Woman at the Well

My latest contribution to the Bible Odyssey website is up. It is in the “Ask a Scholar” section, and is a response to this question: When Jesus speaks with the Samaritan woman in John 4:17-19, is the passage about her husbands literal, or symbolic of the five different tribes that were settled in her town? Click through [Read More…]

The Gospel of John in a Galaxy Far Far Away

In a recent blog post, Andrew McGowan suggested that the opening lines of the Gospel of John or the Letter to the Hebrews ought, if transferred into a modern idiom, appear in the characteristic scrolling text that opened the Star Wars films. I think it is also interesting to ask the reverse question. Fast forwarding into [Read More…]

What Could a Fisherman Compose?

I shared a link to a blog post by Jonathan Bernier a while back, which questioned the relevance of the purported employment of the traditionally-proposed author of the Fourth Gospel. Here’s a list which someone put together of occupations of tannaitic rabbis: The sages of the Talmud worked at many diverse occupations. For instance, Hillel was [Read More…]

Your Thesis Title

An oldie but a goodie from PHD Comics. My thesis title was “John’s Apologetic Christology: Legitimation and Development in Johannine Christology.” Fits the cartoon pretty well, doesn’t it? [Read more…]

Jesus: Not God in New Testament Christologies

Here are links to three interesting posts related to New Testament Christology. In each case, the evidence suggests that the New Testament authors in question did not identify Jesus as identical to, part of, or “included in the divine identity” of the one God of Jewish monotheism. First, Andrew Perriman made the case that Hebrews does not [Read More…]

Troubling Legacies

Biblical Studies Online drew attention to videos which Yale University has made available, from a conference about anti-Judaism in antiquity and its aftermath. Above is the video from the second session, focused on the New Testament. Click through for the rest of them. [Read more…]

Are the Gospels Anonymous?

I created a draft post back in October when Michael Barber shared a link to an article about the titles of the Gospels by Simon Gathercole, planning to return to the topic. It is, in fact, something that I had blogged about previously. But I wanted to return to it, and when the recent online article [Read More…]

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…]