Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor E.P. Sanders
The thesis examines the relationship between John 20:30-31 and the purpose of the Fourth Gospel. It argues that the passage expresses a purpose which is reflected in both the structure and the content of the Gospel as a whole. This purpose is to convince the reader that faith in Jesus as the Christ, Son of God, can and indeed should be based on the signs as recorded in the Gospel. In order to achieve this purpose, the Gospel uses the following arguments: the reader is seeking salvation; salvation is attained through faith in Jesus; faith in Jesus can be based on his signs; even the reader who has not seen Jesus' signs himself can "witness" them through the agency of the Gospel. The thesis demonstrates where and how the Gospel develops these arguments.
The thesis is intended to contribute to the discussion of several issues which are central to Johannine studies. It examines an aspect of the issue of the purpose of the Gospel which has not been the subject of extensive scholarly attention, namely the way in which the author(s) of the Gospel meant their document to function in the lives of its readers. In doing so, it discusses in detail three of the christological titles, "Christ", "Son of God", and "Prophet", and sheds light on the ways in which the Gospel demonstrates the appropriateness of these titles to Jesus. In addition, it argues against the interpretations of the term sēmeion as used in 20:30-31 and of the Gospel's view of a faith based on signs. Finally, the thesis offers some suggestions concerning the identity of the intended reader of the Gospel.
Reinhartz, Adele, "John 20:30-31 and the Purpose of the Fourth Gospel" (1983). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1395.