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The Epistle As A Reflecture Of The Gospel Of John
by Malcolm Coombes
Publisher:Mosaic Resources distributed by Alban Books
Malcolm Coombes finds the New Testament book we know as the first Letter of John "both enigmatic and exciting". However, his aim in this new book is not to come up with a solution to such enigmas as the question of the genre of the Epistle, but "more modestly" to “offer some new thoughts on old problems”.
He does so through the concept of ‘relecture’. 1 John may be regarded as a relecture, or ‘rereading’, of the Gospel of John.
What this process did was enable the Johannine community to restructure and reinterpret correctly the Gospel that was already known and accepted, in the light of changed circumstances and the new pressures brought about by division.
Motifs or themes are taken from the Gospel and interpreted in new ways in the Epistle, to serve a new context. So Coombes explores many ‘allusions’ from the one document to the other, and much of his book is taken up with comparisons between Gospel and Letter (sometimes in diagrammatical form).
It all makes for a refreshing approach to 1 John.
Reviewer: Barry Vendy (14/01/14)