Words about the Gospel of John

I suppose that the boldest and most brilliant essay in the communication of the gospel to a particular culture in all Christian history is the gospel according to John. Here the language and the thought-forms of that Hellenistic world are so employed that Gnostics in all ages have thought that the book was written especially for them. And yet nowhere in Scripture is the absolute contradiction between the word of God and human culture stated with more terrible clarity.
-- Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: the gospel and western culture, p. 53

John is different "...no poor people, no tax gatherers, no widows, no children, no demoniacs, no lepers, no prostitutes, no Sadducees, no Herodians, and certainly no Zealots....absent are any pronouncements on charity toward the poor or taxes to Caesar, any advice regarding the reciprocal obligations of husbands and wives...any proverbs featuring birds of the air, leaves of the trees...or any homely parables of finding a lost sheep or a lost coin. ... The worlds of nature and of ordinary social life are nearly swept aside, as the tak focuses on the identity of Jesus and on his mission."

John is the same: "John is structured like the other [gospels], running basically from Jesus' baptism to his death and resurrection, and the drama of his life is played out on the same Palestinian landscape...John's gospel is not one of those fabulous romances of ...Jesus during the 'lost' or 'hidden' years between the ages of 12 and 30, nor is it an account of otherwise unknown or esoteric teaching offered by Jesus in a postresurrection career...And the gospel is not set in Egypt or India but in Palestine."
-- Robert Smith ,Easter Gospels:  The Resurrection of Jesus According to the Four Evangelists, (Augsburg, 1983), p. 148, 154

Last updated 5/10/08; first posted 4/20/03; original content © 2008, 2003 John P. Nordin