>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?
Good points, Jeff, yes, I concur. In John, of course, a leading question
is who is the Messiah (Jesus vs. John) and the roles of Elijah and Moses
are reserved for Jesus and denied by John for himself (hence a contrast,
perhaps even a corrective one, with the Marcan presentation).
On agency, that motif is so thoroughly the fourth evangelist's theological
schema, but I doubt it originated with the fourth evangelist. I think it
may even have gone back to Jesus, but what I question is whether JB (thus
3:31ff.) may also have preached such. If this were the case, it might
account for the good points Wayne Meeks makes that the religious origin of
the Johannine sending motif was not Gnostic Revelation Sayings, but the
Jewish agency motif. The question I'm working with is the degree to which
the prophetic ministry of JB might have furthered such a theme.
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? I think Bultmann may have been on
to something there (with the JB connection), but I think the answer lies
in a trajectory other than a Gnostic one.
Paul N. Anderson
Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies
George Fox University
Newberg, OR 97132