“What are you looking for?” (John 1,38). Jesus’ first words invite hearers of the Gospel into a journey of discovery: Who is Jesus? What does his presence signify for the
At the Centre of Biblical Formation, Ecce Homo, Jerusalem, 18 Sept – 3 Oct 2023. What are you looking for?” (John 1:38). Jesus’ first words invite hearers of the Gospel into a journey of discovery: Who is Jesus? What does his presence signify for the cosmos and for hearers? Prior knowledge of Jesus traditions is refracted from the prologue onwards giving a specific Johannine colouring to Jesus’ characterisation. By accepting Jesus, hearers become children of God. The Gospel unfolds the blessings that God provides through Jesus and the Spirit to his children while also addressing the rejection by the world. Tensions are noted across various axes, between a realised and future eschatology, free will and determinism, positive and some very negative statements on Judaism, and dualistic language. Qumran and other discoveries have helped to shed new light on these tensions and how they might have been heard in the first century. Through historical, literary, narrative, and rhetorical approaches, the biographical tale of Jesus within the Gospel and the cosmological tale of Jesus as Lord and Redeemer will be explored. How was this Gospel heard in the first century? How might it be heard in the twenty-first century? How might the Gospel so full of polemical passages be ethically interpreted? The primary lecturer is Dr. Luke Macnamara, OSB, lecturer in Sacred Scripture at Saint Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, Ireland since 2014. Before taking up this role, Luke completed the Doctorate of Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. His current research interests include the figure of Jesus the teacher in Luke-Acts and the toll collectors in Luke. He is also exploring the links between John and Euripides. See more in.