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John and Anti-Judaism


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About the Author

Jonathan Numada is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Northwest Seminary and College in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.


"Jonathan Numada offers a brave and fascinating study of Jewish self-categorizations found in Hellenistic Diaspora Jewish literature. Using social identity theory and self-categorization theory, Numada asks--What did it mean to be a 'jew' in Egypt, Asia Minor, and Rome. He then turns to John's Gospel to examine the presentation of 'the Jews' in this text. At a time when Judaism was still attractive to the Jewish believers in Jesus, the Gospel's polemic sets up a clear choice for Jews--choose Jesus and his fidelity to ancestral teaching, or choose Caesar. This study changes the usual 'two-level drama' paradigm."

--Mary Coloe, University of Divinity, Melbourne

"How can John's Gospel so frequently speak of 'the Jews' overall in a negative light, especially as those who rejected Jesus? Numada applies social identity theory to this vexed question, making substantial progress toward a solution. While still using thoroughly Jewish categories, the Fourth Gospel selects different elements (or at least refocuses existing elements) from those individuals who most opposed Jesus, in order to depict what most constituted Judaism. In so doing, he shows that those truest to their Jewish heritage have good reasons for following Jesus, while the differences between unbelieving Jews and Gentiles diminish in the process. This is an important study that repays careful reading."

--Craig L. Blomberg, Denver Seminary

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