Have you ever wondered why John’s gospel seems so different from the other three gospels in the New Testament. Growing up Catholic and studying the scriptures for O-level (a requirement in my Catholic grammar school), I certainly learned a lot during my reading and lessons. But author Lee Harmon’s investigations reveal much more, his speculations provide much food for thought, and his fictional account of how it might have happened keep me glued to the page. Okay, I know how the story ends, but I found myself eager to see that end happen through the characters’ eyes.
John’s Gospel combines two fictional threads—the aged apostle dictating his story to a somewhat unbelieving but wholly believable Matthew, with great digressions, wonderful dialog, and a pleasing young woman trying to thread her way between these two antagonists; and the Lord walking the earth on a path whose purpose he knows but whose ending seems to carry more threat than promise. Behind these tales are well-timed sections of reference and study, with up-to-date discoveries, modern musings, and the sort of questions that are bound to invite disagreement and controversy. But then, so did the Lord whose life inspires the telling.
I don’t agree with author Lee Harmon’s point of view on all things in this story. But his writing and his research fascinate me and I follow each argument, enjoying each intriguing nuance. John’s Gospel is a well-told tale, a wisely imagined recreation of history, an intriguing theological work, and a thoroughly enjoyable book on so many levels.
If you’re afraid of questions, or feel threatened by speculation, this probably isn’t the book for you. But if you want to know more and would enjoy the chance to feel like you’ve really been there, then read and enjoy! An amazing mix of fiction, fact, question, speculation and research; a beautifully set-out volume with every side-track perfectly timed; and a fascinating novel that engages mind heart and soul, John’s Gospel is a book I could hardly put down, and one I highly recommend.
Disclosure: The author kindly allowed me to read an ARC of this book and I am very grateful to him.