John7:45-53 / Crystal

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this one.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”

… Ouch! A bit of religious arrogance on the part of the Priests/Pharisees – they believe they’re the only ones astute/holy enough to grasp the true nature of Jesus’ teaching.

Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

… Yikes! A vieled threat against Nic for daring to question his fellows?

7:53 – Then each went to his own house

… Do you guys have this last line in your versions of John? Apparently there’s some question of the authership of 7:53 – 8:11 (adulterous woman)?

About Nicodemus … I noticed, as I was reading Calvin’s bible commentaary on this section, that he really seemed to dislike Nic … Nicodemus says that Christ ought not to be condemned until he be heard; and the same thing might be said of a robber or an assassin; for it is a well-known and proverbial sentiment, that it is better to acquit the innocent than to condemn the guilty. Besides, in his attempts to release the person of Christ, he leaves and abandons the doctrine. What shall we find here that is worthy of a believer or a Christian?

But the early catholic church beatified him. A non-bible gospel is attributed to him – Acts of Pilate.

St. Nicodemus –

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3 responses

  1. Crystal: You quote Calvin thus: “About Nicodemus … I noticed, as I was reading Calvin’s bible commentaary on this section, that he really seemed to dislike Nic..”Because Nic was one of those ‘both-and’ people while Calvin was strictly ‘either-or’– for me or against me and tribalistic in the nth degree, else why would he have executed Michael Servetus?Personally I much prefer John Wesley’s comment:”50 Nicodemus, he that came to him by night – Having now a little more courage, being one of them – Being present as a member of the great council, saith to them – Do not we ourselves act as if we knew not the law, if we pass sentence on a man before we hear him?52 They answered – By personal reflection; the argument they could not answer, and therefore did not attempt it. Art thou also a Galilean? – One of his party? Out of Galilee ariseth no prophet – They could not but know the contrary. They knew Jonah arose out of Gethhepher; and Nahum from another village in Galilee. Yea, and Thisbe, the town of Elijah, the Tishbite, was in Galilee also. They might likewise have known that Jesus was not born in Galilee, but at Bethlehem, even from the public register there, and from the genealogies of the family of David. They were conscious this poor answer would not bear examination, and so took care to prevent a reply.53 And every man went to his own house – So that short plain question of Nicodemus spoiled all their measures, and broke up the council! A word spoken in season, how good it is! Especially when God gives it his blessing.”BTW Calvin was a predestarian (double edged) while Wesley was an Arminian, which roughly means we have free will to control our lives as we will.

  2. Yes, Calvin isn’t my favorite either … just came across his commentary as I surfed around. Another kind of scary church guy – John Knox.

  3. Hello Crystal.The woman caught in adultery story is in all our bibles. It sso well known nobody could get away with removing it. Scholars have trouble with it. My notes to the NRSV say its not likely authentically John but belueve it is based on early traditions. The New Jerusalem suggests it amy actually belong in Luke.As for Calvin. I like Calvin.

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