[John_Lit] Chapter 21
- What has happened to this egroup? It's as though the balloon was released
before the knot was tied.
Jn21 seems to me to be where the study of 4G should begin. The content of
21:1-23 contradicts information in chapters 1-20. In 1-20 there are no
resurrection appearances in Galilee and no hint of any (with the possible
exception of 16:32), but in 21 there is a Galilean resurrection appearance.
Peter has no extraordinary authority in 1-20, but in 21 he is given a
leadership role. The Beloved Disciple is never mentioned in relation to
Galilean material in 1-20, but in 21 he is numbered among the Galilean
disciples. Included in the fishing party on the sea of Tiberius (Gentile
audience) are two disciples who have never been named in any tradition as
fishermen, Thomas and Nathanael. The fisherman Andrew and disciple Philip,
who were called in Galilee in the Synoptic tradition, are surprisingly
absent. Instead, it is reported that "those of Zebedee" were there. The
Synoptic brothers James and John are obviously intended. They do not appear
in 1-20, and in 21 they are introduced in such a way as to suggest that
readers are familiar with Synoptic tradition.
However, chapter 21 is consistent with 1-20 and inconsistent with the
Synoptic tradition in that it fails to give any prominence to The Twelve.
They are not even mentioned.
Chapter 21 is a problem for narrative critics. An implied reader of 1-20
differs significantly from an implied reader of 1-21. So at the outset a
position has to be taken in relation to 21.
Has the writer of 21 amended 1-20? Perhaps nothing more than identifying
some sections where the Beloved Disciple appears.
And what about the links between 20:30 and 21:25? 21:25b could be the last
half of 20:30. Or are 21:24 & 21:25 alternative versions of 19:35 and 20:30?
Or is 20:30 in the wrong place?
It seems to me there must be ONE major reason why 21 was added. It's either
to do with the need to add a resurrection appearance in Galilee, the
commission to Peter, or most likely, the problems associated with the death
of the Beloved Disciple. Despite the similarities in style, the writer seems
remote in terms of timescale from the date of 1-20.
Why was it found necessary to add 21?