The rejohannification of Jesus
- Dear friends,
A few years ago I asked a layman with some interest in gospel
Which gospel you like most? He said: Gospel of John, it is the
most clear of all of them.
Then he added:
But some say that they have put John on the throne over Jesus!
(implying he was aware of discussions that the words
of Jesus in GJ were not from Jesus himself, but attributed
by him by the evangelist, making John as it it were a greater
'theologian' than Jesus himself).
I must say I was impressed by this utterance, which I found
(and still find) quite to the point.
(Re)reading these days an (1973) article from R.J. Campbell, 'Evidence for
the historicity of the Fourth Gospel in John 2:13-22', I am drawn
to the following sentences (for simplification reasons I let out
the context of these words):
"Jesus himself was the originator of the forms. If Jesus could not
have taught as the Johannine Christ did, where could such teachings
have arisen? Such an unfamiliar picture could never have received
authentication if it did not really exist in common tradition.
It is prepostorous to suppose that the originator of Johannine
stories was even greater than Jesus himself " (and Campbell refers
her in a note to D. Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, 208).
It seems the dejohannification and rejohannification hangs
very much around this insight.
What Benedict Spinoza did for the OT (questioning the old
source theory) Brettschneider (inspired by Reimarus) has done
for Gospel of John. He was one of the first (or the first) to disconnect
the spiritual dimension from historical evaluation(s).
Here seems to be the very questionable start of the dehistorisation
I was happy to read Paul Andersons article on
"John, Jesus, and History- Why This Study Is Needed,
And Why It Is Needed Now" (its on the Johannine website).
From reading his article I conclude:
The whole critical approach of John and the start of it, seems to have
not been really genuinely critical at all, because on critical scrutiny
NOW it seems fallacies abound everywhere, up till today, in the
arguments that are (still) given by many to put Johns historicity low!
I also appreciate an article from Paul Anderson where he refers to the
state of archeological research on geographical and topological issues
in John. Evidence is greater year by year that in John we have many
exact descriptions of pre-70 realities.