What does John mean in the Bible?

Greek / Hebrew Translation Occurance
ἰωάννης John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth 51
ἰωάννου John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth 38
ἰωάννην John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth 36
ἰωάννῃ John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth 5
ἰωάνην John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth 1
ἰωάννης» John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth 1
‹ἰωάννης› John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth 1

Definitions Related to John

G2491


   1 John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth, the forerunner of Christ.
   By order of Herod Antipas he was cast into prison and afterwards beheaded.
   2 John the apostle, the writer of the Fourth Gospel, son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of James the elder.
   He is that disciple who (without mention by name) is spoken of in the Fourth Gospel as especially dear to Jesus and according to the traditional opinion is the author of the book of Revelation.
   3 John surnamed Mark, the companion of Barnabas and Paul.
   Acts 12:12.
   4 John a certain man, a member of the Sanhedrin Acts 4:6.
   Additional Information: John = “Jehovah is a gracious giver”.
   

Frequency of John (original languages)

Frequency of John (English)

Dictionary

Easton's Bible Dictionary - John, Second Epistle of
Easton's Bible Dictionary - John
One who, with Annas and Caiaphas, sat in judgment on the apostles Peter and John (Acts 4:6 ). He was of the kindred of the high priest; otherwise unknown.
The Hebrew name of Mark (q.v.). He is designated by this name in the acts of the Apostles (12:12,25; 13:5,13; 15:37).
THE APOSTLE, brother of James the "Greater" (Matthew 4:21 ; 10:2 ; Mark 1:19 ; 3:17 ; 10:35 ). He was one, probably the younger, of the sons of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21 ) and Salome (Matthew 27:56 ; Compare Mark 15:40 ), and was born at Bethsaida. His father was apparently a man of some wealth (Compare Mark 1:20 ; Luke 5:3 ; John 19:27 ). He was doubtless trained in all that constituted the ordinary education of Jewish youth. When he grew up he followed the occupation of a fisherman on the Lake of Galilee. When John the Baptist began his ministry in the wilderness of Judea, John, with many others, gathered round him, and was deeply influenced by his teaching. There he heard the announcement, "Behold the Lamb of God," and forthwith, on the invitation of Jesus, became a disciple and ranked among his followers (John 1:36,37 ) for a time. He and his brother then returned to their former avocation, for how long is uncertain. Jesus again called them (Matthew 4 :: 21 ; Luke 5:1-11 ), and now they left all and permanently attached themselves to the company of his disciples. He became one of the innermost circle (Mark 5:37 ; Matthew 17:1 ; 26:37 ; Mark 13:3 ). He was the disciple whom Jesus loved. In zeal and intensity of character he was a "Boanerges" (Mark 3:17 ). This spirit once and again broke out (Matthew 20:20-24 ; Mark 10:35-41 ; Luke 9:49,54 ). At the betrayal he and Peter follow Christ afar off, while the others betake themselves to hasty flight (John 18:15 ). At the trial he follows Christ into the council chamber, and thence to the praetorium (18:16,19,28) and to the place of crucifixion (19:26,27). To him and Peter, Mary first conveys tidings of the resurrection (20:2), and they are the first to go and see what her strange words mean. After the resurrection he and Peter again return to the Sea of Galilee, where the Lord reveals himself to them (21:1,7). We find Peter and John frequently after this together (Acts 3:1 ; 4:13 ). John remained apparently in Jerusalem as the leader of the church there (Acts 15:6 ; Galatians 2:9 ). His subsequent history is unrecorded. He was not there, however, at the time of Paul's last visit (Acts 21:15-40 ). He appears to have retired to Ephesus, but at what time is unknown. The seven churches of Asia were the objects of his special care (Revelation 1:11 ). He suffered under persecution, and was banished to Patmos (1:9); whence he again returned to Ephesus, where he died, probably about A.D. 98, having outlived all or nearly all the friends and companions even of his maturer years. There are many interesting traditions regarding John during his residence at Ephesus, but these cannot claim the character of historical truth.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Calvin
(1509-1564) The first to give Protestantism a system of theology, born Noyon, France; died Geneva. He was never an ardent Catholic, though he became a cleric and by family influence obtained a benefice. He became cure of Saint Martin de Marteville in 1527 and of Pont l'Evêquein 1529. In 1528 he was a law-student at Orleans, then went to Bourges (where in 1529 occurred his conversion) and in 1531 to Paris; he gave up his benefice at Noyon in 1534. Calvin published the "Institutes", 1536, in Latin; a French translation appeared, 1541. It is an exposition of his theological belief, including his doctrine of predestination, and was the first definite and systematic formulation of Protestantism. He next taught theology at Geneva, and gained influence there, his children's catechism appearing at this time. Exiled from Geneva in 1538, Calvin went to Strasbourg to preach. Returning to Geneva in 1541, he instituted an intolerant regime of discipline, administered despotically by the clergy. Castellio and Bolsec opposed his extreme views, and were banished. Servetus entered into controversy with Calvin, and published his "Restitutio" in 1553, whereupon he was imprisoned at Vienne, but escaped and went to Geneva, where he was arrested and burnt at the stake for his doctrinal views. Gentile was also condemned for his Unitarianism, and beheaded. Calvin was untiring in preaching and controversy. He founded the University of Geneva, and made the city the Rome of Protestantism.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Flamsteed, John
(1646-1719) Astronomer. Author of the famous Historia Crelestis Brittanica, drew up the catalog of fixed stars designated by his name, first demonstrated the construction and use of the quadrant, initiated a method of determining the position of the equinox, and made important researches on sun spots whence he drew up a theory of the sun's constitution; he was first astronomer royal of England.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Dalton, John
(1766-1844) Enlgish chemist. Author of the atomic theory in its modern application, of atomic symbols, and of the law of greatest simplicity.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Creighton
(1831-1907) Co-founder of Creighton University, born near Somerset, Ohio. He was educated by the Dominicans, early cast in his lot with the American frontiersmen, and was successful in his many mining and agricultural enterprises. Besides founding the university and contributing large sums to other Catholic institutions, he and his brother, Edward, assumed a national character for the heroic part they took in 1861 in laying the first telegraph line that bound California to the rest of the nation. John was made a Knight of Saint Gregory and a Roman count by Leo XIII, and in 1900 received the Lætare Medal.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Bentley, John Francis
(1839-1902) Architect, born Doncaster, England; died London. He upheld the architectural principles and methods of the Middle Ages and promoted the Gothic revival in England. Commissioned in 1894 to build the cathedral of Westminster, he chose the Byzantine style to avoid comparison with Westminster Abbey, designed everything to the last detail, and produced the most remarkable church erected in England since the Reformation.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Bentley
(1839-1902) Architect, born Doncaster, England; died London. He upheld the architectural principles and methods of the Middle Ages and promoted the Gothic revival in England. Commissioned in 1894 to build the cathedral of Westminster, he chose the Byzantine style to avoid comparison with Westminster Abbey, designed everything to the last detail, and produced the most remarkable church erected in England since the Reformation.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Duns Scotus, John
(c.1270-1308) Founder and leader of the Scotist School of philosophy, died Cologne, Germany. It is not known whether he was of Irish or Scottish origin or whether Duns was a family or a place name. He became a Franciscan, c.1290,taught at Oxford, and distinguished himself for his learning at the universities of Paris and Cologne. Of his numerous works the principal is his commentary on the "Sentences" of Peter Lombard, from which nearly his whole system of philosophy, in which the genuine spirit of scholasticism is pronounced, can be derived. His chief followers were among the Franciscans. He was called "Doctor subtilis."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Duns Scotus
(c.1270-1308) Founder and leader of the Scotist School of philosophy, died Cologne, Germany. It is not known whether he was of Irish or Scottish origin or whether Duns was a family or a place name. He became a Franciscan, c.1290,taught at Oxford, and distinguished himself for his learning at the universities of Paris and Cologne. Of his numerous works the principal is his commentary on the "Sentences" of Peter Lombard, from which nearly his whole system of philosophy, in which the genuine spirit of scholasticism is pronounced, can be derived. His chief followers were among the Franciscans. He was called "Doctor subtilis."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Bridgewater
(c.1532-c.1596) Priest, historian, born Yorkshire, England; died Trier, Germany. He resigned the rectorship of Lincoln College, Oxford, for conscience's sake, and went into permanent exile on the Continent. He is best known as the martyrologist of the Catholic confessors under Elizabeth, his voluminous records appearing at Trier, 1588.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Cassian
(c.360-c.435) Monk and ascetic writer, born probably Provence; died probably near Marseilles. With his friend Germanus he visited the holy places in Palestine and they became monks at Bethlehem. After several years among the Egyptian solitaries, they came to Constantinople where Cassian became a favorite disciple of Saint John Chrysostom, and in his behalf was sent to Rome, where he is believed to have been ordained. About 415 he was at Marseilles where he founded two monasteries, one for men and the other for women, introducing in the West the rules of Eastern monasticism. His two principal works, "Institutes" and "Conferences," deal with the cenobitic life and the deadly sins. He wrote against the Nestorians, but originated Semipelagianism which was later condemned. By some he was regarded as a saint.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Kay, John
(Kay, John; Key, John) (1510-1573) Physician and scholar, born Norwich, England; died London. He lectured on anatomy, wrote medical treatises and translations and a history of Cambridge University, and was president of the College of Physicians. He refounded Gonville College, renamed Gonville and Caius College (1558). Under Edward VI he became royal physician, but was dismissed under Elizabeth because he was a Catholic.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Caius
(Kay, John; Key, John) (1510-1573) Physician and scholar, born Norwich, England; died London. He lectured on anatomy, wrote medical treatises and translations and a history of Cambridge University, and was president of the College of Physicians. He refounded Gonville College, renamed Gonville and Caius College (1558). Under Edward VI he became royal physician, but was dismissed under Elizabeth because he was a Catholic.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Key, John
(Kay, John; Key, John) (1510-1573) Physician and scholar, born Norwich, England; died London. He lectured on anatomy, wrote medical treatises and translations and a history of Cambridge University, and was president of the College of Physicians. He refounded Gonville College, renamed Gonville and Caius College (1558). Under Edward VI he became royal physician, but was dismissed under Elizabeth because he was a Catholic.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Meade, John
(Meade, John) (1571-1653) Missionary, born London; died Rio Janeiro. He changed his name on being adopted by a Portuguese family whom he accompanied to Brazil, where he became a Jesuit and spent his life in missionary labors among Indian cannibal tribes. He was famous for his austerities.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Ayscough
(pseudonym, John Ayscough) (1858-1928) Writer, born Headingly, Leeds, England; died Salisbury. He was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford; became a Catholic, October 26, 1878; and was ordained, 1884. In 1891 he was appointed private chamberlain to Leo XIII; in 1903, private chamberlain to Pius X; in 1904, domestic prelate; in 1909, Knight of the Holy Sepulcher and Count. He served as military chaplain at Plymouth, 1892-1899, at Malta, 1899-1905, and at Salisbury Plain, 1905-1909. During the World War he served with distinction. In 1918 he became assistant principal chaplain royal, and in 1919, Commander of the British Empire. Under the name of John Ayscough he published several novels, including "Marotz," "Dromina," "San Celestino," "Hurdcott," "Jacqueline," and "Abbotscourt"; short stories, among them those in a "Roman Tragedy" and "Prodigals and Sons"; and essays, notably "Saints and Places," "Levia Pondera," and "French Windows."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Boyce
A boy chosen from the monastery school or cathedral choir to preside as bishop between Saint Nicholas's Day, December 6, and the feast of Holy Innocents, December 28,. The custom dates from early times and was in vogue in most Catholic countries, but chiefly in England.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of Sabina
Antipope (1045-1046). He was Bishop of Sabina, and the Roman faction which had expelled Pope Benedict IX, elected him in opposition to the lawful pope after John had given them a large sum of money. Pope Benedict descended on Rome with a body of troops and expelled the antipope who returned to his bishopric from which he continued to put forth claims at intervals during the pontificate of Gregory VI. He attended the synod of Sutri, convened by Emperor Henry III, 1046, was deprived of all sacerdotal rank and condemned to be shut up in a monastery for life.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of Struma
Antipope (1168-1178). He was Abbot of Struma, and in opposition to Pope Alexander III was elected at Viterbo to succeed antipope Guido of Crema. Threatened by the people of the town he fled to Albano, where he was attacked by the troops of Archbishop Christian de Buch. From Albano he fled to Tusculum where he prostrated himself before Pope Alexander, who forgave him, 1178, and later appointed him governor of Benevento.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Xxiii, Anti-Pope
Antipope, 1415. Born Naples, Italy, c.1370;died Florence, Italy, 1419. He was appointed cardinal-deacon in 1402. His election to the papacy was brought about through the efforts of the Pisan party, the city of Florence, and the House of Anjou. He was ordained priest one day before his uncanonical consecration as pope. Opposing him were Pope Gregory XII, who resigned at the Council of Constance, and the antipope Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna), with whom he was deposed, 1415, by the Council. It had been convened through the efforts of Emperor Sigismund and solemnly convoked by Gregory XII. Cossa acknowledged Martin V as legitimate pontiff, 1418. He was made Cardinal-Bishop of Tusculum but died shortly after.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Durbin, Elisha John
Apostle of Western Kentucky, born Madison County, Kentucky, February 1, 1800; died Shelbyville, Kentucky, 1887. He was ordained in 1822, and his missionary career lasted for over 60 years during which he erected churches, established stations, formed congregations, and visited isolated families.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John the Evangelist, Saint
Apostle, brother to Saint James the Greater, son of Zebedee and Salome; died c101He engaged in fishing with his father and brother. A disciple of Saint John the Baptist, when he was called by Christ he became His "beloved disciple." He alone of the Apostles remained faithful to the Master during His Passion. To him Christ entrusted the care of the Blessed Virgin. After Christ's Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Ghost, John, with Peter, was prominent in organizing the Church. He later went from Jerusalem to Asia Minor, where he supervised the establishment and government of churches. Exiled to Patmos, he wrote the Apocalypse or Revelation there; after his return to Ephesus he wrote his Gospel and Epistles. He lived to an advanced age, and is believed by some to be immortal, this belief being founded on the passage in Scripture (John 21), "So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee?" Patron of Asia Minor. Emblems: eagle, chalice, kettle, armor. Feast, Roman Calendar, December 27,; before the Latin Gate, May 6,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Maguire, John Aloysius
Archbishop of Glasgow, Scotland. Born Glasgow, 1851; died there, 1920. Ordained 1875, auxiliary bishop, 1894, and archbishop, 1902. His power of swaying a large multitude by oratory was demonstrated at the London Eucharistic Congress in 1908, when he quieted the thousands of assembled Catholics who were infuriated at the government's interference with the proposed procession of the Blessed Sacrament in the streets of Westminster.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of Montecorvino
Archbishop of Peking and founder of the Catholic mission in China, born Montecorvino, Italy, 1246; died Peking, China, 1328. His early missionary work was in Persia, from which he went to India, and finally to China, 1294. In spite of the opposition of the Nestorians, he built a church at Peking and, in 1305, another opposite the royal palace. At the same time he familiarized himself with the Chinese language and translated the New Testament and the Psalms into that tongue. Pope Clement V was so pleased with his success that he sent envoys who consecrated John Archbishop of Peking, in 1308. He is honored as a saint by the Christians and heathens alike.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Montecorvino, John of
Archbishop of Peking and founder of the Catholic mission in China, born Montecorvino, Italy, 1246; died Peking, China, 1328. His early missionary work was in Persia, from which he went to India, and finally to China, 1294. In spite of the opposition of the Nestorians, he built a church at Peking and, in 1305, another opposite the royal palace. At the same time he familiarized himself with the Chinese language and translated the New Testament and the Psalms into that tongue. Pope Clement V was so pleased with his success that he sent envoys who consecrated John Archbishop of Peking, in 1308. He is honored as a saint by the Christians and heathens alike.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Ireland, John
Archbishop of Saint Paul, born Kilkenny, Ireland, 1838; died Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1918. He came to Saint Paul in 1852 with his parents, and made his ecclesiastical studies (1853-1864) at the Seminary of Belley, France. In 1861 he was chaplain of the 5th Minnesota Regiment in the Civil War. Subsequently he was Vicar Apostolic of Nebraska, and coadjutor Bishop of Saint Paul, and on May 15, 1888, was consecrated archbishop. He organized a systematic movement for the colonization of different parts of Minnesota, and various settlements owe their origin and prosperity to his labors. Archbishop Ireland was a potent factor in the development of the Church in the Northwest, and he exercised a strong influence at Washington in matters in which religion was concerned, such as the Indian Missions, and the Church properties in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Machale, John
Archbishop of Tuam, born Tubbernavine, Ireland, 1791; died Tuam, Ireland, 1881. He studied at Maynooth where he later taught theology, was named coadjutor Bishop of Killala, 1825, and was transferred to Tuam, 1834. His life is the history of the struggles of the Irish Catholics in the 19th century. He labored and wrote incessantly to secure Catholic Emancipation, legislative independence, justice for tenants and the poor, and vigorously assailed the proselytizers and the anti-Catholic anti-national system of public education. He preached regularly to his flock in Irish. At the Vatican Council he held the definition of papal infallibility to be inopportune. Among his writings are a treatise on the evidences of Catholicity and translations in Irish of Moore's "Melodies," and part of the Bible and the Iliad.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Neumann, John Nepomucene, Saint
Bishop of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; born Prachatitz, Bohemia, March 28, 1811; died Philadelphia, January 5, 1860. He entered the seminary of Budweis but before his ordination came to America, 1836; was ordained by Bishop Dubois of New York, and devoted four years to missionary labors in western New York. In 1840 he joined the Redemptorist Order; served as superior of that order in Pittsburgh, and in 1846 was made vice-provincial of the Redemptorists in America. Elevated to the See of Philadelphia, 1852, he worked indefatigably to promote education in his diocese, and to minister to the spiritual and material welfare of his flock. He was prominent at the Council of Baltimore, 1852. Noted for his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, he was the first American bishop to introduce the Forty Hours devotion into his diocese, 1853. The Cause of his canonization was introduced in 1896; he was beatified in 1963, canonized in 1977. Feast, January 5,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Neumann, Saint
Bishop of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; born Prachatitz, Bohemia, March 28, 1811; died Philadelphia, January 5, 1860. He entered the seminary of Budweis but before his ordination came to America, 1836; was ordained by Bishop Dubois of New York, and devoted four years to missionary labors in western New York. In 1840 he joined the Redemptorist Order; served as superior of that order in Pittsburgh, and in 1846 was made vice-provincial of the Redemptorists in America. Elevated to the See of Philadelphia, 1852, he worked indefatigably to promote education in his diocese, and to minister to the spiritual and material welfare of his flock. He was prominent at the Council of Baltimore, 1852. Noted for his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, he was the first American bishop to introduce the Forty Hours devotion into his diocese, 1853. The Cause of his canonization was introduced in 1896; he was beatified in 1963, canonized in 1977. Feast, January 5,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Mincius
Bishop of Velletri; antipope, 1058-1059; born Rome, Italy. He was elected in opposition to Pope Nicholas II by a faction of the Roman nobility after the death of Stephen (IX) X, who had commanded before he died that no election should take place until Hildebrand returned from Germany. John was enthroned by an illiterate priest but was deposed by Hildebrand and condemned by the Council of Sutri, 1059. He fled to Passarano, submitted to Nicholas II, 1060, and was publicly degraded in his presence by Hildebrand.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Mincius, John
Bishop of Velletri; antipope, 1058-1059; born Rome, Italy. He was elected in opposition to Pope Nicholas II by a faction of the Roman nobility after the death of Stephen (IX) X, who had commanded before he died that no election should take place until Hildebrand returned from Germany. John was enthroned by an illiterate priest but was deposed by Hildebrand and condemned by the Council of Sutri, 1059. He fled to Passarano, submitted to Nicholas II, 1060, and was publicly degraded in his presence by Hildebrand.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Farley, John Murphy
Cardinal, Archbishop of New York, born Newtown, Ireland, April 20, 1842; died New York, New York, September 17, 1918. He was educated at Saint Macartan's College, Monaghan, Saint John's College, Fordham, New York, Saint Joseph's Seminary, Troy, and the American College, Rome, where he was ordained priest, 1870. He was assistant rector of Saint Peter's church, New Brighton, Staten Island, was created domestic prelate by Pope Leo XIII, with the title of Monsignor, 1884; and vicar-general of the Archdiocese of New York, 1891. He became titular Bishop of Zeugma and auxiliary Bishop of New York, 1895, and succeeded Archbishop Corrigan to the archiepiscopal see, 1902, being created cardinal, 1911. During his administration the archdiocese made extraordinary progress in the erection of parishes and opening of Catholic schools. He was a decisive force in the hierarchy by composing differences which had divided certain groups among them. He encouraged every effort on the part of the laity and clergy that "seemed to make for good." He was most earnest in his cooperation with the editors of the Catholic Encyclopedia, and to him largely is due its publication. Among his writings are "The Life of Cardinal McCloskey" and a "History of Saint Patrick's Cathedral."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Newman, Venerable
Cardinal, convert, and leader of the Tractarian Movement; born London, England, February 21, 1801; died Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, England, August 11, 1890. He was educated at Ealing, and at 15 "converted" to the necessity or dogma and an Apostolic Church. In 1816 he matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford, and in 1818 won a scholarship tenable for nine years. Despite a breakdown, which lowered his scholastic rank, he was elected fellow of Oriel. He was ordained, 1824, becoming curate of Saint Clement's, Oxford, where he remained two years. During this formative period he acquired knowledge of Catholic doctrine from various Oxford clergymen, notably Whately and Hawkins. He was made vicar of Saint Mary's, 1828. After quarreling with Hawkins, he resigned his tutorship, 1832, and took a Mediterranean cruise with Froude. Upon his return to England, the Tractarian Movement, of which he was the philosopher and the guide, began with Keble's Assize sermon on "National Apostacy," July 14, 1833. To bring about a restoration of the primitive Church, Newman undertook to write "Tracts for the Times," from which the Tractarian Movement takes its name, until "Tract 90" (distinguishing the corruptions assailed in the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles from the acceptable doctrines of the Council of Trent), forced him, because of its Roman leanings, to resign his living at Saint Mary's. He then designated his position the via media (middle way), maintaining from 1833 that England lay midway between Rome and Geneva, Catholicism and Luthero-Calvinism. From 1839 the via media appeared, as he read history, a mere repetition of the subterfuges of past heresies. After 1841 he lived with friends at Littlemore in monastic seclusion, and Father Dominic, a Passionist, received him into the Catholic Church, 1845. Ordained at Rome, 1846, he returned to England, near the close of 1847, as an Oratorian, residing successively at Maryvale, Saint Wilfrid's College, Cheadle, Saint Ann's, Birmingham, and finally at Edgbaston where, but for four years in Ireland, when he wrote "Idea of a University," he lived for 40 years. Early in his priesthood he established the London Oratory. The "scientific" history, cultivated by the "Rambler," the proposed Oxford oratory, and the pope's temporal power, then in the balance, were questions which brought him into confiict with other prominent Catholics, but his position was justified by his greater perspicacity and foresight. Opportunity to clear all mistrust came, 1858, with Kingsley's careless attack, precipitating the "Apologia pro vita sua," a "religious autobiography of unsurpassed interest," revolutionizing "the popular estimate of its author." Trinity made him honorary fellow, 1878. Pope Leo XIII elevated the aged Oratorian to the cardinalate in 1879. His infiuence in the Anglican as well as the Catholic communion was profound, inducing many hundreds to follow him. Universally considered one of the great masters of prose style in the realm of poetry, e.g., his "Dream of Gerontius," he ranks next to Dante in expressing the Catholic penetration of eternity. Among his works, the best of which were written after his conversion, are: Sermons to Mixed Congregations, Lectures, Loss and Gain, Callista, The Second Spring, Christianity and Scientific Investigation, On Consulting the Laity in Matters of Doctrine, Grammar of Assent, Cathedra Sempiterna, Meditations and Devotions, and Letters and Correspondence. He was declared Venerable on January 22, 1991.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Newman, John Henry, Venerable
Cardinal, convert, and leader of the Tractarian Movement; born London, England, February 21, 1801; died Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, England, August 11, 1890. He was educated at Ealing, and at 15 "converted" to the necessity or dogma and an Apostolic Church. In 1816 he matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford, and in 1818 won a scholarship tenable for nine years. Despite a breakdown, which lowered his scholastic rank, he was elected fellow of Oriel. He was ordained, 1824, becoming curate of Saint Clement's, Oxford, where he remained two years. During this formative period he acquired knowledge of Catholic doctrine from various Oxford clergymen, notably Whately and Hawkins. He was made vicar of Saint Mary's, 1828. After quarreling with Hawkins, he resigned his tutorship, 1832, and took a Mediterranean cruise with Froude. Upon his return to England, the Tractarian Movement, of which he was the philosopher and the guide, began with Keble's Assize sermon on "National Apostacy," July 14, 1833. To bring about a restoration of the primitive Church, Newman undertook to write "Tracts for the Times," from which the Tractarian Movement takes its name, until "Tract 90" (distinguishing the corruptions assailed in the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles from the acceptable doctrines of the Council of Trent), forced him, because of its Roman leanings, to resign his living at Saint Mary's. He then designated his position the via media (middle way), maintaining from 1833 that England lay midway between Rome and Geneva, Catholicism and Luthero-Calvinism. From 1839 the via media appeared, as he read history, a mere repetition of the subterfuges of past heresies. After 1841 he lived with friends at Littlemore in monastic seclusion, and Father Dominic, a Passionist, received him into the Catholic Church, 1845. Ordained at Rome, 1846, he returned to England, near the close of 1847, as an Oratorian, residing successively at Maryvale, Saint Wilfrid's College, Cheadle, Saint Ann's, Birmingham, and finally at Edgbaston where, but for four years in Ireland, when he wrote "Idea of a University," he lived for 40 years. Early in his priesthood he established the London Oratory. The "scientific" history, cultivated by the "Rambler," the proposed Oxford oratory, and the pope's temporal power, then in the balance, were questions which brought him into confiict with other prominent Catholics, but his position was justified by his greater perspicacity and foresight. Opportunity to clear all mistrust came, 1858, with Kingsley's careless attack, precipitating the "Apologia pro vita sua," a "religious autobiography of unsurpassed interest," revolutionizing "the popular estimate of its author." Trinity made him honorary fellow, 1878. Pope Leo XIII elevated the aged Oratorian to the cardinalate in 1879. His infiuence in the Anglican as well as the Catholic communion was profound, inducing many hundreds to follow him. Universally considered one of the great masters of prose style in the realm of poetry, e.g., his "Dream of Gerontius," he ranks next to Dante in expressing the Catholic penetration of eternity. Among his works, the best of which were written after his conversion, are: Sermons to Mixed Congregations, Lectures, Loss and Gain, Callista, The Second Spring, Christianity and Scientific Investigation, On Consulting the Laity in Matters of Doctrine, Grammar of Assent, Cathedra Sempiterna, Meditations and Devotions, and Letters and Correspondence. He was declared Venerable on January 22, 1991.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of Austria, Don
Catholic hero, born Ratisbon, Bavaria, 1545; died Namur, Belgium, 1578. The natural son of Charles V, by Barbara Blomberg, daughter of an affiuent family, he was recognized later by his half-brother, Philip II, as a member of the royal family. Having distinguished himself in conflicts with the Algerian pirates, 1568, and the Morlscos in Granada, 1569-1570, he was made admiral of the Spanish and Austrian fleets, combined by the league effected by Pope Pius V, 1571, to check the advance of the Turks to the west after their conquest of Cyprus. The great victory of Lepanto, Greece, when 35,000 Turks were slain and 15,000 Christian slaves freed, inspired Don Juan to work for his own and Christianity's establishment in non-Christian countries, but he was thwarted by the jealous Philip, and made governor-general of the Netherlands, 1576, only to encounter the opposition of William of Orange, all-powerful there. Even after signing the "Perpetual Edict," 1577, his position remained nominal, so he withdrew shortly to Namur. Staging the attack, led by Faroese, on Gemblours, 1578, he could not follow up the brilliant victory for lack of funds, and after a period of inactivity, his health failed and he died, broken-hearted.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John o'Donovan
Catholic historian, philologist and antiquarian. Born Atateemore, County Kilkenny, Ireland, 1806; died Dublin, Ireland, 1861. Beginning the study of Irish at an early age, he was introduced by Hardiman to a circle of famous scholars, and became with O'Curry, his brother-in-law, the supreme authority on ancient Irish affairs. Professor of Celtic at Queen's College, Belfast. He was the mainstay of the chief Irish archaeological reviews of his day. He is most popularly known by his Irish Grammar, and his edition of the Annals of the Four Masters. His series of scholarly letters written in connection with his work for the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, like O'Curry's, were kept unpublished by the British Government for fear of rekindling flames of Irish patriotism.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Filagatto, John
City in Asia Minor. One of the seven churches in Asia to whose bishop one of the letters in the Apocalypse is addressed (Apocalypse 3).
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Xvi, Anti-Pope
City in Asia Minor. One of the seven churches in Asia to whose bishop one of the letters in the Apocalypse is addressed (Apocalypse 3).
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Carroll University
Cleveland, Ohio, founded 1886; conducted by the Jesuits; preparatory school; college of arts and sciences; extension courses.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Shepherd
Composer. Born in England c.1512;died there c1563 A chorister under Thomas Mulliner at Saint Paul's, he became in 1542 choir-master and organist at Magdalen College, Oxford, and in 1549 gained a fellowship. From 1553 to 1558 he belonged to Mary Tudor's Chapel Royal. The Music School, Oxford, has preserved in manuscripts many of his religious compositions. Notable selections are four masses, several alleluias, and ten motets.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Climacus, Saint
Confessor, abbot, born Syria, c.525;died on Mount Sinai, 605. The name Climacus was given to him from the title of his book "The Ladder (Climax) of Paradise," but he is also known as Scholasticus, or the Sinaita. He lived for many years as a solitary at the foot of Mount Sinai, and in 600 acceded to the request of the monks on Sinai to rule them as abbot, resigning this charge after four years. Emblem: a ladder. Feast, March 30,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of Avila, Blessed
Confessor, apostolic preacher of Andalusia, born Almodovar del Campo, Spain, 1500; died Montilla, 1569. He studied law at Salamanca, but through motives of piety gave it up to study theology at Alcala. Impressed with John's extraordinary sanctity the Archbishop of Seville induced him to become apostolic preacher. During John's apostolate of forty years he attracted by his preaching and by his saintly life notable disciples, as Saint Theresa, Saint John of God, and Saint Francis Borgia, and spread the power of the Jesuits throughout Spain. His best known works are "Audi Fili," a tract on Christian perfection, and his "Spiritual Letters." Beatified 1894, canonized 1970. Feast, May 10,. See also, patron saints index.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John the Silent, Saint
Confessor, Bishop of Colonia, Armenia, born Nicopolis, Armenia, 452; died near Jerusalem, 558. His life of mortification and self-denial continued even when he was Bishop of Colonia. His last days were spent in seclusion and perpetual silence in the desert near Jerusalem. Represented holding his finger to his lips, signifying his love of silence. Feast, May 13,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Beverley, John of, Saint
Confessor, Bishop of Hexham, afterwards of York, born Harpham, England; died Beverley, England, 721. He joined the Benedictine Order, lived for some time in the monastery at Whitby, and was consecrated Bishop of Hexham, 687. He founded a monastery at Inderawood (later Beverley), which became an important ecclesiastical center, and there he spent the last years of his life. Canonized, 1037. His relics were preserved in Beverley cathedral. Feast, May 7,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of Beverley, Saint
Confessor, Bishop of Hexham, afterwards of York, born Harpham, England; died Beverley, England, 721. He joined the Benedictine Order, lived for some time in the monastery at Whitby, and was consecrated Bishop of Hexham, 687. He founded a monastery at Inderawood (later Beverley), which became an important ecclesiastical center, and there he spent the last years of his life. Canonized, 1037. His relics were preserved in Beverley cathedral. Feast, May 7,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Berchmans, John, Saint
Confessor, born Diest, Brabant, 1599; died Rome, Italy, 1621. He studied at Mechlin and entered the Society of Jesus, 1616. Having been sent to Rome in 1619, he fell illin 1621, immediately following his public disputation in philosophy, and died shortly afterward. His short religious life was distinguished by a faithful observance of the Rule of the Order, which brought him quickly to perfection. Patron of youths; altar boys' societies are named after him. Emblems: the Rule of Saint Ignatius, a cross, and rosary. Canonized, 1888. Relics in San Ignazio, Rome, Italy. Feast, August 13,; in the Society of Jesus, November 27,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Berchmans, Saint
Confessor, born Diest, Brabant, 1599; died Rome, Italy, 1621. He studied at Mechlin and entered the Society of Jesus, 1616. Having been sent to Rome in 1619, he fell illin 1621, immediately following his public disputation in philosophy, and died shortly afterward. His short religious life was distinguished by a faithful observance of the Rule of the Order, which brought him quickly to perfection. Patron of youths; altar boys' societies are named after him. Emblems: the Rule of Saint Ignatius, a cross, and rosary. Canonized, 1888. Relics in San Ignazio, Rome, Italy. Feast, August 13,; in the Society of Jesus, November 27,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Regis, Saint
Confessor, born Fontcouverte, France, 1597; died at La Louvesc, France, 1640. He entered the Society of Jesus, 1616, and was ordained, 1630. Gifted with a marvelous talent for missions, he labored for the conversion of the Huguenots, assisted the needy, and aided in the rescue of wayward women. On the site of his death the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Regis of the Cenacle was founded in 1888. Canonized, 1739. Body at Louvesc. Feast, June 16,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Cantius, Saint
Confessor, born Kenty, Poland, 1397; died Krakow, Poland, 1473. He studied philosophy and theology, and received the degrees of bachelor, master, and doctor, was ordained priest, occupied the chair of theology at the Academy of Krakow, and was appointed parish priest at Olkusz, but resigned after a short time to teach Sacred Scripture at Krakow. He made one pilgrimage to Jerusalem and four to Rome on foot. Renowned for his humility and charity, and the practise of mortification, many miracles are ascribed to him. Canonized, 1767. Relics at Krakow. Feast, Roman Calendar, October 19,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Capistran, Saint
Confessor, born Sulmona, Italy, 1385; died Hungary, 1456. He received his degree of Doctor of Laws at Perugia, was affiliated with the Ghibelline party, appointed governor of Perugia under King Ladislaus of Naples, and imprisoned by Malatesta who was at war with Perugia. In 1416 he became a Franciscan and traveled through Italy after his ordination, preaching and performing miracles of healing, and assisting Saint Bernardine of Siena in reforming the Order. In 1431 he was made commissary general of that branch of the Franciscans known as Observants. He defended himself and his companions against the charge of heresy. He was employed as papal legate on numerous occasions, and was the leading spirit in the crusade against the Turks in Hungary where he led the left wing of the Christian army at the battle of Belgrade. Canonized, 1724. Relics in Orthodox monastery of Bistritz, Rumania. Feast, Roman Calendar, March 28,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Baptist de Rossi, Saint
Confessor, born Voltaggio, Italy, 1698; died Rome, Italy, 1764. He was ordained in 1721, but having through indiscreet practises of mortification contracted spells of epilepsy, he fulfilled the duties of the sacred ministry by instructing and preaching to the poor of the Campagna, thus becoming known as the apostle of the abandoned, and winning many sinners to repentance. In 1731 he established near Saint Galla a house of refuge for the homeless. In 1735 he was compelled to accept a canonry at Saint Mary in Cosmedin, vacated by the death of a relative. He was subsequently induced to hear confessions and was given the unusual faculty to do so in any of the churches of Rome, in the exercise of which privilege he displayed extraordinary zeal. Canonized, 1881. Relics in Saints Trinita. Feast, May 23,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Baptist Mary Vianney, Saint
Confessor, Cure d'Ars, born Dardilly, near Lyons, France, 1786; died Ars, France, 1859. Overcoming the difficulties caused by a meager primary school education and defective talents, he was ordained in 1815 and sent for a time to Ecully. In 1818 he was made parish priest at Ars, a remote French hamlet, where his exercise of the sacred ministry, especially in the direction of souls, made him known throughout the Christian world. Persons of all ranks and conditions of life sought his advice and in 1855 the number of pilgrims to Ars had reached 20,000 a year. He led a life of extreme mortification and performed numerous miracles. Canonized, 1925. Feast, Roman Calendar, August 9,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Damascene, John, Saint
Confessor, Doctor of the Church, born Damascus, Syria, 676; died 770. His father, though a Christian, was esteemed by his Saracen countrymen, and was chief financial officer for the caliph. John was educated by the monk Cosmas; after his father's death he was made chief councilor of Damascus. He vigorously opposed the Iconoclast persecution propagated by Leo the Isaurian, and retired to the monastery of Saint Sabas, near Jerusalem, where he was ordained priest by John V, Patriarch of Jerusalem. He was the last of the Greek Fathers. His contributions to theology are encyclopedic rather than original; he is considered by some the precursor of the Scholastics, by others the first Scholastic. He is regarded as the first theological encyclopedist, and as the prince of Greek hymnodists. Feast, Roman Calendar, March 27,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Damascene, Saint
Confessor, Doctor of the Church, born Damascus, Syria, 676; died 770. His father, though a Christian, was esteemed by his Saracen countrymen, and was chief financial officer for the caliph. John was educated by the monk Cosmas; after his father's death he was made chief councilor of Damascus. He vigorously opposed the Iconoclast persecution propagated by Leo the Isaurian, and retired to the monastery of Saint Sabas, near Jerusalem, where he was ordained priest by John V, Patriarch of Jerusalem. He was the last of the Greek Fathers. His contributions to theology are encyclopedic rather than original; he is considered by some the precursor of the Scholastics, by others the first Scholastic. He is regarded as the first theological encyclopedist, and as the prince of Greek hymnodists. Feast, Roman Calendar, March 27,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of God, Saint
Confessor, Founder of the Brothers Hospitallers, born Montemor Novo, Portugal, 1495; died Granada, Spain, 1550. His early life was unsettled and nomadic. He worked as a shepherd in Castile. After serving in Charles V's army he lived in Africa for some time and later, returning to Spain, peddled religious books and pictures in Gibraltar. The Infant Jesus, appearing to him, addressed him as "John of God," and bade him go to Granada. There, won over to the religious life by the teaching and example of Blessed John of Avila, he devoted himself to caring for the sick, and founded, for that purpose, the Grand Hospital at Granada and the Brothers Hospitallers. Patron of the sick and of hospitals, of printers and booksellers. Emblems: alms, a heart, crown of thorns. Canonized, 1690. Relics at Granada. Feast, Roman Calendar, March 8,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Baptist de la Salle, Saint
Confessor, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, father of modern pedagogy, born Rheims, France, 1651; died Rouen, France, 1719. After completing his education, he decided to serve the Church, was installed as a canon of the metropolitan See of Rheims, 1667, ordained priest, 1678, and in 1680 took his doctorate in theology. He was occupied with the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Infant, an order devoted to the instruction of poor girls, and began in 1681 the organization of Brothers, and guided it through the vicissitudes which naturally befall a newly-founded society. The first novitiate was founded, 1691, at Vaugirard; in 1705 it was moved to Saint-Yon, Rouen; there he revised the rule he had drawn up in 1695. Canonized, 1900. Feast, Roman Calendar, May 15,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Colombini, Blessed
Confessor, founder of the Jesuats, born Siena, Italy, 1300; died on the way to Acquapendente, 1367. He belonged to an old patrician family and his wealth enabled him to hold a position of great prominence and influence, but his married life was marred by his avarice, ambition, and proneness to anger. After a passionate outburst he was converted by reading the Life of Saint Mary of Egypt. Thereafter he was distinguished for humility, meekness, and liberality to the poor, culminating in his dividing among them all his possessions. With Francis Mini he established a society of laymen for the practise of charity, based at first upon the Rule of Saint Benedict, later on the Rule of Saint Augustine, and called Jesuats. Many miracles occurred at his tomb. He is represented caring for the sick, and grinding down the riches of the earth beneath his feet. Feast, July 31,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of Matha, Saint
Confessor, founder of the Trinitarians, born Faucon, France, 1169; died Rome, Italy, 1213. He was educated at Aix and Paris. Feeling that his vocation was to devote his life to helping Christian captives, he became attached to Saint Felix of Valois, the hermit, and founded the Order of Trinitarians to carry on the work of redeeming captives; it was approved in 1209. Relics in Madrid. Feast, Roman Calendar, February 8,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Matha, John of, Saint
Confessor, founder of the Trinitarians, born Faucon, France, 1169; died Rome, Italy, 1213. He was educated at Aix and Paris. Feeling that his vocation was to devote his life to helping Christian captives, he became attached to Saint Felix of Valois, the hermit, and founded the Order of Trinitarians to carry on the work of redeeming captives; it was approved in 1209. Relics in Madrid. Feast, Roman Calendar, February 8,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Ruysbroeck, Blessed
Confessor, greatest Flemish mystic, prior of Groenendael, born Ruysbroeck, near Brussels, 1293; died Groenendael, 1381. With his uncle John Hinkaert and Francis van Coudenberg, both canons of Saint Gudule's, Brussels, retired to a hermitage at Groenendael in 1343; this was erected into a community of canons regular in 1349. He led a life of extreme austerity, became famous as a sublime contemplative, and skilled director of souls, and was called the Admirable Doctor and the Divine Doctor. His most characteristic treatise on mystical life is "The Spiritual Espousals."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of Sahagun, Saint
Confessor, hermit, born Sahagun, Spain, 1419; died Salamanca, Spain, 1479. Educated at Salamanca and Burgos, he was ordained, 1445, and made canon in the cathedral at Burgos. Desiring a more thorough knowledge of theology, he entered the University of Salamanca, where he took his degree in divinity. Then joining the Order of Hermits of Saint Augustine, 1463, he was made prior of the community, 1471. He is said to have been poisoned by a woman whose companion in sin he had converted. Patron of Salamanca. Relics in Spain, Belgium, and Peru. Canonized, 1696. Feast, Roman Calendar, June 12,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of the Cross, Saint
Doctor of mystic theology, founder with Saint Teresa of the Discalced Carmelites, born Hontiveros, Spain, 1542; died Andalusia, 1591. He entered the Carmelite Order at Medina, 1563, and was ordained in 1567. Saint Teresa persuaded him to remain in the order and assist her in establishing a monastery of friars, carrying out the primitive rule. He was made first master of novices, and was called to Avila by Saint Teresa to serve as director and confessor in the convent of which she was the superioress. Refusing to obey the order of his provincial to return to Medina, he was imprisoned at Toledo for nine months. After his escape he became vicar-general of Andalusia. He strove for papal recognition of the order, and as a result suffered indignities under his displeased superior. His mystic writings include "The Ascent of Mount Carmel" and "The Dark Night of the Soul." Canonized, 1726. Relics at Segovia. Feast, Roman Calendar, November 24,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Chrysostom, Saint
Doctor of the Church, Archbishop of Constantinople, born Antioch, c.347;died Comana, Pontus, 407. He studied under the pagan Libianus, most famous orator of his day; devoted himself to an ascetic life; was baptized c.369;and ordained reader. For two years he lived in a cave near Antioch, but his health being impaired by austerity, he returned to the city. He was ordained priest in 386, and in the twelve years that followed was engaged chiefly in preaching and writing. His oratorical powers swayed the whole Eastern Empire, meriting the name Chrysostom, "Golden Mouthed." In 398 he was elevated to the See of Constantinople, where he incurred popular resentment by his sweeping reforms, and was deposed and exiled, 403, by Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria. Recalled by the empress, he was exiled again in 404. Patron of orators. Emblems: bees, dove, pan. Relics in choir chapel of Saint Peter's, Rome. Feast, Roman Calendar, January 27,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John o'Hanlon
First Baron O'Hagan of Tullxhogue; born Belfast, Ireland, 1812; died 1885. After editing the "Newry Examiner," he made rapid progress at the Bar, and, 1868, was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland, the first Catholic to hold that office since the days of James II.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Carroll
First bishop of the hierarchy of the United States, first Bishop and Archbishop of Baltimore, born Upper Marlboro, Maryland, 1735; died Baltimore, Maryland, 1815. His father, Daniel Carroll, a native of Ireland, was a successful merchant in Upper Marlboro; his mother, Eleanor Darnall, was closely related to the wife of Charles Carroll of Carrollton; his brother, Daniel Carroll (1733-1829), was a member of the Colonial Congress (1780-1784) and of the new Congress (1789-1791) and was one of the two Catholic signers of the Constitution in 1787. John Carroll was educated at the Jesuit school at Bohemia Manor in Maryland, and at the Jesuit College of Saint Omer in French Flanders. In 1753 he entered the Society of Jesus, studied at Liege, and was ordained in 1769. Four years of teaching philosophy and theology at Liege and Bruges and a winter spent traveling in Europe as tutor to Lord Stourton's son, were followed by his return to Maryland in 1774 after the suppression of the Society. Volunteer missionary labors in Maryland and Virginia occupied his time. In 1776, at the request of the Continental Congress, he accompanied Charles Carroll, Benjamin Franklin, and Samuel Chase on a mission to Canada in a vain endeavor to secure the cooperation, or the neutrality, of that country in the Revolution. At the close of the war his patriotism and wisdom were largely instrumental in reorganizing the infant Church of the United States, free of the jurisdiction of the Vicar-General of London, under which the Colonial Church had been for a century, and independent of any foreign power. As the choice of his associates in 1784 he was appointed, by the pope, Superior of the Missions of the United States, which then included less than 30,000 Catholics. In 1788 his name was submitted to Rome, by permission of the Holy See, as an episcopal candidate selected by twenty-four out of twenty-six assembled priests, and he was named Bishop of Baltimore in 1789, his diocese reaching from Georgia to Maine and westward to the Mississippi. He was consecrated in the chapel of Thomas Weld at Lulworth Castle, England, August 15, 1790, by the Right Reverend Charles Walmesley, Vicar Apostolic of London. Among the difficulties with which he had to cope were the extravagant claims of lay trustees, the question of nationalism in parish churches, and the occasional intrusion of unworthy priests. In 1791 he called the first Synod of Baltimore, attended by 22 priests. The same year the opening of Georgetown College, founded on his plans, took place, and Sulpicians from France inaugurated the beginnings of Saint Mary's College and Seminary. Bishop Carroll conferred Holy Orders, for the first time within the territory of the thirteen States, on Reverend Stephen Badin in 1793. In 1800 he consecrated his coadjutor, Right Reverend Leonard Neale. In 1806 he laid the corner-stone of the Cathedral of the Assumption which replaced Saint Peter's pro-Cathedral in 1824. The suffragan sees of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown (now Louisville) were erected in 1808, and the pallium conferred on Archbishop Carroll. He lived to see the restoration of the Society of Jesus in 1814, having reorganized it in his diocese in 1805. Active always in civicaffairs, he was president of the Female Humane Charity School of Baltimore, head of the Library Company, and one of the three trustees of Saint John's College at Annapolis. At his death clergy in the United States numbered about 85.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Bosco, Saint
Founder of the Salesian Society, born Becchi, Piedmont, Italy, 1815; died Turin, Italy, 1888. A priest at Turin, he decided to devote his life to neglected orphan boys, and in February, 1842, he formed the Oratory, an association of twenty youths, whose numbers grew rapidly and for whom he built night-schools, technical schools, workshops, and a dormitory. This was the foundation of the Salesian Society, which now cares for thousands of boys all over the world, and was approved by Pope Pius IX in 1874. He was declared Venerable by Pope Pius X, July 24, 1907, and Blessed by Pope Pius XI, June 2, 1929.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Mccloskey
Fourth Bishop and second Archbishop of New York, and first American cardinal, born Brooklyn, New York, 1810; died New York, 1885. After attending schools in Brooklyn and New York he entered Mount Saint Mary's College at Emmitsburg in 1822, finishing his studies in the Seminary twelve years later. He was ordained in old Saint Patrick's, New York, in 1834, and taught philosophy in the new seminary at Nyack until its destruction by fire the eame year. He was in Rome from 1835 to 1837 as a student at the Gregorian University. On his return he became pastor of Saint Joseph's in New York, leaving it temporarily in 1841 to organize Saint John's College, Fordham. He was named coadjutor to Bishop Hughes and consecrated in 1844, becoming first Bishop of Albany in 1847. He cooperated in the founding of Saint Joseph's Seminary at Troy in 1812. Named second Archbishop of New York in 1864, he was installed in Saint Patrick's Cathedral on Mott Street. He was named first American cardinal by Pius IX, the investiture taking place in old Saint Patrick's, April 21, 1875. In August he took possession of his titular church, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, in Rome, and when he went to Rome again for the coronation of Leo XIII he received the cardinal's hat from that pontiff, March 28, 1878. He dedicated the present Saint Patrick's Cathedral, May 25, 1879. Through an appeal to President Arthur in 1885 he was instrumental in saving the American College at Rome from spoliation by the Italian government. The New York Catholic Protectory is one of his many monuments.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Mccloskey, John
Fourth Bishop and second Archbishop of New York, and first American cardinal, born Brooklyn, New York, 1810; died New York, 1885. After attending schools in Brooklyn and New York he entered Mount Saint Mary's College at Emmitsburg in 1822, finishing his studies in the Seminary twelve years later. He was ordained in old Saint Patrick's, New York, in 1834, and taught philosophy in the new seminary at Nyack until its destruction by fire the eame year. He was in Rome from 1835 to 1837 as a student at the Gregorian University. On his return he became pastor of Saint Joseph's in New York, leaving it temporarily in 1841 to organize Saint John's College, Fordham. He was named coadjutor to Bishop Hughes and consecrated in 1844, becoming first Bishop of Albany in 1847. He cooperated in the founding of Saint Joseph's Seminary at Troy in 1812. Named second Archbishop of New York in 1864, he was installed in Saint Patrick's Cathedral on Mott Street. He was named first American cardinal by Pius IX, the investiture taking place in old Saint Patrick's, April 21, 1875. In August he took possession of his titular church, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, in Rome, and when he went to Rome again for the coronation of Leo XIII he received the cardinal's hat from that pontiff, March 28, 1878. He dedicated the present Saint Patrick's Cathedral, May 25, 1879. Through an appeal to President Arthur in 1885 he was instrumental in saving the American College at Rome from spoliation by the Italian government. The New York Catholic Protectory is one of his many monuments.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Newton
General and engineer, born Norfolk, Virginia, 1823; died New York, 1895. The son of General Thomas Newton, he graduated at the United States Military Academy, 1842, was commissioned major, 1861, distinguished himself in the Civil War, in 1865 was brevetted major-general of volunteers, brigadier-general and major-general of regulars. He was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of engineers in the regular service, 1865, superintended the work on the improvement of the Hudson River between Troy and New York, on the channel between New Jersey and Staten Island, the harbors on Lake Champlain, and removed the dangerous rocks in Hell Gate, the water-way between the East River and Long Island Sound. He was made commissioner of public works of New York, 1886, a post he resigned to become president of the Panama Railroad Company, 1888. Early in his life he entered the Catholic Church.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Newton, John
General and engineer, born Norfolk, Virginia, 1823; died New York, 1895. The son of General Thomas Newton, he graduated at the United States Military Academy, 1842, was commissioned major, 1861, distinguished himself in the Civil War, in 1865 was brevetted major-general of volunteers, brigadier-general and major-general of regulars. He was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of engineers in the regular service, 1865, superintended the work on the improvement of the Hudson River between Troy and New York, on the channel between New Jersey and Staten Island, the harbors on Lake Champlain, and removed the dangerous rocks in Hell Gate, the water-way between the East River and Long Island Sound. He was made commissioner of public works of New York, 1886, a post he resigned to become president of the Panama Railroad Company, 1888. Early in his life he entered the Catholic Church.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Leslie, John
Historian, Bishop of Ross, Scotland, 1565, born Kingussie, Inverness, Scotland, 1527; died Guirtenburg, Belgium, 1596. From 1561 he was in the service of Mary Queen of Scots, and never wavered in his fidelity. He spent several years in prison at Ely and the Tower for having favored the projected marriage of Mary with Norfolk, but in 1573 was exiled to the continent. He assisted in revising and publishing the laws of Scotland, but is chiefly remembered for his Latin history of his native land.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Lingard, John
Historian, born Winchester, England, 1771; died Hornby, 1851. Entering Douai in 1782, he returned to England during the French Revolution and was ordained at York, 1795, after his appointment as vice-president and professor at Crook Hall seminary (transferred to Ushaw, 1808), where he wrote his "Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church." In 1811 he retired to the mission of Hornby, and after issuing various controversial tracts and devoting many years to research, he composed his eight-volume "History of England to the Accession of William and Mary" (1819-1830; eighth edition, 11 volumes, New York, 1915, supplementary vol. by H. Belloc). Lingard successfully negotiated the reopening of the English College, Rome, and as the trusted adviser of the episcopate played a very important part in the 19th-century revival of Catholicity in England. The historical work of the Lingard Society of London honors his memory.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Macdonald, John
Laird of Glenaladale and Glenfinnan, philanthropist, born Glenaladale, Scotland, c.1742;died Tracadie, Prince Edward Island, Canada, 1811. He was educated at Ratisbon, and on returning to Scotland mortgaged his estate and purchased a tract on Prince Edward Island, where he spent his life laboring for the temporal and spiritual welfare of his impoverished countrymen, driven into exile for remaining Catholics.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John de Feckenham
Last Abbot of Westminster, born Feckenham Forest, Worcestershire, England, c.1515;died Wisbech Castle, 1585. His family name was Howman. He joined the Benedictines at Evesham, and after the dissolution of the monasteries was rector of Solihull. Cranmer threw him into prison, but he was released under Mary and later made Abbot of Westminster. He showed great kindness to heretics, and after Wyatt's rebellion his intercession saved Elizabeth's life and subsequently procured her liberation. On her accession he refused to save his monastery by apostasy, and spent 23 years in jail, where he died from privation, a striking example of Elizabeth's ingratitude.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John o'Hagan
Lawyer and writer; born Newry, County Down, Ireland, 1822; died Dublin, Ireland, 1890. His brilliant career at the bar was crowned by his elevation to the High Court of Justice by Gladstone. In his earliest manhood he was one of the leading poets of "The Nation" group, and late in life wrote the first English poetical translation of "La Chanson de Roland."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Sarkander, Blessed
Martyr of the seal of confession, born Skotschau, Austrian Silesia, 1576; died Olmütz, 1620. He received his degree of master of philosophy at Prague, 1603, and was ordained, 1607. He was at Holleschau, formerly belonging to the Bohemian Brethren, now a Jesuit College, when Moravia was invaded by the Polish troops, and induced them to spare the college. The Protestants, therefore, accused him of bringing the enemy into the country, put him on trial, and tortured him when he refused to reveal what Lobkowitz, the governor of Moravia, had confessed to him. He died in prison. Beatified in 1860. Relics in the Cathedral of Olmütz.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Storey, Blessed
Martyr, born 1504, died Tyburn, England, 1571. He was president of Broadgates Hall, now Pembroke College. Entering Parliament in 1547 he was imprisoned for opposing the Bill of Uniformity. He went to Louvain, but returned in 1553, and became chancellor to Bishop Bonner. Once more in Parliament, he was again imprisoned, this time for opposing the Bill of Supremacy. He fled to Antwerp, was arrested there, brought to England, and put to death in the Tower, for his faith. Beatified, 1886.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Story, Blessed
Martyr, born 1504, died Tyburn, England, 1571. He was president of Broadgates Hall, now Pembroke College. Entering Parliament in 1547 he was imprisoned for opposing the Bill of Uniformity. He went to Louvain, but returned in 1553, and became chancellor to Bishop Bonner. Once more in Parliament, he was again imprisoned, this time for opposing the Bill of Supremacy. He fled to Antwerp, was arrested there, brought to England, and put to death in the Tower, for his faith. Beatified, 1886.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Shert, Blessed
Martyr, born Cheshire, England; died Tyburn, England, 1582. He was educated at Oxford (B.A., Brasenose), taught school in London, was ordained at Rome, and was sent to the English mission. He was executed with Blessed Thomas Ford. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Lalande, John, Blessed
Martyr, born Dieppe, France; died Auriesville, New York, 1646. As a layman he labored with the Jesuit missionaries in North America, and suffered martyrdom with Blessed Isaac Jogues. Beatified, 1925.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Payne, Blessed
Martyr, born diocese of Peterborough; died Chelmsford, England, 1582. Educated at Douai, he was ordained priest in 1576 and went on the English mission the next year. In 1581 he was arrested in Warwickshire, tortured, and put to death. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John de Britto, Blessed
Martyr, born Lisbon, Portugal, 1647; died Oreiour, India, 1693. A Jesuit missionary in Madura, India, he was expelled from the country and returned to Portugal 1688, as deputy to the triennial Congregation of Procurators. Refusing the Archbishopric of Cranganore, he returned to India, 1691. A repudiated wife of a converted Maravese prince began a general persecution, and John was martyred. Beatified, 1853.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Cornay, Blessed
Martyr, born Loudun, France, 1809; died Sontai, Indo-China, 1837. He joined the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris, and was ordained 1834. Sent to China, Father Cornay was placed in charge of the parish of Bauno in Tonkin. In 1837 he was seized, placed in a cage, and carried to Sontai. Here he suffered severe torture for promulgating the Christian religion. Finally on September 20, he was decapitated and his hands and feet cut off. His body was temporarily buried near the place of execution; after three years exposure his head was secured by some Christians, and his entire remains later received honorable burial in the Christian parish of Schioung. Beatified, 1900.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Nepomucene, Saint
Martyr, born Nepomuk, c.1340;died 1393. The legend recounts that his election as vicar-general of Bohemia aroused the rage of King Wenceslaus, who had him tortured and finally drowned in the river Moldau because he had refused to reveal to the king the queen's confession. Patron of Bohemia, and of confessors. Canonized in 1729. Feast, May 16,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Nepomucene, John, Saint
Martyr, born Nepomuk, c.1340;died 1393. The legend recounts that his election as vicar-general of Bohemia aroused the rage of King Wenceslaus, who had him tortured and finally drowned in the river Moldau because he had refused to reveal to the king the queen's confession. Patron of Bohemia, and of confessors. Canonized in 1729. Feast, May 16,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Forest, John, Blessed
Martyr, born Oxford, England, 1471; died 1538. He was a Franciscan friar who became chaplain and confessor to Catherine of Aragon and from the first resolutely opposed the divorce. He was burned at Smithfield, the fire being fed with fragments of an enormous wooden statue of Saint Derfel Gadarn which from time immemorial had been venerated in Wales and concerning which there was an old saying that it would one day burn a forest. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Rochester, Blessed
Martyr, born probably Terling, Essex, England, c.1498;died York, England, 1537. He was a choir monk in the Charterhouse of London. He was hanged for opposing the new doctrine of royal supremacy. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Bonnard, Blessed
Martyr, born Saint Christot, France, 1824; died West Tonkin, Indo-China, 1852. He entered the seminary at Aix, later studied at Lyons, and joined the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris, being ordained priest, 1848. Two months after his ordination Father Bonnard went to Hong Kong, and in May 1850, he arrived at Tonkin, the field of his future apostolic labors. He was appointed to the districts of Kebang and Ketrinh. In 1852 he was arrested at Boasujan, taken to Nadinh, and put in chains. After several examinations he was finally beheaded, May 1, 1852. His blood-covered garments, links of his chain, and his hair and beard were kept by the heathen soldiers and later sold to the Christians. His body was thrown into the river but immediately recovered by the Christians and placed in the college of Vinhtri. Beatified, 1900.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Nelson, Blessed
Martyr, born Skelton, England, 1534; died Tyburn, England, 1577. He went to Douai, was ordained priest by the Archbishop of Cambrai in 1576 and the next year was sent on the English mission, his labors being centered at London. He was arrested, and committed to Newgate as a suspected Papist, tried for treason, and hanged. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Nelson, John, Blessed
Martyr, born Skelton, England, 1534; died Tyburn, England, 1577. He went to Douai, was ordained priest by the Archbishop of Cambrai in 1576 and the next year was sent on the English mission, his labors being centered at London. He was arrested, and committed to Newgate as a suspected Papist, tried for treason, and hanged. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Fisher, John, Blessed
Martyr, Cardinal and Bishop of Rochester, born Beverly, Yorkshire, England, 1459; died Tyburn, England, 1535. He received his degree of B.A. from Cambridge, 1487, and his M.A. in 1491. He occupied the vicarage of Northallerton, 1491-1494, when he became a proctor of Cambridge University. In 1497 he was appointed confessor to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, mother of Henry VII. Consecrated Bishop of Rochester, 1504, he served as chancellor of Cambridge and tutor of Prince Henry (Henry VIII). He opposed Henry in his divorce proceedings against Catherine, and resisted the encroachment of the king on the Church. Refusing to take the oath of succession which acknowledged the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, he was sent to the Tower, 1534. In 1535 he was created cardinal by Pope Paul III. Henry retaliated by having him beheaded. His works consist chiefly of ascetical and controversial treatises. Relics in Saint Peter's Church in the Tower. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Stone, Blessed
Martyr, died at the Dane-John, Canterbury, England, 1539. He was an Austin Friar of Canterbury and a doctor of divinity, and was executed for denying the royal supremacy. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Rugg, Blessed
Martyr, died Glastonbury, England, 1539. He had been a fellow of the two Saint Mary Winton colleges, and the first holder of the Wykehamical prebend "Bursalis," at Chichester, but was living in retirement at Glastonbury, where he was executed with his abbot, Blessed Hugh Faringdon, for refusing to take the oath of supremacy. Beatified, 1895.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Thorne, Blessed
Martyr, died Glastonbury, England, 1539. He was a monk at Glastonbury, and was tortured with the Abbot Whiting, being fastened to hurdles, dragged by horses to the top of Tor Hill, and hanged. Beatified, 1895.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Davy, John, Blessed
Martyr, died Newgate prison, England, 1537. He was a deacon in the London Charterhouse. Refusing to take the oath of supremacy, he was imprisoned at Newgate, where he starved to death. Beatified, 1886.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Davy, Blessed
Martyr, died Newgate prison, England, 1537. He was a deacon in the London Charterhouse. Refusing to take the oath of supremacy, he was imprisoned at Newgate, where he starved to death. Beatified, 1886.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Larke, John, Blessed
Martyr, died Tyburn, England, 1543. He was rector of Saint Ethelburga's, London, of Woodford, Essex, and of Chelsea, and the parish priest and friend of Thomas More. He was executed for being a priest. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Ogilvie, John, Saint
Martyr; born near Keith, Scotland, 1580; died Glasgow, Scotland, 1615. He was converted from Calvinism at Louvain, and having joined the Jesuits returned to the Scottish mission. Some months later he was betrayed in Glasgow and hanged after torture. Canonized in 1976.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Ogilvie, Saint
Martyr; born near Keith, Scotland, 1580; died Glasgow, Scotland, 1615. He was converted from Calvinism at Louvain, and having joined the Jesuits returned to the Scottish mission. Some months later he was betrayed in Glasgow and hanged after torture. Canonized in 1976.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Beche, Blessed
Martyred 1539, Abbot of Saint Werburgh, Chester, England, and of Saint John's, Colchester, England. He was educated at Oxford, and received his degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1515. In 1534 he took the Oath of Supremacy, but later incurred the king's resentment by expressing admiration for the martyrs, Blessed John Fisher and Blessed Thomas More. After a trial for treasonable utterances, he was convicted and executed. Beatified, 1895.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John, Saint
Martyrs in Rome, Italy, 362. They were Romans, servants of Constantia, daughter of Constantine. Refusing to join the household of Julian the Apostate when he became emperor, they were secretly beheaded in their own home. Their bodies were interred under the present basilica of Saints John and Paul, which was formerly the house of the senator Pammachius. Their names occur in the "Communicantes" in the Canon of the Mass. Invoked against lightning, rain, hail, and pestilence. Feast, Roman Calendar, June 26,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Perboyre, Blessed
Missionary and martyr, born Puech, France, 1802; died OuTchang-Fou, China, 1840. As a priest of the Congregation of the Mission in 1835 his superiors, already impressed with his sanctity, granted the permission he had sought for 14 years and sent him to the Chinese mission. After 5 years of zealous, and successful labors, he was subjected to unparalleled tortures and slain.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John, Prester
Name of a legendary Eastern priest and king. The fabulous wealth of this head of a supposed Christian kingdom in the Far East furnished abundant material for writers of the Middle Ages, e.g., Sir John Mandeville, now considered unreliable, and Wolfram von Eschenbach (in "Parsifal"). According to Marco Polo, Prester John was Unc-Khan, and for centuries that Prince of the Keriats, a Mongolian tribe, was believed to be Prester John of the legend; his sacerdotal character was considered due to the fact that he might have been dedicated to the priesthood in his cradle according to the Nestorian custom. In Jerusalem, early in the 15th century, the Abyssinian priests described their country to the Portuguese merchants as the Kingdom of Prester John, which accounts for the persistent search, by the Portuguese discoverers of that century, for the kingdom and for the king himself, along the coast of Africa and the East Indies.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - la Farge, John
Painter and designer of stained giass, born New York, 1835; died Providence, Rhode Island, 1910. He was a pupil of Thomas Couture in Paris after 1856, traveled much in Europe, and on his return in 1859 studied with William Morris Hunt. He excelled in mural painting, but from 1878 to 1886 was chiefly occupied in originating a new process for stained glass, characterized by opalescence and depth of color. For this achievement he was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honor, 1891. In 1886 he visited Japan, being one of the first to appreciate Japanese art. In 1890-1891 he was in Hawaii, and in 1901 in Samoa. Admirable examples of his work are in Trinity Church, Boston, the Church of the Ascension, the Paulist Church in New York, and in the capitol in Saint Paul. Among the windows he designed are the "Peacock Window" in the Worcester Art Museum, and the "Battle Window" in Memorial Hall, Cambridge.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Mullanphy
Philanthropist; born near Enniskillen, Ireland, 1758; died Saint Louis, Missouri, 1833. He fought with Irish Brigade in France, and in Baltimore and New Orleans in the War of 1812. Settled in Saint Louis, 1804, where he proved himself thereafter the chief benefactor of every Catholic institution. He brought the Sisters of Charity to that city. He left a numerous family. One unmarried son, mayor of the city, founded the Mullanphy Fund of over a million dollars for civiccharity; his daughters and their descendants inherited his piety and benevolence.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Curry
Physician and historian, born Dublin, Ireland; died there, 1780. He took a prominent part in the struggle for the repeal of the Irish Penal Laws, and was one of the founders of the Catholic Committee (1760). He defended his coreligionists against Protestant calumnies in his history of the Irish rebellion of 1641, and in reply to a bitter attack on his work Harris published his well-known review of the civilwars in Ireland.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Mcloughlin
Physician and pioneer, known as the "Father of Oregon"; born La Riviere du Loup, Canada, 1784; died Oregon City, 1857. He gave up the practise of medicine to become a partner of the Hudson Bay Company. For 22 years he was its able executive in the Oregon Country, and there were no Indian wars until after he had resigned. He founded Oregen City, protected missionaries of all denominations, and aided citizens of the United States who wished to settle in Oregon. For this last reason his Canadian firm forced him out of office. He became a Catholic, and when action was started against his land claims by some Methodist missionaries, it resulted in his losing his fortune. Later the Oregon legislature restored the territory to his heirs, but McLoughlin had died in poverty, the victim of ingratitude.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Mcloughlin, John
Physician and pioneer, known as the "Father of Oregon"; born La Riviere du Loup, Canada, 1784; died Oregon City, 1857. He gave up the practise of medicine to become a partner of the Hudson Bay Company. For 22 years he was its able executive in the Oregon Country, and there were no Indian wars until after he had resigned. He founded Oregen City, protected missionaries of all denominations, and aided citizens of the United States who wished to settle in Oregon. For this last reason his Canadian firm forced him out of office. He became a Catholic, and when action was started against his land claims by some Methodist missionaries, it resulted in his losing his fortune. Later the Oregon legislature restored the territory to his heirs, but McLoughlin had died in poverty, the victim of ingratitude.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Strutt
Physicist. Born 1842; died 1919. Made valuable observations on optics, the theory of sound, various electric and magnetic problems, and chemical physics in general.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Dryden, John
Poet and dramatist, born Oldwinkle All Saints, Northamptonshire, England, 1631; died London, England, 1700. After receiving the degree of B.A. from Trinity College, Cambridge, he immediately gained recognition as a poet upon the publication of "Heroic Stanzas" on the death of Oliver Cromwell, 1658. Joining the Royalists he celebrated the Restoration by writing "Astræa Redux." In 1662 he decided to follow a career as a dramatist, and as author of numerous plays produced in London he was made poet laureate and royal historiographer, 1870. The unsettled state of the government caused him to write a series of satires, the first of which, "Absalom and Achitophel," brought down a storm of libels upon him, but merited for him first place among the English satirical poets. After his conversion to Catholicism in 1616, the majority of his poems were written in defense of the Faith, most notably, "The Hind and the Panther." This work is divided into three parts: the first describes the different sects in England under allegorical figures of beasts; the second deals with a controversy between the Hind (the Catholic Church) and the Panther (the Church of England); the third continues this dialogue and develops personal and doctrinal satire. In 1688 he translated the "Life of Saint Francis Xavier" from the French of Father Dominique Bouhours. His critical writings were numerous and various. Dryden's position in English literature is of great importance as a poet, dramatist, critic, and translator. His poems include "Annus Mirabilis" and "Alexander's Feast." Among his plays is "All for Love."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Dryden
Poet and dramatist, born Oldwinkle All Saints, Northamptonshire, England, 1631; died London, England, 1700. After receiving the degree of B.A. from Trinity College, Cambridge, he immediately gained recognition as a poet upon the publication of "Heroic Stanzas" on the death of Oliver Cromwell, 1658. Joining the Royalists he celebrated the Restoration by writing "Astræa Redux." In 1662 he decided to follow a career as a dramatist, and as author of numerous plays produced in London he was made poet laureate and royal historiographer, 1870. The unsettled state of the government caused him to write a series of satires, the first of which, "Absalom and Achitophel," brought down a storm of libels upon him, but merited for him first place among the English satirical poets. After his conversion to Catholicism in 1616, the majority of his poems were written in defense of the Faith, most notably, "The Hind and the Panther." This work is divided into three parts: the first describes the different sects in England under allegorical figures of beasts; the second deals with a controversy between the Hind (the Catholic Church) and the Panther (the Church of England); the third continues this dialogue and develops personal and doctrinal satire. In 1688 he translated the "Life of Saint Francis Xavier" from the French of Father Dominique Bouhours. His critical writings were numerous and various. Dryden's position in English literature is of great importance as a poet, dramatist, critic, and translator. His poems include "Annus Mirabilis" and "Alexander's Feast." Among his plays is "All for Love."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Gower, John
Poet, born probably Kent, England, c.1327;died Southwark, England, 1408. He was a prolific writer in three languages. His merits have been dimmed through constant comparison with Chaucer. Among his works are his French "Mirour de l'Omme"(Old French: Mirror of Man), about 31,000 lines treating of the vices and virtues, and pardon through Christ and the intercession of Our Lady; "Vox Clamantis," 10,265 Latin elegiac verses, dealing with contemporary social history; and "Confessio Amantis," over 33,400 lines, in English, a discussion between a lover, the poet, and Venus, and subsequently between the poet, and Genius, his confessor, in which the seven deadly sins are discussed and illustrated by tales.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John o'Reilly
Poet, novelist, and editor, born Douth Castle, Drogheda, Ireland, June 28, 1844; died Hull, Massachusetts, August 10, 1890. He attended the National School, conducted by his father. After enlisting in the Tenth Hussars, he took part in the Fenian movement, but was betrayed and sent to Australia; whence in 1869, he escaped and found his way to Boston, where he became editor and part proprietor of the Pilot from 1870 until his death. For 20 years he was an invaluable factor in Catholic progress in America. His works include four volumes of poems: Moondyne, a powerful novel based on convict life in Australia; A Story from the Underworld (1879), a story of penal life, and The Irish Question (1886); he also edited The Poetry and Songs of Ireland (1889). His daughter, Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly, wrote How France Built Her Cathedrals, New York, 1921.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Dillon, John
Political leader, born Dublin, Ireland, 1851; died London, England, 1927. Son of John Blake Dillon, educated at University College, Dublin, and member of the Royal College of Surgeons, he entered politics as a Parnellite and was elected to Parliament from Tipperary, 1880. He was arrested and imprisoned the following year for instigating a boycott, and in 1883 his health forced him to retire to a ranch in the United States, but returning, 1885, he was re-elected to Parliament. An ardent supporter of Home Rule, he travelled in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, collecting funds for the Irish cause, at the same time avoiding a term of imprisonment which he later served. Upon the retirement of Parnell he supported Justin McCarthy and later John Redmond, whom he succeeded for a short period as chairman of the Irish Party. He was strongly opposed to the violent activities of the Sinn Fein, and ardently loyal to the Allies during the World War, but an opponent of compulsory service in Ireland. After Parnell, he is chiefly credited with the solution of the land problem in Ireland.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Dillon
Political leader, born Dublin, Ireland, 1851; died London, England, 1927. Son of John Blake Dillon, educated at University College, Dublin, and member of the Royal College of Surgeons, he entered politics as a Parnellite and was elected to Parliament from Tipperary, 1880. He was arrested and imprisoned the following year for instigating a boycott, and in 1883 his health forced him to retire to a ranch in the United States, but returning, 1885, he was re-elected to Parliament. An ardent supporter of Home Rule, he travelled in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, collecting funds for the Irish cause, at the same time avoiding a term of imprisonment which he later served. Upon the retirement of Parnell he supported Justin McCarthy and later John Redmond, whom he succeeded for a short period as chairman of the Irish Party. He was strongly opposed to the violent activities of the Sinn Fein, and ardently loyal to the Allies during the World War, but an opponent of compulsory service in Ireland. After Parnell, he is chiefly credited with the solution of the land problem in Ireland.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Doyle, John
Portrait painter and caricaturist, born Dublin, Ireland, 1797; died London, England, 1868. He came to London, 1821, as a portrait painter, but began his clever and good-humored caricatures in 1827. About 600 of these are in the British Museum and constitute a graphic history of contemporary events. He concealed his identity under his double signature disguised as H.B. Father of Richard Doyle.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Doyle
Portrait painter and caricaturist, born Dublin, Ireland, 1797; died London, England, 1868. He came to London, 1821, as a portrait painter, but began his clever and good-humored caricatures in 1827. About 600 of these are in the British Museum and constitute a graphic history of contemporary events. He concealed his identity under his double signature disguised as H.B. Father of Richard Doyle.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John the Baptist, Saint
Precursor of Christ. The son of Zachary and Elizabeth, the details of his miraculous life are related in Luke 1. After spending his youth in the desert, at the age of 30 he reappeared in Judea, near the Jordan (Luke 3), preaching penance and predicting that the Kingdom of God was at hand (Luke 3; Matthew 3). He baptized Our Lord in the Jordan (Matthew 3). Publicly censoring Herod Antipas for having taken to himself Herodias, the wife of his brother, Philip, he was imprisoned and beheaded at the request of the dancing daughter of Herodias (Mark 6). Patron of farriers. Emblems: a lamb, head cut off on a platter, a skin or an animal. Relics in Saint Sylvester's church in Rome and at Amiens, France. Feast, Roman Calendar, of nativity, June 24,; of decollation, August 29,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Knox, John
Presbyterian leader, born Haddington, Scotland, c.1505;died Edinburgh, Scotland, 1572. The facts of his early life are uncertain. His writings show that he had a knowledge of Latin, French, Greek, and Hebrew, and law and theology. He was a priest, and served as private tutor in 1547, when he was imprisoned in connection with the murder of Cardinal Beaton. In 1554 he was married, and visited Calvin at Geneva, from whence he returned, 1555, to begin his preaching career in Scotland. He was forced to leave for Geneva because of his hostility to Queen Mary of England but returned, 1559, upon the accession of Elizabeth. The Queen Regent of Scotland, Mary of Guise, died in 1560, and Knox and the Protestant party were triumphant. The Mass was abolished, and the death penalty was incurred by those who assisted at the sacrifice. Knox was commissioned by the Lords of the Congregation to compile a new creed, and produced the famous Scottish Confession. He violently opposed the policies and religion of Mary, Queen of Scots, who had entered Scotland, 1561. In 1569, five years after his second marriage, he suffered an apoplectic stroke from which he never fully recovered. Knox was the greatest Protestant writer in the Scottish vernacular of his time. His preaching powers were above the ordinary, but he himself was as gloomy, austere, and unforgiving as the creed he preached.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Drumgoole, John
Priest and philanthropist, born Granard, County, Longford, Ireland, 1816; died New York, New York, USA, 1888. He founded (1881) the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin for homeless and destitute boys, its support being derived from Saint Joseph's Union. The mission's present home is at Mount Loretto, Staten Island.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Drumgoole
Priest and philanthropist, born Granard, County, Longford, Ireland, 1816; died New York, New York, USA, 1888. He founded (1881) the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin for homeless and destitute boys, its support being derived from Saint Joseph's Union. The mission's present home is at Mount Loretto, Staten Island.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Xix, Pope
Reigned from 1024 to 1032. Born in Rome, Italy as Romanus; died there. A brother of Benedict VIII, he was a layman at the time of his election. As pope he refused the request of the Eastern emperor, Basil II, to allow the Byzantine patriarchs to assume the title "AEcumenical patriarch"; crowned Conrad the Salian emperor, 1027; allowed the subjects of King Canute of Denmark and England to travel to Italy free of customs duties; and settled a dispute between the archbishops of Milan and Ravenna in favor of the former. A patron of art, he encouraged the musician, Guido of Arezzo, and decorated many buildings in Rome.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Xxi, Pope
Reigned from 1267 to 1277. Born between 1210-1220 at Lisbon, Portugal; died in 1277 in Viterbo, Italy. Known as Petrus Hispanus. His interest in medicine at the University of Paris led to his appointment as professor at the University of Siena, where he wrote his Compendium of Logic, a favorite text-book for almost three hundred years. He was made Archbishop of Braga and cardinal-bishop. As pope he endeavored to ameliorate the wretched ecclesiastical conditions of Portugal. He demanded from Edward I of England the arrears of tribute due to the papacy since 1215. He attempted to form a Crusade with the aid of the Tatars. Brought about the temporary reconciliation of the Eastern and Western Churches in a synod at Constantinople in 1277. He was killed at Viterbo when the roof of his apartment in the papal palace collapsed.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Viii, Pope
Reigned from 872 to 882. Born in Rome, Italy; died there. He was an archdeacon before his election and is considered one of the greatest popes of the 9th century. He confirmed the permission granted by Adrian II to Saint Methodius to use the Slavonic language in the liturgy of the Church; endeavored to restore the Bulgarians to the jurisdiction of the Holy See; and condemned the schismatic Photius. Finding ecclesiastical offices in the hands of disreputable nobles, he excommunicated them and drove them from Rome. He supported Louis II and later; Charles the Bald, and secured the imperial throne, for his candidate Charles the Fat. He was constantly attacked by Guido of Spoleto and the Saracens. Against the latter he made war, patrolling the coast in person. Later, attacked by Lambert of Spoleto he fled to France where he crowned Louis the Stammerer, King of France in 878. Unceasing in his attempts to promote peace in Christendom, and to destroy the Saracen influence, the pope journeyed from one kingdom to another, sent legates to rulers, and aided their enterprises with subsidies.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John x, Pope
Reigned from 914 to 928. Born in Tossignano, Italy; died at Rome, Italy. He was a deacon, then Archbishop of Ravenna. An active and energetic ruler he crowned Emperor Berengarius, 915; endeavored to end the Saracenic invasions; sought to bring the Slavs of Dalmatia into closer union with Rome; and was active in ecclesiastic and political affairs in Italy, Germany, and France. He was seized and incarcerated by the powerful Marozia of Rome, daughter of Theophylactus, who feared that her power was menaced by the alliance which he had contracted with her enemy, Hugh of Burgundy.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John xi, Pope
Reigned from 931 to 936. Born in Rome, Italy; died there. He was elevated to the papacy through the influence of his mother, Marozia, who held immense power in Rome. His brother, Alberic II, angered at his stepfather, Hugh of Provence, overthrew the government and seized absolute control in Rome, 933. Henceforth John was free to perform the sacred duties of his ministry only.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Xiv, Pope
Reigned from 983 to 984) Born in Pavia, Italy as Peter Campanora; died in Rome, Italy. Prior to his election, he was Bishop of Pavia and chancellor of the empire under Otto II. After the death of Otto, the pope was incarcerated by the antipope, Boniface VII, in the Castle of Sant' Angelo where he died, possibly by violence.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Xii, Pope
Reigned from December 16, 955 to May 14, 964. Born in Rome, Italy, c.937as Octavius; died there. A son of Alberic II, his election was secured by his father. He opened his pontificate with an appeal to Otto I for aid against Berengarius, King of Italy. He crowned Otto emperor in 962, and shortly after received the Ottonian Diploma which confirmed the papacy in its possessions. John now turned against Otto who was assuming papal prerogatives, but was forced to flee before the latter's army. A synod convened in Saint Peter's in 963 summoned the pope to answer for his crimes. He refused to recoguize it and was deposed, while a layman, the antipope Leo VIII, was elected in his stead; the proceeding was uncanonical and the election regarded as invalid. John took sanguinary measures of reprisal, but died as Otto was preparing to return to Rome.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Xviii, Pope
Reigned from December 25, 1003 to June 1009. Born in Rome, Italy as Phasianus; died near there. As pope, elected through the influence of John Crescentius, he conferred ecclesiastical privileges on the reestablished See of Merseburg, and consented to the Roman Synod of 1007 and to the establishment of the See of Bamberg. He was recognized only as Bishop of Rome in Constantinople, where the patriarch claimed the primacy.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John v, Pope
Reigned from July 23, 685 to August 2, 686. Born in Syria; died in Rome, Italy. While a deacon he represented the Apostolic See at the Sixth Æcumenical Council. A learned and energetic pope, he brought the Church of Sardinia into union with Rome, and gave many generous donations to the clergy and the poor.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Sicco
Reigned from June 13, to November 6, 1003. Born in Rome, Italy as John Sicco; died there. Elected by the party of John Crescentius, he reigned less than six months. Little is known of his pontificate.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Xvii, Pope
Reigned from June 13, to November 6, 1003. Born in Rome, Italy as John Sicco; died there. Elected by the party of John Crescentius, he reigned less than six months. Little is known of his pontificate.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John xv, Pope
Reigned from late summer 985 to April 996. Born in Rome, Italy; died there. Some papal catalogues give, as the immediate successor of the antipope Boniface VII, a John, son of Robert, who is listed as John XV. Although he never existed, the fact that he has been catalogued has thrown into disorder the numeration of the popes named John, and the true John XV is often called John XVI. John XV (XVI), who before his election was a cardinal-priest, remained throughout his pontificate under the influence of John Crescentius. His mediation in the quarrel between King AEthelred of England and Richard of Normandy resulted in the Peace of Rouen, 991. During his pontificate a serious dispute occurred, 988, over the archiepiscopal See of Rheims, to which its legitimate archbishop, Arnulf, was restored by the pope, 997; and the first solemn canonization of a saint, that of Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg, took place, 993.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Vii, Pope
Reigned from March 1, 705 to October 18, 707. Born in Greece; died in Rome, Italy. A learned and eloquent man of a distinguished family, he regained for the papacy the Alpine patrimonies which had been confiscated by the Lombards, and built and restored many churches in Rome.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Xiii, Pope
Reigned from October 1, 965 to September 6, 972. Born in Rome, Italy; died there. Upon his election to the Holy See, he was imprisoned in the Castle of Sant' Angelo by the Italian nobles who resented the fact that he was the choice of Emperor Otto I. Having escaped, he took refuge with Prince Pandulf of Capua, until restored in 966 by the intervention of Otto, whose son, Otto II, he crowned joint emperor with his father in 967. He confirmed the See of Magdeburg, was active in organizing and extending the hierarchy, and decided numerous questions of ecclesiastical law.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John vi, Pope
Reigned from October 30, 701 to January 11, 705. Born in Greece; died in Rome, Italy. During his pontificate he secured a cessation of Lombard attacks upon different parts of Italy. He confirmed Brithwald as archbishop of Canterbury. Settled the claims of Saint Wilfrid, and reinstalled him in his bishopric at York.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Xxii, Pope
Reigned from September 5, 1316 to December 4, 1334. Born in 1249 in Cahors, France as Jacques d'Euse; died on December 4, 1334 at Avignon, France. Bishop of Frejus. Chancellor to Charles II of Naples. Bishop of Avignon, France. Cardinal-bishop of Porto. Elected 196th pope after an interregnum of over two years, he took up his residence at Avignon. During his pontificate he was involved in controversies with the Franciscans and Conventuals, and with Louis of Bavaria whom he admonished not to exercise his rights until the legitimacy of the election had been approved. The subsequent action of Louis brought on his excommunication and, with the protection of the Colonna family, he came to Rome in 1328, declared John deposed and set up the anti-pope Pietro Rainalducci (Nicholas V) who later came to Avignon, penitent, and was absolved in 1330. As pope John enlarged and partly reorganized the papal Curia, and was very active in the administration of the ecclesiastical revenues.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Maguire
Said for hunters in a hurry, was a kind of dry Mass (Missa sicca), a common form of devotion used for funerals or marriages in the afternoon, when a real Mass could not be said. It consisted of the Mass with the Offertory, Consecration, and Communion omitted.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John the Almsgiver, Saint
Saint John the Almsgiver; Saint Joannes Eleemosynasius; Saint Joannes Misebicors Patriarch of Alexandria (606-616), born Amathus, Cyprus, c.550;died there, 616. The son of the governor of Cyprus, he entered the religious life at the death of his wife. During his patriarchate at Alexandria, he became widely known throughout the east for his liberality to the poor. At the fall of Alexandria, he fled to his native land, where he died. Patron of the Hospitallers. His relics were preserved in the cathedral at Presburg. Feast, January 23,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John of Salisbury
Scholar, philosopher, and historian; born near Salisbury, England, c.1115;died probably Chartres, France, 1180. He was educated in France under some of the most brilliant scholars of the time, including Abelard, Alberic of Rheims, William of Conches, and Theodoric of Chartres. Returning to England, he became secretary to Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, and was sent on various diplomatic missions. Like his friend Thomas Becket, he incurred the displeasure of Henry II and was forced to leave England for six years. His attempts to reconcile Becket with the king failed, and in 1170 he witnessed the tragic death of the bishop. He became treasurer of Exeter cathedral in 1174, and two years later Bishop of Chartres. His works include the "Metalogicus," a philosophical treatise, the "Policratus," a miscellaneous compilation of philosophy and diplomacy, and the "Entheticus," a Latin elegiac poem.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Benjamin
Surgeon; born Appleton, Wisconsin, December 21, 1857; died Mackinac Island, Michigan, August 11, 1916. This surgical genius sustained his reputation by his numerous writings and clinical lectures. Made known first by the "Murphy Button," a mechanical device that linked together severed ends of intestines He was professor in Chicago's best medical schools and head of the staff of Mercy Hospital. When President Roosevelt was shot by a maniac in Milwaukee, he had himself brought to Mercy Hospital, Chicago, to be treated by Dr Murphy. He was at that time acclaimed both at home and abroad "the greatest clinical teacher of the day." He was awarded Laetare Medal, 1902, and in 1916 Pope Benedict XV made him Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory.
Easton's Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of
The design of John in writing this Gospel is stated by himself (John 20:31 ). It was at one time supposed that he wrote for the purpose of supplying the omissions of the synoptical, i.e., of the first three, Gospels, but there is no evidence for this. "There is here no history of Jesus and his teaching after the manner of the other evangelists. But there is in historical form a representation of the Christian faith in relation to the person of Christ as its central point; and in this representation there is a picture on the one hand of the antagonism of the world to the truth revealed in him, and on the other of the spiritual blessedness of the few who yield themselves to him as the Light of life" (Reuss).
After the prologue (1:1-5), the historical part of the book begins with verse 6, and consists of two parts. The first part (1:6-ch. 12) contains the history of our Lord's public ministry from the time of his introduction to it by John the Baptist to its close. The second part (ch. 13-21) presents our Lord in the retirement of private life and in his intercourse with his immediate followers (13-17), and gives an account of his sufferings and of his appearances to the disciples after his resurrection (18-21).
The peculiarities of this Gospel are the place it gives (1) to the mystical relation of the Son to the Father, and (2) of the Redeemer to believers; (3) the announcement of the Holy Ghost as the Comforter; (4) the prominence given to love as an element in the Christian character. It was obviously addressed primarily to Christians.
It was probably written at Ephesus, which, after the destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), became the centre of Christian life and activity in the East, about A.D. 90.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Foster, John Gray
United States general, born Whitefield, New Hampshire, 1823; died Nashua, 1874. He served in the Mexican War of 1846, and in the Civil War, and distinguished himself in the defense of Fort Sumter and the capture of Savannah. In 1861 he was received into the Catholic Church.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Milner
Vicar Apostolic, born London, England, 1752; died Wolverhampton, England, 1826. He attended the Sedgley Park School and the English College, Douai, France, was ordained 1777, and sent to Winchester where he remained for 23 years. The times were difficult for the Catholic Church in England. The penal laws were still in force and the agitation for Catholic emancipation had just begun. Milner opposed Pitt's bill for Catholic relief because it contained an oath contrary to Catholic doctrine, and was able to secure the introduction of a new oath in the Bill which was passed, 1792. He was made Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District, 1803 to 1826, joined the Irish bishops in their agitation for Catholic Emancipation, and condemned the right of veto by which the Crown sought the power to veto the appointment to a Catholic bishopric of any candidate whose loyalty was in question. He was censured for his opposition to the proposed Emancipation Bill, 1813, on the grounds that it was schismatic, but was vindicated by Pope Pius VII when the latter was released from his imprisonment by Bonaparte. He is called the English Athanasius and was a prolific and fearless writer. Among his works are: "Divine Rights of Episcopacy" (1791); "History of Winchester" (1798); "Ends of Religious Controversy" (1818).
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Milner, John
Vicar Apostolic, born London, England, 1752; died Wolverhampton, England, 1826. He attended the Sedgley Park School and the English College, Douai, France, was ordained 1777, and sent to Winchester where he remained for 23 years. The times were difficult for the Catholic Church in England. The penal laws were still in force and the agitation for Catholic emancipation had just begun. Milner opposed Pitt's bill for Catholic relief because it contained an oath contrary to Catholic doctrine, and was able to secure the introduction of a new oath in the Bill which was passed, 1792. He was made Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District, 1803 to 1826, joined the Irish bishops in their agitation for Catholic Emancipation, and condemned the right of veto by which the Crown sought the power to veto the appointment to a Catholic bishopric of any candidate whose loyalty was in question. He was censured for his opposition to the proposed Emancipation Bill, 1813, on the grounds that it was schismatic, but was vindicated by Pope Pius VII when the latter was released from his imprisonment by Bonaparte. He is called the English Athanasius and was a prolific and fearless writer. Among his works are: "Divine Rights of Episcopacy" (1791); "History of Winchester" (1798); "Ends of Religious Controversy" (1818).
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Shea
Writer, editor, and historian of both American history in general and American Catholic history specifically. Born on July 22, 1824 in New York, New York; died on February 22, 1892 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Son of James Shea, an Irish immigrant and school principal, and Mary Ann (Flannigan) Shea. He spent several years in the Jesuit novitiate and studied at Saint John's College (modern Fordham University) then left the order and devoted himself to the study of early Indian missions and published the History of the Catholic Missions among the Indian Tribes of the United States, 1529-1854. Married Sophie Savage in 1854. He contributed articles on Indians to the Encyclopedia Britannica, was literary editor of Frank Leslie's publications, and in 1888 became editor of Catholic News. His great work is the History of the Catholic Church in the United States. He also wrote The Life of Pius X and The Heirarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States. The John Gilmary Shea Papers, a collection of correspondence, manuscripts, and research materials, are preserved in the Georgetown University Library (Special Collections Division).
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John o'Connell
Writer; son of Daniel O'Connell; born Dublin, Ireland, 1810; died Kingstown, County Dublin, Ireland, 1858. He was a writer of literary and polemical power, but lacked tact in politics and came into conflict with the Young Ireland party.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Calvin, John
(1509-1564) The first to give Protestantism a system of theology, born Noyon, France; died Geneva. He was never an ardent Catholic, though he became a cleric and by family influence obtained a benefice. He became cure of Saint Martin de Marteville in 1527 and of Pont l'Evêquein 1529. In 1528 he was a law-student at Orleans, then went to Bourges (where in 1529 occurred his conversion) and in 1531 to Paris; he gave up his benefice at Noyon in 1534. Calvin published the "Institutes", 1536, in Latin; a French translation appeared, 1541. It is an exposition of his theological belief, including his doctrine of predestination, and was the first definite and systematic formulation of Protestantism. He next taught theology at Geneva, and gained influence there, his children's catechism appearing at this time. Exiled from Geneva in 1538, Calvin went to Strasbourg to preach. Returning to Geneva in 1541, he instituted an intolerant regime of discipline, administered despotically by the clergy. Castellio and Bolsec opposed his extreme views, and were banished. Servetus entered into controversy with Calvin, and published his "Restitutio" in 1553, whereupon he was imprisoned at Vienne, but escaped and went to Geneva, where he was arrested and burnt at the stake for his doctrinal views. Gentile was also condemned for his Unitarianism, and beheaded. Calvin was untiring in preaching and controversy. He founded the University of Geneva, and made the city the Rome of Protestantism.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Cassian, John
(c.360-c.435) Monk and ascetic writer, born probably Provence; died probably near Marseilles. With his friend Germanus he visited the holy places in Palestine and they became monks at Bethlehem. After several years among the Egyptian solitaries, they came to Constantinople where Cassian became a favorite disciple of Saint John Chrysostom, and in his behalf was sent to Rome, where he is believed to have been ordained. About 415 he was at Marseilles where he founded two monasteries, one for men and the other for women, introducing in the West the rules of Eastern monasticism. His two principal works, "Institutes" and "Conferences," deal with the cenobitic life and the deadly sins. He wrote against the Nestorians, but originated Semipelagianism which was later condemned. By some he was regarded as a saint.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John, Antipope
(Hebrew: Yehohhanan, the Lord graciously gave)
Antipope (844). While a deacon he had himself proclaimed pope by the rabble in Rome in opposition to Pope Sergius II. He broke into the Lateran palace but was seized by the Roman nobles, who were escorting the lawful pope to his residence, and thrust into a monastery.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Kay
(Kay, John; Key, John) (1510-1573) Physician and scholar, born Norwich, England; died London. He lectured on anatomy, wrote medical treatises and translations and a history of Cambridge University, and was president of the College of Physicians. He refounded Gonville College, renamed Gonville and Caius College (1558). Under Edward VI he became royal physician, but was dismissed under Elizabeth because he was a Catholic.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Key
(Kay, John; Key, John) (1510-1573) Physician and scholar, born Norwich, England; died London. He lectured on anatomy, wrote medical treatises and translations and a history of Cambridge University, and was president of the College of Physicians. He refounded Gonville College, renamed Gonville and Caius College (1558). Under Edward VI he became royal physician, but was dismissed under Elizabeth because he was a Catholic.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Gualbert, Saint
Abbot, founder of the monastery of Vallombrosa, born Florence, Italy, c.985;died Passignano, Italy, 1073. He entered the Benedictine Order at San Miniato, despite his father's opposition. He practised the most austere asceticism, and in 1038 retired to Vallombrosa, establishing there his new religious society which received papal recognition in 1070. He adopted the Benedictine Rule with several changes, making it more rigorous, excluding manual labor, and organizing a body of lay brothers. He founded houses at San Salvi, Moscetta, Rozzuolo, Monte Salario, and Passignano. Canonized, 1193. Feast, Roman Calendar, July 12,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Ireland
Archbishop of Saint Paul, born Kilkenny, Ireland, 1838; died Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1918. He came to Saint Paul in 1852 with his parents, and made his ecclesiastical studies (1853-1864) at the Seminary of Belley, France. In 1861 he was chaplain of the 5th Minnesota Regiment in the Civil War. Subsequently he was Vicar Apostolic of Nebraska, and coadjutor Bishop of Saint Paul, and on May 15, 1888, was consecrated archbishop. He organized a systematic movement for the colonization of different parts of Minnesota, and various settlements owe their origin and prosperity to his labors. Archbishop Ireland was a potent factor in the development of the Church in the Northwest, and he exercised a strong influence at Washington in matters in which religion was concerned, such as the Indian Missions, and the Church properties in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Machale
Archbishop of Tuam, born Tubbernavine, Ireland, 1791; died Tuam, Ireland, 1881. He studied at Maynooth where he later taught theology, was named coadjutor Bishop of Killala, 1825, and was transferred to Tuam, 1834. His life is the history of the struggles of the Irish Catholics in the 19th century. He labored and wrote incessantly to secure Catholic Emancipation, legislative independence, justice for tenants and the poor, and vigorously assailed the proselytizers and the anti-Catholic anti-national system of public education. He preached regularly to his flock in Irish. At the Vatican Council he held the definition of papal infallibility to be inopportune. Among his writings are a treatise on the evidences of Catholicity and translations in Irish of Moore's "Melodies," and part of the Bible and the Iliad.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Gilbert
Archivist and historian, born Dublin, Ireland, 1829; died there, 1898. His father was John Gilbert, English Protestant, Portuguese consul at Dublin, his mother Marianne Costello, an Irish Catholic. He was educated at Dublin and Prior Park near Bath. In 1848 he was made a member of the Council of the Celtic Society, in 1855 a member of the Royal Irish Academy and Secretary of the Irish Archaeological Society, and subsequently was affiliated with several important historical and antiquarian societies. For 34 years he was librarian of the Royal Irish Academy. He was a prolific and erudite writer and ranks as one of the greatest historians of his country. Among his works are: "History of the City of Dublin," "History and Treatment of the Public Records of Ireland," and "History of the Viceroys of Ireland."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Huddleston
Benedictine, born Lancashire, England, 1608; died London, England, 1698. He sheltered Charles II at Moseley, Staffordshire, after his defeat at Worcester, and many years later reconciled him to the faith on his deathbed.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Howard
Born 1430; died 1485. Received the dukedom in 1483.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Farley
Cardinal, Archbishop of New York, born Newtown, Ireland, April 20, 1842; died New York, New York, September 17, 1918. He was educated at Saint Macartan's College, Monaghan, Saint John's College, Fordham, New York, Saint Joseph's Seminary, Troy, and the American College, Rome, where he was ordained priest, 1870. He was assistant rector of Saint Peter's church, New Brighton, Staten Island, was created domestic prelate by Pope Leo XIII, with the title of Monsignor, 1884; and vicar-general of the Archdiocese of New York, 1891. He became titular Bishop of Zeugma and auxiliary Bishop of New York, 1895, and succeeded Archbishop Corrigan to the archiepiscopal see, 1902, being created cardinal, 1911. During his administration the archdiocese made extraordinary progress in the erection of parishes and opening of Catholic schools. He was a decisive force in the hierarchy by composing differences which had divided certain groups among them. He encouraged every effort on the part of the laity and clergy that "seemed to make for good." He was most earnest in his cooperation with the editors of the Catholic Encyclopedia, and to him largely is due its publication. Among his writings are "The Life of Cardinal McCloskey" and a "History of Saint Patrick's Cathedral."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Filagatto
City in Asia Minor. One of the seven churches in Asia to whose bishop one of the letters in the Apocalypse is addressed (Apocalypse 3).
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Cantius, John, Saint
Confessor, born Kenty, Poland, 1397; died Krakow, Poland, 1473. He studied philosophy and theology, and received the degrees of bachelor, master, and doctor, was ordained priest, occupied the chair of theology at the Academy of Krakow, and was appointed parish priest at Olkusz, but resigned after a short time to teach Sacred Scripture at Krakow. He made one pilgrimage to Jerusalem and four to Rome on foot. Renowned for his humility and charity, and the practise of mortification, many miracles are ascribed to him. Canonized, 1767. Relics at Krakow. Feast, Roman Calendar, October 19,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Eudes, Saint
Confessor, born Ri, France, 1601; died Caen, France, 1680. He was instructed in religion and learning by the Jesuits at Caen, and ordained, December 20, 1625. Working valiantly among his plague-stricken countrymen he became known as one of the greatest missionaries of his day. He established the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity, and in 1643 the Society of Jesus and Mary. Through his efforts, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Heart of Mary became widespread. He wrote a great many religious books. Canonized, 1925. Feast, Roman Calendar, August 19,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Capistran, John, Saint
Confessor, born Sulmona, Italy, 1385; died Hungary, 1456. He received his degree of Doctor of Laws at Perugia, was affiliated with the Ghibelline party, appointed governor of Perugia under King Ladislaus of Naples, and imprisoned by Malatesta who was at war with Perugia. In 1416 he became a Franciscan and traveled through Italy after his ordination, preaching and performing miracles of healing, and assisting Saint Bernardine of Siena in reforming the Order. In 1431 he was made commissary general of that branch of the Franciscans known as Observants. He defended himself and his companions against the charge of heresy. He was employed as papal legate on numerous occasions, and was the leading spirit in the crusade against the Turks in Hungary where he led the left wing of the Christian army at the battle of Belgrade. Canonized, 1724. Relics in Orthodox monastery of Bistritz, Rumania. Feast, Roman Calendar, March 28,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Holywood
Died 1256 A monk of English origin, professor of astronomy at Paris. He wrote the "De sphrera," an astronomical text-book which had an immense vogue in the 13th century and was published in almost a hundred editions before the adoption of the new Copernican theory. (17th century)
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Carroll, John
First bishop of the hierarchy of the United States, first Bishop and Archbishop of Baltimore, born Upper Marlboro, Maryland, 1735; died Baltimore, Maryland, 1815. His father, Daniel Carroll, a native of Ireland, was a successful merchant in Upper Marlboro; his mother, Eleanor Darnall, was closely related to the wife of Charles Carroll of Carrollton; his brother, Daniel Carroll (1733-1829), was a member of the Colonial Congress (1780-1784) and of the new Congress (1789-1791) and was one of the two Catholic signers of the Constitution in 1787. John Carroll was educated at the Jesuit school at Bohemia Manor in Maryland, and at the Jesuit College of Saint Omer in French Flanders. In 1753 he entered the Society of Jesus, studied at Liege, and was ordained in 1769. Four years of teaching philosophy and theology at Liege and Bruges and a winter spent traveling in Europe as tutor to Lord Stourton's son, were followed by his return to Maryland in 1774 after the suppression of the Society. Volunteer missionary labors in Maryland and Virginia occupied his time. In 1776, at the request of the Continental Congress, he accompanied Charles Carroll, Benjamin Franklin, and Samuel Chase on a mission to Canada in a vain endeavor to secure the cooperation, or the neutrality, of that country in the Revolution. At the close of the war his patriotism and wisdom were largely instrumental in reorganizing the infant Church of the United States, free of the jurisdiction of the Vicar-General of London, under which the Colonial Church had been for a century, and independent of any foreign power. As the choice of his associates in 1784 he was appointed, by the pope, Superior of the Missions of the United States, which then included less than 30,000 Catholics. In 1788 his name was submitted to Rome, by permission of the Holy See, as an episcopal candidate selected by twenty-four out of twenty-six assembled priests, and he was named Bishop of Baltimore in 1789, his diocese reaching from Georgia to Maine and westward to the Mississippi. He was consecrated in the chapel of Thomas Weld at Lulworth Castle, England, August 15, 1790, by the Right Reverend Charles Walmesley, Vicar Apostolic of London. Among the difficulties with which he had to cope were the extravagant claims of lay trustees, the question of nationalism in parish churches, and the occasional intrusion of unworthy priests. In 1791 he called the first Synod of Baltimore, attended by 22 priests. The same year the opening of Georgetown College, founded on his plans, took place, and Sulpicians from France inaugurated the beginnings of Saint Mary's College and Seminary. Bishop Carroll conferred Holy Orders, for the first time within the territory of the thirteen States, on Reverend Stephen Badin in 1793. In 1800 he consecrated his coadjutor, Right Reverend Leonard Neale. In 1806 he laid the corner-stone of the Cathedral of the Assumption which replaced Saint Peter's pro-Cathedral in 1824. The suffragan sees of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown (now Louisville) were erected in 1808, and the pallium conferred on Archbishop Carroll. He lived to see the restoration of the Society of Jesus in 1814, having reorganized it in his diocese in 1805. Active always in civicaffairs, he was president of the Female Humane Charity School of Baltimore, head of the Library Company, and one of the three trustees of Saint John's College at Annapolis. At his death clergy in the United States numbered about 85.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Hughes
Fourth Bishop and first Archbishop of New York, born Annaloghan, County Tyrone, Ireland, 1797; died New York, New York, 1864. Arriving with his father in America in 1817, he lived for a time at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. In 1819 he entered Mount Saint Mary's College at Emmitsburg, working his way as gardener and then as teacher. Ordained in Saint Joseph's Church, Philadelphia, in 1826, he served later as pastor there and at Saint Augustine's, and built the church of Saint John in 1832. Named coadjutor to Bishop Dubois of New York in 1837, he was consecrated in old Saint Patrick's Cathedral on Mott Street. He put an end to the vicious trustee system in 1839. From 1840-1842 he engaged in fruitless efforts to have the public school moneys fairly apportioned, succeeding, however, in promoting the parochial school movement. He succeeded Bishop Dubois in 1842. He established Saint Joseph's Seminary at Rose Hill, Fordham, in 1840, and Saint John's College in 1841, the Jesuits being put in charge in 1846. By upholding the rights of Catholic citizens to defend their property he prevented an outbreak in New York of the fanatical Native American riots in 1844. He was invited in 1847 to address Congress. In 1851 he was named Archbishop of New York, receiving the pallium in Rome from the hands of Pius IX. In 1858 the cornerstone of Saint Patrick's Cathedral was laid. During the Civil War he went, in 1861, at the request of the government, to France, where he helped to secure French loyalty to the federal government. Saint Joseph's Seminary was opened at Troy in 1864. Before his death four bishoprics had been created within the territory of his first diocese: Albany, Buffalo, Brooklyn, and Newark. His body, buried first in old Saint Patrick's, was removed to the present cathedral in 1883.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Hus
Heresiarch, the "spiritual inheritor" of John Wyclif, born Husinetz, Bohemia, 1369; died Constance, Baden, 1415. He received the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of Prague in 1393,1396, respectively. Four years later he was ordained a priest, and became rector of the university, 1402-1403. He was greatly influenced by the writings of Wyclif, translated his "Trialogus" into Czech, and helped to circulate it even after the ecclesiastical authorities had condemned 45 of Wyclif's propositions, 1403. In 1408, however, when all the writings of Wyclif were ordered handed over to the archdiocesan chancery for correction, Hus obeyed the order and declared that he condemned whatever errors these writings contained. The following year Hus again became rector of the university, and was reported to Rome for his Wycliffite tendencies, with the result that Archbishop Zbynk (Sbinco) received a Bull from Alexander V ordering him to withdraw Wyclif's writings from circulation, and forbid any preaching except in cathedral, collegiate, parish, and cloister churches. Hus and his adherents protested to John XXIII against these measures, and were excommunicated by the archbishop, July 10, 1410. Hus was summoned to appear before the pope but sent representatives in his stead, and sentence of excommunication was pronounced against him in February 1411. Besides continuing to defend Wyclif, he attacked the Bulls issued by John XXIII proclaiming indulgences to all who would supply funds for the crusade against Ladislaus of Naples, and when he aroused the university and populace to treating with indignity the members of the papal commission, the Roman authorities took the more vigorous action of not only reiterating his former excommunication, but also placing his residence under interdict, and finally ordering his imprisonment. Late in 1412Hus left Prague for Austi, where he wrote his principal work "De ecclesia." As no effort was made to imprison him he returned to Prague, 1414, and posted his treatise "De sex erroribus" on the walls of the Bethlehem chapel, where he had been preacher. From these two treatises a number of propositions of a heretical character was submitted to the new archbishop, and when the Council of Constance assembled in November 1414, Hus appeared before that body, gave an account of hie doctrine, was tried, condemned, and finally burnt at the stake, July 6, l415.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Leslie
Historian, Bishop of Ross, Scotland, 1565, born Kingussie, Inverness, Scotland, 1527; died Guirtenburg, Belgium, 1596. From 1561 he was in the service of Mary Queen of Scots, and never wavered in his fidelity. He spent several years in prison at Ely and the Tower for having favored the projected marriage of Mary with Norfolk, but in 1573 was exiled to the continent. He assisted in revising and publishing the laws of Scotland, but is chiefly remembered for his Latin history of his native land.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Lingard
Historian, born Winchester, England, 1771; died Hornby, 1851. Entering Douai in 1782, he returned to England during the French Revolution and was ordained at York, 1795, after his appointment as vice-president and professor at Crook Hall seminary (transferred to Ushaw, 1808), where he wrote his "Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church." In 1811 he retired to the mission of Hornby, and after issuing various controversial tracts and devoting many years to research, he composed his eight-volume "History of England to the Accession of William and Mary" (1819-1830; eighth edition, 11 volumes, New York, 1915, supplementary vol. by H. Belloc). Lingard successfully negotiated the reopening of the English College, Rome, and as the trusted adviser of the episcopate played a very important part in the 19th-century revival of Catholicity in England. The historical work of the Lingard Society of London honors his memory.
Easton's Bible Dictionary - John, Third Epistle of
Is addressed to Caius, or Gaius, but whether to the Christian of that name in Macedonia (Acts 19 :: 29 ) or in Corinth (Romans 16:23 ) or in Derbe (Acts 20:4 ) is uncertain. It was written for the purpose of commending to Gaius some Christians who were strangers in the place where he lived, and who had gone thither for the purpose of preaching the gospel (ver. 7). The Second and Third Epistles were probably written soon after the First, and from Ephesus.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Gerard
Jesuit missionary, born New Bryn, England, 1564; died Rome, Italy, 1637. Having studied at Douai, France, he entered the Society of Jesus at Rome, and was sent almost immediately to England, where he exercised a marvelous influence. He was betrayed and captured in 1594. Flung into the Tower of London, he was brutally tortured, but remained unconquerable. After two years he escaped and continued his heroic work till 1605, when he was forced to retire to the Continent. He has left an account of the Gunpowder Plot and a valuable autobiography.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Macdonald
Laird of Glenaladale and Glenfinnan, philanthropist, born Glenaladale, Scotland, c.1742;died Tracadie, Prince Edward Island, Canada, 1811. He was educated at Ratisbon, and on returning to Scotland mortgaged his estate and purchased a tract on Prince Edward Island, where he spent his life laboring for the temporal and spiritual welfare of his impoverished countrymen, driven into exile for remaining Catholics.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Howman
Last Abbot of Westminster, born Feckenham Forest, Worcestershire, England, c.1515;died Wisbech Castle, 1585. His family name was Howman. He joined the Benedictines at Evesham, and after the dissolution of the monasteries was rector of Solihull. Cranmer threw him into prison, but he was released under Mary and later made Abbot of Westminster. He showed great kindness to heretics, and after Wyatt's rebellion his intercession saved Elizabeth's life and subsequently procured her liberation. On her accession he refused to save his monastery by apostasy, and spent 23 years in jail, where he died from privation, a striking example of Elizabeth's ingratitude.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Lalande, Blessed
Martyr, born Dieppe, France; died Auriesville, New York, 1646. As a layman he labored with the Jesuit missionaries in North America, and suffered martyrdom with Blessed Isaac Jogues. Beatified, 1925.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Houghton, Blessed
Martyr, born Essex, England, 1487; died Tyburn, England, 1535. He was educated at Cambridge, graduating LL.B., 1497, and later LL.D. and D.D. Ordained priest in 1501, he entered the Carthusian novitiate at the London Charterhouse, and was professed in 1516. Refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, he was imprisoned in the Tower and hanged. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Forest, Blessed
Martyr, born Oxford, England, 1471; died 1538. He was a Franciscan friar who became chaplain and confessor to Catherine of Aragon and from the first resolutely opposed the divorce. He was burned at Smithfield, the fire being fed with fragments of an enormous wooden statue of Saint Derfel Gadarn which from time immemorial had been venerated in Wales and concerning which there was an old saying that it would one day burn a forest. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Fisher, Blessed
Martyr, Cardinal and Bishop of Rochester, born Beverly, Yorkshire, England, 1459; died Tyburn, England, 1535. He received his degree of B.A. from Cambridge, 1487, and his M.A. in 1491. He occupied the vicarage of Northallerton, 1491-1494, when he became a proctor of Cambridge University. In 1497 he was appointed confessor to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, mother of Henry VII. Consecrated Bishop of Rochester, 1504, he served as chancellor of Cambridge and tutor of Prince Henry (Henry VIII). He opposed Henry in his divorce proceedings against Catherine, and resisted the encroachment of the king on the Church. Refusing to take the oath of succession which acknowledged the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, he was sent to the Tower, 1534. In 1535 he was created cardinal by Pope Paul III. Henry retaliated by having him beheaded. His works consist chiefly of ascetical and controversial treatises. Relics in Saint Peter's Church in the Tower. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Felton, Blessed
Martyr, died Saint Paul's Churchyard, London, England, 1570. He was a wealthy gentleman of Norfolk extraction. Arrested for affixing to the gates of the palace of the Bishop of London a copy of the Bull of Pope Saint Pius V, excommunicating the queen, he was taken to the Tower, racked three times, hanged, and quartered. Beatified, 1886.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Hale, Blessed
Martyr, died Tyburn, England, 1535. He was a secular priest, a Fellow of King's Hall, Cambridge, and Vicar of Isleworth. He suffered martyrdom with the Carthusian priors at Tyburn. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Larke, Blessed
Martyr, died Tyburn, England, 1543. He was rector of Saint Ethelburga's, London, of Woodford, Essex, and of Chelsea, and the parish priest and friend of Thomas More. He was executed for being a priest. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John la Farge
Painter and designer of stained giass, born New York, 1835; died Providence, Rhode Island, 1910. He was a pupil of Thomas Couture in Paris after 1856, traveled much in Europe, and on his return in 1859 studied with William Morris Hunt. He excelled in mural painting, but from 1878 to 1886 was chiefly occupied in originating a new process for stained glass, characterized by opalescence and depth of color. For this achievement he was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honor, 1891. In 1886 he visited Japan, being one of the first to appreciate Japanese art. In 1890-1891 he was in Hawaii, and in 1901 in Samoa. Admirable examples of his work are in Trinity Church, Boston, the Church of the Ascension, the Paulist Church in New York, and in the capitol in Saint Paul. Among the windows he designed are the "Peacock Window" in the Worcester Art Museum, and the "Battle Window" in Memorial Hall, Cambridge.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Gower
Poet, born probably Kent, England, c.1327;died Southwark, England, 1408. He was a prolific writer in three languages. His merits have been dimmed through constant comparison with Chaucer. Among his works are his French "Mirour de l'Omme"(Old French: Mirror of Man), about 31,000 lines treating of the vices and virtues, and pardon through Christ and the intercession of Our Lady; "Vox Clamantis," 10,265 Latin elegiac verses, dealing with contemporary social history; and "Confessio Amantis," over 33,400 lines, in English, a discussion between a lover, the poet, and Venus, and subsequently between the poet, and Genius, his confessor, in which the seven deadly sins are discussed and illustrated by tales.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Knox
Presbyterian leader, born Haddington, Scotland, c.1505;died Edinburgh, Scotland, 1572. The facts of his early life are uncertain. His writings show that he had a knowledge of Latin, French, Greek, and Hebrew, and law and theology. He was a priest, and served as private tutor in 1547, when he was imprisoned in connection with the murder of Cardinal Beaton. In 1554 he was married, and visited Calvin at Geneva, from whence he returned, 1555, to begin his preaching career in Scotland. He was forced to leave for Geneva because of his hostility to Queen Mary of England but returned, 1559, upon the accession of Elizabeth. The Queen Regent of Scotland, Mary of Guise, died in 1560, and Knox and the Protestant party were triumphant. The Mass was abolished, and the death penalty was incurred by those who assisted at the sacrifice. Knox was commissioned by the Lords of the Congregation to compile a new creed, and produced the famous Scottish Confession. He violently opposed the policies and religion of Mary, Queen of Scots, who had entered Scotland, 1561. In 1569, five years after his second marriage, he suffered an apoplectic stroke from which he never fully recovered. Knox was the greatest Protestant writer in the Scottish vernacular of his time. His preaching powers were above the ordinary, but he himself was as gloomy, austere, and unforgiving as the creed he preached.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Hogan
Priest, born near Ennis, Ireland, 1829; died Saint-Sulpice, France, 1901. After studying at Bordeaux, he joined the Sulpicians at Issy and taught theology and liturgy with great success. In 1884 he was sent to the United States and later obtained a chair in the Catholic University, Washington, DC. He was a highly esteemed spiritual director, and wrote a useful ecclesiastical manual entitled "Clerical Studies," besides many articles for the "Ecclesiastical Review."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Hobbes
Pseudonym = John Oliver Hobbes. Novelist and dramatist, born Chelsea, Massachusetts, 1867; died London, England, 1906. Educated in London and Paris, she became a Catholic in 1892. She was the author of popular novels, among them "A Bundle of Life," "The Gods, Some Mortals, and Lord Wickenham," "The School for Saints," "Robert Orange," and several plays, including "Journeys end in Lovers' Meeting," "The Ambassador," and "The Flute of Pan." There is a memorial tablet to her in Barnard Collge, New York.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Gratian
Reigned from 1045 to 1046. Born in Rome, Italy as John Gratian; probably died at Cologne, Germany in 1048. He was archpriest of Saint John's when Benedict IX offered to surrender the papacy for a large sum of money. Gratian paid in good faith, wishing to rid the Holy See of its unworthy occupant, and was installed in 1045. When Benedict retired, his rivals nominated an antipope, John of Sabina. A synod at Sutri sent John to a monastery, declared that Benedict IX had forfeited his rights, and claimed that the action of Gregory VI was simoniacal. Gregory resigned in 1046 and returned to Germany with King Henry III. With the aid of Hildebrand, later Pope Gregory VII, he had attempted to bring about civiland religious order.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John i, Pope Saint
Reigned from 523 to 526. Born in Tuscany, Italy; died in Ravenna, Italy. He was obliged by Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths and of Italy, to head an embassy sent by Theodoric to Constantinople, 525, to secure a mitigation in the persecution of the Arians. He was accorded a brilliant reception by Emperor Justin and said Mass according to the Latin Rite in the church of Saint Sophia. That he did not press the cause of the Arians further than counseling discretion and gentleness on the part of the emperor is proved by his subsequent abuse at the hands of Theodoric who incarcerated him at Ravenna, where he died. Feast, Roman Calendar, May 27,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John ii, Pope
Reigned from 533 to 535. Born in Rome, Italy; died there. He was the first to change his name on assuming the papacy as his birth name (Mercurius) was derived from that of a pagan god. Little is known of his pontificate except that he caused Contumeliosus, Bishop of Riez, to be confined in a monastery for his crimes.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Iii, Pope
Reigned from 561 to 574. Born in Rome, Italy; died there. Little is known of his pontificate, which occurred during the stormy times of the Lombard invasion. To secure aid against the barbarians he appealed to Narses. The latter was unable to subdue the opposition, and John sought refuge in the catacombs where he remained for some months, subsequently repairing some of them.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John ix, Pope
Reigned from 898 to 900. Born in Tivoli, Italy; died in Rome, Italy. A Benedictine, he was ordained priest by Pope Formosus. During his pontificate the papal authority once more extended to the ends of the earth. He held several synods at Rome to correct the prevalent disorders in Christendom, condemned the synod of Stephen (VI) VII, which was held in 897; and sanctioned a hierarchy for the Moravians against the wishes of the German bishops.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John iv, Pope
Reigned from December 24, 640 to October 12, 642. Born in Dalmatia; died in Rome, Italy. As pope he endeavored to alleviate the distress in his native land caused by the invasion of the Slavs. He sought to convert the Slavs from the Greek to the Latin Rite. He condemned the Monothelite heresy, and in a letter to Constantine III, defended the memory of Pope Honorius, who had been falsely accused of favoring the heresy. The emperor died but his son Constans II continued the assault on the heresy by withdrawing the Ecthesis.
Easton's Bible Dictionary - John the Baptist
The "forerunner of our Lord." We have but fragmentary and imperfect accounts of him in the Gospels. He was of priestly descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abia (1 Chronicles 24:10 ), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5 ). The mission of John was the subject of prophecy (Matthew 3:3 ; Isaiah 40:3 ; Malachi 3:1 ). His birth, which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold by an angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64 ). After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke 1:80 . John was a Nazarite from his birth (Luke 1:15 ; Numbers 6:1-12 ). He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (Matthew 3:1-12 ). At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum of his preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and warned them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke 3:8 ). "As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating. Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned against extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine and manner of life roused the entire south of Palestine, and the people from all parts flocked to the place where he was, on the banks of the Jordan. There he baptized thousands unto repentance.
The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth (Matthew 3:5 ), and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John, on the special ground that it became him to "fulfil all righteousness" (3:15). John's special office ceased with the baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to his disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." His public ministry was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a close by his being cast into prison by Herod, whom he had reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his brother Philip (Luke 3:19 ). He was shut up in the castle of Machaerus (q.v.), a fortress on the southern extremity of Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, and here he was beheaded. His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave, went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Matthew 14:3-12 ). John's death occurred apparently just before the third Passover of our Lord's ministry. Our Lord himself testified regarding him that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John 5:35 ).
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John, Gospel of Saint
The fourth Book of the New Testament and last of the Sacred Books written. Its author is the Apostle Saint John, who wrote the Gospel at Ephesus shortly before his death, about the year 100. He records how Jesus, during His life, manifested His glory and proved Himself to be the Messias and Son of God. While the first three Gospels are mainly concerned with the human side of the life of Christ and with His ministry in Galilee, Saint John is more intent on showing the Divine side of the Saviour's life and treats especially of His ministry in Judea and Jerusalem. The Gospel is characterized by its sublimity of doctrine and diction, and by the many discourses of Jesus which make up the greater portion of the narrative. Consisting of twenty-one chapters, it is written in chronological order and contains: prologue declaring the Eternity and Divinity of the Word made Flesh (1:1-18); manifestation of Christ's glory as Messias and Son of God in His public ministry (1:19 to 12:50); revelation of His glory to the Apostles on the night before His Passion (13-17); outer glorification of Jesus in His Passion and death (18,19); manifestation of His Glory as the Risen Lord (20,21). The Biblical Commission, May 29, 1907, declared that the constant and universal tradition from the 2century, the testimony of the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers, the codices, versions and catalogs of the Sacred Books, all give convincing proof that the fourth Gospel was written by Saint John and that it is a strictly historical document. Chapters specially commendable for reading: 1, Prologue, First Disciples; 2, Cana, Cleansing of the Temple; 4, Samaritan Woman; 6, Promise of the Holy Eucharist; 10, Good Shepherd; 11, Raising of Lazarus; 12-18, Discourses after the Last Supper; 20,21, the Risen Lord.
Easton's Bible Dictionary - John, First Epistle of
The fourth of the catholic or "general" epistles. It was evidently written by John the evangelist, and probably also at Ephesus, and when the writer was in advanced age. The purpose of the apostle (1:1-4) is to declare the Word of Life to those to whom he writes, in order that they might be united in fellowship with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. He shows that the means of union with God are, (1) on the part of Christ, his atoning work (1:7; 2:2; 3:5; 4:10,14; 5:11,12) and his advocacy (2:1); and (2), on the part of man, holiness (1:6), obedience (2:3), purity (3:3), faith (3:23; 4:3; 5:5), and love (2:7,8; 3:14; 4:7; 5:1).
Morrish Bible Dictionary - John, Second Epistle of
This is addressed to 'the elect lady,' but gives no intimation as to who she was. Some suppose the word κυρία to be a proper name, and read 'To Kyria the elect.' She is warned against countenancing in any way those who brought not true doctrine as to Christ. Love is governed by truth, accompanied with obedience — in a word, Christ. Obedience would prove the apostle's work to be real, and he would receive a full reward. As in the first epistle, 'that which was from the beginning' is enforced, in opposition to any supposed development. It is an important principle that one bidding 'God speed' to a false teacher, is partaker of his evil deeds.
Morrish Bible Dictionary - John, First Epistle of
This was doubtless written after the epistles of Peter and Paul. Morally John's writings have their place when the church as a testimony had failed, and the 'last time' had arrived. The three Epistles come in between the Gospel of John and the Revelation. The real remedy for the evils spoken of is the coming in of the Lord as the faithful witness.
Near the end of the first century the error had arisen that Christ had no real body — had not come in flesh: this doctrine is condemned in this epistle. Others held that only the germ of Christianity could be found in existing teachings, and that development must be looked for (an error prevalent also in the present day), which was met by the apostle insisting on 'that which was from the beginning' — the revelation of life in Christ Himself.
The leading truth of this epistle is that eternal life had come down from the Father in the person of Christ; and it was written that
1. The believer's joy might be full, through being in communion with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ by means of inspired and apostolic revelation, He as Advocate maintaining the same.
2. That believers should not sin. 1 John 2:1 .
3. That believers might know that they have eternal life, which is in the Son. 1 John 5:13 . The epistle presents things largely in their own proper character, touching but little upon what is experimentally different therefrom, and thus contains tests of profession.
1 John 1 presents that which the apostles had heard, seen, contemplated, and handled of the Word of life in the person of the Son become man. It is that which was set forth in a Man. That which was with the Father, namely, the eternal life, was thus manifested to the apostles, who reported what they had seen and heard to the disciples, that they might have fellowship with them, and that their joy might be full. The apostles' fellowship was with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. But it is in the light that it is enjoyed, where also christian fellowship is known, and the blood of Christ is the foundation of all.
1 John 2 . What is inconsistent and consistent with the light is then referred to, leading on to the unfolding of the advocacy of "Jesus Christ the righteous" with the Father, and its effects in case any one sinned. The test of the knowledge of God is keeping His commandments, and the love of God is perfected in him who keeps His word. But this commandment of love is no new one; what is new is that which is true both in Him and in His disciples. They are in the light now, for God is fully revealed, and they are in the light of this revelation. He who hates his brother is in darkness. Different stages of growth in Christians are now spoken of, namely, fathers, young men, and babes. What is characteristic of each is presented, together with certain besetting dangers, against which young men and babes are warned. 1 John 2:12 and 1 John 2:28 speak of all Christians under the general term 'little children.' It may be noticed that even the babes have the Holy Ghost — the unction from the Holy One.
1 John 3 gives the nature of the Christian's place and blessings as given of the Father's love, and the actual result of being born of God, both in the practice of righteousness and in loving one another. In these things the children of God are manifested; while in the practice of sin, and the hatred of their brother, the children of the devil are discerned. In John's epistle people are viewed absolutely as either one thing or the other.
Jesus Christ is set forth as the perfect pattern both of righteousness and of love. He is here viewed as veritably God, and the One who came to undo the works of the devil, and He has 'laid down his life for us.' He fully vindicated the rights of God, which sin had compromised, and He loved even unto death.
In fine, this chapter declares, on the one hand, what believers are before God, in present relationship, Christ Himself being the completion and measure of all their blessing; on the other hand, the test of it as regards men, Christ abiding in them that His character may come out in them. In the concluding verse the Spirit is introduced in connection with the conscious knowledge believers have that God abides in them. It is by Him they know it.
1 John 4 gives a test for distinguishing spirits, namely, the confession of Jesus Christ come in flesh, which could only be by the Spirit of God. There were those who, denying this great foundation of the faith, spoke as of the world, and who had the world's approval. Christians are qualified to discriminate as to what is presented to them. Then it is shown that those towards whom God's love is so great ought to love one another. The character of God morally, which had been seen in Christ, is now seen in those who are the objects of His love; they are identified even in this world with Christ as He is, from whom they derive everything in new creation. He who does not love, does not know God. It is in loving one another that believers come out before the world as the disciples of Christ. In this chapter it is said that we know 'that we abide in Him' ( 1 John 4:13 ), not merely that He abides in us: cf. 1 John 3:24 .
1 John 5 gives a test whereby believers may know that they love God's children, namely, when they love God and keep His commandments. Those born of God get the victory over the world — those, in fact, who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. The glory of His person eclipses all that naturally appeals to them, and they are thus delivered from the influence of the world. This leads the apostle to speak of eternal life, which he shows is not in the first man, but in God's Son. "He that hath the Son hath life: he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." The water and the blood show that it involves clearance from all that is morally of the first man, and the Spirit proves it is in another Man. The Spirit is the 'truth' here: but it is to bring believers into the conscious knowledge of eternal life, which is set forth objectively in the person of the Son of God. Christians are brought by the Spirit, through the application of death, into the present enjoyment of eternal life, and He leads their hearts into the heavenly things into which the Son of God, the Man Christ Jesus, has entered.
The epistle closes with a kind of summary of Christian knowledge from its particular point of view. Christians know first the nature of one begotten of God. Then they know that they are of God, and that the whole world lies in the wicked one — the difference morally between Christians and the world. Lastly, they know that the Son of God has come, and that He has given them an understanding to know Him, in whom God is perfectly revealed. They know moreover that they are in God's Son, Jesus Christ, who is the true God and eternal life. No other object should govern the heart. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - John Foster
United States general, born Whitefield, New Hampshire, 1823; died Nashua, 1874. He served in the Mexican War of 1846, and in the Civil War, and distinguished himself in the defense of Fort Sumter and the capture of Savannah. In 1861 he was received into the Catholic Church.
Holman Bible Dictionary - John
(jahn) Greek form of Hebrew name meaning, “Yahweh has been gracious.” 1. John the Apostle, the son of Zebedee, the brother of James. Harmonizing Matthew 27:56 with Mark 15:40 suggests that John's mother was Salome. If she was also the sister of Jesus' mother ( John 19:25 ), then John was Jesus' first cousin. This string of associations is so conjectural, though, that we cannot be sure of it. Because James is usually mentioned first when the two brothers are identified, some have also conjectured that John was the younger of the two.
The sons of Zebedee were among the first disciples called (Matthew 4:21-22 ; Mark 1:19-20 ). They were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee and probably lived in Capernaum. Their father was sufficiently prosperous to have “hired servants” (Mark 1:20 ), and Luke 5:10 states that James and John were “partners with Simon” Peter.
John is always mentioned in the first four in the lists of the twelve (Matthew 10:2 ; Mark 3:17 ; Luke 6:14 ; Acts 1:13 ). John is also among the “inner three” who were with Jesus on special occasions in the Synoptic Gospels: the raising of Jairus' daughter (Mark 5:37 ), the transfiguration (Mark 9:2 ), and the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-33 ). Andrew joined these three when they asked Jesus about the signs of the coming destruction of Jerusalem (Mark 13:3 ).
The sons of Zebedee were given the surname Boanerges , “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17 ). When a Samaritan village refused to receive Jesus, they asked, “Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them?” (Luke 9:54 ). The only words in the Synoptic Gospels attributed specifically to John are: “Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name and we forbad him, because he followeth not us” (Mark 9:38 ; Luke 9:49 ). On another occasion the two brothers asked to sit in places of honor, on Jesus' left and right in His glory (Mark 10:35-41 ; compare Matthew 20:20-24 ). On each of these occasions Jesus challenged or rebuked John. Luke 22:8 , however, identifies Peter and John as the two disciples who were sent to prepare the Passover meal for Jesus and the disciples.
The apostle John appears three times in the Book of Acts, and each time he is with Peter (Acts 1:13 ; Acts 3:1-11 ; Acts 4:13 ,Acts 4:13,4:20 ; Acts 8:14 ). After Peter healed the man, they were arrested, imprisoned, and then released. They were “unlearned and ignorant men” (Acts 4:13 ), but they answered their accusers boldly: “we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20 ). Later, John and Peter were sent to Samaria to confirm the conversion of Samaritans (Luke 7:29-300 ).
Paul mentioned John only once: “James, Cephas [1], and John, who seemed to be pillars” of the church agreed that Paul and Barnabas would go to the Gentiles, while they would work among the Jews (Galatians 2:9 ).
The Gospel of John does not mention James or John by name, and it contains only one reference to the sons of Zebedee (John 21:2 ). An unnamed disciple who with Andrew had been one of John the Baptist's disciples is mentioned in John 1:35 , and an unnamed disciple helped Peter gain access to the house of the high priest in John 18:15-16 . The disciple in these verses may have been the Beloved Disciple, who reclined with Jesus during the last supper (John 13:23-26 ), stood at the cross with Jesus' mother (John 19:25-27 ), ran with Peter to the empty tomb (John 20:2-10 ), and recognized the risen Lord after the great catch of fish (John 21:7 ). The need to clarify what Jesus had said about the death of the Beloved Disciple (John 21:20-23 ) probably indicates that the Beloved Disciple had died by the time the Gospel of John was put in final form by the editor who speaks in John 21:24-25 and attributes the Gospel to this Beloved Disciple.
Five books of the New Testament have been attributed to John the Apostle: the Gospel, three Epistles, and Revelation. In each case, the traditional view that the apostle was the author of these books can be traced to writers in the second century. Neither the Gospel nor the epistles identify their author by name. The author of Revelation identifies himself as “John” (Revelation 1:1 , Revelation 1:4 , Revelation 1:9 ; Revelation 22:8 ) but does not claim to be the apostle. Much of the weight of the traditional view of the authorship of the Gospel rests on the testimony of Irenaeus, bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul (A.D. 130-200).
The origin of the attribution of the five writings to the apostle is difficult to trace. The strongest argument can probably be made for the traditional view of the authorship of Revelation. Its author claims to be “John,” it is associated with Patmos and Ephesus, and in tone it fits the character of the apostle who was called “Boanerges.” Justin Martyr, moreover, in the earliest testimony regarding the authorship of Revelation attributes it to John.
Internal evidence from the Gospel and Epistles provides many Bible students reasons to question the traditional view. The Gospel does not mention the “inner three” disciples as a group, nor does it refer to any of the events at which these three were present with Jesus: the raising of Jairus' daughter, the transfiguration, and the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Clearly, the editor of the Gospel, who refers to himself in John 21:24-25 , links the Gospel with the Beloved Disciple. The question is whether that disciple was John or some other apostle.
The author of the epistles identifies himself as “the elder” (2 John 1:1 , 3 John 1:1 ), but never claims to be the apostle. Neither does the author of these epistles claim the authority to command the church to follow his instructions. Instead, he reasons with them and urges the church to abide in what it has received and what it has heard from the beginning.
In sum, a strong tradition linking the apostle John to the authorship of these five New Testament writings can be traced to the second century. Modern scholarship has raised questions about the credibility of this tradition, and discussion of these matters continues. Many would agree, however, that the strongest case can be made for the apostolic authorship of Revelation, followed in order by the Gospel and Epistles. Many Bible students continue to follow tradition and attribute all five books to the apostle.
Legends about the apostle continued to develop long after his death. According to tradition, John lived to an old age in Ephesus, where he preached love and fought heresy, especially the teachings of Cerinthus. The tomb of John was the side of a fourth-century church, over which Justinian built the splendid basilica of St. John. The ruins of this basilica are still visible in Ephesus today.
The Apocryphon of John is an early gnostic work that purports to contain a vision of the apostle John. Copies were found among the codices at Nag Hammadi. The work itself must go back at least to the second century because Irenaeus quoted from it.
The Acts of John is a third-century apocryphal writing which records miraculous events, John's journey to Rome, his exile on Patmos, accounts of several journeys, and a detailed account of John's death. In theology this work is Docetic, and it was eventually condemned by the Second Nicene Council in 787.
The apostle John also has a place in the martyrologies of the medieval church. A fifth-century writer, Philip of Side, and George the Sinner, of the ninth century, report that Papias (second century) wrote that James and John were killed by the Jews (Acts 12:2 ), but these reports are generally dismissed as fabrications based on interpretations of Mark 10:39 . See John, The Gospel of ; John, The Letters of ; Revelation of John.
2. John the Baptist, a prophet from a priestly family, who preached a message of repentance, announced the coming of the Messiah, baptized Jesus, and was beheaded by Herod Antipas.
Luke 1:5-80 records the birth of John the Baptist in terms similar to the birth of Isaac. Zechariah, John's father, was a priest from the division of Abijah. Elizabeth, his mother, was a descendant of Aaron. The angel Gabriel announced John's birth, while Zechariah was burning incense in the Temple. John would not drink wine or strong drink. He would be filled with the Holy Spirit, and as a prophet he would have the spirit and power of Elijah. His role would be to prepare the Lord's people for the coming of the Messiah.
Mark 1:3-4 records that John was in the wilderness until the time of his public ministry. There he ate locusts and wild honey. He wore the dress of a prophet, camel's hair and a leather girdle ( Matthew 3:4 ; Mark 1:6 ; see 2 Kings 1:8 ). Because of his life in the wilderness, his priestly background, his preaching of repentance to Israel, and his practice of baptism, it is often suggested that John grew up among the Essenes at Qumran. This theory is attractive, but it cannot be confirmed. Neither can the origin of John's practice of baptizing be traced with certainty. Washings had long been part of Jewish piety, and by the time of John, Gentile converts to Judaism washed themselves as a form of ceremonial cleansing. The Essenes at Qumran practiced ritual washings and had an elaborate procedure for admission to the community. John's baptism may owe something to the Essene practices, but we cannot determine the extent of this influence.
According to Luke, John began his ministry around the Jordan River in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1-3 ), which must have been A.D. 26 or 27. John's preaching emphasized the coming judgment, the need for repentance, and the coming of the Messiah. Luke also emphasizes the ethical teachings of John: he called the multitudes a “generation of vipers” (Luke 3:7 ); one who had two coats should give one to a person who had none; tax collectors were warned to collect no more than their due; and soldiers were instructed to rob no one and be content with their wages” (Luke 3:10-14 ).
Jesus was baptized by John, a fact that all the evangelists except Mark attempted to explain. Matthew 3:15 explains that it was “to fulfill all righteousness.” Luke recorded that John was thrown in prison before he said that Jesus also was baptized ( Luke 3:20-21 ), and John told of the baptism of Jesus but only through the testimony of John the Baptist himself. Thus, the witness of John the Baptist to Jesus is featured, deflecting any possibility that later followers of the Baptist might argue that John was superior to Jesus (Matthew 3:11-12 ; Mark 1:7-8 ; Luke 3:15-17 ; John 1:15 , John 1:19-36 ).
Various sayings give us glimpses of John's ministry. His disciples practiced fasting (Mark 2:18 ), and he taught them to pray (Luke 11:1 ). John was vigorous in his attacks on Herod. In contrast to Herod's household he lived an austere existence (Matthew 11:7-9 ). Some criticized John for his ascetic life-style (Matthew 11:16-19 ), but Jesus praised John as the greatest of the prophets (Matthew 11:11 ). John's popularity with the people is reflected in Matthew 21:31-32 ; Mark 11:27-32 ; 1618644387_53 ; John 10:41 .
In an account that parallels the New Testament closely, Josephus stated that Herod Antipas arrested John and subsequently executed him at Machaerus because “he feared that John's so extensive influence over the people might lead to an uprising.” Many believed that the defeat of Herod's armies by the Nabateans was God's judgment on Herod for the death of John the Baptist. While John was in prison, he sent two of his disciples to inquire whether Jesus was the coming One (Matthew 11:2-3 ; Luke 7:18-23 ). John's death is recorded in detail in Mark 6:14-29 .
According to the Gospel of John, the ministry of Jesus overlapped with that of John (John 3:22-24 ; contrast Mark 1:14 ), and some of Jesus' first disciples had also been disciples of John the Baptist (John 1:35-37 ). Jesus even identified John with the eschatological role of Elijah (Matthew 17:12-13 ; Mark 9:12-13 ).
John's movement did not stop with his death. Indeed, some believed that Jesus was John, raised from the dead (Mark 6:14-16 ; Mark 8:28 ). Years later, a group of John's followers were found around Ephesus, among them the eloquent Apollos (Acts 18:24-19:7 ); and for centuries John's influence survived among the Mandeans, who claimed to perpetuate his teachings. See Baptism .
3. Relative of Annas, the high priest (Acts 4:6 ), unless manuscripts reading Jonathan are right.
4. John Mark. See Mark.
R. Alan Culpepper
Morrish Bible Dictionary - John
1. Kinsmanof Annas the high priest. Acts 4:6 .
2. Son of Mary. See MARK.
Holman Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel of
According to tradition the fourth Gospel was written by John the apostle in Ephesus, toward the end of his life. Perhaps because it is so different from the Synoptic Gospels, Clement of Alexandria called it the “spiritual Gospel.” Since the beginning of the modern era, scholars have debated the authorship and historicity of this Gospel. The Gospel itself says only that it was written by the beloved disciple (John 21:20-24 ). Although this disciple is traditionally identified as the apostle John, the Gospel itself does not make this identification. See John 1.
Part of the enigma of John is its distinctiveness from the other three canonical Gospels. John does not tell of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem. Jesus tells no parables, and there is nothing like the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus heals no lepers, and demons are never mentioned. The kingdom of God, which is the primary theme of Jesus' preaching in the Synoptics, is scarcely mentioned in John. Instead of the short, pithy sayings that characterize Jesus' words in the Synoptics, one finds in John extended discourses. There is no list of the twelve disciples, and “the twelve” are mentioned only at the end of John 6:1 and once later ( John 20:24 ). The bread and the wine are not mentioned at the last supper. Instead, Jesus washes the disciples' feet. There are also differences in chronology. In the Synoptics Jesus spends His entire ministry in and around Galilee and makes one trip to Jerusalem, just a week before His death. According to John, however, Jesus made four trips to Jerusalem (John 2:13 ; John 5:1 ; John 7:10 ; John 12:12 ) and spent a significant part of His ministry in Judea.
The Gospel of John, therefore, gives a distinctive account of Jesus' “signs,” His words, and His ministry. Parts of the Gospel are remarkably parallel to the synoptic accounts, but the distinctive elements should not be overlooked as one ponders its mystery and message.
A widely accepted theory holds that the Gospel makes use of an account of the signs Jesus performed. The first two of these are numbered (John 2:1-11 ; John 4:46-54 ). At other points one can also see evidences of earlier stages in the Gospel's composition. In John 14:31 Jesus said, “Arise, let us go hence.” The next three chapters, however, continue the farewell discourse. Only at John 18:1 do we read the natural continuation of John 14:31 : “When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples.” Many Bible students regard John 15-17 as a longer version of the discourse material contained in John 14:1 . Similarly, the Gospel seems to reach its conclusion at the end of John 20:1 . Jesus appeared to the disciples, comforted them, commissioned them, and consecrated them with the Holy Spirit. Thomas's doubt was overcome, and Thomas voiced the Gospel's climactic confession: “My Lord, and my God!” (John 20:28 ). Jesus pronounced a beatitude on all who would later believe, and the evangelist stated the purpose for which the Gospel was written (John 20:30-31 ). To many Bible students the end of John 20:1 appears to be the original ending of the Gospel. No ancient manuscript, however, lacks the last chapter, which these Bible students think was probably added shortly later by the final editor. Regardless of the whether material in the Gospel was added early or late in the process of composition, it all derived from the witness of the Beloved Disciple as his teachings were developed and used in the worship of the community that gathered around him. It is the inspired Word God has given us “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” ( John 4:1-54 ).
The earliest period of the history of John's community took place within a Jewish synagogue. The account of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, which makes frequent allusions to the Hebrew Scriptures, was probably shaped during this period. Other sections of the Gospel, such as the calling of the first disciples (John 1:35-51 ) may also reflect the preaching of this group at a time when they were appealing to fellow Jews.
As a result of their confession of Jesus as the Christ, these Christian Jews were expelled from the synagogue and persecuted by the Jewish community. The Gospel reflects conflict with the Jewish authorities both during the ministry of Jesus and at the time of the writing of the Gospel. By telling about the life of Jesus in such a way that later believers saw similarities with their own struggles, the Gospel's message took on greater significance for the Christian community. The expulsion from the synagogue is referred to in John 9:22 ; John 12:42 ; and John 16:2 , and other passages speak of “fear of the Jews” (John 7:13 ; John 20:19 ).
The Gospel was written after the separation from the synagogue to proclaim the gospel message that gave the Christian community its identity and purpose. The Gospel of John features episodes in which individuals are caught between Jesus' call for faith and the Jewish authorities' rejection of His claims (Nicodemus, John 11:1-54 ; the man at the Pool of Bethesda, John 5:1 ; the crowds in Galilee, John 6:1 ; and the man born blind, John 9:1 ). The purpose of the Gospel, therefore, was twofold: (1) to call believers to reaffirm their faith and move on to a more mature faith, and (2) to call the “secret believers” (John 12:42 ; John 19:38 ) to confess Jesus as the Christ and join the Christian community.
Eventually, a dangerous belief that either denied or diminished the significance of the incarnation began to develop. Some Johannine Christians taught that Jesus was certainly the Christ, but they denied that the Christ had come “in flesh” (see 1 John 4:2-3 ; 2 John 1:7 ). Finally, the community was divided. See John, The Letters of .
We do not know what happened to the Johannine community after the writing of the epistles, but we may conjecture that the remnant that followed the elder was assimilated into the emerging church of the second century while the elder's opponents, with their Docetic Christology, probably found their way into the developing Gnostic groups.
The roots of the Johannine tradition reach back to the ministry of Jesus, and the Gospel stands on eyewitness testimony (John 19:34-35 ; John 21:24-25 ). The composition of the Gospel, described above, probably stretched over several decades, with the Gospel reaching its present form around A.D. 90-100. Its place in the New Testament, following the other three Gospels, may reflect the memory that it was the last of the four Gospels.
The Gospel of John draws a portrait of Jesus as the divine Logos, the Christ, the Son of God. Its message is thoroughly Christological. Jesus has a dual role as Revealer and Redeemer. He came to reveal the Father and to take away “the sin of the world” (John 1:18 , John 1:29 ). As the Logos, Jesus continued God's creative and redemptive work, turning water to wine, creating eyes for a blind man, and breathing Holy Spirit into His disciples. As the Revealer, Jesus revealed that he and the Father were one (John 10:30 ), so those who saw Him (that is, received Him in faith) saw the Father (John 14:9 ). All that Jesus does and says points beyond and above to the knowledge of God. Through Jesus' revelation of the Father, which reaches its fulfillment in His death on the cross, Jesus delivers the world from sin. Sin is understood in the Gospel of John primarily as unbelief (John 16:9 ).
John contains a profound analysis of the experience of faith. The human condition apart from God is characterized in John as “the world,” which is under the power of sin. Some never believe because they love the darkness and the glory of men rather than the glory of God. All who believe are called, drawn, and chosen by the Father (John 6:37 , John 6:44 ; John 10:3 , John 10:27 ; John 17:6 ). Some believe only because of Jesus' signs. The Gospel accepts this response as faith but calls believers on to faith that is based on Jesus' words and on the knowledge of God revealed in Jesus.
Those who believe in His name are born “from above” (John 3:3 NRSV). They are the “children of God” ( John 1:12 ), whose life is sustained by living water and the bread of life. They live in community as His sheep (John 10:1 ), the branches of the true Vine (John 15:1 ). Jesus' disciples are to live “just as” he lived. The twin commands of the Johannine community were to have faith and to love one another (John 14:1 ; John 13:34 ; 1 John 3:23 ). Those who believe already have eternal life, here and now (John 17:3 ). They have already crossed from death into life (John 5:24 ), and the judgment occurs in one's response to Jesus (John 3:19 ). John emphasized the present fulfillment of future expectations. Believers, however, will also be raised “at the last day” (John 6:39-40 ,John 6:39-40,6:44 ,John 6:44,6:54 ).
Outline
I. The Prologue (John 1:1-18 )
II. Jesus Before the World (John 1:19-12:50 )
A. Calling Disciples (John 1:19-2:11 )
B. The Temple and Nicodemus (John 2:12-3:21 )
C. An interlude in Judea (John 3:22-36 )
D. The Samaritan woman and the nobleman (John 20:31 )
E. The man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-47 )
F. Feeding the multitude (John 6:1-71 )
G. Confrontation in Jerusalem (John 7:1-8:59 )
H. The blind man and the shepherd's sheep (John 9:1-10:42 ) ;
I. The raising of Lazarus (John 3:1 )
J. Preparations for the Passover (John 11:55-12:50 )
III. Jesus with His Own (John 13:1-20:31 )
A. The Farewell Discourse (John 13:1-17:26 )
1. The footwashing (John 13:1-30 )
2. The Farewell Discourse: Part 1 (John 13:31-14:31 )
3. The Farewell Discourse: Part 2 (John 15:1-16:4 )
4. The Farewell Discourse: Part 3 (John 16:5-33 )
5. The high priestly prayer (John 17:1-26 )
B. The trial of Jesus (John 18:1-19:16 )
C. The death of Jesus (John 19:16-42 )
D. The resurrection of Jesus (John 20:1-29 )
E. Conclusion (John 20:30-31 )
IV. Epilogue (John 21:1-25 )
See John, The Letters of ; John the Apostle; and Logos .
R. Alan Culpepper
Holman Bible Dictionary - John, the Letters of
Three New Testament books attributed to the apostle John. Knowledge and use of 1John is attested from an early date in the writings of Papias (according to Eusebius), Polycarp, and Justin. It was regarded as the work of the apostle John by Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and the Muratorian Canon. Second and Third John were accepted as Scripture more slowly. Origen reported that their authenticity was questioned, and Eusebius placed them in the list of writings that were disputed, although “well-known and acknowledged by most.”
The Johannine character of the three letters is universally recognized, but debate over their authorship continues. Some scholars regard the apostle John as the author of all three letters. Others, citing stylistic and theological differences between the Gospel and the Letters, contend that they were written by an elder in the Johannine community, who was not the evangelist. It is possible that the author of the letters was the final editor of the Gospel, the “I” who speaks in John 21:25 . The author never identifies himself by name. Twice he claims the title “the elder” (2 John 1:1 ; 3 John 1:1 ), but he never calls himself an apostle.
Most scholars agree that the three letters were written by the same author and that they were written after the Gospel. A date of about A.D. 100 seems to be indicated, but both earlier and later dates have been proposed. Several factors support a date following the composition of the Gospel. 1 John 1:1-5 seems to imitate John 1:1-18 . The polemic against “the Jews” that pervades much of the Gospel does not appear in the letters. Their concern was with difficulties within the Christian community. Whereas the Gospel was written “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31 ), 1John insists that one must confess that Jesus Christ has come in flesh (1 John 4:2 ). 2 John 1:7 likewise identifies as deceivers those who do not confess “Jesus Christ come [1] in flesh.” The letters are therefore concerned with correcting a false belief about Christ that was spreading in the churches.
From this emphasis on the incarnation, we may assume that the opponents held to the divinity of Christ but either denied or diminished the significance of His humanity. Their view may be an early form of Docetism, the heresy that emerged in the second century which claimed that Jesus only seemed to be human.
This false belief had already led to schism. 1 John 2:19 explains that those who had left the community never really belonged to it, or else they would have remained with it. 1 John 4:1 warns the church to test the spirits because “many false prophets are gone out into the world.” These “opponents” of the elder's group are charged with not following the command to love one's fellow Christians. They apparently also claimed that they were free from sin ( 1 John 1:8 , 1 John 2:3-11 ). Both groups held that believers have “passed from death unto life” (1 John 3:14 ), but the elder recognized the potential danger in this teaching and contended that the future coming of the Lord (1 John 3:2 ) requires that believers purify themselves and be righteous (1 John 3:3-7 ).
The Johannine letters, therefore, provide us with a window on an early Christian church, its problems, and its developing doctrine. First John seems to be a treatise written to the Johannine community. In contrast, 2,3John are much briefer, about the length of a single sheet of papyrus, and they follow the conventional form of a personal letter.
First John is difficult to outline because its themes recur throughout the letter and because transitional verses may be placed either with the preceding or the following sections (1 John 2:28 ; 1 John 4:1-6 ). Outlines with varying numbers of divisions have been suggested for 1John. The structure followed here is based on the repetition of the statement “God is” three times in the Epistle: “God is light” (1 John 1:5 ), “He is righteous” (1 John 2:29 ), and “God is love” (1 John 4:8 ). First John demands that these qualities must dominate the lives of believers.
As a way of refuting the false teaching that threatened the community, the elder quoted tenets of the opponents in 1John 1:6,1John 1:8,1 John 1:10 ; 1John 2:4,1 John 2:6 , and 1 John 2:9 , and answered each point. He called those who remained to practice the command of love (1 John 2:3-11 ). The elder gave assurance to the community and warned the believers that they cannot practice love for one another and love for the world at the same time (1 John 2:15-17 ). “The world” here means all that is opposed to Christ. Dissension had already split the community, and the elder warned those who remained about the dangers of the false teaching (1 John 2:18-27 ).
One of the tests of faithfulness is righteousness (1 John 2:29 ). The opponents may have emphasized the present realization of the church's hope for the future, saying that the judgment was already past and Christians had already passed from death into life. The elder reasserted a more traditional eschatology (see 1 John 3:2 ). Hope for the future, however, carries with it the imperative of righteous, pure living. Christians cannot make sin a way of life (compare 1John 3:6,1 John 3:9 with 1 John 1:8-10 ).
Another test of faithfulness is living by the command to love one another, which means sharing with those in need (1 John 3:11-24 , especially 1 John 3:17 ). The false prophets, who had gone out from the community, denied the incarnation (1 John 4:1-6 ). The incarnation is crucial for Christian doctrine, however, because in Christ we find the love of God revealed (1 John 4:7-21 ). Love of God, however, requires that we love one another.
Those who have faith in Christ and love God keep His commands, and to them God gives eternal life (1 John 5:1-12 ). The water, the blood, and the Spirit all bear witness to Christ, His incarnation, and His death. Christians are to pray for one another, but there is sin that is “mortal” (1 John 5:16 ). By this the elder probably meant denying Christ, the one through whom sin is forgiven. Christ also keeps those who are “born of God.” He is the only source of eternal life.
Outline
I. The Prologue: The Word of Life (1 John 1:1-4 )
II. Light Among God's Children (1 John 1:5-2:27 )
A. The incompatibility of light and sin (1 John 1:5-2:2 )
B. Love as a test of knowledge (1 John 1:10 )
C. Conflict with the world (1 John 2:12-17 )
D. Conflict within the community (1 John 2:18-27 )
III. Righteousness Among God's Children (1 John 2:28-4:6 )
A. The hope of the righteous (1 John 2:28-3:10 )
B. The love of the righteous (1 John 3:11-24 )
C. The two spirits (1 John 4:1-6 )
IV. Love Among God's Children (1 John 4:7-5:12 )
A. The true nature of love (1 John 4:7-21 )
B. The true nature of faith (1 John 5:1-12 )
V. The Epilogue (1 John 5:13-21 )
Second John was written by the elder to a sister community to warn the church about the dangers of the false teaching that had already threatened the elder's church. The sequence of the writing of 1,2John is conjectural, but they were probably written by the same author at about the same time. They share similar concerns, and in many places the same phrases appear in both letters.
The elder praised the sister church for following the truth and appealed for her to continue to show love. The elder apparently wanted to be sure that the sister church would continue in fellowship with his church. His real concern, however, was to warn “the elect lady” (2 John 1:1 ) about those “who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” (2 John 1:7 ). Such deceivers and antichrists are not to be received by the church. These were apparently members of the same group referred to in 1 John 2:19 and 1 John 4:1-2 .
Outline
I. The Salutation of Love for Those Who Know the Truth (1-2)
II. The Blessings of Grace, Mercy, and Peace (3)
III. Love Is the Identifying Mark for Christians (4-6).
IV. Believers Face Deceivers (7-11).
V. Personal Conclusion (12-13)
Third John is a personal letter from the elder to Gaius, who had been providing hospitality to fellow Christians and messengers from the elder's community. Diotrephes, however, refused to receive those sent by the elder. The elder charged that Diotrephes “loveth to have the preeminence among them” (3 John 1:9 ), but Diotrephes' position is unclear. Some interpreters suggest that Diotrephes was an appointed leader or bishop of the church. Others conclude that Diotrephes had rejected the authority of the church's leaders, ambitiously asserting his own leadership. It may be that in an effort to prevent outsiders from spreading false teachings and dissension in the church he refused to receive any traveling prophets or teachers.
Gaius may or may not be a member of Diotrephes' church. The elder praised Gaius and commended Demetrius (who may have carried the letter) as a faithful witness. The letter closes with greetings from fellow Christians, who are called “the friends” (3 John 1:14 ; see John 3:29 ; John 11:11 ; John 15:13-15 ). See John the Apostle; John, the Gospel of .
Outline
I. The Address (1)
II. The Blessing of Good Health and Welfare for a Faithful Spiritual Leader (2-4)
III. Believers Should show Hospitality and Support for Visiting Believers (5-8).
IV. Pride, Gossiping, and Lack of Hospitality Bring Condemnation (9-10).
V. Imitate Good Leaders but Not Wicked Ones (11-12).
VI. Concluding Remarks (13-14).
R. Alan Culpepper
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Mark, John
Townson conjectures that the young man introduced as fleeing and leaving his linen robe, fear overcoming shame (Mark 16:51-52), was Mark himself, on the ground that otherwise we see no reason for its introduction, being unconnected with the context. If the young man was the writer, awakened out of sleep by the noise near his house of men proceeding to seize the Savior, then going forth hastily in a linen cloth only, and being an eye witness of Jesus' apprehension and suspected of being His follower, though not so then but afterward, he would look back on this as the most interesting circumstance of his life; though, like John, in humility he describes without mentioning himself by name. (See LAZARUS.) Mark was son of Mary, residing at Jerusalem, and was cousin (not "sister's son'," Colossians 4:10) of Barnabas. The relationship accounts for Barnabas' choice of Mark as his companion; also for the house of Mark's mother being the resort of Christians, Barnabas a leader among them attracting others there.
The family belonged to Cyprus (Acts 4:36; Acts 13:4; Acts 13:13); so Barnabas chose Cyprus as the first station on their journey. Mark readily accompanied him as "minister" (hufretes , "subordinate") to the country of his kindred; but had not the spiritual strength to overcome his Jewish prejudices which he probably imbibed from his spiritual father Peter (Galatians 2:11-14), so as to accompany Paul the apostle of the Gentiles further than Perga of Pamphylia, in his first missionary tour to the pagan. Mark returned to Mary his mother at Jerusalem; he ought to have remembered Jesus' words (Matthew 10:37). Paul therefore (because "he went not with them to the work," for his accompanying them to his native Cyprus was his own pleasure rather than zeal for pure missionary "work") rejected him on his second missionary journey (Acts 15:37-39). This caused a temporary alienation between Paul and Barnabas. The latter (realizing his name, "son of consolation") took Mark again to Cyprus, like a tender father in Christ bearing with the younger disciple's infirmity, until by grace he should become stronger in faith; also influenced by the He of relationship.
Christian love healed the breach, for in Colossians 4:10 Paul implies his restored confidence in Mark ("touching whom ye received commandments, if he come unto you receive him ... my fellow workers unto the kingdom of God which have been a comfort unto me"). The Colossians, 110 miles distant from Perga, 20 from Pisidia, knew of Mark's past unfaithfulness, and so needed the recommendation to "receive" him as a true evangelist, ignoring the past. So in Philemon 1:11-24, he calls Mark "my fellow laborer." Mark was two years later again in Colossae when Paul tells Timothy, then in Asia Minor (2 Timothy 4:11), "take Mark and bring him with thee, for he is profitable to me for the ministry." A contrast: Demas, once Paul's" fellow laborer," fails away; Mark returns to the right way, and is no longer unprofitable, but "profitable (even to an apostle) for the ministry." By his Latin knowledge he was especially likely to be "profitable" in preaching at Rome where Paul then was when he desired Timothy to "bring Mark."
He was Peter's "son" by conversion (probably converted in meeting the apostle in his mother's house at Jerusalem), and was with his spiritual father when 1 Peter 5:13 was written; his connection with Peter, by an undesigned coincidence which marks genuineness, appears in Acts 12:12. After Paul's death Mark joined Peter with whom he had been before associated in the writing of the Gospel. (See PETER.) Mark was with Paul intending to go to Asia Minor, A.D. 61-63 (Colossians 4:10). In 2 Timothy 4:11, A.D. 67, Mark was near Ephesus, from whence he was about to be taken by Timothy to Rome. It is not likely Peter would have trenched on Paul's field of labour, the churches of Asia Minor, during Paul's lifetime. At his death Mark joined his old father in the faith, Peter, at Babylon. Silvanus or Silas had been substituted for Mark as Paul's companion because of Mark's temporary unfaithfulness; but Mark, now restored, is associated with Silvanus (2 Timothy 4:12), Paul's companion, in Peter's esteem, as Mark was already reinstated in Paul's esteem.
Naturally Mark salutes the Asiatic churches with whom he had been already under Paul spiritually connected. The tradition (Clemens Alex. in Eusebius' H. E. 6:14, Clem. Alex. Hyp. 6) that Mark was Peter's companion at Rome arose from misunderstanding "Babylon" (1 Peter 5:13) to be Rome. A friendly salutation is not the place where an enigmatically prophetical title would be used (Revelation 17:5). Babylon was the center from which the Asiatic dispersion whom Peter (1 Peter 1:1-2) addresses was derived. Alexandria was the final scene of Mark's labors, bishopric, and martyrdom (Nicephorus, H. E. 2:43).
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Huddleston, John
Benedictine, born Lancashire, England, 1608; died London, England, 1698. He sheltered Charles II at Moseley, Staffordshire, after his defeat at Worcester, and many years later reconciled him to the faith on his deathbed.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Howard, John
Born 1430; died 1485. Received the dukedom in 1483.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - o'Donovan, John
Catholic historian, philologist and antiquarian. Born Atateemore, County Kilkenny, Ireland, 1806; died Dublin, Ireland, 1861. Beginning the study of Irish at an early age, he was introduced by Hardiman to a circle of famous scholars, and became with O'Curry, his brother-in-law, the supreme authority on ancient Irish affairs. Professor of Celtic at Queen's College, Belfast. He was the mainstay of the chief Irish archaeological reviews of his day. He is most popularly known by his Irish Grammar, and his edition of the Annals of the Four Masters. His series of scholarly letters written in connection with his work for the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, like O'Curry's, were kept unpublished by the British Government for fear of rekindling flames of Irish patriotism.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Hughes, John
Fourth Bishop and first Archbishop of New York, born Annaloghan, County Tyrone, Ireland, 1797; died New York, New York, 1864. Arriving with his father in America in 1817, he lived for a time at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. In 1819 he entered Mount Saint Mary's College at Emmitsburg, working his way as gardener and then as teacher. Ordained in Saint Joseph's Church, Philadelphia, in 1826, he served later as pastor there and at Saint Augustine's, and built the church of Saint John in 1832. Named coadjutor to Bishop Dubois of New York in 1837, he was consecrated in old Saint Patrick's Cathedral on Mott Street. He put an end to the vicious trustee system in 1839. From 1840-1842 he engaged in fruitless efforts to have the public school moneys fairly apportioned, succeeding, however, in promoting the parochial school movement. He succeeded Bishop Dubois in 1842. He established Saint Joseph's Seminary at Rose Hill, Fordham, in 1840, and Saint John's College in 1841, the Jesuits being put in charge in 1846. By upholding the rights of Catholic citizens to defend their property he prevented an outbreak in New York of the fanatical Native American riots in 1844. He was invited in 1847 to address Congress. In 1851 he was named Archbishop of New York, receiving the pallium in Rome from the hands of Pius IX. In 1858 the cornerstone of Saint Patrick's Cathedral was laid. During the Civil War he went, in 1861, at the request of the government, to France, where he helped to secure French loyalty to the federal government. Saint Joseph's Seminary was opened at Troy in 1864. Before his death four bishoprics had been created within the territory of his first diocese: Albany, Buffalo, Brooklyn, and Newark. His body, buried first in old Saint Patrick's, was removed to the present cathedral in 1883.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - o'Hanlon, John
Hagiographer; born Stradbally, Queen's County, Ireland, 1821; died Dublin, Ireland, 1905. He accompanied his parents to the United States as a youth, and was ordained for the diocese of Saint Louis, 1847. Six years later he returned to Ireland and was affiliated to the archdiocese of Dublin. Notwithstanding a busy pastoral life, he devoted himself to historical research and compiled a great series of lives of the Irish saints, in addition to a voluminous history of the Irish in America.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Hus, John
Heresiarch, the "spiritual inheritor" of John Wyclif, born Husinetz, Bohemia, 1369; died Constance, Baden, 1415. He received the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of Prague in 1393,1396, respectively. Four years later he was ordained a priest, and became rector of the university, 1402-1403. He was greatly influenced by the writings of Wyclif, translated his "Trialogus" into Czech, and helped to circulate it even after the ecclesiastical authorities had condemned 45 of Wyclif's propositions, 1403. In 1408, however, when all the writings of Wyclif were ordered handed over to the archdiocesan chancery for correction, Hus obeyed the order and declared that he condemned whatever errors these writings contained. The following year Hus again became rector of the university, and was reported to Rome for his Wycliffite tendencies, with the result that Archbishop Zbynk (Sbinco) received a Bull from Alexander V ordering him to withdraw Wyclif's writings from circulation, and forbid any preaching except in cathedral, collegiate, parish, and cloister churches. Hus and his adherents protested to John XXIII against these measures, and were excommunicated by the archbishop, July 10, 1410. Hus was summoned to appear before the pope but sent representatives in his stead, and sentence of excommunication was pronounced against him in February 1411. Besides continuing to defend Wyclif, he attacked the Bulls issued by John XXIII proclaiming indulgences to all who would supply funds for the crusade against Ladislaus of Naples, and when he aroused the university and populace to treating with indignity the members of the papal commission, the Roman authorities took the more vigorous action of not only reiterating his former excommunication, but also placing his residence under interdict, and finally ordering his imprisonment. Late in 1412Hus left Prague for Austi, where he wrote his principal work "De ecclesia." As no effort was made to imprison him he returned to Prague, 1414, and posted his treatise "De sex erroribus" on the walls of the Bethlehem chapel, where he had been preacher. From these two treatises a number of propositions of a heretical character was submitted to the new archbishop, and when the Council of Constance assembled in November 1414, Hus appeared before that body, gave an account of hie doctrine, was tried, condemned, and finally burnt at the stake, July 6, l415.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Howman, John
Last Abbot of Westminster, born Feckenham Forest, Worcestershire, England, c.1515;died Wisbech Castle, 1585. His family name was Howman. He joined the Benedictines at Evesham, and after the dissolution of the monasteries was rector of Solihull. Cranmer threw him into prison, but he was released under Mary and later made Abbot of Westminster. He showed great kindness to heretics, and after Wyatt's rebellion his intercession saved Elizabeth's life and subsequently procured her liberation. On her accession he refused to save his monastery by apostasy, and spent 23 years in jail, where he died from privation, a striking example of Elizabeth's ingratitude.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - o'Hagan, John
Lawyer and writer; born Newry, County Down, Ireland, 1822; died Dublin, Ireland, 1890. His brilliant career at the bar was crowned by his elevation to the High Court of Justice by Gladstone. In his earliest manhood he was one of the leading poets of "The Nation" group, and late in life wrote the first English poetical translation of "La Chanson de Roland."
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Mark (John)
MARK (JOHN). There are three groups of NT passages where the name Mark occurs.
(1) John Mark was a Jew and son of Mary, who was a leading Christian woman at Jerusalem. At her house the faithful assembled for prayer, and thither Peter went on his release from imprisonment, having perhaps previously lodged there ( Acts 12:12 ff.). An improbable conjecture makes Mark the son of the ‘good-man of the house’ in Mark 14:14 , and another, not so unlikely, identifies Mark himself with the ‘young man’ of Mark 14:51 ; but the Muratorian Fragment (see next art. § 1) apparently denied that Mark had ever seen our Lord. Probably Mary was a widow. ‘Mark’ would be an added name such as the Jews often took, in Roman fashion; it was a Roman prœnomen , much used among Greek-speaking people, but not common among the Jews. John Mark was chosen as companion of Barnahas and Saul when they left Jerusalem for Antioch ( Acts 12:25 the reading of RVm [1] is hardly possible), and taken by them on their first missionary journey ( Acts 13:5 ), not as chosen expressly by the Holy Ghost (ct. [2] Acts 13:2 ), and not as an equal; ‘they had also John as their attendant (AV [3] minister).’ It has been suggested that Mark was a Levite (see below), and that the designation here used means ‘a synagogue minister,’ as in Luke 4:20 (Chase). But this would make the words ‘they had’ intolerably harsh. Probably Mark’s work was to arrange the Apostles’ journeys, perhaps also to baptize a work not usually performed by St. Paul himself ( 1 Corinthians 1:14 ). Mark remained with the Apostles on their journey through Cyprus, but left them at Perga in Pamphylia ( Acts 13:13 ) either from cowardice, or, more probably, because the journey to Pisidian Antioch and beyond, involving work among distant Gentiles, was a change of plan which he did not approve (Ramsay). He had not yet grasped the idea of a worldwide Christianity, as St. Paul had. His departure to Jerusalem led later to the estrangement of Paul and Barnabas; the latter wished to take Mark with them on the Second Journey ( Mark 15:37 ff.), but Paul refused, and separated from Barnabas, who then took Mark to Cyprus.
(2) The Mark of the Pauline Epistles was cousin of Barnabas ( Colossians 4:10 RV [4] ), probably of the Jewish colony of Cyprus, and a Levite ( Acts 4:36 ). It is therefore generally agreed that he was the same as John Mark. If so, he became reconciled to St. Paul, and was his ‘fellow-worker’ and a ‘comfort’ to him ( Colossians 4:11 , Philippians 1:24 ), and useful to him ‘for ministering’ ( 2 Timothy 4:11 ) this was Mark’s special office, not to be an original organizer but a useful assistant (Swete). We learn that Mark was contemplating a visit to Colossæ, and perhaps that the Colossians had hesitated to receive him ( Colossians 4:10 ).
(3) The Petrine Mark . St. Peter speaks of a Mark as his ‘son’ ( 1 Peter 5:13 ), and as being with him at ‘Babylon’ when he wrote the First Epistle. It is usually held that ‘Babylon’ means Rome, as there seems not to have been a Jewish colony in the real Babylon at the time, and as all ecclesiastical tradition connects St. Peter’s work with Rome. If this he so, we may safely identify all the three Marks as one person. [5] The identification is made more likely by the fact that John Mark is connected with both Peter and Paul in Acts; and if 1 Peter 5:13 refers to Rome, there is no reason why this double connexion should not have continued as long as both Apostles lived. And if, as is not impossible, St. Peter survived St. Paul for some time, we can well understand that Mark devoted himself exclusively to the former after the death of the latter, and that in this way the ecclesiastical tradition (see next art.), which almost unanimously attaches him to Peter, grew up. By that tradition Mark’s activity is associated both with Rome and with Alexandria; and the Egyptian Church assigns its principal liturgy to his name. But the early Alexandrian Fathers, Clement and Origen, are silent as to Mark’s residence in Egypt. The Acts of Mark (5th cent.?) makes him a martyr.
A. J. Maclean.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Mullanphy, John
Philanthropist; born near Enniskillen, Ireland, 1758; died Saint Louis, Missouri, 1833. He fought with Irish Brigade in France, and in Baltimore and New Orleans in the War of 1812. Settled in Saint Louis, 1804, where he proved himself thereafter the chief benefactor of every Catholic institution. He brought the Sisters of Charity to that city. He left a numerous family. One unmarried son, mayor of the city, founded the Mullanphy Fund of over a million dollars for civiccharity; his daughters and their descendants inherited his piety and benevolence.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - o'Reilly, John Boyle
Poet, novelist, and editor, born Douth Castle, Drogheda, Ireland, June 28, 1844; died Hull, Massachusetts, August 10, 1890. He attended the National School, conducted by his father. After enlisting in the Tenth Hussars, he took part in the Fenian movement, but was betrayed and sent to Australia; whence in 1869, he escaped and found his way to Boston, where he became editor and part proprietor of the Pilot from 1870 until his death. For 20 years he was an invaluable factor in Catholic progress in America. His works include four volumes of poems: Moondyne, a powerful novel based on convict life in Australia; A Story from the Underworld (1879), a story of penal life, and The Irish Question (1886); he also edited The Poetry and Songs of Ireland (1889). His daughter, Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly, wrote How France Built Her Cathedrals, New York, 1921.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Murphy, John Benjamin
Surgeon; born Appleton, Wisconsin, December 21, 1857; died Mackinac Island, Michigan, August 11, 1916. This surgical genius sustained his reputation by his numerous writings and clinical lectures. Made known first by the "Murphy Button," a mechanical device that linked together severed ends of intestines He was professor in Chicago's best medical schools and head of the staff of Mercy Hospital. When President Roosevelt was shot by a maniac in Milwaukee, he had himself brought to Mercy Hospital, Chicago, to be treated by Dr Murphy. He was at that time acclaimed both at home and abroad "the greatest clinical teacher of the day." He was awarded Laetare Medal, 1902, and in 1916 Pope Benedict XV made him Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - o'Connell, John
Writer; son of Daniel O'Connell; born Dublin, Ireland, 1810; died Kingstown, County Dublin, Ireland, 1858. He was a writer of literary and polemical power, but lacked tact in politics and came into conflict with the Young Ireland party.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Revelation of John, the
Authorship and authenticity. The writer calls himself John (Revelation 1:1; Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:9; Revelation 22:8). Justin Martyr (Dial. 308, A.D. 139-161) quotes it as the apostle John's work, referring to the millennium and general resurrection and judgment. Justin held his controversy with the learned Jew Trypho at Ephesus, John's residence 35 years previously; he says "the Revelation was given to John, one of the twelve apostles of Christ." Melito, bishop of Sardis (A.D. 171), one of the seven churches whose angel was reproved (Revelation 3:1), is said by Eusebius (H.E. iv. 26) to have written on the Revelation of John. So, Theophilus of Antioch (A.D. 180) quoted from the Revelation of John (Eusebius iv. 26), also Apollonius of Asia Minor in the end of the second century. Irenaeus (A.D. 195), a hearer of Polycarp (John's disciple, probably the angel of the Smyrnean church, Usher), quotes repeatedly Revelation as the apostle John's writing (Haer. iv. 20, section 11; 21, section 3; 30, section 4; 5:26, section 1; 30, section 3; 35, section 2).
In v. 30, section 1 he quotes the beast's number 666 (Revelation 13:18) as in all the old copies, and orally confirmed to him by persons who had seen John, adding "we do not hazard a confident theory as to Antichrist's name, for if it had been necessary that his name should be proclaimed openly at this present time it would have been declared by him who saw the apocalyptic vision, for it was seen not long ago, but almost in our generation, toward the end of Domitian's reign." In writing "against heresies" ten years after Polycarp's martyrdom he quotes Revelation 20 times as inspired Scripture. These are testimonies of those contemporary with John's immediate successors, and connected with the region of the seven churches to which Revelation is addressed. Tertullian of northern Africa (A.D. 220, Adv. Marcion iii. 14, 24) quotes the apostle John's description of the sword proceeding out of Christ's mouth (Revelation 19:15), and the heavenly city (Revelation 21). See also De Resurr. 27; De Anima 8:9; De Praescr. Haeretic, 33.
The Muratorian Canon (A.D. 170) refers to John, "Paul's predecessor," namely, in the apostleship, as writing to the seven churches. Hippolytus, bishop of Ostia, about A.D. 240 (De Antichristo 67) quotes Revelation 17:1-18 as the apostle John's writing. The catalogue on Hippolytus' statue specifies among his writings a treatise on the Revelation and Gospel according to John." Clemens Alex., A.D. 200 (Revelation 22:18-208), refers to the 24 elders' seats mentioned in Revelation (Revelation 4:5) by John, also (Quis Dives Salvus? section 42) John's return to Ephesus from Patmos on the Roman emperor's death. Origen (A.D. 233, commentary on Matthew in Eusebius H. E. vi. 25) names John as author of Revelation without any doubt, also (on Matthew, tom. 16:6) he quotes Revelation 1:9, and observes "John seems to have beheld the Apocalypse in the isle of Patmos." Victorinus, bishop of Petau in Pannonia, martyred under Diocletian (A.D. 303), wrote the oldest extant commentary on Revelation. Ephraem the Syrian (A.D. 378) quotes it as John's work and as Scripture, though the Syriac Peshito version omits it.
Papias, John's hearer and Polycarp's associate and bishop of Hierapolis near Laodicea (one of the seven churches), attests its canonicity and inspiration (according to a scholium of Andreas of Cappadocia). Revelation was omitted by the council of Laodicea from its list of books to be read publicly, doubtless because of its prophetic obscurity. The epistle of the churches of Lyons and Vienne to those of Asia and Phrygia (in Eusebius, H. E. v. 1-3) in the Aurelian persecution, A.D. 177, quotes as Scripture Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:14; Revelation 14:4; Revelation 22:11. Cyprian, A.D. 250 (Ep. 13), quotes Revelation 2:5 as Scripture, and Revelation 3:21 (Ep. 25) as of the same authority as the Gospel. Athanasius (Fest. Ep.) reckons Revelation among the canonical Scriptures to which none must add and from which none must take away. Jerome (Ep. ad Paulin.) enumerates Revelation as in the canon, saying: "it has as many mysteries as words. All praise falls short of its merits. In each word lie hid manifold senses."
Thus a continuous chain of witnesses proves its authenticity and canonicity. The Alogi (Epiphanius, Haer. 31) and Cains the Roman presbyter (Eusebius iii. 28), toward the end of the second and beginning of the third century, rejected Revelation on slight grounds. Caius (A.D. 210) according to Jerome (De Vir. Illustr.) ascribed Revelation to Cerinthus. Dionysius of Alexandria says many before his time rejected it because of its obscurity, or because it supported Cerinthus' view of an earthly kingdom. Dionysius, Origen' s scholar, bishop of Alexandria (A.D. 247), recognizes its inspiration (in Eusebius, H. E. vii. 10), but ascribes it to a different John from the evangelist, on the ground of its different style and its naming John, whereas his name is kept back in the Gospel, also as the epistle does not allude to Revelation nor Revelation to the epistle; moreover the style abounds in solecisms. Eusebius (H. E. xxiv. 39) through antimillennial bias wavers as to whether to count Revelation canonical or not.
Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D. 386; Catachesis iv. 35-36) omits Revelation in enumerating the New Testament Scriptures to be read privately as well as publicly, for he argues "whatever is not read in the churches read not even by thyself." Yet (Catechesis i. 4) he quotes Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:17, and (Catechesis i. 16, section 13) draws from Revelation 17:11 the conclusion that the king who should humble three kings (Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:20) is the eighth king. In Daniel 7:15; Daniel 7:27 he quotes from Revelation 12:3-4. The 60th canon (if genuine) of the Laodicean council (fourth century A.D.) omits Revelation from the canon; but the council of Carthage (A.D. 397) recognizes its canonicity. The eastern church in part doubted, the western church after the fifth century universally recognized, the Revelation. Cyril of Alexandria (De Adoratione, 146), while intimating the doubts of some, himself accepts it as John's work. Andreas of Caesarea in Cappadocia recognized its genuineness and canonicity, and wrote the first connected commentary on it.
The most primitive testimony is decidedly for it; the only objections were subjective: (1) the opposition of many to the millennium in it; (2) its symbolism and obscurity prevented its being publicly read in churches and its being taught to the young. The writer's addresses to the seven churches of proconsular Asia accord with the tradition that after John's return from Patmos at Domitian's death he lived for long in Nerva's reign, and died at Ephesus in Trajan's time (Eusebius, H. E. iii. 20,23). If Revelation were not his, it would certainly have been rejected in that region, whereas the earliest witnesses in the churches there are all in its favor. One alone could use such authoritative language to the seven churches, namely John, the last surviving apostle, who superintended all the churches. It is John's manner to asseverate the accuracy of his testimony at the beginning and end (Revelation 1:2-3; Revelation 22:8 with John 1:14; John 19:35; John 21:24; 1 John 1:1-2).
Moreover, it accords with the writer's being an inspired apostle that he addresses the angels or presidents of the churches as a superior inferiors. Also he commends Ephesus for trying and convicting "them which say they are apostles, and are not"; implying his own claim to prophetic inspiration (Revelation 2:2) as declaring in the seven epistles Christ's will revealed through him. None but John could, without designing to deceive, have assumed the simple title "John" without addition. One alone, the apostle, would be understood by the designation at that time, and in Asia. "The fellow servant of angels and brother of prophets" (1 John 2:13-14) is more likely to be the celebrated apostle John than any less known person bearing the name. As to difference of style, as compared with the Gospel and epistle, the difference of subject accounts for it; the seer, rapt above the region of sense, appropriately expresses himself in a style abrupt and unbound by the grammatical laws which governed his calmer and more deliberate writings. Writing a revelation related to the Old Testament prophets (Daniel especially), John, himself a Galilean Hebrew, reverts to their Hebraistic style. Besides there are resemblances of style between the Apocalypse and John's Gospel and epistle; e.g.
(1) Christ's designation unique to John, "the Word of God" (Revelation 19:13; John 1:1; 1 John 1:1).
(2) "He that overcometh" (Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:11; Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:5; Revelation 3:12; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 12:11; Revelation 15:2; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 21:7; John 16:33; Revelation 22:9; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:4-5).
(3) "True," i.e. genuine, antitypical (aleethinos ), as opposed to what is shadowy and unreal; only once in Luke (Luke 16:11); four times in Paul's epistles (1 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 8:2; Hebrews 9:24; Hebrews 10:22); but nine times in John's Gospel (John 1:9; John 4:23; John 4:37; John 6:32; John 7:28; John 8:16; John 15:1; John 17:3; John 19:35); four times in 1 John (1 John 2:8; 1 John 5:20); ten times in Revelation (Revelation 3:7; Revelation 3:14; Revelation 6:10; Revelation 15:3; Revelation 16:7; Revelation 19:2; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 19:11; Revelation 21:5; Revelation 22:6).
(4) The diminutive for lamb (arnion , "lambkin") occurs 29 times in Revelation; the only other place of its occurrence is John 21:15; by John alone is Christ called directly "the Lamb" (John 1:29; John 1:36), in 1 Peter 1:19 "the blood of Christ as a lamb," etc., alluding to Revelation 2:26-277.
(5) So "witness" or "testimony" (Revelation 1:2; Revelation 1:9; Revelation 6:9; Revelation 11:7; John 1:7-8; John 1:15; John 1:19; John 1:32; 1 John 1:2; 1 John 4:14; 1 John 5:6-11); "keep the word," "commandments" (Revelation 3:8; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 12:17; John 8:51; John 8:55; John 14:15).
(6) The same thing asserted post. lively and negatively (Revelation 2:2; Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 2:13; Revelation 3:8; Revelation 3:17-18; John 1:3; John 1:6-7; John 1:20; 1 John 2:27-28).
(7) Spiritual "anointing" (Revelation 3:18; 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27).
The startling solecisms arrest attention to the deep truths beneath, they flow from the sublime elevation which raises the transported seer above mere grammatical rules. It is not due to ignorance of grammar, because he shows his knowledge of it in more difficult constructions. But in order to put his transcendent subject vividly before the eye, with graphic abruptness he passes from one grammatical construction to another. The connection of thought is more attended to than that of grammar. Two-fifths of the whole, moreover, is the recorded language of others, not John's own. Tregelles (New Testament Historical Evidences) observes, "there is no book of the New Testament for which we have so clear, ample, and numerous testimonies in the second century as we have for the Apocalypse.
The nearer the connection of the witnesses with the apostle John (as Irenaeus), the more explicit their testimony. That doubts should prevail in after ages must have originated either in ignorance of the earlier testimony, or else from some supposed intuition of what the apostle ought to have written. The objections on the ground of internal style can weigh nothing against the actual evidence. It is in vain to argue a priori that John could not have written the book, when we have the evidence of several competent witnesses that he did write it."
Relation of Revelation to the rest of the canon. Gregory of Nyssa (tom. iii. 601) calls Revelation "the last book of grace." It completes the volume of inspiration. No further revelation remains until Christ shall come, as is implied in 1618644387_33. Appropriately, the last surviving apostle wrote it. The New Testament consists of the histories (the Gospels and Acts), the doctrinal epistles, and the one prophetic book, Revelation; the same apostle wrote the last of the Gospels dud the last of the epistles and the only prophetic book of the New Testament All the New Testament books were written and read in the church assemblies some years before John's death. Providence prolonged his life, that he might give Scripture its final attestation. The Asiatic bishops (A.D. 100) came to John at Ephesus, bringing him copies of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and requested his apostolic judgment concerning them; he pronounced them genuine, authentic, and inspired, and at their request added his Gospel to complete the fourfold aspect of Christ (Muratori Canon; Eusebius iii. 24; Jerome, Procem. in Matth.; Victorinus on the Apocalypse; Theodoret of Mopsuestia).
What he wrote they attested; John 21:24, "this is the disciple which testifieth of these things and wrote these things, and WE know that his testimony is true." Revelation is "the seal of the whole Bible" (a Greek divine in Allatius), the completion of the canon. Scripture is one organic whole, its books, though ranging over 1,500 years in their date of composition, being mutually connected. The end is the necessary sequence of the middle, the middle of the beginning. Genesis represents man in innocence and bliss, followed by man's fall through Satan's cunning, and man's consequent dooming to death and exclusion from paradise and its tree of life and delightful rivers. Revelation represents in reverse order man first sinning and dying, then conquering sin and death through the blood of the Lamb; the first Adam and Eve represented by the second Adam, Christ, and the church His spotless bride in paradise, with access to the tree of life, and the crystal waters of life flowing from the throne of God. As Genesis foretold the bruising of the serpent's head by the woman's Seed, so Revelation declares the accomplishment of that prophecy (Revelation 19-20).
PLACE AND TIME OF WRITING. John was exiled under Domitian (Iren. 5:30; Clemens Alex.; Eusebius, H. E. iii. 20). Victorinus says he had to labor in the mines of Patmos. (See PATMOS.) At Domitian's death (A.D. 95) he returned to Ephesus under Nerva. He probably wrote out the visions immediately after seeing them (Revelation 1:2; Revelation 1:9; Revelation 10:4). "Forbidden to go beyond certain bounds of earth, he was permitted t heaven" (Bede on Revelation 1). Irenaeus writes, "Revelation was seen no long time ago, almost in our own generation, at the close of Domitian's reign." Coincidences with the epistles of Paul and Peter (Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 22:12; Hebrews 10:37. Revelation 21:14; Hebrews 11:10. Revelation 14:1; Hebrews 12:22-23. Revelation 11:19; Revelation 15:5; Revelation 21:3; Hebrews 8:1-2. Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12; Revelation 2:16; Revelation 19:13; Revelation 19:15; Hebrews 4:12. Revelation 20; Hebrews 4:9. Revelation 1:1 with 1 Peter 1:7; 1 Peter 1:13. Revelation 4:13; Revelation 5:10; with 1 Peter 2:9. 1618644387_63; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 11:18; with 2 Timothy 4:8. Revelation 12:7-12 with Ephesians 6:12. Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 20:15; Philippians 4:3. Revelation 1:5; Colossians 1:18. Revelation 10:7; Revelation 11:15-18, with 1 Corinthians 15:52). The characteristic Pauline benediction (Revelation 1:4) John would scarcely have used in Paul's life; his adopting it must have been after Paul's death under Nero.
READERS ADDRESSED. The inscription makes Revelation addressed to the seven churches of Asia, i.e. proconsular Asia. There were more than that number, e.g. Magnesia and Tralles; but John fixes on the sacred number seven, implying totality and universality, to mark that his address under the Spirit is to the church of all places and ages; its various states of life or deadness the seven churches represent, and are accordingly encouraged or warned. Smyrna and Philadelphia alone receive unmixed praise, as faithful in tribulation and rich in works of love. Heresies had sprung up in Asia, and some had waxed lukewarm; while others increased in zeal, and one, Antipas, sealed his witness with his blood. (See ANTIPAS.)
OBJECT. Mainly, as the introduction states, to "show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass" (Revelation 1-3). The foundation of the whole is Revelation 1:5-9; Christ's person, offices as our Redeemer. second coming, and the intermediate tribulation of those who in patient perseverance wait for His kingdom. From Revelation 4 to Revelation 22 is mainly prophecy, with consolations and exhortations interspersed, similar to those addressed to the seven churches (who represent the universal church of all ages), so that the beginning forms an appropriate introduction to the body of the book.
INTERPRETATION. Three schools exist:
(1) The preterists hold that the whole has been fulfilled in the past.
(2) The historical interpreters think that it comprises the history of the church from John's time to the end of the world, the seals being chronologically succeeded by the trumpets and the trumpets by the vials. The objection is, the prophecies, if fulfilled as is alleged, ought to supply an argument against infidelity; but its advocates differ widely among themselves as to the fulfillment, so that no such argument is derivable from them for the faith.
(3) The futurists consider almost the whole as yet future, to be fulfilled immediately before Christ's second coming. No early father held the first theory; few but rationalists hold it, who limit John's vision to his own age, pagan Rome's persecutions, and its consequently anticipated destruction. God has said "surely He will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).
The Jews had a succession of prophets to guide them by the light of prophecy; He never would leave the New Testament church without similar guidance for the 1,700 or 1,800 years since John's age; what the prophets were to the Jews, that Revelation is to us. Its beginning and end (Revelation 1:3; Revelation 22:6-7; Revelation 22:12; Revelation 22:20) assert a speedy fulfillment. "Babylon," etc., cannot be interpreted literally. The close of the seven seals is couched in language which must refer to Christ's second coming; so the close of the seven trumpets (Revelation 6:12-17; Revelation 8:1 ff; Revelation 11:15); so the vials (Revelation 16:17). All three run parallel toward their close, and end in the same point. "Catchwords" (Wordsworth) connect the three series; the subsequent series fills up in detail the same picture which the preceding drew in outline. So Victorinus on Revelation 7:2; "the order of things is not to be regarded, for the Holy Spirit, when He has run to the end of the last time, again returns to the same time, and supplies what lie has less fully expressed." And Primasius, "in the crumpets he describes by a pleasing repetition. as is his custom."
At the beginning John hastens, as is the tendency of all the prophets, to the grand consummation (Revelation 1:7): "Beheld he cometh with clouds," etc. (Revelation 1:8; Revelation 1:17), "I am the beginning and ending ... the first and the last." The seven epistles exhibit the same anticipation of the end (Revelation 3:12, compare Revelation 21:2). Also Revelation 2:28, compare Revelation 22:16. Again the earthquake at the sixth seal's opening is a "catchword," i.e. a link chronologically connecting the sixth seal with the sixth trumpet (Revelation 9:13; Revelation 11:13; compare the seventh seal, Revelation 16:17-18). The concomitants of the sixth seal, in their full, final, and exhaustive sense, can only apply to the terrors which shall overwhelm unbelievers just before the Judge's advent. Again, "the beast out of the bottomless pit," between the sixth and seventh trumpets (Revelation 11:7), connects this series with the section Revelation 12; 13; 14; concerning the church and her adversaries the two beasts and the dragon.
Again, the sealing of the 144,000 under the sixth seal (Revelation 7) connects this seal with the section Revelation 12-14. Again, the loosing of the four winds by the four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, under the sixth seal (Revelation 7:1), answers to the loosing of the four angels at the Euphrates under the sixth trumpet (Revelati
Webster's Dictionary - Apple-John
(n.) A kind of apple which by keeping becomes much withered; - called also Johnapple.
Webster's Dictionary - Blue-John
(n.) A name given to fluor spar in Derbyshire, where it is used for ornamental purposes.
Webster's Dictionary - Cheap-John
(n.) A seller of low-priced or second goods; a hawker.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Beccus, John
(c.1220-1298) Patriarch of Constantinople, born Constantinople. He was one of the few Greek prelates who labored for reunion with Rome, accepting the papal primacy and their doctrine concerning the Holy Ghost. After the death of Emperor Michael Palaeologus, 1282, the enemies of reunion forced his resignation as patriarch and exiled him to Prusa, Bithynia.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Belasyse, John, Baron
(c.1614-1689) Royalist leader. During the Commonwealth he was a royalist agent in England, and after the Restoration was appointed to important posts, from which he resigned on the enactment of the Test Act (1673). Impeached in connection with the Titus Oates Plot, he was imprisoned without trial in the Tower of London. On the accession of James II, he was restored to favor.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Holywood, John
Died 1256 A monk of English origin, professor of astronomy at Paris. He wrote the "De sphrera," an astronomical text-book which had an immense vogue in the 13th century and was published in almost a hundred editions before the adoption of the new Copernican theory. (17th century)
Holman Bible Dictionary - Mark, John
Early missionary and church leader; author of second Gospel. He was the son of Mary in whose home the Jerusalem believers met to pray when Peter was imprisoned by Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:12 ). Mark was sometimes called by his Jewish name, John, and sometimes by his Roman name, Mark.
John Mark was kin to Barnabas (Colossians 4:10 ). After Barnabas and Saul completed a relief mission to Jerusalem, they took Mark with them when they returned to Antioch (Acts 12:25 ). When Barnabas and Saul went as missionaries, they took Mark to help (Acts 13:5 ). They went from Antioch to Cyprus and then on to Pamphylia, where Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13 ). The most likely reason was because Paul had become the dominant missionary and was taking the gospel to Gentiles (Acts 13:4-12 ). Later, when Paul and Barnabas planned another journey, Barnabas wanted to take Mark. When Paul refused, Barnabas and Mark went together while Paul and Silas went together (Acts 15:36-40 ).
When Paul wrote Philemon, Mark was one of Paul's fellow workers who sent greetings (Philippians 1:24 ). Paul wrote to the Colossians to receive Mark if he came to them (Colossians 4:10 ). When Paul wrote his final letter to Timothy, he asked Timothy to bring Mark with him because Paul considered Mark a useful helper (2 Timothy 4:11 ).
Peter referred to Mark as his “son,” and sent greetings from him near the end of his first letter (1 Peter 5:13 ).
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Houghton, John, Blessed
Martyr, born Essex, England, 1487; died Tyburn, England, 1535. He was educated at Cambridge, graduating LL.B., 1497, and later LL.D. and D.D. Ordained priest in 1501, he entered the Carthusian novitiate at the London Charterhouse, and was professed in 1516. Refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, he was imprisoned in the Tower and hanged. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Beche, John, Blessed
Martyred 1539, Abbot of Saint Werburgh, Chester, England, and of Saint John's, Colchester, England. He was educated at Oxford, and received his degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1515. In 1534 he took the Oath of Supremacy, but later incurred the king's resentment by expressing admiration for the martyrs, Blessed John Fisher and Blessed Thomas More. After a trial for treasonable utterances, he was convicted and executed. Beatified, 1895.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem
Military order founded by one Gerald (Gerard), probably c.1113,to care for the poor and strangers in the Holy Land; known as Knights of Rhodes, 1309-1522; Knights of Malta since 1530. Infirmaries were established under Raymond of Provence (1120-1160); their military character grew out of the armed escorts provided to pilgrims. The fall of Jerusalem, 1187, and Acre, 1291, greatly depleted their possessions and they took refuge in the Island of Rhodes until vanquished by Solyman II, 1522, when they were offered Malta. Grave abuses crept in and the religious vows were frequently ignored. Protestantism caused their suppression in many countries, and from 1805 they were without a grand master, until Leo XIII filled the office, 1879. Admission now rests upon strict conditions. There are four great priories in Bohemia and Italy.
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - John the Baptist
Apart from Jesus Christ, John the Baptist is probably the most theologically significant figure in the Gospels. As was the case with Jesus, his birth was meticulously recorded (Luke 1:5-25 ). His entrance into the world was marked by angelic proclamation and divine intervention (Luke 1:57-80 ). John's birth not only parallels that of Jesus, but echoes the momentous occasion of the birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 17:15-22 ; 21:1-7 ). John is clearly a pivotal figure in the salvation history of God.
Although his formative years were lived in obscurity in the desert (Luke 1:80 ), his public ministry ended nearly four hundred years of prophetic silence. John was that voice crying in the wilderness preparing the way for the coming Messiah (Isaiah 40:3 ; Matthew 3:3 ; Mark 1:2-3 ; Luke 3:3-6 ). In this sense his message and ministry marked the culmination of the law and the prophets, but heralded the inbreaking of the kingdom of God (Matthew 11:12 ; Luke 16:16 ). So John was truly a transitional figure, forming the link between the Old and New Testaments. He spans the ages with one foot firmly planted in the Old Testament and the other squarely placed in the New.
The central theme of his ministry was, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 3:2 ). He was called "The Baptist" because his practice was to baptize those who responded to the message he proclaimed and sincerely repented of their sins (Matthew 3:1 ; Mark 6:14 ; Luke 7:20 ).
John was an end-times prophet. He conducted his ministry with an eschatological authority that demanded immediate action. He taught that judgment is at hand. The axe is laid to the roots and God will thoroughly purge his threshing floor (Matthew 3:10-12 ; Luke 3:9,17 ). And the authenticity of repentance was evidenced in very practical terms: share with those in need, eliminate graft, and prohibit extortion (Luke 3:11-14 ).
John's lifestyle was as austere as his message. He was an ascetic living in the wilderness, clothed in camel hair and subsisting on locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4 ; Mark 1:6 ). Unlike Jesus, he expected people to come to him, rather than he going to them (Matthew 3:5 ).
John was no "crowd pleaser." He willingly confronted the hypocrisy of the religious establishment (Matthew 3:7 ; Luke 3:7 ). He did not hesitate to expose the immorality of Herod and chose to die a martyr's death rather than compromise his convictions (Matthew 14:3-12 ; Mark 6:17-29 ).
All of these characteristics portray John as a fiery prophet proclaiming the apocalyptic message of God. Indeed, Luke says that John came "in the spirit and power of Elijah" (Luke 1:17 ). He goes on to allude to Malachi 4:5 , which states that Elijah will return "before that great and dreadful day of the Lord." In fact, some contemporaries of John inquired if he were Elijah (John 1:21 ).
The belief that Elijah would return and prepare the way of the Lord can be traced to Malachi 3:1,4:5 . Such belief is also found in the extrabiblical accounts of Sirah 48:10,2 Esdras 6:2 f. The Gospels also indicate that many believed that Elijah would come first, and then the Christ (Matthew 11:14 ; 17:10 ; Mark 6:15 ; 9:11 ; Luke 9:8 ).
John flatly denied that he was Elijah reincarnated (John 1:21,25 ). Nevertheless Jesus affirmed that Elijah must come first and that he had come in the person of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:11-13 ; Mark 9:12-13 ). John fulfilled Malachi's prophecy in a spiritual sense, rather than in a literal way.
In this way Jesus acknowledges the central role that John played in God's plan of salvation. He was the greatest born among women because he had the privilege of pointing to the Lamb of God (John 1:29-34 ). Yet as the last great prophet of the pre-Christian era, he was the least in the kingdom of God (Matthew 11:11 ; Luke 7:28 ).
John fully accepted his subordinate role to Christ. He denied that he was the Christ and repeatedly emphasized that he was simply a witness to the Light (John 1:19-23 ; cf. also John 1:6-9 ; John 3:27-30 ). John stated that Jesus was greater than he, and that Jesus had a more powerful ministry and baptism (Mark 1:7-8 ; Luke 3:16 ; John 1:26-27 ). He did not want to baptize Jesus, but rather desired to be baptized by Jesus (Matthew 3:13-14 ). John allowed his disciples to leave his own leadership and follow after Jesus (John 1:35-39 ).
But for all of his greatness, John was merely human. In this sense he too joined in the popular speculations about the identity of Christ. It may be that John's vision of the Messiah varied so much from what he heard and saw in Jesus, that he came to question if Jesus were really the Christ (Matthew 11:1-2 ; Luke 7:18 ). The fact that Jesus was not an ascetic, and that he actively sought the fellowship of publicans and sinners may have been an offense to John and his disciples (Matthew 9:9-17 ; Matthew 11:18-19 ; Luke 7:33-34 ). Jesus may have rebuked John in this regard when he said, "Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me" (Matthew 11:6 ; Luke 7:23 ).
Finally, even though John was merely a witness serving as a transitional figure, the impact of his life and ministry should not be underestimated. During his lifetime he had a following of disciples who shared common practices such as fasting and prayers (Matthew 9:14 ; John 1:35-37 ; 4:1-2 ). John's disciples survived his death and spread throughout the Mediterranean world. Apollos was from Alexandria in North Africa and at one point knew only of the baptism of John (Acts 18:24-25 ). Similarly, upon arriving in Ephesus, Paul encountered about a dozen disciples of John. They too had only experienced the baptism of John (Acts 19:1-7 ). These instances indicate that the Baptist's movement may have had more influence than what we are able to glean from the New Testament.
In recent scholarship, the historical relationship between Jesus and John has been the subject of study. How did Jesus view John and what did John make of Jesus' ministry? In this type of study, John often serves as a paradigm for interpreting the life and ministry of Jesus. For example, the inclusion of the suffering and death of John may foreshadow the pain and death of Jesus on the cross. Also, to what extent did John influence the life and ministry of Jesus? Indeed, the ill treatment of John by Herod Antipas may have had a significant impact upon Jesus' early ministry in Galilee and in his final days in Jerusalem.
The early Christian traditions that form the Gospel material on John are also the focus of modern research. For example, the scathing accusations and warnings of John are associated with the ministry of Jesus (Luke 3:7-18 ), but in the end are not typical of his message. Also there appears to have been an early tradition that John had been raised from the dead (Mark 6:14-16 ). What possible sources may have given rise to these traditions?
Even the topographical setting of John's ministry may be of theological significance. The desert setting may underscore the stark nature of John's message or may be symbolic of Israel's struggle in the desert.
And finally, the psychological and sociological analysis of John is of interest here. In accordance with the criteria of the sociology of deviance, John's behavior and message could be classified as "deviant." In this light, Matthew's use of Isaiah 40:2-3 in 3:7-10 may seek to justify John and endorse the legitimacy of his ministry.
In conclusion, John the Baptist is of great theological importance in the New Testament. He ended nearly four hundred years of prophetic silence and paved the way for the Messiah. In the spirit of Elijah, he preached a message of repentance and baptism. In his darkest hour he questioned if Jesus was the One who was to come, or whether there would be another. He inaugurated a spiritual movement that had influence long after his death and extended throughout the Mediterranean world.
William A. Simmons
See also Elijah ; Jesus Christ
Bibliography . R. E. Brown, New Testament Essays ; M. Cleary, ITQ 54 (1988): 211-27; M. Faierstein, JBL 100 (1981): 75-86; R. C. Kazmierski, Bib 68 (1987): 22-40; J. Lambrecht, NTS 38 (1992): 357-84; P. J. Meier, JBL 99/3 (1980): 383-405; J. R. Miller, NTS 34 (1988): 611-22; S. J. Nortje, Neotestamentica 23 (1989): 349-58; P. Parker, Perspectives in Religious Studies 8 (1981): 4-11; J. A. T. Robinson, NTS 4 (1958): 263-81; idem, Twelve New Testament Studies ; C. Scobie, John the Baptist ; W. Wink, John the Baptist in the Gospel Tradition .
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - John, Theology of
Johannine theology organizes the unifying theological subjects belonging to the New Testament literature traditionally attributed to John. While some critics would say that a comprehensive, coherent theology may not be within reach, still we can outline those unifying themes that undergird these writings. The Johannine literature includes the Fourth Gospel, three letters, and the Book of Revelation. While they no doubt share a common background, the Book of Revelation is quite different in terms of genre and purpose and should be left to another discussion. This leaves the Gospel and three letters (two of which are very short and of limited theological importance). Johannine theology, therefore, has been anchored in the Fourth Gospel and the First Epistle of John.
The Structure of the Gospel . The Fourth Gospel is organized into two principle sections and these are framed by a prologue (1:1-18) and an epilogue (21:1-25), each of which were likely added at some later date either by the Gospel's author or one of his followers. The prologue introduces the incarnation of the preexistent Word and poetically sets the stage for all that is to follow: God discloses his Son in the world of darkness; he is popularly rejected; a select group of followers discover life; and even though the darkness tries, it cannot defeat this Son.
The first section is commonly called the Book of Signs (1:19-12:50) in order to describe how Jesus appears within Judaism replacing its institutions (the temple, sacred wells, teachers) and festivals (Passover, Tabernacles). He offers overwhelming messianic gifts that exploit images intrinsic in the Jewish setting in the narrative (wine, wisdom, water, healing, bread, light, life). The final event is the raising of Lazarus—which utterly discloses Jesus' identity—as well as seals his fate. But even though Jesus experiences hostility among the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, still he discovers receptivity in Galilee (2:11; 4:45; 7:1; etc.) and at the end of this section, Greeks from Galilee eagerly line up to follow him (12:20-26).
The second section is called the Book of Glory (13:1-20:31) because now Jesus takes aside his followers, washes their feet at his final Passover meal (13:1-20), and exhaustively explains to them who he is and what will happen (13:31-17:26). But hinted throughout the Gospel is the notion that the impending cross of Christ will be no tragedy, but a time when his glory will become visible to all (3:13-15; 13:31; 17:1-5). The cross is one more sign given to disclose that Jesus has been sent by the Father and is now returning to him. For John, this cross is voluntary (10:11,17, 18). Christ is departing, having completed the work he set out to do. But before he goes, he distributes gifts to all among his followers (20:19-29), blessing them one more time.
Most scholars think that the earliest ending of the gospel is in 20:30-31 and that chapter 21 is a later addition no doubt from the same Johannine sources that supplied the original Gospel. If it is secondary, it nevertheless has the ring of historicity and the echo of Johannine language. Jesus makes a resurrection appearance and commissions his followers in anticipation of his permanent absence.
Theology. Christology . Both the Fourth Gospel and First John begin with a prologue that establishes the importance of incarnational Christology for salvation. When a reader completes the Gospel, he or she has had a compelling, informed exposure to the person of Jesus Christ in the context of first-century Jewish messianism. Jesus figures prominently in every scene as one sent directly from God for our benefit.
Jesus as the Revelation of God . Jesus is able to disclose the identity of God because he alone originates from God (1:18), has been sent by God (17:3), and has shared God's glory (17:5,24). Therefore, on earth he is capable of revealing the glory of God unlike any other (1:14). This revelation of glory is a key to the Gospel. In the Book of Signs (chaps. 1-12) Jesus' miracles are aimed to show glimpses of God's glory (2:11) and those who believed could see it (11:40). In the Book of Glory this revelation comes on the cross. But at no time did Jesus glorify himself (7:18; 8:50,54). In a similar manner, the Johannine Christology concerns the revelation of truth . Jesus brought "grace and truth" from the Father (1:14,17) alongside God's glory. In a world of falsehood and error, Jesus cuts a path, a way, to God that is true and life-giving (14:6). Indeed he is the incarnation of truth and thereby confronts those who promote lies (8:31-32). Hence right knowledge about Jesus is essential. The Johannine portrait of Christ outlines various titles to make this knowledge clear. Even at the Gospel's first call to discipleship (1:35-51) reads like a catalog of christological titles picked up later in the story.
The Identity of Jesus . John's first christological title comes in the introduction, where Jesus is described as the Word ( logos [1:1). This is unparalleled in the other Gospels. Debate continues whether this is a Jewish or Greek idea, but the evidence points to a meaningful link for both. Judaism had already personified God's Word (and wisdom) as distinguishable from God. Hellenism (especially Stoic philosophy) saw the Logos as an eternal principle of order in the uNIVerse. Philo, in some respects, even allegorizes God's Word in the Old Testament to wed his Jewish faith with pagan ideas. But what John says is shocking to both. The Word eternally existed with God in eternity and was God's agent in creating this world. But most shocking is that this very Word became flesh and spoke directly for the first time (1:14). The high divinity implied in this concept is wed to genuine humanity in Johannine Christology and is never compromised. This is a Word "that we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands" ( 1 John 1:1 ; 5:6 ).
When John describes Jesus as the messiah we are firmly in a traditional Jewish framework. Christ (which translates "messiah" in Greek, 1:41) is almost always used as a title of identity, not a proper name (1:17,17:3 are the only exceptions of eighteen uses). For the Jewish authorities, Jesus' identity as the messianic king (1:49; 6:15; 12:13,15) is a major concern (7:26-27; 10:24). He is the one who fulfills the Old Testament expectation (1:45) and belief in his messiahship is inherent in discipleship (4:29; 9:22; 11:27; 20:31).
The Son of Man is Jesus' favorite self-description in the Synoptics. However the usual synoptic theological meanings (suffering and humiliation, hiddenness, apocalyptic judgment) seem absent in John. Perplexity shows up in 9:35,12:34 as inquirers wonder what Jesus means. John's use (13 times) emphasizes the "lifting up" of Jesus, his glorification and return to the Father (3:14-15; 8:28; 12:23,34; 13:31). It also signals the ultimate authority the Father has given to Jesus (5:27; 9:38). John's portrait here avoids futurist eschatology but this does not mean necessarily that he is at odds with the synoptic tradition.
No doubt Son of God is central to John's theology. It reflects John's primary christological assertion that Jesus, once preexistent with the Father, has been sent by him to us. Unlike in the Synoptics, in John Jesus speaks of God as his Father frequently (106 times) and sonship language is commonplace (over 25 times). This is a relationship that is exclusively reserved for Jesus and cannot be shared by others. As God's Son, Jesus enjoys God's love (5:20; 10:17) and shares it with his followers (15:9). As God's Son, he can do God's works (5:17-19) because all his deeds come from the Father (10:32; 14:10). In the same way, his words are God's words: he listens to the Father (8:26) and utters what he hears (8:28). Thus, Jesus' words are not his own. They belong to his Father who sent him (14:24).
Sonship expresses the ultimate authority of Jesus. He is not a prophet representing God, but in fact bears divine authority itself. As Son, he has an exclusive knowledge of God (6:47; 10:15; 17:25) and therefore enjoys equal glory with God among people (5:23). Jesus can even say that he and the Father are one (10:30), not in purpose, but in being (10:38; 14:20). And yet this oneness does not negate Jesus' utter dependence on the Father at every turn (4:34; 5:19,30; 17:2).
John's suggestion of oneness leads to a final thought. The Fourth Gospel describes Jesus with terms reserved for God. In passages such as the Sabbath debate of John 5 , Jesus assumes divine prerogatives in his argument ("if my Father is working, so may I"). But the Gospel text goes further, making him not just the son but God. This happens at the opening of the Gospel (1:1) and at the Gospel's closing frame when Thomas names Jesus "my Lord and my God" (20:28).
Jesus' Self-Disclosure . As Jesus moves through Israel his identity is gradually unveiled throughout the Gospel story. First, this is done with signs and works (John does not use the synoptic word, "miracle"). Seven signs not merely display the miraculous power of Jesus, but reveal his role as the Son of God and savior of the world. Lengthy discourses accompany these signs to expand on their meaning and lead observers to faith. Among these discourses are seven separate "I am" sayings (6:35; 8:12; 10:7-11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1), which function like spoken signs to describe Jesus more fully or to give a concealed reference to his deity (10:30-39).
Second, witnesses step forward to identify him and validate his claims as if Jesus were on trial. John the Baptist, the Samaritan woman, the disciples, witnesses at the cross, and even the evangelist bear testimony. In chapter 5 Jesus' signs, the Father, and God's Word are likewise witnesses in his defense. This accumulation of "evidence" for Jesus has led many interpreters to think that John's Gospel is using a trial motif. Jesus is on trial in Judaism. Those who read the Gospel—like those who appear in the story—are forced to make a judgment of the truth of Jesus' claims.
Third, Jesus appears in the Book of Signs at prominent Jewish institutions and festivals, using their symbols to identify his person or mission. The religious value of ceremonial water (2:9-11), the temple (2:20-22), rabbinic teaching (3:1-15), and Jacob's well (4:13-15) are all replaced by Christ. Likewise Jesus appears at the festivals of Sabbath (chap. 5), Passover (chap. 6), Tabernacles (chaps. 7-8), and Hanukkah (chap. 10), displacing the blessings they offer.
The Gifts of Christ . Those who truly know Jesus and embrace him by faith are offered divine gifts. And no doubt, we are to see these things as constituent parts of the Christian life. These are gifts possessed exclusively by those who belong to Jesus' flock (10:1-10) and which remain mysterious to those in the world, whose domain is darkness. One function of literary irony in the Gospel is to illustrate the utter misunderstanding of unbelievers: they cannot comprehend Jesus, his mission, or what he can give (3:4; 4:11; 6:52; 7:15,35; 8:22; 9:39; 11:50). If the Samaritan woman had known "the gift of God" (4:10) she would have seen that Jesus possessed the superior supply of water.
Eternal Life . The premier gift in Johannine thought is undoubtedly eternal life . The world is dead (5:24), but Jesus offers life to those who believe (1:4; 3:15-16,36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:35,47; 8:12; 10:10). Jesus' emphasis on eternal life (mentioned over twenty times) is without parallel in the Synoptics and almost replaces the synoptic "kingdom of God." Jesus even calls himself "life" (11:25; 14:6). Sometimes this gift is placed in metaphor, such as "living water" (4:14) or "living bread" (6:33); in each instance it means a faithful consumption of who Jesus is and what he offers. To eat and drink of Christ (6:33 — which may be an allusion to the Lord's Supper) is to gain life. In the case of Nicodemus the metaphor is rebirth, a powerful engagement with God that again is life-giving (3:15-17).
Light . A similar idea is found in the metaphor of light . In 8:12 light and life are juxtaposed: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." As the world is in death (and needs life), so, too, it exists in darkness and needs light (1:5; 11:10; 12:35-36,46; 1 John 2:8,11 ). Jesus is even called the light (1:9; 3:19-21; 12:46; 1 John 1:7 ).
Salvation . Jesus is also the giver of salvation . This is implied in the offer of life. Christ presents an opportunity accept him and to pass from death to life or to continue in sin until judgment (12:46-48). Life is not simply knowledge or enlightenment; it is the result of Jesus' sacrificial death. Jesus came to take away sins (1 John 3:5 ; cf. 1 John 2:2 ; 4:10 ). John the Baptist sounds this note when Jesus is introduced (1:29): "Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." Even the short parable of 12:24 makes this clear: "unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." Thus in 6:51b Jesus says, "This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Jesus understands that his mission is also sacrificial, costing him his life.
Again and again, Jesus refers to his "lifting up, " which is a symbolic reference to his cross and departure. It is "the hour" that he anticipates (2:4; 12:23,27; 13:1; 17:1). Most graphically, the shepherd discourse of John 10 describes this voluntary death that will save the life of the sheep.
The Holy Spirit . Unlike the Synoptic Gospels, the Johannine Jesus speaks frequently about the gift of the Spirit. The Spirit permanently alights on Jesus at his baptism (1:32-33) and continues as an important presence throughout his life (3:34; 6:27). Even Jesus' words are "spirit and life" (6:63). Jesus is described as a vessel in whom the Spirit is welling up (7:37; the living water metaphor of 4:10 may be another reference), but we are consistently told that the full distribution of the Holy Spirit must await Jesus' glorification at the cross (7:39). When Jesus dies hints appear that in his death, when his life is poured out, the Spirit is released (19:30,34). And on Easter, Jesus seems to give his Spirit to his followers (20:22). John's conceptual framework is that the Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus, forever continuing his presence with his followers (14:15-31; 1 John 4:13 ).
In Jesus' farewell discourse in the upper room, he speaks at length about the coming Spirit whom his followers would enjoy. It is sometimes called "the Spirit of truth" (14:17; 15:26; 16:13), no doubt because Jesus himself is the Truth. Jesus also gives the Spirit a new name, the Paraclete (14:16,26; 15:26; 16:7). This describes the Spirit as an advocate, a defender who will stand with the disciples, strengthening them before the world (15:18-27; 16:8-10). The Paraclete will recall to mind what Jesus has said (14:26) as well as lead them prophetically into new truths (16:12-13). This dynamic presence of the Spirit was well known among the followers of John (1 John 2:20-21 ) and became a hallmark of Johannine discipleship (1 John 3:24 ; 4:13 ).
The New Community . Those who believe in Christ and follow him are recipients of the gifts listed above. Moreover, they belong to a community that has stepped out of the world and its darkness and built a refuge for others who seek community. This is Jesus' flock and he is the shepherd (chap. 10). Jesus is the vine and these are his branches (chap. 15). This community is a place of love, obedience, faithfulness, and worship. And, to no one's surprise, it experiences conflict with the world.
The Command to Love . John understands that the love shared among disciples should have the same quality as that between the Father and the Son (3:35; 14:31). This command is repeated frequently (13:34-35; 15:12,17). First John emphasizes this command repeatedly ("love" occurs thirty times) and implies that love is the foremost feature of being a believer. First 1 John 2:15-179 seems characteristic of the Johannine imperative: "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."
Obedience and Discipleship . In the Johannine ethic, love is meaningless if it is not expressed in tangible form. In John's thought, love is obedience. Jesus says if we love him we will keep his commands (14:15,21-24). In fact, his commands become opportunities to exhibit love (15:17). Thus, in Jesus' discussion with Peter (21:15-19) the question of Peter's love is tested against the call to nurture and love Christ's followers. Such obedience becomes proof of discipleship: "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands" ( 1 John 2:3 ).
John anticipates a life of spiritual and moral dedication that is completely devoted to God (10:36) and conscious of its separation from the world (1618644387_83 ). Believers are not removed from the world; they live in it (17:15-19) and therefore are subject to temptation and evil. They must not neglect confession as a means of renewing their dedication to God (1 John 1:8-10 ).
Faith and Perseverance . The Johannine literature only uses the noun "faith" once (1 John 5:4 ) but employs the verb "to believe" many times (107 times). Faith is a relationship, not an initial act of intellectual consent. It is a personal investment in the personhood of Christ. This intimate union of ongoing trust is expressed in a variety of ways. John stresses how the believer must abide in Christ as a branch abides in the vine (15:1-11). This means that discipleship is an intimate union or fellowship with God. First John describes how the believer should abide in him (2:24,28; 3:6). But this does not leave us on our own. Jesus abides in us (15:4) so that there is a mutual coming together, a mutual embracing. The language of indwelling moves easily between Jesus and the Father. The Father also abides in us and we in him ( 1 John 2:24 ; 3:24 ) as well as the Holy Spirit (John 14:17 ). In fact, the Johannine language of indwelling is expressed in categories that anticipate the Trinity.
Worship . The worship of the church gains little attention in the Johannine literature although certain passages are often viewed as windows into community worship. The exhortation in 4:23-24 anticipates an hour when true worship will be localized neither in Samaria nor in Jerusalem. It will be worship in Spirit and truth. The Johannine church lived within this hour and likely pursued such worship.
Debate has also centered on the Johannine interest in sacraments. For some scholars, sacramental language is found in abundance. Others see limited interest. In particular, the Nicodemus dialogue in chapter 3 and the Passover discourse of chapter 6 betray hints of baptism and the Lord's Supper respectively. In each case, an allusion is made to the rite (rebirth in water/consuming Christ's flesh and blood) but then a critique is given in terms of the Holy Spirit. The description of Nicodemus's rebirth focuses exclusively on spirit, leaving water behind. Likewise 6:63 says that it is the Spirit that gives life and the flesh to be consumed is of no avail.
Together these themes suggest a Johannine interest in pneumatic worship driven not by a rigid sacramentalism, but a cautious critique of ritual. If the experience of worship no longer brings the immediacy of the Holy Spirit, such worship is no better than that at Samaria.
Conflict in the World . The worldview of the Johannine literature is consistently dualistic. Believers are reminded that they no longer belong to the world (15:19) because the world is openly hostile to Jesus and his followers. The experience of Jesus becomes the paradigm for discipleship: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first" (15:18).
That this outlook continued in the Johannine community is evident when we look at John's letters. The hatred of the world is everywhere (1 John 3:13 ) because it is under the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19 ). The world brings theological falsehood through its religious corruption and false teachers (1 John 4:3-5 ; 2 John 1:7 ). It also brings moral conflict with its temptations (1 John 2:15-17 ). But the Christian who is diligent and faithful will conquer the world (1 John 5:4 ).
Eschatology . Eschatology concerns the "last things" and usually in the Gospels refers to the events surrounding the second coming of Christ. However, serious debate surrounds Johannine eschatology because the futurist categories well-known in the Synoptics appear absent. Few verses describe the second coming as the final climactic end to history that inaugurates the judgment. Johannine eschatology is thus described as realized eschatology . Among severe critics of John, the Gospel has reinterpreted futurist categories so that everything anticipated in the eschaton is available now. In particular, Christ's second coming has been spiritualized in the coming of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus says the hour is coming and now is (4:23; 5:25; 16:32), he implies a sort of fulfillment absent elsewhere in the New Testament.
However, the Johannine literature still expresses a futurist orientation. Not only does Jesus predict a time of suffering and persecution (15:18-25) but 1 John 2:18-19 predicts the coming of an antichrist. Further, John anticipates the resurrection on the last day (6:39,44, 54; 11:24) as well as the final judgment (5:25-29; 12:48). Jesus promises us that he is going before us to make a dwelling place with him (14:3). At the end of the Gospel, the resurrected Christ dismisses a query about the Beloved Disciple's remaining until the parousia (21:22).
While futurist eschatology can be demonstrated in John, still, Johannine theology has a decided emphasis on the present. John emphasizes the blessed presence of Jesus in Spirit and his gifts in the Christian community now. The church need not live troubled by Jesus' absence while it yearns for the future. Jesus promised, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" (14:18). The Holy Spirit that gives the church life today is Christ's Spirit, present until he returns.
Gary M. Burge
See also Jesus Christ ; Jesus Christ, Name and Titles of ; Messiah
Bibliography . J. Ashton, Understanding the Fourth Gospel ; C. K. Barrett, Essays on John (1982):1-18; idem, The Gospel According to St. John ; G. R. Beasley-Murray, Gospel of Life: Theology in the Fourth Gospel ; J. M. Boice, Witness and Revelation in the Gospel of John ; R. E. Brown, The Gospel According to St. John, pp. cv-cxxviii; idem, The Community of the Beloved Disciple ; idem, The Epistles of John ; idem, The Gospel According to John ; G. M. Burge, The Anointed Community. The Holy Spirit in the Johannine Tradition (1987); R. A. Culpepper, Rev and Exp 85 (1988): 417-32; C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel ; J. D. G. Dunn, The Gospel and the Gospels, pp. 293-322; R. Kysar, The Fourth Evangelist and His Gospel ; G. E. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament ; I. H. Marshall, ISBE, 2:1081-91; idem, The Epistles of John ; W. A. Meeks, The Prophet-King ; C. F. D. Moule, The Origin of Christology ; J. Painter, Reading John's Gospel Today ; S. Pancaro, The Law in the Fourth Gospel: The Torah and the Gospel, Moses and Jesus, Judaism and Christianity according to John ; T. E. Pollard, Johannine Christology in the Early Church ; J. A. T. Robinson, The Priority of John ; R. Schnackenburg, The Gospel according to St. John ; E. M. Sidebottom, The Christ of the Fourth Gospel ; S. Smalley, 1,2, 3John ; idem, John: Evangelist and Interpreter ; J. R. W. Stott, The Epistles of John .
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - John, Gospel of (Critical)
JOHN, GOSPEL OF (I. Critical article)
Introduction.
i.External evidence for the authorship of the Fourth Gospel.
1.Writers of the last quarter of the 2nd century.
2.Justin Martyr.
3.Tatian.
4.The Apostolic Fathers.
5.Evidence derived from Opponents of the Church doctrine.
6.Evidence afforded by the Quartodeciman controversy.
7.The Alogi.
ii.Internal evidence of authorship.
1.The author is a Jew.
2.The author is a Jew of Palestine.
3.A contemporary of the events and persons.
4.Relationship to Jesus and the Apostolic circle.
5.Is John the Apostle the author?
iii.The divergences from the Synoptic narrative.
iv.The problem of the historicity of the Gospel.
Literature.
Introduction.—It is important to remember that the Kingdom of Christ was in being before the Gospel records were written. They did not originate the institution, but are themselves the expression of it. Previous to the publication of the Johannine Gospel, which is the latest of the four, St. Paul had completed his mission to the Gentiles; and in Ephesus, where the Gospel was written, his doctrine had already an assured place in the Christian Church. It is therefore historically untrue to say that faith in the Divine Person and work of Jesus is destroyed if the authenticity of the Fourth Gospel cannot he proved. For the basis of our faith we must dig deeper than the results of critical investigation.
The question, however, of the authorship of this Gospel is more than a merely academic one. It occupies a unique position. None of the other three claims to be written by the man whose name it bears, but the Fourth Gospel is issued with an explicit statement to that effect (John 21:24). Moreover, its contents are vitally connected with the individuality of the author. The very way in which his identity is studiously concealed shows that the writer is himself conscious that the Gospel contains a personal testimony, which he does not hesitate to present as objective and impersonal. We desire to know who it is that claims to be an eye-witness; who it is that narrates events and discourses of Jesus so distinct in character from the Synoptics, and yet meant to occupy a place alongside these without contradiction; who it is that has so boldly mingled historic fact and ideal conceptions, that has given to the Person of Christ a timeless cosmic significance, and has represented our Lord in His acts and in His words as Himself justifying that impression and those claims. If, as is certain, the work is influenced by developed theological conceptions, and reflects the contemporary historical situation of the Christian Church, we desire to be certain that the writer was in a position not seriously to misrepresent the actual facts. This is no merely antiquarian question. There can be no doubt that the Gospel is intended to be read as the work of the Apostle, and it would seriously detract from its value, if, as extreme critics are more and more inclined to allow, that claim means only that it contains a nucleus of Johannine tradition. The same objection applies to all partition theories of the Gospel (e.g. Wendt’s), and it is assumed in this article that their authors have failed to prove their case. If, on the other hand, the writer was the beloved disciple, an eye-witness possessing a specially intimate knowledge of the mind and character of Jesus, we have an assurance that when, for example, he wrote the opening sentences of the Gospel, he felt himself in touch not merely with current theological. thought, but with the historic fact of the consciousness of Jesus of Nazareth. So far from being a stumbling-block to the Johannine authorship, the Prologue even gains in value and significance with the acceptance of the traditional view. The striking juxtaposition in the Prologue of the timeless Logos idea and the historical witness of the Baptist, to whom the conception was unfamiliar, and the frequent mention of the Baptist throughout the Gospel, I even at times when the situation scarcely demands it (e.g. John 10:40-42) are saved from abruptness only if the writer is developing an impression made on him by his earliest teacher, who led him to Christ. His experience stretches in one continuous whole from that time to this when he begins to write.
I. External Evidence for the authorship of the Fourth Gospel.—The face of the Johannine problem has greatly changed since the days of Baur and his school. The prophecy of Lightfoot, that ‘we may look forward 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,’ has been amply fulfilled. 80–110 a.d. may be regarded as the termini a quo and ad quem for the date of the writing, and the trend of modern opinion is towards the end of the 1st century. This result makes it desirable to throw the emphasis in a less degree on the external evidence for an early date, and in a, greater degree on the evidence for the Apostolic authorship. If, however, the problem of external evidence be presented in this form, we must guard ourselves against a certain feeling of disappointment at the meagre results. In the first place, there is no evidence that the Apostolic authorship was contested in the 2nd cent. except by the Alogi; and none that it was ever debated. The questions that agitated the mind of the Church in this period seem to have been entirely doctrinal (Gnosticism and Montanism). Again, it is not until the latter part of the century that there are indications of a distinct value attached to each separate Gospel. Εὐαγγέλιον was the term employed to denote the general contents of those books that embodied the facts concerning the life and teaching of our Lord, and we first find the term εὐαγγέλια in Justin (Apol. i. lxvi.). The contrast between the Synoptics and John in this period arose entirely from the differences in subject-matter, and there is no indication that the Fourth Gospel was set on a lower plane of authority.
One remarkable fact in connexion with the external evidence is that none of the writers in question ever actually calls St. John an Apostle. This fact is never lost sight of by opponents of the Apostolic authorship, it is true that Irenaeus speaks of ‘John and the other Apostles’; but in referring to St. John alone he always calls him ‘the disciple.’ This is in accordance with the usage of the Fourth Gospel itself, where the title ἀτόστολος is only once used (John 13:16), and there in a sense that seems to deprecate any presumptuous or mercenary claim to official position. If such claims were rife in Ephesus, perhaps St. John himself preferred to be known as ‘disciple.’ (Cf. H. T. Purchas, Johann. Problems and Modern Needs, ch. 3.).
We shall now proceed to examine in detail, working backwards from the end of the 2nd cent., the evidence of those Ecclesiastical writers who have made direct or indirect reference to the Fourth Gospel.
1. A group of writers in the last quarter of the 2nd cent. whose geographical distribution over the Christian Church gives evidence of a widespread tradition.
(1) Irenaeus was bishop of Lyons in Gaul. His work entitled Against Heresies has come down to us, and in the writings of Eusebius we possess other fragments. An important letter to Florinus has also been preserved. The date of his literary activity may be put within the limits 173–190. He explicitly attributes the Fourth Gospel to the Apostle, and gives it a place alongside Matthew, Mark, and Luke. He says that ‘John, the disciple of the Lord, who leaned upon His breast,’ wrote it ‘while dwelling in Ephesus, the city of Asia’ (adv. Haer. in. i. 1). Stress is also to be laid on the fact that Irenaeus speaks of the Gospels not merely as Apostolic, but also as inspired by the Holy Spirit. For him the tradition of the fourfold Gospel, which he supports strongly, has passed into a deep spiritual fact, which he seeks to establish, not by bringing forward proofs of authorship, but in his well-known mystic fashion. ‘The gospel is the Divine breath or word of life for men; there are four chief winds therefore four Gospels.’ He brings forward other analogies, all of which are equally fanciful, but serve to show that this firm belief in the fourfold Gospel as a Divine arrangement could not have been a creation of his own mind, but represents a tradition of considerable antiquity. The opinion of Irenaeus is corroborated by a contemporary letter written by the members of the Churches at Vienne and Lyons to the brethren in Asia Minor during the time of persecution in 177. Thus Irenaeus is in touch with the living Church around him.
(2) Clement of Alexandria is the author of a statement preserved by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica vi. 14), which professes to represent ‘the tradition of the Presbyters from the first (παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνέκαθεν πρεσβυτέρων) that John, last, having observed that the bodily things [1] had been set forth in the Gospels, on the exhortation of his friends (γνώριμοι), inspired by the Spirit, produced a spiritual Gospel.’ From about 189, Clement was head of the celebrated catechetical school at Alexandria. His great reverence for his teacher Pantaenus, who also preceded him in office, may fairly be regarded as indicating that he represents the ecclesiastical tradition at Alexandria. He was also in living touch with opinion at other centres. He travelled in Greece, Magna Graecia, Syria, and the East, expressly for the purpose of collecting information about the Apostolic tradition. In his extant writings he quotes words from all the four Gospels, regards them as possessing Divine authority, and lays great emphasis on the differences between them and other writings professing to be Gospels.
(3) Tertullian was a famous theologian of the Western Church, and was born at Carthage about 160. The style of his writing suggests that he was trained as an advocate. He was reputed a man of great learning. Jerome speaks of his ‘eager and vehement disposition,’ and his habit of mind is in striking contrast to the philosophic temper of Clement. It is needless to quote passages from his writings, as he undoubtedly assumes without question the genuineness of the Gospel, and lays under contribution every chapter. Little is known of his personal life, but he was certainly in touch with theological opinion, not only at Carthage, but also at Rome. In the line of argument that he adopts in his reply to Marcion he is concerned above all else to show that the doctrine of the Church is in line with Apostolic tradition. He makes appeal in another writing, de Praescriptione Haereticorum, to the testimony of those Churches that were founded by Apostles, or to whom Apostles declared their mind in letters. Among these he mentions Ephesus, evidently in connexion with the name of St. John. His term for the fourfold Gospel is a legal term, Evangelieum Instrumentum, i.e. a valid document finally declaring the mind of the Church with regard to spiritual truth. He became a distinguished leader of the Montanists, and would on that account be predisposed to combat any objection, if it had been urged, against the authenticity of the Gospel. At the same time, he is not indifferent to questions of literary criticism, applied to the Gospels. In his reply to Marcion he makes careful and scholarly investigation into the text of St. Luke, and is able to prove that Marcion’s Gospel is a mutilated copy.
(4) The Muratorian Fragment on the Canon.—This fragment contains the earliest known list of the books that were regarded at the date at which it was written as canonical. It was published in the year 1740 by an Italian scholar, Muratori.
Lightfoot, Westcott, and others argue for a date 150–175; but Salmon, Zahn, and Harnack agree in placing its date, from internal evidence, not earlier than a.d. 200. Sanday, in his Gospels in the Second Century (pp. 264–266), suggests 170–180, and perhaps within ten years later. Stanton, in The Gospels as Historical Documents (p. 247, n. [2] 1), inclines to the later date.
The writer gives an account of the origin of the Fourth Gospel which is plainly legendary. The important statement in it is that the Gospel is the work of St. John (Johannes ex discipulis), who is also the author of at least two of the Epistles (in suis epistolis). The further statement is made that he resolved to write it after a fast had been held, and at the request of contemporary Christians (cohortantibus condiscipulis et episcopis suis), and the concurrence is also claimed of the rest of the Apostles (recognoscentibus cunctis). The second statement seems, like the γνώριμοι of Clement, to be founded on John 1:14; John 21:24, and possesses no independent value, except as an interpretation of internal evidence.
The object of the author was clearly controversial, ‘to draw a broad line of separation between the inspired writings of the Apostolic age and modern additions’ (Salmon, Introduction, p. 46). He strongly protests, for example, against the inclusion of Hermas in the Canon, though he has no objection to its being ‘read.’ Bacon (Hibbert Journal, April 1903) has interpreted the Muratorian Fragment as indicating the existence of controversy in the Church at that date as to the Apostolic authorship; but the emphasis on that question might easily be explained by the fact that the historicity—the varia principia of the Gospels—was alone in question. There is no attempt to harmonize the statements in the various Gospels; but it is sought to secure for the contents of the Fourth Gospel a place of equal authority with the other three. Throughout the whole history of the NT Canon the admission of a book was not decided solely on the question of authorship, but far more on the general consideration whether its teaching was congruent with the received doctrine of the Church. Salmon thinks that the writer of the Muratorian Fragment is arguing against the Montanists, and Zahn and Drummond that he is opposing the Alogi (see below). The legendary account of the origin of the Gospel would seem to indicate that the fact of the Apostolic authorship was already well established and well known. An additional confirmation of the view that the historicity alone is within the purview of the writer is that the words of the First Epistle (it is true in a somewhat inaccurate rendering), ‘What we have seen with our eyes, and heard with our ears, and our hands have handled, these things we have written’ (haec scripsimus), are quoted as a reference by the author to his Gospel.
(5) Theophilus, bishop of Antioch (e. a.d. 180), wrote, among other works, a defence of Christianity, addressed to Autolycus, ‘a real or imaginary heathen friend of wide learning and high culture’ (Watkins). He is the earliest writer of the 2nd cent., who, while quoting a passage from the Gospel (1:13), also refers to St. John by name. His words are, ‘We are taught by the Holy Scriptures and all Spirit-bearing men, among whom John says’; and then follow verbatim quotations from the Prologue to the Gospel. There are also other sentences in his work that recall the Fourth Gospel. It is significant also, as belying any appearance of controversy as to the authorship of the Gospel, that he introduces the name of St. John in this quite incidental fashion. Commentaries on the Gospels are also attributed to him, but their genuineness, upheld by Zahn, is assailed by Harnack. This part of his evidence must at present be set aside.
2. Justin Martyr.—The works of Justin that are relevant in this connexion are the two Apologies and the Dialogue with Trypho the Jew. They may be set within the limits a.d. 140–161. Palestine was his birthplace, and he was brought up in the religion of his father, who was a heathen. He was an ardent student of philosophy, and after an unsatisfying experience of various teachers he ultimately became a Platonist. After his conversion to Christianity, of which he gives a full account in Trypho, ii–viii., he was ‘kindled with love to Christ,’ and consecrated his philosophic attainments to the defence of the Christian religion.
Among the authorities to which Justin refers in the course of his writings, he gives an important place to ‘The Memoirs of Christ, composed by the Apostles and those who followed them.’ The battle of criticism still rages around the question whether Justin includes in these Memoirs only the four Gospels. It may now, at least, be regarded as settled amongst all classes of critics that Justin makes use of the Gospel (cf. Schmiedel, Encyc. Bibl., art. ‘John, Son of Zebedee,’ ii. 2546). It is not so generally admitted that he includes it among his Memoirs of the Apostles. Those, however, who deny that Justin regarded the Gospel as the work of the Apostle are laid under the necessity of explaining how his contemporary Irenaeus could be so assured that the Gospel is a genuine Apostolic work.
(1) Quotations.—The locus classicus in Justin is the passage on Baptism (Apol. I. lxi.). He describes how those who are about to make a Christian profession—
‘are brought by us where there is water, and are born again in the same manner in which we ourselves are born again. For in the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, “Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (ἄν μή ἀναγεννηθῆτε, οὐ μη ἐσιλθητε εἰς τήν βασιλειαν τῶν οὐρανῶν). Now that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mother’s wombs, is manifest to all.’
This passage immediately recalls John 3:3-5. The language, however, reveals some striking variations from the text of the Gospel. No one would now endorse the verdict of the author of Supernatural Religion, that ‘there does not exist a single linguistic trace by which the passage in Justin can be connected with the Fourth Gospel.’ It may be conceded that some of his expressions have more than an accidental relationship with Matthew 18:3. Justin certainly uses ἀναγεννηθῆτε (‘born again’) instead of γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν (‘born from above’) of the Fourth Gospel, but this variation is at least a possible rendering of the Johannine expression. There are, however, other linguistic differences. The difficulty is increased by the discovery that in the Clementine Homilies (xi. 26) there is a passage containing similar linguistic deviations from the Gospel. Has their author copied Justin, or does the similarity point to the use by both of a common source other than the Gospel? The fact that the context in each is quite different excludes the first hypothesis, and the second may well be viewed as improbable, until the alleged common source—that ‘ghost-like’ Gospel of which Volkmar speaks—has emerged from the place of shades, and embodied itself in a MS (cf. Drummond, Character and Authorship, pp. 88–96).
It ought to be sufficient to establish the high probability, amounting to certainty, that Justin quotes John 3:3-5, that, giving due weight to linguistic differences, the Fourth Gospel is the only source known to us from which he could have derived such ideas. The idea of birth as applied to spiritual change is found in none of the Gospels but St. John; and it is significant that both Justin and St. John expressly connected this thought with the rite of Baptism. As regards the impossibility of a second physical birth, it is to be noted that this somewhat wistful, and, at the same time, wilfully absurd, objection of Nicodemus—which in the Gospel is the symptom of a heart profoundly moved, and has a living place in the context—is prosaically reproduced by Justin. This is evidently the result of a familiar association of ideas derived from the passage in John 3. The words, ‘for Christ also said,’ introduce the quotation, and the document from which it is taken is clearly looked upon as an authoritative source for the words of Christ.
Justin has other correspondences with the peculiar thought of the Fourth Gospel. He uses the title μονογενής of Christ, and in the next sentence speaks of the Virgin-Birth (Dialogue 105), adding the words, ‘as we have learned from the Memoirs.’ This seems to point to a combination of St. John and the Synoptics. Justin has also made much use of the thought of the Logos Gospel in his doctrine of the Logos, and his teaching on that subject is influenced by the theology of the Gospel. It is sometimes urged as an objection that Justin does not make more use of the authority of the Gospel in his teaching about the Logos, but this is to presuppose that the thought was first suggested to him by that source. Justin’s philosophy is filled with Alexandrine ideas, but the thought of the Incarnation of the Logos of which Justin makes use is found only in St. John (Apol. i. 32). The Johannine expressions φῶς, σάρξ are also found in Justin.
On the question of the relationship between Justin and the fragment of the Gospel of Peter, discovered in 1892, see Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible iii. 535b; Drummond, Character and Authorship, pp. 151–155. The evidence is insufficient to prove that this Gospel is one of Justin’s Memoirs. Loisy and Harnack hold that the Gospel of Peter is dependent on the Fourth Gospel, to whose existence it would therefore he the most ancient witness. The date of the Gospel of Peter is put circa (about) 110–130 by Loisy (Le Quatrième Évangile, p. 16) and Harnack (Chron. i. 623).
(2) His use of the Gospel.—Another consideration is adduced to prove that Justin did not regard the Gospel as an authority on the same level as the Synoptics, and therefore viewed it as non-Apostolic. Schmiedel (Encyc. Bibl., art. ‘John, Son of Zebedee,’ ii. 2546) states that ‘his employment of it is not only more sparing but also more circumspect’ than his use of the Synoptics. There are occasions on which it would he open to him to use it in proof of his doctrine of the Logos and of the pre-existence of Christ. Why has Justin not used the Fourth Gospel more? It is perfectly relevant to reply that we do not know, and perhaps never shall know, with complete certainty. At the same time, there are certain considerations that ought to be borne in mind. Justin is certainly the first writer who displays the tendency to attach a separate value to the four Gospels; he is the first to speak of εὐαγγέλια instead of εὐαγγέλιον; but he can scarcely be expected to have completely emancipated himself, at this transition stage, from the older conception of the gospel as embracing equally the contents of the four. Justin’s purpose and his audience must be borne in mind, and these would insensibly lead him to rely mostly on the Synoptic Gospels. It is specially noticeable that the witness of Christ to Himself, so prominent in the Fourth Gospel, is nowhere used by Justin as an argument, and in one place in the Dialogue with Trypho (ch. 18) he even apologizes for citing the words of Christ alongside the words of the prophets. His Apologies are addressed to the Emperor, Senate, and People of Rome, and to quote to them the Christian writings in proof of Christian doctrine would have been to reason in a circle. Moreover, it may be suggested that not even at that date was the Gospel regarded as, strictly speaking, historical, and its spiritual or reflective character rendered it hardly so suitable for Justin’s purpose as the Synoptics.
(3) Evidence as to Apostolic authorship.—Is there any evidence in Justin that he attributed the authorship to St. John the Apostle? In the first place, if the Memoirs are composed of our four Gospels, we may answer the question with certainty in the affirmative. Justin describes them as composed by ‘the Apostles and those that followed them,’ a description which tallies completely with the four Evangelists. The plural ‘Apostles’ could be used only if he believed in the Apostolic authorship of the Fourth Gospel. Again, the strongest argument adduced against Justin’s evidence is still the argument from his silence as to the name of the author. It seems, however, to have been the custom among apologists not to mention the Evangelists by their names, which would carry no weight with unbelievers. Moreover, it has been pointed out that Justin never mentions the name of St. Paul, although it is certain that at least four of his Epistles from which he quotes are of undoubted authenticity. Justin once names St. John as the author of Revelation (Dialogue 81), but ‘he nowhere quotes this work, which he regarded as inspired, apostolic, prophetic, though it contains so much which might seem to favour his view of the person of Christ’ (Ezra Abbot, p. 61). In the passage he speaks of the author as one whose name is not likely to carry weight (‘a certain man with us, whose name was John’), but it is essential to his argument, in thus making use of a Revelation or Vision, that he should mention the recipient. (Cf. Stanton, Gospels as Historical Documents, i. p. 89).
3. Tatian was a native of Syria, and, like Justin, travelled as a wandering philosopher. His conversion to Christianity took place at Rome about a.d. 150. He became a disciple of Justin, during whose lifetime he wrote the Oratio ad Graecos. After Justin’s death in 166, Tatian taught in Rome, and ultimately adopted a heretical position. He died about a.d. 180.
Tatian clearly quotes the Gospel in his Oratio, which was written perhaps as early as 153 (so Zahn and Harnack), although he does not refer to the author by name. The important work, however, for our purpose is the Diatessaron. It is a compendium of the Life and Teaching of our Lord, founded on our four Gospels, and containing also some material taken from the Apocryphal Gospels. The book had apparently an ancient place in the worship of the Syrian Churches. Theodoret, bishop of Cyrrhus, near the Euphrates, in 453, tells how he found more than 200 copies of the work in the churches of his district. These lie collected and, with considerable difficulty, put away, substituting for them the four Gospels.
The Diatessaron includes the whole of the Fourth Gospel, except 1:6, the first half of 2:23, the Pericope Adulterae, and some other passages that are common to the Synoptics.
The significance of Tatian’s work lies in the fact that an authoritative value is attached to the contents of our four Gospels, and that the Fourth Gospel is placed on a level with the Synoptics. Moreover, Tatian’s use of the Fourth Gospel renders it very difficult to doubt that it was also one of the Memoirs of his contemporary, Justin.
4. The Apostolic Fathers
(1) Papias was bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia. Unfortunately his testimony has given rise to more questions about the Gospel than it solves. Only one or two fragments of his work preserved by Eusebius have come down to us. We know that in the time of Eusebius the only writing of Papias to which he had access was a work in five books, entitled ‘Exposition(s) of the Oracles of the Lord’ (Λογίων κυριακῶν ἐξήγησις [3]). Cf. Drummond, op. cit. note 4, p. 195.
The ‘Oracles’ were probably a collection of sayings of our Lord, together with some kind of historical setting.
There is a tendency among modern critics to fix a later date than formerly for the writings of Papias. His written work seems not to have been produced till about the age of sixty. The change in the date is owing to the discovery of a fragment, purporting to contain statements by Papias, that was published by De Boor in 1888. It dates from the 7th or 8th cent., and is in turn probably based on the Chronicle of Philip of Sidé (circa (about) a.d. 430). Among other matters it relates that those individuals who had been raised from the dead by Christ survived ‘till the time of Hadrian.’ Hadrian reigned 117–138, which compels us to fix a date for Papias’ work not earlier than 140–160 (so Harnack, Drummond, and Schmiedel. Sanday in his most recent work, The Criticism of the Fourth Gospel, includes, the date of Papias among the ‘unsolved problems’). The date of his martyrdom is also very uncertain.
Eusebius says that Papias ‘evidently was a man of very mean capacity, as one may say, judging from his statements’ (Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 39). This judgment must be considered strictly in connexion with the context. Eusebius is speaking of his millenarian notions, and of the unimaginative way in which he interpreted the figurative language of the Apostolic writings. These defects do not reflect on his accuracy in matters of fact, but rather indicate a literalness and exactness which may at times be painful, but are yet a source of strength in the present discussion.
(i.) Papias is best known by the famous extract from the Preface to his work which is preserved by Eusebius:
‘I will not hesitate to place before you, along with my interpretations (of the Oracles of the Lord), everything that carefully learned, and carefully remembered in time past from the elders, and I can guarantee its truth. For I take no pleasure, as do the many, in those who have so very much to say, but in those who teach the truth: nor in those who relate commandments foreign (to the mind of the Lord), but in those (who record) such as were given to the faith by the Lord, and found on the truth itself. Moreover, if met with anyone on any occasion who had attended the elders, I used to inquire about the words of the elders; what Andrew or what Peter said, or what Philip, or what Thomas, or James or John or Matthew, or any other of the disciples of the Lord said, and what Aristion and the elder John, disciples of the Lord, say. For I was not inclined to suppose that statements made by the books would help me, so much as the utterances of a living and abiding voice’ (Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 39).
Several q
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - John, Gospel of (ii. Contents)
JOHN, GOSPEL OF (II.: Contents).—
1. Character of the Gospel.—The interesting fragment of Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica vi. 14), quoted from the lost ‘Outlines’ of Clement of Alexandria, gives us the earliest view which was taken of the Fourth Gospel. ‘John, last, having observed that the bodily things had been set forth in the [1] Gospels, and exhorted thereto by his friends, and inspired by the Spirit, produced a spiritual Gospel.’ The word ‘spiritual,’ or ‘pneumatic,’ is here, as usually with the Alexandrians, opposed to ‘bodily,’ or ‘somatic.’ And what the difference was, as regards the records of the past, is shown admirably by Origen’s comment on John 2:12. He says that if all the four Gospels are to be believed, the truth of them cannot be in their ‘bodily characters,’ but in their spiritual meaning. The Gospels, he says elsewhere (de Prine. 4), contain many things which are said to have happened, but which did not happen literally; and in one place of his Commentary on St. John he says that when the writers of Holy Scripture were unable to speak the truth ‘at once spiritually and bodily’ (i.e. at once literally and with a deeper symbolical or allegorical meaning), it was their practice to prefer the spiritual to the corporeal, ‘the true spiritual meaning being often preserved in the corporeal falsehood’ (σωζομένου πολλάκις τοῦ ἀληθοῦς πνευματικοῦ ἐν τῷ σωματικῷ ψευδεῖ). So Epiphanius says of St. John’s Gospel: ‘most of the things spoken by him were spiritual, the fleshly things having been already attested’ (Haer. li. 19).
These passages are very important for the study of the Fourth Gospel. They are evidence, not, of course, for the author’s method of composition, but for what was thought of the Gospel in the latter part of the 2nd cent. and the first half of the 3rd, that is to say, as soon as it was widely known. It was accepted as ‘a spiritual Gospel,’ and by spiritual was meant, not devotional, ethical, and philosophical, but allegorical as opposed to barely historical.
The distinction between the two modes of treatment was familiar at Alexandria, and had been familiar long before the Fourth Gospel was written. Philo compares the literal meaning to the body, and the spiritual to the soul. He applies this exegetical principle to the OT narratives with great thoroughness. To the literal truth of ancient sacred history he is very indifferent. Particular events are important only in proportion to their universal significance. To grasp the truth of a narrative is to see its relation to universal spiritual law or fact. He would have considered the laborious investigation of historical detail to be merely learned trifling, worthy only of a grammarian or a pedant. Moral edification and gnosis were the only objects for which it was at all worth while to trouble about the records of the past.
We have, of course, no right to assume that the 2nd cent. was right in classing the Fourth Gospel as a ‘spiritual’ work. We shall have to consider its allegorism in detail before we can pronounce on its relation to history. But it should be perfectly obvious that its author did not mean it to be studied as a plain historical narrative. He would probably have said that he had a higher aim than to record trivial details, some of which had no spiritual meaning. The Gospel is, and claims to be, an interpretation of our Lord’s Person and ministry, an ideal construction which aims at producing a certain impression about the Person of Christ. This impression is to be the true interpretation of the historical Jesus—the author is infinitely anxious about this. He is writing no mere historical romance, like the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, which was afterwards concocted as a rival to the Gospels. He is no Docetist, as is shown by several passages in the Gospel, and more categorically in 1 John, which, if not by the same author, is in closest connexion with the Gospel. But a very slight critical investigation is enough to show that he allows himself a free hand in manipulating the facts on which he is working. It is perfectly honest history, as history was understood by the ancients. But even the most scientific of ancient historians did not scruple to put his own views of the political situation into the mouths of the chief characters in his period; and among the Jews the composer of a haggâdah had no fear of being branded as a romancer or a forger.
The plan of the Gospel is clearly stated in John 20:30-31, an impressive passage which was intended to be the conclusion of the book, and was so until the appendix was added. The object here avowed is strictly adhered to throughout. No other book of the NT is so entirely dominated by one conception. The theology of the Incarnation, taught in the form of a historical narrative, with an underlying framework of symbolism and allegory, which, though never obtruded, determines the whole arrangement and selection of incidents—this is the topic of the Fourth Gospel. And unless it is read in the light of this purpose, and with a due recognition of the peculiar method, the seven seals of the Apocalypse will remain set upon the ‘spiritual Gospel.’
Different opinions have been held as to the readers whom the writer has mainly in view. Réville thinks that ‘the author has wished to prove to his contemporaries who had remained in the liberal and philosophical Judaism of the Diaspora, that, in Jesus Christ, the revelation of the Logos, admitted by them in the OT, has its full and definitive fulfilment.’ But the Gospel is not an apologia written for the Jews. The extremely unconciliatory tone, used throughout in speaking of them, is enough to disprove this hypothesis. There is a subordinate element of apologetic, but the main object is clearly to edify and teach the faithful, not to convert the unbeliever. The author never descends to his opponents’ ground, but remains throughout on his own. His aim is didactic, but not exactly dogmatic. He wishes, not to prove a theological thesis, but to confirm and perfect the believer in his adhesion to Christ as the Incarnate Word, the principle of spiritual regeneration, and the nourishment of ‘eternal’ life. This is the foundation of his own faith, and the characteristic Johannine ideas are the intellectual form of this faith, which is centred in the unio mystica. There is no sign of a polemic against Docetism, Ebionism, or against Cerinthus. Still less is he writing against liberalized Judaism, as Réville seems to suggest. Whatever was his attitude towards Philo (and the question is not an easy one to answer), it was not one of conscious antagonism.
The author, then, is writing for Christians. But for what Christians? It has often been maintained or assumed that his object is to teach a philosophy of religion—that he is, in fact, the author of the formula ‘Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah of the Jews, is the Incarnate Logos of God.’ But this view is untenable. There is no systematic philosophy in the Gospel—not even in the Prologue. And besides, the Logos theology was not new. It is not propounded as new in the Gospel; and it exists in substance in St. Paul’s Epistles, as well as in the Hebrews. There can be little doubt that Apollos, the learned Jew of Alexandria, made this identification in his preaching, which was so mightily convincing. For at this time ‘Logos’ was as familiar a term to all educated persons as ‘Evolution’ is to our own generation.
The Gospel is not a philosophical treatise. Is it, then, an attempt to mediate between two parties in the Church, between the advocates of ‘Faith’ and ‘Knowledge,’ of Gnosis and Pistis? The conflict between these two parties was acute at the end of the 2nd cent., as we see from the caution imposed upon Clement of Alexandria by conservative prejudice, and on the other side by the diatribes of the obscurantist Tertullian against philosophy? At that period Gnosticism had gained a footing within the Church, and orthodoxy had become alive to the dangers which threatened the Christian religion from this side. The intellectualists were even strong enough to drive Montanism out of the Church. During the first quarter of the 2nd cent. the great Gnostics were outside the Church, and the chief danger was that the party of ψιλὴ πίστις, ignorant and superstitious, with materialistic notions of religion and hopes of a coming reign of the saints, might make the position of the Christian philosopher impossible, and drive him into the arms of the Gnostics. Moreover, at the time when the Gospel was written, the inadequacy of both presentations of Christianity was becoming apparent. The primitive revivalism was decaying; the hopes of a Parousia were growing faint; while, on the other hand, Docetism and the fantastic schemes of the Gnostic party were visibly tending to discard the Gospel in favour of a barbarized Platonism. The author of this Gospel interposed his powerful influence to save Christianity from being either swamped in a mythology or sublimated into a theosophy. ‘The Jews’ demanded miracles, ‘the Greeks’ a philosophy; this Gospel, like St. Paul, presents both with ‘Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:22-24). The author addresses himself chiefly to the Faith-party, who most needed teaching. He tries to recall them to real history, by subtly spiritualizing the miraculous narratives, to which they attributed too much importance, and bringing out their ethical and spiritual significance. He never makes the slightest attempt to rationalize a miracle.—on the contrary, the miracles which he records are more startling than anything in the Synoptics,—but no stress is laid on any physical portent as momentous in and for itself, or as evidence, apart from its symbolical value as a type of the Person, work, and office of Christ. This design of spiritualizing the tradition is kept in view throughout; but it is carried out so subtly and quietly that it has often been overlooked.
A glance at one of the old-fashioned ‘Harmonies’ of the four Evangelists makes us realize how few of the events of our Lord’s life, before the last few days, are recorded by the Synoptists and also by St. John. And even the few common elements are employed differently, and in different settings. There are notable and irreconcilable differences in the chronology, including, as is well known, a discrepancy as to the date of the Crucifixion. The development of Christ’s mission is differently conceived, the Johannine Christ making the most exalted claims to equality with the Father near the beginning of His career, and in the presence of His enemies ( 2:19, 6:40, 8:58 etc.), whereas in the Synoptics the question and answer at Caesarea Philippi are clearly intended to be of crucial importance (Matthew 16:13 ff. ||). The form and substance of the discourses are also very different, the Christ of the Synoptics speaking as a man to men, as a Jew to Jews; conveying His message in pithy aphorisms, easily understood and remembered, and in homely parables, adapted to the comprehension of country folk. These discourses are directed rather to bringing men to the Father, and to righteousness and consistency of life, than to inculcating any doctrines about His own Person; sometimes He expresses His attachment to the Law, and repudiates any intention of abrogating it. Our Evangelist, on the other hand, represents Jesus as taking part in long polemical disputations with ‘the Jews,’ who are as much His enemies as they were the enemies of the Christian Church 80 years later; the parables have disappeared, and their place is taken by ‘proverbs’ or symbolic language; and, above all, His whole teaching is centred upon faith in and devotion to Himself. The emphatic ἐγώ occurs 15 times in St. Matthew, 117 times in St. John. Many facts to which our Evangelist attaches great importance are completely strange to the Synoptic tradition. Such are: the marriage in Cana of Galilee, with which the public ministry opens; the conversation with the Samaritan woman; the healing of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda; the incident of the man born blind; the raising of Lazarus, which in St. John’s Gospel appears to have been the immediate cause of the plot against the life of Jesus; the washing of the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper; the conversation with Pilate at the trial; the presence of the beloved disciple and Mary at the Cross; the appearance to Thomas after the Resurrection. On the other hand, the writer of the Fourth Gospel omits the genealogy and the birth from a virgin, because it could be of no interest to him to prove that Jesus (or rather Joseph) was descended from king David, and the Incarnation of the Logos is a far grander conception than a miraculous birth by the operation of the Holy Ghost; he omits the Baptism of Jesus, of which notwithstanding he shows knowledge, because, again, the true Baptism is the Incarnation of the Logos in Jesus, and also partly, perhaps, because he is anxious to discountenance the Adoptionist views of the Person of Christ which were prevalent at the time when he wrote; he omits the Temptation, because it is no part of his plan to exhibit Jesus as experiencing any temptation or weakness; he omits the Transfiguration, because in his view the whole life of Christ on earth is a manifestation of His glory, not by visible light but to the spiritual eye; he omits the institution of the Eucharist, because he has already given his sacramental doctrine in his discourse about the Bread of Life (John 6:26 ff.), following the miracle of the 5000, and does not wish the truth of the mystical union to be bound up too closely with the participation in an ecclesiastical rite; he omits the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the cry, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani,’ because the impression which he wishes to convey of the complete voluntariness of Christ’s sufferings and death, and of the ‘glory’ which was manifested by His humiliation as well as by His triumph over death, might be impaired by incidents which seem to indicate human weakness and hesitation; and, lastly, he omits the Ascension and the descent of the Paraclete, because he does not wish the withdrawal of Christ’s bodily presence, and the continuation of the Incarnation in another more spiritual form, to be associated with physical portents, or to be assigned to particular days.
There can be no question that these omissions are deliberate, and not the result of ignorance. Those who wish to discredit any of the narratives which appear in the Synoptics, cannot rightly draw any inferences from St. John’s silence. Such features of the Christian tradition as the Birth at Bethlehem and the Ascension must have been well known by any well-instructed Christian at the beginning of the 2nd cent., and there are no signs that our Evangelist wishes to correct his predecessors from the standpoint of one who has had access to better information. Not only are incidents like the Baptism referred to incidentally (John 1:32), but an attempt is made to provide substitutes for several of the omitted narratives. Instead of the Davidic ancestry of Joseph, we have the eternal generation of the μονογενής; instead of the Lord’s Prayer, taught to the disciples, we have the High-Priestly prayer of ch. 17, in which almost every clause of the Lord’s Prayer is represented, though in each case, except the last (‘Deliver us from the evil one’), the petition is changed into a statement that the work has been done, the boon conferred. The institution of Baptism is represented by the discourses with Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman; that of the Eucharist by the miracle in ch. 6 and the discourse on the Bread of Life which follows it. The Transfiguration is represented by the voice from heaven in John 12:7; John 12:28; while the preceding verse (which should be printed as a question, ‘Shall I say, Father, save me from this hour?’) is intended to compensate us for the loss of the Agony in the Garden. Lastly, the words to Thomas in John 20:29—the last beatitude—more than reconcile us to the loss of any description of the Ascension.
The number of miracles is much reduced; but those which are given are representative, and in some cases are more tremendous than those of the Synoptics. The healing of the son of Herod’s official (John 4:46 ff.) is the only miracle which has the true Synoptic ring; in the others no ‘faith’ is required in those who are to benefit by the sign, and the object seems to be to manifest some aspect of Christ’s Person and work. In the marriage at Cana, the feeding of the multitude, the healing of the blind man, and the raising of Lazarus, the Evangelist himself tells us the spiritual meaning of the miracle, in words spoken either by the Lord Himself or by some one else.
There is, however, a great deal of symbolism in the Gospel which is unexplained by the author, and unnoticed by the large majority of his readers. The method is strange to us, and we do not look out for allegories which would be at once understood by Alexandrians in the 2nd century. A few examples are necessary, to justify the view here taken that symbolism or allegorism pervades the whole Gospel. In John 1:29 John the Baptist designates Christ ‘the Lamb of God,’ with clear reference to the Paschal sacrifice. The prophetic type of the Paschal lamb dominates the whole of the Passion narrative in St. John. Even the date, it would appear, is altered, in order that Christ may die on the day when the Paschal lambs were killed. The change of the ‘reed’ of the Synoptics to ‘hyssop’ seems to have been made with the same object, when we remember the ritual use of hyssop at the Passover. The Gospel abounds in enigmatic utterances, such as ‘Thou hast kept the good wine until now’ (John 2:10); ‘It is expedient that one man should die for the people’ (John 11:50); ‘Judas went immediately out, and it was night’ (John 13:30); in which the reader is plainly meant to see a double meaning. The symbolism is often in three stages. The text presents an apparent sense, which is in figure a second, which in turn points to a third and still deeper signification. Especially in the narrative, a prophetic utterance quoted from the OT is sometimes the intermediate stage in this allegorical construction. The type of the Paschal lamb comes as it were between the literal feeding of the 5000 and the idea that Christ gives His life to take away the sin of the world, and that He may be our spiritual food and sustenance. The words quoted from the Psalms, ‘the zeal of thy house shall eat me up,’ come in like manner between the cleansing of the Temple at Jerusalem and the idea of the glorification of Jesus as the building of the true Temple, the body of Christ, the Church. There are, we might venture to say, three temples in the mind of the Evangelist—the material temple built by Herod, the temple of Christ’s natural body, which was to be destroyed and raised up ‘in three days,’ and the temple which is the spiritual body of Christ—namely, the Church. Similarly, in John 7:38, the quotation, ‘out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water,’ comes, as it were, between the thrust of the lance and the effusion of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and the Church.
But the most remarkable part of the allegoric method is that connected with numbers. There can be no doubt, in the opinion of the present writer, that the Philonic method of playing with numbers had a strong fascination for our Evangelist. The examples are far too numerous to be accidental. The number 7 recurs in the number of the miracles (omitting ch. 21 from our calculations), in the number of solemn declarations beginning ‘I am’; in the number of ‘witnesses’ borne to Christ, and perhaps in other places. The officer’s son is healed at the seventh hour; the paralytic on the seventh day. It is thoroughly in accordance with the method of the Evangelist, that he avoids the word ἑπτά, just as he avoids the two crucial words γνῶσις and πίστις, which had become watchwords of parties. As for the number 3, perhaps too much ingenuity has been shown in cutting up the whole Gospel into arrangements of 3; but unquestionably the book does lend itself very readily to such classification, and the fact that it is concealed rather than obtruded is in accordance with what seems to have been the method and design of the writer. With regard to higher numbers, the extreme precision of the Evangelist must excite suspicion of an allegorical motive; and when we find that 38, 46, and 153 can be plausibly explained on Philonic principles, the suspicion becomes almost a certainty. For example, the 153 fish may be the ‘fulfilment’ of 10+7; 1 + 2 + 3 + … + 17 = 153; or, as Bishop Wordsworth suggests, it may be the square of 12 + the square of 3. It is said that 200 (Peter is 200 cubits from the land) signifies, in the Philonian lore, repentance. The ‘forty-six years’ since the beginning of the building of the Temple may possibly be connected with the age assigned to Jesus (‘not yet fifty years old’); it has been suggested that the Evangelist wishes to make Him seven times seven years old at the Crucifixion; but this is very doubtful. The frequent use of number-symbolism in the Gospel is more certain than the correctness of particular interpretations. These interpretations would occur readily to the ‘Gnostic’ of the 2nd cent.; to us they must be guesswork.
Some critics, such as Renan, have objected to this discovery of allegorism in the Fourth Gospel, that the allegorist always tries to attract attention to his symbols, whereas St. John clearly does not, but conceals them so carefully that the large majority of his readers do not even suspect their existence. This sounds plausible. But the question really is whether the Evangelist has not done all that he need have done in order to be understood by those among his first readers who knew his method. It is not suggested that the Johannine symbolism was meant for all to understand. There is abundant evidence that those who valued the ‘Gnosis’ were agreed that it must not be profaned by being explained to all. We find this conviction in Philo, and very strongly in Clement of Alexandria, who, as a Christian, is important evidence. He says that to put the spiritual exegesis before the common people is like giving a sword to a child to play with. He will not write all that he knows, because of the danger that it may get into wrong hands. There are some religious truths which can only be safely imparted orally. There is reason to think that he abandoned his project of putting the coping-stone on his theological works by a book of an esoteric character, because a published treatise cannot be confined to those who ought to read it. Since, then, the existence of the symbolic method, and the obligation of concealing it from the ordinary reader, are both proved, there is nothing strange in the veiled symbolism which we have found to characterize this Gospel.
The Evangelist writes throughout for two classes of readers—for the simpliciores, who would be satisfied by the narrative in its plain sense, and for the ‘Gnostic,’ who could read between the lines without difficulty. And yet he wishes all his readers to rise towards a spiritual understanding. Again and again he puts the key in the lock—in such solemn utterances as ‘I am the Bread of Life—the Light of the World—the Resurrection and the Life.’ His own word for the allegoric method is ‘proverb’ (παροιμία). Up to the end of the last discourse, Jesus has spoken to His disciples in proverbs; but the time was coming (after the withdrawal of His bodily presence) in which, through the medium of the Paraclete, He should no more speak to them in proverbs, but should show them plainly of the Father. The proverb is different from the Synoptic παραβολή, which is a story with a religious and moral application—a story which has a complete sense in itself, apart from the lesson, which is generally conveyed by the story as a whole, and not by the details. St. John, however, tries to keep the historical parabolic form in which Jesus actually taught. Yet, in spite of himself, he half substitutes the Alexandrian and Philonic allegory for the Synoptic parable. The double sense runs all through the narrative. Whenever the Johannine Christ begins to teach—whether His words are addressed to Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, ‘the Jews,’ or His own disciples—He nearly always begins by enunciating a proposition which contains, under a sensible and symbolic image, a religious truth. The auditor regularly misunderstands Him, interpreting literally what should have been easily perceived to be a metaphor. This gives Jesus an opportunity to develop His allegory, and, in so doing, to instruct the reader, if not the original hearer of the discourse, whom once or twice (as in ch. 3) the Evangelist seems to have quite forgotten. The Johannine Christ loves words which, at any rate in Greek, have a double sense, such as ἄνωθεν, πνεῦμα, λόγος (cf. esp. John 10:31-38). Whether the very numerous cases where a verb may be indicative or imperative are intentionally ambiguous, it is not easy to say. The symbolism reaches its height in some of the discourses to the Jews; the last discourses to the disciples are more plain, and in ch. 17, which is the climax of the teaching of the Gospel, the mystical union is expounded with much directness.
One of the most difficult problems in connexion with the classes of readers for whom the Gospel was intended is presented by certain explanations introduced by the Evangelist. The chief of these are John 2:21, John 6:64-65, John 7:38, John 8:27, John 12:33, John 18:9. These explanations seem to us at times superficial and unworthy of their context. We cannot be surprised that they have given force to partition-theories like that of Wendt, who maintains that the discourses are on a higher intellectual and spiritual level than could he within the compass of the author of parts of the narrative. The difficulties in the way of partition-theories seem to be insuperable. A more plausible hypothesis is that the Evangelist deliberately introduced these childlike observations for the benefit of the simpliciores, trusting to the educated reader being able to divine his purpose. But this theory is not very satisfactory. We have seen that St. John is able to see as many as three meanings in a simple occurrence. And so he may have felt that ‘the Temple’ might mean Christ’s natural body as well as the stone building and the Church of Christ, which last must have been mainly in his mind when he foresaw the downfall of the Jewish sanctuary and all which it represented.
The style of the Fourth Gospel is as different from that of the Synoptics as the matter. Instead of the variety which we find in them, we have a small number of essential thoughts repeated again and again under a small number of images. From this results a strange impressiveness, common in mystical writings, which often share this peculiarity, though to some readers the monotony appears tedious and inartistic. The discourses of Christ have a sweet and melancholy charm, with an indescribable dignity and grandeur; over them all hangs the luminous haze of mysticism, in which mystery seems clear, and clearness itself is mysterious. The phraseology is Hebraic, not Greek; in the Prologue we have a species of rhythm which recalls the old prophets, and in many places we find the parallelism of Hebrew poetry. The arrangement is that of the writer’s own thought, not chronological. The appearance of detailed accuracy is not, as has often been seriously argued, a proof of first-hand knowledge, but is due to the vividness of the Evangelist’s mental images. The numbers, as has been said, seem often to have a symbolic meaning; the figures, such as Nicodemus and the Greeks who asked for an introduction to Jesus, disappear from the writer’s mind as soon as the point is made. No difference can he detected between the style of the various speakers, or between the discourses of Christ and the Evangelist’s own comments.
2. Theology of the Gospel.—The first question which meets us is the relation of the Prologue to the rest of the Gospel. Harnack, whose antipathy to the Logos theology apparently influences his judgment, suggests that the Prologue was merely prefixed to the narrative in order to predispose the Greeks in favour of the views which the author was about to propound, views which do not really at all correspond with the Logos philosophy as they understood it.
‘The Prologue brings in conceptions which were familiar to the Greeks, and enters into these more deeply than is justified by the presentation which follows; for the notion of the incarnate Logos is by no means the dominant one in the Gospel. Though faint echoes of this idea may possibly be met with here and there in the Gospel,—I confess I do not notice them,—the predominating thought is essentially that of Christ as the Son of God, who obediently executes what the Father has shown and appointed Him’ (ZThK [2] ii. 189 ff.).
This strangely perverse judgment has evoked protests from several critics who understand the Gospel better than Harnack, among others from Réville, who has certainly no bias in favour of traditional views. It would be easy to show that every one of the dogmatic statements in the Prologue is reasserted in the body of the Gospel. For the pre-existence of the Logos, beyond time, in personal relation to, and in essential union with, God, cf. John 6:62, John 8:58, John 14:10, John 17:5; John 17:24. For the Logos as the Agent in creation, and its life-giving and sustaining principle, cf. John 5:26,
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - James And John, the Sons of Zebedee
1. In Synoptic Gospels.-The sons of Zebedee are mentioned in the following passages in the Synoptic Gospels. The call of the two brothers is related in Mark 1:16-20 (= Matthew 4:18-22, Luke 5:1 ff.). After the call of Andrew and Simon and their immediate response, Jesus goes on further and sees the two brothers James and John in their boat, mending their nets. Their response to His call is equally prompt; they leave their father and the hired servants in the boat and go away after Him. The Matthaean account is practically identical with the Marcan, save for the omission of any reference to the hired servants, a characteristic cutting out of unnecessary detail. In these two accounts the call of the four disciples is the first event recorded after the beginning of the ministry; it is followed by the account of the entry into Capernaum and the teaching in the Synagogue. St. Luke in his Gospel places the incident later, after his record of events at Nazareth and Capernaum. It is not easy to determine whether his reason for the change is historical, to account for the promptness with which the call of an unknown stranger is obeyed, or whether he is following a different tradition. The relation of the Lucan account to the Johannine Appendix (ch. 21) is also difficult to determine. Competent scholars are found to maintain both the view that the Johannine narrative is based on an account (similar to the Lucan) of the call of Peter, and the view that St. Luke, in his record of the call to discipleship, has borrowed details from an account of a post-Resurrection appearance to Peter in Galilee. But the question as no direct bearing on the call of the sons of Zebedee, the Lucan additional matter having to do with Peter alone. The only detail which he adds with reference to John and James is that they were partners with Peter, which might have been deduced from the Marcan account. And the more obvious explanation of their prompt obedience is that suggested by the 1st chapter of St. John-previous acquaintance at an earlier stage, probably in connexion with the Baptist’s preaching (cf. below, § 5).
In St. Mark’s Gospel the four are represented as going with Jesus to Capernaum, and the same Evangelist also notices the presence of the sons of Zebedee in the house of Simon, on the occasion of the healing of his wife’s mother. This detail finds no place in the other Gospels. Their names appear next in the calling of the Twelve where they are found in all three lists among the first four, the only difference being that St. Mark places them before, the other Synoptists after, Andrew; and St. Mark also adds the giving of the name Boanerges.
No thoroughly satisfactory explanation of either part of this word has been found. βοανε is hardly a possible transliteration of בְּנֵי; it can only be accounted for on the supposition that it is due to conflation, either the ο or the α being a correction of the other. The second half of the word has been connected with Aram. רְגַשׁ (= Heb. רָגַשׁ, tumultuatus eat; cf. Psalms 2:1, Acts 4:25, and for רְגָשָׁא, Joel 3:14, strepitus, see Payne Smith, Thes. Syr. 1879-1901). But the root never has the meaning of ‘thunder.’ רְגַו has also been suggested; cf. Job 37:2 בָּרֹנֶז קֹלוֹ, of thunder, and Job 39:24 בְּרַעַשׁ וְרֹגָז. But the meaning of the word is ‘raging,’ not ‘thunder.’ Burkitt has suggested that the Syriac translator connected the word with Aram. רְנוֹשֶׂא (1 Kings 18:11 = הָמוֹן ‘crowd’) of which he took רְגֹשֵׁי for the status absolutus. Jerome conjectured that the name was originally בְּנֵי רְעֵם (on Daniel 1:8, ‘emendatius legitur bene-reem’), in which case the explanatory gloss, ὅ ἐστιν υἱοὶ βροντῆς, is older than the corrupt transliteration; but it would be difficult to account for the corruption of a correct transliteration of בְּנֵי רְעֵם into βοανεργές. Wellhausen suggests that possibly the name Ragasbal may point to Reges = ‘thunder,’ a meaning of which he says no other trace is found (Ev. Marci2, 1909, p. 23).
We have no evidence as to the occasion of the giving of the name. The incident recorded in Luke 9:54 may have suggested it, or the character of the brothers. The later explanations which refer it to the power of their preaching do not give us any further information.* [1]
The next mention of the brothers is in the story of the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:37, Luke 8:51), where St. Mark and St. Luke record the admission of the three intimate disciples alone to the house of Jairus, a detail which does not appear in St. Matthew’s account. All three Synoptists record the presence of the same three on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:2, Matthew 17:1, Luke 9:28). The next recorded incident is that of the ambitious request (Mark 10:35 ff., Matthew 20:20 ff.), attributed by St. Mark to the brothers themselves, by St. Matthew to their mother on their behalf. The later character of the Matthaean account is clearly seen in some details (use of προσκυνοῦσα; εἰπέ for St. Mark’s δὸς ἡμῖν; the omission of reference to the ‘baptism’ [2]), but the approved critical explanation of the change in the speaker is hardly convincing. To do honour to the sons of Zebedee by making them shield themselves behind their mother is a strange kind of reverence! The bearing of this incident on the question of the martyrdom of John must be discussed later. The indignation of the other disciples against the brothers is retained in both accounts. St. Luke omits the incident altogether. In Mark 13:3 (cf. Matthew 24:3, Luke 21:7) the question which leads to the eschatological discourse is attributed to the four disciples, for which St. Matthew has οἱ μαθηταί, St. Luke τινες. In connexion with Gethsemane, the three are mentioned by name in Mark 14:33 and Matthew 26:37. St. Luke only mentions the disciples generally (Luke 22:39; cf. Luke 22:39).
To these references, where the Synoptists seem to be almost wholly dependent on the Marcan account, we must add Luke 9:54, the desire of James and John to call down fire from heaven on the inhospitable Samaritans, a story which may be connected with at least the interpretation of the name ‘Boanerges.’ On two occasions only is John mentioned without his brother. St. Mark (Mark 9:38) and St. Luke (Luke 9:49) record his confession that the disciples had ‘forbidden’ one who cast out devils in Jesus’ name because he followed not with them. And St. Luke (Luke 22:8) adds the detail that the disciples who were sent forward to prepare for the Passover were Peter and John.
In the Synoptic narrative, then, the sons of Zebedee are represented as forming with Peter, and occasionally Andrew, the most intimate group of the Lord’s disciples. No special prominence is given to John; he almost always appears with his brother; thrice in St. Mark and once in St. Matthew he is characteristically described as ‘the brother of James.’ His position is very clearly that of the younger brother, who takes no independent lead. There is no reason to suppose that ‘Q’ contained any additional information about the brothers. The special sources on which St. Luke drew added a few details. It is noticeable that in the Lucan list of apostles the name of John precedes that of James. This corresponds with the history of the Acts, which must next be considered.
2. In Acts.-The sons of Zebedee are placed next to Peter in the list of apostles (Acts 1:13), the name of John being placed before that of James, as in the Lucan Gospel. This is in accordance with the author’s view, who assigns to John a place of importance second only to Peter in the history of the growth of the Church in Palestine. He is still the companion of Peter, as in the Gospel he was the ‘brother of James,’ but in Peter’s company he is present at the healing of the lame man in the Temple (Acts 3:1 ff.; see esp. Acts 3:4 : ἀτενίσας δὲ Πέτρος εἰς αὐτὸν σὺν τῷ Ἰωάνῃ, and Acts 3:11), and during the speech of Peter which follows. Apparently he is arrested with Peter (Acts 4:1; Acts 4:3); at their examination the Rulers are said to notice the παρρησία of Peter and John (Acts 4:13), and he shares Peter’s refusal to keep silence (Acts 4:19 f.). In Acts 8:14 Peter and John are sent to Samaria in consequence of the spread of the faith there. After the imposition of hands, and the episode of Simon, their return to Jerusalem is recorded. There is no further mention of John in the Acts, except that in the account of his martyrdom James is described as the brother of John (Acts 12:2). But the position assigned to John is fully borne out by the single reference to him in Galatians 2:9, as one of the ‘pillars’ who gave the right hand of fellowship to Paul and Barnabas, a passage which alone is adequate refutation* [3] of the strange theory of E. Schwartz (Ueber den Tod der Söhne Zebedaei), who finds in the prediction assigned to Jesus in Acts 10:39 proof that both sons of Zebedee must have been killed by Herod on the same day! The account in Acts (Acts 12:1 ff.) of the martyrdom of James at the Passover of the year 44 has been supposed to show traces of modification by cutting out any mention of the death of his brother (E. Preuschen, Apostelgeschichte, in Leitzmann’s Handbuch zum NT, 1912, p. 75). The construction of v. 1, if harsh, is however not impossible, and the ‘Western’ addition in v. 3, ἡ ἐπιχείρησις αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοὺς πιστούς (D Lat. [4] Syr. [5]), even if original is adequately explained by the language of v. 1 (κακῶσαί τινας).
3. Evidence of martyrdom of John.-The other evidence, however, for the martyrdom of John deserves serious consideration.
(1) Papias.-So long as we had only the statement of Georgius Hamartolus (circa, about a.d. 850), or perhaps of some corrector of his text, whose additions are found in the Paris manuscript , Coislin. 305: [6] μαρτυρίου κατηξίωται. Παπίας γὰρ ὁ Ἱεραπόλεως ἐπίσκοπος, αὐτόπτης τούτου γενόμενος, ἐντῷ δευτέρῳ λόγῳ τῶν κυριακῶν λογίων φάσκει, ὅτι ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων ἀνῃρέθη, it was possible, in the light of his reference to Origen, to explain the statement as due to homoioteleuton omission in his source of the Papias quotation, Ἰωάννης [7] ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων ἀνῃρέθη. De Boor’s discovery of the excerpts, probably going back to Philip of Side, in Cod. Baroccianus 142 (Oxford), among which is found the sentence, Παπίας ἐν τῷ δευτέρῳ λόγῳ λέγει, ὅτι Ἰωάννης ὁ θεολόγος καὶ Ἰάκωβος ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων ἁνῃρέθησαν places the matter in a wholly different position. There must have been some such statement about the death of John, the son of Zebedee, at the hands of the Jews, in Papias’ work. As C. Clemen, whose discussion of the whole evidence should be consulted (Die Entstehung des Johannesevangeliums), says, this does not prove the historical accuracy of the statement, but it is important evidence of a different tradition from that which represents the son of Zebedee as living on in Ephesus to an advanced old age, and dying a peaceful death. Zahn’s suggestion (Introd. to NT, Eng. translation , iii. 206), that the statement referred to John the Baptist, is hardly satisfactory in spite of the clear evidence of confusion between the two afforded by the Martyrologies. In the light of the common tradition, why should anyone have made the mistake? The silence of Eusebius is an important factor in the case, but it is not conclusive, as Harnack (Chronologie, Leipzig, 1897, p. 666) suggests, against the presence of such a sentence in Papias. Eusebius might well suppress as μυθικώτερον a statement so completely in contradiction to the received tradition on the subject. The real difficulty is to account for the growth of a different tradition at Ephesus, if the tradition of John’s martyrdom was known at Hierapolis in Papias’ time.
(2) The evidence of Heracleon (see Clem. Alex. Strom. IV. ix. 71) should never have been brought forward. Heracleon is distinguishing between those who confessed ‘in life’ and ‘by voice’ before the magistrates. No one could have included John among those who had not made the confession διὰ φωνῆς, in view either of Patmos or of the legend of the cauldron of oil. His absence from Heracleon’s list therefore proves nothing.
(3) The evidence of the tract de Rebaptismate (Vienna Corpus, iii. p. 86), which shows that the saying of Mark 10:38 was interpreted of the baptism of blood, and the testimony of Aphraates (Homily 21), who speaks of James and John following in the footsteps of their Master, if they point to the tradition of martyrdom, also suggest the natural explanation of its origin, if it is not historical, viz. the attempt to find a literal fulfilment of the words of the Lord.
(4) The evidence of the Martyrologies also points to the same tradition, even if they are capable of another explanation. The Syriac Calendar which Erbes (Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte xxv. [8]) dates 411, and 341 for the part concerned, gives for Dec. 27: ‘John and James, the Apostles, in Jerusalem.’ Bernard’s explanation that such a celebration does not necessarily imply martyrdom (see Irish Church Quarterly, i. [6] 60ff.) is not altogether convincing. The Latin Calendar of Carthage also gives for Dec. 27: ‘Sancti Johannis Baptistae, et Jacobi Apostoli, quem Herodes occidit,’ which may possibly point the same way, as June 24 is the day of commemoration of the Baptist. And according to Clemen (op. cit. p. 444) the Gothic Missal, ‘which represents the Gallican Liturgy of the 6th or 7th century,’ represents James and John as martyrs.
The evidence is certainly not negligible. Whether the tradition owes its existence to attempts to interpret the Synoptic saying, or is a reminiscence of actual fact, is in the light of our present knowledge difficult determine. From the available evidence we must regard the martyrdom of John the son of Zebedee as probable. But as to time and place our ignorance is complete. Erbes’ suggestion that the son of Zebedee met his death in Samaria in the troubles of the year 66 (Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte xxxiii. [10]) cannot be discussed fully here. It cannot be said to have risen above the class of ingenious conjectures, out of which it is unsafe to attempt to reconstruct history. The Synoptic saying about the cup and baptism (Mark 10:38) is certainly insufficient proof of actual martyrdom. St. Mark, and even the other Synoptists, have much matter which later reflexion found it necessary to modify or did not care to emphasize. But everything was not cut out which caused difficulty. And we may perhaps venture to say that there are traces of modification and omission in regard to this very saying which suggest that it did cause difficulty. St. Matthew drops the mention of the baptism, retaining only the drinking of the cup, and St. Luke omits the incident altogether. The position assigned to John, as compared with James, in the Acts would be difficult to explain if he met with an early death.
4. John’s residence in Ephesus.-Even if the story of John’s death at the hand of the Jews is historical, it does not exclude the possibility of his residence at Ephesus, though it certainly overthrows the traditional account of his long residence there till the reign of Trajan and his wonderful activity in extreme old age as the last surviving apostle and ‘over-bishop’ of Asia.
In the question of the Apostle’s residence in Ephesus we are confronted with another problem of which our present knowledge offers no certain solution. The absence of any reference to such a residence in the later books of the NT affords no conclusive evidence against the possibility that John visited Asia and resided there. The silence of the Ignatian letters is more significant. Why are the Romans reminded (Ep. ad Romans 4:3) of what Peter and Paul did for them, and the Ephesians addressed as Παύλου συμμύσται (Ep. ad Romans 12:2), while there is no mention of John in the Ephesian Epistle? The immediate occasion of the reference to Paul-the passing through Ephesus of martyrs ‘on their way to God’-precluded the mention of John. But the reference in the preceding chapter to the presence of apostles at Ephesus (xi. 2: οἳ καὶ τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πάντοτε συνῆσαν)-even if συνῆσαν and not συνῇνεσαν be the true text-is not much to set against the absence of any direct reference.
The fact that Polycarp never mentions him in his Epistle to the Philippians has very little bearing on the question. The natural interpretation of Papias’ Prologue is that at the time when he was collecting his information (circa, about a.d. 100) John the son of Zebedee was dead. His name occurs in the list, introduced by the past tense τί εἶπεν; as contrasted with the ἄτε λέγουσιν which follows. But this does not preclude an earlier residence at Ephesus.
It is probable that Polycrates of Ephesus, in his list of the μεγάλα στοιχεῖα of Asia which he gives in his letter to Victor of Rome (a.d. 190), regards as the son of Zebedee the John whom he places-no doubt in the chronological order of their deaths-after Philip ‘the Apostle.’ But his account of the ἐπιστήθιος is clearly legendary, and sufficient time had elapsed since the death of the John of Ephesus (? 110), to whom he refers, for the growth of confusion, whether ‘deliberate’ or unconscious.
The evidence against the Asiatic residence of the Apostle which Corssen (Zeitschrift für die neutest. Wissenschaft v. [11], p. 2ff.) finds in the Vita Polycarpi has been carefully discussed by Clemen (p. 421). It is not conclusive.
It is impossible to repeat in detail the well-known evidence of Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria, for the accepted tradition of their time. It is too wide-spread to be derived from any one single source, and is difficult to reconcile with the view that the son of Zebedee had no connexion at all with Asia and Ephesus. However we interpret the relation of lrenaeus to Polycarp, and the former’s account of the latter in his Letter to Florinus, we cannot be sure that the John of whom Polycarp used to speak was really the Apostle and not the ‘Elder,’ or the author of the Apocalypse (if these two are not to be identified). Justin’s attribution of the Apocalypse to the Apostle proves that the tradition connecting his name with Asia is at least as old as the middle of the 2nd century. And if Irenaeus derived from Papias not only the words of the Elders but also the description which he gives of them, the words ‘non solum Joannem, sed et alios apostolos’ (Iren. II. xxii. 5) would show that Papias also knew of the tradition.
On the whole, the least unsatisfactory explanation of the evidence, with all its difficulties and complexities, is the hypothesis that the Apostle did spend some years of his later life in Ephesus, where he became the hero of many traditions which belonged of right to another or to others.
5. The Fourth Gospel.-The use which may be made of the Fourth Gospel as a source of information about the sons of Zebedee depends on questions of authorship which cannot be discussed in this article. They are never mentioned by name in the Gospel, and only once in the Appendix (John 21:2). Probably the author of this Appendix identified the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’ with the younger son of Zebedee, and not with one of the ἄλλοι δύο, unless indeed he intends to introduce a new-comer in John 21:20. He certainly identifies the loved disciple with the author of the Gospel (John 21:24, if this verse comes from his pen). The natural interpretation of John 19:35 distinguishes between the author and that disciple, if the ‘witness’ of that verse is to be identified with the loved disciple. The only other definite references to the disciple whom Jesus loved are John 19:26 (‘Behold thy son’) and John 13:23 (the unmasking of the Traitor). The customary identification or him with the ἄλλος μαθητής of John 18:15 f. (known to the high priest who gained admission for Peter into the αὐλή) and of John 20:3 f. (who went with Peter to the Tomb), is probable but not necessary. He is usually found in the other disciple of the Baptist, who at his suggestion followed Jesus (John 1:37). The phrase τὸν ἀδελφὸν τὸν ἴδιον Σίμωνα cannot be pressed to indicate this. In the Greek of the period ἴδιος is hardly more than synonymous with the possessive pronoun. And the natural interpretation of the passage is that Andrew first finds his (own) brother Simon, and next day, when wishing to return home to Galilee, Philip, to whom Jesus says, ‘Follow me.’ At the same time the whole story of Jesus’ first meeting with the disciples who came over to Him from John contains much which is difficult to explain (see, however, M. Dibelius, Die urchristl. Überlieferung von Johannes d. Taüfer in Forschungen zur Religion und Litteratur des alten und neuen Testaments, Göttingen, 1911, p. 106ff.) as apologetic invention. It suggests the recollection of early and treasured experiences, and gives a wholly probable account of the relations between Jesus and John, and the undoubted connexion between the two, to which the Synoptists bear witness, though other and later elements in the story are abundantly clear.
On the whole, though the pre-eminence of John in the Synoptic account is hardly such that he must have appeared in the Fourth Gospel, if he were not the author, yet the facts of the Gospel and the traditions of later times about it are most easily explained by the view that ‘behind the Gospel stands the Son of Zebedee’ (see Harnack, Chronologie).
Literature.-In addition to the ordinary Commentaries on the Synoptic and Fourth Gospels, the following books and articles may be mentioned: T. Zahn, Introduction to the NT, Eng. translation , London, 1909; C. Clemen, Die Entstchung des Johannesevangeliums, Halle, 1912; J. B. Mayor, article ‘James’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) (where the usual references will be found for the legendary history of St. James in Spain); P. W. Schmiedel, article ‘John, Son of Zebedee,’ in Encyclopaedia Biblica ; B. W. Bacon, The Fourth Gospel in Research and Debate, London, 1910; J. Réville, Le Quatrième Evangile, Paris, 1901; E. Schwartz, Ueber den Tod der Söhne Zebedaei (AGG [12] , new ser. vii. 5), Berlin, 1904, also article ‘Johannes und Kerinthos,’ in Zeitschrift für die neutest. Wissenschaft , xv. [13]; W. Heitmüller, ‘Zur Johannes-Tradition,’ ib.
A. E. Brooke.
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - John Epistles of
I. The First Epistle
1. Contents.-It is not easy to summarize the contents of the First Epistle. The ‘aphoristic meditations’ of this mystic writer are strung together in such fashion that they almost defy analysis. The most successful attempt is that of T. Häring (‘Gedankengang und Grundgedanke des 1ten Johannesbriefs,’ in Theol. Abhandlungen C. von Weizsäcker gewidmet, Freiburg i. B., 1892). If we cut off the first four verses, which are clearly an introduction, and also 1 John 5:13-21, which form a final summary, the main body of the Epistle gives us a triple presentation of two leading ideas. The ethical thesis, ‘Without walking in light, more specially defined as love of the brethren, there can be no fellowship with God,’ is developed in the sections 1 John 1:5 to 1 John 2:17, 1 John 2:28(?)1 John 3:24, 1 John 4:7-21. The christological thesis, ‘Beware of those who deny that Jesus is the Christ,’ is similarly developed in 1 John 2:18-27, 1 John 4:1-6, 1 John 5:1(? 5)John 5:5-12. In the first presentation (1 John 1:5 to 1 John 2:27) the two theses are stated without any indication of their mutual connexion; in the second (1 John 2:26 to 1 John 4:6) they are again presented in the same order, but the verses (1 John 3:23-24) which form the transition from the one to the other are so worded as to bring out clearly the intimate connexion which the author finds between them (‘his command is that we should believe, and love as he commanded’); in the third (1 John 4:7 to 1 John 5:12) they are inseparably intertwined. A rough analysis may be attempted.
1 John 1:1-4.-The introduction states the writer’s purpose-to rekindle the true joy of fellowship in his readers, by recalling the old message of Life, which has been from the beginning, and of late has been manifested in Jesus, the Son of God (1 John 1:1-4).
1 John 4:7-218 to 1 John 2:27.-(a) The burden of that message is that God is Light. As the light must shine, so it is of His essence to reveal Himself to those whom He has made to share His fellowship. In spite of what some Gnostics may say, there is nothing in His nature that hides Him from all but a few select souls. But ‘light’ describes, so to speak, His character as well. Fellowship with Light is only possible for those who ‘walk in light.’ To claim fellowship, and go on committing deeds of darkness, is to tell a lie. But for those who try, He has prescribed a way of dealing with their partial failures (1 John 3:19-2260). Two similar false pleas are then set aside: the denial that sin is a real power, active for evil, in those who have sinned, and the denial that actual sin has been committed. They are shown to be contrary to experience, and to what we know of God’s dealing with men (1 John 2:8-10). In 1 John 2:1 the writer sets aside a false inference which might be drawn from what he has said. The universality of sin might seem to be an excuse for acquiescence. The writer states that he writes to prevent, not to condone, sin. And this is possible, or in the Christian society the means are ready to hand for dealing with the sins which occur. The Paraclete is pleading their cause in heaven, and He is the propitiation He ministers. And men can know how they stand. Obedience is the sign of knowledge of God. Men are in union with God when they try to follow the steps of the Christ (1 John 2:2-6). In 1 John 2:7-17 thesis and warning are put forward on the grounds of the readers’ circumstances and experiences. Obedience to command suggests a general statement of the command to love. ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour’ is an old command. It received new force and meaning in the light of Christ’s life, and the new life which Christians have learned to live. This is more clearly realized as in the new society the darkness passes away. A man cannot be in the light and hate his brother Christian. Love lights the path, so that he can walk without stumbling.
The writer then turns to immediate circumstances (1 John 2:12-17). The sin which keeps them far from God has been removed; the experience of the old and the strength of the young have secured victory (1 John 2:12-13 a). This explains how he could write as he has written. Their knowledge and strength made it possible for him to use the words he has penned (1 John 2:13 b, 14). But there is need of hard striving. Love of the world may soon destroy all that they have gained. The world is passing; only that which is done according to God’s will abides (1 John 2:15-17).
(b) So he passes to the first statement of the christological thesis (1 John 2:18-27). Faith in Jesus as the Christ is the test of fellowship with God. The passing of the transitory suggests the signs of the times. The last hour has struck. The saying ‘Antichrist cometh’ is being fulfilled in the many false teachers who have appeared. The Faith had gained a decisive victory, in the unmasking of the traitors, who had to go. The crisis had shown that all such false teachers, however they differed among themselves, were aliens, and no true members of the Body. This the readers knew, if they would use their knowledge. Their anointing had given to all of them knowledge to detect falsehood. Falsehood culminates in the denial that Jesus is the Messiah. This denial includes denial of the Father, in spite of Gnostic claims to superior knowledge. All true knowledge of the Father comes through the Son. It is gained in living and abiding union, the eternal life which He has promised (1 John 2:18-26). This much he must write about the deceivers. If his readers had used their knowledge, he need not have written it (1 John 2:27-28). Let them abide, and confidence will be theirs when ‘He’ appears (1 John 4:1-6). Who can have this confidence? Those who know that God is just, and who therefore learn in the experience of Christian life that the doing of righteousness is the true test of the birth from God (1 John 2:29).
1 John 2:28 to 1 John 4:6.-(a) We pass to the second statement of the ethical thesis (1 John 2:28(?) 1 John 3:24): the doing of righteousness, i.e. love of the brethren, shown in active service, is the sign by which we may know that we are ‘loving God.’ In 1 John 3:1-6 thesis and warning are considered in the light of the duty of self-purification, laid upon us by the gift of sonship and the hope of its consummation. Everyone who has this hope must of necessity purify himself here and now. Lawlessness does not consist only in disobeying the injunctions of a definite code. There is a higher Law which is broken by even act of ἁμαρτία, of failure to realize in life the ideal set before men in the human life of Jesus Christ. This is further explained in 1 John 3:7-18, introduced by an earnest warning against deceivers. The doer of righteousness alone has attained to Christ-like righteousness. The doer of sin still belongs to the Devil, who has been working for sin throughout human history. So, if we realize that for us righteousness finds its clearest expression in love of the brethren, we gain a clear contrast: God’s children, always striving to realize the ideal of sinless love, and the children of the Devil, striving after, or drifting towards, their own ideal of sinful hate and selfish greed Sinlessness, i.e. righteousness, is not the monopoly of a chosen race, or section of men. It is the natural outcome of the new life which every man may have, if he will take it and use it, to follow Christ, not Cain, whose evil life found its natural expression in the final issue of hatred-murder with violence (1 John 3:12). 1 John 3:13-18 contain variations on the same theme. The world’s hatred should not surprise them; it is the natural attitude of those who cannot stand the sight of good. They really ought to know that love and death, murder and eternal life, have nothing in common. And Christ’s example has shown what love is. At least they can show their love in helping their brethren. He who has not even got so far as that need not talk of God’s love. With an exhortation to sincerity in loving service (1 John 3:18) the meditation passes over once more to the tests of truth. How can we know that we are on the side of truth, and still the accusations of our consciences?-By throwing ourselves on God’s omniscience. When a man feels confidence towards God and finds that his prayers are answered-that he wishes for and does the things that God wills-his conscience ceases to accuse (1618644387_5). God’s will is shown in His command-which is more than a series of precepts: He bids men have faith in Christ and love like His. These lead to fellowship with Him. Men know that they have it by their possession of the Spirit which He has given (1 John 3:23-24).
(b) Thus the interlacing of Faith and Love leads on to the second presentation of the christological thesis (1 John 2:28), in such a way as to show its vital connexion with the ethical. The mention of the Spirit suggests the form of the new statement. All spiritual phenomena could not he regarded as the work of God’s Spirit. The spirits must be tested by their attitude to the Christ. The reality of the Incarnation as a permanent union between God and man is the vital truth. The statement (1 John 4:2-3) is followed by a short meditation (1 John 4:4-6) on the attitude of the Church and the world to the two confessions and those who make them. The spirits of truth and error are clearly discerned by the kinds of people who listen to them.
1 John 4:7 to 1 John 5:12.-In these verses, the last and most intricate section of the Epistle, we have the third presentation of the two theses. The remainder of ch. 4 is predominantly ethical, the opening verses of ch. 5 christological, or at least doctrinal. But the two theses are interwoven, and can hardly be separated. Love is the proof of fellowship with God, for God is Love. The true nature of love has been made clear, in terms intelligible to men, in the sending of His Son, as faith conceives it.
In the first explanation of the two combined ideas (1618644387_10), it is shown that love based on faith in the revelation of love given in Christ’s life and work is the proof of ‘knowing God’ and of being ‘loved of God.’ In the second explanation (1 John 5:1 ff.) faith is first. Victory over the world-the forces opposed to God-is gained by faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God. This faith rests historically on a three-fold witness-of the water (the Baptism in which He was set apart for His Messianic work), of the suffering (which culminated on the Cross, and which has dealt with sin), and of the Spirit (who interprets these facts to men). And the work of the Spirit continues in those who follow Christ as thus conceived. They realize the truth in their own experience.
1 John 5:13-21.-So the last christological statement passes out into yet another answer to the question, ‘How can we know?’ (1 John 5:13-17). True confidence is established when men know that prayer is heard because what is asked is in accordance with God’s will. The true answer to prayer is the immediate consciousness that what is taken to God has reached His ear, and may be safely left in His care. Where intercession is possible it will succeed. Then (1 John 5:18-21), with a triple οἴδαμεν, the writer sums up the things he has to say which matter most. Sin can be conquered; we belong to God, whom, we have learned to know in the revelation of Him which His Son has brought down to men. The Epistle closes with the terse warning that His ‘children’ must reject all meaner conceptions of God.
2. The false teachers.-If the analysis given of the teaching of the First Epistle is correct, it follows that edification and exhortation rather than controversy are the writer’s primary objects. He reiterates the leading ideas of his teaching, already familiar to his readers, to kindle once more the enthusiasm of their faith and first love, which is growing cold, to guard them from the dangers which threaten, and to give them tests by which they may ‘know’ the security of their Christian position.
At the same time it is clear that in all he writes he has in view definite forms of false teaching which have proved dangerous, errors both doctrinal and ethical, the fascination of which is a serious menace to their Christian life.
A careful study of the language of the Epistle makes it probable that the author is combating more than one kind of false teaching. His opponents are not all to be found in the same camp. The opinions which he refutes might all have been held by the same opponents; but they do not form a complete system: still less can they be separated into a series of complete homogeneous systems. Probably he offers a few leading truths which in his opinion are the antidote to the manifold errors by which his readers are threatened, while there is one particular party, to whose opinions recent circumstances have given a predominant importance.
The expressions used suggest variety. Many antichrists have come (1 John 2:18); all of them, whatever their differences may be, are aliens to the truth (1 John 2:19). The repeated use of πᾶς (1 John 2:21; 1 John 2:23) suggests manifold and varied opposition. ‘Those who lead astray’ are spoken of in the plural (1 John 2:26). The one χρίσμα, which all have, should have taught them all things. The same variety is suggested by ch. 4. Many false prophets are gone out into the world. Every spirit which does not confess (dissolves?) Jesus is ‘not of God’; Antichrist is working in many subordinates (1 John 2:2-3). It is only in ch. 5 that the writer seems, to narrow the issues down to one particular form of error; the denial that the sufferings and death of Jesus were an essential part of His Messianic work. Even here his method is the same. He emphasizes a few fundamental truths which should safeguard his readers from all the varied dangers which threaten. A special incident is the occasion of his writing. He has in view several forms of error.
(1) Judaism.-Jews who have never accepted Christianity are not the only enemy. The words ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐξῆθον (1 John 2:19) must refer to a definite secession of those who were generally recognized as Christians. But Jewish opposition is clearly a serious danger. This is shown by the writer’s insistence on the confession that Jesus is the Messiah (1 John 2:22; cf. 1 John 4:2; 1 John 5:6). The Jewish controversy is prominent throughout. The Jewish War and the Destruction or Jerusalem must have profoundly affected the relation of Judaism to Christianity. Jewish Christians were placed in a desperate position. Hitherto they had no doubt hoped against hope for the recognition of Jesus as Messiah by the majority of their countrymen. But the final catastrophe had come, and the Lord had not returned to save His people. Christians had not been slow to draw the obvious conclusion from the fate of Jerusalem. And Jewish Christians could expect nothing but the bitterest hostility from their fellow-countrymen. Apostasy was now the only possible condition of reunion. If some openly accepted the condition, many Jewish Christians must have been sorely tempted to think that their estimate of Jesus as Messiah had been mistaken, and to regard Him as a Prophet indeed, but not as Messiah, still less as the unique Son of God. This danger, which threatened Jewish Christians primarily, must have affected the whole body. The prominence of the Jewish controversy in the Fourth Gospel is now generally recognized. It is less prominent in the Epistle, but there is no essential difference of situation.
At the same time it is only one element in the situation. A. Wurm (Die Irrlehrer im 1. Johannesbrief, 1903) is not justified in deducing from the words of 1 John 2:23 the exclusively Jewish character of the false teaching combated. The author certainly deduces the fact that the opponents ‘have not the Father’ from their false Christology. It does not follow, however, that he and his opponents were at one in their doctrine of the Father. He could not have written as he has unless they claimed to ‘have the Father’; but they may have claimed it in a different sense from that of orthodox Christian. The passage is more easily explained if we suppose that the writer has in view a claim to a superior knowledge of the Father imparted to a few ‘spiritual’ natures, unattainable by the ordinary Christian. All true knowledge of the Father comes through Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God. By rejecting the truth about Jesus they forfeited all claim to Knowledge of the Father.
(2) Gnosticism.-There is no clear evidence in the Epistles of the fully developed Gnostic systems of the 2nd century. There are, for instance, many simpler explanations of the use of σπέρμα αὐτοῦ in 1 John 3:9 than Pfleiderer’s hypothesis that it refers to the system of Basilides. But undoubtedly Gnostic ideas are an important element in the mental circumstances of the writer and his age. The burden of his message is that God is Light (1 John 1:5), and the reiteration of this in negative form is probably aimed at the view that the Father of all is unknowable or that know ledge of Him is the monopoly of a ‘pneumatic’ minority. The Gnostic claim, real or supposed, that the πνευματικοί are superior to the obligations of the Moral Law is roughly handled. And the insistence with which intellectual claims are met by the challenge to fulfil the Christian duty of love and its obligations is significant. The confession demanded of ‘Jesus Christ come in flesh’ is a protest against the Gnostic doctrine of the impossibility of real union between the spiritual seed and flesh. And at the same time the writer’s sympathy with Gnostic ideas is obvious. Here as elsewhere, he is always reminding his ‘children’ that they are old enough to refuse the evil and to choose the good.
Gnostic ideas afford no criterion for dating the Epistles of John. It is, of course, a perversion of history to assume that Gnostic ideas first came into contact with Christianity when Christians began to think in terms of Greek philosophy, towards the middle of the 2nd century. The movement is Oriental rather than Greek, and far older in date. But its reflexion in these Epistles is a patent fact.
(3) Docetism.-It is customary to speak of the Johannine Epistles, and also of the Gospel, as anti-Docetic (cf. Schmiedel [1], Moffatt [2]). If the term is used popularly of all teaching which denied or subverted thee reality of the Incarnation, this is true. ‘The Word was made Flesh,’ ‘Jesus Christ came in flesh,’ are the watchwords of Gospel and Epistles. But there is no real trace in these writings of Docetism in the stricter sense of the term, i.e. the teaching denounced by Ignatius (Smyrn. 2ff.; cf. Trall. 10f.), which assigned a purely phantasmal body to the Lord. And it is probable that in the development of christological thought theories of pure Docetism are a later stage than the assumption of a temporary connexion between a Heavenly Power and the real manhood of Jesus of Nazareth (cf., however, Lightfoot and Pfleiderer).
(4) Cerinthianism.-We have seen that the writer has to deal with dangers which threaten from several quarters. As the Epistle proceeds, his attack becomes more direct, and the Christological passage in ch. 5 contains clearer reference to one definite form of error-the denial that Jesus, the Son of God, came by ‘blood’ as well as by ‘water,’ i.e. that the Sufferings and Death of Jesus were as essential a note of His Messianic work as the Baptism by John. This suits the teaching of Cerinthus as described by Irenaeus (c. Haer, i. xxvi. 1): ‘post baptismum descendisse in eum ab ea principalitate quae est super omnia Christum figura columbae et tunc annunciasse incognitum patrem, et uirtutes perfecisse, in fine autem reuolasse iterum Christum de lesu, et Iesum passum esse et resurrexisse, Christum autem impassibilem perseuerasse, existentem spiritalem.’ The traditional view that ch. 5 contains a reference to Cerinthianism has been held by the majority of scholars of all schools who have dealt with the Epistle. This view has been seriously challenged especially by Wurm (op. cit.) and Clemen (Zeitschrift für die neutest. Wissenschaft vi. [3] 271ff.) on the ground that 1 John 2:23 excludes Cerinthianism, as it implies that the writer and his opponents are conscious of no difference of view in their doctrine of the Father. If the suggestion made above (§ 2 (1)) that that passage gains in point if the opponents claimed a superior ‘having the Father’ to that of ordinary Christians, the objection falls to the ground. The limits of this article preclude a general discussion of our knowledge of Cerinthianism. The present writer has discussed it at length in his Johannine Epistles (International Critical Commentary , 1912), p. xlv ff.). There are good reasons for thinking that Hippolytus in his Syntagma ascribed to Cerinthus the view that the Spirit (not the Christ) descended on Jesus at the Baptism. If so, this gives additional force to the description in 1 John 5:6 f. of the proper function of the Spirit. It would seem that Cerinthus continued these Judaizing and Gnostic tendencies which the author of these Epistles regarded as most dangerous. But ‘many Antichrists had come to be’ even if Cerinthus is most prominently in his thoughts.
(5) Ethical error.-In his denunciations of ethical error there is no reason to suppose that the writer has a different class of opponents in view. He could not have connected his ethical and christological theses as he has, if the two sources of danger had been separate. At the same time, in his practical warnings as well as in his christological teaching his words have a wider reference than one particular body of opponents. There is no reason to suppose that any of the opponents had been guilty of the grosser sins of the flesh. The phrase ἐπιθυμία τῆς σαρκός (1 John 2:17) does not imply this. And the Epistle is not directed against Antinomianism, as has been sometimes wrongly inferred from 1 John 3:4. It would seem that they claimed a superior knowledge of God to which ordinary Christians could not attain, while disregarding some at least of the requirements of the Christian code, especially the love which shows itself in active service for the brethren. They hardly recognized the obligation of the new command of John 13:34. While condemning lawlessness (cf. 1 John 3:4)-and many of them no doubt recognized the obligations of the Mosaic Law-they failed to see that all falling short of the ideal revealed as possible in the human life of Jesus is disobedience to God’s highest Law. The indifference of conduct, as compared with other supposed qualifications, as e.g. descent from Abraham, or possession of the ‘pneumatic’ seed, is clearly part of their ethical creed. In this sphere also a mixture of Judaizing and Gnostic tendencies such as may reasonably be attributed to Cerinthianism will explain the language of the Apostle in which the ethical shortcomings of the opponents are denounced.
3. Relation to the Gospel.-The authorship of the Epistles is closely connected with the question of the authorship of the Gospel. It is impossible to attempt here even a summary of the controversy. The relation, however, of the longer Epistle to the Gospel and to the shorter Epistles must be considered. The similarity of style and content is so marked that the obvious explanation of common authorship might seem to need no further discussion. But the views of an increasing number of competent critics cannot be neglected. Holtzmann’s articles (JPTh [4] vii. [5], viii. [6]) are still the fullest and fairest statement of the views of those who reject the idea of common authorship. A rough estimate makes the vocabulary of the Epistle 295 words, of which 69 only are not found in the Gospel. The general impression formed by reading verses or chapters of the documents is probably a safer guide. There can be no doubt as to the prevalence of characteristic and distinctive words and phrases common to both. The similarity extends to common types of phrases variously filled up. Attention has often been called to the following points of similarity in style: the carrying on of the thought by the use of οὐ … ἀλλά, by disconnected sentences, by the positive and negative expression of the same thought; the use of the demonstrative, ἐν τούτῳ, etc., followed by an explanatory clause to emphasize a thought; the repetition of emphatic words. Such phenomena leave us with the choice between an author, varying his own phrases and forms of expression, and a slavish imitator.
The similarity extends to content as well. The leading ideas-the reality of the Incarnation, the life which springs from Christ and is identified with Him, abiding in Christ and in God, the sending of the Son as the proof of God’s love, the birth from God, the importance of witness, many well-known pairs of opposites-are equally prominent in both writings. They find that kind of similar but varied expression which suggests an author doing what he would with his own, rather than the work of a copyist. And the differences, though real, are not greater than are naturally explained by differences of time, circumstances, and object. The question of priority has also been the subject of long controversy. The priority of the Epistle has been maintained on the following grounds:
(1) The introductory verses are said to present an earlier stage of the Logos doctrine than the Prologue of the Gospel. The personal Logos is a stage not yet reached. Even if this is true, the facts might equally well be explained by the theory that in the Epistle we have a further accommodation to the growing Monarchianism of a later period. And if we take the whole Epistle into account, it is clear that the ‘personal differentiation’ of Father and Son is stated in the Epistle as definitely as in the Logos doctrine of the Gospel. And it is far easier to explain the opening expressions of the Epistle as a summary of that Prologue than vice versa.
(2) The ἄλλος παράκλητος of John 14:16 has been
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - John (the Apostle)
JOHN (THE APOSTLE).—As the Gospels are but memorabilia of Jesus, giving relatively but meagre accounts of His life and works, it is to be expected that they can afford us only glimpses of the Apostles. Such is the case; and, while a few more references are made to Peter, James, and John than to the others, we have no such material as allows any more than a fragmentary account of any one. Tradition has, in the case of each Apostle, added to the Scripture narrative a story of subsequent activity and fate. For convenience of reference, therefore, to all that is known of John we may group the materials under the following heads: (1) those found in the Scriptures; (2) those given us by tradition. To the account thus obtained we shall add a brief delineation of his character.
i. The Testimony of Scripture.—Preliminary to giving the facts in their chronological order, it is well to call attention to the almost universal identification of the unnamed disciple of the Fourth Gospel with John.* [1]
John is first introduced to us as a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:35). How long he had been with this stern preacher of the desert we do not know, but the time was one of preparation for the higher discipleship soon to follow. After the Temptation Jesus returned to the Jordan. Then and there John first met Jesus, and, with Andrew, showed such deep interest in Him that He invited them to go with Him to His abode. So critical was the hour when they went—four o’clock in the afternoon—that it was remembered long years after (John 1:36-40). John’s home was in Galilee (probably at Bethsaida), where his father, Zebedee, a man apparently of means (Mark 1:20), was busy as a fisherman on the Lake. His mother was Salome (cf. Matthew 27:56 with Mark 15:40). On the next day after his first meeting with Jesus, John accompanied Him to Galileé, and was present at the marriage feast at Cana (John 2:1-11). From Cana they went to Capernaum, in order, perhaps, to make ready for going up to Jerusalem to the Passover. At this first Passover Jesus cleansed the Temple, and also ‘did signs’ which awakened popular interest. Here also He conversed with Nicodemus (John 2:13 to John 3:21). The capital had not shown itself ready for the work He wished to do, so Jesus withdrew into the country of Judaea and summoned the people to the baptism of repentance, just as the Baptist himself was doing. John was with Him all through this sojourn of over seven months in Judaea, and doubtless assisted in the administering of the baptismal rite, for Jesus did not Himself baptize (John 4:2). At the end of this period Jesus returned by way of Samaria to Galilee. On the way occurred the incident of the Samaritan woman, so fully depicted for us in the Fourth Gospel (John 4:1-42). Once more the Master came to Cana, and while there cured the nobleman’s son (John 4:46-54). For a brief time John seems now to have been at home, and to have engaged in his customary business of fishing; but the Baptist’s imprisonment was the signal to Jesus for more vigorous work, and He appeared at the Lake-side to call to be His permanent escort the men who had already acknowledged Him and given Him some service (Mark 1:16-20, Matthew 4:18-22, Luke 5:1-11). John now entered upon that second stage of discipleship which was to prepare him for his life-work. The record of events which shows Jesus performing miracles and preaching in the towns and villages of Galilee is the record of John’s training (see Mark 1:21 to Mark 2:22). When, some time afterwards, John was chosen to the Apostolate (Mark 3:13-19 a, Matthew 10:2-4, Luke 6:12-19), it was but to confirm him in the position he had already occupied, and to make more definite his mission. At this time Jesus called him and his brother Boanerges, that is, ‘sons of thunder’ (Mark 3:17). See Boanerges.
As from this time onwards the most of John’s experiences were common to all the Apostles, it is necessary to mark only those which were in any way exceptional for him. They are sufficient to show that he was among the most prominent of the little band, and that he was especially close in friendship to the Master. With Peter and James he saw the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:37, Luke 8:51). These three were with Jesus upon the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:2, Matthew 17:1, Luke 9:28). It was John who ‘answered and said, Master we saw one casting out devils in thy name: and we forbade him, because he followeth not with us’ (Mark 9:38, Luke 9:49). It was he and James who wished to call down fire upon an inhospitable Samaritan village (Luke 9:54). His mistaken ambition for high place at the side of his Master is recorded in Mark 10:37, Matthew 20:21. He took part in the questioning about the time for the fulfilment of the solemn prophecies concerning Jerusalem (Mark 13:3). He and Peter were sent to make ready the Passover (Luke 22:8). At the supper itself he reclined ‘in Jesus’ bosom’ (see art. Bosom), and asked Him who it was that was to be the betrayer (John 13:23-25). In the garden of Gethsemane he was, with Peter and James, near his Master (Mark 14:33, Matthew 26:37). Panic-stricken, he fled with all the other disciples at the time of the arrest (Matthew 26:56), but soon recovered himself, and followed the procession to the palace of the high priest (John 18:15). Being known to the high priest, he was admitted to the court of the palace, and secured entrance for Peter (v. 16). Faithful now to the last, he stood near the cross, and there received the commission to care for the mother of Jesus (John 19:26-27). On the morning of the resurrection Mary Magdalene tells him and Peter of the empty grave, and they hasten together to the spot (John 20:2-3). In the account of the appearance of the risen Lord in Galilee (John 21:2-7) the ‘sons of Zebedee’ have special mention, and again in the closing scene and words of the Fourth Gospel the impression that he should not die before the Lord’s coming is corrected, and the truthfulness of his witness as given in this Gospel confirmed (John 21:20-24).
Outside of the Gospels there are but few references to him in the NT. In the Acts he appears twice in the company of Peter. As they were going together, at the hour of prayer, to the Temple, they met a man, lame from birth, at the Beautiful Gate, and cured him. The deed caused great excitement, and a large crowd gathered around them in Solomon’s porch. While they were speaking to the people the authorities came, and ‘being sore troubled because they taught the people,’ arrested them, and on the following day brought them before the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:3). Later, he and Peter were sent to Samaria to those who had received the word of God under Philip’s ministry, and ‘they prayed for these that they might receive the Holy Ghost’ (Acts 8:14; Acts 8:16). About a.d. 50 we find John in Jerusalem, for at that time Paul meets him there and consults with him regarding his work among the Gentiles (Galatians 2:1-9). He was at this time one of the pillars of the Church. The only other mention of him in the NT is in Revelation 1:4; Revelation 1:9
ii. The testimony of tradition
1. Regarding John’s residence in Ephesus.—From the time of his meeting with Paul in Jerusalem until his activity in later life at Ephesus, we have no certain knowledge of the Apostle. Nicephorus (Historia Ecclesiastica ii. 2) tells us that Mary lived with John in Jerusalem for eleven years after the death of the Lord. There is nothing unlikely in this story, unless it be, as Godet suggests, that ‘his own home’ (John 19:27) was in Galilee rather than in the capital, in which case there would be an explanation of the Apostle’s absence at the time of Paul’s first visit to the city (Galatians 1:18-19). It is but conjecture, however, which fixes the date of his final departure from Jerusalem, though we know that he was not there when Paul came for the last time (Acts 21:18 ff.), and that the signs of the impending destruction of the city caused all the Christians to retire to Pella, e. 68 a.d. (Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 5. 3). It is of more moment to inquire why he should go to Ephesus, and in answer two reasons may be given: (a) the importance of this city as a centre for missionary activity; and (b) the necessity of carrying on and developing the work of Paul. In the latter part of the 1st cent. ‘the Church’s centre of gravity was no longer at Jerusalem; it was not yet at Rome; it was at Ephesus’ (Thiersch, quoted by Godet, Com. on John, vol. i. p. 45). Not only within the borders of this city had Christianity made a marked impression, but all about were cities in which the Church had been established. The seven letters in the Apocalypse enable us to see what ceaseless vigilance and intelligent care were needed to protect these Churches from error in doctrine, and to keep them faithful in life. No louder call for Apostolic service could be given than this part of the world was then giving, and, as far as tradition is concerned, there can be little doubt that John responded to this call. Just at this point, however, criticism, in the interest of its discussions regarding the authorship of the Fourth Gospel, has taken its stand, and tried to make it appear that tradition is untrustworthy. The Ephesian residence of John is therefore a critical matter, and as such must be given somewhat extended attention. The main witnesses for the common tradition are Irenaeus, Polycrates (Bishop of Ephesus), and Clement of Alexandria.
(a) Irenaeus bears repeated testimony to the Apostle’s presence in Asia, and says explicitly:
‘Afterwards’ (i.e. after the first three) ‘John the disciple of the Lord, who also lay on His breast, likewise published a Gospel while dwelling at Ephesus’ (adv. Haer. iii. 1). Polycarp was not only instructed by the Apostles, and had intercourse with many who had seen Christ, but he was also installed by the Apostles as Bishop in Asia in the Church at Smyrna. ‘We also saw him (Polycarp) in our earliest youth, for he lived very long, and left this life at a great age, having suffered a glorious and brilliant martyrdom, and having always taught what he had learned from the Apostles.’ Also the Church at Ephesus, founded by Paul, and with which John lived till Trajan’s time (98–117), ‘is a truthful witness to the tradition of the Apostles’ (ib. iii. 3, 4). In a letter to Florinus, a part of which has been preserved by Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica v. 20), Irenaeus tells of his vivid recollections of Polycarp. The way of the venerable martyr’s life, his bodily form, the discourses he gave to the people, and the account which he gave of his intercourse with John and with the rest who had seen the Lord, were clearer to him (Irenaeus) in memory than many recent experiences. Again, when Victor the Bishop of Rome excommunicated the Quartodeciman Churches, Irenaeus wrote admonishing the Bishop, and, in the course of what he had to say, referred to the difference between Anicetus and Polycarp over the Paschal question, in these words: ‘Anicetus could not persuade Polycarp not to observe what he had always observed with John the disciple of our Lord and the other Apostles with whom he had associated’ (Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica v. 24).
The value of all this testimony is enhanced when one marks the overlapping of lives which is here evident. Polycarp suffered martyrdom in the year a.d. 155 at the age of 86. He was born, therefore, in the year 69. If John lived until Trajan’s time, it were easily possible for the two to have associated with each other. Irenaeus while a boy (12–18 years of age) listened with peculiar and observant attentiveness to Polycarp. These three names cover over a century. They link together in such a manner the experiences of personal associations and reverent memories that the evidence for John’s presence in Ephesus seems well-nigh conclusive. Its cogency, however, is supposed to be greatly weakened by two important considerations: (a) the silence among older writers regarding the Ephesian residence, and (b) the possible confusion, on the part of Irenaeus, of John the Apostle with John the Presbyter. At first sight the silence of Polycarp and Ignatius is surprising, but it is not beyond explanation. Polycarp’s letter is to the Philippian Church, and calls for no reference to John. The absence of all mention of the Apostle in the Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians is not so easy to account for, but an argument from silence is precarious when one considers how sparingly he brings in even the name of Paul. It is apparently the similarity of their fortunes which leads him to speak of this Apostle at all, for just as Paul had sent for the elders of the Ephesian Church to meet him at Miletus on his way to imprisonment in Rome, so Ignatius at Smyrna received a delegation from Ephesus (Ephes. 12). This would exclude any reference to John; and in view of all other evidence, it can be as certainly affirmed, as it can be denied, that the general reference in the previous section covers the name of John. This reference is, ‘May I be found in the lot of the Christians of Ephesus, who have always been of the same mind with the Apostles through the power of Jesus Christ’ (Ephes. 11). When, moreover, one takes into account the scantiness of the remains of this early period, the probable growth of John’s reputation during the 2nd century, and the prevalence in the Ignatian Epistles themselves of a Johannine type of teaching (see von der Goltz’s ‘Ignatius von Antiochien als Christ und Theolog’ in TU [2] , Bd. xii. [3]), the argument from silence loses much of its force. The other consideration urged against the testimony of Irenaeus is really a seconding of the correction made by Eusebius of the declaration of Irenaeus that ‘Papias was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp’ (adv. Haer. v. 33. 4).* [4] The words of Eusebius are found in his History, iii. 39. After quoting the above words from Irenaeus, he says, ‘But Papias himself by no means declares that he was himself a hearer and eye-witness of the holy Apostles’; and then he goes on to infer that it was the Presbyter John who was meant in the statement of Irenaeus. This brings us to the examination of the witness of Papias in its bearing upon the whole question. In his preface to his Expositions of the Oracles of the Lord he says:
‘But I shall not hesitate also to put down for you along with my interpretations whatsoever things I have at any time learned carefully from the elders and carefully remembered, guaranteeing their truth. For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those that speak much, but in those that speak the truth; not in those that relate strange commandments, but in those that deliver the commandments given by the Lord to faith and springing from the truth itself. If, then, anyone came who had been a follower of the elders, I questioned him in regard to the words of the elders—what Andrew or what Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the disciples of the Lord, and what things Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say. For I did not think that what was to be gotten from the books would profit me as much as what came from the living and abiding voice’ (Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 39).
A just interpretation of these words must allow for a distinction between the Apostle John and the Presbyter John, but the inference based on the tense of the verb in the sentence, ‘What things Aristion and the Presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say,’—that Papias was actually a hearer of the Presbyter,—is very questionable. Much discussion has been given to the import of this latter part of Papias’ preface. A thoroughly satisfactory understanding is, however, that which makes these words we have just quoted refer not to the spoken witness, but to the written testimony of Aristion and the Presbyter John.* [5] In his search for enlightenment Papias inquired after the unwritten sayings of all referred to except Aristion and John the Presbyter. In their case his inquiry was concerning their written sayings about which there might be some doubt. ‘The books,’ bearing possibly such titles as ‘Narratives of Aristion,’ or ‘Traditions of the Presbyter John,’ needed confirmation by competent witnesses. Papias had not the same confidence in them as in oral reports. Points which confirm this understanding are (1) the hesitation of Eusebius about his own inference that Papias was an actual hearer of John the Presbyter [6]; (2) the suggested antitheses in the phrases ‘his own writing’ and ‘unwritten tradition,’ which are found in the accounts of the sources of Papias later on in the same section (Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 39: ‘The same author has communicated also other things that came to him as from unwritten tradition’; ‘but he also commits to his own writing other narratives of the sayings of the Lord of the aforesaid Aristion and traditions of the Presbyter John’). ‘His own writing’ suggests somebody else’s writing; the ‘unwritten tradition’ suggests written tradition. If this interpretation of the words of Papias be true, then it affords no evidence that Papias was a hearer of the Presbyter John. Indeed, it does not require us to think that he was living at the time the words of Papias were written, or that he was even ever in Ephesus at all. The only support we have for this last supposition is Dionysius of Alexandria, who in the interests of the authorship of the Apocalypse by some other John than the Apostle cites the tradition that ‘there are two monuments in Ephesus, each bearing the name of John.’
We come hack now to Irenaeus. The statement which he makes regarding the relationship of Papias to the Apostle John and to Polycarp is not derived from the preface of Papias (see above), and if there is no possible confusion in the two Johns, we need only ask what value the positive statement of Irenaeus really has. Recall for a moment his reference to Polycarp. If these words are true, and there is no reason to doubt them, then it was no mere passing acquaintance which Irenaeus had with Polycarp. He had carefully observed him, and attentively listened to his discourses. Can it be possible that he understood him, whenever he spoke of John, to be referring to John the Presbyter, and was Polycarp himself talking of his intercourse with John the Presbyter? Such confusion as this on the part of men so intimately related is quite improbable. Certainly it is equally improbable that, at the early time of Polycarp, John the Presbyter should have become such a figure in Ephesus that Polycarp could speak of him exactly as if he were John the Apostle. There is therefore no sufficient reason for doubting the testimony of Irenaeus.
(b) In turning to the witness of Polycrates, it is well to note that he was Bishop of Ephesus, had seven relatives who were bishops, and was at the time of his letter to Victor, Bishop of Rome, an old enough man to have been living at the time of Polycarp. He was therefore in a position to know fully whereof he wrote. This fact of the continuity of experiences as lying behind these several testimonies needs repeated emphasis. In his letter to Victor (see Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica v. 24) he is writing upon the Quartodeciman question, and citing his authorities for the observance of the ‘fourteenth day of the Passover according to the Gospel.’ Among these he places ‘John, who was both a witness and a teacher who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and being a priest wore the sacerdotal plate. He fell asleep at Ephesus.’
The reference to one ‘who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord’ seems to point unmistakably to the Apostle, but two statements of Polycrates seem to some to run counter to this: (1) That he was a priest and wore the sacerdotal plate (τό πεταλον). From the fact that Epiphanius (Haer, xxvii. 14) says the same of James the brother of the Lord, it is probably a purely figurative statement, indicating the exalted and revered position of these men among their Christian brethren. (2) The other counter-statement is derived from the notice given of Philip in this same letter. It is claimed that Polycrates has clearly confused the Apostles and Evangelists, hence he may have in the same way confused John the Apostle with John the Presbyter. The whole question turns upon the allusion to the daughters of Philip. Briefly stated, the disputed evidence is this. Papias, the earliest witness, places Philip among the Apostles (Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 39). Then he goes on to relate a wonderful tale which he heard from the daughters of Philip. There is no indication whatever that this is not the same Philip just referred to. Polycrates now follows with his testimony that among those who had died in Asia was ‘Philip, one of the Twelve Apostles, who sleeps in Hierapolis, and his two virgin daughters and another daughter who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus’ (Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 31). Again the reference to the Apostle is clear. Clement of Alexandria declares that the Apostles Peter and Philip had children, and that Philip gave his daughters to husbands (Strom. iii. 6). From all this it is clear that the Apostle Philip had daughters. So far there seems to be no confusion. If this comes in at all, it appears in a statement of Proclus, who, speaking of the death of Philip and his daughters, says: ‘After this arose four prophetesses, the daughters of Philip, at Hierapolis in Asia. Their tomb is there, and the tomb of their father’ (Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 31). The close resemblance of this record to the statement in Acts 21:9 makes it appear that the Evangelist is referred to; but even if the identification of the two Philips be here allowed, it is made comparatively late, and need not involve Polycrates. ‘The report of Polycrates deserves our credence rather than that of Proclus, because, in the first place, Polycrates was earlier than Proclua; in the second place, because his report is more exact, and it is hard to imagine how, if all four were buried in one place, the more detailed report of Polycrates could have arisen, while on the other hand it is quite easy to explain the rise of the more general but inexact account of Proclus’ (McGiffert on Eusebius, in loco.). It should be noted also that we have in Polycrates, as a contemporary of Irenaeus, an independent witness.
(c) It is in connexion with the story of the young convert who subsequently became a robber that Clement of Alexandria speaks of John’s residence in Asia. The value of this testimony lies in the fact that Clement, in gathering memoranda to be ‘stored up against old age as a remedy against forgetfulness,’ had collected traditions handed down ‘from the holy Apostles Peter, James, John, and Paul, the sons receiving it from the father.’ As Drummond says of this witness, ‘It seems probable that we have here a distinct line of tradition which affords independent confirmation of the statements of Irenaeus and Polycrates.’ The clearness, positiveness, and fulness of the witness of these three, taken together with the personal relations involved, affords adequate basis for the general belief of the Church that in the latter part of his life John made his home in Ephesus.
2. Regarding John’s banishment to Patmos.—The discussion of the deliverances of tradition in regard to John’s exile in Patmos is vitally connected with the authorship of the Apocalypse (see art. ‘John, Gospel of,’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible ii. 707 ff.). The references to this fact are quite numerous in the Fathers, and begin with Clement of Alexandria (a.d. 190). Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome all speak of it, but do not agree as to the time of it. Epiphanius (Haer. 12) assigns it to the reign of Claudius, while Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius, and Jerome place it in the reign of Domitian. Internal evidence from the Apocalypse itself favours an early time, while tradition is explicit about the later date. All testimonies to the exile are probably based upon the statement found in Revelation 1:9, and this gives no real foundation for any banishment at all. If John was in Patmos, it may be that he went thither, as Weiss supposes, to find a religious retreat, or, as others think, to avoid persecution.
3. Regarding John’s death.—In accord with the statement of Irenaeus that ‘John remained among them (the disciples) in Asia up to the time of Trajan’ (adv. Haer. ii. 22), it has been generally believed that the Apostle lived to a ripe old age, and died quietly at Ephesus. Of late this opinion has been earnestly disputed, on the basis of a statement found in the Chronicle of Georgius Hamartolos (9th cent.), which reads, ‘Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, declares in the second book of the Oracles of the Lord that John was put to death by the Jews.’ This testimony has been confirmed by the de Boor Fragment, which expressly says that Papias tells in his second book of the death of James and John at the hands of the Jews. Of course, if John the Apostle died in this way, there is nothing left but to take some other John as the John of Ephesus; and all the testimony of Irenaeus, Polycrates, and Clement of Alexandria has a confusion of names underlying it; also the John of the Apostolic council (Galatians 2:9) was not the son of Zebedee. All this is by no means likely. Various attempts have been made to account for the record of Georgius—such as Lightfoot’s supposition of a lacuna, which was later filled in as we now have it (see Essay on Supernatural Religion, p. 211 ff.); or Zahn’s (Forsch. vi. 147–151) of an interpolation, and that Papias was really referring to the Baptist; but the more probable explanation is that the statement arose from a desire to find a fulfilment of Mark 10:38-39, and a mistaken interpretation of the word μαρτυρῶν, which in its earlier sense did not necessarily involve death. It is certainly not easy to understand why Eusebius and others ignored the fact, if such it was.
Thus far we have sought to get at the real facts of tradition. It will surprise no one to know that the life of one so eminent as John was embellished with all manner of legends, such as his meeting with Cerinthus in the bath-house at Ephesus (adv. Haer. iii. 3, 4); his being carried in extreme old age to the church, and saying, ‘Little children, love one another’ (Jerome, Com. ad Gal. vi. 11); his recovery of the young robber from his life of shame (Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 23); his immersion in a caldron of boiling oil (Tert. Praescript. Haer. ch. xxvi.); and a number of others. Some of them may have germs of truth in them. They all seek in some way to illustrate the noble character of the man, or to interpret the prophecy of the Gospels regarding his earthly destiny.
iii. The character of John.—It is commonly thought that John was of a gentle, contemplative nature, and almost effeminate in character. Contemplative he was, and the Gospel is but an expression of his profound meditation upon the character and work of his Master; but a moment’s reflexion upon some of the scenes of the Gospels (see Matthew 20:20-24, Luke 9:49; Luke 9:54), in correspondence with which are some of the legends regarding his later life, will show that this Apostle was, at least in earlier life, impetuous, intolerant, a
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - John the Baptist
JOHN THE BAPTIST
i.John’s Importance, and Sources for his History.
ii.Birth, Youth, and Pre-Prophetic Life.
iii.The Public Ministry.
iv.John’s Baptism of Jesus and Witness regarding Him.
v.Imprisonment and Death.
vi.John and his Disciples.
vii.Our Lord’s Estimate of John.
i. John’s Importance, and Sources for his History.—The significance of John the Baptist for the history of Christianity is shown by the place given him in the Gospel records by every one of the four Evangelists. St. Mark describes John’s mission in the very first words of his narrative as ‘the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God’ mark (Mark 1:1). St. Luke makes the story of John’s birth the prelude to his wonderful narrative of the greater birth at Bethlehem (Luke 1:5 ff.). The three Synoptists are agreed in representing his mission as the necessary preparation, in accordance with OT prophecy, for the manifestation of the Christ (Mark 1:2-3, Matthew 3:3, Luke 3:4 ff.), while in all the Gospels his baptism of Jesus becomes the moment of the Lord’s equipment with the Spirit for His Messianic office (Mark 1:9 ff., Matthew 3:16 f., Luke 3:21 f.; cf. John 1:32 ff.). In the Prologue to his Gospel the Fourth Evangelist describes John as ‘a man sent from God,’ who ‘came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him (i.e. Jesus) might believe’ (John 1:6-7). In accordance with this general sense of John’s great importance for Christ and Christianity is the space devoted to him in the Gospel narratives as a whole. It is true that Lk. alone furnishes any information about him previous to the moment when he suddenly issued from his retirement in the wilderness and began to preach the baptism of repentance in the Jordan Valley, and true also that in the case of the Fourth Gospel it is difficult often to distinguish between the Evangelist’s statements as a historian and his own subjective exposition. But when we put together all the references to John’s ministry and history and character which we find either in the form of historical narrative, or testimony from the lips of Jesus, or reflexion on the part of an Evangelist, and when we make use besides of one or two sidelights which fall from the book of Acts and the pages of Josephus, we find that for knowledge regarding the Baptist’s mission, his character, his relation to Jesus Christ, and his place in the history of both the old and the new dispensations, we are in no lack of plentiful and trustworthy sources of information.
ii. Birth, Youth, and Pre-Prophetic Life
The fact that Lk. alone of the Gospels gives an account of John’s earlier life, together with the artistic nature of the narrative and its presumed discrepancy with the representation of the Fourth Gospel in respect of a connexion between John and Jesus previous to the baptism of the latter (cf. Luke 1:36; Luke 1:56 with John 1:31; John 1:33), has frequently been supposed to reduce this exquisite story to the level of pure legend. In view, however, of St. Luke’s claims to historical accuracy (Luke 1:1; Luke 1:4), and of the vindication of these claims at so many points by modern research (cf. W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, ch. i., Was Christ born at Bethlehem?; Chase, The Credibility of Acts), it is impossible to set his narrative aside as if it rested on no basis of historical fact. It is full of poetry, no doubt, but it is the kind of poetry which bursts like a flower from the living stem of actual truth. Any attempt to dissolve the narrative into fictions of a later growth must reckon with the fact that the Evangelist is evidently making use at this point of an early Aramaic source steeped in the colours of the OT—‘the earliest documentary evidence respecting the origins of Christianity which has come down to us, evidence which may justly be called contemporary’ (Plummer, ‘St. Luke’ in Internat. Crit. Com., p. 7). This document, which, if it is historical, must have rested in large part upon the authority of the Virgin Mary, St. Luke, ‘as a faithful collector of evangelic memorabilia, allows to speak for itself, with here and there an editorial touch’ (Bruce, Expositor’s Gr. Test., ad loc.). To appreciate the historical sobriety and manifestly primary character of this early Jewish-Christian source, we have only to compare the first chapter of Lk. with the relative sections of the Protevangelium Jacobi, and especially with those chapters (22–24) which Harnack calls the Apocryphum Zachariae (see Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible, Extra Vol. p. 431).
According to Lk., John was the son of Zacharias, a priest of the course of Abijah (see art. Zacharias), and his wife Elisabeth who belonged to the family of Aaron (Luke 1:5 ff.). Elisabeth was a kinswoman (not ‘cousin,’ see Plummer, op. cit. p. 25) of the Virgin Mary (John 1:36), who paid her a three months’ visit immediately before the birth of John (Luke 1:56, cf. Luke 1:36; Luke 1:39-40). John was the senior of Jesus by six months (Luke 1:36; Luke 1:57, cf. John 2:6). The name John, properly Johanan (Ἰωάννης = יוֹהָנָן, cf. Heb. text and LXX Septuagint of 1 Chronicles 3:24, 2 Chronicles 28:12), was given to the child by his parents in obedience to a Divine direction (Luke 1:13), and in spite of the opposition of neighbours and kinsfolk (Luke 1:58-63).
Regarding the place of John’s birth there has been much discussion. Lk. describes the house of Zacharias as in ‘a city of Judah’ which lay in ‘the hill country’ (Luke 1:39-40). A number of commentators have assumed, without any warrant, that this must have been Hebron, as being a priestly town in that region. Others have suggested that τολις Ἰούδα is a corruption for τολις Ἰούτα (Reland, Pal. [1] p. 870; Robinson, BRP [2] 2 [3] ii. 206), so that the Baptist’s birthplace would he Jutah or Juttah, to the south of Hebron (Robinson, op. cit., ib., and i. 495), which is mentioned in Joshua as having been allotted to the priests (21:16). A tradition as early as the Crusades assigns the honour to Ain Karim, a village which lay between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. All this, however, is purely conjectural, and it is best to be content to say that John was born in a town unknown, in the hill country of Judah. See, further, art. Judah.
Of the external incidents of John’s childhood and youth Lk. gives no information. All that is told us bears upon his spiritual growth. According to an announcement of the angel Gabriel, he was to be ‘filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb’ (Luke 1:15). That a peculiar Divine blessing did rest upon him from the first is implied in the words, ‘the hand of the Lord was upon him’ (Luke 1:66); that this Divine presence made itself manifest in the development of his character is evident when the Evangelist adds, ‘and the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit’ (Luke 1:80).
But whatever the outward tenor of John’s way in that priestly house in the hill country of Judah, a great crisis must have come at last, followed by a sudden break in his manner of life. A priest’s son, he would naturally, according to all Jewish traditions, have stepped into the priestly office, and enjoyed the honours, abundance, and comparative ease that were parts of his birthright. But spiritual instincts and powers which had long been unknown in Israel began to make themselves felt in the young man’s heart, and this son of a priest went forth into the deserts to be shaped in solitude into a prophet mightier than Elijah or Isaiah. Of the precise nature of the impulse which first led him to withdraw himself from his fellows, the duration of his stay in the wilderness, and the fashion of his life while there, no Evangelist has anything to tell us. But it is certainly a grotesque mistake to suppose that he left his home and the haunts of men in order to become an Essene (see the excellent remarks of Godet on this point, Com. On Lk. i. p. 117 f.).* [4] with its main elements as regards personnel and views’—as striking an illustration as could well be discovered of a fallocious use of the argumentum e silentio. On John’s relations to the Essenes see Lightfoot, Colossians, Dissert. iii.]
There was absolutely no resemblance between John, the desert solitary, as he is described to us in the pages of the Gospels (Matthew 3:4 || 11:7ff. || 11:18 ||), and the Essenes with their white garments and their cenobitic establishments, as we come across them in the pages of Josephus (BJ ii. viii. 2–13, Ant. xviii. i. 5). All that can be said is that John was an ascetic as the Essenes were, and that in both cases the revolt against prevailing luxury and corruption sprang out of the deep seriousness which marked the more earnest spirits of the time (see Rüegg, art. ‘Johannes der Täufer’ in PRE [5] 3 [3] ). John’s withdrawal into the wilderness indicated his disapproval of society as he found it, it signified more especially an absolute break with the prevalent Pharisaic type of piety. But in his case it meant much more than this, much more even than the adoption of severely ascetic habits in the interests of his own spiritual life. It was as one who was conscious that he was set apart for the office of a prophet (cf. Luke 1:14-17; Luke 1:76 ff.), and who felt himself called in particular to take up in Israel a work of reformation similar to that of Elijah (Luke 1:17; cf. Matthew 11:14; Matthew 17:12, John 1:21), that John betook himself to the deserts (Luke 1:80) and there lived the life of one who hides himself from men that he may the better see the face of God. Locusts and wild honey were his food, while his clothing was a loose cloak (ἔνδυμα) of woven camel’s hair and a leathern girdle about his loins (Matthew 3:4, Mark 1:6; cf. 2 Kings 1:8).† [7] pp. 285, 335, 429, xvi. [8] p. 382.]
How long John remained in ‘the deserts,’ by which is doubtless meant the awful solitudes of the Wilderness of Judaea, and how he grew into the full sense of the precise nature of his prophetic vocation as the forerunner and herald of the Messiah, we cannot tell. But the Holy Ghost who had been working in him, and the hand of the Lord which had been laid upon him from the first, his own constant brooding over words of ancient prophecy (John 1:23, cf. Matthew 3:3 ||), and a deep intuitive reading of the signs of the times, would gradually bring him to a clear knowledge both of his function as a prophet and of the time when he must begin to exercise it. And so came at last the day of his ‘shewing’ (ἀνάδειξις) unto Israel (Luke 1:80).
iii. The Public Ministry.—It was in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar that the word of God came to John in the wilderness summoning him to enter upon his work as a prophet (Luke 3:1-2). Immediately he obeyed the summons (Luke 3:3). The scene of his ministry, according to Mk., was ‘the wilderness’ (Mark 1:4), according to Mt. ‘the wilderness of Judaea’ (Matthew 3:1), according to Lk. ‘all the country about Jordan’ (Luke 3:3). Probably, as hitherto, the Wilderness of Judaea continued to be his home—that wild region which stretches westwards from the Dead Sea and the Jordan to the edge of the central plateau of Palestine; but when he preached he must have done so in some place not too far removed from the haunts of men, while, owing to his practice of baptism (almost certainly by immersion), the Jordan necessarily marked the central line of his activity (Matthew 3:6; Matthew 13:16, Mark 1:5; Mark 1:9). To Jn. we owe the information that he baptized on both sides of the river (John 1:28; John 3:28; John 10:40). John’s work may be considered under two aspects, (1) his preaching, (2) his baptism.
1. John’s Preaching.—According to Mt. the essence of John’s preaching, the text as we might say of all his sermons, was this: ‘Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 3:2). The second part of this text was the fundamental part. It shows that John was fully conscious that the long-expected Messianic age was now about to dawn, and that it was his mission to proclaim the fact. By his trumpet-voiced proclamation of this fact he thrilled the nation to its heart and drew forth the multitude into the wilderness to hear him (Matthew 3:5, Luke 3:7; cf. Josephus, Ant. xviii. v. 2)—men from Jerusalem and men from Galilee (John 1:19; John 1:35 ff.) (civilians and soldiers (Luke 3:10; Luke 3:14), Pharisees and publicans side by side (Matthew 3:7, Luke 3:12).
But while the preacher’s fundamental message was the announcement of the near approach of the Messianic Kingdom, he combined with these glad tidings of good a stern summons to repentance. Repentance, he said, μετάνοια, a change of mind and heart, were indispensable as a preparatory condition for all who would share in the privileges of the new order about to be set up. To the Jewish mind this was an unexpected and unwelcome note in a herald of the Messiah; and John’s utterance of it and strenuous emphasis upon it form one of the marks of his profound originality as a prophet. According to the popular conviction, all Israel would have a lot and a part in the blessings of the Messianic age, and that specifically because of their descent from Abraham. It was recognized that judgments would accompany the appearance of the Christ, but these judgments were to fall upon the Gentiles, while Abraham’s children would be secure and happy in that day of the Lord. The Talmud explains the cry of the prophetic watchman, ‘The morning cometh, and also the night’ (Isaiah 21:12), by saying, ‘The night is only to the nations of the world, but the morning to Israel’ (Jerus. [9] Taan. 64a, quoted by Edersheim, Life and Times, i. 271). Not so, said John. Repentance is the prime requisite for all who would enter the Kingdom of heaven. Descent from Abraham counts for nothing (Matthew 3:9). Every fruitless or worthless tree must be hewn down and cast into the fire (Matthew 3:10). The very leaders of the nation themselves, the Pharisees and Sadducees, must bring forth fruit worthy of repentance if they are to escape from the wrath to come (Matthew 3:7-8).
2. John’s Baptism.—Alongside of the spoken word John set that great distinctive symbol of his ministry from which his title ‘the Baptist’ (ὁ Βαπτιστής) was derived. He came not only preaching but baptizing, or rather, so closely was the symbol interwoven with the word, he came ‘preaching the baptism of repentance’ (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3). To understand John’s baptismal doctrine it is necessary to think of the historical roots out of which it sprang. For though he gave to the rite a depth of meaning it had never had in Israel before, he evidently appealed to ideas on the subject which were already familiar to the Jewish people. In particular, three moments in the preceding history of the religion of Israel appear to be gathered up in the baptism of John as it meets us in the Gospels.
(a) The theocratic washings of the Jews (Leviticus 11-15, Numbers 19). That a religious intention underlay those ‘divers washings’ of the ceremonial law is evident (cf. Leviticus 14:32; Leviticus 15:13, Mark 1:44, Luke 2:22; Luke 5:14, John 2:6), while the historical connexion of John’s baptism with them is proved by the fact that in NT times βαπτίζειν had come to be the regular term alike for those ceremonial washings and for the Messianic baptism of the Forerunner (for detailed proof and reff. on these points see the present writer’s Sacraments in the NT, p. 56 f.). And yet, though John’s baptism finds its earliest historical roots in the Levitical washings, it is far from finding its complete explanation there. It was essentially an ethical rite, and thus very different from an outward ceremony to which some value could be attached apart from the moral and spiritual condition of the recipient. In the case of all who came to him John insisted upon repentance; and they ‘were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins’ (Matthew 3:2; Matthew 3:6).
(b) The Messianic lustration foretold by the prophets.—Long before the time of John, prophetic souls in Israel had seen that for a true cleansing the nation must look to those Messianic days when God should open a fountain for sin and for uncleanness, sprinkling His people with clean water, and putting a new heart and a new spirit within them (Jeremiah 33:8, Ezekiel 36:25-26, Zee 13:1). It was John’s function to declare that those great Messianic promises were now going to receive their fulfilment at the hands of the Messiah Himself. His baptism, we have said, was a baptism of preparation for the Kingdom, preparation which took the form of repentance and confession. But even more than a baptism of preparation it was a baptism of promise, promise both of the Kingdom and the King, being a promissory symbol of a perfect spiritual cleansing which the Messiah in person should bestow—‘I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me … shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire’ (Matthew 3:11 ||).
(c) Another historical moment which should not be lost sight of is the proselyte baptism of the Jewish Church. It may now be regarded as certain that the baptism of proselytes had been the rule in Israel long before NT times (see especially Schürer, HJP [10] ii. i. 319; Edersheim, Life and Times, ii. 745 ff.); and proselyte baptism helps us to understand the baptism of John in certain of its aspects. When a Gentile ‘sought shelter under the wings of the Shekinah,’ it was understood that he was utterly renouncing his past. And John insisted on a like renunciation in the case of candidates for his baptism. The danger of the proclamation that the Kingdom of heaven was at hand lay in the fact that multitudes would claim to enter that Kingdom as a matter of course, without being prepared to submit to the necessary conditions. Not so, said John. God does not depend upon Israel alone for the peopling of His Kingdom. He ‘is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham’ (Matthew 3:9). Even a Jew, if he is to be received, must come as a humble penitent who casts himself upon the Divine grace He must come like a stranger and a proselyte renouncing the past, not as one who claims an inalienable right, but as one who seeks by fruits of repentance to flee from the wrath to come (Matthew 3:7-8, Luke 3:7-8). For the baptism of the Coming One is a baptism of judgment. His win-nowing-fan is in His hand; and while He will gather His wheat into the garner, He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17). On the baptism of John see, further, art. Baptism.
iv. John’s Baptism of Jesus and Witness regarding Him.—1. The baptism of Jesus by John is recorded in all the Synoptics (Matthew 3:13 ff., Mark 1:9 f., Luke 3:21), but is not mentioned in the Fourth Gospel. The author, however, makes the Baptist refer to the descent of the Spirit upon Jesus in the form of a dove (John 1:32 ff.) as an authenticating sign which he received that He was the Messiah; and this incident is represented by the other three as following immediately upon the baptism, though the first two, and probably the third also, describe the visible sign as bestowed upon Jesus Himself along with the approving voice from heaven (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10 f., Luke 3:22). If the scene of the baptism was the same as that of John’s subsequent witness to Jesus recorded in the Fourth Gospel, it took place at ‘Bethany beyond Jordan’ (John 1:28), a site which has been much discussed, but cannot be said to have been certainly identified (see art. Bethabara).
It was here, then, in all likelihood, that Jesus met John when He came from Galilee to be baptized of him (Matthew 3:13). At first John was unwilling to perform the rite upon such an applicant, but Jesus insisted. ‘Thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness’ (Matthew 3:15). He recognized John’s baptism as an appointment of the Divine righteousness which it was proper that He should accept. If the fitness of that baptism in the case of Jesus is called in question, we must remember that it had an initiatory aspect which would commend it to Him as He saw in it an opportunity of consecrating Himself definitely and openly to the Messianic kingdom and its tasks. But if John’s words of protest (Matthew 3:14) imply that even in the baptism of Christ the cleansing aspect of the rite was in view, was it not proper that the ‘Lamb of God’ (John 1:29; John 1:36), who had no sense of personal guilt, nothing to repent of or confess, should even now begin to bear upon His heart the burden of the sins of others, even as on a coming day He was to bear them ‘in his own body on the tree’ (1 Peter 2:24)?
2. Of the intercourse of John with Jesus, the Fourth Gospel gives an account which differs widely from that presented in the Synoptics; but apart from the Johannine colouring of the later narrative, the difference is sufficiently explained on the ordinary view that the Synoptists describe the meeting between the two at the time of our Lord’s baptism, while the Fourth Evangelist concerns himself only with John’s subsequent testimony to the now recognized Messiah (cf. John 1:7 f.). There is no real discrepancy between John’s ‘I knew him not,’ reported in the Fourth Gospel (John 1:31), and the representation of Mt. (Matthew 3:13 ff.), that when the Man from Nazareth presented Himself at the Jordan, John declined at first to baptize Him, on the ground of his own unworthiness in comparison. Even if we suppose that in spite of their kinship and the friendship between their mothers the two had not met before, the fact that John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance and confession seems to imply a personal interview with applicants previous to the performance of the rite—an interview which in the case of Jesus must have revealed to one with the Baptist’s insight the beauty and glory of His character. On the other hand, the ‘I knew him not’ of the last Gospel, as the context shows, only means that John did not know that Jesus was indeed the Messiah until he received the promised sign (John 1:32 f.).
It is true that in the Fourth Gospel John is made to bear a witness to Jesus by the banks of the Jordan (John 1:15-36) which finds no parallel in the earlier narratives; but if we follow the ordinary view of students of the chronology of our Lord’s life—that the narrative of the Fourth Evangelist comes in after the forty days of the Temptation have intervened, and that John now sees Jesus in the light not only of the authenticating sign given at the baptism, but of his own reflexion ever since upon the subject of the character of Jesus and the fulfilment of the Messianic promise—the fulness and explicitness of his testimony upon this later occasion appear perfectly natural. The twice-repeated ἔμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν (John 1:15; John 1:30), it is true, cannot be understood, so far as the Baptist himself is concerned, as referring to pre-existence, though this was probably involved in the thought of the Evangelist. But the designation of Jesus as ‘the Lamb of God’ (John 1:29; J
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - John (2)
JOHN.—The father of Simon Peter (John 1:42; John 21:15-17, Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885; Authorized Version Jonas). See Peter.
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - John
See James and John, Sons of Zebedee.
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Mark (John)
The name appears eight times in the NT (Acts 12:12; Acts 12:25; Acts 15:37-39, Colossians 4:10, 2 Timothy 4:11, Philemon 1:24, 1 Peter 5:13), and the consensus of opinion assigns all the references to one individual. To the Jewish name (John) was added, for use in extra-Palestinian circles, the Latin praenomen Mark* [1] (cf. ‘Saul-Paul’; see CIG [2] passim). The son of Mary, a prominent and well-to-do member of the early Christian society (John 18:16-17, Acts 12:12), to whose house the brethren used to resort, Mark had easy introduction to the apostolic cabinet, and probably fell under the influence of the dominating personality of Peter. His non-aggressive temperament has carved out no clear line by which history can remember him. He shines here and there in the borrowed light of greater men and flits ever back into a tantalizing darkness. Hence conjecture has sought to find him at other points of his career, e.g. as the man carrying the pitcher of water, as one of the Seventy, as the young man of Mark 14:51. Only one personal note comes to us, and that from the 3rd century. He is termed ὁ κολοβοδάκτυλος† [3] 10]); but this is probably an inference from his kinship (ἀνεψιός) with Barnabas; (3) that the term is metaphorical and refers to the abrupt ending of the Second Gospel.] (Hippolytus, Philos. vii. 30). Possibly this infirmity was a natural one (cf. Codex Toletanus, Preface in Wordsworth-White, Novum Testamentum Latine, 1889-1905, p. 171), and caused him to take habitually a secondary place throughout life, a servus servorum dei. He stands out successively as the assistant of Barnabas, Paul, and Peter.
1. Association with Paul and Barnabas.-Having displayed practical gifts probably in the famine relief work in Judaea , Mark returned to Syria with Paul and Barnabas and was chosen to journey with them (Acts 12:25; Acts 13:5). His duties may be assumed to have been not unlike those, mutatis mutandis, discharged by the secretary of a modern evangelistic campaign-the selection of routes, arrangement for hospitality, interviews and general detail (but cf. F. H. Chase, article ‘Mark (John)’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) ). At Perga he cut himself adrift from the party-it may be because, being sensitively timid from his physical defect, he shrank from the hazardous venture across the Taurus; or, holding the narrower views of his teacher Peter concerning the Gentiles, he was out of sympathy with a campaign that had overshot its intentions; or because some filial duty called him (cf. Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveller, 1895, p. 90). His reason certainly did not satisfy Paul. After the Jerusalem Council, when the two colleagues contemplated a return visit to their churches (Acts 15:36), Paul came into sharp collision with Barnabas, who wished again to take his cousin Mark with them, and they separated. Barnabas and Mark sailed for Cyprus, probably as unauthorized evangelists, while Paul with Silas left for Syria under the official benediction (παραδοθεὶς τῇ χάριτι τοῦ κυρίου ὑπὸ τῶν ἀδελφῶν).
2. In Cyprus and Egypt.-The veil is not lifted on the doings of the missionaries to Cyprus. They were among their own people there. Barnabas was apparently a native (Acts 4:36), and his act of self-sacrifice on behalf of the cause he served may have predisposed the honest-minded among his compatriots to listen to him with peculiar attention. Mark, too, was a Hellenist and had Cyprian blood in his veins. The prophets, according to the late and unreliable Acts of Barnabas (Περίοδοι Βαρνάβα), had no honour in their own country, and Barnabas suffered martyrdom. Mark may then have passed to Egypt, and traditions certainly point that way. Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.) ii. 16), Jerome (de Vir. Illustr. 8), the Apostolic Constitutions (vii. 46), and Epiphanius (Haer. li. 6) unite in their testimony on the point. Though their details will not precisely fit, we may possibly regard Mark as the founder of the Christian Church in Alexandria and as its first bishop. Jerome makes out that he died there in a.d. 62 (‘Mortuus est autem octavo Neronis anno et sepultus Alexandriae succedente sibi Anniano’). But ‘the statement seems to be merely an unsound inference from the Eusebian date for the succession of Annianus’ (Swete2, p. xxvii) to the see of Alexandria.
3. With Paul.-Shall we say, then, that Mark returned from his Egyptian journey, his spurs won? He reappears in Paul’s favour and serves under his direction. The Gentile Apostle commands that welcome be given him at Colossae (Colossians 4:10)-if he come. Is there just a touch of Paul’s old distrust of Mark in the hypothetical phrase? He does not seem to have actually reached Colossae. The lure of Egypt may have drawn him there instead. Later still he is stationed somewhere between Ephesus and Rome (2 Timothy 4:11). Paul may have used his now trusted companion as a deputy to various churches. But particularly he had need of him often at the home base (Rome): there ‘the ὑπηρέτης of the first missionary journey became the συνεργός of the Roman imprisonment’ (Colossians 4:11, Philemon 1:24). The ageing Apostle needed just such personal services as Mark was specially fitted to give.
4. With Peter.-Assuming the genuineness of 1 Peter, we next find Mark, probably after the death of Paul, again in close touch with Peter. This apostle had helped to form Mark’s early impressions by his visits to Mary’s house, and claimed him by the affectionate title of son (υἱός), if indeed he was not a spiritual son (τέκνον). Now, if tradition be correct, he was destined to furnish Mark’s mind with a treasure that has enriched the whole Christian Church. Peter spoke Aramaic ordinarily, and so he required an attendant who could translate easily into Greek. For this task of dragoman Mark was eminently suited. As his Latin name and Hellenistic descent implied, he was proficient in Greek as well as in Aramaic. As Peter preached Mark took mental note of his reminiscences of Jesus, and thence grew that memoir which is, or has become in expanded forms, the Second Gospel. The Fathers disagree as to how and when the compilation was made. Origen would even make Peter responsible for personal oversight of the work, but Irenaeus is probably right in stating that it was after Peter’s death that Mark wrote down the memoirs (cf. Menzies, The Earliest Gospel, p. 44 ff.).
5. In legend.-Later legend has been busy with the name of Mark. The most probable and earliest tradition is that already mentioned which links his name to Alexandria. A 7th cent. tradition speaks of a ministry in N. Italy, and from this springs Mark’s association with Venice (notably the Church of St. Mark). Martyrologists claim him and represent him as dying a violent death by burning or by being dragged over stones. But the earliest mention of martyrdom is not of earlier date than the 4th or 5th cent. (Acta Marci).
The Acts of Barnabas profess to be written by the evangelist, but that compilation is of the 4th cent. at earliest. Attempts have been made to assign to him various books of the NT-Hebrews, the Apocalypse, Jude-but on quite inadequate grounds. A liturgy bears his name.
Literature.-H. B. Swete, Gospel acc. to St. Mark2, 1902, pp. xiii-xxviii; A. Menzies, The Earliest Gospel, 1901, Introduction, pp. 40-47; articles ‘Mark, St.’ in Encyclopaedia Britannica 11, ‘Mark (John)’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) , and ‘Mark’ in Encyclopaedia Biblica ; T. Zahn, NT Introd., Eng. translation , 1909, ii. 427 ff. For later legend cf. Molini, De vita et lipsanis S. Marci Evangelistae, ed. Pieralisi, 1864; R. A. Lipsius, Die apok. Apostelgeschichten und Apostellegenden, 1883-84; T. Schermann, Propheten- und Apostellegenden (TU [4] , 3rd ser., i. [5]).
John Dow.
People's Dictionary of the Bible - John
John (jŏn) the Baptist, whom God tores. The forerunner of our Saviour. He was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth, both belonging to priestly families. Luke 1:5. His birth, name, and work were foretold by the angel Gabriel. He grew up a Nazirite, and when about 30 years old began to preach in the wilderness of Judæa. His dress, food, and manner of life were like Elijah. He was fearless and faithful, and met with success among the people; yet he was humble and gave great honor to Jesus, who came to his baptism. At the request of Jesus, John, however, baptized him. John continued his labors with growing popularity for a year and a half, when he was cast into prison by Herod, whom he reproved for marrying his brother Philip's wife. In prison his faith seemed to waver, for he sent to Jesus to know if he were really the Messiah, and received a satisfactory answer. Matthew 11:4-6. But the malice of Herodias, whose connection with Herod whom John had rebuked, wrought his death. Matthew 14:6-12. John was beheaded in prison on Herod's birthday, at the request of the wicked Herodias. His disciples buried his body and went and told Jesus.
People's Dictionary of the Bible - John the Apostle
John the Apostle. The son of Zebedee and Salome, of Bethsaida. His father was able to have "hired servants" and bis mother was one of the women who aided in Jesus' support, Luke 8:3, and took spices to embalm his body. Mark 16:1. He is regarded as the youngest of the twelve apostles, but had been a disciple of John the Baptist, who pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God to him. John 1:35-37. John is noted as "the disciple whom Jesus loved," and as one of the three chosen to witness the restoration of Jairus' daughter, the transfiguration, and the agony in the garden. At the last supper he reclined on Jesus' bosom, and to his care Jesus on the cross committed his mother. He with Peter on the resurrection morn ran to the empty tomb of Jesus, and "he saw and believed." When with some others he was fishing on the Sea of Galilee, he was the first to recognize the Lord standing on the shore. After the ascension, he and James and Peter were the leading apostles, Galatians 2:9, of the infant church, and guided its counsels. He was banished for a time to the isle of Patmos. Tradition represents him as closing his career at Ephesus. He was naturally bold and severe. Our Lord called him a "son of thunder," but he became amiable though firm and fearless.
John, Gospel of. The fourth Gospel is ascribed to John, and was probably composed, or at least put in its present shape, at Ephesus, between a.d. 70 and 95. The particular design of it is expressed by the author to be that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that, believing, we might have life through his name. John 20:31. Hence the subjects and discourses of this book have special relation to our Lord's character and offices, and are evidently intended to prove his nature, authority, and doctrines as divine. The gospel contains: A. The prologue, 1:1-18; B. The history, 1:19 to chap. 21. 1. The preparation for Jesus' public ministry, (a) by John 1:19-36; (b) by the choice of disciples. 1:37-51. 2. The public labors of Jesus in doctrine and miracle, chaps. 2-12. 3. Jesus in the private circle of his disciples. Chaps. 13-17. 4. The history of the passion and resurrection or public glorification of the Lord. Chaps. 18-21. "The Gospel of John is," says Schaff, "the gospel of gospels. It is the most remarkable as well as most important literary production ever composed.... It is a marvel even in the marvellous Book of books. It is the most spiritual and ideal of gospels. It brings us, as it were, into the immediate presence of Jesus. It gives us the clearest view of his incarnate divinity and his perfect humanity."
John, the Epistles of, are three in number. They were written in Ephesus, between a.d. 80 and 95, or possibly later. The first has always been attributed to John, though his name is neither prefixed nor subscribed. It is a kind of practical application of the gospel. It is addressed to Christians. The second epistle is addressed to the "elect lady and her children." The elect lady is supposed to have been some honorable woman distinguished for piety, and well known in the churches as a disciple of Christ. Some, however, have thought some particular church and its members might be denoted. Those who adopt the latter opinion apply the term to the church at Jerusalem, and the term "elect sister," 2 John 1:13, to the church at Ephesus. The third epistle, which is addressed to Gaius, or Caius, a private individual, and is commendatory of his piety, was written about the same time with the others.
People's Dictionary of the Bible - John Revelation of
John, Revelation of. See Revelation.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Altham, John
(died 1641) Jesuit missionary. He accompanied Governor Leonard Calvert to Maryland, 1633, and established the first chapel there. His missionary labors extended south of the Potomac.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Almeida, John
(Meade, John) (1571-1653) Missionary, born London; died Rio Janeiro. He changed his name on being adopted by a Portuguese family whom he accompanied to Brazil, where he became a Jesuit and spent his life in missionary labors among Indian cannibal tribes. He was famous for his austerities.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Ayscough, John
(pseudonym, John Ayscough) (1858-1928) Writer, born Headingly, Leeds, England; died Salisbury. He was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford; became a Catholic, October 26, 1878; and was ordained, 1884. In 1891 he was appointed private chamberlain to Leo XIII; in 1903, private chamberlain to Pius X; in 1904, domestic prelate; in 1909, Knight of the Holy Sepulcher and Count. He served as military chaplain at Plymouth, 1892-1899, at Malta, 1899-1905, and at Salisbury Plain, 1905-1909. During the World War he served with distinction. In 1918 he became assistant principal chaplain royal, and in 1919, Commander of the British Empire. Under the name of John Ayscough he published several novels, including "Marotz," "Dromina," "San Celestino," "Hurdcott," "Jacqueline," and "Abbotscourt"; short stories, among them those in a "Roman Tragedy" and "Prodigals and Sons"; and essays, notably "Saints and Places," "Levia Pondera," and "French Windows."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Gualbert, John, Saint
Abbot, founder of the monastery of Vallombrosa, born Florence, Italy, c.985;died Passignano, Italy, 1073. He entered the Benedictine Order at San Miniato, despite his father's opposition. He practised the most austere asceticism, and in 1038 retired to Vallombrosa, establishing there his new religious society which received papal recognition in 1070. He adopted the Benedictine Rule with several changes, making it more rigorous, excluding manual labor, and organizing a body of lay brothers. He founded houses at San Salvi, Moscetta, Rozzuolo, Monte Salario, and Passignano. Canonized, 1193. Feast, Roman Calendar, July 12,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Avila, John of, Blessed
Confessor, apostolic preacher of Andalusia, born Almodovar del Campo, Spain, 1500; died Montilla, 1569. He studied law at Salamanca, but through motives of piety gave it up to study theology at Alcala. Impressed with John's extraordinary sanctity the Archbishop of Seville induced him to become apostolic preacher. During John's apostolate of forty years he attracted by his preaching and by his saintly life notable disciples, as Saint Theresa, Saint John of God, and Saint Francis Borgia, and spread the power of the Jesuits throughout Spain. His best known works are "Audi Fili," a tract on Christian perfection, and his "Spiritual Letters." Beatified 1894, canonized 1970. Feast, May 10,. See also, patron saints index.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - God, John of, Saint
Confessor, Founder of the Brothers Hospitallers, born Montemor Novo, Portugal, 1495; died Granada, Spain, 1550. His early life was unsettled and nomadic. He worked as a shepherd in Castile. After serving in Charles V's army he lived in Africa for some time and later, returning to Spain, peddled religious books and pictures in Gibraltar. The Infant Jesus, appearing to him, addressed him as "John of God," and bade him go to Granada. There, won over to the religious life by the teaching and example of Blessed John of Avila, he devoted himself to caring for the sick, and founded, for that purpose, the Grand Hospital at Granada and the Brothers Hospitallers. Patron of the sick and of hospitals, of printers and booksellers. Emblems: alms, a heart, crown of thorns. Canonized, 1690. Relics at Granada. Feast, Roman Calendar, March 8,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Hale, John, Blessed
Martyr, died Tyburn, England, 1535. He was a secular priest, a Fellow of King's Hall, Cambridge, and Vicar of Isleworth. He suffered martyrdom with the Carthusian priors at Tyburn. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Ambrose Saint John
Oratorian priest. Born in 1815; died in Edgbaston, Birmingham, England on May 24, 1875. He was educated at Westminster School, and graduated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he formed a lifelong friendship with Venerable Cardinal Newman. He was received into the Church in September 1845, and ordained at Rome. He joined the Oratorians, and devoted himself entirely to missionary work, to the Oratory and its famous school. An excellent classical scholar and a remarkable European and Oriental linguist, his death was caused by overwork in translating Fessler's book on infallibility. Newman paid him an affectionate tribute in his Apologia.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Gratian, John
Reigned from 1045 to 1046. Born in Rome, Italy as John Gratian; probably died at Cologne, Germany in 1048. He was archpriest of Saint John's when Benedict IX offered to surrender the papacy for a large sum of money. Gratian paid in good faith, wishing to rid the Holy See of its unworthy occupant, and was installed in 1045. When Benedict retired, his rivals nominated an antipope, John of Sabina. A synod at Sutri sent John to a monastery, declared that Benedict IX had forfeited his rights, and claimed that the action of Gregory VI was simoniacal. Gregory resigned in 1046 and returned to Germany with King Henry III. With the aid of Hildebrand, later Pope Gregory VII, he had attempted to bring about civiland religious order.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Almsgiver, John the Saint
Saint John the Almsgiver; Saint Joannes Eleemosynasius; Saint Joannes Misebicors Patriarch of Alexandria (606-616), born Amathus, Cyprus, c.550;died there, 616. The son of the governor of Cyprus, he entered the religious life at the death of his wife. During his patriarchate at Alexandria, he became widely known throughout the east for his liberality to the poor. At the fall of Alexandria, he fled to his native land, where he died. Patron of the Hospitallers. His relics were preserved in the cathedral at Presburg. Feast, January 23,.
Webster's Dictionary - Doe John
The fictitious lessee acting as plaintiff in the common-law action of ejectment, the fictitious defendant being usually denominated Richard Roe. Hence, a fictitious name for a party, real or fictitious, to any action or proceeding.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Barry, John
(1745-1803) Captain, when that was the highest grade in the United States Navy, born Tacumshane, Wexford, Ireland; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After being given command of the first warship, the Lexington, 1775, he was successful in capturing many British vessels during the American Revolution. When by Act of Congress, March 27, 1794, the United States Navy was permanently organized, Washington, with the consent of the Senate, appointed six captains, of whom Barry ranked first.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Bapst, John
(1815-1875) Jesuit missionary, born near Fribourg, Switzerland; died Mount Hope, Maryland. Sent to the Indian Mission in Maine, he was later pastor to the scattered Catholics in East port, Bangor, and Ellsworth. While at Ellsworth, during the Know-nothing movement, he was tarred, feathered, and expelled from the vicinity by order of the town council. He built the first church in Bangor, 1856, became rector of Boston College, 1859, and then superior of the Jesuit mission of New York and Canada.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Barbour, John
(c.1320-1395) Scottish ecclesiastic and author of the historical poem, The Bruce. He was Archdeacon of Aberdeen (1357), an auditor of the exchequer (1373), and one of the commissioners for the ransom of David II in 1357. The Bruce, which is written in early Scottish dialect and for which he received several pensions, contains 6000 octosyllabic couplets, and is dedicated to freedom and to the exploits of Bruce and Douglas. It is a history, some of which was made use of by Scott. Among the principal editions is that of Professor Skeat for the Early English Text Society.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Herschel, Sir John Frederick William
Astronomer, born 1792; 1871. Continued the stellar researches of his father and completed his work on luminaries and nebulae, made valuable photometric observations of stars magnitude, e.g., discovered that a star of the first magnitude Isaiah 100 times as bright as a sixth magnitude star, invented a reflector for telescopic observations, was the author of theory of meteoric origin of sun spots, initiated the use of the terms positive and negative in photographic representations, did research on the stellar distribution in heavens and drew up his famous catalog of southern stars.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Austria, John of, Don
Catholic hero, born Ratisbon, Bavaria, 1545; died Namur, Belgium, 1578. The natural son of Charles V, by Barbara Blomberg, daughter of an affiuent family, he was recognized later by his half-brother, Philip II, as a member of the royal family. Having distinguished himself in conflicts with the Algerian pirates, 1568, and the Morlscos in Granada, 1569-1570, he was made admiral of the Spanish and Austrian fleets, combined by the league effected by Pope Pius V, 1571, to check the advance of the Turks to the west after their conquest of Cyprus. The great victory of Lepanto, Greece, when 35,000 Turks were slain and 15,000 Christian slaves freed, inspired Don Juan to work for his own and Christianity's establishment in non-Christian countries, but he was thwarted by the jealous Philip, and made governor-general of the Netherlands, 1576, only to encounter the opposition of William of Orange, all-powerful there. Even after signing the "Perpetual Edict," 1577, his position remained nominal, so he withdrew shortly to Namur. Staging the attack, led by Faroese, on Gemblours, 1578, he could not follow up the brilliant victory for lack of funds, and after a period of inactivity, his health failed and he died, broken-hearted.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John the Apostle
JOHN THE APOSTLE . The materials for a life of St. John may be divided into three parts: (1) The specific information given in the canonical Scriptures; (2) early and well-attested tradition concerning him; (3) later traditions of a legendary character, which cannot be accepted as history, but which possess an interest and significance of their own. But when all the evidence on the subject is gathered, it is impossible to give more than a bare outline of what was in all probability a long life and an unspeakably important ministry. The present article must he taken in conjunction with those that follow, in view of the controversies which have arisen concerning the authorship of the ‘Johannine’ writings.
1. The Scripture data . John was a son of Zebedee, a master-fisherman in good position, plying his craft in one of the towns on the Lake of Galilee, possibly Bethsaida. It is probable that his mother was Salome, one of the women who ‘ministered’ to Christ in Galilee ( Mark 15:41 ), a sister of Mary the mother of Jesus. This may be inferred from a comparison of Matthew 27:56 and Mark 15:40 ; Mark 16:1 with John 19:25 .
The last passage is best understood as naming four women who stood by the Cross of Jesus His mother, His mother’s sister Salome, Mary wife of Clopas who was also mother of James and Joses, and Mary Magdalene. The interpretation which would find only three persons in the list, and identify Mary ‘of Clopas’ with the sister of Jesus’ mother, is open to the objection that two sisters would have the same name, and it involves other serious difficulties.
In John 1:40 two disciples are mentioned as having heard the testimony of John the Baptist to Jesus and having accompanied the new Teacher to His home. One of these was Andrew, and it has been surmised that the other was John himself. If this was so, the incident must be understood as constituting the very beginning of John’s discipleship.
In Matthew 4:18-22 , Mark 1:16-20 an account is given in almost the same words of the call of four fishermen to follow Jesus. Two of these were John and his elder brother James, who were with their father in a boat on the Lake of Galilee, mending their nets. In Luke 5:1-11 a different account of the call is given. Nothing is said of Andrew; Peter is the principal figure in the scene of the miraculous draught of fishes, while James and John are mentioned only incidentally as ‘partners with Simon.’ Directly or indirectly, however, we are told that to John, whilst engaged in his craft, the summons was given to leave his occupation and become a ‘fisher of men.’ The call was immediately obeyed, and constitutes an intermediate link between the initial stage of discipleship and the appointment to be one of twelve ‘apostles.’ In the lists of the Twelve ( Matthew 10:2 , Mark 3:14 , Luke 6:13 ), John is always named as one of the first four, and in the course of Christ’s ministry he was one of an inner circle of three, who were honoured with special marks of confidence. These alone were permitted to be present on three occasions the raising of Jairus’ daughter, narrated in Mark 5:37 , Luke 8:51 ; the Transfiguration, described in three accounts ( Matthew 17:1 , Mark 9:2 , Luke 9:28 ): and the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, mentioned by two of the Synoptists ( Matthew 26:37 and Mark 14:33 ). On one or perhaps two occasions Andrew was associated with these three possibly at the healing of Peter’s wife’s mother ( Mark 1:29 ), and certainly at the interview described in Mark 13:3 , when Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives and was ‘asked privately’ concerning His prophecy of the overthrow of the Temple.
On two notable occasions the brothers James and John were associated together. They appear to have been alike in natural temperament. It is in this light that the statement of Mark 3:17 is generally understood ‘he surnamed them Boanerges , which ‘is Sons of thunder.’ Some uncertainty attaches to the derivation of the word, and the note added by the Evangelist is not perfectly clear. But no better explanation has been given than that the title was bestowed, perhaps by anticipation, in allusion to the zeal and vehemence of character which both the Apostles markedly exhibited on the occasions when they appear together. In Luke 9:54 they are represented as desirous to call down fire from heaven to consume the Samaritan village which had refused hospitality to their Master. In Mark 10:35 they come to Christ with an eager request that to them might be allotted the two highest places in His Kingdom, and they profess their complete readiness to share with Him whatever suffering or trying experiences He may be called to pass through. According to Matthew 20:20 , their mother accompanied them and made the request, but Matthew 20:24 shows that indignation was roused ‘concerning the two brethren,’ and that the desire and petition were really their own. Once in the Gospels John is described as associated with Peter, the two being sent by Christ to make ready the Passover ( Luke 22:8 ). Once he figures by himself alone, as making inquiry concerning a man who cast out demons in the name of Jesus, though he did not belong to the company of the disciples ( Mark 9:38 , Luke 9:49 ). As an indication of character this is to be understood as evincing zealous, but mistaken, loyalty. Christ’s reply was, ‘Forbid him not’; evidently John was disposed to manifest on this occasion the fiery intolerant zeal which he and his brother together displayed in Samaria. Though the words ‘ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of’ do not form part of the best-attested text in Luke 9:1-62 , they doubtless describe the kind of rebuke with which on both occasions the Master found it necessary to check the eagerness of a disciple who loved his Master well, but not wisely.
In the early part of the Acts, John is associated by name with Peter on three occasions. One was the healing of the lame man by the Temple gate (Acts 3:4 ). The next was their appearance before the Sanhedrin in ch. 4, when they were found to be men untrained in Rabbinical knowledge, mere private persons with no official standing, and were also recognized by some present as having been personal followers of Jesus, and seen in His immediate company. In Acts 8:15 we read that the two were sent by their brother-Apostles to Samaria, after Philip had exercised his evangelistic ministry there. Many had been admitted into the Church by baptism, and the two Apostles completed the reception by prayer and the laying on of hands, ‘that they might receive the Holy Spirit.’ These typical instances show that at the outset of the history of the Church Peter and John came together to the front and were recognized as co-leaders, though they were very different in personal character, and Peter appears always to have been the spokesman. This note of personal leadership is confirmed by the incidental reference of Paul in Galatians 2:9 , where James (not the son of Zebedee), Cephas, and John are ‘reputed to be pillars’ in the Church at Jerusalem.
Our knowledge of John’s history and character is largely increased, and the interest in his personality is greatly deepened, if he is identified with ‘ the disciple whom Jesus loved ,’ the author of the Fourth Gospel, and the John of the Apocalypse. Both these points are strongly contested in modern times, though the identification is supported by an early, wide-spread, and steadily maintained tradition. An examination of these questions will be found on pp. 479, 483, 797 b ; but here it may be pointed out what additional light is shed on John’s life and character if his authorship of the Fourth Gospel is admitted. In John 13:23 the disciple whom Jesus loved is spoken of as ‘reclining in Jesus’ bosom’ at the Last Supper. The phrase implies that on the chief couch at the meal, holding three persons, Jesus was in the middle and John on His right hand, thus being brought more directly face to face with the Master than Peter, who occupied the left-hand place. This explains the expression of John 13:25 ‘he, leaning back, as he was, on Jesus’ breast’; as well as Peter’s ‘beckoning’ mentioned in John 13:24 . John has been also identified with the ‘other disciple’ mentioned in John 18:15-16 as known to the high priest and having a right of entrance into the court, which was denied to Peter. Again, the disciple whom Jesus loved is described in John 19:26 as standing by the cross of Jesus with His mother, as receiving the sacred charge implied by the words,’ Woman, behold thy son!’ and ‘Behold thy mother!’ and as thenceforth providing a home for one who was of his near kindred. In John 20:3 he accompanies Peter to the tomb of Jesus; and while he reached the sepulchre first, Peter was the first to enter in, but John was apparently the first to ‘believe.’ In ch. 21 the two sons of Zebedee are among the group of seven disciples to whom our Lord appeared at the Sea of Tiberias, and again the disciple whom Jesus loved and Peter are distinguished: the one as the first to discern the risen Lord upon the shore, the other as the first to plunge into the water to go to Him. The Gospel closes with an account of Peter’s inquiry concerning the future of his friend and companion on so many occasions; and in John 19:35 as well as in John 21:24 it is noted that the disciple ‘who wrote these things’ bore witness of that which he himself had seen, and that his witness is true.
It is only necessary to add that the John mentioned in Revelation 1:4 ; Revelation 1:9 as writing to the Seven Churches in Asia from the island of Patmos was identified by early tradition with the son of Zebedee. If this be correct, much additional light is cast upon the later life of the Apostle John (see Revelation [1]).
2. Early tradition . Outside the NT only vague tradition enables us to fill up the gap left by Christ’s answer to Peter’s question, ‘Lord, and what shall this man do?’ We may gather that he spent several years in Jerusalem. After an indefinite interval he is understood to have settled in Ephesus. Eusebius states ( HE iii. 18, 20) that during the persecution of Domitian ‘the apostle and evangelist John’ was banished to Patmos, and that on the accession of Nerva (a.d. 96) he returned from the island and took up his abode in Ephesus, according to ‘an ancient Christian tradition’ (lit. ‘the word of the ancients among us’). Tertullian mentions a miraculous deliverance from a cauldron of boiling oil to which John had been condemned during a persecution in Rome, presumably under Domitian. Eusebius further states that John was living in Asia and governing the churches there as late as the reign of Trajan. He bases this assertion upon the evidence of Irenæus and Clement of Alexandria. The former says that ‘all the elders associated with John the disciple of the Lord in Asia bear witness,’ and that he remained in Ephesus until the time of Trajan. Clement recites at length the well-known touching incident concerning St. John and the young disciple who fell into evil ways and became the chief of a band of robbers, as having occurred when ‘after the tyrant’s death he returned from the isle of Patmos to Ephesus.’ Tertullian confirms the tradition of a residence in Ephesus by quoting the evidence of the Church of Smyrna that their bishop Polycarp was appointed by John ( de Pr. Hær . 32). Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus towards the end of the 2nd cent., in a letter to Victor, bishop of Rome, speaks of one among the ‘great lights’ in Asia ‘John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate,’ as having fallen asleep at Ephesus. The Muratorian Fragment, which dates about a.d. 180, records an account of the origin of the Fourth Gospel, to the effect that John wrote it in obedience to a special revelation made to himself and Andrew. This story is somewhat mythical in character and is not elsewhere confirmed, but it proves the early prevalence of the belief in the Apostolic origin of the Gospel. Irenæus states that the Gospel was written specially to confute unbelievers like Cerinthus, and tells, on the authority of those who had heard it from Polycarp, the familiar story that St. John refused to remain under the same roof with the arch-heretic, lest the building should fall down upon him. Ephesus is said to have been the scene of this incident. All traditions agree that he lived to a great age, and it is Jerome ( in Galatians 6:10 ) who tells of his being carried into the church when unable to walk or preach, and simply repeating the words, ‘Little children, love one another.’ Christ’s enigmatical answer to Peter, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?’ led, as John 21:23 indicates, to the belief that John would not die, but would be translated.
Still, in spite of the record, the legend lingered long in the Church, and is mentioned by Augustine, that though apparently dead, the beloved Apostle was only asleep, and that the dust upon his tomb rose and fell with his breathing. The poet Browning, in his Death in the Desert , adopts the ancient tradition concerning the Apostle’s great age and lingering death, and imagines him recalled from a deep trance and the very borderland of the grave to deliver a last inspired message.
The universal belief of the early Church that St. John maintained a prolonged ministry in Ephesus has never been challenged till recent years. The arguments adduced against it, though quite inadequate to set aside positive evidence, have been accepted by critics of weight, and at least deserve mention. The chief fact of importance urged is the silence of writers who might well be expected to make some reference to it. Polycarp in his letter to the Philippians, and Ignatius in writing to the Ephesians, refer to Paul and his writings, but not to John or his ministry. Clement of Rome, writing about 93 95 concerning the Apostles and their successors, makes no reference to John as an eminent survivor, but speaks of the Apostolic age as if completely past. If John did labour in Asia for a generation, and was living in the reign of Trajan, it is not unnatural to expect that fuller reference to the fact would be found in the writings of the sub-Apostolic Fathers. But the reply is twofold. First, the argument from silence is always precarious. The literature of the early years of the 2nd cent. is very scanty, and little is known of the circumstances under which the fragmentary documents were written or of the precise objects of the writers. The silence of the Acts of the Apostles in the 1st cent., and of Eusebius in the 4th, is in many respects quite as remarkable as their speech and much more inexplicable. It is quite impossible for the most acute critic in the 20th cent. to reproduce the conditions of an obscure period, and to understand precisely why some subjects of little importance to us are discussed in its literature and others of apparently greater significance ignored.
It is the weight of positive evidence, however, on which the tradition really rests. Irenæus, in a letter to Florinus preserved for us by Eusebius, describes how as a boy he had listened to ‘the blessed Polycarp,’ and had heard ‘the accounts which he gave of his intercourse with John and with the others who had seen the Lord.’ And lest his memory should he discredited, he tells his correspondent that he remembers the events of that early time more clearly than those of recent years; ‘for what boys learn, growing with their mind, becomes joined with it.’ It is incredible that a writer brought so near to the very person of John, and having heard his words through only one intermediary, should have been entirely in error concerning his ministry in Asia. Polycrates, again, a bishop of the city in which St. John had long resided and laboured, wrote of his ministry there after an interval not longer than that which separates our own time from (say) the passing of the Reform Bill of 1832 or the battle of Waterloo. His testimony obviously is not that of himself alone, it must represent that of the whole Ephesian Church; and what Irenæus remembered as a boy others of the same generation must have remembered according to their opportunities of knowledge. The explicit testimony of three writers like Polycrates, Irenæus, and Clement of Alexandria carries with it the implicit testimony of a whole generation of Christians extending over a very wide geographic area. The silence of others notwithstanding, it is hardly credible that these should have been mistaken on a matter of so much importance. The theory that confusion had arisen between John the Apostle and a certain ‘John the Elder’ is discussed in a subsequent article (see p. 483), but it would seem impossible that a mistake on such a subject could be made in the minds of those who were divided from the events themselves by so narrow an interval as that of two, or at most three, generations.
3. Later traditions . It is only, however, as regards the main facts of history that the testimony of the 2nd cent. may be thus confidently relied on. Stories of doubtful authenticity would gather round an honoured name in a far shorter period than seventy or eighty years. Some of these legends may well be true, others probably contain an element of truth, whilst others are the result of mistake or the product of pious imagination. They are valuable chiefly as showing the directions in which tradition travelled, and we need not draw on any of the interesting myths of later days in order to form a judgment on the person and character of John the Apostle, especially if he was in addition, as the Church has so long believed, St. John the Evangelist.
A near kinsman of Jesus, a youth in his early disciple ship, eager and vehement in his affection and at first full of ill-instructed ambitions and still undisciplined zeal, John the son of Zebedee was regarded by his Master with a peculiar personal tenderness, and was fashioned by that transforming affection into an Apostle of exceptional insight and spiritual power. Only the disciple whom Jesus loved could become the Apostle of love. Only a minute and delicate personal knowledge of Him who was Son of Man and Son of God, combined with a sensitive and ardent natural temperament and the spiritual maturity attained by long experience and patient brooding meditation on what he had seen and heard long before, could have produced such a picture of the Saviour of the world as is presented in the Fourth Gospel. The very silence of John the Apostle in the narratives of the Gospels and the Acts is significant. He moved in the innermost circle of the disciples, yet seldom opened his lips. His recorded utterances could all he compressed into a few lines. Yet he ardently loved and was beloved by his Master, and after He was gone it was given to the beloved disciple to ‘tarry’ rather than to speak, or toil, or suffer, so that at the last he might write that which should move a world and live in the hearts of untold generations. The most Christ-like of the Apostles has left this legacy to the Church that without him it could not have adequately known its Lord.
W. T. Davison.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John the Baptist
JOHN THE BAPTIST . The single narrative of John’s birth and circumcision ( Luke 1:1-80 ) states that, as the child of promise ( Luke 1:13 ), he was born in ‘a city of Judah’ ( Luke 1:39 ), when his parents were old ( Luke 1:7 ). They were both of priestly descent ( Luke 1:5 ), and his mother was a kinswoman of the mother of Jesus ( Luke 1:36 ). John was a Nazirite from his birth ( Luke 1:15 ); he developed self-reliance in his lonely home, and learnt the secret of spiritual strength as he communed with God in the solitudes of the desert ( Luke 1:80 ). In the Judæan wilderness the wild waste which lies to the west of the Dead Sea this Elijah-like prophet ( Luke 1:17 ) ‘on rough food throve’; but, notwithstanding his ascetic affinities with the Essenes, he was not a vegetarian, his diet consisting of edible locusts ( Leviticus 11:22 ) as well as the vegetable honey which exudes from fig-trees and palms ( Matthew 3:4 ). For this and for other reasons as, e.g. , his zeal as a social reformer, John cannot be called an Essene (Graetz). It was not from these ‘Pharisees in the superlative degree’ (Schürer) that the last of the prophets learnt his message. His familiarity with the OT is proved by his frequent use of its picturesque language ( Luke 3:17 , cf. Amos 9:9 , Isaiah 66:24 ; John 1:23 , cf. Isaiah 40:3 ; John 1:29 , cf. Isaiah 53:7 , Exodus 29:38 ; Exodus 12:3 ), but he heard God’s voice in nature as well as in His word: as he brooded on the signs of the times, the barren trees of the desert, fit only for burning, and the vipers fleeing before the flaming scrub, became emblems of the nation’s peril and lent colour to his warnings of impending wrath (cf. G. A. Smith, HGHL [1] p. 495).
In the wilderness ‘the word of God came unto John’ (Luke 3:2 ). The phrase implies ( 1 Samuel 15:10 etc.) that, after more than three centuries of silence, the voice of a prophet was to be heard in the land, and the Synoptic Gospels ( Matthew 3:1-12 , Mark 1:1-8 , Luke 3:1-20 ) tell of the stirring effects of his preaching in ever-widening circles ( Matthew 3:5 ), and give a summary of his message. It is probable that, in the course of his successful six months’ ministry, John moved northwards along the then more thickly populated valley of the Jordan, proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom to the crowds that flocked to hear him from ‘the whole region circumjacent to Jordan’ ( Luke 3:3 ); once at least ( John 10:40 ) he crossed the river (cf. Sanday, Sacred Sites of the Gospel , p. 35 f.; Warfield, Expositor , iii. [2] i. p. 267 ff.; and see Bethany, Salim). ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’ ( Matthew 3:2 ) was the Baptist’s theme, but on his lips the proclamation became a warning that neither descent from Abraham nor Pharisaic legalism would constitute a title to the blessings of the Messianic age, and that it is vain for a nation to plead privilege when its sins have made it ripe for judgment. There is a Pauline ring in the stern reminder that Abraham’s spiritual seed may spring from the stones of paganism ( Luke 3:8 , but also Matthew 3:9 , cf. Romans 4:16 ; Romans 9:7 , Galatians 4:28 ). On the universality of the coming judgment is based John’s call to repentance addressed to all men without respect of persons. The axe already ‘laid to the root of the trees’ ( Luke 3:9 ) will spare those bringing forth good fruit, and not those growing in favoured enclosures. Soldiers, publicans, and inquirers of different classes are taught how practical and how varied are the good works in which the ‘fruits’ of repentance are seen ( Luke 3:8 ff.).
The baptism of John was the declaration unto all men, by means of a symbolic action, that the condition of entrance into God’s Kingdom is the putting away of sin. It was a ‘repentance-baptism,’ and its purpose was ‘remission of sins’ (Mark 1:4 ) [3] , in loc. ) agrees with Holtzmann that forgiveness is implied ‘if men really repented’]. John’s baptism was no copying of Essene rites, and it had a deeper ethical significance than the ‘divers washings’ of the ceremonial law. It has close and suggestive affinities with the prophet’s teaching in regard to spiritual cleansing ( Isaiah 1:16 , Ezekiel 36:25 , Zechariah 13:1 ), the truth expressed in their metaphorical language being translated by him into a striking symbolic act; but John’s baptism has most definite connexion with the baptism of proselytes, which was the rule in Israel before his days (Schürer, HJP [4] ii. 322 f.). John sought ‘to make men “proselytes of righteousness” in a new and higher order. He came, as Jesus once said, “in the way of righteousness”; and the righteousness he wished men to possess … did not consist in mere obedience to the law of a carnal commandment, but in repentance towards God and deliberate self-consecration to His kingdom’ (Lambert, The Sacraments in the NT , p. 62). When Jesus was baptized of John ( Matthew 3:13 ff., Mark 1:9 ff., Luke 3:21 f.), He did not come confessing sin as did all other men ( Matthew 3:6 ); the act marked His consecration to His Messianic work, and His identification of Himself with sinners. It was part of His fulfilment of all righteousness ( Matthew 3:15 ), and was followed by His anointing with the Holy Spirit. John knew that his baptism was to prepare the way for the coming of a ‘mightier’ than he, who would baptize with the Holy Spirit ( Mark 1:8 ). But after Pentecost there were disciples who had not advanced beyond the Baptist’s point of view, and were unaware that the Holy Spirit had been poured out ( Acts 18:25 ; Acts 19:3 f.).
The narrative in John 1:15-34 assumes as well known the Synoptic account of John’s activity as evangelist and baptizer ( John 1:25 f.). From what John heard and saw at the baptism of Jesus, and from intercourse with Jesus, he had learnt that his mission was not only to announce the Messiah’s coming, and to prepare His way by calling men to repent, but also to point Him out to men.
Many critics regard the words, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29 ), as inconsistent with John’s later question, ‘Art thou he that cometh, or look we for another?’ ( Matthew 11:3 ); but if John learnt from Jesus what was His ideal of the Messiah’s work, it may well be, as Garvie says, ‘that Jesus for a time at least raised John’s mind to the height of His own insight; that when the influence of Jesus was withdrawn, John relapsed to his own familiar modes of thought; and that the answer of Jesus by the two disciples … was a kindly reminder’ of an earlier conversation ( Expositor , vi. [5] v. 375).
This heightened sense of the glory of Jesus was accompanied by a deepening humility in John’s estimate of his own function as the Messiah’s forerunner. In his last testimony to Jesus (John 3:29 ) ‘the friend of the bridegroom’ is said to have rejoiced greatly as he heard the welcome tidings that men were coming to Jesus (v. 26). It was a high eulogy when Jesus said, ‘John hath borne witness unto the truth’ ( John 5:33 ); but it also implied the high claim that the lowlier members of the Church, which is His bride, enjoy greater spiritual privileges than he who, in spite of his own disclaimer ( John 1:21 ), was truly the Elijah foretold by Malachi ( Matthew 11:14 ; cf. Malachi 4:5 ), the herald of the day of which he saw only the dawn. It was not John’s fault that in the early Church there were some who attached undue importance to his teaching and failed to recognize the unique glory of Jesus the Light to whom he bore faithful witness ( John 1:7 f.).
The Synoptic narrative of the imprisonment and murder of John yields incidental evidence of his greatness as a prophet. There were some who accounted for the mighty works of Jesus by saying ‘John the Baptist is risen from the dead’ (Mark 6:14 ).
Josephus ( Ant . XVIII. v. 2) makes the preaching of John the cause of his execution, and says nothing of his reproof of Antipas for his adultery with his brother’s wife ( Mark 6:18 ). Some historians ( e.g. Ranke) arbitrarily use Josephus as their main source, to the disparagement of the Gospels. But Sollertinsky ( JThSt [6] i. 507) has shown that when the person of Antipas is concerned, ‘we are bound to consider the historian’s statements with the greatest care.’ Schürer (op. cit. ). who holds that the real occasion of John’s imprisonment was Herod’s fear of political trouble, nevertheless allows that there is no real inconsistency between the statement of Josephus and the further assertion of the Evangelists that John had roused the anger of Herod, and still more of Herodias, by his stern rebuke.
The last mention of John in the Gospels (Matthew 21:26 , Mark 11:32 , Luke 20:6 ) shows that Herod had good cause to fear the popular temper. John’s influence must have been permanent as well as wide-spread when the chief priests were afraid of being stoned if they slighted him. After the transfiguration our Lord alluded to the sufferings of John, as He endeavoured to teach His disciples the lesson of His cross: ‘I say unto you that Elijah is come, and they have also done unto him whatsoever they listed’ ( Mark 9:13 ).
J. G. Tasker.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Epistles of
JOHN, EPISTLES OF . The three Epistles known by this name have from the beginning been attributed to the Apostle John, and were admitted as canonical in the 3rd century. Some points of obvious similarity in style and diction indicate a connexion between them, but their internal character and the external evidence in their favour are so different that it will be convenient to deal with them separately.
I. First Epistle
1. Authorship, Genuineness, etc . The Epistle ranked from the first among the Homologoumena , and the testimony in favour of its authenticity is early, varied, and explicit. Its great similarity to the Fourth Gospel in phraseology and general characteristics made it natural to attribute the two documents to the same author; and few questions, or none, were raised upon the subject till comparatively recent years. A very small number of eminent critics at present dispute the identity of authorship.
(1) So far as external evidence is concerned, Polycarp, writing about a.d. 115 to the Philippians, quotes the words, ‘For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is antichrist,’ with evident allusion to 1 John 4:3 , though the author is not named. Polycarp was a disciple of John, as his own disciple Irenæus informs us. Eusebius several times refers to this Epistle, saying ( HE 1 John 4:20 ) that Papias used it and ( 1 John 4:8 ) that Irenæus made free use of it. The passages 1 John 2:18 ; 1 John 5:1 are expressly attributed by Irenæus to the Apostle. According to the Muratorian Canon, Epistle and Gospel were closely associated: ‘What wonder that John makes so many references to the Fourth Gospel in his Epistle, saying of himself’ and then follows a quotation of 1 John 1:1 . Clement of Alexandria at the close of the 2nd cent. quotes 516 as the words of ‘John in his larger Epistle.’ Tertullian quotes the language of 1 John 1:1 as that of the Apostle John, and Origen definitely refers the words of 1 John 2:7-17 to ‘John in his catholic Epistle.’ All the ancient versions include the Epistle among those canonically recognized, including the Peshitta and the Old Latin. The only exceptions to this practically universal recognition of its genuineness and authenticity are the unbelievers vaguely called Alogi , because they rejected the doctrine of the Logos, and Marcion, who accepted no books of NT except St. Luke’s Gospel and St. Paul’s Epistles. So far as external testimony is concerned, the early recognition of the Epistle as written by St. John is conclusively established.
(2) The similarily of diction between Gospel and Epistle is so close that it cannot be accidental, and it cannot escape the notice of the most superficial reader. The repeated use, in a characteristic way, of such cardinal words as Life, Love, Truth, Light, and Darkness; the recurrence of phrases which in both documents figure as watchwords, ‘to be of the truth,’ ‘of the devil,’ ‘of the world’; ‘the only begotten Son,’ ‘the Word,’ ‘knowing God,’ ‘walking in the light,’ ‘overcoming the world,’ and the special use of the word ‘believe,’ speak for themselves. The use of literary parallels always requires care; but in this case the similarity is so close as incontestably to establish a connexion between the two documents, whilst the handling of the same vocabulary is so free as irresistibly to suggest, not that the writer of the Gospel borrowed from the Epistle, or vice versa , but that the two writings proceed from the same hand. If this is so, the genuineness of each is doubly attested.
Jos. [1] Scaliger in the 16th cent. was practically the first to challenge the genuineness of all three Epistles, but not until the time of Baur and the Tübingen school of critics in the last century was a sustained attack made upon them. Since that time there have never been wanting critics who have denied the Johannine authorship of the First Epistle. Some contend that Gospel and Epistle proceed from the same author, who, however, was not the Apostle John, but John the Presbyter or some later writer. The view taken by Holtzmann, Schmiedel, and some others is that the two documents come from different writers who belong to the same general school of thought.
The chief ground of the objections raised against the Johannine authorship of the First Epistle is the alleged presence of references to heretical modes of thought which belong to a later age. Docetism, Gnosticism, and even Montanism are, it is said, directly or indirectly rebuked, and these forms of error do not belong to the Apostolic period. The reply is threefold, ( a ) Those who ascribe the Epistle to John the Apostle do not date it before the last decade of the 1st cent., when the Apostolic age was passing into the sub-Apostolic. ( b ) No references to full-grown Gnosticism and other errors as they were known in the middle of the 2nd cent. can here be found. But ( c ) it can be shown from other sources that the germs of these heresies, the general tendencies which resulted afterwards in fully developed systems, existed in the Church for at least a generation before the period in question, and at the time named were both rife and mischievous.
The points chiefly insisted on are: the doctrine of the Lagos; the form of the rebuke given to the antichrists; the references to ‘knowledge’ and ‘anointing’; the insistence upon the coming of Christ in the flesh, in condemnation of Docetic error; the distinction between mortal and venial sins; and some minor objections. In reply, it may he said that none of these is definite or explicit enough to require a later date than a.d. 100. The Epistle is indeed indirectly polemic in its character. While constructive in thought, the passing references made in it to opponents of the truth are strong enough to make it clear that the opposition was active and dangerous. But there is nothing to show that any of those condemned as enemies of Christ had more fully developed tendencies than, for example, Cerinthus is known to have manifested in his Christology at the end of the 1st century. Judaizing Gnosticism had appeared much earlier than this, as is evidenced by the Epistles to the Colossians and the Pastoral Epistles. The use of the words ‘Paraclete’ (2:1) and ‘propitiation’ (2:2), and the way in which the coming of Christ is mentioned in 2:28, have also been brought forward as proofs of divergence from the teaching of the Gospel, on very slender and unconvincing grounds.
2. Place and Date . Whilst very little evidence is forthcoming to enable us to fix exactly either of these, the general consensus of testimony points very decidedly to Ephesus during the last few years of the 1st century. Irenæus ( adv. Hær . iii. 1) testifies to the production of the Gospel by St. John during his residence in Asia, and the probability is that the Epistle was written after the Gospel, and is. chronologically perhaps the very latest of the books of the NT. If, as some maintain, it was written before the Gospel. it cannot be placed much earlier. The determination of this question is bound up with the authorship and date of the Apocalypse, a subject which is discussed elsewhere. (See Revelation [2]).
3. Form and Destination This document has some of the characteristics of a letter, and in some respects it is more like a theological treatise or homiletical essay. It may best be described as an Encyclical or Pastoral Epistle. It was addressed to a circle of readers, as is shown by the words, ‘I write unto you,’ ‘beloved,’ and ‘little children,’ but it was not restricted to any particular church, nor does it contain any specific personal messages. The term ‘catholic epistle’ was used from very early times to indicate this form of composition, but in all probability the churches of Asia Minor were kept more especially in view by the writer when he penned words which were in many respects suitable for the Church of Christ at large. A reference in Augustine to 3:2 as taken from John’s ‘Epistle to the Parthians’ has given rise to much conjecture, but the title has seldom been taken seriously in its literal meaning. It is quite possible that there is some mistake in the text of the passage ( Quæsœ. Evang . ii. 39).
4. Outline and Contents . Whether Gospel or Epistle was written first, the relation between the two is perfectly clear. In both the Apostle writes for edification, but in the Gospel the foundations of Christian faith and doctrine are shown to lie in history; in the Epistle the effects of belief are traced out in practice. In both the same great central truths are exhibited, in the same form and almost in the same words; but in the Gospel they are traced to their fount and origin; in the Epistle they are followed out to their only legitimate issues in the spirit and conduct of Christians in the world. So far as there is a difference in the presentation of truth, it may perhaps be expressed in Bishop Westcott’s words: ‘The theme of the Epistle is, the Christ is Jesus; the theme of the Gospel is, Jesus is the Christ.’ Or, as he says in another place: ‘The substance of the Gospel is a commentary on the Epistle: the Epistle is (so to speak) the condensed moral and practical application of the Gospel.’
The style is simple, but baffling in its very simplicity. The sentences are easy for a child to read, their meaning is difficult for a wise man fully to analyze. So with the sequence of thought. Each statement follows very naturally upon the preceding, but when the relation of paragraphs is to be explained, and the plan or structure of the whole composition is to be described, systematization becomes difficult, if not impossible. Logical analysis is not. however, always the best mode of exposition, and if the writer has not consciously mapped out into exact subdivisions the ground he covers, he follows out to their issues two or three leading thoughts which he keeps consistently in view throughout. The theme is fellowship with the Father and the Son, realized in love of the brethren. Farrar divides the whole into three sections, with the headings,’ God is light,’ ‘God is righteous,’ ‘God is love.’ Plummer reduces these to two, omitting the second. With some such general clue to guide him, the reader will not go far astray in interpreting the thought of the Epistle, and its outline might be arranged as follows:
Introduction : The life of fellowship that issues from knowledge of the gospel ( 1 John 1:1-4 ).
i. God is Light. The believer’s walk with God in light (1 John 1:5-10 ); sin and its remedy ( 1 John 2:1-6 ); the life of obedience ( 1 John 3:8 ): fidelity amidst defection ( 1 John 2:18-29 ).
ii. God is Righteous Love. True sonship of God manifested in brotherly love (1 John 3:1-12 ). Brotherhood in Christ a test of allegiance and a ground of assurance ( 1 John 3:13-24 ). The spirits of Truth and Error ( 1 John 4:1-6 ). The manifestation of God as Love the source and inspiration of all loving service ( 1 John 4:7-21 ). The victory of faith in Love Incarnate ( 1 John 5:1-12 ).
Conclusion : The assured enjoyment of Life Eternal ( 1 John 5:13-21 ).
Such an outline is not, however, a sufficient guide to the contents of the Epistle, and a very different arrangement might be justified. The writer does not, however, as has been asserted, ‘ramble without method,’ nor is the Epistle a ‘shapeless mass.’ The progress discernible in it is not the straightforward march of the logician who proceeds by ordered steps from premises to a foreseen conclusion: it is rather the ascent by spiral curves of the meditative thinker. St. John is here no dreamer; more practical instruction is not to be found in St. Paul or St. James. But his exhortations do not enter into details: he is concerned with principles of conduct, the minute application of which he leaves to the individual conscience. The enunciation of principles, however, is uncompromising and very searching. His standpoint is that of the ideal Christian life, not of the effort to attain it. One who is born of God ‘cannot sin’; the ‘love of God is perfected’ in the believer, and perfect love casts out fear. The assured tone of the Epistle allows no room for doubt or hesitation or conflict one who is guided by its teaching has no need to pray. ‘Help thou my unbelief.’ The spirit of truth and the spirit of error are in sharp antagonism’ and the touchstone which distinguishes them must be resolutely applied. The ‘world,’ the ‘evil one,’ and ‘antichrist’ are to be repelled absolutely and to the uttermost; the writer and those whom he represents can say, ‘We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one.’ Bright light casts deep shadows, and the true Christian of this Epistle walks in the blaze of gospel day. One who knows the true God and has eternal life cannot but ‘guard himself from idols.’
The writer of such an Epistle is appropriately called the Apostle of love. Yet the title taken by itself is misleading. He is the Apostle equally of righteousness and of faith. He ‘loved well because he hated hated the wickedness which hinders loving.’ There is a stern ring, implying however no harshness, about the very exhortations to love, which shows how indissolubly it is to be identified with immutable and inviolable righteousness. If to this Epistle we owe the great utterance, ‘God is Love’ here twice repeated, but found nowhere else in Scripture to it we owe also the sublime declaration, ‘God is Light, and in him is no darkness at all.’ And the Epistle, as well as the Gospel, makes it abundantly clear that the spring of Christian love and the secret of Christian victory over evil are alike to be found in ‘believing’: in the immovable and ineradicable faith that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is come in the flesh, and that in Him the love of God to man is so manifested and assured that those who trust Him already possess eternal life, together with all that it implies of strength and joy, and all that flows from it of obedience and loving service.
Textual questions can hardly be touched upon in this article. But it is perhaps worth pointing out that whilst the corrected text restores the Utter half of 1 John 2:23 , which in AV [3] is printed in italics as doubtful, there can now be no question that the passage ( 1 John 5:7-8 ) referring to the three witnesses in heaven, as read in AV [3] . does not form part of the Epistle. The words are wanting in all Greek MSS except a few of exceedingly late date; nor are they found in the majority of the Greek Fathers, or in any ancient version except the Latin. They undoubtedly form a gloss which found its way into the text from Latin sources; and the insertion really breaks the connexion of thought in the paragraph.
II. The Second Epistle . The Second and Third Epistles of St. John are distinguished from the First by their brevity, the absence of dogmatic teaching, and their private and personal character. They are found among the Antilegomena of the early Church in their relation to the Canon: apparently not because they were unknown, or because their authorship was questioned, but because their nature made them unsuitable for use in the public worship of the Church. The Muratorian Canon (a.d. 180) refers to two Epistles of John as received in the Catholic Church, and Irenæus about the same date specifically quotes 2 John 1:10 f. as coming from ‘John the disciple of the Lord.’ He also quotes 2 John 1:7 apparently as occurring in the First Epistle. Clement of Alexandria by a mention of John’s ‘larger Epistle’ shows that he was acquainted with at least one other shorter letter. Origen states that the two shorter letters were not accepted by all as genuine, but he adds that ‘both together do not contain a hundred lines.’ Dionysius of Alexandria appeals to them, adding that John’s name was not affixed to them, but that they were signed ‘the presbyter.’ They are omitted from the Peshitta Version, and Eusebius describes them as disputed by some, but in the later 4th cent. they were fully acknowledged and received into the Canon. The Second Epistle, therefore, though not universally accepted from the first, was widely recognized as Apostolic, and so short a letter of so distinctly personal a character could never have been ranked by the Church among her sacred writings except upon the understanding that it bore with it the authority of the Apostle John. The title ‘the Elder’ does not militate against this, but rather supports it. No ordinary presbyter would assume the style of the elder and write in such a tone of absolute command, whilst an anonymous writer, wishing to claim the sanction of the Apostle, would have inserted his name. But no motive for anything like forgery can in this case be alleged. The similarity in style to the First Epistle is very marked. Jerome among the Fathers, Erasmus at the time of the Reformation, and many modern critics have ascribed the Epistle to ‘John the Presbyter’ of Ephesus, but there is no early reference to such a person except the statement of Papias quoted by Eusebius and referred to in a previous article.
Much discussion has arisen concerning the person addressed. The two leading opinions are (1) that the words ‘elect lady and her children are to be understood literally of a Christian matron in Ephesus and her family; and (2) that a church personified, with its constituent members, was intended. Jerome in ancient times took the latter view, and in our own day it has been supported by scholars so different from one another as Lightfoot, Wordsworth, Hilgenfeld, and Schmiedel. It is claimed on this side that the exhortations given are more suited to a community, that ‘the children of thine elect sister’ can be understood only of a sister church, and that this mode of describing a church personified is not unusual, as in 1 Peter 5:13 , ‘She that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you.’ On the other hand, it is urged that this mystical interpretation destroys the simplicity and natural meaning of the letter (see especially 1 Peter 5:5 ; 1 Peter 5:10 ), that the church being constituted of members, the distinction between the ‘lady’ and her ‘children’ would disappear, and that if the lady be a private person of influence the parallel with the form of salutation to another private person in the Third Epistle is complete. This hypothesis still leaves difficulty in the exact interpretation of the words Eklektç Kyria . Some would take both these as the proper names of the person addressed; others take the former as her name, so that she would be ‘the lady Eklektç,’ others would render ‘to the elect Kyria,’ whilst the majority accept, in spite of its indefiniteness, the translation of AV [3] and RV [6] . On the whole, this course is to be preferred, though the view that a church is intended not only is tenable but has much in its favour. The fact that the early churches so often gathered in a house, and that there was so strong a personal and individual element in their community-life, makes the analogy between a primitive church and a large and influential family to be very close. Thus an ambiguity may arise which would not be possible to-day.
It remains only to say that, as in style, so in spirit, the similarity to 1 Jn. is very noticeable. The same emphasis is laid on love, on obedience, on fellowship with the Father and the Son, and the inestimable importance of maintaining and abiding in the truth. The same strong resentment is manifested against deceivers and the antichrist, and the same intensity of feeling against unbelievers or false teachers, who are not to be received into the house of a believer, or to have any kindly greeting accorded them. Whether the Epistle was actually addressed to a private person or to a Christian community, it furnishes a most interesting picture of the life, the faith, and the dangers and temptations of the primitive Christians in Asia Minor, and it contains wholesome and uncompromising, not harsh and intolerant, exhortation, such as Christian Churches in all ages may not unprofitably lay to heart.
III. Third Epistle . The two shorter Epistles of St. John were called by Jerome ‘twin sisters.’ They appear to have been recognized together at least from the time of Dionysius of Alexandria, and they are mentioned together by Eusebius ( HE iii. 25), who refers to the Epistles ‘called the second and third of John, whether they belong to the Evangelist or to another person of the same name.’ They are found together in the Old Latin Version, are both omitted from the Pesh., and they were included together in the lists of canonical books at the end of the 4th cent. by the Council of Laodicea and the Third Council of Carthage. References to the Third Epistle and quotations from it are naturally very few. It is short, it was written to a private person, it does not discuss doctrine, and its counsels and messages are almost entirely personal. But its close relationship to the Second Epistle is very obvious, and the two form companion pictures of value from the point of view of history; and St. John’s Third Epistle, like St. Paul’s personal letter to Philemon, is not without use for general edification.
The person to whom it is addressed is quite unknown. The name Gaius (Lat. Caius ) is very common, and three other persons so called are mentioned in NT, viz., Galus of Corinth ( 1 Corinthians 1:14 ; cf. Romans 16:23 ); Gaius of Derbe ( Acts 20:4 ); and Galus of Macedonia ( Acts 19:29 ). A bishop of Pergamos, appointed by the Apostle John and mentioned in the Apostolic Constitutions , was also called Gaius, and some critics are disposed to identify him with St. John’s correspondent. This is, however, a mere conjecture, and the letter is addressed, not to a church official, but to a private layman, apparently of some wealth and influence. It is written in a free and natural style, and deals with the case of some of those travelling evangelists who figured so prominently in the primitive Church, and to whom reference is made in the Didache and elsewhere. Some of these, perhaps commissioned by John himself, had visited the Church to which Gaius belonged, had been hospitably entertained by him, and helped forward on their journey, probably with material assistance. But Diotrephes an official of the church, perhaps its ‘bishop’ or a leading elder who loved power, asserted himself arrogantly, and was disposed to resist the Apostle’s authority. He declined to receive these worthy men who at their own charges were preaching the gospel in the district. He also stirred up feeling against them, and at least threatened to excommunicate any members of the church who entertained them. The evil example of Diotrephes is held up for condemnation, whilst in contrast to him, a certain Demetrius is praised, whose reputation in the Church was excellent, who had won the confidence of the Apostle, and higher commendation still had ‘the witness of the truth itself.’ Tried by the strictest and most searching test of all, the sterling metal of Demetrius’ character rang true. Full information is not given us as to all the circumstances of the case. Probably Diotrephes was not wholly to be blamed. It was quite necessary, as the Didache shows us, to inquire carefully into the character of these itinerant preachers. Some of them were mercenary in their aims, and the conflict of opinion in this instance may have had some connexion with the current controversies between Jewish and Gentile Christians. But it is the spirit of Diotrephes that is blameworthy, and the little picture here drawn of primitive ecclesiastical communities with their flaws and their excellences, their worthy members and ambitious officers, their generous hosts and kindly helpers, and the absent Apostle who bears the care of all the churches and is about to pay to this one a visit of fatherly and friendly inspection, is full of interest and instruction.
We have no information as to the time at which, or the places from and to which, these brief letters were written. They rank, with the Gospel and the First Epistle of St. John, as among the latest documents in the NT.
W. T. Davison.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of
JOHN, GOSPEL OF . Introductory . The Fourth Gospel is unique among the books of the NT. In its combination of minute historical detail with lofty spiritual teaching, in its testimony to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the preparation it makes for the foundations of Christian doctrine, it stands alone. Its influence upon the thought and life of the Christian Church has been proportionately deep and far-reaching. It is no disparagement of other inspired Scriptures to say that no other book of the Bible has left such a mark at the same time upon the profoundest Christian thinkers, and upon simple-minded believers at large. A decision as to its character, authenticity, and trustworthiness is cardinal to the Christian religion. In many cases authorship is a matter of comparatively secondary importance in the interpretation of a document, and in the determination of its significance; in this instance it is vital. That statement is quite consistent with two other important considerations. (1) We are not dependent on the Fourth Gospel for the facts on which Christianity is based, or for the fundamental doctrines of the Person and work of Christ. The Synoptic Gospels and St. Paul’s Epistles are more than sufficient to establish the basis of the Christian faith, which on any hypothesis must have spread over a large part of the Roman Empire before this book was written. (2) On any theory of authorship, the document in question is of great significance and value in the history of the Church. Those who do not accept it as a ‘Gospel’ have still to reckon with the fact of its composition, and to take account of its presence in and influence upon the Church of the 2nd century.
But when these allowances have been made, it is clearly a matter of the very first importance whether the Fourth Gospel is, on the one hand, the work of an eye-witness, belonging to the innermost circle of Jesus’ disciples, who after a long interval wrote a trustworthy record of what he had heard and seen, interpreted through the mellowing medium of half a century of Christian experience and service; or, on the other, a treatise of speculative theology cast into the form of an imaginative biography of Jesus, dating from the second or third decade of the 2nd cent., and testifying only to the form which the new religion was taking under the widely altered circumstances of a rapidly developing Church. Such a question as this is not of secondary but of primary importance at any time, and the critical controversies of recent years make a decision upon it to be crucial.
It is impossible here to survey the history of criticism, but it is desirable to say a few words upon it. According to a universally accepted tradition, extending from the third quarter of the 2nd cent. to the beginning of the 19th, John the Apostle, the son of Zebedee, was held to be the author of the Gospel, the three Epistles that went by his name, and the Apocalypse. This tradition, so far as the Gospel was concerned, was unbroken and almost unchallenged, the one exception being formed by an obscure and doubtful sect, or class of unbelievers, called Alogi by Epiphanius, who attributed the Gospel and the Apocalypse to Cerinthus! From the beginning of the 19th cent., however, and especially after the publication of Bretschneider’s Probabilia in 1820, an almost incessant conflict has been waged between the traditional belief and hypotheses which in more or less modified form attribute the Gospel to an Ephesian elder or an Alexandrian Christian philosopher belonging to the first half of the 2nd century. Baur of Tübingen, in whose theories of doctrinal development this document held an important place, fixed its date about a.d. 170, but this view has long been given up as untenable. Keim, who argued strongly against the Johannine authorship, at first adopted the date a.d. 100 115, but afterwards regarded a.d. 130 as more probable. During the last fifty years the conflict has been waged with great ability on both sides, with the effect of modifying extreme views, and more than once it has seemed as if an agreement between the more moderate critics on either side had become possible. Among the conservatives, Zahn and Weiss in Germany, and Westcott, Sanday, Reynolds, and Drummond in this country, have been conspicuous; whilst, on the other hand, Holtzmann, Jülicher, and Schmiedel have been uncompromising opponents of the historicity of the Gospel on any terms. Schürer, Harnack, and others have taken up a middle position, ascribing the book to a disciple of John the Apostle, who embodied in it his master’s teaching; whilst Wendt and some others have advocated partition theories, implying the existence of a genuine Johannine document as the basis of the Gospel, blended with later and less trustworthy matter.
The position taken in this article is that the traditional view which ascribes the authorship of the Gospel to John the Apostle is still by far the most probable account of its origin, the undeniable difficulties attaching to this view being explicable by a reasonable consideration of the circumstances of its composition. Fuller light, however, has been cast upon the whole subject by the discussions of recent years, and much is to be learned from the investigations of eminent scholars and their arguments against the Johannine authorship, especially when these do not rest upon a denial of the supernatural element in Scripture. In the present treatment of the subject, controversy will be avoided as far as possible, and stress will be laid upon the positive and constructive elements in the examination. The method adopted will be to inquire into (1) the External Evidence in favour of St. John’s authorship; (2) the Internal Evidence; (3) the scope of the Gospel and its relation to the Synoptics; (4) Objections and suggested alternative Theories; (5) Summary of the Conclusions reached.
1. External Evidence . It is not questioned that considerably before the close of the 2nd cent. the four Gospels, substantially as we have them, were accepted as authoritative in the Christian Church. This is proved by the testimony of Irenæus, bishop of Lyons, in Gaul, writing about a.d. 180; Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, about a.d. 170; Clement, head of the catechetical school in Alexandria, about 190; and Tertullian, the eloquent African Father, who wrote at the end of the century, and who quotes freely from all the Gospels by name. The full and explicit evidence of the Muratorian Canon may also be dated about a.d. 180. Irenæus assumes the Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel as generally accepted and unquestioned. He expressly states that after the publication of the other three Gospels, ‘John the disciple of the Lord, who also leaned upon His breast, himself also published the Gospel, while he was dwelling at Ephesus in Asia.’ He tells us that he himself when a boy had heard from the lips of Polycarp his reminiscences of ‘his familiar intercourse with John and the rest of those that had seen the Lord.’ He dwells in mystical fashion upon the significance of the number four, and characterizes the Fourth Gospel as corresponding to the ‘flying eagle’ among the living creatures of Ezekiel 1:10 ; Ezekiel 10:14 . Theophilus of Antioch quotes it as follows: ‘John says, in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God’ ( Aut. 22). The Muratorian Fragment, which gives a list of the canonical books recognized in the Western Church of the period, ascribes the Fourth Gospel to ‘John, one of the disciples,’ and whilst recognizing that ‘in the single books of the Gospels different principles are taught,’ the writer adds that they all alike confirm the faith of believers by their agreement in their teaching about Christ’s birth, passion, death, resurrection, and twofold advent. Clement of Alexandria, in handing down ‘the tradition of the elders from the first,’ says that ‘John, last of all, having observed that the bodily things had been exhibited in the Gospels, exhorted by his friends and inspired by the Spirit, produced a spiritual gospel’ (Eus. HE vi. 14). Tertullian, among other testimonies, shows his opinion of the authorship and his discrimination of the character of the Gospels by saying, ‘Among the Apostles, John and Matthew form the faith within us; among the companions of the Apostles, Luke and Mark renovate it’ ( adv. Marc . iv. 2).
Was this clearly expressed and wide-spread belief of the Church well based? First of all it must be said that the personal link supplied by Irenæus is of itself so important as to be almost conclusive, unless very strong counter-reasons can be alleged. It was impossible that he should be mistaken as to the general drift of Polycarp’s teaching, and Polycarp had learned directly from John himself. On the broad issue of John’s ministry in Asia and his composition of a Gospel, this testimony is of the first importance. The suggestion that confusion had arisen in his mind between the Apostle and a certain ‘Presbyter John’ of Asia will be considered later, but it is exceedingly unlikely that on such a matter either Polycarp or his youthful auditor could have made a mistake. The testimony of churches and of a whole generation of Christians, inheritors of the same tradition at only one remove, corroborates the emphatic and repeated statements of Irenæus.
It is quite true that in the first half of the 2nd cent. the references to the Gospel are neither so direct nor so abundant as might have been expected. The question whether Justin Martyr knew, and recognized, our Gospels as such has been much debated. His references to the Gospel narrative are very numerous, and the coincidences between the form of the records which he quotes and our Gospels are often close and striking, but he mentions no authors’ names. In his first Apol . ch. 61 (about a.d. 160), however, we read, ‘For Christ also said, Except ye be born again, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven,’ which would appear to imply, though it does not prove, an acquaintance with the Fourth Gospel. Other references to Christ as ‘only begotten Son’ and the ‘Word’ are suggestive. The recent discovery of Tatian’s Diatessaron ( c [1] . a.d. 160) makes it certain that that ‘harmony’ of the Gospels began with the words, ‘In the beginning was the Word,’ and that the whole of the Fourth Gospel was interwoven into its substance. The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians (before a.d. 120) apparently quotes 1 Jn. in the words, ‘For every one who does not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is antichrist,’ but no express citation is made. The Epistles of Ignatius (about a.d. 110) apparently show traces of the Fourth Gospel in their references to ‘living water,’ ‘children of light,’ Christ as ‘the Word’ and as ‘the door,’ but these are not conclusive. Papias may have known and used this Gospel, as Irenæus seems to imply ( adv. Hær . 36); and Eusebius distinctly says that he ‘used testimonies from the First Epistle of John’ ( HE iii. 39).
Some of the most noteworthy testimonies to the use of the Gospel in the former part of the 2nd cent. are drawn from heretical writings. It is certain that Heracleon of the Valentinian school of Gnostics knew and quoted the Gospel as a recognized authority, and it would even appear that he wrote an elaborate commentary on the whole Gospel. Origen quotes him as misapprehending the text, ‘No one has seen God at any time.’ Hippolytus in his Refutation of all Heresies (vi. 30) proves that Valentinus (about a.d. 130) quoted John 10:8 , ‘The Saviour says, All that came before me are thieves and robbers,’ and that Basilides a little earlier made distinct reference to John 1:9 : ‘As it is said in the Gospels, the true light that enlighteneth every man was coming into the world.’ Slighter and more doubtful references are found in the Clementine Homilies and other heretical writings, and these go at least some way to show that the peculiar phraseology of the Fourth Gospel was known and appealed to as authoritative in the middle of the 2nd century.
It is not, however, by explicit references to ‘texts’ that a question of this kind can be best settled. The chief weight of external evidence lies in the fact that between a.d. 150 and 180 four Gospels were recognized in the Church as authentic records, read in the assemblies, and accepted as authoritative. Also, that the fourth of these was with practical unanimity ascribed to St. John, as written by him in Asia at the very end of the 1st century. This acceptance included districts as far apart as Syria and Gaul, Alexandria, Carthage and Rome. Can the whole Church of a.d. 180 have been utterly mistaken on such a point? True, the early Christians were ‘uncritical’ in the modern sense of the word criticism. But they were not disposed lightly to accept alleged Apostolic writings as genuine. On the other hand, the inquiry into their authenticity was usually close and careful. A period of fifty years is short when we remember how generations overlap one another, and how carefully traditions on the most sacred subjects are guarded. It is hardly possible to suppose that on such salient questions as the residence of the Apostle John for twenty years in Asia, and the composition of one of the four authoritative Gospels, any serious error or confusion could have arisen so early. At least the prima facie external evidence is so far in favour of Johannine authorship that it must stand accepted, unless very serious objections to it can be sustained, or some more satisfactory account of the origin of the Gospel can be suggested.
2. Internal Evidence . The first point to be noted under this head is that the book makes a direct claim to have been written by an eye-witness, and indirectly it points to the Apostle John as its author. The phrase ‘We beheld his glory’ ( John 1:14 ) is not decisive, though, taken in connexion with 1 John 1:1-4 , if the Epistle be genuine, the claim of first-hand knowledge is certainly made. There can be no question concerning the general meaning of John 19:35 , though its detailed exegesis presents difficulties. The verse might be paraphrased, ‘He that hath seen hath borne witness, and his witness is genuine and real; and he knoweth that he speaketh things that are true, so that ye also may believe.’ No one reading this can question that the writer of the narrative of the Crucifixion claims to have been present and to be recording what he had seen with his own eyes. A peculiar pronoun is used in ‘ he knoweth,’ and Sanday, E. A. Abbott, and others would interpret the word emphatically, of Christ; but its use is probably due to the fact that the writer is speaking of himself in the third person, and emphasizes his own personal testimony. Parallel instances from classical and modern writers have been adduced. In John 21:24 further corroboration is given of the accuracy of the disciple who was at the same time an eye-witness of the events and the author of the narrative. It appears, however, to have been added to the Gospel by others. ‘We know that his witness is true’ is probably intended as an endorsement on the part of certain Ephesian elders, whilst the ‘I suppose’ of John 1:25 may indicate yet another hand. In addition to these more or less explicit testimonies, notes are freely introduced throughout the Gospel which could proceed only from a member of the innermost circle of Christ’s disciples, though the writer never mentions his own name. Instead, he alludes to ‘ the disciple whom Jesus loved ’ in such a way that by a process of exhaustion it may be proved from chs. 20 and 21 that John was intended. It can hardly be questioned that the writer delicately but unmistakably claims to be that disciple himself. An ordinary pseudonymous writer does not proceed in this fashion. The authority of an honoured name is sometimes claimed by an unknown author, as in the Ascension of Isaiah and the Apocalypse of Baruch , not fraudulently, but as a literary device to give character to his theme. In this case, however, the indirect suggestion of authorship either must indicate that the Apostle wrote the book, modestly veiling his own identity, or else it points to an unwarrantable pretence on the part of a later writer, who threw his own ideas into the form of a (largely imaginary) narrative. Some modern critics do not shrink from this last hypothesis; but it surely implies a misleading misrepresentation of facts incredible under the circumstances. A third theory, which would imply collaboration on the part of one of John’s own disciples, will be discussed later.
Does the Gospel, then, as a whole bear out this claim, directly or indirectly made? Is it such a book as may well have proceeded from one who ranked amongst the foremost figures in the sacred drama of which Jesus of Nazareth was the august centre? The answer cannot be given in a word. Many features of the Gospel strongly support such a claim. Putting aside for the moment its spiritual teaching, we may say that it displays a minute knowledge of details which could have come only from an eye-witness who was intimately acquainted not only with the places and scenes, but with the persons concerned, their characters and motives. No artistic imagination could have enabled an Ephesian Christian of the 2nd cent. either to insert the minute topographical and other touches which bespeak the eye-witness, or to invent incidents like those recorded in chs. 4 and 9, bearing a verisimilitude which commends them at once to the reader. On the other hand, there is so much in the Gospel which implies a point of view entirely different from that of Christ’s immediate contemporaries, and there are so many divergences from the Synoptics in the description of our Lord’s ministry as regards time, place, the manner of Christ’s teaching, and particular incidents recorded as to make it impossible to ascribe it to the son of Zebedee without a full explanation of serious difficulties and discrepancies. But for these two diverse aspects of the same document, there would be no ‘Johannine problem.’ It will be well to take the two in order, and see if they can be reconciled.
It has been usual to arrange the evidence in narrowing circles; to show that the author must have been a Jew, a Palestinian, an eye-witness, one of the Twelve, and lastly the Apostle John. It is impossible, however, to array here all the proofs available. It must suffice to say that a close familiarity with Jewish customs and observances, such as could not have been possessed by an Ephesian in a.d. 120, is shown in the account of the Feast of Tabernacles (ch. 7), the Dedication (John 10:22 ), Jews and Samaritans ( John 4:19-20 ), conversation with women in public ( John 4:27 ), ceremonial pollution ( John 18:28 ), and other minute touches, each slight in itself, but taken together of great weight. The numerous references to the Messianic hope in chs. 1, 4, 7, 8. and indeed throughout the Gospel, indicate one who was thoroughly acquainted with Jewish views and expectations from within. Familiarity with the Jewish Scriptures and a free but reverent use of them are apparent throughout. The places mentioned are not such as a stranger would or could have introduced into an imaginary narrative. As examples we may mention Bethany beyond Jordan ( John 1:28 ), Ænon ( John 3:23 ), Ephraim ( John 11:54 ), the treasury ( John 8:20 ), the pool of Siloam ( John 9:7 ), Solomon’s porch ( John 10:23 ), the Kidron ( John 18:1 ). It is true that difficulties have been raised with regard to some of these, e.g. Sychar ( John 4:5 ); but recent exploration has in several instances confirmed the writer’s accuracy. Again, the habit of the writer is to specify details of time, place, and number which must either indicate exceptional first-hand knowledge, or have been gratuitously inserted by one who wished to convey an impression of ‘local colour.’ The very hour of the day at which events happened is noted in John 1:39 , John 4:6 ; John 4:52 , John 19:14 ; or ‘the early morning’ is mentioned, as in John 18:28 , John 20:1 , John 21:4 ; or the night, as in John 3:2 , John 13:30 . The specification of six water-pots ( John 2:6 ), five and twenty furlongs ( John 6:19 ), two hundred cubits ( John 21:8 ), and the hundred and fifty-three fishes ( John 21:11 ), is a further illustration either of an old man’s exact reminiscences of events long past or of a late writer’s pretended acquaintance with precise details.
The portraiture of persons and incidents characteristic of the Gospel is noteworthy. The picture is so graphic, and the effect is produced by so few strokes, often unexpected, that it must be ascribed either to an eye-witness or to a writer of altogether exceptional genius. The conversations recorded, the scene of the feet-washing, the representation of the Samaritan woman, of the man born blind, the portraiture of Peter, of Pilate, of the priests and the multitude, the questionings of the disciples, the revelation of secret motives and fears, the interpretations of Christ’s hidden meanings and difficult sayings may , as an abstract possibility, have been invented. But if they were not and it is hard to understand how a writer who lays so much stress upon truth could bring himself to such a perversion of it then the author of the Gospel must have moved close to the very centre of the sacred events he describes. In many cases it is not fair to present such a dilemma as this. The use of the imagination in literature is often not only permissible, but laudable. It is quite conceivable that a Jew of the 2nd cent. before Christ might use the name of Solomon, or the author of the Clementine Homilies in the 2nd cent. a.d. might write a romance, without any idea of deception in his own mind or in that of his readers. But the kind of narrative contained in the Fourth Gospel, if it be not genuinely and substantially historical, implies such an attempt to produce a false impression of first-hand knowledge as becomes seriously misleading. The impossibility of conceiving a writer possessed of both the power and the will thus deliberately to colour and alter the facts, forms an important link in the chain of argument. Fabulous additions to the canonical Gospels are extant, and their character is well known. They present a marked contrast in almost all respects to the characteristic features of the document before us. The name of John is never once mentioned in the Gospel, though the writer claims to be intimately acquainted with all the chief figures of the Gospel history. As deliberate self-suppression this can be understood, but as an attempt on the part of a writer a century afterwards to pose as ‘the beloved disciple,’ a prominent figure in elaborate descriptions of entirely imaginary scenes, it is unparalleled in literature and incredible in a religious historian.
A volume might well be filled with an examination of the special features of the Gospel in its portrayal of Christ Himself. Even the most superficial reader must have noticed the remarkable combination of lowliness with sublimity, of superhuman dignity with human infirmities and limitations, which characterizes the Fourth Gospel. It is in it that we read of the Saviour’s weariness by the well and His thirst upon the Cross, of the personal affection of Jesus for the family at Bethany, and His tender care of His mother in the very hour of His last agony. But it is in the same record that the characteristic ‘glory’ of His miracles is most fully brought out; in it the loftiest claims are made not only for the Master by a disciple, but by the Lord for Himself as the Light of the World, the Bread from Heaven, the only true Shepherd of men, Himself the Resurrection and the Life. He is saluted not only by Mary as Rabboni, but by Thomas as ‘my Lord and my God.’ The writer claims an exceptional and intimate knowledge of Christ. He tells us what He felt, as in John 11:33 and John 13:21 ; the reasons for His actions, as in John 6:6 ; and he is bold to describe the Lord’s secret thoughts and purposes ( John 6:61 ; John 6:64 , John 18:4 , John 19:28 ). More than this, in the Prologue of a Gospel which describes the humanity of the Son of Man, He is set forth as the ‘only’ Son of God, the Word made flesh, the Word who in the beginning was with God and was God, Creator and Sustainer of all that is. This marked characteristic of the Gospel has indeed been made a ground of objection to it. We cannot conceive, it is said, that one who had moved in the circle of the Immediate companions of Jesus of Nazareth could have spoken of Him in this fashion. The reply is obvious. What kind of a portrait is actually presented? If it be an entirely incredible picture, an extravagant attempt to portray a moral and spiritual prodigy or monstrosity, an impossible combination of the human and the Divine, then we may well suppose that human imagination has been at work. But if a uniquely impressive image is set forth in these pages, which has commanded the homage of saints and scholars for centuries, and won the hearts of millions of those simple souls to whom the highest spiritual truths are so often revealed, then it may be surmised that the Fourth Gospel is not due to the fancy of an
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Theology of
JOHN, THEOLOGY OF . It is the object of this article to give a brief account of St. John’s teaching as contained in his Gospel and Epistles. Without prejudging in any way the authorship of the Apocalypse, it will be more convenient that the doctrine of that book should be considered separately. Enough if it be said here that, despite the obvious and very striking difference in the form and style of the book, the underlying similarities between it and those to be now considered are no less remarkable. Careful students, not blinded by the symbolism and other peculiarities of the Revelation, who have concentrated attention upon its main ideas and principles, have come to the conclusion that if it did not proceed from the same pen that wrote the Gospel and Epistles, it belongs to the same school of Christian thought. See Revelation [1].
1. Some general characteristics of the teaching of St. John . (1) It was not in vain that the designation ‘the theologian’ was given to him, as in the title of the Apocalypse and elsewhere. The word means in this connexion that it was St. John’s habit to consider every subject from the point of view of the Divine . Not only is God to him the most real of all beings that should be true of every religious man but all the details of his very practical teaching are traced up to their origin in the nature and will of God. The opening of his Gospel is characteristic. History is viewed from the standpoint of eternity, the life of Jesus is to be narrated not from the point of view of mere human observation, but as a temporal manifestation of eternal realities. (2) But it must not for a moment be understood that the treatment of human affairs is vague, abstract, unreal . St. John has a firm hold upon the concrete, and his insight into the actual life and needs of men is penetrating and profound. He is not analytical as St. Paul is, nor does he deal with individual virtues and vices as does St. James. But in the unity and simplicity of a few great principles he reaches to the very heart of things. His method is often described as intuitive, contemplative, mystical. The use of these epithets may be justified, but it would be misleading to suppose that a teacher who views life from so high a vantage-ground sees less than others. The higher you climb up the mountain the farther you can see. Those who contrast the spiritual with the practical create a false antithesis. The spiritual teacher, and he alone, can perceive and deal with human nature, not according to its superficial appearances, but as it really is at its very core. (3) Only it must not be forgotten that the view thus taken of nature and conduct is ideal, absolute, uncompromising . The moral dualism which is characteristic of St. John is in accordance with the sentence from the great Judgment-seat. Light and darkness good and evil truth and falsehood life and death these are brought into sharp and relentless contrast. Half-tones, delicate distinctions, the subtle and gradual fining down of principles in the complex working of motives in human life, disappear in the blaze of light which St. John causes to stream in from another world. ‘He that is begotten of God cannot sin’ ( 1 John 3:9 ); he that ‘denieth the Son hath not the Father’ (2:23); ‘we are of God, the whole world lieth in the evil one’ (5:19). Such a mode of regarding life is not unreal, if only its point of view be borne in mind. In the drama of human society the sudden introduction of these absolute and irreconcilable principles of judgment would be destructive of distinctions which have an importance of their own, but the forces, as St. John describes them, are actually at work, and one day their fundamental and inalienable character will be made plain. (4) Another feature of St. John’s style and method which arrests attention at once is his characteristic use of certain words and phrases ‘witness’ (47 times), ‘truth,’ ‘signs,’ ‘world’ (78 times), ‘eternal life,’ ‘know’ (55), ‘believe’ (98), ‘glory,’ ‘judgment,’ are but specimens of many. They indicate a unity of thought and system in the writer which finds no precise parallel elsewhere in Scripture, the nearest approach, perhaps, being in the characteristic phraseology of Deuteronomy in the OT. St. John is not systematic in the sense of presenting his readers with carefully ordered reasoning a progressive argument compacted by links of logical demonstration. He sees life whole, and presents it as a whole. But all that belongs to human life falls within categories which, from the outset, are very clear and definite to his own mind. The Gospel is carefully constructed as an artistic whole, the First Epistle is not. But all the thoughts in both are presented in a setting prepared by the definite ideas of the writer. The molten metal of Christian thought and feeling has taken shape in the mould of a strikingly individual mind: the crystallization of the ideas is his work, and there is consequently a unity and system about his presentation of them which may be described as distinctly Johannine. The truth he taught was gained direct from the Master, and its form largely so. But in describing the teaching we shall use the name of the disciple.
2. The doctrine of God which underlies these books is as sublime in its lofty monotheism as it is distinctively ‘Christian’ in its manifestation and unfolding. No writer of Scripture insists more strongly upon the unity and absoluteness of the only God ( John 5:44 ), ‘the only true God’ (17:3), whom ‘no man hath seen at any time’ (1:18); yet none more completely recognizes the eternal Sonship of the Son, the fulness of the Godhead seen in Christ, the personality and Divine offices of the Holy Spirit. It is to St. John that we owe the three great utterances, ‘God is Spirit’ ( John 4:24 ), ‘God is Light’ ( 1 John 1:5 ), ‘God is Love’ ( 1 John 4:8 ; 1 John 4:16 ).
The deductions drawn from the doctrine of the spirituality of God show the importance of its practical aspects. God as Spirit is not remote from men, but this conception of His essence brings Him, though invisible, nearer to men than ever. God as Light exhibits Himself to us as truth, holiness, and righteousness. Some interpreters understand the phrase as designating the metaphysical being of God, others His self-revelation and self-impartation. The context, however, points rather to the ineffable purity of His nature and the need of holiness in those who profess to hold fellowship with Him. That God is loving unto every man, or at least to Israel, was no new doctrine when John taught; but up to that time none had ever pronounced the words in their profound simplicity ‘God is Love.’ John himself could never have conceived the thought; he learned it from his Master. But if the form in which he expressed it is accurate and what Christian can question it? , it ‘makes one thing of all theology.’ Love is not so much an attribute of God as a name for Himself in the intimate and changeless essence of His being. That there is the slightest inconsistency between the Divine love and the Divine righteousness is incredible; but if God is love, no manifestation of God’s justice can ever contradict this quintessential principle of His inmost nature. Again, the words that follow the statement show that in the Apostle’s mind the practical aspects of the doctrine were prominent. Contemplation with him does not mean speculation. Abstract a priori deductions from a theologonmenon are not in St. John’s thought: his conclusions are, ‘He that loveth not knoweth not God’ ( 1 John 4:8 ), ‘We also ought to love one another’ (v. 11). Nor does this high teaching exclude careful discrimination. The love of the Father to the Son, His love to the world as the basis of all salvation, the closer sympathy and fellowship which He grants to believers as His own children, are not confused with one another. But the statement that God is love goes behind all these for the moment, and teaches that the principle of self-impartation is essential, energetic, and ever operating in the Divine nature, and that it is in itself the source of all life, all purifying energy, and all that love which constitutes at the same time the binding and the motive power of the whole universe.
3. The Logos . The object for which the Gospel was written, we are told, was that men might believe that Jesus was not only the Christ, but also the Son of God. The former belief would not necessarily change their views of the Godhead; the latter, if intelligently held and interpreted in the light of Thomas’ confession (for instance), would undoubtedly affect in some direction the intense monotheism of one who was born and bred a Jew. Was it possible to believe that in Jesus God Himself was incarnate, and at the same time to believe completely and ardently in the unity of God? The answer of the writer is given substantially in the Prologue, in the doctrine of the Eternal Word. It is unnecessary to discuss in detail whence John derived the word Logos : the doctrine was practically his own. There can be little question that the Memra of the Targums, based on the usage of such passages as Psalms 33:6 ; Psalms 147:15 , and Isaiah 55:11 , formed the foundation of the idea, and it is tolerably certain that the connotation attaching to the word had been modified by Philo’s use of it. It does not follow, however, that St. John uses the word either as the Psalmist did, or as the paraphrast or the Alexandrian philosopher employed it. Taking a word which his hearers and readers understood, he put his own stamp upon it. Philo and St. John both drew from Hebrew sources. Philo employed an expression which suited his philosophy because of its meaning ‘reason,’ and it was employed by him mainly in a metaphysical sense. St. John, however, availed himself of another meaning of the Greek word Logos , and he emphasizes the Divine ‘utterance,’ which reveals the mind and will of God Himself, giving a personal and historical interpretation to the phrase. The Word, according to the teaching of the Prologue, is Eternal, Divine, the Mediator of creation, the Light of mankind throughout history; and in the latter days the Word made flesh, tabernacling amongst men, is the Only-begotten from the Father full of grace and truth. This cardinal doctrine once laid down, there is no further reference to it in the Gospel, and in the only other places in NT where a similar expression is used ( 1 John 1:1 and Revelation 19:13 ) it is employed with a difference. Even in the Prologue the conception of the Word is not abstract and philosophical, but when the introduction to the Gospel is finished, the idea never appears again; the narrative of the only Son, revealing for the first time the Father in all His fulness, proceeds as if no account of the Logos had been given. When the basis of the Gospel story has been laid in a deep doctrine of the Eternal Godhead, the idea has done its work, and in the actual narrative it is discarded accordingly. The Christology of St. John would be quite incomplete without his doctrine of the Logos, but it is not dependent on this. Christ’s unique Personality as Son of God may be fully known from His life on earth, but the Prologue gives to the narrative of His ministry in the flesh a background of history and of eternity. In all ages the Logos was the medium of Divine revelation, as He had been of creation itself, and of the Godhead before the world was. Pre-temporal existence and pre-incarnate operation having been described with sublime brevity, the Evangelist proceeds calmly with the story to which this forms an august introduction. See also art. Logos.
4. The Fatherhood of God, and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit . It is unnecessary to point out how influential the Prologue has been in the history of Christian thought, but it is well to remember also that to St. John more than to any other writer we owe the development of the Christian doctrine of the Godhead, as modified by the above cardinal conceptions. The doctrines of the Fatherhood of God and of the Holy Spirit as a Divine Person do not indeed depend upon the witness of St. John. The Synoptists and St. Paul, not to speak of other NT writers, would furnish a perfectly adequate basis for these vital truths of Christian faith. But neither would have influenced Christian thought so profoundly, and neither would have been so clearly understood, without St. John’s teaching and Christ’s words as reported by him. The meaning of the term ‘Son of God’ as applied to Jesus is brought to light by the Fourth Gospel. Without it we might well have failed to gain an adequate conception of Fatherhood and Sonship as eternal elements in the Divine nature, and the unique relationship between the Father and the Son Incarnate is brought out in the fifth and other chapters of the Gospel as nowhere else. So with the Christian doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The whole of Scripture bears its testimony. Even in the OT more is said of the Spirit of God than is often recognized, and the teaching of St. Paul and St. Luke is full of instruction. But without the farewell discourses of Christ to His Apostles as recorded in John 14:1-31 ; John 15:1-27 ; John 16:1-33 , our ideas of His Person and office would be comparatively meagre. The very term ‘Paraclete,’ not found outside the Gospel and 1 Ep., is itself a revelation. The personality of the Spirit and His distinctness from the Father and the Son, whilst Himself one with them, are elucidated with great clearness in these chapters. On the other hand, in his Epistle, St. John has much less to say than St. Paul of the Spirit in relation to the life of the believer.
5. On the subjects of sin and salvation , St. John’s teaching harmonizes fully with that of the NT generally, whilst he maintains an individual note of his own, and brings out certain aspects of Christ’s teaching as none of the Synoptists does. To him we owe the definition, ‘sin is lawlessness’ ( 1 John 3:4 ). He describes sin in the singular as a principle, rather than actual sins in the concrete. No dark lists enumerating the Protean forms of sin, such as are found in St. Paul, occur in St. John, but he emphasizes with tremendous power the contrast between flesh and spirit, between light and darkness. The perennial conflict between these is hinted at in the Prologue, and it is terribly manifest alike in the ministry of the Saviour and in the life of the Christian in the world. To St. John’s writings chiefly we owe the idea of ‘the world as a dark and dire enemy,’ vague and shadowy in outline, but most formidable in its opposition to the love of the Father and the light of the life of sonship. The shades of meaning in which ‘world’ is employed vary (see John 8:23 , John 12:31 , John 17:14 ; John 17:25 , John 18:36 and 1 John 2:15-16 ). The existence of evil spirits and their connexion with the sin of man are dwelt on by St. John in his own way. He does not dwell on the phenomena of demoniacal possession, but he has much to say of ‘the devil’ or ‘the evil one’ as a personal embodiment of the principle and power of evil. Upon his doctrine of Antichrist and ‘the sin unto death’ we cannot now dwell.
Potent as are the forces of evil, perfect conquest over them may be gained. The victory has already been virtually won by Christ as the all-sufficient Saviour, who as Son of God was manifested that He might undo or annul the works of the devil (1 John 3:8 ). His object was not to condemn the world, but to save it ( John 3:17 ). That the Cross of Christ was the centre of His work, and His death the means through which eternal life was obtained for men, is made abundantly clear from several different points of view. John the Baptist points to the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world ( John 1:29 ). The Son of Man is to be ‘lifted up’ like the serpent in the wilderness ( John 3:14 ), and will draw all men unto Himself ( John 12:32 ). He gives His flesh for the life of the world ( John 6:51 ). Only those who ‘eat his flesh’ and ‘drink his blood’ have eternal life ( John 6:53-56 ). He is the propitiation for the sins of the world ( 1 John 2:2 ; 1 John 4:10 ), and it is His blood that cleanses from all sin those who walk in the light and have fellowship with the Father and the Son ( 1 John 1:7 ). St. John dwells but little on the legal aspects of sin and atonement; his doctrine on these matters is characteristic, confirming, whilst in supplements, the doctrines of St. Paul concerning justification and sanctification. What Paul describes as entire sanctification John eulogizes as perfect love two names for the same full salvation, two paths to the same consummate goal.
It is most instructive to compare St. Paul and St. John in their references to faith and love. No student of these two great twin brethren in Christ could decide which of them deserves to be called the Apostle of faith, or which the Apostle of love. St. John uses the word ‘faith’ only once (1 John 5:4 ), but the verb ‘believe’ occurs nearly 200 times in his writings, and his usage of it is more plastic and versatile than that of St. Paul or the writer of Hebrews. Again, if the word ‘love’ occurs much more frequently in St. John, he has composed no such hymn in its honour as is found in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 . The light he exhibits as a simple white ray St. Paul disperses into all the colours of the rainbow. The shades of meaning in St. John’s use of the word ‘believe’ and his delicate distinction between two Greek words for ‘love’ deserve careful study.
6 . The true believer in Christ enters upon a new life . The nature of this life is fully unfolded in St. John’s writings, in terms which show an essential agreement with other parts of NT, but which are at the same time distinctively his own. The doctrine of the New Birth is one example of this. The Gospel gives a full account of the discourse of Christ with Nicodemus on this subject, but both Gospel and Epistle contain many of the Apostle’s own statements, which show no slavish imitation on his part either of the words of the Master or of Paul, but present his own views as a Christian teacher consistently worked out. In the Prologue the contrast between natural birth ‘of blood, of the will of the flesh, of the will of man,’ and the being spiritually ‘born of God,’ is very marked. Those whose life has been thus renewed are described as ‘having the right to become children of God,’ and the condition is the ‘receiving’ or ‘believing on the name’ of Him who, as Word of God, had come into the world. The phrase used for the most part in John 3:1-36 and in 1 Jn. is ‘begotten again’ or ‘anew’ or ‘from above.’ The word ‘begotten,’ not employed thus by other NT writers, lays stress on the primary origin of the new life, not so much on its changed character. Two participles are employed in Greek, one of which emphasizes the initial act, the other the resulting state. But all the passages, including especially 1 John 2:29 ; 1Jn 3:9 ; 1 John 5:1 ; 1 John 5:18 , draw a very sharp contrast between the new life which the believer in Christ enjoys and the natural life of the ordinary man. He to whom the new life has been imparted is a new being. He ‘doeth righteousness,’ he ‘does not commit sin,’ he ‘cannot sin,’ because he has been begotten of God and ‘his seed abideth in him.’ Love and knowledge are marks of this new begetting, and the new life is given to ‘whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ.’ Some difficulty attaches to the interpretation of one clause in 1 John 5:18 , but it is clear from that verse that he who enjoys the new life ‘doth not sin,’ and that ‘the evil one toucheth him not.’ The change is mysterious, but very real, and the term used by St. John to indicate this relation ‘children,’ instead of ‘sons’ as is usual with St. Paul lays stress upon the close and intimate personal bond thus created, rather than upon the status and privileges of sonship. St. John, as we might expect, emphasizes the vital, not the legal, element; believers are not merely called children, ‘such we are’ ( 1 John 3:1-2 ) and cannot be otherwise. When new life has actually been infused, it must manifest its characteristic qualities.
The nature of the Christian’s vital union with God in Christ is illustrated from different points of view. Our Lord’s allegory not parable of the Vine and the Branches is full of instruction, but no analogy drawn from vegetable life suffices adequately to describe the fellowship between Christ and His disciples; this is rather to be moulded after the pattern of the spiritual fellowship between the Father and the Son (John 15:9 ; John 17:21-23 ); and the terms ‘communion’ and ‘abiding’ are strongly characteristic of the First Epistle (1:3, 2:6, 27, 28, 3:24, 4:12 etc.). The strong phrases of John 6:1-71 , ‘eating the flesh’ and ‘drinking the blood’ of Christ, are employed, partly to express the extreme closeness of the appropriation of Christ Himself by the believer, partly to emphasize the benefits of His sacrificial work, as the faithful receive in the Lord’s Supper the symbols of His broken body and blood poured out for men.
Lest, however, what might be called the mystical element in John’s theology should be exaggerated, it is well to note that the balance is redressed by the stress laid upon love in its most practical forms. Love of the world that is, the bestowal of supreme regard upon the passing attractions of things outward and visible is absolutely inconsistent with real love to the Father and real life in Christ ( 1 John 2:15-17 ). Similarly strong language is used as regards social relationships and the love of others; for the word ‘brother’ must not be narrowed down to mean exclusively those who belong to the Christian communion. No man whose life in relation to men is not actuated by love can be said to walk in the light ( 1 John 2:9-10 ); hatred is murder ( 1 John 3:12 ; 1 John 3:15 ); willingness to help another in need is a test of true love, nominal and professed affection will not suffice ( 1 John 3:17-18 ); a man who professes to love God and does not manifest a spirit of loving helpfulness adds falsehood to his other sins ‘he is a liar’ ( 1 John 4:20 ). The frequent repetition of some of these phrases and their interchange with others, such as ‘doing righteousness,’ ‘walking in the truth,’ ‘being in the light,’ ‘abiding in him,’ ‘God abiding in us,’ and the like, show that St. John is dealing with the very central core of spiritual life, and that for him, as for St. Paul, it is true that ‘he that loveth his neighbour hath fulfilled the law … for love is the fulfilment of the law.’
No more comprehensive phrase, however, to describe in brief the blessings of the gospel is to be found in St. John’s theology than ‘ eternal life .’ It occurs 17 times in the Gospel and 6 times in the First Epistle, while ‘life’ with substantially the same meaning is found much more frequently. ‘Life’ means for St. John that fulness of possession and enjoyment which alone realizes the great ends for which existence has been given to men, and it is to be realized only in the fulfilment of the highest human ideals through union with God in Christ. Eternal ‘life’ means this rich existence in perpetuity; sometimes it includes immortality, sometimes it distinctly refers to that which may be enjoyed here and now. In the latter case it is not unlike what is called in 1 Timothy 6:19 ‘the life which is life indeed.’ It is defined in John 17:3 as consisting in the knowledge of God and Christ, where knowledge must certainly imply not a mere intellectual acquaintance, but a practical attainment in experience, including a state of heart and will as well as of mind, which makes God in Christ to be a true possession of the soul that fellowship with God which constitutes the supreme possession for man upon the earth. But a contrast is drawn, e.g. in John 3:16 and John 10:28 , between ‘eternal life’ and ‘perishing’ or ‘moral ruin’; and in one of St. John’s sharp and startling contrasts, the choice open to man is described as including only these two solemn alternatives ‘He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him’ ( John 3:36 ). The idea thus broached carries us beyond the boundaries of earthly existence; according to Christ’s teaching, whoever keeps His word ‘shall never taste of death’ ( John 8:52 ), and ‘though he die, yet shall he live’ ( John 11:25 ). Knowledge of God and union with Christ impart to the believer a type of being which is not subject to the chances and changes of temporal existence, but is in itself unending, imperishable, so that in comparison with it no other kind of life deserves the name.
7 . This opens up naturally the question of St. John’s Eschatology . It has already been said (see p. 482 a ) that some critics find an inherent contradiction between St. John’s view of judgment and that set forth by the Synoptists, and it has been pointed out in reply that he recognizes ‘judgment’ not merely as here and now present in history, but as still to be anticipated in its final form in the life beyond the grave. Similar statements have been made in reference to Christ’s ‘coming’ and the ‘resurrection.’ That each of these three events is recognized as still in the future, to be anticipated as coming to pass at the end of the world, or at ‘the last day,’ is clear from such passages as the following: ‘judgment’ in John 12:48 and 1 John 4:17 ; ‘coming’ in John 14:3 and 1 John 2:18 ; 1 John 2:28 ; ‘resurrection’ in John 5:28-29 ; John 6:39-40 ; John 11:24 etc. But it cannot be questioned that St. John, much more than St. Paul or the Synoptists, uses these words in a spiritual sense to indicate a coming to earth in the course of history, a spiritual visitation which may be called a ‘coming’ of Christ (see John 14:18 ; John 14:23 ; John 14:28 and perhaps John 21:22 ), as well as a judgment which was virtually pronounced in Christ’s lifetime ( John 12:31 etc.). Similarly, in John 5:21 it is said that ‘the Son quickeneth whom he will,’ where the reference cannot be to life beyond the grave a view which is confirmed by John 5:22-23 , where we are told that he who hears Christ’s word has passed from death to life, does not come into judgment, and that ‘the hour now is’ in which the dead shall hear His voice and live. There is nothing in these descriptions of present spiritual blessing to interfere with the explicit statement that after death there shall be a resurrection of life and a resurrection of judgment ( John 5:29 ), any more than our Saviour intended to deny Martha’s statement concerning the resurrection at the last day, when He said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ ( John 11:25 ).
It may perhaps be fairly said that St. John in the Gospel and Epistles lays emphasis upon the present spiritual blessings of salvation rather than upon future eschatological events described by means of the sensuous and material symbolism characteristic of the Apocalypse. But the two ideas, so far from being inconsistent, confirm one another. The man who believes in the present moral government of God in the world is assured that there must be a great day of consummation hereafter; while he who is assured that God will vindicate Himself by some Great Assize in the future life cannot surely imagine that meantime He has left the history of the world in moral confusion. The spiritual man knows that the future lies hid in the hints and suggestions of the present; he is certain also that such hints and suggestions must find their perfect realization and issue in a consummation yet to come. No
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John
JOHN. 1. The father of Mattathias, and grandfather of the five Maccabæan brothers ( 1M Malachi 2:1 ). 2. The eldest son of Mattathias ( 1M Malachi 2:2 ). In b.c. 161 he was slain by the ‘sons of Jambri’ ( 1Ma 9:35-42 ). In 2Ma 8:22 , and perhaps again 10:19, he is by mistake called Joseph . 3 . The father of Eupolemus ( 1Ma 8:17 , 2Ma 4:11 ), who was sent by Judas Maccabæus as an ambassador to Rome. 4. An envoy sent by the Jews to treat with Lysias ( 2Ma 11:17 ). 5. One of the sons of Simon the Maccabee ( 1Ma 16:2 ), commonly known as John Hyrcanus, and described as ‘a (valiant) man’ ( 1Ma 13:53 ). See Maccabees, § 5 , 6 . The father of Simon Peter ( John 1:42 ; John 21:15-17 RV [1] ; AV [2] Jonas ), who is called in Matthew 16:7 Bar-Jona ( h ). In the latter passage the form Jônâs may be a contraction for Jôançs , or possibly Peter’s father had two names, as in the case of Saul Paul . 7. One of the high-priestly family ( Acts 4:6 ). 8. John Mark (see Mark). 9. 10. For the Baptist and the Apostle see the following two articles.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Baptist, John the, Saint
Precursor of Christ. The son of Zachary and Elizabeth, the details of his miraculous life are related in Luke 1. After spending his youth in the desert, at the age of 30 he reappeared in Judea, near the Jordan (Luke 3), preaching penance and predicting that the Kingdom of God was at hand (Luke 3; Matthew 3). He baptized Our Lord in the Jordan (Matthew 3). Publicly censoring Herod Antipas for having taken to himself Herodias, the wife of his brother, Philip, he was imprisoned and beheaded at the request of the dancing daughter of Herodias (Mark 6). Patron of farriers. Emblems: a lamb, head cut off on a platter, a skin or an animal. Relics in Saint Sylvester's church in Rome and at Amiens, France. Feast, Roman Calendar, of nativity, June 24,; of decollation, August 29,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Hobbes, John Oliver
Pseudonym = John Oliver Hobbes. Novelist and dramatist, born Chelsea, Massachusetts, 1867; died London, England, 1906. Educated in London and Paris, she became a Catholic in 1892. She was the author of popular novels, among them "A Bundle of Life," "The Gods, Some Mortals, and Lord Wickenham," "The School for Saints," "Robert Orange," and several plays, including "Journeys end in Lovers' Meeting," "The Ambassador," and "The Flute of Pan." There is a memorial tablet to her in Barnard Collge, New York.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Gospel of Saint John
The fourth Book of the New Testament and last of the Sacred Books written. Its author is the Apostle Saint John, who wrote the Gospel at Ephesus shortly before his death, about the year 100. He records how Jesus, during His life, manifested His glory and proved Himself to be the Messias and Son of God. While the first three Gospels are mainly concerned with the human side of the life of Christ and with His ministry in Galilee, Saint John is more intent on showing the Divine side of the Saviour's life and treats especially of His ministry in Judea and Jerusalem. The Gospel is characterized by its sublimity of doctrine and diction, and by the many discourses of Jesus which make up the greater portion of the narrative. Consisting of twenty-one chapters, it is written in chronological order and contains: prologue declaring the Eternity and Divinity of the Word made Flesh (1:1-18); manifestation of Christ's glory as Messias and Son of God in His public ministry (1:19 to 12:50); revelation of His glory to the Apostles on the night before His Passion (13-17); outer glorification of Jesus in His Passion and death (18,19); manifestation of His Glory as the Risen Lord (20,21). The Biblical Commission, May 29, 1907, declared that the constant and universal tradition from the 2century, the testimony of the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers, the codices, versions and catalogs of the Sacred Books, all give convincing proof that the fourth Gospel was written by Saint John and that it is a strictly historical document. Chapters specially commendable for reading: 1, Prologue, First Disciples; 2, Cana, Cleansing of the Temple; 4, Samaritan Woman; 6, Promise of the Holy Eucharist; 10, Good Shepherd; 11, Raising of Lazarus; 12-18, Discourses after the Last Supper; 20,21, the Risen Lord.
Hitchcock's Bible Names - John
The grace or mercy of the Lord
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - John, st
Christians of.
See CHRISTIANS.
Webster's Dictionary - Poor-John
(n.) A small European fish, similar to the cod, but of inferior quality.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Eriugena, John Scotus
(9th century) Irish teacher, theologian, philosopher, and poet. He was head of the palace school under Charles the Bald (c.847), and acquired prominence in the world of letters through his translation of the works of Pseudo-Dionysius. In addition he wrote commentaries on the Gospel of Saint John and on the works of Pseudo-Dionysius, a work on predestination and probably one on the Eucharist, a philosophical work on the division of nature, a treatise on the soul, and Isome poems. Although the errors into which he fell were many and serious, there can be no doubt that he abhorred heresy and that he always regarded himself as a loyal son of the Church.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Evangelist, John the, Saint
Apostle, brother to Saint James the Greater, son of Zebedee and Salome; died c101He engaged in fishing with his father and brother. A disciple of Saint John the Baptist, when he was called by Christ he became His "beloved disciple." He alone of the Apostles remained faithful to the Master during His Passion. To him Christ entrusted the care of the Blessed Virgin. After Christ's Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Ghost, John, with Peter, was prominent in organizing the Church. He later went from Jerusalem to Asia Minor, where he supervised the establishment and government of churches. Exiled to Patmos, he wrote the Apocalypse or Revelation there; after his return to Ephesus he wrote his Gospel and Epistles. He lived to an advanced age, and is believed by some to be immortal, this belief being founded on the passage in Scripture (John 21), "So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee?" Patron of Asia Minor. Emblems: eagle, chalice, kettle, armor. Feast, Roman Calendar, December 27,; before the Latin Gate, May 6,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Eudes, John, Saint
Confessor, born Ri, France, 1601; died Caen, France, 1680. He was instructed in religion and learning by the Jesuits at Caen, and ordained, December 20, 1625. Working valiantly among his plague-stricken countrymen he became known as one of the greatest missionaries of his day. He established the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity, and in 1643 the Society of Jesus and Mary. Through his efforts, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Heart of Mary became widespread. He wrote a great many religious books. Canonized, 1925. Feast, Roman Calendar, August 19,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - England, John
First Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina, born Cork, Ireland, 1786; died Charleston, South Carolina 1842. Educated in the schools of Cork, he studied law for two years, entered Carlow College, 1803, and was ordained, 1808, having begun earlier to give religious instruction and to organize charitable enterprises, among them a reformatory for women, and schools for poor children. In 1812 he was made president of the Diocesan College of Saint Mary, where he taught theology. He was as ardent as Daniel O'Connell in the cause of Catholic Emancipation, founding "The Chronicle" with that end in view. Having expressed a desire for missionary life in America, he was named Bishop of Charleston and consecrated in Cork, September 21, 1820. He refused to take the oath of allegiance customary in Ireland, declaring his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States. His diocese, which included North and South Carolina, and Georgia, contained but three churches. By indomitable energy and constant visitations to all its settlements he had rallied Catholics to the number of 12,000 by 1812. A pioneer in intellectual activities as well as in religion, he organized in 1823 a Book Society, designed to have branches in each congregation, founded the same year the "United States Catholic Miscellany," the first Catholic newspaper in the United States, and established a seminary and College called "The Philosophical and Classical Seminary of Charleston," of which he was president and chief teacher. His eloquence made him a popular lecturer in the great cities of the country and in 1826 he was invited to address Congress. He was the chief factor in bringing about the first Provincial Council of Baltimore, 1829. The churches in his diocese had increased to 17 at the time of his death. A new edition of his collected writings, in five volumes, was published in Cleveland, in 1908.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Abundius, Abundantius, Marcianus, And John, Saints
Martyrs (c.304) in the Diocletian persecution. They were beheaded near Rome at Milestone XXVI, Via Flaminia. Relics of the first two in the Gesu, Rome, and of the last two at Civita Castellana. Feast, September 16,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Acton, John
Professor of modern history at Cambridge, born Naples, Italy, 1834; died Tegernsee, Bavaria, 1902. He studied at Oscott and under Dollinger at Munich, and became Liberal member of parliment for Carlow, Ireland, 1859-1865. At the time of the Vatican Council, he strongly opposed the declaration of the infallibility of the pope. The "Letters of Quirinus" have been attributed to him. The "Cambridge Modern History" was begun under his auspices.
The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - John
Is an abbreviation of Johannan, and of much the same meaning. We need not dwell much upon this name, neither the persons so eminently distinguished by it. Their histories and worth are graciously preserved in the New Testament by God the Holy Ghost, and their names are in the book of life.
John the Baptist hath the priority in point of time, being born six months before the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. John, the beloved apostle, was the youngest of all the disciples, and is not unfrequently distinguished by the title of the disciple whom Jesus loved. We have abundant cause to bless God for the ministry of this man, on account of the precious gospel which bears his name, and also for those three Epistles, as well as the Book of the Revelations, with which the sacred canon of Scripture closeth.
There is another John surnamed Mark, spoken of with honourable testimony in the New Testament. (Acts 12:12) This man, though called John, and surnamed Mark, was neither the apostle John nor the evangelist Mark, but another person. Paul speaks of him. Colossians 4:10.
Whyte's Dictionary of Bible Characters - John the Baptist
"WHAT manner of child shall this be!" was the universal exclamation of the whole hill-country of Judea over the birth of John. The old age of Zacharias and Elizabeth; the errand from heaven of Gabriel; the dumbness in judgment of Zacharias; and the strange things that he wrote on his writing table; all that made all who heard of it to exclaim, 'What manner of child, we wonder, shall John, the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth, turn out to be!' And the whole manner and character and service of John's childhood and youth and manhood, down to the day of his death, turned out to be wonderful enough to satisfy the most wonder-loving of Elizabeth's neighbours, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea.
John was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel, so Luke tells us. And from Luke, and from some other trustworthy sources, we can see John for the first thirty years of his sequestered life as well almost as if we ourselves had lived in the very next desert to his deserts. For you must always remember this about John that he was in the deserts, and was with the wild beasts, till he began to be about thirty years of age. He was in those terrible deserts that lay all around the Dead Sea. Up and down John wandered, and fasted, and prayed, where Sodom and Gomorrah had once stood till the Lord rained fire and brimstone upon all the inhabitants of those cities, and upon all that grew upon the ground. And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a leathern girdle about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey. A terrible man. A man not to come near. The very bitumen-miners, whom everybody feared, were afraid of John. It made them sober and civil to one another when John came down to visit them in their squalid settlements. It was not that John was a misanthrope. John was the right opposite of a misanthrope. It was because all other men were misanthropes; were hateful, and were hating one another, that John could not any longer dwell among them, either in Judea or in Jerusalem, either in Sodom or Gomorrah. You totally misread and misunderstand John if you think that it was either misanthropy or moroseness that made John what he was. It was simply John's extraordinarily deep insight into the holy law of God that made him such a monastic of fasting and self-flagellation and prayer.
Before his father Zacharias died, and as long as Elizabeth lived, John had heard things like this at their lips in family worship every day: "The Lord shall lay on Him the iniquity of us all. He shall be stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. His soul shall be made an offering for sin." It was on such things as these that Elizabeth suckled her heavensent son till it sometimes seemed to him in his loneliness of soul and in his agony of heart that he himself had been made sin, and nothing but sin. And, indeed, in some ways, John came as near being made sin as any mortal man ever came to that unparalleled experience. John was the man of sorrows till the true Man of Sorrows Himself should come. All the appetites of John's body, and all the affections of John's mind and heart, were drunk up and drained dry by the all-consuming fires of his unquenchable conscience. If all sight and sense and conscience of sin had utterly died out of Israel in that day, it had only died out of all other men's hearts to rage like the bottomless pit itself in the great broken heart of Elizabeth's substituted son. And thus it was that the very robbers ran and hid themselves among the rocks of the hill-country when they saw that terrible man standing again over against the city, and crying out, "Oh Jerusalem! Jerusalem! how shalt thou abide the day of His coming? For, behold! that day shall burn as an oven. That great and terrible day, when all that do wickedly shall be as the stubble!" A man alone. A man apart. A great man. "A greater man has never been born of woman," said He who knew all men. "What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind!" He who said that never smiled, say some. I see Him smiling for once as He says that. 'A man clothed in soft raiment! No; anything but that. And anything but a reed; and with anything on but the soft clothing that they put on in kings' houses!'
And, now, from such a divinity-student as that, and after thirty years of such a curriculum and probationership as that, what kind of preaching would you go to church to look for? A dumb dog that cannot bark? A trencher-chaplain? A soft thing of gown and bands and lawn sleeves? A candidate for a manse and a stipend? "O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance. And now the axe is laid at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. He that hath two coats let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Do violence to no man. Neither accuse any man falsely, and be content with your wages. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. Whose fan is in His hand, and He will gather the wheat into His garner, but the chaff will He burn up with fire unquenchable." The greatest preacher of the past generation when preaching to a congregation of young preachers said this to them: "He who has before his mental eye the four last things will have the true earnestness. He will have the horror and the rapture of one who witnesses a conflagration, or discerns some rich and sublime prospect above and beyond this world. His countenance, his manner, his voice will all speak for him in proportion as his view has been vivid and minute.
Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,Foretells the nature of a tragic volume.Thou tremblest, and the whiteness in thy cheekIs apter than thy tongue to tell thine errand.It is this earnestness, in the supernatural order, which is the eloquence of saints; and not of saints only, but of all Christian preachers, according to the measure of their faith and love."
But why, I wonder, was the forerunner able to content himself all his days with being no more than the forerunner? Why did John not leave off his ministry of accusation and condemnation? Why did he not wait upon, and himself take up, the ministry of reconciliation? When he said to his disciples, Behold the Lamb of God! why did the Baptist not go himself with Andrew and the others and become, first, a disciple, and then in due time an apostle, of Jesus Christ? Zacharias's son would have made a better son of thunder than both of Zebedee's sons taken together. Why, then, did John not leave the desert, and the Jordan, and follow Christ? Well, to begin with, he could not help himself. Jesus did not call John any more than He called His own brother James. 'Go you,' John said to Andrew, and to Peter, and to James and John, the sons of Zebedee. 'Go you: I am not worthy to enter under the same roof with Him. I will remain where I am. I will work at the Jordan. I will preach repentance, and He will teach you to preach pardon. The Kingdom of Heaven is soon coming, but I shall not live to see it. I shall not live to see Tabor, and Calvary, and Olivet, and Pentecost, like you. He and you, His disciples, must increase, but I must decrease.' John was a great man and a great preacher, but, as we are wont to say, he never quite escaped out of the seventh of the Romans.
John the Baptist, like some much more evangelical men, was well-nigh smothered out of life in the slough of despond. 'Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another? Why dost thou eat and drink with Scribes and Pharisees, and leave me lying here in this prison-house of Herod and his harlots? Why dost thou eat and drink and make wine out of water for weddings? Rather, surely, should all God's true servants put on sackcloth and ashes and mourn apart, every family apart, and their wives apart. Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?' Yes; this is Elias come back again. "I have been very zealous for the Lord," complained Elias in his cave in Horeb. "I only am left, and they seek my life. It is enough. Let me die, O Lord, for I am no better than my fathers." The God of all comfort be thanked for Elias, and for John, and for the slough of despond! They are all written for our rebuke, and for our learning, and for our sure consolation. Had these things not been written we would have turned away from our Bible in despair, saying: 'These men are giants and saints. These are not men of like passions as we are. Why,' we are often tempted to complain, 'Why is God's Kingdom so long in coming? What hinders it, if indeed Christ is on His throne and has all things in His hand? Why does He not burst open my prison-house and redress my cause? Why is my sanctification so postponed? Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?' "Go and show John again those things that ye do see, and hear. The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me. He that believeth, and hopeth against hope, and endureth to the end, he alone shall be saved."
But by far the very best thing that the Baptist ever said or did was what he said to his jealous disciples: "A man can receive nothing," he said, "except it be given him from Heaven. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom. He must increase, but I must decrease." I would rather have had the grace from God to say that than have been the greatest man ever born of woman. For he who thinks, and says, and does a thing like that is born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And yet, when I come up close to it and look it in the face, this great utterance of the Baptist is not by any means so unapproachable as I took it to be at my first sight of it. I myself could have said and done all that John said and did that day. That is to say, had I been in his exact circumstances? For what were his exact circumstances? They were these, and much more than these. John had drunk in the Sonship and the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth with his mother's milk. And he had been brought up all his days on that same marrow of lions. His mother Elizabeth, you may be very sure, did not die, nor did Zacharias depart in peace, till they had both told over and over again to their forerunner-son every syllable they had to tell. And thus it was that for full thirty years John did nothing else but wait for the Messiah. John thought about no one else, and spake about no one else, for all these endless years, but the Lamb of God. And thus it was that when Jesus of Nazareth came south to the Jordan to be baptized of John, the Baptist remonstrated and refused, and said: "I have need to be baptized of Thee." No, there was nothing at all so great or so good in John's self-effacing speech to his disciples. The most envious-minded man in all the world does not envy a lion, or an eagle, or an angel. A beggar does not envy a king. He only envies his neighbour-beggar whose pockets are so full of coppers and crumbs at night. "Potter envies potter." And the more theology there was in John's first great utterance, "Behold the Lamb of God," the less morality there was in his second great utterance, "He must increase, but I must decrease." No thanks to John not to be jealous of the Son of God! But had Jesus been simply a carpenter of Nazareth, and John's cousin to boot, turned suddenly such a popular preacher with all men, and with all John's baptized disciples going after him; and had John, in that case, said all this about his own decreasing, then I would down on the spot and kiss his feet.
"I was to preach in Clackmannan, where the most of the people were already for me to be their minister, but some that had the greatest power were against me, as it ordinarily fared with me in the places where I used to preach. On the Saturday afternoon there came a letter to my hand, desiring me to give the one-half of the day to another probationer, whom those who were against me had their eye upon. In these circumstances, seeing what hazard I was in of an evil eye, I committed the keeping of my heart to the Lord that I might be helped to carry evenly. He got the forenoon, for so it was desired by his friends. I was, as I expected, terribly assaulted by the tempter. When I came home from church my heart was in a manner enraged against itself on that account, and I confessed it before the Lord, abhorring myself, and appealing to God's omniscience, that I would fain have had it otherwise. As I was complaining that Satan had winnowed me, and had brought up much filthy stuff out of my heart, it came to my mind: 'But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.' And then, in the evening, after service, while I sat musing over the day, I proposed this question to myself: Wouldest thou be satisfied with Christ as thy portion, though there was no hell to be saved from? And my soul answered, Yes! Supposing, further, wouldst thou be content with Christ, though likewise thou shouldest lose credit and reputation, and see other men before thee, and meet with much trouble and trial for His sake? And my soul answered, Yes! This was the last sermon I preached in Clackmannan, for I was going out of the country; and neither of us two preachers of that Sabbath was the person that God had designed for that pulpit."
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom.
A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography - Cerinthus, Opponent of Saint John
Cerinthus, a traditional opponent of St. John. It will probably always remain an open question whether his fundamentally Ebionite sympathies inclined him to accept Jewish rather than Gnostic additions. Modern scholarship has therefore preferred to view his doctrine as a fusing together and incorporating in a single system tenets collected from Jewish, Oriental, and Christian sources; but the nature of that doctrine is sufficiently clear, and its opposition to the instruction of St. John as decided as that of the Nicolaitanes.
Cerinthus was of Egyptian origin, and in religion a Jew. He received his education in the Judaeo-Philonic school of Alexandria. On leaving Egypt he visited Jerusalem, Caesarea, and Antioch. From Palestine he passed into Asia and there developed τῆς αὐτοῦ ἀπωλείας βάραθρον (Epiph. xxviii. 2). Galatia, according to the same authority, was selected as his headquarters, whence he circulated his errors. On one of his journeys he arrived at Ephesus, and met St. John in the public baths. The Apostle, hearing who was there, fled from the place as if for life, crying to those about him: "Let us flee, lest the bath fall in while Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is there."
The value of this and other such traditions is confessedly not great—that of the meeting with St. John in the bath is told of "Ebion" as well as of Cerinthus;—but a stratum of fact probably underlies them, and they at least indicate the feeling with which the early "Churchmen" regarded him. Epiphanius, by whom the majority are preserved, derived the principal portion of his statements partly from Irenaeus, and partly, as Lipsius has shewn with high probability, from the now lost earlier work of Hippolytus on heresies.
His doctrines may be collected under the heads of his conception of the Creation, his Christology, and his Eschatology. His opinions upon two of these points, as preserved in existing works, support the usual view, that Cerinthus rather than Simon Magus is to be regarded as the predecessor of Judaeo-Christian Gnosticism.
Unlike Simon Magus and Menander, Cerinthus did not claim a sacred and mystic power. Caius the Presbyter can only assert against him that he pretended to angelic revelations (Eus., Theod.). But his mind, like theirs, brooded over the co-existence of good and evil, spirit and matter; and his scheme seems intended to free the "unknown God" and the Christ from the bare imputation of infection through contact with nature and man. Trained as he was in the philosophy of Philo, the Gnosis of Cerinthus did not of necessity compel him to start from opposition —in the sense of malignity—of evil to good, matter to spirit. He recognized opposition in the sense of difference between the one active perfect principle of life—God—and that lower imperfect passive existence which was dependent upon God; but this fell far short of malignity. He therefore conceived the material world to have been formed not by "the First God," but by angelic Beings of an inferior grade of Emanation (Epiph.). More precisely still he described the main agent as a certain Power (δύναμις ) separate and distinct from the "Principality" (ἡ ὑπὲρ τὰ ὅλα αὐθεντεία , v. Suicer, Thes. s.v. αὐθ .) and ignorant of τὸν ὑπὲρ πάντα θέον . He refused in the spirit of a true Jew to consider the "God of the Jews" identical with that author of the material world who was alleged by Gnostic teachers to be inferior and evil. He preferred to identify him with the Angel who delivered the Law (Epiph. and Philastr.). Neander and Ewald have pointed out that these are legitimate deductions from the teaching of Philo. The conception is evidently that of an age when hereditary and instinctive reverence for the law served as a check upon the system-maker. Cerinthus is a long way from the bolder and more hostile schools of later Gnosticism.
The Christology is of an Ebionite cast and of the same transition character. It must not be assumed that it is but a form of the common Gnostic dualism, the double-personality afterwards elaborated by Basilides and Valentinus. Epiphanius, the chief source of information, is to many a mere uncritical compiler, sometimes following Hippolytus, sometimes Irenaeus. Now it is Christ Who is born of Mary and Joseph (Epiph. xxviii. 1), now it is Jesus Who is born like other men, born of Joseph and Mary; He differs from others only in being more righteous, more prudent, and more wise; it is not till after baptism, when Jesus has reached manhood, that Christ, "that is to say, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove," descends upon Jesus from above ( ἄνωθεν ἐκ τοῦ ἄνω Θεοῦ· ἀπὸ τῆς ὑπὲρ τὰ ὅλα αὐθεντείας , Iren.), revealing to Him and through Him to those after Him the "unknown Father." If, as Lipsius thinks (p. 119), Irenaeus has here been influenced by the later Gnostic systems, and has altered the original doctrine of Cerinthus as given in Hippolytus, that doctrine would seem to be that he considered "Jesus" and "Christ" titles given indifferently to that One Personality Which was blessed by the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Power on high (ἡ ἄνωθεν δύναμις ). This Power enables Jesus to perform miracles, but forsakes Him at His Passion, "flying heavenwards." So, again, it is Jesus , according to one passage of Epiphanius, Who dies and rises again, the Christ being spiritual and remaining impassible; according to a second, it is Christ Who dies, but is not yet risen, nor shall He rise till the general resurrection. That passage, however, which allows that the human body of Jesus had been raised from the dead separates its author completely from Gnostic successors.
The Chiliastic eschatology of Cerinthus is very clearly stated by Theodoret, Caius, Dionysius (Eus.), and Augustine, but not alluded to by Irenaeus. His silence need perhaps cause no surprise: Irenaeus was himself a Chiliast of the spiritual school, and in his notes upon Cerinthus he is only careful to mention what was peculiar to his system. The conception of Cerinthus was highly coloured. In his "dream" and "phantasy" the Lord shall have an earthly kingdom in which the elect are to enjoy pleasures, feasts, marriages, and sacrifices. Its capital is Jerusalem and its duration 1000 years: thereafter shall ensue the restoration of all things. Cerinthus derived this notion from Jewish sources. His notions of eschatology are radically Jewish: they may have originated, but do not contain, the Valentinian notion of a spiritual marriage between the souls of the elect and the Angels of the Pleroma.
Other peculiar features of his teaching may be noted. He held that if a man died unbaptized another was to be baptized in his stead and in his name that at the day of resurrection he might not suffer punishment and be made subject to the ἐξουσία κοσμοποίος (cf. 1Co_15:29. He had learned at Alexandria to distinguish between the different degrees of inspiration and attributed to different Angels the dictation severally of the words of Moses and of the Prophets; in this agreeing with Saturninus and the Ophites. He insisted upon a partial observance of the "divine" law such as circumcision and the ordinances of the sabbath; resembling in this severance of the genuine from the spurious elements of the law the school which produced the Clementina and the Book of Baruch. He did not even scruple (acc. to Epiph.) to call him who gave the law "not good," though the epithet may have been intended to express a charge of ethical narrowness rather than an identification of the Lawgiver with the πονηρός of Marcion. Epiphanius admits that the majority of these opinions rest upon report and oral communication. This coupled with the evident confusion of the statements recorded makes it difficult to assign to Cerinthus any certain place in the history of heresy. He can only be regarded generally as a link connecting Judaism and Gnosticism. The traditionary relations of Cerinthus to St. John have probably done more to rescue his name from oblivion than his opinions. In the course of time popular belief asserted that St. John had written his Gospel specially against the errors of Cerinthus a belief curiously travestied by the counter-assertion that not St. John but Cerinthus himself was the author of both the Gospel and the Apocalypse. It is not difficult to account on subjective grounds for this latter assertion. The Chiliasm of Cerinthus was an exaggeration of language current in the earliest ages of the church; and no work in N.T. reproduced that language so ingenuously as the Apocalypse. The conclusion was easy that Cerinthus had but ascribed the Apocalypse to the Apostle to obtain credit and currency for his own forgery. The "Alogi" argued upon similar grounds against the Fourth Gospel. It did not agree with the Synoptists and though it disagreed in every possible way with the alleged doctrines of Cerinthus yet the false-hearted author of the Apocalypse was they asserted certainly the writer of the Gospel.
The Cerinthians (known also as Merinthians) do not appear to have long survived. If any are identical with the Ebionites mentioned by Justin (Dial. c. Tryph. 48), some gradually diverged from their master in a retrograde direction (Dorner, p. 320); but the majority were engulfed in sects of greater note. One last allusion to them is found in the ecclesiastical rule applied to them by Gennadius Massiliensis: "Ex istis si qui ad nos venerint, non requirendum ab eis utrum baptizati sint an non, sed hoc tantum, si credant in ecclesiae fidem, et baptizentur ecclesiastico baptismate" ( de Eccles. Dogmatibus , 22; Oehler, i. 348).
The following primary and secondary authorities upon Cerinthus may be mentioned: Irenaeus, adv. Haer. ; S. Hippolytus, Refutatio omn. Haeres. ("Philosophumena"); Theod. Haeret. Fab. Comp. ; Epiphanius, Epit. Panar., Haer. ; Philastrius, de Haeret., Corp. Haeresolog. ; Augustine, de Haer. lib. viii.; Pseudo-Tertullian, Lib. adv. omn. Haeres. x.; Eus. Hist. Eccles. ; Neander, Ch. Hist. ; Ewald, Gesch. d. Volk. Israel; Gieseler, Eccles. Hist. ; Lipsius, Zur Quellen-Kritik d. Epiphanius ; Dorner, Die Lehre v. d. Person Christi; Milman, Hist. of Christianity; Robertson, Hist. of Christ. Ch. ; Westcott, Canon of N.T. , p. 243 (ed. 1866); Zahn, Gesch. der N.T. Canons, vol. i. 220–262, vol. ii. 973 etc.
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A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography - Chrysostom, John, Bishop of Constantinople
Chrysostom, John ( Ἰωάννης Χρυσόστομος ). The surname "golden-mouthed," given to the great preacher of Antioch, and bp. of Constantinople, on account of the magnificent brilliancy of his eloquence (cf. Petrus Chrysologus), has entirely superseded his personal name John, which alone is found in contemporary or closely subsequent writers. When the epithet was first applied is unknown. There is no trace of it in his lifetime, but it was in common use before the end of the 5th cent.
Chrysostom was born at Antioch probably A.D. 347. He was of good family; his father Secundus filling the post of "magister militum" (στρατηλάτης ), one of the eight men of distinguished rank—illustres viros (Veget. de Re Militari, ii. 9)—who commanded the imperial armies. His mother, Anthusa, was also a lady of good family (Pallad. p. 40; Socr. vi. 3) Anthusa, while John was an infant, was left a widow at the age of twenty, refused all offers of marriage, and devoted herself to the education of her boy and the care of his property ( de Sacerdot. lib. i. c. 55). Her unremitting devotion to her maternal duties excited admiration even from the heathen ( Ep. ad Vid. Jun. i. c. 2, p. 340).
St. Chrysostom's life may be conveniently divided into five epochs: (a ) His life as a layman at Antioch till his baptism and admission as a reader, a.d. 347–370; (b ) his ascetic and monastic life, a.d. 370–381; (c ) his career as deacon, presbyter, and preacher at Antioch, a.d. 381–398; (d ) his episcopate at Constantinople, a.d. 398–404; (e ) exile, a.d. 404–407.
(a ) Life as a Layman at Antioch .—The intellectual power manifested at a very early age marked him out as fitted for one of the learned professions. The bar was chosen, and at about 18 years of age he began to attend the lectures of the celebrated sophist Libanius, the intimate friend and correspondent of the emperor Julian, and tutor of Basil the Great, who had come to end his days in his native city of Antioch. The genius and ability of the pupil excited the greatest admiration in his master, who, being asked on his deathbed, c. a.d. 395, which of his pupils he thought worthiest to succeed him, replied, "John, if the Christians had not stolen him from us" (Soz. H. E. lib. viii. c. 2). When Chrysostom commenced practice as an advocate, his gift of eloquence speedily displayed itself. His speeches were listened to with delight, and were highly praised by Libanius, no mean judge of rhetoric. A brilliant career was opening before the young man, leading to all that men most covet, wealth, fame, high place. But a change, gradual but mighty, came over his spirit, and like another young student of the neighbouring province of Cilicia, "the things that were gain to him he counted loss for Christ." Like Timothy at the knees of Eunice, "from a child" Chrysostom had learnt from his devout mother the things that were "able to make him wise unto salvation," and his soul revolted at the contrast between the purity of the gospel standard and the baseness of the aims and viciousness of the practices prevalent in the profession he had chosen. To accept a fee for making the worse appear the better cause seemed to his generous and guileless soul to be bribed to lie—to take Satan's wages—to sin against his own soul. His disinclination to the life of a lawyer was much increased by the influence of the example of his intimate friend Basil, the companion of his studies and the sharer of all his thoughts and plans. The two friends had agreed to follow the same profession; but when Basil decided on adopting a monastic life, and to follow, in Chrysostom's words, "the true philosophy," Chrysostom was unable at once to resolve to renounce the world, to the attractions of which his ardent nature was by no means insensible, and of which he was in some danger of becoming a slave. He was "a never-failing attendant at the law courts, and passionately enamoured of the theatre" ( de Sacerdot. lib. i. c. 14, p. 363). His friend Basil's adoption of an ascetic life at first caused an interruption of their intercourse. But life was intolerable separated from his second self. He renewed his intimacy with Basil. The pleasures and pursuits of the world became distasteful to him, and he soon resolved to abandon it altogether, quitting mother and home, and finding some sacred retreat where he and his friend could devote themselves to strict ascetism ( ib. c. 4). This decisive change—Chrysostom's conversion we should now call it—was greatly promoted by the acquaintance he formed at this period with the mild and holy Meletius, the orthodox and legitimate bp. of Antioch, who had recently returned to his see after one of his many banishments for the faith. Meletius quickly observed the intellectual promise of the young lawyer, and, enamoured of the beauty of his disposition, sought frequent opportunities of intercourse, and in a prophetic spirit declared the greatness of his future career (Pallad. p. 40). Up to this time Chrysostom, though the child of Christian parents, had remained unbaptized, a not unfrequent practice at this epoch. The time for public profession of his faith was now come, and after a probation of three years, Meletius baptized him, and ordained him reader. This was in a.d. 369 or 370, when Chrysostom was about 23 years old (Pallad. p. 41).
(b ) Ascetic and Monastic Life .—Baptism restored the balance which Chrysostom tells us had been so seriously disturbed by Basil's higher religious attainments (de Sacerdot. lib. i. c. 3, p. 363). He became in the truest sense "a new man" (Pallad. p. 184). His desire to flee from the world, with his beloved Basil, was established, and only frustrated by the passionate entreaties of his weeping mother that her only child, for whom she had given up all, would not desert her. The whole scene is narrated by Chrysostom in a passage of exquisite simplicity and tenderness ( de Sacerdot. lib. i. c. 5, pp. 363–365). His affectionate nature could not resist a mother's tears. In spite of Basil's continued urgency, he yielded so far as to remain at home. But if out of filial regard he abstained from deserting his home for a monastery, he would make a monastery of his home. He practised the most rigid asceticism, ate little and seldom, and that of the plainest, slept on the bare ground, and rose frequently for prayer. He rarely left the house, and, to avoid his old habit of slander, kept almost unbroken silence. It is not surprising that his former associates called him morose and unsociable ( ib. lib. vi. c. 12, p. 431).
Upon some of these associates, however, his influence began to tell. Two of his fellow pupils under Libanius, Maximus, afterwards bp. of Seleucia, and Theodorus, bp. of Mopsuestia, adopted the ascetic life under the superintendence of Diodorus and Carterius, who presided over a monastery in or near Antioch. From Diodorus Chrysostom learnt the clear common-sense mode of interpreting Holy Scripture (repudiating the allegorizing principle), of which he and Theodore became such distinguished representatives. The inability of his friend Theodore to part definitely with the world, and stifle natural instincts, was the occasion of the composition of Chrysostom's earliest extant treatises. Theodore's love for a girl named Hermione led him to leave the ascetic brotherhood and return to secular life. Chrysostom's heart was deeply stirred at this. He regarded it as a sin to be repented of and forsaken if Theodore would not forfeit salvation. He addressed two letters to him full of impassioned eloquence, earnestly calling him to penitence and amendment. His fervid remonstrances succeeded. Theodore gave up his engagement, and finally abandoned the world (ad Theodorum Lapsum, Ephesians 1 ii.; Socr. H. E. vi. 3).
We now come to a passage in Chrysostom's life which we must condemn as utterly at variance with truth and honour. Yet we must bear in mind that the moral standpoint of the Fathers was on this point different from our own. It was generally held that the culpability of an act of deception depended upon its purpose, and that if this was good the deception was laudable. Chrysostom himself says, "There is a good deceit such as many have been deceived by, which one ought not even to call a deceit at all," instancing that of Jacob, "which was not a deceit, but an economy" (Homil. vi. in Col. ii. 8). On this principle, which every healthy conscience now repudiates, Chrysostom proceeded to plan and execute a deliberate fraud to entrap his friend Basil into consecration to the episcopate. Several sees were now vacant in Syria, which it was desirable to fill without delay. A body of prelates met at Antioch for this purpose. Among those suitable for the episcopate, Chrysostom and Basil were pointed out, though they were not yet even deacons. Chrysostom's awful sense of the weight and responsibility of the priestly office, which breathes in every line of his treatise de Sacerdotio, and of his own unfitness, made him tremble at the idea of ordination. Basil, on the contrary; he considered to be well qualified, and he was fully resolved that the church should not lose the services of his friend. While, therefore, he pretended acquiescence in his friend's proposition that they should decide alike in the matter, he secretly resolved to avoid the dreaded honour by concealment. When the time of consecration arrived, and Basil was carried before the bishops, and reluctantly forced to accept ordination, Chrysostom was nowhere to be found, and it was represented to Basil that he had been already consecrated. When too late Basil discovered the unfaithfulness to their compact, and upbraided Chrysostom; his complaints were received with laughter and loud expressions of thankfulness at the success of his plot ( de Sacerdot. lib. i. c. 3, p. 365). [1]
About a.d. 374 Chrysostom carried into effect his resolution of devoting himself to an ascetic life, and left his home for a monastic community on one of the mountain ranges S. of Antioch. As there is no reference in any of his writings to any opposition from his mother, it is probable that her death had left him free. After four years spent in unremitting austerities, he left the society of his kind, and, dwelling in a mountain cavern, practised still more rigid self-discipline (Pallad. p. 41). At the end of two years his health so completely gave way that he was forced to return to his home in Antioch. To these austerities may be attributed that debilitated frame, weakness of digestion, and irritability of temperament, to which his constant physical sufferings and many of his chief difficulties and calamities are not remotely traceable.
(c ) A Preacher and Presbyter at Antioch .—Chrysostom did not return to Antioch to be idle. He was ordained deacon by Meletius a.d. 381, shortly before the latter left to preside over the oecumenical council of Constantinople (Pallad. p. 42). Meletius died during the session of the council, and his successor Flavian raised Chrysostom to the presbyterate early in a.d. 386 (ib. ). During his five years' diaconate he had gained great popularity by his aptness to teach, and his influence had made itself widely felt at Antioch. While deacon he composed the de Virginitate ; the Ep. ad Viduam Juniorem, addressed to the young widow of Therasius ( c. 381); its sequel de non Iterando Conjugio ; and the orations de Martyre Babyla. After his ordination he preached his first sermon before the bishop, and a vast crowd was gathered by the fame of his eloquence ( Sermo, cum Presbyt. fuit Ordinatus, de se ac de Episcopo, deque Populi Multitudine ). The succeeding ten years, embracing Chrysostom's life as a presbyter at Antioch, were chiefly devoted to the cultivation of the gift of pulpit eloquence on which his celebrity mainly rests. It was during this period that "the great clerk and godly preacher," as our First Homily terms him, delivered the greater part of the discourses extant, which must be but a very small portion of those preached, for he preached regularly twice a week, on Saturday and Sunday, besides Lent and saints' days, and, as we learn from his homilies on Genesis, sometimes five days in succession (Tillemont, tom. xi. p. 34.). Flavian appointed him frequently to preach in the cathedral. Whenever he preached the church was densely thronged, the hearers testifying their delight in loud and noisy applause. This was highly offensive to Chrysostom, who often rebuked their unseemly behaviour (adv. Arian. de Incomprehen. Dei Natura, Homil. iii. c. 7, p. 471; Homil. iv. § 6, p. 480). The most remarkable series of homilies, containing his grandest oratorical flights, and evincing most strikingly his power over the minds and passions of men, are the Homilies on the Statues, delivered in March and April, a.d. 387, while the fate of Antioch was hanging in awful suspense on the will of the justly offended emperor Theodosius. The demand for a large subsidy to pay a liberal donative to the army had exasperated the citizens. The ominous silence with which the proclamation of the edict was received, Feb. 26, broken only by the wailings of the women, was soon succeeded by mutinous cries, and all the symptoms of a popular outbreak. The passions of the mob were stimulated by those who had nothing to lose and might gain from public disorder. The influence of Flavian might have calmed the tumult, but he was from home. The rabble, swelling in numbers and fury as it rushed through the city, proceeded to acts of open violence. The public baths were ransacked; the praetorium was attacked and the mob with difficulty repulsed, the governor saving himself by flight through a back door, and finally the hall of judgment was stormed. This was the scene of their crowning act of insurrection. The portraits of the emperors, which decorated the walls of the court, were pelted with stones and filth, and torn to shreds, the Augusti themselves were loaded with curses, and the statues of Theodosius and his deceased wife, the excellent Flaccilla, were torn from their pedestals and ignominiously dragged through the streets. Further outrages were only stopped by the appearance of a band of archers dispatched by the prefect. The mutiny quelled, calm reflection set before them the probable consequences of this recent fury. Panic fear, as is usual, succeeded the popular madness. The outbursts of unrestrained passion, to which the emperor was subject, were well known. The insult to his beloved empress would be certain to be keenly resented and terribly avenged. It was only too probable that an edict would be issued for the destruction of Antioch or for the massacre of its inhabitants, foreshadowing that of Thessalonica, which three years later struck horror into the Christian world. Their only hope lay in the intercession of Flavian, who, regardless of his age and the serious illness of his sister, had instantly started for the imperial city, to lay at the emperor's feet the confession of his people and to supplicate for pardon. Day by day, during this terrible suspense, lasting for three weeks, Chrysostom devoted his noblest gifts as a sacred orator to awaken repentance among the dissolute crowds hanging on his impassioned words. Just before Easter Flavian returned with the glad tidings that their crime was pardoned. The homily delivered by Chrysostom on Easter day (the 21st of the series) describes the interview of Flavian with Theodosius, the prelate's moving appeal for clemency, and its immediate effect on the impressionable mind of the emperor, who granted a complete amnesty and urged Flavian's instant return to relieve the Antiochenes from their terrible suspense. One happy result of this crisis was the conversion of a large number of the still heathen population to Christianity ( Homil. de Anna. I. c. 1, vol. iv. p. 812).
These events occurred in the spring of A.D. 387. For ten years longer Chrysostom continued as a preacher and teacher at Antioch. To this period may be assigned his commentaries on Gen. and Pss., St. Matt. and St. John, Acts, Rom., Con, Gal., and Eph. Those on Tim. i., ii., Tit., and on the other Epp. of St. Paul, are considered by Tillemont to have been certainly delivered at Constantinople (Till. Mém. eccl. tom. xi. pp. 92–97, 370–376).
(d ) Episcopate of Constantinople .—Chrysostom's residence at Antioch ended in a.d. 397. In Sept. the bp. of Constantinople, the amiable and indolent Nectarius, died. The vacant see was one of the most dignified and influential in the church. Public expectation was excited as to his successor. The nomination rested with the emperor Arcadius, but virtually with the prime minister Eutropius. Passing by numerous candidates, he determined to elevate one who had no thought of being a candidate at all, John of Antioch, whose eloquence had impressed him during a recent visit to Antioch on state business. Chrysostom's name was received with delight by the electing prelates, and at once unanimously accepted. The difficulty lay with Chrysostom himself and the people of Antioch. The double danger of a decided "nolo episcopari" on Chrysostom's part and of a public commotion among the Antiochenes was overcome by stratagem. Asterius, the "comes orientis," in accordance with secret instructions from Eutropius, induced Chrysostom to accompany him to a martyr's chapel outside the city walls. There he was apprehended by the officers of the government, and hurried over the 800 miles under military escort from stage to stage, and reached his imperial see a closely guarded prisoner. His remonstrances were unheeded; his inquiries met with obstinate silence. Resistance being useless, Chrysostom felt it more dignified to submit. He was consecrated Feb. 26, 398, by Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria. The duty was very unwelcome, for Theophilus had left no stone unturned to secure the nomination of Isidore, a presbyter of Alexandria. The ceremony was witnessed by a vast multitude, assembled to listen to the inaugural sermon of one of whose eloquence they had heard so much. This "sermo enthronisticus" is lost (Socr. H. E. vi. 2; Soz. H. E. viii. 2; Pallad. p. 42).
Constantinople soon learnt the difference between the new bishop and his predecessor. Chrysostom at once disfurnished the episcopal residence, and disposed of the costly plate and rich equipment for the benefit of the poor and the hospitals (Pallad. pp. 46, 47). Instead of banqueting with the laity, he ate the simplest fare in his solitary chamber (ib. pp. 101, 102). He studiously avoided the court and association with the great, and even ordinary conversation, except when duty compelled ( ib. pp. 103, 120–123). Such behaviour could hardly fail to be misrepresented. To the populace, accustomed to the splendour of former bishops, Chrysostom's simplicity appeared unworthy of his lofty station, and he was openly charged with parsimony, moroseness, and pride (Socr. H. E. vi. 4; Soz. H. E. viii. 9). Nor was the contrast more acceptable to most of his clergy, whose moral tone was far from elevated. Chrysostom, with uncompromising zeal, attempted to bring them back to simplicity of life and to activity in their calling. He deposed some on charges of homicide and adultery, and repelled others from the Eucharist. He set his face resolutely against the perilous custom of receiving "spiritual sisters" ( συνείσακται ), which was frequently the source of the grossest immoralities. To obviate the attractions of the Arians who at night and at early dawn gathered large crowds by their antiphonal hymns under porticoes and in the open air, as well as for the benefit of those unable to attend the church in the day, he revived the old custom of nocturnal services with responsive chanting, to the indignation of those clergy to whom ease was dearer than the spiritual improvement of their flocks (Pallad. p. 47; Soz. H. E. viii. 8; Homil. in Acta, 26, c. 3, p. 212). His disciplinary measures were rendered more unpopular by his lack of a conciliatory manner, coupled with irritability of temper and no small obstinacy (Socr. H. E. vi. 3, 21; Soz. H. E. viii. 3). He was also too much swayed by his archdeacon, Serapion, a proud, violent man, who is reported to have exclaimed at an assembly of the clergy, "You will never be able, bishop, to master these mutinous priests unless you drive them before you with a single rod" (Pallad. 18, 19; Socr. H. E. vi. 4; Soz. viii. 9).
But while his relations with his clergy were becoming increasingly embittered, he stood high in favour with the people, who flocked to his sermons, and drank in greedily his vehement denunciations of the follies and vices of the clergy and aristocracy (Socr. vi. 4, 5). He was no less popular with Arcadius and his empress, the Frankish general's daughter, Eudoxia, who was beginning to supplant the author of her elevation, the eunuch Eutropius, and to make her feeble partner bow to her more powerful will. For a time the bishop and the empress, between whom was afterwards so uncompromising an hostility, vied with one another in expressions of mutual admiration and esteem. Towards the latter part of 398, not long after Chrysostom had taken possession of his see, the relics of some anonymous martyrs were translated by night with great ceremony to the martyry of St. Thomas, on the seashore of Drypia, about nine miles from the city, which the empress had instituted in a fit of religious excitement. So lengthened was the procession and so brilliant the torches, that Chrysostom compares it to a river of fire. The empress herself in royal diadem and purple, attended by nobles and ladies of distinction, walked by the side of the bishop, in the rear of the chest enclosing the sacred bones. It was dawn before the church was reached and Chrysostom began his sermon. It was full of extravagant laudations of Euxodia and of ecstatic expressions of joy, which afterwards formed a ground of accusation against him (Homil. Dicta Postquam Reliquiae, etc. vol. xii. pp. 468–473). The next day the emperor with his court visited the shrine, and, laying aside his diadem, reverenced the holy martyrs. After the departure of Arcadius Chrysostom delivered a second enthusiastic homily in praise of his piety and humility ( Homil. Dicta Praesente Imperatore, ib. pp. 474–480).
At the same period the largeness of Chrysostom's heart and the sincerity of his Christian love were manifested by his care for the spiritual state of the numerous Goths at Constantinople. Some were Catholics, but the majority were Arians. He had portions of the Bible translated into their vernacular, and read by a Gothic presbyter to his countrymen in the church of St. Paul, who afterwards addressed them in their own tongue (Homil. 8, vol. xii. pp. 512–526). Chrysostom himself frequently preached to them by an interpreter. He ordained native readers, deacons, and presbyters, and dispatched missionaries to the Gothic tribes who still remained on the banks of the Danube, and consecrated a bishop from among themselves named Unilas (Theod. H. E. v. 30; Ep. 14, 207). Having learnt that the nomad Scythian tribes on the banks of the Danube were desirous of being instructed in the faith, he at once dispatched missionaries to them, and corresponded with Leontius, bp. of Ancyra, with regard to the selection of able men from his diocese for this work ( ib. H. E. v. 31). In his zeal for the suppression of pagan idolatry he obtained an imperial edict, a.d. 399, for the destruction of the temples in Phoenicia, which was carried out at the cost of some Christian ladies of Constantinople, who also supplied funds for missionary exertions in that country ( ib. v. 29). These efforts for the propagation of the faith were very dear to Chrysostom's heart, and even during his exile he superintended and directed them by letter ( Ep. 53, 54, 123, 126). He endeavoured to crush false doctrine wherever it was making head. Having learnt that the Marcionite heresy was infecting the diocese of Cyrus, he wrote to the then bishop, desiring him to expel it, and offering to help him in putting in force the imperial edicts for that purpose. He thus evidenced, in the words of Theodoret, that, like St. Paul, he bore in his heart "the care of all the churches" ( H. E. v. 31).
Eutropius fell from power in 399. He had hoped for a subservient bishop; but not only did Chrysostom refuse to countenance his nefarious designs, but denounced his vices from the pulpit with unsparing fidelity. The unhappy man, hurled in a moment from the pinnacle of his greatness, took refuge for a while in the church, but was ultimately beheaded at Chalcedon (Socr. H. E. vi. 5; Soz. H. E. viii. 7; Philost. H. E. xi. 6; Zosimus, v. 18; Chrys. Hom. in Eutrop. vol. iii. pp. 454–460; de Capto Eutrop. ib. pp. 460–482).
Early in a.d. 400 Gainas, the haughty Goth who had had a large share in the downfall of Eutropius, demanded the surrender of three leading ministers, Aurelianus the consul, Saturninus, and count John the empress's chief favourite. To relieve the emperor of embarrassment, they surrendered themselves. Their lives were in extreme danger. Chrysostom resorted to Gainas's camp, pleaded the cause of the hostages, and endeavoured to persuade the Goth to lessen his extravagant demands to be made consul and commander-in-chief, which would have placed the emperor at his mercy. Gainas had urged his claim for one of the churches of Constantinople for Arian worship, but Chrysostom's eloquence and spiritual authority overpowered him, and he desisted for a time at least in pressing his demand (Soz. H. E. viii. 4; Socr. H. E. vi. 6; Theod. H. E. v. 32, 33; Chrys. Hom. cum Saturn. et Aurel. etc., vol. iii. pp. 482–487). The sequel belongs to general history. The emperor, as a last resort, declared Gainas a public enemy; the inhabitants of the city rose against the Goths; a general massacre ensued, and Gainas was forced to flee for safety (Zosim. v. 18–22).
At this epoch the power and popularity of Chrysostom was at its culminating point. We have now to trace its swift and complete decline. The author of his overthrow was the empress Eudoxia. Her shortlived religious zeal had burnt itself out, and when she found Chrysostom too clear-sighted to be imposed upon by an outward show of piety, and too uncompromising to connive at wrong-doing even in the highest places, and that not even her rank as empress could save her and her associates from public censure, her former attachment was changed into the most implacable enmity. Jealousy of Chrysostom's influence over Arcadius contributed to her growing aversion. Chrysostom was now the only obstacle to her obtaining undisputed supremacy over her imbecile husband, and through him over the Eastern world. Means must be found to get rid of this obstacle also. Chrysostom himself afforded the opportunity in his excess of zeal for the purity of the church by overstepping his episcopal jurisdiction, not then so strictly defined as in modern dioceses. Properly speaking, the bp. of Constantinople had no jurisdiction beyond the limits of his own city and diocese. For Constantinople, as a city whose imperial dignity was of modern creation, was not a metropolitan see, but subject ecclesiastically to the metropolitan of Heraclea (otherwise Perinthus), who was exarch of the province of Thrace. The claims of Heraclea becoming antiquated, the prelates of Alexandria, as the first of the Eastern churches, gradually assumed metropolitan rights over Byzantium. But subjection to any other see was soon felt to be inconsistent with the dignity of an imperial city, and by the third canon of the oecumenical council held within its walls, a.d. 381, its bishop was declared second to the bp. of Rome, after him coming the metropolitans of Alexandria and Antioch. But this precedence was simply honorary, and although Nectarius had set the precedent followed by Chrysostom of exercising jurisdiction in the Thracian and Asiatic dioceses, the claim did not receive legal authority until the council of Chalcedon (can. 28). At a conference of bishops held at Constantinople in the spring of a.d. 400, Eusebius of Valentinopolis accused his brother bishop, Antoninus of Ephesus, of selling ordination to bishoprics, melting down the church plate for his own benefit, and other grave offences (Pallad. p. 126). A delegacy was dispatched to Asia to investigate these charges. Many dishonest and vexatious delays occurred, and the accused bishop died before any decision could be arrived at (ib. pp. 130–133). The Ephesian clergy and the bishops of the circuit appealed to Chrysostom to make peace. Prompt at the call of duty, Chrysostom, though it was the depth of winter (Jan. 401), and he in very feeble health, proceeded to Ephesus. On his arrival he exercised metropolitical authority, deposing six bishops convicted of simony, and correcting with unsparing hand the venality and licentiousness of the clergy ( ib. pp. 134–135; Socr. H. E. vi. 10; Soz. H. E. viii. 6). His excessive severity did not reconcile the reluctant ecclesiastics to the questionable authority upon which he acted. The results of Chrysostom's absence of three months from Constantinople were disastrous. He had entrusted his episcopal authority to Severian, bp. of Gabala, who basely abused his trust to undermine Chrysostom's influence at court. The cabal against Chrysostom was headed by the empress and her favourite ladies, of whose extravagance of attire and attempts to enhance their personal charms, the bishop had spoken with contemptuous ridicule, and among whom the wealthy and licentious widows Marsa, Castricia, and Eugraphia, "who used for the ruin of their souls the property their husbands had gained by extortion" (Pallad. pp. 35, 66), were conspicuous. This cabal received an important accession by the arrival of two bishops from Palestine, Antiochus of Ptolemais and the grey-haired Acacius of Beroea (Pallad. 49). [2] Serapion, Chrysostom's archdeacon, had kept his master informed of Severian's base proceedings, and had continually urged his speedy return. His return was the signal for the outbreak of open hostilities, which Chrysostom's vehement and unguarded language in the pulpit exasperated. Soon after his return, he chose his text from the history of Elijah, and exclaimed, "Gather together to me those base priests that eat at Jezebel's table, that I may say to them, as Elijah of old, 'How long halt ye between two opinions?'" ( ib. 74). This allusion was only too clear. He had called the empress Jezebel. The haughty Eudoxia could not brook the insult, and the doom of Chrysostom was sealed. But until the plot was ripe it was necessary to keep up the semblance of friendship, and even of deference, towards one who could still make ecclesiastical authority felt. Some half-heard words of Severian, uttered in annoyance at Serapion's discourtesy, were distorted by the archdeacon into a blasphemous denial of Christ's Divinity (Socr. H. E. vi. 10; Soz. H. E. viii. 10). The charge was rashly credited by Chrysostom, who, without further inquiry, sentenced him to excommunication and banishment from Constantinople. Chrysostom was still the idol of the common people. The news spread that Severian had insulted their bishop, and Severian's life would have been in danger had he not speedily fled to Chalcedon, and put the Bosphorus between himself and the enraged mob. All the authority of the emperor and the passionate entreaties of the empress, who even placed her infant son on Chrysostom's knees in the church of the Apostles as an irresistible plea for yielding to her petition, were needed to extort forgiveness for Severian. Chrysostom interceded for him with the populace ( Hom. de Recipiendo Severiano, vol. iii. pp. 492–494), and the semblance of peace was restored (Socr. and Soz. u.s. ).
The secre
Whyte's Dictionary of Bible Characters - John
JOHN, fisherman's son and all, was born with one of the finest minds that have ever been bestowed by God's goodness upon any of the sons of men. We sometimes call John the Christian Plato. Now when we say that our meaning is that John had by nature an extraordinarily rich and deep and lofty and beautiful mind. John had a profoundly intuitive mind. An inward, meditating, brooding, imaginative, mystical, spiritual mind, Plato had all that, even more perhaps than John. But, then, Plato had not John's privileges and opportunities. Plato had not been brought up on the Old Testament, and he had only had Socrates for his master. And thus it is that he has only been able to leave to us the Symposium, and the Apology, and the Phædo. Whereas John has left to us his Gospel, and his Epistles, and his Apocalypse. John has the immortal honour of having conceived and meditated and indited the most magnificent passage that has ever been written with pen and ink. The first fourteen verses of John's Gospel stand alone and supreme over all other literature, sacred and profane. The Word was God, and the Word was made flesh. These two sentences out of John contain far more philosophy; far more grace, and truth, and beauty, and love; than all the rest that has ever been written by pen of man, or spoken by tongue of man or angel. Philo also has whole volumes about the Logos. But the Logos in Philo, in Newman's words, is but a "notion": a noble notion, indeed, but still a cold, a bare, and an inoperative notion. Whereas the Word of John is a Divine Person; and, moreover, a Divine Person in human nature: a revelation, an experience, and a possession, of which John himself is the living witness and the infallible proof. I have heard of him by the hearing of the ear, said Philo. But mine eyes have seen and mine hands have handled the Word of Life, declares John. And, with the Word made flesh, and set before such eyes as John's eyes were, no wonder that we have such books from his hands as the Fourth Gospel, the First Epistle, and the Apocalypse.
How did John sink so deep into the unsearchable things of his Master, while all the other disciples stood all their discipleship days on the surface? What was it in John that lifted him so high above Peter, and Thomas, and Philip, and made him first such a disciple, and then such an apostle, of wisdom and of love? For one thing it was his gift and grace of meditation. John listened as none of them listened to all that his Master said, both in conversation, and in debate, and in discourse. John thought and thought continually on what he saw and heard. The seed fell into good ground. John was one of those happy men, and a prince among them, who have a deep root in themselves. And the good seed sprung up in him an hundredfold. The first Psalm was all fulfilled in John. For he meditated day and night on his Master, and on his Master's words, till he was like David's tree that was planted by the rivers of water so that its leaf never withered, nor was its fruit ever wanting in its season. Meditate on Divine things, my brethren. Be men of mind, and be sure you be men of meditation. Mind is the highest thing, and meditation is the highest use of mind; it is the true root, and sap, and fatness of all faith and prayer and spiritual obedience. Why are our minds so blighted and so barren in the things of God? Why have we so little faith? Why have we so little hold of the reality and nobility of Divine things? The reason is plain-we seldom or never meditate. We read our New Testament, on occasion, and we hear it read, but we do not take time to meditate. We pray sometimes, or we pretend to pray; but do we ever set ourselves to prepare our hearts for the mercy-seat by strenuous meditation on who and what we are; on who and what He is to whom we pretend to pray; and on what it is we are to say, and do, and ask, and receive? We may never have heard of Philo, but we all belong to his barren school. The Lord Jesus Christ is but a name and a notion to us; a sacred name and notion, it may be, but still only a name and a notion. The thought of Jesus Christ seldom or never quickens, or overawes, or gladdens our heart. Whereas, when we once become men of meditation, Jesus Christ, and the whole New Testament concerning Him, and the whole New Jerusalem where He is preparing a place for us, will become more to us than our nearest friend: more to us than this city with all its most pressing affairs. Our conventional morning chapter about what Jesus Christ did and said, and is at this moment doing and saying, will then be far more real to us than all our morning papers and all our business letters. Nor is this the peculiar opportunity and privilege of men of learning only. John was not a man of learning. John was described as an ignorant and an unlearned man, though all the time he was carrying about in his mind the whole of the Fourth Gospel. My brethren, meditate on John's Gospel. Meditate on that which was not made without long, and deep, and divinely-assisted meditation. You may be the most unlearned man in this learned city tonight, and yet such is John's Gospel, and such is the power and the blessedness of meditation on it, that John will look down on you after your house is asleep tonight, and will say over you, as you now sit, and now stand, and now kneel with his Gospel in your hands-"That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ."
Meditation with imagination. All that John writes is touched and informed and exalted with this divinest of all the talents. The Apocalypse, with all its splendours, was in God's mind toward us when He said, Let us make Zebedee's son, and let us make him full of eyes within. Do not be afraid at the word "imagination," my brethren. It has been sadly ill-used, both name and thing. But it is a noble name and a noble thing. There is nothing so noble in all that is within us. Our outward eye is the noblest of all our outward organs, and our inward eye is the noblest of all our inward organs. And its noblest use is to be filled full of Jesus Christ, as John's inward eye was. John did not write his Apocalypse without that great gift in its fullest exercise. And we cannot read aright what he has written without that same exercise. We cannot pray aright without it. We cannot have either faith or love aright without it. And just in the measure we have imagination, and know how to use it, we shall have one of the noblest instruments in our own hand for the enriching and perfecting of our whole intellectual and spiritual life. I do not say that the Book of Revelation is the noblest product of John's noble imagination. For, all that was within John, imagination and meditation and love, was all moved of the Holy Ghost up to its highest and its best in the production of the great Prologue to the Fourth Gospel. At the same time, it is in the Revelation that John's glorified imagination spreads out its most golden wings and waves them in the light of heaven. Only it will take both meditation and imagination to see that. But to see that will be one of our best lessons from this greatly-gifted and greatly-blessed apostle tonight.
And, then, as was sure to come to pass, the disciple of meditation and imagination becomes at last, the apostle of love. At the Last Supper, and as soon as Judas had gone out. Jesus said to the eleven, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another. As I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Eleven thoughtful and loving hearts heard that new commandment and the comfort that accompanied it. But in no other heart did that Divine seed fall into such good ground as in his heart who at that moment lay on Jesus bosom. "Little children, love one another," was the aged apostle's whole benediction as the young men carried him into the church of Ephesus every Lord's Day. And when he was asked why he always said that, and never said any more than that, he always replied, "Because this is our Lord's sole commandment, and if we all fulfil this, nothing more is needed. For love is the fulfilling of the law."
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - John the Baptist
the forerunner of the Messiah, was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and was born about six months before our Saviour. His birth was foretold by an angel, sent purposely to deliver this joyful message, when his mother Elizabeth was barren, and both his parents far advanced in years. The same divine messenger foretold that he should be great in the sight of the Lord: that he should be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb; that he should prepare the way of the Lord by turning many of the Jews to the knowledge of God; and that he should be the greatest of all the prophets, Luke 1:5-15 . Of the early part of the Baptist's life we have but little information. It is only observed that "he grew and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel," Luke 1:80 . Though consecrated from the womb to the ministerial office, John did not enter upon it in the heat of youth, but after several years spent in solitude and a course of self-denial.
The prophetical descriptions of the Baptist in the Old Testament are various and striking. That by Isaiah is: "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God," Isaiah 40:3 . Malachi has the following prediction: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse," Malachi 4:5 . That this was meant of the Baptist, we have the testimony of our Lord himself, who declared, "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias who was to come," Matthew 11:14 . The appearance and manners of the Baptist, when he first came out into the world, excited general attention. His clothing was of camel's hair, bound round him with a leathern girdle, and his food consisted of locusts and wild honey, Matthew 3:4 . The message which he declared was authoritative: "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;" and the impression produced by his faithful reproofs and admonitions was powerful and extensive, and in a great number of instances lasting. Most of the first followers of our Lord appear to have been awakened to seriousness and religious inquiry by John's ministry. His character was so eminent, that many of the Jews thought him to be the Messiah; but he plainly declared that he was not that honoured person. Nevertheless, he was at first unacquainted with the person of Jesus Christ; only the Holy Ghost had told him that he on whom he should see the Holy Spirit descend and rest was the Messiah. When Jesus Christ presented himself to receive baptism from him, this sign was vouchsafed; and from that time he bore his testimony to Jesus, as the Christ.
Herod Antipas, having married his brother Philip's wife while Philip was still living, occasioned great scandal. John the Baptist, with his usual liberty and vigour, reproved Herod to his face; and told him that it was not lawful for him to have his brother's wife, while his brother was yet alive. Herod, incensed at this freedom, ordered him into custody, in the castle of Machoerus; and he was ultimately put to death. ( See ANTIPAS. ) Thus fell this honoured prophet, a martyr to ministerial faithfulness. Other prophets testified of Christ; he pointed to him as already come. Others saw him afar off; he beheld the advancing glories of his ministry eclipsing his own, and rejoiced to "decrease" while his Master "increased." His ministry stands as a type of the true character of evangelical repentance: it goes before Christ and prepares his way; it is humbling, but not despairing; for it points to "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world."
The Jews had such an opinion of this prophet's sanctity, that they ascribed the overthrow of Herod's army, which he had sent against his father-in- law, Aretas, to the just judgment of God for putting John the Baptist to death. The death of John the Baptist happened, as is believed, about the end of the thirty-first year of the vulgar era, or in the beginning of the thirty-second.
The baptism of John was much more perfect than that of the Jews, but less perfect than that of Jesus Christ. "It was," says St. Chrysostom, "as it were, a bridge, which, from the baptism of the Jews, made a way to that of our Saviour, and was more exalted than the first, but inferior to the second. That of St. John promised what that of Jesus Christ executed. Notwithstanding St. John did not enjoin his disciples to continue the baptism of repentance, which was of his institution, after his death, because, after the manifestation of the Messiah, and the establishment of the Holy Ghost, it became of no use; yet there were many of his followers who still administered it, and several years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, did not so much as know that there was any other baptism than that of John. Of this number was Apollos, a learned and zealous man, who was of Alexandria, and came to Ephesus twenty years after the resurrection of our Saviour, Acts 18:25 . And when St. Paul came after Apollos to the same city, there were still many Ephesians who had received no other baptism, and were not yet informed that the Holy Ghost was received by baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, Acts 19:1 . The Jews are said by the Apostle Paul to have been "baptized unto Moses," at the time when they followed him through the Red Sea, as the servant of God sent to be their leader. Those who went out to John "were baptized unto John's baptism;" that is, into the expectation of the person whom John announced, and into repentance of those sins which John condemned. Christians are "baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost," because in this expression is implied that whole system of truth which the disciples of Christ believe; into the name of the Father, the one true and living God whom Christians profess to serve; of the Son, that divine person revealed in the New Testament whom the Father sent to be the Saviour of the world; of the Holy Ghost, the divine person also revealed there as the Comforter, the Sanctifier, and the Guide of Christians.
JOHN THE EVANGELIST was a native of Bethsaida, in Galilee, son of Zebedee and Salome, by profession a fisherman. Some have thought that he was a disciple of John the Baptist before he attended Jesus Christ. He was brother to James the greater. It is believed that St. John was the youngest of the Apostles. Tillemont is of opinion that he was twenty-five or twenty-six years of age when he began to follow Jesus. Our Saviour had a particular friendship for him; and he describes himself by the name of "that disciple whom Jesus loved." St. John was one of the four Apostles to whom our Lord delivered his predictions relative to the destruction of Jerusalem, and the approaching calamities of the Jewish nation, Mark 13:3 . St. Peter, St. James, and St. John were chosen to accompany our Saviour on several occasions, when the other Apostles were not permitted to be present. When Christ restored the daughter of Jairus to life, Mark 5:37 ; Luke 8:51 ; when he was transfigured on the mount, Matthew 17:1-2 ; Mark 9:2 ; Luke 9:28 ; and when he endured his agony in the garden, Matthew 26:36-37 ; Mark 14:32-33 ; St. Peter, St. James, and St. John were his only attendants. That St. John was treated by Christ with greater familiarity than the other Apostles, is evident from St. Peter desiring him to ask Christ who should betray him, when he himself did not dare to propose the question, John 13:24 . He seems to have been the only Apostle present at the crucifixion, and to him Jesus, just as he was expiring upon the cross, gave the strongest proof of his confidence and regard, by consigning to him the care of his mother, John 19:26-27 . As St. John had been witness to the death of our Saviour, by seeing the blood and water issue from his side, which a soldier had pierced, John 19:34-35 , so he was one of the first made acquainted with his resurrection. Without any hesitation, he believed this great event, though "as yet he knew not the Scripture, that Christ was to rise from the dead," John 20:9 . He was also one of those to whom our Saviour appeared at the sea of Galilee; and he was afterward, with the other ten Apostles, a witness of his ascension into heaven, Mark 16:19 ; Luke 24:51 . St. John continued to preach the Gospel for some time at Jerusalem: he was imprisoned by the sanhedrim, first with Peter only, Acts 4:1 , &c, and afterward with the other Apostles, Acts 5:17-18 . Some time after this second release, he and St. Peter were sent by the other Apostles to the Samaritans, whom Philip the deacon had converted to the Gospel, that through them they might receive the Holy Ghost, Acts 8:14-15 . St. John informs us, in his Revelations, that he was banished to Patmos, an island in the AEgean Sea, Revelation 1:9 .
This banishment of the Apostle to the isle of Patmos is mentioned by many of the early ecclesiastical writers; all of whom, except Epiphanius in the fourth century, agree in attributing it to Domitian. Epiphanius says that John was banished by command of Claudius; but this deserves the less credit; because there was no persecution of the Christians in the time of that emperor, and his edicts against the Jews did not extend to the provinces. Sir Isaac Newton was of opinion that John was banished to Patmos in the time of Nero; but even the authority of this great man is not of sufficient weight against the unanimous voice of antiquity. Dr. Lardner has examined and answered his arguments with equal candour and learning. It is not known at what time John went into Asia Minor. Lardner thought that it was about the year 66. It is certain that he lived in Asia Minor the latter part of his life, and principally at Ephesus. He planted churches at Smyrna, Pergamos, and many other places; and by his activity and success in propagating the Gospel, he is supposed to have incurred the displeasure of Domitian, who banished him to Patmos at the end of his reign. He himself tells us that he "was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ;" and Irenaeus, speaking of the vision which he had there, says, "It is not very long ago that it was seen, being but a little before our time, at the latter end of Domitian's reign." On the succession of Nerva to the empire in the year 96, John returned to Ephesus, where he died at an advanced age in the third year of Trajan's reign, A.D. 100. An opinion has prevailed, that he was, by order of Domitian, thrown into a caldron of boiling oil at Rome, and came out unhurt; but this account rests almost entirely on the authority of Tertullian, and seems to deserve little credit.
2. The genuineness of St. John's Gospel has always been unanimously admitted by the Christian church. It is universally agreed that St. John published his Gospel in Asia; and that, when he wrote it, he had seen the other three Gospels. It is, therefore, not only valuable in itself, but also a tacit confirmation of the other three; with none of which it disagrees in any material point. The time of its publication is placed by some rather before, and by others considerably after, the destruction of Jerusalem. If we accede to the opinion of those who contend for the year 97, this late date, exclusive of the authorities which support it, seems favoured by the contents and design of the Gospel itself. The immediate design of St. John in writing his Gospel, as we are assured by Irenaeus, Jerom, and others, was to refute the Cerinthians, Ebionites, and other heretics, whose tenets, though they branched out into a variety of subjects, all originated from erroneous opinions concerning the person of Christ, and the creation of the world. These points had been scarcely touched upon by the other evangelists; though they had faithfully recorded all the leading facts of our Saviour's life, and his admirable precepts for the regulation of our conduct. St. John, therefore, undertook, perhaps at the request of the true believers in Asia, to write what Clement of Alexandria called a spiritual Gospel; and, accordingly, we find in it more of doctrine, and less of historical narrative, than in any of the others. It is also to be remembered, that this book, which contains so much additional information relative to the doctrines of Christianity, and which may be considered as a standard of faith for all ages, was written by that Apostle who is known to have enjoyed, in a greater degree than the rest, the affection and confidence of the divine Author of our religion; and to whom was given a special revelation concerning the state of the Christian church in all succeeding generations.
We have three epistles by this Apostle. Some critics have thought that all these epistles were written during St. John's exile in Patmos; the first, to the Ephesian church; the others to individuals; and that they were sent alone with the Gospel, which the Apostle is supposed also to have written in Patmos. Thus Hug observes, in his "Introduction:" If St. John sent his Gospel to the continent, an epistle to the community was requisite, commending and dedicating it to them. Other evangelists, who deposited their works in the place of their residence, personally superintended them, and delivered them personally; consequently they did not require a written document to accompany them. An epistle was therefore requisite, and, as we have abundantly proved the first of John's epistles to be inseparable from the Gospel, its contents demonstrate it to be an accompanying writing, and a dedication of the Gospel. It went consequently to Ephesus. We can particularly corroborate this by the following observation: John, in the Apocalypse, has individually distinguished each of the Christian communities, which lay the nearest within his circle and his superintendence, by criteria, taken from their faults or their virtues. The church at Ephesus he there describes by the following traits: It was thronged with men who arrogated to themselves the ministry and apostolical authority, and were impostors, ψευδεις . But in particular he feelingly reproaches it because its "first love was cooled," την αγαπην σου την πρωτην αφηκας . The circumstance of impostors and false teachers happens in more churches. But decreasing love is an exclusive criterion and failing, which the Apostle reprimands in no other community. According to his judgment, want of love was the characteristic fault of the Ephesians: but this epistle is from beginning to the end occupied with admonitions to love, with recommendations of its value, with corrections of those who are guilty of this fault, 1 John 2:5 ; 1 John 2:9-11 ; 1 John 2:15 ; 1 John 3:1 ; 1 John 3:11-12 ; 1 John 3:14-18 ; 1 John 3:23 ; 1 John 4:7-10 ; 1 John 4:12 ; 1 John 4:16-21 ; 1 John 5:1-3 . Must not we therefore declare, if we compare the opinion of the Apostle respecting the Ephesians with this epistle, that, from its peculiar tenor, it is not so strikingly adapted to any community in the first instance as to this?
The second epistle is directed to a female, who is not named, but only designated by the honourable mention, εκλεκτη κυρια , "the elect lady." The two chief positions, which are discussed in the first epistle, constitute the contents of this brief address. He again alludes to the words of our Saviour, "A new commandment," &c, as in 1 John 2:7 , and recommends love, which is manifested by observance of the commandments. After this he warns her against false teachers, who deny that Jesus entered into the world as the Christ, or Messiah, and forbids an intercourse with them. At the end, he hopes soon to see her himself, and complains of the want of writing materials. The whole is a short syllabus of the first epistle, or it is the first in a renewed form. The words also are the same. It is still full of the former epistle: nor are they separated from each other as to time. The female appears before his mind in the circumstances and dangers of the society, in instructing and admonishing which he had just been employed. If we may judge from local circumstances, she also lived at Ephesus. But as for the author, his residence was in none of the Ionian or Asiatic cities, where the want of writing materials is not conceivable: he was still therefore in the place of his exile. The other circumstances noticed in it, are probably the following: the sons of the εκλεκτη κυρια had visited John, 2 John 1:4 . The sister of this matron wishing to show to him an equal respect and sympathy in his fate, sent her sons likewise to visit the Apostle. While the latter were with the Apostle, there was an opportunity of sending to the continent, 2 John 1:13 , namely, of despatching the two epistles and the Gospel.
The third epistle is written to Caius. The author consoles himself with the hope, as in the former epistle, of soon coming himself, 3 John 1:14 . He still experiences the same want of writing materials, 3 John 1:13 . Consequently, he was still living in the same miserable place: also, if we may judge from his hopes, the time was not very different. The residence of Caius is determined by the following criteria: The most general of them is the danger of being misled by false teachers, 3 John 1:3-4 . That which leads us nearer to the point, is the circumstance of John sometimes sending messages thither, and receiving accounts from thence, 3 John 1:5-8 , that he supposes his opinions to be so well known and acknowledged in this society, that he could appeal to them, as judges respecting them, 3 John 1:12 , and that, finally, he had many particular friends among them, 3
John 1:15 . The whole of this is applicable to a considerable place, where the Apostle had resided for a long time; and in the second epoch of his life, it is particularly applicable to Ephesus. He had lately written to the community, of which Caius was a member, εγραψα τη εκκλησια , "I wrote to the church," 3 John 1:9 . If this is to be referred to the first epistle, (for we are not aware of any other to a community,) then certainly Ephesus is the place to which the third epistle was also directed, and was the place where Caius resided. From hence, the rest contains its own explanation. John had sent his first epistle thither; it was the accompanying writing to the Gospel, and with it he also sent the Gospel. Who was better qualified to promulgate the Gospel among the believers than Caius, especially if it was to be published at Ephesus?
The above view is ingenious, and in its leading parts satisfactory; but the argument from the Apostle's supposed want of "writing materials," is founded upon a very forced construction of the texts. There seems, however, no reason to doubt of the close connection, in point of time, between the epistles and the Gospel; and, that being remembered, the train of thought in the mind of the Apostle sufficiently explains the peculiar character of the latter.
Webster's Dictionary - John
(n.) A proper name of a man.
People's Dictionary of the Bible - John
John (jŏn) the Baptist, whom God tores. The forerunner of our Saviour. He was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth, both belonging to priestly families. Luke 1:5. His birth, name, and work were foretold by the angel Gabriel. He grew up a Nazirite, and when about 30 years old began to preach in the wilderness of Judæa. His dress, food, and manner of life were like Elijah. He was fearless and faithful, and met with success among the people; yet he was humble and gave great honor to Jesus, who came to his baptism. At the request of Jesus, John, however, baptized him. John continued his labors with growing popularity for a year and a half, when he was cast into prison by Herod, whom he reproved for marrying his brother Philip's wife. In prison his faith seemed to waver, for he sent to Jesus to know if he were really the Messiah, and received a satisfactory answer. Matthew 11:4-6. But the malice of Herodias, whose connection with Herod whom John had rebuked, wrought his death. Matthew 14:6-12. John was beheaded in prison on Herod's birthday, at the request of the wicked Herodias. His disciples buried his body and went and told Jesus.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Banim, John
(1798-1842) Novelist, brother of Michael Banim, born Kilkenny; died there. His works include the well-known poems Soggarth Aroon, Damon and Pythias, a tragedy, several romances, and about half of the O'Hara tales. The Banims rank as the leading Irish national novelists. Their purpose was to do for Ireland what Walter Scott did for Scotland.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Sabina, John of
Antipope (1045-1046). He was Bishop of Sabina, and the Roman faction which had expelled Pope Benedict IX, elected him in opposition to the lawful pope after John had given them a large sum of money. Pope Benedict descended on Rome with a body of troops and expelled the antipope who returned to his bishopric from which he continued to put forth claims at intervals during the pontificate of Gregory VI. He attended the synod of Sutri, convened by Emperor Henry III, 1046, was deprived of all sacerdotal rank and condemned to be shut up in a monastery for life.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Struma, John of
Antipope (1168-1178). He was Abbot of Struma, and in opposition to Pope Alexander III was elected at Viterbo to succeed antipope Guido of Crema. Threatened by the people of the town he fled to Albano, where he was attacked by the troops of Archbishop Christian de Buch. From Albano he fled to Tusculum where he prostrated himself before Pope Alexander, who forgave him, 1178, and later appointed him governor of Benevento.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Elisha John Durbin
Apostle of Western Kentucky, born Madison County, Kentucky, February 1, 1800; died Shelbyville, Kentucky, 1887. He was ordained in 1822, and his missionary career lasted for over 60 years during which he erected churches, established stations, formed congregations, and visited isolated families.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - University, John Carroll
Cleveland, Ohio, founded 1886; conducted by the Jesuits; preparatory school; college of arts and sciences; extension courses.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Shepherd, John
Composer. Born in England c.1512;died there c1563 A chorister under Thomas Mulliner at Saint Paul's, he became in 1542 choir-master and organist at Magdalen College, Oxford, and in 1549 gained a fellowship. From 1553 to 1558 he belonged to Mary Tudor's Chapel Royal. The Music School, Oxford, has preserved in manuscripts many of his religious compositions. Notable selections are four masses, several alleluias, and ten motets.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Silent, John the, Saint
Confessor, Bishop of Colonia, Armenia, born Nicopolis, Armenia, 452; died near Jerusalem, 558. His life of mortification and self-denial continued even when he was Bishop of Colonia. His last days were spent in seclusion and perpetual silence in the desert near Jerusalem. Represented holding his finger to his lips, signifying his love of silence. Feast, May 13,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Regis, John Francis, Saint
Confessor, born Fontcouverte, France, 1597; died at La Louvesc, France, 1640. He entered the Society of Jesus, 1616, and was ordained, 1630. Gifted with a marvelous talent for missions, he labored for the conversion of the Huguenots, assisted the needy, and aided in the rescue of wayward women. On the site of his death the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Regis of the Cenacle was founded in 1888. Canonized, 1739. Body at Louvesc. Feast, June 16,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Vianney, John Baptist Mary, Saint
Confessor, Cure d'Ars, born Dardilly, near Lyons, France, 1786; died Ars, France, 1859. Overcoming the difficulties caused by a meager primary school education and defective talents, he was ordained in 1815 and sent for a time to Ecully. In 1818 he was made parish priest at Ars, a remote French hamlet, where his exercise of the sacred ministry, especially in the direction of souls, made him known throughout the Christian world. Persons of all ranks and conditions of life sought his advice and in 1855 the number of pilgrims to Ars had reached 20,000 a year. He led a life of extreme mortification and performed numerous miracles. Canonized, 1925. Feast, Roman Calendar, August 9,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Ruysbroeck, John, Blessed
Confessor, greatest Flemish mystic, prior of Groenendael, born Ruysbroeck, near Brussels, 1293; died Groenendael, 1381. With his uncle John Hinkaert and Francis van Coudenberg, both canons of Saint Gudule's, Brussels, retired to a hermitage at Groenendael in 1343; this was erected into a community of canons regular in 1349. He led a life of extreme austerity, became famous as a sublime contemplative, and skilled director of souls, and was called the Admirable Doctor and the Divine Doctor. His most characteristic treatise on mystical life is "The Spiritual Espousals."
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Sahagun, John of, Saint
Confessor, hermit, born Sahagun, Spain, 1419; died Salamanca, Spain, 1479. Educated at Salamanca and Burgos, he was ordained, 1445, and made canon in the cathedral at Burgos. Desiring a more thorough knowledge of theology, he entered the University of Salamanca, where he took his degree in divinity. Then joining the Order of Hermits of Saint Augustine, 1463, he was made prior of the community, 1471. He is said to have been poisoned by a woman whose companion in sin he had converted. Patron of Salamanca. Relics in Spain, Belgium, and Peru. Canonized, 1696. Feast, Roman Calendar, June 12,.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Redmond, John Edward
Irish Nationalist leader. Born in 1857 at Broadway, Ireland; died in 1918 in London, England. Educated at Clongowes and at Trinity College, Dublin, he was called to the English and Irish Bars. He was the Parliamentary representative for New Ross from 1881 to 1885, for North Wexford from 1885 to 1891, and for Waterford City from 1891 until his death. Elected chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party in 1900, he introduced a bill to repeal the oath and the test acts, and rallied the Catholics to the defense of their schools. He was one of the most eloquent politicians of his time, and published Historical and Political Addresses.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Gerard, John
Jesuit missionary, born New Bryn, England, 1564; died Rome, Italy, 1637. Having studied at Douai, France, he entered the Society of Jesus at Rome, and was sent almost immediately to England, where he exercised a marvelous influence. He was betrayed and captured in 1594. Flung into the Tower of London, he was brutally tortured, but remained unconquerable. After two years he escaped and continued his heroic work till 1605, when he was forced to retire to the Continent. He has left an account of the Gunpowder Plot and a valuable autobiography.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Sarkander, John, Blessed
Martyr of the seal of confession, born Skotschau, Austrian Silesia, 1576; died Olmütz, 1620. He received his degree of master of philosophy at Prague, 1603, and was ordained, 1607. He was at Holleschau, formerly belonging to the Bohemian Brethren, now a Jesuit College, when Moravia was invaded by the Polish troops, and induced them to spare the college. The Protestants, therefore, accused him of bringing the enemy into the country, put him on trial, and tortured him when he refused to reveal what Lobkowitz, the governor of Moravia, had confessed to him. He died in prison. Beatified in 1860. Relics in the Cathedral of Olmütz.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Storey, John, Blessed
Martyr, born 1504, died Tyburn, England, 1571. He was president of Broadgates Hall, now Pembroke College. Entering Parliament in 1547 he was imprisoned for opposing the Bill of Uniformity. He went to Louvain, but returned in 1553, and became chancellor to Bishop Bonner. Once more in Parliament, he was again imprisoned, this time for opposing the Bill of Supremacy. He fled to Antwerp, was arrested there, brought to England, and put to death in the Tower, for his faith. Beatified, 1886.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Story, John, Blessed
Martyr, born 1504, died Tyburn, England, 1571. He was president of Broadgates Hall, now Pembroke College. Entering Parliament in 1547 he was imprisoned for opposing the Bill of Uniformity. He went to Louvain, but returned in 1553, and became chancellor to Bishop Bonner. Once more in Parliament, he was again imprisoned, this time for opposing the Bill of Supremacy. He fled to Antwerp, was arrested there, brought to England, and put to death in the Tower, for his faith. Beatified, 1886.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Shert, John, Blessed
Martyr, born Cheshire, England; died Tyburn, England, 1582. He was educated at Oxford (B.A., Brasenose), taught school in London, was ordained at Rome, and was sent to the English mission. He was executed with Blessed Thomas Ford. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Rochester, John, Blessed
Martyr, born probably Terling, Essex, England, c.1498;died York, England, 1537. He was a choir monk in the Charterhouse of London. He was hanged for opposing the new doctrine of royal supremacy. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Stone, John, Blessed
Martyr, died at the Dane-John, Canterbury, England, 1539. He was an Austin Friar of Canterbury and a doctor of divinity, and was executed for denying the royal supremacy. Beatified, 1888.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Rugg, John, Blessed
Martyr, died Glastonbury, England, 1539. He had been a fellow of the two Saint Mary Winton colleges, and the first holder of the Wykehamical prebend "Bursalis," at Chichester, but was living in retirement at Glastonbury, where he was executed with his abbot, Blessed Hugh Faringdon, for refusing to take the oath of supremacy. Beatified, 1895.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Thorne, John, Blessed
Martyr, died Glastonbury, England, 1539. He was a monk at Glastonbury, and was tortured with the Abbot Whiting, being fastened to hurdles, dragged by horses to the top of Tor Hill, and hanged. Beatified, 1895.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Strutt, John William
Physicist. Born 1842; died 1919. Made valuable observations on optics, the theory of sound, various electric and magnetic problems, and chemical physics in general.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Sobieski, John
Polish soldier, born in 1629 in Olesko, Galima; diedin 1696 in Willanow. He fought in the great Cossack rebellion (1648), accompanied Czarniecki's expedition to Denmark, and fought the Muscovites at Cudnow. As commander-in-chief, he beat the Turks at Chocim and Lemberg. His greatest exploit was the rescue of Vienna besieged by the Turks and their expulsion from Poland and Hungary. Forced to give up Kieff to Russia and to see the crown pass from his family, he died, a broken man.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Sicco, John
Reigned from June 13, to November 6, 1003. Born in Rome, Italy as John Sicco; died there. Elected by the party of John Crescentius, he reigned less than six months. Little is known of his pontificate.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Salisbury, John of
Scholar, philosopher, and historian; born near Salisbury, England, c.1115;died probably Chartres, France, 1180. He was educated in France under some of the most brilliant scholars of the time, including Abelard, Alberic of Rheims, William of Conches, and Theodoric of Chartres. Returning to England, he became secretary to Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, and was sent on various diplomatic missions. Like his friend Thomas Becket, he incurred the displeasure of Henry II and was forced to leave England for six years. His attempts to reconcile Becket with the king failed, and in 1170 he witnessed the tragic death of the bishop. He became treasurer of Exeter cathedral in 1174, and two years later Bishop of Chartres. His works include the "Metalogicus," a philosophical treatise, the "Policratus," a miscellaneous compilation of philosophy and diplomacy, and the "Entheticus," a Latin elegiac poem.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Shea, John Dawson Gilmary
Writer, editor, and historian of both American history in general and American Catholic history specifically. Born on July 22, 1824 in New York, New York; died on February 22, 1892 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Son of James Shea, an Irish immigrant and school principal, and Mary Ann (Flannigan) Shea. He spent several years in the Jesuit novitiate and studied at Saint John's College (modern Fordham University) then left the order and devoted himself to the study of early Indian missions and published the History of the Catholic Missions among the Indian Tribes of the United States, 1529-1854. Married Sophie Savage in 1854. He contributed articles on Indians to the Encyclopedia Britannica, was literary editor of Frank Leslie's publications, and in 1888 became editor of Catholic News. His great work is the History of the Catholic Church in the United States. He also wrote The Life of Pius X and The Heirarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States. The John Gilmary Shea Papers, a collection of correspondence, manuscripts, and research materials, are preserved in the Georgetown University Library (Special Collections Division).
Morrish Bible Dictionary - John the Baptist
Son of Zacharias, priest of the order of Abia, or Abijah (1 Chronicles 24:10 ), and of Elizabeth, a descendant of Aaron, born when they were both old. The conception was foretold by the angel Gabriel, who announced that John was to be a Nazarite, and should be filled with the Holy Ghost from his birth. His mission was also foretold: in the spirit and power of Elias he would be the forerunner of Christ, and would call the people to repentance, according to the prophecy in Isaiah 40:3 . All that is recorded of his early life is "the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel." Luke 1:80 .
When he began his ministry he is described as having on "raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts and wild honey." He preached in the wilderness, calling on the people to repent, for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. The people went out to him, and were baptised of him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. Matthew 3:1-6 . A godly remnant morally apart from the nation was thus prepared in spirit for the Lord. With these (the excellent in the earth, Psalm 16 ) the Lord Jesus identified Himself.
To the Pharisees and the Sadducees he was especially severe, calling them a 'generation of vipers' ( Matthew 3:7 ), but in Luke the multitude are so designated, for all must flee from the wrath to come, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance. The axe was laid to the root of the tree. There was One coming with the winnowing fan, who would divide the wheat from the chaff.
When the religious authorities at Jerusalem sent to John to ask who he was, he declared that he was not the Christ, nor Elias, nor 'that prophet.' Deuteronomy 18:15,18 . He was "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord," as Isaiah had prophesied. John 1:19-23 . The Lord, in speaking of John, said, "Elias is indeed come," Mark 9:13 , which seems to clash with John 1:21 ; another passage however explains it: "If ye will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come." Matthew 11:14 . He had come in the spirit and power of Elias, as foretold by Gabriel; and he was Elias to those who received him and who afterwards followed the Lord, as Andrew and another in John 1:40 .
So far we have considered John's official place as the forerunner of Christ, but in John's gospel the Baptist's testimony is given to the Lamb of God. He also adds, "I knew him not," but he had been told that He upon whom he saw the Holy Spirit descend and remain was the Baptiser with the Holy Ghost; and he adds, "I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." He may have known Jesus in a natural way, but his knowing Him as Son of God was by a divinely-given testimony. John proclaimed Jesus as "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world;" and in the hearing of two of his own disciples he said, "Behold the Lamb of God." Jesus was to be the object of their hearts, and they followed Him. Afterwards, when John was told that Jesus was baptising, and that all the people were going to Him, he gave a remarkable answer: "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease." John was the friend of the bridegroom. The Lord said that among those born of women no one was greater than John; but the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater than he, because the latter was in a new dispensation, John being connected with the law and the prophets of the old dispensation. Matthew 11:11-13 .
While in prison John's faith or patience seems in measure to have failed him, and he sent two of his disciples to the Lord with the question, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" He evidently had not apprehended the humiliation and rejection of the Messiah, and expected to have been delivered from prison by the power which he knew had been exercised in grace by the Lord. The Lord wrought various miracles while John's disciples were there, and bade them tell him what they had seen and heard, adding, "Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." Luke 7:19-23 .
It was because of John's faithfulness in reproving the sins of Herod Antipas that he had been by him cast into prison. This led to his death through Salome and her guilty mother. John's work was done; he was faithful unto death. Mark 6:14-29 .
Morrish Bible Dictionary - John the Apostle
Son of Zebedee, and brother of James. James and John were fishermen, but when the Lord called them, they forsook all and followed Him. The Lord surnamed them BOANERGES, 'sons of thunder.'
John, Peter, and James were the three selected to be with the Lord on the mount of transfiguration, and in the garden of Gethsemane. In the Acts of the Apostles John was with Peter when the lame man was healed, and they were both cast into prison. They boldly declared that they could not but speak the things they had seen and heard. John was associated with Peter in visiting the Samaritans, who had received the word preached by Philip, and through the laying on of their hands the Holy Spirit was given. Acts 8 .
John was one of the apostles at Jerusalem who, when Paul went thither, gave to him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that they should go to the heathen. Galatians 2:9 . He was afterwards banished to the Isle of Patmos, probably under the emperor Nero or Domitian; it is not known with certainty which, nor at what date. There he had the visions recorded in the Revelation. He also wrote the Gospel and the three Epistles bearing his name, which are generally judged to have been written after the other Gospels and Epistles.
John in his gospel calls himself 'the disciple whom Jesus loved;' at the last Passover he leaned upon the bosom of Jesus, and to his care did the Lord when on the cross commend His mother.
Smith's Bible Dictionary - Revela'Tion of st. John,
the last book of the New Testament. It is often called the Apocalypse, which is its title in Greek, signifying "Revelation,"
Canonical authority and authorship. --The inquiry as to the canonical authority of the Revelation resolves itself into a question of authorship. Was St. John the apostle and evangelist the writer of the Revelation? The evidence adduced in support of his being the author consists of (1) the assertions of the author and (2) historical tradition. (1) The author's description of himself in the 1st and 22d chapters is certainly equivalent to an assertion that he is the apostle. He names himself simply John, without prefix or addition. is also described as a servant of Christ, one who had borne testimony as an eye-witness of the word of God and of the testimony of Christ. He is in Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. He is also a fellow sufferer with those whom he addresses, and the authorized channel of the most direct and important communication that was ever made to the Seven Churches of Asia, of which churches John the apostle was at that time the spiritual governor and teacher. Lastly, the writer was a fellow servant of angels and a brother of prophets. All these marks are found united in the apostle John, and in him alone of all historical persons. (2) A long series of writers testify to St. John's authorship: Justin Martyr (cir. 150 A.D.), Eusebius, Irenaeus (A.D. 195), Clement of Alexandria (about 200), Tertullian (207), Origen (233). All the foregoing writers, testifying that the book came from an apostle, believed that it was a part of Holy Scripture. The book was admitted into the list of the Third Council of Carthage, A.D. 397.
Time and place of writing. --The date of the Revelation is given by the great majority of critics as A.D. 95-97. Irenaeus says: "It (i.e. the Revelation) was seen no very long time ago, but almost in our own generation, at the close of Domitian's reign. Eusebius also records that, in the persecution under Domitian, John the apostle and evangelist was banished to the Island Patmos for his testimony of the divine word. There is no mention in any writer of the first three centuries of any other time or place, and the style in which the messages to the Seven Churches are delivered rather suggests the notion that the book was written in Patmos.
Interpretation . --Modern interpreters are generally placed in three great divisions: (a) The Historical or Continuous exposition, in whose opinion the Revelation is a progressive history of the fortunes of the Church from the first century to the end of time. (b) The Praeterist expositors, who are of opinion that the Revelation has been almost or altogether fulfilled in the time which has passed since it was written; that it refers principally to the triumph of Christianity over Judaism and Paganism, signalized in the downfall of Jerusalem and of Rome. (c) The Futurist expositors, whose views show a strong reaction against some extravagances of the two preceding schools. They believe that the whole book, excepting perhaps the first three chapters, refers principally, if not exclusively, to events which are yet-to come. Dr.Arnold in his sermons "On the Interpretation of Prophecy" suggests that we should bear in mind that predictions have a lower historical sense as well as a higher spiritual sense; that there may be one or more than one typical, imperfect, historical fulfillment of the prophecy, in each of which the higher spiritual fulfillment is shadowed forth more or less distinctly.
Smith's Bible Dictionary - John, the Second And Third Epistles of
The second epistle is addressed to an individual woman. One who had children, and a sister and nieces, is clearly indicated. According to one interpretation she is "the Lady Electa," to another, "the elect Kyria," to a third, "the elect Lady." The third epistle is addressed to Caius or Gaius. He was probably a convert of St. John, Epist. (3 John 1:4 ) and a layman of wealth and distinction, Epits. (3 John 1:5 ) in some city near Ephesus. The object of St. John in writing the second epistle was to warn the lady to whom he wrote against abetting the teaching known as that of Basilides and his followers, by perhaps an undue kindness displayed by her toward the preachers of the false doctrine. The third epistle was written for the purpose of commending to the kindness and hospitality of Caius some Christians who were strangers in the place where he lived. It is probably that these Christians carried this letter with them to Caius as their introduction.
Smith's Bible Dictionary - John, the First Epistle General of
There can be no doubt that the apostle John was the author of this epistle. It was probably written from Ephesus, and most likely at the close of the first century. In the introduction, ch. (1 John 1:1-4 ) the apostle states the purpose of his epistle: it is to declare the word of life to those whom he is addressing, in order that he and they might be united in true communion with each other, and with God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. His lesson throughout is that the means of union with God are, on the part of Christ, his atoning blood, ch. (1 John 1:7 ; 2:2 ; 3:5 ; 4:10,14 ; 5:6 ) and advocacy, ch. (1 John 2:1 ) on the part of man, holiness, ch. (1 John 1:6 ), obedience, ch. (1 John 2:3 ) purity, ch. (1 John 3:3 ) faith, ch. (1 John 3:23 ; 4:3 ; 5:5 ) and above all love. ch. (1 John 2:7 ; 3:14 ; 4:7 ; 5:1 )
Morrish Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel by
This Gospel is different in character from the other three, which are often called 'the Synoptical Gospels,' because they each give a fuller account of events than is found in John. The gospel by John has often been judged to be supplementary to the others; but this is not a true view of it. It stands by itself, complete in itself. Each gospel has its own characteristic line: for this see under GOSPELS.
It is the gospel in which we have most distinctly the revelation of the Godhead. The Father is revealed in the Son in both words and works; and in the rejection of the Son the Father was rejected. And, consequent on the Son going back to the Father who had sent Him, the Holy Ghost was to be sent from the Father in His name. See John 14 — John 16 .
In John, together with the state of man, is brought out the gift of eternal life, as if the Lord Jesus had been rejected and redemption had already been accomplished. Israel is viewed as reprobate throughout: the feasts are not spoken of as the feasts of Jehovah, but as 'of the Jews,' and 'the Jews' (those of Jerusalem and Judaea) are distinguished from 'the people,' who may have been Galileans or visitors at the feasts from districts outside Judaea.
John 1 . All the essential names of the Lord are brought out in this chapter. His essential Godhead before creation; He is the Creator; the true Light; the only-begotten of the Father (His eternal Sonship); He is the Incarnate, 'the Word became flesh;' the Lamb of God; the Son of God; the Messiah; the king of Israel; and the Son of man. The Jews, 'his own,' received Him not; but to those who received Him He gave authority to become children of God. The Lord became a centre for such, and
1, His dwelling place an abode for them;
2, He is the One to be followed down here;
3, He is the hope of Israel.
A glimpse of millennial glory is given in the declaration at the close of the chapter as to angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
John 2 gives a type of millennial blessing in the marriage feast (Jesus being the source of the 'good wine' — the best joy — when the wine of Israel had run out), and His divine right in cleansing the temple would be proved by His power in raising the temple of His body, by which, for the time, the material temple was set aside. John 2:23-25 belong to John 3 . The Lord discerns who are really His.*
* The 'third day' of John 2:1 probably refers to the millennial day: John's testimony being the first, John 1:35 ; Christ's ministry the second, John 1:43 ; and the millennium the third.
John 3 . Man, such as he is by nature, and even under privilege needs a work of the Spirit in him for the apprehension of, or entrance into the kingdom of God. He must be born of water and of the Spirit: that which is born of the Spirit is spirit in contrast to flesh, and the water no doubt signifies the word morally: cf. John 15:3 ; 1 Peter 1:23 . This should have been known by a teacher of Israel from the prophetic announcement with regard to earthly blessing in Ezekiel 36:25 , etc. But the Lord proceeds to speak of heavenly things. Man, being a sinner, his whole status as in the flesh, whether Jew or Gentile, is regarded as judged and set aside in the lifting up of the Son of man, the antitype of the brazen serpent, and life is found for man beyond death. This introduces the testimony of the love of God to the world, and His purpose for man in His giving His only begotten Son, namely, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. The love of God is not limited to the Jews.
A further and touching testimony is rendered to the Lord by John the Baptist, whose joy was fulfilled in hearing His voice, though he himself should be eclipsed. The last two verses are doubtless the words of the evangelist. The Son being presented, the issue would be either eternal life or the wrath of God.
John 4 . Being obliged to withdraw through the jealousy of the Pharisees from Judaea, the Lord on His road to Galilee must needs pass through Samaria, where He meets with a poor empty-hearted woman — empty spite of all her efforts to find satisfaction in sin. To her He speaks of God being a giver , and that He Himself was ready to give her living water — water that should be in the one receiving it a fountain of water springing up into eternal life — doubtless that which is called in Romans 8 "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," a source of perennial satisfaction within. Connected with this the Father is revealed as seeking worshippers. At the close of the chapter the Lord restores a nobleman's son who was at the point of death, typical of that which He was doing in Israel to sustain the faith of the godly remnant ready to perish.
John 5 . The impotent man was enabled to carry that whereon he lay. The blessing which had resided in vain in the pool of Bethesda, so far as he was concerned, was now superseded by what was in the word of the Son of God.* This miracle being performed on the Sabbath served to bring out His glory. "My Father worketh hitherto and I work." The Father and the Son are one in the activity of grace. The Father does not judge; the Son quickens and judges. The one who hears His word, and believes on the Father who sent Him, has everlasting life, and will not enter into judgement — is passed, in fact, out of death into life. Those morally dead hear His voice now, and those who have heard shall live. Those in their graves shall also hear, and shall come forth, and there shall be a resurrection of life, and one of judgement. † Life in this chapter is viewed in connection with the voice of the Lord as the Son. He brings the soul into the light ofthe Father. Apart fromthe testimony of John, there was the three-fold witness to His glory: His works, the Father, and the scriptures.
* Some editors omit from 'waiting,' ver. 3, to end of ver. 4; but it is doubtless a portion of what God caused to be written, and should be retained.
† 'Judgement' in vers. 22,27,30; 'condemnation' in ver. 24; and 'damnation' in ver. 29, are all the same Greek word, κρίσις.
John 6 . Five thousand men are fed by the power of the Lord. Struck by this sign of power the multitude, recognising Him as the Prophet, would make Him king. But He retires to a mountain apart, typically in the place of Priest. The disciples meanwhile were on the sea amid darkness and storm. The Lord went to them, walking on the sea. All this would seem to have its application to Israel — the Lord being seen as Prophet, King, and Priest. He will bring them to their desired haven.
What follows has a present application. The Son of man was the true bread from heaven, and the work of God was that people should believe on Him. There is a contrast here between the manna and the new and heavenly food; and life is presented from the point of view of man's appropriation,rather than as the quickening power of the Son of God, as in John 5 . "If any one shall have eaten of this bread he shall live for ever." But for this Christ must die — must give His flesh for the life of the world. "He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has life eternal; and I will raise him up at the last day." To appropriate His death is to accept death to all that in which the flesh lives morally, to find life in Him who is out of heaven, and who is gone back thither. This puts every one to the test.
John 7 . The earthly blessing, of which the Feast of Tabernacles is typical, is deferred, owing to Christ's rejection: even His brethren did not believe in Him. But the great day of the feast is the eighth, typical of the day of new creation and of eternal blessing; of this the Spirit is the earnest, as sent from a glorified Christ. On this day Jesus stood and cried, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this he said concerning the Spirit, which they that believed on him were about to receive." The Jews are left in dissension and darkness.
John 8 — John 10 . The Lord is now manifested as the Light, according to what is said of Him in John 1 . Those who brought to Him a case of flagrant sin in the expectation of putting Him in a dilemma, were themselves convicted by the light of His word: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." They went out of His presence one by one, convicted by their own conscience. The testimony of His own word as the light of the world follows, and is definitely rejected by the Jews; and when He at length bears witness, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am," they took up stones to cast at Him.
Passing through the midst of them the Lord went on His way, and in John 9 gives sight to a man born blind. Here the testimony is that of His work. The leaders of the Jews were themselves blind, and said of Jesus, "We know that this man is a sinner." Being confounded at the poor man's simple reasoning, they cast him out of the synagogue. Upon this Jesus reveals Himself to him as Son of God, and as such he worships Him. Cast out, he finds himself in the company of One whose glorious Person is thus made known. But the Jew is made blinder by the light that has come in.
Rejected both in word and work, the Lord is now revealed as the Shepherd of the sheep in John 10 , which must be read in close connection with what precedes. If the Jews cast His disciples out of the synagogue, it was the Lord who led them out of the Jewish fold. For this He was the Shepherd, and the door of the sheep. No doubt His death is supposed here. By Him if any one entered in he should be saved, and find liberty and food, in contrast to the Jewish system in which these were not found. He is the good Shepherd, and gives His life for the sheep; and there is a reciprocal knowledge or an intimacy between Himself and the sheep who are of a new and heavenly order, as there is between the Father and Himself. Also there is no fold now, but one flock and one Shepherd: thus Jews and Gentiles are joined in one flock. Furthermore, He gives His sheep eternal life, and preserves them as given Him of the Father, on the absolute security of His own and His Father's hand. The Jews seeking again to take Him, He departed beyond Jordan.
John 11 . Here the glory of the Son of God is revealed, Jesus setting Himself forth to the faith of His own as the resurrection and the life. Lazarus is allowed to die, but it was for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. He embodies and expresses in His own person victory over death, and an entirely new order of life in man, which only the Son become man, and dying, could make available to us. In the resurrection of Lazarus this is set forth in pattern; but at the same time a crisis was reached as regards His testimony to the Jews, and He is now conspired against by the leaders of the people, who decide that it was expedient that one man should die for the nation. The high priest spoke this by inspiration, and the Spirit adds, "and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." All was now ready for the final act.
John 12 . Mary, in communion with His own mind, anoints His body for His burial, and the house is filled with the odour of the ointment. The godly remnant at Bethany is distinguished by the place He had in their hearts, and Mary by her deep appreciation of His worth. A final testimony is given to the daughter of Zion as her king rode into Jerusalem, sitting on an ass's colt, amid the acclamations of the crowd, who gave witness to His having raised Lazarus. The Pharisees for the moment were confounded.
His glory as Son of God having been displayed, and He being presented to Jerusalem as Son of David, certain Greeks now express a desire to see Jesus. These were Gentiles, and their petition serves to bring out yet another glory of the Lord Jesus. He is the Son of man; and the hour was come that the Son of man should be glorified. He could not take the kingdom, and bring in blessing either for Jews or Greeks without dying; and, while the kingdom glory would be deferred, He would Himself be glorified as Son of man, and would, in dying as the grain of wheat, bring forth much fruit. But this was for another world — for life eternal; one's life in this world must be hated, and a rejected Christ followed. We here see what the counsels of God are in regard to man being glorified in heaven, and how the death of the Son of man would bring them about. But the world is now definitely judged and its prince cast out, and a lifted-up Son of man becomes the attractive object and gathering point for faith. The chapter closes with the utter rejection of the Jews. Thenceforward the ministry of the Lord is in private with His own.
John 13,14 . In John 13 the Lord washes the disciples' feet, the hour having come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father; in view, that is, of this great fact. The point was to maintain them in moral suitability to the new place to which He was going, in which they should have part with Him. The action of the word (the water) would free them morally to enter into and enjoy communion with Him when gone to the Father. At the outset they had been washed or bathed all over (as in the consecration of the priests) and this was not to be repeated; but, to enjoy heavenly things, a continuous practical cleansing was necessary, signified by the washing of the feet alone. (See WASHING.) This gracious work is set forth as a pattern for the disciples to do to one another — to remove, that is, by the ministry of the word, all that hinders communion. They were to be suited as servants to represent the Lord in this world, and for this they must first be suited to Himself. To Judas however these things could not apply. Having received the sop at the hands of the blessed Lord, Judas went out immediately to betray Him; and it was night. The chapter shows the Lord's knowledge of every form of evil to which His people could be exposed in this world.
In contrast to what is here discovered as to man, the Lord brings forward the glorification of the Son of man, in whom the glory of God would first be secured. He should be immediately glorified. His disciples would be known as His by their love one to another, this being the new commandment given by the Lord. What the flesh is, even in a saint of God, is set forth in Peter's sincere but self-confident assertion of faithfulness even to death. In view of all that man is, there was enough to appal the disciples in the prospect of Christ leaving them, but they were to believe in Jesus (John 14 ) as they believed in God; and hence their heart need not be troubled. He was going away to prepare a place for them in His Father's house, and would come again to receive them to Himself. He was Himself the way, the truth, and the life — the revealer of and way to the Father — a divine Person, who could say, "I am in the Father and the Father in me." He was going to the Father, and whatever they should ask in the Son's name the Father would do. And further, "If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it." This supposes that they would be in the knowledge of His interests during His absence. They were to keep His commandments, if they loved Him.
He would ask the Father, who would give them another Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who would remain with them for ever: He would be in them. Furthermore, He would not leave them orphans, He would Himself come to them. The Comforter would teach them all things and bring to their remembrance what He had said to them. He left them peace, and gave them His own peace. If they loved Him they would rejoice that He was going to the Father. All this discourse, preparatory to His departure, was to fit the disciples to serve His interests when He should be gone from them.
John 15 . The Lord in this chapter shows how He had taken the place of the vine, which Israel had been set to be by Jehovah (Psalm 80 ; Isaiah 5 .), but in which it had utterly failed, so far as fruit was concerned. The Lord was the true Vine, and no fruit could be borne but as abiding in Him: as He said, "Without me ye can do nothing." The disciples were to abide in His love, keeping His commandments. He calls them friends, no longer bondsmen, for all things He had heard of His Father He had made known to them. But they were to love one another. The world would hate them because they were not of it: it had however hated Him first. But when the Comforter was come, the Spirit of truth, He should bear witness concerning the Lord, and the disciples would do so likewise, because they had been with Him from the beginning.
John 16 . The Lord warns the disciples of the persecution they would meet with from the world. He was about to leave them; but this was for their advantage, because the Comforter would come to them in His stead. This great event would on the one hand have its bearing on the world; and on the other, on the disciples. To the world the Holy Spirit would bring demonstration of sin, righteousness, and judgement; while the disciples would be guided by Him into all the truth. He would glorify the Son, and show to them the things of the Father which were the Son's. The Lord would be withdrawn from them for a little while by death, but they would see Him again, as indeed they did, a foretaste of what is yet to come in a still more blessed manner. They should thus have a joy which no one could take from them, in the knowledge and enjoyment of the new relationship with the Father, into which He was introducing them. The world however would rejoice at being rid of Him: terrible testimony to its state.
The disciples failed to apprehend the true import of the Lord's discourse about the Father, in which He assured them of the Father's love for them, by reason of which they might henceforward address themselves immediately to Him in the name of the Son, that is, in His interests, and be assured of their petitions. For the moment they would be scattered, and, but for the Father's presence with Him, would leave Him alone. The Lord spoke these things to them that in Him they might have peace, whereas in the world they should have tribulation.
John 17 . There follows a prayer to the Father, in which, in the most affecting manner, the Lord allows us to know His desires for His own according to the counsel of the Father. It is divided into three parts; the first, down to the end of John 17:5 , having reference to His own glory, and the consequent glory of the Father; the second, to John 17:19 , referring to the disciples then present — the eleven; the third, to those who should believe on Him through their word. Eternal life; the revelation of the Father's name, and the relationship with Him in which the disciples were placed in consequence; their place in the world; their oneness in the present and in the future; glory with Christ, in which all who believe share; and the love of the Father to the Lord Jesus, into which His own are brought, are some of the subjects in this portion.
John 18 . Jesus in the garden is betrayed by Judas. The agony of the Lord is not recorded here, which may be owing to His being seen in this gospel as Son of God; and those sent to arrest Him fall to the ground. He is arraigned before Caiaphas and before Pilate, to whom He confesses that He is a king. The Jews choose Barabbas.
John 19 . Jesus is pronounced to be guiltless, but is condemned by Pilate, after being presented to the Jews as their king. They call for His crucifixion, declaring that they have 'no king but Caesar.' On the cross He commits His mother to John. Jesus having fulfilled all, Himself delivers up His spirit. From His pierced side flow blood and water: cf. 1 John 5:6-8 .
John 20 records the resurrection of the blessed Lord and its result. Mary Magdalene, ignorant of the great event, but with the deepest affection for her Lord, came in the early morning of the first day of the week to the sepulchre. He was no longer there. She summoned Peter and John, who, running and looking into the sepulchre, took note of what they saw as evidence on which they believed. They then went home again. She, with less intelligence but more affection, lingered still. To her the Lord revealed Himself, and not suffering her to touch Him (no doubt as indicating that the relationship with His own was no longer of an earthly kind), He sent her with the surprising message to His disciples, "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." He put them in His own relationship as man before His Father and God. Then we have a picture of the assembly gathered in the truth of this relationship, in the midst of which He Himself took His place. He brought peace to them, assuring them that He was in very deed the same who had been pierced and nailed to the cross. He then gave them their commission: "As the Father sent me forth, I also send you," again pronouncing peace. Having said this, He breathed into them and said, "Receive [1] Holy Spirit." This must not be confounded with Acts 2 , in which the descent of the Holy Ghost is connected more with power. Here it corresponds with the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:2 . Thomas, who saw and believed, represents the Jewish remnant in the latter day, who will believe when they see the Lord.
John 21 . This is on the ground of the synoptic gospels, that is to say, is dispensational in its character — the draught of fishes is identified with the work of Christ in connection with earth. Led by Peter the disciples go fishing, but catch nothing. The Lord appears to them, and tells them to cast the net on the right side of the ship; and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. There is no breaking of the net here, and 153 great fishes are secured. They now recognise the Lord, and find a dinner ready prepared, of which they are invited to partake. All this points to a resumption of the Lord's earthly association with His people Israel, whom He will use for an abundant ingathering of souls from among the sea of nations after the close of the present period.
After this we have the full restoration of Peter in a passage of most touching grace, and obscurely the relative portion and service of both Peter and John.
It is not surprising that a book, in which the divine glory of the Son of God is especially unfolded, should be concluded by the surmise of the apostle, that the world itself could not contain all that might be written of His doings.
Smith's Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of
This Gospel was probably written at Ephesus about A.D. 78. (Canon Cook places it toward the close of John's life, A.D. 90-100. --ED.) The Gospel was obviously addressed primarily to Christians, not to heathen. There can be little doubt that the main object of St. John, who wrote after the other evangelists, is to supplement their narratives, which were almost confined to our Lord's life in Galilee. (It was the Gospel for the Church, to cultivate and cherish the spiritual life of Christians, and bring them into the closest relations to the divine Saviour. It gives the inner life and teachings of Christ as revealed to his disciples. Nearly two-thirds of the whole book belong to the last six months of our Lord's life, and one-third is the record of the last week. --ED.) The following is an abridgment of its contents: A. The Prologue. ch. ( John 1:1-18 ) B. The History, ch. ( John 1:19 ; John 20:29 ) (a) Various events relating to our Lord's ministry, narrated in connection with seven journeys, ch. (John 1:19 ; John 12:50 )
First journey, into Judea, and beginning of his ministry, ch. (John 1:19 ; John 2:12 )
Second journey, at the passover in the first year of his ministry, ch. (John 2:13 ; John 4:1 )
Third journey, in the second year of his ministry, about the passover, ch. (5:1).
Fourth journey, about the passover, in the third year of his ministry, beyond Jordan, ch. (John 6:1 )
Fifth journey, six months before his death, begun at the feast of tabernacles, chs. (John 7:1 ; John 10:21 )
Sixth journey, about the feast of dedication, ch. (John 10:22-42 )
Seventh journey, in Judea towards Bethany, ch. (John 11:1-54 )
Eighth journey, before his last passover, chs. (John 11:55 ; John 12:1 ) (b) History of the death of Christ, chs. (John 12:1 ; John 20:29 )
Preparation for his passion, chs. John 13:1 ... John 17:1
The circumstances of his passion and death, chs. (John 18:1 ; 19:1 )
His resurrection, and the proofs of it, ch. (John 20:1-29 ) C. The Conclusion , ch. ( John 20:30 ; John 21:1 )
Scope of the foregoing history, ch. (John 20:30,31 )
Confirmation of the authority of the evangelist by additional historical facts, and by the testimony of the elders of the Church, ch. (John 21:1-24 )
Reason of the termination of the history, ch. (John 21:25 )
Morrish Bible Dictionary - John, Third Epistle of
This is addressed to 'the beloved Gaius,' but whether he is the same person as either of those mentioned elsewhere is not known. Gaius is commended for receiving and helping on those that travelled about doing the Lord's work; and Diotrephes is denounced for refusing to aid such, and for putting some out of the assembly. The spirit of clericalism was found thus early in the church. The apostle had no greater joy than to hear that his children were walking in the truth which was ever precious to him. Demetrius is commended, and greetings sent to Gaius and to 'the friends.'
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - John
1. With Annas and Caiaphas, tried Peter and John for curing the impotent man and preaching in the temple (Acts 4:6). The same as Rabbi Johanan ben Zaccai, who lived 40 years before the temple's destruction, and presided over the great synagogue after its removal to Jabne or Jamnia (Lightfoot).
2. The evangelist Mark's Hebrew name (Acts 12:12; Acts 12:25; Acts 13:5; Acts 13:13; Acts 15:37). (See MARK.)
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of
Both early tradition and evidence from the Bible itself indicate that ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’ was John the son of Zebedee, and that this John was the author of John’s Gospel (John 21:20; John 21:24).
The other Gospels mention John by name frequently, as he was one of the three apostles who featured prominently in much of the activity of Jesus. But his name never appears in John’s Gospel. The writer, following a common practice of not mentioning his own name, used instead the descriptive name by which he was well known (John 13:23; John 4:6-76; John 21:7; see JOHN THE APOSTLE). Perhaps John’s use of this title showed his unending gratitude for all that Jesus had done for him.
The apostle at Ephesus
John was very old at the time he wrote his Gospel, and was probably the last survivor of the original apostolic group. Some even thought he would never die (John 21:23). Records from the period immediately after the New Testament era indicate that he lived his later years in Ephesus in Asia Minor, where he fought against false teachers. He probably wrote his Gospel within the last decade or so of the first century.
Wrong teaching about Jesus had appeared over the years (Colossians 2:4; Colossians 2:8; Colossians 2:18-19; 1 Timothy 6:3-5), and was to become very destructive with the Gnostic heresies of the second century. John was already dealing with early stages of these errors at Ephesus.
Certain teachers had come into the church and denied that the divine and the human were perfectly united in Jesus. Some denied that Jesus was fully divine, others that he was fully human. John opposed both errors. His book, however, was not intended merely as an attack on false teaching. He had a positive purpose, and that was to lead people to faith in Christ, so that they might experience the full and eternal life that Christ had made possible (John 20:31; cf. John 1:4; John 3:15; John 4:14; John 5:24; John 6:27; John 8:12; John 10:10; John 11:25; John 14:6; John 17:3).
From the opening words of the book, John asserted that Jesus was truly God (John 1:1) and truly a human being (John 1:14). As to his divinity, he was the eternal one who created all things (John 1:2-3) and who came from the heavenly world to reveal God (John 1:18; John 3:13; John 5:18-19; John 6:62; John 14:9; John 14:11) As to his humanity, he had a material body that possessed the normal physical characteristics (1618644387_58; John 9:6; John 19:28; John 19:34) and that experienced the normal human emotions (John 11:35; John 12:27).
Characteristics of John’s Gospel
By the time John wrote his Gospel, the other three Gospels were widely known. Since John and his readers were no doubt familiar with them, there was no point in John’s producing a similar narrative-type account of Jesus’ life. John was concerned more with showing the meaning of incidents in Jesus’ life. The stories he knew were beyond number (John 20:30; John 21:25), but from them he made a selection, around which he built his book. He used this material to teach spiritual truth by showing what the chosen incidents signified. For this reason he called the incidents ‘signs’ (e.g. John 2:1-11; John 4:46-54; John 6:1-14; John 11:1-44; see SIGNS).
Because the signs were designed to show that Jesus was the messianic Son of God (John 20:30-31), they were often followed by long debates with the Jews (e.g. John 5:1-15 followed by 5:16-47; John 9:1-12 followed by 9:13-10:39). These and other debates that Jesus had with the Jews provided John with his teaching material. He used the words of Jesus to teach the Christian truths he wanted to express (e.g. John 7:1-52; John 8:12-59).
The contrast between John and the other Gospel writers is seen when one of John’s ‘signs’ is recorded also in the other Gospels. The other writers did little more than tell the story, whereas John followed the story with lengthy teaching that arose out of it (e.g. cf. Matthew 14:13-21 with John 6:1-14 and the teaching that follows in v. 26-65).
John’s concern with the interpretation of events showed itself also in the way he recorded some of Jesus’ lengthy conversations with people (e.g. with Nicodemus in John 3:1-15 and with the Samaritan woman in John 4:1-26). Likewise he used his account of the Last Supper, reported briefly in the other Gospels, to provide five chapters of teaching on important Christian doctrines (John 13; John 14; John 15; John 16; John 17).
In John’s Gospel, more than in the others, there is an emphasis on the reason for the Jews’ hatred of Jesus. They considered that his claim to be God in human form was blasphemy, and they were determined to get rid of him (John 6:42; John 7:28-30; John 8:57-59; John 10:33; John 10:39; John 11:25; John 11:53). The strongest opposition to him was in Jerusalem, and John’s Gospel shows that Jesus spent more time in Jerusalem than is recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke (John 2:13; John 5:1; John 7:14; John 7:25; John 8:20; John 10:22-23; John 11:1).
Summary of contents
In the introduction Jesus is presented as the eternal Word who became flesh (1:1-18). John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus (1:19-28) and then baptized him (1:29-34), after which Jesus called his first disciples (1:35-51), presented his first ‘sign’ to them (2:1-11), then went to Jerusalem and cleansed the temple (2:12-25). Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about new birth (3:1-21), and John the Baptist spoke to the Jews about Jesus (3:22-36).
Upon leaving Judea, Jesus met and taught various people in Samaria (4:1-42) and performed a healing miracle in Galilee (4:43-54). Back in Jerusalem a further healing miracle resulted in a dispute with the Jews about Jesus’ divine sonship (5:1-47). After a miracle in Galilee that provided food for a multitude, people wanted to make Jesus king (6:1-21). Jesus taught them that the only ‘food’ that could truly sustain them was himself (6:22-71). Jesus’ unbelieving brothers urged him to go to Jerusalem and perform his wonders at a festival that was about to take place (7:1-13), but when Jesus went he taught the people and aroused much opposition (7:14-8:11). He met more opposition when he taught that he was the light of the world (8:12-30) and the one who could set people free (8:31-59).
Jesus’ healing of a blind man in Jerusalem brought him into further conflict with the Jewish leaders (9:1-41). This resulted in Jesus’ contrasting himself as the good shepherd with them as worthless shepherds (10:1-30). After being further attacked, he went to the regions around the Jordan River, where many believed (10:31-42). At Bethany, just outside Jerusalem, he raised Lazarus from death, declaring himself to be the resurrection and the life (11:1-44). This was the event that finally stirred the Jews to plot his death (11:45-57).
After an anointing at Bethany (12:1-8), Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly (12:9-19) and gave his final public teaching (12:20-50). At the Passover meal with his disciples he demonstrated the nature of true service by washing their feet (13:1-20) and warned of the betrayer among them (13:21-38).
In the teaching that followed, Jesus told the disciples that as he had come from the Father, so he would return to the Father, after which he would send his Spirit to indwell them (14:1-31). They had to abide in him (15:1-17) and bear persecution for his sake (15:18-27). Jesus spoke further of the Holy Spirit’s work (16:1-15), but in their confusion of mind the disciples scarcely understood him (16:16-33). He then prayed at length to his Father, not only for himself and his disciples, but also for those who would yet believe (17:1-26).
Upon going to Gethsemane to pray again, Jesus was arrested and taken to the high priest (18:1-27). From there he was taken to the Roman governor (18:28-40), humiliated before the people (19:1-16), crucified (19:17-30) and buried (19:31-42). On the third day he rose from the dead, appearing first to Mary and then to his disciples (20:1-25). The next week he appeared to the disciples again (20:26-31). Some time later he appeared to seven of the disciples at the Sea of Galilee (21:1-14), where he delivered a final challenging message to Peter (21:15-25).
The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia - John Evangelist, Saint
Commemorated on the second day afterChristmas, December 27th. St. John was the son of Zebedee and Salomeand brother of St. James the Great. The sons of Zebedee were,doubtless, among the first called of our Lord's disciples and St.John was from the first among those nearest and dearest to our Lord.Not only was he one of the Twelve Apostles but he was one of thethree chosen witnesses of our Lord's greatest glory and humiliationon earth, viz.: in His Transfiguration, and the Agony in Gethsemane.He delights to call himself "the disciple whom Jesus loved." He layon Jesus' bosom at the Paschal Supper and to him the Lord committedthe care of His own mother when He died. St. John "is known to theaffection of the Church as the Apostle of love, and to her intellectas the Theologos, the Divine." Besides his Gospel he wrote thethree Epistles bearing his name and the Revelation. St. John issaid to have spent the later years of his life at Ephesus, and is theonly one of the Apostles who died a natural death. He died at theage of 100, having been born the same year as our Lord. In theEmblems of the four Evangelists (See EMBLEMS) the eagle is alwaysallowed to represent St. John, and most fitly, "for like the eaglehe soars high above the earth basking in the pure sunlight ofDivine Truth."
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - John, the Epistles of
FIRST EPISTLE. Genuineness. Polycarp, John's disciple (ad Philippians 7), quotes 1 John 4:3. Eusebius (H. E., iii. 39) says of Papias, John's hearer, "he used testimonies from the first epistle of John." Irenaeus (Eusebius, H. E., v. 8) often quoted it; he quotes (Haeres. iii. 15, sections 5,8) from John by name 1 John 2:18; and in 1 John 3:16, section 7 he quotes 1 John 4:1-3; 1 John 5:1; 2 John 1:7-8. Clement Alex. (Strom. ii. 66, p. 664) refers to 1 John 5:16 as in John's larger epistle; compare Strom. iii. 32,42; iv. 102. Tertullian adv. Marcion, vi. 16, refers to 1 John 4:1; adv. Praxean xv to 1 John 1:1; also 1 John 1:28, and contra Gnost. 12. Cyprian (Ep. 28:24) quotes 1 John 2:3-4 as John's; and, de Orat. Domini, 5, quotes 1 John 2:15-17; De opere et Eleemos. quotes 1 John 1:8; De bono Patientiae quotes 1 John 2:6.
Muratori's Fragment on the Canon states "there are two (the Gospel and epistle) of John esteemed universal," quoting 1 John 1:3. The Peshito Syriac has it. Origen (Eusebius vi. 25) designates the first epistle genuine, and "probably second and third epistles, though all do not recognize the latter two"; he quotes 1 John 1:5 (tom. 13 vol. 2). Dionysius of Alexandria, Origen's scholar, cites this epistle's words as the evangelist John's. Eusebius (H. E., iii. 24) says John's first epistle and Gospel are "acknowledged without question by those of the present day, as well as by the ancients." So Jerome (Catalog. Ecclesiastes Script.). Marcion opposed it only because it was opposed to his heresies. The Gospel and the first epistle are alike in style, yet evidently not mere copies either of the other. The individual notices, it being a universal epistle, are fewer than in Paul's epistles; but what there are accord with John's position.
He implies his apostleship (1 John 4:1-67; 1 John 2:26), alludes to his Gospel (John 1:1, compare John 1:14; John 20:27), and the affectionate He uniting him as an aged pastor to his spiritual "children" (1 John 2:18-19). In 1 John 4:1-3 he alludes to the false teachers as known to his readers; in 1 John 5:21 he warns them against the idols of the world around. Docetism existed in germ already, though the Docete by name appear first in the second century (Colossians 1:15-18; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1-3). Hence 1 John 4:1-3 denounces as "not of God every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" (compare John 2:22-23). Presciently the Spirit through John forearms the church against the coming heresy.
TO WHOM THE EPISTLES WERE ADDRESSED. Augustine (Quaest. Evang. 2:39) says it was addressed to the Parthians, i.e. the Christians beyond the Euphrates, outside the Roman empire, "the church at Babylon elected together with" (1 Peter 5:13) the churches in the Ephesian region, where Peter sent his epistles (1 Peter 1:1; Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia). As Peter addressed the Asiatic flock tended first by Paul, then by John, so John, Peter's close companion, addresses the flock among whom Peter was when he wrote. Thus "the elect lady" (2 John 1:1) answers to "the church elected together."
TIME AND PLACE. This epistle is subsequent to the Gospel, for it assumes the reader's acquaintance with the Gospel facts and Christ's speeches, and His aspect as the incarnate Word God manifest in the flesh, set forth in John's Gospel. His fatherly tone addressing his "little children" implies it was written in old age, perhaps A.D. 90. The rise of antichristian teachers he marks as a sign of "the last time" (1 John 2:18), no other "age" or dispensation will be until Christ comes; for His coming the church is to be ever waiting; Hebrews 1:2, "these last days." The region of Ephesus, where Gnostic heresy sprang up, was probably the place, and the latter part of the apostolic age the time, of writing. Contents. Fellowship with the Father and the Son is the subject and object (1 John 1:3). Two divisions occur:
(1) 1 John 1:5 - 2:28, God is light without darkness; consequently, to have fellowship with Him necessitates walking in the light. Confession and consequent forgiveness of sins, through Christ's propitiation for the world and advocacy for believers, are a necessary preliminary; a further step is positive keeping God's commandments, the sum of which is love as contrasted with hatred, the sum of disobedience. According to their several stages of spiritual growth, children, fathers, young men, as respectively forgiven, knowing the Father, and having overcome the wicked one, John exhorts them not to love the world, which is incompatible with the indwelling of the Father's love. This anointing love dwelling in us, and our continuing to abide in the Son and in the Father, is the antidote against the antichristian teachers in the world, who are of the world, not of the church, and therefore have gone out from it.
(2) 1 John 2:29 - 5:5 handles the opening thesis: "He is righteous," therefore "every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him." Sonship involves present self purification, first because we desire now to be like Him, "even as He is pure," secondly because we hope hereafter to be perfectly like Him, our sonship now hidden shall be manifested, and we shall be made like Him when He shall be manifested (answering to Paul's Colossians 3), for our then "seeing him as He is" involves transfiguration into His likeness (compare 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:21). In contrast, the children of the devil hate; the children of God love. Love assures of acceptance with God for ourselves and our prayers, accompanied as they are with obedience to His commandment to "believe on Jesus Christ, and love one another"; the seal is "the Spirit given us" (1 John 3:24). In contrast (as in the first division), denial of Christ and adherence to the world characterize the false spirits (1618644387_32). The essential feature of sonship or birth of God is unslavish love to God, because God first loved us and gave His Son to die for us (1 John 4:18-19), and consequent love to the brethren as being God's sons like ourselves, and so victory over the world through belief in Jesus as the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5).
(3) 1 John 5:6-21. Finally, the truth on which our fellowship with God rests is, Christ came by water in His baptism, the blood of atonement, and the witnessing Spirit which is truth, which correspond to our baptism with water and the Spirit, and our receiving the atonement by His blood and the witness of His Spirit. In the opening he rested this truth on his apostolic witness of the eye, the ear, and the touch; so at the close on God's witness, which the believer accepts, and by rejecting which the unbeliever makes God a liar. He adds his reason for writing (1 John 5:13), corresponding to 1 John 1:4 at the beginning, namely, that "believers may know they have (already) eternal life," the spring of "joy" (compare John 20:31), and so may have "confidence" in their prayers being answered (1 John 5:14-15; compare 1 John 3:22 in the second part), e.g. their intercessions for a brother sinning, provided his sin be not unto death (1 John 5:16). He sums up with stating our knowledge of Him that is true, through His gift, our being in Him by virtue of being in His Son Jesus Christ; being "born of God" we keep ourselves so that the wicked one toucheth us not, in contrast to the world lying in the wicked one; therefore still, "little children, keep yourselves from idols" literal and spiritual.
STYLE. Aphorism and repetition of his own phrases abound. The affectionate hortatory tone, and the Hebraistic form which delights in parallelism of clauses (as contrasted with Paul's logical Grecian style), and his own simplicity of spirit dwelling fondly on the one grand theme, produce this repetition of fundamental truths again and again, enlarged, applied, and condensed by turns. Contemplative rather than argumentative, he dwells on the inner rather than the outer Christian life. The thoughts do not move forward by progressive steps, as in Paul, but in circles round one central thought, viewed now under the positive now under the negative aspect. His Lord's contrasted phrases in the Gospel John adopts in his epistles, "flesh," "spirit," "light," "darkness," "life," "death," "abide in Him"; "fellowship with the Father and Son, and with one another" is a phrase not in the Gospel, but in Acts and Paul's epistles.
It marks enjoyment experimentally of Christian verities as living realities, not abstract dogmas. Burning zeal, all absorbing love, appear in John combined with contemplative repose. Simple, withal profound, his writing is unrhetorical and undialectic, gentle, comforting, loving, the reflex of Jesus his Lord whose beloved disciple he was. Ewald speaks of its "unruffled heavenly repose ... the tone not so much of a father talking with beloved children as of a glorified saint from a higher world." Place in building up the church. Peter founded, Paul propagated, John completed it. The Old Testament puts prominent the fear of God; John, the last New Testament writer, the love of God. Yet as Old Testament also sets forth love, so John as a Boanerges also sets forth the terror of the Lord against unbelievers.
Three leading developments of Christian doctrine are: the Pauline, the Jacobean (between which the Petrine is the intermediate link), and the Johannean. James, whose molding was in Judaism, presents as a rule of life the law, under the gospel, established in its spirit, the letter only being superseded. John had not, like the apostle of the Gentiles, been brought to faith and peace through conflict, but through a quiet development from the personal view of Christ, and from communion with Him. So in John everything turns on the contrast: life in fellowship with Christ, death in separation from Him; life, light, truth, opposed to death, darkness, lie. James and Peter represent the gradual transition from spiritualized Judaism to independent Christianity; Paul, independent Christianity contrasted with Judaism. John by the contemplative element reconciles the two, and forms the closing point in the training of the apostolic church (Neander).
SECOND AND THIRD EPISTLES. Authenticity. The similar tone, style, and sentiments prove both to be by the same writer. Irenaeus (adv. Haer, i. 16, section 3) quotes 2 John 1:10-11, and 2 John 1:7 in iii. 16, section 8, as John's writing. Clement Alex. (Strom. ii. 66), A.D. 192, speaks of John's larger epistle, and in Adumbr. p. 1011, "John's second epistle to the Parthians (so it ought to be read for parthenous ; see Augustine quoted, JOHN'S FIRST EPISTLE) is the simplest; it was to a Babylonian, the elect lady." Dionysius of Alexandria (Eusebius ,H. E. vii. 25) says "John never names himself in his epistles, not even in the second and third, though short, but calls himself the presbyter (elder)": 2 John 1; 3 John 1:1, so 1 Peter 5:1. Alexander of Alex. cites 2 John 1:10-11 as John's (Socrates H. E. i. 6). Cyprian, in referring to the council of Carthage (De Haer. Bapt.), appeals to 2 John 1:10, "John the apostle in his epistle said, If any come to you," as recognized by the N. African church.
The Peshito old Syriac version wants these two epistles. Eusebius reckous them among the controverted (antilegomena ) scriptures, as distinguished from those universally acknowledged (homologoumena ); his own opinion was that they were genuine (Demoustr. Evang. iii. 5). (See CANON OF SCRIPTURE.) Origen (Eusebius, H. E. vi. 25) implies that most, though not all recognized their genuineness. Jerome (de Vir. Illustr. 9) mentions them as John's, whose sepulchre was shown at Ephesus in his day. The antilegomena were generally recognized after the council of Nice, A.D. 325. So Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 349; Gregory Naz., A.D. 389; and the councils of Hippo (A.D. 393) and Carthage (A.D. 397). So the oldest extant manuscripts eight of the 13 verses in 2 John 1 are in 1 John. A forger would never call John "the elder." Their brevity and the private nature of their contents caused the two epistles to be less read in church assemblies, and less quoted; hence their non-universal recognition at first.
Their private nature confirms their genuineness, for there seems no purpose in their forgery. The style and coloring accord with those of 1 John. Persons addressed. 3 John 1 is directed to Gaius or CAIUS, probably of Corinth, a "host of the church." (See GAIUS.) See Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 1:14. Mill believes Gains, bishop of Pergamos (Apost. Const. vii. 40), a convert of John, and a man of wealth (3 John 1:4-5), is meant. 2 John 1 is addressed to the elect lady, and closes with "the children of thy elect sister greet thee." Now 1 Peter 1:1-2, addresses the elect in Asia, and closes (1 Peter 5:13) "the Church at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you." "Lady" (kuria ) in Greek is the root of church (kuriakee , belonging to the Lord). So John writes to the elect church in Babylon where his old associate Peter ministered, as Peter thence had sent salutations of the elect church in the then Parthian (see Clement Alex. quoted above) Babylon to her elect sister in Asia where John presided (Wordsworth).
DATE AND PLACE. Eusebius (H. E. iii. 25) relates that John, after Domitian's death, returned from Patmos to Ephesus, and went on missionary tours into the pagan regions around, and visited the churches, ordaining bishops and clergy (compare 2 John 1:12; 3 John 1:9-10; 3 John 1:14). On one tour he rebuked Diotrephes. If this be so, both epistles were written after Revelation, in his old age, which harmonizes with their tone, and in the Ephesian region.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John the Baptist
God’s purpose for John the Baptist was that he be the forerunner of the Messiah. Even before John was born, God revealed to his parents that he had been specially marked out for this task. Like prophets of a former era, John was to live a life of hardship and self-denial, at the same time preaching a message of repentance to the people of Israel. Those who responded to his message in obedience and faith would thereby show themselves to be the true people of God. They would be ready to welcome the Messiah and so enter his kingdom (Luke 1:13-17; Luke 1:57-66; Luke 1:76-79; Matthew 3:2).
Forerunner of the Messiah
People in Israel had long expected that Elijah the prophet would return before the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5). Jesus pointed out that this ‘Elijah’ was in fact John the Baptist (Matthew 11:10-14; Matthew 17:10-13). John preached in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17) and shared the harsh existence of Elijah, living in semi-barren regions where he wore rough clothing and ate wild food (Matthew 3:4; Luke 1:80; Luke 3:2; cf. 1 Kings 17:5-7; 1 Kings 19:4-9; 2 Kings 1:8; 2 Kings 2:8).
John began his preaching in that region of Palestine where the Jordan River approached the Dead Sea (Mark 1:4-5; Luke 3:2-3; John 1:28). God had called him to be a prophet (Luke 1:76; Luke 7:26; Luke 16:16; Luke 20:6) and he preached after the manner of the Old Testament prophets. He condemned those who thought that their Israelite nationality guaranteed their salvation (Matthew 3:7-10; cf. Amos 9:7-8), and denounced the greed, corruption and injustice of Israelite society (Luke 3:10-14; cf. Isaiah 5:8-23). The only ones who were truly God’s people were those who repented of their sins and demonstrated their sincerity in baptism (Matthew 3:1-2; cf. Isaiah 1:16-20).
The baptism that John proclaimed, though important, could not empower people for a new life. That power could come only through a greater baptism, the gift of the Holy Spirit; and that was a gift that only the Messiah could give. John was not the Messiah, but he was clearly preparing the way for the Messiah (Luke 3:3-6; Luke 3:15-17; John 1:6-7; John 1:19-28). He announced the kingdom of God (Matthew 3:2).
Introducing the Messiah
John and Jesus were about the same age and were related (Luke 1:36), but their backgrounds and upbringing were different. John was the son of a priest and grew up in Judea in the south of Palestine (Luke 1:5-13; Luke 1:39-41; Luke 1:65; Luke 1:80), whereas Jesus was the son of a carpenter and grew up in Galilee in the north (Luke 1:26; Luke 2:51).
Nothing has been recorded of what association existed between John and Jesus had during their childhood and youth. However, by the time they were about thirty years of age (Luke 3:23) they were at least familiar with each other’s activities.
John knew enough about Jesus to know that Jesus was the better man and had no need for a baptism for repentance. But Jesus insisted that John baptize him. As a result of that baptism, John knew for certain (through the visible descent of the Spirit upon Jesus) that this one was the promised Messiah (Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:33-34). By his baptism Jesus showed that he was on the side of those who, by responding to John’s baptism, had shown themselves to be God’s true people (see BAPTISM).
The followers of John grew into a clearly recognizable group, characterized by devotion and self-denial (Luke 5:33; John 3:23-25). They spread into regions so far from Jerusalem that many years passed before some of them heard the full message concerning the Messiah of whom John had spoken (Acts 18:24-26; Acts 19:1-5). Yet John was not interested in building a personal following, and he felt well satisfied when his disciples left him to follow Jesus (John 1:35; John 3:26-30).
From the old era into the new
In moving widely around the Jordan region, John would have spent some time in areas west of Jordan controlled by Pilate and some time in areas east of Jordan controlled by Herod Antipas (Luke 3:1; John 1:28; John 3:23). This brought John into conflict with Herod Antipas, whom he rebuked for marrying the wife of his brother, Herod Philip. Antipas replied by throwing John into prison (Mark 6:17-20; Luke 3:19-20).
Shut up in prison, John received only irregular, and possibly inaccurate, reports of Jesus’ ministry. This made him wonder whether Jesus really was the Messiah he had foretold, so he sent messengers to ask Jesus directly (Luke 7:18-20). Jesus reassured John by pointing out that his works were those that the Old Testament prophets had spoken of when they foretold the messianic age (Luke 7:21-23; cf. Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 61:1-3).
Jesus reassured the people also, for he did not want them to lose their respect for John. There was nothing weak or uncertain about John. He did not look for comfort or prestige, but like a true prophet he endured a life of hardship for the sake of God (Luke 7:24-27). John was the last and greatest prophet of the era before Christ. But he did not live to see the fulness of the new era (for he was executed by Herod; Mark 6:21-29). The blessings of the Messiah’s kingdom are such that the humblest believer of this new era is more blessed than the greatest believer of the old (Luke 7:28).
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - John the Baptist
Son of Zacharias (of the course of Abijah, 1 Chronicles 24:10) and Elisabeth (of the daughters of Aaron), who both "walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." Elisabeth was related to the Virgin Mary; but Scripture does not state the exact relationship; the Greek in Luke 1:36 (sungenees ), which our Bible renders "cousin," means any "relation" or "kinswoman," whether by marriage or birth. It is noteworthy that Jesus, of the Melchizedek order of priesthood, was related to but not descended from the Aaronic priests. Zacharias was old, and Elisabeth barren, when, as he was burning incense at the golden altar, Gabriel announced the answer to his prayers (not directly for a son, but, as Israel's representative, for Messiah the Hope of Israel) in the coming birth of a son, the appointed forerunner of Messiah; John (Jehovah's gift) was to he his name, because his supernatural birth was a pledge of the Lord's grace, long looked for, now visiting again His people to their joy (Luke 1).
John was to be "great in the sight of the Lord" (contrast Baruch, Jeremiah 45:5). He should be in himself a pattern of that self denial which accords best with his subject of preaching, legal repentance, "drinking no strong drink, but filled with the Holy Spirit (see the same contrast, Ephesians 5:18, the minister's enthusiasm ought to be not from artificial stimulant but from the Spirit's unction) from the mother's womb," a Nazarite (Numbers 6:1-21). Like the great prophet reformer (compare 1 Kings 18:36-37) Elijah in "spirit. and power" of preaching, though not in miracles (John 10:41), he should turn the degenerate "children to the Lord and to" their righteous "fathers, and the heart of the fathers to the children," their past mutual alienation being due to the children's apostasy; fulfilling Malachi 4:4-6; bringing "Moses' law" to their remembrance, "lest Jehovah at His coming should smite the earth with a curse." Thus John should "make ready a people for the Lord." Zacharias for unbelief in withholding credit without a sign was punished with dumbness as the sign until the event came to pass.
In the hill country, where Elisabeth had retired, her cousin Mary saluted her, and the babe leaped in Elisabeth's womb. His birth was six months before our Lord's. At his circumcision on the eighth day Zacharias gave his name John; and his returning faith was rewarded with returning speech, of which his first use was to pour forth a thanksgiving hymn, in which he makes it his son's chief honour that he should be "prophet of the Highest, going before the Lord's face to prepare His ways" as His harbinger. John had the special honour of being the subject off prophecy ages before, and of being associated in close juxtaposition with Messiah Himself. John "waxed strong in spirit and was in the deserts until the day of his showing unto Israel" (Luke 1:80). Meanwhile God's interposition in the wonders of his birth caused "all the people to be in expectation, musing in their hearts whether he were the Christ" (Luke 3:15). The thinly-populated region adjoining the hill country of Judea was his haunt; there communion alone with God prepared him for his work.
At 30, when "the word of God came to" him (Luke 3:2), he went forth, his very appearance a sign of the unworldliness and legal repentance. which he preached; his raiment a camel's hair garment secured with leather girdle (2 Kings 1:8) as Elijah's; his food that supplied by the desert, locusts (Leviticus 11:22) and wild honey (Psalms 81:16). All classes, Pharisees, Sadducees, the people, publicans, and soldiers, flocked to him from every quarter, Jerusalem, Judea, and the, region round Jordan (Matthew 3:5; Luke 3). The leading sects he denounced as a "generation of vipers" (compare Genesis 3:15, the serpent's "seed"), warning them that descent from Abraham would not avail with out doing Abraham's works (compare John 8:39), and telling all practically and discriminatingly that the repentance needed required a renunciation of their several besetting sins; and that whereas, on their confession, he baptized with water baptism, the Mightier One would come baptizing with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11-12). (See BAPTISM.)
When the ecclesiastical authorities sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask, Who art thou? John replied, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord" (John 1:19-23). The natural wilderness symbolized the moral (Isaiah 32:15), wherein was no highway for the Lord and for righteousness. The hills of pride and the valleys of degradation must be brought to the one holy level before the Lord (Isaiah 40). John was the forerunner of the reigning Messiah (Matthew 3:2; Malachi 3:1), but through the nation's rejection of Him that reign was deferred (compare Numbers 14:34 with Matthew 23:37-39). John baptized Jesus and though knowing Him before as a man and his kinsman, yet then first knew His divine Messiahship by the Spirit's visible descent (John 1:30-34). (See JESUS; BAPTISM.) John thence forth witnessed to Jesus, desiring to "decrease that He might increase." By his testimony at Bethany (so oldest manuscripts for Bethabara) beyond Jordan, "Behold the Lamb of God," he led two of his disciples to Him, Andrew and John the apostle and evangelist (John 1:35 ff; John 3:23-36; John 4:1-2; Acts 19:3).
Yet John never formally joined Jesus; for he was one of the greatest among the Old Testament prophets, but not strictly in the New Testament kingdom, the least in which, as to spiritual privileges, was greater than he (Luke 7:28). His standing was the last of Old Testament prophets, preparatory to the gospel. He taught fasting and prayers, rather in the spirit and therefore with the forms of, the old dispensation which the new would supersede, its new spirit creating its appropriate new forms (Luke 5:33-38; Luke 11:1). Herod Antipas beheaded him in the fortress Machaerus E. of the Dead Sea, to gratify Herodias' spite for John's faithfulness in denouncing her adultery, and in slavish adherence to his reckless oath to give Herodias' daughter Salome, for dancing on his birthday, whatever she might ask. (See HEROD ANTIPAS.)
From the prison John had sent two (the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts read Matthew 11:2 "by," dia , for duo , two) disciples to Jesus to elicit from Himself a profession of His Messiahship, for their confirmation in the faith. (See JESUS.) Jesus at once confirmed them and comforted John himself (who probably had expected to see Jesus more openly vindicating righteousness, as foretold Malachi 3:2-5; Malachi 4:1-3), by an appeal to His miracles and preaching, the very credentials promised in Isaiah 35:5; Isaiah 61:1. Jesus at the same time attested John's unshaken firmness, appealing to His hearers' own knowledge of him (Matthew 11). No reed shaken by the wind, no courtier in soft raiment, was John. But whether it was the ascetical forerunner, or the social Lord Himself, that preached, that generation was dissatisfied, with John because he was too self denying, with Jesus because He would not commend their self-righteous fastings: "we have piped unto you (unto John) and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you (unto Jesus) and ye have not lamented."
Of John as of Jesus they said, he hath a devil. John fell just before the third Passover of Christ's ministry; his disciples buried him Self denial, humility, wherewith he disclaimed Messiahship and said he was not worthy to unloose His shoes' latchet, zeal for the Lord's honour, and holy faithfulness at all costs, were his prominent graces. (On the "Elias who shall yet come," see ELIJAH, end.) John's ministry extended at its close into Peraea at the S.E. end of the lake of Galilee. When the herald was silenced the Master took up the message (Mark 1:14) in the same quarter. John's labours there so impressed Herod that, "he feared and observed him, and when he heard him did many things, and heard him gladly"; but would not do the one thing needed, give up his adulterous paramour, his brother Philip's wife.
Elijah was translated in a chariot of fire; but John died a felon's death, for the forerunner was to be as his Lord. The worthless Ahab reappears in Herod with similar germs of good struggling with evil. Herodias answers to the cruel Jezebel. As Ahab in spite of himself respected Elijah, so Herod John; but in both cases the bad woman counteracted the good. John in prison fell into the same dejection concerning the failure of the Messianic kingdom, because it did not come in outward manifestation, as Elijah under the juniper. In both cases God came in the still small voice, not the earthquake and fire (Matthew 12:15-21).
The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia - John Baptist, Saint
The forerunner of our Lord who was sent toprepare the way for His coming. He was miraculously born of Zachariasand Elizabeth, both being "old and well-stricken in years." Althoughhe suffered martyrdom, he is commemorated on the day of hisNativity, as his birth heralded the Incarnation. The Festival of theNativity of St. John Baptist has been observed since the fourth orfifth century on June 24th, as this was undoubtedly the day of hisbirth, since he was six months older than our Lord. This date, also,is supposed to be connected with his words, "He must increase,but I must decrease." The days after June 24th begin to decrease inlength, but after the Christmas Tide they begin to increase. St.John was beheaded by Herod Antipas, when he was about thirty yearsold. He was a Prophet, the greatest of all—the last Prophet of theOld Dispensation and the first of the New, and our Lord declaredthat among all previously born of women none was greater than Johnthe Baptist. In ecclesiastical art St. John Baptist is variouslyrepresented, with a lamb on a book, small cross, close crown or cap;with tunic of camel's hair; cope fastened with two leather thongscrossed; with lamb and locust; his head on a dish.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John, Letters of
Towards the end of the first century, the churches in and around Ephesus suffered much tension and conflict because of false teaching (e.g. Revelation 2:2-6; cf. Acts 20:17; Acts 20:29-30). Early records indicate that the apostle John lived in Ephesus at this time, and that he wrote his Gospel and three letters partly to counter some of the false views.
Background to 1 John
The chief trouble-maker in Ephesus was a man named Cerinthus. He had been influenced by Gnostic ideas concerning the relation between spirit and matter, and as a result developed wrong beliefs concerning Jesus Christ. Believing God to be pure and matter to be evil, he denied that Jesus Christ could be heavenly and earthly at the same time. This led to a variety of wrong teachings. Some of these denied the full deity of Jesus, and others denied his true humanity (1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:2-3).
Many Christians became uncertain of their salvation; for if the Jesus who lived and died in this world was not at all times fully divine and fully human, how could his death benefit people or satisfy God? To reassure Christians in their understanding of Jesus and the salvation he brought them, John wrote firstly his Gospel (John 20:31), and then the letter known as 1 John (1 John 5:13).
Gnostic ideas concerning spirit and matter, besides leading to wrong teaching about Jesus, led to wrong behaviour among believers. Cerinthus taught that the behaviour of the body could not affect the purity of the soul, and therefore believers could sin as they wished. John condemned such teaching (1 John 3:6). He emphasized that Christians must be obedient to God, must love others and must be disciplined within themselves.
Contents of 1 John
From the beginning of his letter, John emphasizes the two areas of Christian truth that were under attack – the eternal godhead yet full manhood of Jesus Christ (1:1-4) and the obligation on Christians to live pure, disciplined, obedient lives (1:5-2:6). All Christians are to follow Christ’s commandment to be loving, and are to resist the pressures upon them from an evil world (2:7-17).
God’s people must recognize that those with wrong teaching about Jesus Christ are of the devil (2:18-29), and so too are those who encourage Christians to sin (3:1-10). Behaviour is the test of the genuineness of a person’s Christianity (3:11-24). Though steadfastly resisting error (4:1-6), Christians must consistently develop love, and in so doing they will become more assured in their salvation (4:7-21). Right belief is also necessary for assurance (5:1-5), and this belief centres on the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and his work (5:6-12). The practical results of assurance will be effectual prayer and victory over sin (5:13-21).
Background and contents of 2 John
The false teaching that John fought against in his first letter was being spread around the churches by travelling preachers. The letter that we know as 2 John was written to counter such teaching.
No names are mentioned in the letter, but it seems that ‘the elder’ who wrote it was John the aged apostle, and ‘the elect lady’ who received it was a church whose ‘children’ (members) had so far kept the true Christian teaching (v. 1-4). John wanted them to maintain right belief and right behaviour, and warned that false teaching, if allowed into the church, would ruin it (v. 5-13).
Background and contents of 3 John
In spite of his warnings about travelling preachers who had wrong teaching (2 John 1:10-11), John knew that many other travelling preachers were genuine Christians whose teaching was true and wholesome. But there was a problem in one church because a dictatorial person named Diotrephes refused to accept the travelling preachers into the church. He considered them representatives of John, whom he opposed.
John therefore wrote a letter (3 John) to one of the better leaders in the church, a friend named Gaius, to encourage and help him. In the letter John encouraged Gaius to keep helping the true preachers of the gospel (v. 1-8). He assured Gaius that if Diotrephes persisted in his present attitudes, then he himself would deal with him when he visited the church in the near future (v. 9-15).
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John the Apostle
Various names have been used of John the apostle. Many of the people of his time referred to him as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’, perhaps because of his special relationship with Jesus (John 13:23; John 19:26-27). But Jesus himself often referred to John and his older brother James as ‘sons of thunder’, perhaps because they were sometimes impatient and over-zealous (Mark 3:17; Mark 10:35-40; Luke 9:49-56). John was one of the most highly respected leaders in the early church, and later generations knew him as ‘the elder’ (2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1). (For his writings see JOHN, GOSPEL OF; JOHN, LETTERS OF.) He has traditionally been regarded as the writer of the book of Revelation (Revelation 1:1; Revelation 1:9; Revelation 22:8; see REVELATION, BOOK OF).
In the time of Jesus
John’s father was a fisherman named Zebedee (Matthew 4:21). His mother, Salome, appears to have been the sister of Mary the mother of Jesus (Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40; John 19:25-27). The family lived in a town on the shores of Lake Galilee, where James and John worked as fishermen in partnership with another pair of brothers, Peter and Andrew (Matthew 4:18-21; Luke 5:10).
Most likely all four men had responded to John the Baptist’s preaching. They became disciples of the Baptist and were part of that minority of true believers who looked expectantly for the promised Saviour. John was probably one of the two disciples (the other was Andrew) whom the Baptist first directed to Jesus Christ (John 1:35-40). Soon both pairs of brothers had become followers of Jesus (Matthew 4:22), and later all four were included in Jesus’ group of twelve apostles (Matthew 10:2). Peter, James and John developed into an inner circle of disciples who were particularly close to Jesus (Mark 5:37; Mark 9:2; Mark 14:33).
As the ministry of Jesus progressed, Peter became increasingly more prominent. James and John, with their mother, tried to outdo Peter by going to Jesus and asking him to give the top two positions in his kingdom to them. They received no such guarantee from Jesus; only a rebuke for their selfish ambition and a promise of persecution ahead (Matthew 20:20-28). By the time Jesus’ ministry had come to an end, Peter and John were clearly the two leading apostles (Luke 22:8; John 19:26-27; John 20:2-9; John 21:20).
In the early church
After Jesus’ return to his Father, Peter and John provided the main leadership for the Jerusalem Christians. Their boldness amid persecution was an example to all (Acts 1:13; Acts 3:1-4; Acts 3:11; Acts 4:13-20; Acts 5:40). They were the first Christian leaders to show publicly that God accepted non-Jewish converts into the church equally with Jewish converts (Acts 8:14-17). John’s willingness to preach in Samaritan villages was in marked contrast to his hostility to Samaritans a few years earlier (Acts 8:25; cf. Luke 9:52-56). With James the Lord’s brother they formed a representative group who expressed the Jerusalem church’s fellowship in the mission of Paul and Barnabas to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:9).
The Bible contains little information about John’s later activities, though there are early records outside the Bible that refer to him. According to these, John lived to a very old age (as Jesus had foretold; John 21:20-23) and spent most of his later years in Ephesus. From there he wrote his Gospel and the three letters that bear his name. It seems also that he was imprisoned on Patmos, an island off the coast from Ephesus, from where the book of Revelation was written (Revelation 1:9).
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel According to
Well called "the Gospel of the incarnate God," "the Gospel of witness," that of the Father, that of Scripture, that of miracles, that of Jesus Himself. Written at Ephesus at the request of the Asiatic bishops to set forth more profoundly Christ's Divinity (Jerome, Prolegomena in Matthew). Ephesus, after Jerusalem's fall, A.D. 70, took a chief place in oriental Christendom. Containing a large Christian church, a synagogue of zealous Jews, and the most famous of pagan temples that of Artemis or Diana, it was a common meeting ground for widely diverse creeds. Philosophical speculation too had free scope in its xystus; here Cerinthus broached his doctrines, concocted at Alexandria. Its commercial position on the sea linking the East and West adapted it as an admirable center for the diffusion of gospel truth. John sets forth the positive truth which indirectly yet effectively counteracts Gnosticism, Ebionitism, and docetism. The Spirit has made his Gospel virtually supplementary to the other three. (See GOSPELS; JESUS CHRIST.)
Theirs is that of "Christ according to the flesh," his that of "Christ according to the Spirit." As he joined Christ early he records facts of His ministry in Galilee and Jerusalem, prior to those in the three synoptists. He writes with a specification of times and places, and a freshness, which mark an eye-witness (John 1:29; John 1:35; John 1:37-40; John 2:1; John 3:1; John 6:4-5; John 4:43; John 6:22; John 13:1-11; John 18:10-16; John 19:26; John 20:3-10; John 20:24-29). That the beloved disciple (called episteethios from his reclining on Jesus' breast) was the writer appears from John 19:25-27; John 19:35; John 21:24; John 1:14. Another undesigned propriety identifying him is, though naming John the Baptist 20 times he always omits "the Baptist," whereby the three synoptists distinguish him from John the evangelist.
PLACE AND TIME. His allusions in the peculiar terms of his prologue to the theosophic notions prevalent at Ephesus accord with that city being the place of his writing the Gospel. Acts 18:24 implies the connection between Alexandria, the headquarters of Gnosticism, and Ephesus. John 21 is an appendix written subsequently to John 20:30-31 (which at first completed the Gospel), perhaps after Peter's martyrdom. The Gospel cannot have been written at the same time and place as Revelation, the styles are so different, His mode of counting the hours as we do was Asiatic (see Townson, Harmony, 8:1, section 3), and accords with Ephesus being the place of writing. His not feeling it necessary to explain Jesus' prophecy that John should tarry until He came (John 21) shows that he wrote soon after the destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), when that event was generally understood as being the Lord's coming, namely, in judgment upon the Jews.
In John 5:2 the sheep market with five porches is spoken of as still standing, perhaps spared as some other things for convenience by Titus (Josephus, B. J., 7:1, section 1). Testimonies of authenticity. If John 21:24-25 came from some Ephesian disciples this is the oldest testimony to it. 2 Peter 1:14 alludes to (John 21:18) Christ's prophecy of Peter's crucifixion, taking for granted his readers' acquaintance with the Gospel, the strongest kind of testimony as being undesigned. Ignatius (his Epistle to the Romans), Polycarp (his Epistle to the Philippians), the Epistle to Diognetus, Justin Martyr (Apol. 1:61, Dialogue with Trypho 63,88), contain implied quotations of it; their not expressly quoting it is due to the prevalence of oral more than written teaching at first; while the inspired preachings of apostles were fresh in memory definite appeals to writings are less to be expected than in the following age. The general references of the former and the definite quotations of the latter are just what we might expect presuming the Gospel genuine.
Papias (Eusebius H. E. iii. 39) used the first epistle of John which is close akin to the Gospel. Tatian's Diatessaron opens," In the beginning was the Word"; he quotes this Gospel in Orat. contra Gentil. Thus, its currency A.D. 170 is proved. Theophihs of Antioch (Autol. 2) first expressly attributes it to John; he wrote a commentary on the four and a harmony (Jerome Alg. 53, Vir. Illust. 25). He and Tadan therefore, in the second century, considered the four the exclusively canonical standard. Irenaeus, a hearer of Polycarp, the disciple of John, argues for the propriety of the number four; his argument proves their long and universal acceptance by the church more conclusively than if it had been his aim to demonstrate it. The Alogi of Asia Minor were the only sect that rejected this Gospel, owing to their opposition to Montanus, whose heresies they thought were favored by it. The diversity of the scene and incidents of Christ's ministry in it, as compared with the three preceding Gospels, is just what we might expect if the author were acquainted with them.
For while as an independent witness he does not with formal design supplement them, yet he generally omits under the Spirit those particulars already handled by his predecessors. Excepting the crucifixion and resurrection, respecting which he gives new information, he has only two sections in common with the Synoptists (John 6:1-21; John 12:1). He omits Christ's baptism, temptation, mission of the twelve, transfiguration (of which he was one of the three selected eye witnesses), the Lord's supper, and the agony in Gethsemane, yet incidental hints show his taking them for granted as known already (John 1:14; John 1:32; John 13:2; John 14:30; John 18:1; John 18:11), which last refers to the very words of His prayer during the agony, recorded by the synoptists, an undesigned coincidence and so a proof of authenticity; John 14:30 is the link between the temptation (Luke 4:13) and His agony (Luke 22:40-53); John 11:1 assumes the reader's acquaintance with Mary and Martha, from Luke 10:38.
So John 4:43-44; John 7:41, tacitly refer to the facts recorded in Matthew 13:54; Matthew 2:23; Matthew 7:28-29 takes for granted the fact recorded in Luke 23:2. John 6, wherein he repeats the miraculous feeding of 5,000 recorded by the synoptists, is introduced to preface the discourse which John alone records. In John 12 the anointing by Mary is repeated for its connection with Judas' subsequent history. The objections to John's acquaintance with the synoptical Gospels are based on the presumption that in that case he was bound to slavishly supplement them and guard against the appearance of discrepancies between him and them.
But he was an independent witness, not formally designing to supplement; yet as knowing their Gospels he would mostly use materials heretofore not handled. As they presented Jesus' outer and popular life, so it remained that he should represent the deeper truths of His divine mission and Person. They met the church's first needs; he, its later wants. Luke's Gospel was written under Paul's superintendence at least 20 years before John's. Considering the intercourse between the Christian churches it is incredible that his Gospel should have been unknown at Ephesus, John's and previously Paul's scene of labours, and this to John a "pillar" of the church.
DESIGN. John, the last surviving apostle, would surely be consulted on the canonicity of New Testament Scriptures which by God's providence he lived to see completed. Theodore of Mopsuestia, 4th century (Catena Johann. Corder. Mill New Testament) says John did attest it. Clement Alex. (Eusebius, H. E. vi. 14) states on the authority of old presbyters (and the Muratorian Fragment, Ant. M. Aev. 3, confirms the statement) that John wrote at his friends' request to give Christ's "spiritual" aspect, the former Gospels already having given His "bodily" aspect. John, who leant on Jesus' breast, His closest intimate, was the fittest to set forth the deeper spiritual truths of the Son of God. Thus the "ye" (John 19:35; John 20:31) will refer to John's "friends" primarily, the general church secondarily. To prove "that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God" is this Gospel's declared design, that men so "believing might have life through His name."
A continued polemic reference is not likely, considering John's contemplative and usually loving spirit. An incidental guarding of the truth against incipient heresies in that region certainly there is in the prologue and John 19:34; John 20:20; John 20:27; compare John 1:14. Paul in epistle to Colossians alludes to the Judaizing form of Gnosticism. Oriental and Grecian speculations combined at Alexandria to foster it. As the Docetae denied that the divine Word assumed a real body, so the Ebionites denied His real Godhead. John counteracts both incidentally in subordination to his main design. He uses in a sense congruous to Old Testament, and sanctioned by the Spirit, the terms used by gnostics in a false sense. The prologue gives the keynote of the Gospel: the eternal Godhead of the Word who was made flesh that, as He created all things, so He might give light and life to those born again of His Spirit; on, the other hand Satan's counterwork, His rejection by His own countrymen, though in His own person fulfilling all their law.
His adversaries are called "the Jews," the nation by the time of John writing having become through continued resistance of the truth identified With their hierarchical chiefs, Jesus' opponents; whereas in the synoptists the several classes of opponents are distinguished, "Pharisees," "scribes," "lawyers," "chief priests," etc. After Jerusalem's fall Jehu living among the Gentiles regarded the Jews as no longer the people of God; an undesigned confirmation of authenticity. That the writer was a Jew appears from his quoting the Hebrew Old Testament (not Septuagint): John 12:40; John 19:37. His own brother James he never names; a pseudo John of later times would have been sure to name him. The synoptists and Acts similarly never introduce him individually. John dwells most on the deep spiritual truths, Christ's essential oneness with the Father, His mystical union with believers, the promise of the Comforter, and love the "new commandment."
Yet Matthew, Mark, and Luke have the germs of them, and Paul further develops them (Matthew 5:44; Matthew 11:27; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 28:20; Luke 10:22; Luke 24:49). Matthew 26:11 verbally agrees with John 12:8. Compare 1 Corinthians 13; Colossians 1:15-16; 2 Corinthians 5:17. (On the Passovers in John (See JESUS CHRIST.) As John, though mainly treating of Jesus' ministry in Judea, yet has occasional notices of that in Galilee (John 1:43-2:13, after the temptation, recorded by the synoptists as following the baptism, John 1:32; namely, the Galilean ministry before John's imprisonment, John 3:24, whereas they begin with it after John's imprisonment: Mark 1:14), so they, though mainly treating of the Galilean ministry, plainly hint at that in Judaea also (Matthew 4:25; Matthew 23:37; Matthew 27:57; Luke 10:38; Luke 13:34; Mark 3:7-8).
Thus, John 4:1-3 is the introduction to the Galilean ministry described by them. John 7:1; John 7:9, intimates a transfer of Jesus' ministry to Galilee after the second last Passover (John 4:40). The feeding of the 5,000 links him to Matthew 14:15. This Passover He did not attend, but in the same year attended the feast of tabernacles, six months before His death (John 7:2; John 7:10). John 10:22; John 10:40, Jesus' retirement to beyond Jordan after His visit to Jerusalem at the feast of dedication, answers to Matthew 19:1. The continuous Galilean ministry of two years and a third (excepting the Jerusalem short visit, John 5) was naturally first recorded as having most internal unity. John's later record dwells on the omitted parts; this accounts for the Gospel being fragmentary, but possessing spiritual unity.
It is significant that in the Gospel setting forth the glory of the Son of God the Judaean ministry is prominent, for there is the appointed "throne of the great King"; whereas in the Gospels setting forth the Son of man the scene is "Galilee of the Gentiles." In John, as in the Synoptists, Jesus sets forth His divine Messiahship not so much by assertions as by acts: John 5:31-32; Matthew 18:33; Luke 4:18; Luke 4:21; compare John 9:36; John 10:24. His disciples' vacillation arose from the conflict between faith resulting from His miracles and disappointment at His not openly setting up His Messianic kingdom. The sameness of John the Baptist's style and John's (John 1:16; John 3:31-36) is just what was to be expected, the evangelist insensibly catching his former master's phraseology.
The synoptists having already recorded the parables which suited the earlier ages of the church, it remained for John to record the parabolic allegories: John 10:1-6 (parabolee nowhere occurs in John, but paroimia ), John 3:8; John 15:1 ff; John 4:35; John 4:38; compare Matthew 9:38. The language is pure Greek, but the thought is Hebraic, especially the mode of connecting sentences by conjunctions, "and," "but," "then," etc. The periodic sentences of the logical Paul, and John's simplicity of style, clothing the profoundest thoughts, answer to their respective characters.
His characteristic phrases are testimony or witness, glory, the truth, light, darkness, eternal life, abide, the world, sin, the true (i.e. genuine, aleethinos ) God, the Word, the only-begotten Son, love, to manifest, to be begotten or born of God, pass from death, the Paraclete or Comforter, flesh, spirit, above, beneath, the living water, the bread of life. Authorized Gospel terms were most needed in the matured age of the church when John wrote, and were adopted by John from Jesus Himself. Peculiar to John are "verily, verily" (Amen, Amen) beginning a sentence (others use it at the end of a sentence, Jesus alone at the beginning), John 1:51; "little children" (John 13:33), as in 1 John; "in the name" (John 5:43), i.e. representing the person; "lay down life" (John 10:11; John 10:17).
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - John the Apostle
Younger than his brother James; being named after him in Matthew and Mark, the earlier Gospels; but Luke (Luke 9:28; Acts 1:13, the Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus manuscripts), writing when John had gained so much greater prominence in the church, ranks him in the order of church esteem, not that of nature. Youngest of the twelve, probably of Bethsaida upon the sea of Galilee (John 1:44; Luke 5:10), the town of their partners Simon and Andrew. Caspari (Chronicles and Geogr., Introd. to Life of Christ) accounts for John's brief notice of Christ's Galilean ministry and fuller notices of His ministry in Judaea thus: Jewish tradition alleges that all Israelites dwelling in the Holy Land were entitled to fish in the sea of Gennesaret a month before each Passover, and to use the fish for the many guests received at the feast in Jerusalem. John used to stay in Galilee only during that month. However, no hint of this occurs in our Gospels. Zebedee his father owned a fishing vessel, and had "hired servants" (Luke 9:53-544).
Salome his mother ministered to the Lord "of her substance" (Luke 8:3), and was one of the women who came with Him in His last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem (Luke 23:55; Luke 24:1; Mark 16:1), and after His death bought spices to anoint His body. John's acquaintance with the high priest (John 18:15) had been in early life, for it is not likely it would commence after he had become disciple of the despised Galilean. Hence, probably arose his knowledge of the history of Nicodemus which he alone records. John had a house of his own to which he took the Virgin mother, by our Lord's dying charge (John 19:27). The name, meaning "the favor of God", had become a favorite one in the age where there was a general expectation of Messiah, and members of the high priestly families bore it (Acts 4:6). These hints all intimate that John belonged to the respectable classes, and though called by the council "unlearned and ignorant" he was not probably without education, though untrained in their rabbinical lore (Acts 4:13).
Zebedee's readiness to give up his son at Jesus' call speaks well for his religious disposition. Salome went further, and positively ministered to Jesus. Even her ambitious request that her two sons, James and John, might sit on either side of our Lord in His coming kingdom shows that she was heartily looking for that kingdom. Such a mother would store her son's memory with the precious promises of Old Testament. The book of Revelation in its temple imagery shows the deep impression which the altar, the incense, the priestly robes, and the liturgy had made on him. John's first acquaintance with the Lord was when John Baptist pointed his two disciples Andrew and John to the Lamb of God. John followed Jesus to His place of sojourn. John probably accompanied Him on His homeward journey to Galilee from Jordan (John 1), and then to Jerusalem (John 2-3), again through Samaria to Galilee (4), and again to Jerusalem (5), for he describes as an eye witness. Resuming his fishing occupation he received his call to permanent discipleship after the miraculous draught of fish (Luke 5:10; Matthew 4:18-22).
In the selection of the twelve subsequently the two sons of Jonas and Zebedee's two sons stand foremost. Peter, James, and J. form the inner-most circle. They alone witnessed the raising of Jairus' daughter, Jesus' transfiguration, His agony in Gethsemane, and with the addition of Andrew heard His answer to their private inquiry as to when, and with what premonitory sign, His prediction of the overthrow of the temple should be fulfilled (Mark 13:3-4). Grotius designates Peter as the lover of Christ, John the lover of Jesus. John as a "son of thunder" (Mark 3:17) was not the soft and feminine character that he is often portrayed, but full of intense, burning zeal, ready to drink the Lord's bitter cup and to be baptized with His fiery baptism (Isaiah 58:1; Jeremiah 23:29; Matthew 20:22; Luke 12:49-50), impatient of anyone in separation from Jesus' company, and eager for fiery vengeance on the Samaritans who would not receive Him (Luke 9:49; 1618644387_97).
Nor was this characteristic restricted to his as yet undisciplined state; it appears in his holy denunciations long afterward (1 John 2:18-22; 2 John 1:7-11; 3 John 1:9-10). Through his mother John gained his knowledge of the love of Mary Magdalene to the Lord, which he so vividly depicts (John 20). The full narrative of Lazarus' restoration to life (John 11) shows that he was an eye witness, and probably was intimate with the sisters of Bethany. He and Peter followed Jesus when apprehended, while the rest fled (John 18:15), even as they had both together been sent to prepare the Passover (Luke 22:8) the evening before, and as it was to John reclining in Jesus' bosom (compare Song of Solomon 8:3; Song of Solomon 8:6) that Peter at the supper made eager signs to get him to ask our Lord who should be the traitor (John 13:24). While Peter remained in the porch John was in the council chamber (John 18:16-28). John, the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene accompanied the Saviour to Calvary, and to him Jesus committed as to a brother the care of His sorrowing mother.
Peter and John were in the same abode the ensuing sabbath, and to them Mary Magdalene first runs with the tidings of the tomb being empty. Ardent love lent wings to John's feet, so that he reached the tomb first; but reverent awe restrained him from entering. Peter more impulsive was first to enter (John 20:4-6). For at least eight days they stayed at Jerusalem (John 20:26). Then they appear in Galilee (John 21) again associated in their former occupation on the sea of Galilee. As yet they were uncertain whether the Lord's will was that they should continue their apostolic ministrations or not; and in the interval their livelihood probably necessitated their resuming their fishing occupation, which moreover would allay their mental agitation at that time of suspense. John with deeper spiritual intuition was first to recognize Jesus in the morning twilight, Peter first in plunging into the water to reach Him (John 21:7). Peter's bosom friendship for John suggested the question, after learning his own future, "Lord, and what shall this man do?" (John 21:21).
In that undesigned coincidence which confirms historic truth, the Book of Acts (Acts 3:1; Acts 4:13; Acts 8:14) represents the two associated as in the Gospels; together they enter the temple and meet the impotent man at the Beautiful gate; together they witness before the council; together they confirm in the faith, and instrumentally impart the Holy Spirit by laying hands on, the deacon Philip's converts in Samaria, the very place where John once would have called down fire to consume the Samaritans. So complete was the triumph of grace over him! At Stephen's death he and the other apostles alone stayed at. Jerusalem when all the rest were scattered. At Paul's second visit there John (esteemed then with James and Peter a "pillar") gave him the right hand of fellowship, that he should go to the pagan and they to the circumcision (Galatians 2:9). John took part in the first council there concerning circumcision of the Gentiles (Acts 15:6). No sermon of his is recorded, Peter is always the spokesman.
Contemplation and communion with God purified the fire of his character, and gave him that serene repose which appears in his writings, which all belong to the later portion of his life. He is not mentioned as married in 1 Corinthians 9:5, where, had he been so, it would probably have been stated. Under Domitian (about A.D. 95) John was banished to Patmos (Revelation 1:9; Revelation 1:11). "I John ... your companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle ... Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." The seven churches of western Asia were under his special care. In the Acts, epistles to Ephesians, and Timothy, recording Paul's ministry in connection with Ephesus, no mention occurs of John being there. Again John does not appear in Jerusalem when Paul finally visited it A.D. 60. Probably he left Jerusalem long before settling at Ephesus, and only moved there after Paul's martyrdom, A.D. 66. Paul had foreseen the rise of Gnostic heresy in the Ephesian region.
"Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:30; compare 1 Timothy 1:6-7; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 1 Timothy 4:1-7; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 1:15; 2 Timothy 2:16-18; 2 Timothy 2:3; Titus 1:9; 3 John 1:9-10). These heresies, as yet in seminal form, John in his Gospel and epistles counteracts (John 1; 1 John 4:1; 1 John 2:18-22; 2 John 1:7; 2 John 1:9-11; Titus 1:16). His tone is meditative and serene, as contrasted with Paul's logical and at the same time ardent style, His sharp reproof of Diotrephes accords with the story of his zeal against error, reported as from Polycarp, that entering the public baths of Ephesus he heard that Cerinthus was there; instantly he left the building lest it should fall while that enemy of the truth was within. In John's view there is no neutrality between Christ and antichrist. Clement of Alexandria (Quis Dives Salvus? ) reports of John as a careful pastor, that he commended a noble looking youth in a city near Ephesus to the bishop. The latter taught, and at last baptized, the youth.
Returning some time afterward John said to the bishop: "restore the pledge which I and the Saviour entrusted to you before the congregation." The bishop with tears replied: "he is dead ... dead to God ... a robber!" John replied, "to what a keeper I have entrusted my brother's soul!" John hastened to the robber's fortress. The sentinels brought him before their captain. The latter fled from him: "why do you flee from me, your father, an unarmed old man? You have yet a hope of life. I will yet give an account to Christ of you. If need be, I will gladly die for you." John never left him until he had rescued him from sin and restored him to Christ. Jerome records as to his characteristic love, that when John, being too feeble through age to walk to the Christian assemblies, was carried there by young men, his only address was: "little children, love one another." When asked why he kept repeating the same words he replied, "because this is the Lord's command, and enough is done when this is done."
John's thought and feelings became so identified with his Lord's that his style reflects exactly that of Jesus' deeper and especially spiritual discourses, which he alone records. He lives in the unseen, spiritual, rather than in the active world, His, designation, "' the divine," expresses his insight into the glory of the eternal Word, the Only Begotten of the Father, made flesh, in opposition to mystical and docetic gnosticism which denied the reality of that manifestation and of Christ's body. The high soaring eagle, gazing at the sun with unflinching eye, is the one of the four seraphim which represents John Irenaeus, Polycarp's disciple (Adv. Haer. 2:39, Eusebius 3:23), states that John settled at Ephesus and lived to the time of Trajan. Tertullian's story of his being cast into boiling oil at Rome and coming forth unhurt is improbable; none else records it; the punishment was one unheard of at Rome.

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Jews - —This term, originally perhaps applied only to men of the tribe of Judah, ‘men of Judaea,’ is employed in the Gospels (1) in opposition to Gentiles, proselytes, or Samaritans: Mark 7:3, John 2:6; John 2:13; John 4:9; John 4:22; John 5:1; John 6:4; John 7:2; John 19:40; John 19:42; (2) specially of Jews as antagonistic to our Lord, a usage which is characteristic of Jn. as distinguished from the Synoptics: Matthew 28:15, John 6:41; John 6:52; John 8:48-57; John 9:18; John 10:19; John 11:19; John 11:31; John 11:33; John 11:36; John 12:9; John 12:11. John (Gospel of). (Mark 7:3-4, John 5:10 etc. ‘For fear of the Jews’ men hesitated to confess Christ (John 7:13; John 9:22). John, Introd