Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gospel of John: Geography and Places

Here are places you can find referenced in the Gospel of John, as usual in roughly the order in which they are first named:
  • Jerusalem
  • Bethabara
  • Jordan
  • Galilee
  • Bethsaida
  • Nazareth
  • Israel
  • Cana
  • Capernaum
  • Aenon
  • Salim
  • Samaria
  • Sychar
  • the parcel of ground that Jacob gave Joseph
  • Jacob's well
  • Judea
  • Bethesda
  • sea of Galilee (sea of Tiberias)
  • Tiberias
  • Bethlehem
  • Mount of Olives
  • Pool of Siloam
  • Bethany
  • home of Mary, Martha, Lazarus
  • Cedron (brook)
  • judgment hall
  • Gabbatha
  • Golgotha
  • sepulcher

The Gospel of John was, in a sense, an early "alternative" gospel. That is, there are events and places recorded in it that are more than we knew from the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. We see some familiar events in familiar places, compared to the earlier gospels. But we also see events that took places at Cana, at Aenon, and in Sychar at Jacob's well. The author(s) expand on our previous knowledge -- but the new information is still grounded in the geography of that immediate area of the world. We still find the new events located in identifiable places that were recognizable to the people of that day.

My thanks for bearing with me this long; in the next post the point will become plain.

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