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Book Notice: Dennis Sylva, Thomas – Love as Strong as Death

August 26, 2013

I just went down to my faculty mailbox and found there a copy of Dennis Sylva’s new monograph, Thomas – Love as Strong as Death: Faith and Commitment in the Fourth Gospel. I am quite interested in this book since its subject matter appears to be close to the heart of what I examined in my doctoral dissertation. I have not had a chance to do more than skim the book (and peruse several places in which Sylva essentially says, “I disagree with Skinner”), though I am intrigued by the first half of the description on the back cover:

“Thomas appears only four times in John’s Gospel, yet despite this he is crucially important in understanding the function of the Johannine message. Dennis Sylva provide the first major study which examines the paradox that the eternal life that is a gift to Jesus’ followers – and yet is in support of Jesus himself.”

I am quite interested to read Sylva’s argument, mainly because I argued at length in my dissertation that Thomas is not as crucial to understanding the Johannine message as scholars such as Greg Riley and Elaine Pagels would have us believe. I hope to learn something….and maybe I’ll change my mind. 🙂 Many thanks to the good people at Bloomsbury / T & T Clark for sending along the review copy!

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