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Re: Image of a man embedded in the structure

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  • 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 1 of 21 , Nov 28, 2006
      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 2 of 21 , Dec 28, 2006
        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 3 of 21 , Dec 29, 2006
          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 4 of 21 , Dec 29, 2006
            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 5 of 21 , Dec 29, 2006
              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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