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The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John Paperback – November 1, 2007


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The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John + Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony + Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080103485X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801034855
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple is more than a collection of Richard Bauckham's essays on the Fourth Gospel. Taken as a whole, it is a programmatic statement of the author's thesis and argument, the crux of which is embodied in the title. If one infers that Bauckham believes the Johannine community of scholarship has largely gone off the rails, that would not be wrong. He proposes to set it right by paying close attention to the Gospel's own data and claims and by canvassing and assessing the considerable body of evidence bearing on this Gospel in patristic sources. This has not been done in a long time, and perhaps never as thoroughly and with such penetrating critical insight. That Bauckham has a thesis to set out and defend makes his book all the more interesting and important."
--D. Moody Smith, The Divinity School, Duke University

"This collection of twelve essays on historical and theological Johannine problems is preluded by a comprehensive introduction containing a scholarly program for Johannine research in the future. These studies will give us quite new stimuli for our understanding of the Gospel of John, for Bauckham illuminates neglected historical and theological features of this unique text. The author demonstrates that in our exegesis of John philological accuracy, profound historical knowledge, and genuine theological understanding must work together to gain new insights."
--Martin Hengel, University of Tübingen

"As always, Bauckham is brilliant, providing a fresh rethinking of issues based on his breadth of knowledge of early Judaism and Christianity. While well conversant with current scholarly discussions, he marshals new data and new ideas in ways that invite new perspectives. This work offers insights on various Johannine topics and merits center stage in any new discussions of history in John's Gospel."
--Craig Keener, Asbury Theological Seminary

"This substantive collection of essays focuses and reenergizes the debate over the historical reliability of the Gospel of John. With probing questions, methodological rigor, and revisionist zeal, Bauckham challenges the 'dominant approach' at every turn. Whether he will manage to unseat it remains to be seen, but Johannine scholarship is well served by his thought-provoking critique."
--Jouette M. Bassler, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

About the Author

Richard Bauckham (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is professor of New Testament studies and Bishop Ward law Professor at the University of St. Andrews and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of numerous volumes, including Jesus and the Eye witnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony and Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on July 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of essays was published soon after Bauckham's triumphant "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses", an important book on the gospels so powerful and well reasoned it will likely influence biblical scholarship for decades, if not longer.

"The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple" continues the exploration of John's gospel, once again stating his position that John was most likely John the Elder. This is also the position of Martin Hengel. "There is no evidence that the Gospel was ever regarded as anonymous (unlike Hebrews)" (p 35), but was always known as John's gospel, just as it was always associated with Ephesus. Bauckham wonders if there was a deliberate ambiguity on the authorship. This section follows closely many of the arguments presented in "Eyewitnesses".

Many scholars have suggested that the gospel's ending was tacked on. Bauckham disagrees. He argues that the gospel does not have two endings. On the contrary, the gospel has a two stage ending. The head of the apostles, Peter, repents, and becomes a true disciple. "The Gospel acknowledges Peter's leading role in the whole church, to which its own community belongs, while claiming for the beloved disciple a role of witnessing to the truth of Jesus that is equally significant for the whole church" (p 87).

Various scholars believe John was written for a single community, an idea Bauckham rejects totally. Bauckham finds many reasons to believe the gospel was aimed at the church as a whole Or else why would John have so pointedly added the information about Peter's martyrdom? Furthermore, the language is clearly universal.

Bauckham agrees with Burridge that the gospel falls in the general category of Greco-Roman biography.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David W. Stroud on January 17, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent compilation ranging over a wide variety of Johannine topics but conveying an inner consistency which rewards the reader with new insights. One often reads that an author has accomplished fresh insights into a well-worn subject arena, but in Bauckham's case this is factually true. There are many instances which could be cited, but one which stands clearly to mind is his discussion of the implications of John's subtle use of anointing imagery to designate Jesus as the Holy One of Israel in the next-to-last essay in the text. This, for me, was one of those moments in which an author takes a common trope and throws a new and powerful light on it so that one literally lays the book down in one's lap and spends 10 to 15 minutes in contemplation of the insight gained and how it correlates with a lifetime of reading in John's Gospel and commentaries and studies of that text. This was accomplished within the context of discussions of purity, holiness, consecration, and ritual cleanliness. A tour de force!

I was so taken with this coherent collection of essays that I gifted it to a friend from a completed theological studies program. He found it very informative and useful in his on-going Adult Sunday School class on John. There can be no higher recommendation for accessibility and freshness of ideas and presentation. Bauckham is fast becoming one of my favorite New Testament critical authors for precisely these reasons. I unreservedly recommend this book to anyone with interest in Johannine studies!
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Calum Jacques on November 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
Richard Bauckham is one of the better know, and better respected, evangelical scholars actively engaged in New Testament scholarship. He is the professor of New Testament studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor at the University of St. Andrews and is also a Fellow of the British Academy. At St Andrews, Prof Bauckham is listed as teaching New Testament theology and history;the Catholic epistles; early Judaism; the Bible and contemporary issues.

Prof Bauckham's other works include, perhaps most notably, 'Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels As Eyewitness Testimony' (2008) and his recent 'Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity' (2008). He has also written and/or edited a myriad of other scholarly essays such as his 'Papias and Polycrates on the Origins of the Fourth Gospel', Journal of Theological Studies 44.1 (1993), which is germane to the book we are considering here.

This book is, in effect, a library of 12 distinct essays which address issues pertaining to Johannine history and theology. These essays themselves date variously between 1993 and 2007 and have won plaudits from scholars such as Martin Hengel - Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Early Judaism at Tubingen, Germany and, perhaps slightly more predictably, from D. Moody Smith, now Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Duke University's Divinity School.

In the latter's review he quite correctly points out that this collection of essays is not simply that; it is far more than a flung together compilation.
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