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 to a comparative method, to which I will devote two posts. After this I will post on how a redactional method also can be applied to John, and then end this thread with a brand-new method, that I have not yet talked about, explained, or justified – the socio-historical method. So there is still more fun to come. Here is what I say in my textbook about John from a comparative point of view, part one.


The Gospel of John from a Comparative Perspective

One of the most striking features of the Fourth Gospel is the way in which some of the distinctively Johannine themes stand in such stark contrast with the other early Christian writings that we have examined so far. Even to the casual reader, the Fourth Gospel may seem somewhat different from the other three within the canon. Nowhere in the other Gospels is Jesus said to be the Word of God, or the creator of the universe, or the equal of God, or the one sent from heaven and soon to return. Nowhere else does Jesus claim that to see him is to see the Father, that to hear him is to hear the Father, and that to reject him is to reject the Father.

Exactly how different, then, is the Fourth Gospel from the others? The comparative approach seeks to answer this question.


FOR THE REST OF THIS POST, log in as a Member. Click here for membership options. If you don’t belong yet, JOIN WILL YA????