Presentation on theme: "The Gospel of John: Myths and Facts The New Testament Document #: TX002270."— Presentation transcript:
The Gospel of John: Myths and Facts The New Testament Document #: TX002270
The Gospel of John has nothing in common with the synoptic Gospels.
MYTH. The Gospel of John, though unique in many ways, shares basic content with the synoptic Gospels, namely, the focus on the life, ministry, death, and Resurrection of Jesus and the meaning of these saving events for believers today.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus is a divine being, not a human being.
MYTH. All four Gospels, including John, present Jesus as both fully divine and fully human.
FACT. Much as Mark—the first Gospel— emphasizes Jesus’ humanity, John—the last Gospel—emphasizes his divinity.
The Gospel of John promotes hatred of and discrimination against Jewish people.
MYTH. Unfortunately, throughout history poor exegesis and lack of understanding regarding the historical setting of John’s Gospel has led people to misinterpret John’s portrayal of the Jews, believing the Gospel is anti-Semitic. Careful, academically responsible exegesis can help to avoid this pitfall.
John’s account of the birth of Jesus is the basis for many popular Christmas traditions.
MYTH. John does not contain an account of the birth of Jesus.
FACT. Rather than beginning, as Matthew and Luke do, with an infancy narrative, John begins with a poem that presents Jesus as the preexistent Word.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus does not perform miracles.
MYTH. Jesus does perform miracles in John’s Gospel, but only seven of them. They are also called signs rather than miracles.
The Gospel of John uses more metaphors and symbolism than do the synoptic Gospels.
FACT. John is filled with vivid images and thought-provoking symbols.
The Gospel of John was written during a time of great turmoil and transition in the early Christian community.
FACT. Because the Gospel of John was written late in the first century AD, the early Christians were beginning the tumultuous process of separating themselves from their Jewish roots.
The Gospel of John is incomprehensible to most Catholics.
MYTH. Although the Gospel of John can be confusing and difficult, close reading and careful study can make sense of even the most obscure texts.
Key texts from John’s Gospel are used in the liturgies of Lent, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday.
FACT. The stories of the woman at the well, the man born blind, and the raising of Lazarus are proclaimed during the Sunday liturgies of Lent, especially when adults preparing for Baptism are present. John’s account of the Last Supper, which is the only one to recount the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, is always proclaimed at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening. The Good Friday liturgy, commemorating the Passion and death of the Lord, always includes a proclamation of John’s Passion narrative.
The Gospel of John was the last canonical Gospel written.
John’s Gospel follows the same basic structure as the synoptic Gospels.
MYTH. John has a unique three-part structure: a prologue, a Book of Signs, and a Book of Glory, as well as an epilogue that scholars believe was written later.
Many famous and well-loved passages in John’s Gospel—like “I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15:5), “I am the bread of life” (John 6:3), and “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6)—do not appear in the synoptic Gospels.
FACT. These are examples of the kind of metaphoric or symbolic language John frequently employs. We will learn more about the particular significance of the “I AM” statements.