The gospel of John an independent witness?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
andrewcriddle
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by andrewcriddle » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:20 am

Michael BG wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 9:37 am


Mark has the Peter story broken into two
14:54
And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, and warming himself at the fire.
And
14:66-72

John also has the story in two parts:
Jn 18:15-18
And
18:25-28.

Matthew follows Mark
Mt 26:58, 69-75

Luke has put the story back together
Lk 22:54c-62.

It is possible that Mark had access to an historical tradition about Peter being challenged as a follower of “the Nazarene, Jesus". However as already pointed out the breaking of the story into two is likely to have been done by Mark and carried on my Matthew and most likely by John. In fact John has improved the story by making the break at a different point between denials one and two and three. It is a natural break because Peter moves between denials one and two.
IMHO the different ways John and Mark break up the Peter story is more likely a result of independence than of John improving Mark. Matthew and Luke both tell the story the way Mark does.

Andrew Criddle

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DCHindley
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by DCHindley » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:38 pm

neilgodfrey wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 2:23 am
DCHindley wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 6:34 pm
CW,

I think the idea being conveyed was that "from her virginity" she was married for seven years (and I'm sure they *did it*) until he died. So, say, age 13 + 7 yrs with husband = age 20+ years. Now she's 84, so that means 64 years of widowhood without ever remarrying.

I do not think the account was meant to imply that she remained a virgin even when married, unless one wants to go some twisted plot like she was a child bride . . .

But all in all, it only says she has lived 84 years, all but 7 of which were unbothered by any requirement to please her husband's needs, so she could hang out in the temple and pray a lot.
If that passage in Luke originated in the mid second century (very likely in my view) then the idea of a married couples avoiding sexual relations -- permanently -- was very highly honoured. Acts of Paul and Thecla come to mind at the moment, but I am sure I have come across Christian documents from around the same period expressing the same view. Christian wives who avoided sex with their husbands had a special place of honour in the eyes of many Christians. Marcionites, iirc, taught the value also of married couples refraining from sex, period. (Not just for a time.)

Especially from the second century through to late antiquity the body and bodily pleasures were denigrated. Conversely what was valued was punishment and neglect of the body -- as we come to see with some Christians seeking out persecution, even death, and eventually the monastic movement.
Of course, the English translators sometimes were pretty free in their rendering. The translators usually were most ambiguous, or making active attempts to conform the translation to accepted doctrines, when translating passages that were grammatically difficult. "This is what it *should* mean ..." :facepalm:

That means that what seems obvious to you is not always what seems obvious to me, just because we read different books and have different experiences with translations. On the other hand, some of the 19th century translations were really quite good.

I suppose we could subject the passage in question to a clause by clause analysis over the weekend ... if you would like to participate.

DCH

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

Post by Ken Olson » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:57 pm

Andrew Criddle wrote:
Brown in Death of the Messiah has a detailed discussion of whether or not the resemblances between Mark and John over Peter's denials indicate knowledge of Mark by John.

Brown concludes that this is not a standard Markan intercalation and the structural resemblances between Mark and John can be explained if both had access to two pieces of pre-Gospel tradition: a/ Jesus after his arrest was interrogated by the High Priest in the middle of the night b/ After the arrest of Jesus Peter repeatedly denied Jesus in the middle of the night. John and Mark independently put these two pieces of tradition together in a continuous narrative,


I was going to ask if you found Brown’s case persuasive – I would infer from your later comment that you did. I did not.

Brown’s conclusion that Mark and John had two pieces of tradition that they combined into a continuous narrative independently is a curious one. We have six generally acknowledged cases of Markan intercalation in which one story is framed by another one, which is why it is recognized as a Markan redactional technique. What are the other cases of Johannine intercalation?

I found Brown’s case that the Denial/Trial story was not a typical Markan intercalation unpersuasive. He argues: “Mark is not filling in between the beginning of Peter’s denial and its conclusion; he is describing two simultaneous actions,” (Death of the Messiah, v1 p. 427). Markan intercalations are varied in the temporal relationships between the two stories. Sometimes it’s sequential, as in Jairus Daughter/Woman with the flow of blood or the Cursing of the Fig Tree/Temple Incident, and sometimes overlapping, as with the Conspiracy Against Jesus/Anointing, and sometimes undefined, as in the Sending of the Twelve/Death of John. Brown seems to be arguing that simultaneity is not the standard temporal relationship in a Markan intercalation, but there is no standard temporal relationship in a Markan intercalation (and the distinction Brown needs to make his case between overlapping and simultaneous is a fine one).

Brown’s additional suggestion that 14.53 and 14.54 have “equal value” and that 15.1 “returns to the Sanhedrin scene” makes the whole an A-B-A-B-A pattern rather than a simple ABA pattern. He is willing to concede that “the entire arrangement came from Mark” but “it is far more elaborate than a Markan elaboration” misses the point. It may be more than what is needed to qualify as a Markan intercalation, but it is not less. Further, the ABABA pattern can be paralleled in the Fig Tree/Temple Incident intercalation if we include Mark 11.11 and 11.27 at either end. There is a family resemblance among the Markan intercalations and John shared it in this one case. At least, Brown doesn’t give any examples of stories in John that are combined in a way that resembles a Markan intercalation as much as the Denial/Trial does.
Andrew: IMHO the different ways John and Mark break up the Peter story is more likely a result of independence than of John improving Mark. Matthew and Luke both tell the story the way Mark does.
No, only Matthew tells the story the way Mark does. Luke 22:54-62 gives the denials of Peter in a block, followed by the trial (or informal hearing) of Jesus in two sections: first the blindfolding and mockery (Luke 22.63-65), then an interrogation before the elders the following morning (22.66-71). There’s an odd verse in the Peter story where Jesus turns and looks at Peter (Luke 22.61). It’s not clear where Jesus is supposed to be at the time.

I’m tempted to say that John has re-arranged the Denial/Trial/Denial story a bit less than Luke has, but that’s not quite true. I think it’s true with regard to the A-B-A pattern, but, as he does several other times in the Passion Narrative, John has relocated some of the material to elsewhere in his gospel. But that’s a story for another post.

neilgodfrey
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by neilgodfrey » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:45 am

DCHindley wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:38 pm
neilgodfrey wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 2:23 am
DCHindley wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 6:34 pm
CW,

I think the idea being conveyed was that "from her virginity" she was married for seven years (and I'm sure they *did it*) until he died. So, say, age 13 + 7 yrs with husband = age 20+ years. Now she's 84, so that means 64 years of widowhood without ever remarrying.

I do not think the account was meant to imply that she remained a virgin even when married, unless one wants to go some twisted plot like she was a child bride . . .

But all in all, it only says she has lived 84 years, all but 7 of which were unbothered by any requirement to please her husband's needs, so she could hang out in the temple and pray a lot.
If that passage in Luke originated in the mid second century (very likely in my view) then the idea of a married couples avoiding sexual relations -- permanently -- was very highly honoured. Acts of Paul and Thecla come to mind at the moment, but I am sure I have come across Christian documents from around the same period expressing the same view. Christian wives who avoided sex with their husbands had a special place of honour in the eyes of many Christians. Marcionites, iirc, taught the value also of married couples refraining from sex, period. (Not just for a time.)

Especially from the second century through to late antiquity the body and bodily pleasures were denigrated. Conversely what was valued was punishment and neglect of the body -- as we come to see with some Christians seeking out persecution, even death, and eventually the monastic movement.
Of course, the English translators sometimes were pretty free in their rendering. The translators usually were most ambiguous, or making active attempts to conform the translation to accepted doctrines, when translating passages that were grammatically difficult. "This is what it *should* mean ..." :facepalm:

That means that what seems obvious to you is not always what seems obvious to me, just because we read different books and have different experiences with translations. On the other hand, some of the 19th century translations were really quite good.

I suppose we could subject the passage in question to a clause by clause analysis over the weekend ... if you would like to participate.

DCH
The narratives themselves portray characters lamenting and/or praising a couple who refrain from sexual relations; a wife who refuses to have sex with her husband. The story lines themselves revolve around such conflicts and themes. It's more than just ambiguous words or confusing translations of the latin or greek.

andrewcriddle
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:42 am

Hi Ken

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.

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.

Andrew Criddle

Michael BG
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by Michael BG » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:15 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:57 pm
Brown’s conclusion that Mark and John had two pieces of tradition that they combined into a continuous narrative independently is a curious one. .. What are the other cases of Johannine intercalation?

I found Brown’s case that the Denial/Trial story was not a typical Markan intercalation unpersuasive.
Thank you for your post explaining why you found Brown unconvincing.
andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:42 am
Hi Ken

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.

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.

Andrew Criddle
We could assume we are considering two options:
one that John followed Mark;
two that John used the same source as Mark.
(For this we are ignoring other possibilities.)

The argument that John used Mark rather than say Luke is because he has broken the Peter story into two and surrounded it with an account of Jesus before the High Priest.

I think the argument for a shared source has to be stronger than the more simple explanation that John just used Mark. Do we not have to have some idea of what Mark’s source was like before we can try to determine if John used it? As far as I know there is little agreement on what was in the pre-Marcan passion Narrative. Did Mark create the most of 14:53-72? If there was no account of what happened at Jesus’ “trials”, perhaps all the pre-Marcan narrative here, contained was Peter following and denying he was a follower of “the Nazarene, Jesus"?

(I am not sure we can use 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 as evidence of anything as there is a lot of agreement it is an interpolation. Also there is the tradition in Acts 2:23 – crucified by men who live outside the Law with no Jewish involvement, while most other times it is you the Jews who crucified Jesus. Also there was a whole tradition about the Jews always killing their prophets which is sometimes reflected in Q sayings.)

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

Post by Ken Olson » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:58 am

Michael BG wrote:
We could assume we are considering two options:
one that John followed Mark;
two that John used the same source as Mark.
(For this we are ignoring other possibilities.)
I think it would also be useful to recognize the the distinction between Mark and John independently intercalating the Denial and Trial stories (Raymond Brown's theory that Andrew has been explicating) and the two of them already finding them intercalated in a common source (as some other advocates of John's independence hold).
Michael: I think the argument for a shared source has to be stronger than the more simple explanation that John just used Mark. Do we not have to have some idea of what Mark’s source was like before we can try to determine if John used it? As far as I know there is little agreement on what was in the pre-Marcan passion Narrative. Did Mark create the most of 14:53-72? If there was no account of what happened at Jesus’ “trials”, perhaps all the pre-Marcan narrative here, contained was Peter following and denying he was a follower of “the Nazarene, Jesus"?
I had to read this over a few times to figure out what you meant. If I've understood you correctly, you don't mean the argument for the shared sources IS stronger than the argument for John's use of Mark; you mean, in order to be accepted, the theory of a shared source would have to provide a much better explanation of John's text than John's use of Mark would. If I've got that right, I agree. We don't hypothesize lost documents to explain things as well as documents we actually have explain them. They have to explain things better. Further, it would be methodologically impossible to show that John used actual Mark rather than a hypothetical document that can be assigned all the properties of Mark and yet somehow isn't Mark. To be credible, such a hypothetical document would have to be demonstrably different from Mark in some way.

Best,

Ken

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:24 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:42 am
Hi Ken

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.

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.

Andrew Criddle
Perhaps the fourth agreement could be Mark's "young man" and John's "other disciple", both appearing at this moment and at the empty tomb.

Michael BG
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Re: The gospel of John an independent witness?

Post by Michael BG » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:54 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:58 am
Michael: I think the argument for a shared source has to be stronger than the more simple explanation that John just used Mark. Do we not have to have some idea of what Mark’s source was like before we can try to determine if John used it? As far as I know there is little agreement on what was in the pre-Marcan passion Narrative. Did Mark create the most of 14:53-72? If there was no account of what happened at Jesus’ “trials”, perhaps all the pre-Marcan narrative here, contained was Peter following and denying he was a follower of “the Nazarene, Jesus"?
I had to read this over a few times to figure out what you meant. If I've understood you correctly, you don't mean the argument for the shared sources IS stronger than the argument for John's use of Mark; you mean, in order to be accepted, the theory of a shared source would have to provide a much better explanation of John's text than John's use of Mark would. If I've got that right, I agree. We don't hypothesize lost documents to explain things as well as documents we actually have explain them. They have to explain things better. Further, it would be methodologically impossible to show that John used actual Mark rather than a hypothetical document that can be assigned all the properties of Mark and yet somehow isn't Mark. To be credible, such a hypothetical document would have to be demonstrably different from Mark in some way.
Sorry, I didn’t intend to be difficult to understand. You are correct it is the second – “in order to be accepted, the theory of a shared source would have to provide a much better explanation of John's text than John's use of Mark would”.

With regard to what I wrote in brackets earlier (Also there was a whole tradition about the Jews always killing their prophets which is sometimes reflected in Q sayings ) - I have found the terminology I was looking for “Deuteronomistic motif of Wisdom sending prophets to call Israel to repentance” but these prophets are killed by the Jewish leadership. This is with respect to “the Jews, who killed … the prophets," (I Thess. 2:14-15).

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

Post by Ken Olson » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:30 am

Here's a brief (two and a half minute) video of Mark Goodacre explaining his position on John's use of the Synoptics and whether John constitutes and independent witness to the historical Jesus. It looks like it was shot in the hallway of a convention center during an SBL conference (I would guess it's San Antonio 2016, or maybe Atlanta 2015)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf_CAqAmVe4

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