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This article’s aim is to highlight the impact that plain sense readings of the Gospel of John have on educated Jewish and Christian lay persons but who typically do not aspire to learn or appropriate current scholarly theories seeking to explain sacred texts in a technical and often inordinately complex fashion. Essay topics include: 1) the anonymous author (“John”), the relationship of his gospel to the Synoptic Gospels, his interpretation of Jewish actions and customs, and his influence on a distinct group of early Christians, the “Johannine” community; 2) John’s portrayal of Jesus’ self-identification in using the divine name YHWH; 3) John’s description and interpretation of various Jewish responses to Jesus, as well as the author’s understanding of the reasons for Jews rejecting the message and person of Jesus; and 4) John’s portrayal of the early break between Judaism and Christianity, laid entirely at the feet of “the Jews.”

Essays Introducing a Jewish Perspective on the Gospel of John

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