Saturday, November 21, 2020

Gospel of John: Not Gnostic

Here is Esther Kobel's summary of my reason for rejecting the view that John's Gospel is Gnostic:

[The motif of food rejection fits into a docetic interpretation of Jesus. Jeffery Horace Hodges, in an investigation on food avoidance and acceptance in John (Jn 4:31-34 and 19:28-30), considers the idea that the Johannine dichotomy is Gnostic. In the Mandaean Gnostic story from the Ginza revealer Hibil-Ziwa refuses food offered by the children of darkness. And in the “Hymn of the Pearl” the prince, a Gnostic revealer, makes the mistake to accept food and falls into a deep sleep. Jesus, however, unlike the Gnostic revealers, does not try to avoid the world but intentionally mixes himself with it, an idea that does not fit with Gnostic thinking. According to Hodges, the sour wine symbolizes the world that has gone bad. The vinegar in John 19:29 is not just a symbol of the world but a pars pro toto of it. By consuming it, Jesus takes upon himself the sin of the world. Hodges concludes that the author of the Fourth Gospel neither presents Jesus as a Gnostic revealer, nor does he presuppose a substance dualism. The dualism in John belongs to the family of ethical dualisms and not Gnostic ones. Jeffery Horace Hodges, ‘Ethical’ Dualism of Food in the Gospel of John (1999); available from; Internet; accessed 02.09.11.]

This is from Kobel's Dining with John [Footnote 784, page 375.]


At 5:00 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Do I recall correctly that you wrote on a related subject in one of the earlier volumes of Emanations?

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I don't recall an essay, but some of my poems have dealt with Gnosticism.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:07 PM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...


You may have to tap the lady on the shoulder and inform her of the proper order of your given names.

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I did, and she has since gotten it correct (and she was sometimes following other people's misspellings).

I don't know why my names are so difficult for so many people.

Jeffery Hodges

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