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5 Intention and Knowledge: Aposynagōgos and the Direct Pattern of Inference

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates what Meyer calls the direct pattern of inference. It focuses on the infeasibility of the Martynian tradition's central hermeneutical supposition, viz. that John's Gospel can and should be read as a two-level drama that tells the story of both Jesus' life and the history of the Johannine community. Martyn argues that, from John's perspective, "The two-level drama makes clear that the Word's dwelling among us and our beholding his glory are not events which transpired only in the past". The chapter builds a social history of Johannine knowledge, and then considers how this might contribute to the reading of the aposynagōgos passages. It presents the case for a post-Martynian position, in which it was understood that the needs of the Johannine community's present, far from obviating, actually necessitated a commitment to reliably present Jesus' life.

Keywords: aposynagōgos passages; classic Martynian tradition; Jesus; Johannine community; John's Gospel



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