This article tries to understand what might have been at stake for the synagogue from which
the Johannine Jesus partisans had been expelled and what was at stake in the coinage of the
term ἀποσυναγωγός. It we refuse to accept naively John’s overlexicalised and retrospective
account of the grounds for expulsions and pay attention to the practices of other groups in
articulating a disciplinary code, I suggest that what was at stake was deviant behaviour on
the part of the Johannine Jesus-partisans: either failure to comply with the larger group’s
practices concerning Sabbath observance, or more likely, clique formation.