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Re: [John_Lit] Re: Jesus as Symbol for James

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  • FMMCCOY
    ... From: Thomas W Butler To: Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2001 4:48 PM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 22, 2001
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Thomas W Butler" <butlerfam5@...>
      To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2001 4:48 PM
      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Re: John 19:25-27


      > Dear Frank,
      >
      > I do appreciate the linkage that you have identified between
      > Jn. 2: 4 and Jn. 19: 26-27. I have a difficult time following
      > your logic when you indicate that in John Jesus symbolically
      > represents the BD. Jesus, himself, represents the Beloved
      > Disciple of Jesus? I guess I have not been paying attention,
      > and for that I apologize. Could you briefly take me through
      > the steps that you have used to reach what I think you are
      > saying, that Jesus is the BD ... consistently or just sometimes?
      >


      Dear Tom:

      I apologize for being unclear in what I wrote.

      Let me clarify my position: which is not that in John Jesus symbolically
      represents the BD but, rather, that in John Jesus *sometimes* symbolically
      James the Just--who I believe is the BD.

      What I have found is evidence that *sometimes* (as opposed to
      *consistently*) Jesus appears to represent his (step?) brother James the
      Just.

      If this is the case, then, I think, James the Just was acknowledged by the
      Johannine community to be the legitimate successor to Jesus as the head of
      the movement founded by Jesus.

      If this is the case, then, I also think, James the Just was a revered
      figure to the Johannine community and, so, becomes the logical candidate for
      being the BD.

      Here are three examples of passages in which Jesus might symbolically
      represent James the Just.

      EXAMPLE 1 JOHN 4:35-38

      Let us look at 4:35-38: where Jesus, while near a Samaritan city, tells his
      disciples, "(Do) you not say that yet four months it is and the harvest
      comes? Behold, I say to you, 'Lift up your eyes and see the fields, for
      they are white already to harvest'. And he that reaps receives a reward and
      gathers fruit into eternal life, that both he that sows and he that reaps
      may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true, 'That it is one who
      sows and another who reaps.' I send you to reap on which you have not
      labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."

      I suggest that this relates to Acts 8:4-17, where a Hellenist named
      Philip goes to a city in Samaria and directs a missionary effort that
      converts many to Christianity. When the "apostles in Jerusalem" heard of
      this, they dispatched two of Jesus' former disciples, John bar Zebedee and
      Peter, to Samaria. Since the head of the "apostles in Jerusalem" was James
      the Just, it is the case that it was James the Just who dispatched John
      and Peter to Samaria.

      Therefore, I suggest, in 4:35-38, "Jesus" is James and he is alluding to
      the time when, after Philip directed a successful missionary effort in a
      Samaritan city, he dispatched two of Jesus' former disciples to that city to
      incorporate the new converts to Christianity there into the sphere of
      influence of the Jerusalem Church Council--with these disciples of Jesus,
      thereby, reaping where they did not sow.

      EXAMPLE 2 JOHN 10:1-5

      Let us look at the Second Apocalypse of James (55), where Jesus tells James,
      "And those who wish to enter, and those who seek to walk in the way that is
      before the door, open the good door through you. And they follow you; they
      enter [and you] escort them inside, and give a reward to each one who is
      ready for it. For you are not the redeemer nor a helper of strangers. You
      are an illuminator and a redeemer of those who (are) mine, and now of those
      who (are) yours."

      This directly relates to John 10:1-5, where Jesus states, "Amen. Amen. I
      say to you, he that enters in not by the door into the fold of the sheep,
      but climbs up elsewhere, he is a thief and a robber; but he that enters in
      by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the door-keeper opens, and
      the sheep hear his voice, and his own sheep he calls by name, and leads them
      out. And when his own sheep he puts forth, he goes before them; and the
      sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But a stranger in no way
      should they follow, but will flee from him, because they know not the voice
      of strangers."

      Obviously, the author of the Second Apocalypse of James understood that,
      in 10:1-5, Jesus symbolically represents James: thereby making it a
      declaration, by James, that he, rather than being a thief and a robber, is
      the shepherd of the sheep--these sheep being his in the sense that they are
      the sheep of Jesus entrusted to his care.

      Further, there is good reason to believe that, in fact, James should be
      understood to be the true speaker in 10:1-5. That is, in this case, we can
      readily determine the nature of the door and the identity of the strangers
      who are thieves and robbers. So, in The History of the Church (Book 2,
      Sect. 23), Eusebius thusly quotes Hegesippus, "Representatives of the seven
      popular sects described by me asked him (i.e., James) what was meant by 'the
      door of Jesus', and he replied that Jesus was the Saviour." Thus, if James
      be the true speaker in 10:1-5, then, in this passage, the door is Jesus in
      his role as the Saviour and the strangers (who are thieves and robbers) are
      the non-Christian Jewish religious leaders.

      Indeed, in line with this, in 10:7-8, Jesus (now speaking as himself)
      declares himself to be the door of the sheep and speaks of the Jewish
      religious leaders before himself as being thieves and robbers, "Amen. Amen.
      I say to you, that I am the door of the sheep. All whoever came before me
      are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them."

      EXAMPLE 3 JOHN 3:10-21

      Let us look at John 3:10-11, where Jesus tells Nicodumus, "Are you a teacher
      of Israel, and yet you do not understand this? Truly, truly, I say to you,
      we speak what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you
      (plural) do not receive our testimony."

      As can be seen, this passage begins with Jesus as an individual speaking to
      Nicodumus as an individual. However, it ends with Jesus speaking on behalf
      of others (the "we") to a group ("you" in a plural sense).

      What I suggest is that we have, here, a shift in the identity of Jesus. In
      the beginning of this passage, he is himself. However, by the end of it he
      symbolicaly represents James the Just as the head of the Jerusalem Church
      Council (the "we").

      What I suggest is that we have, here, a shift in the identity of Nicodumus.
      In the beginning of this passage, he is himself as a teacher of Israel.
      However, by the end of it he symbolically represents all the teachers of
      Israel.

      As a result, I suggest, 3:10-11 ends with James the Just, acting in his
      role as the head of the Jerusalem Church Council, telling Nicodemus that he
      and the other teachers of Israel do not receive (i.e., understand and
      accept) what is taught by the Jerusalem Church Council.

      The speech by Jesus to Nicodemus continues, uninterrupted, until 3:21. I
      suggest that, in this continuation of the speech, "Jesus" continues to
      symbolically represent James the Just.

      If so, then it is James the Just who proclaims, to us, the entrancing words
      of 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,
      that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life
      (KJV)."

      Regards,

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 17
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    • Thomas W Butler
      Dear Frank, Thank you for clarifying your theory re: the relationship between Jesus, James the Just and the BD. It seems to me that your theory requires a
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 23, 2001
        Dear Frank,
        Thank you for clarifying your theory re: the relationship between
        Jesus, James the Just and the BD.

        It seems to me that your theory requires a revisionist approach,
        suggesting that the FG was written in light of what most historians
        have understood to be historically later events. How do you deal
        with the possibility that these *historically later events* may have
        been influenced by the gospel, rather than, as you suggest, the
        other way around? I see the correlation that you see (I think),
        but I'm not convinced that the order you suggest has been proven.

        Yours in Christ's service,
        Tom Butler

        On Thu, 22 Nov 2001 10:30:36 -0600 "FMMCCOY" <FMMCCOY@...> writes:
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Thomas W Butler" <butlerfam5@...>
        > To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2001 4:48 PM
        > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Re: John 19:25-27
        >
        >
        > > Dear Frank,
        > >
        > > I do appreciate the linkage that you have identified between
        > > Jn. 2: 4 and Jn. 19: 26-27. I have a difficult time following
        > > your logic when you indicate that in John Jesus symbolically
        > > represents the BD. Jesus, himself, represents the Beloved
        > > Disciple of Jesus? I guess I have not been paying attention,
        > > and for that I apologize. Could you briefly take me through
        > > the steps that you have used to reach what I think you are
        > > saying, that Jesus is the BD ... consistently or just sometimes?
        > >
        >
        >
        > Dear Tom:
        >
        > I apologize for being unclear in what I wrote.
        >
        > Let me clarify my position: which is not that in John Jesus
        > symbolically represents the BD but, rather, that in John Jesus
        > *sometimes* symbolically James the Just--who I believe is the BD.

        I assume that you have inadvertently left out the word *represents*
        between *symbolically* and *James the Just* here in this last line.
        Why couldn't the same evidence that you offer in support of this
        thesis prove that James the Just patterned his ministry after Jesus?
        Isn't that a more likely conclusion to explain the correlations?
        >
        > What I have found is evidence that *sometimes* (as opposed to
        > *consistently*) Jesus appears to represent his (step?) brother
        > James the Just.
        >
        > If this is the case, then, I think, James the Just was acknowledged
        > by the Johannine community to be the legitimate successor to
        > Jesus as the head of the movement founded by Jesus.
        >
        > If this is the case, then, I also think, James the Just was a
        > revered figure to the Johannine community and, so, becomes
        > the logical candidate for being the BD.
        >
        > Here are three examples of passages in which Jesus might
        > symbolically represent James the Just.
        >
        > EXAMPLE 1 JOHN 4:35-38
        >
        > Let us look at 4:35-38: where Jesus, while near a Samaritan city,
        > tells his disciples, "(Do) you not say that yet four months it is and
        > the harvest comes? Behold, I say to you, 'Lift up your eyes and
        > see the fields, for they are white already to harvest'. And he that
        > reaps receives a reward and gathers fruit into eternal life, that both
        > he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together. For in this
        > the saying is true, 'That it is one who sows and another who reaps.'
        > I send you to reap on which you have not labored. Others have
        > labored, and you have entered into their labor."
        >
        > I suggest that this relates to Acts 8:4-17, where a Hellenist named
        > Philip goes to a city in Samaria and directs a missionary effort
        > that converts many to Christianity. When the "apostles in
        > Jerusalem" heard of this, they dispatched two of Jesus' former
        > disciples, John bar Zebedee and Peter, to Samaria. Since the
        > head of the "apostles in Jerusalem" was James the Just, it is the
        > case that it was James the Just who dispatched John and Peter
        > to Samaria.

        Are you not overlooking the distinct differences between these texts?
        (1) In John, Jesus sends a Samaritan woman into the city to bring
        her fellow Samaritans to him. In Acts, the evangelist is Philip, who
        is not identified as a Samaritan. Why would the author(s) of the FG
        use a female Samaritan character to represent Philip?
        (2) The protagonist in the FG is a single (female) apostle (one who
        is sent), while in Acts, there are two persons associated with James
        the Just, (assuming that he is the unnamed head of the Jerusalem
        community) who are sent.
        (3) These two are sent by the community, not by James alone. Do
        you hold open the idea that Jesus (in the FG) represents the whole
        Jerusalem community, or at least more of its leadership than James?
        (4) What of the fact that Simon the Magician plays a significant role
        in the story from Acts, while he does not appear at all in the FG text?
        (5) The story in Acts describes the effect of Philip's preaching as an
        exorcism, with evil spirits coming out of many of those who were
        converted with loud shrieks escaping the possessed and the lame
        and paralyzed being healed. In the FG text, the Samaritans believe
        solely on the basis of the woman's testimony that "he told me every-
        thing that I have done." That could be construed to mean that SHE
        had seen him do signs, but it doesn't say that THEY saw them, and
        the signs she saw were not what could be called exorcisms. Rather,
        the Samaritans draw the same conclusion that she has drawn after
        they have heard Jesus directly and have chosen to make their own
        witness (Jn. 4: 39-42).

        > Therefore, I suggest, in 4:35-38, "Jesus" is James and he is alluding
        > to the time when, after Philip directed a successful missionary effort
        > in a Samaritan city, he dispatched two of Jesus' former disciples to
        > that city to incorporate the new converts to Christianity there into
        > the sphere of influence of the Jerusalem Church Council--with these
        > disciples of Jesus, thereby, reaping where they did not sow.

        Are you not reading meaning into the text in order to make your point?
        I ask this question being fully aware that it can be asked of me as well.
        I can see how this pattern (in the FG) can be APPLIED to this text
        (in Acts), but how do you prove that it has been DERIVED from it?

        > EXAMPLE 2 JOHN 10:1-5
        >
        > Let us look at the Second Apocalypse of James (55), where Jesus
        > tells James,
        > "And those who wish to enter, and those who seek to walk in the
        > way that is before the door, open the good door through you. And
        > they follow you; they enter [and you] escort them inside, and give a
        > reward to each one who is ready for it. For you are not the redeemer
        > nor a helper of strangers. You are an illuminator and a redeemer of
        > those who (are) mine, and now of those who (are) yours."
        >
        > This directly relates to John 10:1-5, where Jesus states, "Amen.
        > Amen. I say to you, he that enters in not by the door into the fold
        > of the sheep, but climbs up elsewhere, he is a thief and a robber;
        > but he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To
        > him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and his
        > own sheep he calls by name, and leads them out. And when his
        > own sheep he puts forth, he goes before them; and the sheep
        > follow him, because they know his voice. But a stranger in no
        > way should they follow, but will flee from him, because they know
        > not the voice of strangers."
        >
        > Obviously, the author of the Second Apocalypse of James under-
        > stood that, in 10:1-5, Jesus symbolically represents James: thereby
        > making it a declaration, by James, that he, rather than being a thief
        > and a robber, is the shepherd of the sheep--these sheep being his
        > in the sense that they are the sheep of Jesus entrusted to his care.

        It seems to me that you have it backwards. It seems more obvious to
        me that in the Second Apocalypse of James, James represents Jesus,
        and that James is the shepherd of the flock belonging to Jesus. Is
        that not how this text is usually interpreted?
        >
        > Further, there is good reason to believe that, in fact, James
        > should be understood to be the true speaker in 10:1-5. That
        > is, in this case, we can readily determine the nature of the door
        > and the identity of the strangers who are thieves and robbers.
        > So, in The History of the Church (Book 2, Sect. 23), Eusebius
        > thusly quotes Hegesippus, "Representatives of the seven
        > popular sects described by me asked him (i.e., James) what
        > was meant by 'the door of Jesus', and he replied that Jesus
        > was the Saviour." Thus, if James be the true speaker in 10:1-5,
        > then, in this passage, the door is Jesus in his role as the Saviour
        > and the strangers (who are thieves and robbers) are the non-
        > Christian Jewish religious leaders.

        Doesn't the interpretation in your last sentence hold true if you
        assume that the true speaker is Jesus, as the reader is lead to
        believe, rather than James as you suggest? What evidence
        requires a contradiction to what the text says? My mind is
        not closed to the possibility that you could be right, but I am
        not following your reasoning to the conclusion that you draw.

        > Indeed, in line with this, in 10:7-8, Jesus (now speaking as
        > himself) declares himself to be the door of the sheep and
        > speaks of the Jewish religious leaders before himself as
        > being thieves and robbers,
        > "Amen. Amen. I say to you, that I am the door of the sheep.
        > All whoever came before me are thieves and robbers; but
        > the sheep did not hear them."

        Frank, how do you determine when the speaker is actually
        Jesus and when it is James speaking as though he were Jesus?

        > EXAMPLE 3 JOHN 3:10-21
        >
        > Let us look at John 3:10-11, where Jesus tells Nicodemus,
        > "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this?
        > Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak what we know, and bear
        > witness to what we have seen, but you (plural) do not receive
        > our testimony."
        >
        > As can be seen, this passage begins with Jesus as an individual
        > speaking to Nicodemus as an individual. However, it ends with
        > Jesus speaking on behalf of others (the "we") to a group ("you"
        > in a plural sense).
        >
        > What I suggest is that we have, here, a shift in the identity of
        > Jesus. In the beginning of this passage, he is himself. However,
        > by the end of it he symbolicaly represents James the Just as the
        > head of the Jerusalem Church Council (the "we").

        Frank, as I'm sure you know, you are not the first to recognize
        this shift from the nominative singular to the nominative plural as
        Jesus speaks, and the dative singular to the dative plural with
        regard to Nicodemus. If I recall correctly, Brown interprets
        this shift to mean that Jesus encounters Nicodemus first as two
        individuals, then as leaders (Jesus of his disciples and Nicodemus
        as the great teacher of Israel with his own disciples). What
        evidence to you see that suggests that this "we" means that
        James the Just is now speaking as though he were Jesus?
        Doesn't Jesus have reason to use "we" without having to be
        James?
        >
        > What I suggest is that we have, here, a shift in the identity of
        > Nicodemus.
        > In the beginning of this passage, he is himself as a teacher of
        > Israel.
        > However, by the end of it he symbolically represents all the
        > teachers of Israel.

        Agreed.
        >
        > As a result, I suggest, 3:10-11 ends with James the Just,
        > acting in his role as the head of the Jerusalem Church Council,
        > telling Nicodemus that he and the other teachers of Israel do
        > not receive (i.e., understand and accept) what is taught by the
        > Jerusalem Church Council.

        Frank, do you have some information that what was taught by
        the Jerusalem Church Council was different from what Jesus
        taught? If so, what different things did the JCC teach than JC?
        If not, how do you draw the conclusion that the speaker is
        really the head of the JCC and not JC himself?
        >
        > The speech by Jesus to Nicodemus continues, uninterrupted,
        > until 3:21. I suggest that, in this continuation of the speech,
        > "Jesus" continues to symbolically represent James the Just.

        Why? Why would this interpretation be necessary? What is
        it about the text in Jn. that doesn't work or that works better
        with your interpretation? The only difference that I can see is
        that your thesis is supported with your interpretation and it is
        not without it. How can I determine that the meaning that
        you have found is not simply your meaning imposed upon the
        text?

        Let me repeat that I am aware that such standards apply to
        my ideas as well as to yours. Like you, I must be able to show
        that the interpretation I suggest is necessary to better understand
        the text itself, not only or even primarily to support my theory.
        >
        > If so, then it is James the Just who proclaims, to us, the
        > entrancing words of 3:16, "For God so loved the world that
        > he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in
        > him should not perish, but have everlasting life (KJV)."

        While I can concede that Jn. 3: 16-21 may well be the narrator
        of the Gospel, rather than Jesus, speaking, I see no reason to
        conclude that this narrator (actual or implied) is James the Just.

        Yours in Christ's service,
        Tom Butler
      • FMMCCOY
        ... From: Thomas W Butler To: Sent: Friday, November 23, 2001 3:10 PM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 1, 2001
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Thomas W Butler" <butlerfam5@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, November 23, 2001 3:10 PM
          Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Re: Jesus as Symbol for James

          On Thu, 22 Nov 2001 10:30:36 -0600 "FMMCCOY" <FMMCCOY@...> writes:

          > > What I have found is evidence that *sometimes* (as opposed to
          > > *consistently*) Jesus appears to represent his (step?) brother
          > > James the Just.
          > >
          > > If this is the case, then, I think, James the Just was acknowledged
          > > by the Johannine community to be the legitimate successor to
          > > Jesus as the head of the movement founded by Jesus.
          > >
          > > If this is the case, then, I also think, James the Just was a
          > > revered figure to the Johannine community and, so, becomes
          > > the logical candidate for being the BD.
          > >
          > > Here are three examples of passages in which Jesus might
          > > symbolically represent James the Just.
          > >
          > > EXAMPLE 1 JOHN 4:35-38
          > >
          > > Let us look at 4:35-38: where Jesus, while near a Samaritan city,
          > > tells his disciples, "(Do) you not say that yet four months it is and
          > > the harvest comes? Behold, I say to you, 'Lift up your eyes and
          > > see the fields, for they are white already to harvest'. And he that
          > > reaps receives a reward and gathers fruit into eternal life, that both
          > > he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together. For in this
          > > the saying is true, 'That it is one who sows and another who reaps.'
          > > I send you to reap on which you have not labored. Others have
          > > labored, and you have entered into their labor."
          > >
          > > I suggest that this relates to Acts 8:4-17, where a Hellenist named
          > > Philip goes to a city in Samaria and directs a missionary effort
          > > that converts many to Christianity. When the "apostles in
          > > Jerusalem" heard of this, they dispatched two of Jesus' former
          > > disciples, John bar Zebedee and Peter, to Samaria. Since the
          > > head of the "apostles in Jerusalem" was James the Just, it is the
          > > case that it was James the Just who dispatched John and Peter
          > > to Samaria.
          >
          > Are you not overlooking the distinct differences between these texts?
          > (1) In John, Jesus sends a Samaritan woman into the city to bring
          > her fellow Samaritans to him. In Acts, the evangelist is Philip, who
          > is not identified as a Samaritan. Why would the author(s) of the FG
          > use a female Samaritan character to represent Philip?
          > (2) The protagonist in the FG is a single (female) apostle (one who
          > is sent), while in Acts, there are two persons associated with James
          > the Just, (assuming that he is the unnamed head of the Jerusalem
          > community) who are sent.

          Dear Tom:

          It has long been recognized that 4:35-38 might have been written with the
          incidents recorded in Acts 8 in mind. In The Gospel According to John
          (p. 184), Raymond E. Brown narrates, "Whatever meaning the 'others' may
          have had in the context in which the story is placed, the whole passage
          takes on new meaning when we think of its being narrated in Johannine
          circles familiar with the story of the conversion of Samaria as told in Acts
          viii. Cullman, art. cit., has pointed out that there was a distinction
          between sowers and reapers in the christianizing of Samaria: the sower of
          the Christian faith was Philip, a Hellenist like Stephen and presumably an
          opponent of worship at the Jerusalem Temple; but the reapers were Peter and
          John who came down to confer the Spirit."

          If, as appears to be the case, 4:35-38 is written with the events narrated
          in Acts viii in mind, then this passage does not gel well with the narrative
          immediately before it and after it. This is, in my opinion, a clear "clue"
          that it is an interjection into the historical narrative. So, what you say
          above, actually, strengthens the argument that 4:35-38 is an interjection
          into the historical narrative by James.

          > (3) These two are sent by the community, not by James alone. Do
          > you hold open the idea that Jesus (in the FG) represents the whole
          > Jerusalem community, or at least more of its leadership than James?
          >
          As the head of the Jerusalem Church Council, James would have been the one
          to make the final decision to dispatch Peter and John to Samaria. Although
          James made the decision, he did so as the head of the community and, so, it
          was, simultaneously, the decision of the whole community.

          (snip)

          > > Therefore, I suggest, in 4:35-38, "Jesus" is James and he is alluding
          > > to the time when, after Philip directed a successful missionary effort
          > > in a Samaritan city, he dispatched two of Jesus' former disciples to
          > > that city to incorporate the new converts to Christianity there into
          > > the sphere of influence of the Jerusalem Church Council--with these
          > > disciples of Jesus, thereby, reaping where they did not sow.
          >
          > Are you not reading meaning into the text in order to make your point?
          > I ask this question being fully aware that it can be asked of me as well.
          > I can see how this pattern (in the FG) can be APPLIED to this text
          > (in Acts), but how do you prove that it has been DERIVED from it?
          >
          Certainly, I might be reading more into the text than was intended by
          its author, although I don't think so.

          Also, to clarify my position, what I envison is not that the author of FG
          was aware of the narrative in Acts viii, but that, rather, (s)he was aware
          of the incidents recorded in Acts viii. I actually think that Acts was
          written later than FG..

          10:1-5
          > >
          > > Let us look at the Second Apocalypse of James (55), where Jesus
          > > tells James,
          > > "And those who wish to enter, and those who seek to walk in the
          > > way that is before the door, open the good door through you. And
          > > they follow you; they enter [and you] escort them inside, and give a
          > > reward to each one who is ready for it. For you are not the redeemer
          > > nor a helper of strangers. You are an illuminator and a redeemer of
          > > those who (are) mine, and now of those who (are) yours."
          > >
          > > This directly relates to John 10:1-5, where Jesus states, "Amen.
          > > Amen. I say to you, he that enters in not by the door into the fold
          > > of the sheep, but climbs up elsewhere, he is a thief and a robber;
          > > but he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To
          > > him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and his
          > > own sheep he calls by name, and leads them out. And when his
          > > own sheep he puts forth, he goes before them; and the sheep
          > > follow him, because they know his voice. But a stranger in no
          > > way should they follow, but will flee from him, because they know
          > > not the voice of strangers."
          > >
          > > Obviously, the author of the Second Apocalypse of James under-
          > > stood that, in 10:1-5, Jesus symbolically represents James: thereby
          > > making it a declaration, by James, that he, rather than being a thief
          > > and a robber, is the shepherd of the sheep--these sheep being his
          > > in the sense that they are the sheep of Jesus entrusted to his care.
          >
          > It seems to me that you have it backwards. It seems more obvious to
          > me that in the Second Apocalypse of James, James represents Jesus,
          > and that James is the shepherd of the flock belonging to Jesus. Is
          > that not how this text is usually interpreted?

          How, in the excerpt from the Second Apocalypse of James, can
          James represent Jesus when it is Jesus speaking to James? Please clarify.

          > >
          > > Further, there is good reason to believe that, in fact, James
          > > should be understood to be the true speaker in 10:1-5. That
          > > is, in this case, we can readily determine the nature of the door
          > > and the identity of the strangers who are thieves and robbers.
          > > So, in The History of the Church (Book 2, Sect. 23), Eusebius
          > > thusly quotes Hegesippus, "Representatives of the seven
          > > popular sects described by me asked him (i.e., James) what
          > > was meant by 'the door of Jesus', and he replied that Jesus
          > > was the Saviour." Thus, if James be the true speaker in 10:1-5,
          > > then, in this passage, the door is Jesus in his role as the Saviour
          > > and the strangers (who are thieves and robbers) are the non-
          > > Christian Jewish religious leaders.
          >
          > Doesn't the interpretation in your last sentence hold true if you
          > assume that the true speaker is Jesus, as the reader is lead to
          > believe, rather than James as you suggest? What evidence
          > requires a contradiction to what the text says? My mind is
          > not closed to the possibility that you could be right, but I am
          > not following your reasoning to the conclusion that you draw.

          If, as you say, it is Jesus speaking in 10:1-5, then he is both the shepherd
          who leads the sheep through the door and the door. How can this be? Isn't
          it more plausible to assume that it is James who speaks in 10:1-5? In this
          case, the shepherd and the door, as one would expect, are two different
          things: with the shepherd being James and the door being Jesus.

          > > Indeed, in line with this, in 10:7-8, Jesus (now speaking as
          > > himself) declares himself to be the door of the sheep and
          > > speaks of the Jewish religious leaders before himself as
          > > being thieves and robbers,
          > > "Amen. Amen. I say to you, that I am the door of the sheep.
          > > All whoever came before me are thieves and robbers; but
          > > the sheep did not hear them."
          >
          > Frank, how do you determine when the speaker is actually
          > Jesus and when it is James speaking as though he were Jesus?

          To perhaps over-simplify a tad, my SOP is to assume that the speaker is
          actually Jesus unless there are one or more clues indicating otherwise.

          In the first example of 4:35-38, the basic clue that the speaker might be
          James rather than Jesus is the indication that it was written with the
          events related in Acts viii in mind. In this second
          example of 10:1-5, the basic clue that the speaker might be James rather
          than Jesus is that an early Christian (i.e., the author of the Second
          Apocalypse of James) interpreted it to be an utterance
          by James. Perhaps, I suggest, (s)he had some knowledge regarding the FG
          that, in the intervening centuries, has been lost.

          > > EXAMPLE 3 JOHN 3:10-21
          > >
          > > Let us look at John 3:10-11, where Jesus tells Nicodemus,
          > > "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this?
          > > Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak what we know, and bear
          > > witness to what we have seen, but you (plural) do not receive
          > > our testimony."
          > >
          > > As can be seen, this passage begins with Jesus as an individual
          > > speaking to Nicodemus as an individual. However, it ends with
          > > Jesus speaking on behalf of others (the "we") to a group ("you"
          > > in a plural sense).
          > >
          > > What I suggest is that we have, here, a shift in the identity of
          > > Jesus. In the beginning of this passage, he is himself. However,
          > > by the end of it he symbolicaly represents James the Just as the
          > > head of the Jerusalem Church Council (the "we").
          >
          > Frank, as I'm sure you know, you are not the first to recognize
          > this shift from the nominative singular to the nominative plural as
          > Jesus speaks, and the dative singular to the dative plural with
          > regard to Nicodemus. If I recall correctly, Brown interprets
          > this shift to mean that Jesus encounters Nicodemus first as two
          > individuals, then as leaders (Jesus of his disciples and Nicodemus
          > as the great teacher of Israel with his own disciples). What
          > evidence to you see that suggests that this "we" means that
          > James the Just is now speaking as though he were Jesus?
          > Doesn't Jesus have reason to use "we" without having to be
          > James?

          Shortly thereafter, in 3:13-15, "Jesus" states, "No one has ascended into
          heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses
          lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted
          up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life (RSV)."

          As far as I know, neither of these two doctrines are ascribed to Jesus in
          any of the other gospels. Therefore, I suggest, they are two doctrines
          formulated in a post-crucifixion sitz em leben. This lends support to the
          idea that "Jesus" becomes James in 3:10-11 and that this continues to be the
          case through 3:21. In this case, these two doctrines were formulated by
          the Jerusalem Church Council headed by James--thereby explaining why they
          are nowhere else attributed to Jesus.

          (Note: The first doctrine might be incorrectly rendered in the RSV. In The
          Johannine Son of Man (pp. 54-55), Francis J. Moloney states, "A more
          satisfactory solution is suggested by Bernard. Westcott and Lagrange. Jesus
          does not say that *he* has ascended, but that no one (oydeis) has
          ascended....The first part of John 3,13, then, is a denial of the
          possiblility of any human agent for the revelation of the things from above.
          To act as a revealer a human would have to ascend to heaven to learn these
          things. This possibility, in accordance with orthodox tradition, is denied.
          There is one exception to this--the Son of Man. The point made is not that
          the Son of Man has ascended (which he has done, and this is duly noted by an
          early commentator who adds: 'he who is in heaven') but that he descended."
          Even as rendered this way, the first doctrine is not attributed to Jesus in
          any of the other gospels. In particular, in none of them does he speak of
          the Son of Man as having descended from heaven in the person of himself.
          So, even as rendered this way, the first doctrine appears to be a
          post-crucifixion creation and, so, might have been formulated and preached
          by the Jerusalem Church Council.)

          (snip)

          > > As a result, I suggest, 3:10-11 ends with James the Just,
          > > acting in his role as the head of the Jerusalem Church Council,
          > > telling Nicodemus that he and the other teachers of Israel do
          > > not receive (i.e., understand and accept) what is taught by the
          > > Jerusalem Church Council.
          >
          > Frank, do you have some information that what was taught by
          > the Jerusalem Church Council was different from what Jesus
          > taught? If so, what different things did the JCC teach than JC?
          > If not, how do you draw the conclusion that the speaker is
          > really the head of the JCC and not JC himself?
          > >
          Tom, see above--the two doctrines enunciated in 3:13-15 appear to be
          different from what Jesus taught and, so, might be doctrines formulated and
          taught by the Jerusalem Church Council.

          > > The speech by Jesus to Nicodemus continues, uninterrupted,
          > > until 3:21. I suggest that, in this continuation of the speech,
          > > "Jesus" continues to symbolically represent James the Just.
          >
          > Why? Why would this interpretation be necessary? What is
          > it about the text in Jn. that doesn't work or that works better
          > with your interpretation? The only difference that I can see is
          > that your thesis is supported with your interpretation and it is
          > not without it. How can I determine that the meaning that
          > you have found is not simply your meaning imposed upon the
          > text?
          >
          > Let me repeat that I am aware that such standards apply to
          > my ideas as well as to yours. Like you, I must be able to show
          > that the interpretation I suggest is necessary to better understand
          > the text itself, not only or even primarily to support my theory.

          It is widely recognized that, at some point in the monologue found in
          3:10-21, the speaker ceases to be Jesus. It is most commonly thought that
          the switch occurs either in verse 13 or else in verse 16. It is also most
          commonly thought that, after the switch, the speaker is the author of John.

          What I am suggesting is that the switch occurs right away, in verses 10-11
          and that, after the switch, the speaker is James. That there is no evident
          "seam" in either verse 13 or verse 16 lends support to the idea that the
          switch takes place earlier than either verse. That there are other passages
          where, it appears, Jesus represents James means, I think, that the speaker,
          after the switch, is more likely to be James than to be the author of John
          speaking in his own name.

          > >
          > > If so, then it is James the Just who proclaims, to us, the
          > > entrancing words of 3:16, "For God so loved the world that
          > > he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in
          > > him should not perish, but have everlasting life (KJV)."
          >
          > While I can concede that Jn. 3: 16-21 may well be the narrator
          > of the Gospel, rather than Jesus, speaking, I see no reason to
          > conclude that this narrator (actual or implied) is James the Just.
          >
          I'm glad that, you recognize, at some point in 3:10-21 the speaker
          likely ceases to be Jesus. As pointed out above, I suggest that the
          transition occurs right away, in 3:10-11--with, thereafter, "Jesus"
          representing James. You say that the transition, if it occurs, does so
          later, in 3:16--with, thereafter, "Jesus" representing the author of John.
          What reasons do you have for this conclusion? Are there other examples of
          where, in the midst of a speech of Jesus, there is an invisible seam
          separating the speech of Jesus from an addition to it by the author of John?

          Tom, you actually begin your post with this:

          "Dear Frank,
          Thank you for clarifying your theory re: the relationship between
          Jesus, James the Just and the BD.

          It seems to me that your theory requires a revisionist approach,
          suggesting that the FG was written in light of what most historians
          have understood to be historically later events. How do you deal
          with the possibility that these *historically later events* may have
          been influenced by the gospel, rather than, as you suggest, the
          other way around? I see the correlation that you see (I think),
          but I'm not convinced that the order you suggest has been proven."

          Tom, I need more information before responding to you. Please amplify on
          what you mean by "a revisionist approach". Also, what is the historical
          event that immediately precedes what you refer to as *historically later
          events*?

          Regards,

          Frank McCoy
          1809 N. English Apt. 17
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109
        • Thomas W Butler
          Dear Frank, Obviously I am way behind in our dialog. I regret not responding to your message sooner. ... Frank, the symbolism here is derived from the role
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 13, 2001
            Dear Frank,

            Obviously I am way behind in our dialog. I regret not responding
            to your message sooner.

            On Nov. 23 I asked:
            > How, in the excerpt from the Second Apocalypse of James, can
            > James represent Jesus when it is Jesus speaking to James? Please
            > clarify.

            To which you replied:
            >
            > If, as you say, it is Jesus speaking in 10:1-5, then he is both the
            > shepherd who leads the sheep through the door and the door.
            > How can this be? Isn't it more plausible to assume that it is James
            > who speaks in 10:1-5? In this case, the shepherd and the door,
            > as one would expect, are two different things: with the shepherd
            > being James and the door being Jesus.

            Frank, the symbolism here is derived from the role that shepherds
            took in guarding their flocks when the sheep were gathered in the
            sheep fold. The fold was a corral of stones, piled about three feet
            high, with a single opening. At night, the shepherd lay across the
            opening, effectively preventing sheep from exiting or wolves from
            entering. (How effective this was, I don't know.) At any rate, the
            shepherd was both the shepherd and the door.

            You continued:
            >
            > Indeed, in line with this, in 10:7-8, Jesus (now speaking as
            > himself) declares himself to be the door of the sheep and
            > speaks of the Jewish religious leaders before himself as
            > being thieves and robbers,
            > "Amen. Amen. I say to you, that I am the door of the sheep.
            > All whoever came before me are thieves and robbers; but
            > the sheep did not hear them."
            >
            I understand Jesus to be contrasting his symbolic role as the
            shepherd with the symbolic role of the priests who offer sacrifice,
            using the sheep as a symbol for the people of God. The shepherd
            guides the sheep into the sanctuary (sheepfold) and back out again,
            while the priests guide the sheep into the temple in order to take their
            lives. The sheep that enter the temple never leave it alive. Jesus
            expands upon the idea that as their shepherd, God's people hear and
            trust his voice, but they are not listening to the priests.

            I asked:
            > > Frank, how do you determine when the speaker is actually
            > > Jesus and when it is James speaking as though he were Jesus?

            You replied:
            > To perhaps oversimplify a tad, my SOP is to assume that the
            > speaker is actually Jesus unless there are one or more clues
            > indicating otherwise.

            I agree with that assumption.

            You said:
            > In the first example of 4:35-38, the basic clue that the speaker
            > might be James rather than Jesus is the indication that it was
            > written with the events related in Acts viii in mind. In this second
            > example of 10:1-5, the basic clue that the speaker might be James
            > rather than Jesus is that an early Christian (i.e., the author of the
            > Second Apocalypse of James) interpreted it to be an utterance
            > by James. Perhaps, I suggest, (s)he had some knowledge regarding
            > the FG that, in the intervening centuries, has been lost.

            It appears that you are placing more trust in the author of the
            Second Apocalypse of James, assuming that this author had some
            sort of knowledge that is now lost, than you are in the author(s)
            of the Fourth Gospel. Is it not more likely that this author of
            the Second Apocalypse of James borrowed from the FG rather
            than the other way around?

            In reference to your considerations of Jn. 3:10-21 I asked:
            > What evidence to you see that suggests that this "we" means that
            > James the Just is now speaking as though he were Jesus?
            > Doesn't Jesus have reason to use "we" without having to be
            > James?

            To which you replied:
            > Shortly thereafter, in 3:13-15, "Jesus" states, "No one has ascended
            > into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
            > And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the
            > Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have
            > eternal life (RSV)."
            >
            > As far as I know, neither of these two doctrines are ascribed to
            > Jesus in any of the other gospels. Therefore, I suggest, they are
            > two doctrines formulated in a post-crucifixion sitz em leben.
            > This lends support to the idea that "Jesus" becomes James in 3:10-11
            > and that this continues to be the case through 3:21. In this case,
            > these two doctrines were formulated by the Jerusalem Church
            > Council headed by James--thereby explaining why they are
            > nowhere else attributed to Jesus.

            I have not found it useful to compare the FG to the Synoptics.
            They are different kinds of gospels. It generally does not work to
            use the tools of historical criticism on the FG (at least I have found
            the results of doing so to be more confusing than helpful).

            While it would seem accurate to claim that all of the gospels
            come from "a post-crucifixion sitz em leben," the doctrines you
            have selected do represent a more highly developed Christology
            than is found in the Synoptics. I fail to see, however, how that
            leads to the conclusion that they were formulated by the Jerusalem
            Church Council headed by James.

            You continued:
            (snip)
            > The point made is not that the Son of Man has ascended (which
            > he has done, and this is duly noted by an early commentator who
            > adds: 'he who is in heaven') but that he descended."
            > Even as rendered this way, the first doctrine is not attributed to
            > Jesus in any of the other gospels. In particular, in none of them
            > does he speak of the Son of Man as having descended from
            > heaven in the person of himself.
            > So, even as rendered this way, the first doctrine appears to be a
            > post-crucifixion creation and, so, might have been formulated and
            > preached by the Jerusalem Church Council.)

            The symbolism from the Jacob's Ladder Dream (Gen. 28: 10) is
            used in Jn. 20: 12 (where the sign is given that angels sit where
            the head and feet of Jesus would have been). I have shown that
            ascending and descending language is a sign pointing the reader
            to the Mosaic understanding of the temple which Jesus is
            reestablishing. (This goes much further than this single passage,
            of course. The typology of "head, hand, side and feet" is used
            in both the Mosaic texts and in the FG with reference to the
            temple, the priesthood and the rituals of sacrifice.

            Your point seems to be that this is not likely, from a historical
            point of view, to have been one of the teachings of Jesus, but
            was, rather, a lesson of the early church community from which
            the FG came. It seems to me that the entire gospel is a midrash-
            like commentary on the Jesus tradition. It is a theological treatise,
            expounding upon the stories of Jesus that were widely known
            within the Christian community and for the most part found in
            the synoptic gospels. The relationship is a theological one,
            however, not a historic one IMO.

            You said:
            > I'm glad that, you recognize, at some point in 3:10-21 the speaker
            > likely ceases to be Jesus. As pointed out above, I suggest that
            > the transition occurs right away, in 3:10-11--with, thereafter,
            > "Jesus" representing James. You say that the transition, if it occurs,
            > does so later, in 3:16--with, thereafter, "Jesus" representing the
            > author of John.
            > What reasons do you have for this conclusion? Are there other
            > examples of where, in the midst of a speech of Jesus, there is an
            > invisible seam separating the speech of Jesus from an addition to
            > it by the author of John?

            Well, of course the soliloquy of the narrator is one of the qualities
            of the FG that deserves all of the attention it is currently getting
            through reader-response analysis. Culpepper, in his Anatomy
            of the Fourth Gospel, does a better job of answering your question
            than I can. (I'm sorry I don't have a copy of his book right now or
            I would cite particular pages.) My recollection of his analysis is
            that he sees the interruption by the narrator as a means of allowing
            the implied reader an opportunity to know more than the characters
            in the stories know, for example what Jesus is thinking or knowing.

            I had said to you previously:
            > > It seems to me that your theory requires a revisionist approach,
            > > suggesting that the FG was written in light of what most historians
            > > have understood to be historically later events. How do you deal
            > > with the possibility that these *historically later events* may
            > > have been influenced by the gospel, rather than, as you suggest,
            > > the other way around? I see the correlation that you see (I think),
            > > but I'm not convinced that the order you suggest has been proven."

            You replied:
            > Tom, I need more information before responding to you. Please
            > amplify on what you mean by "a revisionist approach". Also, what
            > is the historical event that immediately precedes what you refer to
            > as *historically later events*?

            The revisionist approach to history (or tradition) suggests that the
            commonly held understanding of events in the past is incomplete
            and probably inaccurate. The revisionist sets out to offer more
            information, details that may not have been known by previous
            historians, in an effort to support a different understanding of the
            events than the traditional or generally accepted one.

            I am suggesting that you are offering a revised view of history,
            suggesting that the passages that you have considered from the
            Gospel of John are actually records of something that tradition
            (the book of Acts) has accepted as happening AFTER the
            historical context of the Gospel of John.

            Hey, Merry Christmas!

            Yours in Christ's service,
            Tom Butler
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