Monday 20 June 2011

School of Discipleship: the Gospel of John

If you're in the Sydney area, you might like to come along next month to the School of Discipleship. I'll be giving a series of talks on the Gospel of John – the title is "Glory Crucified: Knowing and Following Jesus in the Gospel of John." Registrations are closing soon.

I've been hugely impressed by this event in previous years – it's an annual conference for university students (and others) who gather to learn about scripture, discuss discipleship in contemporary society, and drink beers with a Barmen theme (pictured is last year's delicious George Bell Ginger Beer – the Karl Barth Porter was good too).

Plus, the Gospel of John is just about the best thing ever written – so it'll be a treat for me to be able to talk about it!


Student said...

Dear Ben,
Now I fully understand why I feel kinship toward you.

The Gospel of John is the best book ever written. I knew this when I first read it in "Good News for Modern Man" at age 14. Now some 40 years later, I still know this; and because I'm studying formally, I can now accurately label myself all sorts of things concerning my passion for John.

Why, just in the last year I've learned I'm a "high Christologist." My priest snarked at me during a Bible study, " read the whole Bible through the Gospel of John..."

I've always grasped the divinity of Jesus, His grace, and the mystical spirituality & theology of Gospel of John; I knew all this long before I realized the fanaticism as well as scholarly angst around John. I knew it because He told me so!

I created various studies on my own, such as printing all the red letters in one continuous stream of text and reading ONLY Jesus words; then someone famous published a book of Jesus words. I thought'd I'd been so clever.

Any chance obtaining your talks in written or video format?

"Break a leg" as we say in performance; I know your talks will be awesome. Thanks for the alert.

Ben Myers said...

Next time someone accuses you of "reading the whole Bible through the Gospel of John", you should respond with the technical answer: "Well, duh!"

Student said...

Ya know, you're right. And the Truth is I do see the Bible through "grace and truth" Jn. 17. Being new to official formal scholarly study of Bible, I've a ways to go in speaking confidently to other "geniuses" of the Book.

Yet, at the SBL meet last year, I did meet several who should know better, already appropriately degreed, who consider John's Gospel worth writing their own book around.

Blessed be your talks.

Anonymous said...

The Gospel of John is great, and, on literary grounds, at the very least, we are drawn into this great work from its opening lines--talk about profound first sentneces! I once knew a priest who could quote chapter and verse--I'd never seen anything like it; it was intimidating to be in his presence. On another note, it has been said that Luther was not particularly fond of The Revelation of John, certainly a very different sort of book from John's Gospel(and,from what I gather, written by an author who took on the authority of John as author-name). Luther may have had good reasons for his ambivalence toward this penultimate book (I am not an expert on this). That said, The Revelation of John, in addition to being part of the Bible, is an incredibly great read--I'd recommend the translation of Richmond Lattimore, readily available. DWLindeman

Greg the Explorer said...

Ben do you think the gospel of john was written by the person we know as the apostle John? I read an article somewhere recently arguing that John was probably written by disciples of John and not John himself and also that Revelation was written by a John but not the John we all think of. What are you're thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Dear Greg the Explorer, I cannot answer for, Ben, nor do I intend to (forgive me Ben!). Not being a professional theologian, or, for that matter, a Biblical scholar, sometimes has its advantages nontheless. Since I do not know you, or the Chrisitian tradition you come from, I can only point toward what I regard as some useful sources that many contemporary Christians consider informative and helpful. A good example of issues of authorship, is the fact that many scholars of the Early Christian era were already debating the authorship of the book we call The Revelation to John--opinions differed even then. We may surmise that the attitude of "actual authors" to what modern scholars consider to be the convention of the adoption of an "authoritative author name", such as "John" was different among Christians in the late Ancient period when compared to our own. So, while someone on the sidelines, like me, can only observe while Biblical scholars debate, I can point you to at least one source that I've found useful--and I'm sure there are many more; this is: The New American Bible for Catholics, which is heavily annotated, and, addreses directly the question(s) you raised.

Anonymous said...

Ben, do you expect that a recording of your talk will be available online? Very interested. Thanks.

Ben Myers said...

Not sure - I know the talks were recorded; I'll let you know if they're uploaded on to the web. Thanks for your interest!

Student said...

Ben, for fun I'm reading the J'lem Bible through. Someone GAVE me a first ed. 1966 one! The literary fun, oh my. And I'm old enough to appreciate some of the 1960's vernacular of said translation, like calling the task masters in Ex "slave-drivers" (we often called bosses that) and "holy things" in Lev "sacred rights" (rights movement huge in 60's and beyond.)

So I"m on Leviticus, and reading it filtered through Jesus in Gospel of John. Not sure how precise my lens is, but it's an enjoyable past time.

Meanwhile I keep checking here for news your talks will be available. Glad to at least see your green notice today. Green = grace.

My newest favorite verse: "Thou art mad" in Acts 12:15 KJV; "You are out of your mind" in most others.

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