Studia Antiqua


Jackson Abhau


Gospel of John, Johannine, Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, Narrative, Allusions, Symbolism, Lamb of God, Scapegoat, Ego Eimi, Expiation, High Priest, Intercession, Jesus


The presence of Jewish themes and allusions in the Gospel of John has received much scholarly attention in recent decades. This study follows this trend, exploring several possible connections between the Day of Atonement and the Johannine narrative. In this paper, I argue that these connections—which include John the Baptist’s identification of Jesus with the Lamb of God, echoes of the scapegoat ritual, high-priest-like prayers, and the repeated use of the phrase egō eimi—were deliberately incorporated into the narrative by the author of John as pointed allusions to the Day of Atonement. For the original audience, as well as today’s careful reader, these echoes reinforce the Evangelist’s purpose in writing—namely, convincing his audience to believe “that Jesus is the Messiah” (John 20:31)—by demonstrating Jesus’s role in the expiation of his community’s sin.



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