root of His consciousness as suffering Messiah.
It was at the feast of Tabernacles that He arrived in Jerusalem, where He remained till the feast of Dedication, retiring to Peraea before returning again to Jerusalem six days before the Passover.
A willing sacrifice, He faced death deliberately, as His words over the broken bread show.
The evidence for the date of the death of Jesus in relation to the Last Supper is self-consistent in the Fourth as opposed to the Synoptic Gospels.
Jesus' arrest by the Roman governor at the instigation of the Jews on the charge of being an agitator was followed by His appearance before the Sanhedrin on a religious charge; yet the Sanhedrin did not judge Him officially for He was Pilate's prisoner, Pilate insisting that the Jews should be fully implicated and be unable to trap himself by inciting the people to rise after the death sentence was passed or by an accusation to Rome that an innocent man had been killed.
The trial contained two historical elements:
it began with Pilate's question about His claim to be King and it closed with the sentence of death preceded by scourging. 'In asking Jesus, "Art thou the King of the Jews?", Pilate was perhaps less formulating a question than indicating the motive for the sentence which he intended to pronounce . . .' (p.521).
Jesus died in AD28. [J. K. Fotheringham gives the more usual conclusion on the date. "If we hold with St. John that the Crucifixion was on Friday, Nisan 14, we have a choice between AD 30 and AD33.'
He inclined to the date 3 April 33. J.T.S. xxxv, 1934, pp. 146-62.]

At the same time historical events are seen sub specie aeter-nitatis by a mystic.
As von Hugel [Enycl. Brit., 11th ed., xv, p.454.] has said,

The book's character results from the continuous operation of four great tendencies.
There is everywhere a readiness to handle traditional, largely historical, materials with a sovereign freedom, controlled and limited by doctrinal convictions and devotional experiences alone.
There is everywhere the mystic's deep love for double, even treble meanings. ...
There is everywhere the influence of certain central ideas, partly identical with, but largely developments of, those less reflectively operative in the Synoptists. ...
There is everywhere a striving to contemplate history sub specie aefernitatis and to englobe the successiveness of man in the simultaneity of God.

It may be impossible ever to arrive at a definite conclusion about the historicity of a particular 'event' recorded only in the Fourth Gospel.
Is the raising of Lazarus, for instance, to be taken as historical or mystically allegorical?
Von Hugel would seem to incline to the latter alternative. [Encycl. Brit., 11th ed., xv, p. 455. It is the weak point of Hoskyns and Davey's Commentary that the issue is raised but not faced.]
On the whole it would appear, however, that the Fourth Evangelist began with what he took to be historical and by profound contemplation of it he uncovered deeper and deeper meanings, often allowing the characters or events 'on the surface' to fade away into the backcloth of his scene or the conversation to run 'into the sand'.