John 8 Notes.docx

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Religious Studies
Stephen Westerholm

John 8 - Allegory of the cave plato book 7 - The one that goes out into the light was supposed to be Socrates who was put to death by the people of Athens - Christians from the early centuries always read plato with great sympathy and saw him and Socrates as an almost-christian - Parallels between the parabllle of the cave and the man who had insight that no one else could see and what we see in John’s gospel and the figure of Jesus - Comes from a world that they don’t understand and they end up putting him to death for it parallels Jesus - Like John 7, John 8 (also takes place at the feast of tabernacles), there is no extended discourse by Jesus in these chapters - Instead there is an extended debate back and forth between Jesus and interlocketers who sometimes sympathetic and sometimes not sympathetic but are all throughout uncomprehending - 7 or 8 claims Jesus makes but they are not the point of the chapters - The point: whatever Jesus says, they don’t get it - He is not of this world, they are of this world, they don’t understand what he’s all about - Beginning of John 8 in KJV: John 8 begins with Jesus and the woman taken in adultery o They want to stone the woman and ask Jesus what he thinks o Jesus “Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone” o They all leave, he says nobody not even him condemns her and to leave o This story isn’t actually part of John’s gospel (not in the earliest manuscripts) o People wanted to find a place for this story so they inserted it at different places in John’s gospel, even included in some places in Luke o Inserted in diff manuscripts in different places Chapter Summary Verses - John 8:23 – You are from below, I am from above, you are of this world, I am not of this world o Sums up this chapter - John 8:15 – You judge by human standards; you judge according to the flesh o Verses that use the world flesh: Psalm 78:39, etc.. o Clear opposition between flesh and spirit / God o Flesh is all that is human, mortal, weak, and frail by comparison, as opposed to that which is divine – God, spirit, strength of the Lord… different o Some verses take on flesh with a negative tone – opposed to the spirit rather than just different from it; similar to the term ‘world’ which can take on a negative tone too o World can have a neutral or positive tone, but sometimes a negative tone of that which is opposed to God o Flesh is often neutral but still weak with comparison with God o Verse’s meaning:  Flesh – can’t see the divine, can’t see the heavenly realm  Can take it in a neutral, but limited sense – only judge by what you can see  Very lmited, a whole dimension of reality that you can’t see  Not negative in itself but very limited  Judge accordingly to fleshly standards that are opposing to God - John 8: 47 -Whoever is from God hears the word of God, whoever is not from God do not understand o Of this world, do not understand spiritual realities I Am Statements 1) I am the light of the world… o First one is predicated, the other three are absolute  Predicated = I am the light, I am the true vine, I am the good shepherd.. (something specific)  Absolute = I Am.. (and left at that) o Don’t pick up on the content on what he is saying but the fact that he is testifying of himself, talking about himself,  Picking up on apparent contradiction when he said if he talked about himself its not true but now he’s talking about himself  He says he can speak a true testimony of himself while others cannot because  he knows exactly where he came from and where he’s going  his testimony will be true in a way others’ will not  he must speak of himself or nobody will know who he is  he says he’s not the only one to give testimony to himself – his Father does too  internal testimony which makes the external testimony persuasive  but if you are not sensitive to that, they naturally say – Where is this Father you’re talking about? • They interpret it according to the flesh o “I am going away and you will search for me but you will die in your sin, where I am going you cannot come”  They respond: is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means?  People from outside say things truer than they themselves no  They mean to be sarcastic but it is actually truer than they realize  Irony they don’t perceive  Jesus says he lays down his life of his own accord, nobody can take it from him, he does it by his own will – bordering on the truth of what the people said 2) John 8:24 “You will die in your sins unless you believe that I am” o Echo of the name in Exodus o Makes a paradoxical claim to speak of God at his father and yet uses a divine name for himself o They respond
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