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RE: [John_Lit] John 20:31

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  • Matson, Mark (Academic)
    ... Thank you for this notation. Frankly I had never directly connected the colophon with the prologue, but it makes wonderful sense. And frankly the aorist
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 29 1:40 PM
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      Bill Bullin wrote:
      >
      > If 20:31 was the original Epilogue, does it help to look to
      > the Prologue and to 1:7? We certainly have very parallel
      > themes in the Prologue: Belief, Jesus Christ / Messiah, Son
      > of God, life in his name. '...so that through him all men
      > might believe', is aorist subjunctive: commitment and decision.
      >
      > You have read the text with the signs, you are implicated;
      > you may now decide if Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God
      > with all that it implies, (here is Johannine modified dualism
      > at its climax), but only one response out of the two options
      > is entertained.

      Thank you for this notation. Frankly I had never directly connected the
      colophon with the prologue, but it makes wonderful sense. And frankly
      the aorist subjunctive in the prologue *might* help decide the textual
      variant in th 20:31. The way you read this is my initial sense -- it is
      potential belief: the facts of Jesus are to be laid out, together with
      an interpretation of who he is in terms of his own dialogues and
      arguments with opponents (the trial motif), so that a fair decision can
      be made.
      >
      > Part of what makes this document so unusual is its balance,
      > its harmony, its Names and numbers, its almost priestly
      > incantational ceremonial style. It ends where it begins with
      > life, life in his Name. Choose Life!

      Yes, I think the document is carefully constructed. Again, a vote in
      favor of a "rhetorical" document. The question is what kind of
      rhetoric, and what is the "stasis" or issue at hand?

      > One snag I see is this. Would such a beautiful and complex
      > document have been put together for say 50 catechumens? I
      > think not. I think we might be talking about a much larger
      > number and possibly a city even larger than Ephesus. What
      > about Alexandria?

      Bill, I have a kind of gut reaction against these kind of localizing
      settings. While I think that Alexandria probably did receive much
      attention (witness the number of texts that end up there), I don't see
      much evidence for a particular place in the gospel. Aside from a
      "hunch", is there any internal evidence or external evidence that help
      us to see (a) the region of Alexandria, or (b) even any one localized
      community?

      And this lack of explicit local setting perhaps tells a bit against the
      catechumen idea.... I also would think the catechumen "teaching" would
      show more signs of being liturgical.

      So, perhaps the gospel was simply directed to a wide geographical area,
      perhaps even "all who might be interested." But isn't that indeed what
      I am grappling with? If we know the audience, we know how to interpret
      PISTEUW. We don't know the audience, so I am trying to back end into it
      by understanding the use of the word.

      What I really wonder about is the assumption that we have a "community"
      that is being addressed. Why?


      > I can go along way with J. L. Martyn it is tying in the sect
      > type sociology with +/- 65 C.E. and the Benediction against
      > the Minim that leaves me unconvinced and turning back to
      > Robinson's dating of 4G. I think Christians were called Minim
      > before the fall of Jerusalem and that Samuel the Small merely
      > revived the term and converted it into a benediction.

      Well, I agree with you in part. I am not sure Christians were called
      "minim" that early, or even ever (the birkhat ha-minim is not clearly
      against Christians, see Kimmelman, and was not necessarily universal).
      But opposition to Christians within certain jewish synagogues and areas
      seems certain, and well before 85 CE. That would certainly seem to be
      what is implied by Paul in his "former life" before becoming a Christian
      apostle. So I too think John can be placed early.

      But dating doesn't' really get at the central issue of the purpose of
      the 4G, and the way that "to believe" is used in the gospel (the most
      uses of the verb in the NT, around 85 times!).

      >
      Mark A. Matson
      Academic Dean
      Milligan College
      http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/personal.htm
    • Matson, Mark (Academic)
      ... / trust. Bob: This is a very interesting hypothesis. Here are some concerns I have: 1. I think 20:31 is the logical ending of the main body of the
      Message 2 of 22 , Apr 29 1:48 PM
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        Bob Schacht wrote:
        >
        > Mark,
        > I cannot respond based on usage of the Greek. However, since
        > you ask as
        > well for opinions, I might suggest a solution that might work
        > for both of
        > your questions: Suppose that the Gospel was written (from the
        > vantage point
        > of 20:31) for Proselytes (Catechumens) who had not yet been
        > baptized? I'm
        > writing this from the hypothesis that John's community took
        > preparation for
        > baptism quite seriously, and that by the time 20:31 was added
        > to GJohn,
        > this process had already become somewhat formalized. If true, the
        > Catechumens would be favorably disposed towards "trust" and
        > "belief," but
        > would not yet have confirmed their status by commitment and
        > baptism. Of
        > course, the same document might subsequently have been put to
        > other uses,
        > both evangelical and liturgical.
        >
        > I cannot provide any evidence for this hypothesis other than
        > it seems to
        > fit the concerns that you have articulated.
        / trust.

        Bob:

        This is a very interesting hypothesis. Here are some concerns I have:

        1. I think 20:31 is the logical ending of the main body of the gospel.
        While we might see chapter 21 as a later addition, I am not sure that I
        would want to say that for 20:31.

        2. If the gospel was primarily an instruction for catechumens, would a
        gospel story, a "narrative" have been the primary mechanism for that? I
        am continually struck with the internal dynamics of the story: the
        mounting tension between Jesus and the Jews, the increasingly strident
        attempt by Jesus to define his relationship with the Father, the
        interplay between the signs and symbols used in the dialogues.. All of
        these have this inherent narrative quality. To me, by contrast, I would
        think a catechetical instruction would be more liturgical, or question
        answer (like later church catechisms).

        3. What I am questioning, although in some round about ways, is the
        assumption that we have a community addressed at all. Why? Your
        catechumen idea presumes the community as the recipients and holders of
        this document. They become implicated in the purpose of the writing.
        But since that is what is at stake in my questioning, I am trying to
        find some external way into this whole issue.

        Thanks for, as always, stimulating ideas.

        mark

        Mark A. Matson
        Academic Dean
        Milligan College
        http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/personal.htm
      • geomelick@AOL.com
        Hi Bill: I have been exploring the hypothesis that John Mark was the BD for over forty years. I agree with you that Alexandria is the logical place for the
        Message 3 of 22 , Apr 29 2:02 PM
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          Hi Bill:

          I have been exploring the hypothesis that John Mark was the BD for over forty
          years. I agree with you that Alexandria is the logical place for the
          community of the BD if the tradition is true that Mark founded churches there. For a
          brief account of my hypothesis see my website, www.beloveddisciple.net

          George Melick, MA
          Drexel University (Retired)


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Bob Schacht
          ... Mark, Thanks for your reply. Under the assumption that GJohn has a complex compositional history, we have to try to understand the reasons motivating each
          Message 4 of 22 , Apr 29 2:27 PM
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            At 04:48 PM 4/29/2004 -0400, you wrote:
            >Bob Schacht wrote:
            > >
            > > Mark,
            > > I cannot respond based on usage of the Greek. However, since you ask as
            > > well for opinions, I might suggest a solution that might work for both of
            > > your questions: Suppose that the Gospel was written (from the vantage
            > point
            > > of 20:31) for Proselytes (Catechumens) who had not yet been baptized? I'm
            > > writing this from the hypothesis that John's community took preparation
            > for
            > > baptism quite seriously, and that by the time 20:31 was added to GJohn,
            > > this process had already become somewhat formalized. If true, the
            > > Catechumens would be favorably disposed towards "trust" and "belief," but
            > > would not yet have confirmed their status by commitment and
            > > baptism. Of course, the same document might subsequently have been put to
            > > other uses, both evangelical and liturgical.
            > >
            > > I cannot provide any evidence for this hypothesis other than it seems to
            > > fit the concerns that you have articulated.
            >
            >Bob:
            >
            >This is a very interesting hypothesis. Here are some concerns I have:
            >
            >1. I think 20:31 is the logical ending of the main body of the gospel.
            >While we might see chapter 21 as a later addition, I am not sure that I
            >would want to say that for 20:31.

            Mark,
            Thanks for your reply. Under the assumption that GJohn has a complex
            compositional history, we have to try to understand the reasons motivating
            each successive version. I don't have much of a case for suggesting that
            20:31 is late in that process, since if it were so, what would the
            motivations be for the earlier versions? I guess my basis for suggesting a
            later date for 20:31 was to allow time for the process of educating
            catechumens time to develop and formalize. It probably makes more sense for
            20:31 to be early, and other motivations later.

            >2. If the gospel was primarily an instruction for catechumens, would a
            >gospel story, a "narrative" have been the primary mechanism for that? I
            >am continually struck with the internal dynamics of the story: the
            >mounting tension between Jesus and the Jews, the increasingly strident
            >attempt by Jesus to define his relationship with the Father, the
            >interplay between the signs and symbols used in the dialogues.. All of
            >these have this inherent narrative quality. To me, by contrast, I would
            >think a catechetical instruction would be more liturgical, or question
            >answer (like later church catechisms).

            I disagree with you about this (I think!<g>). Why not a narrative? If our
            present version of GJohn is, as most think, later than the other 3
            canonical gospels, then the narrative form would be familiar to many of the
            believers. Furthermore, 20:31 implies that the audience is in need of being
            persuaded, and a narrative format is usually much more persuasive than a
            set of questions. The internal dynamics that you refer to would be a great
            way to address issues likely to be on the minds of catechumens (or should I
            say proto-chatechumens?), and John's community (yes, there I go again!) can
            be expected to regard other gospels with which they may have been familiar
            as not adequately addressing these very issues.

            I guess what it comes down to is that I see these catechumens as early in
            their process-- interested, wanting to know more, but not yet fully
            committed. Your sentence about catechetical instruction implies catechumens
            late in their process, in the last week or two before their baptism, who
            have already received all the necessary instruction, and who have already
            made their commitment, and who are ready for their "final exam."

            >3. What I am questioning, although in some round about ways, is the
            >assumption that we have a community addressed at all. Why? Your
            >catechumen idea presumes the community as the recipients and holders of
            >this document. They become implicated in the purpose of the writing.
            >But since that is what is at stake in my questioning, I am trying to
            >find some external way into this whole issue.

            Well, first, 20:31 implies that the author had a particular audience in
            mind. But catechumens are not --yet!-- members of John's community. They
            are, as 20:31 shows, still marginal to the community: They are not --yet!--
            believers. I am also making use of the idea here that community
            worship/liturgy was not as open as it is today, where anyone can wander in
            off the streets into a public place of worship with open doors. Part of
            this picture is that the catechumens do not (yet!) participate in the
            worship/liturgy of the community, or at least not the gatherings at which
            communion is shared. I am not prepared to offer much evidence for this
            characterization, but if you don't agree and choose to challenge me on
            this, I'll see what I can come up with.

            So, to summarize, I think the audience is not members of John's community,
            but people who *are known to* members of John's community.

            Howzzat?


            >Thanks for, as always, stimulating ideas.
            >
            >mark

            Thanks, too, for an interesting and stimulating challenge.
            Bob

            Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
            Northern Arizona University
            Flagstaff, AZ

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David Trapero
            ... They ... --yet!-- ... wander in ... which ... community, ... Are you prepared to entertain the notion that 4G is a multipurpose gospel by design and that
            Message 5 of 22 , Apr 30 5:06 AM
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              >
              > Well, first, 20:31 implies that the author had a particular audience in
              > mind. But catechumens are not --yet!-- members of John's community.
              They
              > are, as 20:31 shows, still marginal to the community: They are not
              --yet!--
              > believers. I am also making use of the idea here that community
              > worship/liturgy was not as open as it is today, where anyone can
              wander in
              > off the streets into a public place of worship with open doors. Part of
              > this picture is that the catechumens do not (yet!) participate in the
              > worship/liturgy of the community, or at least not the gatherings at
              which
              > communion is shared. I am not prepared to offer much evidence for this
              > characterization, but if you don't agree and choose to challenge me on
              > this, I'll see what I can come up with.
              >
              > So, to summarize, I think the audience is not members of John's
              community,
              > but people who *are known to* members of John's community.

              Are you prepared to entertain the notion that 4G is a multipurpose
              gospel by design and that it has many audiences/functions in mind?
              Especially, if as you say it follows chronologically the synoptic
              gospels (and I agree). And I'm sure listers will challenge me on this
              but perhaps one of the reasons why John has so little in common with
              the synoptics is that he assumes his audience is familiar with their
              content, working "around them" in a sense. See Bauckham's "The
              Gospels for All Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences".

              I don't see how we can escape a multipurpose gospel because as much as
              I like your neophyte catechumen hypothesis, and I think it has much to
              commend it, I see strong evidence in the opposite direction: a gospel
              designed especially for advanced disciples, a post-baptismal catechism.

              There is so much about 4G that seems to be Jesus inviting us into his
              inner circle, making us privy to his most intimate thoughts and the
              dynamics of his relationship with his Father. Insider stuff. This is
              not the stuff of begginers. This is advanced stuff. Upper division
              discipleship.

              Have you ever noticed that 4G has no teachings of Jesus per se? His
              discourses on his relationship with his Father and his defense of his
              actions/authority among the Judeans, they don't really count. We have
              nothing remotely resembling the Sermon on the Mount or any of the core
              teaching material found in the synoptics. Why?

              Even his Farewell Discourses with his "New Commandment" makes more
              sense if we assume a working knowledge of his "Old commandments/Old
              teachings as found in the synoptics, such as love your enemies, turn
              the other cheek, to good to them that hate you, etc.

              That the author(s) of 4G may additionally have in mind seasoned/mature
              disciples which he/they desired to take to a deeper level of
              understanding seems very likely:

              "Very truly, I tell you, you all will see heaven opened and the angels
              of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." 1:51

              "If you CONTINUE in my word, you are truly my disciples." 8:31

              "I declare what I have seen in the Father's presence." 8:38a

              ""Lord, Show us the Father and we will be satisfied." 14:8

              "Have I been with you all this time (Phillip) and you still do not
              know me?!" 14:9

              "I did not say these things to you from the beginning..." 16:4b

              "I still have many things to say to you but you cannot bear them now."
              16:12

              "Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with
              me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given because you loved
              me before the foundation of the world." 17:24

              IMHO everything about 4G screams advanced not begginner. I dare say
              if those of us on this list were brutally honest we might confess that
              part of our interest/fascination with 4G is its complexity and that
              nobody has yet to "crack its code" so to speak.

              I can see an audience similar to the one for which Hebrews was
              written. They have been believing. For a long time. Maybe things
              have not materialized like they thought. They're tired,
              disillusioned. They need to keep on believing. They need help. They
              need inspiration. Encouragement. They need knew and better reasons
              to believe.

              "For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God,
              you may receive what was promised. But we are not among those who
              shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are
              saved." Hebrews 10:36,39

              Can your hypothesis of a pre-baptismal catechism be reconciled with a
              multipurpose gospel that could rival any Swiss Army knife? And maybe,
              just maybe, gospels by their very nature are Swiss Army knives.
              >
              >David

              David Trapero M.Div.
              818 2nd St. PL NE #95
              Hickory, NC 28601
              Dtrap303@...
            • Bill Bullin
              ... forty ... there. For a ... Hello George, Thank you for your reply, despite my two errors, only one of which I corrected (85 not 65). The last line of the
              Message 6 of 22 , Apr 30 7:02 AM
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                > I have been exploring the hypothesis that John Mark was the BD for over
                forty
                > years. I agree with you that Alexandria is the logical place for the
                > community of the BD if the tradition is true that Mark founded churches
                there. For a
                > brief account of my hypothesis see my website, www.beloveddisciple.net
                >
                > George Melick, MA
                > Drexel University (Retired)
                >
                Hello George,

                Thank you for your reply, despite my two errors, only one of which I
                corrected (85 not 65). The last line of the post should have read: "If I am
                wrong that the BD was actually John Mark then he (John Mark) may well have
                founded the Church in Alexandria, hot footed from Rome and Peter, and the
                Fourth Evangelist would have written 'John for Readers of Mark'.If on the
                other hand we are right in identifying JM as the BD, then Richard Bauckham's
                thesis becomes yet more intriguing. Like you I then make a connection with
                Clement of Alexandria's letter to Theodore and consider that the 'more
                spiritual Gospel' was mistakenly taken to be the Secret Gospel and was
                actually the Fourth Gospel, less 21.

                I really appreciate being in contact with someone who shares the BD / JM
                hypothesis; the more so given the years of scrutiny and reflection that you
                have attended it with. I've visited the web address and read through the
                brief summary of the paper you presented to the Mid-Atlantic Society of
                Biblical Literature, on my birthday as it happens. Although brief, it is
                packed with leads, ideas, facts and debates. I am very eager to read more if
                possible, including the footnotes. As you point out, if the hypothesis is
                correct (perhaps it is better described as a theory with several associated
                hypotheses), then it has major implications for our reading of the synoptic
                problem, the relationship between the Second and the Fourth Gopsels, the
                Johannine literature, and the history of the first century Christians. In
                summary it is a much underated field of study.

                I have given a great deal more thought to the historicity of the 'last
                supper' in relation to footwashing, leadership disputes, seating plans,
                first and last teaching and additionally to venue. Personally my own
                thoughts crystalised having read Martin Hengel's The Johannine Question
                (1989), 124-135, headed: 'The Person and Development of the Head of the
                School and its Relation to the Beloved Disciple'. Incidentally the previous
                section headed: 'The Predominantly Gentile-Christian Character of the
                Johannine School and the Recipients of the Corpus', 119-124, has bearing on
                the John 20:31 topic. It is interesting how words like 'school', 'community'
                and 'catechumens' have the ability to conjure up thoughts, ideas and
                impressions that both open and close doors in our minds, even between the
                analytical and harmonising halves, but I hope to pick this line of thought
                up in reply to Mark Matson.

                In relation to the BD / JM hypothesis, I would like to do some work on
                breaking the theory down into its component parts and ranking the strengths,
                weaknesses, facts, problems and implications associated with each of them. I
                would also like to ask the following questions of list members as a brief
                trawl: (a) What are the main books / articles / commentaries / published and
                unpublished theses that give consideration to the BD / JM thesis? (b) Is
                Babylon (1 Peter 5:13), Rome or Jerusalem? (c) Is there any possible
                connection between the BD, the 'rich young ruler', the naked escapee from
                Gethsemane and the person that accompanied Peter to the tomb? One almost
                ludicrous notion is that they were Jewish-Greek trained and had been to the
                gym! A far more serious point relates to the Shema and the Johannine
                emphasis on love, incidentally cropping up in 1 Peter as well as Romans
                since JM was associated with the ministry of both; the more so in the light
                of Tom Wright's work on 1 Cor 8:6.

                If it is possible to see more of your line of thinking, I would be most
                grateful.

                Bill
              • Matson, Mark (Academic)
                ... This is where I tend to arrive in my thinking -- that the gospel had a general audience, which in effect is multiple audiences. But that the primary one
                Message 7 of 22 , Apr 30 8:30 AM
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                  David Trapero wrote:
                  >
                  > Are you prepared to entertain the notion that 4G is a
                  > multipurpose gospel by design and that it has many
                  > audiences/functions in mind?
                  > Especially, if as you say it follows chronologically the
                  > synoptic gospels (and I agree). And I'm sure listers will
                  > challenge me on this but perhaps one of the reasons why John
                  > has so little in common with the synoptics is that he assumes
                  > his audience is familiar with their content, working "around
                  > them" in a sense. See Bauckham's "The Gospels for All
                  > Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences".

                  This is where I tend to arrive in my thinking -- that the gospel had a
                  general audience, which in effect is multiple audiences. But that the
                  primary one is some people "out there" who might be influenced to
                  believe. I, too, have been strongly influenced by Bauckham's thesis in
                  general.

                  I would not, however, go so far as to assume that John is
                  chronologically after the synoptics. In fact I think quite the contrary.
                  But I don't see how that issue affects the audience (real or implied) of
                  the gospel either way.

                  > I don't see how we can escape a multipurpose gospel because
                  > as much as I like your neophyte catechumen hypothesis, and I
                  > think it has much to commend it, I see strong evidence in the
                  > opposite direction: a gospel designed especially for
                  > advanced disciples, a post-baptismal catechism.
                  >
                  > There is so much about 4G that seems to be Jesus inviting us
                  > into his inner circle, making us privy to his most intimate
                  > thoughts and the dynamics of his relationship with his
                  > Father. Insider stuff. This is not the stuff of begginers.
                  > This is advanced stuff. Upper division discipleship.

                  Well, this is interesting, and I think has truth. On the other hand,
                  John seems to spend an inordinate amount of time defending his role as
                  "from the Father," which suggests a primary apologetic thrust of
                  justifying Jesus' role within a Jewish milieu (or one where Jewish
                  thought is still important). See on this James McGrath's book "John's
                  Apologetic Christology." So while there is "deep teaching" in John,
                  there is also a very dominant attempt to reach those "outside" the
                  faith. But then this would only strengthen your argument for multiple
                  audiences.

                  > Have you ever noticed that 4G has no teachings of Jesus per
                  > se? His discourses on his relationship with his Father and
                  > his defense of his actions/authority among the Judeans, they
                  > don't really count. We have nothing remotely resembling the
                  > Sermon on the Mount or any of the core teaching material
                  > found in the synoptics. Why?

                  Ah, but see above. The WHY is that this audience at least is not
                  christian. The function is rhetorical defense.

                  > Even his Farewell Discourses with his "New Commandment" makes
                  > more sense if we assume a working knowledge of his "Old
                  > commandments/Old teachings as found in the synoptics, such as
                  > love your enemies, turn the other cheek, to good to them that
                  > hate you, etc.
                  >
                  > IMHO everything about 4G screams advanced not begginner. I
                  > dare say if those of us on this list were brutally honest we
                  > might confess that part of our interest/fascination with 4G
                  > is its complexity and that nobody has yet to "crack its code"
                  > so to speak.

                  And here I am not so sure. Aren't many of the quotes you presented used
                  primarily within the context of proving that Jesus is, indeed, from the
                  Father (and hence not just a transient prophet). Thus the emphasis is
                  not on some deep inside knowledge as much as bringing about a
                  commitment.

                  And yet at another level you are right... There is a huge amount of deep
                  symbolism that encourages re-reading and understanding, making
                  connections across the narrative, and seeing God's relationship with
                  humans in a very different light than was normally perceived even in a
                  first reading.

                  mark

                  Mark A. Matson
                  Academic Dean
                  Milligan College
                  http://www.milligan.edu/administrative/personal.htm
                • Bill Bullin
                  ... Bill: Mark, let me say a little bit more about my odd take on this. It links with my question about what makes 4G distinct from the synoptics. Clearly 4G
                  Message 8 of 22 , Apr 30 1:50 PM
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                    > Bill Bullin wrote:
                    > >
                    > > If 20:31 was the original Epilogue, does it help to look to
                    > > the Prologue and to 1:7? '...so that through him all men
                    > > might believe', is aorist subjunctive: commitment and decision.

                    Mark Marson replied:
                    > Thank you for this notation. Frankly I had never directly connected the
                    > colophon with the prologue, but it makes wonderful sense. And frankly
                    > the aorist subjunctive in the prologue *might* help decide the textual
                    > variant in th 20:31. The way you read this is my initial sense -- it is
                    > potential belief: the facts of Jesus are to be laid out, together with
                    > an interpretation of who he is in terms of his own dialogues and
                    > arguments with opponents (the trial motif), so that a fair decision can
                    > be made.
                    Bill:
                    > > Part of what makes this document so unusual is its balance,
                    > > its harmony, its Names and numbers, its almost priestly
                    > > incantational ceremonial style. It ends where it begins with
                    > > life, life in his Name. Choose Life! ***Deuteronomy***
                    Mark:
                    > Yes, I think the document is carefully constructed. Again, a vote in
                    > favor of a "rhetorical" document. The question is what kind of
                    > rhetoric, and what is the "stasis" or issue at hand?

                    Bill:

                    Mark, let me say a little bit more about my odd take on this. It links with
                    my question about what makes 4G distinct from the synoptics.
                    Clearly 4G is a gospel, although, unlike Mark (1:1), Matthew (4:23), and
                    Luke (Luke 4:18) the term and concept of 'good news' seems to be
                    represented / expressed as 'testimony to the truth', the 'trial motif' as
                    you say. This apart, in a search for the 'Johnness of John' I have come up
                    with a couple of other lines of enquiry perhaps best approached by the
                    lateral question, what other material does 'John' and the 'Johannine' remind
                    you of? Before offering you my answer, let me introduce three quotes, the
                    last two are from the same document:

                    "It is my hypothesis that the early Christians used the categories of 'name'
                    and 'number' as theological tools. Often they consciously interpreted names
                    and numbers in a symbolic way. Even their non-reflexive usage relied on
                    implicit conceptualisations very different from our nominalist-based
                    thinking. They presupposed that names and numbers are inextricably
                    related...Like other Jewish movements, the first churches were immersed in a
                    multi-ethnic ocean reflecting centuries of Greek and Babylonian
                    mathematics." Francois Bovan (Harvard), S.N.T.S. Tel Aviv, 2000.

                    "All attempts to show, in the whole, not only oneness of spirit, but also a
                    genetic progress, an all embracing plan, and an organic connection, have
                    hitherto failed, and must fail."

                    "The critic looks for repetitions of vocabulary and of grammatical forms and
                    thus seeks to uncover whatever literary devices involving repetition the
                    author may have used, such as inclusions, mots, crchets, anaphora, chiasm,
                    symmetry, refrains, announcment of topic and subsequent resumption,
                    recapitulation etc....He [sic] searches for numerical patterns which the
                    author may have impressed upon his work for one reason or another and which
                    can provide clues to the author's conception of the plan of work."

                    So in answer to my rhetorical question, what other material does 'John'
                    remind you of? My emerging answer has been Genesis 1:1-2:3a; Qoholeth and
                    the Greek magical papyri. This may seem quite a strange answer and
                    combination but the Prologue and 4G seem entwined and the former has clear
                    links to Genesis 1 with its seven fold creation pattern and repeated formula
                    // seven signs; the second quote sums up A.G. Wright's summary of earlier
                    approaches to Qoholeth, and the third, to the beginning of his fresh
                    response in his articles The Riddle of the Sphinx etc. I submit that the
                    second and third quotes might easily be applied to 1 John (21 abide/s
                    matching 21 'we's in ch.1 before the ' I ', s break in, 'we abide'?) , and 1
                    John is quite similar to unusual features of 4G and its discourse material.
                    And what about that first sentence of 60 Greek words including 9 KAI's, but
                    when taken with the second and third which come to 26 (YHWH) they total 86,
                    (Elohim) and that completes the Epistle's Prologue. Finally, reverting to
                    Bovan, the name and number mysticism to which s/he? refers is clearly linked
                    to christology and the divine Name or Shem and also to Jewish priestly
                    ritual, the temple, but also the Greek magical papyri through the magical
                    repetition of power words and names (Shemoth).

                    All this, it seems to me has a direct bearing on your question concerning
                    the meaning of John 20:31:

                    "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are
                    not written in this book. But these [seven] are written so that you may come
                    to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through
                    believing you may have life in his Name."

                    Now if we are willing to admit to the presence of merkavah type references
                    in 4G, it is a small step to recognise the Prologue as referring to creation
                    mysticism and to Wisdom, and a further small step to detect the presence of
                    the kind of name~number mysticism that Bovan speaks of in 4G's concern with
                    the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ and belief / life in his Name. Virtually
                    everything in the New Testament canon relates to the Name. It is only modern
                    scholarship's determination to domesticate or exorcise what we as moderns do
                    not understand, from the ancient texts (either as believers or unbelievers),
                    that reduces 'divine magic' and the 'tabernacling of the great Angel of the
                    Face' amongst us, to mere doctrinal ascent and the decent. So:

                    "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to
                    testify to the light so that all *might believe* through him....But to all
                    who recieved him, who believed in his Name, he gave power to become children
                    of God....The Law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came
                    through 'Jesus Christ', IESOUS CHRISTOS,
                    (I = 10 + H = 8 + S = 200 + O = 70 + U = 400 + S = 200, total 888, (37 x
                    24); and X = 600 + R = 10 + I = 10 + S = 200 + T = 300 + O = 70 + S= 200,
                    total 1480, (37 x 40). But together, 2,368, 37 x 64, a cubic number like the
                    cubic Holy of Holies.But even more 8+8+8+1+4+8+0= 37, the gematria of the
                    Hebrew word Chokmah on a consecutive letter count or else 73, reflected in
                    LOGOS: 373. Now to us this seems coincidental or mundane but in Alexandria,
                    the Harvard of the Mediterannean, and to Jewish catachumens, it was very
                    exciting but not the crunch, the crunch was this: was Jesus the Messiah?
                    Maths does not provide the answer but testimony does. To both summarise and
                    harmonise very, very badly indeed:

                    "We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we
                    have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands
                    concerning the word of life - this life was revealed, and we have seen it
                    and testify to it, and declare to you what we have seen and heard so that
                    you also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the
                    Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." (1 John).

                    > > One snag I see is this. Would such a beautiful and complex
                    > > document have been put together for say 50 catechumens? I
                    > > think not. I think we might be talking about a much larger
                    > > number and possibly a city even larger than Ephesus. What
                    > > about Alexandria?
                    >
                    > Bill, I have a kind of gut reaction against these kind of localizing
                    > settings. While I think that Alexandria probably did receive much
                    > attention (witness the number of texts that end up there), I don't see
                    > much evidence for a particular place in the gospel. Aside from a
                    > "hunch", is there any internal evidence or external evidence that help
                    > us to see (a) the region of Alexandria, or (b) even any one localized
                    > community?
                    >
                    Yes, I know what you mean and Bauckham is a very good corrective but 'non
                    localization' and 'John for Readers of Mark' are two seperate but
                    intertwined issues. Lets set aside Alexandria for now though, how many
                    catachumens would justify this document; what about numbers, that is
                    populations and church sizes?

                    > And this lack of explicit local setting perhaps tells a bit against the
                    > catechumen idea.... I also would think the catechumen "teaching" would
                    > show more signs of being liturgical.

                    Well, my concept of catechumen is very much linked to discipleship,
                    modelling, understanding and oral transmission.
                    John had disciples and so did Jesus. They seemed to operate in pairs: 12
                    Apostles = six pairs, each pair recruits 12, 6 x 12 is 72 (textual
                    uncertainty), now they go out.

                    Catechumens are taught from a centrally held document, they ask questions,
                    they debate, they learn the testemonia, they believe and are baptised. They
                    don't fester; off they go in pairs. When they come back with their questions
                    and problems, its back to source, they go deeper into the document, its
                    meaning and testimony, its living symbolism and off they go again like the
                    dirty bits that float to and fro from the light, the candle flame . If this
                    sounds too much like selling technique we have to ask who had it first: The
                    'born again Skoda'? Cars dropping from above? Scots whiskey, the 'Water of
                    Life' all to divine music!
                    As for liturgical (service), patterns of words and numbers certainly aid the
                    memory and serve as a double check on accuracy.
                    Perhaps the Prologue was recited three times before a new Johannine passage
                    was discussed, meditated on, learnt by heart who knows; I think of my Sihk
                    friends. I think testimony preceded doctrine but 1 Cor. 8:6 may have been a
                    daily recital in the Johannine world and ethics could not be divorced from
                    doctrine; "Love God, love one another - off you go!" It didn't work!
                    "Love God deeply, from the heart, love one another deeply, from the heart -
                    off you go!" PS Don't forget be 'neighbour loving people' too.

                    > So, perhaps the gospel was simply directed to a wide geographical area,
                    > perhaps even "all who might be interested." But isn't that indeed what
                    > I am grappling with? If we know the audience, we know how to interpret
                    > PISTEUW. We don't know the audience, so I am trying to back end into it
                    > by understanding the use of the word.
                    >
                    > What I really wonder about is the assumption that we have a "community"
                    > that is being addressed. Why?

                    "Love one another," its pretty communal stuff. John is all truth, life,
                    love, ah, and christology. And the Spirit? Sorry to harmonise again but 1
                    Peter seems to me to be very 'Johannine' and John Mark was in the
                    background:

                    "Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that
                    was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person
                    or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in
                    advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory...You
                    know you were ransomed...with the precious blood of Christ. He was destined
                    before the foundation of the world...Now that you have purified your souls
                    by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love
                    oneanother deeply from the heart. You have been born anew, not of perishable
                    but of unperishable seed (cf. 1 John 3:11-17, Wisdom 10:1-4, 14:6-7, Mk
                    4:13-20, 1 Peter 3:18-22), through the Living an enduring Word of God.

                    Clearly I am emphasising unity over diversity and harmony over conflict.
                    >
                    > > I can go along way with J. L. Martyn it is tying in the sect
                    > > type sociology with +/- 85!!! C.E. and the Benediction against
                    > > the Minim that leaves me unconvinced and turning back to
                    > > Robinson's dating of 4G. I think Christians were called Minim
                    > > before the fall of Jerusalem and that Samuel the Small merely
                    > > revived the term and converted it into a benediction.
                    >
                    > Well, I agree with you in part. I am not sure Christians were called
                    > "minim" that early, or even ever (the birkhat ha-minim is not clearly
                    > against Christians, see Kimmelman, and was not necessarily universal).
                    > But opposition to Christians within certain jewish synagogues and areas
                    > seems certain, and well before 85 CE. That would certainly seem to be
                    > what is implied by Paul in his "former life" before becoming a Christian
                    > apostle. So I too think John can be placed early.

                    Bill: I confess I have not read Kimmelman (can you give me a source), but I
                    have read several excellent papers that are naunced and exceedingly complex.
                    Absolutely central to the debate is the question of MAAMINIM (Aramaic for
                    believers) as opposed to MINIM (kind, cf. Genesis, another animal), as in
                    'of another kind' as heretics. But who exactly were the heretics, the other
                    collective type, before the believers, no doubt the term became generic
                    after the fall of Jerusalem and where is the evidence for the use of MINIM
                    before the advent of Christianity, slim to non-existent except
                    hypothetically if I recall correctly? Samuel the Small was remembering back
                    to something before the War.

                    > But dating doesn't' really get at the central issue of the purpose of
                    > the 4G, and the way that "to believe" is used in the gospel (the most
                    > uses of the verb in the NT, around 85 times!).

                    Absolutely agreed if we agree that 'high Christology' is not 'late
                    Christology'. And 'believers' preceded 'Christians' if Acts is to be
                    believed!

                    Bill Bullin (Private Student, East Sussex).
                  • geomelick@AOL.com
                    Hi Bill: Thank you for your response. I have four older SBL papers which I will be posting on the web, but they are also brief and with one exception are not
                    Message 9 of 22 , Apr 30 3:06 PM
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                      Hi Bill:

                      Thank you for your response. I have four older SBL papers which I will be
                      posting on the web, but they are also brief and with one exception are not
                      footnoted. The most complete exposition of my hypothesis is a thesis which I
                      submitted to New York University in 1970 and published in 1979. There are
                      relatively few things I would change today. I would be glad to send you a copy if you
                      would send me your mailing address off-list. I make the same offer to other
                      list members.

                      I will let you know when other papers of mine are on the web.

                      George


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Bob Schacht
                      ... Sure. Please note that I was responding to Mark s query about 20:31. I am happy to suppose that some parts of GJohn were written with other purposes in
                      Message 10 of 22 , Apr 30 4:01 PM
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                        At 12:06 PM 4/30/2004 +0000, David Trapero wrote:

                        > >
                        > > Well, first, 20:31 implies that the author had a particular audience in
                        > > mind. But catechumens are not --yet!-- members of John's community.
                        > > They are, as 20:31 shows, still marginal to the community: They are not
                        > > --yet!-- believers. I am also making use of the idea here that community
                        > > worship/liturgy was not as open as it is today, where anyone can wander in
                        > > off the streets into a public place of worship with open doors. Part of
                        > > this picture is that the catechumens do not (yet!) participate in the
                        > > worship/liturgy of the community, or at least not the gatherings at which
                        > > communion is shared. I am not prepared to offer much evidence for this
                        > > characterization, but if you don't agree and choose to challenge me on
                        > > this, I'll see what I can come up with.
                        > >
                        > > So, to summarize, I think the audience is not members of John's community,
                        > > but people who *are known to* members of John's community.
                        >
                        >Are you prepared to entertain the notion that 4G is a multipurpose
                        >gospel by design and that it has many audiences/functions in mind?

                        Sure. Please note that I was responding to Mark's query about 20:31. I am
                        happy to suppose that some parts of GJohn were written with other purposes
                        in mind, or that even supposing the whole was written exclusively with
                        20:31 in mind, that Christians subsequently decided that the Gospel could
                        and should be used for other purposes. I would say the same for GMark [that
                        is, its original purpose may have been limited, but that it was
                        subsequently found to be useful for other purposes], for that matter,
                        although their original purposes may have been different.

                        >....I don't see how we can escape a multipurpose gospel because as much as
                        >I like your neophyte catechumen hypothesis, and I think it has much to
                        >commend it, I see strong evidence in the opposite direction: a gospel
                        >designed especially for advanced disciples, a post-baptismal catechism.

                        This would not be the only time that a document was written for very
                        different audiences. For example, Gulliver's Travels was, if I remember
                        correctly, originally intended as a biting political satire in the disguise
                        of a children's story. Alice in Wonderland also was written on two
                        levels. It may be that there was much in Aesop's Fables of the same thing.
                        But Gulliver and Alice are examples with a short, clean compositional
                        history. If the compositional history of GJohn was as complex as some
                        people claim, then a multiplicity of purposes is likely.


                        >There is so much about 4G that seems to be Jesus inviting us into his
                        >inner circle, making us privy to his most intimate thoughts and the
                        >dynamics of his relationship with his Father. Insider stuff. This is
                        >not the stuff of begginers. This is advanced stuff. Upper division
                        >discipleship.

                        Isn't the "advanced stuff" primarily in the farewell discourses? Plus some
                        of the first chapter?

                        >Have you ever noticed that 4G has no teachings of Jesus per se? His
                        >discourses on his relationship with his Father and his defense of his
                        >actions/authority among the Judeans, they don't really count. We have
                        >nothing remotely resembling the Sermon on the Mount or any of the core
                        >teaching material found in the synoptics. Why?

                        It all gets back to purposes again:
                        NRS John 20:31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that
                        Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may
                        have life in his name.

                        This doesn't say "that you may believe Jesus was a wise teacher whose
                        teachings reveal the secret of life" or any such thing. It talks about
                        believing one thing, and the reward for that belief. 4G is not without
                        "lessons" even if there are few "teachings" per se. Consider, for example,
                        John 8:1-11, or John 9, in which the purpose of the teaching is to reveal
                        "who" Jesus was (not to mention the ego eimi cases).
                        Even explicit "teaching" (e.g., 6:59-60) is directed towards the purpose of
                        John 20:31 rather than to some wisdom of the Proverbs variety.


                        >Even his Farewell Discourses with his "New Commandment" makes more
                        >sense if we assume a working knowledge of his "Old commandments/Old
                        >teachings as found in the synoptics, such as love your enemies, turn
                        >the other cheek, to good to them that hate you, etc.

                        I lean somewhat in the same direction, that John assumes some of his
                        readers may be familiar with the other Gospels. But I don't know how far to
                        go with that.


                        >...IMHO everything about 4G screams advanced not begginner.

                        *Everything*? I think it is written to suggest that there is always
                        something more-- That's why it is so tempting to think about John in
                        Gnostic terms. But that's just part of drawing the reader (or listener) in.
                        It can be appreciated on first reading. The fact that more can be
                        appreciated on second reading, and on third, and on fourth..... does not
                        necessarily detract from one's ability to appreciate it on first reading.

                        > I dare say
                        >if those of us on this list were brutally honest we might confess that
                        >part of our interest/fascination with 4G is its complexity and that
                        >nobody has yet to "crack its code" so to speak.

                        Sure. But that again doesn't mean that it can't be appreciated on first
                        reading.


                        >I can see an audience similar to the one for which Hebrews was
                        >written. They have been believing. For a long time. Maybe things
                        >have not materialized like they thought. They're tired,
                        >disillusioned. They need to keep on believing. They need help. They
                        >need inspiration. Encouragement. They need knew and better reasons
                        >to believe.

                        Perhaps its like the story teller who is writing for children, so that the
                        story has to be appealing on that level, but who also knows it will be a
                        parent who is reading the story to the child, and so knows a need to appeal
                        to the parent as well as to the child. I do not mean to compare catechumens
                        to children, but rather to indicate how the same text can function on
                        different levels.

                        >...Can your hypothesis of a pre-baptismal catechism be reconciled with a
                        >multipurpose gospel that could rival any Swiss Army knife? And maybe,
                        >just maybe, gospels by their very nature are Swiss Army knives.
                        > >
                        > >David

                        I suspect that GJohn had more complex purposes than the other Gospels. But
                        that doesn't *necessarily* mean that it was not originally(?) intended for
                        catechumens.

                        Thanks for your comments.
                        Bob

                        Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
                        Northern Arizona University
                        Flagstaff, AZ

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Martin Edwards
                        ... One almost ... to the ... the light ... The ruling class had been Hellenistic in outlook since the Seleucid period. A likely source of the insistence of
                        Message 11 of 22 , May 1, 2004
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                          --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Bullin"
                          <bill.bullin@u...> wrote:
                          >
                          One almost
                          > ludicrous notion is that they were Jewish-Greek trained and had been
                          to the
                          > gym! A far more serious point relates to the Shema and the Johannine
                          > emphasis on love, incidentally cropping up in 1 Peter as well as Romans
                          > since JM was associated with the ministry of both; the more so in
                          the light
                          > of Tom Wright's work on 1 Cor 8:6.
                          >
                          > If it is possible to see more of your line of thinking, I would be most
                          > grateful.
                          >
                          > Bill

                          The ruling class had been Hellenistic in outlook since the Seleucid
                          period. A likely source of the insistence of the "Sadducees" on the
                          written Torah alone is to minimize the burden of ritual observance.
                          On the other hand, even if a rich young man had just come from the
                          gym, he would probably have put something on.

                          Martin Edwards BA(UEA) PGCE(Hull) RT(England and Wales)
                          No current institution
                        • Bill Bullin
                          ... been ... Johannine ... light ... Hello Martin. I suspect our trains of thought are passing each other a bit. The most I was saying, almost too embarrassed
                          Message 12 of 22 , May 2, 2004
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                            > One almost ludicrous notion is that they were Jewish-Greek trained and had
                            been
                            > to the gym! A far more serious point relates to the Shema and the
                            Johannine
                            > > emphasis on love, incidentally cropping up in 1 Peter as well as Romans
                            > > since JM was associated with the ministry of both; the more so in the
                            light
                            > > of Tom Wright's work on 1 Cor 8:6.

                            > The ruling class had been Hellenistic in outlook since the Seleucid
                            > period. A likely source of the insistence of the "Sadducees" on the
                            > written Torah alone is to minimize the burden of ritual observance.
                            > On the other hand, even if a rich young man had just come from the
                            > gym, he would probably have put something on.
                            >
                            > Martin Edwards BA(UEA) PGCE(Hull) RT(England and Wales)
                            >
                            Hello Martin. I suspect our trains of thought are passing each other a bit.
                            The most I was saying, almost too embarrassed to say really, was that for
                            anyone who already posits a connection between the BD, the rich young ruler
                            and the fleeing youth, (and some make a connection between John Mark and the
                            latter two), is that *running* is a verbal common denominator; in terms of
                            the youth he was pretty niffty on his feet. I have no reason to consider him
                            merely a piece of symbolic fiction, esp. in Mark. It therefore seems most
                            reasonable that he had followed the apostolic group and Jesus to the garden
                            from the meal. The night would have been warm, he was minimally clad but not
                            'indescent' according to accepted standards of piety, he may have made a
                            split-second decision to follow and wasn't expecting to get involved. That
                            he fled naked was merely incidental to escaping, no more.

                            What I understand you to be saying is that priestly Jews of the ruling class
                            of the Sadducees may well have participated in the gymnasium. My comment
                            about the style of appraoch of the rich young ruler was not that he ran up
                            naked, no, simply that the evangelist notes that he ran up; almost as if,
                            presuming for an instance that he was John Mark, that there was something of
                            a familiar comment, John Mark is a runner, hence runner, gym, a Greek
                            educated Jew. Well, I admit this is not mrely historical thin ice, it is
                            walking on water. My more serious point is the importance of this 'rich
                            young ruler' (harmonising badly again). His nearness to the Kingdom,
                            compared even with the disciples who were almost 'kingdom blind'; Jesus'
                            love for him and his enthusiasm not only for the Torah and the Shema but
                            also for the neighbour, in theory. It is but a small step from here to love
                            'one another' but a million miles when faced with the radical challenge to
                            sell, give, and follow.

                            It is so tempting to harmonise because it is so, so romantic, (almost a
                            Greek romance), to see this guy as the fleeing youth and the BD. But just as
                            the historical mind should not be seduced by romance, neither is it a
                            sufficient reason to reject historical possibilities. I am much more
                            interested in youthfulness as a common theme and Josephian typology in the
                            mind of Jesus, particularly at the last supper. Bread and wine, the baker
                            and the butler. Joseph and Benjamin, Jesus and the youthful BD. The upper
                            room seems to be full of strutting cocks crowing and Jesus is in anguish. He
                            can take this crowing babble. He gets up, fills a bowl and shames them. No
                            one wants to be first anymore. The position of honour falls to the least,
                            the wee laddie running to and fro with the food; the wipper snapper. The
                            last is elevated to first. The conversation turns blacker. Even now Peter is
                            at it: "Ask him who it is, BD, nudge nudge, wink wink." And then a second
                            time, "Not me Lord....". And in anguish and life saving surgery Jesus
                            finally cuts to the heart of Petrine infantile psychology with his eyes and
                            his tongue: "Dry up you strutting cockrel, you won't even last the night
                            out. While you have been crowing I have been praying for you. But for the
                            grace of God you and Judas, are merely the butler and the baker, wheras I
                            must be both, both for you all. "You run: I hang". Let us depart:...".

                            Well, this is the romantic, ecentric form of my own explorations of the last
                            supper at present. But the status of the BD, if he was the youngest and
                            least at the supper, would have been vastly elevated when the Jerusalem
                            cockerels broke into the dawn chorus and Peter broke down; after the BD had
                            taken his place in the front row as the lights went out in full 'Mel Gibson
                            like' close up, and after the dust had settled and witnesses and testimony
                            took pride of place.

                            But I am a bit worried that I may have entirely missed your historical point
                            which I suspect may be linked to Martin Goodman and his *The Ruling Class of
                            Judea*, (1987).

                            Bill Bullin (Private Student, East Sussex).
                          • Martin Edwards
                            ... historical point ... Class of ... Tcherikover: Hellenism and the Jews. Regards, Mart.
                            Message 13 of 22 , May 3, 2004
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                              --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Bullin"
                              <bill.bullin@u...> wrote:

                              >
                              > But I am a bit worried that I may have entirely missed your
                              historical point
                              > which I suspect may be linked to Martin Goodman and his *The Ruling
                              Class of
                              > Judea*, (1987).
                              >
                              > Bill Bullin (Private Student, East Sussex).

                              Tcherikover: Hellenism and the Jews.

                              Regards,
                              Mart.
                            • Bill Bullin
                              ... *The Ruling ... Bill: As in the Israeli historian and papyrologist, Victor Tcherikover, *Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews*, (1966)? Incidentally,
                              Message 14 of 22 , May 4, 2004
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                                > > But I am a bit worried that I may have entirely missed your
                                > historical point which I suspect may be linked to Martin Goodman and his
                                *The Ruling
                                > Class of Judea*, (1987).
                                > >
                                > > Bill Bullin
                                >
                                > Tcherikover: Hellenism and the Jews.
                                >
                                > Regards,
                                > Mart.

                                Bill: As in the Israeli historian and papyrologist, Victor Tcherikover,
                                *Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews*, (1966)?
                                Incidentally, there is a potential economic connecting web linking 1 John
                                3:17, Mark 12: 33-34, Luke 18:30, Mark 10:30, Luke 10:12, Mark 10:22 and
                                //'s. Luke 22:26 is interesting too, since one might expect the contrast
                                with the 'greatest' would be the 'least' not the youngest; the contrast is
                                the more so if it is postulated that Peter was the oldest and therefore
                                assumed the role of leadership Strangely too the Lucan Jesus seems to be
                                referring to the least in the same breath as mentioning the one who serves
                                tables. Was the one serving elevated to the place of honour that we know was
                                occupied by the BD? Judas appears to have departed having been offered the
                                bread but before the wine was distributed. On my Josephian hypothesis, Judas
                                shares in the fate of the baker but not in the fate of the butler. Jesus and
                                the others.

                                For those who postulate John Mark as the BD, it is as well to make the point
                                explicitly by paraphrasing Acts; "After some days Paul said to Barnabas,
                                'Come, let us return and visit the believers in every city where we
                                proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are doing'. Barnabas wanted
                                to take with them the BD But Paul decided not to take with them one who had
                                deserted / withdrew from (APOSTANTA) them in Pamphilia and had not
                                accompanied them in the work. The disagreement became so sharp that they
                                parted company; Mark took the Beloved Disciple away with him and sailed away
                                to Cyprus." Acts 15:36-39. Paul's objection to Mark may relate to him not
                                having visited the cities they talked of revisting, rather than his previous
                                withdrawl per se.

                                Bill Bullin (Private Student, East Sussex).
                              • Bill Bullin
                                ... Bill Bullin comments: According to Raymond Brown, AB Vol. I (1971), 512-513, PISTEUEIN is used 98 times in the Fourth Gospel. However of these 98 examples
                                Message 15 of 22 , May 5, 2004
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                                  Mark Matso wrote:

                                  > But dating doesn't' really get at the central issue of the purpose of
                                  > the 4G, and the way that "to believe" is used in the gospel (the most
                                  > uses of the verb in the NT, around 85 times!).
                                  >
                                  Bill Bullin comments:

                                  According to Raymond Brown, AB Vol. I (1971), 512-513, PISTEUEIN is used 98
                                  times in the Fourth Gospel. However of these 98 examples , 36 (6 x 6) use
                                  the preposition EIS after PISTEUEIN, 'believe into'. In the whole Johannine
                                  corpus this construction occurs 37 times of which 31 relate to Jesus. This
                                  strongly parallels the concept of *baptism into* the Name or into Jesus.
                                  Brown (513) adds: "Although there are various stages in the development of
                                  faith..., in general John uses PISTEUEIN EIS for true, salvic faith."

                                  Later though he also tells us: "It is worthy of note that in the Gospel most
                                  of the uses of PISTEUEIN (74 out of 98), occur in chs i-xii or the Book of
                                  Signs. This division of frequency agrees with the thesis that in the Book
                                  of Signs Jesus is presenting to men the choice of believing, while in the
                                  Gospel of Glory (chs xiii xx) he is speaking to those who already believe
                                  and, thus, in presuming faith. It is true that in xiv 10 Jesus decries the
                                  inadequacy of the faith of the disciples and that he tries to increase their
                                  commitment (xiv), but the groundwork of faith has been laid. The emphasis on
                                  the response of the disciples in the Book of Glory is in terms of love which
                                  is the perfection of the commitment of the believer," 513.

                                  The 36 examples of PISTEUEIN EIS may represent something of a schema uniting
                                  the whole document (bearing in mind the distribution of the 144 'pater's as
                                  noted by Dunn), whilst the 74 examples may be a sub schema in chs 1-12, (73
                                  the gematria of CHOKMAH is related to 74 through the first prime number
                                  magic square where 37 is the central square, of the 8 remaining sub-squares
                                  another is 73 whilst opposite squares equal 74. This prime number square
                                  appears to be the schema underlying Qoholeth, if A.G. Wright's numerical
                                  analysis is accepted). It is tempting to search for two 'lost' examples of
                                  PISTEUEIN in the Johannine variants, since that would give a total of 100
                                  (10 x 10), dividing into 36 (6 x 6) examples of PISTEUEIN EIS leaving a
                                  remainder of 64 (8 x 8). As it is, 98 less 74 leaves 24 which is itself a
                                  priestly number relating to the annual rotation of priestly divisions in the
                                  temple.

                                  Are these figures significant and if so what did they mean to the Evangelist
                                  and those who add their witness to his? And is Brown's acceptance of a
                                  division into a Book of Signs and a Book of Glory significant in respect of
                                  the question originally posed concerning John 20:21 and the responses so far
                                  discussed. Hmmm. Food for thought.

                                  Bill Bullin (Private Student, East Sussex).
                                • geomelick@AOL.com
                                  Bill: According to my reconstruction of the Last Supper, Mark, as the youngest of the disciples, was washing the disciples feet. When the controversy
                                  Message 16 of 22 , May 5, 2004
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                                    Bill:

                                    According to my reconstruction of the Last Supper, Mark, as the youngest of
                                    the disciples, was washing the disciples' feet. When the controversy occurred,
                                    Jesus took over the foot washing duties, the greatest becoming as the
                                    youngest. He then placed Mark at his side, saying "Whoever receives this child in my
                                    name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me" (Luke
                                    9:48). The author or redactor reported this in slightly changed form in John
                                    13.20 This is how Mark came to be lying close to the breast of Jesus.

                                    George Melick MA
                                    Drexel University, Retired


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • McGrath, James
                                    An interesting suggestion, but I m probably not alone in desiring more information. What evidence do you have that John Mark was present at this meal, was the
                                    Message 17 of 22 , May 5, 2004
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                                      An interesting suggestion, but I'm probably not alone in desiring more
                                      information. What evidence do you have that John Mark was present at
                                      this meal, was the youngest of the disciples, and perhaps most
                                      importantly, that although disciples could not be asked to untie their
                                      teacher's sandals, they could be given the duty of footwashing?

                                      Looking forward to hearing more about your interesting reconstruction!

                                      James McGrath



                                      *****************************
                                      Dr. James F. McGrath
                                      Assistant Professor of Religion
                                      Butler University, Indianapolis
                                      http://religion.sytes.net
                                      *****************************



                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: geomelick@... [mailto:geomelick@...]
                                      Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2004 10:28 AM
                                      To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] John 20:31


                                      Bill:

                                      According to my reconstruction of the Last Supper, Mark, as the youngest
                                      of
                                      the disciples, was washing the disciples' feet. When the controversy
                                      occurred,
                                      Jesus took over the foot washing duties, the greatest becoming as the
                                      youngest. He then placed Mark at his side, saying "Whoever receives
                                      this child in my
                                      name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me"
                                      (Luke
                                      9:48). The author or redactor reported this in slightly changed form in
                                      John
                                      13.20 This is how Mark came to be lying close to the breast of Jesus.

                                      George Melick MA
                                      Drexel University, Retired


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                                    • geomelick@AOL.com
                                      James: My hypothesis is based on two suggestions about Mark. The first is that he was the BD and the second is that he was the son of Simon Peter. The latter
                                      Message 18 of 22 , May 6, 2004
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                                        James:

                                        My hypothesis is based on two suggestions about Mark. The first is that he
                                        was the BD and the second is that he was the son of Simon Peter. The latter
                                        suggestion has a long history. In commenting on 1 Peter 5:13 Henry Alford wrote
                                        that Mark was "perhaps the actual son of St. Peter, bearing this name." For
                                        this view he cited Oecumenius and Bengel. According to Swete, ho huios mou in
                                        this verse does not involve spiritual relationship of the kind expressed by
                                        teknon in Paul's letters. In commenting on this verse William Barclay wrote
                                        that "Mark might quite well be literally Peter's son." In the Encyclopedia
                                        Americana F. C. Grant wrote that the reference "would be more natural if the
                                        relationship was physical as well as spiritual." What surprises me is that no one
                                        else to my knowledge has tried connecting these two suggestions.

                                        As a young boy, Mark would have stayed close to his father when away from
                                        Capernaum and thus would have been present at the meal although not initially at
                                        the table. According to Richardson, "It would be the duty of the youngest
                                        member of the group of disciples attached to a rabbi to perform such acts of
                                        menial service as foot-washing."

                                        My most recent SBL paper is posted on my website www.beloveddisciple.net, and
                                        an earlier paper presented at a national SBL meeting is on
                                        www.fourthgospel.com. Go to unpublished papers and click on "M".

                                        George Melick, MA
                                        Drexel University (Retired)


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