Employing the methodology of social-scientific biblical criticism, the author investigates the pneumatology of John and 1 John. With particular attention paid to the spirit passages in John, the pneumatology of 1 John is studied with a view to the development between the two writings and to what this suggests about the socio-cultural context of the Johannine community. This study explores patron-client relations, and specifically the variation known as brokerage, and its explanatory power in elucidating the relationship between God, Jesus, the Spirit-Paraclete, and believers.
The author asserts that the Spirit in John is characterized as a broker and that this understanding figures prominently in the theology of the fourth Gospel as well as in the debate reflected in 1 John.
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Brown’s study is the first major attempt to apply patron-client categories to Johannine pneumatology . . . this remarkable, ground-breaking study is a must for scholars of John’s pneumatology.
—The Catholic Biblical Quarterly