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11. SOFTENING OF THE OPPOSITION,.

The Evangelist, however, does not actually go so far. He already declares against the Gnostics when in i. 3 he says that by the Logos the world was made, and so not, as they 161taught, by subordinate divine beings, who had no correct understanding of the way to do it, but by the highest and only representative of God. True, if we were inclined to conclude from this, that this Being must have made it quite according to God’s will, it would certainly be hard to under stand why, notwithstanding, it is a kingdom of darkness, deception, and death. The division between God and the world, which the author has accepted from the philosophical thinkers of his time, is therefore not really set aside; but the author has made a move in this direction.

In the next place, we are told in v. 22, in the spirit of the same harsh division between God and the world, that God judges no one, but has committed the whole work of judging to the Son. As regards other works, however, he does not deny that God exercises them in the world; for example, God attracts to Jesus the men who from the beginning were destined to come to him (vi. 44). But we have, in quite a special way, the expression “world,” in which the change of Jn.’s mode of thought is revealed. When Jesus declines to pray for the world (xvii. 9), the world includes only those men who are children of the devil. Similarly, in xv. 19, “be cause ye are not of the world, . . . therefore the world hates you.” Between these two parts of the sentence, however, we have the clause, “because I have chosen you from the world,” and here the word “world “has a wider sense; it includes all men, even those who, since they could be chosen, were from the first children of God, and therefore, according to the more limited use of the word, are not “of the world.” Similarly in xvii. 6, “I manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world.” But expressions like that in iii. 16 f. go even beyond these: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, 162but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him”: that is to say the whole world, and not merely individuals singled out of the world (similarly xii. 47; i. 29; vi. 33).

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