Exegetical And Theological Examination Of John 1:1-18 -- By: M. Stuart

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 007:25 (Jan 1850)
Article: Exegetical And Theological Examination Of John 1:1-18
Author: M. Stuart


Exegetical And Theological Examination Of John 1:1-18

M. Stuart

[The title which is given above to the disquisition that follows, is not perhaps exactly descriptive of it. My design is not simply that of a philologist or interpreter, nor merely that of a theologian. My ultimate object is indeed to develop, if I can, the sentiments which the words of John were intended to convey; and these, if they can’ be made manifest, ought, in my apprehension, to be regarded as truths deeply concerned with theology. But this development I do not undertake to bring about by theological argument and reasoning, except in quite a subordinate manner. When the inquiry is made: What has John taught? I know of no satisfactory way of answering this question, except by a resort to the fundamental and well established principles of exegesis. In the present disquisition it is my aim, on all occasions where it is feasible, to pursue this method.

I need make no apology to the well informed reader, for an endeavor to cast some light on John’s introduction to his Gospel. It has been hitherto regarded, by most interpreters and many theologians, as one

of the most difficult portions of the New Testament; perhaps I might even say, as the greatest problem in it which, yet remains to be fully solved. Certain it is, that there are many readers who still find doubts springing up, and meet with difficulties, which they feel unable to solve. May I not venture to believe, without any assumption on my part, that these will be ready to welcome any serious attempt to aid them in the removal of their embarrassments? Having in a great measure satisfied my own mind, it is natural for me to hope, that I may do something in the way of assisting others to satisfy their minds.

That I have been wholly impartial in my investigations and decisions, and have never dogmatized, is not for me to assert. I can only say, that I have aimed to be what the first requires, and not to do the last. So far as partiality or dogmatism may cleave to my performance, so far I can reasonably expect nothing but injury to the efforts I have made in order to convince others. With such views, I could not well aim to admit the one or practise the other. It is however for the reader to say, after all, whether I have in fact admitted or done what is contrary to my intention. If he shall acquit me in both respects, I would hope that he will lend me a listening ear, and weigh seriously what is advanced, like one who feels that he must give an account, before he comes to conclusions opposite to those which seem to me at least to be deducible, in a fair and direct manner, from the teachings of the beloved apostle.

The nature of my unde...

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