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The Plot to Kill Jesus

A Contextual Study of John 11.47-53

Series:

Camillus Umoh

Within the Johannine narrative sequence, the gathering of the Sanhedrin, and its condemnation of Jesus, is a reaction to Jesus’ sign of raising Lazarus from the dead. Unlike the synoptics, where the council charges Jesus with blasphemy, the Johannine Jesus is condemned for doing signs capable of inciting unrest and the intervention of the Roman imperial authority. Thus it is to prevent the social-political consequences of Jesus’ action, rather than the preservation of religious orthodoxy, that prompts the council to act. By shifting his condemnation from the religious to the political level, the evangelist also extends the ranks of Jesus’ opponents to include the entire political leadership structure. In the light of the discussion on the context of the gospel, and applying the synchronic method, this work argues that the political undertones in the text point to the influence of the social-political realities of the time, and opens another dimension to the understanding of the Fourth Gospel.
Contents: Soteriological significance of Jesus’ death – The Fourth Evangelist and the Christian tradition – Crucifixion.