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[John_Lit] Did John know the synoptics?

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  • Brian Tucker
    For a long time it seemed that it was accepted that John knew the synoptics, and he didn t feel the need to repeat what they wrote. I have read some recently
    Message 1 of 24 , Jan 6, 2000
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      For a long time it seemed that it was accepted that John knew the
      synoptics, and he didn't feel the need to repeat what they wrote. I
      have read some recently that assumed he didn't know the synoptics and
      was independent of them.

      If he didn't know them, would it account for his different choices of
      material and different perspective on Jesus?

      Current bibliography would be helpful, as well.

      Thanks
      Brian Tucker
      jbtucker@...
    • ejdanna@trapdoor.arvotek.net
      I for one would be interested in hearing more about the relationship between the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Matthew. Let s hear more from whoever raised
      Message 2 of 24 , Jan 7, 2000
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        I for one would be interested in hearing more about the relationship
        between the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Matthew. Let's hear more
        from whoever raised the issue in a recent posting.
        Elizabeth Danna
      • Brian Tucker
        ... This is what I was thinking...P. Gardner-Smith virtually proved Johannine independence from the Synoptic Gospels. Yet, there are some common accounts found
        Message 3 of 24 , Jan 7, 2000
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          ejdanna@... wrote:

          > I for one would be interested in hearing more about the relationship
          > between the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Matthew. Let's hear more
          > from whoever raised the issue in a recent posting.
          > Elizabeth Danna

          This is what I was thinking...P. Gardner-Smith virtually proved Johannine independence from the Synoptic Gospels. Yet, there are some
          common accounts found in all four gospels (e.g., the feeding of the five thousand, the cleansing of the temple, the statements about John
          the Baptist, certain dominical sayings, etc.). And in these common accounts there are occasionally remarkable verbal parallels. Yet, if
          John did not employ the synoptics to write his gospel, why are these parallels so remarkable? There must have been a common oral
          tradition that both John and the synoptics drew from.

          Thanks
          Brian Tucker
          jbtucker@...
          Riverview, MI
        • Paul Anderson
          Good questions, Brian. I still find Gardner-Smith s work and conclusion convincing, but I think the evidence qualifies what is meant by independence. John s
          Message 4 of 24 , Jan 7, 2000
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            Good questions, Brian.

            I still find Gardner-Smith's work and conclusion convincing, but I think
            the evidence qualifies what is meant by "independence." John's tradition
            is not derived from the Synoptics; it has its own independent origins
            going back at least to the pre-Marcan stages of tradition, and probably
            earlier. Here's why:

            -- Of the 45 contacts I found between John 6 (feeding, sea-crossing,
            discourses, Peter's confession) and Mark 6 and 8 (25 and 21 respectively,
            see Tables 7 and 8) there are 0 identical connections. This is highly
            significant! It does suggest contact, but not borrowing from a written
            source. Did the Marcan tradition(s) borrow from the Johannine oral
            rendering of the stories? Further, when Mark 6 and 8 are considered side
            by side, these seem to be two independent-yet-related traditional
            developments on roughly similar events, and John's is a third traditional
            development of the same. Look at Dodd's Historical Tradition for an
            extensive develpment of these issues.

            -- Then again, John appears to be familiar with at least some of written
            Mark, and some of Mark's crafting of the narrative, and some corrective
            counterbalancing in John suggest a dialogical response to Mark. So John
            is independent, but also interactive with the Marcan tradition both before
            and after its finalization. A question I do not have an answer to is the
            degree to which the early and later Marcan tradition may have been
            interactive with the Johannine.

            On Matthew, other sorts of parallels exist, but again, not in a derivative
            way in either direction. Rather, two sectors of Christianity appear to
            have been engaging at least parallel sorts of issues, and they work
            together, and to some degree dialectically, in addressing them. And yet,
            John appears somewhat corrective here as well. Is Peter portrayed, for
            instance, as RETURNING the keys to Jesus in John 6? (YOU -- not I, or
            those who follow in my wake -- have the words of eternal life!) I found
            at least seven parallels to Matthew 16:17-19 in John (see Table 20), and
            all of them are different! Does this imply a set of corrective
            differences in the name of an independent Jesus tradition posing Jesus'
            original intentionality for the church? Maybe so. Then again, I do not
            think the fourth evangelist has written Matthew in front of him, but is
            addressing problematic uses of structure legitimation by the likes of
            Diotrephes and his kin as represented in III John.

            So John is indeed independent from the Synoptics, but there were different
            sorts of interactivity with each of the traditions. Q, for instance, may
            also have borrowed from the Johannine tradition.

            PA


            Paul N. Anderson
            Associate Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies
            George Fox University
            Newberg, OR 97132
            503-554-2651
          • Fred Guyette
            Usually I like to lurk on the John list, but I will leap from the shadows now to suggest an article that might help survey the state of the question. I write
            Message 5 of 24 , Jan 7, 2000
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              Usually I like to lurk on the John list, but I will leap from the
              shadows now to suggest an article that might help survey the
              state of the question. I write abstracts for "Religious and
              Theological Abstracts" and here is one that I just sent off:

              Neirynck, F. "John and the Synoptics in Recent Commentaries."
              Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanesium  1998, 74 (4): 386-397.

              For many years it has been a fairly common assumption in Biblical scholarship that
              John’s gospel is independent of the Synoptics. John has been judged different enough in
              literary structure, theological vocabulary, and chronology of Jesus’ ministry to support
              this estimation. Recently, however, a number of studies have questioned this assessment,
              among them Denaux, Boismard, and Wilckens. Many similarities between John and the
              Synoptics are noted, including their recourse to the gospel genre, their account of Jesus’
              trial, and their treatment of the resurrection.    FWG
               

              So a visit to your friendly interlibrary loan person may be in order...

              Fred Guyette
              Due West, SC

            • Antonio Jerez
              ... I am a bit intrigued by this assertion. What exactly do you mean by saying that there are 0 identical connections between John 6 and Mark 6 and 8? Do you
              Message 6 of 24 , Jan 7, 2000
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                Paul Anderson wrote:

                > Good questions, Brian.
                >
                > I still find Gardner-Smith's work and conclusion convincing, but I think
                > the evidence qualifies what is meant by "independence." John's tradition
                > is not derived from the Synoptics; it has its own independent origins
                > going back at least to the pre-Marcan stages of tradition, and probably
                > earlier. Here's why:
                >
                > -- Of the 45 contacts I found between John 6 (feeding, sea-crossing,
                > discourses, Peter's confession) and Mark 6 and 8 (25 and 21 respectively,
                > see Tables 7 and 8) there are 0 identical connections. This is highly
                > significant! It does suggest contact, but not borrowing from a written
                > source.

                I am a bit intrigued by this assertion. What exactly do you mean by saying that
                there are "0 identical connections" between John 6 and Mark 6 and 8? Do you
                mean that John and Mark don't share enough common words in single sentences
                to warrant the guess that one may have borrowed from the other?

                If this is the position you take I respectfully disagree. Why should we expect
                every gospel writer to work in the same way? In my opinion it should be obvious
                that the author of GJohn is not a copycat in the same way as Matthew or Luke.
                I would claim that he is a much freer artist and would feel it beneath his dignity
                to copy verse after verse from another work without heavy, and I mean really
                heavy revision. That this is not only pure guesswork on my part can also be shown
                by the way John handles the OT - while Matthew and the other synoptic writers
                just pick up quotations wholesale from the OT the author of John alludes to it in a
                much more subtle way.


                > Did the Marcan tradition(s) borrow from the Johannine oral
                > rendering of the stories? Further, when Mark 6 and 8 are considered side
                > by side, these seem to be two independent-yet-related traditional
                > developments on roughly similar events, and John's is a third traditional
                > development of the same. Look at Dodd's Historical Tradition for an
                > extensive develpment of these issues.
                >
                > -- Then again, John appears to be familiar with at least some of written
                > Mark, and some of Mark's crafting of the narrative, and some corrective
                > counterbalancing in John suggest a dialogical response to Mark. So John
                > is independent, but also interactive with the Marcan tradition both before
                > and after its finalization. A question I do not have an answer to is the
                > degree to which the early and later Marcan tradition may have been
                > interactive with the Johannine.

                May I ask another question. Around what date do you think the first edition
                of GJohn was written. When was it revised?

                > So John is indeed independent from the Synoptics, but there were different
                > sorts of interactivity with each of the traditions. Q, for instance, may
                > also have borrowed from the Johannine tradition.

                I don't think there is any need at all to complicate things further by positing that
                Q has borrowed from the Johannines. What indications do you have for that?
                Personally I'm far from convinced that Q has even existed.

                Best wishes

                Antonio Jerez
                Goteborg University
                antonio.jerez@...
              • Maluflen@aol.com
                In a message dated 1/7/2000 9:59:54 AM Eastern Standard Time, ejdanna@trapdoor.arvotek.net writes:
                Message 7 of 24 , Jan 7, 2000
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                  In a message dated 1/7/2000 9:59:54 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                  ejdanna@... writes:

                  << I for one would be interested in hearing more about the relationship
                  between the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Matthew. Let's hear more
                  from whoever raised the issue in a recent posting.
                  Elizabeth Danna >>

                  Dear Elizabeth,

                  I am afraid this means me, and am sorry to report that I simply do not feel
                  up to the task at the moment. I haven't taught John in about five years, and
                  am otherwise occupied these days. I do recall noticing however, when I was
                  teaching John, with the Synoptics very much in mind, that there are profound
                  contacts, at the level of symbolic background and theological ideas, between
                  John and Matthew (not merely verbal borrowing, as one sometimes finds between
                  Mark and John) that have gone almost entirely undetected by scholars. I think
                  it is a great field for further study, and should be carried through without
                  the assumption of Markan priority for best results. Sorry I cannot come up
                  with more specifics at the moment. But part of the thrill of this type of
                  exercise is doing it yourself. I can't wait to have the time to do it again
                  myself! You will find that you will be forced to read both Gospels much more
                  deeply than ever before. John the Baptist, the words of Jesus, Jesus as
                  shepherd of Israel, the blind guides that are the established leaders of
                  Israel, various dimensions of Jesus' divine sonship, Jesus as the light of
                  Israel and the world, discipleship and the cross -- these are just some of
                  the subjects that could generate fruitful comparison between the two Gospels.

                  Leonard Maluf
                • Maluflen@aol.com
                  In a message dated 1/7/2000 12:04:45 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@georgefox.edu writes:
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jan 7, 2000
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                    In a message dated 1/7/2000 12:04:45 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                    panderso@... writes:

                    << On Matthew, other sorts of parallels exist [with John], but again, not in
                    a derivative way in either direction. >>


                    I think this statement goes beyond the evidence. If by "derivative", you mean
                    simply that John did not copy Matthew verbatim, then the case can be made.
                    But if this was simply not at all John's way of using earlier sources (and
                    some support for this view can be gleaned from the way in which many passages
                    in John can be said to "derive" from OT texts, without much verbal
                    borrowing), which is entirely possible, then John can make good sense as a
                    text derived (among other things) from reflection on Matthew.

                    Leonard Maluf
                  • Maluflen@aol.com
                    In a message dated 1/7/2000 3:17:52 PM Eastern Standard Time, antonio.jerez@privat.utfors.se writes:
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jan 7, 2000
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                      In a message dated 1/7/2000 3:17:52 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                      antonio.jerez@... writes:

                      << That this is not only pure guesswork on my part can also be shown
                      by the way John handles the OT - while Matthew and the other synoptic writers
                      just pick up quotations wholesale from the OT the author of John alludes to
                      it in a
                      much more subtle way. >>

                      Dear Antonio,

                      While I agree with the substance of your remarks from which the above is
                      excerpted, your statement here is misleading (though my comments should
                      probably be directed to the Synoptic-L list). It is misleading to say at
                      least of Matthew and Luke that they "just" pick up quotations wholesale from
                      the OT. They do this on occasion (and Matthew notably more often than Luke),
                      but they both also (and I mean Matthew too!) very frequently employ the OT in
                      much the same way as John, by subtle allusion. It is also a fact that John
                      occasionally cites the OT. This means that the difference between John,
                      Matthew and Luke is not as dramatic as portrayed above, and as one frequently
                      finds stated in the literature.

                      Leonard Maluf
                    • Paul Anderson
                      Dear Antonio, thank you for your questions and good points. They are well taken, and I agree that John s artistry is different from the Synoptics, so
                      Message 10 of 24 , Jan 7, 2000
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                        Dear Antonio, thank you for your questions and good points. They are well
                        taken, and I agree that John's artistry is different from the Synoptics,
                        so "dependence" and "influence" must certainly be considered different
                        from relationships between the Synoptics, if indeed it was such.

                        But why do we assume John "borrowed" from any of the Synoptics, especially
                        when the contacts are far less precise than clearer borrowings from Hebrew
                        Scripture? Why not assume they borrowed from John? Luke obviously did
                        (see my Appendix 8 and Mark Matson's recent and massive Duke dissertation
                        -- see also Lamar Cribbs' under-noted work). An extremely shaky set of
                        moves taken by Brodie, and Neirynck and company is to assume that all
                        similarities imply Johannine dependence on other gospels. How can such a
                        view be confirmed or disconfirmed?

                        Your point on the indirect use of Scripture is an excellent one.
                        Certainly, direct uses of Scripture in John suggest working from a text --
                        with varying degrees of closeness. But how do you know scriptural imagery
                        and motifs were text based? Maybe they emerged from oral traditions or
                        homilies where the evangelist may never have seen a text on those passages
                        at all? So, if the evangelist is engaging material represented in Matthew
                        and Mark, for instance, how do we know a text was even perused, especially
                        when there indeed are no exact, word-for-word phrases (exmp. green grass
                        vs. much grass) that are identical.

                        This is why the evidence seems to confirm John's basic autonomy and
                        non-derivative independence from the Synoptics, and yet there is some
                        interactivity with some of the material -- but probably with oral
                        developments of it.
                        >
                        >May I ask another question. Around what date do you think the first
                        >edition
                        >of GJohn was written. When was it revised?

                        My guess would be around 80, and Lindars' theory seems most convincing to
                        me; Ashton thinks so too. I also think John was finalized around 100, but
                        such implies nothing of its origins.
                        >
                        >
                        >I don't think there is any need at all to complicate things further by
                        >positing that
                        >Q has borrowed from the Johannines. What indications do you have for
                        >that?
                        >Personally I'm far from convinced that Q has even existed.

                        Right. Was "Q" one source, or many? And, maybe Q was a "Whom" instead of
                        a "What" -- or several. But look at Matt.11:27 and Luke 10:22:

                        "All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the
                        Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any
                        one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."

                        All four of these themes are rife within the Johannine tradition, but
                        scant (at least together, in this sort of terse way) in the Synoptics.
                        So, this is not a characteristic Q theme, but a Johannine theme, somehow
                        employed here. Therefore, the Q tradition (contra Mack et al) was not the
                        earliest tradition, but the Johannine tradition preceded Q. Or if you
                        take a Matthean priority (which I do not), Matthew must have borrowed from
                        John.
                        >

                        Then again, maybe Q or Matthew did not get it from John's oral and fluent
                        tradition, but from Jesus (problematic, but not impossible). If so, John
                        has an adequate presentation of Jesus which is largely missed by the other
                        gospels (I'm not claiming this is so, just that it is a not-impossible
                        consideration if one rejects the Johannine tradition as a possible source
                        for a bit of Q).
                        >

                        These are but a few of the considered reasons for my judgments.

                        Thanks,

                        PA
                        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 11:52:40 PM Eastern Standard Time, jbtucker@driveninc.com writes:
                        Message 11 of 24 , Jan 8, 2000
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                          In a message dated 1/6/2000 11:52:40 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                          jbtucker@... writes:

                          << For a long time it seemed that it was accepted that John knew the
                          synoptics, and he didn't feel the need to repeat what they wrote. I
                          have read some recently that assumed he didn't know the synoptics and
                          was independent of them.

                          If he didn't know them, would it account for his different choices of
                          material and different perspective on Jesus?
                          >>

                          Yes, of course it would, but "his different choices of material and different
                          perspective on Jesus" are also fully possible if John did know the Synoptics,
                          and there is much evidence to suggest that he did.

                          Leonard Maluf
                        • Maluflen@aol.com
                          In a message dated 1/7/2000 11:59:43 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@georgefox.edu writes:
                          Message 12 of 24 , Jan 8, 2000
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                            In a message dated 1/7/2000 11:59:43 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                            panderso@... writes:

                            << But look at Matt.11:27 and Luke 10:22:

                            "All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the
                            Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any
                            one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."

                            All four of these themes are rife within the Johannine tradition, but
                            scant (at least together, in this sort of terse way) in the Synoptics.
                            So, this is not a characteristic Q theme, but a Johannine theme, somehow
                            employed here. Therefore, the Q tradition (contra Mack et al) was not the
                            earliest tradition, but the Johannine tradition preceded Q. Or if you
                            take a Matthean priority (which I do not), Matthew must have borrowed from
                            John. >>

                            Before one speaks of borrowing from John here, one should note in detail how
                            "Matthean" every element of this citation really is: "all things have been
                            delivered to me.." (cf. Matt 28:18; 4:9); "my father" (quite frequent in
                            Matt); "being given to know..what is revealed (or mysteries)" (Matt 13:11);
                            the Father's will being secret and hidden (Matt 24:36); the "royal"
                            implications for the Son in the emphasis on his effective "choosing" (Matt:
                            passim). If one does not assume Markan priority, Matt 11:27 does not in any
                            way surprise the informed reader of Matt, or inspire her to look elsewhere
                            for a source of its formulation or ideas.

                            Leonard Maluf
                          • Antonio Jerez
                            Paul Anderson wrote: Dear Paul, ... Your answer does indicate that you have taken my position to be that John has borrowed from all the synoptics. That is not
                            Message 13 of 24 , Jan 8, 2000
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                              Paul Anderson wrote:

                              Dear Paul,

                              thanks for answering some of my questions. You wrote:

                              > But why do we assume John "borrowed" from any of the Synoptics, especially
                              > when the contacts are far less precise than clearer borrowings from Hebrew
                              > Scripture? Why not assume they borrowed from John? Luke obviously did
                              > (see my Appendix 8 and Mark Matson's recent and massive Duke dissertation
                              > -- see also Lamar Cribbs' under-noted work). An extremely shaky set of
                              > moves taken by Brodie, and Neirynck and company is to assume that all
                              > similarities imply Johannine dependence on other gospels. How can such a
                              > view be confirmed or disconfirmed?

                              Your answer does indicate that you have taken my position to be that John has
                              borrowed from all the synoptics. That is not my claim. Based on the evidence I
                              would only say that it is clear beyond a reasonable doubt that John has read GMark
                              and used it as a framework for his own gospel. The linguistic, thematic and structural
                              points of contacts between GMark and GJohn are just too many for me to think that
                              they are independent or that the dependence is only indirect. I also believe that there
                              is some direct litterary contact between GLuke and GJohn - although I'm not really sure
                              yet in what direction the influence goes. Maybe you, Matson and Cribbs are right. About
                              the relation between GMatthew and GJohn I think the evidence is too slim to come to
                              any conclusion.

                              > Your point on the indirect use of Scripture is an excellent one.
                              > Certainly, direct uses of Scripture in John suggest working from a text --
                              > with varying degrees of closeness. But how do you know scriptural imagery
                              > and motifs were text based? Maybe they emerged from oral traditions or
                              > homilies where the evangelist may never have seen a text on those passages
                              > at all? So, if the evangelist is engaging material represented in Matthew
                              > and Mark, for instance, how do we know a text was even perused, especially
                              > when there indeed are no exact, word-for-word phrases (exmp. green grass
                              > vs. much grass) that are identical.

                              You ask how I know John's scriptural imagery and motifs were text based. Because
                              as far as I know the most of the OT had already been in "print" for centuries when
                              John made his creative 'Midrash' on those texts. I very much doubt that the author/authors
                              of GJohn had never read from a Torah scroll. Besides, even if he had just heard Torah
                              orally I would not call that an oral tradition since in my opinion what he heard was just
                              written tradition that is transmitted orally on certain occasions.
                              But you are right that it is a difficulty that John doesn't take over word-for-word phrases
                              the same way that Matthew and Luke do from Mark. That is probably the main reason why
                              so many scholars don't think there is a direct dependence between John and the synoptics.
                              So why don't I go along with them? Because it is the overall combination of factors - lingustic,
                              thematic and structural - that tilts the balance in favour of Johannine dependence on at least
                              GMark. There is also another important factor that I will tell you about later.

                              > This is why the evidence seems to confirm John's basic autonomy and
                              > non-derivative independence from the Synoptics, and yet there is some
                              > interactivity with some of the material -- but probably with oral
                              > developments of it.

                              I am deeply sceptical about using the "oral factor" when it comes to solving
                              difficulties in gospel relationships. The "oral factor" is a very elastic thing
                              that can be used to prop up just about any hole in the ship. I'm not convinced
                              at all that stories like the feeding of the 4000 and 5000 in the gospels ever
                              floated around among the early Christian churches in an everchanging sea of
                              oral traditons. I think those stories, like many others, started out as written
                              'midrash' by Christian scribes like Mark and were transmitted in written
                              form and embellished in written form by other Christian scribes like Matthew,
                              Luke and John. I don't see any need to posit oral tradition at all in cases like
                              this.

                              > >May I ask another question. Around what date do you think the first
                              > >edition
                              > >of GJohn was written. When was it revised?
                              >
                              > My guess would be around 80, and Lindars' theory seems most convincing to
                              > me; Ashton thinks so too. I also think John was finalized around 100, but
                              > such implies nothing of its origins.

                              I had a hunch that this would be your answer. And I have to tell you what I have
                              told other scholars earlier. What constantly suprises me is the kind of view that
                              this entails for the kind of contacts that were prevalent among the Chistian Churches
                              in the first century. Personally I cannot fathom that a Christian preacher-scribe in
                              let´s say Ephesus or Alexandria in the early 80ies would not have seen a copy of
                              a 'revolutionary' litterary innovation like GMark that had already been in circulation
                              for about a decade. I find it even more incredible - given what Paul's letters, the
                              Johannine letters and Revelation tell us about the close contacts between the early
                              Christian Churches - that a redactor of GJohn hadn't even seen a copy of GMark
                              around the year 100. No, I simply don't buy this.


                              Best wishes

                              Antonio Jerez
                              Goteborg University, Sweden
                              antonio.jerez@...
                            • Paul Anderson
                              Dear Antonio, Thank you for clarifying your views; these sorts of dialogues help me also clarify mine. I do think John was aware of written Mark, and with
                              Message 14 of 24 , Jan 8, 2000
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                                Dear Antonio,

                                Thank you for clarifying your views; these sorts of dialogues help me also
                                clarify mine. I do think John was aware of written Mark, and with you, I
                                believe familiarity with Mark influenced the formation of John in a
                                variety of ways. This is different, however, from traditional derivation;
                                John's tradition has its own origins. I read the excellent thesis of one
                                of William Loader's students, David Mackay, entitled, 'Are traces of
                                dependence on Mark 6-8 and related passages to be found in John 6? A
                                contribution to the debate on John's relationship with Mark.' It is an
                                excellent piece, and I have also recommended it for publication. It
                                develops the points you are making, Antonio, and I think you'd like it.

                                On the other hand, I believe there is ample evidence to suggest contact
                                between the pre-Marcan and Johannine traditions before Mark was finalized.
                                The reason this material suggests orality, if gospel redaction analysis
                                tells us anything, is that the material common to Mark and John (omitted
                                by Matthew's and Luke's redactions of Mark) indicates two sorts of
                                contrasts between Marcan and Johannine traditions and choices made by
                                written traditions using a written tradition. These include nonsymbolic
                                illustrative detail, and theological asides (see Tables 10-15). Common
                                patterns also extend to the Passion narratives and the Temple cleansing.
                                These are some of the reasons I call the pre-Marcan and early Johannine
                                traditional relationships interfluential. The Johannine may have
                                contributed to some of the pre-Marcan material as well.

                                PA


                                Paul N. Anderson
                                Associate Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies
                                George Fox University
                                Newberg, OR 97132
                                503-554-2651
                              • Antonio Jerez
                                Dear Paul, thanks for your further clarifications. I must admit that I am still a bit confused about your position. Maybe the problem stems from what I read in
                                Message 15 of 24 , Jan 9, 2000
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                                  Dear Paul,

                                  thanks for your further clarifications. I must admit that I am still a bit confused
                                  about your position. Maybe the problem stems from what I read in one of your
                                  earlier messages. On 27 December 1999 you wrote:

                                  "b) Gardner-Smith was correct regarding John's nondependence on the
                                  Synoptics, but this does not imply non-engagement with the traditions.
                                  Further, just because John is finalized latest (ca. 100), this does not
                                  imply the Johannine tradition does not go back to the ministry of Jesus in
                                  some independent way. Against the view Barrett and others in the last
                                  decade or more, I found 45 contacts between John 6 and Mark, but 0
                                  identical contacts (see respective tables), making John's dependence on
                                  written Mark an impossible view to hold. Nor are there any entirely
                                  identical references between Mark and John suggestive of documentary
                                  dependence. "

                                  I took this to mean that you believed that there were no direct points of
                                  contacts between GMark and GJohn, i e the author of GJohn had not
                                  read GMark and did not use parts of it to develop his own "midrash" on
                                  scenes that he found in GMark. This is what I would call the true non-dependence
                                  position. Now in your latest message you tell me that you "do think John was
                                  aware of written Mark". The crucial question is what you mean by the word "aware".
                                  Had the author of GJohn only heard by word of mouth about the existence of
                                  GMark? Had the author of GJohn only by word of mouth a scetchy idea about the
                                  rough outline and content of GMark? Or had the author of GJohn read a copy of
                                  GMark and was influenced by it. The last alternative is what I define as the dependence
                                  position. Maybe we are using different definitions of what counts as non-dependence
                                  and dependence.

                                  Best wishes

                                  Antonio Jerez
                                  Goteborg University, Sweden
                                  antonio.jerez@...
                                • Paul Anderson
                                  Dear Antonio, I can see why you mistook part of what I was saying. Let me clarify even further, as a great source of misundersanding and error among scholars
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Jan 10, 2000
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                                    Dear Antonio,

                                    I can see why you mistook part of what I was saying. Let me clarify even
                                    further, as a great source of misundersanding and error among scholars on
                                    this matter is to assume a single aspect of contact between traditions may
                                    have been the only one. Then again, the more complex one's reconstruction
                                    is, the more extended it becomes. Nevertheless, here's an attempt to
                                    address the multivalence of what evidence seems to suggest about
                                    Johannine/Marcan contacts:

                                    a) Pre-contact, bi-optic origins of John and Mark. The Johannine
                                    tradition does not begin with Mark, nor does the Marcan with John.
                                    Significant parts of both traditions originate from contacts with, and
                                    distinctive reflections upon the ministry of Jesus (see chapter 7 and
                                    Appendix 8 in my book). There never was a time where there was only one
                                    primitive gospel tradition, and Jesus was perceived with considerable
                                    ambiguity and difference (even by his followers) from the first. This is
                                    not to say everything in these two bi-optic traditions goes back to Jesus;
                                    it is to say they have independent sources of derivation (with
                                    Gardner-Smith, not that he would put it in this way). The Johannine
                                    tradition develops in its own paraphrastic way; but, but so does the
                                    Marcan.

                                    b) Interfluential contact. Apparently, the pre-Marcan and early Johannine
                                    traditions came into contact before Mark was finalized, as evidenced by
                                    much of the material common uniquely to John and Mark. For whatever
                                    reason, Matthew and Luke leave out several types of material in their
                                    redactions of Mark, including non-symbolic detail (names of persons,
                                    descriptions of settings, 200 and 300 denarii, etc.) and theological
                                    asides (he had compassion upon them for they were like sheep without a
                                    shepherd, etc.). On the other hand, does the presence of this sort of
                                    material in Mark and John refeflect traces of orality? Possibly, although
                                    proof either way is impossible. Whatever the case, Matthew and Luke
                                    normally do not add names and detail to Marcan units (ie. they do not
                                    "historicize" the drama); they do, however, add units of their own.
                                    Contacts between Mark's and John's traditions are many, but they do not
                                    reflect copying from a manuscript, as none of them is identical. Perhaps
                                    two preachers, hearing the ways each other told stories explains best the
                                    ways these contacts emerged. Q has apparently picked up on a Johannine
                                    theme which the Marcan tradition has not during this stage of transmission.

                                    c) Responses to written Mark. Did "familiarity" with written Mark come
                                    from hearing or reading, or even hearing about Mark? Impossible to know.
                                    Whatever the case, larger features in the stories do suggest something
                                    more in depth than simply hearing about the existence of Mark. MacKay
                                    (Professor Loader's student) believes John may have "heard" Mark being
                                    read in a meeting for worship; not a bad hypothesis. Whatever the case,
                                    John's project was probably inspired by Mark, but John also has in mind
                                    setting the record straight on several matters. Material already included
                                    is not felt to be essential, although some of it is included. The first
                                    edition of John thus emerges as an augmentation of Mark in complementary
                                    and corrective sorts of ways.

                                    d) Luke departs from Mark at least three dozen times and sides with the
                                    Johannine tradition. Why? Luke apparently believes the Johannine
                                    traditon to be credible; therefore, Luke adds such details as the "right"
                                    ear cut off and Satan "entering" Judas, conflates such material as the
                                    catch of fish (into his calling narrative) and Peter's confession (John's
                                    "of God" with Mark's "the Christ") into his narrative, leaves out such
                                    material as a second feeding and second sea-crossing, alters Mark's
                                    tradition by making the anointing a foot anointing instead of a head
                                    anointing (an unlikely move otherwise) and placing Peter's confession
                                    after the other feeding (with John, a radical move, here!), adds
                                    traditional units such as the Mary and Martha story and the Emmaus
                                    appearance, and adds theological content such as Holy Spirit emphases and
                                    Jesus' concern for Samaritans and women. Is this traditional borrowing
                                    alluded to in Luke 1:2, where he says he draws material from eye witnesses
                                    and servants of the LOGOS? Quite possibly (see Appendix 8 for more). Did
                                    John know written Luke? A less certain probability than John's knowing
                                    written Mark, but certainly possible.

                                    e) Johannine and Matthean contacts. These may have been as early as the
                                    pre-Marcan (depending on how early one places the formation of particular
                                    parts of the Matthean tradition), but they certainly appear to represent
                                    contacts from the 70's on. Several issues appear to have been engaged in
                                    parallel ways, including the defense of Jesus as being sent from God in
                                    the Deuteronomy 18 Mosaic typology as an appeal to local Jewish members of
                                    their respective audiences (part of the first edition of John, and the
                                    rhetorical use of the signs). A second set of issues (esp. in the later
                                    Johannine material -- chs. 6, 15-17, 21, etc.) related to Christocracy,
                                    the means by which the risen Lord continues to lead the church, emerge. I
                                    doubt that Matthean Christianity read parts of John, or that Johannine
                                    Christians had read Matthew (although either is certainly possible), but
                                    they do appear to be engaging one another's approaches as well as common
                                    sets of issues. A part of the interest in the finalization of John
                                    relates to setting out a presentation of Jesus' original intentinality for
                                    his church, and some of this also appears corrective. Emphases upon the
                                    suffering of Jesus and incarnational motifs combat docetising tendencies,
                                    and the juxtaposition of Peter and the Beloved Disciple pose a corrective
                                    to rising institutionalisation in the late first-century church. Some of
                                    these correctives are also present within Matthew, which is why I say they
                                    address issues in parallel sorts of ways.

                                    I didn't have time to add appendices 9 and 10 to the book; I suppose I'd
                                    better get these things into an essay or two.

                                    Thanks!

                                    PA


                                    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 1/10/2000 3:14:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@georgefox.edu writes:
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Jan 10, 2000
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                                      In a message dated 1/10/2000 3:14:02 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                      panderso@... writes:

                                      << For whatever
                                      reason, Matthew and Luke leave out several types of material in their
                                      redactions of Mark >>

                                      "For whatever reason"...The fact that there is no GOOD reason for this ought
                                      to make one suspect that Matt and Lk were written before Mark, and that
                                      Mark's gospel is literarily closer to John's, because its redaction was
                                      temporally closer to John than were the other synoptics. Mark does show
                                      specific traits of late development within the Synoptic tradition which are
                                      analogous, even when not identical, to traits that characterize John with
                                      respect to the Synoptic tradition as a whole.

                                      Leonard Maluf
                                    • Maluflen@aol.com
                                      In a message dated 1/10/2000 3:14:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@georgefox.edu writes:
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Jan 10, 2000
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                                        In a message dated 1/10/2000 3:14:02 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                        panderso@... writes:

                                        << Luke departs from Mark at least three dozen times and sides with the
                                        Johannine tradition. Why? Luke apparently believes the Johannine
                                        traditon to be credible; therefore, Luke adds such details as the "right"
                                        ear cut off and Satan "entering" Judas, conflates such material as the
                                        catch of fish (into his calling narrative) and Peter's confession (John's
                                        "of God" with Mark's "the Christ") into his narrative, leaves out such
                                        material as a second feeding and second sea-crossing, alters Mark's
                                        tradition by making the anointing a foot anointing instead of a head
                                        anointing (an unlikely move otherwise) and placing Peter's confession
                                        after the other feeding (with John, a radical move, here!), adds
                                        traditional units such as the Mary and Martha story and the Emmaus
                                        appearance, and adds theological content such as Holy Spirit emphases and
                                        Jesus' concern for Samaritans and women. Is this traditional borrowing
                                        alluded to in Luke 1:2, where he says he draws material from eye witnesses
                                        and servants of the LOGOS? >>

                                        This all strikes me as a circular kind of argumentation. Luke is said to
                                        borrow from John, because John contains certain features that are found in
                                        Luke and not in the other Synoptics. Logically, all that can be deduced from
                                        this is that one OR the other Evangelist may have borrowed from the other, or
                                        had access to sources available to the other. In point of fact, when one
                                        reads Luke's Gospel as a dialectical reading and re-writing of Matthew, under
                                        Pauline influence (and of course always with an eye to OT parallels and
                                        background to Matthean texts as well) the above features are most naturally
                                        explained as coming out of Luke's head (and perhaps later influencing John).
                                        No need to connect what Luke writes in his prologue to the Johannine
                                        tradition either. LOGOS is the normal Lukan technical term for the Gospel
                                        message in Acts. And cf. Lk 8:11-12, where first "word of God" and then
                                        "word" are substituted for Matt's "logos tes basileias", [message of the
                                        kingdom]. Note that both Luke's original substitution (the Word of God) and
                                        his abbreviation thereof (the Word) are common designations for the Gospel
                                        preached by the Jerusalem apostles and Paul in Acts. It is also Pauline
                                        terminology (cf. 1 Thess 1:6; 2:13, etc.).

                                        Years ago I was impressed by the view that Luke may have borrowed from the
                                        Johannine tradition (it was half a centuray ago, and perhaps still is, the
                                        view of the great Catholic scholar Andre Feuillet, and it usually reflects a
                                        concern to bolster the historicity of details in the Lukan account). But more
                                        recently I have progressively moved toward seeing this as an unlikely
                                        position. It remains possible (Luke probably spent some time at Ephesus), but
                                        it always seems more likely to me that the literary influence was primarily
                                        in the reverse direction. One thing that has to be kept in mind is the fact
                                        that Luke is extremely creative in his use of the Matthean tradition - this,
                                        whether or not his creativity therewith has parallels in the Johannine
                                        tradition. Therefore, one should not assume that a departure of Luke from
                                        Matt (or Mark, as many of you would say) requires borrowing from the
                                        Johannine tradition as an explanation. It is usually fully comprehensible as
                                        theologically-literarily motivated. Implicit in my disagreement with the
                                        above expressed position is, I think, a fundamentally different understanding
                                        of Luke's project. I do not see Luke as interested in "credibility" in the
                                        sense of "correcting" the historical accuracy of details in his narratives,
                                        with respect to older accounts. Luke's project is primarily "theological"
                                        (one might say ideological) in character, and even the details of his
                                        narratives are more in the service of his theology than likely to be
                                        historically rooted or motivated. In his Gospel, Luke is in fact, in my view,
                                        doing theology in narrative. Among other things, he is attempting to
                                        reconcile the theology of the Jerusalem apostles (Matthew, Peter, etc.) with
                                        that of Paul and a theology of the Gentile mission. The basic story of Jesus
                                        is assumed to be known to Luke's audience already from Matthew. Of course it
                                        also needs to be said that an important part of Luke's "theology" is a
                                        theological understanding of history itself. In this sense, Luke is then
                                        intensely interested in "history", but in the broad sense of understanding
                                        and formalizing its major, divinely guided articulations.

                                        Leonard Maluf
                                      • Mark Goodacre
                                        ... Thanks for the bibliography. A couple more pieces of bibliog. on the question might be helpful: Adelbert Denaux (ed.), _John and the Synoptics_ (BETL 90;
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Jan 10, 2000
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                                          On 7 Jan 00, at 13:49, Fred Guyette wrote:

                                          > Neirynck, F. "John and the Synoptics in Recent Commentaries."
                                          > Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanesium 1998, 74 (4): 386-397.

                                          Thanks for the bibliography. A couple more pieces of bibliog. on the question
                                          might be helpful:

                                          Adelbert Denaux (ed.), _John and the Synoptics_ (BETL 90; Leuven : Leuven
                                          University Press, 1992)

                                          It features articles by Neirynck & Goulder, among others, on the question of
                                          dependence.

                                          One recent book that argued for an independent John was:

                                          Lawrence M. Wills, The Quest of the Historical Gospel: Mark, John and the
                                          Origins of the Gospel Genre (London/ New York: Routledge, 1997)

                                          I recently had a review of it published in RBL:

                                          http://www.bookreviews.org/Reviews/0415150930.html

                                          Mark

                                          --------------------------------------
                                          Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                                          Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                                          University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
                                          Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

                                          http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                                          The New Testament Gateway
                                          All-in-One Biblical Resources Search
                                          Mark Without Q
                                          Aseneth Home Page
                                        • ejdanna@trapdoor.arvotek.net
                                          ... But then why write Mark at all, if Matt. and Lk. were already in existence? It seems easier to see them as an expansion of Mark than to see Mark as an
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Jan 10, 2000
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                                            On Mon, 10 Jan 2000 Maluflen@... wrote:

                                            > In a message dated 1/10/2000 3:14:02 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                            > panderso@... writes:
                                            >
                                            > << For whatever
                                            > reason, Matthew and Luke leave out several types of material in their
                                            > redactions of Mark >>
                                            >
                                            > "For whatever reason"...The fact that there is no GOOD reason for this ought
                                            > to make one suspect that Matt and Lk were written before Mark,

                                            But then why write Mark at all, if Matt. and Lk. were already in
                                            existence? It seems easier to see them as an expansion of Mark than to
                                            see Mark as an abbreviation of traditions that had already been solidified
                                            into written form. Notice also the places where Matt. and Luke smooth out
                                            some awkward Markan phrases, either to improve awkward grammar or clarify
                                            meaning. Surely this would not have been necessary if Mark had access to
                                            Matt. or Lk.?
                                            Elizabeth Danna
                                          • Maluflen@aol.com
                                            In a message dated 1/10/2000 9:53:20 AM Eastern Standard Time, ejdanna@trapdoor.arvotek.net writes:
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Jan 10, 2000
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                                              In a message dated 1/10/2000 9:53:20 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                              ejdanna@... writes:

                                              << "For whatever reason"...The fact that there is no GOOD reason for this
                                              ought
                                              > to make one suspect that Matt and Lk were written before Mark,

                                              But then why write Mark at all, if Matt. and Lk. were already in
                                              existence? It seems easier to see them as an expansion of Mark than to
                                              see Mark as an abbreviation of traditions that had already been solidified
                                              into written form. Notice also the places where Matt. and Luke smooth out
                                              some awkward Markan phrases, either to improve awkward grammar or clarify
                                              meaning. Surely this would not have been necessary if Mark had access to
                                              Matt. or Lk.? >>

                                              Dear Elizabeth,

                                              This, of course, raises the whole question of the Synoptic Problem. Though
                                              I am never adverse to reviewing the evidence for solutions to this problem
                                              with anyone, and from the ground up, I suspect that this is not the proper
                                              forum for such an exhilarating exercise. I perhaps should not have raised the
                                              question in the first place, but if you or anyone else wishes to discuss it
                                              with me off-list, I should be delighted to oblige (to the extent that this is
                                              compatible with my teaching schedule and responsibilities). It goes without
                                              saying that my remark to which you are responding should be taken to imply
                                              that, having carefully considered all the standard arguments in favor of
                                              Markan priority, I consider them to be less compelling than arguments for the
                                              contrary position.

                                              Leonard Maluf
                                            • Paul Anderson
                                              ... I don t imagine we ll fix these differences between our perspectives in this discussion group (nor would it be appropriate to attempt), but as you know,
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Jan 10, 2000
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                                                johannine_literature@egroups.com writes:
                                                >It goes without
                                                >saying that my remark to which you are responding should be taken to
                                                >imply
                                                >that, having carefully considered all the standard arguments in favor of
                                                >Markan priority, I consider them to be less compelling than arguments for
                                                >the
                                                >contrary position.
                                                >
                                                >Leonard Maluf

                                                I don't imagine we'll fix these differences between our perspectives in
                                                this discussion group (nor would it be appropriate to attempt), but as you
                                                know, such is a major factor in our disagreement, Leonard.

                                                Thanks so much,

                                                PA

                                                Paul N. Anderson
                                                Associate Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies
                                                George Fox University
                                                Newberg, OR 97132
                                                503-554-2651
                                              • Paul Anderson
                                                ... Not so fast, Leonard, I actually think there were good reasons, or at least explicable ones. This is an attempt to be generous beyond particular
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Jan 10, 2000
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                                                  johannine_literature@egroups.com writes:
                                                  ><< For whatever
                                                  > reason, Matthew and Luke leave out several types of material in their
                                                  > redactions of Mark >>
                                                  >
                                                  >"For whatever reason"...The fact that there is no GOOD reason for this

                                                  Not so fast, Leonard, I actually think there were good reasons, or at
                                                  least explicable ones. This is an attempt to be generous beyond
                                                  particular explanations which I outline in my book. If you get a chance
                                                  to engage chapters 5-10 in my book and appendix 8, I'd appreciate your
                                                  response.

                                                  Thanks so much,

                                                  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 1/10/2000 3:27:40 PM Eastern Standard Time, panderso@georgefox.edu writes:
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Jan 10, 2000
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                                                    In a message dated 1/10/2000 3:27:40 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                                                    panderso@... writes:

                                                    << ><< For whatever
                                                    > reason, Matthew and Luke leave out several types of material in their
                                                    > redactions of Mark >>
                                                    >
                                                    >"For whatever reason"...The fact that there is no GOOD reason for this

                                                    Not so fast, Leonard, I actually think there were good reasons, or at
                                                    least explicable ones. This is an attempt to be generous beyond
                                                    particular explanations which I outline in my book. If you get a chance
                                                    to engage chapters 5-10 in my book and appendix 8, I'd appreciate your
                                                    response.>>

                                                    I guess I would put what I am trying to say this way. What most consider to
                                                    be major theological/literary influences of the synoptic tradition on John
                                                    (so I am not thinking here of things like number of denarii or cost of
                                                    ointment) are usually thought to be derived by John from Mark, or "Markan
                                                    tradition". The ONLY reason the connection is made to Mark, in these cases,
                                                    rather than to Matt, is because of the theory of Markan priority. In other
                                                    words, the particular influences so identified could, I think, usually be
                                                    demonstrated, from a synchronic perspective (i.e., without reference to a
                                                    diachronic source theory), to be in fact more characteristic of Matthew than
                                                    of Mark or Luke. To test the validity of my point, perhaps you would be so
                                                    kind as to begin the process by naming one or two things you would consider
                                                    to be major theological influences of the Synoptic tradition on John, and
                                                    then I would have to demonstrate, if I could, that the point in question is
                                                    in fact more Matthean than Markan, in terms of synchronic analysis of the two
                                                    Evangelists' respective texts.

                                                    Leonard Maluf
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