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Jesus of Nazareth is the most important figure in human history. Yet, an ironic fact of biblical scholarship over the last two centuries is that the one gospel claiming first-hand knowledge of the life of Jesus has been pervasively disparaged as ahistorical—off limits in the historical quest of Jesus. This, of course, is because the Gospel of John is different from the Synoptics and also theological in its thrust. However, in addition to these features, the Fourth Gospel is also the most mundane of the gospels. John has more empirical (sensorily attributed) references, topographical details, and archaeologically attested features than all the other gospels combined—canonical and otherwise. This is an empirical fact, which creates upheaval among scholarly theories regarding John’s character, origin, and implications, as it must now also be seen as the Mundane Gospel.


Originally published in Spanish in the magazine Arqueología e Historia (spring 2018).