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Web Links for GJohn

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    As some of you may know, I m revising the Web Links Pages for Steven Harris NT Introduction, and under the rubric that many hands make light work, I s like to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 13, 2005
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      As some of you may know, I'm revising the Web Links Pages for Steven
      Harris NT Introduction, and under the rubric that many hands make light
      work, I's like to solicit your help with this.

      My approach to this is to use the outlines that are currently available
      on the web site for that book at


      Below is the outline of the Chapter in Steven Harris's NT Intro on the
      Gospel of John.

      I'd be grateful if John Lit members could send me suggestions on web
      links which are relevant for any of the headings or subheadings.



      John's Portrait of Jesus: Divine Wisdom Made Flesh


      I. Key topics/themes

      1. John as different from the Synoptics
      2. Jesus as the Word made flesh
      3. Jesus' crucifixion as glorification
      4. Christ eternally present in the Paraclete

      II. Introduction

      1. John's innovative use of the Logos concept
      2. The uniqueness of John among the New Testament Gospels
      3. John as a theological interpretation of Jesus' life rather than a
      4. The author's purpose: to inspire faith in Jesus' divinity

      III. Authorship

      1. Traditionally ascribed to the apostle John, son of Zebedee
      2. Wrote from Ephesus
      3. Also author of Johannine epistles and Book of Revelation
      4. Problems with the traditional theory
      1. Differences between the Gospel and letters of John
      2. Difficulties identifying the author with the Beloved
      3. The early date of the apostle John's death

      5. The Beloved Disciple
      1. Beloved Disciple portrayed as Gospel's primary historical
      2. Beloved Disciple portrayed as in competition with Simon
      3. Beloved Disciple represents religious community behind
      author of John's Gospel

      6. Place and date of composition
      1. Deeply rooted in Palestinian tradition
      2. Similarities to Qumran writings
      3. Traditionally located in Ephesus
      4. Palestine suggested as place of origin by more recent
      5. Originally dated to late second century C.E.
      6. More recent scholars give date of 90-100 C.E.

      7. Relation to the Synoptic Gospels

      1. Debates about whether John used Synoptic Gospels as sources
      2. Differences in content or motifs
      1. No birth narrative
      2. No baptism of Jesus
      3. No wilderness temptations by Jesus
      4. No exorcisms
      5. No emphasis on Jesus' rejection by family and friends at
      6. Different style of teaching by Jesus
      7. Does not emphasize Jesus' reinterpretation of Mosaic Law
      8. No predictions of Jerusalem's fall
      9. A minimizing of expectations of Jesus' Second Coming
      10. No communion ritual involving bread and wine at Last Supper
      11. No agony in the garden
      12. Both inclusions and exclusions the result of John's special
      theological agenda

      8. Differences in the chronology and order of events
      1. More trips to Jerusalem by Jesus in John than in Synoptics
      2. Jesus' assault on Temple at beginning of his ministry rather
      than at end as in Synoptics
      3. Jesus' and John's ministries overlap rather than sequential
      as in Synoptics
      4. Three Passovers mentioned by John; only one by Synoptics
      5. Crucifixion takes place on Nisan 14 rather than Nisan 15 as
      in Synoptics

      9. John's purpose and method

      1. Expulsion of early Christians from Jewish synagogues a motivating
      factor in John's portrayal of Jesus
      2. Relation to Gnostic ideas
      1. Light/darkness dualism
      2. Redeemer descends from heaven to impart saving knowledge
      3. Docetism: Christ only "seemed" to be human
      4. John's anti-Gnostic orientation
      5. Popularity of John's Gospel in Gnostic circles

      3. John's portrayal of Jesus' teaching
      4. The role of the Paraclete
      1. The importance of the farewell discourses in understanding
      John's method
      2. John's readers in possession of the Spirit that Jesus
      promised would come
      3. The Gospel of John to duplicate the Paraclete's portrayal of

      (1) The Gospel of John a two-layered drama
      (a) The setting of Jesus in the past
      (b) The readers' encounter with Jesus through the Spirit in the present
      (c) Examples
      (i) Chapter 9
      (ii) Chapter 3

      10. Organization of John's Gospel

      IV. Hymn to the Word (Logos) (ch. 1)

      1. Greek and Jewish background
      1. The Greek Logos and the Jewish concept of Wisdom
      2. Logos as the principle of cosmic reason
      3. Convergence of the Greek and Jewish ideas in the writings of
      4. John: the prehuman Christ equals Philo's idea of the Logos,
      God's creative activity

      2. Jesus and divine Wisdom
      1. Wisdom in Hebrew Bible: the means by which God creates
      2. The use of the term "I am" in wisdom literature

      3. Jesus and Yahweh
      1. Jesus' use of "I am" language
      2. John's portrayal of Jewish outrage at Jesus' use of "I am"

      4. Role of the Baptist
      1. Jesus as superior to John the Baptist
      2. Jesus' divinity proclaimed clearly by the Baptist

      V. The Book of Signs (chs. 2-11)

      1. Jesus' earthly work organized around seven signs
      2. John's use of a Signs source
      3. The miracle at Cana
      1. Resemblance to magic in the cult of Dionysus
      2. The communalistic symbolism of wine in John's Gospel

      4. Assault on the temple
      5. Dialogue with Nicodemus
      1. The frequency of the misunderstandings of Jesus' words in
      John's Gospel
      2. Confusion over being "born again/born from above"
      3. John 3:16: Jesus has come so that the "world" might have
      "eternal life"

      6. Conversation with the Samaritan woman
      1. Jesus's flouting of social convention in speaking to a woman
      in public
      2. Jesus discusses theology with the Samaritan woman
      3. The first non-Jew to be sent on a mission by Christ

      7. The woman taken in adultery
      1. Not in earliest and best manuscripts of John
      2. Jesus turns the tables on an adulterous woman's accusers

      8. Further signs and miracles
      1. Healing of a nobleman's son
      2. Jesus' healing of a handicapped man by the Sheep Pool
      3. Feeding 5000 people
      4. Walking on water
      5. Sight for a blind man

      9. The raising of Lazarus
      1. Seventh and climactic sign in the Book of Signs
      2. Signifies Jesus' power over life and death
      3. Parallels with the Secret Gospel of Mark
      4. Jesus as the "Resurrection and the Life"
      5. The hostility provoked among Jesus' enemies by the incident
      6. Realized eschatology

      VI. The Book of Glory (ch. 12-20)

      1. May be based on an earlier, primitive Passion narrative
      2. Jesus' warning at the Last Supper of his impending departure
      3. John's Passion story as one of triumph
      4. The Last Supper and farewell discourses
      1. No account of the ceremonial bread and wine
      2. Jesus gives the "new commandment" of love
      3. Jesus' death as permitting believers to experience life with

      5. Sending the Paraclete (Holy Spirit)
      1. Jesus' "return" in the form of the Paraclete in John's
      2. Meanings of the term "Paraclete"
      3. The Paraclete as judge of the world's unbelief
      4. The Paraclete imparted at Jesus' resurrection

      6. John's interpretation of the Passion

      1. Differences from the Synoptics motivated by John's theological
      2. Motivated by author's high Christology
      3. Emphasizes Jesus' full control over his fate
      4. John's interpretation of Jesus' trial before Pilate
      5. John's unique contributions to the Passion story
      1. Jesus carries his own cross
      2. Blood and water from Jesus' side
      3. Specific interest in Jesus' authentic physical death
      4. Presence of Mary at the cross

      7. Postresurrection appearances in Jerusalem
      1. Appearance to Mary Magdalene
      2. Appearance to "doubting" Thomas

      VII. Epilogue: Postresurrection appearances in Galilee (ch. 21)

      1. Breakfast by the shore of the Sea of Galilee
      2. Jesus questions Peter
      3. The Johannine vision of Jesus extended in the Johannine letters

      VIII. Summary

      1. The significance of realized eschatology in the Gospel of John
      2. The Paraclete as the eternal presence of Jesus among his disciples

      3. Jesus as coequal with God

      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
      1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
      Chicago, Illinois
      e-mail jgibson000@...
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