The Fourth Gospel is at the same time a sublime work that has inspired and enriched the faith of countless Christians and a problematic text that has provided potent anti-Jewish imagery exploited in anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic discourse over the course of two millennia. The Fourth Gospel contains approximately 70 references to hoi ioudaioi, a designation most often (and best) translated as "the Jews." Several of these references are neutral or descriptive, referring to Jewish festivals or specific practices, and some depict individual Jews or Jewish groups as interested in Jesus' message. The vast majority, however, express a negative or even hostile stance towards the Jews. These passages express several themes that became central to Christian anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic discourse. These include the charge of deicide - killing God - and the claim that the Jews have the devil as their father (8:44). The essays in this book address both the Gospel's stance towards the Jews and the Gospel's impact on Jewish-Christian relations from antiquity to the present day, in a range of media, including sermons, iconography, art, music, and film. A short volume of collected essays cannot hope to address the full history of the Fourth Gospel's impact on Jewish-Christian relations. Nevertheless, it is hoped that this volume will contribute to the efforts of Christians and Jews alike to find ways to appreciate what is good and life-affirming about the Gospel of John, while also acknowledging the damaging impact of its portrayal of Jews as the children of Satan and the killers of Christ. Only when Christians disavow this portrayal can the Gospel of John continue to be a true source of inspiration and perhaps even a path forward in the relationships between Jews and Christians in the modern world.
Introduction: The Gospel of John in Jewish-Christian Relations -- Adele Reinhartz Part I: Reading John 1.Erasure of "the Jews" in the Farewell Discourses and Johannine Epistles: Gnostic Connections? -- Pheme Perkins 2.The Eastern Orthodox Tradition, Jews, and the Gospel of John --Michael Azar Part II: Preaching John 3.Preaching the Hostile References to "the Jews" in the Gospel of John --R. Alan Culpepper 4.Reading the Gospel of John in the Catholic Lectionary --Eileen Schuller 5.Christian Privilege, Christian Fragility, and the Gospel of John --Amy-Jill Levine Part III: Re-presenting John 6.Ecclesia and Synagoga In Principio: The Fourth Gospel as Resource for Anti-Jewish Visual Polemic -- Marcia Kupfer 7.Two Bach Church Cantatas and "the Jews" in the Gospel of John -- Michael Marissen 8."My Kingdom Is Not of This World": Johannine Jesus Films and Christian Supersessionism -- Richard Walsh