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Re: [John_Lit] Collective authorship

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  • GustavSym@aol.com
    Hi Kym: I found you post fascinating and disconcerting. May I ask a few questions and make a few comments? ... group of apostles and eyewitnesses. I believe
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 28, 2003
      Hi Kym:

      I found you post fascinating and disconcerting. May I ask a few questions and
      make a few comments?

      >>I have suggested many times that John was the product of a
      group of apostles and eyewitnesses. I believe that the context for
      their writing was a council in Ephesus in late 68, following
      Nero's persecutions and death. I also claim that the Revelation
      preceded Nero's persecutions and that John received it in mid
      62.<<

      Do you use the term "John" here to refer to the collective author you argue
      for in this post? When "John" receives the Revelation (Apocalypse), do you
      refer to a collective experience? Is "John" the evangelist or the Gospel?

      Is it your contention that the evangelist and the writer of Revelation are
      one and the same individual/collective?

      >>When John says that Jesus did many other things `in the
      presence of the disciples', the implication, it seems to me, is
      that those things that are recorded are those that were done in
      the presence of the apostles and eyewitnesses<<

      Would these "things" be the signs in the Book of Signs? What is the
      antecedent for the demonstrative pronoun *tauta*? Contextually, it would
      appear that *tauta* refers to the kinds of things like Jesus allowing Thomas
      to place a discerning finger in His wounds, and not limited to the sign at
      Cana and the sign of the multipication of the loaves and fishes, not to
      mention His death and resurrection.

      I certainly agree that John 20 is an interrogation not only of what a witness
      is but of the concept of witness itself. There is a marvelous play between
      daybreak and evening, inside the tomb and outside the tomb, do not touch me
      and touch me, seeing and believing, not seeing and not believing; the very
      nature of witness is explored within the dialectic of these antimonies.

      >>This also
      adds to our understanding of 21:24.<<

      How so? The evangelist is most certainly not an eyewitness. Do you mean that
      the Gospel's discourse on witness legitimizes the evangelist's claim? In what
      way? The reader is ostensibly privvy to more than the disciples are; for
      example, the reader is is present in the discourse Jesus has with Nicodemus
      in a more palpable way than any disciple, yet the discourse is recorded in
      the Gospel; the reader hears the exchange between Jesus and his mother at
      Cana; the disciples do not (it remains unclear that the disciples understood
      the nature of the sign at Cana as it occurred--only the steward comments on
      the wine. The reader learns of the disciples' faith by way of the narrator;
      not by reading the disciples' experience of the wine).

      What constitutes "(a) witness" in the Johannine sensibility?

      Joe C.







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    • kymhsm
      Dear Joe C., ... questions and make a few comments? Certainly. Sorry for the delay in responding. ... group of apostles and eyewitnesses. I believe that the
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 4, 2003
        Dear Joe C.,

        >I found you post fascinating and disconcerting. May I ask a few
        questions and make a few comments?>

        Certainly. Sorry for the delay in responding.

        >>I have suggested many times that John was the product of a
        group of apostles and eyewitnesses. I believe that the context for
        their writing was a council in Ephesus in late 68, following
        Nero's persecutions and death. I also claim that the Revelation
        preceded Nero's persecutions and that John received it in mid
        62.<<

        <Do you use the term "John" here to refer to the collective author
        you argue for in this post? When John" receives the Revelation
        (Apocalypse), do you refer to a collective experience? Is "John"
        the evangelist or the Gospel?>

        `John' in the first instance is the Gospel; `John' who received the
        Revelation was the Apostle, i.e. the son of Zebedee, and he
        received it alone. The same Apostle John was one of the group
        that produced the gospel which bears his name (cf. the
        Muratorian Fragment's account of Andrew suggesting that the
        account be published under John's name).

        <Is it your contention that the evangelist and the writer of
        Revelation are one and the same individual/ collective?>

        The apostle/evangelist, John, was writer of both though the
        gospel was a collective work probably under John's direction.

        >>When John says that Jesus did many other things `in the
        presence of the disciples', the implication, it seems to me, is that
        those things that are recorded are those that were done in the
        presence of the apostles and eyewitnesses<<

        <Would these "things" be the signs in the Book of Signs?>

        If you mean by `Book of Signs' 2:1-11:44 or thereabouts, I would
        say at least this. There were two (both of whom I have suggested
        were present at the writing of the FG)who witnessed the Baptist
        indicate Jesus as `the Lamb of God' and who left the Baptist to
        follow Jesus. That is in chapter one. There are discourses, e.g.
        the farewell discourses of chapters 13-17, which were
        heard/witnessed by more than one of the contributors to the
        gospel. No doubt they encouraged and built on one another's
        recollections. There are some events very few events in John
        which wee not witnessed by more than one; the resurrection
        encounter of Mary Magdelene with Jesus may be one, but for
        some of that, at least, there is the implication that Mary was not
        alone (i.e. *we* do not know where they have laid him – 20:2).

        <What is the antecedent for the demonstrative pronoun *tauta*?
        Contextually, it would appear that *tauta* refers to the kinds of
        things like Jesus allowing Thomas to place a discerning finger
        in His wounds, and not limited to the sign at Cana and the sign
        of the multipication of the loaves and fishes, not to mention His
        death and resurrection.>

        I agree.

        >>This also adds to our understanding of 21:24.<<

        <How so? The evangelist is most certainly not an eyewitness.>

        Here we differ because I think he was certainly one of the most
        intimate witnesses of all that Jesus did. Therefore I cannot
        answer some of the questions below, but I have added some
        comments.

        <Do you mean that the Gospel's discourse on witness
        legitimizes the evangelist's claim? In what way? The reader is
        ostensibly privvy to more than the disciples are; for example, the
        reader is present in the discourse Jesus has with Nicodemus in
        a more palpable way than any disciple, yet the discourse is
        recorded in the Gospel;>

        There is no reason to believe that Nicodemus had a private
        interview with Jesus.

        < the reader hears the exchange between Jesus and his mother
        at Cana;>

        The twelve were invited to the wedding. Besides the possibility
        that Mary, herself, may have been among those collating the FG
        (at that time the Second Gospel, I think) it only took two of the
        survivors to have overheard the conversation for my suggestion
        to stand.

        < the disciples do not (it remains unclear that the disciples
        understood the nature of the sign at Cana as it occurred--only
        the steward comments on the wine. The reader learns of the
        disciples' faith by way of the narrator; not by reading the
        disciples' experience of the wine)..>

        Perhaps so, but if the disciples were among those composing
        John then they are narrating on their own experience.

        <What constitutes "(a) witness" in the Johannine sensibility?>

        What constitutes a witness would be similar to the one called for
        to replace Judas in Acts 1:15f. In the first instance there are the
        apostles who had witnessed the whole of Jesus minisry – i.e.
        those still alive in 68 (when I reckon the gospel was written) -
        and other eyewitnesses who had been part of Jesus' ministry –
        perhaps not all of it – and who had been involved in the witness
        of the early Church.

        Sincerely,

        Kym Smith
        Adelaide
        South Australia
        khs@...
      • GustavSym@aol.com
        Dear Kym: Thanks for your recent clarifications. I need more time to do your latest remarks justice, but I do plan to respond by confronting your definition of
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 5, 2003
          Dear Kym:

          Thanks for your recent clarifications. I need more time to do your latest
          remarks justice, but I do plan to respond by confronting your definition of
          "witness" in the context of some of the ironic elements in the FG. Jeff
          Staley, who has commented at length on the problem of irony in our gospel,
          has also made some interesting observations in response to Elizabeth Danna's
          equally compelling remarks. I hope to incorporate a response to these writers
          in the same, very likely lengthy, post to the list.

          Jack Kilmon, what is the protocol for posting lengthy commentary? Should it
          be placed in the files section? shall I send the post to you off-list first
          and let you decide on its appropriateness for the list? As a new member of
          John_Lit, I would appreciate a word on proper etiquette in this regard. I
          probably will not be ready to post for a few days, as I must attend my daily
          responsibilities and attempt to negotiate large chunks of text into something
          resembling an organized piece of writing.

          Joe C.


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