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[John_Lit] Symbolic or "ersatz"?

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  • Moloneyfj@aol.com
    Leonard Maluf raises the question of historical versus symbolic in the Fourth Gospel, via the examples of John 13:23 and 19:25-27, using the unfortunate word
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 20, 2000
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      Leonard Maluf raises the question of "historical versus symbolic" in the
      Fourth Gospel, via the examples of John 13:23 and 19:25-27, using the
      unfortunate word "ersatz."

      While one must always keep an eye on the "historical," if John 19:25-27 is a
      genuine historical reminiscence of the Beloved Disciple and Jesus' Mother at
      the foot of the cross, then what do we make of the Synoptic passion
      narratives? Are the descriptions of the crucifixion there "ersatz"? What do
      we make of what Romans did when they crucified people (wonderfully [yet
      horrifyingly] put together in Hengel's "Crucifixion"). Would they allow the
      crucified's best friend and Mom stand at the foot of the cross?

      I have read de la Potterie, and I was taught by him - a course at the
      Biblicum in 1971 on John 18-19! There are (at least) two stages in his
      career. The book on Mary reflects a later stage, where he takes positions
      which he rejected as impossible (for the sorts of reasons given above) in his
      earlier teaching and research.

      I regard 19:25-27 as crucial to the Johannine passion account ... and indeed
      as a conclusion to the "gathering" theme that runs from 10:16 on (e.g. 11:52;
      12:11, 19, 23-24, 32 - explained by v. 33 and fulfilled [symbolically ... but
      without resorting to Loisy and Bultmann!] in 19:25-27). I doubt if the BD
      and Jesus' Mother were there ... but surely that does not make the scene
      "ersatz."

      We have a serious hermeneutical question here.

      Frank Moloney
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