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Re: Greek discourses of Jesus in John?

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  • David Trapero
    ... Think of it the other way around: he came out of hiding and was captured/arrested and brought to trial at the time of his choosing. Timing was everything.
    Message 1 of 57 , Jan 23, 2004
      --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Grondin"
      <mwgrondin@c...> wrote:
      > --- David Trapero wrote:
      > > I know you won't like this but I see no reason to discount Jesus'
      > > interpretation of the Greeks request for a private meeting with
      > > him. From everything preceding this incident in John it would
      > > have been crystal clear to Jesus that he was in fact about to die,
      > > a death which he embraces as God's will for him.
      > But why, then, did he go into hiding at that point? And remain in
      > hiding up to the time of his capture?

      Think of it the other way around: he came out of hiding and was
      captured/arrested and brought to trial at the time of his choosing.
      Timing was everything. His death had become a foregone conclusion
      and he was willing to die but the timing of his death was of
      critical/theological importance.

      It may be that he "embraced
      > God's will" when the soldiers approached (didn't try to run away,
      > etc.), but up until then the bare facts in John's account indicate
      > that he was far from putting himself forward to meet his fate.

      On the contrary, 4G shows Jesus repeatedly returning to Jerusalem
      knowing full well that his life is in danger, repeatedly escaping
      attempted captures/arrests and in at least one case a
      stoning/lynching. This indicates a willingness to put himself in
      harms way and at the same time an unwillingness to submit to
      execution until the "right time". He was very much ready to put
      himself forward but ON HIS TERMS.

      > (It won't surprise you to learn that I don't believe that Jesus
      > anticipated that one of his inner circle would betray him. Unlike
      > some others, I do find Judas an historically plausible character,
      > but I don't find it plausible that Jesus arranged his own demise -

      Whoa! Where do you find Jesus arranging his own demise?

      > because his public actions seem to belie that, the later beliefs of
      > the narrator notwithstanding.)
      It's not that Jesus didn't
      > embrace God's will, but that it seems that he did not believe
      > (again, the narration to the contrary notwithstanding) that it was
      > necessarily God's will that he should die at that particular time.

      Different presuppositions can take the same data and legitimately
      interpret it very differently. Though we flatter ourselves on our
      objectivity and the supposed scientific nature of this endeavor,
      these discussions are by their very nature highly subjective and
      speculative. It always comes down to which model/paradigm has the
      greatest explanatory power, which can assimilate and make sense out
      of the most disparate data. The dialogue is important along with
      generous helpings of humility. I appreciate the opportunity to
      engage in these discussions.
      > Although we disagree on some pretty important specifics, I'm happy
      > to be able to say that I found your general remarks on the religio-
      > political program of Jesus to be most sensible and constructive.

      Thank you. I don't believe Jesus was crucified for "high
      Christology", "low Christology" or any other kind of "Christology"
      but because he had a sizeable grass roots movement which he could
      rapidly mobilize and which had the potential of adversely affecting
      the existing religio-political structure. He was a threat to the
      status quo. Period. Which meant that the Sanhedrin (for naught did
      Jesus send out "70" on ahead of him) was in danger of losing control
      or relevance. In times of crisis the law of the jungle comes into
      play: kill or be killed. The leaders of Judea chose the former,
      Jesus chose the latter. He advises us to do the same.


      David Trapero M.Div.
      818 2nd St. PL NE # 95
      Hickory, NC 28601
    • Peter.Hofrichter
      ... Dear Paul, of course, I cannot write now a conference paper, but I can give some hints. I shall treat 3 points: 1. Common observations, 2. Literary
      Message 57 of 57 , Jan 28, 2004
        Am 26.01.2004 um 02:50 schrieb Paul Anderson:

        > one has to look carefully and
        > without prejudice at each parallel text and try to find out how a
        > dependancy could have run.
        > Yours
        > Peter
        > (Paul) Thanks, Peter, I agree. One should indeed look at particular
        > contacts and seek to make plausible inferences based upon the evidence
        > emerging from the texts themselves. This is what I am trying to do as
        > well. As I look at Mark 6 and 8 and John 6, the evidence seems to
        > point more toward three independent traditions (two in Mark, and one
        > in John--here I do agree with Fortna), each having something of its
        > own autonomous Jesus tradition rather than having been dependent on
        > the others.
        > If you could just give us one more description of the basis for your
        > judgments, I think that will wrap up our discussion well. As I think
        > about the various options (and there may be more than these), the
        > following seem to outline the major alternatives:
        > a) John depends on Mark (in oral or written form)
        > b) Mark depends on John (in oral or written form)
        > c) John or Mark depends on something like the other (a Signs Gospel
        > or another hypothetical source)
        > d) John and Mark are completely independent
        > e) John and Mark are autonomous (not derivative of the other) but
        > somewhat engaged along the way
        > If you could describe why the evidence points toward b) in ways more
        > convincing than any of the others, that would be a help (that's what
        > I've tried to do regarding e) in my "Interfluentiality" and
        > "Answerability" essays). We could then compare exegetical evidence and
        > test deductions from the evidence effectively.
        > Thanks so much!
        > Paul Anderson
        > PS I've just learned that Ian McKay's thesis will be published in
        > WUNT II later this year. That is good news for the discipline!
        > If you could just give us one more description of the basis for your
        > judgments, I think that will wrap up our discussion well. As I think
        > about the various options (and there may be more than these), the
        > following seem to outline the major alternatives:

        Dear Paul, of course, I cannot write now a conference paper, but I can
        give some hints. I shall treat 3 points: 1. Common observations, 2.
        Literary relations, 3. Motives and 4. Radaction of Mark on the basis of

        1: To start with common observations: In John the story seems to fit
        into the Eliya typology and shows no purpose outside of itself. Some
        features like the boy with the food or the fish are useless for any
        theological interpretation. Only the following bread sermon provides an
        interpretation and meaning of the story from afterward. Contrary to
        that the two feedings stories of Mark tell from the beginning the
        essentials, and they are related to one another, and this not only at
        the end when Jesus speaks at once about both of them together (8,19f).
        There he refers to the symbolical numbers 12 and 7 of the baskets full
        of bread pieces gathered and points to them as if to the key of the
        whole message. The suspicion that 12 and 7 has something to do with
        Jews and pagans / all mankind (12 tribes of Israel and 7 days of
        creation) will be confirmed by additional facts. Tracing back from
        there you will find that also the numbers of the breads to be
        multiplied, 5 and 7, fit to the same concept (5 books of Moses),
        similarly the 5000 and 4000 people (e.g. 4 rivers of paradise, etc.).
        Mk tried even to locate the two events clearly on Jewish and pagan
        soil: near Bethsaida the first one and in the �middle of the Decapolis�
        the second one. Last not least the words of blessing spoken over the
        food to be multiplied are different. Eulogein reminds of the Jewish
        beracha, and eucharistein was already largely used by St. Paul in his
        letters to his heathen Christians in a quasi-liturgical way. In this
        light John seems to be still simply Hellenistic-Jewish: The helpers
        Andreas and Philippus are the hellenists among the apostles, the
        background of the numbers5 and 12 is Jewish, the place is not clearly
        qualified, the terminology of eucharistein is the same like that of
        Paul. Together with its unnecessary details the story in John makes a
        more original impression. On the other hand the two stories of Mark are
        linked together and are conceived as a logical unity according to a
        certain literary concept and purpose. Moreover the second feeding story
        of Mark seems rather pale without really original and individual
        features. It looks more like a formal repetition of the first one than
        proving a living separate tradition.

        2. To seem more original or more sophisticated has nothing to do with
        literary relationship. This is another issue: But there are remarkable
        parallels between John and both of the stories of Mark. All three are
        told in exactly the same sequence of elements varying constructions and
        synonymas. That seems to exclude oral tradition as a common source but
        shows the usual literary practice of paraphrasing. But certain elements
        of John are found only in either the first or the second story of Mark,
        e.g.: Jn6 and Mk8: �Apekriqh autw Filippos� / �apekriqhsan autw�; Jn6
        and Mk5 have in common �pente (artous kriqinous) kai duo opsaria /
        icqyas� and �cortos / cortw � anepesan�, once more Jn6 and Mk8
        �eucaristhsas� and �perisseusanta / perisseumata�, in Jn6 and Mk5 again
        dwdeka kofinous / kofinwn�. O course, there are also properties of
        Mark�s both stories as �esplancisqh / splancnizomai� or �Posous artous
        exete� or (kat)eklasen (�) kai edidou. One can imagine that Mark has
        inserted these elements but scarcely that John disliked and canceled

        3. If we admit at least the formal possibility that Mark could have
        used John and made of this one feeding story his two, the next question
        may be if he could have a motive to do so. Every criminal investigator
        has to ask for the possible motives. of the suspicious persons. Mark is
        a propagandist of Peter and James (when he speaks of the sons of
        Zebedee John remains in the shadow). We know that both wanted the
        tables of Jewish and pagan faithful to be divided. On the other hand
        the hellenists had no problem in converting not only Jews but also
        heathens to the same community. They did so from the beginning in
        Antioch alredy before Paul was sent there together with Barnabas to
        look for order. The call for division was certainly secundary to the
        practice of the hellenists. And the strive between Peter and Paul was
        even later. Moreover the hellenists lost very soon their importance.
        Andrew disappears totally from the stage, and Philip is probably
        downgraded to the evangelist of Luke�s acts. It is much more likely
        that Mark has made two of one than that �John� (the Hellenists) made
        one of two, what Luke as a pupil of Paul later on in his Gospel really

        4. OK, our suspicion is strengthened, now let us look on a lager scale
        at the relation between Mark and John on the basis of his doubling the
        feeding story. If you agree that the chapters 5 and 6 of John have been
        changed you can discover that Mark probably did not only double from
        John the feeding story but the whole sequence from the Samaritan woman
        till to the bread sermon. But he did that only concerning the structure
        and replacing John�s material by his own. He starts twice with the
        story of a woman, first with the healing of the Haemorhoea who is a Jew
        and the second time with the Syrophoenician who is a pagan. Then he
        tells at first how Jesus went through the land of the Jews ending up
        with the first feeding and an interpretation of it. In the second turn
        Jesus goes to the land of the pagans and ends up in the second feeding
        and once more an interpretation. That means that Mark wanted to divide
        totally between the two missions to the Jews and to the pagans and to
        root this practice already in the example of Jesus himself. And this
        means also that the pattern of his Gospel was an earlier scripture,
        which, according to my opinion, was later enlarged to our Gospel of
        John and which I would call �Hellenistenbuch� � Booklet of the

        Dear Paul, thank you for giving me the opportunity of explaining what I
        Sincerely yours

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