My working – and this is super secret so don’t tell anyone because I haven’t done the research yet to back it all up – thesis, in part, is to suggest John wrote in such a way as to close the Torah of the Gospels.
I will maintain a distinctive Jewish quality to Mark and Matthew, and a different sort to L(eviticus)uke. But, then there is John… We all know John has some issues with us v. them, us v. Jews. This has been explained in a variety of ways. But, in the literary sense, there is little way to mark the transition. I mean, how did we go from Mark to John?
And this is where Watson comes in.
(for a fuller treatment of Watson’s chapter on John, see Rick Brannan’s post here.)
After discussing the movement from Egerton to John, Watson comments, ‘the Egerton evangelist is consciously seeking to counter the Johannine distancing of Jesus from Judaism, reincorporating him into the community’ of a more Judaism-centric /an/Christianity. He goes on, ‘This Jewish-Christian or Christian-Jewish feature of GEger is of a piece with its pre-occupation with the Moses/Jesus relationship… it is more likely to be pre-Johannine.”
That’s interesting… Might whatever Egerton represents be the literary transition between Luke and John?
Another note — Watson, after comparing Egerton and P. Köln 255r to Mark 1.40–5, suggests the Egerton-Köln story “may derive from a version independent of Mark (322). Unfortunately, I think Watson stresses too much the importance of direct literary parallels. See Adam Winn‘s notes on this in Elijah-Elisha Narrative (3–4, and no less a reason than he specifically compares a story from Matt/Luke to John). Watson does, however, allow for some similar language at this point between Egerton–Köln and John. Had Watson allowed for a dependence on Mark, we might have seen another hallmark of a transition from the rather rabbinical Jewishness of the Synoptics to whatever new creation John is trying to be.
If his thoughts on the closing paragraph on 324 was carried out, we could easily see John pulling from Egerton-Köln and the Synoptics as he built his Gospel.