About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Not a Gospel?

Rylands Papyrus P52, the oldest fragment of NT
with the text of John 18:31–33
dated roughly to 125 CE.
Is the Gospel of John really a true gospel? I mean in a manner like Mark, Matthew and Luke?
      If you ever opened the Bible and read these gospels you know what I am talking about. The differences are glaring and they stare right into your face.
      For instance, synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke) contain a plethora of short healing stories. They are presented in just a few sentences and sometimes closed with brief controversies. John on the other hand has just a handful of miracles which are presented in a highly loquacious style. John calls them signs. And they are followed with lengthy exposition speeches explaining their spiritual meaning.
      Another difference, perhaps even more important - Mark and especially Matthew and Luke contain quite a number of Jesus’ parables, aphorisms and pointed pronouncements called logia. Jesus is frugal with words and often compares the rule of God, (kingdom of god) to everyday mostly farming experiences. In John’s account, on the other hand, Jesus is unrecognizable, delivering lengthy, convoluted, repetitive and often pompous spiritual speeches. The Kingdom of God, Jesus’ hallmark message in Mark, Matthew and Luke is all but gone, and so is his concern with social, political and religious justice. In John it is replaced with philosophizing about light, life, word, truth and the like. Jesus would almost certainly not recognize himself in this “gospel” of John.
      And so there is a large consensus among the scholars that what is called Gospel of John is in fact a theological and philosophical reflection of one of the early Christian groups on the importance of Jesus from the distance of at least three generations (60 and possibly 90 years later). Thus - strictly speaking, the Gospel of John is not really a gospel, certainly not in the sense of the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke or even the non-canonical gospel of Thomas. John is a theological reflection, or if you wish, an early Christian spiritual essay on the importance of Jesus. And that is something many might not know about the Bible.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it is a good thing to have this insight into early Christian reflections. They offer us insight into the spiritual development of our faith and the early interpretation trends. And one of those powerful theological dicta about the world changing importance of Jesus will be our theme this Sunday. We will hear how much God loved the world.

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