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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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