By Adele Reinhartz
Adele Reinhartz has been learning and educating the Gospel of John for a few years. past, she selected to disregard the love/hate courting that the booklet provokes in her, a Jew, and took safe haven in an "objective" historical-critical method. At this degree her courting to the Gospel was once now not lots a friendship as a enterprise courting. not prepared to disregard the unfavorable portrayal of Jews and Judaism within the textual content, nor the perception that her personal Jewish identification unavoidably does play a task in her paintings as an exegete, Reinhartz the following explores the Fourth Gospel in the course of the procedure referred to as "ethical criticism," that is according to the metaphorical concept of the publication as "friend"--not "an effortless, unquestioning companionship," however the form of sincere dating during which moral issues are addressed, now not shunned. In a e-book as multilayered because the Gospel itself, Reinhartz engages in four diversified "readings" of the Fourth Gospel: compliant, resistant, sympathetic, and engaged. each one technique perspectives the loved Disciple in a different way: as mentor, opponent, colleague, and as "other." during each one of those readings, she elucidates the 3 narrative degrees that interpenetrate the Gospel: the ancient, the cosmological, and the ecclesiological. within the latter, Reinhartz offers at size with the so-called expulsion conception, the dominant scholarly thought that the Johannine neighborhood, which incorporated believers of Jewish, Gentile, and Samaritan origins, engaged in a protracted and violent controversy with the neighborhood Jewish neighborhood, culminating in a "traumatic expulsion from the synagogue.">
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Additional resources for Befriending The Beloved Disciple: A Jewish Reading of the Gospel of John
These observations do not rule out the possibility that those who spiritually removed themselves from the community were later forcibly excluded therefrom. Nevertheless, the verb hypago implies voluntary departure rather than forcible exclusion. More problematic is 11:1-44. Two general approaches may be explored. First, is there something about the identities of the Bethany sisters that would have exempted them from the decree of exclusion? Second, would a more limited interpretation of the act of exclusion and the Jewish groups implicated therein leave room for both 11:1-44 and the three "exclusion" passages?
The Beloved Disciple places this extratextual history in the context of the eternal relationship among God, Christ, and humankind, and thus gives it a seminal role in the spiritual journey of the intended readers as individuals and as a community. These comments suggest that the events recounted in the Fourth Gospel may have been regarded by their earliest readers first and foremost as the "true" story of Jesus and as the medium through which to understand their own relationship with God. That is, the earliest readers may have viewed the Gospel primarily as historical and cosmological tales rather than an ecclesiological tale, the story of their community, as such.
Of particular relevance are 11:1-44 and 12:11. John 11:1-44 describes the sisters Mary and Martha in mourning after the death of Lazarus. Though apparently known to be beloved of Jesus, these women have clearly not been excluded from the THE GOSPEL OF THE B E L O V E D D I S C I P L E 41 Jewish community, as evidenced by the fact that they are comforted in their mourning for Lazarus by "many of the Jews" (11:19). In a two-level reading of the Gospel, these sisters would represent Johannine Christians.