Products>The Fourth Gospel in First-Century Media Culture

The Fourth Gospel in First-Century Media Culture

Format: Digital
, 2011
ISBN: 9780567464682


Werner Kelber’s The Oral and the Written Gospel substantially challenged predominant paradigms for understanding early Jesus traditions and the formation of written Gospels. Since that publication, a more precise and complex picture of first-century media culture has emerged. Yet, while issues of orality, aurality, performance, and mnemonics are now well voiced in Synoptic Studies, Johannine scholars remain largely unaware of such issues and their implications. The highly respected contributors to this book seek to fill this lacuna by exploring various applications of orality, literacy, memory, and performance theories to the Johannine Literature in hopes of opening new avenues for future discussion.

Part one surveys the scope of the field by introducing the major themes of ancient media studies and noting their applicability to the Fourth Gospel and the Johannine Epistles. Part two analyzes major themes in the Johannine Literature from a media perspective, and part three features case studies of specific texts. Two responses by Gail O’Day and Barry Schwartz complete the volume.

Key Features

  • Surveys the field of Johannine studies
  • Recent developments in Johannine studies
  • In-depth academic treatment of significant texts and themes in Johannine literature


  • Part I: John and Oral Culture
    • Introducing Media Culture to Johannine Studies: Orality, Performance, and Memory by Anthony Le Donne and Tom Thatcher
    • Seeing, Hearing, Declaring, Writing: Media Dynamics in the Letters of John by Jeffrey E. Brickle
    • The Riddle of the Baptist and the Genesis of the Prologue: John 1:1-18 in Oral/Aural Media Culture by Tom Thatcher
    • A Performance of the Text: The Adulteress' Entrance into John's Gospel by Chris Keith
  • Part II: John as Oral Performance
    • John's Memory Theater: A Study of Composition in Performance by Tom Thatcher
    • The Medium and Message of John: Audience Address and Audience Identity in the Fourth Gospel by Thomas E. Boomershine
    • Jesus Retold as the World's Light in Johannine Oral Prophecy by Antoinette Wire
  • Part III: John in the Medium of Memory
    • Scripture Talks because Jesus Talks: The Narrative Rhetoric of Persuading and Creativity in John's Use of Scripture by Michael Labahn
    • John's Gospel and the Oral Gospel Tradition by James D.G. Dunn
    • Memory, Commemoration and History in John 2:19-22: A Critique and Application of Social Memory by Anthony Le Donne
    • Abraham as a Figure of Memory in John 8:31-59 by Catrin H. Williams
  • Part IV: Reflections and Directions
    • What Difference Does the Medium Make? by Barry Schwartz
    • Introducing Media Culture to Johannine Studies by Gail R. O'Day

Praise for the Print Edition

The contributors to this volume boldly and, in varying measure, successfully demonstrate not just the potential but even the necessity of attending to the media culture(s) in which the Johannine writings first found expression and reception. The issues raised by this volume may focus on the FG and related texts, but they apply more broadly to early Christian and Second-Temple Jewish texts in general. The focus on the Johannine literature gives this collection a coherence and concreteness that clarifies and demonstrates the possibilities of media research. However, the value of this collection for NT and biblical scholarship is in no way limited to students of the FG and its cousins.

—Biblical Theology Bulletin

. . . the volume as a whole represents a significant contribution to conversations surrounding the Fourth Gospel in relation to the first-century media culture.

—Holly E. Hearon, associate professor of New Testament, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis

Product Details

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

About the Editors

Anthony Le Donne (PhD, Durham University) is assistant professor of New Testament and Second Temple Judaism at Lincoln Christian University in Illinois. He is the author of The Historiographical Jesus: Memory, Typology, and the Son of David and Historical Jesus: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It?. Together with Jacob Neusner and Bruce Chilton, he co-edited Soundings in Jesus and His Religion.

Tom Thatcher is professor of biblical studies at Cincinnati Christian University. He has authored or edited numerous books and articles on the Johannine literature and early Christian media culture, including Jesus, the Voice, and the Text, Memory, Tradition, and Text, and Why John Wrote a Gospel. A co-founder and former chair of the ‘Mapping Memory’ research group in the Society of Biblical Literature, Tom now serves on the program committee of the SBL’s Bible in Ancient and Modern Media section.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition