John's Wisdom: A Commentary on the Fourth Gospel
Jesus as depicted in the Fourth Gospel is remarkably dissimilar to the Jesus found in the Synoptic Gospels. In this book, Ben Witherington III places the Gospel of John within its proper literary, historical, social, and theological contexts, especially those dealing with the wisdom traditions of Hellenistic Judaism. What emerges is a compelling argument that the Gospel of John has an agenda for mission in addition to concerns for discipleship and community life.
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Ben Wutherington provides an excellent analysis of the Fourth Gospel from a much higher vantage point than that found in most commentaries. The focus of the book is that the author of the Gospel writes in a manner consistent with then available books of wisdom. The theme is that Jesus is wisdom manifested. Individual stories or verses are not isolated events but part of a much larger, intricate fabric used by the FG author to argue Jesus was God on earth. Wutherington shows why the FG author narrated the event, why he did it in the manner which he did, why he placed it where he did, and how all of those carefully explained points greatly illuminate the passages. The book can be read as a whole, as I did, or used as a valuable resource for preparing to teach or preach on specific chapters.
What comes across in this book is a strong believe that what the FG says is true, but comes at that belief with a foundation in truly understanding the context of what is said. He does not believe it unquestioningly, but believing because the answers to the deep questions are even more compelling.
Including the Epilogue
The Gospel of John Signs and Sacraments
Truth in the Fourth Gospel
Satan and the Powers of Darkness
GrecoRoman Meals and Their Jewish Practice
Jewish Judicial Procedures
The I Am Savings and the Discourses
The ParacleteJesus Agent the Disciples Advocate
Pilate and the Roman Trial
The Crucifixion of Jesus