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Was the Gospel of John opposed as heretical in the early Church?

jmt356

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In his book, The True Message of Jesus Christ, Dr. Bilal Philips challenges the veracity of the Gospel of John, "which consistently contradicts the other three gospels. As mentioned earlier, the Gospel of John was opposed as heretical in the early Church” (p. 84).

Dr. Philips cites to The Five Gospels, p. 20 to support his argument that the Gospel of John was opposed as heretical in the early Church. The Five Gospels states “The Fourth Gospel was opposed as heretical in the early Church, and it knows none of the stories associated with John son of Zebedee. In the judgment of many scholars, it was produced by a ‘school’ of disciples, probably in Syria” (p.20).

Was the Gospel of John opposed as heretical in the early Church?
 

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Was the Gospel of John opposed as heretical in the early Church?
Your first port of call is always a commentary on that book, if you don't have one, use wiki and sites like reasons to believe, coldcasechristianity, answersingenesis etc etc
None of these sites agree with your source so no John was not thought to be heretical.
 
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Susannah

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Before I became a Christian I still read the Bible. John was my favorite gospel because is was more metaphysical. I loved the detail; it made it seem more real. At the end where Jesus tells Peter to "mind his own business," it just that makes the whole book more authentic. But then I have always been an odd ball when it comes to what I like. I am a Quaker and we all love John, the one Jesus loved.
 
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Christ the King

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In his book, The True Message of Jesus Christ, Dr. Bilal Philips challenges the veracity of the Gospel of John, "which consistently contradicts the other three gospels. As mentioned earlier, the Gospel of John was opposed as heretical in the early Church” (p. 84).

Dr. Philips cites to The Five Gospels, p. 20 to support his argument that the Gospel of John was opposed as heretical in the early Church. The Five Gospels states “The Fourth Gospel was opposed as heretical in the early Church, and it knows none of the stories associated with John son of Zebedee. In the judgment of many scholars, it was produced by a ‘school’ of disciples, probably in Syria” (p.20).

Was the Gospel of John opposed as heretical in the early Church?
Where does John's Gospel contradict the other three?
 
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OzSpen

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In his book, The True Message of Jesus Christ, Dr. Bilal Philips challenges the veracity of the Gospel of John, "which consistently contradicts the other three gospels. As mentioned earlier, the Gospel of John was opposed as heretical in the early Church” (p. 84).

Dr. Philips cites to The Five Gospels, p. 20 to support his argument that the Gospel of John was opposed as heretical in the early Church. The Five Gospels states “The Fourth Gospel was opposed as heretical in the early Church, and it knows none of the stories associated with John son of Zebedee. In the judgment of many scholars, it was produced by a ‘school’ of disciples, probably in Syria” (p.20).

Was the Gospel of John opposed as heretical in the early Church?
jmt,

Is this Islamic scholar, Dr Bilal Philips, the one to whom you refer: http://bilalphilips.com/about/

He moved from Christianity to Communism and now Islam.

I have a copy of The Five Gospels in my library. I referred to it many times in refuting the postmodernism of John Dominic Crossan in my PhD dissertation.

Please understand that The Five Gospels was published by the heretics, rank postmodern, theological liberals of The Jesus Seminar, started in 1985 by the late Robert Funk.

The fifth Gospel is the Gospel of Thomas, which has strong Gnostic leanings. The Jesus Seminar concluded that 'Eighty-two percent of the words ascribed to Jesus in the gospels were not actually spoken by him' (p. 5). How did they reach that conclusion?

How did the Fellows decide which sayings were authentic in the Gospels?
After debate on each agenda item, Fellows voted using colored beads to indicate the degree of authenticity of Jesus' words. Each color was assigned a number rating, so that votes could be quantified with a weighted average.

The Fellows adopted four categories:
  • Red (likely authentic)
  • Pink (somewhat likely)
  • Gray (somewhat unlikely)
  • Black (unlikely) [Sayings of Jesus, Jesus Seminar, Westar Institute]
Why don't you take a read of 'Church Fathers and John's Gospel'?

Oz
 

OzSpen

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Your first port of call is always a commentary on that book, if you don't have one, use wiki and sites like reasons to believe, coldcasechristianity, answersingenesis etc etc
None of these sites agree with your source so no John was not thought to be heretical.
WM,

I would start prior to a commentary with books like:
  • R K Harrison, An Introduction to the New Testament;
  • Robert H Gundry, A Survey of the New Testament. One of the chapters in this book is titled, 'A Harmonistic Study of the Gospels: The Beginnings';
  • A T Robertson, A Harmony of the Gospels, now in public domain: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/36264/36264-h/36264-h.htm
Oz
 

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Just as a coin has two sides, both valid, so Jesus Christ has two natures, both valid. Luke, in whom was not part of the 12 disciples, presents Christ in His deity as the Son of God. John's purpose, being one of the disciples, is crystal clear to set forth Christ in His deity in order to spark believing faith in his readers. John's gospel is topical, not primarily chronological like the other three gospels, and it revolves around the seven miracles and seven "I am statements of Christ".

Following an extended eyewitness description of the Upper Room meal and discourse, John records events leading up to the resurrection, the final climactic proof that Jesus is who He claims to be - the Son of God.

The title of the Fourth Gospel follows the same format as the titles of the synoptic Gospels: Kata Ioannen "According to John". As with the others, the word "Gospel" was later added. Ioannes is derived from the Hebrew name Johanan, "Yahweh Has Been Gracious".
 

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WM,

I would start prior to a commentary with books like:
  • R K Harrison, An Introduction to the New Testament;
  • Robert H Gundry, A Survey of the New Testament. One of the chapters in this book is titled, 'A Harmonistic Study of the Gospels: The Beginnings';
  • A T Robertson, A Harmony of the Gospels, now in public domain: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/36264/36264-h/36264-h.htm
Oz
Any books or appointment with ones pastor is better than grabbing a sensational book that attacks scripture and worse believing it.
 

OzSpen

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Any books or appointment with ones pastor is better than grabbing a sensational book that attacks scripture and worse believing it.
Have you examined any of the books I mentioned for scriptural content and whether they are 'sensational'?
 

jmt356

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OzSpen,

Yes, that is Dr. Bilal Philips who wrote the book, and this is the book from the same web site: http://bilalphilips.com/portfolio/the-true-message-of-jesus.

I understood that the authors of The Five Gospels were well-respected academics with PhDs who had studied and knew their subjects deeply. However, I have also noted that The Five Gospels offers no citation to bolster its claim that the Fourth Gospel was opposed as heretical in the early Church.
 

OzSpen

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OzSpen,

Yes, that is Dr. Bilal Philips who wrote the book, and this is the book from the same web site: http://bilalphilips.com/portfolio/the-true-message-of-jesus.

I understood that the authors of The Five Gospels were well-respected academics with PhDs who had studied and knew their subjects deeply. However, I have also noted that The Five Gospels offers no citation to bolster its claim that the Fourth Gospel was opposed as heretical in the early Church.
jmt,

Being highly trained academics and well-respected provides enlightenment only when we know the nature of their training. The Jesus Seminar Fellows are well-trained in postmodern, deconstructionist, reader-response liberal worldviews that are radically different from being competent exegetes of the NT.

William Lane Craig is one of the finest apologists in the world today. John Dominic Crossan is one of the Fellows of the Jesus Seminar. Craig debated Crossan and it is found in, Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

Craig explains Crossan's understanding of Jesus' resurrection online.

Take a read of this debate interaction by Craig with Crossan.

This raises the very real question of whether the fellows of the Jesus Seminar even believe that God really exists. In a debate with John Dominic Crossan, the co-chairman of the Jesus Seminar, I raised this very question. Listen carefully how he responds:

Craig: This distinction between statements of faith and statements of fact that you make troubles me. I would like to know, for you, what about the statement that ‘God exists’? Is that a statement of faith or fact?

Crossan: It’s a statement of faith for all those who make it.

Craig: So on your view, then, factually speaking, it is not true that God exists.

Crossan: That would not be a nice way to put it. Let me put it this way to you. What I’m saying here is to try to take faith seriously. Understand that Dr. Craig wants to equate faith and fact. There are people in the world who do not believe God exists. I understand that. I happen to think they’re wrong, but that does not make it any less an act of faith. They are making an act of faith in something else. . . .

Craig: But if the existence of God is a statement of faith, not a statement of fact, that means that God’s existence is simply an interpretive construct that a particular human mind—a believer—puts onto the universe. But in and of itself the universe is without such a being as God. That is, that’s simply an interpretation that a believer puts on it. It seems to me that on a level of reality, independent of human consciousness, your worldview is actually atheistic and that religion is simply an interpretive framework that individual people put on the world, but none of these is factually, objectively true. . . .

Crossan: No, I would say what you’re trying to do is imagine the world without us. Now unfortunately, I can’t do that. If you were to ask me (which is just what you did) to abstract from faith how God would be if no human beings existed, that’s like asking, me, ‘Would I be annoyed if I hadn’t been conceived?’ I really don’t know how to answer that question.

Craig: Sure you do!

Crossan: Wait a minute! We only know God as God has revealed God to us; that’s all we could ever know in any religion.

Craig: During the Jurassic age, when there were no human beings, did God exist?

Crossan: Meaningless question.

Craig: But surely that’s not a meaningless question. It’s a factual question. Was there a Being who was the Creator and Sustainer of the universe during that period of time when no human beings existed? It seems to me on your view that you’d have to say, ‘No.’

Crossan: Well, I would probably prefer to say ‘No’ because what you’re doing is trying to put yourself in the position of God and ask, ‘How is God apart from revelation? How is God apart from faith?’ I don’t know if you can do that. You can do it, I suppose, but I don’t know if it really has any point.

Craig's assessment was: It seems pretty obvious that Dr. Crossan wouldn’t even affirm that there really is a God who exists outside of the human imagination. Well, if God is just a projection of human consciousness, if there really isn’t anybody out there, then of course it’s impossible that God has acted supernaturally in the world, as the gospels claim. So the first presupposition of the Jesus Seminar, a presupposition which they make no attempt to justify, is naturalism and maybe even atheism. Reject this presupposition and the whole construction collapses (Presuppositions and Pretensions of the Jesus Seminar, William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith).

Oz
 

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