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The Legend of the Beloved Disciple (finally!)

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  • tom and becky thatcher
    Colleagues, A quick response to a couple things in Ken s last post, but first thanks to Adele for the refs to Flusser in English. I wasn t aware of the
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 13, 2001
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      Colleagues,

      A quick response to a couple things in Ken's last
      post, but first thanks to Adele for the refs to
      Flusser in English. I wasn't aware of the
      translations and will look for them.

      <<I agree that 1,2,3 Jn were written before the
      Gospel. I have written about this . . . showing how
      the Gospel used 1 Jn as a source and revered text.>>

      I would personally not treat 1 John as a "source" per
      se of FG; I think the author of FG is citing from the
      same pool of Johannine tradition that we see traces
      (and maybe citations) of from time to time in 1 John.
      In fact, I think that some sections of 1 John are
      commentary--maybe better midrash--on those traditions.
      It is possible, in this case, to read every one of
      the ridiculously large number of "hoti" clauses in 1
      John as incidents of direct or indirect discourse
      citations of the traditions, and in many cases this
      gives much clearer readings than a causal translation.

      Since I tend to look at the whole thing from the
      perspective of oral tradition, I also feel that FG was
      composed for the purpose of setting the limits of the
      Johannine tradition and its interpretation in a
      written document. This is one reason among many that
      I am in strong disagreement with my mentor, Bob
      Fortna, about the existence of a prior written source
      for FG. In other words, FG is the first attempt we
      know of to define a canon for purposes of controlling
      and defining what is "orthodox."

      Ken also said:

      <<Your reference to "platform of power" is
      interesting. For me, the schism in
      1 Jn (2:19) reflects a power struggle between factions
      over the question of authority rather than a dispute
      over ethical or doctrinal issues.>>

      In general, I cannot go with the majority position
      that there was an ethical antinomianism among the
      AntiChrists. That comes from mirror-reading 1 John's
      refs to "sin," and I don't think that's what is in
      mind in those passages. So I agree that there was
      nothing about ethics going on. On the doctrinal
      point, there were clearly doctrinal differences, but I
      sense from 1 John and FG that FE does not intend to
      resolve those problems in terms of theological
      discussion. Rather, he turns to the argument
      Tertullian made famous a century later and says that
      you simply don't debate with heretics at all.
      Heretics don't have rights to interpret the tradition,
      whether they have the Paraclete or not. So beyond
      just the doctrine, there is a broader battle over
      hermeneutics going on here.

      Respectfully,
      --tom
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