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April 13, 2018 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Friday, May 24 12:00-1:00
Last week our group continued its discussion of “the Book of Signs” section of The Gospel According to John. These are chapters offering an account of Jesus’s earthly ministry. They include Jesus’s encounter with a Samaritan woman (whose past Jesus was miraculously able to divine), his healing of an official’s dying son, his curing of a lame man, his feeding the multitudes with five loaves of bread and two fish, and his walking on water. Throughout these chapters (4-7), Jesus offers variations of the message that “anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life” (5:24). Also, throughout these chapters we encounter individuals who are skeptical about Jesus and others who are eager to adhere to him. Among other things, our discussion focused on whether the miracles themselves attracted followers or whether they were narrative window dressing. We also talked about the polarizing effect of the rhetoric in these chapters. “The Jews” are cast in a negative light as those who were looking for an opportunity to kill Jesus. And the scriptures (Mosaic Law), upon which Jews have set their hope, is seen as ineffective in helping to procure eternal life.
This week, we will try to complete the “Book of Signs” section of John (Chapters 8-12): episodes that include the adulterous woman who was to be stoned to death, the healing of a blind man, Jesus’s “Good Shepherd” discourse, and the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
Our informal discussion group meets every Friday from 12-1, in the CBI Library. All are welcome to join us, regardless of their level of expertise or attendance at previous Friday study group sessions. Any copy of the New Testament Gospel of John is acceptable (the more versions the richer the conversation). Our discussions will be supplemented by commentary drawn from The Jewish Annotated New Testament, edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler. If you have questions, please contact Jay Jacoby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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