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The Theology of the Gospel of John (New Testament Theology) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   202
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.41"
Weight:   0.66 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 2, 2010
Publisher   Cambridge University Press
ISBN  0521357764  
EAN  9780521357760  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Lecturers can request examination copies for course consideration. D. Moody Smith lucidly explains the theological ideas of the Gospel of John, one of the most important documents of the New Testament. He concentrates on its presentation of Jesus as the Christ, and deals also with such topics as God, the scriptures, the Church, and the spirit. These topics are related insofar as possible to the specific setting in which the Gospel was written, since one cannot understand such theological concepts in the abstract. The book is an ideal introduction to the question of the origin of the Gospel of John as well as its theology.

Publishers Description
D. Moody Smith treats the theology of the Gospel of John in its narrative form and historical context, both ancient Jewish and early Christian. His work draws upon the most recent scholarly investigations of the Gospel's historical purpose and setting. The major theological themes of the Gospel, especially its christology, are treated in relation to the context of the work, since Johannine theology is not simply a by-product of controversies that produced the Gospel, but is related to them in significant ways. As Professor Smith shows, John's Gospel marks an important watershed between Christianity and Judaism. His study should, therefore be useful as an introduction to the question of the origin of John's Gospel, and as an introduction to its theology. It also consistently pays attention to the relationship of the Gospel to other major New Testament witnesses, as well as to its important influence upon the development of later Christian doctrine.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
John in a very dense nutshell  Mar 22, 2006
A detailed look at John, placing the gospel in the context of early Christianity and an evolving theology. When appropriate, contrasts John with the synoptic gospels and Paul. For its size, and particularly in comparison with many other commentaries, probably the best available.
Excellent look at Johannine Theology  Oct 14, 2003
This is by far the best book in the "New Testamant Theology" series put out so far by Cambridge University Press.

It is difficult to discern whether my adoration for this book comes from the inherent wonder and complexity of Johannine thought or Smith's rendering of that thought, but without a doubt the author's explanation is superb.

I was afraid that, given the table of contents for this book, it would follow the same pattern as most the others - the cookie cutter four chapter progression of introduction, theology, relation to NT and then relevance for today. Instead, Smith I think actualizes perhaps the intent of such a set up without being bound by that structure alone.

He begins by introducing the world of Johannine theology (which is at least discussed by scholars in terms and explanations in stark contrast to the way Pauline scholars cover their material) and then begins to discuss such issues as author and setting. Then, however, he reverses direction by acknowledging that such debates have not yielded much insight and then attempts to gain similar information by looking at the setting and sources of Johannine theology. This he does in three ways: 1) looking at the general religious setting of the ancient world with which John has contacts 2) looking at the narrative setting (and thus taking a brief journey through the scope of the story) by trying to peer behind the given story to the story of the community to which it pertains and 3) looking at how John as a document relates to Judaism and other major streams of NT thought.

The third chapter covers the themes of John's theology by first analyzing his presuppositions. The idea of Jesus Christ as God's revelation then orders the continuing look by dividing the book into the revelation to the world and then the community (of believers). Through this Smith shows how John perceives Jesus to be not only the anointed one of God but also the exact image and word (logos) of that God, God incarnate as a way of understanding and relating to God.

Finally, the fourth chapter looks at John's relevance by addressing three issues - mythology (how his theology relates to modern thought world), anti-semitism (how his theology relates to other religions, esp. Judaism) and essence of Christianity (how his theology understands itself). Such a look is wonderfully useful and insightful and fulfills the promise of understanding a letter's relevance for Christians today.

Smith uncovers in his survey the view that in John Christianity becomes most fully "Christian" by its obsession with the person and centrality of Jesus Christ. In doing so, it marks the transition from the amalgam of primitive Jewish Messianism found in Jesus to Christianity and Judaism. Furthermore, it is shown how John more than any other NT writer directs and orders his whole worldview around the Christ event and provides meaning, ethics, and theology of purely Christian terms.

This is an excellent overview and survey of Johannine thought. I only wish every book in this series was so masterfully written.


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