Stereotyping Exegesis: The Gospel of John and “the Jews” in Ancient and Modern Commentary

Undoubtedly, there is much in the Christian past that warrants recognition and repudiation in the service of rectifying Jewish-Christian relations. The history of interpretation of John assuredly will not reveal many irenic readings. But to assume that the entire reception history—especially the early history that was so formative for Christianity—uniformly bears the same hostility of more recent periods oversteps the evidence (whether or not such hostility fairly characterizes the vast majority of the tradition). When closely examined, there is much in the early reception of John’s gospel that reveals significant problems in the way that that reception is so often portrayed and dismissed.

See Also: Exegeting the Jews: The Early Reception of the Johannine Jews (Brill, 2016).

By Michael G. Azar
Theology/Religious Studies
University of Scranton
September 2016

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Comments (1)

Do the ancient commentators express opinions on the exchange, in a sense theological banter, between Jesus and Nathanael, which might be taken as suggesting belief on Nathanael's part that people from Nazareth are not genuinely what he is, an Israelite indeed - and Jesus' belief that genuine Israelites are morally very solid people. An expression of anti-anti-Semitism?

#1 - Martin Hughes - 09/19/2016 - 13:12

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