Phillips undertakes a sequential reading of the Prologue of John's Gospel. By using the reading strategies of Iser, Emmott, and Eco, the book establishes a reading strategy termed sequential disclosure, which is then applied to the text. In order to arrive at the reading, preliminary chapters focus both on historical interpretation of the Prologue in terms of reader response and on the role of the author, the use of persuasion and the development of irony. Special focus is given to the role of the dramatic prologue, as well as the interaction between rhetoric, irony and community. As such, the book discusses the role of the reading process in developing a specific community language. The book focuses on the didactic role of the Prologue in teaching readers this language and so including them into the Johannine community. The reading of the Prologue highlights the key aspects of the reading process: ambiguity and disambiguation; resemanticization; antilanguage; community development and intertextuality. A sequential reading of the Prologue highlights the didactic and evangelistic role of this text. JSNTS 294
Reverend Dr Peter Phillips is New Testament Lecturer at Cliff College, Derbyshire and Honorary Research Fellow at Manchester University.