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Re: Re(2): [John_Lit] Dangers of statistical analysis

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  • ProfRam@aol.com
    In this discussion I haven t seen mention of Eugen Ruckstuhl s 1951 defense of Johannine unity, Die Literarishe Einheit des Johannesevangeliums. To my
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 6, 2002
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      In this discussion I haven't seen mention of Eugen Ruckstuhl's 1951 defense
      of Johannine unity, Die Literarishe Einheit des Johannesevangeliums. To my
      knowledge, it has not been translated into English, nor (in my view)
      successfully answered.

      Paul Anderson refers to it in his book, but not as frequently as I would have
      expected. To me it looks as if Ruckstuhl's position has carried the day, not
      because of its cogent arguments (which few have bothered to read. I worked
      through some of them 30 years ago, but am very rusty on them now), but
      because of other methodologies that have since come along: narrative
      criticism, reader-response criticism, canonical criticism, etc.

      Anyone who wants to deal seriously with this question would have to interact
      with Ruckstuhl, I would think, and certainly with Edwin A. Abbott's Johannine
      Grammar and Johannine Vocabulary.

      Ramsey Michaels
    • Paul Anderson
      ... Thanks, Ramsey, I agree entirely on Ruckstuhl. I feel his analysis has carried the day (along with Schweizer) on the pervasive stylistic unity of John,
      Message 2 of 15 , Feb 6, 2002
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        johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com writes:
        >In this discussion I haven't seen mention of Eugen Ruckstuhl's 1951
        >defense
        >of Johannine unity, Die Literarishe Einheit des Johannesevangeliums. To
        >my
        >knowledge, it has not been translated into English, nor (in my view)
        >successfully answered.
        >
        >Paul Anderson refers to it in his book, but not as frequently as I would
        >have
        >expected. To me it looks as if Ruckstuhl's position has carried the day,
        >not
        >because of its cogent arguments (which few have bothered to read. I
        >worked
        >through some of them 30 years ago, but am very rusty on them now), but
        >because of other methodologies that have since come along: narrative
        >criticism, reader-response criticism, canonical criticism, etc.
        >
        >Anyone who wants to deal seriously with this question would have to
        >interact
        >with Ruckstuhl, I would think, and certainly with Edwin A. Abbott's
        >Johannine
        >Grammar and Johannine Vocabulary.
        >
        >Ramsey Michaels

        Thanks, Ramsey, I agree entirely on Ruckstuhl. I feel his analysis has
        carried the day (along with Schweizer) on the pervasive stylistic unity of
        John, and yet, what I tried to address is why someone might still go with
        Bultmann or Fortna despite his work. Fortna's answer accounts for part of
        the reason: matters contextual and theological accompany stylistic ones in
        the inference of multiple sources. This explains why, even if John's
        stylistic unity is assumed, someone might still go along with a Signs
        Gospel theory or an assumption that alien sources underlay the Johannine
        Gospel.

        So, in applying all of Bultmann's evidence to the text -- stylistic,
        contextual, and theological -- seeking to give the diachronic theorist the
        best possible footing for his/er case, I wanted to give diachronicity of
        origin its greatest chance. Given the dearth of outcomes on all three of
        these fronts, having constructed the case squarely upon Bultmann's own
        evidence, this is why these results seem especially devastating to
        multiple-source hypotheses. I see my work as building an analysis from
        another angle, parallel to Ruckstuhl's contribution, but not constructed
        upon his. I also feel some of Bultmann's theological and literary
        insights are worth building upon, and in that sense I see my work as
        complementary to Ruckstuhl / Schweizer and Fortna / Bultmann (and Barrett,
        Brown, and Kaesemann, among others, for that matter).

        What is highly significant in my view is the recent shift in the thinking
        of Robert Kysar regarding source-critical approaches to John in his RBL
        1999 essay (pp.38-41). I still consider Kysar the leading interpreter of
        Johannine secondary literature, and he was a long-time advocate of
        source-critical approaches to the formation of the Johannine tradition
        (see his 1973 Novum Testamentum essay on John 6). In the RBL essay Kysar
        uses the opportunity do declare his change of mind on the matter, and I
        feel this is represents a significant shift with broader implications than
        the perspective of Kysar alone. It forces the interpreter to engage once
        more several levels of dialogue within the formation of Johannine
        tradition, within the thinking of the evangelist, and between the
        evangelist and his emerging audiences.

        Thanks for a good discussion here!

        Paul
      • Thomas W Butler
        Dear Paul, Ramsey, Tom and Others, I am intrigued by your comment, Paul, that ...even if John s stylistic unity is assumed, someone might still go along with
        Message 3 of 15 , Feb 6, 2002
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          Dear Paul, Ramsey, Tom and Others,

          I am intrigued by your comment, Paul, that "...even if John's
          stylistic unity is assumed, someone might still go along with a
          signs gospel theory or an assumption that alien sources underlay
          the Johannine Gospel."

          Given that "signs" are found extensively in the Pentateuch,
          have you or others (Ruckstuhl?) considered the possibility
          that the "stylistic unity" in the Fourth Gospel could be the
          result of a common semeotic source (the Pentateuch?)

          Wouldn't such an analysis explain why the FG appears to
          share some similarities with the JEDP analyses of the OT?
          Would it not also address the question of a single or multiple
          source(s)? In your opinion would the Pentateuch be
          considered "an alien source," or might not the author(s) of
          the FG reasonably have assumed that it would be an obvious
          and familiar source from which to draw (at least) signs?

          Yours in Christ's service,
          Tom Butler

          On Wed, 06 Feb 2002 10:38:47 -0800 "Paul Anderson"
          <panderso@...> writes:
          > johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com writes:
          > > In this discussion I haven't seen mention of Eugen Ruckstuhl's
          > > 1951 defense of Johannine unity, Die Literarishe Einheit des
          > > Johannesevangeliums. To my knowledge, it has not been
          > > translated into English, nor (in my view) successfully answered.
          > >
          > > Paul Anderson refers to it in his book, but not as frequently as I
          > > would have expected. To me it looks as if Ruckstuhl's position
          > > has carried the day, not because of its cogent arguments (which
          > > few have bothered to read. I worked through some of them 30
          > > years ago, but am very rusty on them now), but because of other
          > > methodologies that have since come along: narrative criticism,
          > > reader-response criticism, canonical criticism, etc.
          > >
          > > Anyone who wants to deal seriously with this question would have
          > > to interact with Ruckstuhl, I would think, and certainly with Edwin
          > > A. Abbott's Johannine Grammar and Johannine Vocabulary.
          > >
          > >Ramsey Michaels
          >
          > Thanks, Ramsey, I agree entirely on Ruckstuhl. I feel his analysis
          > has carried the day (along with Schweizer) on the pervasive stylistic
          > unity of John, and yet, what I tried to address is why someone might
          > still go with Bultmann or Fortna despite his work. Fortna's answer
          > accounts for part of the reason: matters contextual and theological
          > accompany stylistic ones in the inference of multiple sources. This
          > explains why, even if John's stylistic unity is assumed, someone might
          > still go along with a Signs Gospel theory or an assumption that alien
          > sources underlay the Johannine Gospel.
          >
          > So, in applying all of Bultmann's evidence to the text -- stylistic,
          > contextual, and theological -- seeking to give the diachronic
          > theorist the best possible footing for his/er case, I wanted to give
          > diachronicity of origin its greatest chance. Given the dearth of
          > outcomes on all three of these fronts, having constructed the case
          > squarely upon Bultmann's own evidence, this is why these results
          > seem especially devastating to multiple-source hypotheses. I see
          > my work as building an analysis from another angle, parallel to
          > Ruckstuhl's contribution, but not constructed upon his. I also feel
          > some of Bultmann's theological and literary insights are worth
          > building upon, and in that sense I see my work as complementary
          > to Ruckstuhl / Schweizer and Fortna / Bultmann (and Barrett,
          > Brown, and Kaesemann, among others, for that matter).
          >
          > What is highly significant in my view is the recent shift in the
          > thinking of Robert Kysar regarding source-critical approaches
          > to John in his RBL 1999 essay (pp.38-41). I still consider
          > Kysar the leading interpreter of Johannine secondary literature,
          > and he was a long-time advocate of source-critical approaches
          > to the formation of the Johannine tradition (see his 1973 Novum
          > Testamentum essay on John 6). In the RBL essay Kysar uses
          > the opportunity do declare his change of mind on the matter,
          > and I feel this represents a significant shift with broader
          > implications than the perspective of Kysar alone. It forces the
          > interpreter to engage once more several levels of dialogue
          > within the formation of Johannine tradition, within the thinking
          > of the evangelist, and between the evangelist and his emerging
          > audiences.
          >
          > Thanks for a good discussion here!
          >
          > Paul
        • Kenneth Litwak
          What of the possibility, he said cynically, that the alleged stylistic problems are only problems to those who think that multiple sources are present, and
          Message 4 of 15 , Feb 6, 2002
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            What of the possibility, he said cynically, that the alleged
            stylistic problems are only problems to those who think that multiple
            sources are present, and would not have been seen as problems or even
            necessarily noticed in the early church? That is, with no negative
            comment about anyone on this list, did scholars like Bultmann find
            problems because they could not get around various features, or were
            their commitments to being ounce critics or form critics the real
            source-critical problem which caused there to be stylistic problems? I
            could have missed it, but I don't recall any early church father having
            an issue with the style being so disjointed as to call for explanation
            or exploration. That doesn't mean at all that examining how pericopes
            join together is a bad idea. It is to say that, given just how many
            works are written by doctoral students, such as myself, and the
            requirements to keep publishing, I can't help but suspect that these
            alleged problems, which seem like nothing of consequence to me and which
            are similar to phenomena readily detectable in modern works known to be
            by the same author throughout, are magnified by scholars in order to
            provide topics for books and dissertations, because radical source
            critical theories are more interesting and harder to prove or disprove
            than plain old rigorous exegesis. Sorry, but I just don't see stylistic
            problems. If you want to see poor transitions, any number of works by
            novice writers can show you that, and there's no question of authorship
            or source. My doctoral advisor critiqued a section of one my chapters
            for that very reason: the transition was too abrupt. In another place,
            he critiqued it because something appeared without me preparing
            adequately for it in the preceding text. I don't think that statistical
            analysis is very helpful unless you can provide some way to filter the
            results for known stylistic features of a given author. Maybe this is
            just how the author of the FG writes. No one said you had to have one a
            Pulitzer to write a gospel.


            Ken Litwak
          • soedingms@aol.com
            Dear friends of John, the Book of Eugen Ruckstuhl is published in a new edition. Better: There is a new book on the same theme with now two authors, Ruckstuhl
            Message 5 of 15 , Feb 7, 2002
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              Dear friends of John,
              the Book of Eugen Ruckstuhl is published in a new edition. Better: There is a
              new book on the same theme with now two authors, Ruckstuhl and his pupil
              Peter Dschulnigg (Bochum, Germany):
              Eugen Ruckstuhl - Peter Dschulnigg, Stilkritik und Verfasserfrage im
              Johannesevangelium. Die johanneischen Sprachmerkmale auf dem Hintergrund des
              Neuen Testaments und des zeitgenössischen hellenistischen Schrifttums (Novum
              Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 17), Freiburg/Schweiz: Universitätsverlag,
              Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht 1991.
              In Germany there was (and is) a discussion on "Soziolekt" and "Idiolekt".
              There is a unity in the language of the Fourth Gospel, but is it the language
              unity of a single author, or of a group in a (johannine) school? This
              discussion is discussed in the the new book, but there are different opinions
              until now.

              Prof. Dr. Thomas Söding
              Katholisch-Theologisches Seminar
              Bergische Universität
              D-42097 Wuppertal



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Paul Anderson
              ... Excellent points, Ken. Kysar agrees with you, and so do I, that what troubles us in our modernistic approaches to things may not at all have bothered a
              Message 6 of 15 , Feb 7, 2002
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                johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com writes:
                > What of the possibility, he said cynically, that the alleged
                >stylistic problems are only problems to those who think that multiple
                >sources are present, and would not have been seen as problems or even
                >necessarily noticed in the early church?
                >Ken Litwak
                >
                Excellent points, Ken. Kysar agrees with you, and so do I, that what
                troubles us in our modernistic approaches to things may not at all have
                bothered a first-century writer or audience. Likewise, Barrett puts the
                point this way: the text made sense to _someone_ as it stands, early on in
                its composition history, so it behooves the present reader to consider the
                text as it has come to us rather than as we might think it should have
                come to us.

                On the other hand, Bultmann is such a brilliant scholar that I wanted to
                really understand what were the bases for his concerns. If he really
                found something significant regarding disparate material in John (such as
                the clear stylistic and vocabulary differences particular to John
                7:53-8:11), this would have been important. But my studies confirmed
                Borgen's and Ruckstuhl's analyses of the text's unity, so that's what we
                have to deal with as critical scholars.

                >Dear friends of John,
                >the Book of Eugen Ruckstuhl is published in a new edition. Better: There
                >is a
                >new book on the same theme with now two authors, Ruckstuhl and his pupil
                >Peter Dschulnigg (Bochum, Germany):
                >Eugen Ruckstuhl - Peter Dschulnigg, Stilkritik und Verfasserfrage im
                >Johannesevangelium. Die johanneischen Sprachmerkmale auf dem Hintergrund
                >des
                >Neuen Testaments und des zeitgenössischen hellenistischen Schrifttums
                >(Novum
                >Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus 17), Freiburg/Schweiz: Universitätsverlag,
                >Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht 1991.
                >In Germany there was (and is) a discussion on "Soziolekt" and "Idiolekt".
                >There is a unity in the language of the Fourth Gospel, but is it the
                >language
                >unity of a single author, or of a group in a (johannine) school? This
                >discussion is discussed in the the new book, but there are different
                >opinions
                >until now.
                >
                >Prof. Dr. Thomas Söding

                And thank you, Thomas, for catching us up on Ruckstuhl's revised edition
                and resulting discussions. I wonder if this important work should be
                translated into English. Anyone care to take on a translation project?

                Paul Anderson
              • Paul Anderson
                ... Good questions here, Tom. I think the evidence that the Pentateuch does indeed contain a collection of perspectives is stronger than inferring the same
                Message 7 of 15 , Feb 7, 2002
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                  johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com writes:
                  >Dear Paul, Ramsey, Tom and Others,
                  >
                  > I am intrigued by your comment, Paul, that "...even if John's
                  >stylistic unity is assumed, someone might still go along with a
                  >signs gospel theory or an assumption that alien sources underlay
                  >the Johannine Gospel."
                  >
                  > Given that "signs" are found extensively in the Pentateuch,
                  >have you or others (Ruckstuhl?) considered the possibility
                  >that the "stylistic unity" in the Fourth Gospel could be the
                  >result of a common semeotic source (the Pentateuch?)
                  >
                  > Wouldn't such an analysis explain why the FG appears to
                  >share some similarities with the JEDP analyses of the OT?
                  >Would it not also address the question of a single or multiple
                  >source(s)? In your opinion would the Pentateuch be
                  >considered "an alien source," or might not the author(s) of
                  >the FG reasonably have assumed that it would be an obvious
                  >and familiar source from which to draw (at least) signs?
                  >
                  >Yours in Christ's service,
                  >Tom Butler

                  Good questions here, Tom. I think the evidence that the Pentateuch does
                  indeed contain a collection of perspectives is stronger than inferring the
                  same about John. I do believe that John's tradition is engaged
                  dialectically with other perspectives and parallel (synoptic) renderings
                  of Jesus' ministry, but this is different from assuming a more extended
                  thesis that the Fourth Evangelist a) incorporated alien material with
                  which he disagreed, b) changed the thaumaturgical nuance toward his own
                  reflective tones, and c) constructed his narrative on these works because
                  his work was late-and-only-late. Again, such may have been the case, but
                  the facts do not support such a reconstruction.

                  As I've put it elsewhere, to de-Johannify a narrative, only to
                  re-Marcanize it, does not a semeia source make.

                  Thanks,

                  Paul Anderson
                • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                  ... I d be interested, but I imagine that the project is already underway. Jeffery Hodges ===== Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges Hanshin University
                  Message 8 of 15 , Feb 7, 2002
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                    Paul Anderson wrote to Prof. Dr. Thomas S�ding:

                    > And thank you, Thomas, for catching us up on
                    > Ruckstuhl's revised edition and resulting
                    > discussions. I wonder if this important work should
                    > be translated into English. Anyone care to take on a
                    > translation project?

                    I'd be interested, but I imagine that the project is
                    already underway.

                    Jeffery Hodges

                    =====
                    Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                    Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                    447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
                    Yangsandong 411
                    South Korea

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