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Echoes of Friendship in the Gospel of John

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Friendship in the Graeco-Roman world took a wide variety of forms, with some ‘friendships’ involving nothing more than a political alliance or patron —client relationship and others involving deep personal intimacy. When Jesus says his disciples are to be called ‘friends’, what type of friendship does he have in mind?

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SKU: 978-1-907534-10-2

Friendship in the Graeco-Roman world took a wide variety of forms, with some ‘friendships’ involving nothing more than a political alliance or patron —client relationship and others involving deep personal intimacy. When Jesus says his disciples are to be called ‘friends’, what type of friendship does he have in mind?

Friendship may seem a relatively insignificant motif in the Gospel of John, since the author does not explicitly set out to provide a philosophical discourse on the nature of friendship, nor does he explicitly state that the narrative is about friendship. In this study, however, Culy, having carefully examined Graeco-Roman literature on friendship, demonstrates that the language of what he calls ‘ideal friendship’ actually pervades the Fourth Gospel from beginning to end and serves as a primary vehicle for characterizing the relationships that are introduced in the Prologue and fleshed out throughout the course of the narrative.

Taking up the friendship motif as a tool of characterization, the Gospel of John points to a striking implication of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus: that followers of Jesus are invited to enjoy a level of intimacy with him that can actually, and perhaps only, be compared to the level of intimacy that he enjoys with the Father. The Johannine Jesus, then, came not just to save the world but also to offer those who would follow him a relationship that Graeco-Roman philosophers only dreamed of, a relationship where all the ingredients of ideal friendship were present.

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table of contents

1. FRIENDSHIP, LITERARY MOTIFS, AND THE AUTHORIAL AUDIENCE Recent Studies on Friendship An Eclectic Approach The Friendship Motif and Authorial Reading Literary Approaches to Non-Literary Text Overview of This Study 2. FRIENDSHIP IN THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN WORLD Methodological Considerations The Implied Readers of the Fourth Gospel Greco-Roman Views of Friendship 3. FRIENDSHIP IN THE FOURTH GOSPEL: JESUS AND THE FATHER Friends and Family The Prologue Identity, Knowledge, and (Mis)Understanding in the Fourth Gospel Jesus’ Relationship with the Father The Holy Spirit’s Relationship to the Father, Son, and Followers of Jesu Conclusion 4. FRIENDSHIP IN THE FOURTH GOSPEL: JESUS AND HIS FOLLOWERS Jesus and his Friends Echoes of Friendship in the Upper Room Reading John 15:13-15 in Context Friendship in John 18-21 Conclusion 5. READING THE GOSPEL OF JOHN AS AUTHORIAL AUDIENCE

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Book information

Author
Martin M. Culy
List Price
£60 / $95 / €70
Series
New Testament Monographs, 30
Scholars' Price
£30 / $47.50 / €35
ISBN 13 hardback
978-1-907534-10-2
Format
Hardback
Page Extent
xii + 226
Publication Date
Oct-10
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