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Jesus, the Jews, and the Worship of God

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Chapter Summary

Jesus' relationship to one of the basic matters of Jewish identity is ambivalent: he is portrayed both as a pious Jew who fights for the sanctity of the material temple and as a replacement for the Jerusalem temple. The story suggests that Jesus' exemplary Jewishness has an important but still limited role in the symbolic world of the Johannine Christians: it serves to show the superiority of their faith to temple oriented Judaism and thus justifies the displacement of the Jewish cult by faith in Jesus. Just as both truth and spirit are closely connected to Jesus in John, so the worship in spirit and truth is also. The new worship in the Johannine sense does not mean spiritual worship as contrasted to external forms of worship. The true worship in spirit and truth is thus a response to Jesus' revelation of the Father.

Keywords: Jerusalem temple; Jesus; Jewishness; Johannine Christians; worship of God



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