NT Sunday School Lesson 15 (JF): John 7-8

I agree with the generally accepted scholarly conclusion that John 7:53-8:11 is a later insertion into the original text. So I will deal with John 7:1-42 and John 8:12-59 as one narrative, the story of what Jesus does at the feast of the tabernacles. Then I will deal with the story of the woman taken in adultery separately.

Chapter 7

Verses 1-5: In verse 1, to what is John referring with the phrase “these things”? Refer to the end of chapter 6 (e.g., John 6:66) to recall what things happened that caused him to be in danger.

A more accurate translation of the word Jewry is “Judea.” in other words Jerusalem: Jesus left Judea and returned to Galilee. Nevertheless, the theme of Jewish opposition to Jesus is frequent in these chapters (John 7:1, 13, 19, 25, 30, 32, and 44; and 8:37, 40, and 59). John is setting the stage for Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his crucifixion, but how should we understand the term Jew in John’s gospel? Does the term always refer to the same group? If it does, who are they? If it doesn’t, in what ways does he use the term? Does it refer to the party of the High Priest, the Sadducees, in other words, the rulers of the temple? To the Pharisees? If so, to all of them or only some? Does it refer to the multitude, to the mass of those who live in Jerusalem and the surrounding area?

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