Realised Eschatology in the Gospel of John: John’s Focus and Purpose and Why it Still Matters to All Christians

Abstract


First popularized by C. H. Dodd (1884–1973) in the 1935 realised eschatology can by defined as the theory, that the eschatological passages in the New Testament refer not to a future apocalypse, but to an era which was inaugurated by Christ’s presence and ministry on earth.

In the Gospel of John we find a unique tension between Jesus’ coming as the light and the difference this makes for the Johannine community’s understanding of past, present and future. Eternal life is a current reality but so is human death, it is a time of insight, but there are those who still remain in their blindness. Thus we find a dissonance in search of resolution which means moving forward until the dissonance resolves into harmony.

Eternal life is a current reality but so is human death, it is a time of insight, but there are those who still remain in their blindness.

But how does this happen in the Johannine Gospel? To what purpose? And does it still matter to Christians today?

This paper will seek to trace three episodes from the Johannine Corpus to show how and to what purpose the eschatological dissonance is resolved into a unique Johannine harmony. Further, it will show that not only was it relevant to the community of faith then, but how much more so it is of relevance to communities of faith now.

Speaker