Book Notice: Richard Bauckham on Gospel of Glory

Richard Bauckham
Gospel of Glory: Major Themes in Johannine Theology
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2015.
Available at Amazon.com

This is yet another good book on themes and issues from John’s Gospel by the indefatigable Richard Bauckham. It is based on several lectureships and previously published articles. The book has three highlights for my money. Chapter 4 on “Cross, Resurrection, and Exaltation” explains something that has always confused me, what does John identify Jesus’ glory with the cross, not the resurrection or ascension. John knows of a temporal sequence that runs death-resurrection-ascension. However, Bauckham reckons he is influenced by Isa 52:13 (LXX) the Servant’s exalted and glorified status is a kind of rubric for the whole story. Also, chapter “Sacraments?” it is puzzling that sacramentalists love John even though Jesus is not baptized and there is not institution of the Lord’s Supper! Bauckham looks at John 3, 6, & 19, concluding that “this Gospels’contribution to a theology of the sacraments is to prioritize the soteriological realiteis that are focused in teh sacrametns but always exceed the sacraments.” Finally, chapter 9 “The Johanine Jesus and the Synoptic Jesus” is a great study, contra Ernst Kasemann, that John does not dissolve Jesus’ passion into divine glory, nor make him merely God walking on earth, rather, the real humanness of Jesus matters for John – hence the emphasis on Jesus’ emotions, fatigue, and physicality. Bauckham says: “The ‘metahistorical’ aspect of John’s story – Jesus comes from God and returns to God – does not deprive the historical of its reality, but interprets its meaning.”

In short, another bonanza of Bauckham brilliance!

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