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Re: [GTh] Re: Thomas and John

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  • Michael Grondin
    Thanks for your note, Wade. Not being very well read in the literature, I hadn t run across the Lazarus possibility before, but I see now that it answers some
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 10, 2003
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      Thanks for your note, Wade. Not being very well read in the literature, I
      hadn't run across the Lazarus possibility before, but I see now that it
      answers some important structural questions much more satisfactorily (to my
      mind) than any of the others. I was aware that the BD wasn't mentioned in
      GJn until after Lazarus was raised, but I failed to put two and two
      together. And what you say about over-analyzing a problem is so true. If I
      may say so without embarassing you, I think your exegesis is a very model of
      fine analytical reasoning. Hard to imagine that such a persuasive case could
      be put with such economy of reasoning - combining linguistic considerations
      and structural explanations to boot! To me, this is one of the better
      contributions of a very fine recent crop that gives me more hope than I've
      felt in a long time for the future of this group.

      OK, some possible large-picture implications:

      1. Since Lazarus evidently wasn't one of the Twelve, and since Lazarus is
      present at GJn's last supper, this must mean that the author didn't buy into
      the idea that it was the Twelve (and only them) present at the last supper -
      or that he/they wished to deny it for ulterior reasons. I can see how one
      might go in two quite different directions with this: either that the
      Johannines knew the truth of the matter - or that they were intent on
      downplaying the Judaically-symbolic importance of the Twelve (as
      representing the twelve tribes of Israel). Believing (as most do) that GJn
      was the late gospel, and that it represented a much more radical separation
      from Judaism than the synoptics, I'm inclined toward the latter view - that
      GJn had it in for the Jews. Some take GJn to be more historically reliable
      than the synoptics (other than the theological speeches), but what I see in
      it is some fixing-up of certain problem-areas in the synoptics (which makes
      it _look_ more historically reliable in some instances), plus some rather
      blatant revisionist attempts to make Jesus look much more godlike and
      innocent (the moving of the Temple incident away from his arrest, e.g.).

      2. The "Secret Gospel of Mark" (along with Morton Smith's views) seems to
      take on much more significance. Therein, the young man involved isn't named,
      nor does it look much like John's story (being much more amenable to a
      naturalistic explanation of someone simply secreting himself in a tomb and
      refusing to come out), but there does seem to be a basis laid there for J
      having "loved" the lad - perhaps the same lad who fled naked from the garden
      in Mark's story of J's arrest? Could the author of GJn have been familiar
      with this story and just built it up out of all proportion? If so, why? Why
      not just ignore it? And finally - if I may broach the subject in a scholarly
      way without everybody getting overly excited - why the reference to
      nakedness, and the desire of the young man to be "with him", if these
      weren't hints of homosexual love? Was this an invented sop to the Greeks, or
      what? (One is reminded of Gandhi sleeping naked with young women,
      purportedly to demonstrate control over his physical urges.) Or should we
      ignore the "Secret Gospel" as being historically suspect? But if we do, what
      is the possible reason for GJn designating Lazarus as "the disciple whom
      Jesus loved"?

      3. Other references to Lazarus may take on added significance.

      Mike Grondin
      Mt. Clemens, MI
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