Johannine Sectarianism in Perspective: A Sociological, Historical, and Comparative Analysis of Temple and Social Relationships in the Gospel of John, Philo, and Qumran

By Klink, Edward W., III | Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2007 | Go to article overview

Johannine Sectarianism in Perspective: A Sociological, Historical, and Comparative Analysis of Temple and Social Relationships in the Gospel of John, Philo, and Qumran


Klink, Edward W., III, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society


Johannine sectarianism in Perspective: A Sociological, Historical, and Comparative Analysis of Temple and Social Relationships in the Gospel of John, Philo, and Qumran. By Rare Sigvald Fuglseth. NovTSup 119. Leiden: Brill, 2005, xiv + 450 pp., $139.00.

This monograph is a revision of a Dr.Art. thesis presented to the University of Trondheim in September 2002. Its stated purpose is to investigate the "community" behind the Gospel of John with methods primarily derived from sociology and with comparisons to texts from two contemporary Jewish milieus, the community in Alexandria as reflected in writings of Philo, and the community of Qumran as reflected in some of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Following the scholarly tradition that the Gospel originated in a local group of some kind and that the experiences of this group influenced the character and content of the text in a particular way, this study attempts to define more clearly the "sectarian" claim found in much of this scholarly tradition. It also seeks to provide focus to numerous terms (school, church, group, association, etc.) used to delineate this Johannine "community."

The first three chapters set the tone for remainder of the analysis. In chapter 1, "Problem and Method," Fuglseth locates the study in the history of discussion concerning the audience and origin of the Fourth Gospel. In this historical sketch of Johannine studies, Fuglseth reveals the difficulties in characterizing the Johannine community as a "sect." "The debate on 'sect' in studies of early Judaism and New Testament literature generally, as well as the criticism specifically concerned about the Gospel of John, presents a confusing and even contradictory picture" (p. 27). In chapter 2, "Models and Questions," Fuglseth examines the models frequently used to delineate the audience behind the Fourth Gospel. After noting the problems with the common categories used, especially with regard to communities from the distant past, Fuglseth explains that his heuristic method attempts to define the Johannine community's social tension by examining how the Gospel handles the replacement of the temple in the story of the temple cleansing (John 2) and the Samaritan encounter (John 4). In sum, Fuglseth's stated goal is to "study the question of recruitment and the maintenance of social cohesion, the introversionist withdrawal from society through an evaluation of the attitudes towards Others' or Outsiders' " (p. 63). Important here are the categories that Fuglseth will use: "church," "cult," and "sect." The differences in these categories are used to explain the different social tensions revealed in all three sets of documents. In chapter three, "From Text to Community," Fuglseth asks if the entire heuristic model should even begin with the assumption of a real "group" reflected behind the text. Was there a Johannine community, Philo community, and Qumran community? His answer is a carefully-stated "yes." Fuglseth explains that "there is not much evidence for the existence of a 'qualified group' [in contrast to a 'plain group' or general audience] participating in the production of the Gospel in an interactive way, although there are some indications. . . . Therefore, the assumption of its existence cannot be based upon 'empirical' studies of the text only, but derives from a chosen perspective as well-our hermeneutic position or metareflection" (p. 114). Because of this admission, Fuglseth spends this entire third chapter (50 pages) to make his case-a case he will hereafter assume for his heuristic purposes.

In the next three chapters, Fuglseth examines the temple theme in John (chap. 4), the same theme in Philo and Qumran (chap. 5), and temple-related festivals in John (chap. 6). He establishes three different models for evaluative purposes: a rejection model; an acceptance model; and a conjunction model. The rejection model reflects a strongly anti-temple group that has protested and broken away from the temple institution in principle and practice. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Johannine Sectarianism in Perspective: A Sociological, Historical, and Comparative Analysis of Temple and Social Relationships in the Gospel of John, Philo, and Qumran
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.