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[John_Lit] Re: John's Greek

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  • Jim West
    ... no. jim +++++++++++++++++++++++++ Jim West, ThD email- jwest@highland.net web page- http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
    Message 1 of 18 , Sep 16, 1999
      At 09:44 PM 9/16/99 -0400, you wrote:
      >Ok Jim, lets get serious. Was the Apostle John in any real sense the author
      >of John's Gospel?

      no.

      jim

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Jim West, ThD
      email- jwest@...
      web page- http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
    • N & RJ Hanscamp
      Bill wrote ... Someone needs to ask the question: What do you mean by any real sense ? Please explain Nigel Nigel Hanscamp Trinity Methodist Theological
      Message 2 of 18 , Sep 16, 1999
        Bill wrote

        >Ok Jim, lets get serious. Was the Apostle John in any real sense the author
        >of John's Gospel?


        Someone needs to ask the question: What do you mean by "any real sense"?
        Please explain

        Nigel

        Nigel Hanscamp
        Trinity Methodist Theological College
        Auckland Consortium of Theological Education, New Zealand
        Email: nar.hanscamp@...
      • Thatcher, Tom
        All,
        Message 3 of 18 , Sep 17, 1999
          All,

          <<there are unusual constructions- sometimes called semitisms- but they
          really
          are nothing more than inelegant and unclassical greek. . . . "John" was a
          Jew- but he could write greek and he could obviously
          think in greek as well without having to play the gymnastics necessary for
          someone unfamiliar with the language and struggling to render it.>>

          Perhaps we might say "oral Greek" rather than "inelegant," which means "not
          like the literary authors." Further, let us beware of assuming that John
          could write Greek, or anything else. Many of the unusual features of
          Johannine style seem to result, in my view, from oral storytelling
          techniques.

          Respectfully,
          --tom


          "The Truth Will Set You Free"
          tom thatcher
          cbs&s
          (513) 244-8172
        • Thatcher, Tom
          Bill, Let me add to Jim s remarks that John s apparent excommunication from the synagogue and hostility toward Judaism in general have also been taken to be
          Message 4 of 18 , Sep 17, 1999
            Bill,

            Let me add to Jim's remarks that John's apparent excommunication from the
            synagogue and hostility toward "Judaism" in general have also been taken to
            be strong evidence lately.

            Respectfully,
            --tom

            "The Truth Will Set You Free"
            tom thatcher
            cbs&s
            (513) 244-8172
          • Jim West
            At 07:59 AM 9/17/99 -0400, you wrote: and struggling to render it. ... A rose by any other name... No matter what we call it, John s Greek is inelegant
            Message 5 of 18 , Sep 17, 1999
              At 07:59 AM 9/17/99 -0400, you wrote:
              and struggling to render it.>>
              >
              >Perhaps we might say "oral Greek" rather than "inelegant," which means "not
              >like the literary authors."

              "A rose by any other name..." No matter what we call it, John's Greek is
              inelegant compared to the classical writers.

              >Further, let us beware of assuming that John
              >could write Greek, or anything else.

              Huh? If someone didn't write it how did we get it????? Are you suggesting
              that the disciple "John" couldn't write? This is immaterial, because the
              Gospel was written anonymously. I merely use John as a title and not as a
              personal name.

              > Many of the unusual features of
              >Johannine style seem to result, in my view, from oral storytelling
              >techniques.

              What? So what??? At some point it was written down- in inelegant Greek.

              Best,

              Jim

              +++++++++++++++++++++++++
              Jim West, ThD
              email- jwest@...
              web page- http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
            • Bill Skelton
              ... author ... Nigel: I ment that even if the Apostle had not actually sat down and wrote the Book as we have it, could he have given the material contained in
              Message 6 of 18 , Sep 17, 1999
                >
                >>Ok Jim, lets get serious. Was the Apostle John in any real sense the
                author
                >>of John's Gospel?
                >
                >
                >Someone needs to ask the question: What do you mean by "any real sense"?
                >Please explain


                Nigel:

                I ment that even if the Apostle had not actually sat down and wrote the Book
                as we have it, could he have given the material contained in the book to
                others, perhaps in sermons etc., some of whom used them to compose our
                Gospel?

                -Bill Skelton
                wskelto@...
              • Will Wagers
                ... The Logos with which According to John begins is, of course, totally characteristic of and natively Greek theology. Will Wagers hyle@airmail.net
                Message 7 of 18 , Sep 18, 1999
                  Jim West, ThD writes:

                  >John is taken to be from a Jewish writer for a number of reasons-
                  >...
                  >second- his theology is strictly Jewish.

                  The Logos with which According to John begins is, of course, totally
                  characteristic of and natively Greek theology.


                  Will Wagers hyle@... "Reality is the best metaphor."
                • Carl W. Conrad
                  ... A plague on both your houses! Go read Moses Hadas classic _Hellenistic Culture: Fusion and Diffusion_. Philo uses a Logos theology--is he Greek or
                  Message 8 of 18 , Sep 18, 1999
                    At 7:48 AM -0500 9/18/99, Will Wagers wrote:
                    >Jim West, ThD writes:
                    >
                    >>John is taken to be from a Jewish writer for a number of reasons-
                    >>...
                    >>second- his theology is strictly Jewish.
                    >
                    >The Logos with which According to John begins is, of course, totally
                    >characteristic of and natively Greek theology.

                    A plague on both your houses! Go read Moses Hadas' classic _Hellenistic
                    Culture: Fusion and Diffusion_. Philo uses "a" Logos theology--is he Greek
                    or Jewish? He spoke and wrote Greek, and Philo scholars will debate the
                    issue whether his mind set was more Greek or more Jewish. For my part, I
                    just don't think that one can talk in exclusivistic terms in this era about
                    what is a Greek mind-set and what is a Jewish mind-set. Martin Hengel in
                    _Hellenentum u. Judentum_ shows how utterly Hellenized the reactionary
                    Essenes in the Dead Sea desert were.


                    Carl W. Conrad
                    Department of Classics/Washington University
                    One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
                    Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
                    cwconrad@...
                    WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/
                  • Jim West
                    ... It is indeed a part of Greek ideology (its a bit much to call Plato a theologian- but I suppose that with a loose enough definition anyone can fit that
                    Message 9 of 18 , Sep 18, 1999
                      At 07:48 AM 9/18/99 -0500, you wrote:

                      >The Logos with which According to John begins is, of course, totally
                      >characteristic of and natively Greek theology.

                      It is indeed a part of Greek ideology (its a bit much to call Plato a
                      theologian- but I suppose that with a loose enough definition anyone can fit
                      that category).

                      BUT- as the term is used by John, it reflects the Hebrew concept of Davar
                      (the word) rather than the Greek concept of the logos.

                      In other words, where you imply Greek influence I suggest Hebrew influence.

                      The word "logos" frequently translates the hebrew "davar" in the LXX.

                      Thus, the suggestion you make above that the logos is "totally" a remnant
                      of Greek "theology" (again, whatever that is supposed to be) is erroneous.

                      Best,

                      Jim
                      +++++++++++++++++++++++++
                      Jim West, ThD
                      email- jwest@...
                      web page- http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
                    • Jim West
                      ... How did you know???? ;-) ... Hengel has been shown to be wrong in this. The Judaisms (plural intentional) of first century Palestine and beyond were
                      Message 10 of 18 , Sep 18, 1999
                        At 08:20 AM 9/18/99 -0500, you wrote:

                        >A plague on both your houses!

                        How did you know???? ;-)

                        >Go read Moses Hadas' classic _Hellenistic
                        >Culture: Fusion and Diffusion_. Philo uses "a" Logos theology--is he Greek
                        >or Jewish? He spoke and wrote Greek, and Philo scholars will debate the
                        >issue whether his mind set was more Greek or more Jewish. For my part, I
                        >just don't think that one can talk in exclusivistic terms in this era about
                        >what is a Greek mind-set and what is a Jewish mind-set. Martin Hengel in
                        >_Hellenentum u. Judentum_ shows how utterly Hellenized the reactionary
                        >Essenes in the Dead Sea desert were.

                        Hengel has been shown to be wrong in this. The Judaisms (plural
                        intentional) of first century Palestine and beyond were certainly impacted
                        by hellenism- but influenced is a bit too much to claim. See the brilliant
                        "The Flourishing of Jewish Sects in the Maccabean Era" by A. Baumgartnen.
                        Hengel is out of date.


                        Best,

                        Jim

                        +++++++++++++++++++++++++
                        Jim West, ThD
                        email- jwest@...
                        web page- http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
                      • Carl W. Conrad
                        ... So far as I know, Plato invented the word theology --he speaks in Bk 2 of the Republic about TUPOI PERI THS QEOLOGIAS. He may not be a theologian in the
                        Message 11 of 18 , Sep 18, 1999
                          At 10:16 AM -0400 9/18/99, Jim West wrote:
                          >At 07:48 AM 9/18/99 -0500, you wrote:
                          >
                          >>The Logos with which According to John begins is, of course, totally
                          >>characteristic of and natively Greek theology.
                          >
                          >It is indeed a part of Greek ideology (its a bit much to call Plato a
                          >theologian- but I suppose that with a loose enough definition anyone can fit
                          >that category).

                          So far as I know, Plato invented the word "theology"--he speaks in Bk 2 of
                          the Republic about TUPOI PERI THS QEOLOGIAS. He may not be a theologian in
                          the sense in which the word's been used most commonly in the western
                          European tradition, but it's not unheard of to use that term of Greek
                          philosophy, and there is another classic work (I begin to get the sense
                          that when I refer to a "classic," that means it can be ignored!), Werner
                          Jaeger's Gifford Lectures, _Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers_.

                          Actually the LOGOS doctrine goes back before Plato to Heraclitus, and a
                          "Platonic" LOGOS doctrine as such doesn't come along until Philo "the Jew"
                          writes (in Greek).

                          >BUT- as the term is used by John, it reflects the Hebrew concept of Davar
                          >(the word) rather than the Greek concept of the logos.

                          I had thought the more common view was that, as used in John, the LOGOS
                          conception derives more from the Hokhma/Sophia tradition; I certainly
                          wouldn't want to rule out the Davar traditions as entering into it,
                          however. What I would want most to insist upon is that it is a syncretistic
                          complex of notions that ought not to be derived exclusively from any one
                          source alone.

                          >In other words, where you imply Greek influence I suggest Hebrew influence.
                          >
                          >The word "logos" frequently translates the hebrew "davar" in the LXX.
                          >
                          >Thus, the suggestion you make above that the logos is "totally" a remnant
                          >of Greek "theology" (again, whatever that is supposed to be) is erroneous.

                          Of course we've had this out before, Jim, in another forum, and we must
                          agree to disagree on some points (I'll grant that the extent to which the
                          Essenes were Hellenized may be questionable). I'd hope we agree that the
                          LOGOS conception is neither exclusively Greek nor exclusively Jewish in its
                          background. For my part, I think the Jewish background is pretty strong,
                          but I think nevertheless that the prologue of John's gospel is hardly
                          imaginable apart from the cross-fertilization of Greek and Jewish thinking.
                          I think the problem in the assertion above is in the word, "totally."


                          Carl W. Conrad
                          Department of Classics/Washington University
                          One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
                          Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
                          cwconrad@...
                          WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/
                        • Jim West
                          ... Absolutely. We are in 100% agreement on this point. ... Ok- totally. jim +++++++++++++++++++++++++ Jim West, ThD email- jwest@highland.net web page-
                          Message 12 of 18 , Sep 18, 1999
                            At 11:52 AM 9/18/99 -0500, you wrote:

                            >Of course we've had this out before, Jim, in another forum, and we must
                            >agree to disagree on some points (I'll grant that the extent to which the
                            >Essenes were Hellenized may be questionable). I'd hope we agree that the
                            >LOGOS conception is neither exclusively Greek nor exclusively Jewish in its
                            >background.

                            Absolutely. We are in 100% agreement on this point.

                            >For my part, I think the Jewish background is pretty strong,
                            >but I think nevertheless that the prologue of John's gospel is hardly
                            >imaginable apart from the cross-fertilization of Greek and Jewish thinking.
                            >I think the problem in the assertion above is in the word, "totally."

                            Ok- totally.


                            jim

                            +++++++++++++++++++++++++
                            Jim West, ThD
                            email- jwest@...
                            web page- http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
                          • Thatcher, Tom
                            Jim et. al., I apologize that my previous remarks on the possibly oral nature of FE s Greek were so cryptic. First, I have no desire to attach a specific name
                            Message 13 of 18 , Sep 20, 1999
                              Jim et. al.,

                              I apologize that my previous remarks on the possibly oral nature of FE's
                              Greek were so cryptic. First, I have no desire to attach a specific name to
                              FE. Let me clarify by commenting specifically on the following exchange:

                              ME:

                              <<Many of the unusual features of Johannine style seem to result, in my
                              view, from oral storytelling
                              >techniques.>>

                              JIM:

                              <<What? So what??? At some point it was written down- in inelegant
                              Greek.>>

                              "So what" would be this. My impression from the string was that the Greek
                              issue was somehow going to be brought into implications of FE's background
                              and worldview--whether that worldview and background were "Hebrew" or
                              "Greek."

                              Literacy rates in the Roman Empire in the period of late Second Temple
                              Judaim did not exceed 10%, and the number of people who could actually
                              "write" anything down would be lower than that. Consequently, to refer to
                              the classical authors as "elegant Greek" and then categoirze the other 90%
                              of the population (or, truly, the other 99.999% of the population, if you
                              want to use "the classical authors" as the baseline) seems to be a strained
                              comparision. I am not certain, in other words, how acknowledging that
                              John's Greek is "inelegant" (a very aesthetically biased term in the first
                              place) when compared to Plato et. al. really provides relevant data for a
                              discussion on authorship or FE's background, when at least 90% of the
                              population of that period would have used the language in a similar way.

                              I may, however, be missing your broader point.

                              Respectfully,
                              --tom thatcher

                              "The Truth Will Set You Free"
                              tom thatcher
                              cbs&s
                              (513) 244-8172
                            • Kevin O'Brien
                              I am a new member of the group (having just joined) and am very interested in contributing material to a topical current theme I have seen discussed in brief
                              Message 14 of 18 , Sep 26, 1999
                                I am a new member of the group (having just joined) and am very interested in contributing material to a topical current theme I have
                                seen discussed in brief by Tom Thatcher and others in the group. The theme is John's Greek and how it has been communicated in the form
                                we have today in the Gospel. To be brief in this opening communique: John 4:6 and John 13:25 in the use of hOUTWS puicture a lecturer --
                                the B.D. relaying to those listening -- among whom was his son, the Evangelist and his principal notetaker his experiences with the
                                Lord! It is highly significant that in hOUTWS we have a demonstrative adverb, to be translated as "like this", cewrtainly not the
                                unintelligible translation, "just as he was". Here are two scenes in the same Gospel where first Jesus rested on the well of Jacob and
                                secondly where the B.D. leaned back in a resting position on the Lord's breast. It is my contention that the B.D. demonstrated these two
                                positions of rest in his own dining room at the Judaean Bethany and in the case of John 13:25 on the triclinium there where he showed
                                how he did it!. I say the Evangelist was his son with many arguments in my published works -- one very important aspect of these claims
                                solves the problem of the unified literary stylistics throughout the Gospel. The son in his formative years put into wrirting what his
                                father the B.D. gave orally. Perhaps members of this group in their formative years under the parental roof absorbed the same idioms of
                                speech, the same vocabulary and forms of vocal and literary expression as your parents. It certainly happened in my own case. Any takers
                                on all this?

                                Cheers
                                Kevin O'Brien (Australia)




                                .
                                Thatcher, Tom wrote:

                                > Jim et. al.,
                                >
                                > I apologize that my previous remarks on the possibly oral nature of FE's
                                > Greek were so cryptic. First, I have no desire to attach a specific name to
                                > FE. Let me clarify by commenting specifically on the following exchange:
                                >
                                > ME:
                                >
                                > <<Many of the unusual features of Johannine style seem to result, in my
                                > view, from oral storytelling
                                > >techniques.>>
                                >
                                > JIM:
                                >
                                > <<What? So what??? At some point it was written down- in inelegant
                                > Greek.>>
                                >
                                > "So what" would be this. My impression from the string was that the Greek
                                > issue was somehow going to be brought into implications of FE's background
                                > and worldview--whether that worldview and background were "Hebrew" or
                                > "Greek."
                                >
                                > Literacy rates in the Roman Empire in the period of late Second Temple
                                > Judaim did not exceed 10%, and the number of people who could actually
                                > "write" anything down would be lower than that. Consequently, to refer to
                                > the classical authors as "elegant Greek" and then categoirze the other 90%
                                > of the population (or, truly, the other 99.999% of the population, if you
                                > want to use "the classical authors" as the baseline) seems to be a strained
                                > comparision. I am not certain, in other words, how acknowledging that
                                > John's Greek is "inelegant" (a very aesthetically biased term in the first
                                > place) when compared to Plato et. al. really provides relevant data for a
                                > discussion on authorship or FE's background, when at least 90% of the
                                > population of that period would have used the language in a similar way.
                                >
                                > I may, however, be missing your broader point.
                                >
                                > Respectfully,
                                > --tom thatcher
                                >
                                > "The Truth Will Set You Free"
                                > tom thatcher
                                > cbs&s
                                > (513) 244-8172
                                >
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