The last book by Prof. Per Jarle Bekken, (University of Nordland, Norway) “The Lawsuit Motif in John’s Gospel from New Perspectives:Jesus Christ, Crucified Criminal and Emperor of the World” (Leiden;Brill,2014) has now received its first review. Jo-Ann A. Brant has a quite favorable review (though not without some qualifications) in the last issue of The Journal of Theological Studies.
“IN order to add nuance to our understanding of the lawsuit motif in the Gospel of John, Per Jarle Bekken engages in a series of comparative studies of aspects of the motif found in various Philonic treatises as well as P.OsloII 17. The results of these studies are presented with great attention to method and logic in seven chapters. Bekken frequently breathes new life into historical critical arguments of notable twentieth-century scholars that have been neglected, often because they were dismissed by scholars such as Raymond Brown, whose work we still regularly consult. His aim is to demonstrate the verisimilitude rather than historicity of the forensic material in John. By exposing John’s concern for legal precision, Bekken gives us a glimpse not just into the mind of the author but into the ethos of the audience for which he wrote, an audience that did not dismiss Jewish law as irrelevant and one that found the intricacies of legal arguments and trials interesting and demanded that the righteousness of Jesus measured up to first-century Jewish expectations.”
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