Re: John 1:1

On Thu, 1 Dec 1994 ALLENKC@conrad.appstate.edu wrote:
> 	It may be the case that "theos" can "be used in more than one way 
> in the same sentence."  However, to appeal to the parables of Jesus as an 
> example of a genre whose rules of interpretation made understanding 
> accessible is, IMHO, a mistake.
> 	Jesus explained his own use of parables as an attempt to hide 
> understanding, not as something his hearers would automatically know how 
> to interpret.  See his use of Isaiah 6:9 in Luke 8:10.  It was to those 
> who asked (Luke 8:9-10a) that understanding of the parables was given, 
> not to the audience at large.
> 	So, if John was operating with techniques he expected his readers 
> to understand, they cannot be compared to the technique Jesus used in the 
> parables.

I don't want to get into another doctrinal dispute here, but I would
strongly disagree with this view, and on grounds that the doctrine that
Jesus' parables were meant to mislead the public whom he addressed seems
to me to be demonstrably redactional in Mark, where it appears to be
related to the "Messianic secret" theme and the theme of "idiot
disciples" and is then picked up with alterations in the other Synoptic
gospels from Mark 4:10-13. I don't think that this expresses the stance
taken by the historical Jesus toward the parables at all and find it
inconceivable that Jesus really sought to mislead the public 
deliberately. I think that Mark 4:10-13 consists of a frame (vss. 10 and 
13 and a traditional piece (vss. 11-12) that expresses the notion that 
Jesus privately instructs the disciples in an esoteric doctrine. But this 
is another thread, if need be. I just don't think that the objection to 
citing the usage of the term THEOS in parables can hold up on the ground 
stated. It might well be that it is a mistake, however, to draw upon 
evidence outside of the gospel of John for what may well be John's 
IDIOSYNCRATIC use of the term. But that too is another argument. We seem 
to be discovering that every question is closely related to a number of 
others. This DOES seem to me to be a very productive and interesting thread.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com