Jesus Caesar : a Roman reading of John 18:28 - 19:22

Hunt, Laura J. (2017) Jesus Caesar : a Roman reading of John 18:28 - 19:22. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Hunt, L. J. (2017) Jesus Caesar.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License CC-BY-NC-ND Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (6MB) | Preview


Latin use in inscriptions shows evidence of intersections between Roman and Greek languages and culture during the first century CE. Although the provenance for the Gospel of John is not definitively determined, this evidence is present in each proposed location as well as in the text of the Gospel itself (e.g., πραιτώριον in 18:28, 33 and 19:9). This suggests, based on Umberto Eco’s semiotics, that the Roman cultural encyclopaedia could shed light on the Gospel of John, particularly in the Roman trial narrative for a Roman-aware audience. Some words in particular intersect with important Roman concepts: πραιτώριον, βασιλεύς, υἱὸς θεοῦ and ἐξουσία. The phrase Ἰδοὺ ὁ ἄνθρωπος in John 19:5, when analysed from a Roman perspective, seems sufficiently close to hic vir, hic est from Vergil’s Aeneid (6.791) to mark it as a literary allusion. An exegetical analysis of John 18:28—19:22, the passages most imprinted with Latin words and Roman concepts, reveals a Roman Pilate who tests the loyalty of both Jesus and ‘the Jews’ to Caesar. This exegesis, furthermore, provides the data for a social-scientific reading of the passage which constructs a superordinate identity for Romans (and, although outside the main focus of this thesis, for Jews as well). It also conveys a hidden transcript that creates honour for the marginalized Jesus-believers and calls those with power to become vulnerable for the sake of God’s empire. Although others have looked at empire in the Gospel of John, and some have made connections between specific verses and the Roman cultural encyclopaedia (e.g., 19:2), no one has noted the literary allusion in 19:5 nor offered an in-depth and sustained Roman reading of the trial narrative

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bible. John. Criticism and Interpretation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Users 10 not found.
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 08:49
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 08:49

Administrator Actions (login required)

Edit Item - Repository Staff Only Edit Item - Repository Staff Only