Husband Hunting: Characterization and Narrative Art in the Gospel of John

in Biblical Interpretation
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Abstract

Direct approaches to the characterization of Jesus in the Gospel of John produce E. Käsemann's glorified Lord. If one looks at Jesus through the eyes of two of the female characters, the Samaritan woman and Mary of Bethany, one encounters a potential lover or mate, a man capable of being loved and loving in return. By employing a mimetic theory of characterization and approaching the character of Jesus indirectly through the secondary characters, the reader constructs a "round" person. This reading of Jesus' character is supported by the exploration of these women's motives for their actions. In both cases, έρωζ, the desire to have and to keep that which is good or beautiful for one's own, compels them to act. In the first case, the result is comedy; in the second case, pathos. In either case, Jesus' response to their words and acts provides them with sufficient motivation to proceed with their overtures of love.

Biblical Interpretation

A Journal of Contemporary Approaches

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