This groundbreaking volume draws together an international group of leading biblical scholars to consider one of the most controversial religious topics in the modern era: Is the Gospel of John—the most theological and distinctive among the four canonical Gospels—historical or not? If not, why does John alone among the Gospels claim eyewitness connections to Jesus? If so, why is so much of John’s material unique to John? Using various methodologies and addressing key historical issues in John, these essays advance the critical inquiry into Gospel historiography and John’s place within it, leading to an impressive consensus and convergences along the way. The contributors are Paul N. Anderson; Mark Appold; Richard Bauckham; Helen K. Bond; Richard A. Burridge; James H. Charlesworth; Jaime Clark-Soles; Mary Coloe; R. Alan Culpepper; Craig A. Evans; Sean Freyne; Jeffrey Paul Garcia; Brian D. Johnson; Peter J. Judge; Felix Just, S.J.; Craig S. Keener; Edward W. Klink III; Craig R. Koester; Michael Labahn; Mark A. Matson; James F. McGrath; Susan Miller; Gail R. O’Day; Bas van Os; Tom Thatcher; Derek M. H. Tovey; Urban C. von Wahlde; and Ben Witherington III.
Paul N. Anderson is Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies at George Fox University. He is the author of The Christology of the Fourth Gospel (Cascade Books) and The Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus (T&T Clark). Felix Just, S.J., is a Director of Biblical Education at the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, California. Author of numerous reviews and essays, he is the creator of the Johannine Literature website and a manager of the Johannine Literature listserve. Tom Thatcher is Professor of New Testament at Cincinnati Christian University. He is the author or editor of numerous articles and books, including Jesus in Johannine Tradition (Westminster John Knox), The Riddles of Jesus in John: A Study in Tradition and Folklore, and New Currents through John: A Global Perspective (both from the Society of Biblical Literature).
“For a century or more, the Gospel of John occupied a prime place in Christian exegesis and theology as ‘the spiritual gospel,’ but now scholars have rightly begun to rethink the ‘de-historicized John.’ It is obvious that the relations between John, Jesus, and history cannot be properly understood if dealt with only in terms of ‘theological construction,’ or a derivative origin, as this Gospel claims directly to convey history. This collection makes clear that John not only had a story to tell; he writes history—an eye-opener!”
—Jürgen Zangenberg, Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christian Literature, Leiden University
“The Quest for the Historical Jesus has often ignored or downplayed what evidence the Fourth Gospel might provide. The SBL seminar devoted to this topic has usefully re-opened the question. The essays in this collection sift through familiar texts anew, with attention to the theological witness of the Fourth Gospel, but with a keen eye for the various ways in which the text enshrines potentially early reminiscences about the life and ministry of Jesus. The seminar and the work that it has produced will continue to contribute in a substantial way to contemporary reassessment of our Gospel sources.”
—Harold W. Attridge, Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament and Dean, Yale Divinity School
“An important and stimulating book on a central issue often overlooked and ignored for too long, an issue that in different ways concerns us all when reading and relating to the Gospel of John: the question of its historicity. All the contributors agree that this is a relevant question to be raised when interpreting this Gospel. At the same time, they represent different backgrounds, approaches, and views. Their readings of the text make it come alive in challenging ways. As part of an ongoing research project, this book can be read with benefit by itself, yet this broader perspective adds to its importance. This book is highly recommended!”
—Peder Borgen, Professor Emeritus, University of Trondheim
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