Skip to content

Nijay Gupta Reviews Cornelis Bennema

August 5, 2011

The latest Review of Biblical Literature is up and in it, Nijay Gupta reviews Cornelis Bennema’s, Encountering Jesus: Character Studies in the Gospel of John. I was interested to read his review for several reasons. First, issues related to Johannine characterization are among my primary research interests (I wrote a dissertation on the subject!). Second, I also reviewed Bennema’s book and was a bit disappointed. Earlier he wrote a nice piece in Biblical Interpretation aimed at developing a comprehensive theory of character (“A Theory of Character in the Fourth Gospel with Reference to Ancient and Modern Literature”, BibInt 17 [2009] 375-421), but I felt like his book relied a bit too heavily on an overly conservative understanding of the nature of a Gospel. (BTW, you can find an excerpt or full text of most of Bennema’s publications on character here.) I thought Nijay’s critique of the book was helpful and he also pointed to one of my own concerns: Bennema’s failure to treat the Johannine Jesus as a character. Jesus is the only fully-developed character in the narrative. As such, he deserves treatment….or at least rationale for why Bennema chooses not to treat him.

As I mentioned a few posts back, I am presently editing a book with the Library of New Testament Studies (2012) on characterization in the Gospel of John. Bennema is a contributor to that book and his essay will look to expand upon his theory of character. For those of you with interests in the Fourth Gospel and/or character studies, keep an eye out.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: