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Joseph of ArimatheaA Study in Reception History$
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William John Lyons

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695911

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695911.001.0001

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(p.158) Conclusion
Joseph of Arimathea

William John Lyons

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the complex themes now associated with Joseph of Arimathea, along with the myriad strands of the tradition grouped together under two broad headings: Joseph as an active man, looking at examples of his bravery, his wealth and influence, his masculinity, his sanctification, and his dominance over others; and Joseph as a passive man, looking at examples of his guilt, his fear, his secretiveness, his malleability, and his submissiveness to those who have appropriated him. Such a variety of developments of the minimalist Gospel accounts of Joseph into the grand figures of later tradition showcase the many available mechanisms by which multiple interpretations may become clustered around a biblical figure with any degree of depth, a process of growth which no amount of forethought by the Evangelists could have forestalled, and which no amount of effort by biblical scholars will ever be able to control.

Keywords:   Joseph of Arimathea, active man, passive man, Gospels

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