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Satan, Demons and The Absence of Exorcisms in the Fourth Gospel

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Chapter Summary

There are few places in New Testament scholarship where the interaction of Christology, controversy and community is more apparent than in the fourth gospel. The nature of "the Johannine community" and its controversy with the synagogue has also become regular features of Johannine study. But there are still some very puzzling aspects of the world depicted by the fourth evangelist and the conflicts he depicts. One of these is Jesus' conflict with Satan. Why, in particular, are there no exorcisms in John's gospel? This chapter provides an answer and then attempts to follow up some of the implications of that answer. It is striking how frank the fourth gospel is when presenting accusations of Jesus "having a demon". The Jewish opposition to Jesus is of course a well-known feature of this gospel.

Keywords: demons; exorcisms; fourth gospel; Johannine community; Satan



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