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The Theme of Creation in the Fourth Gospel

By Anthony Michael Moore


This thesis is an exploration into the relationship between the narrative of the Fourth Gospel and the opening chapter of the book of Genesis. Following the understanding established by E. D. Freed, Maarten J. J. Menken and others that John had knowledge of or access to the Septuagint, the Greek text of the Fourth Gospel is combed for vocabulary that might allude to the creation sequence in Gen. 1:1-2:4a. The purpose of the study is to approach the question of whether or not John was intentionally alluding to the creation narrative, not only in the Prologue or in the Passion and Resurrection Narratives but throughout the gospel as a whole. Beginning with the reference to the Risen Jesus as 'the gardener' in Jn 20:15 and the associated' garden' setting of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, the issue of intentional authorial allusion to the garden of Paradise in Gen. 2-3 is addressed; this connection, suggested by E. C. Hoskyns, R. H. Lightfoot and others, had been dismissed by Raymond E. Brown but this thesis shows that there is scope for reexamining the allusion and opening up the possibility that there was a broader theological schema in John's mind. Assuming the literary unity of the gospel in its present canonical form, a chapter is devoted to the listing of 'creation indicators' and a comprehensive survey reveals that much of the vocabulary of Gen.1:1-2:4a is peppered throughout the Fourth Gospel and, most significantly, within the 'signs' narratives. An original study argues that the signs are a re-presentation of the days of creation in the Genesis sequence. The thesis concludes by inviting a re-reading of the Fourth Gospel with the creation theme as an Ursatz and an implied 'high' Christology with Jesus as the Creator/Gardener

Publisher: School of Theology & Religious Studies (Leeds)
Year: 2010
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