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Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus Modern Foundations Reconsidered by Paul N. Anderson

Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus Modern Foundations Reconsidered

Part of the The Library of New Testament Studies Series


Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus Modern Foundations Reconsidered by Paul N. Anderson

This book challenges the modernistic view that because John is theological and different from the Synoptics it cannot be historical.This book engages critically one of the most pervasive sets of assumptions within modern biblical studies: namely, that because John is theological and different from the Synoptics, it cannot be historical - nor does it contribute anything of substance to the quest for the historical Jesus. Part I develops a brief history of the debate. Part II assesses critically the strengths and weaknesses of six planks comprising the foundation for two major platforms. The first involves 'the de-historicization of John', the second 'the de-Johannification of Jesus'. Part III takes on centrally the question of how John's tradition may have developed in ways that are largely autonomous and individuated, but also holding open the possibility of contact with parallel gospel traditions.Part IV develops the particular contributions made by the Synoptics to the historical investigation of Jesus, and likewise those made by the Johannine tradition. Part V then develops an array of implications emerging from the present study, sketching trajectories for further investigation and paths of extended inquiry. While this approach may be mistaken as an appeal for the traditional view or a post-modern exploration, it is neither. It intends to be a critical analysis of the so-called 'critical consensus' on John's historicity and expulsion from historical Jesus resources. This book could contribute to opening a new approach in Johannine and Jesus studies alike.Formerly the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement , a book series that explores the many aspects of New Testament study including historical perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and theological, cultural and contextual approaches.


'This extremely interesting and instructive work creates a middle path between the harmonization and distortion of historicity in John. It deserves attention! The author lays open the aporias (perplexities) in the Johannine text and then proposes workable solutions for the furthering of Johannine exegesis. I warmly recommend this book.'
Martin Hengel, the University of Tubingen

About the Author

Paul N. Anderson is Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies at George Fox University. He is a founding member of the 'John, Jesus, and History' Consultation at the National Society of Biblical Literature meetings.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th December 2007


Paul N. Anderson

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T.& T.Clark Ltd an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


248 pages


Biblical studies & exegesis



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