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Old 06-19-2001, 07:48 AM   #21
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Michael:
In The Essene Odyssey, Hugh Schonfield puzzled over the inclusion of one "Yochanan ben Zabda" (=John bar Zebedee) as
the partner of physician Asaph ben Berechiah in the ancient Sepher Refu'ot (Book of Medicines), a writing with Qumran affinities.
</font>
What is meant by the "Book of Medicines" (Sepher Refu'ot) being a "writing with Qumran affinities?"

If it is a part of the DSS, I haven't heard of it yet. Is there a "discovery number" for the book (e.g. 4Q265)? If not, how does Schonfield link it with Qumran?

Also, if it is not a part of the DSS, do you know where I can find it to investigate for myself?

Thanks,
Ish
 
Old 06-19-2001, 08:52 AM   #22
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by James Still:
Nomad (and others) have argued that the author of the Gospel of John was the disciple of Jesus (the son of Zebedee) and thus an eyewitness to Jesus' words and deeds. Irenaeus (c. 180) tells us that the disciple John "produced his gospel while he was living at Ephesus in Asia." But Irenaeus' testimony is problematic. The work seems to have been used and commented upon extensively in Egypt but was not known in Asia Minor or Rome until later. Igantius, Papias, Justin, and Smyrna were unaware of it. The Timothies and Titus never refer to it even though they were written after the gospel in Ephesus. Certainly at least one of these sources should have known about such a radical departure from the Synoptics had it been written at Ephesus as Iranaeus believed.

Let's look at the internal evidence where an indirect claim of authorship is made. The first sentence to the epilogue of John's Gospel says:

"This is the disciple who is testifying to all this and has written it down, and we know that his testimony is reliable" (21:24).

To whom does the pronoun "this" refer? Certainly the "disciple Jesus loved most" just mentioned in 21:20 where Jesus chastises Peter for insinuating that the beloved disciple was a traitor. Jesus tells Peter that the beloved disciple is to "stay around" until he returns, which the Johannine community evidently had interpreted to mean that the beloved disciple would never die (21:23). That makes sense since Jesus taught that God's rule would be established within their lifetimes. But apparently the beloved disciple did die prompting the redactor of John to qualify the rumor:

"Because of this [Jesus' answer to Peter] the rumor spread among the family of believers that this disciple wouldn't die. But Jesus had not said to him, 'He won't die'; he said, 'What business is it of yours if I want him to stay around till I come?'" (21:23).

In other words, Jesus was very late in returning and the author of this epilogue is writing during a time in which the community no longer expected his imminent return. The curious parenthetical remark at 19:35 further bolsters the argument that the beloved disciple is said to be the author because the text tells us that only he and the women were at the cross. So the question naturally arises, why consider the disciple John to be one and the same person as the mysterious and unnamed beloved disciple? Iranaeus assumes as much when he writes that the author of John "leaned on the Lord's breast" just as the beloved disciple did at the Last Supper. But this assumption is unwarranted because it is certainly not clear from the text or from external evidence that the beloved disciple is the same person as John the son of Zebedee. Also, whoever wrote the epilogue for John's Gospel was not himself the author because he tells us that "his [the beloved disciple's] testimony is reliable."

Of course, some have argued that passages such as this and 19:35 are self-referential rather than by the hand of a later redactor. Even if that were true (and I think it is a bit of a stretch) a serious problem remains. John was likely martyred before the destruction of Rome in 70 CE. Clement quotes (from Heracleon's list) those apostles who were not martyred and John is not among them (the four are Matthew, Philip, Thomas, and Levi). This agrees with Jesus' prophecy in Mark 10:35-40 where he tells James and John that they too will suffer and die the way he is destined to do. So unless John wrote the gospel before 70 CE, which very few (if any) scholars believe, then John could not have been its author.

I think this is enough to make my point clear. I have left out two of the stronger arguments against John being the author of the gospel named after him. In passing they are that the fourth gospel is too Hellenized and radical to have come from the mind of an observant Jew and Galilean fisherman who followed a peasant rabbi. John's Gnosticized theology is very different from the portrayal of Jesus in the Synoptics. The second argument is much longer and relies upon a detailed analysis of internal inconsistencies, both of chronology as well as redactions and rewrites at the seams of earlier versions. Demonstrating these layers is beyond my skills and I rely upon the judgment of scholars who have spent years studying the internal evidence. I'm struck by the fact that it is relatively uncontroversial to say that John was redacted several times before its final version. Given this scholarly consensus and given my argument above, the burden rests with those who claim that John the disciple of Jesus wrote the fourth gospel to provide good reasons for the claim.
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Hi Still.

I agree that John was Probably not written by John the Son of Zeb. But that doesn't mean it was not written by an eye witness. It has certain unique features that imply eye-witness. For example the introduction of a social life of Jesus with the Bethany cirlce of believers, and recorded emotions of Jesus, attention to Mary only (why? Because that was probably the community that MM wound up in so they prized her testimony above all else).

My guess is that it was written by "John the Elder" whose tomb is found at Ephasis. He probably wrote the Epistles too, intorducing himself as the Elder. Papias distinguishes him from John the Apostle. The similarity in name might explian the confussion in authorship.

1st John claims to be written by an eye witness "what we have seen with our eyes, touched with our hands..."

A really good book if you haven't read it already is The Johonnine Circle by Erst Kasemann. It's old but good. Worth a read.
 
Old 06-19-2001, 08:56 AM   #23
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by offa:
soap opera? What are the gospels all about? You fundies cannot refute my claims because you are buried in dogma. Show me any place in the bible where it says that Jesus' feet were pierced and then I will believe. I'll bet you could get a million fundies to say, yes .., his feet were pierced and who besides me have you ever heard make that charge? A million to one and I am still correct. Jesus was crucified in A.D. 33 and met Paul in A.D. 37.
Had Paul not changed Jesus into some kind of mistique being we would not be engrossed in these exchanges.

thanks, offa
</font>

We can't refute your claims because they are based on a total lack of information. That's like saying Jesus had a cousin whose never mentioned anywhere, named Roufus. You cannot prove he didn't.

His feet were probably preiced bcause in crucifiction the Romans tended to do that. Who cares? How can you possibly assert that MM was pregers with Jesus kid? That's just absurd.
 
Old 06-19-2001, 09:08 AM   #24
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by James Still:
I do not believe that the fourth gospel was written by an eyewitness for essentially the same reasons it was not written by John. If (1) a direct disciple did not write it;</font>


Meta =&gt;You mean an Apostle? I don't see anything that would prevent it from being written by someone who saw Jesus and heard him preach, perhaps saw a miracle, perhaps saw him risen. But the introduction of the Bethany circle indicates that there was a wider range of people who knew Jesus than just the 12. BTW Kasemann nomiates Lazarus as the candidate for BD. I say "Elder John" though.


(2) it contains evidence of redaction over time;

MEta =&gt;Big deal. That doens't prvent it from being based upon eye witness accounts. They didn't have the attitude toward testimony that we do. They had no modern concept of court room testimony. The redaction process is understandable given teh community teaching situation.


(3) no one in Rome or Asia Minor appears aware of it until late in the second century;

Meta =&gt;How does that prevent it from being based upon eye-witness testimony? It only means that it was the closed provence of a circle of believers, a community, perhpas in oral form, but that doesn't mean it wasn't based upon eye witness.

The Epistle of the Apostles quotes from it in mid second century. Ignatious and Plycarp both quote form it, which places it at least in 110-120. And since John Rylands frag. was found in Egypt, but the document reflects an origin in Jerusalem or Asia Minor, than it probably was written a long time before that, this is why most scholars place it about AD 90. But a growing minority place it in the 60s.


(4) it was written after the community was kicked out of the synagogues;

Meta -&gt;AGain I'm having trouble seeing why that would mean it wasn't based upon eye witness testimony.


and (5) while the gospel is Jewish on the whole its otherworldly portrayal of Jesus as the divine "word and reason" is not likely to have come from an eyewitness who knew the real itinerant rabbi who taught in rural Galilee.

MEta =&gt;How do you arive at that conclusion? That is a very Jewish concept. Moreover, so what if the prologue is added latter?


 
Old 06-19-2001, 09:37 AM   #25
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by James Still:
An eyewitness would have known that Jesus and his followers were allowed in synagogues. But in one of the six miracle stories, we find that the parents of the boy who was born blind,

"were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue" (9:22).

Likewise, the author tells us "because of the Pharisees they [the leaders] would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue" (12:42; see also 16:2).</font>


Meta =&gt;That shows clear signs of resentment on the part of the community. That would indicate, given the overall Jewishness of the Gospel, that it might have been written close to the period after which they were put out. It might also be that, since our only evidence for when they were put out (I think) comes from Acts, that there could have been speradic puttings out before the final split. But I think the best way to resolve it is through the redaction.It's a latter redaction from after that time. However, how much latter we can't say, and why that would elemeinate a core testimony is beyond me.

Bultmann identified a Smaritan element in the Gosple (which hints at authorship for John of Z. Because of his role in the Sameritan chruch). So perhaps this resentment is a reflection of the Sameritan roots of the community (I don't think that proves that John the Apostle is the BD but it might hint at the make up of the Johonnine community). That would explain the references to "the Jews," as distinct from the community. I agree overall that these elements are good indications that the community had come to see itself as distinct from "the Jews." But that doesn't prove anything more than a late readation and final composition.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The problem is that the expulsion from the synagogues didn't occur until after the fall of Jerusalem in about 85 CE, a fact which the redactor seems unaware.</font>
Meta =&gt;Fall of Jerusalme was in 70.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
So if the whole text was written by a single author then it was written very late, hence not by an eyewitness. We can salvage the situation (as you suggest) by conceding that the canonical gospel underwent redaction but that there is an "original source" to the text. (By this I take it you mean the Signs Gospel.)</font>
MEta =&gt;Now your talk'n! But it doesn't have to be the signs Gospel. We haven't reduced all possiblities for lost documents to those brought out by Crossan.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
It could very well be that the Signs Gospel was written by an eyewitness although we have absolutely no evidence to suggest that it was.</font>
MEta =&gt;None to suggest it wasn't. But the further back we go the greater likelihood of eye-witness input.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
I'm willing to admit that it is very early, even that it is contemporaneous with Q, since the Signs Gospel and the Q Gospel are not radically different. (What I mean by that is the "divine man" motif of the canonical John is wholly absent from the Signs Gospel.)</font>
Meta=&gt;How do we reallly know that?

Bede writes:

"The lack of early quotations is an argument from silence. We have reason to believe GJohn was treated as suspiciously gnostic and was accepted as orthodox rather late. Your point on the commentary in Egypt reinforces this."


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
When someone employs an argument from silence in one of Paul's letters (say to the empty tomb) then I agree that such an argument is very weak.</font>
MEta=&gt; Gee really? Where have I heard that before?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
But in this case we have several church fathers and three letters, all of which fail to cite or mention anything from John.</font>
Meta-&gt;I don't know how you figure that. The three next oldest sources of extracanonical origin to Clement quote John: Igatious, Polycarp, Papias (the latter speicifically attributes the Gospel to him). None of the Catholic epistles quote any of the Gospels. In fact there is much more ealry attestation to John than to Mark. see Koster Ancient Christian Gosples


Doesn't that strike you as odd?

MEta =&gt;No.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Now, if they were only aware of the Signs Gospel and not the canonical text we know today then that wouldn't strike me as odd. But it seems too fantastical to believe that Justin Martyr or Bishop Papias would not mention the canonical John since it is such a radical departure from the Synoptics. If they were suspicious of the text all the more reason to mention it in order to discredit it.</font>
MEta-&gt;I think Papias does mention it. I may be thinking of Iranaeus.


Bede writes:

"Your final point is quite invalid even on a rationalist basis. People with incredible charisma have had very odd effects on their followers. With decades of reinforcement from the burgening Christian cult I don't think that the writer of GJohn, though an eye witness, could not have ended up with a divine view of Jesus."


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
This just doesn't seem plausible to me (but perhaps I'm not understanding your point). You're suggesting that the eyewitness employed the divine man motif in his writing. Yet, surely he was aware of the other three gospels (as well as the larger oral tradition all around him) so that he had to know that his viewpoint was very different from everyone else's understanding of Jesus. Wouldn't it seem likely that he would seek to correct those other accounts, especially given that he is an eyewitness and believes himself to be right (and them wrong)? Even if you're correct we're left with a situation in which different eyewitnesses came away from their experiences with very different understandings of Jesus and his ministry. The skeptic is likely to say, "look at Luke and John; they or their sources can't agree and it seems so subjective why should I take it seriously?"</font>
Meta =&gt;The "divine man" motif in John is different from the presentation of other Gosples, but it is not wholly absent from the synoptics. It's not in the same form, but references to "Son of God" are refrences to the Jewish concept of Messiah, and that was that of a pre-mundane being to whom all the divine names are applied.


Bede writes: "The internal evidence is that the redactor thinks the Gospel he's editing is primary and says so (or he's lying in which case classical history is impossible). He is in a much better position to know this than we are. Also, the Gospel insists it is a witness to the crucifixion."


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Yes, the epilogue does say this but it reminds me of chain letters where a fantastical claim is made in the body of the letter and then at the closing the writer says "this is all true, don't change a word and make a bazillion copies and pass it on." All the scholars I've read consider the epilogue to be tacked on by someone in the Johannine community very late. This person would not be in a position to know whether the events described in the gospels were historical or not.</font>
Meta=&gt;Certianly they would be in a position. Being late has nothing to do with it. They are passing on the community knoledge, assuring for future generations that the community has testified to this. But than your assumptions about oral traditon are no doubt very different from mine. YOu probaby regard it as rumor itself, but I do not. I think they had organized efforts to keep oral testimony stairght.


Bede writes: "The circumstantial evidence that shows the writer was familiar with pre 70AD Jerusalem and Galilee, I mention is passing as it reinforces the case. Finally, the date of the crucifixion (Nisan 14) is right in John and wrong in the synoptics. An independently collaborated correct detail that contradicts other sources is highly suggestive of primary evidence."

The details you mention do make a strong case for an early John. However, these details are located within the Signs Gospel and not in the later layers of the text.


MEta =&gt; I'm skeptical of our ability to know that much about a hypothetical Gospel for which there is no textual support. Not that I think its not possible to know it existed, but it is impossible at this time to know exactly what was and was not in it.
 
Old 06-19-2001, 01:47 PM   #26
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Metacrock:
MEta =&gt; I'm skeptical of our ability to know that much about a hypothetical Gospel for which there is no textual support. Not that I think its not possible to know it existed, but it is impossible at this time to know exactly what was and was not in it.[/B]</font>
There's some sort of irony there that I can't exactly put my finger on. Oh yeah, skepticism that ends up leaning closer to belief. That's a first
 
Old 06-19-2001, 02:20 PM   #27
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Meta =&gt;Fall of Jerusalme was in 70.</font>
Yes, but the expulsion was in 85 CE after the fall of Jerusalem.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I wrote: "It could very well be that the Signs Gospel was written by an eyewitness although we have absolutely no evidence to suggest that it was."

MEta =&gt;None to suggest it wasn't. But the further back we go the greater likelihood of eye-witness input.</font>
Touche. Until such time that the evidence tips the balance in favor of an eyewitness core to the gospel, I suggest we remain agnostic about the matter.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I wrote: "I'm willing to admit that it is very early, even that it is contemporaneous with Q, since the Signs Gospel and the Q Gospel are not radically different. (What I mean by that is the "divine man" motif of the canonical John is wholly absent from the Signs Gospel.)"

Meta=&gt;How do we reallly know that?</font>
I don't know about you but my Greek isn't good enough to spot the seams where later redactors came along and inserted material into a more original document. So I'm forced to trust the findings of those who can (and here is where scholarly consensus becomes very important for me). The Signs Gospel -- which I've just found on the net by the way at http://www.earlygospels.net/translat...anslation.html -- has none of the divine man characteristics of the canonical version.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I wrote: "But in this case we have several church fathers and three letters, all of which fail to cite or mention anything from John."

Meta-&gt;I don't know how you figure that. The three next oldest sources of extracanonical origin to Clement quote John: Igatious, Polycarp, Papias (the latter speicifically attributes the Gospel to him). None of the Catholic epistles quote any of the Gospels. In fact there is much more ealry attestation to John than to Mark. see Koster Ancient Christian Gosples</font>
I think for Papias you meant to say Irenaeus who did attribute the gospel to John around 180 CE. Also, I'm quite sure that Ignatius never mentions John and while Polycarp didn't his student Irenaeus does in his Against Heresies as we just established.

What does Koester have to say in this regard? At a very early date Papias does specifically mention Mark as Peter's interpreter but as I've said we don't get early attestation for John. As you said it's probably because the Johannine community kept it close and didn't promulgate it outside of Syria and Alexandria (at least I think that's what Koester and Robinson have argued but it's been awhile since I've read their book). Well, if there are attestations in Asia or Rome earlier than Irenaeus then I've love to know what they are.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Meta =&gt;The "divine man" motif in John is different from the presentation of other Gosples, but it is not wholly absent from the synoptics. It's not in the same form, but references to "Son of God" are refrences to the Jewish concept of Messiah, and that was that of a pre-mundane being to whom all the divine names are applied.</font>
I should clarify that when I say "divine man" I mean an actual god in human form a la the Logos of John. I am not referring to titles of respect or messianic titles. The Johannine Jesus doesn't belong to this world at all and comes to Earth to fulfill his one purpose of getting to that cross. The Jesus of the Synoptics is fully human even though he is especially chosen by God. But I think we agree on that point.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Meta=&gt;Certianly they would be in a position. Being late has nothing to do with it. They are passing on the community knoledge, assuring for future generations that the community has testified to this. But than your assumptions about oral traditon are no doubt very different from mine. YOu probaby regard it as rumor itself, but I do not. I think they had organized efforts to keep oral testimony stairght.</font>
I'm not one of those who say that oral tradition is total "make believe" time but then again I find Linnemann's thesis that it is all about rote memorization equally absurd. The truth is somewhere in the middle and certainly the fact that we see distinct pericopes that can stand on their own is good evidence that they were preserved as stories to be used by the presbyters as the teaching situation demanded. Unpopular stories fell away and popular ones evolved and were expanded upon over time.
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Old 06-19-2001, 04:40 PM   #28
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Metacrock: His feet were probably preiced bcause in crucifiction the Romans tended to do that. Who cares? How can you possibly assert that MM was pregers with Jesus kid? That's just absurd.

It is far more likely than the following: "But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white." (Jn. 20:11-12.) Now, THAT is just absurd!

rodahi




[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited June 19, 2001).]
 
Old 06-19-2001, 04:56 PM   #29
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by James Still:


The problem is that the expulsion from the synagogues didn't occur until after the fall of Jerusalem in about 85 CE, a fact which the redactor seems unaware.


offa; "Of course the redactor is unaware, he completed his book in AD 37!"

 
Old 06-19-2001, 05:17 PM   #30
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by anrkngl:
There's some sort of irony there that I can't exactly put my finger on. Oh yeah, skepticism that ends up leaning closer to belief. That's a first </font>
ahahaahah, told ya I used to be an atheist!
 
 

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