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[John_Lit] Re: the adelphoi

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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 1 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
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      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@...
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 11/3/1999 5:51:56 PM Eastern Standard Time, mcoloe@netspace.net.au writes:
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
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        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 3 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
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          >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 4 of 9 , Nov 3, 1999
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            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 5 of 9 , Nov 4, 1999
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              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 6 of 9 , Nov 4, 1999
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                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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