Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Gospel of John

The Rylands Papyrus is the earliest manuscript fragment found of John's Gospel; dated to about 125.
The Gospel of John, (literally, According to John; Greek, Κατά Ιωαννην, Kata Iōannēn) is the fourth gospel in the canon of the New Testament, traditionally ascribed to John the Evangelist. Like the three synoptic gospels, it contains an account of some of the actions and sayings of Jesus, but differs from them in ethos and theological emphases. The purpose is expressed in the conclusion, 20:30-31: "...these [Miracles of Jesus] are written that you may (come to) believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

According to Trinitarianism, (see also Trinitarianism— Scripture and tradition), of the four gospels, John presents the highest christology, implicitly declaring Jesus to be God.
Compared to the synoptics, John focuses on Jesus' cosmic mission to redeem humanity. Only in John does Jesus talk at length about himself, and John includes a substantial amount of material that Jesus shared with the disciples only. Certain elements of the synoptics (such as parables, exorcisms, and the Second Coming) are not found in John.
Since the "higher criticism" of the 19th century, historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus. "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous."


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