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The Theological Journal of Emanuel University

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The Call Of Nathanael. John 1:49. A Rhetorical-Theological Study

John K. Stafford
Published Online: 2014-04-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/perc-2013-0010


Historicist approaches to the reading of sacred texts, rapidly attain a point where further research produces diminishing returns, resulting in more historical speculation rather than less. This is the opposite of the desired result. The cause of this impasse lies in a failure to discern the rhetorical techniques of the author as a basic reading strategy. Similarly, it is necessary to discern that the author has already made key determinations as to historicity. What is now required of the reader is a deepened appreciation of the intentional theological, ontological and existential implications of the narrative. This paper examines how a literary/rhetorical approach may yield positive results in the case of the call of Nathanael, a narrative fragment that poses intriguing critical questions, both theological and Christological. The results suggest a dominical encounter that supplies the reader with pre-emptive eschatological intensity through deliberate juxtaposition of Nathanael’s disbelief and Jesus’ selfawareness held together in a matrix of scriptural fulfilment

KEYWORDS: Nathanael; John’s Gospel; Literary/rhetorical analysis; Historicism; Sarcasm


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About the article

Published Online: 2014-04-12

Published in Print: 2013-12-01

Citation Information: Perichoresis, Volume 11, Issue 2, Pages 50–61, ISSN (Online) 2284-7308, ISSN (Print) 1224-984X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/perc-2013-0010.

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© 2014 . This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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