Item description for The Theology of the Johannine Epistles (New Testament Theology) by Judith M. Lieu & James D. G. Dunn...
Overview The Johannine Epistles have long been recognized as contributing a vital element to the theology of the New Testament. Usually it is to the Gospel that the reader turns first in order to explore that contribution; the First Epistle is treated as a supplement, while 2 and 3 John--because of their brevity--receive little attention. This book allows the Epistles to speak for themselves, and shows that they sound a distinctive note within Johannine theology, in particular, and the thought of the New Testament, in general. Dr. Lieu carefully outlines their most important theological themes which, when understood in their original setting, are seen to have rich potential for the continuing theology of the Church.
Publishers Description The Johannine Epistles have long been recognized as contributing a vital element to the theology of the New Testament. Usually it is to the Gospel that the reader turns first in order to explore that contribution; the First Epistle is treated as a supplement, while 2 and 3 John - on account of their brevity - receive little attention. This book allows the Epistles to speak for themselves, and shows that they sound a distinctive note within Johannine theology in particular, and the thought of the New Testament in general. Dr Lieu carefully outlines their most important theological themes (comprising, for example, tensions-in-unity between confidence and imperative, individual and community, and faith and tradition) which - when understood in their original setting - are seen to have rich potential for the continuing theology of the church.
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Studio: Cambridge University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.38" Weight: 0.43 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 1991
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Series Cambridge New Testament Theology
ISBN 052135806X ISBN13 9780521358064
Availability 0 units.
More About Judith M. Lieu & James D. G. Dunn
Judith Lieu is Professor of New Testament Studies at King's College London.
Judith M. Lieu currently resides in London. Judith M. Lieu has an academic affiliation as follows - King's College London Professor of New Testament Studies, King's Colle.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Theology of the Johannine Epistles (New Testament Theology)?
Getting to see 1 John on its own terms Oct 14, 2003
This book is in theory a survey of the theology of 1 John, 2 John and 3 John but in practice is an exposition of 1 John with the other two being addendums. This, however much it is to be lamented, is really a strength of this book. Most of the NT books beyond Hebrews tend to get ignored (with the exception perhaps of Revelation) and even when they are given attention they receive very little. And so, 1 John being much more important than its companions, it is a virtue of this book devoting 129 pages almost entirely to 1 John.
Judith Lieu begins by looking at the setting of 1 John to its history and general Johannine "milieu" but is able, finally, to decide to treat 1 John on its own accord, without making it stand in the shadow of the Gospel and this decision frees the rest of the book to settle down and hear it on its own terms.
The meat of the book looks at its themes but before it does so Lieu reminds us that 1 John is an enigmatic writing, defying the conventions that most other letters use in the NT. Whereas Paul and Hebrews and others do theology through argumentation and linear thinking, 1 John is a strange sea of propositions that are neither argued nor pondered but simply affirmed. Lieu notes that 1 John's thought has been likened to that of a spiral rather than a straight line - it continues to cover the same ideas but always by bringing in new relationships to other ideas and so moves a step forward. At the center of this spiral Lieu identifies eternal life, which is the overriding concern and backbone of this letter.
As a result, 1 John's goal is not primarily to correct false teaching, encourage ethics, innovate a new theology or persuade the readers to some course of action but simply to reaffirm and remind them of that which they already know, believe, do and maintain and how those things confirm their possession of eternal life. This sets up tensions between the author and community (the use of "we" and "you pl." serves to identify the author with his community even though he is writing to them), imperative and indicative (the commands are simply to keep doing what they already know to do), and dualism and election (being chosen by God and being a participant in a spiritual battle in the world). Lieu looks at how the community understands religious experience, the paradox of sins and sinlessness and authority.
2 and 3 John are explored, but even when mined at such depths their contributions are shown to be primarily concerning church, authority and ministry and how in these documents an anti-establishment view is being developed within the Johannine circle.
In the end Lieu connects these thoughts to the Gospel and to the NT as a whole and then goes on to expound on its meaning for today. These are treated as usual.
The true power of this work comes from getting to see 1 John apart from the Gospel, seeing so much of it (since 2 and 3 John take relatively little space in the work) and exploring the unique presentation of 1 John's spiraling theology. Lieu does a fine job and adds a nice touch to this series of books.