Re: [John_Lit] John 20:31
- Mark Matso wrote:
> But dating doesn't' really get at the central issue of the purpose ofBill Bullin comments:
> 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!).
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
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).
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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