Original Research

Old Testament spirituality in the gospel of John

Dirk G. van der Merwe
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 35, No 1 | a837 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v35i1.837 | © 2014 Dirk G. van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 February 2013 | Published: 23 May 2014

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The majority of early Christian documents are saturated with Jewish thought. Although Second-Temple Judaism did include a certain amount of diversity, when the Gospel of John was written in different phases during the latter half of the 1st century, the written Torah was a fixed part of Jewish Scripture. In this research, I endeavour to point out how Torah themes saturate the Prologue of the Gospel of John and also how these themes create a certain spirituality amongst its readers. A positive feature of Old Testament imagery and themes is that they are polysemantic, which made it easy for the writers of New Testament documents to reinterpret the Old Testament in the light of Jesus Christ. The author of the Gospel of John also made use of significant characters, themes and imagery, all taken from the Torah. In doing so, he created new spiritualities amongst the readers of the Gospel of John to endorse the identity, reality and a certain image and experience of the unseen God (1:18) of the Old Testament through Jesus Christ. The spirituality in the Gospel of John is bound up with a real God interacting with real people in real situations.


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