This important new work explores the relationship between the mission of Jesus and of the disciples as presented in the Gospel of John, and explores the implications of these findings for the contemporary church. Based on a comprehensive semantic field of study that integrates biblical studies, theology, and missiology, this volume represents the first time such an approach has been used for the study of mission in John.
Andreas Kostenberger begins by surveying the state of research on mission in the fourth Gospel, then covers foundational linguistic, definitional, and literary matters. The succeeding two chapters contain the actual study of the missions of Jesus and of the disciples. In discussing the disciples’ mission, special attention is given to how later generations of disciples should be related to Jesus’ original followers. The volume concludes with a chapter on the implications of Kostenberger’s findings for the fourth Gospel’s purpose and for the mission of the contemporary church. Kostenberger engages recent missiological constructs based on the fourth Gospel, most notably the so-called “incarnational model” of mission, and concludes that this model is seriously flawed and should be replaced by a “representational model” that views Jesus’ followers as his representatives, who do not share in the theologically unique aspects of his incarnation.
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An interestingly nuanced, in-depth, and balanced study with important theological as well as missiological implications for the contemporary church. This important study is of particular value to biblical interpreters, theological professors, missiologists, missionaries, mission leaders, and parish pastors and should be in their school and church libraries.
Kostenberger’s study has many strengths. It is well written and a number of important issues are resolved with clarity and conviction. Careful scholarship makes this book another valuable contribution to scholarly reflection upon the theme of mission in the fourth Gospel.
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Andreas J. Kostenberger is an associate professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is the author of numerous books, including A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters and John in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT) (17 vols.).