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RE: [John_Lit] Order in John

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  • Matson, Mark A. (Academic)
    ... David: I see where you are interested in the miracle traditions, and the way they may or may not be used in some assessment of historical backgrounds to
    Message 1 of 28 , May 10 2:57 PM
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      David Hunter wrote:

      > This method raises another question - what does this approach
      > mean for the
      > Johannine view that Jesus was arrested in the aftermath of
      > his raising of
      > Lazarus. Theologically, Meier and others bring out the
      > wonderful yet sinister
      > irony of this moment. But what does it mean politically, for
      > example? Can a
      > miracle account and the popular movement it precipitates,
      > threaten an empire
      > (as per the analysis of 11:47-48)? (In this context I'm
      > looking forward to
      > Musa W. Dube Shomanah's paper mentioned by Jeffery Hodges.) But if the
      > Johannine agenda that links the miracle and the arrest is
      > stripped from these
      > accounts then we lose the sense of why Jesus is arrested and
      > executed by the
      > State. In this area, I find Crossan helpful in his attempt to
      > engage the
      > social impact of the healing tradition. (* Birth of
      > Christianity* pp. 293ff.
      > See also a brief perhaps superficial comment on Meier pp. 302-304.)
      >
      David:
      I see where you are interested in the miracle traditions, and the way they
      may or may not be used in some assessment of historical backgrounds to the
      FG. Let me say at the outset that I have argued for quite some time that
      the Fourth Gospel does have something unique to add to the question of the
      historical Jesus (my paper on this,"The Contribution to the Temple Cleansing
      by the Fourth Gospel", using the temple cleansing as point of reference, can
      be found in the 1992 SBL Seminar Papers). While I think there is an
      independent historical substrata, I also think it is difficult to get very
      precise about what it is without the other gospels as points of reference.

      With that caveat said, I think your post raises some interesting questions
      that might be engaged.

      First, I wonder of Meier or others would simply suggest that stripping the
      accounts in John of the Johannine agenda would get one to historical data.
      It would seem that multiple accounts are important, and hence the reason
      that such things as baptism, temple cleansing, etc. figure largely. We know
      the big events because they also occur in Mark, etc. From there we can
      explore whether John presents some insight that is more likely historically.
      Any gospel that reports an event alone, with multiple attestation, is a bit
      suspect, isn't it? And would this be the case with both Cana and Lazarus?

      More importantly, though, I wonder if you characterization of John's
      presentation of Jesus' arrest is correct. Is the Lazarus event really
      presented as the initiating event?

      Granted, that Jn. 12:9-10 links the Lazarus event directly with the
      intention to put Jesus to death. But note that Jn. 11:45 ff. actually cites
      "this many is performing many signs".... which links to the gospel as a
      whole. Note therefore that the whole gospel has this motif built into it
      -- that is that the judgement of death is prefigured from the very
      beginning:
      2:18 the Jews cross examine him about his temple action, and ask
      what signs he performs to validate himself.
      5:16 the Jews started persecuting Jesus... (v. 18) for this reason
      they were seeking all the more to kill him.
      7: 1 ... he did not wish to go to Judea because the Jews were
      looking for an opportunity to kill him.
      7:25 the people said "is this not the man whom they are trying to
      kill?"
      8:59 then they (the Jews) picked up stones to throw at him, but
      Jesus hid himself...
      10:31 the Jews took up stones to stone him.... (v. 39) They tried
      to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands
      then 11:45 ff.

      The point of all this is that the Lazarus episode can be overemphasized. It
      is one event in the Johannine story that shows consistent and early
      opposition to Jesus by the Judean authorities (the "Jews"). The Lazarus
      story adds poignancy to this developing emphasis of rejection, but it is not
      that crucial. Is it? I would think, instead of focusing on the one account,
      that an analysis of the narrative structure would be important. Now the
      question is, is there some validity to John's presentation of early and
      increasing opposition? I think it is possible to make this case. But I
      guess I would rather focus on John's major focus, which is not opposition to
      any one sign per se, but rather to the pattern of the rejection of Jesus
      almost in inverse proportion to the degree that he reveals His nature,
      through signs and through speeches.

      Don't know if this hits at the point of your post, but perhaps it adds
      something to the discussion.

      Mark A. Matson, Ph.D.
      Academic Dean
      Milligan College
    • Jeffrey L. Staley
      ... This really sounds interesting. Let us know exactly when it comes out, since I am not at an institution that carries this. I had lots of fun using
      Message 2 of 28 , May 12 3:15 PM
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        > I have a long article on Labahn's book (along with Fehribach's on women and
        > Manfred Lang's on the Johannine Passion narrative and Mark and Luke as
        > sources [also 1999 - FRLANT] ) in the next issue of "Salesianum" - "Where
        > Does one Look. Reflections on Some Recent Johannine Scholarship." It is all
        > about Johannine sources ... not only synoptics (Lang and Labahn), but also
        > the issue of intertextuality (Labahn and Fehribach).

        This really sounds interesting. Let us know exactly when it comes out, since I am not at an institution that carries this. I had lots
        of fun using Fehribach's book last year in my John class. If you want a really interesting project, look at the film "The Last
        Temptation of Christ," read Fehribach's book, then go back and view the film again. Some really provocative iissues there.
      • Ken Durkin
        ... From: Stephen C. Carlson To: Sent: Saturday, May 06, 2000 3:39 PM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
        Message 3 of 28 , May 28 1:21 PM
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Stephen C. Carlson <scarlson@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@egroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, May 06, 2000 3:39 PM
          Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Order in John



          > For those who identify John Mark as the Fourth Evangelist, I would
          > like to know how they deal with Papias' testimony, because it is
          > that part that gives me the difficulties.

          For those who identify John Mark as the Fourth Evangelist, the only way to
          deal with this "testimony" is to suggest Papias is confused. For example,
          it's possible he was confused over the apostle Philip and the Philip of AA
          21.

          Ken Durkin
        • Ken Durkin
          ... From: Ken Durkin To: Sent: Sunday, May 28, 2000 9:21 PM Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Order
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 6, 2000
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Ken Durkin <ind.fin.choices@...>
            To: <johannine_literature@egroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, May 28, 2000 9:21 PM
            Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Order in John


            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Stephen C. Carlson <scarlson@...>
            > To: <johannine_literature@egroups.com>
            > Sent: Saturday, May 06, 2000 3:39 PM
            > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Order in John
            >
            >
            >
            > > For those who identify John Mark as the Fourth Evangelist, I would
            > > like to know how they deal with Papias' testimony, because it is
            > > that part that gives me the difficulties.
            >
            > For those who identify John Mark as the Fourth Evangelist, the only way to
            > deal with this "testimony" is to suggest Papias is confused. For example,
            > it's possible he was confused over the apostle Philip and the Philip of AA
            > 21.
            >
            > Ken Durkin

            I've given this more thought. Regarding Papias' testimony, I've never been
            convinced that the Second Gospel has any special relationship to Peter.
            Kümmel (Intro to NT) used to sum up my thoughts on this: "The tradition that
            Mark was written by John Mark is therefore scarcely reliable." From the
            extant words of Papias there is no reason to relate them to the Second
            Gospel. We can conclude that there is a tradition that a companion of Peter
            was a writer, and what he wrote was possibly in a different order from other
            written traditions. The insistence that he neither heard the Lord nor
            followed him is the part that gives me difficulties. Perhaps this is one way
            of saying Mark was not an apostle.

            Ken Durkin
          • Stephen C. Carlson
            ... Let me quote Papias s statement: 15 And the presbyter would say this: Mark, who was indeed Peter s interpreter, accurately wrote as much as he remembered,
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 7, 2000
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              At 09:10 AM 6/6/00 +0100, Ken Durkin wrote:
              >> ----- Original Message -----
              >> From: Stephen C. Carlson <scarlson@...>
              >> > For those who identify John Mark as the Fourth Evangelist, I would
              >> > like to know how they deal with Papias' testimony, because it is
              >> > that part that gives me the difficulties.
              >
              >I've given this more thought. Regarding Papias' testimony, I've never been
              >convinced that the Second Gospel has any special relationship to Peter.
              >Kümmel (Intro to NT) used to sum up my thoughts on this: "The tradition that
              >Mark was written by John Mark is therefore scarcely reliable." From the
              >extant words of Papias there is no reason to relate them to the Second
              >Gospel. We can conclude that there is a tradition that a companion of Peter
              >was a writer, and what he wrote was possibly in a different order from other
              >written traditions. The insistence that he neither heard the Lord nor
              >followed him is the part that gives me difficulties. Perhaps this is one way
              >of saying Mark was not an apostle.

              Let me quote Papias's statement:

              15 And the presbyter would say this: Mark, who was indeed Peter's
              interpreter, accurately wrote as much as he remembered, yet not in order,
              about that which was either said or did by the Lord. For he neither heard
              the Lord nor followed him, but later, as I said, Peter, who as necessary
              would make his teachings but not exactly an arrangement of the Lord's
              reports, so that Mark did not fail by writing certain things as he recalled.
              For he had one purpose, not to omit what he heard or falsify them.

              Could this statement refer to the Second Gospel? We may infer from
              Papias's three defenses of Mark, three characteristics of this gospel.

              1. Mark's lack of order was due to writing down Peter's disconnected
              anecdotes. This implies that the gospel was criticized for its order.
              I have just listened to the Second Gospel on tape, and my strongest
              impression is that the gospel is episodic without a strong narrative
              order, except for the occasional intercalation. Although I haven't
              listened to John on tape, my recollection is that its narrative flow
              is clearer (e.g. this is the first sign that Jesus did).

              2. Mark's purpose was not to omit what he heard. This defense implies
              that the gospel was criticized for missing material. The Second Gospel
              is the shortest of the four and arguably lacks a lot material Christians
              have found most interesting (e.g. Sermon on the Mount, resurrection
              appearances, etc.).

              3. Mark's purpose as not to falsify what he heard. This defense implies
              that the gospel was criticized for relating the same incidents differently.
              Although this charge could be laid at any of the synoptics because they
              share much material in common, the 4G has much less material in common
              with the others.

              Therefore, I find the best understanding of Papias's defense is a
              defense of the Second Gospel, which Papias' clearly associates with
              Mark. It is easy to fault Papias because it is equally hard to see
              how the Second Gospel is Petrine and therefore call into question
              this identification. However, if we look closely at the presbyter's
              statement, we notice that the presbyter only states that someone
              named Mark had been Peter's interpreter and wrote a gospel. There
              is nothing in the presbyter's statement that the relationship between
              Peter and Mark was close (in fact, it is not uncommon for ex-employee
              to be "disgruntled") nor that Mark wrote closely with Peter or even
              when Peter was still alive. Whether the subject matter of Mark came
              from Peter is merely an inference that Papias drew from the presbyter's
              statement and is difficult to credit. Interestingly, Papias does not
              even go far to express whether Peter was still alive when Mark wrote
              what "he" (Peter? Mark?) remembered. Thus, I find the supposition
              "that the Second Gospel has any special relationship to Peter" to be
              unsupported by Papias's testimony.

              What I conclude from Papias's testimony is that the tradition that
              Mark wrote the Second Gospel is early, extending as back to this
              presbyter, who flourished at least in the last decade of the first
              century. This presbyter was named John, and there is good reason
              to connect him first with 2, 3 John, then with 1 John, and finally
              with (the final form of) the 4G (see Hengel for the argument).

              Since the presbyter talks about Mark as if Mark was another person,
              it is difficult to identify John Mark as the same person as the
              Fourth Evangelist. Even Pierson Parker, who made a case for this
              identification, conceded he couldn't explain Papias's testimony.

              Stephen Carlson
              --
              Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
              Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
              "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
            • Ken Durkin
              ... From: Stephen C. Carlson To: Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2000 3:26 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
              Message 6 of 28 , Jun 8, 2000
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Stephen C. Carlson <scarlson@...>
                To: <johannine_literature@egroups.com>
                Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2000 3:26 AM
                Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Order in John


                And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter,
                wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in
                exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither
                heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he
                accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of
                his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the
                Lord's sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things
                as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit
                anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the
                statements. [From http://www.newadvent.org/fathers ]

                We have to be careful that the discussion is about 4G and not 2G, but it is
                relevant since we are looking at John Mark as the authority behind 4G and
                tradition has linked him to 2G. I note your reasons. I see it differently.

                "Not to omit anything he had heard" indicates the inclusion of material
                which is different and disputed.

                "not to put anything fictitious into statements" in relation to "narrative
                of the Lord's sayings" indicates long discourses of Jesus.

                "not in exact order" indicates a different order from the accepted order,
                and I cannot help but think accepted order is Synoptic order.

                Papias is making excuses for Mark's written testimony being different from
                the accepted pattern, and he explains this by saying he neither heard nor
                followed the Lord.

                <the Second Gospel, which Papias' clearly associates with
                Mark>

                If all we had were the words of Papias to identify authority behind one of
                the four gospels, there is nothing to suggest a clear link with 2G.

                Ken Durkin
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