St. John's Gospel: A Commentary

St. John's Gospel: A Commentary

St. John's Gospel: A Commentary

St. John's Gospel: A Commentary

Excerpt

Among the miscellaneous papers which R. H. Lightfoot had preserved in connexion with his work on St. John's gospel was the following pencilled draft of a preface to his commentary, written some little time before his death.

This volume had its origin in an attempt to provide a commentary on St. John's gospel for the Clarendon Bible. In the course of years, however, it became clear to me that I could not confine it within the limits which the publishers find it necessary to impose upon contributors to this series. Since they are good enough still to wish to publish the volume, I have sought to align it, in outward appearance at any rate, with my earlier book, The Gospel Message of St. Mark, also published by the Clarendon Press, although the scale of this work is much larger.

I have learned much from continental writers, and to those who know the publications of these scholars my debt will often be apparent. Among recent writers in this country I owe most to Archbishop Bernard for the scholarship and accuracy of his two volumes in the I.C.C., to Professor C. H. Dodd, whose Speaker's Lectures at Oxford some twenty years ago, now at length, it is believed, about to appear in print, first pointed out a path which I have found most trustworthy towards the understanding of this gospel, and to the great work of Sir Edwyn Hoskyns and Mr. F. N. Davey. As my manuscript has grown, however, I have often found it desirable to strike out in directions which, to the best of my belief are new; and this combination of material from many sources together with some contributions of my own, I hope may justify the publication of this volume.

Like his predecessors in the field of Johannine studies, Bishop Westcott, Canon Scott Holland, and Sir Edwyn Hoskyns, Lightfoot did not live to give his book its final form. When he died the Commentary proper, that is, the Exposition and Notes, had been completed, and was ready for publication. Except for a few changes of wording of an altogether minor kind, it is here printed as he left it. In addition to the Commentary, however, Lightfoot left behind, as possible parts of an Introduction, a number of separate studies with the following titles: The Person of Christ, The Background of the Doctrine of the Logos, The Lord's Patris, St. John the Baptist, The Disciples, The Multitude and the Jews, The Contents and Plan of the Ministry. These were of varying . . .

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