Gnosticism In John: The Prologue Of John

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The prologue of John differentiates itself from the synoptic gospels. It does not start with the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of a baby in Bethlehem. Instead it starts with a story of creation. A story readers have heard a similar version of. This unique poetic opening gives us the readers the idea of the limitless power this word has. Scholars refer to this as the Logos theology, which is a fancy way of saying the Word theology. This theology establishes the importance of the divinity of Jesus. The prologue breaks down into three sections about the word; it also tells us a special message and a view of gnosticism.

The prologue cis broken down into three parts; the creation of the word, the word in history and the incarnation
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Gnosticism comes from “gnosis” meaning knowledge. Some people say that later parts of John prove that it is a Gnostic text, because of Jesus suffering for the sins of humankind. Though for the sake of this paper, we are going to forget about that and focus solely on the conclusions we can drawn from the prologue. Gnosticism typically teaches that salvation is achieved by special knowledge. It is also dualistic; good and evil or light and dark. John is not seen as a gnostic for one main reason; they deny the incarnation of a Son of God. In other words, they did not think that a human being could embody the spirit in flesh. They thought that if God himself was the only one powerful enough to save mankind. Though they do still believe that Jesus was a teacher and earns some attention (Slick). Verse 14 bluntly points out this incarnation with “ the word became flesh.” God had chosen to enter history so that truth, life and harmony may be restored through this incarnation. Some scholars believe that the timing of the incarnation is more important than the message he is to send. He was sent at a time that Israel was unhappy with Roman occupation. It is so important that God choice that time because it was a moment of vulnerability. The incarnated would be able to experience life in it’s fullest way. Building a bridge between him and the other humans, by being close to them in their time of need. In order to be incarnated they must have self-limitations; limited by time, space and gender (Rogerson). The incarnated one has to be able to be identified in some way. Jesus is identified and is self-limited. He was born at a certain time and he died at a certain time. He was also assigned a gender,male, which John told us previously with the use of pronouns. Early believers also thought that matter is evil, Greek philosophers came up with that idea (Brom). Which is another example of why they deny the incarnation of Jesus.

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