The Composition and Order of the Fourth Gospel [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 19 (3):601-601 (1966)
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This is a splendid study for anyone interested in the minutiae of the authorship and sources of John's Gospel. Bultmann argued for five sources: 1) revelation discourses used in the prologue and elsewhere; 2) a semeia or sign source for the miracle stories; 3) a source underlying the Johannine passion narrative but also incorporating elements of the resurrection tradition; 4) the ecclesiastical redactor who added material and gave the gospel its traditional order; 5) the work of the evangelist himself. Smith scrupulously develops Bultmann's own position and summarizes all of the scholarly reaction and controversy on each point. Smith concludes that while Bultmann's contentions are brilliant and important, they are highly debatable and often relatively untenable. Smith, in contrast, weakly suggests that John's Gospel may have "been left to us in an unfinished state" and ends by wondering whether Bultmann has not overstepped the genuine theological mark by so much rearranging.—D. J. B.



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