The Gospel of John: More Light from Philo, Paul and Archaeology 

The Scriptures, Tradition, Exposition, Settings, Meaning 


To Paul the traditions from and about Jesus had authority similar to that of the Scriptures: a logion or story served as text for paraphrastic expositions. Such expositions are also seen in John's Gospel. - It is insufficient to discuss 'John and the Synoptics'. A better scope is 'John within early gospel traditions'.- Paul and Philo maintain a cosmic understanding of Jesus and the Jewish people, respectively. Correspondingly, Jesus is seen in cosmological perspective in John's Prologue. Philo illuminates the role of God's logos relative to creation and revelation. - Archaeology testifies to the reliability of John's topographical references. Both John and Philo can combine theological and ideological elaborations with specific geographical references, historical events and religious feasts. The study has brought in material and perspectives which strengthen the view that the Gospel of John was independent of the other three written gospels.
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Biographical Note

Peder Borgen, Ph.D.(1956), Dr.Theol. (1966), The University of Trondheim, Norway. Professor of the New Testament and Hellenistic Judaism. He has published monographs and articles, including Bread from Heaven (Brill 1965) and Philo of Alexandria, an Exegete for His Time (Brill 1997) .

Review Quote

"Borgen’s edition provides any young scholar an example of mature scholarship. His arguments are crisp and direct while his scope of vision is broad. Although this edition is especially suited for graduate studies as a whole, the individual essays are a fertile ground for localized study at the undergraduate level." – Stan Harstine, Friends University, in: Religious Studies Review 42/1 (2016)
"In this new collection the veteran Norwegian scholar Peder Borgen has assembled a number of articles previously published over a period of more than half a century (...) What impresses the present reviewer is the readiness of this mature scholar to rethink and revise many of his earlier opinions." – John Ashton, Wolfson College, Oxford, in: The Journal of Theological Studies 66/2 (2015)
"Borgen montre comment l'évangeliste explicite, dans un mode chrétien, des discussions ayant cours dans le judaïsme de son temps. Celui qui s'intéresse à l'histoire dans les évangiles trouvera, dans ce parcours à travers près de soixante ans de recherche, du grain à moudre." – Priscille Morel, in: Etudes Religieuses et Theologiques, 2015/2
"the [...] chapters of Borgen's book offer stimulating insights." – Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer, in: JSNT 37/5
"Es ist zu hoffen, dass das vorliegende Werk [...] rezipiert wird da es zahlreiche Denkanstöße zu geben vermag. Grundsätzlich hat das Werk das Potential weitere Forschungen anzuregen." – Hans Förster, in: Theologische Revue 110/6

Table of contents

A. Survey of Research and Debate

1. The Scriptures and the Words and Works of Jesus.
Response by M. Labahn
2. Debates on Expository Method and Form

B. John, Philo, Paul and the Hellenistic World

3. The Gospel of John and Philo of Alexandria
4. Gospel Traditions in Paul and John. Methods and Structures
5. The Gospel of John and Hellenism

C. From John and the Synoptics to John Within Early Gospel Traditions

6. John and the Synoptics in the Passion Narrative
7. John and the Synoptic Gospels
8. The Independence of the Gospel of John. Some Observations

D. God’s Agent in Johannine Exposition

9. God’s Agent in the Fourth Gospel
10. The Sabbath Controversy in John 5:1–18 and Analogous Controversy Reflected in Philo’s Writings
11. Observations on God’s Agent and Agency in John’s Gospel Chapters 5–10. Agency and the Quest for the Historical Jesus
12. “John the Witness” and the Prologue: John 1:1–34

E. Challenge and Response

13. Can Philo’s In Flaccum and Legatio ad Gaium Be of Help?
14. The Accusation of Blasphemy and the Appearance to Thomas
15. Summary: John, Archaeology, Philo, Paul, other Jewish Sources. John’s Independence of the Synoptics. Where My Journey of Research Has Led Me


Biblical scholars with an interest in the expository character of the Gospel of John and of Philo of Alexandria's writings, and advanced students of early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism.