Reading John through Johannine Lenses
Congratulations to NABPR member, Stan Harstine on the publication of his new book Reading John through Johannine Lenses (Lexington, 2022). Stan Harstine is professor of religion at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.
Reading John through Johannine Lenses demonstrates that the model an interpreter chooses for examining the Gospel of John significantly impacts the resulting interpretation. The Fourth Evangelist uses key words in the prologue in order to guide the reader toward key moments in the gospel. Stan Harstine shows how four words— life, word, receive, and believe— converge at transition points in John 5, 12, and 17. Their close relationship is not random; rather, it guides the reader to recall what the Gospel has presented in the preceding section, providing a road map for understanding the narrative. By using interpretive models from both diachronic and synchronic methodologies, Harstine’s comparison of traditional historical methods with more recent narrative and rhetorical methods demonstrates the wide disparity of results from prior approaches, thus accentuating the importance of reading the Fourth Gospel through the lenses it provides its readers.
Praise for the book
This book will serve teachers and students well as it makes sense of the often-bewildering cacophony of methodologies and interpretations of John. Harstine establishes the prologue as the introductory prism for key themes and terms in the Gospel, then surveys historical, narratological, and rhetorical approaches to the prologue and chapters 5, 12, and 17, carrying the development of John’s major themes through these chapters. The payoff is a heightened appreciation for the complexity of the Gospel and the role of the approaches (lenses) one uses in reading it, yet what emerges is the unity of the Gospel’s authorial voice.
— R. Alan Culpepper, Mercer University
Stan Harstine, Reading John through Johannine Lenses, Lexington Books, 2022, ISBN: 9781978712935. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781978712935/Reading-John-through-Johannine-Lenses.
`Blockquotes and images via Lexington Books’ header image by Cover Photo by Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.
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