The thesis undertakes a twofold task, interpretation and communication, in attempting to understand the theological thought of the
evangelist as a whole. The methods employed are historical, philosophical and theological. This thesis is the result of an objectification
of the differentiated consciousness both of the evangelist and of
a present day Christian. The interaction between their minds or
thought-worlds makes up an hermeneutical circle. The approaches to the
Christian gospel-event are empirical in the task of interpretation and
heuristic in the task of communication. Only selected relevant texts,
however, are discussed.
Chapter I begins with the construction of a working definition of
a present day Christian's view of the Christian gospel and religion.
The correlation between the thought-world of Isaiah, Jesus, the
evangelist and a present day Christian is analysed within the perspective of a linear concept of time and history. In discussing the standpoint, perspective and horizon of the theological discourse of the
Christian gospel, particular attention is given both to Christians'
witnessing-believing-understanding of the Christian gospel-event and to
a higher arid more comprehensive Christian view-point.
Chapter II deals with the origin, formation and development of
the gospel traditions of the early Church. A compound word, 'Judaeo-
Jesus-Christian' theology, is employed to explain the three phases of
'change and continuity' from Judaism to Cliristianity. The family
correlation between biblical theology, Christian theology and
evangelical theology is discussed. The witnessing-believing-understanding
of these three factors, sc. the life and ministry of Jesus, the OT
scripture and Christians' fresh experiences, distinguished and eventually divided Christianity from Judaism. The evangelist's three
interpretative patterns, sc. the 'prophecy-fulfilment', the 'witnessing to Jesus' and the •Jesus-sublating-the OT', contributed to the origin,
formation and development of the Fourth Gospel and its theology.
Chapter III discusses the ontologically structured metaphysical
system of the theological thought of the Fourth Gospel and the three,
sc. the temporal, the spatial and the distinction-within-unity, frames
of reference. A further definition of the Christian gospel is attempted.
Consequently, an ascending-descending gospel interpretative scheme
emerges. The implication of the incarnation-resurrection faith in the
evangelist's presentation of the overall Gospel-image of Jesus is
explored. The inclusiveness of Christian evangelical theology is
The thesis attempts to explicate the meaning of the contemporaneous
divine activity of the living God and the Joharmine Jesus with men and
women in the love-fellowship in the world here and now in the emerging