Dr. George L. Parsenios writes a review on the Book entitled “The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel: An Introduction to John” (Authored by Dr. Paul N. Anderson; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011. 396 pp. $22.00. ISBN 978-080-0604-271). Dr. George Parsenios taught me the Gospel of John at Princeton Theological Seminary (at the PhD Seminar level) and Dr. Paul Anderson (of George Fox University) influenced me through his various writings, lectures and personal interactions on John.
Read the Book Review below…
[THIS WELCOME BOOK provides a rich introduction to both the questions that occupy modern Johannine scholarship and to the various responses to these questions. The book comprises three basic sections: “Outlining the Johannine Riddles”; “Addressing the Johannine Riddles”; and “Interpreting the Johannine Riddles.” Issues covered range from authorship and sources to sacraments and charges of anti-Semitism. Traditional and long-discussed historical, theological, and source-critical questions receive attention at the expense of more contemporary literary and cultural questions, but Anderson thoroughly treats the areas he addresses. The book’s format both helps and hinders it, with regular recourse to charts and bullet-point lists. Indeed, there are rarely four pages in a row in which most of a page or an entire page is not given to a chart or list. This makes reading difficult from cover to cover. However, this format is immensely useful for the person looking for raw data, such as the list of the dozen verses on both sides of the issue that are relevant for understanding John’s treatment of the question of freewill vs. determinism; or a list of the scattered topographical and geographical references in John; or a list of scholarly views on all issues of concern in John. These catalogs reflect a careful reading of John and of Johannine scholarship. The greatest benefit is that these do not simply impart information, but are always accompanied by Anderson’s measured assessment. One may not always agree with him, but he is a recognized authority on the Fourth Gospel, and is a trustworthy guide through Johannine scholarship. The book thus offers a rare combination of authority and accessibility. I am glad to have it and will return to it often, both for material for teaching and for views on Johannine scholarship. I enthusiastically recommend it to both beginners and experts.]
The Review firstly appeared here.
You can order the book here.