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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Like other books of the New Testament, the Gospel of John can be viewed from a variety of perspectives. For the Christian church, it is sacred Scripture that enshrines eternal truths about God, Jesus, humankind, and the relationships among them. For historians, it is a potential source of information about the historical Jesus. This article introduces the literary-critical study of the Gospel of John. It considers the following issues: the Fourth Gospel's literary structure and the basic narrative elements such as plot, setting, characterization, and chronology; some of the literary devices that pervade the Gospel; the ways in which literary approaches to the Fourth Gospel resonate in English literature; and a number of the major literary-critical approaches which have been applied to the Gospel. Finally, the article addresses the question of the Gospel of John and historical criticism, to show how literary-critical approaches can actually complement and even illuminate historical concerns.

Keywords: Gospel of John, New Testament, Fourth Gospel, English literature, historical criticism, historical Jesus

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