The last forty years have seen the publication of numerous important works on the use of the Old Testament in the Fourth Gospel, including those of E.D. Freed, G. Reim, M.J.J. Menken, A.T. Hanson, B. Schuchard, and A. Obermann. While R. Bultmann's emphasis on the Gnostic origins of the Fourth Gospel detracted attention from the influence of the Old Testament for a time, scholars such as E. Hoskyns and C. K. Barrett made important contributions, and discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls spurred interest in the subject. One feature of the Fourth Gospel's use of the Old Testament that has occasioned a significant amount of discussion is its tendency to depart from the Old Testament text, sometimes quite significantly, in its citations. Some have argued that the evangelist's free citations are due to his faulty memory, while others have attributed them to his use of pre-Christian Jewish traditions or early Christian traditions. Over against these explanations, M.J.J. Menken and B. Schuchard (among others) have emphasized the evangelist's redaction of the Old Testament for theological purposes. On this view, the evangelist had access to Old Testament texts (whether written or memorized, Hebrew or Greek), and therefore the differences between the Old Testament texts and the Johannine citations are intentional. This whole question is an important one: if it can in fact be shown that the evangelist drew on specific and identifiable Old Testament textual traditions, we may study his redactions of the Old Testament texts to gain insight into his theological interests and emphases.
© Walter de Gruyter