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RE: [John_Lit] Re: (Re)dating the gospel! of John

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  • Paul Anderson
    (Paul) Thanks, David, I like the connections you re making. These fit with some of the reasons I connect the rhetorical function of John 6 (life-producing food
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 13, 2004
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      (Paul) Thanks, David, I like the connections you're making. These fit
      with some of the reasons I connect the rhetorical function of John 6
      (life-producing food versus death-producing food) with the Didache's
      "way of life" versus the "way of death" (esp. in the Sitz im Leben
      essay).

      In that sense, I also see the first edition (concluding with 20:31)
      being more evangelistic--leading readers/hearers to receive Jesus as the
      authentic Jewish Messiah, whereas the final edition a decade or two
      later shows evidence of concern over community maintenance.

      With Bakhtin, was there ever a first meaning or a last meaning? Maybe
      not.

      Paul Anderson


      >> What I might do with "none of the fragments being
      lost," though, is to slant it toward persons (see Jn. 17), rather
      than texts.

      Absolutely! This phrase is richly suggestive with interpretive
      possibilities. Several come to mind and they could all be valid.

      1) Jesus' ministry as a whole (as per your Jn.17 reference)
      2) The "ingathering of God's scattered children", i.e. diaspora Jews.
      3) The purpose of the gospel, in part, as augmentive (20:30).
      4) The editorial methodology of the editor of chs. 6,15-17,21.
      5) The literal meaning that is wasn't good to leave trash lying
      around!

      In relation to #2, has anyone noticed the similarities between the
      multitude feeding in Jn. 6 and the eucharistic prayer in the Didache?

      It seems that the truly remarkable (symbolic) thing about the
      multitude feeding in both John 6 and the Didache is the "gathering
      together" aspect. I quote...

      "Just as this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains,
      and then was gathered together and became one,
      so may your congregation be gathered together,
      from the ends of the earth into your kingdom..."

      Just before this, we find...

      "We give you thanks, our Father, for the LIFE and KNOWLEDGE which you
      have MADE KNOWN TO US through Jesus your servant."

      I think there are some interesting convergences here. I consider the
      Didache (in its original form, prior to later insertions) the most
      primitive docuement of the early church (see Acts 6:1-7 for a
      possible context).

      Food for thought!

      David
    • Bill Bullin
      May be he had links with an alternative academy of learning near Alexandria, on the shores of a lake???! Just an idea. Bill B. (Student) East Sussex,
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 20, 2004
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        May be he had links with an 'alternative academy' of learning near
        Alexandria,
        on the shores of a lake???! Just an idea.

        Bill B. (Student) East Sussex, England).

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Mike Grondin <mwgrondin@...>
        To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 1:22 AM
        Subject: [John_Lit] Re: (Re)dating the gospel! of John


        > --- David Trapero wrote:
        > > It's not simply that he spoke Greek. I'm suggesting that he spoke
        > > Greek with the kind of flair and rhetorical skill of an educated
        > > Greek. It was not that he was simply able to communicate or make
        > > himself understood in Greek. That would not have been exceptional.
        > > What distinguished him from the locals was his mastery of Greek
        > > rhetoric, so much so that it was concievable that he might want to
        > > change venues and leave Palestine to teach the diaspora Jews in
        > > Greek.
        >
        > David-
        >
        > How do you suppose that Jesus came to have this mastery of Greek?
        > Were the Judaeans wrong to assume (if they did) that he had had
        > no formal schooling? Or are we to imagine some kind of informal
        > (presumably inexpensive) mentoring/tutoring unknown to them (and
        > John?)?
        >
        > Mike Grondin
        >
        >
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      • David Trapero
        ... At first I thought you were joking but then it occured to me that you might actually be serious. What school/lake specifically do you have in mind? We
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 21, 2004
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          --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Bullin"
          <bill.bullin@u...> wrote:
          > May be he had links with an 'alternative academy' of learning near
          > Alexandria,
          > on the shores of a lake???! Just an idea.

          At first I thought you were joking but then it occured to me that you
          might actually be serious. What school/lake specifically do you have
          in mind? We might have historical echoes/traces of this in Matthew's
          use of "Out of Egypt I have called you" and his account of Jesus
          living in Egypt during his youth. Tantalizing...

          I think Jesus' response is telling, essentially that it is irrelevant
          what human source(s) his teaching may have been mediated through, its
          origin is from "the Father". In modern, secular idiom, he might have
          said, "I didn't get this teaching anywhere! It's my own, coming
          directly from the source of all creativity/creation.

          I don't think that Jesus is required to have studied in any school
          per se. He might very well have accessed Greek writings
          independantly and studied on his own, developing his own unique
          synthesis/theology. It is in fact that latter possibility which to
          his audience is so incomprehensible and therefore ironically might be
          true. This would have only reenforced his enemies perception of him
          as arrogant and independant from any of the established schools of
          thought.
          >
          Kindly,

          David

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

          > > Mike G wrote:
          > >
          > > How do you suppose that Jesus came to have this mastery of Greek?
          > > Were the Judaeans wrong to assume (if they did) that he had had
          > > no formal schooling? Or are we to imagine some kind of informal
          > > (presumably inexpensive) mentoring/tutoring unknown to them (and
          > > John?)?
        • fmmccoy
          ... From: Bill Bullin To: Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 2:40 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 21, 2004
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Bill Bullin" <bill.bullin@...>
            To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 2:40 AM
            Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Re: (Re)dating the gospel! of John


            > May be he had links with an 'alternative academy' of learning near
            > Alexandria,
            > on the shores of a lake???! Just an idea.
            >

            Bill:

            You appear to be referring to the headquarters of the Therapeutae sect,
            which was located near Alexandria on a low hill by the Mareotic Lake. At
            least some of those who joined this sect did undergo a rigorous educational
            program at this headquarters, apparently conducted in Greek. Whatever gives
            you the idea that Jesus might have spent some time there getting a formal
            education? Do you think that Jesus joined the Therapeutae sect for a period
            of time?

            Frank McCoy
            1805 N. English Apt 15
            Maplewood, MN USA 55109
          • Bill Bullin
            ... near ... educational ... gives ... period ... Bill replies: Dear Frank: I m sorry to have delayed replying. I suppose my linking of the Therapeuta and
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 7, 2004
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              Bill had written:
              > > May be he [Jesus] had links with an 'alternative academy' of learning
              near
              > > Alexandria,
              > > on the shores of a lake???! Just an idea.
              > >
              > Frank wrote:
              > You appear to be referring to the headquarters of the Therapeutae sect,
              > which was located near Alexandria on a low hill by the Mareotic Lake. At
              > least some of those who joined this sect did undergo a rigorous
              educational
              > program at this headquarters, apparently conducted in Greek. Whatever
              gives
              > you the idea that Jesus might have spent some time there getting a formal
              > education? Do you think that Jesus joined the Therapeutae sect for a
              period
              > of time?

              Bill replies:

              Dear Frank:

              I'm sorry to have delayed replying. I suppose my linking of the Therapeuta
              and Jesus (just an idea),
              was operating on several levels:

              *First level*: In terms of history we really do not know enough to be
              categorical.

              Theoretically speaking the 'Jesus of history' might have been fluent in
              Greek and received a training amongst the
              Therapeuta. Personally I don't think so but neither do I think that Jesus'
              was untaught or that his insights were
              simply 'downloaded from above' at his birth or baptism, which would be
              unatural rather than supernatural.

              *Second Level* Although wealthy, reasonably intelligent, and a prodigious
              writer, I do not think Philo had a firm grasp of many of the insights he had
              collected from others and had himself reflected on. He was certainly trying
              to forge a philosophy of Platonic Judaism. I do not think he had much notion
              of a Jewish LOGOS concept rooted in LOGOTECHNICS and Jewish Higher Wisdom.
              He was passing on ideas second hand. I think the Therapeuta may have been
              the more genuine Enochian roots of Higher Wisdom teaching, with their
              measured hymns and possible. With probable angelic liturgies, perhaps their
              hymns were rather like the 'Odes of Solomon'. Its seems that this sort of
              socio-spiritual context paved the way for Johannine Christianity, mediated
              through the 'John the Baptist' and 'Jesus of Nazareth' of history. Philo
              makes a better historian than theologian.

              *Third Level*: I believe Jesus learnt as he grew up and that he had
              'spiritual / mystical / spooky experiences'
              in consequences of prayer and contemplation; broadly speaking these might be
              equated with those of Isaiah and Ezekiel.
              My serious proposal is therfore that he was brought up an Enochian Essene
              rather than a Qumran Essene
              and that the Therapeuta of Alexandria were also Enochian Essenes.
              My distinction between Qumran and Enochian is based on Gabriele Boccaccini,
              *Beyond the Essene Hypothesis* (1998).
              Here he presents an evidenced based sociological argument that the former
              were a breakaway group from the latter
              based on what literature they appeared to have and not have. I think the
              latter were the norm, that they were fairly wide spread and that they formed
              a kind of informal network of pious, simple-communal lifestyle believers in
              a renewed Temple and priesthood, holding a non-violent faith with
              expectations of a visitation from the Great Angel of the Covenant; YHWH
              personified the Refiner.

              Jesus like others had been revering YHWH and thinking, meditating, counting,
              performing logotechnics on his name (Malachi 3:16). I think that Jesus
              believed and practiced non-violence because he believed that *fallen angels*
              had been responsible for teaching the working of metal into weapons as
              described in the Enochian creation myth.
              I think he rejected the Jerusalem Temple and quite possibly its calendar.
              That's why he would, later during his ministry, seek to restore the Jubilee
              and announce the Kingdom as the ultimate Jubilee of Jubilees and why he
              would look for figs out of season ~ an acted parable, it was a protest that
              the seasons had been 'messed with' through calindrical changes, but that
              would be later. Now came John the Baptist who turned the nation upside down.

              John had taught his disciples: "Father, may your Name be honoured not
              shamed, may your Holy Spirit, the Great Messenger of the Covenant come upon
              us, even on this our generation'. At some point, probably at his baptism by
              John, Jesus came to the christological self-realisation that he himself was
              the 'messenger of the covenant', the great Angel, Wisdom incarnate. He lived
              as a true Son of the Father (Malachi 1:6) and taught that others should do
              so by honouring the Name (Luke 15:11ff). He adapted the prayer John had
              taught his disciples: May your Name be honoured, May your Kingdom come, may
              you be worshipped and obeyed on earth as in heaven..." The 'Mantle of
              Elijah' fell on his shoulders. He performed the signs of Elisha. As Wisdom
              incarnate he taught in parables, aphorisms, wisdom sayings and performed
              signs. Presumably he did not teach entirely in aphorisms, he would have used
              these to summarise his lengthier discourses. His mission was to come
              suddenly to his Temple and cleanse it with the refiner's fire. This temple
              was symbolically the earthly temple but actually the people of the Covenant.
              He was rejected as the Davidic Messiah but fullfilled the role of the High
              Priestly Messiah after the order of Melchizedek when he himself became the
              ultimate atoning sacrifice. He was crucified for blasphemy and sedition
              whatever the legal authority and pretext.

              Early Easter morning something happened. If we knew more about angeology and
              Jewish mysticism we might understand more. The time of what happened, in
              some respects an incidental matter, is well attested. The Easter mystery
              meant that he was raised up by YHWH and given the Name which is above every
              Name, the name of YHWH. As Wisdom he had been with YHWH in the beginning;
              and since, in Jewish Monotheism and Jewish marriage, YHWH and his Consort
              were not two but one, his exhaltation was complete. Jesus' aphorisms and
              parables could easily be remembered and circulated. His lengthy discourses
              would have been reflected upon communally and summarised in memorable,
              possibly 'numerically sealed form' for oral circulation by catachists,
              along with key doctrinal statements as they were formulated: I Cor. 8:6.

              Where history (and indeed 'phenomenological historical-sociological
              imagination') ends, and New Testament christology begins remains the mute
              point. Back to my first point, we require humble imaginations open to pre-
              and post Newtonian world views and or a great deal of humility, faith and
              grace.

              I hope something of this proves valuable ot at least interesting to you.
              Angels, messengers and messages, the number and secret names of angels,
              ascents and descents, communal liturgies and rituals shared between the
              'above' and 'below', Merkavah meditations; Latin ROTAS SATOR squares,
              perhaps as prayer wheels within wheels, where to or three are gathered in my
              Name; there is certainly much to think about and meditate on.

              Best wishes,

              Bill Bullin (Student, East Sussex, England).
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