Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Opening of John’s Narrative (John 1:19–2:22): Historical, Literary, and Theological Readings from the Colloquium Ioanneum 2015 in Ephesus
Culpepper, R. Alan and Jörg Frey, editors

Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017 pp. xxi + 377. $216.00

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 385

Description: The essays in this volume provide significant insights into both the Gospel and current Johannine scholarship. The beginning of John's narrative presents interpreters with tantalizing issues. The elusive narrator introduces the witness of the Baptist, then leaves the scene. What is the function of the Isaianic quotation? What is the role of purification in John, the identity of the unnamed disciple, the meaning of the title, “the lamb of God,” the “greater things” Jesus promises the disciples will see, the role of the ascending and descending angels, or Jesus' curt response to his mother? Some of the essays ask how scenes in these chapters would have been read in Ephesus: the story of the wedding at Cana, or the story of Jesus' prophetic demonstration in the temple. The latter plays a strategic role in the imagery and theology of the Gospel. These essays also illustrate how, while the Gospel creatively develops and recasts traditional material, it also calls for its readers to actively engage in dialogue with the text. Contributors include R. Alan Culpepper, Jörg Frey, Christos Karakolis, Craig R. Koester, William R. G. Loader, George L. Parsenios, Adele Reinhartz, Udo Schnelle, Michael Theobald, Marianne Meye Thompson, Jan G. van der Watt, Catrin H. Williams, Ruben Zimmerman, and Jean Zumstein.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Johannine Literature, John, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Greco-Roman Period, Literary Approaches, Narrative Criticism, Social-Scientific Approaches, Theological Approaches, Theological Interpretation

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBL’s login procedure is now synched to SBL’s. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBL’s Terms of Use.

Email Address
SBL Password
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership

Review by Sherri Brown
Published 9/19/2019
Citation: Sherri Brown, review of R. Alan Culpepper And Jörg Frey, eds., The Opening of John’s Narrative (John 1:19–2:22): Historical, Literary, and Theological Readings from the Colloquium Ioanneum 2015 in Ephesus, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2019).

Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.


Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us