Jesus Getting Jesus, Quantity 2:
A Theological Interpretation of the Gospel of John: Prologue and the E-book of Symptoms
by thomas g. weinandy
catholic college of the us push, 484 web pages, $34.95
Fr. Thomas Weinandy is a committed Capuchin, but this new volume of his trilogy on the Gospels brings to thoughts an outdated Dominican adage: “Contemplata aliis tradere”—to hand on, talk what one has contemplated. This review of the initially component of John—which follows the to start with volume, on the Synoptic Gospels, and will be adopted by a examining of John 13-21—is the fruit of loving contemplation, and demands no significantly less of the reader.
A distinguishing element of the reserve is that it is, avowedly, a theological interpretation, a person rooted in the doctrinal definitions of Nicaea and Chalcedon. Trinitarian styles do, following all, structure and propel John’s narrative. At the exact time, the author celebrates and stresses John the Theologian’s individual interpretation of the prior kerygmatic tradition—the apostolic preaching of the world’s definitive salvation in and as a result of Jesus Christ.
On Weinandy’s telling, John features a Spirit-inspired exegesis of the inexhaustible riches of the secret of the Phrase designed flesh. Hence, Weinandy does not wait to affirm that the Gospel communicates Jesus’s “ipsissima sententia”: Jesus’s possess comprehension and judgment of who he is, the beloved Son of the Father.
What arrives into salient relief is that the Incarnation of God’s eternal Word, his “pitching his tent between us” (Jn. 1:14) in our mortal affliction is not an instantaneous taking place, confined to Annunciation or Nativity, but an ever-further approach of immersion and transformation. In Johannine terms, the “hour” of Jesus is the culmination of the Word’s flesh-taking: hence the title of the trilogy, Jesus Becoming Jesus.
Amongst the Evangelists, only John does not recount the scene of Jesus’s Transfiguration. But, as several have observed, the entire Gospel is the manifestation of the transfigured Jesus. Every of the symptoms narrated shows the electricity of the transfigured One and bears witness to the Prologue’s exultant confession: “We have noticed his glory!” (Jn. 1:18).
But also exclusive of John’s Gospel, and underscored by Weinandy, is that the believer is termed to take part in Jesus’s own filial identification, to share in his transfigured glory. This will appear most totally in the following volume, The Book of Glory, when we arrive to the Very last Supper Discourse. But it is evidently adumbrated listed here by the exchanges with Nicodemus and the Samaritan girl and, specifically, in the increasing of Lazarus: “whoever life and thinks in me will hardly ever die” (Jn. 11:26). The Eastern Christian tradition of theosis, the divinization of the believer, finds nourishing soil in this most contemplative of the Gospels.
Most definitely, it is announced in the Prologue to the Gospel: “To as numerous as received him, he gave electrical power to develop into kids of God” (Jn. 1:12). Without a doubt, the Prologue anticipates the complete motion of what is to occur, revealing its mystical significance and cosmic scope. Weinandy summarizes the level with admirable concision: “The everlasting Word by whom God developed all that is, the Term who is the daily life-supplying light-weight, is the very same Term by means of whom God will now re-create the earth and change gentlemen and females, as a result of the Holy Spirit, into his small children.”
The foundational Christian promises propose radical interpretations of actuality to set it extra philosophically, the New Testament has ontological consequences. Through God’s eternal Word “all matters came to be, and almost nothing came to be save by way of the Word” (Jn. 1:3). Weinandy completely recognizes this point—a very important recognition in gentle of modernity’s ontological deficit: the 1-dimensional worldview the two spawned and reinforced by its constricted perception of cause as basically utilitarian and technocratic. Consequently artwork, poetry, and music, not to point out spiritual knowledge, are not deemed to express any cognitive written content.
As the New Testament scholar Luke Timothy Johnson has asserted: “Perhaps mainly because of a distaste for—and ignorance of—ontology, and the flat epistemological monism that styles modernity, it is hard for lots of to maintain alongside one another the human and divine in Christ, whether in career or in piety or in politics.” All over Fr. Weinandy’s close looking at of John, ontological concerns are to the fore, and the human and divine in Christ are held in tensive union.
It is a commonplace that the Gospel of John displays a “realized eschatology,” the bringing of eternity into the present—“the a person who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (Jn. 6:54a). The believer already shares the new lifestyle that Jesus brings, that Jesus is. Yet the appropriation of this new life, its “realization” (in Newman’s powerful sense of the phrase), is a method that is not however completely attained. It will be total only when Jesus returns in glory to increase up the believer “on the last day” (Jn. 6:54b).
Weinandy concludes this quantity by underscoring the eschatological élan of the Johannine theological vision and of his individual theological interpretation of the Gospel of John. He writes in lyric vogue: “In his coming down out of heaven at the conclusion of time, and in his having up with him the devoted into his ascended glory, Jesus will then become totally Jesus, for he will have completely enacted his name—YHWH-Will save.” And, mainly because the vine and the branches are inextricably intertwined, “As Jesus will become thoroughly in act at the end of time, so Christians, who absolutely abide in Christ, become Christians totally in act at the conclude of time, for, together with Jesus, they are residing in communion with the Father, the supply and plenitude of all existence.”
On Oct 14, 2008, I had the privilege of attending, as a guest, a session of the Synod of Bishops devoted to “The Phrase of God in the Lifestyle and Mission of the Church.” Providentially, it was the extremely working day when, to the surprise of all, Pope Benedict XVI resolved the accumulating. The Holy Father told these assembled: “For the life and mission of the Church, for the potential of religion, it is certainly vital to get over the dualism concerning exegesis and theology. Biblical theology and systematic theology are two proportions of 1 truth, which we get in touch with theology.” Fr. Weinandy has happily taken these words and phrases of Benedict to heart, and delivers, in his book, an plentiful theological harvest.
Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is the creator of Rekindling the Christic Creativity: Theological Meditations for the New Evangelization.
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