E.H. Askwith on the Historical Value of the Fourth Gospel (Public Domain Ebook)

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Here’s your chance to read a free (online pdf form) commentary book on the historicity of the Johannine Gospel (Gospel of John) and its relation to the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). This book was written at the turn of the century.

Click here to access book in pdf format – http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk Go to bottom of page and click on Complete book as one file [5.6MB]  316 pages

London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1910. pp.316.
This book is now in the Public Domain

From the Introduction:

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The writer of these pages sets himself the task of showing on internal grounds that the Fourth Gospel is a historical and not merely, as some present-day critics affirm, a theological document. In speaking, however, of the Gospel as historical we do not mean that the aim of the writer of it was primarily a historical one. His interest may well have been theological, as indeed he expressly states it to have been (xx. 31). But our contention will here be that the writer did not invent his story to teach theological truth. We believe that the things which the Evangelist records as having happened are real events, that they did take place. In saying this we are setting ourselves in opposition to much of the criticism of our day, which denies to this Gospel serious historical value, regarding it as irreconcilable with the Synoptic tradition of the life of Jesus Christ.

For the opposition to the Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel is based chiefly on internal grounds. Its external credentials might be accepted by adverse critics were it not for what they consider to be overwhelming objections against its apostolic authorship on the ground of in- ternal evidence. But, as it is, the external evidence is explained away because it is thought that the story of the life of Jesus in this Gospel cannot be brought into agreement with wnat is acknowledged to be the earlier story in point of time, that, namely, which we have in the pages of the Synoptists. Critics opposed to the Johannine authorship of the Gospel contend that having happened are real events, that they did take place. In saying this we are setting ourselves in opposition to much of the criticism of our day, which denies to this Gospel serious historical value, regarding it as irreconcilable with the Synoptic tradition of the life of Jesus Christ.

For the opposition to the Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel is based chiefly on internal grounds. Its external credentials might be accepted by adverse critics were it not for what they consider to be overwhelming objections against its apostolic authorship on the ground of internal evidence. But, as it is, the external evidence is explained away because it is thought that the story of the life of Jesus in this Gospel cannot be brought into agreement with what is acknowledged to be the earlier story in point of time, that, namely, which we have in the pages of the Synoptists. Critics opposed to the Johannine authorship of the Gospel contend that both stories of the life of Jesus-that of the Synoptists and that of the Fourth Gospel-cannot be alike historical. A choice, then, has to be made between the two, and preference is shown for the Synoptic story. For it is argued that the Fourth Gospel is obviously a theological document, and its writer’s interests are theologically deter- mined, so that its genesis is explicable on theological grounds. While, then, the Fourth Gospel may be an interesting psychological study its contents are not history and are not to be so interpreted.

It is because the opposition to the historical character of the Fourth Gospel is based principally on its contents, and because the external credentials of the apostolic authorship of the book are explained away, not for the reason that they are trivial, but because they cannot outweigh the internal evidence, that we shall in these pages confine our attention to this internal evidence, and discuss the historical probability of the events which this Gospel records. (Pages 1-6)

1 Introductory
2 The Ministry of the Baptist
3 The Betrayal
4 The Trial of Jesus
5 The Crucifxion
6 The Resurrection (I)
7 The Resurrection (II)
8 The Cleansing of the Temple, The Feeding of the Five T|housand, and the Walking on the Sea
9 The Triumphal Entry, and the Last Supper
10 The Probability of a Ministry in Jerusalem
11 The Ministry of Jesus According to the Fourth Evangelist
12 Objections to the Historicity of the Fourth Gospel Considered

Here is Barnes & Noble author’s page for E. H. Askwith with several free downloads if you own Barnes & Nobles’ Nook Reader – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/e.-h.-askwith

Also, http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk is a fantastic website that collects Christian journals and articles from older periodicals and journals on Biblical topics. It’s worth subscribing to their updates, and browsing through their impressive collections.

Click here to read the entire book – The Historical Value of the Fourth Gospel

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