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Re: Was[hy] Irony: "Witness" in John (part 2)

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  • kymhsm
    Dear Joe C., Sorry for such a long delay but I have been away and there have been some serious distractions. As will be clear, I have also decided that there
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 23, 2003
      Dear Joe C.,

      Sorry for such a long delay but I have been away and there have
      been some serious distractions. As will be clear, I have also
      decided that there is little value in me being too involved with this
      discussion. That does not mean that there is not some value in
      your continuing your investigation, I think there is, it is just that I
      will not be much help for you.

      You said:

      <<<In the FG, "witness" is more than being there; it also includes
      a kind of being in and engaging the moment, with an eye toward
      horizons of change.>>>

      I agree with this. However, as we are both coming from different
      directions, I am not sure that agreeing and/or countering each
      other is of much value. I think that your pursuit of the idea of
      witness in John is reasonable but my use of the term is only
      concerned with the authors of the gospel.

      When asked initially about the writers of the gospel, I wrote:
      "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 ministry –
      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."

      There was probably no need to go to Acts, the FG itself states:
      "Now Jesus did many other signs **in the presence of the
      disciples,** which are not written in this book; but these are
      written…" (20:30-31)
      Surely the implication here is that those things (signs) that *are
      written* were, like the *many other signs*, done in the presence
      of the disciples / apostles

      As I have said, the idea of `witness' in the FG as you are
      exploring is not of direct concern of mine. While I do not wish to
      engage in a long discussion on it, there are a couple of
      comments that I could make about your two posts.

      The formerly blind man was certainly a witness to Jesus, but
      was he a contributor to the gospel? We do not know. The
      Muratorian Fragment and Clement of Alexandria seem to be
      saying that some of those who did contribute to it were among
      the disciples who questioned Jesus at the beginning of that
      pericope and who – though not mentioned – witnessed the
      unfolding of the events.

      About Mary Magdelene's failure to look into the tomb and her
      conclusion that Jesus' body had been taken away only on the
      evidence that the stone had been moved is inadequate. We may
      not be told that she looked into the tomb but it is unreasonable to
      assume that she came to the conclusion she did when no one
      looked into it. Either Mary did – and we are not told – or one or
      more of those with her did (i.e. `*we* don't know where they have
      put him' – 20:2).

      I also wonder if your suggestion that the `radiant "white"
      garments' were `a transformation of the burial clothes' is not a
      little fanciful, whether you intend it to be literal or symbolic.


      Kym Smith
      South Australia
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