Aposynagōgos and the Historical Jesus in John: Rethinking by Jonathan Bernier

By Jonathan Bernier

In Aposynagogos and the ancient Jesus in John, Jonathan Bernier makes use of the critical-realist hermeneutics built through Bernard Lonergan and Ben F. Meyer to survey old facts proper to the Johannine expulsion passages (John 9:22, 12:42, 16:2). He evaluates the foremost modern interpretative traditions concerning those passages, particularly that they describe no longer occasions of Jesus' lifetime yet relatively the implementation of the Birkat ha-Minim within the first first-century, or that they describe now not ancient occasions in any respect yet serve in simple terms to build Johannine id. opposed to either traditions Bernier argues that those passages plausibly describe occasions which could have occurred in the course of Jesus' lifetime.

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Extra resources for Aposynagōgos and the Historical Jesus in John: Rethinking the Historicity of the Johannine Expulsion Passages (Biblical Interpretation Series)

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Brown, An Introduction to the Gospel of John (ed. Francis J. Moloney; New York: Doubleday, 2003), 42–62; Craig S. : Hendrickson Books, 2003), 1:100–114. For the purpose of the present discussion, it is sufficient to recognize that “the author” is whoever has encoded their intentions into the text. Chapter Five will consider more closely who, exactly, this author might have been. 90 Meyer, Critical Realism, 19. 91 Cf. Martyn, History and Theology, 46–66. 26 chapter one in dispensing with the two-level reading strategy, one does not thereby dispense with historical questions about the Johannine Sitz im Leben.

Since this recent scholarship is concerned with much the same data as was Graetz, the difference presumably lies in how that data is now interpreted. That is to say, the difference is one of hermeneutics, not data. This difference is reflected well by Boyarin, who argues that there is every reason to doubt that the so-called curse of the heretics was formulated under Gamaliel II at Yavneh or that it existed at all before the end of the second century. The only source we have for this “Yavnean” institution is a Babylonian Talmudic story from the fourth or fifth century of Rabban Gamaliel asking Samuel the Small to formulate such a blessing— “blessing” means curse here—the latter forgetting it a year later and meditating for two or three hours in order to remember it (BT Berakhot 28b–29a).

24 The Toseftan reference mentioned here is found in Tosefta Berakhot 3:25, and is embedded in a larger discussion of the ʿamidah. Given this reference, we can be quite certain that sometime around the third century the Birkat ha-Minim existed as part of the ʿamidah. 25 If Justin does indeed refer to the Birkat ha-Minim, then we have a reference to the prayer within a century of when Martyn argues that the events of his scenario took place. Yet, as Langer notes, none of these passages refer to specific liturgical activity in a synagogue context, and in the one passage in which Justin does refer to statements taking place within a liturgical context (Dial.

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