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New Book on Christology of GJohn

December 13, 2017

I’m pleased to see that the PhD thesis of one of my recent students has now appeared, which offers an original contribution to our understanding of the christology reflected in the GJohn:  Joshua J. F. Coutts, The Divine Name in the Gospel of John: Significance and Impetus (WUNT 447; Tuebingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2017).

One of the distinctive features of the GJohn is the emphasis on the divine name, and (a related topic) divine glory.  GJohn associates Jesus with the manifestation of God’s name and glory.  The questions Coutts pursues is what role this linkage of divine name and Jesus plays in GJohn, and what might have been the impetus and influence(s) that prompted this linkage.

I won’t spoil the “plot” for readers, but Coutts makes what I think is a persuasive case that the author of GJohn was inspired by the prophetic themes of a future manifestation of God’s name and glory in Isaiah.  Coutts also discusses in detail the ways that these topoi are used in GJohn to bring out Jesus’ significance.  In short, in GJohn Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise that God will bring eschatological salvation by manifesting his name and glory.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up Dr Hurtado, sounds interesting.
    I wonder if Coutts will wrestle with the issues surrounding the LXX’s anarthrous tetragrammaton (surely the epitome of the Divine Name) and the lack of impetus of the first century writers to take up this grammatical option. Certainly, I have just recently argued that there are some constraints to be placed here, with one single anarthrous (and curious) instance in Colossians 3:17 of ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου against the solid backdrop in the LXX of this lexical unit.

    Anyone else curious to know what I’m harping on about here can check out my recent post where I map out I think in full the constraint:

    • JB: Coutts’s book is on the Johannine themes of Jesus connected with the divine name and glory. As I said.

  2. Donald Jacobs permalink

    What do you think the early Christians had in mind when they talked about the divine name? Do you think Frank Shaw’s research has impacted views on what the early Christians meant when they referred to the divine name?

    • Well, the divine name is likely what Jews of the time thought it was.

      • Donald Jacobs permalink

        In what form? Did the early Christians think, write and say, Yahweh, Yaho, lord, a mixture, or what?

      • Donald: The direct evidence shows Greek speaking Jews using “Kyrios” as the verbal substitute for YHWH. And we know that Hebrew and Aramaic speaking Jews used equivalent substitutes. So, earliest Jewish Christians would have done the same.

  3. eliadefollower permalink

    Thank you for this alert. I will have to look at what Coutts has to say. But I admit that I suspect we are not understanding the gospel at all, and are in fact missing far more than we realize. I am working on two papers to this end, one dealing with Johannine chronology (I think we can date far more than we realize) and the other on consciousness studies and what they can tell us about John’s gospel.

    • Hmm. “Consciousness studies”?? Sounds just a bit outre to me, “eliadefollower”. (BTW, I insist on real names on this site.)

  4. Thanks for the heads up on this work. Sound similar to the suggest made by Samuel Terrien a bit ago in “The Elusive Presence” where in the OT material he distinguishes the Name and Glory as two different theological trajectories of OT theology/experience. But then in the NT material shows that the Name theology and Glory theology are fused in Jesus.

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