We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

To examine the episodes in the Forth Gospel as symbolic of various types of spiritual characters and attitude.

Atkinson, James (1949) To examine the episodes in the Forth Gospel as symbolic of various types of spiritual characters and attitude. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The thesis is an examination of the problem of interpreting the Fourth Gospel and finding the Author's intent, and includes in its survey a detailed examination of the ancient commentators down to the fifth century. The writer believes that much modern work fails to do justice to the Fourth Gospel, for it begins with one or other of the assumptions that interpretation will yield ultimately either to the historical or psychological technique. These lines of interpretation (allegorical, mystical, mythical, devotional, even the purely historical), yield an impasse. The writer suggests that the episodes of the Fourth Gospel were deliberately selected by John as types of the human soul confronted in an historical experience by God in Christ. That the Johannine presentation was a deliberative and purposive design forced upon John by the sheer pressure of the intellectual and spiritual climate of the day needing an explanation of the synoptic which had stated everything but explained nothing, leaving unexplained problems of eternity and time, history and the Incarnation. That he attempted this by a selection of events from which the reader may transmute the historical experience of another into eternal truth for himself. That ancient commentators tried to unfathom John on these lines. That some modern interpreters corroborate this view. Following an introduction on the Sitz im Leben of the Fourth Gospel, there is a detailed examination of the commentaries of :- Heracleon (the Gnostic) - forty considerable fragments extant. Origen (640 pages extant). Cyril of Alexandria Chrysostom Augustine concluded by a discussion on how far modern interpreters corroborate the thesis. Whatever value the conclusions of the ancient commentators may now have, their technique of interpretation may prove to be the key which, if properly filed, will open the Forth Gospel. In this way the Fourth Gospel may regain its central position in our theology, and there without sacrifice of scholarship or intellect.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1949
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:16

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter