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Hofrichter's and Berger's views?

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  • Paul Anderson
    Thanks, Peter, could you help us out with your own bases for the dating of John early? I appreciate your pointing out the fact that high Christological
    Message 1 of 19 , Jan 10, 2004
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      Thanks, Peter, could you help us out with your own bases for the dating of John early? I appreciate your pointing out the fact that high Christological material in the pre-Pauline hymns (Phil. 2 and Col. 1, etc.) were completed earlier than some of our earliest NT writings (thus, as early as the 50's at the latest), so the need for locating the origination of John's Prologue as late-and-only-late does not hold.

      Could you share with us two things: a) how you deal with the fall of Jerusalem and an early dating of John (and what you do with Mark); and b) how your approach is similar to and different from Klaus Berger's approach? I know our colleagues will want to read the details in the Prioritaet collection, but an outlining of the views would help.

      Thanks so much!

      Paul Anderson

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Peter.Hofrichter [mailto:Peter.Hofrichter@...]
      Sent: Sat 1/10/2004 12:07 PM
      To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
      Cc:
      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Re: Redating the Gospel of John



      Dear friends,
      you should not discuss only Dodd and Robinson. Meanwhile there are much
      more developped agumentations and very different positions in detail
      concerning the "Priority of John" and what it means. A reminder of the
      ideas and the arguments of twenty or forty years ago is always
      interesting and helpful, but does not meet the status questionis. May I
      point again (Mark Matson did already) to the Salzburg Symposion of 2000
      where you find short and concise presentations by most scholars now
      active in this question. I don‘t want to bother you here with my own
      radical opinion, which can also be read. Both books were published at
      low price by Gorg Olms Verlag in 2002.
      With best regards
      Peter Hofrichter

      Am 10.01.2004 um 18:52 schrieb John E Staton:

      > Frides,
      > 3 points:
      > 1. When I say that Dodd was "more careful", that is not the same as
      > saying
      > that Robinson was "careless". I would not necessarily use the word
      > "conservative" to define Dodd, unless it is clear that it indicates a
      > certain restraint towards radical ideas and not theoplogical
      > conservatism.
      > Dodd did have innovative ideas, but I believe his Historical Tradition
      > was
      > more cautious than Robinson's work. I believe you are right in saying
      > Dodd
      > wished Robinson well, but would not entirely endorse his position until
      > Robinson had conclusively proved his point. I am not convinced
      > Robinson has.
      > His criticisms of his opponents are typically apt, but sometimes he
      > has to
      > stretch a point to make his case.
      > 2. As to the fall of Jerusalem, the point you made was already
      > conclusively
      > proved by CH Dodd in an article in the Journal of Roman Studies in
      > 1960. As
      > to the dating of John, I follow the arguments of Martin Hengel ("The
      > Johnannine Question") in dating John c.100AD (but I would suggest the
      > tradition is much earlier. It was merely written down much later. See
      > Hengel
      > for arguments), but the fall of Jerusalem
      > plays no part in this reasoning.
      > 3. The Curate's Egg.
      > Definition: Curate: An assistant to the Parish Priest in the
      > Church of
      > England, typically someone only recently out of college.
      >
      > The curate is invited to tea at the Vicar's house (i.e. with his
      > boss), on
      > which occasion he is served with a bad egg. The Vicar's wife then asks
      > him
      > how his egg is, and he replies "Good in parts".
      >
      > Sorry to listmembers who fell out of the cradle laughing at that one!
      >
      > Best Wishes
      >
      > JOHN E STATON
      > jestaton@...
      > www.jestaton.org
      >
      >
      >
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      >
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      >
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      >
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      >
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      >
      >


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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Peter.Hofrichter
      Dear Paul, thank you for your two questions, OK! To your first question: The fall of Jerusalem and the Jewish war is not yet referred to in John . This fact
      Message 2 of 19 , Jan 11, 2004
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        Dear Paul, thank you for your two questions, OK!

        To your first question: The fall of Jerusalem and the Jewish war is not
        yet referred to in "John". This fact points to an origin much earlier
        of that Gospel. The author of the Gospel of John did not yet expect any
        catastrophe in the near future. (In brackets: I have my serious
        doubts, whether Jesus himself was an apocalytician. For his wisdom
        sayings and parables don‘t fit to the idea of a soon catastrophe, and
        the "synoptic apocalypse" is quite isolated and may be due to an
        "aggornamento" at the time of and after 70. But that is another issue.
        A similar thing is that John has only one feeding story because he does
        not yet know the problem of common meals of Jewish and heathen
        Christians and of that duality at all. It is only Mark who introduces
        two seperate feedings along with the seperation of tables ordered by
        his authorities Peter and James. Also this was an "aggornamento". It
        was shared and follwed by Matthew, who was also an adherent of Peter,
        but, of course, suppressed by Paul‘s pupil Luke).

        You know that I tried to prove that Mark already depends litterally
        from "John" (although still without the farewell sermons and the
        resurrection stories except that with Mary of Magdala). Mark copies
        from "John" the biographical frame and fills it with material from
        tradition and with own compositions instaed of the fictive doctrinal
        sermons commenting the concepts of the so-called "Prologue". Whereas
        the Gospel of "John" was conceived in order to give the hellenistic
        Logos-Hymn on Jesus a new and antignostic interpretation dealing not
        with the preexistence but with the earthly life and self-revelation of
        Jesus, Mark was not interested in these doctrinal problems of the
        hellenists, but was fascinated by the pattern of a biographical
        outline. Whereas "John" had layed in the mouth of Jesus unhistoriclal
        dogmatic treatises, Mark replaced them mainly by sayings of real
        historical tradition. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke are both
        enlarged and, in their respective view, improved editions of Mark. But
        both have used all their predecessors: Matthew used besides Mark and Q
        also "John", and Luke as the last one used in addition also Matthew.
        Luke took more material from "John" and trusted more in him than Mark
        and Matthew did. In cases of disagreement betweeen Mark an "John" Luke
        tried to compromize or to find a third way. Many observations of this
        kind have beeen made especially by Barbara Shellard. Against Mark and
        Matthew the authorities behind the Gospel of John reacted with
        different additions. One of my own methods was to carefully compare
        more than fifty text parallels of John with Mark and plus more than
        thirty with Mathew and Luke in respect to the direction of their mutual
        dependance. Except the view cases of reaction almost all proved to go
        from "John" to Mark or to Matthew or Luke respectively or at least to
        be ambiguos. As to the litterary dependence of Luke from John much
        convincing research has been done before by Cribbs, Shellard, Matson,
        Anderson, Morgan and others.

        To your second point: As you can see my approach is quite different
        from that of Klaus Berger. Berger follows mainly the positions of
        Robinson although he does not refer to him explicitely. He does not
        believe in any redactional development of the Gospel of John. What we
        read now is the original text, and to this text Berger ascribes
        "Prority" in relation to the synoptic Gospels: Priority means in
        Berger‘s understanding that the Gospel of John is closer to the
        historical events than Mark and the other synpotists. It‘s author is an
        eye-witness. Berger pleads for the apostle Andrew as the beloved
        disciple. Therefore our canonical Gospel of "John" is more authentic
        than Mark and also independent from him. But at the other hand also
        the synoptic Gospels are not depending from John, and John is not
        necessarily earlier than Mark. According to Berger both could date from
        the same time. Berger argues with very subtle theological observations
        on the differences between Mark and John.

        What I have written may give some idea, More is not possible in short.
        All the best
        Peter

        Am 11.01.2004 um 05:40 schrieb Paul Anderson:

        > Thanks, Peter, could you help us out with your own bases for the
        > dating of John early? I appreciate your pointing out the fact that
        > high Christological material in the pre-Pauline hymns (Phil. 2 and
        > Col. 1, etc.) were completed earlier than some of our earliest NT
        > writings (thus, as early as the 50's at the latest), so the need for
        > locating the origination of John's Prologue as late-and-only-late does
        > not hold.
        >
        > Could you share with us two things: a) how you deal with the fall of
        > Jerusalem and an early dating of John (and what you do with Mark); and
        > b) how your approach is similar to and different from Klaus Berger's
        > approach? I know our colleagues will want to read the details in the
        > Prioritaet collection, but an outlining of the views would help.
        >
        > Thanks so much!
        >
        > Paul Anderson
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Peter.Hofrichter [mailto:Peter.Hofrichter@...]
        > Sent: Sat 1/10/2004 12:07 PM
        > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
        > Cc:
        > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Re: Redating the Gospel of John
        >
        >
        >
        > Dear friends,
        > you should not discuss only Dodd and Robinson. Meanwhile there are
        > much
        > more developped agumentations and very different positions in detail
        > concerning the "Priority of John" and what it means. A reminder of the
        > ideas and the arguments of twenty or forty years ago is always
        > interesting and helpful, but does not meet the status questionis. May
        > I
        > point again (Mark Matson did already) to the Salzburg Symposion of
        > 2000
        > where you find short and concise presentations by most scholars now
        > active in this question. I don‘t want to bother you here with my own
        > radical opinion, which can also be read. Both books were published at
        > low price by Gorg Olms Verlag in 2002.
        > With best regards
        > Peter Hofrichter
        >
        > Am 10.01.2004 um 18:52 schrieb John E Staton:
        >
        > > Frides,
        > > 3 points:
        > > 1. When I say that Dodd was "more careful", that is not the same as
        > > saying
        > > that Robinson was "careless". I would not necessarily use the word
        > > "conservative" to define Dodd, unless it is clear that it indicates
        > a
        > > certain restraint towards radical ideas and not theoplogical
        > > conservatism.
        > > Dodd did have innovative ideas, but I believe his Historical
        > Tradition
        > > was
        > > more cautious than Robinson's work. I believe you are right in
        > saying
        > > Dodd
        > > wished Robinson well, but would not entirely endorse his position
        > until
        > > Robinson had conclusively proved his point. I am not convinced
        > > Robinson has.
        > > His criticisms of his opponents are typically apt, but sometimes he
        > > has to
        > > stretch a point to make his case.
        > > 2. As to the fall of Jerusalem, the point you made was already
        > > conclusively
        > > proved by CH Dodd in an article in the Journal of Roman Studies in
        > > 1960. As
        > > to the dating of John, I follow the arguments of Martin Hengel ("The
        > > Johnannine Question") in dating John c.100AD (but I would suggest
        > the
        > > tradition is much earlier. It was merely written down much later.
        > See
        > > Hengel
        > > for arguments), but the fall of Jerusalem
        > > plays no part in this reasoning.
        > > 3. The Curate's Egg.
        > > Definition: Curate: An assistant to the Parish Priest in the
        > > Church of
        > > England, typically someone only recently out of college.
        > >
        > > The curate is invited to tea at the Vicar's house (i.e. with his
        > > boss), on
        > > which occasion he is served with a bad egg. The Vicar's wife then
        > asks
        > > him
        > > how his egg is, and he replies "Good in parts".
        > >
        > > Sorry to listmembers who fell out of the cradle laughing at that
        > one!
        > >
        > > Best Wishes
        > >
        > > JOHN E STATON
        > > jestaton@...
        > > www.jestaton.org
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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        > >
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        > >
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        > >
        > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > > johannine_literature-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
        > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
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        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
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      • Matson, Mark (Academic)
        Peter.Hofrichter [mailto:Peter.Hofrichter@sbg.ac.at] ... I think this last point is quite to the point about Berger s work, and I m glad Peter brought it up.
        Message 3 of 19 , Jan 12, 2004
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          Peter.Hofrichter [mailto:Peter.Hofrichter@...]

          > To your second point: As you can see my approach is quite different
          > from that of Klaus Berger. Berger follows mainly the positions of
          > Robinson although he does not refer to him explicitely. He does not
          > believe in any redactional development of the Gospel of John. What we
          > read now is the original text, and to this text Berger ascribes
          > "Prority" in relation to the synoptic Gospels: Priority means in
          > Berger's understanding that the Gospel of John is closer to the
          > historical events than Mark and the other synpotists. It's
          > author is an
          > eye-witness. Berger pleads for the apostle Andrew as the beloved
          > disciple. Therefore our canonical Gospel of "John" is more authentic
          > than Mark and also independent from him. But at the other hand also
          > the synoptic Gospels are not depending from John, and John is not
          > necessarily earlier than Mark. According to Berger both could
          > date from
          > the same time. Berger argues with very subtle theological
          > observations
          > on the differences between Mark and John.

          I think this last point is quite to the point about Berger's work, and
          I'm glad Peter brought it up. Much of Berger's argument for an early
          John is precisely on theological grounds -- that Paul and John actually
          share some very common themes and interests (with no evidence of
          interdependence) that suggest an early dating.

          mark

          Mark A. Matson
          Academic Dean
          Milligan College
          http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/personal.htm
        • williambullin
          As a non-scholar may I pose a question and then a suggestion concerning NT christology, Johannine sources and dating and 4G s high christology? As I understand
          Message 4 of 19 , Jan 13, 2004
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            As a non-scholar may I pose a question and then a suggestion
            concerning NT christology, Johannine sources and dating and 4G's high
            christology?

            As I understand the literature, traditionally there has been a sharp
            divide between scholars who, on the one hand, argue that N.T.
            christology developed from 'low' to 'high' during the course of the
            c.1st CE and as it spread from Jewish to Hellenist and Gentile
            congregations, whilst others argue that there is evidnce at an early
            date for a higher christology in the Pauline Epistles, often citing
            the 'pre-Pauline hymns, the Carmen Christi of Philippians and
            Colossians 1:15ff. Certainly christological titles and attributes
            reflecting pre-existence would be considered to belong to the
            category of a 'high christology' and in Johannine terms would
            certainly include the LOGOS prologue of 4G.

            On the basis of the first christological model together with various
            critical tools, 4G can be divided into various layers of historical
            and theological development according to various criteria which in
            practice usually include christological and ecclesiological /
            sociological models of development. On this basis 4G and in
            particular the LOGOS Prologue would be considered late and reflecting
            a familiarity with greek philosophical traditions, perhaps Plato
            mediated through the Alexandiean Jew, Philo. Others have posited a
            Jewish origin for the Johannine LOGOS hymn, notably Bultmann who
            argues that it arose within a pre-Christian form of Gnosticism that
            developed within certain Jewish baptising sects. The weakness of
            Bultmann's position is that he had to extrapolate back from much
            later Mandean sources. In recent years (A. Segal M. Barker, L.
            Hurtado, M. Hengel and R. Bauckham and others) have expolored
            christology in relation to the nature of Jewish monotheism.

            In this context my **innocent question** is this:

            Is it possible that N.T.christology
            reflects a very rapid development of Jewish and Jewish Greek
            sectarian thought, based on pre-Christian angeology (and linked by a
            form of number and chariot-throne mysticism), to the Jewish divine
            Name and to the Hebrew word for Wisdom (cf. Heb.1:4ff)?

            From there differing perspectives John Ashton (1994), Ben
            Witherington (1995) and Sharon Ringe (1999) have each drawn attention
            to the peculiar presentation of Jesus and 4G as a 'Wisdom Sage' and
            a 'Wisdom Gospel' respectively.

            So much for my *innocent question*. My *suggestion* is partly based
            on a throw-away remark made by N.T. Wright in his *Climax of the
            Covenant* 130,, n 26. In relation to the Shema and the very earlier
            formula (55 CE) "There is one God the Father, from whom are all
            things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through
            whom are all things and through whom we exist" Wright noted the word
            count for the formula as 5/8/5/8 for 'those interested in such
            things'. I take it that he is drawing attention to the balanced and
            hence suggestively formulaic nature of the count. Far more
            interesting, in my mind, is that the word count comes to 26 which is
            the gematria of the the divine Tetragramaton YHWH (10+5+6+5 = 26).

            If this were merely the only example of a link between word counts,
            divine names and christological titles it could easily be dismissed
            as a mere coincidence. From the Johannine perspective it is
            interesting that 4G's Prologue, the High Priestly prayer of John 17,
            ch. 21 with the 153 fishes and the First Epistle, not to mention the
            Apocalypse all reflect a fascination with titles, word counts and
            numbers.

            It is worth noting that the *Prayer of Azariah* (inspired by a
            theophany), contains 37 blessings, (excluding the introductory
            comment in vs. 28 and the additional comment in vs. 26) since 37 is
            the gematria of CHOKMAH (on a consecutive method of counting Hebrew
            letters now attested by the Genesis Apocryphon, Cf. Matthew
            Morgenstern JJS 47/2 (1996), 345-7). Commentators relate this prayer
            to Psalm 136 which exhalys YHWH with precisely 26 refrains ('...for
            his steadfast love endures forever').

            This line of thought, similar and yet distinct from Bultmann's
            proposal, may connect with the Essene requirement to keep secret the
            (power) names of angels; the N.T. insistence that baptism, and
            powerful events were in or into the Name; the Carmen Christi's
            fascination with the Name given; Hebrews 1:4; and of course the
            general fascination with power associated with Jewish divine Names
            found in the Jewish and Greek magical Papyri texts.

            Incidentally, 4G's 'mind numbing redundancies' may reflect such
            number counts: the High Priestly Prayer refers to PATER six times and
            may reflect the Aramaic ABBA (1+2+2+1=6). It has been noted by others
            that the word count for the Prayer matches the Greek PATER.

            That the Prologue of 4G reflects Genesis 1-2:1 is generally accepted.
            That the Genesis prologue is a Wisdom Prologue involving subtle word
            and letter counts and that 4G echoes this model is rarely
            acknowledged. That the word count for CHOKMAH on a consecutive system
            is 37 and is 73 on the usual system becomes interesting when we note
            the gematria for the Greek term LOGOS is a chiastic 373.

            That 4G reflects phases of re-writing and is 'patchy' seems very
            likely to me, but that its christology is necessarily late (post 70
            CE) seems to me to a much less secure finding. Indeed 4G's Wisdom
            Prologue and its christology substantially contributes to its
            seamless qualities.
            Bill Bullin (private student, no academic affiliation)
            bill.bullin@ukonline


            --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Anderson"
            <panderso@g...> wrote:
            > Thanks, Peter, could you help us out with your own bases for the
            dating of John early? I appreciate your pointing out the fact that
            high Christological material in the pre-Pauline hymns (Phil. 2 and
            Col. 1, etc.) were completed earlier than some of our earliest NT
            writings (thus, as early as the 50's at the latest), so the need for
            locating the origination of John's Prologue as late-and-only-late
            does not hold.

            > Paul Anderson
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Peter.Hofrichter [mailto:Peter.Hofrichter@s...]
            > Sent: Sat 1/10/2004 12:07 PM
            > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
            > Cc:
            > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Re: Redating the Gospel of John
            >
            >
          • David Trapero
            ... I think if we knew the half of it our heads would spin. I d like to hear more of your thoughts on this. based on pre-Christian angeology (and linked by a
            Message 5 of 19 , Jan 16, 2004
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              --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "williambullin"
              <bill.bullin@u...> wrote:
              >
              > In this context my **innocent question** is this:
              >
              > Is it possible that N.T.christology
              > reflects a very rapid development of Jewish and Jewish Greek
              > sectarian thought...

              I think if we knew the half of it our heads would spin. I'd like to
              hear more of your thoughts on this.

              based on pre-Christian angeology (and linked by a
              > form of number and chariot-throne mysticism), to the Jewish divine
              > Name and to the Hebrew word for Wisdom (cf. Heb.1:4ff)?

              Several verses come immediately to mind:

              "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig
              tree? You will see greater things than these... Very truly, I tell
              you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and
              descending upon the Son of Man." (Jn.1:50,51)

              "No one has ascended into heaven except the one who has descended
              from heaven, the Son of Man." (Jn.3:13)

              "You have never heard his (the Father's) voice or seen his form..."
              (Jn.5:37b)

              "Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God;
              he has seen the Father." (Jn.6:46)

              "Does this offend you? What then if you were to see the Son of Man
              ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life;
              the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit
              and life." (Jn. 6:61b-63)

              "Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and we will be
              satisfied." (Jn.15:8)

              "For the words that you gave to me I have given them and they have
              recieved them..." (Jn.17:8)

              [Contextually, the high priestly prayer of chapter 17 seems to better
              fit immediately before the Transfiguration as a prelude or way of
              preparing for it.]

              "I saw Satan fall like a bolt of lightning from heaven." (Lk.10:18)

              Luke's quasi-technical way of introducing his Johannine lightning
              bolt is also suggestive:

              "At that same hour he REJOICED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT and said, 'I thank
              you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these
              things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to
              infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things
              have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the
              Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and
              anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.' Then turning to the
              disciples, he said to them privately, 'Blessed are the eyes that see
              what you see!'" (Lk.10:21-23)

              It seems to me that the evidence is everywhere (and yet nowhere) that
              Jesus practiced some form of chariot-throne mysticism. You fast and
              pray for forty days and see if YOU don't have conversations with the
              devil! That this practice helped develop and define the core of
              Jesus' religious experience and self understanding is indicated by
              his baptismal theophany and alluded to frequently in 4G.
              Paradoxically, Jesus' ecstatic/mystical experiences would suggest
              that he did indeed have a rather "elevated" (no pun intended) self
              awareness/self concept from the beginning and yet because it was
              phenomenoligically based, a very human one. This approach makes
              sense to me and seems promising as a line of inquiry. I have long
              thought that it really does not make sense for the early Christians
              to have a high christology that was not based in some sense on Jesus'
              own self-concept. I believe that Jesus' own religious
              practice/experience of number and chariot-throne mysticism is the
              missing link between our high and low christologies. It's not so
              much a question of low and high but of shifting christologies along a
              horizontal axis.

              Does anyone else see this and if so, can you provide more background,
              context and details as to how this process/method (number and chariot-
              throne mysticism) worked?
              >
              Regards,

              David

              David Trapero M.Div.
              818 2nd St. PL NE # 95
              Hickory, NC 28601
              Dtrap303@...
            • David Trapero
              ... a ... The almost universal assumption is that what is referred to as high christology required a long slow, fermentation process spanning forty years or
              Message 6 of 19 , Jan 16, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "williambullin"
                <bill.bullin@u...> wrote:
                >
                > Is it possible that N.T.christology
                > reflects a very rapid development of Jewish and Jewish Greek
                > sectarian thought, based on pre-Christian angeology (and linked by
                a
                > form of number and chariot-throne mysticism), to the Jewish divine
                > Name and to the Hebrew word for Wisdom (cf. Heb.1:4ff)?
                >
                The almost universal assumption is that what is referred to as "high
                christology" required a long slow, fermentation process spanning
                forty years or more. This in turn seems to rest on the assumption
                that this was primarily a rational or analytical process, carefully
                reasoned and developed over time. I believe it was neither. Three
                years after the crucifixion, upon his conversion (not upon careful
                thought and reflection developed over decades), Paul began to preach
                boldly in the synagogues (at risk of immediate imprisonment and
                death) "that Jesus was indeed the Son of God!" Acts 9:20

                So many of these "long development" assumptions rest on simplistic
                notions of evolution, i.e. that evolution is a slow steady (non-
                exponential) curve. However, in evolutionary theory there is a
                concept known as "punctuated equilibrium". As the theory goes
                (please correct me if I'm wrong) evolution does indeed progress at a
                slow steady rate EXCEPT during "spikes" which suddenly shoot up
                vertically and then once again plateau. It is these spikes which
                account for genetic mutation, novelty and real evolutionary change.
                I see a very similar phenomenon at work in early Christianity. I
                believe that within the first few months and years, the essential
                components of our so-called "high Christology" were already in
                place. This was a charismatic movement bristling with paranormal
                phenomenea. It is the nature of ecstatic/mystical experiences to
                evoke huge paradigm shifts. The first few years of the Jerusalem
                church are exactly this kind of theological cauldron from which
                our "high Christology" might very well have sprang forth fully
                formed, itself a kind of new creation.

                If I understand you correctly, William, I think we are in agreement
                on this.

                Kindly,

                David

                David Trapero M.Div.
                818 2nd St. PL NE # 95
                Hickory, NC 28601
                Dtrap303@...
              • Bob Schacht
                ... I agree with your analysis up to the last sentence, which propels one into looking for external sources of sudden genetic mutation. Rather, I think the
                Message 7 of 19 , Jan 18, 2004
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                  At 07:39 PM 1/16/2004 +0000, David Trapero wrote:

                  >The almost universal assumption is that what is referred to as "high
                  >christology" required a long slow, fermentation process spanning
                  >forty years or more. This in turn seems to rest on the assumption
                  >that this was primarily a rational or analytical process, carefully
                  >reasoned and developed over time. I believe it was neither. Three
                  >years after the crucifixion, upon his conversion (not upon careful
                  >thought and reflection developed over decades), Paul began to preach
                  >boldly in the synagogues (at risk of immediate imprisonment and
                  >death) "that Jesus was indeed the Son of God!" Acts 9:20
                  >
                  >So many of these "long development" assumptions rest on simplistic
                  >notions of evolution, i.e. that evolution is a slow steady (non-
                  >exponential) curve. However, in evolutionary theory there is a
                  >concept known as "punctuated equilibrium". As the theory goes
                  >(please correct me if I'm wrong) evolution does indeed progress at a
                  >slow steady rate EXCEPT during "spikes" which suddenly shoot up
                  >vertically and then once again plateau. It is these spikes which
                  >account for genetic mutation, novelty and real evolutionary change.

                  I agree with your analysis up to the last sentence, which propels one into
                  looking for external sources of sudden genetic mutation. Rather, I think
                  the spikes are often due to sudden shifts in the pressures of natural
                  selection: Where there is no selection pressure, there is little reason to
                  change.

                  The problem with long slow theories of Christology is that
                  (a) there was already a long period, about a generation, between the
                  crucifixion and the oldest written texts (i.e., Paul's letters).
                  (b) advocates of a late development of high Christology often overlook or
                  have to explain away signs of high Christology present in both Paul's
                  letters and Mark.
                  (c) theories of long slow development of high Christology seem to assume
                  that the Christian world was relatively homogeneous in this regard, and
                  evolved evenly, together, throughout the Mediterranean world. I regard this
                  as rather unlikely, as these theories fail to consider the diversity of
                  theology among early Christian groups.

                  Jewish Christians tended to have a low Christology, in contrast with
                  proto-Gnostics and others whose theology is reflected in Paul's letters,
                  some passages in GMark, and perhaps the Signs Gospel.

                  Bob
                  Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
                  Northern Arizona University
                  Flagstaff, AZ

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Wieland Willker
                  Peter Hofrichter ... SOI TO MUSTHRION TOUTO DEDOSAI? :-) DOKW FANTASIAS QEWREIN, hAS OUK ISCUEI APODEIXAI. OUDEIS DUNATAI TAUTA. TI hUMIN DOKEI? Best wishes
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jan 21, 2004
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                    Peter Hofrichter
                    > I agree with you exept that I think to have proved that already
                    > Mark is based on John (without some later additions) and of
                    > course his own material, and also Mt knew John but was much
                    > less by him influenced than Lk.


                    SOI TO MUSTHRION TOUTO DEDOSAI? :-)
                    DOKW FANTASIAS QEWREIN, hAS OUK ISCUEI APODEIXAI. OUDEIS DUNATAI TAUTA.
                    TI hUMIN DOKEI?

                    Best wishes
                    Wieland
                    <><
                    ------------------------
                    Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
                    mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
                    http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/
                  • Peter.Hofrichter
                    hOti hn dekteon: Panta anqrwpon planatai. Planasqai pantote dynaton estin! Episteme cwris planhs ouc hyparxei! Xairete: P.H.
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jan 21, 2004
                    • 0 Attachment
                      hOti hn dekteon: Panta anqrwpon planatai. Planasqai pantote dynaton
                      estin!
                      Episteme cwris planhs ouc hyparxei!
                      Xairete: P.H.


                      Am 21.01.2004 um 19:54 schrieb Wieland Willker:

                      > SOI TO MUSTHRION TOUTO DEDOSAI? :-)
                      > DOKW FANTASIAS QEWREIN, hAS OUK ISCUEI APODEIXAI. OUDEIS DUNATAI TAUTA.
                      > TI hUMIN DOKEI?
                    • Peter.Hofrichter
                      Scilicet: Pas anqrwpos planatai h panta anqrwpon planasqai ginwskomen. Dynasai dikaiws me gelan! Nyn de teloumai. P.H.
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jan 21, 2004
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                        Scilicet: Pas anqrwpos planatai h panta anqrwpon planasqai ginwskomen.
                        Dynasai dikaiws me gelan! Nyn de teloumai.
                        P.H.

                        Am 21.01.2004 um 19:54 schrieb Wieland Willker:

                        > SOI TO MUSTHRION TOUTO DEDOSAI? :-)
                        > DOKW FANTASIAS QEWREIN, hAS OUK ISCUEI APODEIXAI. OUDEIS DUNATAI TAUTA.
                      • Maluflen@aol.com
                        In a message dated 1/18/2004 7:33:06 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... Yes, and there s even a very high Christology in Matthew! Leonard Maluf [Non-text portions
                        Message 11 of 19 , Feb 14, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment
                          In a message dated 1/18/2004 7:33:06 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                          bobschacht@... writes:


                          > (b) advocates of a late development of high Christology often overlook or
                          > have to explain away signs of high Christology present in both Paul's
                          > letters and Mark.
                          >

                          Yes, and there's even a very high Christology in Matthew!

                          Leonard Maluf


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Bob Schacht
                          ... I did not write the following quote, even though I agree with it. Bob ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          Message 12 of 19 , Feb 15, 2004
                          • 0 Attachment
                            At 08:30 PM 2/14/2004 -0500, Leonard Maluf wrote:
                            >In a message dated 1/18/2004 7:33:06 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                            >bobschacht@... writes:

                            I did not write the following quote, even though I agree with it.
                            Bob



                            > > (b) advocates of a late development of high Christology often overlook or
                            > > have to explain away signs of high Christology present in both Paul's
                            > > letters and Mark.
                            > >
                            >
                            >Yes, and there's even a very high Christology in Matthew!
                            >
                            >Leonard Maluf
                            >
                            >
                            >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >
                            >
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                            >UNSUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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                            >Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • McGrath, James
                            The thing that seems to be ignored in these cases is the significant DIFFERENCES between John and Paul or Matthew. All three use Wisdom language in relation to
                            Message 13 of 19 , Feb 16, 2004
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                              The thing that seems to be ignored in these cases is the significant
                              DIFFERENCES between John and Paul or Matthew. All three use Wisdom
                              language in relation to Jesus, but that in itself could mean a number of
                              things. Wisdom is depicted in what in the Gospels would be called 'the
                              language of high Christology' in books like Ben Sira or Baruch, and then
                              we are told that this is simply a way of speaking about the Torah.
                              Depicting Jesus in such terms may simply have been a way of saying
                              'Jesus is where Wisdom is found rather than in Torah', with no
                              'metaphysical' implications being drawn. Note in particular that
                              Matthew, although he shows knowledge of the Similitudes of Enoch, does
                              not draw the implication that John does, namely that 'the Son of
                              Man...came down from heaven'. I strongly agree that there is a great
                              deal of continuity, but it is crucial to do justice to both the
                              similarities and the differences if we are to offer convincing readings
                              of these various pieces of early Christian literature.

                              Best regards,

                              James

                              *****************************
                              Dr. James F. McGrath
                              Assistant Professor of Religion
                              Butler University, Indianapolis
                              http://religion.sytes.net
                              *****************************



                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Bob Schacht [mailto:bobschacht@...]
                              Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2004 6:30 PM
                              To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Evolution of high Christology


                              At 08:30 PM 2/14/2004 -0500, Leonard Maluf wrote:
                              >In a message dated 1/18/2004 7:33:06 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                              >bobschacht@... writes:

                              I did not write the following quote, even though I agree with it. Bob



                              > > (b) advocates of a late development of high Christology often
                              > > overlook or have to explain away signs of high Christology present
                              > > in both Paul's letters and Mark.
                              > >
                              >
                              >Yes, and there's even a very high Christology in Matthew!
                              >
                              >Leonard Maluf
                              >
                            • Matson, Mark (Academic)
                              James: I agree that one must be very careful in not over-emphasizing the similarities. But I would be interested in pursuing the similarities (and differences)
                              Message 14 of 19 , Feb 16, 2004
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                                James:

                                I agree that one must be very careful in not over-emphasizing the
                                similarities.

                                But I would be interested in pursuing the similarities (and differences)
                                a bit. Working with your category of wisdom (which I have come to
                                believe is the strongest influence on the prologue in John), don't we
                                have similar themes related to Wisdom/Jesus relationship to creation in
                                both the Johannine prologue and Colossians 2:15 ff.? And even if
                                Colossians is not Pauline (though I still think it kind of sounds
                                Pauline), Col 2:15 seems to be an imbedded hymn or poem, and thus is
                                earlier than the letter. Here at least wisdom/creation theology has
                                similar outworkings with regard to Jesus -- although expressed now in a
                                more ecclesiological format.

                                Similarly, you point up the Johannine theme of the Son of Man come down
                                from heaven (as in Jn 3:13), and yet this same theme of
                                descending/ascending being is found in both John and Philippians 2.

                                What is interesting is that both Colossians and Philippians also work
                                off the "image of God" motif, based it would seem on Genesis creation
                                language. But isn't the Johannine theology based to a great extent on
                                just this image, where Jesus is the more perfect image (and hence agent)
                                of God e.g.If you have seen me you have seen God.

                                SO in some signficant ways, both the Pauline (and/or deutero-Pauline)
                                and Johannine images work off similar transformations of the wisdom
                                idea, don't they? And given that John has more of an apologetic purpose
                                (as you have pointed out), this may explain contextually some of the
                                differences. Or are they still fundamentally different?

                                mark

                                Mark A. Matson
                                Academic Dean
                                Milligan College
                                http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/personal.htm


                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: McGrath, James [mailto:jfmcgrat@...]
                                > Sent: Monday, February 16, 2004 10:05 AM
                                > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: [John_Lit] Evolution of high Christology
                                >
                                >
                                > The thing that seems to be ignored in these cases is the
                                > significant DIFFERENCES between John and Paul or Matthew. All
                                > three use Wisdom language in relation to Jesus, but that in
                                > itself could mean a number of things. Wisdom is depicted in
                                > what in the Gospels would be called 'the language of high
                                > Christology' in books like Ben Sira or Baruch, and then we
                                > are told that this is simply a way of speaking about the
                                > Torah. Depicting Jesus in such terms may simply have been a
                                > way of saying 'Jesus is where Wisdom is found rather than in
                                > Torah', with no 'metaphysical' implications being drawn. Note
                                > in particular that Matthew, although he shows knowledge of
                                > the Similitudes of Enoch, does not draw the implication that
                                > John does, namely that 'the Son of Man...came down from
                                > heaven'. I strongly agree that there is a great deal of
                                > continuity, but it is crucial to do justice to both the
                                > similarities and the differences if we are to offer
                                > convincing readings of these various pieces of early
                                > Christian literature.
                                >
                                > Best regards,
                                >
                                > James
                                >
                                > *****************************
                                > Dr. James F. McGrath
                                > Assistant Professor of Religion
                                > Butler University, Indianapolis
                                > http://religion.sytes.net
                                > *****************************
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: Bob Schacht [mailto:bobschacht@...]
                                > Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2004 6:30 PM
                                > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Evolution of high Christology
                                >
                                >
                                > At 08:30 PM 2/14/2004 -0500, Leonard Maluf wrote:
                                > >In a message dated 1/18/2004 7:33:06 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                                > >bobschacht@... writes:
                                >
                                > I did not write the following quote, even though I agree with it. Bob
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > > > (b) advocates of a late development of high Christology often
                                > > > overlook or have to explain away signs of high
                                > Christology present
                                > > > in both Paul's letters and Mark.
                                > > >
                                > >
                                > >Yes, and there's even a very high Christology in Matthew!
                                > >
                                > >Leonard Maluf
                                > >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                > UNSUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                > PROBLEMS?: e-mail johannine_literature-owner@yahoogroups.com
                                > MESSAGE ARCHIVE:
                                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_litera> ture/messages
                                >
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                                >
                                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_literature/
                                >
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                                >
                              • McGrath, James
                                Thanks for your insightful question! I think that, in essence, John and Paul are certainly working in the same realm of ideas. The only question is the degree
                                Message 15 of 19 , Feb 16, 2004
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Thanks for your insightful question! I think that, in essence, John and
                                  Paul are certainly working in the same realm of ideas. The only question
                                  is the degree to which John may have developed ideas further, or more
                                  likely in my view, reflected more on possible IMPLICATIONS of language
                                  that had been used earlier. I think that, on the topic of Wisdom, Paul
                                  (and/or the author of Colossians, if someone else) and John are fairly
                                  close to one another. I'd see a greater degree of development between
                                  Paul and John on the idea of Jesus as bearer of the name of God: in
                                  Philippians 2, Jesus receives the name when he is exalted after being
                                  raised from the dead, while in John the name is his from before the
                                  foundation of the world. The difference is definitely one of degree
                                  rather than kind (IMHO), but the original post seemed to be downplaying
                                  the differences between John and his predecessors. Does Paul anywhere
                                  unambiguously make clear that he takes the language of pre-existence
                                  applied to Jesus literally? Perhaps in his reference to Jesus having
                                  been rich and wilfully become poor for our sake. So I am convinced that
                                  there is a difference, and that it is one of degree; I am less certain
                                  about the EXTENT of that difference of degree! :)

                                  Hoping to continue this conversation,

                                  James


                                  *****************************
                                  Dr. James F. McGrath
                                  Assistant Professor of Religion
                                  Butler University, Indianapolis
                                  http://religion.sytes.net
                                  *****************************



                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Matson, Mark (Academic) [mailto:MAMatson@...]
                                  Sent: Monday, February 16, 2004 3:22 PM
                                  To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: RE: [John_Lit] Evolution of high Christology


                                  James:

                                  I agree that one must be very careful in not over-emphasizing the
                                  similarities.

                                  But I would be interested in pursuing the similarities (and differences)
                                  a bit. Working with your category of wisdom (which I have come to
                                  believe is the strongest influence on the prologue in John), don't we
                                  have similar themes related to Wisdom/Jesus relationship to creation in
                                  both the Johannine prologue and Colossians 2:15 ff.? And even if
                                  Colossians is not Pauline (though I still think it kind of sounds
                                  Pauline), Col 2:15 seems to be an imbedded hymn or poem, and thus is
                                  earlier than the letter. Here at least wisdom/creation theology has
                                  similar outworkings with regard to Jesus -- although expressed now in a
                                  more ecclesiological format.

                                  Similarly, you point up the Johannine theme of the Son of Man come down
                                  from heaven (as in Jn 3:13), and yet this same theme of
                                  descending/ascending being is found in both John and Philippians 2.

                                  What is interesting is that both Colossians and Philippians also work
                                  off the "image of God" motif, based it would seem on Genesis creation
                                  language. But isn't the Johannine theology based to a great extent on
                                  just this image, where Jesus is the more perfect image (and hence agent)
                                  of God e.g.If you have seen me you have seen God.

                                  SO in some signficant ways, both the Pauline (and/or deutero-Pauline)
                                  and Johannine images work off similar transformations of the wisdom
                                  idea, don't they? And given that John has more of an apologetic purpose
                                  (as you have pointed out), this may explain contextually some of the
                                  differences. Or are they still fundamentally different?

                                  mark

                                  Mark A. Matson
                                  Academic Dean
                                  Milligan College http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/personal.htm
                                • John M. Noble
                                  Dear James, It seems to me that the evolution goes the other way round and if there is a progression in New Testament writing, then it is from a high
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Feb 18, 2004
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                                    Dear James,

                                    It seems to me that the evolution goes the other
                                    way round and if there is a progression in New
                                    Testament writing, then it is from a 'high'
                                    Christology to a 'low' Christology. That is, the
                                    full Christology seems to be already there in the
                                    Pauline writings and there seems no evolution
                                    within Paul. Although perhaps not explicitly
                                    stated, the Christology of John is certainly
                                    implied in Paul and underpins everything.

                                    Perhaps the apparently 'lower' Christology that
                                    you allude to in Matthew (which is a degree of
                                    emphasis rather than an absolute difference)
                                    could indicate that Matthew is a later work?
                                    written with some sort of docetist tendencies in
                                    mind that had to be countered? and the high
                                    Christology of John would indicate that it was
                                    earlier work.

                                    The problem with the early church was perhaps not
                                    that their Christology was too high, but rather
                                    that they had a tendency to forget the humanity
                                    of Christ.

                                    To me, Paul's Christology would indicate that
                                    'high Christology' was the natural approach,
                                    taken from the beginning.

                                    (It would be helpful if the height of Christology
                                    could be measured in feet and inches).

                                    John Noble
                                    (amateur)
                                    Linköping
                                  • Matson, Mark (Academic)
                                    John: Thanks for your note on this. Why do we need to think that these concepts always run in trajectories, either from high to low, or low to high? Could not
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Feb 18, 2004
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      John:

                                      Thanks for your note on this.

                                      Why do we need to think that these concepts always run in trajectories, either from high to low, or low to high? Could not various ideas have been circulating at the same time, in similar areas, even within a given congregation or set of believers? Gosh, in my church we have widely varying views of Jesus' relationship to God. Why not then?

                                      If we follow your idea, then we end up with Matthew later than John. OK, I don't have a problem with that (as many know, I think John is early). But what do you do with Mark, which has a much more "human" Jesus than even Matthew? Is that then later still? I am sure the Two-gospel theorists will jump on this, but it seems to me the problem is using something like theology, and even more a developmental approach to theology, to date texts. It's not enough for me. I just am very suspicious of such approaches to dating or document relationships.

                                      mark

                                      Mark A. Matson
                                      Academic Dean
                                      Milligan College
                                      http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/personal.htm


                                      > -----Original Message-----
                                      > From: John M. Noble [mailto:jonob@...]
                                      > Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 5:49 AM
                                      > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Evolution of high Christology
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Dear James,
                                      >
                                      > It seems to me that the evolution goes the other
                                      > way round and if there is a progression in New
                                      > Testament writing, then it is from a 'high'
                                      > Christology to a 'low' Christology. That is, the
                                      > full Christology seems to be already there in the
                                      > Pauline writings and there seems no evolution
                                      > within Paul. Although perhaps not explicitly
                                      > stated, the Christology of John is certainly
                                      > implied in Paul and underpins everything.
                                      >
                                      > Perhaps the apparently 'lower' Christology that
                                      > you allude to in Matthew (which is a degree of
                                      > emphasis rather than an absolute difference)
                                      > could indicate that Matthew is a later work?
                                      > written with some sort of docetist tendencies in
                                      > mind that had to be countered? and the high
                                      > Christology of John would indicate that it was
                                      > earlier work.
                                      >
                                      > The problem with the early church was perhaps not
                                      > that their Christology was too high, but rather
                                      > that they had a tendency to forget the humanity
                                      > of Christ.
                                      >
                                      > To me, Paul's Christology would indicate that
                                      > 'high Christology' was the natural approach,
                                      > taken from the beginning.
                                      >
                                      > (It would be helpful if the height of Christology
                                      > could be measured in feet and inches).
                                      >
                                      > John Noble
                                      > (amateur)
                                      > Linköping
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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                                    • John M. Noble
                                      Mark Matson, February 18, wrote ... The more I see concerning gospel dating on this list, the more sceptical I find myself concerning all of the theories
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Feb 24, 2004
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                                        Mark Matson, February 18, wrote

                                        >
                                        >Why do we need to think that these concepts
                                        >always run in trajectories, either from high to
                                        >low, or low to high? Could not various ideas
                                        >have been circulating at the same time, in
                                        >similar areas, even within a given congregation
                                        >or set of believers? Gosh, in my church we have
                                        >widely varying views of Jesus' relationship to
                                        >God. Why not then?
                                        >
                                        >If we follow your idea, then we end up with
                                        >Matthew later than John. OK, I don't have a
                                        >problem with that (as many know, I think John is
                                        >early). But what do you do with Mark, which has
                                        >a much more "human" Jesus than even Matthew? Is
                                        >that then later still? I am sure the Two-gospel
                                        >theorists will jump on this, but it seems to me
                                        >the problem is using something like theology,
                                        >and even more a developmental approach to
                                        >theology, to date texts. It's not enough for
                                        >me. I just am very suspicious of such
                                        >approaches to dating or document relationships.

                                        The more I see concerning gospel dating on this
                                        list, the more sceptical I find myself concerning
                                        all of the theories posted. Possibly there does
                                        not exist a theory that makes sense and fits all
                                        the facts. It is very easy to criticize a theory,
                                        but very difficult to construct one which stands
                                        up.

                                        (One of my colleagues had a cartoon posted in his
                                        office showing God, highly entertained, reading a
                                        book entitled 'The Laws of Physics'. It's the
                                        same thing with anything entitled 'Dating the
                                        Gospels').

                                        I believe that the high Christology must have
                                        been understood right from the beginning (and I
                                        believe that Paul's writings, which I believe to
                                        be the earliest) show a full Christology, with no
                                        signs of development within his writings.

                                        As Christianity developed, I see a greater
                                        temptation to forget the humanity and hence a
                                        greater need for the later writings to emphasise
                                        this.

                                        It seems like a bad idea to base theological
                                        conclusions on gospel dating. This tends to lead
                                        to circular reasoning: one dates the gospel based
                                        on an impression of the theological needs of a
                                        particular situation and one then uses the dating
                                        to read in theological implications, using
                                        statement (P) to prove statement (P).

                                        For example: Raymond Brown seems to think that
                                        John's gospel is anti sacramental. This hadn't
                                        occurred to me before I read Raymond Brown, but
                                        seemed clear to me after I had read some of his
                                        works. But I'm not so sure any more. He reaches
                                        this conclusion because of the absence of any
                                        real explicit mention of the sacraments
                                        (Community of the Beloved Disciple) and not
                                        because of any negative remarks made about them
                                        in GJ. I think that the author/s of GJ would have
                                        been more explicit if they'd wanted to make such
                                        an important point. After all, they are very
                                        negative about other things. I get the impression
                                        that RB reached this conclusion based on a late
                                        dating of John's gospel, when a theology behind
                                        the sacraments was already well established. Is
                                        he reading in too much here? If one takes an
                                        early dating of John's gospel, then the omission
                                        could have been simply because the theology of
                                        the sacraments was not yet developed. After all,
                                        Paul makes mention of them, but I don't see a
                                        clear theology there. I also get the impression
                                        that much of RB's attitude towards the 'Johannine
                                        Community' was based on his conclusion concerning
                                        the attitude of GJ towards the sacraments.

                                        John M. Noble
                                        (amateur)
                                        Linköping
                                      • David Trapero
                                        ... wrote: ... I couldn t agree with you more. There s ample room for humility here and very little room for being dogmatic. The issue of the
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Feb 24, 2004
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                                          --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "John M. Noble"
                                          <jonob@m...> wrote:>
                                          > The more I see concerning gospel dating on this
                                          > list, the more sceptical I find myself concerning
                                          > all of the theories posted. Possibly there does
                                          > not exist a theory that makes sense and fits all
                                          > the facts. It is very easy to criticize a theory,
                                          > but very difficult to construct one which stands
                                          > up.

                                          I couldn't agree with you more. There's ample room for humility here
                                          and very little room for being dogmatic. The issue of the dating and
                                          sequence of the Gospels seems to be more open now than at any other
                                          time in recent memory. For the record, I've come to the tentative
                                          conclusion that the order was 1) Proto-Matthew (very similar in
                                          content to canonical Mark) 2) Mark 3) Luke 4) Matthew 5) John (with
                                          John going through three major editions/revisions and having at its
                                          core very early/primitive tradition, John being the Alpha and Omega
                                          of our Gospels).
                                          >
                                          > I believe that the high Christology must have
                                          > been understood right from the beginning (and I
                                          > believe that Paul's writings, which I believe to
                                          > be the earliest) show a full Christology, with no
                                          > signs of development within his writings.

                                          And, I would add, this high Christology originated with Jesus
                                          himself. The early church played a role in Christology, not in
                                          creating/fabricating it out of whole cloth but in giving a specific
                                          nuance and resonance to Jesus' own Christology. They drew out
                                          certain aspects of it and ignored, downplayed others. They tilled a
                                          rich, fertile soil and had much to work with.
                                          >
                                          > As Christianity developed, I see a greater
                                          > temptation to forget the humanity and hence a
                                          > greater need for the later writings to emphasise
                                          > this.
                                          >
                                          > It seems like a bad idea to base theological
                                          > conclusions on gospel dating. This tends to lead
                                          > to circular reasoning: one dates the gospel based
                                          > on an impression of the theological needs of a
                                          > particular situation and one then uses the dating
                                          > to read in theological implications, using
                                          > statement (P) to prove statement (P).

                                          Agreed. And yet this is done frequently.
                                          >
                                          > For example: Raymond Brown seems to think that
                                          > John's gospel is anti sacramental. This hadn't
                                          > occurred to me before I read Raymond Brown, but
                                          > seemed clear to me after I had read some of his
                                          > works. But I'm not so sure any more. He reaches
                                          > this conclusion because of the absence of any
                                          > real explicit mention of the sacraments
                                          > (Community of the Beloved Disciple) and not
                                          > because of any negative remarks made about them
                                          > in GJ. I think that the author/s of GJ would have
                                          > been more explicit if they'd wanted to make such
                                          > an important point. After all, they are very
                                          > negative about other things. I get the impression
                                          > that RB reached this conclusion based on a late
                                          > dating of John's gospel, when a theology behind
                                          > the sacraments was already well established. Is
                                          > he reading in too much here? If one takes an
                                          > early dating of John's gospel, then the omission
                                          > could have been simply because the theology of
                                          > the sacraments was not yet developed. After all,
                                          > Paul makes mention of them, but I don't see a
                                          > clear theology there. I also get the impression
                                          > that much of RB's attitude towards the 'Johannine
                                          > Community' was based on his conclusion concerning
                                          > the attitude of GJ towards the sacraments.

                                          Others see 4G as "Ultra-sacramental" (my word). You may want to
                                          check out Oscar Cullman's "Early Christian Worship" in which the
                                          author argues that 4G is concerned almost exclusively with Baptism
                                          and the Eucharist. He sees 4G in its entirety as a theological
                                          exposition/meditation on these sacraments. I'm not sure I agree with
                                          him but it's difficult to read 4G as "anti-sacramental" after reading
                                          Cullman's book.

                                          I'm with you in that I see 4G's lack of a "Lord's Supper" as
                                          indicating its primitive origin. As you may recall, the Didache also
                                          has this feature, connecting its Eucharistic meal to the Multitude
                                          Feeding (which John also seems to do). I think much of the early
                                          church's theological work/development consisted not in Christology
                                          per se but in this: Coming to grips with, developing and
                                          articulating its understanding of the Passion. The Passion literally
                                          swells in size/significance over the first two decades. And, as a
                                          result, so does the "Lord's/Last Supper". It is, in my opinion, this
                                          shift in emphasis towards the Passion that accounts for the Last
                                          Supper superceeding the Multitude Feeding as the source/inspiration
                                          for the Eucharistic Meal.
                                          >
                                          Kindly,

                                          David

                                          David Trapero M.Div.
                                          818 2nd St. PL NE # 95
                                          Hickory, NC 28601
                                          Dtrap303@...
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