The author of this Gospel is John, the son of Zebedee and Salome, the
brother of James the greater; he outlived the rest of the disciples,
and wrote this Gospel after the other evangelists; and in it many
things are recorded, which are not in the other Gospels; as various
discourses of Christ, and miracles done by him; several incidents in
his life, and circumstances that attended his sufferings and death: the
occasion of it is generally thought to be the errors of Ebion and
Cerinthus, who denied the divinity of Christ, asserted he was a mere
man, and that he did not exist before his incarnation; and the design
of it is to confute them: and it is easy to observe, that he begins his
Gospel with the divinity of Christ; asserts him to be God, and proves
him to be truly and properly so, by the works of creation, which were
wrought by him, as well as shows that he was really man. Clemens {a}
calls this Gospel of John, \~pneumatikon euaggelion\~ "a spiritual
Gospel", as indeed it is; consisting of the spiritual discourses of
our Lord, on various occasions, both at the beginning, and in the
course of his ministry, and especially a little before his sufferings
and death: and the same writer observes, that John, the last of the
evangelists, considering that in the other Gospels were declared the
things relating to the body of Christ, that is, to him, as he was
after the flesh; to his genealogy and birth as man; to what was done
to him, or by him, in his infancy; to his baptism, temptations,
journeys at the request of his familiar friends, and moved by the
Spirit of God, composed this Gospel. Moreover, it is observed by some
{b}, that the other three evangelists only record what was done by
Christ, in one year after John the Baptist was cast into prison, as
appears from \\#Mt 4:12, Mr 1:14 Lu 3:20\\ wherefore John, at the
entreaty of his friends, put these things into his Gospel, which were
done or said by Christ, before John was cast into prison. He was
called very early by Christ, though young; and was with him throughout
the whole of his ministry, and was an eye and ear witness of what he
here relates, and his testimony is to be received; he was the beloved
disciple, he leaned on the bosom of Jesus, and had great intimacy with
him; and might be privy to some things, which others were not
acquainted with; and though he was a Galilean, and an unlearned man,
\\#Ac 4:13\\ yet being endowed with the extraordinary gifts of the
Spirit, he was abundantly qualified to write this book: for what some
ancient writers {c} say of him, that he was a priest, and wore a
plate, that is, of gold upon his forehead, cannot be true, since he
was not of the tribe of Levi; and besides, only the high priest wore
that upon his mitre; unless they mean, as seems most likely, that he
was a Christian bishop: perhaps the mistake may arise from John the
Baptist, who was of the priestly order, and is called by some Jewish
writers {d}, John the high priest. When and where this Gospel was
written, is not certain; some say in {e} Asia, after he had wrote his
Revelation in Patmos; and others say particularly, that it was wrote
at Ephesus; the title of it in the Syriac version, signifies much,
which runs thus;

``the holy Gospel, the preaching of John, which he spoke and
published in Greek at Ephesus.''

And to the same purpose is the title of it in the Persic version;

``the Gospel of John, one of the twelve apostles, which was
spoken in the city of Ephesus, in the Greek Roman tongue.''

{a} Apud Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 6. c. 14.
{b} Ib. l. 3. c. 24.
{c} Polycrates in ib. l. 3. c. 31. & l. 5. c. 24. & Hieron. Catalog.
Script. Eccles. fol. 96. sect. 55.
{d} Ganz Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 25. 2.
{e} Hieron. Prolog. Evang. Joannis.