The aim of this short study is to propose a hermeneutical reading of Johannine soteriology based on John 3,16 and 1 John 4,9 in order to clarify in what sense Jesus was ‘the cause’ salvation. I will employ the Aristotelian categorization of the various causes as used by Philo in his explanation of the creation of the cosmos and apply his scheme to the Johannine texts. The result is (1) a specific definition of what constitutes the cause of salvation and (2) the important distinction between the means (understood as the four conjoint Aristotelian causes) and the mode (understood as faith) of salvation.
According to a widespread opinion the purpose of the Second Book of Maccabees is to emphasize the great importance of the temple. This is plausible to a certain extent if the summary of history is read togther with the two introductory letters. But those authors are right who consider the letters to be originally independent of each other and also of the abrigded version. The construction of the summary taken in itself reveals a soteriology which attributes an important part to the witness of faith for the history of salvation, especially when bloodshed is involved. With regard to this point the abrigded version and the first introductory letter harmonize. Both the summary and the work as a whole have therefore a soteriological orientation and stress the witness of faith as relevant for salvation.
The Isaian citation, used by Paul to describe his encounter with certain Jews in Rome, does not stand alone: it leads to a conclusion, a conclusion which is an imperative and an assurance. What is commanded is a knowledge of the plan of
God already in motion, a plan to offer salvation to Jews and Gentiles. As information for Jews of Rome, this final word of Paul is best understood as a motive for repentance; knowledge of the divine plan of God, which will succeed (28b), serves as an encouragement to Roman Jews to «turn and be healed by Me».
The Lukan Sondergut develops its soteriology by narrating encounters inside a triangular spatial structure. Several important pericopae make use of a recurring scheme: salvation takes place in the encounter between the sinner and Jesus/God. The Pharisees who distance themselves therefrom are called upon to learn a lesson from the sinners and to share in the joy that results from the return of the lost one.
The number of fishes in Joh 21,11 has been a crux for the interpreters of the Fourth Gospel. If the theological meaning of the scene seemed to be clear enough — an allusion to the universality of salvation brought by Christ — the why of the number 153 tried the imagination of scholars since Augustine. This note intends to add several arguments to the proposition made by J. Emerton in 1958 that this number refers to Ez 47,1-12. The link between both passages becomes much easier to make and the theological coherence of this allusion within Johannine global theological framework appears more clearly.