deformed ones at home? ?On the Apocryphal Gospels, see Cowper, in Strivings for the Faith, 73-108.

(d) The theory requires us to believe in a moral anomaly, namely, that a faithful disciple of Christ in the second century could be guilty of fabricating a life of his master, and of claiming authority for it on the ground that the author had been a companion of Christ or his apostles.

?A genial set of Jesuitical religionists? ? with mind and heart enough to write the gospel according to John, and who at the same time have cold- blooded sagacity enough to keep out of their writings every trace of the developments of church authority belonging to the second century. The newly discovered ?Teaching of the Twelve Apostles,? if dating from the early part of that century, shows that such a combination is impossible. The critical theories assume that one who knew Christ as a man could not possibly also regard him as God. Lowrie, Doctrine of St. John, 12 ? ?If St. John wrote, it is not possible to say that the genius of St. Paul foisted upon the church a conception which was strange to the original apostles.? Fairbairn has well shown that if Christianity had been simply the ethical teaching of the human Jesus, it would have vanished from the earth like the sects of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees; if on the other hand it had been simply the Logos doctrine, the doctrine of a divine Christ, it would have passed away like the speculations of Plato or Aristotle; because Christianity unites the idea of the eternal Son of God with that of the incarnate Son of man, it is fitted to be and it has become an universal religion; see Fairbairn, Philosophy of the Christian Religion, 4, 15 ? ?Without the personal charm of the historical Jesus, the ecumenical creeds would never have been either formulated or tolerated, and without the metaphysical conception of Christ the Christian religion would long ago have ceased to live? It is not Jesus of Nazareth who has so powerfully entered into history; it is the deified Christ who has been believed, loved and obeyed as the Savior of the world? The two parts of Christian doctrine are combined in the one name ?Jesus Christ.??

(e) This theory cannot account for the universal acceptance of the gospels at the end of the second century, among widely separated communities where reverence for writings of the apostles was a mark of orthodoxy, and where the Gnostic heresies would have made new documents instantly liable to suspicion and searching examination.

Abbot, Genuineness of the Fourth Gospel, 52, 80, 88, 89. The Johannine doctrine of the Logos, if first propounded in the middle of the second century, would have ensured the instant rejection of that gospel by the

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment