The Johannine Line of Development: Three Letters

John Reumann

in Variety and Unity in New Testament Thought

Published in print July 1991 | ISBN: 9780198262015
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682285 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Bible Series

The Johannine Line of Development: Three Letters

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In this chapter, it is considered that the longer of the three Johannine letters contained in the New Testament canon, doubtless helped preserve the other two and pull them into the canonical collection. However, opinions vary on the origins of each, and over whether i John actually helped preserve the Fourth Gospel for orthodox Christianity or whether, on the other hand, the Gospel of John pulled the letters into the orbit of the canon by virtue of its own prestige. After vigorous debates, it was finally accepted that the Gospel of John came first and that the epistle followed, in order to clarify John's meaning. A further debate continues over the sequence of the three letters. The usual treatment takes them up in their canonical order, so that 2 and 3 John represent later facets of the basic struggle depicted in i John and, behind it, the Fourth Gospel.

Keywords: Johannine letters; New Testament canon; Fourth Gospel; orthodox Christianity

Chapter.  5403 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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