Last Updated:

Aug 20, 2010

Luthardt on the PA

Excerpt from:C.E. Luthardt, St. John the Author of the Fourth Gospel, (Leipzig, 1852) Eng. C.R. Gregory, (London, 1876)

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Luthardt - on the PA

Luthardt on the PA

(John 7:53-8:11)

Contents of the Discourses.

The passage John 8:1-11, aside from the scanty manuscript testimony, is no genuine part of John's gospel, as may be seen by the fact that it bears in all its contents a synoptic stamp. This critical judgment has as a presupposition a definite conception of the difference between the evangelical accounts on either side.

In the synoptists, questions as to the law form prevailingly the occasion and contents of the debates ; in John, it is the person and the self-witness of Jesus.

It is true that Jesus' person is the starting-point for discussions in the former, as, for example, in Matt. 21:23 ff. And in John also the relation to the legal regulation of Israel is not merely the starting-point, but even the thread that runs through the whole contrasted relation between Jesus and his opponents ; see John 2:18, 5:16 ff.

Yet certainly, in the former, the words of Jesus cling more closely to the definite legal question ; while in the latter they free themselves more from it. We see the same thing in the discourses of Jesus which move in the sphere of morals. It is well known to what extent this is the case in the synoptists. Indeed, new as well as old rationalism found in this the essence of the ' Christianity of Christ.'

Nor are such discourses lacking in John's gospel. See where Jesus urges the doing of the will of God, Jn. 7:17; or the doing of the truth, Jn. 3:20; or the relation of love, Jn. 13:34, and the like. All, however, is here of a more general kind, and stands in close connection with the Christological matter which makes up the real contents of the fourth gospel.

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