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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

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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 [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


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