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All points to a period which had to do, not merely with the beginnings of Gnosis, but with the doctrines of the great Gnostics. The Johannine tradition was now defending itself with all its energy against this phase of a speculation which had drawn its support from its own teaching. The second letter of John is neither more nor less than a short extract from the first; it has an external motive, and is addressed to a definite, though unknown, church. Trouble threatened the church from the Gnostic teaching which is now combated.-Weizsäcker.
4-11 Counsel of love and warning against errorists.
to the choice Lady and her children, whom I sincerely love-and 2 not I alone, but also all who know the truth-for the sake of the truth
which remains in us, and with us it shall be for ever: 3 With us shall be grace, mercy, peace, from God the Father and from
Jesus Christ the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 4 I was overjoyed to find some of thy children walking in truth, even 5 as we received commandment from the Father. And now I entreat thee,
Lady, not as though I wrote thee a new commandment—nay, it is the
commandment which we had from the beginning, that we love one an6 other. And love is this, that we walk after his commandments; this is
the commandment, even as you have learned from the beginning, for you to 7 walk in. For many impostors have gone out into the world, men who do
not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh ; there is "the impostor," 8 there “the antichrist.” Look to yourselves, that you lose not what you have worked for, but that you receive a full reward. Every one who is “advanced” and does not remain by the teaching
of the Christ,
He has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and brings not this teaching, receive him not 11 into the house nor give him any greeting ; for he who gives him greeting
has a share in his evil deeds. 12 I have many things to write to you, but I do not mean to use paper
and ink; I hope to be with you, and to speak face to face, so that our
joy may be complete, 13 The children of thy choice Sister salute thee.
1 Reading quws
The great interest of this epistle lies in the insight which it gives us into the ordinary life of the Christian communities of those early times and this wide Asiatic territory. ... It shows us something of their independence, of the kind of ministry that was in exercise among them, and their relation to it, of their order also and administration. It seems to mark a notable stage in the growth of the church and the history of its organisations. It discloses a condition of things like that with which the Didache has made us familiar. It places us at the point of transition from the apostolic to the post-apostolic, from the primitive simplicity to a more developed constitution. --S. D. F. Salmond.
1 The presbyter
to Gaius the beloved, whom I sincerely love. 2 Beloved, it is my desire that in all respects thou mayest prosper and 3 be in health, even as thy soul prospers. I was overjoyed at the coming
of brothers who bore witness to thy truth, even as thou art walking in 4 truth. I have no greater joy than to hear of my own children walking 5 in the truth. Beloved, in any work of thine for those who are brothers, 6 aye and strangers, thou art acting faithfully; they have borne witness
before the Community to thy love, and thou wilt do well to speed them 7 on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For it is for the Name's
sake that they have gone out, not accepting anything from the heathen. 8 We are bound, then, to support such people, that we may show ourselves
fellow-workers with the truth. 9 I have written something to the Community ; but Diotrephes, who 10 loves to domineer among them, repudiates us. Therefore, when I come,
I will recall the works he is doing, as he babbles against us with evil words; and, not satisfied with that, he refuses a welcome to the brothers himself, prevents those who would give it, and expels them from the
Community, 11 Beloved, imitate not what is wrong but what is right.
He who does what is right, is of God :
He who does what is wrong, has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has witness borne him from all and from the truth itself:
yes, and we bear witness also, and thou knowest that our witness is true. 13 I had many things to write to thee, but I am unwilling to write to 14 thee with ink and pen. I hope, however, to see thee immediately, and we shall speak face to face.
Peace to thee.
A FRAGMENT OF EVANGELIC TRADITION
This interesting and detached fragment is to be dated probably within a century after the resurrection, somewhere in the first quarter of the second century. Its regular place in the MSS is at the close of Mark's gospel, which it was evidently designed to supplement. That it did not form the original close to that work, is a conclusion which may be regarded as impregnable. The two points for serious discussion are (a) its date, including the question of authorship, and (b) the resultant critical question with regard to Mark's gospel. Whether it was originally composed for its present place in the gap (Brückner), or existed independently in whole or part, can scarcely be determined upon the evidence at our command, though the latter is the more probable hypothesis.
(a) The date of the fragment has been recently connected with its authorship by Mr. F. C. Cony beare (Exp.4 viii. p. 241 f., and Exp. ii. p. 401 f.). From a recently discovered Armenian codex (of 986 A.D.) containing after époß. yáp the verses 9–20, preceded by the words “ Ariston Eritzou” (= of the presbyter Ariston) in red uncials, he inferred that the Ariston or Aristion mentioned there was the Christian of the same name mentioned in Eusebius (HE, III. 39. 4) as one of the teachers of Papias, and along with the presbyter John as a disciple of the Lord. This is a conjecture which has been widely accepted, e.g. by Harnack, Swete (ed. of Mark, 1898, pp. xcvi-cv), Eck (Preussiche Jahrbiicher, 1898, pp. 40-43), and Sanday (DB, ii. pp. 638, 639). It is curious that Papias
1 The "shorter conclusion” printed in most critical editions of the text is poorly attested, and does not fall to be noticed here. As to the origin of [Mk 169-20], there is just a possibility that it formed the close of some narrative of the resurrection, based upon apostolic tradition, the opening of which has been irretrievably lost. Zahn (GK, i. p. 922 n.) thinks of the Teaching or Preaching of Peter as a possible source or contemporary document.
2 All that can, together with a good deal that cannot, be said in favour of the passage and its authenticity, may be seen by the curious in Burgon's well-known treatise (The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel according to St. Mark, 1871). Critical data in Zahn, GK, ii. pp. 910-938, and Tischendorf, NT (8th ed.), i. pp. 403-407. Apart from the usual editions (cp. recently Swete, pp. xcvi-cv) and Introductions (particularly Zahn, ii. pp. 227-240), there is a popular and frank summary of the case in Abbott's Common Tradition, pp. xviii-xxiii, gathering up the cumulative argument from (a) textual criticism, (b) style, the absence of Marcan characteristics and the presence of un Marcan expressions, and (c) internal contents. Literature in DB, iii. pp. 252, 253. Also Burkitt (Two Lectt. Gospels, 1901, 32 f.).
Harnack points out (TU, XII. 1) that Jerome (c. Pelag. II. 15) found in some codices between verses 14 and 15 the following passage (in quibusdam exemplaribus et maxime in Graecis Codd.):-"Et illi satisfaciebant dicentes : Saeculum istud iniquitatis et incredulitatis sub satana (Codd. substantia) est, qui (Codd. quae) non sinit per immundos spiritus veram dei apprehendi virtutem, idcirco jam nunc revela justitiam tuam."