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Gospel of Glory: Major Themes in Johannine Theology

ISBN: 9781441227096

Digital Logos Edition

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Throughout Christian history, the Gospel of John’s distinctive way of presenting the life, works, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus have earned it labels such as “the spiritual Gospel” and “the maverick Gospel.” In this volume, leading biblical scholar Richard Bauckham illuminates main theological themes in the Gospel of John, providing insightful analysis of key texts.

Some of the themes Bauckham addresses have been neglected, and others have been debated during the past century of New Testament scholarship. Bauckham sheds light on the individualism apparent in John’s portrayal of the believer’s relationship to Jesus, how Jesus reveals God’s glory, John’s understanding of the key events in his Christological story, the background and significance of John’s dualistic language, and how John’s language evokes multiple meanings without negating the literal sense of his narrative. A concluding chapter explores the significance of the differences between John and the other Gospels. This compact volume is an ideal supplemental text in a course on John or the four Gospels. Gospel of Glory will also serve New Testament scholars and theologians as a reexamination of the Fourth Gospel by a master of their guild.

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Key Features

  • Provides insightful analysis of key texts in John’s Gospel
  • Sheds light on John’s understanding of the key events in his Christological story
  • Serves as an ideal supplemental text in a course on John or the four Gospels


  • Individualism
  • Divine and Human Community
  • Glory
  • Cross, Resurrection, and Exaltation
  • Sacraments?
  • Dualisms
  • Dimensions of Meaning in the Gospel’s First Week
  • The Johannine Jesus and the Synoptic Jesus

Top Highlights

“In John’s use of the verb ‘glorify’ the two meanings of glory—honor and splendor—coincide. What is for God’s glory (honor) displays his glory (splendor). The double meaning characterizes both cross and exaltation. There is honor in the humiliation of the cross and splendor in the degradation of the cross. There is honor in the vindication of the resurrection and splendor in the Son’s return to heavenly glory.” (Page 60)

“The sequence of signs is designed to suggest what eternal life may mean. It is the renewal of the whole of life through participation in the divine life.” (Page 71)

“Individualism is usefully understood by contrast with its opposite: collectivism. A minimal definition is that in an individualist society the goals of the individual take precedence over the goals of the group, whereas in a collectivist society the goals of the society take precedence over the goals of the individual.” (Page 4)

“The cross is the climax of the work that God has given Jesus to do, and so it is the climax of his life of seeking God’s glory, not his own. It is therefore also the climax of the revelation of God’s glory in the flesh.” (Page 58)

“Unlike the Synoptic evangelists, John recounts no supernatural accompaniments: no darkness at noon, no earthquake, no tearing of the temple veil. What happens is just what always happened at crucifixions, in all their pain and humiliation. What especially marks it out as different is the subsequent event of the resurrection, which, in my view, is the seventh of the Gospel’s seven signs.9 Like the other signs, it signals revelation of God’s glory. As the seventh and climactic sign, it signals that revelation to which all the other signs have only pointed.” (Page 60)

Praise for the Print Edition

Bauckham offers a series of probing essays on the Gospel of John and its theology. They display the qualities that mark all of Bauckham’s scholarship: a mastery of the field, an attention to exegetical detail, theological sophistication, and an independent judgment in constructive dialogue with an impressive array of Johannine scholars. Written in an accessible way, these essays will introduce Bauckham to those who do not know his work as they continue his stimulating contribution to the conversation about the elusive but engaging Gospel of John.

Harold W. Attridge, Sterling Professor of Divinity, Yale Divinity School

Bauckham awakens readers to nuances in Johannine language and concepts of which habit has left us unmindful and makes visible the allusions to prophetic texts veiled by Johannine narrative art. He refreshes soteriological discourse about individualism and sacramental language and reopens the discussion of the relationship of the Johannine and the Synoptic Jesus. Bauckham’s encapsulation of previous scholarship and presentation of new insights will delight and challenge both student and scholar.

Jo-Ann A. Brant, professor of Bible, religion, and philosophy, Goshen College

From individual to community, from glory to the cross, from sacraments to dualism, from the call of the disciples to their later witness, Gospel of Glory breaks new ground. Not only is John’s narrative now welcomed to be read alongside the Synoptics in discerning the Jesus of history, but the Synoptics can now be read side by side fruitfully as informing the Christ of faith. Readers of John’s Gospel—and of the others—will want to read this book!

Paul N. Anderson, professor of biblical and Quaker studies, George Fox University

Richard Bauckham

Richard Bauckham (1946– ) was professor of New Testament studies at St Mary's College, University of St Andrews. He retired in 2007 from this position in order to concentrate on research and writing. He currently is the senior scholar at Ridley Hall in Cambridge and visiting professor at St. Mellitus College.

Bauckham earned a PhD at the University of Cambridge and was a fellow of St John's College. He taught theology for one year at the University of Leeds and for 15 years at the University of Manchester before teaching at the University of St Andrews. He is a fellow of the British Academy and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Bauckham is known for his commentary on Jude and 2 Peter in the Word Biblical Commentary and his book Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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  1. Daryle Froese

    Daryle Froese