Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: The Synoptics and John
- -----Original Message-----
From: E Bruce Brooks
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 7:15 PM
Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Re: The Synoptics and John
In Response To: Jack Kilmon
Jack: 4G is the most glossed, edited, redacted, interpolated and chapter
shuffled book of the New Testament
Bruce: Agreed (unless of course we include Mark or especially Luke), and I
think pretty well established. Interesting, too, since on the whole, NT
people resist any suggestion that any NT text left the pen of its author in
a form other than the one we find in our Bibles, whereas at least three
commentators on John (not counting the oldtimers like Wellhausen) come up
with a three-layer model for its formation as a text. It may be that these
defenses are mounted more vigorously for the Synoptics (considered as the
most authoritative Jesus sources) than for the rather eccentric if doubtless
Jack: but its differences to the Synoptics is why we call them Synoptics.
Bruce: No, we call them Synoptics because they are narratively and
substantively like each other.
JK] Yes, Bruce in comparison to John.
If John were more like them, it would be a
Synoptic too, and then we wouldn't need that name at all. Except as the
title for a book.
JK] I kinda think that is what I said.
Jack: I think Aramaic proto-John predated Mark but that is a different
Bruce: Indeed; let's not get into it now. Except just this: It seems to me
that nothing in John as it stands suggests a time earlier than Mark (which
for me means, earlier than c45).
I think the first issue of Canonical Mark was published around 72-75 CE but
I don't think Canonical Mark was the first Mark. Aramaic proto-John is not
John "as it stands." It still lies embedded, beneath the multiple centuries
long "messed around with" (by Christian scribes) Greek canonical John, in
translational Greek from its original Judean Aramaic. It was not written by
a Christian but by a Jew, like Jesus. It was not all invested in
semi-Gnostic fantasies about the NATURE of the man called Yeshua Bar
Yahosef, a disease that has infected Gentile Christianity since its early
days, but in the TEACHINGS of Jesus and the things that Jesus did.
There is no way to tell who the author was except that, unlike the
Synoptics, it was written by an eye-witness more in line with the date you
propose for Mark, around 40-44 CE and was the stimulus for the writing of
"proto-Mark." shortly afterward. The community that Jesus left behind, the
qehaly d'netseraya, were under a lot of pressure at this time by Marcus
Vipsanius Herod Agrippa I who had arrested James and Peter, among others,
executed Ya'aqub Bar Zebedy ("James, the Greater") in 44 CE but Peter
escaped. I guess it could have been Yohanan Bar Zebedy if he was educated,
hence some form of memory behind the tradition for Canonical John. This is
how I see the proto-Gospel for 4G for Chapter 1:
What would be a counterexample?
Jack: What if proto-John was not originally a Gospel about Jesus but a
Gospel about John the Baptist, later usurped? . . . I don't think a Gospel
about Jesus would open on John the Baptist.
Now this is a question and not a statement so before we are besieged by frat
house responses, how about thinking about it. I have been working on a
restoration/reconstruction of Aramaic John by unshuffling, unediting and
הוא ברנשׁא דאשׁתדר מן אלהא שׁמה יוחנן
6 There was a man, sent from God whose name was Yohanan
והדא הי סהדותה דיוחנן כד שׁדרו לותה יהודיא מן אורשׁלם כהנא ולויא
דנשׁאלוניהי אנת מן אנת׃
19 And this is the record of John, when the priests and Levites from
Jerusalem asked him,
Who art thou?
ואודי ולא כפר ואודי דלו אנא אנא משׁיחא
20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Messiah.
ושׁאלוהי תוב מנא הכיל אליא אנת ואמר לא איתי נביא אנת ואמר לא
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not.
Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
ענא יוחנן ואמר להון אנא מעמד אנא במיא בינתכון דין קאם הו דאנתון לא ידעין
26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one
among you, whom ye know
הנו הו דבתרי אתא והוא לה קדמי הו דאנא לא שׁוא אנא דאשׁרא ערקא דמסנוהי׃
27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's
latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
הלין בבית־עניא הוי בעברא דיורדנן איכא דמעמד הוא יוחנן
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was
וליומא דבתרה חזא יוחנן לישׁוע דאתא לותה ואמר הא אמרה דאלהא הו דשׁקל חטיתה
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb
of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
הנו דאנא אמרת עלוהי דבתרי אתא גברא והוא לה קדמי מטל דקדמי הו מני
30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred
before me: for he was
ואנא לא ידע הוית לה אלא דנתידע לאיסריל מטל הנא אתית אנא דבמיא אעמד
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel,
therefore am I come baptizing with
ואסהד יוחנן ואמר דחזית לרוחא דנחתא מן שׁמיא איך יונא וקוית עלוהי
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven
like a dove, and it abode upon
ואנא לא ידע הוית לה אלא מן דשׁדרני דאעמד במיא הו אמר לי דאינא דחזא אנת דנחתא
רוחא ומקויא עלוהי הנו מעמד ברוחא דקודשׁא׃
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same
said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining
on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Breath.
ואנא חזית ואסהדת דהנו ברה דאלהא
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
וליומא אחרנא קאם הוא יוחנן ותרין מן תלמידוהי
35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
וחר בישׁוע כד מהלך ואמר הא אמרה דאלהא
36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
ושׁמעו תריהון תלמידוהי כד אמר ואזלו להון בתרה דישׁוע
37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
ואתפני ישׁוע וחזא אנון דאתין בתרה ואמר להון מנא בעין אנתון אמרין לה רבן איכא
38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek
ye? They said unto him,
Rabbi, where dwellest thou?
אמר להון תו ותחזון הנון דין אתו וחזו איכא דהוא ולותה הוו יומא הו ואית הוי
איך שׁעא עסר
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and
abode with him that day:
for it was about the tenth hour.
חד דין מן הנון דשׁמעו מן יוחנן ואזלו בתרה דישׁוע איתוהי הוא אנדראוס אחוהי
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed Jesus, was
Andrew, Simon’s brother.
הנא חזא לוקדם לשׁמעון אחוהי ואמר לה אשׁכחניהי למשׁיחא
41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found
ואיתיה לות ישׁוע וחר בה ישׁוע ואמר אנת הו שׁמעון ברה־דיונא אנת תתקרא כאפא
42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art
Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas.
וליומא אחרנא צבא ישׁוע למפק לגלילא ואשׁכח לפיליפוס ואמר לה תא בתרי
43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip,
and saith unto him, Follow
הו דין פיליפוס איתוהי הוא מן בית־צידא מן מדינתה דאנדראוס ודשׁמעון
44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
ופיליפוס אשׁכח לנתניאיל ואמר לה הו דכתב עלוהי מושׁא בנמוסא ובנביא אשׁכחניהי
דישׁוע הו בר יוסף מן נצרת׃
45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom
Moses in the law, and the
prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
אמר לה נתניאיל מן נצרת משׁכח מדם דטב נהוא אמר לה פיליפוס תא ותחזא
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of
Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
וחזיהי ישׁוע לנתניאיל כד אתא לותה ואמר עלוהי הא שׁריראית בר איסריל דנכלא לית
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite
indeed, in whom is no
אמר לה נתניאיל מן אימכא ידע אנת לי אמר לה ישׁוע עדלא נקריך פיליפוס כד תחית
תתא אנת חזיתך׃
48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said
unto him, Before
that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
ענא נתניאיל ואמר לה רבי אנת הו ברה דאלהא אנת הו מלכה דאיסריל
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God;
thou art the King of Israel.
אמר לה ישׁוע על דאמרת לך דחזיתך תחית תתא מהימן אנת דרורבן מן הלין תחזא
50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee
under the fig tree, believest
thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
אמר לה אמין אמין אמר אנא לכון דמן השׁא תחזון שׁמיא דפתיחין ומלאכוהי דאלהא כד
סלקין ונחתין לות ברה דאנשׁא׃
51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall
see heaven open,
and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
San Antonio, TX
- Leonard: What is found in Mark on JB, and not in Matthew, is a teaching
about John that is continuous with later church teaching and practice.
Bruce: Not proved, and not provable on that evidence. The later church
bloweth where it listeth.
Leonard: I am stating fact here, not attempting to prove anything
(yet). It is a fact that we find in Mark a reference to JB as a holy
and righteous man, a saint, that is. This is how we encounter JB within
the later Christian community as well. In Matthew it is a fact that we
do not find this or an equivalent image of John clearly expressed; we
do find in Matthew (and not in Mark) a John who is doubtful about the
true identity of Jesus (11:2-3). This diverges somewhat from the later
view of JB as a saint.
The argument, or proof, begins after the recognition of these facts,
and no amount of words can obscure the evidence itself. Of course one
cannot legitimately make of this a definitive argument for Matthean
priority; the evidence is, however, consistent with that hypothesis,
and with the idea of Mark as a secondary and later Gospel, reflecting
an attitude toward John that is closer to that of the later church. It
is also consistent with the fact that Mark, unlike Matthew, presents
the apostles of Jesus as exorcists and wonder-workers (Mk 6:12-13). In
Matthew the apostles receive the commission by Jesus to engage in these
activities, but are never shown actually doing anything of the kind.
GMk is thus closer to Acts of the Apostles type writing, which is found
in the canonical book by that name, and in a series of later works with
similar titles, well into the second century and beyond.
Leonard: What is found in Matthew on JB, and not in Mark, connects JB to
Moses and other prophetic figures of the OT who spoke with God's
and it also makes of John a focus of "belief" (an idea not continuous
the teaching of Paul [Pauline "faith" vocabulary] or of the later
Bruce: Matthew is the big leader in OT prediction and fulfilment, and
linkages generally. Mark makes very sparing use of that device, though
also has his theory of earlier analogues of Jesus.
Leonard: This is simply obfuscation, rather response to my statements.
The Matthean text alluded to (Matt 21:28-32) has nothing at all to do
with the idea of prediction and fulfillment of OT prophecy. In this
text, Jesus rebukes his audience for not having believed in John, who
came to them "in the way of righteousness". The spontaneous next step
for a later Christian author (a Pauline-influenced author, e.g.) would
have been for Jesus to go on to rebuke them in a climactic way for not
then believing in him. This indictment remains however only implicit in
the text; instead, Jesus goes on to rebuke his audience for not then
converting to belief in John, even after witnessing the conversion to
this faith of tax-collectors and harlots. Altogether three references
to "faith" with JB as (indirect) object. This is relatively early
writing. After Paul, faith terminology in early Christian writings is
exclusively faith in God or in Jesus. Again, not proof of Matthew as
the earliest Gospel, but consistent with that view. In any case, these
facts provide a good rationalization for why later Gospel writers (Luke
and Mark, for instance), influenced by Paul, may have omitted a passage
like Matt 21:28-32.