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Bread from heaven

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Chapter Summary

A key passage in Jn's presentation of Jesus as "the bread of life" is a quotation dealing with the manna in the wilderness. Like those in 7:42; 12:13; and I2:34, this citation occurs on the lips of the multitude who follow Jesus and is found nowhere else in the N.T. There is no one passage from the O.T. which completely satisfies this quotation, but the most direct sources are Ps 78:24 and Ex 16:4. According to Rabbinic belief the messiah as a second deliverer must correspond to the first deliverer Moses; consequently, the miracle of the manna must be repeated. The ideas of manna, as weIl as those of water, in Jewish literature have their parallels in the water and bread of John 4 and 6. However, Jn's idea that Jesus himself is the bread of life seems to be one that has no parallel in Jewish thought.

Keywords: bread from Heaven; Jesus; Jewish literature; John; manna; messiah; New Testament; Old Testament

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