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[John_Lit] Re: Sources

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  • SUN
    Ken, As we all know, the literary relationship between the FG and I John is difficult. Both sides of the debate have some good points to make. Perhaps a more
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 5, 2000
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      Ken,

      As we all know, the literary relationship between the FG and I John is difficult. Both sides of the debate have some good points to make.  Perhaps a more appealing proposal should consider, and therefore be ready to throw light on, the understanding of  such aspects as literary, theological, historical (for example, the life and issues of the Johannine Community) etc. within a larger context of the Johannine corpus.  Having said these, I think the literary relationship is complicated and perhaps mystified by the fact that the FG had had gone through editorial stages. To remark with David that I John predates the FG, one must also attend to the point that  there may have considerable portions of the FG  that reflect an earlier sources, theologies, situations, etc.  To end, it seems to me that it is not enough to say which predates what; the vision of this study should encompass and engage with a larger context of theological and historical considerations that consequently shed light on our understanding of the Johannine Christianity..

      Poling Sun

      Associate Professor of New Testament
      Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary
      Hong Kong

      Ken Durkin wrote:

      Paul I read your comments with interest & I've ordered Xology of 4G from Amazon. Back in the last century, in 1987, I published "A eucharistic hymn in John 6?" (written in 1984) in March edition of Expository Times. Accounting for the repetition of "raise it/him up on the last day" in verses 39, 40, 44, and 54, I suggested a eucharistic hymn (with a repeated chorus) as a source, the hymn itself based on a reflection of part of 1 John. If ever you get round to reading this short article I would be interested to know what you think. Ken DurkinOpen UniversityUK
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    • Paul Anderson
      Thank you, David and Poling, for reminding us of the complexity of the issues associated with making sense of the relation of John to I John. Assuming an early
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 5, 2000
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        Thank you, David and Poling, for reminding us of the complexity of the
        issues associated with making sense of the relation of John to I John.
        Assuming an early edition of John was completed around 80 and that its
        finalization was around 100, the writing of the three epistles would have
        been before and after (ca. 85-95) the "gospel", perhaps (with Bultmann
        here) written by the redactor.

        This leads, then to Ken's larger question: to what degree has the redactor
        added material to the gospel (from I John or otherwise) as a means of
        appreciating the character and origin of the gospels' material? (Thanks,
        by the way, Ken, for the book order! I look forward to hearing your
        impressions, esp. on John 6.) By and large, the redactor appears to be
        quite conservative in his deliberations (leaving rough transitions as they
        are, etc.), so I feel it is imprudent to attribute too much content to the
        redactor's interpolative pen. He seems invested in preserving the witness
        of the Beloved Disciple.

        >Back in the last century, in 1987, I published "A
        >> eucharistic hymn in John 6?" (written in 1984) in March edition of
        >> Expository Times. Accounting for the repetition of "raise it/him up on
        >> the last day" in verses 39, 40, 44, and 54, I suggested a eucharistic
        >> hymn (with a repeated chorus) as a source, the hymn itself based on a
        >> reflection of part of 1 John. If ever you get round to reading this
        >> short article I would be interested to know what you think. Ken
        >> DurkinOpen UniversityUK

        Yes, Ken, I enjoyed your essay very much! I read it back in 1988 and came
        back to it again in preparing the book for Mohr/Siebeck in 1992. I did
        not side with a eucharistic-hymn theory finally, although your argument
        has some real merits. First, the merits: a) Yes, we do indeed have a
        common Johannine pattern here of three phrases within a single sentence in
        each of these verses, and the last phrase is the culminative, "I shall
        raise him up on the last day." b) This motif is connected with the
        flesh-eating and blood-drinking motifs of vss.53-58, suggesting a
        eucharistic association. c) The eternal life motifs of I John, combined
        with the eschatological correctives and the sea-shore meal of ch.21 (esp.
        if added by the author of I John, and if John 6 was added by the redactor
        during the final editing of John -- both of which I do believe), may
        bolster the view of Bultmann that these were interpolations by the
        redactor, representing the _pharmakon athanasias_ of Ignatius. d) The
        most significant theological benefit of an interpolation theory on parts
        of John 6 is that the apparent requisite of the formal eucharist for
        salvation (vs.53) need not be seen as written by the evangelist whose
        soteriology is so pervasively Christocentric. While not all of these are
        your points, Ken, thanks for your good work!

        Problems are as follows: a) Eschatological tension (futurist and realized)
        was not all that unusual (see Paul's writings, II Baruch 29, etc.), and
        the threefold sentence is characteristic also of the evangelist's style
        (especially at the end of a paragraph, or for emphasis), so that part of
        it is possible but not compelling. I also had studied in Tübingen in 1987
        with Professors Betz, Hengel, and Hofius, and the latter was a bit wary of
        hymnic detections in the New Testament, so I played it conservative on
        some form-critical inferences, going instead with a rhetorical analysis:
        an "Exhortation of the Two Ways" hypothesis (hinging on vs.27, and
        developed along the lines of three associations with "bread" --
        corresponding with three issues within Johannine Christianity) rather than
        a hymnic one. b) What is meant by "eucharistic" (see Excursus, "What is
        Meant by 'Sacrament'?" pp.112-114)? Worship forms were emerging, probably
        in a fluent state in the first century, and while I believe Paul had
        earlier moved to a symbolic meal as a rite of remembrance (I Cor. 11),
        this is not to say all parts of Christianity had done so -- especially
        Johannine Christianity, which has no institution at the Lord's supper
        (ch.13). Further, the "bread" offered by Jesus is his suffering and death
        on the cross (vs.51), so that the emphasis upon "eating" and "drinking"
        his "flesh" and "blood" is on costly discipleship and the willingness to
        shoulder the cross rather than a cultic requisite, proper. c) When
        considering Ignatius, however, his _pharmakon athanasias_ was not a
        reference to theophagy (loaf-eating, itself) but an emphasis on the
        singular loaf (as contrasted to split-off services), representing the
        larger issue of church unity under one Lord, one bishop, and one worship
        service. John's concern was also for church unity (in the light of ch.17,
        see vs.27 -- parallel to the Didache's way of life versus the way of
        death), but the evangelist (no need for a redactor's interpolation here)
        calls for solidarity with Jesus and his community -- even in the face of
        hardship -- as the life-producing "food" Jesus offers. d) Therefore,
        vss.51-58 are not really contradictory with the rest of John's
        Christocentric soteriology because they call for adherence to Jesus and
        the willingness to embrace costly discipleship rather than requiring
        particularistic cultic participation as a requisite for salvation. Some
        excellent scholars (and David Rensberger's socio-religious description is
        about the best representation of the view that I have seen) feel that this
        is not a contradiction because taking the eucharist would have ben the way
        Johannine Christians would have demonstrated publicly their faith in
        Jesus, but here's the main problem with that view: it does not take
        seriously enough the salvific requisite in vs.53, "Unless you do x and y,
        you have no life in yourselves." as a cultic overriding of the pervasive
        faith theme in John, which otherwise is presented nonformally as a saving
        response of faith to the divine initiative in Christ Jesus. Bultmann's
        detection of a major theological problem here stands, I believe.

        I could indeed go along with a corporate-worship setting of the narration
        of the material, Ken, and that might not be too far from what you're
        getting at. And, I do believe the targeted audience (in this part of the
        discourse) where the disciples are mentioned (vss.51-66) would have been
        Gentile Christians with docetizing tendencies parallel to I John 4. So
        here, centripetal strategies are employed, as in I John, to try to hold
        the community together in the face of centrifugal adversity. I imagine,
        however, the proper involvement in the eucharist is more about John 6 than
        is John 6 about proper participation in a formalized eucharist. That
        would have be anachronistic, especially with the glaring institution
        omission of ch.13.

        Excellent issues here; thanks for considering them with me!

        Paul

        Paul N. Anderson
        Associate Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies
        George Fox University
        Newberg, OR 97132
        503-554-2651
      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 1/6/2000 2:28:22 AM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@georgefox.edu writes:
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 6, 2000
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          In a message dated 1/6/2000 2:28:22 AM Eastern Standard Time,
          panderso@... writes:

          << Worship forms were emerging, probably
          in a fluent state in the first century, and while I believe Paul had
          earlier moved to a symbolic meal as a rite of remembrance (I Cor. 11),
          this is not to say all parts of Christianity had done so >>

          Remember, though, that Paul describes this practice and accompanying ritual
          as something "received", not invented by him, and therefore presumably common
          to an apostolic pre-Pauline Christianity. I am skeptical about efforts to
          identify an orthodox Christian community, at any time in history, that was
          also non-eucharist.

          << -- especially
          Johannine Christianity, which has no institution at the Lord's supper
          (ch.13).>>

          I wonder if this does not make too much of an argument from silence. One
          reads this evidence differently depending on whether one thinks John knew,
          and presumed the onging existence of, an already almost universally
          recognized synoptic tradition, which, to some extent he sees himself as
          supplementing (and deepening) rather than replacing.

          << Further, the "bread" offered by Jesus is his suffering and death
          on the cross (vs.51), so that the emphasis upon "eating" and "drinking"
          his "flesh" and "blood" is on costly discipleship and the willingness to
          shoulder the cross rather than a cultic requisite, proper. >>

          This is probably true. Yet, while the emphasis of the text is probably not
          primarily eucharistic, the eucharist is almost certainly presupposed by the
          language used here. A Dutch scholar (perhaps M. J.J. Menken?) wrote well on
          this topic in a Biblica article of a few years ago. I believe that this
          interpretation of the latter part of John 6 bolsters the view of John as a
          theological commentary on the Synoptics
          and makes the discourse of John 6 as a whole quite parallel to the Caesarea
          Philippi pericope, and its aftermath, in the Synoptics, especially in
          Matthew, whose influence on John has been dangerously minimized as a result
          of (in my judgment inadequately grounded) acceptance of Markan priority.

          Leonard Maluf
        • Paul Anderson
          Thanks, Leonard. Yes, I find Menken s work quite good, and he and I came to many of the same conclusions independently. The reference in vs.51 is to the
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 6, 2000
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            Thanks, Leonard. Yes, I find Menken's work quite good, and he and I came
            to many of the same conclusions independently. The reference in vs.51 is
            to the cross, and vss. 53ff. are not ritualistically oriented, although I
            believe emerging eucharistic imagery appears to be used in the ethical
            appeal for the willingness to embrace costly discipleship. I might even
            imagine the Johannine situation enjoying a tradition of fellowship meals
            at which the feeding was narrated, but this is not to equate such with a
            symbolic rite, and the glaring omission of the words of the institution in
            ch.13 is highly significant, especially in John knew about them. Does his
            omission imply a corrective (as in 4:2 regarding Jesus baptising)
            ideologically or historically? Bultmann's view that he was an
            antisacramentalist seems a bit anachronistic also, but there may have been
            something there. John is thoroughly sacramental, but John's
            sacramentality is incarnational rather than formalistic.

            Again, to interpret vs.53 as "take the eucharist or be damned" is terribly
            problematic. Agree? On the other hand, with Mark 8, to deny Jesus before
            men is for him to deny us before the Father; and with Paul, if one expects
            to be raised with Christ in the afterlife, one must be willing to die with
            him in the here and now. That is the clearest meaning of vss.51-66 when
            taken together.

            Excellent issues here!

            Paul
            >
            >
            >



            Paul N. Anderson
            Associate Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies
            George Fox University
            Newberg, OR 97132
            503-554-2651
          • Ken Durkin
            ... From: SUN To: johannine_literature@egroups.com Sent: 06 January 2000 03:32 Subject: [John_Lit] Re: Sources ... Poling Sun Associate Professor of New
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 12, 2000
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: SUN
              Sent: 06 January 2000 03:32
              Subject: [John_Lit] Re: Sources
               
              Poling Sun wrote:

              >As we all know, the literary relationship between the FG and I John is difficult. Both sides of the debate have some good points to make.  Perhaps a more appealing proposal should consider, and therefore be ready to throw light on, the understanding of  such aspects as literary, theological, historical (for example, the life and issues of the Johannine Community) etc. within a larger context of the Johannine corpus.  Having said these, I think the literary relationship is complicated and perhaps mystified by the fact that the FG had had gone through editorial stages. To remark with David that I John predates the FG, one must also attend to the point that  there may have considerable portions of the FG  that reflect an earlier sources, theologies, situations, etc.  To end, it seems to me that it is not enough to say which predates what; the vision of this study should encompass and engage with a larger context of theological and historical considerations that consequently shed light on our understanding of the Johannine Christianity..

              Poling Sun

              Associate Professor of New Testament
              Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary
              Hong Kong

              Poling

              Yes, I agree with you. What I mean is that it seems to me 1Jn belongs to an early period in the Johannine tradition, not just before the final redaction as most seem to think.

              Ken Durkin

              OU

              UK

            • Ken Durkin
              Paul I ve just unpacked Xology of 4G. It s a signed copy & there s a business card with it. Has this anything to do with being a member of this group or does
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 12, 2000
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                Paul
                I've just unpacked Xology of 4G. It's a signed copy & there's a business
                card with it. Has this anything to do with being a member of this group or
                does everyone get a signed copy of your book with Amazon? I'm looking
                forward to reading it. Impressive comments on the cover from leading
                scholars. As a preliminary exercise I traced refs to 6:66 to check whether
                you thought it might be linked to the disruption in 1Jn. It would appear at
                this stage of my reading that it does not relate specifically to that
                situation. It's rhetorical, "drawing would-be deserters into the narrative"
                (209).

                Ken Durkin
                OU
                UK
              • Paul Anderson
                Thanks, Ken, I signed several dozen copies at the Harvard Coop bookstore last March, and I imagine some of those might have been sent to alternative
                Message 7 of 7 , Jan 13, 2000
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                  Thanks, Ken,

                  I signed several dozen copies at the Harvard Coop bookstore last March,
                  and I imagine some of those might have been sent to alternative
                  distributers. Nice to know they're getting out there.

                  Yes, I do think vs.66 both reflects defections from the historical Jesus
                  due to the "disappointing" charcter of his non nationalistic/non
                  militaristic mission (vss.14f.), and I also think the motif would have
                  been significant regarding defections back into the Synagogue (the first
                  antichristic schism in I Jn. 2:18-25) and as further docetizing defections
                  (and ejections by the Elder and others, cf. I Jn.4:1-3 and II Jn. 7
                  suggest) and centrifugal tensions emerge. My essay on the Sitz Im Leben
                  of the Johannine Bread of Life Discourse (in Critical Readings of John 6,
                  Culpepper ed. Brill, 1997) identifies at least 4 crises typified in the
                  narration of John 6, which seems to have been added to the final edition
                  of the gospel.

                  Thanks for your thoughtful observations!

                  PA



                  Paul N. Anderson
                  Associate Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies
                  George Fox University
                  Newberg, OR 97132
                  503-554-2651
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