Dr. Dan Lioy Responds to My Book Review on “Jesus as Torah”

Posted: December 23, 2007 by Rick Hogaboam in Book Reviews, Christology
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For my intial review, please see:  https://endued.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/book-review-part-3-of-dan-lioys-jesus-as-torah-in-john-1-12-chp-3-jesus-as-torah-in-john-1/

Dr. Lioy was gracious enough to respond to some of my questions. His response is below:


Your ongoing review of my monograph is appreciated. In it you wondered whether John’s first century AD audience would have connected the notion of “light” with that of “Torah.” I would answer *yes*. For instance, I note in chapter 6 of the monograph (page 150) that “in the first century AD, light was regarded as a symbol of the law” (cf. Pss. 43:3; 119:105, 130; Isa. 51:4; Wis. 7:26; 18:3-4). Jesus, in turn, during the Feast of Tabernacles, “declared Himself to be the Light of the world” (cf. John 8:12; 9:5). I also note that the “implication is that the Son, as eschatological light and life, is the realization of what was promised/expected in Torah.”

Moreover, I state in the first chapter of the monograph (“Framework and Intent of the Study”) that there is a longstanding conceptual correspondence between *logos* (“word”) and *torah* (“law”, “teaching”; see especially pages 8-10, including the extensive footnotes). I also note on page 10 that “Jesus as Torah functions as a dominant leitmotif (together with Logos) to conceptualize the totality of the person and work of the Son.” Moreover, I maintain that “Jesus as Torah” is “a powerful Christological symbol that illumines all the other major themes appearing in the Fourth Gospel,” including that of “light.”

Furthermore, I point out on page 11 that “Jesus, as the final expression of God’s Tanakh, created all things and is the source of light and life (John 1:1-13)” and that “the children of light are those who put their trust in the Messiah (12:35-36) and receive eternal life (3:36).” I state in chapter 3 (page 51) that “Jesus directly referred to Himself as a light that has come into the world so that all those who believed in Him would not remain in darkness.” As well, “through His Incarnation, the Son brings the light of divine truth to a sin-cursed world and in so doing discloses the spiritual need all people have for salvation.”

Later in your review, you note my discussion about various witnesses in affirmation of Jesus, including John the Baptizer. As I state in various places in my monograph, the latter material is part of a larger lawsuit / trial motif appearing in the Fourth Gospel. I think it is a *very* important aspect of the Fourth Gospel. For the places in my work where I discuss this motif in more detail, be sure to check out the Subject Index at the end. In fact, I would recommend consulting it for other major subjects, such as the concept of “light,” or for that matter such subjects as Judaism, the Mosaic law, Moses traditions and typology, and so on.

I trust you will find this and other material appearing throughout the monograph to be helpful, clarifying, and edifying.

Dan Lioy


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