RE: I need answers

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu May 07 1998 - 20:49:47 EDT

At 5:50 PM -0500 5/7/98, Jim West wrote:
>At 05:35 PM 5/7/98 -0400, you wrote:
>>> Thats fine. But just because one author uses a word one way does not mean
>>> that another uses it exactly the same way (and yes, John and 1
>>> John are from different authors).
>>Can't let that pass, can I.
>>This assertion should not be stated as accepted fact, when, in fact, it is
>In fact, it is a well established fact. See the excellent introduction to
>the NT by Raymond Brown. It is hard to accept the notion that folks don't
>realize that the Gospel and the epistles are clearly by different authors.

And while you're at it, read Brown's _Community of the Beloved Disciple_
where it is argued at some length that (a) the composition of John's gospel
continued over the course of three generations, (b) at some point toward
the end of the century the Johannine community split, the majority being a
group that held a Gnostic interpretation of the gospel, the minority then
merging with the apostolic Petrine community, at which time, Brown argues,
the final version of the gospel was issued along with the first Letter as a
key to the "right" (i.e., NON-Gnostic) interpretation of the gospel.

And for my part, I heartily applaud the remarkable humility (and wisdom) of
Raymond Brown, who in the preface to that book, said that he would be quite
delighted if it turned out that as much as 60% of his hypothetical
reconstruction of the history of the Johannine community should be deemed
persuasive. It is one thing to state publicly what is the current status of
opinion in "the guild," but let it be called that rather than a "well
established fact." There are, in fact, tides in scholarship, or as it has
sometimes been expressed, the Zeitgeist often enough has DEUTERAI FRONTIDES
about what was once undisputed. I don't really think there is much at all
in NT studies that is really, completely undisputed--and I rather think
that the things that are altogether beyond dispute are probably the less
important things. On this list, I think we would probably do best to stick
to the Greek text of the Bible and the Greek language and leave these
matters of "higher criticism" aside--or discuss them elsewhere. There are
members of "the guild" well represented on this list, but I rather think
that the majority are NOT members of it, and they don't need to be told or
have it implied that anything other than the "established" view of an issue
reveals ignorance or inadequate reading in the "standard" literature. As I
recall, Larry Hurtado, who was once a regular contributor to this list
before he moved on to a chair in NT Studies at Edinburgh, used to harangue
against the notion that "the guild" had a single mind about all the major
issues of NT scholarship.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:42 EDT