Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Nicodemus occurs for the first time in the Gospel of John (3) as an “old” (γέρων) “teacher” (διδάσκαλος), coming from the Pharisaic party and intending to have a dialogue with Jesus (Christ, Jesus, 01: Survey) by night. The reference to his leading function as an ἄρχων (“leader”) of the Jews, that is, a lay member of the Sanhedrin, presupposes that he was aristocratic and wealthy. Thus, several attempts have been undertaken so far to link Nicodemus of John 3 to a historical person of the …

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Despotis, Athanasios, “Nicodemus”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 05 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2022

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