Re: [John_Lit] John and Paul
- Hi Pete,
I'm responding in large part because I would hate you to feel your query had been overlooked (or even hijacked! <smile>) rather than because I have much in the way of substantial comment to offer.
A brief review of my personal library turns up very little indeed. I can offer only the observation (and I'm sure it won't be a revelation to you) that Johannine scholars seem to make very few reference to Paul, and only then in order to make a point about theological parallels/distinctives or relative chronology. There is, however, no substantial dealing with their inter-relationship that I could find. I will say that one thing did strike me: given that the same literature goes to some effort to deal with the relation of Johannine and other contemporary thought forms (Jewish, gnostic, etc) it's curious that it virtually ignores any relation between Johannine and Pauline thought.
If you don't mind waiting a few days, I've sent an e-mail to an acquaintance who's better informed than me and I'll let you know if he is able to suggest anything.
As it stands, it appears somewhat virgin territory ripe for exploration. As such I can offer very little insight - only I didn't, as I say, want you to feel you had been overlooked.
I'll be back in touch if I my acquaintance can provide any clues.
Pastor, East Camberwell Baptist Church, Victoria, Australia
Post-Grad Student (MTh), Australian College of Theology
PHILLIPS P.M. wrote:
> Many thanks for the comments on John and the Beloved Disciple as Paul
> (!!!!!!) and all that...
> But my question was whether anyone has specific suggestions for some
> research on John and Paul - it wasn't related at all to me thinking that
> Paul was the BD or that they went out for tea one night or that they
> were related through Auntie Susannah down in Antioch...sorry, nice
> diversionary conversations (although completely untestable or provable)
> If anyone has any specific bibliographic suggestions on texts which deal
> with the relationship between Johannine Literature and Pauline
> Literature, I'd still be glad to hear of it.
> Pete Phillips
> Director of Research
> CBLC, St John's College, Durham
> Int: 43896
> Ext: 0191 334 3896
> Mob: 0787 633 7157
> Skype: pete.m.phillips
I'm enjoying catching up on this string of e-mail exchanges in which you
are engaged. You are asking some interesting questions about the Fourth Gospel,
and you have some interesting theories about how to answer those questions. I
believe that such an approach is what gives life to the serious study of the
Bible and in particular to the study of the Fourth Gospel.
I subscribe to the theory that may offer an explanation for
the similarities between the writings of Paul, the synoptic Gospels and the
Fourth Gospel. That theory is that a community of scholars formed during the
first century soon after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. These world
class scholars of the Hebrew Scriptures, especially of the Torah, were also
Jewish Christians. I suspect that such a community of scholars was busily at
work recording the passion narrative and then building a larger narrative that
was intended to maintain all of the wisdom of the more ancient Scriptures, while
recounting the lessons and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Other scholars who
visited that community engaged in discussion about their work as the community
members struggled to produce a "Christian" Torah for use alongside
the Septuagint source for the Scriptures they used regularly for worship. These
discussions among scholars could well have influenced the thinking both of the
residential scholars and those who visited the community, thus ideas, language,
use of sacred symbols that were being discussed may have appeared in documents
that were "published" long before the "finished" Gospel (even the earliest
versions of it) was "published."
I think this theory or something like it could be used to explain the
similarities in the use of symbolic language, the depth of
theological reflection and even terms or phrases that appear in documents
that appear to modern scholars to have come from different eras in history
and/or different areas of the known world.
From: Matthew Miller <logosmadeflesh@...>
Sent: Fri, August 13, 2010 8:04:24 AM
Subject: Re: [John_Lit] John and Paul
I find Ephesians and the rest of the prison epistles are particularly
striking in their comparisons to John and it's theology. One can instantly
think of the way in which John, Ephesians and Colossians each describe
Christ's role in creation. But there are other parallels as well. For
"Therefore it says, When he ascended on high, he led captive, a host of
captives, and He gave gifts to men." Now this expression, "He ascended,"
what does it mean except that He also descended into the lower parts of the
"No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son
While the later verse can also be an allusion to Proverbs 30:4, there is a
similarity between Ephesians 4:9 and John 3:13 which is unique in the New
Again this isn't the only comparison one could find within these letters.
While some of these parallels could simply be chalked up to a common first
century mileu, It's certainly interesting that tradition places John within
this city, giving him at least access to this particular letter.
Canby Bible College
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