The Distinctive Sonship Soteriology Of Jesus In The Fourth Gospel, Part II -- By: Don Trest

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 20:61 (Winter 2016)
Article: The Distinctive Sonship Soteriology Of Jesus In The Fourth Gospel, Part II
Author: Don Trest


The Distinctive Sonship Soteriology Of Jesus
In The Fourth Gospel, Part II

Don Trest*

* Don Trest, M.B.S., D.Min., professor of Bible & theology, Tyndale Theological Seminary and Biblical Institute

Part two of this series will address the problem of dissimilarity and the question of the soteriological authenticity of the Fourth Gospel. Biblical scholarship across the theological grid acknowledges the problem that dissimilarity poses for the historicity of the story of Jesus in John’s Gospel, and consequently, the authenticity of the soteriological perspective given in the Fourth Gospel. Merrill C. Tenney admitted, “John differs radically in its form and content from the other Gospels. . . . The Johannine style is so divergent from that of the Synoptics that some scholars have repudiated the historical validity of the Gospel.”1 D. Moody Smith likewise acknowledged, “both the theology and the language of the Fourth Gospel are different from the Synoptics, particularly the Jesus of the Synoptics.”2 Edwin A. Blum offered that the dissimilarity between the Fourth Gospel and the Synoptic Gospels “has been the great problem in modern New Testament studies.”3 The problem, according to Blum, has led some critics to argue, “Jesus in the Synoptics is historical but not divine, and that in the Fourth Gospel He is divine but not historical.”4

Gerald L. Borchert aptly described the scope of the John versus the Synoptics problem in the field of New Testament scholarship.

Scarcely is there a subject in Johannine studies that is fraught with more mines in the field than the relationship between John and the Synoptics. The subject impinges upon almost every other aspect of

Johannine studies from authorship and historical questions to matters of organization and theology.5

Likewise, Everett F. Harrison conceded the challenge that dissimilarity poses for historicity.

Whereas each of the Gospels possesses its own individuality, the Gospel ascribed to John presents such marked dissimilarities from the other three that the question arises, how can there be so much divergence in writings all of which arose within the bosom of the early church and concern themselves with the same person, Jesus of Nazareth?6

Leon Morris further lamented the d...

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