The Disciples in the Fourth Gospel
Using the method of narrative analysis, Nicolas Farelly examines the characterisation of the disciples in the Fourth Gospel, focusing on their faith and understanding. After studying the disciples as a group in the sequence of the narrative, he focuses on five individual disciples (Peter, Judas, the Beloved Disciple, Thomas, and Mary Magdalene), and concludes that the disciples are portrayed as believing and as having life from early on in the narrative, but as struggling to understand the identity, words, and mission of Jesus until the pivotal event of his glorification. The author shows that the characterisation of the disciples plays an important role in communicating the rhetorical purpose of the Fourth Gospel. Through a process of identification with the disciples, the implied readers' faith and understanding are nurtured in order to better equip them for their own witnessing activity.
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