THST 698 - Topics in the Gospels: John
Graduate Course Description - Fall 1999
Felix Just, S.J.
Department of Theological Studies
Loyola Marymount University
Mondays, 4:30-7:00 p.m. in StR 249
Office: Sullivan 33; Phone 8-5933
Office Hours: M 3-4, W 9-12, F 10-12, & by appt.
image courtesy of Monastery Icons - used with permission
Course Description & Goals:
In this graduate seminar we will study various historical, literary, and theological aspects of the Fourth Gospel. We will also try an innovative approach to New Testament Studies, namely by integrating the use of the Internet as fully as possible into our studies, along with more traditional methods and resources available in print. Students will not only find and use resources already available on-line, but will also join me in writing and publishing new materials on the World Wide Web. Only a few materials related to the Fourth Gospel are currently on the Internet (some brief introductions, isolated articles and book reviews, incomplete bibliographies), and some of these contain strong biases. Our goal, in addition to gaining a thorough knowledge of the Fourth Gospel, will be to produce a fairly comprehensive website devoted to the academic study of John. By participating in the development of this material, which will be permanently accessible on the Web, students will hopefully also gain an excitement for biblical studies overall.
Specific Goals and Objectives:
Some Possibilities for Student Specialization:
A) To attain a thorough knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the Gospel of John:
B) To become aware of the process, the complexity, and the rewards of doing biblical studies:
- we will investigate its structure, themes, symbols and terminology, including a basic knowledge of the ancient Greek alphabet and grammar.
- we will also consider the relationship between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of the Gospels, as well as the history and development of the Johannine Community in its first-century context.
C) To experience the inter-disciplinary nature of biblical and theological studies:
- we will learn and use traditional library-based research methods and resources, as well as standard classroom-based teaching and learning methods.
- we will also learn and use newer internet-based methods and resources for research.
D) To learn and be encouraged to produce material good enough for publication:
- each student will choose one area of interest or specialization (see some suggestions below).
- as we study particular chapters of John, each student will contribute to the learning process from the perspective of his or her chosen specialization.
E) To become familiar and comfortable with academic publishing on the internet:
- we will prepare multiple drafts of all materials, revising them throughout the semester.
- we will receive written and oral feedback, not only from the professor but also from other students.
- we will explore and study biblically related materials already available on the web, especially looking at the content, but also considering its formal presentation.
- we will learn about and practice making and updating our own academic web-pages.
- Barrett, C. K. The Gospel According to John: An Introduction with Commentary and Notes on the Greek Text. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1978.
- Beasley-Murray, George R. John. Word Biblical Commentary, 36. Waco, TX: Word, 1987.
- Brodie, Thomas. The Gospel According to John: A Literary and Theological Commentary. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
- Brown, Raymond E. The Gospel According to John I-XII & XIII-XXI: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. 2 vols. Anchor Bible 29 & 29A. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966-70.
- Bruce, F. F. (Frederick Fyvie). The Gospel of John. Revised ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1983.
- Bultmann, Rudolf. The Gospel of John: A Commentary. Transl. G. Beasley-Murray, et al. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1971.
- Dodd, C. H. The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel. Cambridge: University Press, 1953, 1968.
- Fortna, Robert T. The Fourth Gospel and Its Predecessor: From Narrative Source to Present Gospel. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988.
- Haenchen, Ernst. John 1 [or John 2]: A Commentary on the Gospel of John. Hermeneia Commentary Series. 2 vols. Trans. by R. Funk. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984.
- Kysar, Robert. John. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1986.
- Michaels, J. Ramsey. John. NIBC 4. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1984; 1989; 1995.
- Moloney, Francis J. The Gospel of John. Sacra Pagina 4. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1998.
- Morris, Leon. The Gospel according to John. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.
- Ridderbos, Herman N. Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1996.
- Schnackenburg, Rudolf. The Gospel According to John. 3 vols. New York: Seabury Press/ Crossroad, 1968-82.
In most meetings of our seminar, we will do three things:
a) take a brief overview of the primary texts assigned for that day, especially the material not part of that day's focus;
b) consider some historical (Brown and Rensberger) and literary (Culpepper) aspects from our secondary reading;
c) study the focus text in depth, with contributions from each student based on his/her chosen specialized research field.
|Date||Primary Reading and Focus||Secondary Reading|
|Aug. 23||--||Introduction: Bible / Greek / Computer / etc.|
|Aug. 30||John 1-21 overview;
John 1, esp. Call of First Disciples
|Brown: Pref. & Intro (pp.
Rensberger: Pref. & Ch. 1 (pp. 13-36)
Culpepper: Pref. & 1 (pp. v-xii, 1-11)
|[Sept. 6]||[Labor Day - no classes]||[gather specialized research tools and resources]|
|Sept. 13||John 2, esp. Cana||Brown: Phases One and Two (25-91)|
|Sept. 20||John 3, esp. Nicodemus||Rensberger: Ch. 2-4 (37-86)|
|Sept. 27||John 4-5, esp. Samaritan Woman||Culpepper: Ch. 2 (13-49)|
|Oct. 4||John 6-8, esp. Bread of Life Discourse||Culpepper: Ch. 3-4 (51-98)|
|Oct. 11||John 9-10, esp. Blind Man & Pharisees||Culpepper: Ch. 5 (99-148)|
|Oct. 18||John 11-12, esp. Lazarus & His Sisters||Culpepper: Ch. 6 (149-202)|
|Oct. 25||John 13-17, esp. Foot Washing & Paraclete||Culpepper: Ch. 7 & Concl. (203-237)|
|Nov. 1||John 18-19, esp. Trial & Crucifixion Scenes||Rensberger: Ch. 5-6 (87-134)|
|Nov. 8||John 20, esp. Mary Magdalene & Thomas||* S. Schneiders on Mary Magdalene|
|Nov. 15||John 21, esp. Peter and the B.D.||Rensberger: Ch. (7 (135-154)|
|Nov. 22 [SBL meeting]||Johannine Epistles||Brown: Phases Three and Four (93-164)|
|Nov. 29||reread John 1-21||Conclusion: Johannine Christianity Then & Now|
|[Dec. 6-10]||[Final Exam Period]||Final Projects due|
Everything in this syllabus is subject to modification in the course of the semester. Your suggestions for improvements are most welcome!