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What did the BD believe (20:8)?

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  • Kym Smith
    Dear Listers, There has been some debate from the Pepys manuscript concerning what the BD believed when he saw the empty tomb. I have no wish to enter into the
    Message 1 of 21 , Jul 24, 2001
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      Dear Listers,


      There has been some debate from the Pepys manuscript concerning what the BD believed when he saw the empty tomb. I have no wish to enter into the debate from that angle. However, I think the conclusion being drawn from it, i.e. that the BD believed Mary’s report rather than that Jesus had risen, is correct. My approach to this is from a completely different angle and it requires an attachment to be able to make it clear. It should be noted, by the way, that the presence of other women is inferred by Mary’s words, "‘we’ do not know where they have laid him". What follows here and in the attachment has been extracted from a book I have self-published (self-publication is no recommendation!). The book is awaiting a review on the SBL web-site, but that, of course, does not guarantee the acceptability of its contents. Indeed, while looking at this section I found some errors that have been corrected here, (Oh well, next edition!). The following paragraph is from the two-page attachment and is placed here to give some idea of its contents.


      We are told there that ‘he saw and believed.’ But what did he believe? Despite the difficulties, all of the commentaries in my possession either incline towards, or firmly declare, that disciple’s belief that Jesus had risen. Several things militate against this, however. The rest of the verse reads, ‘for as yet they did not know the scripture that he must rise from the dead.’ The most natural reading of this denies that that disciple believed that Jesus had risen. Neither of the two apostles present expected a resurrection or understood that the Christ must rise. Added to this is the lack of confidence – assumedly of all the disciples – who hid behind locked doors for fear of the Jews (20:19) and the absence of any direct commendation from Christ to that disciple who, supposedly, did believe (as distinct from the clear statement concerning Thomas’ unbelief – 20:29). If the ‘other disciple’ actually believed that Jesus had risen, the prospect that the two simply ‘went back to their homes’ (20:10) is not believable. Considering the despair, the sorrow and the anguish that all of Jesus’ followers were going through, this beloved disciple would not have just gone home, keeping his new-found faith to himself.

      Sincerely,

      Kym Smith

      Adelaide

      South Australia

      khs@...





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John N. Lupia
      Kym, the presence of other women with Mary Magdalene (Joh 20,1) is obviated by the words OUK OIDAMEN in v. 20,2. The style of St. John is that the main
      Message 2 of 21 , Aug 25, 2001
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        Kym, the presence of other women with Mary Magdalene (Joh
        20,1) is obviated by the words OUK OIDAMEN in v. 20,2. The
        style of St. John is that the main character of the narrative was
        highlighted in v. 20,1 for purposes that become clear as the story
        unravels. Now, the narrative concerning SS. John and Peter
        running to the tomb on hearing Mary Magdalene's report is
        important regarding the historical situation of belief and
        understanding. John 20, 8 EIDEN KAI EPISTEUSEN "he saw
        and believed" distinguishes St. John from the other two figures
        in the narrative: SS. Mary Magdalene and Peter as well as from
        the rest of the disciples. Joh 20, 9 says regarding them:
        OUDEPW GAR hHDEISAN THN GRAFHN hOTI DEI AUTON EK
        NEKRWN ANASTHNAI "For as yet they did not understand the
        scripture, that he must rise from the dead." The keyword is
        hHDEISAN "they understood" or "they knew" imputes the "they" to
        SS. Mary Magdalene and Peter in the narrative and implicates
        the other disciples not present. This is strengthened by Joh
        20,11-15 when Mary Magdalene persisted in thinking that some
        group of men had taken away the corpse of Jesus. Since the
        introduction in Joh 20,1 Mary Magdalene was highlighted as the
        main character to show by means of personification, the thinking
        of the rest. She finally understands by "seeing Jesus", just as
        the rest finally do in post resurrection appearances. In the entire
        drama from Joh 20,1-16 St. John is the *only one* who believed
        merely by seeing the linen robe (see archive 1877 for an
        explanation). The climax to this narrative is in Joh 20,29 "Have
        you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those
        who have not seen and yet have come to believe." Now in the
        dénouement it is clear that historically "only St. John" believed
        prior to the post resurrection appearances linking him with the
        Blessed Virgin Mary in Joh 19,26-27 when he was the only one
        of the twelve at the cross and was given Mary as his mother from
        Christ himself. Now, the understanding of the Church is that Joh
        19,26-27 is true for the entire mystical body just as Joh 20,29.
        The links between these episodes is a matter of Johannine
        style.

        For access to archive 1877 click below:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_literature/message/18
        77

        Cordially in Christ,
        John
        <><

        John N. Lupia
        501 North Avenue B-1
        Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
        JLupia2@...
        <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><>

        "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium
        approaches . . . unity among all Christians of the various
        confessions will increase until they reach full communion." John
        Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16
      • khs@picknowl.com.au
        Dear John, Thanks for your thoughts. I mentioned an attachment in my post. I sent one with it but it does not seem to have been accepted or do they appear
        Message 3 of 21 , Aug 26, 2001
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          Dear John,

          Thanks for your thoughts. I mentioned an attachment in my post.
          I sent one with it but it does not seem to have been accepted or
          do they appear somewhere else on the forum?

          I cannot go all the way with you, especially re:
          >Now, the understanding of the Church is that John 19,26-27 is
          true for the entire mystical body just as Joh 20,29. >
          But I guess that difference would not be new and it can sit to the
          sife for the moment.

          Nor am I sure that 20:29 links John's 'belief' at the tomb with
          Jesus' words to him at the cross. I will have to look at the article
          you mentioned when I get an opportunity.

          You would have to say that both disciples "went back to their
          homes" (20:10) as only three people were involved in this part of
          the story and Mary stayed at the tomb. Is it reasonable, then, to
          take the "they" of 20:10 to mean both men but the "they " 20:9 to
          refer to Peter and Mary? Is not the "he saw and believed" of 20:8
          simply necessary because the narrative, at that point,
          concentrates on the actions of the BD following Peter into the
          tomb? From the apparent lack of any real response (eg. "they
          went back to their homes"), it would seem that teh BD's
          understanding was no different Peter's. Certainly Luke 24:22-24
          would seem to confirm that.

          Back to 20:29, if that was to be taken as a reference to the BD's
          faith without "seeing", then it would surely require a singular
          "Blessed is he..." or at least a "Blessed is he and they..." "Have
          believed" may be in your favor, but again it is plural and so is
          unlikely to refer to John alone and I don't think we can presume
          that anyone else believed without seeing at that time - not from
          John's text alone, anyway. From the other gospels we may
          gather that the women who were with Mary Magdelene believed
          after seeing the angel/s. That is the group that is likely to have
          been commended in 20:29 - as well as the many future
          believers - but John does not present that visitation to the
          women.

          >The > style of St. John is that the main character of the narrative
          was > highlighted in v. 20,1 for purposes that become clear as
          the story > unravels.

          I would like to suggest another reason why John has focussed
          on the single woman, Mary Magdalene, here. This is one of the
          issues I have written about. The reason is because he has used
          Genesis 1 and 2 as a framework for the gospel, from 1:1 to
          20:29. The single woman is necessary to parallel (the gardener -
          cf 20:15) Adam's awakening in Eden and meeting with Eve. It is
          not coincidental that in the FG both the cross and the tomb were
          in a garden (19:41).

          Sincerely,

          Kym Smith
          Adelaide
          South Australia
          khs@...
        • John N. Lupia
          Kym Smith wrote: Is it reasonable, then, to take the they of 20:10 to mean both men but the they 20:9 to refer to Peter and Mary? I think you confused
          Message 4 of 21 , Aug 27, 2001
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            Kym Smith wrote:
            Is it reasonable, then, to take the "they" of 20:10 to mean both
            men but the "they " 20:9 to refer to Peter and Mary?

            I think you confused what I said. Certainly, Joh 20,10 APHLQON
            refers to SS. John and Peter returning home and does not refer
            in any way to HDEISAN in v. 20,9. To construe it as such is to
            read a wrong syntax into the verses referring to the same "they".
            The first "they" is part of the inflectional structure of HDEISAN
            (3rd person), but the second "they" APHLQON also in 3rd person
            is temporal referring to the narrative of SS. Peter and John's
            coming and going immediately followed by MARIA DE "But Mary"
            to show she did not leave but remained at the tomb. So,
            HDEISAN signifies a "they" other than John since the text in Joh
            20,8 states KAI EIDAN KAI EPISTEUSEN "he saw and believed"
            thereby distinguishing him from HDEISAN in v. 20,9.

            Kym Smith wrote:
            Is not the "he saw and believed" of 20:8
            simply necessary because the narrative, at that point,
            concentrates on the actions of the BD following Peter into the
            tomb?

            What follows is what actually did happened according to the
            eyewitness testimony. In this case St. John tells us that he saw
            and believed where the others as yet did not.

            Kym Smith wrote:
            From the apparent lack of any real response (eg. "they
            went back to their homes"), it would seem that teh BD's
            understanding was no different Peter's. Certainly Luke 24:22-24
            would seem to confirm that.

            The comparison of all four Gospel resurrection texts is a big job
            to handle on a e-list. You are now asking to compare Luke and
            John which is no less simple a task. I can only say they are
            different texts that all say the same thing regarding the fact of the
            resurrection. I can only comment here that St. John was an
            eyewitness, whereas Au_Luke was not. I identify Au_Luke as St.
            James the brother of St. John who did not go to the tomb.

            Kym Smith wrote:
            Back to 20:29, if that was to be taken as a reference to the BD's
            faith without "seeing", then it would surely require a singular
            "Blessed is he..." or at least a "Blessed is he and they..." "Have
            believed" may be in your favor, but again it is plural and so is
            unlikely to refer to John alone and I don't think we can presume
            that anyone else believed without seeing at that time not from
            John's text alone, anyway.

            I intentionally drew the parallel to SS. John and the mother of
            Jesus whom I also think believed without seeing. The HDEISAN
            in v. 20,9 I do not see is applied to her who according to Lc 1,45
            "And blessed is she who believed". The Church Fathers and a
            long tradition make this same analogy regarding the BVM. Now,
            the logic of Joh 20,29 is written for everyone throughout time who
            believes without requiring a vision of the Risen Christ, just as the
            episode at the cross made not only St. John the son of Mary but
            all of Christendom, a very ancient teaching from the Church
            Fathers on.

            Kym Smith wrote:
            From the other gospels we may
            gather that the women who were with Mary Magdalene believed
            after seeing the angel/s. That is the group that is likely to have
            been commended in 20:29 - as well as the many future
            believers - but John does not present that visitation to the
            women.

            I can hardly see how a valid interpretation of the women being
            given a revelation by angels is the same as you and I or any
            other Christian who believes without seeing. I can assure you
            angels have never come to explain this to me. I don't think the
            women experiencing apparitions qualify.

            Cordially in Christ,
            John
            <><

            John N. Lupia
            501 North Avenue B-1
            Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
            JLupia2@...
            <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><>

            "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium
            approaches . . . unity among all Christians of the various
            confessions will increase until they reach full communion." John
            Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16
          • khs@picknowl.com.au
            Dear John, You wrote, ... APHLQON refers to SS. John and Peter returning home and does not refer in any way to HDEISAN in v. 20,9. To construe it as such is
            Message 5 of 21 , Aug 27, 2001
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              Dear John,

              You wrote,

              >>>I think you confused what I said. Certainly, Joh 20,10
              APHLQON refers to SS. John and Peter returning home and
              does not refer in any way to HDEISAN in v. 20,9. To construe it
              as such is to read a wrong syntax into the verses referring to the
              same "they". The first "they" is part of the inflectional structure of
              HDEISAN (3rd person), but the second "they" APHLQON also in
              3rd person is temporal referring to the narrative of SS. Peter and
              John's coming and going immediately followed by MARIA DE
              "But Mary" to show she did not leave but remained at the tomb.
              So, HDEISAN signifies a "they" other than John since the text in
              Joh 20,8 states KAI EIDAN KAI EPISTEUSEN "he saw and
              believed" thereby distinguishing him from HDEISAN in v.
              20,9.>>>

              You may be right, I cannot claim a great knowledge of Greek.
              Even so, It seems to me that to separate the BD from HDEISAN
              of 20:9 – at least, without some other explanatory note, e.g. "he
              saw and believed, but Peter and Mary did not, for as yet they…" –
              is unrealistic. We do not even have a grave-side discussion with
              John explaining to the other two what it all meant. No, they just
              go to their own homes.

              In 20:17 Jesus told Mary, "…go to my brethren and say to
              them…" He does not say, "…go to the other brethren besides
              John and say to them…". Nor is John commended for his faith
              when Jesus appeared to the whole group (less Thomas) of
              disbelieving disciples (20:19-23).

              Perhaps someone else on the list might concur with you. For
              me, something has to move here. Either John did not believe
              that Jesus had risen, at that point, or this brilliant work simply
              does not make sense. For John to keep his new understanding
              to himself and just go home is not believable.

              In the attachment that I tried to send I showed what I believe to
              be a chiastic structure which contains the whole unit (20:1-10). If
              I am right about the structure, and if there was intended to be any
              cross structure comparison, then the coming and viewing of the
              disciples is matched by Mary's discovery of the tomb and report
              of the stolen body to Peter and the BD. It may not be conclusive
              but it lends weight to the view that what the BD believed was
              what Mary saw and reported.

              Then, after, disallowing – at least in the present context – my use
              of the Lukan passage, you wrote:

              >>>I intentionally drew the parallel to SS. John and the mother of
              Jesus whom I also think believed without seeing. The HDEISAN
              in v. 20,9 I do not see is applied to her who according to Lc 1,45
              "And blessed is she who believed". The Church Fathers and a
              long tradition make this same analogy regarding the BVM.>>>

              Now I don't think I would win an argument with you here re the
              BVM and the Church tradition which you hold. Nor do I wish to try.
              Nevertheless, do be fair and take the whole quote. Mary, the
              mother of Jesus, was commended because she "she…believed
              that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the
              Lord" (Luke 1:45). Now this is probably not the place to continue
              a debate, but it is possible that Mary is being commended for
              believing that she would bear a child as distinct from
              Zecheriah's doubting (Lk 1:20). Now it amy be that she also
              believed what the angel said about Jesus (Lk 1:32-33), but there
              is no mention there of the resurrection and we would have to
              read it in.

              >>> I can hardly see how a valid interpretation of the women
              being given a revelation by angels is the same as you and I or
              any other Christian who believes without seeing. I can assure
              you angels have never come to explain this to me. I don't think
              the women experiencing apparitions qualify.>>>

              The simple point here is that the women did not see the risen
              Christ but believed the message of the angels. Therefore they
              did believe without seeing and reported the same to the
              disciples. That episode may not be in John, but as we have
              already agreed, the presence of other women at the tomb is
              implied. I am happy to accept that Jesus' words in Jn 20:29,
              "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed" relate to
              all the faithful through history since that time. However – and I
              am not coming from the Greek here so I may stand corrected –
              Jesus' words are past tense, "have not seen…yet believed".
              Even if John did not record it, the story of the women was known
              and Jesus' words may have applied to them if he is, in fact,
              speaking of belief in the past tense. I would not go to the stake
              over this, but it does not seem unreasonable.

              Sincerely,

              Kym Smith
              Adelaide
              South Australia
              khs@...
            • Yuri Kuchinsky
              ... Kym, This use of plural we seems to indicate that the Johannine account is based on some previous source that was rather closer to the Synoptic accounts
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 28, 2001
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                On Wed, 25 Jul 2001, Kym Smith wrote:

                > Dear Listers,
                >
                >
                > There has been some debate from the Pepys manuscript concerning what
                > the BD believed when he saw the empty tomb. I have no wish to enter
                > into the debate from that angle. However, I think the conclusion being
                > drawn from it, i.e. that the BD believed Mary’s report rather than
                > that Jesus had risen, is correct. My approach to this is from a
                > completely different angle and it requires an attachment to be able to
                > make it clear. It should be noted, by the way, that the presence of
                > other women is inferred by Mary’s words, "‘we’ do not know where they
                > have laid him".

                Kym,

                This use of plural "we" seems to indicate that the Johannine account is
                based on some previous source that was rather closer to the Synoptic
                accounts of women at the tomb. But otherwise, I don't think this is
                significant for the general meaning of the Johannine account, itself.

                > What follows here and in the attachment has been extracted from a book
                > I have self-published (self-publication is no recommendation!). The
                > book is awaiting a review on the SBL web-site, but that, of course,
                > does not guarantee the acceptability of its contents. Indeed, while
                > looking at this section I found some errors that have been corrected
                > here, (Oh well, next edition!). The following paragraph is from the
                > two-page attachment and is placed here to give some idea of its
                > contents.
                >
                >
                > We are told there that ‘he saw and believed.’ But what did he believe?
                > Despite the difficulties, all of the commentaries in my possession
                > either incline towards, or firmly declare, that disciple’s belief that
                > Jesus had risen.

                That's interesting. It does seem like we're breaking new ground here...
                <g>

                > Several things militate against this, however. The rest of the verse
                > reads, ‘for as yet they did not know the scripture that he must rise
                > from the dead.’ The most natural reading of this denies that that
                > disciple believed that Jesus had risen.

                I agree that this is the most natural reading of this.

                > Neither of the two apostles present expected a resurrection or
                > understood that the Christ must rise. Added to this is the lack of
                > confidence – assumedly of all the disciples – who hid behind locked
                > doors for fear of the Jews (20:19) and the absence of any direct
                > commendation from Christ to that disciple who, supposedly, did believe
                > (as distinct from the clear statement concerning Thomas’ unbelief –
                > 20:29). If the ‘other disciple’ actually believed that Jesus had
                > risen, the prospect that the two simply ‘went back to their homes’
                > (20:10) is not believable. Considering the despair, the sorrow and the
                > anguish that all of Jesus’ followers were going through, this beloved
                > disciple would not have just gone home, keeping his new-found faith to
                > himself.

                I think your analysis is very perceptive.

                Best,

                Yuri.

                Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

                It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than
                to put out on the troubled seas of thought -=O=- John K. Galbraith
              • khs@picknowl.com.au
                Dear Yuri, In response to my. ... women is inferred by Mary s words, `we do not know where they ... You wrote, ... account is based on some previous source
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 28, 2001
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                  Dear Yuri,

                  In response to my.

                  > > It should be noted, by the way, that the presence of > > other
                  women is inferred by Mary's words, "`we' do not know where they
                  > > have laid him".

                  You wrote,
                  >
                  > Kym,
                  >
                  > This use of plural "we" seems to indicate that the Johannine
                  account is > based on some previous source that was rather
                  closer to the Synoptic > accounts of women at the tomb. But
                  otherwise, I don't think this is > significant for the general
                  meaning of the Johannine account, itself.
                  >

                  Two things. Firstly, I believe that there was a very strong
                  relationship between John and the Synoptics. I have given some
                  detail to it in the Synoptic-L list, post #6631. I posted this in
                  response to an earlier note to John Lupia on this list when the
                  darte of the FG was being discussed.

                  Secondly, John's intimation that other women were involved may
                  not be particularly relevant to the response of the BD, but it
                  shows that he knew the full story about who went to the tomb that
                  morning. It makes it more obvious that the FG's concentration on
                  Mary was deliberate. As I said a couple of posts back, I think it
                  has to do with John's use of Genesis 1&2 as a framework for
                  1:1-20:29 of this gospel.

                  You said something about breaking new ground in relation to the
                  BD's belief or unbelief. I am not sure that we are. I think the two
                  issues I have raised above do break new ground, however, and
                  it surprises me that there has been so little response to the
                  former and none to the latter. Perhaps others can see that these
                  ideas are so obviously impossible that it is thought to be kinder
                  not to respond. Perhaps it reveals my own arrogance that I
                  should expect some interest in them.

                  Whatever, I do think that there must be some emphasis placed
                  on the 'natural reading' of the text, and that - to my mind - plays
                  against the BD's believing anything other than Mary's report at
                  that time.

                  Just a thought.

                  Sincerely,

                  Kym Smith
                  Adelaide
                  South Australia
                  khs@...
                • khs@picknowl.com.au
                  Dear Yuri, In response to my. ... women is inferred by Mary s words, `we do not know where they ... You wrote, ... account is based on some previous source
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 28, 2001
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                    Dear Yuri,

                    In response to my.

                    > > It should be noted, by the way, that the presence of > > other
                    women is inferred by Mary's words, "`we' do not know where they
                    > > have laid him".

                    You wrote,
                    >
                    > Kym,
                    >
                    > This use of plural "we" seems to indicate that the Johannine
                    account is > based on some previous source that was rather
                    closer to the Synoptic > accounts of women at the tomb. But
                    otherwise, I don't think this is > significant for the general
                    meaning of the Johannine account, itself.
                    >

                    Two things. Firstly, I believe that there was a very strong
                    relationship between John and the Synoptics. I have given some
                    detail to it in the Synoptic-L list, post #6631. I posted this in
                    response to an earlier note to John Lupia on this list when the
                    darte of the FG was being discussed.

                    Secondly, John's intimation that other women were involved may
                    not be particularly relevant to the response of the BD, but it
                    shows that he knew the full story about who went to the tomb that
                    morning. It makes it more obvious that the FG's concentration on
                    Mary was deliberate. As I said a couple of posts back, I think it
                    has to do with John's use of Genesis 1&2 as a framework for
                    1:1-20:29 of this gospel.

                    You said something about breaking new ground in relation to the
                    BD's belief or unbelief. I am not sure that we are. I think the two
                    issues I have raised above do break new ground, however, and
                    it surprises me that there has been so little response to the
                    former and none to the latter. Perhaps others can see that these
                    ideas are so obviously impossible that it is thought to be kinder
                    not to respond. Perhaps it reveals my own arrogance that I
                    should expect some interest in them.

                    Whatever, I do think that there must be some emphasis placed
                    on the 'natural reading' of the text, and that - to my mind - plays
                    against the BD's believing anything other than Mary's report at
                    that time.

                    Just a thought.

                    Sincerely,

                    Kym Smith
                    Adelaide
                    South Australia
                    khs@...
                  • khs@picknowl.com.au
                    Dear Yuri, In response to my. ... women is inferred by Mary s words, `we do not know where they ... You wrote, ... account is based on some previous source
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 28, 2001
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                      Dear Yuri,

                      In response to my.

                      > > It should be noted, by the way, that the presence of > > other
                      women is inferred by Mary's words, "`we' do not know where they
                      > > have laid him".

                      You wrote,
                      >
                      > Kym,
                      >
                      > This use of plural "we" seems to indicate that the Johannine
                      account is > based on some previous source that was rather
                      closer to the Synoptic > accounts of women at the tomb. But
                      otherwise, I don't think this is > significant for the general
                      meaning of the Johannine account, itself.
                      >

                      Two things. Firstly, I believe that there was a very strong
                      relationship between John and the Synoptics. I have given some
                      detail to it in the Synoptic-L list, post #6631. I posted this in
                      response to an earlier note to John Lupia on this list when the
                      darte of the FG was being discussed.

                      Secondly, John's intimation that other women were involved may
                      not be particularly relevant to the response of the BD, but it
                      shows that he knew the full story about who went to the tomb that
                      morning. It makes it more obvious that the FG's concentration on
                      Mary was deliberate. As I said a couple of posts back, I think it
                      has to do with John's use of Genesis 1&2 as a framework for
                      1:1-20:29 of this gospel.

                      You said something about breaking new ground in relation to the
                      BD's belief or unbelief. I am not sure that we are. I think the two
                      issues I have raised above do break new ground, however, and
                      it surprises me that there has been so little response to the
                      former and none to the latter. Perhaps others can see that these
                      ideas are so obviously impossible that it is thought to be kinder
                      not to respond. Perhaps it reveals my own arrogance that I
                      should expect some interest in them.

                      Whatever, I do think that there must be some emphasis placed
                      on the 'natural reading' of the text, and that - to my mind - plays
                      against the BD's believing anything other than Mary's report at
                      that time.

                      Just a thought.

                      Sincerely,

                      Kym Smith
                      Adelaide
                      South Australia
                      khs@...
                    • Yuri Kuchinsky
                      On Wed, 29 Aug 2001 khs@picknowl.com.au wrote: [Yuri:] ... Kym, This of course assumes that Jn story represents historical reporting. ... Yes, this is
                      Message 10 of 21 , Sep 2, 2001
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                        On Wed, 29 Aug 2001 khs@... wrote:

                        [Yuri:]
                        > > This use of plural "we" seems to indicate that the Johannine account
                        > is > based on some previous source that was rather closer to the
                        > Synoptic > accounts of women at the tomb. But otherwise, I don't think
                        > this is > significant for the general meaning of the Johannine
                        > account, itself. >
                        >
                        > Two things. Firstly, I believe that there was a very strong
                        > relationship between John and the Synoptics. I have given some
                        > detail to it in the Synoptic-L list, post #6631. I posted this in
                        > response to an earlier note to John Lupia on this list when the
                        > darte of the FG was being discussed.
                        >
                        > Secondly, John's intimation that other women were involved may
                        > not be particularly relevant to the response of the BD, but it
                        > shows that he knew the full story about who went to the tomb that
                        > morning.

                        Kym,

                        This of course assumes that Jn story represents historical reporting.

                        > It makes it more obvious that the FG's concentration on
                        > Mary was deliberate.

                        Yes, this is probable.

                        > As I said a couple of posts back, I think it has to do with John's use
                        > of Genesis 1&2 as a framework for 1:1-20:29 of this gospel.

                        Not sure about this.

                        > You said something about breaking new ground in relation to the BD's
                        > belief or unbelief. I am not sure that we are.

                        I think you're being modest. <g>

                        > I think the two issues I have raised above do break new ground,
                        > however,

                        This is assuming your analysis is valid...

                        > and it surprises me that there has been so little response to the
                        > former and none to the latter. Perhaps others can see that these ideas
                        > are so obviously impossible that it is thought to be kinder not to
                        > respond. Perhaps it reveals my own arrogance that I should expect some
                        > interest in them.

                        My dear friend, when you're presenting some highly complex theory of your
                        own that is very different from all other theories in the area, the
                        surprising thing would be if everybody just jumped on it and welcomed it
                        with open arms.

                        On the other hand, if, for whatever reason, your theory were to be seen as
                        offensive, it will not be surprising in the least if people will jump at
                        you with negative comments. But if it just different, silence will be the
                        predictable response.

                        > Whatever, I do think that there must be some emphasis placed
                        > on the 'natural reading' of the text, and that - to my mind - plays
                        > against the BD's believing anything other than Mary's report at
                        > that time.

                        I'm all for the 'natural reading' of the text! The 'natural reading' is
                        always the best reading. I wish all biblical scholars would see the value
                        in this.

                        Best,

                        Yuri.

                        Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku -=O=- Toronto

                        I doubt, therefore I might be.
                      • khs@picknowl.com.au
                        Dear Yuri, You said in response to my statement that John s intimation of the presence of the other women at the tomb meant that he knew the full story, ...
                        Message 11 of 21 , Sep 4, 2001
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                          Dear Yuri,

                          You said in response to my statement that John's intimation of
                          the presence of the other women at the tomb meant that he
                          knew the full story,

                          >>>This of course assumes that Jn story represents historical
                          reporting.>>>

                          What are the choices that we have? Either John is concerned to
                          present what he sees as historical persons and historical
                          events or he is fabricating either or both. The fabrication option,
                          to my thinking at least, questions the credibility of the author/s.
                          For some who appeared to have and to espouse the highest of
                          ethical standards, this seems highly unlikely. The only option, I
                          would have thought, is that genuine historical reporting is what is
                          going on here.
                          That only parts of the story are reported (e.g. the material
                          selected does not overtly mention the other women who went to
                          the tomb), however, does mean one of two things. The first is
                          that a certain interpretation of the events has been presented.
                          The second, which is different from the first, is what I am
                          suggesting. It is that John had a framework in mind (Gen 1&2) -
                          a structure through which he wished to express something
                          which he could not express in the plain text or which is more
                          appropriately expressed through the framework – and so he
                          selects that material only which best fits the structure. So we are
                          dealing with historical people and historical events which have
                          been included - or omitted – according to how they support the
                          structure. There is meaning, then, in the structure as well as the
                          plain text.

                          >>>My dear friend, when you're presenting some highly complex
                          theory of your own that is very different from all other theories in
                          the area, the surprising thing would be if everybody just jumped
                          on it and welcomed it
                          with open arms.
                          On the other hand, if, for whatever reason, your theory were to be
                          seen as offensive, it will not be surprising in the least if people
                          will jump at you with negative comments. But if it just different,
                          silence will be the
                          predictable response.>>>

                          Then I take the silence at least to mean that no one is violently
                          opposed to my suggestion concerning John's structure. I am
                          grateful for that.

                          I did chuckle with the "I doubt, therefore I might be." Good one!

                          Sincerely,

                          Kym Smith
                          Adelaide
                          South Australia
                          khs@...
                        • Maluflen@aol.com
                          In a message dated 9/4/2001 3:35:52 AM Eastern Daylight Time, khs@picknowl.com.au writes: This of course assumes that Jn story represents historical
                          Message 12 of 21 , Sep 4, 2001
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                            In a message dated 9/4/2001 3:35:52 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                            khs@... writes:

                            << >This of course assumes that Jn story represents historical
                            reporting.< >>

                            What are the choices that we have? Either John is concerned to
                            present what he sees as historical persons and historical
                            events or he is fabricating either or both. >>

                            If you replace your expression that includes the term "fabricating" with
                            "doing theological narrative", the alternatives will appear more realistic
                            and acceptable. "Fabricating" has a nuance too close to "prevaricating", and
                            this would certainly not be the only or the most likely alternative in Gospel
                            writing to reporting detailed historical events about historical persons.

                            Leonard Maluf
                          • khs@picknowl.com.au
                            Dear Leonard, In response to my suggestion that if John was not presenting `historical persons and `historical events then he was fabricating either or both,
                            Message 13 of 21 , Sep 4, 2001
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                              Dear Leonard,

                              In response to my suggestion that if John was not presenting
                              `historical persons' and `historical events' then he was
                              fabricating either or both, you wrote;

                              >>>If you replace your expression that includes the term
                              "fabricating" with "doing theological narrative", the alternatives
                              will appear more realistic and acceptable. "Fabricating" has a
                              nuance too close to prevaricating", and this would certainly not
                              be the only or the most likely alternative in Gospel writing to
                              reporting detailed historical events about historical persons.<<<

                              I appreciate what you are saying, Leonard, and I may just get out
                              of my depth if I try to get too far into a debate of this nature.
                              However, let me try a little.

                              Yes, there is a nuance of `prevarication' in the term `fabrication',
                              but if the events reported are in any way deliberately `made up',
                              no matter how correct the teaching or how noble the motive, it
                              seems to me that that is still fabrication. If pushed to the
                              ultimate, it leaves us with the possibility that the whole story of
                              Jesus is just a brilliant fabrication.

                              Perhaps you could explain more fully what you mean by "doing
                              theological narrative". I may not understand exactly what you
                              mean – hence the request for you to expand it – but my position
                              concerning the Genesis structure is what I would assume
                              `theological narrative' probably is. John had a certain theological
                              perspective which he wanted to express through the gospel – a
                              perspective which, I expect, was understood by those who first
                              used the FG – and so he selected material which fitted that
                              structure. To do this, however, he was still selecting from actual
                              `historical persons' and `historical events', hence the beginning
                              of this conversation with John's decision to detail Mary
                              Madalene's experiences alone, despite his awareness of the
                              involvement of the other women. The beginning of the FG (i.e.
                              1:1-5), which is theological rather than historical and so,
                              different. It was certainly written with the Genesis structure in
                              mind, but I don't think it is not part of what we are discussing
                              under `doing theological narrative', or is it?

                              Sincerely,

                              Kym Smith
                              Adelaide
                              South Australia
                              khs@...
                            • khs@picknowl.com.au
                              Dear Leonard, Please amend the last line in my previous post to: It was certainly written with the Genesis structure in mind, but I don t think it is part of
                              Message 14 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                Dear Leonard,

                                Please amend the last line in my previous post to:
                                It was certainly written with the Genesis structure in mind, but I
                                don't think it is part of what we are discussing under `doing
                                theological narrative', or is it?

                                Thanks

                                Kym Smith
                              • Maluflen@aol.com
                                In a message dated 9/4/2001 8:44:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time, khs@picknowl.com.au writes:
                                Message 15 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                  In a message dated 9/4/2001 8:44:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                  khs@... writes:

                                  << Yes, there is a nuance of `prevarication' in the term `fabrication',
                                  but if the events reported are in any way deliberately `made up',
                                  no matter how correct the teaching or how noble the motive, it
                                  seems to me that that is still fabrication. If pushed to the
                                  ultimate, it leaves us with the possibility that the whole story of
                                  Jesus is just a brilliant fabrication.>>

                                  We have "the whole story of Jesus" in three different, but related Synoptic
                                  accounts, and if we use their composite testimony as a first basis of
                                  comparison (and assume, as I do, that John had access to this testimony) then
                                  we can measure, as it were, the extent to which John's composition is
                                  "invention" in terms of the details of the stories he tells. Nevertheless,
                                  even on this basis it would not be justified to view John's work as "just" a
                                  brilliant fabrication, because a basic and important line of agreement exists
                                  between his story about Jesus and the testimony of the Synoptics. Now this
                                  says nothing about the historical value of the work of the Synoptics
                                  themselves, and there is certainly some "invention" in their work as well.
                                  Nevertheless, it would simply not be a sound historical judgment, I think, to
                                  describe their work either as "just a brilliant fabrication". The fact that
                                  this judgment could be made by "pushing to the ultimate" the idea that some
                                  invention of detail is likely in many, if not all of the Gospels does not
                                  make it a wise or a valid judgment, nor does the end of this line of logic
                                  necessitate withdrawal from what is clearly indicated by the evidence:
                                  namely, that there has been some invention of detail in the way the different
                                  evangelists tell stories about Jesus. Such invention seems to have been fully
                                  acceptable in terms of what was done rhetorically in propaganda literature
                                  such as are the four gospels. It was understood that an ideological (in this
                                  case, more or less theological) message was being conveyed through narrative
                                  about an historical person or event and that this entailed a certain amount
                                  of freedom in the invention of details in the different evangelists' accounts
                                  of what was in essence, in a broad sense, an historical "event" agreed upon
                                  by all witnesses.

                                  << Perhaps you could explain more fully what you mean by "doing
                                  theological narrative". I may not understand exactly what you
                                  mean – hence the request for you to expand it – but my position
                                  concerning the Genesis structure is what I would assume
                                  `theological narrative' probably is. John had a certain theological
                                  perspective which he wanted to express through the gospel – a
                                  perspective which, I expect, was understood by those who first
                                  used the FG – and so he selected material which fitted that
                                  structure.>>

                                  This is fine, except that I think the idea of "selecting material" gives
                                  minimalist expression to the proactive literary-rhetorical work of the
                                  evangelists, especially John.

                                  <<To do this, however, he was still selecting from actual
                                  `historical persons' and `historical events',..>>

                                  Yes, but the evidence suggests that this is so only if one thinks of
                                  "historical events" in a broad sense. I think it is fair to say that in the
                                  judgment of most scholars, the details of John's stories are less often
                                  selected than they are produced.

                                  <<...hence the beginning of this conversation with John's decision to detail
                                  Mary
                                  Madalene's experiences alone, despite his awareness of the
                                  involvement of the other women. >>

                                  I would argue that there is more creativity involved here on the part of John
                                  than his choice to isolate Mary in this incident from the other "Mary", as in
                                  Matt, or from the larger group of women, as in Luke. For one thing, the
                                  background in Sg of the story and dialogue as recorded by John suggests this.
                                  It was Luke who first introduced invented dialogue into the resurrection
                                  stories. In Matt, the women and the disciples are simply recipients of a
                                  divine message-command conveyed by the Angel of the Lord or by the glorified
                                  Jesus himself. Dialogue between disciples and the glorified Christ, gradually
                                  leading to faith, seems to be a later development in Gospel composition.

                                  <<The beginning of the FG (i.e.
                                  1:1-5), which is theological rather than historical and so,
                                  different. It was certainly written with the Genesis structure in
                                  mind, but I don't think .. [this is] part of what we are discussing
                                  under `doing theological narrative', or is it?>>


                                  Certainly this is part of what we are discussing. But do you think the
                                  influence of OT texts on John's writing stops after he has completed his
                                  prologue? I think in many cases OT texts, among other things, have influenced
                                  the wa
                                  y John tells stories in the life of Jesus, and that one does not fully
                                  understand these stories until one becomes aware of this pervasive
                                  intertextuality. I think one's reading of John's account, as well as of the
                                  Synoptic gospels, is greatly impoverished if one sees the theology of the
                                  evangelist as impinging merely on the selection and ordering of raw and
                                  strictly historical material. Wouldn't you agree? To call the results of this
                                  process "fabrication", however, is to use a loaded term, even if it can be
                                  defended at the level of the literal meaning of the term. In a sense all
                                  writing is fabrication.

                                  Leonard Maluf
                                • John N. Lupia
                                  Dear Leonard: I am glad to see you on the list. You may recall my position on Gospel order which puts John second. This is why I see John as an authentic
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                    Dear Leonard:

                                    I am glad to see you on the list. You may recall my position on
                                    Gospel order which puts John second. This is why I see John
                                    as an authentic eyewitness as he claims. Great to see you
                                    again.

                                    Cordially in Christ,
                                    john
                                    <><
                                  • Ken Durkin
                                    From: John N. Lupia ... What has coming second got to do with eyewitness ?
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                      From: "John N. Lupia"

                                      > You may recall my position on
                                      > Gospel order which puts John second. This is why I see John
                                      > as an authentic eyewitness as he claims.

                                      What has coming "second" got to do with "eyewitness"?
                                    • khs@picknowl.com.au
                                      Dear John Lupia, I am interested in your reasoning for putting John second. That is what I think also, but the chance of our having the same reasons is, I
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                        Dear John Lupia,

                                        I am interested in your reasoning for putting John second. That
                                        is what I think also, but the chance of our having the same
                                        reasons is, I expect, very slim. Did you ever get to read my
                                        belated response to you on the Synoptic-L list (#6631) which
                                        explains my position?

                                        Sincerely,

                                        Kym Smith
                                        Adelaide
                                        South Australia
                                        khs@...
                                      • John Lupia
                                        Dear Kym: Yes. No comment. john
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                          Dear Kym:

                                          Yes. No comment.

                                          john
                                          <><

                                          On Thu, 06 Sep 2001 00:28:47 -0000, johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                          wrote:

                                          > Dear John Lupia,
                                          >
                                          > I am interested in your reasoning for putting John second. That
                                          > is what I think also, but the chance of our having the same
                                          > reasons is, I expect, very slim. Did you ever get to read my
                                          > belated response to you on the Synoptic-L list (#6631) which
                                          > explains my position?
                                          >
                                          > Sincerely,
                                          >
                                          > Kym Smith
                                          > Adelaide
                                          > South Australia
                                          > khs@...
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                          > UNSUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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                                          >
                                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

                                          >
                                          >



                                          John N. Lupia
                                          501 North Avenue B-1
                                          Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
                                          JLupia2@...
                                          <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><>
                                          "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches . .
                                          . unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until
                                          they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16





                                          _______________________________________________________
                                          http://inbox.excite.com
                                        • khs@picknowl.com.au
                                          Dear Leonard, Thank you for your quite comprehensive answer. A couple of responses are appropriate. You said:
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                            Dear Leonard,

                                            Thank you for your quite comprehensive answer. A couple of
                                            responses are appropriate. You said:

                                            <<<We have "the whole story of Jesus" in three different, but
                                            related Synoptic
                                            accounts, and if we use their composite testimony as a first
                                            basis of
                                            comparison (and assume, as I do, that John had access to this
                                            testimony) then
                                            we can measure, as it were, the extent to which John's
                                            composition is
                                            "invention" in terms of the details of the stories he tells.
                                            Nevertheless,
                                            even on this basis it would not be justified to view John's work as
                                            "just" a
                                            brilliant fabrication, because a basic and important line of
                                            agreement exists
                                            between his story about Jesus and the testimony of the
                                            Synoptics. >>>

                                            Firstly let me say that I do not think that John's work is a
                                            fabrication, brilliant or otherwise. My suggesting the same was
                                            simply to express what I see as the logical end of the argument
                                            that John used anything other than historical persons and events
                                            for his account. It is clear that I do think he has been very
                                            selective about the material that he did include, but I cannot see
                                            that we could claim that the author was simply inventive. Yes, a
                                            certain event may have been reported from a different angle to
                                            express a particularly theological view, and if that is what is
                                            meant by being inventive I have no qualms about it and I think
                                            that is what you are saying (not that it would bother you whether I
                                            have qualms about it or not!). I am not sure that I would go far
                                            enough for you, however, considering your comments:

                                            <<< This is fine, except that I think the idea of "selecting material"
                                            gives minimalist expression to the proactive literary-rhetorical
                                            work of the evangelists, especially John.

                                            <<To do this, however, he was still selecting from actual
                                            `historical persons' and `historical events',..>>

                                            Yes, but the evidence suggests that this is so only if one thinks
                                            of "historical events" in a broad sense. I think it is fair to say that
                                            in the judgment of most scholars, the details of John's stories
                                            are less often selected than they are produced.>>>

                                            If inventiveness is fabrication from the start it would not be
                                            possible for us to distinguish from actual historical events
                                            anyway. We are left, it seems to me, with gospels whose writers
                                            were men of the highest integrity and whose accounts – even if
                                            recorded with a particular theological thrust – are trustworthy
                                            accounts of actual people and events that we are called .

                                            Perhaps I'd better move away from this one. I am not
                                            comfortable with these terms but, as I said, I might quickly get
                                            out of my depth with it an I may already have done so.

                                            I am not sure that John had the witness of the Synoptics, though
                                            he would have had Mark. I think it more likely that Matthew and
                                            Luke had Mark and John. I can only invite you look at my post
                                            #6631 in the Synoptic-L list for a brief explanation of why I think
                                            what I do on that. One point that I might make because it has
                                            some relevance here is that I think Q was actually the leftovers
                                            after John had selected what he wanted from what he and others
                                            compiled for what is now the Fourth Gospel.

                                            <<<It was Luke who first introduced invented dialogue into the
                                            resurrection stories. …Dialogue between disciples and the
                                            glorified Christ, gradually leading to faith, seems to be a later
                                            development in Gospel composition >>>

                                            Not if John preceded Luke, and even less so if a major part of
                                            Luke's resources were John's leftovers.

                                            <<< Certainly this is part of what we are discussing. >>>

                                            I questioned this only in the sense that 1:1-5 is a theological
                                            statement rather than an historical. John inserts theological
                                            statements in a number of places which, I agree are not
                                            separate from the rest of the text. I was just trying to clarify for
                                            myself whether the inventiveness we were discussing about only
                                            referred to people/events.

                                            <<< But do you think the influence of OT texts on John's writing
                                            stops after he has completed his prologue?>>>

                                            No.

                                            <<< I think in many cases OT texts, among other things, have
                                            influenced the way John tells stories in the life of Jesus, and that
                                            one does not fully understand these stories until one becomes
                                            aware of this pervasive intertextuality. >>>

                                            I agree. If I may return to my point about John's use of Genesis
                                            1&2 as a structure, this does not relate just to the prologue but to
                                            most of the gospel, from 1:1 – 20:29. Much of John directly uses
                                            the OT, the structure is more subtle, but it is there and gives
                                            meaning to much of the plain text as much of the plain text
                                            supports the structure. There are many – probably independent
                                            – allusions to the OT in John, but the Genesis structure gives a
                                            cohesion to the whole.

                                            <<< I think one's reading of John's account, as well as of the
                                            Synoptic gospels, is greatly impoverished if one sees the
                                            theology of the evangelist as impinging merely on the selection
                                            and ordering of raw and strictly historical material. Wouldn't you
                                            agree? >>>

                                            I would, given a more cautious approach to terms such as
                                            `inventiveness' and statements like, <<< John's stories are less
                                            often selected than they are produced.>>> But we may be as
                                            close as we're going to get on these and they are probably less
                                            significant than the other things w ehave considered.

                                            Sincerely,

                                            Kym Smith
                                            Adelaide
                                            South Australia
                                            khs@...
                                          • Maluflen@aol.com
                                            In a message dated 9/6/2001 2:53:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time, khs@picknowl.com.au writes:
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Sep 6, 2001
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                                              In a message dated 9/6/2001 2:53:34 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                              khs@... writes:

                                              << If inventiveness is fabrication from the start it would not be
                                              possible for us to distinguish from actual historical events
                                              anyway. We are left, it seems to me, with gospels whose writers
                                              were men of the highest integrity and whose accounts – even if
                                              recorded with a particular theological thrust – are trustworthy
                                              accounts of actual people and events .. ..>>

                                              I can't take time to comment on your entire response to my previous note, nor
                                              to argue in detail against your source theory, with which I obviously
                                              disagree. It is my view that a clear line of development can be traced from
                                              Matthew, through Luke, to John in terms of the way stories are told in their
                                              respective gospels. I agree with the common opinion that John probably knew
                                              the Gospel of Mark as well, but out of line with the common opinion I also
                                              think that John probably shared the general lack of interest in Mark that is
                                              evident in all known ecclesiatical authors of the second and third Christian
                                              centuries, who were much more interested in the Gospels (Matthew and Luke)
                                              which were written for literate elites, rather than in Mark, which was a
                                              dramatic popularization of an originally literary Gospel genre (the film
                                              version of the novel, to put it in roughly analogous contemporary terms).
                                              Rather than trying to refute your view of what John was doing when writing
                                              his gospel, let me just try again to express my own. In my view, John is
                                              writing his Gospel at a time when the story of Jesus' life is already well
                                              known. John does not write, e.g., about the baptism of Jesus in order to
                                              inform an audience about an historical event of which they have no knowledge.
                                              Rather, the well-known story has become a vehicle, and was understood from
                                              the beginning to have been a vehicle for John to express an ideological
                                              message: a developed theological understanding (among other things, a "high"
                                              Christology) which expressed and reinforced the faith of his community. It
                                              would be theoretically possible to conceive of a late John whose purpose
                                              would have been to supplement and correct, where necessary, at the level of
                                              historical detail, existing stories about the life of Jesus -- on the basis.
                                              e.g., of his own eye-witness remembrance of these incidents in the life of
                                              Jesus. There are scholars, I guess, who still view John's Gospel in this way.
                                              I simply think that the evidence points to the alternative view expressed
                                              above as by far the more likely scenario.
                                              This is all I have time to say at the moment, and I don't know if it moves
                                              the discussion forward in any way.

                                              Leonard Maluf
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