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A response to Frank Moloney

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  • Raimo Hakola
    Dear Frank and other members of the group, I must first apologize that I did not reply to some of your responses earlier. We had some problems with our server
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 8, 2001
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      Dear Frank and other members of the group,
      I must first apologize that I did not reply to some of your responses
      earlier. We had some problems with our server yesterday, and so I could not
      take part in the discussion. But here is my response to professor Moloney:

      Frank wrote:
      "But if "hoi Ioudaioi" are "the Jews in general," or close to it ... who
      are the disciples, the Mother of Jesus, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, the
      Beloved Disciple ... and no doubt a certain number of ethnic Jews who
      belonged to the Johannine community. The "aposunagogos" problem
      (whetever one makes of it, and I think Adele Reinhartz is wrong) means
      something "Jewish.""

      Those "good guys" that you mention are not called the Jews in the narrative
      (Nicodemus could be an exception, but I am not sure whether he really
      belongs to this list, because his response to Jesus is very ambiguous).
      This may well imply that the Johannine believers did not identify
      themselves as the Jews anymore, and, if so, the debate in John is not
      anymore purely an inner-Jewish debate (as was stated earlier in this
      discussion by Adele Reinhartz). I have no doubts that "a certain number of
      ethnic Jews" belonged to the Johannine community. It is also self-evident
      that almost all the characters in the Gospel are "ethnic Jews," even though
      the term hoi Ioudaioi is used only for "the bad guys" (of course, the term
      is used for Jesus, and this was the main theme of my paper). But I think
      that the introducing of the theme of "ethnic Jews" is not really helpful in
      the case of John. As I tried to argue in my earlier message, the term hoi
      Ioudaioi seems to have mainly a religious meaning in the Gospel. I know
      that ethnic and religious matters were tightly interwoven in the ancient
      world, but I still think that the religious aspect of the term is
      emphasized in John. In light of this, it is not surprising that the term is
      not used for all characters who are "ethnic Jews," but is reserved for
      those who do not receive Jesus, i.e. who do not share the faith of the
      writer and his community.
      I must admit, however, that my earlier statement "HOI IOUDAIOI have become
      the Jews in general" may be misleading. The term does not refer to all Jews
      in an "ethnic" sense, but to those Jews who did not accept the faith of the
      evangelist and his community. But I still maintain that the sweeping usage
      of this term in John cannot be explained by claiming that it refers mainly
      to a limited group of Jewish authorities or the Pharisees. The term is
      sometimes used for these groups in the Gospel, but its meaning is not
      resricted to them.

      Regards
      Raimo

      Raimo Hakola

      Department of Biblical Studies
      P.O. Box 33
      00014 University of Helsinki

      tel. +358 9 191 22518
      fax +358 9 191 22106
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