THINGS TO CONSIDER:
EXEGETICAL PROCEDURE IN JOHN
l. Text-Critical Examination:
A. Translate the verses assigned from Nestle’s 27 / 28th edition.
B. Analyze each word and its function in the sentence.
C. List the textual variants and explain whether or not they alter
the sense of the text.
D. Detemine whether or not the text should read as it appears in
Nestle, and give the reasons.
E. Detemine whether or not there are variant readings which may be
of interest for the purposes of exegesis.
II. Source-critical Examination
A. Are there striking agreements between the author of this text and
1. Are other authors witness to the same event (which, of course,
cannot explain literal agreements)?
2. Is one author aware of the other (which raises the question as
to who used whom)?
3. Does one authors employ the same source independently of
B. Are there contradictions in the argument or breaks in the train of
thought within the same text?
C. Are there syntactical difficulties which suggest the interpolation of
a second hand? (Examples: John 4: 1-2; 13:2; 21:1ff).
A.-Describe the type or species of text with which you are working.
1. Confessional formulae (the oldest stratum of the New Testament
a. Criteria for reconstruction:
1) Reference to tradition (of. I Cor. 15:1ff.) by way of
such verbs as napakaufisw or flapa818ovat.
2) Use of terms such as moreuetv or ouoloysiv may
refer to traditional material.
a) Parallelismus membrorum (e.g. Rom. 4:25),
b) Use of relatives
c) Use of participles
d) Unusual vocabulary
4) A passage surprising in its context
b. Results of attempts at reconstruction:
1) Confessions (ouoxoyew) referring to the person of
2) Statements of faith (motevsw) referring to God’s
saving activity (e.g. Rom. 8:11. Note Rom. 10:9
where both homology and credo are combined).
2. Revelations-scheme (a fixed scheme in which two different
utterances respecting the relation of the revelation to the
world are juxtaposed):
a. God’s plan of salvation previously veiled.
b. God’s plan of salvation now revealed.
3. Songs reflecting:
a. Exalted style.
b. Division according to strophes and stanzas.
d. Accented position in the context
4. Other forms:
a. Acclamation (e.g. 1 Cor. 16:22).
b. Doxology (e.g. Rom. 1:25; 9:5, etc.)
0. Expressions of the Christian understanding of salvation:
1) The “once-novf’ scheme (e.g. Rom. 7 :5-6, and chap.
2) The relation of “indicative and “imperative” (cf. Rom.
1-1 1, 12-15, etc.).
5. Paraenesis (deriving largely from the NT environment):
a. Maxims according to the Jewish model (e.g. Proverbs).
b. Catalogues of vices and virtues (modelled after J ewish-
Hellenistic use, and perhaps of Stoic origin, cf. Gal.
5:16-23; Rom 1:29-31).
c. “Haustafeln” (house rules for Christians).
B. Is it possible to determine whether or not the text has had an oral
history prior to its assuming written form?
C. Is it possible to describe the Situation-In-Life of the primitive
Christian community which the text in its oral form reflects?
IV. Redactions-Critical Examination:
A. Are you able to distinguish the hand of the author from his sources?
B. Has the author’s redaction altered the focus of the text? (Review
C. How does the author’s purpose with this text agree with its immediate
D. How does the author’s purpose with this text agree with the letter as
V. Lexicographical Examination of the Text:
A. Choose the most significant words in the text. (Begin your work with
an examination of Moulton-Geden, Concordance to the Greek
Testament, and other lexical aids, especially Kittel’s T DNT.)
B. If each word has several meanings, which meanlng Should be chosen?
C. Is that meaning to be taken in its strictest sense? (Words are seldom
fixed. Measure the words more by the text than Vlce versa,
Lexicons offer a variety of meanings with good reason!).
VI. Theological interpretation of the Text:
A. How has the church understood this text since its first assuming
form? (Pay attention to the history of exegesis as reflected in
commentaries, lectionaries, altar books, etc.).
8. What are the hurdles to be leaped before this text can be made