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The historical and theological significance of John the Baptist as he is portrayed in John 1

D G van der Merwe
Neotestamentica
Vol. 33, No. 2 (1999), pp. 267-292
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43070280
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The historical and theological significance of John the Baptist as he is portrayed in John 1
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Abstract

The historical role and theological function of John the Baptist in the first chapter of the Fourth Gospel is analysed. The historical role of the Baptist was to bear witness concerning the identity of Jesus, which culminates in Jesus being joined by two of his disciples. The Baptist's theological function was to influence the reader to also make a decision to follow Jesus. In his testimony about Jesus and his performance as a whole, the Baptist influenced his listeners and the readers of the Fourth Gospel to act in a threefold manner: firstly to start to follow Jesus; secondly to make known the identity of Jesus, and thirdly to lead others to Jesus in order that they may follow Him. In order to achieve these objectives the Fourth Evangelist has chosen, arranged and communicated his material in such a way that the text builds up to a climax in vv 35-37 of chapter 1, where Jesus' identity is grasped and people start to follow Him.

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