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[John_Lit] Re: John and the infancy gospels

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  • Joseph Codsi
    Wieland Willker wrote, quoting Robertson (Wordpictures): This ignorance of the fact that Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem belongs to the Jews, not to John
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 14, 2004
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      Wieland Willker wrote, quoting Robertson (Wordpictures):

      "This ignorance of the fact that Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem
      belongs to the Jews, not to John the author of the Gospel."

      This explanation sounds to me "apologetical" in the sense that its principal
      concern is to defend what is considered theologically correct. It would have
      been theologically incorrect to admit that "John", the author of the fourth
      gospel, did not know what the infancy gospels of Matthew and Luke knew,
      namely that Jesus was a descendant of David and was born in Bethlehem.
      In my view, Robertson's reading of John 7:40-42 is theologically correct but
      exegetically incorrect. This case illustrates the problem that exists today
      between theology and the scholarly study of the gospel. Theological
      correctness requires that the scholar subordinates the interpretation of the
      sacred text to the traditional faith in Jesus Christ. This excludes a priori
      the interpretation of the infancy gospels as being pious legends, which were
      invented in order to prove that Jesus fulfilled indeed the specific
      requirements the Messiah was supposed to fulfill according to a given
      messianic view. This specific messianic view is expressed in John 7:40-42.
      Those who read this text under the influence of the faith commit a sophistry
      when they limit the implications of the text to the fact that "the Jews"
      (not "John") did not know the historic facts concerning the origin and birth
      of Jesus. But the text resists such a sophistry. A minimum of intellectual
      honesty forces us to recognize, as John E Staton admits in his post of
      February 13, that the author of John 7:40-42 ignored the facts that are
      stated in the infancy gospels, if he did not find them outright unreliable.

      Should one sacrifice exegetical honesty on the altar of theological
      correctness? How to deal with the scripture passages that contradict the
      traditional views in one way or another? The question is particularly
      important for those who teach at religious institutions and are expected to
      remain within the limits of "orthodoxy"?
      When there is no way we can reconcile scholarly honesty with theological
      correctness, we are left with the choice between giving priority either to
      the requirements of the faith over scholarly evidence or to scholarly
      evidence over the requirements of the faith.
      I suppose there are, even in this day and age, many scholars who read John
      7:40-42 in the same way as Robertson reads it. There are also many who are
      not afraid of the textual evidence, and who would be prepared to recognize
      that "John" does not endorse the allegations made in the infancy gospels.
      Perhaps I went too far when I spoke of intellectual dishonesty in this
      particular case. I stand to be corrected. But I encourage also those who
      read the text as I do to substantiate their reading with a rigorous textual
      analysis. Is there a way of reaching in this particular case a rigorous
      conclusion? If not, are we left to mere guesswork and speculation?
      Peace,
      Joseph

      Joseph Codsi
      P.O.Box 116-2088
      Beirut, Lebanon
      Telephone (961) 1 242-545
      joseph5@...
    • Joseph Codsi
      Matthew Estrada wrote on February 17: We shall agree to disagree on this point. Since I believe that John knew and used the Synoptics, this is one more
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 17, 2004
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        Matthew Estrada wrote on February 17:

        "We shall agree to disagree on this point. Since I believe that John knew
        and used the Synoptics, this is one more convincing proof *for me* that John
        was aware of Jesus' earthly origins- that he was born in Bethlehem in
        fulfillment of the Scriptures."

        Matthew,

        It is perfectly all right to assume that "John knew and used the Synoptics".
        But when you imply that he was in full agreement with the infancy gospels
        (specifically with their allegation that David was Jesus' ancestor and that
        Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem), you run into a wall. The text (John
        7:40-42) resists your assumption. Had John known for a fact that Jesus was
        born in Bethlehem (not in Nazareth as it was commonly believed), he would
        have had no problem answering the objection that is raised in verse 42. All
        he would have had to say is state the facts as they are reported in the
        infancy gospels. The fact that he left the objection unanswered, in the
        context of a strict theological debate, proves (in my part of the world)
        that he had a serious problem with the veracity of the infancy gospels.
        Peace,
        Joseph

        Joseph Codsi
        P.O.Box 116-2088
        Beirut, Lebanon
        Telephone (961) 1 242-545
        joseph5@...
      • Peter.Hofrichter
        Dear friends, the contrary is true. The synoptics knew and used John. John (and Mark) provided all key informations for the composition of the infancy
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 18, 2004
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          Dear friends,
          the contrary is true. The synoptics knew and used John. John (and Mark)
          provided all key informations for the composition of the infancy
          midrashim needed.
          Peter Hofrichter

          Am 18.02.2004 um 07:25 schrieb Joseph Codsi:

          > Matthew Estrada wrote on February 17:
          >
          > "We shall agree to disagree on this point. Since I believe that John
          > knew
          > and used the Synoptics, this is one more convincing proof *for me*
          > that John
          > was aware of Jesus' earthly origins- that he was born in Bethlehem in
          > fulfillment of the Scriptures."
          >
          > Matthew,
          >
          > It is perfectly all right to assume that "John knew and used the
          > Synoptics".
          > But when you imply that he was in full agreement with the infancy
          > gospels
          > (specifically with their allegation that David was Jesus' ancestor and
          > that
          > Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem), you run into a wall. The text
          > (John
          > 7:40-42) resists your assumption. Had John known for a fact that Jesus
          > was
          > born in Bethlehem (not in Nazareth as it was commonly believed), he
          > would
          > have had no problem answering the objection that is raised in verse
          > 42. All
          > he would have had to say is state the facts as they are reported in the
          > infancy gospels. The fact that he left the objection unanswered, in the
          > context of a strict theological debate, proves (in my part of the
          > world)
          > that he had a serious problem with the veracity of the infancy gospels.
          > Peace,
          > Joseph
          >
          > Joseph Codsi
          > P.O.Box 116-2088
          > Beirut, Lebanon
          > Telephone (961) 1 242-545
          > joseph5@...
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Mike Grondin
          ... Dear Peter, I think that most listers know your position, and that it is shared by others as well. This has affected my own analyses and comments, in that
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 18, 2004
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            --- Peter.Hofrichter wrote:
            > Dear friends,
            > the contrary is true. The synoptics knew and used John. John (and
            > Mark) provided all key informations for the composition of the
            > infancy midrashim needed.

            Dear Peter,
            I think that most listers know your position, and that it is shared
            by others as well. This has affected my own analyses and comments,
            in that I try to avoid suppositions about chronological order of the
            gospels wherever possible. But a statement such as the above is both
            unnecessary and annoying. If you want to have it out with the late-
            daters, then go to it in the proper way. Unsupported assertions of
            opinion worded as if they were facts - even though you know quite
            well that the issue is arguable - is not the way to do it.

            Mike Grondin
            Mt. Clemens, MI
          • Peter.Hofrichter
            ... If you feel bothered I apologize. My intention was to provoke opposition or interest for the arguments in detail. If you think it is not worthwile to
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 18, 2004
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              Am 18.02.2004 um 19:28 schrieb Mike Grondin:

              > --- Peter.Hofrichter wrote:
              >> Dear friends,
              >> the contrary is true. The synoptics knew and used John. John (and
              >> Mark) provided all key informations for the composition of the
              >> infancy midrashim needed.
              >
              > Dear Peter,
              > I think that most listers know your position, and that it is shared
              > by others as well. This has affected my own analyses and comments,
              > in that I try to avoid suppositions about chronological order of the
              > gospels wherever possible. But a statement such as the above is both
              > unnecessary and annoying. If you want to have it out with the late-
              > daters, then go to it in the proper way. Unsupported assertions of
              > opinion worded as if they were facts - even though you know quite
              > well that the issue is arguable - is not the way to do it.
              >
              > Mike Grondin
              > Mt. Clemens, MI

              If you feel bothered I apologize. My intention was to provoke
              opposition or interest for the arguments in detail. If you think it is
              not worthwile to change at least hypothetically ones traditional views
              I shall not waste my time.
              P.H.
            • Matthew Estrada
              Joseph Codsi wrote: Matthew, It is perfectly all right to assume that John knew and used the Synoptics . But when you imply that he was
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 18, 2004
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                Joseph Codsi <joseph5@...> wrote:

                Matthew,

                It is perfectly all right to assume that "John knew and used the Synoptics".
                But when you imply that he was in full agreement with the infancy gospels
                (specifically with their allegation that David was Jesus' ancestor and that
                Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem), you run into a wall. The text (John
                7:40-42) resists your assumption. Had John known for a fact that Jesus was
                born in Bethlehem (not in Nazareth as it was commonly believed), he would
                have had no problem answering the objection that is raised in verse 42. All
                he would have had to say is state the facts as they are reported in the
                infancy gospels. The fact that he left the objection unanswered, in the
                context of a strict theological debate, proves (in my part of the world)
                that he had a serious problem with the veracity of the infancy gospels.
                Peace,
                Joseph

                Joseph,

                I disagree with your's and Mike's interpretation of John's reason for not outright stating that Jesus was born in Bethlehem for several reasons.

                First, as I earlier said, I am of the position that John knew and used the Synoptics. This, therefore, would lead me to the conclusion that he knew of the infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke. You have no problem with this point.

                Second, John's purpose in the writing of his gospel was to show the Jewish people, via the Scriptures, that Jesus is their promised Messiah. Thus we read, for example, in Jn 5:39-40, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." Over and over again John shows that Scripture "testifies" in Jesus' favor. Why, then, would he allude to Micah 5:2, which is a Scripture stating that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, if he thought otherwise or disagreed with the Synoptic version? No, you misread John, in my opinion. The reason why he alludes to Micah 5:2, in my opinion, is because he not only knew of this tradition but believed it himself.

                Third, in Jn 7:52 John has "the Jews" state to Nicodemus: "Are you from Galilee, too. Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee." What do you think more likely? That John is actually showing "the Jews" to be correct in their argument against Jesus? Or, that John is using irony, once again, showing "the Jews" to be mistaken in this assumption of theirs that Jesus was from Galilee?

                Fourth, in my opinion, the reason why John does not outright state that Jesus was born in Bethlehem was not because he did not know of this tradition nor because he did not agree with this tradition. Rather, he was showing Moses to be a type of Jesus, and thus showing Jesus to be the new but greater Moses as foretold in Deut 18:18. Even as Moses' identity was mistaken by Jethro's daughters in that they took him to be an Egyptian, so, too, is Jesus' identity mistaken by the people in that they took him to be a Galilean. Please see especially points 4 and 5 below amongst the many parallels that I have discovered between the Cana Miracle and Ex 2 (note: in my paper I point out many other places where John borrowed from Ex when composing his gospel).

                What follows is a list of similarities in words, phrases, and themes that I have discovered between John 2:1-11 and Exodus 2:11-25.

                1) Both passages contain the "rescue" motif. Our Exodus 2:11-25 text has three rescue scenes, with Moses as the hero in each one. He first rescues an Hebrew from an Egyptian. He then rescues two Hebrew brothers from each other. And finally, he rescues the seven shepherdesses from the bad shepherds who would have kept them from watering their flocks. These three rescue scenes serve as an introduction to the one great rescue scene that Moses is about to be involved in- rescuing the Israelites from their slavery. In our John 2:1-11 text, we encounter Jesus as hero/redeemer, rescuing His people from a spiritual famine and providing them with God�s Spirit, and in doing so, He rescues all who would believe in Him from their slavery to sin.

                2) According to Exodus 12:40, the Israelites lived in Egypt some 430 years, and then their "redeemer" Moses came to them and led them out of their slavery. So, too, were there some 430 years (more or less) of "silence" that separated the last of the prophets (Nehemiah) from the time of the arrival of the new redeemer Jesus who would lead all who believe in Him out of their slavery to sin.

                3) In our rescue scene in Exodus 2:16, we are told that the seven daughters of Jethro came to "draw" water. The Greek word used is "HNTLOUN", from the Greek infinitive ANTLEIN, which is the same Greek word used by the author of John in John 2:6, ANTLHSATE. If you read the commentaries on this verse in John, you will note, almost without exception, that the scholars comment upon the strangeness of this verb "to draw" used here by John in this context. Why? Because, they say, this word ANTLEW is almost always used in the context of a well-scene (drawing water from a well), and there is no well-scene in John 2. This is the "intertextual flag" that MacDonald was referring to when he stated that "Ancient authors frequently included unusual details to alert readers to the presence of their models�" ("Mimesis and Intertextuality in Antiquity and Christianity", p.2). Indeed, it was this "red flag" that drew my attention to seek out its source, which eventually led me to my discovery of
                reading the Cana miracle as an allegory (and not just the Cana miracle but much of John). The same Greek word for "to draw" is used in Exodus 2:17 and 19.

                4) After Moses rescues the seven daughters, and draws water for them to water their flocks, the daughters return home to their father and are asked why they have returned home so early. Their answer is that "An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds." We have, therefore, the "mistaken identity" motif in our Exodus story. Moses was no Egyptian. He was an Israelite. But they mistook him for an Egyptian most likely because of his clothing and mannerisms that he learned while growing up in Pharaoh�s household. So, too, in our John story do we have the "mistaken identity" motif. In John 1:45, Philip tells Nathaniel,

                "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

                Philip is mistaken on two counts. First, he believes Jesus is from Nazareth, and evidently has no clue that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, as the Synoptics proclaim in accordance with the prophecy found in Micah 5:2. Secondly, he believes Jesus to be the son of Joseph, and has no clue that that Jesus was born of a virgin, as the Synoptics proclaim, and therefore born of God. Nathaniel responds to Philip, in John 1:47, by exclaiming,

                "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?"

                In John 6:42 we read of "the Jews" grumbling against Jesus because of Jesus� statement,

                "I am the bread that came down from heaven" (6:41).

                There, we read,

                "They said, �Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, �I came down from heaven�?"

                They believe him to be of human descent.

                In John 7:52 we read the Pharisees� response to Nicodemus� defense of Jesus when they state,

                "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."

                In John 7:27 we hear the people saying,

                "But we know where this man is from (POTHEN ESTIN); when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from (POTHEN ESTIN)."

                And in John 9:29 we hear the Pharisees confess,

                "We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don�t even know where he comes from (OUK OIDAMEN POTHEN ESTIN)."

                They know, and yet they do not know where Jesus comes from. They think he is from Nazareth of Galilee, and still they confess that they do not know where He comes from. Many of the scholars themselves believe that the author of the gospel of John was not aware of the tradition found in the Synoptics that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Why? Because he does not plainly state that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in his gospel. This serves as one proof for them that the gospel author was not aware of the Synoptic tradition, or that he disagreed with it. However, as I am arguing here, the reason why the author of John does not mention that Jesus was born in Bethlehem is because he was comparing Jesus to Moses. Like Moses, whose identity was mistaken by the seven daughters of Jethro, and was taken to be an Egyptian when he was really a Hebrew, so too does the author of John show the people to have mistaken the identity of Jesus. They did not realize that he was born in Bethlehem, in accordance
                with the Scriptures (contra Jn. 7:52), nor did they realize that Jesus was God in the flesh, conceived by the Holy Spirit. That John knew of Jesus� birth in Bethlehem is clear from his statement which he places in the lips of those who wonder about Jesus� messiahship:

                "Still others asked, �How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David�s family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?�" (Jn. 7:43).

                He would not be alluding to Micah 5:2 were he not sure that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, for he earlier stated, in Jn. 5:39:

                "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me�".

                John was intent on showing the Scriptures to testify in favor of Jesus being the Messiah. Thus for him to raise an OT text that spoke against this possibility would be inconsistent.

                Moreover, the author of John�s gospel has Jesus say, in John 8:14,

                "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going (OTI OIDA POTHEN HLTHON KAI POU UPAGW). But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going (DE OUK OIDATE POTHEN ERXOMAI H POU UPAGW)."

                5) When the seven daughters tell their father that they were "rescued" by an Egyptian, and that this Egyptian "drew" water for them and watered the flocks, Jethro responds with, "And where is he? (KAI POU ESTIN)". When Jesus tells the servants to "draw" some of the water out of the jars that has now been changed to wine and take it to the master of the banquet, we are told that the master of the banquet "did not know from where it came" (KAI OUK HDEI POTHEN ESTIN). Again, the "mistaken identity" motif, coupled with the phrase KAI POU ESTIN, links John 2:1-11 with Exodus 2:11-25.

                6) After Jethro asks, "Where is he (KAI POU ESTIN)? Why did you leave him?", he states, "Invite (KALESATE) him to have something to eat" (Exodus 2:20). The verb "to invite" (KALEW) is the same verb that John employs in John 2:2: "Jesus was invited (EKLHTHh) and His disciples to the wedding".

                7) In verse 21 of Exodus 2 we are told that "Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage (GUNAIKA)." In John 2:1 we read,

                "On the third day there was a wedding (GAMOS) in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus was invited and His disciples to the wedding (GAMOS)."

                So even though the same word for "wedding" is not used in both stories (GUNAIKA means "wife"), both our Cana story and our Exodus story contain the "wedding" motif. We should also note that Jesus addresses his mother as GUNAI ("woman"), which would mean, in continuing with the parallel between Exodus 2 and John 2, that even as Moses took Zipporah to be his "wife" (GUNAIKA), so, too, does Jesus take his mother (who symbolizes the OT church) to be his "wife" (GUNAI). See Revelation 12.

                8) The wedding in John 2 takes place in Cana (KANA) of Galilee. This Greek word KANA means, according to Gerhard Kittel�s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Vol. III, p. 596), "a basket woven from reeds", which should recall to our minds Exodus 2:3:

                "But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds (EIS TO ELOS) along the bank of the Nile."

                Again, though the Greek words in the LXX are different, taken together with all of the other parallels that are between these two texts, we can assume the allusion again to the birth story of Moses.

                9) Exodus 2:23-25 states: "During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them." The "God remembering His covenant" motif that is found in our Exodus story is also implied in our John 2 Cana miracle story. After 400 years of silence, as prophesied by Amos in 8:11-12, we are told by the author of the gospel of John that the Word breaks the silence by becoming flesh. The people of Israel are again in bondage, both to the Romans and to Sin, and they are "staggering from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it", until God "hears their groaning and remembers His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob". It is then, and only then, that the Word
                becomes flesh, that the hour has arrived for the Son of God to die on the cross and rise from the grave, and thus change the water into wine so that all may be satisfied- that is, all who will believe in Him!

                10) Lastly, having asked why else John might mimic Exodus 2:11-25 in the creation of John 2:1-11, I happened upon what I consider to be my most important discovery- the symbolic meaning of "water" for the author of John. In Exodus 2:10 we read:

                "When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh�s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, �I drew him out of the water� (EK TOU UDATOS AUTON ANEILOMHN)."

                Moses was named Moses because he was "drawn from the water". Even though the verb "to draw" in the Greek is not the same verb in Exodus 2:10 that is used in John 2:8 (although the Greek verb for "to draw" used in Ex.2: 16, 17, and 19 are the same as that used in John 2:8), we can still demonstrate that the author of the Gospel of John had Exodus 2:10 in mind when creating the symbolic meaning of his use of the word "water". The name "Moses" sounds like the Hebrew word meaning, "to draw out". Scholars have already noted the wordplay in Exodus on Moses� name. Even as the name "Moses" was given to him on account of him being "drawn from the water", so, too, does God use Moses to "draw from the water" the Israelites, and save them in their escape from the Red Sea when fleeing from the Egyptians. The Egyptians, unlike the Israelites, are drowned in the water. And even as the name "Moses" comes from the Egyptian verb meaning "to be born", so too does God use Moses to bring about the birth
                of the Israelite nation. But what the scholars have not noted before, to my knowledge, is that Moses himself, in this verse in Exodus 2:10, is connected with "water". Moses = water because he was "drawn from the water". How can we be sure that John expected his readers to pick up on the equation of Moses with "water"? We will return to offer more proofs later, but first I would like to present the last source material that I have found the author of the Cana miracle story to have used in the composition of this story.





                Matthew Estrada

                113 Laurel Court

                Peachtree City, Ga 30269


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              • Mike Grondin
                ... So the note in question was bait , as it were? Thinking back now, I do recall at least one other example of this from another lister, but personally, I
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 18, 2004
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                  --- Peter.Hofrichter wrote:
                  > My intention was to provoke opposition or interest for the
                  > arguments in detail.

                  So the note in question was "bait", as it were? Thinking back now,
                  I do recall at least one other example of this from another lister,
                  but personally, I don't like it (and neither did Ed Tyler, whom I
                  recall responding to it). Further, I question whether it's ethical
                  behavior. I think we should be more honest and straightforward with
                  each other than to engage in such devious strategic ruses as to
                  misrepresent debatable theories as established facts merely in order
                  to provoke a response. Certainly doesn't make ME want to ask about
                  "the arguments in detail".

                  Mike Grondin
                  Mt. Clemens, MI
                • Joseph Codsi
                  To Matthew Estrada Dear Matthew, Your post of February 19 deserves a thorough discussion. If we want to have meaningful exchanges, we should proceed step by
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 19, 2004
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                    To Matthew Estrada
                    Dear Matthew,
                    Your post of February 19 deserves a thorough discussion. If we want to have
                    meaningful exchanges, we should proceed step by step. I do not ask you to
                    give up your ideas, but to make an effort to understand what I have to say
                    and why I say it. Please feel free to disagree with the reasons I'll put
                    forward and to criticize the logic of my reasoning. The purpose of our
                    exchanges should not be for either one of us to win the debate, but to solve
                    together a difficult question.
                    STEP 1
                    As a first step, I suggest the following test. Let's ask the question we are
                    debating here to middle-school students who attend Sunday school at their
                    local parish. Let's ask them: "How would you answer the following objection:
                    Jesus is not the Messiah, because he was not born in Bethlehem but in
                    Nazareth?" I suppose some would not know the answer. But many will say:
                    "What kind of a question is this? Everybody knows that Jesus was born in
                    Bethlehem!"
                    What is important in this test is not to prove that everybody knows the
                    birthplace of Jesus, but to show the logical relation that exists between
                    the question and the way to answer it. Those who do not know would say, "I
                    don't know" and those who know would give the expected answer.
                    Now let's go back to John. If he was ignorant of the fact that Jesus was
                    indeed born in Bethlehem, he would say: "I don't know the answer to the
                    objection you are raising here." But if he knew for a fact that Jesus was
                    born in Bethlehem, his answer should not be any different from what one
                    would normally expect.
                    To say that he knew the correct answer but for some very strange reason he
                    left the question unanswered, makes no sense. Why would John know the answer
                    and yet act as if he did not know it?
                    Let's not be contemptuous of common sense.
                    STEP 2
                    You ask the following question: "Why, then, would he [John] allude to Micah
                    5:2, which is a Scripture stating that the Messiah would come from
                    Bethlehem, if he thought otherwise or disagreed with the Synoptic version?"
                    My answer to this question is this.
                    In the literary context of the theological discussions concerning Jesus'
                    eligibility to the post of Messiah (John 7:14-52), John is not the one who
                    asks the questions and answers them at the same time. Those who raise the
                    objections and the person who answers them are not the same. It is incorrect
                    to say that John alludes to Micah. He simply quotes an objection based on
                    Micah 5:2. It is just as incorrect, from a logical point of view, to say
                    that John agrees with the "Jews" just because he quotes them as to say that
                    Matthew agrees with the Pharisee that Jesus' power to cast out the demons
                    comes from Beelzebul, just because he quotes them as saying so. The mere
                    fact of quoting someone does not mean that we agree with him.
                    Let me stop here today. I will move to STEP 3 after you tell me to what
                    extent you agree with me so far. If we cannot agree on elementary logic, how
                    can we agree when we pass to speculative assertions?
                    Peace,
                    Joseph
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