• BOOK REVIEWS \ Mar 03, 2020
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    A new book: Reading the Gospel of John through Palestinian Eyes - By Dr. Yohanna Katanacho
A new book: Reading the Gospel of John through Palestinian Eyes - By Dr. Yohanna Katanacho

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 fulfillment 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.
The following are Four Comments by four world-class scholars:
(1) As the skilled New Testament scholar that he is, Yohanna Katanacho does not insist that perspective is everything. Yet he does suggest that perspective matters a lot, and that as a Palestinian Christian citizen of Israel he reads a text like John’s gospel best when he reads it with clarity regarding his own identity and context. The result 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
(2) 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. This is biblical interpretation done from the road where life is tensely lived and not from the balcony. Reading along ancient and contemporary grains, Yohanna Katanacho offers Christians everywhere a fresh vision of the Fourth Gospel’s universal message 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
(3) 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
(4) 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. Yet Reading the Gospel of John through Palestinian Eyes is not a paean to postmodernism, nor does it bow the knee to relativistic pluralism. Rather, 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
The book is available in print and digital format from https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084ZK69T4/