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mount as “not knowing what he said” (9:33). In all this the spirit of a Christian of the second generation is shown. His picture of Jesus needs Mark's picture as its complement.
John The Fourth Gospel has been so fully considered in the discussion of the Johannine problem that little need be added here.
There is reason to believe that the present arrangement of the contents of this gospel is not in all places the original one. Certainly it is not in all places the probable one. For example, if chapter 5 is placed after chapter 6, then the notes of locality become harmonious: Jesus in Galilee (4 : 54) goes across the lake (6 : 1) and, after feeding the five thousand, goes up to the feast in Jerusalem (5 : 1) where his life is in danger (5: 16) which causes him to return to Galilee again (7:1). Such a rearrangement, also, puts all the visits to Jerusalem, except that of 2 : 13, in the last year of his life, after the close of his popular ministry in Judea. This, too, seems probable. While the work in Galilee still promised success, there was no reason for his stirring up the hostility of the rulers by appearing in Jerusalem; but when the Galilean work had failed, and the shadow of the cross grew more evident, Jesus seems deliberately to have sought every opportunity to place his claims clearly before the Sanhedrin, that they might act upon them with full knowledge. The unnamed feast of 5 : 1, if the two chapters are transposed, would naturally be Pentecost.
Another passage that seems out of place is 7 : 15–24. If it is placed directly after chapter 5, it forms a fit conclusion to it. The reference to the miracle of Bethesda as if it had just been performed (7:23); the astonishment at his rabbinical teaching as if this was his first display of it (7 : 15); the ignorance of the multitude that his life was threatened (7 : 20), though at the Feast of the Tabernacles this was well-known (7 : 25); and the references to Moses and the law (cf. 5 : 45–47)
-all suit the earlier feast far better than tabernacles. A simple transposition of this passage and 7: 1-14 removes many difficulties.
Still again, chapter 14 with its closing words, “Arise, let us go hence," seems properly to conclude the address after the Last Supper. It will have that position if we put chapters 15–16 immediately after the prefatory statement of 13:31; and we shall no longer have the contradiction between 16 : 5 and 13 : 36. The change will also make the opening words of chapter 15 follow directly after Judas' departure to which they seem to refer; e. g., 15 : 6.
Further rearrangements have been suggested, some of which are worth considering. The main difficulty, however, with all such changes in the order of the text, is to explain how the disarrangements could have arisen. It has been suggested that the leaves of the original papyrus roll became unglued and were fastened together again, but not always in their original order, and in proof of this it is pointed out that, if we take a page containing a certain number of words as the unit, these dislocated passages all prove to be multiples of that unit. It is not easy to accept this explanation, but nothing better has been offered.
The theme of the Fourth Gospel is the self-revelation of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God (20 : 31). Its main divisions are:
Prologue and Preliminary Testimony, 1:1-2:12.
In Judea, 2 : 13–3 : 36.
In Galilee, 4 : 43–54; 6:1-71.
At Pentecost, 5:1-47; 7: 15–24.
At Dedication, 9:1-10 : 39.
In Perea and Bethany, 10 : 40–12:11.
By the Resurrection, 20 : 1-31.
If the style is the man, that of John merits special attention. Gloag says of it, “There is a remarkable simplicity in the style of John. His vocabulary is small; the same words—love, life, light, the worldcontinually occur and are interwoven together. The sentences are simple in construction, being in the terse aphoristic Hebrew manner, and not in the involved structure conformable to the genius of the Greek language, and illustrated in the Epistles of Paul. Connecting particles are also very sparingly employed. Hence, of all the writings of the New Testament, none are so easily read and translated as those of John. There is also a peculiar kind of repetition. The same thoughts, or, at least, thoughts with little variation of meaning, are repeated for the sake of emphasis. Often the same idea is expressed both positively and negatively. . . . With the simplicity in style and diction, and even in the thoughts and sentiments of the Johannine writings, there is combined a real profundity which no human intellect can fathom. The Fourth Gospel especially is remarkable for its depth; it has been well called by the fathers the spiritual gospel,' as compared with the synoptical gospels. It opens the deepest recesses of the spiritual life; it discloses the very heart of the incarnate God; it reveals the divine human nature which Christ possessed; it lifts up the. veil, and lets us see into the holy of holies. The two preponderating ideas are life and light; and these
are embodied in Christ: he is at once the life and the light of man, the source of all spiritual life, and the essence of all spiritual truth, the sun of the moral universe. The writings of John may be compared to a well of water, so clear and sparkling that at first one thinks he sees to the bottom; but that well is so deep, that the more one gazes into it, the deeper does it appear, and no one has yet been able to fathom it.
"The interpretation of the Johannine writings is peculiarly difficult by reason of their profundity. Hence, one essential element of interpretation is sympathy with John's spirit. It is only a Johannine Christian who can truly understand and interpret John's writings. It requires such a spiritual insight, as is rarely possessed, fully to fathom the deep things contained in them. Hence, a religious and spiritual nature is essential; we must have largely imbibed the spirit of Jesus Christ before we can enter into the spirit of John's writings. This well is deep; and, if destitute of a spiritual mind, we have nothing wherewith to draw. As Origen strikingly puts it: “The gospels are the firstfruits of all the Scriptures, and the first-fruits of the gospels is that of John, into whose meaning no man can enter unless he too has reclined upon the bosom of Jesus.”