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Re: [John_Lit] New topics worth discussing?

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  • Paul Anderson
    Good points here, partially; I think there is a great deal of explicit use of Hebrew Scripture in the Fourth Gospel, as well as implicit references to
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 20, 2010
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      Good points here, partially; I think there is a great deal of explicit use
      of Hebrew Scripture in the Fourth Gospel, as well as implicit references to
      Scripture. There are no explicit uses of the Synoptics or exact
      representations of Synoptic traditions in John--every similarity is also
      different. So it is clearly not "dependence" like the Fourth Evangelist used
      Scripture.

      I do go with familiarity, at least of Mark, but many of the contacts are
      contrastive (as the Bible and Interpretation essay suggests), so
      "dependence" does not work here either. The five signs in the first edition
      of John (seeing chs. 6 and 21 added later) are precisely the signs NOT in
      Mark; if familiarity with Mark existed, the evangelist has augmented Mark,
      not depended on Mark.

      How do we know Mark, or the other Synoptic traditions, were not influenced
      by the developing Johannine tradition? While I think John was finalized last
      among the canonical Gospels (around 100 CE), its tradition did not originate
      late.

      Much appreciated,

      Paul Anderson



      >
      >


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    • davidecford
      Hellen, hi, your reading lists sounds great. Have you seen Kelly R Iverson s article Orality and the Gospels: A Survey of Recent Research Currents of
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 20, 2010
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        Hellen, hi, your reading lists sounds great.

        Have you seen Kelly R Iverson's article "Orality and the Gospels: A Survey of Recent Research" Currents of Biblical Research vol 8.1:71-106 (2009).

        David Ford
        FUSBC, Medellín, Colombia
        --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, "Mardaga, Hellen" <MARDAGA@...> wrote:
        >
        > Dear Paul,
        >
        > as far as the CBA meeting is concerned, it lasted from Saturday evening until Tuesday morning. I attended an interesting task force on the synoptic gospels. One of the topics that was under discussion was Bauckham's hypothesis regarding the synoptic gospels and their audiences. it was interesting to me since it reminded me of our discussion in Wales on the topic of orality. I delivered a paper on hapax legomena in John and the technique of variation. In short several of the hapax can be explained in light of different words occuring in the same pericope with the same meaning (sometimes derivates or sometimes "synonyms").
        > As for now I am digging through all kind of possible works on orality and oral traditions., namely the works of Gerhardsson, Kelber, Ong, Tatcher, Bauckham, Byrskog and Dunn ( as a "start"). Suggestions are welcome
        >
        >
        > Hellen Mardaga
        > assistant Professor of New Testament
        > The Catholic University of America
        > ________________________________
        > F
      • Matthew Estrada
        Paul, you stated: There are no explicit uses of the Synoptics or exact representations of Synoptic traditions in John--every similarity is also different. So
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 20, 2010
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          Paul, you stated: "There are no explicit uses of the Synoptics or exact
          representations of Synoptic traditions in John--every similarity is also
          different. So it is clearly not "dependence" like the Fourth Evangelist used
          Scripture."

          I would like to challenge you thinking here. You are correct in stating that the
          Fourth Evangelist uses both explicit and implicit references to OT texts.
          However, I believe that you are incorrect in deducing that because the Fourth
          Evangelist has no explicit uses of the Synoptics in his gospel, then he is not
          depending on the Synoptics in the same way he depends on OT material. He may not
          depend on the Synoptics in using explicit references to them as he does with
          certain OT texts, but he does depend on the Synoptics (IMO) in using implicit
          references to them in the same way he does with many of the OT texts.

          You then state: "I do go with familiarity, at least of Mark, but many of the
          contacts are contrastive (as the Bible and Interpretation essay suggests), so
          "dependence" does not work here either." I would counter here by saying John is
          both familiar with Mark and manipulates Mark to achieve his own goals, so
          dependence (IMO) does work here. One can depend on a source and use it in a
          variety of ways. One does not have to stick to literal repetition in drawing
          from other material.

          And you conclude your posts with: "How do we know Mark, or the other Synoptic
          traditions, were not influenced by the developing Johannine tradition? While I
          think John was finalized last among the canonical Gospels (around 100 CE), its
          tradition did not originate late."

          This goes back to your belief that John was doing historical reporting. However,
          since I believe that much of John did not originate from actual facts concerning
          what Jesus' said/did and did not say/do but rather originated from the
          Evangelist's own creative thinking in his desire to state theologically what has
          been accomplished in Jesus and why he should be believed on to be the Messiah,
          then I conclude that the Evangelist composed his material later than the
          Synoptics but before Acts (although I am not saying he was not an eye witness;
          being an eyewitness and "creating" stories are not a contradiction).

          Since indirect allusions are often difficult not only to detect but also to
          agree on, there exists two major camps concerning the nature of the gospels. I
          believe that you are in the one while I am in the other. How can we proceed?

          Sincerely,

          Matt Estrada





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        • jgibson000@comcast.net
          ... We can proceed by you first recognizing not only (a) that there is no mutual exclusivity between a doing historical reporting and doing theology as you
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 20, 2010
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            On 8/20/2010 4:21 PM, Matthew Estrada wrote:
            > And you conclude your posts with: "How do we know Mark, or the other Synoptic
            > traditions, were not influenced by the developing Johannine tradition? While I
            > think John was finalized last among the canonical Gospels (around 100 CE), its
            > tradition did not originate late."
            >
            > This goes back to your belief that John was doing historical reporting. However,
            > since I believe that much of John did not originate from actual facts concerning
            > what Jesus' said/did and did not say/do but rather originated from the
            > Evangelist's own creative thinking in his desire to state theologically what has
            > been accomplished in Jesus and why he should be believed on to be the Messiah,
            > then I conclude that the Evangelist composed his material later than the
            > Synoptics but before Acts (although I am not saying he was not an eye witness;
            > being an eyewitness and "creating" stories are not a contradiction).
            >
            > Since indirect allusions are often difficult not only to detect but also to
            > agree on, there exists two major camps concerning the nature of the gospels. I
            > believe that you are in the one while I am in the other. How can we proceed?
            >


            We can proceed by you first recognizing not only

            (a) that there is no mutual exclusivity between a doing historical
            reporting and doing theology as you suggest there is,

            (b) that if John was indeed intent to state what has been accomplished
            by Jesus for the Jewish people of his time, he *has* to be interested
            in historical reporting and in what Jesus said and did, since whatever
            it was that Jesus accomplished was done through specific historical
            acts, and

            (c) that your claim that Paul's question about whether the synoptic
            tradition was influenced by developing Johannine tradition "goes back to
            [Paul's] belief that John was doing historical reporting, is a non
            sequitur and is grounded in petitio principii, especially if GJohn is
            what you say it is, since it assumes, quite contrary to fact, that the
            synoptic authors were not also doing theology.

            Jeffrey

            --
            Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
            1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
            Chicago, Illinois
            e-mail jgibson000@...



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Paul Anderson
            I understand the argument, Matthew; right. The dehistoricization of John is the prevalent platform among modern biblical scholars, reflected here in your
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 20, 2010
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              I understand the argument, Matthew; right. The "dehistoricization of John"
              is the prevalent platform among modern biblical scholars, reflected here in
              your statement

              "...since I believe that much of John did not originate from actual facts
              concerning
              what Jesus' said/did and did not say/do but rather originated from the
              Evangelist's own creative thinking in his desire to state theologically what
              has
              been accomplished in Jesus and why he should be believed on to be the
              Messiah..."

              How do you KNOW that John's alternative rendering of Jesus' ministry is NOT
              rooted in historical tradition or memory?

              Or (see
              http://books.google.com/books?id=DS6TPsU3YPsC&pg=PA157&lpg=PA157&dq=theologizing+speculation+gone+awry&source=bl&ots=ZeRjI8i7EV&sig=fFHYXV_FanAn24I3CCoBfPEzA8I&hl=en&ei=JhFvTPiGKIS-sQOpjumICw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=theologizing%20speculation%20gone%20awry&f=false),
              is your view a factor of "theologizing speculation gone awry"? Show me it's
              not the latter.

              gratefully,

              Paul Anderson


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Bob MacDonald
              Paul - your four categories of symbolization make me laugh in joy - explicit, implicit, correlative, and innocent! Innocent is a category I would like to put
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 20, 2010
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                Paul - your four categories of symbolization make me laugh in joy -
                explicit, implicit, correlative, and innocent!

                'Innocent' is a category I would like to put myself in - but scarcely
                applicable!

                I am guessing you mean that the text is innocent, not the interpreter, in
                imposing his theology!

                Bob
                Bob MacDonald
                http://meafar.blogspot.com
                Vcitoria BC
                -----Original Message-----
                From: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Paul Anderson
                Sent: Friday, August 20, 2010 4:39 PM
                To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [John_Lit] New topics worth discussing?

                Or (see
                http://books.google.com/books?id=DS6TPsU3YPsC&pg=PA157&lpg=PA157&dq=theologi
                zing+speculation+gone+awry&source=bl&ots=ZeRjI8i7EV&sig=fFHYXV_FanAn24I3CCoB
                fPEzA8I&hl=en&ei=JhFvTPiGKIS-sQOpjumICw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum
                =1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=theologizing%20speculation%20gone%20awry&f=fa
                lse),
                is your view a factor of "theologizing speculation gone awry"? Show me it's
                not the latter.

                gratefully,

                Paul Anderson
              • Paul Anderson
                Thanks, Bob! Yes, I believe the theologizing interest of the evangelist is likely the sloppiest and most uncritically used term in recent decades of
                Message 7 of 24 , Aug 20, 2010
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                  Thanks, Bob!

                  Yes, I believe "the theologizing interest of the evangelist" is likely the
                  sloppiest and most uncritically used term in recent decades of Johannine
                  studies. It too often gets a critical pass, even when the rationale is
                  inadequate. My hope is to provide criteria by which the term can be used
                  critically, and perhaps even meaningfully.

                  However, even if used meaningfully, an accurate theologizing inference may
                  still be non-significant. A historical detail may be presented in a highly
                  theological way; an illustrative detail "innocent" (the detail, that is, not
                  the interpreter) of theologizing features is not necessarily historical.

                  Grist for the mill,

                  Paul Anderson

                  On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 6:31 PM, Bob MacDonald <bobmacdonald@...> wrote:

                  > Paul - your four categories of symbolization make me laugh in joy -
                  > explicit, implicit, correlative, and innocent!
                  >
                  > 'Innocent' is a category I would like to put myself in - but scarcely
                  > applicable!
                  >
                  > I am guessing you mean that the text is innocent, not the interpreter, in
                  > imposing his theology!
                  >
                  > Bob
                  > Bob MacDonald
                  > http://meafar.blogspot.com
                  > Vcitoria BC
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                  > [mailto:johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Paul Anderson
                  > Sent: Friday, August 20, 2010 4:39 PM
                  > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] New topics worth discussing?
                  >
                  > Or (see
                  >
                  > http://books.google.com/books?id=DS6TPsU3YPsC&pg=PA157&lpg=PA157&dq=theologi
                  >
                  > zing+speculation+gone+awry&source=bl&ots=ZeRjI8i7EV&sig=fFHYXV_FanAn24I3CCoB
                  >
                  > fPEzA8I&hl=en&ei=JhFvTPiGKIS-sQOpjumICw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum
                  >
                  > =1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=theologizing%20speculation%20gone%20awry&f=fa<http://books.google.com/books?id=DS6TPsU3YPsC&pg=PA157&lpg=PA157&dq=theologi%0Azing+speculation+gone+awry&source=bl&ots=ZeRjI8i7EV&sig=fFHYXV_FanAn24I3CCoB%0AfPEzA8I&hl=en&ei=JhFvTPiGKIS-sQOpjumICw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum%0A=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=theologizing%20speculation%20gone%20awry&f=fa>
                  > lse),
                  > is your view a factor of "theologizing speculation gone awry"? Show me it's
                  > not the latter.
                  >
                  > gratefully,
                  >
                  > Paul Anderson
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
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                • Bob MacDonald
                  Thanks Paul Your criticism sloppiest and most uncritically used term leads me to another one word allusion in John this time to Psalm 119: the issue of
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
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                    Thanks Paul

                    Your criticism " sloppiest and most uncritically used term " leads me to
                    another one word allusion in John this time to Psalm 119: the issue of
                    keeping the commandments. Psalm 119 parts 1-3 are all about this inner
                    precious conversation -

                    Again in the farewell discourse, we have this - "if you love me, you will
                    keep my commandments".

                    I expect one could run with this allusion for some distance.

                    The dialogue between father and son - between Hashem and Israel - between
                    God and 'the elect' - another phrase from the writing under the name of John
                    - this 'dialogue' is in the Psalter. No book of the NT makes this more
                    evident than Hebrews - but the impact of the Psalter is everywhere.

                    The poetry of John would bear comparison with the poems of the TNK.

                    Bob

                    > Bob
                    > Bob MacDonald
                    > http://meafar.blogspot.com
                    > Victoria BC
                  • Paul Anderson
                    Thanks, Bob, the Fourth Gospel and the Hebrew Psalter would make an excellent topic to research. Allusive echoes with scripture do indeed exist in John, as do
                    Message 9 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
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                      Thanks, Bob, the Fourth Gospel and the Hebrew Psalter would make an
                      excellent topic to research. Allusive echoes with scripture do indeed exist
                      in John, as do echoes of Synoptic themes, though less directly.

                      My essay in the imagery volume (an excellent collection, by the way) simply
                      challenges the facile "solving" of historical problems by means of literary
                      inferences, which themselves are variably arguable.

                      In addition to a narrative mode and theological claims in John, we also have
                      narrative mode and historical claims--which may be wrong, but that is not to
                      say that they are not historical but only theological. This has been the
                      default critical mode of operation for some time; it is, however, critically
                      flawed.

                      Paul Anderson

                      On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 7:39 AM, Bob MacDonald <bobmacdonald@...> wrote:

                      > Thanks Paul
                      >
                      > Your criticism " sloppiest and most uncritically used term " leads me to
                      > another one word allusion in John this time to Psalm 119: the issue of
                      > keeping the commandments. Psalm 119 parts 1-3 are all about this inner
                      > precious conversation -
                      >
                      > Again in the farewell discourse, we have this - "if you love me, you will
                      > keep my commandments".
                      >
                      > I expect one could run with this allusion for some distance.
                      >
                      > The dialogue between father and son - between Hashem and Israel - between
                      > God and 'the elect' - another phrase from the writing under the name of
                      > John
                      > - this 'dialogue' is in the Psalter. No book of the NT makes this more
                      > evident than Hebrews - but the impact of the Psalter is everywhere.
                      >
                      > The poetry of John would bear comparison with the poems of the TNK.
                      >
                      > Bob
                      >
                      > > Bob
                      > > Bob MacDonald
                      > > http://meafar.blogspot.com
                      > > Victoria BC
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------
                      >
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                    • Matthew Estrada
                      Paul, you asked, How do you KNOW that John s alternative rendering of Jesus ministry is NOT rooted in historical tradition or memory? I don t know if my
                      Message 10 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
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                        Paul, you asked, "How do you KNOW that John's alternative rendering of Jesus'
                        ministry is NOT rooted in historical tradition or memory?" I don't know if my
                        answer to your question will satisfy you or not, Paul, but here it is: I used to
                        think non-critically (and in no way am I saying that anyone who believes the
                        gospels are rooted in history are non-critical thinkers) and believe that the
                        gospel stories were historical tradition. Even though the seminary I attended
                        believed likewise, while studying certain texts very thoroughly, I came to view
                        these stories as theological creations. How do I KNOW that they are what I claim
                        them to be? John Meier, in volume 2 of his book "A Marginal Jew, states
                        (concerning the Cana Miracle) in the opening paragraph of his concluding
                        remarks, after examining the various miracle and healing stories:
                         
                        "In sum, when one adds these historical difficulties [which he's just finished
                        examining] to the massive amount of Johannine literary and theological traits
                        permeating the whole story, it is difficult to identify any 'historical kernel'
                        or 'core event' that might have a claim to go back to the historical Jesus. Put
                        another way: if we subtract from the eleven verses of the first Cana miracle
                        every element that is likely to have come from the creative mind of John or his
                        Johannine 'school' and every element that raises historical problems, the entire
                        pericope vanishes before our eyes verse by verse. Many critics would assign the
                        origin of the story to the Johannine 'school' or 'circle' lying behind the
                        Gospel. I prefer the view that the story is a creation of the Evangelist
                        himself, using a number of traditional themes." (p. 949)

                         
                        Even though he wrote the above way after I stumbled upon my interpretation of
                        John's "water" symbolism, he expresses my own reasons for believing that these
                        stories are largely symbolic and not rooted in historical tradition. I can
                        provide reasonable "evidences" showing from where, and why, the
                        Evangelist borrowed almost every word and phrase that is found in the Cana
                        Miracle story. This has led me to conclude that he created these stories.

                        I enjoyed the article. Thanks.

                        Matt Estrada





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                      • Paul Anderson
                        Thanks, Matthew, exactly. We do not KNOW there was no historical tradition underlying particular Johannine scenarios, and the presence of literary and
                        Message 11 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
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                          Thanks, Matthew, exactly. We do not KNOW there was no historical tradition
                          underlying particular Johannine scenarios, and the presence of literary and
                          theological features does not discount the possibility of historical ones.
                          What do we do, for instance, with the fact of Johannine empiricism? John is
                          the most mundane of the gospels as well as the most elevated.

                          Your point is a good one, that many pre-critical interpreters see everything
                          in the Gospels as historical without appreciating literary and theological
                          factors involved in the selection and crafting of gospel narratives. I also
                          believe that much of John is crafted for theological and rhetorical reasons,
                          but claiming such to be the ORIGIN of EVERYTHING Johannine, and that there
                          was no foundational traditional memory, brings new sets of critical problems
                          that scholars are just now beginning to address.

                          May I comment on Meier's thoughtful paragraph? Right. Huge
                          historical-critical problems abound with the water-into-wine narrative, and
                          the Johannine story-line would do just fine if it were excised. That could
                          be an argument, however, for the need to include it for reasons other than
                          literary or theological ones. If it does not further the plot significantly,
                          perhaps it is included for "historical" reasons (whether or not it actually
                          happened)--particularly as an augmentation of Mark--the first sign, before
                          those mentioned in Mark 1. Of course, Meier had not been up on subsequent
                          critical investigations of Johannine historicity over the last decade or so;
                          we'll see what happens in his fifth (of sixth?) volume(s).

                          Here's where positivism, if it is evenly used, critically, must be plied to
                          falsification as well as verification. If ones cannot claim they KNOW a
                          late-first-century report is historically false, or even not historically
                          motivated, they should at least be more modest or even agnostic in their
                          claims.

                          Much appreciated,

                          Paul Anderson

                          On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 9:57 AM, Matthew Estrada <matt_estrada@...>wrote:

                          > Paul, you asked, "How do you KNOW that John's alternative rendering of
                          > Jesus'
                          > ministry is NOT rooted in historical tradition or memory?" I don't know if
                          > my
                          > answer to your question will satisfy you or not, Paul, but here it is: I
                          > used to
                          > think non-critically (and in no way am I saying that anyone who believes
                          > the
                          > gospels are rooted in history are non-critical thinkers) and believe that
                          > the
                          > gospel stories were historical tradition. Even though the seminary I
                          > attended
                          > believed likewise, while studying certain texts very thoroughly, I came to
                          > view
                          > these stories as theological creations. How do I KNOW that they are what I
                          > claim
                          > them to be? John Meier, in volume 2 of his book "A Marginal Jew, states
                          > (concerning the Cana Miracle) in the opening paragraph of his concluding
                          > remarks, after examining the various miracle and healing stories:
                          >
                          > "In sum, when one adds these historical difficulties [which he's just
                          > finished
                          > examining] to the massive amount of Johannine literary and theological
                          > traits
                          > permeating the whole story, it is difficult to identify any 'historical
                          > kernel'
                          > or 'core event' that might have a claim to go back to the historical Jesus.
                          > Put
                          > another way: if we subtract from the eleven verses of the first Cana
                          > miracle
                          > every element that is likely to have come from the creative mind of John or
                          > his
                          > Johannine 'school' and every element that raises historical problems, the
                          > entire
                          > pericope vanishes before our eyes verse by verse. Many critics would assign
                          > the
                          > origin of the story to the Johannine 'school' or 'circle' lying behind the
                          > Gospel. I prefer the view that the story is a creation of the Evangelist
                          > himself, using a number of traditional themes." (p. 949)
                          >
                          >
                          > Even though he wrote the above way after I stumbled upon my interpretation
                          > of
                          > John's "water" symbolism, he expresses my own reasons for believing that
                          > these
                          > stories are largely symbolic and not rooted in historical tradition. I can
                          > provide reasonable "evidences" showing from where, and why, the
                          > Evangelist borrowed almost every word and phrase that is found in the Cana
                          > Miracle story. This has led me to conclude that he created these stories.
                          >
                          > I enjoyed the article. Thanks.
                          >
                          > Matt Estrada
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > ------------------------------------
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                        • Matthew Miller
                          Hi Paul You said: the Johannine story-line would do just fine if it were excised. That could be an argument, however, for the need to include it for reasons
                          Message 12 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
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                            Hi Paul

                            You said:
                            the Johannine story-line would do just fine if it were excised. That could
                            be an argument, however, for the need to include it for reasons other than
                            literary or theological ones. If it does not further the plot significantly,
                            perhaps it is included for "historical" reasons...

                            The purpose of your argument aside - a point on which I agree, I think it should be noted that the Wedding of Cana significantly develops John's message. May I suggest John's marriage theme as another topic worth discussing?

                            Matthew Miller
                            Canby Bible College
                            Logosmadeflesh@...


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                          • Matthew Estrada
                            Paul, You state: We do not KNOW there was no historical tradition underlying particular Johannine scenarios, and the presence of literary and theological
                            Message 13 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
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                              Paul,

                              You state: "We do not KNOW there was no historical tradition underlying
                              particular Johannine scenarios, and the presence of literary and
                              theological features does not discount the possibility of historical ones."

                              I can respond with, We do not know there was, either. You are correct in saying
                              that literary and theological elements in a story do not make that story
                              "unhistorical". However, when we read a story, for example, like "the tortoise
                              and the hare", we do not assume that it is historical. Why? Because elements in
                              the story provide us with enough reasonable "evidences" which allow us to make
                              that assumption. This is the way I see it working with the Cana Miracle, as well
                              as many other stories in the gospels. Looking hard an.d close enough, I
                              discovered enough clues that convinced me of the genre of John's gospel.

                              You said, "I also believe that much of John is crafted for theological and
                              rhetorical reasons, but claiming such to be the ORIGIN of EVERYTHING Johannine,
                              and that there was no foundational traditional memory, brings new sets of
                              critical problems that scholars are just now beginning to address."

                               I would like to clarify that I do think that there is some history behind the
                              stories, but not in the way you think. The history that I see behind these
                              stories is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The evangelist is not
                              interested in relating the details that occurred in Jesus' life, but is
                              interested in relaying the meaning of Jesus' incarnation, death and
                              resurrection.



                              You said, "the Johannine story-line would do just fine if it (the Cana miracle
                              story) were excised (because of the historical-critical problems). That could be
                              an argument, however, for the need to include it for reasons other than literary
                              or theological ones. If it does not further the plot significantly, perhaps it
                              is included for "historical" reasons (whether or not it actually
                              happened)--particularly as an augmentation of Mark--the first sign, before those
                              mentioned in Mark 1."

                              I do not see these historical-critical problems that you mention since I do not
                              view this as describing historical details. Nor would I be in favor of excising
                              the Cana miracle from the gospel, as there are tons of important literary and
                              theological elements within it that can cause one to marvel at what God has done
                              through Jesus, and in the writing of this particular story.

                              Sorry that I cannot be more modest or agnostic in my claim that this story is a
                              theological one that is not rooted in historical details. Would you prefer that
                              I say, "The Peter Rabbit story might have been rooted in history" even though my
                              good judgement tells me otherwise?

                              Sincerely,

                              Matt Estrada





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                            • Paul Anderson
                              Matthew, may I point out a few mistaken readings or at least distortions of my most recent post? a) I m not claiming that everything in John has a historical
                              Message 14 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
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                                Matthew, may I point out a few mistaken readings or at least distortions of
                                my most recent post?

                                a) I'm not claiming that everything in John has a historical root; I'm
                                challenging your claim that most or all of it does not. Show me how you know
                                that; I remain unconvinced by the presence of literary and theological
                                features. By this thinking, the cross is theological, therefore, Jesus did
                                not die on one. This is flawed thinking; it also is likely untrue.

                                b) I'm not claiming the Johannine narrative would not miss the wedding
                                narrative; that is Meier's claim, which could support the opposite
                                conclusion.

                                c) I don't understand the Peter Rabbit reference; are you claiming that the
                                Fourth Gospel is the same genre of Peter Rabbit, or are you suggesting this
                                is MY view? It feels like a slam if you are claiming that that because a
                                scholar is working on critical theory regarding gospel historiography this
                                is intellectually equivalent to believing a Beatrice Potter story is rooted
                                in history.

                                Speaking of texts and their interpretation, let's be sure we understand and
                                represent well what we are engaging.

                                Thanks!

                                Paul Anderson


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Matthew Estrada
                                Hi Paul, a) I did not say that just because a text uses theological and literary features, that this means the text is therefore to be judged as not being
                                Message 15 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
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                                  Hi Paul,

                                  a) I did not say that just because a text uses theological and literary
                                  features, that this means the text is therefore to be judged as not being rooted
                                  in history. I did say that because I have found in the water to wine story an
                                  overabundance of these features (where I can reasonably account for almost every
                                  word and phrase in that story), that I have judged it, as well as other texts
                                  within John and Luke (for the same reasons), to be story creations not rooted in
                                  history.

                                  b) I apologize for misreading what you earlier wrote. You stated, "May I comment
                                  on Meier's thoughtful paragraph? Right. Huge historical-critical problems abound
                                  with the water-into-wine narrative, and the Johannine story-line would do just
                                  fine if it were excised." As I read that, it sounds as if it is coming from you.
                                  I did not know that you were repeating Meier's words. An innocent
                                  misunderstanding. Sorry.

                                  c) My Peter Rabbit reference was probably not a good illustration for what I was
                                  trying to communicate. I was only using that illustration to try and say that
                                  even as I came to understand Santa Claus does not really exists and that the
                                  Peter Rabbit story is just that- a story, so, too, have I come to understand
                                  much of John's gospel as the Evangelist's own creation, taken from a variety of
                                  sources and woven into a theological stories.

                                  I may have said something else in this post that is offensive to you. If so, I
                                  apologize now. I don't mean it that way.

                                  I would like to ask you another question: Why is it so important to
                                  believe whether these stories happened or not?

                                  Thanks.

                                  Matt Estrada
                                   




                                  ________________________________
                                  From: Paul Anderson <panderso@...>
                                  To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Sat, August 21, 2010 9:52:42 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [John_Lit] New topics worth discussing?

                                   
                                  Matthew, may I point out a few mistaken readings or at least distortions of
                                  my most recent post?

                                  a) I'm not claiming that everything in John has a historical root; I'm
                                  challenging your claim that most or all of it does not. Show me how you know
                                  that; I remain unconvinced by the presence of literary and theological
                                  features. By this thinking, the cross is theological, therefore, Jesus did
                                  not die on one. This is flawed thinking; it also is likely untrue.

                                  b) I'm not claiming the Johannine narrative would not miss the wedding
                                  narrative; that is Meier's claim, which could support the opposite
                                  conclusion.

                                  c) I don't understand the Peter Rabbit reference; are you claiming that the
                                  Fourth Gospel is the same genre of Peter Rabbit, or are you suggesting this
                                  is MY view? It feels like a slam if you are claiming that that because a
                                  scholar is working on critical theory regarding gospel historiography this
                                  is intellectually equivalent to believing a Beatrice Potter story is rooted
                                  in history.

                                  Speaking of texts and their interpretation, let's be sure we understand and
                                  represent well what we are engaging.

                                  Thanks!

                                  Paul Anderson

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







                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Paul Anderson
                                  I appreciate your apology, Matthew, although it rings a bit hollow when you bring in Santa Claus as a further example of what enlightened scholars should
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
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                                    I appreciate your apology, Matthew, although it rings a bit hollow when you
                                    bring in Santa Claus as a further example of what enlightened scholars
                                    should abandon if they can just get over Johannine claims to historicity.

                                    Again, you misunderstand my critical interest, and I doubt you've read the
                                    three books I've published on the subject in the last four years, let alone
                                    Charlesworth's essay in the April 2010 issue of the Journal for the Study of
                                    the Historical Jesus, calling for a paradigm shift in Jesus studies--away
                                    from ignoring John to including John. At least go read that essay.

                                    My interest is not "to believe whether these stories happened or not" it is
                                    to weigh critically the claims that they do not reflect historical interests
                                    or knowledge based upon flawed inferences of the Fourth Gospel's genre,
                                    derivative origin, and theologized character.

                                    Okay, this has too long been a dialogue, so I'll release my part of this
                                    conversation and move on to other things.

                                    Sincerely,

                                    Paul Anderson



                                    On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 8:55 PM, Matthew Estrada <matt_estrada@...>wrote:

                                    > Hi Paul,
                                    >
                                    > a) I did not say that just because a text uses theological and literary
                                    > features, that this means the text is therefore to be judged as not being
                                    > rooted
                                    > in history. I did say that because I have found in the water to wine story
                                    > an
                                    > overabundance of these features (where I can reasonably account for almost
                                    > every
                                    > word and phrase in that story), that I have judged it, as well as other
                                    > texts
                                    > within John and Luke (for the same reasons), to be story creations not
                                    > rooted in
                                    > history.
                                    >
                                    > b) I apologize for misreading what you earlier wrote. You stated, "May I
                                    > comment
                                    > on Meier's thoughtful paragraph? Right. Huge historical-critical problems
                                    > abound
                                    > with the water-into-wine narrative, and the Johannine story-line would do
                                    > just
                                    > fine if it were excised." As I read that, it sounds as if it is coming from
                                    > you.
                                    > I did not know that you were repeating Meier's words. An innocent
                                    > misunderstanding. Sorry.
                                    >
                                    > c) My Peter Rabbit reference was probably not a good illustration for what
                                    > I was
                                    > trying to communicate. I was only using that illustration to try and say
                                    > that
                                    > even as I came to understand Santa Claus does not really exists and that
                                    > the
                                    > Peter Rabbit story is just that- a story, so, too, have I come to
                                    > understand
                                    > much of John's gospel as the Evangelist's own creation, taken from a
                                    > variety of
                                    > sources and woven into a theological stories.
                                    >
                                    > I may have said something else in this post that is offensive to you. If
                                    > so, I
                                    > apologize now. I don't mean it that way.
                                    >
                                    > I would like to ask you another question: Why is it so important to
                                    > believe whether these stories happened or not?
                                    >
                                    > Thanks.
                                    >
                                    > Matt Estrada
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ________________________________
                                    > From: Paul Anderson <panderso@...>
                                    > To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Sent: Sat, August 21, 2010 9:52:42 PM
                                    > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] New topics worth discussing?
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Matthew, may I point out a few mistaken readings or at least distortions of
                                    > my most recent post?
                                    >
                                    > a) I'm not claiming that everything in John has a historical root; I'm
                                    > challenging your claim that most or all of it does not. Show me how you
                                    > know
                                    > that; I remain unconvinced by the presence of literary and theological
                                    > features. By this thinking, the cross is theological, therefore, Jesus did
                                    > not die on one. This is flawed thinking; it also is likely untrue.
                                    >
                                    > b) I'm not claiming the Johannine narrative would not miss the wedding
                                    > narrative; that is Meier's claim, which could support the opposite
                                    > conclusion.
                                    >
                                    > c) I don't understand the Peter Rabbit reference; are you claiming that the
                                    > Fourth Gospel is the same genre of Peter Rabbit, or are you suggesting this
                                    > is MY view? It feels like a slam if you are claiming that that because a
                                    > scholar is working on critical theory regarding gospel historiography this
                                    > is intellectually equivalent to believing a Beatrice Potter story is rooted
                                    > in history.
                                    >
                                    > Speaking of texts and their interpretation, let's be sure we understand and
                                    > represent well what we are engaging.
                                    >
                                    > Thanks!
                                    >
                                    > Paul Anderson
                                    >
                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ------------------------------------
                                    >
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                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Mardaga, Hellen
                                    Hi David, yes I did, thank you for the suggestion. There is also a recent article which is a critique on Bauckham and Eyewitnesses. it is published by John
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Aug 22, 2010
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                                      Hi David, yes I did, thank you for the suggestion. There is also a recent article which is a critique on Bauckham and Eyewitnesses. it is published by John Collins in Expository Times 2010 121(9)447-452. I also came accros "Memories of Jesus" by R. Stewart and G. Habermas (ed.).
                                      Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
                                      Hellen
                                      _________________
                                    • Matthew Estrada
                                      Paul,   Here is an excerpt from my paper attempting to illustrate how the author of the Fourth gospel has used the Synoptic material. If interested, you can
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Aug 28, 2010
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                                        Paul,
                                         
                                        Here is an excerpt from my paper attempting to illustrate how the author of the
                                        Fourth gospel has used the Synoptic material. If interested, you can read my
                                        paper in full at http://estradablog.wordpress.com/.
                                         
                                         
                                        C)      Now comparing these Synoptic texts with certain texts throughout John
                                        1-3, we discover the following parallels which indicate John’s use of, mimesis
                                        of, and transformation of, at
                                               least one of the gospels:
                                         
                                        1)       In Mark 2:13 we read,
                                         
                                                “Once again Jesus went out beside the lake”.
                                         
                                               Mark says “Once again…”. When did Jesus first go out beside the lake? If
                                        we go back to Mark 1:14-18 we read,
                                         
                                        “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good
                                        news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent
                                        and believe the good news!’
                                        As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew
                                        casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus
                                        said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and
                                        followed Him.”
                                         
                                         In John 3:22-23 we read,
                                         
                                         “After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside,
                                        where He spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at
                                        Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly
                                        coming to be baptized (This was before John was put in prison)”.
                                         
                                        So we note that John replaced Mark’s “After John was put in prison” with his own
                                        “This was before John was put in prison”, and John has Jesus in a place where
                                        there “was plenty of water” in place of Mark’s Jesus who “went out beside the
                                        lake”. Why does John change Mark’s “lake” into his own “plenty of water”? To
                                        answer this, one needs to understand what the word “water” symbolizes in the
                                        Gospel of John. Without providing proof right now (but the proof will be
                                        provided later), the word “water” symbolizes “the Law and the prophets”. When
                                        John states that there was “plenty of water”, he is telling us that the
                                        teachings concerning the Law and the Prophets were everywhere, and that many
                                        people were coming to hear the teachings of the Law and the Prophets. When was
                                        this? John says it was before John the Baptist (who is symbolic of the Law and
                                        the Prophets) was put in prison, which most likely means before the Law and the
                                        Prophets were “imprisoned” by the Pharisees and their strict interpretation of
                                        it. For as we are later told in John’s Gospel, “the Jews” (the Pharisees)
                                        prohibited reading Jesus as messiah into any of the messianic texts found within
                                        the OT (Jn 7:13, 40-52; 9:22; 12:42; 16:2). This, I will argue, is the
                                        “imprisonment of John the Baptist/the Law and the Prophets” (we will later
                                        return to this).
                                         
                                        Knowing that Jesus never baptized (as John tells us clearly in John 4:2), and
                                        knowing (although you, the reader, have to assume this for now) that the word
                                        “water” symbolizes “the Law and the Prophets”, we can now interpret the word
                                        “baptize” to mean “to teach” or “to disciple”.  For in Mk 2:13 we read:
                                         
                                        “Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and He
                                        began to teach them. As He walked along, He saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at
                                        the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus told him, and Levi got up and
                                        followed him.
                                          While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and
                                        ‘sinners’ were eating with Him and His disciples, for there were many who
                                        followed Him.”
                                         
                                         John once again changes Mark’s wording. Where Mark has “to teach them”, John
                                        has “baptizing/baptized”. Why does he do this? John does this to disguise the
                                        symbolic meaning of his story in a seemingly historical story. Therefore, these
                                        verses in John 3:22-23 are really saying something to this effect:
                                         
                                        “After this, Jesus and His disciples (the NT Church) went out into the Judean
                                        countryside, where He (the Church) spent some time with them, and baptized
                                        (taught/discipled). Now John (the Law and the Prophets) also was baptizing
                                        (teaching/making disciples) at Aenon near Salim, because their was plenty of
                                        water (the teachings on Law and the Prophets = water, were bountiful/plenty),
                                        and people were constantly coming to be baptized (coming to be
                                        taught/discipled). (This was before John [the Law and the Prophets] was put in
                                        prison [by “the Jews”/the Pharisees and their strict interpretation of the Law
                                        and the Prophets in their prohibitions of any messianic interpretations that
                                        would see Jesus as the Christ])”.
                                         
                                         
                                        2)       In our Markan text the discussion begins between Jesus’ disciples and
                                        “the teachers of the law who were Pharisees” over the matter of Jesus’
                                        associating with ‘sinners’. In John 3:22-30, we read of John’s disciples who
                                        first have a discussion with “a certain Jew(s) over the matter of ceremonial
                                        washing”. The reason why John, the author, has introduced the disciples of John
                                        the Baptist as first having a discussion with “the Jews”, is to emphasize the
                                        difference in teachings on the Law between the true disciples of the Baptist
                                        (who stands for the Law) and the disciples of “the Jews” (or Pharisees/religious
                                        leaders during that time period) who have misconstrued the teachings of the Law
                                        and the Prophets for their own gain. John, the author, can then have the Baptist
                                        (who stands for the Law) give testimony to his disciples concerning Jesus’ true
                                        identity against the testimony of “the Jews” (the Pharisees/religious leaders
                                        who misinterpret the Law). Therefore, John 3:25 is really saying:
                                         
                                        “An argument developed between some of John’s disciples (disciples of the Law
                                        and the Prophets) and a certain Jew (“the Jews” and the Pharisees who would
                                        misinterpret the Law and the Prophets and not see Jesus as the Christ as
                                        foretold in the OT) over the matter of ceremonial washing (“the Jews” trying to
                                        divert the attention away from Jesus that he is drawing from those who interpret
                                        correctly the Old Testament to the meaningless rituals of the Law when viewed
                                        outside of Jesus as their fulfillment).”
                                         
                                        3)       In Mark 2:13 we read: “A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach
                                        them”. In Mark 2:14, after Jesus commands Matthew to follow him, we read “and
                                        Levi got up and followed him”. In Mark 2:15 we read“many tax collectors and
                                        ‘sinners’ were eating with him [Jesus] and his disciples, for there were many
                                        who followed him”. In our John 3:26-30 passage, the disciples of the Baptist
                                        come to John the Baptist and tell him that “everyone is going to him” (to Jesus)
                                        for “baptism” instead of coming to the Baptist for “baptism”. So in both
                                        gospels, people are coming to Jesus, which brings about a discussion between two
                                        groups (in Mark, the discussion first takes place between Jesus’ disciples and
                                        the Pharisees, and then between Jesus and the Pharisees, and then between “some
                                        people” [disciples of the Baptist, according to Matthew] and Jesus; whereas in
                                        John the discussion first begins between John’s disciples and a ‘certain
                                        Jew(s)’, then between John’s disciples and John the Baptist. Here we can see how
                                        John has conflated Mark and Matthew’s versions into one. But instead of using
                                        the words “he began to teach them” and “there were many who followed him” (as is
                                        found in Mark and Matthew), John uses the symbolic words “baptize” and “everyone
                                        is going to him” to be “baptized”. Why does John exchange the words “teach” for
                                        “baptize”, and “many who followed him” with “going to him [Jesus] for baptism”?
                                        He does so for the purpose of continuing his use of the encoded word “water”,
                                        which is the key to understanding these first four chapters in John as an
                                        allegory. Therefore, John 3:26 is really saying:
                                         
                                        “They (the disciples of John the Baptist/the disciples of the Law and the
                                        Prophets) came to John (the Law and the Prophets) and said to him, ‘Rabbi, that
                                        man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan- the one you testified
                                        about- well, he is baptizing (teaching/discipling), and everyone is going to him
                                        (instead of coming to you/the Law and the Prophets to be discipled, as was
                                        before, everyone now is going to Jesus/NT Church to be taught/discipled).”

                                         
                                        4)        In Mark, the Pharisees, seeing that many people are “following Jesus”,
                                        ask the disciples of Jesus why their teacher associates with ‘sinners’. Jesus
                                        then responds by saying, “It is not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick.
                                        I have not come to call the ‘righteous’, but the sinners.”  In John, it is the
                                        disciples of the Baptist who, after seeing that many people are “following
                                        Jesus” instead of following their leader the Baptist, go to John the Baptist,
                                        who gives support to Jesus’ ministry by testifying to his own disciples that he
                                        (the Law and the Prophets) must become less, and Jesus must become greater.
                                         
                                        5)       John continues, and emphasizes even more, the distinction that already
                                        exists in the Synoptic accounts above between the three groups: John the Baptist
                                        (Jn 1:6-8, 15, 19-34; 3:23-24) and his disciples (Jn 1:35, 42; 3:25), the
                                        religious leaders of Judaism and their disciples (1:19-24; 3:25), and Jesus and
                                        His disciples (2:2, 11-12; 3:22).
                                         
                                        6)       Moreover, John, again, even more than the Synoptic accounts, does not
                                        place John the Baptist in opposition to Jesus, but rather has him functioning as
                                        a witness to Jesus (1:7-8, 15, 19-36; 3:27-36; 5:33-36). There is again
                                        continuity and a break between John the Baptist (who stands for the Law and the
                                        Prophets) and Jesus. John also, like the Synoptic accounts, places both the
                                        Baptist and Jesus in opposition to the religious leaders of Judaism who refuse
                                        to see the truth.
                                         
                                        7)       John, like the Synoptic parallels, identifies Jesus as the bridegroom
                                        (Jn. 2:9-10; 3:29).
                                         
                                        8)       John, in the Cana miracle story, has Jesus provide the “new wine” (Jn.
                                        2:1-12), even as in our Synoptic parallels Jesus is the “new wine”. Even though
                                        in our parallel sources in the Synoptic gospels Jesus is the “new wine” (whereas
                                        in our Cana miracle in John Jesus provides the “new wine”), when we understand
                                        correctly the “new wine” in the Cana miracle as symbolizing the Holy Spirit,
                                        then this difference between John and the Synoptics disappears, as Jesus and the
                                        Holy Spirit are One (II Corinthians 3:18).
                                         
                                        Too many parallels exists between our Synoptic parallel stories and John to
                                        think that John was not drawing from, and transforming, them as source material,
                                        in the creation of his own gospel. That he uses the genre of mimesis, as well as
                                        allegory, in the process of creating new material to proclaim Jesus as Messiah
                                        is, in part, the reason for some of the differences between his gospel material
                                        and the Synoptic material. That he draws from many other sources and intertwines
                                        these other source materials with the Synoptic material to create his allegory
                                        is another reason for these differences. John was not attempting to write an
                                        historical account of events in the life of Jesus. His purpose was to
                                        demonstrate the incorrectness of the position of the Jewish leaders who refused
                                        to see Jesus as the Messiah, as well as to demonstrate the correctness of the
                                        position of those who viewed Jesus as the Messiah, and to support those who held
                                        the position of Jesus as the Messiah by showing that the Law and the Prophets
                                        also testify in favor of Jesus as the Christ.
                                         Matt Estrada




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