judgement,39 or about eschatological salvation are often contradictory or difficult to reconcile.40 Such difficulties have inspired attempts to trace the gospel's sources and redactional history. One widely accepted theory posits the gospel's development from a primitive collection of miracle stories, a 'signs source',41 through a process of homiletic elaboration of sayings of Jesus, assembled by an evangelist's guiding literary hand, supplemented by other editors or redactors.

Redactional theories in turn ground construals of the history of the community behind the text. Such theories postulate that Johannine believers began as a distinctive Jesus movement that gradually conformed to the Christianity of the second century.42 While it seems highly likely that the gospel did develop over time and therefore shows signs of rewriting and expansion,43 the construal of redactional activity as an attempt to domesticate a 'maverick'44 narrative remains unsatisfactory. A fundamental problem is that the supposed redactors did such a miserable job of making corrections, having left so many tensive elements in the text. It is equally plausible, and indeed even more compelling, to read such elements as a deliberate literary strategy. Too ready an appeal to redactional corrections to explain disjunctions may obscure both the functions of the literary work itself and the character of the community standing behind it.

A possible history ofJohannine Christianity

The overall contours of a history ofJohannine Christianity could be sketched as follows. The community beganin Israel, probably in Judaea,45 in the immediate

39 Does Jesus, qua 'Son of Man', not judge (John 2:17) or does he (5:22, 27)?

40 Is resurrection a future (John 5:28-9) or present (John 11:25) reality?

41 The most enduring theory about the sources and redaction ofthe gospel is the hypothesis of a 'signs source'. See Fortna, Gospel of signs, and Fourth gospel and its predecessor. A brief version ofFortna's results is available in Miller, Complete gospels, 175-95. For an alternative, see van Wahlde, Earliest version. For a critical review of the history of research, see van Belle, Signs source.

42 Brown, Community, popularised a version of this developmental theory. For other theories, see Bull, Gemeinde.

43 Coming after the colophon of 20:30-1, ch. 21 clearly seems to be an appendix, although some scholars have argued for its integral relationship with what precedes. See Minear, 'Original function'.

44 For such a notion of the gospel, see Kysar,John, the maverick gospel. For Bultmann, the final hand was an 'ecclesiastical redactor', who brought into line with emerging orthodoxy elements such as the realised eschatology of the gospel.

45 The initial resurrection appearances (John 20) take place in Jerusalem, where the disciples receive their commission to a ministry of forgiveness (John 20:22). Hence, as in Luke, Jerusalem is the initial focus ofthe post-resurrection community. TheJudaean roots may

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