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Again re: Trapero Re: Matson RE: [John_Lit] John 20:31

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  • Bob Schacht
    In continuing this thread, I use a recent post to expand on it. ... I then replied, on the same day, ... So, David, we have an answer to your question,
    Message 1 of 2 , May 5, 2004
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      In continuing this thread, I use a recent post to expand on it.

      I had written, in part:
      > > 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. ...

      At 12:06 PM 4/30/2004 +0000, David Trapero responded, in part:

      >....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.

      I then replied, on the same day,
      >Isn't the "advanced stuff" primarily in the farewell discourses [i.e.,
      >Chapters 14-17]? Plus some of the first chapter?

      Now fast forward to 03:08 PM 5/5/2004 +0100, when Bill Bullin wrote, in part:

      >...According to Raymond Brown, AB Vol. I (1971), 512-513, PISTEUEIN is used 98
      >times in the Fourth Gospel. ...
      >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. ...

      So, David, we have an answer to your question, perhaps, that affirms my
      suggestion to you that the advanced material tends to be found in the
      farewell discourses, expanding it to the "Gospel of Glory".

      Thus, I would revise my suggestion to the effect that the first 12 chapters
      were primarily designed for catechumens, and the last 8 chapters for your
      "advanced", "Upper division discipleship".

      Consider the end of Chapter 13 as an interesting point of transition:

      NRS 13:34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as
      I have loved you, you also should love one another.
      35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love
      for one another."
      36 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered,
      "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward."
      37 Peter said to him, "Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay
      down my life for you."
      38 Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I
      tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.

      Wouldn't that be a rather arresting place to leave the catechumens in their
      pre-baptismal state?

      However, you might well object that if this is the case, why is 20:31
      placed at the end of the Gospel of Glory instead of at the end of Chapter
      13? I don't have a good answer for that.

      Bob


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

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Bill Bullin
      Bob: In continuing this thread, I use a recent post to expand on it. ... in ... not ... as ... catechism... Bob: I then replied, on the same day, ... Bob: Now
      Message 2 of 2 , May 13, 2004
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        Bob:
        In continuing this thread, I use a recent post to expand on it.
        > I had written, in part:

        > > > 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. ...
        >
        David Trapero responded, in part:
        > >....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...>
        Bob:
        I then replied, on the same day,
        > >Isn't the "advanced stuff" primarily in the farewell discourses [i.e.,
        > >Chapters 14-17]? Plus some of the first chapter?
        >
        Bob: Now fast forward to 03:08 PM 5/5/2004 +0100, when Bill Bullin wrote,
        in part:
        >
        > >...According to Raymond Brown, AB Vol. I (1971), 512-513, PISTEUEIN is
        used 98
        > >times in the Fourth Gospel. ...
        > >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.

        Bob: So, David, we have an answer to your question, perhaps, that affirms my
        > suggestion to you that the advanced material tends to be found in the
        > farewell discourses, expanding it to the "Gospel of Glory".
        > Thus, I would revise my suggestion to the effect that the first 12
        chapters
        > were primarily designed for catechumens, and the last 8 chapters for your
        > "advanced", "Upper division discipleship".
        > Consider the end of Chapter 13 as an interesting point of transition:...
        > 38 Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I
        > tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.
        > Wouldn't that be a rather arresting place to leave the catechumens in
        their
        > pre-baptismal state?
        >
        > However, you might well object that if this is the case, why is 20:31
        > placed at the end of the Gospel of Glory instead of at the end of Chapter
        > 13? I don't have a good answer for that.
        >
        > Bob

        Dear Bob S. David T.and Mark M.

        David Wenham, 'The Enigma of the Fourth Gospel", Tyn. Bul. 48 (1997),
        republished in memory of his father, and also John Ashton's 65th birthday,
        re-launches the kind of project first undertaken by John Robinson. The
        strength of this paper, it seems to me, is that he engages thoughtfully with
        leading contemporary Johannine scholars and issues whilst challenging the
        concensus that dominates Johannie scholarship. Briefly, he argues for an
        early date for the I Epistle and for the Gospel (in that order), against the
        consensus opinion of a Synagogue / church split in a post Jamnia / Eighteen
        Benedictions setting. In particular he asks how 4G differs from the
        Synoptics. I think this is a crucial question and it seems to link with the
        suggestion that 4G did not start out as a Gospel in the Synoptic sense.
        Having reviewed arguments for a late 4G, Wenham offers some cogent parallels
        to Johannine material in the the Pauline corpus and the synoptic tradition.
        Inevitably he considers Jn 20:31. His argument beginning with I John is that
        the primary issue at stake is between disciples of John the Baptist and the
        Johanine (circle] concerning Messiaship, the spirit, the water and the
        blood. Put together with the suggestion that 4G contains two documents, the
        first for catechumens and the second for advanced disciples, it raises the
        issue of whether these catechumens were disciples / former disciples of John
        the Baptist, whilst the advanced teaching tackles the issue of love and
        unity against splits.

        My own view is that the themes of Messiahship, love and unity relate in
        particular to the Shema and the New Commandment. If the BD was John Mark,
        might not his cousin, Joseph the levite, re-named 'son of encouragement'
        have been either the pharisee and scribe who asked about the greatest
        commandment or the rich young ruler, who eventually saw sense (Acts 4:37),
        or both? This would account for the Johannine correspondence found in Paul
        since Paul, Barnanas and John Mark worked together and no dount debated
        together as they travelled and taught. It is interesting that the Parable of
        the good Samaritan has a priest and a levite walk past (Luke 10), rich young
        ruler like.

        Picking up Bob's problem with John 20:31, is it not reasonable to assume
        that two teaching documents, a Signs Book and a Glory Book were amalgamated
        to form a 'Gospel' and that 20:31 was then re-positioned from the end of a
        Signs Book to the end of the combined document? My problem then becomes
        this, could either of these books have been considered to be a Gospel
        without a passion narrative? Clearly not but I suspect an oral passion
        narrative would have been taken for granted and only incorporated in writeen
        form when the material was combined to form a gospelbook.

        From my rather isolated position in frot of a winding furrow and behind a
        plough of 'names and numbers', it is interesting that the proposed 'more
        advanced material' is simplest in form with a limited but repeated
        vocabulary of names and key words and concepts; also a feature of I John.

        Some while ago I referred to Justin's and Irenaeus's material, likening the
        cross to a plough and to an axe head. I suggested this related to Elisha's
        lost axe head and to a very primitive tradition comparing John the Baptist
        with Elijah and Jesus with Elisha. Elisha, on seeing the chariot throne
        calls out Father, Father, not unlike the primitive cry, 'Abba, Father'
        (Romans and Galatians). This may relate to Wenham's proposal that the
        primary context of Johannine theology is debate with the disciples of John
        the Baptist who appear to have spread rapidly throughout Mediterranean
        cities with a Jewish population. It is tempting to think that a Johannine
        Signs Book and Glory Book may have been composed for Palestinian Greek
        speaking Jews but would they need the kind of explanatary data concerning
        the sheep pool in Jerusalem? The comment concerning the sheep pool might be
        a subsequent gloss added when the Johannine Gospelbook was composed, (along
        with glosses for readers of Mark), but this would imply a pre-war setting
        for the composition, though not for ch. 21. I have seen it argued that the
        Johannine signs relate to the miracles of Elisha in an old copy of the
        Expository Times but I cannot readily find my clipping.

        One final strand in my thinking relates to the 'sentness' of Johannine
        theology, to the Johannine Jesus and to its possible relationship to
        Josephian typology. Joseph, a special son was sent to his own by his father
        but his own received him not, indeed they sold him for twenty pieces of
        silver (Gen. 37:28); however he was exhalted to the right hand of Pharaoh.
        That is, like the Baker and Butler whose fate was sealed within three days
        of the interpretation of their dreams, Jesus was raised on the third day.
        Luke may reflect this since, 'Joseph was thirty years old when he entered
        the service of Pharaoh', (cf. Luke 3:23). It is also noteworthy that Genesis
        refers specifically to the brothers being given water by the steward to wash
        their own feet, (43:24). When Joseph saw Benjamin he could not hold himself
        together but was flooded with affection (beloved indeed), and had to weep in
        private, just as Jesus leaves the upper room and weeps privately in
        Gethsemane.
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