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Re: [John_Lit] Beloved Disciple/Malina

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  • Thomas W Butler
    Dear James, When I first joined this list I proposed a systematic approach to the consideration of the identity of the BD. Unfortunately I did that when the
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 7, 2001
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      Dear James,

      When I first joined this list I proposed a systematic approach
      to the consideration of the identity of the BD. Unfortunately I
      did that when the list members were already scheduled to begin
      a discussion of papers that had been read at the last SBL
      meeting on the section dealing with the Gospel of John. I
      suppose one of the difficulties of this medium for the exchange
      of ideas is that so many different topics are of interest to the
      whole group that it is difficult to focus on one at a time. For
      an exegesis of the gospel that is complex, which, admitedly
      mine is, a systematic, step by step presentation and discussion
      of the material is necessary.

      I am sorely tempted to open an entirely different line of
      discussion with you regarding the question: Who is Lazarus?
      since you have pointed to Jn. 11: 3 in support of the traditional
      view that the BD is a male. However, if we open that avenue
      of discussion, I suspect that we will be drawn away from the
      question that interests me most: Could A Woman Named Mary
      Be the Beloved Disciple?

      Would you be willing to delay discussion of the identity of
      Lazarus until after we have considered the candidacy of a
      woman named Mary?

      I am aware that there are numerous other theories extant on
      the identity of the BD, including one that advocates Lazarus.
      From the perspective I have developed, the question of whether
      Lazarus could be the BD logically follows the larger question of
      Who is Lazarus?

      With regard to the issue currently before us, it would seem
      that 11: 5 uses 11: 3 as an antecedent, while including Martha
      and Mary in addition to Lazarus as persons whom Jesus loves.
      Therefore I submit that 11: 3 does not exclude Martha or Mary
      as candidates for BD. The omission of their names from 11: 3
      is corrected by the inclusion of their names in 11: 5.

      As regards the use of philew and agapaw as you noted, the
      problem created by the use of these different terms is resolved
      by the theory (in fact is one of the bases for the theory) that
      Jn. 21 is written by a different author or final editor. It appears
      to me that part of that editor's intention is to hide the true identity
      of the BD. I suspect, in fact, that the use of the term BD is an
      invention of this editor, not of the original source of the material.

      Yours in Christ's service,
      Tom Butler

      On Tue, 6 Nov 2001 00:56:57 -0500 "James McGrath"
      <jamesfrankmcgrath@...> writes:
      > Tom, I was thinking in particular of John 11:3, where the verb is
      > admittedly
      > different, but the phrase is still strikingly similar to that used
      > of 'the
      > disciple whom Jesus loved' (in both cases a masculine relative
      > pronoun is
      > used, although in the first instance this is due to the referrent
      > being
      > Lazarus, whereas the others refer to 'disciple' which is a masculine
      > noun,
      > so this doesn't prove anything about the disciple's gender). I
      > suppose it
      > depends whether one feels that the verbs philew and agapaw are
      > synonymous -
      > an issue that is either resolved or complicated further by John 21!
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      > James
      >
      > P.S. Ross, the evidence I understand you to be looking for is found
      > in the
      > paragraph that spans pp.22-23 of the original 1981 edition of
      > Malina's book,
      > The New Testament World. I'm afraid I don't have the revised edition
      > to give
      > you the page numbers for it.
      >
      > James
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ___________________________________
      > Dr. James F. McGrath
      > Adjunct Professor of New Testament
      > Alliance Theological Seminary
      > 93 Worth Street
      > New York, NY 10013
      >
      > Adjunct Professor of New Testament
      > Biblical Theological Seminary
      > 200 N. Main St.
      > Hatfield, PA 19440
      >
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