D. Moody Smith’s The Theology of the Gospel of John (Book Review)

D. Moody Smith’s The Theology of the Gospel of John is a topical, but unquestionably scholarly, survey of Johannine theology.

A brief summary of the content will set the stage for the more detailed review to follow.  Smith begins, in the Introduction, by stating the most obvious, but interesting of John’s uniqueness, “John more than any of the other Gospel writers deals with theological matters.”[1]  That is, John while maintaining narrative form, includes a fair amount of theologizing; the kind of stuff more familiar to epistles.  Issues of authorship and origin are treated only briefly enough to assert they are not central to the aim of this book. What is central is the understanding that John makes us “witness to a critical stage in the relationship between Christianity and Judaism.”[2]  What was once one entity, is now in the early stages of clear distinction.  In closing, Smith prepares his readers with his perspective that given this crucial moment, nearly all the themes of John ought to be considered in this light.  In addition, other New Testament thought will be considered, for contrast and for continuity.