John 19:25-27 - reply to Tom
- Tom, here are some further comments - do realise that as is the nature of
our work you can be asking questions i did not consider at the time - your
comments i put in italics.
Now it appears that you are focusing, instead of upon 19: 27b, on 19: 27a,
when Jesus says to the BD, "Here is your mother." In this case, the BD
would be taken into the household of the mother ofJesus, wouldn't it?
Jesus has officiated at the adoption of the BD by his (Jesus') own mother.
Is this statement one of adoption or a revelation (in fact it can be both).
I focus more on the revelatory nature of this scene - Jesus reveals a new
relationship between his mother and the BD and so necessarily a new
relationship between BD and himself and between BD and the Father of Jesus.
The woman, the mother has a highly symbolic function that goes beyond her
personal individuality (hence never named) but she stands in the narrative
as the parent of Jesus making such a scene possible in the text. But there
is another 'parent' figure present throughout the text who cannot be
physically represented i.e. 'the Father' so when the BD is drawn into
Jesus' own parental relationship the BD becomes not just son of 'the mother
of Jesus' but son of 'the Father'.
Yet you are concluding that this constitutes the adoption of the BD by
Jesus into the divine family of Jesus - the filiation with the Father. Do
you mean that the BD now enjoys the same relationship with the Father as
Jesus does? Is the BD now also the Son of God?
Yes - this is what I believe to be the profound teaching of the 4th Gospel
- that believers become children of God, reborn into God's household.
How do you conclude that "hence disciples are drawn into the House-hold of
God"? Are you saying that the BD represents all disciples? (I wonder here
if you are drawing any support fromthe epistles of John.)
The BD is a representative figure, standing for all disciples.
Or are you suggesting that the BD has some sort of leadership authority
over other disciples, so that wherever the BD goes, the other disciples
follow? For example, are you suggesting that the BD is now authorized by
Jesus to take the place of Jesus in relation to other disciples?
No I'm not considering the BD in such a leadership role - nor as the one to
take the place of Jesus - that's the role of the paraclete.
> In this context I discuss the title Nazarene that Pilate placesMary, as I read your book I found myself at once excited by the
> on the cross. I link this title, only used in the hour, with the
> NZR branch from Isaiah and the synonym found in Zechariah
> 6:12 ZMH branch. In Zechariah the oracle names the ZMH
> as the Branch who will build the temple - the only place where
> the temple builder is named. I show in my book that the DSS
> are already using NRZ and ZMH interchangeably in the
> commentary on Isaiah 11.
observations and conclusions you were making and frustrated by the fact
that you were apparently summarizing a considerable amount of scholarship,
but providing the reader (in this case, me) with very few footnotes to
identify whose ideas you were
Tom there is no other scholarship on this to my knowledge. It's a
connection i am making because the Zechariah text is the only passage in
the OT to actually name the builder of the new Temple. The similarity in
meaning between ZMH and NRZ led me to hypothesise a link being made by the
evangelist to capitalise on the Nazareth traditions found in the synoptics
but to use this in a radically different way so that in the FG the place
Nazareth does not feature as Jesus' place of origins. Instead the word
Nazarene is used only in the Passion as a title, and even called a title.
given the Temple emphasis I found running through the Gospel text I drew
the conclusion that the title NZR used on the cross is an allusion to the
Temple builder of Zechariah by association with the Branch of Jesse in
isaiah. This was a hypothetical link that I believed was operating.
Later, I found a textual link in the DSS proving that the NZR and ZMH terms
were being used interchangeably in the first century. Which offers strong
support to my hypothesis.
There has not been other work on this I can refer you to. This must now be
someone else's doctoral thesis to explore this even further.
Moreover, I found myself wanting to see more clearly how you have tied
these two extraordinary ideas together. Here, for example, the question
arises: Why does the adoption of the BD into Mary's family (or the adoption
of Mary into the BD's family, or the adoption of the BD into the family of
Jesus - and therefore into the household
of God) require an understanding of the nature of the NZR sign?
The NZR sign identifies Jesus as the one who will build the Temple. In
John 2 this Temple is called my Father's House. Within my book I show that
the usual meaning of the term 'my father's house' in the OT is never a
reference to a building but to people, it is the Father's household. in
John 2 the evangelist is already symbolising the term House by using it of
Temple which is then applied to the body of Jesus. Gradually I argue that
the text expands this to the sense of Temple as household of believers. So
there is a progression - Temple/house of God/ building -> Temple/dwelling
place of God/Jesus -> Temple/household of god/believers.
Tom some of the other questions and issues you raise go far beyond the
parameters of my own enquiry and as you note could be another book. It
does make me think that this community saw themselves as the new Temple or
household of God - that this is the underlying spirituality of the
community that is expressed in the theology of the text. Such a
self-perception can be so taken for granted that it does not need to be
stated explicitly - all we get are brief glimpses and hints of it.
Ultimately I think it is important to ask - does this insight into the
Temple allow the Gospel to be read coherently - does it run through the
text - is it consistent, does it make sense of the narrative.
I find myself answering 'yes' but it will be others like yourself who will
need to anser this.
Thanks Tom, I appreciate the comments and the questions you raise. I have
just read the first review of this book by Brendan Byrne in the latest
Austrlian biblical Review - you might like to check out his comments.
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Butler To: johannine_literature@...
uno.com> Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Re: John 19:25-27
This idea (the NZR sign) alone is a topic for a whole book, or at
least a chapter in your book, IMO. How does your theory fit in
the context of other theories about this sign? Why should it be
considered as a better theory than the others? Does it mean that
the followers of Jesus are also seen as Nazarenes? Does the
adoption scene at the cross mean that the BD is now the leader
of the "other Nazarenes?" How does this passage relate, if at all,
to Jn. 18: 17-18, 25-27? Is there a reason that women play such
important roles in these passages? Is "household" to be understood
as "house church?" Is the new temple being built by the Nazarenes
who comprise the family of those who convene "in the house" or
"in the house (or household) of Mary?" Are they "NAZARIOS ?"
> The title Nazarene is title and function of Jesus as he builds aAgain, I found myself wanting to know more about what you have
> new Temple/House of God in the Hour - thus fulfilling the words
> spoken in Jn 2:21 about the destruction and raising of the Temple.
found as the meaning of "the hour." Have you reflected, for example,
upon the fact that the word "hour" (WRA) occurs 24 times in the FG?
What meaning does the obvious importance of this word in the FG
suggest for the way in which time is being considered in this narrative
world? How does that perspective of time relate to the importance
and duration of the House of God?
Your work (book) appears to me to be a sample platter, hinting
that an extraordinary feast is available. I would like to partake of
each course in that feast slowly, so that it can be fully digested
before moving along to the next course. I hope you will invite me
to your table.
Yours in Christ's service,
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