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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Nicodemus

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NICODEMUS. A Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin ( John 3:1; John 7:50 ), elderly ( John 3:4 ) and evidently well-to-do ( John 19:39 ). He is mentioned only in the Fourth Gospel, and there he figures thrice. (1) At the outset of His ministry Jesus went up to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of the Passover, and His miracles made a deep impression on Nicodemus, half persuading him that He was the Messiah; insomuch that he interviewed Him secretly under cover of the darkness ( John 3:1-21 ). He began by raising the question of the miracles, which, he allowed, proved Jesus at the least a God-commissioned teacher; but Jesus interrupted him and set him face to face with the urgent and personal matter of regeneration. Nicodemus went away bewildered, but a seed had been planted in his soul. (2) During the third year of His ministry, Jesus went up to the Feast of Tabernacles (October). The rulers were now His avowed enemies, and they convened a meeting of the Sanhedrin to devise measures against Him ( John 7:45-52 ). Nicodemus was present, and, a disciple at heart but afraid to avow his faith, he merely raised a point of order: ‘Doth our law judge a man, except it first hear himself and know what he doeth?’ (RV [Note: Revised Version.] ). (3) At the meeting of the Sanhedrin which condemned Jesus to death Nicodemus made no protest; probably he absented himself. But after the Crucifixion, ashamed of his cowardice, he at last avowed himself and joined with Joseph of Arimathæa in giving the Lord’s body a kingly burial ( John 19:39 ).

David Smith.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Nicodemus'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/n/nicodemus.html. 1909.

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