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Aesthetics | Biblical Studies | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Epistemology | Ethics in Religion | History of Philosophy | History of Religions of Eastern Origins | History of Religions of Western Origin | Other Philosophy | Other Religion | Philosophy | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


This is a ThM thesis presented to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.


The thesis explores the meaning of the concept of believing in the Gospel of John. Chapter 1 provides a discussion of the relevance of the subject and the methodology employed in the research. The methodology is primarily a semantic field approach emphasizing the importance context adds to the interpretation process. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 follow the same basic outline. The goal is to provide an analysis of [Special characters omitted.] within its syntactical relationships and verbal forms. Any relevant conclusions are then integrated into an exegetical discussion. The Gospel of John is divided into three sections, one for each of these chapters: John 1-4, 5-12, 13-21. In Chapter 2 (John 1-4) the evidence for interchangeableness of the [Special characters omitted.] and [Special characters omitted.] + dative constructions is presented. [Special characters omitted] constructions do not refer to a superior belief. Typically, verbal forms of [Special characters omitted.] are not used formulaically. The crowd in 2:23-25 is portrayed negatively. The disciples, the Samaritans, and the royal official progressed in their belief.

In Chapter 3 (John 5-12) the [Special characters omitted.] construction was determined to contain a different meaning than the [Special characters omitted.] and [Special characters omitted.] + dative constructions. John 5:12 can be characterized as, largely, many people rejecting Jesus. While four signs were performed by Jesus, there were seven negative reactions to them; the three signs performed in John 1-4 had mixed reactions. Three inadequate professions were made in John 5-12 (6:14; 7:31; 10:21) and four groups demonstrated deficient belief through poor actions (6:22-66; 8:21-47; 10:22-39; 12:42-43). Positive portrayals were placed in contrast to negative portrayals. The antecedent to “they” (in 12:37) are the negative portrayals of those believing in John’s Gospel, not one specific group.

In Chapter 4 (John 13-21) the [Special characters omitted.] absolute construction was in a synonymous relationship to a [Special characters omitted.] construction, demonstrating the flexibility of this construction in the Gospel. Eternal life, understood in both its qualitative and quantitiative aspects, was discussed in its relationship to believing. The relationship of knowing and believing should be understood as being reciprocal. John 13-21 begins with two pericopae in which Jesus calls his disciples into a deeper faith; later in the narrative they progress. All portrayals of believing were positive in this section. It appears that the beginning of the Gospel was more concerned with a question of whom belief should be placed in, while the latter part was more concerned with the content of this belief.

Chapter 5 summarizes the conclusions while integrating them. Implications are drawn for Lordship Salvation and the doctrine of assurance