More Literary-Historical Perspectives on John

Here I continue showing how a literary-historical method can be applied to the Gospel of John, before (in later posts) showing how it can be studied following the other methods as well.

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Since ancient biographies typically established the character traits of the protagonist at the outset of the narrative, it is perhaps best to assume that an ancient reader, once he or she realized that this book is a biography of Jesus, would be inclined to read the rest of ...

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The Gospel of John from a Literary-Historical Perspective

I have talked so far about several of the methods scholars use in order to study the Gospels of the NT: the literary-historical,redactional, and comparative methods. As I’ve stressed, each of these can be used for any one Gospel (or for any other piece of writing, in theory). In my textbook, when I come to the Gospel of John, I show how they all can be applied to the *same* book, before introducing an altogether different method known as the ...

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Discrepancies *Inside* the Fourth Gospel

OK, back to contradictions. This thread (such as it is – so far there’s been no thread) began with a reader’s question of how there could be contradictions in the work of a single author? Was he just inattentive? Didn’t he care? Was he sloppy?

In the previous post I pointed out that with someone like Paul, it was possible that he changed his mind about some things over the decade covered by his letters. But how about internal contradictions within ...

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Spong’s New Book on John: Part 2

Yesterday I wrote a post in which I began to discuss the recent Huffington Post article by John Shelby Spong in which he discusses his new book on John; the book is called The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic and the article can be found this address: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-shelby-spong/gospel-of-john-what-everyone-knows-about-the-fourth-gospel_b_3422026.html?ref=topbar

Today I will finish out what I started to say yesterday.

Let me say again that I have long appreciated Spong’s work and am sympathetic to his mission. He is trying ...

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Spong’s New Book on John

John Shelby Spong, former Episcopal bishop of New Jersey and highly controversial author (because of his skeptical views about the New Testament and traditional Christian doctrine) has just published a new book on the Gospel of John, called The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic. I have not read the book, but Spong has written an interesting article on it that appeared in the Huffington Post yesterday, at this address:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-shelby-spong/gospel-of-john-what-everyone-knows-about-the-fourth-gospel_b_3422026.html?ref=topbar

In the article Spong summarizes the conclusions he advances in ...

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The Christ-Poem in John

Arguably the best known and most influential passage dealing with Christology in the New Testament is the Prologue of the Gospel of John, 1:1-18. It is also probably the most studied and discussed passage – even more than the Christ poem in Philippians 2:6-11. The first eighteen verses of John are typically called the “Prologue” because they are clearly set apart from the rest of the Gospel as a kind of celebration of the main character of the book; these ...

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Problems with the NRSV

One of the pleasures and problems that I am finding with this blog is that it is oh so easy to get side tracked from my original plan and intention.  The current series of posts was originally a response to the question of how Bruce Metzger reacted to my loss of faith.  (To anticipate the final answer: I don’t think he had much of a reaction at all!)   But instead of dealing with that question directly, I decided to use ...

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