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dc.description.abstractThe Gospel of John, the most versatile yet challenging of the four Gospels was presumably written at the end of the first century. The disciples who knew Jesus personally and experienced post resurrection faith gathered round the group of Jews and Gentiles who were fascinated by this simple man from Nazareth who spent his life showing God’s love for mankind since ‘no one knows the Father as the Son’ The divinity of Jesus became more and more accepted as the number of Christians grew. The early Church was made up of domestic Churches who met each week to hear the first hand accounts by the first disciples and to break bread in memory of Jesus. Oral tradition formed, pruned and personalised these accounts in order to make them more accessible to the listeners who treasured them for posterity. When the Parousia did not occur within the lifetime of the first disciples, Christians realised that they should keep a written record of the traditions, teachings and sayings of Jesus as they had heard them from those who knew Jesus in his lifetime. The main source of the Gospel of John, according to Raymond Brown is the Beloved Disciple. Scholars agree with that. This nearly total agreement presents a problems as regards the identity of the Beloved Disciple. What we know of this person suggests that he was a cultured man well versed in Greek. He is familiar with Jewish customs which indicates that he belonged to a hierarchal group of Jewish Intelligentia. We do not know why he was singled out by Jesus as a special trustworthy friend but we know that he was the only male disciple present at the foot of the cross and that Jesus entrusted his own mother to his care. This suggests that this man was wealthy and that he presumably lived very near Jerusalem. The Theology as well as the high Christology of John’s Gospel indicate that the primary source refined his teaching about Jesus and relied on his own experience of the Lord. He stated that what was related to the evangelist (presumably John the Elder of AsiaMinor) was ‘written that you may all believe’. The Beloved Disciple wants to attest to his own convictions as well as convince the readers of all times that Jesus is the Messiah, Lord of Life and History. His own conversion was based on a particular personal experience which made him proclaim Jesus to both Jews and Gentiles. For the purpose of this essay, I am going to assume that the Beloved Disciple is Lazarus. The story of the Raising of Lazarus is the climax of John’s Semeia. It is the extraordinary episode of someone’s journey from death to life. When Jesus spoke of Himself as the Resurrection and the Life, he mentioned resurrection first because the believer first has to be raised to the Light of Christ which guides him throughout life. The symbolism in John’s makes the story of Lazarus a multi layered experience. The tomb is a symbol of death or the ordeal of turning away from God. If one answers the call of Jesus ‘ Lazarus come out’, one avails oneself of the opportunity to come out into the Light and live as a beloved disciple who reclines on the bosom of the Lord as a sign of intimate friendship with God and the Community. I believe that the silence of Lazarus throughout the second half of John is substantiated by his diffidence. After his revivication, Lazarus must have perceived that Jesus is Lord of life and nature. When the Beloved disciple entered the tomb followed by Peter on Easter morning, he believed, he believed that Jesus was with the Father and with the community of disciples who believed in him. Life for the Beloved Disciple (Lazarus, in this case) centred round witnessing Jesus with his life. His own life was of no consequence as long as Jesus was proclaimed up till the ends of the world. “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds” (Jn12, 24).en_GB
dc.subjectLazarus, of Bethany, Sainten_GB
dc.subjectBible. John -- Commentariesen_GB
dc.subjectRaising of Lazarus (Miracle)en_GB
dc.titleThe raising of Lazarus : a journey from death to lifeen_GB
dc.rights.holderThe copyright of this work belongs to the author(s)/publisher. The rights of this work are as defined by the appropriate Copyright Legislation or as modified by any successive legislation. Users may access this work and can make use of the information contained in accordance with the Copyright Legislation provided that the author must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the prior permission of the copyright holder.en_GB
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Maltaen_GB
dc.publisher.departmentFaculty of Theologyen_GB
dc.contributor.creatorAttard, Rita Josephine-
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacThe - 2012

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