The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel Book Review
It is felt that some readers would encounter difficulty in comprehending some of the material. Unless the author’s target audience is bible scholars or students of Seminary College, better word choices could have been used to attract a broader audience. With that being said, the book asks or suggests that readers should be convinced that either John was or was not the author of the Gospel of John. If one thinks about it, does it really matter if John was the author? The answer lies within each reader’s belief system based on his or her knowledge and understanding of the word of GOD (The King James Version, New King James Version, etc.) as well as other documented evidences such as this book. The author’s account, for the most part, is merely his interpretation based in part, on what other critics or scholars wrote (for or against) as proof of John as being the author. Blomberg triggers readers to ponder and question what motivates individuals to research so extensively. Reading The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel causes readers to decide if the author is trying to convince us or himself as to the authenticity and reliability of John’s accounts. Was Blomberg’s accounts and interpretations of other critics an exercise in adding to the debate as to John’s significance to the life of Christ? It could be that all this author is presenting a parallel to the facts as well as myths as to why certain accounts were left out of the Bible or did not follow a sequential process as it has been suggested for other books of the Bible. It is noteworthy to state that unless the critics had an opportunity to witness for themselves what really took place (and we know that would be impossible since the suggested accounts took place more than 2000 years ago) no one really, truly knows. All we are left with is whether or not we accept what others, including Blomberg, has so carefully presented as evidence of who John was and whether or not he had enough of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to have left us with the accounts as illustrated in versions of the Holy Bible, other books, journals, articles as well as The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel. Based on what viewers believe or choose to believe, one walks away firmer in their conviction that John was or was not the author of John’s Gospel.
As I begin my journey of reading The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel, I am somewhat turned off by the difficulty in comprehending what the author is saying without using a dictionary. Maybe the author is targeting a specific a specific audience – those who are theology majors. However, for individuals who are not “theology inclined,” this is a hard read to say the least. Nevertheless, comments made by William Sanday regarding recent publications were proven unnecessarily skeptical of the reliability of John, was eye opening.
If it is the intent of the author to expose readers to some of the biases he was confronted with as he prepared the “Introductory Considerations”, section of his book, it certainly opened my eyes. I find his explanation of Maurice Casey’s false attacks on John’s Gospel spot on. I would further submit that Casey never considered simply accepting John’s Gospel for what I believe it to be, a small portion of accounts surrounding the life of Jesus Christ, given by divine interpretation from God. To this end, I can concur with the comments made by C.K. Barrett and Barnabas Lindars.
I am of the opinion that with all the material Blomberg researched and noted in the passage would cause some readers to be confused by all of the various accounts to the authencity of John’s Gospel. Although the author writes “… nowhere does this Gospel make any explicit claim concerning the identity of its author,” it is quite clear as Blomberg stated later in this section that all but one “piece of ancient, external evidence,”...
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