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Re: [John_Lit] New topics worth discussing?

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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 1 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
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • 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 6 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 7 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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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • 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 8 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





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • 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 9 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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                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • 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 10 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@...


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • 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 11 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





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • 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 12 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 13 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 14 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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                              • 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 15 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 16 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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