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The Fragrance of Her Perfume

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image of Novum Testamentum

The limited number of olfactory images in the NT has tempted interpreters to read them all along similar lines, without paying sufficient attention to individual contexts. Another tendency, especially with regard to the account of the anointing in Bethany in the Fourth Gospel, has been to concentrate on the question of its historicity and its relationship to the Synoptic parallels, while neglecting one of the important characteristics of John’s version, namely its heightened attention to the sensory aspect and its implications for the portrayal of Mary of Bethany in the FG. In this essay I discuss the specific features of the Fourth Evangelist’s adaptation of the anointing story, highlighting the sensory elements and pointing out that they are an important, albeit often neglected, indication of the Johannine redaction.

Affiliations: 1: Leuven

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2010-09-01
2016-12-03

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