Re: PTWCOI = the community of the STULOI

From: A. Brent Hudson (
Date: Fri Apr 26 1996 - 01:10:24 EDT

Trevor Nicholls wrote

> A suggestion I have met is that
> this issue arose because of the special conditions in Jerusalem. Note
> references in Jn 9, 12 and 16 to the excommunication of Christian
> (I understand that such excommunication limited the victim's permissible
> contact with synagogue members to the buying of food only.

Most interpreters see these references as anachronistic and applying to the
Johannine community of a later date (following Martyn). Sort of a
etiological story read back into Jesus life. Kimelman has shown (not
without some difficulties in his own argument) that there is no strong
evidence of the Birkat ha-minim (blessing [actually a curse] of the heretics
) being applied to Christians (notsrim) at 100 CE let alone for Paul's
ministry. Moreover, there is no evidence at all that the excommunication of
Christians had taken place. If this was a local situation for the later
Johannine community, it still does not concern Jerusalem.

For an excellent overview of this subject see:
Pieter van der Horst, "The Birkat ha-minim in Recent Research"
         105 *Expository Times* (1994) 363-68.

Other key texts:

Martyn, J. Louis. *History and theology in the fourth Gospel,*
         2d ed. Nashville: Abingdon, 1979.

Reuven Kimelman, "Birkat Ha-Minim and the Lack of Evidence
         for an Anti-Christian Jewish Prayer in Late Antiquity,"
         in *Jewish and Christian Self-Definition,* vol. 2,
         ed. E.P. Sanders (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981), 226-244,



 A. Brent Hudson 
 Graduate program in Religious Studies	
 McMaster University,			
 Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA		

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