They were afraid (Jn 9:22-9:22)

“The parents of

The blind man

Said this,

Because they were afraid

Of the Jews.

The Jews

Had already agreed

That anyone

Who confessed Jesus

To be the Messiah,

Christ,

Would be put out

Of the synagogue.”

ταῦτα εἶπαν οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ ὅτι ἐφοβοῦντο τοὺς Ἰουδαίους· ἤδη γὰρ συνετέθειντο οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἵνα ἐάν τις αὐτὸν ὁμολογήσῃ Χριστόν, ἀποσυνάγωγος γένηται.

John uniquely indicated that the parents (οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ) of this cured blind man had said this (ταῦτα εἶπαν) because they were afraid (ὅτι ἐφοβοῦντο) of the Jews (τοὺς Ἰουδαίους).  This Jewish group (οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι) had already agreed (ἤδη γὰρ συνετέθειντο) that anyone who confessed publicly (ἵνα ἐάν τις αὐτὸν ὁμολογήσῃ) that Jesus was the Messiah, or the Christ (Χριστόν), would be put out of the synagogue (ἀποσυνάγωγος γένηται) or expelled from the group.  John was the only Greek biblical writer who used this word ἀποσυνάγωγος that means expelled from the congregation, or expelled from the synagogue, or excommunicated.  John had Jesus use this word later in chapters 12:42 and 16:2, when he foretold what was going to happen to his followers.  There is a little bit of a problem here since the synagogues were not that firmly established.  However, by the late first century, there was a greater separation between the Jews and the newly forming Christian communities, so that these followers of Jesus might be ones ostracized from their Jewish community roots.  Do you know anyone who has been excommunicated?

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