Chapter 12 Jesus, the Eschatological Prophet in the Fourth Gospel: A Case Study in Dialectical Tensions

In: Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism
Paul N. Anderson
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Central to the presentation of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel is his association with the Eschatological Prophet, anticipated within first century Judaism. Rooted in Jewish agency typologies cohering around such prophetic figures as Moses and Elijah, these primitive associations reflect historical proximity to Jesus of Nazareth, who as a Galilean prophetic figure continued in the trajectory of John the Baptist while also challenging Jewish institutions and religious conventions in Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. From his prophetic demonstration in the temple to his healing on the Sabbath, the Johannine Jesus furthered the social concerns of the Hebrew prophets, and when challenged by the religious leaders in Jerusalem, he legitimated his actions on the basis of Deut. 18:15–22. This Mosaic agency schema is the key to the Father-Son relationship in John, and the signs of Jesus in John echo the wondrous ministries of Moses and Elijah, sometimes in tension with Davidic, Synoptic, and other contemporary views. From beginning to end within the Johannine tradition, the prophetic ethos remains central within its development, reflecting a synchronicity of tradition within a diachronicity of situation.

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