This study describes the embedding of the Gospel of John in the city life of Ephesus. It uses the epigraphical and historical materials of first-century Ephesus as the point of reference for a reading of John.
The study is a specific demonstration of the linguistic supposition that the use of the same (combination of) words in different co-texts evokes semantic similarities and dissimilarities which influence the process of giving meaning to a text. Reading John against the background of Ephesus influences its impact.
Five topics have been selected: the use of names; the use of the titles for the emperors and Artemis in relation to the titles used for Jesus; the social city life; the group formations; and the function of the high priests in relation to the imperial cult.
Sjef van Tilborg, Th.D. (1972) in Biblical Studies, University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) is Professor of Biblical Exegesis in the Department of Literary-Historical Theology at the same university. He has published on the subjects of literary theory, the Synoptics and John.
All those interested in social and religious history of the New Testament (especially John), the history of the area of Asia in early imperial time, the literary problem of semantic references.