Saturday, September 25, 2010

John vs The Synoptics?


I just finished a paper on the divinity/humanity of Jesus which was intended to look at several different Christian beliefs of who Jesus was… and there are many different views.

However, I ended up focusing more on the question of who Jesus himself claimed to be and how he saw himself?. Did he, himself, claim to be the Son of God? (A term often referring to Caesar and was a title not exclusive to Jesus) Or is this claim absent in earlier writings such as the synoptic gospels and more exclusive to the later writings found in the gospel of John?

Of course a lot of you may have just shouted out loud, “YES, of course He Did!”

And you are right; Jesus is depicted to be pretty divine throughout the gospel of John. However, the synoptic gospels are clearly different than John. We can not claim that both the synoptic gospels and the gospel of John both describe an accurate account of the “historical Jesus.” (I guess you can claim that, but…)

The gospel of John, written probably 70 years after the ministry of Jesus and the latest of all the gospels, is clearly more concerned with Jesus as God than the other writings. It is in John where we see Jesus making such claims about himself such as “I and the Father are One” and” If you have seen me then you have seen the Father”, and It is in John where we find the 8 “I am” statements.

But how come other gospels don’t seem to be as concerned with Jesus’ divinity as John’s is? Or how come Jesus doesn’t seem to be as concerned with his divinity in the synoptic gospels as He is in John’s gospel. Could it be the influence of the church?

In the earlier writings we see Jesus pointing people to God the Father rather than himself. Any miracles he did he gave credit to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

The “miraculous birth” stories recorded at the beginning of Matthew and Luke are significantly different and Mark (the oldest gospel) says nothing of Jesus’ birth. (So what if you only had the gospel of Mark?)

Your thoughts?

4 comments:

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