The Gospel of John as Jewish Mystical Work

One of the features of the new Bible Odyssey website is that it lets you ask a scholar your questions. Someone submitted the question through the site, “Is the Gospel of John a Jewish mystic work?” I was invited to provide the answer, and here is what I wrote: It is appropriate to note that [Read More...]

Books of John

As I’ve been working on the commentary on the Mandaean Book of John this summer, I’ve been struck from time to time by seemingly close parallels and points of intersection with the New Testament. For instance, here’s an excerpt from the start of chapter 13, from which the quote above is taken: It is to [Read More...]

I AM – the Name of God?

On another thread, about whether Jesus claimed to be God, the subject of Jesus saying “I am” in the Gospel of John came up, and since that comments section was rather cluttered already, it was suggested that it might be worth creating a separate post on the subject. I thought it was a great idea. [Read More...]

Jesus was Not a New Yorker

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I Am The Walrus/Logos

Roger Wolsey shared some thoughts about Jesus as yogi. His starting point, unsurprisingly, was the Gospel of John, ch.17, where Jesus is depicted as praying, and even after acknowledging the distinction between the only true God and himself as the one God sent, he then goes on to blur the two in mystical interrelatedness, so [Read More...]

Are the Christologies of Paul and Mark Different?

In discussions of Christology, a major divide (as illustrated by the dueling books between Ehrman and several Evangelical scholars) is between those who say that “high” Christology was present as far back as we can trace, and those who see such Christology as a result of a long period of development. Two key pieces of [Read More...]

The Woman at the Well

My friend and colleague Charles Allen shared the following as part of an e-mail: John’s Gospel doesn’t really say that much about her, but that hasn’t stopped preachers and listeners from letting their imaginations run wild. After all, she’s had five husbands, and now she’s living with a man out of wedlock. So it’s been [Read More...]

Al-Hallaj and the Johannine Jesus

Dustin Smith has continued posting a transcript from when he recently interviewed me. Unfortunately, one of the points looks like it lost something in the recording or summarization process. And since it relates to a potential thesis topic, I thought I’d say more about it here. There was a Sufi mystic, Abu al-Mughith al-Husayn ibn [Read More...]

Wrestling with John’s Christology

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dustin Smith, of the blog Dustin Martyr, to discuss my attempts to tie together the strands of John’s Christology – and to figure out whether tying them together is an effort to figure out what the author of the Fourth Gospel thought, or to systematize something [Read More...]

Sherlock and Sheldon among the Prophets

I’ve been getting caught up on shows that I ought to have been watching for a while. Both Sherlock and The Big Bang Theory feature main characters who exhibit behaviors and abilities which suggest placement on the autism spectrum – incredible genius in some respects, but also difficulties in social interactions and knowledge that most [Read More...]

Were the Gospels Originally Anonymous?

Like many New Testament scholars, the work that I do builds on the work of those specifically engaged in the field of New Testament textual criticism. An article by Simon Gathercole in ZNW, “The Titles of the Gospels in the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts,” makes me wonder about the impression that I and most others [Read More...]


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