The Socio-Historical Method

More on the Gospel of John!  In previous posts I explained how it can be studied following a variety of methods that I had introduced earlier in relation to Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  In my textbook I go on to introduce a different method altogether, which is concerned with a *completely* different set of questions and issues.  It will take me a couple of posts to explain the method, and a couple to apply it to the Gospel of John.  Let me stress that I did not come up with these methods.  I’m simply explaining methods that scholars tend to use when approaching these books.  I should emphasize this point in part because I want to stress that interpreting an ancient text is not simply a matter of reading it and summarizing what it says.  Hard-core interpretation requires self-reflective and rigorous methods, and a patient (verse-by-verse, word-by-word) application of these methods.  When a bona fide scholar makes a pronouncement about the meaning of this or that passage of the NT, it is not simply a [...]