One of the most interesting questions facing New Testament scholars - How did Christianity emerge from Judaism? - is often addressed in general and indirect terms. John Ashton argues that in the case of the Fourth Gospel, an answer is to be found in the religious experience of the Evangelist himself, who turned from being a practicing Jew to professing a new revelation centered on Christ as the intermediary between God and humanity.
Understanding the Fourth Gospel set the standard for a generation of English Johannine scholarship, and John Ashton's collection of essays have continued to stimulate international discussion. This latest work, The Gospel of John and Christian Origins, contains the ripe fruit of long reflection and will be read with eager anticipation by all who have benefitted from Ashton's wide theological culture and astute critical judgment.
John Ashton is a significant and accomplished interpreter of the Gospel of John whose achievements have already been incorporated into two successive editions of his noteworthy volume entitled Understanding the Fourth Gospel. Fortress Press performs an important service by keeping his work available and accessible in this shorter form that will be useful not only to the general reader but appreciated by other New Testament scholars.
D. Moody Smith,
The Divinity School, Duke University
In this elegantly written and persuasive monograph, John Ashton builds on his previous ground-breaking studies of the Fourth Gospel to revisit many of the contested areas of Johannine scholarship. By emphasizing the fourth evangelist's religious experience of the glorified Christ, Ashton sheds penetrating light on the origins of this most luminous of gospels. No serious scholar of John's Gospel should ignore this important book.
The Catholic University of America
Anyone who reads the fourth Gospel as a biography of the life of Christ has not understood what revolutionary religous experience it brought forth. John Ashton claims,'Rather than just a change of direction, we need a U-turn.' Faith without experience is blind! The author, having worked with the fourth Gospel his entire life, understands it with the inclusion of many early Jewish sources, and convincingly unlocks the mystical experience of John. A marvelous book that will bring richness to the study of John.