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date: 01 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the scholarly debate in the twentieth century about the relationship between John’s Gospel and Greek philosophy. Initially, attention is drawn to the link, which characterizes the discussion in the first part of the century, between the dating of the Fourth Gospel and its ideological worldview. Next, it turns toward the alleged inspiration from Jewish Wisdom traditions in the composition of the Prologue and demonstrates how scholars’ references to Wisdom have served the most diverse—and even opposing—purposes: to ward off philosophical speculation, to replace Jewish mythology and apocalypticism by Greek rationality, to illustrate the Prologue’s Middle Platonism, and to introduce Stoicism into John’s thinking. Finally, it demonstrates how readings of the Prologue in light of Aristotle’s theory of epigenesis have displaced the focus from the logos to the pneuma and thereby managed to extend the discussion about influence from Greek philosophy beyond the Prologue.

Keywords: John’s Prologue, Apocalypticism, Logos Theology, Jewish Wisdom, Middle Platonism, Stoicism, epigenesis, Pneuma

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