This Bible course will be taught by Rev. Dr. Buz Hannon, and will run from April 11th to June 17, 2022. The syllabus is available here.
As the fourth and final Gospel, distinct from the three synoptics, John’s Gospel can be intimidating. Although containing Scripture’s most famous verse (John 3:16), it also contains some of Christ’s most dense and mysterious sayings. And yet, despite this, the Gospel is fundamentally a narrative, and one which uses narrative techniques familiar to us all already. We encounter them in film, in classic novels, and even in the compelling story-based marketing which so easily catches our attention. An awareness of these narrative features is key to coming to grips with the Fourth Gospel, and such an awareness is the aim of this course.
This course will be divided into eight sections, each considering a different aspect of John as a narrative:
- Chapter One: What is “story?”
- Chapter Two: Believe it or Not, Nothing (and Everything) Happens: Plot in John’s Gospel.
- Chapter Three: The Dead Giveaway and the Prologue: Identity in John’s Gospel
- Chapter Four: Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy-Tale: Characters in John’s Gospel
- Chapter Five: Let’s Back Up a Bit: Setting in John’s Gospel
- Chapter Six: Biography and Old Testament Types: Genre in John’s Gospel
- Chapter Seven: Inconceivable!: Wordplay and Image in John’s Gospel
- Chapter Eight: But Wait–There’s More!: Post-Credit Scenes and John’s Gospel
Students on this course will be enriched with a larger understanding of John’s narrative purpose, theological outcomes, and place within the broader context of Scripture. Furthermore, they will be equipped with narrative-critical analytical tools that can be fruitfully applied to other narrative texts.
Rev. Dr. Richard “Buz” Hannon is the Pastor of Discipleship at 3Crosses Church in Castro Valley, California, where he lives with his wife and four sons. He earned a Ph.D. in Old Testament Literature from Gateway Seminary in 2016 with expertise in literary genre and in the rise of King Solomon. He teaches adjunctively at several institutions, including Oral Roberts University. He can be found at buzhannon.com, or on most social platforms at @buzhannon.
Online only, runs 10 weeks, meeting 2 hr./wk. via Zoom. Students will also have the option to participate in class discussion on the Davenant Common Room Discord server. Register to reserve your spot and schedule will be set after a poll of participating students; if the class time does not fit your schedule, you will be eligible for a full refund.
This is a graduate-level course. Although a BA is not a necessary pre-requisite for this course, students should come prepared to do graduate-level work.