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John's Gospel has traditionally been regarded as the least apocalyptic document in the New Testament. This exciting new collection redresses the balance by exploring the ways in which the apocalyptic literature of Second Temple Judaism has contributed to the theology and outlook of John's Gospel. Given that John, like the Jewish apocalyptic texts, is primarily concerned with the theme of revelation, the contributors examine how apocalyptic ideas can help to explain the Johannine portrayal of Jesus as the messenger sent from heaven to reveal the divine mysteries, as well as the Gospel's presentation of the activity of the Spirit, its understanding of evil, and the intended effects of this 'apocalypse in reverse' on its readers and hearers. The highly distinguished contributors include, John Ashton, Christopher Rowland, April DeConick, Judith Lieu and Jorg Frey.
The Gospel of John has long been recognized as being distinct from the Synoptic Gospels. John among the Apocalypses explains John's distinctive narrative of Jesus's life by comparing it to Jewish apocalypses and highlighting the central place of revelation in the Gospel. While some scholars have noted a connection between the Gospel of John and Jewish apocalypses, Reynolds makes the first extensive comparison of the Gospel with the standard definition of the apocalypse genre. Engaging with modern genre theory, this comparison indicates surprising similarities of form, content, and function between John's Gospel and Jewish apocalypses. Even though the Gospel of John reflects similarities with the genre of apocalypse, John is not an apocalypse, but in genre theory terms, John may be described as a gospel in kind and an apocalypse in mode. John's narrative of Jesus's life has been qualified and shaped by the genre of apocalypse, such that it may be called an 'apocalyptic' gospel. In the final two chapters, Reynolds explores the implications of this conclusion for Johannine Studies and New Testament scholarship more broadly. John among the Apocalypses considers how viewing the Fourth Gospel as apocalyptic Gospel aids in the interpretation of John's appeal to Israel's Scriptures and Mosaic authority, and examines the Gospel's relationship with the book of Revelation and the history of reception concerning their writing. An examination of Byzantine iconographic traditions highlights how reception history may offer a possible explanation for reading John as apocalyptic Gospel.
This study brings three different kinds of readers of the Gospel of John together with the theological goal of understanding what is meant by Incarnation and how it relates to Pascha, the Passion of Christ, how this is conceived of as revelation, and how we speak of it. The first group of readers are the Christian writers from the early centuries, some of whom (such as Irenaeus of Lyons) stood in direct continuity, through Polycarp of Smyrna, with John himself. In exploring these writers, John Behr offers a glimpse of the figure of John and the celebration of Pascha, which held to have started with him. The second group of readers are modern scriptural scholars, from whom we learn of the apocalyptic dimensions of John's Gospel and the way in which it presents the life of Christ in terms of the Temple and its feasts. With Christ's own body, finally erected on the Cross, being the true Temple in an offering of love rather than a sacrifice for sin. An offering in which Jesus becomes the flesh he offers for consumption, the bread which descends from heaven, so that 'incarnation' is not an event now in the past, but the embodiment of God in those who follow Christ in the present. The third reader is Michel Henry, a French Phenomenologist, whose reading of John opens up further surprising dimensions of this Gospel, which yet align with those uncovered in the first parts of this work. This thought-provoking work brings these threads together to reflect on the nature and task of Christian theology.
C. H. Dodd's Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel, published in 1963, marked a milestone in New Testament research and has become a standard resource for the study of John. Historically biblical scholars have concentrated on the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. However, Dodd's book encouraged scholars to take John seriously as a source for the life of Jesus. This volume both reflects upon and looks beyond Dodd's writings to address the implications, limitations and potential of his groundbreaking research and its programmatic approach to charting a course for future research on the Gospel of John. Leading biblical scholars demonstrate the recent surge of interest in John's distinctive witness to Jesus, and also in Dodd's work as the harbinger of advancements in the study of the Fourth Gospel. This volume will be invaluable to all those studying the New Testament, Johannine theology and the history of the early Church.
One of the most interesting questions facing New Testament scholars—How did Christianity emerge from Judaism?—is often addressed in general and indirect terms. John Ashton argues that in the case of the Fourth Gospel, an answer is to be found in the religious experience of the Evangelist himself, who turned from being a practicing Jew to professing a new revelation centered on Christ as the intermediary between God and humanity.
The final book of the Bible, Revelation prophesies the ultimate judgement of mankind in a series of allegorical visions, grisly images and numerological predictions. According to these, empires will fall, the "Beast" will be destroyed and Christ will rule a new Jerusalem. With an introduction by Will Self.
The title 'Son of Man' in the Gospel of John is an apocalyptic reference that highlights, among a number of things, that Jesus is a heavenly figure. Benjamin E. Reynolds analyzes the background of 'Son of Man' from the 'one like a son of man' in Daniel 7 and the interpretations of this figure in Jewish apocalyptic and early Christian literature. Although there is no established 'Son of Man concept', the Danielic son of man is interpreted with common characteristics that suggest there was at least some general understanding of this figure in the Second Temple period. The author shows that these common characteristics are noticeable throughout the Son of Man sayings in John's Gospel. The context and the interpretation of these sayings point to an understanding of the Johannine Son of Man similar to those in the interpretations of the Danielic figure. However, even though these similarities exist, the Johannine figure is distinct from the previous interpretations, just as they are distinct from one another. One obvious difference is the present reality of the Son of Man's role in judgment and salvation. The Johannine Son of Man is an apocalyptic figure, and thus 'Son of Man' does not function to draw attention to Jesus' humanity in the Gospel of John. Nor is the title synonymous with 'Son of God'. 'Son of Man' may overlap in meaning with other titles, particularly 'Son of God' and 'Messiah', but 'Son of Man' points to aspects of Jesus' identity that are not indicated by any other title. Along with the other titles, it helps to present a richer Christological portrait of the Johannine Jesus.