SRS 5107 Fall 2013

The Origins of Christianity:

The Gospel of John and the Construction of Community

Tuesdays, 8:30-11:30, DMS 9161

Instructor: Dr. Adele Reinhartz, Office: DMS 10118, E-mail:

This course will focus on the “Johannine community,” that is, the group within which and for which the Gospel of John was likely written.  The main focus will be on the use of the Gospel as evidence of early or proto-Christian identity construction, including the representation of Jews and Judaism.


Weekly participation:                      25%

Book Review and Analysis:            20%.  Due: November 5

Presentation:                                    15%   Dec

Final paper:                                       40%   December 10

Total: 100%

Course Outline  Readings will be distributed electronically.

Week 1: Introduction and Historical context- Reinhartz, Fortress Introduction

Week 2: Language of community- Conway, JBL121/3 (2002) 479-495

Week 3: Demographics: Samaritans, Gentiles, Jews-Edwin Freed, Novum Testamentum, 1970. Meeks, “Man from Heaven.” Bauckham.

Week 4The love commandment- Talbert, Kanagaraj

Week 5: Rituals and practices- Neyrey, Carter, Reinhartz

Week 6: The rhetoric of binary opposition- Mowry

Week 7: The ioudaioi- Mason, Schwartz, Sheridan

Week 8: Becoming an aposynagogos

 Week 9: Evidence of the epistles and patristic literature

Week 10: Conclusion

 Week 11:  Presentations

Book Review. Due date: November 5. Length: 2500-3000 words

Topic: J. L. Martyn, History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel. 3rd Edition. or Abebooks. 

A. Main hypothesis (50-100 words). B. Methodology and Assumptions (300-500). C. Argument (300-500). D. Analysis:  Is the argument convincing?  If so, why? If not, why not?  (1000-1500 words)