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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?
    • 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 2 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@...
      • 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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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