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John: An Earth Bible Commentary

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Table of Contents

Preface Abbreviations Acknowledgements Introduction: An Earth-Conscious Reading 1. Supposing Him to Be the Gardener 2. In the Beginning 3. From Lamplight to Dawn 4. From Wilderness to Fertile Land 5. At the Centre of the Earth 6. Living Water 7. My Father Has Never Ceased Working 8. The Bread of Life 9. At the Festival of Tabernacles 10. The Good Shepherd 11. From Bethany to Jerusalem 12. The Hour Has Come (Jn 12.23) 13. Eat, Friends, and Drink (Song 5.1) 14. I Still Have Much to Say to You (Jn 16.12) 15. Love Is as Strong as Death (Song 8.6) 16. I Have Come to My Garden (Song 5.1) Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

Reads the Gospel of John from an ecological perspective and offers a commentary on the entire text with insights into how the text can help people respond to the ecological crisis.

About the Author

Margaret Daly-Denton's early career as a liturgical musician and an internationally published church composer led her to become a biblical scholar. She has recently retired from teaching New Testament at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.


The evocative Johannine text, Supposing Him to be the Gardener, infuses Margaret Daly-Denton's Earth-conscious reading of the Fourth Gospel. She reads with three levels of attentiveness. The fi rst is to those Earth elements such as bread, water and light that are encoded in the text but are so often read for their symbolic import only and not in their materiality. The second is to the impact of fi rst century CE socio-economic and political realities on the land. The focus of the third level is the contemporary consciousness of Earth that accompanies this new reading of the Johannine text. Readers of this beautifully written commentary will be drawn into a rich tapestry of these three layers of meaning-making and will encounter Daly-Denton's expert knowledge of the Johannine text and its intertexts in literature and context. * ELAINE M. WAINWRIGHT, University of Auckland, New Zealand * It should not be surprising that a Gospel about the one through whom "all things came into being" has profound implications for ecological responsibility, but Daly-Denton is the fi rst major scholar to show this convincingly. Her commentary combines excellent scholarship, deep insight, and prophetic relevance. It is a superb example of what John's Gospel itself encourages: being "led into all the truth" through a wise blend of rereading scriptures and passionate commitment to Jesus who came for the sake of "life in all its fullness". * DAVID F. FORD, Selwyn College, University of Cambridge, UK * `Daly-Denton makes a persuasive case that Jesus is in fact Earth's gardener. This beautifully written work draws on contemporary ecological scholarship, as well as archaeology of water supplies and deep resonances with the Hebrew scriptures. In John's Gospel, Jesus diagnoses Earth's ills and invites his followers to be part of God's healing work, a radical vision for eternal life on Earth, here and now. * BARBARA ROSSING, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, USA * To identify with Mary, who believes Jesus to be the gardener, is but a provocative starting point for Margaret Daly-Denton's intense Earth-conscious reading of John's Gospel. The reader needs to join Daly-Denton in the garden of Earth, from the beginning when the Word creates Earth and all Earth beings, including the Garden of Eden, to the gardens associated with the crucifi xion and resurrection of Jesus. A garden context stimulates an Earth consciousness that Daly-Denton hopes will "transform" us as readers, who share the breath of life with all creatures, to care for Earth and its creatures as God intended for the fi rst humans in Eden. Daly-Denton has experienced, through her gardening and writing of this volume, that the Fourth Gospel is "good news" for Earth and all Earth beings. I recommend you go into a challenging garden and read this volume along with the Book of Nature! * NORMAN C. HABEL, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia *

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