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[John_Lit] Re: On the dating of John

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  • Kevin Snapp
    Thanks, Dean, You confirm what I thought was the case, that the single mention in Irenaeus is the only evidence we have that John lived as late as the reign of
    Message 1 of 39 , Apr 24, 2009
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      Thanks, Dean,

      You confirm what I thought was the case, that the single mention in Irenaeus is the only evidence we have that John lived as late as the reign of Trajan, although others mention his living to old age, or an unusually old age. I had heard of traditions that John/BD was younger than the other disciples, although that could have been a conjecture based on his being the last to die. I think I also remember reading that someone identified him with the "youth" of Mark 14:51-52, who has also been identified as John Mark and/or author of Mark -- put them together and you have the absurd result that the same author wrote both Mark and John!

      I wouldn't associate the youth's "sindon" with priestly garments. Priests wore linen, but wore an undergarment, a long shirt with sleeves, and a long girdle or sash around the chest -- if I read Josephus correctly.

      The "sindon" appears to be simply a long piece of linen cloth; in Matthew, Joseph of Arimathea uses one to wrap Jesus' body. I speculate (perhaps this has been suggested in the literature) that pilgrims purchased them to wear when they visited the Temple; their clothes would have been (or presumed to be) ritually unclean, so after immersion they would have wrapped themselves in a "sindon" before entering the Temple if they hadn't purchased (or couldn't afford) new, uncontaminated clothing for the occasion. But outside the Temple, it would be unusual for someone to be wearing only a "sindon," and Mark's using the word "naked" (gymnos) twice points to that. So I wouldn't infer from his wearing a "sindon" that the youth was a priest.

      Mark's "youth" is another interesting mystery. I think any explanation of who he was, or who the BD was, needs to account for his anonymity. And in the case of Mark's "youth," I think there needs to be some explanation of why he is even mentioned.

      Best,
      Kevin Snapp
      Chicago

      --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "deanf4545" <decanus84@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Kevin,
      >
      > Papias speaks of two Johns - the son of Zededee and the elder John. If you accept the latter as the Beloved Disciple, then that is evidence that John lived beyond the age of the original disciples (whom he speaks of in a tense prior to the one he speaks of the elder John and Ariston in).
      >
      > Then there is the tradition that Polycarp was appointed a bishop by John (e.g. Tertullian, Praescr. haer. 32).
      >
      >
      > Jerome gives a tradition that "The blessed John the Evangelist lived in Ephesus until extreme old age." (Comm. Galatians)
      >
      > That's about the only direct evidence I could find. There is some further indirect evidence that John was relatively young when he followed Jesus.
      >
      > A Peshitto codex, completed in 1749, but transcribed from a parent manuscript of the mid-eighth century, contains the following subscription to the Gospel of John:
      >
      > The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
      > the preaching of John the Younger.
      >
      > [Robert Eisler, The Enigma of the Fourth Gospel (London: Methuen, 1938), 24; B. W. Bacon, "John and the Pseudo-Johns," Zeitschrift fr die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der lteren Kirche 31 (1932): 132-133.]
      >
      > According to Eisler, Ambrose, bishop of Milan, claimed to have read that the beloved John was "a youth" (adolescens), and Jerome tells us that he had read in certain "ecclesiastical histories" (ecclesiasticae historiae) that John was a mere boy (puer), the youngest (minimus) of all Apostles. Eisler, 50.
      >
      > "John the younger" is also spoken of in the fifth-century Syrian fragments of the Six Books, which record some of the early traditions about Mary's dormition. This John is seen alongside Peter and Paul, but he does not have a significant role in the account, and the story of Mary's death and assumption is told from the vantage point of James. [Stephen J. Shoemaker, Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition and Assumption (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 370-1.]
      >
      > I see John as a young man when Jesus died - no more than 20 years of age (though possibly older, if he was the young man who fled naked with the linen garment - the clothing of a priest).
      >
      > 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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