Friday, December 30, 2011

John's Story

by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins

Y'know, I've read one other LaHaye and Jenkins book, Left Behind, which I grudgingly rated as waiting room material. (After following Fred Clark's deconstruction of the novel, I would revise my rating downward, but I'm too lazy to actually do that.) This book, a fictional speculation of how the Apostle John came to write his gospel, strikes me as much the same. As a rule, I find accounts of the early church fathers fascinating, but Drs. LaHaye and Jenkins have managed to make John quite dull. The tale opens in Rome in the year 95. John is in prison awaiting martyrdom. An interesting start, though I didn't care for his characterization. He was portrayed as a bit too wishy-washy--not at all as I would expect from a "son of thunder". But, fair enough, there's no reason anyone should write a character according to my preferences. Then the story flashes back to the meat of the book, the writing of the gospel of John. ->yawn<- As you might imagine, the account of writing a manuscript, even of writing one of the greatest manuscripts of all time, ain't too exciting. This account is basically the tale of three guys fussing about heretics in their midst and beating a deadline, with a liberal dose of biblical quotations. The characters are artificial and uninspiring. John particularly is awkward in that his speaking style suddenly switches whenever he starts dictating his gospel. I certainly wouldn't want the task of crafting dialog to match the style of John's gospel, but I figure if you're going to turn the man into a fictional character, at least do it right. So anyway, take my advice: if you're stuck on a desert island with nothing but this book, skip the story and jump straight to the appendix where the good doctors have reprinted the Gospel, Epistles and Revelation of John. Those, at least are worth reading.

Mostly low quality waiting room material.
LibraryThing link


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