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Re: [John_Lit] Jesus and JB in Jn

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  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
    ... Lots of people were baptized by John. I vote for time spent with him beyond the Jordan as indicative of a closer relationship. ... My opinion, which is not
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 28, 2002
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      Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

      > Well, this is something that can be profitably
      > discussed. Namely, which version of this passage
      > tends to suggest a closer relationship between
      > John and Jesus. Can we say that (a) Jesus being
      > baptised by John suggests a closer relationship
      > between the two, or that (b) Jesus merely spending
      > some time with John suggests a closer relationship
      > between them? Myself, I vote for (a).

      Lots of people were baptized by John. I vote for time
      spent with him beyond the Jordan as indicative of a
      closer relationship.

      > Also, I would like to hear your opinion as to why
      > the baptism of Jesus by John is absent in Jn. Do you
      > think it possible that some early version of
      > Jn in fact did feature Jesus being baptised by John?

      My opinion, which is not based upon a serious study of
      the issue, is that John's Gospel presents such a high
      Christology that it avoids the image of John baptizing
      Jesus.

      As for early versions of John, I don't know.

      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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    • michael Hardin
      These would be my questions Yuri: 1) In that the MG text reflects synchronization/harmonization of the canonical gospels, in what textual tradition would a
      Message 2 of 17 , Mar 1, 2002
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        These would be my questions Yuri:

        1) In that the MG text reflects
        synchronization/harmonization of the canonical
        gospels, in what textual tradition would a greek
        'retranslation' stand (what is presupposed)? Or are
        there affinities with several textual traditions?

        2) The prologue as an early christians hymn (sans the
        references to JTB) needs no defending. But also a
        hymn grounded in a midrash of Gen 1 (Borgen)? I think
        so. Kym Smith's Genesis observations are intruiging
        here.

        If one wishes to see an earlier than canonical Jesus
        tradition ( as do many Thomas/Q questers), I am not
        persuded that MG would fit until I had examined the
        passion narrative. As a meta-narrative where does it
        place the death of Jesus, before or after Passover?
        This would be a strong indication of it's provinence
        at least East/West.

        The Johannine tradition is of far more historical
        value than given by the present state of NT research
        who seem to reflect Clement of Alexandria. Dodd &
        Robinson have laid an excelent foundation in this
        regard. This is not to say that the gospel was not
        produced in stages, only to say that perhaps Kym Smith
        is correct to observe that it was the events which
        upon reflection were associated with the
        'mythical/prophetic' archtypes, not the other way
        around. (It is hish to time to stop paying homage to
        Bousset)

        Some quick thoughts:

        MG 1.3 sound definitely post-Nicean so if it is early
        it is already coming under the corrector's hand. Can
        you identify that hand?

        MG 1.4 'law & prophets', a Matthean phrase if there
        ever was one [can we call this the Matthean
        thunderbolt in the Johannine gospel? ;)]

        Strange that Zechariah could become high-priest, as
        though he was from one of the four families, more
        importantly, of Annas or Boethus (MG 2.3). This
        historical anamoly might be an indicator that the MG
        tradition/author is already tying Jesus and John back
        into the priesthood, certainly something imaginable in
        the Middle Ages. (Gotta give him credit, he recognizes
        that the Beloved Disciple had to have been a priest to
        have gotten into Caiaphas' residence the night before
        a Festival)

        3.29 The worship of Mary. Another indicator of the
        author's hand? (as is the use of St. as in St. John)
        The rise of a cult of Mary is not possible to
        demonstrate prior to the fourth century (at the
        earliest).

        10.6 The measurement of the amount of water is off by
        a HUGE amount. What does this mean?

        Thanks for listening and letting me post.

        Michael Hardin
        michael1517@...
        New York


        --- kymhsm <khs@...> wrote:
        > Dear Yuri,
        >
        > > Of course it's possible that the author of John
        > used Genesis
        > 1&2 as a > structure for his gospel from 1:1 -
        > 20:29, although
        > AFAIK this view is not > widely shared.
        >
        > True, it is not widely shared - not yet anyway. It
        > is something that I
        > have stumbled upon.
        >
        > >But I think here also our underlying
        > presuppositions may >
        > come into play. In my view, the gospels have some
        > real historical
        > events > as their basis.
        >
        > I am not suggesting that John did not use historical
        > events. He
        > did, however, parallel those events with the first
        > two chapters of
        > Genesis. Several examples may be useful. Jesus'
        > baptism I
        > have already explained. The two mentions of Adam's
        > movement
        > from outside to inside the garden are matched by
        > Jesus' final
        > entry into Jerusalem and his going to the garden
        > (Gethsemane).
        > Adam's deep sleep in the garden and the removal of
        > his rib is
        > matched by Jesus death (in a garden [19:41]) and his
        > being
        > pierced in the side. The presentation of Eve to Adam
        > is
        > paralleled by Mary Magdalene's (sole) encounter with
        > Jesus (in
        > the same garden - she thought he was the gardener
        > [20:15, c.f.
        > Gen 2:15]). Jesus' first word to her is "Woman" (cf.
        > Gen 2:23;
        > 'she shall be called woman'). John's acount implies
        > that other
        > women were down at the tomb (20:2 '...'we' do not
        > know...') but
        > he only mentions Mary because of his aligning his
        > Gospel with
        > Gen 1&2.
        >
        > >So I would not necessarily agree that the
        > mythological > events
        > from the OT would have overwhelmed the historical
        > base of the >
        > gospels to a very great degree.>
        >
        > The 'historical base' is not 'overwhelmed', but John
        > has used the
        > Genesis structure to in clude ideas additional to
        > those in the
        > plain text. He has shown two main things with this
        > stucture.
        > From Genesis 1 (Jn 1:1-11:44), that the Word who
        > became flesh
        > and dwelt among us, Jesus, was the one created all
        > things (c.f.
        > Jn 1:3) and, from Genesis 2 (Jn 11:45-20:29), to
        > express a
        > sublime First Adam / Second Adam theology - all the
        > more
        > sublime because it is the pre-Fall Adam with whom he
        > is
        > drawing the parallels.
        >
        > Sincerely,
        >
        > Kym Smith
        > Adelaide
        > South Australia
        > khs@...
        >
        >
        >
        >
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      • Yuri Kuchinsky
        Dear Michael, Thank you for your reply. Some of the issues you ve raised are very complex, and they demand a separate extensive answer. Also, some of them are
        Message 3 of 17 , Mar 1, 2002
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          Dear Michael,

          Thank you for your reply. Some of the issues you've raised are very
          complex, and they demand a separate extensive answer. Also, some of them
          are not really directly relevant to the Fourth Gospel, so perhaps Loisy-L
          would be a better forum to discuss them. But here is, for now, a quick
          reply to a couple of points you've raised.

          On Fri, 1 Mar 2002, michael Hardin wrote:

          ...

          > Strange that Zechariah could become high-priest, as
          > though he was from one of the four families, more
          > importantly, of Annas or Boethus (MG 2.3). This
          > historical anamoly might be an indicator that the MG
          > tradition/author is already tying Jesus and John back
          > into the priesthood, certainly something imaginable in
          > the Middle Ages. (Gotta give him credit, he recognizes
          > that the Beloved Disciple had to have been a priest to
          > have gotten into Caiaphas' residence the night before
          > a Festival)

          The absence of the "Beloved Disciple" in the Magdalene Gospel, as well as
          in the Complaint/Nicodemus Gospel (another very mysterious document as
          found in ms. Pepys) has already been discussed extensively on this list.
          You can find these discussions in the archives. But I'm not quite sure why
          do you now say that BD was a priest. In the canonical version, he's only
          known to the high priest (while MG lacks this detail).

          > 10.6 The measurement of the amount of water is off by a HUGE amount.
          > What does this mean?

          I'm glad you've picked up on this important detail. Indeed, the Johannine
          episode of "Turning Water Into Wine" is quite different in the Magdalene
          Gospel in a number of respects. Among them, is the size of the water jugs.
          In MG 10:6, they are 3 gallons, while in the canonical Jn 2:6 they are "20
          or 30 gallons". Surely the Magdalene version seems more primitive, since
          it appears to be less developed?

          Best regards,

          Yuri.

          Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

          Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority,
          it is time to reform -=O=- Mark Twain
        • Paul Schmehl
          I am not convinced that shorter or less developed equates to antiquity. It could equate to a damaged exemplar, a lazy scribe, intentional shortening, and a
          Message 4 of 17 , Mar 1, 2002
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            I am not convinced that "shorter" or "less developed" equates to antiquity.
            It could equate to a damaged exemplar, a lazy scribe, intentional
            shortening, and a host of other possibilities. In an earlier post you
            stated something to the effect that the "shorter reading rule" was an
            accepted fact of TC. That "fact" is now being questioned, and I think there
            are cases where the shortening is quite possibly deliberate. In any case, I
            certainly don't think it's as cut and dried as you seem to think it is.

            Paul Schmehl pauls@...
            pschmehl@...
            http://www.utdallas.edu/~pauls/

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Yuri Kuchinsky" <yuku@...>
            To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, March 01, 2002 3:08 PM
            Subject: [John_Lit] Re: Jesus and JB in Jn
            >
            > I'm glad you've picked up on this important detail. Indeed, the Johannine
            > episode of "Turning Water Into Wine" is quite different in the Magdalene
            > Gospel in a number of respects. Among them, is the size of the water jugs.
            > In MG 10:6, they are 3 gallons, while in the canonical Jn 2:6 they are "20
            > or 30 gallons". Surely the Magdalene version seems more primitive, since
            > it appears to be less developed?
          • Yuri Kuchinsky
            ... Well, Jeffery, I suppose this would depend on just how meaningful you think JB s baptism was. If one thinks of it as a mere formality, something that
            Message 5 of 17 , Mar 2, 2002
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              On Thu, 28 Feb 2002, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:

              > Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:
              >
              > > Well, this is something that can be profitably
              > > discussed. Namely, which version of this passage
              > > tends to suggest a closer relationship between
              > > John and Jesus. Can we say that (a) Jesus being
              > > baptised by John suggests a closer relationship
              > > between the two, or that (b) Jesus merely spending
              > > some time with John suggests a closer relationship
              > > between them? Myself, I vote for (a).
              >
              > Lots of people were baptized by John. I vote for time
              > spent with him beyond the Jordan as indicative of a
              > closer relationship.

              Well, Jeffery, I suppose this would depend on just how meaningful you
              think JB's baptism was. If one thinks of it as a mere formality, something
              that required little in the way of preparation and commitment, then being
              baptised by JB would be no big deal at all. But I think such a view of
              JB's baptism may be a little oversimplified.

              > > Also, I would like to hear your opinion as to why
              > > the baptism of Jesus by John is absent in Jn. Do you
              > > think it possible that some early version of
              > > Jn in fact did feature Jesus being baptised by John?
              >
              > My opinion, which is not based upon a serious study of
              > the issue, is that John's Gospel presents such a high
              > Christology that it avoids the image of John baptizing
              > Jesus.

              I think it's quite reasonable to suppose that a very high Christology for
              Jesus was something that was late in developing. So then don't you think
              that this particular feature of Jn, i.e. absence of the scene where Jesus
              is being baptised by JB, was also a late development?

              > As for early versions of John, I don't know.

              Well, I'm now proposing that there had indeed been an earlier version of
              Jn that did feature Jesus being baptised by JB. So, in such a case, now we
              may have identified some traces of that earlier text.

              Regards,

              Yuri.

              Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.styx.org/yuku/pepys/mgj.htm

              "It is so much easier to assume than to prove; it is so much less painful
              to believe than to doubt; there is such a charm in the repose of
              prejudice, when no discordant voice jars upon the harmony of belief; there
              is such a thrilling pang when cherished dreams are scattered, and old
              creeds abandoned, that it is not surprising that men close their eyes to
              the unwelcome light" -- W.E.H. Lecky (A History of Rationalism)
            • Yuri Kuchinsky
              ... Dear Paul, Could you please suggest some reason why the author of the Magdalene Gospel would have intentionally replaced 20 or 30 gallon jugs with 3
              Message 6 of 17 , Mar 3, 2002
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                On Fri, 1 Mar 2002, Paul Schmehl wrote:

                > I am not convinced that "shorter" or "less developed" equates to
                > antiquity. It could equate to a damaged exemplar, a lazy scribe,
                > intentional shortening,

                Dear Paul,

                Could you please suggest some reason why the author of the Magdalene
                Gospel would have intentionally replaced "20 or 30 gallon" jugs with "3
                gallon" jugs?

                > and a host of other possibilities. In an earlier post you stated
                > something to the effect that the "shorter reading rule" was an
                > accepted fact of TC. That "fact" is now being questioned, and I think
                > there are cases where the shortening is quite possibly deliberate.
                > In any case, I certainly don't think it's as cut and dried as you seem
                > to think it is.

                Actually, I'm in basic agreement with you here. While the "shorter reading
                rule" is indeed a widely accepted rule of TC today, myself, I do see some
                considerable limitations of this. In fact, recently I've been moving
                closer to the Byzantine text supporters, who, of course, have challenged
                this rule.

                And yet, at the same time, this particular case of Jn 2:6 is not
                necessarily relevant to this. Because here it's the size of the jugs that
                is mostly in question, rather than the reading just being shorter or
                longer.

                Regards,

                Yuri.

                Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

                The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
                equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian

                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "Yuri Kuchinsky" <yuku@...>
                > To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                > Sent: Friday, March 01, 2002 3:08 PM
                > Subject: [John_Lit] Re: Jesus and JB in Jn
                > >
                > > I'm glad you've picked up on this important detail. Indeed, the Johannine
                > > episode of "Turning Water Into Wine" is quite different in the Magdalene
                > > Gospel in a number of respects. Among them, is the size of the water jugs.
                > > In MG 10:6, they are 3 gallons, while in the canonical Jn 2:6 they are "20
                > > or 30 gallons". Surely the Magdalene version seems more primitive, since
                > > it appears to be less developed?
              • Yuri Kuchinsky
                On Thu, 28 Feb 2002, kymhsm wrote: [Yuri:] ... Kym, Still, I m wondering if the dependence on Genesis, that you re advocating, would have constituted a
                Message 7 of 17 , Mar 3, 2002
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                  On Thu, 28 Feb 2002, kymhsm wrote:

                  [Yuri:]
                  > >So I would not necessarily agree that the mythological > events
                  > from the OT would have overwhelmed the historical base of the >
                  > gospels to a very great degree.>

                  > The 'historical base' is not 'overwhelmed', but John has used the
                  > Genesis structure to in clude ideas additional to those in the
                  > plain text. He has shown two main things with this stucture.
                  > >From Genesis 1 (Jn 1:1-11:44), that the Word who became flesh
                  > and dwelt among us, Jesus, was the one created all things (c.f.
                  > Jn 1:3) and, from Genesis 2 (Jn 11:45-20:29), to express a
                  > sublime First Adam / Second Adam theology - all the more
                  > sublime because it is the pre-Fall Adam with whom he is
                  > drawing the parallels.

                  Kym,

                  Still, I'm wondering if the dependence on Genesis, that you're advocating,
                  would have constituted a sufficient warrant to remove the mention of the
                  baptism of Jesus by John.

                  In other words, the baptism of Jesus by John seems to have been a real
                  historical event. So do you think that the Genesis motifs, alone, could
                  have been enough reason for masking this event in Jn?

                  So there seem to have been some other reasons for masking this event in
                  Jn...

                  Yuri.

                  Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

                  The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
                  equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
                • kymhsm
                  Dear Yuri, ... advocating, would have constituted a sufficient warrant to remove the mention of the baptism of Jesus by John. ... real historical event.
                  Message 8 of 17 , Mar 3, 2002
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                    Dear Yuri,

                    > Still, I'm wondering if the dependence on Genesis, that you're
                    advocating,> would have constituted a sufficient warrant to remove
                    the mention of the > baptism of Jesus by John.
                    >
                    > In other words, the baptism of Jesus by John seems to have been a
                    real > historical event. So do you think that the Genesis motifs,
                    alone, could > have been enough reason for masking this event in Jn?>

                    I do not think that John has masked JB's baptism of Jesus at all. It
                    is just that he has not detailed the event. Rather, he has spoken of
                    the *significance* of the event in identifying the Christ.

                    The Genesis structure may have been sufficient reason not to detail
                    it because that structure is built mostly upon the *events* of the
                    gospel. For instance, the six days in which something new was created
                    in Gen 1 are reflected by the six miracles or signs of Jn 2:1 -
                    11:45. We are accostomed to thinking of seven signs but it seems that
                    Jesus' walking on the water (while undoubtedly a sign for the
                    apostles) does not bear the same significnce as the healings etc.

                    On the other hand, John does include the event of Jesus' clearing of
                    the temple without that affecting the structure, though he excludes
                    it from the signs (and so from the Genesis structure) by placing it
                    between the first two signs, both of which he nominates as such
                    (2:11; 4:54).

                    Sincerely,

                    Kym Smith
                    Adelaide
                    South Australia
                    khs@...
                  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                    ... For John the Baptist s disciples, I would expect more preparation and commitment associated with a baptism, but I doubt that the multitudes coming for
                    Message 9 of 17 , Mar 3, 2002
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                      Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

                      > Well, Jeffery, I suppose this would depend on just
                      > how meaningful you
                      > think JB's baptism was. If one thinks of it as a
                      > mere formality, something
                      > that required little in the way of preparation and
                      > commitment, then being
                      > baptised by JB would be no big deal at all. But I
                      > think such a view of
                      > JB's baptism may be a little oversimplified.

                      For John the Baptist's disciples, I would expect more
                      preparation and commitment associated with a baptism,
                      but I doubt that the multitudes coming for baptism fit
                      this. Simply referring to a baptism by John the
                      Baptist is thus too little to base a strong view on. I
                      still vote for time spent with John the Baptist beyond
                      the Jordan as suggesting more.

                      > I think it's quite reasonable to suppose that a very
                      > high Christology for
                      > Jesus was something that was late in developing. So
                      > then don't you think
                      > that this particular feature of Jn, i.e. absence of
                      > the scene where Jesus
                      > is being baptised by JB, was also a late
                      > development?

                      It's a reasonable position.

                      > Well, I'm now proposing that there had indeed been
                      > an earlier version of
                      > Jn that did feature Jesus being baptised by JB. So,
                      > in such a case, now we
                      > may have identified some traces of that earlier
                      > text.

                      Maybe, but so far, I haven't been convinced by your
                      posts because I have always seen other possible
                      interpretations. Also, the MG really looks like a
                      medieval harmonization based upon the four gospels and
                      later Christian traditions.

                      But, I admit that I haven't studied it closely. I
                      doubt that I will due to lack of time and to my
                      willingness to accept the standard scholarly position
                      -- especially in cases where I lack time to develop
                      the expertise needed for making an independent
                      verification.

                      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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                    • Yuri Kuchinsky
                      ... Dear Michael, The Magdalene Gospel is clearly not all of one piece, and there are substantial differences between different parts of MG. So, it really
                      Message 10 of 17 , Mar 6, 2002
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                        On Fri, 1 Mar 2002, michael Hardin wrote:

                        > These would be my questions Yuri:
                        >
                        > 1) In that the MG text reflects
                        > synchronization/harmonization of the canonical
                        > gospels, in what textual tradition would a greek
                        > 'retranslation' stand (what is presupposed)? Or are
                        > there affinities with several textual traditions?

                        Dear Michael,

                        The Magdalene Gospel is clearly not all of one piece, and there are
                        substantial differences between different parts of MG. So, it really seems
                        like a compilation, or a sort of a synopsis, of various gospel texts.

                        Many segments of MG look a lot like harmonisations of various single
                        gospel texts. Yet other segments represent straight narrative from single
                        gospels.

                        In general, I would say that MG reflects Western text of the gospels. Of
                        course Western text is a lot better attested in Old Latin and in Semitic
                        languages than in Greek. Myself, I'm quite sceptical that the Greek text
                        should always be seen as the most reliable.

                        > 2) The prologue as an early christians hymn (sans the
                        > references to JTB) needs no defending. But also a
                        > hymn grounded in a midrash of Gen 1 (Borgen)? I think
                        > so. Kym Smith's Genesis observations are intruiging
                        > here.
                        >
                        > If one wishes to see an earlier than canonical Jesus
                        > tradition ( as do many Thomas/Q questers), I am not
                        > persuded that MG would fit until I had examined the
                        > passion narrative. As a meta-narrative where does it
                        > place the death of Jesus, before or after Passover?
                        > This would be a strong indication of it's provinence
                        > at least East/West.

                        The Passion Narrative in MG is a very complex patchwork of various texts.
                        There's actually not much harmonisation that goes on there. Passages from
                        the Synoptics and from Jn are usually cited sequentially, and there seems
                        to be quite a lot of redundancy and repetition. Which would confirm, at
                        least in my view, that this is not a well developed gospel harmony, but
                        rather a synopsis of the gospels. Essentially, I see MG as the earliest
                        version of the Diatessaron.

                        > The Johannine tradition is of far more historical
                        > value than given by the present state of NT research

                        Yes, you may well be right about this.

                        > who seem to reflect Clement of Alexandria. Dodd &
                        > Robinson have laid an excelent foundation in this
                        > regard. This is not to say that the gospel was not
                        > produced in stages, only to say that perhaps Kym Smith
                        > is correct to observe that it was the events which
                        > upon reflection were associated with the
                        > 'mythical/prophetic' archtypes, not the other way
                        > around. (It is hish to time to stop paying homage to
                        > Bousset)
                        >
                        > Some quick thoughts:
                        >
                        > MG 1.3 sound definitely post-Nicean so if it is early
                        > it is already coming under the corrector's hand.

                        Well, I've always avoided dealing with the first chapter of MG, because
                        it's so different from our standard opening of Jn, although being similar
                        to it in some respects. There are also problems with exact translation of
                        this passage. You may observe that my translation of this first chapter is
                        not exactly literal, so what you think may be post-Nicean elements may
                        also be just my translation.

                        > Can you identify that hand?

                        It's very difficult to say. As I say, the first chapter presents its own
                        very special problems of translation and interpretation. It may well have
                        been expanded at a later stage.

                        > MG 1.4 'law & prophets', a Matthean phrase if there
                        > ever was one [can we call this the Matthean
                        > thunderbolt in the Johannine gospel? ;)]

                        Again, this may just be my translation... Whenever one really wants to
                        deal with such stylistic aspects, one really needs to go directly to the
                        Middle English text. But other chapters of MG don't usually present so
                        many problems as this first chapter.

                        > Strange that Zechariah could become high-priest, as
                        > though he was from one of the four families, more
                        > importantly, of Annas or Boethus (MG 2.3).

                        Boismard has already studied these passages in considerable detail, and he
                        seems to find a lot of primitive material there (L'EVANGILE DE L'ENFANCE
                        (LUC 1 - 2) SELON LE PROTO-LUC (Etudes bibliques 35), Paris, J. Gabalda,
                        1997). Myself, I haven't dealt with these passages too much, and went on
                        to other stuff.

                        > 3.29 The worship of Mary. Another indicator of the
                        > author's hand? (as is the use of St. as in St. John)
                        > The rise of a cult of Mary is not possible to
                        > demonstrate prior to the fourth century (at the
                        > earliest).

                        Well, I don't see more "worship of Mary" in MG, necessarily, than in the
                        standard texts. But perhaps we should stick more with the Johannine
                        passages in this discussion.

                        All the best,

                        Yuri.

                        Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

                        Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority,
                        it is time to reform -=O=- Mark Twain
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