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Another thing that lends the strongest support to this conclusion is the fact that none of the Christian writers before Irenaeus knows anything of a stay of the Apostle John in Asia Minor; and yet this same John, who on the occasion of the meeting of Paul with the original apostles at Jerusalem (Gal. ii. 1-10 and Acts xv.) appears by the side of Peter and James (the brother of Jesus) as one of the three pillars of the first community, is one of the most important persons in primitive Christianity.

We will point to one fact only. When Paul took fare well of those who presided over the community at Ephesus (Acts xx. 29), he prophesied that after his departure fierce wolves would force a way in and would not spare the flock. This farewell address was not actually so delivered by 175Paul, but was composed by the author of the Acts (between about 105 and 130) in accordance with his own ideas a liberty which every ancient historian took with the speeches of his heroes, and which no one thought wrong, seeing that the most famous of the Greek historians, Thucydides (about 400 B.C.), expressly declares (I. xxii. 1) that he followed this plan in his work because it would have been an impossibility to have reported the exact words of the speeches as delivered. But how could the author of the Acts of the Apostles, who was as full of a feeling of veneration for the original apostles as he was for Paul, have introduced into Paul’s speech so unfriendly an utterance about his successors, if he had any idea that the most important and influential of these was the Apostle John? But, further, if it be supposed that Paul actually made the utterance, without, of course, having any idea of the person of his successor, how could the author incorporate it in his book, and thus seriously impede his own main purpose—that of showing the unanimity subsisting between Paul and the original disciples—instead of quietly ignoring it, as he does so much that is unfavourable to the original apostles and their adherents (so we learn from the Epistles of Paul; e.g., Gal. ii. 11-21; i. 6 f.; vi. 12 f.)?

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