Original Research - Special Collection: God as One

The divinity of Jesus in the Gospel of John: The ‘lived experiences’ it fostered when the text was read

Dirk G. Van der Merwe
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 1 | a5411 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i1.5411 | © 2019 Dirk G. van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 February 2019 | Published: 14 November 2019

About the author(s)

Dirk G. Van der Merwe, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


The discipline, Christian Spirituality, evokes a new interest in Early Christian spirituality. What conceived spiritualities were fostered when the early Christians read the documents that were written to them and how did it influence them? According to Wolfgang Iser, a ‘reader often feels involved in events which, at the time of reading, seems real to him’. This article looks into how John describes and explains the divinity of Jesus. It also attempts to determine conceived spiritualities (lived experiences) fostered when the early Christians read John. The article starts with a brief orientation of what it means when a reader becomes entangled in the reading of a text. Then some mechanisms, as proposed by Waaijman and Iser, that can foster spiritualities are employed to examine the text, including the interaction between the text and the reader; the creation of images; the dialectic between retention and pretension and the filling of gaps.


Divinity; Jesus; Experiences; Hearer; Readers; Mechanisms


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