Imágenes de páginas
PDF

the readers for whom the author wrote, and he employed it as the nearest equivalent in order to suggest to them the standpoint from which they could view Jesus. “Introite, nam et hic Nóyos" (TR, 1899, p. 295). The affinities of the term were not confined to the idiosyncrasies of the writer's own mind, nor does it follow that the Logos-idea, with its dogmatic substructure of Incarnation-theology, is the final and permanent expression of Christ's person. The historical evidence points to a much more modest scope. It also distinctly indicates Philonic influence, however vague and indirect that influence may have been. There is a modern reaction in many quarters (Loofs, Leit-faden, pp. 10–12) against the older view which referred Johannine thought too exclusively to Alexandrian influence, as though Philo were some Alexandrian John the baptizer. The reaction is healthy, especially in its emphasis upon the OT elements 1 in the Johannine theology. But, as "Réville has shown, even with these germs or anticipations, the Philonic filiation 2 is uninistakable. The appropriation of the Logos-idea in early Christianity was merely another instance of the way in which Hebrew originality and independence spoiled the Egyptians for the sake of its own purposes, upon the threshold of fresh progress. It was for this fine issue that the genius who composed the fourth gospel was so finely touched, for the translation of the evangelic tradition into a semi-allegorical form, whichalthough not final—was most timely and vital.

The wider outlook already won in the third gospel and Acts is even more conspicuous in the spacious atmosphere of Hellenism which surrounds the fourth gospel.3 Yet the passion for exhibiting Jesus as the climax and fulfilment of Messianic Judaism, is as plain here as the corresponding effort to present him under the category of the Absolute,

order to reveal it as this Jesus Christ. The moment this takes place, the Logos-idea is allowed to drop.” It is true that the author does not seek to prove Christ's divinity by means of external philosophical and cosmological considerations, but it is doubtful whether the idea of the Logos is so sharply and totally dropped as Harnack argues, in the rest of the gospel : cp. Resch (TU, X. 4, p. 41 f.), and Holtzmann (ZwTh, 1893, pp. 385-406; NTTh, ii. p. 396 f.; HC, iv. i. pp. 40-45), and for the connection of the prologue with the gospel, Prof. R. A. Falconer (Exp.5 March 1897, pp. 222-234), Baldensperger (Prolog. pp. 165-171), and Wendt (Joh.-Evglm. pp. 205-215). "

1 In A. H. Franke's monograph (Das Alte Testament bei Joh. 1885) the author of the gospel is made a Jewish-Christian of legal proclivities : see Riehm's critique (SK, 1884, pp. 563-582). The use of italics in the text of the present edition will serve to bring out the facts upon which such theories rest. Yet, even when full allowance is made for these, it must be said that to discard the Philonic atmosphere is to assign early Christianity a self-isolating tendency within distinctly Judaistic lines, for which the evidence is quite insufficient. By the last quarter of the first century, and to some extent before that, outside influences were beginning to make themselves felt on most sides of the primitive faith.

2 Still, Thoma's standard discussion is not so balanced as that of 0. Holtzmann. The latter rightly gives a less academic and more natural view of the book; he takes it, not as the exposition of a religious philosophy in historical guise, but as a life of Jesus written for the purposes of Christian devotion by an author who, in all likelihood of Jewish birth himself, had been influenced by Alexandrian Judaism, and was acquainted with Pauline ideas. This does not exclude the possibility that the Logosspeculations throve in Ephesus almost independently of Alexandria (Sabatier, Revue de l'Hist. des Religions, 1897, p. 173f.).

30. Holtzmann, Neutest. Zeitgesch. SS 38–40, pp. 232–245. As Kuenen points out (Relig. Israel (Eng. tr.) iii. p. 202 f.), the fruits of Hellenism were plucked by philosophy and Christianity rather than by Judaism. “In the history of the Jewish religion after the year 70 of our era, it may be passed over almost in silence." Cp. Harnack (ThLz, 1889, p. 173; Das Wesen des Christentums, 1900, pp. 126-128).

God's Son in deed and word. These tendencies are alike due to the fact that the book is preoccupied with the semi-Christian and antiChristian beliefs of the age; and yet it is easier to feel in its pages the contemporary problem of Judaism than even the prevailing errors and needs of Hellenism. Here we have the conception of an antagonism between Jesus and the Jews, which steadily deepens through revel

ation and unbelief, until it culminates in his rejection and their doom. vo But this is more than an interpretation of the life of Jesus. It is meant

to be a symbol of the actual outcome, in history, of the relation between Christianity and Judaism during the years 30–90 A.D. The experience of Christ 2' is made the microcosm of the church's career (compare Jo 1240 with Ac 2827 f.). Under the dialogue and discourses there is the underlying consciousness of Judaism as an active and subtle propaganda, whose rivalry and polemic have to be dialectically met. This helps to explain the curiously distant tone in which the Jews are spoken of throughout the book (cp. M. Arnold, God and the Bible, pp. 142, 143), and throws light upon theological debates like those in chapters 5-10, which turn upon questions and controversies vital mainly to the age of the Epigoni, when the character and authority of Jesus had come to be openly canvassed by Jewish critics.

After the political overthrow of Judaism, Christianity was free to trace back her origin to the older national faith, without the fear of being misunderstood, and without that need of asserting her distinctiveness and independence, which pressed for example on Paul at an earlier stage (Gal 113-24). Even then Jerusalem had been acknowledged as in a sense the centre of the world (Ro 1519, åto 'lepovoalnu). But this germ was developed in the later writings, in Acts where the writer's pragmatism leads him to find the start of Christianity in the old capital and in its church (11-81), in the apocalypse of John with its “new Jerusalem "although the language is poetic, and the aim visionary-and especially in the fourth gospel, where Jerusalem absorbs almost all the ministry of Jesus. It is present to a lesser degree in the synoptic gospels, where the Jerusalem tendency is only developing. Christianity in fact came to be more and more put forward (cp. Ep. Barnabas, passim) as the fruit and fulfilment of Judaism. This view must have prevailed of course in embryo previous to 70 A.D., but it was only after that epoch that the conception of the new religion as a sublimated Judaism could become characteristic and dominant in the literature (vide Hilgenfeld on “the anti-Judaism of the fourth gospel”: ZwTh, 1898, pp. 507–517).

1 ταύτα δε γέγραπται, να πιστεύσητε ότι Ίησούς έστιν ο Χριστός ο υιός του Θεού, και να πιστεύοντες (wain &xnt: Év Tô óvóuati a ÚToũ (Jo 2031). It is curious to read the almost contemporary language of Tacitus at the close of his biography of Agricola, with its grave ethical beauty: “Id Aliae quoque uxorique praeceperim, sic patris, sic mariti memoriam venerari, ut omnia facta dictaque eius secum resolvant, formamque ac figuram animi magis quam corporis complectantur ... ut vultus hominum, ita sinulacra vultus imbecilla ac mortalia sunt, forma mentis aeterna, quam tenere et exprimere non per alienani materiam et artem, sed tuis ipse moribus possis.” God fully and finally revealed in Jesus—that is the theme of the fourth gospel. To justify and commend this conviction is the author's purpose, and under this dominating tendency history becomes essentially the handmaiden of faith. See this argued most capably by Schürer in the work cited below, and compare Philo's use of Moses to illustrate the Logos.

2 Perhaps this helps to account for the argumentative aspect of Christ's selfrevelation in the gospel, which contrasts strangely with the synoptic method of selfexpression through deeds and dialogue. “Ici le Dieu argumente afin de démontrer sa divinité. C'est la rose se faisant disputeuse pour prouver son parfum ” (Renan, L'Église Chrét. p. 62). See also above, pp. 35-36.

In regard to the question of the date, then, the Johannine problem has now been brought to a somewhat final if approximate (E. H. Hall, Papias, pp. 301-314) conclusion—and that upon fairly traditional lines. Formerly the gospel was put far down into the second century among currents of Gnosticism, Montanism, and the Easter-controversy in Asia Minor (Baur=170 A.D., Zeller= before 150 c.). After Hilgenfeld (pp. 132140) and Scholten, Thoma (Die Gen. d. Johan. Evangel. 1882) came down to 140 c. and has been followed more recently by Martineau (Seat of Authority, pp. 189–243), H. J. Holtzmann (HC, iv. i. pp. 14, 15) and Pfleiderer (Urc. pp. 776-786). Still further, 110-115 A.D., or later, was adopted by Reuss, Sabatier, and Renan (L'Église Chrétienne, chaps. iv. V., dating gospel and epistles in Hadrian's reign), after Keim (i. pp. 183-207), who subsequently relapsed to 130 A.D. Dr. Cone (Gospel Criticism, pp. 224253) inclines to 125-150 ; Wendt and Jülicher (Einl. pp, 247-250) again choose broadly the first quarter of the second century, while 100–150 is advocated by Oscar Holtzmann (Das Joh. Evglium. 1887) and A. Réville (130-150). Forty years ago, however, Ritschl (Entstehung, p. 48 n.) had broken quite away from the second-century date, and his instinct has been corroborated by some modern movements in criticism which tend to fix the gospel between 90 and 100. “We may look forward," wrote Lightfoot, “to the time when it will be held discreditable to the reputation of any critic for sobriety and judgment to assign to this gospel any later date than the end of the first century, or the very beginning of the second” (Exp. 4 i. 10). The forecast has only been a trifle too sanguine. Besides the fact that a commentary (Herakleon's) could be written upon it, as an authoritative book, by 160 A.D., the use of the gospel by Justin Martyr (147 A.D.) and Basileides (c. 125, quoted in the Philosophumena, vii. 22) points to its circulation (Zahn, GK, i. pp. 220–262) comparatively early in the second century. This furnishes a terminus ad quem; and the argument is reinforced, for those who accept the Johannine authorship, by the tradition (but cp. Harnack, Chron. pp. 320 f., 656 f.) which extends the lifetime and Ephesian residence of John down to the reign of Trajan, when the apostle would be

Left alive
Like a sea-jelly weak on Patmos strand,
To tell dry sea-beach gazers how I fared
When there was mid-sea, and the mighty things ;
Left to repeat, “I saw, I heard, I knew,
And go all over the old ground again,

With antichrist already in the world. Generally between 95 and 115 — nearer the latter year, in all ✓ probability, than the former-the gospel may be conjectured to have been written, separated from the period of its subject by an interval which, it is interesting to notice, roughly corresponds with that which lies between Columba and his biographer Adamnan. Sanday,after Godet

1 Relying on the rather hazardous interpretation of 543 1148 as reflections of the Jewish revolt and annihilation under Bar-kokhba, 135 A.D. For a conclusive rejection of the older idea, that the date of the gospel was affected by its supposed references to the quarto-deciman controversy, cp. Drummond (AJT, i. pp. 601-637).

2 So Wilkinson (Four Lectures on Early History of Gospels), attributing the authorship to John the presbyter. Similarly McGiffert (AA, pp. 609-614). Apart from the question of authorship (which-if decided in favour of John the apostle-imposes c. 100 as a limit), the main help in fixing this approximate date, as has been indicated, comes from the results gained in the criticism of the synoptic gospels.

3 « The present position of the Johannine Question” (Exp.4 v. 91). Zahn

(“John" (Eng. tr.), i. pp. 184-251), limits the date more precisely to 83-89, but it is much safer 1 (with Schanz and Schäfer) to take the closing decade of the century as the earliest liinit. So M. Arnold (God and the Bible, pp. 135-225), Weiss, Westcott (John xxxv.-xl.; Study of the Gospels, p. 239), Plummer" (CGT, 80-95 A.D.), Reith (Gospel of John, i. p. xxix), and Adeney (BI, p. 337). Harnack, denying the authorship to John the apostle, chooses widely 80-110 A.D. (Chron. pp. 655-680); and cp. Weizsäcker, AA, ii. pp. 150 f., 166 f., 206-236; Untersuchungen, Erster Theil. The universalism of the writing (1718, kóduos occurs seventy-eight times in John, fifteen times in the synoptists) l'ests upon the inherent nature of Jesus (19) and his resurrection (1232): and it is quite in keeping with this “catholic” tendency, which marks the opening of the second century, that the nations share in Christ's kingdom owing to its natural expansion, and not on account of any abrogation of the obstacles in the Jewish law. “It is no longer necessary to discuss terms with the obligatoriness of the law." Christianity is itself a new Law, its conditions not natural but universal, not external but inward. The Jews have set themselves aside by their hostility to Jesus (1238-40); to them in fact he appeared what Julius Caesar had become for Lucan, the embodiment of a hateful and ruinous success. Hence the saying, év tñ á paprią vuôv åmodavelode (821. 24) is substantially the epitaph of Judaism, written by Christianity as the first century closed.

Evidently also the period was one when the primitive tradition of Jesus, as held by the early church, could no longer suffice by itself (1612. 13), but required to be supplemented by expansion (1625) into fuller and richer developments through fresh revelations of the Spirit in its continuity (1416. 26. etc.). Parallel with this lie traces of extensive activity (438) and its results (1016 1720), very possibly too of disappointments and 'failure (1012 156 f.); above all, the need of unity (17).2 Outward and inward evidence, then, converge to a date +100, although they do not permit of any greater precision in regard, at any rate, to the time of this book's composition.

The way in which the Logos-conception is introduced and used, indicates that it was familiar to the writer's audience ; for, as Hebrews suggests, the gnostical method had already begun to permeate certain circles of early Christianity. The later literature not merely points to the popularity of the method (e.g. Barnabas), but shows that it was not without dangers for the faith. Signs of a reaction are not awanting. The first epistle of John is a protest against certain inferences which were drawn from such gnostical treatment of the evangelic history, and threatened to dissipate the faith (particularly the human life and death of Jesus) in a subjective spiritualism. So afterwards, e.g. in 2 Ti 217, the resurrection (and with it the return of Jesus) had to be recovered from this thaw of abstract speculation, and in Judas and 2 Peter the distinctive eschatological hopes are reiterated in their archaic forms against the novel disparagement which they suffered at the hands of semi-philosophic conceptions. Thus the fourth gospel marks an epoch in two senses. It denotes the entrance of this Hellenistic gnosis on a large scale into early Christian literature, while it furnishes at the same time a standpoint from which the later literature can be definitely estimated in its varied currents. The strength of the gnostical spirit in early Christianity is shown not merely by the way in which the author of the fourth gospel exploited it for the sake of presenting the historical faith, but by the fact that its fascination soon required a corrective and almost a protest in the very circles where it had first been welcomed (Wendt, Joh. Evglm. p. 211 f.). As the first epistle of John indicates, the interests of historical religion and piety alike required a check to be placed upon the tendencies that made for the identification of Philonic conceptions with the Christian doctrines of Jesus and his central personality.

singularly puts the gospel and epistles between 80 and 90 A.D. (Einl. ii. pp. 549–564). Schürer's invaluable paper (Ueber die gegenwärtigen Stand d. Joh. Frage), read at the Giessen Conference of 1889, has been reproduced in the Contemp. Review for September 1891, pp. 388-417, with a conservative reply from Sanday (ibid. pp. 529– 544) containing some important admissions on the question of the Johannine style as an exact historical medium.

1 Especially if it is held that while our synoptic gospels belong to the years preceeding 90, and the Johannine gospel came into existence shortly afterwards, the canon of our four gospels rose soon after the publication of the fourth gospel in Asia Minor. So, with Harnack and Zahn, Dr. Paul Rohrbach (Der Schluss des Markusevangeliums, p. 66); cp. also Eck (Preussische Jahrbücher, 1898, pp. 25-45), who makes John the presbyter the author of the book.

2 Compare the fine eucharistic prayer (Didache) almost contemporary with the fourth gospel : ώσπερ ήν τούτο το κλάσμα διασκορπισμένον επάνω των ορέων και συναχθέν εγένετο έν, ουτω συναχθήτω σου η εκκλησία από των περάτων της γης εις την σην βασιλείαν.

The possibility that all the gospels were finally edited (in Asia Minor, or even Ephesus) during the first quarter of the second century hardly affects the main problem of their dates. Such editing involved the harmonising and supplementing of the synoptic texts, but these—with the exception of one or two obvious passages-already existed in what is substantially their present form. The extent and the nature of this process are questions which belong rather to the literary criticism of the writings or to the history of the canon, than to the chronological determination of the original texts. Upon the latter problem they throw little light. Thus even Zahn, after a rather unsuccessful endeavour to minimise the differences of style between the fourth gospel and the apocalypse, is forced to conclude with the admission that John may have allowed the style of his writings to be revised by more accomplished friends (Einl. ii. p. 617). A similar device was adopted by Josephus (c. Apion. I. 9). Wendt again identifies the author of his "source" used in the fourth gospel with the author of the first epistle, but refuses to identify either this author or the fourth evangelist with the author of the apocalypse.

Finally, the terms “genuine” and “Johannine” are out of place in strictly scientific work upon the fourth gospel. It is genuine upon the score not of authorship but of contents—thanks to the fidelity and insight with which it serves to express certain elements of Christianity as the personal spirit and mind of Jesus. Similarly it is Johannine, many critics would admit, upon any theory of its origin. Even although they see no adequate reason for accepting the tradition which assigns the book to the apostle John, and several cogent reasons to the contrary, they would hardly deny that nevertheless the volume is Johannine--in the sense that any historical element throughout its pages may be traced back directly or indirectly to that apostle and his school.

1 Akin perhaps to the system of Simon Magus' pupil, Menander (Irei. Adv. Haer. I. 23. 5), who taught that his baptism involved freedom from death (“: eius discipulos ultra non posse mori, sed perseverare non senescentes et immortales”).

« AnteriorContinuar »