John Mathews
Born December 18, 1952(1952-12-18)[1]
Church Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church
Writings </br>
Title Reverend Father Doctor
Parents Father: Samuel Mathews
P christianity Christianity Portal

John Mathews is a New Testament Scholar[3] who was the past President[4] of the scholarly Society for Biblical Studies in India, a Learned society, incorporating Biblical Scholars of the Protestant, Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Charismatic traditions.

John Mathews is the Secretary of the St.Thomas Orthodox Vaideeka Sangam, the Association of all Priests of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church[5] as well as the publisher of Purohithar, a magazine published by the St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Group from Kottayam[6]. He is the Co-Secretary of the joint commission between the Catholic Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.[7]

He teaches New Testament at the Orthodox Theological Seminary (affiliated to the Senate of Serampore College (University)) in Kottayam[8]. He pursued doctoral studies in New Testament at the Fordham University, New York City. His doctoral dissertation was titled The Spirit-Paraclete in the testament of Jesus according to Saint John's Gospel[9].

Abstract of John Mathews doctoral dissertation[9]:

A unique feature of the Fourth Gospel is its designation of the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete in the farewell discourses (14:1-31; 15:1-16a; 16:4b-33). The need for a fresh investigation into the derivation of this title and his functions is necessitated by the shortcomings of the previous studies; they have either espoused a single source approach (such as History of Religions, Judaism, Hellenism and Dead Sea Scrolls) or failed to interpret the Paraclete from a literary-critical point of view. To this must be added the insights of sociological analysis of the Johannine community's evolution which have established the community's sectarian consciousness as a necessary factor in interpreting the Spirit-Paraclete. As established in these sociological studies the Johannine evolved through three main stages: (a) the initial period where the community developed its own identity based on its christology, (b) the second phase when it separated from Judaism and established itself as a separate community, and (c) relocation to the Diaspora and eventual disintegration. A comparison of these phases with a theoretical paradigm of a sect's development indicates that the Johannine community bears all the distinguishing marks of a sect. This point can be well documented by an analysis of the farewell discourses, and especially their evolving presentation of the Paraclete (14:16-17; 26;15:26-27; 16:7-15). Thus, the first discourse focuses on the community's insecurity engendered by the impending departure of their Master and how the Paraclete would be with them as a guarantee of Jesus' continued presence and guidance in the future, a fact realized in the community's reinterpretation of his revelatory word through Spirit-inspired prophets. The second discourse presents the community in an embattled situation with Judaism, with the functions of the Paraclete devoted to the witness of the community to Jesus and to maintaining the group's unity in the face of a decided downgrading of the salvific importance of the historical Jesus. The final discourse reveals the community faced with its missionary mandate to continue Jesus' revelation and the Paraclete's participation in bringing the world to acknowledge Jesus as the Father's chosen emissary. It also reveals that the community is on the verge of disintegration as a result of the intransigence of the Christian prophets. Despite the community's sectarian approach, the Paraclete's tempering of its perspective is what accounts for the universal and enduring appeal of the Fourth Gospel.
Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Daniel Jones Muthunayagom
President</br>Society for Biblical Studies in India
2002 – 2004
Succeeded by
Prema Vakayil, CSST
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Secretary of Inter- Church Relationship Committee of the Orthodox Church
Succeeded by
Religious titles
Preceded by
Secretary of Orthodox Vaidika Sanghom
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by
Professor of New Testament

Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam

Succeeded by


  1. Malankara Orthodox Church. List of Candidates for Bishopric.[1]
  2. John Mathews, The Ecumenical Ideal and the New Testament Reality, Volume 114, National Council of Churches Review, Nagpur, 1994. [2]
  3. Fr. Max Gonsalves (Edited), Directory 1998, Society for Biblical Studies in India
  4. Cf. Society for Biblical Studies in India
  5. Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. List of Organisations.[3]
  6. Indian Orthodox Mercy Fellowship, Kuwait. List of Publications.[4]
  7. Centro Pro Unione. [5]
  8. Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam. [6]
  9. 9.0 9.1 John Mathews, The Spirit-Paraclete in the testament of Jesus according to Saint John's Gospel, (January 1, 1993). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI9313766. [7]
Further reading

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