We continue now with the third of Hugo Mendez’s guest posts on the “community” allegedly behind the Gospel of John, 1, 2, and 3 John. Here he shows why most critical scholars do NOT think (as most other interested human beings on the planet do!) that all four were written by the same person (let alone Jesus’ disciple, John the Son of Zebedee), and why they have argued that instead they all come from like-minded authors from the same community.
But when he gets to the end he indicates why there is a flaw in this reasoning. This post is an excellent example of solid scholarship with an unexpected ZINGER at the end!
Hugo will be happy to respond to your comments, and he has certainly set up the next post. (If you have time, go ahead and read the three letters; they are very short and it’s a fast read. But they have an importance far beyond what you might expect from their size)
Why Scholars Haven’t Given Up on the Johannine Community (Yet)
Over the past twenty years, the idea that gospels emerged within distinct Christian “communities” has come under attack. But although debate rages on about the existence of a “Markan community,” a “Q community,” or a “Lukan community,” most scholars do not question the idea of a “Johannine community.” On the contrary, textbooks and reference works are adamant that a close-knit network of ancient churches existed whose members interpreted the story of Jesus in the very terms the Gospel of John uses.
So why are so many scholars convinced that this particular gospel community must have existed? It’s because the Johannine Community isn’t exactly—or isn’t merely—a “gospel community.” As it stands, the strongest evidence for the existence of a Johannine Community comes from a separate set of texts altogether—that is, the epistles/letters of 1, 2, and 3 John. This isn’t merely my opinion; it’s the…
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