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Re: [Synoptic-L] 1Th 2:15-16 Scenarios (John Zebedee)

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Jack Kilmon On: Martyrdom of John Zebedee From: Bruce To me, at any rate, John of Zebedee is one of the loose ends in the
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 28 7:58 PM
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      To: Synoptic
      Cc: GPG
      In Response To: Jack Kilmon
      On: Martyrdom of John Zebedee
      From: Bruce

      To me, at any rate, John of Zebedee is one of the loose ends in the whole 1c
      picture. Jack had cited the following evidence, and added his opinion:

      JACK: . . . A Papias quote by Philip of Side claims that John was martyred
      as was his brother. I think it is very likely that one of the companions
      stoned with James was John. I don't think John of Ephesus was John Zebedee.

      BRUCE: There seems to be multiple attestation of this lost bit of Papias. As
      to its significance, I am very much inclined to agree with Jack's
      conclusion. An even earlier witness is the Gospel of Mark (Mk 10:39,
      retained with directionally intelligible variations in Mt 20:23, though not
      in Lk): "And Jesus said to them, The cup that I drink you will drink, and
      with the baptism with which I am baptized you will be baptized." This reads
      like a prediction that AMk and his audience knew had been fulfilled. If so,
      then this passage must be later in date than the event reported by Josephus,
      which is nice to know. A fixed point in a fog.

      It is just possible that Papias was inferring his information about the two
      Zebedee from this very Mk passage (or its Matthean parallel), and not
      reporting an independent information source. Even if so, I think that the Mk
      passage (whether or not reflected in other Synoptics) will bear the weight
      alone. The only unfulfilled prediction in Mk, as far as I remember, is the
      Kingdom itself, and I cannot but think that the other, fulfilled predictions
      are there to add credibility to that one: to reinforce belief.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      http://www.umass.edu/wsp
    • E Bruce Brooks
      To: Synoptic Cc: GPG In Response To: Emmanuel Fritsch On: Death of John Zebedee From: Bruce Thanks to Emmanuel for his references on the tradition of John Z s
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 4, 2008
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        To: Synoptic
        Cc: GPG
        In Response To: Emmanuel Fritsch
        On: Death of John Zebedee
        From: Bruce

        Thanks to Emmanuel for his references on the tradition of John Z's early
        death; I think it stands generally established that there are competing
        traditions about him; one (present already in Mk) for early martyrdom,
        another for a much longer life and a possibly tranquil end. The latter might
        be called the Ephesus line.

        EMMANUEL: Considering connections between Papias and Irenee, it is also
        possible that Papias was depending on a Johannine tradition, which should
        have take a part in the fog around the John question.

        BRUCE: I think this is well observed. The Johannine enthusiasm of Papias
        seems clear just from the surviving quotation of his remark.

        Of the two traditions, which we might call the Early JZ and the Late JZ
        traditions, does either show *internal* signs of lateness? I think possibly.
        In my little essay called "Anticipation of Reader Objection," I mention the
        way in which a text may argue with the expectations of readers, in
        introducing something which jars with their previous knowledge. I suggest
        that such a moment occurs in the Gospel of John, and that it is meant to
        argue with reader impressions that John Z, John the Apostle, had died
        earlier than that Gospel wishes to suggest.

        "Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had
        lain close to his breast at the supper, and said, Lord, who is it that is
        going to betray you? [21] When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, Lord, what
        about this man? [22] Jesus said to him, If it is my will that he remain
        until I come, what is that to you? Follow me! [23] The saying spread abroad
        among the brethren that this disciple was not to die, yet Jesus did not say
        to him that he was not to die, but "If it is my will that he remain until I
        come, what is that to you?" [24] This is the disciple who is bearing witness
        to these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his word
        is true." [Jn 21:20-24]

        It he here conceded, in an appendage to the original GJohn, that Jesus had
        never said that John Z would not die. On the contrary, as the writer well
        knew (GJn is demonstrably aware of GMk), Jesus had strongly implied the
        opposite. The writer legalistically avoids a direct confrontation with this
        remembered fact.

        That is, the later tradition (that of GJn) is directly dealing with the
        awkward fact of the earlier tradition (the one in GMk). From this, it is
        obvious which one is, in fact, the earlier tradition. It is the one that is
        already there to make problems for any later tradition.

        APOSTLES

        In what order did the Twelve die, and what anyway is the proper canon of the
        Twelve? One can stare at the variant lists of the Twelve, ordered in columns
        in many a work of reference, and come away little wiser than one began. Just
        to complicate it further, here is another column, which may be new to some.
        It is a text, discovered and published by the ever-zealous Tischendorf,
        describing the death of Mary, and the calling of all the Apostles to be
        present. It is John who summons them. Here he comes into Mary's presence:

        "And as she prayed, I, John, came to her, for the Holy Ghost caught me up by
        a cloud from Ephesus and set me in the place where the mother of my Lord
        lay."

        He refers to the charge (given by Jesus in Jn 19:26-27) to this same
        "disciple whom Jesus loved." So there is no doubt that we are here supposed
        to be hearing the testimony of John the Apostle.

        He summons "the apostles" and they appear in this order:

        1. Peter, from Rome
        2. Paul, from Tiberia [near Rome]
        3. Thomas, from the "inmost Indies"
        4. James, from Jerusalem

        [The following "had fallen asleep," and are raised from their tombs]

        5. Andrew the brother of Peter
        6. Philip
        7. Luke
        8. Simon the Canaanite
        9. Thaddeus

        10. Mark "who was still alive" from Alexandria

        Matthew does not seem to make the text at this point, but a little later,
        when each Apostle describes how he came, we have:

        11. Matthew was in a ship, tossed by waves . . .
        [Then those who "had departed this life" before give their testimony]
        12. Bartholomew was preaching the Word in Thebes

        So there are the Twelve, not even counting John himself. Make of it what you
        like. What I make of it is that the list of the Twelve was subject to
        constant updating and renewal, according to local agenda, and (who knows?)
        perhaps also subject to changing facts.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks
        Warring States Project
        University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        http://www.umass.edu/wsp
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