Important subjects, here; I find most recent discussions of Johannine authorship rather flimsy in their argumentation, often building on a weak platform that has no primitive substantiation.
Could someone suggest any compelling evidence that John died at the same times as his brother James? Neither Philip of Sides (5th C) nor George the Sinner (9th C) suggest that explicitly, and neither does the reference to Papias' confirming that both sons of Zebedee had suffered martyrdom; he was simply referring to the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus in Mark 10. Does anyone really believe that Jesus' predicting that James and John would suffer martyrdom proves that John died before 50 CE, when there is no explicit reference to it in ancient literature? Go ahead and believe it, but it seems to me a modern fiction rather than sound critical scholarship. Schnackenburg was not impressed by it, and rightly so.
A careful reading of Charles Hill's treatment of second century opinion regarding the Johannine writings will have important implications here, as well.
on behalf of deanf4545
Sent: Sat 4/18/2009 1:35 PM
Subject: [John_Lit] Re: On the dating of John
> The Gospel of John is attributed only by tradition in the
> 2nd century to Yohanan bar Zebedee but Yohanan (Jesus' cousin) appears to
> have been killed about the same time as his older cousin Yaqub (James, the
> Just), Jesus' brother, in the "roundup"of 62 CE.
Some very interesting ideas in your post, and much to think about. Thanks. My thesis spent quite a bit of time trying to demonstrate that the 2nd century tradition didn't identify their 'John' as the son of Zebedee (drawing partly off of the work of Jean Colson and Bauckham); and I also think the son of Zebedee was killed in Jerusalem, some time before the destruction of the city.
> This association as the
> leaders conforms to Josephus...and xx.ix.1 is NOT interpolated or
> edited....who records, "....so he (Ananus, the High Priest) assembled the
> Sanhedrin of Judges and brought before them the brother of Jesus, so-called
> Christ, whose name was James, AND SOME OTHERS, [some of his companions] and
> when he had formed an accusation against THEM as breakers of the law, he
> delivered THEM to be stoned.
I find that a puzzling passage, and have considered the view that the passage originally referred to James the brother of Jesus, the son of Damneus, though I came across that in a very dated work (Lardner) and haven't been able to find any modern discussions of it.
> John of Patmos using either a Greek translation of the original
> Aramaic document or translating it himself, uses it as a skeleton around
> which he constructs the much larger, semi-Gnostic and theological GREEK
> Gospel of John...
I tend to think that the Asian tradition of the second century was probably generally accurate, since Polycarp and Papias knew John, and the latter of these at least (and the former if we can trust Irenaeus) associated their John the Elder with the Beloved Disciple (but Papias at least apparently distinguishes this John from the son of Zebedee). Therefore I tend to think that John the Elder was the original Aramaic (oral) source, and that the Gospel was put together by an amanuensis, who wrote the concluding chapter as well (though I've never heard your view before - and it certainly does fit as an ending to Mark).
> In Mark, Peter denies Jesus three times. In John (21:15-17) Peter affirms
> his love three times.
I'd never noticed this before - nor the fact that Galilee was mentioned at the end of Mark, etc, but that the Galilean appearance is found in John. Food for thought.
> There is also a connection
> between John and Mark's use of imperfects, the rare use of "de" and frequent
> use of kai, the partitive APO in 21:10 used by Mark at 5:35, 6:43, 7:4 and
Do you have - or do you know of - anything published on this?
> I would be interested in reading your article, Dean.
Sure, though it is probably a far more 'conservative' approach than you would agree with (though rejecting Zebedean authorship), but if you want to take a read, I am happy to send it.
BA Classics, May 2009 (expected), CU Boulder.
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