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Title: The Christology of the Fourth Gospel in the light of John 20.31
Author: Rao, O. M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1977
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The thesis begins with an Introduction dealing with the Source Analytical studies on the Fourth-Gospel which appraise us with the recent view that John has redacted an earlier source and the result is the present Gospel of John. In the second section of the Introduction, an exegesis of the 'Statement of Purpose', John 20.31, was done in the light of the above analytical study, as it is directly related to the title of the Thesis. In the third section, the concept of person was briefly looked into as it is central to any Christological discussion. The first chapter deals with the context of the Christological emphasis in John. Christological terms like 'Christ ', 'Son of God' were examined to ascertain the readership of the Gospel and vice versa. In a sense it is an examination of the destination of the Gospel in the context of the Christological terms used in the Gospel. A comparative study with the book of Acts was made, in the use of these terms, which shows that the Gospel was intended for both Jews and Gentiles, and the non-Palestinian Hellenists seems to be the readership of the Gospel. The second chapter takes up the nature of the Christological emphasis in John as the present Thesis proposes to deal with Johannine Christology. In this context the Johannine incorporation of the Christological issues into the 'Signs' and 'Discourses' was examined. It seems both the signs and discourses in John are used as vehicles to make Christology all inclusive in the Gospel. Jesus becomes both the revealer and the content of that revelation. The contemporary thought-forms were incorporated by John to bring out his particular Christology. The third chapter draws comparison with the Synoptics (Mark in particular) to bring out the distinctive Johannine Christology among the Gospel writers. Here we find John has common tradition with Mark and he shows marked progress over the Marcan Christological assertions. We also find that John was drawing out the implications of Christology to the Christian faith. So in the Fourth chapter faith or response to the Johannine Christology was looked into. John records the signs performed by Jesus, yet coming to Jesus without seeing the signs is superior form of faith to John. Eternal life is offered to those who acknowledge in faith that Jesus is the Christ and Son of God. It is right knowledge of Jesus than doing something, though commitment with the assent to belief in Christ, is envisaged in the Johannine concept of faith. In the final chapter the significance of Johannine Christology in the light of Jn. 20.31 was looked into. John's is incarnationistic Christology and as such we find hints that he was waging a battle against the Adoptionists on the one hand and the Docetics on the other. We also find that to John, Jesus is not just a Messiah ('Xpi,atio'), but a Divine Messiah ('vaoC toil esog'). This indicates that to John Incarnation is no humiliation, but a different mode of the exalted state of the Son of God. So the call to faith in Jesus by John is a call to faith in Jesus as the Divine Messiah. Few observations can be made from the above study. John takes up, like the Synoptics, the 'who is Jesus?' question, but deals with it in such a way that Christology becomes all-inclusive in his Gospel. We find the 'Kingdom of God' of the Synoptic emphasis is replaced by the person of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel. The emphasis that Jesus is the Divine Messiah, or this relationship of Jesus with the Father, is shown in John as essential for the relationship with the world, i.e. man's salvation. In other words, 'Jesus in his person is revelation' becomes the exclusive content of the Gospel. Eternal life is. obtained by having right knowledge of who Jesus is. This emphasis on Christology makes Soteriology no longer the controlling factor. In the face of the tendencies of his day, later known as Adoptionistic and Docetic views, John emphasises Incarnationistic Christology though his historical interest is theologically motivated, as shown above.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available