Posted by: Ken Brown | March 31, 2009

Accepted for SBL New Orleans!

Sweet! I just learned that my proposal was accepted for the Johannine Literature section at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in New Orleans! I’m stunned, and honored, and juuust a bit nervous. Anyway, here’s the abstract, for those who may be interested:

Several recent monographs on the Temple in John (particularly those by Coloe, Kerr, Hoskins, and Um) have looked to the prologue for evidence of Jesus’ “replacement” of the Tabernacle, Temple or Torah, and have stressed the “polemical” tone of 1:14-18. Fuglseth has rightly argued against this approach (Johannine Sectarianism in Perspective), but his brief treatment of this text leaves much still to be said. He is correct that John’s allusions to the Tabernacle and Sinai are not intended to show the “replacement” of any particular Jewish institution, but they are extremely significant, for they serve to tie the man Jesus to the divine identity in a way that is at once unprecedented and in explicit continuity with the history of Israel.

In the prologue, Jesus is not “the new Tabernacle;” he is the incarnation of the one that dwelt in the Tabernacle. On comparison with 12:41, the prologue’s claim that “no one has ever seen God” (1:18a), but “we have seen his glory” (1:14c) is not a polemic against Moses, but an affirmation that the very same glory that was seen by Moses has now become flesh. Moreover, John’s allusions to the beloved son tradition (monogenēs; cf. also Levenson, Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son), suggest that it is primarily through Jesus’ death and resurrection that the “grace and truth” revealed to Moses are fully seen, or rather, embodied: “no one has ever seen God, but the only son, (himself) God, has made him known” (1:18).

UPDATE: And to make it a doubly great day, my brother is home from the hospital and doing very well! I’ll get to see him this weekend!


  1. Congratulations, Ken! What a great opportunity.

  2. Thanks, Charlie!

  3. Congrats! We’ll be there!

  4. You’ll be there at the Johannine section, or at SBL in general?

  5. […] and Tommy Wasserman, via James McGrath’s reader). It looks like I’ll be presenting my paper first in my session (gulp!), and I’m particularly interested in Mary Spaulding’s paper […]

  6. […] The abstract for my paper, “Tabernacle, Sinai and the Beloved Son in John’s Prologue,” is available here. […]

  7. The Law came through Moses. Jesus fulfilled the Law and pleased God. Thus, Favor (and truth) came through Jesus Christ.

    Law => Christ => Favor

    Perfect continuity! 🙂

    Ken, I’ll be very much looking forward to hearing this in N.O. God be with your preparations…

    • Thanks! I hope you enjoy it.

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