John

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    Barrett, C. K.

     (182K)

    The Prologue of St John’s Gospel

    "Today we are humble enough to recognize that we too, as we approach Scripture, are not without presuppositions, but at least we are aware of the fact and do our best not to let them run away with us. If we cannot shake ourselves free of our own historical environment at least we do our best to concentrate on John’s. This concentration naturally involves consideration of what John meant by the term Word and of the background whence he drew it: were its roots in the Old Testament or Greek philosophy? in gnosis or in Judaism? or in some combination of these? But it involves also the question: by what literary and theological processes did the Prologue come to be what we now read? Did John simply write it out as the thoughts occurred to him? Or was there some literary foundation on which he worked, a source he took over, remodelled, supplemented, glossed?"
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    Black, David Alan

     (156K)

    On the Style and Significance of John 17

    "...[I]n this essay I should like to join the increasing numbers of adventurous souls who are seeking their fortunes and hazarding their wits in the territory charted by books such as Style and Discourse. Our focus will be the Lord's prayer for unity in John 17. After some general remarks on the prayer's narrative technique, I shall turn to a rhetorical analysis of its chief stylistic components before attempting to draw conclusions about the significance of Jesus' words for the question of ecclesiastical unity in today's world."
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    Carson, D. A.

     (488K)

    Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel: After Dodd, What?

    "Many recent writers have shown us that there is good reason for regarding this or that story in John as authentic. C. H. Dodd in his great work, Historical Tradition and (sic) the Fourth Gospel, has carried out a systematic examination as a result of which he concludes that behind this Gospel there lies a very ancient tradition, quite independent of that embodied in the Synoptic Gospels. It is difficult to go through such a sustained examination and still regard John as having little concern for history. The fact is that John is concerned with historical information."
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    Cook, Robert W.

     (179K)

    Eschatology in John's Gospel

    "When allowed to speak for itself, the text of John's Gospel has a significant eschatological message for the church. There is no question that it is multi-dimensional in that it speaks to both the 'already' and the 'not yet' of Christian revelation. It also includes reference to both I the above and the below, the heavenly and the earthly. Further, John points out the implications of eschatological truth for both the believing and the unbelieving... Eschatological truth in John is basically Christological. For the most part it issues from Jesus' teaching and, to a large degree, focuses upon him. Whether the subject be death, heaven, judgment, eternal life, resurrection, or Christ's return, he is directly involved."
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    Dockery, David S.

     (127K)

    Reading John 4:1-45: Some Diverse Hermeneutical Perspectives

    "Our purpose in this article is to examine some of the problems encountered by interpreters of John's Gospel by focusing our attention on John 4:1-45, the familiar story of the 'woman at the well.' Following these general observations, we shall attempt to show how diverse hermeneutical perspectives would view key aspects of this passage. We shall examine the passage from three levels or perspectives: 1) an 'author-oriented' approach; 2) a 'text-oriented' approach; and 3) a 'reader-oriented' approach. In a brief paper of this type, it should be recognized that it is beyond the scope and purpose to do detailed exegesis of the John 4 passage or to discuss the three theoretical bases of the different approaches, though we shall attempt some analysis and evaluation."
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    Dvorak, James D.

     (110K)

    The Relationship Between John and the Synoptic Gospels

    "...[There are] three basic positions scholars are taking on the subject of John’s relationship to the synoptic gospels. The first position claims to find evidence for a literary dependence of the fourth evangelist on one or more of the synoptics. The second position contends that John was not dependent on the synoptics but that the similarities between the two are due to use of a common tradition. The third view, called a mediating view, proposes that John wrote his gospel literarily independent of the synoptics but that he knew them and their tradition(s). Many complex arguments have been made for each of these views... It seems best, however, to view John’s relationship to the synoptics as mediating. This argument seems to make the most sense theologically and historically."
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    Guthrie, Donald

     (151K)

    The Importance of Signs in the Fourth Gospel

    "...[T]his study is intended to bring into focus several important aspects of ‘signs’ as a major contribution to the purpose for which the Gospel was written. It makes good sense to begin with John’s own statement of purpose in xx. 30, 31, although this is the final occurrence of the word in the Gospel. There are several important implications to be drawn from this statement. (a) John’s account of the signs which Jesus did is intentionally selective...(b) The purpose of the selection was theological. The signs were designed to produce faith of a particular kind... (c) The theological purpose is stated in a twofold form―(i) that Jesus is the Christ and (ii) that He is the Son of God. It is essential for an adequate appreciation of John’s use of signs to examine to what extent the description of the various signs would serve this purpose."
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    Hagner, Donald A.

     (667K)

    The Vision of God in Philo and John: A Comparative Study

    "Philo of Alexandria was an eclectic Jewish philosopher of the first century A.D. who by means of unrestrained allegorizing attempted to discover within the Scriptures of the Greek Old Testament all the truths of Hellenistic philosophy. Philo, indeed, is perhaps the best representative we have of Hellenistic Judaism, combining in his person both the mind of a philosopher and the heart of a deeply religious man...[I]n this paper we are interested in Philo's mysticism, particularly the vision of God, and any light it may throw upon allied ideas in the Fourth Gospel..."
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    John

     (261K)

    John - World English Bible (WEB)

    This is an open source version of the bible based on the 1901 ASV (American Standard Version). This document may be freely distributed, there is no copyright on this translation.
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    Keener, Craig S.

     (788K)

    "The Witness of the First Disciples (1:19-51)", an excerpt from The Gospel of John: A Commentary

    "The prologue introduces John the Baptist as a model witness for Jesus, leading immediately into a section (1:19–51) about the nature of witness and disciple-making for Jesus, which John the Baptist (1:19–28) opens. Apart from the prologue, the evangelist starts his Gospel essentially whereMark did and early Christian evangelists often did (Acts 1:22; 10:37; 13:24). This witness also fits the Gospel’s specifically Jewish framework by opening with a witness to Israel (1:31, 49) embraced by true Israelites (1:47). The writer of the Fourth Gospel wishes his audience not only to continue in the faith themselves (20:31), but to join him in openly confessing Christ (12:42–43), proclaiming him in a hostile world (15:26–27)."
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    Keener, Craig S.

     (609K)

    "Genre and Historical Considerations", Introduction to The Gospel of John: A Commentary

    "The different portrait of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel suggests that John has taken more sermonic liberties in his portrayal of Jesus, but this does not demonstrate that he lacks historical tradition on which the portrayal is base.455 Comparisons with the Synoptics suggest that John both uses historical tradition and tells it in a distinctive way; but this pattern is more obvious for the narratives than for the more interpretive discourses..."
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    Koester, Craig R.

     (110K)

    The Passion and Resurrection According to John

    "The story of the passion...begins with Jesus in the posture of a slave, washing his disciples’ feet (chap. 13); but concludes when Thomas recognizes that Jesus is both Lord and God (20:28), bringing the story back to the high point where it began in 1:1. Each year John’s passion account appears in the lectionary for Holy Week and his story of the resurrection is appointed for Easter and the Sunday after Easter, providing an opportunity for sustained reading and proclamation of these texts. John’s narrative is masterfully told; the drama is bold, yet subtle. Those who contemplate its message are drawn into the very heart of the Christian faith."
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    Köstenberger, Andreas J.

     (1M)

    Jesus as Rabbi in the Fourth Gospel

    "The present essay...seeks to establish this one thesis: John’s Gospel bears witness that Jesus was perceived by his contemporaries primarily as a Jewish religious teacher. The validity of this assertion will be established by a demonstration of the following facts: first, 'rabbi' or 'teacher' is the customary address of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel; and second, John portrays the relationship between Jesus and his closest followers in terms of the customary teacher-disciple relationship in first-century Judaism. This entails Jesus’ assuming the role of teacher by instructing his disciples through word and action, protecting them from harm, and providing for their needs; and the disciples’ assuming the role of faithful followers, including the performance of menial tasks and the perpetuation of their Master’s teaching."
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    Köstenberger, Andreas J.

     (161K)

    Jesus the Good Shepherd Who Will Also Bring Other Sheep (John 10:16): The Old Testament Background of a Familiar Metaphor

    "John 10:16 is one of the major Johannine mission texts that sheds significant light on Jesus' messianic consciousness during his earthly ministry. Almost exclusively, however, scholarly treatments focus on the fourth evangelist's use of the Hebrew Scriptures without entertaining questions regarding the historical Jesus. Taking its point of departure from a study of the literary and historical contexts of John 10 and an investigation of its genre, the present essay seeks to uncover the fabric of OT motifs that converge in Jesus pronouncement in John 10:6, focusing particularly on prophetic passages in Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Isaiah as well as Davidic typology. The scope of this article also includes Qumran, the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, and rabbinic literature. Jesus emerges as a faithful interpreter of the Hebrew Scriptures who understood himself as the eschatological Davidic messianic 'shepherd.'"
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    Köstenberger, Andreas J.

     (34K)

    ‘I Suppose’ (oimai): The Conclusion of John’s Gospel in Its Literary and Historical Context

    "Discussions of the authorship of the Fourth Gospel continue unabated, and commentators leave no stone unturned in their quest to solve this enigma of Johannine studies. One of several issues that have yet to receive adequate attention is the fact that the Gospel concludes with a first person reference, ‘I suppose’ (oimai). It is widely held that the final two verses of the Gospel, perhaps together with the last chapter in its entirety, were added by the Church or some later redactor...In an important recent study H. M. Jackson has adduced considerable primary evidence to suggest that both the third person singular and the first person plural references in the penultimate verse should be understood within the framework of ancient conventions of self-reference. Specifically, Jackson has plausibly shown that John 21:24 most likely is cast in the third person in order to affirm the credibility of the author’s own witness."
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    Köstenberger, Andreas J.

     (353K)

    The Destruction of the Second Temple and the Composition of the Fourth Gospel

    "[This]...investigation has demonstrated that the destruction of the second temple in A.D. 70 provides an important contemporary historical datum that likely impacted the composition of the Fourth Gospel, and that reading the gospel in light of this then-recent event makes excellent sense especially of the gospel’s treatment of the temple and related Jewish festival symbolism as fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah. Thus external and internal evidence appear to converge: What the external historical evidence suggests as a likely backdrop to the writing of John’s gospel—specifically, the after-effects of the destruction of the temple especially in the Diaspora—yields a rich and highly plausible reading of the Fourth Gospel in light of the evangelist’s thematic development of Jesus as the fulfillment and replacement of temple symbolism as well as that related to other Jewish festivals and institutions."
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    Köstenberger, Andreas J.

     (542K)

    The Seventh Johannine Sign: A Study in John’s Christology

    "If the thesis argued here is correct, greater clarity regarding one’s understanding of the signs in John’s Gospel may indeed be achieved. The discussion of the Old Testament background and the investigation of the characteristics of a Johannine sign have illuminated not only John’s concept of a sign but also his entire christological presentation. The identification of the temple cleansing as an additional sign also provided a proposed clarified structure for the Fourth Gospel. While not everyone may agree with the thesis argued here, it is at least hoped that the plausibility of an additional Johannine sign in the temple cleansing has been established."
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    Köstenberger, Andreas J.

     (273K)

    “What is Truth?" Pilate’s Question to Jesus in Its Johannine and Larger Biblical Context

    "In the following essay, I will take a fresh look at the ramifications of Pilate’s question, 'What is truth?' in John 18:38 in the immediate context of John’s account of Jesus’ Roman trial (18:28–19:16a) and the larger context of the Johannine passion narrative (18–19) and the farewell discourse (13– 17) and ultimately the entire Gospel.2 After a few introductory remarks on the concept of truth, I will, first, assess the historicity of 18:33–38a; second, probe the relationship between the passage and major themes in John’s Gospel; and, third, look at the three major characters in 18:28–19:16a. I will close with several observations concerning John’s account of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, related to Pilate’s question to Jesus, 'What is truth?'"
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    Lea, Thomas D.

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    Who Killed the Lord? A Defense against the Charge of Anti-Semitism in John’s Gospel?

    "Is it anti-Semitic to suggest that the Jews of Jesus' lifetime vigorously opposed his teaching and his work? If we realize that the Jews who opposed Jesus represented an elite group among NT Jews, we are not showing a pejorative attitude toward the Jews as a race by merely pointing out this fact. Is it anti-Jewish to suggest that the Jews of the first century and of this century hold attitudes toward Jesus Christ with which Christians would almost universally disagree? If we define anti-Jewishness as indicating our differences with the Jewish religion, Christians would only be stating their beliefs by demonstrating how they differ from first-century and contemporary Jews."
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    Lea, Thomas D.

     (126K)

    The Reliability of History in John's Gospel

    "Our probe will follow three steps. (1) I will present my understanding of the meaning of history in the fourth gospel and will define my use of the term 'reliable.' (2) I will survey three influential approaches to the material of the fourth gospel and will investigate how they look at history in that gospel. (3) I will examine evidence for the reliability of the history in the fourth gospel. My conclusion will not lead me to a position of firmness about historical matters comparable to the mathematical trustworthiness of the multiplication tables or to the chronological verifiability of an event in history. Nevertheless I will point out that solid evidence exists for the assertion that the historical material in the fourth gospel is reliable, trustworthy, deserving of our confidence, and inviting to our faith."
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    Lovelady, Edgar J.

     (97K)

    The Logos Concept: A Critical Monograph on John 1:1 Abridged by the Author

    "The title Logos was the chief theological term descriptive of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, which was applied in the full-flowered Christology of the ancient church, being in a very distinct sense the basic content and starting-point of the doctrine of Christ. And yet Biblically this title is found only in the Johannine group of New Testament writings; here in John 1:1, in I John 1:1, and in Revelation 19:13. Since John presents Christ as Logos introductory to his Gospel, he reveals that this title is convenient and, more than that, absolutely essential to a proper understanding of the relationship between the pre-existent Son of God and the historically-manifested divine revelation in the human life of Jesus."
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    Morris, Leon

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    The Atonement in John's Gospel

    "In some quarters today the title of this article would seem a misnomer, for there are many who would agree with R. Bultmann, 'the thought of Jesus' death as an atonement for sin has no place in John,' a view that apparently arises out of an undue emphasis on the place John gives to revelation. There can, of course, be no doubt that for John revelation is very important, nor that the giving of revelation is an important function of Jesus. But to assert that John finds 'no place' for 'Jesus' death as an atonement for sin' runs clean counter to the evidence."
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    Morris, Leon

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    The New Testament and the Jewish Lectionaries

    "The purpose of this book...is primarily to inquire into the factual basis of lectionary theories. It is an attempt to distinguish between what we know and what we surmise. My interest is primarily in the Fourth Gospel, and therefore there are more references to this than to any other New Testament writing in the following treatment."
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    Neyrery, Jerome H.

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    The Foot Washing in John 13:6-11; Transformation Ritual or Ceremony?

    "The narrative in John 13:4-20 is notoriously complicated. The evangelist narrates Jesus' washing of the disciples' feet (13:4-5), a conversation with Peter (13:6-11), and then a general discourse about footwashing (13:12-20). But the remarks in vv 12-20 hardly serve as an adequate or proper commentary on the events in vv 6-11. Similarities abound between 13:6-11 and 12-20, but the differences deserve attention...The action in 13:6-11 signifies something quite different from what is discussed in vv 12-20. Some event on Jesus' part warrants notice as an 'example,' which Jesus commands to be repeated (vv 15, 17). But what was described in vv 6-11 is a distinctively Johannine conversation about an unrepeatable action. Jesus' action in vv 6-11 and his remarks about 'purification' simply do not parallel what is discussed in vv 12-20, an action repeated whenever the group gathers. Notions of 'ritual' and 'ceremony' from cultural anthropology can serve as important lens for sharpening our perception of 13:6-11 and explaining the differences between the two accounts of Jesus' symbolic action."
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    Neyrey, Jerome H.

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    "Despising the Shame of the Cross": Honor and Shame in the Johannine Passion Narrative

    "The passion narrative in John 18-19 is profitably viewed in terms of the values of honor and shame. A model of this anthropological concept is presented, which stresses the form of the typical honor challenge (claim, challenge, riposte, and public verdict). This model then serves as a template for reading John 18-19 to surface the phenomena of honor and shame in that narrative and to interpret the endless confrontations described there in their appropriate cultural perspective. Thus from the narrator's point of view, Jesus maintains his honor and even gains more in his death; he is in no way shamed by the events."
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    Parker, James

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    The Incarnational Christology of John

    "John leaves no doubt as to the purpose of writing his Gospel. He states it explicitly in John 20:31: ' . . . these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name' (NASB). John seeks to support and defend this purpose by the selections,...arrangement, and exposition of the material in his Gospel, From the beginning of the Prologue where the Word is said to have become flesh in Jesus to Thomas' majestic conclusion 'My Lord and my God' (20:28) , the reader is constantly reminded that Jesus is much more than a mere man representing a deity, He is very God of very God come in the flesh. Jesus' work of salvation ('believing you may have life in His name') is dependent upon the nature of His person ('the Christ, the Son of God')."
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    Probst, Christopher J.

     (144K)

    Anti-Judaism and the Gospel of John

    "When we see passages in the New Testament that may be categorized as 'invective' against 'the Jews', do we label them 'anti-Semitic' or 'anti- Jewish'? What constitutes 'anti-Semitism'?...A related series of questions surrounds the usage of the term 'the Jews'... in the New Testament, particularly in the Gospel of John. How does the author of this Gospel use this and other related terms? Does the phrase 'the Jews' always mean 'all Jews present' at a given point in the narrative? Or, does John sometimes nuance his usage of 'the Jews'?"
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    Pryor, John W.

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    The Johannine Son of Man and the Descent-Ascent Motif

    "In the world of Johannine scholarship, consensus has been attained on few aspects of the evangelist's theology. But it is probably true to say that no one would care to dispute that John makes use of a descent-ascent Christology. It is also true that for many scholars this descent-ascent Christology is understood as beign associated with the Johnnine Son of Man terminology. While the link between Son of Man and descent-ascent is argued carefully by some, it is assumed by others. It is the burden of this paper that the presumed nexus between the Johannine Son of Man and a descent ascent Christology is simply not there and that the Johannine Son of Man is not thought of as a heavenly descending-ascending figure."
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    Robinson, John A.T.

     (158K)

    The Destination And Purpose of St John’s Gospel

    "On almost every question connected with this Gospel it is still possible for the most divergent views to command serious and scholarly assent. And after all this time the question of the destination and purpose of the Gospel is as wide open as it ever was...The mere fact that none of these views has succeeded in establishing itself over the others shows that the evidence does not point decisively in any one direction. Nevertheless, I am persuaded that there is one solution that can be stated a good deal more compellingly than it has been and merits the most serious consideration."
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    Russell, Walter

     (154K)

    The Holy Spirit's Ministry in the Fourth Gospel

    "C. H. Dodd, in The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, errs in acceding to Bultmann's influence by attributing much of Johannine theology to Hellenistic thought, especially in the realm of pneumatology. Actually, John's theology of the Spirit is based on themes found in OT eschatological passages, themes that are shared by John with the rest of the NT: especially Luke-Acts. When one examines the themes of Messiah's baptism of others with the Holy Spirit, the spirit's own regenerating work as he incorporates believers into Messiah's kingdom, and the Spirit's enabling of Messiah's followers to proclaim the Gospel, it is clear that John (along with the NT in genneral) shares these ideas with the OT prophets and has not imbibed them from Hellenistic sources."
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    Sandy, D. Brent

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    John the Baptist's "Lamb of God" Affirmation in Its Cannonical and Apocalyptic Milieu

    "The designation of Jesus as the Lamb of God has become inextricably woven into the fabric of Christianity. The title has seemed especially appropriate, given Jesus' atoning death. Consequently Christians generally acclaim the foresight of John the Baptist in identifying Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb of God and link John's statement with Isaiah's prophecy of the suffering servant (Isaiah 53). But that conclusion is open to serious objections. Understanding the Baptist's affirmation retrospectively--that is, from a post-passion advantage and with the OT alone as the interpretive context--is insufficient and misleading."
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    Silva, Moises

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    Approaching the Fourth Gospel

    "...[T]he second quarter of this century began to witness a significant shift that led to the so-called new look on the Fourth Gospel. By the phrase is not meant a return to apostolic authorship, nor to complete historicity, but a viewpoint that allows for the strong possibility that genuine Johannine tradition lies behind the Gospel. The term Johannine tradition (or community) becomes the pivotal issue, and scholars have been devoting their energies to reconstructing the historical situation at the end of the 1st century that gave rise to the Gospel-a subject that will occupy us again shortly."
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    Smith, Charles R.

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    The Unfruitful Branches in John 15

    "The text of John 15 has been one of the historical battlegrounds of doctrinal interpretation. Perhaps only the passage in Hebrews 6 has been the scene of more battles between the Calvinistic and Arminian schools of interpretation concerning the matter of eternal security. Not only has this text provided the field for many battles between these two schools of theology, but there have also been a great many skirmishes ~~ the two camps upon this same battlefield. Particularly among Calvinists there has been disagreement as to the interpretation of this passage...Though Arminian views will be rebutted briefly, the primary purpose of this study is to investigate the major interpretations of the passage that have been suggested by Calvinists and to determine, by a careful study of the text and its context, wherein these interpretations have departed from the intent of the Speaker. The identification of the unfruitful branches will be the principal concern."
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    Tenney, Merrill C.

     (71K)

    III. Literary Keys to the Fourth Gospel: The Old Testament and the Fourth Gospel

    "The exact number of references to the Old Testament in John is debatable, for it is occasionally difficult to determine what is a reference and what is not. Some are direct citations; many are indisputably quotations or clear allusions; but in other instances the language is general, or else is so indefinite that one cannot be sure of the exact source. In at least one case a text is attributed to Scripture which cannot be precisely located (John 7:38). The purpose of this study is not to identify and expound each text presumably taken from the Old Testament, but to discuss the influence of the Hebrew Bible on the teaching of John."
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    Tenney, Merrill C.

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    II. Literary Keys to the Fourth Gospel: The Author's Testimony to Himself

    "The authorship of the Gospel of John has been a subject of warm debate for almost two centuries...Numerous hypotheses have been advanced to account for the origin of this Gospel. Some critics have ascribed it to 'John the elder,' a presbyter of Ephesus, mentioned in Eusebius' famous quotation from Papias, a writer of the early second century...The purpose of this lecture, however, is not to reopen a controversy nor to argue a case. The writer is personally convinced that the author of the Gospel was John, the son of Zebedee, aided perhaps by a scribe. The main objective is not to debate the identity of the author, but to show how his personality is projected into his writing, and to estimate the effect produced by that projection."
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    Tenney, Merrill C.

     (68K)

    IV. Literary Keys to the Fourth Gospel: The Imagery of John

    "The Gospel of John contains some of the profoundest truth in the New Testament, but there are no other writings which express it more simply. The imagery is clear, concise, and rather limited. The author employs a restricted vocabulary to convey his thought, but each word is filled with spiritual significance. His metaphors are frequently repeated, and some of them become technical theological terms because of their constant occurrence in his teaching."
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    Tenney, Merrill C.

     (70K)

    I. Literary Keys to the Fourth Gospel: The Symphonic Structure of John

    "The unique character of the Fourth Gospel is recognized by all students of the New Testament. In spite of the fact that it describes the same Person as the Synoptic Gospels, it narrates new episodes in His life, places Him in other geographical surroundings, reports different discourses, and employs another type of vocabulary...Divergence of presentation does not necessarily imply conflict, for the variations may be explained in terms of purpose."
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    Tenney, Merrill C.

     (88K)

    Topics from the Gospel of John: Part I: The Person of the Father

    "The Gospel of John is a unique document. It differs from the Synoptic Gospels in its language, in its structure, and in its approach to the Person of Christ. It differs from the Epistles because it is concerned more with viewing Christ through the glass of personal contact than through His significance in the theology of the church. It is unique in religious literature because it combines a mystical relationship ('Abide in me, and I in you,' John 15:4) with a genuine historical framework."
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    Tenney, Merrill C.

     (131K)

    Topics from the Gospel of John: Part II: The Meaning of the Signs

    "One of the peculiarities of the Fourth Gospel is the fact that its author chose to hang its key by the back door. The purpose of the Gospel of John is not stated in the opening paragraph as in Luke's Gospel, but rather at the end. At the conclusion of chapter 20 John explains his motive and method of writing in these words: 'Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name' (John 20:30-31)."
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    Tenney, Merrill C.

     (112K)

    Topics from the Gospel of John: Part III: The Meaning of "Witness" in John

    "Among the numerous terms that can be classed as specially Johannine, the word witness, whether a verb or a noun, is outstanding...Obviously John gave great importance to this concept in his presentation of the message about Christ. Its general meaning denotes attestation of some person or event which might naturally be the object of antagonism or skepticism. Because of the stupendous miracle of the Incarnation which brought other miracles with it, some sort of confirmation was necessary if Jesus were to be regarded as anything more than a wandering prophet who made fantastic claims."
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    Thatcher, Tom

     (133K)

    Jesus, Judas, and Peter: Character By Contrast in the Fourth Gospel

    "This article explores the narrative relationship between three key figures in the Gospel of John: Jesus, Judas, and Peter. As these characters interact, patterns of contrast gradually emerge...A literary "character" is the sum of "external signs" pre- sented by a text that 'correspond to and reveal an otherwise hid- den inner nature.' Literary characters are therefore complexes of personal traits that correspond to the readers' experience of in- dividuals in the 'real world.'"
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    Thompson, Marianne Meye

     (76K)

    Word of God, Messiah of Israel, Savior of the World: Learning the Identity of Jesus from the Gospel of John

    "The Gospel of John presents a peculiar challenge to modern interpreters who simultaneously confess Jesus as Lord and engage in historical study of the Gospels and Jesus. Paradoxically John is the Gospel that is deemed least reliable in providing useful data for the quest of the 'historical Jesus,' but most penetrating in providing the fundamental categories for Christian confession of who Jesus ultimately was and is -- resurrection and life, Son of the Father, Word of God made flesh. While these designations and metaphors may be pivotal for Johannine and, finally, Christian witness to the identity of Jesus, they play little if any role in the contemporary efforts to reconstruct the historical Jesus."
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    Thompson, Marianne Meye

     (131K)

    “His Own Received Him Not:” Jesus Washes the Feet of His Disciples

    "The discourses and narratives of the Gospel of John, brimming with metaphors, have lent themselves to a variety of interpretations. Although the account of Jesus’ washing the feet of his disciples in John 13 seems at first glance rather more straightforward, it too has generated a multiplicity of interpretations of its significance. In fact, a recent monograph on the foot washing in John 13 identified at least 11 different major interpretations of it in the modern era alone. But in current Johannine studies one particular interpretation has risen to prominence."
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    Turner, George Allen

     (345K)

    Soteriology in the Gospel of John

    "There is surprisingly little written on the Johannine doctrine of salvation. Probably this is due to the fact that the idea permeates the entire Gospel of John and is expressed in analogies rather than in theological language. There are many factors that make the study of the doctrine of salvation in the Fourth Gospel of exceptional interest and challenge. All agree that the theme of salvation is expressed in analogies--light, life, knowledge, bread, water, truth--rather than in forensic terms as in Paul. Among the problems that emerge in such a study are the questions of (1) why repentance is not urged as a condition of saving faith; (2) whether the incarnation is more important than the cross and resurrection; (3) whether man's salvation is predetermined by the Father; (4) whether the doctrine of salvation in the hypothetical 'signs document' (John 2-12) is different from the rest of the Gospel: and (5) what reason is given for the necessity of the Shepherd's dying for the sheep--that is, does this Gospel teach a vicarious atonement?"