Commemorative Identities represents a significantly new approach to the issue of replacement/abrogation vs. continuation of Jewish thought patterns and practices among Jewish Christ-followers as they are addressed by the Johannine author. Previous studies have been unable to elucidate a comprehensible argument to support continuation of commemoration in the face of explicit Temple replacement terminology in the Gospel.
This study provides that argument based upon known sociological observations and models, and direct comparative analysis with Jewish practices pre- and post-70. Mary Spaulding's study will further invigorate scholarly debate concerning identity issues in the Fourth Gospel, a topic of significant interest among Johannine scholars today. More generally, the origins of Christianity as portrayed in the Gospel of John are understood as a gradual unfolding of and differentiation among various Jewish groups post-Second Temple rather than as an abrupt break from an established, normative Judaism.