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14. The Appearance to Thomas: Not a Blasphemous Claim, but the Truth

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Chapter Summary

The appearance of the risen Jesus to Thomas, John 20:26-29, plays a role in John's "theology" as well as the dating of the Gospel. In John, some features suggest that it has its place within what may be vaguely called the time of church history. In this chapter, the designation God has been seen against the background of Jesus' execution. Thomas' detailed description of the marks from the execution is not just a documentation of the physical aspect or marks of identity. They were a documentation of the fact that Jesus was crucified as a criminal. A central accusation was that of blasphemy, that Jesus as a man made himself to be God. To Thomas, Jesus' resurrection vindicated him and documented that the accusation actually was true in the sense that as a man he was God incarnate, within the perspective of pre- and post-existence.

Keywords: blasphemous claim; crucified; God incarnate; gospel; Jesus' resurrection; John; Thomas



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