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Re: What did the BD believe (20:8)

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  • John E Staton
    Tom wrote: The question as to why the identity ... Sorry, Tom, I have to jump in here. What you say about Thomas and James is fair enough, but if the BD had
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 21, 2001
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      Tom wrote:
      The question as to "why" the identity
      > is being intentionally obscured is an important one that I suggest
      > should be addressed by any scholar offering a theory about the
      > BD's identity. Why, for example, would it be necessary to hide
      > the identity of Thomas or James?

      Sorry, Tom, I have to jump in here. What you say about Thomas and James is
      fair enough, but if the BD had only the status of a "disciple", rather than
      an "apostle" (I grant there is considerable discussion concerning the
      meaning of both words, and concerning the distinction between them, but
      there surely can be no doubt that the early church made such a distinction),
      then there may well be an incentive to cloak the BD's identity. This could
      well have been the case if (as I believe, following Hengel) the BD was the
      elder John. The case for a female author has not yet been made, I'm afraid.

      Best Wishes

      JOHN E STATON
      www.christianreflection.org.uk (same website, new URL)
      jestaton@...
      > > > It is logical to assume that when Jesus gives a command, his
      > > > disciples obey it. I have shown that by this point in the Lazarus
      > > > story, Martha and Mary ARE disciples of Jesus. 11: 17-27
      > > > includes Martha's examination by Jesus. The account is not as
      > > > complete of Mary's examination, which follows in 11: 28-32,
      > > > but it appears to follow the same pattern.
      > > >
      > > By the same logic, Jesus' disciples *must* have gone with him to
      > > Bethany, because he commanded them to do so in 11:15.
      >
      > "commanded" is a little strong. "Suggested" or "Invited" might work
      > better. Thomas, in 11: 16 uses the same term as Jesus uses
      > in 11: 15 (AGWMEN), which is correctly translated as "let us go."
      > Jn. 11: 28-44 includes a clear command spoken by Jesus
      > (ARATE TON LIQON) (39a). Contextually, the ones to whom
      > he is speaking at least include Martha and Mary of Bethany.
      > >
      > > > Note especially the language used by Jesus in 11: 34a.
      > > > POU TEQEIKATE AUTON
      > > > *Where have you laid him?*
      > > >
      > > > Mary Magdalene declares in 20: 2
      > > > OUK OIDAMEN POU EQHKAN OUTON
      > > > *We do not know where they have laid him.*
      > > >
      > > > In 11: 34 b *they* reply:
      > > > KURIE ERXOU KAI IDE
      > > > *Lord, come and see.* It is unlikely that the Jews would reply
      > > > to a question posed by Jesus in a way that identifies him as
      > > > *Lord.* Mary and Martha are the ones who reply to him.
      > >
      > > Of course. Mary and Martha were showing *everyone* where
      > > they had laid him.
      >
      > They were responding to Jesus' question, "Where have you laid him?"
      > I do not dispute that the text allows for others to have followed Jesus
      > and Martha and Mary to the tomb, but it is clearly Mary and Martha
      > who are leading Jesus there at his request. The point is that the
      > dialogue
      > is not between Jesus and a nameless person or persons. The context
      > tells us that it is between Jesus and Mary and Martha. It is logical to
      > conclude that when Jesus says, "take away the stone" and Martha
      > objects, Jesus is responding to Martha in 11: 40, and then Martha and
      > Mary are at least included among those who respond to his command
      > in 11: 41.
      > > >
      > > > Now consider the language used in 1: 39, when two disciples
      > > > of John the Baptist approach Jesus. They ask him (1: 38)
      > > > POU MENEIS *Where do you abide?*
      > > > Jesus replies ERXESQE KAI OFESQE *Come and see.*
      > > >
      > > > These are short hand terms used between Jesus and his disciples.
      > > > They have special significance in the FG. For the sake of our
      > > > discussion, the fact that these terms are exchanged between Jesus
      > > > and Mary and Martha support the contention that these two
      > > > women ARE disciples of Jesus.
      > > >
      > > And I would never argue that they were *not* disciples of Jesus.
      > > But going from there to one of them being the BD is quite a leap IMO.
      >
      > Thank you for the concession that they are disciples of Jesus. Please
      > note that my theory does not rely upon any one piece of evidence alone.
      > The primary evidence is focused upon 11: 55 - 12: 8.
      > > >
      > > > No, the Jews in 11: 31 follow Mary of Bethany to Jesus. They
      > > > are not following Jesus (yet). They are following Mary. Some
      > > > of them believe in Jesus after witnessing the raising of Lazarus
      > > > (11: 45) and some of them do not (11: 46). This latter group
      > > > went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. The
      > > > fact that the Jews are portrayed in 11: 31a as compassionate
      > > > friends of Mary, essentially offering a pastoral call upon a
      > > > grieving sister is contradicted in 11: 31b when it is revealed
      > > > that the reason they follow her is because they think she is
      > > > going to the tomb to weep there.
      > > >
      > > Here you have me confused. Do you mean to say that they went
      > > to see her weep with evil intentions? I'm not sure what the point
      > > is you're driving at.
      >
      > The way "the Jews" are characterized in the FG justifies the assumption
      > that their initial reason for following Mary is not out of compassion.
      > As a "sister" I wonder if Mary could have been a respected member
      > of the temple staff, a doorkeeper, for example. For her to have remained
      > "in the house" when Jesus responds to the note that she and her sister
      > sent to him could mean that she remained at her post in THE HOUSE,
      > that is the temple. Leaving that post, if she was a doorkeeper, would
      > be a matter of at least some concern to the Jews. (Again, I am defining
      > that term using the list of people found in Nehemiah 2: 16), especially
      > since she would have been required to maintain ritual purity to work as
      > a doorkeeper in the temple. Going to a tomb would have defiled her,
      > disqualifying her for the role that defined her relationship with them.
      > >
      > > > I agree with you; compassion is not one of the brushes with
      > > > which the Jews are painted in the FG, except here. That
      > > > prompts me to ask, *Why?* Why would the prospect that a
      > > > grieving woman might go to the tomb of her brother to weep
      > > > be of interest to the Jews if they were not simply being
      > > > compassionate? Could it be that they perceived some other
      > > > meaning in connection to her journey to the tomb? If any of
      > > > them were to go to the tomb, they would be defiled. Was
      > > > their compassion for her in her grief enough to motivate them
      > > > to risk the loss of their priestly office even temporarily? Did
      > > > some of them, in fact, lose their priestly offices by following
      > > > her to Jesus and subsequently believing in Jesus?
      > >
      > > But your questions are based on the *assumption* that the Jews
      > > of chapter 11 *are* priests, lawyers and scribes. Yet there's no
      > > evidence in the context that they are. I'm not convinced that John
      > > uses the term Jews in such a technical sense that we can always
      > > assume that he means priests, lawyers and scribes rather than
      > > *people* who are Jewish. In fact I see places in John where that
      > > cannot be the case.
      >
      > You are correct regarding my assumption. Where are these places
      > in the FG where the Jews cannot be defined as they are defined in
      > Nehemiah 2: 15?
      > > >
      > > > You and I are translating 20: 7 differently. I read it as:
      > > >
      > > > KAI SOUDARION O HN EI THS KEFALHS AUTOU
      > > > *and the kercheif which was on his head
      > > > SU META TON OQONIWN KEIMENON ALLA XORIS
      > > > (was) not lying with the linen strips but away (from them)
      > > > ENTETULIGMENON EIS ENA TOPON.
      > > > having been wrapped into one place.*
      > > >
      > > > It remains in the one place where it had been originally placed,
      > > > as a separate part of the wrapping of the body of Jesus,
      > > > where the head of his body should have been, not neatly
      > > > folded and set aside as I gather you mean.
      > >
      > > What does "not lying with...but away from...wrapped into one place"
      > > mean, if not lying *separate from* the part that enclosed the body?
      >
      > I understand this to be describing the strips used to wrap the hands
      > and feet of Jesus and the shroud used to wrap the body of Jesus as
      > being left in the relative positions in which they would have been found
      > if the body, hands and feet of Jesus were still in them. The "kercheif"
      > is separate from the other cloths as it would be if the head of Jesus
      > had still been wrapped up in it. (It would have been wound around
      > the head, like a turban covering the entire head, including the face.)
      > The point is that the positioning of the cloths suggests that they were
      > not removed from the body. The body disappeared from within them.
      > > > >
      > > > > > The picture I get from this text is one that supports the idea
      > > > > > that the linen wrappings were in the same positions they had
      > > > > > been when there was a body contained by them. The differ-
      > > > > > ence was that the body was now gone. The BD was able to
      > > > > > see what this meant. Peter saw a pile of grave cloths. The
      > > > > > BD saw grave cloths in exactly the positions they should
      > > > > > have been in to contain a body.
      > >
      > > I get that same picture, with the exception of the SOUDARION.
      > > Why point out that it is "not lying with", etc. if that isn't
      > significant?
      >
      > Oh it IS significant, as I think I have explained.
      > > >
      > > > Clearly I have failed to make my point. Let me try repeating
      > > > it once more. The connection between the story of the raising
      > > > of Lazarus and the resurrection of Jesus has to do with the
      > > > fact that two candidates for the identity of the Beloved
      > > > Disciple, Mary and Martha of Bethany, would have had first
      > > > hand and recent experience in applying grave cloths to one
      > > > they loved. Either of them would be more likely to see meaning
      > > > in the placement of the grave cloths in the empty tomb of Jesus
      > > > than anyone who simply viewed the grave cloths worn by
      > > > Lazarus from a distance.
      > >
      > > Perhaps I'm just confused. I don't see the relationship between a
      > > man being raised from the dead and walking out of his tomb
      > > wrapped in his burial cloths, and an empty tomb with the burial
      > > cloths still lying where the body was placed. I agree the latter is
      > > significant. I don't see that the former is or that it has any
      > relation-
      > > ship to the latter. To me the significance of the Lazarus story is
      > > that he got up, not what he was wrapped in. When the BD
      > > walks in to the tomb and sees the empty linens, the significance
      > > would be that they were *empty*.
      > > The same was not true of Lazarus.
      >
      > I have learned to pay close attention to even the smallest detail as
      > I study the FG. What might appear to be a minor detail to the
      > casual reader is often a significant sign pointing to a whole field of
      > meaning. In this case, the clothing described in these two passages
      > links them together. The fact that the clothing is removed or is to
      > be removed links both passages to Jn. 13: 4. These three passages
      > provide a field of meaning for those who are focused upon signs.
      >
      > In each case, the clothing means more than it appears to mean
      > (ie: it is a sign). It points to a role being played. In each case,
      > this
      > is a priestly role. Significantly, in each case, the priestly role is
      > being
      > set aside, removed.
      >
      > This message is already too long. (I apologize.) However, if anyone
      > is interested in exploring this idea further, I would be happy to do so.
      >
      > Yours in Christ's service,
      > Tom Butler
      >
      >
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      > ________________________________________________________________________
      >
      > Message: 4
      > Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 23:34:07 -0800
      > From: Kenneth Litwak <kdlitwak@...>
      > Subject: Jesus the Word according to John the Sectarian
      >
      > I'm wondering if anyone else on the list has read or started reading
      > Robert Gundry's new book on John, or was, as I was, at the panel
      > discussion of the book? Multiple panelists, most notably Marianne Meye
      > Thompson really ragged on the book's assertion about the centrality of
      > Word christology in John's Gospel. Does anyone have an opinion on
      > Gundry's argument? I find it convincing. Thanks.
      >
      > Ken Litwak
      >
      >
      >
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