HKU Alumni


Start main Content

Alumni & Books

Apprehension of Jesus in the Gospel of John

Apprehension of Jesus in the Gospel of John
  • Josaphat C. Tam BEng 1996

  • Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG


In this monograph, Josaphat C. Tam discusses the concept of “apprehension of Jesus” in a book of the Bible, namely the Gospel of John. To discuss how Jesus is being apprehended in the Gospel, Josaphat focuses on John’s interesting use of seeing, hearing, knowing, witnessing, remembering and believing terms. For example, in the gospel narrative, the characters "see" but actually do not understand ("not seeing"). They "hear" Jesus' words but take no heed of them (not "hearing"). They "believe" but one sometimes doubts if that's genuine.


By delineating such uses, Josaphat contributes to a better understanding of the concept and the persuasive strategies used in John. By proposing a four-phased apprehension of Jesus in line with the overall narrative plot, he postulates four aspects of John’s intended impact to the readers. Firstly, John has a dual faith-engendering goal targeted at believers and non-believing alike while he secondly skillfully reminds his audience of the importance of Jesus’ “presentness” as a still-living, omniscient and divine being. Thirdly, the past activities of “seeing” and “hearing” in the Gospel are associated with reading John’s trustworthy testimony in the present. Finally, the belief or unbelief of readers is exposed to challenging possibilities when the narrated Jesus is encountered through the act of reading the sacred text.