John does not teach a replacement theology whereby the church takes the place of Israel. As a closer look at John 15 indicates, it is not believers in Jesus who are depicted as the vine. Rather, the vine is Jesus. Jesus himself is therefore the new Israel, just as he has already been portrayed as the replacement of the temple and the fulfillment of the symbolism of various Jewish festivals. Jesus thus embodies and fulfills God’s true intentions for Israel; he is the paradigmatic vine, the channel through whom God’s blessings flow and who bears much fruit. Indeed, by dying Jesus will prove... Read More
NOTE: Dr. Andreas J. Köstenberger delivered this address at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in San Diego, CA, on November 19, 2007. The address is adapted from his essay in the book What We Have Heard From the Beginning: The Past, Present, and Future of Johannine Studies (ed. Tom Thatcher;Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2007).
Stephen Neill famously stated that the Germans never bury their scholarly corpses or, as he puts it, “no ghosts are ever laid in Germany.” He remarked that in the writings of Bultmann, for example, “we encounter the full procession of... Read More
When I wrote my BECNT commentary on John, I surveyed a considerable amount of literature on John’s Gospel in general and on people’s views on Jesus’ messianic “signs” in John in particular. I found that commentators widely agree on six Johannine “signs” but beyond this the consensus crumbles. The six undisputed Johannine “signs” are:
(1) The turning of water into wine at the wedding in Cana (2:1–11)
(2) The healing of the official’s son (4:46–54)
(3) The healing of the lame man (5:1–15)
(4) The feeding of the multitude (6:1–15)
(5) The healing of the man born blind... Read More
First of all, I apologize—I did not mean to misrepresent you. I accept that you have good reasons for preferring a pre-AD 70 date for John’s Gospel other than the present tense form of eimi in John 5:2. Also, let me express my great respect for your expertise in the area of NT Greek grammar. Your Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics and its abridgment have been indispensable resources in my writing and teaching. In the matter at hand, too, I agree that discussions have too often proceeded without scholars adducing actual evidence, and, as you noted, this has been my desire in... Read More
In several previous publications Daniel B. Wallace, professor at Dallas Seminary, has argued for a pre-AD 70 date of composition for John’s Gospel on what may appear to be a fairly inconspicuous feature: the use of the present tense form of the verb “to be” (eimi) in John 5:2: “Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.” According to Wallace, the present tense indicates that the structure here described was still standing at the time of writing. Since archaeological evidence suggests... Read More
Very likely the best book written in New Testament studies in 2006 is Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham. In this magnum opus Bauckham argues persuasively that the Gospels reflect (named) eyewitness testimony. According to Bauckham, the ideal source in ancient Greco-Roman literature was not the dispassionate observer, but the eyewitness. The written Gospels, so Bauckham, contain oral history related to the personal transmission of eyewitness testimony, not merely oral tradition which is the result of the collective and anonymous transmission of material. On page 93 of his book,...