Craig S. Keener
The ultimate model for love and service. 13:1–38
THE FOOT WASHING IN JOHN is the narrative introduction for the final discourse, part of the lengthy prolegomena to the Passion Narrative. Jesus' impending death dominates this scene. It intersperses Jesus' words and example of service (13:1, 3–10, 12–17, 31–35) with foreshadowings of his betrayal (13:2, 10–11, 18–30), then opens directly into discussion about Jesus' departure by way of the cross (13:36–38; 14:3–6).8048 This scene therefore paves the way for the Farewell Discourse (13:31–17:26).8049
By the foot washing Jesus prefigures his impending glorification, which is the theological subject of most of the context (12:16, 23, 28,41; 13:31–32). This act identifies Jesus as the Suffering Servant and defines his passion as an act of loving service. At the same time, however, it also summons Jesus' followers to imitate his model, serving and loving one another to the extent of laying down their lives for one another (13:14–16, 34–35).
The Setting (13:1–3)
John again links Jesus' imminent «hour» with the Passover season (13:1). (On the «hour,» see comment on 2:4; cf. 12:23.) In contrast to the Synoptic picture of the Last Supper, however, Jesus' closing hours before his arrest in this Gospel are «before» Passover (13:1). This detail fits John's chronology (13:29; 18:28; 19:14, 31, 42),8050 which ultimately supports his portrayal of Jesus as the paschal lamb (1:29,36; 19:36). At this point, however, John underlines a different aspect of the chronology: Jesus loved his own «to the end» (13:1). This is Johannine double entendre: it can imply «to the utmost,» «fully,» as well as «to the point of his death.»8051 Such a double entendre reinforces the measure of God's love in the Fourth Gospel (3:16) and early Christianity (Rom 5:5–9): Jesus' death. The preceding context also illustrates Jesus' love (11:5) that would cost him his life (11:7–16), but here the specific objects of his love in the Lazarus story give way to all of «his own» (cf. 10:3) who would be remaining in the world (17:11).
John also emphasizes the role of Judas in the beginning of this scene (13:2), framing the scene immediately preceding the Farewell Discourse with the report of Jesus' betrayal (13:21–30) as well as Satan's activity (13:2, 27; see comment on 13:27).8052 Finally, John prefaces the scene by emphasizing Jesus' authority, source, and destination, which heightens the significance of his service to the disciples that immediately follows (13:3).8053 The connection between 13and 13may suggest that Jesus takes his position as Lord of all things8054 (13:3; see comment on 3:35) only after enduring the death of the cross (13:1). In this light it appears all the more striking that the all-powerful Word became flesh and served disciples who consistently misunderstood and sometimes failed him. This perspective, more widespread in early Christianity (see Phil 2:6–11),8055 seems distinctive of early Christianity.
Who might be present at the banquet? Unless they met in a home of inordinate size, and especially if they met in an upper room as in the tradition (Mark 14:15; Luke 22:12; Acts 1:13), probably only a small number of disciples could be present (though cf. Acts 1:15, if it assumes the same location as 1:13). It is reasonable to identify these roughly with the Twelve (6:71). In much of the Hellenistic world, women typically attended drinking parties only if they were courtesans or part of the entertainment.8056 By contrast, a Passover meal such as depicted in the Synoptics would be more of a family setting;8057 but this does not settle who мая have been present. If the meal involved a group of mostly male disciples (unlike most Passover meals), it мая have been segregated by gender, unlike the Lord's Supper in the churches at a later time.8058 From John's own narrative, however, we can gather only that it was an intimate group of his closest disciples which included the beloved disciple, Peter, Philip, Thomas, and both disciples named Judas.
That Jesus and his disciples «reclined» (13:12, 23) indicates the nature of their seating. From the East, Greeks had adopted the practice of reclining on a couch during the main meal; because one propped oneself up by the left elbow, diners had only one free hand, so attendants cut up the food in advance and diners ate most often with their hands.8059 Thus a later Jewish report suggests that guests gathered on benches or chairs; when all the guests had arrived, they would each wash one hand, have appetizers, recline, and wash both hands before the main mea1.8060 Tables were placed beside couches so that diners could readily reach their food.8061
Although Jewish people in Palestine usually sat on chairs when available,8062 they had adopted the Hellenistic custom of reclining for banquets,8063 including the Passover,8064 a setting that the Fourth Gospel and its first audience might assume from the Gospel tradition despite the Fourth Gospel's symbolic shift of the Passover to one day later.8065 It probably implies that John has, after all, revised an earlier Passover tradition. (One would not expect John to harmonize all his traditions,8066 though his narrative мая be more consistent in its portrayal of Jesus than that of Matthew or Luke is.)
Authenticity and Significance of the Foot Washing
Although we will offer brief comment on specific verses below, many of the critical issues surround the passage as a whole.
1. The Question of Historical Authenticity
Against the tendency to suppose that whatever event is reported only in John is likely fictitious, it should be remembered that Matthew and Luke felt free to supplement Mark's outline with other material, much of which they share in common but much of which they do not. Given the small quantity of extant data to work with, multiple attestation works as a much more valid criterion when applied positively than when applied negatively. Man-son thinks that Jesus мая have washed the disciples' feet at the Last Supper, citing Luke 22:27.8067 Certainly Jesus there uses himself as an example of one who serves (Luke 22:27), while exhorting his disciples to serve one another (Luke 22:26).8068 Normally foot washing would precede a meal (cf. Luke 7:44), but the foot washing here follows most of the meal (13:2–4); the logic of the narrative prevents any further eating, for Jesus soon departs.8069 Given John's different date for Passover,8070 however, he мая deliberately omit discussion of the meal to keep the emphasis on the cross itself.
2. The Message of the Foot Washing
The theology of the foot washing is, however, of greater importance to us here. Most scholars recognize the image of self-sacrifice in the foot washing.8071 By humbly serving his disciples (13:4–16), Jesus takes the role of the Suffering Servant (cf. Isa 52:13–53:12) that John has just mentioned (12:38), epitomizing christological motifs from his Gospel and some other early Christian sources.8072 Because biblical and early Jewish customs use foot washing in welcoming guests, some see it as an act of eschatological hospitality.8073
More critically, Jesus' act in this passage prefigures the passion.8074 The interspersing of the foot washing and its significance (13:3–10) with the betrayal (13:2,10–11) clearly indicates Jesus' impending death. Other clues in the narrative support this thesis; «lay aside» and «take up» (13:4,12) are not specifically sacrificial language, but a careful reader might recognize that the terms elsewhere appear together in John only in 10:17–18, perhaps also investing «rise» (13:4) with its usual significance in this Gospe1.8075
The more widespread early Christian chronology attested in the Synoptics makes the context of Jesus' final teaching to the disciples a Passover meal commemorating his death; John reserves the Passover for Jesus' actual death and makes the context of Jesus' final teaching a prefiguring of his death and the teaching focusing on Jesus' continuing presence with his disciples through the Spirit. Whereas the Synoptics agree with Paul (1Cor 11:23), and presumably most of early Christianity, in instituting the Lord's Supper commemoration on the betrayal night, John includes a summons to foot washing (whether symbolically or literally), by which believers are called to exemplify the same pattern of self-sacrificial service to the death.
It seems natural to connect the image of water with its function earlier in the Gospe1. It is true that the focus of the passage is on the sign of foot washing, not on the water it-self;8076 in fact, however, most earlier passages where the water motif occurs also emphasize the sign rather than the water (2:6; 4:17–19; 5:8–9). Water earlier serves a salvific function (e.g., 3:5; 4:14; 7:37–38); this comports well with Jesus' suffering servanthood here. By prefiguring his death in his act of service to his disciples, he indicates the cost he is ready to pay to save them. By washing one another's feet, disciples would prefigure their service and love for one another after Jesus' model (13:14–17, 34–35); that is, they would declare their readiness to die for one another.8077
Did the Johannine community practice, or did the Johannine Jesus expect them to practice, literal foot washing to represent his teachings about serving one another? Because foot washing was common in the culture (albeit not of social peers or superiors washing others' feet), and because concrete symbolism can reinforce social commitment, it is very likely that John would approve, and even possible that he did intend, his audience to practice such a symbo1.8078 Greeks and Romans practiced ritual foot washing,8079 and foot washing appears in cultic settings in early Jewish sources.8080 John might not have expected it as a ritual, but in a culture where the practice was common, he at least would have expected the practice to be performed in a manner that challenged traditional social stratification.
3. The Practice of Foot Washing
Many ancient Eastern streets must have been «unpaved, narrow, badly crowded,» and some «would have been choked with refuse and frequented» by dogs and other sources of excrement.8081 Hellenistic cities required proper sanitation in their main streets, prohibiting discarding refuse there,8082 but it would have been widely known that such sanitation was more available in some locations than others. In Rome running water was available only for the ground floors of buildings, so that poorer tenants who lived higher in the building often allowed filth to accumulate; wealthier persons on ground floors built latrines that emptied into cess trenches managed by manure merchants.8083 One would expect upper-city Jerusalem, which included private mikvaot in most of its wealthy homes and would have preserved the highest of Hellenistic-Roman standards, to have been much cleaner; any home large enough to house Jesus' disciples as guests, especially if an upper room is envisioned (Mark 14:15; Luke 22:12; Acts 1:13), would probably lie in a more well-to-do and sanitary part of town.8084 Nevertheless, the common practice and image would be clear enough. If nothing else, dust would rapidly accumulate on feet.8085
Thus people often washed their feet when returning home;8086 washing onés feet was common enough that «unwashed feet» became proverbial in some places for «without preparation.»8087 The face, hands, and feet seem to have been the most critical parts of the body to wash.8088 Hospitality included providing water for guests to wash their feet (Gen 18:4; 19:2; 24:32; Luke 7:44) or providing servants to wash their feet;8089 wives (1Sam 25:41) or children might also adopt this servile posture toward the pater familias.8090 Only a document honoring a host's extreme humility might portray that host honoring an esteemed visitor by washing his feet himself.8091 John C. Thomas provides abundant evidence for the hospitality function of foot washing, both in early Judaism8092 and in the broader Mediterranean context.8093 Thus some emphasize Jesus' loving hospitality in this text;8094 Jesus as the host of the meal provides foot washing for his guests.
But whereas well-to-do hosts provided water and sometimes servants to wash a guest's feet, they rarely engaged in the foot washing themselves. Washing feet was a menial task,8095 and one who sought to wash another's feet normally took the posture of a servant or dependent.8096 From an early period Greek literature depicted servants washing the feet of strangers as an act of hospitality,8097 as well as washing their masters' feet.8098 Foot washing could also be performed by free women (1Tim 5:10), who might compare their role with that of servants (1Sam 25:41; Jos. Asen. 13:15/12; 20:4). In both early Jewish8099 and Greco-Roman8100 texts, foot washing frequently connotes servitude. After examining all the relevant literature, Thomas concludes that Jesus' act represents «the most menial task» and was «unrivalled in antiquity.»8101
4. The Model of Humility
It was honorable for a hero leader to motivate followers by his own example.8102 The servile nature of foot washing would not have put off but attracted those whose conceptions of virtue were shaped by the emphasis on humility in traditional Judaism.8103 Although religious practice often differs considerably from theory, in Christianity as well as other religious systems, Jewish literature affords us considerable insight into Jewish teachers' emphasis on humility. This is best recognized, however, against the backdrop of normal social expectations. Scholars often thought that others should serve scholars.8104 For one probably hyperbolic example, those who did not serve scholars, including serving them food, could deserve death!8105 Likewise, any student who was so presumptuous as to offer a legal decision in front of his teacher might be struck dead.8106 Many also saw limits to their humility; thus R. Judah ha-Nasi, head of the rabbinic academy at the beginning of the third century, was so modest that he would do whatever anyone asked of him–except relinquish his position to place another above him.8107 R. Judah also felt that one should ob serve honor distinctions, starting with the greatest when bestowing greatness and from the least when bestowing humiliation.8108
Ancient Mediterranean etiquette required a leader to observe rank carefully when bestowing honor or gifts,8109 and many viewed it an honorable ambition to become great and famous.8110 Palestinian Jewish society included a heavy emphasis on honor and even hierarchy,8111 which Essenes characteristically seem to have taken to an extreme.8112 Later reports testify the special rank accorded esteemed sages.8113 Seating by rank was important in Greco-Roman banquets,8114 , public assemblies,8115 and other events,8116 as it is even in much of the Middle East today.8117 Among Jewish teachers, others stood when more learned sages would enter;8118 seating was according to honor, often according to age.8119 As in the broader Mediterranean culture/8120 Jewish tradition emphasized respect for the aged.8121 In the ancient Mediterranean, formal settings might require the eldest to speak first;8122 young men should rise before elders to offer their seats.8123 Such practices probably permeated Jewish circles as well; seniority (by age or tenure in the community) generally dictated seating in Jewish circles as wel1.8124 The Therapeutae reportedly sat in order of their tenure in the community (Philo Contemp1. Life 66–69); those in the Sanhédrin were reportedly seated by rank (m. Sanh. 4:4). Although one could argue for seating by some sort of rank on the basis of 13:23, Jesus' example in this passage repudiates the idea of rank among disciples.8125
The hortatory emphasis directed toward leaders, as toward all hearers,8126 was humility. Thus writers might amplify the biblical report of Moses' meekness (Num 12:3); under normal circumstances he acted like one of the multitude and sought not to be exalted above them.8127 He also declined any honor the people tried to confer on him,8128 perhaps like some statesmen from the Roman Republic who thought or pretended to think only in terms of their duty to the state. (Ancient sources often praised generals' or rulers' benevolence and mercy,8129 if not usually their humility in our modern sense of that phrase.)8130 Likewise through various stories rabbis extolled Hillel's humility and patience.8131 The literature regularly employs both God and rabbis as examples of humility.8132 Rabbis told of one teacher who, when his ass-driver answered more wisely than he, switched places with him.8133 They claimed that R. Meir endured spit in his eye to reconcile a wife and husband, following God's example of humility.8134 Some accounts of humble rabbis illustrated that it was meritorious to seek another's advancement above onés own,8135 even in matters of seating.8136 Rabbinic literature highly praises rabbis who served their guests with humility.8137 Another teacher faced death because he had been proud when he lectured the host of Israe1.8138 Although rabbis emphasized humility far more than their contemporaries (compare the strife of Roman party politics), to some degree such patterns reflected broader Mediterranean ideals for great leaders. «Dictator» was a negative term, and power was noble only when used nobly.8139
Perhaps reflecting the broader Mediterranean distaste for boasting,8140 a second-century teacher exhorted that one «should recount what is to his credit in a low voice and what is to his discredit in a loud voice.»8141 Some said that Samuel «the small» was so known because he belittled himself.8142 A later rabbi claimed that when a sage boasted his wisdom departed.8143
Such humility was often expressed toward those in positions of greater power. One should be quick to serve a «head,» one in authority over oneself.8144 Two third-century teachers attributed their longevity partly to never having walked in front of someone greater than themselves.8145 But those in power dare never become too arrogant themselves. The aristocrat R. Gamaliel II insulted the dignity of R. Joshua, and was deposed from his position as head of the rabbinic academy until he went around and apologized.8146 As one Tanna, perhaps Akiba, put it, «Power buries those who possess it.»8147 In what мая be the most relevant parallel to our passage in John, Rabban Gamaliel mixed wine for R. Eliezer, who was unwilling to accept it. But R. Joshua and R. Zadok responded that Abraham and God himself serve others' needs; therefore it was appropriate for Gamaliel as the most honored to serve his colleagues.8148
Gestures of humility must have been common among the pious, but adopting postures of slavery must have been rare. The most progressive aristocrats of Greco-Roman antiquity, such as Seneca and Pliny the Younger, could advocate dining with freedpersons or even slaves, but never serving them at table.8149 For a person of status, particularly a patron host, to wash his guests' feet as if a servant would be unthinkable! Although Jewish teachers мая not have shared standard Roman aristocratic views of rank, in which most slaves and slaveborn could never acquire genuinely high status in aristocratic eyes,8150 some, especially the many whose family means would have allowed their pursuit of advanced study, did retain such views.8151 Some Jewish texts suggest that a Gentile slave consummated his entrance into servitude for a Jewish slaveholder by performing an act of menial service; perhaps Jesus demonstrates his servitude in such a manner here.8152
The Foot Washing and Its First Interpretation (13:4–20)
This section explains the salvific necessity of being washed by Jesus (13:6–11) and how it functions as a model for believers serving one another (13:12–20). Because an announcement of Jesus' departure immediately (13:1–3) as well as more distantly (12:8, 35–36) precedes this material, it seems clear that John invites us to read the foot washing in view of the cross. In the context of the betrayal (13:21–30) and another comment on the imminence of the passion (13:31–33), however, the following material grows even more explicit: loving and serving as Jesus did demands sacrifice for one another, potentially to the point of death (13:34–35). Sadly, however, the most prominent disciple would fall short of such sacrifice even directly for Jesus (13:36–38).
1. The Act of Washing (13:4–5)
Other texts suggest that one might pour cold water into a basin, then add the hot, to prepare to wash feet.8153 Νιπτήρα (13:5) can refer to a basin or laver; while it мая be a pitcher for the meal used to pour water the way one typically washed (2 Kgs 3:11),8154 Jesus undoubtedly also uses a basin here (this would be necessary out of regard for the host's floor, all the more if an upper room is presupposed, although that detail remains unclear without recourse to the Synoptics).8155 That Jesus would have actually touched the feet reinforces the image of his service here.
The towel (13:4–5) мая have been used for drying hands after the meal;8156 Jesus probably «girds» himself with it (13:4) so that he can use both hands in the washing.8157 Aside from the possible allusions to Jesus' death and resurrection in the description of Jesus «taking up» and «laying down» the towel (above), his posture is significant. Whereas masters and banqueters would sit or recline, servants might stand to serve them; Jesus «rises» (13:4) to wash their feet.8158 That the disciples reclined (13:12, 23, 28) sheds light on the posture of the washing (13:5). Couches were arranged so peoplés feet pointed away from the center of the banquet (see comment on reclining, 13:12, 23); thus Jesus comes away from the normal focus of gaiety to wash their feet.8159
2. The Necessity of the Washing (13:6–11)
Peter, speaking for the disciples, again misunderstands (13:6), as do other disciples in this section (13:28; 14:5, 8, 22), reinforcing the Gospel's emphasis on their inability to understand fully.8160 Interactions in ancient Mediterranean culture proceeded according to status differences, so that one might expect the disciples to staunchly protest Jesus' taking the role of their servant.8161 Later rabbis told a story, perhaps parabolic, of R. Ishmael's vehement protest when his mother insisted on washing his feet (and drinking the water!).8162 The language of his protest is emphatic: by placing «Lord» at the beginning and «feet» at the end, the most emphatic points of a Greek sentence, he underlines the dramatic incongruity of the action;8163 the placing of the two pronouns together (an emphatic «you» preceding «my») probably reinforces the grammatical point further.8164
Jesus responds that unless Peter submits to this washing, he has no part with Jesus (13:8), that is, no share in eternal fellowship with him;8165 in this discourse, having no part with Jesus is a serious situation (14:30; 15:6). This indicates that the washing symbolizes allowing Jesus to serve his followers by embracing his death for them. Social inferiors expected help from patrons, but not service from them; such a reversal of roles created discomfort. Yet true dependents on Christ cannot have his gift without his sacrifice and must acknowledge their dependence.8166 The seriousness of the matter is evident from the context: Judas protested Mary washing Jesus' feet (12:4–5); Peter, also misunderstanding Jesus' mission, protests Jesus washing his own (13:8). Mary and Jesus embody sacrifice and servanthood; Judas and Peter, impending betrayal and denial!8167 Peter's emphatic reversal in 13suggests a continued misunderstanding.8168 His misunderstanding is, however, momentarily mitigated by his loyalty: he is willing to accept whatever necessary to have a share with Jesus. Like other misunderstanding disciples (11:16), he felt that he was even ready to die with Jesus (13:37). When the time to do so would come, however, he, like the others, would prove unprepared (13:38; 18:25–27).
Although responding to Peter, Jesus employs the plural pronoun to include all his disciples as clean.8169 That the disciples were already «washed» (13:10)8170 мая allude physically to the ritual purification preceding the eating of Passover.8171 (This might appear clearer in the earliest form of John's tradition than in the finished Gospel, where the events take place the day before Passover; but cf. 11:55.) Some Jews required handwashing before regular meals (Mark 7:1–5), but the Passover meal required a higher level of ritual purity.8172 Even after this cleansing, however, they would require ritual washing of hands and perhaps feet;8173 one who had bathed at home but walked to a banquet would likewise need to wash the feet.8174 On the symbolic level, however, they had been washed by his word which he had spoken (15:3); they no longer needed outward purifications not explicitly commanded in the Torah (2:6–11). Jewish people spoke of purifying the land from Gentile contamination (perhaps idolatry, 4 Macc 17:21);8175 some expected the greatest purifying in the time of the Messiah (Pss. So1. 17:30). But Greek and Roman philosophers8176 and Greek-speaking Jewish writers8177 also spoke of purifying onés mind and soul from impure thoughts.
After declaring that all were clean, Jesus qualifies his statement by warning of an exception (13:10); ancients sometimes made general statements that they (or others) then qualified.8178 Perhaps for emphasis, John repeats Jesus' statement of 13in slightly different words in 13:11, as he does various statements elsewhere (1:48, 50; 9:21, 23);8179 no one would trifle over divergences in such inexact quotes during repetition (e.g., Gen 39:17–19; 1Sam 15:3,18). Variation was standard rhetorical practice.8180 «Nowhere throughout ancient literature. .. did the authors feel the need to reproduce a text with verbal exactness.»8181 Some modern interpreters of more literalist bent have objected to the writer's apparent practice of paraphrase reflected in its pervasive Johannine idiom; if they are persuaded by nothing else, this passage should be sufficient testimony that modern literalism would never have crossed the author's mind.
3. The Interpretation of the Washing (13:12–20)
On the reclining (13:12), see our comment on the setting (13:1–3). By opening with a statement of his superior rank (13:13), Jesus focuses his following words on the inversion of status and power among his followers, a theme elsewhere known from the Jesus tradition (e.g., Mark 9:36–37; 10:15, 42–45; Matt 18:3–4, 10; Luke 22:24–27). Whoever instructed a disciple in Torah was his master,8182 and Jesus certainly was the teacher of his disciples.8183 While disciples might call their teachers both «teacher» and «lord» («sir»), on the Johannine level of meaning the latter term implies christological authority (13:13).8184
Following Jesus' example by washing one another's feet (13:14) evidences following the example of his love (13:34) but also evokes the image of the water motif (see comment on 2:6; 3:5), implying involvement in Christ's salvific work.8185 (For imitation of teachers and of God, see comment on 13:34–35.) If Jesus sacrifices his life to serve his followers, then his followers must also be ready to pay such a price to guard one another's perseverance in the faith. That they «ought» to wash one another's feet мая reflect the moralist use of the language of obligation,8186 but is certainly acceptable vocabulary in the Johannine circle of believers (cf. 1 John 2:6; 3:16; 4:11; cf. 3 John 8).
When Jesus takes the role of a servant, he plainly inverts the roles of himself and the disciples in that society.8187 John utilizes in 13a saying also attested in the Q tradition, which in its original form applied to disciples as well as slaves (Matt 10:24–25; Luke 6:40).8188 A disciple normally would not claim to be greater than his teacher;8189 if a master suffered, how much more should his servant be willing to endure it.8190 That a servant or disciple was like the master мая have been a proverb and was probably at least a commonplace.8191
Disciples would do for their teachers almost anything a slave would do except deal with their feet, which was considered too demeaning for a free person (see comment on 1:27).8192 By the late second century, a sage could exercise much of the authority over a disciple that a master could over a slave; he was even permitted to beat pupils.8193 Disciples of the sages should attend on the sages;8194 studying under rabbis involved serving them.8195 This passage in some sense repudiates the conception of servant-disciples prevalent in the rabbinic movement and probably the larger culture.8196 Its ideas are certainly consistent with other extant Jesus tradition (Mark 10:43–45). Jesus' disciples were servants (15:20); ultimately servants in the exalted sense of the biblical prophets (cf. Rev 1:1) yet servants of Jesus as well as of God (12:26). But they were also friends (15:15), invited into fellowship by a love that burst the bounds of social propriety (cf. 3:16).
«One who is sent» (13:16) represents an agent, a familiar concept in this Gospel (see introduction; on the interchangeability of πέμπω and αποστέλλω, see 20:21). That those who received an agent received the sender (13:20) fits this motif and is attested elsewhere in extant Jesus tradition (Mark 9:37; Matt 10:40–41).
Jesus' promised blessing to those who serve one another takes the form of a beatitude (13:17), which appears on only one other occasion in this Gospel (20:29), although it is frequent in Revelation (Rev 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7,14). That the form occurs in this Gospel only twice need not link these two passages together; the form was common in early Christian texts,8197 in the early Christians' Bible,8198 in early Judaism,8199 and appeared in non-Jewish Greek sources as wel1.8200 If the two passages are to be compared, however, it appears significant that 20is a strategic verse which casts its theological shadow over the signs-faith of the entire Gospe1. The beatitude here мая similarly function to underline the importance of mutual service. Verse 17 also echoes a familiar line of Jewish and other ancient ethics, namely, that behavior should correspond to knowledge (cf. Jas 1:22; 4:17; 1 John 3:18).8201
Although John will address the betrayal in more detail (13:21–30), he introduces the matter here (13:18–19), framing it with the warning that Jesus' disciples will share his experience of betrayal and suffering (13:15–16, 20; cf. 15:18–20). Judas lifting his heel in betrayal at a meal (cf. 13:2) appears in striking contrast to Mary's washing Jesus' feet in service at another meal (12:2–3); Judas lifting his heel likewise contrasts with Jesus washing his disciples' (including Judas's) feet in this immediate context. The mention of the «heel» therefore serves an immediate literary function in the narrative in addition to its presence in a biblical quotation and its general cultural significance. The specific image in the psalm that Jesus quotes (Ps 41:9) might be that of a horse or mule kicking the person feeding it;8202 probably more likely here, showing another the bottom of onés foot is an expression of contempt (cf. Mark 6:11).8203
Although it sometimes occurred,8204 people in ancient Mediterranean society considered betrayal by a friend (13:18) far more heinous than any insult by an enemy.8205 The deeper the level of intimacy, the more that trust was a duty, and the more terrible its betraya1.8206 Breach of covenant such as treaties was regarded as terrible;8207 Judas's discipleship and its longstanding implicit covenant of friendship make his betrayal a heinous act of treachery,8208 but the meal context makes the betrayal even more heinous. For many, sharing food and drink represented the most important bond of kindness.8209 Although relatives were the most trustworthy of all, those who ate together shared a common bond and were normally assumed to be trustworthy.8210 Hospitality established friendly ties even with strangers and was mandatory in the ancient Mediterranean.8211 Guest friendships were politically binding,8212 and could effect reconciliation between political partisans at enmity.8213 Injuring or slaying those who had eaten at onés table was a terrible offense from which all but the most wicked would normally shrink;8214' such behavior was held to incur divine wrath.8215 Those who eat together at a table should not even betray friendship by slandering one another.8216 Though rarer due to the normal distribution of power, betraying or slaying onés host, as here, was equally terrible8217–especially a host who had set aside his own honor to perform the most menial act of service for his guests (see comments on hospitality and foot washing above).
Just as the loyalty of onés adherents proved a matter for praise (e.g., Josephus Life 84), their disloyalty would prove a matter of a teacher's shame.8218 Earlier Jesus had announced himself the bread of life after many had eaten with him, but warned even then that one would betray him (6:64). Yet Jesus made no mistake in choosing Judas (6:70); he was chosen precisely because his character would lead him to fulfill the role of betrayer prophesied in Scripture (Ps 41[40LXX]).8219 The language of Scripture could provide meaning for the shame of betrayal; Qumran's Teacher of Righteousness apparently alluded to this same text from Psalms to complain of his own suffering (1QH 5.22–24).8220
Jesus tells his disciples about the betrayal beforehand so that, rather than doubting his foresight in choosing Judas, they will recognize him as a prophet and that he controls the situation (13:19; cf. 14:29).8221 The fulfillment of a prophet's words attests the prophet's accuracy (Deut 18:22).8222 But Jesus' wording in several passages suggests an allusion to the promises of God in the biblical prophets: he foretold the future so that they might recognize his identity as YHWH (Isa 43:9–10). Similarly here, Jesus speaks so that the disciples might realize that «I am,»8223 alluding to Isaiah's «I am» formula, which perhaps by this period already appeared in the Passover haggadah.8224 Likewise, Jesus had «chosen» them (13:18; 6:70; 15:16, 19) and «knew» those he chose. Rabbis rarely chose their own disciples (see comments on 1:38–43), yet in this context «chosen» suggests more than simply an unusually radical rabbi; it suggests that John again portrays Jesus in biblical language traditionally applied to God's relationship with Israel (see comment on 15:16).
Jesus then sounds an ominous warning in 13:20: Jesus is the Father's agent (see introduction; cf. Matt 10:40); the disciples as Jesus' agents will face the same sort of suffering and betrayal Jesus faced (13:16,18,21). Whereas brokers of patrons could build their own power base in Roman society, the context promises Jesus' agents suffering and the status of servants.8225
Interpreting the Washing in Light of the Cross (13:21–38)
In the context of the betrayal (13:21–30) and another comment on the imminence of the passion (13:31–33), loving and serving as Jesus did demands sacrifice for one another, potentially to the point of death (13:34–35). On the narrative level, however, John emphasizes that such commitment is more easily offered than demonstrated: the most prominent disciple would fall short of even such sacrifice directly for Jesus (13:36–38).
1. The Betrayal Announced (13:21–30)
The intimacy of the gathering implied by the seating arrangements (13:23) and perhaps by Jesus' expression of emotion (13:21) provides a model for believers' relationship with Jesus (14:23) and in the immediate context particularly underlines the heinousness of the betrayal (13:18).
Although John emphasizes Jesus' foresight (13:19) and determination to suffer for others (12:27–28; 13:33), he also underlines Jesus' emotion (13:21), even though some of his contemporaries would have viewed it as a mark of weakness.8226 He is «troubled in spirit» (13:21), as he was when facing the mourning of friends in 11and 12:27.8227 Jesus' emotional suffering here and in 12may correspond with his suffering in Gethsemane in the Passion Narrative that stands behind the Synoptic accounts.8228 That the disciples reacted to the announcement of the betrayal by wondering among themselves who would do it (13:22–24) fits other extant Jesus tradition (Mark 14:19; Luke 22:23).
One might surround oneself with onés most intimate friends during the later hours of a banquet (13:23); thus Josephus dismissed other banqueters after a few hours, retaining near him only his four closest friends, during a time of great distress.8229 At banquets disciples sat near their sages.8230 Participants were seated according to their status (see comment on status and the foot washing, earlier in the chapter). Many banquet settings assigned three participants to each table, arranging diners in such a manner that in this scene one to the right of Jesus would need only have leaned his head back to find himself near Jesus' chest.8231 Although we should not expect that Jerusalem could accommodate formal banquet settings for all the Passover pilgrims, a home large enough to accommodate all Jesus' disciples (presumably the Twelve, 6:70) might be better furnished than many, and traditional banquet arrangements мая remain informative. The first of the three couches around a table included the three persons of highest rank; the middle position on each couch represented the highest rank on that couch.8232 Jeffers describes the Roman style of banqueting:
Romans ate while reclining on couches, usually situated in a U shape (called a triclinium) around a low table. The triclinium had places of honor (Luke 14:8–10). Diners supported themselves on their left elbows and ate with their right hands. The ancients did not have forks, only knives and spoons. In any event, seated in this position it was more convenient to eat with onés fingers.8233
If twelve disciples are present with Jesus and if specifically three couches were available (rather than simply a number of mats on the floor), three people (Jesus, the beloved disciple, and apparently Judas) would be seated at the head couch, leaving a more crowded five to the other two.8234 That John could expect his implied audience to envision such an arrangement is evident from their assumed familiarity with the arrangement of a triclinium, suggested in his use of άρχιτρίκλινος for the governor of the banquet in 2:8.
Given seating etiquette in later rabbinic texts, some argue that the position to the left, rather than (as in this disciplés case) the position to the right, was the most honored.8235 According to an ancient tradition, one showed greater honor to the person seated to onés left because onés left side was more vulnerable to assault, hence one showed greater trust.8236 Sharing the same table or couch would have certainly been an honored position in any case (cf. Mark 10:37; Matt 8:11), but if the beloved disciple held the position to Jesus' right, the position to the left most likely went to the other person to whom Jesus could easily hand the food–Judas (13:26).8237 (Luke 22also suggests that Judas and Jesus shared the same table, though Luke 22suggests that Jesus' companions did not take his words in 22literally.) This underlines favorably the intimacy of the beloved disciple, while further underlining the treachery of Judas's betraya1. Qumran texts illustrate the importance of speaking in proper order at a communal meal (1QS 6.10; cf. Josephus War 2.130); thus the beloved disciple, seated closer to Jesus and perhaps (from the standpoint of the Johannine story world) of higher rank than Peter, мая prove the appropriate one to raise a question for Peter (13:25).8238 John's language might allude to Deut 33:12,8239 though without the use of κόλπος the comparison seems tenuous; probably both texts simply reflect an ancient portrait of special intimacy.
The beloved disciple and Judas apparently share Jesus' highest couch, whereas Peter does not! Nevertheless, the passage presents Peter and the beloved disciple as on friendly terms (13:24–25). Ancient speakers and writers could use comparison to show themselves more qualified than others for a particular task,8240 or to exalt or demean other persons.8241 But biographic (and other genres') comparison did not always demean one character at another's expense, although it sometimes did so.8242 Even when comparisons implied competition, those competing were sometimes friends.8243 Biographers could also compare characters they wanted to parallel; while this sometimes encouraged rhetoricians to invent some details,8244 it did not normally require a major distortion of basic facts. Thus, while stressing parallels (hyperbolically Plutarch declares Aristides so much like Marcus Cato that it is hard to discern the differences),8245 they still recognize the differences.8246 Rather than fabricate parallels, they might try to select carefully those whose lives offered sufficient parallels for the comparison.8247 The comparison, and at worst friendly competition, between Peter and the beloved disciple as dialoguing coworkers continues in 20:3–8; 21:20–24. Perhaps (and this is speculation at this remove) the comparison helps to secure recognition for the beloved disciplés tradition in circles where the Markan, Petrine tradition already held sway; but this Gospel is hardly anti-Petrine, even if it appears more egalitarian.8248
Greek teachers sometimes selected a particular pupil to whom to give special love, sometimes related to the general Greek concept of «love of boys»;8249 such a disciple might be a teacher's designated successor.8250 Some compare this role with the beloved disciplés special role in the story world of the Fourth Gospel, though pointing out that the beloved disciple acts differently with Jesus than the Greek teachers' «favorite» disciples did with their teachers.8251 The context for the analogy, however, is more distant than one might hope. Given John's Jewish context, any implied sexual relationship would be impossible without the Gospel somewhere indicating a lifting of Jewish sexual taboos, and without the sexual component the comparison loses at least some (and possibly much more) of its force. Rabbis also had favorite disciples whom they praised (e.g., m. 'Abot 2:8), and such praiseworthy disciples could become successors without any sexual overtones.
That one disciple would be particularly «beloved» does not contradict the Synoptic tradition, where some disciples were closer to Jesus than others. Given the tradition in Mark 10:37, it is possible that John son of Zebedee often reclined near Jesus in historical reality.8252 Brown contends that the beloved disciple represents a real person,8253 but not John son of Zebedee,8254 a community hero in whom the community is idealized.8255 We have argued earlier that, against the consensus of modern scholarship, the ancient view that the beloved disciple is indeed John son of Zebedee has strong support;8256 further, the third-person description cannot be weighed against it. Although participants in accounts often described themselves in the first person, they also often chose the third person, particularly if their identity was already known to their audience.8257 Of course, it was also not unusual to name the eyewitness who supplied one the information,8258 sometimes even with consistent reminders that the writer is conveying another's report.8259
It is more essential here to note that the beloved disciple also serves an idealized literary function. As Jesus resided in the Father's bosom (1:18), so the beloved disciple rested in Jesus' bosom (13:23);8260 yet, by implication, the same is true of believers (cf. 14:23; Luke 16:22). So also believers, like the «beloved» disciple (13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:20), were special objects of Jesus' affection (14:21; 15:9, 12; cf. 3:16; 11:5, 36), including in the immediate context (13:1,34). Other disciples such as Martha, Mary, and Lazarus also receive the same title of affection (11:5); rather than meaning «favorite» to the exclusion of others, it мая be the voice of one marveling that he is the object of such love (cf. Gal 2:20; 1Tim 1:12–16; 1 John 4:10–11). When Paul speaks of Christ loving him and dying for him (Gal 2:20; perhaps even showing him special mercy,l Cor 15:10), he invites reader identification. Noting that God loved Moses very much, some could designate Moses as God's «favorite»;8261 but in the context of the whole Fourth Gospel, the beloved disciple here probably does allude in some sense to Jesus' favor toward all his followers (as all of them function as a new Moses, 1:14; 14:8). One could even name onés child «beloved by God» without implying that such love was exclusive to the child (cf. the common compounding of Geo- and φιλ-roots with each other in antiquity).8262
Jesus apparently extends an offer of love even to Judas (13:26); in traditional Middle Eastern societies «it is a mark of special favour for the host to dip a piece of bread in the common sauce-dish and hand it to a guest.»8263 But what мая be more striking to those familiar with the Markan line of tradition is that Jesus does not identify the betrayer by the betrayer's choice but by his own. In the Synoptics, Judas stretches out his own hand «with» Jesus, perhaps indicating a deliberate violation of rank, hence rebellion (Mark 14:20).8264 Given how widespread the pre-Markan passion narrative that Mark used probably was (1Cor 11:23), this tradition was probably known to John's audience. Here, however, Jesus, rather than Judas, appears in full control of the betrayal (cf. 10:17–18),8265 just as in 1 John those who left the community were never really of it to begin with (1 John 2:19). It is possible that the beloved disciple did not understand the symbol (cf. 13:28), perhaps because Jesus would also offer the dipped bread to himself and others;8266 but if so, the narrative merely reinforces its portrait of the disciples' lack of comprehension, for it suggests that Jesus handed the sop to Judas immediately after speaking to the beloved disciple (13:26).
The mention of Satan (13:27) is significant. In contrast to the Synoptics,8267 John, who also omits Jesus' exorcisms, speaks only once of «Satan» (13:27) and three times of the «devil» (6:70; 8:44; 13:2).8268 The devil's role in this Gospel particularly surrounds the betrayal; Judas the betrayer was a «devil» (6:70), replacing Peter's function in the Markan tradition (Mark 8:33).8269 The writer of Revelation similarly associates «Satan» most frequently with persecution, both Roman and in the synagogues (Rev 2:9–10, 13; 3:9; 12:9–12; cf. 1Pet 5:8), though Johannine literature outside the Gospel also associates him with false teaching (Rev 2:24; cf. 1 John 4:3) and sin (1 John 3:8,10). The devil was a murderer (8:44), which is why his children wish to kill Jesus (8:40–11).
The devil had already put it into Judas's heart to betray Jesus (13:2), and once Judas prepares to execute his mission, Satan enters him to enable him to carry it out (13:27).8270 The entrance of spirits into individuals to empower them for a task, good or evil, was already familiar in the Mediterranean world.8271 More important, Satan's entrance into Judas contrasts starkly with the promise of God's Spirit entering the other disciples (14:20, 23).8272 Yet, as in the OT and general early Jewish perspective in which God is sovereign over the devil, Jesus here remains in control, so that the devil, like Judas, essentially (even if perhaps unwittingly) executes Jesus' will concerning the passion (13:26–27).8273
Despite probable traditions to the contrary (such as reclining, 13:23, 28; or bread dipped in a dish of bitter herbs, 13:26), in John's story world it is not yet Passover (13:1; 19:14). Thus Judas can be thought to be buying something for the feast (13:29), even though after sundown, once the Passover had begun, the bazaars would be closed.8274 Their other guess, that Judas was giving to the poor (13:29), is not incompatible with Passover. It was pious to share onés resources during a feast (e.g., Pentecost in Tob 2:2), and Passover was likely no exception.8275 That Judas had the money box (13:29; cf. 12:6) is not unlikely; Jesus and his disciples probably accepted support from others while traveling,8276 a particular disciple probably carried the money,8277 and it is not likely that the early Christians would have invented the treasurer being a thief. Yet Judas's role in carrying the money underlines his treachery by contrast with the group's trust. Their expectation that he was giving to the poor, consonant with that emphasis in the Jesus tradition (e.g., Matt 6:2–4, 19–24; Mark 10:21; Luke 12:33; 19:8; cf. 1 John 3:17), deepens the irony: Judas was stealing the money rightly allotted for the poor (12:5–6).8278
That it was «night» when Judas went out (13:30) probably reflects John's assumption of historical tradition about Jesus' betrayal (1Cor 11:23; Mark 14:17),8279 but John undoubtedly invests it with symbolic import (3:2; 9:4; 11:10; cf. Luke 22:53; Rev 21:25),8280 a symbolism emphasized at least as early as Origen.8281 Once Judas has gone out, Jesus reiterates that the time of his glorification has come; the betrayal sets the other events in motion.
2. The Passion Again Announced (13:31–33)
By linking the glory of Jesus' cross with the expectation that disciples love one another as Jesus loved them, John calls disciples to lay down their lives (13:31–35). He further warns that the cross мая prove more difficult than disciples мая suppose (13:36–38); but Christ's presence, made available at his coming after the resurrection (20:19–23), would empower disciples to follow him even to that extent (14:1–7). God will provide his nature and works for the disciples (14:8–12; cf. love and the commandments in 14:15), and full provision for what they must face as they carry on Jesus' work (14:13–27)–especially the Spirit (14:16–17, 25–26) and Jesus' presence available through obedience (14:18–24). (In this context, prayer and obedience are part of asking in Jesus' name, 14:13–16; and there appears to be an association between the Spirit's coming and peace, 14:1, 27; 16:33.)
The hour of Jesus' «glorification» (13:31–32) in this context can point only to the passion (12:23–24; cf. 7:39; 12:16);8282 1 7:1–5 further develops the thoughts of 13:31–32.8283 God had promised to glorify his own name (12:28), but his glory is inseparable from the glory of his Son (13:31–32; cf. 11:4,40; 12:41; 14:13; 17:1, 5, 22,24). The aorists of the context fit the perspective of completion from John's time, but also make sense within the story world; an aorist could depict an event immediately to follow, resembling the predictive language recognized by early Christians in some biblical prophets (e.g., Isa 53LXX, έτραυματίσθη).
God would be glorified in Jesus, hence would glorify Jesus, and would do so «immediately» (13:32). The mutual glory of Father and Son (cf. 17:10) makes sense; the Father delighted to grant the Son's requests because the Son always pleased the Father (8:29; 11:42). The «immediately,» however, appears less clear. In contrast to Mark, who uses ευθύς almost as decoration (41 of 58, or roughly 71 percent, of NT uses), John uses ευθύς only three times: 13:30, 32; 19:34. Thus it is possible that he intends «immediately» as a reference to 13:30, connecting Jesus' glorification with Judas's betraya1. Then again, the proximity of the two uses мая suggest no more than that the particular term was fresh on the writer's mind; it probably functions as a rough equivalent of «now» in 13:31, emphasizing the imminence of the events. Then again, it мая suggest a temporal connection between the glory of the Father and of the Son: once Jesus has glorified the Father by submitting to the cross, the Father will turn Jesus' death into a glorification of the Son by exalting him right away.8284
Jesus addresses his disciples as «children» in 13(cf. παιδία in 21:5), which figures in the Jesus tradition8285 as well as being a standard title for disciples in John's circle (1 John 2:1,12,28; 3:7,18; 4:4; 5:21; παίδια in 2:14,18). This title should not be thought to betray a confusion between the roles of Father and Son; apart from its application to Jesus, one would not even need to assume divine implications in Jesus being their implied «father» here.8286 Fictive kinship terminology based on active rather than genetic relationship was common (e.g., Phaedrus 3.15.18), and «father» was a title of great respect.8287 Ancients employed such fictive kinship terminology in an honorary manner, sometimes in direct address (e.g., 2 Kgs 5:13; 13:14; Diodorus Siculus 21.12.5); for example, they employed titles such as «father of the Jews» (2Macc 14:37), «fathers of the world» for the first-century schools of Hillel and Shammai (Gen. Rab. 12:14),8288 «father of his country» or of the state for the emperor,8289 «fathers» for Roman senators,8290 for triumphant generals,8291 for other societal leaders or benefactors,8292 for rescuers in battle (Polybius 6.39.6–7), and for older mentors.8293 «Father» could apply to any respected elders;8294 thus, for example, the honorary title «father of a synagogue.»8295 Age by itself was grounds for respect,8296 so from the earliest period younger persons could address older men respectfully as fathers,8297 and older men could address younger men as sons,8298 as could leaders their followers (e.g., Virgil Aen. 1.157). One could address even an older stranger as «father» (cf. 1Tim 5:1–2).8299
Of more immediate import to the present text, various texts apply father/son language to teachers and their disciples;8300 disciples were called «children» of their teachers,8301 and their teachers were their «fathers.»8302 Wisdom discourses, which employ the sort of rhetoric one would expect among the early sages, were often addressed to sons (even in Proverbs, following models of the Egyptian royal courts).8303 Relevant to Jesus' final discourse, such wisdom language often occurs in the testamentary genre and hence requires such language.8304 Because rabbis sometimes claimed greater respect than parents,8305 it is not surprising that some early sages used the paternal title «abba» in the same way that most came to use «rabbi.»8306 Thus Jesus' use of the title «children» for his disciples is more the language of a teacher and mentor than of a surrogate for the Father (cf. 16:27); the author of 1 John employs the same language (1 John 2:1, 12–13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4; 5:21; 3 John 4), and presumably elders in his community would do the same (1 John 2:13–14; 2 John 1,4,13).
Jesus would remain with them just «a little while» (13:33; cf. the first «little while» of 16:16); as he has been saying (cf. aorists, plus «now» in 13and perhaps «immediately» in 13:32), his departure is imminent. These are the same words he had offered the crowds in 7:33. Further, like «the Jews,» the disciples could not yet follow Jesus where he was going (13:33), that is, to the Father by way of the cross (13:3; 14:5–6). «The Jews» (representing the elite Jewish opponents of John's Jewish audience; see introduction, ch. 5) could not follow Jesus where he was going (7:34–36) because they would die in their sin rather than lay down their lives for God's will (8:21–22). The disciples could not yet follow Jesus because they are not yet prepared to die; but they would follow him in death later (13:36–38; cf. 21:18–19). Jesus had been «with» them for a time (12:8, 35; 14:9; 16:4); in contrast to his enemies, however, who would never find him, his disciples would find him in a new way when he returned–that is, he would be with them in a new way.
Sandwiched between Jesus' comments about following him is a commandment. This commandment is relevant to the context, for it includes readiness to die: to love as he did would require laying down their lives for one another (13:34). The foot washing (13:3–10) illustrated this love, because it foreshadowed the salvific work of the Suffering Servant (13:1–2, 31–38). The commandment also articulated how believers could represent the most vital aspect of Jesus' presence among themselves after his departure: by loving one another, they would continue to experience his love.
3. Following Jesus' Model (13:34–35)
The exhortation to «love one another» (13:34–35) implied unity in the face of diversity (17:21–23), such as Jewish, Gentile, and Samaritan believers in Jesus might experience (4:39; 10:16). Representatives of various social groups now constituted together a new «in-group,» and frequent early Christian exhortations to mutual service seem directed toward blending such diversity.8307 In the Johannine community, love is partly cohesiveness to the community; secessionists lack such love (1 John 2:19; 3:14).8308 Ethnic and other forms of reconciliation within the Christian community are essential to its identity as a Christian community; without such evidences the world cannot see the character of Jesus (13:35).
The following section will speak of believers keeping Jesus' commandments (14:15, 21; 15:10), as God's people had kept his commandments in the Torah. Jesus had obeyed the Father's command in all that he spoke (12:49) and in laying down his life (10:18; 14:31); disciples now would share this obedience (14:31: άγωμεν, plural subjunctive). But the only specific duty spelled out for believers as a «commandment» in this Gospel is the first (13:34) and last (15:12) in the section: loving one another as he had loved them.8309 Given the measure of comparison, this was sufficient love to cover every other obligation to fellow believers (cf. Rom 13:8–10; 1Pet 1:22)!
Love itself was hardly a new commandment (Lev 19:18), as the Johannine tradition itself recognized (1 John 2:7; 2 John 1:5);8310 Jewish tradition continued the emphasis on love of neighbor.8311 Still, loving onés neighbor as oneself was such a radical demand that biblical tradition might depict its actual occurrence only in the most intimate relationships (1Sam 18:1, 3; 20:17).8312 In fact, Jesus' commands to love God and one another in the Farewell Discourse (13:34–35; 14:15–16,21) echo the language of the essential substance of the law of Moses, as in Mark 12:29–34.8313
What is new here is the standard for this love: «as I have loved you» (13:34; cf. 1 John 2:8). By laying down his life for others, Jesus loved the disciples more than his own life (11:5; 13:1).8314 John's terms of personal comparison, particularly καθώς,8315 underline the force of the demand; it applies both to Jesus' relationship with his Father (5:23; 12:50) and to that of his disciples with himself (15:12; 17:14), the latter often modeled after Jesus' relationship with his Father (6:57; 10:15; 15:9–10; 17:18,21,23; 20:21). Ancient writers regularly invoked positive models that invited imitation (as well as warning against negative examples);8316 sometimes this included attention to examples of brave death.8317 Students often would imitate their teachers in various respects (as noted below on 13:35). In the context of the Fourth Gospel, however, it is more significant that biblical ethics had long involved imitation of God's own character (Lev 11:44–45; 19:2; 20:26; 21:8).8318 Now imitation of God includes imitation of Jesus the servant (13:14), specifically of his mortal self-sacrifice.
The centrality of this commandment as the one specifically given by Jesus in this context is also distinctively Christian. Other Jewish sources make love of neighbor a central teaching,8319 but other corpora of early Jewish sources do not speak with the same sort of consensus found in earliest Christian texts.8320 The Ten Commandments, for example, remained prominent in early Jewish exhortation,8321 but Jesus does not appeal to them here. Instead, he gives one commandment that will define his community.8322
John's report of Jesus' teaching here is distinctive among extant gospels not only in defining love according to Jesus' example and in its centrality, but in its community focus. Mark reports Jesus' teaching about loving everyone (Mark 12:31), a thesis adopted by early Christians in general (Rom 13:8–10; Gal 5:14);8323 the Q tradition also reports Jesus' teaching about loving enemies (Matt 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35). Some early Christian sources claim that Jesus applied love of neighbor cross-culturally (Luke 10:27–37), which makes sense of the broader context of Lev 19:188324 (Lev 19:34, regarding sojourners),8325 though the nearer context specifically emphasizes onés own people (Lev 19:15–18).8326 By contrast, John's tradition focuses on internal community cohesion, as do references to loving onés fellow as oneself in the Dead Sea Scrolls.8327
Nevertheless, it should be noted that John, while more focused, does not contradict here the Jesus tradition that we have in the Synoptics; his purely positive statement contrasts with the explicit Qumran exhortations to love members of the community but hate those outside.8328 Ancient writers were perfectly capable of exhorting members of a group to live in harmony with each other, without implying hostility toward outsiders.8329 The claim that John here is «violently» exclusionary,8330 while reflecting some historical uses of the Gospel, ignores the centrality of Jesus as model, who is nowhere violent (including after being struck, 18:23) but accepts rejection and death at others' hands. This worldview is that of a marginalized rather than a privileged community; even the harshness of the public discourses better represents the protest of a marginalized community against elite controllers of public discourse.
Like the Qumran community, John's outlook is sectarian and dualistic;8331 «the world» is arrayed against the community (15:18–25), demanding internal cohesion (15:12–17). But the comparison even here should not be overdrawn; it is highly unlikely that the Johannine community had withdrawn from the world physically (17:11, 15, 18, 21), certainly not into a wilderness enclave as the Qumran community had. As Painter notes, John in no way negates love for those outside the community: first, the stated purpose for loving one another is as a witness to the world (13:35); second, they are not said to hate unbelievers as at Qumran (as noted above); third, God's love for Jesus (17:23,26) and the world of humanity (3:16) should be active in disciples (17:26); fourth, the Father's love for Jesus (15:9) is the basis for his special love for disciples (15:12).8332
That the world would see the truth through disciples' love for one another (13:35) is significant. Just as Moses' signs of judgment become signs of mercy in John (2:11), so the signs of judgment through which the Gentiles might know God's identity (Exod 6:7; 7:5,17; 8:10, 22; 9:29; 10:2; 14:4,18) become such signs of mercy in John, and ultimately this sign of the way believers treat one another (13:35; 17:21–23). «By this» (èv τούτω) elsewhere in this discourse applies to revealing God to the world (15:8);8333 it is an essential part of witnesses' testimony to πάντες (13:35), humanity as in 1and the «world» as in 3:16.
To this point in the book, disciples have followed Jesus (2:12; 3:22; 11:7–16, 54; cf. 1:37; 18:15–16), believed in Jesus (2:11; cf. 4:27; 9:27–28), and done Jesus' work (4:2; 6:12; cf. 19:26–27); perseverance also is a criterion for true discipleship (8:31; cf. 2:17,22; 12:16), and some disciples, by failing to persevere, have failed the test (6:60–61, 66; 12:4; cf. 8:31; 18:2, 17, 25). But here the mark of discipleship is following their master's example (13:34–35); pupils imitated their teachers.8334 The misbehavior of a disciple might require other disciples to provide apologetic: it was the disciplés failure to imitate the teacher's ways that led to this misbehavior; such a practice could prove relevant for John's response to Judas's betrayal (13:11, 21).8335 The behavior of disciples also was held to reflect, positively or negatively, on the reputation of their teachers.8336 Fruitful branches would prove to be his disciples (15:8), and unfruitful ones be cast away from him (15:6); in context, the fruit involves the command to love (15:9–12). The presence of the Spirit (14:16, 26) continues Jesus' presence for the disciples, who by the fruit of that presence (15:4–5) continue Jesus' activity in the world, experiencing his love through one another, so revealing what Jesus is like. From the standpoint of Johannine theology, one cannot persevere as a true disciple of Jesus without learning to love other true disciples. Given the First Epistlés polemic against the secessionists, persevering in love includes remaining part of the community of faith (1 John 2:9–11; 3:10, 14; 4:20).
4. Devotion to the Death? (13:36–38)
Following Jesus (13:36) must involve following his example of loving self-sacrifice (13:33–35). Yet Peter changes the subject back to the question of where Jesus is going (13:36a), as will another disciple shortly thereafter (14:5). On the level of the story world, Peter мая prefer the discussion about Jesus' destination to contemplation of a difficult commandment (although the full intensity of «as I have loved you» would not yet be obvious to him).8337 On the level of John's literary artistry, however, the resumption of the theme of 13:31–33 allows John to frame the new commandment in the context of the passion; loving one another and following Jesus to the death are one and the same.8338
When Jesus tells Peter that Peter cannot «follow» Jesus at this point (13:36), he refers to death.8339 Earlier he told his enemies that they cannot go where he is going (7:34; 8:22); instead they will die «in sin» (8:21). Despite their initial misunderstanding (7:35), they recognize the second time that Jesus' going involves dying, yet not in sin (8:22). In this context, Jesus is going to the Father by way of the cross (13:3; 14:28; 16:5); disciples can come to the Father through him (14:4–6), but eventually following him will involve their sharing his cross, as he has already warned them (12:25–26). Peter will not follow Jesus now, but he will follow him in martyrdom later (21:18–19).
Like Jesus' enemies in 8:21–22, Peter does not fully understand Jesus, but does understand in some sense that where Jesus is going involves death. When he protests that he can follow now, because he is willing to die with Jesus (13:37), the reader will likely approach this brash promise in the light of prior statements of devotion, such as Thomas's willingness to follow to the death in 11:16. A true disciple, after all, must follow Jesus to the death (12:25–26), must persevere to the end (8:31). This is, however, precisely what Peter will fail to do (13:38)! If Peter's promise of courage reflects an epic tradition of heroism,8340 Peter becomes here an antihero, a foil for Jesus' true heroism. Ancient literature was replete with images of flatterers who merely pretended friendship,8341 and provides an occasional parallel with the notion that one might swear loyalty to the death yet betray one to death.8342 But such pretense is the domain of Judas alone in this narrative (13:2); like some other ancient protagonists who proved weaker in character than in rhetoric,8343 Peter has noble intentions but proves too weak to fulfill them (cf. Mark 14:38).
Interestingly, if Peter's two comments count as one exchange, then the disciples ask questions four times (13:36–37; 14:5, 8, 22), the number of questions one would expect from children (cf. 13:33) to the paterfamilias or host on the night of the Passover. If these traditional questions were secure and widely used in a Passover haggadah tradition by John's day–and this is by no means certain8344–readers accustomed to thinking of Jesus' final conversation with his disciples in the context of a Passover meal might take notice, even though for John the Passover begins the following day (18:28). Finding an exact correspondence between the disciples' questions and the specific four in the traditional Passover haggadah, however, is difficult. More generally, teachers often provided lectures in response to questions.8345
Jesus' announcement of Peter's betrayal is early tradition, attested in other contexts in Mark 14and Luke 22:31–34.8346 Especially based on the criteria of multiple attestation (in both Markan and Johannine tradition)8347 and embarrassment (probability is against early Christians inventing such a negative story about Peter),8348 the tradition of Peter's denials is very likely historica1.8349 The criterion of embarrassment is most telling here; because the loyalty of onés followers reflected positively on one (e.g., Josephus Life 84) and early Christian storytellers would seek to provide a positive moral example (ancient historians sought to elucidate edifying morals in their writings; see introduction, pp. 14–16,19, 46), the account's survival most likely testifies to its historical verity. Three denials might fit a storytelling pattern, particularly that of the pre-Markan passion narrative,8350 but even this detail is probably historica1.8351
More critical for understanding John's point, however, is how he employs this earlier tradition. In this context its emphasis becomes a warning to all disciples: following Jesus to the death, sometimes to avoid betraying onés fellow believers, is a necessary part of dis-cipleship when the circumstances present themselves; but it proves more difficult than a disciple might expect. Granted, Peter had devotion to Jesus; he simply did not have enough. The Fourth Gospel repeatedly emphasizes the need for a deeper level of faith (e.g., 2:23–25; 8:30–32); disciples should prepare for the future times of testing by deepening their devotion insofar as possible. But the narrative also qualifies the sayings: following to the cross is necessary (12:24–26), but those who fail yet return and persevere will remain disciples–and мая well be given another opportunity to demonstrate the depth of their faithfulness (21:15–17). The passage also provides Jesus a prophecy fulfilled in 18:25–27, thereby confirming for John's audience Jesus' role as a true prophet and guaranteeing the reliability of his other statements.8352
Scholars debate the exact time of the cockcrow (13:38; 18:27); some point to the 3 A.M. trumpet call, called the gallicinium, or «cockcrow,» of the Roman guard in the Fortress Antonia.8353 Various other periods for Palestinian cockcrow have been noted.8354 This is not, however, the most obvious allusion either for Galilean disciples or for Diaspora readers of the Gospe1. Most people were not sufficiently awake during the nocturnal crowings to notice them; the most common use of cockcrow in ancient texts was to herald the dawn or a period immediately preceding it.8355 In any case, Brown мая well be right in citing Cicero: «Is there any time, night or day, that cocks do not crow?»8356 The important point for the narrative is that, despite Peter's vehement protestations, his denial is quite imminent!
* * *
Jesus' «going» to the Father includes his death (e.g., Holwerda, Spirit, 17–24).
Noted by others, e.g., ibid., 18. Some source-critical theories have divided 13:1–20 into two independent earlier narratives (Georg Richter, summarized in Segovia, Relationships, 88), but this is unnecessary.
E.g., Oesterley, Liturgy, 158–59.
Brown, John, 2:550; Michaels, John, 231; ÓDay, «John,» 721; to display a virtue even to the point of death was viewed as praiseworthy (Valerius Maximus 4.5.6). The Targum (Tg. Yer. 1 and 2 on Deut 32) describes Moses' impending death similarly (Glasson, Moses, 74). Cf. the eschatological «last day» (6:39,40,44, 54; 8:24,48; 11:24; 12:48; cf. 7:37; 8:56).
Cf. Grayston, Epistles, 81–82, who thinks ludas мая represent the Johannine Epistles' dissidents.
Lightfoot, Gospel, 273.
All things in Jesus' «hands» in 13is significant; tradition said that all things were in God's hands (4Q266 frg. 18, co1. 5, lines 9–10; but for delegation, cf. Matt 11:27; Luke 10:22).
See Nicol, «Washing.»
Isaeus Estate of Pyrrus 13–14; Plutarch Alex. 38.1; cf. Isaeus Estate of Philoctemon 21.
E.g., t. Pesah. 10:4.
If the meal was gender-segregated, it is not likely the women would be doing much serving (in contrast to 12:2), since they would also be partaking somewhere.
Cary and Haarhoff, Life, 96; Dupont, Life, 98–99; Haenchen, John, 2:110; Anderson, Mark, 104 (the position was not limited to banquets; cf. Valerius Maximus 5.1.ext.lb). For reclining at banquets, see, e.g., Plato Rep. 2.372D; Xenophon Anab. 6.1.4; Seneca Ep. Luci1. 47.5; Martial Epigr. 3.30.1 (recumbis); Ps.-Callisthenes Alex. 2.14; Athenaeus Deipn. 1.18ab; Let. Aris. 181, 183; t. Ber. 4:20; Sipre Deut. 41.2.5; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 6:3; b. Ber. 37a, 42b-43a; Ecc1. Rab. 9:8, §1; this мая have pertained only to adult males (Xenophon Symp. 1.8, where a boy sits beside his father).
P. Ber. 6:6, §1, following t. Ber. 4:8.
Safrai, «Home,» 738. The common Passover bowl (cf. Stauffer, Jesus, 115) would be circulated.
Safrai, «Home,» 736–37.
The Greek custom also spread into Egypt in the Hellenistic period (Horsley, Documents, 1:9, §1).
Because reclining was the appropriate banquet posture for free persons in the Greek world, it proved especially appropriate for remembering the Passover (e.g., Daube, Pattern, 45; Lachs, Commentary, 406). The rabbinic form of Passover Seder reflects the Greco-Roman symposium (Levine, Hellenism, 119–24, debating whether its elements predate Yavneh).
Sitting was the customary posture in daily life (e.g., T. Ab. 3:5A), but reclining (following a broader Mediterranean custom–Plato Rep. 2.372D; Seneca Ep. Luci1. 47.5; Martial Epigr. 3.30.1; Athenaeus Deipn. 1.18ab; Let. Arts. 183) for special occasions and banquets (e.g., T. Ab. 4:1–2, 4A; Sipre Deut. 41.2.5; t. Ber. 4:20; b. Ber. 37a, 42b-43a), including Pesach (m. Pesah. 10:1; b. Hag. 14b; Pesah. 108a; Exod. Rab. 20:18; cf. Daube, Pattern, 45).
Ancient readers could similarly deconstruct the eastern Mediterranean's favorite work, Homer's Iliad, where, e.g., one could leap directly from Olympus (Il. 1.532; 4.78; cf. 5.885) or take a day to fall (I1. 1.592); where sweet sleep came on Zeus (il 1.610–611) but he alone could not sleep that night (I1. 2.2); or compare I1. 13.658 with 5.576; 13.365–366 with 3.124. Such variation appears permissible; cf., e.g., Cornelius Nepos 8 (Thrasybulus), 1.3, with Cornelius Nepos 7 (Alcibiades), passim, esp. 5.4; 6.3; 7.1; Plutarch Cimon 1.5–6.
Manson, Paul and John, 87.
With Ridderbos, John, 453–54, who notes a slave «at table» girding himself in Luke 12:37; 17(though the purpose of girding differs in John 13:4).
Bernard, John, 2:459. Thomas, Footwashing, 184, thinks that foot washing normally preceded the Lord's Supper in the Johannine community.
On the difference between the Johannine and Synoptic calendars, and the probable preference for the Synoptic, see Keener, Matthew, 622–23.
E.g., Levine, «Symbolism»; Smith, John (1999), 252.
See Nicol, «Washing.»
Hultgren, «Footwashing.» Hospitality with hands and feet could prove salvific (R. Jannai in Gen. Rab. 81:4, MSS).
So, e.g., Culpepper, " Hypodeigma"
Thus many commentators, including Hoskyns, Gospel, 376; Hunter, John, 105; Sanders, John, 306; Brown, John, 2:551; Fenton, John, 141, 142; pace Schnackenburg, John, 2:510, n. 108.
Dunn, Baptism, 188. One мая contrast interpretations in which the foot washing prefigures Christian baptism (Robinson, Studies, 166; cf. Sylvia Mary, Mysticism, 126–27; Moloney, «Reading»).
Weiss, «Foot Washing,» thinks John's community used foot washing to prepare for martyrdom.
Thomas, Footwashing, 126–85, argues that the Johannine community probably employed it as a religious rite. Early Christians retained it as part of baptism, and it persists among some German Pietists and some Anabaptists and Pentecostals today (Martin, «Footsteps,» 43), as well as in Catholic Holy Thursday rites (I owe this observation to Joseph Carey).
Thomas, Footwashing, 42–44 (citing Homer II. 16.235; Od. 22.454–480; Strabo Geog. 7.328; Fabius Pictor De jure sacerdotis 16; Pliny Nat. 24.102).
Thomas, Footwashing, 27–31.
Rohrbaugh, «City,» 135; cf. also Jeffers, World, 61.
Avi-Yonah, Hellenism, 124.
Carcopino, Life, 39–10. The saying in Lucian Demonax 4 also мая correlate unwashed feet with ignorance (hence perhaps with lower-class status).
The tradition that Jerusalem's streets were swept daily (b. Pesah. 7a) мая nostalgically exalt old Jerusalem (cf. tamer epideictic representations of cities such as Isocrates Panathenaicus; Panegyricus; Aelius Aristides Oration to Rome); Jerusalem is idealized as early as Utopian imagery in Let. Aris. 116 and, eschatologically, Tob 13:9–18; 5Q15 (see Licht, «Town Plan»).
E.g., Stambaugh and Balch, Environment, 107.
Pesiq. Rab. 23/24:2.
Aulus Gellius 1.9.8. On Greco-Roman foot washing for hygiene, see Thomas, Footwashing, 44–46; on Jewish foot washing for comfort, see 31–35.
Cf. b. Sabb. 39b, bar. On handwashing, see Keener, Matthew, 409.
E.g., a triclinium wall mural in Carcopino, Life, 274; Jos. Asen. 7:1.
Children in Hierocles Parents 4.25.53 (Malherbe, Exhortation, 92–93).
T. Ab. 3:7, 9A; 3:6–8B (Abraham to Michael).
Thomas, Footwashing, 35–40.
See Niemand, «Fusswaschung»; Hultgren, «Footwashing.»
Gen. Rab. 60:8. A donkey owner had to wash a donkey's feet (Epictetus Diatr. 1.19.5). Cf. Hierocles, p. 58.27–30 = Stobaeus Eel 4.25.53 (Van der Horst, «Hierocles,» 157).
Barrett, John, 440, cites Mek. Nez. 1 on Exod 21to argue that Jewish, unlike Gentile, slaves were exempted from such labor (also Beasley-Murray, John, 233); but cf. also comment on 1:27.
Homer Od. 19.344–348, 353–360, 376, 505.
Homer Od. 19.388–393; for compulsory servitude, e.g., Apollodorus Epitome 1.2.
See Thomas, Footwashing, 40–41. This мая have been limited by some to Gentile slaves only (see note 48).
See Thomas, Footwashing, 50–55.
E.g., Apollonius of Rhodes 1.363–364.
It was less common in Greco-Roman thought, though not absent even there (see Lincoln, Ephesians, 235, citing Josephus War 4.494; Epictetus Diatr. 1.9.10; 3.24.56; see esp. Good, King).
E.g., 'Abot R. Nat. 25A; see considerably more documentation in Keener, Matthew, 542–45, on Matt 23:7–11.
'Abot R. Nat. 27,§56B.
E.g., Sipra Sh. M.D. 99.5.6; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 26:6/7.
P. Ketub. 12:3, §6; Gen. Rab. 33:3.
Sipra Sh. M.D. 99.6.1
E.g., Arrian Alex. 7.5.4.
Xenophon Anab. 6.1.20–21.
E.g., Ahiqar 142–144, sayings 54–55; Ps.-Phoc. 220–222.
Sometimes praised by outsiders (Josephus War 2.150; Philo Good Person 87).
T. Sanh. 7:8; b. Hor. 13b, bar; p. Sanh. 1:2, §13; Tacan. 4:2, §§8–9. This widespread practice of rank probably also prevailed in first-century Pharisaic circles (e.g., Bowker, Pharisees, 35).
E.g., Plutarch T.T. 1.2.3, Mor. 616E; Xenophon Cyr. 8.4.3–5; Luke 14:7–11; p. Tacan. 4:2, §§9, 12; Ter. 8:7.
Apuleius Metam. 10.7; among the deities, see Homer II. 1.535; see further Garnsey and Sailer, Empire, 117, and sources cited there (including Suetonius Aug. 44). In Jewish sources, see Gen 43:33; t. Sanh. 8:1; p. Tacan. 4:2, §12; b. Hor. 13b, bar.
Apuleius Metam. 10.7; Valerius Maximus 4.5.ext.2; Plutarch Cicero 13.2; 1QS 2.19–23; lQSa 2.11–17; p. Ketub. 12:3, §6; Roš Haš. 2:6, §9; cf. m. 'Abot 5:15; on the order in speaking out, cf. 1Cor 14:29–30; Josephus War 2.132; 1QS 6.9–10.
Eickelman, Middle East, 234.
T. Sanh. 7:8.
E.g., Aeschines Timarchus 25; Xenophon Cyr. 8.7.10; Aristotle Po1. 2.7.5, 1272a; Diodorus Siculus 21.18.1; Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 8.15.1. Roman society also demanded giving way to onés elder (Cato Col1. dist. 10; Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 7.47.1).
Josephus Ag. Ap. 2.206; Anf. 3.47 (applied to the sages in Sipra Qed. pq. 18.104.22.168; p. cAbod. Zar. 3:1, §2; Hor. 3:5, §3; Lev. Rab. 11:8). Prominent local leaders tended to be those who were aged, as both literary texts (Josephus Life 266; Let. Arts. 32:39; Acts 14:23) and inscriptions (CI) 1:294, §378; 1:426, §581; 1:432, §595; 1:433, §597; 2:9, §739; 2:45, §790; 2:46, §792; 2:53, §801; 2:76–77, §828a; 2:77, §828b; 2:79, §829; 2:137, §931; cf. CI] hlxxxvi-lxxxvii) testify, as does the LXX (e.g., Josh 24:1; Judg 8:14, 16; 11:5–11; 21:16; Ruth 4:2–11; 2 Chr 34:29; Jer 26:17; Jdt 6:16; 7:23–24; 13:12; 1Macc 1:26; 7:33; 11:23; 12:35; 13:36; 14:20,28; 2Macc 13:13; 14:37).
Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 7.47.1; Aeschines Timarchus 23–24.
Lycurgus 14 in Plutarch S.S., Mor. 227F; Xenophon Mem. 2.3.16.
Appropriate etiquette for rising before elders is discussed in p. Bik. 3:3, §§4–6.
Cross, Library, 236.
E.g., b. cAbod. Zar. 20b; Sotah 4b-5a. Lincoln, Ephesians, 236, cites Qumran texts extolling gentleness or meekness (1QS 2.24; 3.8; 5.3, 25; 11.1).
Josephus Ant. 3.212. Cf. imperial propaganda, originally intended to preserve a veneer of Romés republic, in which the emperor was merely the princeps, the first among many.
Josephus Ant. 3.212. On his humility, cf., e.g., Sirat and Woog, «Maître.»
E.g., of Alexander (Arrian Alex. 1.17.12; Valerius Maximus 5.1.extla) or others (Appian R.H. 10.4.24; Cornelius Nepos 1 [Miltiades], 8.4; 8 [Thrasybulus], 2.6; Herodian 1.2.4; Valerius Maximus 5.1, passim). Though Achilles slays many suppliants, the gods require his mercy toward Priam near the Iliad's end (Homer II. 24.507–508, 665–670; though even here cf. his limits in 24.559–570).
One could praise a «meek» ruler, i.e., a «gentle» one (Babrius 102.3; Valerius Maximus 5.1.ext.la; Menander Rhetor 2.4, 389.8); see further Good, King, 47–49.
'Abot R. Nat. 15A; 29, §§60–62B. Rabbis also praised the humility of Simeon b. Shetah (p. Sanh. 6:6, §2) and others.
See Maher, «Humble.» On God's service, see also Bonsirven, Judaism, 13. God promised to exalt the humble (cf. Isa 2:11–12; 5:15–16; Ezek 21:26; Sir 11:5–6; b. 'Abot 6:4, bar.; 'Abot R. Nat. 11A; 22B; Matt 23:12; Xenophon Anab. 6.3.18).
E.g., Deut. Rab. 3:6.
Num. Rab. 9:20.
P. Tacan. 4:2, §8.
P. Tacan. 4:2, §9.
Dalman, Jesus-Jeshua, 117.
'Abot R. Nat. 38A; 41, §11 IB. Whoever exalted himself at the expense of another's humiliation would not inherit the coming world (an early Amora in Gen. Rab. 1:5).
Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 5.77.6.
B. Sotah 32b, bar. (R. Simeon b. Yohai; Soncino trans.)
P. Sotah 9:13, §2.
M. 'Abot 3(R. Ishmael).
B. Meg. 28a; Tacan. 20b.
E.g., p. Tacan. 4:1, §14.
'Abot R.Nat. 39A.
Sipre Deut. 38.1.4.
Buckwalter, «Saviour,» 121, citing Seneca Ep. 47.5–8,13–16; see also Pliny Ep. 2.6.3–4.
Cf., e.g., Demosthenes Against Leptines 132; Chariton 1.11.3. Freedpersons often gained wealth (Petronius Sat. 38; cf. Lopez Barja de Quiroga, «Mobility»), but advancement of rank normally occurred only with their children (MacMullen, Relations, 105; Finley, Economy, 72), and freedpersons retained responsibilities to former holders (ILS 7558, 7580; cf. Horsley, Documents, 4, §24, pp. 102–3; Dupont, Life, 65–66).
See, e.g., m. Hor. 3:8; Qidd. 4:1; Num. Rab. 6:1; cf. Jeremias, Jerusalem, 272.
See Derrett, «Domine.»
Homer Od. 19.386–389. Ancients sometimes used warm water to relax weary limbs (Pindar Nem. 4.4).
Brown, John, 2:551.
Jesus probably poured more water from a pitcher over the feet into the basin, as was practiced in traditional Mediterranean handwashing, sometimes by servants (Homer I1. 9.174; Od. 1.136–138, 146; 2.260–261; 3.338; 4.52–54, 216; 12.336; 21.270; Apollodorus 2.7.6; Athenaeus Deipn. 9.408CD; 2 Kgs 3:11).
Pesce and Destro, «Lavanda,» cite slaves washing guests' feet with a linen cloth (λέντιον, as in 13:4–5) in Aesop's Romance.
Some suggest that the image provides a deliberate contrast to the ancient image of a wrestling belt (Levine, «Symbolism»); a servant does not vie for power but relinquishes it. Beasley-Murray, John, 233, following Billerbeck 2:557, cites evidence for this as a slave posture (Abraham tying Hagar's shawl around her loins in Genesis Rabbah); more evidence, however, is necessary.
Neyrey, «Shame of Cross,» 117, citing Luke 17:7–8; Rev 4:10.
Brown, John, 2:551; Cary and Haarhoff, Life, 96; cf. Luke 7:38, 44.
Jonge, Jesus, 16.
Malina, Windows, 40; cf. Sipre Deut. 38.1.4.
The sages insisted that, to honor her, he must accommodate her desire (p. Péah 1:1, §8).
Haenchen, John, 2:107. One does expect the vocative address first, so it is its conjunction with «feet» at the end that makes these positions emphatic.
Michaels, John, 231. Also Whitacre, John, 329, who comments (with John Chrysostom Hom. Jo. 70.2) that Peter's response reveals love, yet «defective love...[that] lacks humility.»
Michaels, John, 231. Deities gave humanity a «portion» of themselves (μέρος, Epictetus Diatr. 1.12; cf. 1.12.26; Marcus Aurelius 4.14; 7.13). But such potential parallels are too distant from the point of this text for relevance.
Alexander, considered benevolent, was angrier with those who refused his gifts (so dishonoring him) than with those who asked for them (Plutarch Alex. 39.3); but mere benevolence is not humble service, as here.
Cf. Beattie, «Discipleship of Love,» who contrasts Mary in ch. 12 with Peter in ch. 13.
E.g., Haenchen, John, 2:107–8.
Suggit, «Nicodemus,» 91, finds in the plural a typifying of Peter for all disciples.
One might compare the «initial purification» for initiation into a mystery cult (e.g., Mylonas, Eleusis, 238), though this is especially καθαρμός (cf. Zuntz, Persephone, 307, for an early possible use of καθαρός for ritual purification). But the Jewish baptismal image would be nearer at hand (see comment on 1:25–26,31).
Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, 49; see also Kieffer, «L'arrière-fond juif»; idem, «Fottvagningens.» Bowman, Gospel, 271, less persuasively finds an allusion to priests' morning bathing.
On the former, see m. Yad. 1:1–2:4; b. Bek. 30b, bar.; Ber. 1 lb; 15a; 60b; Sib. Or. 3.591–594; Keener, Matthew, 409; for the feet as well, cf. Exod 40:31–32. Although «except the feet» is missing in X, it remains the more likely reading (Thomas, Footwashing, 19–25).
Thomas, Footwashing, 106; Whitacre, John, 330. On the historical level, a meal in a large upper room might be in the upper city and hence have ritual baths available (Stanton, Gospel Truth, 116; Avigad, Jerusalem, 139, 142).
Cf. also T. Job 3:7. Greeks also spoke of purifying (καθαίρων) the land from injustice and lawlessness (Heracles in Epictetus Diatr. 2.16.44).
Plato Sophist 227D (the Eleatic stranger, adapting ritual language, καθαρμός; cf. 230D); Epictetus Diatr. 4.1.112; 4.11.3, 5,8; Ench. 33.6, 8; Marcus Aurelius 3.12. For postmortem purgatory of the soul, cf., e.g., Virgil Aen. 6.735–742.
E.g., T.Reu. 4:8; 6:1.
Cf., e.g., Xenophon Cyr. 3.1.36,41, who repeats a statement using a synonym for servitude. Orators sometimes repeated themselves as a rhetorical technique, but Demetrius considered this unsuitable for written works (226, as cited in Anderson, Glossary, 77, s.v. μιμητι.κόν).
E.g., Rhet. ad Herenn. 4.28.38; Aulus Gellius 1.4; 2.5.1; cf. Robbins, «Plutarch and Gospels,» 146–55.
Gordon, East, 107.
See t. B. Mesica 2:30, where rabbis seek to define the matter more specifically.
The «articular nominative» (not an accusative) here functions as a vocative (Barrett, John, 443).
With Barrett, John, 443. «Teacher» could also be an exalted title, depending on who was taught («heaven and earth» in T.Ab. 11:3B). «Call» (13:13) could bear an exalted function (e.g., Acts 2:21; Gen. Rab. 39:16) but is not required by the term itself.
Cf.Fenton,/o/m, 143,citing 13:20; 14:12; 20:21,23. Culpepper, John, 206, regarding the language of 13:14–15, points to parallels for «exemplary» deaths (2Macc 6:27–28,31; 4 Macc 17:22–23; Sir 44:16); see our comment on 13:34.
Pesce and Destro, «Lavanda,» compare the inversion at the Saturnalia festival where masters temporarily served slaves.
Riesenfeld, Tradition, 13, also finds an echo of the saying of 13in Jas 1:25.
Cf. Epictetus Diatr. 1.2.36, who seeks not to be better than, but at least not worse than, Socrates.
Pesiq. Rab. 36:2, concerning God and the Messiah; Alexander's exhortations in Arrian Alex. 5.26.7; 7.10.1–2.
See, e.g., Dalman, Jesus-Jeshua, 229. Certainly the servant's role to obey the master was a commonplace (e.g., Aelius Aristides Defense of Oratory 128, §40D).
Sanders, John, 309, following Billerbeck, Kommentar, 2:557, claims that a disciple would even wash the master's feet.
Goodman, State, 78; t. B. Qam. 9(comparing rabbis to fathers and implicitly to slaveholders). Later texts also assume that rabbis held higher status than disciples and should never take a lesser position (e.g., Lev. Rab. 22:6).
R. Eliezer b. Hyrcanus in 'Abot R. Nat. 25A. Serving a teacher might prove more important than studying with him (Tannaitic tradition in b. Ber. 7b).
Gen. Rab. 100:10, albeit also noting that teaching Israel was serving Israel; Gen. Rab. 22Akiba with Nahum of Gimzo).
Davies, Sermon, 135. For the exaltation of sages in the broader culture, see, e.g., Tiede, Figure, 55 (citing especially Seneca On Providence 6.6; Ep. Luci1. 31.11; 41.1; 73.14–16; 115.3ff.)
The term μακάριος appears 40 times in the NT literature outside John and Rev, including 13 times in Matthew and 16 times in Luke-Acts, usually in sayings of Jesus.
The term μακάριος appears 66 times in the LXX, including 25 times in the Psalms (including 1:1; 2:12; 31:1–2 [32:1–2 MT]), 11 times in Sirach (14:1–2, 20; 25:8–9; 26:1; 28:19; 31:8; 34:15; 48:11; 50:28), and 4 times in Proverbs (3:13; 8:34; 20:7; 28:14).
Pss. So1. 4:23; 5:16; 6:1; 10:1; Jos. Asen. 16:14/7; 1 En. 99:10; 2 En. 42.6–14; 44:5; Sipra VDDeho. par. 22.214.171.124; b. Ber. 61b; Hag. 14b; Hor. 10b, bar.; cf. 4Q525 (see Brooke, «Beatitudes»; Viviano, «Beatitudes»; idem, «Qumran»; idem, «Publication»; de Roo, «4Q525»).
Hom. Hymn 25.4–5; Contest of Homer and Hesiod 322; Pindar Threnoi frg. 137 (in Clement of Alexandria Strom. 3.3.17, using όλβιος); Polybius 26.1.13; Babrius 103.20–21; Musonius Rufus frg. 35, p. 134; Philostratus Hrk. 4.11; Porphyry Marc. 16.276–277. For μακάριος in Stoic and Christian literature, see Vorster, «Blessedness.»
Demosthenes 3 Olynthiac 14; 2 Philippic 1; Diodorus Siculus 9.9.1; Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 7.33.3; 9.10.3; 9.47.4; 11.1.4; 11.58.3; Diogenes Laertius 6.2.64; Epictetus Diatr. 1.25.11; 2.9.13; Seneca Ep. Luci1. 20.2; Aulus Gellius 17.19; Herodian 1.2.4; Cornelius Nepos frg. 3.1; Josephus Ag. Ap. 2.169, 292.
Brown, John, 2:554, following observations about Near Eastern customs in Bishop, «Bread,» 332–32, and rejecting dependence on Gen 3LXX. Turning onés back мая have functioned as an insult (Jer 2:27; 18:17; 32:33). If Judas holds the position to Jesus' right here, as seems likely, his heel would literally be far from Jesus.
Some models of treachery (cf. Homer I1. 10.383,446–459) мая have been understood favorably (though Odysseus offered no oath). Even betrayal of friendship occurred in the hostile world of Roman partisan politics (e.g., in Stowers, Letter Writing, 63).
E.g., Lysias Or. 6.23, §105; 8.5–6, §112; Chariton 5.6.2 (φίλος); Cornelius Nepos 14 (Datâmes), 6.3; 11.5; Sir 22:21–22; T. Jud. 23:3; cf. Derrett, Audience, 69. This remained true even if onés life were at stake (Babrius 138.7–8); refusing to betray a friend or husband was honorable (Athenaeus Deipn. 15.965F, item 25; Seneca Controv. 2.5.intro.). Treachery and betrayal warranted death (Valerius Maximus 9.6).
Cicero Rose. Amer. 40.116.
E.g., Appian R.H. 6.8.43; 6.9.52; 6.10.60.
Cf., e.g., disgust for traitors against their peoples in Xenophon Hel1. 1.7.22; Cicero Fin. 3.9.32; Virgil Aen. 6.621; Livy 1.11.6–7; 5.27.6–10 (though cf. Livy 4.61.8–10); Valerius Maximus 1.1.13; Seneca Controv. 7.7.intro.; such behavior invited the hatred of even onés family (Livy 2.5.7–8; Cornelius Nepos 4 [Pausanias], 5.3). Loyalty to country might take precedence even over hospitality friendship (Xenophon Hel1. 4.1.34; Cornelius Nepos 13 [Timotheus], 4.4), but disloyalty to friends remained despicable (e.g., Rhet. Alex. 36, 1442.13–14).
Xenophon Cyr. 8.2.2–3.
Xenophon Cyr. 8.7.14.
Euripides Cyc1. 125. See more detailed comment on John 4:40.
E.g., Lysias Or. 12.14, §121; 18.10, §150; Plutarch Cor. 10.3; Cicero Fam. 13.19.1; 13.25.1; 13.36.1; Cornelius Nepos 5 (Cimon), 3.3; Exod. Rab. 28:1. This was true even over several generations (Homer I1. 6.212–231; Cicero Fam. 13.34.1) and could require the guest-friend to avenge his host (Philostratus Hrk. 46.2–3). Still, though it could be inherited, it could shift along with political interests (Marshall, Enmity, 18–21, 39–42).
E.g., Plutarch Cicero 26.1.
E.g., Homer I1. 21.76; Od. 4.534–535; 11.414–420; 14.404–495; Hesiod Op. 327; Euripides Cyc1. 126–128; Hec. 25–26,710–720,850–856; Apollonius of Rhodes 3.377–380; Ovid Metam. 1.144; 10.225–228; Livy 25.16.6. This principle included providing protection from other enemies (Ovid Metam. 5.44–45; Cornelius Nepos 2 [Themistocles], 8.3).
Homer Od. 21.26–28; Livy 39.51.12. Nevertheless, some warned that too much trust even of friends could prove dangerous (Hesiod Op. 370–372).
Aeschines False Embassy 22, 55. For a guest to act unkindly was deceptive treachery (Catullus 64.176).
Euripides Herac1. 1034–1036 (even by descendents in subsequent generations!); Cicero Pis. 34.83; betrayal by seeking the host's wife, Ovid Her. 17.3–4. On kindness due a host, see Cicero Verr. 126.96.36.199.
Betrayed trust reflected badly only on the betrayer, however, if the betrayed had taken appropriate precautions (Polybius 8.36.4).
Menken, «Translation,» contends for John's free translation from the Hebrew, with slight influence from 2Sam 18:28.
Thus, though rabbis applied the passage to Ahithophel's betrayal of David, a specifically messianic use is only one possible use (cf. Brown, John, 2:554–55, who sees the absolute use of «I am» in 13:19).
Sanders, Jesus and Judaism, 309, thinks the betrayal involved ludas's revealing the secret of Jesus' royal claim. The Gospels are clear, however, that he revealed Jesus' whereabouts to hand him over secretly.
Meeks, Prophet-King, 46.
This is John's absolute use (Brown, John, 2:554–55).
Stauffer, Jesus, 116. For skepticism that any of the Pesach Haggadah predates 70, however, see Stemberger, «Pesachhaggada.»
See DeSilva, Honor, 138.
Cf., e.g., Epictetus Diatr. 2.5.2; 4.8.27; Diogenes Laertius 10.85; 10.144.17; see comment on 11:33.
Against Ferraro, «Pneuma,» πνεύμα here refers to Jesus' spirit (cf. «soul» in 12:27), not to the activity of the Holy Spirit.
On the Gethsemane scene, see, e.g., Keener, Matthew, 633–40, and sources cited there.
Josephus Life 223.
T. Sank 7:9.
Haenchen, John, 2:110. One might also lay onés head on another's bosom, which in that culture, far more tactile than our own, had no necessary sexual connotations (Diogenes Laertius 1.84; cf. the seating in Plato Symp. 222E-223A; Malina, World, 22–23).
Malina and Rohrbaugh, John, 220. A genuine triclinium would be downstairs, not in the upper room depicted in Mark's tradition (Mark 14:15; might any of John's audience assume this setting here?); but one might still emulate the banquet practices as much as possible.
Jeffers, World, 39–40; see further our comments on «setting» at 13.T-2.
Whitacre, John, 335.
Haenchen, John, 2:110, following Billerbeck; Malina and Rohrbaugh, John, 220; Whitacre, John, 335 (citing t. Ber. 5:5).
Xenophon Cyr. 8.4.3.
Brown, John, 2:574; Whitacre, John, 335. Jesus' two closest associates would normally be on either side [b. Ber. 46b; Blomberg, Reliability, 192–93).
Fritsch, Community, 123, following K. G. Kuhn; Malina and Rohrbaugh, John, 226. Others suggest that John simply emphasizes the beloved disciplés paradigmatic discipleship function against Peter's pastoral one (cf. Hartin, «Peter»).
Charlesworth, Disciple, 257, suggesting thereby an allusion to Benjamin.
Cicero Div. Caec. 12.37; Brutus 93.321–322; in rhetoric, cf. Demosthenes On the Embassy 174; Anderson, Glossary, 110–11 and ύπεξαίρεσι,ς («removal» of another's claims), p. 121.
E.g., Cicero Verr. 188.8.131.52; Phi1. 3.6.15; Rhet. Alex. 3, 1426a.27–32; Valerius Maximus 5.2; sometimes using oneself, e.g., Cicero Pis. 22.51; also noted by Marshall, Enmity, 52–55, 348–53. On comparing characters, see Theon Progymn. 10.3–4; cf. Aphthonius 42.31R comment on the Spirit as «successor» in John 14:16.
Explicit in Menander Rhetor 2.1–2, 376.31–377.2; 2.3, 378.18–26; 2.3, 380.30–31; 2.6, 402.26–29; 2.6, 403.26–32; 2.6, 404.5–8 (402–404 concern praise of bride and groom); 2.10, 417.5–17; Philostratus Hrk. 27.4; 37.2; 38.1. One could even contrast a single writer's best and worst passages (Dionysius of Halicarnassus Thucyd. 35, end). For synkrisisin biography, see Shuler, Genre, 50; Stanton, New People, 77–80, 83.
E.g., Philostratus Hrk. 13.3–4; 27.4. Some philosophers did wish to minimize competition among friends, while conceding that in practice this might be possible only toward social superiors Iamblichus V.P. 22.101; 33.230).
Cicero Brutus 11.42.
Plutarch Comparison of Aristides with Marcus Cato 1.1.
E.g., Plutarch Comparison of Aristides with Marcus Cato 5.1, 3–4; 6.1. Plutarch Comparison of Alcibiades and Coriohnus could still include contrasts (e.g., 3.1; cf. likewise Comparison of Lysander and Sulla 5.5), and Plutarch also told distinctive stories about each (in Plutarch Alc. passim, and Cor. passim). After his respective biographies of Aristides and Marcus Cato, he provides Comparison of Aristides with Marcus Cato; likewise, Comparison of Lucullus and Cimon; and so forth.
Plutarch Cimon 3.1–3; Plutarch claimed that he sometimes merely observed similarities that God had created (Plutarch Demosthenes 3.2). Historical comparisons predate Plutarch as a technique of Greek historiography (e.g., Polybius 10.2.8–13).
Cf. Hengel, Mark, 52, who argues that the comparison exalts the guarantor of the Johannine tradition over «the guarantor of the Markan-Synoptic tradition.» For Mark's dependence on Peter, see Hengel, «Problems,» 238–43; for possible qualified egalitarian sentiments also in Petrine tradition, see, e.g., 1Pet 5:1–6.
See Tilborg, Love, 77–81,85–86, for evidence, though it appears more limited than he claims.
Ibid., 81 (contrasting even Alcibiades, where Socrates, in exemplary manner, does not become aroused–Plato Symp. 217–218); Tilborg, Ephesus, 149.
Michaels, John, xvii.
Brown, Community, 31–32.
Ibid., 33–34, noting especially the competition between this disciple and Peter against the notion that the disciple was among the Twelve. Yet who but one of the Twelve could be laid most effectively against Peter?
Ibid., 89. Note also the view that the Johannine «school,» while respecting the author's anonymity, wove reports about the beloved disciple into the narrative to honor him (Michaels, John, xxi-xxii). Bruns, «Ananda,» improbably seeks to derive John's role from that of Gotamás disciple in Indian Buddhism.
See our introduction, pp. 81–139.
So, e.g., Thucydides 1.1.1; 2.103.2; 5.26.1; Xenophon Anab. 2.5.41; 3.1.4–6; and passim; Caesar Gal1. W. 1.7; 2.1; 3.28; 4.13; 5.9; 6.4; 7.17; and passim (despite occasional phrases such as «our» in 2.9; cf. John 1:14); C.W. 1.1 and passim; Polybius 31.23.1–31.24.12; 38.19.1; 38.21.1; 38.22.3.
E.g., Xenophon Apo1. 2; Mem. 4.8.4 (Hermogenes in both cases); Demosthenes Ep. 5 (to Heracleodorus), §1; Seneca Ep. Luci1. 47.1; 1Cor 1(but not always, e.g., Diogenes Ep. 20).
So, e.g., Xenophon Apo1. 10,14, 27.
Also Culpepper, School, 266. Westcott, John, 194, contrasts «bosom» as «the full fold of the robe» (13:23) with «breast,» Jesus' «actual body,» after John leans back.
L.A.B. 19:16. Thus texts also spoke, e.g., of a «favorite» maid (Chariton 1.4.1, πρό πάντων φίλην; cf. Jos. Asen. 2:6/11; 10:4/6).
E.g„ Musonius Rufus 11, p. 80.26 (title); Let. Aris. 49; î. Eph. 1944; CPJ 1.xix; CIJ l:lxvii.
Hunter, John, 137; for Jesus seeking to win Judas back, see Whitacre, John, 335 (citing John Chrysostom Hom. Jo. 72.2). By contrast, Stauffer, Jesus, 116, connects the bitter herbs in which the bread was dipped with a curse (citing Deut 29:18–19), thereby prefiguring Judas's betraya1. The charosheth, «or sauce in which the herbs, bread and meat were dipped,» мая be a Passover meal allusion from the tradition (Mark 14:20; Watkins, John, 307).
If we read «with me» temporally, on the analogy of the Essene custom of dipping by rank 11QS 6.4–5; lQSa [lQ28a] 2.20–21; Josephus War 2.130–131), as do Fensham, «Hand»; Albright and Mann, Matthew, 321; but this reading does not explain well why the disciples did not recognize the betrayer (Mark 14:19).
Others also contrast the respective emphasis, in the Markan and Johannine portraits, of the passion (e.g., Boring et a1., Commentary, 151, comparing Philostratus Vit. Apol1. 7.14).
Edersheim, Life, 566.
Matthew mentions «Satan» three times, Mark five (in four contexts), and Luke five times. The devil appears six times (in three contexts) in Matthew and five times (in two contexts) in Luke.
Various titles of the devil were synonymous (on the term, see, e.g., Bruce, Acts: Greek, 132; Elgvin, «Devil»). Thus «Satan» is Sammael or Beliar (e.g., Ascen. Isa. 2:2).
Peter's confession appears in both contexts (Mark 8:29; John 6:69).
The image of Satan's inspiration or filling an agent's heart appears in Acts 5:3; T. Job 41:5/7; cf. the late Apoc. Sedr. 5:4–5; Boring et a1., Commentary, 296, cite T. Sim. 2:7, where the prince of error moves Satan against Joseph.
Homer I1. 17.210–211; Philostratus Hrk. 27.2.
With Duke, Irony, 99.
Cf. also Fenton, John, 146.
Reicke, Era, 182.
Jeremias, Eucharistie Words, 54, though m, Pesah. 9:11, his primary text, is ambiguous.
Cf., e.g., Sanders, Figure, 108.
E.g., Pesiq. Rah. 25:2. A common purse was one sign of organization as a group (Livy 39.18.9).
With Michaels, John, 237. One who was trusted could excuse oneself and then go elsewhere than where onés companions assumed, especially at night (Xenophon Eph. 3.10; cf. Iamblichus V.P. 2.11).
The Passover meal was after nightfall (m. Pesah. 10:1; t. Pisha 5:2; 10:9; b. Ber. 9a; Pesah. 107b; cf. Lachs, Commentary, 405).
With Bultmann, John, 482–83; Schnackenburg, John, 3:32; Lee, Thought, 35. Night symbolized evil in other sources as well (e.g., 4Q299 frg. 5, lines 1–4; cf. Aeschylus Eumenides 745).
Wiles, Gospel, 23.
With, e.g., Käsemann, Testament, 19; Caird, «Glory,» 269; Dunn, Baptism, 173–74.
See Schnackenburg, John, 3:167. Thus «now» in 13may involve Judas's departure (Holwerda, Spirit, 13), but only because it foreshadows the cross (17:5; cf. «now» in 12:27; 13:1).
Thus Barrett, John, 450–51, reads the announcement as Jesus' sharing the Father's pre-creation glory (17:5), in contrast with those who expect this glory only eschatologically.
In the cognate form τέκνον (Mark 10:24; sing, in Mark 2:5; perhaps Luke 15:31; 16:25; cf. Heb 2:13); cf. also «daughter» (Mark 5:34); Paul also uses τέκνα for believers (Gal 4:19; cf. sing, τέκνον for a disciple in 1Tim 1:18; 2Tim 2:1). Only Johannine literature in the NT employs the vocative of τεκνίον (this vocative never appears in the LXX as opposed to that of τέκνον, forty-eight times), but the diminutive had lost most of its force by this period, hence the difference between τέκνον and τεκνίον is insubstantia1.
Nor is it necessarily demeaning to them, though such a comparison could be so used (Aristophanes Clouds 821, where the diminutive retains its force).
E.g., Homer Il. 24.507; Virgil Aen. 8.115; 9.735; 11.184, 904; 12.697. Greco-Roman society employed an analog)' between benefactors and fathers (Stevenson, «Benefactor»).
Ovid Tristia 4.4.13; Fasti 2.130–132, 637; Herodian 2.2.9; 2.6.2; or simply «parent» or «father» (Ovid Ex Ponto 4.9.134); so also for other kings (the fictitious Ethiopian king in Heliodorus Aeth. 10.17).
Plutarch R.Q. 58, Mor. 278D; Lucan C.W. 3.109; Cornelius Nepos 23 (Hannibal), 12.2; Cicero Cat. 1.4.9; 1.2.4; 1.11.27; 1.12.29; 1.13.31–32; 2.6.12; 4.1.1, 2; 4.2.3, 4; 4.3.6; 4.5.9; 4.6.11; 4.8.16, 18; Prov. cons. 1.1; 2.3; 4.8; 5.11; 8.18; 9.23; 10.25; 12.30; 13.32; 16.38,39; Pis. 20.46; 22.52; 24.56; 33.81; Pro Marcello 1.1,2; 5.13; Phi1. 1.1.1; 1.3.7; 1.4.11; Fam. 10.35.1, 2; Invective against Sallustius Crispus 1.1, 2, 3; 2.5; 4.12; 5.14; 6.16; 8.22; Silius Italicus 1.610, 675; Valerius Maximus 1.5.1; 2.2.1a; 2.7.ext.l; 2.8.4; 3.8.1; 4.1.4; 4.1.6b; 4.4.10; 4.5.1; 5.2.1; 5.8.3; 5.9.3; 6.1.10; 6.2.1; 6.6.3; 8.13.4; 8.15.1; Livy 1.8.7; 1.26.5; 2.1.10–11; 2.23.14; 2.24.2; 2.27.3; 2.32.12; 2.34.12; 2.35.3; 2.41.4; 2.48.8; 2.60.3; 3.13.7; 3.16.1; 3.21.1, 3, 4; 3.51.11; 3.52.6; 3.63.8; 4.1.4; 4.2.13; 4.60.1, 3; Sallust Cati1. 6.6; 31.7; 51.1,4, 7,12,15,37,41; 52.2.7, 35; Jug. 14.1,3,12,13,18, 25; 24.2; Speech of Philippus 1,17; Letter of Gnaeus Pompeius 1, 6; Letter to Caesar 11.1; Invective against Marcus Tullius 1.
Silius Italicus 7.734–735; 8.2; 17.651.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 12.1.8; Pausanias 8.48.5–6; 8.51.7; Cicero in Plutarch Cicero 23.3; for Romés founding elders (Ovid Fasti 5.71); honorary title «father of the Greeks» (Philostratus Vit. soph. 2.27.617); a kind master (Xenophon Cyr. 8.1.44) ); an ideal ruler (Musonius Rufus 8, p. 64.14, claiming that this imitates Zeus's role). Cf., for leaders in the Mithraic cult, Burkert, Cults, 42.
Homer Il. 9.607, employing a different term; Od. 1.308.
CIJ l:xcv-xcvi; 1:66, §93; 1:250–51, §319; 1:360, §494; 1:372, §§508–509; 1:373, §510; 1:393, §533; 1:397, §535; 1:398, §537; 1:462, §645; 1:463, §646; 1:505, §694; 1:520, §720; 2:9, §739. The title was probably usually «purely an honorary one, probably involving no active duties» (Leon, Jews, 186).
E.g., 1Pet. 5:5; t. Meg. 3:24; cAbod. Zar. 1:19; 4 Bar. 5:20; Ps.-Phoc. 220–222; Syr. Men. 11–14, 76–93 (but cf. 170–172); Homer II. 1.259; 23.616–623; Aulus Gellius 2.15; Diodorus Siculus 1.1.4; 2.58.6; Pythagoras in Diogenes Laertius 8.1.22–23.
E.g., 1Tim 5:1–2; Homer I1. 9.607 (different term); Od. 21.369 (a servant, addressed as άττα); P.Paris 47.1 (an elder brother, ca. 152 B.C.E.); Plutarch Cicero 45.1 (young Octavian to Cicero).
E.g., Homer Il. 24.373; Od. 1.308; 4 Bar. 5:28; cf. Homer Od. 7.22.
E.g., Homer I1. 24.362, 371; Od. 7.28,48; 8.145,408; 17.553; 18.122; 20.199.
Among philosophers, cf. Epicurus (Culpepper, School, 107, cites Lucretius Nat. 3.9); Epictetus Diatr. 3.22.82; Nock, Christianity, 30.
E.g., Porphyry Marc. 1.6–8; Eunapius Lives 486, 493; 1Cor 4:14–15; 1Tim 1:2; Phlm 10; 3 John 4; 4 Bar. 7:24; Sipre Deut. 34.3.1–3, 5; 305.3.4; b. Pesah. 112a; Sabb. 25b; 31a (Hillel); Pesiq. Rab. 21(Moses to Israel); 51:1. Other texts make analogues between fathers and teachers (e.g., t. B. Oam. 9:11). Some have suggested the same analogy for mystagogues and mystery initiates (Lohse, Colossians, 200).
E.g., Philostratus Vit. soph. 1.490; 1.25.536, 537; Iamblichus V.P. 35.250; 2 Kgs 2:12; 4 Bar. 2:4, 6, 8; 5:5; t. Sanh. 7:9; Matt 23:9; cf. Gen. Rab. 12(Simeon b. Yohai of the sages of Beth Hillel and Shammai); for Christian usage from the second to fifth centuries, see Hall, Scripture, 50.
E.g., Ahiqar 96 (saying 14A); Sir 2:1; Did. 5.2; 1 John 2:1; cf. Babrius pro1.2; Babrius 18.15. This included astronomical and other revelatory wisdom (1 En. 79[esp. MS B]; 81:5; 82:1–2; 83:1; 85:2; 91:3–4; 92:1).
E.g., Jub. 21:21; Tob 4:3,4, 5,12; 1Macc 2:50, 64; 1 En. 92:1; T. Job 1:6; 5:1; 6:1; T. Jud. 17:1; T. Reu. 1:3; T. Naph. 4:1; Pesiq. Rab. 21:6.
E.g., m. B. Mesía 2:11; Ker. 6:9; Sipre Deut. 32.5.12; p. Hag. 2:1, §10; among Gentiles, Theon Progymn. 3. 93–97.
Cf. Sandmel, Judaism, 106; Manson, Sayings, 232.
Malina, Windows, 55. One мая compare the frequent topic of unity in Greek speeches (e.g., Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 7.53.1; Livy 24.22.17). Some characterized loving one another (φιλάλληλους) as more naturally a rural phenomenon that could include sharing resources (Alciphron Farmers 29 [Comarchides to Euchaetes], 3.73, par. 2).
Though Segovia, Relationships, 179, is correct that the Gospel, unlike 1 John, is involved in polemic with the synagogue rather than «intra-church.»
«Commandment(s)» appears frequently in the Johannine Epistles (1 John 2:3–4, 7–8; 3:22–24; 4:21; 5:2–3; 2 John 4–6; cf. also Rev 12:17; 14:12); the commandment specifically concerns love (1 John 3:23; 4:21) and accurate faith (1 John 3:23).
It was new in the sense of realized eschatology (1 John 2:8). The Johannine Epistles мая employ «from the beginning» meaning «from the beginning of the gospel tradition,» however (1 John 2:24; 3:11; 2 John 6), perhaps as a double entendre with the beginning of creation (1 John 1:1; 2:13–14; 3:8).
See, e.g., Söding, «Feindeshass»; Neudecker, «Neighbor.»
A Greek proverb also regarded a friend as a second self (Diodorus Siculus 17.37.6; cf. Cicero Fam. 13.1.5; Fin. 1.20.70; Seneca Ep. Luci1. 95.63). Bultmann, Word, 115–16, following Kierkegaard, emphasizes that such love ultimately overpowers self-love.
Lacomara, «Deuteronomy,» 75. John consolidates love for God and neighbor in 15:10–17 (see Grayston, Epistles, 67).
Hoskyns, Gospel, 451. Segovia, Relationships, 124–25, rightly notes that love is christo-logically conditioned in 13:34–35 and 15:1–17, but probably reads too much into the situation when he finds antidocetic polemic here.
Cf. also ομοίως in 5and ώσπερ in 5:21.
E.g., Aeschines False Embassy 75; Lysias Or. 2.61, §196; Theophrastus Char, proem 3; Cicero Sesf. 48.102; 68.143; see also examples in our introduction concerning the moral functions of biographical genre; Kurz, «Models,» 176–85 on narrative models in antiquity (especially history and biography, pp. 177–83).
Lacomara, «Deuteronomy,» 76–77, citing texts about «walking» in God's «ways» (Deut 8:6; 10:12; 11:22; 19:9; 26:17; 28:9; 30:16). For the imitation of God, see further Cicero Tusc. 5.25.70; Seneca Dia1. 1.1.5; Epictetus Diatr. 2.14.12–13; Heraclitus Ep. 5; Plutarch Borr. 7, Mor. 830B; Let. Aris. 188, 190, 192, 208–210, 254, 281; Philo Creation 139; Eph 5:1; T. Ash. 4:3; Met Sir. 3.43–44; Sipra Qed. par. 184.108.40.206; Sent. Sext. 44–45; Keener, Matthew, 205; Rutenber, «Imitation,» chs. 2–3.
E.g., tradition attributed to R. Akiba (e.g., Sipra Qed. pq. 220.127.116.11; Gen. Rab. 24:7); cf. the emphasis on love of neighbor in m. ^Abot 1:12, attributed to Hillel; Jub. 36:4,8.
E.g., among the great diversity of views among early Jewish teachers, many felt that honoring parents was the greatest commandment (Let. Aris. 228; Josephus Ag. Ap. 2.206; Ps.-Phoc. 8; Moore, Judaism, 2:132); by contrast, early Christians were more united around a single primary teacher and his views. See Keener, Matthew, 530–31; cf. 248–49.
Deut 5:1–27 appears in Qumran phylacteries and мая have appeared on other early Jewish phylacteries before the second century (Vermes, «Worship»).
Cf 4 Ezra 3:7: God gave Adam one commandment, through the violation of which Adam incurred death.
Probably the direct source for most Jewish teachings on love of neighbor (Barrett, John, 452).
Cf. Hillel's exhortation to love humanity in m. 'Abot 1:12; others in T. Iss. 7(text B); cf. rabbinic examples in Dutheil, «Aimeras.» Despite the ethnic perspective of Jubilees, love of neighbors appears to cross ethnic lines at least among nations descended from Abraham in Jub. 20:2; 36:4. Boer, Morality, 62–72, argues (against some) that Greek sources reveal little evidence of universal love of neighbor.
One Tannaitic tradition мая harmonize these emphases: love him if he acts like your people ('Abot R. Nat. 16 A).
E.g., CD 6.20–21 (though also advising help of strangers); cf. 1QS 8.4, 13; 9.21–22. Boismard, «Epistle,» 159, also notes this characteristic of community cohesion in Josephus (Josephus War2.119) and Philo (in Eusebius Praep. ev. 8.11.2).
Flusser, Judaism, 27–28, contrasting the Scrolls and early Christianity. Flusser (p. 483) sees the Essene doctrine as a reaction against the trend toward love of humanity attested in later rabbinic sources.
Cf., e.g., Menander Rhetor 2.3,384.23–25, which advocates both internal community cohesion and like treatment of strangers.
Kelber, «Metaphysics,» 152–53. His claim that the Gospel is anti-Jewish is addressed in our introduction, ch. 5, under «The Jews,» pp. 214–28.
See Flusser, Judaism, 198.
Painter, John, 94.
Less relevant are 9:30; 16:30; this is a matter of Johannine style, though often significant (fourteen times in 1 John, including 1 John 2:3–5; 3:10,16; 4:2,9–10); in 1 John it is often a criterion by which believers мая test themselves (1 John 2:3, 5; 3:19, 24; 4:13, 17; 5:2; cf. 3:10).
Xenophon Mem. 1.2.3; Quintilian 1.2.26; Philostratus Vit. Apol1. 5.21; Josephus Life 11; Kirschner, «Imitatio»; for an extreme example, see Seneca Controv. 9.3.12–13. Rabbis' behavior might even function as legal precedent (t. Piska 2:15–16; Sipre Deut. 221.1.1; p. B. Mesfa 2:11, §1; Nid. 1:4, §2; Sanh. 7:2, §4; Yebam. 4:11, §8), and in an entertaining illustration one later rabbi hid under his master's bed to learn from his private ways (b. Ber. 62a).
Cf. Aelius Aristides Defense of Oratory 336, §11 ID; especially Alcibiades' behavior, which differed from Socrates (Xenophon Apo1. 19; Mem. 1.2.12–18,26; Plutarch Alc. 7.3). Not all disciples prove to be true disciples (John 8:30–31).
E.g., Aeschines Timarchus 171–173; t. 'Ed. 3:4; 'Abot R. Nat. 27 A; 34, §76B; Mark 2:18, 24; perhaps Acts 4:13; Alciphron Courtesans 7 (Thaïs to Euthydemus), 1.34, par. 6–7.
Cf. Barrett, John, 453.
Digressions were a frequent literary device (Sallust Cati1. 5.9–13.5; Livy 9.17.1–9.19.17, though he apologizes for it in 9.17.1; Arrian Ind. 6.1; Cornelius Nepos 16 (Pelopidas), 3.1; Josephus Ag. Ap. 1.57; Life 336–367).
This is true also in T. Ah. 7:12; 8:2, 12; 15:10, 13; 19:4A, but there context qualifies rather than redefines the sense of άκολουθέω. Perhaps more relevant is the use of the philosophical martyr tradition (particularly epitomized in Socrates) as a moralist model in Greco-Roman sources (Tiede, Figure, 56).
Cf. Job's courageous promise in T. Job 4:2/3 (followed by warning of the cost and, in 5:1, reaffirmation, followed by success); but T. Job 4:2/3 мая echo the language of Israel's failed promise in Exod 19:8.
See documentation under comment on John 7:4.
See Lucian Downward Journey 11.
Lucan C.W. 2.517–518 claimed that noble Romans preferred an honorable death to surrender, but when tested, Lucan himself vainly betrayed others, including his own mother, to try to save himself from Nero.
Finkelstein, «Documents,» 8–18, argues for roots in the Hasmonean period, though thinking (p. 17) that the current practice stems from much closer to 70 C.E. than 175 B.C.E. His arguments, unfortunately, do not seem strong.
See, e.g., Musonius Rufus 3, p. 38.25–26; 4, p. 42.34–35; 16, p. 101.20–21 ; 17, p. 106.20–21. A teacher might also lecture in response to a comment: 14 p. 90.24–25; 14, p. 96.4.
Dewey, «Curse,» 106.
See Brown, Death, 611–13.
See ibid., 615.
See more fully ibid., 614–21.
See the discussion ibid., 11–12; Brown also acknowledges that basic historical fact could be retold in an imaginative manner (pp. 620–21).
See the discussion ibid., 613–14.
E.g., Mounce, Matthew, 259.
See the summary of views in Brown, Death, 607.
E.g., Alciphron Courtesans 13 (courtesan to lady friend), frg. 6, par. 18; Farmers! (Iophon to Eraston), 3.10, par. 1, 3; [Virgil] Moretum 1–2; Babrius 124.12–18; Apuleius Metam. 2.26; Heliodorus Aeth. 1.18; Philostratus Vit. soph. 2.11.591; Polybius 12.26.1; 3Macc 5:23; b. Ber. 60b; p. Ki1. 9:3, §3; Pesah. 10:6; cf. p. Ber. 9:1, §17 (God gave cocks wisdom when to crow). In particular, Mark's «second» cockcrow мая refer to dawn, as in various other texts (Heliodorus Aeth. 5.3; Brown, Death, 137, cites Aristophanes Ecclesiazusae 30–31, 390–391; Juvenal Sat. 9.107–108; Ammianus Mar_ cellinus Res gestae 22.14.4).
Brown, Death, 607, citing Cicero Div. 2.26.56. Babrius 124.16–18 indicates that the cock signals other times in addition to dawn.