The Berean Expositor
Volume 31 - Page 85 of 181
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#14.  The Witnesses.
The Witness of John the Baptist (1: 19 - 34).
pp. 122 - 128
"I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God" (John 1: 34).
It will be observed that the structure of this Gospel, which has already been indicated
in Volume XXIX, pp. 126, 127, that the whole book apart from the prologue, is covered
by the word "Witnesses". Omitting all details, the structure is as follows:
B | a | 1: 19-34. The Witness of John the Baptist.
b | 1: 35-51. Simon, son of Jona: "Follow Me."
C | 2: 1 - 21: 14. The Witness of the Eight Signs.
B |
b | 21: 15-23. Simon Peter, Son of Jonas: "Follow Me."
a | 21: 24, 25. The Witness of John the Apostle.
Even in the prologue itself, the witness of John the Baptist is introduced twice, and in
such a way as to form a definite part of the structure:
E | 1: 6-8. JOHN. Witness (marturian).
E | 1: 15. JOHN. Witness (marturia).
Of all the writers in the New Testament John is the one who uses the idea of "bearing
witness" most frequently. From the start to finish his Gospel is based upon testimony
borne. This fact is confirmed by the following figures giving the occurrences of
Martureo.--In the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) 3 occurrences.
In John's Gospel 33 occurrences, and in his other writings 14 occurrences.
Marturia.--In the Synoptic Gospels 4 occurrences.
In John's Gospel 14 occurrences, and in his other writings 16 occurrences.
This tabulation demonstrates very clearly the supreme place that John gives to the
question of "testimony". In addition, another fact emerges. The Synoptic Gospels use
these two words seven times, and John himself seventy-seven times.  The numbers
indicate completeness and perfection. For the purposes with which the Gospels were
written, their respective witnesses were complete.  John's purpose seems to have
demanded much more in the way of witness than was the case with Matthew, Mark and
Luke. Those addressed by the Synoptic writers would have had a fuller acquaintance
with the prophecies of the O.T. than would those for whom John wrote, and the
genealogies given by Matthew and Luke would in themselves have gone a long way
towards providing convincing evidence. John, writing to the world, depends more on
the records borne by John the Baptist and himself and others, than on the appeal to
O.T. prophecy. There are only eight or nine references to the fulfillment of prophecy in
John's Gospel, as against the forty-seven references to martureo and marturia.