The beginner's Gospel

John 3:14-21

Some years back, I was surprised to hear John called the beginner’s Gospel. Surely the Gospel to begin with was Mark, the shortest and most likely the oldest, or maybe Luke, with all those wonderful stories. But John, the most different one, seemed to me a decidedly second-semester topic, if not a graduate-level course. I saw it as an astonishing theological elaboration and re-presentation of the person of Jesus of Nazareth seen in the other books, and therefore the testimony of those sources needed to be heard first, before John’s majestically self-describing Christ could be understood.


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