A New Approach
I developed this concept of theology as I developed my sermons. Therefore, it seems that the best way to present it is through my sermons. Sometimes I had a little static from them, but usually, no one questioned the ‘theology’. I will include the sources of my information, whenever it seems appropriate.
Source: Randel Helms “Who Wrote the Gospels?”
“Who wrote the Gospels? Certainly NOT Matthew, NOT Mark, NOT Luke and NOT John… The names that are associated with the Gospel writers are all second-century guesses. If this comes as a surprise, welcome to the cutting edge of modem biblical scholarship. There is a lot more to understanding and interpreting one of the most influential collection of works in Western history than the simple viewpoints we were taught as children.
Nearly a century after the four Gospels were finished, Christians in the late second century, eager to give names to the anonymous manuscripts they possessed, selected traditional figures that they supposed should have written them – the Apostles Matthew and John, Luke the "beloved physicist" of Paul (Col. 4:14), and John Mark of Jerusalem, the "son" of Peter (Acts 11:12; I Peter 5:13).
With first-rate scholarship, compelling storytelling, and religious sensitivity, Arizona State University professor and biblical scholar Dr. Randel Helms answers the questions.”
He concludes, from his analysis of John, that John started as a Signs Gospel, which a second writer modified to make it into a Mystic Gospel, and a third writer modified it enough to make it acceptable to the Church. Of primary concern to the Scholar is the Mystic Gospel.
Using Helms’ findings
“Remember that John the Mystic is the principal writer of John, and that The Spiritual World is hard to describe in words, there are going to be a lot of cryptic things in John. We know by now that ‘This World’ means the man-made accouterments to life that the NT writers warn us against. We suspect now that Jesus is aware that much of the inter-personal relationships of this world are shallow and insincere. ‘Not as this world gives do I give…’ Don’t think of the Spiritual Life as comparable in any way with This World. We have to live in this world and deal with the people in it – and as we do, we let everything that we do in word or deed be tempered by our commitment to the Christian Life – The Way. But remember that our home is here in the Spiritual World – with God at our side, and the teachings of Jesus ever before us – proclaiming, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." From my sermon “Promises”.