The Gospel of John has been examined from many different perspectives, but a comprehensive treatment of the theme of worship in this Gospel has not yet appeared. John Paul Heil offers a contribution toward a remedy of this deficiency by analysing the entire Gospel of John from the perspective of its various dimensions of worship. The aim is to illustrate that three different but complementary dimensions of worship – confessional, sacramental, and ethical – dominate this Gospel. Indeed, these different types of worship represent the ways one expresses and demonstrates the faith that includes having divine life eternal, which is the stated purpose for writing the signs that Jesus did in this Gospel – “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that, believing, you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).
2. Hymnic Prologue Introduces Worship Celebrating the Gift of Divine Life Eternal (John 1:1-18)
3. Disciples and the Worship of Jesus (John 1:19-51)
4. Jesus Reveals True Worship in the Spirit and Truth (John 2:1-4:54)
5. Jesus Transcends Jewish Festival Worship (John 5:1-10:42)
6. Jesus’ Sacrificial Worship for Divine Life Eternal Glorifies God (John 11:1-12:50)
7. Jesus’ Farewell Teaching about the Worship for Divine Life Eternal (John 13:1-17:26)
8. Jesus’ Self-Sacrificial Death Produces Divine Life-Giving Worship (John 18:1-19:42)
9. The Risen Jesus Establishes the Worship for Divine Life Eternal (John 20:1-21:25)
Endorsements and Reviews
This engaging and very accessible work draws the reader deeply into the Gospel of John through the trajectory of the hitherto neglected motif of worship. Carefully distinguishing three dimensions of worship (the confessional, the sacramental, and the ethical) John Paul Heil convincingly shows the motif to be so pervasive in the Gospel as to render the entire document an invitation to a life-giving worship of God in, with, and through Jesus.
Brendan Byrne, Emeritus Professor of New Testament, University of Divinity, Melbourne
Heil’s important study guides the reader through the entire text of the Gospel pointing out various aspects of ‘worship’. Individuals profess faith in Jesus as an act of ‘confessional’ worship; symbols of water and bread allude to later ‘sacramental’ worship; and Jesus’ self-sacrificial death models the ‘ethical’ worship expected of believers willing to live out the love-command. The Gospel of John: Worship for Divine Life Eternal adds a neglected approach to Johannine studies and will be valuable for scholars and pastors.
Mary Coloe, Associate Professor, Yarra Theological Union, Melbourne
Anyone who is willing to work through the Gospel with H.’s book in hand will undoubtedly have a richer understanding of the subject of worship and the organization, meaning, and purpose of John.
Paul Jeon, in The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol 80, No 3