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[John_Lit] Re: On the dating of John

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  • deanf4545
    ... I don t understand why it is so fashionable to dismiss early tradition: I work off the assumption that early and widespread tradition is more likely than
    Message 1 of 39 , Apr 19, 2009
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      --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Anderson" <panderso@...> wrote:
      >
      > Important subjects, here; I find most recent discussions of Johannine authorship rather flimsy in their argumentation, often building on a weak platform that has no primitive substantiation.

      I don't understand why it is so fashionable to dismiss early tradition: I work off the assumption that early and widespread tradition is more likely than not to be trustworthy.

      >
      > Could someone suggest any compelling evidence that John died at the same times as his brother James? Neither Philip of Sides (5th C) nor George the Sinner (9th C) suggest that explicitly, and neither does the reference to Papias' confirming that both sons of Zebedee had suffered martyrdom; he was simply referring to the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus in Mark 10. Does anyone really believe that Jesus' predicting that James and John would suffer martyrdom proves that John died before 50 CE, when there is no explicit reference to it in ancient literature? Go ahead and believe it, but it seems to me a modern fiction rather than sound critical scholarship. Schnackenburg was not impressed by it, and rightly so.
      >

      John's martyrdom shows up in the martyrologies, and was probably originally in Papias. Jerome preserves a tradition that John of Ephesus, the Beloved Disciple, died peacefully at Ephesus (and indeed he tries to reconcile this with Jesus' words concerning his martyrdom). It isn't much, but if we recognize that the Asian tradition not only did not see their John as the son of Zebedee, but that their statements exclude it (as shown by Jean Colson and Richard Bauckham), then we have no certain knowledge of what happened to the son of Zebedee besides what we find in Philip Sidetes etc.


      > A careful reading of Charles Hill's treatment of second century opinion regarding the Johannine writings will have important implications here, as well.
      >

      Hill's work is sure to turn over a lot of sacred cows, but I think it suffers from one weakness, which is that he assumes that the Asia John was the son of Zebedee (something Colson and Bauckham, as noted, I think demolish). Hill suggests [Charles E. Hill, The Johannine Corpus in the Early Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 110] that Irenaeus, despite having known Polycarp and having read Papias, was mistaken to state that Papias was a hearer of John the Beloved; another suggestion (and to me more likely) is that Eusebius was wrong in assuming that Irenaeus held the Beloved John to be the son of Zebedee. In light of Bauckham and Colson's work showing the likelihood of the Asian John being outside the twelve (e.g. Papias's distinction between two Johns), I think the fault lies with Eusebius.


      Dean Furlong, BA Classics (May 2009), CU Boulder.
    • Kevin Snapp
      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
      Message 39 of 39 , Apr 24, 2009
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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.

        Best,
        Kevin Snapp
        Chicago

        --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.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
        > disciple.
        >
        > Jack
        >
        > Jack Kilmon
        > San Antonio, TX
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