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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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
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                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 7 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 8 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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