10. Gospel of John
Course: New Testament Survey - Gospels
Lecture: Gospel of John
Now in the explicit Christology, the use of the titles is much more evident in John than in the synoptics. For instance the title Son of God is found 12 times in Matthew, six or seven times in Mark, eight in Luke, but 29 times when we get to John.
Uh, it’s found in the places I’ve listed there and uh, it seemed very clear that Jesus seems to be teaching much more explicitly that he’s the Son of God in John than in the synoptics. When we get to the title Christ, we find a similar phenomenon. Uh, Matthew has it 16 times, Mark seven, Luke 12, John 17 times and it’s found rather openly.
Turn with me, for instance, to page 29. In John 4, verse 25, we have the woman of Samaria saying to Jesus, that would be line 22, the woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming. He was called Christ. When he comes, he will show us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I, who speak to you, am he.”
So you have this openness of his Messiahship here, whereas when Peter confesses him to be the Christ, he says don’t tell anybody. Uh, so you have much more of an openness.
Let’s look at another example. Page 222, this would be John 11:27, line 24, well, actually line 22, verse 25, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.” Uh, you have a much more open expression of who Jesus is in regard to his Christology. You also have in John the explicit use of the title God for Jesus.
Uh, turn with me to the opening page in your synopsis where we have the opening account. Here you have page 1, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.” Despite what Job, his witnesses say, this is the only way in which you could say that Jesus is God in that particular Greek format.
If you put an article in front of God here like they suggest, that would leave no room for the Father or the Spirit. So it’s the only way you can say he is truly God here and you go on and say he was in the beginning with God. So not only is he called God, he is attribute eternality.
He has always been there. All things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made.
Now in the Greek world, you might have a lesser beings in the heavens who create the things in Gnosticism in which the matter and world looks evil, you want to get as far away from God as possible in the creation but this is written by a Jew and when he writes about the creation, he’s thinking of, ‘In the beginning, God created,’ and here you have the creation being attributed to Jesus.
Uh, then when we get to verse 18, no one has ever seen God, the only Son. Now you have a ‘B’ here, which is a, says there’s a footnote and the footnote says, ‘Other ancient authorities read God, the only God, other authorities read, who is in the bosom of the Father has made him known.’
Now you have a textual problem and you have to now say, well, which reading is more likely. In textural criticism, when you have various readings, one of the guides to go by is what is the reading that scribes would most likely want to change.
Would they want to change only begotten God to only begotten Son or would they change only begotten Son to only begotten God? I think very honestly they would have probably wanted to change the only begotten God to only Son, because only begotten Son comes up in John 3:16 and so when you think of the only begotten, you don’t think of God, you think of the only begotten Son.
So only begotten God is what we would call the more difficult reading and, therefore, it’s more likely to be the original one. Interestingly enough, in the new RSV, even though it has a a lot of things I’m unhappy about, they translated the only God who is the bosom of the Father, his reveal of him.
So here, 1:18, he is explicitly referred to God, as well. Uh, when we get to 5:18, page 130 beginning of line 14, “But Jesus answered them, my Father’s working still and I am working. This is why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”
Uh, 10:33, page 221, another such reference, page 221, John 10:33. Here you have on line 9, “Jesus answered, ‘And I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God,’” and in 331, John 20:28, here Jesus appears before Thomas and Thomas says, “My Lord and my God.”
It’s a member, a Baptist woman called me once, because she was having a friend who’s a [inaudible] his witness trying to talk about Jesus not being very God, a very God, arguing against the Trinitarian doctrine of Christianity and so we were talk-, and she asked me to talk to her and I talked to her on the phone and she said some things and I said, “Look, when Thomas prays to Jesus and addresses him, ‘my Lord and my God,’ and when the early church prays, ‘Maranatha, come quickly, Lord Jesus,’ let me ask you something. Do you ever pray to Jesus?”
“No, we pray to God in Jesus name but not to Jesus.” I said, “Well, there’s something between your faith and the early church’s faith and do you ever call him God?” “No, we call him the Son of the God.” “Here in the Bible, he’s directly called God. Something, something’s different between your view of Jesus and the biblical understanding that way.”
So John, he has this explicit reference to the deity of Jesus very explicit where there are illusions to this in the synoptic gospels and when we talk about the Christology of Jesus, certain of his actions are actions that are only the prerogative of God, who can forgive sins but God alone and Jesus says, “I can. I’ll show you,” but John has explicitly the references to his being God.
Uh, the implicit Christology there the miracles, the signs of who he is, various ‘I Am’ sayings, I am the bread of life, I am the door, I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life, a lot of ‘I am’ sayings, which, by the way, when you preach, you want to avoid.
Keep the I’s out of the pulpit uh, talk about Jesus and you don’t have to talk so much but I just, unless you need an example of something, some time to the person who, as a Christian, can become a buffoon, then you can use yourself but that’s when I come and use myself as the example but Jesus has a real egocentric view of himself.
He thinks the world rotates around himself but it doesn’t rotate around Bob Stein. That’s why the ‘I Am’s’ are not appropriate for a Bob Stein or for you. It’s for Jesus [inaudible]. He has a number of places where he refers to himself as being where John points out that Jesus is greater than John the Baptist.
Some have suggested that there may have been some in his audience that were followers of John the Baptist like in Acts, chapter 19 but that’s an hypothesis and we don’t know of that for certainty.
It’s glorious spoken of and the theme of the whole gospel, on page 336, is John 20:30 to 31, where John now, the writer says, “Now Jesus did many of the signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book but these are written. This is why I wrote this, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing, you might have life in his name.”
It’s a very clear explicit Christology. That, which in the synoptic gospel, tends to be more hidden and less obvious and explicit becomes much more explicit in the gospel of John. Uh, we talk, for instance, about the emphasis on the Holy Spirit in the gospel of Luke but notice that the promise of the Spirit coming in Matthew occurs twice and Mark twice and Luke twice but in John 13 times and the references to the Paraklete are unique to John in that regard.
There is also, in John, a kind of dualism. Uh, turn with me to page 209. In John 8:23, you have these words, “You are from below. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world,” and then you got to 7:7 on page 206, John 7:7, “The world cannot hate you but it hates me, because I testify of it that its works are evil.”
Uh, jump to 293, you have, again, this kind of dualism. I’ll have to explain that, though. John 15:18 and 19, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated of you, hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own, but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore, the world hates you.”
You have this strong dualism in, in John. This world is evil. Jesus comes from another world. He is the light and this world is darkness. He is of the spirit. The world is of the flesh and so forth, and you have this contrast.
Now you have to be very careful about this kind of dualism, because the world of Jesus day knew a dualism through Greek philosophy, particular [Platonism]. That was what we call an [oncological] dualism. That means that it’s a dualism in essence.
In the very beginning, there were two things, matter and Spirit. They’ve always existed. The one is evil, matter. The other is good, Spirit. It’s [untheological]. It’s in the essence of things. This dualism is a moral dualism, not an [oncological] one.
We’re not talking about material things. We’re talking about a moral dualism of good and evil, of light and darkness, of flesh and spirit and so forth and we’re not talking about material things, we’re talking about moral, moral ethical things, whereas Greek dualism is materialistic.
It is of the essence. Matter substance is evil in and of itself. There’s no such thing as a good piece of matter. The only thing that is good is spirit. That’s not the dualism here. This is a ethical moral dualism that is going on, not platonic, and we know that because once you read, in John 1:14, “And the word became flesh.”
That means that there is nothing innately evil about the flesh, the body, nothing innately evil about the body, or you could not have a incarnation and those, in the early church, whose mind was filled with this dualism, eventually could not except the incarnation and they would deny it and they came across a different kind of understanding.
The incarnation never took place. It is only that Jesus disguised himself as if he really had a body but he didn’t have it and that’s the year of Gnosticism and Docetism was a, a subpart of that. We have in John a unique vocabulary, doesn’t mean it’s not, these words are not found in any other gospel but look for a minute.
The word ‘life,’ Matthew 13 times, Mark seven, Luke 14, John 53 times. ‘Truth,’ once in Matthew, three in Mark, Luke three, 25 times in John. The, ‘to witness to’ or ‘a witness by Jesus,’ one in Matthew, three in Mark, two in Luke, 47 times in John. You have others, ‘love,’ Matthew nine, Mark five, Luke 14, John 44 times.
‘Faith,’ Matthew 11, John 10, Luke nine, John 98 times. So it’s a, a particular kind of theological emphasis that occurs in John that reveals some of his interests, whereas, in other words, we read a lot about the kingdom of God in Matthew, Mark and Luke, and John, we’ll hear about eternal life and their synonyms.
“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” the rich man asked Jesus in the synoptic gospels and when he departs said Jesus, “How are, how hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God! What must except a man be born again, he shall not enter the kingdom of God,” Jesus tells Nicodemus, and then in 3:16, “For God so loved the world, he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
There’s synonyms with the emphasis in, in the synoptics being more like what Jesus talked about, the kingdom of God, in John, eternal life. In the introduction of the gospel, we notice a difference again. Mark begins with the baptism. Matthew and Luke begin at the birth, Matthew tracing the lineage back to Abraham, Luke going all the way back to Adam.
John begins at the beginning of all things. That is before creation. In the beginning was the word. When we talk about the kingdom of God in the next coming two weeks or so from now, we’re gonna talk about the kingdom of God being something in the future, by kingdom come, but also of present reality.
Already now, the kingdom is partly realized, even though there is a future dimension, as well, and we have here the tension be between what in theology we call the now, the already realized, and the not yet. We already have eternal life. It’s now a possession of ours.
It will never end but it’s full realization the way it’s the resurrection, so now, not yet. Uh, in John, the now is emphasized a great deal. Turn with me to a couple of examples, page 26. Here you have in John 3, verse 36, actually it’s on page 27, the last verse, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life. He who does not obey the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God rests upon him.”
So already now, you either have life or the judgment of God is upon you. This is already now realized. No, he doesn’t say, ‘He who believes in the Son will one day have eternal life,’ but he has now eternal life. Turn to page 130, John 5:24, about line 21 or so, 22. “Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears my word and believes who him who sent me has eternal life.”
He does not come into judgment but has passed from death into life. There is an already now aspect of eternal life that we would possess. In the similar way, the resurrection life has begun with the coming of Jesus or right now, there’s a quality of life that we have.
There are future dimensions of it. John 14, “I go to prepare a place for you and if I go, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, there you may be also.” So you have a consistent eschatology in which judgment is future, the resurrection is future, the second coming is future, but in many ways the already now is emphasized.
Already now, we have life everlasting. We don’t ask a person, “Do you want, one day, to have eternal life,” but do you want eternal life now? God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have, not some, someday but have now, everlasting life.
In critical circles, the gospel of John is demeaned as a source of history for the life of Jesus. The only way you can find about Jesus, you go to the synoptic gospels, and John is “the spiritual gospel has been completely rewritten and fictionalized in the life of Jesus.”
Uh, that’s why I want to point out some of the historical matters that we have here with regard to the gospel of John. There’s some interesting references through the geography of Israel that the author is familiar with. For instance, he knows that Capernaum is down from Cana.
If you’re in Cana, you have to walk downhill if you wanna get to Capernaum. You get to a pool of Bethesda and it’s called a [Columbetha], which is a swimming pool and that’s true and it mentions in this pool about the five porticos, the five porches of this pool.
Now something’s very interesting about that. In AD 70, when Jerusalem was destroyed, the pool of Bethesda was covered with ruins. It remained covered for 1,900 years. It was only later when Israel became a nation and you had the seven day war where Israel now took over and the entire city of Jerusalem that people finally began to dig and do archaeological research.
They came to the pool of Bethesda. Sure enough, it had seven porticos. Now the person who knew that must of been an eye witness, most probably. The tradition was come from a eye witness before AD 70. Otherwise, they would have never known that kind of thing.
The Pool of Siloam is also that way. You can talk about the Stoa of the temple, which we know existed. When we talk about the Kidron Valley, it’s referred to as, by a term, which really means a dry riverbed, a wadi, as we call it. That’s exactly right. Uh very, a good description.
Uh, the location of the tomb is carefully pointed out that near the place of he was crucified, there was a garden and in it a tomb, which he has brought to, so that, it’s a very close proximity between those, and that seems to be correct. Other kinds of information about Peter warming himself at the fire, that Annas, the high priest was the father-in-law of Caiaphas.
Uh, John’s statement that the Jews do not have the right to uh, inflict or exercise capital punishment. Uh, it goes very well. We’ll talk about that later at the life, when we talk about the life of Jesus. He is the only one that points out, in the gospels, that Barabbas happened to have been a revolutionary, a [lacethus].
If you wanted to talk about the length of Jesus ministry, when you say that Jesus had a three year ministry, that is all due to the gospel of John, because in the gospel of John, in 2:13, it refers to a Passover. In 6:4, it refers to another Passover, which is a different one, and 11:55, it refers to still another Passover, so you have three distinct Passovers mentioned in the gospel of John.
You have only one that’s referred to in the gospel of Matthew, Mark, the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, and if you wanted you could fit all those events if you’d thought of it, as chronological within a little over a year or so. So it’s John that helps us to understand the length of Jesus’ ministry.
John’s the only one that reveals that Jesus had a early Galilean ministry. Remember Matthew, Mark and Luke don’t talk about any early Galilean, early Judean ministry, excuse me, because they don’t talk about Judea until chapter 11, but John points out that Jesus traveled back and forth from Galilee, Jerusalem at times.
He’s the only one that talks about Jesus having a ministry in Samaria. We’re not in the synoptics, about a trial, talks about Annas, the high priest, to which, to whom Jesus is brought first. That is, again, only in the gospel of John. We wouldn’t know that otherwise.
Also that two of his disciples were disciples of John the Baptist we find also there. The story of a wedding feast at Cana, an encounter with Nicodemus, the resurrection of Lazarus, various words of the cross, the involvement of Nicodemus at the burial of Jesus.
That information is only found in the gospel of John, so it’s a, a wonderful edition to the synoptic tradition. Now there are some interesting differences. When you look at the stories in the synoptic gospels, they tend to be short. You know about the healing of the paralytic, what we have eight, nine verses.
When you get to John, you don’t have short stories. You have long stories. All of chapter 9 is a story about a blind man that’s healed. You have another long chapter about the resurrection of Lazarus, much lengthier, six, seven, eight times the length of a story in the synoptic gospels, raises an interesting question.
What was the oral tradition like? Were they long stories or the short stories of the synoptic gospels and where does this other tradition that John has come from? An interesting question that I wish I had an answer to it. It’d become famous. Uh, there’s a difference uh, we already pointed out between the clear statements as to who Jesus is.
Uh, the gospels synoptics have a veiled statement. There are a number of different kinds of incidents and stories of John’s baptism of Jesus, his different one, but it’s not mentioned. There’s contact between Jesus and John but the baptism itself is not mentioned in the gospel of John.
The temptation of Jesus, the events of Caesarea Philippi, the transfiguration, various healings, exorcisms, kinds of teachings, the beatitude, the Lord’s prayer, a lot of the parables. Uh, those are not in John, so you have differences here, and we looked at something of the difference of the terminology.
Now one of the things that I want us to look at is a kind of intermixture between the life of Jesus in the first Sitz im Leben and the situation of the evangelists in the third Sitz im Leben. There seems to be a tendency of John to write his gospel and write the life of Jesus in light of the present situation that he finds himself in.
Turn with me to page 25. Now in Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, we have a number of very interesting things. Turn to page 26 and, and notice the vocabulary here. Verse 11, “Truly I say to you, we speak of what we know and bear witness to what we have seen but you do not receive our testimony.” You have the plural, ‘we.’
Then when you get to verse 12, if I told you, go switch back to first verse, “If I told you where these things and you do not believe, how can you believe it if I tell you of heavenly things?” And in verse 13, “No one has ascended into heaven but you descended from heaven.”
Now you switch to the third person. Furthermore, do you see any problem in verse 13? Yeah, no one has ascended into heaven but he descended from heaven. When Matthew’s reader, excuse me, when John’s reader reads that, that’s not a problem, because it’s true, isn’t it?
No one ever descended from heaven but the one Jesus Christ who ascended into heaven but if you read this back on Jesus’ lips, it’s not yet done. So now you, it looks like we’re reading this and it makes perfectly good sense if we’re reading it from John’s situation.
That raises an uncertain question. If you have a red letter edition of the Bible, where does the red, which starts with Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus ultimately end?
Does it end at verse 21, when Jesus is talking about, to Nicodemus he says, “How can, you say I say to you unless one is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God that which is the flesh, flesh,” and so forth but what about verses 13, 14 and 15, “No one has ascended into heaven but you descended from heaven, the Son of man and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, some with the Son of man,” third person, “be lifted up that whoever believes in him,” third person, “may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Does that look like John writing this or Jesus saying it? When you wrestle with this most of the red letter editions of the Bible have red down to 21. As I wrestle with, now, did Jesus did say this? Is now John commenting on it? I start bright red and then it starts getting pinkish and then it gets really light pink by the end and I don’t know and if I were to say, “John, how does that figure out?”
He’d probably say, “It’s true. That’s all you need to know. It’s true,” and I, I, I’m not simply quoting Jesus. I am his interpreter, and so it, it seems difficult, sometimes, to know exactly what goes back to Jesus and what comes from the evangelist himself.
He feels free to write and interpret this way. Now let’s go back to John 3:3 and 5 where Jesus says, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born anew, born from a heaven or born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he’s old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Now turn, keep your finger there and turn with me to page 206, 206. Alright, now, on page 206, look at lines 25 and following.
“On the last day of the feast, the great day Jesus stood up and proclaimed, ‘If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”
Now in verse 39, we have an interpretive comment by the evangelist. Now this he said about the spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the spirit had not been given, because Jesus has not yet been glorified.
Alright, spirit’s not yet given, John tells us. He talks about the coming of the spirit in the future. Well, then we go back to John 3 and he starts saying to Nicodemus, you must be born again, you must be born of the spirit but the spirit’s not yet given.
Is it possible that John is telling not Nicodemus but he’s telling his readers, his audience, what they must do to be saved in AD 90, whenever he wrote, and after Pentecost and the coming of the spirit, how’d he describe conversion?
You describe it as the need to be born again of the spirit, who’s now been given, and so is he “updating in light of the change at Pentecost where Jesus said to Nicodemus so that is reader will understand what it means for him today?”
That’s what I mean by the intermixture of, of the time and situation of Jesus in his own day. I don’t know. I, if you want to read and say, no, the spirit was present in Nicodemus, he expected to be born again right then and there, what do you do with the comment of the evangelist that the spirit’s not yet given and that rivers of living water can’t come out of his belly until the spirit is given, which is not quite yet.
There are some other kinds of suggestions that way and the references to the Jews and their expelling people from the synagogue in 9:22, 12:42.
Uh, that looks like, for many people, something that takes place around AD 80 or 90 when Christians now, are pretty much excluded from the synagogue, because in the prayers and the benediction, there now comes a curse that is prayed on the Nazarenes, the Christians, which, I mean, how do you attend a synagogue service if they’re gonna put a curse on you as a believer in Jesus and that pretty much means the end of any Christian Jewish Christian participation in the synagogue.
Is that what’s being referred to or already in the time of Jesus, there’s something like that going on but the, as we know, as we think of it, there’s nothing in the Book of Acts that seems to suggest that the Christians were kicked out of the synagogues immediately, already in the life of Jesus during Jesus’ life, because they’re in the synagogues all the time witnessing.
Does that look like that what John is saying is that this, ultimately, will lead to what we now have and that is the expulsion from the synagogue. So there is this kind of intermixture of the historical situation of Jesus and that of John. Barker, Lane and Michaels in the book ‘The New Testament Speaks’ writes the following.
“Interwoven with what Jesus said in a variety of historical settings is the truth of what the risen Christ says to the church of John’s day and, of course, of our own. The contemporary quality that even the casual reader senses is no accident. It is theologically based.”
“If John were asked to justify the freedom he is exercised in handling the tradition of Jesus words and deeds, he could appropriately reply, ‘Who but Jesus has the authority to interpret Jesus?’ The risen Jesus is not another Jesus. He is the same one who lived among us in the flesh.”
“He taught us once and he still teaches us through the spirit, [promise paraclete]. This, of course, is a theological assertion, a kind of confession of faith. It’s not open to proof or disproof. The reader of today like the reader of John’s day must accept whether or not he will stand with the evangelist and accept the witness as a true witness of the spirit.”
I think there’s something to reflect on there. Now, now, the question is would you want me to skip over all of that and not raise that issue or can we, in the community of faith we have here, wrestle with that together so that we’re not struck sometimes by that and have questions that we were never prepared for in seminary?
When I went to Seminary, I took a Life of Christ Course and when I went on my doctoral work and started to study the gospels, issues came up that were never touched there and I wondered, ‘Are there no evangelical answers for that?’ How do we wrestle with, with an issue like that?
No, I don’t think you should spend all your life wrestling with an issue like that. You need to be aware of it and, as I suggest you, I believe that John himself promises that the spirit, the paraclete, who bring all things into remembrance to you and teach you all things and that John is being taught by the Spirit as to what this conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus really involves with regard to our present situation.
Alright, now authorship, the tradition about Johannine authorship is strong how he mentioned some of the dates and people that refer to this. Uh, I’m gonna skip that because of time and let me go on to what would Barclay says. Uh, Barclay argues that really only great skepticism would cause a person not to accept some of this but he then tries to argue using Westcott’s argument from the internal evidence.
He said the fourth gospel was written by a Jew. He knows messianic expectations, the law festivals the low view that Jews have towards Samaritans. The, he, it was written by a Jew in Palestine. We looked at some of the geography that indicates he must have, have been there and known that area.
It’s written by an eye witness of some of the events, because he describes various details. Uh, why does he report there’s 153 fish, and you look at all the critical scholars and they try to find some symbolism in 153. There is no symbolism in 153.
The only thing is, must’ve been 153. That’s why I put it down. That’s why I have this weird number. If you want symbolism, you’ll say uh, it’s a multiple of 12 or 7 x 70 or something like that but 153 just doesn’t work out. Looks like you were having an eye witness report in this way.
It’s written by a, an author who seems to have been an apostle, because he knows what the apostles are thinking. He talks about the calling of the early apostles and then, finally, he says, he, it was written by John, who was the beloved disciple, and because he’s one of the few disciples whose name is never mentioned as such.
He’s just referred to as the beloved disciple. Now I think there’s some weight in that, although there, it’s not a perfect argument by a long shot. As to the unity of this book, you can read some of this, but turn with me to page 337, verse 24, the next to the last verse.
“This is disciple who’s bearing witness to these things and who has written these things and we know that his testimony is true.” It looks like the ‘we know’ is not the person who wrote the book but followers of that person, disciples of John, who record that we know the testimony of what he has said is true and if you look at the proceeding page, does not John 20:30 to 31 look like a conclusion of a book?
Uh, “Jesus did many other things in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing, you may have life in his name.” Uh, looks like one now is probably, in my understanding, an addendum placed on this gospel by the disciples of John and in so doing, it is uh, been also led by the Spirit in so doing, and the church has accepted it as such.
There are other kinds of critical theories various stages of, some see 2, just chapters 1 to 20 and 21 added. Others have additional materials in that second stage. Some have four stages. Some have five stages and so forth.
Robert Kysar, who’s, by no means, an evangelical rights, “My point is that the theories advanced by [Brown and lenders] of several different stages,” one of ‘em has seven, I think, “are such that no amount of analysis of the gospel materials will ever produce convincing grounds for them.”
“If the gospel involved and evolved in a manner comparable to that altered by Brown and Lenders, it’s totally beyond the grasp of the Johannine scholar and his story and to produce even tentative proof that such was the case.”
So as to how it came to being, I, I don’t think we can know. I think it’s very speculative. What we can know is what the Book, as it now stands, is trying to say and I think that’s our goal. It’s not to reconstruct how it came together. You’ll never know that anyhow but to know here is a Book, inspired of God.
How do we understand the purpose of this final product we have forgetting about the stages? As to its date, as late as 1936, Alfred [Loyzie] wrote an introduction in which he dated the gospel of John through AD 150 or 160. Unfortunately, for him, six years earlier, fragments of the gospel of John were found that can’t be dated later than 130.
Uh, kind of embarrassing that your book’s not even out yet and it’s been refuted in that way. Tradition says that it is written probably in the 90’s when John is elderly and, uh that seems to make good sense for me.
The idea that John has to be late because of its theological emphasis, one of the great discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls is that the theology of John, which had to be late, about the light verses darkness, good versus evil, is all found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and you only have to go 12 miles from Jerusalem to find it.
So the idea that this is a late Greek guy’s, the gospel is down the tubes. The Dead Sea Scrolls point out that right in Judaism, in the heart of Judea, you have this came kind of theology and when they began to look at the Dead Sea Scrolls, they were amazed how close that kind of dualistic philosophy and theology was to John’s gospel. So no need to date it in the Greek world. It’s right there in the Jewish world.