Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [John_Lit] New topics worth discussing?

Expand Messages
  • 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
    • 0 Attachment
      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, Matthew, exactly. We do not KNOW there was no historical tradition underlying particular Johannine scenarios, and the presence of literary and
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        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]
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > UNSUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > PROBLEMS?: e-mail johannine_literature-owner@yahoogroups.com
        > MESSAGE ARCHIVE:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_literature/messagesYahoo! Groups
        > 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 3 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 of 24 , Aug 21, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  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]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > SUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > UNSUBSCRIBE: e-mail johannine_literature-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > PROBLEMS?: e-mail johannine_literature-owner@yahoogroups.com
                  > MESSAGE ARCHIVE:
                  > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johannine_literature/messagesYahoo! Groups
                  > Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Mardaga, Hellen
                  Hi David, yes I did, thank you for the suggestion. There is also a recent article which is a critique on Bauckham and Eyewitnesses. it is published by John
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 22, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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 9 of 24 , Aug 28, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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




                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.