Jump to content

A Couple Of Thoughts On G.john


mwc
 Share

Recommended Posts

It's come up a number of times who the authors of the various gospels were. While I still think they are firmly in the anonymous category I think that there might be some clues as to who the author of the book known as John was supposed to have been. After I had this all worked out in my head I was doing some poking around and noticed this isn't some unique theory that I can attribute only to myself. :( Oh well. ;) I'm bringing it up here because of something that was said in the "I Don't Think Jesus Literally Existed" by Evolution_beyond thread. Besides this naming issue I have one minor, unrelated, thought that I'll tack on at the end this mess.

 

So to understand where I'm going with all this we first need to start with the Secret Gospel of Mark. For anyone unfamiliar with it, it's really just a few paragraphs that supposedly come from the "secret" version of G.Mark. This is all disputed as is anything that's not canon. It comes to us pretty much as a quote in a letter from the church father Clement. There's no actual secret gospel laying around. One reason this whole secret gospel idea is compelling is that, if you read G.Mark, it has a number of places where it seems to be "edited" like this:

 

Mark 10:46

And they came to Jericho: and when he was going out of Jericho, with his disciples and a great number of people, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind man, was seated by the wayside, with his hand out for money. (Bible in Basic English)

Notice they just go into Jericho and then walk right back out again. What's the point of writing that? Absolutely none. Something appears to be missing. Namely the whole purpose of Jericho. This doesn't mean something was ever there. This could be just lots and lots of bad writing but it happens enough times that it seems that the document was altered. Someone didn't want everyone to know what happened in Jericho. Perhaps it's in Secret Mark? Who knows? This isn't about that. :)

 

So what this is about, without quoting all of Secret Mark, is that jesus raises someone from the dead and spends the next week with him finally revealing the whole "mystery of the kingdom of god" on the last night. Then they part ways. This young man, or boy, when he rises from the dead loves jesus. Later on, jesus sees the boys sister. She is described as:

the sister of the young man whom Jesus loved

Okay. So the setup is complete. Now we can jump ahead to G.John. Jesus raises someone else from the dead in roughly the same manner and in the same timing in the stories. This person has a name however, Lazarus. It's around this point that a "hanger on" gets added to the story. A person, disciple, that "jesus loved" but we all know this person is never named.

 

At the end of G.John we do have Peter bothered that this particular person is alive and even asks how long this person will be allowed to live. This really makes no sense...unless of course the person Peter is referring to shouldn't be alive in the first place. Peter could see this person as some sort of "freak" (even though his "god" just pulled off the same trick) or a threat maybe? Who knows. The point being Peter singles out the one jesus loves and questions how long he gets to live. If this is Lazarus then it makes more sense than just "random" person. Also, if this is Lazarus, then we should then say that G.John is really G.Lazarus based on:

 

John 21

 

20 Then Peter, turning round, saw the disciple who was dear to Jesus coming after them--the disciple who was resting on his breast at the last meal, and said, Lord, who is it who will be false to you? 21 Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, What about this man? 22 Jesus said to him, If it is my desire for him to be here till I come back, what is that to you? come yourself after me. 23 So this saying went about among the brothers that this disciple would not undergo death: Jesus, however, did not say that he would not undergo death, but, If it is my desire for him to be here till I come back, what is that to you?

24 This is the disciple who gives witness about these things and who put them in writing: and we have knowledge that his witness is true.

Of course 24b indicates that this is yet someone else telling this story but then that might be a hint that the text he's basing his work on (Secret Mark?) is supposed to be G.Lazarus? At this point it shows that the naming of these books is hopelessly impossible and the tradition is equally worthless. At best there was a growing tradition going around about a Lazarus (since he's mentioned in several stories starting with no name and then getting his name later as an insertion as well as the ending which was most likely added later too seeing how the story just ends in chapter 20). I'll leave that for someone else to figure out.

 

Anyhow, on to something else...since I was reading through G.John for all of this I also came across the part of the story after the resurrection. Jesus is raised and then he appears to the people and then 8 days later he appears again to Thomas. I just thought it interesting that 8 days was chosen. After reading Exodus it dawned on me that 8 days was the amount of days needed for circumcision. If jesus was "born" via the resurrection then this was the day he was to be circumcised (8 days later). This is probably why he couldn't be "touched" before then. A ritual presentation thing that the author was going for. Oh well, I thought it was interesting so I thought I'd mention it.

 

mwc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have told you before and I shall tell you again, mwc, that you better be saving your posts in some folder somewhere and one day you better put them all together for a book. You are a fine thinker and a fine writer. I'm glad you post here, but expand your base, will you!

 

I'll begin with your last point about Jesus appearing to Thomas on the 8th day after his resurrection and the symbolism with the 8-day circumcision. Never heard this idea before. Could be. Nice theory.

 

Now on to your other points. You may be right about all of it. Who knows. I sure don't. But methinks you are wrong about one thing and it's found in the second half of this excerpt from your post:

 

At this point it shows that the naming of these books is hopelessly impossible and the tradition is equally worthless.

 

The second point does not follow the first one or the others in your missive. Anonymity of authorship means but one thing: anonymity of authoriship. (And that's disputed, of course.) Nothing more.

 

Now, fix that error :HaHa: and go write a book. Please.

 

-CC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah great. You're back. Now I can't just make stuff up. ;)

 

You're right. I do think the books are anonymous. However, IF I had to pick a name for the author, and IF Secret Mark is not a forgery THEN G.Lazarus seems to be the better choice since there are at least some bread crumbs to follow in the text itself (not the weak tradition based on Papias), as opposed to ANY John, when looking for the author.

 

As for the whole thing with the birth/circumcision symbology. That's all contained in the Gnostic "The Secret Gospel of Jesus' (John)Thomas." That's right. THAT'S how the book of John really got it's name (they used it as a euphemism for penis then too).

 

mwc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember arguing about the Lazarus idea back in Bible College in Cafeteria 101. I'm sure I argued against it. I don't remember how it came up, and I've forgotten about it since until now. And there was some speculation that the disciple was Mark, but I don't remember why.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark? Now that's definitely a name that I wouldn't have picked.

 

mwc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To follow up my own thought, here's some more on the 8th day thing.

 

According to the Gospel of Barnabas:

You perceive how He speaks: Your present Sabbaths are not acceptable to Me, but that is which I have made, [namely this,] when, giving rest to all things, I shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead. And when He had manifested Himself, He ascended into the heavens.

According to this, and some I left out, they took the 1 day=1 thousand years literally and so they thought the earth would start and end in 6 thousand years. Then there would be a thousand years of "rest" (the 7th day). Then on the 8th day the "new" beginning would happen. The whole "jesus" thing was just an example of this larger cycle of events (as is are things jesus, of course).

 

However, look carefully. Jesus ROSE on the 8th day according to this and NOT the THIRD. Of course, this can't be since this is a unified cult, isn't it? ;) Anyhow, the 8th day had some significance and it's all very symbolic. Just like you really don't need a jesus at all but it helps to sell your new religion to SAY that a jesus did this to give it some real meaning when someone asks "And why are we doing this again?" Well, "Because jesus blah blah blah..." Of course. :)

 

mwc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Following up again on my own thread...

 

I was just thinking about how G.John could also be named after a John. What if all that fanciful stuff at the beginning wasn't there originally, you know, the "In the beginning was the Word, ..." and so on up to verse 6-7. Then we cut out up to verse 15. We'd be left with the following:

 

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

 

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

If this is what was read aloud for people then they'd remember this as the witness or testimony from John...only this is John the Baptist and not John the disciple. Once the hyperbole of the "word" and all was added onto the beginning then this becomes vague and forgotten. Perhaps this was even, at one point, really the Gospel of John the Baptist and is was usurped, and greatly expanded, by the xians for their own purposes later on (leaving the original JtB characters to introduce, and defer, to their new lead)?

 

mwc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Following up again on my own thread...

 

I was just thinking about how G.John could also be named after a John. What if all that fanciful stuff at the beginning wasn't there originally, you know, the "In the beginning was the Word, ..." and so on up to verse 6-7. Then we cut out up to verse 15. We'd be left with the following:

 

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

 

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

If this is what was read aloud for people then they'd remember this as the witness or testimony from John...only this is John the Baptist and not John the disciple. Once the hyperbole of the "word" and all was added onto the beginning then this becomes vague and forgotten. Perhaps this was even, at one point, really the Gospel of John the Baptist and is was usurped, and greatly expanded, by the xians for their own purposes later on (leaving the original JtB characters to introduce, and defer, to their new lead)?

 

mwc

 

Your speculations are always quite interesting and generally contain the possibility of being quite right. This one, too, but it would take a lot of ifs...not that all those ifs are not possible, of course.

 

-CC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.