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The Past from God's Perspective: A Commentary on John's Gospel
by:Scott Gambrill Sinclair
This book continues Sinclair’s series of volumes attempting to demonstrate that a critical scholar can affirm that the books of the New Testament are true and highly relevant. The Gospel of John presents a special challenge to this series because the gospel claims to give us a trustworthy account of who Jesus was, and yet, critical scholars know that John...
This book continues Sinclair’s series of volumes attempting to demonstrate that a critical scholar can affirm that the books of the New Testament are true and highly relevant. The Gospel of John presents a special challenge to this series because the gospel claims to give us a trustworthy account of who Jesus was, and yet, critical scholars know that John is not as historically accurate as the other gospels. John’s picture of Jesus—both of what he said and did— differs profoundly from that in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These other gospels are earlier than John and fit much more closely with conditions in Palestine when Jesus lived. Nevertheless, the Gospel of John explicitly asserts both that its principal author knew Jesus personally and that what he wrote is true. John’s Gospel self-consciously attempts to present history from God’s perspective, and this claim is plausible if one accepts the gospel’s basic understanding of what God did to save the world through Jesus. Thus, the gospel of John is ultimately based on historical facts, but it interprets those facts through a theology. The gospel is not concerned with what people during Jesus’ lifetime thought he was doing, but with what the church later concluded God had done through Jesus. If we accept this larger interpretative framework, the gospel’s presentation of what "actually happened" becomes plausible, even compelling.
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