In 1970, Robert Fortna published The Gospel of Signs. This attempt to reconstruct the text of the Fourth Gospel’s “predecessor” has since become a vital tool for research into the origins of the Gospel. Now, with The Fourth Gospel and its Predecessor, he provides a further important contribution to Johannine theology by returning to the source of the Fourth Gospel and comparing it to the present text. In the first section, Professor Fortna traces as many as twenty narrative passages in the Gospel of John to an early, pre-Johannine literary source, or “Signs Gospel.” He then explores how this narrative material (the Johannine Redaction) was edited by the Evangelist to produce the Fourth Gospel as we now know it. Here, the author examines the Signs of Jesus in both Galilee and Jerusalem and then the death and resurrection of Jesus. His subsequent analysis of the literary history of the text helps illuminate the creative theological accomplishments of the Fourth Evangelist.
Professor Fortna concludes by evaluating the development of the theological themes (both Biblical and Johannine) which unite the finished Gospel – messiahship; Signs and Faith; Salvation; the death of Jesus; eschatology and community and the theological locale.
- Title: The Fourth Gospel and Its Predecessor: From Narrative Source to Present Gospel
- Author: Robert Fortna
- Publisher: T&T Clark
- Publication Date: 2004
- Pages: 352
About Robert Fortna
Robert Fortna is Weyerhaeuser Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York.