Original Research

The metaphor of light embedded in the Johannine prologue, Part 1: The Light before the incarnation

Dirk G. van der Merwe, Pierre Y. Albalaa
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 47, No 1 | a108 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v47i1.108 | © 2013 Dirk G. van der Merwe, Pierre Y. Albalaa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 July 2012 | Published: 19 June 2013

About the author(s)

Dirk G. van der Merwe, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, South Africa
Pierre Y. Albalaa, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

This is the first of two articles on how the Fourth Evangelist has ingeniously embedded the light metaphor in the prologue of the Fourth Gospel. The prologue is replete with this metaphor. A thorough discourse analysis explores the text’s inner texture to determine the rhetoric and network of semantic relations, regarding light as the subject. From here the text’s sacred texture is investigated. Various theological themes are interwoven into the text, with light being a consistent, embedded metaphor, embracing a wealth of facets and interpretations. This research focuses on the embedded light metaphor in the Johannine prologue as it relates to the Logos’s ontological identity and functionality before his incarnation.

Hierdie is die eerste van twee artikels om aan te toon hoe die vierde Evangelis vindingryk die lig-metafoor in die proloog van die vierde Evangelie ingebed het. Die proloog is gevul met hierdie metafoor. Deur middel van ‘n behoorlike diskoersanalise is die diepte-struktuur van die teks ondersoek om die retoriek en netwerk van semantiese verhoudings vanaf die perspektief van lig as onderwerp te bepaal. Hierna is die teologiese-struktuur van die teks ondersoek. Verskeie teologiese temas is in die teks verweef, met ‘lig’ as ‘n konstante verankerde metafoor wat ‘n rykdom van fasette en interpretasie insluit. Hierdie navorsing fokus op die ingebedheid van die lig-metafoor in die Johannese proloog soos wat dit verband hou met die ontologiese identiteit en funksionaliteit van die Woord voor die inkarnasie.


Keywords

discourse analysis; light metaphor; chiastic structure

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