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Re: [John_Lit] Why There Aren't Two Burial Stories In John

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  • Q Bee
    On Jan 30, 2005, at 5:54 PM, RevMikeB wrote: Rev. Mike wrote: (snip) ... (snip) ... Dear Rev. Mike, This presentation may work as sermon in some denominations,
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 30, 2005
      On Jan 30, 2005, at 5:54 PM, RevMikeB wrote:

      Rev. Mike wrote:

      (snip)

      > John 19:31-34
      >
      > It has been suggested that this passage contains one of two burial
      > stories in John and that the embedded one above might be the older
      > of the two. I'd like to explain why I disagree by connecting the
      > above passage with John 9:
      >
      (snip)

      > no one took Jesus' life and that he laid it down;
      > however, it strikes as scandalous that the Jews, who rigidly
      > lobbied for his death, would be concerned about the Sabbath's
      > solemnity if Jesus' battered body remained exposed hanging on a
      > cross.
      >
      > So who is really keeping the Sabbath, Jesus or the Jews? Could it be
      > that a dead man could keep the Sabbath?

      Dear Rev. Mike,

      This presentation may work as sermon in some denominations, but, as you
      say, "no one took Jesus' life... he laid it down." So, building a case
      upon the scandal of Jews lobbying against one who clearly breaks their
      laws is tantamount to saying that it is condemnable for the US to
      punish Alqaeda operatives.

      > If we go back to John 9, in
      > the story of the healing of the blind man, we find our answer. There
      > Jesus is accused by the Pharisees for being a sinner because he
      > healed the man on the Sabbath, which is a miracle they ironically
      > wanted to reject in the first place.

      Jesus cures on the Sabbath for the first time in John 5:1-18. This
      story is in tandem with the "Days of Creation" of Genesis 1's first
      creation story. It is the seventh day. God took a break from the work
      of Creation and then continues, but Jesus, the Son of God continues
      without pause.

      Concerning the high holy feast as sabbath, it would appear that the
      crucifixion took place on a
      Thursday, the high holy sabbath was on Friday, and the regular sabbath
      followed on the usual Saturday. Then, the sequence of three days in
      the tomb is more viable. If the high holy day is the same day as the
      ordinary sabbath then Jesus was in the tomb for a couple of hours of
      late Friday, all of the Sabbath, and was already up and walking around
      on Sunday before dawn. This is, at best, a day and a half.
      >
      > The Jews, as usual, look like idiots. (Is the taking
      > of Jesus' body down from the cross work and was it completed
      > before nigh, the beginning of the Sabbath?)
      >
      I must say that the statement above is offensive in tone. The Jews
      were following the law.

      Regards,

      Rev. Mother Elaine+
      Tacoma, WA
    • RevMikeB
      ... It is not my intention to suggest the Jews were REALLY idiots because they were Jewish if that is what you mean; nor to suggest that ALL Jews are idiots.
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 30, 2005
        > If your point is that the evangelist is shaping his
        > material and adding inventions of his own to portray
        > Jews negatively, then you need to clarify your point.

        It is not my intention to suggest "the Jews" were REALLY idiots
        because they were Jewish if that is what you mean; nor to suggest
        that ALL Jews are idiots. That would be terribly wrong and I
        apologize if that is the impression I might have given.

        In most cases in the Gospel of John, "the Jews" aren't portryed
        positively by the Evangelist, and that is putting it mildly. My
        point is to show that the irony of "the Jews" wanting to keep the
        Sabbath by having Jesus' body removed is scandelous after having
        lobbied so hard for him to be crucified in the first place; so the
        Evangelist, makes them look pretty bad. It is Jesus, in chapter 9 as
        well in chapter 19:31-34 who keeps the sabbath, not "the Jews"
        because of their unblief.
      • RevMikeB
        ... as you say, no one took Jesus life... he laid it down. So, building a case upon the scandal of Jews lobbying against one who clearly breaks their laws
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 30, 2005
          > This presentation may work as sermon in some denominations, but,
          as you say, "no one took Jesus' life... he laid it down." So,
          building a case upon the scandal of Jews lobbying against one who
          clearly breaks their laws is tantamount to saying that it is
          condemnable for the US to punish Alqaeda operatives.


          Yes, "The Jews" believed he broke the Sabbath and YOU may believe he
          did as well, but I don't think according to the Fourth Gospel he
          really does. Theologically speaking, in John's Gospel, those who
          don't understand that Jesus is "from above" or know from "whence the
          wine comes" or that he is "the bread come down from heaven" or that
          he is "the Christ" or "the Messiah" or the New Moses or "THE
          Prophet" can't keep the law. According to John, you can't be a
          legitimate disciple of Moses without understanding that Jesus is the
          New Moses who fulfills the law. That, I believe is the case the
          Evangelist makes, though I understand what problems that might make
          for us today.

          There are some exceptions to the negative PORTRAYAL of "the Jews" BY
          THE AUTHOR, but that is primarily because the Fourth Gospel was
          developed over several decades and even while Christian Jews were
          still worshipping in the synagogue with other Jews. John's
          Christology is so high. Jesus is the revealer of the Father. He's
          the only one who has seen him; when you look at Jesus, you are
          looking at the Father. That is John's view.

          When I recognize the Evangelist's PORTRAYAL of "the Jews" I'm not
          thinking of simply what the Jews might have actually been like in
          Jesus' day, but rather what "the Jews" were doing to other Jews who
          became believers in Jesus and who might have been expelled from the
          synagogue as a result in the latter part of the first century. If
          you haven't read J Louis Maryn's, "The History and Theology of the
          Fourth Gospel" you probably don't understand what I'm talking about.
          I think that is, in part, where you are misunderstanding me.

          I must say, I don't want to get into a debate on anti-Semitism or
          the like. But I do want to get a picture of the Johannine community,
          the particular problems the Evangelist thought they faced, and how
          he molded his Gospel as a result.
        • Timothy P. Jenney
          ... I agree Rev. Mike could have worded this better, though the phrase the Jews is always portrayed negatively in 4G. The overall portrait is that of a
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 31, 2005
            Rev. Mike said:

            >>
            >> The Jews, as usual, look like idiots. (Is the taking
            >> of Jesus' body down from the cross work and was it completed
            >> before nigh, the beginning of the Sabbath?)

            Rev. Mother Elaine+ said:
            > I must say that the statement above is offensive in tone. The Jews
            > were following the law.

            I agree Rev. Mike could have worded this better, though the phrase "the
            Jews" is always portrayed negatively in 4G. The overall portrait is that of
            a [tragic] "comedy of errors." Think "Keystone Kops."

            On the other hand, I disagree that this group was only trying to "follow the
            law." The whole point of the narrative is that this group only followed the
            law when it suited them.

            [Rev.] Dr. Timothy P. Jenney
            Adj. Prof., Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando
          • RevMikeB
            ... 4G. The overall portrait is that of a [tragic] comedy of errors. Think Keystone Kops. On the other hand, I disagree that this group was only trying to
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 16, 2005
              >>>...though the phrase "the Jews" is always portrayed negatively in
              4G. The overall portrait is that of a [tragic] "comedy of errors."
              Think "Keystone Kops." On the other hand, I disagree that this
              group was only trying to "follow the law." The whole point of the
              narrative is that this group only followed the law when it suited
              them.
              > [Rev.] Dr. Timothy P. Jenney
              > Adj. Prof., Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando>>>



              You have to be careful with that word "always." As I said
              earlier, IN MOST CASES, "the Jews" (I mean as characters in a
              narrative) are portrayed negatively, but there are a few exceptions.
              Here are a couple that come to my mind:

              11:45: "Many of the Jew therefore, who had come with Mary and had
              seen what Jesus did, believed in him."

              11:19: "and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console
              them about their brother."

              Some might also include 19:31, but as I said earlier, the evangelist
              is using irony here to show how absurd their efforts to keep the law
              are while having already rejected Jesus.

              Though "the Jews" might be looked at with suspicious eyes in
              11:19 above by the reader, 11:45 would certainly make such a
              skeptical eye toward their sincerity less plausible in this case.

              I've read so much concerning the Fourth Gospel that it's hard to
              recall just where I picked up on these contrasting uses of "the
              Jews" in the Gospel to return to them at the moment. There are a few
              other examples, I believe.

              I'm not sure if the different ways the phrase is used supports the
              opinion that the Fourth Gospel was written and edited over several
              decades, reflecting the changing levels of tension in relationships
              and polemics, OR that these few positive uses of "the Jews" are
              written by another hand, like the redactor of Ch. 21. I guess there
              are other explanations too, and I would be glad to hear them.

              Peace of Christ,
              Rev. Mike B.
            • Tom Butler
              Dear Rev. Mike B. and Adj. Prof. Dr. Timothy Jenney, I contend that The Jews are an elite group of power figures in Jerusalem defined in Nehemiah 2:16. The
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 17, 2005
                Dear Rev. Mike B. and Adj. Prof. Dr. Timothy Jenney,

                I contend that "The Jews" are an elite group of
                power figures in Jerusalem defined in Nehemiah 2:16.
                "The officials did not know where I had gone or what I
                was doing; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests,
                the nobles, the officials and the rest that were to do
                the work."

                As you have noted, Dr. Jenney, "the Jews" are
                presented in both negative and positive ways. They
                "did not know where I had gone or what I was doing" is
                a good description of "the Jews" who chose not to
                believe that Jesus was who he said he was. In the 4G
                they certainly include the Pharisees, the High Priest
                and the Chief Priests and may have included persons
                from Herod's court.

                In spite of their refusal to believe, Jesus
                repeatedly engages them in dialog and debate, and some
                of them believe in him. The first is Nicodemus (Jn.
                3:2; 7:50-52; 19:38-39). A royal (Herodian?) official
                becomes a believer (Jn. 4: 46-54). Then an unknown
                number of "the Jews" choose to believe in him (Jn.
                8:30-31 - where some believe and the faith of some of
                them is weak, while others came to him as believers
                after the encounter Jn. 10:41). "The Jews" are
                clearly divided about him (Jn. 9:16)

                I find the references to "the Jews" in the Lazarus
                story to be most interesting. The disciples recognize
                "the Jews" as a danger to Jesus and Jesus shows
                compassion for them (Jn. 11:8-10).

                I believe that the story of Lazarus is being told in
                symbolic language. Lazarus is a nickname - short for
                Eleazar, the third son of Aaron, whose name is used
                extensively in the Pentateuch as a personification of
                the High Priest (since Eleazar WAS the High Priest).

                The story of Lazarus is the story of the spiritual
                death of the temple priesthood. (In the parable in
                Luke's gospel, Lazarus lies languishing outside of the
                gate of a "rich man" who is described in such a way as
                to suggest that this rich man is none other than the
                High Priest. In that context, Jesus is expressing
                compassion for those temple priests who have been
                excluded from the temple -and from their share of the
                sumptuous food upon which the rich man feasts daily,
                while Jesus condemns those who remain in power.)

                As you have pointed out, Dr. Jenney, "many of the
                Jews had come to Mary and Martha to console them about
                their brother (Jn. 11:19)." They follow Mary to Jesus
                when she leaves the house (read: Temple)(Jn. 11:31).
                They weep with her because of the death of Lazarus
                (their own priesthood) (Jn. 11: 33) They continue to
                be divided, some believing, others not sure (Jn. 11:
                34-35).

                The "tomb" in which the priesthood is buried in the
                Lazarus story is the Herodian temple. When Jesus
                calls Lazarus out of that tomb, he is calling those in
                that priesthood who can hear his voice (read: believe
                in him) out of their temple role and into the role of
                disciple. Their burial clothes (read: liturgical
                clothing ) is removed by Jesus' compassionate
                command(Jn. 11:44), and (in the very next verse - Jn.
                11: 45) we are told "Many of the Jews therefore, who
                had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did,
                believed in him." From this point on in the 4G Jesus
                no longer walked openly among "the Jews" but remained
                with his disciples (Jn. 11: 54), some of whom formerly
                were among "the Jews." Lazarus (read: disciples
                formerly of "the Jews") are depicted at the table with
                Jesus where Martha served (Jn. 12: 2).

                Rev. Dr. Tom Butler
                Author: Let Her Keep It

                --- RevMikeB <revmikeb@...> wrote:
                >
                > >>>...though the phrase "the Jews" is always
                portrayed negatively in 4G. The overall portrait is
                that of a [tragic]"comedy of errors."

                > > [Rev.] Dr. Timothy P. Jenney
                > > Adj. Prof., Asbury Theological Seminary-Orlando>>>
                >
                >
                > You have to be careful with that word "always."
                > As I said earlier, IN MOST CASES, "the Jews" (I mean
                > as characters in a narrative) are portrayed
                > negatively, but there are a few exceptions.
                >
                > I guess there are other explanations too, and I
                would be glad to hear them.
                >
                > Peace of Christ,
                > Rev. Mike B.
              • Matthew Estrada
                Hi Tom, Your interpretation of the Lazarus story, in my opinion, has possibilities. I see the same method that I applied to John 1-4, and in particular the
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 19, 2005
                  Hi Tom,

                  Your interpretation of the Lazarus story, in my opinion, has possibilities. I see the same method that I applied to John 1-4, and in particular the Cana Miracle, you are applying here (see my paper on Joe Gagne's website at http://www.fourthgospel.com/unpub.htm#e). You are reading it as a symbolic story, and are asking that we read in place of the literal words their symbolic meaning (what you interpret them to be). As you know, in my paper on the Cana Miracle (and John 1-4), I do the same thing. I think what you need to do now is shore up your argument with more certain and particular identifications of the source materials that John used to create this story that would support your interpretation of his symbolism. It is interesting to note that immediately before the Lazarus parable in Lk 16, Luke has Jesus say "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John", and at the end of the Lazurus parable Luke has Jesus say "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets...". As you
                  may recall, I believe and have argued that the author of John's gospel uses the Baptist as a personification of "the Law and the Prophets", and I point to some synoptic material as likely source material used by John to support this interpretation (Lk 16:16 being one). So when one sees "John the Baptist" in John's gospel, one should read "the law and the prophets". As such, he "testifies" in favor of seeing Jesus as the promised messiah. I am glad to see that you are suggesting that we do a similar thing with Lazarus (view him as symbolic of certain Jews who come to believe in Jesus). Sincerely, Matt Estrada

                  Tom Butler <pastor_t@...> wrote:

                  Dear Rev. Mike B. and Adj. Prof. Dr. Timothy Jenney,

                  I contend that "The Jews" are an elite group of
                  power figures in Jerusalem defined in Nehemiah 2:16.
                  "The officials did not know where I had gone or what I
                  was doing; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests,
                  the nobles, the officials and the rest that were to do
                  the work."

                  As you have noted, Dr. Jenney, "the Jews" are
                  presented in both negative and positive ways. They
                  "did not know where I had gone or what I was doing" is
                  a good description of "the Jews" who chose not to
                  believe that Jesus was who he said he was. In the 4G
                  they certainly include the Pharisees, the High Priest
                  and the Chief Priests and may have included persons
                  from Herod's court.

                  In spite of their refusal to believe, Jesus
                  repeatedly engages them in dialog and debate, and some
                  of them believe in him. The first is Nicodemus (Jn.
                  3:2; 7:50-52; 19:38-39). A royal (Herodian?) official
                  becomes a believer (Jn. 4: 46-54). Then an unknown
                  number of "the Jews" choose to believe in him (Jn.
                  8:30-31 - where some believe and the faith of some of
                  them is weak, while others came to him as believers
                  after the encounter Jn. 10:41). "The Jews" are
                  clearly divided about him (Jn. 9:16)

                  I find the references to "the Jews" in the Lazarus
                  story to be most interesting. The disciples recognize
                  "the Jews" as a danger to Jesus and Jesus shows
                  compassion for them (Jn. 11:8-10).

                  I believe that the story of Lazarus is being told in
                  symbolic language. Lazarus is a nickname - short for
                  Eleazar, the third son of Aaron, whose name is used
                  extensively in the Pentateuch as a personification of
                  the High Priest (since Eleazar WAS the High Priest).

                  The story of Lazarus is the story of the spiritual
                  death of the temple priesthood. (In the parable in
                  Luke's gospel, Lazarus lies languishing outside of the
                  gate of a "rich man" who is described in such a way as
                  to suggest that this rich man is none other than the
                  High Priest. In that context, Jesus is expressing
                  compassion for those temple priests who have been
                  excluded from the temple -and from their share of the
                  sumptuous food upon which the rich man feasts daily,
                  while Jesus condemns those who remain in power.)

                  As you have pointed out, Dr. Jenney, "many of the
                  Jews had come to Mary and Martha to console them about
                  their brother (Jn. 11:19)." They follow Mary to Jesus
                  when she leaves the house (read: Temple)(Jn. 11:31).
                  They weep with her because of the death of Lazarus
                  (their own priesthood) (Jn. 11: 33) They continue to
                  be divided, some believing, others not sure (Jn. 11:
                  34-35).

                  The "tomb" in which the priesthood is buried in the
                  Lazarus story is the Herodian temple. When Jesus
                  calls Lazarus out of that tomb, he is calling those in
                  that priesthood who can hear his voice (read: believe
                  in him) out of their temple role and into the role of
                  disciple. Their burial clothes (read: liturgical
                  clothing ) is removed by Jesus' compassionate
                  command(Jn. 11:44), and (in the very next verse - Jn.
                  11: 45) we are told "Many of the Jews therefore, who
                  had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did,
                  believed in him." From this point on in the 4G Jesus
                  no longer walked openly among "the Jews" but remained
                  with his disciples (Jn. 11: 54), some of whom formerly
                  were among "the Jews." Lazarus (read: disciples
                  formerly of "the Jews") are depicted at the table with
                  Jesus where Martha served (Jn. 12: 2).

                  Rev. Dr. Tom Butler
                  Author: Let Her Keep It




                  Matthew Estrada

                  113 Laurel Court

                  Peachtree City, Ga 30269


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                • Tom Butler
                  Matthew Estrada, I am pleased that your work and mine may be pointing to a similar approach and observations regarding the Fourth Gospel. I can hardly wait to
                  Message 8 of 11 , Feb 22, 2005
                    Matthew Estrada,
                    I am pleased that your work and mine may be
                    pointing to a similar approach and observations
                    regarding the Fourth Gospel. I can hardly wait to
                    read your article. At first glance it appears to be
                    well planned and organized. I hope to find time to
                    read and study it.
                    You note the need for more support for my theory
                    regarding the Lazarus story. You will find extensive
                    footnotes and supportive material in my book: Let Her
                    Keep It: Jesus' Ordination of Mary of Bethany - A New
                    Approach to the Study of the Gospel of John Through
                    Its Use of Mosaic Oracles, (Quantum Leap, Tracy,
                    California, 1998.) I would be pleased to send you a
                    copy of it, if you will give me your mailing address.
                    I am also in the process of writing a rough draft
                    of a commentary on the entire gospel, using the same
                    method as I used in Let Her Keep It (which focuses on
                    John 11:1- 12:8 and 13: 1-17). In this commentary I
                    have taken note of the fact that there are 24 places
                    where the Greek word for "hour" occurs. My theory is
                    that these 24 "hours" are markers in the text, where
                    readers who have been watching for signs are guided to
                    stop reading and reflect upon the signs in the hour
                    they have just read. I'm calling this commentary "A
                    Day with Jesus." I've completed lecture notes (for a
                    class I'm teaching) for the first 12 "hours." These
                    notes are still in rough draft form, but I would be
                    pleased if you or any other scholar of the Gospel of
                    John would be interested in reviewing/ critiquing
                    them. (I'm sure that it should go without saying
                    that, as an unfinished and unpublished manuscript, I
                    will ask anyone willing to review and or critique my
                    work to respect my copyright to this material.)
                    One of the most frustrating parts of this work is
                    that, since I am not a professor (I am the Pastor of
                    the Sparks United Methodist Church), I do not enjoy
                    the collegial relationships that many other scholars
                    do. I need feedback from other scholars with an
                    interest in this approach to the study of the Fourth
                    Gospel. I cannot be my own judge. Still I feel
                    compelled to continue with the work in the hope that
                    someday someone will read it and find some value in
                    it. Your comments give me hope that maybe you are one
                    of them, or perhaps I might be such a person for you.
                    At the very least, I'm hoping that you and I (and
                    others) will find a common ground for dialog through
                    this list.

                    Yours in Christ's service,
                    Pastor Tom Butler, D.Min.
                    Sparks United Methodist Church
                    Sparks, Nevada


                    --- Matthew Estrada <matt_estrada@...> wrote:

                    >
                    > Hi Tom,
                    >
                    > Your interpretation of the Lazarus story, in my
                    > opinion, has possibilities. I see the same method
                    > that I applied to John 1-4, and in particular the
                    > Cana Miracle, you are applying here (see my paper on
                    > Joe Gagne's website at
                    > http://www.fourthgospel.com/unpub.htm#e). You are
                    > reading it as a symbolic story, and are asking that
                    > we read in place of the literal words their symbolic
                    > meaning (what you interpret them to be). As you
                    > know, in my paper on the Cana Miracle (and John
                    > 1-4), I do the same thing. I think what you need to
                    > do now is shore up your argument with more certain
                    > and particular identifications of the source
                    > materials that John used to create this story that
                    > would support your interpretation of his symbolism.
                    > It is interesting to note that immediately before
                    > the Lazarus parable in Lk 16, Luke has Jesus say
                    > "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until
                    > John", and at the end of the Lazurus parable Luke
                    > has Jesus say "If they do not listen to Moses and
                    > the Prophets...". As you
                    > may recall, I believe and have argued that the
                    > author of John's gospel uses the Baptist as a
                    > personification of "the Law and the Prophets", and I
                    > point to some synoptic material as likely source
                    > material used by John to support this interpretation
                    > (Lk 16:16 being one). So when one sees "John the
                    > Baptist" in John's gospel, one should read "the law
                    > and the prophets". As such, he "testifies" in favor
                    > of seeing Jesus as the promised messiah. I am glad
                    > to see that you are suggesting that we do a similar
                    > thing with Lazarus (view him as symbolic of certain
                    > Jews who come to believe in Jesus). Sincerely, Matt
                    > Estrada
                    >
                    > Tom Butler <pastor_t@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Dear Rev. Mike B. and Adj. Prof. Dr. Timothy Jenney,
                    >
                    > I contend that "The Jews" are an elite group of
                    > power figures in Jerusalem defined in Nehemiah 2:16.
                    >
                    > "The officials did not know where I had gone or what
                    > I
                    > was doing; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests,
                    > the nobles, the officials and the rest that were to
                    > do
                    > the work."
                    >
                    > As you have noted, Dr. Jenney, "the Jews" are
                    > presented in both negative and positive ways. They
                    > "did not know where I had gone or what I was doing"
                    > is
                    > a good description of "the Jews" who chose not to
                    > believe that Jesus was who he said he was. In the 4G
                    > they certainly include the Pharisees, the High
                    > Priest
                    > and the Chief Priests and may have included persons
                    > from Herod's court.
                    >
                    > In spite of their refusal to believe, Jesus
                    > repeatedly engages them in dialog and debate, and
                    > some
                    > of them believe in him. The first is Nicodemus (Jn.
                    > 3:2; 7:50-52; 19:38-39). A royal (Herodian?)
                    > official
                    > becomes a believer (Jn. 4: 46-54). Then an unknown
                    > number of "the Jews" choose to believe in him (Jn.
                    > 8:30-31 - where some believe and the faith of some
                    > of
                    > them is weak, while others came to him as believers
                    > after the encounter Jn. 10:41). "The Jews" are
                    > clearly divided about him (Jn. 9:16)
                    >
                    > I find the references to "the Jews" in the Lazarus
                    > story to be most interesting. The disciples
                    > recognize
                    > "the Jews" as a danger to Jesus and Jesus shows
                    > compassion for them (Jn. 11:8-10).
                    >
                    > I believe that the story of Lazarus is being told in
                    > symbolic language. Lazarus is a nickname - short for
                    > Eleazar, the third son of Aaron, whose name is used
                    > extensively in the Pentateuch as a personification
                    > of
                    > the High Priest (since Eleazar WAS the High Priest).
                    >
                    > The story of Lazarus is the story of the spiritual
                    > death of the temple priesthood. (In the parable in
                    > Luke's gospel, Lazarus lies languishing outside of
                    > the
                    > gate of a "rich man" who is described in such a way
                    > as
                    > to suggest that this rich man is none other than the
                    > High Priest. In that context, Jesus is expressing
                    > compassion for those temple priests who have been
                    > excluded from the temple -and from their share of
                    > the
                    > sumptuous food upon which the rich man feasts daily,
                    > while Jesus condemns those who remain in power.)
                    >
                    > As you have pointed out, Dr. Jenney, "many of the
                    > Jews had come to Mary and Martha to console them
                    > about
                    > their brother (Jn. 11:19)." They follow Mary to
                    > Jesus
                    > when she leaves the house (read: Temple)(Jn. 11:31).
                    >
                    > They weep with her because of the death of Lazarus
                    > (their own priesthood) (Jn. 11: 33) They continue to
                    > be divided, some believing, others not sure (Jn. 11:
                    > 34-35).
                    >
                    > The "tomb" in which the priesthood is buried in the
                    > Lazarus story is the Herodian temple. When Jesus
                    > calls Lazarus out of that tomb, he is calling those
                    > in
                    > that priesthood who can hear his voice (read:
                    > believe
                    > in him) out of their temple role and into the role
                    > of
                    > disciple. Their burial clothes (read: liturgical
                    > clothing ) is removed by Jesus' compassionate
                    > command(Jn. 11:44), and (in the very next verse -
                    > Jn.
                    > 11: 45) we are told "Many of the Jews therefore, who
                    > had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did,
                    > believed in him." From this point on in the 4G Jesus
                    > no longer walked openly among "the Jews" but
                    > remained
                    > with his disciples (Jn. 11: 54), some of whom
                    > formerly
                    > were among "the Jews." Lazarus (read: disciples
                    > formerly of "the Jews") are depicted at the table
                    > with
                    > Jesus where Martha served (Jn. 12: 2).
                    >
                    > Rev. Dr. Tom Butler
                    > Author: Let Her Keep It
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Matthew Estrada
                    >
                    > 113 Laurel Court
                    >
                    > Peachtree City, Ga 30269
                    >
                    >
                    > ---------------------------------
                    > Do you Yahoo!?
                    > Yahoo! Search presents - Jib Jab's 'Second Term'
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been
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                  • Matthew Estrada
                    Hi Tom, My address is 113 Laurel Court, Peachtree City, GA 30269, I would be very interested in reading both your already published book as well as the rough
                    Message 9 of 11 , Feb 22, 2005
                      Hi Tom,

                      My address is 113 Laurel Court, Peachtree City, GA 30269, I would be very interested in reading both your already published book as well as the rough draft of the commentary you are writing on the entire gospel of John. And as you requested, I request the same- that copyright material be respected of my unpublished paper. I also wanted to include a couple of reviews of my paper that I have thus far received from others who have had the patience to plow their way through it. I remember you followed much of my argument when I presented it on the johanine literature yahoo groups site a while back, unless I am confusing you with someone else (although I am not sure how much you agreed with my findings). I would appreciate your taking the time to read through my paper, and listening to your feedback. Sincerely, Matthew Estrada

                      Dear Mr Estrada,

                      I am a part-time (mature) PhD student at the Prince's Foundation in
                      London under the supervision of Keith Critchlow. My thesis is the 16th
                      century Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It is not difficult
                      to
                      show that he was associated with one the heretical gnostic movements
                      that thrived at that time in the no-man's land between Catholics,
                      Lutherans and Calvinists and I believe the ideas of the group to which
                      he probably belonged provide keys to the interpretation of the
                      symbolism
                      in his paintings. I am sure that one of his most famous pictures, the
                      so-called Peasant Wedding Feast in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in
                      Vienna, is in fact an esoteric representation of the Marriage at Cana.
                      Your 'Allegorical Interpretation of the Cana Miracle' has been a
                      wonderful discovery for me and enormously helpful for my work on this
                      painting.

                      Your essay -- for me, an amateur in bible scholarship and theology but
                      a
                      seeker none-the-less -- though nearly overwhelming me, fascinates me
                      and
                      touches me deeply. I hope you find the support that you ask for and I
                      wish you well in all your endeavours.

                      Dick Temple
                      (www.templegallery.com)

                      Dear Matthew,

                      My name is Kristen Chittick, and I am an Honours (4th year undergraduate) student at Latrobe University Bendigo campus in Australia. My studies this year include completing a 15,000 word thesis. I have chosen to write my thesis on Midrash as an exegetical method. In the course of this study, I am looking at the tradition of Midrash as it developed in the rabbinic period in a variety of forms, and in particular the midrashic creation of new texts (in contrast to the midrashic interpretation of old texts) with a focus on the New Testament Gospels. In the final section of my thesis I am examining the Wedding at Cana as an example of a midrashic work. This examination involves an analysis of the literary, exegetical and theological formation of the passage.

                      To my delight, I came across your article, "An Allegorical Interpretation of the Cana Miracle" on www.fourthgospel.com . This article is far more comprehensive than anything I could hope to do in the course of this study, and has also given me a far greater understanding of the Cana Miracle than I had prior to reading your article. I am very grateful. I was particularly interested in your identification of the source material for John in this story.

                      I am hoping that you will give me your permission to quote from your work, with full reference and credit given to you for the sections I use.

                      In anticipation,

                      Kristen Chittick.


                      Tom Butler <pastor_t@...> wrote:

                      Matthew Estrada,
                      I am pleased that your work and mine may be
                      pointing to a similar approach and observations
                      regarding the Fourth Gospel. I can hardly wait to
                      read your article. At first glance it appears to be
                      well planned and organized. I hope to find time to
                      read and study it.
                      You note the need for more support for my theory
                      regarding the Lazarus story. You will find extensive
                      footnotes and supportive material in my book: Let Her
                      Keep It: Jesus' Ordination of Mary of Bethany - A New
                      Approach to the Study of the Gospel of John Through
                      Its Use of Mosaic Oracles, (Quantum Leap, Tracy,
                      California, 1998.) I would be pleased to send you a
                      copy of it, if you will give me your mailing address.
                      I am also in the process of writing a rough draft
                      of a commentary on the entire gospel, using the same
                      method as I used in Let Her Keep It (which focuses on
                      John 11:1- 12:8 and 13: 1-17). In this commentary I
                      have taken note of the fact that there are 24 places
                      where the Greek word for "hour" occurs. My theory is
                      that these 24 "hours" are markers in the text, where
                      readers who have been watching for signs are guided to
                      stop reading and reflect upon the signs in the hour
                      they have just read. I'm calling this commentary "A
                      Day with Jesus." I've completed lecture notes (for a
                      class I'm teaching) for the first 12 "hours." These
                      notes are still in rough draft form, but I would be
                      pleased if you or any other scholar of the Gospel of
                      John would be interested in reviewing/ critiquing
                      them. (I'm sure that it should go without saying
                      that, as an unfinished and unpublished manuscript, I
                      will ask anyone willing to review and or critique my
                      work to respect my copyright to this material.)
                      One of the most frustrating parts of this work is
                      that, since I am not a professor (I am the Pastor of
                      the Sparks United Methodist Church), I do not enjoy
                      the collegial relationships that many other scholars
                      do. I need feedback from other scholars with an
                      interest in this approach to the study of the Fourth
                      Gospel. I cannot be my own judge. Still I feel
                      compelled to continue with the work in the hope that
                      someday someone will read it and find some value in
                      it. Your comments give me hope that maybe you are one
                      of them, or perhaps I might be such a person for you.
                      At the very least, I'm hoping that you and I (and
                      others) will find a common ground for dialog through
                      this list.

                      Yours in Christ's service,
                      Pastor Tom Butler, D.Min.
                      Sparks United Methodist Church
                      Sparks, Nevada


                      --- Matthew Estrada wrote:

                      >
                      > Hi Tom,
                      >
                      > Your interpretation of the Lazarus story, in my
                      > opinion, has possibilities. I see the same method
                      > that I applied to John 1-4, and in particular the
                      > Cana Miracle, you are applying here (see my paper on
                      > Joe Gagne's website at
                      > http://www.fourthgospel.com/unpub.htm#e). You are
                      > reading it as a symbolic story, and are asking that
                      > we read in place of the literal words their symbolic
                      > meaning (what you interpret them to be). As you
                      > know, in my paper on the Cana Miracle (and John
                      > 1-4), I do the same thing. I think what you need to
                      > do now is shore up your argument with more certain
                      > and particular identifications of the source
                      > materials that John used to create this story that
                      > would support your interpretation of his symbolism.
                      > It is interesting to note that immediately before
                      > the Lazarus parable in Lk 16, Luke has Jesus say
                      > "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until
                      > John", and at the end of the Lazurus parable Luke
                      > has Jesus say "If they do not listen to Moses and
                      > the Prophets...". As you
                      > may recall, I believe and have argued that the
                      > author of John's gospel uses the Baptist as a
                      > personification of "the Law and the Prophets", and I
                      > point to some synoptic material as likely source
                      > material used by John to support this interpretation
                      > (Lk 16:16 being one). So when one sees "John the
                      > Baptist" in John's gospel, one should read "the law
                      > and the prophets". As such, he "testifies" in favor
                      > of seeing Jesus as the promised messiah. I am glad
                      > to see that you are suggesting that we do a similar
                      > thing with Lazarus (view him as symbolic of certain
                      > Jews who come to believe in Jesus). Sincerely, Matt
                      > Estrada
                      >
                      > Tom Butler
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Dear Rev. Mike B. and Adj. Prof. Dr. Timothy Jenney,
                      >
                      > I contend that "The Jews" are an elite group of
                      > power figures in Jerusalem defined in Nehemiah 2:16.
                      >
                      > "The officials did not know where I had gone or what
                      > I
                      > was doing; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests,
                      > the nobles, the officials and the rest that were to
                      > do
                      > the work."
                      >
                      > As you have noted, Dr. Jenney, "the Jews" are
                      > presented in both negative and positive ways. They
                      > "did not know where I had gone or what I was doing"
                      > is
                      > a good description of "the Jews" who chose not to
                      > believe that Jesus was who he said he was. In the 4G
                      > they certainly include the Pharisees, the High
                      > Priest
                      > and the Chief Priests and may have included persons
                      > from Herod's court.
                      >
                      > In spite of their refusal to believe, Jesus
                      > repeatedly engages them in dialog and debate, and
                      > some
                      > of them believe in him. The first is Nicodemus (Jn.
                      > 3:2; 7:50-52; 19:38-39). A royal (Herodian?)
                      > official
                      > becomes a believer (Jn. 4: 46-54). Then an unknown
                      > number of "the Jews" choose to believe in him (Jn.
                      > 8:30-31 - where some believe and the faith of some
                      > of
                      > them is weak, while others came to him as believers
                      > after the encounter Jn. 10:41). "The Jews" are
                      > clearly divided about him (Jn. 9:16)
                      >
                      > I find the references to "the Jews" in the Lazarus
                      > story to be most interesting. The disciples
                      > recognize
                      > "the Jews" as a danger to Jesus and Jesus shows
                      > compassion for them (Jn. 11:8-10).
                      >
                      > I believe that the story of Lazarus is being told in
                      > symbolic language. Lazarus is a nickname - short for
                      > Eleazar, the third son of Aaron, whose name is used
                      > extensively in the Pentateuch as a personification
                      > of
                      > the High Priest (since Eleazar WAS the High Priest).
                      >
                      > The story of Lazarus is the story of the spiritual
                      > death of the temple priesthood. (In the parable in
                      > Luke's gospel, Lazarus lies languishing outside of
                      > the
                      > gate of a "rich man" who is described in such a way
                      > as
                      > to suggest that this rich man is none other than the
                      > High Priest. In that context, Jesus is expressing
                      > compassion for those temple priests who have been
                      > excluded from the temple -and from their share of
                      > the
                      > sumptuous food upon which the rich man feasts daily,
                      > while Jesus condemns those who remain in power.)
                      >
                      > As you have pointed out, Dr. Jenney, "many of the
                      > Jews had come to Mary and Martha to console them
                      > about
                      > their brother (Jn. 11:19)." They follow Mary to
                      > Jesus
                      > when she leaves the house (read: Temple)(Jn. 11:31).
                      >
                      > They weep with her because of the death of Lazarus
                      > (their own priesthood) (Jn. 11: 33) They continue to
                      > be divided, some believing, others not sure (Jn. 11:
                      > 34-35).
                      >
                      > The "tomb" in which the priesthood is buried in the
                      > Lazarus story is the Herodian temple. When Jesus
                      > calls Lazarus out of that tomb, he is calling those
                      > in
                      > that priesthood who can hear his voice (read:
                      > believe
                      > in him) out of their temple role and into the role
                      > of
                      > disciple. Their burial clothes (read: liturgical
                      > clothing ) is removed by Jesus' compassionate
                      > command(Jn. 11:44), and (in the very next verse -
                      > Jn.
                      > 11: 45) we are told "Many of the Jews therefore, who
                      > had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did,
                      > believed in him." From this point on in the 4G Jesus
                      > no longer walked openly among "the Jews" but
                      > remained
                      > with his disciples (Jn. 11: 54), some of whom
                      > formerly
                      > were among "the Jews." Lazarus (read: disciples
                      > formerly of "the Jews") are depicted at the table
                      > with
                      > Jesus where Martha served (Jn. 12: 2).
                      >
                      > Rev. Dr. Tom Butler
                      > Author: Let Her Keep It
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Matthew Estrada
                      >
                      > 113 Laurel Court
                      >
                      > Peachtree City, Ga 30269
                      >
                      >
                      > ---------------------------------
                      > Do you Yahoo!?
                      > Yahoo! Search presents - Jib Jab's 'Second Term'
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                      > removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
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                      Matthew Estrada

                      113 Laurel Court

                      Peachtree City, Ga 30269


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