Original Research

Moral Transformation in the Johannine Writings

Cornelis Bennema
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 51, No 3 | a2120 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v51i3.2120 | © 2017 Cornelis Bennema | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 March 2016 | Published: 31 January 2017

About the author(s)

Cornelis Bennema, Union School of Theology, North-West University, United Kingdom and The Unit for Reformed Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, South Africa


Johannine ethics is a problematic area for scholarship but recently there has been a breakthrough. In this new era of Johannine ethics, the present study examines the concept of moral transformation. The argument is that the Johannine writings present a moral narrative world where a moral God saves immoral people by bringing them into his moral world. When people live in God’s moral world their character and conduct are shaped in accordance with the moral beliefs, values and norms of the divine reality. In order to model and promote the envisaged morality among his readers, John presents various characters, whose characteristics and behaviour might be either emulated or avoided.


behaviour; identity; Johannine ethics; moral transformation


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