An Exegetical and Theological analysis of the Son’s relationship to the Father in John’s Gospel. Equal yet Subordinate

Author: Rheaume, Randy
Year:2015
Pages:468
ISBN:1-4955-0306-2
978-1-4955-0306-1
Price:299.95
John's Gospel is generally regarded as the clearest and boldest affirmation of Jesus' deity in the New Testament. Yet John also highlights Jesus'subordination to the Father more than any other New Testament writer. The profundity of this phenomenon has not been lost on Johannine scholarship. For nearly two millennia various approaches to the problem have been proposed by biblical scholars and theologians - often stressing equality at the expense of subordination, or vice versa.

Reviews

“In this careful study Rheaume builds a fresh and robust defense of the position that the Son in the Fourth Gospel is fully divine against the probable charge of ditheism leveled at the Johannine community from non-Christian Jews. Rheaume maintains that John does not play down the Son’s full deity but asserts it as forthrightly as ever. However, he recognizes the full force of the Son’s subordination to the Father, and so aims in this volume to offer a coherent portrait of the Johannine Son while giving both of these contrasting themes their full due… Randy Rheaume has written a commendably clear, erudite, and wide-ranging study of John's Christology, which scholars and students will find to be an engaging and important contribution."
-Paul Middleton, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer in New Testament and early Christianity,
The University of Chester, UK


"Addressed adroitly is the issue of how God's Son can at once be co-equal with the Father, and yet at time, be depicted as subordinate to, and dependent on, the Father... This is a work that will be referenced by researchers into the Gospel of John for many years... [Rheaume demonstrates] a mastery of the immediate scholarly literature bearing on his thesis, as well as broad knowledge of earlier conclusions reached by various schools of New Testament research in general, and canonical Gospel literature in particular."
John T. Greene, Ph.D.
professor Emeritus of Religious Studies,
Michigan State University, USA


Table of Contents

ABSTRACT
FOREWORD/PREFACE/ABBREVIATIONS
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
Parameters, Scope, and Methodology of this Study
Historical Settings of John’s Gospel
Jesus and the One God: Scholarly Approaches
Approaches to First-Century Monotheism
High and Low Christology in John
Christological Equality and Hierarchy in John
Hermeneutical Approach
The Argument and Development of this Book
Texts and Terms
Conclusions
CHAPTER 2: SUBORDINATION AND EQUALITY IN NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTOLOGY
Jesus’ Subordination in the New Testament
Jesus as God’s Equal in the New Testament
Monotheism and the Nature of Jesus’ Divinity
Monotheism Among Jews and Christians
Criteria for Divinity
The Divine Jesus in Pauline Literature
Paul’s Monotheism
The Divine Jesus in Paul’s Monotheism
The Divine Jesus Elsewhere in the NT
The Synoptic Gospels and Acts
Other New Testament Literature
Assessing the Non-Johannine Evidence
Johannine Monotheism
The Jewish Character of the Fourth Gospel
Monotheism in John
Conclusion
CHAPTER 3: THE SON AS GOD’S EQUAL
John 1:1: The Word was Deity
The Prologue
The Logos
What the Word Was and Was Not
The Word was God Ontologically
Significance for John’s Gospel
John 1:18: Father and Son within God
Textual Variants
John 20:28-31: The Climax of John’s Gospel
The Son as the Object of Belief and Worship
The Question of Agency
Significance for John’s Gospel
John 10:30: The Johannine Shema
Conclusion
Excursus: The Faith Confessions of Nathanael and Thomas
CHAPTER 4: SONSHIP AND SUBORDINATION
Patriarchy in the NT World and John
Jewish and Roman Patriarchy
God as Father in the OT and First-Century Judaism
God as Father in the Gospels
The background of “Son of God”
Father and Son in John
The Son’s Subordinate Role to the Father in John
Presupposed Patriarchy
Hierarchy and Harmony
“Son of God” and the Equality Accusations (Jn 5:18)
View 1: Jesus Disavows Equality
View 2: Jesus is Equal And Subordinate
Similar Accusations
Divine Sonship in Jewish Parlance
The Bone of Contention
Divine Prerogatives
Equal Yet Subordinate
Summing Up John 5:18
Status and Role in the Father/Son Relationship
Conclusion
CHAPTER 5: THE SON BEFORE AND AFTER HIS EARTHLY LIFE
The Question of Eternal Sonship
The Son
Pre-existence
The Father’s Agent
The Case Against Pre-existence
And More
CHAPTER 6: THE SON ON LIFE SUPPORT
CHAPTER 7: EQUALITY AND SUBORDINATION IN THE ABSOLUTE “I AM” SAYINGS
CHAPTER 8: CONCLUSION