The recent growth within Johannine studies has developed as a result of several factors. First, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls led to an appreciation of the Jewishness of John’s origin. Second, new approaches to John’s composition have emerged, followed by a larger set of inquiries as to the Johannine tradition’s relation to parallel traditions. This has been accompanied by a fourth interest: the history of the Johannine situation. Fifth, new literary studies have posed new horizons for interpretation, and sixth, theories continue to abound on the identity of the Beloved Disciple. A seventh development involves new ways of conceiving John’s theological features, leading to an eighth: reconsidering John’s historical features and re-envisioning its historical contributions in new perspective.
Previously published in The Expository Times, May 2008, 119(8), pp. 365-373 http://ext.sagepub.com/