What is it about?

The prologue of the Gospel of John famously depicts Jesus as the divine λόγος made flesh. Ancient evidence and insights from sensory analysis support that John also presents Jesus as materializing Israel’s God through the λόγοι he speaks. Because the physical act of speaking creates sound, and sound becomes perceptible to persons through the auditory sense, Jesus’ words render the God of Israel accessible in the somatic realm. John presents the Father as remote and inaccessible, yet suggests that Jesus uniquely shares in his divinity, so Jesus’ speech functions to make the ineffable thoughts of the Father God both heard and thus corporeally known. The materiality of Jesus’ speech underscores an important distinction between the divinity of Jesus and that of his transcendent Father; its corporeal connection to audition also reveals how John presents persons coming to believe in and know God tangibly, and, ultimately, to acquire eternal life.

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Why is it important?

In this piece, I argue that the bodily nature of Jesus’ speech and its corporeal connection to audition reveals an important aspect of how John presents persons coming to know God audibly and ultimately to acquire eternal life.

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This page is a summary of: Jesus as God’s Word(s): Aurality, Epistemology and Embodiment in the Gospel of John, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, March 2020, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0142064x19890489.
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