ABSTRACT

Traditional historical-critical readings of John 9 have tended to overlook the story’s potential for missional readings. Through an analysis of John 9 as a narrative about vocation rather than a purely socio-historical source of information on the implied community, this study places this passage firmly within the theological vision of the Fourth Gospel. A close study of the passage reveals a sophisticated “doubling” of Jesus and the man born blind. Though Jesus is largely absent, the man testifies on his behalf and takes up Jesus’ role as the “sent” one, thereby experiencing a kind of qualified “divinization.” The passage, therefore, equips and empowers would-be disciples for testimony even as it orients such testimony to Jesus’ lordship in his absence. The article concludes with reflections on the implications of the analysis for notions of epistemology in theological perspective.

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