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2415Re: Jesus and JB in Jn

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  • Yuri Kuchinsky
    Mar 6, 2002
      On Fri, 1 Mar 2002, michael Hardin wrote:

      > These would be my questions Yuri:
      > 1) In that the MG text reflects
      > synchronization/harmonization of the canonical
      > gospels, in what textual tradition would a greek
      > 'retranslation' stand (what is presupposed)? Or are
      > there affinities with several textual traditions?

      Dear Michael,

      The Magdalene Gospel is clearly not all of one piece, and there are
      substantial differences between different parts of MG. So, it really seems
      like a compilation, or a sort of a synopsis, of various gospel texts.

      Many segments of MG look a lot like harmonisations of various single
      gospel texts. Yet other segments represent straight narrative from single

      In general, I would say that MG reflects Western text of the gospels. Of
      course Western text is a lot better attested in Old Latin and in Semitic
      languages than in Greek. Myself, I'm quite sceptical that the Greek text
      should always be seen as the most reliable.

      > 2) The prologue as an early christians hymn (sans the
      > references to JTB) needs no defending. But also a
      > hymn grounded in a midrash of Gen 1 (Borgen)? I think
      > so. Kym Smith's Genesis observations are intruiging
      > here.
      > If one wishes to see an earlier than canonical Jesus
      > tradition ( as do many Thomas/Q questers), I am not
      > persuded that MG would fit until I had examined the
      > passion narrative. As a meta-narrative where does it
      > place the death of Jesus, before or after Passover?
      > This would be a strong indication of it's provinence
      > at least East/West.

      The Passion Narrative in MG is a very complex patchwork of various texts.
      There's actually not much harmonisation that goes on there. Passages from
      the Synoptics and from Jn are usually cited sequentially, and there seems
      to be quite a lot of redundancy and repetition. Which would confirm, at
      least in my view, that this is not a well developed gospel harmony, but
      rather a synopsis of the gospels. Essentially, I see MG as the earliest
      version of the Diatessaron.

      > The Johannine tradition is of far more historical
      > value than given by the present state of NT research

      Yes, you may well be right about this.

      > who seem to reflect Clement of Alexandria. Dodd &
      > Robinson have laid an excelent foundation in this
      > regard. This is not to say that the gospel was not
      > produced in stages, only to say that perhaps Kym Smith
      > is correct to observe that it was the events which
      > upon reflection were associated with the
      > 'mythical/prophetic' archtypes, not the other way
      > around. (It is hish to time to stop paying homage to
      > Bousset)
      > Some quick thoughts:
      > MG 1.3 sound definitely post-Nicean so if it is early
      > it is already coming under the corrector's hand.

      Well, I've always avoided dealing with the first chapter of MG, because
      it's so different from our standard opening of Jn, although being similar
      to it in some respects. There are also problems with exact translation of
      this passage. You may observe that my translation of this first chapter is
      not exactly literal, so what you think may be post-Nicean elements may
      also be just my translation.

      > Can you identify that hand?

      It's very difficult to say. As I say, the first chapter presents its own
      very special problems of translation and interpretation. It may well have
      been expanded at a later stage.

      > MG 1.4 'law & prophets', a Matthean phrase if there
      > ever was one [can we call this the Matthean
      > thunderbolt in the Johannine gospel? ;)]

      Again, this may just be my translation... Whenever one really wants to
      deal with such stylistic aspects, one really needs to go directly to the
      Middle English text. But other chapters of MG don't usually present so
      many problems as this first chapter.

      > Strange that Zechariah could become high-priest, as
      > though he was from one of the four families, more
      > importantly, of Annas or Boethus (MG 2.3).

      Boismard has already studied these passages in considerable detail, and he
      seems to find a lot of primitive material there (L'EVANGILE DE L'ENFANCE
      (LUC 1 - 2) SELON LE PROTO-LUC (Etudes bibliques 35), Paris, J. Gabalda,
      1997). Myself, I haven't dealt with these passages too much, and went on
      to other stuff.

      > 3.29 The worship of Mary. Another indicator of the
      > author's hand? (as is the use of St. as in St. John)
      > The rise of a cult of Mary is not possible to
      > demonstrate prior to the fourth century (at the
      > earliest).

      Well, I don't see more "worship of Mary" in MG, necessarily, than in the
      standard texts. But perhaps we should stick more with the Johannine
      passages in this discussion.

      All the best,


      Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

      Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority,
      it is time to reform -=O=- Mark Twain
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