Reading John in the 21st Century
taught by Dr. James Goss
Sundays, 9:40 – 10:25 am
The author of the Gospel of John wrote in Koine Greek near the end of the first century and spoke to issues of that time. The gospel assumes there are two spatial realms: one above the fixed stars where God is and one below where humans dwell—a cosmological scheme we no longer share; it is conversant with the images and thoughts of the Hellenistic and Israelite cultures that are foreign to us; it reacts to the acrimonious rupture between the community of the gospel and the synagogue life of Israel, an animosity that has been repaired by most Christians in our time; finally, it launches a debate about Jesus that culminates in the creeds of the fourth and fifth centuries. The question is: how is a text so embedded in the thoughts and culture of the first century relevant to us? That is what the class will explore.
This class will be ongoing. Attend all the classes or drop in a your schedule allows.
Dr. James Goss is Professor Emeritus from California State University, Northridge, where he taught for 32 years in the Religious Studies Department. He served as Department Chair, was President of the Faculty, and was the Executive Associate to the President of the University. His areas of interest are New Testament (the historical Jesus), religious themes in American fiction, Process Theology, and Jungian psychology. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Jesus Seminar, and is a retired ordained Elder of the United Methodist Church. He received a Ph. D. from Claremont University, a M.Th. from the School of Theology at Claremont, and a B.A. from USC.