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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature

Nicodemus

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Nicode´mus, a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrim, who was impressed by what he had heard concerning Jesus; but being unwilling, on account of his station, to commit himself without greater surety than he possessed, repaired by night to the house in which Christ dwelt, and held with him that important discourse which occupies John 3. The effect which was then produced upon his mind may be collected from the fact that subsequently, at one of the sittings of the venerable body to which he belonged, he ventured to let fall a few words in favor of Jesus, whose proceedings were then in question (); and that he took part with his colleague, Joseph of Arimathea, in rendering the last honors to the body of the crucified Redeemer (). Nothing further is known of Nicodemus from Scripture. Tradition, however, adds that after he had thus openly declared himself a follower of Jesus, and had been baptized by Peter, he was displaced from his office, and expelled from Jerusalem (Phot. Cod. p. 171). It is added that he found refuge in a country house of his cousin Gamaliel, and remained there till his death. Too strong an appreciation of the world's good opinion seems to have been the failing of Nicodemus. We do not lay much stress upon what he ventured to say in the Sanhedrim; for he suffered himself to be easily put down, and did not come forward with any bold avowal of his belief. Winer calls attention to the fact, that although he took part in the sepulchral rites of Jesus, he did not join Joseph in his application to Pilate for the body of his crucified Lord; and justly remarks that such characters usually require a strong external impulse to bring them boldly forward, which impulse was probably in this case supplied by the resurrection of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Nicodemus'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/n/nicodemus.html.

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