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Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel: A Study in Literary Design [Kindle Edition]

R. Alan Culpepper
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3712 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Fortress Press; 1St Edition edition (5 Jan. 1983)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002C1AGVI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #556,596 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A response to Alan Culpepper’s book
Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel
and other reflection on the authenticity of the Gospel of John

It is hard, and perhaps unfair, to judge an author and a book on limited reading of his extensive studies. Culpepper is a well-read academic with a credibly long experience of study, mainly in theology, and he may well have reasons for holding his opinions that are not revealed in this book. I do not have access to his knowledge base. He quotes extensively and endlessly from both theology and literary criticism.
However, I was deeply troubled by his assumptions, approach and attitude to the Gospel of John. The consequences of his thesis have the potential to undermine faith and destroy the credibility of the Gospel. That is serious. Serious enough for me to explain why I am troubled.

A question of truth

If I accept Culpepper’s approach to the study of a novel (essentially a work of fiction), which is how he has approached the Gospel, I would explain his book thus:

1. The real author (Culpepper) actually reveals very little of himself in this book. The personal pronoun (I) is rarely mentioned.
2. However, clearly the opinions and assumptions of the real author pervade the implied author’s narrative and colour his approach to an understanding of the Gospel.

So Culpepper’s “implied author” assesses the Gospel of John as any other work of fiction and analyses it as such. Many of his quotes and references are taken from 19th and early 20th century writers of fictitious novels – Thomas Mann, Anthony Trollope, Henry Fielding, etc. – and research on the art of fiction writing. In fact Culpepper seems to be very widely read on the art of the novel.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Source for Gospel of John 18 Oct. 2006
This is an excellent book that gives new perspectives on John's gospel. It brings to light dualism, symbolism and much of the rich content that exists within the Gospel of John. A must-read for Pastors, teachers and lay people who will be teaching or interacting with the Gospel of John.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the seminal works on this Gospel. 20 Mar. 1997
By A Customer - Published on
There is no question that any scholar who wishes to understand the Gospel of John will have read this book. Dr. Culpepper provides a scaffolding whereby the reader can approach the literary context of the Gospel on any of its many levels. If I had to reccomend the essential Gospel of John library, and could only include four books, it would include this one (as well as C.H. Dodd's two books and R.E. Brown's commentary). Admittedly, I am biased. Dr. Culpepper is a friend. However, you can verify my words by checking the index of any commentary on John which was written after the publication of this book. Count how many time Dr. Culpepper is mentioned
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The rich storytelling in John 16 Dec. 1999
By RevRev - Published on
I was introduced to this book soon after it was published. I return to it first whenever I find myself in a study of John. Culpepper brings a new depth to understanding John as literature. It was this book that helped me appreciate the literary depth of this gospel. Your appreciation of the details will be wonderfully expanded. Highly recommended.
(I came to this site in Amazon hoping to find the book to give to a pastor preaching through John. I was delighted to find it still in print.)
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel 19 July 2007
By Ryan Clark - Published on
There cannot be a more forensic study of the book of John than Culpepper's Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel. This scholarly book opens up the world of the Gospel of John like no other in the protestant world. This book should be mandatory reading for every Doctoral student in Biblical Studies (and probably master's as well).
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Application of Narrative Criticism to the Fourth Gospel 9 April 2013
By Starsun 5 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A highly recommended seminal work on the application of narrative criticism to the interpretation of the Fourth Gospel. I still require it as reading for my doctoral students.
4.0 out of 5 stars looks good! 11 Jan. 2013
By K. Richard HON - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a good book for those who wants to consult comparatively contemporary approach to study the gospel of John.
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