October 25 cannot come quickly enough for Dr. Bill Fowler. It is the projected publication date of a book by EJ Brill Publishers in the Netherlands, The Influence of Ezekiel in the Fourth Gospel: Intertextuality and Interpretation. It is actually an updated edition of his Ph.D. dissertation presented to Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in 1995 where Dr. Fowler compares theological vocabulary, themes, and images found in Ezekiel with John’s presentation of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel. The echoes of Ezekiel’s voice are found significantly in the first 12 chapters of John’s gospel and provide important clues for understanding and interpreting the story of Jesus.
Brian Neil Peterson (Lee University, Tennessee) drew attention to Fowler’s original research in his John’s Use of Ezekiel: Understanding the Unique Perspective of the Fourth Gospel (Fortress Press, 2015) some twenty years after the fact. Michael Strickland (Amridge University, Alabama), upon reading Peterson’s work, contacted Fowler and pitched the idea of working together to update the 1995 piece and bring it into the 21st century. The process has taken over a year.
Brill will be publishing the book in their Biblical Interpretation Series. Fowler and Strickland recently went over the proofs, cited corrections, and prepared indexes for author, subject, and scripture references. All has been submitted to the printers and excitement is building toward the final release on October 25. Dr. Fowler plans to donate copies of the book to the libraries of Yellowstone Theological Institute and Howard Payne University. “After all,” he says, “Golden Gate already has two copies of the original.”