The I AM statements exclusive to the Fourth Gospel are seen as the attempt of the author(s) of that Gospel to present the nature and purpose of the earthly life of Jesus by engaging the imaginative faculty of the reader. Succeeding generations of artists are considered as undertaking a similar task by engaging in an imaginative dialogue with the text. There are five narratives that are peculiar to the Fourth Gospel: The Wedding at Cana, the Woman of Samaria, the Woman Taken in Adultery, the Raising of Lazarus, and the Washing of Feet. Five paintings based upon each narrative are considered in context. These are taken from the early fourteenth century (Duccio and Giotto) to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (Max Beckmann and the contemporary Icon writer, Constantina Wood). A sense of the loss experienced by the western church under the sanctions of the Protestant Reformation against visual imagery is conveyed. This leads to a suggestion that a reassertion of the role of the aesthetics of Christian worship might be a unifying factor for a generation jaded by the pedantry that divides the Christian Church. ""What I value in The Continuing Dialogue is the way it not only draws us into a truly sacred conversation with the great signs of John's gospel, but with visual interpretations which do not so much explain but take us deeper into the mystery of those encounters. Brian Bishop argues that, paradoxically, a painting is more--not less--apophatic than words, and claims less adequacy to that which it represents. Rich and nuanced, this book argues for a truly participatory interpretation of word and image."" --Alison Grant Milbank, University of Nottingham ""This volume is the fruit of the author's thorough and painstaking research carried out over many years. There is no doubt, given its distinctive focus on five popular episodes in the Gospel of John, that it will make a significant and most welcome contribution to the ever-growing body of literature on the Bible and art. It brings freshness, imagination, and vitality to the way we read and interpret these much-loved Gospel stories."" --Martin O'Kane, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, United Kingdom ""In his analysis of over forty images, Bishop offers an accessible account of how art can illumine the interpretation of John's Gospel. Focusing on five particular narratives (the Wedding at Cana, the Woman of Samaria, the Woman taken in Adultery, the Raising of Lazarus, and Jesus' Washing of the Disciples' Feet), he makes a convincing case for understanding artists as biblical interpreters."" --Christine E. Joynes, University of Oxford Brian Leslie Bishop is a retired British schoolteacher of English, drama, and world literature. His play for young people--Bug-eyed Loonery--was published in 1985. As well as teaching in UK schools, he has taught in Singapore, Peru, and Malta. Since retiring, he has gained a master's degree in theology (with distinction) from the University of Wales, Lampeter.