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Re: [John_Lit] Re: Oral Tradition

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  • 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 1 of 20 , Feb 8, 2004
      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 2 of 20 , Feb 9, 2004
        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 3 of 20 , Feb 9, 2004
          ----- 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 4 of 20 , Feb 10, 2004
            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 5 of 20 , Feb 10, 2004
              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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