THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN|
The first thing that is noticed about John’s gospel is the opening chapter is nearly a word for word copy of the first chapter or Genesis, or what is known as a paraphrase.
That shouldn’t be too surprising when you stop to think about it because the New Testament wasn’t written and/or compiled till after Jesus and most of the twelve disciples had passed off the scene or that is after there death. As a matter of fact the apostle John, who by the way also wrote - transcribed may be a better word - the book of Revelations (Apocalypse in Greek) was probably the last one of the twelve disciples to remain alive.
The only thing we know about Christ and the twelve Disciples is what can be gleaned from the Bible via what is written. That is not to say there isn’t a lot of myth and tradition surrounding these particular characters, which amounts to nothing more than hearsay, second and third hand stories or personal opinion.
Although we might wonder or be curious as to what a person looked like, size hair color, habits, personality, etc. this, of course, is not really important and it is best to stick to scriptures and concentrate on what has been written rather than speculate about someone’s physical appearance.
For instance, since we are talking about John, please go to the Gospel of John chapter 20 verses 1-6. Notice in verse 2&4 John writes “the other Disciple” speaking of Himself. This is typical of John to always refer to himself in the third person never saying Me or I. Also He must haven been taller and slimmer than Peter, faster at any rate because He outran Peter!
Also in verse two there is the phrase "whom Jesus loved" which is repeated elsewhere (Jhn. 13:22 for instance) about John, not that Jesus didn’t love all but we see all through the four Gospels that Peter, James and John, but especially John, seem to have a closer relationship with Jesus.
John’s writing is more on an abstract level than Matthew, Mark or Luke. It would be timely to mention the writers of the Gospels are not unlike four individuals who may have witnessed say an automobile accident. Each, while describing the same events, view things from a different perspective, while one may have seen something overlooked by another the other might see or here something somewhat different. So to get a complete picture it is necessary to carefully compare the four versions.
As was mentioned John’s writing is more abstract and conceptual. It was probably for this reason John was chosen to transcribe or write the book of Revelation.
It has been observed the four individuals that wrote the Gospels find there counter part in Ezekial’s prophesy. (See Ezek 1:10 “As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle”)
The four faces of the ‘living creatures’ represent the four disciples characteristics relationship to the four Gospels, the Man represented Luke, Mark the Ox, Matthew the Lion while the Eagle symbolize John.
Luke was a physician or doctor and has a humanistic slant to his writing. Mark version is short without personal lineage and would point to a person of little note such as a servant or slave. Matthew’s Gospel starts with the genealogical history showing Christ’s kingly decent thus the use of the lion an age old symbol for KING. The Eagle, another emblem used from antiquity, is a perfect attribute to portray John’s style and mode of writing. John’s writing, as it were, is lofty and soars high above on a, for the lack of a better word, spiritual level.
Note that Christ and His disciples studied and taught from the Old Testament and both Old and New testaments are knitted together into an inseparable unit to stand or fall together.
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