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.
instructions" ("implizite Rezeptionsanweisungen") which are meant to establish "communication with the intended readers" ("die Kommunikation mit den intendierten Lesern")61. Sporadic direct addresses in the second person plural that cannot be explained in terms of the narrative alone can be explained as direct instructions to the reader (e.g. 4,4862; 20,30-31)63. Some of these signals are part of the narrative framework by which the different traditions of the gospel are brought together (cf., e.g., 2,11; 4,54; 6,25b-29; 9,39-41): "they often commend the passage into belief and life through the authority of Jesus or the narrator"64.
3. The narrative depiction of the sovereignty of the revealer in connection with his role as the one who is sent
An essential stylistic method that the Fourth Evangelist uses for adapting single miracle stories drawn from the tradition has been noticed especially by Charles H. Giblin. He has drawn our attention to that special form in his essay of 198065. Elements of this method are common to miracle stories but it seems that the pattern was consciously used by the Fourth Evangelist. Giblin characterises this scheme in the following manner: "... he (sc. Jesus) proceeds to act positively after giving a negative response to a suggestion that has been presented to him in view of something considered to be an urgent need"66. He has shown that these elements return in different Johannine texts (John 2,1-11; 4,46-54; 7,2-14 and 11,1-44). This