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

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  • 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 1 of 11 , Jan 30, 2005
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      > 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 2 of 11 , Jan 30, 2005
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        > 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 3 of 11 , Jan 31, 2005
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          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 4 of 11 , Feb 16, 2005
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            >>>...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 5 of 11 , Feb 17, 2005
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              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 6 of 11 , Feb 19, 2005
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                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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                Yahoo! Search presents - Jib Jab's 'Second Term'

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • 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 7 of 11 , Feb 22, 2005
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                  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
                  > removed]
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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 8 of 11 , Feb 22, 2005
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                    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
                    >
                    >
                    > ---------------------------------
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                    113 Laurel Court

                    Peachtree City, Ga 30269


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