Freethought Archives > Walter R. Cassels > Supernatural Religion

PART THREE

THE FOURTH GOSPEL

CHAPTER 1. (CONTINUED)

THE EXTERNAL EVIDENCE

It must be remarked, however, that both Justin and Philo place the Logos in a position more clearly secondary to God the Father than the prelude to the fourth Gospel 1:1. Both Justin and Philo apply the term Theos to the Logos without the article. Justin distinctly says that Christians worship Jesus Christ as the Son of the true God, holding him in the second place (en deutera chôra echontes); [459:9] and this secondary position is systematically defined through Justin's writings in a very decided way, as it is in the works of Philo by the contrast of the begotten Logos with the unbegotten God. Justin speaks of the Word as "the first-born of the unbegotten God" (prôtotokos tô agennêtô Theô), [459:10] and the distinctive appellation of the "unbegotten God" applied to the Father is most common throughout his writings. [459:11] We may, in continuation of this remark, point out another phrase of Justin which is continually repeated, but is thoroughly opposed both to the spirit and to the terminology of the fourth Gospel, and which likewise indicates the secondary consideration in which he held the Logos. He calls the Word constantly "the first-born of all created beings," (prôtotokos tôn pantôn poiêmatôn[460:1] or prôtotokos pro pantôn tôn ktismatôn[460:2] or prôtotokos pasês ktiseôs), [460:3] "the first-born of all creation," echoing the expression of Col. 1:15 -- (The Son) "who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation" (prôtotokos pasês ktiseôs). This is a totally different view from that of the fourth Gospel, which in so emphatic a manner enunciates the doctrine: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" -- a statement which Justin, with Philo, only makes in a very modified sense.

To return, however, the next representation of the Logos by Justin is as "Angel." This perpetually recurs in his writings. [460:4] In one place, to which we have already referred, he says: "The Word of God is his Son, as we have already stated, and he is also called Angel (Angelos, or Messenger) and Apostle, for he brings the message of all we need to know, and is sent an Apostle to declare all the message contains." [460:5] In the same chapter reference is again made to passages quoted for the sake of proving "that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Apostle, being aforetime the Word, and having appeared now in the form of fire and now in the likeness of incorporeal beings"; [460:6] and he gives many illustrations. [460:7] The passages in which the Logos is called Angel are too numerous to be more fully dealt with here. It is scarcely necessary to point out that this representation of the Logos as Angel is not only foreign to, but opposed to the spirit of, the fourth Gospel, although it is thoroughly in harmony with the writings of Philo. Before illustrating this we may incidentally remark that the ascription to the Logos of the name "Apostle" which occurs in the two passages just quoted above, as well as in other parts of the writings of Justin, [460:8] is likewise opposed to the fourth Gospel, although it is found in earlier writings, exhibiting a less developed form of the Logos doctrine; for the Epistle to the Hebrews, 3:1, has: "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus," etc. (katanoêsate ton apostolon kai archierea tês homologias hêmôn Iêsoun). We are, in fact, constantly directed by the remarks of Justin to other sources of the Logos doctrine, and never to the fourth Gospel, with which his tone and terminology do not agree. Everywhere in the writings of Philo we meet with the Logos as Angel. He speaks "of the Angel Word of God" in a sentence already quoted, [461:1] and elsewhere in a passage, one of many others, upon which the lines of Justin which we are now considering (as well as several similar passages) [461:2] are in all probability moulded. Philo calls upon men to "strive earnestly to be fashioned according to God's first-begotten Word, the eldest Angel, who is the Archangel bearing many names, for he is called the Beginning (archê), and Name of God, and Logos, and the Man according to his image, and the Seer of Israel." [461:3] Elsewhere, in a remarkable passage, he says: "To his Archangel and eldest Word, the Father, who created the universe, gave the supreme gift that having stood on the confine he may separate the creature from the Creator. The same is an intercessor on behalf of the ever-wasting mortal to the immortal; he is also the ambassador of the Ruler to his subjects. And he rejoices in the gift, and the majesty of it he describes, saying: 'And I stood in the midst between the Lord and you' (Numbers 16:48); being neither unbegotten like God, nor begotten like you, but between the two extremes," etc. [461:4] We have been tempted to give more of this passage than is necessary for our immediate purpose, because it affords the reader another glimpse of Philo's doctrine of the Logos, and generally illustrates its position in connection with the Christian doctrine.

The last of Justin's names which we shall here notice is the Logos as "Man" as well as God. In another place Justin explains that he is sometimes called a Man and human being, because he appears in these forms as the Father wills. [462:1] But here confining ourselves merely to the concrete idea, we find a striking representation of it in 1 Tim. 2:5: "For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus" (eis gar theos, eus kai mesitês theou kai anthrôpôn, anthrôpos Christos Iesous); and again in Rom. 5:15, "…by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ" (tou enos anthrôpou Iêsou Christou), as well as elsewhere. [462:2] We have already seen in the passage quoted above from DeConfus. § 28, that Philo mentions, among the many names of the Logos, that of "the man according to (God's) image" (ho kat' eikona anthrôpos[462:3] or "the typical man"). If we pass to the application of the Logos doctrine to Jesus, we have the strongest reason for inferring Justin's total independence of the fourth Gospel. We have frequently pointed out that the title of Logos is given to Jesus in New Testament writings earlier than the fourth Gospel. We have remarked that, although the passages are innumerable in which Justin speaks of the Word having become man through the Virgin, he never makes use of the peculiar expression of the fourth Gospel, "the Word became flesh" (ho Logos sarx egeneto). On the few occasions on which he speaks of the Word having been made flesh, he uses the term sarkopoiêtheis[462:4] In one instance he has sarka echein[462:5] and, speaking of the Eucharist, Justin once explains that it is the memory of Christ's having made himself body, sômatopoiêsasthai[462:6] Justin's most common phrase, however -- and he repeats it in numberless instances -- is that the Logos submitted to be born, and become man (gennêthênai anthrôpon genomenon hupemeinen), by a Virgin, or he uses variously the expressions: anthrôpos gegone, anthrôpos genomenos,genshai anthrôpon[462:7] In several places he speaks of him as the first production or offspring (gennêma) of God before all created beings, as, for instance: "The Logos who is the first offspring of God" (ho esti prôton gennêma tou theou); [462:8] and again, "and that this offspring was begotten of the Father absolutely before all creatures the Word was declaring" (kai hoti gegennêsthai hupo tou patros touto to gennêma pro pantôn haplôs tôn ktismatôn ho logos edêlou.) [462:9] We need not say more of the expressions: "first-born" (prôtotokos), "first-begotten" (prôtogonos), so constantly applied to the Logos by Justin, in agreement with Philo; nor to "only begotten" (monogenês), directly derived from Ps. 22:20 (Ps. 21:20, Sept.).

It must be apparent to everyone who seriously examines the subject that Justin's terminology is markedly different from, and in spirit sometimes opposed to, that of the fourth Gospel, and in fact that the peculiarities of the Gospel are not found in Justin's writings at all. [463:1] On the other hand, his doctrine of the Logos is precisely that of Philo, [463:2] and of writings long antecedent to the fourth Gospel; and there can be no doubt, we think, that it was derived from them.

We may now proceed to consider other passages adduced by Tischendorf to support his assertion that Justin made use of the fourth Gospel. He says: "There are not lacking some passages of the Johannine Gospel to which passages in Justin can be traced. In the Dialogue, ch. 88, he writes of John the Baptist: 'The people believed that he was the Christ, but he cried to them: I am not the Christ, but the voice of a preacher.' This is connected with John 1:20 and 23; for no other Evangelist has reported the first words in the Baptist's reply." [463:3] Now, the passage in Justin, with its context, reads as follows: "For John sat by the Jordan (kathezomenou epi tou Iordanou) and preached the Baptism of repentance, wearing only a leathern girdle and raiment of camel's hair, and eating nothing but locust and wild honey; men supposed (hupelambanon) him to be the Christ, wherefore he himself cried to them: "I am not the Christ, but the voice of one crying: For he shall come (hêzei) who is stronger than I, whose shoes I am not meet (ikanos) to bear.'" [463:4] The only ground upon which this passage can be compared with the fourth Gospel is the reply: "I am not the Christ" (ouk eimi ho Christos), which in John 1:20 reads: hoti egô oik eimi ho Christos; and it is perfectly clear that, if the direct negation occurred in any other Gospel, the difference of the whole passage in the Dialogue would prevent even an apologist from advancing any claim to its dependence on that Gospel. In order to appreciate the nature of the two passages, it may be well to collect the nearest parallels in the Gospels, and compare them with Justin's narrative:
 

JUSTIN, DIAL. 88. JOHN 1:19-27.
Men (oi anthrôpoi) supposed him to be the Christ; 19. And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him: Who art thou?
24. And they were sent by the Pharisees.
wherefore he cried to them: I am not the Christ (ouk eimi ho Christos), 20. And he confessed and denied not: and confessed [464:2] that: I am not the Christ (hoti egô ouk eimi ho Christos).
21. And they asked again: Who then? Art thou Elias? etc.
22. … Who are thou? etc.
but the voice of one crying: 23. He said: I am the voice of one crying in the desert: Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah.
25. Why baptiseth thou? etc.
26. John answered them, saying: I baptise with water, but in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not.
For he shall come (hêxei) who is stronger than I (ho ischuroteros mou), whose shoes I am not meet (ichanos) to bear. [464:1] 27. Who cometh after me (ho opisô mou erchomenos), who is become before me (hos emprosthen mou gegonen), [464:3] the thong of whose shoes I am not worthy (axios) to unose.

The introductory description of John's dress and habits is quite contrary to the fourth Gospel, but corresponds to some extent with Matt. 3:4. It is difficult to conceive two accounts more fundamentally different, and the discrepancy becomes more apparent when we consider the scene and actors in the episode. In Justin, it is evident that the hearers of John had received the impression that he was the Christ, and the Baptist, becoming aware of it, voluntarily disabused their minds of this idea. In the fourth Gospel the words of John are extracted from him ("he confessed and denied not") by emissaries sent by the Pharisees of Jerusalem specially to question him on the subject. The account of Justin betrays no knowledge of any such interrogation. The utter difference is brought to a climax by the concluding statement of the fourth Gospel:
 

JUSTIN. JOHN 1:28.
For John sat by the Jordan and preached the Baptism of repentance, wearing, etc. These things were done in Bethany beyond the river Jordan, where John was baptising.

In fact, the scene in the two narratives is as little the same as their details. One can scarcely avoid the conclusion, in reading the fourth Gospel, that it quotes some other account and does not pretend to report the scene direct. For instance, 1:15: "John beareth witness of him, and cried, saying, 'This was he of whom I said: He that cometh after me is become before me, because he was before me,"' etc. V. 19: "And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? and he confessed and denied not, and confessed that I am not the Christ," etc. Now, as usual, the Gospel which Justin uses more nearly approximates to our first Synoptic than the other Gospels, although it differs in very important points from that also; still, taken in connection with the third Synoptic and Acts 13:25, this indicates the great probability of the existence of other writings combining the particulars as they occur in Justin. Luke 3:15 reads: "And as the people were in expectation, and all mused in their hearts concerning John whether he were the Christ, 16. John answered, saying to them all: I indeed baptise you with water, but he that is stronger than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire," etc.

Whilst with the sole exception of the simple statement of the Baptist that he was not the Christ, which in all the accounts is clearly involved in the rest of the reply, there is no analogy between the parallel in the fourth Gospel and the passage in Justin, many important circumstances render it certain that Justin did not derive his narrative from that source. We have already [465:1] fully discussed the peculiarities of Justin's account of the Baptist, and in the context to the very passage before us there are details quite foreign to our Gospels which show that Justin made use of another and different work. When Jesus stepped into the water to be baptised a fire was kindled in the Jordan, and the voice from heaven makes use of words not found in our Gospels; but both the incident and the words are known to have been contained in the Gospel according to the Hebrews and other works. Justin likewise states, in immediate continuation of the passage before us, that Jesus was considered the son of Joseph the carpenter, and himself was a carpenter and accustomed to make ploughs and yokes. [466:1] The Evangelical work of which Justin made use was obviously different from our Gospels, therefore, and the evident conclusion to which any impartial mind must arrive is, that there is not the slightest ground for affirming that Justin quoted the passage before us from the fourth Gospel, from which he so fundamentally differs, but every reason, on the contrary, to believe that he derived it from a Gospel different from ours.

The next argument advanced by Tischendorf is, that on two occasions he speaks of the restoration of sight to persons born blind, [466:2] the only instance of which in our Gospels is that recorded, John 9:1. The references in Justin are very vague and general. In the first place he is speaking of the analogies in the life of Jesus with events believed in connection with mythological deities, and he says that he would appear to relate acts very similar to those attributed to Aesculapius when he says that Jesus "healed the lame and paralytic, and the maimed from birth (ek genetês ponêrous), and raised the dead." [466:3] In the Dialogue, again referring to Aesculapius, he says that Christ "healed those who were from birth and according to the flesh blind (tous ek genetês kai kata tên sarka pêrous), and deaf, and lame." [466:4] In the fourth Gospel the born-blind is described as (9:1) anthrôpos tuthlos ek genetês. There is a variation, it will be observed, in the term employed by Justin, and that such a remark should be seized upon as an argument for the use of the fourth Gospel serves to show the poverty of the evidence for the existence of that work. Without seeking any further, we might at once reply that such general references as those of Justin might well be referred to the common tradition of the Church, which certainly ascribed all kinds of marvellous cures and miracles to Jesus. It is, moreover, unreasonable to suppose that the only Gospel in which the cure of one born blind was narrated was that which is the fourth in our Canon. Such a miracle may have formed part of a dozen similar collections extant at the time of Justin, and in no case could such an allusion be recognised as evidence of the use of the fourth Gospel. But in the Dialogue, along with this remark, Justin couples the statement, that although the people saw such cures "they asserted them to be magical illusion; for they also ventured to call him a magician and deceiver of the people." [467:1] This is not found in our Gospels, but traces of the same tradition are met with elsewhere, as we have already mentioned; [467:2] and it is probable that Justin either found all these particulars in the Gospel of which he made use, or that he refers to traditions familiar to the early Christians.

Tischendorf's next point is that Justin quotes the words of Zechariah 12:10, with the same variation from the text of the Septuagint as John 19:37 -- "They shall look on him whom they pierced" (opsontai eis on exekentêsan [467:3] instead of epiblepsontai pros me, anth' hôn katôrchêsanto), arising out of an emendation of the translation of the Hebrew original. Tischendorf says: "Nothing can be more opposed to probability than the supposition that John and Justin have here, independently of each other, followed a translation of the Hebrew text which elsewhere has remained unknown to us." [467:4] The fact is, however, that the translation which has been followed is not elsewhere unknown. We meet with the same variation, much earlier, in the only book of the New Testament which Justin mentions, and with which, therefore, he was beyond any doubt well acquainted -- Rev. 1:7, "Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him (opsetai auton), and they which pierced (exekentêsan) him, and all the tribes of the earth shall bewail him. Yea, Amen." This is a direct reference to the passage in Zech. 12:10. It will be remembered that the quotation in the Gospel, "They shall look upon him whom they pierced," is made solely in reference to the thrust of the lance in the side of Jesus, while that of the Apocalypse is a connection of the prophecy with the second coming of Christ, which, except in a spiritual sense, is opposed to the fourth Gospel. Justin upon each occasion quotes the whole passage also in reference to the second coming of Christ as the Apocalypse does, and this alone settles the point so far as these two sources are concerned. If Justin derived his variation from either of the canonical works, therefore, we should be bound to conclude that it must have been from the Apocalypse. The correction of the Septuagint version, which has thus been traced back as far as AD 68, when the Apocalypse was composed, was noticed by Jerome in his Commentary on the text; [468:1] and Aquila, a contemporary of Irenaeus, and later Symmachus and Theodotion, as well as others, similarly adopted exekentêsan. Ten important MSS., of the Septuagint, at least, have the reading of Justin and of the Apocalypse, and these MSS. likewise frequently agree with the other peculiarities of Justin's text. In all probability, as Credner, who long ago pointed out all these circumstances, conjectured, an emendation of the rendering of the Septuagint had early been made, partly in Christian interest and partly for the critical improvement of the text, [468:2] and this amended version was used by Justin and earlier Christian writers. Ewald [468:3] and some others suggest that probably ekkentein originally stood in the Septuagint text. Every consideration is opposed to the dependence of Justin upon the fourth Gospel for the variation.

The next and last point advanced by Tischendorf is a passage in Apol. 1:61, which is compared with John 3:3-5, and in order to show the exact character of the two passages we shall place them in parallel columns:
 

JUSTIN, APOL., 1:61. JOHN 3:3-5.
For the Christ also said: Unless ye be born again (anagennêthête) ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Now that it is impossible for those who have once been born to go (embênai) into the matrices of the parents [468:4] (eis tas mêtras tôn tekousôn) is evident to all. 3. Jesus answered and said unto him: Verily, verily, I say unto thee: Except a man be born from above (gennethê anôthen) he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4. Nicodemus saith unto him: How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter (eiselthein) a second time into his mother's womb (eis tên koilian tês mêtros autou) and be born?
5. Jesus answered: Verily, verily, I say unto thee: Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into [468:5] the kingdom of God. [468:6]
Kai gar ho Christos eipen, An mê anagennêthête, ou mê eiselthête eis tên basileian tôn ouranôn. Hoti de kai  Apekrithê Iêsous kai eipen autô Amên amên legô soi, ean mê tis gennêthê anôthen, ou dynatai idein tên basileian tou theou.
adutanon eis tas mêtras tôn tekousôn tous hapax gennômenous embênai, phaneron pasin esti. 4. legei pros auton ho Nikodêmos, Pôs dynatai anthrôpos gennêthênai gerôn ôn; mê dynatai eis tên koilian tês metros autou deuteron eiselthein kai gennêthênai?
5. Apekrithê Iêsous, Amên amên legô soi, ean mê ris gennêth' ex hudatos kai pneumator, our dynatai eiselthein eis
 [469:1] tên basileian tou theou.  [469:2]

This is the most important passage by which apologists endeavour to establish the use of the fourth Gospel by Justin, and it is that upon which the whole claim may be said to rest. We shall be able to appreciate the nature of the case by the weakness of its strongest evidence. The first point which must have struck any attentive reader is the singular difference of the language of Justin, and the absence of the characteristic peculiarities of the Johannine Gospel. The double "verily, verily," which occurs twice even in these three verses, and constantly throughout the Gospel, [469:3] is absent in Justin; and apart from the total difference of the form in which the whole passage is given (the episode of Nicodemus being entirely ignored), and omitting minor differences, the following linguistic variations occur:

Justin has:

an mê anagennêthête instead of  ean mê tis gennêthê anôthen
ou mê eiselthête eis " ou dynatai idein  [469:4]
basileia tôn ouranon " basileia tou theou
adunaton " mê dynatai
tas mêtras " tên koilian
tôn tekousôn " tês metros autou
embênai " eiselthein
tous hapax gennômenous " anthrôpos gennêthênai gerôn ôn.

It is almost impossible to imagine a more complete difference, both in form and language, and it seems to us that there does not exist a single linguistic trace by which the passage in Justin can be connected with the fourth Gospel. The fact that Justin knows nothing of the expressiongennêthê anôthen ("born from above"), upon which the whole statement in the fourth Gospel turns, but uses a totally different word, anagennêthête (born again), is of great significance. Tischendorf wishes to translate anôthen "anew" (or again), as the version of Luther and the authorised English translation read, and thus render the anagennêthênai of Justin a fair equivalent for it; but even this would not alter the fact that so little does Justin quote the fourth Gospel that he has not even the test word of the passage. The word anôthen, however, certainly cannot here be taken to signify anything but "from above" [470:1] -- from God, from heaven -- and this is not only its natural meaning, but the term is several times used in other parts of the fourth Gospel, always with this same sense, [470:2] and there is nothing which warrants a different interpretation here. On the contrary, the same signification is manifestly indicated by the context, and forms the point of the whole lesson.

"Except a man be born of water and of Spirit [470:3] he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6. That which hath been born of the flesh is flesh, and that which hath been born of the Spirit is Spirit. 7. Marvel not that I said unto thee: ye must be born from above" (gennêthênai anôthen). The explanation of anôthen is given in verse 6. The birth "of the Spirit" is the birth "from above," which is essential to entrance into the kingdom of God. [470:4]

The sense of the passage in Justin is different and much more simple. He is speaking of regeneration through baptism, and the manner in which converts are consecrated to God when they are made new (kainopoiêthentes) through Christ. After they are taught to fast and pray for the remission of their sins, he says: "They are then taken by us where there is water, that they may be regenerated ('born again,' anagennôntai), by the same manner of regeneration ('being born again,' anagennêseôs) by which we also were regenerated ('born again,' anagennêthêmen). For in the name of the Father of the Universe the Lord God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then make the washing with the water. For the Christ also said, 'Unless ye be born again ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' Now that it is impossible for those who have once been born to go into the matrices of the parents is evident to all." And then he quotes Isaiah 1:16-20, "Wash you, make you clean," etc., and proceeds: "And regarding this (Baptism) we have been taught this reason. Since at our first birth we were born without our knowledge, and perforce, etc., and brought up in evil habits and wicked ways, therefore in order that we should not continue children of necessity and ignorance, but become children of election and knowledge, and obtain in the water remission of sins which we had previously committed, the name of the Father of the Universe and Lord God is pronounced over him who desires to be born again (anagennêthênai), and has repented of his sins," etc. [471:1] It is clear that, whereas Justin speaks simply of regeneration by baptism, the fourth Gospel indicates a later development of the doctrine by spiritualising the idea, and requiring not only regeneration through the water ("Except a man be born of water"), but that a man should be born from above ("and of the Spirit"), not merely anagennêthênai, but anôthen gennêthênai. The word used by Justin is that which was commonly employed in the Church for regeneration, and other instances of it occur in the New Testament. [471:2]

The idea of regeneration, or being born again, as essential to conversion, was quite familiar to the Jews themselves, and Lightfoot gives instances of this from Talmudic writings: "If any one become a proselyte he is like a child 'new born.' The Gentile that is made a proselyte and the servant that is made free he is like a child new born." [471:3] This is, of course, based upon the belief in special privileges granted to the Jews, and the Gentile convert admitted to a share in the benefits of the Messiah became a Jew by spiritual new birth. Justin, in giving the words of Jesus, clearly professed to make an exact quotation [471:4]: "For Christ also said: Unless ye be born again," etc. It must be remembered, however, that Justin is addressing the Roman emperors, who would not understand the expression that it was necessary to be "born again" in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. He therefore explains that he does not mean a physical new birth by men already born; and this explanation may be regarded as natural, under the circumstances, and independent of any written source. In any case, the striking difference of his language from that of the fourth Gospel at least forbids the inference that it must necessarily have been derived from that Gospel. To argue otherwise would be to assume that sayings of Jesus which are maintained to be historical were not recorded in more than four Gospels, and indeed in this instance were limited to one. This is not only in itself inadmissible, but historically untrue, [472:1] and a moment of consideration must convince every impartial mind that it cannot legitimately be asserted that an express quotation of a supposed historical saying must have been taken from a parallel in one of our Gospels, from which it differs so materially in language and circumstance, simply because that Gospel happens to be the only one now surviving which contains particulars somewhat similar. The express quotation fundamentally differs from the fourth Gospel, and the natural explanation of Justin which follows is not a quotation at all, and likewise fundamentally differs from the Johannine parallel. Justin not only ignores the peculiar episode in the fourth Gospel in which the passage occurs, but neither here nor anywhere throughout his writings makes any mention of Nicodemus. The accident of survival is almost the only justification of the affirmation that the fourth Gospel is the source of Justin's quotation. On the other hand, we have many strong indications of another source. In our first Synoptic (18:3) we find traces of another version of the saying of Jesus, much more nearly corresponding with the quotation of Justin: "And he said, verily I say unto you: Except ye be turned and become as the little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." [472:2] The last phrase of this saying is literally the same as the quotation of Justin, and gives his expression, "kingdom of heaven," so characteristic of his Gospel, and so foreign to the Johannine. We meet with a similar quotation in connection with baptism, still more closely agreeing with Justin, in the Clementine Homilies, 11:26: "Verily I say unto you: Except ye be born again (anagennêthête) by living water in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." [472:3] Here, again, we have both the anagennêthête and thebasilieia tôn ouranôn, as well as the reference only, to water in the baptism, and this is strong confirmation of the existence of a version of the passage, different from the Johannine, from which Justin quotes. As both the author of the Clementines and Justin probably made use of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, some most competent critics have, with reason, adopted the conclusion that the passage we are discussing was probably derived from that Gospel; at any rate, it cannot be maintained as a quotation from our fourth Gospel, and it is, therefore, of no value as evidence even for its existence. Were it successfully traced to that work, however, the passage would throw no light on the authorship and character of the fourth Gospel.

If we turn for a moment from this last of the points of evidence adduced by Tischendorf for the use of the fourth Gospel by Justin, to consider how far the circumstances of the history of Jesus narrated by Justin bear upon this quotation, we have a striking confirmation of the results we have otherwise attained. Not only is there a total absence from his writings of the peculiar terminology and characteristic expressions of the fourth Gospel, but there is no allusion made to any of the occurrences exclusively narrated by that Gospel, although many of these, and many parts of the Johannine discourses of Jesus, would have been peculiarly suitable for his purpose. We have already pointed out the remarkable absence of any use of the expressions by which the Logos doctrine is stated in the prologue. We may now add that Justin makes no reference to any of the special miracles of the fourth Gospel. He is apparently quite ignorant even of the raising of Lazarus. On the other hand, he gives representations of the birth, life, and death of Jesus, which are ignored by the Johannine Gospel, and are opposed to its whole conception of Jesus as the Logos; and when he refers to circumstances which are also narrated in that Gospel, his account is different from that which it gives. Justin perpetually speaks of the birth of Jesus by the Virgin of the race of David and the Patriarchs: his Logos thus becomes man [473:1] (not "flesh" -- anthrôpos, not sarx); he is born in a cave in Bethlehem; [473:2] he grows in stature and intellect by the use of ordinary means like other men; he is accounted the son of Joseph the carpenter and Mary: he himself works as a carpenter, and makes ploughs and yokes. [473:3] When Jesus is baptised by John, a fire is kindled in Jordan; and Justin evidently knows nothing of John's express declaration in the fourth Gospel, that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. [473:4] Justin refers to the change of name of Simon in connection with his recognition of the Master as "Christ the Son of God," [473:5] which is narrated quite differently in the fourth Gospel (1:40-42), where such a declaration is put into the mouth of Nathaniel (1:49), which Justin ignores. Justin does not mention Nicodemus either in connection with the statement regarding the necessity of being "born from above," or with the entombment (19:39). He has the prayer and agony in the garden, [473:6] which the fourth Gospel excludes, as well as the cries on the cross which that Gospel does not contain. Then, according to Justin, the last supper takes place on the 14th Nisan, [474:1] whilst the fourth Gospel, ignoring the Passover and last supper, represents the last meal as eaten on the 13th Nisan (John 13:1 f., cf. 18:28). He likewise contradicts the fourth Gospel in limiting the work of Jesus to one year. In fact, it is impossible for writings, so full of quotations of the words of Jesus and of allusions to the events of his life, more completely to ignore or vary from the fourth Gospel throughout; and if it could be shown that Justin was acquainted with such a work, it would follow certainly that he did not consider it an Apostolical or authoritative composition.

We may add that, as Justin so distinctly and directly refers to the Apostle John as the author of the Apocalypse, [474:2] there is confirmation of the conclusion, otherwise arrived at, that he did not, and could not, know the Gospel and also ascribe it to him. Finally, the description which Justin gives of the manner of teaching of Jesus excludes the idea that he knew the fourth Gospel: "Brief and concise were the sentences uttered by him; for he was no Sophist, but his word was the power of God." [474:3] No one could for a moment assert that this description applies to the long and artificial discourses of the fourth Gospel, whilst, on the other hand, it eminently describes the style of teaching in the Synoptics, with which the numerous Gospels in circulation amongst early Christians were, of course, more nearly allied.

The inevitable conclusion at which we must arrive is that, far from indicating any acquaintance with the fourth Gospel, the writings of Justin not only do not furnish the slightest evidence of its existence, but offer presumptive testimony against its Apostolical origin.
 


Tischendorf only devotes a short note to Hegesippus, [474:4] and does not pretend to find in the fragments of his writings preserved to us by Eusebius, or the details of his life which he has recorded, any evidence for our Gospels. Apologists generally admit that this source, at least, is barren of all testimony for the fourth Gospel, but Dr. Westcott cannot renounce so important a witness without an effort, and he therefore boldly says: "When he (Hegesippus) speaks of 'the door of Jesus' in his account of the death of St. James, there can be little doubt that he alludes to the language of our Lord recorded by St. John." [474:5] The passage to which Dr. Westcott refers, but which he does not quote, is as follows: "Certain, therefore, of the seven heretical parties amongst the people, already described by me in the Memoirs, inquired of him, what was the door of Jesus; and he declared this (touton -- Jesus) to be the Saviour. From which some believed that Jesus is the Christ. But the aforementioned heretics did not believe either a resurrection, or that he shall come to render to every one according to his works. As many as believed, however, did so through James." The rulers, fearing that the people would cause a tumult from considering Jesus to be the Messiah (Christos) entreat James to persuade them concerning Jesus, and prevent their being deceived by him; and in order that he may be heard by the multitude, they place James upon a wing of the temple, and cry to him: "O, just man, whom we all are bound to believe, inasmuch as the people are led astray after Jesus, the crucified, declare plainly to us what is the door of Jesus." [475:1] To find in this a reference to the fourth Gospel requires a good deal of apologetic ingenuity. It is perfectly clear that, as an allusion to John 10:7, 9, "I am the door," the question, "What is the door of Jesus?" is mere nonsense, and the reply of James totally irrelevant. Such a question in reference to the discourse in the fourth Gospel, moreover, in the mouths of the antagonistic Scribes and Pharisees, is quite inconceivable, and it is unreasonable to suppose that it has any connection with it. Various emendations of the text have been proposed to obviate the difficulty of the question, but none of these have been adopted, and it has now been generally accepted that thura is used in an idiomatic sense. The word is very frequently employed in such a manner, or symbolically, in the New Testament, [475:2] and by the Fathers. The Jews were well acquainted with a similar use of the word in the Old Testament, in some of the Messianic Psalms, as for instance: Ps. 118:19-20 (117:19-20,Sept.). 19, "Open to me the gates (pulas) of righteousness; entering into them, I will give praise to the Lord "; 20, "This is the gate (hê pulê) of the Lord; the righteous shall enter into it." [475:3] Quoting this passage, Clement of Alexandria remarks: "But explaining the saying of the prophet, Barnabas adds: Many gates (pulôn) being open, that which is in righteousness is in Christ, in which all those who enter are blessed." [475:4] Grabe explains the passage of Hegesippus by a reference to the frequent allusions in Scripture to the two ways: one of light, the other of darkness; the one leading to life, the other to death; as well as the simile of two gates which is coupled with them, as in Matt. 7:13 f. He, therefore, explains the question of the rulers, "What is the door of Jesus?" as an inquiry into the judgment of James concerning him: whether he was a teacher of truth or a deceiver of the people; whether belief in him was the way and gate of life and salvation, or of death and perdition. [476:1] He refers as an illustration to the Epistle of Barnabas, 18: "There are two ways of teaching and of power: one of light, the other of darkness. But there is a great difference between the two ways." The Epistle, under the symbol of the two ways, classifies the whole of the moral law. [476:2] In the Clementine Homilies, 18:17, there is a version of the saying, Matt. 7:13 f, derived from another source, in which "way" is more decidedly even than in our first Synoptic made the equivalent of "gate": "Enter ye through the narrow and straitened way (hodos) through which we shall enter into life." Eusebius himself, who has preserved the fragment, evidently understood it distinctly in the same sense, and he gives its true meaning in another of his works, where he paraphrases the question into an inquiry, as to the opinion which James held concerning Jesus (tina peri tou Iêsou echoi doxan). [476:3] This view is supported by many learned men, and Routh has pointed out that Ernesti considered he would have been right in making didachê, doctrine, teaching, the equivalent of thura, although he admits that Eusebius never uses it in his history in connection with Christian doctrine. [476:4] He might, however, have instanced this passage, in which it is clearly used in this sense, and so explained by Eusebius. There is evidently no intention on the part of the Scribes and Pharisees to ridicule, in asking, "What is the door of Jesus?" but they desire James to declare plainly to the people the teaching of Jesus, and his personal pretension. To suppose that the rulers of the Jews set James upon a wing of the temple, in order that they might ask him a question, for the benefit of the multitude, based upon a discourse in the fourth Gospel, unknown to the Synoptics, and even in relation to which such an inquiry as "What is the door of Jesus?" becomes mere ironical nonsense, surpasses all that we could have imagined even of apologetic zeal.

We have already said all that is necessary with regard to Hegesippus, in connection with the Synoptics, and need not add more here. It is certain that had he written anything interesting about our Gospels, and, we may say, particularly about the fourth, the fact would have been recorded by Eusebius. [477:1]
 


Nor need we add much to our remarks regarding Papias of Hierapolis. [477:2] It is perfectly clear that the works of Matthew and Mark, [477:3] regarding which he records such important particulars, are not the Gospels in our Canon, which pass under their names; he does not seem to have known anything of the third Synoptic; and there is no reason to suppose that he referred to the fourth Gospel or made use of it. He is, therefore, at least, a total blank so far as the Johannine Gospel and our third Synoptic are concerned; but he is more than this, and it may, we think, be concluded that Papias was not acquainted with any such Gospels which he regarded as Apostolic compositions, or authoritative documents. Had he said anything regarding the composition or authorship of the fourth Gospel, Eusebius would certainly have mentioned the fact; and this silence of Papias is strong presumptive evidence against the Johannine Gospel. Tischendorf's argument in regard to the Phrygian Bishop is mainly directed to this point, and he maintains that the silence of Eusebius does not make Papias a witness against the fourth Gospel, and does not involve the conclusion that he did not know it, inasmuch as it was not, he affirms, the purpose of Eusebius to record the mention or use of the books of the New Testament which were not disputed. [477:4] It might be contended that this reasoning is opposed to the practice and express declaration of Eusebius himself, who says: "But in the course of the history I shall, with the successions (from the Apostles), carefully intimate what ecclesiastical writers of the various periods made use of the Antilegomena (or disputed writings), and which of them, and what has been stated by these as well regarding the collected (endiathêkoi) and Homologoumena (or accepted writings), as regarding those which are not of this kind." [478:1] It is not worthwhile, however, to dwell upon this here. The argument in the case of Papias stands upon a broader basis. It is admitted that Eusebius engages carefully to record what ecclesiastical writers state regarding the Homologoumena, and that he actually does so. Now Papias has himself expressed the high value he attached to tradition, and his eagerness in seeking information from the Presbyters. The statements regarding the Gospels composed by Matthew and Mark, quoted by Eusebius, are illustrative at once both of the information collected by Papias and of that cited by Eusebius. How comes it, then, that nothing whatever is said about the fourth Gospel, a work so peculiar and of such exceptional importance, said to be composed by the Apostle whom Jesus loved? Is it possible to suppose that, when Papias collected from the Presbyter the facts which he has recorded concerning Matthew and Mark, he would not also have inquired about a Gospel by John, had he known of it? Is it possible that he could have had nothing interesting to tell about a work presenting so many striking and distinctive features? Had he collected any information on the subject, he would certainly have recorded it, and as certainly Eusebius would have quoted what he said, [478:2] as he did the account of the other two Gospels, for he even mentions that Papias made use of the 1st Epistle of John and 1st Epistle of Peter, two equally accepted writings. The legitimate presumption, therefore, is that, as Eusebius did not mention the fact, he did not find anything regarding the fourth Gospel in the work of Papias, and that Papias was not acquainted with it. This presumption is confirmed by the circumstance that when Eusebius writes, elsewhere (H.E., 3:24), of the order of the Gospels, and the composition of John's Gospel, he has no greater authority to give for his account than vague tradition: "they say" (phasi).

Proceeding from this merely negative argument, Tischendorf endeavours to show that not only is Papias not a witness against the fourth Gospel, but that he presents evidence in its favour. The first reason he advances is that Eusebius states: "The same (Papias) made use of testimonies out of the first Epistle of John, and likewise out of that of Peter." [478:3] On the supposed identity of the authorship of the Epistle and Gospel, Tischendorf, as in the case of Polycarp, claims this as evidence for the fourth Gospel. Eusebius, however, does not quote the passages upon which he bases this statement, and, knowing his inaccuracy and the hasty and uncritical manner in which he and the Fathers generally jump at such conclusions, we must reject this as sufficient proof that Papias really did use the Epistle, and that Eusebius did not adopt his opinion from a mere superficial analogy of passages; but, if it were certain that Papias actually quoted from the Epistle, it does not in the least follow that he ascribed it to the Apostle John, and the use of the Epistle would scarcely affect the question as to the character and authorship of the fourth Gospel.

The next testimony advanced by Tischendorf is, indeed, of an extraordinary character. There is a Latin MS. (Vat. Alex. 14) in the Vatican, which Tischendorf assigns to the ninth century, in which there is a preface, by an unknown hand, to the Gospel according to John, which commences as follows: "Evangelium iohannis manifestatum et datum est ecclesiis ab iohanne adhuc in corpore constituto, sicut Papias nomine hierapolitanus discipulus iohannis carus in exotericis id est in extremis quinque libris retulit" ("The Gospel of John was published and given to the churches by John whilst he was still in the flesh, as Papias, named of Hierapolis, an esteemed disciple of John, related in his Exoterics, that is his last five books"). Tischendorf says: "There can, therefore, be no more decided declaration made of the testimony of Papias for the Johannine Gospel." [479:1] He wishes to end the quotation here, and only refers to the continuation, which he is obliged to admit to be untenable, in a note. The passage proceeds: "Disscripsit vero evangelium dictante iohanne recte" ("He [Papias] indeed wrote out the Gospel, John duly dictating"); then follows another passage regarding Marcion, representing him also as a contemporary of John, which Tischendorf likewise confesses to be untrue. [479:2] Now, Tischendorf admits that the writer desires it to be understood that he derived the information that Papias wrote the fourth Gospel at the dictation of John likewise from the work of Papias, and, as it is perfectly impossible, by his own admissions, that Papias, who was not a contemporary of the Apostle, could have stated this, the whole passage is clearly fabulous and written by a person who never saw the book at all. This extraordinary piece of evidence is so obviously absurd that it is passed over in silence by other critics, even of the strongest apologetic tendency, and it stands here a pitiable instance of the arguments to which destitute criticism can be reduced.

In order to do full justice to the last of the arguments of Tischendorf, we shall give it in his own words: "Before we leave Papias, we have still to consider one testimony for the Gospel of John which Irenaeus, 5:36, § 2, quotes out of the very mouth of the Presbyters, those high authorities of Papias: 'And therefore, say they, the Lord declared: In my Father's house are many mansions' (John 14: 2). As the Presbyters set this declaration in connection with the blessedness of the righteous in the City of God, in Paradise, in Heaven, according as they bear fruit thirty, sixty, or one hundred-fold, nothing is more probable than that Irenaeus takes this whole declaration of the Presbyters, which he gives, §§ 1-2, like the preceding description of the thousand years' reign, from the work of Papias. But whether this be its origin or not, the authority of the Presbyters is in any case higher than that of Papias," etc. [480:1] Now in the quotation from Irenaeus given in this passage, Tischendorf renders the oblique construction of the text by inserting "say they," referring to the Presbyters of Papias; and, as he does not give the original, he should at least have indicated that these words are supplementary. We shall endeavour as briefly as possible to state the facts of the case.

Irenaeus, with many quotations from Scripture, is arguing that our bodies are preserved, and that the Saints who have suffered so much in the flesh shall in that flesh receive the fruits of their labours. In 5:33, § 2, he refers to the saying given in Matt. 19:29 (Luke 18:29-30), that whosoever has left lands, etc., because of Christ shall receive a hundred-fold in this world, and in the next, eternal life; and then, enlarging on the abundance of the blessings in the Millennial kingdom, he affirms that Creation will be renovated, and the earth acquire wonderful fertility; and he adds, § 3, "As the Presbyters who saw John, the disciple of the Lord, remember that they heard from him, how the Lord taught concerning those times and said," etc. ("Quemadmodum presbyteri meminerunt, qui Joannem discipulum Domini viderunt audisse se ab eo, quemadmodum de temporibus illis docebat Dominus, et dicebat," etc.); and then he quotes the passage, "The days will come in which vines will grow each having ten thousand Branches," etc.; and "In like manner that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears," etc. With regard to these, he says, at the beginning of the next paragraph, 5:33, § 4: "These things are testified in writing by Papias, a hearer of John and associate of Polycarp, an ancient man in the fourth of his books: for there were five books composed by him. [480:2] And he added, saying: 'But these things are credible to believers. And Judas the traitor not believing, and asking how shall such growths be effected by the Lord, the Lord said: They who shall come to them shall see.' Prophesying of these times, therefore, Isaiah says: 'The Wolf also shall feed with the Lamb,' etc. (quoting Isaiah 11:6-9); and again he says, recapitulating: 'Wolves and lambs shall then feed together,"' etc. (quoting Isaiah 45:25), and so on, continuing his argument. It is clear that Irenaeus introduces the quotation from Papias, and, ending his reference at "They who shall come to them shall see," he continues, with a quotation from Isaiah, his own train of reasoning. We give this passage to show the manner in which Irenaeus proceeds. He then continues with the same subject, quoting (5:34-35) Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, the Apocalypse, and sayings found in the New Testament bearing upon the Millennium. In c. 35 he argues that the prophecies he quotes of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the Apocalypse must not be allegorised away, but that they literally describe the blessings to be enjoyed after the coming of Antichrist and the resurrection in the New Jerusalem on earth; and he quotes Isaiah 6:12, 60:5, 21, and a long passage from Baruch 4:36, 5:9 (which he ascribes to Jeremiah), Isaiah 49:16, Galatians 4:26, Rev. 21:2, 20: 2-15, 21:1-6, all descriptive, as he maintains, of the Millennial kingdom prepared for the saints; and then, in 5:36, the last chapter of his work on heresies, as if resuming his previous argument, he proceeds: [481:1] § 1. "And that these things shall ever remain without end Isaiah says: 'For like as the new heaven and the new earth which I make remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name continue,' [481:2] and, as the Presbyters say, then those who have been deemed worthy of living in heaven shall go thither, and others shall enjoy the delights of Paradise, and others shall possess the glory of the City; for everywhere the Saviour shall be seen as those who see him shall be worthy. § 2. But that there is this distinction of dwelling (einai de tên diastolên tautên tês oikêseôs) of those bearing fruit the hundred-fold, and of the (bearers) of the sixty-fold, and of the (bearers of) the thirty-fold: of whom some indeed shall be taken up into the heavens, some shall live in Paradise, and some shall inhabit the City, and that for this reason (dia touto -- propter hoc) the Lord declared: In the …(plural) of my Father are many mansions (en tois tou patros mou monas einai pollas). [481:3] For all things are of God, who prepares for all the fitting habitation, as his Word says that distribution is made to all by the Father according as each is or shall be worthy. And this is the couch upon which they recline who are invited to banquet at the Wedding. The Presbyters, the disciples of the Apostles, state that this is the order and arrangement of those who are saved, and that by such steps they advance," [482:1] etc.

It is impossible for anyone who attentively considers the whole of this passage, and who makes himself acquainted with the manner in which Irenaeus conducts his argument, and interweaves it with quotations, to assert that the phrase we are considering must have been taken from a book referred to three chapters earlier, and was not introduced by Irenaeus from some other source. In the passage from the commencement of the second paragraph Irenaeus enlarges upon, and illustrates, what "the Presbyters say" regarding the blessedness of the saints, by quoting the view held as to the distinction between those bearing fruit thirty-fold, sixty-fold, and one hundred-fold [482:2] and the interpretation given of the saying regarding "many mansions"; but the source of his quotation is quite indefinite, and may simply be the exegesis of his own day. That this is probably the case is shown by the continuation: "And this is the Couch upon which they recline who are invited to banquet at the Wedding" -- an allusion to the marriage supper upon which Irenaeus had previously discoursed; [482:3] immediately after which phrase, introduced by Irenaeus himself, he says: "The Presbyters, the disciples of the Apostles, state that this is the order and arrangement of those who are saved," etc. Now, if the preceding passages had been a mere quotation from the Presbyters of Papias, such a remark would have been out of place and useless; but, being the exposition of the prevailing views, Irenaeus confirms it and prepares to wind up the whole subject by the general statement that the Presbyters, the disciples of the Apostles, affirm that this is the order and arrangement of those who are saved, and that by such steps they advance and ascend through the Spirit to the Son, and through the Son to the Father, etc.; and a few sentences after he closes his work.

In no case can it be legitimately affirmed that the citation of "the Presbyters," and the "Presbyters, disciples of the Apostles," is a reference to the work of Papias. When quoting "the Presbyters who saw John, the disciple of the Lord," three chapters before, Irenaeus distinctly states that Papias testifies what he quotes in writing in the fourth of his books; but there is nothing to indicate that "the Presbyters" and "the Presbyters, disciples of the Apostles," subsequently referred to, after a complete change of context, have anything to do with Papias. The references to Presbyters in this work of Irenaeus are very numerous, and when we remember the importance which the Bishop of Lyons attached to "that tradition which comes from the Apostles, which is preserved in the Churches by a succession of Presbyters," [483:1] the reference before us assumes a very different complexion. In one place, Irenaeus quotes "the divine Presbyter" (ho theios presbytês), "the God-loving Presbyter" (ho theophilês presbytês), [483:2] who wrote verses against the heretic Marcus. Elsewhere he supports his extraordinary statement that the public career of Jesus, instead of being limited to a single year, extended over a period of twenty years, and that he was nearly fifty when he suffered, [483:3] by the appeal: "As the gospel and all the Presbyters testify, who in Asia met with John the disciple of the Lord, (stating) that these things were transmitted to them by John. For he continued among them till the times of Trajan." [483:4] That these Presbyters are not quoted from Papias may be inferred from the fact that Eusebius, who had his work, cites the passage from Irenaeus without allusion to Papias; and as he adduces two witnesses only, Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria, to prove the assertion regarding John, he would certainly have referred to the earlier authority, had the work of Papias contained the statement, as he does for the stories regarding the daughters of the Apostle Philip, the miracle in favour of Justus, and other matters. [483:5] We need not refer to Clement, nor to Polycarp, who had been "taught by Apostles," and the latter of whom Irenaeus knew in his youth. [483:6] Irenaeus in one place also gives a long account of the teaching of someone upon the sins of David and other men of old, which he introduces: "As I have heard from a certain Presbyter, who had heard it from those who had seen the Apostles, and from those who learnt from them," [484:1] etc. Further on, speaking evidently of a different person, he says: "In this manner also a Presbyter disciple of the Apostles reasoned regarding the two Testaments" [484:2] and quotes fully. In another place Irenaeus, after quoting Gen. 2:8, "And God planted a Paradise eastward in Eden," etc., states "Wherefore the Presbyters, who are disciples of the Apostles (oi presbyteroi, tôn apostolôn mathêtai) say that those who were translated had been translated thither," there to remain, till the consummation of all things, awaiting immortality; and Irenaeus, explains that it was into this Paradise that Paul was caught up (2 Cor. 12:4). [484:3] It seems highly probable that these "Presbyters, the disciples of the Apostles," who are quoted on Paradise, are the same "Presbyters, the disciples of the Apostles," referred to here on the same subject (5:36, §§ 1, 2); but there is nothing to connect them with Papias. He also speaks of the Septuagint translation of the Bible as the version of the "Presbyters," [484:4] and on several occasions he calls Luke "the follower and disciple of the Apostles (Sectator et discipulus apostolorum), [484:5] and characterises Mark as the interpreter and follower of Peter" (interpres et sectator Petri[484:6] and refers to both as having learnt from the words of the Apostles. [484:7] Here is, therefore, a wide choice of Presbyters, including even Evangelists, to whom the reference of Irenaeus may with equal right be ascribed, [484:8] so that it is unreasonable to claim it as an allusion to the work of Papias. [484:9] In fact, Dr. Tischendorf and Dr. Westcott [484:10] stand almost alone in advancing this passage as evidence that either Papias or his Presbyters were acquainted with the fourth Gospel; and this renders the statement which is made by them without any discussion all the more indefensible. Scarcely a single writer, however apologetic, seriously cites it amongst the external testimonies for the early existence of the Gospel, and the few who do refer to the passage merely mention, in order to abandon, it. So far as the question as to whether the fourth Gospel was mentioned in the work of Papias is concerned, the passage has practically never entered into the controversy at all, the great mass of critics having recognised that it is of no evidential value, and, by common consent, tacitly excluded it. It is admitted that the Bishop of Hierapolis cannot be shown to have known the fourth Gospel, and the majority affirm that he actually was not acquainted with it. Being, therefore, so completely detached from Papias, it is obvious that the passage does not in any way assist the fourth Gospel, but becomes assignable to vague tradition, and subject to the cumulative force of objections, which prohibit an early date being ascribed to so indefinite a reference.

Before passing on there is one other point to mention: Andrew of Caesarea, in the preface to his Commentary on the Apocalypse, mentions that Papias maintained "the credibility" (to axiopiston) of that book, or, in other words, its apostolic origin. [485:1] His strong millenarian opinions would naturally make such a composition stand high in his esteem, if indeed it did not materially contribute to the formation of his views, which is still more probable. Apologists admit the genuineness of this statement; nay, claim it as undoubted evidence of the acquaintance of Papias with the Apocalypse. [486:1] Dr. Westcott, for instance, says: "He maintained, moreover, 'the divine inspiration' of the Apocalypse, and commented, at least, upon part of it." [486:2] He must, therefore, have recognised the book as the work of the Apostle John, and we shall, hereafter, show that it is impossible that the author of the Apocalypse was the author of the Gospel; therefore, in this way also, Papias is a witness against the Apostolic origin of the fourth Gospel.
 


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