Reading the Gospel of John through Palestinian Eyes
Christians from diverse cultural, religious, and political contexts have been studying the Gospel of John for almost two thousand years. In this insightful reflection on the Fourth Gospel, Rev Yohanna Katanacho invites us to encounter the text anew, this time from the perspective of a twenty-first century Palestinian Christian.
Challenging the claim that Christ belongs to a particular denomination, nation, or race, Katanacho presents the Gospel of John as introducing a new world order. In John’s account of Jesus’s life, the rich history of Judaism is reinterpreted in light of the inclusive Christ, the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies, teachings, and promises. Walking us through the reinterpretation of holy space, holy time, holy history, holy community, holy land, and life itself, Katanacho demonstrates how John’s gospel establishes a new identity for the people of God – an identity defined not by race or nationality but by suffering and love. Containing questions for reflection designed with preachers in mind, this accessible book will be a great help for Christians seeking to mine the beautiful riches of spiritual truth in this often-complicated gospel.
This book is a delightful and moving take on the fourth gospel that manages to touch matters of identity, salvation, justice, and peace with a pen that moves both soberly and irenically. Palestinian Christians are painfully well placed to teach the rest of us how to speak truth in love. Katanacho does so here in an accessible volume that belongs on the shelf of every reader of English who cares about the Gospel of John.
David A. Baer, PhD
Director, Theological Education Initiative
Professor, Old Testament & Biblical Languages,
Seminario Bíblico de Colombia, Medellín, Colombia
Dr Yohanna Katanacho’s insightful and accessible commentary on the Gospel of John is a feast of rich theological insight into the apostle’s message for his day and our own. A faithful and careful interpreter of the biblical text, Katanacho reads John’s story against the backdrop of the apostle’s own time and within the setting of the contemporary Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Reading along ancient and contemporary grains, Yohanna Katanacho offers Christians everywhere a fresh vision of the Fourth Gospel’s universalmessage of hope and reconciliation in the one vine, who is Christ Jesus.
Gene L. Green, PhD
Professor Emeritus of New Testament,
Wheaton College and Graduate School, Wheaton, Illinois, USA
This book is a reflection on the Gospel of John that is rooted in the Word and relevant to the contemporary world. The insights are profound, provocative, and prophetic! This book deepens our understanding of our identity in Christ and how we, as his followers, ought to embody his love and justice in this world.
Theresa Roco-Lua, EdD
General Secretary, Asia Theological Association
To the sarcastic question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46), I answer: “Yes, a book on biblical interpretation!” Yohanna Katanacho, a Palestinian Christian, helpfully reminds us that we all read the Bible through perspectives influenced by our respective places and times. Katanacho’s reading is his humble and reasonable offering that both derives from and enriches the whole church, a distinct testimony – that of a Palestinian Christian citizen of Israel – to the Jewish Messiah who is Lord and Savior of every tribe and nation.
Kevin J. Vanhoozer, PhD
Research Professor of Systematic Theology,
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, USA
Table of Contents
- A New Beginning
- The Sign of the Wedding of Cana
- Holy Space
- Holy Time
- Holy History
- The Holy Nation
- The Holy Land
- Better Life
- An Introduction to the Book of the Hour
- The People of Love
- The People of the Spirit
- The Persecuted People
- The People of the Vine
- The People of Unity
- The People of the Cross
- The People of Resurrection