Many leaders believed in Jesus (Jn 12:42-12:42)


Many of the authorities

Believed in Jesus.

But because of the Pharisees,

They did not

Confess it publicly.

They thought

That they would be

Put out

Of the synagogue.”

ὅμως μέντοι καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων πολλοὶ ἐπίστευσαν εἰς αὐτόν, ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς Φαρισαίους οὐχ ὡμολόγουν, ἵνα μὴ ἀποσυνάγωγοι γένωνται·

Then John uniquely indicated that many of the Jewish authorities (ὅμως μέντοι καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων πολλοὶ) believed in Jesus (ἐπίστευσαν εἰς αὐτόν).  However, because of the Pharisees (ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς Φαρισαίους), they did not confess it or publicly declare it (οὐχ ὡμολόγουν).  They thought that they would be put out of the synagogue (ἵνα μὴ ἀποσυνάγωγοι γένωνται).  John was the only Greek biblical writer who used this word ἀποσυνάγωγοι that means expelled from the congregation or the synagogue, or excommunicated.  At least some or many of the Jerusalem Jewish leaders believed in Jesus.  However, the Pharisees did not run the synagogues, since the chief priests and the Levites were the ones who organized worship services.  As mentioned in 9:22, John seems to indicate that the Pharisees had more control than they had.  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 have been ostracized from their Jewish community roots.  That might be what John was referring to here.  Do you know anyone who has been excommunicated from a Christian community?

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