Dr. Lioy further explores Johannine Theme of Jesus as Torah in Response to Question about “word of God” as being central theme in John’s Gospel

Posted: December 24, 2007 by Rick Hogaboam in Theology
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Dr. Lioy offered a response to a very good question from a blogger. The blogger, “Stand and Be Counted”, posted the following in response to my book review of Lioy’s “Jesus as Torah” (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/#comment-209):

 Interesting…never who the label Torah for Jesus before. Why not just use the term John uses “the Word of God”?

Dr. Lioy offered this response: 

“Stand and Be Counted” asks an important question, namely, “Interesting…never who the label Torah for Jesus before. Why not just use the term John uses “the Word of God”?

As it turns out, on page 10 of my monograph, I address this issue. For instance, in footnote #28, I state the following:

>>>Cahill (“Johannine Logos as center”) postulates that the “Johannine usage of logos in the prologue” (54) establishes it as the symbolic center of the Fourth Gospel (55–56). As such, it functions as the “revelation of the sacred par excellence” (58). There is a “joining of eternity and time, immaterial and material, divine . . . and human, sacred and profane” (65). Be that as it may, Schoneveld (“A new reading,” 80) cites John 5:38–39, 10:35, and 15:25 to support an amalgamation of “Logos and Torah” (80). In like manner, Reed (“How Semitic was John”) draws attention to the concatenation between logos and tora when he proposes that John 1:1 be rendered as follows: “In the beginning was the Torah, and the Torah was toward God, and Godlike was the Torah” (721). Similarly, he observes that the “written Torah became the living Torah—the Incarnation, Jesus” (726). This one-to-one correspondence between logos and tora is also seen in Schoneveld’s rendering of 1:14, “And the Torah emerged as flesh and tabernacled among us” (“A new reading,” 81).<<>>Keener (John) suggests two reasons why in the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel, the Evangelist calls “Jesus the Logos” instead of “the Nomos, that is, Torah” (1:361): (1) a “neutral term like Logos could draw on associations with personified Wisdom already offered in Hellenistic Judaism,” yet “without compromising its bridge to the Torah, which was also recognized as God’s Word,” especially “in Pharisaic circles”; and (2) the Evangelist possibly considered “the narrower nuances of nomos as too potentially misleading to his readers to employ throughout his prologue” (1:362).<<>>According to Wucherpfennig (“Torah,”213–214), the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel not only “presumes that the center of the scripture remains the Torah,” but also that “in Jesus Christ the Torah is revealed in a unique and singular way.” Casselli (“Jesus as eschatological Torah,” 25) builds on this thought by maintaining that the Evangelist “finds in Jesus the eschatological realization of the Exodus” and “the Torah.”<<<

Dan Lioy


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