Re: [John_Lit] A Proposed Re-construction of a Postulated Hymn-li ke Composition
- Dear Kym and Mary,
As both of you know, it seems to me that there is yet another
reason for the close attention being given in first five verses in the
Prolog of the Fourth Gospel to the first five verses of Genesis (and
thus to the Torah). That is that the Fourth Gospel, particularly
chapters 1-13, makes extensive use of Mosaic oracles as signs.
I have shown how one can define the meaning of these signs by
locating identical symbols or symbolic language (via the Septuagint
version) in the Torah.
The opening of the Prolog "In the beginning..." is an unmistakable
reference to the opening three words of the Torah. I see this as a
sign in itself, pointing the reader to the Torah. If the Fourth Gospel
was used as a text book within the Johannine community, it would
take very little guidance from a teacher within that community to
start those reading that text on a learning process that would
link this gospel with the ancient Law.
Your work, Kym, reveals this dynamic from a structural point of
view. I have provided a concordance of Mosaic signs found in the
Fourth Gospel, which takes a word-study approach. Mary, you
seem to focus upon the role of the narrative as it relates to the
temple language / metaphors / symbols of the Torah. While I
appreciate that your study is focused specifically upon the temple,
it seems to me that some of what you observe about the narrative
connection between the Fourth Gospel and the temple-related
texts of the Torah could be applied to other elements of the
Mosaic narrative as well, such as the festivals of sacrifice and
At the Johannine Studies section of the SBL annual meeting, it
was suggested that scholars of the Fourth Gospel need a new
framework from which to study it. I believe the so-called Reader-
Response Criticism as presented by R. Allen Culpepper in Anatomy
of the Fourth Gospel: A Study in Literary Design is such a framework.
The observations that you and I have made, Kym and Mary, seem
to me to fit within that sort of framework.
Yours in Christ's service,
On Sun, 02 Feb 2003 23:05:42 -0000 "kymhsm <khs@...>"
> Dear Mary,[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> <<< I have also noted strong similarlities - at least structurally -
> between Genesis 1 and the Prologue... my questions began
> with the double use of John the Baptist>>>
> John the Baptist is introduced into the Prologue precisely
> because of the Genesis structure. The reason John is
> mentioned in what seems a most inappropriate place is
> because with him - though it is not stated till later in the first
> chapter is the next part of the Genesis pattern. John had more
> to say about the Word / Jesus, and he returned to it, but his
> mentioning John exactly where he did in the first part of the
> Prologue - and he returns to him in the second part to ensure
> that he is still in mind is because what the Baptist witnessed is
> what John used to continue the Genesis structure. What John
> had to match next was, `and the Spirit of God was moving over
> the face of the waters.' It was John who saw the Spirit of God
> hovering/moving/descending over the waters of the Jordan. See
> an abbreviated comparison below.
> GEN -  In the beginning
> JOHN -  In the beginning
> GEN - God
> JOHN - was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
> was God.  He was in the beginning with God;
> GEN - created the heavens and the earth.
> JOHN -  all things were made through him, and without him
> was not anything made that was made.
> GEN -  The earth was without form and void, and darkness
> was upon the face of the deep;
> JOHN -  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 
> The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not
> overcome it.
> GEN - and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the
> JOHN -  There was a man sent from God, whose name was
> John.  He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that
> all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but came
> to bear witness to the light .  I myself did not know him;
> for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to
> Israel."  And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as
> a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.  I myself did not
> know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me,
> `He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he
> who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'  And I have seen and have
> borne witness that this is the Son of God."
> Kym Smith
> South Australia