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The Sabbath Question. Does Jesus Violate the Law by Working on the Sabbath ?

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Chapter Summary

Prior to the account of the first σημϵîον worked by Jesus on the Sabbath, there is no direct confrontation between Jesus and the Jews on the issue of the Law. It is the healing of the paralytic in John 5 which gives rise to the confrontation. The evangelist limits himself to pointing out that the apparent violation of the Sabbath by Jesus is at the origin of his being persecuted by the Jews. Jesus offers an elaborate and highly theological defence of his activity, but the intent of the Jews to convict Jesus for transgressing the Law is only implied. When John 5,1-18 and Jn 9 are viewed together, it becomes evident that the evangelist is giving dramatic illustration to an attempt of the Jews to judge Jesus as a violator of the Law, using the Law to secure his conviction and condemnation.

Keywords: σημϵîον; Jesus; Jews; John; Sabbath



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