This is the final day of the 2016 Enoch Seminar meeting on the Gospel of John and Jewish messianism. It has been as fascinating as each of the preceding days. There were short papers on topics such as John and Philo’s Logos, John and mysticism, and John and the imagerly on the recently-discovered Migdal Stone. And it featured longer papers on the Suffering Servant from Deutero-Isaiah and the Self-Glorification hymn from Qumran in relation to the Fourth Gospel.
Among the things that struck me were the following: (1) The communal emphasis in early Christian mysticism – the undoing of Babel as the Spirit is poured out on a large group in Acts 2; the Body of Christ that is in Christ and crucified with Christ in Paul’s letters, and the oneness motif and vine metaphor in John. Much mysticism (whether prophetic or apocalyptic) is individualistic (although the Parables of Enoch are a notable exception). (2) The possibility that Isaiah seeing the glory of Jesus (according to John 12) may be focused on the glorification of the Servant in Isaiah 52-53.
The final session emphasized a point related to the aim of the conference, which is that scholars working in the fields of the Gospel of John and second temple Judaism need to have conversations more often than we do.
This has been a wonderfully stimulating meeting and it has been the best manner I could imagine to mark my return to a research focus on New Testament Christology. I am grateful to everyone who wrote and discussed the papers during this week, and look forward to the continuing conversations that I know we will have even beyond the confines of this seminar!