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The God of the Gospel of John
Marianne Meye Thompson
From The Publisher:
While there are numerous studies of God in the Old Testament, the concept of God has largely been ignored as a subject of inquiry in contemporary New Testament theology. As this superb work by Marianne Meye Thompson shows, however, an understanding of the identity of God is central to the New Testament, particularly to the Gospel of John.
Thompson herre offers the first comprehensive study of the concept of God in John's Gospel. She shows that one must first grasp the importance of God to John before one can properly appreciate the Gospel's Christology and overarching message. By arguing that John is rightly understood to be a "theocentric" work, Thompson challenges the prevailing theory that John is primarily concerned with Christology.
While Thompson uses traditional historical and exegetical approaches to the New Testament and ancient sources, her study is mainly theological in scope. She asks how John portrays God and how, after reading the Gospel, we ought to speak of the identity of God. Unlike many recent studies of John, this one does not try to reconstruct the history behind the text but, rather, tries to fully illumine the theological content of John's message.
A seminal study with lasting implications for New Testament theology, The God of the Gospel of John will become a standard text for students of the New Testament.
In this book Marianne Meye Thompson admirably addresses Nils Dahl's complaint about the scholarly neglect of the role and interpretation of God in the New Testament. To her earlier important contributions to scholarship on the Gospel of John she here adds an incisive study of God in the fourth Gospel. This book is at once richly informed by scholarly studies of all that it addresses and by impressive familiarity with relevant primary texts reflecting the religious background of John. Thompson provides sure-footed and wisely judged analysis of the subtle and sometimes complex way that the Gospel of John both presents Jesus with reference to God and emphasizes that God is truly revealed in Jesus. This distinctive and valuable study is important for any serious student of the New Testament and early Christianity, a "must" for studies of the Gospel of John, and should be acquired by any serious library serving these fields.
Larry W. Hurtado
This study makes an immediate and profound contribution on three fronts. First, it brings much-needed clarity to the larger question of what it means simply to speak of God. Second, it overturns the widespread consensus that the Gospel of John is focused on Jesus by locating christology within theology. Third, it undertakes a genuinely theological reading of a central New Testament book while taking seriously at the same time the historical and ecclesial location of Johns narrative. Characterized throughout by gracious, penetrating engagement with the Fourth Gospel and its modern readers and by maturity of reflection and insight, The God of the Gospel of John is a most welcome harbinger of the future of New Testament studies.
Joel B. Green
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About the Author
Marianne Meye Thompson is Professor of New Testament interpretation at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
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