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[John_Lit] Re: priority

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  • kymhsm
    Dear John, You wrote,
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 1 1:37 PM
      Dear John,

      You wrote,

      <<<Thanks for your response. I think that you are going to far in
      trying to harmonize John and Mark's account when you say.>>>

      I have no real interest in trying to harmonize John with Mark or
      the other Synoptics. There is some material which could be
      reasonably placed but too much, especially Jesus' teaching,
      which could not be placed anywhere conclusively. I am happy to
      let them stand in their own right and I suspect that that is how
      their writers and first recipients treated them. I also suspect that
      concern over differences between the accounts only became an
      issue later, and that the claim of tension between the gospel
      writers is a relatively modern and unnecessary invention.

      <<< May I suggest a different reason why John placed the temple
      account right at the beginning? In Mark, it seems to be an
      important theme that the Messiahship of Jesus was unknown
      until 8v29 and then kept *secret* after that. In the temple scene,
      Jesus declares his identity in clear terms. This happens at the
      beginning of his ministry in the Johannine account; there isn't
      simply a shift of emphasis here. When does statement P mean
      (not P)? When it is being used as a literary device. I don't buy

      Though it would be better discussed on the Markan list, I am not
      particularly convinced by Wrede's Messianic Secret, though it
      seems to be a well accepted view now. Apart from the fact that
      Mark has Jesus caught up in what is obviously Messianic action
      from the beginning (1:8,9-11,14-15,24-25.), there was simply no
      need for him to hide it or to show Jesus as hiding it three
      decades later. There would be even less reason for him to do so
      if Mark was writing primarily for believers.

      Nor am I sure that there is a `statement P', as you are
      suggesting. Both gospels may be considering the same event –
      and I think they are – but the variations in them do not allow us to
      say that the one gospel is negating the other (i.e. `P' and `not P').
      It is true that Jesus' statement in John's account of the cleansing
      of the temple is a clear indication of his messianic claim –
      "…_my_ Father's house…", but it is not so in Mark. In the latter
      any zealous person could have objected to the trade in the
      temple saying "…_is it not written_, `My house…'" It is all that
      has gone on before that makes the cleansing a Messianic act in

      <<< There is more to it than simply a shift of emphasis. Hence (I
      believe) the forensic statements appearing in 4G, giving details
      where the authors are bending over backwards to prove that this
      account is based on a more reliable eyewitness than the other

      The `forensic statements' in John need not have been included
      to show that it was /is `based on a more reliable witness than
      the other accounts'. It may be, but it need not be. It certainly does
      make a claim for the reliability of its source/s. Such statements
      may simply be to assure its readers of the truthfulness of what
      they are/have been reading without any reference to or hint about
      other accounts or their accuracy. Again, I suspect it is we who
      read in this tension between gospel writers rather than it ever
      being a real issue.


      Kym Smith
      South Austrlaia
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