The gospel of John an independent witness?

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Ken Olson
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by Ken Olson » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:41 pm

andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:42 am
Brown's point is that IF an interrogation by night by the high priest and a denial by night by Peter were both part of the pre-Gospel tradition then most of the agreement between Mark and John follows necessarily from the attempt to write a continuous narrative. (There are some agreements in vocabulary which might imply that the present form of John has been assimilated slightly to the synoptic tradition but this does not involve the basic structure of the two narratives.) Whether or not the writer had a personal fondness for intercalation, they have to tell the story in a way that appears intercalated.
Hi Andrew,

That's one of Brown's points, yes. I was responding to his claims, contra Donahue's claim that the sandwiching of Jesus' trial within the story of Peter's denial fit the pattern of a Markan intercalation, that (1) "[Mark] is describing two simultaneous actions, and that is not a feature of intercalation,” and (2) "Donahue's schema does not account for 14.53, which does not fit the pattern" (both from Death 2.427). Both of Brown's claims are wrong; or, rather, they seem to presuppose a standard for what cannot be considered a Markan intercalation that is arbitrary (i.e., Brown simply stipulates them without demonstration).

But let's look at the point you raise here. It is not true that "Whether or not the writer had a personal fondness for intercalation, they have to tell the story in a way that appears intercalated" because Luke managed to narrate the story of the Denial and Trial without making them appear intercalated. John was not forced by necessity to independently invent intercalation. The more usual way an ancient author would use to imply simultaneity of two stories is to introduce the one he tells second with "At the same time" or something similar.

Parallels to Markan intercalation are rare in ancient literature. I'm not actually aware of any outside the gospel tradition, but I haven't read all of ancient literature. Craig Evans suggests Achilles Tatius' Clitophon and Leucippe as a parallel. In 2.2.1, the narrator is telling the story of a dinner and interrupts it to tell origin of the Dionysus myth before returning to the dinner [Evans, "Peter Warming Himself," JBL 101.2 (1982) 245-249]. If this is the closest parallel to a Markan intercalation in ancient literature (which I doubt) then Markan intercalation is unparalleled. In fact, the narrator notes that the time of the dinner was at hand and that it was the feast of Dionysus, and then digresses to explain the origin of the fest of Dionysius before returning to the main storyline. But such digressions and resumptions where an author gives greater detail on things mentioned in the main storyline do not much resemble Markan interpolations in which individual episodes are interrupted with complete other episodes. But even if there are better examples of the technique of intercalation in ancient literature, they would appear to be unusual. We have many examples of authors saying an episode happened "at the same time" as another episode and few of authors inserting one episode into another. We cannot assume that John was forced to invent intercalation to suggest that two events were happening simultaneously. Mark's technique is distinctive (if not unparalleled).

So let me quote Brown here:
But it is far more elaborate than a Marcan intercalation, and represents an ingenious way to do justice to the tradition that these two scenes happened at the same time. John has to do the same, but the very fact that his solution is different from Mark’s helps to show his independence. While he has a similar introduction in which Jesus is led to the high priest and Peter follows, John tells at the outset of the story of the first denial by Peter, only then bringing him into the aule [courtyard](18:15-18:18). Then John tells the story of the interrogation of Jesus and gets Jesus off the scene (18:19-24) before returning to tell of Peter’s second and third denials. I find little evidence here of Johannine dependence on Mark (Death, 1.428).
I’ve already dealt with Brown’s claim that the intercalation in Mark 14.53-15.1 is far more elaborate than a Markan interpolation in my previous post with reference to the ABABA pattern with the Fig Tree/Temple Incident and the observation that having more than the minimum necessary to qualify as a Markan interpolation is not the same as lacking the minimum necessary to be a Markan interpolation. I have also dealt with Brown’s claim that John “has to do the same” by pointing out that Luke was able to tell the story in a different way and that intercalation is a highly unusual way to express simultaneity in ancient literature and intercalation is highly characteristic of Mark.

This leaves Brown’s claim that John’s different solution, narrating the first denial of Peter before he enters the courtyard, helps show his independence from Mark. Brown’s description of the data is surprisingly incomplete. In fact, John decides to intercalate the story of Jesus’ trial hearing right after “Peter warming himself,” just as Mark does (John 18.18, Mark 14.54), and both evangelists repeat those words in the resumed scene about Peter that comes after the interrupting scene about trial scene (John 18.25, Mark 14.66-67). Not only did not John not have to intercalate (because Luke manages to tell the story without doing so), he didn’t have to intercalate at that point or repeat those words, both in agreement with Mark. And we know this because Matthew, who is directly dependent on Mark, managed to narrate the two intercalated scenes without using the words “Peter warming himself” or making any reference to the fire. But for Brown, the fact that John has the first denial of Peter before the break between scenes outweighs these facts. This is odd because, as we have just scene, Luke and Matthew do not feel the need to follow Mark slavishly and we should not suppose John would either. They often don’t reproduce Mark’s intercalations, and where they do, they frequently modify Mark (as Matthew did with omitting the fire motif). In Luke’s version of the sandwiched stories of Jarius’ daughter and the Woman with the flow of blood, Luke has moved one element (the fact that Jairus’ daughter is twelve years old) from the second half of the story where Mark had it (Mark 5.42) to the first half (Luke 8.42). On this basis, I don’t think that what John would have to have done, moving the first denial of Peter from the second to the first half of the divided story, should be beyond the editorial power of the evangelist. Later evangelists making use of Markan intercalations move stuff around.

Raymond Brown was, in general, a very good scholar, and I learned a lot from reading him. But the arguments he made in this particular case are really weak. To his credit, Brown eschews resorting to textual emendation to get rid of the indicators that might suggest dependence on Mark (Death 2.426 n.39).
Andrew: IMO Brown is right here. The problem is whether an interrogation by night by the high priest and a denial by night by Peter really were both part of the pre-Gospel tradition. On the criteria of embarrassment I would regard the denial by Peter as primitive, (at least not invented by Mark). It is less clear that the early tradition involved an interrogation of Jesus by the high priest. However if 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 is original then it probably implies that a hearing of Jesus before the high priest was part of the pre-Gospel tradition.
First, the question you pose is indeed a problem, but hardly the problem. Second, I don't think the criterion of embarrassment or 1 Thess. 2:14-16 (if it were authentic) can be applied to establish these points at the level of specificity your argument requires. The criterion of embarrassment would at best prove suggest that Mark did not invent Peter's betrayal of Jesus, it wouldn't establish that it happened at night, let alone simultaneously with Jesus' interrogation by the High Priest. Similarly, 1 Thess. 2:14-16 (if authentic) would not establish that Jesus was interrogated by the High Priest, let alone on a night near Passover, still less what Peter might have been doing at the time.

Moreover, far from being embarrassing to Mark, having Peter's denial occur simultaneously with Jesus's hearing before the High Priest emphasizes two major themes of Mark's gospel; how a Christian should behave under persecution and Jesus as a true prophet. First, as observed in the excerpt I gave upthread from John Dominic Crossan's Who Killed Jesus (1996) p. 102: "That is a very deliberate model for Markan Christians of how (like Jesus) and how not (like Peter) to act under accusation, trial, and persecution." When questioned, Jesus admits to being the Christ, but Peter denies being a Christian. John omits this element from Mark because his Jesus is not a human being who goes to the cross reluctantly, but a divine being who descended from heaven with the specific intention of going to the cross. (Actually, John has not omitted Jesus being asked if he is the Christ entirely but moved it to John 10.24, but John's transpositions of Passion Narrative material to earlier contexts is a subject for another post).

The second Markan theme is Jesus as prophet. In both Mark and John Jesus predicts Peter will deny him (Mark 14.30, John 13.38). In Mark, as Jesus is being blindfolded and beaten and told: "Prophesy!"(14.65), Peter is outside denying Jesus and then remembers Jesus had foretold that he would do so (Mark 14.72). Mark is pretty heavy-handed in his presentation, having Jesus' mockers actually use the word "Prophesy!" and having Peter recall Jesus' earlier prediction. John does not have either of these elements. Nonetheless, John cannot be unaware of the theme of prophetic fulfillment, not just because Peter denies Jesus three times, but because the cock crows after he does so (John 18.27). This is unmistakably a back reference to John 13.38, the only other place in John where the work "cock"(i.e., rooster) appears. In fact, the only places where the word "cock" appears in the New Testament is in the four gospels accounts of Jesus' prediction of Peter's denial and then in the denial itself.

Does this unequivocally prove that Mark must be the one that combined the denial and trial stories? No, not quite. It proves only that their simultaneity was amazingly congenial (as opposed too embarrassing) to him.

Best,

Ken

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:17 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:41 pm
Parallels to Markan intercalation are rare in ancient literature. I'm not actually aware of any outside the gospel tradition, but I haven't read all of ancient literature. Craig Evans suggests Achilles Tatius' Clitophon and Leucippe as a parallel. In 2.2.1, the narrator is telling the story of a dinner and interrupts it to tell origin of the Dionysus myth before returning to the dinner [Evans, "Peter Warming Himself," JBL 101.2 (1982) 245-249]. If this is the closest parallel to a Markan intercalation in ancient literature (which I doubt) then Markan intercalation is unparalleled. In fact, the narrator notes that the time of the dinner was at hand and that it was the feast of Dionysus, and then digresses to explain the origin of the fest of Dionysius before returning to the main storyline. But such digressions and resumptions where an author gives greater detail on things mentioned in the main storyline do not much resemble Markan interpolations in which individual episodes are interrupted with complete other episodes. But even if there are better examples of the technique of intercalation in ancient literature, they would appear to be unusual.
I have been trying to collect possible examples of the phenomenon. Here are some suggested by James R. Edwards in "Markan Sandwiches: The Significance of Interpolations in Markan Narratives," Novum Testamentum 31.3:

Homer, Odyssey 19:
A1, Euryclea recognizes Odysseus' scar.
B, how Odysseus had received the scar in the past.
A2, back to Euryclea in the present.

Homer, Iliad 16 (line 155 and onward):
A1, the Myrmidons come to help in the ship burning scene.
B, the troop formations and past background of the Myrmidons.
A2, back to the ship burning in the present.

2 Maccabees 6.1-18+:
A1, 1-11, gentile atrocities in third person.
B, 12-17, theodicy in first person.
A2, 18+, back to gentile atrocities, martyrdom of Eleazar in third person.

2 Maccabees 14-15:
A1, 14.31-36, Nicanor pursues Judas Maccabeus to the temple.
B, 14.37-46, the martyrdom of Razis.
A2, 15.1-5, Nicanor attacks Judas on the Sabbath in Samaria.

2 Maccabees 8.23-36:
A1, 23-29, the Jewish battle with Nicanor.
B, 30-33, the Jewish battle with Timothy and Bacchides.
A2, 34-36, the Jewish battle with Nicanor.

Hosea 1-3:
A1, Hosea and Gomer (prose).
B, prophetic oracle (poetry).
A2, Hosea and Homer (prose).

2 Samuel 11.1-12.25:
A1, 11.1-27, David's adultery with Bathsheba and ordering of Uriah's death.
B, 12.1-7, Nathan's parable of the lamb.
A2, 12.8-25, David's judgment.

Here is an old example from Kunigunde:

Genesis 32-33:
A1, Jacob prepares to meet Esau.
B, Jacob wrestles at Jabbok.
A2, Jacob meets Esau.

Thank you for your example from Craig Evans:

Achilles Tatius, Clitophon and Leucippe 2.2.1-2.3.3:
A1, 2.2.1, the feast.
B, 2.2.2-6, the origins of the festival.
A2, 2.3.1-3, the feast.

This is a raw list, still very much in note form. I have no substantial analysis yet to go along with it.

I myself have observed concerning the phenomenon of the inclusio:

The Jewish scriptural narratives use inclusio a lot. Judges 17.6 and its preceding story forms an inclusio with Judges 21.25; refer also to 18.1 and 19.1. Deuteronomy 12.1 and 12.32 (13.1 LXX and Masoretic) form an inclusio with the words "carefully observe." Ruth 1.1 and 1.22 form an inclusio (Bethlehem to Moab, Moab to Bethlehem). And Mark is known for his specialized use of the inclusio: the Marcan intercalation, a compact inclusio on steroids.

Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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andrewcriddle
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by andrewcriddle » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:34 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:41 pm
andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:42 am
Brown's point is that IF an interrogation by night by the high priest and a denial by night by Peter were both part of the pre-Gospel tradition then most of the agreement between Mark and John follows necessarily from the attempt to write a continuous narrative. (There are some agreements in vocabulary which might imply that the present form of John has been assimilated slightly to the synoptic tradition but this does not involve the basic structure of the two narratives.) Whether or not the writer had a personal fondness for intercalation, they have to tell the story in a way that appears intercalated.
Hi Andrew,

That's one of Brown's points, yes. I was responding to his claims, contra Donahue's claim that the sandwiching of Jesus' trial within the story of Peter's denial fit the pattern of a Markan intercalation, that (1) "[Mark] is describing two simultaneous actions, and that is not a feature of intercalation,” and (2) "Donahue's schema does not account for 14.53, which does not fit the pattern" (both from Death 2.427). Both of Brown's claims are wrong; or, rather, they seem to presuppose a standard for what cannot be considered a Markan intercalation that is arbitrary (i.e., Brown simply stipulates them without demonstration).

But let's look at the point you raise here. It is not true that "Whether or not the writer had a personal fondness for intercalation, they have to tell the story in a way that appears intercalated" because Luke managed to narrate the story of the Denial and Trial without making them appear intercalated. John was not forced by necessity to independently invent intercalation. The more usual way an ancient author would use to imply simultaneity of two stories is to introduce the one he tells second with "At the same time" or something similar.

Hi Ken

Luke avoids intercalation by moving the interrogation to the morning. The issue is the implications for the narrative of having to combine an interrogation by night by the high priest and a denial by night by Peter.

Andrew Criddle

Ken Olson
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by Ken Olson » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:04 pm

Ben Smith wrote:

Homer, Odyssey 19:
A1, Euryclea recognizes Odysseus' scar.
B, how Odysseus had received the scar in the past.
A2, back to Euryclea in the present.

Homer, Iliad 16 (line 155 and onward):
A1, the Myrmidons come to help in the ship burning scene.
B, the troop formations and past background of the Myrmidons.
A2, back to the ship burning in the present.

Here is an old example from Kunigunde:

Genesis 32-33:
A1, Jacob prepares to meet Esau.
B, Jacob wrestles at Jabbok.
A2, Jacob meets Esau.


Thanks for the examples. I read Edwards' paper some time ago and I still have it on my laptop, but I didn't consult it before my post. i haven't been through all the examples yet. I don't think the ones from the Odyssey and Illiad are particularly like Markan Intercalations. They resemble Evans' example from Clitophon and Leucippe in having a section where an author digresses at some lenth on a topic that arose in the narrative before returning to the main storyline.

I think Kunigunde's example of Jacob-Esau/Jacob-God/Jacob-Esau from Genesis, however, is very like a Markan sandwich as the two outer halves frame the central, more important story. It starts with Jacob fearing the arrival of Esau, then Jacob meets (and defeats? or, rather, wins something from) God who blesses him and gives him a new name of Israel, then the favorable encounter with Esau. It's hard to imagine he has much to fear from Esau after his successful encounter with God.

Best,

Ken

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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:06 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:04 pm
Thanks for the examples. I read Edwards' paper some time ago and I still have it on my laptop, but I didn't consult it before my post. i haven't been through all the examples yet. I don't think the ones from the Odyssey and Illiad are particularly like Markan Intercalations. They resemble Evans' example from Clitophon and Leucippe in having a section where an author digresses at some lenth on a topic that arose in the narrative before returning to the main storyline.
I think I agree. The classical Greek examples are different.
I think Kunigunde's example of Jacob-Esau/Jacob-God/Jacob-Esau from Genesis, however, is very like a Markan sandwich as the two outer halves frame the central, more important story. It starts with Jacob fearing the arrival of Esau, then Jacob meets (and defeats? or, rather, wins something from) God who blesses him and gives him a new name of Israel, then the favorable encounter with Esau. It's hard to imagine he has much to fear from Esau after his successful encounter with God.
That is how it struck me, too. It was well spotted.
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lsayre
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by lsayre » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:49 am

Why do the same scholars who date the Gospel of John as late based primarily upon its high Christology, also date Paul as early? When compared to the almost lacking Christology of the synoptics, Paul's Christology appears to be on a plane far more level with that of John.

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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by Ken Olson » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:35 pm

Andrew Criddle wrote:
Luke avoids intercalation by moving the interrogation to the morning. The issue is the implications for the narrative of having to combine an interrogation by night by the high priest and a denial by night by Peter.
This is a very limited engagement with the issues that I addressed in my post.
Criddle (earlier): Brown's point is that IF an interrogation by night by the high priest and a denial by night by Peter were both part of the pre-Gospel tradition then most of the agreement between Mark and John follows necessarily from the attempt to write a continuous narrative. (There are some agreements in vocabulary which might imply that the present form of John has been assimilated slightly to the synoptic tradition but this does not involve the basic structure of the two narratives.)

Whether or not the writer had a personal fondness for intercalation, they have to tell the story in a way that appears intercalated.
It appears to me that you are using a very broad definition of intercalation here. On such a broad definition, one might argue that Luke has used a sort of simultaneity intercalation by placing short references to Jesus in the story of Peter’s denial:

LUKE 21: 54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. 55 When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly. 63 Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; 64 they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 They kept heaping many other insults on him.

But such a definition of intercalation highlights the problem of arguing for John’s independence from Mark. On such a definition, John had many options on how he would intercalate the two passages. He did not have to do it in a way that resembles Mark as much as it does. It is by no means obvious that he ought insert the scene of Jesus being questioned by the high priest(s) in a single block right after "Peter warming himself" and then repeat those words when he returned to the Peter scene.

MARK 14:53 They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. 54 Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. JOHN 18 15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. 17 The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.
55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. 56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. 57 Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 But even on this point their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” 61 But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah,[j] the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 Jesus said, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’” 63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64 You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” All of them condemned him as deserving death. 65 Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” The guards also took him over and beat him. 19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt.[k] Then the cock crowed.[l] 69 And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.” 72 At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. 25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Even if we were to grant that John received a tradition that Jesus trial/hearing before the high priest was at night, and that Peter’s denial was the same night (and I think your arguments from the criterion of embarrassment and 1 Thessalonians failed to establish this for the reasons I gave earlier). John had to make a number of decisions in common with Mark. He’s going to try to keep both of them at night, rather than move the trial to the morning (as Luke did); he’s going to intercalate/alternate/interweave the story of Jesus’ hearing with Peter’s denials instead of placing one after the other and introducing the second with something like” “About this same time,” as Graeco-Roman historians commonly do; he’s going to divide Peter’s story into two and put the story of Jesus trial in the middle of it, rather than interweave references to Jesus through Peter’s denial (as Luke also did); he’s decided he's going to insert the story of Jesus’s interrogation by the high priests the story of Peter’s denials after the mention of “Peter warming himself” and then re-establishing the scene with that image (as Mark did, but which Matthew omitted). This is like a directorial decision about where to cut the scene and go to another scene and then return to the first. So, no, even if we accept that John had traditions of Jesus trial by night and Peter’s denial by night, it remains unlikely that he would do it in a way that resembles Mark’s interclation as much as it does.

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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:51 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:35 pm
Andrew Criddle wrote:
Luke avoids intercalation by moving the interrogation to the morning. The issue is the implications for the narrative of having to combine an interrogation by night by the high priest and a denial by night by Peter.
This is a very limited engagement with the issues that I addressed in my post.
Criddle (earlier): Brown's point is that IF an interrogation by night by the high priest and a denial by night by Peter were both part of the pre-Gospel tradition then most of the agreement between Mark and John follows necessarily from the attempt to write a continuous narrative. (There are some agreements in vocabulary which might imply that the present form of John has been assimilated slightly to the synoptic tradition but this does not involve the basic structure of the two narratives.)

Whether or not the writer had a personal fondness for intercalation, they have to tell the story in a way that appears intercalated.
It appears to me that you are using a very broad definition of intercalation here. On such a broad definition, one might argue that Luke has used a sort of simultaneity intercalation by placing short references to Jesus in the story of Peter’s denial:

LUKE 21: 54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. 55 When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly. 63 Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; 64 they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 They kept heaping many other insults on him.

But such a definition of intercalation highlights the problem of arguing for John’s independence from Mark. On such a definition, John had many options on how he would intercalate the two passages. He did not have to do it in a way that resembles Mark as much as it does. It is by no means obvious that he ought insert the scene of Jesus being questioned by the high priest(s) in a single block right after "Peter warming himself" and then repeat those words when he returned to the Peter scene.

MARK 14:53 They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. 54 Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. JOHN 18 15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. 17 The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.
55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. 56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. 57 Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 But even on this point their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” 61 But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah,[j] the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 Jesus said, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’” 63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64 You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” All of them condemned him as deserving death. 65 Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” The guards also took him over and beat him. 19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt.[k] Then the cock crowed.[l] 69 And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.” 72 At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. 25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Even if we were to grant that John received a tradition that Jesus trial/hearing before the high priest was at night, and that Peter’s denial was the same night (and I think your arguments from the criterion of embarrassment and 1 Thessalonians failed to establish this for the reasons I gave earlier). John had to make a number of decisions in common with Mark. He’s going to try to keep both of them at night, rather than move the trial to the morning (as Luke did); he’s going to intercalate/alternate/interweave the story of Jesus’ hearing with Peter’s denials instead of placing one after the other and introducing the second with something like” “About this same time,” as Graeco-Roman historians commonly do; he’s going to divide Peter’s story into two and put the story of Jesus trial in the middle of it, rather than interweave references to Jesus through Peter’s denial (as Luke also did); he’s decided he's going to insert the story of Jesus’s interrogation by the high priests the story of Peter’s denials after the mention of “Peter warming himself” and then re-establishing the scene with that image (as Mark did, but which Matthew omitted). This is like a directorial decision about where to cut the scene and go to another scene and then return to the first. So, no, even if we accept that John had traditions of Jesus trial by night and Peter’s denial by night, it remains unlikely that he would do it in a way that resembles Mark’s interclation as much as it does.
Hi Ken

These are good arguments.
Some comments:
a/ You listed the agreements of Mark and John but there are also important differences, e.g. Mark has Peter's three denials all in one block while John has one denial then a scene between Jesus and the high priest, then the last two denials. (The stories are more intricately intercalated in John than in Mark.)
b/ I tend to agree that the warming himself references in Mark and John are prima-facie evidence of dependence. One thing that troubles me is that the absence of references to Peter warming himself are a minor agreement of Luke and Matthew against Mark. If Luke knew Matthew (or Matthew Luke) this is no problem. However, If you hold a standard two sources model of the synoptics there may be a issue here. I have wondered whether our text of Mark has been secondarily harmonized with John, with the original Mark lacking any reference to warming himself. We have IIUC no direct textual evidence of this, however Luke in codex Bezae does read warming himself in Luke 22:54 so early harmonization here did occur. (This is obviously highly speculative and is only plausible for those who hold that Matthew and Luke have no direct dependence.)

Andrew Criddle

Charles Wilson
Posts: 1108
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by Charles Wilson » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:46 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:51 am
I tend to agree that the warming himself references in Mark and John are prima-facie evidence of dependence.
Andrew --

Would you consider that the dependence of Mark and John is based on the "Chamber of the Hearth" (sitting) and the "Chamber of the Flames" (Priestly Types must stand) argument? It is not that Mark and John have been made to harmonize, it is the fact that there are two descriptions here of the same place.

Y/N/M?

CW

Ken Olson
Posts: 136
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by Ken Olson » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:38 am

Andrew Criddle wrote:
These are good arguments.
Some comments:
a/ You listed the agreements of Mark and John but there are also important differences, e.g. Mark has Peter's three denials all in one block while John has one denial then a scene between Jesus and the high priest, then the last two denials. (The stories are more intricately intercalated in John than in Mark.)
b/ I tend to agree that the warming himself references in Mark and John are prima-facie evidence of dependence. One thing that troubles me is that the absence of references to Peter warming himself are a minor agreement of Luke and Matthew against Mark. If Luke knew Matthew (or Matthew Luke) this is no problem. However, If you hold a standard two sources model of the synoptics there may be a issue here. I have wondered whether our text of Mark has been secondarily harmonized with John, with the original Mark lacking any reference to warming himself. We have IIUC no direct textual evidence of this, however Luke in codex Bezae does read warming himself in Luke 22:54 so early harmonization here did occur. (This is obviously highly speculative and is only plausible for those who hold that Matthew and Luke have no direct dependence.)
Thanks, Andrew. I discussed a/ upthread.
Ken: But for Brown, the fact that John has the first denial of Peter before the break between scenes outweighs these facts. This is odd because, as we have just scene, Luke and Matthew do not feel the need to follow Mark slavishly and we should not suppose John would either. They often don’t reproduce Mark’s intercalations, and where they do, they frequently modify Mark (as Matthew did with omitting the fire motif). In Luke’s version of the sandwiched stories of Jarius’ daughter and the Woman with the flow of blood, Luke has moved one element (the fact that Jairus’ daughter is twelve years old) from the second half of the story where Mark had it (Mark 5.42) to the first half (Luke 8.42). On this basis, I don’t think that what John would have to have done, moving the first denial of Peter from the second to the first half of the divided story, should be beyond the editorial power of the evangelist. Later evangelists making use of Markan intercalations move stuff around.
As for /b: First, I do hold that Luke knew and used Matthew, but I don’t think that’s a decisive factor in this case. Negative agreements (agreements in omission), while not quite negligible, do not hold the same importance as positive agreements (the presence of language in both Matthew and Luke that is not found in Mark).

Second, we know of lots of cases where Matthew and Luke simultaneously omit from Mark. Indeed, on a very abstract level, if we posited that Matthew follows, say, Mark 85% of the time and Luke follows Mark, say, 65% of the time, they’re likely to simultaneously not follow Mark 5.25% of the time. In practice, the shared omissions are not random but have to do with Matthew and Luke’s making improvements (in their own view) to Mark. These might be do to theological (like eliminating Mark 3.21’s claim that people told Jesus’ family that he was crazy), linguistic (like replacing Mark’s historical presents with past tense verbs), or just better verisimilitude or storytelling (like eliminating or extensively rewriting Mark’s intercalations). And some apparent simultaneous omissions may be illusory (like Mark’s Parable of the Seed Growing Secretly in Mark 4.26-29, which Luke omits and Matthew either replaces with or, more likely, rewrites as the Parable of Wheat and the Tares in Matt 13.24-30).

Third, we can posit plausible reasons for why Luke and Matthew might have omitted Mark’s words (actually one word) “warming himself” in their adaptations of Mark, though we can’t say for sure. Luke 22.55 says “When they had kindled a fire, in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.” While Luke doesn’t state that Peter was warming himself when he sat at the fire, the reader can easily infer it. Since Luke presents the scene as a unity and doesn’t interrupt it with the story of Jesus’ trial, he doesn’t need to state “warming himself” and then repeat it to link the two parts of the scene. Unlike Luke, Matthew has followed Mark in dividing the story of Peter’s denials into first and second halves, but like Luke he has omitted to say Peter was “warming himself.” A plausible reason for this would be that Matthew has replaced it with Peter sitting down with the guards to “see how this would end” (Matt 26.58). I think this is implied as the reason that in Mark and Luke Peter sat down at the fire in courtyard of the high priest’s house, but Matthew spells it out for the reader. It’s also a lead-in to what follows, as it suggests that Peter is going to find out how this matter will turn out. This is typical of the two evangelists: Luke more often leaves interpretation up to the reader, whereas Matthew limits the possible interpretations of his text.

Best,

Ken
Last edited by Ken Olson on Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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