In my university Bible class, my professor stated that there were no moral teachings in the book of John--also that the book of John is a reinterpretation of the Gospel, altered in order to proclaim Jesus' divinity. Would that mean that if you want to really hold to his teachings, you have to get those teachings from the first three gospels? I didn't know if you have ever been asked this question before, but it made me think when we studied out the gospels. -- Eric Gaizat (Indianapolis)

To begin with, this statement simply is not true. Though there are no "sin lists" in John, such as those we find in Matthew 15 and Mark 7, there are numerous challenges to morality in this gospel. So fear not, you will not be forced to retreat to the first three gospels for moral teaching!

In fact, I too recently heard this allegation in a lecture by NT scholar James Charlesworth. Afterwards I went to him (respectfully) with a few written questions--my objections. I mentioned that, for example, in John 5 the Lord tells the man he healed at the Pool of Bethesda to "stop sinning." He offered to reply by e-mail. Several years have elapsed, and no response. Is he still trying to justify his bold allegation?

Keep studying the gospels, and all the scriptures. Do not be intimidated by the things some scholars confidently affirm. Thanks for your question.

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