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Re: [John_Lit] Re: Jesus and JB in Jn

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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