Original Research

A study to establish the most plausible background to the Fourth Gospel (John)

Vhumani Magezi, Peter Manzanga
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 66, No 1 | a769 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v66i1.769 | © 2010 Vhumani Magezi, Peter Manzanga | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 November 2009 | Published: 29 November 2010

About the author(s)

Vhumani Magezi, North-West University, South Africa
Peter Manzanga, George Whitefield College, Muizenberg, South Africa

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The quest to establish a conceptual background of the fourth gospel has led to converging and diverging opinions. This study reviewed and compared literature on the fourth gospel to establish its most plausible background. In doing so, attention was given to the development of the debate on the religious backgrounds that possibly influenced the author in order to discover some fresh connections between the gospel and these suggested backgrounds. Reference is made to primary material such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, first century Palestinian Judaism, Josephus and Philo of Alexandria. The following proposed backgrounds were reviewed: Hellenistic Judaism, Philo of Alexandria, Gnosticism, Hermetic Literature, Mandaism, the Old Testament, Rabbinic Judaism, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Samaritan background.


John’s background; Fourth Gospel background; Old Testament background to John; debate John’s Gospel; gospel of John


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