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Book Details

Gnosticism, Docetism, and the Judaisms of the First Century: The Search for the Wider Context of the Johannine Literature and Why It Matters (by Urban C. von Wahlde)
The Library of New Testament Studies
Published: 02-26-2015
ISBN: 9780567656599

Abstract

In this book von Wahlde provides an exploration of three distinct cultural and religious backgrounds against which scholars have frequently proposed that the Gospel and Letters of John are to be read and understood. von Wahlde examines each of these three possibilities in turn, and shows how they may be regarded as plausible or implausible depending upon the evidence available. von Wahlde shows that there are features within the Gospel and/or Letters of John that do in fact suggest that they were influenced either by Gnosticism, Docetism or one of the variant forms of Judaism. However, in each case, while some of the evidence suggests a particular background, von Wahlde shows that it is equally evident that not all of the evidence can be seen to suggest the same background. Through an examination of the origins and purpose of the gospel, and drawing on the conclusions of his well-regarded commentary on the Johannine literature, von Wahlde presents a new way of understanding the Gospel in its wider contexts.

Table of Contents

Prequel: THE COMPOSITION OF THE JOHANNINE LITERATURE
Part One: GNOSTICISM AND THE JOHANNINE TRADITION
1. Gnosticism and the Gospel of John
Part Two: DOCETISM AND THE JOHANNINE TRADITION
2. Docetism and the First Letter of John
3. Docetism (and Anti-Docetism) and the Gospel of John
Part Three: FIRST CENTURY JUDAISMS AND THE JOHANNINE TRADITION
4. First Century Judaisms: General Introduction
5. Classical Judaism: The Foundation of the Tradition
6. An Example of Unrecognized Influence of Classical Judaism: The “Realized” Eschatology of the Gospel
7. Apocalyptic Judaism: A Radical Transformation of the Tradition
8. An Example of Failure to Recognize Apocalyptic Influence in the Gospel and Letters: The Restriction of Christian Love in John
9. An Example of Tragic Failure to Recognize Apocalyptic Influence: “You Are of Your Father the Devil
10. Hellenistic Judaism: Further Influence and Reflection on the Meaning of Jesus
11. An Example of Influence of Hellenistic Judaism: The Prologue
Part Four: THE JOHANNINE SCHOOL AND THE JOHANNINE TRADITION
12. Tensions, Conflicts and Diversity: The Discernment of “the Johannine School”

Appendix: Some Observations on the Understanding of the Composition of the Gospel of John as Put Forward by Udo Schnelle and Paul N. Anderson