Epistles of Thomas

October 8, 2008

John 1-3

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 14:52
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There is a lot of deep material at the beginning of John. Of course the Christological statements are important, especially if you are talking to someone who denies Jesus’ deity (e.g. JWs). Aside from that, I find John 1:47f interesting: “When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, ‘Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ Nathanael asked.” This seems a very strange exchange from both perspectives. Why does Jesus proclaim him an Israelite with no deceit? Isn’t Nathanael’s answer a little presumptuous? He accepts that he is without deceit and wants to know how Jesus knows him. This is quite different from the synoptic gospels where Jesus often encountered those who thought they were without deceit and soon showed them how deceitful they actually were!

In 2:13-22, we have the account of Jesus cleansing the temple. This is placed at the beginning of his ministry which is different from the synoptics. Also note, that he does not speak about the temple being a place of prayer for all nations, he just wants to stop them from turning his Father’s house into a market.

John the Baptist plays a much bigger role in John than in the synoptics, although it is only alluded to that John baptised him (1:32-34). The emphasis is on John’s testimony about Jesus rather than his actions which preceded the coming of Holy Spirit upon Jesus.

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