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[John_Lit] Re: John 6:1 (was: Chapter 21)

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  • Alan Perkins
    From: Alan Perkins Freelance student Bridgewater Vermont I can t resist pointing out that the difficulties here were probably caused by the author(s) of 4G
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 29, 2000
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      From: Alan Perkins
      Freelance student
      Bridgewater Vermont

      I can't resist pointing out that the difficulties here were probably caused
      by the author(s) of 4G using a Microsoft word processor.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Paul Anderson [mailto:panderso@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 8:35 PM
      To: johannine_literature@egroups.com
      Subject: [John_Lit] Re: John 6:1 (was: Chapter 21)

      johannine_literature@egroups.com writes:
      >Bultmann's, Schnackenburg's, et. al. questioning of the order of
      >these two chapters is quite interesting to me. Not because of the
      >traditional question regarding the texts' history of composition, but
      >in relation to the question of authority and canon. I am not sure
      >where I want to go with the latter issues in the near future, but I
      >do find it interesting that in my reading surrounding this part of
      >the gospel, the question of final text/canon/authority vis-a-vis the
      >role of the scholar is not pursued.

      Thanks, Francisco.

      On disordering/reordering, I question whether we can know that the
      material ever lay side by side at the same time to have been shifted
      around. More plausible is a tradition growing like a snowball rolling
      down a hill, gathering material as it goes along -- hence, an earlier
      edition and a final edition, but probably with some other sorts of accrual
      along the way.

      In my book I count up the number of disordered sections (10, according to
      Bultmann) within or surrounding John 6, which just happen to have occurred
      in between sentences. If you consider the likelihood of such, ten times
      in a row (at ca. 80 Greek characters per sentence), you have to place the
      likelihood at 1:80 to the 10th power (one chance in 10 quintillion). Talk
      about creating a crisis of faith for the would-be rational interpreter!
      Interestingly enough, these "disorderings" allow Bultmann to "resotre" the
      order in such a way to "expose" the poetic character of a hypothetical
      Offenbarungsreden source, which I doubt ever existed. Now if the evidence
      were strong for such a possibility, I'd be happy to adjust my
      interpretation accordingly. Since it is not, however, I must consider the
      material as more unitive in its origin (rather than alien -- despite its
      striking christological claims) and deal with the content otherwise.
      Likewise, the signs material.

      You are on to something in terms of authority, though. Within Bultmann's
      scheme, the theology of the evangelist comes accross as emphasizing the
      centrality of the Incarnation, liberated from supernaturalism, elevated
      Christology, futuristic eschatology, and apparent instrumentalistic
      sacramentology -- backed up by an elaborate diachronic literary/historical
      approach to the tradition's development argued by means of stylistic,
      contextual, and theological evidence (Fortna). In having tested all of
      his evidence on its own terms, though, the main things I conclude are
      that: a) Bultmann is correct that John is not derivative from the
      Synoptics (although at least a dozen aspects of John's engagements with
      synoptic traditions can be reasonably inferred), b) Bultmann is correct
      that John has a redactor and an evangelist, and c) John's theology is some
      of the most fascinating and refined of any in the NT -- it even reflects
      the sort of dialectical theologizing (Fowler's stage 5) that Bultmann
      himself does, but fails to allow for this first-century author.

      When will you talk to us about the Sitz im Leben of John 5 (and 7-10),


      Paul N. Anderson
      Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies
      George Fox University
      Newberg, OR 97132

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