“I Suppose (oimai): The Conclusion of John’s Gospel in its Contemporary Literary and Historical Context,” in The New Testament in Its First Century Setting: Essays on Context and Backgrounds in Honour of B. W. Winter on His 65th Birthday (ed. P. J. Williams, A. D. Clarke, P. M. Head, and D. Instone-Brewer; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 72-88.
Discussions of the authorship of the Fourth Gospel continue unabated, and commentators leave no stone unturned in their quest to solve this enigma of Johannine studies. One of several issues that have yet to receive adequate attention is the fact that the Gospel concludes with a first person reference, ‘I suppose’ (oimai). This essay argues that the first person singular reference in John 21:25 is best understood as a final expression of authorial modesty by the author of the entire Gospel.