Light symbolism in the Gospel of John : christological interpretation from integrative approach
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The Gospel of John is considered a unique Gospel compared to the Synoptic Gospels because of its distinct literary features and structure used by the Fourth Evangelist. This Gospel comprises figurative languages with images, metaphors, symbols, and signs. The symbol is one of the significant narrative techniques clearly visible in the Gospel of John. Symbols play a vital role throughout the Gospel of John to achieve its literary and theological purpose. A micro reader can observe the repetition of such symbolic languages in Gospel to emphasize its theological significance. Most of the Johannine Scholars identified "light,” "water," and "bread" as core symbols in the Gospel of John along with the Culpepper because these symbols demonstrate the mission, the message, and the person of Christ. Therefore, considering the incredible function of symbolism in John, this thesis aims to shed light upon critical areas. First and foremost, this thesis proposes to define and explore the development and significance of Light symbolism in the Gospel of John. Secondly, it will investigate the Light narrative of the prologue and remaining light passage (symbolic judgment in John chapter 3, symbolic statement in John chapters 7, and 8, and symbolic action of eye-opening of Blind man of Chapter 9). In conclusion, this thesis uncovers the relationship between the prologue and the rest of the narrative based on the Light symbolism from the Christological point of view. To achieve the purposes mentioned above, this research uses an integrative approach. This method will emphasize textual studie, its literary dimension-Narrative analysis, Socio-historical and theological perspectives. Furthermore, this thesis will use the theoretical framework of the Johannine symbol presented by Akala in her book, "The Son –Father Relationship and Christological Symbols in the Gospel of John" to discover the answers to the research questions. In conclusion, this research will picture the meaning and mystery of the light symbol presented in the Gospel of John from prologue narrative to epilogue as MISSION, MESSAGE, and PERSON OF CHRIST. Thus, this research believes that the light symbolism powerfully fulfills the evangelist's purposes, as mentioned in the Gospel of John 20:31.