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[John_Lit] Word and Spirit in the prologue

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  • McGrath, James
    Ramsey, Thanks for your quick reply. The second text you cite might well be counter-evidence. The first, unless it is taken to mean that Jesus descended from
    Message 1 of 22 , Feb 4 7:44 AM
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      Ramsey,

      Thanks for your quick reply. The second text you cite might well be
      counter-evidence. The first, unless it is taken to mean that Jesus
      descended from heaven as a complete, flesh-and-blood human being,
      probably doesn't prove anything one way or the other.

      As for 18:37, one of the questions I wrestle with is how the 'I' of
      Jesus and the 'I' of the Word relate to one another. I know that the
      later church answered 'without division, without confusion, without
      separation...', but I am determined to try to listen to John on his own
      terms. John 8:40, in which Jesus speaks of himself as 'a man who tells
      what he heard from God', doesn't sound like the sort of thing one would
      expect the pre-existent Word to say. John Robinson, in his book The
      Priority of John, asks how much of the language of being 'from God' in
      John's Gospel is metaphysical and how much refers to Jesus as a human
      being sent by God. I don't have a clear-cut answer to the question, but
      presumably, in light of John 17:14-18, one is no more obliged to take
      all references to 'coming into this world' and 'being sent into this
      world' to refer to the incarnation, than to view Jesus' followers as
      likewise of literal heavenly origin!

      So I'm not sure that either of the references you cited is incompatible
      with the view that I suggested about Word and Spirit. BTW, am I right in
      vaguely recollecting that we have had this conversation before? :) I
      hope it continues!

      Thanks for your feedback!

      James

      *****************************
      Dr. James F. McGrath
      Assistant Professor of Religion
      Butler University, Indianapolis
      http://blue.butler.edu/~jfmcgrat/
      *****************************



      -----Original Message-----
      From: Ramsey Michaels [mailto:profram@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 10:15 AM
      To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Word and Spirit in the prologue


      James:

      As to the identification of Jn 1:14 and 1:32, with the so-called
      adoptionism that this implies:

      1. Is it something of a problem for this view that Jesus says "I" came
      down from heaven (6:38)? And even that the "bread" that "came down from
      heaven" is his "flesh" (6:51).

      2. And is it even more of a problem that Jesus tells Pilate, "I was born
      for this, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth"
      (18:37). Doesn't the parallelism suggest that the Word "came into the
      world" by birth, just like everyone else, not by baptism?

      Ramsey Michaels
    • Ramsey Michaels
      Maybe we did have this conversation before. I think I had it with someone, maybe it was you :-) Two more questions: If the Incarnation begins when the Spirit
      Message 2 of 22 , Feb 4 8:18 AM
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        Maybe we did have this conversation before. I think I had it with someone,
        maybe it was you :-)

        Two more questions: If the Incarnation begins when the Spirit comes on Jesus
        (1:32), does it end when he "gives up" or "delivers" the Spirit in 19:30?
        And does it begin again when he breathes again and says to the disciples
        "Receive Holy Spirit" (20:22)? Ignatius, as I recall, has him "in the flesh
        even after the Resurrection" (Smyrn 3:1-3).

        John does imply in 6:51 and 58 that Jesus' *flesh* came down from heaven,
        and this seems to me not incompatible with 1:14, where egeneto (like the
        other egeneto's in the prolog) probably means "came," not "became."

        Interesting discussion.

        Ramsey
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "McGrath, James" <jfmcgrat@...>
        To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 10:44 AM
        Subject: [John_Lit] Word and Spirit in the prologue


        > Ramsey,
        >
        > Thanks for your quick reply. The second text you cite might well be
        > counter-evidence. The first, unless it is taken to mean that Jesus
        > descended from heaven as a complete, flesh-and-blood human being,
        > probably doesn't prove anything one way or the other.
        >
        > As for 18:37, one of the questions I wrestle with is how the 'I' of
        > Jesus and the 'I' of the Word relate to one another. I know that the
        > later church answered 'without division, without confusion, without
        > separation...', but I am determined to try to listen to John on his own
        > terms. John 8:40, in which Jesus speaks of himself as 'a man who tells
        > what he heard from God', doesn't sound like the sort of thing one would
        > expect the pre-existent Word to say. John Robinson, in his book The
        > Priority of John, asks how much of the language of being 'from God' in
        > John's Gospel is metaphysical and how much refers to Jesus as a human
        > being sent by God. I don't have a clear-cut answer to the question, but
        > presumably, in light of John 17:14-18, one is no more obliged to take
        > all references to 'coming into this world' and 'being sent into this
        > world' to refer to the incarnation, than to view Jesus' followers as
        > likewise of literal heavenly origin!
        >
        > So I'm not sure that either of the references you cited is incompatible
        > with the view that I suggested about Word and Spirit. BTW, am I right in
        > vaguely recollecting that we have had this conversation before? :) I
        > hope it continues!
        >
        > Thanks for your feedback!
        >
        > James
        >
        > *****************************
        > Dr. James F. McGrath
        > Assistant Professor of Religion
        > Butler University, Indianapolis
        > http://blue.butler.edu/~jfmcgrat/
        > *****************************
        >
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Ramsey Michaels [mailto:profram@...]
        > Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 10:15 AM
        > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Word and Spirit in the prologue
        >
        >
        > James:
        >
        > As to the identification of Jn 1:14 and 1:32, with the so-called
        > adoptionism that this implies:
        >
        > 1. Is it something of a problem for this view that Jesus says "I" came
        > down from heaven (6:38)? And even that the "bread" that "came down from
        > heaven" is his "flesh" (6:51).
        >
        > 2. And is it even more of a problem that Jesus tells Pilate, "I was born
        > for this, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth"
        > (18:37). Doesn't the parallelism suggest that the Word "came into the
        > world" by birth, just like everyone else, not by baptism?
        >
        > Ramsey Michaels
        >
        >
        >
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        >
        >
      • John Lupia
        ... Dear James: Thank you for the citations on Watson, Talbert and Fuller. However, the essential source for the historical context in which interpretations
        Message 3 of 22 , Feb 4 12:47 PM
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          --- "McGrath, James" <jfmcgrat@...> wrote:

          > I'm interested in discussing this further, so let me
          > know your thoughts!
          >

          Dear James:

          Thank you for the citations on Watson, Talbert and
          Fuller. However, the essential source for the
          historical context in which interpretations of
          Christology emerged is Fr. Aloys Grillmeier's
          multi-volumed work: Christ in Christian Tradition
          (1965-1997). This work has been much sadly neglected
          and remarkably does not even appear in doctoral
          dissertations on Johannine Christology. This is a sad
          commentary on the poor state of current research.

          John

          =====
          John N. Lupia, III
          31 Norwich Drive
          Toms River, New Jersey 08757 USA
          Phone: (732) 341-8689
          Email: jlupia2@...
          Editor, Roman Catholic News
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News

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        • Horace Jeffery Hodges
          James responded to Ramsey:
          Message 4 of 22 , Feb 4 1:23 PM
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            James responded to Ramsey:

            <Thanks for your quick reply. The second text you cite
            might well be counter-evidence. The first, unless it
            is taken to mean that Jesus descended from heaven as a
            complete, flesh-and-blood human being, probably
            doesn't prove anything one way or the other.>

            I wonder if the expression "the Logos became flesh"
            was intended to cover this sort of problem. If the
            fourth evangelist meant that the Logos, which is
            spirit, became flesh, then he could reconcile his
            presentation of Jesus's statment about his flesh being
            from heaven with his view that Jesus was born in a
            human way.

            If the evangelist meant something like this, then his
            view distantly echoes that of some later Gnostics who
            believed, according to Irenaeus, that Jesus became
            incarnate but "passed through Mary like water through
            a tube" (Irenaeus, Against Heresies III, 11, 3).

            Interestingly, this point is noted by Irenaeus in his
            discussion of the Gnostics' use of John's Gospel.
            Could these Gnostics have noted the fourth
            evangelist's use of "the Logos became flesh" to hold
            that Jesus became incarnate without taking on human
            flesh?

            But what did the fourth evangelist mean by it?

            Jeffery Hodges

            =====
            Horace Jeffery Hodges (Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley)
            Assistant Professor
            Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
            447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
            Yangsandong 411
            South Korea

            __________________________________________________
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          • kymhsm <khs@picknowl.com.au>
            Dear Jeffery, James wrote (to Ramsay):
            Message 5 of 22 , Feb 4 2:54 PM
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              Dear Jeffery,

              James wrote (to Ramsay):

              <<<Thanks for your quick reply. The second text you cite might
              well be counter-evidence. The first, unless it is taken to mean
              that Jesus descended from heaven as a complete, flesh -and-
              blood human being, probably doesn't prove anything one way or
              the other.>>>

              To which you peplied (in part):

              <<< I wonder if the expression "the Logos became flesh" was
              intended to cover this sort of problem.....But what did the fourth
              evangelist mean by it? >>>

              I suspect that a good sense of what John meant by it can be
              found in the opening of 1 John.

              [1] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard,
              which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon
              and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life -- [2] the
              life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and
              proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and
              was made manifest to us -- [3] that which we have seen and
              heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship
              with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son
              Jesus Christ.

              As a further comment, James' words "unless it is taken to mean
              that Jesus descended from heaven as a complete, flesh -and-
              blood human being" need some clarification. James seems to
              want to read John in isolation - I am not sure that even John
              intended it to be so read. But from the moment of the Spirit's
              coming upon Mary and the overshadowing of the Most High (Lk
              1:35), i.e. from the moment of conception, before even the first
              cell had divided, there was the Word made flesh (cf Lk 1:41-45).

              The Prologue tells us that the Word pre-existed with God and as
              God and that the Word became flesh. If God is Spirit (Jn 4:24)
              then we cannot understand that the Word who was God had a
              body of flesh with which to descend (as per James statement
              perhaps slightly misrepresented). If he did then he would not be
              truly human as we are and as he needed to be to redeem
              humanity. The Word becoming flesh begins with the conception
              as I have mentioned. That the Word made flesh rose from the
              dead and ascended to the Father in truly human form is another
              - though wonderful - issue altoghether.

              Sincerely,

              Kym Smith
              Adelaide
              South Australia
              khs@...




              S
            • kymhsm <khs@picknowl.com.au>
              Dear Jeffery, James wrote (to Ramsay):
              Message 6 of 22 , Feb 4 4:07 PM
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                Dear Jeffery,

                James wrote (to Ramsay):

                <<<Thanks for your quick reply. The second text you cite might
                well be counter-evidence. The first, unless it is taken to mean
                that Jesus descended from heaven as a complete, flesh -and-
                blood human being, probably doesn't prove anything one way or
                the other.>>>

                To which you peplied (in part):

                <<< I wonder if the expression "the Logos became flesh" was
                intended to cover this sort of problem.....But what did the fourth
                evangelist mean by it? >>>

                I suspect that a good sense of what John meant by it can be
                found in the opening of 1 John.

                [1] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard,
                which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon
                and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life -- [2] the
                life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and
                proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and
                was made manifest to us -- [3] that which we have seen and
                heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship
                with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son
                Jesus Christ.

                As a further comment, James' words "unless it is taken to mean
                that Jesus descended from heaven as a complete, flesh -and-
                blood human being" need some clarification. James seems to
                want to read John in isolation - I am not sure that even John
                intended it to be so read. But from the moment of the Spirit's
                coming upon Mary and the overshadowing of the Most High (Lk
                1:35), i.e. from the moment of conception, before even the first
                cell had divided, there was the Word made flesh (cf Lk 1:41-45).

                The Prologue tells us that the Word pre-existed with God and as
                God and that the Word became flesh. If God is Spirit (Jn 4:24)
                then we cannot understand that the Word who was God had a
                body of flesh with which to descend (as per James statement
                perhaps slightly misrepresented). If he did then he would not be
                truly human as we are and as he needed to be to redeem
                humanity. The Word becoming flesh begins with the conception
                as I have mentioned. That the Word made flesh rose from the
                dead and ascended to the Father in truly human form is another
                - though wonderful - issue altoghether.

                Sincerely,

                Kym Smith
                Adelaide
                South Australia
                khs@...




                S
              • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                Perhaps I was too vague:
                Message 7 of 22 , Feb 4 4:45 PM
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                  Perhaps I was too vague:

                  <<< I wonder if the expression "the Logos became
                  flesh" was intended to cover this sort of problem ....
                  But what did the fourth evangelist mean by it? >>>

                  I meant that there can be a difference between stating
                  that "the Logos became flesh" and stating something
                  like "the Logos took on flesh." In the former case,
                  one could claim that the flesh, being
                  spirit-transformed-into-flesh, had in fact descended
                  from heaven in its pre-transformed state. In the
                  latter case, the spirit did not become flesh in a
                  strict sense but simply took on flesh, such that the
                  statement about the flesh descending from heaven might
                  be purely metaphorical.

                  Jeffery Hodges

                  =====
                  Horace Jeffery Hodges (Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley)
                  Assistant Professor
                  Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                  447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                  Yangsandong 411
                  South Korea

                  __________________________________________________
                  Do you Yahoo!?
                  Yahoo! Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now.
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                • Big_Mart_98 <big_mart_98@yahoo.com>
                  ... He does not mention Jesus being born. He does later refer to his mother, but such inconsistencies do not seem to have bothered ancient people very much,
                  Message 8 of 22 , Feb 5 1:53 AM
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                    >
                    > I wonder if the expression "the Logos became flesh"
                    > was intended to cover this sort of problem. If the
                    > fourth evangelist meant that the Logos, which is
                    > spirit, became flesh, then he could reconcile his
                    > presentation of Jesus's statment about his flesh being
                    > from heaven with his view that Jesus was born in a
                    > human way.
                    >
                    He does not mention Jesus being born. He does later refer to his
                    mother, but such inconsistencies do not seem to have bothered ancient
                    people very much, either the learned or the masses. On the other
                    hand they bother us, anyway those of us who think about such things
                    at all, quite a lot. On the basis of the evidence we have, the
                    Christ myth theory is tenable. If you believe in a historic Jesus,
                    the Loisy thesis, that his followers still felt him to be with them
                    in a spiritual way, and a mythology evolved from this, is the most
                    tenable. Je ne crois plus au Pere Noel.
                    Martin Edwards.
                  • GustavSym@aol.com
                    In a message dated 2/4/2003 7:09:46 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... Kym: I appreciate your systematic response to this difficult question. I also find it
                    Message 9 of 22 , Feb 5 6:33 AM
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                      In a message dated 2/4/2003 7:09:46 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                      khs@... writes:

                      > The Prologue tells us that the Word pre-existed with God and as
                      > God and that the Word became flesh. If God is Spirit (Jn 4:24)
                      > then we cannot understand that the Word who was God had a
                      > body of flesh with which to descend (as per James statement
                      > perhaps slightly misrepresented). If he did then he would not be
                      > truly human as we are and as he needed to be to redeem
                      > humanity. The Word becoming flesh begins with the conception
                      > as I have mentioned. That the Word made flesh rose from the
                      > dead and ascended to the Father in truly human form is another
                      > - though wonderful - issue altoghether.
                      >

                      Kym:

                      I appreciate your systematic response to this difficult question. I also find
                      it problematical to see the word-becoming-flesh structurally similar to the
                      "bread from heaven" discourse.

                      kai [h]o logos sarx egeneto: the Word became flesh

                      About this statement, Jeff Hodges offers the following analysis:

                      >>I meant that there can be a difference between stating
                      that "the Logos became flesh" and stating something
                      like "the Logos took on flesh." In the former case,
                      one could claim that the flesh, being
                      spirit-transformed-into-flesh, had in fact descended
                      from heaven in its pre-transformed state. In the
                      latter case, the spirit did not become flesh in a
                      strict sense but simply took on flesh, such that the
                      statement about the flesh descending from heaven might
                      be purely metaphorical.<<

                      I agree that there is a great difference between the two readings explored
                      here. Strictly speaking, translations such as 'took on flesh,' or 'was made
                      flesh' are difficult because *egeneto*, aorist indicative of *ginomai* ('come
                      into being' , 'become' etc), disallows a passive construct ('was made');
                      moreover, 'to take on flesh' is already a commitment to a specific reading of
                      the text that is far more exclusive than the more literal (and grammatically
                      'correct'), 'became flesh.'

                      Nonetheless, Jeff Hodges' metaphorical sense of "descent" informs all
                      Christologies "from above," even though the prologue offers no such motion
                      explicitly. Only from subsequent pericopes( intra-, or para-textually) do we
                      learn of such motion, and these are the pericopes that function as a lens
                      through which the prologue is read. *Egeneto* implies no descent, no vector,
                      no direction from which the "Word" comes; rather it gently implies a *time*.
                      Dimensionally then, the word became flesh not from above but from the
                      beginning (*arche*). Perhaps the structurally essential pericope (as a lens
                      for reading the prologue) is not the "bread from heaven," but the stunning
                      image of time in Jesus' most succinct rebuttal: "before Abraham was, I AM"
                      [Jn. 8:58].

                      Joseph Calandrino (henceforth, Joe C.)



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • John Lupia
                      The Prologue of John contains central key statements or propositions that are essential themes and threads that run throughout the Gospel. A few examples (just
                      Message 10 of 22 , Feb 5 1:07 PM
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                        The Prologue of John contains central key statements
                        or propositions that are essential themes and threads
                        that run throughout the Gospel. A few examples (just
                        enough to give you the hint) are given below.

                        The Johannine Prologue is certainly modeled on the
                        Genesis Prologue where EN ARCH has a cosmogenetic
                        meaning found in antique Greek philosophical writings
                        that predate the supposed LXX translation at
                        Alexandria.

                        Aristotle's Metaphysics 983b11, TOUTO STOICEION KAI
                        TAUTHN ARCHN FASIN EINAI TON ONTON is a discussion on
                        "the first principle element" that signifies the
                        primordial element which in his theory as well as
                        Anaximander's meant "the first principle and cause of
                        all things (creation)". According to Simplicius,
                        Aristotelis physica commentaria 150.23 the concept
                        first appeared in Anaximander.

                        These same Greek ideas were certainly absorbed
                        becoming part of Hellenistic Jewish thinking and St.
                        John saw the value in borrowing them to express the
                        Jewish concept of creation. The Jewish idea is that
                        God spoke the eternal word from which all things come.
                        John 1,1 expresses this in the Peripatetic formula:

                        1.1a EN ARCH EN hO LOGOS
                        "The first principle and cause of all things was the
                        Word.

                        1.1b KAI hO LOGOS EN PROS TON QEON
                        and the Word was with God

                        1.1c KAI QEOS EN hO LOGOS
                        and the Word was God.

                        The first verse is syllogistic with each clause
                        having propositions: 1.1a + 1.1b Q.E.D. 1.1c

                        John then paints a picture that the Word is the
                        creator of all things and humans, and that His life is
                        the light of humankind. The light shone in the
                        darkness but the darkness could not comprehend it.

                        This final note by John is a play on words where the
                        darkness (SKOTIA) is unenlightened humanity. So God
                        sent John (vv. 1-8) who was not himself the light but
                        a witness of it to the world so that could come to see
                        through the eyes of faith that the light was Jesus
                        Christ, whom they did not recognize (v.10), nor
                        accepted (v.11 and repeated in v. 33).

                        However, those who did accept Him (Jesus) he made
                        children of God (v.12). In v. 13 John introduces the
                        theme that this transformation into children of God
                        is not through biological reproductive means (repeated
                        in John 3:3).

                        In v. 14 John tells us that the Word became flesh (KAI
                        hO LOGOS SARX EGENETO = Et Verbum caro factum est)
                        immediately after he just finished speaking about
                        natural human biological birth contrastively with the
                        new birth that Word brings to humankind. The logic of
                        the Prologue is very lucid and clearly shows a
                        pre-existent Christ who became a living man of flesh
                        and blood, themes which John will develop in
                        Eucharistic theology.


                        John


                        =====
                        John N. Lupia, III
                        31 Norwich Drive
                        Toms River, New Jersey 08757 USA
                        Phone: (732) 341-8689
                        Email: jlupia2@...
                        Editor, Roman Catholic News
                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News

                        __________________________________________________
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                      • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                        ... The claim implicit within this statement is that you have, at the very least, scoured the Patristic commentary and sermonic tradition on John -- where
                        Message 11 of 22 , Feb 5 1:51 PM
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                          "Big_Mart_98 " wrote:

                          > >
                          > > I wonder if the expression "the Logos became flesh"
                          > > was intended to cover this sort of problem. If the
                          > > fourth evangelist meant that the Logos, which is
                          > > spirit, became flesh, then he could reconcile his
                          > > presentation of Jesus's statment about his flesh being
                          > > from heaven with his view that Jesus was born in a
                          > > human way.
                          > >
                          > He does not mention Jesus being born. He does later refer to his
                          > mother, but such inconsistencies do not seem to have bothered ancient
                          > people very much, either the learned or the masses.

                          The claim implicit within this statement is that you have, at the very
                          least, scoured the Patristic commentary and sermonic tradition on John --
                          where one would expect any "bother" on the part of ancient peoples to have
                          been expressed -- and have found nothing in this regard. How else would you
                          be able to make your claim with such certainty.

                          So I wonder if you'd be kind enough to tell us just how much of -- and what
                          it is specifically within -- the patristic commentary and sermonic tradition
                          on John you have actually read so that we can evaluate juts how well
                          established your claim actually is.

                          Thanks in advance.

                          Yours,

                          Jeffrey Gibson
                          --

                          Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                          1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                          Chicago, IL 60626

                          jgibson000@...
                        • Paul Schmehl
                          ... From: Jeffrey B. Gibson To: Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 3:51 PM Subject: Re:
                          Message 12 of 22 , Feb 5 5:22 PM
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                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
                            To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 3:51 PM
                            Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Word and Spirit in the prologue
                            >
                            > So I wonder if you'd be kind enough to tell us just how much of -- and
                            what
                            > it is specifically within -- the patristic commentary and sermonic
                            tradition
                            > on John you have actually read so that we can evaluate juts how well
                            > established your claim actually is.
                            >
                            This now makes two of us who have requested the same evidence. I hope it
                            will be forthcoming.

                            Paul Schmehl
                            pschmehl@...
                            http://www.utdallas.edu/~pauls/
                          • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                            I was wondering, too, and was on the verge of inquiring but decided to wait. Jeffrey Gibson has posed the query much better than I could have. Jeffery Hodges
                            Message 13 of 22 , Feb 5 6:40 PM
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                              I was wondering, too, and was on the verge of
                              inquiring but decided to wait. Jeffrey Gibson has
                              posed the query much better than I could have.

                              Jeffery Hodges

                              --- Paul Schmehl <pschmehl@...> wrote:
                              > ----- Original Message -----
                              > From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
                              > To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                              > Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 3:51 PM
                              > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Word and Spirit in the
                              > prologue
                              > >
                              > > So I wonder if you'd be kind enough to tell us
                              > just how much of -- and
                              > what
                              > > it is specifically within -- the patristic
                              > commentary and sermonic
                              > tradition
                              > > on John you have actually read so that we can
                              > evaluate juts how well
                              > > established your claim actually is.
                              > >
                              > This now makes two of us who have requested the same
                              > evidence. I hope it
                              > will be forthcoming.
                              >
                              > Paul Schmehl
                              > pschmehl@...
                              > http://www.utdallas.edu/~pauls/
                              >
                              >
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                              >


                              =====
                              Horace Jeffery Hodges (Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley)
                              Assistant Professor
                              Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                              447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                              Yangsandong 411
                              South Korea

                              __________________________________________________
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                            • kymhsm <khs@picknowl.com.au>
                              Dear Joe C. I am concerned about the frequency with which I am posting to this list and the time involved in doing so. However, I wonder if you could say a
                              Message 14 of 22 , Feb 5 7:40 PM
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                                Dear Joe C.

                                I am concerned about the frequency with which I am posting to
                                this list and the time involved in doing so. However, I wonder if
                                you could say a little more about what you wrote, especially the
                                second half which I have enclosed with [[[-]]]?

                                <<<Jeff Hodges' metaphorical sense of "descent" informs all
                                Christologies "from above," even though the prologue offers no
                                such motion explicitly. Only from subsequent pericopes( intra-, or
                                para-textually) do we learn of such motion, and these are the
                                pericopes that function as a lens through which the prologue is
                                read. *Egeneto* implies no descent, no vector, no direction from
                                which the "Word" comes; rather it gently implies a *time*.
                                [[[Dimensionally then, the word became flesh not from above but
                                from the beginning (*arche*). Perhaps the structurally essential
                                pericope (as a lens for reading the prologue) is not the "bread
                                from heaven," but the stunning image of time in Jesus' most
                                succinct rebuttal: "before Abraham was, I AM" [Jn. 8:58].]]]>>>

                                Now I am a `bear-of-little-brain' and often miss the subtleties that
                                most see at a glance so perhaps I just can't grasp what you
                                mean. It seems to me that you are saying that the Word / Son /
                                Jesus was always in the flesh. I can understand if, by that, you
                                mean that it was always part of the Father's plan for him to
                                become one with us in our humanity. However, that is different
                                from saying that he was `flesh' from `the beginning' (eternally?),
                                `before Abraham...'. I understand that he took on flesh – or the
                                appearance of flesh – to appear to Abraham (e.g. Gen 18), but
                                that is different from `becoming flesh'.

                                Thankyou,

                                Kym Smith
                                Adelaide
                                South Australia
                                khs@...
                              • Big_Mart_98 <big_mart_98@yahoo.com>
                                . ... and what ... tradition ... You re right, I haven t read any of it. Perhaps you could refer me to those fathers who expressed concern that John does not
                                Message 15 of 22 , Feb 6 1:27 AM
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                                  .
                                  >
                                  > So I wonder if you'd be kind enough to tell us just how much of --
                                  and what
                                  > it is specifically within -- the patristic commentary and sermonic
                                  tradition
                                  > on John you have actually read so that we can evaluate juts how well
                                  > established your claim actually is.

                                  You're right, I haven't read any of it. Perhaps you could refer me
                                  to those fathers who expressed concern that John does not mention
                                  Jesus being born but later refers to his mother. I should also be
                                  interested to know which fathers were worried by the fact that, in
                                  the Synoptics, Jesus's is mother is called Mary; but, while John does
                                  not name her, he names her sister Mary of Clopas. This would be a
                                  good place to start my patristic studies.

                                  Martin Edwards BA (UEA), PGCE (Hull), RT.
                                • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                                  ... I think before I do, I d like to be sure about what it is that you are owning up to in your admission above. Are you acknowledging not only (a) that your
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Feb 6 4:38 AM
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                                    "Big_Mart_98 " wrote:

                                    > .
                                    > >
                                    > > So I wonder if you'd be kind enough to tell us just how much of --
                                    > and what
                                    > > it is specifically within -- the patristic commentary and sermonic
                                    > tradition
                                    > > on John you have actually read so that we can evaluate juts how well
                                    > > established your claim actually is.
                                    >
                                    > You're right, I haven't read any of it. Perhaps you could refer me

                                    > to those fathers who expressed concern that John does not mention
                                    > Jesus being born but later refers to his mother. I should also be
                                    > interested to know which fathers were worried by the fact that, in
                                    > the Synoptics, Jesus's is mother is called Mary; but, while John does
                                    > not name her, he names her sister Mary of Clopas. This would be a
                                    > good place to start my patristic studies

                                    I think before I do, I'd like to be sure about what it is that you are owning
                                    up to in your admission above.

                                    Are you acknowledging not only (a) that your claim about what ancient peoples
                                    were not bothered with has no real grounding (since you have had no direct
                                    contact with what ancient people thought) and therefore was just a surmise;
                                    but also (b) that your claim is wrong?

                                    Yours,

                                    JG

                                    --

                                    Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                                    1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                                    Chicago, IL 60626

                                    jgibson000@...
                                  • Big_Mart_98 <big_mart_98@yahoo.com>
                                    ... ancient peoples ... no direct ... surmise; ... a)My use of the word seem implies a surmise. b)It may be right or wrong: I am asking you to demonstrate
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Feb 6 5:48 AM
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                                      >
                                      > Are you acknowledging not only (a) that your claim about what
                                      ancient peoples
                                      > were not bothered with has no real grounding (since you have had
                                      no direct
                                      > contact with what ancient people thought) and therefore was just a
                                      surmise;
                                      > but also (b) that your claim is wrong?
                                      >
                                      > Yours,
                                      >
                                      > JG
                                      >
                                      > --
                                      >
                                      > Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                                      a)My use of the word "seem" implies a surmise.
                                      b)It may be right or wrong: I am asking you to demonstrate that it
                                      was wrong.
                                      Mart.
                                    • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                                      ... Sorry, but this is to shift the burden of proof, a tactic which is unacceptable on academic lists. You made a claim. The burden for demonstrating its
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Feb 6 2:33 PM
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                                        "Big_Mart_98 " wrote:

                                        > >
                                        > > Are you acknowledging not only (a) that your claim about what
                                        > ancient peoples
                                        > > were not bothered with has no real grounding (since you have had
                                        > no direct
                                        > > contact with what ancient people thought) and therefore was just a
                                        > surmise;
                                        > > but also (b) that your claim is wrong?
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        > a)My use of the word "seem" implies a surmise.
                                        > b)It may be right or wrong: I am asking you to demonstrate that it
                                        > was wrong.
                                        > Mart.

                                        Sorry, but this is to shift the burden of proof, a tactic which is
                                        unacceptable on academic lists.

                                        You made a claim. The burden for demonstrating its truth, let alone that you
                                        had any right to make it, is yours.

                                        JG
                                        --

                                        Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                                        1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                                        Chicago, IL 60626

                                        jgibson000@...
                                      • Paul Schmehl
                                        ... From: To: Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 7:48 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Word and Spirit
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Feb 6 5:42 PM
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                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: <big_mart_98@...>
                                          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 7:48 AM
                                          Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Word and Spirit in the prologue
                                          >
                                          > a)My use of the word "seem" implies a surmise.

                                          This is equivocating. You clearly stated (twice) a belief that the ancients
                                          were not concerned with illogical statements. You *never* indicated that it
                                          was a surmise. Had you stated that it was a surmise, I would have rebutted
                                          it rather than requesting the evidence for your statement.

                                          > b)It may be right or wrong: I am asking you to demonstrate that it
                                          > was wrong.

                                          Bzzz! Wrong answer. *You* made the statement. Now *you* get to back it
                                          up. But you can't, because you've admitted you haven't read the patristics
                                          *at all*.

                                          Here's some food for thought. If the ancients weren't concerned with
                                          illogical statements, why do we find so many corrections to the text in
                                          places where the "original" was illogical? Why do we find the clear removal
                                          or replacement of "troubling" statements or "contradictory" statements
                                          (commonly known as "difficult readings")? Why did Tatian write his
                                          Diatessaron? Why was so much work done on harmonization of the texts?

                                          The answers to these questions point clearly in the direction of people who
                                          were troubled by contradictions and illogical statements in the text.

                                          Frankly, I think the assumption that we moderns are "more logical" or "more
                                          rational" than the ancients points clearly to hubris. In some ways we have
                                          never even approached the level of their achievements. Think about it.
                                          *All* modern law is based upon the code of Hammurabi, which dates to 1800
                                          years BCE (and I could easily argue that Hammurabi stole his ideas from even
                                          older civilizations.) All modern philosophy is built upon the foundation of
                                          Socrates, Plato and the other great Greek thinkers. What can modern man
                                          point to that is as lofty as those accomplishments?

                                          Paul Schmehl
                                          pschmehl@...
                                          http://www.utdallas.edu/~pauls/
                                        • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                                          [I attempted to send this some hours ago, but my server was, apparently, having problems, so my post bounced.] Big_Mart_98 --
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Feb 6 6:00 PM
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                                            [I attempted to send this some hours ago, but my
                                            server was, apparently, having problems, so my post
                                            bounced.]

                                            Big_Mart_98 <big_mart_98@...> -- concerning
                                            Jeffrey Gibson's challenge to his statement that
                                            ancient people were unconcerned with logical
                                            consistency -- wrote:

                                            "It may be right or wrong: I am asking you to
                                            demonstrate that it was wrong."

                                            But why should Jeffrey Gibson have to do this? You
                                            made the assertion (originally, in response to one of
                                            my posts), so you need to back it up.

                                            Jeffery Hodges

                                            =====
                                            Horace Jeffery Hodges (Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley)
                                            Assistant Professor
                                            Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                                            447-791 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                                            Yangsandong 411
                                            South Korea

                                            __________________________________________________
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