ICC New Testament Commentary
A CRITICAL AND EXEGETICAL COMMENTARY
THE JOHANNINE EPISTLES
REV. CANON A. E. BROOKE, D. D.
Fellow, Dean and Divinity Lecturer, King’s College
T & T. CLARK LIMITED, 59 GEORGE STREET
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The following Commentary is an attempt to apply to the Johannine Epistles the method of historical interpretation, the only method of exegesis which can claim to be scientific. I do not mean by historical interpretation a series of ingenious attempts to fit the Epistles into the scheme of known facts, dates, and places of early Christian history, and to assign them, or their constituent parts, to definite persons, places, and decades. A more modest, but equally difficult task has been attempted, that of determining, in the light of our knowledge of Christian life and thought at the end of the First and beginning of the Second Century, what the writer seems to have intended his readers to understand by the words which he addressed to them. When that has been done we may permit ourselves to draw conclusions, or hazard conjectures, about the author’s theology, or the value of his words for later generations. The process is possible, even, if we do not know the writer’s name, or the exact place and date of his activity. The question of authorship has been deliberately avoided. It cannot be profitably discussed apart from the wider question of the date and authorship of the Fourth Gospel. But we can, I believe, determine what it was that the writer wanted to say to definite groups of men and women whom he knew, as a spiritual father to his own children in the Faith, and whose circumstances he enables us to depict, at least in outline. The method attempted carries with it one necessary result, a prominence given to matters connected with exhortation and edification which may seem out of proportion in a Critical Commentary. But is any other method of interpreting the Johannine Epistles scientific, or even possible? The writer may or may not have been a Theologian. Undoubtedly he was the Pastor of his Flock. His chief interest is the cure of souls. He teaches and discusses only in order that his readers “may believe, and believing have life.” The meaning of his words can only be determined by the sympathetic recollection of this obvious fact. Rothe’s Commentary on the First Epistle is by far the most illuminating book which has been written on the subject, even though in points of detail his explanations of particular phrases and passages are often unsatisfactory and unconvincing. Jülicher’s patronising appreciation of its value is somewhat amusing, “Der wertvollste, trotz seiner erbaulichen Tendenz.” The supreme merit of Rothe’s really remarkable work is that his “tendency to edify” has given him sympathetic insight into the meaning and aims of a writer at least as guilty as himself of the crime of ‘erbaulichen Tendenz.’ He has seen, as Jülicher has not, that the writer knows to whom he is writing, and knows them well.
The preparation of this Commentary has been the παρέργον of several years in such intervals as could be spared from Septuagint and College Work. Spasmodic efforts, frequently interrupted, lead to uneven results. This is the only excuse I have to offer for want of completeness and consistency in interpretation, as well as for the late date at which the book appears.
My sincerest thanks are due to Dr. Plummer for the kind liberality with which he has interpreted the duties of Editor, and the invaluable help which I have in consequence received from him, during the period of writing as well as that of passing the sheets through the Press.
§ 1. The Epistles and the Gospel
(a) Identity of Authorship
The discussion of the question whether the First Epistle and the Gospel are by the same author may seem to many to be almost a waste of time. The view which at first sight must seem obvious has always heen maintained by the majority of scholars who have investigated the subject. The list includes men of widely divergent views, among whom Eichhorn, Credner, De Wette, Lücke, Ewald, Keim, and Huther may be mentioned. And the patent similarity of style, language, and ways of thinking between the two writings might reasonably be regarded as leaving no room for doubt. But the views of a minority of competent scholars cannot be ignored, especially as the number of those who reject the traditional view has been largely increased in modern times. Baur’s view, that the explanation of the obvious connection between the two writings is to be found in imitation rather than in identity of authorship, meets with an increasing number of supporters who have a right to be heard.
The most careful and exhaustive discussion of the question is contained in H. Holtzmann’s article in the Jahrbuch für Protestantische Theologie, 1882, p. 128, which forms the second of his series of articles on the “Problem of the First Epistle of S. John in its relation to the Gospel.” He has collected, and stated with absolute fairness, all the evidence on the subject which can be derived from the vocabulary, style, and content of the Epistle, as compared with the Gospel. In the present section the freest use has been made of his article, and most of the lists are practically taken from his.
The list of phrases common to the two writings is very striking. An attempt has been made to bring out its true significance by a fuller quotation of the Greek in the passages which Holtzmann has collected.
5:20. ἵνα γινώσκωμεν τὸν ἀληθινόν. 17:3. ἵνα γινώσκωσίν σε τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν θεόν.
4:9. τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἀπέσταλκεν. 1:14. ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός.
1:18. μονογενὴς θεός (v.l. ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός).
3:16. τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν.
3:18. τοῦ μονογενοῦς υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ.
4:6. τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας. 14:16 f. ἄλλον παράκλητον … τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας (cf. 15:26).
16:13. ἐκεῖνος, τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας.
1:6. οὐ ποιοῦμεν τὴν ἀλήθειαν. 3:21. ὁ δὲ ποιῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν.
1:8. ἡ ἀλήθεια οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν ἡμῖν. 8:44. οὐκ ἔστιν ἀλήθεια ἐν αὐτῷ.
2:4 ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἀλήθεια οὐκ ἔστιν.
2:21. ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας οὐκ ἔστιν. 18:37. πᾶς ὁ ὢν ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας.
3:19. ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας ἐσμέν.
3:18 ἐκ τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστίν. 8:44. ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστέ.
3:10. οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ (cf. 4:1-4, 6, 5:19). 8:47. ὁ ὤν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ.
4:7. ἡ ἀγάπη ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστίν. 7:17. περὶ τῆς διδαχῆς, πότερον ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν.
2:16. ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου ἐστίν (cf. 4:5). 8:23. ὑμεῖς ἐκ τούτου τοῦ κόσμου ἐστέ (cf. 18:36).
15:19. εἰ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου ἦτε (cf. 17:14, 16).
2:29. ἐξ αὐτοῦ γεγέννηται. 1:13. οἳ … ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν (v.l. qui, … natus est).
3:9. ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ γεγέννηται (cf. 4:7, 5:1). Cf. 3:8. ὁ γεγεννημένος ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος.
5:4. πᾶν τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ.
5:18. ὁ γεγεννημένος ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ γεννηθεὶς ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ.
3:1. ἵνα τέκνα θεοῦ κληθῶμεν. 1:12. ἕδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι.
3:2. νῦν τέκνα θεοῦ ἐσμέν (cf. 3:10, 5:2). 11:52. τὰ τέκνα τοῦ θεοῦ τὰ ο͂ιεσκορπισμένα.
2:11. ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ περιπατεῖ. 8:12. οὐ μὴ περιπατήσῃ ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ.
1:6. ἐν τῷ σκότει περιπατῶμεν. 12:35. ὁ περιπατῶν ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ (cf. 11:9, 10).
4:20. τὸν θεὸν ὃν οὐχ ἑώρακεν. 6:46. οὐχ ὅτι τὸν πατέρα ἑώρακέν τις.
4:12. θεὸν οὐδεὶς πώποτε τεθέαται. 1:18. θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε.
14:9. ὁ ἑωρακὼς ἐμὲ ἑώρακεν τὸν πατέρα.
3:16. ἐκεῖνος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἔθηκεν. 10:11. τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ τίθησιν ὑπὲρ τῶν προβάτων (cf. ver. 15).
10:17. τίθημι τὴν ψυχήν μου, ἵνα πάλιν λάβω αὐτήν.
10:18. ἐξουσίαν ἔχω θεῖναι αὐτήν.
13:37. τὴν ψυχήν μου ὑπὲρ σοῦ θήσω (cf. ver. 38, 15:13).
1:8. ἁμαρτίαν οὐκ ἔχομεν. 9:41. οὐκ ἂν εἴχετε ἁμαρτίαν (cf. 15:22, 24, 19:11).
5:13. ἵνα εἰδῆτε ὅτι ζωὴν ἔχετε αἰώνιον. 3:15. ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων ἐν αὐτῷ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον (cf. vv. 16, 36, 5:24, 6:40, 47, 54).
5:39. δοκεῖτε ἐν αὐταῖς ζωὴν αἰώνιον ἔχειν.
3:14. μεταβεβήκαμεν ἐκ τοῦ θανάτου εἰς τὴν ζωήν. 5:24. μεταβέβηκεν ἐκ τοῦ θανάτου εἰς τὴν ζωήν.
Cf. 13:1. μεταβῇ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου τούτου πρὸς τὸν πατέρα.
5:4. νικᾷ τὸν κόσμον (cf. 2:13). ἡ νίκη ἡ νικήσασα τὸν κόσμον. 16:33. ἐγὼ νενίκηκα τὸν κόσμον.
5:5. τίς ἐστιν ὁ νικῶν τὸν κόσμον;
5:9. εἰ τὴν μαρτυρίαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων λαμβάνομεν. 3:33. ὁ λαβὼν αὐτοῦ τὴν μαρτυρίαν (cf. 3:11).
5:34. ἐγὼ δὲ οὐ παρὰ ἀνθρώπου τὴν μαρτυρίαν λαμβάνω.
3:5. ἐκεῖνος ἐφανερώθη ἵνα τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἄρῃ. 1:29. ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου.
5:6. ὁ ἐλθὼν διʼ ὕδατος καὶ αἵματος (cf. 5:8). 19:34. ἐξῆλθεν εὐθὺς αἷμα ακὶ ὕδωρ.
3:9. οὐ δύναται ἁμαρτάνειν. 8:43. οὐ δύνασθε ἀκούειν.
4:20. οὐ (v.l. πῶς) δύναται ἀγαπᾶν. 5:44. πῶς δύνασθε … πιστεῦσαι;
14:17. ὁ κόσμος οὐ δύναται λαβεῖν.
3:20. μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ θεὸς τῆς καρδίας. 10:29. ὁ πατήρ μου ὃ δέδωκέν μοι πάντων μεῖζόν ἐστιν (v.l ὃς … μείζων).
4:4. μείζων ἐστὶν ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν.
5:9. ἡ μαρτυρία τοῦ θεοῦ μείζων ἐστιν. 14:28. ὁ πατὴρ μείζων μού ἐστιν.
8:53. μὴ σὺ μείζων εἶ τοῦ πατρὸς ἠμῶν Ἀβραάμ;
5:36. ἔχω τὴν μαρτυρίαν μείζω τοῦ Ἰωάνου.
2:6. ὁ λέγων ἐν αὐτῷ μένειν (cf. 2:27, 3:6, 24, 4:12, 13, 15, 16). 15:4. ἐὰν μὴ ἐν ἐμοὶ μένητε.
2:24. ἐὰν ἐν ὑμῖν μείνῃ ὃ ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς ἠκούσατε. 15:7. καὶ τὰ ῥήματά μου ἐν ὑμῖν μείνῃ.
2:28. μένετε ἐν αὐτῷ. 6:56. ἐν ἐμοὶ μένει κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ (cf. 14:10).
4:12. ὁ θεὸς ἐν ἡμῖν μένει (cf. vv. 13, 15, 16).
3:4. πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν (cf. 3:8, 9). 8:34. πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν.
4:16. καὶ ἡμεῖς ἐγνώκαμεν καὶ πεπιστεύκαμεν τὴν ἀγάπην κ.τ.λ. 6:69. καὶ ἡμεῖς πεπιστεύκαμεν καὶ ἐγνώκαμεν ὅτι σὺ εἶ κ.τ.λ.
2:3. ἐὰν τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ τηρῶμεν (cf. 2:4, 3:22, 24, 5:3). 14:15. τὰς ἐντολὰς τὰς ἐμὰς τηρήσετε.
2:5. ὃς δʼ ἂν τηρῇ αὐτοῦ τὸν λόγον. 14:21. ὁ ἔχων τὰς ἐντολάς μου καὶ τηρῶν αὐτάς (cf. 15:10).
3:23. καθὼς ἔδωκεν ἐντολὴν ἡμῖν. 14:31. καθὼς ἐντολὴν ἔδωκέν μοι ὁ πατήρ (v.l. ἐνετείλατο).
12:49. ὁ … πατὴρ ἐντολὴν δέδωκεν τί εἴπω.
13:34. ἐντολὴν καινὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν.
11:57. δεδώκεισαν δὲ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς … ἐντολάς.
2:11. οὐκ οἶδεν ποῦ ὑπάγει. 3:8. οὐκ οἶδας … ποῦ ὑπάγει.
8:14. οἶδα … ποῦ ὑπάγω (cf. 13:33).
13:36. ποῦ ὑπάγεις: (cf. 14:5, 16:5).
5:6. οὗτός ἐστιν ὀ ἐλθών. 1:33. οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ βαπτίζων.
(? Cf. 1:15. οὗτος ἦν ὁ εἰπών—v.l. ὃν εἶπον.)
2:17. μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. 8:35. ὁ υἱὸς μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.
12:34. ὁ χριστὸς μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα (not confined to Johannine books).
2:27. οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς. 2:25. οὐ χρείαν εἶχεν ἵνα τις μαρτυρήσῃ.
16:30. οὐ χρείαν ἔχεις ἵνα τίς σε ἐρωτᾷ (cf. 13:10, οὐκ ἔχει χρείαν νίψασθαι).
3:3. ἁγνίζει ἑαυτόν. 11:55. ἵνα ἁγνίσωσιν ἑαυτούς.
2:6. (ἐκεῖνος = Christ) καθὼς ἐκεῖνος περιεπάτησεν (cf. 3:3, 5, 7, 16, 4:17). 2:21. ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔλεγεν περὶ τοῦ ναοῦ τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ.
3:30. ἐκεῖνον δεῖ αὐξάνειν.
4:25. ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος.
9:37. ὁ λαλῶν μετὰ σοῦ ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν.
(?) 19:35. καὶ ἐκεῖνος οἶδεν ὅτι ἀληθῆ λέγει.
With regard to the use of ἐκεῖνος of Christ, Holtzmann quotes John 1:8, which is obviously a mistake. The last passage from the Gospel, not quoted by Holtzmann, is the only exact parallel, if it is to be interpreted in this sense, to the usage of the Epistle. In all the other instances there is some sort of antecedent which determines the meaning of ἐκεῖνος.But, at any rate, it is possible to see in the Gospel, if it is earlier than the Epistle, a growing tendency to use ἐκεῖνος of Christ, almost as a proper name, a use which has become fixed in the Epistle.
The attempt has been made to show how each phrase is used in the Gospel and the Epistle. The connection is obvious. In explaining it the choice has to be made between an imitator and a writer repeating, not without significant variations, his common phrases and methods of expression. The usage of these phrases seems on the whole to support the latter hypothesis. But the question can only be determined after considering the other evidence.
It will be noticed that in the phrases quoted above the similarity is not confined to actual phrases used, but extends to common types, in which the same outline is variously filled up. Other, and perhaps clearer, instances of this have been noticed. Compare 1 John 5:10 with John 3:18 (the upper line gives the words of the Epistle, the lower of the Gospel)
ὁ μὴ πιστεύων τῷ θεῷ ψεύστην πεποίηκεν αὐτόν
τὴν μαρτυρίαν ἣν μεμαρτύρηκεν ὁ θεὸς περὶ τοῦ
τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ μονογενοῦς
or 1 John 1:2 with John 1:1,
(ἡ ζωὴ) ἥτις
ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα
1 John 3:8 with John 8:41, τὰ ἔργα τοῦ διαβόλου
τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν
1 John 4:5 with John 3:31, αὐτοὶ
ὁ ὢν ἐκ τῆς γῆς
ἐκ τοῦ κόσμον εἰσίν.
τῆς γῆς ἐστίν διὰ τοῦτο
ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου
τῆς γῆς λαλοῦσιν
1 John 4:13 with John 6:56, ἐν αὐτῷ μένομεν καὶ αὐτὸς ἐν ἡμῖν, ἐν ἐμοὶ μένει κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ ;
1 John 5:4 with John 3:6, τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ
1 John 3:15 with John 5:38, οὐκ ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον ἐν αὐτῷ μένουσαν,
τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔχετε ἐν ὑμῖν μένοντα ;
1 John 2:21 with John 8:32, οἴδατε
It would be easy to make the list a long one. But these examples serve as illustrations. Again, the usage suggests a writer who varies his own phrases, rather than a mere copyist. If it is a question of copying, there has at least been intelligent use and not slavish imitation.
The following points of similarity of style have often been noticed:
(1) The infrequent use of the relative. The thought is carried on by means of
(a) οὐ… ἀλλά. This use is very frequent. Cf. John 1:8, John 1:13; 1 John 2:2, 1 John 2:16, 1 John 2:21.
(b) Disconnected sentences. Cf. 1 John 1:8 (ἐὰν εἴπωμεν), 9 (ἐὰν ὁμολογῶμεν), 10 (ἐὰν εἴπωμεν); John 3:18, ὁ πιστεύων… ὁ μὴ πιστεύων Frequent in Gospel and Epistle.
(c) Positive and negative expression of a thought. Cf. 1 John 1:5, ὁ θεὸς φῶς ἐστὶν καὶ σκοτία οὐκ ἔστιν ζἐν αὐτῳ οὐδεμία: John 1:3, πάντα διʼ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν.
(2) The emphasizing of a thought by introducing it with a demonstrative, ἐν τούτῳ, αὕτη, etc., followed by an explanatory clause introduced by ἵνα, ἐάν, or ὅτι, or by a clause added in apposition.
5:4. αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ νίκη… ἡ πίστις ἡμῶν.
3:11. αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἀγγελία… ἵνα ἀγαπῶμεν. 15:12. αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἐντολή… ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε.
6:29. τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ ἔργον… ἵνα πιστεύητε.
5:9. αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ μαρτυρία… ὅτι μεμαρτύρηκεν. 3:19. αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ κρίσις ὅτι τὸ φῶς ἐλήλυθεν κ.τ.λ.
4:9. ἐν τούτῳ ἐφανερώθη ἡ ἀγάπη… ὅτι … ἀπέσταλκεν. 9:30. ἐν τούτῳ γὰρ τὸ θαυμαστόν ὲστιν ὅτι ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε.
2:3. ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν… ἐὰν…τηρῶμεν. 13:35. ἐν τούτῳ γνώσονται… ἐὰν ἀγάπην ἔχητε.
2:6. ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν… ὁ λέγων… ὀφείλει. 4:37. ἐν τούτῳ ὁ λόγος ἐστὶν ἀληθινὸς… ἐγὼ ἀπέστειλα κ.τ.λ.
3:24. ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν… ἐκ τοῦ πνεύματος.
4:17. ἐν τούτῳ τετελείωται… ἵνα παρρησίαν ἔχωμεν. 15:8. ἐν τούτῳ ἐδοξάσθη… ἵνα καρπὸν φέρητε.
5:2. ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν… ὅταν… ἀγαπῶμεν.
3:1. διὰ τοῦτο οὐ γινώσκει…ὅτι οὐκ ἔγνω. 5:16. διὰ τοῦτο ἐδίωκον… ὅτι ἐποίει.
3:8. εἰς τοῦτο ἐφανερώθη… ἵνα λύσῃ. 18:37. εἰς τοῦτο γεγέννημαι… ἵνα μαρτυρήσω.
In most of these instances the reference of ἐντούτῳ,etc., to what follows is undoubted, though some of them are often, if not usually, interpreted otherwise. Again, the impression left by studying them is not that of slavish copying.
(3) Several other small points may also be noticed:
The use of πᾶς ὁ with a participle: cf. 1 John 3:4, πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν: John 3:16, πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων. Frequent in both writings.
πᾶν (τὸ) with the participle, where πάντες might have been used.
Cf. 1 John 5:4, πᾶν τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ νικᾷ:John 6:37, πᾶν ὃ δίδωσίν μοι… πρός με ἥξει.
The repetition of emphatic words, especially κόσμος, θεός, πνεῦμα.
The frequent use of καὶ… δέ: cf. 1 John 1:3, καὶ ἡ κοινωνία δὲ ἡ ἡμετέρα: John 6:51, καὶ ὁ ἀρτὸς δέ.
The elliptic use of ἀλλʼ ἵνα: cf. 1 John 2:19, ἀλλʼ ἵνα φανερωθῶσιν ὅτι οὐκ εἰσὶν πάντες ἐξ ἡμῶν: John 9:3, ἀλλʼ ἵνα φανερωθῇ τὰ ἕργα τοῦ θεοῦ: John 1:8, ἀλλʼ ἵνα μαρτυοήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός.
The use of καθὼς… καί: cf. 1 John 2:18, καθὼς ἠκούσατε… καὶ νῦν… γεγόνασιν: John 13:15, ἵνα καθὼς ἐγὼ ἐποίησα… καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιῆτε.
The elliptic use of οὐ καθώς: cf. 1 John 3:11, 1 John 3:12, ἀγαπῶμεν ἀλλήλους· οὐ καθὼς Καὶν ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ ἦν: John 6:58, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἄρτος ὁ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, οὐ καθὼς ἔφαγον οἱ πατέρες καὶ ἀπέθανον.
Some of these are worth noticing in view of the assertion that the similarities of style and expression are mostly in the case of obvious points, which are easily imitated.
(4) Attention must also be drawn to the limited vocabulary of both writings, and the very small number of ἅπαξ λεγόμενα (i.e. words not found elsewhere in the New Testament) which they contain in common. Of words common to both writings but not found elsewhere in the New Testament we have only ἀνθρωπόκτονος and παράκλητος. The First Epistle gives us four ἅπαξ λεγόμενα (ἀγγελία, ἱλασμός, νίκη, χρίσμα). If the three Epistles are taken together the list is increased by the following words, ἀντίχριστος, ἐπιδέχομαι, κυρία, φιλοπρωτεύω, φλυαρέω, χάρτης. The number in the Gospel is far larger, and does not offer any striking contrast to the other Books of the N.T. But its longer list, as compared with the Epistles, is adequately explained by the character of the words which it contains.
The importance of N.T. ἅπαξ λεγόμενα has naturally decreased in consequence of the discoveries of Papyri in the last quarter of a century, which have taught us the danger of treating N.T. Greek as an isolated phenomenon, even if the actual words in question are not among those of which our knowledge has been substantially increased by better acquaintance with vulgar Greek. It may also be doubted whether the author’s vocabulary is really so limited as the perusal of his writings at first suggests. He can say most of what he has to say by the careful use of a few words, and prefers to vary his forms of expression rather than his vocabulary. He has no love for synonyms which have no difference in meaning. He does not care to show his command of language by the use of many σημαίνοντα to express the same σημαινόμενον. He is altogether free from the artificialities of the later literary κοινή. He does not, however seem to be at loss for a word to express his meaning. But however this may be, the limited range of normal vocabulary is a feature common to both writings.
The similarity is not confined to style and vocabulary, extends to ideas, both as regards doctrine and ethics.
(1) The general ideas which form the basis of the Johannine teaching are common to both.
The incarnation of the Son of God:
1 John 4:2. Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθότα.
John 1:14. ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο.
The life which has its source in Him:
1 John 5:11. αὕτη ἡ ζωὴ ἐν τῷ υἱῷ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν.
John 1:4. (ὃ γέγονεν) ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν.
6:35. ὁ ἄρτος τῆς ζωῆς (cf. ver. 48).
6:33. ζωὴν διδοὺς τῷ κόσμῳ.
And which is identified with Him:
1 John 1:1, 1 John 1:2. ὃ ἦν ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς… περὶ τοῦ λόγου τῆς ζωῆς… καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη.
John 5:26. οὕτως καὶ τῷ υἱῷ ἔδωκεν ζωὴν ἔχειν ἐν ἑαυτῷ.
11:25. ἐγώ εἰμι… ἡ ζωή.
(In 1 John 5:20, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἀληθινὸς θεὸς καὶ ζωὴ αἰώνιος probably refers to the Father,the God who has been made known by Jesus Christ; cf. John 5:26a.)
Abiding in God: being in Christ, the means of abiding in God:
1 John 2:24. ἐν τῷ υἱῷ καὶ ἐν τῷ πατρὶ μενεῖτε.
3:6. πᾶς ὁ ἐν αὐτῷ μένων.
John 6:56. ἐν ἐμοὶ μένει κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ.
15:4-7. (ὁ μένων ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ).
1 John 5:20. ἐσμεν ἐν τῷ ἀληθινῷ ἐν τῷ υἱῷ αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ.
John 14:20. ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρί μου καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν.
17:21. ἵνα καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐν ἡμῖν ὧσιν.
God’s word abiding in us:
1 John 2:14. ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν μένει.
2:24. ὃ ἠκούσατε ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς ἐν ὑμῖν μενέτω.
John 5:38. τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔχετε ἐν ὑμῖν μένοντα.
God’s love proved by the sending of His Son:
1 John 4:9. ἐν τούτῳ ἐφανερώθη ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν ὅτι τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἀπέσταλκεν.
John 3:16. οὕτως ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν.
The command to love the brethren, which is the result of this:
1 John 3:23. καὶ ἀγαπῶμεν ἀλλήλους καθὼς ἔδωκεν ἐντολὴν ἡμῖν (cf. 3:11, 16, 18).
John 13:34. ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους καθὼς ἠγάπησα ὑμᾶς (cf. 15:12, 17).
Believers the children of God:
1 John 5:1. πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων… ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ γεγέννηται.
John 1:12, John 1:13. ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ.
The great stress laid on “witness”:
1 John 5:6. τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν τὸ μαρτυροῦν (cf. vv. 9-11).
John 5:36, John 5:37. ἐγὼ δὲ ἔχω τὴν μαρτυρίαν μείζω τοῦ Ἰωάνου κ.τ.λ. Cf. 8:17 f.
(2) Certain pairs of opposites common to both writings: Light and Darkness, Life and Death, Love and Hate, Truth and Falsehood, The Father and the World, To be of the World, To be not of the World, God and the Devil, The children of God and the children of the Devil, To know and not to know God, To have seen and not to have seen Him, To have life and not to have life.
It would be very easy to extend largely those lists of similarities between the two writings. Many more are noticed in the Commentary. To quote all that exist would involve printing practically the whole of the Epistle and a large part of the Gospel. Schulze’s statement, quoted by Holtzmann (p. 134), can hardly be denied, “In the whole of the first Epistle there is hardly a single thought that is not found in the Gospel.”
No one would dispute Holtzmann’s judgment, that these similarities are closer than those which connect the Third Gospel and the Acts, “whose common authorship is undoubted.” In the Pauline literature the case of Ephesians and Colossians is analogous. We ought perhaps to add that of (part of) the two Epistles to the Thessalonians. And it must be admitted that these analogies raise the question of imitation. The question may well be asked whether a writer of such undoubted power and originality as the author of the Fourth Gospel1 would be likely “only to copy himself.” It is quite possible that a writer who had steeped himself in the thought of the Fourth Gospel might produce the First Epistle. And it is by no means impossible that we have a similar case, perhaps the work of the same imitator, in the twenty-first chapter of the Gospel.
The answer to the question may prove to be discoverable only in the light of the writer’s circumstances. The author of the Epistle certainly does not aim at literary effect. The edification of his children in the faith is his sole purpose in writing. And he is intensely in earnest. He is convinced that he knows what truths will meet their needs. He is fully aware that he has nothing new to say. They must learn to use what they already possess, even that which they had been taught from the beginning, by himself or by another. These are circumstances under which repetition was almost inevitable, especially in the case of a man whose nature led him to ponder deeply over a few ideas rather than to produce new thoughts every day.
There is another point which must be considered in this connection. In what sense is the author of the Fourth Gospel original? Few would venture to deny the depth of thought and spiritual insight of the Fourth Gospel. How far is this due to the author’s originality? How much has he learnt from others, or from Another? There will probably always be differences of opinion as to whether he is most indebted to S. Paul or to the Lord Himself. The Fourth Gospel has a large part to play in the controversy which rages round the question Jesus or Paul? But whether we accept or reject the paradox of Wernle, “It is S. Paul who is original, S. John is not,” as a solution of the Johannine problem, we can hardly escape the impression which the study of the Fourth Gospel leaves with us, that its author meditates and transforms rather than originates. The process may have reached a further stage of development in the Epistle. We may be nearer to the writer’s own thoughts, or rather the process of assimilation may be more complete, whereas in the Gospel we can trace more clearly his debt to another. But such a writer as the author of the Gospel might well “repeat himself,” especially if he were fully conscious that he had already said or taught his readers all that they required to meet the circumstances in which they found themselves placed. Ὑμεῖς ὃ ἠκούσατε ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς ἐν ὑμῖν μενέτω is the burden of his message. His chief object in writing is to remind them what it was.
It cannot, therefore, be said that the absence of new matter in the Epistle is necessarily suspicious. But this view would, of course, have to be modified if convincing evidence were forthcoming that the resemblance between the two writings is mainly confined to obvious points which could be easily caught and imitated, while there are real differences in minor points of style and expression where conscious imitation would be less easy, and where the peculiarities of the imitator would be most likely to show themselves. The following points are cited in support of such a hypothesis:
Ἔχειν ἐλπίδα ἐπί τινι. This is said to be “contrary to the general usage of the N.T. (Romans 15:12 being a quotation from the O.T.), and also to that of John 5:45 (ἐλπίζειν εἴς τινα).” The “usage of the N.T.” is surely rather difficult to decide. As to ἔχειν ἐλπίδα we have Acts 24:15, ἐλπίδα ἔχων εἰς τὸν θεόν, and the passage in question from the Epistle with ἐπί. As to ἐλπίζειν we find εἰς ὅν, John 5:45; ἐπʼ αὐτῷ, Romans 15:12 ( = Isaiah 11:10); ἐν Χριστῷ, 1 Corinthians 15:19; ἐπὶ θεῷ, 1 Timothy 4:10, 1 Timothy 4:6:17; ἐπὶ [τὸν] θεόν, 1 Timothy 5:5; ἐπὶ πλούτου ἀδηλότητι, 1 Timothy 6:17; ἐπὶ τὴν… χάριν, 1 P. 1:13; εἰς θεόν, 1 P. 3:5. It is unnecessary to illustrate or quote its use with the accusative, or ὅτι, or the infinitive, or its use absolutely. The evidence is clearly insufficient to establish a N.T. use for or against any particular construction.
We must next consider the use of ἀπό with the verbs ἀκούειν,αἰτεῖν, λαμβάνειν (cf. also ἔχειν, 2:20, 4:21), as against the usual construction with παρά which is found in the Gospel. With regard to ἀκούειν the usage is clear, so far as it goes, though it may be noticed that ἀκούειν ἀπό occurs only once in the Epistle, where it probably has a slightly different shade of meaning, emphasizing the ultimate rather than the immediate source of the hearing, that both constructions, ἀπό and παρά, are found in Acts (9:13, 10:22), and that Gospel and Epistle share the commoner construction, i.e., with a genitive of the person. Λαμβάνειν occurs twice, αἰτεῖν once in the Epistle, with the construction ἀπό τινος. In the Gospel λαμβάνειν παρά is found four times, αἰτεῖν παρά once. There is not very much ground here for a theory of separate authorship.
The following differences are also noticed, which for convenience may be tabulated:
κοινωνία. The Holy Spirit.
ἔχειν τὸν υἱόν. Birth from above.
θεὸς ἀγάπη. θεὸς πνεῦμα.
ἀγάπην ἀγαπᾶν. ἀγάπην διδόναι.
πεπιστεύκαμεν καὶ ἐγνώκαμεν. ἐγνώκαμεν καὶ πεπιστεύκαμεν.
ποιεῖν τὴν δικαιοσύνην. ποιεῖν τὴν ἀλήθειαν.
So far the list is perhaps more striking for its resemblances than its differences. There are, however, undoubtedly many words and phrases which are peculiar to each. Some of them remind us that the vocabulary of the author or authors is not quite so limited as is generally assumed. In any case, can we say that the peculiarities are greater than can be naturally explained by differences of time, circumstances, and subject?
The Index has been arranged so as to give with rough accuracy the full facts of vocabulary. It will be sufficient here to notice the differences to which Holtzmann has called attention.
The following words are quoted from the Gospel which are absent from the Epistle: δόξα, δοξάζειν, χάρις, πλήρωμα, οὐρανός, ἀνιστάνειν, ἀναστῆναι, ἀνάστασις, ἐγείρειν, οἱ νεκροί, ἄνωθεν, βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ, τὰ ἐπίγεια (ἐπουράνια), ὑψοῦσθαι, ἀπολλύναι, σώζειν, ἐργάζεσθαι (used in the shorter Epp.), σωτηρία, ὁ πέμψας, κρίνειν, κρίμα, διακονεῖν, διάκονος, ἐμφανίζειν, εἰρήνη. Of these words some are so rare, comparatively or absolutely, that their absence in the Epistle would be more probable than their presence. There are not many which we should even expect to find, though the absence of δόξα, ὁ πέμψας, κρίνειν, ἄνωθεν calls for notice. There is perhaps not one of which we can say that the author of the Gospel must have used it if the Epistle were his.
The list of phrases is larger. A few facts as to usage, which go far to modify the significance of the list, have been noted in brackets: τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον (once in Gospel, cf. also 20:22, πνεῦμα ἅγιον, whereas τὸ πνεῦμα is the common usage in both), γεννηθῆναι ἐκ πνεύματος, ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ πνεύματος (confined to the conversation with Nicodemus, while γεννηθῆναι ἐκ θεοῦ is common to both writings), ἀγαπᾶν τὸ φῶς, τὸ σκότος (once in Gospel), φαῦλα πράσσειν (twice), μαρτυρία, of God (? cf. 1 John 5:9, 1 John 5:10), ὁ κύριος, of Christ (six times, of which three are in ch. 21.; 13:14, 16 have not been included), ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ (once, cf. Apoc.), ἰδεῖν ζωήν (once), προσκυνεῖν ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ (twice, in ch. 4.), τιμᾶν τὸν πατέρα, υἱόν (thrice in one verse, besides which only 8:49, τιμῶ τὸν πατέρα μου, cf. 12:26, τιμήσει αὐτὸν ὁ πατήρ), ποιεῖν τὰ ἀγαθά (once), ἀνάστασις ζωῆς, κρίσεως (once each), μαρτυρεῖν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ (twice, cf. 1 John 5:6, καὶ τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστι τὸ μαρτυροῦν, ὅτι τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν ἡ ἀλήθεια), ἐραυνᾶν τὰς γραφάς (once), οὐκ ἀποθνήσκειν (twice, in ch. 21., but cf. μή, οὐ μή twice or thrice) ἀποθνήσκειν ἐν τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ (thrice, in one context), ρήματα τοῦ θεοῦ, ζωῆς αἰωνίου (twice and once), φῶς τοῦ κόσμου, τῆς ζωῆς (thrice and once), εἶναι ἐκ τῶν ἄνω, κάτω (once each), μένειν ἐν τῷ λόγῳ (once, cf. 2 John 1:9, μένειν ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ: the corresponding ὁ λόγος… μένει… ἐν is common to Gospel and Epistle), ὁ λόγος χωρεῖ (once), ἐλευθεροῦν (twice); and ἐλεύθερος γενέσθαι (once, in same context), θεωρεῖν θάνατον, γεύεσθαι θανάτου (once each), ὁ ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου (once, τούτου twice), υἱοὶ τοῦ φωτός (once), ὁ υἱὸς ἐν τῷ πατρί (?), ὁ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ υἱῷ (once, ὁ πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοί, etc., fairly common), φιλεῖν, μισεῖν τὴν ψυχήν (once each), ἔχειν εἰρήνην (once), ἔχειν τὸ φῶς (twice), πιστεύειν εἰς τὸ φῶς (once), ἑτοιμάζειν τόπον (twice, in same context), αἰτεῖν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι (Χριστοῦ) (five times, cf. 1 John 5:14, κατὰ τὸ θέλημα), μονὴν ποιεῖν παρά τινι (once), καρπὸν φέρειν (eight times, of which six are in 15:2-8), φανεροῦν τὸ ὄνομα (once, the use of φανεροῦν is characteristic of both), ἓν εἶναι (four times). If this list is at all complete, or representative, it certainly affords very little evidence of the presence in the Gospel of characteristic phrases not to be found in the Epistle. It consists mostly of phrases which are found only once or twice, or which, if they occur more frequently, are generally confined to a special context. There are very few of them of which we can say that their absence from the Epistle is significant.
It may be worth while to go through in the same way the fifty “pecularities” which Holtzmann has noted for the Epistle.
(1) ὁ with the Present Participle. (Found eight times in Jn. 13-16., but certainly more frequent in the Epistle.)
(2) ἐὰν εἴπωμεν ὅτι, περιπατῶμεν, ὁμολογῶμεν (ἐάν with each of these verbs occurs in the Gospel, and the use of ἐάν is fairly frequent in both writings; naturally opportunities for the use of the 1st person plural are far less in the Gospel than in the Epistle).
(3) ἔκ τινος γινώσκειν (twice). Cf. 1 John 2:18 (ὅθεν).
(4) ὑμεῖς followed by a relative sentence, which becomes the subject of the main sentence (ὑμεῖς ὃ ἠκούσατε… ἐν ὑμῖν μενέτω, 2:24, cf. 27). (May we not compare John 10:29, ὁ πατήρ μου ὃ δέδωκέν μοι πάντων μεῖζόν ἐστιν?)
(5) κοινωνία, with God, Christ, the brethren. (The teaching about κοινωνία in the Epistle is surely the natural sequel of Jn. 14-17.)
(6) ἀγγελία, ἐπαγγελία, ἐπαγγέλλειν. (It may be noted that ἀγγέλλειν is a N.T. ἅπαξ λεγόμενον in the Gospel.)
(7) ἑαυτὸν πλανᾶν. (The verb is common to both.)
(8) ὁμολογεῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας. (The verb is, of course, common to both. Its use with ἁμαρτία is peculiar, in the N.T., to the one passage 1 John 1:9; cf. ἐξομολογεῖσθαι, Mt., Mk., Ja.)
(9) πιστός, of God. (Once. The word is used once in the Gospel.)
(10) ἡ ἀγάπη τετελείωται. (Cf. John 17:23, ἵνα ὦσιν τετελειωμένοι εἰς ἕν… καὶ ἠγάπησας αὐτοὺς καθὼς ἐμὲ ἠγάπησας).
(11) διάνοια (once).
(12) παράγειν. (More correctly παράγεσθαι. The active παράγειν occurs twice in the Gospel, in a different sense.)
(13) ἀγαπᾶν τοὺς ἀδελφούς. (The phrase of the Gospel, ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους, quoted as a contrast, is perhaps a sufficient parallel.)
(14) σκάνδαλον, 2:10 (cf., however, with the context, ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ περιπατεῖ οὐκ οἶδεν ποῦ ὑπάγει: John 11:9, ἐάν τις περιπατῇ ἐν τῇ ἡμερᾷ οὐ προσκόπτει.)
(15) ἀφέωνται ὑμῖν αἱ ἁμαρτίαι διὰ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ. (Cf. John 20:23, ἄν τινων ἀφῆτε τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἀφέωνται αὐτοῖς.)
(16) ψευδοπροφῆται, ἀντίχριστοι. (Cf. John 5:43.)
(17) ἀγαπᾶν τὸν κόσμον. (Should we compare John 21:15, ἀγαπᾷς με πλέον τούτων? At any rate the resemblance of the two writings in their use of κόσμος is far more striking than the absence of a particular phrase from one of them.)
(18) ἀλαζονεία (once).
(19) βίος (twice).
(20) ἀγαπητοί. (Six times; cf. 3 Jn. ἀγαπητέ thrice. The doctrine of ἀγάπη contained in the Gospel would certainly account for the frequency of this form of address in the Epistle.)
(21) τὸ χρίσμα. (Thrice; cf. John 3:34, δίδωσιν τὸ πνεῦμα: cf. 7:39.)
(22) ἀρνεῖσθαι, ὁμολογεῖν, τὸν υἱόν. (Cf., however, John 1:20, ὡμολόγησεν καὶ οὐκ ἠρνήσατο.)
(23) ἔχειν τὸν πατέρα, τὸν υἱόν. (Cf., perhaps, John 3:29, ὁ ἔχων τὴν νύμφην.)
(24) παρρησία πρὸς τὸν θεόν. (The word is fairly common in the Gospel.)
(25) αἰσχύνεσθαι (2:28, αἰσχυνθῶμεν ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ. (Cf. John 3:20, οὐκ ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα μὴ ἐλεγχθῇ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ.)
(26) παρουσία (once).
(27) ὅμοιοι αὐτῷ ἐσόμεθα. (? Cf. John 9:9, ὅμοιος αὐτῷ: 8:55, ἔσομαι ὅμοιος ὑμῖν.)
(28, 29) Omitted apparently by mistake.
(30) ἐλπίς. (Once. The word does not occur in any of the Gospels. Cf., however, John 5:45, εἰς ὃν ἠλπίκατε, with the passage in the Epistle, 3:3, ὁ ἔχων τὴν ἐλπίδα ταύτην ἐπʼ αὐτῷ.)
(31) ἁγνός. (Once. But ἁγνίζειν, which occurs in the same verse, is common to both.)
(32) ἀνομία. (Twice. In the same context.)
(33) ἐφανερώθη ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ. (Cf. John 1:31, ἀλλʼ ἵνα φανερωθῇ τῷ Ἰσραήλ.)
(34) λύειν τὰ ἔργα τοῦ διαβόλου. (Cf. John 7:23, ἵνα μὴ λυθῇ ὁ νόμος: 8:41, τὰ ἔργα τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν.)
(35) τὸ σπέρμα τοῦ θεοῦ, ὁ γεννήσας (of God). (Cf. John 1:13, ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν: 8:33, σπέρμα Ἀβραάμ.)
(36) ἐν τούτῳ φανερά ἐστιν. (Φανεροῦν is characteristic of both writings.)
(37) καταγινώσκειν. (Twice. Elsewhere only in Galatians 2:11.)
(38) ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν, ὁ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ. (The contrast is characteristically Johannine, though the actual phrases do not occur in the Gospel.)
(39) μένειν ἐν τῷ θανάτῳ. (A phrase cast in a thoroughly Johannine mould. Cf. also John 3:36, ὁ δὲ ἀπειθῶν τῷ υἱῷ οὐκ ὄψεται ζωήν, ἀλλʼ ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ μένει ἐπʼ αὐτόν.)
(40) πιστεύειν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ υἱοῦ (3:23. If we complete the phrase, αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, we may compare John 20:31, ἵνα πιστεύητε ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἐστιν ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ ἵνα πιστεύοντες ζωὴν ἔχητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ).
(41) τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς πλάνης. (Cf. τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας, which is common to both. The one phrase suggests the other.)
(42) δοκιμάζειν τὰ πνεύματα (once).
(43) κλείειν τὰ σπλάγχνα. (The verb is common to both.)
(44) πείθειν τὰς καρδίας ἡμῶν. (Cf., perhaps, μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδιά.)
(45) ἁμαρτία πρὸς θάνατον. (Cf. John 9:41, ἡ ἁμαρτία ὑμῶν μένει: 8:24, ἀποθανεῖσθε ἐν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν.)
(46) τηρεῖν ἑαυτόν, ἑαυτὸν φυλάσσειν. (The former is probably not the true text, αὐτόν having better support. With τηρεῖ αὐτόν, cf. John 17:12, ἐγὼ ἐτήρουν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου. For φυλάσσειν cf. 17:12, καὶ ἐφύλαξα.)
(47) ὁ κόσμος ὅλος ἐν τῷ πονηρῷ κεῖται. (Cf. John 17:15, ἵνα τηρήσης αὐτοὺς ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ.)
(48) φόβος, as the opposite of ἀγάπη, the Gospel having only φόβος τῶν Ἰουδαίων. Perhaps it is not altogether fanciful to see some recollection of the fear which kept men from open confession, in the love issuing in confidence, which “casts out fear.”
(49) ἔχειν τὴν μαρτυρίαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ. (Perhaps we may compare John 3:33, ὁ λαβὼν αὐτοῦ τὴν μαρτυρίαν ἐσφράγισεν).
(50) κόλασις (once).
Thus on closer inspection a considerable number of the phrases which are actually peculiar to the Epistle remind us so strongly of similar phrases and thoughts in the Gospel that it is again the resemblance rather than the difference that is brought into prominence. The phenomena are not inconsistent with the theory of imitation, but they do not find their most natural explanation in it. The variations in phrase suggest common authorship rather than servile, or even intelligent, copying. Both writings show the same characteristics, a small vocabulary used and used up; reiteration with slight variations, generally conveying some correspondingly slight difference of meaning; and no more new words than the differences of subject and circumstance call for, and are amply sufficient to explain.
Is there any difference in the ideas and conceptions expressed in this similar but not identical phraseology, sufficiently marked to compel us to assume a corresponding difference in authorship?
Such a difference can hardly be found in the λόγος of the Gospel Prologue as compared with the vaguer λόγος τῆς ζωῆς of the Epistle. No doubt the one phrase describes a difference of Person, while the other is impersonal. But the personal distinction of υἱός and πατήρ is as clearly marked in the Epistle as in the Gospel. It is possible that the more definite λόγος has been avoided in agreement with the growing Monarchian tendencies of a later stage of doctrine, but the pre-existent personality of Him who “came in flesh” is as definitely taught in the Epistle as in the Gospel.
In the Epistle the sum of the ἀγγελία which the writer has to announce is said to be that God is light. In the Gospel, light is used as a description of the pre-existent and the Incarnate Logos. And in general it has been maintained that the Christ of the Epistle is more definitely separated from God and brought nearer to the believing Christian. The Christ of the Epistle is only Prophet, Example, Advocate, Reconciler. He is separated from us by sinlessness rather than by Divinity.
It is probably true that in the Gospel Christ is always represented as the connecting point between God and the world. As God is to Christ, so is Christ to “His own,” whereas in the Epistle this relation is “simplified.” Commentators are divided as to whether this is brought about by setting God on the one side, Christ and His own on the other, or whether the Epistle goes further than the Gospel in the direction of glorifying the Christ. The number of passages in the Epistle in which it is extremely difficult to decide whether God or Christ is the subject, certainly point in the latter direction. But it is doubtful whether the differences between Gospel and Epistle are as great as is assumed by those who maintain the theory of different authorship. In the Gospel it is natural that the relation of Christ to God on the one hand, and to His followers on the other, should be dwelt upon; while in the Epistle the relation of the Brethren to the Father should be more prominent. But this relationship is always conceived of as realized in and through Christ. “Our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” We may compare John 16:27, “the Father Himself loveth you”; “I do not say that I will ask the Father concerning you.” The difference exists, but it is a difference of standpoint and of expression, not a fundamental difference of conception. And it is a difference specially noticeable in certain forms of expression which are used, rather than in the general teaching of the Epistle as a whole. The Gospel taught who and what the Christ is. The Epistle is written to assure those who had learned its lesson that, if they will but remember it, they can feel sure confidence as to the relationship in which they stand to God in His Son Jesus Christ. The differences correspond to the different objects of the two writings.
If this view of the general teaching of the two writings is correct, it will explain the similar phenomena which are traceable with regard to the ideas of life and love. In the Gospel it is Christ who came that they might have life—in the Epistle we read ζωὴν αἰώνιον ἔδωκεν ἡμῖν ὁ θεός: but the author hastens to add, “this life is in His Son.” So with love. In the Gospel “the love wherewith God loves the faithful is always grounded in the love wherewith He loves the Son.” They must abide in the Son’s love, as He abides in the love of the Father. In 1 John 4:9-11 the stress is laid on the love of God for the world and for us. But the intimate connection of this passage with John 3:16 certainly suggests that the writer of the Epistle is conscious of no fundamental difference of view. Again, in the Gospel it is the Logos who gives power τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι —in the Epistle it is “a direct proof of the love of the Father ἵνα τέκνα θεοῦ κληθῶμεν, καὶ ἐσμέν.” But in all these points it is hardly too much to say that a real difference can be established only by ignoring the expressions and thoughts in either document which tell the other way. It may also be true that in the Gospel the unity of the Son with the Father is the type of the union of the faithful with the Son, and therein with the Father (cf. 14:20, 17:23); whereas the Epistle speaks more directly, “We are in God,” “God in us”; and the same difference can be traced in the use of μένειν. Christ’s command in the Gospel to exercise mutual love may be expressed in the Epistle as an ἐντολὴ τοῦ θεοῦ. But such differences are not mutually exclusive. To the mind of the writer or writers of Gospel and Epistle it is doubtful if they would present themselves as differences at all. The emphasis falls differently. But the final summary of the Epistle, if naturally interpreted, points to fundamental unity of conception. “We are in the true God, in His Son Jesus Christ.” “This (the God revealed in Jesus Christ) is the true God and eternal life.” The same is true of the conception of the death of Christ as propitiatory. Ἰλασμός occurs only in the Epistle. The idea is more prominent in the Epistle. It is not absent from the Gospel. It is to be found both in what the Evangelist puts into the mouth of others, and also in his own comments.
So, too, with the conception of the Parousia. In both we find the spiritual idea of an abiding presence, and the more popular conception of a day of judgment, a last day, a last hour. The difference is one of emphasis. In the Epistle, as well as in the Gospel, eternal life is a present possession, and also an object of promise. The many Antichrists and many false prophets of the Epistle are its peculiar form of expression, but there is room for them in the sufferings of the Disciples which are foreseen in John 16:2-4, even if we refuse to see in the warning of the Gospel, “If another come in his own name, him ye will receive,” a historical reference to Bar-Kochba. Popular conceptions may be more prominent in the Epistle, though we are not justified in ignoring the “spiritualizing” of the conception of Antichrist as fulfilled in many forms of anti-Christian teaching. But fundamental difference can be maintained only by ignoring parts of the evidence.
The differences of thought and expression make it probable that some interval of time should be placed between the composition of the two writings. In view of such differences it is difficult, if not impossible, to accept Lightfoot’s view, that the Epistle was intended to serve as an Introduction to the Gospel written to accompany it.1 The evidence does not justify the conclusion that they could not have been written at the same time by the same writer. It does, however, make such a view extremely improbable. On the other hand, it is not enough to compel us to assume different authors. In most cases of a similar kind, certainly in this particular instance, it is practically impossible to prove common authorship, as against imitation, or similarity produced by common education in the same school of thought. We are always on safer ground when we speak of the “Ephesian Canonical Writings” than when we assign them definitely to S. John, Apostle or Elder. But there are no adequate reasons for setting aside the traditional view which attributes the Epistle and Gospel to the same authorship. It remains the most probable explanation of the facts known to us.
The further conclusion that the theory of common authorship can be maintained only on the hypothesis that the Epistle is earlier than the Gospel, is still more precarious. It is really based on the assumption that one who had reached the heights of the Gospel could never have descended to the more common-place conceptions of the Epistle. And this ignores the fact that whatever his own highest achievements may have been, the author is practically limited by the intelligence and spiritual capacity of his readers. The more the Epistle is read and studied, the more fixed becomes the impression that we have in it an attempt to make plainer, for practical purposes of spiritual and religious life, the profound teaching contained in the Gospel, which the author had tried to convey to his fellow-Christians in all his dealings with them, but which they had in large measure failed to make their own. The results of the Gospel, or of the teaching which it contained, had not realized his expectations. To use one of the expressions of that Gospel, its message οὐκ ἐχώρει among those with whom the author dwelt and for whom he worked. He had to descend to a lower plane. But the question of priority must be discussed more fully, and in a separate section.
The discussion of the identity of authorship has at least established clearly the close connection which exists between the Gospel and the Epistle. The view of the priority of either document can be reasonably held in conjunction with that of imitation or of identity of authorship, though Holtzmann regards the latter view as tenable only on the assumption that the Epistle represents an earlier stage in the development of the writer’s theological position. At any rate the question can be discussed independently of that of authorship.
The priority of the Epistle has been maintained on the following grounds:
(1) The introductory verses (1-4), which show many points of close connection with the Prologue of the Gospel, are said to present an earlier stage of the Logos doctrine. It does not go beyond the “personification of abstract categories, ζωὴ αἰώνιος, λόγος τῆς ζωῆς, ” and the concrete conception of the Personal Logos has not yet been reached. It is only in the Gospel that the Monarchianism, common to the Epistle and other second century writings, is met by a clear differentiation of the Person of the Father and the Son.
If our evidence were confined to the Prologue and the Introduction, this statement might be regarded as satisfactory so far as the facts of doctrine contained in the two are concerned. But what is perhaps true of the prefatory verses cannot be so clearly established for the whole of the Epistle as compared with the whole of the Gospel. There are many passages in the Epistle where the “personal differentiation” of the Father and the Son is presented as clearly as in the Logos doctrine of the Gospel (cf. 2:22 f., 4:2, 5:10, etc., even if we do not quote the third verse of the Epistle), though the relation of Christ to the Father is not so prominent a subject of teaching, or speculation, in the Epistle as in the Gospel, and the author’s insistence on the fact that the fellowship of Christians with God is realized in and through their union with Jesus Christ often makes it difficult to decide whether particular statements are meant to refer to Christ or to God. And even if this statement of the relations between the prologues is true, they lend themselves equally well to another explanation. It is at least as probable that in the Epistle there is a further accommodation to the Monarchian ideas which came into greater prominence as time went on. As Réville and others have shown, the doctrine of the Gospel was probably far in advance of the general Christian opinions and feeling of its date. Some accommodation to the average faith of Christendom would not have been unnatural.
And the general impression left by a comparison of the two passages is that the Preface to the Epistle presents a summary of the various points contained in the Prologue, and distributed throughout the Gospel, upon which the writer wishes to lay stress in the new circumstances that have arisen. Style and structure and vocabulary all point clearly to a close connection between the two. To those who had been taught on the lines of the Prologue to the Gospel the opening expressions of the Epistle would be intelligible and full of meaning. It is far more difficult to explain the Prologue as an expansion and development of what is contained in the Epistle.
(2) It has been thought that the ἄλλος παράκλητος of John 14:16 was suggested by the doctrine of the Epistle, which presents Christ as the Paraclete (2:1). The two ideas are quite different, and neither of them excludes the other. In the Epistle, Christ’s advocacy is exercised in heaven. He pleads the cause of His followers with the Father, to whose presence His “righteousness” gives Him, so to speak, the right of entry. In the Gospel, the sphere of the Spirit’s advocacy is on earth, and is consequent on the withdrawal of the bodily presence of the Speaker. The “advocacy” consists in calling to the remembrance of the Disciples the real import of the Lord’s words, in convicting the “World” of the mistakes they have made with regard to the Christ, and in leading the Disciples into all the truth. A comparison of the use of παράκλητος in the Epistle with that found in the Gospel yields no indication as to which document is the earlier.
(3) Eschatological teaching. The writer of the Epistle, it is said, expects the Parousia in the immediate future. The last hour has struck. Antichrist is already at work, or at least the work of his subordinates proclaims his near approach. The Evangelist has given up this expectation. The “coming” has been refined into the symbolical expression of a spiritual presence. Here again it may be quite true that the Epistle represents average Christian feeling more closely than the Gospel. If it is so, modification of more original, and perhaps unpopular, views is quite as probable an explanation as growth out of the stage of ordinary Christian opinion. In reality, however, the difference between the two has been greatly exaggerated. Serious divergence can perhaps be maintained only by the convenient, but arbitrary, process of eliminating from the Gospel all the evidence which tells the other way. The language of John 5:26-29, John 5:6:39, John 5:40, shows that the Evangelist had not given up the popular expectation of a “last day” and a final judgment. There are many expressions in the farewell discourses which point in the same direction. And even if there is any real difference, it is not improbable that the events in which the writer of the Epistle saw the signs of the approach, or the actual advent, of Antichrist may have led to a nearer approach, at a later period, to the average Christian expectation, which at the time when the Gospel was written, though never actually repudiated, was less prominent in the writer’s view. It should also be noticed that the “spiritualization” of the idea of Antichrist in the Epistle is at least as complete as the spiritualization of popular eschatology in the Gospel. The Parousia, which the writer of the Epistle expected, perhaps more eagerly than when he wrote the Gospel, was nevertheless a spiritual fact rather than an apocalyptic display.
(4) The Epistle is said to come nearer to the Pauline teaching than the Gospel, on the subject of propitiation. In 1:9, God’s justice is put forward as the motive for the forgiveness of sins. Christ is spoken of as ἱλασμὸς περὶ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν: cf. Romans 3:25, ὃν προέθετο ὁ θεὸς ἱλαστήριον διὰ πίστεως ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι. The Evangelist, it is said, conceives of Christ`s work from a wholly different standpoint,—the glorifying of the Father by the Son in making His name known among men (John 17:4-8). Again it is a question of proportion rather than of fundamental difference. The expiatory character of Christ`s work is not specially prominent in the Fourth Gospel, but it is clearly recognized, both in the saying ascribed to the Baptist, Ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου, and in the prophecy assigned to Caiaphas (John 11:51 f.), and the Evangelist’s comment upon it, in which some have seen, perhaps rightly, a literary connection with 1 John 2:2. Even if a real difference could be established, it would have little bearing on the question of priority.
(5) Some have found in the record of the piercing of the side (John 19:34 f.) a reminiscence of 1 John 5:6, involving a misunderstanding of that passage. In the Epistle the “water” refers to the Baptism, and has nothing to do with the death of Jesus. It should not, it is said, have been introduced in that connection. Most scholars will agree with Holtzmann’s judgment, “nur schwer lässt sich das Missverständniss beweisen.” It would certainly be difficult to prove the misunderstanding. It may be added that the connection between the two passages is probably not so close as has often been supposed. The meaning of the “coming by water and blood” is discussed in the notes on the passage, and need not be considered at length here. It is far more probable that the incident, real or reputed, which the Evangelist records, suggested to the writer of the Epistle the significance of water and blood in the Messianic work of the Son of God. And this is true whatever relation we assume to exist between the Gospel and Epistle.
(6) Some have detected an improvement in the Greek style in the Gospel as compared with the Epistle. The argument would no doubt appeal to those who have detected the difference. To the ordinary student it is certainly not obvious. It has, of course, no force or bearing on the question of priority for those who do not accept the common authorship of the two writings. And by those who do, Holtzmann’s judgment may again be quoted, “es giebt auch Rückschritte.”
(7) Stress has also been laid on the fact, if it is a fact, that the Epistle was used by Papias and Polycarp at a time when certain traces of the Gospel are wanting. It may be sufficient to answer, with Holtzmann, that the Gospel was certainly known in Justin’s time, and it is not unnatural that the more popular writing which gave less offence to traditional Christian opinion should have become known first. The argument, however, such as it is, loses most of its force if we accept, with Bishop Lightfoot on the one hand, or Dr. Schwartz on the other, the more probable view that Papias knew and used the Fourth Gospel.
A considerable portion of the evidence which has been put forward in favour of the priority of the Gospel is as little conclusive as most of what has been considered on the other side. The following points need consideration:
(1) Many passages in the Epistle seem to need the help of the Gospel in order to become intelligible. They could only have been addressed to those who knew the Gospel, or, at least, the teaching which it contains. The following passages are cited by Holtzmann:
2:2. καὶ αὐτὸς ἱλασμός ἐστιν περὶ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν, οὐ περὶ τῶν ἡμετέρων δὲ ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ ὅλου τοῦ κόσμου.
John 11:51 f. …ἐπροφήτευσεν ὅτι ἔμελλεν Ἰησοῦς ἀποθνήσκειν ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἔθνους, καὶ οὐχ ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἔθνους μόνον, ἀλλʼ ἵνα καὶ τὰ τέκνα τοῦ θεοῦ τὰ διεσκορπισμένα συναγάγῃ εἰς ἕν. It is possible to see in the words of the Epistle, especially οὐ … ἀλλὰ περὶ ὅλου, an echo of the language, and still more of the thought, of the Gospel. But the instance does not carry us very far.
2:23. πᾶς ὁ ἀρνούμενος τὸν υἱὸν οὐδὲ τὸν πατέρα ἔχει· ὁ ὁμολογῶν τὸν υἱὸν καὶ τὸν πατέρα ἔχει.
John 15:23 f. ὁ ἐμὲ μισῶν καὶ τὸν πατέρα μου μισεῖ. … νῦν δὲ καὶ ἑωράκασιν καὶ μεμισήκασιν καὶ ἐμὲ καὶ τὸν πατέρα μου.
There is nothing here to determine the question of priority, though the similarity of thought is obvious.
2:27. καὶ ὑμεῖς τὸ χρίσμα ὃ ἐλάβετε ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ μένει ἐν ὑμῖν, καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχετε ἵνα τις διδάσκῃ ὑμᾶς· ἀλλʼ ὡς τὸ αὐτοῦ χρίσμα διδάσκει ὑμᾶς περὶ πάντων …
John 14:26. ὁ δὲ παράκλητος, τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον … ἐκεῖνος ὑμᾶς διδάξει πάντα καὶ ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς πάντα ἃ εἶπον ὑμῖν ἐγώ.
3:8. ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἐκ τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστίν, ὅτι ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς ὁ διάβολος ἁμαρτάνει. Cf. 1 John 3:15.
John 8:44. ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστὲ καὶ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν θέλετε ποιεῖν. ἐκεῖνος ἀνθρωποκτόνος ἦν ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ οὐκ ἔστηκεν.
4:6. ὁ γινώσκων τὸν θεὸν ἀκούει ἡμῶν, ὃς οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἀκούει ἡμῶν.
John 8:47. ὁ ὢν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ τὰ ῥήματα τοῦ θεοῦ ἀκούει· διὰ τοῦτο ὑμεῖς οὐκ ἀκούετε, ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἐστέ.
5:12. ὁ ἔχων τὸν υἱὸν ἔχει τὴν ζωήν· ὁ μὴ ἔχων τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν ζωὴν οὐκ ἔχει.
John 3:36. ὁ πιστεύων εἰς τὸν υἱὸν ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον· ὁ δὲ ἀπειθῶν τῷ υἱῷ οὐκ ὄψεται ζωήν.
5:14. καὶ αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ παρρησία ἣν ἔχομεν πρὸς αὐτόν, ὅτι ἐάν τι αἰτώμεθα κατὰ τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ ἀκούει ἡμῶν.
John 14:13. καὶ ὅτι ἂν αἰτήσητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου, τοῦτο ποιήσω … ἐάν τι αἰτήσητέ με ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου ἐγὼ ποιήσω.
In none of these instances do we find any thought or expression in the Epistle which is obviously, and beyond all doubt, borrowed from the Gospel. But there is no mistaking the general impression which they convey. Originality and force is always in the Gospel rather than in the Epistle, where the thoughts are, as a rule, derived and generalized. The writer would seem to be choosing from a larger store what he can most usefully apply to the circumstances with which he is dealing. He has but little, if anything, to add to what his readers have already been taught. Assume that they have been taught the content of the Gospel, and his language is nearly always seen to be intelligible and pertinent.
It must, of course, be remembered that, even if this is true, it does not amount to proof of the priority of the Gospel in actual composition. The author had, in all probability, taught its contents for some time before he committed them to writing. It may well have been that in the course of teaching they gradually took shape. Even if we need the Gospel to explain the Epistle, the readers of it may have had their necessary commentary in the author’s oral teaching.
Attention has been called to the proportion of the closest parallels between Gospel and Epistle which are found in chs. 13.-17. of the Gospel. The proportion is certainly large, if the length of these chapters be compared with that of the whole Gospel. The situation depicted in the last discourses, where the Christ gives His last instructions to the Disciples whom He is about to leave, naturally offers more points of contact with that of the Pastor committing, perhaps, his last words to writing for the sake of his “children,” than the earlier chapters of the Gospel which show the Christ disputing with the Jews. The aim of the Epistle is far more to encourage and to build up than to warn and destroy, though the critical examination of its contents tends to bring the passages devoted to controversy into greater prominence than those which deal with edification. But the point has really no bearing on the question of priority.
The supposed direct references to the Gospel which are to be found in the Epistle must be considered next. It has been maintained that the ἀπαγγελία announced in the Epistle (1:3, 5), that God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all, is not really carried out in the Epistle itself; and that the reference must therefore be to the Gospel. This is doubtful, especially in view of the identification of Christ with the “Light” in the Gospel as compared with the announcement of the Epistle that God is light. There is much about light and darkness in both, as Dionysius of Alexandria saw: but it can hardly be said that the announcement “God is light” is the message of the Gospel as a whole more than of the Epistle. And the idea which the phrase is introduced to emphasize, that fellowship with God is possible only for those who, so far as in them lies, strive to make themselves like Him, is one of the leading thoughts of the Epistle. It is true that the Epistle does not deal with the whole message about life, as detailed in the first verse, “that which was from the beginning, that which we have heard and seen,” etc., and that in a sense the Gospel might be said to include it all.1 But there is no necessary reference to the Gospel. The whole of the witness which their Christian teachers had borne to them, and the whole of the teaching which they had received from them, and especially from the writer of the Epistle, is a more natural explanation.
The other direct reference, as has been supposed, is found in 2:14 (ἔγραψα ὑμῖν, παιδία κ.τ.λ.), where the triple ἔγραψα has been thought to refer to the Gospel. The change from present to aorist is difficult to explain. Perhaps no thoroughly satisfactory explanation can be offered. At first sight the reference to the Gospel is tempting. But the reference must have been made more explicit if it was to be intelligible, unless, indeed, the Epistle was written to accompany the Gospel, in which case the difference between γράφω and ἔγραψα has less point. And the reasons given for writing are not specially applicable to the Gospel, either in themselves or as distinguished from the almost identical reasons given for the three statements introduced by γράφω.
The theory that the Epistle was written as a Begleitungsschrift, when the Gospel was published, deserves consideration. The case has been best stated by Ebrard, who tries to show that the false teaching of Cerinthus is really combated in the Gospel—written to prove the identity of Jesus with “the Christ, the Son of God” and God’s agent in Creation, as contrasted with “an inferior power,” ignorant of the Supreme God—as well as in the Epistle. The theory was held by Bishop Lightfoot, who refers to it three times in his lectures on S. John, but apparently never gave his reasons in full. It must stand or fall with the identity of aim and content of the two writings. The differences in vocabulary, style, and thought, which have been discussed in the previous section, lead to no definite conclusion. They merely make it difficult to suppose that the two writings are of exactly the same date.
The connection between the introductory verses and the Prologue of the Gospel has already been mentioned. If the whole is most easily explained as presupposing the Prologue, a closer examination of ver. 2 almost compels us to take this view.
καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἐφανερώθη (taking up the λόγος τῆς ζωῆς) ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων.
καὶ ἑωράκαμεν καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ.
καὶ μαρτυροῦμεν. ἀλλʼ ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ,
Cf. καὶ ὑμεῖς μαρτυρεῖτε, ὅτι ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς μετʼ ἐμοῦ ἐστε (15:27)
καί ἀπαγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον (… ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς κοινωνίαν ἔχητε κ.τ.λ.) Cf. ταῦτα δε γέγραπται … ἵνα πιστεύητε … καὶ ἵνα πιστεύοντες ζωὴν ἔχητε ἐν τῳ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ.
ἥτις ἦν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.
καὶ ἐφανερώθη ἡμῖν. καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα.
There can be no doubt on which side the originality lies. The Epistle presents a summary, not a first sketch.
The exact interpretation of the ἐντολὴ καινὴ καὶ παλαιά of 2:7, 8 is doubtful. But in the language used in these verses there is an almost certain reference to the “new commandment” of John 13:34. Cf. especially ὅ ἐστιν ἀληθὲς ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν. The Lord had made a new commandment of the old legal precept, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” It becomes new again in each Christian who fulfils it by obedience.
The expressions used in 2:10 f., of love and light, hatred and darkness, appear to be a summary of the teaching contained in different passages of the Gospel (cf. 11:9, 10, 12:35 ff.).
The “promise which He promised, even eternal life” (2:25), is most naturally explained by reference to John 10:28 (κἀγὼ δίδωμι αὐτοῖς ζωὴν αἰώνιον, καὶ οὐ μὴ ἀπολῶνται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα). Should we also compare 14:19, ὅτι ἐγὼ ζῶ καὶ ὑμεῖς ζήσετε?
The section 3:8-15, with its distinction of those who are born of God and those who are “of the Devil,” who sinneth from the beginning, and its denunciation of the murderous character of hatred, recalls the passage of the Gospel (8:40-44) where the Jews are proved to be “of the Devil” by the murderous hate with which they pursue the Lord, so closely that we are compelled to see dependence on its substance if not on its text. Again it is the Gospel that is “original,” though we may hesitate to follow Wellhausen in making use of the Epistle to rewrite the Gospel in its original form as presupposed by the Epistle (ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς τοῦ Καίν ἐστε) in order to get a simpler explanation of ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ in ver. 44. In the Epistle we find again the generalization of thoughts first struck out in the heat of controversy.
The “coming by water and blood” is not to be explained as a direct reference to the incident recorded in John 19:35. But it is almost certain that the record of that incident suggested to the writer of the Epistle the significance of “blood” and of “water” in the Messianic work of the Redeemer.
These instances could easily be multiplied, but they are representative. None of them amount to proof positive of the writer’s actual dependence on the text of the Gospel. But their evidence, such as it is, all points in the same direction. The Epistle presupposes in its readers acquaintance with “a compact body of teaching like that which we find in the Fourth Gospel,” to use Dr. Sanday’s phrase.1 And the general impression gained from studying the two writings is convincing. The impression left—the more clearly the longer the Epistle is studied—is that it was written to help and to warn those for whom the teaching of the Gospel, or “a body of teaching like” it, had not accomplished all that the writer had hoped. Throughout it is an appeal to the readers to use that which they already possess. It never should have been necessary, the writer seems to say, for him to write the Epistle. They needed no further instruction, if they would but make use of what had been theirs ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς. Their own experience should be able to do the rest. He writes to them not because they do not know, but because they know. They have received sufficient instruction and full illumination. They “all know.” But knowledge has not been adequately translated into corresponding action and conduct. It has not been realized in life. And so there is doubt and hesitation in the face of new difficulties and changed circumstances. The whole aim of the Epistle is to recall to mind and to supplement what has long ago been fully given, but not adequately grasped. It is not the earnest of things to come. It owes its existence to the failure to make the most of the abundance that has been given. It is the aftermath, not the first-fruits, of the writer’s message to the Church.
These considerations, if they accurately represent the facts, determine with certainty the question of priority, so far as the substantial content of the two documents is concerned. They do not perhaps preclude the possibility of a later date for the actual composition, or publication, of the Gospel. But in view of them such hypotheses are extremely unlikely
§ 2. The Aim
The more definitely polemical aim of the Epistles is discussed in another section, where the passages which contain clear references to the tenets of the opponents are fully considered, as well as the extent to which the writer has them in view in other passages not so directly controversial in tone, and indeed throughout the Epistle. It is probably true that the writer never loses sight altogether of the views of his opponents in any part of the Epistle. But it is important to emphasize the fact that, in spite of this, the real aim of the Epistle is not exclusively, or even primarily, polemical. The edification of his “children” in the true faith and life of Christians is the writer’s chief purpose. The errors of the opponents do not constitute the only danger. The victory has been won, if only after a hard-fought battle, and the opponents, whose errors have been unmasked, “have gone out from among us,” or at least the leaders of the movement have withdrawn or been expelled. But there is still strong sympathy with their views, and perhaps acute danger of their return in power. The real danger is the attitude of the “children” themselves towards the Christian faith and life. The enthusiasm of the early days of the Faith is no longer theirs. Many of them had been brought up as Christians, and did not owe their faith to strong personal conviction or experience. Their Christianity had become largely traditional, half-hearted and nominal. They found the moral obligations of their religion oppressive. The “world” had great attractions for them. They wished to be on better terms with it than their Faith allowed. They were only too ready to welcome elements of religious and philosophical speculation foreign to the Faith and really destructive of it. They could not tolerate a sharp distinction between Christian and Unchristian in belief and practice. And therefore they were easily deceived by specious novelties. They had lost their instinctive feeling for what was of the essence of the Faith which they had received, or lay on the line of true development, and what was antagonistic to it. And another consequence of this “loss of their first love” was doubt and uncertainty as to their position as Christians. This is clearly seen if the verses introduced by ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν or similar phrases are studied. Nine times at least the writer offers his readers tests by which they may assure themselves about the truth of their Christian position (2:3, ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐγνώκαμεν αὐτόν: 5, ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐσμεν: 3:16, ἐν τούτῳ ἐγνώκαμεν τὴν ἀγάπην: 19, ἐν τούτῳ γνωσόμεθα ὅτι ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας ἐσμέν: 24, ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι μένει ἐν ἡμῖν: 4:2, ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκετε τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ: 6, ἐκ τούτου γινώσκομεν τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας: 13, ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ μένομεν: v. 2, ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἀγαπῶμεν τὰ τέκνα τοῦ θεοῦ). The writer’s aim in this ninefold “hereby we know” cannot be only to set forth the true knowledge in opposition to the false “Gnosis” of his Gnostic opponents. Clearly his readers had felt the doubts which had grown in force in proportion as the enthusiasm of earlier days had waxed cold.
This view of the circumstances and condition of the Church or Churches addressed has been maintained by several writers, among whom Lücke and Rothe may be especially mentioned. It is presupposed in the words in which the author expresses the aim of his writing, before summing up the chief points of his message, ταῦτα ἔγραψα ὑμῖν ἵνα εἰδῆτε ὅτι ζωὴν ἔχετε αἰώνιον, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ. Cf. also 1:4, 2:1. Rothe’s words are worth quoting: “Der Apostel denkt sich also seine Leser als solche, in denen die ursprüngliche Klarheit des eigenthümlichen christlichen Bewusstseins verdunkelt, sein sciherer, scharf alles Unchristliche unterscheidender Tact abgestumpft, in denen die Frische des eigenthümlichen geistlichen Lebens ermattet, die Lauterkeit desselben verunreinigt ist.”1 Huther’s rejection of this view on the ground of such passages as 2:13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 3:5, 14, 4:4, 16, 5:18-20, meets with Holtzmann’s approval. The picture which they present of the readers’ state is too favourable to admit of such dark shortcomings. In reality it is just these passages which prove the point. The writer appeals to their privileged position and past victories. They are of those whose sins have been forgiven, who have known the Eternal, who have won the victory, in whom the Word of God abides. On these grounds he can appeal to them. But if they had been true to their privileges and their knowledge, it would not have been necessary to make the appeal. Those of whom 2:13, 14 were true ought not to have needed the warning of ver. 15, Μὴ ἀγαπᾶτε τὸν κόσμονμηδὲ τὰ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ. They have the unction of the Spirit, knowledge is the possession of them all. He wrote to them not because of their ignorance, but their knowledge of the truth. He would recall to new life what is in danger of dying away. They do not need teaching, if only they will use the powers which they possess (20, 21, 27). He would not write thus, unless they had in some measure failed to do their part. The extent of the failure must be measured by the gravity of the danger. They are of God, and have won a notable victory over the opponents (4:4). But they have to be reminded of the facts to urge them to the needed effort. The summary in 5:18-20 of what they know, and ought to use, has to be completed by the warning of ver. 21, φυλάξατε ἑαυτὰ ἀπὸ τῶν εἰδώλων.
Holtzmann has done good service towards the interpretation of the Epistle by showing how clearly Gnostic ideas are reflected throughout the Epistle. The writer always makes it his aim to set forth the true “knowledge” of Apostolic Christianity in its opposition to the false gnosis for which such great claims were made. And it is of primary importance to realize the undoubted polemical aim of much of its contents, and the modifications in his statement of what he believes to be positive truth, which are due to the fact that he never loses sight, in anything that he says, of the false teaching and unchristian conduct of his opponents. But it is at least as important to remember that his primary objects are to exhort and to edify. He is a pastor first, an orthodox theologian only afterwards. He cannot separate doctrine from ethics. But it is the life which he cares about. For him the Christian Faith is a life of fellowship “with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” His first object in writing is to help his fellow-Christians to lead this life of fellowship, that his joy and theirs may be fulfilled. And no interpretation of the Epistle is likely to elucidate his meaning satisfactorily if it fails to realize where the writer’s interest really lies. The nature and character of the false teaching denounced in the Epistle is a fascinating problem. But even a satisfactory solution of it would fail to provide an adequate explanation of the Epistle. Those methods of exegesis are unscientific which lay too exclusive stress on the doctrine which it teaches or the heresy which it seeks to refute. They tend to obscure rather than to elucidate the author’s meaning. The polemical and controversial aims of the Epistle are considered at length elsewhere. Here it is only necessary to insist on the importance, for the right understanding of the Epistle, of fully recognizing the writer’s other aims.
§ 3. Destination
The general character of the Epistles, even of the First, show that they are almost certainly addressed to a definite Church, or group of Churches, the circumstances and difficulties of which were well known to the writer, or writers, of the Letters. The author of the First Epistle writes to Christians whom he knows, with whose needs he is fully acquainted, whom he has the right to help, and who acknowledge his right. The τεκνία are not the whole body of Christians dispersed throughout the world. But we have nothing to help us in determining the destination of the Epistles beyond the universal tradition which connects them with Ephesus, or at least Asia Minor, the earliest traces of their appearance, and the undoubted connection of some of the Johannine literature with the Roman province of Asia.
In the “antiqua translatio” of Cassiodorus (Instit. Div. Lev_14) all three Epistles apparently bore the title “ad Parthos,” and in his Complexiones (ll. 1370) the First Epistle is so designated.1 This attribution was not uncommon in the West. It is first found in Augustine, in the title of his ten Tractatus (“inepistolam Ioannis ad Parthos”) and also in his Quaest. Ev. ii. 39. 1.1 Vigilius (? Idacius Clarus) in the Contra Varimadum introduces the gloss of the heavenly witnesses with the words “Item ipse ad Parthos.” The title found in a Genevan MS (Sabatier), “incipit epistola ad Sparthos,” suggests a Greek origin for the title (πρὸς πάρθους, the ς of the preposition having been dittographed), or at least a Greek archetype for the title as it occurs in that MS. According to Bede the title was found in “many ecclesiastical writers,” including Athanasius. The title Ἰωάννου ἐπιστολὴ β’ πρὸς πάρθους is found in the Greek minuscule, Oxford, Bodleian. Misc. 74 (Scr. 30, von Soden a 111),2 and in the Florentine MS, Laur. iv. 32 (Scr. 89), both of the eleventh century. It appears also as colophon in a Paris MS of the fourteenth century (Reg. Gr. 60, olim Colb.; Scr. 62).,.
The title would therefore appear to have originated in the East, from whence it may well have reached the West as early as the time of Athanasius. Various explanations of the title have been suggested. (1) It has been supposed to be a corruption of πρὸς παρθένους (cf. “Clement” quae ad uirgines scripta). Its reference to the First Epistle has been explained as the result of mistaking the title of the Second for the colophon of the First. (2) Zahn suggests that the real explanation is to be found in the next phrase of Clement’s Adumbrationes, “Scripta uero est ad quandam Babyloniam, electam nomine.” Clement takes the “Babylonian” lady for a real person, whose children are mentioned later in the Epistle. He cannot, therefore, have written πρὸς παρθένους, which must be a corruption of πρὸς πάρθους, which his translator read as παρθένους and translated accordingly. If a title corresponding to πρὸς Γαλάτας, Ἑβραίους, and the like was to be found for the Babylonian lady and her children, πρὸς πάρθους would be the natural title to use in the time of Clement. There is no tradition of relations between S. John and Babylon or Parthians. The title must have been suggested by the name of the recipient, and not vice versa. Zahn further suggests that Clement must have identified the ἐκλεκτῇ κυρίᾳ of the Second Epistle with the ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτή of 1 P v. 13. The difficulty raised by the passage in Eus. H. E. ii. 15, which apparently makes Clement interpret that phrase allegorically of Rome, Zahn meets by pointing out the uncertainty of how much of the Eusebian passage can be rightly referred to Clement. (Cf. ἣν καὶ συντάξαι φασὶν ἐπʼ αὐτῆς Ῥώμης.)
Zahn’s explanation of the origin of the title is certainly the most ingenious which has been suggested. It offers an adequate explanation of the opening sentences in the Latin summary of Clement’s comments on the Second Epistle. If the explanation of the title of the First Epistle, or of all three, is to be sought in this passage of Clement, Zahn’s hypothesis offers the most probable solution of the question. But our knowledge is too scanty to enable us to attain to certainty in the matter.
(3) Lücke has accepted the suggestion which, according to him, was first made by Gieseler, that πάρθους has arisen out of a misunderstanding of the title πάρθενος which was given to S. John (cf. Pistis Sophia, ed. Petermann, p. 45, εὗγε Johannes παρθένος, qui ἄρξεις in regno lucis, quoted by Zahn, Acta Johannis, p. ci, who traces back the probable origin of the tradition of John’s “virginity” to the Leucian Acts).
But whatever may be said for these ingenious conjectures, there is no reason to suppose that the title which we find in Augustine, and which may have been used by Clement of Alexandria, rests on any trustworthy tradition about the destination of the Epistles. We have nothing but internal evidence to guide us in determining the question. Nothing in the Epistles themselves affords any clear guidance in the matter; but the evidence, such as it is, gives us no reason to distrust the tradition which connects them with Asia Minor, and especially Ephesus. The Apocalypse is clearly connected with Ephesus, and we are certainly justified in attributing all the Johannine Books to the same school, though not to the same author. The question cannot really be discussed apart from the Gospel. The district of Asia Minor meets all the known requirements of the case, and the literary history of the Epistles, as well as of the Gospel, shows that it is in this region that we first meet with traces of their existence. It is natural, therefore, to suppose that the origin and destination of the Epistles are to be found in this region.
§ 4. Analysis
While some agreement is found with regard to the possible division of the First Epistle into paragraphs, no analysis of the Epistle has been generally accepted. The aphoristic character of the writer’s meditations is the real cause of this diversity of arrangement, and perhaps the attempt to analyse the Epistle should be abandoned as useless.
According to Von Soden (Die Schriften des NT. i. 1, p. 459), the commonest system of κεφάλαια and ὑποδιαιρ έσεις is as follows:
Κεφαλαια Ιωαυνου επιστολης πρωτης
α. (1:1) επαγγελικη θεολογια περι Χριστου, εν ω.
(1:6) περι εξομολογησεως και προσοχης εις το μη αμαρτανειν.
(2:3) οτι η τηρησις εντολων θεου την γνωσιν βεβαιοι.
β. (2:7) περι αγαπης ης ανευ ασεβεια, εν ω.
(2:12) παραινεσις περι χαριτος εκαστου καθ ηλικιαν και περι αποτροπης της προς τον κοσμον αγαπης.
γ. (2:18) περι ψευδαφελφων αρνησιθεων και οτι η εις Χριστον ευσεβεια πατρος ομολογια, η γαρ του πατρος δοξολογια του υιου εστι θεολογια, εν ω.
(2:26) περι θειου και πνευματικου χαρισματος εν αγιασμω επ ελπιδι εις γνωσιν θεου.
(3:2) οτι πας ο εν Χριστω εκτος αμαρτιας.ο γαρ αμαρτανων εστιν εκ του διαβολου.
δ. (3:9 or 10b) περι αγαπης της εις τον πλησιον και διαθεσεως μεταδοτικης, εν ω.
(3:19) περι συνειδησεως αγαθης της εν πιστει Ιησου Χριστου.
(4:1) περι διακρισεως πνευματων εφ ομολογια της του Χριστου ενανθρωπησεως.
ε. (4:7) περι φιλαδελφιας εις θεοσεβειαν.
ς. (4:15 or 5:1) περι θεολογιας υιου εν δοξη πατρος και περι νικης της κατα του πονηρου δια πιστεως Ιησου Χριστου εις ζωην.
ζ. (5:16) περι αντιληψεως του αμαρτανοντος αδελφου διαπροσευχης και περι του μη αμαρτανειν, εν ω.
(5:18) περι αποχης δαιμονικου σεβασματος.
Κεφαλαια Ιωαννου επιστολης δευτερας.
α. (1:4) μετα το προοιμιον περι ορθου βιου εν αγαπη θεου δια πιστεως ευσεβους αμεταθετου, εν ω.
(1:10) οτι ου δει αιρετικον εισοικιζειν η χαιρετιζειν εφ αμαρτια
β. (1:12) επαγγελια παρουσιας αυτου επ ελπιδι προς ωφελειαν.
Κεφαλαια Ιωαννου επιστολης τριτης.
α. (1:2) ευχη υπερ τελειωσεως και ευχαριστιας εφ ομολογια φιλοξενιας των αδελφων δια Χριστον, εν ω.
(1:9) περι της Διοτρεφους φαυλοτητος και μισαδελφιας.
β. (1:12) περι Δημητριου, ω μαρτυρει τα καλλιστα.
γ. (1:13) περι αφιξεως αυτου προς αυτους επ ωφελεια εν ταχει.
By far the most successful attempt to analyse the Epistle in such a manner as to show that there is a real underlying sequence of thought which can be represented, at least to some extent, in the form of analysis, is that of Theodor Häring (“Gedankengang und Grundgedanke des ersten Johannesbriefs,” Theol. Abhandlungen, Carl von Weizsäcker gewidmet, Freiburg i. B., 1892, Mohr). He finds in the Epistle a triple presentation of two leading ideas, which may be called an Ethical and a Christological Thesis. (1) The ethical thesis is developed in the sections 1:5-2:17, 2:28 (?)-3:24, 4:7-21, “without walking in light,” more specially defined as “love of the brethren, there can be no fellowship with God.” (2) The Christological thesis is found in the sections 2:18-27, 4:1-6, 5:1 (or 5)-12, “beware of those who deny that Jesus is the Christ.” In the first part (1:5-2:27) these ideas are presented, the one after the other, without any indication of their connection with each other. In the second (2:28 (?)-4:6), they are again presented in the same order, but vv. 23, 24 of ch. 3, which form the transition from the one to the other, are so worded as to bring out clearly the intimate connection which, in the author’s mind, exists between the two. In the third (1 John 4:7-12), they are so intertwined that it is difficult, if not impossible, to separate them.
As Häring’s analysis has generally been followed in the notes of this edition, it may be convenient to give it here, at least in substance.1
A. 1:5-2:27. First presentation of the two tests of fellow ship with God (ethical and Christological theses) expressed negatively. First exposure of the two “lies.” No reference to the mutual relations of the two theses.
I. 1:5-2:17. Walking in light the true sign of fellowship with God (ethical thesis). Refutation of the first “lie.”
1. 1:5-2:6. The thesis itself put forward in two parallel statements.
a. 1:5-10 (vv. 8-10 being subordinate to the main thought, to guard against possible misunderstanding).
b. 2:1-6. (1b and 2 being similarly subordinate). The chief differences between a and b consist in the terms used, Fellowship with God, Knowledge of God, Being in God; and Walking in Light, Keeping the Commandments, Not-sinning, Keeping the Word.
2. 2:7-17. The thesis, and the warning which it suggests, put forward on the grounds of the reader’s circumstances and experience. The old command is ever new, because the full revelation of God is working in them. Further definition of walking in light and keeping the command as love of the brethren, as opposed to love of the world.
a. 2:7-11. General explanation. Love of the brethren.
b. 2:12-17. Individual application. Warning against love of the world.
II. 2:18-27. Faith in Jesus as Christ the test of fellowship with God (Christological thesis). Refutation of the second “lie.”
1. 2:18. Appearance of Antichrists a sign of the last hour.
2. 2:19-21. Their relation to the community.
3. 2:22-25. Content and significance of their false teaching.
4. 2:26-27. Repeated assurance that the readers are in possession of the truth.
B. 2:28-4:6. Second presentation of the two theses, separately, but with special emphasis (cf. 3:22-24) on their connection.
I. 2:28-3:24. Doing of Righteousness (which in essence is identical with love of the brethren) the sign by which we may know that we are born of God. Warning suggested by this truth.
1. 2:28-3:6. The thesis and the warning that we must recognize its truth, considered in connection with the duty of self-purification which is laid upon us by the gift of sonship and the hope of its consummation. Earnest warning (1) that there are more “Anomians” than is supposed, (2) that knowledge of God and sin are incompatible.
2. 3:7-18. Explanation of the thesis, with earnest warning against deceivers.
a. 3:7-10. Negatively. He who sins is of the Devil.
b. 3:10-17. By more particular definition of sin as failure to love the brethren, and of love as the opposite of this.
3:11, 12. [The nature and motives of love and hate.
3:13-16. The attitude of the world. Love and life. Hatred and death. The example of Christ, the revelation of love.
3:17, 18. The lesser proof of love and its absence.
3. 3:19-22. This is the test by which we may know if we are of the truth, and so still the accusations of our heart. Confidence in God and the hearing of prayer.
3:23, 24. Transition to the second thesis. The command summed up in the two duties of belief and love. Obedience issues in fellowship. The test by which the reality of the fellowship may be proved. The gift of the Spirit.]
II. 4:1-6. The Christological thesis. The Spirit which is of God confesses Jesus Christ come in flesh.
1. 4:1-3. Content of the confession.
2. 4:4-6. Attitude of the Church and the world.
C. 4:7-5:12. Third presentation of the theses. Both are shown to be connected. The reasons why they cannot be separated are given. Love the proof of fellowship with God, because God is Love. This love of God shown in the sending of His Son, as faith conceives it. Intentional intermingling of the two leading thoughts in two sections.
I. First explanation of the two ideas as now combined. Love based on faith in the revelation of love the proof of knowing God and being born of God.
1. 4:7-12. Love based on the revelation of love.
b. 11, 12.
2. 4:13-16. Faith in this revelation of love in Jesus through the Spirit.
3. 4:17-21. This love based on faith in its relation to Judgment (17-18), recapitulation (19-21).
II. Second explanation of the connected thoughts. Faith as the base of love.
1. 5:1a. Faith the proof of being born of God.
2. 5:1b-4. As the ground of love of the brethren, love of God the sign of love of the brethren.
3. 5:5-12. Faith, in its assurance, the witness that Jesus is the Christ.
The divisions adopted by Mr. R. Law in his study of the First Epistle (The Tests of Life: Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark, 1909) have many points of agreement with Häring’s scheme. He finds in the Epistle a threefold application of three tests by which the readers may satisfy themselves of their being “begotten of God.”
First Cycle, 1:5-2:28. The Christian life as fellowship with God, conditioned and tested by walking in the light.
Walking in the light tested by—
a. Righteousness, 1:6-2:6.
b. Love, 2:7-17.
c. Belief, 2:18-28.
Second Cycle, 2:29-4:6. The Christian life as that of Divine Sonship, approved by the same tests.
Divine Sonship tested by—
a. Righteousness, 2:29-3:10a.
b. Love, 3:10b-24a.
c. Belief, 3:24b-4:6.
Third Cycle, 4:7-5:21. Closer correlation of Righteousness, Love, and Belief.
Section I. 4:7-5:3a. Love.
a. The genesis of love, 4:7-12.
b. The synthesis of belief and love, 4:13-16.
c. The effect, motives, and manifestations of love, 4:17-5:3a.
Section II. 5:3b-21. Belief.
a. The power, content, basis, and issue of Christian belief, 5:3a-12.
b. The certainties of Christian belief, 5:13-21.
The substantial agreement of this analysis with that of Häring is remarkable, as Mr. Law explains in an appended note that Häring’s article was unknown to him at the time when he wrote the chapter which contains his analysis. It fails, however, to separate off the “Epilogue,” and is hardly so helpful as Häring’s scheme in tracing the (probable) sequence of thought. In parts it becomes rather an enumeration of subjects than an analysis. It also obscures the writer’s insistence that the showing of love, in the sphere where circumstances made it possible, i.e. to the brethren, is the first and most obvious expression of the righteousness which is obedience to God’s command, and which belief in Jesus as the Christ inspires.
An interesting correspondence between Dr. Westcott and Dr. Hort about the Divisions of the First Epistle has been published by the Rev. A. Westcott in the Expositor (3:481 ff., 1907). It contains several schemes, of which the most interesting is Dr. Hort’s Second Scheme of Divisions (p. 486) and his remarks upon it (p. 485 f.). The scheme is as follows:
1:5-2:17. God and the true light: goodness, not indifference.
2:18-3:24. Sonship to God, and hence likeness to His Son, and of abiding in Him.
4:1-5:17. Faith resting on knowledge of the truth the mark of the Divine Spirit, not indifference.
5:18-21. Conclusion. The Christian knowledge: the true and the false.
One paragraph of his appended remarks is so suggestive that it must be quoted in full. “The base of all, the first and the last, is the Christian knowledge, ‘That which we have seen and heard’ (οἴδαμεν). This is the necessary condition of Faith (III.), which is the necessary condition of Love (II.), which is the necessary condition of obedience (I.). After the Prologue we begin with this last simplest region, and feel our way downwards, naturally taking with us the results already obtained. Obedience is associated with light and the Father; Love, with abiding and the Anointed Son; Faith, with truth and the Spirit.” It would be difficult to find in the whole literature of the Johannine Epistles a more helpful clue in tracing the underlying connections of the “aphoristic meditations” contained in this Epistle. Mr. Law does not say whether this correspondence was known to him when he framed his scheme. If not, his underlying agreement with the suggestions of this paragraph, though not with the actual scheme proposed, is highly significant. But his threefold presentation of a twofold idea brings out more clearly the writer’s meaning and purpose. Belief and practice, faith and works, and the connection between the two, is his real subject. The showing of love is the most obvious example of the doing of righteousness ( = obedience).
It is interesting also to notice that Dr. Westcott was anxious to transfer the passage 4:1-6 from the third to the second section (cf. Häring), to which Dr. Hort replied, “As far as I can see, the symmetry of the Epistle cannot be restored if 4:1-6 is thrown back.” This is probably true if (p. 485) “the three great divisions themselves have a ternary structure.” Dr. Westcott also pleads for the “retention of the Epilogue (v. 13-21) instead of the connection of 13-17 with what precedes. On both these points the arrangement preferred by Dr. Westcott and Dr. Häring seems the better.
§ 5. The False Teachers
The exact nature of the false teaching which is denounced in these Epistles has been much disputed, and is still a matter of controversy. The opponents have been held to be Jews, or Judaizing Christians, or Gnostics, Judaizing or heathen, or some particular sect of Gnostics, Basilides, Saturninus, Valentinus or Cerinthus. Some have supposed the chief error denounced to be Docetism, others Antinomianism. A majority of interpreters still perhaps regard Cerinthianism, or teaching similar in character and tendency, as the main object of the writer’s denunciation. This view has, however, been seriously challenged in late years by several writers, among whom Wurm and Clemen deserve special consideration. Though they differ in their solution of the problem, they both maintain that the common view is untenable, especially in the light of 1 John 2:23, which they regard as limiting the doctrinal differences between the writer and his opponents to questions of Christology; and as demonstrating that with regard to the doctrine of the Father, their views must have been identical, or at least divided by no serious difference of opinion. This would, of course, exclude Cerinthianism, as defined by Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. xxvi. I, where the Creator of the world is described as uirtus quaedam ualde separata et distans ab ea principalitate quae est super universa et ignorans eum qui est super omnia Deum. Wurm finds in this verse convincing support for his view of the purely Jewish character of the opponent’s teaching. Clemen draws from it and the preceding verse the conclusion that the writer sees the most serious error of his opponents in their denial that the historical Jesus is the Christ in the Johannine sense of that term, i.e. the pre-existent Son of God, who alone can reveal the Father to men. But they both agree that the position of Cerinthus is excluded. They certainly have done good service in drawing attention to the importance of the bearing of 1 John 2:23 on the subject, even if further consideration may suggest that the conclusion which they have drawn is not inevitable.
One or Many?
Before examining in greater detail the character of the views held by the false teachers, it may be well to consider whether the writer has in view the opinions of one party only in all the sections in which he denounces false teaching, or whether he is combating different enemies in different passages. The unity of the false teaching is assumed by Wurm and by Clemen, and is accepted by perhaps the majority of writers on the subject. In one sense this is probably true. The writer does not attack the Christological opinions of two or more definite parties in chs. 2, 4, and 5. respectively, nor does he denounce the Christology of one party and the ethical shortcomings of another. The views which the writer’s statements justify us in attributing to his opponents are not necessarily inconsistent. They might all have been held by the same party. But they do not form a complete system. They might have been held in conjunction with other opinions of the most diverse characters. The work of reconstruction is always fascinating. But we have to remember how few of the necessary bricks are supplied to us, and how large a proportion of the building material we have to fashion for ourselves. We are bound, therefore, to consider carefully any hints which the writer himself gives us as to whether he has one or many opponents to meet, and whether he regards them as confined within one fold.
The expressions which he uses certainly suggest variety. He tells us that the popular expectation is being fulfilled, though not exactly in the way in which people were looking for it. The saying, “Antichrist cometh,” is finding its fulfilment in the many Antichrists who have come to be (2:18). This hardly suggests one leader and many likeminded followers, even if the various sections have all separated themselves off from the true body (ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐξῆλθαν). The readers are reminded that every lie (πᾶν ψεῦδος) shows the characteristic of being derived from some source other than the truth. The Antichrist is characterized by his denial that Jesus is the Christ. But every one that denies Him to be the pre-existent Son of God is cut off from all true knowledge of the Father (2:23). This statement is made with reference to those who lead astray (περὶ τῶν πλανώντωνὑμᾶς). The same variety of error may be traced in ch. 4. The readers are warned not to give credence to every spiritual utterance. The many spirits must be tested, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (4:1). Every spirit which denies Jesus is “not of God.” This denial is the mark of Antichrist, who is already working in the world in the doings of his many subordinates. It is only in the fifth chapter that the writer seems to deal more exclusively with one particular form of error, the denial that Jesus who is the Son of God (οὗτος) came by blood as well as by water, i.e. that both His sufferings and His death were essential parts of His Messianic work of salvation. This passage should not be allowed to outweigh the impression left by the earlier chapters, that varieties of false teaching are in the writer’s mind in most of what he has to say. And even in the fifth chapter most of the expressions used leave the same impression. Throughout he tries to fortify his readers by calling to their remembrance a few fundamental truths which will safeguard them from the attacks of all the varied dangers which threaten their faith, even if by way of illustration he refers more particularly to one attack which they had lately victoriously repelled. Truth is one, error is manifold, is the burden of his message throughout. And error which is manifold threatens in more forms than one.
Thus, if we may consider first the passages in which doctrinal errors are denounced apart from those which deal with moral dangers, the general impression left by these passages and by many individual expressions which occur in them, leads to the conclusion that the Epistle is directed against various forms of teaching. The writer sums up the different tendencies in them which seem to him most dangerous, and most characteristic of the times. He sets out clearly the corresponding truths which in his opinion will prove to be their safest antidote. At the same time his writing may have been occasioned by one special type of false teaching, or one special incident in the history of his Church in connection with it.
With this general caution in view it will be well to consider next how far various types of teaching are possibly reflected in the Epistle.
If one single enemy is in view, it cannot, of course, be the Jews who have never accepted Christianity. Those of whom the writer is thinking first are men who “have gone out from us.” The phrases used, in spite of the words “they were not of us,” point to a definite secession of men who called themselves Christians and were recognized as such. They cannot refer to a sharper division between Jews and Christians who had hitherto been on more friendly terms. But this obvious fact does not necessarily exclude all reference in the Epistle to non-Christian Jews. The writer’s object is clear. It is to keep his readers in the right path, which some of their former companions have been persuaded to leave. He must protect those who remain from all the dangers which threaten most seriously. And his insistence on the confession that Jesus is the Messiah makes it probable, if not certain, that the Jewish controversy was prominent among the dangers which threatened most loudly. The Jewish War and the destruction of Jerusalem must, of course, have affected most profoundly the relations of Judaism to Christianity. And the effect must have become manifest very soon after the taking of the Holy City. It not only embittered the hatred between Jews and Christians, which was often acute enough before, but it placed Jewish Christians who had not broken with their national hopes and aspirations in an almost desperate position. They had still perhaps hoped against hope for the recognition of Jesus as the Messiah by the majority of their nation. All such hopes had now been dashed to the ground. The Lord had not returned to save His people and nation, as they had hoped even to the last. And Christians had not been slow to point to the fate of Jerusalem as God’s punishment on the nation for their rejection of the Christ. Jewish Christians could no longer expect anything but the bitterest hatred from the members of their own nation with whom they had hoped for reunion. Their Lord had delayed His promised return. And many were ready to ask in scorn, “Where is the promise of His coming?” It is hardly surprising if their Jewish brethren succeeded in persuading some at least among them that they had been mistaken in supposing that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah of their nation. And if some openly cast in their lot with their own nation, others who still remained faithful may have been sorely tempted to accept the view that Jesus was indeed a prophet, sent by God and endowed by Him with higher powers, but not the Deliverer of the nation, and not the unique Son of God, with whom the writer and his fellow Christians identified Him. Such a danger threatened primarily, of course, only Jewish Christians, but it affected the whole body. For it was an essential part of the Christian creed as they apprehended it that salvation is of the Jews. The Jewish controversy was prominent throughout the first half of the second century. It may have reached its height about the time of Barcochba’s rebellion. But it must have entered upon an acute stage within a few years of the Fall of Jerusalem. It must have been a serious danger at any period to which it is possible to assign the date of our Epistle.
In this connection it is natural to take into account the evidence of the Fourth Gospel. It is hardly necessary to restate at any great length the obvious fact that the needs of the Jewish controversy are a dominant factor in the Evangelist’s choice of subject-matter and method of presentation. His hostility to his own nation, or rather to those who in his opinion falsely represented it and had proved unfaithful to its true vocation, is one of the most prominent characteristics of his work. In the Epistle it is far less prominent, but it is difficult to discover any real difference in the situations which the Gospel and the Epistle presuppose in this respect.
On the other hand, it is unsafe to deduce the Jewish character of the false teaching denounced from the words of ch. 2:22 f., πᾶς ὁ ἀρνούμενος τὸν υἱὸν οὐδὲ τὸν πατέρα ἔχει κ.τ.λ., as Wurm has done. He draws the following conclusions from the passage. (1) The false teachers themselves are not conscious of holding any views of God different from those of the faithful. (2) There was, in fact, no such difference in their teaching except such as was involved in the denial of the Son, the Revealer of the Father. The last statement is rather vague. It would admit of considerable differences of view as to the nature of the Father. And the first statement does not necessarily follow from the verses which are supposed to establish it. It is true, as Wurm and Clemen have pointed out, that the author states the fact that the false teachers “have not the Father” as a consequence of their Christology. He could hardly have written the words unless these teachers actually claimed to “have the Father.” But it does not follow that they claimed the possession in the same sense as orthodox Christians claimed it. And the whole passage loses in point unless there actually were real differences of view. The words can no doubt be interpreted of Jews whose conception of God was not materially different from that of Christians. But they are equally applicable, and they have far more point, if the writer has in view types of Gnostic thought, in which a claim was made to superior knowledge of the unknown Father imparted to a few spiritual natures, and unattainable by the average Christian. Of such teaching the views attributed to Cerinthus by Irenaeus may, at any rate, serve as an illustration, Post baptismum descendisse in eum ab ea principalitate quae est super omnia Christum figura columbae, et tunc annunciasse incognitum patrem. We compare the Greek of Epiphanius, ἀποκαλύψαι αὐτῷ καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ τοῖς μετʼ αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἄγνωστον πατέρα. Writers like Clemen and Wurm have assumed, perhaps too readily, that one possible interpretation of the passage is the only possible explanation.
The connection of the Epistle with Gnostic ideas is quite apparent. There is, of course, no more necessity to interpret the phrase ὁ λέγων ὅτι ἔγνωκα αὐτόν as presupposing any definite form of Gnosticism unknown before the second century, than there is to do so in the case of the Pauline ἡ γνῶσις φυσιοῖ, or εἴ τις ἀγαπᾷ τὸν θεὸν οὗτος ἔγνωσται ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ. Though σπέρμα may be the terminus technicus of Gnosis, our author’s doctrine of γεννηθῆναι ἐκ θεοῦ will explain its use in 3:9, however we may interpret the meaning of σπέρμα in the phrase (σπέρμα αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ μένει). A reference to the system of Basilides is far from being the only possible explanation (Pfleid. ii. 414). But Gnostic ideas are clearly a serious menace to the readers. The essence of the writer’s ἀγγελία is that God is light, and the following reiteration of this in negative form may well be aimed at the view that the Father of all is unknowable, or that what can be known of Him is revealed exclusively to a few (σκοτία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδεμία, cf. οἴδατε πάντες), unless, indeed, σκοτία must be taken in an ethical sense, as in what follows (there can be no fellowship with God, who is all light, for those who fail to obey His ἐντολαί). The condemnation of those who say that they “have not sin” points in the same direction. The use of the first person plural shows that the danger is regarded as imminent, if not actually present among the members of the community. The intellectual claims of the “illuminati” are met by insistence on the duty of love, and the obligations which it involves. And the confession demanded of “Jesus Christ come in the flesh” is the writer’s protest against the Gnostic doctrine of the impossibility of any real and complete union between the spiritual seed and that which is flesh (cf. John 1:14). The writer’s own sympathy with many Gnostic ideas is well known. Perhaps his greatest service, not only to his own generation but to all times, is his power “of absorbing into Christianity the great spiritual tendencies of his age,” thus “disarming their possible antagonism for his own age” and perpetuating their influence in subsequent ages.
The connection of this Epistle and 2 Jn. with Docetism has been recognized from early times. Cf. Polycarp, vii., πᾶς γὰρ ὃς ἂν μὴ ὁμολογῇ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθέναι ἀντίχριστός ἐστιν: Tertullian, De carne Christi, xxiv.; Dion. Alex. ap. Eus. H. E. vii. 25, 19, ταῦτα γὰρ (1 John 1:2, 1 John 1:3) προανακρούεται, διατεινόμενος, ὡς ἐν τοῖς ἑξῆς ἐδήλωσεν, πρὸς τοὺς οὐκ ἐν σαρκὶ φάσκοντας ἐληλυθέναι τὸν κύριον. And the same view has found favour down to the present time. It is to be found in the Religions-geschichtliche Volksbücher. Cf. Schmiedel, EBOJ, p 29, “Concerning Jesus these opponents of the writer taught that He is not the Christ (2:22). Here, too, we recognize again the assertion of the Gnostics, that Jesus is only the man with whom the Christ who came down from heaven was united for a time, and only in some loose kind of connection” (nur lose; cf. DVE, p. 116, nur aüsserlich). This is seen more clearly in 4:2 (DVE). They denied that Jesus Christ came in flesh; an expression directed equally against the other view of the Gnostics, that “He had a body only in appearance.” Cf. Encycl. Bibl., s.v. John, son of Zebedee, 57, “More precisely the false teachers disclose themselves to be Docetics.” It is, however, unfortunate that the term “Docetism” has both a wider and a narrower signification. It can be used in a more popular sense to characterize all teaching which denied the reality of the Incarnation, and therefore the reality and completeness of the Lord’s humanity. It may also be used more precisely of teaching which assigned to the Lord a merely phantasmal body, maintaining that He had a human body, of flesh and blood, only in appearance. The expressions used by Polycarp do not necessarily go beyond the wider and more popular usage. They contain no certain reference to Docetism in the stricter sense of the term. And the language of the Johannine Epistles does not necessarily presuppose the more precise Docetism. A comparison of the language of Ignatius makes this quite clear. Cf. Ign. ad Smyrn. ii. καὶ ἀληθῶς ἔπαθεν, ὡς καὶ ἀληθῶς ἀνέστησεν ἑαυτόν. οὐχ ὥσπερ ἄπιστοί τινες λέγουσιν τὸ δοκεῖν αὐτὸν πεπονθέναι, αὐτοὶ τὸ δοκεῖν ὄντες, καὶ καθὼς φρονοῦσιν καὶ συμβήσεται αὐτοῖς, οὖσιν ἀσωμάτοις καὶ δαιμονικοῖς: ad Trall. x, εἰ δὲ… λέγουσιν τὸ δοκεῖν πεπονθέναι αὐτόν, αὐτοὶ ὄντες τὸ δοκεῖν, ἐγὼ τί δέδεμαι; The watchword “Jesus Christ come in flesh” held good against both these forms of teaching, and the former naturally led to the latter. All Gnostic insistence on the incompatibility of flesh and spirit led in the same direction. But there is nothing in our Epistles which proves the existence of the stricter Docetism to which the letters of Ignatius bear witness. The false teachers are still apparently concerned with the earlier stage of the problem, the relation between the real man Jesus of Nazareth and the higher power with which He was brought into temporary connection.
We have seen, if the suggested interpretation of the Christological passages is in the main correct, that the author is trying to strengthen his readers’ defences against dangers which threaten from more than one quarter. As the Epistle proceeds, however, one particular danger becomes more prominent, and the passage in ch. v. contains clearer reference to one definite form of error than is probably to be found in the earlier chapters. Since the days when Polycarp told the story of John, the disciple of the Lord, and Cerinthus in the Baths of Ephesus, the view has been commonly held that the Johannine Epistles, if not the Gospel as well (cf. Jerome, In Joann.), were directed, at any rate in part, again the heresy of Cerinthus. This view has been seriously challenged by many writers. The grounds on which Wurm and Clemen have declared against it have been already considered. If the statements of 2:23 f. do not exclude the teaching of Cerinthus about the unknown Father, and the creation of the world (non a primo Deo factum esse mundum docuit sed a uirtute quadam ualde separata ab ea principalitate quae est super universa et ignorante eum qui est super omnia Deum), the more definite references of ch. v. (especially οὐκ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι μόνον ἀλλʼ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι καὶ ἐν τῷ αἵματι) are certainly more easily explained in connection with the teaching of Cerinthus, as recorded by Irenaeus (et 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 revolasse iterum Christum de Iesu, et Iesum passum esse et resurrexisse, Christum autem impassibilem perseverasse, existentem spiritalem), than by any other known system. The writer is denouncing the view that the passion was no essential part of the Messianic work of salvation. While they admitted that His baptism by John was a real mark of His Messianic career, a means by which He was fitted to carry out His work for men, the opponents refused to see a similar mark in the Crucifixion. He came by water but not by blood. This corresponds admirably with what Irenaeus tells of Cerinthus, and the reference to Cerinthianism is strongly maintained by Zahn (Einleitung, sec. 70), and also by writers of a different school, as Knopf (Nachapostol. Zeit. p. 328 ff.). So far as concerns the type of teaching which is referred to, there can be little doubt that it is the most probable view. But as the exact tenets of Cerinthus are a matter of dispute, it may be well to consider the accounts of it which we possess in greater detail.
Our chief authorities for the views of Cerinthus are Irenaeus and Hippolytus. As usual the contents of Hippolytus’ Syntagma must be deduced, and in part conjectured, from the writings of Epiphanius, Philaster, and pseudo-Tertullian. The Refutatio of (?) Hippolytus gives us hardly anything beyond material for reconstructing the original Greek of Irenaeus (Hipp. Philos. vii. 33). And as usual the Epiphanian account affords an interesting field for conjecture, where his statements cannot be checked by the other two writers who used the Syntagma, and are not derived from Irenaeus.
The Syntagma of Hippolytus must have contained at least the following information: (1) Cerinthus was the successor of Carpocrates. (2) His teaching resembled that of his predecessor as regards (a) The person of Christ. He was the son of Joseph and Mary. Philaster, Cerinthus successit huius errori et similitudini uanitatis docens de generatione Saluatoris; ps.-Tert. Similia docens, Christum ex semine Ioseph natum proponit, hominem illum tantummodo sine diuinitate contendens; Epiph. τὰ ἴσα τῷ προειρημένῳ εἰς τὸν Χριστὸν συκοφαντήσας ἐξηγεῖται καὶ οὗτος ἐκ Μαρίας καὶ ἐκ σπέρματος Ἰωσὴφ τὸν Χριστὸν γεγενῆσθαι. (b) The creation of the world. The world was made by angels. Cf. Phil. deque creatura angelorum; ps.-Tert. nam et ipse mundum institutum esse ab angelis (which Hilgenfeld has rightly restored for illis); Epiph. καὶ τὸν κόσμον ὁμοίως ὑπὸ ἀγγέλων γεγενῆσθαι.
His teaching differed from that of Carpocrates in its more sympathetic attitude towards Judaism. Cf. Phil. in nullo discordans ab illo eo nisi quia ex parte solum legi consentit quod a Deo data sit, which Lipsius rightly restores in Greek, ἀλλʼ ἢ ἐν τούτῳ μόνον ἐν τῷ ὁμολογεῖν ἀπὸ μέρους τὸν νόμον, ὅτι ἀπὸ θεοῦ δίδοται. Epiph. ἐν τῷ προσέχειν τῷ Ἰουδαισμῷ ἀπὸ μέρους. The Syntagma would seem also to have stated that Cerinthus regarded the God of the Jews as an angel, and probably as one of the κοσμοποιοὶ ἄγγελοι, by one of whom the Law was given to Israel. Cf. ps.-Tert. ipsam quoque legem ab angelis datam perhibens, Iudaeorum Deum non Dominum sed angelum promens; Epiph. φάσκει δὲ οὗτος τὸν νόμον καὶ τοὺς προφήτας ὑπὸ ἀγγέλων δεδόσθαι, καὶ τὸν δεδωκότα νόμον ἕνα εἶναι τῶν ἀγγέλων τῶν τὸν κόσμον πεποιηκότων, in the light of which we must interpret the sentence of Philaster, unintelligible as it stands, et ipsum Deum Iudaeorum eum esse aestimat qui legem dedit filiis Israel.
From this point onwards there is nothing more to be gathered from pseud.-Tertullian. Philaster adds a number of further details which emphasize the Judaizing character of Cerinthus’ teaching and views. He tells us that he insisted on circumcision (cf. Epiph. ch. v. περιετμήθη ὁ Ἰησοῦς περιτμήθητι καὶ αὐτός), and on the keeping of the Sabbath; and that he taught that Christ had not yet risen from the dead, but would rise hereafter (Christum nondum surrexisse a mortuis sed resurrecturum annuntiat”; cf. Epiph. ch. vi. Χριστὸν πεπονθέναι καὶ ἐσταυρῶσθαι, μήπω δὲ ἐγηγέρθαι, μέλλειν δὲ ἀνίστασθαι ὅταν ἡ καθόλου γένηται νεκρῶν ἀνάστασις); that he rejected the authority of S. Paul (cf. Epiph. ch. v. τὸν Παῦλον ἀθετοῦσι); that he paid honour to the traitor Judas; that he acknowledged the Gospel according to S. Matthew only (cf. Epiph. ch. v. χρῶνται γὰρ τῷ κατὰ Ματθαῖον εὐαγγέλιον ἀπὸ μέρους), rejecting the other three Gospels and the Acts; that he blasphemes the blessed Martyrs; and that he was the mover of the sedition against the Apostles, insisting on the circumcision of all converts; and that the Apostolic decree was promulgated against the movement instigated by him (cf. Epiph. ch. iii, who also adds to his crimes the opposition to S. Paul on his last visit to Jerusalem). The agreements between Epiphanius and Philaster are sufficiently marked to justify the view that Hippolytus in his Syntagma assigned some such Judaizing position to Cerinthus, though the attribution of many of the same tenets to “Ebion,” by Hippolytus and by Irenaeus, raises doubts as to the accuracy of the details. The Syntagma is in substantial agreement with Irenaeus as to Cerinthus’ views about the person of Christ and the creation of the world by an inferior power. The Judaizing views attributed to him are not inconsistent with anything in Irenaeus’ account. The only statement that really conflicts with his account is that concerning the resurrection of Christ. But we have found nothing so far to connect the teaching about the Baptism and Passion, given by Irenaeus, which offers the most striking resemblances to that denounced in ch. v. of the Epistle, with the earlier Hippolytean treatise. Lipsius however, (p 118), finds reasons for doing so in that part of the Epiphanian account which is derived mainly from Irenaeus (1:21, cf. Hipp. Philos. vii. 33). When all the definitely Irenaean matter is taken away, the remainder may be of the nature of explanatory additions made by Epiphanius himself; and this view is maintained by Hilgenfeld (Ketzergeschichte des Urchristenthums, p. 413). But Lipsius thinks that it must be derived from another source. For the sake of clearness it will be best to give the passage in full.
οὐκ ἀπὸ τῆς πρώτης καὶ ἄνωθεν δυνάμεως τὸν κόσμον γεγενῆσθαι, ἄνωθεν δὲ ἐκ τοῦ ἄνω θεοῦ μετὰ τὸ ἁδρυνθῆναι τὸν Ἰησοῦν τὸν ἐκ σπέρματος Ἰωσὴφ καὶ Μαρίας γεγεννημένον κατεληλυθέναι τὸν Χριστὸν εἰς αὐτόν, τουτέστι τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, ἐν εἴδει περιστερᾶς ἐν τῷ Ἰορδάνῃ καὶ ἀποκαλύψαι αὐτῷ καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ τοῖς μετʼ αὐτοῦ τὸνἄγνωστον πατέρα, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐπειδὴ ἦλθεν ἡ δύναμις εἰς αὐτὸν ἄνωθεν δυνάμεις ἐπιτετελεκέναι, καὶ αὐτοῦ πεπονθότος τὸ ἐλθὸνἄνωθεν ἀναπτῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἄνω, πεπονθότα δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶπάλιν ἐγηγερμένον, Χριστὸν δὲ τὸν ἄνωθεν ἐλθόντα εἰς αὐτὸν ἀπαθῆ ἀναπτάντα, ὅπερ ἐστὶ τὸ κατελθὸν ἐν εἴδει περιστερᾶς, καὶ οὐ τὸν Ἰησοῦν εἶναι τὸν Χριστόν.
Irenaeus (cf. Hipp. vii. 33)
οὐχ ὑπὸ τοῦ πρώτου θεοῦ γεγονέναι τὸν κόσμον, ἀλλʼ ὑπὸ δυνάμεως τινὸς κεχωρισμένης καὶ ἀπεχούσης τῆς ὑπὲρ τὰ ὅλα ἐξουσίας (? αὐθεντίας, principalitate) καὶ ἀγνοούσης τὸν ὑπὲρ πάντα θεόν, τὸν δὲ Ἰησοῦν ὑπέθετο μὴ ἐκ παρθένου γεγενῆσθαι (impossibile enim hoc ei uisum est) γεγονέναι δὲ αὐτὸν ἐξ Ἰωσὴφ καὶ Μαρίας υἱὸν ὁμοίως τοῖς λοιποῖς ἅπασιν ἀνθρώποις καὶ δικαιότερον γεγονέναι [καὶ φρονιμώτερον] καὶ σοφώτερον, καὶ μετὰ τὸ βάπτισμα κατελθεῖν εἰς αὐτὸν τὸν ἀπὸ τῆς ὑπὲρ τὰ ὅλα αὐθεντίας, τὸν Χριστὸν ἐν εἴδει περιστερᾶς καὶ τότε κηρύξαι τὸν ἄγνωστον πατέρα, καὶ δυνάμεις ἐπιτελέσαι, πρὸς δὲ τῷ τέλει ἀποστῆναι τὸν Χριστὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, καὶ τὸν Ἰησοῦν πεπονθέναι καὶ ἐγηγέρθαι, τὸν δὲ Χριστὸν ἀπαθῆ διαμεμενηκέναι πνευματικὸν ὑπάρχοντα.
Apart from particular expressions, some of which find parallels in his account of Carpocrates (cf. Haer. xxvii. 2, τῆς ἄνω δυνάμεως, ἀπεστάλθαι ὑπὸ τοῦ αὐτοῦ πατρὸς εἰς τὴν αὐτοῦ ψυχὴ νδυνάμεις). the non-Irenaean matter in Epiphanius is confined to the identification of the Christ who descended on Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the mention of the Jordan, the phrase τὸ ἐλθὸν ἄνωθεν (ὁ ἄνωθεν ἐλθών), and the denial that Jesus is the Christ. There is nothing here that Epiphanius could not have added by way of explanation and amplification. At the same time there is no obvious reason for the mention of the Spirit, unless Epiphanius is combining two accounts, one of which spoke of Christ and the other of the Holy Spirit as the power who descended on Jesus. It is noticeable that in Lipsius’ attempted reconstruction of the Syntagma (μετὰ δὲ ἁδρυνθῆναι τὸν Χριστὸν ἐληλυθέναι εἰς αὐτὸν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον ἐν εἴδει περιστερᾶς καὶ ἀποκαλύψαι αὐτῷ καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ τοῖς μετʼ αὐτὸν τὸν ἄνω θεόν, τὸν δὲ Χριστὸν ἐπειδὴ ἦλθεν εἰς αὐτὸν ἄνωθεν δύναμις δυνάμεις ἐπιτετελεκέναι καὶ αὐτοῦ πεπονθότος τὸ κατελθὸν ἀναπτῆναι ἄνω) most of the matter and much of the language is to be found in Irenaeus. But on the whole it seems probable that the Hippolytean account did contain a statement that a higher power (? the Holy Spirit) came upon Jesus (? the Christ) and left Him before the Passion. And if the original teaching of Cerinthus was that the Spirit descended on Jesus at the Baptism, there is a special significance in the language of the Epistle, τὸ πνεῦμα ἐστὶ τὸ μαρτυροῦν. The place of the Spirit, the writer would say, was to bear witness, not to perform the higher function which some had attributed to Him. We may perhaps compare the language of the Prologue to the Gospel, where the over estimation of the Baptist, whom possibly some had identified with the Messiah, and almost certainly many had extolled at the expense of Jesus of Nazareth, is similarly set aside (οὐκ ἦν ἐκεῖνος τὸ φῶς ἀλλʼ ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός). And if this was the original teaching of Cerinthus, it would not be inconsistent with the stress laid on the denial that Jesus is the Christ. Even if he admitted that the descent of the Spirit at the Baptism raised Him to the Messianic office (more probably he would regard it as setting Him apart for a prophet), he certainly would not allow the identification of Jesus from his birth with the Christ, in the Johannine sense of the term, the pre-existent Son of God.
We may then safely conclude that though other forms of false teaching are dealt with in the Epistles, the writer has specially in view the teaching of some opponent whose views were, at any rate, very similar to those of Cerinthus, so far as we can now determine them. He seems to have combined those Gnostic and Judaizing tendencies which the writer regarded as most dangerous. And the particular views which we have good grounds for attributing to him, whether they defined the relation of Jesus to the Christ, or that of the Spirit to Christ (i.e. Jesus), offer the most satisfactory explanation of the language of the fifth chapter of the First Epistle.
It is, of course, clear that the writer of these Epistles is combating errors of life and conduct as well as of doctrine. And it is almost a matter of certainty that he has in view the same opponents in what he says on both subjects. He could hardly have laid such stress on the necessary connection between true belief and right practice, if the errors of conduct which he denounces were conspicuously absent from the lives of those whose teaching he condemns. This has been clearly stated by Wurm, though he goes too far in maintaining that the praise which the writer bestows on his readers excludes the possibility that his warnings against certain practical errors could have special reference to them. It was clearly one of the chief dangers of the situation, as the writer viewed it, that those who had “gone out” had left many sympathizers behind, and many more who hardly knew how to make up their minds. There are, however, no grounds for supposing that in those passages which deal with moral shortcomings the writer has an altogether different party of opponents in view. As in the case of the Christological errors, he is content to point out the chief tendencies in which he foresees most danger. Again, his words have a wider reference than the one particular body of opponents, but he writes with the memory fresh in his mind of the recent withdrawal of a particular party from his Church, and their withdrawal was most probably the occasion of the First Epistle.
There is no evidence that this party had condoned, or been guilty of, the grosser sins of the flesh. That is not the most natural interpretation of the passage on which such a view has generally been based (2:16). By ἐπιθυμία τὴς σαρκός the writer seems to mean all desires which come to the natural man as yet untouched by the influence of the Spirit of God. The Johannine usage of the word σάρξ suggests this wider reference, by which the expressions used are not restricted to the fleshly sins.
But though the Epistle offers no traces of Antinomianism, it is clear that the opponents claimed that knowlege of God, fellowship with God, and love for God are compatible with disregard of at least some of the requirements of the Christian code. The words ὁ λέγων ὅτι ἔγνωκα αὐτὸν καὶ τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ μὴ τηρῶν ψεύστης ἐστίν are certainly directed against the false teachers, even if the writer is not thinking of them in 1:6, 8, 10. And in the following verse (2:5) the emphasis on ἀληθῶς (ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ τετελείωται) suggests the same thought. They must have claimed to know God as ordinary Christians could not know Him, without recognizing the obligation of complete obedience to the whole of His commands, or of living a life in conscious imitation of the life of the Master (ὀφείλει καθὼς ἐκεῖνος περιεπάτησεν καὶ αὐτὸς οὕτως περιπατεῖν). The following section (2:7 ff.) on the “new command,” however the “old” and the “new” are to be interpreted, shows that their special failure was a want of recognition in everyday life of the primary Christian duty, love of the brethren. The full significance of the passage is perhaps most apparent if we assume that the writer claims that the command to love the brethren is contained implicitly in the moral requirements of the Old Testament, recognized by himself and his opponents alike as having authority, but that it was placed in a wholly new light in the teaching and example of the Christ, who said ἐντολὴν καινὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους καθὼς ἠγάπησα ὑμᾶς (John 13:34); and that he makes the claim in opposition to a denial on the part of the false teachers that this was part of the requirements of God. They must have been unwilling to recognize that the ordinary and less enlightened members of the community had any real claims upon them. They may have preferred to stand well with the more intelligent Jews and heathen in whose midst they lived (μὴ ἀγαπᾶτε τὸν κόσμον), cf. 2:15, 16.
The writer returns to the subject in ch. 3., to which 2:29 leads up. As Weiss has pointed out, 3:4 would be a feeble argument against Antimomianism. To meet that he must have exchanged his subject and predicate. But the passage is significant nevertheless. It most naturally suggests that the opponents condemned “lawlessness,” but failed to see that all sin is lawless, being disobedience to the Divine law, which has been made known to men in various ways. The duty of obedience to certain definite precepts they recognized, but not the sinfulness of all falling short of the ideal of human life realized in the life of the Son of Man on earth. Again all becomes clear if we may suppose that their conduct was regulated by the moral precepts of the Old Testament rather than by the more exacting requirements of the “λόγος αὐτοῦ” which had now been put before men. In ver. 7 the words μηδεὶς πλανάτω ὑμᾶς may contain a more definite allusion to particular opponents. The doing of righteousness constitutes the only claim to be righteous, and again “He” has set the standard of doing (καθὼς ἐκεῖνος ἔστιν δίκαιος). The indifference of action as compared with other supposed qualifications, such as, for instance, descent from Abraham, or the possession of the “pneumatic” seed, is clearly part of the opponents’ creed. They must have claimed to be δίκαιοι without admitting the necessity of “doing the works.”
Thus on the practical as well as on the theoretical side we seem to trace the same mixture of Jewish and Gnostic ideas which must have formed the most pressing dangers to the moral and spiritual life of a Christian community towards the end of the first century or at the beginning of the second, or perhaps even later. Such matters really afford very little material for accurate dating. No account has been taken of the Chiliastic views attributed to Cerinthus by Caius of Rome and others. If the attribution is correct, they are not inconsistent with his Judaizing position. The implied suggestions of immorality are not supported by any tangible evidence. In all other respects the teaching attributed to Cerinthus by the more trustworthy heresiologists affords a typical example of the errors which are condemned in the Johannine Epistles.
1 If, for present purposes, we may so describe the man who has given it to us in its present form.
1 Unless, indeed, the Epistle was written to accompany its publication sometime after it was written.
1 Perhaps the phrase καὶ ταῦτα γράφομεν of ver. 4 implies that vv. 1-3 contain something more than a summary of the contemplated letter.
1 Recent Criticism of the Fourth Gospel, p. 245.
1 Rothe, Der erste Brief Johannis, p. 4.
1 Cf. Zahn, Forschungen, iii. 92, etc., from whom most of the information in this paragraph is taken.
1 “Secundum sententiam hanc etiam illud est quod dictum est a Ioanne in epistola ad Parthos.”
2 Cf. Mill, p. clx.
§ 6. Literary History
In tracing the history of books and documents it is important to emphasize the difference between echoes, influences, direct use and direct quotation, with or without indication of authorship. Professor Bacon has rightly called attention to this in his recent work on the Johannine Problem. The distinction has always been recognized by competent scholars in dealing with the Books of the New Testament, though they have held very different opinions as to what may be reasonably concluded from the facts of usage. The undoubted attribution of the Epistles to John by name is not found in extant works till the last quarter of the second century. The use of them can, however, be traced at a much earlier date. The following list of “echoes and influences” of the Epistles which have been found in the writings of the second century and early decades of the third, are not all equally certain, but at least deserve consideration.
Clem. Rom. xlix. 5. ἐν τῇ ἀγὰπῃ ἐτελειώθησαν πάντες οἰ ἐκλεκτοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ. I 4:18. ὁ δὲ φοβούμενος οὐ τετελείωται ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ.
Clem. l.3. ἀλλʼ οἱ ἐν ἀγάπῃ τελειω θέντες.
The verbal similarity is interesting, but the meaning is different at least in the first passage. The 49th chapter has clearer reminiscences of 1Co_13. The opening sentence, ὁ ἔχων ἀγάπην ἐν Χριστῷ ποιησάτω τὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ παραγγέλματα, suggests more clearly the teaching of the Johannine Epistles. But no weight can be attached to this coincidence of language.
Polycarp, ad Phil. c. vii. πᾶς γὰρ ὃς ἂν μὴ ὁμολογῇ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθέναι, ἀντίχριστός ἐστιν. καὶ ὃν ἂν μὴ ὁμολογῇ τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦσταυροῦ ἐκ τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστίν. I 4:2. πᾶν πνεῦμα ὃ ὁμολογεῖ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθότα ἐκτοῦ θεοῦ ἐστίν, καὶ πᾶν πνεῦμα ὁ μὴ ὁμολογεῖ τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐ κἔστιν· καὶ τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ τοῦ ἀντίχριστου, ὃ ἀκηκόατε ὅτι ἔρχεται.
I 3:8. ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἐκ τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστίν.
I 2:18. καθὼς ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἀντίχριστος ἔρχεται καὶ νῦν ἀντίχριστοι πολλοὶ γεγόνασιν.
I 2:22. Τίς ἐστιν ὁ ψεύστης εἰ μὴ ὁ ἀρνούμενος ὅτι Ἰησοῦς οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Χριστόσ; οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἀντίχριστος, ὁ ἀρνούμενος τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὸν υἱόν.
II 7. πολλοὶ πλάνοι ἐξῆλθαν εἰς τὸνκόσμον, οἱ μὴ ὁμολογοῦντες Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐρχόμενον ἐν σαρκί· οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ πλάνος καὶ ὁ ἀντίχριστος.
The importance of this passage justifies a full presentation of the evidence. The connection between the passage in Polycarp and 1 John 4:2, or 2 John 1:7, is obvious. No one who has read the Johannine Epistles and the Epistle of Polycarp can doubt on which side lies the probability of originality. And the way in which Polycarp seems to use the language and thoughts of the Johannine Epistles is closely parallel to his use throughout his Epistle of the language and contents of other books of the New Testament. The obvious connection of the first sentence with the language of S. John’s Epistles makes it natural to see in the second, which contains the Johannine phrase ἐκ τοῦ διαβόλου ἐστίν, an echo of the teaching of the First Epistle of St. John on the Passion as being, equally with the Baptism, characteristic of the Lord’s Messianic work (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἐλθὼν διʼ ὕδατος καὶ αἵματος). If so, the case for the connection with the First Epistle is strengthened. The sentences in Polycarp give the reason for his appeal to the Philippians to serve the Lord with all fear and reverence, as the Lord Himself commanded, and the Apostles who preached His Gospel to them, and the Prophets who predicted His coming, “abstaining from offences and from false brethren, and from those who bear the name of the Lord in hypocrisy, who lead foolish men astray” (οἵτινες ἀποπλανῶσι κενοὺς ἀνθρώπους, cf. 1 John 2:26, ταῦτα ἔγραψα ὑμῖν περὶ τῶν πλανώντων ὑμᾶς). The context recalls the situation of the Second Epistle (2 John 1:10 f.), the language and thought are more closely connected with the First. The passage may be said to prove the acquaintance of Polycarp with the teaching contained in the Epistles, or with the man who taught it. It establishes a very high degree of probability that he was acquainted with the actual Epistles. In view of it there would have to be very strong reasons to justify us in placing the Johannine Epistles later than the Epistle of Polycarp. And it must be remembered that his Epistle, if genuine, must be dated immediately after the martyrdom of Ignatius (see Polycarp, ad Phil.c. xiii.).
Papias (Eus. H. E. iii. 39. 3). (ἔχαιρον) … τοῖς τὰς παρὰ τοῦ κυρίου τῇ πίστει δεδομένας (sc. ἐντολάς) καὶ ἀπʼ αὐτῆς παραγινομένας τῆσἀληθείας. 3:12. Δημητρίῳ μεμαρτύρηται ὑπὸ πάντων καὶ ὑπὸ αὐτῆς τῆς ἀληθείας.
Eus. iii. 39. 17. κέχρηται δʼ ὁ αὐτὸς μαρτυρίαις ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰωάννου προτέρας ἐπιστολῆς.
The use of the phrase αὐτὴ ἡ ἀλήθεια by the “Presbyter” and by Papias may, of course, be an accidental coincidence, but it is not without significance in the light of Eusebius’ statement, which we have not the slightest reason for discrediting. The First Epistle, if not the two smaller letters, must have been known and valued during the first quarter of the second century. The evidence does not amount to actual proof, as it is, of course, impossible to distinguish between personal acquaintance with the author and his teaching, and knowledge of the actual text of the Epistles. The evidence does not exclude the possibility of such teaching being embodied in Epistles at a later date. But there can be little doubt as to which hypothesis is the simpler and the more natural.
Didache, c. x. μνήσθητι Κύριε, τῆς ἐκκλησίας σου τοῦ ῥύσασθαι αὐτὴν ἀπὸ παντὸς πονηροῦ καὶ τελειῶσαι αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ σου. I 4:18. οὐ τετελείωται ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ.
τελειῶσαι ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ may be a reminiscence of the language, as it certainly recalls the thought, of the Epistle.
Hermas, M. iii. I. ὅτι ὁ Κύριος ἀληθινὸς ἐν παντὶ ῥήματι, καὶ οὐδὲν παρʼ αὐτῷ ψεῦδος. I 2:27. τὸ αὐτοῦ χρίσμα—ἀληθές ἐστιν καὶ στιν ψεῦδος.
The coincidence of language may possibly suggest a connection between the two passages, but it certainly does not prove it.
Ep. to Diognetus, xi. 14. οὗτος (cf. § 3, οὗ χάριν ἀπέστειλε Λόγον) ὁ ἀπʼἀρχῆς ὁ καινὸς φανεὶς καὶ παλαιὸς εὑρεθείς. I 1:1. ὃ ἦν ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς.
10:2. ὁ γὰρ θεὸς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἠγάπησε … πρὸς οὓς ἀπέστειλε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ. I 4:9. ἐν τούτῳ ἐφανερώθη ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἡμῖν, ὅτι τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦτὸν μονογενῆ ἀπέσταλκεν ὁ θεὸς εἰς τὸν κόσμον (cf. John 3:16, John 3:17).
3. ἐπιγνοὺς δὲ τίνος οἴει πληρωθήσεσθαι χαρᾶς ἢ πῶς ἀγαπήσεις τὸν οὔτως προαγαπήσαντά σε; I 4:19. ἡμεῖς ἀγαπῶμεν, ὅτι αὐτὸς πρῶτος ἠγάπησεν ἡμᾶς.
I 1:4. ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ἡμῶν ᾖ πεπληρωμένη.
The echoes of Johannine thought are obvious, and on the whole the similarity is greater with the Epistle than with the Gospel.
Ep. Lugd. et Vienn. (Eus. v. i. 10). Ἔχων δὲ τὸν παράκλητον ἐν ἑαυτῷ, τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ Ζαχαρίου, ὃ διὰ τοῦ πληρώματος τῆς ἀγάπης ἐνεδείξατο,εὐδοκήσας ὑπὲρ τῆς τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἀπολογίας καὶ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ θεῖναι ψυχήν. ἦν γὰρ καὶ ἔστιν γνήσιος Χριστοῦ μαθητής, ἀκολουθῶν τῷ ἀρνίῳ ὃπου ἂν ὑπάγῃ. I 3:16. Ἐν τούτῳ ἐγνώκαμεν τὴν ἀγάπην, ὅτι ἐκεῖνος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἔθηκεν· καὶ ἡμεῖς ὀφείλομεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν τὰς ψυχὰς θεῖναι.
The connection with Johannine thought and expression is quite unmistakable. The true following of the Lamb, as shown in the readiness of Veltius Epagathus to lay down (? stake) his life for the brethren, is almost certainly a reminiscence of the First Epistle.
Irenaeus, III. xvi. 5. “Quemadmodum Ioannes Domini discipulus confirmat dicens Haec autem (John 20:31). … Propter quod et in epistola sua sic testificatus est nobis Filioli, nouissima hora est (1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:19, 1 John 2:21—in the form Cognoscite ergo quoniam omne mendacium extraneum est et non est de ueritate—22 to Antichristus).”
8. “Quos et Dominus nobis cauere praedixit et discipulus eius Ioannes in praedicta epistola fugere eos praecepit dicens Multi seductores exierunt in hunc mundum (2 John 1:7, 2 John 1:8 to operati estis). Et rursus in Epistola ait Multi pseudoprophetae exierunt de saeculo (1 John 4:1-3 to omnis Spiritus qui soluit Iesum non est ex Deo sed de Antichristo est). Haec autem similia sunt illi quod in euangelio dictum est, quoniam Uerbum caro factum est et habitauit in nobis. Propter quod rursus in Epistola clamat, Omnis qui credit quia Iesus est Christus, ex Deo natus est, unum et eundem sciens Iesum Christum,” etc.
We have now come to the age of definite quotation by name. Irenaeus’ use of the Epistles in this passage, the only one in which he makes definite quotations, is interesting. It reminds us of the differences of custom in quotation by the writers of the last quarter of the second century, and perhaps of the difference between what was customary in definitely theological treatises as opposed to letters, or apologetic writings. We should, for instance, be in a better position to determine Justin’s exact use of N.T. writings if his Syntagma against Heresies had been preserved. The quotation is also interesting if considered in connection with other evidence of this period and that which succeeded it, as suggesting that, in some places, at any rate, the first two Epistles of S. John were known and used before the third gained as wide a circulation.
Clem. Alex. Str. ii, 15. 66. Φαίνεται δὲ καὶ Ἰωάννης ἐν τῇ μείζονι ἐπιστολῇ τὰς διαφορὰς τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἐκδιδάσκων ἐν τούτοις·Ἐάν τις ἴδῃ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ ἁμαρτάνοντα ἁμαρτίαν μὴ πρὸς θάνατον, αἰτήσει, καὶ δώσει αὐτῷ ζωήν, τοῖς ἁμαρτάνουσι μὴ πρὸσθάνατον· εἶπεν· Ἔστι γὰρ ἁμαρτία πρὸς θάνατον· οὐ περὶ ἐκείνης λέγω, ἵνα ἐρωτήσῃ τις.πᾶσα ἀδικία ἁμαρτία ἐστί, καὶ ἔστιν ἁμαρτία μὴ πρὸς θάνατον (1 John 5:16 f.).
Ib. Str. iii. 4, 32. καί· Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν, φησὶν ὁ Ἰωάννης ἐν τῇ ἐπιστολῇ, ὅτι κοινωνίαν ἔχομεν μετʼ αὐτοῦ, τουτέστι μετὰ τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ ἐν τῷ σκότει περιπατῶμεν, ψευδόμεθα καὶ οὐ ποιοῦμεν τὴν ἀλήθειαν· ἐὰν δὲ ἐν τῷ φωτὶ περιπατῶμεν ὡς αὐτὸς ἐν τῷ φωτί,κοινωνίαν ἔχομεν μετʼ αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ αἷμα Ἰησοῦ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ καθαρίζει ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τῆς ἁμαρτίας (1 John 1:6 f.).
Ib. Str. iii. 5. 42. καὶ πᾶς ὁ ἔχων τὴν ἐλπίδα ταύτην ἐπὶ τῷ κυρίῳ ἁγνίζει, φησίν, ἑαυτὸν καθὼς ἐκεῖνος ἅγνός ἐστιν.
Ib. 44. Ὁ λέγων, ἔγνωκα τὸν κύριον, καὶ τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ μὴ τηρῶν ψεύστης ἐστίν, καὶ ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἀλήθεια οὐκ ἔστιν, Ἰωάννης λέγει.
Ib. Str. iii. 6, 45. πρῶτον μὲν τὸ τοῦ ἀποστόλου Ἰωάννου. Καὶ νῦν ἀντίχριστοι πολλοὶ γεγόνασιν, ὅθεν ἐγνώκαμεν ὅτι ἐσχάτη ὥρα ἐστίν. ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐξῆλθον, ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἦσαν ἐξ ἡμῶν· εἰ γὰρ ἦσαν ἐξ ἡμῶν, μεμενήκεισαν ἂν μεθʼ ἡμῶν.
Ib. Quis div. salv. 37, 6. θείως γε καὶ ἐπιπνόως ὁ Ἰωάννης· Ὁ μὴ φιλῶν, φησί, τὸν ἀδελφὸν ἀνθρωποκτόνος ἐστί (1 John 3:15), σπέρμα τοῦ Καίν, θρέμμα τοῦ διαβόλου.
Ib. Str. iv. 16, 100. Τεκνία μὴ ἀγαπῶμεν λόγῳ μηδὲ γλώσσῃ ‹φησὶν› Ἰωάννης τελείους εἶναι διδάσκων, ἀλλʼ ἐν ἔργῳ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ. ἐν τούτῳ γνωσόμεθα ὅτι ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας ἐσμέν (1 John 3:18 f.) ·εἰ δὲ ἀγάπη ὁ θεός (1 John 4:16) ἀγάπη καὶ ἡ θεοσέβεια· Φόβος οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ, ἀλλʼ ἡ τελεία ἀγάπη ἔξω βάλλει τὸν φόβον (1 John 4:18) · αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ τηρῶμεν (1 John 5:3).
Ib. Str. v. 1, 13. Ἀγάπη δὲ ὁ θεός· ὁ τοῖς ἀγαπῶσι γνωστός (1 John 4:16).
Ib. Str. iv. 18, 113. Ἀγάπη τοίνυν καὶ ὁ θεὸς εἴρηται, ἀγαθὸς ὤν (1 John 4:16).
Ib. Quis div. salv. 38. Ἀγάπη καλύπτει πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶν· ἡ τελεία ἀγάπη ἐκβάλλει τὸν φόβον· (1 John 4:18) οὐ περπερεύεται κ.τ.λ.
Clement makes full use of the First Epistle, and recognizes at least two. The question whether he commented on all three Epistles, or on two only, in his Adumbrationes, is discussed subsequently.
“Quid ergo mirum si Ioannes tam constanter singula etiam in epistulis suis proferat, dicens in semetipsum ‘quae uidimus oculis nostris et auribus audiuimus et manus nostrae palpauerunt, haec scripsimus uobis.’ Sic enim non solum uisorem se Est_1 auditorem, sed et scriptorem omnium mirabilium domini per ordinem profitetur.
“Epistola sane Judae et superscriptae2 Iohannis duae in catholica habentur et Sapientia ab amicis Salomonis in honorem ipsius scripta.”
The text is taken from Dr. Zahn’s Grundriss d. Geschichte d. NT. Kanons, p. 78. It is not necessary here to go over again the controversy raised by the different interpretations of these two passages in the Muratorianum which have been maintained by competent scholars. There can be no doubt that the (Greek) author of the document regarded the Epistles as the work of John the Apostle. But there is nothing to suggest that the Church for which he speaks (? Rome) accepted as Scripture more than two Johannine Epistles. Students can only feel astonishment at such statements as that of Dr. Gregory (Canon and Text of the New Testament, p. 132), “The way in which these two small Epistles of John are named seems odd,” which assumes a reference to the two shorter letters in the second paragraph quoted, without further discussion. This will be more fully discussed later on in connection with the other evidence for the circulation of only two Johannine Epistles.
Origen, In Joann. v. 3 (ex Euseb. H. E. vi. 25), Τί δεῖ περὶ τοῦ ἀναπεσόντος ἐπὶ τὸ στῆθος λέγειν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, Ἰωάννου, ὃς εὐαγγέλιον ἓν καταλέλοιπεν, ὁμολογῶν δύνασθαι τοσαῦτα ποιήσειν, ἃ οὐδὲ ὁ κόσμος χωρῆσαι ἐδύνατο; ἔγραψε δὲ καὶ τὴν Ἀποκάλυψιν, κελευσθεὶς σιωπῆσαι καὶ μὴ γράψαι τὰς τῶν ἕπτα βροντῶν φωνάς, [καταλέλοιπε] καὶ ἐπιστολὴν πάνυ ὀλίγων στίχων, ἔστω δὲ καὶ δευτέραν καὶ τρίτην, ἐπεὶ οὐ πάντες φασὶ γνησίους εἷναι ταύτας· πλὴν οὐκ εἰσὶ στίχων ἀμφότεραι ἑκατόν.
Origen makes very full use of the First Epistle. There are no quotations or “echoes” of the smaller Epistles. At least none are recorded in Lommatzsch’s indices, or in the volumes at present published in the Berlin Corpus. We do not know the original Greek of the passage in the VIIth Homily on Joshua (§ 1) which Rufinus translated, “Addit nihilominus adhuc et Ioannes tuba canere per epistolas” (Lomm. 11:63).
Tertullian’s use of the First Epistle is full. He frequently quotes it by name. It is unnecessary to quote the passages here in full. Their evidence has been used in the Appendix on the Latin text of the Epistle. His use of the Second Epistle is doubtful, and there is no trace of the Third in his writings.
The evidence which has been quoted above shows that the date of the Johannine Epistles cannot reasonably be placed later than the first decade of the second century. The first Epistle was known and valued by the generation of Papias and Polycarp, and it was not only towards the close of their lives that they became acquainted with it. So far as their origin is concerned, it is difficult to separate the two shorter Epistles from the First. They bear on their face marks of genuineness which can hardly be seriously questioned. They deal practically with questions, about the limits within which hospitality should be shown to travelling teachers, which are known to have been matters of controversy in the first half of the second century, and which probably often called for solution some considerable time before that. It is almost inconceivable that any one should have written them “to do honour” to some “great light” of earlier times, or to the Apostle himself, as the Asiatic Presbyter, of whom Tertullian tells us, tried to do honour to S. Paul by writing the Acta Pauli, or as the “friends” of Solomon, perhaps Philo himself, in the view of the author of the Muratorian Fragment, thought to honour the Jewish king. No one would have created for the glorification of an Apostle, or even a Presbyter, the very dubious situation of disputed authority which the Third Epistle reveals. Even if his object had been rather to gain Apostolic or early authority for particular methods of treating strangers, he could hardly have done his work so badly as such a theory would imply. The reasons for preferring at a later date the view which attributes the authorship to an Elder as opposed to the “Apostolic” author of the First Epistle, are obvious. It is almost impossible to find any serious reason to explain their survival except the authority and reputation of their real author, whoever he may have been. They go with the First Epistle; and in view of their contents, their preservation, and the traditions attached to them, we are fully justified in attributing their authorship to the Elder, who doubtless “lived on till the time of Trajan,” and whose authority and reputation in the province of Asia stood so high throughout the second century.
The history of the reception of the three Epistles into the Canon of the New Testament is more difficult to trace. There is no doubt that the First Epistle was generally accepted before the close of the second century. The only certain exception is the Canon of Edessa, where we know from the Doctrine of Addai that as late as the fourth century (? fifth) the statement that no books should be accepted as Scripture, to be read in church, except the Gospel (i.e. the Diatessaron), the Acts, and the Epistles of Paul, was retained without comment in the legendary account of the origins of Christianity in that quarter. The same Canon is found in the Syrian Canon (? c. 400 a.d.), found in Cod. Syr. 20 (saec. ix.) of the convent of S. Catharine on Mt. Sinai1 (A. S. Lewis, London, 1894). The chief evidence for the acceptance of only one Epistle is as follows. (1) Eusebius’ knowledge of the use and acceptance of the Epistles in early times led him to place only the First Epistle among the ὁμολογούμενα, the two smaller Epistles being placed among the ἀντιλεγόμενα, γνώριμα τοῖς πολλοῖς, with the added caution, “whether they be by the Evangelist, or by another of the same name.”2 (2) The statement by Origen, quoted above, that the authorship of the two smaller Epistles is disputed, and the fact that he does not seem to have quoted them, which in his case is perhaps significant. (3) The Canon of the Peshitta, in which only three Catholic Epistles find a place, a Canon which is frequently found in the East. But the acceptance of the “seven-letter” Canon must be dealt with later on. (4) The protest of the scribe of the Cheltenham list (Mommsen’s Canon? 360 a.d.), or of his predecessor, who has added after the mention of the three Johannine Epistles the words “una sola,” as after that of the two Petrine Epistles.3 On the other hand, we have earlier evidence of the use of 2 John as authoritative in Africa. (5) In the attribution of the two smaller Epistles to the “Elder,” in the Roman list of 382 (cf. JTS, 1900, i. 554-560), where the influence of Jerome is clearly to be seen, “Iohannis apostoli epistula una alterius Iohannis presbyteri epistulae duae.”
The evidence for the acceptance of the first two Epistles without the third is less clear, and not very easy to interpret. But it is sufficiently definite and widespread to deserve serious consideration. (1) We have seen how Irenaeus confuses the two Epistles. There is no trace of the use of the Third Epistle in his writings. (2) We have evidence of the use of the first two Epistles in Africa in Cyprian’s time. He himself frequently quotes the First Epistle, and the quotation of 2 John 1:10, 2 John 1:11 by Aurelius a Chullabi (Sententiae Episcoporum, 81, p. 459, ed. Hartel) vindicates for it a place in the African, at least in the Carthaginian, Bible of that period. Again we find no trace of the Third Epistle. (3) The usage of Gaul and Africa is supported by that of Rome. There can be little doubt as to what is the natural interpretation of the language used by the author of the Muratorian Fragment. When he is dealing with the Gospels, and feels himself obliged to defend the Fourth Gospel against attacks which clearly had been made on it, probably by Caius, he quotes the Epistle in support of his view that the Fourth Gospel was the work of an eye-witness of the ministry, to prove that the author plainly declares himself not only a witness, but also a hearer and recorder of all the wonders of the Lord in order. When he comes to that in the Epistles, he makes the plain statement that in his Church two Epistles of John are received. There is nothing to suggest that he excludes the First, which he has already quoted elsewhere, or that he is dealing now only with doubtful books. Dr. Zahn’s argument1 on this point would seem to prove too much, for it involves the consequence that the only books which the Roman Church at that time treated as undoubted Scripture were those contained in the restricted Canon of Edessa, Gospel(s), Acts, Pauline Epistles. (4) The fact that the Latin epitome by Cassiodorus, and Clement’s Adumbrationes on the Catholic Epistles, contain notes on the first two Epistles of S. John only, is significant. The evidence of Eusebius, who states that Clement commented on all the (seven) Catholic Epistles, as well as on Barnabas and the Petrine Apocalypse, which is supported by Photius, must be set against this. But the suspicion is at least well grounded that the general statement of Eusebius may be loose. On the other hand, no stress can be laid on Clement’s use (see above, p. lvi) of the phrase ἐν τῇ μείζονι ἐπιστολῇ. It is equally compatible with his recognition of three Epistles or of two. And later writers who undoubtedly accepted all seven Catholic Epistles frequently quote the First Epistles of Peter and John as “the Epistle” of those writers.
It is difficult to estimate the exact bearing of this evidence; but in view of its distribution, and the definite character of some of it, we can hardly neglect it. It is quite natural that, even where it was fully accepted, the Third Epistle should have left hardly any trace of its existence. There is scarcely a phrase in it, not found in the other Epistles, which we should expect to find quoted. But such as it is, the evidence points to a period when only two Johannine Epistles were generally accepted in the West, and perhaps at Alexandria, a Church which is frequently found in agreement with the West rather than the East, in matters connected with the Canon as well as in matters of greater importance. The Second Epistle would seem to have come into circulation more rapidly than the Third. The evidence does not, at any rate, justify the usual treatment of the two shorter letters as a pair of inseparable twins. With the possible exception of one phrase (ἀπʼ αὐτῆς τῆς ἀληθείας) in Papias’ quotation, or summary, of the words of the Presbyter, we find no certain trace of language of the Third Epistle till the time of Augustine and Jerome. It was known to Origen, whose influence on Eusebius is perhaps most clearly seen in his treatment of the books which form the first section of his “Antilegomena.” It is possible that his predecessor Clement treated it as Scripture. But it seems to have been very little used. It is quoted by Augustine and Jerome, and formed part of the Bible out of which Augustine selected his “Speculum,” which must, of course, be clearly distinguished from the Liber de Divinis Scripturis, generally known as ‘m,’ in which there is no quotation from the Third Epistle. The text found in the Speculum is, of course, Vulgate, whether that text goes back to S. Augustine himself, as Professor Burkitt supposes (JTS xi. 263 ff., 1910), or is due to subsequent alteration. Sabatier’s attempt to reproduce fragments of an old Latin translation of the Third Epistle from the quotations in Augustine and Jerome, shows that it probably existed in an old Latin pre-Vulgate text,—a fact which is placed beyond doubt by the fragment contained in the Latin of Codex Bezae.
The history of the smaller Epistles is closely connected with that of the substitution of the seven-letter Canon of Catholic Epistles for the three-letter Canon of the East, and of which a short sketch must now be given.
In the East the Epistle of James, which Origen certainly treated as Scripture in some sense, though not without recording the doubts which were felt about it, was soon added to the generally recognized Epistles, 1 Peter and 1 John. These three letters form the Canon of Catholic Epistles in the Peshitta. And this three-letter Canon is found in all the provinces which were under the influence of Antioch. Chrysostom, who was moved from Antioch to Constantinople in 398, knows and uses no other Catholic Epistles. The same Canon is found in the Cappadocian Fathers, Basil, Gregory of Nazianzum, and Gregory of Nyssa in the last quarter of the fourth century. According to Lietzmann,1 the same can be proved to have been the usage of Methodius of Olympus about 300 a.d. During the fourth century the process of replacing this shorter Canon by the fuller seven-letter Canon was begun and in most places carried through. It is fully recognized by Eusebius in several places, and his formal list, in which the five Epistles, James, Jude, 2, 3 John, 2 Peter are separated off from the rest of the Antilegomena, suggests that it is the Canon which he himself preferred. In this he was no doubt influenced by the statements of Origen about these letters. In 367, Athanasius put it forward in his thirty-ninth Festal Letter as the official list of Egypt. It is, however, found still earlier in Cyril of Jerusalem (340). The fact that the letters always are found in the same order, wherever this Canon is used in the East, suggests that here its adoption was a matter of definite policy, due probably to the necessity for uniformity felt by the Nicenes in their struggle with the influence of the Court. The varying orders found in the West point to a more natural and gradual process of adoption. It may be noticed that Gregory of Nazianzum names all seven Epistles in his list of the Canon, but his own practice seems to have been to quote only those found in the shorter Canon. Both the three-and the seven-letter Canons are mentioned in the list of Amphilochius of Iconium in Lycaonia. In the Island of Cyprus, Epiphanius is a supporter of the seven-letter Canon. On the other hand, Theodoret of Cyrus (430-450) apparently uses in his writings only the three letters. In the Syriac Bible the seven Epistles appear first in the recension of Philoxenus of Mabug (500).
Enough has been said of the history of the reception of the Johannine letters in the West. The acceptance of the Athanasian Canon, which contained the three letters of S. John, and its final supremacy in the West, were due to the influence of Augustine and Jerome. As we see from the Canon Mommsenianus, it did not pass without protest.
Thus the literary history of the letters shows that the assignment of an early date to the two shorter letters, especially to the Third, depends on the internal evidence of their character and content rather than on external attestation. Their final acceptance was undoubtedly due to the belief of the men of the fourth century, and in part of the third, in their Apostolic origin. During the earlier period of their obscurity they would hardly have been preserved but for the respect felt for their author. Internal evidence is practically decisive against the hypothesis of forgery. The question of their authorship is part of the wider problem, which still awaits a satisfactory solution, of the authorship and date of the “Ephesian Canonical Writings” and of the personality of the Ephesian “Elder.”
§ 7. The Text
The following list gives most of the older and more important manuscripts and authorities for the text of the Epistles:
B. δ1. Codex Vaticanus. Rome. Vat. Gr. 1209 (iv.).
א δ2. Codex Sinaiticus. Petersburg (iv.).
C. δ3. Codex Ephraimi. Paris. Bibl. Nat. 9 (v.); 1 John 1:1 τους—(2) εωρα[κομεν]. 4:2 εστιν—(3 John 1:2) ψυχη.
A. δ4. Codex Alexandrinus. London. Brit. Mus. Royal Libr. I. D. v.-viii. (v.).
Ψ. δ6. Athos. Lawra 172 (β52) (viii.-ix.).
13 ( = 33 gosp.). δ48. Paris. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 14 (ix.-x.).
48 ( = 105 gosp.). δ257 Oxford. Bodl. Misc. Gr. 136 (a.d. 1391)
P. α3. Petersburg. Bibl. Roy. 225 (ix.). Palim
sest. 1Jn_3:20-1 του.
389. α74. Patmos. Ιωαννου16 (x.).
25. α103. London. Brit. Mus. Harley 5537 (a.d. 1087). 2 John 1:5 missing.
61. α162. London. Brit. Mus. Add. 20003, and Kairo βιβλ. πατριαρχ351 (a.d. 1044).
Apl. 261. α7. Sinai 273 (ix.).
S. α2. Athos. Lawra 88 (α88) (viii.-ix.).
L. α5. Rome. Angel. 39 (ol. A. 2. 15) (ix.).
384. α54. Chalki. Εμπορ. Σχολη26 (x.).
9. α189. Cambridge Univ. Libr. Kk. vi.4 (xi.-xii.). See Westcott, p. 91, who gives a list of the interesting readings contained in this MS. It is not included in von Soden’s list of the manuscripts of which he used collations for the text of the Catholic Epistles.
Old Latin Version
h. Fleury Palimpsest, ed. S. Berger, Paris, 1889, and Buchanan, Old Latin Biblical Texts, Oxford (v.). 1Jn_1:8-20.
q. Ziegler, Itala Fragmente. Marburg, 1876. 1 John 3:8-21.
m. Liber de divinis Scripturis sive Speculum, ed. Weihrich. Vienna Corpus xii., 1887. The following verses are quoted: 1 John 1:2, 1 John 1:3, 1 John 1:8, 1 John 1:9, 1 John 1:2:9, 1 John 1:10, 21, 23, 3:1 John 1:7-10, 16-18, 1 John 1:4:1, 1 John 1:9, 15, 18, 1 John 1:5:1, 1 John 1:6-8, 1 John 1:10, 20, 21; 2 John 1:7, 2 John 1:10, 2 John 1:11.
Augustine’s Tractatus. 1Jn_1:1-12.
Sahidic. Balestri, Sacrorum Bibliorum Frag. Copto-Sahid. Mus. Borgiani. Vol. iii. (continuation of Ciasca). 1904.1Jn_1:2-15; 2 John 1:5-13; 2 John 1:3 Jn.
Woide, Appendix ad editionem N.T. Graeci. Oxford, 1799. 1Jn_1:1-21; 1Jn_2 Jn.; 3 Jn.
Delaporte, Revue Bibl. internat. Nouvelle Serie ii., 1905. 1 John 1:1-7, 1 John 3:9-21, 1Jn_3:24-20. Gives by far the most interesting form of the Sahidic text.
Bohairic. Horner, The Coptic Version of the N.T. in the Northern Dialect. Vol. 4. Oxford, 1905.
Armenian Bible, ed. Zohrab. Venice.
These Epistles do not offer many problems of special difficulty or interest so far as the determination of the true text is concerned. A comparison of the texts published by Westcott and Hort with Nestle’s text, shows how few instances there are in which serious doubt exists. The chief interest of the textual problems which they present lies in the history of the glosses which have been inserted into their text, and a few paraphrases which have been substituted for the true texts. The most famous of these glosses, the addition of the “Heavenly Witnesses,” does not stand by itself. The tendency to gloss is most marked in Latin authorities, but it can be traced in the Egyptian and other versions, and cursive Greek manuscripts offer a few instances of its presence in Greek. An attempt has been made to collect the evidence for the Old Latin text of the Epistle in an Appendix. The critical notes which have been added to each verse are based on Tischendorf’s eighth edition, supplemented where possible from later sources of information. For the Egyptian Versions (Bohairic and Sahidic), fresh collations have been made, and also for the Armenian. Tischendorf’s information has been reproduced, as it stands in his edition, where it appears to be correct. Corrections and additions are given under the symbols boh, sah, arm. The heavier type should make it possible to see at a glance the extent to which Tischendorf’s information has been supplemented or modified.
The attempt has also been made to extract from von Soden’s Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments, I. ii. C, the variants in the text of these Epistles which are to be found in Greek MSS, quoted by him, but which are not contained in Tischendorf’s critical apparatus. The number of instances in which it has been necessary to add a note of interrogation may form some indication of the difficulty of using von Soden’s book for this purpose. It is much to be hoped that the stores of interesting information as to the readings of Greek MSS, especially minuscules, which are contained in his great work, may be published in some form which would render them available for general use. In the citation of these readings von Soden’s system of notation has been reproduced, so that the new material is easily distinguishable. At the end of each group of MSS quoted, the number which the first MS in the group bears in Gregory’s list has been added in brackets. In the case of δ MSS (i.e. those which contain the Gospels as well as the Acts and Catholic Epistles, etc.), Gregory’s Gospel number has been given. It may be noticed that several of the readings of δ6 (Ψ) are of considerable interest. As the Latin text has been dealt with in an appendix, no attempt has been made to revise Tischendorf’s presentation of its evidence.
It may be worth while to give some account of von Soden’s assignment of variants to his different groups.
For the I-H-K text he claims the following readings:
1 John 1:4. ημεις (υμιν, C K a ς).
2:19. εξ ημων ησαν (ησαν εξ ημων).
3:2. om. δε (after οιδαμεν) (habet K L a ς).
3:14. om. τον αδελφον (after ο μη αγαπων) (habet C K a ς).
4:12. τετελειωμενη εστιν εν ημιν (τετ. εν ημιν εστιν).
5:10. εαυτω (αυτω).
5:20. και οιδαμεν, Α α (οιδαμεν δε: om. και).
2 John 1:5. καινην γραφων σοι (γραφων σοι καινην).
The following cases he regards as uncertain:
1 John 2:10. εν αυτω ουκ εστιν (ουκ εστιν εν αυτω, Wmg).
3:23. εντολην] + ημιν (om. K L a ς).
2 John 1:12. υμων (ημων, Wmg).
3 John 1:9. εγραψα] + τι (om. τι, K L a ς: αν, 13 a).
1 John 3:5. om. ημων after αμαρτιας (habet ημων, א C a ς).
3:7. (?) παιδια, Wmg (τεκνια).
3:19. την καρδιαν (τας καρδιας).
2 John 1:9. προαγων (παραβαινων).
1 John 2:18. om. ο before αντιχριστος (habet ο, A K L a ς).
I. Variants due to reminiscences of other passages:
1 John 1:4. υμων, W mg1 (ημων). Cf. John 15:11.
1 John 1:5. ~αυτη εστιν. Cf. John 1:19.
επαγγελια (αγγελια). Cf. 2:25.
2:27. μενετω (μενει). Cf. ver. 24.
2:28. εχωμεν (σχωμεν). Cf. 3:21, 4:17.
3:11. επαγγελια (αγγελια). Cf. 2:25.
3:15. αυτω, (εαυτω, Wmg). Cf. ver. 9.
5:20. αληθινον) + θεον. Cf. John 17:3.
η ζωη η. Cf. 1:2, 2:25; John 14:6.
Doubtful cases of a similar kind:
1 John 1:5. απαγγελλομεν (αναγγ-). Cf. ver. 2.
1:8. ~εν υμιν ουκ εστιν. Cf. ver. 5.
1:9. αμαρτιας] + ημων. Cf. ver. 9, 3:5.
2:12. υμων (υμιν). Cf. Matthew 6:15.
2:24. ~πατρι … υιω. Cf. ver. 22.
3:10. δικαιοσυνην] pr. την. Cf. ver. 7; Matthew 5:6, Matthew 5:6:1, Matthew 5:33.
3:18. om. εν. Cf. context.
3:23. τω υιω … Χω̄ (τω ονοματι του υιου…Χῡ) Cf. John 3:36, John 9:35.
4:19. πρωτον (πρωτος).
4:16. om. μενει (2o). Cf. 3:24 ([μενει], W).
4:19. αγαπωμεν) + τον θν̄. Cf. ver. 20.
5:6. ~αιματι … υδατι. Cf. John 19:34.
5:10. υιω (θεω). Cf. ver. 10a.
3 John 1:7. ονοματος] + αυτου. Cf. 1 John 2:12; Romans 1:5.
παρα (απο). Cf. 2 John 1:4.
Doubtful cases of other kinds:
1 John 1:9. καθαρισει (-ση).
2:6. om. ουτως.
~ουτως και αυτος.
4:3. om. εκ.
5:16. ινα) + τις. Cf. John 2:25.
5:21. εαυτους (εαυτα).
2 John 1:3. υμων (ημων).
1 John 1:3. om. δε.
2:8. ημιν (υμιν).
2:29. ιδητε (ειδητε).
3:17. θεωρει (-ρη).
1 John 3:19. πεισωμεν.
4:20. μισει (-ση).
2 John 1:6. om. ινα, 2o.
11. om. αυτω.
3 John 1:4. ταυτης (τουτων).
8. γενωμεθα (γιν-).
9. εγραψα) + αν.
10. om. εκ.
11. ο, 2o) + δε.
1 John 3:15. αυτω (εαυτω, Wmg).
3:17. θεωρει (-ρη).
Kr. 1 John 3:1. om. και εσμεν.
3:18. om. εν.
4:16. om. μενει (2o).
5:11. ~ο θεος ημιν.
3 John 1:8. γενωμεθα.
10. om. εκ.
1 John 2:24. ~πατρι … υιω.
3:24. om. και (3o).
2 John 1:5. εχομεν.
9. ο (2o)] + δε.
Kc. 2 John 1:8. απολεσητε … ειργασασθε … απολαβητε
(1 John 3:15. αυτω.
3:17. θεωρει. Cf. 1.)
1 John 3:10. δικαιοσυνην] for την.
3:18. om. εν.
4:16. om. μενει (2o).
1 John 1:3. om. και (2o).
1:7. Ιῡ] + Χῡ.
2:4. om. οτι.
2:7. αδελφοι (αγαπητοι).
ηκουσατε) + απ αρχης.
1 John 2:13. γραφω (εγραψα).
2:24. υμεις) + ουν.
2:27. εν υμιν μενει.
2:28. οταν (εαν).
2:29. om. και (Wmg).
3:1. υμας (ημας).
3:13. om. και.
αδελφοι) + μου.
3:16. τιθεναι (θειναι).
3:18. τεκνια] + μου.
3:19. γινωσκομεν (γνωσομεθα).
3:21. καρδια] + ημων.
3:22. παρ (απ).
4:3. om. τον.
Ιησουν] + Χν.
+ Χν εν σαρκι εληλυθοτα.
4:19. αγαπωμεν) + αυτον.
4:20. πως (ου).
5:2. τηρωμεν (ποιωμεν).
5:5. om. δε.
5:6. om. και πνευματος.
5:9. ην (οτι).
5:13. ~αιωνιον εχετε.
εχετε) + και ινα πιστευητε.
~τοις πιστευουσιν—θεου ante ινα.
5:15. παρ (απ).
2 John 1:3. Ιησου] pr. κῡ.
6. ~εστιν η εντολη.
7. εισηλθον (εξηλθον).
9. διδαχη (2o)] + του Χῡ.
12. ελθειν (γενεσθαι).
3 John 1:4. om. τη.
7. εθνων (εθνικων).
8. απολαμβανειν (υπ-).
12. οιδατε (οιδας).
13. γραφειν (γραψαι).
“Sonderlesarten” of unknown origin:
1 John 2:23. εχει ͡ εχει (i.e. om. ο 2o—εχει 2o).
3:1. om. και εσμεν.
2 John 1:6. om. ινα (1o).
1 John 4:2. γινωσκεται.
2 John 1:11. ο γαρ λεγων.
2 John 1:8. απολεσωμεν… ειργασαμεθα … απολαβωμεν.
3 John 1:5. εις τους (τουτο).
Where it seemed necessary for the sake of clearness, the other variant or variants have been added in brackets. The readings adopted by Westcott and Hort and by Nestle have been underlined. If the agreement of these two authorities may be taken as affording a rough standard of what is probably the true text, it will be seen at once that the variants which von Soden claims for the I-H-K text, if we neglect differences in the order of words, are with one exception (και οιδαμεν for οιδαμεν δε) those which have been accepted as part of the true text by the best critics. The same is, however, true of most of the small class of readings which he attributes, mostly with some expression of doubt, to the “H” text. Indeed, by the test of intrinsic probability, these readings stand as high as those claimed for the I-H-K text. It is difficult to believe, for instance, that προάγων (2 John 1:9) is not the true text, softened down by later influences to παραβαίνων. It is also difficult to suppose that the occurrence of the word in Mark 10:32 (Jesus “going before” His disciples on the way to Jerusalem) had any influence on the Johannine text here. But von Soden’s treatment of the “H” text may perhaps throw valuable light on the readings where the other authorities for the “H” text part company with δ1-2 (B א), a subject which needs further investigation. It is also interesting to notice how seldom the readings assigned to “I” or “K” have been accepted as original. The inclusion of the omission of και πνευματος (1 John 5:6) among the “Sonderlesarten” of K is interesting. Does this imply that the true text of the passage ran ο ελθων δι υδατος και αιματος και πνευματος, and that the words και πνευματος were removed in the “K” recension because of the absence of corresponding words in the second half of the verse? On the whole, it would seem that we must wait for the publication of von Soden’s Greek text before we can make much use of the information contained in his section on the text of the Catholic Epistles, except in so far as it supplies us with information about new readings not known before, or at least not recorded in the apparatus criticus of the ordinary editions.
It may, however, be worth while to append a list of the MSS which he assigns to his three Recensions, and which have been fully examined for the purposes of his great work. The symbols used by Tischendorf and Gregory are given below the von Soden numbers.
1. H Recension.
δ1 δ2 δ3 δ4 δ6 δ48 -2571 3 74 103 162
B א C A Ψ 33 (13AK) 33 P 389 25 61.
2. 1 Recension.
Ia. 70 -101 7 -264 200-382 δ505 252
505 40 Apl. 261 233 83 231 69 (31AK) 391
-δ459 δ203 -δ300 -552
489 (195AK) 808 (265AK) 218 (65AK) 217
δ454 170 175 192 502 397 -205 -106
794 (262AK) 303 319 318 116 96 51 179
-164 -261 184 158 δ157 -δ507
— 142 — 395 547 (202AK) 241 (104AK)
56 64 65 1100 -55 δ254 (? α254) -110
316 328 317 310 236 26 332
-δ457 -δ500 δ156 256 361
209 (95AK) 205 (93AK) 226 (108AK) 24 248
Ib. (α) 62 365 396 472 398 δ206 253
498 214 — 312 69 242 (105AK) 2.
(β) 78 -157 469 δ370
— 29 215 1149 (288AK).
Ic. (α) 208 370 116 551
307 353 — 216.
(β) 364 -486 114 -174 506
137 — 335 252 60
3. K Recension.
2 5 54 186 δ255 394 500
S. L 384 223 58 (35 AK) — 45.
Kc. 186 δ255
223 57 (35AK).
Kr. (used for 1Jn_5 only).
358 462 δ463
38 169 656 (213AK).
§ 8. Commentaries, etc
The following list of Commentaries, Articles, and Books has been compiled more especially with reference to what has been used in the preparation of this edition. The fullest bibliographies are to be found in Holtzmann (Hand-Kommentar) and Luthardt (Strack-Zöckler).
Clement of Alexandria, only extant in Cassiodorus’ Latin Summary of the Adumbrationes on John 1:2. (Clement, al., ed. Stählin, iii. p. 209, 1909).
Catena, ed. Cramer.
Augustine, Tractatus x. in Epistolam Ioannis ad Parthos (Migne, iii:1. P.L. 34).
Translation, Commentary on the Epp. of S. John. Thomas Clark, 1837.
Huther (in Meyer, 1855-1880).
Translation, Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the General Epp. of James and 1 John. T. & T. Clark, 1882.
F. D. Maurice, The Epistles of S. John. Macmillan & Co., 1857.
Ebrard, “Die Briefe Johannis,” Königsberg, 1859 in (Olshausen’s Biblischer Commentar).
Ewald, Die Johanneischen Schriften. Göttingen, 1861.
Haupt, 1 John. 1869.
Translation, The First Epistle of S. John. (Clark’s Foreign Theological Library, 1879.)
Rothe, Der Erste Johannis Brief praktisch erklärt. 1878.
A most valuable Commentary.
Westcott, The Epistles of S. John. Macmillan, 1883-1892.
Plummer (Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges). 1884-1886.
Pulpit Commentary. 1889.
Lias (Cambridge Bible for Schools). 1887.
B. Weiss (Meyer. 6th edition, 1899). In the preparation of the notes of the present book the 5th edition (1888) was used.
Luthardt (Strack-Zöckler Kurzgef. Kommentar, iv.). 1895.
Poggel, II, III John. 1896.
W. Karl, Johanneische Studien, i., der Ier Johannesbrief. 1898.
Baumgarten (J. Weiss, Die Schriften des NT. ii. 3, pp. 315-352). 1907.
Holtzmann (Hand-Commentar zum NT. iv.). 1908 (“besorgt von W. Bauer”).
D. Smith (Expositor’s Greek Testament, v.). 1910.
Windisch (Lietzmann’s Handbuch zum NT. iv. 2). 1911.
Monographs and Articles:
Hilgenfeld, Das Evangelium und die Briefe Johannis nach ihrem Lehrbegriff dargestellt. 1849.
Holtzmann, Das Problem des I Johannesbr. in seinem Verhältniss zum Evang. Jahrbuch für Protestant. Theologie. 1881, 1882.
Häring (Theodor), “Gedankengang u. Grundgedanke des 1 Joh.” (Theolog. Abhandlungen Carl von Weizsäcker gewidmet). Freiburg in B. 1882.
Harnack, Ueber den III Joh. Texte u. Untersuchungen, xv. 3, 1897.
Stevens, The Johannine Theology. New York, 1894.
Wilamowitz, Hermes, 1898, p. 531 ff.
Weisinger, Studien u. Kritiken, 1899, p. 575 ff.
J. R. Harris, Expositor, 1901, p. 194 ff.
Wohlenberg, Neue Kirchliche Zeitschrift. 1902.
Gibbins, Expositor, 1902, p. 228 ff.
Wurm, Die Irrlehrer im 1ten Johannes Brief. 1903.
Chapman, Journal of Theological Studies, 1904, pp. 357 ff., 517 ff.
Bartlet, JTS, 1905, p. 204 ff. (in answer to Chapman).
Clemen, Zeitschrift für NT. Wissenschaft (Preuschen), 1905, p. 278.
Salmond, article in Hastings’ Bible Dictionary.
P. W. Schmiedel, articles in Encyclopœdia Biblica, also Religionsgeschichtliche Volksbücher: Das 4 Evangelium gegenüber Deu_3 ersten. Evangelium, Briefe, u. Offenbarung des Joh. nach ihrer Entstehung u. Bedeutung. 1906.
Expositor, June 1907. Correspondence between Drs. Westcott and Hort. The Divisions of the First Ep. of S. John.
Law, Tests of Life (Lectures on 1 Jn.). T. & T. Clark, 1909.
Findlay, Fellowship in the Life Eternal. Hodder, 1909.
Wellhausen, Erweiterungen u. Anderungen im 4ten Evan gelium.
Spitta, Das 4 Evangelium. 1910.
Pfleiderer, Das Urchristentum. Berlin, 1902.
Translation. Primitive Christianity. Montgomery, London, 1906.
Knopf, Nachapostolische Zeitalter, p. 328 ff., 1905.
Zahn, Einleitung in das NT. First edition, 1897.
Translation (from the 2nd edition), 1909: T. & T. Clark.
Translation. An Introduction to the New Testament. J. P. Ward. London, 1904.
§ 9. The Second and Third Epistles Authorship
The Second and Third Epistles of S. John naturally form a pair. They are almost exactly of the same length. Their length is probably determined by the size of an ordinary papyrus sheet (Zahn, Einl. ii. 581. Rendel Harris).
It is hardly necessary to discuss the question of their common authorship. The similarity between them is too close to admit of any explanation except common authorship or conscious imitation. It would tax the ingenuity of the most skilful separator to determine which is the original and which the copy. They probably do not deal with the same situation, though many writers have found a reference to the Second Epistle in the Third (ἔγραψά τι τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ). But the similarity of their style and the parallelism of their structure point clearly, not only to common authorship, but to nearness of date.
The following phrases show the close similarity of their general structure:
ὁ πρεσβύτερος. ὁ πρεσβύτερος.
οὕς ἐγὼ ἀγαπῶ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ. ὂν ἐγὼ ἀγαπῶ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ.
ἐχάρην λίαν ὅτι εὕρηκα ἐκ τῶν τέκνων σου περιπατοῦντας ἑν ἀληθείᾳ. ἐχάρην γὰρ λίαν … μαρτυρούντων σου τῇ ἀληθείᾳ καθὼς σὺ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ περιπατεῖς.
ἵνα ἀκούω τὰ ἐμὰ τέκνα ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ περιπατοῦντα.
πολλὰ ἔχων ὑμῖν γράφειν. πολλὰ εἶχον γράψαι σοι.
οὐκ ἐβουλήθην διὰ χάρτου καὶ μέλανος. ἀλλʼ οὐ θέλω διὰ μέλανος καὶ καλάμου σοι γράφειν.
ἀλλὰ ἐλπίζω γενέσθαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς. ἐλπίζω δὲ εὐθέως σε ἰδεῖν.
καὶ στόμα πρὸς στόμα λαλῆσαι. καὶ στόμα πρὸς στόμα λαλήσομεν.
ἀσπάζεταί σε τὰ τέκνα τῆς ἀδελφῆς σου. ἀσπάζονταί σε οἱ φίλοι.
It may be a question how much of this should be referred to epistolary convention, and how much should be regarded as the sondergut of the writer. But the close resemblance, coupled with complete independence in the parts where circumstances and subject-matter naturally lead to diversity, can hardly be explained on any other theory except that the two letters are by the same hand.
A more serious question is raised when the two letters are compared with the First Epistle. Here there is a certain amount of evidence, both external and internal, which is not conclusive of difference of authorship, but at least needs serious consideration.
They have many phrases which recall, or are identical with, those of the First Epistle. We may notice the following:
μένων ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ, 2 John 1:9. ὁ μένων ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ, 1 John 4:16.
τὴν ἀλήθειαν τὴν μένουσαν ἐν ἡμῖν, 2 John 1:2. ὁ λογὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν μένει, 1 John 2:14.
περιπατοῦντας ἐν ἀληθείᾳ, 2 John 1:4; cf. 3 John 1:3. ἐν τῷ φωτὶ περιπατῶμεν, 1 John 1:7.
περιπατῶμεν κατὰ τὰς ἐντολάς, 2 John 1:6. καθὼς ἐκεῖνος περιεπάτησεν 1 John 2:6.
ὁ κακοποιῶν οὐχ ἑώρακεν τὸν θεόν, 3 John 1:11. τὸν θεὸν ὃν οὐχ ἑώρακεν, 1 John 4:20.
πᾶς ὁ ἁμαρτάνων οὐχ ἑώρακεν αὐτόν, 1 John 3:6.
ὁ ἀγαθοποιῶν ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστίν. ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστέ, 1 John 4:4.
ἡ μαρτυρία ἡμῶν ἀληθής ἐστιν, 3 John 1:12 (cf. John 21:24). ἀληθές ἐστιν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ψεῦδος, 1 John 2:27.
ἀλήθεια thrice in each Epistle. once in 1 Jn.
ἡ ἀλήθεια twice in 2 Jn., thrice (four times) in 3 Jn. eight times in 1 Jn.
οὗτος καὶ τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὸν υἱὸν ἔχει, 2 John 1:9. πᾶς ὁ ἀρνούμενος τὸν υἱὸν οὐδὲ τὸν πατέρα ἔχει.
θεὸν οὐκ ἔχει, 2 John 1:9. ὁ ὁμολογῶν τὸν υἱὸν καὶ τὸν πατέρα ἔχει, 1 John 2:23.
(ἐντολὴν) ἣν εἴχομεν ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, 2 John 1:5. ἐντολὴν παλαιὰν ἣν εἴχετε ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, 1 John 2:7.
καθὼς ἠκούσατε ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, 2 John 1:6. ἣν ἠκούσατε ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, 1 John 3:11.
οἱ μὴ ὁμολογοῦντες Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐρχόμενον ἐν σαρκί. ὃ ὁμολογεῖ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθότα, 1 John 4:2.
οὗτός ἐστιν … ὁ ἀντίχριστος, 2 John 1:7. οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἁντίχριστος, ὁ ἀρνούμενος τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὸν υἱόν, 1 John 2:22.
ἡ μαρτυρία ἡμῶν ἀληθής ἐστι, 3 John 1:12. εἰ τὴν μαρτυρίαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων λαμβάνομεν, 1 John 5:9.
οὐχ ὡς ἐντολὴν γράφων σοι καινήν, 2 John 1:5. οὐκ ἐντολὴν καινὴν γρἀφω ὑμῖν, 1 John 2:7.
ἐλπίζω γενέσθαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς…
ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ἡμῶν πεπληρωμένη ᾖ, 2 John 1:12. ταῦτα γράφομεν ἡμεῖς ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ἡμῶν ᾖ πεπληρωμένη, 1 John 1:4.
αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἀγάπη, ἵνα περιπατῶμεν… 2 John 1:6. αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἐντολὴ αὐτοῦ ἵνα πιστεύωμεν, 1 John 3:23.
οὔτε ἐπιδέχεται … καὶ κωλύει, 3 John 1:10. Cf. οὔτε … ἔχεις καὶ … ἐστιν, John 4:11.
We may also notice the thoroughly Johannine method of emphasizing an idea by parallel clauses, one positive and the other negative. Cf. 2 John 1:9; 3 John 1:11.
A careful comparison of these instances of words, phrases, and constructions which are common to the two smaller Epistles and the larger Epistle establishes beyond the possibility of doubt the intimate connection between the two. A knowledge of the First Epistle, or of its contents, seems almost necessarily presupposed in some passages of the smaller Epistles. Cf. especially 2 John 1:9, 3 John 1:11. 2 John 1:12 need not contain an actual reference to 1 John 1:4, but it gains in point if it is written in view of what is said there about the “fulfilment of joy.” In the one case it is the written, in the other the spoken, word that is lacking to assure the fulness of joy which comes of fellowship. And it is interesting to notice the similarity of the results obtained by a comparison of 2 and 3 John with 1 John to those which appear when we compare the Gospel and the First Epistle. The connection is indisputable. We are compelled to choose between common authorship and conscious imitation. And the freedom with which the same and similar tools are handled points clearly to the former as the more probable alternative.
The internal evidence of different authorship on which Pfleiderer depends is not conclusive. He notices (1) the anonymous and general character of the First Epistle, as compared with the address of the Second to a particular Church, and the Third to an individual, named Caius, and the use of the title “The Presbyter” by the author in both. (2) The common identification of this “Presbyter” with John the Presbyter is supported by no valid reasons. There must have been many other “Presbyters,” and those addressed would know who was meant, though it was not the famous “Presbyter” of Papias. We really know nothing of Papias’ Presbyter except that he “handed down” a Chiliastic saying attributed to the Lord. Such an one was not likely to have busied himself with Gnostic theology and anti-Gnostic polemic. In his case the term “Elder” is used in the natural sense of the term; in these Epistles it is a title of office, used by one who claims respect for his official position, who dictates to the faithful as to the company they are to keep, gives letters of commendation to wandering preachers, and is offended at their being neglected. (3) The anti-Gnostic polemic of 2 John is the same as that of Polycarp, ad Phil. vii. 1, pure docetism, as found in Ignatius, and not the milder and later separation between Jesus and Christ.
Of these reasons some are pure assumptions, and others are fully accounted for by the (possible) differences of circumstance. There is nothing in the Epistles which necessitates an official use of the term “Elder,” though one who is aged may be in a position to speak and act with authority. The authority which the author claims is far greater than ever attached to the office of “Presbyter.”
The question of whether “pure Docetism” is earlier than “dualistic separation” of the kind attributed to Cerinthus is an open one. But where is the justification for differentiating between the Second and the First Epistles in this respect? The language of the Second is hardly intelligible without reference to the First. It may certainly be interpreted in the same sense.
The reasons brought forward by Jülicher (Einleitung, p. 218) are not more convincing. The expressions ἐχάρην λίαν, βλέπετε ἑαυτούς (cf. 1 John 5:21, φυλάξατε ἑαυτά), μισθὸν πλήρη ἀπολαμβάνειν,συνεργοὶ γινώμεθα, ἀγαθοποιεῖν, do not prove much. The use of the singular only of Antichrist is equally unconvincing, especially in view of 1 John 2:22. The difference between ἐληλυθότα and ἐρχόμενον is at least less striking than the resemblance of the rest of the passages. The apparent contradiction between 3 John 1:11, ὁ κακοποιῶν οὐχ ἑώρακεν τὸν θεόν, and John 1:18, 1 John 4:12, could easily be paralleled by similar “contradictions” in the Gospel (cf. also John 14:9).
Both writers also lay stress on the external evidence. That the two smaller Epistles found their way into the Canon apart from the First is partly true. There is, however, considerable evidence for the acceptance of two Johannine Epistles, i.e. 1, 2 Jn., before the three were generally recognized. And the private character of the smaller Epistles, as well as their relative unimportance, are quite enough to account for their more gradual acceptance, even if they were written by the author of the First. Pfleiderer’s statement, that the Second and Third Epistles are described in the Muratorian Fragment as written in John’s name to do honour to him, rests on a very doubtful interpretation of the passage in which two Johannine Epistles, almost certainly the First and Second, are mentioned, after which comes the sentence dealing with the Wisdom of Solomon.
Schwartz1 regards the two Epistles as, “in contrast to the First, genuine letters of a real Elder,” whose name, however, cannot have been John, or it would not have been necessary “to cut away his real name, in order to bring these interesting documents into the Canon.” This is an excellent reason for supposing that the name John never stood in these Epistles. It does not help us to determine the probability or improbability of the view that the letters were written by one John, who described himself as “the Elder” without adding his name.
The impossibility of a Chiliast such as Papias’ “John the Elder” having any part in the composition of the Johannine literature is emphasized by many writers, especially by Pfleiderer and Réville (“ce presbytre Jean en qui le millénaire Papias saluait un de ses maîtres, ” Le Quatrième Évangile, p. 50). All we know of him, if in this case we may trust Irenaeus more than many writers are usually willing to do, is that Papias recorded on his authority the famous Chiliastic saying about the fruitfulness of the Messianic kingdom. In what sense he interpreted it we do not know. If the Presbyter to whom Papias owes his account of S. Mark is the same, as would seem most probable, he was certainly capable of sound judgment and careful appreciation. And one phrase which occurs in the Third Epistle recalls, or is recalled by, the words of Papias’ preface (ἀπʼ αὐτῆς τῆς ἀληθείας). It is somewhat hasty to assume that the “Presbyter venerated by the Chiliastic and stupid Papias” (Réville, p. 316) was incapable of anything “spiritual.” He handed down a “Chiliastic” saying, or one which was perhaps too grossly ‘Chiliastic” in its literal meaning to have been taken literally, even by the Elder who handed it down. His views were probably Millenarian. It would be difficult to find any one “venerated” at the end of the first or beginning of the second century who did not in some sense share the ordinary Chiliastic expectation of most Christians. But as to how “gross,” or how “stupid,” his views were we really know nothing. Even Papias may have been better than Eusebius thought him. In any case we have but slender evidence to justify the transference of all his “stupidities” to the Elder John whose traditions he has preserved. The position of authority, not claimed so much as used and acted upon, by the author of these two Epistles, is such as perhaps could only belong to a representative of the older generation. Whether it would be natural for John the Apostle to describe himself as “the Elder” is at least open to question. There can be no doubt of the naturalness of the title if used by such an one as John the Elder, the disciple of the Lord.
We have every reason to believe that an “Elder” held a predominant position in Asia Minor about the close of the first century. There are valid reasons for calling him John. His relation to John the son of Zebedee is a mystery which, at present at least, we have not enough evidence to enable us to solve. Harnack’s conjecture, based on the most natural interpretation of the fragment of Papias’ preface which Eusebius has preserved, that he was a pupil of John the Apostle, and in some sense a disciple of the Lord, is perhaps the hypothesis which leaves fewest difficulties unsolved. That he is the author of the two smaller Epistles is the view which seems to be best supported by external tradition and by internal probability. The arguments in favour of different authorship for Gospel, First Epistle, and the two shorter Epistles are not negligible, but they are not conclusive. The theory which attributes to him some share at least in the writing of Gospel and First Epistle is the most probable conjecture that we can at present make. To what extent he is answerable for the matter of either is a difficult problem, perhaps insoluble in the present state of our knowledge. Most of the difficulties which every historical inquirer must feel to stand in the way of attributing the Gospel (in its present form) and the Epistle (they are less in this case than in that of the Gospel) to the son of Zebedee are modified, though they are not removed, by the hypothesis that a disciple is responsible for the final redaction of his master’s teaching. The longer and the more carefully the Johannine literature is studied, the more clearly one point seems to stand out. The most obviously “genuine” of the writings are the two shorter Epistles, and they are the least original. To believe that an author, or authors, capable of producing the Gospel, or even the First Epistle, modelled their style and teaching on the two smaller Epistles, is a strain upon credulity which is almost past bearing. Are we not moving along lines of greater probability if we venture to suppose that a leader who had spent his life in teaching the contents of the Gospel, at last wrote it down that those whom he had taught, and others, “might believe, and believing might have life in His name”; that after some years he felt that the message of the Gospel had not produced the effect on their lives and creed which he had expected, and that he therefore made the appeal of the First Epistle, ὃ ἠκούσατε ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς μενέτω, bidding them make use of what they already knew, and assuring them that in it they would find the help they needed to face the circumstances in which they now found themselves placed? The differences between the two writings may well be due to the needs of a simpler and more popular appeal. It is the circumstances of the hearers and their capacity to understand which determine his message, rather than any very clear change in his own position or opinions. At the same time or at a later period he may have had to deal with the special circumstances of a particular Church or particular individuals, and again the special circumstances of his hearers and their intellectual and spiritual capacity have determined the form and the substance of his appeal. The term “Catholic” is a misleading one. It has perhaps misled the critical even more than the conservative interpreters of these Epistles. It is impossible to understand these letters if they are regarded as having been originally composed as a message to the whole Church, or for all time. The writer knows those whom he addresses. He writes with full knowledge of their immediate circumstances and of their spiritual powers. If we are to interpret his words, we must consider, not so much what he could have said himself, as the circumstances which tied him down to saying that which his readers could understand. It is possible that advancing years may have modified his views, and even weakened his powers. But the special circumstances which called for his intervention, and perhaps the νωθρότης of his hearers, offer a far more probable explanation of the difference which we cannot but feel between the spiritual heights of the Gospel and the common-place advice of the shorter Epistles. He who proclaimed ὁ λόγος σάρξ ἐγένετο may still have believed it, though he finds himself compelled to write μὴ μιμοῦ τὸ κακὸν ἀλλὰ τὸ ἀγαθόν, and to make appeals to his personal authority in the case of those to whom his deeper thoughts were as a sealed book.
§ 10. The Second Epistle
The chief object of this letter is to give the Church or the family to whom it is addressed, clear advice and instruction about the reception of Christians from other Churches. The duty of hospitality was recognized and enforced. We may compare Hebrews 13:2.
It was a necessary part of the duty of each Church, or of some leading members in it, during the whole of the period when the union of the various members of the Christian body was being secured by the work of “Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Teachers,” who went about from place to place, while the resident officers were expected to submit to the authority of the higher rank. In the opinion of the Elder, who clearly claims to exert his authority over all the Churches in the sphere in which he lives, there was danger of the abuse of hospitality. False teachers are taking advantage of the opportunity to disseminate their errors. So he lays down the two practical tests which may form guiding principles in offering hospitality to strangers. They are the same points which are insisted upon in the First Epistle. Those who carry out the Gospel in their lives, who “walk in love,” and who recognize fully the reality and the permanence of the Incarnation, who “confess Jesus Christ coming in the flesh,” are to be received. The Progressives who do not abide in the “teaching of the Christ” must be refused. Even to give them greeting is to participate in their evil works. Incidentally the Elder takes the occasion thus offered to encourage those who are faithful, who are “walking in truth,” and to urge on them once more the duty of “walking in love” as well as of remaining true to the teaching which they had heard “from the beginning.” He reserves what he has to say at greater length, till he has the opportunity of seeing and conversing with them, on the visit which he hopes soon to be able to pay them.
The situation recalls that of the Didache, where the same difficulty of how the “Prophets” are to be received is seriously felt and discussed at length. There the danger is rather of those who make a regular custom of demanding maintenance as Prophets who come in the name of the Lord, and so of living in idleness at the expense of others. In the Epistle the dissemination of false teaching is the chief danger to be guarded against. It would be rash to describe the situation found in the Didache as a later development than that which is suggested in this letter. At the same time the similarity of the circumstances does not necessitate the assignment of both writings to exactly the same date. Development was at different rates in different places. From what we know of the history of the Asiatic Churches, we might naturally expect stages to be reached there at an earlier date than in some other regions. The evidence, therefore, of this resemblance to the Didache should be used with caution in determining the date of the Epistle. In itself the parallel is clear and interesting. We may also compare the praise bestowed on the Smyrnaeans by Ignatius for their hospitable reception of Philo and Agathopus (Ign. Sm. 10), or Polycarp’s thanks to the Philippians for their kindness to the prisoners (Pol. ad Php_1).
The well-known controversy about the destination of this Epistle shows no signs of a final settlement. The view that it was addressed to an individual lady and not to a Church has of late been most vigorously supported by Rendel Harris (Expositor, 1901). Advocates of this view have found her name either in Electa or in Kyria, which is not unknown as the name of a woman (cf. Lücke, p. 444).
The names of Mary and Martha have also been suggested, the former because of the incident recorded in John 19:27, the latter for a supposed play on the name (Martha-domina-Kyria). It is hardly necessary to discuss seriously these conjectures of Knauer and Volkmar. The name Electa is almost certainly excluded by ver. 13, and by the improbability of two sisters bearing the same name. If the letter is addressed to an individual, the name is clearly not given. The use of Κυρία is very wide. It may be a purely formal title of courtesy. It is certainly used frequently by near relations, whether as a token of affection, or mark of courtesy real or assumed. In spite of Rendel Harris’ ingenious suggestions, the use of the word by relations, even if the Editors of Papyri are frequently right in translating it “My dear,” does not go very far towards establishing the view that we have in this Epistle a “love-letter.” The formal use of κυρία is undoubtedly well established, and the character of the Epistle can only be determined by more general considerations. If we examine the whole contents of the letter we can hardly escape the conclusion that a Church and not an individual is addressed. The language of ver. 1, “Whom I love in truth, and not I only, but all who know the truth,” is at least more natural if it is addressed to a community. It is clear from ver. 4 that the writer can only praise the conduct of some of the “children,” while the address in ver. 1 is general, “and her children.” If it is necessary to assume that the word τέκνα has a narrower meaning in ver. 1 than in ver. 4, the difficulty, such as it is, is about the same whether the reference is to a single family or to a whole Church. Jülicher’s argument (Einleitung, p. 216) does not gain much by the inclusion of this point. We cannot say more than that the references to the whole family in ver. 1, and to a part of it in ver. 4, are rather more natural if the “family” be a Church. On the other hand, the change between singular and plural (4, 5, 13 as compared with 6, 8, 10, 12) certainly favours the view that a Church is addressed. Interesting parallels of a similar change between singular and plural have been noticed in the Book of Baruch. And, as Jülicher truly says, the general contents of the letter are “anything rather than private in character.”
§ 11. The Third Epistle
The general outline of the circumstances which led to the writing of this Epistle may be traced with some certainty, though there are many details which cannot be so certainly determined.
There can be no doubt that it is addressed to an individual, and not to a Church: though nothing is known for certain about the Caius to whom it is sent; and his identification with any of the other bearers of that name who are mentioned in the New Testament, or known to early tradition, is extremely precarious.
The object of the letter is to claim the good services of Caius on behalf of some travelling Missionaries who are about to visit Caius’ Church, and who are either members of the Church over which the Elder presides, or have recently visited it. It would seem that the Missionaries had previously visited the Church of Caius, and had been hospitably received by him. On their return to (?) Ephesus they had borne public witness at a meeting of the Church to the kindness which they had received at his hands. On the ground of this the Elder confidently appeals to Caius to repeat his former kindness, when the occasion arrives, on their next visit to his Church. He claims on their behalf hospitality and help. They should be “sent forward” in a manner worthy of the Master whom they served. And they had a right to claim support, for they had maintained the Pauline custom in their work among heathen, of receiving nothing from those to whom they preached (cf. Acts 20:35; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8). All Christians (ver. 8) were bound to support and help forward such work to the best of their power. To do so was to work for the Truth, or rather to make themselves fellow-workers with Truth itself.
The Elder had previously written to the Church of which Caius and Diotrephes were members. But Diotrephes, whose ambition was known to the Elder, and who had succeeded in gaining an ascendency over the Church, or at any rate over the majority of its influential members, had managed either to suppress the letter, or to persuade the Church to ignore its contents. He not only refused himself to receive those who came with the Elder’s commendation, but made it his policy to try to drive out of the Church those who were anxious to take the opposite course, if he could not succeed in preventing their efforts by simpler methods (ver. 10). It was time for the Elder to intervene. He has to remind Caius and those who will listen to his admonitions that there are such things as right and wrong. Their choice will show whether they are Christians in anything more than name. To do the right is the sign of the birth from God, and of the enjoyment of the Vision of God.
It would seem that Diotrephes had found his opportunity in the suspicion in which Demetrius was held by the Church. He is clearly one who possessed the esteem of the Elder, and who had been recommended to Caius’ Church by him. His relation to that Church and to the travelling Missionaries is not equally certain, and different views have been held on this point. Some have regarded him as one of the Missionaries, or as their leader, to whom the Elder had borne witness in a previous letter of commendation. Others have thought, from the separate mention of him and of the travellers, that he had nothing to do with them, but was a member of the Church to which the letter is addressed. Such a view is quite possible. Without accepting the over-ingenious conjecture of Dom Chapman, that the Elder had already mentally designated him Bishop of the Church, it is certainly natural to suppose, with Wilamowitz, that one of the main objects of the letter is to serve as a letter of commendation for Demetrius, and that he at least travelled with the Missionaries on the journey which forms the occasion of the Epistle, whether he was actually one of their company or not. It would, of course, be fairly easy to form a good many hypotheses which would all suit the few facts of the situation known to us. It is better to confine ourselves to the simplest and most natural. And that would seem to be that Demetrius was one of the band of Missionaries whom the Church of Caius and Diotrephes had special reasons to mistrust. It seems to need all the authority, official or personal, which the Elder possessed, and all his personal influence with a faithful friend, to ensure a hospitable reception for one who has, in his opinion unjustly, fallen under suspicion.
If it is idle to identify the recipient of the letter with any other Caius known to the New Testament, it is even less profitable to attempt the identification of Demetrius. Dom Chapman’s suggestion, that he is the Demas of 2 Timothy 4:10 (Δημᾶς γάρ με ἐγκατέλιπεν ἀγαπήσας τὸν νῦν αἰῶνα καὶ ἐπορεύθη εἰς Θεσσαλονίκην), has little in its favour save its necessity to complete a fabric of conjecture of which the ingenuity is far more apparent than its probability. Prof. Bartlet’s suggestion, that Demetrius the silversmith (of Acts 19:24) is more likely, may be placed slightly higher in the scale of probability. But the game of guessing is misleading in attempts to reconstruct the unknown circumstances under which the Epistle was written. It is more reasonable to confine our attention to what may be legitimately deduced from the actual references of the Epistle.
A further question is raised by ver. 9. Are we to identify the letter to which reference is there made with the Second Epistle? In favour of this have been urged (1) the close connection of the two Epistles in tradition; (2) the probability that 2 Jn. is addressed to a Church; (3) the close connection between the two Epistles in thought and language. Of these arguments the first is of doubtful value. The connection is hardly so close as is often supposed, the evidence for a period of acceptance of two Johannine Epistles (i.e. 1, 2 Jn.) without the third is really considerable. The others deserve serious consideration, and in reference to (3) we must certainly remember that the object of both letters is to a large extent the same, the determination of the rules which should guide Churches in the matter of receiving and offering hospitality to travelling Teachers. In some ways the negative rules of 2 Jn. form a natural supplement to the more positive suggestions of the Third Epistle. But, on the other hand, serious difficulties are raised by (1) the absence of any mention in 3 Jn. of the False Teachers, and (2) the absence in 2 Jn. of any reference to Diotrephes, or to the high-handed proceedings of an official or prominent member of the Church. Of these reasons, which are urged by Harnack, the first is the most important. The high-handed action of any prominent member might naturally succeed rather than precede the reception of the letter which contained the Elder’s instructions. He also urges that 2 Jn. presupposes an altogether different state of feeling and opinion in the Church to which it is addressed as compared with what we may naturally conclude from the Third Epistle. The attitude of the two Churches to strangers is quite different. Perhaps a more convincing reason is found in the fact that the Second Epistle does not contain the matter which we should expect to find in the “suppressed” letter to which the Elder refers in 3 Jn. It must have dealt with the question (or questions) of the reception of Demetrius and the travelling Missionaries; at least it is natural to suppose that 3 Jn. is written to secure through the good services of a private friend what the Elder had demanded in a more public way. It is, of course, possible that the reception of his requirements in 2 Jn. had been such that he now hesitated to make public the different requests which he writes to Caius. But the former supposition is the more natural. We should probably therefore add this instance to the many indications in the Epistles of the N.T. of a wider correspondence than has been preserved in the Canon.
§ 12. Historical Background of the two Epistles
Within the last few years a number of ingenious, if highly conjectural, reconstructions have been attempted of the circumstances which called out the two Epistles, with more or less complete identifications of the persons named, and of the Churches addressed. Detailed criticism of many points suggested by these schemes is perhaps better reserved for the notes on the text. But some general account of one or two of them may be attempted.
The most ingenious, and possibly the least convincing, is that which Dom Chapman contributed in his articles in the Journal of Theological Studies (1904, pp. 357 ff., 517 ff.). Seeing rightly that the language in which Demetrius is commended by the Elder clearly implies that he had for some reason or other fallen under suspicion, he puts forward the bold conjecture that Demetrius is the Demas of 2 Timothy 4:10 who forsook St. Paul when danger became acute (contrast Colossians 4:14), “having loved this present world.” Dom Chapman reminds us that the Second Epistle to Timothy found him at Ephesus, and suggests that the Asiatic Churches were inclined to take a harsh view of the conduct of Demas. In the recipient of this Epistle he sees the Caius of Corinth, whose hospitality is praised in Romans 16:23 (“mine host and of the whole Church”); and following the early tradition recorded by Origen (on Ro. 10:41), that this Caius became the first Bishop of Thessalonica, he suggests that Demas, who was perhaps a Macedonian, when he left Rome had travelled to Thessalonica, which he may have left when the reception of 2 Timothy made his position there untenable. At a later date he wished to return, and when he presented himself with a commendatory letter from the Elder he was well received by Caius, but the “pratings” of Diotrephes persuaded the Church to refuse him hospitality. He now has to pass through Thessalonica on his way westwards, and bears a second letter from the Elder to secure a more friendly reception. It is perhaps sufficient here to suggest that imaginary reconstructions of this kind do very little to help forward the study of history. A series of propositions, none of which are in themselves either impossible or specially probable, when combined into a single hypothesis fail to form a satisfactory basis for exegesis. And the question naturally arises, have we sufficient ground for assuming that the Elder would claim such a position of authority in respect of the Churches of Macedonia as is implied in the words and threatened action of the Third Epistle?
His suggestions with regard to the Second Epistle are even more hazardous. The description of the Church as loved by all who know the truth, and as having heard the commandment from the beginning, is specially applicable to Antioch or Rome. The “elect sister” is naturally the Church of Ephesus. He connects ἐκλεκτός, a word foreign to the Johannine vocabulary, with the emphatic reference in 1 P. 5:13, ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτή, and suggests that the phrase “walking in truth, as we received commandment for the faith,” should be interpreted in the light of John 10:17, John 10:18, where the “Father’s command” is connected with the laying down of life. The community to whom these words are addressed must have proved their faithfulness by martyrdom. So we are led to the conclusion that it is the Church of Rome which is addressed. The False Teachers have lost their footing in Asia Minor, the First Epistle has closed the doors of Asiatic Churches to them. So they are making attempts elsewhere, and the warning is issued to the Church of the metropolis. Such is the hypothesis in general outline. It is supported by many ingenious suggestions as to details. But the interpretation of ver. 4 in connection with John 10:17 is too doubtful to serve as a foundation.
Professor Bartlet (JTS, 1905) has pointed out several of the difficulties presented by the text of the Epistles, if it is translated correctly, to these ingenious conjectures, while he rightly welcomes the correct appreciation of the significance of the terms in which Demetrius is commended. His suggestion that Demetrius the silversmith may be meant, is at least as probable as Dom Chapman’s conjecture. And his further suggestion that Thyatira is more probably the Church of Caius and Demetrius has at least the merit of looking in the right quarter, within the natural sphere of the Elder’s influence and authority.
Dr. Rendel Harris has made no attempt at so complete a restoration of the background of these Epistles. The instances which he quotes of κυρία used in the correspondence of near relatives are interesting. He has hardly succeeded in proving that even in such cases it is used as a term of affection, rather than of courtesy, or (?) mock courtesy. And even if this point were proved, it would not go far towards proving that in this particular Epistle it is so used. Its official and ceremonious use is in any case far more frequent. By itself it hardly establishes the personal and affectionate character of the letter, or justifies the description of it as a “love-letter.” The question of “lady” or “Church” must be determined by the general character of the letter. He has also noticed an interesting parallel to the language of 2 John 1:8, in Ruth 2:12, which should form a welcome addition to our Biblical marginal references, and to the many indications that the author of the Johannine Epistles was well acquainted with the Scriptures of the Old Testament. But it would be safer not to deduce from the occurrence of ἐργασία and μισθὸς πλήρης in one verse in Ruth the suggestion that the recipient of this letter was elderly, a heathen Christian, and probably a widow!
In this connection we should perhaps mention the conjecture of Thoma,1 that Pergamos should be regarded as the Church with which the Second Epistle deals, on the ground, according to the Apostolical Constitutions (vii. 46), that Caius was ordained bishop of that Church by John. The list of “Bishops” mentioned in Ap. Con. vii. 46 is worth quoting: James the brother of the Lord, Symeon, ὁ τοῦ Κλεόπα, Jude the brother of James, Zacchaeus, Cornelius, Theophilus, Euodius, Ignatius, Annianus, Avilius, Linus, Clement, Timothy, John, “by me John,” Ariston, Strataias, Ariston, Gaius (Mycenae), Demetrius (Philadelphia), Dionysius, Marathones (?), Archippus, Philemon, Onesimus, Crescens, Aquila, Nicetas, Crispus. It might perhaps afford interesting evidence as to the contents of the Canon. But its predominantly Biblical character hardly inspires confidence.
Of a very different character to these curiosities of exegesis is the important contribution of Harnack to the interpretation of these Epistles (Texte u. Untersuchungen, xv. First Series). Their chief importance lies in the information they afford with regard to a certain stage of the development of Church life and organization in the Asiatic province. The position of the Elder is unique. He is widely known. It is unnecessary for him to add his own name to the title which will serve to identify him. If he lives in Ephesus, the members of other Churches are his children (3:4). He claims the right to lead them, and to know no greater joy than to hear that they are walking in the paths of truth. He claims his share in the work which has brought the Churches to their present state (ἃ ἠργασάμεθα, 2:8). Assured of being in the truth himself, he claims to judge whether others are “walking” in it, and have witness borne to them by it (3:2, 3; 2:1-4; 3:12). He does not hesitate to place his own witness by the side of the witness of the truth itself (3:12). He uses the plural of authority (3:9, 10, 12; 2:8). As leader and as judge he threatens in the confident assurance that his personal intervention will put an end to what is wrong (3:10). From a distance he issues his commands to individuals and to Churches alike. The sphere of his authority is apparently large. Within it he administers praise or censure; he assigns punishment or reward without hesitation. He passes the most absolute judgments on prominent persons (3:10, 12). He receives, through members of other Churches who travel, or through Evangelists, in full Church assembly (3:6) or in other ways (2:4), statements about the teaching and behaviour of Churches and of leading individuals (3:3 ff., 12), and makes use of these reports in his letters. We are reminded of S. Paul’s dealings with his Churches, and of his similar claims to authority and practical use of it. We may be surprised that thirty years after the death of Paul another should hold such a position in Asia. But this is no proof that the work of Paul had fallen to pieces. The testimony of Irenaeus and Polycarp proves the contrary. The position which has been described might well be held by the “Elder” of whom tradition knows, and whom Papias describes as a disciple of the Lord. Such an one could maintain his claim to the position of patriarchal monarchic authority which we find presupposed in these Epistles.
Harnack next turns to the evidence of the relation of the Elder to the travelling Missionaries and the Churches. The Third Epistle is written to accredit some travelling Evangelists to Caius; the Second, to warn some Church or individual against certain travelling false teachers. The custom to which these facts point is neither new nor of very long standing (3:7; cf 2:10, 11). The importance of such teachers is clearly seen if we compare 3:8 with 2:11. The writer does not identify himself with them, but he values them and their work highly (3:6, ἀξίως τοῦ θεοῦ). Their work is missionary, not among those who are already brethren, from whom they ought to receive support, as they obey the Lord’s command. On their return to the place whence they set out they appear before the assembly of the Church and tell how they have prospered, and how they have been received (3:6). Thus the Elder uses them as a means by which he can exercise control over his Churches. But a reaction is making itself felt against this supervision. Diotrephes regards the Elder and the travelling brethren as forming one party. He tries, apparently with success, to set his Church against them. He would withdraw it from this supervision which the Elder claims to exercise. He will not “receive” his messengers. And the majority of the Church apparently lean to the side of Diotrephes, though the Elder still has his friends (3:15). The Elder cannot be sure that the letter which he wrote will ever reach the Church. Yet he feels sure of victory, if he comes in person. Here then we have to notice the leading of a single man. We have reached the beginnings of the monarchical Episcopate. We are in the heat of the struggle of the old patriarchal provincial mission organization against the consolidation of the individual Churches, as they threw off all outside influence and developed the Episcopate. Diotrephes takes the lead in this movement. The Elder mistrusts the new movement, and tries to keep it under his control. He sees in it only the ambition of individuals. Yet he fights for a failing cause. He is obliged to confess the dangers of false teaching being disseminated by the travelling Missionaries. By addressing the Church as Κυρία he practically recognizes its independence. Harnack’s question, “Would Paul have done so?” is suggestive.
Thus these two Epistles give us a valuable contribution to the history of an obscure period. We get a glimpse into the earlier stages of the development of the monarchical Episcopate. The differences which we find in Ignatius fifteen or twenty years later are noticeable. In his time monarchical Episcopacy is established throughout Asia. Each Church is independent; it receives from outside only brotherly advice. The danger arising from heretical teachers who travel from place to place is still felt acutely. But travelling “prophets and teachers” and supervising “elders” have disappeared. The change which these Epistles show us in the making is already made in this region.
It seems almost impertinent to criticize this admirable summary of the position which forms the background of the two Epistles. Few would question the importance of its contribution to the understanding of their contents. It is, however, doubtful whether it points to exactly the right moment in the development of the organization of the Asiatic Churches. And its weakest part is the attitude which it represents the Elder as having assumed with regard to the new movement. It is clear that the old system is breaking down. The generation of those who could claim and exercise the kind of authority, recognized and accepted as valid but unofficial, which the “Elder” clearly regards as his by right, and which he is confident he can still maintain, is passing away. Those who have a right to speak and act in virtue of their connection with earlier days have almost dissappeared. And in his own case he can no longer be sure of his authority, if it is exercised only from a distance. The personal ambition of individual members of the Churches is getting beyond his control. In one case he cannot feel sure that his letter will reach those for whom it was intended. He is doubtful as to the reception which will be given to those who come with his own personal commendation. He is evidently afraid that false teaching, which he has succeeded in silencing in his own Church, if we may use the evidence of the First Epistle in this connection, will receive only too ready a welcome in a neighbouring Church. It is equally clear that an ambitious member of a Church can count on a widespread feeling of dis content with the present informal arrangements and customs, which he can utilize to further his own views and perhaps interests. But is this the struggle of the local Churches to free themselves and set up a local Episcopate? Or is the Episcopate the means adopted to deal with the private ambitions of individual members of Churches who have made themselves prominent, and the danger which arose from the spread of various forms of teaching, and of division and dissension in consequence? And what was the attitude of the Elder to the new movement? Is he struggling against it? Or did he see in some such change of organization a way of meeting the danger which the old system could no longer control? Will Caius or Diotrephes be the first monarchical Bishop, of Pergamus or of Thyatira?
The passages which Harnack quotes to show the connection of the Elder with the “Bishops” of Asia certainly do not point to his having fought a losing battle against the new movement. The tradition which these passages embody has doubtless been modified in the light of later views about Episcopacy. But while this is almost certainly the case, it is going in the face of such evidence as we possess to represent the Elder as opposed to a movement with which he is always represented as being in close connection.
The following passages may be quoted. They prove quite clearly the connection of the elders with the Episcopal movement in Asia so far as tradition is concerned.
Mur. Fr. l. 10: “Cohortantibus condiscipulis et episcopis suis.”
Victorinus Petau. Schol. in Apoc. xi. 1: “Conuenerunt ad illum de finitimis provinciis omnes episcopi.”
Jerome, de Vir. Illus. 9: “Scripsit euangelium, rogatus ab Asiae episcopis, aduersus Cerinthum.” Cf. Euseb. H. E. vi. 14 (Clement): προτραπέντα ὑπὸ τῶν γνωρίμων.
Augustine, Prologue to the Tractatus in Joann.: “Compulsus ab Episcopis Asiae scripsit.”
Clem. Alex. Quis Dives, 42: ἀπῄει παρακαλούμενος καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ πλησιόχωρα τῶν ἐθνῶν, ὅπου μεν ἐπισκόπους καταστήσων, ὅπου δὲ ὅλας ἐκκλησίας ἁρμόσων, ὅπου δὲ κλήρῳ ἕνα γέ τινα κληρώσων τῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος σημαινομένων.
Most of these passages are too late to give satisfactory evidence; all of them except the last may be later paraphrases of the προτραπέντα ὑπὸ τῶν γνωρίμων which is found in Clement, but which he has received from tradition. The passage from the well-known story of the Robber which Clement tells in the Quis Dives proves that at a comparatively early date the name of the Elder was connected with the development of Church organization in Asia which resulted in the monarchical Episcopacy. His exact share in the process may not be determinable now. But the evidence of tradition which represents him as in thorough sympathy with the movement is too strong to ignore, when it is in no way contradicted by the evidence of the Johannine Epistles in themselves. The modification of Harnack’s interpretation of the “background” which has been suggested above is at least as natural as his, and it is in conformity with what may be reasonably deduced from the earliest and most trustworthy traditions about the Elder as they are to be found in Clement. And on the whole it is better suited to the evidence of Ignatius, and his attitude towards the monarchical Episcopate.
1 Sed et MS (acc. to Zahn the et is a later addition).
2 Superscrictio Iohannes duas (? ἐπιγεγραμμέναι).
1 All three Epistles are, of course, absent from the Canon of Marcion.
2 Euseb. H. E. iii. 25.
3 Epistulae Iohannis III ūr CCCL una sola (Zahn, Grundriss, p. 81).
1 Geschichte des NT. Kanons, pp. 213-220.
1 “Wie wurden die Bücher des Neuen Testaments heilige Schrift?” (Lebens Fragen, ed. Weinel), Tübingen, 1907.
9 α189. Cambridge Univ. Libr. Kk. vi. 4 (xi.-xii.). See Westcott, p. 91, who gives a list of the interesting readings contained in this MS. it is not included in von Soden’s list of the manuscripts of which he used collations for the text of the Catholic Epistles.
Ψ̠δ6. Athos. Lawra 172 (β52) (viii.-ix.).
C δ3. Codex Ephraimi. Paris. Bibl. Nat. 9 (v.); 1 John 1:1 τους—(2) εωρα[κομεν]. 4:2 εστιν—(3 John 1:2) ψυχη.
L α5. Rome. Angel. 39 (ol. A. 2. 15) (ix.).
Α̠δ4. Codex Alexandrinus. London. Brit. Mus. Royal Libr. I. D. v.-viii. (v.).
אԠא. δ2. Codex Sinaiticus. Petersburg (iv.).
1 i.e. the margin of Westcott and Hort’s edition.
B δ1. Codex Vaticanus. Rome. Vat. Gr. 1209 (iv.).
1 In accordance with von Soden’s usage, when a number is given without a preceding letter it belongs to the α group (Acts and Catholic Epistles, etc.).
13 13 ( = 33gosp.). δ48. Paris. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 14 (ix.-x.).
P P. α3. Petersburg. Bibl. Roy. 225 (ix.). Palimpsest. 1Jn_3:2-1 του.
389 389. α74. Patmos. Ιωαννου 16 (x.).
25 25. α103. London. Brit. Mus. Harley 5537 (a.d. 1087). 2 John 1:5 missing.
61 61. α162. London. Brit. Mus. Add. 20003, and Kairo βιβλ. πατριαρχ351 (a.d. 1044).
S. α2. Athos. Lawra 88 (α88) (viii.-ix.).
1 Ueber den Tod der Söhne Zebedai, p. 47.
1 Thoma, Genesis des Johannes Evangeliums, p. 791. Thoma does not lay much stress on the point, “Dies wäre Pergamus, wenn die Sage der apost. Constitutionen von dem dortigen Bisthum des Gaius einen Grund und Werth hat.” In one part an attempt at a different analysis has been substituted (3:11-24) where I find myself unable to follow that of Häring
THE OLD LATIN VERSION
In the following pages an attempt has been made to show to what extent the Old Latin Version, or Versions, of these Epistles is known or can be recovered. With the exception of the first eight verses of 1 Jn. 1., the whole of the First Epistle is contained in MSS which are predominantly Old Latin in character. The Fleury Palimpsest, edited by M. Berger in 1889, and more recently by Mr. Buchanan in Old Latin Biblical Texts, No. 5, contains 1Jn_1:8-20; the Freisingen Fragments, edited by Ziegler in 1876, contain 1 John 3:8 (apparuit filius) to the end of the Epistle. The Tractates of Augustine give us a complete text as far as 1 John 5:3. For the first eight verses Augustine’s text has been given till the Fleury Palimpsest begins (1:8 -rimus quoniam). This is followed till 3:8 in hoc, after which Ziegler’s Freisingen Fragment is used. In the case of the Fleury Palimpsest, M. Berger’s text has been used. Where Mr. Buchanan differs from M. Berger the readings of the former are added intra lineas.1 This text is followed by an apparatus criticus in which the attempt is made to give the variants from this text which are found in the Vulgate (Vg.), in the text contained in Augustine’s Tractates on the Epistles (Aug., quotations from other works of Augustine, which are only cited when they differ from the Tractates, are quoted as Aug.), and in the quotations from Latin writers whose works have been published in the Vienna Corpus. No quotations have been included from works not available in that edition, except in the case of Tertullian where Oehler has been used for treatises not yet published in the new edition, and Irenaeus (Stieren). The readings of the Perpignan MS, Paris Bibl. Nat. Lat. 321, which differ from the Old Latin text printed here and which are not Vulgate readings, have been added (under the symbol “p”) in the Critical Notes from the text of the Catholic Epistles, published by the Rev. E. S. Buchanan in the Journal of Theological Studies, xii. 48 (July 1911). The agreements of this MS in the First Epistle of S. John with Augustine and with the Speculum are of considerable interest. The form in which it gives the text of 1 John 5:7, 1 John 5:8 is very close to that of one of the quotations in the Speculum.
The use of an approximately Old Latin text as a basis, which ensures the presentation of variants which have a claim to be regarded as Old Latin, as the Vulgate readings are always given where they differ from the text printed, reduces the bulk in the case of those writers whose text is largely Old Latin in character. The amount of Patristic support for Old Latin readings would, of course, have been shown more clearly by the use of a Vulgate text as a basis. A table of Greek words and their renderings has been added which may serve to call attention to the more interesting renderings. The work is tentative in character and has not led to any very definite results.
It may, however, be noticed that the twelve verses of ch. 3., where we have the guidance of both MSS, show that the Freisingen text is closer to that of Augustine than is the Fleury MS, though the verses offer very little evidence that is decisive. The differences between h and Cyprian are noticeable, but they do not invalidate von Soden’s judgment as to the African character of the text of the Fleury Palimpsest (von Soden, p. 241 f.). And the general agreement between Augustine and the Freisingen Fragment can be clearly seen, though their texts are by no means identical. The independence of the version used by Lucifer of Cagliari is also very clearly marked. The evidence adduced also confirms the view that the tendency to add interpretative and explanatory glosses to the text of the Epistle is both widespread and dates back to early times. In view of the importance of the gloss which found its way into so many texts of 1 John 5:7 f., this fact is not without interest. The growth of that gloss can be traced back at least as early as Cyprian. The following instances of this tendency should be noticed:
2:5. + si in ipso perfecti fuerimus, Aug.
9. odit] + homicida est et, Cyp.
16. ex concupiscentia saeculi, Cyp.
17. + quomodo et ipse (Deus) manet in aeternum, Cyp. Aug. Luc.
23. nec filium nec patrem, Aug.
et filium et patrem, Cyp. Prisc. Spec. (Luc.).
3:1. propter hoc mundus non cognoscit nos quia non cognoscit eum et nos non cognoscit mundus, Aug.
7. (?) + sicut et ille iustus est.
10. patrem suum] patrem suum aut matrem suam, Cyp. cod.
4:3. Sed est de antichristi spiritu, Cyp.
omnis qui soluit Iesum Christum et negat eum in carne uenisse, Aug. 1/3.
cf. Tert. adv. Macc. v. 16, negantes Christum in carne uenisse et soluentes Iesum, scilicet in deo creatore.
5:1. deus in ipso est et ipse in deo, Spec.
20. + et carnem induit nostri causa et passus est et resurrexit a mortuis adsumpsit nos, Spec.
aeterna] + et resurrectio nostra, Spec.
Comm. in Ep. Ioann
1. Quod erat ab initio, quod audiuimus, et quod uidimus oculis nostris, et manus nostrae tractauerunt de uerbo uitae.
2. Et ipsa uita manifestata est, et uidimus et testes sumus, et annuntiamus nobis uitam aeternam, quae erat apud Patrem, et manifestata est in nobis.
3. Quae uidimus et audiuimus nuntiamus uobis, ut et uos societatem habeatis nobiscum, et societas nostra sit cum Deo Patre, et Iesu Christo, filio eius.
4. Et haec scribimus uobis, ut gaudium uestrum sit plenum.
5. Et haec est annuntiatio quam audiuimus ab eo, et annuntiamus uobis, quia Deus lux est et tenebrae in illo non sunt ullae.
6. Quodsi dixerimus quia societatem habemus cum eo, et in tenebris ambulamus, mentimur, et non facimus ueritatem.
7. Quodsi in lumine ambulamus, sicut et ipse est in lumine, societatem habemus cum inuicem, et sanguis Iesu Christi, filii eius, purgabit nos ab omni delicto.
ed. Berger, Paris, 1889.1
1 John 1:8. [si dixe] Rimus quoniam peccatum n habemus ipsos nos de cipimus2 et ueritas in nobis non est
9. Si confiteamur peccata nostra fidelis et iustus ut remittam nobis peccata et purget nos ex omni iniquitate
10. quod si dixerimus quod non peccauimus mendacem faciemus eum et uerbum eius non est in nobis
2:1. fili mei haec iscribo uobis ne peccetis et si quis peccauerit aduocatum abemus aput patrem ihu xpm iustum
2. et ipse est exoratio pro peccatis nostris non pro nostris autem tantum sed et pro totius saeculi
3. et in hoc iscimus quoniam cognouimus eum si mandata eius seruemus
4. qui dicit se noscere eum et mandata eius non seruat mendax est in hoc ueritas non est
5. nam qui custodit uerbum us in hoc caritas di perfecta est in hoc isceimus quoniam in eo sumus
6. qui dicit se in ipso manere debet quemadmodum ille ambulauit et ipse ambulare
7. Carissimi non nouum mandatum scribo uobis sed mandatum uetus quem habuistis ab initio mandatum uetus est uerbum quod audistis
8. iterum mandatum nouum iscribo uobis quod est uere1 in ipso et in uobis quia tenebrae iam transeunt et lumen uerum iam lucet
9. qui dicit se in lumine esse et fratrem suum hodit in tenebris est usq. adhuc
10. nam qui diligit fratrem suum in lumine permanet et scandalum in eo non est
11. qui autem hodit fratrem suum in tenebris est et in tenebris ambulat et non scit ubi eat quia te " nebrae obscoecauerunt oculos eius
12. scribo uobis filioli quoniam remittuntur uobis peccata propter nomen eius
13. scribo uobis patres quoniam cognouistis quod erat ab initio scribo uobis iuuenes quoniam uicistis malignum
14. Scribo uobis pueri quoniam cognouistis patrem quod cognouistis eum qui est ab initio scribo uobis adulescentes quoniam fortes estis et uerbum di in uobis permanet et uicistis malignum
15. nolite diligere seculum nec ea quae sunt in saeculo si quis diligit saeculum non est caritas patris in eo
16. quoniam omne quod est in seculo concupiscentia carnis est et concupiscentia oculorum et superbia uitae est quae non est ex patre sed de seculo est
17. et saeculum transit et concupiscentia qui autem facit uoluntatem di permanet in aeternum
18. Pueri nouissima hora est et sicut audistis quoniam antixpsi uenit nunc antixpi multi facti sunt unde cognoscimus quoniam nouissima hora est
19. Ex nobis exierunt sed non erat ex nobis nam si fuisset ex nobis permansissent forsitan nobiscum sed ut praesto fiat quoniam non sunt omnes ex nobis
20. et uos unctionem accepistis a sto et nostis omnia
21. non scripsi uobis quasi ignorantib ueritate sed scientibus eam et quoniam omnem mendacium ex ueritate non est
22. quis est mendax nisi is qui negat quia is est *xps hic est antixps qui negat patrem et filium
23. omnis qui negat filium1 " Nec patrem habet qui confitetur filium et patrem habet
24. uos quod audistis ab initio permaneat in uobis quod si in uobis permanserit quod ab initio audistis et uos in filio et patre permanebitis
25. et haec est promissio quam ipse pollicitus est nobis uitam aeternam.
26. Haec scripsi uobis de eis qui seducunt uos.
27. et uos untionem quam accepistis ab eo permaneat in uobis et necesse non habetis ut aliquis doceat uos sed sicut untio eius docet uos de omnib et uerum est et non est mendum2 et sicut docuit uos permanete in eo
28. et nunc filio manete in eo ut cum uenerit fiduciam habeamus et non confundamur ab eo In praesentia eius
29. si scimus quoniam iustus est scitote quoniam omnis qui facit institiam ex ipso natus est
3:1. ecce qualem caritatem dedit uobis pater ut filii dei uocaremur et sumus propterea seculum nos inhonrat
2. Carissimi nunc filii di sumus et nondum manifestatum est qui futuri sumus scimus quoniam cum apparuerit similes erimus ei quoniam uidebimus eum sicuti est
3. et omnis qui habet spem hanc in eo castificat se sicut et ille castus est
4. omnis qui facit peccatum et iniquitatem facit et peccatum est iniquitas
5. et scitis quoniam ille apparuit ut peccata tolleret et peccatum in illo non est
6. omnis qui in eo permanet non peccat omnis qui peccat non aidit eum nec cognouit eum
7. filioli nemo nos seducat qui facit iustitiam iustus est omnis qui fa
8. qui autem fa " cit peccatum de diabolo est quia ab initio diabolus peccat in hoc.1
8. apparuit filius di ut soluat opera diaboli
9. Omnis qui natus est ex Do peccatum non facit quia semen eius in ipso manet et non potest peccare quoniam de Do natus est
10. Ex hoc manifesti sunt filii di et filii diaboli omnis qui non facit iustitiam non est de do et qui non diligit fratrem suum
11. Quoniam hoc est mandatum quod audistis ab initio ut diligamus imuice
12. Non sicut cain qui ex maligno erat et occidit fratrem suum et cuius rei gratia occidit eum quia opera eius maligna erant fratris autem eius iusta
13. et nolite mirari fratres si odit nos hic mundus
14. Nos scimus quoniam transimus de morte ad uitam quia diligimus fratres qui non diligit permanet in mortem
15. omnis qui odit fratrem suum homicida est et scitis quia omnis homicida non habet uitam aeternam in se manentem
16. in hoc cognoscimus caritatem quia ille pro nobis animam suam posuit et nos debemus pro fratribus animas ponere.
17. qui autem habuerit substantiam huius mundi et uiderit fratrem suum egere et clauserit uiscera sua ab eo quomodo caritas di manet in eo
18. filioli non diligamus tantum uerbo neque lingua sed operae et ueritate
19. et in hoc cognoscimur qm ex ueritate sumus et coram ipso suademus cordi nostro
20. qm si reprehendat nos cor nostrum maior est ds cordi nostro et nouit omnia
21. kmi si cor nm non nos reprehendat fiduciam habemus aput dm
22. et quidquid petierimus accipiemus ab eo qm mandata eius seruamus et quae sunt placita in conspectu eius facimus
23. et hoc est mandatum eius ut credamus nomini filii eius IHU XPI et diligamus inuicem sicut dedit nobis mandatum
24. et qui seruat mandatum eius in illo manebit et ipse in eo et in hoc scimus qm permanet in nobis de spu quem dedit nobis
4:1. Kmi nolite omni spu credere sed probate sps si ex do sunt qm multi pseudoprophetae prodierunt in hoc saeculo
2. hinc cognoscitur sps di omnis sps qui confitetur IHM XPM in carne uenisse ex do est.
3. et omnis sps qui non confitetur IHM ex do non est et hoc est illius antixpisti quem audistis quia uenturus est et nunc in saeculo est
4. iam uos ex do estis filioli et uicistis eos qm maior est qui in uobis est quam hic qui in saeculo est
5. hii de saeculo sunt propterea de saeculo locuntur et saeculum audit eos
6. nos ex do sumus qui cognoscit dm audit nos qui non est ex do non nos audit hinc cognoscimus spm ueritatis et spm erroris
7. kmi diligamus inuicem qm caritas ex do est et omnis qui diligit fratrem suum ex do natus est et cognoscit dm
8. qui non diligit ignorat dm quia ds caritas est
9. in hoc apparuit caritas di in nobis qm filium suum unicum misit ds in saeculo ut uiuamus per eum
10. in hoc est caritas non quod nos dilexerimus dm sed qm ipse dilexit nos et misit filium suum propitiatorem pro peccatis nostris.
11. kmi si sic ds dilexit nos et nos debemus diligere imuicem
12. dm nemo uidit umquam quodsi diligamus imuicem ds in nobis manet et caritas eius perfecta est in nobis
13. in hoc cognoscimus qum in ipso manemus et ipse in nobis qm de spu suo dedit nobis
14. et nos uidimus et testamur qm pater misit filium suum saluatorem saeculi
15. quicumque confessus fuerit qm ihs est filius di ds in eo manet et ipse in do
16. Et nos cognouimus et credidimus in caritate quam habet ds in nobis ds caritas est et qui manet in caritate in do permanet et ds in eo manet
17. in hoc perfecta est Karitas in nobis … fiduciam habemus in diem iudicii quia sicut ille est et nos sumus in hoc mundo
18. timor non est in caritate sed perfecta caritas foras mittit timore qm timor poenam habet qui autem timet non est perfectus in caritatem
19. nos ergo diligamus qm ipse prior dilexit nos
20. si quis dixerit diligo dm et fratrem suum odit mendax est qui enim non diligit fratrem suum quem uidet dm quem non uidet quomodo potest diligere
21. et hoc mandatum habemus a do ut qui diligit dm diligat et fratrem suum
5:1. omnis qui credit quia IHs est xps ex do natus est et omnis qui diligit genitorem diligit eum qui genitus est ex eo
2. hinc cognoscimus qm diligimus filios di∙ cum diligimus dm et mandata eius facimus
3. haec est enim caritas ut mandata eius seruemus et mandata eius grauia non sunt
4. quia omne quod natum est ex do uincit saeculum et haec est uictoria quae uincit saceulum fides nostra
5. quis est autem qui uincit saeculum nisi qui credit quia IHS est filius di
6. hic est qui uenit per aquam et sanguinem IHS XPS et non tantum in aqua sed in aqua et sanguine et sps est testimonium quia sps est ueritas
7. qm tres sunt qui testificantur in terra ∙ sps et aqua et sanguis et tres sunt qui testificantur in caelo pater et uerbum et sps scs et hi tres unum sunt
9. si testimonium hominum accipimus testimonium di maius est quia hoc est testimonium di quia testificatus est de filio suo
10. qui credit in filio di habet testimonium di in se qui non credit in do mendacem facit eum quia non credit in testimonium eius quod testificatus est ds de filio suo
11. et hoc est testimonium qm uitam aeternam dedit nobis ds et haec uita in filio eius est
12. qui habet filium di uitam habet qui non habet filium di uitam non habet
13. haec scribo uobis ut sciatis quia uitam habetis aeternam qui creditis in ne fili di
14. et haec est fiducia quam habemus ad eum quia quidquid petierimus secundum uoluntatem eius audit nos
15. et si scimus quia audit nos quidquid petierimus scimus qm habemus petitiones quas petiuimus ab eo
16. si quis scit fratrem suum peccare peccatum no ad mortem postulabit et dabit ei uitam his qui peccat non usque ad mortem est enim peccatum usque ad mortem non pro illo dico ut postulet
17. omnis iniustitia peccatum est et est peccatum ad mortem
18. scimus qm omnis qui natus est ex do non peccat sed natiuitas di conseruat eum et malignus non tangit eum
19. scim’ qm ex do sumus et totus mundus in maligno positus est
20. et scimus qm filius di uenit et dedit nobis intellectum ut sciamus quod est ueru et simus in uero filio eius IHU XPO hic est uerus ds et vita aeterna
21. filioli custodite uos ab idolis.
… : CC∙LXXIIII. INCPEIUSDEM∙ II.
In the following critical notes differences of order have not, as a rule, been noted except for the Vulgate, and the text found in Augustine’s Tractates on the Epistle. An attempt has been made to indicate by fractions the proportion which the evidence for any particular variant in any writer bears to the whole evidence on the point in question to be found in his quotations of the passage. This has not been attempted in the case of Augustine, except for the Tractates (Aug.), where different readings have been noted in this way, when, as sometimes happens, more than one rendering is found in the text.
1:1. erat] fuit Vg. Cass. " quod 2°—uitae] quod uidimus quod audiuimus oculis nostris uidimus et manus nostrae contrectauerunt de sermone uitae Tert. 2/2 " quod 2°—nostris] quae uidimus oculis nostris et auribus audiuimus Mur. Fr. " Est_1°] om. Vg. Cass. " quod 3°] om. Amb. 1/3 " oculis nostris] pr. quod Amb-codd. 1/3: pr et Amb-codd. 1/3: om. Amb-cod. 1/3: + quod perspeximus Vg. Cass.: + perspeximus Amb. 2/3-Exodus 1:3 " Est_2] + quod Amb-codd. 1/3 " tractauerunt] contrectauerunt Vg.: palpauerunt Mur. Fr. Cass.: perscrutatae sunt Amb. 1/3: scrutatae sunt Amb. 2/3.
2. ipsa] om. Vg. Amb. 2/2 " manifestata Est_1°] apparuit Amb. 2/2 " testes sumus] testamur Vg. Cass. Amb. 2/2: testificamur p. " uitam aeternam] de uita Amb. " manifestata Est_2°] apparuit Vg. Cass. Amb-ed.: paruit Amb-cod. " in] om. Vg. Cass. Spec.
3. quae] quod ergo p. " annunciamus Vg. " Est_3°—eius] ut communio sit nobis cum patre et filio eius Iesu Christo Tert. " sit] est p. " cum deo patre] apud patrem Spec. " Iesu—eius] cum filio eius Iesu Christo Vg. Spec.
4. scribimus] scripsimus Mur. Fr. (uid.) " uobis] pr. ut gaudeatis p.—gaudium] pr. gaudeatis et Vg. " uestrum] nostrum p.
5. quia societatem habemus] nos societatem habere p. " quia] quoniam Vg. " illo] eo Vg. Aug. Vict. Vit.
6. quodsi] si Vg. " quia] quoniam Vg. " societatem] communionem Tert. " ambulamus] incedamus Tert. " ueritatem non facimus Vg.
7. quod si] si autemVg.: si uero Tert. " lumine 1°, 2°] luce Vg. " ambulamus] incedamus Tert. " sicut—lumine 2°] om. Tert. " societatem] communionem Tert. " cum inuicem] ad inuicemVg.: cum eo Tert.: cum deo p. " filii eius] domini nostri Tert. " purgabit] emundat Vg. Tert.: mundat p. " delicto] peccato Vg.
8. dixerimus] dicamus Tert. " quoniam—habemus] nos delictum (peccatum Gel.) non habere Tert. Gel-Ephesians 1:3 " quoniam] quod Aug-codd.: quia p. Cyp. 2/3-Exodus 1:3 Aug. Cass. 2/3-Exodus 1:3 Gel-Ephesians 2:2 Opt. ½-codd. ½ Luc. Spec. " peccata Faust " ipsos nos decipimus] ipsi nos seducimus Vg. Aug. Paul-Oros. Cass. 2/3-codd. 1/3: nos ipsos seducimus Aug. Gel-Ephesians 1:3 Spec.: Inos ipsos decipimus Cyp. 3/3 (decepimus cod. 3/3): seducimus nosmet ipsos Tert. Aug. Gel-Ephesians 1:3: ipsi nos decipimus Cass-Exodus 1:3 Faust. " et] quia Gel-Ephesians 1:3 " ueritas] uerbum eius Cass. 1/3 (cf. ver. 10).
9. si] quod si Aug. Gel-Ep.: + autem p. Cyp. " confiteamur] confitemur Tert.: confessi fuerimus Aug. Cyp. Gel-Ep. " peccata 1°] delicta Tert. Aug. Gel-Ep. " fidelis] + est Vg. Aug. Gel-Ep. " iustus]: + est dominus Cyp. + est Spec. " ut—peccata 2°] qui nobis peccata dimittat Cyp. " ut] qui Spec. Gel-Ep. " remittam] remittat Vg.: dimittat Tert. Aug. Spec. Gel-Ep. " nobis peccata] ea nobis Tert. " peccata 2°] delicta nostra Aug.: + nostra Vg. Aug. " purget] emundet Tert.Vg.: mundet Aug. ½ Spec. Gel-Ep. " ex] ab Tert. Aug. ½ Vg. Spec. Gel-Ep. " iniquitate] iniustitia Tert.
10. quod si] si Tert. Vg. Gel-Ep. ½ Cass. " dixerimus] dicamus Tert. " quod non peccauimus] nos non deliquisse Tert. " quod] quoniam Aug. Vg.: quia Aug. Gel-Ephesians 2:2 Cass-ed. " facimus Tert. Aug. Vg. Cass. " eum] illum Tert.: deum Cass-cod. " uerbum] sermo Tert. " est] erit Gel-Ephesians 2:2.
2:1. fili mei] filioli mei Cyp. Aug. Vg.: filioli Tert. Aug.: fratres Aug. " haec] ista Cyp. (ita-cod.) " scribo] scripsi Tert. Cyp-cod. " ne] ut non Aug. Vg. Gel-Ephesians 2:2 Vict. Vit. " peccatis] delinquatis Tert. Cyp. " et] pr. sed Vg. Vict. Vit-cod.: sed Gel-Ephesians 2:2 Vict. Vit-ed. " quis peccauerit] deliqueritis Tert.: qui deliquerit Cyp. (quis codd.) " aduocatum] paracletum Vict. Vit. Faust. " apud] ad Aug. " patrem] pr. deum Tert. ad-Vigil (dnm cod.) " Iesum Christum) om. Gel-Ephesians 2:2: om. Iesum ad-Vig. (uid.): om. Christum Aug. " iustum] suffragatorem Cyp-cod. ½: om. Vict. Vit. Faust.
2. et] om. Cyp-cod. Aug. " exoratio] propitiatio Vg. Faust. Paul-Nol. Hier.: propitiator Aug.: satisfactio et placatio ad-Vig. (uid.): placatio Tert. Hil.: deprecatio Cyp. " Pro_1°—tantum] peccatorum nostrorum non tantum nostrorum Aug. " peccatis] delictis Tert. Cyp. 1/3 " non—tantum] om. Faust. " Est_2°) etiam Vg. " Pro_3°] om. Aug. " saeculo] mundi Aug. Vg. Faust.
3. in] ex Luc. " iscimus] intellegimus Cyp. Luc.: cognoscimus Aug. " quoniam cognoscimus] om. Aug. " quoniam] quia Cyp. " mandata] praecepta Cyp. " seruemus] seruauerimus Aug.: custodiamus Cyp.: obseruemus Vg.
4. qui] + autem Luc. " se noscere] se nosseVg.: quia cognouit Aug. Cyp-codd. quia cognoui Aug: qui cognouit Aug.: quia nouit Ambr.: quoniam cognouit Cyp. (nouit cod.): quoniam cognoui Cyp-cod. Luc. 2/2 " eum] dm p. " mandata] praecepta Ambr. " seruat] custodit Vg. Luc. 2/2 " in hoc ueritas] et ueritas in illo Cyp. " in hoc] et in eo Luc. 2/2 " ueritas—(5) hoc 1°] om. p*.
5. nam qui custodit] qui autem custodit Vg.: qui autem seruauerit Aug Luc. 2/2 " in hoc 1°] pr. uere Vg. Aug.: uere ab eis Luc. ½: uere … apud illos Luc. ½ " caritas] dilectio Aug. " perfecta] consummata Luc. 2/2 " in 2:0] pr. et. Vg. " iscimus] cognoscimus Aug. " quoniam] quia Aug. " eo] ipso Vg. Aug. " sumus] + si in ipso perfecti fuerimus p. Aug.
6. in ipso] in Christo Cyp. 4/4 (om. in cod. ¼) Hier. " quemadmodum] sicut Vg. Aug. Paul-Nol.: quomodo Cyp. 4/4 Hier. 2/2 " et] pr. sic Salv.
7. carissimi] dilectissimi Aug. " mandatum nouum Vg. Aug. " quem] quod ha Vg. Aug. " habebatis Aug.
8. est uere] erit uerum ha: uerum est Vg. Aug. " quia] qm p. " iam] om. Vg. Aug. " transierunt Vg. Aug. " lumen uerum] uerum lumen Vg.: lux uera Aug.
9. esse in lumine Aug. ½ " lumine] luce Vg. Aug. ½ Cyp. 2/3: lucem Cyp-cod. ½ Spec-cod. " odit] + homicida est et Cyp-cod. 2/2 " est] ambulat Cyp-cod. ½.
10. nam qui] qui autem Spec. Luc.: om. nam Vg. Aug. " diligit] amat Luc. " permanet] manet Vg. Aug. Spec. Euch.
11. qui autem] nam qui Aug. " est-tenebris 2:0] om. Luc. 2/2 " non scit] nescit Vg. Cyp-cod. Aug. Faust. Luc. " ubi eat] quo eat Vg. Aug. Cyp. Luc.: quo uadit Faust. " quia] quoniam Aug. Cyp. " obscoecauerunt] excaecaueruntAug. Cyp.: obscurauerunt Luc. " oculos] cor Luc.
12. scribo] dico Prisc. " quoniam] quia Aug. Prisc. " propter] per Aug.
13. scribo 1°—initio] om. p. " quoniam 1°] quia Aug. Faust. " quod—initio] eum qui ab initio estVg. Faust.: eum qui a principio est Aug. " iuuenes] adolescentes Vg. " quoniam 2°] Iquia Aug. Faust.
14. pueri] infantes Vg. " quoniam 1°] quia Aug. " quod—initio] om. Vg. " quod] scribo nobis patres quia p. Aug. " est ab initio] a principio est Aug. " adulescentes] iuuenes Vg. Aug. Euch. " quoniam 2°] quia p. Aug. Euch. " in uobis permanet] manet in uobis Vg. " permanet] manet Aug. Euch.
15. Nolite diligere mundum neque ambitum eius Claud. " Nolite quaerere quae in hoc mundo sunt Paul-Nol. " nolite] pr. filioli Cass. " seculum 1°] mundum Vg. Aug. Cyp. 3/3 De duod-abus. Faust. 2/2 Cass. " saeculo] mundo Vg. Aug. Cyp. 2/3-Exodus 1:3 De d. a. Faust. 2/2 Cass.: hoc mundo Cyp-cod. 1/3 " si quis] quisquis Aug-ed.: qui enim Faust.: + autem p.: + enim Aug-cod. " quis] qui Cyp. 1/3-Exodus 2:3 " diligit] dilexerit Aug. Cyp. 3/3 " saeculum 2°] mundum Vg. Cyp. 2/3-Exodus 1:3 Aug. Faust. Cass.: hunc mundum Cyp-cod. 1/3 " non—eo] dilectio patris non est in ipso Aug. (eo Aug-cod.) " caritas] dilectio Aug. " patris] Dei Cass. " eo] illo Aug. Cyp. 3/3 Cass.
16. quoniam] quia Aug. Cyp. ¼ Faust. Cass. " omne—seculo] omnia quae in mundo sunt Aug. " est in saeculo] est in mundo Vg. Aug. Cass. Gel-Ep. Faust.: in mundo est Aug. Cyp. 4/4 " concupiscentia carnis est] desiderium est carnis Aug. " concupiscentia 1°] pr. aut Aug-cod. " Est_2°] om. Faust. " concupiscentia 2°] uoluntas Prisc. 2/2 " superbia uitae] ambitio saeculi Aug. Cyp. ¾-ed. ¼ Gel-Ep.: ambitio mundi Cyp-codd. ¼: ambitio humanae uitae Prisc.: + humanae Faust. " Est_3°] om. Vg. Aug. Cyp-cod. ¼ Faust. Prisc. Cass.: sunt Cyp-ed. ¼ " quae] et ubique Aug-cod.: om. Prisc. " Est_4°] sunt Aug. Prisc. " ex] a Aug. Cyp. 4/4 Gel-Ep.: de Aug-codd. Faust. Prisc. " de saeculo] ex mundo Vg. Aug. Cyp-cod. ¼ Gel-Ep. Cass.: de hoc mundo Prisc.: ex concupiscentia saeculi Cyp. ¼-ed. ¼-cod. ¼ (a pro ex cod. ¼): ex concupiscentia mundi Cyp. ¼-cod. ¼ " Est_5°] sunt Aug. Prisc.: om. Cyp. ¾-ed. ¼ cf. v. Sod. 225.
17. saeculum] mundus Vg. Aug. Cyp. 4/4 Gel-Ep. Cass. Faust. Prisc. Luc. " transit] transibit Cyp. ¾-ed. ¼ Aug.: praeterit Prisc.: perit Cass. (-iit codd.) " concupiscentia) + eius Vg. Cyp. 4/4 Aug. Faust. Prisc. Luc.: desideria eius Aug. " facit] fecerit Aug. Cyp. 5/5 Gel-Ep. Faust. Luc. " dei] domini Gel-Ep. " permanet] manet Vg. Aug. Cyp. 2/5-Exodus 1:5-cod. 1/5 Gel-Ep. Cass. Faust. Luc.: manebit Cyp. 1/5-Exodus 1:5-cod. 1/5 " aeternum] + quomodo et ipse manet in aeternum p. Aug. (sicut) Cyp. 5/5 (om. cod. 2/5) Luc. [[quomodo et ipse] sicut et deus Aug. " et ipse] et deus p. Cyp. 2/5-Exodus 1:5-cod. 1/5 Luc.: deus Cyp-cod. 1/5: om. et Cyp-codd. 1/5 " manet] manebit Cyp-Exodus 1:5]].
18. pueri] filioli Vg. Iren. Euch. " sicut] quemadmodum Iren.: quoniam 1°] quia Vg. Cyp. 2/2 Luc.: quod Aug. " uenit] sit uenturus Aug. " nunc] pr. et Vg.: + autem p. Cyp. 2/2 Aug. Luc. " multi] om. Cyp-cod. ½ " facti] om. Luc. " cognoscimus] scimus Vg. " quoniam 2°] quod Vg. Aug.: quia Cyp. 2/2 " nouissima hora Vg. " hora est] sit hora Aug.
19. Cf. quia non erant nostri, nam si nostri essent, mansissent nobiscum Opt. " exierunt] prodierunt Vg. Tert. " erat] erant Vg. Aug. Iren. Amb.: fuerunt Tert. Cyp. 5/5: sunt Petilianus ap. Aug. " Exo_2°] de Pet-ap-Aug. " nam—nobis 3°] si enim ex nobis essent Amb. " nam si] quod si Aug.: si enim Cyp. 5/5 Iren.: si Tert. " fuisset] fuissent Vg. Aug. Tert. Cyp. 5/5 Iren.: essent Pet-ap-Aug. " Exo_3°] de Pet-ap-Aug. " permansissent] mansissent Cyp. 2/5-Exodus 2:5-cod. 1/5 Aug. Amb.: mansisset Cyp-cod. 1/5 " forsitan] utique Vg. Aug. Tert Cyp-Exodus 1:5-cod. 4/5 Iren. Pet-ap-Aug.: om. Cyp-Exodus 4:5-cod. 1/5 Amb. " praesto fiat] manifesti sint Vg.: manifestarentur Aug. Iren. " quoniam] quod Aug. " sunt omnes] omnes erant Aug.: om. omnes Iren.
20. et] sed Vg. " accepistis] habetis Vg. Aug. " et nostis omnia] ut ipsi manifesti sites Aug.
21. Cf. Cognoscite ergo quoniam omne mendacium extraneum est et non est de ueritate Iren. " non 1°—scientibus] scribo uobis non quod nescieritis sed quia nostis Aug. " scientibus] pr. quasi Vg. " quoniam] quia Aug. " omne Aug. Spec. " non est ex ueritate Aug. " ex] de Spec-ed.
22. qui autem negat Im Xm in carnem (-ne ½) uenisse hic antechristus est Prisc. 2/2 " is] om. Iren. " quia is] quod Iesus Aug. " quia] quoniam Vg. Iren. " Est_2°] pr. non p. Aug. Iren. " hic—filium] om. Aug.
23. negat filium] non filium (+ habet ha) h. (Buch.) " om. et h. (Buch.) " cf. qui non habet filium nec patrem habet qui autem habet filium et patrem habet Cass. ½ " omnis]? om. Cyp. cf. von Soden, 225 " negat] non crediderit in Luc. " nec] pr. nec filium Aug. " qui 2°] pr. et Aug.: + autem p. Prisc. Spec.: + uero Luc. " confitetur] credit in Luc. " et patrem] pr. et filium Cyp. 2/2 Prisc. Spec-ed.: + et filium Luc.
24. uos] pr. ergo Aug.: + autem p. " ab initio audistis Aug. " permaneat in uobis] in uobis permaneat Vg.: in uobis maneat Aug. " quod si] si Vg. " permanserit] manserit Aug. " audistis ab initio Aug. " manebitis Vg. Aug.
25. et] om. Aug. " promissio] repromissio Vg.: pollicitatio Aug.
26. eis] his Vg. Aug. " seducunt uos] uos seducunt ut sciatis quia unctionem habetis Aug.
27. uos unctionem] unctio Aug. " accepimus Aug. " permaneat] maneat Vg. " uobis] nobis Aug. " necesse non habetis] non necesse habetisVg.: non habetis necessitatem Aug. " uos doceat Aug. " sed sicut] quia Aug. " eius] ipsius Aug. " uerum] uerax Aug. " mendum] mendacium haVg.: mendax Aug. " Est_3°] om. Aug. " manete Vg. " Exo_2°] ipsa Aug.
28. filioli Vg. " uenerit] apparueritVg.: manifestatus fuerit Aug. " fiduciam habeamus] habeamus fiduciamVg.: habeamus fiduciam in conspectu eius Aug. " et] ut Aug. " praesentia] aduentu Vg. Aug.
29. scimus] scitis Vg. Aug. " quoniam 1°, 2°] quia Aug. " omnis] pr. et Vg. " est natus Aug.
3:1. ecce] uidete Vg. " caritatem] dilectionem Aug. " uocaremur] nominemurVg.: uocemur Aug.: appellamur Aug. " sumus] simus Vg. Aug. " propterea—inhonorat] propter hoc mundus non nouit nos quia non nouit eum Vg. p. (et ipsum ignorabat pro non nouit eum): propter hoc mundus non cognoscit nos quia non cognouit eum et nos non cognoscit mundus Aug.
2. carissimi] dilectissimi Aug. " nunc.] om. Aug. " et nondum] necdum Hier. ½ " manifestatum est] apparuit Vg. Aug.: revelatum est Amb.: cf. nescimus Hier. ½ " qui futuri sumus] quid erimus Vg. Aug. Amb.: quod erimus Aug. " qui] quid Tert. Hier. ½: quales Hier. ½ " scimus] pr. sed Amb.: nouimus autem Hier. " quoniam] quia Aug. Tert. Amb. Hier. " cum apparuerit] si manifestauerit Tert. (manifestatus fuerit cod.) " apparuerit] reuelatum fuerit Amb.: ille reuelatus fuerit Hier. " ei erimus Aug. " ei] illi Aug-codd.: eius Tert. " quoniam uidebimus] uidebimus enim Hier. ½.
3. habet—eo] spem istam in illo habet Tert. " hanc spem Vg. " eo] ipso Aug.: eum Aug. " castificat] sanctificat Vg. Aug. " se] semet ipsum Aug. " sicut] quia Tert. " Est_2°] om. p. " ille] ipse Aug. Tert. " castus] sanctus Vg. Aug.
4. peccatum 1°] delictum Aug. " Est_1°] om. Aug. Amb. " Est_2°] om. Aug. " peccatum 2°] delictum Tert.
5. quoniam] quia Vg. Aug. " apparuit] manifestatus est Aug. Tert. (sit) " peccata tolleret] auferat delicta Tert. " peccata] + nostra Vg.: peccatum Aug. ½ " tolleret] auferat Aug. " Est_2°—est] om. Aug. (uid.) " illo] eo Vg.: ipso Aug.
6. in eo permanet] in eo manet Vg. Aug.: in ipso manet Aug.: manet in illo Tert. " peccat 1°] delinquit Tert. " omnis 2°] pr. et Vg. " peccat 2°] delinquit Tert. " non 2°] neque Tert. " uidit] uidet p. " eum 1°] om. Tert.
7. filii Luc. " seducat] fallat Luc " qui] pr. omnis Tert. " est] + sicut et ille iustus est Vg. Aug. Tert. Spec. (om. et cod.).
8. Cf. omnis qui peccat non est de deo sed de diabolo est et scitis quoniam ideo uenturus est ut perdat filios diaboli De aleat. " autem] om. Vg. Tert. Spec. " peccatum] delictum Tert. " de] ex Vg. Tert.: a Luc. Spec-ed. " quia] quoniam Vg. Tert. Luc. " ab—peccat] diabolus a primordio delinquit Tert. " ab initio] origine Luc. " in hoc] pr. et Spec.: idcirco Luc. ½: ad hoc enim Luc. ½: + enim Tert. " apparuit] inc. Cod-Freis. (ed. Ziegler): manifestatus est Aug. Tert.: declaratus est Luc. 2/2 " soluat] dissoluat Vg.: solueret Luc. 2/2 Spec. " opera] operas Luc-cod. ½.
9. ex] de h. " natus 1°—do 1°] ex deo nascitur Tert. " peccatum non facit] non peccat Aug. ½ Spec. " peccatum] delictum Tert. " quia] quoniam Vg. " semen] sensus Spec-codd. " eius] ipsius Vg. Aug. Cass.: dei Tert. " ipso] eo h. Vg. Aug. Cass.: illo Tert. " manet] est Cass. " peccare] delinquere Tert. " quoniam] quia Aug. Tert. Cass-cod. Spec. " de] ex Vg. Aug. Tert.
10. ex hoc] in hoc h. Vg. Aug. Tert. Cyp.: hinc Spec. " manifesti sunt] manifestati sunt Aug.: apparent Cyp. Luc. Spec. " et filii] bis scr. h. " omnis] om. Tert. Spec-cod. " facit iustitiam] est iustus Vg. Aug. Tert. Cyp. Luc 2/2 Spec. " de] ex Vg. Tert. Luc. 2/2 Spec.: a Aug. " diligit] amat Luc. 2/2 " fratrem suum] patrem suum aut matrem suam Cyp-cod.
11. quoniam] quia Aug. " hoc—quod] haec est annunciatio quam Vg. Aug. haec est (om. est ½) repromissio quam Luc. 2/2 " audiuimus Aug. " initio] origine Luc ½ " diligamus] amemus Luc. 2/2 " inuicem] alterutrum Vg. Luc. 2/2.
12. non] pr. et Luc. 2/2 " qui] om. h. Aug-ed. Luc. 2/2 " erat] fuit Luc. 2/2 " occidit 1°] interfecit Luc. 2/2 " cuius sei gratia] propter quid Vg. Luc. 2/2 " occidit 20] interfecit Luc. 2/2 " eum] om. Aug. " quia] quoniam h. (Buch.) Vg. Luc. 2/2 " eius 1°] illius Luc. ½: ipsius Luc. ½ " erant] erat h. *: fuerunt Aug. Luc. 2/2 " autem] uero Aug. " eius 2:0] ipsius Aug-cod.: sui Luc. 2/2: om. Aug-codd.
13. et] om. h. Vg. Aug. Luc. ½ " fratres] om. p. " nos] uos Vg. " hic mundus] om. hic Vg. Aug.: saeculum Luc 2/2.
14. quoniam] quia h. (Ber.) Aug. " transimus] translati sumus Vg. : [translati s] umus h. (Buch.): transiuimus p. (-ibi-) Aug.: transitum fecimus Luc. 2/2 " de] a Luc. 2/2 " ad] in h. p. " quia] quoniam Vg. Luc. 2/2 " diligimus] amamus Luc. 2/2 " qui—mortem] omnis qui fratrem suum non diligit manebit in morte Faust. " qui] + autem Luc. 2/2 " diligit] amat Luc. 2/2 " permanet] manet Vg. Aug. Luc. 2/2 " mortem] morte h. cett.
15. omnis qui] quicunque Hier. " omnis 1°]? om. Cyp. 3/3 " qui] + enim Cyp-cod. ½ " quia] quoniam h. Vg. Cyp-cod. ½ " uitam—se] in se uitam Cyp. Exodus 2:2: om. aeternum Luc. ½ " se] semet ipso Vg. " manentem] om. Cyp-cod. ½.
16. in hoc] et quia ex hoc Spec. (om. et codd.) " cognoscimus] cognouimus h. (Buch.) Vg. " caritatem] + Dei Vg.: dilectionem Aug.: + ipsius Spec. " quia] quoniam Vg. Spec. " pro nobis] post suam Vg.: propter nos Luc. " pro fratribus] post animas Aug.: + nostris Spec-ed. " Pro_2°] de h. " animas] animam h. Vict. Vit.: + nostras Luc. Spec-ed.
17. qui] quicunque Spec. " autem] om. Vg. Cyp. 2/2 " substantiam] facultates Aug. " huius] om. Aug. Cyp. 2/2 Spec. " suum egere] cui opus [est] h. (Buch.) " egere] necessitatem habere Vg.: esurientem Aug.: desiderantem Cyp. (+ aliquid cod.) 2/2 " ab eo] om. Cyp. ½-ed. ½ " Caritas dei manet] poterit caritas (dilectio Aug.) dei manere Aug. Cyp-cod. ½ " caritas] agape Cyp-cod. ½: dilectio Cyp-cod. ½ " dei] om. Cyp-cod. ½ " permanet h. " eo] illo Cyp. 2/2 Spec-ed.
18. filioli] + mei Vg. " tantum] om. Vg.: post uerbo p. Aug. " uerba h. * " neque] et hp. Aug. Spec.
19. et] om. h. Vg. " cognoscimus h. Vg. " coram ipso] in conspectu eius Vg. " suadebimus h. Vg. " corda nostra Vg.
20. si] + non p. " reprehenderit Vg. " corde h. " et] expl. h.
21. reprehenderit nos Vg. " nos] om. Aug-cod. " reprehendit Cyp-codd. Ep-Sev-ad-Claud. " habemus] habebimus Aug-cod.: habeamus Luc. " apud] ad Vg. Cyp. Aug. Luc. Ep-Sev.
22. quidquid] quodcunque p. Cyp.: quaecunque Aug. Ep-Sev. " accipiamus Cyp-cod. " eius 1°] om. Luc. " seruamus] custodiimus p.: custodimus Luc. " quae] pr. ea Vg. " sunt placita] ei placent Luc. " in conspectu eius] coram eo Vg.: ante conspectum eius Luc. " faciamus Luc.
23.Est_1°—credamus] om. Luc. " nomini] in nomine Vg. Luc. " eius 2°] ipsius Luc. " diligamus] amemus nos Luc. " inuicem] alterutrum Vg. " mandatum nobis Vg.
24. mandata Vg. " manebit] manet Vg. " permanet] manet Vg.
4:1. Kmi] dilectissimi Aug. " sps 1°—sunt] spiritum qui ex deo est Aug. ½ " ex] a Spec-codd. " sint Vg. Cass. " qm] quia Aug. " prodierunt] exierunt Vg. Iren. Luc. 2/2 Spec. " in hoc saeculo] in mundum Vg.: in istum mundum Aug.: de saeculo Iren.: in hunc mundum p. Spec.: om. hoc Luc.
2. hinc] in hoc Vg. Aug. Iren.: ex hoc Luc. " cognoscitur sps] cognoscite spiritum Iren: intellegite spiritum Luc. " Christum Iesum Prisc. 2/3 " IHM] om. Prisc. 1/3 " XPM] om. Cass. " in carne uenisse] om. Prisc. 2/3 " carnem Prisc. 2/3 " ex. de Cyp. Prisc. 3/3 Amb.
3. Cf. Qui autem negat in carne uenisse de deo non est sed est de antichristi spiritu (antichristus cod.) Cyp. (cf. etiam Epist. 73. 15): et omnis spiritus qui soluit Christum in carne uenisse non est ex deo Aug. 1/3: omnis qui soluit Iesum Christum et negat eum in carne uenisse non est ex deo Aug. 1/3 " omnis sps qui] quicunque sps Amb. ½ (uid.): omnis qui Amb. ½ (uid.) Cass. 4/4 " non confitetur] soluit p. Vg. Tert. ½ (uid.): Iren. Prisc. ½ Cass. 4/4: negat Tert. ½ Prisc. ½ Amb. ½ (cf. Cyp.): destruit Luc. " IHM] Iesum Christum in carne uenisse Aug. Tert. ½ (om. Iesum) Amb. 2/2 " non est ex do Aug. " ex] de Amb. ½ Prisc. 2/2 " Est_2°—antixpisti] et hic antichristus est Tert. ½ Prisc. Cass-cod. 1/3: sed de antichri-to est Iren.: et hoc est antichristi Cass. 2/3-Exodus 1:3 " hoc] ηιχ p. Vg. Aug. " illus antixpisti p.] antichristus Vg. Aug. " illius] quod est Luc. " quem] de quo Vg. Aug.: quod Cass. " quia] quoniam Vg. " uenturus est] uenit Vg. Cass. " nunc] + iam Vg. Cass. " saeculo] mundo Vg.
4. iam] om. Vg. " et uicistis eos] uincite illos De sing. cler. " eos] eum Vg. Aug. " qm] quia Aug. Paul-Nol. 3/3 " maior] potior Paul-Nol. 1/3 " est in uobis Aug. " nobis Cass. Paul-Nol. 3/3 " hic—Est_3°] qui in mundo Vg.: qui in hoc mundo est Aug.: qui in hoc mundo Cyp. ½ Cass. Paul-Nol. 3/3: qui in isto mundo Cyp. ½.
5. hii] ipsi Vg.: isti Luc. " saeculo 1°] mundo Vg. Aug. " propterea] ideo Vg. Aug. " saeculo 2°] mundo Vg. Aug. " saeculum audit eos] mundus eos audit Vg. Aug.
6. nos 1°] + autem Luc. " cognoscit] nouit Vg. Aug. " qui 2°] + autem Luc. " nos audit] audit nos Luc. " hinc] in hoc Vg.: ex hoc Aug. Luc. " cognoscimus spm] cognoscitur spiritus Aug.: intellegimus spiritum Luc.
7. kmi] dilectessimi Aug. " diligamus] amemus Luc. " inuicem] pr. nos Vg.: nos alterutrum Luc. " qm] quia Vg. Aug. " fratrem suum] om. Vg. Aug. De rebap. " suum] om. p. " cognoscit] cognouit Aug.
8. qui—dm] om. Aug. (uid.) De rebap. (uid.) " qui] quicunque Luc. " diligit] + fratrem Luc. " ignorat] non nouit Vg. Aug. Luc. " quia] quoniam Vg. Luc. " caritas] dilectio Aug. De rebap. Claud. Mam.
9. in] ex Luc. Spec. " apparuit] manifestata est Aug. Spec. (manifesta cod.): declarata est Luc. " caritas] dilectio Aug. " di] Domini Spec-ed. " nobis] uobis Spec-ed. " qm] quia Aug.: quod Spec. " unicum] unigenitum Vg. Aug. " ds] om. Aug. Spec. " saeculo] mundum Vg.: hunc mundum p. Aug. Spec.: saeculum Luc. " eum] ipsum Aug. Spec-ed.
10. caritas] dilectio Aug. " quod] quasi Vg.: quia Aug. " nos 1°] om. Aug. " dilexerimus] dileximus Aug.: amauerimus Luc. " dm] om. Aug.: dnm. Aug-cod. " qm] quia Aug.: quod Luc. " ipse dilexit nos] prior nos ille dilexit Cass. " ipse] + prior Vg. Aug. " dilexit] amauerit Luc. " misit] miserit Luc.] propitiaiorem] propitiationem Vg.: litatorem Aug.: expiatorem Luc. " pro peccatis nostris] peccatorum nostrorum Luc. ".
11. Kmi] dilectissimi Aug. " si sic] sicut p. " si] + ergo] Luc. " sic] ita Aug. " dilexit] amauit Luc.] debemus et nos Aug. " et] sic p. " diligere inuicem] alterutrum diligere Vg.: inuicem diligere Aug.: alterutrum amare Luc.
12. quod si] si Vg. Aug. " diligimus p. " manebit Aug. " caritas] dilectio Aug. " perfecta—nobis] in nobis perfecta est Vg.: erit perfecta in nobis Aug.
13. in 1°] ex Vict. Vit. " cognoscimus] scimus Vict. Vit.: intellegimus p. " qnm] quia Aug. Vict. Vit. " in 2°—ipse] om. Vict. Vit. " ipso] eo Vg. " qm] quia Aug. Vict. Vit. " suo] dei p.: sancto Vict.Vit.
14. testamur] testificamur Vg.: testes sumus Aug. " qm] quia p. Aug. " pater misit] misit deus Cass. " saeculi] mundi Vg. Aug.
15. quicunque] quisquis Vg. Cass-cod.: qui Aug. ½ Tert. Cass-cod.: quisque Cass-ed. " confessus fuerit] crediderit Cass. " qm] quod Aug.] ihs] Christus Tert. (uid.) " eo] ipso Aug.: illo Tert. Cass. " ipse in do] caritas dei in eo perfecta est Cass. (?).
16. credimus p. " in 1°—ds 1°] quam dilectionem deus habet Aug. " in caritate 1°] caritati Vg. " caritas] dilectio Aug. Cyp. ½ Paul-Nol.: agape Cyp-cod. ½ " Est_3°] om. Cyp. ½ Cass-ed. " in 3°—do] in deo in dilectione Cyp-codd. ½ " caritate 2°] dilectione Aug. Cyp. ½: agape Cyp. ½ " permanet] manet Vg. Aug. Cyp. 2/2; Cass. " eo] illo Aug. ½ Cyp. 2/2: ipso Cass. " manet 2°] om. Vg. Cyp-codd. ½ Aug. Cass.
17. karitas in nobis] dilectio (+ eius 1/3) in nobis Aug. 2/3: in nobis dilectio Aug. 1/3 " karitas] + Dei Vg. " in nobis] nobiscum Vg. " …] ut Vg. Aug. " habeamus Vg. Aug. Cass. " die Aug. Cass-ed.
18. caritate] dilectione Aug. ½ Tert. " sed] + enim Tert. " perfecta] consummata Aug. " caritas] dilectio Aug. ½ Tert. 3/3 Amb. Salv. Tyr. Ruf. Hier. " foras mittit] foras abicit Tert. ½: excludit foras Amb. " foris Aug. cod. " qm] quia Aug. Tert. ½ " poenam] tormentum Aug.: suppliciamentum Tert. ½ " qui autem] et qui Tert. ½ " caritatem] dilectione Aug. Tert. 2/2.
19. ergo] om. Aug. " diligamus] + deum Vg. " qm] quia Aug. Cass. " ipse] deus Vg. Cass. (?) " nos dilexit Aug. ½.
20. quis] qui Cyp-ed. " dicit Luc. " diligo dm] pr. quoniam Vg.: quoniam diligit dm Cyp.: quia diligit dm Luc.:
21. hoc] + ergo p. " a do] ab ipso Aug. Luc.: ab eo p. " diligit] amat Luc. " diligat] amet Luc.
5:1 quia] quoniam Vg.: quod Aug. " Est_1°] sit Aug.: om. Spec. " Est_2°] + deus in ipso est et ipse in deo Spec. " genitorem] eum qui genuit Vg.: qui genuit eum Aug. " eum] pr. et Vg. " genitus—eo] ex deo (eo p.) natus est p. Spec-ed.: natus est ex ipso Spec-codd. " genitus] natus Vg.
2. hinc] in hoc Vg. Aug. " cognoscimus] intellegimus Luc. " qm] quia Aug. " diligimus 1°] amamus Luc. " filios] natos Vg. " cum] quia Aug.: quando Luc. " diligimus dm] deum diligamus Vg.: deum diligimus Aug.: amamus dm Luc. " mandata] praecepta Aug. " eius] ipsius Luc. " facimus] faciamus Vg.: seruauimus p.
3. caritas] + dei Vg. Aug. Luc.: dilectio dei Aug. " seruemus] om. Luc. " mandata 1°] praecepta Aug. " ut—seruemus] explic. Aug.: custodiamus Vg.: obseruemus Aug. " eius] ipsius Luc.
4. quia] quoniam Vg. " saeculum 1°, 2°] mundum Vg.
5. quis] qui p. " autem] om. Vg. " saeculum] mundum Vg. " credidit p. " quia] quoniam Vg.
6. Est_2°] om. Vg. De rebap. " tantum in aqua] in aqua solum Vg. " testimonium] qui testificatur Vg.: qui testimonium perhibet De rebap.: qui testimonium reddit Spec. " quia] quoniam Vg. " sps] Christus p. Vg.
7, 8. quoniam tres sunt qui testimonium dant in caelo Pater uerbum et spiritu sanctus et hi tres unum sunt et tres sunt qui testimonium dant in terra spiritus et aqua et sanguis et hi tres unum sunt Vg.: cf. et iterum de patre et filio et spiritus sancto scriptum est et tres unum sunt Cyp.: quia tres testimonium perhibent spiritus et aqua et sanguis et isti tres unum sunt De rebap. 2/2 (in unum cod. ½, cf. von Soden, Das lateinische NT. in Afrika, p. 280): tres testes sunt aqua sanguis et spiritus Amb.: tria sunt quae testimonium perhibent aqua sanguis (+ et ½) Spiritus Euch. 2/2: tria sunt qui testimonium dicunt in terra aqua caro et sanguis et haec tria in unum sunt et tria sunt quae testimonium dicunt in caelo pater uerbum et spiritus et haec tria unum sunt in Christo Iesu Prisc.: tres sunt qui testimonium perhibent (dant cod.) in caelo pater uerbum (et filius codd.) et spiritus sanctus (om. sanctus cod.) et hi tres unum sunt Vict. Vit.: tres sunt qui testimonium dicunt in caelo pater uerbum et spiritus et hii tres unum sunt Spec. ½: quoniam (quia p. Spec-cod.) tres sunt qui testimonium dicunt (dant p.) in terra spiritus aqua et sanguis et hi tres unum sunt in Christo Iesu et tres sunt qui testimonium dicunt (dant p.) in caelo pater uerbum et (om. et p.) spiritus (+ sanctus p. Spec-cod.) et hii tres unum sunt p. Spec. ½.
9. accepimus p. " quia 1°—Dan_2°] om. p. " quia 1°] quoniam Vg. " quia 2°] quod maius est quoniam Vg. " testatus est Tert.
10. filio 1°] filium Vg. " Dan_2°] eius Spec. " se] semet ipso Spec. " qui 2°] + autem Spec. " in do] filio Vg.: Iesu Christo Spec. " eum] deum Spec. " quia non credit] quoniam non credidit p. " in testimonium] testimonio p. Spec. " eius] om. Vg. Spec. " ds] om. Spec.
12. Cf. qui filium non habet nec uitam habet Tert. " Dan_1°] om. Vg. Prisc.: + in se p. " uitam habet] habet uitam p. (+ eternam) Vg. " Dan_2°] om. Vg. Prisc.
13. haec] pr. carissimi p. " scripsi p. " quia] quoniam Vg.
14. ad eum] apud dm p. " quidquid] quodcumque Vg.
15. si] om. Vg. " quia] qm p. " petiuimus] postulamus Vg.
16. si quis] qui Vg. Cass.: omnis qui p. " peccare] delinquere Tert. 2/2 Hil. " peccatum 1°] delictum Tert. 2/2: om. Hil. " no] pr. sed Hil. " postulabit] petat Vg. Hil.: petat pro eo p. " dabit ei uitam] dabitur ei uita Vg. Tert. ½ Cass-codd. ½: + deus p. Cass-codd. 2/2 " ei] illi deus Hil. " his—mortem 2°] peccanti non ad mortem p. Vg. Cass. (pr. sed p. cod. ½: peccantibus ed. ½): qui (quia ½) non ad mortem delinquit Tert. 2/2: om. Hil. " enim] om. Vg. Tert. ½ " peccatum 2°] delictum Tert. 2/2. " usque 2°] om. Vg. Tert. 2/2 Hil. Cass. " non 3°] pr. sed Hil. " pro] de Tert. ½ " ut postulet] om. Hil. (uid.) " postulet] roget quis Vg.: pr. quis Tert. 2/2: roget Cass. (rogent Codd.) Aug. ( + quis cod.).
17. iniustitia] iniquitas Vg. " peccatum 1°, 2°] delictum Tert.
18. qm] quia Vg.: quod Tert. " est] sit Tert. " peccat] delinquit Tert. " natiuitas] generatio Vg. Aug. Cass.
19. totus—est] saeculum totum in malo positum est Salv. " mundus totus Vg. " totus] omnis Prisc. " mundus] pr. hic Paul-Nol. (uid.) " positus est] iacet Paul-Nol.
20. uenit] + et carnem uiduit nostri causa et passus est et resurrexit a mortuis adsumpsit nos p. Spec. " Est_1°—XPO] Cf. et nos dedit sensum per quem sciremus quod est uerbum in Christo Iesu Paul. Oros. " intellectum] sensum Vg. Paul. Oros. Spec. " sciamus] cognoscamus Vg.: cognosceremus Spec. " quod est uerum] uerum deum Vg.: eum qui (quia codd.) uerus est Spec. " Est_3°] ut Spec-cod. " uero] uerbum Spec-codd. " IHU XPO] om. Vg. " hic] ipse Aug. " ds] om. Spec. " aeterna] + et resurrectio nostra Spec.
21. filioli] fratres Aug. " custodite uos] cauete Aug. " ab idolis] a simulacris Vg. Aug. Spec. + Amen Vg.
ἀγαπᾶν diligere h. q Vg. Aug. (3:14) amare Luc.
diligere q Vg. Aug. (3:23) amare Luc.
dilexerimus q Vg. (4:10) amauerimus Luc.
diligere q Vg. Aug. De rebap. (4:7, 11) amare Luc.
diligere q Vg. Aug. (4:20) amare Luc.
diligere q Vg. Aug. (5:2) amare Luc.
ἀγάπη caritas h. Vg. (2:5) dilectio Aug.
caritas h. q Vg. (3:16) dilectio Aug.
caritas h. q Vg. (3:17) dilectio Aug. Cyp-cod. ½ agape Cyp-cod. ½.
caritas q Vg. (4:8) dilectio Aug. De rebap.
caritas q Vg. (4:9, 10, 12, 17) dilectio Aug. agape Cyp. ½.
caritas q Vg. (4:16) dilectio Aug. Cyp. ½.
caritas q Vg. Aug. (5:3) dilectio Aug. Luc.
caritas Vg. (3 John 1:6) dilectio Hier.
ἀγαπητός carissimus h. Vg. (2:7) dilectissimus Aug.
carissimus q Vg. (4:7, 11) dilectissimus Aug.
carissimus Vg. (3 John 1:1) dilectissimus Aug.
ἀγγελία mandatum h. q (3:11) annunciatio Vg. Aug. repromissio Luc.
ἀγνίζειν castificare h. (3:3) sanctificare Vg. Aug.
ἁγνός castus h. (3:3) sanctus Vg. Aug.
ἀδικία iniquitas h. Vg. Aug. (1:9) iniustitia Tert.
ἀδικία iniquitas Vg. (5:17) iniustitia q.
αἴρειν tollere h. Vg. (3:5) auferre Aug.
αἰτεῖν petere, petere q (5:15) petere, postulare Vg.
postulare q Tert. (5:16) petere Vg. Hil.
ἐρωτᾶν postulare q Tert. (5:16) rogare Vg. Aug. Cass.
ἀλαζονία τοῦ βίου (2:16) superbia uitae h. Vg.
ambitio saeculi Cyp. Aug.
ambitio mundi Cyp-cod. ¼.
ambitio humanae uitae Prisc.
ἀλλήλους inuicem q Aug. (3:23) alterutrum Vg.
inuicem q Aug. (4:7) nos inuicem Vg. nos alterutrum Luc.
inuicem q Aug. alterutrum Vg. Luc.
inuicem q Aug. (2 John 1:5 alterutrum Vg.
ἁμαρτάνειν peccare h. Vg. Aug. (1:10) delinquere Cyp. Tert.
peccare q Vg. (5:16) delinquere Tert. Hil.
ὰμαρτία peccatum h. Vg. Cyp. (1:9) delictum Tert. Aug.
peccatum h. Vg. (3:5) delictum Tert. Aug.
ἄν forsitan h. (2:19) utique Vg. Aug. Cyp. (om. Exodus 1:5 cod. 1/5).
ἀφιέναι remittere h. Vg. (1:9) dimittere Cyp. Tert. Aug. Spec.
βίος substantia h. q Vg. Cyp. facultates Aug.
τὸν γεννήσαντα genitorem q (5:1) eum qui genuit Vg. qui genuit eum Aug.
τὸν γεγεννημένον qui genitus est q Aug. (5:1.) qui natus est Vg. Spec.
ὀ γεννηθείς natiuitas q (5:18) generatio Vg. Aug. Cass.
γενώσκεινι scire h. Vg. (2:5) cognoscere Aug.
cognoscere q Vg. Aug. (5:2) intelligere Luc.
διὰ τοῦτο propterea q (4:5) ideo Vg. Aug.
δίκαιον iustum h. Vg. Cyp. Aug. (2:1)? suffragatorem Cyp. cod. ½.
εἴδωλον idolum q (5:21) simulacrum Vg. Aug. Spec.
ἐντολή mandatum h. Vg. Aug. (2:3) praeceptum Cyp.
mandatum q Vg. (5:2) praeceptum Aug.
mandatum q Vg. (5:3) praeceptum Aug.
mandatum Vg. Luc. (2 John 1:5) praeceptum Aug.
ἐξεληλύθασιν prodierunt q Aug. (4:1) exierunt Vg. Luc. Spec.
ἐξῆλθαν prodierunt Vg. Tert. (2:19) exierunt h. Cyp. Aug. (prodiit h. (Buch.).
profecti sunt Vg. (3 John 1:7) exierunt Hier.
ἔξω βάλλει (4:18) foras mittit q Vg. Aug. Tert. 2/3.
foras abicit Tert. 1/3.
excludit foras Amb.
ἐπιθυμία concupiscentia h. Cyp. Vg. (2:16) desiderium Aug. uoluntas Prisc.
concupiscentia h. Cyp. Vg. (2:17) desideria Aug.
ἱλασμός (2:2) exoratio h..
placatio Tert. Hil.
? satisfactio et placatio Ad Vigil.
(4:10) propitiator q.
καθαρίζειν purgare h. (1:9) emundare Vg. Tert. mundare Aug. Spec.
καθώς quemadmodum h. (2:6) sicut Vg. Aug. quomodo Cyp. Hier.
κληθῶμεν uocaremur h. (3:1) nominemur Vg. appellemur Aug. uocemur Aug.
κόλασις poena q Vg. Tert. ½ (4:18) tormentum Aug. supplicia mentum Tert. ½.
κόσμος saeculum h. (2:2) mundus Vg. Aug.
saeculum h. Cyp. (2:16) mundus Vg. Aug. Cyp.
saeculum h. (2:17) mundus Vg. Aug. Cyp.
saeculum Luc. (3:13) mundus h.q Vg. Aug.
saeculum q (4:1, 5, 14) mundus Vg. Aug.
saeculum q Luc. (4:9) mundus Vg. Aug. Spec.
saeculum (2 John 1:7) Luc. mundus Vg.
λόγος uerbum h. Vg. (1:10) sermo Tert.
μαρτυροῦμεν (4:14) testamur q.
testes sumus Aug.
μαρτυρεῖν (5:7, 8) testimonium dare Vg.
testimonium perhibere De rebap. Euch. Vict. Vit.
testis esse Amb.
testimonium dicere Prisc. Spec.
μεταβεβήκαμεν (3:14) transimus h. q.
translati sumus Vg. h. (Buch.).
transitum fecimus Luc.
μονογενής unicus q (4:9) unigenitus Vg. Aug.
νεανίσκος iuuenis h. Aug. (2:13) adolescens Vg.
iuuenis Vg. Aug. (2:14) adolescens h..
ὅτι ἔγνωκα (2:4) se noscere h..
se nosse Vg.
quia cognouit (-ui) Cyp. Aug.
παιδία pueri h. Aug. (2:14) infantes Vg.
παράκλητος aduocatus h. Vg. Cyp. Aug. (2:1) paracletus Faust. Vict. Vit.
παρουσία praesentia h. (2:28) aduentus Vg. Aug.
ἔσφαξεν occidit h. q Vg. Aug. (3:12) interfecit.
ταῦτα haec h. Vg. Aug. (2:1) ista Cyp.
τέκνα filii q Aug. (5:2) nati Vg.
τεκνία fili h. (2:1) filioli Vg. Cyp. Aug. Tert. fratres Aug.
τέλειος perfectus q Vg. Aug. (4:18) consummatus Aug.
πηρεῖν seruare h. Aug. (2:3) obseruare Vg. custodire Cyp. Luc.
seruare Aug. Luc. (2:5) custodire h. Vg.
seruare q Vg. Aug. (3:22) custodire Luc.
seruare q Aug. (5:3) obseruare Luc. custodire Vg.
τυφλοῦν obscoecare h. Vg. (2:2) excaecare Cyp. Aug. obscurare Luc.
φανεροῦσθαι manifestus esse Vg. (2:19).
manifestari Aug. (2:19, 28, 3:2), h. (3:2), Tert. (3:2), Tert. Aug. (3:8), Aug. Spec. (4:9).
praesto esse h. (2:19).
uenire h. (2:28).
apparere Vg. (2:28) Vg. Aug. (3:2) h. q Vg. (3:8) q Vg. (4:9).
reuelari Amb. (3:2).
declarari Luc. (3:8, 4:9).
φῶς lumen h. Vg. (2:7) lux Aug.
lumen h. Aug. (½) (2:9) lux Vg. Aug. (½) Cyp. (Spec.).
χρείαν ἔχειν (3:17) egere q.
(cui) opus [est] h. (Buch.).
necessitatem habere Vg.
Collation of the Old Latin Text with the Greek
1:1 .ο 3°] pr. et.
om. ο εθεασαμεθα.
2. η σωη] ipsa uita.
μαρτυρουμεν] testes sumus.
ημιν] in nobis.
3. ο] quae.
και υμιν] uobis.
μετα 1°] pr. sit.
μετα του πατρος] cum Deo Patre.
μετα 2°] om.
του υιου αυτου] post. Χριστου.
4. ημεις] uobis.
6. εαν] quodsi.
7. αυτος] et ipse.
Ιησου] + Χριστου = Vg.
8. ουκ εστιν] post. ημιν = Vg.
9. εστιν] om.
10. εαν] quod si: si Vg.
2:2 ιλασμος] post. εστιν = Vg.
4. οτι εγνωκα] se noscere: se nosse Vg.: quia cognoni Cyp.
και 2°] om.
5. ος δʼ αν] nam qui.
αυτου] post. λογον = Vg.
6. ουτως] om.
7. εντολην] post. καινην.
8. αληθες] uere.
παραγινεται] iam transeunt: transierunt Vg.
10. ο] pr. nam.
13. τον απ αρχης] quod erat ab initio.
14. εγραψα 1°, 3°] scribe.
εγραψα υμιν πατερες] om.
16. σαρκος] + est.
βιου] + est (uid.).
ουκ] pr. quae.
17. αυτου] om.
18. και 2°] om.
19. εξηλθαν] ? prodiit.
ησαν 1°] erat.
ησαν 2°] fuisset.
φανερωθωσιν] praesto fiat.
20. εχετε] accepistis.
21. οτι ουκ οιδατε] quasi ignorantibus.
αλλʼ οτι οιδατε] sed ( + quasi Vg.) scientibus.
22. ουκ εστιν] est.
24. εν υμιν 1°] post. μενετω.
εαν] quod si.
27. μενει] permaneat: maneat Vg.
28. εαν] cum.
φανφωθη] uenerit: apparuerit Vg.
σχωμεν] post. παρρησιαν.
3:1. ιδετε] ecce.
ου γινωσκει ημας] nos inhonorat (Ber.): nos egnorat (Buch.).
2. τι] qui.
αυτω] post. εσομεθα.
3. επ αυτω] in eo.
εκεινος] et ille.
7. καθως— εκεινος] om.
8. ο 1°] + autem.
10. εν τουτω] ex hoc q: in hoc h. Vg. Aug.
11. αυτη—αγγελια] hoc est mandatum h. q.
12. εκ] pr. qui q.
13. μη] pr. et.
υμας] nos h. q.
16. εγνωκαμεν] cognoscimus.
17. χρειαν εχοντα] egere h. q; necessitatem habere Vg.
18. λογω] tantum uerbo h. (uerba) q.
19. εν] pr. et.
γνωσομεθα] cognoscimus h.: cognoscimur q.
πεισομεν] suademus q: suadebimus h. Vg.
20. η καρδια] cor nostrum h. q.
οτι 2°] om. h. q Vg.
21. η καρδια μη] cor nostrum non nos.
22. λαμβανομεν] accipiemus.
23. εντολην] post. ημιν.
24. τας εντολας] mandatum.
ημιν] post. εδωκεν = Vg.
4:2. εν τουτω] hinc.
3. μη ομολογει] non confitetur: soluit Vg.
ερχεται] uenturus est.
4. ο 2°—κοσμω] his qui in saeculo est.
5. αυτοι] hii.
αυτων] post. ακουει.
6. ακουει 2°] post. ημων 2°.
7. αγαπαν] + fratrem suum = De rebapt.
8. ουκ εγνω] ignorat.
10. ιλασμον] propitiatorem.
αλληλους] post. αγαπαν.
12. πωποτε] post. τεθεαται = Vg.
εν ημιν] post. εστιν.
14. τον υιον] filium suum.
17. μεθʼ ημων] in nobis.
19. πρωτος] prior.
20. οτι] om.
εωρακεν (bis)] uidet.
21. απ αυτου] a deo.
5:2. εν τουτω] hinc.
τον θεον] post. αγαπωμεν 2°.
3. γαρ] post. εστιν = Vg.
του θεου] om.
4. η νικησασα] quae uincit.
5. εστιν] + autem.
6. ουκ] pr. et.
εν τω υδατι] post. μονον.
το μαρτυρουν] testimonium.
7. μαρτυρουντες] + in terra.
αιμα] + et tres sunt qui testificantur in caelo pater et uerbum et sps scs.
οι τρεις] hi tres.
εις το εν] unum.
10. μαρτυριαν 1°] + di.
τω θεω] in do: filio Vg.
μαρτυριαν 2°] + eius.
11. ο θεος] post. ημιν = Vg.
12. τον υιον 1°] + di.
13. εγραψα] ? scribo.
14. οτι εαν τι] quia quidquid: quia quodcunque Vg.
16. ιδη] scit.
εστιν] + enim.
17. ου] om. = Vg.
18. ο γεννηθεις εκ του θεου] natiuitas di: generatio Dei Vg.
19. ο κοσμος] post. ολος.
20. οιδαμεν δε] et scimus: scimus Vg.
τον αληθινον] quod est uerum: uerum Deum Vg.
εν τω υιω] filio.
In the above collation the Greek has been underlined when the Latin supports a Greek reading which differs from that contained in Nestle’s text. The differences between the Old Latin and Vulgate have also been marked. When the Old Latin agrees with the Vulgate the rendering has been printed in Italics, or the agreement has been noted by the symbol “= Vg.”; when the Vulgate differs from both the Greek and the Old Latin its rendering has been added; in all other cases the Vulgate agrees with the Greek against the Old Latin. For the “Vulgate,” Nestle’s printed text has been used. The amount of help to be obtained from the Old Latin in determining the Greek text is not great. There are, of course, but few passages in which there is serious doubt as to the true reading. But the collation brings out at least one interesting fact, in the number of instances where Greek variants are not involved, but where the Vulgate agrees with the Greek against the Old Latin. This shows the extent to which the Vulgate has revised a not very accurate translation into far closer conformity with the Greek text. The facts are of some interest in connection with the tendency which is clearly marked in the Old Latin to add interpretative glosses. In two passages the textual evidence of the Old Latin is of special interest. In 4:3 the reading “non confitetur” supports the view which is suggested by the evidence of Cyprian and Tertullian that the original reading in Greek has μὴ ὁμολογεῖ and that the λύει (represented by the Vulgate “soluit” and apparently known to Tertullian) came into the Latin text as an interpretative gloss. In the more famous passage 5:7, 8 the Old Latin gives us the gloss in its earlier form in which the earthly witnesses precede the heavenly, as in the text of Priscillian, whose quotation of the passage is the earliest known evidence for the insertion. It is unfortunate that in both these verses we are dependent for our Old Latin text on Ziegler’s Freisingen Fragments, and have not the help of the Fleury Palimpsest, which, though not pure African, undoubtedly approaches nearer to the earlier forms of the Old Latin text.
In the case of the two shorter Epistles we have no help from MSS, except the last few verses (11b—end) of the Third Epistle, which are extant in the Latin (only) of Codex Bezae, where they are found between the Fourth Gospel and the Acts, a position which perhaps suggests, as has been pointed out, that in this MS the Johannine Epistles were treated as an appendix to the Gospel.
It has therefore been possible to reproduce only the quotations of the Epistles which follow the Old Latin text or at least afford information about it. The words in these quotations which do not agree with the Vulgate have been printed in Clarendon type, in order to show how far the citations yield Old Latin evidence. A few have been added which are not contained in the Volumes already published in the Vienna Corpus. In their case the reference to Migne has been given with the number of the volume in his edition of the Father quoted. It may be worth while to tabulate the following renderings, in addition to those already given, which they attest:
O. L. Vulgate
ἀπολαμβάνειν recipere (Luc.) accipere.
ἐθνικός gentilis (Hier.) gens.
ἐνώπιον coram (Hier.) in conspectu.
ἔργον factum (Cyp.) opus (Luc.).
καθώς sicut (Luc.) quemadmodum.
λαμβάνειν admittere (Cyp.) recipere.
πλάνος fallax (Luc. Spec.) seductor.
προπέμπειν praemittere (Hier.) deducere.
ὡς sicut (Luc.) tanquam.
So far as it goes this evidence supports that which has been collected in connection with the First Epistle. The Bezan fragment, which has been collated with the Vulgate and also with the Greek (Nestle’s text has been used in both cases) again shows the usual Vulgate accommodation to the Greek, but suggests a Greek text further removed from that which Jerome made the basis of his Vulgate.
The Speculum quotation of 2 John 1:11 affords another instance of the addition of glosses. The words (ecce praedixi uobis ne in diem domini condemnemini) are found in some MSS of the Vulgate.
The text of the Perpignan MS in the two minor Epistles is mainly Vulgate. The following readings may, however, be noted:
2 John 1:4 gauisus] pr. Karissimi " 7 prodierunt " 8 custodite ne perdatis " estis] + in Dn̄o " 9 doctrina] + eius " 12 per chartam et atramentum] per atramentum et in epistola " futurum] uenturum " electae] + 3 John 1:2 " egit " 4 gratiam] gaudium " 6 benefacis deducens " profecti sunt] peregrinantur " huiusmodi] + participes " 14 te uisurum (cf. d) " saluta tu amicos nominatos.
2 John 1:10, 2 John 1:11—Cypr. Sent. Episc. 81. “Si quis ad uos1 uenit et doctrinam Christi non habet, nolite eum admittere in domum uestram et aue2 illi ne dixeritis3 qui enim dixerit4 illi aue communicat factis eius malis.”
2 John 1:7-8—Irenaeus, 3.16:8 (ed. Stieren). “Multi seductores exierunt in hunc mundum qui non confitentur Iesum Christum in carne uenisse. Hic est seductor et Antichristus.”
2 John 1:11. “Qui enim dicit eis Aue communicat operibus ipsorum nequissimis.”
2 John 1:7—Priscillian, p. 30. “Qui non confitentur Christum Iesum in carne uenisse, hi sunt seductores et antichristi.”
2 John 1:4-11—Lucifer, p. 28 (ed. Hartel). 4. “Gauisus sum valde quod inueni de filiis tuis ambulantes in ueritati sicuti mandatum accepimus a patre.
5. “Oro te, domina, non sicut mandatum nouum scribens tibi, sed quod habuimus ab initio, ut diligamus nos alterutru