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[John_Lit] Re: John as Title

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  • Jeffrey L. Staley
    ... Early Christian readers, like contemporary ones, would easily surmise that the Baptist couldn t be the real author (he will have been in prison and/or
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 31, 2000
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      ProfRam@... wrote:

      > I have sometimes asked myself, If that is indeed the case, is it in any way
      > traceable to the fact that the first proper name mentioned in the text is
      > "John" (1:6, never the Baptist but always simply John), and that he is
      > introduced precisely as a witness, the dominant witness in chapters 1-3.
      >
      > Ramsey, I find this to be an intriguing proposal/avenue of thought. Many have noted, of course, the remarkable similarity between the
      > language of John (the Baptist) in the monologue of John 3:31 and the language of Jesus (cf. 5:31-38, etc) and of the narrator (cf.
      > John 19:35, 20:30-31). So much is the language similar, that many translations (NRSV, for example) stop the quotation marks at John
      > 3:30. I am of the opinion that unless there is clear textual evidence that the last mentioned character has stopped talking, the reader
      > should assume that character is still talking--until otherwise noted. Thus, not only is "John" never called "the baptizer," when he
      > speaks, he also "sounds like" the narrator.

      Early Christian readers, like contemporary ones, would easily surmise that "the Baptist" couldn't be the "real author" (he will have been
      in prison and/or dead, if the readers' knew a Mark-like tradition), yet on a "story level," the connection between "John" and "witness"
      is perhaps strong enough to make early audiences say it wasin some real way, "John's gospel."
    • ProfRam@aol.com
      Jeff: I have just been working on the punctuation after Jn 3:30, and I too was strongly tempted to run the quotes thru v 36 with John as speaker (same question
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 31, 2000
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        Jeff:

        I have just been working on the punctuation after Jn 3:30, and I too was
        strongly tempted to run the quotes thru v 36 with John as speaker (same
        question arises in 1:15-18 I guess). I do extend Jesus' speech in 3:1-21 to
        the end of v 21.

        But v 30 could be a possible signal of a change of speaker: He must increase,
        etc., could mean, "Now I'm going to stop talking and let Jesus take over."

        Another off the wall proposal: the only other "John" in John is the father of
        Simon Peter (1:42, 21:15-17). Could this be not Peter's father, but simply a
        reminder that Peter was a disciple of "John" and was now to become a disciple
        of Jesus? Peter as John's "son" just as Mark was Peter's "son" (1 Pet 5:13).

        Ramsey Michaels
      • Jeffrey L. Staley
        ... So do I, in John 3:1-21. How funny, I never thought about the same issue in 1:15-18. But why indeed, shouldn t that still be John speaking? It certainly
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 31, 2000
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          ProfRam@... wrote:

          > Jeff:
          >
          > I have just been working on the punctuation after Jn 3:30, and I too was
          > strongly tempted to run the quotes thru v 36 with John as speaker (same
          > question arises in 1:15-18 I guess). I do extend Jesus' speech in 3:1-21 to
          > the end of v 21.

          So do I, in John 3:1-21. How funny, I never thought about the same issue in 1:15-18. But why indeed, shouldn't that still be John
          speaking? It certainly would give one an interesting new take on the prologue, wouldn't it? I have been so impressed with the chiastic
          structure of the prologue, that I have always looked at John 1:16-18 as a return to the narrator's voice which began the prologue. But
          you have an important literary point to make for this still being the voice of John.

          >
          >
          > But v 30 could be a possible signal of a change of speaker: He must increase,
          > etc., could mean, "Now I'm going to stop talking and let Jesus take over."

          Yes, perhaps. Then you would say John 3:31 is back to "Jesus," and not the "narrator?" An interesting idea. (The distinction between
          Jesus and narrator may seem a bit difficult to prove or argue convincingly, since part of the point of the "author" is to combine all
          three--with the spirit being the operative force behind them). Nevertheless, from a theoretical and "historical" perspective, I think
          some distiction is worth contemplating and arguing about.

          >
          >
          > Another off the wall proposal: the only other "John" in John is the father of
          > Simon Peter (1:42, 21:15-17). Could this be not Peter's father, but simply a
          > reminder that Peter was a disciple of "John" and was now to become a disciple
          > of Jesus? Peter as John's "son" just as Mark was Peter's "son" (1 Pet 5:13).

          Well, now, Ramsay, do we see a fascinating thesis and article being formed here? I think you are on to something worth pursuing and
          getting into print. Very interesting proposal. I am keeping these postings of yours!

          >
          >
        • Paul Anderson
          Thanks, Ramsey and Jeff! An interesting set of ideas here! ... What do you think, Jeff, rather than seeing Jesus as speaking the in the language of the fourth
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 31, 2000
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            Thanks, Ramsey and Jeff!

            An interesting set of ideas here!

            johannine_literature@egroups.com writes:
            >Yes, perhaps. Then you would say John 3:31 is back to "Jesus," and not
            >the "narrator?" An interesting idea. (The distinction between
            >Jesus and narrator may seem a bit difficult to prove or argue
            >convincingly, since part of the point of the "author" is to combine all
            >three--with the spirit being the operative force behind them).
            >Nevertheless, from a theoretical and "historical" perspective, I think
            >some distiction is worth contemplating and arguing about.
            >
            What do you think, Jeff, rather than seeing Jesus as speaking the in the
            language of the fourth evangelist (thus a Johannine paraphrase, with
            Müssner) perhaps we have here a presentation of John the Baptist speaking
            like Jesus?

            Then again, if the evangelist presents Jesus speaking in his own sermonic
            paraphrases, perhaps he has done the same with JB. The content here is
            also strikingly close to the "bolt out of the Johannine blue" found in Q!
            Either Q speaks in Johannine terms too (thus evidence of Q's borrowing
            from a characterstically Johannine motif — see my Salzburg paper — or both
            go back to Jesus in ways not picked up as clearly in Mark).
            >
            >>
            >> Another off the wall proposal: the only other "John" in John is the
            >father of
            >> Simon Peter (1:42, 21:15-17). Could this be not Peter's father, but
            >simply a
            >> reminder that Peter was a disciple of "John" and was now to become a
            >disciple
            >> of Jesus? Peter as John's "son" just as Mark was Peter's "son" (1 Pet
            >5:13).
            >
            >Well, now, Ramsay, do we see a fascinating thesis and article being
            >formed here? I think you are on to something worth pursuing and
            >getting into print. Very interesting proposal. I am keeping these
            >postings of yours!
            >
            Hence, the BD's bridging the gap between Peter and Jesus at the supper,
            and pointing out the resurrected Lord on the Galilean shore?

            Fun stuff!

            PA

            Paul N. Anderson
            Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies
            George Fox University
            Newberg, OR 97132
            503-554-2651
          • ProfRam@aol.com
            Jeff: On Jn 1:15-18, see my article in the Metzger Festschrift edited by Epp and Fee in 1981, Origen and the Text of John 1:15 (pp 87-104). The issue of the
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 31, 2000
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              Jeff:

              On Jn 1:15-18, see my article in the Metzger Festschrift edited by Epp and
              Fee in 1981, "Origen and the Text of John 1:15" (pp 87-104). The issue of
              the speaker in 1:15-18 was thoroughly discussed by Origen and Heracleon way
              back when.

              Memory may fail me here, but I believe Origen extended John's speech through
              verse 18 and Heracleon wanted to stop it at 1:15. Modern scholarship, with
              very few exceptions, has adopted the latter course. At that time I argued
              that v 16, but *not* 17 or 18 were meant to be attributed to John.

              As to "Simon, son of John," its all in my (forthcoming -- some day)
              commentary, but I will think about going into print with it sooner rather
              than later.

              Ramsey
            • Jeffrey L. Staley
              ... Yes. I don t know how else to read John 3:31ff on a narrative level. I suspect only 19th-21st century readers would find there a different character
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 3, 2000
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                > .
                > >
                > What do you think, Jeff, rather than seeing Jesus as speaking the in the
                > language of the fourth evangelist (thus a Johannine paraphrase, with
                > Müssner) perhaps we have here a presentation of John the Baptist speaking
                > like Jesus?

                Yes. I don't know how else to read John 3:31ff on a narrative level. I suspect only 19th-21st century readers would find there a
                different character than John. Not that I'm against 19th-21st century readings!

                >
                >
                > Then again, if the evangelist presents Jesus speaking in his own sermonic
                > paraphrases, perhaps he has done the same with JB.

                Yes, this is my point of view.

                >
                >
                >
              • Jeffrey L. Staley
                ... Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten about that. Origen s commentary is too rarely consulted by most of us!
                Message 7 of 13 , Apr 3, 2000
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                  ProfRam@... wrote:

                  > Jeff:
                  >
                  > On Jn 1:15-18, see my article in the Metzger Festschrift edited by Epp and
                  > Fee in 1981, "Origen and the Text of John 1:15" (pp 87-104). The issue of
                  > the speaker in 1:15-18 was thoroughly discussed by Origen and Heracleon way
                  > back when.
                  >

                  Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten about that. Origen's commentary is too rarely consulted by most of us!

                  >
                • Jeffrey L. Staley
                  ... I was thinking of the John 3:31ff problem, not the one in 1:15-18. I would suspect (though I have not investigated this at all), that since the nature of
                  Message 8 of 13 , Apr 4, 2000
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                    > In a message dated 4/3/00 5:08:40 PM !!!First Boot!!!, staleyjl@...
                    > writes:
                    >
                    > << Yes. I don't know how else to read John 3:31ff on a narrative level. I
                    > suspect only 19th-21st century readers would find there a
                    > different character than John. Not that I'm against 19th-21st century
                    > readings!
                    > >>
                    >
                    > If that's the case, then Origen and Heracleon were arguing like a couple of
                    > 19th-21st century readers way back in the 3d century, in their dispute over
                    > where John's words ended in 1:15-18.

                    I was thinking of the John 3:31ff problem, not the one in 1:15-18. I would suspect (though I have not investigated this at all), that
                    since the nature of prologues is towards narration rather than direct speech, the first tendency of ancient readers would be to look at
                    1:15-18 as narration rather than direct speech. Or at least narration would be a more viable option there than in John 3. This is a
                    hunch, and would be worth pursuing in the ancient commentators on John. Anyone looked at John Chrystostom's sermons on John in this
                    regard? I have found them helpful for providing insights into Johannine characterization.

                    Jeff
                  • Jeffrey L. Staley
                    ... Paul, the idea of distinctive theological content, for me is an interesting question. I think one would be hard pressed to find (much less prove) an
                    Message 9 of 13 , Apr 5, 2000
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                      panderso@... wrote:

                      > Looking at the distinctive JB material in John lately, I've been wondering
                      > it there was a JB independent tradition or distinctive theological content
                      > that has made it into the Johannine tradition and was developed
                      > accordingly.

                      Paul, the idea of "distinctive theological content," for me is an interesting question. I think one would be hard pressed to find (much
                      less prove) an "independent" JB tradition behind FG. On the "distinctive theological content" side, the direction I would go would be to
                      explore whether JB's language in FG is distinctive of the _character_ "JB." The author's (narrator's) point in John 1:7; 3:28, 33;
                      5:33-36; 10:41 is clearly that JB's "witness" is a faithful testimony to who Jesus is, but there might be some subtleties of difference.
                      Thus, the emphasis is on continuity of message, not distinctiveness. By contrast, the Synoptics focus more on the distinctiveness of
                      John's message over against that of Jesus, wouldn't you say?
                    • Jeffrey L. Staley
                      ... Wow! Now there is a wild thought! I think of this saying as a prophetic riddle: the one coming after me was before me, because he was behind me. (I
                      Message 10 of 13 , Apr 6, 2000
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                        >
                        > Here's another: does JB's statement in 1:15 (he was before me and after
                        > me) lead to the cultic development of the pre-existent Logos motif in the
                        > Johannine worship setting? Who knows?

                        Wow! Now there is a wild thought! I think of this saying as a prophetic riddle: "the one coming after me was before me, because he was
                        behind me." (I think I got that right--I don't have my Greek text handy). I have worked from the assumption that this phrase is simply
                        a literary construct of the author (who likes riddles and puns).
                      • Gregory Bloomquist
                        I have come to the discussion late, so my apologies if what follows has been stated by others. If so, please simply disregard it. Re. 1.15: perhaps the author
                        Message 11 of 13 , Apr 6, 2000
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                          I have come to the discussion late, so my apologies if what follows has
                          been stated by others. If so, please simply disregard it.

                          Re. 1.15: perhaps the author of the FG, who also delights in ambiguity,
                          means more than one thing from the verse. We usually think in temporal
                          terms when reading this text, just as Nicodemus thought in temporal not
                          spatial terms when he heard Jesus' use of ANO^THEN.

                          But, if, in 1.15, we switch to a functional understanding of ERXOMENOS
                          OPISO^ MOU not as spatial but as a paraphrase for discipleship (i.e.,
                          "disciple") and see EMPROSTHEN MOU and PRO^TOS MOU as a question of
                          degree, not time (i.e., "greater than me" or "preferred above me"),
                          then, one possibile translation would be:

                          "The one who appears to be my follower-disciple has become greater
                          than/superior to me (my teacher?) because he always was (i.e., did not
                          just come into being, as John did) greater in rank than me."

                          This is not intended to discount the temporal readings, but only to
                          suggest that the temporal readings are there to mask in riddle-fashion
                          what is "really" being said.

                          Maybe this is what Jeff meant; if so, I couldn't agree more! :-)

                          --
                          L G Bloomquist
                          http://www.bloomquist.on.ca
                          visitalk.com PCN: 2001-1149-0865
                        • Jeffrey L. Staley
                          ... Yes, this is the idea. You said it very well! (And thanks for including the Greek, which I didn t remember quite rightly.) I would prefer, however, to
                          Message 12 of 13 , Apr 6, 2000
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                            Gregory Bloomquist wrote:

                            > I have come to the discussion late, so my apologies if what follows has
                            > been stated by others. If so, please simply disregard it.
                            >
                            > Re. 1.15: perhaps the author of the FG, who also delights in ambiguity,
                            > means more than one thing from the verse. We usually think in temporal
                            > terms when reading this text, just as Nicodemus thought in temporal not
                            > spatial terms when he heard Jesus' use of ANO^THEN.
                            >
                            > But, if, in 1.15, we switch to a functional understanding of ERXOMENOS
                            > OPISO^ MOU not as spatial but as a paraphrase for discipleship (i.e.,
                            > "disciple") and see EMPROSTHEN MOU and PRO^TOS MOU as a question of
                            > degree, not time (i.e., "greater than me" or "preferred above me"),
                            > then, one possibile translation would be:
                            >
                            > "The one who appears to be my follower-disciple has become greater
                            > than/superior to me (my teacher?) because he always was (i.e., did not
                            > just come into being, as John did) greater in rank than me."
                            >
                            > This is not intended to discount the temporal readings, but only to
                            > suggest that the temporal readings are there to mask in riddle-fashion
                            > what is "really" being said.
                            >
                            > Maybe this is what Jeff meant; if so, I couldn't agree more! :-)
                            >

                            Yes, this is the idea. You said it very well! (And thanks for including the Greek, which I didn't remember quite rightly.) I would
                            prefer, however, to keep the translation as much a riddle as possible, and put in a footnote the doubled meaning(s).

                            Jeff
                          • Jeffrey L. Staley
                            ... An interesting way of looking at it. This would preserve, in v. 15, an authentic riddle of John then? It is unusual that the author likes the saying
                            Message 13 of 13 , Apr 6, 2000
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                              ProfRam@... wrote:

                              > Another way of putting it is that perhaps the Gospel of John begins the way
                              > it does precisely because the author had a tradition of John's pronouncement
                              > in 1:15 and 30. So he put 1:1-5 first and then verse 6 simply in order to
                              > illustrate v 15, by showing that Jesus preceded John in eternity even though
                              > John's ministry preceded his in time. Could it possibly be that simple?
                              >

                              An interesting way of looking at it. This would "preserve," in v. 15, an "authentic" riddle of John then? It is unusual that the author
                              "likes" the saying enough to repeat it twice, and has John allude to it even in 3:28. Do you think John's [real, historical] prophetic
                              activity was explicitly messianic in some way?

                              Jeff
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