Written in late 1st century A.D. by the last survivor of Jesus' twelve disciples, John is the one closest to Jesus during His three-year teaching stint on earth.
The paranoid Pharisees are becoming uncomfortably aware of Jesus' growing fame. To avoid a rumble, Jesus hits the road for home up north. Opting not to take the five-day-long, desert detour around Samaria, He goes through this land that’s off-limits to Jews. Samaria had long been a center of idolatry. In 721 B.C. King Sargon II of Assyria captured 27,000 of its citizens, terminating the northern kingdom. Assyria replaced Samaria's exiles with its own people, fusing religions.