Alleluia, alleluia. V. This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things: and we know that his testimony is true. Alleluia.
Verse 24. This is that disciple, &c. Some conjecture, that these words were added by the Church of Ephesus. But the ancient Fathers, S. Chrys. S. Cyril, S. Aug. expound them as they do the rest, without any such remark. Nor is it unusual for a person to write in this manner of himself, as of a third person. It is what S. John hath done of himself, c. xix. v. 35. Wi. — Some conjecture, that these words were added by the Church of Ephesus, to point out S. John to be the real author of this history, and to record their own assent to this his testimony. But the ancient Fathers give no such comment. Nor is it unusual for a person to write of himself, as of a third person. It is what S. John hath done before.
24. This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. 25. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxviii. 2) John appeals to his own knowledge of these events, having been witness of them: This is the disciple which testifieth of these things. When we assert any undoubted fact in common life, we do not withhold our testimony: much less would he, who wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:32) And thus the other Apostles, And we are witnesses of these things, and wrote these things. John is only one who appeals to his own testimony; and he does so, because he was the last who wrote. And for this reason he often mentions Christ’s love for him, i. e. to shew the motive which led him to write, and to give weight to his history. And we know that his testimony is true. He was present at every event, even at the crucifixion, when our Lord committed His mother to him; circumstances which both shew Christ’s love, and his own importance as a witness. But if any believe not, let him consider what follows: And there are also many other things which Jesus did. If, when there were so many things to relate, I have not said so much as the other, and have selected often reproaches and contumelies in preference to other things, it is evident that I have not written partially. One who wants to shew another off to advantage does the very contrary, omits the dishonourable parts.
AUGUSTINE. (Tract. cxxiv. 8) The which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written; meaning not the world had not space for them, but that the capacity of readers was not large enough to hold them: though sometimes words themselves may exceed the truth, and yet the thing they express be true; a mode of speech which is used not to explain an obscure and doubtful, but to magnify or estimate a plain, thing: nor does it involve any departure from the path of truth; inasmuch as the excess of the word over the truth is evidently only a figure of speech, and not a deception. This way of speaking the Greeks call hyperbole, and it is found in other parts of Scripture.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxxviii) This is said to shew the power of Him Who did the miracles; i. e. that it was as easy for Him to do them, as it is for us to speak of them, seeing He is God over all, blessed for ever.