Michael Labahn, «Between Tradition and Literary. Art. The Use of the Miracle Tradition in the Fourth Gospel», Vol. 80 (1999) 178-203
An examination of the miracle stories in the context of the fourth gospel shows that the Evangelist, using different literary techniques, presents his tradition as an important part of his narrative. The Johannine signs are closely linked to the context and by no means subordinate to the other literary genres. By means of the signs basic reactions to the eschatological event of the coming of the Son of God are pointed out. Through the encounter with the revealer represented in the text possible readers are invited to accept him as a pledge for eternal life.
between his sources, their christology and the theological conception of the gospel author. Although a broad stream of New Testament scholars reads the miracle stories as an integral part of the Fourth Gospel there is still some discussion as to whether they are a positive part of the theological construction of the Fourth Evangelist or a foreign element in the gospel.
Rudolf Bultmann plays down the theological significance of the Johannine miracles, regarding the resurrection narratives together with the miracles as a concession to human weakness12. Jürgen Becker in his famous article "Wunder und Christologie" maintains that the Fourth Evangelist has worked the miracle stories of his source into his narrative in such a way as to undercut their original intention. Not only does Becker suggest that the Fourth Evangelist meant to belittle the importance of the miracles he reports, but he fails to see the positive importance the Fourth Evangelist attaches to the signs13. He argues that the christology of the evangelist is opposed to the christological aims of his miracle source: