Early reception of the Gospel of John

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rgprice
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Re: Early reception of the Gospel of John

Post by rgprice »

To get back to the wedding, it does seem to make more sense that the woman at the wedding was Mary, as opposed to his mother.

2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and [X] was there; 2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, [X] said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “What business do you have with Me, woman? My hour has not yet come.”

This seems like a very strange thing to say to your mother. The two seem very estranged in the scene. This seems more like an introduction to Mary as a new character. This seems like the first meeting of Jesus and Mary. There was a wedding. Mary happened to be at this wedding. She was a stranger to Jesus at the time.

When the wine ran out, Mary happened to say to Jesus, "They have no wine." Jesus then reacts like, "Who are you and why are you telling me about this?"

Why would someone say to their mother, "What business do you have with me?" This sounds like something you say to a stranger. So to me this actually looks like its part of an account of the first meeting of Jesus and Mary (Magdalene).
Last edited by rgprice on Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
davidmartin
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Re: Early reception of the Gospel of John

Post by davidmartin »

maybe rg, maybe. i can't fathom that choice of language either
i'm out of time but isn't that the same language right at the end when they ask about the disciple Jesus wants to live he says 'what is that to you'
i wonder if its the same Greek words. gonna check this later. some suggest that disciple was the one you mention, the beloved one

about the prologue to John
i got taken in by the Aramaic source theory, that punches a hole in a late dating
https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/3260165.pdf
ABuddhist
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Re: Early reception of the Gospel of John

Post by ABuddhist »

rgprice wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:42 am To get back to the wedding, it does seem to make more sense that the woman at the wedding was Mary, as opposed to his mother.

2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and [X] was there; 2 and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, [X] said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “What business do you have with Me, woman? My hour has not yet come.”

This seems like a very strange thing to say to your mother. ...
Why would someone say to their mother, "What business do you have with me?" This sounds like something you say to a stranger. So to me this actually looks like its part of an account of the first meeting of Jesus and Mary (Magdalene).
Ah, but Jesus's cold reaction to his mother is not unique to GJohn - it also appears in GMark (3:31-35). Personally, I have understood the scene in GJohn as a reflection of:

1. General misogyny; and

2. Jesus's status as a godman unbound by norms of filial piety.

I just throw out these ideas for your consideration.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Early reception of the Gospel of John

Post by neilgodfrey »

Re Mary the mother of Jesus, there is an interesting article from 1986 by Grassi on jstor: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43719286 The mother of Jesus is a focal figure in the first and seventh signs of the Gospel, with the first sign pointing to the symbolism of the last (Grassi gives reasons for his identifying the last sign as that of Jesus death and resurrection). Mother is used four times and woman one time in each of the accounts of the signs. (I'm reminded of other work testifying to the relevance of numbers in the Gospel of John.) Forget questions of historicity, says Grassi, because when the evanglist uses words like "see" and "touch" he is evidently speaking symbolically anyway.

I notice that each time Jesus addresses his mother as "Woman" and avoids using her name -- though she is positioned right beside two other Marys in the last scene. One may wonder if the symbolism of woman is being driven home to readers. Forget Mary -- we have here an understanding of the woman who is Jesus' mother and mother to the servants and beloved disciples.

The function of the mother is similar in each sign appearance, with the mother in a position to direct or instruct the disciples of Jesus.

I don't think the fourth evangelist cared at all about historicity -- any and every argument or image or scenario he could use to testify to the other-worldliness and nature of Jesus was used. The mother surely fills a symbolic role in the gospel -- as symbolic as just about any other noun and verb we read there.

If you asked the author if Jesus could literally open the eyes of the blind and feed the multitudes and teach the sages he would roll his eyes in despair at you and say you are blind and malnourished and foolish without hope in the world. If you asked for biographical details of Jesus' mother you would elicit a similar pained response.
Last edited by neilgodfrey on Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Early reception of the Gospel of John

Post by neilgodfrey »

davidmartin wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:49 am about the prologue to John
i got taken in by the Aramaic source theory, that punches a hole in a late dating
https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/3260165.pdf
more than just the prologue -- the whole gospel: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3259104
3259104.pdf
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rgprice
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Re: Early reception of the Gospel of John

Post by rgprice »

ABuddhist wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:50 am Ah, but Jesus's cold reaction to his mother is not unique to GJohn - it also appears in GMark (3:31-35). Personally, I have understood the scene in GJohn as a reflection of:

1. General misogyny; and

2. Jesus's status as a godman unbound by norms of filial piety.

I just throw out these ideas for your consideration.
Its certainly possible, but to me the whole setup looks strange. There is a random event, and it is mentioned that X person was there. The way it is told, it is a chance happenstance that Jesus and X are both at this wedding. It's like a chance meeting. There was a wedding, X was there. Then X happened to say to Jesus, "Blah, blah", to which Jesus said (in effect) "Who the heck are you?"

The whole things seems like a very odd narrative involving a mother. The two characters seem like they don't know each other.

We are later introduced to Mary in John 11:
Now a certain man was sick: Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 And it was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.

But this is also strange because Mary hasn't anointed Jesus yet, so its odd to identify her by something that the reader doesn't know about yet. But how does Jesus know these people? Why does he love Lazarus? How do Mary and Martha know that Jesus loves Lazarus? Why, at this point, would we care that this is the village of Mary, since we don't know anything about Mary yet?

So to me this seems like its part of some larger narrative, in which Mary had already been introduced, but those parts have been removed or changed, so here the final editor has to refer to Mary based on something that happens in the future.

So my speculation would be that Jesus was introduced to Mary at the wedding, then there was some story with more information about Jesus and Mary that also involved Lazarus, whom Jesus met and had some kind of relationship with to establish that he loved him. Lazarus was perhaps a disciple.

So I think that's why many things in John are confusing, because the final version we have includes parts of a narrative that have been heavily redacted, so key elements are missing such that it doesn't all make sense. Part of the story of Mary and Lazarus has been removed, with "the mother of Jesus" taking over some of the parts from Mary Magdalene.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Early reception of the Gospel of John

Post by neilgodfrey »

rgprice wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:15 am
The whole things seems like a very odd narrative involving a mother. The two characters seem like they don't know each other.
You are not impressed, I take it, with the idea of the author arranging symbolic anecdotes in a chiastic order to bring out theological meanings -- so that he decides to place the mother at the beginning and ending of the signs, and to have her symbolic status as a woman stressed in a way that requires taking the reader attention away from her name. If this is how the end product appears is it so unlikely that the author had a purpose in arranging it this way?

We think the author had a problem with writing a decent narrative with more semblance of realism. Mothers and sons don't talk properly to each other, people are confused always about meanings, etc.... What if the author had another mindset? Realism be blowed. There is nothing in the gospel to suggest the author had any interest in realism or proper narrative. It was all about patterns, chiastic structures, number meanings, symbols.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Early reception of the Gospel of John

Post by Giuseppe »

ABuddhist wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:26 am

Assuming that it reflects separationism, it need not reflect the precise model of separationism that you mention,in which Christ laughs at his suffering. Why do you think that it does?
I agree with you that separationism is improbable in the Fourth Gospel.

In my view, Turmel has said anything had to be said about proto-John.

You can read about Turmel's commentary here and here.

The Stuart's translation of Turmel is not complete. For example, the original incipit was this.

The Paraclite was Marcion.

And Barabbas was absent in proto-John.
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GakuseiDon
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Re: Early reception of the Gospel of John

Post by GakuseiDon »

perseusomega9 wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 5:31 am I didn't mean Mary as the mother, just plain Mary without qualification/obfuscation. Speculative for sure, but I see the gospel undergoing several edits over time.
Nothing wrong with speculation. But once we start adding or subtracting to the texts without good reason, we end up with what we want rather than with what was there.

It's possible that "his mother" was originally one of the other Marys, but I think unlikely. If the interpolator wanted to give Jesus a mother, and the mother was already known as "Mary", then it's more likely that he/she would have added "Mary his mother". I can't think of a reason why they wouldn't have, unless: (1) that part of gJohn was written before gMark so Jesus had a mother but she was unnamed, (2) a multi-stage interpolation ("Mary" --> "Mary his mother" --> "his mother").

Personally I see gJohn as wanting to downplay the significance of Jesus having a mother, in line with the "who is my mother?" in the later part of gJohn. He had one, but she wasn't important to the gJohn author.
davidmartin
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Re: Early reception of the Gospel of John

Post by davidmartin »

how about this, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" and "It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing"
Then "what I have to do with thee" would make sense spoken by a Jesus incarnated at baptism, what does his flesh have to do with him?
Just like Thomas "My Mother bore me but my true Mother gave me life"

John is coming across a bit docetic here just like Mark. The virgin birth is through the Holy Spirit (God) not his Mother?
The body of Jesus was born in the normal way

I notice one thing. If the Gnostics drifted further in that direction a lot of these texts don't mention Magdalene but John does prominently
(The 'gnostic' texts that do mention her are the less 'gnostic' ones). I wonder if the physical virgin birth associated with a teaching about Jesus became attributed to Magdalene? The gnostics rejected it casting Sophia as some sort of misguided virgin Mary meaning John would represent some earlier stage prior to a gnostic/Magdalene breakup. This might sound out-there i'm just saying what i see. Despite this claim of Magdalene being a 'gnostic apostle' that is not true.
In other words Luke's birth narrative originates from a branch of the church associated with Magdalene and also John community is associated with Magdalene. They are going in different directions but it is her that's the common factor between two apparently opposite teachings
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