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Gospel of Glory

Major Themes in Johannine Theology

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Throughout Christian history, the Gospel of John's distinctive way of presenting the life, works, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus have earned it labels such as "the spiritual Gospel" and "the maverick Gospel." It has been seen as the most theological of the four canonical Gospels. In this volume, leading biblical scholar Richard Bauckham illuminates main theological themes of the Gospel of John, providing insightful analysis of key texts.

Some of the themes Bauckham addresses have been much neglected, and others have been much debated during the past century of New Testament scholarship. Bauckham sheds light on the "individualism" apparent in John's portrayal of the believer's relationship to Jesus and the mutual indwelling of individuals (Jesus and God, the believer and Jesus); divine and human community; how Jesus reveals God's glory and how disciples participate in it; John's understanding of the key events in his christological story; baptismal and eucharistic overtones; the background and significance of John's dualistic language; and how John's language evokes multiple meanings without negating the literal sense of his narrative. A concluding chapter explores the significance for faith of the differences between John and the other Gospels.

This compact volume will serve students as an ideal supplemental text in a course on John or the four Gospels. Gospel of Glory will also serve New Testament scholars and theologians as a reexamination of the Fourth Gospel by a master of their guild.

1. "Individualism"
2. Divine and Human Community
3. Glory
4. Cross, Resurrection, and Exaltation
5. Sacraments?
6. Dualisms
7. Dimensions of Meaning in the Gospel's First Week
8. The Johannine Jesus and the Synoptic Jesus


"Bauckham offers a series of probing essays on the Gospel of John and its theology. They display the qualities that mark all of Bauckham's scholarship: a mastery of the field, an attention to exegetical detail, theological sophistication, and an independent judgment in constructive dialogue with an impressive array of Johannine scholars. Written in an accessible way, these essays will introduce Bauckham to those who do not know his work as they continue his stimulating contribution to the conversation about the elusive but engaging Gospel of John."

Harold W. Attridge, Yale Divinity School

"These studies on the Gospel of John combine close attention to the details of the text with an open sympathy for its themes and emphases. They are models of theological exegesis."

†Larry W. Hurtado, New College, University of Edinburgh

"We can be grateful that Professor Bauckham has chosen to devote his considerable talents to an exploration of selected themes in Johannine theology. While not aiming to be comprehensive, this volume makes a significant contribution to the study of John's theological thought. No one interested in Johannine theology can afford to ignore this important collection of essays."

Andreas J. Kӧstenberger, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Bauckham awakens readers to nuances in Johannine language and concepts of which habit has left us unmindful and makes visible the allusions to prophetic texts veiled by Johannine narrative art. He refreshes soteriological discourse about individualism and sacramental language and reopens the discussion of the relationship of the Johannine and the Synoptic Jesus. Bauckham's encapsulation of previous scholarship and presentation of new insights will delight and challenge both student and scholar."

Jo-Ann A. Brant, Goshen College

"Senior British New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham here offers eight essays on some of the most difficult themes in Johannine studies. His aim is not to deconstruct Johannine history but to elucidate the more nuanced meanings of the Gospel as we have it. From this point forward, no complete discussion of John and the Synoptics or Johannine sacramentalism (as well as the other subjects) can neglect this thorough, critical work."

Gary M. Burge, Calvin Theological Seminary

"I read Gospel of Glory with great pleasure and with my own commentary on John within reach. I found frequent agreement, occasional disagreement, and, on every page, enrichment. The first chapter alone ('individualism' in John's Gospel) is worth the price of the book. The chapter on the Gospel's first week offers a fascinating glimpse of what Bauckham's forthcoming commentary on John may look like, and yet Gospel of Glory is no mere appetizer but a meal in itself."

J. Ramsey Michaels, Missouri State University (emeritus)

"From individual to community, from glory to the cross, from sacraments to dualism, from the call of the disciples to their later witness, Gospel of Glory breaks new ground. Not only is John's narrative now welcomed to be read alongside the Synoptics in discerning the Jesus of history, but the Synoptics can now be read side by side fruitfully as informing the Christ of faith. Readers of John's Gospel--and of the others--will want to read this book!"

Paul N. Anderson, George Fox University

The Author

  1. Richard Bauckham

    Richard Bauckham

    Richard Bauckham (PhD, University of Cambridge) is emeritus professor of New Testament at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and senior scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He is a fellow of the British Academy and the author of numerous books,...

    Continue reading about Richard Bauckham


"This is a highly stimulating, scholarly and accessible book, provocative on some issues and illuminating on others. It engages in dialogue with other scholarly views and is ready both to build on, and to challenge, many of the assumptions of current Johannine scholarship. Either way, these chapters give rise to further and deeper consideration of the nature and content of the Johannine witness."

Dorothy Lee,

Religious Studies Review

"Bauckham writes knowledgeably, interestingly, and mostly persuasively. . . . This is an excellent book, with great insights."

David Wenham,

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

"[A] rich study of Johannine theology. . . . Bauckham is noted for his erudition, the clarity of his writing, and his clear and provocative perspectives that often go against prevailing trends. All these are on display here. He offers valuable insight into John's focus on both the individual's relationship with Christ and the gospel's communal emphasis, the role of sacramentality in John, the meaning of 'glory,' 'duality' in John, and the gospel's presentation of the death and resurrection of Jesus. A final essay offers a thoughtful analysis of what it means to read John in relationship to the Synoptic portrayals of Jesus."

Donald Senior, CP,

The Bible Today

"Bauckham is able to demonstrate persuasively the palpable theological intention and competent literary skills of the fourth evangelist. . . . Since this book challenges current mainstream Johannine scholarship at several fronts, it stopped me to ponder frequently. It also merits perusal for the keen insights it provides. Readers will gain a deeper appreciation for and understanding of John's Gospel."

S. Michael Ahn,

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"There is a great deal to learn here. Preachers and other students of the Word (including scholars) who care to delve into Fourth Gospel specifics will profit immensely from the findings that arise from these reverent, insightful, informed, and occasionally brilliant investigations."

Robert Yarbrough,

Reformation 21

"A fine study of Johannine theology."

James M. Barker,


"Anyone interested in the theology of the spiritual Gospel will likely find this book informative, insightful and illuminating."

Daniel DeForest London,

Biblical Theology Bulletin

"The essays in this volume provide fruitful and often insightful discussion of several themes, which lie at the heart of the Fourth Gospel, and consequently constitute a helpful introduction to the way the Gospel works and the way its author thinks. . . . Bauckham often brings a fresh approach to familiar topics. . . . His attention to the detail of the text combined with his deep familiarity with the texts and traditions which make up the milieu in which the Fourth Gospel was produced result in model scholarship. Moreover, these essays are models of theological reflection on the text of John that seems to this reviewer to be of the sort John hoped for his readers. . . . In particular, together they highlight the centrality and significance of Jesus's 'death-and-exaltation' for John's presentation of Jesus."

Joshua Coutts,

Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology

"Bauckham's independent scholarship concerning the Gospels is recognized widely. . . . Gospel of Glory is an enriching book, challenging both students and scholars to rethink some important aspects of Johannine theology."

Rob van Houwelingen,

European Journal of Theology

"[Bauckham] presents a platter of weighty hors d'oeurves, each one a meal in itself. . . . [A] cache of riches . . . awaits students, preachers, and scholars who will read Gospel of Glory."

Ardel B. Caneday,


"Bauckham's Gospel of Glory is an evident fruit of years of deep study and contemplation on the Gospel of John. This mature scholarship keeps him from getting bogged down in overly detailed discussions and allows him to extract the core of John's teaching on . . . key themes. Indeed, he manages to produce a work that is helpful to scholar and layman alike, while manifesting a tone of worship."

Joey Newton,

Southern Baptist Journal of Theology

"This is a rigorous, informed, and reverent book. [Bauckham's] development of specifically Johannine themes will help his readers preach John in a way that is faithfully distinctive, yet compatible with the synoptic gospels."

Duncan Brisk,


"As expected from a renowned Johannine scholar, Richard Bauckham garners in this book an impressive array of essays devoted to some of the major theological themes of the Gospel of John. . . . While Bauckham's topics and arguments are top-notch, he is able to communicate them in simple, non-technical terms. Indeed, the writings are done in a way that even readers with little theological background are able to comprehend. . . . As one engages his arguments, one can readily appreciate his depth of research and the intricate details he provides. Bauckham is also able to make original contributions while dialoguing with a variety of scholars, a mark of someone who has clearly mastered the field. . . . As an introductory book on Johannine theology, Bauckham brings amazing insights in a succinct fashion, and for this reason, this book should be recommended for anyone who is interested in studying the Gospel of John."

Jin Wook Kim,

Southwestern Journal of Theology