The author of the Gospel of John recorded the seven miracle accounts in his book and named them distinctively as shmei/on (‘sign’), while in the Synoptics the miracles are usually called du,namij (‘mighty deed’). This particular term signifies that the miracles of Jesus in this Gospel are significant occasions which carry associative theological messages. Thus Johannine research has always had a great deal of interest in this specific field. The important interpretative point to note is that the individual sign does not exist on its own but reciprocates the influence to the associated discourses on the revelatory mentions of Jesus and/or operates together with other signs in the specific features of its macro context. Thus the delivery of the message is maximised. As a result of the comprehensive analysis of the whole signs, it is clear that the author of this Gospel elaborately arranges seven signs, and thus draws his theological messages most efficiently. The main concern of shmei/a in this Gospel is to expose the Christological portraits of Jesus and some related theological themes. The divine identities of Jesus that are exposed by the signs are, for example, ‘the eschatological bridegroom,’ ‘the provider of eternal life,’ ‘the bringer of the eschatological salvation,’ and ‘the Messiah/Christ/King.’ Some related theological themes that are conveyed through the signs are, for example, ‘the replacement of the Jewish tradition,’ ‘the significance of a faith in Jesus,’ ‘glorification of Jesus,’ ‘unbelief,’ and ‘the discipleship.’ It is thus clear that the Johannine signs are written so that people may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing people may have Life in His name (cf. 20:31).
Dissertation (MTh.)--University of Pretoria, 2005.