My friends on the Johannine Literature List,
I have just completed ten lectures on the trilogy of stories in chapters 11, 12
and 13 (The Raising of Lazarus, The Anointing of the Feet of Jesus by Mary of
Bethany, and The Washing of the Feet of the Disciples by Jesus). These lectures
expand upon the work I published in 1998 in a book called Let Her Keep
It: Jesus' Ordination of Mary of Bethany - A New Approach to the Study of the
Gospel According to John through its use of Mosaic Oracles.
My method relies upon the discovery of Mosaic oracles woven into the text of
these three stories as signs. The specific links these signs make to the Torah
appear to me to be evidence of the use of the rabbinic midrash method of
instruction by the leaders of the Johannine community/school. I'm convinced
that this method has the potential to unlock a significant level of hidden
meaning throughout the Gospel narrative. It may also suggest how and why the
Gospel was written (ie: as a record of a growing body of midrash commentaries
developed by members of the community/school as part of the school's didactic
process.) As I understand it, midrash may have been a commonly used method for
training rabbis in Jewish schools in the first century. It's use in the
Johannine community's school may have been designed to teach new
Jewish-Christian leaders to think, lead and teach as disciples of Jesus.
Is anyone else working on or be familiar with previous work done on the use of
Mosaic oracles in the Fourth Gospel?
If so, would you be willing to engage in a dialogue with me on this list or if
you prefer in a private e-mail exchange? I am eager to test my theories and
my method by presenting them for scrutiny by the scholars on this list.
Yours in Christ's service,
Dr. Tom Butler
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