Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Gospel of John and Christology Debates
The Gospel of John is a big link in the chain that moved christology towards Nicea. In the debates about subordination in the early church (Arius vs. Athanasius) and even in the modern church (Kevin Giles vs. Bruce Ware) the Gospel of John looms large for both sides. Those who stress equality or distinctive roles in the Godhead all appeal to the Fourth Gospel for support. I just came across a cute quote about this.
According to F.C. Conybeare: "If Athanasius had not had the Fourth Gospel to draw texts from, Arius would never have been confuted" and he adds "[I]f Arius had not had the Fourth Gospel to draw texts from, he would not have needed confuting."
Cited from James D. G. Dunn, ‘Let John be John – a Gospel for Its Time,’ in Das Evangelium und die Evangelien, ed. P. Stuhlmacher (WUNT 28; Tübingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 1983), 311 n. 4.