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Re: [John_Lit] Further on Nicodemus and "the Jews"

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 3/14/2001 6:00:29 AM Eastern Standard Time, raimo.hakola@helsinki.fi writes:
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 14, 2001
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      In a message dated 3/14/2001 6:00:29 AM Eastern Standard Time,
      raimo.hakola@... writes:

      << From the point of view of the evangelist, Nicodemus may well
      represent those leaders of the Jews who were open to the faith of the
      Johannine community (what is the historical reality in the background of
      these characters, we do not know). >>

      Could I make a suggestion here? It seems to me that the background of
      Nicodemus as a character in Jn may be more literary than historical. The
      presence of both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus in the burial story of Jn
      19:38-42 suggests that John has taken the two very different descriptions of
      Joseph in Matthew's and Luke's narratives, respectively, and made two
      characters out of them. Joseph himself is described in clearly Matthean terms
      (Jn 19:38, and cf. Matt 27:57f), and Nicodemus, taken as an entire character
      throughout John, and especially in 7:50ff, answers to the very different
      description of Joseph given in Lk 23:50-51. The two characters are likewise
      assimilated narratively in John in the sense that both act "secretively" out
      of "fear of the Jews" (Jn 19:38, explicitly, for Joseph, and 3:2; 19:39,
      implicitly for Nicodemus). Note that Nicodemus also takes over the function
      of the women at the tomb in Luke (bringing myrrh and aloes; cf. Lk
      23:56-24-1). Of course the name "Nicodemus" still needs to be explained.

      The opposite phenomenon may be observed in Jn 20:1ff where the multiple women
      of the Synoptic accounts are merged into the single figure of Mary. The Mary
      Magdalene story likewise takes on literary features from Matt and Lk
      respectively: like the women in Matt, her first encounter is with an "angel"
      at the tomb, and as in Luke they are two (cf. Lk 24:4 and 23); as the story
      progresses, she then meets with Jesus, as do the women in Matt; she does not
      recognize him immediately, as was the case with the disciples on the road to
      Emmaus in Lk 24:13-33.

      Leonard Maluf
    • g
      I think the formulation of the Jews can best be understood from the standpoint of the Samaritans . In John, we know that Jesus is referred to as a
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 27, 2001
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        I think the formulation of "the Jews" can best be
        understood from the standpoint of "the Samaritans".

        In John, we know that Jesus is referred to as a
        Samaritan. And we know he spends quite a bit of
        his time recruiting members in as far away as Tyre
        (some manuscripts - Sidon as well). While he obviously
        spends some time in Jerusalem, it is not surprising
        to think that most of his "sinner" recruits are
        thought to be "sinners" because they were SAMARITANS.

        Certainly Josephus can vouch for the intense antipathy
        between "the Jews" and "the Samaritans". And it would
        not be unlikely that the generations of hatred between
        Christians and Jews found the first roots in the hatreds
        between Jews and Samaritans.

        Jesus's story of THE GOOD SAMARITAN (someone who is more
        concerned about righteousness than every rule of purity...
        hmmmm, someone amazingly like Jesus) could be about Jesus
        himself.

        I would think surmising the Samaritan ancestry of Jesus
        goes a long way to explaining what is all this "the Jews"
        talk! Paul, a Benjaminite, ALSO uses this phrase.

        George
      • Jack Kilmon
        ... From: g To: Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 2:34 PM Subject: [John_Lit] Further on
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 30, 2001
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "g" <george.x.brooks@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 2:34 PM
          Subject: [John_Lit] Further on Nicodemus and "the Jews"


          > I think the formulation of "the Jews" can best be
          > understood from the standpoint of "the Samaritans".
          >
          > In John, we know that Jesus is referred to as a
          > Samaritan. And we know he spends quite a bit of
          > his time recruiting members in as far away as Tyre
          > (some manuscripts - Sidon as well). While he obviously
          > spends some time in Jerusalem, it is not surprising
          > to think that most of his "sinner" recruits are
          > thought to be "sinners" because they were SAMARITANS.
          >
          > Certainly Josephus can vouch for the intense antipathy
          > between "the Jews" and "the Samaritans". And it would
          > not be unlikely that the generations of hatred between
          > Christians and Jews found the first roots in the hatreds
          > between Jews and Samaritans.
          >
          > Jesus's story of THE GOOD SAMARITAN (someone who is more
          > concerned about righteousness than every rule of purity...
          > hmmmm, someone amazingly like Jesus) could be about Jesus
          > himself.
          >
          > I would think surmising the Samaritan ancestry of Jesus
          > goes a long way to explaining what is all this "the Jews"
          > talk! Paul, a Benjaminite, ALSO uses this phrase.

          Actually, the frequent use of "The Jews" in the NT texts should be correctly
          translated as "The Judeans," meaning the Temple cultus. In this light it is
          not
          necessary to make Jesus a Samaritan but just the Galilean he was. Galileans
          were looked down upon by Judeans almost as much as Samaritans.

          JK
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