Miscellaneous quotations.

Various scholarly snippets.


Just a few quotations that I have found useful from various scholarly works. Most of the books quoted can be found on my booklist.

Bauckham, Richard.

Richard Bauckham, The Gospels for All Christians, pages 150-151:

In this chapter we shall argue that two of John's parenthetical explanations (3:24; 11:2) are intended specifically for readers/hearers who also knew Mark's Gospel. The functions of these two explanations, which are otherwise very difficult to understand, become clear when they are recognized as indications of the way readers/hearers who also know Mark's Gospel are to relate John's narrative to Mark. One of these explanations (3:24) serves to relate John's chronological sequence to Mark's; the other (11:2) serves to identify a named character in John as one already known anonymously to readers of Mark.

Richard Bauckham, The Gospels for All Christians, pages 154-155:

John 3:24 enables readers/hearers familiar with Mark's narrative to continue to place John's narrative in correct relationship to it, by indicating that they are still in the period between Mark 1:13 and Mark 1:14.

The function of John 3:24 is not, therefore, merely that of precluding the impression that John's narrative is at this point inconsistent with Mark's. It also serves to make quite clear the way in which the narrative of John's first four chapters is designed to dovetail into Mark's, such that John 1:19-4:43 fits into a putative gap that readers/hearers of John who also know Mark are obliged by John to postulate between Mark 1:13 and Mark 1:14.

Richard Bauckham, The Gospels for All Christians, pages 155-156:

For such readers/hearers, the feeding of the five thousand and the walking on the water (John 6:1-21; Mark 6:31-53), which are the only events narrated by both evangelists prior to Jesus' final week in Jerusalem, divide the Galilean ministry narrated by Mark into two parts. To the first part, prior to these events (Mark 1:14-6:13), there corresponds in John only the healing of the official's son at Capernaum (John 4:46-54). For such readers/hearers, then, John takes Mark's account of this first part of the Galilean ministry as read, supplementing it with just one miracle story. Even this story could easily be presumed, by readers/hearers familiar with Mark, to have taken place before Mark's account of the Galilean ministry begins. It takes place when Jesus, traveling north from Samaria, is in Cana (John 4:46), before he reaches the Sea of Galilee (Mark 1:16).

Richard Bauckham, The Gospels for All Christians, page 156:

First, Mark narrates what the twelve did when Jesus sent them out on mission (6:7-13, 30), with no indication of what Jesus himself did meantime, whereas John narrates a visit of Jesus to Jerusalem in which no mention is made of the disciples (John 5). Secondly, during this visit to Jerusalem, Jesus refers to John the Baptist's ministry as now past (John 5:33-35), while the death of the Baptist, which this reference most naturally presupposes, is an event of which readers of Mark have been informed precisely at the corresponding point in Mark's narrative, immediately prior to the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:13-29).

Richard Bauckham, The Gospels for All Christians, page 156:

The second part of the Galilean ministry in Mark (6:54-9:50)... is summarized by John in a single sentence (7:1a), which very clearly implies a significant period of ministry left wholly unnarrated by John. According to John's explicit chronology (6:4; 7:2) a period of six months in Galilee is here left entirely unnarrated by John.

Richard Bauckham, The Gospels for All Christians, page 157:

For readers/hearers of John who were also familiar with Mark, what John narrates in 7:10-10:39 would fill out Mark's mere indication that, at the conclusion of his Galilean ministry, Jesus "left that place [Capernaum] and went to the region of Judea" (Mark 10:1a), while the account of Jesus' ministry in the region "beyond the Jordan" (Mark 10:1) which follows in Mark (10:1-31) would be summarized by John's brief reference to this period (John 10:40-42).

Richard Bauckham, The Gospels for All Christians, page 159:

Two of the Markan narratives John repeats—the "cleansing" of the temple and the anointing at Bethany—are moved from their place in Mark's sequence to an earlier point.... At this point, for readers/hearers who know Mark, it must be clear that John corrects Mark.

Richard Bauckham, The Gospels for All Christians, pages 163-164, on John 11.1-2:

The narrative functions performed by verses 1-2 together are two: (1) They introduce three important characters, who enter the Gospel's narrative at this point, by identifying one of them, Mary, as the woman about whom hearers/readers already know the story of her anointing of Jesus, and the others as her siblings. (2) They distinguish the Bethany where the three reside from the other Bethany in the Fourth Gospel, "Bethany beyond Jordan" (1:28), where Jesus is at this point in the narrative (10:40-42). The knowledge presupposed in the implied readers/hearers by these two functions is knowledge that readers/hearers of Mark have: they know of a woman who anointed Jesus in the Bethany that is near Jerusalem (Mark 14:3-9; cf. 11:1, 11). Readers/hearers of Luke would not have the required knowledge, since it is not the sisters Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42, not located in Bethany) of whom readers/hearers of John 11:1-2 are expected to have heard, but a woman who anointed Jesus in Bethany near Jerusalem.
Bruce, F. F.

F. F. Bruce, Commentary on 1 & 2 Thessalonians, page 57:

The παρουσια (Lat adventus) of a very important person might inaugurate a new era, as happened with the visit of Hadrian to Athens and other Greek cities in A. D. 124--an inscription of A. D. 192/3 at Tegea is dated "in the year 69 of the first παρουσια of the god Hadrian in Greece...." Not long after 1 Thessalonians was written, coins bearing some such legend as adventus Augusti were struck at Corinth and Patras to commemorate an official visit of Nero.
Crossan, John Dominic.

John Dominic Crossan, The Birth of Christianity, page 40:

But to understand the death, you have to know about his life.

John Dominic Crossan, The Birth of Christianity, page 405:

There is no need to set Jesus' life and Jesus' death against one another or even over one another. It is a life so lived that led to a death so accepted.

John Dominic Crossan, The Birth of Christianity, page 404:

I ask whether remembering his sayings or imitating his life is the primary mode of continuity from the historical Jesus to those who walked around with him and remained around after him. The Didache, as we have just seen, did not even cite his sayings as his. But it used as a criterion of authenticity the ways (tropoi) rather than the words (logoi) of the Lord. Continuity was in mimetics rather than in mnemonics, in imitating life rather than in remembering words.

John Dominic Crossan, The Birth of Christianity, page 400, on the itinerants and the householders:

I do not know to what extent they and their hearers considered any saying, whether attributed to Jesus or not, as simple verbal articulation of actual practice. Jesus "said" this by "doing" that.
Butler, B. C.

B. C. Butler, The Originality of St. Matthew, page 23:

After the Temptation story, Luke's Q passages are never inserted in the place in the Marcan outline which they occupy in Matthew. Streeter infers that, if St Luke used Matthew, he 'must have proceeded with the utmost care to tear every little piece of non-Marcan material he desired to use from the context of Mark in which it appeared in Matthew—in spite of the fact that contexts in Matthew are always exceedingly appropriate—in order to reinsert it into a different context of Mark having no special appropriateness'.
The argument might seem more plausible if, less than twenty pages earlier, Streeter had not himself made the felicitous observation that, half-a-dozen or so odd verses apart, Marcan and non-Marcan material alternate in Luke in great blocks. In other words, as Mr H. G. Jameson succinctly put it, Luke does not attempt to insert his Q matter into Marcan contexts at all. St Luke has taken Mark as his source for the Marcan tradition, and just as he hardly ever inserts fragments of Mark into his non-Marcan blocks, so he will not interpolate into his Marcan contexts either verses from Matthew or material from his special sources.
B. C. Butler, The Originality of St. Matthew, page 24:

From iv.13 till the opening of the Passion story, with the exception of his big blocks of non-Marcan matter, [Luke] follows Mark exclusively for the main sequence of his narrative. Having decided on this course, if he wished subsequently to make use of pieces of Matthew that were built up in Matthew's Marcan sections, he would find it necessary to go through Matthew marking off all that was identical with Mark. The remainder was at his disposal, to fit into the great non-Marcan blocks of his Gospel. His procedure was entirely natural, and our ignorance of his precise motives for preferring Mark to Matthew cannot justify us in neglecting the proofs offered above of his use of Matthew in the five crucial instances.
Evans, Craig.

Craig Evans, Commentary on Mark 8.27-16.20, pages lxxxvii-lxxxviii:

The anticipated arrival of the emperor was referred to as a παρουσια (Latin adventus). In honor of the Roman emperors, "advent coins" were struck; e.g., a coin struck in 66 C.E. in honor of Nero reads adventus Augusti, "the coming of Augustus." An inscription in honor of Hadrian speaks of the "first παρουσια of the god Hadrian" (both examples from Deissmann, Light, 371-72). P.Teb. 48 announces the παρουσια of the king to the forum. This manner of speaking is known to Judaism of late antiquity, as seen in Josephus, who also speaks of the "παρουσια of the king" (Ant. 19.8.1. 340; cf. 3 Macc 3:17; T. Abr. 13:4-6).
Farmer, William.

William Farmer, The Synoptic Problem, page 198, citing page 229 of Ernest De Witt Burton, Some Principles of Literary Criticism and Their Application to the Synoptic Problem, six indicators of direction of literary dependence:

1. Manifest misunderstanding of what stands in one document on the part of the writer of the other.
 
2. Insertion by one writer of material not in the other, and clearly interrupting the course of thought or symmetry of plan in the other.
 
3. Clear omission of matter from one document which was in the other, the omission of which destroys the connection.
 
4. Insertion of matter the motive for which can be clearly seen in the light of the author’s general aim, while no motive can be discovered for its omission by the author if he had it in his source.
 
5. Vice versa, omission of matter traceable to the motive natural to the writer when the insertion of the same matter in the other gospel could not thus be accounted for.
 
6. Alterations of other kinds which conform the matter to the general method or tendency of the author.
Hill, Charles E.

Charles E. Hill, The Johannine Corpus in the Early Church, pages 181-182, writing on Gaius of Rome and his alleged opposition to the gospel and apocalypse of John:

Another advance, however, came in 1895, when Rendel Harris reported the existence of another fragment from bar Salibi, this one in a Latin translation made by Dudley Loftus in the seventeenth century (Bodleian Fell 6 and 7) from a now lost Syriac manuscript of bar Salibi's Commentary on the Gospel of John. In this work Gaius is recorded as criticizing the author of the Fourth Gospel with one of the same objections which Epiphanius had attributed to the Alogi.22 'A certain heretic Gaius criticized John because he did not agree with his fellow evangelists who say [emend to: in that he says] that after the baptism he went to Galilee and performed the miracle of the wine at Cana' (John 2:1-11).23

This, at last, appeared to establish that Gaius had also opposed the Fourth Gospel—though doubts were still possible for the sceptic, for Loftus's translation of the name of Gaius was evidently based on a Syriac text which included it only as 'added in the margin by a later hand'!24 Another Syriac copy of the text discovered later (British Museum Add. 12,143) in fact did not include the name of the heretic.25 The objection is followed in the commentary, however, by a reply from Hippolytus, as in the extracts from the Commentary on Revelation. In any case, Harris's discovery was corroborated when T. H. Robinson in 1906 discovered and published a manuscript of bar Salibi's Commentary on Revelation which contained its prologue (missing in the manuscript used by Gwynn), in which bar Salibi explicitly named Gaius as one who attributed both Johannine works to Cerinthus.26 'Hippolytus of Rome states that a man named Gaius had appeared, who said that neither the Gospel nor yet the Revelation was John's; but that they were the work of Cerinthus the heretic. And the blessed Hippolytus opposed this Gaius, and showed that the teaching of John in the Gospel and Revelation was different from that of Cerinthus.'27

22 J. R. Harris, Hermas in Arcadia and Other Essays (Cambridge, 1896), 48-9.
23 Text from an unpublished Syriac MS, Cod. Paris. syr. 67, fol. 270, r°, col. 2, contained in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, tr. by Smith, ‘Gaius’, 200-1, 591.
24 Smith, ‘Gaius’, [his Yale dissertation,] 201. That MS is Cod. Mus. Britt. Add. 7184, fo. 2432.
25 Cf. [Alan] Brent, Hippolytus [and the Roman Church in the Third Century: Communities in Tension before the Emergence of a Monarch-Bishop], [VCSuppl. 31 (Leiden, 1995),] 145.
26 T. H. Robinson, ‘The Authorship of the Muratorian Canon’, The Expositor, 7/1 (1906), 481-95.
27 Ibid. 487. Dionysius’ commentary was finally published in full in 1909 (I. Sedlacek).

Koester, Helmut.

Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels, page 55:

There is most likely another collection of sayings of Jesus of a very different character which was known to Paul. The first chapters of Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians reveal that there were, at a very early date, believers who had a different perception of the central Christian message.

Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels, page 62:

Can the character of the collection of sayings used by the Corinthians be determined with more accuracy? It has already been said that the Q sayings used here are not typical for this document. In fact, the connections to Q material do not go beyond Q/Luke 10:21-24 (perhaps also Q/Luke 11:29-32). The other sayings to which Paul alludes in 1 Corinthians 1-4 do not belong to Q: Matt 13:35; Mark 4:22; Gos. Thom. ##2, 5-6, and 17. The topic of the revelation of hidden wisdom, at best marginal in Q, unites all the sayings to which Paul alludes in this context. It will be seen that it is important for the sayings collections that have been used for the composition of the Gospel of Thomas and which were also known in the Johannine tradition.

Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels, page 65:

In... 1 Pet 4:14; 3:9 and 16; 2:19-20... the author of this Epistle uses material that belongs to the nucleus of the Q materials for the Sermon on the Plain/Sermon on the Mount (Q/Luke 6:22, 28, 32-33). It is the same collection that also provided the sayings for Rom 12-14.
The other two uses of sayings of Jesus in 1 Peter (3:14; 2:12b) concern sayings of a typical Matthean character. Both Matt 5:10 and Matt 5:16b appear to be Matthean additions to the Q material that formed the basis for this section of the Sermon on the Mount. However, it is unlikely that these sayings are creations of the author of the Gospel of Matthew. Rather, they were already part of a Jewish-Christian document that Matthew used in chapters 5-7.

Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels, pages 68-69:

Since both 1 Peter and 1 Clement were written in Rome at approximately the same time, it is quite possible that they are both witnesses to the existence in Rome of a sayings book that was identical with, or related to, the Jewish-Christian writing which, as Hans Dieter Betz has argued, was the source of Matthew 5-7.

Koester refers to Hans Dieter Betz, Essays on the Sermon on the Mount, 1985, passim.

Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels, pages 166-167:

The Synoptic Sayings Source was used in this revised form by the author of the Gospel of Luke, perhaps in Antioch or in Ephesus. Was it also known to Papias of Heirapolis, and should his reference to "Matthew who composed the sayings" be understood as a testimony to Q, circulating as a document under the authority of Matthew? In spite of major and weighty objections, this hypothesis has merits. While Papias talks about Mark as composing the "things said and done by the Lord," he ascribes to Matthew only the composition of "the sayings" (τὰ λόγια). The Gospel of Thomas gives conclusive evidence that the apostle Thomas was considered in the tradition as the author of a work that contained mostly sayings of Jesus. It may be more than accidental that Matthew and Thomas are mentioned side by side in the Synoptic Gospels' lists of the apostles: Mark 3:18; Matt 10:3; Luke 6:15. In the Dialogue of the Savior, Judas (Thomas) and Matthew, together with Mary, are the disciples who question Jesus about the interpretation of his sayings. In the Gospel of Thomas, Peter, Matthew, and Thomas are the three disciples who respond to Jesus' question, "compare me to someone and tell me who I am like" (#13). Matthew's answer is, "You are like a wise philosopher." Thomas's answer, which follows, is evidently a reference to this apostle as the possessor of the secret tradition and thus as the author of a writing of secret sayings: Jesus draws Thomas aside and tells him three things which he cannot divulge. Does this imply that Matthew was known as the authority for a book of sayings of wisdom, sapiential discourses? This question could perhaps be answered in the affirmative.
Malina, Bruce.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels, page 24:

The title [id est, the first line of Matthew] is a pun that has a variety of possible meanings: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Messiah," or "The book of (the) Genesis of Jesus Messiah," or "The book of the origin of Jesus Messiah," and the like. This opening pun connects with the last words of the work: "to the end of the age" (28:20), marking off beginning and end. Moreover, the last passage of the work, an edict by the risen Jesus (28:18-20) closes the Gospel with the same type of passage that closes the Hebrew Scriptures, the edict of Cyrus in 2 Chron. 36:23. Thus the Gospel begins with "the book of genesis" and ends with a final edict of one empowered by God, just like the Sacred Scriptures of Matthew's day. Further, by beginning with a genealogy and closing with an edict, Matthew's work likewise follows the pattern of the last book of the Hebrew Bible, Chronicles. For Chronicles (called in Hebrew "The Book of Days" = genealogy) begins with a genealogy and ends with an edict from one with power over "all the kingdoms of the earth" (2 Chron. 36:22-23; used by Ezra 1:1-2), namely, God's Messiah, Cyrus (Isa. 45:1; see Isa. 44:28).

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 65:

In Hellenistic Greek, special time, qualitatively significant time, is called kairos, while regular clock time is called chronos. Jesus calls his own special, qualitatively significant time his "hour".

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 66, on John 2.1-12:

The story opens "on the third day." Note the enumeration of days: the first day covers 1:1-28; "the next day," 1:29-34; "the next day," 1:35-39; and a presumed next day: 1:40-42; with a final "the next day" in 1:43-51. WIth these five days over, "the third day" here (2:1-11) would be the eighth day. And this eighth day marks the first day after the close of the first (creation) week since the beginning (1:1). That first week is John's creation week. After this eighth day, there is no more counting of days (so in v. 12 we read "a few days"). "On the third day" also reflects the day of Jesus' being raised, the eighth day of the week (see vss. 19-20; "after three days").

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 87:

Two words nearly always assigned to internal states in our society are love and hate. To understand what they meant in the first-century Mediterranean world, however, it is necessary to recognize both their group orientation and their corresponding external expression. The term love, for example, is best translated "group attachment," or "attachment to some person." To love the light is to be attached to the enlightened group. There may or may not be affection, but it is the inward feeling of attachment, along with the outward behavior bound up with such attachment, that love entails. So naturally those who love or are attached to the group do what the group values.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 91:

The idea that baptism is a "new birth" was symbolized in the Israelite practice of proselyte baptism. Converts were baptized naked, just as a baby is born naked, to symbolize the fact that everything old was being left behind and a new start was being made. In the second century Hippolytus reports that Jesus Messianists followed a similar practice. To preserve decency, men and women were baptized separately:

And at the hour when the cock crows they shall first pray over the water. When they come to the water, let the water be pure and flowing. And they shall put off their clothes. And they shall baptize the little children first.... And next they shall baptize the grown men; and last the women, who shall have loosed their hair and laid aside their gold ornaments. Let no one go down into the water having any alien object with them. (Apostolic Tradition 21.1-5)

What is being reenacted here is birth into a new family: the fictive kin group of the Jesus movement.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 112, on John 5.14:

Scholars often puzzle over the fact that while Jesus rejects the idea that suffering is payment for sin in 9:2, here he seems to accept it. If we assume that Jesus' reference to something "worse" happening to the man is a reference to his illness, the puzzle is indeed present. Jesus seems to be threatening another disease if the man should sin again. but if we recognize that in Mediterranean societies "sin" is a breach of interpersonal relationships, there ceases to be a problem. For if sin is whatever destroys one's relationship with the group, and if we note that this man was devoid of friends to put him in the pool, Jesus' comment makes perfect sense. As a friendless outcast, the man was indeed a "sinner," an outsider unattached to a group. He may have been sick, but he was also ill. Given his age and the short life expectancies in antiquity, should the man repeat whatever disrupted his relationship with the group, he would indeed risk the worst of all fates: having no one to bury and remember him.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 126, on John 6.10:

A crowd of five thousand men (plus women and children) would have been larger than the population of all but a handful of the largest urban settlements and is undoubtedly an example of hyperbole in the tradition.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, pages 143-145, on John 7.1-9:

To understand the self in terms of social psychology, we need to know the way the defined self emerges in the contrasting collectivist and individualistic cultural types. Consider the following diagram in which the boxed-in defined selves are expected to match to produce "truth."

Collectivist Culture Individualist Culture
Privately defined self
In-group defined self
Privately defined self
Publicly defined self
Publicly defined self In-group defined self

The types of self in bold relief form a unity in the respective cultures. What this chart makes clear is that in collectivist cultures there is a general conformity between private self and in-group self. Such people take in-group self-assessments far more seriously than people in individualist cultures....

In each type of culture, a lie consists of splitting the selves included in the boxes above. Thus, an individualistic lie is to think one thing and say another. That involves splitting what one knows privately from what one says publicly. To a collectivist, however, a lie involves splitting private and in-group "truth." In a collectivist culture, one's private knowledge has nothing to do with truth.

The right to the truth and the right to withhold the truth belong to the "man of honor," and to contest these rights is to place a person's honor in jeopardy, to challenge that person. Lying and deception are or can be honorable and legitimate. To lie in order to deceive an outsider, one who has no right to the truth, is honorable....

What Jesus does here would thus be considered right and proper by a collectivist culture. For, as the author notes in v. 5, his brothers had no loyalty toward him; they stood outside his in-group. Jesus withholds the truth from the brothers because they are out-group persons and have no right to it. In so doing, he shows himself to be an honorable person who knows with whom the truth is properly to be shared.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 225, on John 2.1-12:

The question of the identity of "the disciple whom Jesus loved" has concerned scholars for many centuries, right up to our own day. In this Gospel the beloved disciple is an anonymous person, never identified. A number of modern scholars identify this disciple as a sort of "Every Disciple." Perhaps this is another double meaning in the story. Yet what of the other referent? The Gospel of John has been largely read in terms of the Synoptics. Given the attribution of this document to "John," this personage was early on identified with John, son of Zebedee. And since the Gospel of John makes no mention of John, son of Zebedee, it was easy to fill out the equation with John, son of Zebedee, being the beloved disciple. Yet, if we adhere to the document and the story it tells, the only referent for the role of beloved disciple up to this point is undoubtedly Lazarus, the only person labeled as "the one whom you love" (11:3) in the story.
Robinson, J. A. T.

J. A. T. Robinson, The Priority of John, pages 101-103, on Eusebius interpreting Papias:

But it is to be observed that it is Eusebius, not Papias, who introduces the distinction between 'apostles' and 'elders'. Papias calls them all 'elders', while Eusebius goes on to refer to what Papias called 'the discourses of the elders' as 'the discourses of the apostles'. There is not for Papias, nor I believe for Eusebius, any generation gap between apostles and elders such as is regularly read into this passage. For the last two elders were equally 'disciples of the Lord'. Nor does Eusebius imply that the elders are what he earlier calls 'pupils' of the apostles (these are the 'followers' of the first group of elders, whom he identifies with the apostles). What Eusebius is anxious to establish is not two generations but two individuals, because, following Dionysius of Alexandria's notable anticipation of modern literary criticism, he quite reasonably wants to find a second John as author of the Apocalypse, and he fastens on John 'the Elder'. If indeed this man composed anything, it is more logical, with others, to ascribe to him II and III John, which are written under this designation. But as author of the Gospel he is a mere construct of modern scholarship. In fact it is at least doubtful whether he ever even existed as a second character (he is not alluded to anywhere else in ancient literature), let alone lived in Ephesus, though one does not have to share Eusebius' jaundiced view of Papias to wish that he could have expressed himself more clearly. C. S. Petrie has urged that ο̒ πρεσβύτερος Ἰωάννης (not Ἰωάννης ο̒ πρεσβύτερος ) means, when the name is repeated with the article, 'the aforementioned elder John'. All that we can be sure of is that Papias distinguishes between those elders/apostles who are dead ('what they said') and those who are still alive ('what they say'). And in the second, much smaller class he also places John, which bears out rather than impugns Irenaeus' statement that Papias, like Polycarp, was 'a hearer of John'. Indeed for Papias this John is almost certainly the one he describes as 'the Elder' without need of further designation, as in the address of II and III John. For Eusebius has just referred to Papias' 'traditions of the elder John' and then proceeds to cite one, from 'the Elder', on the origin of the Gospel of Mark. This would imply that the account of the Petrine origin of Mark goes back to John, who, if he is the Apostle, is a very good authority indeed. It would also explain why Eusebius has something to quote from the Elder about the Gospels of Mark and Matthew but not John: at that point Papias was in touch with source, the 'living voice', as he claims.

When Robinson refers to C. S. Petrie he means his article The Authorship of "The Gospel According to Matthew": A Reconsideration of the External Evidence, in New Testament Studies 14, pages 15-32.

J. A. T. Robinson, The Priority of John, pages 133-134, on John 4.35:

It looks as though those are right who see here a proverbial saying introduced by the words 'Do you not say?', just as two verses later in 4.37 Jesus refers to the 'saying' (λόγος), 'One does the sowing, another the reaping.' The objection to this interpretation, which I myself felt earlier, has been the opening ἔτι ('There are yet four months to harvest'), but with the omission now by Ƿ75 as well as by a cross-section of other authorities it looks as if it may have got into the text either by dittography (ο̒́τι ἔτι) or in an attempt to improve the sense. Without it the saying would refer to the sort of popular schema of the agricultural year to be found in the ancient Gezer calendar (which dates back at least to the tenth century BC). This specifies the month or months the farmer works at a particular operation, starting with autumn:

His two months are (olive) harvest (Sept/Oct; Oct/Nov);
His two months are planting (grain) (Nov/Dec; Dec/Jan);
His two months are late planting (Jan/Feb; Feb/Mar);
His month is hoeing up of flax (Mar/Apr);
His month is harvest of barley (Apr/May);
His month is (wheat) harvest and festivity (May/June);
His two months are vine-tending (June/July; July/Aug);
His month is summer fruit (Aug/Sept).

Such schematizations are obviously rough and ready and take no account of the wide climatic variations in Palestine. The Jordan valley is a good month ahead of the Judaean highlands, and there the barley-cycle, unlike that of the longer-ripening wheat, does in fact occupy the four months between December and April. The saying could then be part of a popular jingle, on the level of 'Thirty Days hath September, April, June and November', since, as has often been observed, it forms a crude iambic trimeter:

τε̆τρᾰ́μη̄|νο̆́ς ἐσ̄|τῐχὠ̄ | θε̆ρῑσ|μὸ̆ς ἔ̄ρ|χε̆ταῑ

The paratactic syntax ('It is four months and harvest comes') bespeaks a Semitic origin and it is no objection that it should have been current in a Greek version in first-century Palestine.

The passage would then mean: Doesn't the nature-rhyme run: 'From sowing to harvest four months'? But look at the fields. You can see they are white to harvest, and the reaping-men are even now at work and receiving their wages.

J. A. T. Robinson, The Priority of John, pages 156-157:

Let me end with a chronological table of the ministry of Jesus. Though many of the datings are of course approximate I believe we may have a good deal more confidence in it than most modern scholarship, starting from the Synoptists and dismissing John, would suggest was possible. The days of the month are taken from the dates of the festivals in the years concerned correlated with the notices of Jesus' movements in the Fourth Gospel. It coincides almost exactly, and quite independently, with the chronology worked out by Schein.

Robinson refers to a chronological schema that Schein drew up for private circulation as a support for his position in Following the Way.

27 autumn (?) Appearance of John the Baptist
     
28 March (?)
April
 
 
 
May
 
 
June-October
October 23-31
November-April
Baptism of Jesus
In Cana and Capernaum
In Jerusalem before, and during,
   Passover and the feast of Unleavened
   Bread (April 28-May 5)
In Judaea baptizing
Arrest of John the Baptist
Departure for Galilee
In Galilee
In Jerusalem for Tabernacles
In Galilee
     
29 early (?)
April
 
May-September
October 15
 
November-December
December 20-27
January-February
Death of John the Baptist
Desert feeding, before Passover
   (April 18)
In Phoenicia, Ituraea and Galilee
In Jerusalem for Tabernacles
   (October 12-19)
In Judaea and Peraea
In Jerusalem for Dedication
In Bethany beyond Jordan
     
30 February (?)
March
April 2-6
April 7
In Bethany in Judaea
In Ephraim
In Bethany and Jerusalem
Crucifixion

J. A. T. Robinson, The Priority of John, pages 224-225:

Bammel points out that this passage is full of quasi-technical terms:

διδόναι... ἐντολάς describes the issue of a writ. ζητει̂ν [cf. 11.56] describes the search which takes place in order to find out the whereabouts of a fugitive. μηνύειν denotes the denunciation of a person who is named in the ἐντολαί.... Taken together, the terms can easily be considered as indicating the different stages of a προγραφή. This action was undertaken against those who had not been present for the ἀπογραφή.

E. Bammel, Ex illa itaque die consilium fecerunt, in The Trial of Jesus, page 30.

In particular the word μηνύειν which is the technical word fo the activity of an informer (as in Acts 23.30; cf. II Macc. 6.11; Josephus, Ant. 15.266) recalls the provision of the Mosaic law, as interpreted by Josephus, if the murderer cannot be found: 'Let them make diligent search for that culprit, offering rewards for information' (Ant. 4.220). That the warrant was accompanied by a reward 'for information leading to his arrest' is not stated in any of the Gospels but would provide an entirely probable background for Judas' action.

In subjecting this whole section to close analysis Bammel has concluded that its parallels with Jewish tradition afford confidence that it represents reliable and primitive historical material. He notes in it four main points which individually, he says, may look strange but 'together they give a picture which is thoroughly consistent, and is paralleled in more than one detail by traditions which do not merely reproduce the Fourth Gospel.'

He summarizes these distinctive features as follows....

There are four of these features, on pages 225-229:

  1. A picture of the prosecution of Jesus which makes the legal proceedings begin a considerable time before the crucifixion.
  2. The fact that the legal proceedings are started and carried out solely by the Jews.
  3. The part played by Caiaphas and the arguments presented by him.
  4. The withdrawal of Jesus.

Robinson points out that the first feature above lines up with the report in the Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a, which he gives as follows:

On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!

Ulla retorted: Do you suppose that he wa one for whom a defence could be made? Was he not a Mesith [enticer], concerning whom Scripture says, 'Neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him?' With Yeshu however it was different, for he was connected with the government [or royalty, i. e., influential]....

J. A. T. Robinson, The Priority of John, pages 249-250:

But why does John pass over what was brought up at the trial before the Council? In an important sense he does not. Brown and Dodd both make the point that much of the matter occurs at different points in the Johannine narrative. Thus there are echoes of the trial scene in:

1.51, 'In truth, in very truth I tell you all, you shall see heaven wide open, and God's angels ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.'
6.62, 'Does this shock you? What if you see the Son of Man ascending to the place where he was before?'
8.28, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man you will know that I am what I am' (cf. Mark 14.61f. and pars.).
2.19, 'Destroy this temple', Jesus replied, 'and in three days I will raise it again' (cf. Mark 14.58 and par.).
7.12, 'No', said others, 'he is leading the people astray' (cf. b. Sanh. 43a: 'He has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy').
10.24f.,   'If you are the Messiah say so plainly.' 'I have told you', said Jesus, 'but you do not believe' (cf. Luke 22.67).
10.36, 'Why do you charge me with blasphemy because I... said, "I am God's son"?' (cf. Mark 14.61-64 and par.; Luke 22.70f.).

John does not give the evidence in court, so much as the basis for it in the teaching ministry of Jesus.

Rohrbaugh, Richard.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels, page 24:

The title [id est, the first line of Matthew] is a pun that has a variety of possible meanings: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Messiah," or "The book of (the) Genesis of Jesus Messiah," or "The book of the origin of Jesus Messiah," and the like. This opening pun connects with the last words of the work: "to the end of the age" (28:20), marking off beginning and end. Moreover, the last passage of the work, an edict by the risen Jesus (28:18-20) closes the Gospel with the same type of passage that closes the Hebrew Scriptures, the edict of Cyrus in 2 Chron. 36:23. Thus the Gospel begins with "the book of genesis" and ends with a final edict of one empowered by God, just like the Sacred Scriptures of Matthew's day. Further, by beginning with a genealogy and closing with an edict, Matthew's work likewise follows the pattern of the last book of the Hebrew Bible, Chronicles. For Chronicles (called in Hebrew "The Book of Days" = genealogy) begins with a genealogy and ends with an edict from one with power over "all the kingdoms of the earth" (2 Chron. 36:22-23; used by Ezra 1:1-2), namely, God's Messiah, Cyrus (Isa. 45:1; see Isa. 44:28).

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 65:

In Hellenistic Greek, special time, qualitatively significant time, is called kairos, while regular clock time is called chronos. Jesus calls his own special, qualitatively significant time his "hour".

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 66, on John 2.1-12:

The story opens "on the third day." Note the enumeration of days: the first day covers 1:1-28; "the next day," 1:29-34; "the next day," 1:35-39; and a presumed next day: 1:40-42; with a final "the next day" in 1:43-51. WIth these five days over, "the third day" here (2:1-11) would be the eighth day. And this eighth day marks the first day after the close of the first (creation) week since the beginning (1:1). That first week is John's creation week. After this eighth day, there is no more counting of days (so in v. 12 we read "a few days"). "On the third day" also reflects the day of Jesus' being raised, the eighth day of the week (see vss. 19-20; "after three days").

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 87:

Two words nearly always assigned to internal states in our society are love and hate. To understand what they meant in the first-century Mediterranean world, however, it is necessary to recognize both their group orientation and their corresponding external expression. The term love, for example, is best translated "group attachment," or "attachment to some person." To love the light is to be attached to the enlightened group. There may or may not be affection, but it is the inward feeling of attachment, along with the outward behavior bound up with such attachment, that love entails. So naturally those who love or are attached to the group do what the group values.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 91:

The idea that baptism is a "new birth" was symbolized in the Israelite practice of proselyte baptism. Converts were baptized naked, just as a baby is born naked, to symbolize the fact that everything old was being left behind and a new start was being made. In the second century Hippolytus reports that Jesus Messianists followed a similar practice. To preserve decency, men and women were baptized separately:

And at the hour when the cock crows they shall first pray over the water. When they come to the water, let the water be pure and flowing. And they shall put off their clothes. And they shall baptize the little children first.... And next they shall baptize the grown men; and last the women, who shall have loosed their hair and laid aside their gold ornaments. Let no one go down into the water having any alien object with them. (Apostolic Tradition 21.1-5)

What is being reenacted here is birth into a new family: the fictive kin group of the Jesus movement.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 112, on John 5.14:

Scholars often puzzle over the fact that while Jesus rejects the idea that suffering is payment for sin in 9:2, here he seems to accept it. If we assume that Jesus' reference to something "worse" happening to the man is a reference to his illness, the puzzle is indeed present. Jesus seems to be threatening another disease if the man should sin again. but if we recognize that in Mediterranean societies "sin" is a breach of interpersonal relationships, there ceases to be a problem. For if sin is whatever destroys one's relationship with the group, and if we note that this man was devoid of friends to put him in the pool, Jesus' comment makes perfect sense. As a friendless outcast, the man was indeed a "sinner," an outsider unattached to a group. He may have been sick, but he was also ill. Given his age and the short life expectancies in antiquity, should the man repeat whatever disrupted his relationship with the group, he would indeed risk the worst of all fates: having no one to bury and remember him.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 126, on John 6.10:

A crowd of five thousand men (plus women and children) would have been larger than the population of all but a handful of the largest urban settlements and is undoubtedly an example of hyperbole in the tradition.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, pages 143-145, on John 7.1-9:

To understand the self in terms of social psychology, we need to know the way the defined self emerges in the contrasting collectivist and individualistic cultural types. Consider the following diagram in which the boxed-in defined selves are expected to match to produce "truth."

Collectivist Culture Individualist Culture
Privately defined self
In-group defined self
Privately defined self
Publicly defined self
Publicly defined self In-group defined self

The types of self in bold relief form a unity in the respective cultures. What this chart makes clear is that in collectivist cultures there is a general conformity between private self and in-group self. Such people take in-group self-assessments far more seriously than people in individualist cultures....

In each type of culture, a lie consists of splitting the selves included in the boxes above. Thus, an individualistic lie is to think one thing and say another. That involves splitting what one knows privately from what one says publicly. To a collectivist, however, a lie involves splitting private and in-group "truth." In a collectivist culture, one's private knowledge has nothing to do with truth.

The right to the truth and the right to withhold the truth belong to the "man of honor," and to contest these rights is to place a person's honor in jeopardy, to challenge that person. Lying and deception are or can be honorable and legitimate. To lie in order to deceive an outsider, one who has no right to the truth, is honorable....

What Jesus does here would thus be considered right and proper by a collectivist culture. For, as the author notes in v. 5, his brothers had no loyalty toward him; they stood outside his in-group. Jesus withholds the truth from the brothers because they are out-group persons and have no right to it. In so doing, he shows himself to be an honorable person who knows with whom the truth is properly to be shared.

Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh, Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, page 225, on John 2.1-12:

The question of the identity of "the disciple whom Jesus loved" has concerned scholars for many centuries, right up to our own day. In this Gospel the beloved disciple is an anonymous person, never identified. A number of modern scholars identify this disciple as a sort of "Every Disciple." Perhaps this is another double meaning in the story. Yet what of the other referent? The Gospel of John has been largely read in terms of the Synoptics. Given the attribution of this document to "John," this personage was early on identified with John, son of Zebedee. And since the Gospel of John makes no mention of John, son of Zebedee, it was easy to fill out the equation with John, son of Zebedee, being the beloved disciple. Yet, if we adhere to the document and the story it tells, the only referent for the role of beloved disciple up to this point is undoubtedly Lazarus, the only person labeled as "the one whom you love" (11:3) in the story.
Streeter, B. H.

B. H. Streeter, The Four Gospels, page 223:

Sir John Hawkins once showed me a Greek Testament in which he had indicated on the left-hand margin of Mark the exact point in the Marcan outline at which Matthew has inserted each of the sayings in question, with, of course, the reference to chapter and verse, to identify it; on the right-hand margin he had similarly indicated the point where Luke inserts matter also found in Matthew. It then appeared that, subsequent to the Temptation story, there is not a single case in which Matthew and Luke agree in inserting the same saying at the same point in the Marcan outline. If then Luke derived this material from Matthew, he must have gone through both Matthew and Mark so as to discriminate with meticulous precision between Marcan and non-Marcan material; he must then have proceeded with the utmost care to tear every little piece of non-Marcan material he desired to use from the context of Mark in which it appeared in Matthew—in spite of the fact that contexts in Matthew are always exceedingly appropriate—in order to reinsert it into a different context of Mark having no special appropriateness. A theory which would make an author capable of such a proceeding would only be tenable if, on other grounds, we had reason to believe he was a crank.
Wright, N. T.

N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, pages 299-300:

One of the central ways of expressing this hope [of Israel] was the division of time into two eras: the present age and the age to come. The present age was a time when the creator god seemed to be hiding his face; the age to come would see the renewal of the created world. The present age was the time of Israel’s misery; in the age to come she would be restored. In the present age wicked men seemed to be flourishing; in the age to come they would receive their just reward. In the present age even Israel was not really keeping the Torah perfectly, was not really being YHWH’s true humanity; in the age to come all Israel would keep Torah from the heart.

N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, pages 331-332:

Why did the belief in resurrection arise, and how did it fit in with the broader Jewish worldview and belief-system which we have sketched in the preceding chapters? Again and again we have seen that this belief is bound up with the struggle to maintain obedience to Israel’s ancestral laws in the face of persecution. Resurrection is the divine reward for martyrs; it is what will happen after the great tribulation. But it is not simply a special reward for those who have undergone special sufferings. Rather, the eschatological expectation of most Jews of this period was for a renewal, not an abandonment, of the present space-time order as a whole, and themselves within it. Since this was based on the justice and mercy of the creator god, the god of Israel, it was inconceivable that those who had died in the struggle to bring the new world into being should be left out of the blessing when it eventually broke upon the nation and thence on the world.

N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, page 332:

The old metaphor of corpses coming to life had, ever since Ezekiel at least, been one of the most vivid ways of denoting the return form exile and connoting the renewal of the covenant and of all creation. Within the context of persecution and struggle for Torah in the Syrian and Roman periods, this metaphor itself acquired a new life. If Israel’s god would ‘raise’ his people (metaphorically) by bringing them back from their continuing exile, he would also, within that context, ‘raise’ those people (literally) who had died in the hope of that national and covenantal vindication.

N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, pages 423-424:

It seems to me that the evangelists may well have faced, as a major task, the problem not so much of how to cobble together enough tradition to make a worthwhile book, but of how to work out what to include from the welter of available material. The old idea that the evangelists must have included everything that they had to hand was always, at best, a large anachronism.

The material available would, then, have been 'oral history', that is, the often-repeated tales of what Jesus had said and done. This is to be distinguished from 'oral tradition' proper, according to which a great teacher will take pains to have his disciples commit to memory the exact words in which the teaching is given. If that had been Jesus' intention, and the disciples' practice, one might have supposed that at least the Lord's Prayer, and the institution narratives of the eucharist, would have come out identical in the various versions (in Paul as well, in the latter case) that we now possess. Jesus, it seems, did not act as a rabbi, saying exactly the same thing over and over until his disciples had learned it by rote. He acted more as a prophet, saying similar things in a variety of contexts; not only his disciples, but most likely many of his wider circle of followers, would have talked about them, in their own words, for years to come. And it is morally certain that they would, without even thinking about it, have cast this material into a variety of forms, which we can now observe in their eventual literary contexts.

N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, page 341:

Parousia means 'presence' as opposed to apousia, 'absence'; hence it denotes the 'arrival' of someone not at the moment present; and it is especially used in relation to the visit 'of a royal or official personage' [note 95: Liddell-Scott-Jones, page 1343].

N. T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, page 205:

But it remains the case that resurrection, in the world of second-Temple Judaism, was about the restoration of Israel on the one hand and the newly embodied life of all YHWH’s people on the other, with close connections between the two; and that it was thought of as the great event that YHWH would accomplish at the very end of ‘the present age’....