This thesis begins with the observation that the Fourth Gospel presents a markedly different picture of Jesus compared to the one found in the Synoptic Gospels. This is clearly seen in the evangelist‘s selection of material, unique use of language and imagery, and his particular presentation of the Jesus tradition. How do we account for these differences?
I begin by looking at what scholars have said concerning the community behind the Gospel, and highlight reasons to suggest that this was a community in crisis. The hypothesis I propose is that the Fourth Gospel is different to the Synoptics because the evangelist has reshaped the Jesus tradition in such a way as to address the spiritual and pastoral needs of this community in crisis.3