UK Christian Bookshops Directory: Christian Book Reviews: Your Father The Devil?
Your Father The Devil? Your Father The Devil?
A New Approach to John and 'The Jews'

Steve Motyer
ISBN 9780853648321 (0853648328)
Paternoster, 1997

Category: Biblical Studies

This book started life as Steve Motyer's doctoral thesis, but don't let that put you off. For one thing it's very readable despite the level of scholarly engagement. For another thing, it's important.

For centuries Jews have maintained that antisemitism is part of the very marrow of the New Testament itself. In John's Gospel, Jesus describes the Jews as 'from your father the devil' and there is unremitting hostility between 'the Jews' and Jesus.

Steve's study does a number of things. It seeks to identify 'the Jews' in John, to place John within the Jewish religious disputes of the first century and to show that John's Gospel is, contrary to views of many, evangelistic in its purpose. Essentially John stems from an in-house dispute. Along the way the reader is presented with a thorough examination of aspects of contemporary Johannine studies, a very helpful blending of historical-critical and narrative-critical approaches to the text and a satisfactory resolution to the allegedly antisemitic nature of John.

This is a very good book and readers will learn an immense amount both about John and about how to engage seriously with vital issues in New Testament scholarship.

Robert Willoughby, December 1997

Robert Willoughby teaches New Testament and Children's Ministry at London School of Theology. He is the author of The Children's Guide to the Bible, Angels and So, who is God?, all from Scripture Union, and is a regular contributor to Scripture Union's daily Bible reading notes, Encounter with God.

Previously published by London School of Theology. Reused here by kind permission.


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