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Re: [John_Lit] Irony in John 8:33

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  • GustavSym@aol.com
    In a message dated 4/7/2003 9:29:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Dear Tom: I read this passage through John 9:28 ( we are disciples of Moses ), where the
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 7, 2003
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      In a message dated 4/7/2003 9:29:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      tom.thatcher@... writes:

      > ? I'm trying to understand how
      > you derive from their comment that they don't associate themselves with the
      > Exodus experience. Take care.
      >

      Dear Tom:

      I read this passage through John 9:28 ("we are disciples of Moses"), where
      the evangelist has other Judaeans strongly identifying with a Mosaic
      tradition. I find it remarkable, as many others have, that the evangelist
      would have some Judaeans deny any history of slavery ( "never enslaved by
      anyone"), accessing only the covenant with Abraham. Moreover, I read 8:33 as
      a particularly *historical* statement, depicting a self-understanding well
      beyond the immediate political situation, though even if the verse were read
      as referring to a non-historical(ly informed) present, it would retain its
      ironic flavor given the Roman occupation of Palestine during Jesus' ministry.
      In short, the evangelist denies these Judaeans a Mosaic tradition by leaving
      unsaid anything pertaining to Moses, and by placing a lack of historical
      participation in the Exodus---"never enslaved."

      Do you read the passage as something like, "We are Abraham's seed, and we
      *personally* have never been anyone's slave?" That would certainly disarm the
      irony, but is it consistent with the evangelist's overall demeanor?

      The irony of the passage seems to depend more on the absence of historical
      ownership of the Exodus (and historical identity) than with the following
      verses that speak of slavery to sin.

      Joe C.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John Lupia
      Jn 8:33 is the audience response to what Jesus just said to them. Certainly, they are not speaking for anyone but themselves. Their response clearly pertains
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 7, 2003
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        Jn 8:33 is the audience response to what Jesus just
        said to them. Certainly, they are not speaking for
        anyone but themselves. Their response clearly
        pertains to political slavery, whereas Jesus clarifies
        things by speaking of spiritual slavery to sin. It is
        clear in the text that their initial take on what
        Jesus said was mistakenly political in reference to
        the current situation with Roman governance of
        Palestine.

        All the best,
        John


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      • Steve Black
        Here is a link to what looks like an exciting conference in Scotland! The conference is entitled The Gospel of John and Christian Theology . Speaker include
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 29, 2003
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          Here is a link to what looks like an exciting conference in Scotland!

          The conference is entitled "The Gospel of John and Christian Theology".
          Speaker include Martin Hengel, J├╝rgen Moltmann, Rowan Williams,
          Richard Bauckham, Miroslav Volf, as well as others. The link to get
          more information is...
          http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/academic/divinity/john2003.html
          --
          Steve Black
          Vancouver School of Theology
          Vancouver, BC
          ---

          The lion and the calf shall lie down together
          but the calf won't get much sleep.
          -Woody Allen
        • Horace Jeffery Hodges
          Jeffrey Siker has an interesting article in the May issue of the RSN: http://www.sbl-site.org/Newsletter/05_2003/Siker.html I was fascinated by the
          Message 4 of 5 , May 5, 2003
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            Jeffrey Siker has an interesting article in the May
            issue of the RSN:

            http://www.sbl-site.org/Newsletter/05_2003/Siker.html

            I was fascinated by the increasingly thin line between
            religion and politics in an administration that holds
            Bible studies in the White House.

            Relevant to our Johannine Listserve is the following:

            <[I]n his September 11, 2002 speech commemorating the
            anniversary of the terrible events of what has simply
            come to be called 9/11, President Bush made what must
            be considered his most disturbing use of biblical
            imagery to date. Borrowing imagery from the prologue
            of John 1 the President concluded his speech with the
            following words: "This ideal of America is the hope of
            all mankind... That hope still lights our way. And the
            light shines in the darkness. And the darkness will
            not overcome it." In this paraphrase from John 1:4-5
            President Bush replaces the incarnate Word of God
            (Jesus) with America as the light of the world. In one
            simple step Bush moves from nationalism to idolatry,
            envisioning America as the Word made flesh, America as
            the one sent by God into the world. That such language
            suggesting the divinization of America can come from
            the lips of a sitting President, and one who claims
            the Lordship of Jesus at that, is nothing short of
            astonishing.>

            Living outside of the States, I miss out on all this
            good stuff.

            But is Siker correct about Bush's idolatry? What Bush
            said was:

            "This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind...
            That hope still lights our way. And the light shines
            in the darkness. And the darkness will not overcome
            it."

            From this, Siker concludes:

            <In this paraphrase from John 1:4-5 President Bush
            replaces the incarnate Word of God (Jesus) with
            America as the light of the world. In one simple step
            Bush moves from nationalism to idolatry, envisioning
            America as the Word made flesh, America as the one
            sent by God into the world.>

            Has Bush committed idolatry? He actually says that
            "This ideal of America" rather than "America" in his
            paraphrase. Does anyone know the context of Bush's
            words? What is the "ideal" that he refers to in his
            speech? Is it just a another way of saying "America"?
            Or does he mean an ideal that guides America?

            Jeffery Hodges

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

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