Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Maybe just my prejudice. Maybe being very conscious of style... and finding no resemblance whatsoever between the style of the synoptic Jesus, and the rather pompous style of John's "Jesus."
I know, I know, John is just being symbolic about Jesus' role in the scheme of things... and every once in awhile there's a really good quote. But mostly it's "I know who I am & Who sent me, and you don't, which just goes to show what a clueless, evil bunch you are..." Mostly accusations against "the Jews" for not accepting Jesus as Messiah... accusations which could easily be made against any nation, for there's no nation on Earth where either the bulk of the population or (especially) the leaders have accepted Jesus as a guide to God and to what God wants of us. "We can't do that! It would be utterly impractical and irresponsible; we have to do the wise thing!"
On that level... I guess the book is saying: God sends Jesus to help save people from their own ignorant, blundering corruption... and they don't want to hear it. On some level they know better, but to maintain their egos in whichever roles they've learned to treasure-- People have to reject Jesus, and to fear Jesus, and eventually try to kill him, lest he lead the people "astray." So, being the nice loving guy he is, he lets them do it. Then he returns to life so that his closest followers can see him, and leaves his enemies still believing he's dead. A win-win outcome, you might say.
Pages & pages of goodguy vs badguys dialogue... By popular demand, I tried discussing 'John' on friendly scripture study, and quickly bogged down. I'm just not the one to find much good in it. So now I'm starting Luke, and would like more people to comment now & then (hint, hint!!!)
Rather than calling John "the Quaker gospel," I'm inclined to call it "the Calvinist gospel". Because it seems to imply that there are only a few good people, who instinctively "belong to" Jesus and can be saved-- while the rest just arent' going to get it. Yet another, quite serious discrepancy, between "Jesus" and the guy who gave us 'the Sermon on the Mount.'
Better ways to see this?