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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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@...
                        <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ <>< ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><> ~~~ ><>
                        "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 11 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 12 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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