Original Research

Intertekstualiteit en oorinterpretasie: Verwysings na Genesis 28:12 in Johannes 1:51?

Jan van der Watt
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 3 | a2114 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i3.2114 | © 2016 Jan van der Watt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 March 2016 | Published: 31 October 2016

About the author(s)

Jan van der Watt, New Testament Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands and Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstoorm Campus, South Africa


Intertextuality and over-interpretation: References to Genesis 28:12 in John 1:51? The aim of this article is to illustrate the dangers of over-interpretation when dealing with intertextual relations between texts, especially when allusion is assumed. Interpretations of the allusion to Genesis 28:12 in John 1:51 of the angels ascending and descending on Jacob are used as illustration of the measure of over-interpretation that is prevalent in current academic discussions, especially related to John. A close reading of John 1:51 is first made in order to establish the confines of the text. A brief survey of different interpretations of John 1:51 in light of Genesis 28:12 follows to illustrate how themes like the ladder, Jacob or Bethel that are not mentioned in 1:51, are introduced in expositions of the text. Such interpretations are shown to be problematic and indeed over-interpretations of what John 1:51 wants to communicate. Some practical methodological suggestions are then made.


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