Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Well, we left the canyon to come visit my parents in Seattle (my home town) so I couldn't blog about one of my gifts: Richard Bauckham's The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John (Baker Academic, 2007). It's a paper back. One of the reasons I wanted to get this book is because I was influenced by another blog that mentioned zeroing in on one (or more) books of the Bible where you know the issues of authorship, provenance, themes and the like - know the book inside and out. So, I'd like to do that with at least the Fourth Gospel. I read the introduction while waiting for the plane and while on the plane - some of the intro is verbatium from his Jesus and the Eyewitnesses.

Of course Bauckham does not hold to John Son of Zebedee but he does believe the Beloved Disciple was a disciple of Jesus but not one of the Twelve - nor was the Beloved Disciple itinerant but one who stayed in and around Jerusalem. Bauckham sees the Beloved Disciple not as an ideal disciple but rather as the ideal person to tell the story of Jesus from outside point of view (out side of the Twelve).

He also insists that understanding the genre of the Gospel is important to understanding its message - he noted that nearly every commentary in the early part of the 20th Century (including R. Brown) do not even touch on the issue of genre. For Bauckham, genre is important for the Fourth Gospel because misunderstanding the gnere leads to misreadings of it. With the Fourth Gospel for too long it has been seen as primarily a theological Gospel with its historicity seen as suspect. Bauckham argues that in fact its theology is dependent on its historical reliability - not that the history is hidden in the theology but rather the theology is highlighted by its history.

Desired future Acquisitions:

Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of John: A Commentary. BTW - Bauckham describes this an excellent commentary that now rivals Raymond Brown's commentary on John in the Anchor Bible.

Bauckham, Richard, and Carl Mosser (eds). The Gospel of John and Christian Theology. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007 (available in Feb 2008).

This is all I can share for now. I'll share more later.

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas.



At 9:42 AM, Blogger Nick Norelli said...

I'm reading through chapter 4 right now and I hope to have the review written up by the weekend. I'm really enjoying the book so far, how about you?

BTW, Keener's commentary is great. Definitely the best commentary I own.

At 12:40 AM, Blogger Brian said...

Thanks for the note Nick, I too am really enjoying it and I like Bauckham's style so I am thinking it will be a good read. Unfortunately I am not widely enough read on Johannine literature to really know the impact of his work though I am gaining some understanding that he is poking a lot of holes in the argument of the dominant position.

I have met keener personally and he signed my copy of the Spirit in the Gospels and Acts. He is going to be speaking at aGts in a few weeks (Jan 08) -if you keep an eye on their website most likely they'll have his lectures up or even some live stuff.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Celucien L. Joseph said...


I agree with Bauckham's argument. Keener's commentary on John is one of the best commentaries I own on the fourth Gospel. What do oy guys think about his commentary on Matthew? I would like to get a copy of it but it is quite expensive.


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