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[John_Lit] Feeding of the Multitudes

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  • Thatcher, Tom
    Brian, Again, this all sounds very interesting and I would like to hear a more complete version of the theory you are working on. But one more brief comment
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 19, 1999
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      Brian,

      Again, this all sounds very interesting and I would like to hear a more
      complete version of the theory you are working on. But one more brief
      comment from me:

      <<Does the story in John 6:1-ff belong as part of the Semeia? What role does
      Philip play in the localization of the story? He seems to have local
      knowledge of his hometown, Bethsaida, John 6:5. In verse 3, we have a
      reference to going up the mountain, et-Tell is 25 meters above the water. >>

      Fortna and others think that it does, specifically that the basic story does
      but that none of the dialogue which follows does. I believe, however, that
      the general view is that in SG this episode followed the fishing story which
      is now in chapter 21. At the same time, the general view is that Philip is
      a later redactional insertion into the story, and also Andrew. Fortna
      thinks the insertion is intended to cast disparagement on "Galilean faith,"
      but I don't know what others think. Personally, however, I think that some
      disciple, and it might as well be Philip, is critical to John's presentation
      of this story. The short version of the reason for this is that in John,
      unlike the Synoptics, it is Jesus who initiates the conversation about the
      lack of food in order to "test" the disciples. Of course, because this is
      the case, it is very possible that John added Philip to the story simply in
      service of a broader narrative technique. At the same time, however, it is
      interesting that Philip is the person who was added; maybe, again, this
      reflects a general motif in the Johannine oral archive which reflects an
      earlier tradition associating Philip with that area.

      <<Th3e absence of Bethsaida from John as a place of Jesus' activity is of
      course noticable because Philip of Bethsaida (John 1:44; 12:21), after
      Peter, is mentioned more often than any other disciple (12 times, including
      7 times within the Semeia source). But obviously about 100 CE the tradition
      of Jesus' activity in Bethsaida, which was destroyed and/or deserted in 67
      CE, was available neither to the Semeia source nor to the writer of John's
      Gospel.>>

      Most people who accept a Semeia source would put the earlier versions of it
      before 67, actually somewhere more like the late-40's or mid-50's. Even
      from what I am saying, this theme may have entered the oral style of
      Johannine storytellers long before 67. So I don't think you have a real
      obstacle there.

      Again, please give more detail on the direction of your theory.

      Respectfully,
      --tom


      "The Truth Will Set You Free"
      tom thatcher
      cbs&s
      (513) 244-8172
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