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Frank Moloney on Love in John’s Gospel

October 23, 2013

Today I received my copy of Frank Moloney’s latest book, Love in the Gospel of John: An Exegetical, Theological, and Literary Study (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2013). I have only had a chance to read the preface and the opening chapter but I know intuitively (and can promise you that) this is going to be very useful book. I had a chance to view much of the book prior to its publication and I have been engaged with Frank in enough classes and lunch conversations over the years to appreciate his status as an authority on all-things-Johannine. To go along with the book there are a few things of interest. Baker Academic has posted a description of the book along with a detailed rationale from Frank for why he wrote the book. During the last year, Frank was in the US, teaching at Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA) over the summer, and at St. Mary’s Seminary and Graduate School of Theology (Cleveland, OH) for the beginning of the fall semester. Just prior to his recent departure back to Australia, Frank gave the Mullen lecture at St. Mary’s. His talk was entitled, “Love in the Gospel of John: To What End?,” the text of which has been reproduced on the St. Mary’s website.

This book will prove to be a useful resource, but if you are unsure of my recommendation, just check out a few of the other endorsements the book has already received from well-known scholars in the field:

“Francis J. Moloney is one of the most distinguished Catholic scholars of John’s Gospel in the English-speaking world today. In his latest work on the Fourth Gospel, he displays his fine gifts as an able teacher. Having absorbed a vast amount of literature on the topic of love in John’s Gospel, he presents his own argument in a clear, orderly form that even the uninitiated can grasp.” – John P. Meier, Warren Chair Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

“What better way to crown a lifetime of research and writing on the Gospel of John than to produce a book on its major theme of love! Francis Moloney, one of the world’s leading experts on the Gospel, has brought to bear his keen analysis of the text and vast knowledge of the secondary literature in this comprehensive study. Moloney not only illuminatingly treats God’s love for the world in the giving of the Son, the love commandment, and the Beloved Disciple but also embeds the discussion of such topics in the developing narrative as it moves towards Jesus’ hour of glory. In showing how love pervades this Gospel and is integrally related to its other major themes, Moloney’s engaging book is bound to become indispensable reading for all students of John’s Gospel and its theology.” -Andrew T. Lincoln, Portland Professor of New Testament Studies, University of Gloucestershire

“Love plays a central role in the Gospel of John, and in this fine volume Frank Moloney offers a richly textured interpretation of the theme. With insights gained from a lifetime of engagement with this Gospel, Moloney invites readers to see the many facets of love that are disclosed by John’s narrative and to discover anew the ways in which love’s many dimensions cohere in the self-giving actions of Jesus. Scholars and students, theologians and pastors will welcome this compelling treatment of the idea that shapes John’s understanding of God, Jesus, and the path of discipleship.” – Craig R. Koester, Asher O. and Carrie Nasby Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota

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