Re: [John_Lit] Q possible source
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin O'Brien" <symeon@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2002 3:46 AM
Subject: [John_Lit] Q possible source
> Greetings all Listers,
> Pertinent to the current debate on the List on the priority and primacy of the Gospels is H.E. Edwards' biting evaluation of some currently held interpretative estimations that the writing of the Fourth Gospel post-dates the other three Gospels:
> (1) If John says what the Synoptics say, then he is quoting them, (2) if what he says is out of harmony with their statements, he is correcting them, (3) if he tells us anything not found in the Synoptics, he is supplementing them. If anything, this theory (the Supplementary theory) accounts not only for all that John has written; it would account equally well for anything he might have written.
> The originator of the "Q" material and/or the "unique tradition" (UT) texts (material found in one Syn. only) whether Luke or Matthew as the originator or some other source had to have considerable "ecclesiastical clout" behind him indeed for his material to act as a major source for the later Synoptist writers. It is certainly required of 'Q' and these (UT) texts that in their individual units and as a totality of texts, that they arise not from a person unknown to the primitive church authorities and the Evangelists but originally from someone with whom they or their proxy had ready contact. It is required that they arise from someone who was in an excellent position as eye and earwitness to Jesus' ministry to provide ready information about Jesus' person, sayings and actions. It is required that they arise from someone very highly accredited as an eye and earwitness, esteemed for his commitment to Jesus' cause, honoured for his modus vivendi, respected and readily contactable in that same primitive church yes! even by Paul, who according to NT Pauline experts received his 'pre-Pauline' traditions (e.g. 1 Cor 11.23-25; 15.3-7) from the Jerusalem Church -- the very domain of one Symeon of Jerusalem who was successor to James as leader of that Church.
The most likely interpretation of Papias is that Jesus' disciple and cousin, Matthew (Mattaya ben Halfy), obviously literate, wrote down significant "sayings" (Logia), perhaps even during Jesus' active ministry. This tradition arises from the Johannine community. This Aramaic Anthologia is the only list of "Jesus saids..." mentioned in the histories and may well have been the vorlage used, in Greek translation, by the Matthean scribe and, IMO, translated directly by Luke and monolithically classified as "Q" by synoptic scholars. This Halfy, known in the NT as "Alphaeus" and "Clopas" was the brother of Joseph, hence, Jesus' Uncle. Married to the "other Mary" his other sons, known to us, were Ya'akov (James), called haZora (the "Less:) and Shymeon. This relationship to Jesus may also be indicated in Jewish naming practices where
Ya'akov (James, the Less) is named after Jesus' mutual grandfather and Matthew after the Great=grandfather..if one accepts the Matthean geneology as historical. This would be the same pattern for Jesus' brothers, Ya'akov (after grandpop) and Yosef (after Joseph). Since many of the disciples were cousins, including John (Yohanon) and James the "greater" (Ya'akov bar Zebediya) and Shymeon succeeded his cousin Ya'akov bar Yosef (haTsaddik), Jesus' brother, on his death in 62 CE, a new element that should be evaluated in Historical Jesus research is that this was very much a "family enterprise." Two aunts follow Jesus (the "other Mary" and Salome) to help support them. 1 Corinthians, however, dates to about 50-55 CE so it predated Shymeon's succession and given the "not friendly" relationship with Ya'akov, I would pose that the source of Paul's "pre-Pauline" tradition would be cousin John, mentioned by Paul as a "pillar" with whom he consulted.
> Extra Biblicly in Eus. H.E. 3.32.4 we have this reference to Symeon of Jerusalem: "Symeon was one of the eyewitnesses and actual hearers of the Lord". Apart from the names of Jesus' closest disciples (the Apostles, the "brethren" Simon the Leper etc.) no other Gospel mentioned person carrying with him the role of eye and earwitness has come down to us. Eusebius was well aware that this Symeon of Jerusalem was not one of the Apostles yet certainly he was equal to them at least as a well-nigh constant companion of Jesus during Jesus' multi-year Public Ministry especially so when Jesus was in Jerusalem's eastern environs (see esp. below on the Ten Lepers).
Shymeon was the son of Jesus' Uncle Clopas and the brother of both disciple/cousins Matthew and James, the Less. He must have been a disciple of equal standing, the number 12 really being a later creation.
> In previous postings to this List I identify this man as the B.D. (I invite you to look it up in the List Archives). Let us conjecture (for the moment) that this B.D. was the constant companion of Jesus who invariably accompanied Jesus from his (Symeon's) Bethany home to the city or Temple because of open or implied threats to Jesus' life from his clerical enemies (e.g. John 11.55; Mark 14.1 par.). Let us conjecture (for the moment) that this man is the original carrier of the "Q" and UT texts. Let us finally conjecture (for the moment) that his home originally was at Bethany (Mark 14.3), his name being Simon the Leper (see Ten Lepers below). That done, we can ask what are the Bethany connections with Luke's Journey Narrative especially where "Q" material predominates? It is to be noticed that in these three conjectures I am using the presently frowned upon deductive approach. On the contrary, in my researches I have found repeatedly that such a methodology when applied to Holy Writ results often instead of the wearisome ???????? being thankfully replaced with !!!!!!!!
Shymeon is identified by Hegesippus, in Eusebius, as the son of Clopas, brother of Joseph (HE3.11.1; 4.22.4). His mother Mary is identified at John 19:25. Other references are Mark 2:14; 3:18; Mt. 10:3; Lk 6:15 and Acts 1:13. During the Domitian Persecution Descendants of David (relatives of Jesus) were being rounded up and this continued into the reign of Trajan when Shymeon was killed before Trajan stopped the practice. This was about 106-107 CE so Shymeon appears to have been a child of 10 or so at the time of the crucifixion and in his 80's when he died.
> First, Luke 10.16; Matt 10.40; (cf. John 13.20):
> This verse though brief in length as "Q" material is redolent of the Bethany-based B.D.'s literary expression, not unlike Luke 10.22 the "Bolt from the Johannine Blue" or "The Meteor from the Johannine Heaven" as it is called. Any Commentary will confirm these judgements;
There is no mention in the NT or Eusebius, of which I am aware, of the hometown of Cleophas/Clopas/Alphaeus. We know that his son worked and lived in the Galilee and there is a tradition that links him as a benefactor to the Synagogue in K'far Nahum but I know of no references that link Clopas and Mary to Bethany either.
> Second, Luke 10.38-42:
> The very mention of the Bethany siblings Martha and Mary should alert the investigator to think that Luke's Palestinian geographical scenario is askew, which will be established for certain when we note the peculiar problems in the Ten Lepers' pericope (see below). The correct locus for Luke 10.38-42 on the contrary is the B.D.'s home at Bethany near the city.
> Third, the Lazarus Parable:
> I hope the Listers will find this analysis among others in this posting worthy of their assent:
> The Parable and Lazarus
> Because Jesus used the shortened name of 'Lazarus' in the Parable of Dives and Lazarus instead of the proper name, 'Eliezer' ('Eliazar'), and since he used the same shortened name of him who was restored to life in John 11, that latter person was obviously fresh in Jesus' mind as personally known from the prior miracle at 'Bethany' when he delivered the Parable. Of course, Jesus may have used the same shortened name for every person he knew named Eliezer, but etiquette in any culture requires that shortened first names are normally reserved for occasions when the 'namer' personally knows the person so named. Jesus thus used that marvel at 'Bethany' as an effective didactic model in the later Parable to press home his point.
There were some peculiarities in the pronounciation of Aramaic in the Galilee which included not only the lifting of pharyngeal fricatives but much like Cockney English in the dropping of H's, the dropping of the glottal stops. Where Jesus formal name Y'shua (yeSHUa) so pronounced in Judea would have been Yeshu in the Galilee, so also the name Eliazar would have dropped the initial alef and would have been `Lazar on the lips of Jesus. The addition of the Greek masculine ending as Lazaros to this Galilean usage appears to confer some linguistic, if not historical, authenticity.
> If Luke was the composer of the Parable, not Jesus, as often claimed, we have the same situation. Etiquette would demand that Luke refrain from using a nickame for someone he had probably never met - Luke being a second generation Christian and 'Lazarus' in the parable being a fictional person. That is, since Luke used the shortened name of 'Lazarus', and unless he called all men named Eliezer by the same shortened form of 'Lazarus' (highly unlikely), he must have used the prior historical event of Lazarus' restoration to life, which multitudes of people must have known about for literally decades - hence its omission in the Syn's -- as a model for the Parable.
More likely, it points to Luke using a Galilean source for this information. In short, Lazarus is not a nickname, it is Greek (and then Latin) rendering of the name Eliezar as pronounced in the Galilee.
> No matter whether Jesus or Luke uttered the Parable, it is clear that the historic event preceded its use as Parable. That is, it establishes the Parable as based on the prior historic event rather than the Parable being the catalyst in 'John' later manufacturing a fictional scenario of Lazarus' restoration from death to life, as is commonly asserted. If the 'Bethany' event is an elaborately worked out theological invention based on the alleged earlier Parable, as again is far too often hastily claimed, Jesus would hardly have used a shortened name of 'Lazarus' in the Parable. If Jesus uttered the Parable, Luke received it as part of the tradition but faced with a Markan one year ministry with events chronologically and geographically forced, knew not where to place it nor how to time it accurately. Significantly, he has placed the Parable in his Journey Narrative or 'Q' or UT material where other 'Bethany' original traditions reside.
> With these observations in mind, the Parable as event definitely belongs to a time after the 'Bethany' miracle and that quite close in time to the Passion itself. Again, it is clear that since the Lazarus miracle occurred on the property of the B.D., and the report of it came from his house, the original transmitter of that report was he. He and his eye and earwitnessed reports not Luke nor his report has priority.
> The Ten Lepers and Simon the Leper (Luke 17.11-19):
> It is well known that Luke is quite vague at times regarding Palestinian geographical locations. Only if a 'Bethany' connection warrants it (and we have that warrant from the following) we transfer the location of the dramatis personae to the immediate environs of Jerusalem. In so doing, we meet with the companion of Jesus -- with the original eyewitness Symeon of Jerusalem/Simon the Leper/B.D. of the Lukan report.
I cannot see the identification of Shymeon bar Halfy (Simon bar Clopas) as either the BD, Paul's source or an eye and ear witness as authoritative as the other disciples since he would have been just a child at the time, obviously the youngest son of Alphaeus/Clopas and Mary.
> In this Lukan passage I claim, surprisingly, that eleven lepers are involved. This should alert the investigator to the distinct possibility that the 'Bethany' based Simon the Leper, may be the source and eye and earwitness of Luke's UT account. Simon the Leper had a very close affinity with the Ten Lepers in their experiencing the same or similar terrible malady but at different times. Simon would have been hypersensitive thereby and saw fit to pass on the report of the actual event to Luke or his proxy who as we shall see below got the geography wrong! Simon was probably cured by Jesus when he cured Mary Magdalen of seven devils, a medical malady that was understood as a spiritual malady and described and treated as such. The Ten Lepers exercise as presented here is an outstanding example of the truth of the claim above regarding extremely vague Lukan distances and locations.
There is a distinct possibility that Simon the "Leper" is a mistranslation of the Aramaic that really meant Simon the Jar Maker. The Aramaic )fb:rag (GRBA) is the same for "Jar Merchant" and ecsema/scabies/leprosy and a jar is mentioned in the text.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- In a mail commented I read:
(1) If John says what the Synoptics say, then he is quoting them, (2)
if what he says is out of harmony with their statements, he is
correcting them, (3) if he tells us anything not found in the
Synoptics, he is supplementing them. If anything, this theory (the
Supplementary theory) accounts not only for all that John has
written; it would account equally well for anything he might have
Exactly the reverse is true. I am still waiting for Leonhard's answer
concerning Jn 12,25 and Mk 8,35.
You find a complete synopsis of all parallels Jn/Mk and Jn/Mt-Lk in
greek in my book: Modell und Vorlage der Synoptiker. Das
voredaktionelle johannesevangelium, Georg Olms Verlag,
Hildesheim-Zuerich-New York, 2002.
With all good wishes
Univ.-Prof. DDr Peter Hofrichter
Vorstand des Instituts für Kirchengeschichte und Patrologie
Theologische Fakultät der Universität Salzburg
Tel +43 662 8044 2700, home +43 6245 85010, mobil +43 664 2027098