Monday, August 21, 2006

Realized Eschatology in John's Gospel: Part 4

Reflecting back on the Gospel then, the disciples did not receive eternal life at 2:11, nor did the “many” in 2:23, nor the Samaritan’s in 4:39–42, nor the Jews in 7:31; 8:30, 31; 10:42; 11:45; 12:11, 42. No one was able to receive eternal life until after the Holy Spirit was given (see 6:63; 7:38–39; 16:7). Referring to the disciples, Culpepper says “that their faith (will) be incomplete until after the completion of Jesus’ work at his death” (Culpepper, Anatomy, 91). This is why I have attempted to discern how John portrayed the belief of those presented in the narratives in my Th.M. thesis, rather than whether or not they received eternal life. Taking salvation-historical considerations into account, the non-receiving of eternal life is not a reflection of how a person’s or group’s belief is portrayed. Terms such as “adequate” and “inadequate” are not completely appropriate, then, in this dialogue. Rather, I have tried to use terms such as “positive,” “negative,” “neutral,” “inchoate,” “spurious,” “deficient,” and others like it which are more suited for this discussion.

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