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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There is wide divergence of opinion among scholars on this topic. Judgments range from the view that there are no references to sacraments to the view that there are such references in almost every chapter. This chapter focuses on the two passages that have most often been seen as references to the sacraments: 3:5 and 6:52–58. On 3:5 the conclusion is that the phrase “from water and Spirit” is adequately explained as a reference to new birth from the Spirit. On 6:52–58 the conclusion is that language drawn from the Eucharist is used, but in order to refer to participation in the life of the crucified Christ by faith, not specifically to the Eucharist. In both cases, the church’s use of these texts with reference to the sacraments is appropriate so long as it takes account of the wider soteriological significance that is the primary meaning of the texts.

Keywords: Gospel of John, sacraments, baptism, Eucharist, symbolism

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