Florovsky Paper Abstract 19 - Bread from Heaven or Bread of Heaven? The Bread of Life Discourse of John 6 within Its Historical Setting

Feast of the Holy Apostles Archippus, Philemon & Onesimus

IN THE HISTORY of interpretation the theological, liturgical, and sacramental use of the Bread of Life Discourse of John 6 has eclipsed its meaning within its historical setting. Clearly the chapter contains much characteristically Johannine theological interpretation—but how much real Jewish messianic history underlies it? Very much, it will be argued. Despite its characteristically Johannine language, virtually every word of the Discourse—even the most difficult words in vv. 51-58—can be interpreted as the direct response of the historical Jesus to the militant messianism of a Galilean crowd ready to take him by force and make him king. This study will argue the case for the substantial historicity of the Discourse within its ancient Jewish setting.


Russ Dudrey has served as teaching and preaching minister of the Church of Christ in Hastings, Nebraska, since 2007. Before that he taught college, last at York College in Nebraska. He did his academic training at David Lipscomb College (BA, Bible and English, 1971), Harding Graduate School (MTh, New Testament, 1977), the University of Nevada (MA, English Literature, 1982), and the University of Minnesota (PhD, Classics, 1998). His education was driven by faith seeking understanding: as Augustine more or less said, “I believe in order that I may understand.”


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