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[John_Lit] Re: Fortna reviews Van Belle "The Signs Source..."

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 7/15/1999 6:17:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time, willker@chemie.uni-bremen.de writes (commenting on Van Belle, The Signs Source , and quoting
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 15 6:25 AM
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      In a message dated 7/15/1999 6:17:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      willker@...-bremen.de writes (commenting on Van Belle, "The Signs
      Source", and quoting Fortna's response to it):

      <<Another, and perhaps the controlling, reason [for the work itself and its
      publication] is the role this work seeks to play in the on-going campaign of
      the Leuven school to establish Johannine dependence on the Synoptic Gospels.
      >>

      I myself hold John's dependence on the Synoptic Gospels, but I have always
      marveled at the fact that the School of Leuven does as well. In my view, if
      John can have used the Synoptic Gospels then it is perfectly clear that Luke
      can have used the Gospel of Matt. In fact there are numerous precise
      analogies between the two situations, the only major difference being that
      Jn's use of Synoptic material would be even more free and creative than
      Luke's use of Matt. The reason I am surprised at this particular crusade
      (about John's Gospel) coming out of Leuven is because of the school's
      well-known opposition to any but the standard 2 SH for the Synoptics, in
      other words its forceful denial (especially by Neirynck) that Luke could have
      had access to Matt, as he does in the Farrer and Two Gospel Hypotheses.

      <<Despite its unmanageability, this book will provide a definitive tracking
      of
      the elaborate argument during this century over the hypothesis in question.
      But no doubt the debate will continue, in particular whether a Johannine use
      of the Synoptics, however creatively imagined, can usefully and validly
      explain the Fourth Gospel's complex genius. (4/96)>>

      I much appreciated the brilliant review from which the above two paragraphs
      are excerpted, but this last sentence I would have to describe as rhetorical
      overkill at the expense of good logic. Of course Johannine use of the
      Synoptics cannot "explain the Fourth Gospel's complex genius". The real
      question is, however, whether it is compatible with such use. And the answer
      is of course: yes. Then the next question becomes that of sheer historical
      probability, which I think rates high as an a priori argument in favor of
      John's knowledge of the Synoptic Gospels. I do not find anything in Jn that
      makes the hypothesis of knowledge of the Synoptic tradition on the part of
      its author unlikely. One must simply depart from the (unsupportable)
      presupposition that an author is obliged to essentially COPY documents on a
      related topic to which he has access. This presupposition was virtually
      unchallenged throughout the entire period of New Testament Source Criticism,
      and it is an (unconscious) hold-over from the earlier
      period of Textual Criticism. I.e., the later Evangelists were regarded as
      little more than glorified scribes. Fortunately, scholarship in general
      continues to move in the direction of viewing the Evangelists as authors.

      Leonard Maluf


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