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Jesus final words to his disciples (Jn 15:4, 12) lie at the heart of the Farewell Discourse and are situated within two models of the type of relationship these commands will produce: firstly the model drawn from nature, the vine (vv. 1, 5), and then the model of Jesus' own relationship with God (v. 9). But while the language suggests intimacy, the use of the term 'true' in the emphatic position (egō eimi hē ampelos hē alēthinē) suggests a comparison be made between Jesus, the 'true' vine, and a vine that is 'not true.' Rather than intimacy was there discord within the community? Is the passage 15:1-17 engaged in a polemic with some who may be turning to 'another' vine? In this essay I will examine the image of the vine, attempting to establish its possible historical context.


School of Theology

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access