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[John_Lit] Re: Date of John's Gospel

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  • Ron Price
    ... Frank, Then we must agree to differ. Much of the evidence seems to depend on accepting 1 Peter as written by the apostle Peter (and equating Babylon with
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 5, 2001
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      Frank McCoy wrote:

      > The tradition that Peter was martyred at Rome c. 64 CE is so strong,
      >I deem it inappropriate to use the term "unreliable" for it.

      Frank,
      Then we must agree to differ. Much of the evidence seems to depend on
      accepting 1 Peter as written by the apostle Peter (and equating
      "Babylon" with Rome). But the apostolic authorship of 1 Peter is
      nowadays seen to be untenable by most scholars, even by the Roman
      Catholic scholar R.E.Brown.

      > In The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings (p. 499), Udo
      >Schnelle states, "John's adoption of the gospel genre and the compositional
      >analogies speak in favor of John's knowledge of the Synoptics. If the
      >Fourth Gospel came into being completely independent of Mark, then within
      >the Johannine circle the gospel genre must have been invented for the second
      >time." Ron, from what you say, I gather that you agree with him on this
      >point.

      Yes.

      > John ....... is divided into two sections: (1)
      >Chapters 1-12, and (2) Chapters 13-21

      I don't agree. It's in three sections, chapters 1-6, 7-12, 13-20. Have
      you not spotted that these sections proposed long ago by Moffatt are all
      about the same size? Too close to be a coincidence surely. There is more
      evidence for this structure on my Web site.

      >John .......
      >is not meant, like the Synoptic gospels, to be read as reasonably accurate
      >history. Rather ....... the focus is on "spiritual" matters and "deeper"
      >truths and they are conveyed in narratives that are frequently not literally
      >true

      Agreed.

      > Since John is not patterned after Mark but, rather, after a Jewish text,
      >I suggest that its author didn't know of Mark.

      I don't think you have correctly discerned the structure of John, so
      I'm certainly not inclined to favour the idea of John as patterned after
      a Jewish text, apparently based partly on your concept of John's
      structure.

      > Since one of the few undisputed facts about Jesus is that he began his
      >ministry by being baptized by John the Baptist .....

      Not true. It *is* disputed. See e.g. B.L.Mack, _The Lost Gospel_
      (Element Books, Dorset, 1993, p.155) It is at least arguable that the
      wonderful convenience of the baptism scenario for Mark's introduction to
      Jesus is suspicious, and in Mark's mind could have outweighed any
      supposed embarrassment at Jesus submitting himself to the Baptist.

      > I do not find it surprising
      >that both Mark and John begin with a discussion of John. I don't think that
      >it can be taken as evidence that the author of John knew of Mark unless a
      >literary connection can be demonstrated.

      C.K.Barrett did that many decades ago.

      > Even if the author of John knew of Mark, this is not evidence that John
      >dates to c. 100 CE unless Mark dates to 70 CE or later.

      But it does date to ca. 70 CE.

      > I have done an
      >intensive study of the Little Apocalypse, and the latest dateable incident
      >in it I can find in it occurred in the early
      >spring of 48 CE. This suggests a dating of c. 50 CE for Mark.

      Why should Mark necessarily refer to *any* event within the previous
      20 years when it was supposed to be an account of the life of Jesus who
      had been crucified 40 years before? All your study proves, if it is
      correct, is that John was not written before 48 CE. Well we agree on
      this!

      Anyway one also has to look at the overall background in which 'Mark'
      was prompted to create a new genre and put in writing the story of
      Jesus. The events surrounding the Fall of Jerusalem make by far the best
      scenario.

      Ron Price

      Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

      e-mail: ron.price@...

      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
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