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Re: [John_Lit] The Beloved Disciple

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  • FMMCCOY
    To: Tom Butler and J.L. Listers:: I think there are two main criteria for determining the identity of the BD. The first is early Christian tradition. It
    Message 1 of 37 , Dec 3, 2000
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      To: Tom Butler and J.L. Listers::

      I think there are two main criteria for determining the identity of the
      BD. The first is early Christian tradition. It gives full support for the
      hypothesis that he is John bar Zebedee, Second, there are the some
      passages, in John, that explicitly speak of the BD. Here, the evidence for
      the BD being John bar Zebedee is much weaker.
      Of the passages explicitly referring to the BD, the most important is
      21:24: where, it is declared, the BD has "written these things". As Chapter
      21 is an appendix, I take this to mean that the BD wrote (either directly or
      through an intermediary) the other 20 chapters. Who speaks to us in these
      20 chapters? To find the answer to this question is, in my opinion, to
      probably find the answer to the question of who is the BD.
      I think that the BD is a man, so I do not think that Martha or
      Mary of Bethany is the BD. I am impressed (but not convinced) by the
      evidence for the hypotheses that Lazarus is the BD. I favor the hypothesis
      that James, the brother of Jesus, is the BD. I think the evidence for this
      hypothesis is even better than it is for the Lazarus hypothesis. Above all,
      there is the evidence that James is the author of John 1-20. So, in the
      last two posts, I have emphasised that, it appears, James speaks to us in
      10:1-5 & 7-8 and in 4:35-38
      They hardly exhaust the list. For example, there is evidence that James
      wrote 1:49-51, "Answered Nathanael and says to him, 'Rabbi, you are the Son
      of God! You are the King of Israel!' Answered Jesus and said to him,
      'Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, believe you?' And he
      says to him, 'Amen. Amen. Henceforth, you (plural) shall see the heaven
      opened and the angels of God descending on the Son of Man."
      Here, upon learning that Jesus saw him under the fig tree, Nathanael
      declares, "You are the Son of God!" In 1:49-51, then, Jesus is a Son of
      God who sees. This is our first clue that James might be the author of
      1:49-51: for, in The Second Apocalypse of James (46), James states, "The
      Lord who is present [came] as a son who sees".
      How could James have come up with this notion that Jesus is
      a Son of God who sees? A clue is found in The Confusion of Tongues
      (146-147), where Philo states, "Let him press to take his place under God's
      First-born (Son), the Logos, who holds the eldership among the angels, their
      ruler as it were. And many names are his, for he is called....'He That
      Sees,' that is Israel." Therefore, I suggest, James believed Jesus to be a
      Son who sees because he identified him as being the Logos: who, as the ruler
      of the angels, is the Firstborn Son of God and He That Sees.
      Then, after identifying Jesus as being the Son of God (i.e., Philo's
      Logos), Nathanael tells him, "You are the King of Israel!" This idea that
      the Logos, as the Son of God, will become a King of Israel does not come
      from Philo. Rather, I suggest, it comes from 4Q174, "'I will establish the
      throne of his kingdom [for ever] (2 Sam. vii, 12). [I will be] his father
      and he shall be my son (2 Sam. vii, 14).' He is the Branch of David who
      shall arise with the Interpreter of the Law [to rule] in Zion [at the end]
      of time. As it is written, 'I will raise up the tent of David that is
      fallen (Amos ix, 11)." In particular, I think, the author of 1:49-51
      interpreted "[I will be] his father and he shall be my son" to mean that the
      Branch of David, the legitimate heir to David's throne (and, so, the true
      King of Israel), will be Philo's Son of God, the Logos, incarnate in the
      flesh as a descendent of David (Note: the translation of 4Q174 is by Geza
      Vermes).
      That the author of 1:49-51 might have understood that Philo's Son of
      God, the Logos, became incarnate in the flesh as the Branch of David, the
      true King of Israel, on the basis of a passage from 4Q174 means that James
      might be this author of 1:49-51: for there is evidence he was aware of
      this passage's assertion that the tent of David in Amos 9:11 is the Branch
      of David. So, in Acts 15:16-18, James says, "'After these things I will
      return and will build again the tent (skenen) of David which is fallen; and
      the ruins of it I will build again, and will set it up (anorthoso ayten), so
      that the remnant of men may seek out the Lord, and all the nations upon whom
      has been called my Name upon them' says the Lord who does all these things."
      Luke doesn't give us James' exegesis on Amos 9:11-12, but I think it is
      this: On the basis of 4Q174, the rebuilt tent of David is the Branch of
      David. My brother was this rebuilt tent of David, i.e., this Branch of
      David. He was set up, i.e., he was lifted on the cross. This was done so
      that the righteous remnant of Israel and the Gentiles can be saved.
      Since this lifting up of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for the
      Gentiles to be saved without having to observe the Law, this enables James,
      in the ensuing Acts 15:19-21, to decree that Gentiles need not obey the Law
      except for a few provisions.
      In 1:49-51, after Nathanael identifies Jesus as being the King of Israel
      (i.e., the Branch of David), Jesus tells him, "Henceforth, you (plural)
      shall see the heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending
      on the Son of Man.." In 1:49-51, then, it is assumed that the Branch of
      David and the Son of Man are the same person, i.e., Jesus.
      That this assumption is present in 1:49-51 is another clue that its
      author is James. In The History of the Church (Book 2, Sect. 23), Eusebius
      thusly quotes Hegesippus, "He (i.e., James) replied as loudly as he could:
      'Why do you question me about the Son of Man? I tell you, He is sitting in
      heaven at the right hand of the Great Power, and He will come on the clouds
      of heaven.' Many were convinced, and gloried in James' testimony, crying,
      'Hosanna to the Son of David!'" Here, upon James proclaiming his brother
      to be the Son of Man, the people respond by proclaiming him to be the Son of
      David, i.e., the Branch of David. The implication: James preached that the
      Son of Man and the Branch of David are the same person and that this person
      is Jesus.
      How did James come up with his idea that the Son of Man and the Branch of
      David are the same person? I suggest that he did so by linking the first
      part of the passage from 4Q174 ("I will establish the throne of his
      (i.e., the Branch of David's) kingdom [for ever]") with Daniel 7:14 ("His
      (i.e., the Son of Man's) dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not
      pass away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed."), thereby equating the
      Branch of David with the Son of Man of Daniel 7:13-14. In support of this
      suggestion, James, as quoted by Hegesippus, does, in referring to Jesus as
      the Son of Man, allude to Daniel 7:13.
      We are now ready to interpret Jesus' statement to Nathanael, "Henceforth,
      you (plural) shall see the heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and
      descending on the Son of Man." It's meaning is this: "The day is coming
      when everyone will see me, the Branch of David = the Son of Man, returning
      to earth in fulfillment of Daniel 7:13-14 to eternally rule, as the angels,
      whom I rule as that Son of God who is He That Sees (i.e., whom I rule as the
      Logos), ascend and descend on me in homage and loving adoration."
      In conclusion, there are links between thought and ideas attributed to
      James in early Christian literature and what is said in 1:49-51. Therefore,
      it likely is he who is speaking to us in this passage. If so, then he
      likely is the BD--who, according to 4:24, "wrote these things."
      Two more points: (1) if James wrote John 1-20, then 1:14, "And the Logos
      became flesh and tented (eskenosen) among us." is to be rendered, "and the
      Logos became flesh and was among us as the tent (skenen) of David, i.e., as
      the Branch of David = the Son of Man", and (2) since, in the proposed
      re-construction of James' interpretation of Amos 9:11-12, it is his
      brother's elevation on the cross as the Branch of David = the Son of Man,
      enabling the remnant of Israel and the Gentiles to be saved, that is the
      high point of his life--his glorification so to speak, James could very well
      be the author of John 1-20: for, in John 1-20, the lifting of Jesus as the
      Son of Man on the cross is his glorification and an event that enables us to
      be saved.

      Regards,

      Frank McCoy
      Maplewood, MN USA
      FMMCCOY@...
    • FMMCCOY
      ... From: Felix Just, S.J. To: Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2000 6:28 PM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
      Message 37 of 37 , Dec 13, 2000
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Felix Just, S.J." <fjust@...>
        To: <johannine_literature@egroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2000 6:28 PM
        Subject: Re: [John_Lit] The Beloved Disciple

        > Personally, I agree with Tom's 5-stage approach, and with Ken's critique
        > of Frank's numerical-order list of passages. So why not start with the
        > texts that mention the BD explicitly, then discuss the "anonymous/other
        > disciple" passages, and only later the passages outside of John. In
        > other words:
        >
        > BD1) 13:23-25
        > BD2) 19:26-27
        > BD3) 20:2-10
        > BD4) 21:7
        > BD5) 21:20-24
        >
        > 6) 1:35-40
        > 7) 18:15-16
        > 8) 19:35
        >
        Dear Felix Just:
        This looks like a fine agenda.

        Regards,

        Frank McCoy
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