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e accession of Nerva, it seems that he returned to Ephesus, where he wrote his Gospel and Epistles, and where he ed in the third year of the emperor Trajan, when he must have been about one hundred years of age.
The time at which St. John wrote his Gospel has been very much disputed. The passage (ch. v. 2), “Now there is Jerusalem by the sheepmarket, a pool, called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches," has been ought to require that it should have been written before, though not long before, the destruction of Jerusalem; beise if that event had taken place, he would have been more likely to have said, "there was a pool," than there is Jool." Other arguments have been found in support of this opinion; but the passage adduced does not warrant that much stress should be laid on a single word which it contains; and the pool might, and probably did subsist even er the city had been overthrown. Very powerful affirmative arguments might also be adduced for the more general nion, that this Gospel was written by St. John towards the end of his life, after his return to Ephesus from his exile Patmos. This view is supported by much internal evidence; and, in conformity with it, the great majority of emit writers incline to fix its date about the year 97 or 98.
The intimations preserved by the early fathers, and which appear very probable in themselves, inform us that the d apostle was induced to write his Gospel at the urgent solicitations of the churches in Asia Minor, with the view overturning the errors which were then promulgated by Cerinthus, the Nicolaitans, and others. As these errors e, for the most part, founded on mistaken notions of the real nature, character, and office of Jesus Christ, he selected 1 the history and discourses of his Lord those passages which bore most strongly upon these subjects, and which led, by the exhibition of correct views, to overthrow the existing errors, and establish a rule of faith for the future, hose points which had been brought into dispute. For the latter object, many particulars are stated which pers should not be considered as directed against the tenets of particular heretics. As the Gospel contains so much rmation which the other Evangelists do not afford, and as many particulars are added, even in those parts which e circumstances also recorded by the other Evangelists, it has been thought that it was part of John's object to ish a supplementary Gospel, supplying some events and discourses which they had omitted, and the preservation hich he was ultimately led to consider of importance. This object is very compatible with the other, in so far accomplishing it, he would naturally be directed to select, from that multitude of non-recorded facts and sayings hich he speaks (ch. xxi. 25), those preferably, which tended most to dissipate the errors which were then arising. may well suppose, in conformity with the tradition of the fathers, that the churches of Asia having heard the veneapostle relate numerous circumstances which they found not in the existing Gospels, failed not to urge upon the importance of giving to the church, for an abiding possession, those records by which they had themselves much instructed and comforted.
rse 21. "I am not."-This answer to the question, "Art thou Elias?" may at first view seem opposed to our Lord's ration that John the Baptist was the Elias which was to come (Matt. xi. 14; xvii. 12, 13). But the Jews expected Elias would come in his own proper person, and with this view the present question was asked; and his answer in egative, does not at all apply to our Saviour's assertion that John was the Elias foretold by the prophets—that is, phet who had come in the spirit and power of Elias. (See the note on Mark ix. 12.)
hat prophet."-Probably the prophet, like unto himself, whom Moses had foretold that the Lord would send t. xviii. 5). We know that the Messiah was denoted in this prediction; but probably the Jews did not so underit. It has however been supposed that Jeremiah is intended, as it was believed by the Jews that he would rise the dead, and, among other things, restore to them the ark, and the pot of manna, which he was supposed to concealed, to preserve them from the Babylonians. Lightfoot, however, has shown that the Jews believed that e prophets would rise again at the coming of the Messiah; and considers that the question refers to this belief, as the same meaning as that contained in one of the opinions concerning Christ,-"Of others [it was said], that f the old prophets was risen again." (Luke ix. 8.)
“Bethabara.”—This name means "House of Passage," whence it has been supposed to denote the spot where sraelites passed the Jordan, under Joshua. Origen says, that this place, on the banks of the Jordan, continued time to be pointed out: and Jerome says the same; to which he adds, that it was usual for believers to be bapat this spot, in memory of John's baptisin. The place is not now known.
"The Lamb of God."— So called in evident allusion to the victim slain, under the Law, for the atonement of sin. g the Arabians, Persians, and others, it has been usual to bestow similar titles on persons eminently distinguished eir piety or valour. Thus, the khalif Ali, who is regarded by the Sheah sect of Mohammedans as a sort of Mesbears the title of the "Lion of God." It is interesting to learn (from Morier) how this title, given to Christ, <a Persian mind, as contrasted to that assigned to Ali. "On reading the passage where our Saviour is called Lamb of God,' the moollahs scorned and ridiculed the simile, as if exulting in the superior designation of Ali, who ed Sheer Khoda, the Lion of God.' But Mirza Baba observed to them, The lion is an unclean beast; he preys carcases, and you are not allowed to wear his skin, because it is impure; he is destructive, fierce, and man's ". The lamb, on the contrary, is every way halal (lawful): you eat its flesh, you wear its skin on your head, no harm, and is an animal beloved. Whether is it best then to say, the Lamb of God,' or the Lion of
ist turneth water into wine, 12 departeth into ernaum, and to Jerusalem, 14 where he purgthe temple of buyers and sellers. 19 He foreth his death and resurrection. 23 Many beed because of his miracles, but he would not t himself with them.
the third day there was a marriage in of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus
3 And when they wanted wine, the mo ther of Jesus saith unto him, They have no
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying And both Jesus was called, and his dis- of the Jews, containing two or three firkins
to the marriage.
* 3 Y
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.
13 And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and
1 Psal. €9.9.
poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Fa ther's house an house of merchandise.
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, 'The zeal of thine house hath caten me up.
18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us. seeing that thou doest these things?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them. Destroy this temple, and in three days 1 will raise it up.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many be lieved in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
25 And needed not that any should tes tify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Matt. 26. 61.
Verse 1. "Cana of Galilee.”—The adjunct, “of Galilee," distinguishes this Cana from another in the tribe of Asher. not far from Sidon. The Cana of the text still subsists as a very neat village, about eight miles to the north of Nazireth. It is pleasantly situated upon the declivity of a hill, facing the south-east: it enjoys the blessing of a copious spring, and is surrounded with plantations of the olive and other fruit trees. The spring is alleged, with sufficient probability, to be that which supplied the water that was turned into wine; for which reason pilgrims usually stop and drink from it. This spring is about a quarter of a mile from the village. At Cana there is a neat Greek church, and the ruins of another, which was built by the Empress Helena over the spot where the marriage feast was supposed to have been held. In walking among the ruins of this church, Dr. Clarke says, "We saw large massy stone pots, answering the description given of the ancient vessels of the country, not preserved or exhibited as relics, but lying alcat disregarded by the present inhabitants as antiquities with whose original use they were not acquainted. From their appearance, and the number of them, it was quite evident that a practice of keeping water in large stone pots, each holding from eighteen to twenty-seven gallons, was once common in the country." It would seem, however, that these pots have not been wholly neglected, as Dr. Clarke supposed; for Dr. Richardson, on visiting the modern Greek church. says, Here we were shown an old stone pot, of the compact limestone of the country, which, the hierophant informed us, is one of the original pots which contained the water which underwent this miraculous change."
2. "His disciples."-At present these appear to have been Philip, Peter, Andrew, John (supposing him the "other disciple"), and Nathanael. We may observe, by the way, that Nathanael has been generally supposed the same persca with the apostle whose name elsewhere occurs as Bartholomew.
3. "The mother of Jesus."-As Joseph was not present, and is never mentioned, by any of the Evangelists, as being alive after the commencement of our Lord's ministry, it is something more than probable that he was previously dead At all events, he certainly was not alive at the conclusion of that ministry, as otherwise Mary's crucified Son would scarcely have consigned her to the care of John.
4. "Woman.”—This style of address was by no means one of disrespect, nor is it now in the East. It was rather the contrary, and was thus used in addressing females of the very first distinction, as is sufficiently shown by various ancient writers. Jesus addresses his mother in the same manner on another occasion, when his respect and tenderness was beyond all question. (Ch. xix. 26.)
8. "The governor of the feast."-The appointment of this officer, for regulating their more public entertainments, was very possibly derived from the Greeks. At least the Greeks had such an officer; who, however, is not mentioned in the sacred or apocryphal writings until after the Jews had become well acquainted with the Greeks, particula those of Egypt. This officer was called the symposiarch by the Greeks. He was one of the guests, distinguished is
his agreeable manners and pleasant address, and who could bear drink without becoming intoxicated. His duty was to preside over the feast, to prevent disorder, and while he promoted hilarity, to discourage intemperance. He gave particular attention to the drinking, and noted how the several guests were affected by their wine; and when he observed that some were more liable to be disordered by it than others, he mixed more water with their wine, to keep them equally sober with the rest of the company. Thus the symposiarch took care that none should be forced to drink against his will; and also that, although there was a general liberty of drinking, none should, even by his own choice, become intoxicated. Such seem to have been also the offices of this "governor of the feast ;" and, in accordance with it, we observe that the wine was taken to him to taste before it was presented to the guests. The existence of such an officer among the Jews is rendered unquestionable by the following, in the apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus: "If thou be made the master of a feast, lift not thyself up, but be among them as one of the rest; take diligent care of them, and so sit down. And when thou hast done all thine office, take thy place that thou mayest be merry with them, and receive a crown for the well ordering of the feast." (ch. xxxii. 1.) Theophylact's remark here is useful as a further illustration. “That no one might suspect that their taste was so vitiated by excess as to imagine water to be wine, our Saviour directs it to be tasted by the governor of the feast, who certainly was sober, for those who on such occasions are entrusted with this office, observe the strictest sobriety, that every thing may, by their orders, be conducted with regularity and decency.
20. “Forty and six years was this temple in building.”-The Temple of Solomon was seven years in building; and that of Zerubbabel, after the captivity, was not completed until twenty years had elapsed. This therefore must necessarily apply to the temple as restored and improved in and before the time of Christ; which restoration and improvement was accomplished, slowly, by taking down particular parts in succession, and rebuilding them before others were touched. This work was begun by Herod the Great, sixteen years before the birth of Christ; consequently, the present time, being thirty years later, completed the forty-six years here mentioned. Perhaps the text would be better rendered "Forty and six years this temple has been in building." For the works of the temple were not completed until some years later, under Herod Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great.
1 Christ teacheth Nicodemus the necessity of rege-
THERE was a man of the Pharisees, named
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
1 Or, from above.
2 Or, from above.
3 Num. 21. 9.
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
IS He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, "that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth' the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
41 John 4. 9.
Chap. 12. 47. Chap. 1. 4. 7 Or, discovered.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judæa; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
23 And John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there and they came, and were baptized.
24 For John was not yet cast into prison. 25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
27 John answered and said, 10A man can "receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
8 Chap. 4. 2. 9 Chap. 1. 7, 34. 10 Heb. 5. 4.
29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
30 He must increase, but I must de
31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
32 And what he hath scen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
33 He that hath received his testimony 13hath set to his seal that God is true.
34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
35 "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
11 Or, take unto himself.
12 Chap. 1. 20. 13 Rom. 3. 4. 14 Matt. 11. 27.
Verse 3. "Born again.”—This form of expression, and the idea involved, is not unknown in the East. So Mr. Roberts, "When a Brahmin youth has the sacred string put on him for the first time, he is said to be born again; but when put on the second time, Iru-purappāli, he is twice born: it is to him the second birth, and he can now perform all the ceremonies of his religion." (See also the Institutes of Menu,' ch. ii. 146.) It is still more to the purpose, to find that the Jews themselves considered one who from heathenism had been made a proselyte, by circumcision, baptism, and sacrifice, as being born anew. It was their saying, that "when a man is made a proselyte, he is like a new-born infant." This has been thought to throw some light on verse 10, where Christ says, Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things?"- that is, what being "born again" meant. Interpreters, however, differ in explaining to what our Lord may be supposed in this to refer. So complete, in their view, was this new birth, that all former ties of nature became extinct, to such an extent, indeed, that it was held to be lawful for a proselyte to marry his own mother or daughter; although, from a regard to decency, this was not practically allowed.
23. “ Ænon near Salim.”—Neither Ænon nor Salim are known with any certainty. As to non, the Syriac and Persian versions read it Ain-yon," the dove's fountain ;" and the Arabic makes it "the fountain of Nun." It seems, indeed, that, whether this non were a town or river, it had its name from a fountain near it, or was itself a fountain. Salim is as difficult to distinguish; and it is by no means clear that we can identify it with the "Shalem” of Gen. xxiii. 18, or the "Shalim" of 1 Sam. x. 4. Jerome places non, where John baptized, at eight miles from Scythopolis, to the south, and near to Salim and the Jordan. Salim itself, he places at the same distance from Scythopolis. 29. “ The friend of the bridegroom.”—See the note on Judges xv. 20.
1 Christ talketh with a woman of Samaria, and revealeth himself unto her. 27 His disciples marvel. 31 He declareth to them his zeal to God's glory. 39 Many Samaritans believe on him. 43 He departeth into Galilee, and healeth the ruler's son that lay sick at Capernaum.
WHEN therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,
2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
3 He left Judæa, and departed again into Galilee.
1 Gen. 33. 19, and 48. 22. Josh. 24. 32.
him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is Heep: from whence then hast thou that living vater?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and