Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism

Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs


The essays in Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism: Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs seek to interpret John’s Jesus as part of Second Temple Jewish messianic expectations. The Fourth Gospel is rarely considered part of the world of early Judaism. While many have noted John’s Jewishness, most have not understood John’s Messiah as a Jewish messiah.
The Johannine Jesus, who descends from heaven, is declared the Word made flesh, and claims oneness with the Father, is no less Jewish than other messiahs depicted in early Judaism. John’s Jesus is at home on the spectrum of early Judaism’s royal, prophetic, and divine messiahs

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Benjamin E. Reynolds (PhD, 2007, University of Aberdeen) is Associate Professor of New Testament, Tyndale University College, Toronto. He has written on the Gospel of John and, most recently, co-edited with Loren T. Stuckenbruck The Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition and the Shaping of New Testament Thought (Fortress, 2017).

Gabriele Boccaccini (PhD, 1991, University of Turin) is Founding Director of the Enoch Seminar, and Professor of Second Temple Judaism and Early Rabbinic Literature at the University of Michigan. He has published monographs on early Judaism, including Roots of Rabbinic Judaism (Eerdmans, 2001) and edited numerous volumes.
All essays in this volume are... stimulating and productive of further thought and research. While this collection does not “solve” all of the puzzles of Johannine Christology, it does mark a sea change in this area and sets a fresh and exciting agenda for years to come.
Chris Kugler, RBL 2019
List of Abbreviations
Notes on Contributors

Part 1: Introduction

1 Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism: An Introduction
Benjamin E. Reynolds

Part 2: John’s Jesus as a Jewish Messiah: Paths Taken and Not Taken

2 The Gospel of John’s Christology as Evidence for Early Jewish Messianic Expectations: Challenges and Possibilities
Benjamin E. Reynolds
3 The Gospel of John as Jewish Messianism: Formative Influences and Neglected Avenues in the History of Scholarship
James F. McGrath

Part 3: John’s Word and Jewish Messianic Interpretation

4 “And The Word Was God”: John’s Christology and Jesus’s Discourse in Jewish Context
Adele Reinhartz
5 Johannine Christology and Prophetic Traditions: The Case of Isaiah
Catrin H. Williams
6 Messianic Exegesis in the Fourth Gospel
Jocelyn McWhirter

Part 4: John’s Royal Messiah

7 Son of God as Anointed One? Johannine Davidic Christology and Second Temple Messianism
Beth M. Stovell
8 Divine Kingship and Jesus’s Identity in Johannine Messianism
Marida Nicolaci
9 David’s Sublation of Moses: A Davidic Explanation for the Mosaic Christology of the Fourth Gospel
Joel Willitts

Part 5: John’s Prophetic Messiah

10 “When the Christ Appears, Will He Do More Signs Than This Man Has Done?” (John 7:31): Signs and the Messiah in the Gospel of John
Meredith J. C. Warren
11 Christological Transformation of the Motif of “Living Water” (John 4; 7): Prophetic Messiah Expectations and Wisdom Tradition
Andrea Taschl-Erber
12 Jesus, the Eschatological Prophet in the Fourth Gospel: A Case Study in Dialectical Tensions
Paul N. Anderson

Part 6: John’s Messiah and Divinity

13 Wisdom and Logos Traditions in Judaism and John’s Christology
William Loader
14 From Jewish Prophet to Jewish God: How John Made the Divine Jesus Uncreated
Gabriele Boccaccini
15 Jesus—the Divine Bridegroom? John 2–4 and Its Christological Implications
Ruben Zimmermann
16 The Divine Name that the Son Shares with the Father in the Gospel of John
Charles A. Gieschen
17 John 5:19–30: The Son of God is the Apocalyptic Son of Man
Crispin Fletcher-Louis

Part 7: Epilogue

Epilogue: The Early Jewish Messiah of the Gospel of John
Benjamin E. Reynolds
Anyone interested in Christology, the Gospel of John, and messianic expectations or messiah figures in early Judaism.
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