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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Hoi Ioudaioi in the Gospel of John : an ethnic designation from an expelled community Dimmock, Paul Harold

Abstract

This thesis focuses on what I believe is the correct translation and interpretation of the term hoi Ioudaioi used in the Gospel of John. While there have been many translations and interpretations of what this enigmatic term means in the past two thousand years, it is my contention that the authors of the Gospel of John viewed hoi Ioudaioi as referring to the ethnic group of the Jews. The Gospel of John is a document written from the perspective of a Community, called here the Johannine Community, which felt socially dislocated after they were expelled from the local Jewish synagogue through the use of a cherem, a synagogue ban. The reason for their expulsion was because of their views that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. This action and the resulting alienation stemming from it caused a social identity crisis in the minds of the Johannine Community members, who no longer felt that they belonged to the Jewish e t h c group called, hoi Ioudaioi. To cope with this dilemma, the Gospel of John was created which attacks key elements of the identity markers of hoi Ioudaioi. These identity markers were then replaced with new non-ethnic identity markers based solely on the Community’s interpretation of Jesus of Nazareth.

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