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Re: [John_Lit] Re: On the dating of John

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  • Gary Manning
    Jeffery Hodges observations about life span are important. It may well be that 40 years was the average life span, but we have to use that carefully. First, a
    Message 1 of 39 , Apr 20, 2009
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      Jeffery Hodges' observations about life span are important. It may well be that 40 years was the average life span, but we have to use that carefully. First, a 40-year old would not be considered an old man just because half the population might die before that age. Jesus' opponents considered 50 to still not really be old (John 8:57). "Old" would mean someone with gray hair, not just someone about to die from a mid-life disease.

      Second, Jeffery is right about the meaning of 40-year life span. Even excluding infant mortality, the majority of deaths due to disease and war strike earlier in life. This website (http://www.utexas.edu/depts/classics/documents/Life.html), based on reputable published texts on Roman demography, shows that the longer you lived in the ancient world, the more likely it was that you would make it into your 60s or 70s. For example,
      a newborn had only a life expectancy of 25,
      a 10-year old could expect to live to 51,
      a 20-year old could expect to live to 54
      a 30-year old could expect to live to 59,
      a 40-year old could expect to live to 63,
      a 50-year old could expect to live to 67.

      In fact, about 12% of the Roman population made it past 55, and 2.2% made it to age 70.

      The data in this study does not include information past 76, but it is quite possible that some first-century people lived to be 100. Some of the people who live to age 100 today have had remarkably little modern medical care, especially during their first 30 years.

      None of this is proof that any particular John lived into his 90s or beyond, but it means that we can't dismiss it based on statistics, either. Remember J.D. Crossan's insistence that Jesus and the disciples must have been illiterate, merely because most Roman peasants were illiterate?

      Gary
      _______________________________________
      Gary Manning, Ph.D.
      http://eutychusnerd.blogspot.com/

      Associate Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages
      Interim Academic Dean
      Pacific Rim Bible College
      http://www.prbc-hawaii.edu/


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Horace Jeffery Hodges
      To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 9:40 AM
      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Re: On the dating of John





      Jack, about this statement:

      "I said the mean life expectency for a male in 1st century Palestine was 40. Obviously some lived longer . . . . but not to age 100."

      I often read such generalizations about life expectancy in the past, but what evidence are they based upon and what do they mean?

      Average life expectancy would be rather short if many infants and young children, and that was the case prior to modern medical care, but this average would not tell us how long those who reached adulthood might expect to live.

      Could somebody clarify this for me?

      Jeffery Hodges

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • 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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