The Gospel of John

badger

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OK, I get that, but that alone is insufficient to discredit the text.


Can you give me the references for this, because I have references that speak to the contrary.

Dr of Theology Carsten Claussen writes on his commentary on the Wedding at Cana:
"... it has been frequently observed that the author of John contributes a number of accurate details about the geography of first century Palestine, about Jewish customs, and about certain historical personalities. Archaeological findings support John's knowledge of Palestine and Jerusalem, such as the Pools of Siloam and of Bethesda (or Bethzatha), stone vessels (which disappeared from use altogether after 70AD), and the outdoor paving stones near the Antonia Fortress which may have been part of the Roman Praetorium in Jerusalem. His itinerary and chronology of Jesus' ministry and death are taken by some interpreters to be more reliable than those of the Synoptics. The debates and trials on the way to Jesus' execution seem to provide a better representation of what happened. Thus ... John's Gospel appears to provide historical data complementing our knowledge of the historical Jesus and even proving more accurate."

He cites Paula Fredriksen, a renown scholar, author of Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews remarking: "Given what we know about Jesus, the sort of itinerary that John presents makes much more sense than the one-year, one-way itinery in Mark (followed by Matthew and Luke) that itself so much obliges Mark's distinctive theology. I do not defend the historicity of particular words, phrases, or the exact details of John's itinerary per se. As all the conflicting erudition shows, the evidence is simply too problematic to yield any unarguable conclusions."


But it seems to me you display no such caution in proposing your 'solutions'.


And yet there is no further mention of it at all in Scripture, is there? So perhaps not such the big deal you suppose it to be.

(And, to my reading, John's makes more sense. John places the event early, and then later says the authorities began to regard Jesus as a dangerous threat to be dealt with even before His final trip to Jerusalem.)


Mark is hardly authoritative. We know he wasn't there, that he's relating Peter. He utilises Peter's homilies to build his story, and arranges the materials accordingly.


Actually there's a lot you don't trust ... Remember that Jesus' ministry missions were funded.


My technique is to read the text with caution, and be doubly cautious about leaping to unfounded conclusions because they fit my picture.


OK. Bultmann regards the miracle at Cana as a myth. Many exegetes do, and many have pointed out the correspondences with the miraculous occurrences attributed to the Greek god Dionysus.

Space here does not allow for a critique of a 700-page thesis (Bultmann's The Gospel of John: A Commentary). I haven't read it. But I did study the basic premise, and its counter-arguments. Bultmann regards the Cana story was a pagan legend applied to Jesus (p118-119), and it can be loosely presented as:
A The wine stories of the Greek god Dionysus are myths
B The wine story in John 2 reads like the above, therefore
C The wine story in John 2 is a myth.

Logicians, atheist or otherwise, have pointed out the flaw: Because B reads like A, does not mean B is the same genre as A. It does not logically follow, therefore it is neither a sufficient argument, nor a proof.

Later, and especially informed Jewish, scholars have argued otherwise. John was preaching to an essentially Jewish audience, probably Christian converts who had been forbidden to attend the synagogue. Read in the light of its historical context, the Wedding at Cana points to failure of the authorities to meet the spiritual needs of the people. Read Causten's conclusion.


I cant read all your post......... lcannot turn down screen light.
but.......Please read Bultmann link all....for geography doubts.
But I like Cana incl although there are four possible Cana sites..... weve dpme thgs., Thomas
Ahhhhhhh! Logicians, scholars, experts....quoting quoting quoting...... there is no cohosesive agreement bewteen all about anything so unlkwess it is a specialist such as a translator or dendo or otyhjer specialist its just opinionsa........ I want your opinion.

And I like the wine stories....... and many pirces of info scattered around in John...... but the time;line, mega miracles, etc etc....
Mo.... I do noy ytust them.
 

RJM

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We all take fixed positions. But God is not fixed. The spirit is not fixed. We all know so much
Simplicity ...
 
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Thomas

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As a counterpoint:

P1: All known wine stories are myths
P2: John 2 is a wine story
C: John 2 is probably a myth

This is logical, and I think it's the actual argument that is being straw-manned here.
I'm not sure we can say all wine stories are myths?

But I agree my shorthand attempt might appear glib. Nevertheless, the point remains that while Bultmann is undoubtedly a heavyweight theologian, major elements of his demythologisation thesis have been abandoned by subsequent scholarship.
 
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Thomas

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... there is no cohesive agreement between all about anything
Bit of an overstatement, but I see where you're coming from. Some things are generally agreed, but yes, there are widely divergent opinions on the details.

I want your opinion.
OK – in short – the Gospels are faith testimonies, in which the scribes have organised their materials accordingly.

This being the case, it's nigh on impossible to construct a detailed chronology of the one-possibly-three years of Christ's ministry, or map out a day-by-day itinerary of His missionary journeys – but that's not what the Gospels set out to do, and it's not what they're about.

Too narrow of focus on details engenders a 'finger and the moon' situation.
 

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It's worth noting that while Bultmann offered a staggering critique of the historicity of Scripture, he did not for a moment doubt that Jesus was an historiocal reality; that Jesus was born, lived, preached and died ... while I do not particularly agree with his thesis of demythologisation in its entirety, I believe, like him, that faith in Christ is a dynamic event, and the Scriptures, and the New Testament particularly, is a text organised according to that dynamic, and that in the New Testament one meets Christ ...
 

badger

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I'm not sure we can say all wine stories are myths?

But I agree my shorthand attempt might appear glib. Nevertheless, the point remains that while Bultmann is undoubtedly a heavyweight theologian, major elements of his demythologisation thesis have been abandoned by subsequent scholarship.

The above was written to another member. On the side, I do think that the wine stories are credible.

Phrases such as 'abandoned by subsequent scholarship' and anything similar can be so misleading.
This sibject could be its own thread, actually now there's an idea.

I don't quote scholars unless asked for corroboration, and even then they can be dismissed if they don't suit others.
We need to check out everyuthing as much as we can.
I once quoted a brilliant scholar's words only for another to dismiss the scholar as a 'lightweight' in the area of discussion. The scholar I quoted translated the Dead Sea scrolls and knew the subject being discussed!

Abandoned by scholarship........ just cannot be worth taking in to consideration unless we know that all scholarship has come together in solidarity to support or refute a point. All this reference to scholars, professors, doctors and other academics only has value if it is wholeheartedly supported.

Hence:-
Individual Investigation has more value than Institutional Indoctrination
Badger.

So........ Best to tell us what you have found. imo
 

badger

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Bit of an overstatement, but I see where you're coming from.
The above is referring to my comment 'there is no cohesive agreement between all about anything' You think that's a bit of an overstatement?
There are qualified Lecturers, Professors, Scholars out there who claim that the New Testament is just totally junk...... now have you included those 'scholars' in your response? You must tell me who of the academics is genuine and whom are impostors. That would be really interesting.

Some things are generally agreed, but yes, there are widely divergent opinions on the details.
Could you give three examples of things that are generally agreed in relation to the subject of 'Jesus'.

OK – in short – the Gospels are faith testimonies, in which the scribes have organised their materials accordingly.

This being the case, it's nigh on impossible to construct a detailed chronology of the one-possibly-three years of Christ's ministry, or map out a day-by-day itinerary of His missionary journeys – but that's not what the Gospels set out to do, and it's not what they're about.

Too narrow of focus on details engenders a 'finger and the moon' situation.

Thank you Thomas. That has more value for me than any and all the scholars that you have quoted.
It is your opinion. I acknowledge every word of it.

Yours (yes?) the Gospels are faith testimonies, in which the scribes have organised their materials accordingly.

Me? The gospels contain witness statements, some have direct testimony, and that the Gospel of Mark is the most accurate.

Look at that. Two people, so different in so many ways, with very differing opinions about the gospels. But something I have noticed over the years. there are actually occasions when those two differing opinions can come together to debate others...... together!
Just for starters, we both agree that Jesus, the Baptist, the disciples, Magdalene and many others were real people.
That's just to start......... we could go on posting to each all day with info that we both agree about. Now that is truly fact.
 

badger

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It's worth noting that while Bultmann offered a staggering critique of the historicity of Scripture, he did not for a moment doubt that Jesus was an historiocal reality; that Jesus was born, lived, preached and died ... while I do not particularly agree with his thesis of demythologisation in its entirety, I believe, like him, that faith in Christ is a dynamic event, and the Scriptures, and the New Testament particularly, is a text organised according to that dynamic, and that in the New Testament one meets Christ ...
My interest in Bultmann was simply that the very first info on the screen when I asked for 'Jesus and Geography' was an extract of his words, after that I went to have a look at him. Personally I prefer to find out as much as I can myself.

For myself I absolutely have sought to separate anything theological, mystical, mythical, traditional from the realities of the gospels.
 

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There are qualified Lecturers, Professors, Scholars out there who claim that the New Testament is just totally junk......
Whether that dismissal holds water is another question.

You must tell me who of the academics is genuine and whom are impostors.
I don't see it that way. I try to follow basic scholarly best practice – arguments for, arguments against – rather than side with one camp and assume the other is therefore wrong.

Quality of scholarship, whether it is good or bad, broadly-informed or narrow-minded, genuine or self-serving, is a whole other question. But theology is a science, and works according to its principles, one of which being can you evidence a claim? Is that evidence compelling?

Anyone can cast doubt, I tend to look to scholars to shed light.

Could you give three examples of things that are generally agreed in relation to the subject of 'Jesus'.
He lived. He preached. He challenged the status quo?
 

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For myself I absolutely have sought to separate anything theological, mystical, mythical, traditional from the realities of the gospels.
Can't be done, old chum.

'The Search for the Historical Jesus' has tried and failed three times.

The Gospels are theological treatises, first and foremost. Everything else is subject to that – the theological, the mystical, and the mythical are the realities of the gospels.

Take the theological, mystical, mythical and traditional out, and what's left?
 

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History shows Jesus Christ to be the most influential spiritual teacher who ever lived.* Attempts to minimize him to just a good man social reformer will never cease -- and never succeed, imo

That's not the way things happened. The gospels, coming after Paul's letters, have opportunity to make clear they disagree with Paul, but they choose not to. If Mark (Peter?) was convinced Jesus was just a failed Galilean social reformer, he could have just said so, instead of needing readers to sift through with a fine comb, looking for the concealed intention?

*There may be debates about whether Buddha or Muhammad (pbuh) or etc, was greater -- but little debate over whether or not Jesus was primarily a spiritual figure, imo?
 
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Thomas

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The gospels contain witness statements, some have direct testimony, and that the Gospel of Mark is the most accurate.
Interestingly, there is some recent work suggesting John, like Matthew and Luke, used Mark as a template, or at least was aware of Mark, and that discrepancies in the details between John and Mark could well be different memories of the events, or corrections by one of the other.
 

badger

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Whether that dismissal holds water is another question.
Whether ANY academic's claims hold water is only down to the perceptions of listeners, readers and watchers.
Netter to give evidence first, a researcher's name after.

I don't see it that way. I try to follow basic scholarly best practice – arguments for, arguments against – rather than side with one camp and assume the other is therefore wrong.
Best practice is to learn the subject, the background subjects, the avaliable evidence types.

Quality of scholarship, whether it is good or bad, broadly-informed or narrow-minded, genuine or self-serving, is a whole other question. But theology is a science, and works according to its principles, one of which being can you evidence a claim? Is that evidence compelling?
Theology....... a science? !!! If it were (if!) it's got to be the most inexact science there is.
I think that proposal is just .... incorrect. HOw's that for politeness?

Anyone can cast doubt, I tend to look to scholars to shed light.
That does seem to be the case, you might proceed much more stronglyt if you did it yourself. Honest.
You might have to find info from specialists.

He lived. He preached. He challenged the status quo?
Many scholars disagree with that......... all you have to do is to investigate it all for yourself. Of course I do understand that many Christians found faith through life experiences....they didn't need your scholars either.
 

badger

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Can't be done, old chum.

'The Search for the Historical Jesus' has tried and failed three times.
How weak....... 'We failed, and if we failed.....'
If you can't do it, and know three persons who failed as well, that looks pretty weak to me.

The Gospels are theological treatises, first and foremost. Everything else is subject to that – the theological, the mystical, and the mythical are the realities of the gospels.
The Gospel of Mark is a written Statement for a witness, including the writer's own deposition within.
The others are copying material that really happened, although Christianity did fiddle with them all.

Take the theological, mystical, mythical and traditional out, and what's left?
Historical Jesus!
 

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Better to give evidence first, a researcher's name after.
Yeah ... but ... here and in your discussion of Mark, have you not used the 'argument from authority' – that texts might have been altered – as a base claim to validate your own thesis?

Theology....... a science? !!! If it were (if!) it's got to be the most inexact science there is.
OK, then, a contentious remark. How about 'theology is a discipline'?

Many scholars disagree with that ...
Oh, in this internet you'll find someone to disagree with anything. But this is just fogging the issue.

... all you have to do is to investigate it all for yourself.
Well I've investigated your claims ... that's what I though this was about?

Of course I do understand that many Christians found faith through life experiences....they didn't need your scholars either.
Nope, as my mum used to tell me, often! ("I love listening to you talk, but all I want is the Eucharist") Or as Pope Benedict said, "What we need are more saints and less theologians!"
 

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How weak....... 'We failed, and if we failed.....'
If you can't do it, and know three persons who failed as well, that looks pretty weak to me
Then again, if we don't learn the lessons of history, we are doomed to repeat them.

Show me the process of how to do it, and we could advance from there.
 

badger

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Yeah ... but ... here and in your discussion of Mark, have you not used the 'argument from authority' – that texts might have been altered – as a base claim to validate your own thesis?
No......... reporting after investigation.
If you don't credit my work then you don't.

OK, then, a contentious remark. How about 'theology is a discipline'?
Ha ha! :D How the church would love that one. Why am I reminded of the Dominicans?

Oh, in this internet you'll find someone to disagree with anything. But this is just fogging the issue.
It's clarifying the absolute fact that if you follow only your favourite scholars then you have not been looking for yourself.
Institutional Indoctrination gets nowhere, just pays nice wages to your choice of experts.
What a laugh.

Well I've investigated your claims ... that's what I though this was about?
If you say so......

Nope, as my mum used to tell me, often! ("I love listening to you talk, but all I want is the Eucharist") Or as Pope Benedict said, "What we need are more saints and less theologians!"
Well, I guess Pope Benedict didn't like what a lot of theologians were saying.
A mutual friend of mine wrote a book: To Heaven with scribes and Pharisees.
I keep thinking of 'To Heaven with peer-reviewed scholars', the favourable ones, that is.

.......just having fun...ok?
 

badger

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OK ... what do we know about Him?
I wrote a story which might throw light upon what I think....... The Rebels. :)
I can't expect you to read all that, but it may give you some idea of what I think about him.

What do I 'know' about him?
You think I was there? :)
All I've got is my assessment of what direct, indirect, primary, secondary and hearsay evidence exists, together with the state of Palestine in the early 1st century is available.

You already pointed out that what you've got is:- quote.......
The Gospels are theological treatises, first and foremost. Everything else is subject to that – the theological, the mystical, and the mythical are the realities of the gospels.
Take the theological, mystical, mythical and traditional out, and what's left?


....so good luck with that.
 
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