Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: Farewell Discourses

Expand Messages
  • John E Staton
    I seem to remember Martin Hengel suggests John s Gospel emerged from a lengthy period of teaching and discussion regarding the Jesus tradition, perhaps over
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 6, 2003
      I seem to remember Martin Hengel suggests John's Gospel emerged from a
      lengthy period of teaching and discussion regarding the Jesus tradition,
      perhaps over more than a decade: the principal teacher being the Beloved
      Disciple. He suggests the Disciple preferred oral teaching to written work,
      and only began to write down his teaching towards the end of his life. The
      work remained unfinished at his death and was finished and edited by his
      disciples.
      This theory allows for the input of more than one person (at the very
      least, in the teaching sessions in which the material gestated), for a long
      period of formation, but posits only one author and one editor (just
      possibly a committee of disciples), which I would have thought more likely
      than the theory which gave rise to this thread. Perhaps we need to think
      more in terms of oral, and less in terms of written redaction?

      Best Wishes
      JOHN E STATON
      jestaton@...
      www.jestaton.org
    • Bob Schacht
      ... Perhaps we need to think in terms of a blending of oral and written traditions. Crossan develops this idea a little in his Birth of Christianity, as have
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 6, 2003
        At 05:12 PM 10/6/2003 +0100, John E Staton wrote:
        >I seem to remember Martin Hengel suggests John's Gospel emerged from a
        >lengthy period of teaching and discussion regarding the Jesus tradition,
        >perhaps over more than a decade: the principal teacher being the Beloved
        >Disciple. He suggests the Disciple preferred oral teaching to written work,
        >and only began to write down his teaching towards the end of his life. The
        >work remained unfinished at his death and was finished and edited by his
        >disciples.
        > This theory allows for the input of more than one person (at the very
        >least, in the teaching sessions in which the material gestated), for a long
        >period of formation, but posits only one author and one editor (just
        >possibly a committee of disciples), which I would have thought more likely
        >than the theory which gave rise to this thread. Perhaps we need to think
        >more in terms of oral, and less in terms of written redaction?

        Perhaps we need to think in terms of a blending of oral and written
        traditions. Crossan develops this idea a little in his Birth of
        Christianity, as have others before him. There is a modern tradition that
        intrigues me as possibly instructive in this regard: the development, over
        the past 50 years, of a mystical theory of personality types called the
        Enneagram. It was apparently "discovered" independently by two different
        non-Christian international figures, Gurdjieff, and Oscar Ichazo, in the
        1940s. There are rumors of Sufi origins, but even that has been called into
        question. At first, both of them discussed this theory only in oral form,
        and only with their disciples. The theory was transmitted for several
        decades exclusively in oral form for several decades, and the first
        publications of the theory date to the 1970s, I think. During the 1970s,
        the two traditions of course discovered each other and compared notes.
        Although publications on the theory began in the 1970s, it remained
        essentially an oral tradition, passed on primarily in workshops, for
        another decade. During the 1990s there was an explosion of interest in the
        theory and, correspondingly, a proliferation of books.

        For an intellectual historian, the enneagram poses maddening challenges.
        Part of the heritage of primacy given to oral tradition was a carelessness
        (or lack of interest in) footnotes so that, for example, I have searched in
        vain for any clear delineation of differences between Gurdjieff's and
        Ichazo's versions of the enneagram. Instead, most authors write of the
        enneagram as if it has an existence independent of either Gurdjieff or
        Ichazo, who are merely regarded more as witnesses to the enneagram, rather
        than authors or developers. Even when serious disputes arise among authors
        (e.g. Riso vs. Palmer), the argument does not center over original
        authority (e.g., Gurdjieff vs. Ichazo), but rather over whether the
        enneagram is being correctly described.

        There are obvious differences with the process of early Christian
        traditions, but also, at least for me, interesting similarities in terms of
        the transition from oral tradition of a seminal idea to written accounts of
        it. At the very least, both Christian and Enneagram traditions regarded
        their central ideas as existing independently of those who taught about them.

        There is a tendency in critical scholarship to reverse the issue, and to
        regard Christianity as the invention of a small number of writers, each
        able to play fast and loose with their sources as well as to "creatively"
        interpret their received material. In other words, the tendency of critical
        scholars has been to ascribe the central details of Christianity to
        specific authors viewed as creating the tradition, rather than to regard
        the authors as witnesses to events (or traditions about those events) that
        transcend themselves and that exist independently of their witness. These
        are two fundamentally different paradigms about the central matters of
        interest.

        Bob Schacht, Ph.D.
        Northern Arizona University


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Pete Phillips
        Not too sure that Hengel s Johannine Question actually points to one author. Certainly the text does not - you only need to look at the use of collective nouns
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 6, 2003
          Not too sure that Hengel's Johannine Question actually points to one author.
          Certainly the text does not - you only need to look at the use of collective
          nouns and first person plurals in the testimony verses to show this. This
          (Gospel) is a consciously collective text - at least in parts.

          Pete Phillips
          Cliff College, Sheffield, UK

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "John E Staton" <jestaton@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 5:12 PM
          Subject: [John_Lit] Re: Farewell Discourses


          > I seem to remember Martin Hengel suggests John's Gospel emerged from a
          > lengthy period of teaching and discussion regarding the Jesus tradition,
          > perhaps over more than a decade: the principal teacher being the Beloved
          > Disciple. He suggests the Disciple preferred oral teaching to written
          work,
          > and only began to write down his teaching towards the end of his life. The
          > work remained unfinished at his death and was finished and edited by his
          > disciples.
          > This theory allows for the input of more than one person (at the
          very
          > least, in the teaching sessions in which the material gestated), for a
          long
          > period of formation, but posits only one author and one editor (just
          > possibly a committee of disciples), which I would have thought more likely
          > than the theory which gave rise to this thread. Perhaps we need to think
          > more in terms of oral, and less in terms of written redaction?
          >
          > Best Wishes
          > JOHN E STATON
          > jestaton@...
          > www.jestaton.org
          >
          >
          > SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > UNSUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > PROBLEMS?: e-mail johannine_literature-owner@yahoogroups.com
          > MESSAGE ARCHIVE:
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_literature/messages
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.