The Gospel and Letters of John - Vol. 1

The Gospel and Letters of John - Vol. 1

The Gospel and Letters of John - Vol. 1

The Gospel and Letters of John - Vol. 1

Synopsis

Urban von Wahlde's radically new, three-volume commentary on the Gospel and Letters of John is the most detailed study of the composition of the Johannine literature ever put forth by an American scholar.

Nearly all of the problems confronted by those who study John have to do with the literary strata of the Gospel of John and their relation to the composition of the Letters of John. With an archaeologist's precision, and engaging a whole range of scholarly contributions in this area, von Wahlde digs down to the foundations and exposes three distinct literary strata in the development of the Johannine tradition. Volume 1 gives detailed evidence identifying and listing the criteria for each stratum. Volumes 2 and 3 apply those criteria to the Gospel and Letters of John respectively.

Excerpt

Writing this commentary is the result of many years of study and reflection on the Johannine tradition. Becoming intimately acquainted with the thought of this Gospel has been a particularly fascinating journey. Not only has it been a privilege to attempt to explain the meaning of a foundational document of Christianity, but it has been an adventure to sense the ideals and the struggles of this community as it came to articulate its understanding of Jesus of Nazareth. It was not only a community that underwent the trauma of expulsion from the synagogue in which its members had grown up and within whose traditions they sought to understand the importance of Jesus but also one that underwent yet another, internal struggle about the meaning and importance of Jesus. It is a sector of early Christianity about which there is much to learn and yet one that has left us many clues in its literature from which to learn. It is hoped that this commentary has been sensitive to many of those clues.

Work on this commentary was made possible by the support of individuals throughout my career too many to mention. I apologize to all those who names I have forgotten and whose assistance I fail to recognize here. But some do stand out. the first and greatest encouragement was from my Doktorvater, Noel Lazure, who critiqued all of my early work with a thoroughness and an openness that taught me to be careful in my reading and to be open to where the evidence led. At the University of Scranton, then-dean William Parente showed constant interest in, and support for, my work. At Loyola University, where I have taught for the past twenty-six years, my deans have been very supportive in giving me leaves of absence and travel grants for research and for attending international meetings. They are Fr. Lawrence Biondi, S.J., Dr. James Wiser, Dr. Francis Catania, Dr. Kathleen McCourt, Dr. John Smarelli, and Dr. Isaiah Crawford. My chairpersons — Dr. Patout Burns, Dr. Jon Nilson, Dr. John McCarthy, Fr. David Stagaman, S.J., and Dr. Patricia Jung — were also the first . . .

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