DB #1 - It is often said that John is the Gospel to the world (Matthew to the Jew, Mark to the Romans, Luke to the Greeks). But in 1924 Israel Abrahams said, “To us Jews, the Fourth Gospel is the most Jewish of the four!” How is that so? (i.e, What is in the Gospel of John that would cause a Jewish Scholar to say it “is the most Jewish of the four”) If it is so, why do many people tell new converts to begin reading this Gospel? Consult resources and discuss this statement. Answer:
The structure and framework of the Gospel of John follows a Jewish way of thinking. To a Jewish man, faith revolves a great deal around religious feasts. The Gospel of John is saturated with specific information from the author regarding the Jewish feasts. The book even relates the activities of Jesus based on their relative time to the nearest Jewish feast. When writing of Jesus’ behavior, John often makes references such as “the Passover Feast was near,” that Jesus taught “halfway through the Feast,” and that He gave an invitation on “the last and greatest day of the Feast.” These are but a few of the examples in John showing Jesus’ ministry relative to the Jewish traditions surrounding their religious feasts. Dr. Aileen Guilding believes that the Gospel of John is purposefully constructed around these religious feasts1. This implies that, while the content of John may appeal to gentile audiences, the structure of the book is geared toward Jewish people. By relating the works of Jesus to His interaction with the religious feasts and respect for Jewish culture, the Gospel of John presents a more down to earth look at the life of Jesus within the Jewish society, thus making Him more relatable to the Jewish person.
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