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RE: {Disarmed HTML} RE: [John_Lit] Did the Jews Crucify Jesus in John 19:18?

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  • Gary Henecke
    Gary Allen Henecke Good response. ________________________________ From: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com] On
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 23, 2008
      Gary Allen Henecke
      Good response.


      From: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Matson, Mark
      Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 3:53 PM
      To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: {Disarmed HTML} RE: [John_Lit] Did the Jews Crucify Jesus in
      John 19:18?

      Joe Calendrino wrote
      > I must disagree with any reading of Jn 19?that allows any Jew to
      > another in 1st century Palestine. The reading offered here, that
      > and his sympathizers did?the actual crucifying of Jesus, does not even
      > make sense on the level of the narrative, especially as it contradicts
      > 18:31-32. Besides, such an untenable reading leads?to the difficult
      > conclusion that Caiaphas also crucified the two others of 19:18.
      > I just don't see it, Tom, despite the grammatical ambiguity. What do
      > think?
      > Best regards,
      > Joe Calandrino

      Are you criticizing the reading because you think it untenable
      historically, or narratively?

      On a close grammatical level, I think that Keith's original post is
      correct - John does want the reader to think that the Jews "crucified"
      Jesus. It is part of the entire narrative structure, beginning in John
      1 where "his own did not receive him", and through increasing tension
      and rejection by "the Jews", and leading to a narrative unit that is the
      closest we get to a Jewish trial in John, 11:45-53. Note that they (the
      sunedrion) decide that Jesus should die on behalf of the nation. And
      once this die is cast, the rest follows along.

      Moreover, notice the Pilate trial. Three times Pilate tries to avoid
      having him crucified. "the Jews" cry out ever louder for his death.
      Granted, in 18:31-32 they say they don't have the legal authority, but
      note 19:7, where they invoke "their" law that Jesus should die. And
      still Pilate seeks to release him.

      Don't you think this is deeply and darkly ironic, that "the Jews" who
      want him killed to keep the Romans out of their hair would now claim
      impotence, and yet when Pilate seeks to release him they now turn to
      "their law?"

      Is there ambiguity? Well, some. The author seems to want to lay the
      blame on "the Jews", and yet still have the Romans somehow closely
      connected. So notice the interweaving of the two in 19:15, where the
      Jews declare they have no king but Caesar. And isn't that part of the
      whole irony -- Caiaphas sought to avoid Roman intervention (11:48) by
      having Jesus killed, but they do this by seeking Roman intervention and
      aligning themselves with Rome... again, such bitter irony.

      And even a bit later, the Jewish responsibility is maintained when
      Pilate "also" wrote a title and added it to the cross. The "egrapsen de
      kai titlon
      ho Pilatos", seems to suggest that Pilate has inserted himself into an
      action by others (not one he directed himself).

      I might note here also that Luke has almost the same kind of
      construction as John; In Luke Pilate seeks to release Jesus 3 times
      (like John). At the end, the Jewish voices overpower Pilate, and in
      23:25 "Jesus he delivered up to their will." This is ambiguous. But
      notice in 23:26, it continues "as they led him away...." where the only
      plural before now has been the chief priests and the rulers and the
      people (cf 23:13). The main actors seem to be jewish (note "people" and
      "rulers" in 23:35, and finally in 23:36 the soldiers enter the scene,
      clearly identified. And even here we aren't sure -- since the previous
      note on soldiers was Herod's -- and Herod is a Jew, not a Roman.

      Ah, the intricate inter-relationships between John and Luke.

      But my main point is to suggest that narratively it does work in John,
      and supports a whole series of narrative pointers that have been
      building all along.

      Now historically, you may have a point... what are the odds that Pilate
      didn't actually have the deed done by his soldiers. But narratively,
      makes a pretty interesting point on a long series of missed
      opportunities and persecutions by "the Jews."

      Mark A. Matson
      Academic Dean
      Milligan College

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