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ERIC Number: ED557005
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 355
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3210-8550-1
Logos Announced the Light of Salvation: Interpreting How John Presented His Message in John 1:1-18, According to Functional Grammar
Pollinger, Seth
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
This study of John 1:1-18 describes how John (the speaker) presented his message to his audience within their activity of verbal communication. By focusing on verbal meaning, this interpretation analyzes how John presented and expressed his meanings through language by interpreting this text based on the seamless interrelation between John's meaning, language, and context of communication. This analysis describes how John built his message through verbal meanings according to Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG). Specifically, it describes how John successively chose to present his experience (how he viewed the world) in each clause through John 1:1-18. To do so, it analyzed how John chose to express particular meanings over alternative available meanings in his situation (system). By evaluating each choice, this study described how John build his message one step at a time in order to shape his primary content into his constructive, coherent, and unified message for his situation of communication. Based on SFG categories, this study describes how John used language to present his experience of the world by selecting particular Activities involving particular Participants supported by particular Circumstances (Paradigmatic). Because he chose to combine and organize these meanings into an open ended series of segments dependent on each other within each clause (Syntagmatic), this analysis also describes John's choices within their complex combination. Consistent with SFG, this interpretation also evaluates how John expressed these meanings by referring to other meanings inside or outside John 1:1-18. These referents ranged from meanings in the broad Hellenistic culture to meanings used in his specific Christian community. In many cases, John used distinct meanings that he personally favored and planned to develop. This work proposes a framework for the Prologue based on how John presented activities between two core participants. Initially, John introduced the main characters based on their relation to each other (John 1:1-4). He characterized Logos based on his direct relation to God and characterized man based on his dependence on Logos. After this introductory setting, John specified the main activity in the Prologue, an Outward action and an Inward reaction: the Light of Salvation delivered prophetic salvation and extended eternal life to man while man disregarded him. Based on the darkness' grim disregard for the Light of Salvation, John placed three witnesses: the Baptist (John 1:6-8), the Light of Salvation himself (John 1:9-13), and the disciples (John 1:14-18). John positioned these participants in order to testify that the Light of Salvation did indeed arrive to deliver the salvation promised by the prophets by offering eternal life to man. Based on these validations, when the audience heard this message, the people should drop their blind preoccupations and turn to pursue and embrace the Light of Salvation, the Father's approved speaker. This SFG analysis concludes that John wrote a unified message to present that the Father's Logos announced the Light of Salvation. Rather than respond to Jesus like the general population of Jews, the audience should listen carefully and accept Jesus' testimony that he is the Light of Salvation who delivers prophetic renewal and extends eternal life to man. Because he is the Father's approved messenger who reports the Father's message, they must accept his testimony. They should pursue and embrace him, their only source of eternal life. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A