Talk:Gospel of John

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majority view, per WP:WEIGHT[edit]

footnote [2] misquotes itself: The article itself reads "most modern scholars"; however, the citation only reads "modern scholars". At a minimum the citation should be made accurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:32, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

  • If a viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts;
  • If a viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents;
  • If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it does not belong in Wikipedia regardless of whether it is true or not and regardless of whether you can prove it or not, except perhaps in some ancillary article.

We can find the view that Jesus' teaching in John is not authentic in Encyclopedia Britannica. Therefore we can and should state that this is the majority view. RH would like to say that "many argue" this or that, but WP policy is to call this view the majority view. If RH can find prominent scholars in opposition, we can list them as representing a significant minority view. Leadwind (talk) 16:26, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

You misquoted your own citation. The EBO citation simply said scholars prefer the synoptics. You disregard a huge number of scholars, apparently only those who disagree with your own (non)theology. You are unable to refute the views on these matters of people who are more religious than you, thus you simply delete their sources as if the claims don't exist. You are unable to refute them, and your mass-deletion is simply a confirmation of this. You have defined 'scholars' as a narrow band of (largely secular) scholars of the historical Jesus tradition like Vermes and Sanders. In the process you throw out the views of the most common type of scholar: those at seminaries (many of which are very conservative). A scholar is a scholar, and the views of people like Darrell Bock, D. A. Carson, and Craig Blomberg are just as legitimate as those who are more skeptical.RomanHistorian (talk) 17:21, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
I think it's highly problematic to say that a view found in EBO is "the majority view". In these matters there is no real way to determine the majority view besides a synopsis of literature; some reliable tertiary scholars will come out with such, and say (long list) holds this view while (shorter list) holds this view. Short of that it's a bit misplaced to argue from a single unclear EBO statement when we can (theoretically) array the secondary scholars as well as any other tertiary source. It should be a simple matter on this point to make a list of 20 or 30 scholars and a single clause quote from each indicating their position, while also tagging any that are ambiguous. Why this isn't done on more points where everyone claims a "majority" is beyond me, other than that it's real work. JJB 17:36, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
A scholar is a scholar, and the views of people like Darrell Bock, D. A. Carson, and Craig Blomberg are just as legitimate as those who are more skeptical. It is simply wrong headed to think that Bock, Carson, Blomberg are to be regarded as equal to Sanders and Vermes. They are in altogether different leagues.-Civilizededucationtalk 01:58, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
You are right. In areas other than historical Jesus studies, Bock, Carson and Blomberg are superior (Sanders simply refers to himself as "an historian and an exegete"). In any case, a scholar is a scholar. Wikipedia articles reflect the views of scholars, not the views of a narrow set of scholars.RomanHistorian (talk) 03:36, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Aside from the field of apologetics, I don't see in which field Bock, Carson and Blomberg could be superior to Sanders and Vermes. The difference in academic standing is too great. And as for "a scholar is a scholar", the same can be said about Earl Doherty, Ellegard, Wells, Acharya S, M. M. Mangasarian, etc. You don't know what "skeptic" means until you have been through Mangasarian and Acharya S. Would you still hold "a scholar is a scholar" for them? And Wikipedia strives to be a high quality repository of human knowledge. We don't want trash or substandard or nonsensical or promotional stuff. We want intellectually satisfying stuff. So, we have to be selective. In relation to Jesus, it is even more true because of the sheer amount of material available out there. We can't just include stuff just because it is available out there. We have policies like WP:NOT and WP:QS.-Civilizededucationtalk 08:13, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
In an above thread, Leadwind has asked for proof that Morna Hooker and Carson are to be regarded equal to Sanders, Vermes, Crossan, etc. Why did you not prove it?-Civilizededucationtalk 10:52, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
This is getting silly; Sanders was Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture; Christopher Rowland is his successor in the same post. Morna Hooker was Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity. Former occupants of that chair include Hort and Erasmus. These two are the most prestigious academic appointments in the field of biblical studies in English universities. Vermes is also a former Oxford professor. Trying to rank their current academic standing would be attempting to make a distinction without a difference. TomHennell (talk) 15:17, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Rather than chairs, we have to see how their work are received in academia. Going by your analogy, every German top man should be seen as a Hitler!!!!-Civilizededucationtalk 04:40, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
If you prefer that CE, the by all means; but as you don't get elected to one of the more prestigious chairs unless your work is highly regarded in academia; so the results will be exactly the same. But you should be more careful in your throwaway lines; your 'Hitler' is in this context particularly offensive. All of the leading German figures in the post-war 'new quest' for the Historical Jesus - Kasemann, Bornkamm - had been heroic anti-Nazis. But that can be seen as part of the problem. They were painfully aware that when Bultmann and Barth (also anti-Nazis) proposed in the 1930s that study should focus on the Christ of Faith, rather than the Jesus of History, that this had left the field clear for a pernicious Nazi antisemitic and anti-Christian reading of the Gospels, in which the Jesus of History was an Aryan anti-semite. Their programme to re-assert a true Jesus of History focussed on 'Q' (and hence on the common teaching matter in Matthew and Luke, which lacks the passages that supported antisemitic readings) and downplayed Mark, John and the singular traditions of Luke and Matthew as essentially non-historical. What unites Sanders, Hooker, Rowland and Vermes, is a conviction that this approach was fatally flawed, as it generated a Jesus who is a 20th century existential philosopher rather than a 1st century eschatological Jewish prophet. These latter figures do differ in how thay evaluate the relative reliabillity of paritucalar Gospel texts; Sanders is strongly pro-Mark; Rowland is on balance pro-John. But that is a secondary issue to their basic common understanding of how Jesus related to the world of his age. TomHennell (talk) 12:52, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
When I said "top man", I was referring to the German heads of state, not scholars. Hitler occupied the chair of head of state, and he has nothing to do with scholarship. He is just an analogy that we do not see German heads of state in the light of Hitler. I am trying to say that one occupant of a chair can be completely different from another occupant of the same chair in their thinking and thus in their standing in the world. Let us take another example, if Einstein or Newton occupied some scholarly chair, would it mean that every occupant of that chair must be as great as Einstein? The contrast in this example does not seem to be as striking as that of Hitler with his successive heads of state. That is why I tried the Hitler example. Again, I did not mean to describe him as a scholar of any sort, nor do I want to compare him to any scholars, German, or otherwise. I know that Germany has been historically the greatest seat of academic thinking on Christianity. Clear now?-Civilizededucationtalk 16:25, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Your analogy loses me; since when did we cite heads of state as authorities on Wikipedia? But to return to the main point. Isaac Newton was Lucassian Professor of Mathematics. More recently that post has been held by Stephen Hawking. I take you as arguing that we cannot claim that Stephen Hawking is as great an authority on theoretical physics in this day, as Newton was in his; which is arguable one way or another, but does not turn on their mutual occupancy of the most prestigious academic post in the subject. But the issue here is not whether an academic is 'great' least of all whether one academic is 'greater' than another. The issue is whether an academic is citable, at any particular time, as representative of the academic mainstream of their day. Not every Lucassian professor has been as great as Newton, or inded arguably as great as Hawking; but every Lucassian professor, purely as the current Lucassian professor, is entitled to be cited in Wikipedia as a mainstram authority on theoretical physics. See the quote from Jimmy Wales below. "What do the majority of prominent physicists say on the matter?" There maybe an argument as to who is or is not on the list of 'prominent physicists', but any such list must necessarily always include the current Lucassian professor. Equally we may argue about who is on the list of those citable as prominent biblical scholars; but such a list must neccessarily always include the current Lady Margaret's professor. Which is the 'greatest' scholar is a subjective judgement; which are the mainstream scholars is an objective fact. Those scholars are the mainstream who occupy the most prestigious chairs, and edit the leading peer-reviewed journals in the subject. TomHennell (talk) 17:46, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
How good a present Lucassian professor could be if he is unable to get his work processed through any academic publisher and has to go somewhere else to get his work published? Would that say something about the quality of his work?-Civilizededucationtalk 01:46, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
CE, Tom has shown real respect for the majority viewpoint and for WP policy. That means he's on our side even if you disagree with him about this scholar or that one. Let's focus on working together to establish majority viewpoints so we can balance the articles in light of WP:WEIGHT. The big problem with these pages is that too much coverage goes to minority views. Let's fix that big systemic problem. Leadwind (talk) 02:33, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I can see Tom is quite fair. I was just trying to stress the importance of looking at academic publishers as a way of determining reliability. Anyway, I also see that it may be redudant to discuss it now.-Civilizededucationtalk 03:18, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Undent 1[edit]

The majority view is, per Wales, what we find in generally accepted reference texts. EBO is a generally accepted reference text. This is the issue that Wales's distinction is there to resolve. Until Roman can find a generally accepted reference text that disputes EBO, WP policy is to call EBO's viewpoint the majority viewpoint. Those who disagree get their views described as well, as minority views. It's right there in black and white on WP:WEIGHT. Roman can't find support for his views in EBO or in university level textbooks because they are minority views. Leadwind (talk) 15:37, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Please link me to the Wikipedia policy that calls EBO's viewpoint the majority viewpoint.RomanHistorian (talk) 15:45, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
This seems to be the source of the statement to which Leadwind refers, discussing an issue within the discipline of physics;

What do mainstream physics texts say on the matter? What do the majority of prominent physicists say on the matter? Is there significant debate one way or the other within the mainstream scientific community on this point?

If your viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts.

If your viewpoint is held by a significant scientific minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents, and the article should certainly address the controversy without taking sides.

If your viewpoint is held by an extremely small minority, then _whether it's true or not, whether you can prove it or not_, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia, except perhaps in some ancilliary article. Wikipedia is not the place for original research.

So there is no explicit privilege to the EBO; no indeed (if I understand it correctly, a Wikipedia rule that general works of reference (such as encyclopedias) are to be considered automatically as valid reference texts. The general point is clear, I suggest. Specific works of reference on the subject in hand, are to be preferred to general works of reference; mainstream scholars (i.e. those occupying prestigious academic positions, or editorships of the main peer reviewed journals) are to be preferred to sholars in niche institutions; the views of the authors of authoritative texts for the current major standpoints of academic debate are to be preferred to those of popularisers. All of which criteria confirm Vermes, Sanders, Crossan, Carson, Hooker, and Rowland as equally authoritative. TomHennell (talk) 16:29, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Concur that Leadwind has misread the policy. It does not say that tertiary references are automatically accorded majoritarian status, in lieu of well-footnoted literature reviews such as I've alluded. Further, I'm not convinced Leadwind correctly represents EBO as saying "Jesus' teaching in John is not authentic", because tertiary sources rarely make such partisan determinations. JJB 16:51, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Tom and JJB, could you two take a look at Gospel of Luke, as Leadwind has been causing similar disruptions there. Leadwind seems to have a habit of doing this: he claims that sources that make a point represent the "majority" even when they make no such claim. He takes a claim on EBO that an author is ultimately unknown (this is of course true of all gospel authors) and turns it into "the majority of critical scholars conclude the apostle did not write the gospel". He does this with other sources as well. I am sure he genuinely does not see the nuance. As you can see from his recent edits, Carson and Blomberg were mentioned and he qualified them by changing the article to say they were "Christian scholars" which of course is simply meant to marginalize these well-regarded scholars. His explanation was strange, as he said of Carson and Blomberg: "non-mainstream sources describe only their own field, not the field in general, thus "Christian" scholars". The scholars are not "non-mainstream". I don't know what "their own field" means, maybe "Christian" biblical scholarship (which is somewhat redundant). He has done this elsewhere on this article and on others.RomanHistorian (talk) 18:16, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
You may also note, among numerous other things, RH has been warned against canvassing RECENTLY. More than one editor has identified RH as disruptive, RH is scandalized that Leadwind should think of Geza Vermes as an ideal source. And RH think that Vermes, among a long list of others, is anti christian. RH has also identified more than one IP editor as a vandal, on this very article, without any good reason. It is uncivil to do so. He has been pursuing a vendetta campaign against Leadwind and his above post is also part of the canvassing. RH has also tried to make out that I am an atheist. Which I may, or may not be, but I definitely do not want my personal convictions to be guessed by RH or anyone else .........-Civilizededucationtalk 01:04, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
This is crazy, we are not citing the opinions of Vermes and Sanders and saying they represent the majority, we are citing sources on what the opinions are in Johnanne scholarship. Paul Anderson, Collen Conway and Barnabas Lindars are top Johnanne scholars and are reliable sources on this matter. We already have a paragrah on what conservative scholars say. Isn't that enough? (talk) 01:54, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Roman does need to learn that proper WP:CANVASSING is nonpartisan in audience and unbiased in tone; I'm not working Luke right now. It would also be wise for him to find other words than WP:VANDALISM such as (to speak hypothetically) unsourced, weasely, ungrammatical, redundant, controverted, misweighted, synthetic. It is also true that these words are good for using in lieu words like fringe, insignificant, leagued, prominent, majority, mainstream, ideal, and so on. I see no "vendetta campaign" nor original research about other editors' beliefs, but those would be inapropos as well.
Back to the subject, it is unclear to me that any source is more respected than any other, and so I attribute most everybody and give them equal weight unless and until sources indicate otherwise. We seem to have critical mass though for a mediation on the many points of dispute, and I have one open already with Dylan's name on it that will fit the current debates in no time. Would anyone like to continue there? JJB 17:14, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Civilizededucation keeps reverting to a version that says Stephen Harris (yes, the member of the Jesus Seminar) represents the mainstream. It is amazing that a Jesus Seminar member would be used for this claim, especially given their dismissal by most scholars and the fact that one of their rules was to discount John's legitimacy from the start. It would be too easy to find sources that back me up on this, so I will let him provide evidence that Harris represents the scholarly consensus. If anything Harris represents a fringe view on John, certainly not the "mainstream".RomanHistorian (talk) 17:25, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
OK. I will show you that Harris is mainstream.-Civilizededucationtalk 18:06, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Technically, Civil's version, which reverts my original edit that has I think been otherwise undisturbed, changes "Harris argues" to "They also argue", with "they" referring back to "Scholars like Bart Ehrman". The sentence is sourced to Harris 1985, pp. 302–10. I sincerely doubt that Harris attributes the view to "scholars like Ehrman", so (some time back) I removed what appeared to be an unconscious WP:SYNTHESIS, replacing it with safe attribution to Harris. Roman is quite correct that the WP:BURDEN remains on the inserter of "They also argue" (our own burden having been met for "Harris argues"), and so the budding edit war should stop. Now. There are several other phrasings involved in this revert set, but they all have similar attribution problems; they could be accommodated if inserters were willing to defend them from sources, but what I see instead is circular appeal to authority. JJB 18:12, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
An editor who might be Leadwind (the IP's history and this suggests it is) is deleting sources I added that he apparently doesn't like. The main source is, again, Stephen Harris of the Jesus Seminar. Harris, whose view of John's dubiousness is a presumption of his (not a conclusion after research) is probably fringe on anything John-related. He cites the sources on the article, then when I add good sources he deletes them.RomanHistorian (talk) 23:34, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
This user should be reported for 3RR violation.RomanHistorian (talk) 23:53, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
It appears that this user is taking up an aggressive edit war.RomanHistorian (talk) 00:13, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
The sources are still there. My sources state what the scholarly opinions are. You're mostly just state the opinions of the authors themselves. (talk) 00:15, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
User are you Leadwind?RomanHistorian (talk) 00:18, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
No. Do the other subjects I edit match those of him? (talk) 00:21, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
You sure act a lot like him, and seem to be bothered by the same things.RomanHistorian (talk) 00:35, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Without wanting to take a postion on the whole authorship question; it is obvious to me that Harris is a populariser and summariser, rather than a mainstream scholar. Membership of the Jesus Seminar does not disqualify him from having citable views of his own (as it does not for Crossan etc). But the fact thatHarris appears never to have published a study of John; never contributed to a major biblical reference series, nor edited a peer-reviewed journal, all count against his being citable. TomHennell (talk) 01:05, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I didn't put him there, someone else did. I put in Anderson, Conway and Lindars. (talk) 01:20, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Undent 2[edit]

Roman, it's not helpful to guess IDs on this page, try a sock report or a checkuser when you have evidence, very educational. IP, you'd do best to say things like "my source [name] page [number] in this diff [diff] says 'scholars agree [what]'". Without an easy pointer to that kind of info it is nearly impossible for someone to judge the nuances of an edit war, rather than simply stick with WP:PRESERVE. JJB 00:43, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

My sources state the page numbers and the exact quotes. (talk) 00:57, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, that requires us to carry your burden by digging them out ourselves, if you're not going to take the time to cut-and-paste the links you think are relevant. But look, you've gotten the article semiprotected against you now (at my report), and there are several editors here without any consensus on how to solve the basic content issue. I'm not taking time to review the details right now, I'm stepping in only to stabilize matters so the details can be reviewed. See next graf. JJB 01:25, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

I repropose that we take this issue to the [mediation case] that has my and Dylan's name already on it. I count about eight editors including IP that can hash it all out there. If not, what? JJB 01:25, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Why? There's no mediator on it and there doesn't seem to be anyone interested in it anymore, other than you. Dylan Flaherty (talk) 01:27, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Κατὰ Ἰωάννην εὐαγγέλιον[edit]

The proper translation of Κατὰ Ἰωάννην εὐαγγέλιον, (or τὸ εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην) is John's gospel or the Gospel according to John. It is often referred to as the Gospel of John in common parlance. (Although this is technically not accurate it is acceptable.)

However to shorten it to John is wrong. No source in the early church ever referred to this gospel as Ἰωάννην. More importantly shorting the Gospel name to John is very confusing to the lay reader. In this article "John" sometimes refers to the man named "John" and at others times refers to the Gospel of John (and even once to John the Baptist!)

I would suggest for purposes of this article that:

  1. "John" always refer to John the apostle
  2. The "Gospel of John" always refer to John's gospel (or the Gospel according to John)
  3. "John the Baptist" always refer John the Baptist

Therefore I would request an admin. to make the following correction.

  • Change the opening paragraph from

The Gospel of John (often simply John) is an account of the public ministry of Jesus, from his witness and affirmation by John the Baptist to his death, burial, Resurrection, and post-Resurrection appearances. It is fourth of the canonical gospels, after the synoptics Matthew, Mark and Luke.

  • To

The Gospel according to John (Greek τὸ εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην) commonly referred to as the Gospel of John [1] is an account of the public ministry of Jesus, from his witness and affirmation by John the Baptist to his death, burial, Resurrection, and post-Resurrection appearances. It is fourth of the canonical gospels, after the synoptics Matthew, Mark and Luke.

My proposed change does not change the 'content' but does add 'clarity' for the lay person. - Ret.Prof (talk) 13:12, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Ret, I have no objection to the change you request, but it highlights a deeper problem with the lead, which is that it states, without attribution, the minority view in which the book was actually written by John. We need to deal with this overstatement. Dylan Flaherty 15:57, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Hi Prof, I deleted the Greek because your two variations are neither in editions of Nestle nor in the gospel's original author(s); all variations of the title AFAIK are added by editors and not counted as part of the text. (In that diff I even mistakenly attributed "Gospel According to John" to KJV, but it uses "... S. John" instead; I don't know offhand where GAtJ originates verbatim except as a corruption of KJV.) In short there are so many names in both languages and none of them are original with the gospel's authorship that this is inappropriate to dilate upon in the lead and distract the layperson from the predicate of the lead. To engage a little harmless OR, if the author(s) had any title in mind, in keeping with Jewish tradition it would probably be "En arche".
I would have no problem with discussing all the titles in an early section, which is common to many articles like this, but you'd need sources for your Greek versions, and you'd need to explain why "John's Gospel" differs from "Gospel of John", as they are taken as synonymous in English in such a widespread idiom. WP:USECOMMONNAMES is the guiding policy here, and "John" is probably the most common name for it of all in English; it's just an ambiguous one. I agree that if "John" appears alone it the text it should be very carefully disambiguated as to whether it refers to the gospel or one of the various "John" constructs presented as the author (Ben-Zavdai, Beloved, Elder, Evangelist, let alone John the southern Baptist), but I can see usages where "John" could refer to the gospel unambiguously, such as already in the present lead.
Dylan, the lead does not state without attribution the book was written by John. It appears you're confusing the common name "Gospel of John" with an attribution, and/or reading "John" in the third graf as a person rather than a book, as the context makes clear. This of course does affirm that the word "John" there, although already disambiguated by ordinary context standards, should be better disambiguated to remove even pedantic misinferences. JJB 16:23, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
We should consult the manual of style. What I've typically done when referring to titles of short works is to italicize then. In this way, we could easily distinguish between John, the possible author, and John, the work itself. Again, this is just one suggestion; we really must look up the locally correct one in the manual. Dylan Flaherty 16:30, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I would prefer that the Greek be kept out of the first line and put in a first subhead. Other tertiary sources don't go into that level of detail, and the average reader doesn't need it. If the first sentence has a bunch of funny characters in it, the reader's eyes might bounce off. I've done a lot of "customer-facing" writing in my career, and it's important that the first sentence be easy to read and informative. However, I can't cite any particular guideline or policy, and I appreciate the patience that other editors show me, so I'm not going to make an argument out of it. Leadwind (talk) 16:35, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

That's very practical. When someone with limited curiosity on the topic encounters the Wall of Greek, their eyes glaze over and they're likely to run away. I agree that we should delay the Greek just a bit. Dylan Flaherty 16:43, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Interesting, as you are right for the Gospel was not written by John. It was written by "a group" evidenced by the authors referring to themselves as "we". Also the Greek was not done by me and should be checked. It looked right to me, but my my Greek and Hebrew are superficial at best. But I stand by the edit for clarity. Please feel free to smooth out the wrinkles as it were. Cheers - Ret.Prof (talk) 19:27, 21 November 2010 (UTC)^^^^^PS the Greek checks out. I also shortened the "Wall of Greek". I wouldn't want their eyes glaze over and to run away. (The readers not their eyes) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ret.Prof (talkcontribs)

Thanks, but that is not a check-out; most of the first links are mirrors of this article, which represented only two Greek titles among several potentially sourceable. As I said, they're not in my editions of Nestle. I'll be happy to collaborate on an English and Greek variant list for first-section inclusion, but yours need to be reliably sourced. JJB 20:42, 21 November 2010 (UTC) I should add that your footnote is unduly redundant with the second graf's reminder that the gospel is technically anonymous. The text of this article betrays an exceedingly strong desire among editors to move this gospel as far away from any historical John as possible. This is glaringly betrayed by the very simple article on The Shepherd of Hermas, where I must scroll down even to find out who any Hermas was, and where discussion of whether Hermas even wrote it is quietly relegated to even later in the article, and yet IMHO the evidence of Hermas's authorship is even less than that of John's. Nobody argues the phrase "Shepherd of Hermas" is an implication a real Hermas wrote it! Imagine how the following reductio ad absurdam would look!

The Shepherd According to Hermas (Greek <wall of Greek>) commonly referred to as The Shepherd of Hermas <ref>Notwithstanding the name, it is an anonymous deuterocanonical</ref> is an account of five visions, twelve mandates, and ten parables. The work's authorship is anonymous.

Why there is such a (ahem) religious movement to neglect POVs in this article is above my pay grade. JJB 20:56, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for checking out the Greek (NB Koine Greek). You saved an old guy a trip to the library. - Ret.Prof (talk) 23:02, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not exactly a young man, myself, so I sympathize. But I hear there's this thing called the "interwebs" that uses a system of tubes to bring information straight to your home. The details elude me, but I figure it's worth giving a try before you make a trip. Best of luck with that. Dylan Flaherty 00:08, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Dylan, this is a complete incivility. Ret.Prof was in fact the one who Google-checked the issue, but did not sign in the expected place. But even if he hadn't said that the comment would be disruptive as having no article-improvement value. JJB 14:55, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

first, majority view; second, balance[edit]

Now that we have established the majority view, we should also make sure that the majority view gets majority treatment. I'm afraid that currently the minority view is far overrepresented. For example, the article includes lines such as this one: "Recent scholarship by Christopher Rowland in particular has emphasized an emerging view that John is equally historical with the synoptics." Rowland died in 1967, so what this recent scholarship might be is not well understood. Leadwind (talk) 04:32, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

It's recent as compared to 70 CE! Dylan Flaherty 05:16, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Wrong Christopher Rowland; Christopher Rowland (theologian) is very much alive, still in post, and the most prominent British scholar in the field of early Christian studies. His view that John and the synoptics are of equal historical value is certainly mainstream; and, if not yet the majority view, not far off it. TomHennell (talk) 11:00, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think it's helpful to trumpet that we have established the majority view while Roman and Tom remained silent and while I did not object to a sentence speaking of what appears from presented sources to be the current plurality, without reference either to Roman's other sources or to the prior majority still represented by Rowland et al. I don't know why the view that John is equally historical is "emerging", as it tracks back through centuries of sources, including the scholarly sources in any given era. JJB 14:50, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
My bad on not checking the wikilink better. In any event, now that we've established the majority view, we just need to be sure that it gets majority treatment. Leadwind (talk) 15:09, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
@JJB, sorry if it seemed like I was ramming this through, but I'd already checked with Tom. He put a very cogent summary of the majority view on my talk page. It's worth a look. Tom obviously put a lot of thought into summarizing a lot of scholarship. As for you and Roman, we are patiently waiting for you to join in. Any time you feel like consulting a commonly accepted reference text and telling us what it says about John, we'd love to include that information. Honestly, we'd love to have you as contributors instead of detractors. Leadwind (talk) 00:53, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I may be able to contribute sources, but on this topic I have mostly been relying on analyzing and evaluating what's been presented by others, as (frankly) it takes less time; and when I do have time I concentrate on the formatting and organization problems, as they have been largely unaddressed while the POV-slinging has been going on. Don't know what happened to Roman, because I'd have to dig his sources up out of history if I were going to present them. JJB 01:29, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

The first point I would like to make is that we really aren't concerned with the "majority" view as per the section title, but rather with presenting what might be called the consensus academic opinion on the subject as being the primary subject of discussion in this article. Other articles, such as maybe Calvinist views of the Gospel of John (fill in the name of any other group as appropriate) can certainly reasonably be established if such is the subject of multiple independent reliable sources and, hopefully, if there is some sort of consistency or comparatively limited scope of such articles. Obviously, if the views of for example Catholic academics are as diverse and of the same types as the broader consensus opinion, there is no real purpose served by having the child article. WP:FRINGE and WP:DUE are however serious concerns for articles of this type. I think, in general, most individuals would agree that the discussions of this book in what are generally thought of as reference sources are probably among the least biased and probably most clearly reflect the most consensus academic opinion. This is not to say that any individual sources are necessarily perfect - I've seen how, in some cases, even Encyclopedia Britannica can have a bit of a bias, although a clearly understandable one, toward sources and information most reflective of sources and views in the English-speaking and European worlds, where the bulk of its sales take place. But, in general, I think it is pretty much generally agreed that the amount of weight to give any material in an article like this is best determined by consulting the relevant reference sources, including specialist encyclopedias and reference works, and more or less structuting the article in rough proportion to the "average" of the reference sources consulted. John Carter (talk) 19:12, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

JC, Thanks. Yous say, "I think it is pretty much generally agreed that the amount of weight to give any material in an article like this is best determined by consulting the relevant reference sources." Indeed, I hope that we're finally at the point where the editors now agree on this policy. Leadwind (talk) 15:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Stephen Harris[edit]

[Link to amazon, shows many/most of his books]

[Understanding the bible]

[The New Testament:A student's Introduction]

[Exploring the Bible]

[The Old Testament:An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible]

All these books are published by McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages. McGraw Hill is known as a publisher of quality academic books. They don't publish anything which is substandard and do not have any pro x$ tilt that I can see. I have some chemistry books from McGraw Hill, I find them to be pretty high quality.(this doesn't imply I am a chemist!) I hope others can agree on the quality of McGraw Hill's academic books. This should be enough to show that Harris is mainstream. And association with JS does not make anyone fringe. Lots of leading mainstream academics were associated with it and continue to be leading mainstream academics. eg. Fredriksen, Crossan, etc.-Civilizededucationtalk 09:45, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

thanks for the references CE; My problem is that none of the titles inspire confidence, and none is specific to the Gospel of John. "Introduction" in the context of biblical studies has two distinct applications. One (derived chiefly from German practice) describes a comprehensive and systemataic survey of the scholarly context. A second (derived chiefly from English language practice) describes a summary survey for first year students and the infomrmed public. The first sort of Introduction is highly relevant and citable. The second sort may well be citable in the absence of anything better; 'textbooks' being one of the categories that Wikipeda recognises as authoritative sources. But if we can cite the views of the prominent scholars in the field - Sanders, Vermes, Brown, Rowland - I don't think we should use what are essentially secondary works. TomHennell (talk) 11:26, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I think a scholar is prominent only if he has produced academic books, had them published by academic presses. The more, the better. Being prominent/significant in other ways does not count for much on Wikipedia?-Civilizededucationtalk 12:50, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Harris's book is a university-level textbook, high on the list of reliable sources. And for a topic like this one, with secondary sources disagreeing, WP:Balance says that it's important for us to look to disinterested secondary and tertiary sources. Voila, Harris's book is a disinterested tertiary source useful for helping us get the balance right. If someone can offer a better university-level textbook that disagrees with Harris, then it's a live issue. Leadwind (talk) 15:13, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
If it is as good as you say Leadwind, then you may be right. I can only find three copies on COPAC, however, (none of them the current edition) which tends to make me still a little wary. There are a lot of supposed introductory textboods for bible students out there; and most a vary partial in their coverage of the field. Maybe Harris is the exception. Does he provide a reasonable chapter on John, and does he fairly represent the main topics of shcholarly debate? Do Sanders, Vermes, Rowland and Brown feature in the bibliography? TomHennell (talk) 17:22, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I personally used an earlier edition of Harris when I studied the "Great Books" of Western tradition and consider it solid. His bibliography is pages long, with subsections by topic, and each chapter has suggested reading. If anything, the sources lean toward the conservative. Names I recognize include Brown, May, Metzger, Guthrie, Catchpole, Dodd, Vermes, Bultmann, Barrett, Hengel, Theissen, Robinson, and Fitzmyer. I find Harris to be in accord with what I read in Sanders, Vermes, Ehrman, etc. If he leans one way or another, Harris reports less skepticism than I see in other sources. His chapter on John, like most of his chapters, is designed more to describe the content of John than to rule on what's historical, and in the case of the author's identity he describes both views without taking an explicit stand. I've never seen anything in Harris that flat out contradicts what I see in secondary sources, whereas the secondary sources contradict each other on many points (Sanders v Vermes, Vermes v Ehrman, etc.). Leadwind (talk) 22:01, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Regarding a footnote by D.A. Carson[edit]

The original citation might leave readers with the impression that Carson himself rejected the Johannine authorship

D. A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo. An introduction to the New Testament. Zondervan; 2 New edition. 2005. Pg 233 “The fact remains that despite support for Johannine authorship by a few front rank scholars in this century and by many popular writers, a large majority of contemporary scholars reject this view.”

However viewing the quote in context shows quite the oposite. "The fact remains that, despite support for Johannine authorship by a few front-rank scholars in this century, and by many popular writers, a large majority of contemporary scholars reject this view. As we shall see, much of their argumentation turns on their reading of the internal evidence. It also requires their virtual dismissal of the external evidence. This is particularly regrettable. Most scholars of antiquity, were they assessing the authorship of some other document, could not so easily set aside evidence as plentiful, consistent and plainly tied to the source as is the external evidence that supports Johannine authorship. The majority of contemporary biblical scholars do not rest nearly as much weight on external evidence as do their colleagues in classical scholarship."

Stmcculloch (talk) 21:10, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Sure. As long as we treat Carson's view as the minority view, it's all good. Leadwind (talk) 01:26, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Why single out only one scholar in the introduction?[edit]

Opening paragraph 3: "Raymond E. Brown did pioneering work to trace the development of the tradition from which the gospel arose."

This seems out of place in the opening paragraphs. Why only one person? Why single him out (unless to raise him above other scholars), especially a researcher like Mr. Brown (whose work is still so controversial, at times (and at best) tenuously argued, and comes from one man among thousands of other equally gifted and widely-read researchers?)

I think you should consider removing this reference to Mr. Brown in the opening paragraph, or at least place it somewhere more appropriate (i.e. in the Authorship or Sources section.) And if not, may I then suggest a list of about 50 other scholars equally or even more deserving of such an illustrious positioning in the opener? I doubt I'd be the first or last to have such a list, and therein lies the meat of the problem. Thanks. (talk) 04:11, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

weasel words?[edit]

User:ReformedArsenal has added a weasel words tag to the line about scholarly consensus claiming "5 quotations hardly prove a majority. I could easily provide 5 quotations that assert Johnanine authorship" however even when informed that the quotations are NOT the author's own opinion but about the consensus, with even a qoute from a supporter of Johannine authorship that admits his position is a minority. ReformedArsenal added it again with no explaination. I ask ReformedArsenal not to start an edit war over this. This issue was discussed almost two years earlier and this was the consensus. LittleJerry (talk) 15:08, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

5 quotes is hardly enough to demonstrate a consensus, Craig Bloomberg in "Jesus and the Gospels" makes a compelling case for Johannine Authorship, and he cites 3 scholarly sources. It would not be difficult to find more. This is supposed to be an unbiased encyclopedia article that represents the available knowledge out there. This article utilizes an inaccurate phrase (the majority of scholarship) to mask the fact that the field is split on this question. I propose that there is a rewrite that highlights that this is still an open question and includes statements from both perspectives instead of just from the one.ReformedArsenal (talk) 13:52, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
I'll say it again, the qoutes are not about the scholars own opinions but the overall scholarly opinion. People like Anderson, Thatcher and Lindars are top Johannine scholars and they would know how well accepted the Johannine authorship is. Even Carson, a supporter of the traditional authorship, states that his position is a minority. Wikipedia is supposed to be unbaised but it is not supposed to give undue weight to minority opinions. You can't just cherry-pick sources that support your position and say "field is split on this question". LittleJerry (talk) 14:37, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
What is the problem with rewriting it to include the fact that there are still substantial (and well educated) voices that still assert traditional Johannine authorship?ReformedArsenal (talk) 17:54, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
You can add in that there are some scholars that believe in the traditional authorship as long as you don't make it as if they are 50% of scholarship. LittleJerry (talk) 18:01, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Gospel Of John Side Box Chapters are Incomplete, Partial or "Links to Nowhere"[edit]

Hello. Looking for a page about an individual chapter from the book of John, (namely, chapter 16,) when I saw the "Gospel of John" Chapter box on the right side of the main page I first thought, "How convenient." So you can imagine my dismay when I hit the link for "Chapter 16" only to be re-directed back to "Gospel of John." Whoops!

Furthermore, on closer inspection it seems that only a minority of Chapters have their own page (while Chapters 9,11,12, 13, 14, 16, 18 and 19 all maddeningly refer one back to the "Gospel of John" overview page. Then, further adding to the confusion when you click Chapter 6 it's the "Bread of Disclosure" page. Chapter 17 brings up the "High Priestly Prayer." Well and good, but not the "chapters" one would be looking for, no?

Thus: what's the point of the John Chapter box? Hopeful anticipation that "someone" will come along and fill in the gaps, "eventually?" If so, the rather confusing way things are set up now may only discourage, rather than encourage, seekers of information from using Wikipedia as a reference site for Christian-related information. I mean, this is John, people, not some minor one-hit-wonder, but the basis of much of both ancient and modern Christianity's foundation!

But hey, I'm just a non-registered atheist offering my opinion. Thanks for your time, though. (talk) 02:54, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree. The concept of links to each chapter is great, but the current layout is very confusing. I'm very novice here, but maybe it should be set up with a set of standard guidelines for the content of individual chapters. Does that exist? Peterkp (talk) 11:17, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Grace-oriented / pre-eminence of John.[edit]

The phrase Grace-oriented churches argue for the total pre-eminence of John. in the introduction is not substantiated in the body of the article. At the very least, this requires substantiation, or remove from the introduction text. I'm not an expert on this, so I'll leave it for others to make that call. Rob Burbidge (talk) 20:49, 28 October 2012 (UTC)


I think that the sentence beginning 'In none of the other gospels', though literally true, should be reworded in view of Mt.27.25. HuPi (talk) 20:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)


As with any text available in a number of language versions (most of which must be translations), it would be helpful if the introduction were to tell us the language of the source. I suppose (but don't know) it is koiné Greek. Thanks. Frans Fowler (talk) 12:31, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

NPOV Aberation[edit]

"It presents a realized eschatology in which salvation is already present for the believer."

This is taken from the fourth paragraph of the introduction. Within its context, its saying that the gospel of john best fits a realized eschatology. Whether or not a passage fits a certain theological stance is subject to pure interpretation and as such, cannot be a part of wikipedia.

im taking it down. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:28, 17 December 2014 (UTC)


Congratulations on making it to today's listing on the "Did You Know..." section of Wikipedia Main Page. The process of making it the listing takes a bit of effort and involves the quick cooperation of many editors. All involved deserve recognition, appreciation, thanks and applause.

Best Regards,
  Bfpage |leave a message  21:44, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

What happened to the main article? It appears to be deleted.[edit]

I can't find the main article this talk page is attached to (Gospel of John). Can someone explain what has happened? (talk) 03:43, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Error message See here: . Going to IRC... —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:46, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Does this not work for you?

External links[edit]

(My apologies if this has been discussed in the past, I'll look later.) I came here following up on the latest round of spamming of, and found an External links unsuited to such a well-developed article. So why all the translations and commentary? The article is well-referenced, the subject matter has been intensively studied. Should we list them all and go through them one by one? --Ronz (talk) 01:21, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Notwithstanding the name, it is an anonymous gospel