II
THE QUESTION OF DATE AND THE OLDER CRITICS

THE evidence that the Gospel according to St. John proceeded from the Apostle of that name consists of what we are told by several writers in the last years of the second century, corroborated by certain passages in the Gospel itself or in the First Epistle of St. John, which seem intended to point us to the same conclusion. But those who, for various reasons, think the contents of this Gospel unlikely to have proceeded from an Apostle, set aside the authority of the said writers as being too late, while the passages just mentioned are the subject of much dispute; and formerly at least it was often alleged that traces of this book in other writings are not to be found so early as they would be if it were really Apostolic. It will be convenient to speak first of its date, without reference to its authorship, and to state first the results of evidence which is all but undisputed.

This Gospel was written later than the Gospel according to St. Mark, for it contains passages in which the writer evidently had St. Mark before him, though none which make it certain that he knew either our first or our third Gospel. This may be taken to prove that it was written after 70 A.D., which was the date of the destruction of Jerusalem. There are also features of it which suggest that when it was written the influence of

-11-

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