The Hand Of Apollos In The Fourth Gospel -- By: George S. Rollins

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 062:247 (Jul 1905)
Article: The Hand Of Apollos In The Fourth Gospel
Author: George S. Rollins


The Hand Of Apollos In The Fourth Gospel

Rev. George S. Rollins

I. The marked differences in style, ideas, and spirit between the Fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse create one of the most puzzling features of the Johannine problem, and have led to the widely accepted conclusion, that both books could not have come from the same author. Dionysius of Alexandria was the first to write upon this subject, and his acute criticism of the Apocalypse is one of the most scholarly productions of Christian antiquity. He admitted that both documents came from Ephesus, but affirmed, on the ground of linguistic peculiarities, that, while the Apocalypse may have been written by some good man by the name of John, he was not the Apostle. He suggested another John, because he had heard of two Johns in Ephesus. The difficulty which Dionysius discovered is real, and the problem it raises is one that has been the despair of interpreters. In his guess as to the source of the Apocalypse, Dionysius has not a few modern followers.1 Some great names still stand for the apostolic authority of both books, though several of these admit that the differences are so great as to require separate treatment2 for the purposes of New Testament theology. It is well known that the Tübingen school accepted the Johannine authorship of the Revelation, and used the evidences for it

against the apostolic source of the Fourth Gospel. Some of their followers deny both to the Apostle,3 although Weizsacker concedes that they came from a Johannine “school” in Ephesus, which represented the Apostle’s teachings.4 Finally, a number of reputable scholars are content to note the divergence in the two documents and there leave the question.5 This variety of opinions indicates the unsettled but vital state of the whole problem. Bacon, in the article referred to, has receded from the position in his Introduction (published in 1900) in which he held to the apostolic source of the Apocalypse, but denied the same to the Gospel. He now believes with Badman,6 that John was killed in the Herodian persecution (Acts 12:1), and therefore had nothing to do with either book.

1. Of the three features which separate the two writings, it is easy to exaggerate those of theological ideas and religious spirit. Each book had its particular object, and each was ...

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