Rethinking the Ethics of John

»Implicit Ethics« in the Johannine Writings. Kontexte und Normen neutestamentlicher Ethik / Contexts and Norms of New Testament Ethics. Volume III
Ed. by Jan G. van der Watt and Ruben Zimmermann

[Die Ethik des Johannes – neu bedacht. Die »implizite Ethik« in johanneischen Schriften.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-151830-0
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Published in English.
Does the Johannine literature teach us anything about ethics? Normally the answer is: 'Very little, apart from love for one another'. This book illustrates that the spectrum of Johannine ethics is much wider and more dynamic than was believed up to now. John is also interested in how children of God behave and live.
Ethics is a neglected field of research in the Gospel and Letters of John. Judgments about even the presence of ethics in the Gospel are often negative, and even though ethics is regarded as one of the two major problem areas focused on in 1 John, the development of a Johannine ethics from the Letters receive relatively little attention. This book aims at making a positive contribution and even to stimulating the debate on the presence of ethical material in the Johannine literature through a series of essays by some leading Johannine scholars. The current state of research is thoroughly discussed and new developments as well as new possibilities for further investigation are treated. By utilizing different analytical categories and methods (such as narratology) new areas of research are opened up and new questions are considered. Therefore, aspects of moral thinking and normative values can be discovered and put together to the mosaic of an »implicit ethics« in the Johannine Writings. More familiar themes like the law or deeds in the Gospel are reconsidered in a new light, while the ethical role of the opponents or the ethical use of Scripture are explored as new avenues for describing the dynamics of ethics in the Gospel. The ethical nature of the Letters is also considered, focusing not only on the theological nature of ethics in the Letters, but also on the ethical impact of some rhetorical material in 1 John. The culminative result of these series of essays is to illustrate that the ethical material in the Gospel is not as absent as was believed by many in the past. The essays not only open up a wider spectrum of Johannine ethical material but also invite further exploration and research in this much neglected area of Johannine studies.
Survey of contents
Introduction: Overview of Research
Michael Labahn: »It's Only Love« – Is That All? Limits and Potentials of Johannine »Ethic« – A Critical Evaluation of Research – Ruben Zimmermann: Is there Ethics in the Gospel of John? Challenging an outdated consensus

Possible backgrounds for Johannine ethics
Andrew T. Glicksman: Beyond Sophia: The Sapiential Portrayal of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel and Its Ethical Implications for the Johannine Community – Erik Eynikel: The Qumran background of Johannine Ethics – Volker Rabens: Johannine Perspectives on Ethical Enabling in the Context of Stoic and Philonic Ethics

Ethics in the Gospel according to John
William R.G. Loader: The Law and Ethics in John's Gospel – Karl Weyer-Menkhoff: The Response of Jesus. Ethics in John by considering Scripture as Work of God – Jan G. van der Watt: Ethics of/and the opponents of Jesus in John's Gospel – Christos Karakolis: Semeia Conveying Ethics in the Gospel according to John – Mira Stare: Ethics of life in the Gospel of John – Hermut Löhr: Ἔργον as an Element of Moral Language in John – Chrys C. Caragounis: »Abide in me«. The New Mode of Relationship Between Jesus and His Followers as a Basis for Christian Ethics (John 15) – Glen Lund: The Joys and Dangers of Ethics in John's Gospel – Paul N. Anderson: Discernment-Oriented Leadership in the Johannine Situation – biding in the Truth versus Lesser Alternatives

Ethics in 1 John
Udo Schnelle: Ethical Theology in 1 John – Jeffrey E. Brickle: Transacting Virtue within a Disrupted Community: The Negotiation of Ethics in the First Epistle of John – Tom Thatcher: Cain the Jew the AntiChrist: Collective Memory and the Johannine Ethic of Loving and Hating

Jan G. van der Watt Born 1952; emeritus professor of the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands) as well as research associate University of the Free State (South Africa).

Ruben Zimmermann Geboren 1968; Professor für Neues Testament und Ethik an der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz und Research Associate am Department of Old and New Testament Studies der University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, Südafrika.


The following reviews are known:

In: Bulletin for Biblical Research — 24.1 (2014), S. 117–119 (Matthew D. Jensen)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 139 (2014), S. 583–585 (Anni Hentschel)
In: The Expository Times — 125 (2014), S. 582 (Thomas J. Kraus)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 57 (2013), S. 412
In: Journal for the Study of the NT — 35.5. (2013), S. 72–73 (Jane Heath)
In: The Marginalia Review — (10/2013) (Wendy E.S. North)
In: Recherches de Science Religieuse — 103 (2015), S. 257–286 (Michèle Morgen)
In: Biblische Zeitschrift — 60 (2016), S. 286–289 (Alois Stimpfle)