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[John_Lit] Re: The Signs Source

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  • Wieland Willker
    Thank you Mark Matson and David Hunter for your answers. What follows is only a laymans view, so please be kind:David Hunter wrote: Van Belle is arguing
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 15, 1999
      Thank you Mark Matson and David Hunter for your answers.
      What follows is only a laymans view, so please be kind:

      David Hunter wrote:
      > Van Belle is
      > arguing from the position that 4G is dependent on the Synoptic
      > Gospels although to be fair he does not make this alternative proposal
      > part of his critique. In terms of the 'scholarly consensus', the
      > increasing tendency to argue for 4G dependency on the Synoptic Gospels
      > does seem logically to rule out independent sources such as the SS.

      ?
      There is so much in 4G that is not in the Synoptics. You need additional
      sources. I don't find "to argue for 4G dependency on the Synoptic Gospels"
      very helpful here. What is the new evidence for this?

      When one reads GJohn one thing is obvious immediately. There is a narrative
      of some kind in which large blocks of speech/monologue are inserted. And it
      looks very "artificially inserted".
      It seems clear to me that these blooks of speech have not been invented (in
      statu nascendi) for the gospel but existed in some kind or the other before.

      Then we have the narrative. I have read it again and again and I can't help
      but saying that this looks like some completely revised older source to me.
      Though because of the very thoroughly revision it is very difficult to
      reconstruct the older layers.

      The questions I have left are:
      1. Where do the monologue blocks originate?
      2. Do we have one single source for the narrative or two? One signs source
      and one passion source?
      It might be possible that the author knew the Synoptics (in the passion
      narrative?), but he definitely had other sources. How near can we come these
      sources?

      Best wishes
      Wieland
      <><
      --------------------
      mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
      http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/


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    • Jack Kilmon
      A very busy schedule has kept me from participating on the list in more than a quick lurk fashion. An early rise this morning allows me a liesurely cup of
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 15, 1999
        A very busy schedule has kept me from participating on the list in more
        than a "quick lurk"
        fashion. An early rise this morning allows me a liesurely cup of coffee
        and a closer look
        and this thread caught my eye as well as the participation of Wieland
        whom I consider one
        of the finest scholars on the internet. He must be good since he seems
        to be interested
        in all the things that I am <grin>.

        This same busy schedule has kept me from a thorough perusal of the
        "signs source" material
        mentioned here but now, reading these posts, I can no longer put it
        off. Independent of
        the Semeia work, I have been examining 4G for quite some time as an
        Aramaicist and my
        belief that an earlier Aramaic "proto-John" narrative lies imbedded, in
        translational
        Greek in the larger compositional Greek layers of 4G. My work lies in
        "peeling away"
        the expansion layers of material to extract and restore and retrovert to
        Aramaic this
        more primitive Aramaic substratum material.

        Perhaps it is fortunate that I have not yet conducted a study of the SS
        up to this point
        and having been influenced by it. In this regard I was struck by:

        >".....indications of this distinction are texts such as 2:22-25, 4:48 and possibly
        > 20:29,..."

        .....in that 2:22-25 and 4:48 are not part of my "extracted" proto-John
        but 20:29-31
        is. I guess its now off to Amazon.com to order the works you cite to
        see if there is some
        relationship between the putative SS and my "proto-John."

        I started this off as on recreational study about two years ago while
        studying the
        Aramaic substratum of "Q" material and observing that the Matthean
        scribe appears
        to have used a Greek rescension of this material while, surprisingly,
        Luke appears
        to have translated an Aramaic, perhaps original, rescension. It got me
        to wondering
        if there was some truth behind the patristic citation that the disciple
        "Matthew"
        did indeed pen this anthology of sayings in Aramaic, maybe even during
        the lifetimr
        of the HJ, and its use by the Matthean scribe was responsible for the
        naming of the
        canonical gospel. Contralaterally, could the use of an early Aramaic
        narrative,
        penned perhaps by Yohanon bar Zebediya, caused the Johannine scribe, or
        later
        tradition, to so name canonical "John."

        In any event, please give me some more information, either online or
        off, on
        your understandings from these cited works on the SS and the pericopes
        so judged
        to belong to it.

        Now off to Amazon....glad I saved some "book budget" this month (g)

        Jack

        David Hunter wrote:
        >
        > Wieland
        >
        > A comprehensive recent summary and critique of the Signs Source (SS) thesis is by Gilbert Van Belle (GVB)
        >
        > *The Signs Source in the Fourth Gospel: Historical Survey and Critical Evaluation of the Semeia Hypothesis.* Leuven: Leuven University
        > Press, 1994.
        >
        > and updated in
        >
        > “The Meaning of SHMEIA in Jn 20,30-31.”. In Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas - Johannine Writings Seminar in Birmingham, 4-8 August
        > 1997. Unpublished (1997) pp. 1-25. (poss. published since?)
        >
        > Van Belle's survey notes the various works that Mark Matson mentions but focusses more on Bultmann's thesis and Fortna's proposal. VB is
        > arguing from the position that 4G is dependent on the Synoptic Gospels although to be fair he does not make this alternative proposal
        > part of his critique. In terms of the 'scholarly consensus', the increasing tendency to argue for 4G dependency on the Synoptic Gospels
        > does seem logically to rule out independent sources such as the SS.
        >
        > IMHO and briefly, a further weakness of the SS reconstructed by redaction analysis is the necessary assumption of a SS theology
        > distinctive and inferior to that of 4G. While the key indications of this distinction are texts such as 2:22-25, 4:48 and possibly
        > 20:29, this direction must be balanced by the fact that the SHMEIA material is used by the evangelist as the framework for the
        > presentation of the ministry of Jesus and that 20:30-31 appears to link the SHMEIA, consequent belief, and salvation/ eternal life as
        > the concluding comments of the whole Gospel. Further, the concept of SHMEIA in 4G (as difficult as this is to pin down) is very
        > different to the attitude to 'signs' and the use of miracle stories in the Synoptic Gospels.
        >
        > (I should also say that there are exegetes who have discussed the source analysis of 4G since VB's 1997 essay. For example, Paul
        > Anderson _The Christology of the Fourth Gospel_,Trinity Press International 1997). Also Michael Labahn *Jesus als Lebensspender*. BZNW
        > ?? Berlin New York 1988.)
        >
        > Best wishes
        >
        > David Hunter
        > PhD Candidate
        > St Marks National Theological Centre
        > School of Theology, Charles Sturt University
        > Canberra, Australia
        >
        > Mark Matson wrote:
        >
        > > Wieland Willker wrote:
        > > > What do scholars think is the content of the hypothetical Signs Source?
        > > > Is there a verse list or pericope list anywhere?
        > > > What are the latest theories?
        > > > Is this only the 7 signs?
        > > > Or is it more: the John B stories, the temple cleansing, parts of ch. 7?
        > > >
        > > There a number of theories around about the size and extent of the
        > > Signs Source. I think Fortna's "Gospel of Signs" is still the
        > > classic exposition of this, though others (Heekerens,
        > > "Die Zeichenquelle der johanneischen Redaktion"; Nicol, The Semeia in
        > > the Fourth Gospel"; von Wahlde, "The Earliest Verison of John's
        > > Gospel") present different scenarios based on different criteria.
        > > All of these, and Bultmann of course, saw some pre-johannine source
        > > which might be identified with the Signs Source. I don't have all
        > > these handy right now, or I would briefly sketch them out.
        > >
        > > Fortna includes seven "signs", plus the baptist encounter, the temple
        > > cleansing, and much of the passion narrative in the source. Some of
        > > the material he rearranges.
        > >
        > > > Is there a consensus that a source was used in the first half of the gospel?
        > >
        > > I don't think there is a consensus on this at all. I would be
        > > interested in what others think of the "state of the question."
        > >
        > > Mark Matson
        > > Mark A. Matson, Ph.D.
        > > Asst. Director, Sanford Institute of Public Policy
        > > Adjunct Professor of New Testament
        > > Duke University
        > > Durham, NC 27713
        > > (919) 613-7310
        > >
        > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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        >
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        --
        ______________________________________________

        taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

        Jack Kilmon
        jkilmon@...

        http://www.historian.net

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      • Thatcher, Tom
        Dear Willken et. al.,Mark is correct that Fortna s and are the current standard statements
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 19, 1999
          Dear Willken et. al.,

          Mark is correct that Fortna's <<The Gospel of Signs>> and <<The Fourth
          Gospel and Its Predecessor>> are the current standard statements of the
          Signs Gospel. Fortna's version is the one accepted by the Jesus Seminar,
          who treat it as the source of the Johannine miracle stories. Von Walhde's
          book is also notable but uses, in my view, very questionable criteria for
          separating the source from the present text of FG. Same with the book and
          articles by Sydney Temple in the 70's. The difficulty with Bultmann's
          reconstruction is that his commentary does not include a methodological
          introduction which would outline any of the five or six sources he sees
          behind FG. This is possibly because Bultmann, unlike Fortna, did not
          believe it possible to reconstruct the Signs Source from the present text of
          FG.

          If anyone is interested in a survey of this stuff with the relevant
          documentation, I am finishing up a monograph which should appear late this
          year which includes a chapter on this topic. Drop me a note and I'll try to
          send the chapter, or some portions thereof. I should also mention that
          Fortna and I are editing a book on the Johannine Jesus tradition (to which
          Mark and several others on this list are contributing), which will include
          several essays directly related to narrative sources. I think it fair to
          say that Fortna still believes firmly in the SG, but is somewhat less
          dogmatic about producing the text of it. He also has several articles in
          the JSem's journal, <<Forum>>, which address the possible historicity of
          various sections of SG, especially the Passion. In general, he is not very
          hopefuly that the SG has much to say about the historical Jesus.

          Respectfully,
          --tom

          "The Truth Will Set You Free"
          Tom Thatcher
          CBC&S
          (513) 244-8172



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