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Bibil Identifier bibil:202055
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) The Burden of Ambiguity: Nicodemus and the Social Identity of the Johannine Christians
Author Hakola, Raimo
Journal New Testament Studies (Volume: 55, Issue: 4)
Year (Publication) 2009
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2009
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2009
Year (Second publication) 2009
Language English
Pages 438-455 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Nicodemus is an enigmatic literary character who is wavering in no man's land in John's narrative between Jesus' opponents and his true disciples. Some scholars have taken Nicodemus as an example of someone of inadequate faith who remains an outsider throughout the narrative, while others have traced his development from initial and tentative faith to open and public commitment to Jesus. The present article, however, agrees with those who have acknowledged that no single trait determines Nicodemus's portrait, but, in the end, this portrait remains ambiguous. In the article, a text-centered approach to Nicodemus is complemented by asking how this ambiguous literary character may have functioned as a symbol for those who shared John's dualistic tendencies. The article draws upon the social identity approach in order to explain how Nicodemus's ambiguity may have helped the Johannine Christians to accept the uncertainties in their social environment without abandoning the stereotyped and fixed thrust in their symbolic world.
DOI 10.1017/S0028688509990014
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Dualism
Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the New Testament : Gospels : Gospel of John
Last modification 2017-10-27