Nicodemus (Jn 19:39-19:39)

“Nicodemus,

Who had at first come

To Jesus by night,

Also came.

He brought a mixture

Of myrrh

And aloes,

Weighing

About a hundred pounds.”

ἦλθεν δὲ καὶ Νικόδημος, ὁ ἐλθὼν πρὸς αὐτὸν νυκτὸς τὸ πρῶτον, φέρων μίγμα σμύρνης καὶ ἀλόης ὡς λίτρας ἑκατόν.

John uniquely indicated that Nicodemus (δὲ καὶ Νικόδημος), who had at first come to Jesus by night (ὁ ἐλθὼν πρὸς αὐτὸν νυκτὸς τὸ πρῶτον), also came (ἦλθεν) with Joseph.  He brought (φέρων) a mixture (μίγμα) of myrrh (σμύρνης) and aloes (καὶ ἀλόης), weighing about a hundred litras or pounds (ὡς λίτρας ἑκατόν).  This myrrh was the same word as used by Matthew, chapter 2:11. in the Magi story at the birth of Jesus.  John used three words here that were not found in any other canonical gospels, μίγμα meaning a mixture, ἀλόης meaning aloes, the powdered fragrant aloe wood, and λίτρας, meaning a Roman pound of about twelve ounces.  This Nicodemus must have been a very strong man.  This is the same Nicodemus who showed up in chapter 3:1, as an individual man who was a Pharisees (Ἦν δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων).  This Pharisee was named Nicodemus (Νικόδημος ὄνομα αὐτῷ).  Nicodemus was probably a leader (ἄρχων τῶν Ἰουδαίων) of the Jewish Sanhedrin or council, but his exact role is not specified, other than as a Jewish leader.  This Nicodemus appeared three times in the Gospel of John, in chapter 3, later in the Jerusalem Sanhedrin, chapter 7:50-51, and finally here at the burial of Jesus with Joseph of Arimathea.  However, he was never mentioned in any of the other synoptic canonical gospels.  Could this be Nicodemus ben Gurion, a wealthy Jewish leader who was opposed to the Jewish rebel Zealots in the first century CE?  What do you think of Nicodemus?

26 thoughts on “Nicodemus (Jn 19:39-19:39)

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