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Signs

Signs

Excerpt
Although John also recognizes the problems inherent in signs and in the demand for signs (2:18234:486:21430), he nonetheless calls miracles σημεῖα because through them Jesus manifests his glory and reveals his mission as the Son of God (2:1120:30f.). Whereas the Baptist performs no signs (10:41), many great signs charactize Jesus’ activity (3:27:319:1611:4712:37); the appearances of the resurrected Jesus are to be understood similarly (20:30). The Johannine miracles point beyond themselves to the eschatological Savior (6:147:3112:18) and provoke faith in him (2:11234:539:3511:47f.; 20:30f.). But this faith can remain superficial and egocentric (4:486:1430) or can be rejected (12:3739); and signs cannot always defeat the conviction that Jesus is a deceiver (11:47f., following Deut 13:1–4); thus what the sign signifies is overlooked, namely, that the miracle is a work of God, whose “arm” becomes effective through Christ (12:37f., quoting Isa 53:1; cf. 5:20369:3f.; 17:4). Apart from the passages that interpret the signs, the confirming power of the signs in John is amplified by characteristics of each, the purpose of which is to eclipse the classical examples of the miracles of Moses, Elijah, and Elisha (cf. 2:1–114:46–545:1–7 with 1 Kings 172 Kings 5John 6:9 with 2 Kgs 4:42f., John 6:31 with Exod 16:413–15). The (interrupted) enumeration of signs begun in John 2:114:54 recalls the first two miracles of Moses (Exod 4:8) and Elijah (1 Kings 17). Viewed from this perspective these signs concur with the Johannine theology,… More
Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical dictionary of the New Testament 1990– : 240. Print.
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