The Catholic Culture Podcast: 137 – The Poetics of John the Evangelist


Jul 7, 2022

Poet, translator and cultural critic Anthony Esolen joins the
podcast to discuss his book, In the Beginning Was the Word: An
Annotated Reading of the Prologue of John

‘In this extended meditation, Anthony Esolen looks, phrase by
phrase, at the majestic Prologue to the Gospel of John, which with
good reason he calls “the most influential paragraph in the history
of man.” He unfolds its theological richness by showing how the
Apostle John has in mind, not only what he saw Jesus do and heard
him say, but also the whole witness of Scripture before the time of
Jesus, and the way the young Church proclaimed him. A unique
feature of this remarkable work is how Esolen “hears” (and we with
him) the Hebrew/Aramaic underlying John’s Greek (which was
not his mother tongue), echoing those languages in such a way that,
all at once, what we thought could never be more profoundly
expressed bursts forth in a renewed poetic splendor that brings
into ever keener relief the whole panorama of the theology of the
God-Man. Esolen’s decades-long immersion in Christian poetry and
Scripture uniquely positions him as a guide to the astonishing and
life-changing “poem” of the Prologue. He says it best: “My hope is
not only to illuminate what John wishes us to hear, but to show
that, when it comes to this poetry, John is not the originator; he
is, rather, the beloved disciple who caught the habit from the Lord
Himself.”‘ (Publisher’s description)


Anthony Esolen, In the Beginning Was the Word

Esolen’s new newsletter, Word & Song

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