Over the past century, academics and dramatists have noted that the Gospel of John displays similar characteristics to Greek dramatic literature. Dialogue and Drama presents a detailed and nuanced review from Jo-Ann Brant, a scholar well versed in the study of both Greek tragedy and the New Testament. She argues that the fourth evangelist was thoroughly familiar with the conventions of Greek drama and used them to more effectively present the Gospel’s plot.
As in Greek tragedy, dialogue is the major form of action. The hero, Jesus, engages in verbal duels with his opponents in order to provoke a lethal contest, which culminates in his glorious death. Dialogue and Drama creates an accessible world for the audience and makes them witnesses of the tragedy, drawing readers into a corporate act of remembering.
Brant casts fresh perspective on the roles of the Jews, Peter, the women around Jesus, and the beloved disciple, proposing an alternative account of the evangelist’s dualistic and polemical language and offering new approaches to aspects of the Gospel that have long puzzled readers and dominated scholarly debate. Scholars of literary Biblical criticism and students of drama will find in this text a thorough, engaging, and interdisciplinary study that answers questions left open by prevailing theories and opens new avenues of research yet to be explored.