Re: [John_Lit] Re: On the dating of John
----- Original Message -----
From: "deanf4545" <decanus84@...>
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2009 3:35 PM
Subject: [John_Lit] Re: On the dating of John
>> The Gospel of John is attributed only by tradition in the
>> 2nd century to Yohanan bar Zebedee but Yohanan (Jesus' cousin) appears to
>> have been killed about the same time as his older cousin Yaqub (James,
>> Just), Jesus' brother, in the "roundup"of 62 CE.
> Some very interesting ideas in your post, and much to think about. Thanks.
> My thesis spent quite a bit of time trying to demonstrate that the 2nd
> century tradition didn't identify their 'John' as the son of Zebedee
> (drawing partly off of the work of Jean Colson and Bauckham); and I also
> think the son of Zebedee was killed in Jerusalem, some time before the
> destruction of the city.
>> This association as the
>> leaders conforms to Josephus...and xx.ix.1 is NOT interpolated or
>> edited....who records, "....so he (Ananus, the High Priest) assembled the
>> Sanhedrin of Judges and brought before them the brother of Jesus,
>> Christ, whose name was James, AND SOME OTHERS, [some of his companions]
>> when he had formed an accusation against THEM as breakers of the law, he
>> delivered THEM to be stoned.
> I find that a puzzling passage, and have considered the view that the
> passage originally referred to James the brother of Jesus, the son of
> Damneus, though I came across that in a very dated work (Lardner) and
> haven't been able to find any modern discussions of it.
I do not doubt that Josephus is referring to Ananus'....I call it
murder...of Yaqub bar Yahosef (haTsaddik), Jesus' brother in 62 CE and not
to a brother of Jesus, son of Damnaios. The use of "Jesus, so-called
Christ" is an indication that Josephus mentioned Jesus earlier and that the
Testimonium Flavianum was originally Josephan but redacted, probably by
>> John of Patmos using either a Greek translation of the original
>> Aramaic document or translating it himself, uses it as a skeleton around
>> which he constructs the much larger, semi-Gnostic and theological GREEK
>> Gospel of John...
> I tend to think that the Asian tradition of the second century was
> probably generally accurate, since Polycarp and Papias knew John, and the
> latter of these at least (and the former if we can trust Irenaeus)
> associated their John the Elder with the Beloved Disciple (but Papias at
> least apparently distinguishes this John from the son of Zebedee).
> Therefore I tend to think that John the Elder was the original Aramaic
> (oral) source, and that the Gospel was put together by an amanuensis, who
> wrote the concluding chapter as well (though I've never heard your view
> before - and it certainly does fit as an ending to Mark).
My tendency is that John the Elder may have been one of the "seventy" or a
Greek speaking member of the Stephen community who may or may not have seen
Jesus in his youth but was in Palestine. He may have acquired a copy of the
Aramaic proto-John at that time. Proto-John may have contained the "Signs"
material written by John Zebedee and attested at John 21:24-25. If John 21
was originally Markan, the source for this was Peter who was a witness to
this. The seams and the lexical and syntactic Aramaic interference to
Johannine Greek present in large sections makes it not too difficult to
extract and retrovert the original Aramaic document. John the Elder was
later identified with John Zebedee so the Ephesus community could have their
own Apostle, very important to early Christian communities who were not
above making it up as they went along. I think Papyrus Egerton 2 may have
an ancestry to Aramaic John.
>> In Mark, Peter denies Jesus three times. In John (21:15-17) Peter
>> his love three times.
> I'd never noticed this before - nor the fact that Galilee was mentioned at
> the end of Mark, etc, but that the Galilean appearance is found in John.
> Food for thought.
>> There is also a connection
>> between John and Mark's use of imperfects, the rare use of "de" and
>> use of kai, the partitive APO in 21:10 used by Mark at 5:35, 6:43, 7:4
> Do you have - or do you know of - anything published on this?
Matthew Black, An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts.
Joseph Fitzmyer, The Semitic Background of the New Testament
Maurice Casey, Aramaic Sources of Mark's Gospel
C. F. Burney, The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel
>> I would be interested in reading your article, Dean.
> Sure, though it is probably a far more 'conservative' approach than you
> would agree with (though rejecting Zebedean authorship), but if you want
> to take a read, I am happy to send it.
Please do. Can you attach it to e-mail?
San Antonio, TX
> Dean Furlong
> BA Classics, May 2009 (expected), CU Boulder.
> (pardon the change of email and user name - a precaution to avoid spam).
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- Hi, Jack, thanks for responding.
I have too many problems -- that others have already spelled out -- with John the Apostle/John son of Zebedee being the author, or even the source, for 4G. John's Gospel has no mention of the sons of Zebedee except in ch.21, where there are also two unnamed disciples, presumably the BD is one.
John's Gospel has no mention of the "calling" of J bar Z, but Bauckham makes a case (with which I concur for additional reasons) for identifying the unnamed man who, with Andrew, stayed with Jesus in Jn. 1 as the BD. Then there is the paucity of Galilean material in 4G, the opposite of what one would expect if Galilean J bar Z were the source.
A minor point, 4G has no interest in the Twelve, as representing or ruling the Twelve Tribes, while in the Synoptics, the Zebedee boys are members of the Twelve and supposedly quite interested in who gets the best seats at Jesus' table. I can imagine J bar Z, if he were the source of 4G, omitting mention of his youthful indiscretion, but completely ignoring the institution of the Twelve? Don't think so. And if Mark is critical of Peter, John doesn't exactly build him up.
I agree that the author's/source's first language was Aramaic, but that's consistent with a number of options, including the one I favor, that he was from a priestly family living in Judea, and not a Galilean.
--- In email@example.com, "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@...> wrote:
> Hi Kevin:
> I haven't read Bauckham yet butthe book is in the mail from Amazon. Your
> position is close to mine in that I believe Johnny Zebedee, a "baby cousin"
> of Jesus, was the BD and was the author of a primitive Aramaic
> narrative/gospel that predated Mark (50's CE) and was inimical to Peter. I
> think the first edition of Mark was a response and that John the Elder took
> Johnny Zeb's Aramaic narrative or a Greek translation of it, and wrote 4G
> around 95 CE. I think the Aramaic background of 4G and the lexical and
> syntactic Aramaic interference in the Greek is a support for this. The BD
> of the Johnny Zeb source document appears to be BD status in translation for
> Johnny Elder.
> If this is true, the 4th Gospel is the only Gospel written in part by a
> Jack Kilmon
> San Antonio, TX