Friday, April 13, 2012

John 1

The Word Became Flesh

John came to preach the word of God, he was not God but was sent from God. John was great and he said that the one that comes after him will be better than him as he will be God.

John is a bit more poetic than the previous gospels. I will do my best to properly interpret things but if I get things wrong please, as always, feel free to correct me.

The Testimony of John the Baptist

A group asks John if he is the christ, if he is a prohpet and if he is elijah, he answers no to all of those questions. They then ask who he is and he said he is just someone crying out in the wilderness. They asked why he baptizes if he is not any of those things, and he says that he is just baptizing with water, but the one who comes after him will be much better.

One thing I have learned from doing this blog is the place that John has. I grew up a Christian but never really knew how important he was. As far as I knew he was just another disciple. It's sad how poorly people are educated about their own religion.

Behold, the Lamb of God

Jesus came to be baptized by John and John "saw the spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him"

Is this supposed to be the holy spirit coming down to hang out with Jesus for a bit? 

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

John sees Jesus go by and says he is the lamb of God, his disciples hear and started following Jesus.

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

A couple more guys start following Jesus. Initially one of them thought that nothing good could come from Nazareth.


  1. The Testimony of John the Baptist.That's interesting.. Growing up, in the Catholic church, John is a bit of a bigger deal I guess. One of the songs we often sang during communion had a chorus based on the verses about a voice in the wilderness. It might have been closer to lent or perhaps advent, I can't remember. I think its crazy how there can be so many denominations or interpretations of the same collection of books.

    Interesting that he says he's "not" the prophet Elijah. I also want to point out that in my translation, “Bethany beyond the Jordan” is used to describe the place where all this stuff happened. In my notes, I have it listed as a suburb of Jerusalem, but according to wiki its 1.5 miles east. But let's put it in the same area. If its “beyond the Jordan” it's pretty damn far beyond the Jordan according to this map. It's from a Christian website, so it's probably pretty trustworthy. An interesting way some gospels get around this, is by putting the place in a town called Bethabara. Bethabara has an interesting lack of history until the time of “Ogden” ~2 centuries later, according to this article. My notes say that it never existed, but I don't have the source for that, so I am hesitant now to stake a solid claim on that. I'm mostly pretty good at sourcing important stuff like that, but must have not been thinking. =/

    Behold, the Lamb of God. From what I was brought up to believe, yes.

    Jesus Calls the First Disciples. To me, its interesting that in John, Peter and Simon/Peter met Jesus before the imprisonment of John but in Matthew and Mark, it was after. Here is what I think is a humorous explaining away of this contradiction. Skeptics annotated bible is a pretty good source of some responses to contradictions and often I will head over there to see what is listed. That is where I got this particular response. It was actually the only one listed. “They began to follow before John was imprisoned, returned to fishing after coming back from Judea to Galilee (which coincided with John's imprisonment), and then were called by Jesus to follow Him not long thereafter. There is no contradiction. ”
    John sees Jesus go by and says he is the lamb of God, his disciples hear and started following Jesus. Also minor, but if I'm not misunderstanding, Andrew tells Peter about Jesus. But in Matthew reports that Peter was told by God.

    Btw, I know we've talked about major and minor contradictions, but since John is the non synoptic gospel, it will have much more of these differences. So be prepared for a lot of hyperlinks. =P

  2. Interesting about John the baptist being Elijah. I do notice that all of the times where it says he is in fact elijah it is Jesus talking and not John. Is it possible John was Elijah but didn't know it or something like that?

    The thing about them following Jesus, then going back, then following Jesus again. I suppose it is possible. It doesn't seem particularly credible to me though. I think it speaks to what we have talked about before with the discrepancies. For each one you need to decide what you think it is really saying and if you think the explanation makes sense. Does it sound like they are following Jesus for an afternoon or from then on? It reads to me like they are following him from then on, but I suppose I don't think it is unreasonable that they would go back to John and at least tell him what is up.

  3. I really have no idea.

    I suppose that it is possible I wouldn't really find it credible. I don't know if you remember in Matthew, but an apostle wasn't even allowed to go home and bury his father. That's my opinion anyway..

  4. Good recall on the Matthew story, that certainly makes the version where they go back and forth pretty unbelievable. That is why it is important to actually read the bible. If you are just making stuff up you can justify pretty much anything, but if you actually know what is in there you can point out when their arguments don't really hold water.


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