More on John from a Comparative Perspective

Continuing my thread on methods for studying the Gospels. In yesterday’s post I began to talk about the “Comparative method” and showed how, in comparison with the Synoptics, just how different John is, purely in terms of contents. But even when John and the Synoptics contain similar stories (e.g., miracles; teachings; passion narrative) they are very different. That’s what I try to show in this excerpt today.

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Comparison of Emphases

The differences between John and the Synoptics are perhaps ...

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The Gospel of John from a Comparative Perspective

So far in my discussion of John’s Gospel I have tried to show how different methods of analysis can tell us different things. And so I’ve talked about the literary-historical method, which determines the literary genre of a work and asks how that genre is used in its historical context, and the thematic method, which ignores genre and simply looks for outstanding themes of a work, for example in its opening chapters and in its speeches. Now I move on ...

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Jesus’ Birth: Some Comparisons

Here is another illustration of how the Comparative Method works with Luke, as described in my textbook on the New Testament. A personal anecdote. It was precisely the differences between Matthew and Luke in the birth narratives that led me to formulate the comparative method. Unlike the other methods I discuss in my book, this is one that is not widely discussed in scholarship. In fact, I had never heard of it until, well, I came up with it. But ...

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The Comparative Method

With this post I am returning to my discussion of methods available for studying the Gospels. I will devote probably three posts to a method that I call the “comparative method.” Like the other two methods I’ve discussed (the literary-historical method and redaction criticism) this method is not *at all* concerned with establishing what really happened in the life of Jesus. It is a method meant to help one understand a Gospel as a piece of literature, to see what ...

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