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Re: [John_Lit] Johannine Drama

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  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
    ... Colleen M. Conway replied: I would urge such a person . . . to consider what type of value and authority they are granting the text. Does value mean that
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 1, 2001
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      Jeffery Hodges wrote:

      > Suppose that an orthodox scholar wished to
      > preserve the Johannine text's value as an
      > authoritative writing while explaining polemics in a
      > way that defuses their polemical character without
      > thereby justifying polemics. What advice would you
      > give to such a scholar?

      Colleen M. Conway replied:

      I would urge such a person . . . to consider what type
      of value and authority they are granting the text.
      Does value mean that the text must always be shown to
      be right or true or good? Or can value (as well as
      relevance) come from interacting with the text in such
      a way that we recognize our own blemishes in the all
      too apparent blemishes of our authoritative texts? . .
      . I would ask whether it's possible or worthwhile to
      try and defuse the polemical language, since our most
      recent earnest attempts (via historical dramatization)
      have backfired. Why not acknowledge such language as
      the dangerous, life-threatening element in the text
      that it is and treat it accordingly?

      Jeffery Hodges responds:

      Well, my question concerned an 'orthodox' scholar. I
      didn't define that term, so it probably wasn't
      entirely clear what I was asking. I meant the sort of
      scholar for whom it would not be possible to treat the
      text in the way that you suggest.

      What might work for such conservative scholars is a
      culturally bound interpretation of language. Let me
      give an analogy. Prior to the Gulf War, the "Village
      Voice" quoted an Iraqi official as saying, "We will
      cut off the leg of anyone who sets foot on Iraqi soil
      without permission". The "Village Voice" interpreted
      this as meaning "Get a visa". I didn't interpret it
      that way, but maybe it really meant that. Perhaps the
      violence of the language was sheer hyperbole.

      Similarly, when I was at Hebrew University, I did some
      readings in rabbinical literature with a professor who
      had us looking at rabbinical interpretations of the
      lex talionis (i.e., "eye for eye" retribution). The
      rabbis disputed that this concretely meant an actual
      eye for an actual eye. I was sceptical initially, but
      I've almost been persuaded by their arguments and by
      some of the more-recent culturally contextual evidence
      from surrounding cultures of the ancient Near East
      that the lex talionis was never meant to be
      interpreted in such a literalistic fashion.

      It seems to me that one might be able to look at how
      language worked in certain contexts in the distant
      past and interpret it in ways that are true to the
      text and the culture of the times without violating
      out present-day sensibilities or justifying such
      polemics today. After all, the past is a different
      country.

      Perhaps this can't always be done -- and maybe not
      even in this case, I don't know enough to judge -- but
      this might sometimes be a fruitful approach to take.

      Jeffery Hodges

      =====
      Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges, Lecturer
      College of Continuing Education
      Kyungnam University
      449 Wolyoung-Dong, Habpo-Gu
      Masan, Kyungnam 631-701
      Republic of Korea

      __________________________________________________
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    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
      Monday morning has arrived here in The Land of Morning Calm , so I suppose that we can start the next discussion. Michael Willett Newheart wrote:
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 4, 2001
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        Monday morning has arrived here in "The Land of
        Morning Calm", so I suppose that we can start the next
        discussion. Michael Willett Newheart wrote:

        _______________________________________________________

        Jesusfathershouse, which is not the temple but Jesus�
        body (2:16, 21), is many-dwellinged. Lots of room for
        father and son and children to gather into one
        (11:52). Jesus goes there (Why does he need to go to
        his fathershouse if he is it?) to for the disciples
        place-prepare one of those many dwellings. After
        going, Jesus gonna come again to the disciples to
        receive them into his prepared bodyhouse so that they,
        his servant-followers, his father-given-ones, can be
        with him where he is and see his loving glory (12:26;
        17:24).

        _______________________________________________________

        This is an interesting association to make here
        between the temple as God's house and Jesus's body as
        God's house. It has never occurred to me to apply this
        association to Jesus's farewell discourse image of the
        house that Jesus goes to prepare. Have others also
        written on this?

        How far should we take this association in
        understanding the Johannine image? Does the fourth
        evangelist intend us to understand Jesus's body as the
        church (by analogy to the temple) that will be
        prepared by crucifixion and resurrection?

        This can allow us to think about the language of union
        into a concrete (if speculative) manner.

        The temple houses God, but people can enter into it.
        Similarly, the church houses God, but people can enter
        into it. The Father is in Jesus, and the believers are
        in Jesus.

        Yet, Jesus is also in the believers through his
        spirit, which binds believers to one another to make
        up the church. The church, then, is not a specific
        building but something more like the heavenly temple
        -- a bit of realized eschatology.

        But Jesus's body is also a place where believers dwell
        -- is the image of the early churches operative here,
        i.e., the home as the meeting place of the church?
        This would resonate with Michael Newheart's theme of
        "home".

        Are multivalent images of temple, church, home, and
        body intersecting here in the Johannine Jesus's
        farewell discourse?

        I'd speculate more on this, but my son is re-calling
        me away from our ethereal discussion hall back to the
        world of the home. I have to feed him.

        Jeffery Hodges

        =====
        Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges, Lecturer
        College of Continuing Education
        Kyungnam University
        449 Wolyoung-Dong, Habpo-Gu
        Masan, Kyungnam 631-701
        Republic of Korea

        __________________________________________________
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      • Michael Newheart
        Thanks, Jeffery, for kicking off discussion of my paper. You discuss the association I make between Jesus body and the temple as God s house, and you ask if
        Message 3 of 14 , Feb 4, 2001
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          Thanks, Jeffery, for kicking off discussion of my paper. You discuss the
          association I make between Jesus' body and the temple as God's house, and
          you ask if anyone else has written on this. I don't know that anybody has.
          Perhaps someone else will know. I appreciate your continuing to play with
          the association.

          To all JL list-servers, the book that my paper comes out of, WORD AND SOUL,
          will be published by The Liturgical Press in July 2001. You can read a
          summary of it, the table of contents and the introduction at
          http://www.catalog.litpress.org/detail.cfm?ID=2173

          I look forward to a spirited (paraclete-ed?) discussion this week.

          Peace to all,
          Michael

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges@...>
          To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
          <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Date: Sunday, February 04, 2001 5:00 PM
          Subject: [John_Lit] Discussion of Michael Willett Newheart's SBL1999 Paper


          >Monday morning has arrived here in "The Land of
          >Morning Calm", so I suppose that we can start the next
          >discussion. Michael Willett Newheart wrote:
          >
          >_______________________________________________________
          >
          >Jesusfathershouse, which is not the temple but Jesus’
          >body (2:16, 21), is many-dwellinged. Lots of room for
          >father and son and children to gather into one
          >(11:52). Jesus goes there (Why does he need to go to
          >his fathershouse if he is it?) to for the disciples
          >place-prepare one of those many dwellings. After
          >going, Jesus gonna come again to the disciples to
          >receive them into his prepared bodyhouse so that they,
          >his servant-followers, his father-given-ones, can be
          >with him where he is and see his loving glory (12:26;
          >17:24).
          >
          >_______________________________________________________
          >
          >This is an interesting association to make here
          >between the temple as God's house and Jesus's body as
          >God's house. It has never occurred to me to apply this
          >association to Jesus's farewell discourse image of the
          >house that Jesus goes to prepare. Have others also
          >written on this?
          >
          >How far should we take this association in
          >understanding the Johannine image? Does the fourth
          >evangelist intend us to understand Jesus's body as the
          >church (by analogy to the temple) that will be
          >prepared by crucifixion and resurrection?
          >
          >This can allow us to think about the language of union
          >into a concrete (if speculative) manner.
          >
          >The temple houses God, but people can enter into it.
          >Similarly, the church houses God, but people can enter
          >into it. The Father is in Jesus, and the believers are
          >in Jesus.
          >
          >Yet, Jesus is also in the believers through his
          >spirit, which binds believers to one another to make
          >up the church. The church, then, is not a specific
          >building but something more like the heavenly temple
          >-- a bit of realized eschatology.
          >
          >But Jesus's body is also a place where believers dwell
          >-- is the image of the early churches operative here,
          >i.e., the home as the meeting place of the church?
          >This would resonate with Michael Newheart's theme of
          >"home".
          >
          >Are multivalent images of temple, church, home, and
          >body intersecting here in the Johannine Jesus's
          >farewell discourse?
          >
          >I'd speculate more on this, but my son is re-calling
          >me away from our ethereal discussion hall back to the
          >world of the home. I have to feed him.
          >
          >Jeffery Hodges
          >
          >=====
          >Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges, Lecturer
          >College of Continuing Education
          >Kyungnam University
          >449 Wolyoung-Dong, Habpo-Gu
          >Masan, Kyungnam 631-701
          >Republic of Korea
          >
          >__________________________________________________
          >Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35
          >a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
          >
          >SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@egroups.com
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          >
        • James Shelton
          ... The following is a footnote found in the NET Bible online in reference to John 14:2 Most interpreters have understood the reference to my Father s house
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 4, 2001
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            > Thanks, Jeffery, for kicking off discussion of my paper. You discuss the
            > association I make between Jesus' body and the temple as God's house, and
            > you ask if anyone else has written on this. I don't know that anybody has.

            The following is a footnote found in the NET Bible online in reference to
            John 14:2

            "Most interpreters have understood the reference to my Father's house as a
            reference to heaven, and the dwelling places (monhv, monh) as the permanent
            residences of believers there. This seems consistent with the vocabulary and
            the context, where in v. 3 Jesus speaks of coming again to take the
            disciples to himself. ***However, the phrase in my Father's house was used
            previously in the Fourth Gospel in 2:16 to refer to the temple in Jerusalem.
            The author in 2:19-22 then reinterpreted the temple as Jesus' body, which
            was to be destroyed in death and then rebuilt in resurrection after three
            days. Even more suggestive is the statement by Jesus in 8:35, "Now the slave
            does not remain (mevnw, menw) in the household forever, but the son remains
            (mevnw) forever." If in the imagery of the Fourth Gospel the phrase in my
            Father's house is ultimately a reference to Jesus' body, the relationship of
            monhv to mevnw suggests the permanent relationship of the believer to Jesus
            and the Father as an adopted son who remains in the household forever. In
            this case the "dwelling place" is "in" Jesus himself, where he is, whether
            in heaven or on earth. The statement in v. 3, "I will come again and receive
            you to myself," then refers not just to the parousia, but also to Jesus'
            post-resurrection return to the disciples in his glorified state, when by
            virtue of his death on their behalf they may enter into union with him and
            with the Father as adopted sons. Needless to say, this bears numerous
            similarities to Pauline theology, especially the concepts of adoption as
            sons and being "in Christ" which are prominent in passages like Eph 1. It is
            also important to note, however, the emphasis in the Fourth Gospel itself on
            the present reality of eternal life (John 5:24, 7:38-39, etc.) and the
            possibility of worshiping the Father "in the Spirit and in truth" (John
            4:21-24) in the present age. There is a sense in which it is possible to say
            that the future reality is present now. See further J. McCaffrey, The House
            With Many Rooms. "


            I hope this may be of some help.
            Jim Shelton
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Michael Newheart" <mjnewheart@...>
            To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, February 04, 2001 6:00 PM
            Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Discussion of Michael Willett Newheart's SBL1999
            Paper


            > Thanks, Jeffery, for kicking off discussion of my paper. You discuss the
            > association I make between Jesus' body and the temple as God's house, and
            > you ask if anyone else has written on this. I don't know that anybody has.
            > Perhaps someone else will know. I appreciate your continuing to play with
            > the association.
            >
            > To all JL list-servers, the book that my paper comes out of, WORD AND
            SOUL,
            > will be published by The Liturgical Press in July 2001. You can read a
            > summary of it, the table of contents and the introduction at
            > http://www.catalog.litpress.org/detail.cfm?ID=2173
            >
            > I look forward to a spirited (paraclete-ed?) discussion this week.
            >
            > Peace to all,
            > Michael
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges@...>
            > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
            > <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
            > Date: Sunday, February 04, 2001 5:00 PM
            > Subject: [John_Lit] Discussion of Michael Willett Newheart's SBL1999 Paper
            >
            >
            > >Monday morning has arrived here in "The Land of
            > >Morning Calm", so I suppose that we can start the next
            > >discussion. Michael Willett Newheart wrote:
            > >
            > >_______________________________________________________
            > >
            > >Jesusfathershouse, which is not the temple but Jesus'
            > >body (2:16, 21), is many-dwellinged. Lots of room for
            > >father and son and children to gather into one
            > >(11:52). Jesus goes there (Why does he need to go to
            > >his fathershouse if he is it?) to for the disciples
            > >place-prepare one of those many dwellings. After
            > >going, Jesus gonna come again to the disciples to
            > >receive them into his prepared bodyhouse so that they,
            > >his servant-followers, his father-given-ones, can be
            > >with him where he is and see his loving glory (12:26;
            > >17:24).
            > >
            > >_______________________________________________________
            > >
            > >This is an interesting association to make here
            > >between the temple as God's house and Jesus's body as
            > >God's house. It has never occurred to me to apply this
            > >association to Jesus's farewell discourse image of the
            > >house that Jesus goes to prepare. Have others also
            > >written on this?
            > >
            > >How far should we take this association in
            > >understanding the Johannine image? Does the fourth
            > >evangelist intend us to understand Jesus's body as the
            > >church (by analogy to the temple) that will be
            > >prepared by crucifixion and resurrection?
            > >
            > >This can allow us to think about the language of union
            > >into a concrete (if speculative) manner.
            > >
            > >The temple houses God, but people can enter into it.
            > >Similarly, the church houses God, but people can enter
            > >into it. The Father is in Jesus, and the believers are
            > >in Jesus.
            > >
            > >Yet, Jesus is also in the believers through his
            > >spirit, which binds believers to one another to make
            > >up the church. The church, then, is not a specific
            > >building but something more like the heavenly temple
            > >-- a bit of realized eschatology.
            > >
            > >But Jesus's body is also a place where believers dwell
            > >-- is the image of the early churches operative here,
            > >i.e., the home as the meeting place of the church?
            > >This would resonate with Michael Newheart's theme of
            > >"home".
            > >
            > >Are multivalent images of temple, church, home, and
            > >body intersecting here in the Johannine Jesus's
            > >farewell discourse?
            > >
            > >I'd speculate more on this, but my son is re-calling
            > >me away from our ethereal discussion hall back to the
            > >world of the home. I have to feed him.
            > >
            > >Jeffery Hodges
            > >
            > >=====
            > >Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges, Lecturer
            > >College of Continuing Education
            > >Kyungnam University
            > >449 Wolyoung-Dong, Habpo-Gu
            > >Masan, Kyungnam 631-701
            > >Republic of Korea
            > >
            > >__________________________________________________
            > >Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35
            > >a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
            > >
            > >SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@egroups.com
            > >UNSUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-unsubscribe@egroups.com
            > >PROBLEMS?: e-mail johannine_literature-owner@egroups.com
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            > SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@egroups.com
            > UNSUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-unsubscribe@egroups.com
            > PROBLEMS?: e-mail johannine_literature-owner@egroups.com
            >
            >
          • Horace Jeffery Hodges
            ... Well, I tried to, but not very successfully. However, having taught a bit of poetry in my time, I know from experience how reluctant people are to hazard a
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 6, 2001
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              Michael Newheart wrote:

              > Thanks, Jeffery, for kicking off discussion of my
              > paper.

              Well, I tried to, but not very successfully. However,
              having taught a bit of poetry in my time, I know from
              experience how reluctant people are to hazard a
              response to it.

              > You discuss the
              > association I make between Jesus' body and the
              > temple as God's house, and
              > you ask if anyone else has written on this. I don't
              > know that anybody has.
              > Perhaps someone else will know.

              On this more prosaic topic, we've already seen James
              Shelton supply a citation. I've since found one
              myself, and because I have a bit of time on my hands,
              I'll type the passage in for everyone's convenience:

              -------------------------------------------------------

              2 A primary reason for maintaining faith in Jesus,
              precisely as the Crucified, is now given. The picture
              portrays a large house with many subsidiary living
              quarters (the AV/KJV translation of monai as
              "mansions" goes back to the Tyndale [echoing the
              Vulgate mansiones] in whose time the term simply
              denoted a dwelling; Luther's Wohnungen is apt: in
              modern times the term is used not only for dwellings,
              but for "apartments", "flats"). Some exegetes have
              interpreted oikia in a corporate sense, in the light
              of the concept of the Church as a spiritual house or
              temple of God (cf. e.e., 1 Cor 3:16-17; Eph 2:20-22; 1
              Pet 2:5, also John 2:19-21); the promise in vv 2-3 is
              then thought to relate to the fellowship which will be
              possible through Christ's departure and return through
              the Spirit (so R. H. Gundry, "In My Father's House Are
              Many Monai," 69-71. O. Schaefer viewed the Father's
              house as "the Father's realm of power and love that
              embraces heaven and earth," and the return of Jesus to
              his disciples as for mutual fellowship within that
              "home" in the present, "Der Sinn der Rede Jesu von den
              vielen Wohnungen . . . ," 213-16). On the contrary,
              the Father's "house" with its many dwellings is most
              plausibly a pictorial representation of the
              transcendent dwelling of God, such as is depicted
              under the figure of "the city of the living God, the
              heavenly Jerusalem" in Heb 12:22, a symbol which is
              greatly elaborated in the apocalyptic vision of the
              City of God in Rev 21:9-22:5. Naturally the figure in
              John 14:2-3 is wholly unapocalyptic; rather it is
              eschatological, as the related comparison of tent and
              house in 2 Cor 5:1 (see the full discussion of the
              possibilities of interpretation in G. Fischer, Die
              himmilische Wohnungen: Untersuchungen zu Joh 14,2f,
              58-74). The departure of Jesus is for the purpose of
              preparing a place for the disciples within that
              "home"; the latter is viewed as existing already, but
              by his death and exaltation the Lord is to make it
              possible for his own to be there with him.

              (George R. Beasley-Murray, John [Word Biblical
              Commentary, Vol. 36 (Second Edition)], p. 249)

              -------------------------------------------------------

              Perhaps some of the listserve members will find this
              hint about "home" in Michael Newheart's paper
              interesting and respond now that it's been "fleshed"
              out a bit.

              Jeffery Hodges

              =====
              Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges, Lecturer
              College of Continuing Education
              Kyungnam University
              449 Wolyoung-Dong, Habpo-Gu
              Masan, Kyungnam 631-701
              Republic of Korea

              __________________________________________________
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            • Bob MacDonald
              How does one discuss this? I had a discussion with a man named 18th percentile, a pagan with only distant interest in religious things. (Only for when I
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 6, 2001
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                How does one 'discuss' this?

                I had a discussion with a man named 18th percentile, a pagan with only
                distant interest in religious things. (Only for when I really get afraid of
                death.) He's still too young since 82% of the world is younger than he.

                Maybe the presence will get through with this poetry. Clearly the population
                in eternal life is One.

                Awesome

                Thanks

                Bob

                mailto::BobMacDonald@...
                + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

                Catch the foxes for us,
                the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
                for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
                http://members.home.net/bobmacdonald/homepage.htm
              • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                Concerning Michael Newheart s paper, Bob MacDonald ... death.) ... poetry. ... Good question and clever example. It s certainly easier to set off on a
                Message 7 of 14 , Feb 7, 2001
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                  Concerning Michael Newheart's paper, Bob MacDonald
                  wrote:

                  > How does one 'discuss' this?

                  Then took off on a poetic riff:

                  > I had a discussion with a man named 18th percentile,
                  > a pagan with only distant interest in religious
                  > things. (Only for when I really get afraid of
                  death.)
                  > He's still too young since 82% of the world is
                  > younger than he.
                  >
                  > Maybe the presence will get through with this
                  poetry.
                  > Clearly the population in eternal life is One.

                  Good question and clever example. It's certainly
                  easier to set off on a discussion of more traditional
                  approaches to John than what you or Michael have
                  provided (though I take it that yours was meant more
                  humorously than seriously).

                  I think that part of the problem here is that we're
                  dealing with poesis and its attendant category of
                  truth.

                  Let me briefly (if roughly) clarify what I mean.
                  Traditionally -- as we all know -- there are two
                  general theories of truth: correspondence and
                  coherence. Historical approaches to a text generally
                  favor the former, whereas literary approaches to a
                  text generally favor the latter. We know, more or
                  less, how to proceed in in analyzing historical and
                  literary interpretations.

                  What Michael Newheart has done, however, is to
                  interpret the text by writing a poem. He is not
                  particularly interested in its correspondence to
                  historical reality or its internal literary coherence.
                  Thus, there is little to say on either of those
                  scores.

                  A poesis category of truth is truth as creation --
                  truth that is made by the poet. It either resonates
                  with readers/listeners, or it doesn't. We can, of
                  course, analyze the creation in terms of its basic
                  poetic devices -- rhythm, sound, and imagery and
                  everything deriving from these three -- but unless the
                  poem resonates with us, there might be little point to
                  it.

                  As for me, I enjoyed reading Michael's paper.

                  I liked the wordplays, appreciated the fun that he had
                  with language (and if you look at the blurb for his
                  book, you'll find a nice pun in every chapter heading:
                  e.g., fore-word, bye-word, sky-word, etc.).

                  I liked the twisted, quasi-Germanic-sounding
                  participials used as adjectives, for these brought an
                  immediacy to the text that made me want to look again
                  at the Johannine Greek itself to see there were
                  parallels (though I haven't done so yet).

                  I even gained some insights about how to reread John
                  -- such as the possibility concerning
                  temple-body-church that I've already posted on. The
                  theme of home as community -- and its other-poem
                  parallels to homes/communities that we may wish to
                  construct today gave Michael's poem a larger relevance
                  for me than it would have had if it had remained a
                  purely internal soul-hermeneutic.

                  The only thing that didn't seem to fit Michael's poem
                  was his soapbox stance in a couple of instances near
                  the end. (Hey, did you catch my puns?) This is merely
                  an aesthetic point that I'm making, not an ideological
                  one.

                  Okay, that's all from me . . . for now. I hope that
                  this will motivate more responses.

                  Jeffery Hodges

                  =====
                  Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges, Lecturer
                  College of Continuing Education
                  Kyungnam University
                  449 Wolyoung-Dong, Habpo-Gu
                  Masan, Kyungnam 631-701
                  Republic of Korea

                  __________________________________________________
                  Do You Yahoo!?
                  Yahoo! Auctions - Buy the things you want at great prices.
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