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Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 9780814681688
Number of Pages: 390
Published: 29/07/2021
Width: 15.2 cm
Height: 22.9 cm

2022 Catholic Media Association honorable mention in scripture: academic studies

Teaching and researching the Gospel of John for thirty years has led author Mary L. Coloe to an awareness of the importance of the wisdom literature to make sense of Johannine theology, language, and symbolism: in the prologue, with Nicodemus, in the Bread of Life discourse, with Mary and Lazarus, and in the culminating “Hour.” She also shows how the late Second Temple theology expressed in the books of Sirach and Wisdom, considered deuterocanonical and omitted from some Bible editions, are essential intertexts. Only the book of Wisdom speaks of “the reign of God” (Wis 10:10), “eternity life” (Wis 5:15), and the ambrosia maintaining angelic life (Wis 19:21)—all concepts found in John’s Gospel.

While the Gospel explicitly states the Logos was enfleshed in Jesus, this is also true of Sophia. Coloe makes the case that Jesus’s words and deeds embody Sophia throughoutthe narrative. At the beginning of each chapter Coloe provides text from the later wisdom books that resonate with the Gospel passage, drawing Sophia out of the shadows. 

Mary L Coloe, Barbara E Reid, Mary Ann Beavis

Mary L. Coloe, PBVM, is professor of New Testament at Yarra Theological Union, a college of the University of Divinity in Melbourne. Mary taught for over twenty years at Australian Catholic University and also at Boston College, the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, and in Jerusalem. Mary has many academic publications on the Gospel of John, as well as books to help parents and teachers, such as A Friendly Guide to John, The Two Hands of God, and A Friendly Guide to the Birth of Jesus. Mary has also written an introduction to the Johannine literature for the new revised edition of the Jerome Biblical Commentary. Barbara E. Reid, general editor of the Wisdom Commentary series, is a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the president of Catholic Theological Union and the first woman to hold the position. She has been a member of the CTU faculty since 1988 and also served as vice president and academic dean from 2009 to 2018. She holds a PhD in biblical studies from The Catholic University of America and was also president of the Catholic Biblical Association in 2014–2015. Mary Ann Beavis is professor emerita of religion and culture at St. Thomas More College (Saskatoon, Canada). She received MA degrees from the University of Manitoba and the University of Notre Dame; she holds a PhD from Cambridge University (UK). Her areas of interest and expertise include Christian origins, feminist biblical interpretation, Christianity and Goddess spirituality, and religion and popular culture. She is the author of several single-author and edited books as well as many peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews.

"One would have no hesitations about making it the 'basic commentary' in a course on John with suggestions for collateral reading from the major traditional resources. This feminist commentary is a major, original contribution to Johannine scholarship." Sandra M. Schneiders, IHM, Santa Clara University "This first full-scale feminist commentary on John is at the same time irritating and inspiring. Whereas the dominance of Wisdom language may irritate many and trigger fresh reflections about various aspects of the story, Coloe's thoughtful reflections certainly inspire readers' new perceptions." Joerg Frey, University of Zurich, Switzerland "This is a perceptive and sensitive reading of the first ten chapters of the Fourth Gospel written by a widely-published Johannine scholar. It is full of literary and theological insights into the text, as well as insight into the relevant background issues. It is particularly appropriate for the reader wishing to explore feminist readings of the Bible, but also offers an interpretation that will both nourish and challenge all readers. In Coloe's hands, the focus on Wisdom-Sophia provides a rich resource for understanding John's meaning in new ways and new contexts." Dorothy A. Lee, Trinity College, University of Divinity, Australia "Lucid, balanced, and insightful, Coloe introduces students of the New Testament to both the Gospel of John, which draws heavily on wisdom tradition, and the mature feminist criticism to which the Wisdom Commentary series is devoted. Leading feminist scholars join the conversation with Coloe in notes and short essays. This volume will serve admirably in a wide variety of contexts, as readers will delight in its insights into John, the fresh perspectives of this commentary series, and its innovative format." R. Alan Culpepper, Dean and Professor of New Testament Emeritus, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University "The freshness of this book is the new insight that a feminist lens gives to familiar passages." Catholics Books Review "The commentary is rich in theological and pastoral insights into this profound gospel, its perennial message enhanced by the feminist perspective of this author and series." The Bible Today "Johannine studies have always seemed to hold a sort of pride of place in biblical studies. This volume, written by distinguished international group of scholars, is on track to be a go-to resource in the field." WATER "This is an accessible and thought-provoking commentary that invites us to receive the Gospel's Wisdom anew." Catholic Biblical Quarterly

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