SBL 2016

Sessions and Papers related to Johannine Literature
presented at the
Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature
San Antonio, TX - November 19-22, 2016

[For the latest updates, see the official SBL website.]

Program of the Johannine Literature Section

S19-229: Johannine Literature
11/19/2016, 1:00 to 3:30 PM
Theme: Body in the Gospel of John
Jo-Ann Brant, Goshen College, Presiding (5 min)

  • Dorothy Lee, Trinity College, University of Divinity
    Sensuality, the body/flesh and creation in the Gospel of John (25 min)
    • Abstract: The theology of the Fourth Gospel, traditionally named the 'spiritual Gospel', is grounded in the Johannine understanding of the body, flesh and creation as integral to the saving narrative of Jesus' life and death. The Johannine worldview sets the Word-made-flesh at the centre of its perception of time and reality, where the Word comes to exist in divine solidarity not only with humankind but also the sensuous life of creation. The echoes of the creation stories in Genesis 1-3, along with the language of 'flesh' and 'body' throughout the narrative of the Fourth Gospel, imply the divine commitment to the flourishing and transforming of all things, material as well as spiritual. The flesh and bodily transformations of the Johannine Jesus, radiant with an intensifying glory as the narrative proceeds, bridges the gulf which divides creation from God: apparent from the beginning in the incarnation and climaxing in the crucifixion and the vibrant yet also wounded body of the risen Jesus on the other side of death. God’s re-creation revealed in Jesus embraces the sensuous world in all its variety and complexity. In this material worldview, salvation can be seen, like creation itself, to extend not only to human beings but to all living things ('all flesh') formed and re-formed by the divinely-human Word.
  • Meredith J C Warren, University of Sheffield
    That You May Also Believe: Jesus’s Body as a Sign in the Fourth Gospel (25 min)
    • Abstract: In a gospel that is known for its “high Christology,” the Fourth Gospel is perhaps surprisingly visceral in its semiology. The reasons for many semeia which Jesus does in John are outlined in Jn 20:30–31: “these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you might have life in his name.” John emphasizes that Jesus’ signs cause belief—they are not, as they appear to be in Mark (e.g. Mk 5:34; 6:5–6; 9:23–24), the result of faith. And more, Jesus’ signs in John are physical—he uses his own saliva to heal the man born blind in 9:1–7. In 10:31–33 oi ioudaioi understand that Jesus’ physical acts point to his glory. Jesus’ ambivalence about the need for signs is because for Jesus and his Johannine creator belief because of miracles misses the point. The signs point away from themselves and to a man whose body is itself a sign (John 3:11–15). The climax of these physical signs is indeed Jesus’ own body, lifted up on the cross. In this paper I propose that the Gospel of John uses Jesus’ body as a sign, and indeed, the ultimate sign: Jesus’ body is what points to his divinity. John is clear throughout that witnessing Jesus’ body in this way is the means of belief and therefore of eternal life (e.g. 3:15; 12:32), something that is confirmed when Jesus’ death is described as occurring so “that you also may believe” (19:35). The incident with Thomas after Jesus’ bodily resurrection confirms this: Thomas comes to believe only after gruesomely inserting his hands into Jesus’ very wounds: “put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing” (20:27). The physicality of Jesus’ signs in John sheds light on the Gospel’s use of healing as a metaphor: Jesus’ signs often heal, and cause belief. Belief in turn gives eternal life, the opposite of illness. Physical sickness in mortals is healed through physical signs by the Son of God, which in turn allows bodily resurrection and eternal life.
  • Christina Petterson, Newcastle University, Australia
    Body, Flesh and Jesus in John (25 min)
    • Abstract: Driven by the question ‘what does John read like, if Jesus is neither body nor flesh?’, this paper will discuss abstraction, textuality and translation as a way of challenging the parameters of safe readings. It will do so by assuming that a massive edifice has been constructed to protect the fragile Chalcedonic reading of 1:14. Resisting the constraints of this edifice, the paper will examine the relation between soma, sarx and the figure of Jesus in John. While often used interchangeably to guarantee theological and historical cohesiveness, this paper will understand soma, sarx and Jesus as distinct, i.e. emphatically non-synonymous concepts and present the results of such a reading.
  • Colleen M. Conway, Seton Hall University
    The Flesh is Useless? Embodiment and Gender in John (25 min)
    • Abstract: In ancient Greek and Latin texts, the discursive construction of gender regularly references bodies. These are bodies that dress in certain ways, do things with their hair, move their eyes in particular ways, walk in a telltale fashion, scratch their heads with one finger, and so on. Such details of bodily doings purportedly provided meaningful clues about gender identity for the ancient audience. At least, these details provided clues about what the author of the text wanted to convey about the gender of his subjects. Meanwhile, in the Gospel of John very little is communicated about the physical appearance of particular bodies. Attention to bodies in the Gospel generally revolves around physical needs and realities: thirst, food, illness, wounds and death. What then, is the relationship between the body and gender in the gospel? This paper probes the generic similarities and differences between the Gospel and the ancient body of writings that have informed recent gender critical analysis of the New Testament to explore the intersection of bodies and gender in John.
  • Jo-Ann Brant, Goshen College, Respondent (5 min)
  • Discussion (40 min)

S20-331: Johannine Literature
11/20/2016, 4:00 to 6:30 PM
Theme: Johannine Contexts
Adesola Akala, Independent Scholar, Presiding

  • Wally V. Cirafesi, Universitetet i Oslo
    Priests and Priestly Culture in Second Temple Palestinian Synagogues and the Mission of Jesus in the Gospel of John (30 min)
    • Abstract: In this paper, I will argue that, rather than the synagogue acting simply as a “pale shadow” of the temple in John (so Lieu 1999: 62) or primarily as the center of conflict between “Johannine Christians” and “mainstream” Judaism (see history of this research in Cirafesi 2014), the Fourth Gospel naturally places Jesus’ teaching “in synagogue” in 6:59 and 18:20 in order to present a priestly portrait of him commensurate with his activity in the temple courts when he is in Jerusalem (2:14–15; 5:14; 7:14, 28; 8:20, 59; 10:23). Although the “synagogue” is mentioned explicitly only twice in John’s narrative, its linkage to the temple courts on the lips of Jesus in 18:20 is, contra Lieu, entirely expected if we understand (1) the Palestinian synagogue and Jerusalem temple courts as complimentary, rather than competing, institutions in the first-century, and (2) the Johannine Jesus as enacting a public and priestly movement directed at the restoration and unification of Israelite cultic identity (cf. Horsely and Thatcher 2013). While the influence of priests and priestly culture (i.e., purity practices, Torah teaching, Jewish scribalism, political leadership, worship, festival celebration) within the Jerusalem temple courts is not a matter of debate, such influence is debated with reference to first-century Palestinian synagogues, which traditionally have been understood to be the domain of supposedly non-priestly groups such as the Pharisees. This paper will thus briefly survey some of the literary, epigraphic, and archeological sources that demonstrate, to the contrary, the strong influence of priests within different types of first-century synagogues (e.g., 4Q266 5 ii 1–4; CD 13:1–4; 1QS 6:8–13; ALD 11 and parallels in Greek T. Levi; Philo, Hypoth. 7.12–13; CIJ 2.1404 [SEG 8.170]; CJZ 72 [SEG 17.823]; Masada synagogue remains; Migdal synagogue remains). This sketch of a variety of sources will construct a socio-religious context within which to present an interpretation of John’s references to the “synagogue” in 6:59 and 18:20. I will suggest that these verses function to cast Jesus’ mission within a priestly framework and as a mission that is operative at both the local level of the public-assembly synagogue as well as in the national assembly of “all Israel.” In this way, John’s portrait of Jesus resembles other Jewish texts, such as the eschatological vision of ALD 11:6, in which Levi predicts that his son Kohath will be high priest before “the assembly of all the people” and that his seed will in fact be “the beginning of kings.” This kind of priestly-ruler framework thus best explains why Jesus’ mission is perceived by the priestly elite in John as a threat to the political stability of the Jewish nation as a whole (John 11:45–57).
  • Thomas Andrew Bennett, Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena)
    Jesus and the Believer as Co-Priests: The Temple Cult and Parakletos in 1 John (30 min)
    • Abstract: The proposed paper argues that Jesus’s designation as parakletos in 1 John 2:1 be understood as explicitly cultic and best rendered in English as a “co-priest” or “joint” or “co-minister” in the believers’ metaphorical temple worship. A trend in recent scholarship has been to affirm Jesus as having a high priestly role in the Johannine—particularly the fourth gospel—literature (e.g., Attridge, “How Priestly is the ‘High Priestly Prayer’?” [2013]; O’Collins and Jones, Jesus Our Priest [2010]; Heil, “Jesus as Unique High Priest” [1995]). A cursory reading of the priestly language in 1 John demonstrates that in 1 John both believers and Jesus are described in priestly terms. The present paper argues that we have good reason to read parakletos in 1 John 2:1 as uniting the two strands, explicitly picturing believers and the Christ as co-priests in right worship of God. In light of the work highlighting Jesus’s priestly role in the fourth gospel and the now robust debate concerning a replacement or fulfillment theme with respect to the temple in the Johannine corpus (e.g., Hoskins, Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Temple [2007]; Kerr, The Temple of Jesus’ Body [2002]; Coloe, God Dwells with Us [2001]; and Spatafora, From the “Temple of God” to God as the Temple [1997]), the use of the cultic metaphor in 1 John ought to be taken much more seriously, to the point that it is read as deeply conversant with the actual practices of temple worship. Moreover, in the cultic metaphor invoked in 1 John 1:7 and 9, Jesus’s cleansing and the believer’s life patterns in the community are coordinated. That is, Jesus and the believer are, to put it baldly, working together. It is not the case that Jesus’s blood merely represents her or takes her place; it is rather that a particular communal lifeform is accompanied by a particular divine work. That Philo—as the proposed paper demonstrates—actually uses parakletos in just this way offers an historical and literary precedent for reading Jesus’s paracletic function as working with or co-ministering with the believer. Therefore, 1 John’s language is better understood as envisioning Jesus participating with the believer in rites of temple worship. So for example, in 1 John 1:5-2:2, the believers and Jesus co-minister in a rite of cleansing in which Jesus’s own blood is sprinkled in ritual purification, in this case making the believer-priest clean enough to enter the Father’s presence. Thus parakletos in 1 John 2:1 should be rendered in English as “co-priest” or “joint” or “co-minister.” Moreover, 1 John studies will benefit from closer attention to temple themes in general and, more narrowly, the co-priesthood of Jesus and the believer.
  • Lindsey M. Trozzo, Baylor University
    A Forerunner for the Fourth Gospel's Two-Level Drama: Virgil's Aeneid in Parallel (30 min)
    • Abstract: One criticism of J. Louis Martyn’s famous two-level reading of the Fourth Gospel is that no suitable ancient literary parallel can be found. Such a suggestion implies that the first century audience would not recognize or understand a “two-level drama.” In this paper, I will present Virgil’s Aeneid as a fitting candidate for just such a parallel. On one level, the epic poem tells the traditional story of Aeneas who left Troy to settle in Italy. On a second level, the epic tells of the Augustan Age, Virgil’s own historical setting. The weaving of the two stories offers a unified narrative to help readers form a new Roman identity. In much the same way, the Fourth Gospel recounts the tradition of the man Jesus, who performed miracles, taught crowds, was crucified, and rose from the dead. But the story of the Johannine community is also woven into this historical narrative. Thus, the two-level drama is a testament to the enduring presence of Jesus with the community and his solidarity with their struggle, and it is a call to a new Christian identity in light of that unity. This presentation deflects the complaint that Martyn’s two-level reading has no suitable literary parallel. Though detailed reconstructions of the Johannine community will vary, the two-level drama is a helpful framework for understanding the unique literary features of the Fourth Gospel and how this narrative functioned rhetorically for its audience. In addition, it paves the way for further interaction between Johannine and Virgilian studies, inviting new insights into the enigmatic Fourth Gospel.
  • Adele Reinhartz, Université d'Ottawa - University of Ottawa
    John's Mission to the Gentiles? Another look at the aim and audience of the Fourth Gospel (30 min)
    • Abstract: At last year’s meeting in Atlanta, Mary Coloe argued – convincingly, in my view -- that the Hellenes in John 12:20-23 are Gentiles, rather than Greek-speaking Jews, as some have suggested. On this basis, Dr. Coloe concluded that the Johannine community was engaged in a mission to the Gentiles. My proposed paper will consider the implications of this conclusion for our understanding of the Gospel, including its anti-Jewish passages and its references to exclusion from the synagogue. It will argue that viewing the Gospel’s audience as primarily Gentile helps to make sense of one of the enduring enigmas in Johannine scholarship: how this Gospel can be at the same time the most Jewish and the most anti-Jewish of the four canonical Gospels.
  • Mark Matson, Milligan College
    Re-thinking the Egerton Fragment’s Relationship to John (30 min)
    • Abstract: Since 1935 the fragments of a text called the Egerton Gospel (or P-Egerton 2) have raised questions about its relationship to the Fourth Gospel. In a significant portion of P-Egerton 2 there are striking similarities to the Fourth Gospel, notably to John chapter 5 and chapter 9. The similarities are sufficiently striking that some sort of literary relationship seems to be demanded; but what sort? Did P-Egerton 2 knit together elements from John, along with material from Mark, to form a kind of “notebook” of striking Jesus material? Or, conversely, did P-Egerton 2 serve as source upon which the author of John relied to construct his gospel? The consensus, if it can be called such, has tended to follow C.H. Dodd’s argument that P-Egerton 2 is derivative of John. And so the situation has stood for some time, with few dissenters. Francis Watson, however, in his new book Gospel Writing, makes an extended argument that the Fourth Gospel used the P-Egerton 2 material as a source. A major part of his argument is that John’s use of the material to the two was “not fully integrated,” that John showed “lack of integration;” conversely he argues that that P-Egerton 2 offers a “more coherent” statement about the relationship between Moses and Jesus. Is John, however, unintegrated and incoherent in its presentation in chapters 5 and 9? What is at stake is very similar to the arguments for other source theories behind John (e.g. a semeia gospel) that John’s writing suffers from poor integration of prior material. I will argue that John’s method of argumentation in chapters 5 and 9 is consistent with his style throughout the gospel and is not incoherent. Thus, the issue regarding P-Egerton 2 touches on the larger integrity of the Fourth Gospel and on understanding the author’s method of presentation.

S21-134: Johannine Literature
11/21/2016, 9:00 to 11:30 AM
Theme: Philosophy and Characterization
Douglas Estes, South University, Columbia, Presiding

  • Tyler Smith, Yale University
    The Fourth Gospel, Dramatic Philosophy, and Knowledge of God (30 min)
    • Abstract: Tragedy has served ancient and modern dramatists as a ready vehicle for philosophizing. Among ancient tragedians, Euripides stands apart as the “philosopher on the stage,” to borrow an epithet from Athenaeus (Deipnosophistae 561a), both for the speeches he puts in the mouths of his characters (cf. the critical remark of Aelius Theon, at Progymnasmata 60, that “Euripides’s Hecuba philosophizes at the wrong time”) and for building plays around a central philosophical problem (e.g., nomos and physis in the Bacchae; reason and the passions in the Medea). This paper offers a reading of the Fourth Gospel as engaging in philosophical discourse about knowledge of the gods in a Euripidean mode. John has been convincingly connected to the tragic tradition (Jo-Ann A. Brant; George L. Parsenios; Mark W. G. Stibbe), and its philosophical interests set it apart from other early Christian gospels (Harold W. Attridge; Troels Engberg-Pedersen; George H. van Kooten). One of its philosophical themes concerns knowledge of God (C. H. Dodd; Bertril E. Gärtner; Craig S. Keener). Hellenistic philosophical accounts of the divine often depersonalized and distanced gods from human affairs, accommodating them to an ordered cosmology. Euripides and other dramatists take up those questions and explore competing conceptions of divinity both in casting gods in “incarnational” roles as actors and in using dramatic dialogue to explore flawed conceptions of the divine. This paper argues that John’s philosophical content—specifically (1) its use of characters who offer inadequate models of access to the divinity (inadequate, that is, from the Evangelist’s perspective); and (2) its use of a personalized and unpredictable divine actor to thematize the true knowledge of God—is best accounted for by attending to the predilection of Euripidean drama to philosophize.
  • Judith Stack-Nelson, Hamline University
    Traces of Bread, an Absence of Flesh: Reading John’s Bread of Life Discourse and Eucharistic Imagery with Derrida (30 min)
    • Abstract: Several aspects of the Gospel of John related to the Christian sacraments are often noted: first that, of all the Gospels, John most notably incorporates Eucharistic imagery into the narrative (particularly in the Bread of Life Discourse) and, second, that John does not have a narrative description of the institution of the ritual of the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper as we see in the Synoptics. The use of obvious Eucharistic imagery serves to highlight the absence of the narrative of institution. The bread of the discourse serves as a trace of the absent ritual. Moreover, Jesus’ identification of himself in the discourse as “the bread that came down from heaven” evokes the repeated Johannine motif of the dynamic of ascending and descending, thus, as Jesus points for the reader to his status as that which descended, he simultaneously evokes the opposite movement of his ascending and return to the Father and thus departure from the community. Jesus’ presence as bread of life only exists in the community under the condition of his absence “in the flesh.” Indeed, in 6:51-58, Jesus links the idea of “the bread of life” with himself not in some abstract way but in the very concrete equation of his flesh with the bread that gives life, a bread/flesh whose life-giving properties will only become present by him giving his flesh in death (v. 51). Yet this concrete presence is not allowed to stand as the last word on the matter. In the interaction with Peter that follows, Jesus responds to his followers’ misgivings regarding this teaching by first invoking his coming departure and thus absence (“What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?” v. 62) and then, instead of consoling them with the potential abiding Eucharistic presence of his bread-flesh, he reverses the concretization of the life-giving element and declares that “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless.” Further, he says that “the words (rhemata) that I speak to you are spirit and life” (v. 63). It is not the descended logos made flesh-bread but the spoken, pneumatic rhemata that gives life. For the community, Jesus’ present-absence and absent-presence is entangled with flesh and spirit, the logos and rhemata, and with life and death, and the role of the Eucharist in their own participation in eternal life is made unclear or at least paradoxical in the entanglement, thus deferring resolution indefinitely.
  • Daniel London, Graduate Theological Union
    Subverting Dichotomies through Riddle: The Johannine Jesus’s Re-Rendering of Avot 2:15 (30 min)
    • Abstract: When the disciples ask the Johannine Jesus the question of suffering in a specific context (“Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”), he rejects their way of thinking, which essentially blames the victim, and then says, “It is necessary that we do the work of the one who sent me while it is day. Coming is the night when no one can work. As long as I am in the word, I am the light of the world” (Jn 9:4-5). In these words, C. H. Dodd recognizes a resemblance to a proverb of Rabbi Tarfon, who in Mishnah Avot says, “The day is short; there is much work; the laborers are lazy, the wages are great and the Householder is insistent” (Avot 2:15). According to Dodd, the Johannine Jesus appears to be adapting outside material, perhaps even a proverb of popular wisdom. However, Jesus adds a line after the proverb that seems to render the saying incoherent: ‘As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world,’ thus bewildering Bultmann and subsequent commentators. In this paper, I will argue that the Johannine Jesus turns the saying of Rabbi Tarfon into a riddle in which the dichotomy of day and night is made ambiguous by the “Light of the World.” Applying the literary insights of Dan Pagis and Tom Thatcher, I will demonstrate how Jesus’s initially confusing adaptation of popular wisdom works to subvert the popular wisdom that is bound by dichotomies of darkness and light. Moreover, Jesus’s saying challenges the apparently strict dualisms within the Fourth Gospel itself, thus allowing the Gospel to “speak more clearly through its ambiguities” (Kysar, 1996). In order to begin unpacking the theological implications of Jesus’s re-rendering of Rabbi Tarfon’s saying, I will utilize the insights of Mimetic Theory. In this way, I will show how the saying functions as part of Jesus’s response to the disciples’ question of suffering, which is bound by limitations of dualistic thinking and theologies of retribution that blame the victim. The real reader of the Gospel today is therefore invited to bring the question of suffering to the Johannine Jesus, like the disciples, and experience a potentially transformative and subversive response.
  • Chris Porter, Ridley College, Melbourne
    Total Recall: Recasting the Narrative Social Identity of a Community through the Narrative of the Gospel of John (30 min)
    • Abstract: Narratives and the memory of narratives are powerful tools for the inauguration, shaping and reshaping of identities. From a social identity perspective, they aid in maximizing the normative fit of members to their groups, while also providing a frame of contextual difference to highlight comparative fit. Throughout the Fourth Gospel, the Evangelist continually casts the Gospel narrative within the meta-narrative of the Israelite collective memory. This paper proposes that the throughout Fourth Gospel the narrative reaches into the Israelite collective memory and frames the events within the history of the broader cultural group. This paper will consider the metaleptic strategy as enacted in John 6, 7 and 12 as recalling the manna narrative, Meribah, and the end of the Exile; as examples of the wider Johannine pattern. This metaleptic patterning of the Johannine narrative aides the audience in engaging with the Christological dimensions of the narrative, and the adoption of the proposed social identity. Furthermore, it assists the group in redefining the collective memory of the in-group around a redefined social identity of Christ-follower. The further narrative of the Fourth Gospel serves to proleptically supplement the Israelite collective memory narrative to build a reputational identity bridge to broader Israelite identity. Finally, this paper will seek to place this narrative identity work within a broader picture of ‘Interactive Diversity’ at the turn of the second century.
  • Michael Whitenton, Baylor University
    Nicodemus and Jesus Walk into a Bar…: Catching the Audience Laughing in John 3 (30 min)
    • Abstract: Reading the Bible is serious business. Unfortunately, the gravity of the task has led most of the scholarly world to neglect humor as one of many rhetorical tools at the disposal of early Christian writers. While the scholarly literature on John 3 is legion, I am unaware of any sustained discussion of the existence of humor and its function in therein. Unfortunately, neglecting the potential for humor in this exchange leads to a series of oversights that culminate in missing important aspects of both Nicodemus’s character and the narrative’s rhetorical function among a diverse performance audience. In this paper, I set out to redress this lacuna by exploring the potential for—and function of—humor in Nicodemus’s encounter with the Johannine Jesus in John 3 from a cognitive and performance-oriented perspective. The paper will proceed in three primary steps. First, I will attend to ancient rhetorical and modern cognitive theories of what makes people laugh and why. I will then read the exchange between Nicodemus in John 3.1-10 from the perspective of a General Theory of Verbal Humor (Attardo and Raskin) and attend to the relevance of humor at Nicodemus’s expense for hearers’ interpretation of his character during a performance. Finally, I discuss the function of humor in John 3.1-10, both at the narrative level in terms of character development and at a rhetorical level among a diverse performance audience, drawing on both performance and cognitive theories of audience identification. When all is said and done, I argue that the incongruity (and feelings of superiority) created by Jesus’s infamous wordplays creates space for laughter, especially when combined with the unexpectedly absurd responses of this well-educated Pharisee. For those audience members who laugh at Nicodemus’s stupidity, this leader of the Jews may bear some similarity to Theophrastus’s “Obtuse Man,” who regularly surprises others by (among other things) his inability to grasp obvious concepts. Those who view Nicodemus as such a dullard will be prompted to infer development, even a transformation, in his subsequent appearances—presumably as a result of his encounter with Jesus. At a rhetorical level, however, it is the audience who is challenged to develop. In a diverse performance audience, specific features of the text, along with cognitive research on empathy and audience identification (Cupchik, Oatley, and Tan), suggest that members of the audience who identified as “outsiders” may be baited by incongruity and feelings of superiority to laugh at Nicodemus—only to be challenged by the performer-as-Jesus to receive the testimony of the narrative (and the believing community) that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and thus have reap eternal life (3.11-15; cf. 20.31).

Papers related to Johannine Literature in Other Program Units:

P18-303: Institute for Biblical Research
Theme: Research Group: Ancient Historiography and the New Testament

  • Wally V. Cirafesi, Universitetet i Oslo
    John, Jesus, and the Quest for the Historical Synagogue: Beyond Birkat ha-Minim and ‘Johannine Community’

S19-115: Bible in Ancient and Modern Media
Theme: Sound Mapping: Potential and Implications

  • Jeffrey Brickle, Urshan Graduate School of Theology
    Dionysius of Halicarnassus Meets Pseudo-Cicero: Revisiting Johannine Orality at the Crossroads of Sight and Sound

S19-116: Biblical Ethics
Theme: Methods in Biblical Ethics: Focal Values and Criteria in Biblical Ethics

  • Jan van der Watt, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
    A Comprehensive Approach to Biblical Ethics (with Illustrations from John)

S19-156: Theological Interpretation of Scripture
Theme: Spirit Christology and the Gospels

  • Leopoldo A. Sanchez M., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
    The Spirit and the Son's Glorification (25 min)
  • Michael J. Gorman, St. Mary’s Seminary & University
    The Spirit, the Prophets, and the End of the "Johannine Jesus"

S19-318: Extent of Theological Diversity in Earliest Christianity

  • J. D. Atkins, Marquette University
    Doubting Thomas Before Heresy

S19-329: Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World

  • Arthur M. Wright, Jr., Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
    What is Truth?: The Complicated Characterization of Pontius Pilate in the Fourth Gospel

S19-343: Rhetoric and the New Testament
Theme: Rhetoric, Theology, and the New Testament

  • Kasper B. Larsen, Aarhus University
    Jesus as God of Old and Homo Novus: Rhetorical Character Presentation in John 1–2

S20-206” Biblical Ethics
Theme: Social Justice

  • Kathleen Rushton, The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand
    Ethical Action in this World: Jesus speaking “openly” in the Gospel according to John

S21-121: Ecological Hermeneutics
Theme: New Testament Literature and Ecology

  • Kathleen Rushton, The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand
    An Eschatological, Cosmological Reading of “Living Water” in John 1:12-13, 7:37-39, and 19:34

S21-132: Intertextuality in the New Testament
Theme: Intertextuality in Paul, Matthew and John

  • William M. Wright IV, Duquesne University
    Intertextual Christology in the Fourth Gospel and the Patristic Verbum Abbreviatum
  • Max Rogland, Erskine Theological Seminary
    “Lawlessness, Idolatry, and Apostasy in Deuteronomy and 1 John: An Old Message in a New Setting”

S21-141: Meals in the Greco-Roman World
Theme: Meals and Morals

  • Chan Sok Park, College of Wooster
    The Johannine Last Supper as a Site for Moral Formation

S21-352: Theological Interpretation of Scripture
Theme: Spirit Christology and the Gospels

  • Andy Johnson, Nazarene Theological Seminary
    You Wonder Where the Spirit Went: The Spirit and the Resurrection of the Son in the Gospels
  • Karoline M. Lewis, Luther Seminary
    Paraclete Christology: The Mutual Accompaniment of Pneumatology and Soteriology
  • Christopher Holmes, University of Otago
    “For He Gives the Spirit Without Measure:" John 3:34, Thomas Aquinas, and Christ’s Reception of the Spirit

S22-122: Historical Jesus

  • Brant Pitre, Notre Dame Seminary, Graduate School of Theology
    How Did Jesus Interpret His Death? Rethinking the Date of the Last Supper in John

See also the sessions of the John, Jesus, and History Group


Johannine Literature Section

Program Unit Description: Our mission is to address issues and concerns having to do with the analysis and interpretation of the Johannine literature--a major component of the Christian Scriptures, encompassing for our purposes the Gospel of John and the three Johannine letters. The section has historically been committed to highlighting new voices and issues in the field.

Call for Papers: Our 2016 Annual Meeting program will include an open session, for which papers on all topics related to the Johannine Gospel and letters will be considered, and two thematic sessions. One will focus upon the place of the body in the Fourth Gospel including themes such as the inscribed, religious, transgressive or tortured body, social bodies, the body politic, and sense experience. Another will focus upon Johannine philosophy. Both thematic sessions will feature invited papers, but papers submitted to the open call that contribute to a significant dimension to the discussion will be considered.

Steering Committee Co-Chairs:
Prof. Alicia D. Myers, Campbell University Divinity School
Prof. Jo-Ann Brant, Goshen College

(For more info, see the SBL website.)


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