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Re: [John_Lit] Re: Oral Tradition

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  • Bill Bullin
    ... Bill Bullin replies concerning Mark 4:10-20 and parallels: First we can argue either that: (1) Mark follows Matthew and Luke (Griesbach); John is latest.
    Message 1 of 20 , Feb 6, 2004
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      Bill Bullin wrote:

      > > If Mark 4: 13-20 could be shown to be a likely pericope from Johannine
      > > circles,
      > > it would demonstrate that the(se) Johannine circles(s) knew at least
      > > one of the
      > > parables of Jesus
      > > but the Evangelist / B. D. chose not to incorporate it for some reason.
      Peter replied:
      > In my view you have to differenciate between the parable and its
      > interpretation. The parable is one thing. It belonged to the traditions
      > available to Mark. The interpretation is another thing and was given by
      > Mark himself and layed into the mouth of Jesus. One of the purposes or
      > probably the main purpose of the interpretation was to explicitely
      > de-christologize the term and concept of the Logos like the
      > "Hellenistenbuch" already did before. The sawyer is Jesus and the Logos
      > is the seed he spreads or his spoken word. Matthew and Luke appearantly
      > were no longer aware of this primary intention and changed the absolute
      > "Logos" simply to the "logos qeou". After all, I do not hink that the
      > pericope of the sawyer has something to do with johannine circles, but
      > only with Mark rejceting all Logos-speculations along with he "Gospel
      > of John" he had before his eyes. Both, "John" and after him Mark, by
      > this same procedure exalted Jesus from the Logos (Philo and Prologue)
      > to God himself. This is the line not only of "John" and Mark, but also
      > of the following Gospel writers Matthw and Luke. According to all
      > Gospels in Jesus has appeared God (= Yaweh) himself, and what he speaks
      > is the Logos or the word of God.
      >
      Bill Bullin replies concerning Mark 4:10-20 and parallels:

      First we can argue either that:

      (1) Mark follows Matthew and Luke (Griesbach);
      John is latest.

      (2) Matthew and Luke follow Mark and possibly other sources (Streeter).
      John is latest.

      (3) Luke follows Matthew and Matthew follows Mark (Farrar / Goulder);
      John is latest.

      (4) An elaborate theory of synoptic development and inter-reaction.
      John is last (and *first), (Boismard, *Robinsion).

      (5) Johannine material was in circulation before Mark (as it is now known),
      was competed.
      This may have taken the form of both a Hellenistenbuch and or other free
      floating oral material
      or indeed a 'sealed' piece of oral material.

      We can view this material in a number of ways:

      (A) We can read it as a straightforward continuation of Jesus' teaching to
      the disciples, when the crowds were no longer present.

      (B) We can see it as one piece of Marcan redactional material.

      (C) We can see it as two separate pieces of material: 11-12 & 13-20, in
      which case they could be:

      (a) Teaching of Jesus to his disciples (11-12) and then Marcan redactional
      material (13-20).

      (b) Marcan redactional material (11-12) and then a further preserved
      pericope of Jesus' teaching (13-20).

      (c) One piece of Marcan redactional material (11-12) followed by a second
      piece of Marcan redactional material (13-20).

      (d) One piece of Marcan redactional material (11-12) followed by
      an insertion of further redactional material (13-20) from elsewhere.

      (e) Two pieces of redactional material from elsewhere.

      (f) One piece of continuous redactional material inserted from elsewhere.

      I (BB), am arguing for (5) (C) (d, with perhaps as underlying wisdom
      logion).
      I understand you, (PH) to be arguing for (5) (B) or (C) (c).
      I understand Leonard, (LM) to be arguing for (1) (B) (f).

      I understand Frank (F MC) to be introducing a broader christological
      suggestion,
      offering an intermediate concept somewhere between logos and LOGOS; a kind
      of 'anggelogos' rather than an 'ANGGELOGOS'.

      I wonder what those who support an early John and follow (2) or (4) make of
      Mark 4?
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      ... Because you say so? My response is: prove it . And please do not bother to repeat the standard arguments found in New Testament introductions. All five of
      Message 2 of 20 , Feb 6, 2004
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        In a message dated 2/6/2004 9:15:01 AM Eastern Standard Time, Peter.Hofrichter@... writes:

        > Dear Colleague Leonard Maluf
        > I know already your two Gospels Theorie. Unfortunately I cannot share it. Mark is the first among the synoptics.>

        Because you say so? My response is: "prove it". And please do not bother to repeat the standard arguments found in New Testament introductions. All five of them have been frequently and decisively exposed as fallacious, or at the very least inconclusive. On the other hand, if you have some new argument in its support (other than that from authority) I, for one, would be most interested in hearing it. What impresses me is that the theory of Markan priority leaves unexplained more detailed phenomena in the Synoptic Gospels than it explains. Try, if you like, to persuade me otherwise, but perhaps you should do so on another list, such as Synoptic-L. Thus far you have only confirmed my view that old Europe is more reliable on the question of preemptive warfare than it is on the question of the order of the Synoptic Gospels.

        << The development of the "Logos" goes differently from what should be expected according to an evolution concept. But concerning the christology this means a augmentation or lifting up....>

        Sorry. The theory doesn't become any less counter-intuitive with repetition. I need to know something of the reason why you think Mark's (bzw. Matthew's) use of logos to refer to the teaching of Jesus was a fighting doctrine, attempting to undermine an already established identification of Jesus himself with the logos. I just see no evidence of this whatsoever.

        Leonard Maluf
        Blessed John XXIII National Seminary
        Weston, MA
      • Joseph Codsi
        Peter Hofrichter wrote on February 5, 2004 in relation to Mark s parable of ... I find this reconstruction of the facts too hasty. In order to reach such a
        Message 3 of 20 , Feb 7, 2004
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          Peter Hofrichter wrote on February 5, 2004 in relation to Mark's parable of
          the sower:

          > In my view you have to differentiate between the parable and its
          > interpretation. The parable is one thing. It belonged to the traditions
          > available to Mark. The interpretation is another thing and was given by
          > Mark himself and layed into the mouth of Jesus.

          I find this reconstruction of the facts too hasty. In order to reach such a
          conclusion, I would expect the existence of two distinct versions of the
          parable. The first one would narrate the parable without its explanation,
          and the second one would be Mark's present version. In the absence of such a
          literary evidence, Peter's conclusion requires some explanation.
          If Mark has invented the explanation of the parable, then one is to conclude
          that Jesus had told the parable without its explanation. I find this
          difficult to maintain.
          To begin with, the gospel of "Mark" openly contradicts this explanation. The
          parabolic discourse concludes with the following remark:
          "With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to
          hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained
          everything in private to his disciples." (Mark 4:33-34)
          I will comment on this passage in two points.
          First point: The parables are not meant to obscure the message. On the
          contrary, their purpose is to convey the message of Jesus concerning the
          spiritual reality called the Kingdom of God. The parabolic discourse was a
          way of adapting the language to the audience, so that the people would
          understand. This is what is implied in verse 33.
          Second point: Jesus reserved the explanation of the parable to his
          disciples, as it is stated in verse 34 and as it is specifically said of the
          parable of the sower in verses 10-12.
          In both cases it is implied that the explanation goes back to Jesus himself.
          The fact of separating the parable from its explanation does not prove, in
          and of itself, that Mark is responsible of this separation. We must examine
          Mark's text more carefully.

          Mark's version does not only separate the parable from its explanation. It
          moreover conveys the notion that Jesus reserved the explanation to his
          disciples. It goes even to the point of changing the meaning of the word
          "parable" from a concrete illustration of the spiritual reality to an
          "incomprehensible charade" (cf. Mark 4:10-12). There is here a clear
          contradiction that renders the understanding of Mark very difficult. I will
          not go now into this difficult problem.
          There are two ways of reading what pertains to the parables in Mark. The
          first one is a literal reading. In this case, Jesus himself would have
          reserved the explanation of the parable to his disciples. The second reading
          stems from the fact that Jesus could not have done so and could not have
          given the explanation found in verses 11-12. In this second case, the
          problem consists in determining who is responsible of verses 11-12, the
          disciples themselves or "Mark" or someone in between.
          I think this question must be resolved before we could speak of any relation
          between "Mark" and "John". This is particularly true if it can be proven
          that Mark did not invent anything here, but transmitted faithfully and to
          the letter what he had received, in spite of the fact that what he had
          received did not make sense, especially in relation to verses 11-12.
          So long,
          Joseph.

          Joseph Codsi
          P.O.Box 116-2088
          Beirut, Lebanon
          Telephone (961) 1 242-545
          joseph5@...
        • Peter.Hofrichter
          ... The same happend once more in the 4th century. After the Logos-christology was renewed be Justinus Martyr it was accepted by almost all theologians (except
          Message 4 of 20 , Feb 7, 2004
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            Am 06.02.2004 um 03:42 schrieb fmmccoy:

            > In this case, there is no exaltation of Jesus from the Logos to God
            > Himself
            > in Mark.
            >
            > Perhaps it's questionable whether this is the case in John either. Why
            > would the Johannine community keep the Prologue in John, where Jesus
            > is the
            > Logos of God as a personified divine being, if they later exalted him
            > from
            > the Logos to God Himself?
            >
            > Frank McCoy

            The same happend once more in the 4th century. After the
            Logos-christology was renewed be Justinus Martyr it was accepted by
            almost all theologians (except certain modalists especially in Asia
            Minor). But the Logos-Christology was and is incompatible with the full
            godhead of Christ. The Logos is concieved as a being between God and
            man, between God and his creature, mediator and word of creation.
            Arius, who was a famous preacher in Alexandria and a consequent
            montheist and platonist, claimed therefore that the Logos was
            subordinate to God and that he was created by him before all other
            creatures. Other theologians claimed that the Son wass of the same
            divine "substance" and eternal age as the Father. Also they referred
            the Gospel of John: Me and the Father are one, who sees Me sees the
            Father. At last the Council of Nicea (325) decided in its creed: We
            belive in him as "gennhqenta monogenh from the ousia of the Father,
            light from light ... homoousios tw patri", and so on. The term Logos is
            not to be found in this creed of Nicea and not even in it revised
            edition of Constantinople (381), which is used till today by all
            Curches. Also Arius and his friend Euzoius published a creed where the
            say at the same place: "gegennhmenon Logon Qeon". They bestowed on the
            term Logos. The controversy between Arians and Nicaenians as alredy
            before between Subordinationists and Modalists had its last reason in
            the contradiction between the Logos-Hymn and the Gospel reinterpreting
            it and de-cristoloigising the Logos and exalting Jesus to Jahwe himself
            in the oneness of God Father and Son. The most dazzeling enigma of the
            Gospel is this "contradiction", if one believes that it was written
            altogether by the same author. We are used to hear always again that
            the Logos concept is the crown and peak of all Christology. This was
            originally for ancient people definitely not at all the case. The Logos
            is clearly less than and subordinate to the one God of Israel and also
            less than and beneeth the transcendent God of Plato There the Logos is
            the soul of the cosmos. In Jewish or Christian terms he is the mediator
            of creation and revelation. And he is necessary because in Platonism
            the absolutely transcendent God himself has no relation whatsoever with
            the material world except through a mediator. Therfore Philo shows not
            God, but the Logos speaking in the burnig thorn bush, on the mount
            Sinai, and so on.

            As to Mark: The parable of the sawer is the only one, which is given an
            interpretation and an enigmatic question to the understanding of the
            disciples. Why? As referring to peple with more or less faith it is
            quite easy to be understood and does not deserve a special explanation.
            The emphasis in its undestanding must have another reason, it mus be
            because of the Logos terminology. The logical link between the Sawer,
            the seed and the problem of the Logos terminology is the concept of the
            Logos spermatikos. What the readers of the Gospel shall understand is
            exactly that Jesus is the sawer and his spoken word is the Logos as the
            logos spermatikos: the seed. One could object that Mark does not deal
            elsewhere with this problem. that is true. but if his model was the
            primitive "Gospel of John", he and his readers knew also this problem.

            The reason of the de-christologisation of the Logos by "John" (that
            means the later Hellenists) and by Mark may not have been only and on
            first line the exatation of Jesus from Logos to God himself, but also
            and even more the struggle against the beginning Gnostic spinneries
            about the preexisting divine World.

            Peter Hofrichter
          • Bill Bullin
            ... it. Mark is the first among the synoptics. ... Leonard replies: Because you say so? My response is: prove it . Bill Bullin writes: Dear Leonard In a
            Message 5 of 20 , Feb 7, 2004
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              -Peter Hofrichter rights to Leonard:
              > > I know already your two Gospels Theorie. Unfortunately I cannot share
              it. Mark is the first among the synoptics.>
              >
              Leonard replies: Because you say so? My response is: "prove it".

              Bill Bullin writes:

              Dear Leonard

              In a recent posting to Peter Hofrichter, I set out a scheme of the
              theoretical possibilities that are most likely to be argued in relation to
              the origin of
              Mark 4: 13-20 (//'s Matt. 13:8-23 & Luke 8:11-13). The nature of such a
              scheme risks being irritating rather than helpful. At the foot I made a note
              of my understanding of your contribution. I inadvertently designated it: (1)
              (B) (f) which of course is entirely in error. If I understand you correctly,
              it should simply read (1) (B). I apologise.

              Such a position as (1) (B) wields Occam's Razor with great effect; there is
              no need to involve 4G; Mark is late, indeed late enough to reflect the kind
              of evolved LOGOS Christology the majority of scholars argue for, together
              with a post 85CE separation of Church and Synagogue type social situation
              often linked with the 'benediction of the minim'; (J. L. Martyn (1979); D.
              Rensberger, (1988) et al.). 4G is, presumably then written in the 90's - 120
              's CE. This makes a great deal of sense to me but do I detect the faint
              traces of blood on the wall? What if Occam's razor, is being wielded in the
              bathroom where a baby has been bathing? What if the baby gets cut and then
              baby, together with the bathwater, drains away leaving precious little
              evidence of a more complex series of events? My metaphores are almost as
              confusingly mixed as in Mark 4: 13-20.

              For me, a first edition of John, written in the 60's in a Palestinian
              setting, is a serious possibility. The Temple still stands (John 5:2),
              tensions between the synagogue and the churches grow with a worsening
              socio-political climate, they have never been great. Although a post war
              'benediction' has not been formulated the ma-minim or believers are growing
              in strength and tensions between the Christian Pharisees and the Synagogue
              are growing. The parable of the sower is well known, not only to the Petrine
              Party but also to the economically more independent and communal Johannine
              Hellenists / Enochian Essene / Samaritans with their 373 ANGGELGOS
              Christology.

              A Johannine 'sealed pericope' is formulated orally and somehow passed
              between the communities; it is a reflection on the parable of the sower,
              well known to all the believers in Palestine. It warns against conforming
              either for economic gain or to avoid persecution. It is constructed using
              the word LOGOS eight times reflecting the gematria of IESOUS 888.
              Furthermore it uses no more and no less than 146 words, two lots of 73, the
              gematria of CHOKMAH or Wisdom, reinforcing the message that Jesus in the
              flesh was none other than Wisdom incarnate, the DaBaR or LOGOS who had been
              from the beginning. But more, the 146 words are constructed from 730 Greek
              letters to emphasise the key meditative point yet again!

              Both communities had been reflecting on their current social situation, the
              evangel is falling on hard ground, indeed the war clouds are gathering
              between Rome and the Jews. The Christians are reminded of words of Jesus and
              of the great prophet Isaiah. Indeed the Beloved disciple had only recently
              been reflecting prayerfully on the divine shekinah glory and writing about
              it, (John 12:38-43, Isaiah 6:11-13). Perhaps they would need to flee to
              Alexandria. Certainly some of the Jewish-Christians were considering fleeing
              to Pella.

              Alternatively of course, 'Mark' - writing in a post-war situation, could
              simply have expanded on the 128 words of Matthew 13:18-23, noticing at the
              same time that these were composed of 4 to the power of 3 words: (4x4x4=64 +
              64=4x4x4), a cubic number like the very Holy of Holies both on earth and in
              heaven. Much depends on the Q or non-Q debate, which, in its broadest terms
              is clearly something for another list, but in the specific limits of
              analysing Mark 4 in the light of proposed early Johannine material, must
              surely remain relevant.

              It is clearly unlikely that either Matthew or Mark would have followed Luke
              8:11-15 with his meagre109 words, unless of course the kind of evolutionary
              model of Christology is applied to synoptic development theory too; but here
              I must certainly resist the temptation to digress onto John 17 and the two
              accounts of the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew and Luke.

              With best wishes from Old Europe.
              >
              Bill Bullin (Private Student, East Sussex).
              >
            • LeeEdgarTyler@aol.com
              In a message dated 2/8/2004 1:16:51 PM Central Standard Time, joseph5@inco.com.lb writes: Peter Hofrichter wrote on February 5, 2004 in relation to Mark s
              Message 6 of 20 , Feb 8, 2004
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                In a message dated 2/8/2004 1:16:51 PM Central Standard Time,
                joseph5@... writes:

                Peter Hofrichter wrote on February 5, 2004 in relation to Mark's parable of
                the sower:

                > In my view you have to differentiate between the parable and its
                > interpretation. The parable is one thing. It belonged to the traditions
                > available to Mark. The interpretation is another thing and was given by
                > Mark himself and layed into the mouth of Jesus.

                I find this reconstruction of the facts too hasty. In order to reach such a
                conclusion, I would expect the existence of two distinct versions of the
                parable. The first one would narrate the parable without its explanation,
                and the second one would be Mark's present version. In the absence of such a
                literary evidence, Peter's conclusion requires some explanation.
                If Mark has invented the explanation of the parable, then one is to conclude
                that Jesus had told the parable without its explanation. I find this
                difficult to maintain
                I wonder why you find this dificult, Joseph? Traditional wisdom forms like
                the parable and the proverb are typically delivered without explication. It
                is only once the thing leaves its milieu, often when it is committed to
                written form, that you start finding explications attached to them.
                Ed Tyler

                http://hometown.aol.com/leeedgartyler/myhomepage/index.html


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Peter.Hofrichter
                Am 06.02.2004 um 15:29 schrieb Bill Bullin: I always wonder how abstract especially NT-scholats are used to think and argue, far away from real life. Our
                Message 7 of 20 , Feb 9, 2004
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                  Am 06.02.2004 um 15:29 schrieb Bill Bullin:

                  I always wonder how abstract especially NT-scholats are used to think
                  and argue, far away from real life. Our evangelists were not
                  sophisticated puzzle producers or people with too much leisur time or
                  well payed professors motivated by the principle publish or perish.
                  Writing and publishing a new book was a big and expensive task. If they
                  did so they must have experienced an urgent need and necessity,
                  especially if similar books already existed. They must have had a
                  strong motivation to improve or to change or to replace something they
                  were absolutely not content with or did absolutely not agree with to be
                  used in the church. We can be sure that in the young Jesus movement
                  everybody of the leading people knew everybody, but that there were
                  quite different opinions, strives and enimities like it is usual
                  especially in young movements (and even in old ones - think of your
                  parish, convent or whatsoever). Forget the romantic idea of isolated
                  communities with their isolated oral traditions and emerging new tales
                  ("Gemeindebildungen") kept hidden from everybody else for decades.
                  Where should that have been? Somewhere in the desert or on mount Hermon
                  or where? The Jesus people were mainly inhabitants of the big cities
                  with quick communication: Jerusalem, Damascus, Antioch, Caesarea,
                  Ephesus. All Gospels were produced by highly educated people, most
                  probably in Antioch. No author will have written without having before
                  his eyes all similar scriptures already existing. Think of what Luke
                  says in his Prologue, who might have been the last one to write. All
                  these famous theories mentioned below (Griesbach, Streeter, Boismatd,
                  etc.) lack of one important thing: the vital necessity and motivation
                  for each Gospel writer to do what he did.

                  The synoptic question as such belongs to another dicussion group. But
                  why should Mark make an abstract of Matthew and Luke? What is his vital
                  purpose and what is the decisive improvement? People normally want to
                  read more, not less! Abtracts were highly appreciated in antiquity
                  (e.g. Xyphilinus), but only of really lengthy works of about 100
                  volumes, which to buy or to read nobody had enough money and time. But
                  not in the case of one small booklet. What is much more likely and
                  usual is an enlarged edition with an special emphasis, like Matthew
                  made of Mark, also he a propagator of Peter stressing his claims by
                  additional arguments (as to the Jewish law or Mt 16,18). Additional
                  material was a condition of success and will have granted readers.
                  There are plenty of other examples of enlarged editions in secular
                  ancient literature, especially in historiography. About the priority of
                  a written early edition of "John" (Hellenistenbuch) as the partial
                  source and pattern of Mark and to a certain extent also once more of
                  his followers Mt and Lk I wrote already enough in this discussion
                  group. Luke as disciple and propagator of Paul could not be happy with
                  all three predecessors – none of them could be useed in the Pauline
                  Church – and wrote the last – and concerning the literary quality –
                  also the best Gospel. And there is some evidence that he used besides
                  "John", Mark, and Matthew also Matthew’s additional written source Q.
                  Then Luke had at least four earlier writings before his eyes, and his
                  statement that "many before him" have already written seems somehow
                  sincere and serious. Two or three would scarcely justify to speak of
                  "many". By the time several strong reactions on Mark and again on
                  Matthew were inserted into "John": Most Hellenists did not accept the
                  leadership of Peter and his party fovoured there, but others
                  appearently did. Additional texts of both factions were added to the
                  text existing, probably at first in different editions, but finally
                  united into only one and the same (e.g. the two different endings:
                  Thomas-story and chapter 21, and chapter 21once more augmented).

                  A last question: What is your "redactional material"? What kind of
                  substance is that? Something copied, something written from own memory
                  or from having heared from others or something concieved and produced
                  by oneself? Such abstract learned terms – as there are:
                  Gemeindebildung, Traditionsmaterial, redaktionelle Bildung, your
                  floating oral material etc. – conceal the helplessness and ingnorance
                  behind them and not only serve for nothing but poisen and block every
                  honest language in research. Say exactly what you mean and imagine it
                  in real live.

                  All the best for the future
                  Peter Hofrichter





                  > Bill Bullin replies concerning Mark 4:10-20 and parallels:
                  >
                  > First we can argue either that:
                  >
                  > (1) Mark follows Matthew and Luke (Griesbach);
                  > John is latest.
                  >
                  > (2) Matthew and Luke follow Mark and possibly other sources (Streeter).
                  > John is latest.
                  >
                  > (3) Luke follows Matthew and Matthew follows Mark (Farrar / Goulder);
                  > John is latest.
                  >
                  > (4) An elaborate theory of synoptic development and inter-reaction.
                  > John is last (and *first), (Boismard, *Robinsion).
                  >
                  > (5) Johannine material was in circulation before Mark (as it is now
                  > known),
                  > was competed.
                  > This may have taken the form of both a Hellenistenbuch and or other
                  > free
                  > floating oral material
                  > or indeed a 'sealed' piece of oral material.
                  >
                  > We can view this material in a number of ways:
                  >
                  > (A) We can read it as a straightforward continuation of Jesus'
                  > teaching to
                  > the disciples, when the crowds were no longer present.
                  >
                  > (B) We can see it as one piece of Marcan redactional material.
                  >
                  > (C) We can see it as two separate pieces of material: 11-12 & 13-20, in
                  > which case they could be:
                  >
                  > (a) Teaching of Jesus to his disciples (11-12) and then Marcan
                  > redactional
                  > material (13-20).
                  >
                  > (b) Marcan redactional material (11-12) and then a further preserved
                  > pericope of Jesus' teaching (13-20).
                  >
                  > (c) One piece of Marcan redactional material (11-12) followed by a
                  > second
                  > piece of Marcan redactional material (13-20).
                  >
                  > (d) One piece of Marcan redactional material (11-12) followed by
                  > an insertion of further redactional material (13-20) from elsewhere.
                  >
                  > (e) Two pieces of redactional material from elsewhere.
                  >
                  > (f) One piece of continuous redactional material inserted from
                  > elsewhere.
                  >
                  > I (BB), am arguing for (5) (C) (d, with perhaps as underlying wisdom
                  > logion).
                  > I understand you, (PH) to be arguing for (5) (B) or (C) (c).
                  > I understand Leonard, (LM) to be arguing for (1) (B) (f).
                  >
                  > I understand Frank (F MC) to be introducing a broader christological
                  > suggestion,
                  > offering an intermediate concept somewhere between logos and LOGOS; a
                  > kind
                  > of 'anggelogos' rather than an 'ANGGELOGOS'.
                  >
                  > I wonder what those who support an early John and follow (2) or (4)
                  > make of
                  > Mark 4?
                • fmmccoy
                  ... From: Peter.Hofrichter To: Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2004 6:05 AM Subject: Re:
                  Message 8 of 20 , Feb 9, 2004
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                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Peter.Hofrichter" <Peter.Hofrichter@...>
                    To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2004 6:05 AM
                    Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Jesus Logos or God Himself


                    >
                    > Am 06.02.2004 um 03:42 schrieb fmmccoy:
                    >
                    > > In this case, there is no exaltation of Jesus from the Logos to God
                    > > Himself
                    > > in Mark.
                    > >
                    > > Perhaps it's questionable whether this is the case in John either. Why
                    > > would the Johannine community keep the Prologue in John, where Jesus
                    > > is the
                    > > Logos of God as a personified divine being, if they later exalted him
                    > > from
                    > > the Logos to God Himself?
                    > >

                    > The same happend once more in the 4th century. After the
                    > Logos-christology was renewed be Justinus Martyr it was accepted by
                    > almost all theologians (except certain modalists especially in Asia
                    > Minor). But the Logos-Christology was and is incompatible with the full
                    > godhead of Christ. The Logos is concieved as a being between God and
                    > man, between God and his creature, mediator and word of creation.
                    > Arius, who was a famous preacher in Alexandria and a consequent
                    > montheist and platonist, claimed therefore that the Logos was
                    > subordinate to God and that he was created by him before all other
                    > creatures.

                    That a Christological progression from Jesus as the Logos to Jesus as God
                    occurred in mainstream Christianity in the 4th century doesn't necessarily
                    mean that a similar Christological progression occurred in the Johannine
                    community in the 1st century.

                    In any event, the position of Arius appears to have been more sophisticated
                    than indicated above, with him distinguishing between the Logos who is the
                    Son (with this Logos being the Logos described above) and the true Logos of
                    God.

                    In Early Arianism-a View of Salvation (Fortress Press), Robert C. Gregg and
                    Dennis E. Groh state (p. 103), "As the structures of reality are differently
                    drawn by the early Arians, they argue that God's 'true' Reason and
                    Wisdom--that is, the Logos and Sophia which belong to his nature alone--are
                    his intrinsic attributes. Contrary to the charges leveled at them, the
                    Arians did not teach that God was ever without *his own* Word and Wisdom.
                    Athanasius knows this, for he preserved their doctrine of the one Wisdom
                    which is God's own and exists in him (ten idian kai synyparchousan tw thew),
                    distinguishable from the Son, and their parallel doctrine of the Word, other
                    than the Son, which is in God. The accusation contained in Alexander's
                    enclyclical is correct: the Arians say that the Son 'is neither similar to
                    the father in essence, nor is he truly and by nature (alethinos kai physei)
                    the Word of God, nor is he true (alethine) Wisdom...".

                    >Other theologians claimed that the Son wass of the same
                    > divine "substance" and eternal age as the Father. Also they referred
                    > the Gospel of John: Me and the Father are one, who sees Me sees the
                    > Father.

                    Certainly, these phrases, in John, of, "Me and the Father are one", and "Who
                    sees Me sees the Father", can be interpreted to mean that Jesus is God.

                    However, they are also intepretable in terms of a Logos Christology

                    See, for example, Fuga (101), where, regarding the Logos, Philo states,
                    "Nay, He is Himself the Image of God, chiefest of all Beings intellectually
                    perceived, placed nearest, with no intervening distance, to the Alone truly
                    existent One. For we read, 'I will talk with thee from above the
                    Mercy-seat, between the two Cherubim' (Ex. xxv. 21), words which shew that
                    while the Logos is the charioteer of the Powers, He Who talks is seated in
                    the chariot, giving directions to the charioteer for the right wielding of
                    the reins of the Universe."

                    Here, we see, the Logos is one with God, his Father, in two senses. First,
                    there is "no intervening distance" between the Logos and God, so that, in
                    some significant sense, they are a single entity. Second, the Logos is one
                    in will with God, obediently obeying whatever God tells him to do.

                    Here, we also see, the Logos is the Image of God, so that, in some
                    significant sense, to see the Logos is to see God.

                    (snip)

                    > We are used to hear always again that
                    > the Logos concept is the crown and peak of all Christology. This was
                    > originally for ancient people definitely not at all the case.

                    Agreed.

                    >The Logos
                    > is clearly less than and subordinate to the one God of Israel and also
                    > less than and beneeth the transcendent God of Plato There the Logos is
                    > the soul of the cosmos. In Jewish or Christian terms he is the mediator
                    > of creation and revelation. And he is necessary because in Platonism
                    > the absolutely transcendent God himself has no relation whatsoever with
                    > the material world except through a mediator. Therfore Philo shows not
                    > God, but the Logos speaking in the burnig thorn bush, on the mount
                    > Sinai, and so on.

                    While Philo's Logos is not Plato's soul of the cosmos, it is important to
                    note that Philo's Logos does play the same role. In Philo (Vol. 1, Harvard
                    University Press, pp. 327-28), Harry Austryn Wolfson states, "While the
                    residence of the Logos in the corporeal world is conceived by him (i.e.,
                    Philo), as we have said, after the analogy of the residence of Plato's
                    preexistent mind or soul in the body of the world, still Philo never
                    describes the immanent Logos as the mind or the soul of the world. His
                    immanent Logos, while performing the same functions as Plato's or the
                    Stoics' world-soul, is not a world-soul."

                    Also, since Philo's Logos is the One through whom the Cosmos is created,
                    Philo's Logos, even though not Plato's Demiurge, does play the same role as
                    Plato's Demiurge.

                    How does one explain why Philo's Logos plays the role of both Plato's
                    Demiurge and world-soul, yet is neither?

                    What I suspect is that Philo was influenced by the Middle Platonist, Eudorus
                    of Alexandria.

                    As respects the teachings of Eudorus, Jerry Dell Ehrlich states in Plato's
                    Gift to Christianity (Academic Christian Press, p. 104) that "the ultimate
                    transcendent God is even further exalted, which was in keeping with the
                    general trend within Middle-Platonism that the First Principle of all was
                    utterly transcendent, and the Creator of the World, the Demiurge, was a
                    Second Principle of creation, and the final principle, the third element of
                    deity, was the World-Soul or World-Spirit. While this is an interpretation
                    of Plato's own thoughts, it can be understood as an attempt at systematizing
                    Plato's Absolute One in the Republic with the Father and Maker of the
                    Universe in the Timaeus and the Living Creature (Cosmos) or World-Soul in
                    the Timaeus. While this view had tremendous influence on Philo of
                    Alexandria and the forming of the doctrine of the Christian Trinity, it
                    seems more likely that Plato himself would not have made a distinction
                    between the God beyond being and the Demiurge, the Father and Maker of the
                    Cosmos."

                    The important point here is that Eudorus did not equate the transcendent God
                    with the Demiurge, so that there are, in his thought, three divine beings,
                    i.e., the transcendent God, the Demiurge, and the World-soul.

                    In Philonic thought, the Logos apparently combines the roles of both
                    Eudorus' Demiurge and World-Soul. The Cosmos was created through the Logos
                    (so that he plays the same role as the Demiurge) and the Cosmos is ruled
                    through the Logos, who suffuses himself through the Cosmos, bonding and
                    knitting together all its parts (so that he plays the role of the
                    World-Soul).

                    Relevant to the discussion is Exodus (Book II, Sect. 68), where Philo
                    states, "And from the divine Logos, as from a spring, there divide and break
                    forth two powers. One is the creative (power), though which the Artificer
                    placed and ordered all things; this is named 'God.' And (the other is) the
                    royal (power), since through it the Creator rules over created things; this
                    is called 'Lord.'"

                    I suggest that, here, we have a clue as to how the roles of Eudorus'
                    Demiurge and the World-soul came to be assigned to Philo's Logos.

                    In particular, there appears to have been an intermediate step in which the
                    role of Eudorus' Demiurge was assigned to an angelic power called the
                    Creative Power and given the title of God and in which the role of Eudorus'
                    World-soul was assigned to an angelic power called the Royal Power and given
                    the title of Lord. This step was presumably taken by an Alexandrian Jew,
                    possibly, but not necessarily, Philo.

                    In the final step, these two angelic powers were taken to be a part of the
                    very self of the Logos. As a result, they emanate from the Logos like two
                    streams from a fountain. As these two angelic powers are of the very self
                    of the Logos, their roles are also the roles of the Logos. This last step,
                    presumably, was taken by Philo.

                    This explains why Philo gives the Logos the titles of God and Lord. The
                    Logos is God because he has the role of "God" (i.e., the Creative Power) and
                    he is Lord because he has the role of "Lord" (i.e., the Royal Power).

                    In this case, the exclamation of Thomas, "My Lord and my God!", can be
                    interpreted to be a recognition, on the part of Thomas, that Jesus is the
                    Logos: who combines, in one divine being, the Royal and Creative powers.

                    To conclude, it certainly is the case that, in John, there are some
                    statements which can be interpreted to mean that Jesus is God, e.g., Jesus'
                    declarations that he and the Father are one and that to see him is to see
                    the Father and Thomas' confession that Jesus is both Lord and God. However,
                    these same statements are also interpretable in terms of a Logos
                    Christology. In this case, there is a consistent Logos Christology in both
                    the Prologue and the main body of John.

                    Frank McCoy
                    1809 N. English Apt. 15
                    Maplewood, MN USA 55109
                  • Peter.Hofrichter
                    Dear Frank, I thank you very for this really learned dissertation. I want to add only some remarks. The task of the Church has always been and is also today
                    Message 9 of 20 , Feb 10, 2004
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                      Dear Frank,
                      I thank you very for this really learned dissertation. I want to add
                      only some remarks. The task of the Church has always been and is also
                      today harmonizing breaks, bridging gaps, saving peace among the sheep
                      and painting pictures of heavenly unanimity. Therefore The Gopel of
                      John has been at least for 1800 to 1900 years read in a harmonizing
                      way. And this was necessary as soon as it was ascribed as a whole to
                      one and the same holy author (what may have happended already against
                      the end of the first century). The last open conflicts are visible with
                      Tertullian’s Adversus Praxeam and Hippolyt’s Philosophoumena, where he
                      argues against Pope Callistus and especially against Noetus to believe
                      in a "sonfather", may be, also with the obscure Alogoi. But the task of
                      critcal historical research is contrary to that of the pastoral efforts
                      of the Church to uncover especially the gaps and the hidden
                      contradictions, the conflicts behind the facade and what really had
                      happend, (Neverftheless I understand myself as a a believer and an
                      ecclesial thologiian.)

                      The danger of the first century was of course not Arianism but
                      Gnosticism with its growing cascades of emanations, the starting point
                      of which had been the Logos christology and the other terms of the
                      Logos-hymn (arche, life, light, man, monogenes etc.). At the other hand
                      the solution of the fourth century as to the Logos was finally reached
                      on the background of the gnostic idea of the divine pleroma, within
                      which all divine entities were thought as homoousioi. Within this
                      concept also the unknown God himself and the Logos-Mediator can be
                      concieved as homoousioi. But concerning the origin and purpose of our
                      hellenistic Gospel "of John" we should think still quite simply. There
                      is an obvious gap between the Logos-hymn and the following text. And my
                      conviction is that the purpose of this book was to give a narrative
                      antignostic commentary to this confession-like hymn quoted at the
                      biginning and already firmly established in the hellenistic church
                      (grown out of the synagogue of the Alexandrinians etc. in Jerusalem).

                      You mention the Thomas confession to be also interpretable in harmony
                      with the Logos christology. Of course, everything is possible but not
                      verisimilar: Thomas says. "Ho kyrios mou kai ho theos mou!" If you
                      compare this with Joh 1,1, you realize that "ho theos" with article is
                      there exactly not the Logos but God himself. In addition we have in
                      the Gospel also the "I am" sayings (Ego eimi) at the capture of Jesus,
                      which remind us of the Name of Yahwe in Gen 3,13: "I am who I am". The
                      Thomas Confession is certainly the summary and the peak of the
                      christological teaching of this Gospel. In some respect it is the
                      conterpart to the confession of Peter in Mark (and in my view a later
                      added reaction to it).

                      Once more, the prupose of the Gospel was to give the hymnic confession
                      of faith of the Helleniists quoted at is beginning a new meaning: Its
                      text should not be underrstood as speking of prexistence and world
                      creation etc. but from it first line of the historical Jesus and his
                      revelation. God ("Ho theos") should be understood as Jesus himself and
                      the Logos as the spoken word of his revelation. This was the intention
                      of this book. And during the first and fist half of the second century
                      this strategy seems to have beeen successful and has been adopted also
                      by the other NT writers.

                      With complemtes
                      Peter Hofrichter

                      PS: Because of a journey I shall not be able to continue the dicussion.
                      Thanks to everybody and good buy!





                      Am 09.02.2004 um 18:49 schrieb fmmccoy:

                      >
                      > ----- Original Message -----
                      > From: "Peter.Hofrichter" <Peter.Hofrichter@...>
                      > To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
                      > Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2004 6:05 AM
                      > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Jesus Logos or God Himself
                      >
                      >
                      >>
                      >> Am 06.02.2004 um 03:42 schrieb fmmccoy:
                      >>
                      >>> In this case, there is no exaltation of Jesus from the Logos to God
                      >>> Himself
                      >>> in Mark.
                      >>>
                      >>> Perhaps it's questionable whether this is the case in John either.
                      >>> Why
                      >>> would the Johannine community keep the Prologue in John, where Jesus
                      >>> is the
                      >>> Logos of God as a personified divine being, if they later exalted him
                      >>> from
                      >>> the Logos to God Himself?
                      >>>
                      >
                      >> The same happend once more in the 4th century. After the
                      >> Logos-christology was renewed be Justinus Martyr it was accepted by
                      >> almost all theologians (except certain modalists especially in Asia
                      >> Minor). But the Logos-Christology was and is incompatible with the
                      >> full
                      >> godhead of Christ. The Logos is concieved as a being between God and
                      >> man, between God and his creature, mediator and word of creation.
                      >> Arius, who was a famous preacher in Alexandria and a consequent
                      >> montheist and platonist, claimed therefore that the Logos was
                      >> subordinate to God and that he was created by him before all other
                      >> creatures.
                      >
                      > That a Christological progression from Jesus as the Logos to Jesus as
                      > God
                      > occurred in mainstream Christianity in the 4th century doesn't
                      > necessarily
                      > mean that a similar Christological progression occurred in the
                      > Johannine
                      > community in the 1st century.
                      >
                      > In any event, the position of Arius appears to have been more
                      > sophisticated
                      > than indicated above, with him distinguishing between the Logos who is
                      > the
                      > Son (with this Logos being the Logos described above) and the true
                      > Logos of
                      > God.
                      >
                      > In Early Arianism-a View of Salvation (Fortress Press), Robert C.
                      > Gregg and
                      > Dennis E. Groh state (p. 103), "As the structures of reality are
                      > differently
                      > drawn by the early Arians, they argue that God's 'true' Reason and
                      > Wisdom--that is, the Logos and Sophia which belong to his nature
                      > alone--are
                      > his intrinsic attributes. Contrary to the charges leveled at them, the
                      > Arians did not teach that God was ever without *his own* Word and
                      > Wisdom.
                      > Athanasius knows this, for he preserved their doctrine of the one
                      > Wisdom
                      > which is God's own and exists in him (ten idian kai synyparchousan tw
                      > thew),
                      > distinguishable from the Son, and their parallel doctrine of the Word,
                      > other
                      > than the Son, which is in God. The accusation contained in Alexander's
                      > enclyclical is correct: the Arians say that the Son 'is neither
                      > similar to
                      > the father in essence, nor is he truly and by nature (alethinos kai
                      > physei)
                      > the Word of God, nor is he true (alethine) Wisdom...".
                      >
                      >> Other theologians claimed that the Son wass of the same
                      >> divine "substance" and eternal age as the Father. Also they referred
                      >> the Gospel of John: Me and the Father are one, who sees Me sees the
                      >> Father.
                      >
                      > Certainly, these phrases, in John, of, "Me and the Father are one",
                      > and "Who
                      > sees Me sees the Father", can be interpreted to mean that Jesus is God.
                      >
                      > However, they are also intepretable in terms of a Logos Christology
                      >
                      > See, for example, Fuga (101), where, regarding the Logos, Philo states,
                      > "Nay, He is Himself the Image of God, chiefest of all Beings
                      > intellectually
                      > perceived, placed nearest, with no intervening distance, to the Alone
                      > truly
                      > existent One. For we read, 'I will talk with thee from above the
                      > Mercy-seat, between the two Cherubim' (Ex. xxv. 21), words which shew
                      > that
                      > while the Logos is the charioteer of the Powers, He Who talks is
                      > seated in
                      > the chariot, giving directions to the charioteer for the right
                      > wielding of
                      > the reins of the Universe."
                      >
                      > Here, we see, the Logos is one with God, his Father, in two senses.
                      > First,
                      > there is "no intervening distance" between the Logos and God, so that,
                      > in
                      > some significant sense, they are a single entity. Second, the Logos
                      > is one
                      > in will with God, obediently obeying whatever God tells him to do.
                      >
                      > Here, we also see, the Logos is the Image of God, so that, in some
                      > significant sense, to see the Logos is to see God.
                      >
                      > (snip)
                      >
                      >> We are used to hear always again that
                      >> the Logos concept is the crown and peak of all Christology. This was
                      >> originally for ancient people definitely not at all the case.
                      >
                      > Agreed.
                      >
                      >> The Logos
                      >> is clearly less than and subordinate to the one God of Israel and also
                      >> less than and beneeth the transcendent God of Plato There the Logos is
                      >> the soul of the cosmos. In Jewish or Christian terms he is the
                      >> mediator
                      >> of creation and revelation. And he is necessary because in Platonism
                      >> the absolutely transcendent God himself has no relation whatsoever
                      >> with
                      >> the material world except through a mediator. Therfore Philo shows not
                      >> God, but the Logos speaking in the burnig thorn bush, on the mount
                      >> Sinai, and so on.
                      >
                      > While Philo's Logos is not Plato's soul of the cosmos, it is important
                      > to
                      > note that Philo's Logos does play the same role. In Philo (Vol. 1,
                      > Harvard
                      > University Press, pp. 327-28), Harry Austryn Wolfson states, "While the
                      > residence of the Logos in the corporeal world is conceived by him
                      > (i.e.,
                      > Philo), as we have said, after the analogy of the residence of Plato's
                      > preexistent mind or soul in the body of the world, still Philo never
                      > describes the immanent Logos as the mind or the soul of the world. His
                      > immanent Logos, while performing the same functions as Plato's or the
                      > Stoics' world-soul, is not a world-soul."
                      >
                      > Also, since Philo's Logos is the One through whom the Cosmos is
                      > created,
                      > Philo's Logos, even though not Plato's Demiurge, does play the same
                      > role as
                      > Plato's Demiurge.
                      >
                      > How does one explain why Philo's Logos plays the role of both Plato's
                      > Demiurge and world-soul, yet is neither?
                      >
                      > What I suspect is that Philo was influenced by the Middle Platonist,
                      > Eudorus
                      > of Alexandria.
                      >
                      > As respects the teachings of Eudorus, Jerry Dell Ehrlich states in
                      > Plato's
                      > Gift to Christianity (Academic Christian Press, p. 104) that "the
                      > ultimate
                      > transcendent God is even further exalted, which was in keeping with the
                      > general trend within Middle-Platonism that the First Principle of all
                      > was
                      > utterly transcendent, and the Creator of the World, the Demiurge, was a
                      > Second Principle of creation, and the final principle, the third
                      > element of
                      > deity, was the World-Soul or World-Spirit. While this is an
                      > interpretation
                      > of Plato's own thoughts, it can be understood as an attempt at
                      > systematizing
                      > Plato's Absolute One in the Republic with the Father and Maker of the
                      > Universe in the Timaeus and the Living Creature (Cosmos) or World-Soul
                      > in
                      > the Timaeus. While this view had tremendous influence on Philo of
                      > Alexandria and the forming of the doctrine of the Christian Trinity, it
                      > seems more likely that Plato himself would not have made a distinction
                      > between the God beyond being and the Demiurge, the Father and Maker of
                      > the
                      > Cosmos."
                      >
                      > The important point here is that Eudorus did not equate the
                      > transcendent God
                      > with the Demiurge, so that there are, in his thought, three divine
                      > beings,
                      > i.e., the transcendent God, the Demiurge, and the World-soul.
                      >
                      > In Philonic thought, the Logos apparently combines the roles of both
                      > Eudorus' Demiurge and World-Soul. The Cosmos was created through the
                      > Logos
                      > (so that he plays the same role as the Demiurge) and the Cosmos is
                      > ruled
                      > through the Logos, who suffuses himself through the Cosmos, bonding and
                      > knitting together all its parts (so that he plays the role of the
                      > World-Soul).
                      >
                      > Relevant to the discussion is Exodus (Book II, Sect. 68), where Philo
                      > states, "And from the divine Logos, as from a spring, there divide and
                      > break
                      > forth two powers. One is the creative (power), though which the
                      > Artificer
                      > placed and ordered all things; this is named 'God.' And (the other
                      > is) the
                      > royal (power), since through it the Creator rules over created things;
                      > this
                      > is called 'Lord.'"
                      >
                      > I suggest that, here, we have a clue as to how the roles of Eudorus'
                      > Demiurge and the World-soul came to be assigned to Philo's Logos.
                      >
                      > In particular, there appears to have been an intermediate step in
                      > which the
                      > role of Eudorus' Demiurge was assigned to an angelic power called the
                      > Creative Power and given the title of God and in which the role of
                      > Eudorus'
                      > World-soul was assigned to an angelic power called the Royal Power and
                      > given
                      > the title of Lord. This step was presumably taken by an Alexandrian
                      > Jew,
                      > possibly, but not necessarily, Philo.
                      >
                      > In the final step, these two angelic powers were taken to be a part of
                      > the
                      > very self of the Logos. As a result, they emanate from the Logos like
                      > two
                      > streams from a fountain. As these two angelic powers are of the very
                      > self
                      > of the Logos, their roles are also the roles of the Logos. This last
                      > step,
                      > presumably, was taken by Philo.
                      >
                      > This explains why Philo gives the Logos the titles of God and Lord.
                      > The
                      > Logos is God because he has the role of "God" (i.e., the Creative
                      > Power) and
                      > he is Lord because he has the role of "Lord" (i.e., the Royal Power).
                      >
                      > In this case, the exclamation of Thomas, "My Lord and my God!", can be
                      > interpreted to be a recognition, on the part of Thomas, that Jesus is
                      > the
                      > Logos: who combines, in one divine being, the Royal and Creative
                      > powers.
                      >
                      > To conclude, it certainly is the case that, in John, there are some
                      > statements which can be interpreted to mean that Jesus is God, e.g.,
                      > Jesus'
                      > declarations that he and the Father are one and that to see him is to
                      > see
                      > the Father and Thomas' confession that Jesus is both Lord and God.
                      > However,
                      > these same statements are also interpretable in terms of a Logos
                      > Christology. In this case, there is a consistent Logos Christology in
                      > both
                      > the Prologue and the main body of John.
                      >
                      > Frank McCoy
                      > 1809 N. English Apt. 15
                      > Maplewood, MN USA 55109
                    • Peter.Hofrichter
                      ... I wanted to write: Good bye! Sorry, but If it was a Freudian mistake, may be, my Unterbewusstsein wanted to recommad you to buy one of my books. So long!
                      Message 10 of 20 , Feb 10, 2004
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                        Am 10.02.2004 um 09:30 schrieb Peter.Hofrichter:

                        > PS: Because of a journey I shall not be able to continue the dicussion.
                        > Thanks to everybody and good buy!
                        >
                        I wanted to write: Good bye! Sorry, but If it was a Freudian mistake,
                        may be, my Unterbewusstsein wanted to recommad you to buy one of my
                        books. So long!
                        P.H.
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