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THE AUTHOR'S TESTIMONY TO HIMSELF

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To a certain extent each of the Gospels reflects the per- sonality of its author, but in none of them is there a more distinctive individuality manifested than in John. Not only can the vocabulary be recognized in the reading of a verse or two, but the entire Gospel bears the stamp of a different mind and of a fuller maturity. The writer has created a fresh presentation of the person of Christ, illustrated by episodes not ordinarily used in the preaching tradition, and specially relevant to the establishment and growth of Christian faith. He has revealed the growth of his own belief, and in his later years has organized his thinking so that he can give a true evaluation of the person of Christ. His quotation of Jesus' words, "the Holy Spirit . . . shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you" (14:26), describes his own experience and method, for both are the product of the Spirit's inspiration. No unaided human intel- lect ever put together the paradoxical combination of sim- plicity and profundity, of divine revelation and of human experience, that can be found in this Gospel. Although the writer does not name himself, the evidence of the book com- pels the conclusion that he was a disciple of Jesus from the beginning, an eyewitness of the events that he describes, and a leader in the church to which he bequeathed his testi- mony. Historical criticism has to this day presented no like- lier candidate for this honor than John, the son of Zebedee.

This material is cited with gracious permission from: Dallas Theological Seminary 3909 Swiss Ave. Dallas, TX 75204 www.dts.edu Please report any errors to Ted Hildebrandt at: thildebrandt@gordon.edu

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