Re: Two anointing episodes?
- --- In email@example.com, Q Bee <artforms@n...>
> Lack of knowledge of Middle Eastern mystery rites really does leaveone at a
> disadvantage as a scholar, doesn't it?The answer would be yes, provided the text under discussion has
indeed been influenced by the mystery rites - and on this we
evidently differ. (I once again admit openly that I am lacking in
detailed knowledge of mystery initiation rites; there is no reason
for me to deny that. I appreciate to learn more about the topic,
whether it be of importance to the understanding of GJohn or not. Not
very long ago I read R.D.Chesnutt, _From Death to Life: Conversion in
Joseph and Aseneth_ [JSPS, 16; Sheffield Academic Press, 1995], which
devotes one chapter to 'Mystery Initiation'. I remember reading about
ablutions there, but not about anointings - but perhaps my memory
> > Now, I am not certain how we asNew
> > readers are supposed to recognize that Jesus is the 'altar of the
> > Jerusalem' in this episode. But alright, we have the theme ofJesus'
> > body as a Temple in GJohn, so let us suppose that he is depictedas
> > the altar here. I would like to ask, then, why the altar of thenew
> > Jerusalem temple, which for all we know is expected to be a Jewishupon
> > temple, is consecrated through an Egyptian ritual?
> Tobias, are you likely to think that Mary actually burst into song
> meeting with Elizabeth because Luke portrays their meeting in thatmanner?
Not historically, if that is what you mean. But I find the Lukan
canticles as perfectly at home in a literary work which places itself
within the tradition of Jewish literature. My criticism of your
reading of the Johannine anointing does not primarily concern its
possible claim to historicity. Rather, I find it implausible from a
_literary_ point of view: why would John, who throughout his Gospel
refers and alludes to _Jewish_ rituals and feasts, suddenly create a
scene which alludes to mystery rituals?
> > Further, I wonderhair
> > whether Egyptian priests consecrated themselves by rubbing their
> > against the anointed altar?If you
> can't find a scenario for the anointing of a head in OT literaturewhat can
> be said?I take your reply to mean that while the anointing of feet alludes to
mystery religion practices, the 'anointing' of Mary's head has its
background in the OT literature. In the OT I find several references
to heads being anointed. But those who are anointed - above all
priests and kings - do not anoint themselves. They certainly do not
rub their hair against an altar. I cannot see that Mary is anointed
in the Johannine episode.
I highly recommend that you read Thomas W. Butler's "Let Her Keep
> It".It is not to be found in academic library here in Sweden. (Amazon
sells it at USD 60, which is too expensive for me at present.) No
major scholarly journal appears to have reviewed it either. I tend to
be sceptical towards theories of 'hidden levels' or 'esoteric
meanings' in GJohn. Those who wish to know why could read my
article 'John's Gospel: A Two-Level Drama?', _JSNT_ 25 (2003), pp.
309-322. For the sake of clarity, I must point out that I do not
presume to judge Butler's book without having read it; I simply admit
BTW, I asked you some questions pertaining to your view on the
relationship between the Johannine episode and the Synoptic parallels
(if they are indeed parallels). It would be interesting to have your
reply - or if somebody else would like to comment on those questions.
All the best,
- On Dec 23, 2004, at 7:47 AM, pastor_t@... wrote:
> Hello Q Bee, Tobias and Old Friends from the J-Lit List,
> I am Thomas W. Butler. I have just re-joined this list after
> almost two years away. I am a United Methodist Pastor, having just
> made a transition from serving the First United Methodist Church of
> Tracy, California to being the Senior Pastor at Sparks United
> Methodist Church in Sparks, Nevada.
> I am the author of Let Her Keep It. Thank you, Q Bee, for
> recommending my book.
I'm very pleased to see you here once again.
Your book has been most helpful in teaching the layers of the fourth
gospel. I've given your address to several people and I hope they have
bought it from you. It had better stay in print so that I can continue
to send people your way. It is a very well crafted piece of work.
Peace and blessings to all. May you find the Christ in each person you
meet this Christmas season; and may you be the Christ to each of them.