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If the Johannine eagle soared above the earth, it did so with talons bared for the fight; and the last writings that were left show the eaglets tearing at each other for the possession of the nest. There are moments of tranquil contemplation and inspiring penetration in the Johannine writings, but they also reflect a deep involvement in Christian history. Like Jesus, the word transmitted to the Johannine community lived in the flesh.


Originally published as a chapter in Biblical Ethics and Application: Purview, Validity, and Relevance of Biblical Texts in Ethical Discourse; Kontexte und Normen neutestamentlicher Ethik (Contexts and Norms of New Testament Ethics) 9; edited by Ruben Zimmermann and Stephan Joubert, WUNT 1/384 (Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 2017) 331-51.