Re: [John_Lit] Re: Logos in John and Philo
- Frank, I think that your reconstruction of John the
Baptizer's life is very hypothetical (as your
consistent reliance on the subjunctive indicates) and
that the parallel ethical motifs that you see signify
a common religious and ethical heritage rather than
That's my hunch about your work, but I'm no expert
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- Paul Schmehl, thank you for the input. Hopefully, you'll be more
impressed with another line of reasoning suggesting that John the Baptist
had access to the works of Philo.
In the Clementine Homilies (Homily II, Chapts. XXIII-XXIV). it is said
that "John, a day-baptist" had 30 chief disciples, his favorite being Simon.
This Simon is earlier described (i.e., in Chapt. XXII) as follows, "This
Simon is the son of Antonius and Rachel, a Samaritan by race, of the village
of Gitthae, which is six schoeni distant from the city (of Samaria). He,
having disciplined himself in Alexandria,.."
According to this early Christian tradition, then, John's favorite
disciple had spent some time in Alexandria. Indeed, Egypt appears to have
been one of his favorite locales to visit--for, in the first cited passage
from the Clementine Homilies, it is declared that Simon had been in Egypt at
the time that John was executed!
There is a way to check the credibility of this early Christian
tradition. That is, if John's favorite disciple had been spending much of
his time in Egypt, particularly Alexandria, then one should find evidence of
Alexandria being a secondary center for the Baptizer's
Significantly, in Acts 18:24-25, :it is declared that Apollos of
Alexandria, arrived in Ephesus c. 53 CE "knowing only the baptism of John."
This is evidence that Alexandria was, indeed, a secondary center for the
As there is credible evidence that John's favorite disciple liked
visiting Egypt, particularly Alexandria, John could very well
have obtained copies of Philo's works from this disciple.
Maplewood, MN USA
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Schmehl" <baldeagl@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2000 4:08 PM
Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Re: Logos in John and Philo
> I'm not sure what the point of all this is. Your entire "case" is
> built upon speculation without any evidence at all. I could just as
> easily posit that God had a copy of Philo printed and sent Gabrial to
> deliver it to John.
> It's interesting supposition, but it doesn't prove anything, nor does
> it strengthen your argument. Speculation and innuendo do not confirm
> or refute anything.
> Paul Schmehl baldeagl@...
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- In his post of 28-9-00. Horace Jeffery Hodges
suggests that similarities between Philionic thought and Johannine thought
are probably due to first century CE motifs and traditions known to both
rather than to
John having read Philo. Certainly, some of the similarities are due to
motifs and traditions known to both. However, it could still be that the
author of John read some of Philo's works. Let me give a case in point..
In Philo's work, Fuga, we have this sequence regarding the Logos as the
true High Priest of Leviticus 21:10-14:
109 His father is God
110 He is anointed by God with the Spirit as Sophia
111 He is King of the Cosmos in the sense of being God's Vice-roy
114 He is betrothed
In Chapter three of John, we have this sequence regarding what the Baptizer
says about Jesus:
29. He is the Bridegroom
31. He is the King of the Cosmos ("is above all")
34. He is anointed by God with the Spirit ("for not by measure gives God
35a. His father is God ("The Father loves the Son")
Note that the sequence in Fuga is in reverse order to that in John:
109 = 35a
110 = 34
111 = 31
114 = 29
This is because, I suggest, the author of John was glancing at Fuga in
reverse order of the narrative flow
while writing this section of his gospel.
There is a way to test this hypothesis. That is, if it is true, than
John 3:35b should directly relate to a passage in Fuga not long before 109.
Indeed. this is the case! In particular, John 3:35b directly relates to
In John 3:35b, John declares, the Father "has given all things into his
(i.e., the Son's) hand." How can the Son govern the Cosmos through his
hand? The answer is found in Fuga 101, where Philo declares that, "while
the Logos is the charioteer of the Powers, He Who talks is seated in the
chariot, giving directions to the charioteer for the right-wielding of the
reins of the universe." In his right-wielding of the reins of the universe,
of course, the Logos uses his hand. Therefore, in Fuga 101 we have a scene
in which God has given the rulership of all things into the hand of the
Logos--thereby making it an amazing parallel to John 3:35b: where the Father
has given the rulership of all things into the hand of the Son...
That this hypothesis passes this test of its validity in a decisive
fashion means that it likely is true. Therefore, it is likely that the
author of John was glancing at Fuga 101-14 in reverse order of its
narrative flow while writing John
I've had more than my share of recent posts. So, unless someone asks
me to respond on some point(s), I'm going to sit back and just read what
to say on topics relating to Johannine literature for a while.
Maplewood, MN USA
----- Original Message -----