Johannine Theology: The Gospel, the Epistles and the Apocalypse
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Johannine Theology: The Gospel, the Epistles and the Apocalypse

IVP Academic / 2014 / Hardcover

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Stock No: WW840564

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Product Description

In this magisterial synthesis, Paul A. Rainbow presents the most complete account of the theology of the Johannine corpus available today. Both critical and comprehensive, this volume includes all the books of the New Testament ascribed to John: the Gospel, the three epistles and the book of Revelation.

While not proclaiming a definitive position on the question of authorship, this work seeks to shed light on the theology common to all the New Testament authors. John's root beliefs concerning God, humanity, sin, the world, and the significance of the Christ-event on eschatology unite the examined books with the rest of the New Testament canon. The Johannine corpus also highlights the important areas of christology, soteriology and ecclesiology in a manner that is worth exploration.

Organizing John's ideas by the main characters around whom they revolve, the Johannine universe consists of persons divine and human, and their relationships with each other. Father, Son, Holy Spirit, faithful believers and the rest of the world are the main cast of characters that make up the rich set of writings considered in this exhaustive analysis.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 464
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0830840567
ISBN-13: 9780830840564

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Author Bio

Paul A. Rainbow (D.Phil., Oxford) is professor of New Testament at Sioux Falls Seminary. He is the author of (Wipf & Stock, 2008) and (Wipf & Stock, 2012).


Paul Rainbow attempts an ambitious task of plotting the theological coherence of the Johannine corpus. His study of the Gospel of John, letters of John and Apocalypse of John demonstrates time and again that they share a common theological fabric. Rainbow brings together what many have rent asunder, and he enables readers to appreciate the Johannine testimony to the revelation of God the Father in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A well-researched and well-crafted book destined to help students and pastors wrestle with the whole breadth of John's writings.
-Michael F. Bird,
Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College.

Exegetically intricate, bibliographically exhaustive, theologically alert, historically judicious and hermeneutically traditional. Paul Rainbow's decades of research, sifting of substantive scholarship, and careful examination of the texts of the apostle John are brought into a theological synthesis incomparable for our day. Johannine Theology may well become an encyclopedia for Johannine studies for decades to come.
-Scot McKnight,
Northern Seminary

After a flurry of Johannine theologies appearing in the late 1970s through the mid-1990s, the fourth Gospel has been less well served in recent years. Here is the first book-length treatment of the major themes of all five of John's writings, synthesized into one grand collection of data and discussions. Abreast of the full range of scholarship on each topic and subtopic treated, Rainbow's work still reads as if he began with an inductive study of the texts themselves in the Gospel, the three epistles and the Apocalypse, so that his summary points clearly emerge out of the text of Scripture, analyzed in considerable detail. Warmly to be welcomed.
-Craig Blomberg,
Denver Seminary

Editorial Reviews

"Rainbow speaks with a clear, well informed voice on major issues and debates in Johannine scholarship while at the same time displaying deep understanding of later church theology. He has a gift for concisely stating complex ideas and relationships. . . . Johannine scholars will certainly benefit from this excellent work and it may prove even more valuable to theologians seeking exegetical enrichment for their reflections on the Trinity, Christology, soteriology, and ecclesiology."
"This book is highly recommended. Students, pastors, Christian leaders, educated laypeople, theologians, exegetes, historians, and anyone else who wants a helpful resource to understand the Johannine literature will find this book valuable. It is the kind of book that should be read and kept as a beneficial resource when wrestling with these Scriptures. It is a model of scholarship yet has a pastoral tone. The author has given the church a great gift."
"Rainbow has applied his synthetic (perhaps 'relational-theological') approach with aplomb. Moreover, he engages significant and, at times, overlooked secondary literature with care in numerous in-depth footnotes. For these and many other reasons, Johannine Theology should serve scholars, pastors, and students with biblical-theological clarity and integrity for years to come."
"For those who seek answers to questions such as, 'What does John say about the Father,' or 'How does John contribute to our understanding of the person and work of Jesus,' this volume will prove quite useful. Rainbow has gathered all the relevant material from the Johannine corpus that speaks to these questions and has placed the material in a well-organized and easy-to-access format. For such questions and conversations, his book is an excellent resource."
"This book is indeed a novel text—one that may encourage other Johannine scholars to explore what a synthesis of all five writings of the Johannine corpus might look like. In this sense, Rainbow has laid down an important challenge to all those interested in the study of the beloved disciple's inspired works."

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  1. John M Kight
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A remarkable resource that lends to the conversation in ways unlike many of its predecessors
    January 23, 2016
    John M Kight
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Paul A. Rainbow is Professor of New Testament at Sioux Falls Seminary, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Rainbow has a M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, a Th.M. from Harvard Divinity School, and a D.Phil. from Oxford University. Rainbow is a distinguished and published Biblical scholar, having written and/or contributed to several books, journals, and other publications during his nearly three decades at Sioux Falls Seminary. Still, his most recent publication, Johannine Theology: The Gospel, the Epistles and the Apocalypse (IVP Academic, 2014) remains at the top of his academic accomplishmentsand for good reason.

    Johannine Theology opens with an excellent introduction on Johannine literature and the task of constructing a biblical theology of the Johannine corpus. Rainbow does the reader a great service by surveying the landscape of methodology when it comes to biblical theology, and firmly positions his present endeavor organized around personal entitiesnamely the relation among the divine persons and the world made up of its various constituents (p. 28). This Trinitarian approach to the Johannine corpus is both unique and helpful in the overall analysis of Johannine theology. The latter portion of the introduction is dedicated to typical preliminary matters, such as date, authorship, etc. Among other things, Rainbows discussion concerning Johannine authorship of the corpus, ultimately concluding that it was John the son of Zebedee, will be a clear high point for most readers.

    Following the introduction, Rainbow beings Johannine Theology with the person of God the Father (ch. 2), the world-system (ch. 3), and Gods self-revelation in the Son (chs. 4-5). The reader will be confronted with a number of excellent and thoroughly investigated subsections within each chapter, and the high points are many. Furthermore, Rainbow explores the Johannine understanding of the Spirit-Paraclete (ch. 6), the believers united to the risen Christ (chs. 7-8), and believers relationship to one another (ch. 9) and to the world (ch. 10). Again, each section has a number of subsections, and Rainbow does a wonderful job guiding the reader across the entirety of the Johannine corpus as he surveys each. Each chapter is well-written and meticulously documented, and Rainbow presents himself as one well-acquainted with the literature at hand.

    The work that has been done on the Johannine corpus is numerous. In fact, as Rainbow rightly acknowledges, it is nearly impossible to have read everything that has been written about the canonical works attributed to John. As one with a longstanding interest in the Johannine corpus in general and Johannine theology in particular, I found Rainbows treatment and organization very helpful. I was especially interested in, and even excited about, the chapter (ch. 3) devoted to the Johannine understanding of the world and its usage across the corpus. Rainbow helpfully positions the conversation as having a deep-seated dependence on the Hebrew Bible and the Judaic tradition, and his survey of such was helpful. However, I was surprised that there wasnt more discussion dedicated to eschatology, but it in no way detracted from the usefulness of the book as a whole. Lastly, I always appreciate a good index, especially in a book like Johannine Theology, and I found the threefold index (authors, subjects, and principal scripture passages) at the conclusion of the book to be intentionally curated for future reference.

    To the writing of Johannine theology there appears to be no end in sight. Of course, this is far from a negative reality. Both new insight and understanding of perspectives are imperative to the life of the conversation, especially when it comes to something as difficult to understand as the Johannine corpus. Nevertheless, Johannine Theology: The Gospel, the Epistles and the Apocalypse by Paul A. Rainbow demonstrates itself to be a remarkable resource, and one that lends to the conversation in ways unlike many of its predecessors. Rainbow is both exegetically and theologically sensitive in his treatment of the Johannine literature, and his insights are carefully guided by a keen historical and hermeneutical awareness. In other words, Rainbow is consistently resilient in all the right places. If you are looking for a well-executed engagement with Johannine theology then Johannine Theology: The Gospel, the Epistles and the Apocalypse should be one of the top resources on your list. It comes highly recommended!

    I received a review copy of these books in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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