The Bible

A comparison of the balance (or imbalance) of John’s ascription of divinity to Jesus with his ascription of humanity to Jesus. College

The Evangelist's depiction of Jesus throughout the fourth Gospel has been subject to ample scholarly scrutiny since antiquity and, to this day, questions regarding the interpretation of Jesus' personhood still prompt debate amongst Biblical critics. It does seem that the author of John writes with an awareness of Jesus' human and divine aspects and the importance of the reinforcement of these aspects for a true understanding of the miraculous gift of the incarnation. However, we cannot ignore tensions between these elements throughout the text; some imbalance and occasional ambiguity in terms of the depiction of Jesus' humanity and divinity leads to a somewhat confusing portrayal of the extent of Christ's humanity and has prompted some to attribute Docetic, Adoptionist and Gnostic agendas to the Gospel. This essay aims to offer an overview of John's portrayal of Christ's personhood examining, in turn, those elements which point to his divinity and those which point to his humanity, and to subsequently assess whether any imbalance between Jesus' divine and human aspects from which we could potentially deduce Docetic, Adoptionist or Gnostic overtones, is detectable. Ultimately, I will seek to sustain the line of argument that the...

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