Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

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Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:54 am

In a reply to Salm, Doudna has written:

Good comments Rene, especially on “one ancient writer’s hero is another writer’s villain”. But you ask as in objection: “how do you explain the link between a warrior general (Hyrcanus II) and a desert solitary (John the Baptist)?”

But there is nothing in Josephus’s John the Immerser passage about John being in the desert, or being solitary. You are getting that from the Gospel of Mark. That is not in the Josephus passage, which is what my article is about. (Nor was Hyrcanus II a warrior or general in the time relevant to the Josephus John the Immerser discussion, the 30s BCE; he was “high priest emeritus”, of worldwide stature and reputation among Jews, likely located in the same time and place the sectarian texts of the Qumran texts were written, Jericho–text compositions which inexplicably seen to end the same time Hyrcanus II ends.)

Although I purposely did not take up the Gospel of Mark in the article, I think composition of the Gospel of Mark postdates the publication of Josephus’s Antiquities and that that Gospel’s stories and legendary material of John preserve no independent information concerning Hyrcanus II external to its use of Josephus’s John passage, which the authors of the Gospel of Mark, no more than Josephus, did not realize was a displaced tradition of Hyrcanus II. In short the Gospel of Mark–the desert, the eating locusts, the dance of Salome, the head on the platter, all that embellishment in a world of stories–is irrelevant to understanding Josephus’s John the Immerser.

On the other hand, I perceive that the John figure with which the Fourth Gospel opens may not draw from Josephus and may be a different John altogether: the Johannine John known to Papias of Asia Minor. I do not even assume that the purification by immersion of Josephus’s John–nothing other than routine first-century BCE Jewish purification in mikvehs or running water as I read it–was the same as the late-first-century CE proto-Christian baptism-initiation rite of the Fourth Gospel’s John and disciples of Jesus.

In any case, as noted at the start of the article, “as a matter of method the Gospels are set completely to one side and the focus is solely on analysis of the Josephus passage”. Thanks for your comments. I also appreciate Neil’s discussions of all of the articles of this worthy volume edited by Emanuel Pfoh and Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano in honor of our teacher Thomas Thompson.

(my bold)

I have rapidly remembered about the Stuart's view on the same Johannine John, about which he wrote:

Stuart wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:08 am


Granted, there is strong evidence of an apostle named John who baptized, and he is associated with Asia Minor as a rival to Paul. Robert Price wrote a few books which reference this battle for Asia (basically Eastern Turkey today). Ephesus seems to be the epicenter.

But Price draws conclusions I cannot agree with, such as "brand X" baptism per 1 Corinthians 1:12, and 3:4. But I think 1:12 was written after 3:4 or that it was expanded from the Marcionite text, as DA 1.8 quotes 1:12-13 without ἐγὼ δὲ Χριστοῦ (and 'I am of Christ'), as a misunderstanding by the redactor, a blunder. 3:4 only refers to Paul and Apollos. The language refers to each as sect leaders or (arch)bishops (== Apostles), which we see in 3:22-23. Price rather than see it as a blunder by a redactor, sees it as a rabbit hole he can go down and like Alice in Wonderland, discovering a whole new world.

There are many possibilities, and I think the simplest is John was a rival with Paul for patron saint of Asia Minor, and specifically Ephesus. It has also been suggested that Apollos (Ἀπολλῶς) is a thinly disguised Apelles (Ἀπελλῆς), and Paul in the Marcionite collection is an alter ego for Marcion (aka, "Mark"?). If that is the case then Marcion is the builder of the foundation, and Apelles the one building onto it, or that Marcion is the one that plants and Apelles the one who waters (his successor or a splinter group leader?). This is of course all symbolic.

Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:40 am

Worthy of note, to this regard, is the Turmel's view:

the original (proto-)John 1:29 (a Marcionite book) was :

This is the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world

But to save the catholicity of the Fourth Gospel (after his Catholic corruption, obviously), his fate was connected with the John of Revelation, by writing:

This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world

Hence the John the Baptist not infected by the reading of the Josephus's John (who could be equally John Hircanus II or a mere Christian interpolation), was the John connected with the Book of Revelation. Curiously, his field of action was Ephesus.

Hence a pure 100% Jewish-Christian belief could be the view of Jesus as the celestial Lamb killed but not crucified.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

Post by Stuart » Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:14 pm

Hum, you actually correctly use my quote in context.

Turmel is close, but incorrect on a Marcionite origin. I think he is also similarly both close and off on his speculation that the original was "Son of God" changed to "Lamb of God." Form my commentary notes for myself on the fourth gospel:
I speculate that the original text read "Holy One of God," ὁ ἃγιος τοῦ θεοῦ (see John 6:69, Luke/Marcion 4:34 = Mark 1:24) rather than "Lamb of God," ὁ ἀμνὸς οῦ θεοῦ (Revelation 5:6ff) that betrays knowledge of the Apocalypse. This interpolation was accomplished by a mere two letter change -a few strokes-, ΓΙ for ΜΝ, which turns the interpretation of John’s testimony as for a blood sacrifice to atone for sins – son of David born in Bethlehem – (Isaiah 53:7, e.g., Acts 8:32) , rather than a cosmic Savior of the first author
Note, as I do my notes as I review, to capture thoughts and observations as I come upon them. So they may not always hold in final review. In this case when I later came to the passage at 6:66-69 I discovered that most of it makes sense as a redaction to align the gospel with the synoptic accounts specifically promoting Peter (missing entirely from the first edition IMO) and vilifying Judas (who was the most trusted disciple in the first edition). But even so it could be support for the speculative reading above, in much the same way 1 Timothy 1:20 bears witness to 1 Corinthians 5:5 in Marcionite form as possibly original. That is in the sense that the secondary writer used the element from the primary source.

Caveat above, where did John 6:69 come from if there is nowhere "Holy One of God" in the version of John the redactor is looking at? It seems strange that a demon's words would be put in the mouth of Peter by a pro-Peter writer. And equally strange if drawn from what was likely at the time the Marcionite preserved version of Luke.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Re: Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:48 pm

Stuart wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:14 pm
? It seems strange that a demon's words would be put in the mouth of Peter by a pro-Peter writer. And equally strange if drawn from what was likely at the time the Marcionite preserved version of Luke.
this is a new information for me, thanks. Until now, I had compared the demon's words in all the Gospels with the demons of 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 and the theme of ignorance there. Now the suspicion is rightly raised about the possibility that a rival view of Jesus (calling him as "Holy one of God") is literally "demonized" by putting its code word on mouth of demons.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:11 pm

Curiously, the demon in Mark shares traits of John the Baptist from the fourth Gospel:

“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

(Mark 1:24)

...insofar he also predicts the coming of a (1) known (2) destroyer and (3) "holy one of God".

Was the original Johannine John doubled in:
  • the synoptical John the Baptist
  • a demon
Not coincidentially, in the Cathar tradition, John was seen as a demon sent from the demiurge to recognize Jesus.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:34 am

So a fragment about Papias (the anti-Marcionite prologue to John):

"The Gospel of John was revealed and given to the Churches by John whilst he was still alive in his body, as Papias, called the Hierapolitan, the beloved disciple of John, has reported in his five books of “Exegetics". (he who) wrote down the Gospel, John dictating correctly the true (evangel), (was) Marcion the heretic. Having been disapproved by him for holding contrary views, he was expelled by John. He had, however, brought him writings, or letters, from the brethren who were in the Pontus."



I wonder if the John who revealed the Gospel "whilst he was still alive in his body" was just the John about which it is said in the incipit of the fourth gospel. This would explain why that John had "Marcion" as his secretary: if "Marcion" is the label for who wrote the marcionite gospel of proto-John, then the fragment is basically saying that John of Ephesus was the marcionite precursor of the Christ of an Unknown Father (not the god of the Jews).

Obviously the catholic editing made it sure that that John, far from being the Baptist, rejected his secretary Marcion.

But why the name of this marcionite apostle was just "John" ("YHWH-gives-grace") ?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:42 am

Question for Stuart:

why I, with my humble hermeneutical tools, am arrived in the post above to speculate that John was a marcionite apostle (I use 'marcionite' here as label to capture the greater group of Christians anti-YHWH, like cainites, naassenes, ophites, marcionites, etc) who (in virtue of his relative notoriety as marcionite apostle active in Ephesus) deserved a place in the first version of Fourth Gospel as precursor of the Son of the Marcion's God...

...while you write that

John was a rival with Paul for patron saint of Asia Minor, and specifically Ephesus.

Where is the rivalry between Paul (='Marcion') and that John?

i can see that rivalry if you think that that John was the christianized author of the Book of Revelation, but I think that the connection "John"/ Revelation was part and parcel of the greater operation of co-optation of the marcionite John's legacy by the Judaizers.

Thanks in advance for any answer.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

Post by Stuart » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:04 am

Giuseppe,

Uh, that's not what I meant at all. What I was trying to imply is that it is impossible that the Catholic writer of the 2nd version of John, much closer to our canonical, who wrote verse 6:69 would have drawn from the Marcionite source and certainly not have Peter in sync with a demon. He saw Peter as good guy, he wrote Peter in, and included chapter 21 to show his redemption, something not done in the synoptic accounts. That this passage is interpolated is clear from the fact that it contradicts the basic themes 17:12 and 18:19. (Note there is no twelve in John, rather a different set of disciples; part of the case against Peter being original.)

What I am implying is the writer of the passage drew the "holy one of God" from a positive source and not a negative for it's use. Hence the thin, but plausible, chance that it came from John the Baptist's words. But no chance whatsoever that they were taken from the demon in Mark or Luke/Marcion.

In short your conclusion is illogical because the writer would be Catholic, a defender of Peter, yet having Peter the same mind as a demon. And the writer of 6:69 cannot be the pre-Catholic first edition writer, as the passage contradicts several themes and is spoken by a character not present in the rest of the first edition.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Re: Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:23 am

Stuart wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:04 am
In short your conclusion is illogical because the writer would be Catholic, a defender of Peter, yet having Peter the same mind as a demon.
I had meant that Peter saying so was written by the first writer and left there by the second writer, despite of the latter's efforts to place, where possible, the expression "holy one of God" from the Baptist's mouth to the demon's mouth.

At any case my question was:

Do you think that the Johannine John dates back, as his earliest (speculative) evidence, to the marcionite field or to the other field?

I don't know if the question makes sense at all.

Apart, I am wondering about John being derived from the demon himself in the role of who (negatively) recognizes Jesus.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Doudna would agree with Stuart about the origin of the Johannine John...

Post by Stuart » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:59 pm

Earliest John is after the Marcionite gospel (preserved earlier version of Luke, not necessarily truly Marcionite) and after Matthew (sans the later layers of all gospels, such as the gardener at the tomb, etc). He approved of much of the former, lifting Lazarus to become a disciple for example, and denounced point by point the latter. The first writer's theology does not align with either of those gospels, has several points of departure from both. This rules out Marcionite origin, too many points of disagreement. But he is in the camp of opposing the Jewish God and the OT.

Politically it is being written at a time when strong factions are forming around some of the churches that are getting large, and they were starting to expel opponents in other factions. I suspect a similar time frame for when Galatians was written. Roughly the middle of the 3rd quarter of the 2nd century would be my guess.

I don't think theology is what drives the difference, rather it is use as a political marker as the factions solidify. The whole point was ownership of shrines, relics and houses of worship and the money that brought in for the family who had rights to them. Alignment was more political, as to who was a friend and recognized certain families as possessors of bishopric offices. We tend to lose sight of this and think the theology drove the splits, rather than the other way around.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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