Re: [John_Lit] Johannine priority
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob MacDonald" <bobmacdonald@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 14, 2002 11:40 AM
Subject: [John_Lit] Johannine priority
> The gist of the question is whether Jesus could have talked as a Jew about
> drinking blood. My reflection leads me to a yes answer. The life of the
> is in the blood - without his blood we have no life (John 6:53). I guess I
> am looking for ways to refine my questions.
> Thanks in advance if this is approachable from another angle. I would be
> interested in work done on this from a Jewish point of view with some
> insight into the historical and psychological possibilities. Devotionally,
> don't have a problem - but language can get very vague when metaphor takes
> over without discipline.
Just as Jewish literary styles and genres, such as midrash and pesher, are
misunderstood in gentile contexts...keeping in mind that I am the "follow
the Aramaic" guy.....so also is the Aramaic idiom. Idiom is a cultural
nuance to language which rarely crosses culrural barriers. In 1st century
Aramaic "lachma" (bread) and "hamara" (wine) are idioms for teaching.
Drinking and eating, in Aramaic, are idioms for learning from a teacher
whose teachings are "bread and wine." This imagery abounds in Jesus'
sayings with such phrases as:
Feed my sheep
I am the bread of life
What goes in the mouth (whet you are taught) does not defile but what comes
out of the mouth (what you teach) can defile you.
Give us the bread (instruction) we need day to day (the Lord's Prayer)
It is not meet to take the children's (Jews) bread (teachings) and cast it
to the dogs (gentiles).
In Matthew 16:11 the "leaven" of the Pharisees and Sadducees pollutes the
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall
never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
And, of course, the imagery of the Last Supper where his blood is like his
teachings, spilled out (like the new wine in the old skins).
The disciples will "fast" from the "bridegroom's" teachings when Jesus is
gone and those teachings (wine) cannot be drunk from the "old wineskins"
The Aramaic word used for wine in this case is hamara, a still "foaming
"new" is also expressed, like the Greek and Coptic, by two words, hadatha
(new) and hadathatha (fresh).
Jesus' body/bread and blood/wine is his teachings.
- Thanks, Jeffery, for the review.
The fact that John's differences from the Synoptics were noticed suggests that John's integrity was at least to some degree respected. That sounds like good news to me.
I imagine many of the classic issues will present themselves in considering the film:
-- John's comparisons/contrasts to the Synoptics
-- the relation of Jesus' signs to the I-Am sayings
-- transitions between 1:18-1:19ff.; 3:22-30 and 3:31-36; chs. 4, 5, 6, and 7; 14:31 and 18:1 (thus the place of chs. 15-17); 11:2 and 12:1-8; 13:36 and 16:5; chs. 20 and 21; etc.
-- the place of 7:53-8:11 within the surrounding narrative
-- Jesus' travelling to and from Jerusalem
-- presentations of the Ioudaioi
-- portrayals of such theological tensions as John's high/low Christology, the Son's equal/subordinate relation to the Father, present/futuristic eschatology, formal/informal sacramentology, free will/predeterminism, the fore-knowledge/pathos of Jesus, etc.
-- juxtapositions of Peter and the Beloved Disciple
-- relations of archaeological details to theological concerns
-- the "nearness" of the three Passovers
-- the relation of the early Temple cleansing to the rest of the story's development
-- dualism and receptions of Jesus
-- particular Johannine details and presentations
The review reminds me of what John Barclay said several years ago; the sorts of questions raised by a non-technical reading of a biblical text seem to be the very issues that the most rigorous of scholars tend to work on--and debate. I guess John is no exception.
From: Horace Jeffery Hodges [mailto:jefferyhodges@...]
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2003 2:42 PM
Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Filming of John's Gospel
Thanks to all those with information about the Gospel
of John on film. I have looked at an online review:
The reviewer, Holly McClure, praises the movie but
also notes what she considers "bad":
<Because this is a literal translation of the Gospel
of John, there are a few scenarios and characters
missing that are familiar to many people who have read
the other Gospels.Ê For instance, there is no
explanation of what happens to John the Baptist after
he recognizes Christ as the true Savior. After Judas
betrays Christ, we don't see him hang himself. Jesus
isn't shown praying in the garden and asking that the
cup be passed from him. There's no explanation of who
Mary Magdalene is and why she's constantly hanging
around the disciples and Christ. During his trial,
Jesus is never taken to Herod, no man steps from the
crowd to help Jesus carry his cross and the thief on
the cross who's repentant isn't told he will be in
paradise that day with Jesus. AndÊÐ-Êperhaps most
important for a person who might not know the story of
Jesus nor be familiar with the ScripturesÊÐ-Êthere's
no explanation of his appearance before many in that
area or his ascension into heaven, so the audience
doesn't see or know what happens to Jesus after he
appears to his disciples and lets them see the holes
in his hands. I'm aware that some of these scenarios
are minor points to the story and in no way take
anything away from the Gospel of John as it is
literally translated. But I feel it's important to
recognize that there may be a few people who see this
movie who don't know the story of Jesus, who aren't
familiar with the Scriptures and therefore have no
idea of what happened in the other Gospels. So you may
want to fill in the blanks with answers to some of
those questions if you happen to attend the movie with
It's interesting that a pious Christian would fault
the movie for being too 'Johannine' (my term).
Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges (Inv.) [Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley]
Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
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