Johannine Theology: The Gospel, the Epistles and the Apocalypse, By Paul A. Rainbow

Johannine Theology

The Gospel, the Epistles and the Apocalypse

by Paul A. Rainbow

Johannine Theology
  • Length: 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: September 04, 2014
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 4056
  • ISBN: 9780830840564

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In this magisterial synthesis, Paul A. Rainbow presents the most complete account of the theology of the Johannine corpus available today. Both critical and comprehensive, this volume includes all the books of the New Testament ascribed to John: the Gospel, the three epistles and the book of Revelation.

While not proclaiming a definitive position on the question of authorship, this work seeks to shed light on the theology common to all the New Testament authors. John?s root beliefs concerning God, humanity, sin, the world, and the significance of the Christ-event on eschatology unite the examined books with the rest of the New Testament canon. The Johannine corpus also highlights the important areas of christology, soteriology and ecclesiology in a manner that is worth exploration.

Organizing John's ideas by the main characters around whom they revolve, the Johannine universe consists of persons divine and human, and their relationships with each other. Father, Son, Holy Spirit, faithful believers and the rest of the world are the main cast of characters that make up the rich set of writings considered in this exhaustive analysis.

"After a flurry of Johannine theologies appearing in the late 1970s through the mid-1990s, the fourth Gospel has been less well served in recent years. Here is the first book-length treatment of the major themes of all five of John's writings, synthesized into one grand collection of data and discussions. Abreast of the full range of scholarship on each topic and subtopic treated, Rainbow's work still reads as if he began with an inductive study of the texts themselves in the Gospel, the three epistles and the Apocalypse, so that his summary points clearly emerge out of the text of Scripture, analyzed in considerable detail. Warmly to be welcomed."

Craig Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

"Exegetically intricate, bibliographically exhaustive, theologically alert, historically judicious and hermeneutically traditional. Paul Rainbow's decades of research, sifting of substantive scholarship, and careful examination of the texts of the apostle John are brought into a theological synthesis incomparable for our day. Johannine Theology may well become an encyclopedia for Johannine studies for decades to come."

Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary

"Paul Rainbow attempts an ambitious task of plotting the theological coherence of the Johannine corpus. His study of the Gospel of John, letters of John and Apocalypse of John demonstrates time and again that they share a common theological fabric. Rainbow brings together what many have rent asunder, and he enables readers to appreciate the Johannine testimony to the revelation of God the Father in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A well-researched and well-crafted book destined to help students and pastors wrestle with the whole breadth of John's writings."

Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne Mission and Ministry College.

"Rainbow speaks with a clear, well informed voice on major issues and debates in Johannine scholarship while at the same time displaying deep understanding of later church theology. He has a gift for concisely stating complex ideas and relationships. . . . Johannine scholars will certainly benefit from this excellent work and it may prove even more valuable to theologians seeking exegetical enrichment for their reflections on the Trinity, Christology, soteriology, and ecclesiology."

Timothy J. Wiarda, Bulletin for Biblical Research, 26.1

"This book is highly recommended. Students, pastors, Christian leaders, educated laypeople, theologians, exegetes, historians, and anyone else who wants a helpful resource to understand the Johannine literature will find this book valuable. It is the kind of book that should be read and kept as a beneficial resource when wrestling with these Scriptures. It is a model of scholarship yet has a pastoral tone. The author has given the church a great gift."

Glenn R. Kreider, Criswell Theological Review, Fall 2015

"Rainbow has applied his synthetic (perhaps 'relational-theological') approach with aplomb. Moreover, he engages significant and, at times, overlooked secondary literature with care in numerous in-depth footnotes. For these and many other reasons, Johannine Theology should serve scholars, pastors, and students with biblical-theological clarity and integrity for years to come."

Grant D. Taylor, Southeastern Theological Review, Summer 2016

"For those who seek answers to questions such as, 'What does John say about the Father,' or 'How does John contribute to our understanding of the person and work of Jesus,' this volume will prove quite useful. Rainbow has gathered all the relevant material from the Johannine corpus that speaks to these questions and has placed the material in a well-organized and easy-to-access format. For such questions and conversations, his book is an excellent resource."

Ronald D. Peters, Stone-Campbell Journal, Fall 2015

"This book is indeed a novel text—one that may encourage other Johannine scholars to explore what a synthesis of all five writings of the Johannine corpus might look like. In this sense, Rainbow has laid down an important challenge to all those interested in the study of the beloved disciple's inspired works."

C. Scott Shidemantle, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, December 2015


1. Introduction
2. The Revelation of God (The Father)
3. The World
4. God?s Self-Revelation in Christ?s Person
5. God?s Self-Revelation in Christ?s Work
6. The Revelation of the Father in the Son by the Spirit-Paraclete
7. The Believer and the True God: Coming to Christ
8. The Believer and the True God: Abiding in Christ
9. Disciples of Christ in Community
10. The Community of Christ?s Disciples in the World
Index of Authors
Index of Subjects
Index of Principal Scripture Passages


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Paul A. Rainbow

Paul A. Rainbow (DPhil, Oxford) is professor of New Testament at Sioux Falls Seminary. He is the author of The Pith of the Apocalypse (Wipf & Stock, 2008) and The Way of Salvation (Wipf & Stock, 2012).