John – Jesus – History

A program unit of the Society of Biblical Literature

Sessions held at the 2014 Annual Meeting
(San Diego, CA; Nov. 22-25, 2014)

Description: The John, Jesus, and History Group will highlight issues related to the Johannine tradition and the composition-history of the Fourth Gospel and the Johannine Epistles, with special emphasis on the place of these documents in contemporary study of Christian origins. Dialogue on these issues will be encouraged through the group’s annual meetings and through other venues throughout the year.

Call for papers: The John, Jesus, and History Group is planning three sessions for 2014, continuing the theme of Jesus Remembered in the Johannine Tradition. Papers will be by invitation, rather than by the submission of proposals, though SBL members may make inquiries about topics. One session, held jointly with the Synoptic Gospels section, will continue exploring John's relationship to each of the Synoptic gospels. In 2014 the focus will be on the gospels of John and Matthew. A second session will be devoted to Methodologies and Questions of Historicity in John. It will examine what constitutes historicity in the modern era, issues of criteria for assessing historicity, and possible new methods. A third session will turn to Jesus Remembered in the Johannine Situation: The Context of Galilee and Judea. Topics may include possible contexts for the development of the Johannine tradition in its early phases. Questions may include the identification of Jesus as a prophet, tensions between Jesus’ followers and synagogue leaders, and Jesus’ relationship to Roman authority.

Sessions Held at SBL 2014:

S23-326 – John, Jesus, and History
11/23/2014, 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room 33 A (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)
Theme: Jesus Remembered in the Early Johannine Situation (30-70 CE)
Helen Bond, University of Edinburgh, Presiding (5 min)

Jonathan Bernier, McMaster University
Aposynagogos and the Aims of John (25 min)
Peter Lanfer, University of California-Los Angeles
Reading John from the Margins: Finding Jesus in the Judean Voice of John's Gospel (25 min)
Reinhard Pummer, Université d'Ottawa - University of Ottawa
Samaritans, Galileans, and Judeans in Josephus and the Gospels (25 min)
Clare K. Rothschild, Lewis University
Baptist Influence on the Johannine Jesus (25 min)
Jonathan Draper, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (30 min)

S24-321 – John, Jesus, and History
Joint Session with Synoptic Gospels
11/24/2014, 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room 32 B (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)
Theme: Jesus Remembered in the Gospels of Matthew and John
A joint session of the John, Jesus, and History Group and the Synoptic Gospels Section will focus on the way Jesus is remembered in Matthew and John. Sessions in previous years have explored possible connections between the traditions reflected in John’s Gospel with those in Mark and Luke.
Robert A. Derrenbacker Jr., Thorneloe University, Presiding (5 min)

James W. Barker, Rhodes College
Ecclesial Authority from Matthew to John (25 min)
Matthias Konradt, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Jesus as the Royal Messiah and the Ambivalence of His Reception in Israel in Matthew and John (25 min)
Carsten Claussen, Elstal Theological Seminary
Moses Typology and the Sending Motif in Matthew and John (25 min)
Judith Stack-Nelson, Hamline University
The Holy Spirit as Witness of Jesus to, in, and through the Disciples in the Gospels of Matthew and John (25 min)
Elaine Pagels, Princeton University, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (30 min)

S25-125 – John, Jesus, and History
11/25/2014, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room 30 B (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)
Theme: Methodologies for Conducting Johannine Historiography
Methodology has been a major focus of discussion in studies of the historical Jesus. Since the nineteenth century, the criteria used for assessing early Jesus traditions have usually given priority to Synoptic material, with far less attention to John's gospel. As part of an ongoing reevaluation of the criteria used the field, this session will focus on ancient historiography in relation to the Johannine witness to Jesus.
Paul N. Anderson, George Fox University, Presiding (5 min)

Beth M. Sheppard, Duke University
History, Historical, Historiography: The Fourth Gospel’s Use of Dialogue as Window to the Past (25 min)
Stanley E. Porter, McMaster Divinity College
John’s Gospel and the Criteria for Authenticity (25 min)
Robyn Faith Walsh, Brown University
The Literary Environment of John and the Influence of German Romanticism (25 min)
Chris Keith, St. Mary's University (Twickenham)
The Competitive Textualization of the Jesus Tradition John 20:30–31 and 21:25 (25 min)
Discussion (20 min)

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This website is sponsored by the Steering Committee of the John-Jesus-History Group.

For questions about the John-Jesus-History Group, please contact the Co-chair of the Steering Committee:
Prof. Craig Koester, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN

For comments about this website, please contact Felix Just, SJ,

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