On Sun, 14 Apr 2002, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote in reply to Ken:
> I had an analogous but somewhat differing reaction to
> the Johannine language that you mention when I began
> re-reading the fourth gospel as an adult.
> What you found obscure, I found offensive.
> Indeed, it seemed to me that the fourth evangelist was
> being intentionally offensive in his rendering of the
> Jesus story, and I found it annoying.
Here's my 2 cents worth on this.
This obscurity in numerous passages is the result of late editorial
interference. The obscurity could have come about both unintentionally,
because of careless or hasty last-minute editing, and even intentionally.
The latter could have been motivated by the desire to complicate some
previously simple stories, for example, because, in a later period, they
may have been seen as too simple and perhaps even homespun.
So, I suppose this would argue against a too rigid application of the Text
Critical maxim "lectio difficilior potior" (the more difficult reading is
the more probable reading). While this maxim is indeed justified in some
cases, it's not in others, IMHO, in so far as it neglects the desire of
later editors to present their Christian audience with some impressive
"mystical sayings", that would really give them something to ponder about.
A variety of passages can be cited here, and the reasons for each being
what it is could be different. But, again, these also may represent late
editorial interference. In my view, some anti-Judaic passages could have
well been added as late as post-135 CE, which is, of course, the time of
officially sanctioned Roman antisemitism.
Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority,
it is time to reform -=O=- Mark Twain