The Quest for the Origin of John's Gospel: A Source-oriented Approach

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This book presents a controversial thesis concerning the composition of the Gospel According to John. Most New Testament scholars believe that John was independent of the other three (Synoptic) Gospels, although some hold that he may have been familiar with Mark. This has led many to attempt to reconstruct the history of the community within which and for which John must have written. Brodie argues, however, that until the source question is settled, the historical question remains fruitless. What has been missing from Johannine scholarship, he says, is an accurate sense of the way in which writers of the ancient world set about composing their works. Given this literary context, it can be argued that John knew and used not only all of the Synoptic Gospels, but Acts, Ephesians, and the Pentateuch as well. Finally Brodie concludes that 'John' was the individual John and not the mouthpiece of a putative 'Johannine Community'. The Gospel should thus be read as a unified work, and not as the product of an aggregation of different sources or different dates of redaction.