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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
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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                > Links
                >
                >
                >
                >


                [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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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
                          >
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                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
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                          >
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                          >
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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 12 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 13 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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