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[Synoptic-L] FW: Beloved Disciple

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  • Goodell, Donald (Donald)
    ... From: Goodell, Donald (Donald) Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 2:28 PM To: K.Hanhart@net.HCC.nl Subject: Beloved Disciple Karel: I m just back from leave,
    Message 1 of 2 , May 9, 2002
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Goodell, Donald (Donald)
      Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 2:28 PM
      To: 'K.Hanhart@...'
      Subject: Beloved Disciple


      I'm just back from leave, trying to catch up on the Synoptic-L e-mail threads over the past month or so...so I will have to be brief until I catch up with the posts still there, many of which were left unanswered....and need to be addressed.

      The curious phrase "the disciple whom J. loved" in the 4th gospel applies to an otherwise un-named disciple which early tradition equated with a "John" (Yohananon), and sometimes equated with John the son of Zebedee, but since the description of him in John chapter 21:20 etc. seems to indicate that he lived to advanced age and therefore would discount bar-Zebedee with that attribution---since Yohanon bar Zebedee is reported to have died fairly early on (=according to the Muratorian canon etc.).

      The passage in John 21:20 could be construed to be able to be identified with one of the writers of the 4th gospel named "John" who seems to have lived to advanced age, (possibly "Yohanon the Elder"?) i.e. another "John" than bar-Zebedee.

      See for example Eusebius' claims that there were TWO JOHNs on a monument in Ephesus, "the first John, he [Papias] mentions in connexion with Peter and James and Matthew, and the other apostles, clearly refering to the Evangelist [John]...but the OTHER JOHN he mentions only after an interval had elapsed, and places him amonst others OUTSIDE the number of apostles, and even placing Aristion before him, whom he distinctly calls a PRESBYTER (=elder). This shows that the statement of those is true say that there were TWO PERSONS IN ASIA [MINOR] THAT BORE THE SAME NAME [YOHANON] AND MOREOVER THERE WERE TWO TOMBS IN EPHESUS EACH OF WHICH TO THIS DAY ARE CALLED THE TOMB OF JOHN..." (Eusebius, Eccelsiastical History, 3.39.3-7)

      Additionally the phrase occurs in the Raising of Lazarus (=Eleazar) where Martha is portrayed as saying, "Master, the disciple (lit: "him") WHOM YOU LOVE is deathly-ill..." (John 11:3) and something like it is also found in the Carpocratian fragment about the raising of the Naked Young Man in the Linen Wrap ("and J. looking upon the youth, began to love him")and somewhat echoed in Mark 10:21 when a man says he has kept the commandments... "from his youth...and J. looking upon him, loved him") etc.

      Some have seen the Beloved Disciple as a kind of "ideal" of discipleship that does not refer to a physical human individual-disciple, but this is hard to square this notion in the 4th gospel with the use of the phrase at the last supper meal where the "Disciple whom J. loved" leans on his breast to hear inside information on the betrayer (John 13:23, however, it is just possible, I suppose, that the term "the one that J. loved" was incorporated into an early text copy from an originally scribal-editorial marginal gloss: "And one of the disciples----THE ONE THATY J. LOVED ----was reclining next to him..."

      There are of course other un-named disciples which occur in the Greek text of the gospel narratives (e.g. the Naked Young Man in the Linen Wrap in Mark 14:51-2 is one famous example, but also the "man" carrying a water jar at the gate of the city" to lead the disciples to pesach prep-rooms Mark 14:13, the "disciple who was known to the high priest, already mentioned below, and the possibly larger group of "unnamed disciples" who fell away from following J. after a certain point in the ministry which caused him to "ask the 12, do you also wish to leave [me]??" John 6:66-69, which suggests tehre were other persons designated as disciples (perhaps not to be confused with the larger circle of 70 APOSTOLOI of Luke, sent out two by two... etc.)

      I find the attribution of the "disciple whom J. loved" equated with Paul (=Shaoul of Tarsus) somehow literarily transported back into the text of the gospel's narrative setting quite un-convincing.

      (One wonders if the whole concept of "a single disciple which J. loved" is nothing more than a sort of literary device harking back to the gospel "Son of David" typology, i.e. a symbolic-Midrashic 2nd David's colouring of the first David's somewhat scurrilous relationship with Jonathan (see I Samuel 20:17 etc. but especially I Sam. 20:30-34, and David's lament in II Sam 1:26, where uncomfortably close intimacy might be presupposed in the text). Perhaps one should dig deeper into Middle Eastern literature for the theme of "beloved friends" (e.g. in the Gilgamesh Epic) or even in the Greek tradition (with Hector and Patroclus etc.)

      There are also those who consider Miryam of Magdala to be the candidate for the beloved disciple, echoed perhaps in the Coptic Gospel of Phillip (found at Nag Hammadi): "...there were three Miryams who followed J...one of them, of Magdala, he used to often kiss on the (text unclear): and his disciples say to each other, Does he love her more than us? etc.

      Just a few thoughts off the top of my head here...now back to my reading your threads...!


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Karel Hanhart [mailto:K.Hanhart@...]
      Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 1:12 PM
      To: Synoptic-L; crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] Beloved Disciple

      Ron Price wrote:

      > > ..... in John 13:23-25, Peter speaks to Jesus
      > >through the BD. This
      > >inidicates that the BD has an even higher status than
      > >the leader of the 12.
      > Frank,
      > It indicates that the Johannine Evangelist attributes to the BD a
      > higher status than Peter.
      > >Only one person had such a status in the movement
      > >founded by Jesus--his
      > >brother: James the Just. Therefore, 13:23-25 clearly
      > >indicates that James the Just is the BD
      > In the Evangelist's eyes, the most revered person in the Jesus
      > movement was Paul, a development of whose theology he vigorously
      > promoted. If the BD was Paul, that would explain why he could not be
      > named. For everyone knew that Paul had played no part in the earthly
      > life of Jesus.

      I too have long favored that the author refers to Paul when writing
      "disciple whom Jesus loved". He does this in just three (!) passages
      10,26; 21,7. 20). The first part of this answer deals with BD=Paul. In
      part I respond briefly to Frank's suggestion re. John 19,26.

      Few students account for the fact that there are two anonymous
      ignoring the keen observation of the Norwegian Alv Kragerud
      1965), namely, that the author himself states there are two unnamed
      disciples. For
      in Peter's boat are a total of 7 disciples, five of whom are named and
      a role
      in the Gospel but two remain anonymous and (- one may assume -) also
      a role
      in it (21,2).
      The author identifies one as the BD three times and mentions four
      different disciple, "known to the high priest" (19,26); who witnessed
      water and
      blood from Jesus' side (19,35) who was the "other disciple", whom Jesus
      "befriended" - ephilei - running with Peter to the memorial (20,3). This

      one was placed next to the Greek named disciple, Andrew (Andreas is pure

      both of whom had heard the Baptist's testimony.
      Both disciples appear to have had authority. The "witness" of the
      disciple "is true" (19,35) and the BD "has written these things", whose
      is true" (21,24).
      Now most Gospel writers appear to appeal to the authority of one of
      apostles: Mark to Peter (and to Paul IMO), Matthew to Peter, Luke to
      Paul. It appears that the fourth Gospel writer appeals to a certain
      believe he is the same John who quietly appears next to Peter in the
      chapters of Acts - quietly for not a word is spoken by him (4,1; 4,6;
      4,19).. He
      is called by some commentators "John of Jerusalem". I have ventured the

      that he was the leader of an Essene group who joined in with the
      disciples of Jesus soon after the crucifixion. Essene influence is too
      strong in
      the Gospel to be ignored. "He...was known to the high priest", should
      taken with a strong dose of Johannine irony. Essenes were at odds with
      Jerusalem high priests..
      This John of Jerusalem must remain anonymous, for he hadn't followed

      before the crucifixion and could not be featured in the Gospel story.
      may well have credited him apostolic authority; it was this John who IMO

      may well
      have founded the ecclesia of Ephesus. He should be distinguished from
      John the presbyter, who wrote the Gospel (cf. 19,33). However, the
      appeals to the authority of two anonymous "disciples". Now Paul could
      called a founder of the Ephesian community. And the author (as some,
      Ron, rightly hold), reflects Paul's christology. His identification as
      one "
      who had written these things" (21,24), would in that case refer to the
      in casu
      Paul and to Paul's letters (!). Tradition has it that the letters had
      collected into the Pauline corpus
      The BD (=Paul) was the one who recognized the man on the shores of
      eternity to
      be the "kurios" (21,7). Postulating Paul as the one who recognized the
      Paul often designated the risen Messiah to be the kurios. The epithet
      would fit Paul very well; he is often named the apostle of love "agape"
      Gal 1 Cor 13).
      In the beginning of the Gospel the key word for one anonymous
      'disciple' is
      "aletheia" - truth; the key word for the other is "charis" (grace),
      fits in with Paul. I have elsewhere analyzed in extenso the roles of
      the BD (Paul) and Judas in the whispered conversation concerning the
      question "who
      would hand Jesus over" .

      Frank's analysis of John 19,26 is interesting. He bases his thesis (BD =

      James) on
      Psalm LXX 21(22),18. "Indeed, in 19:23-27 the author is citing Psalm
      Earlier in this psalm, in verses 9-10, the author refers to his mother
      birth. Later in this psalm, in verse 23, the subject of this psalm
      of his
      brothers (those who offer sacrifices with him) and in the parallel
      of a
      man named Jacob/Israel.
      Thus Frank claims this Jacob could have ignited the idea of Jesus'
      If the other BD passages would clearly refer to James, this may be a

      possibility. But as outlined above, Paul fits much better. Moreover, in

      LXX Psalm
      21 the "mother" and the "brothers" are mentioned in a different
      the one
      reference is far removed from the other.
      What do you evaluate Krageruds observation re. two anonymi ?



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    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 5/9/2002 5:32:14 PM Eastern Daylight Time, dgoodell@lucent.com writes:
      Message 2 of 2 , May 9, 2002
        In a message dated 5/9/2002 5:32:14 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
        dgoodell@... writes:

        << (perhaps not to be confused with the larger circle of 70 APOSTOLOI of
        Luke, sent out two by two... etc.)>>

        Luke never calls the 70 APOSTOLOI, and he is careful, with one or two notable
        exceptions in chapter 14, to reserve the term for the twelve even in Acts.

        Leonard Maluf

        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
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