Camden Theological Library

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1 John : The Epistle as a Reflecture of the Gospel of John

Posted on 15 November 2013 Gavin Glenn

Written by a former United Theological College student and Uniting Church minister.

For such a small book in the New Testament, 1 John is an enigma. Much has been written about the relationship (if any) between the First Epistle of John and the Gospel of John.  The structure of  1 John itself has often been debated as the reader struggles to determine the flow of thought through this repetitive letter. Indeed the question is rightly asked whether it is a letter.

In this book, Malcolm Coombes proposes a structuring for 1 John based on the rhetorical features and repetitions of this work. From here he observes reasonably ordered patterns of allusions to the Gospel of John. Passages from 1 John are placed alongside of the Gospel to determine how the author has relied on this Johannine tradition in its rereading (or relecture) of that tradition.

This process adds new colourings to the reading of 1 John, provides different emphases, and even offers thoughts towards the ongoing discussion about the nature of the Johannine community and those who have left it.

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