The art of Hermes: I John's defence of the Johannine tradition

Winsor, Gail B. (2005) The art of Hermes: I John's defence of the Johannine tradition. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The uniqueness of the Fourth Gospel has prompted questions concerning the tradition from which it emerged. Is the Johannine Gospel a heterodox construction that was mistakenly accepted by the Church or can its tradition be interpreted as fitting into mainstream, orthodox Christianity? The purpose of this thesis is to show how the First Epistle (I John) answers this question through its interpretation of the Johannine tradition. -- Taking an historical-critical approach, the thesis examines scholarship regarding the alleged heterodox nature of the Johannine tradition, beginning with the divergent perspectives of Ernst Kasemann and Raymond Brown. This discussion is set within the general framework of the so-called orthodoxy/heterodoxy debate which was initiated by Walter Bauer. It is argued that H.E.W. Turner, who takes issue with Bauer, has a much more fruitful theory concerning Christian origins, and that his ideas are very illuminating when looking at the general context for the discussion of the heterodox nature of the Fourth Gospel. -- The thesis focuses on Raymond Brown's reconstruction of the history of the Johannine tradition. In particular, attention is given to Brown's reconstruction of the Johannine schism and his understanding of the hermeneutical function of I John relative to the Johannine tradition. The perspectives of both Brown and Kasemann are then brought into dialogue. It is argued that Brown makes a more convincing case than Kasemann, especially when considered against the background of Turner and the orthodoxy/heterodoxy debate. The Fourth Gospel is not in the canon "by accident", as Kasemann affirmed, but rather because, when perceived through the interpretative lens of I John, it can be seen as presenting an interpretation of the Christian faith which stands firmly within the tradition of mainstream Christianity.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9954
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 94-98.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: 2005
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Bible--John--Criticism, interpretation, etc.--History.

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