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John 7:15b: 'Knowing Letters' And (IL)Literacy

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Chapter Summary

The aim of this chapter is to ask can the results from research on (il)literacy in (late) antiquity be applied to John 7:15b as well? If yes, in what respect do they help us to understand this verse in the light of its contemporary socio-historical context of literacy and alternatively in relation to its standard or traditional interpretation? Additionally, how do they shed light on the role of the Jews in that scene? Miracle 45 of the Life and Miracles of Saint Thecla, composed in the middle of the 5th century, is about the virtuous woman Xenarchis, who is given a Gospel book and to the surprise of the bystanders starts to read without having ever learned to do so.

Keywords: Gospel book; John 7:15B; Xenarchis



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