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.
discourses in 5,19-4721. John 6 already shows another structure, for the chapter begins with a double miracle and is closed by conflict scenes in 6,60-6622. The speech itself is interrupted by questions and objections from its hearers23. Michael Theobald characterizes John 6,60-71 as a dialogue passage that is closed by an important confession. For formal parallels he points to John 9 (9,38) and John 4 (4,42)24. This observation is striking in some ways. Nevertheless, there are formal differences between these texts. John 4,1-42 is not built on a narrative text; there is only a very small narrative framework on which the dialogues between Jesus and the other protagonists are based. John 11,1-44 again diverges from a strict scheme by putting longer dialogues into the narrative framework of the miracle story. The changing of water into wine in Cana (John 2,1-11) and the healing of the son of the royal official (4,46-54) completely fall out of the scheme in which the signs are followed by dialogue texts.
The formal differences observed by Culpepper might be connected with different compositional aims of the author of the gospel. The Fourth Evangelist uses different forms to integrate traditions into his gospel and to reread them25. In John 24 we can find some shadows of the conflict, which is already mentioned in John 1,1-14. However, it is more important that this section of the Gospel presents characters who meet Jesus and believe in him (see below I.3). The logos is in his world and there are people who