John the Baptist in the Gospel Tradition
Author: Walter Wink
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: November 02, 2006
Why is John the Baptist accorded such an important role in the Gospel tradition? Dr Wink examines the treatment of John in the Gospels, Acts and the Q source to establish why the evangelists were so preoccupied with him, and how the early Church absorbed John into the Gospel message to put an end to competition between John's disciples and those of Jesus: he suggests that the early Church had an additional purpose: to use the image of John to personify and reinforce its own proselytizing functions. The historical facts were clearly modified by the Church during this process of absorption: Dr Wink shows that this was done in order to preserve the actual historical impact of John upon the Church.