This accessible, engaging work explores the major theological dimensions of John's Gospel, including God, the world and its people, Jesus, the crucifixion and resurrection, the Spirit, faith, and discipleship. Craig Koester's Word of Life is notable for its comprehensive treatment of themes and its close, careful focus on the biblical text, on the narrative itself.
In his introduction Koester provides a succinct overview of the Gospel and shows how disputes about John's theology throughout history have significantly shaped the church and wider society. In the course of his discussion, such expressions as being “born again” and Jesus as “the way” -- which evoke both interest and uneasiness today -- become much clearer in the context of the Gospel as a whole.
Koester interacts with the best of current research and makes creative proposals about how to understand the many aspects of John's theology. His clear and highly readable guide to the theology of John's Gospel will appeal to a wide range of readers.
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Craig R. Koester is the Asher O. and Carrie Nasby Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel: Meaning, Mystery, Community, a study of the rich and evocative imagery in John's gospel. Among his other works are Revelation and the End of All Things, major commentaries on Hebrews and Revelation for the prestigious Anchor Yale Commentary series, and the popular video series, The Apocalypse: Controversies and Meaning in Western History.Review:
"Reading The Word of Life is like taking a guided tour through the intriguing world of John's theology, a tour led by one of the world's most able and experienced Johannine scholars. Craig Koester integrates the history of interpretation with thorough and responsible theological analyses of the text of the Gospel in ways that constantly enrich the reader. One discovers how John's Gospel constantly shaped the perspectives of its first readers and still does so for readers today. Koester has an excellent way of exploring and explaining the power of the abiding message of John. By focusing on the major actors and events of the Johannine narrative, he systematically unfolds the richness of John's message and leads the reader into the thought structure of the Gospel, showing how the different theological themes interrelate and interact in order to present the reader with the message of the Word of life. His treatment of the Gospel's themes offers an in-depth look at not only the problems but also the solutions offered in research. This book will most certainly appeal to both students and experienced scholars of John, not only because of its theological depth but also because of its accessible style and clear argumentation. The book's thoroughness and conciseness will surely make it a winner in classrooms among students." --Jan van der Watt, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
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