by Paul Schmiedel
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Paul Schmiedel served as a professor of New Testament exegesis at the University
of Zurich around the turn of the 20th century. He studied under some of Germany’s
greatest liberal theologians, and he went on to write scholarly works of higher criticism
of the Bible as well as important contributions to the Encyclopedia Biblica.
The Johannine Writings examines the meaning and value of those biblical texts
traditionally attributed to the Apostle John—John’s Gospel, the three Johannine Epistles,
and the Revelation of John. Schmiedel, after examining the biblical texts, concludes that
Christians should not read John’s Gospel as an historical account of Christ’s life. Even
so, the theologian affirms the religious value of the Johannine writings, for although they
are not necessarily historical, they still bear spiritual profundity and divine inspiration.