Sorting by


Why Jesus Does Miracles

I seem to be taking a very circuitous route (as you may have noticed) to the question of why we might think that the author of the Gospel of John had access to a written source that gave him his information about the “signs” that Jesus did during his public ministry.   To get to that point, I have been discussing how John’s view of Jesus’ spectacular deeds differed significantly from the view of the Synoptics.  I have stressed that whereas in John Jesus does signs in order to prove that he is the Son of God so that people would come to believe in him, in the Synoptics Jesus refuses to do signs in order to prove his divine identity. But why then does he do miracles in the Synoptics?   I suppose the common answer is probably right: he does miracles out of compassion for those who are suffering.   But there is more to it than that.   The miracles in the Synoptics do demonstrate that what Jesus says is true.  But in these Gospels what [...]

2020-04-03T13:38:45-04:00May 26th, 2015|Canonical Gospels|

Signs in the Gospel of John

For many decades now there have been scholars who have been convinced that the Gospel of John is based, in large part, on written, but no-longer surviving, sources.   It is much debated whether John relied on the Synoptic Gospels for any of its stories, or whether in fact its author had ever read (or even heard of) Matthew, Mark, and Luke. There are very few verbatim overlaps between John and the others, and outside of the Passion narrative there is not a lot of overlap in the stories told.  Somewhat like the Synoptics John does have the healing of a Capernaum official’s son, the feeding of the 5000, and the walking on the water – all told in striking different ways.  John’s four other miracles (which he doesn’t call miracles, but “signs”) are unique to his account (including the favorite miracle on college campuses everywhere, the turning of water into wine, and the favorite of most Hollyood screen writers, the raising of Lazarus). Moreover, the teachings of Jesus are highly distinctive in John.  Almost nothing [...]

2020-04-03T13:38:55-04:00May 23rd, 2015|Canonical Gospels|
Go to Top