Almost from the earliest days of the church, John’s distinctive presentation of Jesus has provoked discussion about its place among the other Gospels. One cannot help but see the differences from the Synoptics and wonder about the origins and character of John. In this new volume in the New Testament Library series, Marianne Meye Thompson explores the ministry and significance of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the Gospel of John, paying special attention to the social, cultural, and historical contexts that produced it. John’s Gospel, Thompson posits, is the product of a social-cultural world whose language, commitments, and contours must be investigated in order to read John’s narrative well. In doing so, Thompson studies the narrative, structure, central themes, and theological and rhetorical arguments found in the Fourth Gospel. Thompson’s expert commentary unpacks and illuminates John’s unique witness to Jesus—who he was, what he did, and what that means.
“But recognition of the risen Jesus requires his self-disclosure. Jesus must address his own by name, speak to them, show them his hands and side, or invite them to eat with him. Without Jesus’ self-manifestation, the disciples do not recognize him. Now, as before, Jesus takes the initiative and reveals himself, seeking the response of faith.” (Pages 408–409)
“‘Life’ and ‘salvation’ are virtually synonymous in John because salvation is construed as deliverance from death and participation in the plenitude of God, both in the present life and in the life that follows resurrection.” (Page 85)
“The description recalls two previous scenes in the Gospel: first, the feeding of the five thousand with bread and fish (6:1–14); second, Jesus’ interrogation in the courtyard of the high priest, where Peter, gathered with others around a charcoal fire (18:18), three times denied that he was a disciple of Jesus (18:17, 25, 26–27).” (Page 437)
“John is the only Gospel that speaks of the death of Jesus in terms of love, be it the love of God for the world (3:16) or the love of Jesus for his own (13:1, 34–35; 15:13; cf. Gal 2:20; 1 John 4:7–21).” (Page 284)
“To understand the Scriptures’ witness to Jesus requires that one read them through the lens of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection: looking backward, reading retrospectively from back to front.” (Page 11)