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[John_Lit] Re: the adelphoi

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  • Lisa Vivian
    ... I just had a general question and now I get this weired e-mail. please stop it I need it to work! thank you lisa From: Mary Coloe
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
      >


      I just had a general question and now I get this weired e-mail.
      please stop it I need it to work!
      thank you
      lisa






      From: Mary Coloe <M.Coloe@...>
      >Reply-To: johannine_literature@egroups.com
      >To: johannine_literature@egroups.com
      >Subject: [John_Lit] the adelphoi
      >Date: Wed, 03 Nov 1999 14:53:45 +1100
      >
      >
      >There are a few places where mention is made of the adelphoi - a group who
      >appear to be different to the disciples. 2:12; 7:3,5,10; then 20:17. What
      >are we dealing with here - a remembered historical tradition of Jesus' kin
      >who are at odds with him and those called disciples? Any discussion on how
      >they function as a character group in the narrative - if it is more than
      >just a touch of historical tradition. I'm not wondering about whether they
      >were or were not blood brothers of Jesus, Mary's children etc. Let's take
      >it the word means kin to avoid these issues - my question is more about
      >what they are doing in the text, than who they actually were.
      >
      >Thanks Felix for the Bibliography - an excellent tool. If we have articles
      >already published in print form and would be happy to make them available
      >on the web, how do we go about it?
      >Dr. Mary Coloe pbvm
      >School of Theology
      >Australian Catholic University
      >PO. Box 213, Oakleigh. VIC 3166
      >ph (61 + 3) 9563 3697 Fax. (61 + 3) 9563 3653.
      >
      >*** Please note as of March 1 2000 my address will change to
      >Australian Catholic University
      >St Patrick's Campus
      >Locked bag 4115
      >Fitzroy Business Centre
      >377 Gore Street
      >Fitzroy Vic 3065
      >
      >Similarly my email address will change to M.Coloe@...
      >
      >I do not yet know my new phone numbers but the switchboard will be 9953
      >3000
      >
      >
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    • Mary Coloe
      Thanks for the responses, I m inclined towards your view David that they function in order to enable a shift in meaning from a familial group based on kinship
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
        Thanks for the responses, I'm inclined towards your view David that they
        function in order to enable a shift in meaning from a familial group based
        on kinship ties, in John 2 and 7, to a familial group based on ties of
        faith. After the 'hour' the true family of Jesus are the disciples who are
        identified in 20:18 as the adelphoi Mary is sent to in 20:17. If this is so
        then this term must be read inclusively ie as brothers and sisters since
        Mary is one of the group included in 'your Father'. The single word
        'brethren' to translate adelphoi does not bring out its inclusiveness so
        until English comes up with a better word, I think the more accurate
        translation would have to be 'brothers and sisters' .
        >
        >As Prof. Michaels indicated, the brothers don't have much definition in
        >John 2, and appear in John 7 as a stand-in for the unbelieving world.
        >(I don't think 20:17 means them, but the disciples, who are *now* Jesus'
        >true brothers, as his Father is their Father.) This is not much of a
        >role, but it is *more* of a role than we find for Jesus' brothers in any
        >of the other NT gospels. I'm inclined to suspect there is something
        >going on here, some kind of rivalry within the early church between
        >groups associated with James and the Johannine community (cf. Brown,
        >_Community of the Beloved Disciple_, 75-76). I have a pet theory that
        >this is the key to the scene at the foot of the cross (John 19:25-27),
        >where Jesus commends his mother to the B.D., and vice versa. Of course,
        >she *should* have been taken care of by his brothers; John may suggest
        >that their unbelief (including their absence at the cross) disqualifies
        >them from this role. It may be, then, that 20:17 is meant to reinforce
        >this displacement of Jesus' physical brothers by his believing
        >disciples.
        >
        >Hope this is some help to you.
        >
        >David
        >--
        >David Rensberger, Professor of New Testament
        >Interdenominational Theological Center
        >700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SW
        >Atlanta, Georgia 30314-4143 USA
        >Phone: 404-527-7749; fax: 404-527-0901; e-mail: drensberger@...
        >
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        Dr.Mary Coloe pbvm
        School of Theology
        Australian Catholic University
        P.O. Box 213.
        Oakleigh. VIC 3166.
        mcoloe@... (home) or
        M.Coloe@...
      • ProfRam@aol.com
        On adelphoi, I wonder if they are introduced in 2:12 in acknowledgment of an (earlier?) tradition in which the brothers rather than the disciples were with
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
          On adelphoi, I wonder if they are introduced in 2:12 in acknowledgment of an
          (earlier?) tradition in which the brothers rather than the disciples were
          with Jesus at the Cana wedding. There is such a tradition preserved in
          Epistula Apostolorum, but this could of course be derivative from John.

          In chap. 7, there are in the story for only one reason: to invite Jesus
          (though in unbelief) to do what he then went ahead and did, to go up to
          Jerusalem and manifest himself to the world. That seems to be their only
          function in the entire Gospel of John. In chapters 19-20, the disciples take
          their place (much as they do in Mk 3:31-35), first one disciple (19:26-27)
          and then all the disciples (20:17-18). Whether this answers the question or
          only restates it, I'm not sure.

          Ramsey Michaels
        • David Rensberger
          Prof. Coloe, As Prof. Michaels indicated, the brothers don t have much definition in John 2, and appear in John 7 as a stand-in for the unbelieving world. (I
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
            Prof. Coloe,

            As Prof. Michaels indicated, the brothers don't have much definition in
            John 2, and appear in John 7 as a stand-in for the unbelieving world.
            (I don't think 20:17 means them, but the disciples, who are *now* Jesus'
            true brothers, as his Father is their Father.) This is not much of a
            role, but it is *more* of a role than we find for Jesus' brothers in any
            of the other NT gospels. I'm inclined to suspect there is something
            going on here, some kind of rivalry within the early church between
            groups associated with James and the Johannine community (cf. Brown,
            _Community of the Beloved Disciple_, 75-76). I have a pet theory that
            this is the key to the scene at the foot of the cross (John 19:25-27),
            where Jesus commends his mother to the B.D., and vice versa. Of course,
            she *should* have been taken care of by his brothers; John may suggest
            that their unbelief (including their absence at the cross) disqualifies
            them from this role. It may be, then, that 20:17 is meant to reinforce
            this displacement of Jesus' physical brothers by his believing
            disciples.

            Hope this is some help to you.

            David
            --
            David Rensberger, Professor of New Testament
            Interdenominational Theological Center
            700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SW
            Atlanta, Georgia 30314-4143 USA
            Phone: 404-527-7749; fax: 404-527-0901; e-mail: drensberger@...
          • Maluflen@aol.com
            In a message dated 11/3/1999 5:51:56 PM Eastern Standard Time, mcoloe@netspace.net.au writes:
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
              In a message dated 11/3/1999 5:51:56 PM Eastern Standard Time,
              mcoloe@... writes:

              << Thanks for the responses, I'm inclined towards your view David that they
              function in order to enable a shift in meaning from a familial group based
              on kinship ties, in John 2 and 7, to a familial group based on ties of
              faith. After the 'hour' the true family of Jesus are the disciples who are
              identified in 20:18 as the adelphoi Mary is sent to in 20:17. If this is so
              then this term must be read inclusively ie as brothers and sisters since
              Mary is one of the group included in 'your Father'. The single word
              'brethren' to translate adelphoi does not bring out its inclusiveness so
              until English comes up with a better word, I think the more accurate
              translation would have to be 'brothers and sisters' .>>

              I don't see how Mary "is one of the group included in 'your Father'". It is a
              direct address statement, and one that is supposed to be uttered BY Mary to
              the (presumably) all male group of disciples (cf. 20:24: Thomas, one of the
              twelve...). Mary is addressed by Jesus as "woman" in 20:15, and by her proper
              name in 20:16. Her response in the latter verse suggests rather a
              relationship of master-servant between Jesus and her than one of
              brother-sister. Echoes of the Song of Songs in the text seem also to suggest
              a lover-beloved relationship.

              On the other hand, I have always understood the English term "brethren" as an
              inclusive term, especially when used in texts that have a Jewish background.
              Analogously, the first time the thought ever occurred to me that "for us men
              and for our salvation..." in the Nicean creed might be affirming the
              soteriological effect of Jesus' death for males only was when I noticed the
              term "men" in the phrase being loudly omitted by a woman in the pew behind me.

              Leonard Maluf
            • Mary Coloe
              ... I take your point here but is there a strong grammatical argument for reading this as if it were in quotation marks and therefore the direct words Mary is
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
                >I don't see how Mary "is one of the group included in 'your Father'". It is
                >a direct address statement, and one that is supposed to be uttered BY Mary to
                >the (presumably) all male group of disciples (cf. 20:24: Thomas, one of the
                >twelve...).

                I take your point here but is there a strong grammatical argument for
                reading this as if it were in quotation marks and therefore the direct
                words Mary is to speak to the disciples group as if she is not included
                within that group. Is there in the grammar of the statement the equivalent
                of "Thus says the Lord,'I go to ....'

                Mary is addressed by Jesus as "woman" in 20:15, and by her
                >proper name in 20:16. Her response in the latter verse suggests rather a
                >relationship of master-servant between Jesus and her than one of
                >brother-sister. Echoes of the Song of Songs in the text seem also to
                >suggest
                >a lover-beloved relationship.
                >
                >On the other hand, I have always understood the English term "brethren" as
                >an
                >inclusive term, especially when used in texts that have a Jewish
                >background.
                >Analogously, the first time the thought ever occurred to me that "for us
                >men
                >and for our salvation..." in the Nicean creed might be affirming the
                >soteriological effect of Jesus' death for males only was when I noticed the
                >term "men" in the phrase being loudly omitted by a woman in the pew behind
                >me.
                >
                >Leonard Maluf
                >
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                >
                Dr. Mary Coloe pbvm
                School of Theology
                Australian Catholic University
                PO. Box 213, Oakleigh. VIC 3166
                ph (61 + 3) 9563 3697 Fax. (61 + 3) 9563 3653.

                *** Please note as of March 1 2000 my address will change to
                Australian Catholic University
                St Patrick's Campus
                Locked bag 4115
                Fitzroy Business Centre
                377 Gore Street
                Fitzroy Vic 3065

                Similarly my email address will change to M.Coloe@...

                I do not yet know my new phone numbers but the switchboard will be 9953 3000
              • Maluflen@aol.com
                In a message dated 11/3/1999 8:11:29 PM Eastern Standard Time, M.Coloe@christ.acu.edu.au writes: I don t see how Mary is one of the group included in
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
                  In a message dated 11/3/1999 8:11:29 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                  M.Coloe@... writes:

                  << >I don't see how Mary "is one of the group included in 'your Father'". It
                  is
                  >a direct address statement, and one that is supposed to be uttered BY Mary
                  to
                  >the (presumably) all male group of disciples (cf. 20:24: Thomas, one of the
                  >twelve...).

                  I take your point here but is there a strong grammatical argument for
                  reading this as if it were in quotation marks and therefore the direct
                  words Mary is to speak to the disciples group as if she is not included
                  within that group. Is there in the grammar of the statement the equivalent
                  of "Thus says the Lord,'I go to ....'
                  >>

                  I think the phrase could have been put in indirect discourse (as it is, by
                  the way, in some modern versions), and then a reference to Mary would
                  certainly have been implied in the pronoun "your". Because it is in direct
                  discourse in the Greek, such a reading seems to me to be excluded, though I
                  am not sure how much, if anything at all, should be made out of this fact. I
                  think one would have to assume that Mary as an historical person, and a
                  disciple of Jesus, must herself belong, in John's thinking, to Jesus' new
                  family as a "sister", whose "father" is God. But I am not sure how interested
                  the Evangelist is in her "as an historical person", so her symbolic value to
                  John perhaps dictates other relational emphases in his text.

                  On second thought, I wonder if what I said above is really correct. Even if
                  the statement is direct discourse, I wonder if the "your" might not still
                  implicate Mary herself. I'm not sure any more.

                  Leonard Maluf
                • ejdanna@trapdoor.arvotek.net
                  ... This displacement, however, is not unknown in the Synoptics. See e.g. Mk. 3:31-35; 10:28-30parr. Elizabeth Danna
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 4, 1999
                    On Wed, 3 Nov 1999, David Rensberger wrote:

                    > them from this role. It may be, then, that 20:17 is meant to reinforce
                    > this displacement of Jesus' physical brothers by his believing
                    > disciples.
                    This displacement, however, is not unknown in the Synoptics. See e.g.
                    Mk. 3:31-35; 10:28-30parr.
                    Elizabeth Danna
                  • ProfRam@aol.com
                    In Jn 20:17, the matter of direct vs. indirect discourse is rather a tough call. But it seems to me it has to be indirect because Mary is not told to say, I
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 4, 1999
                      In Jn 20:17, the matter of direct vs. indirect discourse is rather a tough
                      call. But it seems to me it has to be indirect because Mary is not told to
                      say, "I am ascending" (*she* is obviously not ascending), but either "He is
                      ascending" or "He said, 'I am ascending.'"

                      Thus I would translate, "Go to my brothers and tell them that I am ascending
                      to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God." This leaves open
                      just a crack the possibility that Mary might be included in the "your," but
                      even as indirect discourse the possibility is remote at best. The play
                      between "brothers" and "Father" tells against it, as does the accent on the
                      fact that Mary is to say it "to them" (autois).

                      Just by the way, notice also the abrupt shift from direct to indirect
                      discourse in v 18, a shift which seems to have bothered the scribes so that
                      they tried out a couple of variants: Mary told the disciples that "'I have
                      seen the Lord,' and he said these things to her."

                      Ramsey Michaels
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