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12. Johannine Christianity: The Letters

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Introduction to New Testament (RLST 152)

The Jesus of the Gospel of John often speaks in riddles so that his dialogues with characters such as Nicodemus appear confusing, rather than clarifying. The focus, however, of the Gospel of John is on Christology. In the Gospel, Jesus is divine. So it is also in 1 John, where many of the themes of the Gospel are echoed. 1, 2, and 3 John possibly present us with correspondences of the Johannine community, a sectarian group insisting on the divinity and humanity of Jesus, against the Docetists and other differing forms of early Christianity.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Riddles and Division in the Gospel of John
13:24 - Chapter 2. Differing Christologies in Early Christianity
24:23 - Chapter 3. Themes in 1 John
36:38 - Chapter 4. Sectarianism and 1 John
41:50 - Chapter 5. The Changing Community of 2 and 3 John

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.