BIBLIOTHECA SACRA July, 1963
Jesus he became a convinced follower, and suggested to the skeptical Nathanael that he should judge Jesus by pragmatic observation: "Come and see" (1:43-46). When Jesus tested him by asking where they might obtain bread for an enormous crowd, Philip quickly calculated what the necessary supply would cost, and despaired of being able to make the purchase (6 :5-7). At the conclusion of Jesus' ministry Philip's spiritual longing was phrased in terms of physical sight: "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us" (14:8). Though he was naturally a pragmatist, he felt a deep longing for spiritual truth, and sought it earnestly.
The description of these reactions of Philip shows that the author had a sense of relevance. In his selection of episodes for his record he was careful to present those developments of character that would illustrate his theme of belief. Fur- thermore, the types of persons described revealed the catho- licity of his interests. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were aristocrats; the disciples were fishermen and business men; the woman of Samaria was an outcast; the blind man was a beggar. He shared Jesus' concern for them, and saw them through His eyes.
The vocabulary of the author is distinctive, pointing to one who had distilled the truth of Christ into concepts em- bodied in a limited but pregnant vocabulary. "Father" (Jesus' favorite title for God), "know" (a translation of two words, ginosko and oida), "world," "love" (translation of two words, agapao and phileo), "witness," "life," "judge," "send" (trans- lation of two words, apostello and pempo), "works," "light," "truth" or "true" (translation of two words, alethes and ale- thinos), "sign," "hour," "receive," and others contain the essence of the writer's theology. His concepts are both simple and profound. Not one of them is inherently abstruse; each is drawn from ordinary conversation and its meaning is commonly known. They have, however, been endowed with new connotations by their relation to the teaching concerning Christ. One may say that the Word has penetrated the words, and has made them glow with a new life. The spiritual illu- mination of this author has shaped his vocabulary so that it has acquired a depth exceeding the ordinary connotation of its terms.