« ElőzőTovább »
logos, or word, to signify a person, as follows: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;” John i. 1. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth;” 14. This style of diction is peculiar to John. No other New Testament writer has it. See 1 John i. 1. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.” See also v. 7, where Jesus is again called “the Word.” Now, if we turn to the Apocalypse, we find the same phraseology there; for in speaking of Jesus, the revelator says: “He was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood ; and his name is called the Word of God; ” xix. 13. In no other part of the New Testament is logos, or word, used personally. Another striking trait of resemblance is the fact, that the favorite expression of the Gospel, viz., bearing witness, for declaring of the Gospel, and witness, record or testimony, for the truth declared, is very common in the style of John. See John i. 7; iii. 11, 32,33; v. 31–36; viii. 13, 14; xviii. 37; xxi. 24. Nothing is more common than this phraseology in the Gospel. See also 1 John v. 7–11. Turn now to the Apocalypse. Here the same phraseology prevails. The revelator “bears record of the word of God, and the testimony of Christ;” i. 2. He was banished to Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Christ; 9; the souls under the altar were slain for the word of God and the testimony which they held; vi. 9; and the saints overcame the accuser “by the word of their testimony;” xii. 11, 17. See also xix. 10; xx. 4; xxii. 18, 20. In closing the Gospel John says, “This is the disciple who testifieth of these things;” xxi. 24; in closing the Apocalypse he said, “He who testifieth these things saith,” &c.; xxii. 20. Taking all these instances together, we can hardly refrain from the conviction that one hand must have framed the Gospel, Epistles and Apocalypse. Out of John's works, there is scarcely any usage of this particular kind to be found. Again. It was very common for John to use the word hour for time, or season, as “Mine hour is not yet come;” ii. 4; “The hour cometh and now is when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth;” 23; also, v. 25; vii. 30, &c. This is a prevailing idiom in the Apocalypse; iii. 3, 10; xiv. 7. There is one fact in regard to the crucifixion that John only has recorded, viz., the piercing of the Saviour's side with a spear; xix. 34–37. To this he applies the prediction in Zechariah xii. 10, “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.” The only other instance in all the New Testament in which this fact is mentioned is Rev. i. 7. Does not this look very much like the same hand in both passages 2 There seems to be not only a recognition of the fact of the piercing of Jesus' side in both cases, but that they that pierced him should look on him. It is difficult to resist the conviction that both passages were written by the same person. Another peculiarity of the Apocalypse is the use of the words overcome and overcometh, for successful perseverance in Christian duties in the midst of trials and dangers. For instance, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne;” iii. 21. See ii. 11, 17, 26; iii. 5, 12; xxi. 7. This is John's manner of speech. It appears strikingly in 1st Epis. ii. 13, 14; iv. 4; v. 4, 5. Let these cases suffice. We pass in the next place to consider 2nd. Metaphors. Jesus represented himself and his truth under the figure of light. John remembered this through his whole life. He incorporated it into the metaphors of the Apocalypse. Of the New Jerusalem he said, “The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God` did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof: and the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it;” xxi. 23, 24.
See also xxii. 5; 1 John i. 7. According to John's gospel, how frequently Jesus represented himself and his truth under the figure of light; i. 4—9; iii. 19–21; viii. 12; xii. 46. Sons of God. “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son;” Rev. xxi. 7. “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God;” 1 John iii. 1. The same in the Gospel. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name ;” John i. 12. The prevailing character in which Christ appears in the Apocalypse is that of a lamb; v. 6, 8, 12, 13; vi. 1, 16; vii. 9, 10, 14, 17; xii. 11; xiii. 8, 11; xiv. 1, 4, 10, &c., &c. This figure John mentions in his Gospel. See John i. 29, 36. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Besides the above there are but two other instances in the New Testament in which Christ is represented by the lamb, viz., Acts viii. 32; 1 Pet. i. 19. And the latter is so strictly the language of the Apocalypse, that one would think Peter must have seen that work before he wrote his epistle. “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world;" Rev. xiii. 8. “Redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, who verily was preordained before the foundation of the world.” We do not maintain it is certain that Peter quoted from the Apocalypse; but if he did mot, there seems such a unity of expression as we could scarcely expect except between men familiar with each other's forms of speech; and it will be remembered that Peter and John were fellow-laborers. The revelator represents the church as the bride, and Jesus as the bridegroom. See xxi. 2: “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Wer. 9: “Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.” See also xxii. 17. Now this metaphor occurs nowhere else in the New Testament except
in the gospel of John. The evangelist seems to have learned it originally from the Baptist. With his accustomed open-heartedness, the latter said, “Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him : 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;” John iii. 28. Here, unquestionably, Christ was the bridegroom; and the Baptist was the bridegroom's friend, who rejoiced to hear his voice. John was the only one of the evangelists who recorded this. Does it not tend to fortify the proof that John was the author of the Apocalypse ? Another very striking metaphor of the Apocalypse is that of water, to represent the truth and its influences. What beauty is there in the following description of the felicity of the redeemed ! “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;” Rev. vii. 17. Again: “I will give unto him that is athirst of the water of life freely;” xxi. 6. Again: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely;” xxii. 17. These are to be ranked surely among the most beautiful metaphors of the book; and from whom did the author derive them 2 If he were John, we know very well from what source he obtained them. Let the reader turn to the 4th chapter of the Gospel of John, and peruse the account of our Lord's conversation with the woman of Samaria. See how strikingly he represented his doctrine by “living water,” of which if the thirsty drank, they should thirst no more. It should be to them the source of everlasting life ; iv. 10–14. See also vii. 37, 38. This event does not seem to have made the same deep impression upon the minds of the other evangelists that it did upon the mind of John. He is the only one who recorded it; he is the only New Testament writer who has given the metaphor water a great significance as a representation of the truth in Jesus. And we regard this as another strong point of similarity between the style of the Apocalypse and that of the undisputed writings of John.
Still another metaphor of the Apocalypse is manna. This was the food from heaven with which God miraculously fed the children of Israel on their forty years' journey through the wilderness. John is the only writer who uses it as a figure of divine truth. We find it in the Apocalypse: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna,” (Rev. ii. 17,) that is, unseen by the outward eye. In the Gospel we learn that Jesus mentions the manna, as an article of temporal food, in connection with the bread of life, or the spiritual food of the Gospel. With the exception of Heb. ix. 4, where the pot of manna that was kept in the temple is referred to, the manna is mentioned in no other part of the New Testament, except the Gospel of John, and the Apocalypse.
There is no New Testament writer who has recorded, as John has, Christ's description of the gospel under the figure of food. The same figure is found in the Apocalypse: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God;” ii. 7. “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna;” 17. This was the metaphor of Jesus, which John alone has preserved. According to that apostle, Jesus claimed that his doctrine was the true bread from heaven;” vi. 32. He was “the bread of God, which came down from heaven;” 33; the “living bread,” of which, if a man eat, he should live forever; 51. The “tree of life in the paradise of God,” is but another metaphor for the heavenly bread. Do not these facts form a link in the chain of proofs that John was the author of the Apocalypse ?