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The Betrayal of the Unreliable Narrator: Deconstruction, Dualism, and the “Other Disciple” of John 18:15–16


In: Biblical Interpretation
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One of the most troubling aspects of the Gospel of John is its tendency to create rigid dualisms between insiders and outsiders. This article uses the technique of deconstruction to undermine John’s characterization of the ultimate outsider: Judas. John inadvertently gives the reader the freedom to identify the anonymous figure of the other disciple who lets Peter into the high priest’s courtyard as Judas. Such identification leads to a deconstructive reading of the Gospel of John in which dualism collapses. With its ambiguities and aporias, the Gospel of John allows for the redemption of Judas when read deconstructively. The instability John’s dualism calls into question the validity of any strict binary that labels people as insiders or outsiders.


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