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Re: [John_Lit] What did the BD believe (20:8)?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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@...
                                >
                                >
                                >
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                                >
                                >



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





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                              • khs@picknowl.com.au
                                Dear Leonard, Thank you for your quite comprehensive answer. A couple of responses are appropriate. You said:
                                Message 15 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 16 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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