This article examines and responds to the arguments made by Paul Foster in a recent article in jshj regarding social-memory theory, orality, and the Fourth Gospel, where he argues that recent research in these areas are dead-ends for historical Jesus research. We do not necessarily wish to defend the research he criticizes, but we respond to Foster by pointing out some of the limitations in his analysis and provide further comments to move discussion of these research areas forward. Our comments address his assumption that form- and redaction-criticism accomplish the purposes that he envisions for historical Jesus research and a number of other problematic arguments he raises regarding each of these areas.
The essays in
The Origins of John’s Gospel, gathered by Stanley E. Porter and Hughson T. Ong, either survey or discuss in detail various areas and topics in Johannine scholarship, especially in the study of John’s Gospel. These include the authorship and dating, sources, and traditions of John’s Gospel, its structure and composition, the Johannine community, and Johannine anti-Judaism and the Son of Man sayings. Collectively, these essays offer important contributions to various areas and topics of research relating to the origins of John’s Gospel.