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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Prologue to the Fourth Gospel: A Sequential Reading
Phillips, Peter M.

London: T&T Clark, 2006 pp. xvi + 258. $168.00

Series Information
Library of New Testament Studies, 294

Description: Phillips undertakes a sequential reading of the "Prologue of John's Gospel". By using the reading strategies of Iser, Emmott, and Eco, the book establishes a reading strategy termed sequential disclosure, which is then applied to the text. In order to arrive at the reading, preliminary chapters focus both on historical interpretation of the "Prologue", in terms of reader response and on the role of the author, the use of persuasion, and the development of irony. Special focus is given to the role of the dramatic prologue, as well as the interaction between rhetoric, irony, and community. As such, the book discusses the role of the reading process in developing a specific community language. The book focuses on the didactic role of the "Prologue" in teaching readers this language, and so including them into the Johannine community. The reading of the "Prologue" highlights the key aspects of the reading process: ambiguity and disambiguation; resemanticization; antilanguage; community development; and intertextuality. A sequential reading of the "Prologue" highlights the didactic and evangelistic role of this text.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Johannine Literature, John, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches

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Review by John Painter
Published 11/29/2008
Citation: John Painter, review of Peter M. Phillips, The Prologue to the Fourth Gospel: A Sequential Reading, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2008).

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