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Durham e-Theses
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Christology and ecclesiology in the fourth gospel

Bigger, Andrew J. (1983) Christology and ecclesiology in the fourth gospel. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The aim of this thesis is to show the connection between Christology and ecclesiology in the Fourth Gospel; how the latter is based totally on the former to such an extent that the Christological and ecclesiological models are treated as one subject, the community being the continuation of Jesus' presence on earth. In Part One, Christology is examined, and with it the question of whether John has clarified or obscured the Synoptic tradition's account of the life of Jesus. The central motif is shown to be that of oneness, and where a subordinationist tendency occurs it is reinterpreted in accordance with the complete oneness of Father and Son, so that sender and sent are seen as identical, and yet distinct and in relationship to each other, Part Two examines ecclesiology as derived from the Father-Son model. The Christian community is shown to stand in the same relation to Jesus as does Jesus to the Father; the community thus takes on the role of the continuation of the incarnation, of God walking on the earth. The oneness motif is therefore not limited to the Father-Son relationship but works in an ecclesiological direction also. What has been affirmed christologically, that Father and Son are totally one, is now affirmed of the community and Jesus. The conclusion is that these two motifs, Christology and ecclesiology, are one and although in the theological development Christology preceded ecclesiology, now they are fused together and both interact on each other. The final conclusion is that in regard to the Synoptic tradition, John has attempted to draw out the true significance of Jesus' message, but in so doing has forced everything into the oneness motif, thus obscuring something of the humanity of Jesus. From an ecclesiological viewpoint, he has developed the material in a way not previously done before.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1983
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 May 2013 15:46

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