- The Oxford Handbook of Johannine Studies
- The Text of The Gospel and Letters of John
- Literary Sources of the Gospel and Letters of John
- John and other Gospels
- The Story of the Johannine Community and its Literature
- The Beloved Disciple, the Fourth Evangelist, and the Authorship of the Fourth Gospel
- The Gospel of John and Archaeology
- The Jews of the Fourth Gospel
- The Johannine Literature in a Greek Context
- The Johannine Literature and Contemporary Jewish Literature
- The Johannine Literature and the Gnostics
- The Fourth Gospel as Narrative and Drama
- Ideological Readings of the Fourth Gospel
- Gender and the Fourth Gospel
- Social-Scientific Readings of the Gospel and Letters of John
- Symbolism and ‘Signs’ in the Fourth Gospel
- Dualism and the World in the Gospel and Letters of John
- Eschatology and Time in the Gospel of John
- The Person of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John
- The Purpose of the Ministry and Death of Jesus in the Gospel of John
- Faith, Eternal Life, and the Spirit in the Gospel of John
- Ethics in Community in the Gospel and Letters of John
- Temple, Festivals, and Scripture in the Gospel Of John
- The Johannine Literature and the Canon
- Johannine Commentaries in the Early Church
- Index Locorum
- General Index
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the symbolism of the Fourth Gospel. It demonstrates that religious symbol is substantial rather than decorative, containing cognitive meaning as well as affective impact. The metaphors of the gospel are linguistic forms of symbolism, apparent in the seven ‘I am’ sayings of the Gospel and in the use of the five senses as metaphors of faith. Johannine symbolism is inextricably linked to the narrative out of which it emerges. John’s symbols are not of equal value, some playing a core role in the narrative. The ‘signs’ or miracles of the Gospel are also important, functioning as Johannine symbols in revealing the divine glory in Jesus and summoning the reader to faith. The cross is the greatest of the Johannine ‘signs’. Theologically, the incarnation lies at the basis of John’s symbolism: the conviction that divine glory is apprehended in and through the flesh.
Dorothy A. Lee is Frank Woods Professor of New Testament at Trinity College, University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia. Her main research interests are the narrative and the theology of the Gospels, particularly the Fourth Gospel. She is the author of Flesh and Glory: Symbol, Gender and Theology in the Gospel of John (2002), A Friendly Guide to the Gospel of Matthew (2012), Hallowed in Truth and Love: Spirituality in the Johannine Literature (2016).
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