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

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  • 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 1 of 21 , Sep 4, 2001
      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 2 of 21 , Sep 4, 2001
        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 3 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
          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 4 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
            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 5 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
              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 6 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
                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 7 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
                  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 8 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
                    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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                    . 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 9 of 21 , Sep 5, 2001
                      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 10 of 21 , Sep 6, 2001
                        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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