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The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple

Richard BauckhamSEMINARY Seite 1 The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple Dec 1, 2007 Series: Volume 11 -

Dec 1, 20071 The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple Richard Bauckham Series: Volume 11 - 2008 Richard Bauckham,

Series: Volume 11 - 2008of the Beloved Disciple Richard Bauckham Dec 1, 2007 Richard Bauckham, The Testimony of the Beloved

Richard Bauckham, The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: John. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007. $29.99.
Richard Bauckham,
The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple:
John.
Grand Rapids:
Baker Academic,
2007.
$29.99.
313
Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of pp. ISBN 978-0-8010-3485-5.
Narrative,
History,
and Theology in the Gospel of
pp.
ISBN
978-0-8010-3485-5.

Many collections of a biblical scholar' book in an already glutted industry.

s previously published articles on a topic seem not to merit yet one more

No one can fairly accuse this volume of falling into that category.

Richardcan fairly accuse this volume of falling into that category. Bauckham, recently retired from the University

Bauckham, recently retired from the University of St. Andrews,

has a distinguished career as a prolific writer

on an amazing array of topics,

Although all of the offerings of this volume are reprints or revisions of essays that have appeared elsewhere

reprints or revisions of essays that have appeared elsewhere arguably none of them more important than

arguably none of them more important than his works on the Gospel of John.

(one is a reworking of a section from a recent book of Bauckham'

s),

many were tucked away in little-known

sources and all deserve the wider audience and context that their presentation in this volume will afford.

The opening study reviews Bauckham'

study is Bauckham'

ideal disciple.

reviews Bauckham' study is Bauckham' ideal disciple. s case for John the elder 21:2 (not the

s case for John the elder

21:2

Bauckham' ideal disciple. s case for John the elder 21:2 (not the apostle) of Papias' testimony

(not the apostle)

of Papias'

testimony as thefor John the elder 21:2 (not the apostle) of Papias' beloved disciple and eyewitness to the

beloved disciple and eyewitness to the events of the Gospel.

whereas the sons of Zebedee appear in

Particularly important is that he is never named,

as distinct characters from the BD.

Following logically from thisthat he is never named, as distinct characters from the BD. to be distinguished from those

to be distinguished from those who have viewed him as

s work on the BD as ideal author,

He witnesses to Jesus,

even if his potential avoidance of martyrdom proves uncharacteristic.

"Historiographical Characteristics of the Gospel of John"

history than biography,

and chronology and the use of eyewitness testimony and numerous speeches or dialogues.

the Gospel necessarily accurate in all it presents but it leaves the door open for such a conclusion given the

literary genre that results from this study.

present elements that link this document more with

or at least more so than in the Synoptics.

more with or at least more so than in the Synoptics. These include accurate details of

These include accurate details of topographymore with or at least more so than in the Synoptics. None of this makes demonstrates

the Synoptics. These include accurate details of topography None of this makes demonstrates how poorly J.

None of this makes

demonstrates how poorly J.

L.

"The Audience of the Gospel of John"

Martyn'

s influential approach of a two-level reading of the narrative

birkath-ha-minim,

actually works.

reading of the narrative birkath-ha-minim , actually works. (a few things truly from Jesus' life but
reading of the narrative birkath-ha-minim , actually works. (a few things truly from Jesus' life but

(a few things truly from Jesus'

life but

most transparent of end of first-century realities)

reflect any empire wide

community or its opposition, sectarian.

The excommunication passages may not

numerous characters do not obviously stand for anyone in John'

s

and Patristic use regularly viewed John' s audience as the broadest, not the most

A comparison of the dualism in the Dead Sea Scrolls,

the parallels with John are not as close as sometimes maintained.

away from Greco-Roman backgrounds to Jewish ones for this and related phenomena,

so can be made even better by looking simply at Old Testament parallels.

refer to at least two powerful,

Probably neither matches the one in John,

rarity of this particular name outside of this family, verisimilitude.

especially with respect to light and darkness, shows that

Scholars were right to swing the pendulumespecially with respect to light and darkness, shows that but the case for doing Rabbinic literature

shows that Scholars were right to swing the pendulum but the case for doing Rabbinic literature

but the case for doing

Rabbinic literature and Josephus

wealthy Jewish leaders by the name of Nicodemus in the elite Gurion family.

but given the frequent practice of reusing family names and the

everything in the Fourth Gospel about Nicodemus bespeaks

Lazarus, Mary and Martha, on the other hand,

were extremely common Jewish names.

So the appearance ofon the other hand, were extremely common Jewish names. the resurrected Lazarus in John 11 need

the resurrected Lazarus in John

11 need not require hypotheses of borrowing from the parable of Luke 16:19-

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31.

the other hand the portraits of the two sisters do show the right combination of similarities and differences

show the right combination of similarities and differences After all, no resurrection is requested there, only

After all,

no resurrection is requested there,

only a temporary apparition from the realm of the dead.

only a temporary apparition from the realm of the dead. On between Luke 10:38-42 and John

On

between Luke 10:38-42 and John 11-12

to suggest that John may well be providing historically accurate

portraits without simply borrowing from Luke.

accurate portraits without simply borrowing from Luke. Similar logic supports the authenticity of the footwashing

Similar logic supports the authenticity of the footwashing scene

in John 13-coherence with the Synoptic servant logia without close enough parallelism to suggest dependence at any point.

In a study of Jewish Messianism in the Fourth Gospel,

Bauckham shows how the various portraits of Jesus as

Christ, prophet like Moses,

and Son of man all reflect the right balance of coherence with Jewish backgrounds

the right balance of coherence with Jewish backgrounds and fit with Jesus' progressive self-revelation as to

and fit with Jesus'

progressive self-revelation as to be credible in the contexts to which John ascribes them.

to be credible in the contexts to which John ascribes them. Indeed, Bauckham shows how Jesus'

Indeed,

in the contexts to which John ascribes them. Indeed, Bauckham shows how Jesus' In his focus

Bauckham shows how Jesus'

In
In

his focus on monotheism and Christology in this Gospel,

the I-am sayings and other examples of his exercise of divine prerogatives are never phrased so as to suggest

a compromise with monotheism.

predicated of Jesus is exactly that his relationship with the Father

oneness with the Father,

the relevant Old Testament backgrounds show that what is

"is integral to who the one God is" (p. 252).

The holiness of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel is to be mirrored in the holiness of the disciples,

absolute for them and

from the world so that they can be his message-bearers to the world.

(thus) they do not atone for the sins of the world, as Christ did. 21:11
(thus)
they do not atone for the sins of the world,
as Christ did.
21:11
should be understood as highly symbolic,
In addition to endorsing certain previous suggestions,
"ending"
and
"life"
are
17,
98,
19 and
36,
respectively.
153 is the
1 through
17,
and the sum of
98,
19 and
36 also is
153.
21

except that it is not

But it separates them

153 for the

The mysterious number

amount of fish caught in John

gematria in John'

given the prevalence of Jewish Bauckham observes that the

given the prevalence of Jewish Bauckham observes that the 17 20:30-31 s day. numerical equivalents of
17
17

20:30-31

s day.

numerical equivalents of the Greek of the four key words in the first

for

of the Gospel in John

"sign," "believe," "Christ"

"triangle"

number of

(the sum of the numbers

Whatever else all this

implies, it certainly suggests the same person behind chapter

as wrote the rest of the Gospel!

A short review can scarcely evaluate each of these contributions in any detail.

scarcely evaluate each of these contributions in any detail. One wonders if Bauckham' s John the

One wonders if Bauckham'

s

John the elder, who so closely resembles the son of Zebedee in profile,

would have been quite so readily

recognized as distinct from him,

especially since the only character named John in the Fourth Gospel is the

Baptist, but he is never given this epithet. Would anyone other than John, son of Zebedee,

this epithet. Would anyone other than John, son of Zebedee, have been able to do this

have been able to

do this without fear of ambiguity,

have been able to do this without fear of ambiguity, especially once the Gospel did circulate

especially once the Gospel did circulate widely beyond its initial Ephesian

Must we choose between Bauckham and Larry Hurtado,the Gospel did circulate widely beyond its initial Ephesian addressees, example, on binitarianism? gematrial speculation

addressees,

example,

on binitarianism?

gematrial speculation to give us any confidence John actually intended this?

as Bauckham stresses it did?

for

who stresses the partial antecedent variegated monotheism in various strands of Judaism bordering

Despite the remarkable coincidences of numerical sums,monotheism in various strands of Judaism bordering do we have any controls on such But these

do we have any controls on such

But these are minor quibbles.

collection of essays,

acceptance.

retirement as he has been during his illustrious career!

retirement as he has been during his illustrious career! Overall, this is an extraordinary meticulous, creative,

Overall,

this is an extraordinary meticulous,

career! Overall, this is an extraordinary meticulous, creative, even ground-breaking each of which merits careful

creative,

even ground-breaking

each of which merits careful study,

marvel at it and digest it.

and almost all of which deserve widespread

it and digest it. and almost all of which deserve widespread Buy this book, May Bauckham

Buy this book,

May Bauckham be as enlightened and lucid in his

Craig L. Blomberg, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of New Testament

Denver Seminary

December 2007

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