Abstract: The many individuals appearing in the Fourth Gospel can only be traced back to historical figures to a limited extent, if at all. This is lamentable only to those who unilaterally link the truth of the gospel to history. The following contribution reveals how narratological methods allow characters to be analyzed and interpreted with contemporary theological relevance. The first section offers an overview of recent scholarship on character ana lysis, and the second section presents the characters of the Fourth Gospel along the heuristic lines of major, minor, and walk-on-characters. In the third section, select examples provide opportunities for considering: character traits and direct/indirect presentation with the characterization of Jesus in John 4; the constellation of characters through the presentation of the siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus; and finally, a summary of the character conception of John (the Baptist) in the Fourth Gospel.
© by De Gruyter