The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel: Issues & Commentary

Craig L. Blomberg

The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel: Issues & Commentary
The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel: Issues & Commentary

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Throughout much of the twentieth century the Fourth Gospel took a back seat to the Synoptics when it came to historical reliability. Consequently, the contemporary quest of the historical Jesus discounted or excluded evidence from the Fourth Gospel. The question of the historical reliability of John's Gospel is well overdue for a thorough reinvestigation and reassessment. In this foundational study, Craig L. Blomberg sheds new light on persistent questions. He presents his conclusions largely in commentary form, following the principal scenes of the Gospel. His introduction frames the pathway into the discussion, taking up critical issues such as
  • authorship, date and provenance of the Fourth Gospel
  • sources and omissions of the Fourth Gospel
  • points where John's Gospel interlocks with the Synoptics
  • general indications of historicity
  • literary genre and unique audience of this Gospel
  • burden of proof and criteria of authenticity
In his commentary examining the text of the Fourth Gospel, Blomberg asks two essential questions. First, using the recently nuanced criteria of authenticity, "What positive evidence do we have that the actions or words of the characters in John's narratives are indeed historical?" Second, "Is there anything in the text . . . that is implausible within the historical context to which it is attributed, particularly if we assume the general historical trustworthiness of the Synoptics?" The result is a seminal work for the present day--one that affirms the historical reliability of John's Gospel with intelligence and sure-footed care.

Pages: 346
Publisher: IVP Academic
Published: 2011
ISBN-10: 0830838716
ISBN-13: 9780830838714

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4.9 out of 5 based on 1 user ratings
Phillip J. Long July 29, 2017 4.9 5
This is the more brief book on this list, about a quarter of the size of Bruner. Yet this book has been extremely helpful to me in working through the book of John. Blomberg’s goal is not an exegetical commentary, but rather to assess the value of John’s gospel as a contribution to the study of the historical Jesus. Usually John is left out of discussions of the historicity of Jesus because it is assumed the book was written late by someone who was far-removed from the eyewitnesses to the events of Jesus life, as a theological document rather than historical. Blomberg wants to read the stories in John and evaluate them on a historical level. What this means is that he places Jesus in the context of the Second Temple Period, and in the end, John’s gospel is very Jewish, John’s version of Jesus is very Jewish, and the story told in John is not as a-historical as is often assumed. This book is written in a non-technical tone and can be read by scholars, pastors, and laymen, yet is a valuable contribution to the study of the fourth gospel. [Full Review]

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