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Image of a man embedded in the structure

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  • Bob MacDonald
    Kym I am trying to take your thesis seriously and I am doing a detailed response of this one small piece. You indicated to me that the section of John 5 is
    Message 1 of 21 , Nov 27, 2006
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      Kym

      I am trying to take your thesis seriously and I am doing a detailed response
      of this one small piece. You indicated to me that the section of John 5 is
      part of the hand - one finger, I think. I have shrunk the image of the
      structures and repeated it to see what fingers of two hands might look like
      (see http://bmd.gx.ca/john5-6.jpg)

      If one finger only, then 10 more similar structures must be found - that's a
      lot of text and it doesn't fit: John is a little less than 20,000 words;
      chapter 5 - this part is 650 words which I have fit into about 390 nodes;
      That would make the fingers 6500/20000 or more than 25% of the text. You
      must have meant something else.

      Note also http://bmd.gx.ca/john5-5.jpg now includes the middle of chapter 5
      showing some connections between the middle and end - all of these are
      meaningful connections e.g. concerning glory and honour, the acts that the
      Son has to finish, and the response of the people - belief or unbelief, whom
      you accept, whom you are willing to glory in.

      Though your thesis is extreme - specifically because it claims that the
      Gospel does not do what text normally does, namely be heard or seen or
      performed, but it purports to paint an image. It could be a radical act of
      adoration and is therefore not ruled out of court like the modulo-19
      arithmetic of some scholars in other traditions.

      You are not alone in assuming that words can make an image. George Herbert
      wrote a poem in the shape of an altar; and some artists have made images of
      words with great complexity long before the use of computers.

      In other words, your thesis does not deny the prime directive: that this
      Gospel was written by human beings conscious of what they were doing. So the
      images could then be imaged using the software that I have access to. With
      millions of variations on skin colour, I could even give it some
      verisimilitude.

      For those who like to see the Chi in the chiasm, there are a couple that are
      obvious in diagram 5 since I left them in the X form rather than indenting
      them. Maybe we go overboard with concentric structures. :)

      Bob

      Bob MacDonald
      Victoria BC
      http://gx.ca
      http://bmd.gx.ca
    • Kym Smith
      Bob, Thank you. Imagine vertical and horizontal axes, cross-shaped. From the top, the first six micro-chiasms (1:1-51) on the vertical axis represent the head
      Message 2 of 21 , Nov 28, 2006
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        Bob,

        Thank you.

        Imagine vertical and horizontal axes, cross-shaped. From the top, the
        first six micro-chiasms (1:1-51) on the vertical axis represent the
        head (the head of a man - cf. Rev 13:18).

        Then, on the horizontal axis, are the the forty-one structures from
        2:1 - 11:44. These make up the hands. There are thirteen various-sized
        micro-structures in the Signs and Discourses Macro-chiasm which
        provide the spacing between the 'fingers'. The first and last signs
        act as inclusios for the whole (2:1-11 and 11:43-44), the central
        structure (and, therefore, focal point for the whole gospel) is
        11:48-51. Between the second and third fingers on each 'hand' are
        consecutive signs and/or discourses which indicate that something
        should be there. That something-nothing, as I describe it, represents
        the nail-holes/wounds in the hands. Between the other signs and
        discourses are the twenty-eight sevenfold formations of the Dialogue
        Macro-chiasm. Let me try to show this pictorially, I will use numbers
        to represent the Dialogue formations; imagine them each as small
        vertical columns along the whole structure which is positioned
        horizontally.

        s-2-d-3-d-3-s-s-3-s-3-(d)-3-d-3-d-s-3-d-3-d-2-s

        Note that the two 'thumbs' (two segments hence two micro-chiasms) are
        on the outsides. Therefore the 'hands' are palms forward.

        The next three micro-chiasms from 11:45-12:50 with the nine from the
        Farewell Discourse (chs 11-17) are again on the vertical axis and
        these represent the ribcage. The Greek in 18:1 (i.e. immediately below
        the ribcage where the spear thrust would have been) is important,
        especially 'valley' which is 'a winter torrent' (it was not winter but
        there was a 'torrent' from Christ's side).

        The rest of the micro-structures (ten till 20:29) continue on the
        vertical axis There are no distinguishing features so these represent
        the rest of Jesus' body and legs.

        I described the 'feet' - two micro-chiasms separated by the unique
        tripple tristich parallelism and all contianed between the inclusios
        of 20:30,31 and 21:25,24 - to Marco earlier. The division between the
        feet could not be a chiastsic structure because that would confuse the
        'image' - there could only be two feet. This little complex is placed
        horizontally but centred on the vertical axis.

        "<=>"

        " for inclusios, < and > for the chiasms/'feet' and = for the parallelism.

        Remeber that this is not a photograph but a stylistic representation.
        The central structure is very important, to feed on this gospel is to
        feed on Christ.

        I must respond to your previous to me but do not have the time at this
        moment.

        Kym




        --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, Bob MacDonald
        <bobmacdonald@...> wrote:
        >
        > Kym
        >
        > I am trying to take your thesis seriously and I am doing a detailed
        response
        > of this one small piece. You indicated to me that the section of
        John 5 is
        > part of the hand - one finger, I think. I have shrunk the image of the
        > structures and repeated it to see what fingers of two hands might
        look like
        > (see http://bmd.gx.ca/john5-6.jpg)
        >
        > If one finger only, then 10 more similar structures must be found -
        that's a
        > lot of text and it doesn't fit: John is a little less than 20,000 words;
        > chapter 5 - this part is 650 words which I have fit into about 390
        nodes;
        > That would make the fingers 6500/20000 or more than 25% of the text.
        You
        > must have meant something else.
        >
        > Note also http://bmd.gx.ca/john5-5.jpg now includes the middle of
        chapter 5
        > showing some connections between the middle and end - all of these are
        > meaningful connections e.g. concerning glory and honour, the acts
        that the
        > Son has to finish, and the response of the people - belief or
        unbelief, whom
        > you accept, whom you are willing to glory in.
        >
        > Though your thesis is extreme - specifically because it claims that the
        > Gospel does not do what text normally does, namely be heard or seen or
        > performed, but it purports to paint an image. It could be a radical
        act of
        > adoration and is therefore not ruled out of court like the modulo-19
        > arithmetic of some scholars in other traditions.
        >
        > You are not alone in assuming that words can make an image. George
        Herbert
        > wrote a poem in the shape of an altar; and some artists have made
        images of
        > words with great complexity long before the use of computers.
        >
        > In other words, your thesis does not deny the prime directive: that this
        > Gospel was written by human beings conscious of what they were
        doing. So the
        > images could then be imaged using the software that I have access
        to. With
        > millions of variations on skin colour, I could even give it some
        > verisimilitude.
        >
        > For those who like to see the Chi in the chiasm, there are a couple
        that are
        > obvious in diagram 5 since I left them in the X form rather than
        indenting
        > them. Maybe we go overboard with concentric structures. :)
        >
        > Bob
        >
        > Bob MacDonald
        > Victoria BC
        > http://gx.ca
        > http://bmd.gx.ca
        >
      • Tom Butler
        Marco, At last I have some time to reply to your comments regarding the redaction theory of the Gospel of John. I very much appreciate this opportunity to
        Message 3 of 21 , Dec 28, 2006
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          Marco,
          At last I have some time to reply to your comments
          regarding the redaction theory of the Gospel of John.
          I very much appreciate this opportunity to reply to
          your list of reasons for supporting the redaction
          theory.
          By way of dialogue, I'll weave my replies into the
          text of your list of reasons.

          --- Fabbri Marco <mv.fabbri@...> wrote:

          > I share Jack's inclination to think that John 21 is
          > not written by the same person that wrote John 1-20.
          >
          > I find the following reasons:
          >
          > 1. Chapter 20 ends in vv. 30-31 with a fully-fledged
          > conclusion, that refers back to the SHMEIA (signs),
          > that can be found in John 2-12. Therefore, unless >
          the contrary is proved, I understand John 20,30-31 >
          as the conclusion of John 1-20 (whether you include >
          the Prologue or not).

          Marco, the logic of your argument suggests to me that
          Jn. 20: 30-31 should be considered the conclusion of
          the Gospel of Signs, which as you indicated is found
          in Jn. 2-12. (I would argue that the Signs component
          of the Fourth Gospel begins at Jn. 1: 19 (after the
          Prolog) and ends at Jn. 13: 20 (with the account of
          the footwashing and before the Farewell Discourse or
          what Brown calls the Book of Glory begins - though I
          differ with Brown as to when that book begins: at Jn.
          13: 21, not at Jn. 13: 1, but that's another issue.)

          The rationale for such a conclusion being, as you
          suggested, the reference to signs in those concluding
          verses.

          I see no reason to assume, if we are going to put
          forth a theory that the work of a redactor is evident
          in the Fourth Gospel, that Jn. 20: 30-31 belongs at
          the end of chapter 20. Why not at the end of chapter
          12 (or as I have suggested after 13: 20)?

          If the redaction theory is related in any way to what
          may be observed in the Gospel of Mark (where there are
          at least two different endings) as, for example, a
          struggle by first century Gospel writers to provide an
          appropriate ending for the Gospel story, then might it
          not be appropriate to suggest that 20: 30-31 could be
          placed at the end of chapter 19, supporting the idea
          that the resurrection narratives are all the work of
          one or more redactors?

          My point is that those two verses (Jn. 20: 30-31) can
          stand alone. They may be placed where they are at the
          end of chapter 20 or virtually anywhere else we might
          want to suggest is the "earliest ending" of the
          proto-gospel or first draft of the Gospel or whatever
          we end up calling what we believe to be the oldest
          part of the text.

          Is it not more sound from a scholarly point of view to
          challenge the redaction theory than to challenge the
          text as we have it? I stand with Culpepper (Anatomy,
          p. 49), Brown (Introduction p. 86) and Barrett (citing
          Lindars in The Gospel According to John Second
          Edition, p. 25) on this. Each of these scholars has
          theories about how the Gospel may have been redacted,
          but none of them conclude that it is possible to
          discern the earliest form of the text with any degree
          of certainty.

          The redactor theories serve to explain how or why some
          of the material may have been incorporated into the
          Gospel, but they remain theories and cannot be used to
          isolate some of the material in the Gospel as we have
          it today from the rest of the material. These
          theories, therefore, are best used AFTER the text has
          been studied as a whole, not as a way of organizing
          the material BEFORE the study begins.
          >
          > 2. John 21,24 says the the beloved disciple wrote
          > TAUTA. It is reasonable to think that TAUTA refers >
          to what comes before, that is to the Gospel as a
          > whole down to the first conclusion in John 20,30-31.

          I'm afraid I don't see your point. What you suggest
          is that the use of TAUTA makes it reasonable to say
          that this verse is the conclusion to the entire
          gospel, which you say ends with chapter 20. How do
          you conclude that TAUTA in 21: 24 refers to the
          material that ends at 20: 30-31 but not to the
          material preceding it in Jn. 21?

          As I see it Jn. 21: 24 is referring to Jn. 21: 23c,
          explaining that when Jesus is quoted saying, "If it is
          my will that he (IE: the disciple whom Jesus loved
          identified in 21: 20) remain (continue to abide) until
          I come, what is that to you?"

          It is as though the author(s) has (have) placed
          parentheses around the phrase (this is the disciple
          who is testifying to these things and has written
          them). The TAUTA, in other words, refers to Jesus'
          statement in 21: 23c, not necessarily to the entire
          Gospel.

          I see 21: 24 as the kind of language found at 19: 35.
          It is an assertion that the Beloved Disciple is the
          source of this witness. 21: 24 is not necessarily
          written BY that witness, but appears to have been
          written ABOUT the witness, who is the subject of a
          discussion between Peter and Judas in Jn. 21: 20 and
          following.

          This goes to the theory as to the role of the BD in
          the composition of the Gospel. It seems right to me
          that the BD may have been the SOURCE of much of the
          material or could have been the AUTHORITY that
          influenced an entire community to develop the Gospel
          as we now have it, but that does not necessarily mean
          that a single author, the BD or anyone else, wrote the
          original manuscript or even the proto-gospel which was
          later redacted by one or more other writers.
          >
          > 3. I find six reasons to think that Chapter 21 is
          > not written by the beloved disciple who wrote John >
          1-20. I list them so:

          I'm assuming that you DO think that the material
          before Chapter 21 WAS written by the beloved disciple.
          Is that correct?
          >
          > 3.1. John 21,24 says that "we know that his witness
          > is true". The verb is in first plural, so that who->
          ever is speaking can be easily distinguished from
          > the beloved disciple, that is referred to in third
          > person: "he".

          As I've just pointed out, Jn. 19: 35 can be given that
          same value. If 21: 24 is evidence that a different
          hand wrote Chapter 21, is 19: 35 evidence that a
          different hand wrote Chapter 19 or Chapters 18 AND 19?
          If so, should we consider that a redactor wrote the
          passion narrative?
          >
          > 3.2. If the person speaking were the same as the
          > author of John 1-20, he would be a person who >
          testifies on his own behalf. As John 5,31 says:
          > "If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony cannot
          > be verified".

          Jn. 5: 30-38 presents Jesus' own defense against the
          legal charge of blasphemy (Jn. 5: 18 "calling God his
          own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.") In
          5: 30-38 Jesus points his accusers to John the Baptist
          as a witness, but says that he does not need human
          testimony, because the works (that the Father had
          given Him to complete) testify on his behalf and the
          Father who sent Him "has himself testified on my
          behalf." In other words, Jesus sites two unassailable
          witnesses as required by Hebrew law to refute the
          legal charges against him.

          If we understand that the beloved disciple has played
          an important role, even a central role in the creation
          of the Fourth Gospel, it would seem that the BD does
          not fall into the trap of testifying on his/her own
          behalf, because Jesus affirms the BD's testimony, even
          the BD's abiding presence in 21: 23 and the gospel
          itself is evidence of that disciple's faithfulness to
          the task entrusted to him (or her - as I have
          suggested in an exegesis of Jn. 12: 7 - See Let Her
          Keep It pp 247-252). Thus the witness of the BD has
          an authority similar to that of Jesus Himself!
          >
          > 3.3. John 21,20-23 says that Jesus didn't say that
          > the beloved disciple wouldn't die, contrary to the >
          word spread among the brothers. These verses make >
          sense if they were written after the death of the >
          beloved disciple: the author seems worried that >
          some brothers might think that Jesus was wrong.
          > Therefore the beloved disciple didn't write these
          > verses.

          As indicated above, I don't think one must attribute
          authorship of chapter 21 to the beloved disciple in
          order to consider chapter 21 to have been woven into
          the entire Gospel in a manner similar to the skillful
          way that other material was woven into the Gospel. My
          theory is that an entire community of scholars
          (probably under the leadership, inspiration and
          authority of the beloved disciple) were involved in
          the composition and refinement of the gospel. You
          have found evidence that supports my theory. Thank
          you.
          >
          > 3.4. The fact that we find a conclusion in John
          > 20,30-31 make it plausible that once the Gospel
          > ended there, and chapter 21 was added subsequently.
          > The fact that the conclusion in 20,30-31 is not >
          modified when chapter 21 is added leads to think >
          that the author of John 21 didn't think he could >
          change what was already written. This doesn't
          > happen in John 1-20, whenever the test is modified.
          > For instance, in chapter 4,2 a correction is
          > inserted within the text. The author of John 21 >
          doesn't take the same liberty.

          I understand you to be asserting that Jn. 4:2 is a
          redaction of an earlier text. Is there a manuscript
          extant of this pericope that does not include what I
          assume you see as the inserted phrase (vs. 2)? I'm
          not aware of one (which doesn't mean there isn't one);
          are you?

          Absent such a manuscript, why couldn't this be a style
          used by the original writer: a clarification for the
          reader offered to prevent any confusion caused by what
          Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, a rumor
          (namely: "Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples
          than John")?

          The clarification is consistent with the theology of
          the gospel, namely that as the disciples were abiding
          in Jesus, as he was abiding in them, they were able to
          bear fruit. Otherwise they were not able to do
          anything (Jn. 15: 4-5).

          The verse above can be understood by readers of the
          Gospel to mean "The Disciples of Jesus are making and
          baptizing more disciples than John," but it would not
          be expected that the Pharisees would have understood
          that fine theological point.

          When the disciples bring people to Jesus and those
          people become disciples, Christ abides in them. When
          they baptize others, it is the Christ abiding in them
          that baptizes. That's confusing if not explained.

          This of course is meaning that the reader of the
          gospel gains after contemplating the meaning of the
          entire text; it would not be expected that a Pharisee,
          hearing the rumor, would have been able to "see" this
          meaning. The writer is helping the reader distinguish
          between what the words appear to mean to the
          uninitiated reader and what they can mean to those who
          have expounded upon the meaning of each part of the
          text and upon the gospel as a whole.
          >
          > 3.5. Chapter 21 names some disciples that are never
          > named before: that is, the sons of Zebedee. It is >
          striking that they are never named in John 1-20.
          > Whatever the reason, it no longer stands when John
          > 21 was written.
          >
          You may have noted that the Gospel of John does not
          list twelve names to identify the disciples. The
          names of James and John are not listed in the Gospel
          of John specifically. Only Peter, Thomas, Judas and
          Nathaniel are mentioned more than once. The fact that
          the Sons of Zebedee are mentioned only in Chapter 21
          does not suggest that chapter 21 was written by a
          redactor or that this chapter was necessarily added to
          the corpus of the text after all of the other chapters
          were written. Philip is only mentioned in Jn. 1: 45.
          Should we consider that reference an indication that
          the pericope in which he is named (Jn. 1: 43-51) is
          the work of a redactor?

          > 3.6. Chapter 21 uses 174 different words. 27 of them
          > are not existent in John 1-20. For instance, in >
          chapter 6 fish is OPSARION. ICQUS is never
          > used. Chapter 21 uses ICQUS. It is unlikely that
          > the author of John 21 is the same as the author of >
          John 1-20.

          Chapter 21, you say, uses 174 words. 147 of those
          words (nearly 98%)are also used in John 1-20. Again,
          you are assuming that the entire Gospel was written by
          a single hand and is the witness of a single soul.
          Consider the possibility that the Gospel is the
          product of a community of faithful scholars inspired
          by the witness and authority of one beloved disciple
          of Jesus. Some differences are to be expected as the
          work of separate scholars is woven into the text,
          perhaps by the leader or leaders of the community (the
          BD and others).
          >
          > I think that 3.1-2 are the strongest reasons, that
          > give me certainty. I recognise that the following >
          reasons are indiciary. If consiered separately,
          > they make it more likely that the author is
          > different. All together, they make a strong case >
          against identity of author.

          They make a case against the identity of a single
          author having written the entire Gospel. I would
          argue that there are several parts of the Gospel that
          would illustrate that same point.

          Barrett, for example, has wondered about the
          authorship of chapters 11 and 12 in which Lazarus
          appears, though he appears nowhere else in the Gospel
          of John or in any other Gospel except in one of Jesus'
          parables in The Gospel According to Luke. This is the
          only parable in which Jesus names a character. (Does
          that suggest that a redactor added it to the Gospel
          According to Luke?)

          The Prologue is widely accepted as a different kind of
          writing than is found in other parts of the Gospel
          (but then the farewell discourse material is different
          from the Gospel of signs and the passion narrative
          seems to have more in common with the Synoptics than
          any other part of the Fourth Gospel.)

          In short, the Gospel of John defies categorization.
          If we are looking for a single author, or hoping to
          separate the work of one author from that of others, I
          suspect the effort will be largely fruitless, even
          though we can see that there are differences. Those
          differences are woven into a single fabric which
          cannot be unraveled without harming or even destroying
          the tapestry that proclaims our faith so powerfully.
          >
          > I would be very interested to read a refutation of
          > any of the given reasons.
          >
          Marco, I have found responding to your reasons to be a
          stimulating exercise. I look forward to your response
          to my refutations and the continuation of our
          dialogue. I hope others on the list will contribute
          to the dialogue as well.

          Yours in Christ's service,
          Tom Butler

          <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=system color=#0000ff>Yours in Christ's service,</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
          <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=System color=#0000ff>Tom Butler</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
        • Marco V. Fabbri
          Tom, thank you for your reply. You promised it, and you kept your promise. I will write a short anwer, first, because there was some misunderstanding. I am not
          Message 4 of 21 , Dec 29, 2006
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            Tom,

            thank you for your reply. You promised it, and you kept your promise.

            I will write a short anwer, first, because there was some misunderstanding.
            I am not trying to divide the Gospel into a number of preexisting
            documents. I am just trying to understand the Gospel as we have it. There
            is no need to persuade me of the shortcomings of documentary theories,
            because I am already persuaded.

            When I teach John, I start by studying the Gospel as a whole, in order to
            find its structure. Only when I know the structure, I am able to recognize
            some part of the text as not belonging to the structure.

            The man that opens his watch and separates his components can learn
            something about how it works. However, if he wants the watch to work, he
            needs to know how to put the pieces together again. If he thinks that some
            pieces have no purpose, it doesn't mean that they haven't, but that he
            doesn't know what their purpose is. And if he is not prepared to learn that,
            his watch wont't ever work as it was meant to work, or it won't work at all.

            When I look at John 20,30-31, and notice that it speaks about signs, and
            look for the signs in the Gospel, and noticed that they are confined to John
            2-12, I am not saying that the rest does not belong to the original Gospel.
            I am trying to understand the Gospel as it stands, and I as a legitimate
            question: why are there no "signs" in John 13-20? What is the function of
            those chapters? Here I accept the contributions from Dodd, who noticed the
            importance of the coming of the "hour" of Jesus, and from Brown, who
            recognizes the importance of "glory" in those chapters, and calls them "the
            book of glory".

            That being my stance, I think that whoever affirms that a part of the
            Gospel, whether it be a verse or a chapter, has been added later, he takes
            on himself the burden of proof. If he also maintains that the added part has
            been written by a different author, he takes on himself an additional burden
            of proof. This is why I took pains to prove a later origin of John 21. We
            can discuss my reasons, but I think that we agree that I need to prove my
            point. If I can't, then I have to admit that John 21 is by the same hand as
            the rest of the Gospel, until somebody else can prove the point.

            As to the content of the reasons, you say that you refuted them. On my part,
            I don't agree, and I still think that the point is proved, as do the
            commentaries that you quote. But there are no discussions that are closed on
            the authority of anybody. Therefore, I wont' try to defend my option and
            pass judgement at the same time. Maybe I will engage in discussion later.

            Before that, I will raise a more general point. I think we agree that
            whoever affirms that different authors are at work has to prove that. If so,
            how can you assume that the Fourth Gospel is the work of a plurality of
            authors? It seems to me that you take on yourself a heavy burden of proof.

            Since the time I wrote the text you are answering to, I wrote on this same
            list that I don't believe that written texts in the antiquity were written
            by many people at the same time. There was no way that a text could be
            shared by many unless it was first written by one, then copied, then
            distributed, then read. And again, any intervention by others wouldn't be
            known unless it was copied by hand, then distributed, then read.

            Mind me, I don't deny that an author can draw from oral tradition, of from
            the decisions of a council, or whatever else. I maintain, however, that
            writing was a job that was done by one person at a time. This is why,
            whenever a scholar affirms joint authorship, he has to prove it. He can't
            assume it. So, I believe that I am right when I assume that John has been
            written by an individual, until the contrary is proven. I never read a proof
            that a group wrote the Gospel. I read some proofs that a different author
            wrote chapter 21, as is maintains by most modern scholars.

            Marco Fabbri

            On 12/29/06, Tom Butler <pastor_t@...> wrote:
            >
            > Marco,

            > At last I have some time to reply to your comments
            > regarding the redaction theory of the Gospel of John.
            > I very much appreciate this opportunity to reply to
            > your list of reasons for supporting the redaction
            > theory.
            > By way of dialogue, I'll weave my replies into the
            > text of your list of reasons.
            >
            > --- Fabbri Marco <mv.fabbri@... <mv.fabbri%40gmail.com>> wrote:
            >
            > > I share Jack's inclination to think that John 21 is
            > > not written by the same person that wrote John 1-20.
            > >
            > > I find the following reasons:
            > >
            > > 1. Chapter 20 ends in vv. 30-31 with a fully-fledged
            > > conclusion, that refers back to the SHMEIA (signs),
            > > that can be found in John 2-12. Therefore, unless >
            > the contrary is proved, I understand John 20,30-31 >
            > as the conclusion of John 1-20 (whether you include >
            > the Prologue or not).
            >
            > Marco, the logic of your argument suggests to me that
            > Jn. 20: 30-31 should be considered the conclusion of
            > the Gospel of Signs, which as you indicated is found
            > in Jn. 2-12. (I would argue that the Signs component
            > of the Fourth Gospel begins at Jn. 1: 19 (after the
            > Prolog) and ends at Jn. 13: 20 (with the account of
            > the footwashing and before the Farewell Discourse or
            > what Brown calls the Book of Glory begins - though I
            > differ with Brown as to when that book begins: at Jn.
            > 13: 21, not at Jn. 13: 1, but that's another issue.)
            >
            > The rationale for such a conclusion being, as you
            > suggested, the reference to signs in those concluding
            > verses.
            >
            > I see no reason to assume, if we are going to put
            > forth a theory that the work of a redactor is evident
            > in the Fourth Gospel, that Jn. 20: 30-31 belongs at
            > the end of chapter 20. Why not at the end of chapter
            > 12 (or as I have suggested after 13: 20)?
            >


            If the redaction theory is related in any way to what
            > may be observed in the Gospel of Mark (where there are
            > at least two different endings) as, for example, a
            > struggle by first century Gospel writers to provide an
            > appropriate ending for the Gospel story, then might it
            > not be appropriate to suggest that 20: 30-31 could be
            > placed at the end of chapter 19, supporting the idea
            > that the resurrection narratives are all the work of
            > one or more redactors?
            >
            > My point is that those two verses (Jn. 20: 30-31) can
            > stand alone. They may be placed where they are at the
            > end of chapter 20 or virtually anywhere else we might
            > want to suggest is the "earliest ending" of the
            > proto-gospel or first draft of the Gospel or whatever
            > we end up calling what we believe to be the oldest
            > part of the text.
            >
            > Is it not more sound from a scholarly point of view to
            > challenge the redaction theory than to challenge the
            > text as we have it? I stand with Culpepper (Anatomy,
            > p. 49), Brown (Introduction p. 86) and Barrett (citing
            > Lindars in The Gospel According to John Second
            > Edition, p. 25) on this. Each of these scholars has
            > theories about how the Gospel may have been redacted,
            > but none of them conclude that it is possible to
            > discern the earliest form of the text with any degree
            > of certainty.
            >
            > The redactor theories serve to explain how or why some
            > of the material may have been incorporated into the
            > Gospel, but they remain theories and cannot be used to
            > isolate some of the material in the Gospel as we have
            > it today from the rest of the material. These
            > theories, therefore, are best used AFTER the text has
            > been studied as a whole, not as a way of organizing
            > the material BEFORE the study begins.
            > >
            > > 2. John 21,24 says the the beloved disciple wrote
            > > TAUTA. It is reasonable to think that TAUTA refers >
            > to what comes before, that is to the Gospel as a
            > > whole down to the first conclusion in John 20,30-31.
            >
            > I'm afraid I don't see your point. What you suggest
            > is that the use of TAUTA makes it reasonable to say
            > that this verse is the conclusion to the entire
            > gospel, which you say ends with chapter 20. How do
            > you conclude that TAUTA in 21: 24 refers to the
            > material that ends at 20: 30-31 but not to the
            > material preceding it in Jn. 21?
            >
            > As I see it Jn. 21: 24 is referring to Jn. 21: 23c,
            > explaining that when Jesus is quoted saying, "If it is
            > my will that he (IE: the disciple whom Jesus loved
            > identified in 21: 20) remain (continue to abide) until
            > I come, what is that to you?"
            >
            > It is as though the author(s) has (have) placed
            > parentheses around the phrase (this is the disciple
            > who is testifying to these things and has written
            > them). The TAUTA, in other words, refers to Jesus'
            > statement in 21: 23c, not necessarily to the entire
            > Gospel.
            >
            > I see 21: 24 as the kind of language found at 19: 35.
            > It is an assertion that the Beloved Disciple is the
            > source of this witness. 21: 24 is not necessarily
            > written BY that witness, but appears to have been
            > written ABOUT the witness, who is the subject of a
            > discussion between Peter and Judas in Jn. 21: 20 and
            > following.
            >
            > This goes to the theory as to the role of the BD in
            > the composition of the Gospel. It seems right to me
            > that the BD may have been the SOURCE of much of the
            > material or could have been the AUTHORITY that
            > influenced an entire community to develop the Gospel
            > as we now have it, but that does not necessarily mean
            > that a single author, the BD or anyone else, wrote the
            > original manuscript or even the proto-gospel which was
            > later redacted by one or more other writers.
            > >
            > > 3. I find six reasons to think that Chapter 21 is
            > > not written by the beloved disciple who wrote John >
            > 1-20. I list them so:
            >
            > I'm assuming that you DO think that the material
            > before Chapter 21 WAS written by the beloved disciple.
            > Is that correct?
            > >
            > > 3.1. John 21,24 says that "we know that his witness
            > > is true". The verb is in first plural, so that who->
            > ever is speaking can be easily distinguished from
            > > the beloved disciple, that is referred to in third
            > > person: "he".
            >
            > As I've just pointed out, Jn. 19: 35 can be given that
            > same value. If 21: 24 is evidence that a different
            > hand wrote Chapter 21, is 19: 35 evidence that a
            > different hand wrote Chapter 19 or Chapters 18 AND 19?
            > If so, should we consider that a redactor wrote the
            > passion narrative?
            > >
            > > 3.2. If the person speaking were the same as the
            > > author of John 1-20, he would be a person who >
            > testifies on his own behalf. As John 5,31 says:
            > > "If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony cannot
            > > be verified".
            >
            > Jn. 5: 30-38 presents Jesus' own defense against the
            > legal charge of blasphemy (Jn. 5: 18 "calling God his
            > own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.") In
            > 5: 30-38 Jesus points his accusers to John the Baptist
            > as a witness, but says that he does not need human
            > testimony, because the works (that the Father had
            > given Him to complete) testify on his behalf and the
            > Father who sent Him "has himself testified on my
            > behalf." In other words, Jesus sites two unassailable
            > witnesses as required by Hebrew law to refute the
            > legal charges against him.
            >
            > If we understand that the beloved disciple has played
            > an important role, even a central role in the creation
            > of the Fourth Gospel, it would seem that the BD does
            > not fall into the trap of testifying on his/her own
            > behalf, because Jesus affirms the BD's testimony, even
            > the BD's abiding presence in 21: 23 and the gospel
            > itself is evidence of that disciple's faithfulness to
            > the task entrusted to him (or her - as I have
            > suggested in an exegesis of Jn. 12: 7 - See Let Her
            > Keep It pp 247-252). Thus the witness of the BD has
            > an authority similar to that of Jesus Himself!
            > >
            > > 3.3. John 21,20-23 says that Jesus didn't say that
            > > the beloved disciple wouldn't die, contrary to the >
            > word spread among the brothers. These verses make >
            > sense if they were written after the death of the >
            > beloved disciple: the author seems worried that >
            > some brothers might think that Jesus was wrong.
            > > Therefore the beloved disciple didn't write these
            > > verses.
            >
            > As indicated above, I don't think one must attribute
            > authorship of chapter 21 to the beloved disciple in
            > order to consider chapter 21 to have been woven into
            > the entire Gospel in a manner similar to the skillful
            > way that other material was woven into the Gospel. My
            > theory is that an entire community of scholars
            > (probably under the leadership, inspiration and
            > authority of the beloved disciple) were involved in
            > the composition and refinement of the gospel. You
            > have found evidence that supports my theory. Thank
            > you.
            > >
            > > 3.4. The fact that we find a conclusion in John
            > > 20,30-31 make it plausible that once the Gospel
            > > ended there, and chapter 21 was added subsequently.
            > > The fact that the conclusion in 20,30-31 is not >
            > modified when chapter 21 is added leads to think >
            > that the author of John 21 didn't think he could >
            > change what was already written. This doesn't
            > > happen in John 1-20, whenever the test is modified.
            > > For instance, in chapter 4,2 a correction is
            > > inserted within the text. The author of John 21 >
            > doesn't take the same liberty.
            >
            > I understand you to be asserting that Jn. 4:2 is a
            > redaction of an earlier text. Is there a manuscript
            > extant of this pericope that does not include what I
            > assume you see as the inserted phrase (vs. 2)? I'm
            > not aware of one (which doesn't mean there isn't one);
            > are you?
            >
            > Absent such a manuscript, why couldn't this be a style
            > used by the original writer: a clarification for the
            > reader offered to prevent any confusion caused by what
            > Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, a rumor
            > (namely: "Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples
            > than John")?
            >
            > The clarification is consistent with the theology of
            > the gospel, namely that as the disciples were abiding
            > in Jesus, as he was abiding in them, they were able to
            > bear fruit. Otherwise they were not able to do
            > anything (Jn. 15: 4-5).
            >
            > The verse above can be understood by readers of the
            > Gospel to mean "The Disciples of Jesus are making and
            > baptizing more disciples than John," but it would not
            > be expected that the Pharisees would have understood
            > that fine theological point.
            >
            > When the disciples bring people to Jesus and those
            > people become disciples, Christ abides in them. When
            > they baptize others, it is the Christ abiding in them
            > that baptizes. That's confusing if not explained.
            >
            > This of course is meaning that the reader of the
            > gospel gains after contemplating the meaning of the
            > entire text; it would not be expected that a Pharisee,
            > hearing the rumor, would have been able to "see" this
            > meaning. The writer is helping the reader distinguish
            > between what the words appear to mean to the
            > uninitiated reader and what they can mean to those who
            > have expounded upon the meaning of each part of the
            > text and upon the gospel as a whole.
            > >
            > > 3.5. Chapter 21 names some disciples that are never
            > > named before: that is, the sons of Zebedee. It is >
            > striking that they are never named in John 1-20.
            > > Whatever the reason, it no longer stands when John
            > > 21 was written.
            > >
            > You may have noted that the Gospel of John does not
            > list twelve names to identify the disciples. The
            > names of James and John are not listed in the Gospel
            > of John specifically. Only Peter, Thomas, Judas and
            > Nathaniel are mentioned more than once. The fact that
            > the Sons of Zebedee are mentioned only in Chapter 21
            > does not suggest that chapter 21 was written by a
            > redactor or that this chapter was necessarily added to
            > the corpus of the text after all of the other chapters
            > were written. Philip is only mentioned in Jn. 1: 45.
            > Should we consider that reference an indication that
            > the pericope in which he is named (Jn. 1: 43-51) is
            > the work of a redactor?
            >
            > > 3.6. Chapter 21 uses 174 different words. 27 of them
            > > are not existent in John 1-20. For instance, in >
            > chapter 6 fish is OPSARION. ICQUS is never
            > > used. Chapter 21 uses ICQUS. It is unlikely that
            > > the author of John 21 is the same as the author of >
            > John 1-20.
            >
            > Chapter 21, you say, uses 174 words. 147 of those
            > words (nearly 98%)are also used in John 1-20. Again,
            > you are assuming that the entire Gospel was written by
            > a single hand and is the witness of a single soul.
            > Consider the possibility that the Gospel is the
            > product of a community of faithful scholars inspired
            > by the witness and authority of one beloved disciple
            > of Jesus. Some differences are to be expected as the
            > work of separate scholars is woven into the text,
            > perhaps by the leader or leaders of the community (the
            > BD and others).
            > >
            > > I think that 3.1-2 are the strongest reasons, that
            > > give me certainty. I recognise that the following >
            > reasons are indiciary. If consiered separately,
            > > they make it more likely that the author is
            > > different. All together, they make a strong case >
            > against identity of author.
            >
            > They make a case against the identity of a single
            > author having written the entire Gospel. I would
            > argue that there are several parts of the Gospel that
            > would illustrate that same point.
            >
            > Barrett, for example, has wondered about the
            > authorship of chapters 11 and 12 in which Lazarus
            > appears, though he appears nowhere else in the Gospel
            > of John or in any other Gospel except in one of Jesus'
            > parables in The Gospel According to Luke. This is the
            > only parable in which Jesus names a character. (Does
            > that suggest that a redactor added it to the Gospel
            > According to Luke?)
            >
            > The Prologue is widely accepted as a different kind of
            > writing than is found in other parts of the Gospel
            > (but then the farewell discourse material is different
            > from the Gospel of signs and the passion narrative
            > seems to have more in common with the Synoptics than
            > any other part of the Fourth Gospel.)
            >
            > In short, the Gospel of John defies categorization.
            > If we are looking for a single author, or hoping to
            > separate the work of one author from that of others, I
            > suspect the effort will be largely fruitless, even
            > though we can see that there are differences. Those
            > differences are woven into a single fabric which
            > cannot be unraveled without harming or even destroying
            > the tapestry that proclaims our faith so powerfully.
            > >
            > > I would be very interested to read a refutation of
            > > any of the given reasons.
            > >
            > Marco, I have found responding to your reasons to be a
            > stimulating exercise. I look forward to your response
            > to my refutations and the continuation of our
            > dialogue. I hope others on the list will contribute
            > to the dialogue as well.
            >
            > Yours in Christ's service,
            > Tom Butler
            >
            > <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=system color=#0000ff>Yours in Christ's
            > service,</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
            > <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=System color=#0000ff>Tom
            > Butler</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
            >
            >



            --
            _______________________________________
            Prof. Marco V. Fabbri
            Dipartimento di Sacra Scrittura
            Pontificia Università della Santa Croce
            Piazza S. Apollinare 49
            I-00186 Roma
            Italy

            e-mail: mv.fabbri@...
            fax: ++39-06-68164400


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Marco V. Fabbri
            Tom, I had to interrupt quite abruptly my answer before I had time to discuss properly your remarks. I thank you for you work, and for the opportunity that we
            Message 5 of 21 , Dec 29, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              Tom,

              I had to interrupt quite abruptly my answer before I had time to discuss
              properly your remarks. I thank you for you work, and for the opportunity
              that we are now sharing to check the soundness of our ideas.

              My previous post coped with general issues, this one will be dedicated to
              particular points. My answer will be interspersed.

              On 12/29/06, Tom Butler <<mailto:pastor_t@...>pastor_t@...>
              wrote:

              Marco,
              At last I have some time to reply to your comments
              regarding the redaction theory of the Gospel of John.
              I very much appreciate this opportunity to reply to
              your list of reasons for supporting the redaction
              theory.
              By way of dialogue, I'll weave my replies into the
              text of your list of reasons.

              --- Fabbri Marco <<mailto:mv.fabbri%40gmail.com>mv.fabbri@...> wrote:

              > I share Jack's inclination to think that John 21 is
              > not written by the same person that wrote John 1-20.
              >
              > I find the following reasons:
              >
              > 1. Chapter 20 ends in vv. 30-31 with a fully-fledged
              > conclusion, that refers back to the SHMEIA (signs),
              > that can be found in John 2-12. Therefore, unless >
              the contrary is proved, I understand John 20,30-31 >
              as the conclusion of John 1-20 (whether you include >
              the Prologue or not).

              Marco, the logic of your argument suggests to me that
              Jn. 20: 30-31 should be considered the conclusion of
              the Gospel of Signs, which as you indicated is found
              in Jn. 2-12.

              Not so. I am not trying to separate from the rest of Gospel a so-called
              "source of signs" or Semeiaquelle. I am taking the Gospel as it stands, and
              assuming that it is consistent, until the contrary is proven.

              I am just observing that John 20,30-31 is a conclusion, and that it speaks
              about the "signs" that are written in the book (the book that we call the
              Gsopel). I search for the signs, and see that they are concentrated in
              chapters 2-12. This means that if the Gospel has a structure, at this point
              I still need to understand the function of chapter 1, and the function of
              chapters 13-20. It is all too easy to wipe away those parts of the Gospel
              whose function is not understood at first glance. If I did that, I would be
              a reader that is not prepared to learn anything that he doesn't know
              already. A bad reader indeed.

              (I would argue that the Signs component
              of the Fourth Gospel begins at Jn. 1: 19 (after the
              Prolog)

              The Gospel as it stands declares at 2,11 that the sign of Cana is the
              beginning of the signs. The sign itself is narrated in John 2,1-11. I don't
              dare to say that John 1 tells any sign: I am unwilling to pretend that I
              know better than the Evangelist.

              This doesn't mean that a so-called original Gospel started at 2,1. I agree
              that there never was a Gospel that didn't include chapter 1. It would be
              absurd indeed: what could the reader make of the "third day" mentioned in
              2,1?

              Rather, the art of telling a tale requires an introduction. The reader needs
              to be drawn into the story. I believe that this is the function of John 1.

              and ends at Jn. 13: 20 (with the account of
              the footwashing and before the Farewell Discourse or
              what Brown calls the Book of Glory begins - though I
              differ with Brown as to when that book begins: at Jn.
              13: 21, not at Jn. 13: 1, but that's another issue.)

              I agree that this is another issue. Most scholars think that the second part
              of the Gospel begins with chapter 13. Some think that chapters 10-12 are
              transitional.

              If we prefer to draw on the point that have already been made, I think that
              we can't ignore that the last mention of the signs is at 12:37, where it
              says: TOSAUTA DE AUTOU SHMEIA PEPOIHKOTOS EMPOSQEN AUTWN OUK EPISTEUON EIS
              AUTON.

              Here it is: the signs should lead to faith, but they dind't win the faith of
              the many. There are many who believe, but then they relinquish Jesus. Then
              the people disappear from the account: the twelve remain. It seems to me
              that it is impossible to divide the meal told in John 13 between the two
              parts of the Gospel. The character are the same along chapters 13-17, and
              they are the sole witness of the revelation of the AGAPH.

              The rationale for such a conclusion being, as you
              suggested, the reference to signs in those concluding
              verses.

              I see no reason to assume, if we are going to put
              forth a theory that the work of a redactor is evident
              in the Fourth Gospel, that Jn. 20: 30-31 belongs at
              the end of chapter 20. Why not at the end of chapter
              12 (or as I have suggested after 13: 20)?

              Simply because it is at the end of chapter 20. But I think this objection
              dependes on the misunderstanding that I tried to to solve in my previous
              posting.


              If the redaction theory is related in any way to what
              may be observed in the Gospel of Mark (where there are
              at least two different endings) as, for example, a
              struggle by first century Gospel writers to provide an
              appropriate ending for the Gospel story, then might it
              not be appropriate to suggest that 20: 30-31 could be
              placed at the end of chapter 19, supporting the idea
              that the resurrection narratives are all the work of
              one or more redactors?

              The ending of Mark is a different problem. From start there is a problem of
              text criticism: the best manuscripts end at Mark 16,8. So a problem arises:
              16,8 is an abrupt ending. Could Gospel end saying that the women told
              nothing, EFOBOUNTO GAR? We miss a conclusion. Was this intentional?

              And yet we know for certain that the Gospel once existed without Mark
              16,9-20. Later Mark 16,9-20 was written, and also another alternate ending.

              Then there is also a literary problem, which is a difference of style in
              Mark 16,9-20, and, more importantly, the fact that Mark 16,9-20 knows about
              waht is told in John 20, Matthew 28 and Luke 24.

              But this a list devoted to Johannine Literature, and I will refrain from
              pressing an interpretation of Mark. I rather want to point to the fact that
              when studying Mark and John we face opposite problems: the oldest
              manuscripts of John witness to a Gospel with two endings; the oldest
              manuscripts of Mark witness to a Gospel that lacks an ending.

              My point is that those two verses (Jn. 20: 30-31) can
              stand alone.

              I would disagree to this particular point. As a rule, a conclusion can never
              stand alone: it needs a text before it.

              This particular conclusion states that it is a conclusion to a book, and
              that the book tells signs made by Jesus. Therefore it is the conclusion to a
              narration.

              They may be placed where they are at the
              end of chapter 20 or virtually anywhere else we might
              want to suggest is the "earliest ending" of the
              proto-gospel or first draft of the Gospel or whatever
              we end up calling what we believe to be the oldest
              part of the text.

              To this I hearthily agree. I think it is now clear that I am not interested
              in proto-gospels.

              Is it not more sound from a scholarly point of view to
              challenge the redaction theory than to challenge the
              text as we have it? I stand with Culpepper (Anatomy,
              p. 49), Brown (Introduction p. 86) and Barrett (citing
              Lindars in The Gospel According to John Second
              Edition, p. 25) on this. Each of these scholars has
              theories about how the Gospel may have been redacted,
              but none of them conclude that it is possible to
              discern the earliest form of the text with any degree
              of certainty.

              I agree with your last sentence and with the scholars that you quote, Brown
              among them.

              I would like to note that I say a different thing when I say that chapter 21
              is a later addition. I can't think that any scholar would say that John 1-20
              is "the earliest form of the gospel". According to the scholars that you
              quote, we don't know with certainty about the earliest form of the Gospel.

              We know with certainty about the latest form, that is all of the Gospel. And
              I think that we can go back one step from that, to a Gospel that ended at
              John 20,31.

              Please note that Brown agrees with that, even if doubts that the earliest
              Gospel can be reconstructed.


              The redactor theories serve to explain how or why some
              of the material may have been incorporated into the
              Gospel, but they remain theories and cannot be used to
              isolate some of the material in the Gospel as we have
              it today from the rest of the material. These
              theories, therefore, are best used AFTER the text has
              been studied as a whole, not as a way of organizing
              the material BEFORE the study begins.

              I agree. My students first here about the process of redaction of the Gospel
              after some 12 classes about the structure of the Gospel as it stands.

              >
              > 2. John 21,24 says the the beloved disciple wrote
              > TAUTA. It is reasonable to think that TAUTA refers >
              to what comes before, that is to the Gospel as a
              > whole down to the first conclusion in John 20,30-31.

              I'm afraid I don't see your point. What you suggest
              is that the use of TAUTA makes it reasonable to say
              that this verse is the conclusion to the entire
              gospel, which you say ends with chapter 20.

              I don't say that the Gospel that we now have ends at chapter 20.

              I rather say that there is a conclusion at the end of chapter 20, and that
              we have to explain why the Gospel has two conclusions. Even more, John 21,25
              repeats that Jesus did more than what is told. From this I draw that John
              21,24 know John 20,30-31. This is true whether we hold that the same author
              wrote all of John or a different author wrote John 21.

              How do
              you conclude that TAUTA in 21: 24 refers to the
              material that ends at 20: 30-31 but not to the
              material preceding it in Jn. 21?

              There are reasons for that I presented as my points 3.1 to 3.6.

              As I see it Jn. 21: 24 is referring to Jn. 21: 23c,
              explaining that when Jesus is quoted saying, "If it is
              my will that he (IE: the disciple whom Jesus loved
              identified in 21: 20) remain (continue to abide) until
              I come, what is that to you?"

              It is as though the author(s) has (have) placed
              parentheses around the phrase (this is the disciple
              who is testifying to these things and has written
              them).

              I can't see the parenthesis. Would could that mean, if not that you suggest
              that 21,25 is by the same hand that writes 21,23? You may suggest it, but I
              see no reason to separate 21,24 from 21,25. According to the methodological
              reasons staed in my previous post, whoever affirms that part of a text
              belongs to a different author has to prove that. It is not enough to speak
              figuratively of parenthesis. I need a prove that 21,24 is from a different
              author than 21,25.

              Until a proof is given, I won't separate 21, from 21,25. And this lead to
              another strong reason to recognize that TAUTA refers to John 1-20 and not to
              21,23c. It is impossible to conceive that John ever ended in 21,23. We
              started with a Gospel with two conclusions, we can't go all the way to a
              Gospel that ends without a conclusion. This is why I think that we need to
              think of John 21 a unit that stands together. It comes after the first
              conclusion, and it ends with the second conclusion.

              The TAUTA, in other words, refers to Jesus'
              statement in 21: 23c, not necessarily to the entire
              Gospel.

              My position is not that it refers to the entire Gospel, but rather to John
              1-20. I already noted that John 20,30-31 refers to Joh 1-20 as "this book"
              that contains "signs". The signs are called TAUTA in 20,31. If, as noted
              above, John 21,25 knows John 20,30-31, it is consistent to interpret the
              reference to TAUTA as to the same things that are named TAUTA in 20,31.

              I see 21: 24 as the kind of language found at 19: 35.

              The two passages have similaritites, I concede that. If you can prove that
              they are from the same hand, then I will have to accept that they are an
              insertion from the author of John 21. But please note that 19,35 make no use
              of the first person plural, as John 21 does. I find in the use of the first
              person plural a reason to distinguish the author of John 21 from the author
              of John 1-20. That reason does not stand for 19,35.

              It is an assertion that the Beloved Disciple is the
              source of this witness. 21: 24 is not necessarily
              written BY that witness, but appears to have been
              written ABOUT the witness, who is the subject of a
              discussion between Peter and Judas in Jn. 21: 20 and
              following.

              You say that is not necessary that 21,24 is written BY that witness. I say
              it is impossible. If my statement is true, then it follows logically that
              also your statement is. It is impossible to hold my statement and deny your
              statement. I accept it.

              On the contrary, it is possible to maintain your statement and reject mine.
              This is why I took pains to prove that it is impossible that 21,24 could be
              written by that witness. See my 3.1-3.2.

              This goes to the theory as to the role of the BD in
              the composition of the Gospel. It seems right to me
              that the BD may have been the SOURCE of much of the
              material or could have been the AUTHORITY that
              influenced an entire community to develop the Gospel
              as we now have it, but that does not necessarily mean
              that a single author, the BD or anyone else, wrote the
              original manuscript or even the proto-gospel which was
              later redacted by one or more other writers.

              John 21,24 says indeed that the BD is the witness, and therefore the source
              of the account, in our language. But it goes on and says that he is the one
              who wrote these things: hO GRAPSAS TAUTA. I can't see how you could take at
              face value the the BD is the witness, and not that he is the writer. I
              understand that you have in mind a theory according to which the Gospel is
              written by many people. But I suggest that you should recognize that John 21
              doesn't share that theory. He could have said that HE witnessed and WE
              wrote. But he didn't.

              Of course, the "we" that speaks in chapter 21 also writes something,
              otherwise we couldn't read it. It writes chapter 21. I think my view is
              proved consistent. Whatever view we have if the BD and of the WE that write
              chapter 21, they are different voices. For "US" the BD is HE. The BD is
              dead, and WE are alive when writing. Yet the BD wrote, WE say. He wrote
              while he was still alive, of course.

              I'm assuming that you DO think that the material
              before Chapter 21 WAS written by the beloved disciple.
              Is that correct?
              >
              > 3.1. John 21,24 says that "we know that his witness
              > is true". The verb is in first plural, so that who->
              ever is speaking can be easily distinguished from
              > the beloved disciple, that is referred to in third
              > person: "he".

              In my reasoning, there would still be room for maintaining that the BD did
              not write materially 1-20, as long as hO GRAPSAS is accounted for. One
              should prove that the subject of the verb GRAFW could be the person who
              dictated a text, as Paul used to do, or the person that had it written, even
              if he didn't write that himself.

              The advocates of this position quote Pilate in John 19,22: hO GEGRAFA
              GEGRAFA. Now, Pilate would hardly write the titulus crucis himself. He would
              order somebody to write it.

              Is it likely that this happened with John 1-20? Whatever stance we take,
              what I staed above does not depend on it.

              This said, I would note that in John 19,22 or in the Pauline letters, the
              person who orders the text to be written is contemporary to the person that
              put the order into effect. Therefore I wouldn't subscribe to a theory that
              the redactor of the Gospel is later than the BD.

              And I wouldn't subscribe to any theory of a collective writer. Whatever
              secretary helped Paul, or whatever clerk or soldier wrote the inscription on
              the cross, he was not a group.

              As I've just pointed out, Jn. 19: 35 can be given that
              same value. If 21: 24 is evidence that a different
              hand wrote Chapter 21, is 19: 35 evidence that a
              different hand wrote Chapter 19 or Chapters 18 AND 19?
              If so, should we consider that a redactor wrote the
              passion narrative?

              Not so.

              First: John 19,35 makes no use of the WE that is the mark of chapter 21, and
              that distinguishes the author of chapter 21 from the BD, who is referred to
              as HE.

              Second, I tried to prove that 21,24 is NOT a parenthesis.

              It is still possible to maintain, as some scholars do, that John 19,35 is an
              insertion in the passion narrative. In my opinion, the solution to this
              depends on how tightly 19,35 is connected to what comes before and after it.
              I am still uncertain. I miss the WE form to be sure. Its absence makes it
              possible to maintain that 19,35 belongs to the texture of chapter 19.

              >
              > 3.2. If the person speaking were the same as the
              > author of John 1-20, he would be a person who >
              testifies on his own behalf. As John 5,31 says:
              > "If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony cannot
              > be verified".


              Jn. 5: 30-38 presents Jesus' own defense against the
              legal charge of blasphemy (Jn. 5: 18 "calling God his
              own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.") In
              5: 30-38 Jesus points his accusers to John the Baptist
              as a witness, but says that he does not need human
              testimony, because the works (that the Father had
              given Him to complete) testify on his behalf and the
              Father who sent Him "has himself testified on my
              behalf." In other words, Jesus sites two unassailable
              witnesses as required by Hebrew law to refute the
              legal charges against him.

              This doesn't change the need for two witnesses. Rather, the whole argument
              implies that two witnesses are needed, as one cannot bear witness to
              himself.

              Those who understand Jesus can see from his answer that the Father and Jesus
              are two persons.

              Those who do not understand Jesus have the witness of John the Baptist,
              which is stressed in John 1,19-34, and then again later.

              Therefore, until now, my point stands.

              If we understand that the beloved disciple has played
              an important role, even a central role in the creation
              of the Fourth Gospel, it would seem that the BD does
              not fall into the trap of testifying on his/her own
              behalf,

              He doesn't indeed. It's the author of John 21 that says that WE know that
              his witness his true, so that even after the BD is dead the readers of
              Gospel can hear two witnesses.

              because Jesus affirms the BD's testimony, even
              the BD's abiding presence in 21: 23

              Here I don't understand: do you mean that the discussion about the opinion
              spread among the disciples that the BD wouldn't die is written before or
              after he died?

              and the gospel
              itself is evidence of that disciple's faithfulness to
              the task entrusted to him (or her - as I have
              suggested in an exegesis of Jn. 12: 7 - See Let Her
              Keep It pp 247-252). Thus the witness of the BD has
              an authority similar to that of Jesus Himself!

              Raymond Brown did not think that we could know who the BD was. But the year
              he died I listened to a conference he gave in Rome, and he said that he
              didn't believe that, according to the Gospel, the BD could be a woman,
              because of John 19,26. Anyway, I am ready to recognize that this has no
              bearing on the discussion on the redaction of the Gospel. It is one thing to
              see in the BD the writer of the Gospel, hO GRAPSAS TAUTA, and another to
              pretend to know who the BD was.

              >
              > 3.3. John 21,20-23 says that Jesus didn't say that
              > the beloved disciple wouldn't die, contrary to the >
              word spread among the brothers. These verses make >
              sense if they were written after the death of the >
              beloved disciple: the author seems worried that >
              some brothers might think that Jesus was wrong.
              > Therefore the beloved disciple didn't write these
              > verses.

              As indicated above, I don't think one must attribute
              authorship of chapter 21 to the beloved disciple in
              order to consider chapter 21 to have been woven into
              the entire Gospel in a manner similar to the skillful
              way that other material was woven into the Gospel.

              Does this mean that you agree that the BD didn't write John 21?

              As to the similar way, it all depends on what you mean by similar. If you
              mean that the author of John 21 draws on John 1-20 and take some expressions
              from it, I agree.

              If you mean that the relationship is the same, then it is already apparent
              that I disagree.

              My
              theory is that an entire community of scholars
              (probably under the leadership, inspiration and
              authority of the beloved disciple) were involved in
              the composition and refinement of the gospel. You
              have found evidence that supports my theory. Thank
              you.

              I can't see that evidence. Even more, I can't see that books in the
              antiquity were written by a community. A text has an author, until the
              contrary is proven. I took pains to prove that John 21 is written by
              somebody else, and you find iut hard to believe. How can you believe that
              the authors are not only two, but rather an entire community?

              > 3.4. The fact that we find a conclusion in John
              > 20,30-31 make it plausible that once the Gospel
              > ended there, and chapter 21 was added subsequently.
              > The fact that the conclusion in 20,30-31 is not >
              modified when chapter 21 is added leads to think >
              that the author of John 21 didn't think he could >
              change what was already written. This doesn't
              > happen in John 1-20, whenever the test is modified.
              > For instance, in chapter 4,2 a correction is
              > inserted within the text. The author of John 21 >
              doesn't take the same liberty.

              I understand you to be asserting that Jn. 4:2 is a
              redaction of an earlier text. Is there a manuscript
              extant of this pericope that does not include what I
              assume you see as the inserted phrase (vs. 2)? I'm
              not aware of one (which doesn't mean there isn't one);
              are you?

              Absent such a manuscript, why couldn't this be a style
              used by the original writer: a clarification for the
              reader offered to prevent any confusion caused by what
              Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, a rumor
              (namely: "Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples
              than John")?

              I never wrote that I maintain that John 4,2 is by a different author. I
              won't believe it is by another hand until that is proven.

              The text is a correction, granted. I take it as a prove that John 1-20
              underwent a process of redaction. Nothing more than that.

              We are familiar with such correction in dissertations: the authors feels the
              need to clarify what he had previously written, and add a corrections
              instead of rewriting entirely his paragraph. He should do, because he has a
              computer. Even so, I don't accuse the author of having somebody else write
              his dissertation.

              As for the ancient authors, we can hardly blame for adding some expalantory
              notes to their own text. They couldn't rewrite entirely their text without
              wasting much time and much money.

              The clarification is consistent with the theology of
              the gospel, namely that as the disciples were abiding
              in Jesus, as he was abiding in them, they were able to
              bear fruit. Otherwise they were not able to do
              anything (Jn. 15: 4-5).

              The verse above can be understood by readers of the
              Gospel to mean "The Disciples of Jesus are making and
              baptizing more disciples than John," but it would not
              be expected that the Pharisees would have understood
              that fine theological point.

              When the disciples bring people to Jesus and those
              people become disciples, Christ abides in them. When
              they baptize others, it is the Christ abiding in them
              that baptizes. That's confusing if not explained.

              I agree with that.

              This of course is meaning that the reader of the
              gospel gains after contemplating the meaning of the
              entire text; it would not be expected that a Pharisee,
              hearing the rumor, would have been able to "see" this
              meaning. The writer is helping the reader distinguish
              between what the words appear to mean to the
              uninitiated reader and what they can mean to those who
              have expounded upon the meaning of each part of the
              text and upon the gospel as a whole.

              My first language is Italian, and I am uncertain as to your meaning. Do you
              mean "expounded" or "expanded"?

              For the rest, it poses no problem to me, and can be maintained whether the
              author is one or many.

              >
              > 3.5. Chapter 21 names some disciples that are never
              > named before: that is, the sons of Zebedee. It is >
              striking that they are never named in John 1-20.
              > Whatever the reason, it no longer stands when John
              > 21 was written.
              >
              You may have noted that the Gospel of John does not
              list twelve names to identify the disciples. The
              names of James and John are not listed in the Gospel
              of John specifically. Only Peter, Thomas, Judas and
              Nathaniel are mentioned more than once. The fact that
              the Sons of Zebedee are mentioned only in Chapter 21
              does not suggest that chapter 21 was written by a
              redactor or that this chapter was necessarily added to
              the corpus of the text after all of the other chapters
              were written. Philip is only mentioned in Jn. 1: 45.
              Should we consider that reference an indication that
              the pericope in which he is named (Jn. 1: 43-51) is
              the work of a redactor?

              Not indeed. I can't follow you here. Philip is mentioned in John 1:43; 1:44;
              1:45; 1:46; 1:48; 6:5; 6:7; 12:21; 12:22; 14:8; 14:9.

              But let us suppose a character is named only in chapter 1, as Nathanael is.
              We have agreed to take the Gospel as it stands. If so, the reader starts in
              chapter 1, and is acquainted with Nathanael since the beginning. The
              exchange between Jesus and Nathanael leads directly into the signs, and
              announces them. Jesus says to Nathanael: MEIZW TOUTWN OPSHi. The following
              scene has Nathanael see the first sign together with the other disciples. So
              Nathanael is woven into the narrative and can't be taken away from it.

              On the other hand, when the reader reaches the conclusion in 20,30-31, he
              still hasn't heard of the sons of Zebedee. Either they are unimportant to
              the writer and he forgets about them, or he avoids them on purpose, or both.
              Depending on your answer, you will have to recognize that either they are
              important to the writer of John 21, or he mentions them on purpose, or both.


              > 3.6. Chapter 21 uses 174 different words. 27 of them
              > are not existent in John 1-20. For instance, in >
              chapter 6 fish is OPSARION. ICQUS is never
              > used. Chapter 21 uses ICQUS. It is unlikely that
              > the author of John 21 is the same as the author of >
              John 1-20.

              Chapter 21, you say, uses 174 words. 147 of those
              words (nearly 98%)are also used in John 1-20.

              My mathematics is different. To me, 147 is 75-76% of 174. This means that
              24-25% of the words of John 21 are not used in John 1-20.

              An example of what these words are can be significant: fish is called in
              John 6 OPSARION. ICQUS is never used in John 1-20. John 21 quotes the same
              word OPSARION, but also adds the word ICQUS, that in the meanwhile has
              become significant for Christians.

              Again,
              you are assuming that the entire Gospel was written by
              a single hand and is the witness of a single soul.

              I assume this, because it is correct to assume this until the contrary is
              proven.

              I understand that your hypothesis is dear to you, and I don't want to
              inflict pain, but isn't it possible that you grew accustomed to look at the
              Gospel from that standpoint, and take it for granted?

              Consider the possibility that the Gospel is the
              product of a community of faithful scholars inspired
              by the witness and authority of one beloved disciple
              of Jesus. Some differences are to be expected as the
              work of separate scholars is woven into the text,
              perhaps by the leader or leaders of the community (the
              BD and others).

              In my opinion, you need to make a choice.

              If there is one redactor, or another natural number of redactors (whose
              existence you will need to prove), then as long as he writes (or n redactors
              write), what he writes will reflect his idiolect and his style.

              If there is no finite number of redactor, than not only some differences are
              to be expected, but no idiolect or style can be recognized at all. If you
              take this position, then whatever inconsistency arises can be solved saying
              that this depends on the multiple authors. And you can't avoid a paradox:
              whether you like it or not, your interpretation will fall into subjectivism,
              just as those scholars that split the Gospel into hypotethical sources.

              One example: did Jesus baptize or not? Some of your author thought he did.
              Some thought he didn't. Both group wove their opinion into the Gospel. Who
              are we to say who's right? Because if somebody corrected somebody else, then
              we can accept the first opinion as well as the second.

              >
              > I think that 3.1-2 are the strongest reasons, that
              > give me certainty. I recognise that the following >
              reasons are indiciary. If consiered separately,
              > they make it more likely that the author is
              > different. All together, they make a strong case >
              against identity of author.

              They make a case against the identity of a single
              author having written the entire Gospel. I would
              argue that there are several parts of the Gospel that
              would illustrate that same point.

              Barrett, for example, has wondered about the
              authorship of chapters 11 and 12 in which Lazarus
              appears, though he appears nowhere else in the Gospel
              of John or in any other Gospel except in one of Jesus'
              parables in The Gospel According to Luke. This is the
              only parable in which Jesus names a character. (Does
              that suggest that a redactor added it to the Gospel
              According to Luke?)

              The Prologue is widely accepted as a different kind of
              writing than is found in other parts of the Gospel
              (but then the farewell discourse material is different
              from the Gospel of signs and the passion narrative
              seems to have more in common with the Synoptics than
              any other part of the Fourth Gospel.)

              In short, the Gospel of John defies categorization.
              If we are looking for a single author, or hoping to
              separate the work of one author from that of others, I
              suspect the effort will be largely fruitless, even
              though we can see that there are differences. Those
              differences are woven into a single fabric which
              cannot be unraveled without harming or even destroying
              the tapestry that proclaims our faith so powerfully.
              >
              > I would be very interested to read a refutation of
              > any of the given reasons.
              >
              Marco, I have found responding to your reasons to be a
              stimulating exercise. I look forward to your response
              to my refutations and the continuation of our
              dialogue. I hope others on the list will contribute
              to the dialogue as well.

              Yours in Christ's service,
              Tom Butler

              I thank you, too, for this opportunity. It very interesting to challenge our
              own assumption, and try to reason them.

              Yours in Christ

              Marco Fabbri


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Tom Butler
              Marco, Thank you for your eloquent and rapid reply to my response to your list of reasons for asserting that Jn. 21 was written by a redactor. Like you, I
              Message 6 of 21 , Dec 29, 2006
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                Marco,

                Thank you for your eloquent and rapid reply to my
                response to your list of reasons for asserting that
                Jn. 21 was written by a redactor. Like you, I will
                respond with a brief note, perhaps to be followed by a
                more careful and systematic defense of my assertions
                when time allows.

                Thank you for clarifying your intention and
                understanding of the role that source criticism plays
                in the study of the Gospel of John. I appreciate your
                watch analogy very much. It works well as a defense
                against the fairly common assumption or practice that
                disassembling the Fourth Gospel is a necessary first
                step toward understanding it.

                Your analogy of the watch gives rise in my mind to
                the effort made by physicians to understand how the
                human body works by studying cadavers. While being
                able to describe the relationship between the organs
                and pose theories about how each one functions,
                physicians have long been frustrated in trying to
                describe what it is that makes the whole organism
                live.

                I suspect much more will be learned as the study of
                the human body continues into the future by those who
                have developed ways to see the live organs
                functioning, even down to the cellular level.
                Studying the Gospel of John as a whole and living
                document is much more satisfying than trying to reduce
                it to a skeleton, then replacing its parts as their
                function becomes clear or as a theory develops that
                offers an explanation of why each part is where it is
                in the body of the text as we have it.

                A brief word of explanation is due regarding my
                contention that multiple authors have contributed to
                The Fourth Gospel. I am fascinated by Culpepper's
                theory that the Gospel emerged as a work in progress
                from a school. The most likely first century school,
                in my opinion, from which such a product as the Fourth
                Gospel could have emerged is a rabbinical school using
                the Midrash method.

                I begin from the assertion that the first generation
                of Christians were almost entirely Jewish, and that
                the first Christian theologians were most likely
                trained in rabbinical schools, using the method most
                popularly used to develop the ability of student
                rabbis to expound upon the meaning of the Hebrew
                Scriptures: the Midrash method, which I define simply
                as the challenge of expounding on the meaning of
                scripture by using the language of scripture.

                The source material most often used in this method
                is the Torah. I suspect, given that the Gospel is
                written in Greek, that the Septuagint version of the
                Torah was the primary source.

                The challenge to the school would have been to
                expound upon the meaning of the Jesus tradition using
                the (Greek version) language of the Torah. That is
                where the signs originate.

                My burden of proof, as you have reminded me, is to
                show that numerous different authors have contributed
                to the content of the Fourth Gospel. I believe that
                the "different hands" that can be identified in the
                text are not necessarily the work of a final redactor,
                but simply indicators that multiple authors
                contributed to the document we now have. (In other
                words, I am moving in a direction opposite to the one
                being taken by those who are trying to identify the
                hand of the redactor in order to "see" the "original"
                text, assuming that this "original" text was a whole
                organism before the redactor began tinkering with it.
                My starting point is the assumption that the various
                components of the text were separate units, originally
                composed by different authors before being linked
                together as one Gospel.)
                The Jesus tradition was, at the end of the first and
                beginning of the second century CE, both written and
                oral. I can imagine that the Midrash reflections upon
                that tradition began as oral commentaries (like oral
                finals in a modern graduate school), but that they
                were written as the community, under the inspired
                leadership of the Beloved Disciple, recognized the
                profound level of truth being revealed in them. These
                written components would have been carefully guarded,
                studied and used by the community of scholars as they
                worked together to refine each component before
                writing that edited component, tentatively, into the
                body of the emerging text, a role most likely
                carefully overseen by, if not actually composed by the
                small number of key leaders of the community,
                including the Beloved Disciple and an Elder of the
                community. The emerging text then became the basic
                tool used to train students in what we would now call
                theological reflection.

                The easiest place to begin to offer the proof for
                this theory is with the Lazarus story, recognizing
                that its inspiration most likely comes from the
                parable told by Jesus according to the Gospel of Luke.
                The Johannine Lazarus story, of course, is an
                elaboration that goes far beyond the parable, while
                still addressing the basic themes of death and
                resurrection. In the Fourth Gospel this story plays a
                pivotal role as a sort of denuement, making the
                transition from the Book of Signs to the Book of
                Glory.

                You ask why there are no signs in the Book of
                Glory. I believe there are signs in the Book of
                Glory, but they are not as obviously placed as in the
                Book of Signs. Essentially the Book of Signs is a
                primer for the community, designed to train students
                to find the signs, understand the context from which
                they were taken (usually the Torah, but occasionally
                from other parts of the Septuagint) and then apply
                their meaning to the Johannine context in order to
                offer a theological reflection on the meaning of that
                part of the Jesus tradition.

                The Book of Glory requires that the students have
                already completed that basic course in expounding upon
                the meaning of the tradition themselves, so that their
                minds and souls can receive the reflections offered by
                Jesus (according to the witness of the Beloved
                Disciple?) to His own (followers) on the meaning of
                His ministry and passion.

                I have done some work on the use of the word "hour"
                in the text of the Gospel. I believe that the 24
                places where that word is used constitute markers at
                the end of portions of the material where readers were
                encouraged to contemplate the material they had just
                read in order to discern the signs therein and
                therefore to delve more deeply into the meaning of
                what they had read. With some trepidation I find
                myself disagreeing with Brown, who contends that there
                is no reason to believe that the use of "hour" (ora)
                is a component in the structure of the Gospel!

                My study will be called "A Day with Jesus," because
                I believe the 24 "hours" constitute one mystical day
                in which those who seek to abide with Jesus may come
                to know that Christ abides within them.

                Well, I said I would be brief. Apparently my
                intention to be brief has failed. Obviously defending
                my thesis will require much more detail and scholarly
                effort. I appreciate your challenge to bear the
                burden of proof. A critical ear is an essential tool
                to the shaping of any theory. Your time and attention
                are extremely valuable to me. Thank you for offering
                what you have offered so far. If you choose to
                continue the dialogue, I pray that we will both grow
                through the exchange, and that others may choose to
                engage in the discussion with us.

                Yours in Christ's service,
                Tom Butler

                --- "Marco V. Fabbri" <mv.fabbri@...> wrote:

                > Tom,
                >
                > thank you for your reply. You promised it, and you
                > kept your promise.
                >
                > I will write a short anwer, first, because there was
                > some misunderstanding.
                > I am not trying to divide the Gospel into a number
                > of preexisting
                > documents. I am just trying to understand the
                > Gospel as we have it. There
                > is no need to persuade me of the shortcomings of
                > documentary theories,
                > because I am already persuaded.
                >
                > When I teach John, I start by studying the Gospel as
                > a whole, in order to
                > find its structure. Only when I know the structure,
                > I am able to recognize
                > some part of the text as not belonging to the
                > structure.
                >
                > The man that opens his watch and separates his
                > components can learn
                > something about how it works. However, if he wants
                > the watch to work, he
                > needs to know how to put the pieces together again.
                > If he thinks that some
                > pieces have no purpose, it doesn't mean that they
                > haven't, but that he
                > doesn't know what their purpose is. And if he is not
                > prepared to learn that,
                > his watch wont't ever work as it was meant to work,
                > or it won't work at all.
                >
                > When I look at John 20,30-31, and notice that it
                > speaks about signs, and
                > look for the signs in the Gospel, and noticed that
                > they are confined to John
                > 2-12, I am not saying that the rest does not belong
                > to the original Gospel.
                > I am trying to understand the Gospel as it stands,
                > and I as a legitimate
                > question: why are there no "signs" in John 13-20?
                > What is the function of
                > those chapters? Here I accept the contributions from
                > Dodd, who noticed the
                > importance of the coming of the "hour" of Jesus, and
                > from Brown, who
                > recognizes the importance of "glory" in those
                > chapters, and calls them "the
                > book of glory".
                >
                > That being my stance, I think that whoever affirms
                > that a part of the
                > Gospel, whether it be a verse or a chapter, has been
                > added later, he takes
                > on himself the burden of proof. If he also maintains
                > that the added part has
                > been written by a different author, he takes on
                > himself an additional burden
                > of proof. This is why I took pains to prove a later
                > origin of John 21. We
                > can discuss my reasons, but I think that we agree
                > that I need to prove my
                > point. If I can't, then I have to admit that John 21
                > is by the same hand as
                > the rest of the Gospel, until somebody else can
                > prove the point.
                >
                > As to the content of the reasons, you say that you
                > refuted them. On my part,
                > I don't agree, and I still think that the point is
                > proved, as do the
                > commentaries that you quote. But there are no
                > discussions that are closed on
                > the authority of anybody. Therefore, I wont' try to
                > defend my option and
                > pass judgement at the same time. Maybe I will engage
                > in discussion later.
                >
                > Before that, I will raise a more general point. I
                > think we agree that
                > whoever affirms that different authors are at work
                > has to prove that. If so,
                > how can you assume that the Fourth Gospel is the
                > work of a plurality of
                > authors? It seems to me that you take on yourself a
                > heavy burden of proof.
                >
                > Since the time I wrote the text you are answering
                > to, I wrote on this same
                > list that I don't believe that written texts in the
                > antiquity were written
                > by many people at the same time. There was no way
                > that a text could be
                > shared by many unless it was first written by one,
                > then copied, then
                > distributed, then read. And again, any intervention
                > by others wouldn't be
                > known unless it was copied by hand, then
                > distributed, then read.
                >
                > Mind me, I don't deny that an author can draw from
                > oral tradition, of from
                > the decisions of a council, or whatever else. I
                > maintain, however, that
                > writing was a job that was done by one person at a
                > time. This is why,
                > whenever a scholar affirms joint authorship, he has
                > to prove it. He can't
                > assume it. So, I believe that I am right when I
                > assume that John has been
                > written by an individual, until the contrary is
                > proven. I never read a proof
                > that a group wrote the Gospel. I read some proofs
                > that a different author
                > wrote chapter 21, as is maintains by most modern
                > scholars.
                >
                > Marco Fabbri

                <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=system color=#0000ff>Yours in Christ's service,</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
                <DIV><STRONG><EM><FONT face=System color=#0000ff>Tom Butler</FONT></EM></STRONG></DIV>
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