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The Acts Of John And The Fourth Gospel

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Chapter Summary

The history of the interpretation of the Fourth Gospel in the early church has long been a subject of intense interest. Much in Hill's impressive analysis of second century literature is quite persuasive and it is now quite impossible to attempt to trace a simple trajectory from the Fourth Gospel to the second century authors who have come to be grouped under the label of "Gnostic". Nonetheless, it may be that the characterization as "anti-Johannine" of believers who read the Gospel in ways that would come to be regarded as "heretical" may not do full justice to their reading of what would become a key canonical text. To explore the phenomenon, the author focus on the Acts of John, a work of Christian fiction written sometime in the second century, perhaps as early as the second quarter of that century.

Keywords: acts of John; anti-Johannine; fourth gospel



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