Jesus as temple in the Gospel of John : an intertextual study of Zechariah
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The Gospel of John alludes to a few key verses in Zechariah which pertain to the Temple. These are (1) Zechariah 6:11-13, which states the Messiah would “build the Temple,” (2) Zechariah 14:20-21, no ‘Canaanites’ will be in the Temple, (3) Zechariah 14:8, water will flow from the Temple and (4) Zechariah 13:1, water will flow from the House of David. These traces of Zecharian influence are soaked into the book, and are evident in texts such as John 2:1-22, 7:37-39, 19:34-37, and 20:7-9. The most notable of these, to be detailed herein, is located within John 2, which involves both the Temple-Cleansing (2:13-22) and the Story of Cana (2:1-11). And, other parts of Zechariah have influenced this Johannine temple-theme.
Authors such as Adam Kubiś, William Randolph Bynum, and J.J. Martinus Menken have already made progress in their contemporary research of these biblical accounts. Others, als 1 o, have formulated a number of insights pertaining to Johannine intertextuality, such Alicia Meyers and Bruce G. Schuchard’s Abiding Words: The Use of Scriptures in the Gospel of John. But, this treatise will expand upon their progress as it relates to Zechariah specifically and propose that certain facets of the Fourth Gospel rely upon sustained reference to Zechariah, particularly in regards to the Temple theme.
By the end of this paper, on both historical terms and in light of its literary context, I will show how Zechariah has been integrated into the Johannine text typologically, as a counter-narrative against both the synagogue community and the Zealots, each of whom rejected the claim ‘Jesus as Temple’ in favor of their own ‘literal’ theology which developed from their own circles of theological interpretation.
The mode used here to demonstrate such claims will be the method of intertextuality, which seeks to observe the literary nature of a text and dependent text.3 As I will further demonstrate, Zechariah 3:1-10, 6:11-13, 14:20-21, and 13:1/14:8 are most important to the Johannine conception. These passages and more borrowed from Zechariah are fundamental to the ‘Jesus as Temple’ theology developed in the Gospel of John. And the intertextual method of exegesis is both powerful and efficient to uncover them.