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
> > > mind. But catechumens are not --yet!-- members of John's community.
> > > They are, as 20:31 shows, still marginal to the community: They are
> > > --yet!-- believers. ...
David Trapero responded, in part:
> >....I don't see how we can escape a multipurpose gospel because as much
> >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
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,
> >...According to Raymond Brown, AB Vol. I (1971), 512-513, PISTEUEIN is
> >times in the Fourth Gospel. ...
> >Later though he also tells us: "It is worthy of note that in the Gospel
> >of the uses of PISTEUEIN (74 out of 98), occur in chs i-xii or the Book
> >Signs. This division of frequency agrees with the thesis that in the
> >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
> 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
> 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.
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
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