This book is an attempt to make some initial tracing of what the gospel looks like through the lens of “secular” literary criticism. As an interdisciplinary study, the work is an effort to contribute to that dialogue by studying the narrative elements of the Fourth Gospel while interacting occasionally with current Johannine research. It is intended not as a challenge to historical criticism or the results of previous research but as an alternative by means of which new data may be collected and readers may be helped to read the gospel more perceptively by looking at certain features of the gospel. This process is to be distinguished from reading the gospel looking for particular kinds of historical evidence.
Our aim is to contribute to understanding the gospel as a narrative text, what it is, and how it works. The emphasis will be upon the construction of hypotheses or critique of methods. The gospel as it stands rather than its sources, historical background, or themes is the subject of this study.