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A note on the dance of Jesus in the acts of John

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Chapter Summary

The most interesting episodes in the apocryphal Acts of John is that of Jesus' dancing with his disciples. Particularly interesting there is the great hymn Jesus sings with the constant "amen" of the disciples. Its phraseology is so peculiar and has such a "Gnostic" ring that it has often attracted the attention of scholars, without yielding a generally accepted explanation. But the setting of this hymn is not less curious, for it is sung during a dance, and this feature is rather unique in the history of early liturgical traditions. Is it a sign of the "heretical" character of these Acts and what was its origin? Jesus is reported to have said: "Before I am delivered up unto them let us sing a hymn to the Father, and so go forth to that which lieth before us?.

Keywords: Acts of John; dance of Jesus

10.1163/9789004266087_014
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