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Engaging scripture: incarnation and the Gospel of John

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 April 2007

Angus Paddison
Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD,


This article presents a theological engagement with the Christ of the Gospel of John. Christology has two basic responsibilities. First, all Christology is required to demonstrate that it is rooted in scriptural reading. Second, consistent attentiveness needs to be paid to the dynamic relationship between Christ's person and work. The nature of these two responsibilities is elucidated by exploring some recent christological contributions. The remainder of the essay engages with the encounter at the centre of the Fourth Gospel: that in the Word made flesh the eternal love between the Father and the Son is unfolded into the time of this world. Jesus' life and ministry is the decisive meeting of time and eternity. Counsel is then offered for how John's Gospel may faithfully be read in line with this subject matter. Important objections to ‘Logos’ Christologies, and Johannine Christology in particular, are introduced. This article then proceeds to argue for the realistic meeting of all that is human and all that is divine in the person of Jesus who lives a life of loving obedience to the Father. Throughout, this article maintains a conversation with the Fourth Gospel, the ontological implications of this text, and those voices from within Christian tradition that can help us in the reading of John.

Research Article
© Scottish Journal of Theology Ltd 2007

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