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[John_Lit] Re: Did John know the synoptics?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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