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Redactions of the Fourth Gospel and the mother of Jesus

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Chapter Summary

The development of any biblical book must be seen in the light of the life of the community that adopted it. Each redaction, editorial alteration, or textual change can show a changing perspective or echo a controversy in the ongoing life of the early church. In the fourth century, when an official Christianity seemed to demand an official canon, text, and liturgy, pericope from the Fourth Gospel provided the first lectionary. One might consider the relationship between Jesus and his mother as strained in the Synopties, John deliberately introduces the Mother in order to exclude her from Jesus' work. Just as he can make no room for the Jews, the Baptist, and the Gnostics, he can find no place for the Mother in his scheme. It is important to note that John is not anti-feminist. He represents women as having a firmer understanding of Jesus than his disciples had.

Keywords: Christianity; early church; Fourth Gospel; Jesus



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