Friday, November 13, 2009

A purely Johannine Christianity?

I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,
If any man shall add unto them,
God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book:
and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God shall take away his part from the tree of life,
and out of the holy city,
which are written in this book.
Revelation 22:18-19 RV

I have often thought about what the faith would be like if all that survived was John's Gospel. What would be missing?

Many things. The Infancy narratives being the most obvious. Our understanding of the Last Supper would be very different, if we were to have it all. The Transfiguration, The Ascension, The Sermon on the Mount, The Prodigal Son. The list is obviously huge.

What would we be left with?

Just imagine if Paul's letters had not survived, and John's received a greater prominence? And (if one assumes that Revelation is genuinely Johannine) how would our view of God be altered if Revelation assumed a larger percentage of the New Testament?

I would love to study this idea in greater detail.

2 comments: said...

Don't forget the Old Testament. That is also vital to Christian faith. The old and new testaments work together.

It is primarily the Old Testement that fills in many of the details of Revelation and opens Revelation to our understanding.

As I point out in my book, it is Daniel chapter 2 that helps us understand what the Kingdom of God is. It is a world ruling kingdom that Christ will establish over the nations of the earth at His second coming. Ezekiel chapter 37 helps us understand that those who never had the opportunity for Christian conversion in this life will have the opportunity to accept Christ after they are resurrected, and no one will lose out on salvation because of circumstances of birth.

It is the Ten Commandments in Exodus and Deuteronomy that teach us HOW to love God and our neighbor, the first four commandments teaching us how to love God and the last six how to love our neighbor.

I think a proper and complete understanding of the gospel and the entire New Testament is impossible without the Old Testament.

orczy said...

Of course. One needs only think of Genesis 28:12 and John 1:51, and how a real understanding of Jesus statement is only possible with an understanding of Jacob's dream.