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[John_Lit] Re: Theories of composition

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  • Paul Anderson
    Dear Nigel,Thanks for the question. I like Richard Bauckham s work and am generally familiar with his stand on this matter, although I have not read this
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 2, 1999
      Dear Nigel,

      Thanks for the question. I like Richard Bauckham's work and am generally
      familiar with his stand on this matter, although I have not read this
      particular piece.

      His basic point (from what I understand of it) is a good one -- that it is
      a mistake to see the gospels being written for a particular situation
      rather than being prepared for broader Christian use. This is an important
      point to keep in mind, and I basically agree with it. Then again, "for"
      all Christians is not the same as "by" all Christians. As well as prepared
      for broader circulation, they also represent particular struggles within
      local communities and the telling of the Jesus story within particular
      contexts for particular audiences as the material is being formed. Even
      one's understanding of "the rest of the Christian world" will have been
      normed by the limitations of specific contacts and impressions, so moving
      too far in the general direction has its problems too.

      Take Matthew and John, for instance, which most represent the work of
      particular communities and their formation of gospel material. While the
      finalized gospels may have been circulated for more general use, the oral
      and written traditions would have come together within particular settings
      and would have been crafted to meet the needs of those situations. Papias
      even claims as much for the formation of the pre-Marcan material, although
      a particular community is not implied there. Also, there is a bit of an
      exchange (I believe) between Johannine and Matthean renderings of a few
      matters (ecclesiology, apostolicity, authority, etc.), which leads me to
      believe that even in producing "universal" documents, there may have still
      been some particular views -- even within the Christian fellowship -- which
      the circulation of these gospels addressed. In that sense, their "general"
      circulation did not occur in a vacuum.

      Thaks for the question!

      Paul Anderson

      At 10:02 PM +1200 6/2/99, N & RJ Hanscamp wrote:
      >Thankyou for the information you gave (last Thurs). I have a question to
      >put to the list regarding the above and the work produced by Richard
      >Bauckham et al (1998), "The Gospels for all Christians". Reviews have
      >been slow coming out, and the possible implications have not yet been
      >touched on. What are the thoughts of listmembers on the book's impact on
      >Johannine studies - esp. theories of composition. (I'm also sorry it wasn't
      >out in time for comment in Prof. Moloney's commentary.)
      >Nigel and Rebecca Hanscamp
      >Trinity Methodist Theological College
      >Auckland Consortium of Theological Education, New Zealand
      >Email: nar.hanscamp@...
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