Kevin Anderson wrote:
> I ....... offer some
>broad observations that support the ambiguity of the gender of the BD.
>1). The male disciples in the FG almost always look bad--or at least less
>than worthy of imitation.
>2) The female characters (disciples?) in FG almost always look good, and
>are more clearly the characters the author of the FG wants the reader to
>note as exemplary.
These statements are true both of Mark, and of John before the
addition of chapter 21.
> .... It is difficult to imagine the circumstances which would prompt or
>allow a male author to write with such a bias in the historical time frame
>and setting in which FG was composed (whatever that setting might have been).
It's not at all difficult in my opinion. The tension between Paul and
the original followers of Jesus is apparent in Galatians and in Acts.
The authors of Mark and the First Edition of John were both admirers of
Paul and had little respect for the original disciples. All the
prominent original disciples were male. This is quite sufficient to
explain your point 1) above.
As for your point 2), there was nothing like rubbing it in within a
generally male dominated society by presenting the female characters as
looking better than the original male disciples.
>4). If indeed the BD were one of the prominent disciples (Thomas, Paul,
>James and others have been suggested) the authority and acceptablility of
>the FG could only have been strengthened by revealing the identity of the BD.
Not if it was Paul. For many ancient readers would have been put off
(as would many modern readers) by a surreal narrative in which Paul is
presented as talking directly to Jesus during his lifetime.
Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK
Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm