Jesus the Good Shepherd Who Will Also Bring Other Sheep (John 10:16): The Old Testament Background of a Familiar Metaphor -- By: Andreas J. Köstenberger

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 12:1 (NA 2002)
Article: Jesus the Good Shepherd Who Will Also Bring Other Sheep (John 10:16): The Old Testament Background of a Familiar Metaphor
Author: Andreas J. Köstenberger


Jesus the Good Shepherd Who Will Also Bring Other Sheep (John 10:16): The Old Testament Background of a Familiar Metaphor

Andreas J. Köstenberger

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

John 10:16 is one of the major Johannine mission texts that sheds significant light on Jesus’ messianic consciousness during his earthly ministry. Almost exclusively, however, scholarly treatments focus on the fourth evangelist’s use of the Hebrew Scriptures without entertaining questions regarding the historical Jesus. Taking its point of departure from a study of the literary and historical contexts of John 10 and an investigation of its genre, the present essay seeks to uncover the fabric of OT motifs that converge in Jesus’ pronouncement in John 10:16, focusing particularly on prophetic passages in Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Isaiah as well as Davidic typology. The scope of this article also includes Qumran, the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, and rabbinic literature. Jesus emerges as a faithful interpreter of the Hebrew Scriptures who understood himself as the eschatological Davidic messianic “shepherd.” John the evangelist is found to uphold the lofty vision of a community—composed of both Jews and Gentiles—united by faith in the God-sent Messiah.

Key Words: Gospel of John, historical Jesus, Messiah, mission, use of OT in the NT, Good Shepherd Discourse, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Isaiah, Davidic typology

It is fairly common today to view the Gospels primarily as the expression of the theologies of the evangelists or as products of Christian communities who fashioned for themselves relevant interpretations of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for their respective contemporary situations.1 Consequently, few dare to shed their skepticism that

the words and the consciousness of the historical Jesus can be accurately gleaned from the Gospel records.2 However, the data available do not support such skepticism.3 The present study will proceed with the confidence that the Gospel of John as a whole, and specifically the tenth chapter, can be searched not just for John’s—or the “Johannine community’s”—treatment of the OT, but for an accurate reflection of Jesus’ own consciousness and teaching.4

This is not to deny that John selected, arranged, and presented his material with a specific purp...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()