The hypothesis which is investigated in this article is that the expression 'sinners' is to be seen as a label for those people who were not socially accommodated within Israelite society in the time of Jesus. This ostracism was religiously legitimated by means of purity regulations with regard to people, places and calendar. The confirmation of the hypothesis provides the historical context of the inscription in Louw & Nida's semantic dictionary of New Testament Greek with regard to one of the meanings of the word 'sinner' (aILcxpTw}",O<;) as 'social outcast'.
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