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RE: [John_Lit] Why ascribed to John?

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  • Pete Phillips
    Here we go then. 1. What is your perception of Galilee and the inhabitants of Galilee? Hellenized Jew might well be a good description of someone coming from
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 16, 2000
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      Here we go then.

      1. What is your perception of Galilee and the inhabitants of Galilee?
      Hellenized Jew might well be a good description of someone coming from
      Galilee of the Gentiles. Who said the sons of thunder were Jewish
      anyway??? Who says that's the John in question (see Hengel et al.)??? Who
      says that the beloved disciple ahs anything to do with authorship -
      remember that many modern commentators have argued that the BD is nothing
      other than a textual device.

      2. You also say, in a the first paragraph that we need to sort out all the
      inconsistencies etc. Why? Why assume that an aporia is a sign of editing?
      Do you do that with a student's work? Or with a scholarly monograph? Do
      you read the text so closely that everytime the thought seems to slip to a
      different theme it must be a different hand at work?

      3. Couldn't it be that the text is actually constructed to destabilize the
      reader rather than simply transfer information over. Look at the way in
      which the deconstruction commentators deal with texts - Barthes doesn't try
      to suggest that the inconsistencies in Sarrasine mean that Balzac was only
      the last of many hands to edit the text. He looks rather at the
      structuralist, psychological and semiotic reasons for the inconsistencies.
      The aporias in John could be seen in terms of a strategy of multiple
      reading or one of destabilisation of the reader in order to instatiate a
      new community identity. Of course you might not get anywhere with
      this...But the point is that you don't have to run down the historical
      critical cul-de-sac to work at the problems.


      Peter Phillips
      New Testament Lecturer and Director of Studies,
      Cliff College,
      Hope Valley, Derbyshire, UK

      Tel: +44 1246 582321 x122
      Fax: +44 1246 583739

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Peter Hofrichter [SMTP:Peter.Hofrichter@...]
      Sent: Monday, October 16, 2000 01:38
      To: johannine_literature@egroups.com
      Subject: RE: [John_Lit] Why ascribed to John?

      Dear Pete!
      I respect all scepticism against historical criticisme and reconstructions
      but one has to explain the breaks and inconsitencies of our text. The text
      is the source of revelation but not the revelation itselve. And this source
      has to be read critically with all historcal instruments. Theories are not
      at all facts but unfortunately the only thing available. And every theory
      is valid as much and as long it seems convincing and is not replaced by a
      better one. Such is all historical perception and knowledge. What is the

      As to the significance of who wrote text of the "Gospel of John": I think
      it is worthwile to consider whether the "Thunder-Son", brother of James and
      friend of Peter can have written the Gospel or rather someone coming from
      an totally different background. The author of our Gospel is not at all a
      fanatic Galilean of apocalyptic zeal but a cultivated hellenistic Jew
      believing in eternal live rather than in a last judgement or a cosmic


      >Although of course Peter's reconstruction of Johannine vorlage is his
      >reconstruction. It is not fact and should not be portrayed as fact. The
      >truth is we we can never know the prehistory of any text. That's the
      >problem with source criticism and the whole modernist based historical
      >critical school. It ends up suffering the same terminal disease that
      >Schweitzer warned us of concerning the Quest - the reconstructer looks
      >the well and see his own reflection. We can't help seeing our own
      >reflection - we can't see anyone else's and so our interpretation and
      >reconstruction is moulded to our needs rather than the text's.
      >Surely John is ascribed to John simply because the Church tradition
      >eventually associated his name with the work whether it did this
      >immediately or after several decades is meaningless. After all, what
      >difference to the text does it make who wrote it? Is the text nullified
      >a change in author? Surely we have gone far enough away from the
      >intentionalist fallacy in Biblical Studies to move away from the wrangle
      >about who penned what???
      >Peter Phillips
      >New Testament Lecturer and Director of Studies,
      >Cliff College,
      >Hope Valley, Derbyshire, UK
      >Tel: +44 1246 582321 x122
      >Fax: +44 1246 583739
      >-----Original Message-----
      >From: Peter Hofrichter [SMTP:Peter.Hofrichter@...]
      >Sent: Sunday, October 15, 2000 05:38
      >To: Ken Durkin; Ken Durkin
      >Subject: [John_Lit] Why ascribed to John?
      >Dear Ken!
      >You ask: Why was the Gospel of John ascribed to John? In a later stratum
      >the figure of the
      >Belolved Disciple was introduced and pushed the original authorities into
      >the background.
      >But he was not from the beginning identified with John. We see in the Acts
      >of the Apostles
      >that at a certain time John and Peter emerged as the new pair of
      >authorieties and that they
      >blamed and corrected decisively the mission work of Philip in Samaria
      >baptizing the people
      >with holy spirit and expelling Simon Magus from the Church. It would fit
      >with this
      >obvservation that the Gospel of Andrew and Philip (I call it
      >Hellenistenbuch) was urgently
      >in need of a new authority. Peter became the heroe of the Gospels Mark and
      >Matthew. But
      >the "Helenistenbuch" was antipetrine, so John was the solution, and one
      >could identifie the
      >Beloved Discipel with him. By this ascription the "Gospel of John was at
      >last saved for the
      >Church. Still Justin the Martyr knew it but did not count it among the
      >"rememberings of
      >the apostles". It was accepted only against the End of the second century.
      >Univ.-Prof. DDr. Peter Hofrichter
      >Vorstand des Instituts fur Kirchengeschichte und Patrologie
      >Universitatsplatz 1, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria
      >Tel +43/662/8044/2700, 2704, Fax 2709
      >privat: Wallmannhofstrasse 3, A-5400 Hallein, Austria
      >Tel/Fax +43/6245/85010, +43/664/2027098
      >Homepage: http://www.sbg.ac.at/kig/fs2.htm
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      Univ.-Prof. DDr Peter Hofrichter
      Institut fur Kirchengeschichte und Patrologie
      Universitat Salzburg
      Tel +43 662 8044 2700, home +43 6245 85010, mobil +43 664 2027098
      homepage: www.sbg.ac.at/kig

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