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Original Research

Jesus, Judas en ’n stukkie brood. Die betekenis van ’n gebaar in Johannes 13:26

DF Tolmie

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 28, No 2 (2007), 662-681. doi: 10.4102/ve.v28i2.126

Submitted: 18 September 2007
Published:  17 November 2007


In the Gospel according to John, Jesus identifies Judas as the traitor in a highly dramatic fashion  by handing him a morsel. Although Johannine scholars do not often comment on this gesture, in cases where they do, one finds a surprisingly wide range of interpretations, for example, it is interpreted as a gesture denoting Judas as an outsider, a gesture of friendship, a gesture indicating baptism or the eucharist, even a gesture indicating that Judas shares eucharist with the Satan. In this article the interpretation of this gesture is considered. After a discussion of the characterisation of Judas in the Gospel according to John, the gesture itself is considered. Its possible background in antiquity is discussed, which is then followed by an interpretation of the gesture as a gesture of friendship. It is also suggested that the gesture could also be viewed as (another) example of Johannine irony.

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Author affiliations

DF Tolmie, Universiteit van die Vrystaat, South Africa


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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