The idea of unity in John: A reception historical study of Johannine passages on unity and abiding in Jesus

Fadairo, Anthony Oluyomi Taiye (2001) The idea of unity in John: A reception historical study of Johannine passages on unity and abiding in Jesus. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The dissertation 'The idea of Unity in John: A reception historical study of Johannine passages on unity' as the title suggests is a critical historical study of the reception of the Johannine passages on unity and abiding in Jesus. It is my intention in these pages to assess the reading of some of the passages in John that dwell on unity and abiding in Jesus by modem scholars, early church fathers and the Protestant reformers of the 16th century. I have chosen the periods when unity was of great urgency for the church and only the major scholars at these periods. The modem scholars whose works will be focused on are Bultmann, Schnackenburg, Brown and Barrett; the fathers whose commentaries are examined are John Chrysostom and Augustine of Hippo; while the protestant reformers that will be considered are Martin Luther, a first generation reformer and John Calvin, a second-generation reformer.The thesis shows that despite the diversity of readings emanating from the different periods in the history of the reading of the texts and passages on unity, the scholars at each of the periods have much more in common than is generally imagined. All the scholars at the three periods under consideration were close readers of the texts, with the modem scholars only being more systematic and more disciplined than the fathers and the reformers, who were more polemical in their attempt to argue their doctrinal point of view. The thesis also shows that the various readers address the issue of how the text speaks to their particular generation and how the various scholars look to the texts to provide a theological basis for unity.Having said that, the thesis also shows the areas where the various scholars differ. The thesis points out that there is a great divide in the scholars' understanding of the nature of unity in the text, those who are prayed for to be in unity. All the readers sought unity, but the kinds of unities they sought differs at the various periods. The fathers spoke about unity that is more inclusive, the reformers talked about unity of those who hold particular faith, doctrine of the scripture, while the present day scholars are more sensitive in their discussion about the nature of unity in the gospel. The various scholars also differ on their reading of what it means to abide in Jesus, who believers are. They are also divided on the question of unity of believers and the faith of the world and on the question of the nature of grace in unity and abiding in Jesus. The thesis also brought into focus what is interesting about the different interpretations at the various periods. It shows, to a greater degree than one would imagine, that the reading of the texts in the earlier periods serve as a point of departure for the later period. It points out how far the earlier readings of the texts influence the modem reading of the text, and to what extent modem scholars stand in a tradition of the readings from the last two Millennia. It shows that at various periods, the readers enter into dialogue with the texts in which they bring their own experiences and interest to bear in the constraction of the meaning of the texts for them. It also shows how they attempt to fill in the gaps and resolve some of the ambiguities in the text. The thesis also will show that none of the interpretations at various periods is short of circumstantial influences such as the interpreters' circumstance, studies and the religious institution to which he is attached and most especially the concerns of the church.

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: John Riches
Keywords: Biblical studies
Date of Award: 2001
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2001-72868
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/72868

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