Biblical Paradox and ‘I am’ Sayings in John by Richard K. Min

Biblical Paradox and ‘I am’ Sayings in John, by Richard K. Min (SBL IM2011 paper), presented at Society of Biblical Literature – International Meeting 2011, London, United Kingdom, July 2010.

** Click here to download the paper:  SBL-IM2011Min

Abstract: The study of paradox has been controversial in contemporary biblical and theological scholarship.  This historical trend has been set by Russell in the study of paradox since the early 20th century, to exclude or ignore the paradox (of circular reasoning) from formal logic or to negate it as a valid reasoning.  The consequence of this mainstream decision has been somewhat devastating, especially in biblical scholarship.  However, there has been a renewed interest due to the innovative approach and breakthrough in the study of paradox in circularity, pioneered by Kripke.  This paper explores and presents this new perspective and paradigm, and its application to circular constructs found in the Bible, especially in John.  Selected biblical examples of circular relationship and coinductive reasoning are presented and analyzed.  Two proof methods in John 8:12-18 are investigated and analyzed.  One of the proof methods is distinctively based on self-reference (circular reasoning) to validate the self-claim of Jesus as the light of the world.  Further “I am” sayings in John are analyzed as interpretive keys and with circular in-relationship.

** Click here to download the paper:  SBL-IM2011Min


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