• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine and Consider critically the view of Scholars concerning the content and purpose of the Prologue

Extracts from this document...


Examine and Consider critically the view of Scholars concerning the content and purpose of the Prologue (Jn 1:1-18) By Jack Glennon The Prologue introduces the reader to the major theological themes of the Gospel. Where Mark's gospel began with Jesus' Baptism and told the story of his adult ministry both Matthew and Luke provided a theological introduction to Jesus' ministry in the way they told the story of Jesus' birth. The Fourth Gospel pushes Jesus' origins back even further in time to a pre-existence with God 'in the beginning' whenever that was. This gospel reflects many decades of theological pondering on the identity and mission of Jesus. While it is not yet a fully articulated Trinitarian faith, this Gospel expresses belief in the divine origins of Jesus. Saint John's Gospel begins with the astonishing idea that the Word, the logos, the very thought and Word of God himself, God the Son, by whom all things were made, became flesh and dwelt among us - literally set up his tent with us, moved into our neighbourhood. This prologue to St. John's Gospel is mystical, wonderful, and sets the stage for unfolding what comes after. Jesus is God of God, Light of light, Word of the Father--he is not only a nice man, or a misunderstood religious teacher. ...read more.


Stephen Smalley links the Prologue with the Epilogue, which would back up the claim that the Prologue is a 'pre-explanation' of the Gospel. However, he gives an idea that the Prologue could be written by any other than the author of the Gospel by showing that the terms, 'Word (or Logos in Greek)', 'Grace', and 'Fullness', do not occur anywhere else in the Gospel except for the Prologue. It is hard to believe that the whole content of the Prologue can be decided on only a few words. Considering the amount of themes and the influence the Prologue has on the whole Gospel, I feel Smalley has approached this part of the Prologue extremely lightly. But, he does go into a great amount of detail about the links in the text between the Prologue and the rest of the Gospel. He speaks of the expansion of the Prologue beyond John 1:18, including certain pieces of information like the place-names and the embryonic form of the themes. Once again, I agree with the idea that the issues inside the Prologue are connected with the rest of the Gospel, now especially, considering it seems to be a reoccurring view. Stanton speaks of the Prologue as the 'lens' through which to view the rest of the Gospel, whilst Morna Hooker describes it as a 'key', which unlocks the Gospel as a whole. ...read more.


In the Stoic view, this meant life was to be lived in accordance with the word of God. This may be true, as Jesus was put on Earth to spread the word of God, and for people to follow that word. Philo's logos is very similar to the Jewish idea of wisdom, but he would not have said the word became flesh, so he cannot be considered as a possible and understandable viewpoint. The Jews believed that Logos means the word of the Lord, commits things into being- Gen 1:3, active- Gen 2:8, and an inspiration of the prophets e.g. Hos 1:1. To me this seems the more likely view, as it is more in depth and accurate. The Stoic ideal comes close to my view, but the Jewish explanation seems to be more accurate and understandable. This goes on throughout the whole Gospel, not just the Prologue, although the 'Word' is only mentioned inside the Prologue. The introduction to the Fourth Gospel, known as the Prologue (1: 1-18), is regarded by many as the greatest piece of theological writing in Christian literature. It doesn't just appeal to Jews, but it also contains elements of both Greek and Stoic philosophy which would make the Gospel story meaningful not only to Jews and Christians, but also to the Hellenistic thinkers and the educated minds of the Greek and Roman worlds. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christianity essays

  1. Luke's Gospel

    As Luke doesn't interweave Mark but instead sets down Mark in chunks. Because of the way Luke used Mark; Streeter believes that Mark was not one of Luke's original sources but extra material with which Luke added to his original copy and that our present gospel is a revised and enlarged edition of his earlier work.

  2. Outline and Examine Jesus attitudes towards outcasts in Lukes Gospel.To what extent do these ...

    his faith towards him, where Jesus then said he would be staying around his house, to the joy of Zacchaeus. However, once again, many people were sceptical with what Jesus was saying, with the quote many of them said was "Guest of a sinner?!!"

  1. Outline and examine Jesus attitudes concerning wealth and the poor. To what extent do ...

    What is important to note is that he does not say he would give all of them, but rather half of his possessions to the poor. Jesus then praises him for doing this as it is out of his own accord rather than being told to do it according to Tannehill, so this relates to Jesus' attitudes.

  2. The Gospel was written to prove to non-believers that Jesus Christ is the Son ...

    calling : ' you are my Son, whom I love , with you I am well pleased'. This was proclaimed Jesus' identity as the Son of God. Luke's Gospel shows that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth , and that the Holy spirit was at work throughout Jesus' ministry.

  1. Discuss and assess the view that according to the author of Lukes gospel it ...

    Jesus also told the Pharisees that they could not serve two masters, you either serve God or money. This angered the religious authorities since Jesus was directly degrading them publicly. Jesus seemed like a serious threat to the religious authorities whereas to the political authorities Jesus did not seem harmful to their rule.

  2. Explain why some scholars think there is a difference between the Jesus of history ...

    Christ the divine messiah, a title given to Jesus by the early Christian church, who was inspired by the powerful experience of the risen Christ.

  1. Christianization throughout History. I wanted to find out the true origins of the ...

    This holiday was celebrated in honor of Sol Invictus (the invincible sun), The official Roman Sun God (whose day of rest was Sunday). Mithraism was also a common cult in the Roman Empire, and many celebrated the birth of Mithras on this date as well.

  2. Critically examine the aim and purpose of Matthews Gospel

    He seems rather found of arranging his material in numerical patterns so some think that Matthew arranged the main teachings of Jesus into five blocks to correspond to the five books of Moses. Also as far as Matthew is concerned, the Old Testament laws are still in effect.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work