'Why did John write a gospel?': Barker to present Luther College Religion Forum lecture Oct. 1

Since the early days of the church, readers have questioned why the Gospel of John is so different from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. James Barker, visiting assistant professor of religion, argues that John knew the earlier gospels, disagreed with parts of them, and wrote his own gospel to correct the errors of his predecessors.

To uncover some of the earliest contestations over the meaning of Jesus' identity and mission, join Barker for the Luther College Religion Forum Lecture, "Why did John write a gospel?" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Luther's Franklin W. Olin building. The lecture is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Barker holds a bachelor's degree in history and religious studies from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He earned a doctoral degree in New Testament and Early Christianity from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Before joining the Religion department at Luther in 2012, Barker taught at Roanoke College in Salem, Va.