Re: Lost Community?
- --- Bill Ross wrote:
> So are you saying that [John] is speaking like this...recognize him."
> "God made gay [happy] people, but gay [homosexual] people didn't
No, this is not an apt analogy.
> In this way, he makes use of two usages for maximum impact ofI'm not sure what you mean by that, but it worked for the ancients.
> symmetry, at the expense of clarity and consistency? It does not
> work for me that way.
In fact, it may be the crux of the problem that you believe that
John (and the other evangelists) were interested in "clarity and
consistency" - as opposed to a rather unmistakeable interest in
rhetorical persuasion. Take 1.10 for example. Yes, I would say that
it's a combination of literality and poetic license:
(a) "the world came into being through him" (literal)
(b) "but the world knew him not" (poetic license)
Part (b) constitutes poetic license, because KOSMOS includes things
which cannot "know" (e.g., stars and rocks and trees). You want to
believe that John used KOSMOS consistently, and so you find an
English phrase that you think makes all his usages of that word
literally true. Well, in fact he did use it consistently to refer to
the world, but sometimes he (like most every other writer/speaker)
was writing literally (or so he took it), sometimes poetically. The
proper thing to do is to translate what he actually wrote, not what
we think would make his statements literally true.
Consider the following two cases from modern usage:
(1) In the movie _Titanic_, the hero yells out "I'm king of the
world!" from the bridge of the ship.
(2) In the context of televised protests, the protesters will
sometimes chant "The whole world is watching!"
Do you suppose that the hero of _Titanic_ or the protestors have a
special meaning of 'world' in mind? That they use it as a code-word
for something else? That when they use the word 'world' in _other_
contexts, they continue to use it in that special way? But if
moderns can sometimes engage in hyperbole without it being thought
that they have a special meaning of the word in mind, how much more
so ancient religious writers - who had almost no interest in
"clarity and consistency" at all?
> ... by being consistent in his [John's] usage, we can make senseIt's not a case of "bracketed additions" (you're misled by your own
> of his speech without inside information provided by bracketed
inapt analogy). We just have to recognize when the writer/speaker is
using language relatively literally and when he isn't. If you're
thinking that GJn or any other religious writing of the time is full
of careful and consistent usage of terms, boy are you on the wrong
> ... [John} makes explicit distinction rather than an exaggerated"The world hates you" _isn't_ "exaggerated inclusion"? Oh, my. So
> inclusion. Hence, hyperbole is not a possible explanation ...
you would say that John seriously believed that all members of
the "lost community" (whatever that is) hated Christians? Or by not
hating Christians, did one forfeit membership in the "lost
community"? Either way seems nonsensical to me.