Ethics in the Gospel of John

Discipleship as Moral Progress


In Ethics in the Gospel of John Sookgoo Shin seeks to challenge the dominant scholarly view of John’s ethics as an ineffective and unhelpful companion for moral formation. In order to demonstrate the relevance of John’s ethics, Shin argues that the development of discipleship in John’s Gospel should be understood as moral progress, which was a well-known moral concept in the ancient Mediterranean world. Having drawn an ethical model from the writings of Plutarch, this study aims to identify the undergirding ethical dynamic that shapes John’s moral structure by bringing out the implicit ethical elements that are embedded throughout John’s narratives, and thus suggests a way to read the whole Gospel ethically and appreciatively of its literary characteristics.
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Biographical Note

Sookgoo Shin, Ph.D, University of Cambridge, is Lecturer and the Dean of Students in Malaysia Bible Seminary.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Abbreviations

Part 1 Moral Transformation in Worldview

1 Introduction  1  Overview of Recent Scholarship on John’s Ethics  2  Conclusion
2 Exploring Ancient Moral Landscapes  1  Ethics in Greco-Roman Contexts  2  Searching for an Ethical Model  3  Moral Progress  4  Moral Progress in John’s Gospel
3 Reading the Story of Nicodemus Ethically  1  A Brief Summary Leading up to Nicodemus  2  Ethical Reading of Nicodemus  3  Reappearances of Nicodemus  4  Conclusion
4 Reading the Story of the Samaritan Woman Ethically  1  Ethical Reading of the Samaritan Woman  2  Conclusion
5 Reading the Story of the Man Born Blind Ethically  1  A Brief Overview of Chapters 5–8  2  Ethical Reading of the Man Born Blind  3  Conclusion
Summary of Part 1

Part 2 Moral Transformation in Behaviour

6 Embodying Christlikeness  1  Imitation of Jesus  2  Imitable Traits of Jesus
Bibliography Index


All interested in ancient rhetoric, NT ethics, Plutarch, ancient biography, and narrative criticism.


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