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Volume 29 - Page 90 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
the first sixteen verses of Matthew would be as well known to many of his hearers as the
commonest household words. Abraham was the common ancestor of them all, and Judah
the father of the particular tribe most concerned. Having established contact with his
hearers, Matthew then proceeds to advance one further step, and to prove that the Son
born of Mary was the Heir to the throne of David, and yet a virgin's Son and Emmanuel,
"God with us".
John opens his Gospel with the words:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God."
We must suppose that in this case also the writer is standing on common ground with
his hearers. Strange as this language may sound in our ears, it can be shown that the
necessity for the "Logos" was the burden of both Greek and Alexandrian philosophy at
the time of John's writing, and that the city of Ephesus, from which the Gospel emanated,
was a place where the philosophies of East and West mingled and where these ideas were
at that time "in the air". In a later article we will substantiate these statements as to the
important position that the "Logos" held in ancient philosophy, but for the moment we
must pass on.
That John wrote for non-Jewish readers is at once evident, for it is obvious that no Jew
needed to be told that the "Passover" was a feast of the Jews, or that "Rabboni" meant
My Master. We have considered these questions more in detail in Volume XX, where
the reader will find the following eightfold proof:
The world is the sphere of John's ministry.
The fact that Jewish customs are explained shows that the non-Jewish
reader is in view.
The rejection of the Lord by His own people is at the very forefront of the
No mention is made of the Lord's Supper, the New Covenant feast.
The ascension is emphasized.
The "Word" in John 1: 1 is parallel with the "Image" in Col. 1:
The prayer of John 17: is, among other things, that "the world" may
Miracles are not mentioned as such; they are called "signs".
Those readers who are not familiar with the Scriptural arguments associated with the
above summary are earnestly recommended to consider what has been put forward in the
Volume referred to. The question of view-point is most important in the study of any
part of the Scriptures.
The special "signs" recorded in John's Gospel, which are so intimately associated by
the writer with his message (John 20: 31), are eight in number. In Volume XI and XII,
these eight "signs" are dealt with in some detail. We will give here the structure only.