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Re: [John_Lit] Beloved Disciple

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  • Thomas W Butler
    Hello Sandra (Sandy?) Please feel free to call me Tom. After I posted my response to your inquirey on the Johannine Literature list, I found the material you
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 2, 2003
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      Hello Sandra (Sandy?)
      Please feel free to call me Tom.
      After I posted my response to your inquirey on the Johannine
      Literature list, I found the material you had cut and pasted on
      the BelovedDisciple.org list from James Spiegel. He was responding
      to an inquirey from Ramon Jusino, who is one of the most visible
      advocates for the idea that the BD was Mary Magdalene. Ramon
      and I have corresponded, and we agree in many ways, particularly
      that the BD is probably a woman named Mary. Then we part
      company.
      Ramon Jusino believes that the BD is MM. I say she is Mary of
      Bethany. I think he might be comfortable with the idea that these
      two Marys are actually the same person. I have not come to that
      conclusion, primarily because the BD and Mary Magdalene are
      both in two different pericopes.
      In John 20: 1-2 Mary Magdalene runs to Simon Peter and *the
      other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved* and speaks to them.
      This is a strange sentence structure if MM and the BD are the
      same person. The reader would have to conclude that MM was
      speaking to herself as well as to Simon Peter.
      In John 19: 25-27 there are three, four or even five women
      (depending on whether and where one inserts a comma in 25)
      standing at the cross. I agree with Ramon that one of them is
      the BD, because just after identifying them by name or relation,
      Jesus addresses both his mother and the BD. I think it is more
      consistent with the rest of the Gospel that the BD is not clearly
      named in this passage, that she is identified simply as *his
      mother's sister.* In other words, I do not think that this phrase
      is identifying a biological relative of Mary, but a woman who
      belongs to the same community. That is born out when the
      BD *takes her to his (sic) own.* *His own* refers to one's
      flock. The BD is the shepherd of a flock and agrees to watch
      over Mary the Mother of Jesus along with other members of
      the community for whom she cares.
      Of course, I have the same problem here as I do with other
      places in the gospel where the BD is refered to as *he.* So
      far the best I can offer is the reference I've already shared here
      suggesting that at least some of the early Christian communities
      believed that Jesus treated certain women as though they were
      men. In our time I prefer to think of this as Jesus treating men
      and women in the same way.
      With you I am not aware of any Talmud teachings suggesting
      that MM was related to Nicodemus. I hope James Spiegel will
      offer a citation that will clarify how he has come to that conclusion.
      Can you provide a title for the Susan Haskins book you mentioned?
      The best recently published one on Mary Magdalene that I have
      found is The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene: Legends, Apocrypha,
      and the Christian Testament by Jane Schaberg (Continuum, New
      York, 2002). As far as I know I am the only proponent of the idea
      that the BD was Mary of Bethany.
      As for Brown's suggestion that the BD may have been the leader
      of the Johannine community, I think that identifying the BD as a
      woman actually strengthens that theory. I've suggested that one
      of the possible reasons for keeping the identity of the BD hidden
      is that the BD was a woman, and there were early church leaders
      who had not yet made up their minds about whether or not it was
      OK for women to be leaders of churches (flocks of disciples).
      Though this topic has been aired on this list before, I'm not
      aware of any effort to restrict discussion of it. If so, I would be
      glad to carry on the discussion off-list or on the BelovedDisciple.org
      list. Assuming no restriction to the contrary, I would be glad to
      discuss this material with you and others who might be interested
      on this list. I'm hoping that some of the scholars on this list
      will contribute to the discussion or take the time to offer critiques
      of it.

      Yours in Christ's service,
      Tom Butler

      On Sun, 2 Mar 2003 08:41:49 -0000 "Sandra HAMBLETT"
      <sandy@...> writes:
      >
      > Hi Thomas,
      >
      > Thanks for replying to the email i posted.
      >
      > Yes, i have seen your book advertised, i was thinking of buying
      > a copy actually.
      >
      > The cut and pasted email came from a Magdalene discussion
      > group -- i am interested in the idea that part of Jesus' Teachings
      > have survived via Mary Magdalene. I was not aware of the
      > assertions in the Talmud of a family relationship of MM to figures
      > such as Nicodemus.
      >
      > The Magdalene forum posits that MM may have been the Beloved
      > Disciple. Your comments re; sacrifice, MB and the possibility that
      > she attended the trial of Jesus made me recall something i read
      > in the Susan Haskins book on MM - referring to - i presume -
      > 'folk beliefs' that MM was at the trial of Jesus. An interesting cross
      > over here.
      >
      > I have read lots of the written works by Raymond E. Brown. If the
      > BD may turn out to be MM - i find it a wonderful idea that as per
      > Brown, the Beloved Disciple/MM may be the origin of the early
      > Johannine Community.... i dont know how members of this forum
      > feel about that idea ... in an age when there appears to be
      > opposition from male heirarchy within the Church (although of
      > course this has been present throughout church history) against
      > females - i find a kind of comfort in this idea.
      >
      > I would be glad to talk privatly about these ideas Thomas.
      > Please do so.
      >
      > Many thanks,
      >
      > Sandy.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Joseph Codsi
      Elaine, Thank you for the reference to Ramon Justino s thesis.
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 11, 2005
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        Elaine,

        Thank you for the reference to Ramon Justino's thesis.

        <<The material covered by Ramon K. Jusino's thesis,
        http://www.BelovedDisciple.org and Esther de Boer's book cited in my last
        post both cover the material extensively.>>

        Unfortunately there is a problem with the link. I was unable to open the
        page.

        In what pertains to the length of the time spent in the tomb, what matters
        is not how long the body of Jesus had been in the tomb before MM would come
        to anoint it. The real problem, as I see it, is with the fact of going back
        to a tomb in order to extract a body and anoint it.

        One last question: "Where did you read that it was customary to have the
        female next of kin prepare the body of a male corps for burial?" This seems
        to me to be the product of pious thoughts, which are used to make believable
        what is unrealistic and problematic.

        Cheers,

        Joseph

        ================
        Joseph Codsi
        P.O. Box 116-2088
        Beirut, Lebanon
        Telephone (961) 1 423 145
        joseph5@...

        "Within two decades, most of the world's knowledge will be digitized and
        available, one hopes for free reading on the Internet, just as there is free
        reading in libraries today."

        Michael A. Keller, Stanford University head librarian.
        December 2004
      • pastor_t@pacbell.net
        Dear J-L Listers, The silence following my article on the ointment is deafening. What are you thinking? Tom Butler
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 14, 2005
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          Dear J-L Listers,
          The silence following my article on the ointment is deafening. What are
          you thinking?

          Tom Butler
        • chasrscott@netzero.com
          Tom: I liked very much what you wrote. The communion in which I serve has liturgical worship and a strong sense of tradition; so emotionally, your message
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 14, 2005
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            Tom:

            I liked very much what you wrote. The communion in which I serve has liturgical worship and a strong sense of tradition; so emotionally, your message spoke to me.

            It also drove me back to the books to see what the text says, which is a good thing. I suspect others are also having another look at this event in Jesus' life.

            Thank you,

            Charles Scott

            ----------------------------
            Dear J-L Listers,
            The silence following my article on the ointment is deafening. What are
            you thinking?

            Tom Butler
          • Diane Yoder
            Your explanation seems fairly thorough. I agree with your statement: By wiping his feet with her hair, Mary not only displays her devotion to her Lord, but is
            Message 5 of 10 , Oct 14, 2005
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              Your explanation seems fairly thorough. I agree with your statement:

              By wiping his feet with her hair, Mary not only
              displays her devotion to her Lord, but is anointed
              herself. Her head is anointed with the same ointment
              (read: scent) as that which consecrates the feet of
              Jesus, her altar. This follows the pattern
              established in Ex. 30: 25-31 in which the same
              anointing oil used on the furnishings and utensils of
              the temple is used to consecrate the high priest and
              the chief priests.

              I submit that what Jesus instructs Judas (and the
              other disciples gathered in the house) to do is to
              allow Mary to keep the scent that identifies her with
              him. Specifically, her role, following his death,
              will be to keep the tradition of his death. She is to
              function among the disciples as a high priest, or in
              First Century terms, as a bishop, overseeing the
              community, seeing to it that the tradition is kept.


              It seems also to me one more demonstration of the fact that Mary 'gets it' while Judas (the disciple) does not.

              Diane Yoder, MA Historical Theology
              University of Toronto

              pastor_t@... wrote:
              Dear J-L Listers,
              The silence following my article on the ointment is deafening. What are
              you thinking?

              Tom Butler



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            • Timothy P. Jenney
              Tom, At first blush, I found your argument creative, but not convincing. I need to mull it over some more. However, I have been surprised by 4G in the past.
              Message 6 of 10 , Oct 14, 2005
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                Tom,

                At first blush, I found your argument creative, but not convincing. I need
                to mull it over some more.

                However, I have been surprised by 4G in the past. I've rejected some
                [apparently] wild interpretations out-of-hand, only to discover later they
                fit perfectly.

                To illustrate: Jesus in John 7: "out of his/its belly shall flow rivers of
                living water."

                Is it 1) the belly of his disciple(s)? 2) His own belly? Or 3) the belly of
                the earth [= Jerusalem]?

                "As the Scripture says" seems to refer to Zech 14 [rivers from Jerusalem],
                which turns out to have been one of the haphtaroth for the Feast
                [Tabernacles]. OK, fine, but blood and water then flow from Jesus' belly in
                ch. 19 [=libations of water and wine for Tabernacles(?), which were
                accompanied by prayers for the resurrection of the dead and the fall
                rains...] And if so, will not these rivers soon also flow from the belly of
                his followers (ch. 20)...?

                I tell my students, "everything in 4G means two things, except where it
                means three!"

                So, like I said, I've learned not to reject anything in 4G too quickly.

                Blessings,

                Timothy P. Jenney
                Adj. NT Prof.,
                Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando

                > From: <pastor_t@...>
                > Reply-To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                > Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 09:06:52 -0700
                > To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Beloved Disciple
                >
                > Dear J-L Listers,
                > The silence following my article on the ointment is deafening. What are
                > you thinking?
                >
                > Tom Butler
                >
                >
                >
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              • deborahmillier
                ... I can readily concur. Especially in John s Gospel! Shalom from Manila, --Michael
                Message 7 of 10 , Oct 15, 2005
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                  Timothy J wrote:


                  > I tell my students, "everything in 4G means
                  > two things, except where it means three!"

                  I can readily concur. Especially in John's Gospel!

                  Shalom from Manila,
                  --Michael
                • Tom Butler
                  Timothy, I share your respect and admiration of the depth and complexity of the 4G. My work focuses on the double layers of meaning in it. I have found that
                  Message 8 of 10 , Oct 15, 2005
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                    Timothy,
                    I share your respect and admiration of the depth and
                    complexity of the 4G. My work focuses on the double
                    layers of meaning in it. I have found that the signs
                    so frequently refer noted in the Gospel are literally
                    words and symbols borrowed directly from the
                    Septuagint version of the Torah. Thus, the meaning of
                    a text may have one sense at first glance, while at
                    the same time it conveys a deeper meaning informed by
                    the Mosaic context from which the sign or signs that
                    the text contains. I believe this double (or, with
                    you, sometimes triple) entendre is a consequence of
                    the use of the Midrash method by its author(s).
                    I look forward to further discussion with you.

                    Tom Butler

                    --- "Timothy P. Jenney" <drjenney@...>
                    wrote:

                    > Tom,
                    >
                    > At first blush, I found your argument creative, but
                    > not convincing. I need
                    > to mull it over some more.
                    >
                    > However, I have been surprised by 4G in the past.
                    > I've rejected some
                    > [apparently] wild interpretations out-of-hand, only
                    > to discover later they
                    > fit perfectly.
                    >
                    > To illustrate: Jesus in John 7: "out of his/its
                    > belly shall flow rivers of
                    > living water."
                    >
                    > Is it 1) the belly of his disciple(s)? 2) His own
                    > belly? Or 3) the belly of
                    > the earth [= Jerusalem]?
                    >
                    > "As the Scripture says" seems to refer to Zech 14
                    > [rivers from Jerusalem],
                    > which turns out to have been one of the haphtaroth
                    > for the Feast
                    > [Tabernacles]. OK, fine, but blood and water then
                    > flow from Jesus' belly in
                    > ch. 19 [=libations of water and wine for
                    > Tabernacles(?), which were
                    > accompanied by prayers for the resurrection of the
                    > dead and the fall
                    > rains...] And if so, will not these rivers soon also
                    > flow from the belly of
                    > his followers (ch. 20)...?
                    >
                    > I tell my students, "everything in 4G means two
                    > things, except where it
                    > means three!"
                    >
                    > So, like I said, I've learned not to reject anything
                    > in 4G too quickly.
                    >
                    > Blessings,
                    >
                    > Timothy P. Jenney
                    > Adj. NT Prof.,
                    > Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando
                    >
                    > > From: <pastor_t@...>
                    > > Reply-To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                    > > Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2005 09:06:52 -0700
                    > > To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                    > > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Beloved Disciple
                    > >
                    > > Dear J-L Listers,
                    > > The silence following my article on the ointment
                    > is deafening. What are
                    > > you thinking?
                    > >
                    > > Tom Butler
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > SUBSCRIBE: e-mail
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                    >
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                    <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=system color=#0000ff>Yours in Christ's service,</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
                    <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=System color=#0000ff>Tom Butler</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
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