The Baptismal Raising of Lazarus

A New Interpretation of John 11

In: Novum Testamentum
Bernhard LangUniversität Paderborn, Germany

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Though well hidden, the theme of baptism informs the whole story of the raising of Lazarus (John 11). The note about Jesus’ sojourn at the very place where John the Baptist had previously been active (John 10:40-42) forms the introduction to the Lazarus story. Just as a musical clef dictates pitch, this passage announces the theme: baptism. Once readers are set on this track, they cannot miss the hidden point. Ritually, the person being baptised is pushed into the realm of death, so that he can emerge to a new life.

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