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Table of contents :
Cover
Editorial board
Title
Copyright
Contents
Series Preface
List of Abbreviations
List of Contributors
1 Search the Scriptures: A Survey of Approaches to the Use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel
Part I Historical Perspectives
2 “Of Whom Moses Wrote”: Torah Themes in John’s Prologue
3 Jesus the Good Shepherd: An Intertextual Approach to Ezekiel 34 and John 10
4 The Fulfilled Word in the Gospel of John: A Polyvalent Analysis
5 Rumors of Glory: A Narrative, Exegetical, and Reception-Historical Reading of John 12:36b–43
Part II Rhetorical and Linguistic Perspectives
6 Jesus’s Dialogues with Those Who Do Not Understand: A Rhetorical Analysis of John 4:1–42
7 The Linguistic Function of Biblical Citations in John’s Gospel
Part III Literary Perspectives
8 Quotation as Commentary: The Good News of a King on a Donkey(John 12:12–15)
9 The Authentication of the Narrative: The Function of Scripture Quotations in John 19
10 Jesus and Moses in John
Part IV Social Memory Perspectives
11 Proclamation Rejected, Truth Confirmed. Reading John 12:37–44 in a Social Memory Theoretical Framework
12 Zeal That Consumed: Memory of Jerusalem’s Temple and Jesus’s Body in the Gospel of John
13 Memory and Method: Theorizing John’s Mnemonic Use of Scripture
Bibliography
Index of Authors
Index of References
Recommend Papers

Biblical Interpretation in Early Christian Gospels: Volume 4: The Gospel of John
 9780567684158, 9780567684134, 9780567684141

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i

LIBRARY OF NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES

613 Formerly the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series

Editor Chris Keith

Editorial Board Dale C. Allison, John M. G. Barclay, Lynn H. Cohick, R. Alan Culpepper, Craig A. Evans, Robert Fowler, Simon J. Gathercole, Juan Hernández Jr., John S. Kloppenborg, Michael Labahn, Matthew V. Novenson, Love L. Sechrest, Robert Wall, Catrin H. Williams, Britanny Wilson

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Biblical Interpretation in Early Christian Gospels Volume 4: The Gospel of John Thomas R. Hatina

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T&T CLARK Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP, UK 1385 Broadway, New York, NY 10018, USA 29 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, Ireland BLOOMSBURY, T&T CLARK and the T&T Clark logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published in Great Britain 2020 This paperback edition published in 2022 Copyright © Thomas R. Hatina and Contributors, 2020 Thomas R. Hatina has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 2020, to be identified as Editor of this work. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc does not have any control over, or responsibility for, any third-party websites referred to or in this book. All internet addresses given in this book were correct at the time of going to press. The author and publisher regret any inconvenience caused if addresses have changed or sites have ceased to exist, but can accept no responsibility for any such changes. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Control Number: 2019956115 ISBN: HB: 978-0-5676-8415-8 PB: 978-0-5677-0380-4 ePDF: 978-0-5676-8414-1 ePUB: 978-0-5676-8411-0 Series: Library of New Testament Studies, volume 613 ISSN 2513–8790 Typeset by Newgen Knowledgeworks Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, India To find out more about our authors and books visit www.bloomsbury.com and sign up for our newsletters.

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Contents Series Preface List of Abbreviations List of Contributors 1

Search the Scriptures: A Survey of Approaches to the Use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel Kyle R. L. Parsons

Part I Historical Perspectives 2

3

4

5

7

9

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1 29

31

Jesus the Good Shepherd: An Intertextual Approach to Ezekiel 34 and John 10 Warren Carter

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The Fulfilled Word in the Gospel of John: A Polyvalent Analysis Paul N. Anderson

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Rumors of Glory: A Narrative, Exegetical, and Reception-Historical Reading of John 12:36b–43 Archie J. Spencer

83 101

Jesus’s Dialogues with Those Who Do Not Understand: A Rhetorical Analysis of John 4:1–42 Jiří Lukeš

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The Linguistic Function of Biblical Citations in John’s Gospel Stanley E. Porter

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Part III Literary Perspectives 8

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“Of Whom Moses Wrote”: Torah Themes in John’s Prologue Craig A. Evans

Part II Rhetorical and Linguistic Perspectives 6

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Quotation as Commentary: The Good News of a King on a Donkey (John 12:12–15) R. Alan Culpepper

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The Authentication of the Narrative: The Function of Scripture Quotations in John 19 Susanne Luther

155

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Contents

10 Jesus and Moses in John Jan Roskovec

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Part IV Social Memory Perspectives

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11 Proclamation Rejected, Truth Confirmed. Reading John 12:37–44 in a Social Memory Theoretical Framework Sandra Huebenthal

183

12 Zeal That Consumed: Memory of Jerusalem’s Temple and Jesus’s Body in the Gospel of John Rafael Rodríguez

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13 Memory and Method: Theorizing John’s Mnemonic Use of Scripture Thomas R. Hatina

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Bibliography

237

Index of Authors

265

Index of References

270

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Series Preface This collection of essays on the interpretation of Scripture in John’s Gospel is the fourth contribution in a scheduled five-volume series, which now includes each of the four canonical Gospels. The final volume will focus on the extracanonical Gospels and Acts. The objectives of the series are to situate the current state of research and to advance our understanding of the function of embedded Scripture texts and their traditions in the historical, literary, and socioreligious contexts of these early Christian writings. Being methodologically broad, the series aims to identify, advance, and, in some cases, bridge the concerns of variegated perspectives and approaches that are practiced today. Unlike the previous volumes, which were not organized according to predetermined categories, the present volume is more deliberate about categorical divisions, recognizing at the same time that these kinds of boundaries are not always fixed. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to the contributors whose expertise, creativity, generosity, and enthusiasm have made this ambitious project possible. I am also grateful to the editorial staff at Bloomsbury Press who painstakingly bring such collaborations to completion. Finally, I would like to express a profound appreciation to Kyle Parsons who has been a tremendous help throughout the editorial process. This series is dedicated to my colleagues in the Religious Studies department at Trinity Western University whose scholarship, friendship, and good humor are sincerely cherished.

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Abbreviations AARAS AB ABD ABRL AGJU ANF BAR BBB BECNT BETL BEvT Bib BibInt BibOr BINS BR BSac BTB BZ BZAW BZNW CBET CBQ ECC ECL ESCO ESEC EThL FRLANT GCS GNS HeyJ HNT HTS HUCA HvTSt IB ICC

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American Academy of Religion Academy Series Anchor Bible Anchor Bible Dictionary Anchor Bible Reference Library Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums The Ante-Nicene Fathers Biblical Archaeologist Reader Bonner biblische Beiträge Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium Beiträge zur evangelischen Theologie Biblica Biblical Interpretation Series Biblica et orientalia Biblical Interpretation Series Biblical Research Bibliotheca Sacra Biblical Theology Bulletin Biblische Zeitschrift Beihefte zur ZAW Beihefte zur ZNW Contributions to Biblical Exegesis & Theology Catholic Biblical Quarterly Eerdmans Critical Commentary Early Christianity and Its Literature European Studies of Christian Origins Emory Studies in Early Christianity Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments Griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller Good News Studies Heythrop Journal Handbuch zum Neuen Testament Harvard Theological Studies Hebrew Union College Annual Hervormde teologiese studies Interpreter’s Bible International Critical Commentary

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Abbreviations IDBSup Int ITQ JAAR JBL JECS JJS JMS JQR JQRMS JR JSHJ JSJ JSNT JSNTSup JTS KEK LCL Leß LNTS LS LXX MT NCB NCBC Neot NET NICNT NIGTC NovT NovTSup NPNF NTA NTL NTM NTMon NTS NTSI OBO Or PCNT PTMS PTS QD

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Supplement to Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible Interpretation Irish Theological Quarterly Journal of the American Academy of Religion Journal of Biblical Literature Journal of Early Christian Studies Journal of Jewish Studies Johannine Monograph Series Jewish Quarterly Review Jewish Quarterly Review Monograph Series Journal of Religion Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period Journal for the Study of the New Testament Journal for the Study of the New Testament—Supplement Series Journal of Theological Studies Kritisch-exegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament Loeb Classical Library Leßonénu The Library of New Testament Studies Louvain Studies Septuagint Masoretic Text (Hebrew) New Century Bible New Century Bible Commentary Neotestamentica Neutestamentliche Entwürfe zur Theologie New International Commentary on the New Testament The New International Greek Testament Commentary Novum Testamentum Novum Testamentum, Supplements Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers New Testament Abstracts New Testament Library New Testament Message New Testament Monographs New Testament Studies New Testament and the Scriptures of Israel Orbis biblicus et orientalis Orientalia (Rome) Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament Pittsburgh (Princeton) Theological Monograph Series Patristische Texte und Studien Quaestiones disputatae

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x RA RBS RE REA RES RHE RNT SBG SBLDS SBLECL SBLEJL SBLMS SBLRBS SBLSBS SBT Sem SemeiaSt SJ SJLA SNT SNTSMS SP SR SSEJC ST SymS TBT TENTS THKNT TS UBS5 UNT UTB VWGTh WBC WUNT WW YJS ZNW

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Abbreviations Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale Resources for Biblical Study Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche Revue des études anciennes Répertoire d’épigraphie sémitique Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique Regensburger Neues Testament Studies in Biblical Greek SBL Dissertation Series SBL Early Christianity and Its Literature SBL Early Judaism and Its Literature SBL Monograph Series SBL Resources for Biblical Study SBL Sources for Biblical Study Studies in Biblical Theology Semitica Semeia Studies Studia judaica Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity Studien zum Neuen Testament Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series Samaritan Pentateuch Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity Studia theologica Symposium Series The Bible Today Texts and Editions for New Testament Study Theologischer Handkommentar zum Neuen Testament Theological Studies United Bible Societies Greek New Testament, 5th ed. Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Uni-Taschenbücher Veröffentlichungen der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft für Theologie Word Biblical Commentary Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Word and World Yale Judaica Series Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft

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Contributors Paul N. Anderson Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies George Fox University Newberg, OR, USA Extraordinary Professor of Religion North-West University Potchefstroom, South Africa Warren Carter LaDonna Kramer Meinders Professor of New Testament Phillips Theological Seminary Tulsa, OK, USA R. Alan Culpepper Dean and Professor of New Testament Emeritus James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology Mercer University Atlanta, GA, USA Research Fellow Department of Old and New Testament University of the Free State Bloemfontein, South Africa Craig A. Evans John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins Houston Theological Seminary Houston Baptist University Houston, TX, USA Thomas R. Hatina Professor of Religion and Culture Chair of the Religious Studies Department Trinity Western University Langley, BC, Canada

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Visiting Professor Hussite Theological Faculty Charles University, Prague Sandra Huebenthal Lehrstuhl für Exegese und Biblische Theologie Universität Passau Passau, Germany Jiří Lukeš Lecturer in New Testament Studies Hussite Theological Faculty Charles University, Prague Susanne Luther Assistant Professor of New Testament Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies University of Groningen The Netherlands Kyle R. L. Parsons Instructor in Religious Studies Trinity Western University Langley, BC, Canada Stanley E. Porter President, Dean, and Professor of New Testament Roy A. Hope Chair in Christian Worldview McMaster Divinity College Hamilton, ON, Canada Rafael Rodríguez Professor of New Testament Johnson University Knoxville, TN, USA

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Contributors

Jan Roskovec Lecturer in New Testament Studies Protestant Theological Faculty Charles University, Prague Archie J. Spencer John H. Pickford Professor of Theology Northwest Baptist Seminary Associated Canadian Theological Seminaries Langley, BC, Canada

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Search the Scriptures: A Survey of Approaches to the Use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel Kyle R. L. Parsons

Scholars generally agree that the use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel (FG), like that of the rest of the New Testament, is hermeneutically Christocentric.1 However, scholars do not agree on the exact purpose or function of this hermeneutic within the Johannine context(s). While there is agreement that the Scriptures were appropriated to legitimize Jesus’s messianic identity,2 one cannot be as sure about their function in relation to the intended audience—whether they were meant to convince nonbelievers (evangelical or apologetic aims)3 or to encourage those who already believed (pastoral aims).4 In either case, the Fourth Evangelist (FE) faces the difficult task of explaining how the Scriptures make sense of a suffering, and indeed dying, Messiah figure, which was an unusual concept, to say the least.5 Alicia Myers summarizes it well by writing that messianic exegesis “had to explain the scandal of the cross and the reality of the resurrection as events entirely unanticipated by Israel’s scriptural narratives.”6 This introduction offers an overview of the shifting trends, goals, questions, and their related approaches to the FG’s use of Scripture. The approaches are organized into “historical,” “literary,” and “media” categories that have been trends in recent years, which I label as “perspectives” for convenience’s sake. Yet, each should be recognized as fluid in the sense that each can accommodate and overlap with the other(s) and be varied in its own right. Historical-critical approaches have often focused on both the 1

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For the duration of this chapter, “Scripture,” “Scriptures,” or “Jewish Scriptures” will refer to the body of authoritative writings accepted as Scripture in Judaism prior to the delineation of a formal canon. These terms will also imply the designations “Old Testament” and “Hebrew Scriptures.” Alicia D. Myers, “Abiding Words: An Introduction to Perspectives on John’s Use of Scriptures,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015), 2. See D. A. Carson, “Syntactical and Text-Critical Observations on John 20.30–31: One More Round on the Purpose of the Fourth Gospel,” JBL 124 (2005): 693–714; Barnabas Lindars, New Testament Apologetic: The Doctrinal Significance of the Old Testament Quotations (London: SCM, 1961), 18. See J. Louis Martyn, “Listening to John and Paul on the Subject of Gospel and Scripture,” WW 12 (1992): 73. Donald H. Juel, Messianic Exegesis:  Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1988), 26. Myers, “Abiding Words,” 3.

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FE’s sources and his interpretive method(s) in relation to his contemporaries. Typically, these approaches have aimed at understanding the world behind the FG.7 Literary approaches have most often appropriated rhetorical criticism, narrative criticism, and aspects of intertextuality. As such, the text itself is privileged along with the reader/ audience in contrast to the author. Media criticism covers more recent approaches that build on orality studies and investigates both how an oral performance affects textual meaning for an audience and how groups use the past for making sense of the present through the medium of social memory. As a methodological survey, the aim of this introduction is to lay the groundwork for the essays in this volume, which are organized according to the most recent approaches. The summary of the articles is found at the end of this introduction. It is hoped that this structure will not only provide a fuller context for the following essays but also bring some degree of organization to many decades of study into the function of Scripture in the FG.

1. Historical Perspectives Historically oriented inquiry has most often concentrated on explicit quotations in the FG.8 Apart from anomalies like the quotation in John 7:38,9 which does not correspond to any known scriptural form despite its being introduced with a typical quotation formula, most scholars have concentrated on interpretive patterns, preferred sources, and quotation formulae. A historical approach to the FG’s use of Scripture has a long tradition. Almost a century ago, Alexander Faure, for example, saw the value of subjecting the explicit quotations to form- and source-critical analysis in order to show how patterns may reveal pre-Gospel traditions. One of Faure’s key findings was that the FE switches from so-called “prooftexts” that dominate the first two-thirds of the Gospel to “fulfillment texts” in the Passion account. On the basis of this observation, Faure hypothesized that two distinct source layers were in play which a later redactor combined.10

Sources and Their Use by the FE While Faure focused on the form of the citations in order to identify distinct preGospel traditions within the early Church, others have traced the citations back to their “original” sources. The studies of C.  H. Dodd, Edwin Freed, Günter Reim, 7

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Paul Ricoeur, Interpretation Theory:  Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning (Fort Worth:  Texas Christian University, 1976), 87–94. As helpful as organizing methods and approaches into three textual (Ricoeurian) worlds might be, the methods and approaches used are too complex to be completely captured by this simplistic categorization. Though, it is useful as an orientation. Many approaches tend to have a foot in two or more “worlds” even if their primary aim is to understand one particular “world.” But it is helpful to view the general chronological movement of approaches this way so long as one does not think that past approaches and concerns are surpassed or obsolete. John 1:23; 2:17; 6:31, 45; 10:34; 12:13, 15, 38, 40; 13:18; 15:25; 19:24, 28, 36, 37. “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” Alexander Faure, “Die alttestamentlichen Zitate im 4.  Evanglium und die Quellenscheidungshypothese,” ZNW 21 (1922): 99–121. See also Myers’s summary of Faure (“Abiding Words,” 6).

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and Maarten Menken aptly exemplify the aims and breadth of the historical-critical approach.11 Methodologically, these studies attempt to identify not only the scriptural versions that the quotations were based on but also how they came to be constructed, especially when they do not align with extant forms. When a given quotation in the FG differs from an alleged source text or scriptural version, explanations of origins and the compositional process are proposed. Typically, the explanations have pointed to the evangelist who shaped the versions that were accessible to him in order to address his community’s theological needs and idiosyncrasies. For Dodd, who has been particularly influential, the differences resulted from the evangelist’s reliance on testimonia, which Dodd argued were written lists of scriptural prooftexts used by the Early Church.12 An example of this usage is found in a comparison of John and Mark’s versions of Jesus’s response to the Temple crowd. In John 2:16, Jesus tells the Temple crowd, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace (ἐμπορίου).” The form of this response, which incorporates Zech 14:21, is different from Mark’s version that uses a combination of Isa 56:7 and Jer 7:11 (Mark 11:17). Dodd explains this variance by arguing that the FE chose different testimonia than Mark’s author. While the FE could have just as easily used the same testimonia that Mark’s author used, his motivation was guided by a very different theological aim. The FE had in mind the “day of the Lord” being fulfilled in Jesus’s expulsion of the “traders,” which was different from the motivation of Mark’s author.13 Though Freed, Reim, and Menken depart from Dodd’s hypothesis of testimonia, they too focus on determining the FE’s source texts. The sources they suggest, however, differ depending on the specific quotation. Accumulating all these sources, then, suggests the improbable scenario that the FE had quite a vast awareness (or even possession) of written material. For Freed, the FE was not only aware of a wide array of material but also drew from it extensively. With the majority of quotations coming from the Septuagint (LXX), Freed contends that some also came from the Masoretic Text (MT), several Targumic traditions, and still others from (probably) the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS).14 Reim’s range of material, however, is much narrower. For Reim, only Deutero-Isaiah and other early Christian traditions provided the FE’s sources.15 Akin 11

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Edwin D. Freed, Old Testament Quotations in the Gospel of John, NovTSup 11 (Leiden: Brill, 1965); Günter Reim, Studien zum alttestamentlichen Hintergrund des Johannesevageliums, SNTSMS 22 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974); Maarten J. J. Menken, Old Testament Quotations in the Fourth Gospel: Studies in Textual Form, CBET 15 (Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1996). See C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1953), 300–302, 428–29; C. H. Dodd, According to the Scriptures: The Sub-Structure of New Testament Theology (New York:  Scribner, 1953), 23–60. Dodd’s use of testimonia stems from J. R. Harris’ Testimonies, 2 vols. (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1916–1920). See also Alfred Loisy, Le Quatrième Évangile (Paris:  Émile Nourry, 1921), 495, where the use of Scripture in John 19:37 is explained via testimonia. D. Moody Smith also utilizes testimonia to explain John 19:37. See Smith’s “The Setting and Shape of a Johannine Narrative Source,” JBL 95 (1976): 237. Dodd, Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, 300. It is worth noting that the Hebrew word that Dodd takes as “trader” can also mean “a Canaanite” (‫)כנעני‬. Dodd argues that it should be read as “trader” since the context of Zechariah describes all nations as invited to the feast of Tabernacles. Excluding a nation, then, counters this context. Freed, Old Testament Quotations, 127–30. Reim, Studien zum alttestamentlichen Hintergrund, 188–90 (cf. 241–46).

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to Freed, Menken maintains that the majority of the FE’s source material came from the LXX, with the caveat that a few also originated from a Hebrew Vorlage. Bruce Schuchard nuances Menken’s view by claiming that one ought to be more precise by specifying Old Greek (OG), rather than LXX, as the more accurate designation of the Greek source material. Moreover, Schuchard goes so far as to say that the OG is the “one and only textual tradition” used by the FE.16 Menken critiques previous source-critical scholarship for not focusing enough on the editorial practices of the FE.17 As an editor, the focus shifts more to the whole of the Gospel, especially its entire theological program. Thus, for many historical critics trying to reconstruct the rationale for the use of Scripture in the FG, the differences between the meaning of the citations and their source texts expose not a faulty memory, as Charles Goodwin argues,18 but intentional changes based on a particular theological perspective held by the FE.19 The problem that ensued by pointing to the evangelist’s broader theological aims was that scholars could not agree on the key aims or even an overarching aim.20 For example, Menken argues that the citation of Isa 40:3 in John 1:23, which curiously condenses the LXX version,21 was constructed purposely by the FE to show his disagreement with the Synoptic tradition (where John the Baptist is presented as Jesus’s forerunner rather than, as the FE prefers, a contemporary witness to Jesus).22 Freed, however, argues that the FE is motivated by wisdom traditions. As such, the FE drops ἑτοιμασατε (“prepare”) for εὐθύνατε (“make straight”) so that ὁδὸς (“the way”) may

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Bruce G. Schuchard, Scripture within Scripture: The Interrelationship of Form and Function in the Explicit Old Testament Citations in the Gospel of John, SBLDS 133 (Atlanta, GA:  Scholars Press, 1992), xvii. See also Bruce G. Schuchard, “Form versus Function: Citation Technique and Authorial Intentional the Gospel of John,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015), 23–45, where he states that most scholars at least agree that the FG relies on Greek versions of Scripture. Menken, Old Testament Quotations, 205–6. Charles Goodwin, “How Did John Treat His Sources?” JBL 73 (1954): 61–75, argues that John must have had faulty memory since his quotations differ from the written sources. Myers, “Abiding Words,” 7. Moreover, determining the source text(s) that the FE uses in his citations of Jewish Scripture is no simple task. It is complicated by the number of versions of Scripture in circulation during the time. Not only were different translations in circulation (e.g., the Greek LXX, the Aramaic Targums, the Hebrew Codices, even the Old Latin predating the Vulgate), but there were several versions of each. See Craig A. Evans, “From Prophecy to Testament: An Introduction,” in From Prophecy to Testament: The Function of the Old Testament in the New, ed. Craig A. Evans (Peabody, MA:  Hendrickson, 2004), 3–4. Moreover, what is now understood to be Scripture (canonically) may not have been what various Jewish groups deemed Scripture. This is exemplified by the “phantom” citation in John 7:38. Though cited by the FE as Scripture, it does not match any extant text. The LXX Isa 40:3 reads:  φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, Ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν κυρίου, εὐθείας ποιεῖτε τὰς τρίβους τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν (“A voice crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God’ ”); whereas John 1:23 reads: ἐγὼ φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, εὐθύνατε τὴν ὁδὸν κυρίου (“I am a voice crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’ ”). So, the substantial change the FE makes here, apart from condensing two lines into one, is the omission of “prepare” (ἑτοιμάσατε), while retaining “make straight” (εὐθύνατε). Menken, Old Testament Quotations, 30–31.

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take on a “moral and ethical” meaning.23 Although the text is subjected to the same method, different results follow. Goodwin is a good example of the breadth of possible theological motivations that reshaped the forms and meanings of Israel’s Scripture. For Goodwin, the FE’s use of Scripture demonstrates ineptitude, given that the quotations, if indeed they were before him, are expressed “loosely, and confusedly.” For this reason, Goodwin argues that the FE “appears to have quoted from memory, and the attentive reader has seen how elusive are the tricks his memory could play. And whatever was the original intent of the source material used, John has forcibly accommodated everything to his own purposes.”24 Schuchard agrees that the FE used memory, but he has a much more optimistic view. Following the work of Paul Achtemeier,25 he acknowledges that the environment in which the FE composed his Gospel was infused with orality and that citations were likely quoted from memory rather than copied from a written source,26 but he takes issue with the inference that the search for the sources used by the FE is “an exercise in futility.”27 Instead, Schuchard understands memory to be as reliable as the practice of copying from a written text.28 Since the FE’s citations do not always reflect its source texts, such inquiries into the FG’s use of Scripture naturally lead to questions about the nature and reliability of memory. Both Goodwin and Schuchard assume that memory is either unreliable or reliable, respectively, allowing little room for a “grey zone” or for extended findings in the fields of psychology or sociology. The latter is addressed below. William Bynum also appears optimistic about one’s ability to determine not only the changes made by the FE to the source text but also the FG’s historical reliability.29 What distinguishes Bynum’s study from the aforementioned ones is its limited analysis of Zech 12:10 in John 19:37. His conclusion is that the Greek Minor Prophets Scroll, known as 8HevXIIgr (“R”), is the FE’s source text. Consequently, Bynum’s study demonstrates continuity directly with the DSS, and as Myers notes, “it even leads him to the provocative suggestion that John’s consistently careful citation style can be used to support increased confidence in the Gospel’s historicity.”30 23

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Freed, Old Testament Quotations, 6. See also the discussion by Ruth Sheridan, Retelling Scripture: “The Jews” and the Scriptural Citations in John 1:19–12:15, BIS 110 (Leiden:  Brill, 2012), 113. Schuchard follows Freed in seeing wisdom traditions influencing the FE’s reworking of Isa 40:3 (Scripture within Scripture, 11), but Sheridan differs from both Menken and Freed/Schuchard (Retelling Scripture, 110–16). Goodwin, “How Did John Treat His Sources?” 73. Paul J. Achtemeier, “Omne verbum sonat: The New Testament and the Oral Environment of Late Antiquity,” JBL 109 (1990): 3–27. Schuchard, Scripture within Scripture, xvi. Ibid. He quotes Achtemeier, “Oral Environment,” 27. Schuchard, Scripture within Scripture, xvii. He states, “My own investigation will show that, even if John cited from memory, his citations do, in fact, represent precise and therefore perceptible recollections of a specific textual tradition.” William Randolph Bynum, The Fourth Gospel and the Scriptures: Illuminating the Form and Meaning of Scriptural Citation in John 19:37, NovTSup 144 (Leiden: Brill, 2012). Myers, “Abiding Words,” 8.  See also William Randolph Bynum, “Quotations of Zechariah in the Fourth Gospel,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015), 47–74.

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The concern for the Gospel’s historical portrayal of Jesus is often interwoven with its use of Scripture.31 If the evangelist quoted his source text(s) inaccurately, it is typically inferred that the FG’s historicity is problematic. Goodwin’s assessment of the FE as an inept “proof-texter,” who makes up the material during the writing process, is a case in point.32 Another approach scholars take to these so-called inaccurate quotations is a consideration of how the FE interpreted Scripture in relation to the contemporary practices and techniques of his day. Nevertheless, the tension that scholars attempt to resolve here with the FE’s interpretive method is the same as it was with the sources:  Since Scripture does not speak of a dying or crucified Messiah, how does the FE extricate specific texts from their host contexts and give them a Christological meaning?

The FE’s Interpretative Method Explanations of the FE’s practices have been found in the broader context of early Jewish and Christian interpretations of Scripture. To the modern novice observer, the FE appears to be proof-texting or misquoting Scripture. While this is a suitable observation, scholars have attempted to explain the method in more detailed ways within the exegetical practices of the ancient world that would have been familiar to the FE.33 One of the main debates that has arisen from the attempt to find a precedent for the FE’s practices is whether the evangelist is indebted to Jewish exegetical methods, Greco-Roman ones, or some combination of each. The debate was largely sparked by Dodd’s groundbreaking According to the Scriptures34 where he challenged Rudolf Bultmann’s insistence that the FE was indebted primarily to Hellenistic sources. The Jewish Scriptures, traditions, and their exegetical practices (by implication) were viewed as more foundational for the earlier kerygma.35 Dodd’s argument was strengthened, and won the day, with the discovery of the DSS and the subsequent explorations into the varied interpretive methods of early Judaism. More recently, however, there has been renewed interest in reviving Greco-Roman rhetorical practices, which were widespread in antiquity, as models for better understanding the FE’s use of Scripture.36

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See Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher (eds.), John, Jesus, and History, Volume 1: Critical Appraisals of Critical Views, SBLSymS 44 (Atlanta, GA:  SBL Press, 2007); Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher (eds.), John, Jesus, and History, Volume 2: Historicity in the Fourth Gospel, ECL 2 (Atlanta, GA:  SBL Press, 2009); and Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher (eds.), John, Jesus, and History, Volume 3: Glimpses of Jesus through the Johannine Lens, ECL 18 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2016). Whereas the opposite is also the case:  A source text quoted accurately suggests that the FG is historically reliable, as Bynum maintains. Bruce G. Schuchard, “Conclusion,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015), 239. Dodd, According to the Scriptures. Rudolph Bultmann, The Gospel of John: A Commentary, ed. R. W. N. Hoare and J. K. Riches, trans. G. R. Beasley-Murray (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1971). Alicia D. Myers’s work in the FG is a prime example of a Greco-Roman approach, which will be discussed below.

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Jewish Exegetical Models Many scholars posit that the FG’s quotations have a pesher-like quality to them,37 although, as Myers critiques, “few go far in fleshing out this characterization.”38 My focus is on the “few” exceptions. Daniel Patte, for example, understands the FG’s use of Scripture within an eschatological pesher-like interpretative environment such as the one represented at Qumran.39 Patte argues that scholars should see pesher as exemplifying the typological perspective of Second Temple Judaism as a whole, which is a sentiment that has been adopted by many scholars who are interested in the FG’s use of Scripture, including Donald Juel, Richard Longenecker, Martin Hengel, and J. Harold Ellens.40 Ellens, as a more recent example, typifies this approach in his treatment of John 1:51, which is compared with early Jewish practices.41 He concludes that the FE interprets his sources in a loose manner, subjecting them to the will of his theological themes, conveying “more isogesis than exegesis,” as he puts it, but methodologically it remains a typical example of Jewish pesher.42 It is worth noting that the status of the FG as an adequate source for the historical Jesus quest is never far from his thoughts.43 In contrast to Patte’s conclusion that the FG’s Christocentric hermeneutic is well within a pesher-like interpretive method, Stephen Witmer offers another proposal.44 Witmer agrees that the FG displays pesher-like qualities, particularly the Bread of Life discourse in John 6:22–58.45 But for Witmer, the lack of the line-by-line interpretation, which is characteristic of pesher technique at Qumran, along with the FG’s “radical Christocentric hermeneutic,” distinguishes it sharply from the exegetical practices at Qumran.46 Although the majority of Johannine scholars have pointed to pesharim, others have argued that the FG’s techniques are more akin to rabbinic models of exegesis. Focusing on John 6:31–58, Peder Borgen has been influential in comparing the method in the FG to the 37

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Lindars, New Testament Apologetic, 265–70. Apart from those listed below, see also Raymond E. Brown, “The Qumran Scrolls and the Johannine Gospel and Epistles,” in New Testament Essays (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1965), 102–31. Myers, “Abiding Words,” 10. Daniel Patte, Early Jewish Hermeneutic in Palestine, SBLDS 22 (Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1975), 161–67, 321–23. Lindars similarly built upon Dodd’s work on testimonia combining it with Qumran practices, specifically the interpretive model of pesher, which he ties closely to the Johannine uses of Scripture (New Testament Apologetic, 15–16). Juel, Messianic Exegesis, 49–57; Richard N. Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999), 80–87; Martin Hengel, “The Old Testament in the Fourth Gospel,” in The Gospels and the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and W. Richard Stegner, JSNTSup 104, SSEJC 3 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1994), 380–95; J. Harold Ellens, “A Christian Pesher: John 1:51,” Proceedings: Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society 25 (2005): 143–55. Ellens, “A Christian Pesher,” 152. Ibid. Ellens writes, “The Son of Man logia in John probably tell us something significant about the historical Jesus, namely, that the logia, or at least the concept of Jesus being the Son of Man, most likely comes directly from his mouth” (145). It would have been beneficial for Ellens to have interacted with previous scholarship, especially Rudolf Bultmann (Theology of the New Testament [New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1951], 9, 29–30). Stephen E. Witmer, “Approaches to Scripture in the Fourth Gospel and the Qumran Pesharim,” NovT 48 (2006): 313–28 (esp. 327–28). Ibid., 322–26. Ibid., 313, 327–28.

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midrashic practices in synagogue contexts and in Philo.47 Borgen’s study not only supports a Jewish background to the FG’s interpretive approach, as opposed to a Hellenistic one, but also has sparked interest in broader relationships between other New Testament writings and more technical Jewish exegetical practices, such as rabbinic middoth. For instance, Frédéric Manns seizes on Borgen’s insights and offers a thorough study that addresses the potential relationship between the FG’s use of the middoth of Hillel and that of Paul.48 The claim that rabbinic interpretive methods were used by the FE is problematic, however. The main problem is the difficulty of retroactively applying rabbinic sources back onto the time period of the FG’s composition, which could be anachronistic. Although it may be plausible that the FE knew and used what would later be called rabbinic interpretive techniques, it is unclear how confident one can be in assuming that they reflect firstcentury interpretive techniques, especially Christocentric ones. Although midrash does not regularly contemporize Scripture as pesher does, many Johannine scholars have assumed the FG relies on Jewish exegetical practices while allowing room occasionally for Christological expansions.49 A. T. Hanson summarizes this scholarly presumption by concluding that the FE, who was well acquainted with the methods of Jewish exegesis of Scripture, was not unlike his contemporaries since “New Testament writers had no other starting place when they set out on the enterprise of reinterpreting Scripture in a christocentric sense.”50 Problems persist, however, and such a claim is weaker than it looks at first glance. For one thing, Jewish exegetical practices in the Second Temple period cannot fully or precisely account for the FE’s interpretive practices, as Witmer observes. Yet, most scholars still claim that the FG exhibits a Jewish exegetical method without defining the specific techniques used, as Myers notes. Moreover, some do not distinguish between pesher or midrash; and when pesher is selected as the main method, the inconsistencies between Jewish examples and the FE’s practices are overlooked. Witmer concludes that very few of the scholars who claim that the FG employs a pesher method do so after a thorough survey and careful consideration of what the pesher genre is and how it is utilized within Second Temple Judaism.51 Likewise, Myers argues that these terms (pesher, midrash, and middoth) run the risk of becoming a “loose description, providing little more than an assertion of John’s Jewish milieu rather than a substantial statement concerning John’s interpretive practices.”52

Ancient Greco-Roman Rhetoric While recognizing the importance of Jewish exegetical practices, some scholars have suggested that a fuller picture of the FG’s use of Scripture (and indeed all of the New 47

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Peder J. Borgen, Bread from Heaven: An Exegetical Study of the Concept of Manna in the Gospel of John and the Writings of Philo, NovTSup 10 (Leiden: Brill, 1965). Frédéric Manns, “Exégèse Rabbanique et Exégèse Johannique,” RB 92 (1985): 525–38. Alicia D. Myers, Characterizing Jesus: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Fourth Gospel’s Use of Scripture in Its Presentation of Jesus, LNTS 458 (London: T&T Clark, 2012), 11. A. T. Hanson, “John’s Use of Scripture,” in The Gospels and the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and W. Richard Stegner, JSNTSup 104, SSEJC 3 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1994), 360. Witmer, “Approaches to Scripture,” 313. Myers, “Abiding Words,” 11.

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Testament writings) can be achieved by looking at the role of Greco-Roman rhetoric.53 Dennis Stamps, for example, urges scholars to move toward an appreciation of GrecoRoman techniques, which would have been well known in antiquity (even Palestine), in conjunction with Jewish exegetical practices.54 Stamps’s recommendation is not new, however. In 1949, Daniel Daube demonstrated similarities between Hillel’s middoth and Greco-Roman rhetorical practices.55 Daube’s observations were later supported by Saul Liebermann in 1962, who suggested that the Jewish interpretive rules for gezera shewa and qal-walhomer should be recognized as similar to the Greco-Roman rhetoric of synkrisis, although patterned to fit a Jewish context.56 Building on Philip Alexander’s work, which demonstrates that Jewish hermeneutics were influenced by Greco-Roman rhetoric, Myers provides perhaps the most thorough application of ancient Greco-Roman rhetoric to the FG’s use of Scripture.57 For Myers, since Jewish writers functioned in a Greco-Roman environment, they can be assumed to be affected by the practices of this milieu. As she states, “Learning more about Greco-Roman rhetoric can help us not only in understanding more about Jewish interpretation practices in general, but also provide insight into their rhetorical goals and possible effects on their audiences.”58 Myers calls her approach “literary-rhetorical criticism”59 and relies heavily on George Kennedy’s insights into rhetorical theory in antiquity.60 Kennedy’s theory proves to be especially popular among Johannine scholars due to the Gospel’s frequent speeches.61 The richness of this approach unsurprisingly produces nuances. For example, C.  Clifton Black argues that rhetorical criticism can be applied to Jesus’s lengthy discourses but not to the narratives or to the FE’s use of Scripture.62 Myers’s study

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Issues of influence overlap with the well-traversed discussion of the FG’s paradoxical treatment of the Jews. Dennis L. Stamps, “Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament as a Rhetorical Device:  A Methodological Proposal,” in Hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament, ed. Stanley E. Porter (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 26–33. David Daube, “Rabbinic Methods of Interpretation and Hellenistic Rhetoric,” HUCA 22 (1949): 251, 259. Saul Liebermann, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine:  Studies in the Literary Transmission, Beliefs and Manners of Palestine in the I Century B.C.E.—IV Century C.E., TS 18 (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1962), 59–61. Myers, Characterizing Jesus. Her use of “rhetorical criticism,” which focuses on Greco-Roman rhetoric, should not be confused with rhetorical criticism that is practiced within the literary critical realm of narratology. Ibid., 15. Ibid., 2. George A. Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation through Rhetorical Criticism, Studies in Religion (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984). For example, Harold W. Attridge, “Argumentation in John 5,” in Rhetorical Argumentation in Biblical Texts: Essays from the Lund 2000 Conference, ed. Anders Eriksson, Thomas H. Olbricht, and Walter Übelacker, ESEC 8 (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2002), 188–99; George L. Parsenios, Rhetoric and Drama in the Johannine Lawsuit Motif, WUNT 258 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2010). See Myers, Characterizing Jesus, 4–5; C. Clifton Black, “‘The Words That You Gave Me I  Have Given to Them:’ The Grandeur of Johannine Rhetoric,” in Exploring the Gospel of John: In Honor of D. Moody Smith, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and C. Clifton Black (Louisville, KY:  Westminster John Knox Press, 1996), 220; Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation, 108–9.

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counters this claim and demonstrates how the FG’s use of Scripture shares properties with Greco-Roman rhetoric.63 Following Jerome Neyrey, Myers argues that “classical handbooks and progymnasmata provide a number of examples of quoting and alluding to existing material in ways meant to increase the persuasiveness of one’s work.”64 Within this framework, the FG’s use of Scripture functions to characterize Jesus in ways that are reminiscent of these classical handbooks and progymnasmata. Though most scholars cite Jewish interpretive practices as the prime mode for the evangelist’s own interpretive use of Scripture, the Greco-Roman milieu can no longer be ignored.65 Rhetorical critics have demonstrated that the unique Christocentric hermeneutic that the FE evinces makes comparisons with other Jewish interpretive techniques, such as those found at Qumran, of limited value.66

Sociohistorical Approaches Jaime Clark-Soles presents the most thorough treatment of the FG’s use of Scripture for sociohistorical purposes, which provides a bridge between historical-critical approaches and literary ones.67 Clark-Soles’s aim is not only to reconstruct the sociohistorical setting within which the Johannine community found itself but also to understand how the scriptural quotations functioned rhetorically within the broader narrative. Building on J. Louis Martyn’s “two-level drama” and Wayne Meeks’s hypothesis of the ascending/descending redeemer “myth,” Clark-Soles explores how the FE’s use of Scripture reveals that the Johannine community was a “break-away” group.68 Clark-Soles concludes that the use of Scripture mirrors other sectarian communities, such as the one at Qumran. In so doing, the FE employs Scripture as an authoritative voice to reinforce the community’s elect status after its expulsion from, and conflict with, the “parent” Jewish group. Ruth Sheridan raises literary concerns with Clark-Soles’s historical analysis, particularly her methodological move from a literary phenomenon (i.e., scriptural citation and allusion) to a sociohistorical situation (i.e., a sectarian community experiencing expulsion).69 For Sheridan, Clark-Soles is too confident in reading literary artifices as analogues of the community’s situation since the FG’s “story of Jesus—with all its literary artifice—is heavily cloaked in what could be called ‘mythical’ language.”70 63 64

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Myers, Characterizing Jesus, 5. Myers, “Abiding Words,” 13. See also Jerome H. Neyrey, “Encomium versus Vituperation: Contrasting Portraits of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel,” JBL 126 (2007): 529–52. Schuchard, “Conclusion,” 240. As he summarizes, the FG’s “interpretive techniques and rhetorical strategies are similarly both Jewish and Greco-Roman.” Ibid., 240. Jaime Clark-Soles, Scripture Cannot Be Broken:  The Social Function of the Use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel (Leiden: Brill, 2003). Ibid., 4–5, 7–8, 13, 209, 316. J. Louis Martyn, History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel (Nashville:  Abingdon Press, 1979), 29. The “two-level drama” points to the Johannine community wrestling with its recent expulsion from the synagogue. Wayne A. Meeks, “The Man from Heaven in Johannine Sectarianism,” JBL 91 (1972): 44–72. Meeks argues that the myth was intentionally meant to exclude outsiders from understanding its message. Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 34. Ibid.

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Clark-Soles assumes this mythical language can be translated into sociological realities. Sheridan counters that not only is it possible that such a mythical worldview existed prior to the split with “the Jews,” and therefore not reflective of it, it is also possible that the FG’s mythical elements “obscure rather than reveal the historical situation of the community.”71 For Sheridan, the sociohistorical mimetic function assumed of texts by ClarkSoles is directly undermined by post-structural approaches, such as intertextuality, where texts refer to a web of other texts.72 For this reason, Sheridan is less optimistic about reconstructing the world behind the text and instead prefers the world of the text. Nonetheless, Sheridan praises Clark-Soles’s rhetorical analysis of how Scripture functions to characterize “the Jews” but marginalizes historical concerns in favor of literary ones.73

2. Literary Perspectives As a generalization, whereas historical-critical approaches attempt to ascertain meaning behind the text, for example, in reconstructions of authorial intention, sources, and the community, literary approaches move toward examining the final form of the narrative.74 As such, meaning inhabits the final form of the text (as received), which is assumed to be unified and whole. This reduces or, for some, eliminates the need to atomize the FG as historical critics have done. Two key areas of literary studies that have been applied to the use of Scripture in the FG (and the New Testament) include rhetorical analysis, which is closely connected to narrative criticism, and intertextuality.

Narrative and Rhetorical Criticism R. Alan Culpepper’s groundbreaking Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel introduced Johannine scholars to the merits of applying a formalist literary theory to the FG, which highlighted the mutually beneficial value of narrative and rhetorical criticisms.75 The connection between narrative and rhetoric criticisms is somewhat seamless since 71 72 73 74

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Ibid., 35, n. 180. Ibid. Ibid., 36–37. John Ashton, Studying John: Approaches to the Fourth Gospel (Oxford:  Clarendon, 1991), 142–43, disparages narrative-critical readings of the Gospels for being “easier” and “smoother” than the “rough” alternative of historical criticism. For Ashton, narrative critics incorrectly assume the Gospel text to be a “smooth,” unified composition, but redaction-critical analysis has exposed the fact that the Gospels were not composed in a single “sitting.” Sheridan disagrees, arguing that, despite their composite nature, it must be said that the Gospels can still be read as a unified piece of writing (Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 58, n. 35). R. Alan Culpepper, Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel:  A Study in Literary Design (Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1983). For a recent survey, see Tom Thatcher, “Anatomies of the Fourth Gospel:  Past, Present and Future Probes,” in Anatomies of Narrative Criticism:  The Past, Present and Future of the Fourth Gospel as Literature, ed. Tom Thatcher and Stephen D. Moore (Atlanta, GA: SBL, 2008), 1–34.

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a narrative is a form of rhetoric.76 Many who have been unsatisfied with the varied results of historical-critical approaches follow Culpepper in investigating the FG’s plot and its rhetorical characterization of Jesus.77 Such studies emphasize how the FG narrative persuades the implied reader/audience of a particular characterization of Jesus. But as Myers notes, this rhetorical approach has not been aptly applied to the FG’s use of Scripture.78 Judith Lieu notes this void in scholarship as well and attempts to fill it by investigating how the narrator, Jesus, and his opponents employ Scripture. In so doing, she finds that the FG is more subtle in its appeals to Scripture than the Synoptics.79 In her analysis of how Jesus is characterized, she notes how Scripture is used to reinforce Jesus’s omniscience in a manner that is discernable to the narrator and the Gospel audience rather than to the characters within the story.80 Myers adopts Lieu’s initial investigation but suggests that there is much more potential in play, especially in relation to the use of Scripture by the characters in the story. Where Lieu is broader in her approach, Myers focuses on the characterization of Jesus; and where Culpepper uses modern categories of characterization, Myers uses ancient practices of rhetoric to understand the FG’s persuasion via the characterization of Jesus.81 Still, there is considerable agreement among these rhetorical/narrative practitioners since they are all interested in showing how the reader is impacted by characterization.82 Andreas Obermann fills an important gap by addressing the rhetorical function of Scripture at the level of the narrative.83 Building on Faure’s significant observation that

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Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 52. As Sheridan argues, “Narratives are intrinsically rhetorical: they seek to persuade readers to accept a particular ideological position.” See Jeffrey Lloyd Staley, The Print’s First Kiss:  A Rhetorical Investigation of the Implied Reader in the Fourth Gospel, SBLDS 82 (Atlanta, GA:  SBL, 1988), 47–48; Norman R. Peterson, The Gospel of John and the Sociology of Light: Language and Characterization in the Fourth Gospel (Valley Forge, PA:  Trinity Press International, 1993); Mark W. G. Stibbe, John as Storyteller: Narrative Criticism and the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1992); Colleen M. Conway, Men and Women in the Fourth Gospel:  Gender and Johannine Characterization, SBLDS 167 (Atlanta, GA: Scholars, 1999); Myers, Characterizing Jesus; Sheridan, Retelling Scripture. Myers, Characterizing Jesus, 7–8. Judith Lieu, “Narrative Analysis and Scripture in John,” in The Old Testament in the New Testament:  Essays in Honor of J.  L. North, ed. Steve Moyise, JSNTSup 189 (Sheffield:  Sheffield Academic, 2000), 144–63. See Myers, Characterizing Jesus, 8; Lieu, “Narrative Analysis,” 161–62. Although Myers’s approach is rhetorical in that she is interested in how Scripture functions to persuade audiences/readers, her application differs from rhetorical criticism as employed within literary approaches. “Rhetorical criticism is one branch of narratology and is often referred to as the ‘New Rhetoric,’ distinguishing it from the ‘classical’ model of rhetoric prevalent in the ancient Greco-Roman world” (Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 51). New Rhetoric can be traced to the work of Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation, trans. John Wilkinson and Purcell Weaver (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1969). Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 51, n. 1. See also Judith Lieu, “Us or You? Persuasion and Identity in 1 John,” JBL 127, no. 4 (2008): 807, where she remarks that, contrary to Myers, the “New Rhetoric” when applied to early Christian texts cannot be considered “anachronistic.” Andreas Obermann, Die christologische Erfüllung der Schrift im Johannesevangelium:  Eine Untersuchung zur johanneseichen Hermeneutik anhand der Schriftzitate, WUNT 2/83 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1996). See Myers’ helpful summary of Obermann and Sheridan’s work as well as her own in “Abiding Words,” 16–17; see also Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 27–32.

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the FE uses two distinct formulae (one form in 1:1–12:38 and the second in 13:1–19:42), Obermann argues that the two formulae reveal two distinct rhetorical conceptions of Scripture held by the FE.84 Where Faure argues that the FG is based on two distinct sources, Obermann, who assumes a cohesive narrative, focuses on their function within the world of the text itself.85 Obermann argues that the formula in the first half (1:1–12:38), which is about Jesus’s public ministry, is used to show how Scripture is a witnesses to Jesus.86 Whereas the formula in the second half (13:1–19:42), which is about Jesus’s death and departure, is used to show how Scripture is explicitly fulfilled in Jesus.87 Indicative of this observation is the construction of Jesus’s last word(s): “It is finished (τετέλεσται).” The deeper dual meaning of this statement is that both Jesus’s work is fulfilled and that Scripture is now complete.88 Accordingly, for Obermann, the FE is a “Scripture-Theologian” (Schriftteologe) whose narrative portrayal of Jesus and his understanding of Jesus’s personal and theological significance is unreservedly rooted in the Jewish Scriptures.89 Obermann even goes as far to say that the FE is consciously writing a neuer heiliger Schrift—a new holy Scripture—of his own and that the Johannine community reads it as such.90 Sheridan expands on Obermann’s work by applying a more literary critical perspective, but only to the first half of the Gospel’s use of Scripture, concentrating on how “the Jews” are characterized. In so doing, she focuses on the FG’s paradoxical anti- and pro-Jewish ethos from the ideal reader’s perspective. Whereas Obermann observes that the first half of the FG presents Scripture as speaking directly to “the Jews,” as though they are the primary audience of the narrative, Sheridan focuses on the rhetorical function that calls attention to the FG’s polemic against “the Jews” and the way Scripture is employed for its ideal reader.91 She concludes that “The ideal reader— who is always more ‘informed’ than ‘the Jews’ in the story—succeeds in coming to faith in Jesus through a process of ‘othering’ ‘the Jews’ by constructing them as negative characters in the context of the OT citations.”92

Audience Criticism A rhetorical approach also extends into the conceptual world in front of the text with analyses of audiences.93 In an audience-critical approach, the locus of meaning shifts from historical contexts or authorial intention to the reader(s). While this does 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92

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Obermannm, Die christologische Erfüllung der Schrift, 80–81. Ibid., 78, 80, 333–34, and 345–48. Ibid., 78–89, 325–50. Ibid., 80. Ibid., 355–56. See also Francis J. Moloney, “The Gospel of John as Scripture,” CBQ 67 (2005): 456. Obermann, Die christologische Erfüllung der Schrift, 430. Ibid., 420–21. Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 30–31, 235. Ibid., 235. Earlier she explains, “I begin by considering how narratives work to persuade readers to accept certain ideological positions, in other words, by discussing the intrinsically rhetorical dimension of all narrative. This is important because the reader of the Fourth Gospel is persuaded to take up the Christological meaning of the Scripture’s witness to Jesus even as ‘the Jews’ reject it, and in so doing, to ‘other’ ‘the Jews’ in the process of reading” (50). Ibid., 51–57; see also Myers, Characterizing Jesus, 17–20.

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not deny the existence of an actual author, it focuses on the “implied author” as the voice of a “second self ” that is distinguished from a historically situated author. The point is that an actual author cannot be perfectly reflected in the authorial voice of a narrative.94 Likewise, an ideal reader, which is an inference constructed from the text, is not to be confused with the actual, historically situated reader.95 For Sheridan, this distinction between actual and ideal author(s)/reader(s) is theoretically necessary to avoid anchoring meaning to speculative historical reconstructions.96 Like Sheridan, Myers builds on Peter Rabbinowitz’s theory of four different types of audiences that are present when a text is read or heard:  the actual audience, the authorial audience, the narrative audience, and the ideal narrative audience.97 Sheridan prioritizes the fourth audience, but Myers wishes to bridge the actual audience with the ideal audience so as to avoid, in Rabbinowitz’s own words, “perverse” interpretations of texts. Therefore, as Myers reasons, “one needs both synchronic analyses that follow the argument of a text in its final form and diachronic research concerning the historical and social context of a written work in order to comprehend it.”98 Where Sheridan avoids historical reconstructions,99 Myers engages the historical context as a means of deducing more plausible authorial audiences.100 In this way, Myers distinguishes her approach from previous studies that have attempted to reconstruct the Johannine community.101

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Wayne Booth, The Rhetoric of Fiction, 2nd ed. (London:  Penguin, 1991), 131. See also Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 52–53. As Geert Hallback explains, an “implied author” is the “omniscient consciousness responsible for the story as a whole.” See Geert Hallback, “The Gospel of John as Literature:  Literary Readings of the Fourth Gospel,” in New Readings in John:  Literary and Theological Perspectives. Essays from the Scandinavian Conference on the Fourth Gospel, Arhus, 1997, ed. Johannes Nissen and Sigfred Petersen (London: T&T Clark, 2004), 35. Contrast Hallback with the recent criticism of “omniscience” in narrative criticism offered by Jonathan Culler, “Omniscience,” in The Literary in Theory (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007), 183–204. Hallback, “The Gospel of John as Literature,” 35. Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 58–59. Peter J. Rabbinowitz, “Truth in Fiction:  A Reexamination of Audiences,” Critical Inquiry 4 (1977):  126–29. For Rabbinowitz, since all these audiences are present, it is possible to encounter a text from different vantage points. See Myers, Characterizing Jesus, 17. Myers also builds on the works of H.  R. Jauss and Gian Biagio Conte. See H. R. Jauss, Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982); Gian Biagio Conte, The Rhetoric of Imitation: Genre and Poetic Memory in Virgil and Other Latin Poets, ed. Charles Segal (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986). Myers, Characterizing Jesus, 18. Although it should be noted that she does not entirely avoid historical concerns. She admits, “It must nevertheless be acknowledged that the Gospel’s negative rhetorical portrayal of ‘the Jews’ was born out of a particular historical situation, and that this rhetoric had what could be called a ‘positive’ value for the Johannine community—the Scripture’s Christological witness evidently confirmed them in their decision to follow Jesus in the face of possible persecution from some factions of the religious leadership … An ‘ideal reader’ of the Gospel in the first century would therefore possibly not have been perturbed by the anti-Jewish rhetoric of the text; the biblical tale is recast and reappropriated in Jesus for the sake of the believing community” (Retelling Scripture, 243). Myers (Characterizing Jesus, 19) follows Charles H. Talbert, Reading Luke-Acts in Its Mediterranean Milieu, NovTSup 107 (Leiden:  Brill, 2003), 16–17. For Myers, this approach is not a means to an original meaning; rather, it is about discovering more plausible meanings based on generally known and accepted historical and cultural facts from Mediterranean antiquity (p. 18). For example, Raymond E. Brown, The Community of the Beloved Disciple (New York: Paulist Press, 1979); J. Louis Martyn, History and Theology of the Fourth Gospel, 3rd ed. (Nashville: Abingdon, 2003).

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Intertextuality The focus that rhetorical critical approaches have on both the world of the text and the world in front of the text is also a characteristic shared by those who appeal to intertextuality, which is a term that has received considerable attention. For some, the term is used to refer to meaning that is found in the world in front of the text, whereas for others it assumes that meaning is found in the world behind the text as well. Since Richard Hays’s seminal work on Paul’s use of Scripture, intertextuality has had a substantial impact on New Testament studies and shows no signs of abating.102 Though many New Testament scholars do not integrate the theory that gave rise to intertextuality as a term and concept, its use has nevertheless found a home for inquiries into the use of Scripture in the New Testament in general and the FG in particular.103 The concept of intertextuality at its most basic level is that “every text is written and read in relation to that which is already written and read.”104 Thus, intertextuality moves away from “traditional notions of agency” and fixed points of meaning.105 Texts are perceived not as islands. That is, they cannot be understood in isolation.106 Moyise shows how an intertextual approach to the use of Scripture in the New Testament can be distinguished from more conventional historical-critical approaches, noting that two primary paths have been taken by historical critics. Some have argued that the embedded Scripture texts generally retain their original meanings, though, on occasion, they extend their meanings so that they can be applicable in their new host context in the New Testament.107 Most, however, have acknowledged the differences between the original meanings in the Jewish Scriptures and their newly acquired meanings in 102

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Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press, 1989); Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2016). For example, Susan Hylen, Allusion and Meaning in John 6, BZNW 137 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2005); Catrin H. Williams, “Isaiah in John’s Gospel,” in Isaiah in the New Testament, ed. Steve Moyise and Maarten J. J. Menken (London:  T&T Clark, 2007); Catrin H. Williams, “‘He Saw His Glory and Spoke of Him’:  The Testimony of Isaiah and Johannine Christology,” in Honouring the Past and Shaping the Future: Religious and Biblical Studies in Wales. Essays in Honour of Gareth Lloyd Jones, ed. Robert Pope (Leominster: Gracewing, 2003); Gary T. Manning, Echoes of a Prophet: The Use of Ezekiel in the Gospel of John and in the Literature of the Second Temple Period, JSNTSup 270 (London:  T&T Clark, 2004); Andrew C. Brunson, Psalm 118 in the Gospel of John, WUNT 2/158 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2003); Margaret Daly-Denton, David in the Fourth Gospel: The Johannine Reception of the Psalms, AGJU 47 (Leiden:  Brill, 2000); Diana M. Swancutt, “Hungers Assuaged by the Bread of Heaven: ‘Eating Jesus’ as Isaian Call to Belief: The Confluence of Isaiah 55 and Psalm 78(77) in John 6.22–71,” in Early Christian Interpretation of the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders, JSNTSup 148, SSEJC 5 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1997), 218–51; Robert L. Brawley, “An Absent Complement and Intertextuality in John 19:28–29,” JBL 112 (1993): 427–43. Stefan Alkier, “Intertextuality and the Semiotics of Biblical Texts,” in Reading the Bible Intertextually, ed. Richard B. Hays, Stefan Alkier, and Leroy A. Huizenga (Waco, TX:  Baylor University Press, 2008), 4. Steve Moyise, “Intertextuality and Historical Approaches to the Use of Scripture in the New Testament,” in Reading the Bible Intertextually, ed. Richard B. Hays, Stefan Alkier, and Leroy A. Huizenga (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2008), 23. Ibid. As Steve Moyise notes, a text “can only be understood as part of a web or matrix of other texts, themselves only to be understood in the light of other texts.” A radical example is Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., “The Single Intent of Scripture,” in The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Text? ed. G. K. Beale (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1994), 55–69.

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the New Testament.108 Moyise observes that despite the apparent differences in these two positions, they actually share an assumption that texts have a single meaning.109 Intertextuality, properly understood within its initial post-structuralist milieu, severely problematizes the notion of a text’s singular meaning since it approaches the formation of meanings from the perspective of the reader. Intertextuality, as Julia Kristeva envisions, is less a bridge to understanding the meaning of texts as it is a canyon distancing them.110 In this light, as Moyise urges, intertextuality “is not a method but a theory (or group of theories) concerning the production of meaning,” which presupposes that the meaning of texts is always in flux, “open to revision as new texts come along and reposition it.”111 Accordingly, this post-structuralist environment involves conceptions of power. Texts compete with one another, regardless of authorial intentions or motivations to do so. Every text is inevitably intertextual and so every text decenters as well as pluralizes the meanings of any previous texts at the level of the reader or the interpreter. Stefan Alkier calls this ongoing process of intertextuality a “hermeneutical consequence.”112 However, this hermeneutical consequence appears to be mostly ignored and Moyise’s observation that conventional historical-critical approaches assume a single, fixed meaning appears to persist, even if it is brought in through the backdoor and at times hard to detect. There are two ways intertextuality is applied to the FG’s use of Scripture. Whereas some apply it in a restricted sense reminiscent of source or redaction-critical approaches,113 others are more cognizant of its post-structuralist theoretical context and consequences. Gary Manning and Richard Hays provide good examples of the former, while Margaret Daly-Denton exemplifies the latter. 108

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Lindars, New Testament Apologetic. The aim here is to understand the motivations for ascribing these new meanings in light of similar practices in the ancient world, especially at Qumran and among other Jewish groups. Moyise, “Intertextuality and Historical Approaches,” 24. Julia Kristeva, “Word, Dialogue, and Novel,” in The Kristeva Reader, ed. Toril Moi, trans. Léon S. Roudiez and Seán Hand (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), 35–36. Moyise, “Intertextuality and Historical Approaches,” 23. Alkier, “Intertextuality and the Semiotics,” 3. Thomas Hatina cautions that a restricted use of intertextuality has been separated from its post-structural environment and has been used for pragmatic reasons for source-critical aims. See Thomas R. Hatina, “Intertextuality and Historical Criticism in New Testament Studies:  Is There a Relationship?” BibInt 7 (1999):  28–42; Thomas R. Hatina and Michael Kozowski, “Introduction:  Complexity of Contexts and the Study of Luke’s Use of Scripture,” in Biblical Interpretation in Early Christian Gospels. Volume 3:  The Gospel of Luke, ed. Thomas R. Hatina, Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity 16, LNTS 376 (London: T&T Clark, 2010), 10–11. This criticism echoes Kristeva’s own criticism of a more limited and methodologically pragmatic use of intertextuality, even going as far as forfeiting her original term in exchange for clarifying her theory’s position, stating, “The term inter-textuality denotes this transposition of one (or several) sign system(s) into another; but since this term has often been understood in the banal sense of ‘study of sources,’ we prefer the term transposition, because it specifies that the passage from one signifying system to another demands a new articulation … If one grants that every signifying practice is a field of transpositions of various signifying systems (an inter-textuality), one then understands that its ‘place’ of enunciation and its denoted ‘object’ are never single, complete, and identical to themselves, but always plural, shattered, capable of being tabulated” (Julia Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language, trans. Margaret Waller [New  York:  Columbia University Press, 1984], 59–60).

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Manning’s study, Echoes of a Prophet, looks at the use of Ezekiel in the FG and in the wider context of the Second Temple period.114 Following Hays, Manning’s definition of intertextuality is difficult to distinguish from that of source criticism. Citing Hays, Manning understands intertextuality as discerning “how a New Testament author understood his Old Testament source and adapted material from the older text for use in his own work.”115 Evident here is Manning’s focus on the author, as opposed to what one might expect in an intertextual approach (namely the reader). Although Manning claims that his approach is “a new formulation of the historical-critical study of literary parallels,”116 it is nonetheless indistinguishable from previous source- or redaction-critical studies.117 Moreover, he assumes that intertextuality only considers “the congruence” between two literary contexts, which is inconsistent with the poststructuralist notion that intertextuality reveals the indeterminate role of readers. In Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels, Hays provides an additional example of the type of intertextual study that ignores and restricts post-structuralist insights.118 Using Erich Auerbach’s notion of “figural interpretation,” Hays proposes reading backward beginning with the evangelists. Thus, though it is not explicitly noted by Hays, the author/evangelist is privileged. Although for Hays, the context of the previous (Old Testament) authors is of no concern, which may allow for his overall (biblical) theological coherence.119 Regarding the FG’s use of Scripture, Hays notes that the number of explicit citations in the FG, along with allusions and echoes, pales in comparison with the Synoptics.120 Hays surmises that the evangelist engages Scripture as a “source of symbols” and explains that the “intertextual references tend to focus on vivid visual images that evoke the scriptural background rather than upon the citation and exposition of chains of words.”121 Thus, “John reads the entirety of the Old Testament as a web of symbols that must be understood as figural signifiers for Jesus and the life that he offers.”122 It might appear as though Hays simply selects from any Jewish Scripture to act as an intertext, but he has previously provided seven criteria for what constitutes a legitimate or plausible textual echo in order to curb such rampant subjectivism.123 114 115

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Manning, Echoes of a Prophet. Ibid., 5.  Redaction critical aims come to the surface again as he explains that “the study of intertextuality” only begins “when a possible parallel in earlier literature is discovered.” He continues, “From there, the student of intertextuality seeks to learn how the later author interacts with the source document, transforms it, and uses it to advance the later work.” Ibid. Ibid., 4. Also, for Manning, scriptural echoes that he discovers are assumed to be recognizable by the FG’s actual audience. In this way, he is sitting in for the actual audience. This is done despite citing Samuel Sandmel, “Parallelomania,” JBL 81 (1962): 1–13. See Hatina, “Intertextuality and Historical Criticism,” 36–37. Hays, Scripture in the Gospels, 2–3. Ibid., 284. Hays estimates approximately 70 in Mark, 124 in Matthew, 109 in Luke, and 27 in John. Ibid., 343–44. The notion that a scriptural quotation reflects a wider context rather than just a “chain of words” has been axiomatic within historical-critical studies since the work of Dodd (see Moyise, “Intertextuality and Historical Approaches,” 31). This is not a conception inaugurated by proposing intertextuality. Hays, Scripture in the Gospels, 344. See also his Reading Backwards:  Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2014), 92. Hays, Letters of Paul, 29–33. Hays offers these seven “tests”:  the availability of the intertext; its volume; recurrence; thematic coherence; the historical plausibility of the interpretation; its

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It is difficult to determine if Hays’s approach is literary or theological since similarities between the two seem to be assumed, but what Hays seeks to make clear is that he does not consider his approach to be historical in the conventional sense.124 However, despite Hays’ claim, his aim appears to be ascertaining the ways in which the authors “reread Israel’s Scripture.”125 In other words, the same methodological aim that drives conventional historical-critical approaches—namely that of ascertaining the single (fixed) meaning of the author—appears to be in play for Hays’s “intertextual close reading.”126 For this reason, Thomas R. Hatina’s critique of Hays’s earlier work still applies.127 Perhaps a clearer explanation is needed for how “reading backwards” is all that distinct from other historical-critical readings (or from a theological approach).128 Furthermore, Hays’s use of intertextuality assumes that the (ancient) reader is as competent in his textual awareness as he is and vice versa.129 Sheridan interacts with Hays’s view of intertextuality and insightfully notes Hays’s “hermeneutical presupposition” of a competent reader. Acknowledging that readers obviously vary in competence, she asks a poignant question that ought to be inescapable for anyone employing intertextuality:  “Does the reader/critic extract allusive echoes that are plainly ‘there,’ present in the text, or does she create them, fabricating them out of her own existing network of intertextual knowledge?”130 Margaret Daly-Denton exemplifies an approach that engages with the poststructuralist insights of intertextuality. Her work is predominantly synchronic and argues that the FG’s depiction of Jesus is meant to echo David via the Gospel audience’s reception of the Psalms.131 Daly-Denton wrestles with the hermeneutical consequences of intertextuality and thus does not argue for one meaning acquired by the reader of the FG.132 Unlike previous studies that show the (obvious) “Prophet-like-Moses” traits of the Gospel, she adds complexity showing that Jesus is also echoed as a “new/ideal

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connection to the history of interpretation; and the satisfaction rendered by the interpretation. Hays acknowledges that these tests only offer “shades of certainty” in demonstrating what the author was intending. Hays, Scripture in the Gospels, 3–8. Ibid., 7. Ibid. Hatina, “Intertextuality and Historical Criticism,” 36–37. Hatina proposes that Hays dispense with the term intertextuality since his use of the term has less to do with what Kristeva calls transposition and more to do with “influence,” which is indistinguishable from a study of sources. See Ruth Sheridan, “The Testimony of Two Witnesses: John 8:17,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA:  SBL, 2015), 168–69, where she states, “Nevertheless, as we read through Hays’s work, it is possible to observe that the creative and radical poetics of metaleptic intertextuality advanced by Hollander (which Hays initially espouses) give way ever so slightly to an author-centered hermeneutic. We could be excused for thinking that, here, Hays makes a concession to historically minded critics of the New Testament who would rather be assured that allusive echoes to the Old Testament are ‘scientifically’ verifiable” (168). See Hays, Letters of Paul, 19, 21–22, 24–25. Sheridan, “Testimony of Two Witnesses,” 168. Daly-Denton, David in the Fourth Gospel, 1–2, 12. She has in mind H.  R. Jauss’s concept of “a synchronic cross-section of a moment in the process of reception.” Cf. Brunson, Gospel of John, 8–16. Brunson also wrestles with the post-structural implications of intertextuality and explains his narrow (and tenable) use of the term. Daly-Denton, David in the Fourth Gospel, 1–2.

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David figure.”133 Daly-Denton rightly understands the plurality of meaning involved in intertextuality and the dissonance in meaning from one intertext to another. Unlike Hays, she approaches intertextuality as an act of reception by the reading community rather than the author.134 In other words, where Hays understands intertextuality to be a reading backward, retrospectively, Daly-Denton understands it as a reading in both directions, noting, “The reception of the quotation as part of the later work will therefore depend on factors far more complex than the reader’s mere awareness of the original source.”135 Daly-Denton is clearly interested in how the past meaning is discontinuous and therefore transformed by its new context, whereby “the past is altered by the present, as much as the present is directed by the past.”136 Thus, for DalyDenton, meaning in the “existing ‘work’ of David, the Psalter, once re-read in a new work, the Fourth Gospel, is thus irrevocably altered.”137

3. Media Perspectives Like certain uses of intertextuality, recent uses of media criticism have often left behind the comfort zone of historical questions in the pursuit of interpretive mechanisms at work within the FG, which as Catrin Williams observes is steeped in scriptural concepts and motifs.138 Media criticism likewise complicates the relationship between past texts and their use in new settings. But unlike intertextuality, media criticism extends beyond the literary relationship between texts and engages more fully the media environment out of which the FG emerged. This media environment is characterized by an interplay between textuality, orality, and memory. While media criticism is a burgeoning field in Johannine studies, it has not as yet been extensively applied to the use of embedded Scripture texts, though a few scholars are testing the waters as is noted below. One of the most important collection of essays to date that introduces the interpretive potential of media criticism to Johannine scholarship is found in Anthony Le Donne and Tom Thatcher’s The Fourth Gospel in First-Century Media Culture.139 133 134

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Ibid., 8. As opposed to saying instead of Moses. Ibid. See also Alkier’s classifications of different types of approaches to intertextuality: production, reception, and experimental as a means of classifying different uses of intertextuality (“Intertextuality and the Semiotics,” 9–11). Daly-Denton, David in the Fourth Gospel, 1–2. She quotes Jonathan Culler’s explanation of intertextuality, where he corrects the misunderstanding that it is “less a name for a work’s relation to particular prior texts than a designation of its participation in the discursive space of a culture” (Jonathan Culler, The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction [London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981], 103). She also engages with Roland Barthes’s works, especially his concept of déjà lu, which is the unconscious presuppositions that readers bring to a text. See “The Theory of the Text,” in Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader, ed. Robert Young (Boston, MA: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981), 39. Daly-Denton, David in the Fourth Gospel, 8. Ibid., 8. Catrin H. Williams, “Patriarchs and Prophets Remembered: Framing Israel’s Past in the Gospel of John,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015), 187. Anthony Le Donne and Tom Thatcher, “Introduction,” in The Fourth Gospel in First-Century Media Culture, ed. Anthony Le Donne and Tom Thatcher, ESCO, LNTS 426 (London: T&T Clark, 2011), 1.

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Orality, which characterizes ancient Mediterranean cultures, was present residually even in (written) text production.140 Texts of the period were vocalized and read out loud, especially when the writings underwent oral performance. As aphorized, “Texts were crafted to catch the ear rather than the eye.”141 An appeal to orality reveals aspects of culture that are generally not perceived in conventional literary- and source/ redaction-critical approaches. Rather than describe the compositional process of writing, revising, and/or copying fixed texts, an awareness of oral processes helps us to better understand the “complex matrix of communicative influences upon multiple trajectories of recollections of the past.”142 As the process of orality is gaining acceptance, particularly as an essential characteristic of the first-century Mediterranean world, it is beginning to be applied to the FG in two distinct ways. First, some approach the FG as an oral performance, much like rhetorical critics have done, but they treat the text as a spoken performance. Second, others have attempted to ascertain how memory works in appropriating the past in the FE’s identity constructions within his present.

Performance Criticism Beginning with the former, oral performance criticism emphasizes the cultural impact of public recitations and audience responses in the composition of texts.143 As Anthony Le Donne and Tom Thatcher summarize, “The oral performer or orally performing text (a text written to be read aloud to a listening audience) must conform to the expectations, demands, presuppositions, prejudices, attitudes and direct interactions of a live audience.”144 Examples of scholars applying this approach to the FG’s use of Scripture are limited. The only two that I am aware of are Michael Labahn and Jeffrey Brickle.145 Labahn takes a narrative-critical approach, seeing Scripture “as a character that acts orally and that is interrelated with other characters by the narrator.”146 By focusing on passages in the FG where “Scripture is portrayed as a speaking character,” Labahn attempts “to explain how Scripture functions as a ‘witness’ to Jesus in the Fourth Gospel and … how these written Scriptures act as a character that speaks to audiences within and beyond the narrative.”147 140

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See the brief introduction to orality studies for Johannine scholarship:  Le Donne and Thatcher, “Introduction,” 2–4. See also the seminal study of Werner H. Kelber, The Oral and the Written Gospel:  The Hermeneutics of Speaking and Writing in the Synoptic Tradition, Mark, Paul, and Q (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1983). Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 25. Le Donne and Thatcher, “Introduction,” 2. Ibid., 5. Ibid. They add, “Obviously, this communications environment differs quite significantly from that of modern authors whose readers are never present at the moment of composition.” Michael Labahn, “Scripture Talks Because Jesus Talks: The Narrative Rhetoric of Persuading and Creativity in John’s Use of Scripture,” in The Fourth Gospel in First-Century Media Culture, ed. Anthony Le Donne and Tom Thatcher, ESCO, LNTS 426 (London:  T&T Clark, 2011), 133–54; Jeffrey E. Brickle, “Sympathetic Resonance:  John as Intertextual Memory Artisan,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015), 213–36. Labahn, “Scripture Talks,” 134. Ibid.

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Brickle follows Whitney Shiner’s approach of applying memory arts to the Gospel of Mark. The organizing model Shiner employs is that of a temple front, similar to that of the Parthenon, by which the structure of Mark’s Gospel could be strategically plotted on the memory of its hearers.148 Brickle applies this approach to the FG and sees any one of the prominent sites in Ephesus (e.g., port baths, gymnasium, theater, state agora, or the temple of Artemis) as “an effective memory scheme” that could be used to plot “representative images from the Fourth Gospel’s narrative framework upon such sites.”149 Brickle, then, conceives the evangelist to be a practitioner of ancient memory arts, whereby the Gospel text functions as a “memory palace” that takes the reader on a “mnemonic journey” that turns sites into “a rhetorical discourse.”150 As Brickle’s title indicates, he applies the aural or acoustic theory of sympathetic resonance, which is similar to Hays’s understanding of intertextuality. Brickle’s use of the theory “suggests that one narrative sets a second in motion—causing the second to ‘vibrate’ in a harmonic relationship to the first.”151 Based on this, he proposes that by “keying” Gen 1:1 (LXX) in the opening phrase of the prologue, “John triggers the entire sweep of the Old Testament narrative soundscape, which flows as an underlying subtext, an undercurrent of vibrating, meaningful sound, beneath John’s gospel.”152 Brickle’s use of performance criticism raises many interesting avenues for further research. However, there are some shortcomings. First, he claims that the past, as represented by the LXX, shapes the FG’s narrative as it shapes all of Second Temple Judaism.153 Thus, the view that the echo of LXX Gen 1:1 would have pointed to the entire narrative of the Scriptures for the audience is likely a stretch (e.g., does the FE also intend the story of Job or Ruth to be in mind?). Second, Brickle misunderstands memory as only a reliable medium, accurately preserving the past in the present from one generation to the next. This narrow understanding of the relationship

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Brickle, “Sympathetic Resonance,” 221. See Whitney T. Shiner, “Memory Technology and the Composition of Mark,” in Performing the Gospel:  Orality, Memory, and Mark, ed. Richard A. Horsley, Jonathan A. Draper, and John M. Foley (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006), 147–65. Brickle, “Sympathetic Resonance,” 222. Brickle notes some drawbacks to his approach, admitting (1) that it runs the risk of being “too static” to account for the “complexities inherent” in the FG’s use of Scripture, and (2) that it is open to criticism of imposing an outside organization, such as the non-scriptural sphere of Ephesus as opposed to “an internal textual matrix comprising the literary canon of Israel.” Brickle is also not clear about his selection of metaphors for discussing the act of remembering (namely, a theater, hypertext, images, and a film or motion picture) and his choice of using a metaphor of sympathetic resonance and mnemonic journey. Ibid., 231–32. Brickle explains further:  “Journeying through the text in this highly suggestive fashion—paying close attention to the narrative’s sequencing of ‘rooms’ or spaces in relationship to the Old Testament’s—helps us see how John has conceptually arranged the lower and upper floors (corresponding to the Old Testament and his Gospel, respectively) of his two-level memory ‘palace.’ We should thus envision the Gospel of John not merely as a story here and there evoking critical connections to Old Testament texts, but rather as a story embarking on a virtual tour of an all-encompassing, masterfully designed mnemonic edifice” (234). Ibid., 226. Ibid. As mentioned previously, the pluriformity of Scripture makes it difficult to assume that the canon we now call the Old Testament was the same canon of Scripture the FG audience held. Perhaps not all citations in the FG were deemed Scripture (e.g., John 7:38). Moreover, the reworking of LXX passages (e.g., John 1:23 as a reworking of Isa 40:3) also suggests a divergence from the LXX, not harmony.

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between the past and present does not account for the insights generated by social memory theory (a theory he claims to be using).154 Third, Brickle is only interested in demonstrating reliability. Though Brickle claims he does not “wish to enter into a prolonged discussion of memory’s trustworthiness,” he still does so by claiming that New Testament authors “were certainly aware of natural memory’s shortcomings, and intentionally devised means to compensate.”155 He continues arguing that within early Christian culture’s “unique” situation, “too much was at stake to relinquish cherished traditions to the frailties and instability of natural memory alone.”156 For this reason, Brickle portrays the evangelists as memory artists who both memorized all of Scripture and communicated their Gospels in a manner that also incited audiences to memorize them. For Brickle, this results in a “harmonic relationship” between the FG and its use of Scripture. This is not necessarily typical of how performance criticism operates, however. Significantly, most scholars using performance criticism also “emphasize the notion of multiple originals” that “every performance context that includes a teller and an audience is a unique social interaction that produces a unique text.”157 A staple within performance criticism is the fluidity of meaning and its being hostage to the needs and circumstances of the present (especially within oral cultures). This is also the case in the field of social memory theory.158

Social Memory Theory Building on the work of Maurice Halbwachs, who was a student of Émile Durkheim, social memory theorists have argued that memory is not a passive act of recall but rather a complex constructive process whereby the past is reconstructed in light of the present needs and circumstances of the group.159 Since the process of memory is a social phenomenon, Halbwachs postulated, “No memory is possible outside frameworks used by people living in society to determine and retrieve their recollections.”160 He 154

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The main tenet of social memory theory, which is missed, is that the past is reconstructed for the needs and purposes of the present. See the discussion below on social memory theory. Brickle, “Sympathetic Resonance,” 219. Ibid. A problem here is his privileging a Christian past over other cultures’ pasts. All groups take measures to preserve their pasts, obviously more so with salient events or figures. But the study of memory, especially within an oral culture, demonstrates fluidity and plurality in meaning and content, not uniformity or features that would depict the sort of harmony and continuity Brickle seeks. Le Donne and Thatcher, “Introduction,” 5. See Thomas R. Hatina, “The Provenance of Jesus’ Quotations of Scripture: From Form Criticism to Social Memory Theory,” in The Earliest Perceptions of Jesus in Context:  Essays in Honor of John Nolland, ed. Aaron W. White, David Wenham, and Craig A. Evans (London:  T&T Clark, 2018), 59–76. Maurice Halbwachs, “The Social Frameworks of Memory,” in On Collective Memory, ed. and trans. L. A. Coser (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 35–189. Ibid., 43. For discussions on the differences between “social memory” and “collective memory,” as Halbwachs understood them, and how they are inconsistently used today, see Sandra Huebenthal, “Social and Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis:  The Quest for an Adequate Application,” in Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis, ed. P. Carstens et  al., PHSC 17 (Piscataway, NJ:  Gorgias, 2012), 191–216.

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insisted that memories are always recalled from, and thus structured by, the social demands of the present.161 The past provides valuable resources for defining identity in the present. “We are what we remember,” the saying goes. But the past is not simply what happened, it is what has become commemorated and communicated repeatedly in the present. As Jan Assmann explains, “The truth of memory lies in the identity that it shapes. This truth is subject to time so that it changes with every new identity and every new present. It lies in the story, not as it happened but as it lives on and unfolds in collective memory.”162 Groups construct continuity with the past because the past is both formative and normative; formative in that it tells the individual who they are as distinct from others, and normative in that it guides the individual how to live and behave so as to belong to the group.163 Social memory theory is a hermeneutic that conceives of texts as snapshots in time and as such aligns well with synchronic methods, such as narrative criticism.164 In addition, one of its main functions is identity formation in a given present, which likewise aligns well with the study of character formation in stories. In order for memories to be communicated, they are often narrativized through a process of selection, organization, and transposition of recollections into stories with linear sequences, settings, climaxes, and resolutions.165 Consequently, “narrative presentations of the past are typically stamped with the values and power relations that drive a group’s patterns of socialization and domination.”166 As Le Donne and Thatcher note, this point calls into question the historical value of collective memories. Though this is a current issue for many Gospel scholars appropriating memory, “most social memory theorists are less concerned with the content of collective memory and its potential historical value than with the ways that specific artifacts of memory (such as the Johannine writings) reflect the structure, values and identity of the groups that produced them.”167 As Hatina concludes the matter, “instead of being guided by a hermeneutic that tries to determine a fixed past reality, social memory theory is guided by a cultural web of significance that shapes meaning at the level of the text for the present.”168 161 162

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Halbwachs, “Social Frameworks of Memory,” 39–40. Jan Assmann, Moses the Egyptian:  The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997), 14. Jan Assmann calls these sorts of memories “connective memory,” borrowing Nietzsche’s concept of “bonding memory.” See Jan Assmann, Religion and Cultural Memory: Ten Studies, trans. Rodney Livingstone (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006). See the discussion of the integration of memory, myth-making, and narrative in Thomas R. Hatina, “Intertextual Transformations of Jesus: John as Mnemo-myth,” in The Gospels and Ancient Literary Criticism: Continuing the Debates on Gospel Genre(s), ed. David P. Moessner, Tobias Nicklas, and Robert Matthew Calhoun (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming 2019). Le Donne and Thatcher, “Introduction,” 7. Ibid. Assmann explains that one has “a life-story, an inner narrative—whose continuity, whose sense, is one’s life. The same concept of a narrative organization of memory and self-construction applies to the collective level” (Assmann, Moses the Egyptian, 15). Le Donne and Thatcher, “Introduction,” 7. Hatina, “Intertextual Transformations of Jesus.”

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Since the publication of Alan Kirk and Tom Thatcher’s Memory, Tradition, and Text in 2005, which launched broader interest in the subject among New Testament scholars, the vast majority of appropriations of social memory theory have focused on historical Jesus research.169 While social memory theory is being increasingly appropriated in broader Gospels research and Pauline research, there is still a large void when it comes to its potential benefit for understanding the function of Scripture in the FG. Apart from a handful of studies, such as the work of Catrin Williams, the paucity is partly addressed in three essays included in this volume.170 Williams builds on Barry Schwartz’s conception of commemorative “keying,” which “involves the mapping of present events and figures onto those belonging to the past.”171 In this model, the experiences and situations of the present are “paired with archetypal images or symbolically significant patterns from the past.”172 Thus, the past acts as a frame for the present through which present experiences are interpreted and meaning is accessed. This frame, though, is not naturally formed. The past is received in an unstructured series of events, and human memory transforms it into a coherent historical narrative.173 Within this model, Williams sets out to examine the normative and rhetorical function of Moses, Abraham, and Isaiah in the FG’s commemorative narrative, guided by the question, “How is their memory reconfigured in the light of present realities (model of society), and to what extent do they function as orienting symbols or templates for Johannine beliefs and commitments in the present (model for society)?”174 Noting that Moses, Abraham, and Isaiah are sometimes connected to direct quotations (i.e., 1:23; 6:32; 12:38–40), she also notes that they are echoed in isolation from identifiable verses or longer scriptural passages. For Williams, in these cases, it is more likely that the FG is drawing on the collective memory of these foundational characters and evoking wider commemorative frameworks associated with them.175 Williams concludes that the FE evokes the memory of these three salient characters and 169

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Alan Kirk and Tom Thatcher (eds.), Memory, Tradition, and Text:  Uses of the Past in Early Christianity, SemeiaSt 52 (Atlanta, GA: SBL, 2005). Williams, “Patriarchs and Prophets Remembered.” Outside of the FG, social memory theory is beginning to be applied to use of Scripture in New Testament studies. For example, Tom Thatcher, “Cain and Abel in Early Christian Memory: A Case Study in ‘The Use of the Old Testament in the New,’ ” CBQ 72 (2010):  732–51; Sandra Huebenthal, “Luke 24.13–35, Collective Memory, and Cultural Frames,” in Biblical Interpretation in Early Christian Gospels. Volume 3: The Gospel of Luke, ed. Thomas R. Hatina, Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity 16, LNTS 376 (London: T&T Clark, 2010), 86–87; Rafael Rodríguez, “‘According to the Scriptures:’ Suffering and the Psalms in the Speeches in Acts,” in Memory and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. A Conversation with Barry Schwartz, ed. Tom Thatcher (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2014), 241–62; Thomas R. Hatina, “Social Memory Theory and Competing Identity Constructions: The Function of Genesis 15:6 in Romans and James,” in 500 Jahre der Reformation in der Slowakei, ed. Maroš Nicák and Martin Tamcke (Münster: Lit Verlag, 2019), 35–56. Williams, “Patriarchs and Prophets Remembered,” 190. Barry Schwartz, Abraham Lincoln and the Forge of National Memory (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 18–20; Barry Schwartz, “Frame Image: Towards a Semiotics of Collective Memory,” Semiotica 121 (1998): 1–4. Williams, “Patriarchs and Prophets Remembered,” 190. Ibid., 191. Williams relies on Eviatar Zerubavel, Time Maps: Collective Memory and the Social Shape of the Past (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 13. Williams, “Patriarchs and Prophets Remembered,” 192. Ibid., 188. She clarifies that “this is not to deny that written texts were often the basis for such memories,” yet, as she quotes Tom Thatcher, “it is the memories themselves, not the texts on

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recasts them as witnesses to Jesus’s identity.176 For Williams, this “alignment certainly establishes continuity with the past, but from a Johannine perspective it also marks new ‘beginnings,’ because whatever preceded those beginnings must be absorbed into a new mnemonic framework held together by belief in Jesus.”177 Williams demonstrates well the potential of social memory theory in understanding the FG’s use of Scripture. It is a versatile approach, allowing a synchronic (or literary/ narrative/rhetorical) emphasis to be paired with sociohistorical framework and purposes. In this way, the ideal audience is bridged with the actual audience, albeit in a limited fashion as the actual audience is isolated to a specific present moment within a reconstructed historical setting, characterized by ancient orality.

4. Conclusion of the Survey Jesus encourages his opponents in John 5:39 to “search the scriptures” (ἐραυνᾶτε τὰς γραφάς) because they “testify about me” (μαρτυροῦσαι περὶ ἐμοῦ). The FG’s Christocentric hermeneutic is plainly displayed in this verse. But as this overview has shown, the FG’s encouragement is heeded as much by modern ears as it was meant to be by ancient ones. Scholars remain ever-interested in examining the purpose and function of the FG’s use of Scripture. Generally speaking, there are some areas of consensus such as the FE’s use of Greek source material and the incorporation of that material through predominately Jewish interpretive methods. Intertextuality, though still not adequately understood by some, still provides the theoretical basis for at least a consensus that the FE is aware of wider scriptural contexts than the ones explicitly cited. Thus, the notion that the FE is also intentionally pointing to such contexts in the wider narrative framework is also recognized and selectively appropriated by some scholars using social memory theory. However, many differences persist among the perspectives presented here. Various approaches are divided, for instance, largely in their epistemic assumptions. Some are much more confident that what the FG narrates mirrors reality, whereas others are less optimistic. This leads to different foci and different presumptions about where the locus of meaning resides (e.g., in the reader, or in the author, or in the historically reconstructed setting). Regardless of the differences, ongoing research has both refined previous approaches and pioneered new ones, producing divergent conclusions from previously established ones.

5. Moving Forward: A Summary of the Studies in this Volume This volume aims to move the conversation of the FG’s use of Scripture forward in a way that is accessible to advanced students in Gospels research, methodology, and

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which they are based, that are ‘cited’ for the audience’s consideration” (p. 189). See Thatcher, “Early Christian Memory,” 750. Thus for Williams, Moses is not a lawgiver, Abraham is not an ethnic father, and Isaiah is not a prophet who saw Israel’s glory, but they are all witnesses who foresaw Jesus’s glory. Ibid., 212.

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hermeneutics. As with the differences in perspectives and approaches that are surveyed above, the essays that follow are likewise varied by design so as to draw attention to the breadth of scholarship on the function of scripture in the FG. The following essays are organized into four sections:  historical, rhetorical and linguistic, literary, and social memory perspectives. Each includes variegated methods. Despite the attempt to organize the structure of the volume, some of the essays can be placed into more than one of these categories. In such cases, we have attempted to categorize them in accordance with the author’s dominant approach.

Historical Perspectives Craig Evans explores how the use of Scripture and its exegetical traditions played a role in the development of John 1:1–5. Reexamining the compositional development of the prologue, Evans follows Martinus de Boer’s assertion that John 1:1–5 functioned in a liturgical context as a separate unit apart from the narrative of the FG. It was eventually added to v. 6, which at one point comprised the beginning of the Johannine narrative. Evans shows how the addition of the first five verses affected the theological perspective of the Gospel. Warren Carter explores the intertextuality between John 10 and Ezek 34 within the Johannine sociopolitical context. Where previous historical-critical approaches focus the authorial meaning of John 10, as well as more restricted applications of intertextuality, Carter instead implements a more “unlimited” notion of intertextuality, which is interested in recognizing how an audience received and located the text within its larger cultural matrix. Carter is not interested so much in the influence of prior texts on John 10 but rather its participation in the discursive space of its culture. Thus, Carter posits a reading of John 10 and Ezek 34 that is sociopolitical, read along an axis of power rather than an axis of religious identity that is based on confessional (Christological) claims. Paul Anderson provides a (compositional) historical and literary analysis of the FG’s treatment of Scripture as fulfilment. Where previous studies focus on how accurately a source text is quoted or whether that source text is the LXX or something else, Anderson proposes a polyvalent approach that considers the FG’s presentation of fulfilled Scripture as highly dialogical. Moving diachronically from later to earlier phases in the Johannine tradition’s history, he shows how both direct and indirect references to Jewish Scripture function as the fulfilled word in order to serve the stated purpose of the Gospel, namely belief in Jesus as the Christ, which leads to life in his name. Archie Spencer presents an exegetical analysis of Scripture in John 12:36b–43, particularly the “glory of God,” in relation to the Johannine narrative and its later reception. Beginning with the reception of Isaiah’s Servant Song in John 12, Spencer then offers a reception-historical reading using Origen and Rudolf Bultmann as examples. Although there are varying degrees of hermeneutical developments in these receptions, Spencer argues that the opacity of the revelation of God’s glory in Jesus Christ remains a central theme throughout its transmission and reception.

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Rhetorical and Linguistic Perspectives Jiří Lukeš examines the rhetorical use of Gen 29:1–14 in Jesus’s dialogue with the Samaritan woman in John 4:1–42. Utilizing ancient rhetorical conventions, Lukeš focuses on the evangelist’s rhetorical strategy using irony. Lukeš concludes that both the Jewish Scriptures and Greco-Roman rhetorical sources and practices influence the evangelist, and that he was likely a Hellenistic Jew who had a gymnasium education. Stanley Porter investigates the linguistic form that the citations take throughout the FG. Focusing on the formulaic quotations, Porter analyses them at the micro level (in its immediate context) and at the macro level (the wider Gospel context) and provides an evaluation of their linguistic function. Porter critiques previous studies for missing the impact that verbal features have on the function of these quotations. He argues that such features, like verbal aspect, can help us to better understand how the author structured his Gospel.

Literary Perspectives R. Alan Culpepper examines the function of Scripture in Jesus’s triumphal entry in John 12 from a narrative-critical perspective. By closely considering the selection, editing, and the context of the quotations, Culpepper proposes that Scripture plays a significant role in shaping the story and molding the characterization of Jesus, especially in relation to kingship. Susanne Luther employs a literary approach addressing how the Scripture quotations function to authenticate the Johannine narrative. Focusing on the function of Scripture quotations in Jesus’s crucifixion scene (John 19), Luther shifts her attention away from the “truth” behind the text to the “truth” in the text. In so doing, she replaces conventional questions about the FG’s historicity with questions about its “literalization,” which she uses to denote what is authentic as opposed to what is real. Distinguishing between mimesis and direct quotations, Luther notes that the direct quotations in John 19 generate a perception of authenticity for the audience, thus establishing the credibility of Jesus’s crucifixion as supported by the authority of Scripture. Jan Roskovec delves into the FG’s appropriation of Moses and its Christological function within the narrative. Leaving behind questions about the possible traditions and developments behind the evangelist’s motives for employing Moses, Roskovec demonstrates that Moses’s relationship to Jesus is not one of typology. That is, Jesus is not presented as a “new Moses,” as is the case in the Gospel of Matthew. Instead, Roskovec reveals how the evangelist, through explicit scriptural references, presents Moses as witness to Jesus.

Social Memory Perspectives Sandra Huebenthal investigates the double quote from John 12:37–44 from a social memory perspective. Viewing the FG as an artifact of collective memory, Huebenthal also engages intertextuality and demonstrates its relatedness to social memory theory.

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She points out that intertextuality informed by a social memory hermeneutic goes beyond searching for quotations, their provenance, and their accuracy. Rather, she shows how experiences are inscribed into the intertextual references and consequently provide new cultural frames for future identity constructions. Rafael Rodríguez addresses the FG’s fall from historical grace as compared to the Synoptic Gospels by also applying social memory theory. Beginning with the axiom that “the absolutely new is inconceivable,” Rodríguez engages the tradition of the Temple incident in John 2:14–25 as “performances,” rather than “fossilizations.” He explores how the Johannine narrator actualizes the potential of the Jesus tradition while also navigating the constraints of that received tradition. Rodríguez further distinguishes between a tradition and its expression in performance similar to the linguistic distinction between langue and parole. Rodríguez demonstrates that the traditions of both the Temple incident and of Pss 69, which were merged, are what enable the evangelist to convey a particular parole/performance. Finally, Thomas Hatina pushes the conversation forward on the FG’s use of Scripture methodologically by proposing a conception of text production that is rooted in social memory theory. As such, Hatina contends that by viewing texts hermeneutically within the theoretical bounds of social memory theory, the exegete is inevitably steered toward synchronic methods, especially narrative criticism. However, for Hatina this move toward synchronic methods should be done not at the exclusion of diachronic inquiry.

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Part I

Historical Perspectives

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“Of Whom Moses Wrote”: Torah Themes in John’s Prologue Craig A. Evans

The most distinctive passage in the Fourth Gospel (FG) is its prologue, in modern times identified as John 1:1–18. It was a popular passage in antiquity. All or parts of it were quoted by early Christians, in amulets and in other contexts, rarely with textual variations so well it was known and so stable was its text. Contemporary scholarship remains keenly interested in this part of the FG.1

1. On the Extent of the Prologue In a recent study, Martinus de Boer has made a good case for viewing the original prologue as comprising only of the first five verses.2 He argues plausibly that this much briefer prologue was added as part of the final redaction of the FG. He believes that this brief prologue was produced by the Johannine community and may have served a liturgical purpose and may have been sung or chanted as a hymn.3 De Boer’s study brings to mind John Robinson’s suggestion more than fifty years ago that before the 1

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Wilson Paroschi, Incarnation and Covenant in the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel (John 1:1–18), European University Studies 820 (Berlin:  Peter Lang, 2006); Peter M. Phillips, The Prologue of the Fourth Gospel: A Sequential Reading, LNTS 294 (London:  T&T Clark International, 2006); Günter Kruck (ed.), Der Johannesprolog (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2009); Jan G. van der Watt, R. Alan Culpepper, and Udo Schnelle (ed.), The Prologue of the Gospel of John: Its Literary, Theological, and Philosophical Contexts. Papers Read at the Colloquium Ioanneum 2013, WUNT 359 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016). Martinus C. de Boer, “The Original Prologue to the Gospel of John,” NTS 61 (2015): 448–67. See also John Ashton, “Really a Prologue?” in The Prologue of the Gospel of John: Its Literary, Theological, and Philosophical Contexts. Papers Read at the Colloquium Ioanneum 2013, ed. Jan G. van der Watt, R. Alan Culpepper, and Udo Schnelle, WUNT 359 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016), 27–44. The notion that the prologue = John 1:1–18 is modern, not ancient. So also, Johannes Beutler, who believes the prologue was originally a hymn used in worship, which the Fourth Evangelist has used as a prologue. See Johannes Beutler, “Der Johannes-Prolog—Ouvertüre des Johannesevangeliums,” in Der Johannesprolog, ed. Günter Kruck (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2009), 77–106; repr. in Johannes Beutler, Neue Studien zu den johanneischen Schriften: New Studies on the Johannine Writings, BBB 167 (Göttingen:  Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012), 215–38.

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addition of vv. 1–5 the FG may have begun at v. 6.4 If so, the narrative beginning of John roughly approximates the narrative beginnings of the Synoptic Gospels: John 1:6 Mark 1:4 Luke 1:5 Luke 3:2

ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος … ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἰωάννης ἐγένετο Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτίζων ἐγένετο … ἱερεύς τις ὀνόματι Ζαχαρίας ἐγένετο ῥῆμα θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἰωάννην

Robinson surmises that the pre-prologue beginning of the FG may have run something like this: There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’ ” And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”5 (vv. 6–9, 15, and 19)

De Boer believes that the original, much briefer prologue is found in vv. 1, 3–5 and is made up of three strophes. (He regards v. 2 as a secondary explanatory gloss, which seems correct.) De Boer reconstructs the prologue as follows, arranging the three strophes in the form of “staircase parallelism”:6 Strophe 1 (v. 1) ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. Strophe 2 (vv. 3–4a) πάντα δι᾿ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν. ὃ γέγονεν 4 ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, Strophe 3 (vv. 4b–5) καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων· καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.

In English, with the overlapping words presented in italics, the three strophes read: 4

5 6

John A.  T. Robinson, “The Relation of the Prologue to the Gospel of St John,” NTS 9 (1962– 1963):  120–29; repr. in John A. T. Robinson, Twelve More New Testament Studies (London:  SCM Press, 1984), 65–76. Robinson, “Relation of the Prologue,” 73–74. de Boer, “The Original Prologue,” 450; cf. Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John, 2 vols., AB 29 and 29A (Garden City : Doubleday, 1966–1970), 1:6.

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Strophe 1 (v. 1) In the beginning was the Word, And the Word was with God, And God the Word was. Strophe 2 (vv. 3–4a) All things through him came to be, And without him not one thing came to be; What has come to be 4 in him was life. Strophe 3 (vv. 4b–5) And the life was the light of human beings, And the light shines in the darkness, And the darkness did not overcome7 it.

De Boer’s analysis is convincing. For further support he calls attention to the space following the end of v. 5 in our oldest MSS of John, such as 𝔓66 (i.e., line 7). The space there is the equivalent of about eight letters. Breaks between vv. 5 and 6 are also seen in Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.8 The paragraphing of our earliest extant MSS indicates that scribes believed vv. 1–5 constituted a unit. Could there have been more liturgical elements, perhaps additional parts of the original prologue? There seem to be rhythmic and poetic elements in several verses that follow, though only one verse (v. 10)  appears to fit the three-part “staircase” pattern. We might consider the following possible strophes: Strophe 4 (v. 10) ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἦν, καὶ ὁ κόσμος δι᾿ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ ὁ κόσμος αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔγνω. Strophe 5 (v. 11) εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν, οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον.

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In other contexts, κατέλαβεν can mean “comprehend” or “grasp (the meaning)” (as in Acts 4:13, 10:34; Eph 3:18), but in the present context, which alludes to the conflict between light and darkness, the verb must mean “overcome” or “overtake,” as it does in John 12:35: “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you [ἵνα μὴ σκοτία ὑμᾶς καταλάβῃ].” Apart from the pericope adulterae (John 7:53–8:11), which is not part of the original composition, the verb καταλαμβάνειν occurs nowhere else in the Fourth Gospel. But even in the pericope adulterae καταλαμβάνειν means “overtake,” that is, “she was overtaken,” or “caught” in the act of adultery. It does not mean “comprehend.” See Wis 7:30: “evil does not prevail.” In Sinaiticus, a new paragraph, indicated by ekthesis, begins at John 1:6. In Vaticanus, the new paragraph is indicated by a paragraphos (in left margin) as well as a siglum at the end of v. 5. For an assessment of the MS evidence, see P. J. Williams, “Not the Prologue of John,” JSNT 33 (2011): 375– 86. In Dirk Jongkind et al. (eds.), The Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House Cambridge (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press; Wheaton:  Crossway, 2017), 177–78, the paragraphing, reflective of ancient MSS, is John 1:1–5, 6–14, 15–17, and 18–20.

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Biblical Interpretation in Early Christian Gospels Strophe 6 (v. 12) ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ. Strophe 4 (v. 10) In the world he was, And the world through him became, And the world him did not know. Strophe 5 (v. 11) He came to his own things, And his own people received him not. Strophe 6 (v. 12) But as many as received him, He gave to them authority to be children of God, to those who believe in his name.

The second set of three strophes is not as impressive or as evident as the first three identified by de Boer. There is poetic character, somewhat like Hebrew parallelism (antithetical in the case of strophes 4 and 5; synonymous in the case of strophe 6), but with the possible exception of strophe 4 (v. 10), we do not have the obvious “staircase” examples as we see in strophes 1–3. Whether or not we see the material in vv. 6–18 as fragments of an original, longer prologue, or perhaps as fragments of other independent liturgical elements, we should agree with Pierson Parker, as well as others, including de Boer, who long ago argued that whatever the editorial history and sequence, the whole of the Johannine Gospel, including the prologue—short or long—was penned by the same individual or community.9

2. The Prologue’s Logos and Its Background By means of the appended prologue, the evangelist introduces his readers to the λόγος, which he says was ἐν ἀρχῇ, “in the beginning” (John 1:1). The language, of course, 9

Pierson Parker, “Two Editions of John,” JBL 75 (1956): 303–14. Robinson (“Relation of the Prologue,” 65–67) is also in agreement with this assessment. One will recall the arguments and conclusions long ago in Eugen Ruckstuhl, Die literarische Einheit des Johannesevangeliums:  Der gegenwärtige Stand der einschlägigen Forschungen, Studia Friburgensia, 3 (Freiburg in der Schweiz: Paulusverlag, 1951), 218–19. These studies reject Bultmann’s hypothesis of a pre- and non-Johannine gnostic prologue that originally circulated in Aramaic. See Rudolf Bultmann, “Der religionsgeschichtliche Hintergrund des Prologs zum Johannesevangeliums,” in ΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΗΡΙΟΝ. Studien zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments. Festschrift für Hermann Gunkel, FRLANT 19 (Göttingen:  Vandehoeck & Ruprecht, 1923), 2:3–26. This is a learned study, to be sure, but the hypothesis regarding the sources of the Fourth Gospel, including the gnostic origin of some of them, suffers from anachronism and subjectivity. I am not sure if anyone today follows it. For discussion of the editing of the prologue and literary criticism of the Fourth Gospel, see Peter Hofrichter, “Das Johannesevangelium in der religionsgeschichtlichen Forschung und die Literarkritik des Prologs,” in Theologie im Werden: Studien zu den theologischen Konzeptionen im Neuen Testament, in memoriam Otto Kuss, ed. J. Hainz (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 1992), 219–46.

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constitutes an unmistakable allusion to the opening words of the book of Genesis, ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν, “In the beginning God created heaven and earth” (Gen 1:1). The Logos, we are told, was with God, was God, made everything, was the source of life, and was the light of humankind. Indeed, the light of this Logos shone in the darkness and the darkness could not prevail against it. Given all that is said of the Logos it is clear that the Logos is indeed God, as the last clause of v. 1 affirms: καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. That the “word” of God played a role in creation is hardly surprising, for in the ancient account in Genesis creation takes place when God speaks: “And God said [‫ַו ֥יּ ֹאמֶ ר‬ ‫ֱֹלהים‬ ֖ ִ ‫ א‬/ καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός], ‘Let there be light’ ” (Gen 1:3), and so forth. That this spoken word could take on a hypostatic dimension is not surprising either, for Wisdom [‫חָ כְ ָ ֥מה‬ / σοφία], presented in ancient Hebrew Scripture as God’s companion, claims to have been present at creation: The LORD created me at the beginning [‫אשׁית‬ ֣ ִ ‫ ֵר‬/ ἀρχήν] of his work, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning [‫ מֵ ֗ר ֹאשׁ‬/ ἐν ἀρχῇ] of the earth. … When he established the heavens, I was there … I was beside him, like a master workman. (Prov 8:22–23, 27, 30)

The language of Jeremiah facilitated the idea that Wisdom played a role in creation: “It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom [‫]בְּ חָ כְ מָ ֑תוֹ‬, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens” (Jer 10:12; cf. 51:15). Although the prophet does not intend to personify wisdom, his language lends additional support to such an interpretation. In short, if an abstract like wisdom can be personified (intentionally in Proverbs), so can an abstract like speech or word. The linguistic, allegorical, and philosophical potential of this tradition was fully exploited by Philo of Alexandria (ca. 20 BCE–50 CE).10 He asserts that “the divine word [ὁ … λόγος θεῖος] … is itself an image of God [αὐτὸς εἰκὼν ὑπάρχων θεοῦ], the most ancient of all the objects of intellect in the whole world, and that which is placed in the closest proximity to the only truly existing God, without any partition or distance being interposed between them” (Fug. 101). What Philo says here of the Logos is what in essence Lady Wisdom claims of herself in Prov 8 (which will be considered shortly). In several passages, Philo identifies the Logos (whether we should translate λόγος as Word or Reason) with God: “And what he here calls ‘God’ is his most ancient Word [καλεῖ δὲ θεὸν τὸν πρεσβύτατον αὐτοῦ νυνὶ λόγον] …” (Somn. 1.230). It is the Word that created the world: “the world [ὁ … κόσμος] … the divine Word [τὸν θεῖον λόγον] … made” (Opif. 20); “the Word of God, already occupied in the creation of the world [θεοῦ λόγον ἤδη κοσμοποιοῦντος] …” (Opif. 24). But what is especially interesting is Philo’s explicit identification of the Logos as the “second God”: “For nothing mortal can be made in the likeness of the Most High One and Father of the universe but (only) in that of the second God, who is His Logos [ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὸν δεύτερον θεόν, ὅς ἐστιν ἐκείνου λόγος]”11 (Quaes. in Gen. 2.62, with emphasis added). 10 11

Thomas H. Tobin, “The Prologue of John and Hellenistic Jewish Speculation,” CBQ 52 (1990): 252–69. Translation based on R. Marcus, Philo Supplement I: Questions and Answers on Genesis, LCL 380 (London: Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1953), 150.

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Biblical Interpretation in Early Christian Gospels Because the Logos is a “second God” Philo can speak of “two powers” in heaven: From the Divine Logos [θείου λόγου], as from a spring, there divide and break forth two powers. One is the creative (power), through whom the Architect placed and ordered all things; this is named “God [θεός].” And (the other) … is called “Lord [κύριος].”12 (QE 2.68)

Elsewhere Philo says, “But the most universal of all things is God; and in the second place the Word of God [ὁ θεός, καὶ δεύτερος ὁ θεοῦ λόγος]” (Leg. 2.86).13 Philo’s identification of God’s λόγος as “the second God” (ὁ δεύτερος θεός), an exegesis that predates the FG by half a century, shows how at home in the first-century synagogue the Johannine prologue really is. This is an important point to make, because how the Jesus story is received in the synagogue is important to the Fourth Evangelist (FE), whose community, which is predominantly Jewish, is being driven from the synagogue (cf. John 9:22, 12:42, 16:2) and for this reason may have begun to lose its confidence in the belief that Jesus really is the Messiah and Son of God (cf. John 20:31).14 Why the FE decided to add the Logos hymn to his Gospel as a prologue, evidently as part of his effort to strengthen his apologetic, will be considered shortly. The merger of Wisdom and Word is found in the Wisdom of Yeshua ben Sira a full century and a half before Philo began writing. Ben Sira of course is concerned with Wisdom, so it is expected that Wisdom (σοφία)15 speaks and acts, rather than Word. Nevertheless, Word is very much implicit in the passage, Sir 24, where Wisdom lauds herself:  “Wisdom will praise her soul … ‘I came forth from the mouth of the Most High … Before the age, from the beginning, he created me [πρὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς ἔκτισέν με].’ ” (Sir 24:1, 3, 9). Other parts of Sir 24 contain elements that find parallels in the FG.16

12

13

14

15

16

Translation based on R. Marcus, Philo Supplement II: Questions and Answers on Exodus, LCL 401 (London: Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1953), 116. In another context and admittedly in another sense, Philo speaks of “a son of God,” “first-born Word” and “man according to God’s image”: “And even if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of God, nevertheless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to his first-born Word, the eldest of his angels, as the great archangel of many names; for he is called, the authority, and the name of God, and the Word, and man according to God’s image, and he who sees Israel [κἂν μηδέπω μέντοι τυγχάνῃ τις ἀξιόχρεως ὢν υἱὸς θεοῦ προσαγορεύεσθαι σπουδαζέτω κοσμεῖσθαι κατὰ τὸν πρωτόγονον αὐτοῦ λόγον, τὸν ἀγγέλων πρεσβύτατον, ὡς ἂν ἀρχάγγελον, πολυώνυμον ὑπάρχοντα· καὶ γὰρ ἀρχὴ καὶ ὄνομα θεοῦ καὶ λόγος καὶ ὁ κατ᾿ εἰκόνα ἄνθρωπος καὶ ὁ ὁρῶν, Ἰσραήλ, προσαγορεύεται]” (Conf. 146). Especially if we accept the reading πιστεύητε (rather than πιστεύσητε), “that you may believe,” or, better, “go on believing that the Messiah, the Son of God is Jesus.” In the Syriac version of ben Sira, wisdom is rendered with ḥkhmt’. Hebrew Sir 24 is not extant, either in the Masada scroll or in the genizah fragments, but it is very likely that ‫ חכמה‬underlies Greek translations of σοφία. Compare Sir 24:8 (“pitch your tent [κατασκήνωσον] in Jacob”; cf. John 1:14), 16–17 (“I spread out my branches [κλάδους] … like a vine [ἄμπελος] … abundant fruit [καρπός … πλούτου]”; cf. John 15:8), 21 (“those who eat me [οἱ ἐσθίοντές με] will hunger for more, and those who drink me [οἱ πίνοντές με] will thirst for more”; cf. John 6:53–56; 4:14), 23 (“the law which Moses commanded us [νόμον ὃν ἐνετείλατο ἡμῖν Μωυσῆς]”; cf. John 1:16), 30–31 (“I went forth like a canal from a river [ἀπὸ ποταμοῦ], and like a water channel … my canal became a river [εἰς ποταμόν], and my river [ὁ ποταμός μου] turned into a sea”; cf. John 4:14; 7:37–38), 32 (“I will make my instruction shine [φωτιῶ] … I will make it shine [ἐκφανῶ] afar”; cf. John 1:5, 8:12, 9:5).

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Relevant material is also found in the book of Baruch. Of Wisdom the author asks, “Who has gone up into the sky and taken her and brought her down from the clouds?” (Bar 3:29). In due course, Wisdom “appeared upon earth and lived among humans” (v. 37). The writer promises his readers: “All who hold her fast will live and those who forsake her will die” (4.1b). The wise will “walk toward the shining of her light” (v. 2b). The author of the Wisdom of Solomon says Wisdom “is a reflection of eternal life … and an image of his (God’s) goodness” (Wis 7:26). “Compared to the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night, but against Wisdom evil does not prevail” (v. 30).17 Many of these attributes remind us of what was said about the Logos in John 1:1–5. In the Aramaic paraphrase of Scripture, or Targum, the Hebrew verb ‫( אמר‬amar, “to speak”) is transformed into the Aramaic noun ‫( מימר‬or, ‫מימרא‬, memra, “word” or “what is spoken”). The original reading of Targum Neofiti, which is probably the oldest extant Targum of the Pentateuch, at Gen 1:1 was probably something like: “From the beginning with wisdom the Word of the Lord [‫ ]מֵ ימַ ר דייי‬created and perfected the heavens and the earth” (Tg. Neof. Gen 1:1).18 This interpretive paraphrase may be attested in the surviving Latin translation of 2 Esdras, which harks back to Gen 1:1: O Lord, you have indeed spoken from the beginning of creation [ab initio creaturae]; on the first day you said, “Let heaven and earth be made!” and your Word [tuum verbum] accomplished the work … so your Word [verbum … tuum] went forth, and at once the work was done.19 (2 Esd 6:38)

Neofiti’s “with wisdom,” or perhaps (if understood as a personification) “with Wisdom,” reflects Prov 8. John’s paraphrase of Gen 1 and application to the Logos that became flesh (i.e., Jesus) are hardly out of step with Jewish interpretive tradition in late antiquity.20

17

18

19

20

For a very helpful survey and analysis of early materials that speak of Wisdom’s pre-creation existence and involvement in creation itself, see Eldon J. Epp, “Wisdom, Torah, Word:  The Johannine Prologue and the Purpose of the Fourth Gospel,” in Current Issues in Biblical and Patristic Interpretation:  Studies in Honor of Merrill C.  Tenney Presented by His Former Students, ed. G. F. Hawthorne (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1975), 128–46. For survey and analysis of all late antique literatures, see Craig A. Evans, Word and Glory: On the Exegetical and Theological Background of John’s Prologue, JSNTSup 89 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1993). For argument, see Barry B. Levy, Targum Neophyti 1.  A  Textual Study, 2  vols., BJS 73 (Lanham, NY:  University Press of America, 1986–1987), 1:41–43; Martin McNamara, Targum Neofiti 1: Deuteronomy, ArBib 5A (Collegeville, PA: Liturgical Press, 1997), 52. For Latin text and critical notes, see Bruno Violet (ed.), Die Esra-Apokalypse (IV. Esra). Erster Teil: Die Überlieferung, GCS 18 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1910), 112, 116; Bruno Violet with H. Gressmann (eds.), Die Apokalypsen des Esra und des Baruch, GCS 32 (Leipzig:  Hinrichs, 1924), 58:  “ein Midrasch zu Gen. 1.” At 2 Esd 6:38, 43 the Syriac and Ethiopic versions read essentially the same as the Latin translation. The Semitic original and most of the Greek translation of this work are lost. For discussion of the relationship of 2 Esdras and the Targum, see D. Muñoz León, “El 4º de Esdras y el Targum Palestinense,” Estudios bíblicos 35 (1975): 49–82, esp. 52–61. Daniel Boyarin, “The Gospel of the Memra:  Jewish Binitarianism and the Gospel of John,” HTR 94 (2001):  243–84; Matthew E. Gordley, “The Johannine Prologue and Jewish Didactic Hymn Traditions: A New Case for Reading the Prologue as a Hymn,” JBL 128 (2009): 781–802.

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38

Biblical Interpretation in Early Christian Gospels

The Memra, or Word, of God appears often in the targumic literature. Although some scholars have maintained that the targumic Memra is nothing more than a circumlocution for the Divine Name, it is now acknowledged that in at least a few cases it really is a personification, especially in contexts in which God encounters humans, and that it has relevance for understanding the Johannine Logos.21 The Logos of the FG does seem to have affinities with the targumic Memra. According to the prologue, the Logos was “with God” (πρὸς τὸν θεόν) and in fact “was God” (θεὸς ἦν). Everything that “became” (ἐγένετο), or was created, was created through the Logos (v. 3; cf. v. 10). The Logos was the source of life (ζωή), and this life was the “light of humans [φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων]” (v. 4). This was no ordinary light; it was the light that shines in the darkness (τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει), a light that the darkness (ἡ σκοτία) could not overpower (v. 5). The implied contest between the light and the darkness was meant to recall interpretive speculations about creation. God’s first words, “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3), were understood as a cosmic victory over the darkness. In later “gnostic” circles, the Johannine imagery was exploited to imagine a radical dualism in which the God of light struggles against an inferior god of darkness.

3. Genesis 1 and Lady Wisdom in Rabbinic Literature The exaltation of the Logos, as testified in Philo, the Johannine prologue, and probably also the targumic tradition in its earliest stage, received mixed reviews in later rabbinic literature. Especially controversial was the “two gods” or “two powers” in heaven idea of which Philo in his pre-Christian and pre-Gnosticism setting could so casually speak. Even the claims about the Logos in the FG’s prologue were likely in themselves uncontroversial in the first century. After all, if Philo could talk of the Logos as a “second God” and remain an observant Jew in good standing, then the Johannine prologue’s claim that the Logos was God probably provoked no one. It was the claim that the Logos that had existed from eternity, that in some sense was God, became flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth that was controversial—not the Logos idea itself.22 Commenting on Gen 1:1, “In the beginning God created,” Rabbi Isaac strongly opposes the idea that “two powers created the world”; after all, says the Rabbi, Genesis does not say, “In the beginning the gods created” (Gen. Rab. 1:7 [on Gen 1:1], emphasis added).23 Given the emergence of Christian Christology, in which the divinity of Jesus 21

22

23

On Memra in targumic literature in general, see Bruce D. Chilton, The Glory of Israel: The Theology and Provenience of the Isaiah Targum, JSOTSup 23 (Sheffield:  JSOT Press, 1982), 56–69; for the targumic Memra and the Johannine Logos, see Peder Borgen, “Observations on the Targumic Character of the Prologue of John,” NTS 16 (1970): 288–95; John Painter, “Rereading Genesis in the Prologue of John,” in Neotestamentica et Philonica: Studies in Honour of Peder Borgen, ed. David E. Aune et al., NovTSup 106 (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 179–201; Martin McNamara, Targum and Testament Revisited: Aramaic Paraphrases of the Hebrew Bible, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2010), 161–66; and esp. John L. Ronning, The Jewish Targums and John’s Logos Theology (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2010). According to Epp (“Wisdom, Torah, Word,” 139), Jewish readers would not be taken aback until v. 17, where Messiah Jesus supersedes Torah. For translation and notes, see Harry Freedman and Maurice Simon (eds.), Midrash Rabbah, 10 vols., 3rd ed. (London:  Soncino, 1983), 1:4. In n.  3, Freedman and Simon state that “this passage is

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is emphasized and in which the doctrine of the Trinity was articulated, as well as various expressions of Gnosticism, in which two gods—one good and one evil—are described, it is not surprising that polemic against the idea of “two powers” or “many powers” is found sprinkled here and there in rabbinic literature (e.g., Sipre Deut. §379 [on Deut 32:39]; Sipre Zutta on Num 15:30; Midr. Tanḥ. Qedoshim §4; m. Sanh. 4:5; t. Sanh. 8:7; y. Ber. 9:1, 12d–13a; y. Meg. 4:10, 75c; b. Ber. 6b, 33b; b. Ḥul. 87a; b. Meg. 25a; b. Sanh. 38b).24 What I  find interesting is what appears to be the supplanting of the Word (and Wisdom too) at creation with the Torah. For example, in the Midrash on Proverbs, where one might expect a great deal of positive attention would be given to Lady Wisdom, we find the following:  “Rabbi Nehemiah said, ‘Come and see what good thing God had created in his world even before he created the Universe. What may this be? It is the Torah!’ ” With the introduction of Torah prior to creation itself, it is Torah not Wisdom who is understood to be speaking, “I was with him” (Midr. Mishle on Prov 8:30).25 Likewise, Rabbi Aḥa declares that although it would be many years after creation that Torah would be given to Israel, Torah itself was in fact created “two thousand years before the world was created”26 (Midr. Tanḥ. Yitro §3; cf. Pesiq. Rab Kah. §12). These elements are found together in other texts. Rabbi Ḥama ben Ḥanina explains that “Torah … preceded the creation of the world by two thousand years, as it is written, ‘I was with him’ ” (Gen. Rab. 8:2 [on Gen 1:26]). In quoting Prov 8:30 it is unnecessary for Ḥama to explain that it is Torah, not Wisdom, who is speaking, so well-known is the exegesis. So also in Midrash Tanḥuma where we are told that Gen 1:1 is related to Prov 8:30. Indeed, “the Holy One would scrutinize the Torah as he was creating the world … there is no ‘beginning’ but Torah, as stated: ‘The Lord acquired me as the beginning of his way’ ” (Midr. Tanḥ. Bereshit §5).27 Some sources have Torah created much earlier (e.g., b. Shab. 88b; b. Zebaḥ. 116a; Gen. Rab. 28:4 [on Gen 6:7]; Midr. Pss. 90:13 [on Ps 90:5]; 105:3 [on Ps 105:8]). In any event, in the Talmud it is Torah that is created “before the world was created,” not Wisdom (b. Pesaḥ. 54a). The tradition of Torah as the agent through which creation took place is old. In the rabbinic tradition it is credited to Rabbi Aqiba, early second century: The Torah, given to Israel, is that “precious instrument by which the world was created” (m. ‘Abot 3:15). Equating Wisdom with Torah is also early. According to the author of Baruch,

24 25

26

27

directed against the Gnostics” and then direct our attention to Heinrich Graetz, History of the Jews (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1893), 2:377. The passage in Graetz is not irrelevant, but it is not especially helpful. One will do well to see the major study of this topic in Alan F. Segal, Two Powers in Heaven:  Early Rabbinic Reports about Christian and Gnosticism, SJLA 25 (Leiden: Brill, 1977). Segal rightly concludes that the “Two Gods” idea, as expressed in Gnosticism, represented a much further development of Jewish and Christian ideas about God. For critical study of these passages, see Segal, Two Powers in Heaven, 75–76, 84–97, 121–34. Translation based on Burton L. Visotzky, The Midrash on Proverbs, YJS 27 (New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1992), 46. See John T. Townsend, Midrash Tanḥuma:  Translated into English with Indices and Brief Notes (Salomon Buber Recension). Vol. II: Exodus and Leviticus (Hoboken: Ktav, 1997), 109, n. 59. Translation based on John T. Townsend, Midrash Tanḥuma: Translated into English with Introduction, Indices and Brief Notes (Salomon Buber Recension). Vol. I: Genesis (Hoboken: Ktav, 1989), 4.

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Biblical Interpretation in Early Christian Gospels

Wisdom “is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that endures forever” (Bar 4:1a). Of course, substituting Torah for Wisdom is hardly a daring move, given their close relationship in Scripture. For example, it is said of the good wife that she “opens her mouth with wisdom [‫]חָ כְ ָמ֑ה‬, and the teaching of kindness [‫ת־חֶ סֶ ד‬ ֗ ֝ ‫ ] ֽת ַוֹר‬is on her tongue” (Prov 31:26). The “teaching of kindness” is literally “Torah of kindness.” The verse exhibits synonymous parallelism: The good wife’s mouth utters wisdom and her tongue gives voice to instruction (Torah). Wisdom and Torah are in some sense synonymous. Wisdom and Law appear together in a number of biblical texts, especially in Greek Scripture (1 Chr 22:12; Ezra 7:25; 1 Esd 8:23; Bar 4:1a; Sir 1:1, 19:20, 21:11, 34:8, 39:1).28 These overlapping meanings would have accommodated the rabbinic tendency to replace Wisdom with Torah, especially in the setting of creation.

4. What the Prologue Adds to the Fourth Gospel Without the prologue (i.e., vv. 1–5) and, perhaps, without a few other components in vv. 6–18 that might not have been part of the earlier edition, the narrative of the FG at one time began much as does the Gospel of Mark and, minus genealogies and infancy narratives, pretty much as do the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The FG began with John the Baptist, who speaks of one who is coming who will be greater (cf. John 1:15). The FG at this stage may also have included vv. 16–17. Whether v. 18 (“No one has ever seen God”) was part of the early edition is hard to say. Even without v. 18 the comparison and contrast with Moses is evident: The law, or Torah, came through Moses; “grace and truth” became available through Jesus the Messiah. Elsewhere in the FG we find comparisons and contrasts with Moses and the wilderness tradition: the reference to Moses lifting up the bronze serpent (John 3:14– 15; cf. Num 21:9), providing bread and meat in the wilderness (John 6:11–13; cf. Exod 16:4–21), the crowd identifying Jesus as “the prophet who is to come into the world” (John 6:14; cf. Deut 18:15–18), explicit discussion of manna (John 6:30–34; cf. Exod 16:14; Pss 78:24; 105:40), provision of water (John 7:37–39; cf. Exod 17:6; Num 20:8, 10–11), discussion of the law of two witnesses (John 8:17; cf. Num 35:30; Deut 17:6, 19:15), the shepherd who cares for his flock (John 10:1–15; cf. Num 27:17), discussion of the law of blasphemy and stoning (John 10:31–33; cf. Lev 24:16), and the death of Jesus as the Passover lamb (John 19:31–36; cf. Exod 12:3–6, 16; John 1:29). A number of studies of the FG have investigated in what ways the evangelist compares Jesus to Moses.29 28

29

For example, “May the Lord grant you wisdom [σοφίαν] and understanding … to do the law of the Lord your God [τὸν νόμον κυρίου τοῦ θεοῦ σου]” (1 Chr 22:12). Among the classics are the studies by Thomas F. Glasson, Moses in the Fourth Gospel, SBT 40 (London:  SCM Press, 1963); Peder Borgen, Bread from Heaven: An Exegetical Study of the Concept of Manna in the Gospel of John and the Writings of Philo, NovTSup 10 (Leiden:  Brill, 1965); Wayne A. Meeks, The Prophet-King: Moses Traditions and the Johannine Christology, NovTSup 14 (Leiden:  Brill, 1967); M.-É. Boismard, Moïse ou Jésus:  Essai de christologie Johannique, BETL 84 (Leuven:  Peeters, 1988); ET:  Moses or Jesus: An Essay in Johannine Christology, trans. B. T. Viviano (Leuven:  Peeters; Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 1993). For a more recent study, see Stanley

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But the most daring contrast with Moses is found in John 1:17–18: “The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus the Messiah. No one was ever seen God; the unique God,30 who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” The passage alludes to Exod 33–34, where Moses asks God to show his glory and is told that he cannot see God’s face.31 The exchange follows Israel’s grievous sin of making the golden calf (Exod 32). God permits Moses to catch a glimpse of his “back” as he passes by. What is important is what God says as he passes by: The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness [‫ב־ח֥סֶ ד ֶוא ֶ ֱֽמת‬ ֶ ‫ ַר‬/ LXX: πολυέλεος καὶ ἀληθινός],7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. (Exod 34:6–7; cf. Ps 25:10 [24:10 LXX])

The Old Greek (OG) renders the Hebrew’s ‫ב־ח֥סֶ ד ֶוא ֶ ֱֽמת‬ ֶ ‫ ַר‬, “full of loving kindness and truth,” as πολυέλεος καὶ ἀληθινός, “very merciful and true.” It is to this passage that the FE alludes,32 when he says, “From his fulness [ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ] we have all received, even grace in place of grace [χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος];17 for the law through Moses was given [ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωϋσέως ἐδόθη], and grace and truth through Messiah Jesus came about [ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο]” (John 1:16–17). The FE has not followed the OG but has provided his own translation, which at points renders the Hebrew more literally.33 The evangelist’s χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος, “grace in place of grace” (and not “grace upon grace”),34 alludes to the new grace of Jesus, which has surpassed the old grace received through Moses at Sinai. The evangelist’s ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωϋσέως ἐδόθη, “the Law through Moses was given,” is authentically Judaic, as seen in the language of a later Tannaitic midrash: “Blessed be Yahweh who gave Torah to Israel by the hands of Moses [‫על ידי מ‬ 35 “[‫( שׁה‬Sipre Deut. §305 [on Deut 31:14]). The language is also authentically biblical,

30

31

32 33

34

35

D. Harstine, Moses as a Character in the Fourth Gospel:  A Study of Ancient Reading Techniques, JSNTSup 229 (London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002). The reading μονογενὴς υἱός, “unique Son,” is the accepted reading in the RSV and in many other translations. However, the NA28, UBS4, and SBLGNT read μονογενὴς θεός, “unique God” (or “only begotten God”), which is followed in my translation above. Because the Logos was identified as θεός in v. 1, μονογενὴς θεός may well have been the original reading. The reading μονογενὴς υἱός, which is accepted by the new Tyndale House Greek New Testament, may have resulted from the influence of the confessional and thematic John 3:16 (… τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν …, “… he gave his unique Son …”). Moses said, “I pray thee, show me thy glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you … But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for man shall not see me and live” (Exod 33:18–20). Epp, “Wisdom, Torah, Word,” 138. The Fourth Evangelist’s nouns ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια render the Hebrew’s nouns ‫ ֶח֥סֶ ד ֶוא ֶ ֱֽמת‬more literally and his use of πλήρωμα is a better rendering of ‫ ַרב‬. χάρις, which normally translates ‫( חֵ ן‬e.g., Gen 6:8, etc.), is a good translation for ‫( ֶח֥סֶ ד‬e.g., Esth 2:9, 17; Sir 7:33, 40:17). The latter (‫ ) ֶח֥סֶ ד‬is normally translated in the OG with ἔλεος (e.g., Gen 19:19, etc.). In NT times, ἔλεος was used mostly in reference to human compassion. As in the RSV. The preposition ἀντί means “against,” “in opposition to,” “in place of,” or “instead of ” (LSJ). It does not mean “upon,” as though the evangelist is saying “grace piled on grace.” For Hebrew text, see Saul Horovitz and Louis Finkelstein (eds.), ‫[ ספרי על ספר דברים‬Sifre on the Book of Deuteronomy] Siphre ad Deuteronomium (Berlin: Jüdischer Kulturbund in Deutschland Abteilung Verlag, 1939; repr. New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1969), 324.

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for the Hebrew phrase “by the hands of Moses” is the equivalent of the Greek “through Moses” and is sometimes translated that way in biblical literature.36 The evangelist’s argument that the grace and truth offered through Jesus are superior to the law and old grace given through Moses is vital to his apologetic. The evangelist must show that Jesus is truly the Messiah, whom God sent into the world (cf. John 3:17, 34; 5:36; 6:29; etc.). Jesus is compared to Moses and has performed signs (John 2–11) that approximate those performed through Moses in Egypt and in the wilderness. But the bread and water Moses provided do not result in eternal life; what Jesus provides does (John 4:10; 6:27, 32–33). Indeed, Jesus, the Logos made flesh, is “the light of the world” (John 8:12, 9:5; cf. 1:5) and “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25–26; cf. 1:4). Before Abraham existed, the incarnate Logos existed (John 8:58; cf. 1:1). The authority and power of the Logos, even in his incarnation, far exceed the authority and power of Moses. The evangelist also labors to show that the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus (John 12–19) are not fatal to the confession that he truly is the Messiah and Son of God (John 20:31).37 The step-by-step construction of the FG may shed light on the evangelist’s apologetic. It is plausible that earliest draft of the Gospel circulated as a “Book of Signs,” perhaps comprising seven signs and concluding with the thesis statement: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;31 but these are written that you may believe that the Messiah, the Son of God, is Jesus and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30–31).38 The Book of Signs is later incorporated into the larger narrative that begins with the testimony of John the Baptist and includes the discourses and the Passion. The last stage of the composition of the FG involved adding the prologue (1:1–5), which may have involved some editing of the first paragraph or two of ch. 1, in which other confessional and/or liturgical elements are inserted, and adding the Epilogue (John 21) and its somewhat awkward final word (20:24–25). It is in this last stage that the FE has elevated his Christology to its highest level: Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, whose grace and truth surpass the old grace and law given through Moses, is none other than God’s divine and eternal Logos made flesh (John 1:14). As great as Moses was, he cannot compete with that. This is the point of the contrast in John 1:16–17: Whereas Moses could only experience a fleeting glimpse of God’s back (Exod 33:21–23), the Logos existed with God, πρὸς τὸν θεόν, perhaps meaning “facing God,” rather than simply “with God” (a meaning that σὺν τῷ θεῷ 36

37

38

For an example in biblical literature where ‫בְּ יַד־מֹ ֶ ֽשׁה‬, “by the hand of Moses,” is translated διὰ Μωυσῆ, “through Moses,” see Exod 35:29. The Hebrew phrase is sometimes translated more fully διὰ χειρὸς Μωυσῆ, “through the hand of Moses” (e.g., Lev 10:11); or simply τῷ Μωυσῇ (e.g., Exod 9:35). The shameful death of Jesus was very off-putting to Trypho in Justin’s Dialogos: “Prove to us whether he must also be crucified and die such a disgraceful and dishonorable death, cursed by the Law. For we cannot bring ourselves even to consider this” (Dial. 90.1; cf. 89.1). In saying this, I am not endorsing Bultmann’s old hypothesis about Johannine sources. I am only suggesting that the composition of the Fourth Gospel was in stages, over a period of a few years. For a current assessment of the question of sources and the Fourth Gospel, see Stanley E. Porter, John, His Gospel, and Jesus: In Pursuit of the Johannine Voice (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015), 63–88. For what is probably the classic post-Bultmann statement on the Signs Source, see Robert T. Fortna, The Gospel of Signs: A Reconstruction of the Narrative Source Underlying the Fourth Gospel, SNTSMS 11 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970).

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would express well). Indeed, according to John 1:18, the Logos, the μονογενὴς θεός, existed εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρός, “in the bosom of the Father,” that is, face to face with God. What is said of the eternal Logos, the “unique God,” is said of Torah, the Law, which in later rabbinic exegesis has supplanted eternal Wisdom: “Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Yose the Galilean, says: ‘… before the world was created, the Torah was (already) written; it lay in the bosom [39[‫ חיק‬of the Holy One … as it is said, “I was by him …” [Prov 8:30]’ ”40 (‘Abot R. Nat. A 31.3). No one can be sure why Wisdom was, in a sense, replaced by Torah. That the Rabbis were keenly devoted to the Law and wished to lionize it in every way possible goes without saying. But there seems to me more at work than simply a desire to put Torah on a pedestal. I  suspect a major motivating factor was in Wisdom’s exploitation as a hypostasis, which accommodated ideas of Two Powers in heaven, ideas that the Rabbis found abhorrent. The FE’s Logos Christology, which is deeply influenced by Jewish wisdom ideas (e.g., Prov 8; Sir 24), is an early example of this. And, of course, the FE was preceded by a half century at least in the speculations of Philo, who apparently with no opposition or correction could speak of Logos as a “second God.” But the FE did not simply exploit ideas about Wisdom and Logos in order to define Jesus and his saving mission; he subordinated Moses and Torah. It is against Johannine Christology and its absorption into the theology of the Great Church that Rabbinic authorities directed their exegesis and, on occasion, their polemic (as seen especially in the polemic directed against the “Two Powers in heaven” heresy). The Rabbis not only strongly condemn the Two Powers idea, they exalt Torah to such a degree that Torah supplants Wisdom. It is with Torah that God consults in creating the world. What started as speculation about the Godhead, including imaginative treatment of Wisdom, God’s consort and companion, as well as a desire seen especially in targumic literature to avoid speaking of God in direct contact with humankind and the mundane, bifurcated into the binary and ultimately trinitarian stream of Christian theology on the one hand and a retrenched, very strict monotheism of Rabbinic theology on the other.

5. Concluding Comment A penultimate edition of John began with John the Baptist, with the claim that one stronger, more worthy, would follow, whose authority transcended even that of Moses. But the addition of the prologue (i.e., vv. 1–5) elevated the authority of Jesus even more, for as the eternal Word, who has entered the world and enlightened every human, Jesus brings the grace and truth that Moses could only dream about, as we see in the dramatic story in Exod 33–34. 39 40

More than three dozen times ‫ חיק‬is translated with κόλπος in the OG. Translation based on Judah Goldin, The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan, YJS 10 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955), 126.

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If de Boer is correct that the original prologue consisted of 1:1–5 and that the original narrative version of the FG began at 1:6, then we must reckon with a significant shift in theological perspective. The FE’s engagement with the Scriptures of Israel is obvious, from start to finish. If we accept the hypothesis that the Gospel began its circulation as a “Book of Signs,” we will acknowledge that Jesus was compared with Moses. In all probability, there was at least a modicum of proof-texting. This element was likely enhanced when the Gospel was enlarged with the addition of several discourses and a full Passion narrative. But it was in the addition of the prologue, in which the Logos is introduced and said to have become “flesh” (1:14), that the Christology of the FG is significantly enhanced. Jesus, the incarnate Logos, is not simply one who is greater than John, or even Moses through whom the Torah was given, he is greater than the Torah, he—not Torah—existed in the very bosom of God the Father. If this proposed development of the composition of the FG, as well as its theology, is valid, it could have significant implications for method. As exegetes, we rightly focus on the finished product, the text that is extant and before us. We also rightly inquire into the history of the tradition that is embedded in the text. But it may also be right and proper—and yield positive results—to look at the development of the document itself, inquiring into the development of its theological perspectives as it grows and perhaps comes to function in new ways. Of the four New Testament Gospels, the FG holds the most promise, it seems to me, for this kind of approach.

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3

Jesus the Good Shepherd: An Intertextual Approach to Ezekiel 34 and John 10 Warren Carter

In this chapter, I  explore the intertextuality between two texts, Jesus’s monologue identifying himself as the good shepherd (John 10:1–21) and the prophet Ezekiel’s condemnation of Israel’s leaders as false shepherds and advocacy of God as Israel’s true shepherd (Ezek 34). I  begin by considering previous discussions of possible relationships between these two texts and define the approach of intertextuality (Section 1). I  identify those addressed by 10:1–21 (Section 2)  and examine Jesus’s healing actions as the good shepherd (Section 3). Attending to compatibility and contrast between Ezek 34 and John 10, I  identify the sociopolitical import of the intertext of Ezek 34 (Section 4), John’s Jesus’s condemnations of the “bad” shepherds as thieves (Section 5), and as bandits (Section 6). Throughout, I formulate a reading that challenges reading both Ezek 34 and John 10 as spiritualized or religious texts rather than as texts concerning sociopolitical leaders who misuse their power for their own benefit and to the harm of non-elites. This focus on misused governing power in Ezek 34 finds resonance with the leaders targeted by the Johannine Jesus in John 10 for creating a society that does not care for the man born blind (9:1–40). Both texts envision divine purposes to create a very different sort of societal life for all persons. Jesus the good shepherd emerges not as a religious leader but as one who manifests the somatic and societal Johannine “life of the age” (eternal or “age-ly life,” the kingdom/empire of God) marked by abundance, wholeness, and security.

1. Method: Sources and Intertextuality We cannot necessarily assume any relationship between John 10:1–21 and Ezek 34. Some commentators on John 10 either do not mention Ezek 341 or they argue against any connection between the two, with Bultmann famously arguing for Gnostic origins of the good shepherd image.2 More commonly, others see Ezek 34 as one of a number 1 2

Ernst Haenchen, John. Hermeneia (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1984), 2.43–52, esp. 51. Rudolf Bultmann, The Gospel of John (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1971), 367.

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of Hebrew Bible passages influencing the John 10 scene such as Zech 11:4–14; 13:7; Isa 56:3–8; and Pss 23 and 100 (Israel’s leaders as shepherds, Israel as sheep, God as the people’s shepherd, the addition of other sheep).3 Yet others prioritize Ezek 34 as the background or “chief model” or source for John 10. B. F. Westcott, for example, declares, “The thoughts of Ezek 34 are everywhere present”4; Ezek 34 is “the most important single OT background passage for John x”5; the “chief model is Ezek 34”6; and “God shepherding his flock … fits a primary allusion to Ezek 34.”7 We should also note that many of these discussions also see shepherding practices in the ancient world influencing the John 10 presentation. Largely working out of a conventional historical-critical paradigm, these latter options consider Ezek 34 as one of several sources for, or the main background for, (some of) the ideas or motifs in John 10. Interpreters locate John within a developmental process that attempts to show how the author of John’s Gospel has reused those motifs from Ezek 34 to present Jesus as the good shepherd. That is, they recognize an evolution from one text to a later text that might establish the meaning the author of the Gospel intended. In this discussion, I  employ a different approach:  the notion of intertextuality. This approach has been defined and used in a variety of ways, so I will explain how I use it here. Some scholars have used it to continue to study what is understood to be authorial meaning, defining intertextuality as “the imbedding of fragments of an earlier text within a latter one.”8 In this approach, intertextuality is used in a very restricted sense to refer to “actual citations of and allusions to a specific text.”9 Richard Hays employs seven criteria or tests by which to ensure “varying degrees of certainty” in identifying and interpreting such intertextual echoes.10 Hays is very focused on finding the meaning the author Paul intended in employing these “fragments” from earlier texts. Stefan Alkier calls this approach a “production-oriented” or “restricted” notion of intertextuality.11

3

4 5

6 7 8

9 10 11

J. H. Bernard, The Gospel According to St. John, ed. A. H. McNeile (Edinburgh:  T&T Clark, 1928), 2.348–65; C. K. Barrett, The Gospel According to St. John (London:  SPCK, 1955), 310–11; Leon L. Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1971), 498–506; Johannas Beutler, “Der Alttestamentlich-Jüdische Hintergrund der Hirtenrede in Johannes 10,” in The Shepherd Discourse of John 10 and Its Context, ed. J. Beutler and R. Fortna (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 18–32; Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John, Sacra Pagina 4 (Collegeville, PA:  Liturgical Press, 1998), 301–5; Andreas J. Köstenberger, “Jesus the Good Shepherd Who Will Also Bring Other Sheep (John 10:16): The Old Testament Background of a Familiar Metaphor,” BBR 12 (2002): 67–96. B. F. Westcott, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, [1908] 1980), 2.49. Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John I-XII, AB 29 (Garden City, NY:  Doubleday, 1966), 389. Barnabas Lindars, The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1972), 354. Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003), 1.802. Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul (New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press, 1989), 14. Ibid., 15. Ibid., 29–32. Stefan Alkier, “From Text to Intertext: Intertextuality as a Paradigm for Reading Matthew,” HTS 61 (2005): 1–18, esp. 2.

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A quite different approach to intertextuality also exists and is the one I employ in this chapter. It is what Alkier calls an “unlimited” notion of intertextuality, marked by a sense of “experiment” or “play” or creativity. This approach is not interested in causality or the sources of a text or establishing the author’s intention but in recognizing how an audience/reader receives a text and locates it in a larger cultural matrix or cultural “encyclopedia” comprising a range of discursive activity and cultural codes, whether written texts, songs, sculptures, paintings, cultural, historical, and societal events and structures, and so forth. An interpreter-reader might confine the texts to a particular historical-cultural period (as in this essay), or they might be drawn from any time or place. These approaches to intertextuality, marked by attention to reception rather than production, represent a much more creative and experimental approach to intertextuality in that they are not so much interested in determining the influence of prior texts on a text but on exploring a text’s “participation in the discursive space of a culture.”12 This participation is not simply a reflection of historical or textual circumstances but a contributing to and a constructing of a cultural reality that intersects with other conceptualizations and experiences of culture, history, and society. This “cultural intertextuality” requires, then, locating this Gospel passage of John 10:1–21  “within (the text of) society and history … within the general text (culture) of which [it is] a part and which is in turn part of [it].”13 Audiences thus make meanings of a text by attending to any number of interactions with other cultural expressions. This approach privileges audiences more than authors, and meanings more than the meaning. It is, though, subject to various limits including the audience’s experiences, knowledge, and social location and so can be restricted to a particular time and period. Another limit in place for an essay like this one is the very practical matter of word count. Any cultural context is complex and rich; an audience or interpreter cannot “know or employ it all.” So, in this chapter, I as interpreter impose limits on the intertextuality I explore. I am choosing to put Ezek 34 and John 10 into conversation with each other, not regarding Ezek 34 as the source or background for John 10 but regarding both texts as equally important partners in the conversation.14 In so doing, I intend to take seriously the sociohistorical and literary contexts of both texts. In so doing, I challenge a way of reading Ezek 34 as a spiritualized or religious text, rather than as a text that in its literary context concerns sociopolitical leaders who misuse their power. I find resonance between this focus on misused governing power in Ezek 34 and those targeted by the Johannine Jesus in John 10. It frames Jesus not as 12

13

14

Jonathan D. Culler, The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 1981), 103. I am conflating to some extent Alkier’s distinction between receptionoriented and experimental intertextuality (“From Text to Intertext,” 1–4). Alkier (4–5) identifies “reception-oriented intertextuality” as inquiring about “the intertextual relations that readers … have actually made.” Julia Kristeva, “The Bounded Text,” in Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art, ed. L. Rondiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), 36–63, esp. 36–37. In another discussion, I  set the image of “good shepherd” into conversation with traditions of Hellenistic and Roman kingship. See Warren Carter, “Jesus the Good Shepherd: John 10 as Political Rhetoric,” in Come and Read: Hermeneutics and Interpretive Perspectives in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Lindsey Trozzo (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Fortress Press, 2019).

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a religious leader but as the good shepherd who manifests the Johannine “life of the age” (eternal or “age-ly life”) or kingdom/empire of God. Conventional religious readings of John 10 commonly begin by reading John 10 as an allegory. John’s Jesus identifies himself as the “good shepherd” (10:11, 14), the sheep are the people of God—Israel—though in Christian readings, a church community that shares in intimate relationship with God revealed by Jesus. The passage contrasts Jesus, the good shepherd, who cares for the sheep with “bad” shepherds described as “a thief and bandit/brigand” (10:1, 8, 10), the stranger (10:5), and the hired hand (10:12). Their “badness” includes a voice the sheep do not know and from whom they flee (10:5), a failure to understand the good shepherd (10:6), they steal from and destroy the sheep (10:10), and they fail to protect the sheep (10:12–13).15 By contrast, Jesus provides good spiritual pasture or intimate relationship with God. In the context of ch. 9, these bad shepherds are widely recognized as the Pharisees (9:13, 15, 16, 40) and the Ioudaioi/the Jews (9:18, 22; 10:19). Conventional readings emphasize that their distinguishing characteristic is their rejection of Jesus. So, one commentator observes, “ ‘The Jews’ … have rejected Jesus and rejected all who move toward his revelation … Their claims to be the leaders of God’s people are false. They are thieves and robbers, purveyors of a messianic hope of their own making.”16 Evoking the intertext of Ezek 34, he constructs them as false shepherds in contrast to Jesus who “has come that the sheep may have life more abundantly” (Ezek 34:25–31). This life comprises intimate relationship with God. Two hermeneutical moves mark this identification of the false or bad shepherds: (1) The Jewish leaders are constructed as religious leaders. Their falseness or badness consists of religious faults—not receiving Jesus and of having erroneous messianic expectations. And (2)  the intertext of Ezek 34 is read, along with John 10, as spiritualized, religious, metaphorical rhetoric in claiming that Jesus, the true shepherd, supplies metaphorical pasture and spiritual life unlike the Pharisees/Ioudaioi who in their representative behavior exhibited toward the blind man healed by Jesus exclude and reject him because of the salvation revealed by Jesus (9:22). Both moves ensure John’s gospel is read as religious rhetoric, a religious text involved in a religious dispute with religious leaders. Both moves are interpretive choices that selectively ignore the sociopolitical contexts of both Ezek 34 and John 10. My contention is that the contexts and content of both Ezek 34 and John 10 undermine such assumptions and point to a very different reading—to a contest over societal visions and divinely sanctioned structures of sociopolitical life, in particular rhetoric that condemns Roman imperial structures in which the Jerusalem-based leaders are embedded and of which they are allies, advocates, and beneficiaries. That is, I am suggesting that we read along an axis of power and societal structures rather than an axis of religious identity centered on confessional Christological claims.17

15

16 17

For representative examples, Brown, Gospel, 2.383–400; Haenchen, John, 2.43–52; Gail R. O’Day, “The Gospel of John,” in The New Interpreter’s Bible, vol. 9 (Nashville:  Abingdon, 1995), 665–73; Keener, Gospel of John, 1.794–820. Moloney, Gospel of John, 300–304. So Warren Carter, John and Empire: Initial Explorations (New York: T&T Clark, 2008).

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2. Audiences: Pharisees and Ioudaioi One starting point is to elaborate the identity of the (textual) audiences targeted by the good shepherd discourse. Pharisees are in view in 9:40 (also 9:13, 15–16) and the much debated Ioudaioi react to Jesus’s words in 10:19 (present also in 9:18, 22[2x] and 10:24, 31, 33). While some read these terms as synonyms denoting one group, it may well be that they identify different groups that are allied in opposition to Jesus and by his designation of them as “thieves and brigands” (10:8) and “hirelings” (10:12– 13), in other words, as “bad” shepherds.18 While the term Ioudaioi can have different meanings as Urban von Wahlde demonstrates,19 I suggest that in these instances they constitute, at least in part, a subgroup of an alliance of societal leaders involving chief priests and here Pharisees (so 9:40 and 10:19). It is a misnomer to call them “religious leaders” or “religious authorities” as is widely done, since the ancient world did not trade in our contemporary distinction of religion and politics. The Gospel inscribes an imperial society that, as Michael Mann has shown, comprised intersecting “networks of power,” namely the political, economic, military, and ideological, that secured the ruling groups’ power.20 The misleading nomenclature of “religious authorities” skews understandings of their roles in the Gospel, of the nature of their dispute with Jesus, and of the contours of this passage’s polemic. This alliance is first introduced in 1:19–28. There, the Ioudaioi are based in Jerusalem and the temple (1:19), forming an alliance that includes leading Pharisees (1:24) and chief priests with authority to send lower-status priests and Levites to investigate John (1:19). Subsequently, this alliance of temple-based figures exercises great power, for example, through agents and soldiers sent to arrest Jesus (7:32, 45–49; 18:3, 12), through the provincial leadership council where they negotiate Roman power (11:47– 53), and through an extensive temple economy from which they benefit.21 These structures suggest an elite group sanctioned by cultural traditions and practices and marked by power, wealth, status, and societal reach.22 Given Roman control of Judea, they are actively involved in negotiating Roman power that benefits and protects them as allies and societal leaders even as it requires their cooperation and submission. They enact and maintain a hierarchical and androcentric structure from which they benefit at the expense of the majority. 18

19 20 21

22

The discussion is, of course, extensive; Urban C. von Wahlde, “Narrative Criticism of the Religious Authorities as a Group Character in the Gospel of John: Some Problems,” NTS 63 (2017): 222–45. Von Wahlde, “Narrative Criticism,” 232. Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 22–28. Kenneth C. Hanson and Douglas E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998), 131–53. On the house of the priestly family of Kathros, condemned for exploiting the people in Pesahim 57a, see Nahman Avigad, “How the Wealthy Lived in Herodian Jerusalem,” BAR 2, no. 4 (December 1976):  22–35; Nahman Avigad, “Jerusalem in Flames: The Burnt House Captures a Moment in Time,” BAR 9, no. 6 (November– December 1983): 66–72. Sjef van Tilborg (Reading John in Ephesus [Leiden: Brill, 1996], 84–85) notes significant “interferences” between the Gospel’s narrative world and the daily realities of a temple city such as Ephesus where the Gospel was at least read. Leading citizens in Ephesus similarly “become mediators between the city and the emperor” (p. 101) in functioning as high priests in the imperial cult as well as leading benefactors in the city (pp. 101–9).

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Their negotiation is evident in 11:45–53 when this alliance of Ioudaioi and “chief priests and Pharisees” fear—ironically—that Jesus’s growing influence will mean “the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation”—an interpretation of the events of 70 CE.23 It is evident also when the Roman governor Pilate conducts an astute piece of governing in Rome’s interests and, provoked by the pro-Roman Ioudaioi (19:12), elicits an amazing confession from the native, colonized high priests in 19:15:  “We have no king but the emperor.”24 In this confession, the ambivalence of a colonized context abounds as these provincial leaders, part of the ruling alliance, renounce their cultural identity of covenant relationship with Israel’s king—God—and declare their utmost loyalty to Rome’s emperor. This Jerusalem-based alliance of leaders is deeply embedded in and allied with imperial structures. Contemporary intertexts confirm the well-established embeddedness of these provincial leaders in the imperial power structures. One of Rome’s preferred governing patterns was to make alliances between Rome and local provincial elites, sharing power, fostering competition, and rewarding loyalty. Josephus, for example, calls the temple-based, Jerusalem-located chief priests “the leaders of Judea” (Ant. 20.249) yet attests Rome’s appointment of the chief priests (Ant. 18.33–35, 95), its guardianship of the chief priestly garments in the Antonia fortress (Ant. 15.403–8; 18.90–95; 20.6–14), the alliance of chief priests and leading Pharisees (Life 21), and Roman supervision of temple-based festivals—so prevalent in John’s Gospel—such as Dedication (10:22) that celebrated victory over the imperial aggression of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Josephus comments that “it is on these festive occasions that sedition is most apt to break out” (J.W. 1.88), and he observes the increased presence of Roman troops in Jerusalem who “watch the people and repress any insurrectionary movements” (J.W. 5.244; also 2.224; Ant. 20.106). Moreover, in his model of imperial power structures, Gerhard Lenski notes that this pattern of alliances with local leaders is typical of empires.25 And the poverty or economic scales developed by Steven Friesen and Bruce Longenecker indicate that these shepherd-ruling figures belong to the top few percent of society with high status, wealth, and considerable societal influence.26 I am suggesting, then, that we understand ch. 10’s rhetoric of conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees and Ioudaioi, between the good shepherd and the “bad” shepherds so-called, not primarily as religious rhetoric concerning the identity of Jesus or whether Jesus is the agent or revealer of God as is commonly done but as a dispute concerning what Jesus reveals about how human life is to be lived, how society is to be organized, and what practices are to mark human interactions. Jesus’s identity is of course important to the “what does he reveal” question—it is a matter of authoritative 23 24 25

26

Compare 2 Bar. 77:11–16 with its reference to the loss of shepherds, Jerusalem, and the temple. Carter, John and Empire, 289–314. Gerhard E. Lenski, Power and Privilege: A Theory of Social Stratification (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984), 189–296. Steven J. Friesen, “Poverty in Pauline Studies:  Beyond the So-Called New Consensus,” JSNT 26 (2004):  323–61; Bruce W. Longenecker, Remember the Poor: Paul, Poverty, and the Greco-Roman World (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2010), 36–59.

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revelation—but I  do not think as Bultmann famously put it that Jesus is a revealer without a revelation.27 In fact I would suggest, and have argued elsewhere,28 that not only does Jesus have a revelation but that revelation is very much about what human life and society should look like. It contests and is counter to the hierarchical imperial structures and practices of daily life over which the alliance involving the Ioudaioi, Pharisees, and chief priests as imperial agents presides and from which they benefit. I am suggesting we read ch. 10’s good shepherd rhetoric along an axis of power and societal vision, structures, and practices.

3. Sick and Healed Bodies Jesus’s revelation about what human society ought to look like and its accompanying disclosure and condemnation of destructive imperial structures and practices are evident in the signs that Jesus performs in the narrative prior to ch. 10 as the good shepherd. The Gospel is peopled with disabled bodies: the boy ill to the point of death (4:46–54); the numerous “blind, lame and paralyzed” in 5:3; the paralyzed man at the pool for thirty-eight years (5:5–9); the numerous sick folks mentioned in 6:2; and, of course, the man born blind whose healing sets up the context for the good shepherd image (9:1–41). Why is this narrative peopled with disabled bodies? I suggest these bodies are signs and sites of the assertion and damage of imperial power with which the bad/false shepherds are allied. Jesus, the good shepherd, negotiates and repairs this destructive damage. Simply put, imperial structures make people sick and should come with a health warning; the “age-ly life” that Jesus reveals repairs the damage and constructs a world of well-nourished and whole/healed bodies.29 Peter Garnsey argues that in relation to the pervasive “food insecurity and poor health” of the Roman world, “food was power” and that “for most people, life was a perpetual struggle for survival.”30 While elites had purchasing power and networks to eat well, most non-elites, those in levels 5–7 of the Friesen–Longenecker poverty scales—70–80 percent of the population—faced a constant daily challenge of securing adequate supplies of nutritionally viable food. Obstacles included limited varieties of food from a diet of grains, beans, olives, and vine products;31 limited quantities of food caused by poor soil quality; unfavorable weather; diseased crops; seasonal variations;

27 28 29

30

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Rudolf Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament (London: SCM, 1952–1955), 2.66–69. Carter, John and Empire. Warren Carter, “‘The Blind, Lame, and Paralyzed’ (John 5:3): John’s Gospel, Disability Studies, and Postcolonial Perspectives,” in Disability Studies and Biblical Literature, ed. Candida R. Moss and Jeremy Schipper (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011), 128–50. Peter D.  A. Garnsey, Food and Society in Classical Antiquity (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1999), ix. David J. Mattingly, “First Fruit? The Olive in the Roman World,” in Human Landscapes in Classical Antiquity: Environment and Culture, ed. G. Shipley and J. Salmon (London: Routledge, 1996), 213– 53; Nicholas Purcell, “Wine and Wealth in Ancient Italy,” Journal of Roman Studies 75 (1985): 1–19; Peter D. A. Garnsey, “The Bean: Substance and Symbol,” in Cities, Peasants, and Food in Classical Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 214–25.

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transportation and storage challenges; the poor nutritional quality of food; limited purchasing power; market prices; irregular employment; and urban overcrowding; and so forth. Accordingly, Garnsey claims that many experienced widespread malnutrition with a diet deficient in numerous vitamins and minerals, creating conditions of devastating somatic impact from diseases of contagion and of deprivation.32 Bone weakness and malformation, muscular malfunctions, bladder stones, blindness, and rickets are common, for example, when certain vitamins and foods are lacking; cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, and so forth are inevitable. High death rates and short life spans in the 20s;33 occupational accidents that were disastrous in a society where manual labor was the norm; disasters like fires, famines, floods, and wars; constant attention to the observance of status differentials; and household pressures including the demands and humiliations of slavery were among a wide range of stressors that left somatic and psychological damage on non-elites.34 Imperial rhetoric proclaimed that Rome had healed a sick world—a claim trumpeted, for example, by Philo, Josephus, Tacitus, and Aristides among others.35 Augustus had established, so it was claimed, the golden age marked by familial order, social harmony, military dominance, morality, Rome’s eternity, and of course fertility and abundance; at least as poets such as Virgil (Aen. 1.278–82; 6.788–93) and Horace (Saec.) would have people believe. Statius sees Domitian reestablishing this age (Silvae 4.1.17–37). John’s Gospel is not convinced. Its disabled bodies reveal the lie that the imperial world effects wholeness and healing. To the contrary, the Gospel shows Rome’s world—of which the bad shepherds/the alliance of Jerusalem leaders are representatives, rulers, and beneficiaries—to be a sick place detrimental to the life and well-being of most of its residents. Jesus’s healings, then, are acts that repair imperial damage. They roll back its destructive impact, signs that expose its failure to deliver on its rhetorical boasts. But more than that, Jesus’s acts of healing and of feeding are signs that point to God’s life. They belong to a cluster of eschatological events—somatic, material, societal, political—associated with the Gospel’s favorite phrase, “life of the age,” or “age-ly life,” and a cluster commonly attested in various Jewish texts contemporary with the Gospel such as 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch.36 This eschatological life is somatic and material seen for

32 33

34 35

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Garnsey, Food and Society, 48–60. Bruce W. Frier, “Roman Demography,” in Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire, ed. David Potter and David Mattingly (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 87–88, average life expectancy at birth was 21–22 years; at age 10 about thirty-five further years. Also, Ann Hanson, “The Roman Family,” in Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire, ed. David Potter and David Mattingly (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 19–66. Jerry Toner, Popular Culture in Ancient Rome (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009), 58–91. Emperor Augustus (Philo, Legat. 145); Nero and Vespasian (Josephus, J.W. 2.264; 3.3; 4.406); Nerva and Trajan (Tacitus, Agr. 3.1–2); Aristides refers to Rome’s healing presence in a previously sick world (Roman Oration, 97). Vespasian is associated with several literal healings—blind man, lame man, a man with a withered hand: Tacitus, Hist. 4.81; Suetonius, Vesp. 7, and Dio Cassius, Hist. rom. 65.8.1. Carter, John and Empire, 208–34; 4 Ezra 7:112–115 (the end of sinful excess); 8:52–54 (no more evil, sickness, death, hell, corruption, sorrow); 2 Bar. 29:5–8 (nourishment, abundant fertility, the end of hunger, the dew of health); 72:5–6 (the end of imperial rule); 73 (establishment of peace, joy, rest, health, harmony between people and animals, the end of social conflict).

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example in summoning bodies from tombs in chs. 5 and 6 and Lazarus in ch. 11. It involves abundant food and fertility; the buckets of wine in 2:1–12 and the massive over-catering of 6:1–14 that Jesus accomplishes; and of course, it is marked by healings and physical wholeness. John’s Gospel envisions a material, somatic transformation of the world of Rome’s empire and its allies, the alliance of Jerusalem leaders; a transformation into a world that exhibits God’s life revealed in the actions, the signs, of the good shepherd.

4. The Intertext of Ezek 34 Significantly all of this is precisely what the intertext of Ezek 34 narrates. Ezekiel 34 is not to be spiritualized as commonly happens, but its sociopolitical context and content are to be taken seriously. The text explains judgment on Israel’s leaders carried out by means of sixth-century Babylonian imperial aggression and offers a new future for Israel from God’s intervention. In it, God condemns the shepherds of Israel, the elite leadership, because they preside over and maintain a societal structure that benefits themselves but harms the people. So, the bad shepherds feed and clothe themselves but do not feed the sheep (34:2–3, 8). And in v.  4 they are charged with having neglected the people. They have not strengthened the weak … healed the sick … bound up the injured … brought back the strayed … sought the lost … but with force and harshness you ruled them. (34:4)

By my count, the leaders are condemned eight times in Ezek 34 for not feeding the sheep (34:2, 3, 8, 10 [2x], 18, 19, 28); Linda King counts thirty-one references to food, drink, and feeding in Ezek 34;37 at least five times God declares he will feed the people (34:13, 14, 23, 27, 29). Likewise, repeatedly they are charged with making the sheep sick, failing to protect them, and scattering them; and repeatedly God declares God will do these shepherding duties. So, their rule is not only self-benefiting, it also neglects and destroys the people. So, God will intervene to save, to shepherd the people by gathering, protecting, and feeding them, and healing the sick (34:11–22). “I will rescue my sheep from their mouths so that they may not be food for them,” says God (34:10). God will be king but God’s agent will be “one shepherd, my servant David” (34:23–24). An eschatological age of peace or wholeness comprising security, abundant fertility, physical wholeness, and God’s presence will follow (34:25–30). I do not read Ezek 34 as spiritualized religious rhetoric about Jesus providing spiritual life, as many Johannine interpreters do. The intertext is political, material, somatic, and societal; it is about social structures, about human interaction and flourishing; and it 37

Linda A.  King, “Full of Life:  A Cognitive Linguistic Reading of Metaphors of Abundance in the Gospel of John” (PhD diss., Brite Divinity School at TCU, 2017), 201.

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offers a vision of human life so very different from that served up by the bad shepherds embedded in and representatives of imperial structures. Reading along lines of power highlights issues of societal structures rather than religious disputes and indicates a significant synchronicity with John 10. Jesus’s self-identification with the divine name “I am” and the title “good shepherd” (John 10:11, 14)  provides a point of contact with the vision of divine purposes set out in contrast to the societal practices of the bad shepherds in Ezek 34. Jesus reveals God’s presence and life-giving and just purposes (4:34). His signs of turning water into abundant wine (2:1–11), providing much bread (6:1–14), and healing the sick (5:2–15; 9), and his judgment of an evil imperial world (4:19–20; 5:22; 7:7) show him to be the divinely commissioned shepherd of the people enacting God’s life-giving and just purposes for somatic and societal life and revealing “life of the age.” By contrast, the false or bad shepherds, the hirelings, thieves and robbers, and Israel’s Rome-allied leaders in conflict with Jesus over societal structures and vision destroy the sheep (10:10) while they pursue their own well-being at the expense of the sheep (10:12–13). The intertext of Ezek 34 exposes the nature of their rule as selfserving, self-enriching, and destructive. It also declares God’s verdict of judgment on it. God is against these shepherds (Ezek 34:10) and will destroy “the fat and strong” (34:16). In John 9:40, these shepherds allied with Rome; these members of this elite governing alliance are identified as “blind” and unable to “see” themselves accurately as sinners. Wherein lies their sin? Jesus’s statements that the thieves, robbers/brigands, and hirelings do not care for and destroy the sheep—represented by the man born blind now healed by Jesus—are strong criticisms of these leaders and the sinful imperial society that they oversee and from which they benefit (10:8, 10, 12–13).

5. Bad Shepherds as Thieves This condemnation of the imperial rulers and their Jerusalem shepherd allies is intensified by the description of the “bad” shepherds as “thieves and robbers/brigands” (10:1, 8, 10). The first term kleptes (“thieves”) refers to those who steal property that belongs to others (e.g., Philo, Spec. Laws 4.7–19). Jesus’s use of the term identifies the ruling elite as enforcing a system that enables them to steal from the people. Taxes, tributes, rents, and services were common means of transferring resources and wealth from non-elites to elites. Under attack here is what Lenski calls the “proprietary theory” of empire,38 an understanding of rule operative in the Roman empire that saw rulers, in Philo’s words, as “masters of all properties throughout the land including those over which private citizens have apparent control … (Whatever is) kept in the treasuries of subjects belongs to rulers rather than to those who have them” (Philo, Plant. 56–57). Or as Juvenal observes, “Every rare and beautiful thing in the wide ocean … belongs to the Imperial Treasury” (Sat. 4.51–55). The common designation of emperors as 38

Lenski, Power and Privilege, 214–17.

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masters or lords of land and sea expresses the same claim.39 The argument is not the modern notion of sacred individual property; rather, it is an issue of who exercises control or sovereignty over land, resources, and people. Ezekiel 34 provides a critical and contestive alternative. The rulers or shepherds have conducted imperial business as usual in hoarding most of the resources for themselves, thereby thieving or stealing resources from the majority and thereby harming them. Typical imperial practices and rule are divinely condemned.

6. Bad Shepherds as Brigands In addition to condemning the Rome-allied, Jerusalem leaders as societal thieves, John 10 also condemns the ruling elite as “robbers/brigands” (lēstēs; 10:1, 8).40 This term occurs extensively in ancient elite literatures in reference to those elites regarded as marginalized, threatening, and outsider figures, including often disaffected, povertyridden peasant, and oppositional groups with a charismatic leader and often in desperate need of access to resources in order to survive.41 These groups expressed their disaffection typically in violence by attacking elite property and personnel. While brigands were often supported by peasant populations, ruling elites regarded them as serious threats to socioeconomic and political order over which elites presided and so aggressively attacked and exterminated lēstēs or bandits.42 In a daring rhetorical move, then, John’s Jesus turns the tables. In this non-elite text, John’s Jesus identifies the Rome-allied, Jerusalem elite as “bandits” or lēstēs. He labels them and their rule as threats to general well-being and social order. They plunder, destabilize, destroy. Society should be defended against them! In so defining their societal role, John’s Jesus unmasks their leadership and societal rule as illegitimate, violent, and a threat, whereby they grab power and wealth for themselves and damage the majority of the population (so Ezek 34). This analysis is confirmed when in the tense interactions between the Jerusalem leaders and Rome’s governor, Pilate, the Jerusalem leaders make alliance with a lēstēs Barabbas, one who employs violence

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Philo, Flacc. 1.104, Augustus; Legat. 1.141, Tiberius; Legat. 1.44, Gaius Caligula; Josephus, Ant. 19.1, 81, Gaius Caligula; J.W. 3.401–2; 6.43, Vespasian and Titus; Juvenal, Sat. 4.83, Domitian, “ruler of lands and seas and nations”; Philostratus, Vit. Apoll. 7.3, Domitian. So 18:40, Barabbas. For discussion and bibliography, Werner Riess, “The Roman Bandit (latro) as Criminal and Outsider,” in The Oxford Handbook on Social Relations in the Roman World, ed. Michael Peachin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 693–714. Brent D. Shaw, “Bandits in the Roman Empire,” Past and Present 102 (1984):  3–52; Richard A. Horsley and John S. Hanson, Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus (San Francisco, CA:  Harper and Row, 1985), 48–87; Brent D. Shaw, “Tyrants, Bandits, and Kings: Personal Power in Josephus,” JJS 44 (1993): 176–204; Hanson and Oakman, Palestine, 86–91. No fan of bandits from his elite perspective, Josephus records numerous outbreaks of banditry in first-century Palestine sometimes naming leaders (ca. 4 BCE: Judah ben Hezekiah, Josephus, J.W. 2.56, Ant. 17.271–72; ca. 35–55 CE: Eleazar ben Danai and Alexander, J.W. 2.235, Ant. 20.121; ca. 44–46 CE: Tholomaeus, Ant. 20.5) and sometimes using general summaries to suggest a recurring threat (48 CE: Josephus, J.W. 2.235, Ant. 20.121; 62–64 CE:  Ant. 20.215; 64–66 CE:  Ant. 20.255; 66 CE: J.W. 2.595–98; Life 126–31; 66 CE: J.W. 2.581–82; Life 77–79; 67–70 CE: J.W. 4.135–39, 160–61).

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against the imperial elite. They choose to release one of their own (John 18:40)! They crucify Jesus. John 10 employs two other terms for these false or bad shepherds:  They are strangers in 10:5 and hirelings 10:12–13. Strangers do not know the sheep; the sheep do not trust them and flee from them. Hirelings do not protect the sheep. Likewise, Ezek 34 presents bad shepherds/rulers as enemies of the people in destroying them. And likewise, under threat, the hirelings run away, interested only in their own welfare. Both texts offer stunning and harsh condemnations of the societal leaders and the sort of society they construct that benefits themselves and damages much of the population materially. The intertext of Ezek 34 is not to be spiritualized, subordinated, and muted in terms of believing in Jesus who supplies spiritual “life” nor in terms of claiming that the bad shepherds “steal people away from the path of obedience to Christ possibly by offering wrong teaching and theology.”43 It is not primarily a matter of teaching and theology but societal injustice and exploitative leadership practices. These bad shepherds rule to benefit themselves materially and harm the people materially, physically, and somatically. They do not provide life; they steal food, shelter, clothing, health, and safety from the people. These imperial allies oversee a thieving, illegitimate, violent, destructive, and life-threatening imperial system. Harsh rhetoric indeed. By contrast, Jesus the good shepherd acts throughout John’s Gospel like God in the intertext of Ezek 34. Instead of pursuing his own interests at the expense of and harm to the sheep like the bad shepherds (Ezek 34:1–10), Jesus seeks out the damaged and scattered sheep (Ezek 34:11–13a; John 5:1–18; and ch. 9), feeding them (Ezek 34:13b–15; John 2:1–11; 6:1–15), healing them (Ezek 34:16; John 5:1–18; 9:6–7), and condemning the shepherds and installing God’s servant David44 as ruler (34:17–24; 8:31–59) in an age and place marked by security, plenty, and fertility (Ezek 34:25– 31; John 2:1–11; 6:1–15).45 The intertexts reinforce one another in rejecting an elitebenefiting society and in envisioning a society that is life-giving for all.

7. Conclusion I have set John 10 and Ezek 34 in conversation with each other and emphasized their common interests. I have rejected a reading of both Ezek 34 and John 10 as spiritualized or religious texts, emphasizing that both, in the contexts of their larger narratives, are texts that counter sociopolitical leaders who misuse their power. By contrast, both texts envision divine purposes that create a very different sort of societal life. Jesus the good shepherd emerges not as a religious leader but as one who manifests the Johannine “life of the age” (eternal or “age-ly life,” kingdom/empire of God) marked by material abundance, somatic wholeness, and security. 43

44

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Jey J. Kanagaraj, “The Implied Ethics of the Fourth Gospel: A Reinterpretation of the Decalogue,” Tyndale Bulletin 52 (2001): 33–60, esp. 54. The Gospel minimizes links between Jesus and David (John 7:42) because Jesus’s origin from God matters more (e.g., 6:38; 13:1–3). Yet Jesus and David are alike in that both are to do the will of God. Carter, John and Empire, 204–34.

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The Fulfilled Word in the Gospel of John: A Polyvalent Analysis Paul N. Anderson

Treatments of Scripture fulfillments in the New Testament are too easily performed as superficial assessments of how closely a text from Hebrew Scripture is cited or whether something like the Masoretic Text or the Septuagint might have been used.1 However, such analyses fail to appreciate the highly dialogical presentation of the fulfilled word—especially in the Fourth Gospel (FG)—which is a thoroughly polyvalent composition.2 John’s account of Jesus and his ministry represents an

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See, however, these worthy analyses of Scripture-fulfillment analyses of the Fourth Gospel:  C. K. Barrett, “The Old Testament in the Fourth Gospel,” JTS 48 (1947):  155–69; Richard Morgan, “Fulfillment in the Fourth Gospel: The Old Testament Foundations,” Int 11 (1957): 155–65; Merrill C. Tenney, “The Old Testament and the Fourth Gospel,” BSac 120 (1963): 300–308; Edwin D. Freed, Old Testament Quotations in the Gospel of John (Leiden:  E. J.  Brill, 1965); Maarten J.  J. Menken, Old Testament Quotations in the Fourth Gospel: Studies in Textual Form, CBET 15 (Leuven: Peeters, 1996); Brian J. Tabb, “Johannine Fulfillment of Scripture:  Continuity and Escalation,” BBR 21 (2011):  495–505; Bruce G. Schuchard, Scripture Within Scripture:  The Interrelationship Between Form and Function in the Explicit Old Testament Citations in the Gospel of John, SBLDS 133 (Atlanta, GA:  Scholars, 1992); Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard (eds.), Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA:  SBL, 2015); Richard B. Hays, Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel (Waco, TX:  Baylor University Press, 2014); Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2016). For multi-level analyses of the Johannine dialogues, see Johnson Thomaskutty, Dialogue in the Book of Signs: A Polyvalent Analysis of John 1:19–12:50, BibInt 136 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2015); for an overall analysis of John’s polyvalence, see Paul N. Anderson, “From One Dialogue to Another: Johannine Polyvalence from Origins to Receptions,” in Anatomies of Narrative Criticism: The Past, Present, and Future of the Fourth Gospel as Literature, ed. Stephen Moore and Tom Thatcher, RBS 55 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2008), 93–119. After an overview of Mikhail Bakhtin’s dialogism and treatments of polyvalence, I conclude that essay with this judgment (118–19): Finally, the narrative invites future readers and hearers into the same dialogical encounter from whence it came. In engaging dialogically, the content of the Gospel, the reader’s involvement in the making of meaning becomes a new story with its own history to tell. Existentially, the valences of personal openness find connections with valences of interdisciplinary learnings and discoveries, and the truth is always liberating. From origins to receptions, the dialogical origins of the Johannine tradition evoke new sets of dialogical encounter and reflection within its later audiences. After all, when considering the character, origin, and development of the Johannine narrative, one must confess that: In the beginning was … the dialogue.

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autonomous memory developing in its own way, being refined and constructed over six or seven decades. Its character and origin reflect development in Israel, conveying first-hand familiarity with places and events in the ministry of Jesus, though finalized in a Hellenistic setting. From the second century on, the Johannine tradition is associated with a finalization in Ephesus around the turn of the first century, and no other setting is superior to that one.3 Therefore, the role of Jewish Scripture within the emerging Johannine tradition reflects several developments. Within an overall theory of John’s dialogical autonomy, both direct and indirect references to Jewish Scripture as the fulfilled word serve to further the stated purpose of the Gospel of John: that hearers and readers might believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, they might have life in his name (John 20:30–31).4 The present essay explores how that is so.

1. The Fulfilled Word within John’s Polyvalent Tradition While the fulfilled Word indeed furthers the rhetorical interest of the Johannine Gospel, it is not the only feature designed to do so. Two other central elements of John’s apologetic narrative include the signs and the witnesses, and these three elements are crafted with special attention given to leading emerging audiences—both Jewish and Gentile—to initial and abiding faith in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.5 While Raymond Brown is correct that John’s final edition calls for abiding unity with Jesus as the Christ and his community of believers, the first edition of John’s narrative is clearly apologetic, inviting audiences to believe in Jesus as the Messiah/Christ, the Son of God. That being the case, a monological approach to John’s rhetorical thrust fails to account for John’s polyvalent character, and several features of John’s dialogical operations deserve consideration at the outset.6 These include John’s theological, historical, and literary riddles.

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With Raymond E. Brown, The Community of the Beloved Disciple (New York: Paulist, 1979); Paul N. Anderson, “On ‘Seamless Robes’ and ‘Leftover Fragments’—A Theory of Johannine Composition,” in Structure, Composition, and Authorship of John’s Gospel: The Origins of John’s Gospel, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Hughson Ong (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2015), 169–218. According to Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel of John, XIII–XXI, AB 29A (Garden City, NY:  Doubleday, 1970), 1060, while an apologetic motif may indeed be present in John 20:31, to believe in Jesus is to abide in him and within his community. Conversely, Donald A. Carson argues that leading audiences to come to saving faith for the first time is the primary rhetorical thrust of John 20:31, “The Purpose of the Fourth Gospel: John 20:31 Reconsidered,” JBL 106 (1987): 639–51. In my judgment (“On ‘Seamless Robes’ ” and elsewhere), the purpose(s) of the Johannine Gospel call people to faith apologetically in the first edition (concluding with ch. 20), and the later material calls for abiding solidarity with Jesus and his community pastorally, following the writing of the Epistles. Paul N. Anderson, Navigating the Living Waters of the Gospel of John—On Wading with Children and Swimming with Elephants, Pendle Hill Pamphlet 352 (Wallingford, PA: Pendle Hill Press, 2000). John’s dialogical autonomy as an overall Johannine theory is laid out in a number of places; perhaps the clearest and most succinct articulation is in Chapter 6 of The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel: An Introduction to John (Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 2011), 125–56. Before that chapter, note a dozen each of John’s theological, historical, and literary riddles (25–44, 45–66, 67–94) as well as a dozen key Johannine features (9–24) and critical analyses of a dozen leading theories of the origin and composition of the FG (95–124).

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Theologically, three primary dialogues are operative within John’s story of Jesus. First, the evangelist operates as a dialectical thinker, addressing issues in both/and ways instead of either/or dichotomies.7 Thus, most of John’s theological motifs reflect more than one perspective, so dual aspects of the evangelist’s views must be held in tension. Second, Jesus is sent from the Father as the divinely commissioned agent, based on the Prophet-Like-Moses agency schema (Deut 18:15–22), so a response to the Son is also a response to the Father who sent him.8 Third, all of this involves the divine-human dialogue of revelation and response—the divine initiative inviting a response of faith,9 which leads to eternal life in the here and now. Historically, three primary dialogues also remain. First, like no other gospel, John betrays features of intratraditional dialogues between earlier and later perceptions and understanding regarding events, words, and meanings in the ministry of Jesus.10 Thus, the discovery of new insights clarifies the meanings of history in post-resurrection consciousness. Second, John also shows signs in intertraditional dialectic, whereby some augmentation and modest corrective engagement is palpable regarding the Gospel of Mark, if at least general familiarity can be assumed. In bi-optic perspective, while Matthew and Luke built upon Mark, John built around Mark and is different on purpose.11 A third form of history-related dialectic involves engaging the differing needs within the historical Johannine situation, as six or seven crises over as many decades reflect being addressed by the emerging Johannine tradition.12 7

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With C. K. Barrett, “The Dialectical Theology of St John,” in his New Testament Essays (London: SCM, 1972), 49–69; Paul N. Anderson, “The Cognitive Origins of John’s Christological Unity and Disunity,” Horizons in Biblical Theology: An International Dialogue 17 (1995):  1–24; published also in Psychology and the Bible: A New Way to Read the Scriptures, 4 vols., ed. J. Harold Ellens (Westport/ London: Praeger, 2004), 3:127–49. With Peder Borgen, “God’s Agent in the Fourth Gospel,” in The Interpretation of John (2nd ed.), ed. John Ashton (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1997), 83–96 (first published in Jacob Neusner [ed.], Religions in Antiquity [Leiden:  E. J. Brill, 1968], 137–48); Paul N. Anderson, “The Having-Sent-Me Father— Aspects of Agency, Encounter, and Irony in the Johannine Father-Son Relationship,” Semeia 85, ed. Adele Reinhartz (1999): 33–57. With Rudolf Bultmann, The Gospel of John: A Commentary, trans. G. R. Beasley-Murray, R. W. N. Hoare, and J. K. Riches, Johannine Monograph Series 1 (Eugene, OR:  Wipf & Stock, [1970] 2014); Anderson, Navigating. In dialogue with Raymond Brown’s overall theory and J. Louis Martyn, History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel, 3rd ed. (Louisville, KY:  Westminster John Knox Press, [1968, 1979] 2003); Paul N. Anderson, “The Community That Raymond Brown Left Behind—Reflections on the Dialectical Johannine Situation,” in Communities in Dispute: Current Scholarship on the Johannine Epistles, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and Paul N. Anderson, ECL 13 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2014), 47–93. With Richard J. Bauckham, “John for Readers of Mark,” in The Gospels for All Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences, ed. Richard J. Bauckham (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1998), 147–71; Ian D. Mackay, John’s Relationship with Mark: An Analysis of John 6 in Light of Mark 6–8, WUNT 2/182 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004). On John’s familiarity with Mark, see Paul N. Anderson, “John and Mark—the Bi-Optic Gospels,” in Jesus in Johannine Tradition, ed. Robert T. Fortna and Tom Thatcher (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), 175–88; for a larger overall theory, Paul N. Anderson, “Mark, John, and Answerability: Interfluentiality and Dialectic between the Second and Fourth Gospels,” Liber Annuus 63 (2013):  197–245; Paul N. Anderson, “Interfluential, Formative, and Dialectical—a Theory of John’s Relation to the Synoptics,” in Für und Wider die Priorität des Johannesevangeliums, ed. Peter Hofrichter, Theologische Texte und Studien 9 (Hildesheim:  Georg Olms Verlag, 2002), 19–58. With Brown, Community, and Richard J. Cassidy, John’s Gospel in New Perspective: Christology and the Realities of Roman Power, Johannine Monograph Series 3 (Eugene, OR:  Wipf & Stock, [1992] 2015); Paul N. Anderson, “Bakhtin’s Dialogism and the Corrective Rhetoric of the Johannine

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Literarily, three dialogical realities are also apparent. First, in terms of the FG’s composition, a modest two-edition theory accounts for most of the Johannine aporias in the most efficient way, with the first edition being the second gospel narrative (ca. 80–85 CE), which was finalized by the compiler after he wrote the Epistles and after the death of the evangelist (ca. 100 CE, adding the Prologue, chs. 6, 15–17, and 21 and 19:34–35).13 Thus, John’s first edition features the five signs not included in Mark; like the five books of Moses, the five signs of Jesus show him to be the Jewish Messiah. Second, as the Johannine community emerged from transformative encounter, it aimed to facilitate such in the experience of the hearer/ reader. Thus, the adding of a hymnic confession to the more mundane narrative engages readers experientially as a means of including them in the family of believers, whose witness is attested as true.14 Third, the rhetorical thrust of John’s narrative is designed to engage emerging audiences, whereby the presentations of signs, sayings, and dialogues invite hearers and readers into imaginary dialogues with Jesus, whereby foibles are exposed and faithfulness is affirmed.15 Unlike any other corpus of ancient literature, canonical or otherwise, the five Johannine writings contribute a backdrop wherein to better appreciate the literary anatomy and the rhetorical strategies of John’s story of Jesus. In the light of these and other features of John’s dialogism, a monological approach to John’s rhetorical thrust fails to account for John’s polyvalent character. However, in considering the Johannine understandings of the fulfilled word as developing from earlier understandings of Jesus and his ministry to engagements with other traditions and situations in written form, it might be better to move from later to earlier within those developments. Therefore, beginning with the latest confessional material and attestations of the evangelist’s witness by the compiler, the fulfilled word of the narrator and his community bolsters an appreciation for the fulfilled words of Jesus, which relate to the fulfilled words of Jewish Scripture, which comprise central features of John’s story of Jesus, which is designed to lead hearers into initial and abiding faith. In polyvalent perspective, engaging John’s story of Jesus from the end as the beginning makes a good deal of sense, and thusly we proceed.

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Misunderstanding Dialogue:  Exposing Seven Crises in the Johannine Situation,” in Bakhtin and Genre Theory in Biblical Studies, ed. Roland Boer, SemeiaSt 63 (Atlanta, GA:  SBL Press, 2007), 133–59. With Barnabas Lindars, The Gospel of John, NCBC (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982); Anderson, “On ‘Seamless Robes.’ ” With Brown, The Gospel of John; Paul N. Anderson, “On Guessing Points and Naming Stars—The Epistemological Origins of John’s Christological Tensions,” in The Gospel of St. John and Christian Theology, ed. Richard Bauckham and Carl Mosser (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2007), 311–45; Paul N. Anderson, “The Johannine Logos-Hymn: A Cross-Cultural Celebration of God’s CreativeRedemptive Work,” in Creation Stories in Dialogue: The Bible, Science, and Folk Traditions (Radboud Prestige Lecture Series by Alan Culpepper), ed. R. Alan Culpepper and Jan van der Watt, BINS 139 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2015), 216–42. With R. Alan Culpepper, Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel (Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 1983); Paul N. Anderson, “The Sitz im Leben of the Johannine Bread of Life Discourse and Its Evolving Context,” in Critical Readings of John 6, ed. R. Alan Culpepper, Biblical Interpretation Supplemental Series 22 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997), 1–59; Anderson, “Bakhtin’s Dialogism.”

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2. The Preexistent Word—Incarnationally Fulfilled While the Gospel of John begins with a confessional prologue, that hymnic confession does not represent the first stroke of the evangelist’s quill. In fact, it seems to be more of an affirmation of the evangelist’s claims than the composition of the evangelist himself. Its greatest thematic and stylistic similarity lies with the prologue to the first Johannine Epistle, where the Elder affirms what has been seen and heard from the beginning, concerning the Word of life—with the Father and revealed to humanity— to which Johannine believers attest so that the joy of future audiences might be fulfilled (1 John 1:1–4). That being the case, the origin and function of the Gospel’s prologue is likely similar to that of the first epistle’s prologue. Upon receiving that which has been taught and delivered from the beginning, the community’s believing response is offered as the fitting way for future audiences to receive John’s story of Jesus as well as the Elder’s teachings about Jesus. Thus, John 1:1–18 reflects first a confessional response to the narrative, just as the Johannine Epistles expand upon the teaching about Jesus, which has been delivered from the beginning (1 John 1:1–3; 2:7, 24; 3:11; 4:14; 2 John 6, 9). Given that it reflects a transformative encounter with the subject of the narrative—Jesus as the Christ—it functions to introduce John’s story of Jesus by inviting later audiences to be receptive to the narrative’s content, having first been engaged experientially by means of an affirming confession regarding what they are about to hear. John’s Prologue thus reflects a three-stanza hymnic confession that has been crafted around the original beginning of the narrative, featuring (as does Mark’s narrative) the testimony of John the Baptist (1:5–8, 15, 19–42). Like the other Christological hymns of the New Testament (Phil 2:6–11; Col 1:15–20; Heb 1:1–4), the Johannine Logos hymn affirms loyalty to Jesus as the world’s savior over and against Roman imperial claims as to the divine sonship of Caesar. The three stanzas of the Logos hymn (John 1:1–5, 9–14, 16–18), however, distinctively appropriate both Gentile and Jewish motifs in their worship thrust. Echoing the cosmic Logos thrust of Heraclitus of Ephesus (ca. 537–475 BCE), whereby the divine Logos creates order out of chaos and is accessible as a rational principle to all persons, the creative Word in John has become the Light that enlightens all humanity (vv. 1–5, 9). Expanding on Genesis 1, the divine Word is declared to be the source of creation in Psalms (“By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth. … For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” Ps 33:6, 9), and this creative work of God is seen to be at work in the preexistent Word of God in John 1:1.16 The three stanzas are structured as follows:

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Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel of John, I–XII, AB 29A (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966), 519–24. For a look at John 1:1–5 as the original Logos hymn, see Martinus de Boer, “The Original Prologue to the Gospel of John,” NTS 61, no. 4 (2015): 448–67. Numerous attempts have been made to outline the Johannine Logos hymn, but rather than seeing the references to the Baptist as added later, it makes more sense to see the hymnic material as crafted around the opening witness of John. See a similar outline of the three stanzas in Anderson, “The Johannine Logos-Hymn,” 219–42.

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Here God’s creative agency is appropriated in the direction of God’s redemptive and revelatory work. Much like the wisdom tradition’s connecting God’s creative and ordering work in the cosmos with Lady Wisdom (Prov 8:22–30), here we see the connecting of God’s preexistent Word with Jesus as the Messiah/Christ. Two clarifications, though, follow. First, while such a move indeed connects the Galilean Messiah with Hellenistic audiences, it is thoroughly Jewish in its origin. As Simon Gathercole and the Enoch Seminar have shown, preexistence claims were ubiquitous in Second Temple Judaism, and in that sense, this move marks a Jewish outreach to Jewish and Hellenistic audiences alike.17 Second, as the Johannine Logos hymn emerged first as a communal response to the narration of Jesus and his ministry, it does not imply a dehistoricization of the narrative, itself.18 Rather, because it was 17

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Simon J. Gathercole, The Pre-Existent Son:  Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Luke, and Mark (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2006); Simon J. Gathercole, Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man:  Revisiting the Book of Parables, ed. Gabriele Boccaccini (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2007). See also the essays in Reading the Gospel of John as Jewish Messianism: Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs, ed. Benjamin E. Reynolds and Gabriele Boccaccini, Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 106 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2018). Versus such tendencies among some treatments: Anthony T. Hanson, The Prophetic Gospel: A Study of John and the Old Testament (Edinburgh:  T&T Clark, 1991); Tabb, “Johannine Fulfillment of Scripture,” 495–505.

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added to the more mundane narrative, beginning, as does Mark, with the witness of John the Baptist, the grounded features of the FG must not be over-spiritualized in ways that eclipse their historical character and claims. Further, God’s creative and ordering Word is fulfilled in the Johannine Prologue not in an ethereal realm but in the Word become flesh, in whom Johannine believers claim to have beheld his glory. Thus, in Johannine perspective, the flesh and glory of Jesus as the Messiah/Christ are inextricably conjoined.19 To privilege one of these poles at the expense of the other is to distort John’s pervasive dialogism to the peril of the interpreter’s work.

3. The Attested Witness of the Johannine Evangelist— “His Testimony Is True!” In addition to the fulfilled word of Scripture, the Johannine compiler attests to the authenticity of the testimony reported by the eyewitness and the Beloved Disciple.20 The Johannine witness motif functions in several ways. First, the Johannine Elder asserts that he and the community testify to what they have seen and heard, and that the Father has sent the Son (1 John 1:2, 4:13). The Elder also claims on behalf of the community that Demetrius is worthy of esteem, asserting that “our testimony is true” (3 John 12). He also asserts that the Spirit, the water, and the blood testify and agree together (1 John 5:6–8). A  similar witness is echoed in John 19:34–35, where the eyewitness testifies that water and blood flowed from the body of Jesus after the soldiers pierced his side. Here it is affirmed that “his testimony is true,” and the emphasis upon the suffering humanity of Jesus is asserted, likely challenging Docetists, who deny that Jesus came in the flesh (1 John 4:1–3; 2 John 7).21 These connections suggest that the author of the Epistles is the compiler of the Gospel, and the assertion that the Beloved Disciple’s “testimony is true” in John 21:23–24 matches the true-witness themes of the Epistles and eyewitness motif in John 19:34–35. The apparent reference to the death of the Beloved Disciple, as well as the third-person reference to his authorial contribution, supports the inference that the Gospel narrative was finalized by another hand, and the true-testimony claims of the Johannine Elder make it likely that he was the finalizer of the Fourth Evangelist’s narrative. The Elder thus makes three claims regarding the authenticity of the Johannine witness. First, he claims to have stood alongside those who have experienced firsthand the ministry of Jesus. Second, he repeats the word of the eyewitness at the cross, who testifies that water and blood have flowed forth from the side of Jesus, confirming his suffering and death against any who might contest that memory. Third, he claims on behalf of the community that the testimony of the Beloved Disciple is true, apparently

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Paul N. Anderson, The Christology of the Fourth Gospel: Its Unity and Disunity in the Light of John 6, 3rd ed., WUNT 2/78 (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, [1996] 2010). Whether these are understood to be the same person by the final compiler is debated, but his appeal to the veracity of authoritative witness holds true either way; Anderson, “Raymond Brown Left Behind.” Anderson, “Bakhtin’s Dialogism.”

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defending its distinctive presentation of Jesus and his ministry, despite its differences from the Synoptic accounts. While the assertion of the Beloved Disciple’s witness being true functions to account for the individualism of his report over and against those of the Synoptics, his most direct assertion claims that Jesus never said that this disciple (or any of “those standing here” in Mark 9:1) would “not taste death until they see the kingdom of God has come with power.” The Beloved Disciple here claims that Jesus never said that he and the disciples would not die (before Christ’s return), but he only said to Peter (the alleged source of Mark’s narrative), “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” The command of Jesus to Peter is “Follow me” (John 21:19, 22), and that theme is indeed central to the Gospel of Mark (Mark 1:17, 20; 2:14; 8:34; 10:21). While the veracity of other distinctive features of John’s witness is affirmed in claiming that the words of the eyewitness and the Beloved Disciple are true, as attested by the community, it also bolsters John’s setting the record straight over and against Mark’s account here and there, perhaps even correctively so. The fulfilled word of the Johannine eyewitness and evangelist by the compiler is confirmed by clarifications of what Jesus really said and meant, even after his death. The death of the Beloved Disciple thus affirms the compiler’s countering of Mark’s narrative not by spiritualizing the Parousia but by correcting the Petrine tradition, which reflects a misunderstanding from the beginning. Implications here abound. Ultimately, however, the Johannine witness becomes experienced as Scripture by Johannine and other audiences, and the emergence of such authority is already evident within the narrative, itself.22

4. The Fulfilled Word of Caiaphas—An Unwitting Prophecy by the High Priest While the Johannine evangelist makes ample use of double entendre as a literary device,23 the narrator also understands multiple meanings of deeds and words to have accompanied events in history, themselves. Jesus asks the Samaritan woman for water, but the water he avails springs up in life-producing ways from within; he multiplies bread for the crowds, but he himself is the Bread of Life; he restores sight to the blind man, but in so doing, those claiming “we see” are exposed as blind; even before Lazarus is raised from the tomb, Jesus claims to be the Resurrection and the Life. Thus, multiple levels of meaning are fulfilled within the Johannine narrative itself, as even mundane instances can at times be seen to convey transcendent truths. A climactic feature of the fulfilled word in John, however, occurs when Caiaphas the high priest at the time utters a dictum that bears an unwittingly prophetic promise (John 11:45–53).

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Francis J. Moloney, “The Gospel of John as Scripture,” CBQ 67 (2005):  454–68; Francis J. Moloney, “‘For as Yet They Did Not Know the Scripture’ (John 20:9):  A Study in Narrative Time,” ITQ 79 (2014): 97–111; D. Moody Smith, “When Did the Gospels Become Scripture?” JBL 119 (2000): 3–20. See the work of David W. Wead, The Literary Devices in John’s Gospel: Revised and Expanded Edition, ed. Paul N. Anderson and R. Alan Culpepper, JMS 7 (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2018).

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As it became apparent that many in Bethany and Jerusalem were coming to believe in Jesus after the raising of Lazarus, the chief priests and the Pharisees expressed concern that if things were allowed to continue as they were, the Romans would step in and destroy both the temple and the Jewish nation (vv. 45–48). At this point, Caiaphas utters a highly ironic dictum, offering to “sacrifice” Jesus on behalf of (instead of?) the Jewish people (vv. 49–50). This double meaning is even reflected in the differing renderings by translators. Highlighting the political thrust of the dictum, the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) renders Caiaphas’s dictum:  “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” Highlighting the atoning meaning of the utterance, the King James Version (KJV) renders it: “Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” Pilate’s political meaning is therefore clear: Better to sacrifice one man than for many lives to be lost. The evangelist’s inference, though, clearly sees that utterance as an unwitting and ironic prophecy by the high priest that the sacrifice of Jesus would be life-producing for the entire Jewish nation: but not for the Jewish nation alone but to gather into one family the dispersed children of God (vv. 51–52). The evangelist perceives the dictum of Caiaphas as a high-priestly prophecy that the sacrifice of Jesus would affect the gathering into one family the scattered Jewish nation, thus affirming the mission to the Gentiles as the divinely ordained mission of Jesus. Implicitly, this messianic mission is enacted by Jesus in John 12:12–19 by his riding into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt, fulfilling the enthronement prophecy of Zech 9:9. Explicitly, when Greeks come to Philip asking to see Jesus, he declares that the hour of the Son of Man’s glorification has come (vv. 20–23). Jesus thus sees his mission in keeping with the unwitting prophecy of Caiaphas. He has come not only for the livelihood of the Jewish nation but also for the life of the world. He then utters a further prophecy in the form of a Synoptic-like parable,24 which is fulfilled later in the narrative regarding his death and resurrection. Therefore, the fulfilled word of Caiaphas is matched by the fulfilled word of Jesus himself (vv. 23–26). The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. (John 12:23–26, NRSV)

24

In the analysis of Linda McKinnish Bridges, John’s parabolic references to the fields ripe unto harvest and the life-producing dying seed (John 4:34–38; 12:24–26) fit the image of the terse, agrarian images used by the Synoptic Jesus, “ The Aphorisms of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel:  A Look at John 4:35,” in Jesus, and History, Volume 3: Glimpses of Jesus Through the Johannine Lens, ed. Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, S. J., and Tom Thatcher, ECL 18 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2016), 337–52.

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5. The Fulfilled Word of Jesus While the followers of Jesus did not understand his actions or words in John 12:12–26, they understood things differently after Jesus had been glorified. In addition to the missionally climactic aphorism of Jesus in John 12:24, Jesus makes a good number of statements that are at first misunderstood by his followers but are later seen as being fulfilled in hindsight. Thus, unlike Caiaphas, it is not the unwittingness of the prophetic utterance that is in play but the unwitting understanding of the disciples and the crowds that gets clarified by eventuating developments. Along these lines and in post-glorification perspective, the miscomprehended words of Jesus are seen as having been fulfilled by his death and resurrection. As an inaugural prophetic sign, the clearing of the temple by Jesus at the beginning of his ministry (2:13–22) leads to his declaration (v. 19), “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jewish leaders then reference the forty-six years it has taken to build the temple (v. 20, since the building campaign of Herod began in 19 or 20 BCE, suggesting a date of around 27 CE as the beginning of Jesus’s ministry), but the evangelist clarifies that Jesus was actually speaking of the “temple of his body,” which was only recognized by his disciples in post-resurrection consciousness (vv. 21–22).25 Other misunderstood references to the departure and glorification of Jesus include his declaration to the Jerusalem leaders that they will search for him and not find him, but that after he is lifted up from the earth, he will be seen in different perspective (7:34–36; 8:14, 21–30). Exposing their lack of comprehension, they wonder if he is going to kill himself or move to the diaspora (7:35, 8:22).26 The departure of Jesus is also misunderstood by his followers, only to be clarified later, after the Christ events (13:33–35; 14:3–5; 16:5–6, 16–30). Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so shall the Son of Man be lifted up (Num 21:9; John 13:13–15), and if Jesus is lifted up, he will draw all persons to himself.27 The narrator then adds that Jesus made this declaration in order to indicate the way that he would die—implicitly as a crucifixion victim at the hand of the Romans (John 12:32–33). A thundering voice from heaven attests to former and future glorifications of Jesus, declaring in v. 29, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” This fulfillment is then asserted when the Judean leaders declare to Pilate that they are not allowed to put people to death, leaving Jesus to be killed at the hand of the Romans (18:31–32). Jesus also predicts the means by which 25

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See especially Richard B. Hays, “Reading Scripture in the Light of the Resurrection,” in The Act of Reading Scripture, ed. Ellen F. Davis and Richard B. Hays (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004), 216– 38. Interestingly, this saying of Jesus narrated only in John is twice referenced by false witnesses and deriders in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 14:58; 15:29–30). With respect to the influential source(s), see E. P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1985), 61–76. With Mikhail Bakhtin, stupidity (miscomprehension) in narrative is always rhetorical. Katarina Clark and Michael Holquist, Mikhail Bakhtin (Cambridge, MA: Belknap, 1986), 348–49; Anderson, “Bakhtin’s Dialogism,” 290–318. For fuller analyses of the Johannine ascent-descent schema, see Godfrey C. Nicholson, Death as Departure. The Johannine Descent-Ascent Schema, SBLDS 63 (Chico, CA:  Scholars Press, 1983); Susan Elizabeth Humble, A Divine Round Trip:  The Literary and Christological Function of the Descent/Ascent Leitmotif in the Gospel of John, CBET 79 (Leuven: Peeters, 2016).

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Peter would later die (21:18–19), and one can only imagine that later audiences would have nodded in agreement if Peter’s demise were familiar to them. In addition to references regarding manners and timings of death, the narrator notes a number of times where the word of Jesus is fulfilled, even ahead of time or from afar. To the Samaritan woman, Jesus declares that the hour is coming when people will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (4:21–24). In response to the royal official’s request for Jesus to heal his son, Jesus declares that his son will live, and that is noted as having happened at the exact hour of the utterance, even at a distance (4:46). The promise that rivers of living water shall flow forth from the believer’s heart will take place only after the Spirit was availed following the glorification of Jesus (John 7:38–40 → 20:21–23; and possibly Acts 2). The betrayal of Jesus by Judas is predicted ahead of time at the last supper (John 13:21–30 → 18:1–11) and so is Peter’s threefold denial of Jesus before the crowing of the rooster (John 13:36–38 → 18:15–27). Finally, despite his being arrested, tried, and killed, Jesus is remembered as seeking to protect his followers from similar outcomes during his ministry so that none of those entrusted to him would be lost (John 6:39; 17:12 → 18:7–9). Thus, these prophecies are presented as having been fulfilled during the earthly ministry of Jesus himself.28 Beyond that time period, however, Jesus makes prophecies that would be recognized and confirmed in the eventual experiences of believers as fulfilled words of Jesus (16:4). Jesus warns his followers that they will be put out of the synagogue by people believing they are doing God’s service (9:22, 12:42, 16:2), and that the world will hate them because they do not belong to it (15:18–19; 17:14). Jesus therefore prays that the Father will protect his followers in the world so that they may be one as he and the Father are one (17:6–21). Jesus also promises to send the Holy Spirit, the Paraklētos, who will be with his followers and in them—guiding, convicting, and leading them into truth—reminding them of his words and their meanings as a multigenerational extension of his ongoing pastoral leadership (14:15–26; 15:26–25; 16:5–15). In the light of pastoral leaders, however, who care for themselves instead of the flock (1 Pet 5:1–4?), the shepherding example of Jesus calls for willingness to lay down one’s life for one’s friends, rather than fleeing as a hireling, in the face of danger (John 10:1–19; 15:12–17). Thus, the predictive word of Jesus, that his followers will indeed suffer worldly persecution and hardship, is also ameliorated by the promise that he also affords them unworldly peace (14:27–30) because he has conquered the world (16:32–33): The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world! (John 16:32–33, NRSV)

28

Thus, the prophetic identity of Jesus is fulfilled in the Gospel of John as a function of his fulfilled proleptic words. Marie E. Isaacs, “The Prophetic Spirit in the Fourth Gospel,” HeyJ 24 (1983): 391– 407; Adele Reinhartz, “Jesus as Prophet:  Predictive Prolepses in the Fourth Gospel,” JSNT 36 (1989): 3–16.

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And, in the later experience of Johannine believers, both of those predictions are experienced as fulfilled words of Jesus.

6. The Fulfilled Word of Scripture In addition to the fulfilled word of Jesus in the FG, Jewish Scripture is also explicitly cited as being fulfilled by events and sayings in the narrative. Parallel to the Matthean tradition, the Johannine tradition developed in its own trajectory,29 making connections between scriptural texts likely read in meetings for worship and elements in narration of Jesus and his ministry. Unlike post-Reformation insistence upon getting at the original or the best readings of a biblical text exegetically, however, standard Jewish practice of the day operated by simply identifying a link between a biblical word or reference and the rhetorical interest of the speaker or writer. Therefore, within the standard practice of midrashic interpretation, what we simply see is biblical Septuagintal texts being connected with John’s story of Jesus in ways that authorize the mission of Jesus in the light of the fulfilled word of Scripture.30 At times this is declared explicitly by the narrator or by Jesus, in both cases functioning as a divine authorization of the subject. At the outset, however, it should be noted that Jewish Scripture is sometimes cited as a support or as a challenge to Jesus, either directly or indirectly. In support of Jesus being the Messiah/Christ, Philip declares to Nathanael, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth” (John 1:45 → Deut 18:15–22). Jesus also makes an indirect reference to his fulfilling the Deuteronomic agency motif in John 5:39–47, claiming that Moses wrote of him, and that people fail to understand the Scriptures because they fail to note how they (and especially Deut 18:15–22) point to him. Along those lines, other indirect references to Jesus being “the Prophet” and “the Messiah” include the Samaritan woman, who feels herself knowingly exposed (John 4:19, 25, 29 → 2 Sam 12:1–15); the crowds in Galilee identify Jesus as the Prophet-King like Moses (John 6:14–15), although he flees their designs on his future; some in Judea believe he is the Messiah or “the Prophet” because of his teachings and the signs he had performed upon the sick (John 7:31, 40; 8:30; 9:17; 10:41–42; 11:45 → 2 Kgs 4:8–27; 5:1–19). Explicit references to Jewish Scripture being fulfilled include John the Baptist’s claiming that he is the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord!” (John 1:23 → Isa 40:3) and the Jerusalem crowd’s proclamation as Jesus enters Jerusalem: “Hosanna! Blessed be the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel” (John 12:13 → Ps 118:25–26).

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See especially, Morgan, “Fulfillment in the Fourth Gospel”; Tenney, “Old Testament and the Fourth Gospel”; Freed, Old Testament Quotations; Menken, Old Testament Quotations; Hays, Reading Backwards and Echoes of Scripture. For similar analyses I my own writings, see Anderson, Riddles, 83–85; Paul N. Anderson, “Jesus, the Eschatological Prophet in the Fourth Gospel: A Case Study in John’s Dialectical Tensions,” in Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism: Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs, ed. Ben Reynolds and Gabriele Boccaccini, Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 106 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2018), 271–99. Jacob Neusner, What Is Midrash? (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1987).

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Among implicit references to Jewish Scripture by adversaries, Jewish leaders in Jerusalem first accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath with his performed healings (John 5:1–18; 9:1–16 → Exod 20:8–11), after which Jesus accuses them of doing the same by performing Sabbath circumcisions (John 7:21–23). Second, Jesus is accused of blasphemy for equating himself with God and referencing God as his Father (John 5:18; 10:31–33 → Deut 6:6; Lev 24:14–16), to which Jesus responds, also citing Scripture that all are gods (John 10:34 → Ps 82:6; Isa 41:23). He even cajoles them with this alternative citing of a biblical text, asserting (my paraphrase), “And of course we know that Scripture quoted cannot be wrong!”31 Third, Jesus is rejected as either “the Prophet” or “the Messiah” by the Judean leaders because “No prophet comes from Galilee.” Rather, he must come from Bethlehem, the village of David (John 7:41–42, 52 → Mic 5:2), although this may represent an ironic exposure of the religious leaders’ ignorance if the birth narratives underlying Matthew and Luke were familiar by then. Fourth, the Jerusalem Pharisees accuse Jesus of being the presumptuous prophet predicted in Deuteronomy, accusing him of speaking about himself (versus John 5:30–32), thereby invalidating his testimony (John 8:13 → Deut 18:20–22). Explicit references to Scripture by adversaries of Jesus include the Jewish leaders’ demanding another sign following the feeding (as they did in John 2:18) before they accept his authority. Thus, they cite the provision of manna in the wilderness as a challenge (John 6:31 → Exod 16:4; Ps 78:23–25), after which Jesus challenges their exegesis with eschatology: “It was not Moses who gave …, but it is my Father who gives” (John 6:32).32 What these narrative references to authoritative Scripture in the FG show is that believers and adversaries alike are presented as using biblical texts and their understandings of them as bases for receiving and rejecting Jesus as the Jewish Messiah/ Christ. If one were to distinguish Jesus-believing approaches to Scripture versus their alternatives, the Johannine narrator explains Scripture-referencing rejections of Jesus as factors of the following. First, religious leaders in Jerusalem do not approve of Jesus healing on the Sabbath because they do not have the love of God within them, seeking to maintain Sabbath prescriptions while failing to embrace the Sabbath’s health-producing purposes for the needy (John 5:42). Second, people refuse to believe in Jesus because they seek either their own glory or they love the praise of humans, 31

32

See the work of Jaime Clark-Soles, Scripture Cannot Be Broken: The Social Function of the Use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel (Leuven: E. J. Brill, 2003). Martyn, History and Theology, 123. In my analysis, the debate over manna and the feeding in the wilderness does not reflect a hermeneutical expansion upon a proem text (Exod 16:4; versus Peder Borgen, Bread from Heaven: An Exegetical Study of the Concept of Manna in the Gospel of John and the Writings of Philo, JMS 4 (Eugene, OR:  Wipf & Stock, [1965, 1981] 2017); rather, it reflects the rhetorical use of manna from heaven references in Exod 16:4 and Ps 78:23–24 as a secondary text (what I call “a rhetorical trump card” played within a midrashic debate), testing (tempting?—note the parallels to Matt 4:1–11; Luke 4:1–13) Jesus with the demand for a further sign. Anderson, Christology, 211–16; Anderson, “Sitz im Leben,” 11–17. Nonetheless, with Borgen, the midrashic debate featured in John 6:25–66 coheres entirely with Palestine-grounded debates over meanings of Scripture, perhaps reflecting the sort of sustained scriptural debates Jesus of Nazareth may have engaged in with local Jewish authorities, crafted rhetorically as a means of engaging later audiences, exhorting them to choose the life-producing food versus lesser alternatives (vv. 27, 63). When compared alongside the four community crises reflected in the Johannine Epistles, four or five situational issues are set straight with a history-and-theology reading of John 6, over and against the synagogue-only reading of John 9 performed admirably by Martyn.

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rather than the glory of God (5:44; 7:18; 12:41–42). Third, this is because they are not committed to the truth, which Jesus claims to reveal and represent (8:31–32, 43–45; 14:6–7). Fourth, some require signs and wonders before they believe, but blessed are those who believe without having seen (4:48; 6:25–26; 60–66; 7:4–6; 20:29). Fifth, some do not believe simply because they are not his sheep, as his sheep recognize his voice (10:1–5, 4–6, 25–27). Finally, difficult as it seems to the evangelist, the unbelief of “his own” is explicable only as a direct fulfillment of Scripture: As Isaiah had predicted long ago, they look without seeing, listen without hearing, and their hearts are hardened so as to fail to perceive, turn, and be healed (John 12:38–41 → Isa 53:1; 6:9–10). This brings us to the explicit fulfillment of Scripture within the Johannine narrative. Within the function of the narrator’s direct references to the fulfilled word of Scripture in John’s story of Jesus, several clues as to the origin and development of these connections are suggested in the text. First, several references to the disciples not understanding at first, but gaining greater comprehension later, are mentioned, and some of these developments are likely factors of discovering connections in Scripture as the Johannine tradition developed (John 12:16, 13:7, 20:9). Second, as disciples later discovered connections between details in Scripture and elements within the narrated Johannine memory of Jesus and his ministry, Scripture is seen as thereby being fulfilled. Third, the narrator thus presents these fulfillments as central elements of John’s apologetic purpose, seeking to convince hearers and readers that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing they might have life in his name (20:31).

Explicit Scripture Fulfillments in the Narrative ●













The inaugural sign of Jesus in the temple brings to the remembrance of the disciples the Psalmist’s words, “ ‘Zeal for your house will consume me,’ and they believed the Scripture and the words of Jesus” (John 2:17, 22 → Ps 69:9). Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey fulfills the enthronement prophecy of Zechariah: “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” (John 12:14–15 → Zech 9:9). The inconceivable rejection of Jesus is anticipated by Isaiah: “Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:38 → Isa 53:1) The ironic rejection of Jesus is further connected with a second prophesy of Isaiah: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they might not look with their eyes, and understand with their heart and turn—and I would heal them” (John 12:39–41 → Isa 6:10). The Roman soldiers’ casting lots for the robe of Jesus and dividing his clothes among them fulfills the prophecy of the Psalmist: “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots” (John 19:24 → Ps 22:18). The breaking of the bones of the others by the soldiers, but not Jesus, fulfills several scriptural passages: “None of his bones shall be broken” (John 19:36 → Exod 12:10, 46; Num 9:12; Ps 34:20). The piercing of Jesus’s side with a spear fulfills the prophecy of Zechariah: “They will look on the one whom they have pierced” (John 19:37 → Zech 12:10).

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In addition to the narrator’s citation of biblical texts fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus, John’s Jesus is also presented as referencing scriptural instances and citations. Jesus compares his uplifting on the cross to the snakebite-healing bronze serpent in the wilderness, and the mission to the Samaritans is explained as reaping the harvest that others had planted. In response to Jewish leaders questioning his divine agency claims, Jesus reminds his discussants that all persons will be taught by God and that all possess an element of the divine. When questioned about his authorization from the Father, Jesus claims not to be speaking about himself alone, but that the Spirit, the works, and the Father all testify to his missional authenticity. And finally, the betrayal by Judas and the unbelief of the Judean leaders can only be explained as predictions of Scripture. Thus, the fulfilled word of Jewish Scripture not only reflects the evangelist’s rhetorical construction of the Johannine narrative, it also is featured among the claims Jesus is remembered as having made about himself and the divine authorization of his mission.

Explicit Scripture References by Jesus ●













Jesus references Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness as an indicator of the death by which he would die (John 3:13–15 → Num 21:9). Upon inviting his disciples to look upon the fields ripe for harvest, as the Samaritan receive him, he cites the biblical saying, “One sows, and another reaps” (John 4:34 → Amos 9:23). In response to the Jewish leaders questioning how he can say he has come down from heaven, Jesus declares that no one can come to him except being drawn by the Father, and as the prophets have written, “And they shall all be taught by God” (John 6:44–45 → Isa 54:13). When accused of testifying of himself (and thus being the presumptuous prophet of Deut 18:13), Jesus declares that the Father also testifies as to his authenticity: “In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid” (John 8:14, 17 → Deut 19:15). When accused of making divinity claims, Jesus asks, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’?” (John 10:34 → Ps 82:6; Isa 41:23). When Jesus predicts the betrayal of Judas, he declares it to be a fulfillment of Scripture: “The one who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me” (John 13:18 → Isa 41:9). In seeking to explain the unimaginable, as to how his own could have seen his works yet hated him nonetheless, this can only be accounted for as a fulfillment of scriptural word: “They hated me without a cause” (John 15:24–25 → Ps 35:7, 3:52).

As noted in these references, John’s narrative reflects a highly polyvalent presentation of the fulfilled word of Scripture as a rhetorical means of showing Jesus to be the Jewish Messiah apologetically, and yet flawed understandings and uses of Scripture played a role in the religious leaders’ failure to believe in Jesus as such. Sometimes the fulfilled word of Scripture is presented directly, and at other times it is referenced

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indirectly. Finally, the knowing rejection of Jesus by those who should have known better is presented as something unimaginable, only explicable as a factor of scriptural fulfillment. In addition to explicit fulfillments of Scripture, similar features also accompany the implicit fulfillments of Scripture typologically.

7. Typological Fulfillments of Scripture A facile understanding of Second Temple Judaism involves the inference that members of the Jewish populace shared a common, singular understanding of what the Messiah would be like. Messianic expectations were actually quite diverse, especially between members of different socioreligious groups (Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots, etc.), let alone differences between particular regions (Galilee, Samaria, Judea, the Diaspora, etc.). Thus, a good deal of that diversity is replicated in the FG, itself. This further accounts for reasons some people believed in Jesus, while others did not.33 The diversity of messianic expectations in firstcentury CE Judaism makes the uneven reception of Jesus by different individuals and groups understandable from a socioreligious perspective. Nonetheless, nearly every authoritative figure in Israel’s history would have captured the Jewish messianic imagination, and the following Jewish typologies are presented as being fulfilled by the Johannine Jesus. At the outset, however, an odd contrast to the Gospel of Mark presents itself at the beginning of the narrative. While John the Baptist is introduced as the prime witness to Jesus in John 1:6–8 and 15, he is questioned by the Jerusalem authorities as to whether he is indeed Elijah or the Prophet (Moses, 1:19–28), both of which he denies being. This is especially odd because John is clearly associated with Elijah and Moses in Mark (Mark 6:14–16; 8:28; 9:9–13), followed also by Matthew and Luke. In John 1, however, the baptizer denies that he is either Elijah or the Prophet (Moses), and the question is why. It is also odd that Mark’s presentation of the Transfiguration features the appearance of Moses and Elijah (Mark 9:1–8), while this account is missing in the FG, despite Peter, James, and John being cited as present.34 The answer as to John’s departures from the Synoptics here, however, is likely more theological than 33

34

Marinus de Jonge, “Jewish Expectations about the ‘Messiah’ According to the Fourth Gospel,” NTS 19 (1973):  246–70; John J. Collins, The Scepter and the Star: The Messiahs of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Ancient Literature, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2010); Richard J. Bauckham, “Messianism According to the Gospel of John,” in Challenging Perspectives on the Gospel of John, ed. John Lierman, WUNT 2/219 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2006), 34–68; Anderson, “Eschatological Prophet.” Of course, given the Johannine critique of Mark’s gathering of duplicative material the Papian fragment of Eusebius (Hist. Eccles. 3.39), the first edition of John is best understood as a preference for nonduplication rather than a difference of opinion. Paul N. Anderson, The Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus:  Modern Foundations Reconsidered, LNTS 321 (London:  T&T Clark, 2006), 91–95; Paul N. Anderson, “The Jesus of History, the Christ of Faith, and the Gospel of John,” in The Gospels: History and Christology; the Search of Joseph Ratzinger—Benedict XVI, Vol. 2, ed. Bernardo Estrada, Ermenegildo Manicardi, and Armand Puig I Tarrech (Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013), 63–81, here 73–77. Intentional differences of presentation, however, may imply either complementarity with or correction of Mark.

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historical,35 and this is because the Fourth Evangelist clearly endeavors to present Jesus as fulfilling the typologies of Moses and Elijah, over and against their having been done so in Mark. The Johannine evangelist clearly sees Jesus as the Eschatological Prophet, and the narrative is crafted accordingly so as to fulfill the expectation of the coming of Elijah and Moses, heralding the Day of the Lord, as prophesied by Mal 3:1–4:6.36

Jesus: The Prophet Like Moses Whereas Jesus is heralded as the Lamb of God, the King of Israel, and the Son of God in John, he speaks of himself as the one of whom Moses wrote (5:37–47), and this connection is also made by Philip at the outset of the narrative (1:45). As Peder Borgen, Wayne Meeks, Ferdinand Hahn, and Jan-A. Bühner have pointed out, the Johannine sending motif clearly has its root in the Mosaic agency schema of Deut 18:15–22.37 Thus, the central element in the Johannine Father–Son relationship is the conviction that because the Son has been sent by the Father, the agent is in all ways like the one who has sent him, and to respond to the agent is to respond to the sender. As a result, the subordinate and egalitarian elements of the Father–Son relationship in John do not reflect disparate Christologies within a diachronic amalgam; they represent flip sides of the same coin: the Mosaic agency schema extensively appropriated for himself by the Johannine Jesus.38 The Father–Son agency motif is also featured in Mark 12:1–12, so the Father–Son agency thrust is not unique to John, distinctive though it may be. While no fewer than two dozen parallels to Deut 18:15–22 are identifiable within the Johannine presentation of Jesus and his mission, a summary of those connections is as follows.39

35

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38

39

Despite a good number of instances in which John’s memory of Jesus is arguably preferable historically over and against Synoptic presentations, this is a case where the Johannine presentation appears more theological than historical in its origin and character. Anderson, Quest, 135–36, 154– 58. See also J. Louis Martyn, “We Have Found Elijah,” in Jews, Greeks, and Christians:  Religious Cultures in Late Antiquity: Essays in Honor of William David Davies, ed. Robert Hammerton-Kelly and Robin Scroggs (Leiden: Brill, 1976), 181–219. Paul E. Davies, “Jesus and the Role of the Prophet,” JBL 64 (1945):  241–51; T. F. Glasson, Moses in the Fourth Gospel (London; SCM, 1963); Marie-Emile Boismard, Moses or Jesus:  An Essay in Johannine Christology, trans. B. T. Viviano (Leuven:  Peeters, 1993); Severino Pancaro, The Law in the Fourth Gospel: The Torah and the Gospel, Moses and Jesus, Judaism and Christianity According to the Fourth Gospel, NovTSup 42 (Leiden: Brill, 1975); Sumkin Cho, Jesus as Prophet in the Fourth Gospel, NTMon 15 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2006); Stanley Harstine, Moses as a Character in the Fourth Gospel: A Study of Ancient Reading Techniques, LNTS 229 (Sheffiled: Sheffield Academic, 2002); Wayne A. Meeks, The Prophet-King: Moses Traditions and the Johannine Christology, JMS 5 (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, [1967] 2017); Anderson, “Eschatological Prophet.” Ferdinand Hahn, The Titles of Jesus in Christology:  Their History in Early Christianity (London:  Lutterworth, 1969), 352–406; Jan-A. Bühner, Die Gesandte und sein Weg im vierten Evangelium:  Die kultur-und religionsgeschichtlichen Grundlagen der johanneischen Sendungschristologie sowie ihre traditionsgeschichtliche Entwicklung, WUNT 2/2 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 1977); Borgen, “God’s Agent”; Meeks, Prophet-King; Anderson, “Having-Sent-Me Father.” Anderson, Christology, lxxiv–lxxvii, 174–79, 221–24, 260–62; Anderson, “Having-Sent-Me Father”; Anderson, Riddles, 27–29, 180–81. Slightly different outlines of this material are presented in Anderson, “Having-Sent-Me Father,” 36–40; Anderson, Christology, lxxiv–lxxvii; Anderson, “Eschatological Prophet,” 277–83.

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Deuteronomy 18:15–22 as Echoed in John (a) Deuteronomy 18:15a, 18a: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me (Moses) from amidst the brethren.” ●



Jesus is identified as being a prophet like Moses (John 6:14–15), the one of whom Moses wrote (1:45, 5:46). The role of “the Prophet” is ceded by John the Baptist (1:21–25) and declared to be Jesus by the Samaritan woman (4:19), some of the Jews (7:40), and the blind man (9:17).

Deuteronomy 18:15b: “You must listen to him.” ●



The Son bears witness to that which he has seen and heard from the Father (John 3:32; 5:19, 30; 6:46; 8:26, 38, 40; 14:24; 15:15). Rejecting the Son implies neither having heard nor seen the Father (5:37–38; 8:47), and the one not hearing or adhering to Jesus’s words evokes judgment (12:46–48).

Deuteronomy 18:18b: “Yahweh will put his words in his (the prophet’s) mouth.” ●



The words of the Father are spoken by Jesus (John 3:11, 34; 6:63, 68; 7:16–18, 28; 8:28, 38, 55; 12:44–50; 14:24, 31), and those who receive them receive the one on whose behalf he speaks (1:12; 3:36; 5:24; 12:44; 13:20; 14:21–24; 15:10). In John, Jesus not only speaks the words of the Father; he is the Word of God (1:1, 14).

(d) Deuteronomy 18:18c: “He shall speak everything Yahweh commands him (= in his name).” ●



The Son’s word is to be equated with that of the Father precisely because he says nothing on his own but only what he hears and sees from the Father (John 5:19; 10:18, 28–29, 32, 38; 12:49–50; 17:21). Jesus thus comes in the name of the Father (5:43) and in the name of the Lord (acclaimed by the crowd, 12:13), and he seeks to glorify the name of the Father as an extension of his authority (12:28). Jesus has manifested the name of the Father to those given to him, and they are kept in the name of the Father in unity (17:11–12).

Deuteronomy 18:19: “Whoever does not heed Yahweh’s words, which the prophet speaks in his name, will be held accountable.” ●

Those not receiving the Son or his words believingly have already been judged (John 3:16–18; 12:47), and the Father entrusts all judgment to the Son (5:22,

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27); while the Son judges no one (8:15), the truthful words of the Son produce their own judgment if rejected (12:48). Eschatologically, the judgment of the world involves the casting out of the ruler of the world and the lifting up of the Son of Man (12:31–36; 16:11), and the Paraklētos will be sent as a further agent of revelation and judgment (16:8–11).

Deuteronomy 18:20: “However, a prophet who presumes to say in the name of Yahweh anything Yahweh has not instructed, or one who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.” ●



Jesus is accused of speaking and acting presumptuously in John (“breaking” the Sabbath, John 5:16, 18; 7:22–23; 9:16; “deceiving” the crowd, 7:12, 47; and witnessing about himself, 8:13, 53)—and, considered as blasphemy are his calling God his “father” (making himself “equal to God,” 5:18) and accusations of making himself out to be God (10:33) and the Son of God (19:7). Therefore, the Jewish leaders seek to kill Jesus (5:16, 18; 7:1, 19, 25; 8:37, 40, 59; 10:31; 11:8), beginning with his arrest (7:30, 32, 44; 8:20; 10:39; 11:57). They accuse him of having a demon (7:20; 8:48, 52; 10:20)—and even of being “a Samaritan” (8:48)—and they begin to orchestrate his being put to death (11:53; 18:12; 19:7, likewise Lazarus, 12:10).

Deuteronomy 18:22a: “If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and the word does not take place or does not occur, that is a message the Lord has not spoken.” ●



Predictions and earlier words of Jesus are fulfilled in John, especially about his own departure and glorification (John 2:19–22; 3:14; 4:50–53; 6:51, 64–65; 7:33–34, 38–39; 8:21, 28; 10:11, 15–18; 11:4, 23; 12:24, 32–33; 13:33, 38; 14:2–3, 18–20, 23; 15:13; 16:16, 20, 28, 32; 18:9, 32). To remove all doubt, Jesus declares ahead of time what is to take place so that it will be acknowledged that he is sent from God, thus confirming his Mosaic agency from the Father (13:18–19; 14:28–29; 16:2–4; 18:8–9, 31–34).

Deuteronomy 18:22b: “That prophet has spoken presumptuously; do not fear him” (Note the irony, given the fulfilled prolepses!).





Jesus is accused of testifying about himself (see above under f), and not being from David’s city (John 7:41–52) becomes an ironic criterion for rejection by the Judean religious leaders. In further irony, by seeking to have the “presumptuous prophet” put to death at the hand of Pilate—in keeping with Deut 18:20 (19:7)—the Jewish leaders commit blasphemy and hail Caesar as King (19:15).

As this overview of the Mosaic agency schema suggests, many of the elements of the fulfilled word in the FG are tied directly or indirectly to this Mosaic typology

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fulfillment. Especially ironic is the fact that Jesus’s adversaries are portrayed as accusing him of being the presumptuous prophet, when he does not alone testify of himself (the Father, the Spirit, and his works attest to his agency), and his words genuinely come true. Thus, they miss the confirmation of his authority, and those accusing the eschatological Prophet of blasphemy prove themselves guilty of the same, in claiming to have only Caesar as their king (John 19:15). Not only does Jesus link his paradoxical exaltation on the cross to the uplifted serpent of Moses for the healing of the Israelites in Num 21:9 (John 3:14–15), but the Johannine narrator presents Jesus as surpassing the Mosaic feeding in the wilderness (Exod 16; John 6:1–13). Those people ate, but then died; those who ingest the bread that Jesus gives and is, will live into eternity (John 6:48–58).40

Jesus: As Wondrous as Elijah/Elisha Again, as the messenger anticipating the coming Day of the Lord in Malachi 3:1–4:6 involves the sending of Elijah, the association of John the Baptist with this anticipated figure is understandable, and it may even reflect early identifications of John as fulfilling this prophetic role.41 Nonetheless, in the FG, the Baptist denies being Elijah or the Prophet, apparently ceding those typological roles to Jesus—perhaps even subtly echoing the mantle transfer between Elijah and Elisha, whereby the latter is entrusted with a double portion of divine empowerment (2 Kgs 2). Therefore, similar to Elisha’s replenishing the widow’s oil, Jesus replenishes the wine supply at the wedding of Cana (John 2:1–11 → 2 Kgs 4:1–7); parallel to the prophet’s raising of the Shunammite woman’s son, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1–45 → 2 Kgs 4:8–37); and, outperforming Elisha’s feeding of the hundred, also with barley loaves (κριθίνου in the LXX), Jesus feeds the five thousand men in the wilderness as a prophetic sign (John 6:1–13 → 2 Kgs 4:42–44). Whereas the coming of Moses and Elijah is presented twice in Mark—fulfilled both by John the Baptist and on the Mount of Transfiguration—the Gospel of John is silent on the Transfiguration scenario, and John denies being either Elijah or the eschatological Prophet. After all, these typologies are fulfilled by Jesus himself, which comprises a central feature of John’s apologetic narrative.

Jesus as the Son of Man in John In the Synoptics and in John, Jesus is presented as claiming to be the Son of Man. As this Christological title is nowhere to be found in later Christian confessions, and elsewhere in the New Testament it is found only in the witness of Stephen (Acts 7:56) and in the heavenly visions of the Apocalypse (Rev 1:13, 14:14), it most likely represents the self-understanding of Jesus rather than the more developed confessions of his followers. In ways somewhat similar to Mark, John’s presentation of Jesus as the

40

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This is the first time in Jewish literature that manna in the wilderness is referenced as death producing; Anderson, Christology, 194–220. John A. T. Robinson, “Elijah, John and Jesus: An Essay in Detection,” NTS 4 (1958): 263–81; Martyn, “We Have Found Elijah”; Anderson, “Eschatological Prophet,” 283–88.

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Son of Man incorporates both the heavenly agency of the Son of Man in Dan 7:13 and the commissioned prophet of Dan 8:17 and the entire book of Ezekiel. Thus, the Johannine Son of Man ascends and descends from heaven (John 1:51, 3:13, 6:62), is given authority to execute judgment (5:27, 9:35), will be lifted up as a paradoxical exaltation (3:14, 8:28, 12:34) and glorification (12:23, 13:31), and will offer life producing food into eternity (6:27, 53). Along these lines, the Son of Man motif in John is conflated with a number of other biblical motifs, including the ascending and descending Angels of Jacob’s vision (John 1:51 → Gen 28:11–13), the blessedness of Abraham (John 8:28–58 → Gen 12–17), and the royal Davidic enthronement prophecy of Zechariah (John 12:12–36 → Zech 9:9). Overall, though, the Johannine Son of Man motif confirms Jesus as the eschatological Prophet of Israel, fulfilled in a number of diverse ways.42

Jesus as the Fulfillment of Typological Israel Despite historic and recent inferences of Johannine anti-Semitism, or even John’s story of Jesus being anti-Jewish, Jesus is presented as fulfilling the leading typologies of Judaism in Second Temple Israel, including the Jewish priesthood, temple, and festivals.43 Thus, in contrast to Paul’s seeking to define the margins and boundaries of Judaism, John seeks to connect the mission and identity of Jesus with Judaism’s center.44 In addition to showing his fulfillment of numerous biblical texts and typologies, Jesus is claimed and shown to be the fulfillment of typological Israel. Declared at the outset of the narrative, Jesus is hailed by Nathanael of Cana and the crowd of Jerusalem as “the King of Israel” (John 1:49, 12:13 → Zeph 3:15). As such, the Markan crowd derides Jesus, cajoling him to come down from the cross if he were indeed the Jewish king (Mark 15:32). More extensively, however, John’s distinctive presentation of the I-Am sayings of Jesus confirms his fulfillment of key typological associations with Israel as the redemptive agency of God.

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E. M. Sidebottom, “The Johannine Son of Man and His Antecedents,” in The Christ of the Fourth Gospel: In the Light of First-Century Thought (London: SPCK, 1961), 69–83; Stephen S. Smalley, “The Johannine Son of Man Sayings,” NTS 15 (1969):  278–301; Robert Hamerton-Kelly, Pre-Existence, Wisdom, and Son of Man: A Study of the Idea of Pre-Existence in the New Testament, SNTSMS 21 (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1973), 197–242; John W. Pryor, “The Johannine Son of Man and the Descent-Ascent Motif,” JETS 34 (1991):  201–18; Francis J. Moloney, The Johannine Son of Man, 2nd ed., BSR 14 (Rome: Libreria Ateno Salesiano, 1978); Margaret Pamment, “The Son of Man in the Fourth Gospel,” JTS 36 (1985): 56–66; Benjamin E. Reynolds, The Apocalyptic Son of Man in the Gospel of John, WUNT 2/249 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008). John Paul Heil, “Jesus as the Unique High Priest in the Gospel of John,” CBQ 57 (1995): 729–45; Paul M. Hoskins, Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Temple in the Gospel of John (Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2006); Mary L. Coloe, PVBM, God Dwells with Us:  Temple Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel (Collegeville, PA: Michael Glazier, 2001); Gale A. Yee, Jewish Feasts in the Gospel of John (Collegeville, PA: Michael Glazier, 1989); Michael A. Daise, Feasts in John: Jewish Festivals and Jesus’ Hour in the Fourth Gospel, WUNT 229 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2007); Gerry Wheaton, The Role of Jewish Feasts in John’s Gospel, SNTSMS 162 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015). Paul N. Anderson, “Anti-Semitism and Religious Violence as Flawed Interpretations of the Gospel of John,” in John and Judaism, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and Paul N. Anderson, RBS 87 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2017), 265–311.

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The I-Am sayings of Jesus in John fall into two grammatical categories: the absolute and the predicate nominative uses of the term. While at least two of the absolute uses of the term reflect a theophanic association with the burning bush motif of Exod 3:14 (see also Mark 12:26), most of them either reflect a simple identification (“It is I”) or a reference to the missional claims of Jesus, although some double entendre is also apparent.45 While some of these themes and associations could go back to memories of Jesus and his ministry, they clearly reflect Johannine paraphrastic adaptation, fitting the rhetorical purposes of the evangelist. While Bultmann and others point out that John’s nine I-Am themes address the existential condition of all humanity—Jewish and Gentile, this does not imply a Gnostic or Hellenistic origin of these themes.46 Additionally, each of these terms is also employed by the Jesus of the Synoptics, so it cannot be said that they are truncated from the teachings of the Synoptic Jesus, though they are developed distinctively in John.47 Nonetheless, the Johannine rhetorical thrust shows Jesus to be the embodiment of typological Israel as a Christocentric fulfillment of the Jewish vocation, and parallel to the Son of Man sayings in John, the I-Am sayings of Jesus further this thrust. Note these typological echoes of biblical Israel.

The Johannine I-Am Sayings: Typological Embodiments of Israel ●









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Jesus is the “bread of life” (John 6:35, 48) giving life to the world through his word (John 6:31, 50–63); → one does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deut 8:3), and God provided bread from heaven in the wilderness to eat (Exod 16:4; Ps 78:23–25). Jesus is “the light of the world” (John 8:12, 9:5); → the people of Israel will be a light to the nations (Isa 42:6, 49:6, 60:3). Jesus is “the gate of the sheepfold” and he will also gather sheep outside the fold into one flock (John 10:7, 9, 16); → God will gather the remnant of Israel as sheep in a fold (Mic 2:12). Jesus is “the good and true shepherd” who does not abandon the sheep amidst danger but lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11–14); → Israel’s leaders as shepherds are called to nurture the flock and not themselves (Ps 78:70–72; Jer 23:2; Ezek 34:2). Jesus is “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25); → Job knows his Redeemer lives, and that he will indeed see God (Job 19:25–26).

Regarding a simple identification (“It is I”), see John 18:5–8; regarding Jesus’s claims to be whom he says he is, see John 4:26; 8:24, 28; 13:19; on Jesus’s desire that his disciples should be with him, where he is, see John 7:34, 36; 8:21; 17:24; regarding a theophanic association, see John 6:20, 8:58. Anderson, Christology, 179–87. For the view that the Johannine I-Am sayings reflect associations with the sustaining work of Yahweh in Isaiah, see Catrin H. William, I am He: The Interpretation of ‘ANI HU’ In Jewish and Early Christian Literature, WUNT 2/113 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000). Rudolf Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, Vol. 2, trans. Kendrick Grobel (New York: Scribner’s, 1955), 3–92; Anderson, Christology, 21, 170–220. Franz Mussner, The Historical Jesus in the Gospel of John, trans. W. J. O’Hara, Quaestiones Disputatae 19 (New York: Herder & Herder, 1967); Paul N. Anderson, “The Origin and Development of the Johannine Egō Eimi Sayings in Cognitive-Critical Perspective,” JSHJ 9, nos. 2–3 (2011): 139–206.

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Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6); → the way of Yahweh is to walk in his truth, leading to the way of life (Ps 86:11; Jer 21:8). Jesus is “the true vine” (John 15:5); → Israel is the vineyard of the Lord (Isa 5:7).

Thus, while the Gospel of John features a good number of explicitly fulfilled references to cited Scripture texts, as does the Matthean tradition, far more common are John’s implicitly fulfilled references to themes, persons, and typologies rooted in Jewish Scripture. Direct and indirect references to Jewish Scripture in the FG serve a common function:  building an apologetic case for Jesus being the Jewish Messiah, the Son of God.48 While the evangelist’s rhetorical designs are here apparent, however, the Johannine Gospel is not the originator of such developments. They are also evident in less developed ways in the Gospel of Mark, and their origin antedates the development of written gospel traditions, themselves. If John and Mark can be considered the Bi-Optic Gospels, representing two individuated perspectives from day one,49 an interesting fact is that they both share several references to Scripture fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus, perhaps representing primitive origins of this operation.

8. The Fulfilled Word of Scripture—In Bi-Optic Perspective While most of the fulfilled word motifs in the Gospel of John reflect the evangelist’s and the compiler’s constructive work over the course of the tradition’s development, some Scripture-fulfillment themes are shared also with the Gospel of Mark, plausibly reflecting earlier traditional memory, and possibly even connected to the ministry of Jesus itself. Thus, in bi-optic perspective, corroborative impressions emerge when noting these contacts, especially when accompanied by distinctive nuances. Of course, these Johannine-Markan similarities could be accidental, or they may reflect one tradition’s making use of the other, but a more likely inference involves some sort of intertraditional contact during the formative stages of these traditions, perhaps reflecting ways that understandings of Jesus and his ministry were delivered by the tradents within the formative stages of their traditions, however the intertraditional contacts might have occurred.50

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James F. McGrath, John’s Apologetic Christology:  Legitimation and Development in Johannine Christology, SNTSMS 111 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). Argued in Anderson, Christology, 87–88, 153–60, 170–93; Anderson, “Mark and John—the Bi-Optic Gospels.” Along these lines and building on his commentary (AB 29A, 1966), the explanation offered by Ray Brown is most compelling:  Given the shared details between John and Mark regarding two hundred and three hundred denarii, “perfume made from real nard” (and, I  would add, “green grass” and “much grass,” Christology, 97–107, 170–92), some sort of “cross-influence” between these traditions is the most likely inference, as movement from one tradition to the other is impossible to ascertain. Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the Gospel of John, ed. Francis J. Moloney (New York: Doubleday, 2003), 102. I describe this relationship between the oral traditions underlying the Markan and Johannine traditions as reflecting at least a bit of interfluentiality:  Anderson, “Interfluential, Formative, and Dialectical.” The most extensive aspect of the Markan-Johannine

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First, in both Mark and John, John the Baptist claims to be “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,’ ” making his paths straight (Mark 1:2–3; John 1:23 → Isa 40:3). The Markan and Johannine presentations of the baptizer differ in some other ways, but they both show John to be self-identifying as fulfilling the word of Isaiah and thus preparing the way of the Lord. Second, both Mark and John reference Isa 6:9–10 as an accounting for why the delivered message about Jesus as the Messiah/Christ is unevenly received. As an ironic fulfillment of Scripture, people see but do not perceive; they hear but do not understand (Mark 8:18; John 12:37– 41). Third, upon his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Markan and the Johannine Gospels present this as a clear fulfillment of the nonviolent enthronement prophecy of Zechariah (Mark 9:9; John 12:15 → Zech 9:9). While other echoes of biblical text references shared between the Johannine and Markan traditions could possibly be noted, these three instances suggest some sort of intertraditional engagement (perhaps even interfluence) during the formative stages of their development. Most plausibly, John the Baptist was connected early on with the voice crying in the wilderness, as signaled by Isa 40:3, and the climactic entry into Jerusalem by Jesus on a donkey’s colt (cited in all four Gospels) clearly reflects an enactment of Zech 9:9, likely from day one. The accounting for the rejection of Jesus by his own as an ironic fulfillment of Isa 6:9–10 harkens back also to early traditional memory, as it accounts for the uneven reception of Jesus as the unimagined outcome of what had been prophesied by Israel’s greatest prophet. In these ways, the fulfilled word of Jewish Scripture represents not only a later set of reflections in the Johannine tradition, it also reflects early understandings of Jesus and his mission, as narrated in Mark and John, the Bi-Optic Gospels. As Mark’s references to Scripture are more allusive overall, so are John’s from 1:19 to 12:36. It is only at the last days of Jesus, upon his final visit to Jerusalem, that the explicit Scripture-fulfillment passages are featured.51 The pre-Passion ministry of Jesus in both Mark and John operates figurally, drawing connections between biblical passages, types, themes, and heroes, clarifying and authorizing the works and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. And, Scripture is cited by Jesus and Jewish authorities of his day, likely reflecting such engagements during his actual ministry, however they may have developed. In post-resurrection perspective, however, the Johannine tradition adds a number of explicit Scripture-fulfillment passages, reflecting connections made between memories of Jesus’s ministry and associative links in Jewish Scripture. Thus, ways that Jesus of Nazareth engaged Scripture—both synthetically and antithetically—with his original interlocutors are both reflected and expanded upon in gospel traditions from their earliest to their latest stages of development.

9. Conclusion: The Fulfilled Word in the Fourth Gospel in Polyvalent Perspective While the above analysis moves from the later stages of the Johannine tradition to its earlier ones, but in conclusion, a view from earlier to later stages in its development

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relationship, however, reflects John’s augmentation of Mark, while also setting the record straight here and there: Anderson, “Mark, John, and Answerability.” Hays, Reading Backwards, 79–81; Freed, Old Testament Quotations.

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is also worth considering. (a) At the outset, Jesus of Nazareth embraced meanings of Scripture and debated them with the religious leaders of his day; these presentations are recorded in similar and different ways in bi-optic perspectives in the Markan and Johannine Gospels. He also put some of them into play in his ministry, and debates with adversaries and followers alike are remembered within gospel traditions, accounting for his uneven reception. (b)  Jesus is remembered as predicting some things that came true—regarding events in his ministry and his death and resurrection—thus confirming his being the authentic Prophet-Like-Moses, whose prophecy in Deut 18:15–22 is confirmed in John as being fulfilled in the agency of Jesus as sent from the Father. (c) Jesus is remembered in John as fulfilling Scripture typologically, and the traditional gathering of implicit and explicit fulfillments of Jewish Scripture is constructed rhetorically in service to the apologetic purpose of especially the first edition of the Johannine narrative (John 20:30–31). (d) In addition to proleptic words of Jesus that are presented as being fulfilled during his ministry, the Johannine narrative presents predictions of Jesus that would have been recognized as the fulfilled word of Jesus over the next six or seven decades of the tradition’s development. (e) While John’s first edition includes five signs not included in Mark, John’s later material (including the prologue, chs. 6, 15–17, and 21, and the eyewitness attestation of 19:34–35) harmonizes the Johannine account with the Synoptics, and the final compiler defends the Johannine autonomy and attests with his community that the Beloved Disciple’s testimony is true. (f) Finally, as a corporate affirmation of the Johannine account of Jesus and his ministry, the Johannine Logos hymn was composed as a confessional attestation, which was then added as an audience-engaging introduction to the earlier narrative beginning (like Mark) with the witness of John the Baptist. Thus, in polyvalent perspective, not only are the Jewish Scriptures, the words of Jesus, and the witness of Johannine evangelist fulfilled in John’s story of Jesus but so is the creative and redemptive cosmic Word at the beginning of time, which brings order out of chaos and conveys God’s love for the world in ways incarnational and revelational. That being the case, however, the divine Word in the FG is only finally fulfilled as later audiences become receptive and responsive to God’s loving grace and truth, borne not of human initiative or scaffolding but in faithful embrace of the divine initiative (1:9–17). And therein lies the ultimate fulfillment of the human–divine dialogue, which can only be personal, existential, and transformational.

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Rumors of Glory: A Narrative, Exegetical, and Reception-Historical Reading of John 12:36b–43 Archie J. Spencer

Introduction Early in his musical career the Canadian music artist, Bruce Cockburn, referred to the opacity of religious knowledge in a number of his songs. The first part of the title for this chapter is taken from his earlier hit, “Rumors of Glory.”1 The title and lyrics of the song seem to reflect the same tentativeness on the part of the Jews toward revelation that marks the proclamation of Jesus as the revelation of the “glory” of God in John’s Gospel.2 Cockburn was on to something with respect to the fleeting nature of the hopefulness of “glory.” It seems to gleam brightly on the plane of history, only to disappear against the backdrop of the angst and transitory-ness of human existence. Rudolf Bultmann detects the same proclivity toward the lack of human understanding of the revelation of God’s “glory” in the Johannine community and for that matter in his own time.3 For all its clarity and simplicity in its presentation of the Gospel story, there is still a deeper sense of the hiddenness of its portrayal of revelation in John’s overall narrative. What follows herein is an analysis of John 12:36b–43, with reference to its narrative context and select reception-historical contexts. John’s Gospel seems replete with concepts of revelation that lead later Christian communities to reflect on its tendencies to only amount to “rumors of glory.” “Glory” (δόξα), in John’s Gospel, should be taken as a reference to Jesus’s relationship to the divine Father. This is the key word that connects Father and Son in John. The underlying assumption of this paper takes its cue from Bultmann’s assessment that John 12:37–43 operates as a “conclusion” to the “Book of Signs” (2:1–12:36).4 One can assert with a fair degree of confidence that, up to and

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Bruce Cockburn, “Rumors of Glory” from the title track, Rumors of Glory (Vancouver:  Plane Records, 1985). The same themes can be detected in his other songs, “Waiting for a Miracle,” “World of Wonders,” and “Lovers in a Dangerous Time.” Rudolf Bultmann, The Gospel of John: A Commentary, ed. G. R. Beasley Murray, trans. R. W. Hoare and J. K. Riches (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1971), 111–12. Ibid., 452–53. I will be looking at 12:36a–37 since 36b seems to belong to the conclusion as well.

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including the close of Jesus’s public ministry in John 12:37–43, the fullness of the glory of God is expressed only as rumors of his relationship to the Father, with whom he appears to share this glory. That is to say, the fullness of that glory does not come to fruition until the farewell discourses (chs. 13–17) and only then as the essential meaning of the passion and resurrection narratives in chs. 18–20. Furthermore, in John’s Gospel the content of this revelation of God’s glory in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is always held in dialectical tension between being fully revealed and fully hidden, leading to various conditions of “belief/unbelief.” It is only as we see Jesus “lifted up” that the fullness of this glory comes into view. A brief look at reception history of John’s Gospel illustrates how this dialectic contributed to a rather negative conception of the knowledge of God in terms of the subsequent conception of revelation within the Christian faith.5 The development of this attitude can be illustrated in the commentary of the early Christian scholar Origen and more recently in the work of Rudolf Bultmann. In order to establish this suggestion of the muted expressions of divine revelation in these chapters, we will proceed in two ways. First, we will offer a basic exegesis of John 12:36b–43 in terms of the narrative context of the passage and its function in the Gospel as a pivotal text, transitioning from the opacity of revelation of Jesus the Word (2:1–12:36) to the full revelation of Jesus as the glory of God the Father (chs. 13–20). Elements contained within vv. 36b–43 clearly indicate a summative point from which John moves into a more discourse-oriented declaration of the glory of God that culminates in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The narrative features of John’s Gospel bring the principle of rumors of glory into sharper focus and underline just how indirect the revelation of God was considered to be in the Johannine community, at least as far as the narrator/editor/evangelist is concerned.6 Second, we will employ the method of “reception history” to the commentaries that have come down to us from Origen and Bultmann, in order to illustrate the varying degrees of hermeneutical development in the historical reception of John’s Gospel. Despite these hermeneutical variations from age to age, the opacity of the revelation of God’s glory in Jesus Christ remains a central theme in the historical reception of John’s Gospel.7

1. The Narrative Context of John 12:36b–43 The meta-narrative of John’s Gospel is a call on the part of the evangelist to believe in Jesus Christ, the λόγος, as the express revelation of God in human flesh, via his divine Sonship and preexistent origination from the Father (1:1–18). The practical nature of

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This method is well laid out in Emma England and John Lyons (eds.), Reception History and Biblical Studies: Theory and Practice (London: Bloomsbury, 2015). I am following here the narrative theory established by R. Alan Culpepper’s, The Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel (Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1983). See also, Mark Stibbe, John as Story Teller: Narrative Criticism and the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). I employ Bultmann’s commentary as cited above. For Origen I  employ the translation in P. Schaff (ed.), Ante Nicene Fathers Vol. 9, Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of John (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Press, 4th Printing, 2004), 297–408.

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this revelation is demonstrated throughout the Gospel in terms of the various levels of response to it, especially as it comes to expression in the signs and discourses that Jesus does and says.8 Multiple levels of response include those who only express halfhearted belief, usually dependent upon some provision for their needs and/or a sign offered by Jesus; outright opposition to his signs and words, expressed in the crowd and/or the “Jews/Jewish rulers”; and, though rare, steadfast faith in Jesus without the need for a sign. “Genuine” believers only emerge with great difficulty, either as direct disciples of Jesus or as somewhat secretive believers like Nicodemus. The evangelist seems interested in narrating precisely the difficulty of coming to “faith” in the message of the gospel in relation to a world that struggles to comprehend the significance of the revelation that Jesus constitutes. It is possible to trace out this struggle beginning with the first sign in Cana (2:1ff.). Though the sign was done against Jesus’s own best sense of timing, it nevertheless was meant to point his mother, and those present at the wedding feast, to “his glory” (2:11). This phrase marks what becomes the essence of the content of the divine revelation that Jesus is to be. The subsequent signs and discourses/narrations in chs. 3–11 all have a similar aim, but all are relatively successful, or not, depending upon the witnesses to the events. The signs tend to be presented as public in nature and culminate in the raising of Lazarus (ch. 11), which becomes the paradigmatic sign performed in Jesus public ministry. The conclusion in ch. 12 is that, despite the overwhelming nature of these deed words, there were still many who refused to believe (12:37). Chapters 13–20 describe Jesus’s initial retreat to a more private, communal context, where the fullness of that revelation now begins to break upon the scene of human history with unmistakable clarity and precision, at least from the point of view of the evangelist. With this narrative context in mind, let us now undertake an extended exegesis in order to establish it.

2. John 12:36b–43: Exegetical Considerations The key to the whole of vv. 37–50 is surely v.  37. It reads, “Even though he had performed these mighty signs before their very eyes, still they did not believe in him.” Clearly, the evangelist is drawing a conclusion from all that has preceded. It was already foreshadowed in the prologue that the λόγος would come into the world as the light, but that his own “would not receive him” (1:11). The critical question at this point is:  Why did “his own” for the most part reject him? As Ernst Haenchen comments, “The marvel of disbelief seems so enormous to the speaker that he can only have recourse to the divine will itself.”9 The question hangs over their inability to comprehend the revelation.

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Raymond E. Brown identifies four levels of “belief ” in John. See his The Gospel According to John, I–XII, AB 29 (New York: Doubleday, 1986), 530–31. Ernst Haenchen, John, trans. Robert W. Funk, Hermeneia Series, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1984), 2:101.

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Furthermore, in the immediate context we must ask, who are “they” that refuse to believe? The larger context of ch. 12 seems to indicate from v. 9 a “large crowd of the Jews” (ὄχλος πολὺς ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων). But a little further on in the chapter the nature of the crowd seems to change, indicating a larger, perhaps ethnically broader group. The text reads, “On the following day a large crowd” had gathered, but there is no immediate indication of their identity. They are simply referred to as ὁ ὄχλος πολὺς. However, the “triumphal entry” that follows clearly indicates a group of people who are not openly hostile to Jesus. The rest of the chapter takes pains to refer to both Greeks and other followers who seem happy to “continue to testify” about him. Thus, “they” here cannot exclusively be the “Jewish” opposition to Jesus or, even more narrowly, the “Φαρισαῖοι” mentioned in v. 19. Given the overall narrative context, “they” are all those who have encountered Jesus in his public ministry and yet are failing to comprehend who Jesus is and the “glory of God” that he embodies. To be sure, the prototypical “unbelievers” in John are “his own” (1:11), in the sense of “the Jews.” But “the Jews” in John’s Gospel also seem to represent the most hardened of all who fail to comprehend the revelation on various levels. The evangelist now invokes the explanation for this failure of belief. Verse 38 reads, “This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the Prophet which he spoke: ‘Lord, who believed the message we told; And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed.’ ” The double citation from Isaiah that now follows (vv. 38 and 40) is an explanation of the failure of belief on “their” part. It would seem that Isaiah enjoys somewhat of a privileged status in terms of Scripture citations throughout the Gospel. The evangelist’s relationship to Scripture, in terms of direct citations, allusions, and background narrative, is deceptive at first sight. Brown mentions that “John has fewer citations than have the other Gospels … 70 for Mark, 109 for Luke and 124 for Matthew.”10 However, the “infrequency of Johannine testimonia” to Scripture does not mean that it is less imbued with Hebrew influence. Following C.  K. Barrett et  al., Brown affirms that “many of the synoptic testimonia have been woven into the structure of the Fourth Gospel without explicit citation of the Old Testament.”11 This is a fact now well established in Johannine studies. Of the citations of the Prophets, Isaiah dominates with seven, while only two other citations come from Zechariah.12 The citation here at v. 38 is taken almost word for word from the Septuagint’s Isa 53:1. The evangelist receives this text without much alteration in its original meaning, as such. He echoes the complaint of the prophet as though it were his own to witness that no one has believed him and that the “arm of the Lord” (perhaps applicable to Jesus power and authority here) has been revealed to no effect. This unbelief is further described in v. 40 as a “hardening of their hearts,” a citation taken from Isa 6:9–10. Here the idea being lionized is the fact of unbelief itself and its explanation. Bultmann is on the mark in identifying the meaning of the connection between Isa 53:1 and Isa 6:9–10, as, in the mind of the evangelist, a “determination” of “the character of the revelation” that has come through Jesus. He writes, “The revelation brings to light the authentic 10 11 12

Brown, Gospel According to John, lix. Ibid., lx. Ibid.

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being of Man.”13 Bultmann’s conclusion is significant in terms of the reception of John’s Gospel in the history of Christianity and is well worth quoting. He writes, Looking at Jewish unbelief, which is not an accidental factor, the question should rise up in a frightening manner before the reader as to what [group] he belongs to, whence he “comes” and what determines his existence. The thought that one’s actual behavior in an individual instance is determined by the deepest ground of being does not destroy the responsibility, [to believe] but for the first time awakens it. … Man cannot look on his authentic being as something given in nature, rather he discovers it in his decisions.14

The evangelist thinks that appealing to this divine determination at the very least goads one to consider the possibility of belief. In sum, the results of the public ministry of Jesus thus far have been made clear. By and large the people who have encountered Jesus, represented best in the “Jews,” refuse to believe the rumors of glory that have everywhere and in every way attended the itineration of his ministry. His disciples exhibit a much more consistent faith, to be sure, but even they need further instruction as to its content and meaning. Just as in the Jewish Scriptures, the revelation of God on Sinai was hidden (Exod 33–34); so also, as exemplified in the “unbelief ” of the Jews, it remains hidden despite the fact that the mighty works of God then and the signs of Jesus now were unmistakable revelations of God’s glory.15 Verse 39 follows up on the Isaianic citation from the Servant Song with a bit of a twist in terms of its original context and meaning, as follows: “For this reason they were not able to believe, as Isaiah also said.” The διὰ τοῦτο seems to have a double reference, connecting the meaning of two Isaiah passages, the one preceding and the one about to come. Their inability to believe is not a matter of their will; it was, rather, predetermined, as prophesied in Isaiah. Thus, Isa 6:10 is clearly linked to Isa 53:1. The passive mood of the indicative, ἠδύναντο, marks the nature of their inability to believe. The verse looks like “naked predestinarianism” in its isolated context.16 Still, the argument for the divine intention to dull the understanding and harden the heart is not wholly incommensurate with the obstinance demonstrated by the Jews in their history. The invocation of Isaiah here is not without reason or justification on the part of the evangelist. Verse 39 is followed by an indirect citation of Isa 6:9–10 as follows: “He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and be converted, and I heal them.” All three traditions have 13 14 15

16

Bultmann, The Gospel of John, 453. Ibid. On Exodus chs. 33–34 as the background to John’s Gospel, see William J. Dumbrell, “Grace and Truth: The Progress of the Argument of the Prologue of John’s Gospel,” in Doing Theology for the People of God: Studies in Honor of J. I. Packer, ed. Donald Lewis and Alister McGrath (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996), 105–21. C. K. Barrett, The Gospel According to St John, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia, PA:  Westminster, 1978), 431. He notes, “With this reason for unbelief must be set that given in v. 43. The divine predestination works through human moral choices, for which men are morally responsible.”

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differences here: the Masoretic Text (MT), the Septuagint (LXX), and the evangelist. Suggestions as to how it came into the hands of the evangelist in this form, or why he might have altered it, are inconclusive. Here we have an excellent example of text reception history in the New Testament itself. But what are we to make of it, and especially its connection to Isa 53:1, and the rest of the well-known “Servant Song”? The context for both passages in the LXX does not suggest any intertextual or semantic connection. For these reasons scholars like Schnackenburg, Käsemann, Keener, and so forth, have treated these passages in semantic isolation, with the tendency to distance the evangelist from the “Servant Song” tradition.17 Jonathan Lett has correctly pointed out that this not only ignores the overall narrative of the evangelist in respect to his conception of the “glory of God,” it also overlooks what is surely an underlying connection between the servant and his glory that John assumes.18 The latter issue we shall discuss in the next section of the paper. The exegesis here will try to be attentive to the first deficiency.19 Isa 6:9–10, in its variant reading, is brought in to strengthen and confirm the divine determination of the unbelief of the “Jews.” In the MT, there is a threefold coupling of hearing with seeing, the first two in that order, with the order reversed only in the last coupling. The NASV renders it as “He said, ‘Go, and tell this people’: ‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ ‘Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed.’ ” The reordering of “ears” and “eyes” on the part of the evangelist, in favor of “seeing” and “hearing” in the opening clause, is perhaps in line with the narrative context of the Gospel that stresses so much the dialectic between light and darkness, blindness and sight. It is no doubt reflective of the healing of the blind man in 9:39–41. Likewise, the passage after 2:36b–37, vv. 44–46, ends with an appeal to believe in Jesus as the true “light.” George Beasley-Murray is right to call attention to this, writing, “The Evangelist interprets the course of events in the ministry of Jesus, as in the time of the church’s ministry to Israel, in the light of Isaiah 6:9–10, and in so doing implicitly calls on his Jewish contemporaries to come out from their situation of judgment on their unbelief.”20 Only Jesus can bring the unbelievers true sight, true hearing, and true understanding. Haenchen is willing to connect these passages into a single narrative.21

17

18

19 20 21

Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John:  A Commentary, 2  vols. (Peabody, MA:  Hendrickson, 2003), 2.883. See also, Rudolf Schnackenburg, The Gospel According to St. John, 4 vols., trans. Kevin Smith (New York: Herder and Herder, 1968), 2.416. Jonathan Lett, “The Divine Identity of Jesus as the Reason for Israel’s Unbelief in John, 12:36–43,” JBL 135 (2016):  159–73. See also John Painter, “The Quotation of Scripture and Unbelief in John 12.36b–43,” in The Gospels and the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and W. Richard Stegner (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1994), 430; Maarten J. J. Menken, “The Use of the Septuagint in Three Quotations in John: John 10:34; 12:38; 19:24,” in The Scriptures in the Gospels, ed. C. M. Tuckett (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1997), 386; Francis J. Moloney, Signs and Shadows: Reading John 5–12 (Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 1996). For the connection between these passages, see Barrett, Gospel According to St John, 431; Brown, Gospel According to John, 485; Barnabas Lindars, The Gospel of John (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1981), 437; Maarten J. J. Menken, Old Testament Quotations in the Fourth Gospel: Studies in Textual Form (Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1996), 108. Lett, “Divine Identity of Jesus,” 161–62. George R. Beasley-Murray, John, WBC 36 (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987), 217. Haenchen, John, 2.101.

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Lett is right to see a greater narrative connection between these two texts and their citation traditions.22 Whatever else was happening in the Johannine community, these texts were resonating as a single narrative. The evangelist now draws his conclusions as to why these two texts represent the answer to the question as to the “unbelief ” of the “Jews” in v. 41: “These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke concerning Him.” This text is the key to understanding the background narrative upon which the Gospel seems to be trading. The pivot is not just to be seen in v. 37 alone, with the unbelief of “the Jews.” It includes the double citation and double conclusion that the evangelist enumerates. The second conclusion now comes into focus, namely that Isaiah foresaw what “the Jews” could never foresee that Jesus is the express revelation of the “glory” of God. Isaiah not only sees the glory (εἶδεν τὴν δόξαν), he even speaks concerning Jesus (ἐλάλησεν περὶ αὐτοῦ). Here the connection between the “Servant Song” of Isaiah (52:13–53:12) and the evangelist’s overall narrative comes into focus. Again, Lett’s comment is worth noting: First, Jesus and the servant are both exalted and glorified (δόξαν). Only after Jesus was glorified … do the disciples “remember” … that what was written about him had been done to him (12:16). … Just as John 12 looks forward to the actual event of Jesus’s glorification, so, too, does the Servant Song anticipate God’s promise that the servant will be glorified. (Isa 52:13)23

If Lett is correct, then the reference to “glory” and its having been foreseen by Isaiah seems to lead one to think that the connection was already apparent in the Johannine community. Brown says it is possible that a Targum tradition on Isaiah stands behind the evangelist’s portrayal of the “glory” of Jesus here. This view has merit. If we combine the traditions of Moses and Abraham, cited earlier in the Gospel, Moses as antitype and Abraham as visionary (8:56), together with the Targumic tendency to stress the hiddenness of God’s self-revelation, we may conclude that it fits well with the evangelist’s understanding of the multilayered nature of belief-unbelief.24 Here, in relation to this text, John Ronning makes an interesting suggestion as to the connection between the servant and Jesus in vv. 38 and 41. He writes, “With respect to John 12:41 and Isa 6, it is also of interest that Tg. Ps.J. … borrows from Isa 6:1 in a way that suggests the possibility that another Targum, no longer extant, spoke explicitly of Isaiah seeing the glory of the divine Word: ‘The Word of the LORD sits on his throne, 22 23 24

Lett, “Divine Identity of Jesus,” 159–73. Ibid., 162. Brown, Gospel According to John, 487. The suggestion that the author(s) of the Fourth Gospel is somewhat dependent on a copy of the Isaiah Targum that predated Targum Jonathan has advanced since Brown’s comments. See for instance, John H. Ronning, “The Targum of Isaiah and the Johannine Literature,” WTJ 69 (2007): 247–78; Craig A. Evans, “Obduracy and the Lord’s Servant,” in Early Jewish and Christian Exegesis: Studies in Memory of William Hugh Brownlee, ed. Craig A. Evans and William F. Stinespring, Scholars Press Homage Series 10 (Atlanta, GA:  Scholars Press, 1987), 221–36; Michael A. Fishbane, “Inner Biblical Exegesis: Types and Strategies of Interpretation in Ancient Israel,” in Midrash and Literature, ed. Geoffrey H. Hartman and Sanford Budick (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986), 30–45.

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high and lifted up, and hears our prayers.’ ”25 There are other possible explanations for the connection, of course. But the preponderance of evidence throughout the Gospel, of parallel references to Targum Isaiah, makes it probable that he is replicating the connection often made therein for a direct reference between the ascension of Isaiah (Isa 6:9–10) and of the suffering servant (Isa 53:1). This argument for the background of John 12:37–41 fits well with the narrative context of the whole Gospel we have outlined above. The evangelist advances a story regarding the difficulty of belief in Jesus, due to the overwhelming nature of his revelation as the glory of God. The passage closes out with vv. 42–43, which may be taken together. They read, “Nevertheless, many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory of men rather than the glory of God.” In a certain sense, these verses round out the pivot to the discourses. Here the existential factor, determining the nature of belief in the face of the revelation of the glory of God, in the signs, comes to the fore. Bultmann has often been criticized for allowing an existentialist hermeneutic to dominate his interpretation. However, if the contextual narrative holds up, one has to admit to the existential moment to which the “Jews” have come, especially as represented in that most hardened of sects, “the Pharisees.” Says Bultmann, “The purpose of awakening the will is discernable also in the last of the sayings … [vv. 42–43]; it shows the difficulty of the decision for faith in those who indeed believe, but who dare not stand up for it.”26 Who in the Gospel finds themselves in this place, on the eve of the fullness of the revelation about to break upon the scene? Would a Nicodemus stand at this point? Would the Samaritan woman, or the lame man, the crowd or various members of “the Jews”? The question is put, but belief is either suspended, suppressed, or outright denied. Why is this the case at this juncture in the Gospel? A partial answer is proffered in v. 43: “ἠγάπησαν γὰρ τὴν δόξαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων μᾶλλον ἤπερ τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ.” Most English translations miss the mark at this point. The New International Version (NIV) translates the double reference to “δόξαν” here as “praise,” as though it were a different order of glory than that which is the central aspect of the content of God’s revelation. The term is qualitatively different to be sure, but it is precisely a play on words that contrasts the lackluster glory of humanity, to the illustrious “δόξα” of God, that is the Word, Jesus. This is entirely in keeping with the narrative. Indeed, as Bultmann suggests, it is very likely that those who are refusing to stand at the end of ch. 12 may still find authentic faith by ch. 20.27 The question of authentic faith remains in the Fourth Gospel (FG) over many who encounter Jesus in his public ministry. Even the disciples come to faith through the struggle, hardship, misunderstanding, denial, and doubt, to the degree that we find them at the end having returned to the familiar pattern of their lives, before encountering Jesus. The reinstatement of Peter could well stand for the reinstatement of all who have faltered in their faith, for lack of comprehension of the fullness of God’s self-revelation, as described by the evangelist. 25 26 27

Ronning, “The Targum of Isaiah,” 259–62. Bultmann, The Gospel of John, 453–54. Ibid.

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Here at the end of the “Book of Signs” the evangelist is pessimistic about the faith of those who were witnesses to it and especially the potential “faith” of Jews.28 A  new phase of ministry is called for, one more private, and preparatory.

3. Narrative Reception and Received Narrative Having established the narrative context of John 12:36b–43, and its exegetical interpretation within the evangelist’s reception of the sources, we are now in a position to ask what this might have meant for subsequent reception of the Gospel throughout Christian history? I have stated above that the narrative of the evangelist indicated a tentativeness toward the human capacity to receive and believe in the revelation of God’s glory in Jesus, and that this set up a predisposition in interpretive history toward the incomprehensibility of that revelation. To solidify this thesis, we will draw upon two “reception histories” expressed in the commentaries of Origen of Alexandria and Rudolf Bultmann so as to show how subsequent interpretation holds true to this basic narrative, namely the incomprehensibility of revelation for faith. The concept of “reception history” is broad and may refer to any cultural artifact or text that has come down from a culture-shaping context, and that continues to have some force in the receiving culture, in a given period of time. In the field of biblical studies, it has emerged as somewhat of an anterior discipline. It employs a number of methods, some of which assume a historical-critical hermeneutic. The methods employed can be as diverse as redaction, source, textual, literary, and/or rhetorical criticism, together with the many pragmatic/hermeneutical variants that have followed in the wake of late modern hermeneutical theory.29 Reception history sees itself as different from biblical studies, in that it is not so much interested in the historicalcultural context(s) in which the Bible emerged. Rather, it wants to uncover how the Bible, and various stages in its interpretation, has been shaped by the historicalcultural context in which it is being appropriated. Furthermore, it wants to discover how this reception has altered not just the perception of texts from the Bible but also the text itself. Susan Gillingham describes the process well, writing, “Reception history is interested in cultural history and the influence of particular texts in a particular culture.” The “cultural history” in which a text is received must inform the way in which it was interpreted in any given period. One “starts back as far as possible, with the text in its ancient context and then moves forward.”30 It is important to stress that 28 29

30

Brown, Gospel According to John, 487–88. Susan Gillingham, “Biblical Studies on Holiday? A  Personal View of Reception History,” in Reception History and Biblical Studies: Theory and Practice, ed. Emma England and William John Lyons (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015), 17–30; see also, Brennen W. Breed, Nomadic Text: A Theory of Biblical Reception History (Indianapolis:  Indiana University Press, 2014), 3–4. The latter text has a method that is similar to the one suggested by Gillingham. Breed defines “reception history” as the discipline of discovering the historical reception of text both before a text is finalized and subsequent to its being fixed as a received text in a given culture. He questions the artificially assumed border that exists between formal “biblical studies” and “reception histories.” In this light, John’s Gospel is itself a received text. Gillingham, “Biblical Studies on Holiday?” 20.

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this is reception history, not the history of exegesis. The idea is to lay bare the culturalhistorical conditions that were in force when the text was interpreted, depending upon the order in which one chooses to proceed, from the contemporary to the historical or from the historical to the contemporary. Here, the focus is on the latter.

4. Origen’s Commentary on John It is now beyond question that Origen of Alexandria/Caesarea was the most influential theologian and exegete between the time of Paul and Augustine, regardless of the church’s condemnation of his works.31 Nevertheless, he remains a polarizing figure, especially where his method of biblical interpretation is concerned. His Commentary on John is easily the most significant exegetical artifact from his time, in which we can illustrate this reception history.32 It is also the first substantial treatment of the Gospel in commentary form to come down to us from the late second/early third century CE. Before Irenaeus (ca. 160 CE), there is very little witness to John’s Gospel as a whole or in part.33 The task here is not to offer an in-depth treatment of Origen’s commentary and/ or his exegetical method. It is merely to point to two features that mark it, namely its reception of the Fourth Evangelist in the midst of a catechetical and cultural context, imbued with the Platonic school of Origen’s day. Second, we want to point out the fact that much of the evangelist’s hesitancy with respect to the comprehension of the knowledge of God also marks Origen’s commentary but in a heightened fashion. The findings in respect to John 12:36b–43 are borne out in what remains of Origen’s Commentary on John but in a different way and with some substantial nuances with respect to the knowledge of revelation and its relation to faith.34 To expeditiously get at the reception-historical context into which Origen hopes to speak through his commentary, we must ask: What is the central task that Origen sees himself to be about in this commentary? It is, one could say, the task of educating the novice-to-mature Christian into faith in the Gospel. Thus, it is the catechetical school itself that is the direct setting of this commentary.35 Eusebius tells us that Origen 31

32

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34

35

There are several reasons why we should pay close attention to Origen’s commentary on John. Most importantly, it is the oldest surviving Christian commentary on a New Testament text and well represents Origen’s approach. See François Elias Beyrouti, Discerning a “Rhetorics of Catechesis” in Origen of Alexandria’s Commentary on the Gospel of John:  A Sociorhetorical Analysis of Book XIII: 3–42 (John 4:13–15), Doctor of Theology thesis submitted to the Faculty of Theology, Saint Paul University, Canada (May 6, 2013), 60–61, n. 101–2. Beyrouti (Discerning a “Rhetorics of Catechesis,” 8) employs rhetorical criticism in an adapted form to replicate somewhat the reception history in which Origen is laboring to produce his commentary. See Haenchen’s excellent treatment of the witnesses to John’s Gospel prior to Irenaeus in John, 1:7–19. Despite the fact this passage is not extant, we can still demonstrate this principle from the point of view of his treatment of, e.g., the Samaritan woman in John 4:13–15. It fits well with the characterization of levels of faith we have illustrated as a concern in the narrative that the evangelist lays out in his Gospel, because Origen’s own approach requires of believers the ascension to ever more heightened levels of the understanding of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ, the Word. On the history of the Catechetical school, see Willem H.  Oliver, “The Catechetical School in Alexandria,” Verbum et Ecclesia, 36, no. 1, Pretoria, 2015. Accessible at http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ ve.v36i1.138, February 25, 2019. See also Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, trans. C. S. Cruse (Grand Rapids, MI: Guardian Press, 1976), 5.10.1–6.11.

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succeeded Clement as its head and took to training Christians there for a good part of his life before moving to another catechetical setting in Caesarea. A  number of contemporary scholars have agreed that it is the catechetical process that concerns Origen most in his exegetical works, especially his Commentary on John.36 François Beyrouti summarizes the sentiment well with respect to the commentary stating, Specifically, within ComJohn the rhetorical movements appear to have a distinctly catechetical focus. For example, throughout his commentary Origen makes frequent references to the teachings of Heracleon. However, Origen’s overarching emphasis is a much wider teaching on a variety of topics and for a variety of people. This focus on teaching, which aims to move the audience in a particular direction, can be best described as “catechesis.”37

By catechesis, as it is applied to Origen’s method of biblical interpretation, we mean “the whole of the efforts within the Church to make disciples, to help people to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, so that believing they might have life in His name, (John 20:31) and to educate and instruct them in this life.”38 With Origen, we already seem to be in the conceptual world of the evangelist. Catechesis, as conceived by Origen, is progressive by its very nature and assumes ranges of capacities to comprehend the mysteries of the Gospel. Origen makes it clear in his De principiis that his method of interpretation reflects the community of faith in which he is acting as an interpreter. Here he alludes directly to the reasons that “the Jews” refused to believe the Gospel in John 12:37–41.39 He writes, It seems necessary to explain … how certain persons, not reading correctly, have given themselves over to erroneous opinions, inasmuch as the procedure to be followed, in order to attain an understanding of the holy writings, is unknown to many. The Jews, in fine, owing to the hardness of their heart,40 and from a desire to 36

37

38 39 40

See Maurice F. Wiles, The Spiritual Gospel: The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel in the Early Church (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 34–35. Beyrouti builds on a growing body of research that has established this point throughout Origen’s corpus. See Khalid Anatolios, “Christ, Scripture, and the Christian Story of Meaning in Origen,” Gregorianum 78, no. 1 (1997):  55–77; Henri De Lubac, History and Spirit:  The Understanding of Scripture According to Origen, trans. Anne Englund Nash (San Francisco, CA:  Ignatius Press, 2007); Richard P. C. Hanson, Allegory and Event: A Study of the Sources and Significance of Origen’s Interpretation of Scripture (London:  SCM Press, 1959); Ronald Heine, “Stoic Logic as Handmaid to Exegesis and Theology in Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of John,” JTS 44 (1993):  90–117; Michihiko Kuyama, “The Searching Spirit: The Hermeneutical Principle in the Preface of Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of John,” in Origeniana Sexta: Origen and the Bible, ed. Gilles Dorival and Alain le Boulleuc, BETL 118 (Leuven:  Peeters, 1995), 433–39; John A. McGuckin, “Structural Design and Apologetic Intent in Origen’s Commentary on John,” in Origeniana Sexta: Origen and the Bible, ed. Gilles Dorival and Alain le Boulleuc, BETL 118 (Leuven: Peeters, 1995), 441–57; Mark S. M. Scott, “Guarding the Mysteries of Salvation: The Pastoral Pedagogy of Origen’s Universalism,” JECS 18, no. 3 (Fall 2010):  347–68; Tuomas Rasimus (ed.), The Legacy of John:  Second-Century Reception of the Fourth Gospel, NovTSup 132 (Leiden: Brill, 2010); Karen Jo Torjesen, Hermeneutical Procedure and Theological Structure in Origen’s Exegesis, PTS 28 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1985). Beyrouti, Discerning a “Rhetorics of Catechesis,” 13. See Heine, “Stoic Logic as Handmaid,” 98. Origen has in his mind John 12:37–38.

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He goes on in this section to outline all of those who have gone astray in their faith for lack of a proper interpretive method, which he outlines as a threefold process of “understanding”; first on the literal level, only then advancing to the psychic (moral) level, and finally, following the tripartite understanding to the constitution of the human person, attaining to the spiritual or intellective, level. The “literal” meaning corresponds to the place of the novice, the “psychic/moral” meaning, to the level of the intermediate believers and the spiritual/intellective “understanding” to the mature in the faith. The third level is, for Origen, the goal of all exegesis and the most elusive. Except for what we may learn from Eusebius, we know almost nothing about Origen’s historical/social context. Beyrouti notes, More specific cultural, social, and historical references are absent in this text and Origen’s other writings. It is surprising that practically no aspects of everyday life are present in his writings. … Origen says next to nothing about Alexandria or his life there. This could also be said about his time in Caesarea. Origen has immersed himself in the world of Scripture and has focused almost exclusively on entering into that world.42

The journey to this intellectual knowledge of God is the soul’s singular task, and it marks the essence of one’s salvation from physical existence. All other features of existence disappear into insignificance.43 I do know that Origen’s conceptual world was shaped by the educational environment at Alexandria, which was at that time the official seat of the Platonic School, and by the cloistered conditions of a Christian catechetical school at Caesarea. There is little doubt that he is in the latter location as he composes the majority of this commentary.44 But there is equally little doubt that the Middle Platonic school of thought at Alexandria, in which he began the commentary, was very much present to mind as he proceeded. To put it succinctly, Origen worked out much 41

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Origen, On First Principles, IV, 1.8, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 4, ed. Alexander Roberts et al. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature, 1885), 355–56. Emphasis is mine. Beyrouti, Discerning a “Rhetorics of Catechesis,” 155. Says Beyrouti, “Occasionally Origen laments that the whole scriptorium which the rich Ambrosius had placed at his disposal, comprising some twenty persons, wanted to be kept busy without interruption, and thus forced him into incessant theological and literary activity.” See especially Torjesen, Hermeneutical Procedure. This is the central thesis of her study and it has virtually revolutionized the social-contextual study of Origen. See also my argument, Archie J. Spencer, Platonic Influences on Origen’s Doctrine of the Incarnation, ThM thesis, Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1992. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6, 24.1. See also H. J. Vogt, “Origen of Alexandria, (185–253),” in Handbook of Patristic Exegesis:  The Bible in Ancient Christianity, ed. Charles Kannengiesser (Leiden:  Brill, 2006), 536–74, esp. 537. See also Charles Kannengiesser, “Patristic Exegesis of the Bible,” in Handbook of Patristic Exegesis: The Bible in Ancient Christianity, ed. Charles Kannengiesser (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 345–47.

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of his exegesis, philosophy, and theology in dialogue with the Middle Platonism of his day. This is a well-established fact, even if his indebtedness to it may be questioned, as to degree. Platonism caused him to often disregard the physical world and strive for a pure knowledge of the Spiritual realm, as the task of salvation, in which we are led by the Logos. Under those conditions, we must assume that he is often working on an individual basis to teach both the method of spiritual interpretation and the content of the gospel so as to raise the level of awareness of its spiritual dimensions in the minds of his hearers. Like the evangelist, Origen encounters among believers all kinds of misunderstandings and failures to advance in the true knowledge of the Gospel. The reason is similar to the evangelist’s. In the case of “the Jews,” it is simple “obduracy of belief.” For the evangelist, this obduracy stems from a total lack of comprehension due to a divine determination that “they” would not believe. In Origen, the problem of faith is similar, but the reason for it is attributed to a different issue. The problem stems from a failure to understand the prophesies on a level above the literal. He puts “Jewish unbelief ” down to a failure to move beyond the mere letter of the text. All who fail to move beyond the literal meaning share in this “unbelief.”45 Beyrouti has drawn recent efforts to understand Origen’s method together and given considerable shape to it, as it applies to the social-historical context in which he is writing. Beyrouti comments, “With Origen, catechesis fills the whole interpretive process. The catechetical goal is Christ, and the catechetical movement begins with the text, then searches for various meanings and applications of the text before moving in the direction of challenging the reader to enter into this dynamic.”46 Beyrouti demonstrates this basic method at length in his social-rhetorical exposition of Origen’s commentary on the Samaritan woman. A brief sketch of his argument should suffice to demonstrate two concerns: (1) that Origen shares with the evangelist a tentativeness with respect to the comprehension of the revelation of the glory God the Father in Jesus Christ and (2) the social-historical context, which was reflective of this same tendency. Except for the oblique passage from the De principiis, there is scant reference to John 12:37 elsewhere in Origen’s works.47 In his analysis of Bk. XIII: 3–42 (John 4:13–15) of Origen’s commentary, Beyrouti, notes the following features with respect to Origen’s interpretation. In sum, Origen treats Jesus’s encounter with the woman at the well as a moment of catechesis in and through which Jesus is portrayed as leading the woman from a literal understanding of receiving “living water” to a spiritual understanding, that is believing in Jesus Christ who is the spiritual meaning of the physical commodity the woman came to the well to seek. It is emblematic, for Origen, of the way in which the Fourth Evangelist conducts his telling of the Gospel story. A few conclusions proceed from this catechetical interpretation of the Gospel. “The first conclusion relates to how the author places himself as the guide of the argument. Origen’s approach is very subtle 45

46 47

In the same passage from On First Principles, Origen enumerates a number of literal expectations of the Messiah that the Jews would have entertained. Beyrouti, Discerning a “Rhetorics of Catechesis,” 13. Origen’s Commentary on John has two other passages (bk. X, paragraphs 27 and 28) that deal with the conclusions the evangelist comes to in 12:37. Time and space do not allow a full treatment of these passages here, but they substantially confirm my analysis of his Commentary on John.

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yet intricate. He points the reader to the text, develops certain details that he sees, then gently invites the reader to include herself into that pattern.”48 That is, Origen now sees himself in the place of Jesus as one who, at the spiritual level of understanding the text, seeks to conduct the novice into that same higher meaning. The result will be comparable with the evangelist’s division of respondents to the revelation of God’s glory into various recipients with various levels of faith. Says Beyrouti, “If we were to read only this aspect of ComJohn, or if this section were one’s sole exposure to Origen’s writings, we would come away with the impression that he and the intertextual citations he makes are the only references.”49 He and the citations from John are the only two “sources of authority.” There are no allusions to any other “ecclesiastical” authority. “Origen’s focus here is his mediating role between the text and the reader. He mediates the reader’s entry into the world of the text and beyond it, in a similar manner that Jesus mediates the movement of the Samaritan woman from mere water to living water.”50 Throughout his exposition of John 4:13–15, we noticed his constant reference to his audience as “you,” “one,” “they,” or sometimes including himself as a fellow traveler in the exegetical process. He is not passing himself off as an “authority,” per se, but as a guide, conducting the student into a greater understanding of the mysteries that the text contains. The act of interpretation can only extract the meaning with great effort and much prayer. However, and this is the text reception question here, what happens to the text in the process of this twofold level of interpretation and understanding? Beyrouti discovers the following transformation that takes place in relation to the text Origen is interpreting: A primary feature of the text is that the characters do not interact laterally but move upward as a result of their interactions. The Samaritan woman is not simply having a dialogue with Jesus, she is being elevated by the dialogue. … There are no positions of inequality presented in this text; rather there are positions of strength which facilitate mediations to positions beyond both the position of the first and second.51

Origen’s treatment of John here elevates the essential meaning of the text well beyond the literal sense that perhaps even the Evangelist was able to envision for himself. Given the proclivity toward the hidden nature of revelation we have seen in the Evangelist, perhaps it should come as no surprise that at this point in his exegesis, Origen sees himself in the place of Jesus. True believers are imbued with a faith that does not need the world of signs to sustain it. But a further conclusion, related to the audience both of the text and of Origen, here also emerges. Says Beyrouti, Origen allows the audience to initially observe from a distance but gradually and repeatedly invites them to interact and thereby join the movement upward.

48 49 50 51

Beyrouti, Discerning a “Rhetorics of Catechesis,” 220. Ibid. Ibid., 221. Ibid.

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There are no groups formed through this text; there are only individuals who are re-formed. It is the common upward movement that creates a community with those who had previously taken part, or will subsequently be challenged to move upward.52

With this conclusion, we come back to the narrative context. It is easy to see that this would have been how Origen would have exegetically treated the passages on the faith of a Nicodemus, or the blind man, of the lame man, or the “crowd” and the “faithlessness” of the Jews. There is little doubt that Origen would have commented on 12:37–43 and the conclusion to Jesus’s public ministry of signs with the same conclusion that he alludes to in his allusion to 12:37 in the De principiis. Also, though there is cultural and temporal distance between the evangelist and Origen, the text seems to have yielded the same distinction in levels of the knowledge of revelation, of belief in that revelation, and of a slow and steady conducting of those who are hearing the discourse and seeing the signs, into a deeper “understanding of faith.” This “faith” culminates for Origen, as it does for the evangelist, in a deeper comprehension of the revelation of the Logos as the glory of God the Father. Can we find these conclusions confirmed elsewhere in Origen’s Commentary on John? Most certainly. Passage after passage could be adduced here but space does not permit a detailing of them.53 The conceptual world of Origen differs greatly on many levels than the community of faith that the evangelist sought to encourage in their faith. But the existential condition of belief in Jesus, as the express revelation of the glory of God the Father, seems not to have changed. This is, in the history of Christian thought, an “existential condition” of faith. It exhibits itself in many theologians up to the post-enlightenment period. It comes to expression in the modern period at the hands of another exegete, Rudolf Bultmann, whose commentary, like Origen’s, is a landmark in the reception of the FG.

5. Rudolf Bultmann’s Commentary on John Bultmann’s commentary is considered to be one of the most influential treatments of the FG in the twentieth century due to its hermeneutical, theological, and historical acumen. His work cannot be separated from his context that saw a massive shift in the political, social, academic, and economic life of Europe. The old Liberal-Protestant order had become ethically, biblically, and theologically bankrupt in the midst of the First and Second World Wars. As with his contemporary, Karl Barth, the question that was facing Europe was: In what way might the Christian West propose theological and biblical grounds for its continued existence? Put differently, in the light of the emerging philosophical, existentialist, and nihilistic ideologies, how can one continue to confess faith in the gospel at all? Barth had already challenged the “history of religions school” and its historical-critical approaches, as applied to the study of Scripture and ancient 52 53

Ibid. See, for instance, his exegesis of the various levels of faith and understanding in bk. X, 27–28.

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Christianity, in his commentary on Romans. At this time, Bultmann and Barth shared an outlook on the emerging situation that, contrary to Liberal-Protestantism, stressed the transcendence of God and the abject helplessness of humanity. Barth’s Romans initiated the so-called “dialectical school of theology” that saw the need for a hermeneutical tempering of the absolute objectivity often claimed by historicalcritical approaches. Both Bultmann and Barth’s commentaries represent, in differing degrees, a reintroduction of the theological element into biblical interpretation. But more than that, especially in the case of Bultmann, it also represented the entrance of the existentialist philosophy of Martin Heidegger into biblical studies. Says Gilbert van Belle, “Bultmann was unparalleled in his ability to integrate dialectical theology, existentialist interpretation, religio-historical explanation, source criticism and redaction criticism in his methodological approach to the work of the Fourth Evangelist.”54 Bultmann’s program of “demythologization” introduced into biblical scholarship a much more subjective, humanizing perspective, in regard to the study of Scripture. Unlike Barth’s Romans, Bultmann’s work on John did not promote a near abandonment of historical-critical method. It merely attempted to point to the subjectivity of all interpretation, and therein lies the true contribution of Bultmann’s commentary. Space does not permit a detailed account of this shift in hermeneutics that came to dominate biblical studies for the next sixty years, following his essay, “The New Testament and Mythology.”55 This was the conceptual world into which Bultmann sought to bring a fresh reading of the FG. It is everywhere present throughout the commentary and I  have already been drawing upon it for this reading of John 12:36b–43. Turning more directly to Bultmann’s treatment of the passage within the context of his reception of the FG, we can readily see that Bultmann’s concern for the existential situation of his day, and the ongoing significance of faith in Jesus for that time, marked and altered the received text. One can see from the beginning of Bultmann’s treatment of the historical construction of the Gospel that it is his concern to lay bare the “experience of faith” that drives the agenda. For Bultmann, John is the product of an “ecclesial redactor” who included some “interpolations” into the text, such as appending ch. 21 and, perhaps, (re)ordering the sequence of the Gospel. The text he 54

55

Gilbert van Belle, “‘Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen and Yet Have Come to Believe’: Rudolf Bultmann’s Interpretation of the ‘Signs’ in the Fourth Gospel,” Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, 91, no. 3 (2015): 521–46, here 526. Bultmann’s most seminal works relating to the hermeneutical shift he engendered in New Testament studies include, “Neues Testament und Mythologie. Das Problem der Entmythologisierung der neutestamentlichen Verkündigung,” in Offenbarung und Heilsgeschehen, BEvT 7 (München: Evangelischer Verlag Albert Lempp, 1941), 27–69; Rudolf Bultmann, “New Testament and Mythology: The Problem of Demythologizing the New Testament Proclamation,” in New Testament and Mythology and Other Basic Writings, ed. S. M. Ogden (London:  SCM, 1985), 1–43; Rudolf Bultmann, Theologie des Neuen Testaments, Uni Taschenbücher 630 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1948); Rudolf Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament, trans. K. Grobel (London: Scribner’s, 1952–1955); Rudolf Bultmann, Geschichte und Eschatologie (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 1958); Rudolf Bultmann, Glauben und Verstehen. Gesammelte Aufsätze, 4 vols. (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1933–1965); Rudolf Bultmann, History and Eschatology:  The Gifford Lectures (Edinburgh:  University Press, 1975); Rudolf Bultmann, Jesus Christus und die Mythologie. Das Neue Testament im Licht der Bibelkritik, Studienbuch 47 (Hamburg:  Furche Verlag, 1964), 141–89; Rudolf Bultmann, Jesus Christ and Mythology (New York: Scribner’s, 1958).

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received had only three possible sources:  the narrative segments in chs. 1–12 that rely upon a “signs source”; the discourses that rely on some “pre-Christian Gnostic, Offenbarungsreden source”; and the passion/resurrection narratives that stem from a “pre-Johannine passion source.”56 This source theory requires a reordering of the material and a classification of the major sections along the lines of the question, “What is the nature of faith in John’s Gospel as it relates to revelation?” All three of the major sections have this orientation. Bultmann sees as the essence of the message, that the final editor of the Gospel wants to convey, summed up in the beatitude Jesus expresses in John 20:29, “Do you believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Bultmann writes, “The doubt of Thomas is representative of the common attitude of men [as Jesus encounters them in John] who cannot believe without seeing miracles (4:48). As the miracles is a concession to the weakness of man so is the [postresurrection] appearance a concession to the weakness of the disciples. Fundamentally, they ought not to need it.”57 The problems Bultmann has occasioned for the place of the resurrection narrative here, and they are many, must be left aside for now in the interest of getting at what Bultmann considers essential to the faith of the disciples and of the modern human. He sees this attitude expressed throughout the Gospel. Commenting on John 4:48, for instance, he writes, “The world that asks for signs is given what it asks for; but only in one exceptional case … does this actually result in faith.”58 For Bultmann, the whole point of the evangelist is that faith as an existential condition of humanity should be forthcoming in the light of the appearance and proclamation of the incarnate and crucified Christ, without visible confirmation. It should be a faith based upon the proclamation of revelation, not its visible demonstration. At this point Bultmann, in commenting on John 20:30, refers back to the preliminary conclusion we have already observed in 12:37, stating, 20:30f is a clear conclusion to the Gospel, in which the selective character of the narrative is stressed and its purpose is declared … as with 12:37, it is at first surprising that the work of Jesus is described under the title, σημεῖα, but it is comprehensible in view of the unity which, in the thought of the Evangelist, signs and word form.59

Here we see how the evangelist, for Bultmann, has chosen to interpret his received Gospel for his own time, “as with 12:37, however, the formulation is obviously occasioned by the fact that the Evangelist is taking over the conclusion of the σημεῖα source.”60 In short, Bultmann thinks whatever the conclusions that were prominent in the sources he received, the final redactor makes a decision to privilege a single interpretation and thus to bequeath to the Johannine tradition a conception of faith in 56 57 58 59 60

Bultmann, The Gospel of John, 6–8. Ibid., 696. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid.

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the proclamation of the Word that needs no sign. Herein lies precisely the nuance that Bultmann himself lends to the reception of the text. As Bultmann puts it, The word of proclamation encounters us as God’s word, in relation to which we cannot raise the question of legitimation, but which rather asks us whether we are willing to believe it. It asks us this in such a way, however, that in calling us to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the eschatological event, it opens up the possibility of understanding ourselves. Faith and unfaith, therefore, are matters not of blind, arbitrary resolve but of understanding affirmation or denial.61

Bultmann’s exegesis of 12:37–43 as the conclusion to the relatively “unsuccessful” public ministry of Jesus is, as we have seen, confirmed in the general characterization of faith observable in the narrative that the evangelist attempts to weave together from his received sources. What the nature of that “faith” becomes in the farewell discourses, the passion-resurrection narratives, and the final chapter is beyond my scope, but the general impression we can already observe is that the evangelist is decidedly interested in a faith that does not require a confirmation through the senses. In fact, such confirmations seem confusing and counterintuitive to true faith.

6. Concluding Comments I have now come full circle in this exegesis of John 12:36b–43 and in its reception in at least two cases. It is no surprise to find in Bultmann’s exegesis, and in Origen’s, the confirmation of the evangelist’s attitude toward “true faith” being a “faith in the proclaimed word.” The world of the physical senses, of signs confirmed by sight, cannot produce an assurance of faith in Christ, as the express revelation of the glory of God the Father, in the mind of the believer. It must be revealed to them through the Word of the gospel itself, and even then, only in the degree to which we are fitted, in the moment, to receive this revelation. Perhaps for the evangelist it is hearing that is more important than seeing. For that reason, revelation will remain clear to God, as he gives it in the flesh of his Son, who is the only true witness to the revelation in word and deed. But it is stubbornly opaque to its receivers, as the existential condition under which this faith is worked out and authenticated. It is the condition of moving from the darkness of mere rumors of glory (chs. 2–12) to the light of glory itself (chs. 13–20). To get there, referring to the lyrics of another Cockburn hit songs, we have to battle against the darkness until it spews daylight.62

61 62

Ibid. Bruce Cockburn, “Lovers in a Dangerous Time,” from the CD:  Kick at the Darkness (Toronto, ON: Intrepid Records, 1991).

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Part II

Rhetorical and Linguistic Perspectives

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6

Jesus’s Dialogues with Those Who Do Not Understand: A Rhetorical Analysis of John 4:1–42 Jiří Lukeš

This study points to the ancient rhetorical conventions of dispositio, inventio, and topoi in John 4:1–42 as a model for understanding the role of irony in Jesus’s dialogue with the Samaritan woman, which provides the performative context for reading the underlying reference to Gen 29:1–14. The goal is to show how this underlying Scripture text functions rhetorically in the dialogue. In the first part of the essay, I  provide a contextual frame of reference with respect to the practice of rhetoric in antiquity. In the second part, I focus on the evangelist’s rhetorical strategy, including his use of Gen 29:1–14. In the final part, I explain how the dialogue moves from nonunderstanding to understanding.

1. Rhetoric, Orality, and Literariness in Antiquity Rhetoric had an important role in the composition of New Testament writings, their public reading, and their subsequent interpretation within early Christian communities. From antiquity to the Baroque period, literature aimed to move (movere), instruct (docere), or delight (delectare) its audiences. This triadic aim was well practiced in both rhetoric and poetics.1 When it comes to the New Testament writings, rhetoric played a functional role so as to convey that which is natural and truthful. To a certain degree, however, it resulted in the suppression of the writings’ esthetical function despite the fact that their structures or forms of speech (dispositio) were inherent to their arguments. Christian groups, wherein these writings were composed and used, were not exclusively constituted by the upper class (who are believed to have had a certain degree of education and owned books) but consisted of people who—in accordance with agonistic mentality typical for oral cultures—were convinced that the medium of writing tends to weaken thought processes and lacks

1

Elias Torra, “Rétorika,” in Úvod do literární vědy, ed. Miltos Pechlivanos et al. (Praha:  Herrmann & synové, 1999), 103–16, esp. 111. Originally published as Einführung in die Literaturwissenschaft (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1995).

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personal meaning.2 This conviction was shaped by the dominant oral culture that tended to operate within a “remembrance-from-hearing” process of communication instead of a chirographic one.3 While early Christian discourse overall must have aimed for maximal effectiveness in its rhetorical practice, the lower classes were most likely limited to public speech and a restricted language code.4 When incorporated within a speech or a public reading, rhetoric allowed for eye-catching elocution, facilitated content remembrance, and touched upon the minds and hearts of the audience. It functioned in a blended environment wherein both orality (of the illiterate) and discourse (of the educated) met and wherein both essential information and jovial tales were being predominantly spread through oral transmission and occasionally through well-crafted writings. For example, among the illiterate, rhetoric functioned in the artistry of storytelling, which utilized sophisticated schemes of folk tradition.5 An author/narrator could achieve sophisticated stylization and narration by tapping into a plethora of rhetorical devices. To give a writing an argumentative persuasiveness, people would find themselves inclined to imitate ancient models, such as the reshaping of well-known characters. In light of its pervasive role, rhetoric6 was understood as “the art of persuasive speaking”7 or “quality in discourse by which a speaker or writer seeks to accomplish his purposes.”8 Thus, the discipline of rhetoric and its practice was not limited to formal aspects of society, such as courtrooms, citizens’ assemblies, glorious or mourning addresses, or alternative educational exercises (progymnasmata).9 It was also practiced at an informal and nontheoretical way within everyday activities at the oral level, which saw the ongoing reshaping and application of familiar stories. In such cases, the content of a familiar story, such as the depiction of a character (e.g., a hero), would have been reappropriated in light of familiar rhetorical patterns that were fixed within cultural memory. Nevertheless, the theoretical and formal practices of rhetoric during the Roman Period were out of reach to the noneducated, such as craftsmen or farmers. Alicia D. Myers views the formal features of rhetoric more as a “cultural capital” of the Roman 2

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Walter J. Ong, Technologizace slova (Praha:  Karolinum, 2006), 55–57, 94–95, 123. Originally published as Orality and Literacy: Technologizing of the Word (London:  Routledge, 2004). Writing creates codes in the language that are different from oral codes. M. C.  A. Macdonald, “Literacy in an Oral Environment,” in Writing and Ancient Near Eastern Society: Papers in Honour of Alan R. Millard, ed. P. Bienkowski, C. Mee, and E. Slater (London: T&T Clark, 2006), 45–114, esp. 65–67. Ong, Technologizace slova, 123–34, 49: “der Koiné, d.h. der gemeinsamen Sprache der hellenistischen Welt, die eine im strengen Sinn nicht-literarische Sprache war.” Ong, Technologizace slova, 67–69, 71–79, 83–84. See also Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John:  A Commentary, 2 vols. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2003), 1:54–76. Aristotle, On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse. Newly Translated with Introduction, Notes, and Appendixes by George A. Kennedy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), 28. Jan Lambrecht, “Rhetorical Criticism and the New Testament,” Bijdragen 501 (1989):  239–53, esp. 239. George A. Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation through Rhetorical Criticism (Chapel Hill:  University of North Carolina Press, 1984), 3. Quintilian has associated other aspects of education with rhetoric, noting that rhetorical and moral excellence belong together (Institutio oratoria 12.2). See Torra, “Rétorika,” 108. Øivind Andersen, Im Garten der Rhetorik. Die Kunste der Rede in der Antike (Darmstadt: WBG, 2001), 21–22. Further Ronald F. Hock and Edward N. O’Neil, The Chreia in Ancient Rhetoric. Volume I. The Progymnasmata (Atlanta, GA: SBL, Scholars Press, 1986).

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hierarchical system. The use of rhetorical forms was understood to be a demonstration of one’s position within the educated and aristocratic social elite.10 Given the limited learning experiences of the lower class, wherein most people were illiterate, unable to perhaps even write their own names, to say nothing of writing letters, their acquaintance and practice of rhetorical theory was scarce.11 Nonetheless, the use of informal features of rhetoric in public discourse on various occasions would have stretched across all social classes. This can be observed within Jewish and Christian gatherings on a regular basis, reaching its peak during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117–138 CE). During this period, the practice of public speaking was a typical feature of “the second Sophists.”12 During Jesus’s lifetime, the Middle East had already been under the influence of Hellenism for more than three hundred years and, as demonstrated in the works of Philo (20 BCE to after 40 CE) and Josephus (37–100 CE), Jewish thought was not immune from that powerful influence.13 This cultural framework, which gave rise to gymnasia schools all across the Hellenistic world, warrants rhetorical analyses of New Testament texts.14 More specifically, rhetoric education was not alien to the author of the Fourth Gospel who probably wrote in Asia Minor.15 In the first two centuries CE, there must have been noticeable differences between the educated elite who were familiar with rhetoric and the rest of the members of society who varied in their education.16 The reason for the contrast is that during the second and first centuries BCE, there was an increased interest in literary education. In 39 BCE, a state library was founded and was 10

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Alicia D. Myers, “Rhetoric,” in How John Works:  Storytelling in the Fourth Gospel, ed. Douglas Estes and Ruth Sheridan (Atlanta, GA:  SBL Press, 2016), 187–203, esp.  192–93. Identically, Ben Witherington, The Acts of the Apostles:  A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1998), 41–42. He writes, “Furthermore, the audience for such works was a welleducated people of some social standing in the overwhelming majority of cases. In other words, they were first-century people who, with rare exceptions, will have had some rhetorical education at both the secondary and tertiary levels of schooling.” Chris Keith, Jesus’ Literacy: A Scribal Culture and the Teacher from Galilee (London:  Bloomsbury, 2013), 8–26, esp. 14–15. Michael Owen Wise, Language and Literacy in Roman Judea. A Study of the Bar Kokhba Documents (New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press, 2015), 59–61, divides adult literary abilities in Roman Judea into four categories (in connection with Raffaella Cribiore): (1) The alphabetic hand that refers to those who could write their name but after a year or two of schooling were not able to read sophisticated texts; (2)  The unpracticed hand that refers to those who could write but did not encounter classical literature; (3) The practiced hand that refers to those who have spent years studying, memorizing, transcribing, reading fluently, and had a literary education; (4)  The scribal hand that refers to the professional scribe. Also M. C. A. Macdonald, “How Much Can We Know about Language and Literacy in Roman Judea?” JRA 30 (2017): 832–42, esp. 833. Jiří Lukeš, Raně křesťanská rétorika. Vybrané apokryfní skutky a řeči ve světle rétorických analýz (Praha: CBS, 2009), 76–80. Catherine Hezser, “Jewish Literacy and Languages in First-Century Roman Palestine,” in The Languages of Palestine at the Time of Jesus, ed. Craig Morrison, BibOr (Rome:  Pontifical Biblical Institute, 2019), 1–26, esp. 7–10. James L. Kinneavy, Greek Rhetorical Origins of Christian Faith:  An Inquiry (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1987), 78. For example, Petr Pokorný and Ulrich Heckel, Einleitung in das Neue Testament. Seine Literatur und Theologie im Überblick, UTB 2798 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), 576–85. Averil Cameron, Christianity and the Rhetoric of Empire: The Development of Christian Discourse (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1991), 30–46. Harry Y. Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Christian Texts (New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press, 1995), 32–41, 231–37.

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well supported under the reign of Augustus and subsequent emperors.17 The Roman education system was wholly under Greek influence and its foundational sources are Greek texts.18 Numerous extant inscriptions (from the time of Emperor Trajan) have survived—often inartistically engraved in stones—indirectly bearing testimony to a broader literacy dispersed within the lower class.19 Public reading required profound training since it would not have been articulated and pronounced in an ordinary conversational tone and style but rather in a way that resembled actors in the theater.20 Reading aloud, even privately, was presumed in antiquity.21 Textual partition markers, like we are used to today, did not exist, which resulted in scrolls that were a few meters long. Partitions were instead achieved through acoustic organization. Verbal marks, when heard (not seen), would help the readers and hearers to orient themselves in the structure of writing.22 A hearer that took part in a public reading did not have a text in front of them or at home to verify the accuracy of the reading, but they could find verification from other hearers or from another reading of the same material. The strength of argumentation was influenced by the speech quality and by the personality of a speaker.23 Subsequent retellings would entail shortening or expansion of the original content, including some possible variations. Accepted forms would guarantee the process of subsequent sharing of the information. Rhetoric was a tool, which played a long-standing role in cultural memory, that guided both speakers and hearers in the communication of old and new context. There was special importance placed on topica24 that was part of a rhetorical field called inventio (discovering of material). By extension, it was also part of memoria and imaginatio/phantasia.25 Knowledge of places (topoi, loci), which aids argumentation, gives topica its name.26 These are the places that can add to the speaker’s proofs, which are meant to move a hearer toward a goal and ignite sympathy or antipathy by pointing toward opposite or analogical deeds and personae.27 For instance, a depiction of passions in a judicial process by a narrator is not simply an objective recounting, 17

18 19 20

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Gian Biagio Conte, Dějiny římské literatury (Praha:  KLP, 2003), 507. Originally published as Letteratura latina. Manuale storico dalle origini alla fine dell’impero romano (Firenze:  Le Monnier, 1996). Conte, Dějiny římské literatury, 507. Ibid., 459. Eduard Norden, Die antike Kunstprosa vom VI. Jahrhunderts vor Christus in die Zeit der Renaissance (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1909, repr. 1958), 55–57. Ong, Technologizace slova, 133. Witherington, Acts of the Apostles, 41: “Ancient historical works were meant to be heard primarily and read only secondarily, and this meant that considerable attention had to be given to the aural impression a work would leave on the audience.” Paul J. Achtemeier, “Omne Verbum Sonat: The New Testament and the Oral Environment of Late Western Antiquity,” JBL 109 (1990): 3–27. Achtemeier (p. 7) also recalls that Papias favored the oral tradition of the gospel prior to its writing (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.4). Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation, 37. See Marcus Tullius Cicero, Topica, which builds on the homonymous writing of Aristotle. Heinrich Lausberg, Handbook of Literary Rhetoric (Leiden:  Brill, 1998), 119. Aristotle, Rhet., 92–3. Wolfgang Iser, Fiktivní a imaginární. Perspektivy literární antropologie (Praha:  Karolinum, 2017), 206, 208–12, 225. Originally published as Das Fiktive und das Imaginäre: Perspektiven literarischer Antropologie (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1991). Uwe Hebekus, “Topika/Inventio,” in Úvod do literární vědy, ed. Miltos Pechlivanos, Stefan Rieger, Wolfgang Struck, and Michael Weitz (Praha: Herrmann & synové, 1999), 89–102, esp. 89, 94. Ibid., 94.

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but it is rather a matter of intertextuality whereby addressees understand or analyze the cause in relation to the aforementioned topoi, which creates an understanding of the passions.28 This approach was developed in schools of higher education wherein one would undergo extensive training in rhetoric that covered not only real topics but also those related to fiction and fantasy.29 During the process of acquiring such skills, one would have been familiarized with classical authors and the art of stylization. One would have also become acquainted with the breadth of tradition within the cultural memory, which would have enhanced imagination and topoi. Therefore, rhetoric was wide-ranging in its function. It was an analytical tool and kind of predecessor of contemporary psychology that was used in relation to creative communication, ethics, and intertextuality. It wasn’t concerned only with parlance (and text) as a product of the mind but also with the person (a narrator) and his or her world. Rhetorically unprocessed material would never have been publicly read since it would not have been trusted or appealing.30

2. Rhetoric and the Gospel of John Rhetoric and Narrative as Communication Vessels The appropriation of ancient rhetorical practices for understanding John’s technique is not a new enterprise. Most scholars have pointed to Aristotle, Theon, Quintilian, Cicero, Longin, Hermogen, or Menander Rhetor.31 However, in light of modern literary criticism, the use of ancient rhetoric can be connected with the study of narrative, which still requires attention.32 The question of whether the narrative is a basic form of knowledge or whether it is a rhetorical structure is still unanswered but is an important part of current discussion by, for example, Jonathan Culler.33 Classic rhetoric touched on its connection with both story (in connection with inventio and, thus, topica) and discourse (in connection with dispositio).34 By the end of the 28 29 30

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Ibid., 94–96. See also Conte, Dějiny římské literatury, 187. Ong, Technologizace slova, 128–29. Adele Reinhartz, “Forging a New Identity:  Johannine Rhetoric and the Audience of the Fourth Gospel,” in Paul, John, and Apocalyptic Eschatology, ed. J. Krans et al. (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 123–34. Convinced that John is a rhetorical document, Reinhartz writes, “In other words, the Gospel of John, no less than the letters of Paul, is a rhetorical document that is intended not only to narrate a story but to convince a specific audience of a particular position, and, even more that, to have a transformative impact on their communal life” (123). The most frequently analyzed section is John 13–17. Typical blending of rhetorical and narrative aspects occurs in the ethos category (see Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian), which is also addressed by Seymour B. Chatman, Příběh a diskurs. Narativní struktura v literatuře a filmu (Brno:  Host, 2008), 238–40. Originally published as Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1980). David E. Aune, The Westminster Dictionary of New Testament and Early Christian Literature and Rhetoric (London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), 169–73. Jonathan Culler, Krátký úvod do literární teorie (Brno:  Host, 2002), 102–3. Originally published as Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). Tzvetan Todorov, “Kategorie literárního vyprávění,” in Znak, struktura, vyprávění. Výbor z prací francouzského strukturalismu, ed. P. Kyloušek (Brno: Host, 2002), 142–79, esp. 145.

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twentieth century, rhetoric was highlighted in relation to story, which contains both a structure of discourse and aesthetics. Its application to Gospels studies followed suit.35 The story as abstraction is always narrated by someone with a specific purpose in a particular language and thus is a collectively respected norm. Story cannot exist on its own, without an author/narrator and his or her elaborations.36 Narrative structures are typically all-present; they absorb rhetorical elements; and they reflect life through fictional narratives.37 Every interpreter is reliant upon listening or reading the original version, which is then recreated through rhetorical techniques and the process of memory. The story and its reception—though elaboration, comprehension, interpretation, and transmission by a community—are interconnected with rhetoric. Since narrative is a rhetorical structure, it is important for the critic to be familiar with the tools of both narrative and rhetoric criticisms.38 Narratives and their respective rhetoric play an indispensable role in the formation of identity in relation to both individuals and communities.39 In the Gospel of John, the identity of the characters emerges through struggles and dialogues with “the world” that doesn’t recognize the logos (1:14) who “dwelt among us.” From a historical perspective, it is difficult who exactly lies hidden behind the author’s rhetorical construct of allegories since the story doesn’t spell this out given its supratemporal and polyvalent nature.40 The implication that the story is “for the insiders only” makes us feel like we want to read further. Due to this strategy, John writes a narrative that is highly unpredictable (even for those who are already familiar with the Synoptic Gospels) since the narrative is new, appealing, and intriguing. In focusing on John’s rhetoric, we are limited to the narrative in contrast to contexts such as those of the historical Jesus.41 John utilizes a technique called prosopopoeia,42 which was used to create mythical and/or historical figures. John composes the discourse in a way that makes the characterization of Jesus and other characters obvious.43 The dialogues with the disciples (who don’t understand) have a paramythetic (pacifying) character as is seen in the main section of the “farewell 35 36

37 38

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Culler, Krátký úvod do literární teorie, 79. Todorov, “Kategorie literárního vyprávění,” 144–45; Mark W. G. Stibbe, “Protagonist,” in How John Works: Story Telling in the Fourth Gospel, ed. Douglas Estes and Ruth Sheridan (Atlanta, GA:  SBL Press, 2016), 133–50, esp.  134–36; Francis J. Moloney, “John 21 and the Johannine Story,” in Anatomies of Narrative Criticism: The Past, Present, and Futures of the Fourth Gospel as Literature, ed. Tom Thatcher and Stephen D. Moore (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 237–51, esp. 238–42. Culler, Krátký úvod do literární teorie, 93, 103. Ibid., 103. See also Martinus C. de Boer, “Narrative Criticism, Historical Criticism, and the Gospel of John,” JSNT 47 (1992): 35–48. Culler, Krátký úvod do literární teorie, 121. In relation to the Johannine community, see Mark W.  G. Stibbe, “Magnificent but Flawed:  The Breaking of Form in the Fourth Gospel,” in Anatomies of Narrative Criticism: The Past, Present, and Futures of the Fourth Gospel as Literature, ed. Tom Thatcher and Stephen D. Moore (Leiden:  Brill, 2008), 149–65, esp. 154; Reinhartz, “Forging a New Identity,” 125–26, 130, 133–34; Martin Hengel, The Johannine Question (London: SCM Press, 1989), 118, 121, 126–27, 169; Michael Goulder, “The Two Roots of Christian Myth,” in The Myth of God Incarnate, ed. J. Hick (London: SCM Press, 1977), 64–86, esp. 66, 80–83. In narrative-critical categories, the implied author is “John.” It is not possible to analyze the rhetoric or dialogues of the historical Jesus but only the rhetorical tools and the strategy of its presentation. Further, Northrop Frye, Words with Power:  Being a Second Study of “The Bible and Literature” (Toronto, ON: Penguin Books, 1990), 69. Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation, 23, 37, 107.

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discourses” (13:31–16:33). He also employs epideictic rhetoric that is intended for a small audience. The appeal to love an identity trait (13:34–35) is conveyed through a lalia type form.44 The effects of the discourses, being redundancy-rich and spirally structured given that themes and questions keep repeating, are specific to the audience who understand in contrast to the disciples who do not.45 The characters in the story do not have the same information as the audience, and thus they seem confused. The core rhetorical problem of such dialogues is the anxiety of those who don’t know what is going to follow next. They find the situation absurd. Thus, they keep repeating their fundamental question over and over (13:36; 14:5, 8, 22).46 “The Jews” in the story are in a similar position of not understanding because they are confined to a restricted identity portrayal (7:33–36; 8:21–30). This construct of characters allows the evangelist to highlight the difference between Christianity and Judaism as a religion that is closed for Christians. By positioning the risen Christ, in whom the narrator believes, into the pre-Easter setting, the plot is made more dramatic, the participants of dialogues are polarized, the irony is built, the identity is formed, and the stark difference between Johannine Christianity and the others is revealed. The rhetorical strategy of the writing intends to provide an explanation for the separation of the hearing community from the Ἰουδαῖοι and, on the other hand, expresses favorable views on the Samaritans.47 Martin Hengel proposes that John’s Gospel has an “aristocratic character,” which is not characterized by an “aura of poverty” that was typical for Galilean peasants and fishermen as in the time of Jesus.48 A  Christian reader is able to recognize irony in the presentation of Jesus’s opponents.49 Irony is created by rhetorical questions and an uneasiness about those who cannot make sense of Jesus’s speech (6:41–42).50 It is apparent from the dialogues that the resurrection cannot be presumed within the plot’s pre-Easter setting. Its articulation comes at the end of the story (20:9).

Dialogues, Misunderstanding, and Irony—John’s Rhetoric Tools The large narrative passages that contain dialogues between Jesus and those who don’t understand are typical in the Gospel of John, specifically in 4:1–42. They form compact rhetorical-narrative units that are separated by narrative signals and rhetorical situations (4:1–6, 43; 7:1, 53). In antiquity, dialogues were one of the most 44 45

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Ibid., 76–77. Redundancy aims to keep the listener on the right track. For speech and thought, it is more natural than austere linearity. Ong, Technologizace slova, 51. In relation to the questions in John’s Gospel, see Douglas Estes, The Questions of Jesus in John: Logic, Rhetoric and Persuasive Discourse (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 49–53. Adele Reinhartz, “Story and History:  John, Judaism, and the Historical Imagination,” in John and Judaism:  A Contested Relationship in Context, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and Paul N. Anderson (Atlanta, GA:  SBL Press, 2017), 113–26, esp. 123–26. The term is mostly used in John’s Gospel for the Pharisees, chief priests, and Jewish leaders, but it may well be more nuanced. See Tom Thatcher, “John and the Jews:  Recent Research and Future Questions,” in John and Judaism:  A Contested Relationship in Context, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and Paul N. Anderson (Atlanta, GA:  SBL Press, 2017), 3–38, esp. 21. Goulder, “Two Roots of Christian Myth,” 66, 80–83. Hengel, The Johannine Question, 124. Hengel (The Johannine Question, 122) talks about “typical Johannine prophetic irony.” Estes, Questions of Jesus in John, 50–51, 54–56.

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popular literary-rhetorical forms that stretched back to Socrates or Plato.51 They were irreplaceable in religious and philosophical settings and were employed abundantly by Rabbis. Apart from the peripatetic dialogues (περίπατος), there were also oracular, revelation, and temple dialogues present in Greek and Roman traditions.52 In the Gospel of John, Jesus’s dialogues don’t belong, strictly speaking, to any of the aforementioned categories; however, they are rather close to all of them, predominantly to oracular and revelation dialogues in which God reveals not only his intention but also his substance and his role in history.53 Philosophical dialogues were very suitable for ethical and religious themes as they were uttered by the peripatetic teachers. Sometimes, they consisted of irony, as represented by Plutarch.54 The temple dialogues were usually uttered in the sanctuary, as represented by the large Varron writing De re rustica (On Agriculture), which was concerned about the life of a peasant. Its setting was the temple of the God Tellus during a festive period, and its content contains an ingenious anecdote and saying.55 The oracular dialogues were utilized in Jewish and Christian apocalypses, hermetic literature, and among the Gnostics in depictions of supernatural being.56 The revelation dialogues were popular among the Gnostic Christians who depicted the post-resurrection era of the apostles as the age of ignorance and incompetence.57 The peripatetic and the temple dialogues were especially popular reading material in schools of rhetoric.58 As stated by Francǫis Vouga, John utilizes this form (dialogue) as an effective tool for the rhetorical strategies that, together with the monologues, formulate a historical and theological core of John’s gospel.59 Also, John’s inventio is close to the topoi of the Jewish and Christian religious and philosophical traditions. The author utilizes elements of all these dialogues within which Jesus’s “character depiction” shines and is presented in line with the Prologue (1:1–15). The entire Gospel is a polemical “struggle” about individual and communal identity. The dialogues also express counter-positions. The form of dialogues can be perceived as diatribe since they steer the whole narrative in a spiral fashion to the end of the story. An element of “misunderstanding” together with numerous types of persons dialoguing with Jesus form a theological milieu for the narrative and shape a psychodynamic process of reading. No figure in the story understands Jesus from the very beginning. Understanding Jesus in a relational way is contingent upon one’s acceptance of his sovereign position, which is conveyed through “signs.” For some, their lack of understanding is temporary since they only lack certain information that would ultimately lead to their confession (1:43–51; 16:18). For others, understanding 51 52 53

54 55

56 57 58 59

Aune, The Westminster Dictionary, 125. Ibid., 126–27. Northrop Frye, Anatomie kritiky (Brno:  Host, 2003), 74. Originally published as Anatomy of Criticism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987). Aune, The Westminster Dictionary, 125–26. Conte, Dějiny římské literatury, 213. Marcus Terrentius Varro, On Agriculture:  With English Translation, trans. W. D. Hooper, revised H. Boyd Ash (London:  W. Heinemann, 1935), xiv–xxiii, 159–531. Aune, The Westminster Dictionary, 126. Ibid., 127. Conte, Dějiny římské literatury, 485. Francǫis Vouga, Dějiny raného křesťanství (Praha:  Vyšehrad, 1997), 15. Originally published as Geschichte des frühen Christentums (Basel: Francke Verlag, 1994).

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is too difficult to achieve given their sense of offence with Jesus (5:14–18). Others, still, understand and believe but fear that public acknowledgment will lead to their expulsion from their synagogue (12:42). Those who find themselves not understanding are not only the disciples and the opponents of Jesus (Ἰουδαῖοι in 6:52; Φαρισαῖοι, ἀρχιερεῖς in 7:32) but also Nicodemus (3:4), Mary, the mother of Jesus (2:4–5), Mary Magdalen (20:16), the brothers of Jesus (who also laugh sarcastically in 7:4–5), and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (4:11).60 The dialogues in the story force the readers/hearers to take sides. The passages that feature the embodied logos61 form a universal paradigm for perceiving the world and offer participation in a “higher knowledge” that results in eternal life. The acceptance of the rhetorical modus of communication is tantamount to the affirmation of the poetic as proof for the truth of the author’s construct of reality (1:1–18) in which he acknowledges Jesus as a preexistent one. This acknowledgment is the key to decoding the subsequent narrative in its entirety.62 This key unlocks John’s irony and the whole rhetorical strategy that contains metaphors, qualities of hypsos and emphasis,63 dualisms, binary oppositions,64 epideictic (sometimes directly “doxological”) and deliberative rhetoric, intended intertextuality, redundancy, and emotional appeals. Identification with the text, or rejection of it, by a small Christian community that worships in close quarters, like a room in a house, is absolutely essential for ongoing relationships. Without rhetorically elaborated texts and literary-critical forms (e.g., dialogues, lalia, paramythia) that are pointing at respected topoi, inducing a reassured experience of God’s presence and a confirmation of the legitimacy of his personal commitment, Christianity would not have been able to compete with and penetrate the many associations in the Roman world. In John’s Gospel, Jesus’s discourses contain a Christian creed that is perceived by the believing hearer through symbols, Jesus’s confrontational communication style (8:12–30), the techniques of prolepsis and analepsis, and external and internal proofs of the author. The story has already been heard and is known from an oral tradition or from some of the earlier evangelists’ versions. The story, as told by the Johannine writer, is somewhat different in that it has multiple time-narration sequences and contains the body of knowledge about Jewish customs, feast days, Scripture, and other pretexts,65 which situates the story within Judaism, and yet it distances itself from it. Judaism during the time of Jesus is a matrix of stories, but the hearer does not live in that matrix. The author appropriates it retrospectively, but from the vantage point of Christian identity. The hearer’s expectations transcend Judaism and in so doing, 60 61

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Frye, Words with Power, 94–95, points to the moment of misunderstanding in John’s Gospel. For the concept of logos in John, see Frye, Words with Power, 105; Keener, The Gospel of John, 1.333–63. Jean Zumstein, “Intratextuality and Intertextuality in the Gospel of John,” in Anatomies of Narrative Criticism: The Past, Present, and Futures of the Fourth Gospel as Literature, ed. Tom Thatcher and Stephen D. Moore (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 123. Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation, 108–9. Reinhartz, “Forging a New Identity,” 129. Zumstein, “Intratextuality and Intertextuality,” 121–22. Paul N. Anderson, “John and Mark:  The Bi-Optic Gospels,” in Jesus and the Johannine Tradition, ed. Robert R. Fortna and Tom Thatcher (Philadelphia, PA:  Westminster/John Knox Press, 2001), 175–88; Terry Eagleton, Úvod do literární teorie (Praha:  Triáda, 2005), 169. Originally published as Literary Theory. An Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001).

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they create a mythical dimension.66 Jesus’s discourses are understood to be a dramatic confrontation between the divine logos and the world and its possible topoi points at the tragic elements of the narration. The dialogues reveal attitudes of those who didn’t accept the gospel (8:31–59) by including their rationale.67 The hearer knows that he is not listening to a missionary text68 and is fully aware of the fact that there is an ideological component within the rhetoric that deems his community separate.69 John writes for those who (living during the time of the “Frühkatholizismus” expansion,70 increasing popularity of the gnosis, having a newly acquired independence from synagogue, the prospering mysteries, as well as having experienced a change in eschatological orientation) are in need of a reassurance about their beliefs.71 Listening to John’s version of Jesus’s story is to be uplifting, comforting, and confirming of the exclusive status of those who understand. Surely, they are the ones who are born of God (1:13). They are surrounded by a nonunderstanding world (κόσμος), and they love one another (ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλουϛ—13:34). The elements of pathos are obviously there and have a massive impact on the feelings of the hearers. The argumentation of the narrative, as retrospection, is concerned with an uncertain future when Jesus is going to “leave” them. The narrative, as a production of the community, also influences its identity as it reflects on its present and future. Jesus’s identity, the symbols, sacraments, and ethical norms have been accepted by the hearers who practice Jesus’s life as it has been narrated, particularly love as a “new commandment” (ἐντολή καινή) instead of halacha. This practice is not presented (cf. Mark 12:28–34/Deut 6:4–5; Lev 19:18) as a universally accepted norm of Judaism and Christianity during the Roman Period but is fundamental to this small community (John 13:34–35) and distinct from the Ἰουδαῖοι of the story. All of the elements associated with those who lack understanding, which are repetitive, are integrated within a system that is formed by the entire discourse.72 Jesus as a central character holds together John’s story through numerous metaphors that point to him.73 At times the content about Jesus is implicit, through the use of tropes (irony), and an underlying “second plan” in the plot, which the listener expects from John’s Jesus (16:29). Thus, the hearer is open to a surprising twist that plays with time and place perspectives that make those who do not believe deliberately confused (7:7–10). If we sort the narrative characters into not only groups of protagonists and antagonists but also into groups based on their alignment with the hearers, as suggested

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Frye, Anatomie kritiky, 49. Frye, Words with Power, 16–17. Similarities are found in Plato and Socrates’ dialogues. Hengel, The Johannine Question, 121. Frye, Words with Power, 17, 111. The establishment and promotion of the concept of “Frühkatholizismus” can be attributed to Ferdinand Christian Baur, Albert Schwegler, and the nineteenth-century Tübingen School. See also Jerome H. Neyrey, “The ‘Noble Shephar’ in John 10: Cultural and Rhetorical Background,” JBL 120, no. 2 (2001): 267–91, esp. 270–77; Vouga, Dějiny raného křesťanství, 214–22. Chatman defines a narrative as a structure with a content plan (called a story) and an expression plan (called a discourse). Chatman, Příběh a diskurs, 152. Detlev Dormeyer, The New Testament among the Writings of Antiquity (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), 75.

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by Northrop Frye, we can better assess the levels of irony in the related episodes.74 Irony itself is a complicated trope and is realized in various ways. In so doing, John’s Gospel contains a mutual communication between the author and the hearer, which conveys a hidden meaning that is in direct opposition to the actual meaning of the narrator’s (Jesus’s) words. This is done at someone else’s expense (e.g., the Samaritan woman) who is made a fool as he or she does not fit the role of a nonunderstanding (embarrassing, comical, disadvantaged) character.75 This kind of character is instructed and is granted a say in the discussion only to confirm their previous nonunderstanding. We can even say that the true meaning follows its own trajectory, misses the goal (a surprised and noncomprehending person), but finds its way from the author to the hearer who is more interested in a hidden meaning rather than the one presented to him.76 The irony is often espoused with a certain deal of naivety and stubbornness of the “victim,” which makes the plot even more dramatic and hilarious.

John’s Inventio and Scripture: The Analogy between Gen 29:1–14 and John 4:1–42 Intertextuality and Rhetorical Strategy In the last few decades, the widespread discussion of “intertextuality” in academic circles has not evaded the field of biblical studies, where it has been defined and appropriated in a variety of ways.77 Within its broader use among philosophers, social scientists, and especially literary theorists (e.g., Umberto Eco and Gérard Genette), literature is not perceived as a continuous series of consecutive works that build on one another but as a universe of texts functioning in a relational network, wherein they constantly interact with one another. Texts are viewed as mosaics of quotations that are always interpreted and transformed.78 The literary presence of one text within another means that the contextual relationship allows for a deeper and broader understanding of the original text, creating a much wider potential for its reception. Thus, intertextuality is the interpretive horizon within which the text is read. The more explicit the intertextuality is, the clearer the horizon becomes. Therefore, the reader must understand the intertextual relationships within the texts’ cultural frameworks if meaning is to be attained.79 In other words, a given cited text must be known to the 74 75 76

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Frye, Anatomie kritiky, 49–52. Dormeyer, Writings of Antiquity, 89. Chatman, Příběh a diskurs, 241. Ibid., 241. Irony is divided into stable and unstable categories. Stable irony (which is at stake here) is deliberate, hidden, and reconstructed by the reader as more interesting than its counterpart. It is also fixed in the sense that the reader understands the meaning, which cannot be deconstructed further. It is final in its application. Chatman relies on the classifications and characteristics of irony proposed by Wayne C. Booth, A Rhetoric of Irony (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1974), 6, 240. At its most basic level, intertextuality can be defined as “the shaping of texts’ meanings by other texts. It can refer to an author’s borrowing and transformation of a prior text or to a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another” (http://enotes.com/topic/Intertextuality). Shamma Schahadat, “Intertextovost: Čtení – Text – Intertext,” in Úvod do literární vědy, ed. Miltos Pechlivanos, Stefan Rieger, Wolfgang Struck, and Michael Weitz (Praha: Herrmann & synové, 1999), 357–67, esp. 357, 360–61. Peter Phillips, “Biblical Studies and Intertextuality: Should the Work of Genette and Eco Broaden Our Horizons?” in The Intertextuality of the Epistles: Explorations of Theory and Practice, ed. Thomas

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reader. However, intertextuality is not a means for recovering or reconstructing the source of the embedded text, but rather it is a recognition that integration of text is a necessary cultural process in the construction of meaning and identity.80 In the field of rhetoric, the process is closely related to inventio and topoi.

John’s Topoi and Inventio The embedding of Scripture in John 4:1–42 creates an intertextual dynamic within the Gospel’s inventio. John’s inventio is constructed not only for those who were familiar with Greek and Roman literary conventions but also for those who knew the Jewish Scriptures in general and the stories of the Genesis patriarchs in particular. This kind of hearer would have grasped the significant analogies between the John 4:1–42 and Gen 29:1–14 since the evangelist composed the pericope in accordance with the Jacob episode. While John does not quote Gen 29:1–14, a perceptive hearer familiar with Jewish traditions would not have overlooked the typological interpretation of characters, the similar structure, and a comparable dialogue about a well. John creates a variation on Gen 29:1–14. Here, inventio is dependent on an already existing and widely known literary model, which enhances the attractiveness of John’s presentation and outlines his literary intent. John’s hearers, who knew the Scriptures, would have thought they were hearing something familiar. The characters were different, but the location of the well would have caused the comparison, which is the rhetorical situation of the analogy. Jesus, just like Jacob, is presented as arriving in a country that is not his but is inhabited by those who are related. The Samaritan woman is analogous to Rachel who comes to the well with her flock at the wrong time. The Samaritan woman departs to her people after her emotional encounter with Jesus in a comparable fashion to Rachel who runs to her father Laban. Jesus’s warm reception of the Samaritans, who were “related” to the Jews, is likewise comparable to Laban’s reception of Jacob. Both receptions break cultural norms in that they lead to hospitality and resolve long-standing tensions. We can further compare Laban’s acknowledgment of Jacob, “Surely, you are my bone and my flesh,” with the Samaritans’ confession of Jesus, “this is indeed the saviour of the world.” Jesus remains with the Samaritans for three days, as Jacob stays with Laban. Jesus’s disciples are comparable to the “brothers” with whom Jacob leads an initial dialogue. As the “brothers” of Jacob, the disciples will take on the role of shepherds or herdsmen when Jesus departs. Likewise, both Rachel and the Samaritan woman acquire the task of conveying the further course of events, and by their actions they ensure the acceptance of Jacob and Jesus, respectively. Thus, by using Gen 29:1–14 as topoi, the evangelist refreshes his hearers’ knowledge of the old story, which in turn gives Jesus the authority to rival Jacob. The hearer who knows especially the Hebrew

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L. Brodie, Dennis R. MacDonald, and Stanley E. Porter, NTM 16 (Sheffield:  Sheffield Phoenix, 2006), 36–45; Gérard Genette, Palimpsests: Literature in the Second Degree, trans. Channa Newman and Claude Doubinsky (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997), 2, 4–7. Phillips, “Biblical Studies and Intertextuality.” Stefan Alkier, “From Text to Intertext: Intertextuality as a Paradigm for Reading Matthew,” HTS 61, nos. 1–2 (2005): 1–18, esp. 2.

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version of Scripture would have been well aware of the analogy between Jesus and Jacob. The well, which represented an important place for social gathering, is an old motive that created a context for dialogues of crucial importance.

3. Jesus and the Samaritan Woman: An Analysis of Persuasion Strategy Dispositio: Argumentation Structure of the Unit As a rhetorical-narrative unit, John 4:1–42 belongs to a broader narrative complex (1:19–6:71)81 wherein it is a distinctive unit referring to a single episode. The dialogues within the broader narrative complex are introduced by their unique rhetorical situation and are markedly separated from adjacent ones. John 4:1–42 exhibits parallels with 7:1–52, notably the topic of “the living water,” and similar literary features like irony hidden in dialogues, sarcasm, and the confession of an unexpected (the temple guards) character used as a devise to further understanding. John 4:1–42 can be broken down into individual scenes based on the dialogues: I. 4:1–6: Rhetorical situation 1 II. 4:7–26: Dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman (main dialogue of unit A) a) 4:7–18: Irony part of the dialogue—a non-understanding woman b) 4:19–26: Revelation part of the dialogue—an understanding woman III. 4:27–30: Rhetorical situation 2—a shift in the plot IV. 4:31–38: Dialogue between Jesus and the disciples (minor dialogue of unit B) a) 4:31–33: Irony part of the dialogue—the non-understanding disciples b) 4:34–38: Revelation part of the dialogue—Jesus instructing the disciples V. 4:39–42: Outcome of the unit—the understanding Samaritans (confessing the Saviour C) Dispositio is structured in parallels (Aab//Ba’b’→C) as it discloses a dynamism of the unit and is an indispensable part of the argumentation strategy. The unit is formed with parallel dialogues of the persons, plots, and rhetorical situations that are construed by the main characters of the episodes (Jesus and the Samaritan woman) along with the minor characters (the disciples and Samaritans).82 Moreover, the Samaritan woman is an unpredictable character, however “finalized.” Jesus is more of a “plastic” and “unfinished” character as he keeps developing and endlessly uncovering new and unfamiliar divine character traits. His character does not end with the closure of the

81 82

See Keener, The Gospel of John, 1.xii. Craig R. Koester, “Portraits of Jesus in the Gospel of John: A Spectrum of Roles,” in Portraits of Jesus in the Gospel of John, ed. Craig R. Koester (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2019), 1–16, esp. 4–5. Keener offers divisions based on different criteria.

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unit or narrative but keeps marching on together with the hearer who is demanding access to more knowledge.83 It is a given fact that events within the narratives are substantially correlated, successive, and arising from another. Their succession is not linear but causal. When it comes to our analyzed unit, the causation is uncovered. It is explicit.84

Rhetorical Strategy of the Unit: From Non-Understanding to Confessing The persons who don’t understand Jesus are in the state of non-knowing. Nevertheless, they gradually or suddenly come to the point of anagnórisis, which is the point of transitioning from not knowing to realization.85 This is reasonable since the main figure is the Messiah, who is of divine substance, which results in the mythical macrostructure of John’s story coming to the fore.86 The irony of this scenario (being a tool of communicating with the reader) is fitting and heightens an effect of recognizing the Messiah and Jesus’s claim for authority. The dialogue with the Samaritan woman is an illustrative example. The scene is dramatically dialogical,87 geographically identifiable, and thematically focused with multiple gradations. The hearers are being overwhelmed by numerous effects, including irony,88 unexpected plot turns, and a pulling away from some familiar traditions and customs. The pericope begins with a situation wherein two persons of differing religious and ethnical backgrounds meet and talk, which would have been regarded as unusual in that day. Nevertheless, they undergo an extensive dialogue and the episode concludes with the Samaritans confessing Jesus the Jew to be the Savior of the world (4:42). To the reader who was knowledgeable about contemporary social norms, this must have been shocking. Within the pericope, the impossible becomes possible, and the negatively oriented characters become positive. The entire section is a meta-irony. While his own people do not accept his identity, it is accepted by the Samaritans who would have been viewed as opponents of the Jews. The rhetorical situation is modeled after the previous pericope wherein Jesus outshines John the Baptist and then, because of the Pharisees, travels from Judea to Galilea via Samaria (which was a three-days’ journey for the Galileans).89 Despite its oddity, the scene is significant because it takes place at a location that was of great importance for both Samarians and Jews, namely Jacob’ well at Sychar, which would have been linked to the patriarchs Jacob and Joseph (Gen 33:18–19; Josh 24:32).

83

84 85

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Chatman, Příběh a diskurs, 112–44, esp. 138–39. The characters and events are evaluated according to criteria used in narrative structural analysis. Ibid., 45–46. Ibid., 88. Aristotle (Poet. 24.15) states that the Iliad is simple, while the Odyssey is complicated because it is interwoven with anagnorisis and is about character. See Aristotelés, Rétorika. Poetika (Praha: Rezek, 1999) 377. Chatman, Příběh a diskurs, 89. Frye, Anatomie kritiky, 49–50. C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1963), 311. Ibid. C. K. Barrett, The Gospel According to St John: An Introduction with Commentary and Notes on the Greek Text (London: SPCK, 1962), 193.

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The authority of these forefathers provides for rhetorical strength since it functions as an external proof. This was the place where the Messiah was to reveal himself to the Samaritans. The plot takes place at noon when nobody would have gone to retrieve water. Another anomaly is that the Samaritan woman is not accompanied by other women. She is alone. What is more, Jesus steps outside customary convention and starts the conversation (4:1–7, 9). He is not simply making a request, but as a man, a Jew, and a rabbi, he speaks authoritatively to the woman, which sets the tone in the use of the imperative δός in 4:7. The hearer accepts this for he knows who Jesus is and recognizes that the question of Jesus’s messianic identity is a rhetoric problem in the pericope. On the other hand, the woman addresses him politely as “Lord” (4:11, κύριε) and remains consistent with her role within a patriarchal society. She asks questions because she does not understand but remains submissive during the conversation (4:11–12). Her questions about the Messiah’s origins, and whether Jesus is greater than “our forefather Jacob,” along with her eventual acceptance of Jesus’s identity resembles the dialogue with Nathanael (1:46–51).90 The entire scene contains elements of diatribe,91 wherein Jesus is an authority whose words convey wisdom. The woman takes on the role of a “student” who is asking important questions to make the conversation proceed toward the uncovering of the truth. In the next section, Jesus focuses on his mission using more symbolic and existentialist elements (4:10, 13–14), which the woman cannot find immediately understand.92 In particular, Jesus contrasts the water in Jacob’s well water with the “living water” (ὕδωρ ζῶν, vv. 7–15), which is a main expression of Johannine irony.93 In rabbinic tradition, water often symbolized Torah. A thirsting after Torah was regarded as a cleansing that promised of blessed life, since only God can give this water.94 The Johannine Jesus comes close to Philo, who views water as a symbol of a higher reality, and thus would have been at home in the Hellenistic context.95 Irony is immediately apparent as the woman requests the water Jesus offers so that she would not have to draw from the well again (4:15). The request is turned upside down and the Samaritan woman, based on her misunderstanding, asks for the water from Jesus. It is possible that the woman understands the absurdity in her request, but as a Samaritan she does not recognize the allegorical undertones of the rabbinic symbolism.96 In this case, sarcasm could be playing a role in the words of the woman since she may know that Jesus is not speaking about literal water. It is her way of requesting the “living water.” 90

91 92 93 94

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Chris Keith, “Jesus the Galilean in the Gospel of John: The Significance of Earthly Origins in the Fourth Gospel,” in Portraits of Jesus in the Gospel of John: A Christological Spectrum, ed. Craig R. Koester, LNTS 589 (London: T&T Clark, 2019), 45–59, esp. 50, 57. Aune, The Westminster Dictionary, 127–29. Dodd, Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, 83. Ibid., 311. Ibid., 312. Graham H. Twelftree, “Jesus the Healer in the Fourth Gospel: Bringing Life from God,” in Portraits of Jesus in the Gospel of John: A Christological Spectrum, ed. Craig R. Koester, LNTS 589 (London: T&T Clark, 2019), 77–90, esp. 84. Dodd, Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, 312. In his comment on Gen 2:6, Philo writes, “Thus, he says, the Logos of God waters the virtues, for it is the beginning and fountain of noble deeds” (De Post. 127). In terms of form, it is a riddle from the side of Jesus, and it belongs to the world of orality. The solution comes from the knowledge that is often found in the deep subconscious, beyond words themselves. Ong, Technologizace slova, 66.

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Within the narrative, however, the Samaritan woman is an “unequal” character and the question remains whether the gospel author is conveying the woman’s ironic intention. Next, the dialogue becomes suddenly sharpened as Jesus poses a command in 4:16 with a rather strong moralistic undertone that would be binding for the woman. The command contains three imperatives within a single sentence: ὕπαγε, φώνησον, and ἐλθὲ. The woman answers with a half-truth.97 Nevertheless, Jesus uncompromisingly uncovers the “weak side” (4:17–18) of her private life with respect to the man with whom she lives, which was socially problematic (4:17–18).98 Perhaps, Jesus’s list of her previous husbands (in v. 18) is ironic. But, since Jesus knows about her private life, he must be a prophet.99 By acknowledging this, she confronts her embarrassing situation (4:19). As for the reader, having read previous episodes, he gets to understand that the Torah was there from Moses, whereas grace comes from Jesus (1:17), and the “living water” must be a symbol of new life and rebirth in light of the dialogue with Nicodemus who gained understanding in relation to “water and the Spirit” (3:5–7). Within the unit of rhetorical structure, Jesus’s prophetic skills are taken to be an internal proof, by which the author legitimizes that Jesus is truly an awaited messiah. The entire dialogue is eschatologically accented from both sides. It demonstrates that the Samaritans are not beyond salvation and that the Johannine community doesn’t need to maintain old boundaries with them, which cannot be said about the Pharisees, high priests, and Jews. Irony and any touches of sarcasm are now gone. They end at v. 18. The woman’s response in v. 19, which alludes to Deut 18:15, serves as an external rhetorical proof that legitimizes her proclamation. The woman becomes a character who now understands (anagnorisis) the reality that has been uncovered to her (4:21–24). The future worship in the messianic age will take place neither on Mt. Gerizim nor in Jerusalem but will occur in spirit and in truth (ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ—4:23). For the Hellenized reader or hearer, this type of worship would have contrasted with popular pagan rituals.100 The dialogue leads to a confession, which appropriately follows the evidence. The Messiah is not somebody who only announces religious truths or advocates evident unethical practices. His is a prophetic and messianic task that is both promised (ἔρχεται ὥρα in 4:21) and present (ἔρχεται ὥρα καὶ νῦν ἐστίν in 4:23)!101 The Messiah announces a new era in the present. At this point in the dialogue, Jesus proclaims that he is the one to come and that his identity is well supported. He surpasses the patriarch Jacob, the founder of the well. He also emerges as surpassing the authority of a prophet. Jesus’s dialogue with the woman makes an impact before the disciples and other characters, the dramatis personae, is sorted into two groups.102 After the woman comes to an understanding and knowledge about Jesus (4:19, 26), she shares her new 97 98

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The woman’s self-defense via half-truth (vv. 17–18) is the emotional climax of the unit. Barrett, Gospel According to St John, 197; Ernst Haenchen, John, Hermeneia (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1984), 1:221. Only three marriages were apparently allowed. On the term “prophet” in John’s gospel, see Catrin H. Williams, “Jesus the Prophet: Crossing the Boundaries of Prophetic Beliefs and Expectations in the Gospel of John,” in Portraits of Jesus in the Gospel of John: A Christological Spectrum, ed. Craig R. Koester, LNTS 589 (London:  T&T Clark, 2019), 91–107, esp. 91–92, 96–97, 103. Dodd, Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, 314. Ibid., 315. Ibid.

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discoveries with other Samaritans in the town, completely undeterred by the possible fallout. When the disciples return, they are amazed and cannot understand, as they found themselves at the beginning of the dialogue. As the woman did not understand about the water, so the disciples miss the symbolism about earthly food (4:33). They too are instructed, through aphorisms and proverbs that were familiar in agrarian settings,103 that Jesus’s mission is eschatologically urgent, and that they are partakers in it (4:38). While the Samaritan woman runs away to spread the messianic knowledge, the disciples need to be explicitly sent away. Their reaction to Jesus’s figurative speech is not noted, though. Interestingly, the Samaritans, who accept the testimony of the woman, enter the narrative and insist that Jesus stay with them. Jesus stays there for two days and many come to believe in him. Anagnorisis is therefore not only about the woman or other Samaritans but also about the reader. As titulature (e.g., Lord, Prophet, Savior), confessions, and the number of believers expand, it becomes obvious that the reader is confronted with epideictic rhetoric, which theologically comes to the main point at the closure of the rhetorical-narrative unit in the confession: “This truly is the Saviour of the word” (οὗτός ἐστιν ἀληθῶς ὁ σωτὴρ τοῦ κόσμου) in 4:42. The entire episode represents Jesus as a very effective speaker (orator)104 who persuades a sinful woman to accept Jesus’s identity on the basis of “his word” (διὰ τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ, 4:41) within a difficult location and social context. The sequence of understanding is interesting. It begins with the author who is also the narrator. Jesus as the main character confronts other characters who lack understanding. They in turn, like the Samaritan woman (4:15) and the disciples (4:33), become rhetorical instruments in furthering that understanding. The process of conveying understanding seems to be irregular. The Samaritan woman refers to Jesus as the Messiah (4:29; ὁ χριστός), whereas the disciples address him as “teacher” (4:31; ῥαββί). Within the logic of the unit, the woman understands more than they do. While the disciples are given only a general understanding (4:31–38), they undergo further development throughout the narrative. Irony penetrates the entire pericope and Jesus’s dialogue with the disciples reveals their non-understanding together with an explanation of the problem in agricultural metaphors. While the time of understanding has come to the Samaritans, the time of understanding will come to the disciples at the end of the narrative. For the reader, understanding happens at every reading of the story. John’s inventio is composed of multiple sources and his topoi comes from the texts of the Old Testament, rabbinic tradition, Samaritan and Hellenistic Greek traditions, and Roman sources. Elocutio is interlinked with the dialogical style, irony, a second plan, pathos, metaphor of “living water,” enlargement, and usage of imperatives for the sake of expressing authority, all of which draw the dedicated hearer or reader into the plot and create the impression of a higher style that enriches epideictic rhetoric.

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Cf. Matt 9:37–38 and Luke 10:2. The speaker is a character who is full of virtues in the Greco-Roman world, not abusing language and engaging in public affairs. But Jesus, instead of being concerned with politics, solves the “salvation” of the Samaritan woman.

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4. Conclusion John’s Gospel contains a rich rhetoric-narrative strategy (including topoi) that fits well within a religious-philosophical historical context. The dialogues with those who do not understand through the use of irony (and perhaps sarcasm) conveys a significant rhetorical form, which is meant to amuse the reader and provides the plot with appropriate psychodynamics and dramatic tension. The use of inventio and dispositio may be dependent on oral traditions, their processes, and certainly the analogous use of Gen 29:1–14. In addition, irony gives the Johannine hearers a tool with which they can use to defend themselves against the opposition. Despite the dialogues being ironic within John 4:1–42, they don’t uncover antagonistic characters. Rather, they highlight the function of anagnorisis. Verbal actions dominate over the nonverbal, and the episodic logic is defined by the development of the dialogues. One can equally view the entire unit as a Johannine variation on Jesus’s commandment about loving one’s enemies (Matt 6:44/Luke 6:27), which would have fit the Samaritans. John’s topoi are influenced by both Scripture and Hellenistic rhetorical sources and practices, which would have been common for a Hellenistic Jew, like the Fourth Evangelist, who most likely had a gymnasium education.

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The Linguistic Function of Biblical Citations in John’s Gospel Stanley E. Porter

1. Introduction The literature on the biblical citations in John’s Gospel is significant and growing.1 There have been a number of recent treatments that summarize this evidence relatively carefully. The range of evidence of biblical citations within John ranges over those that are introduced through formulas to those that are non-formulaic citations to those that are allusions and other types of citation. However, this wide-ranging evidence is usually not discussed in this organized fashion. The latest edition of the UBS Greek New Testament includes an index of both quotations (ordered in two forms, by Old Testament order and by New Testament order) and what is entitled allusions and verbal parallels (although this second list is unhelpfully only presented according to source rather than according to source and New Testament order).2 Others have similar lists. The lists of quotations appear to be in relatively strong agreement as to the evidence to be considered, at least so far as formulaic citations are concerned. This would mean that the task of examining the function of scriptural citations in John’s Gospel should not be difficult, at least so far as the basic evidence is concerned.

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See, as representative examples, Edwin D. Freed, Old Testament Quotations in the Gospel of John, NovTSup 11 (Leiden:  Brill, 1965); Bruce G. Schuchard, Scripture within Scripture:  The Interrelationship of Form and Function in the Explicit Old Testament Citations in the Gospel of John, SBLDS 133 (Atlanta, GA: SBL, 1992); Maarten J. J. Menken, Old Testament Quotations in the Fourth Gospel: Studies in Textual Form (Kampen:  Kok Pharos, 1996); Andreas J. Köstenberger, “John,” in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, ed. G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson (Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker, 2007), 415–512; Wm. Randolph Bynum, The Fourth Gospel and the Scriptures: Illuminating the Form and Meaning of Scriptural Citation in John 19:37, NovTSup 144 (Leiden: Brill, 2012); and Ruth Sheridan, Retelling Scripture: “The Jews” and the Scriptural Citations in John 1:19–12:15, BINS 110 (Leiden:  Brill, 2012); among many others. One notices that there is significant difference of opinion on the source of John’s Old Testament quotations. For a recent summary, see Rekha M. Chennattu, “Scripture,” in How John Works:  Storytelling in the Fourth Gospel, ed. Douglas Estes and Ruth Sheridan (Atlanta, GA: SBL, 2016), 171–86, esp. 174–75. I note also that most of these studies treat the individual passages in isolation. See UBS5, 857–63 and 864–83; cf. Köstenberger, “John,” 416–17.

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Such lists of the scriptural citations, however, usually only include formulaic quotations, with non-formulaic quotations being grouped with allusions and verbal parallels.3 This poses a major problem for study of the citations of Scripture within John’s Gospel, as there are admittedly a number of what are sometimes called “verbal parallels” in John’s Gospel that amount to non-formulaically introduced scriptural quotations. An example is the opening of the Gospel of John itself. In the opening verse of John’s Gospel, the author writes, ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος (John 1:1). The opening of the book of Genesis reads as follows:  ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεός (Gen 1:1). The number of words that the two opening sentences of these books have in common is only two, and this is in fact too few to say definitively that this is a quotation, as three words are a necessary minimum to establish the kind of syntactical relationship that is unambiguous.4 There are several further considerations, however, that must be taken into account, even in considering this example. The first is that virtually all commentators make mention of the fact that the opening of John’s Gospel in some ways invokes the opening of the book of Genesis.5 One can understand why authors are virtually agreed on this observation. The passages include not just the identical opening two words (in the Greek version of Genesis) but also a sentence constructed in the same syntactical pattern of Adjunct (here a prepositional wordgroup), Predicator (the finite verb of the main clause), and Subject (defined by the article). In other words, the two sentences are identical in their functional structure. A second observation is that the parallelism of the two sentences makes the opening of John’s Gospel even more Christologically significant than is sometimes observed. One notices that, whereas the Greek Gen 1:1 begins with the Adjunct (to which I will return soon), the Predicator functions with the Subject, God, as explicit agent (the verb is in the active voice). The Subject of an active voice clause by virtue of its being the Subject has agentive function so that in Gen 1:1 ὁ θεός, understood in context as the God of the Israelites and of the Old Testament, acts temporally, that is, in the beginning. In the opening sentence of John’s Gospel, after the initial Adjunct (I will return to this anon), the Predicator, although not an aspectual finite verb, is the aspectually vague verb of existence, functioning with the Subject, ὁ λόγος, usually translated as “the word.” “The word” as Subject functions as the agent of the verb of existence (although it is vague regarding voice as well), being in existence in a particular realm of time, that is, in the beginning. The many similarities indicate that not only is the God of the opening of Genesis in some way to be seen as equivalent, at least in agentive role, with the “word” of the 3

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Craig A. Evans (Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies:  A Guide to the Background Literature [Peabody, MA:  Hendrickson, 2005], 368–73) includes quotations, allusions, and parallels all together in a single list. The comprehensiveness is to be commended, but the lack of differentiation makes the problem of categorization no easier. See Stanley E. Porter, Sacred Tradition in the New Testament: Tracing Old Testament Themes in the Gospels and Epistles (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2016), 33–46. I will concentrate here upon formulaic quotations and allusions, but there are other categories and nuances that could be invoked. Cf. Chennattu, “Scripture,” 171–72, who strangely refers to the repeated two words as an “echo.” See, e.g., John H. Bernard, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John, 2 vols., ed. A. H. McNeile, ICC (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1928), 1:1–2, followed by many to the present; cf. Köstenberger, “John,” 421. A disappointing interpretation is found in Peter M. Phillips, The Prologue of the Fourth Gospel: A Sequential Reading (London:  T&T Clark, 2006), esp. 143–50, whose sequential reading too readily becomes an atomistic reading.

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opening of John’s Gospel, but each is presumably doing so at the same time, however one interprets the beginning. If all of this is reasonably close to an accurate analysis of these two sentences that open these two books, then they are saying something very similar, with John’s Gospel reflecting and even perhaps imitating and equating what it is saying with what is said at the outset of the book of Genesis. If that is true, then one must ask whether it is sufficient simply to say that John’s Gospel in the use of the same two initial words as in Greek Genesis is simply an allusion, or even whether it is a verbal parallel (whatever that might mean in relation to exact wordings, such as these), or whether it is in fact a two-word quotation, that is, an invocation by the author of the book of John of the very words of the opening of Genesis, used presumably to establish the Christological foundation of the entire book. Just as the book of Genesis opens with the divine being said to have acted in the beginning (of time or of creation or of some other period), so John’s Gospel by invoking not just the opening prepositional phrase but the entire sentence presumes to say that the word is fulfilling a similar role in the beginning. One does not necessarily need to find my analysis entirely convincing to see that the failure to analyze more specifically the so-called verbal parallels to establish whether they are or are not actual quotations—as I believe that the opening of John’s Gospel is of Gen 1:1—can pose problems. These potential problems of such failure are several. One problem is the obvious one that actual quotations of the Old Testament are in fact not identified and then not treated as quotations within the New Testament. Regardless of how one chooses to view the two UBS lists mentioned above, I do not think that those instances cited in the list of allusions and verbal parallels appear to carry the same gravity or interpretive weight as do the quotations, which in fact are not the full range of quotations but only the formulaic quotations. Another problem is not just that a number of potential quotations are not identified, but one loses the ability to examine how the biblical author interprets the range of Old Testament quotations. If we rely simply upon the list of quotations, without including the non-formulaic quotations, we create one particular view of the function of the scriptural citations within a given book, one that is no doubt different from a view that includes all of the scriptural quotations by including non-formulaically introduced ones. In other words, there may be a vital dynamic in how the biblical author draws upon and then conveys biblical quotations that goes toward establishing the biblical author’s view of how he views and how he interprets and then chooses to utilize the Old Testament in his text. Thus, there is a great necessity to have a more nuanced and representative set of lists to establish the full range of quotations within any given book, and the same is true of the book of John. Having said that, even though I believe that it is a major desideratum to establish more firmly accurate criteria for identifying and classifying scriptural citations, and especially to identify fuller and more complete lists of quotations, formulaic and otherwise, I will not propose here a revision of the list of quotations in John’s Gospel as that is not my goal in this paper. In this paper, I wish to concentrate upon the formulaic quotations within John’s Gospel, notably the abovementioned stable list widely agreed upon by scholars. I  recognize that, as I  have indicated above, by limiting myself to this list I definitely circumscribe and perhaps even arbitrarily and unfairly limit the

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scope of my exploration so that other important evidence is not considered. However, I believe that, rather than positing such a fuller list myself, it is more important for the community of scholars to enter into a wider discussion of what constitutes a quotation and engage this task together to arrive at appropriate categories and instances within them. I instead will provide a partial analysis of the linguistic function of the formulaic quotations within John’s Gospel. I  am not as concerned with the Old Testament passages from which these quotations are taken but more concerned with how these quotations are introduced within John’s Gospel and how they function within the narrative. I  will examine their function both at the micro level, that is, in relation to the quotation within its immediate context, making comments on the use of the introductory formulas, and at the macro level, that is, in relation to discerning patterns of usage within the entire Gospel.

2. The Formulaic Quotations in John’s Gospel: Micro Patterns There are either twelve or fourteen formulaic quotations of the Old Testament in John’s Gospel, depending on how they are organized. I  will present these quotations and make a few observations regarding their function at the micro level, before offering below an analysis at the macro level of their discourse function. The observations on the quotations here note a number of the features especially at the lower discourse levels.6 John 1:23: ἔφη, ἐγὼ φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, εὐθύνατε τῆν ὁδὸν κυρίου, καθὼς εἶπεν Ἠσΐας ὁ προφήτης (“he said, I  am a voice of one crying in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord, as Isaiah the prophet said”). This passage occurs within the section on John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus. After the prologue (John 1:1–18), John introduces Jesus as the lamb of God (John 1:19–34), before Jesus undertakes his public ministry (beginning in John 1:35). The Old Testament passage cited is Isa 40:3.

6

I do not treat those instances where there is an introductory formula but no Old Testament quotation. These passages merit extended treatment but not in this essay. John 1:45 reads ὃν ἔγραψεν Μωϋσῆς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ with possible allusion to Deut 18:18, Isa 7:14, 9:6, or Ezek 34:23 (UBS5); John 5:46 reads περὶ γὰρ ἐμοῦ ἐκεῖνος (Moses) ἔγραψεν with allusion to Deut 18:15 (UBS5); John 7:38 reads καθὼς εἶπεν ἡ γραφή but apparently alludes to a variety of possible passages, such as Prov 18:4; Zech 14:8; Isa 55:1, 58:11, as well as others (Evans, Ancient Texts, 371); John 7:42 reads ἡ γραφὴ εἶπεν ὅτι and possibly alludes to 2 Sam 7:12; Mic 5:2 (so Craig A. Evans, Word and Glory: On the Exegetical and Theological Background of John’s Prologue, JSNTSup 89 [Sheffield:  Sheffield Academic, 1993], 175, contra Evans, Ancient Texts, 371, who cites Jub 17:21); John 8:17 reads καὶ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ δὲ τῷ ὑμετέρῳ γέγραπται ὅτι and alludes to Deut 17:6 or 19:15 (Evans, Word and Glory, 175; with no reference cited in Evans, Ancient Texts); John 18:9 has ἵνα πληρωθῇ ὁ λόγος ὃν εἶπεν with a formula used to refer to the words of Jesus in John 6:39 (so Evans, Word and Glory, 175); John 18:32 reads ὅτι ἵνα ὁ λόγος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ πληρωθῇ ὃν εἶπεν with a formula used to refer to Jesus’ own words in John 3:14, 8:28, and 12:33 (Evans, Word and Glory, 175); and John 19:28 reads ἵνα τελειωθῇ ἡ γραφή with allusion to Ps 22:15 (Evans, Word and Glory, 175; contra Evans, Ancient Texts, 373, with no reference). The correlation of cognate and semantically similar words in their respective sections—e.g., γραφwords in the sign section and words for completion in the passion section—is noteworthy.

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There are three observations to make about this passage. The first is that this quotation is attributed to John the Baptist and is the only quotation attributed to him. The second concerns the introductory formula itself. Most commentators identify the introductory formula as the verb of saying, ἔφη. This makes some sense as one might expect the “introductory” formula to be located before the quotation in order to introduce it. This estimation, however, is probably not correct in this instance. The introduction of the scriptural citation from Isa 40:3, probably following the Septuagint (LXX) but with a few interpretive changes (see comments below), follows the citation itself, καθὼς εἶπεν Ἠσΐας ὁ προφήτης (“as Isaiah the prophet said”). The introduction is simply the use of an aorist indicative finite verb within the comparative clause (conjunction Predicator Subject). The use of “he said” (ἔφη) is not a formula to introduce the following quotation but is instead a speech margin provided to indicate the switch in discourse participant from the Levites who are interrogating John to John as respondent. The Levites ask John (John 1:21–23), “Who are you? Are you Elijah?” And he says (the use of a speech margin, here καὶ λέγει), “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” And he answered (a second speech margin, καὶ ἀπεκρίθη), “No.” And they therefore said to him (a third speech margin, εἶπαν οὖν αὐτῷ), “Who are you? So that we may give an answer to the ones who sent us. What do you say concerning yourself?”

The fourth speech margin, ἔφη, then marks the next alternation in the dialogue to the quotation of the Isaiah passage, introduced by the subsequent introductory formula. The third observation is that John is cited using a passage that resembles the LXX but with a significant alteration. Rather than the synonymous parallelism of Isaiah, “prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God”; these two parallel lines are condensed into the single Johannine “make straight the way of the Lord.”7 John 2:17: His disciples remembered ὅτι γεγραμμένον ἐστίν, ὁ ζῆλος τοῦ οἴκου σου καταφάγεταί με (“that it stands written, the zeal of your house will devour me”). This passage occurs within what has often been identified as the sign section of the Gospel in John 2–11 (whether it was a separate source or not need not be adjudicated here; see discussion in the next major section). Jesus has begun his ministry by calling his first disciples (John 1:43–51), has performed his first sign in the miracle at the wedding of Cana (John 2:1–11), and now has just cleansed the temple (John 2:13–16), when his disciples remember what was written in Ps 69:9. Four observations are important here. The first is that this use of the quotation is not part of the narrative proper but is an interjection by the omniscient narrator commenting (presumably later) upon how the disciples understood this event in relation to scriptural understanding. The second is that this is the first of five formulaic quotations introduced by wording using the perfect passive singular form of the verb 7

On evaluation of the text form of the quotations, I rely upon the presentations and evaluations in Gleason L. Archer and Gregory Chirichigno, Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament (repr., Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2005); cf. Köstenberger, “John,” 416–17. See also the sources mentioned in note one above for more specific arguments, especially Freed (balanced), Menken (Hebrew), and Schuchard (Septuagint).

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γράφω, here used, as in the other examples, in a periphrastic construction in the third person singular but without an explicit subject. The construction of the Predicator alternates between the order finite–verb and verb–finite. I will return to this important feature in the next section. The third observation is that this formulaic introduction is part of a content clause, in which the quotation is the content of what is remembered. The fourth is that this quotation is thought to be the same in the Hebrew Bible and LXX, apart from the use of κατέφαγεν, the aorist active finite verb, rather than the future middle form. Since the perfect form is used in the Hebrew, the citation form in John 2:17 is as plausible a rendering, and thus no distinction can be made between the versions. John 6:31: The disciples, speaking, say that “our fathers ate manna in the desert,” καθώς ἐστιν γεγραμμένον, ἄρτον ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν (“as it stands written, bread from heaven he gave to them to eat”). This passage occurs after the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:1–14), when the disciples instigate interaction with Jesus that leads to him speaking of himself as the bread of life (John 6:22–59). His disciples invoke Ps 78:24 (77:24 LXX). There are several observations to be made here. The first is that this is the second instance where the disciples are depicted as using a scriptural citation. The second is that this is the second scriptural quotation introduced by wording using the perfect passive singular form of the verb γράφω, here used as in the other examples in a periphrastic construction in the third person singular but without an explicit subject. The order of the finite and the verb is reversed from the previous example. The third observation is that this introductory formula is part of a comparative clause, with “as” or “just as.” The fourth observation is that the Hebrew and LXX versions are very similar, but the wording and some ordering of words in the LXX are altered. John 6:45: Jesus says that no one comes to him unless drawn by the Father and they will be raised in the last day. ἔστιν γεγραμμένον ἐν τοῖς προφήταις, καὶ ἔσονται πάντες διδακτοὶ θεοῦ (“it stands written in the prophets, and all will be taught of God”). This passage occurs in Jesus’s extended words to his disciples on the bread of life (John 6:22–59). He quotes Isa 54:13. Three observations are to be made. The first is that this is the first of Jesus’s quotations of Scripture in John’s Gospel, and it occurs in one of his significant discourses on the bread of life and its equation with the manna that Moses provided in the desert.8 The second is that this is the third scriptural quotation introduced by using the perfect passive singular form of the verb γράφω, here used as in the other examples in a periphrastic construction in the third person singular but without an explicit subject. The order of the finite and the verb is the same as the previous example. The third observation is that this quotation appears to follow the Hebrew Bible in some respects and the LXX in others. 8

Moses plays a much larger role in the first half of John’s Gospel than in the second. Although he is not directly invoked in the formulaic quotations, as is Isaiah, he seems to loom in the background. See T. F. Glasson, Moses in the Fourth Gospel, SBT 40 (London: SCM Press, 1963) and Stan Harstine, Moses as a Character in the Fourth Gospel: A Study of Ancient Reading Techniques (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2002).

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John 10:34: Jesus answered them, οὐκ ἔστιν γεγραμμένον ἐν τῷ νόμῳ ὑμῶν ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπα, θεοί ἐστε; (“does it not stand written in your law that I said you are gods?”). This passage occurs after Jesus’s extended words regarding his being the good shepherd and protecting his sheep, when some Jews enquire regarding whether he is the Messiah (John 10:22–39). When the discussion gets heated and they threaten to stone him, he asks them the question by way of quotation of Ps 82:6 (81:6 LXX). Three observations on this passage are also to be made. The first is that this is the second of Jesus’s quotations of Scripture in John’s Gospel, not to his disciples this time but to antagonists questioning his messianic status. The second is that this is the fourth scriptural quotation introduced by using the perfect passive singular form of the verb γράφω, here used as in the other examples in a periphrastic construction in the third person singular but without an explicit subject. The order of the finite and the verb is the same as the previous two examples. This is the first in which the quotation is part of a question and there is also use of the negative particle to direct a positive answer. The third observation is that this is a quotation of a passage that seems to follow both the Hebrew and the LXX versions. John 12:13: The crowd cast palm branches in front of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem and went out to meet him, καὶ ἐκραύγαζον, ὡσαννά· εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου, καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ (“and they were crying, hosanna, blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord, and the king of Israel”). This passage occurs at the end of the sign portion of the Gospel (chs. 2–11), as Jesus is transitioning from his ministry throughout Judea to his time in Jerusalem. As he enters into Jerusalem, the crowds greet him by quoting Ps 118:25–26 (117:25–26 LXX). There are several observations to make on this passage. The first is that this is a quotation within the sign source that is not introduced with the formula ἔστιν γεγραμμένον or similar. In fact, there is no formulaic introduction of this quotation but a speech margin, “and they were crying.” Because of the speech margin, this quotation should probably not be included in lists of quotations that are reserved for formulaic quotations (and further evidence of the overly restricted nature of such lists). This is the second quotation in John’s Gospel that uses a speech margin, although John 1:23 also has a formulaic introduction. The second observation is that the quotation as it is recited does not in fact follow the biblical text, but the first word, “hosanna,” and the second line of the quotation, “and the king of Israel,” are not found within either the Hebrew Bible or LXX text. Both Matthew (21:9) and Mark (11:9) vary in similar ways to the Johannine quotation. Matthew includes “hosanna” at the beginning and repeats it with a second, additional, extra-biblical line; Mark includes “hosanna” at the beginning and also includes a second, additional, extra-biblical line. I cannot help but wonder whether this passage, while being a quotation in the sense of citing at least three words from the Old Testament, was not considered more as a midrash upon the Old Testament passage that the crowd freely engaged in using on the occasion, rather than it being seen as a direct quotation. The lack of the formula would support this alternative understanding. The third observation is that, for the part of the quotation that does appear in the Old Testament, which is, in fact, just the line “blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord,” the Hebrew and Greek versions are very similar.

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As will be further noted below, this example probably should not be included within the formulaic quotations of John’s Gospel. John 12:14, 15: Finding a donkey, Jesus sat upon it, καθώς ἐστιν γεγραμμένον, μὴ φοβοῦ, θυγάτηρ Σιών· ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεῦς σου ἔρχεται, καθήμενος ἐπὶ πῶλον ὄνου (“as it is written, fear not, daughter of Zion; behold your king is coming, sitting upon a colt of a donkey”). This final instance of this type of formulaic quotation occurs as Jesus rides the donkey into the city of Jerusalem (John 12:12–19) and the signs section comes to an end and gives way to the passion section. This passage is a quotation of Zech 9:9. There are several observations to make about this passage. The first is that this quotation, like the first, is not part of the narrative proper but an editorial comment included in the text upon the fact that Jesus was sitting upon a donkey. The second is that this is the fifth scriptural quotation introduced by using the perfect passive singular form of the verb γράφω, here used as in the other examples in a periphrastic construction in the third person singular but without an explicit subject. The order of the finite and the verb is the same as the previous three examples. The third observation is that this formulaic introduction is part of a comparative clause, as is the one in John 6:34. The fourth observation is that this is a partial quotation of both the Hebrew and LXX passages, although at those places where the two are being cited John seems to be following both the Hebrew and LXX texts. Some have thought of this as possibly an “independent” or other type of rendering of the Old Testament, although it may simply be an abbreviated quotation.9 John 12:38–40: Having done such signs before them, they did not believe in him, ἵνα ὁ λόγος Ἠσαΐου προφήτου πληρωθῇ ὃν εἶπεν, κύριε, τίς ἐπίστευσεν τῇ ἀκοῇ ἡμῶν· καὶ ὁ βραχίων κυρίου τίνι ἀπεκαλύφθη; διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἠδύναντο πιστεύειν, ὅτι πάλιν εἶπεν Ἠσαΐας, τετύφλωκεν αὐτῶν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς καὶ ἐπωρωσεν αὐτῶν τὴν καρδίαν, ἵνα μὴ ἴδωσιν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς καὶ νοήσωσιν τῇ καρδίᾳ καὶ στραφῶσιν, καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς (“so that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled which said, Lord, who believed our report; and the arm of the lord, to whom is it revealed? Because of this they were not able to believe, because again Isaiah said, he blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they might not see with their eyes and understand with their heart and repent, and I will heal them”). This is the first instance of this second type of formulaic quotation in John’s Gospel, and it continues to be used throughout the rest of the passion section. This unit is often treated as two separate quotations in the lists of such quotations, and it does involve two different Old Testament passages, the first Isa 53:1 and the second Isa 6:10, but they are placed together here. There are seven important observations to make about this passage. The first is that this quotation, as the opening and closing quotations within the sign section, is not part of the narrative proper but is a narratorial comment added by the omniscient author, who notes that what has been described fulfilled the words of Isaiah, on two occasions. The second observation is that this new introductory formula comprises not just a Predicator (a verbal formation), as is found in the previous formula, but a 9

See Köstenberger, “John,” 417.

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Subject and Predicator (in varying order), in this instance with the explicit Subject being Isaiah. The third is that this Predicator consists of the aorist passive subjunctive third person singular form of the verb πληρόω. The fourth is that this subjunctive verb is used as part of a ἵνα clause, indicating the purpose/result semantics of such clauses. The fifth observation is that the formula appears to be used for both of the quotations, even though it only appears before the first. The second quotation is linked to the first by further words of narrative comment, “because of this they were not able to believe,” and then an abbreviated introduction, “because again Isaiah said,” rather than repeating the verb “fulfill.” The inconcinnity is to be noted, although the second quotation also has further narrative comment included as well, “because of this they did not believe,” before the resumption of the quotation by means of the abbreviated quotation formula, “because again Isaiah said.” The sixth observation is that this quotation formula has as its explicit subject the word of Isaiah the prophet and this Subject (the entire noun group) is placed in thematic order in relation to the Predicator. However, the second, abbreviated introductory clause, while it also directly attributes its quotation to Isaiah, uses different wording, simply attributing the quotation by name directly to Isaiah. The seventh and final observation is that the first of these quotations follows an agreed Hebrew and LXX text, but the second is open to discussion. Some think that it is entirely dependent upon the Hebrew, while others think that it is an adaptation of the LXX and/or Hebrew text.10 John 13:18: After washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus predicts his betrayal by one of his followers whom he has chosen, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ, ὁ τρώγων μου τον ἄρτον ἐπῆρεν ἐπ᾽ ἐμὲ τὴν πτέρναν αὐτοῦ (“but so that the scripture might be fulfilled, the one eating my bread has lifted up against me his heal”). The second use of this formulaic introduction occurs during the events when Jesus washes his disciples’ feet and then predicts his betrayal by one of his chosen followers (John 13:1–30). This quotation is cited by Jesus from Ps 41:9 (40:10 LXX). There are several observations here. The first is that this quotation introduces a series of words that are uttered by Jesus regarding his betrayal and is the first of only two instances when Jesus is quoted as invoking Scripture within this second section of formulaic quotations (the other is in John 15:25). The second observation is that this citation uses the same formula as was used in the previous example and as is used throughout this section, that is, a purpose/result clause with the aorist passive subjunctive third person singular verb πληρόω. The third is that the Subject of this instance is “scripture” (without elaboration or expansion of the noun group), placed as in the previous example in thematic position in relation to the Predicator. The fourth observation is that the citation seems to depart significantly from the LXX and appears to be a rendering of the Hebrew, even if it is not particularly close to the Hebrew text as we know it (pre-Masoretic?). John 15:25:  ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα πληρωθῇ ὁ λόγος ὁ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτῶν γεγραμμένος ὅτι ἐμίσησάν με δωρεάν (“but so that the word that stands written in their law might be fulfilled that they hated me freely”).

10

See Archer and Chirichigno, Old Testament Quotations, 95 and Köstenberger, “John,” 417.

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This use of this formulaic introduction occurs within Jesus’s extended discourse to his disciples regarding his identity as the vine and their anticipated opposition (John 15:1–17). The quotation itself comes at the end of the section (John 15:18–25) when Jesus says that the hatred the disciples can anticipate mirrors what he has experienced but in fulfillment of Scripture. Jesus is quoted as citing Ps 35:19 (34:19 LXX) or 69:4 (68:5 LXX). There are four observations to make. The first is that this is the second of two occasions when Jesus is quoted as using this formula to introduce an Old Testament quotation. The second observation is that this formula reflects the two previous ones, with a purpose/result clause with the aorist passive subjunctive third person singular verb πληρόω. The third is that the subject here is ὁ λόγος ὁ ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτῶν γεγραμμένος, a noun group consisting of the head term “the word” with the attributive participial construction “the [word] standing written in their law.” One cannot help but note that the Subject of this introductory formula construction uses the form of the verb γράφω in the perfect passive participle form, the same form that is used in the periphrastic constructions in the earlier formula. However, the Subject in this instance is not placed in thematic order but is placed after the Predicator in thematic order. This is the only instance of this ordering in this second set of examples. The fourth observation is that the quotation is an adaptation appropriate to the Johannine context of what is found in both the Hebrew and LXX texts.11 John 19:24: ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ [ἡ λέγουσα], διεμερίσαντο τὰ ἱμάτιά μου ἑαυτοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν ἱματισμόν μου ἔβαλον κλῆρον (“so that the scripture might be fulfilled, [the one saying], they divided my garments among themselves and for my cloak they cast lots”). This quotation using the fulfillment formula as an introduction occurs in the Johannine account of the crucifixion of Jesus (John 19:17–30). Jesus has been placed on the cross, Pilate has erected the titulus, and the soldiers are dividing his clothes. This is a quotation of Ps 22:18 (21:19 LXX). There are several observations pertinent here. The first is that this quotation is not part of the narrative proper but belongs to the commentary of the omniscient author who sees in the casting of lots and not dividing of Jesus’s garment that Scripture is fulfilled. The second is that the same formula as before is used in this example, with the purpose/result clause with the aorist passive subjunctive verb πληρόω. The third is that the Subject (but see immediately below) is placed in thematic order before the Predicator. There is some ambivalence whether the phrase translated “the one saying” should be included in the text. If it is, then the Subject consists of an expanded noun group, with the expansion following the Predicator as a continuation to reintroduce the quotation itself. If it is not, then the Subject consists of simply the noun group of article and noun and is placed in its entirety in thematic position before the Predicator. The fourth observation is that the quotation is similar in both Hebrew and LXX texts. John 19:36, 37: ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ, ὀστοῦν οὐ συντριβήσεται αὐτοῦ. καὶ πάλιν ἑτέρα γραφὴ λέγει, ὄψονται εἰς ὃν ἐξεκέντησαν (“so that the scripture might be

11

Archer and Chirichigno, Old Testament Quotations, 69; Köstenberger, “John,” 417.

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fulfilled, his bone will not be crushed. And again another scripture says, they will look upon whom they pierced”). This quotation is the final one with an introductory formula within John’s Gospel and it conforms to the second pattern identified. This instance is placed right after the death of Jesus, when the soldiers pierce Jesus’s side but do not break his leg (John 19:31–37). There are two citations in this quotation, the first from Exod 12:46 or Num 9:12 (or possibly Ps 34:10 [33:21 LXX]) and the second from Zech 12:10. There are several observations to be made. The first is that this quotation, like the one above, is not part of the narrative proper but is a quotation used by the omniscient narrator in support of his narrative. The second is that the formula is the same as the other four noted above, with the purpose/result clause and the aorist passive subjunctive third person verb πληρόω. The difference here is that this is a composite use of the quotation, and so the second one is connected without the same formula, but with the clause “and again another scripture says,” καὶ πάλιν ἑτέρα γραφὴ λέγει. The grammatical inconcinnity is to be noted, with the switch from the purpose/result clause with the subjunctive verb in the first introduction to the indicative verb in the second. However, as already noted above, the Johannine author appears on a few occasions to connect quotations together (see John 12:38–40), and the second is here likewise connected with an indicative clause (although without as much intervening material as in the previous instance). The third observation is that the Subject is the simple noun phrase used thematically in relation to the Predicator. The Subject of the second quotation is similar, although the noun phrase is expanded with the modifier, “another,” further indicating the connection between the two as well as the use of the Adjunct with “again.” The fourth observation is that the quotation of Exod 12:46 or Num 9:12 or Ps 34:20 departs from both the Hebrew and LXX, although it is not exactly clear why this is the case or even exactly what text is being cited;12 the quotation of Zech 12:10 seems to follow the Hebrew text, as the LXX seems to have misunderstood or misread the Hebrew.13 This provides the evidence on a micro level of some of the linguistic features of the formulaic quotations within John’s Gospel. I turn now to macro-level observations.

3. The Discourse Function of the Formulaic Quotations in John’s Gospel: Macro Patterns There are many different literary and linguistic patterns that have been recognized in John’s Gospel. I  elsewhere have discussed the Passover motif as one such pattern.14 12

13 14

The major options are that the author used either the Psalm or the Pentateuch texts or some combination of both. See Stanley E. Porter, John, His Gospel, and Jesus: In Pursuit of the Johannine Voice (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015), 202–3, for discussion. For a fuller discussion of these passages, see Archer and Chirichigno, Old Testament Quotations, 163. Stanley E. Porter, “Can Traditional Exegesis Enlighten Literary Analysis of the Fourth Gospel? An Examination of the Old Testament Fulfilment Motif and the Passover Theme,” in Gospels and the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and W. Robert Stenger (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1994), 396–428, revised in Porter, John, His Gospel, and Jesus, 198–224.

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The formulaic quotations and their patterned distribution throughout the Gospel appear to be another. Craig Evans has offered a reasonable analysis of the formulaic quotations in John’s Gospel, one that I have utilized elsewhere.15 He notes a significant division between quotations in John 1:23–12:16 and those in 12:38–19:37. Those in 1:23–12:16 are “regularly introduced or alluded to with ‘it is written,’ or the like,” and those in 12:38–19:37 are “regularly introduced with the formula ‘in order that [the Scripture or what was spoken] be fulfilled.’ ”16 I have noted this pattern above, as this pattern is not just regularly used within John’s Gospel but is arguably invariable with one exception. All of the formulaic quotations of the Old Testament in John’s Gospel are introduced by one of two regularly recurring formulas, except John 1:23. John 12:13 is not an exception as it is not a formulaic quotation. From John 1:24– 12:16, every direct quotation of the Old Testament is introduced by use of the perfect passive participle of γράφω, the verb γεγραμμένον, “stands written” (John 2:17; 6:31, 45; 10:34; 12:14; cf. the plural form as noted above in 12:16). Other tense forms of γράφω, other than the perfect, are used in quotation formulas when no quotation is made (e.g., John 1:45; 5:46; 7:38, 42; 8:17). In the second section, John 12:38–19:37, virtually all of the quotations are introduced by formulas using the third person aorist passive subjunctive of πληρόω, the verb form πληρωθῇ, “be fulfilled” (John 12:38–40; 13:18; 15:25; 19:24, 36–37). The same formula is also used when no quotation is made (e.g., John 17:12; 18:9, 32; 19:28). The exceptions are the composite citations in John 12:39 and 19:37, the initial and concluding quotations of the second section. Evans concludes, “The function of the Old Testament in the Fourth Gospel, as seen in the formal quotations, is not ad hoc but is systematic and progressive, showing that Jesus’ public ministry (1:29–12:36a) conformed to scriptural expectations and requirements, while his Passion (12:36b–19:37) fulfilled scriptural prophecies.”17 As useful and convincing as this overall scheme is, there are still some questions surrounding some apparent inconsistencies that threaten the symmetry, such as the initial quotation in John 1:23 without either of the major formulations, the use of a quotation without either of the major formulas in John 12:13, and the use of both types of formula in John 12. I believe that we can add further definition to the function of the quotations in John’s Gospel by taking three further factors into consideration: the structure of John’s Gospel and an understanding of Greek verbal structure, along with some other linguistic features. The structure of John’s Gospel helps us to refine the categorization of the quotations and understand their function more precisely. Evans seems to use a simple two-part structure, whereas John’s Gospel has at least three parts: an opening, the signs section, and the passion section. This organization goes back at least to C.  H. Dodd, who organized and discussed the material in terms of the Proem (John 1), the Book of Signs (John 2–12), and the Book of the Passion (John 13–21), followed by a postscript.18 15

16 17 18

Craig A. Evans, “On the Quotation Formulas in the Fourth Gospel,” BZ 26 (1982):  79–83; used in Evans, Word and Glory, 172–76, and then in Porter, John, His Gospel, and Jesus, 200–203. Evans, Word and Glory, 175–76. Ibid., 174. C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953), 289–443. I need not discuss how to treat John 21. For my views on it, see Porter, John, His Gospel, and Jesus, 225–45.

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Dodd also notes that there is internal organization within the signs and the passion sections. The Book of Signs ends with an epilogue in John 12:37–50. Discussion of sources, such as the signs source, has been frequent, but few commentators follow an outline such as this in their commentaries.19 Nevertheless, this outline according to these materials helps to understand the function, and usage, of the formulaic quotations in John’s Gospel. They are organized according to the following scheme: Proem: John 1:23 Book of Signs: John 2:17; 6:31, 45; 10:34; 12:14 Epilogue to Book of Signs: John 12:38–40 Book of Passion: John 13:18; 15:25; 19:24, 36–37 The only quotation that is not treated within this scheme is the one that appears in John 12:13, but that instance is not, in fact, a formulaic quotation but a quotation of the Old Testament introduced by means of a speech margin.20 John 1:23 also has a speech margin, even though the quotation itself is followed by an introductory formula, one that is different from the two other major formulas used in the signs section and the passion section. This latter quotation appears in the Proem. There have been many comments upon the number of quotations to be found in John 12, with many noting that there are four (John 12:13; 12:14; 12:38–40). There are indeed four quotations within this chapter, but these require some explanation. The first quotation, John 12:13, is not, as has already been noted, a formulaic quotation but is a quotation introduced by a speech margin. Therefore, it should not be considered when discussing the function of the formulaic quotations in John’s Gospel. The other three formulaic quotations form two different quotations, with the second two being joined together into a single quotation (John 12:38–40). The result is that the signs section proper is brought to a conclusion with the formulaic quotation in John 12:14, and then in the epilogue to that section a transition is made to the next one by means of introduction of the formulaic double quotation in John 12:38–40 using the second formula. John 12, therefore, forms a transition or pivot point within the Gospel from the sign section to the passion section by means of the two quotations, one drawing the sign section to a close and the other making the transition to the passion section. The switch in formulas occurs within the shift from one quotation to another. Scholars have not given nearly the attention that they should to the use of verbal aspect and other verbal features within the formulaic quotations. Verbal aspect and a number of other linguistic features play an important discourse role that merits further elucidation in John’s Gospel. Verbal aspect is an important semantic feature of the Greek verbal system, which is now coming to be recognized as what some have 19

20

See Andreas J. Köstenberger, John, BECNT (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2004), vii, who follows Dodd closely (but I understand that this commentary has now been withdrawn by the publisher); cf. George R. Beasley-Murray, John, 2nd ed., WBC 36 (Nashville, TN:  Nelson, 1999), xci–xcii; Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the Gospel of John, ed. Francis J. Moloney (New York: Doubleday, 2003), 298–315. This quotation is excluded from discussion as a formulaic quotation by Evans, Word and Glory, 175; Köstenberger, “John,” 416–17.

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called aspect prominent (as opposed to tense prominent). The verbal aspects have been variously described, but most agree on the description of the aorist as encoding perfective aspect. The perfective aspect is used when the author does not wish to draw attention to the aspect. The first formulaic quotation (John 2:13) and all of those in the second section (John 12:38–19:37) use the aorist tense form and hence grammaticalize perfective aspect. The perfect tense form encodes aspect as well, although there is greater difference of opinion among scholars as to what the semantics of the perfect tense form are. Some wish to argue for that the perfect tense form has perfective aspect (similar to the aorist tense form),21 others imperfective aspect (akin to the semantics encoded by the present tense form),22 still others, under differing terminology, combinatory aspect (in essence the traditional view of aspect from the comparative philologists indicating past action with present results),23 and still others stative aspect.24 This is not the place to adjudicate again what has been argued, even publicly, several times before. I remain firmly convinced that when one appreciates the trinary aspectual structure of ancient Greek (rather than binary, a legacy of structuralism), and sheds some of the unnecessary linguistic baggage of comparative philology, the stative aspectual view is the most convincing. However, one fact that all of the above theories have in common is that the perfect tense form and whatever aspect it encodes is the most heavily marked and hence prominent in the Greek language. Fanning describes the perfect as representing tense, Aktionsart, and aspect; Campbell as “heightened”; Köstenberger et al. as combinatory of perfective and imperfective and hence of greater significance; and Porter as systemically semantically marked. In other words, for all of these theories the use of the perfect tense form is significant in relation to the other tense forms. A further feature of the use of linguistic features of Greek, including verbal aspect, is the role that they play in shaping a discourse and then, in analysis of a text, in discourse analysis. I  am not certain that the author of John’s Gospel had all of the following ideas in mind when he wrote, but the Greek language system indicates that whether consciously or not, the author was embedding discourse values in the text by the use of language. I will treat the formulaic quotations according to their three respective groups. The first formulaic quotation, in John 1:23, uses the aorist active indicative, with Isaiah as the Subject, but the introductory formula is placed after the quotation. There are several factors to notice in describing on a macro scale the function of this citation. The first is that the placement of the formula after the quotation and the use of the perfective aspect do not draw prominence to the quotation itself, although the use of the explicit Subject, Isaiah, elaborated by being called “the prophet,” marks the prophet as the primary agent in this action. 21 22

23

24

Buist M. Fanning, Verbal Aspect in New Testament Greek (Oxford: Clarendon, 1990), 112–20. Constantine R. Campbell, Verbal Aspect, the Indicative Mood, and Narrative: Soundings in the Greek of the New Testament, SBG 13 (New York: Peter Lang, 2007), 161–212, following Trevor Evans. Andreas J. Köstenberger, Benjamin L. Merkle, and Robert L. Plummer, Going Deeper with New Testament Greek (Nashville:  B&H, 2016), 230–32, following both A. T. Robertson, Nick Ellis and Mark Dubis. Stanley E. Porter, Verbal Aspect in the Greek of the New Testament with Reference to Tense and Mood, SBG 1 (New York: Peter Lang, 1989), 245–90; Stanley E. Porter, Idioms of the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1994), 2022; following K. L. McKay and J. P. Louw.

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The second set of formulaic quotations all utilize the perfect passive periphrastic, with the construction γεγραμμένον ἐστιν used only once and the first time the construction is used, and ἐστιν γεγράμμενον in the four other instances. The thematized participle heightens the force of the introductory formula, even if the subsequent instances are reduced through the changed word order demoting the  participle. The periphrastic indicative form was increasingly used at this time in Greek for the perfect tense form because of the morphological bulk of the simplex form. However, in this instance, the author had the possibility of the form γέγραπται, so the use of the periphrastic is marked in relation to the simplex form.25 The periphrastic construction is used impersonally so that English translators must provide a dummy subject, as in “it is.” The verb is also in the passive voice, without an explicitly stated agent of the action. Each of these formulaic quotation introductions appears before its quotation, as one might expect when the marked perfect form is used, although the lack of an explicitly expressed Subject does not limit the scope of the subject. The result is to focus upon the fact that selected scriptural teachings, as contained in the direct quotations, are being invoked. The disciples or others are cited as quoting two of them (John 2:17, 6:31), then Jesus is cited as quoting two of them (John 6:45, 10:34), and then finally the narrative voice of the author brings the section to a close (John 12:14). If the most heavily marked tense form is used, how are we to interpret this in relation to the sign section? The sign section is devoted to exposition of Jesus’s ministry in all of its many dimensions. Beasley-Murray describes these dimensions as all revolving around Jesus—the new order, mediator of life and judgment, bread of life, water and light of life, light and shepherd of humankind, resurrection and life, and finally king. Throughout the section, the author invokes scriptural quotations to support Jesus in his various ministerial manifestations. The effect of the impersonal construction is to point to the scriptural quotation as the nongrammatical but implied subject: “This Scripture stands written.” But stands written by whom? The implied agent of the action is the writer of Scripture, God. The use of the comparative clause in several instances further reinforces the fact that, if one were to compare, Scripture itself stands written and endorses the ministry of Jesus. The scriptural quotation is the “it” that stands written and serves, by means of divine revelation of God the author, to authenticate Jesus’s ministry as prescribed by scriptural “expectations and requirements.”26 Nevertheless, before they are invoked to comment upon Jesus’s ministry, they all stand as written passages in the Scriptures as brought to the foreground by the use of the stative aspect. The third set of formulaic quotations utilize the aorist passive subjunctive πληρωθῇ in all five instances, with the formula preceding the quotation in all of them. The verb is an aorist passive subjunctive third person singular. However, whereas the Predicator in the previous section never has an explicit Subject, in this section the Subject is always articulated. The Subject varies but is often “the word,” whether of Isaiah (John 12:38–40) or of “the one who wrote in the law” (John 15:25) or the Scripture (John 13:18; 19:24, 36–37). All three Subjects seem to have similar functional status, in which whether by name or not, the Scriptures are invoked. The use of the new formula coincides with 25 26

Porter, Verbal Aspect, 453–54, but within the larger discussion in 441–90. The wording is from Evans, Word and Glory, 174.

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drawing the Book of Signs to a close before embarking on the Passion narrative. The double quotation (John 12:38–40) provides the transition to the passion and then closes with another double quotation (John 19:36–37). The use of the  subjunctive mood form, πληρωθῇ, is part of a purpose/result clause. In other words, an action occurs as part of the passion narrative that is accomplished according to the purpose/ result that Scripture indicates. As in the formula in the previous section, there is no explicit agent in the passive construction, but again the implied agent is God as the author of Scripture. Whether God is being revealed through the word of Isaiah or simply through Scripture itself, the events that are occurring in the passion account are said to be accomplished for the purpose of fulfilling what God has revealed through the scriptural writers. In the previous section, the use of the perfect tense form drew attention to and highlighted the use of the verbal form (and hence the phrasing lacked the explicit Subject and the kind of syntactical connection found in the second formula), but in this section the use of the aorist downplays the significance of the verbal tense form itself and results in attention focusing upon the fact (i.e., the Subject) that the actions depicted are divinely revealed scriptural events that are unfolding according to divine purpose. It is more than simply that they have “fulfilled scriptural prophecies,” but that the events themselves to which they refer—and by extension all of the events of the passion section—are depicted as fulfilling divine purpose and revelation.

4. Conclusion The linguistic function of the biblical citations in John’s Gospel is not far removed from the overall function of the scriptural passages in John’s Gospel. The organization of the formulaic quotations into three groups both reinforces the organization of John’s Gospel and helps the reader to understand why it is organized as it is. The three different types of formulas, and the resulting shifts between them, help to mark necessary transitions within the Gospel and indicate shifts in its thrust from the introduction to the ministry of Jesus and then from the ministry of Jesus to his Passion. Although there are many studies of the individual formulaic quotations within John’s Gospel, there has been much less investigation of how the author of John’s Gospel might be interested in using such quotations to organize his Gospel. The relationship between the groupings of the quotations and the structure of the Gospel reveals, however, that a relationship seems to exist, and there are a number of linguistic clues—even if there is much more that could be said—that indicate something of the author’s overall organizing principles.

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Part III

Literary Perspectives

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8

Quotation as Commentary: The Good News of a King on a Donkey (John 12:12–15) R. Alan Culpepper

As a contribution to the theme of this volume, this essay illustrates the interpretation of scriptural quotations and allusions in the Gospel of John as part of a narrative-critical reading of the text. A few comments on this approach are therefore in order.1

1. The Aims of Narrative Criticism The primary distinctive of narrative criticism is that it engages the text (in this case, the critical edition of the Greek text of the Gospel of John) as a coherent narrative (a text to be read in its present, albeit text-critically established, form). Its aim is not to assess historical accuracy, nor to reconstruct the setting of the Gospel, nor its sources, nor stages of its composition. It is rather to read the Gospel as it stands, hear the story as told by the narrator (its plot, conflicts, characters, and settings), and pay attention to how the story is told (its order or sequence, themes, symbols, ironies, and implied reader).2 On the spectrum of flavors of literary theory and approaches to a narrative text, the one taken here is formalist, text-centered, and perhaps moving toward a “new formalist” approach,3 at least in respect to the text’s openness to a multiplicity of 1

2

3

Because their thoughtful feedback helped me shape the final draft of this essay, I am grateful for a very special group of conversation partners: Marcie Lenk, Peter Pettit, Judy Siker, and Noam Zion. For introductions to narrative criticism and its development see:  David Rhoads, “Narrative Criticism and the Gospel of Mark,” JAAR 50 (1982):  411–34; R. Alan Culpepper, Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel: A Study in Literary Design (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1983); Stephen D. Moore, Literary Criticism and the Gospels: The Theoretical Challenge (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989); Mark Allan Powell, What Is Narrative Criticism? (Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 1990); James L. Resseguie, Narrative Criticism and the New Testament:  An Introduction (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2005); Tom Thatcher, “Anatomies of the Fourth Gospel: Past, Present, and Future Probes,” in Anatomies of Narrative Criticism: The Past, Present, and Futures of the Fourth Gospel as Literature, ed. Tom Thatcher and Stephen D. Moore, RBS 55 (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008), 1–35; and Michal Beth Dinkler, Literary Theory and the New Testament, ABRL (New Haven:  Yale University Press, 2019). See Marjorie Levinson, “What Is New Formalism?” Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 122 (2007):  558–69; Fredric V. Bogel, New Formalist Criticism:  Theory and Practice

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readings, its complexity and subtlety, its engagement with ancient ideologies, and hence the importance of its cultural and literary contexts. While noting varieties of new formalist criticism, Frederic Bogel observes that “it rethinks the nature and significance of textual tensions, contradictions, and disharmonies; it displays a new concern for issues of power and politics; and it focuses energetically on cultural and political significances of form.”4 Narrative criticism employs a communication model, that is, analysis of a story told by a narrator to a reader and the literary and communicative devices employed by the narrator and the implied author. Quotations of Scripture are a common feature in the gospels, and the Fourth Gospel is no exception. Embedded in the Gospel narrative, quotations, typically adduced by the narrator or Jesus, serve a variety of functions. Quotations contribute to the rhetoric of the Gospel and its story world, they frequently contribute directly or indirectly to the characterization of Jesus, and they add weight to an argument or validate Jesus’s teachings.

2. The Cultural and Literary Contexts of Jesus’s Entry into Jerusalem An ancient hearer or reader would have recognized the gospel accounts of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem as a cultural-type scene. The gospels follow the well-established pattern of accounts of entrance processions. For example, Josephus gives the following account of Alexander the Great’s entrance into Jerusalem: Then all the Jews together greeted Alexander with one voice and surrounded him … [then] he gave his hand to the high priest and with the Jews running beside him, entered the city. Then he went up to the temple, where he sacrificed to God under the direction of the high priest, and showed due honour to the priests and to the high priest himself.5 (Josephus, Ant. 11.332–36)

Similarly, Plutarch records Antony’s entrance into Ephesus: When Antony made his entrance into Ephesus, women arrayed like Baccanals, and men and boys like satyrs and Pans, led the way before him, and the city was full of ivy and thyrsus-wands and harps and pipes and flutes, the people hailing

4 5

(New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Verena Theile and Linda Tredennick (eds.), New Formalisms and Literary Theory (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2013), esp. the Foreword by Heather Dubrow, vii–xviii, and Chapter 1, “New Formalism(s): A Prologue,” by Verena Theile, 3–26; and Michal Beth Dinkler, “A New Formalist Approach to Narrative Christology: Returning to the Structure of the Synoptic Gospels,” HvTSt 73, no. 1 (2017): 1–11. Bogel, New Formalist Criticism, 9. Flavius Josephus, The Jewish Antiquities, vol. 6, trans. Ralph Marcus, LCL (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1937), 475, 477.

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him as Dionysus Giver of Joy and Beneficent. For he was such undoubtedly, to some.6 (Plutarch, Antonius, 24.3–4)

Josephus describes Titus’ arrival at Antioch: The people of Antioch, on hearing that Titus was at hand, through joy could not bear to remain within their walls, but hastened to meet him and advanced to a distance of over thirty furlongs, not only men, but a crowd of women and children also, streaming out from the city. And when they beheld him approaching, they lined the road on either side and greeted him with extended arms, and invoking all manner of blessings upon him returned in his train.7 (Josephus, War 7.100)

Although the welcoming ceremony of a conqueror and the celebration of the return of a victorious general can be distinguished from each other, they share similar features. Paul Brooks Duff summarized the characteristic elements of an entrance procession as follows: (1) The conqueror/ruler is escorted into the city by the citizenry or the army of the conqueror. (2) The procession is accompanied by hymns and/or acclamations. (3) The Roman triumph has shown us that various elements in the procession … symbolically depict the authority of the ruler. (4) The entrance is followed by a ritual of appropriation, such as sacrifice, which takes place in the temple, whereby the ruler symbolically appropriates the city.8

The first three of these features appear in John’s account of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. (1) Jesus is escorted into the city by the crowd that has come to the holy city for the Passover festival. (2) The crowd chants the traditional psalm of ascent, Ps 118. (3) The crowd carries palm branches, and, as we will see below, the quotations in John’s account proclaim Jesus as the King of Israel. (4) Jesus’s “ritual of appropriation” following the entry is not recorded in John, arguably because Jesus has already appropriated the temple (“my Father’s house,” 2:16), and he himself will be the sacrifice (1:29, 36). Plausibly, Jesus’s entry is itself the sign of his appropriation of the city. There is a second version of a royal entry, however. In a study of Ps 118 and its use in John 12 that is foundational for subsequent work on this quotation, Andrew C.  Brunson argued that while there were various kinds of entrances, the primary 6

7

8

Bernadotte Perrin (trans.), Plutarch’s Lives, LCL (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1920), 187–89. H. St. J. Thackeray (trans.), Josephus:  The Jewish War, vol. 3, LCL (Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press, 1979), 535–37. See also Polybius’s description of Attalus’s entrance into Athens (16.25.5–8). Paul Brooks Duff, “The March of the Divine Warrior and the Advent of the Greco-Roman King: Mark’s Account of Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem,” JBL 111 (1992):  66; cf. David R. Catchpole, “The Triumphal Entry,” in Jesus and the Politics of His Day, ed. Ernst Bammel and C. F. D. Moule (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 319–21, who lists twelve accounts of processional entries, from which he extrapolates five common features of these accounts.

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background for understanding the entrance in John 12 is Jewish royal entrances, and that this context is signaled by John’s use of Ps 118.9 At the end of Genesis, Jacob blessing his sons, says of Judah: The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and the obedience of the peoples is his. Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt [MT ‫ ;בְּ ִנ֣י אֲתֹ נ֑ וֹ‬LXX τὸν πῶλον τῆς ὄνου αὐτου] to the choice vine, he washes his garments in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes. (Gen 49:10–11)

Generations later, David swore to Bathsheba that her son, Solomon, would succeed him as king of Israel. Then, King David said, “Summon to me the priest Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord, and have my son Solomon ride on my own mule [MT‫ ;הַ פִּ ְר ָ ֖דּה‬LXX ἡμίονον], and bring him down to Gihon. There let the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan anoint him king over Israel.” (1 Kgs 1:32–34)

As this account demonstrates, following Jacob’s blessing of Judah, riding in procession on a donkey or a mule was the sign of the rightful king of Israel. The Roman background need not be dismissed, however. As we will see, John appears to be interpreting Jesus’s entrance (and thereby his kingship) in relation to both Greco-Roman and Jewish (scriptural and Maccabean) antecedents. In the Gospel of John, Jesus has made at least three previous visits to the city (John 2:13, 5:1, 7:10), but no welcoming crowd accompanies Jesus into the city on his earlier visits. A  steady drone of proleptic references has prepared the reader to expect momentous events. The disciples were promised that they would see “greater things” (1:50), and the Son of Man will be “lifted up” (3:14, 8:28; cf. 12:32). Jesus and the narrator have referred to the coming of his “hour” (2:4, 7:30; cf. 12:27, 13:1), and the narrator has warned the reader that the Jews were seeking to kill Jesus (5:18; cf. 7:25). The authorities have sought to arrest Jesus on more than one occasion (7:30, 32, 44–45; 10:39). The disciples reminded Jesus that the Jews were seeking to stone him (11:8; cf. 8:59, 10:31), and the narrator explained that Caiaphas, the high priest, had prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation and would gather the dispersed children of God (11:51–52). Indeed, Mary of Bethany has already anointed Jesus for his burial (12:7). In this context, Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem heightens the reader’s anticipation of the coming events and pits the crowd’s acclamation of his kingship against the mounting opposition of the authorities. Although the announcement of the coming of the kingdom of God is not a major theme in the Fourth Gospel, the theme of Jesus’s kingship runs through the Gospel. Nathanael, “a true Israelite,” acclaims Jesus as the king of Israel (1:49). In Galilee, the 9

Andrew C. Brunson, Psalm 118 in the Gospel of John:  An Intertextual Study on the New Exodus Pattern in the Theology of John, WUNT 2.158 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003), 187–203.

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crowd recognizes that he is a prophet and seeks to make him their king (6:15), but Jesus eludes them. At Jesus’s trial and crucifixion his kingship and the nature of his kingdom will be a major issue, as it appears in Pilate’s questioning, Jesus’s responses, the soldiers’ mockery, Pilate’s presentation of Jesus to the crowd, and the titlus Pilate orders placed on his cross. Jesus’s kingship is affirmed in John, while the nature of his kingship is repeatedly qualified and defined. As we will see, Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem announces this theme, echoing its earlier occurrences and anticipating its importance in his trial and crucifixion, where Jesus declares, “My kingdom is not from this world” (18:36).

3. Reading Jesus’s Entry into Jerusalem in John 12 The quotations in John 12:13 and 15 are set in the scene describing Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem, which is bracketed by a transitional introduction (12:9–11) and the narrator’s comments on the responses to it in 12:16–20. John 12 draws the first part of the Gospel, Jesus’s public ministry, to a close and restates themes developed earlier.10

Introduction (John 12:9–11) Verses 9–11 function primarily as the conclusion to the raising of Lazarus, reporting the responses of the crowd and the chief priests. These verses set the stage by introducing the “great crowd” and explaining why the people wanted to see Jesus and why they believed in him. The “great crowd” of Jews came out to see both Jesus and Lazarus. Therefore, the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus also, because it was on account of him that many of the Jews were believing in Jesus.

The Processional Entry (John 12:12–15) Verse 12 sets the scene: The time is the next day, the first actor is the “great crowd,” now the crowd that has come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration, and they have heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem. Jesus’s entry is then reported in two descriptive statements by the narrator, each of which is followed by a quotation. 13a So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, 13b “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel!” 14 But11 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, daughter Zion.12 Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” 10 11

12

Cf. Jerome H. Neyrey, “In Conclusion … John 12 as a Rhetorical Peroratio,” BTB 37 (2007): 101–13. English quotations follow the NRSV until otherwise noted (as here). To my knowledge, the δὲ is not translated as an adversative by any modern English translation. The translation “daughter of Zion” (NRSV) is incorrect; “Zion” is the name of the “daughter,” as in the NRSV translation of Zech 9:9; cf. W. F. Stinespring, “Zion, Daughter of,” IDBSup, 985; Maarten

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13a ἔλαβον τὰ βαΐα τῶν φοινίκων καὶ ἐξῆλθον εἰς ὑπάντησιν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐκραύγαζον 13b ὡσαννά· εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου, [καὶ] ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ. 14 εὑρὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὀνάριον ἐκάθισεν ἐπ᾽ αὐτό, καθώς ἐστιν γεγραμμένον 15 μὴ φοβοῦ, θυγάτηρ Σιών· ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεται, καθήμενος ἐπὶ πῶλον ὄνου.

The first descriptive statement reports the actions taken by the crowd: gathering palm branches, going out to meet Jesus, and crying out. John is the only gospel that specifies that the crowd gathered palm branches (τὰ βαΐα τῶν φοινίκων). Their significance may derive from the tradition that the Maccabees celebrated with palm branches, musical instruments, and hymns and songs when they reentered the cleansed citadel (1 Macc 13:51; 2 Macc 10:7). One of the questions an interpreter of the gospels faces is whether the palm branches had specific or general associations. Do the palm branches signal that the crowd received Jesus as a king in the tradition of the Maccabees,13 as one who would free them from foreign oppression? Or, since the crowd cheering the Maccabees also carried “ivy wreathed wands,” that were also associated with Dionysus, were the palm branches simply another expression of celebration and honor? The ascendancy of Levi, for example, is also noted in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarch by the presentation of twelve date palms (T. Naph. 5:4). For Tabernacles (Sukkoth), the rabbis later stipulated that “a palmbranch three handbreadths in length, long enough to shake, is valid” (m. Sukkah 3:1), “and where do they shake the Lulab? At the beginning and the end of the Psalm” (Ps 118).14 Both quotations (vv. 13b and 15) are composites of two or more verses. The first quotation, which begins with a verse from one of the psalms of ascent, is apparently sufficiently familiar that no introduction is needed. It is the only quotation in John that is not introduced by a formula.15 The second quotation is cued with the brief formula, “as it is written.” Johannes Beutler has argued, from an analysis of the ways in which John refers to Scripture and the texts to which it refers, that “John is less interested in the ‘fulfillment’ of individual passages of the Old Testament in Jesus than in the ‘fulfillment’ of ‘scripture’ as such.”16 Verse 13b is dialogue, reporting the crowd’s greeting of Jesus. Psalm 118 was one of the Egyptian Hallel (or “praise”) psalms (113–118), which were recited during major festivals (cf. m. Sukkah 3:9; 4:5), so these would have been familiar texts to Jewish and Jewish Christian readers.17 It was particularly suited to its use in the gospels,

13

14 15

16

17

J. J. Menken, “The Minor Prophets in John’s Gospel,” in The Minor Prophets in the New Testament, ed. Maarten J. J. Menken and Steve Moyise, LNTS 377 (London: T&T Clark, 2009), 81, n. 5. William R. Farmer, “The Palm Branches in John 12, 13,” JTS 3 (1952):  62–66; a view denied by Brunson, The Gospel of John, 223. Herbert Danby, The Mishnah (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1933), 176–77. Edwin D. Freed, Old Testament Quotations in the Gospel of John, NovTSup 11 (Leiden:  Brill, 1965), 67. Johannes Beutler, “The Use of ‘Scripture’ in the Gospel of John,” in Exploring John:  In Honor of D. Moody Smith (Philadelphia, PA: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996), 147. Anthony T. Hanson, “John’s Technique of Using Scripture,” in The New Testament Interpretation of Scripture (London: SPCK, 1980), 167, speculates, “It may have been the traditional use of Psalm 118

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if, as Andrew C. Brunson, has argued, it was a royal psalm that was “interpreted eschatologically and/or messianically in Second Temple Judaism.”18 The first quotation (v. 13b), which is reported as the crowd’s acclamation of Jesus, is a composite of three verses or parts of verses. The first is the exclamation, “Hosanna!” which probably comes from the Hebrew ‫הוֹשׁיﬠָ ֥ה נָּ ֑א‬ ִ ֘ in Ps 118:25, where it means “save (us).” In 2 Sam 14:4 and 2 Kgs 6:26, it is plea to a king for help.19 In the psalm, it is preceded by the address, “O Lord” ‫))אָ נָּ ֣א ֭ ְיהוָה‬, but it became a liturgical formula that was used independently of the Hallel psalms (cf. Did. 10:6).20 The Hebrew is translated in the LXX by σῶσον δή (Ps 117:25 LXX). John transliterates the Hebrew, and its use in John (in contrast to its use as a royal acclamation in Matt 21:9) allows both its royal and its liturgical uses: “I (we) pray” and “(save) now,”21 but the primary sense seems to remain the petition, “save us.”22 The second part of the first quotation, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (Ps 118:26a), appears to be a blessing on the one who comes to worship in the temple. The phrase “in the name of the Lord” can modify either “blessed” or “the one who comes.” John and Matthew (21:9) clearly interpret it with the latter, and the quotation in John 12:15 announces, “Your king is coming.” The second part of Ps 118:26 is probably a restatement of the priestly blessing in the first part of the verse: “We bless you from the house of the Lord” (Ps 118:26b). The quotation agrees with the LXX, but the LXX is a literal rendering of the MT, so little can be said about the source of the quotation in John. The verse that follows in Psalms is suspiciously relevant to the Fourth Gospel’s Christology: “The Lord is God, and he has given us light” (Ps 118:27), which raises the question of whether the quotation was meant to evoke more of its scriptural context than just the words actually quoted. The NA27 attributes the last phrase of the quotation, “the king of Israel,” to Zeph 3:15. The first questions to be asked are, is this phrase a quotation, and if so, is it drawn from Zephaniah? The phrase occurs a total of seventy-seven times in the Hebrew Scriptures, but seventy-three of the occurrences are in the historical books, in references to various kings. The remaining four occurrences are in Prov 1:1; Isa 44:6; Hos 10:15; and Zeph 3:15. The last is clearly the most likely source text. The title, “king of Israel,” occurs elsewhere in the NT only in the mockery of Jesus while he is on the cross ([ὁ] βασιλεὺς Ἰσραήλ: Mark 15:32; Matt 27:42) and in Nathanael’s

18 19

20

21

22

in the early Church that originally alerted John to the possibility of finding an extended significance in it.” Brunson, The Gospel of John, 22. Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John, AB 29 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966), 462; cf. Freed, Old Testament Quotations, 69–72. Robert H. Gundry, The Use of the Old Testament in St. Matthew’s Gospel, NovTSup 18 (Leiden: Brill, 1967), 40–43. So Brunson, The Gospel of John, 212–14. In John, “it is supplicatory in literal meaning, but confessional in function” (214). Andreas Obermann, Die christologische Erfüllung der Schrift im Johannesevangelium:  Eine Untersuchung zur, J. Samuel,johanneischen Hermeneutik anhand der Schriftzitate, WUNT 2.83 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1996), 193–98. See also J. Samuel Subramanian, The Synoptic Gospels and the Psalms as Prophecy, LNTS 351 (London: T&T Clark, 2007), 49–50. Edwin D. Freed, “The Entry into Jerusalem in the Gospel of John,” JBL 80 (1961):  329–38, argues to the contrary: “But that is precisely the meaning he wanted to avoid” (330).

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response to Jesus in John 1:49, σὺ βασιλεὺς εἶ τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, which NA28 does not mark as a quotation. Only in John 12:13 does the phrase occur exactly as it is in the LXX, and in John there are textual variants. The conjunction καὶ is omitted in 𝔓66 1‫ א‬D K Θ f1 565, and both the conjunction and the article (ὁ) are omitted in A f13 and 𝔐. Is the title added in John, perhaps to recall Nathanael’s confession at the end of Jesus’s public ministry, or is it meant to evoke Zeph 3:15, or both? Catrin H. Williams’s observation is probative: “John’s substantive additions/substitutions to explicit citations are drawn from (and consequently legitimated by) other—usually analogous—scriptural sources (cf. 6.31; 7:38), even if there is Johannine impetus for those modifications.”23 If “the king of Israel” is a quotation, is it drawn from Zeph 3:15, or, as Bruce G. Schuchard has proposed,24 does it evoke Isa 44:6? Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel (LXX ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ Ισραηλ(, and his25 Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.

This reference is commended by the fact that it is a self-declaration of the Lord’s exclusive divinity. The context in Zephaniah, which ends with a call for Jerusalem to sing in response to the coming of salvation and the removal of judgment, has even stronger verbal connections with John: singing (John 12:13), daughter Zion (cf. John 12:15), and Jerusalem (12:12). 14 Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! 15 The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. 16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. 17 The LORD, your God, is in your midst. (Zeph 3:14–17)

If it is a quotation, however, why is only the phrase “the king of Israel” quoted? The most likely explanation is that it evokes its context in Zephaniah. A procession from the Mount of Olives recalls the prophetic tradition of God’s eschatological activity there in judgment (Ezek 11:23; cf. 1 En. 27:2), in revelation (Ezek 43:2), and in the final defeat of God’s enemies (Zech 14:3–4). The context in Zeph 3 is a call for Jerusalem to rejoice, with the affirmation that “the king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst,” which has obvious relevance for the account of the processional entry 23

24

25

Catrin H. Williams, “Composite Citations in the Gospel of John,” in Composite Citations in Antiquity, vol. 2: New Testament Uses, ed. Sean A. Adams and Seth M. Ehorn, LNTS 593 (London: T&T Clark, 2018), 105. Bruce G. Schuchard, Scripture within Scripture:  The Interrelationship of Form and Function in the Explicit Old Testament Quotations in the Gospel of John, SBLDS 133 (Atlanta, GA:  Scholars, 1992), 77–78. Note that “his” must refers to Israel, not “the King of Israel.”

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in John. Jesus’s coming to Jerusalem is a fulfillment of Scripture, and the prophet testifies to his true identity. In short, by quoting the evocative title, “the king of Israel,” the evangelist evokes its immediate context as commentary on the scene in the Gospel. If this is not the case, it is difficult to see why the title should be regarded as a quotation.26 Read as Christological confessions, however, the references in the composite quotation (and their contexts) hail Jesus as both “the one who comes in the name of the Lord” and as “the king of Israel, the Lord,” who is in their midst. The narrator tells the story, the characters (the crowd) welcome Jesus’s coming, and the Psalms (traditionally attributed to David) and the prophet attest to Jesus’s identity. The second descriptive statement (v. 14)  reports Jesus’s actions in response to the crowd’s palm waving and greeting. The Synoptics report of Jesus’s directions to his disciples to secure the colt precedes the chanting of the crowd (Matt 21:1–7; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:28–35). John omits the detailed story of how the colt was secured for Jesus’s use and does not introduce the animal until after the crowd’s chant. John’s reversal of the sequence, reporting the crowd’s acclamation before Jesus’s finding the donkey and sitting on it, is awkward. A case can be made that by reversing this sequence of actions, John has Jesus act out “an interpretive correction of the pilgrims’ nationalistic expectations.”27 He is indeed their king but not the king they expect; he fulfills a different set of expectations. Maarten Menken notes the parallel with the crowd’s response following the multiplication of loaves in Galilee: They perceived that Jesus was “the prophet who is to come into the world” and were about to “take him by force to make him king” (6:14–15).28 It seems clear, at least from Jesus’s sitting on a donkey, that John shows Jesus rejecting the Greco-Roman cultural story in favor of the Jewish royal procession, but Jesus’s response to the crowd is still open to interpretation. Does the crowd express “nationalistic expectations,” which Jesus rejects in favor of symbols of Jewish (Davidic) kingship, or does the crowd hail him as their rightful, Jewish king (who could still express their opposition to Roman, imperial authority), and Jesus affirms their acclamation by sitting on a donkey? John 12:14 begins with a postpositive δὲ, which may be adversative or not. Taking it as adversative supports the interpretation of Jesus’s act as a corrective response to the crowd’s acclamation.29 John’s choice of the diminutive term ὀνάριον, a young, or small, 26

27

28

29

Obermann, Die christologische Erfüllung der Schrift im Johannesevangelium, 186, attributes the title to the evangelist. Williams, “Composite Citations,” 110; so also Menken, “Minor Prophets in John’s Gospel,” 83–84: “In John, the crowd misunderstand Jesus, who has just raised Lazarus from the grave, by considering him to be a national king; this is evident from their use of palm branches … and from the words εἰς ὑπάντησιν αὐτῷ, ‘to meet him,’ which suggest the welcoming of a king.” Cf. William Randolph Bynum, “Quotations of Zechariah in the Fourth Gospel,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA:  Society of Biblical Literature, 2015), 60–62. Maarten J. J. Menken, Old Testament Quotations in the Fourth Gospel: Studies in Textual Form, CBET 15 (Kampen: Kok Pharos, 1996), 87. So Obermann, Die christologische Erfüllung der Schrift im Johannesevangelium, 206, contra Brunson, The Gospel of John, 266–67, who contends that “Jesus is affirming rather than correcting, the crowd is expressing true belief rather than a misguided sense of nationalistic messiahship, and Jesus is coming as a warrior king” (267).

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donkey,30 also favors this interpretation. John omits the back story recorded in the Synoptic Gospels prior to the entrance so that it is only after the crowd’s acclamation that Jesus finds and mounts the donkey. John summarizes Jesus’s act as briefly as possible, in just eight words: εὑρὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὀνάριον ἐκάθισεν ἐπ᾽ αὐτό, adding “as it is written” (καθώς ἐστιν γεγραμμένον, which also appears in 6:31). Just as the quotation in v. 13b follows the brief report of what the crowd did, so here a composite quotation in v.  15 follows the report of what Jesus did. Ruth Sheridan perceptively explains the didactic rhetoric at work in these verses: As this citation of Scripture is in the diegetic voice of the narrator, it is not “heard” by the narrative characters and so is expressly for the benefit of the reader. In response to the crowd’s cry for their “king” Jesus immediately performs a symbolic action (mounting the colt) which aims to make the crowd understand the nature of his kingship. The narrator’s recourse to Scripture aims to make the reader understand the significance of Jesus’ symbolic action.31

What texts are quoted or evoked in the composite citation in v. 15? NA27 identifies the source texts as Zech 9:9; Isa 35:4, 40:9; and Zeph 3:14s, with the first three references printed in italics. The NA27 lists Zech 9:9, omits Isa 35:4, lists Zeph 3:14–16, and prints only Zech 9:9 in italics. These editorial decisions invite further examination of the relevant texts. Whereas Zech 9:9 begins with the exhortation, “rejoice greatly” (LXX χαῖρε σφόδρα; MT ‫ילי ְמ ֜ ֹאד‬ ִ ֨ ִ‫)גּ‬, John prefaces the quotation with the command, “do not be afraid” (μὴ φοβοῦ). This command occurs in the singular thirty-two times in the Hebrew Scriptures, including eight times in Isaiah (7:4; 10:24; 41:10, 13; 43:1, 5; 44:2; 54:4, and another seven times in the plural), once in Jeremiah (26:28), once in Lamentations (3:57), and twice in Daniel (10:12, 19). The command also occurs in the plural in John 6:20, where Jesus appears to the disciples walking on the water. In this context, the command not to be afraid echoes OT epiphanies, where it is a common feature (e.g., Gen 15:1, 21:17, 26:24, 28:13 [LXX]; Judg 6:23). The following references provide the greatest resonance with John 12: Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.” (Isa 35:4) Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” (Isa 40:9) But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. (Isa 43:1) 30 31

BDAG, 710, s.v. ὀνάριον. Ruth Sheridan, Retelling Scripture: “The Jews” and the Scriptural Citations in John 1:19–12:15, BibInt 110 (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 219.

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Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you in the womb and will help you: Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen. (Isa 44:2) On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear (MT ‫יר ִאי‬ ֑ ָ ‫ל־תּ‬ ִ ַ‫ ;א‬LXX θάρσει), O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. (Zeph 3:16)

A neglected candidate is Isa 43:1, which also contains a divine assurance to Israel and a promise of redemption: But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear [LXX μὴ φοβοῦ], for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. (Isa 43:1)

With such an array of references, and the tenuousness of any connection to John 12 or the texts in its composite quotations, it is difficult to feel confident about identifying any source text.32 Whether it is meant to evoke Isa 35:4, 40:9, 43:1, 44:2; Zeph 3:16, some other text, or no particular text, the command is more appropriate in John 12 than the exhortation to “rejoice greatly” in Zech 9:9. Allusions to Jesus’s departure, his death, his burial, and the Roman destruction of their holy place and their nation certainly justify the assurance “do not fear” rather than the encouragement to “rejoice greatly.” Williams notes the recurring connection with “the assurance of God’s eschatological coming and presence and the proclamation of his salvation”33 and suggests that “the textual change to the quotation is motivated by the need to identify a scriptural phrase (‘do not fear’) that fits its new Johannine context, but it is legitimated by the fact that the fusion of two or more scriptural texts that share common catchwords would be permissible within a Jewish exegetical milieu.”34 The main clause of the quotation in John 12:15 is a severely edited sequence of phrases from Zech 9:9, which Schuchard attributes to the evangelist’s “creative hand.”35 The quotation reads as follows: … daughter Zion. Look, your king is coming, 32

33 34 35

Williams, “Composite Citations,” 107–9; Williams, “John, Judaism, and ‘Searching the Scriptures,’” in John and Judaism:  A Contested Relationship in Context, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and Paul N. Anderson, RBS 87 (Atlanta, GA:  SBL, 2017), 95–97; cf. Wm. Randolph Bynum, The Fourth Gospel and the Scriptures, NovTSup 114 (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 129–30. Menken, Old Testament Quotations, 84, concludes that both Isa 40:9 and Zeph 3:16 can be the source of μὴ φοβοῦ in John 12:15. Cf. Williams, “ ‘Searching the Scriptures,’ ” 96. Ibid., 97. Schuchard, Scripture within Scripture, 73, 83. Freed, Old Testament Quotations, 80, and “The Entry into Jerusalem in the Gospel of John,” 329–38, 337, contended that John drew the quotation from the Gospel of Matthew: “I believe the quotation in Jn 12:15 is a free artistic composition on the basis of Mt to give added strength to the writer’s theme of Jesus as king.” His argument has been widely rejected, however: “there is no compelling evidence for John’s dependence on Matthew” (Schuchard, 74). So also D. Moody Smith Jr., “John 12 12ff. and the Question of John’s Use of the Synoptics,” JBL 82 (1963): 58– 64; Maarten J. J. Menken, “Die Redaktion des Zitates aus Sach 9,9 in Joh 12,15,” ZNW 25 (1989): 196; Menken, Old Testament Quotations, 81–82. On the other hand, the presence of the quotation of Zech 9:9 in Matthew suggests that it was present in early tradition known to both evangelists.

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Biblical Interpretation in Early Christian Gospels sitting on a donkey’s colt! θυγάτηρ Σιών· ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεται, καθήμενος ἐπὶ πῶλον ὄνου.

For clarity, we may reproduce the source verse (Zech 9:9) in full: Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (NRSV). χαῖρε σφόδρα θύγατερ Σιων κήρυσσε θύγατερ Ιερουσαλημ ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι δίκαιος καὶ σῴζων αὐτός πραῢς καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὑποζύγιον καὶ πῶλον νέον (LXX) ‫נוֹשׁע ֑הוּא ﬠָנִ י֙ וְ רֹ כֵ ֣ב ﬠַל־ח ֲ֔מוֹר‬ ֖ ָ ְ‫גִּ ילִ֨ י ְמ ֜ ֹאד בַּ ת־צִ יּ֗ וֹן הָ רִ֙ יﬠִ י֙ ַבּ֣ת יְ רוּשָׁ ַ֔ל ִם הִ נֵּ ֤ה מַ לְ כְֵּך֙ יָ ֣בוֹא ָ֔לְך צַ ִ ֥דּיק ו‬ ‫( וְ ﬠַל־ﬠַ ֖יִ ר בֶּ ן־אֲתֹ נֽ וֹת׃‬MT)

Bynum summarizes the setting of the quotation:  “Zech 9–14 may be seen as a theodicy for the downfall and exile of Judah, as well as a proclamation of hope for restoration following the return.”36 John retains only enough of Zech 9:9 to identify the quotation, highlighting the fulfillment of Zechariah in Jesus’s entry into the Jerusalem.37 Only one reference to the city is retained, the first, “daughter Zion.” The command to “shout aloud” is omitted, perhaps because John has already reported that the crowd “shouted” (ἐκραύγαζον) in John 12:13 (cf. also “sing aloud, O daughter Zion” in Zeph 3:14). The modifiers that characterize the king are all omitted; “triumphant and victorious is he” is omitted, probably because it is militaristic. The omission of “humble” seems strange, but Jesus has already enacted this attribute by riding/sitting on a donkey. Humility, moreover, is not characteristic of the Johannine Jesus, as it is of the Lukan Jesus. In John, Jesus is not laid in a manger, he does not eat with “tax collectors and sinners,” and he does not teach that he has come not to be served but to serve. Instead, the theme of Jesus’s kingship in John moves from the acclamation by Nathanael (1:49) to the intent of the Galilean crowd to take him by force and make him king (6:15). Pilate mockingly asks, “Are you the King of the Jews?” (18:33; cf. 18:37, 39)  and presents him to the crowd, “Here is your king!” (19:14). The chief priests claim, “We have no king but Caesar!” (19:15). With this treacherous submission to Caesar, the chief priests disavow both the crowd’s recent acclamation of Jesus as their king and Israel’s confession that God is their king (1 Sam 8:7). Then, Pilate writes the inscription, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (19:19, 21). Paradox and misunderstanding are much more prominent along this thematic trajectory than humility. It is more likely, therefore, that John is more interested in the paradoxical image of a king on a donkey than in the trait of humility per se. 36 37

Bynum, Fourth Gospel and the Scriptures, 174. Cf. Bynum, “Quotations of Zechariah,” 55–56.

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The quotation in John modifies the wording of the last part of Zech 9:9, while preserving its sense. Jesus “sits” (ἐκάθισεν, John 12:14; καθήμενος, John 12:15) on the animal, whereas the participle in Zechariah is “riding” (ἐπιβεβηκὼς). Later in the Gospel narrative, Pilate either sits on the judgment seat or seats Jesus upon it: ἤγαγεν ἔξω τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐπὶ βήματος and declares to the Jews, “here is your king” (ἴδε ὁ βασιλεὺς ὑμῶν, John 19:13–14). A strikingly similar alternation of the verbs for sitting and riding in the context of signaling a royal identity also occurs in the narrative of the coronation of Solomon. The aging king David assures Bathsheba, twice, “Your son Solomon shall succeed me as king, and he shall sit (LXX καθήσεται) on my throne” (1 Kgs 1:17, 30) and then orders that Solomon ride (LXX ἐπιβιβάσατε, 1 Kgs 1:33; ἐπεκάθισαν, 1 Kgs 1:38; ἐπεκάθισαν, 1 Kgs 1:44) on David’s mule to Gihon to be crowned king there by Zadok and Nathan (1 Kgs 1:33–40).38 In David’s time, mules were used for transportation by royalty (2 Sam 13:29, 18:9). This antecedent may well have influenced John’s account of Jesus’s entry into the city; he rides on a donkey, as Solomon did, and he will sit as king, although the coronation that awaits him is the cross. Another, more obscure reference has also been proposed as an antecedent to John’s “donkey’s colt” (πῶλον ὄνου). The only place these words occur together in the LXX is in Gen 49:11 (τὸν πῶλον τῆς ὄνου αὐτοῦ), which follows Jacob’s promise that “the scepter shall not depart from Judah” (see above). Whatever the import of this imagery, it appears in a context affirming the perpetual sovereignty of Judah, and hence in John the allusion may support the quotation of Zech 9:9 as an attribution of kingship to Jesus.39 Kenneth C. Way’s research on the three terms used for the donkey in Zech 9:9 suggests that the prophet used the terms very specifically to convey the nature of the expected, eschatological king. In sequence, the three terms denote a donkey (‫)ח ֲ֔מוֹר‬, a jackass (‫)ﬠַ ֖יִ ר‬, and a “purebred jackass” (‫—אֲתֹ נֽ וֹת‬the same term used in Gen 49:11). If that is the case, Zion’s king comes not on the usual royal means of transportation associated with military conquest in Zech 9:10 (‫ ֶ ֣רכֶב‬and ֙‫)סוּס‬. Rather, Zion’s king comes on a “purebred jackass,” which is also a royal mount that is associated with peace (see Zech 9:10: “He will speak ‫[ שָׁ ל֖ וֹם‬šālôm] to the nations”) rather than elitism or conquest.40

By quoting the central affirmation of Zech 9:9, therefore, the citation also evokes other elements in the immediate context. In the MT there is a clear distinction between God’s role and that of the messianic king, but the distinction has been abandoned in the LXX. In particular, whereas God speaks in the first person at the beginning of v. 10 38

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Williams, “Composite Citations,” 110; Menken, Old Testament Quotations, 92–94; Menken, “Minor Prophets in John’s Gospel,” 85; Schuchard, Scripture within Scripture, 81–82. Menken, “Minor Prophets in John’s Gospel,” 85; Williams, “Composite Citations,” 110; Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 224; Alicia D. Myers, Characterizing Jesus: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Fourth Gospel’s Use of Scripture in Its Presentation of Jesus, LNTS 458 (London: Continuum, 2012), 160. Kenneth C. Way, “Donkey Domain: Zechariah 9:9 and Lexical Semantics,” JBL 129 (2010): 114.

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in the Hebrew text, the LXX continues in the third person, tying it to v. 9 so that it is the expected king (rather than God) who will wipe out the chariots and war horses.41 He will bring wars to an end and establish peace over all the earth: He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war-horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Zech 9:10)

Jesus, therefore, enters Jerusalem not on a warhorse but on a donkey, indeed, “a purebred jackass.” If the hearers/readers knew the Scriptures (cf. 5:39; 7:42, 52), they would know that Jesus was the rightful king of the Jews announced by the prophets.

Responses (John 12:16–19) The third unit of John’s account of the processional entry is the narrator’s report of the responses of three groups: Jesus’s disciples (v. 16), the crowd (vv. 17–18), and the Pharisees (v. 19). The narrator reports the disciples’ understanding of this event in two different chronological contexts. At the time, the disciples did not know “these things” (ταῦτα). The pronoun is strategically ambiguous; it may refer to the events that have been narrated (esp. in vv. 12–13a and 14), or it may refer to the fulfillment of Scripture and the acclamations contained in the quotations (vv. 13 and 15). Shifting to a later temporal perspective, the narrator proleptically reports that after Jesus was “glorified” then the disciples “remembered that these things had been written [note the echo of γεγραμμένον in v. 14] of him and had been done to him.” That is, they remembered both the quotations and allusions and the events they had witnessed, implying that the full meaning of the events was not evident at the time they occurred but only came to light after Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection in the light of the testimony of the Scriptures.42 Again, Sheridan explains the rhetorical effect of the narrator’s comment: “The ideal reader, moreover, has access to the post-Easter interpretation of the evangelist in the text in the present. Thus, the reader can and should respond with appropriate Scripture-informed understanding of Jesus.”43 Verses 17 and 18 explain the role of the crowd. Technically, they are analepses that refer to the role of the crowd at the resurrection of Lazarus (11:45–46; 12:9) and at Jesus’s entry into the city (12:12–13a). The particles οὖν and διὰ τοῦτο relate the actions of the crowd to the raising of Lazarus, “the sign” (τὸ σημεῖον), implying that they too had only a partial or incomplete understanding of what had happened. That is, they were bearing witness and went out to meet Jesus because of the sign he had 41

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Wim J. C. Weren, Studies in Matthew’s Gospel: Literary Design, Intertextuality, and Social Setting, BibInt 130 (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 171. Cf. Michael A. Daise, “Quotations with ‘Remembrance’ Formulae in the Fourth Gospel,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2015), 75–91. Sheridan, Retelling Scripture, 232.

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done, but they did not understand how his entry into the city fulfilled the Scriptures or what it signaled about the nature of his kingship. The narrator also reports the response of a third group: the Pharisees. Ironically, they are more perceptive than either the disciples or the crowd because they see what Jesus’s reception by the crowd portends, although they are not aware of just how true their lament is.44 That is, they are helpless, their opposition has failed, “the world has gone after him!” Their lament echoes the narrator’s report in the introduction, that “many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus” (John 12:11), serving as an inclusio that underscores Jesus’s ultimate exaltation and victory. Zechariah’s proclamation that “his dominion shall be … to the ends of the earth” (Zech 9:10), understood as prophetic commentary, means that Jesus’s kingship embraces not only Israel (John 12:13; Zeph 3:15) but the whole world. His universal dominion, affirmed by the context of the quoted phrases, reiterates the cosmic scope of Jesus’s work that was stated in the prologue and reiterated in 3:16, in the Samaritans’ response, “this is truly the Savior of the world” (4:42), hinted at by the high priest’s prophecy, “not for the nation only” (11:52), and will soon be signaled by the coming of the Greeks (12:20).

4. Conclusion This close reading has brought into focus subtle but important nuances of our text. Since this volume contains essays on various approaches to the quotations of Scripture in the Gospel of John, it may be helpful to review the approach taken here, informed primarily by narrative criticism. First, we set the scene of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem in context, taking note of its context in the plot and thematic developments that prepare the reader for the significance of this scene. We also identified the cultural type of scene that describes the rituals of a king or conqueror entering a city and being received by its people and the processional entries of Jewish kings in the Hebrew Scriptures. Next, we analyzed the broad structure of the text:  an introduction, the processional scene, and responses to it. We observed that the crowd plays a key role in all three units, although the “large crowd” (vv. 9 and 12) is comprised first of those who came to see Jesus and Lazarus and then of those who had come to Jerusalem for Passover. Examining John’s account of the processional entry more closely, we noted the differences from the Synoptics, especially the omission of the story of securing the donkey, and the two-part structure. In each part, a quotation of Scripture follows a brief report of the action. In the first part, the crowd takes palm branches and goes out to meet Jesus, and in the second part Jesus responds to the crowd’s acclamation of his kingship by sitting on a small donkey. The quotation in v. 13 is the crowd’s shout of acclamation; the quotation in v.  15 is part of the narrator’s aside, which begins with the formula, “as it is written.” We also noted that John describes Jesus as either 44

Brown, Gospel According to John, 462–63.

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affirming the crowd’s acclamation of him as Israel’s king or corrects their nationalistic expectations by mounting a donkey. The next step was to identify the quotations, note the ways they depart from their source texts, whether Hebrew or Greek, and examine their context. In each case, we found that the quotations are composites of several texts, either abbreviated or excerpted so that only key phrases are reproduced in John. Both the form of the quotations and elements in their context that resonate with the Gospel suggested that the quotations evoke other words or phrases from their immediate context. For example, the affirmation, “The Lord is God, and he has given us light” (Ps 118:27), follows the words quoted from Ps 118:25–26. The brief title, “the king of Israel,” in Zeph 3:15, occurs in a context that calls for Jerusalem to sing in response to the coming of salvation, and the title is followed immediately by the acclamation, “the LORD, is in your midst.” The exhortation, “do not fear,” which John inserts prior to the quotation from Zech 9:9, occurs in the next verse (Zeph 3:16), and the declaration, “The LORD, your God, is in your midst,” is repeated in the next verse. The same pattern of resonant words or phrases occurs in relation to the quotation from Zech 9:9 in John 12:15. The exhortation, “do not fear,” occurs in a number of places in Isaiah, any of which might be evoked by the quotation in John. The description of Jesus riding on a small donkey recalls Solomon’s riding on David’s mule to his coronation at Gihon in 1 Kgs 1, and both Zechariah’s three terms for the donkey and the prophetic declaration that the coming king will bring wars to an end and establish peace over all the earth, which follows in Zech 9:10, serve to reveal the true nature of Jesus’s kingship.45 The result of our investigation, therefore, is a clearer understanding of the Gospel text and how it shapes the reader’s perception of Jesus. These familiar verses actually contain a subtle interplay of intra- and intertextual references, imagery related to kingship, and interactions between the scene in the Gospel, its characters, the narrator, and the reader. In essence the quotations shape the story, mold the characterization of Jesus, especially in relation to the kingship ascribed to him, and serve as authoritative commentary that guides the reader in ascertaining the full import of the scene. From this rich tapestry of textual dynamics, the Gospel offers yet another iteration of what Jean Zumstein termed “the Johannine kerygma”:46 The king heralded by the crowd will be exalted, ironically in his death, and draw all people to himself, defeating the prince(s) of this world and promising life to all who receive him.

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46

Relevant here is the work of Jan G. van der Watt on the theme of Jesus’s kingship in John:  Family of the King: Dynamics of Metaphor in the Gospel According to John, BibInt 47 (Leiden:  Brill, 2000); Jan G. van der Watt, “‘Is Jesus the King of Israel?’: Reflections on the Jewish Nature of the Gospel of John,” in Jesus and Judaism: A Contested Relationship in Context, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and Paul N. Anderson, RBS 87 (Atlanta, GA:  SBL Press, 2017), 39–56; Jan G. van der Watt, “Unless One Is Born Again He Cannot See/Enter the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3, 5): What Will Nicodemus See and Where Will He Enter?” in Expressions of the Johannine Kerygma in John 2:23–5:18, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and Jörg Frey, WUNT (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019). Jean Zumstein, “The Strategy of the Revelation in John 3 and 4,” in Expressions of the Johannine Kerygma in John 2:23–5:18, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and Jörg Frey, WUNT (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2019).

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The Authentication of the Narrative: The Function of Scripture Quotations in John 19 Susanne Luther

1. A Literary Approach to John’s Factual Narrative The present chapter is based on the perception that the Fourth Gospel (FG) claims to present the historical events around the person and the work of the earthly Jesus. Thus, the FG claims to refer to extratextual past events. Because of this distinctive claim to historical referentiality, the FG can be defined as a “reality narrative,”1 which is a factual narrative with a historiographical concern.2 Whereas it is difficult to ascertain or verify historical facts behind the narrative or to classify the FG within the spectrum of ancient historiography, what can be analyzed is what the text represents or constructs as facts and which literary techniques and strategies are used to express the claim to refer to historical reality. Hence the question of the historical value and the factuality or fictitiousness of the narrated events in a literary text such as FG will in this chapter be replaced by the question concerning the claim of the text. That is, narrative texts

1

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Christian Klein and Matías Martínez, “Wirklichkeitserzählungen. Felder, Formen und Funktionen nicht-literarischen Erzählens,” in Wirklichkeitserzählungen. Felder, Formen und Funktionen nichtliterarischen Erzählens, ed. Christian Klein and Matías Martínez (Stuttgart/Weimar:  Metzler, 2009), 4–5. According to the categories of “reality narratives,” we find in factual narratives with fictionalizing narrative techniques a referentiality to the extratextual reality. The factual mode of speech of the text is not affected by the fictionalizing literary techniques. In factual narratives with fictitious contents, referentiality is suggested. That is, authenticity is created by the claim of the texts to historical referentiality. Susanne Luther, Die Authentifizierung der Vergangenheit. Literarische Geschichtsdarstellung im Johannesevangelium, WUNT (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming). See also Stephan Jaeger, “Erzählen im historiographischen Diskurs,” in Wirklichkeitserzählungen. Felder, Formen und Funktionen nicht-literarischen Erzählens, ed. Christian Klein and Matías Martínez (Stuttgart/ Weimar:  Metzler, 2009), 110–35, esp. 110, where he writes, “Historiographisches Erzählen ist am pragmatischen Anspruch erkennbar, auf eine außertextuelle vergangene Welt zu referieren und nicht eine eigenständige fiktionale Welt zu erschaffen.” See also Stephan Jaeger, “Historiographisches Erzählen. Zur fruchtbaren Synthese von Erzähltheorie, Geschichtswissenschaft und Theologie,” in Text und Geschichte. Geschichtswissenschaftliche und literaturwissenschaftliche Beiträge zum Faktizitäts-Fiktionalitäts-Geflecht in antiken Texten, ed. Christof Landmesser and Ruben Zimmermann, VWGTh 46 (Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2017), 162–180.

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can state a claim to factuality, which refers to the historical reality behind the text, even though they play with fictitious elements and fictionalizing narrative techniques. Recent research in the field of ancient historiography has stressed that historiographical narrative3—particularly in Antiquity—is not to be perceived as a factual report, but that a broad scope of fictionalizing narrative techniques and fictitious elements is employed in historiographical texts, which, however, do not compromise the claim to factuality. Literature and historiography, fictional and factual narrative, overlap.4 The “fictionalization” of a historiographical text “takes place in order for a narrative account of a history of events to be complete and cohesive: fiction is used for filling out narrative gaps or inconsistencies. History-writing in a literary sense seeks to generate narrative—that is, chronological and causal—consistency”5 and therefore presupposes “fictionalization.” According to EveMarie Becker, “Fictionalization is a constitutive element in historiographical narratives”6 and denotes a literalization, not the assumption that the contents are all fictitious.7 In ancient historiography, the boundary between fiction and factuality cannot be precisely defined.8 This also applies to the FG since the text narrates past events as historical events and conveys them in a factual mode of speech. Consequently, the focus of analysis has to be on how “facts” are presented or constructed in historiographical narrative. In the debate on fictitiousness, fictionality and factuality,9 Matías Martínez and Michael Scheffel distinguish—on the basis of Gerard Genette’s work—between “fictional” and “factual” (describing the pragmatic status) and between “real” and “fictitious” (relating to ontological status).10 While in my opinion it is of epistemological value to transfer the distinction between “factual” and “fictional” (i.e., the distinction with respect to the mode of speech) to ancient texts, the distinction between “real” and “fictitious” (i.e., the distinction with respect to the ontological status of the portrayed) poses a problem with respect to ancient texts.11 For if historical referentiality is asserted without this claim being verifiable, 3

4

5

6 7

8

9 10

11

Alun Munslow, “Narrative,” in The Routledge Companion to Historical Studies, ed. Alun Munslow (London:  Routledge, 2000), 169–74; 169–70; Alun Munslow, Narrative and History (Basingstoke:  Macmillan, 2007); Stephan Jaeger, “Erzähltheorie und Geschichtswissenschaft,” in Erzähltheorie transgenerisch, intermedial, interdisziplinär, ed. Vera Nünning and Ansgar Nünning (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2002), 237–63. Stephan Jaeger, “Historisch-literarische Interferenzen. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des Diskursbegriffs,” in Literatur und Geschichte. Ein Kompendium zu ihrem Verhältnis von der Aufklärung bis zur Gegenwart, ed. Daniel Fulda and Silvia V. Tschopp (Berlin:  Walter de Gruyter, 2002), 61–85, esp. 64. Eve-Marie Becker, The Birth of Christian History. Memory and Time from Mark to Luke-Acts (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2017), 90. Ibid., 90. Frank Zipfel, Fiktion, Fiktivität, Fiktionalität. Analysen zur Fiktion in der Literatur und zum Fiktionsbegriff in der Literaturwissenschaft, Allgemeine Literaturwissenschaft 2 (Berlin:  Erich Schmidt, 2001), 320–22. Susanne Luther, “‘Jesus was a man, … but Christ was a fiction.’ Fiktion, Fiktionalität und Faktualität in lukanischen Gleichnissen,” in Wie Geschichten Geschichte schreiben. Frühchristliche Literatur zwischen Faktualität und Fiktionalität, ed. Susanne Luther, Jörg Röder, and Eckart D. Schmidt, WUNT II/395 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015), 181–208, esp. 184–92. Zipfel, Fiktion. Matías Martínez and Michael Scheffel, Einführung in die Erzähltheorie, 9th ed. (München:  C. H. Beck, 2012), 15–16. This distinction is based on Zipfel, Fiktion. Klein and Martínez, “Wirklichkeitserzählungen,” 2.

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the question of the reality or fictitiousness of the narrated contents must remain open. Therefore, in my opinion, it is appropriate to replace the term “real” with the concept of (literarily constructed) “authenticity.”12 The FG narrates past events as “real” events using a factual mode of speech. Thus, the reader perceives what is narrated as authentic. This distinction between “real” and “authentic” allows for the analysis of the literary techniques and the textual strategies used in factual texts for generating authenticity, including constructed authenticity, without having to enquire about the reality behind the text.13 With regard to the FG it can be stated that it presents itself as a factual text that narrates events of the past with a claim to historical referentiality, as a narrative that constructs the authenticity of the reported events in order to tell the “truth” about the historical reality concerning the earthly Jesus. However, as its claim to historical referentiality can often not be verified, the focus must not be on the truth or reality behind the text,14 but rather on the truth in the text, that is on the text itself and the literary techniques and strategies used therein that generate the perception of the authenticity of the narrated events, thus establishing the credibility of the text and supporting its claim to truth.15 In the following, this approach will be illustrated with a view to one of the literary techniques, the use of Scripture quotations in the FG. The question before us is: How are Scripture quotations employed in order to authenticate the Johannine historical narrative?

2. Authenticating Historiographical Narrative in Antiquity In ancient historiography, the use of and reference to sources is fundamental for the presentation and validation of historical events. A  distinction has been suggested between two forms of the use of sources:  mimesis and direct quotations. Mimesis refers to the technique of incorporating material from literary or oral pretexts into the historiographical narrative without explicitly identifying its origin. Individual formulations or sentences, but also more comprehensive parts of the text, can be taken from the pretexts and adapted according to a specific objective. Direct quotations 12

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Antonius Weixler, “Authentisches erzählen—authentisches Erzählen. Über Authentizität als Zuschreibungsphänomen und Pakt,” in Authentisches Erzählen. Produktion, Narration, Rezeption, ed. Antonius Weixler, Narratologia 33 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012), 1–32. Julia Ilgner, “Ut veduta poesis. Topographisches Erzählen als Authentizitätsstrategie im historischen Roman,” in Authentisches Erzählen. Produktion, Narration, Rezeption, ed. Antonius Weixler, Narratologia 33 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2012), 197–212, 202–3. Bernard C. Lategan, “History and Reality in the Interpretation of Biblical Texts,” in Konstruktion von Wirklichkeit. Beiträge aus geschichtstheoretischer, philosophischer und theologischer Perspektive, ed. Jens Schröter and Antje Eddelbüttel, TBT 127 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004), 135–52. Cf. Susanne Luther, “Erdichtete Wahrheit oder bezeugte Fiktion? Realitäts- und Fiktionalitätsindikatoren in frühchristlichen Wundererzählungen  – eine Problemanzeige,” in Hermeneutik der frühchristlichen Wundererzählungen. Geschichtliche, literarische und rezeptionsorientierte Aspekte, ed. Bernd Kollmann and Ruben Zimmermann, WUNT 339 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2014), 345–68; as well as Luther, Die Authentifizierung der Vergangenheit, ch. 6.

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indicate the origin of the material, for example, by means of introductory formulae or direct references. Pretexts can, for example, be cited anonymously (“it is said”), identified by name (“Herodotus says”) or named without specifying, but marked as a written source (“it is written”).16 While direct quotations are marked in the text, the mimetic reception of a pretext can only be identified if corresponding source texts are available that allow a comparison. The works of ancient historiography are based not only on written pretexts but also on texts cited from memory as well as on oral tradition,17 the latter of which—often based on eyewitness testimony—was generally regarded as more reliable than written sources.18 The mimetic reception of material from pretexts in ancient historiography could have various reasons:  “for informational purposes (in order to provide actual documentation for the narrative account), for stylistic purposes (in order to support the literary structure and development of a historical writing), for authoritative purposes (in order to give credence to the narrative), and for the mere sake of artistic quality.”19 Hence, in ancient historiography, the literary technique of mimesis served, inter alia, to (re)construct historical reality authentically.20 For this purpose the historiographer relied on sources and traditions, adapted this material, and shaped it anew and creatively for his specific focus. As John Marincola observes, The imitator does not seek a one-to-one correspondence with a single previous model, nor is his imitation to be slavish (this is mere copying) but rather creative: the writer must appropriate the spirit of his model or models and breathe new life into them, to show how something could be better done, or if not better done, then well done in a different way.21

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19 20

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Andrew W. Pitts, “Source Citation in Greek Historiography and in Luke(-Acts),” in Christian Origins and Greco-Roman Culture: Social and Literary Contexts for the New Testament, ed. Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts, Vol. 1 of Early Christianity in Its Hellenistic Context, TENTS 9 (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 349–88, 351–52. Gordon S. Shrimpton, History and Memory in Ancient Greece (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1997). Pitts, “Source Citation in Greek Historiography,” 352–53. For the topos of eyewitness statements, see Luther, Die Authentifizierung der Vergangenheit, ch. 3; Ruben Zimmermann, “‘Augenzeugenschaft’ als historisches und hermeneutisches Konzept  – nicht nur im Johannesevangelium,” in Wie Geschichten Geschichte schreiben. Frühchristliche Literatur zwischen Faktualität und Fiktionalität, ed. Susanne Luther, Jörg Röder, and Eckart D. Schmidt, WUNT II/395 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015), 209–51. Pitts, “Source Citation in Greek Historiography,” 356. For mimesis in ancient historiography, see Vivienne Gray, “Mimesis in Greek Historical Theory,” AJP 8 (1987):  467–86; John Marincola, Authority and Tradition in Ancient Historiography (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1997), 14–19. See also the examples in Pitts, “Source Citation in Greek Historiography,” 360–65. Marincola, Authority and Tradition, 14, n.  20. Pitts (“Source Citation in Greek Historiography,” 360) distinguishes between different modes of mimetic reception: “(1) verbal imitation (including an imitation of style), (2) imitation of phrases, (3) imitation of content with distinct appropriation, (4) echoes of a predecessor, which I take to mean similar phrasing or paraphrasing of a predecessor through verbal queues, (5)  imitation of dialect, (6)  imitation of historical type, (7)  imitation of arrangement, and (8) imitation of attitude/disposition.”

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Such a creative reception of pretexts can also be observed in the FG and has been discussed with regard to the Synoptic and pre-Synoptic tradition as well as to scriptural references.22 However, the FG never explicitly addresses its use of early Christian traditions and sources—as, for example, Luke 1:1–4 does—nor does it offer any metareflection on the relevance of the use of early Christian sources and traditions for the validation or authentication of the narrative of past events. Although the Synoptic tradition constitutes a fundamental basis for the Johannine presentation of the past, it is not explicitly quoted or referred to as an authoritative tradition that lends authenticity to the Johannine account of history. Although mimesis is just as relevant for the question of the authentication as explicit forms of reference to pretexts, the focus in the following will—due to the limited scope of this chapter—be on the material explicitly used as an authoritative source for authentication. Direct reference through quotations “functions as a more direct, more immediate, more intentional historical-narrative technique than other less explicit forms of imitation.”23 In ancient historiography, various pretexts could be used for citation, including literary sources, especially other historiographical works, official and unofficial documents and inscriptions, even nations or ethnic groups, and religious authorities or the muses.24 With regard to the FG, the citation of religious authorities is of particular importance, just as in Jewish historiography reference was made to the Scriptures, which were perceived as trustworthy, and as in ancient Greek historiography reference was made to material from temple archives or local religious traditions.25 Direct quotations often served the purpose of validating and authenticating the narrative, the explicit reference to sources being seen as a form of increased validation. Therefore, as Andrew Pitts states, “direct citations were used selectively and purposefully by the ancient historians so that the impact was not lessened in cases where authoritative validation was required or a significant turning point in the narrative needed to be established.”26 This tendency of using quotations only at points of central importance can also be observed in the FG, where references to the Scriptures are used deliberately at central points in the narrative. In the following, the authenticating function of

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See the history of research in Jörg Frey, “Das vierte Evangelium auf dem Hintergrund der älteren Evangelientradition. Zum Problem:  Johannes und die Synoptiker,” in Das Johannesevangelium— Mitte oder Rand des Kanons? Neue Standortbestimmungen, ed. Thomas Söding, QD 203 (Freiburg i.Br.:  Herder, 2003), 60–118; Michael Labahn and Manfred Lang, “Johannes und die Synoptiker. Positionen und Impulse seit 1990,” in Kontexte des Johannesevangeliums. Das vierte Evangelium in religions- und traditionsgeschichtlicher Perspektive, ed. Jörg Frey and Udo Schnelle, WUNT 175 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2004), 443–515; Frans Neirynck, “John and the Synoptics: 1975–1990,” in John and the Synoptics, ed. A. Denaux, BETL 101 (Leuven: Peeters, 1992), 3–62; Frans Neirynck, “John and the Synoptics in Recent Commentaries,” EThL 74 (1998): 386–97. Pitts, “Source Citation in Greek Historiography,” 365. Ibid., 366. In relation to Judaism, see Gregory E. Sterling, “The Jewish Appropriation of Hellenistic Historiography,” in A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography, ed. John Marincola, Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011), 231–43. For Greek historiography, see John T. Dillery, “Greek Sacred History,” AJP 126 (2005):  505–26; Pitts, “Source Citation in Greek Historiography,” 367–68. Pitts, “Source Citation in Greek Historiography,” 369. For examples, see 370–74.

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Scripture quotations in the FG will be illustrated by means of an exemplary analysis of the passage narrating Jesus’s crucifixion and death in John 19:17–37.

3. The Authenticating Function of the γραφή in John 19 The FG refers to Scripture implicitly through allusions and references in terms of content, language, form, or theology and explicitly through quotations.27 The focus chosen in this chapter on explicit Scripture quotations entails a number of problems. The question of the exact number of explicit quotations in the FG is controversial in research, for they are not always marked by an introductory formula.28 Furthermore, the quoted sources are often not unambiguously identifiable since they can be attributed to a specific reference text such as the Masoretic text (MT), the Septuagint (LXX), or a Targumic tradition,29 which may be due to the fact that there was no canonized version of the Jewish Scriptures at the time of the emergence of the FG.30 Moreover, the interpretation of John’s use of Scripture quotations is controversial since different options have been proposed. They can be categorized into five basic approaches with numerous overlaps: (a) Scripture as testimony to Christ, (b) the fulfillment of Scripture in Christ, (c)  the completion and thus annulment of Scripture by the Christ event, (d)  the post-Easter maintenance and Christological interpretation of Scripture, and (e)  the confirmation and continuation of Scripture in the authoritative text of the

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Different forms of reference have been suggested. See, e.g., Rekha M. Chennattu, “Scripture,” in How John Works: Storytelling in the Fourth Gospel, ed. Douglas Estes and Ruth Sheridan, RBSt 86 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2016), 171–86; Anthony T. Hanson, “John’s Use of Scripture,” in The Gospels and the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and W. Richard Stegner, JSNTSup 104 (Sheffield:  Sheffield Academic Press, 1994), 358–79; Hans-Josef Klauck, “Geschrieben, erfüllt, vollendet: die Schriftzitate in der Johannespassion,” in Israel und seine Heilstraditionen im vierten Evangelium, ed. Michael Labahn, Klaus Scholtissek, and Angelika Strotmann (Paderborn:  Schöningh, 2003), 140–57, 143– 44; Maarten J. J. Menken, Old Testament Quotations in the Fourth Gospel: Studies in Textual Form, CBET 15 (Kampen: Pharos, 1996). Ruben Zimmermann, “Jesus im Bild Gottes. Anspielungen auf das Alte Testament im Johannesevangelium am Beispiel der Hirtenbildfelder in Joh 10,” in Kontexte des Johannesevangeliums. Das vierte Evangelium in religions- und traditionsgeschichtlicher Perspektive, ed. Jörg Frey and Udo Schnelle, WUNT 175 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2004), 81–116, 86. Zimmermann’s examples are: John 1:23 (Isa 40:3); 2:17 (Ps 69:10); 6:31 (Ps 78:24); 6:45 (Isa 54:13); 10:34 (Ps 82:6); 12:13 (Ps 118:25; Zeph 3:15); 12:15 (Zech 9:9; Isa 35:4, 40:9); 12:38 (Isa 53:1); 12:40 (Isa 6:10); 13:18 (Ps 41:10); 15:25 (Ps 35:19, 69:5; Pss. Sol. 7:1); 19:24 (Ps 22:19); 19:36 (Exod 12:10, 46; Ps 34:21); 19:37 (Zech 12:10, 21)—as the “minimum of assured Scripture references.” For different approaches, see Johannes Beutler, “The Use of ‘Scripture’ in the Gospel of John,” in Exploring the Gospel of John: In Honour of D. Moody Smith, ed. R. Alan Culpepper and C. Clifton Black (Louisville, KY:  Westminster John Knox Press, 1996), 147–62, 147–48; Edwin D. Freed, Old Testament Quotations in the Gospel of John, NovTSup 11 (Leiden:  Brill, 1965), 129–30; Bruce G. Schuchard, Scripture within Scripture: The Interrelationship of Form and Function in the Explicit Old Testament Citations in the Gospel of John, SBLDS 133 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 1992); Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard (eds.), Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015); Menken, Old Testament Quotations. Ruth Sheridan, Retelling Scripture:  The Jews’ and the Scriptural Citations in John 1:19–12:15, BIS 110 (Leiden:  Brill, 2012), 15–25; Craig A. Evans, “From Prophecy to Testament: An Introduction,” in From Prophecy to Testament: The Function of the Old Testament in the New, ed. Craig A. Evans (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004), 1–22; Zimmermann, “Jesus im Bild Gottes,” 85–86.

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FG.31 All these problematic aspects associated with the interpretation of Scripture quotations in the FG have to be taken into account when considering their function in authenticating the narrative. Without intending to refute previous approaches to the interpretation of scriptural quotations in the FG, the following analysis will focus exclusively on their authenticating function. The climax of the Johannine narrative, namely the account of the crucifixion and death of Jesus (John 19:17–37), is interrupted repeatedly by Scripture quotations. The episode about the soldiers throwing the dice for Jesus’s robe (John 19:23–24) culminates in the statement ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ [ἡ λέγουσα]·διεμερίσαντο τὰ ἱμάτιά μου ἑαυτοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν ἱματισμόν μου ἔβαλον κλῆρον (John 19:24). The quotation is taken from Ps 21:19 (LXX) and explicitly refers to the Christological fulfillment of Scripture in the events around the death of Jesus, for the events described in the quoted passage from Scripture find their realization in the life of Jesus. The narrative can even be read as stating that God fulfills Scripture through his work in the Son.32 In vv. 31–37, the actions of the soldiers, who do not break Jesus’s legs but stab him in the side with their lance, are justified by a double scriptural reference: ἐγένετο γὰρ ταῦτα ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ· ὀστοῦν οὐ συντριβήσεται αὐτοῦ. καὶ πάλιν ἑτέρα γραφὴ λέγει·ὄψονται εἰς ὃν ἐξεκέντησαν (John 19:36–37).33 In v. 36, the scriptural passage intended as a reference text is unclear. Exodus 12:10, 46; Num 9:12 (MT) or Ps 33:21 (LXX) has been considered.34 Verse 37 is closely connected with the preceding verse, as indicated by καὶ πάλιν, and refers to Zech 12:10. The function of the quotations is to provide the explanatory background as to why the soldiers act in the manner indicated and to render the events accessible for the readers in their theological meaning.35 The quotations present Jesus’s crucifixion and death as events that are predetermined by Scripture. In the Johannine narrative, they become events in space and time as the concretization and fulfillment of Scripture. Thus, in the perception of those standing under the cross as well as of the reader, Scripture comes to pass.36 31

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33 34

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Zimmermann, “Jesus im Bild Gottes,” 89–93; and the overview in Klaus Scholtissek, “‘Die unauflösbare Schrift’ (Joh 10,35). Zur Auslegung und Theologie der Schrift Israels im Johannesevangelium,” in Johannesevangelium  – Mitte oder Rand des Kanons? Neue Standortbestimmungen, ed. Thomas Söding, QD 203 (Freiburg i.Br.: Herder, 2003), 146–77, 149–59. Andreas Obermann, Die christologische Erfüllung der Schrift im Johannesevangelium. Eine Untersuchung zur johanneischen Hermeneutik anhand der Schriftzitate, WUNT II/83 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1996), 282–97, esp. 292. Obermann states that Scripture is not quoted as a support for the narrated events, but that it is so much integrated into the action that it becomes part of the action itself, which then leads to the perception that the events are narrated twice (296). Klauck, “Geschrieben, erfüllt, vollendet,” 155–57. See the reference texts and the evangelist’s redaction in Maarten J. J. Menken, “‘Not a Bone of Him Shall Be Broken’ (John 19:36),” in Old Testament Quotations in the Fourth Gospel: Studies in Textual Form, ed. Maarten J. J. Menken, CBET 15 (Kampen:  Pharos, 1996), 147–66; Maarten J. J. Menken, “‘They Shall Look on Him Whom They Have Pierced’ (John 19:37),” in Old Testament Quotations in the Fourth Gospel: Studies in Textual Form, ed. Maarten J. J. Menken, CBET 15 (Kampen: Pharos, 1996), 167–85. Chennattu (“Scripture,” 175) writes, “The source of the citation in John 19:36 … can be either Exod 12:46 … or Ps 34:20. … If the evangelist had Exod 12:46 in mind, then Jesus in his death is being depicted as God’s Passover lamb, who achieved the definitive redemption of the second exodus. On the other hand, if John had Ps 34:20 in mind, Jesus is presented as the one who fulfills the mission of the righteous one of the Psalms who brings about salvation by his death.” Obermann, Christologische Erfüllung der Schrift, 324.

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The scriptural quotations in the second half of the FG (12:38, 13:18, 15:25, 17:12, 19:24, and 19:36) are explicitly marked as words of fulfillment by the recurring formula ἵνα … πληρωθῇ and characterize individual events and aspects of Jesus’s suffering as being in accordance with Scripture. The formula speaks of the fulfillment of Scripture in the events described in John 19:24 and 19:36 and is taken up in John 19:37 by πάλιν.37 It connects the foretelling of the events in—or even their predetermination by— Scripture with their fulfillment as reported in the Johannine narrative. Through the interweaving of narrated events and Scripture quotations, the FG states the fulfilment of Scripture and carries this fulfillment out by describing the events in accordance with the Scriptures. Hence, the scriptural promises are fulfilled in or through the Johannine narrative.38 One of the functions of the fulfillment quotations in the FG is thus to give testimony of Christ39 in that the narrated action is authenticated and at the same time legitimized by references to Scripture.40 This argument can be taken one step further in stressing the predetermination of the events by Scripture, for what happened according to the FG in order that Scripture was fulfilled had to happen in exactly the way it was written and later narrated in the Gospel. This, however, can be interpreted to imply that the Scripture quotations indicate instances where fictitious elements are inserted into the historiographical narrative, the authenticity of which is based solely on the fact that they are in agreement with the testimony of Scripture. This interpretation assumes that the FG uses Scripture quotations not only to authenticate reported events or aspects but also to introduce fictitious elements or events into the factual presentation, solely on the basis of references to the Scriptures to construct historical events.41 So, for example, it can be stated in relation to the narrative of the purification of the Temple that “Jesus, John believed, must have driven out sheep and oxen also because Scripture foretold that he would”42 and was therefore “confident that it must have happened this way because so it was foretold in Scripture.”43 The same would then apply to the depiction of Jesus’s 37 38

39

40 41

42 43

Ibid., 71–77. Stefan Koch, “Αἱ μαρτυροῦσαι περὶ ἐμοῦ (Joh 5,39), Zur Funktion der Psalterzitate im Vierten Evangelium,” in The Death of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel, ed. Gilbert van Belle, BETL 200 (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2007), 421–29, esp. 428 where he clarifies, “dass seine Darstellung insgesamt—an den Zitatstellen wird es pars pro toto deutlich—ihrerseits ebenfalls Erfüllungscharakter hat. Man strapaziert den Zusammenhang von γραφείν und γραφή, kaum zu stark, wenn man einen Bezug herstellt vom γεγραμμε, non der jeweiligen Zitateinleitung der Psalmenzitation im Joh zum γέγραπται in Joh 20,31, der Funktionsbestimmung des Joh am Ende des Buches.” Wolfgang Kraus, “Die Vollendung der Schrift nach Joh 19,28. Überlegungen zum Umgang mit der Schrift im Johannesevangelium,” in The Scriptures in the Gospels, ed. Christopher M. Tuckett, BETL 131 (Leuven:  Leuven University Press, 1997), 629–36, esp. 630. Using Scripture as a testimony of Christ also means that the reference to Scripture is always Christologically oriented. The accent can be on the person (1:51, 2:17 [7:38, 7:42], 12:13, 12:15, 12:27), then on the teaching and action of Jesus (6:31, 6:45, 10:34), and finally on his destiny (12:38; 13:18; 15:25; 19:24, 28; 19:36; 19:37). Obermann, Christologische Erfüllung der Schrift, 218–330. Hanson, “John’s Use of Scripture,” 367–70; Anthony T. Hanson, The Prophetic Gospel: A Study of John and the Old Testament (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1991), 242–45. Hanson, “John’s Use of Scripture,” 368. Ibid., 369. Hanson writes, “At 18.6 those who would arrest him fall to the ground. I have suggested that John has invented this incident on the basis of Pss. 56.10 and 109.6. It was appropriate that it should happen. Scripture has encouraged him to believe that it did, so it goes into his narrative. Then at 19.17 it looks as if John has ignored the part of Simon of Cyrene and has deliberately represented

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death where all three reported actions of the soldiers verified by Scripture would then have to be evaluated as fictitious from a historical perspective. With respect to the evangelist, Anthony Hanson states, As he read his Bible [John] was struck by the appropriateness of certain passages to his own understanding of Jesus, and therefore saw in them divinely inspired information about the messiah. He even believed that sometimes Scripture provided information about events in Jesus’ career for which there was no other evidence, as for example the guards in the garden falling to the ground, or Nicodemus bringing enough myrrh and aloes for a king’s burial. He was therefore emboldened to include in his Gospel teaching and incidents drawn wholly from Scripture.44

With a view to John 19:24, this means that through the formulation ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ [ἡ λέγουσα] the Scripture quotation is not only included with the purpose of serving as an explanation or authentication of the soldiers’ action but rather as a justification for the idea that the episode had to happen in exactly this way or at least had to be presented in this way by the evangelist within his factual representation of the events. Verse 24 implies that Scripture does not only function as interpretation of Jesus’s suffering but has to be reckoned with as the effective word of God that predetermines the course of events and causes events to become “reality.” In vv. 36–37, it is once again through the reference to Scripture that the narrative presents the narrated event as determined to come to pass. Through the Scripture references, the narrated events are thus constructed as authentic whereby the factual text presents them as real historical events. Consequently, a discrepancy has to be noted: While the narrative strategy of using Scripture quotations for the authentication of the narrative is effectively applied in the FG, this strategy of authentication is at the same time counteracted, as it arouses suspicion in the reader. Did the narrated events authenticated by the authority of Scripture really happen? Or did they only have to be narrated in order to portray Scripture as being fulfilled in the Christ event? Does the Gospel go beyond the mere claim of telling past events by creating or constructing a new authoritative narrative, a new γραφή?

44

Jesus as carrying his own cross because in Isa. 53.11 it was prophesied that the Servant of the Lord, whom John identified with Jesus, should bear the sins of many. At Jesus’s burial (19.39) John represents Nicodemus as providing a vast quantity of myrrh and aloes because he wishes to give Jesus a burial worthy of a king, as depicted in various passages in Scripture, such as Song 4.14–15; Ps. 45.9; 2 Chron. 16.14; Isa 11.10. And finally, the movement of Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb when she encounters the risen Lord in 20.14–18 seem to have been determined by Song 5.5–6 and 3.4 rather than by any historical tradition known to John. The fact that Mary Magdalene was one of the witnesses of the risen Lord was no doubt part of John’s historical tradition; but because he believed that Scripture had foretold how Mary should encounter the risen Jesus, he felt justified in basing his narrative on Scripture rather than on historical tradition.” Ibid., 371–72. Hanson writes, “The Johannine Evangelist is aware that his picture of Jesus is different from that presented in the earlier tradition. But he goes beyond that tradition in part at least because he believes that Scripture authorizes him to do so. Thus Scripture, far from being used merely as illustrative material in his work, is part of its very woof and warp.”

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4. The Fourth Gospel as Γραφή The Johannine text itself states the claim to be considered as γραφή. In John 19:28, the threefold use of τελειόω suggests that Scripture is not (only) “fulfilled” with the central event of Jesus’s story, his death on the cross, but rather “completed” and in describing this and effecting it, the Johannine narrative moves into the rank of γραφή.45 For the use of γέγραπται in John 20:31, a term usually referring to Scripture, but here referring to the Gospel, implies that the latter becomes at least equal—if not superior—to the Scriptures as γραφή.46 However, in John 10:35 the lasting validity of Scripture is stated (οὐ δύναται λυθῆναι ἡ γραφή),47 and throughout the narrative Scripture continues to be invoked as authority. Scripture continues to carry high authority—alongside the Gospel.48 Hence Scripture quotations are used to establish a new authority, the authority of the Johannine narrative as an authentic account of history. It has been established that Scripture references in the FG are sometimes used as free paraphrases (e.g., 7:42, 8:17, 12:34). Others are received from the LXX but revised or adapted according to the concern of the Gospel text (e.g., 1:23; 2:17; 6:31, 45; 7:38; 12:15; 15:25; 19:36). Some text references relate to the Masoretic text (e.g., 12:40, 13:18) or possibly to a text version deviating from the LXX.49 These findings indicate two ways the evangelist deals with the Scriptures. On the one hand, they continue to offer statements that are adopted unchanged and can support the argumentation

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Kraus, “Vollendung der Schrift,” 632–33, esp.  633. See also Chennattu, “Scripture,” 179–80, who writes, “The references to the fulfillment of the Scripture made in the context of the death of Jesus follow a chiastic structure in 19:24–36. In order to express the idea of fulfillment, the evangelist uses three verbs:  ‘to fulfill’ (plēroō), ‘to bring to its perfection’ (teleioō), and ‘to bring to its end or Completion’ (teleō). … As the above illustration shows, we have the following sequence of verbs:  ‘fulfill’ (plēroō) (v. 24), ‘complete/bring to perfection’ (teleō) (v. 28a), ‘complete/bring to perfection’ (teleioō) (v. 28b), ‘complete/bring to perfection’ (teleō) (v. 30), and ‘to fulfill’ (plēroō) (v. 36). This sequence places the verb to complete/bring to perfection’ (teleioō) at the center of the chiastic structure (ABCB1A1), highlighting the fact that every minute detail of Jesus’s death is performed in order to fulfill or bring to perfection (teleioō) what is foretold about the messiah in the Scripture (19:24–36).” Kraus, “Vollendung der Schrift,” 634; Francis J. Moloney, “The Gospel of John as Scripture,” in The Gospel of John: Texts and Contexts, ed. Francis J. Moloney, BibInt 72 (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 333–347; Francis J. Moloney, “The Gospel of John: The ‘End’ of Scripture,” in Johannine Studies 1975–2017, ed. Francis J. Moloney, WUNT 372 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017), 155–67. Obermann, Christologische Erfüllung der Schrift, 41–42; Michael Theobald, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, Kapitel 1–12, RNT (Regensburg: Pustet, 2009), 700. Zimmermann (“Jesus im Bild,” 92)  refers to John 2:22 and 10:35 when suggesting that LXX and the new Scripture, the Gospel, are both authoritative. Note also the notion of a simultaneity of recognition and outbidding of Scripture in Jean Zumstein, “Die Schriftrezeption in der Brotrede (Joh 6),” in Israel und seine Heilstraditionen im vierten Evangelium, ed. Michael Labahn, Klaus Scholtissek, and Angelika Strotmann (Paderborn:  Schöningh, 2003), 123–39, esp.  139; Klaus Scholtissek, “‘Geschrieben in diesem Buch’ (Joh 20,30)  – Beobachtungen zum kanonischen Anspruch des Johannesevangeliums,” in The Gospels and the Scriptures of lsrael, ed. Craig A. Evans and W. Richard Stegner, JSNTSup 104 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994), 207–26. Scholtissek states that the FG “[sich] in die Kontinuität und Autorität der Schrift bzw. Schriften Israels stellt und eine ihnen gleichwertige Verlässlichkeit und Verbindlichkeit in Anspruch nimmt” (222). Menken, Old Testament Quotations; Maarten J. J. Menken, “Observations on the Significance of the Old Testament in the Fourth Gospel,” Neot 33 (1999): 125–43.

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of the Gospel, whereby Scripture continues to be perceived as authoritative.50 On the other hand, it can be stated that the FG as a whole shows a free handling of Scripture by eclectically removing it from its original context (e.g., John 10:34), combining it with other quotations (e.g., John 12:15, 15:25) and shortening or supplementing it according to his argumentative needs (e.g., John 3:14).51 Here too Scripture is claimed as authoritative. It is indissoluble, but it must—in the post-Easter perspective52—be interpreted correctly.53 At the same time, it has been stated in recent research that when the FG was written there was no fixed canon of Jewish writings and that not only different translations but also different versions of each translation circulated. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that a quotation that is considered “free” or “incorrect” according to today’s perception simply originated from another text tradition, nor that the first recipients considered every Scripture quotation presented by a corresponding formula as an authoritative reference. Nevertheless, there was, of course, a certain corpus of writings that belonged to the Scriptures, “a generally accepted body of sacred literature that was considered by Jews to be uniquely authoritative, ancient in origin, and binding on the community for doctrine and practice.”54 An argumentation supported by the Scriptures was thus possible, but the question which text was referred to as well as any notion of John’s handling of the source text seems problematic. And yet, what seems clear from the Johannine text is that in the FG Scripture is on the one hand recognized as authority, but on the other hand the Gospel narrative itself claims an authority equal to that of γραφή. That this claim was already perceived and accepted at a very early stage is shown by observations concerning 1 John. Maarten Menken’s observation is noteworthy. The authority of the Scriptures is obvious not only from the explicit statements in John 1,45 and 5,39, but also from the quotations from and allusions to the Scriptures found throughout the Gospel. In the First Letter, it is the Gospel of John that testifies to Jesus, and it can do so because God himself has testified in the history of Jesus. The authority of the Scriptures has not disappeared in the First Letter (see, e.g., 3,12), but the Scriptures do not explicitly function as a witness on behalf of Jesus; John’s Gospel instead does. One could say that 1 John relates to John’s Gospel as John’s Gospel relates to the Scriptures. In the First Letter, the

50

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Maarten J.  J. Menken, “The Use of the Septuagint in Three Quotations in John:  Jn 10,34; 12,38; 19,24,” in The Scriptures in the Gospels, ed. Christopher M. Tuckett, BETL 131 (Leuven:  Leuven University Press, 1997), 367–93, esp. 393. Zimmermann, “Jesus im Bild Gottes,” 86–87. See Obermann, Christologische Erfüllung der Schrift, 390–408; Jean Zumstein, “Erinnerung und Oster-Relecture im Johannesevangelium,” in Kreative Erinnerung. Relecture und Auslegung im Johannesevangelium, ed. Jean Zumstein (Zürich:  Theologischer Verlag, 1999), 46–61; Francis J. Moloney, “‘For as Yet They Did Not Know the Scripture’ (John 20:9): A Study in Narrative Time,” in Johannine Studies 1975–2017, ed. Francis J. Moloney, WUNT 372 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017), 505–19. Cf. Scholtissek, “Die unauflösbare Schrift,” 171–77. Sidnie W. Crawford, Rewriting Scripture in Second Temple Times (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2008), 112.

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Gospel has an authority that is comparable to the authority of the Scriptures in the Gospel.55

His observation shows that “1 John confirms that John’s Gospel was written with the claim to become Scripture, and implicitly treats it as if it is Scripture.”56

5. Conclusion Scripture functions in the FG as an authoritative text that is quoted in order to authenticate the narrative and to explicitly state the fulfillment of Scripture in the narrated events. At the same time, the use of Scripture within the Gospel narrative at least allows for the interpretation that the narrative events are staged in accordance with Scripture and are hence constructed solely on the basis of Scripture quotations that the evangelist wants to see fulfilled in the events he narrates. Thus, the authentication strategy of using Scripture quotations is on the one hand effectively used in the FG and on the other hand it is at least strongly questioned or even counteracted.57 But in both ways, the FG acknowledges the authority of Scripture and expresses the decided claim to be perceived as authoritative Scripture and to be providing an authentic account of the historical events.

55

56 57

Maarten J. J. Menken, “‘Three That testify’ and ‘The Testimony of God’ in 1 John 5:6–12,” in Studies in the Gospel of John and Its Christology: In Honor of Gilbert van Belle, ed. Joseph Verheyden et al., BETL 265 (Leuven:  Leuven University Press, 2014), 595–613, here 612. See also J. M. Court, “Tracing Scriptural Authority,” in The Scriptures of Israel in Jewish and Christian Tradition:  In Honor of Maarten J. J. Menken, ed. Bart J. Koet, Steve Moyise and Joseph Verheyden, NovTSup 148 (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 253–63. Menken, “Three that Testify,” 613. For the literary strategies and counterstrategies used in the FG with a view to the authentication of the narrative, see Luther, Die Authentifizierung der Vergangenheit.

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10

Jesus and Moses in John Jan Roskovec

1. Moses in John The figure of Moses is by no means neglected in the New Testament writings.1 This, of course, does not surprise. Moses is a figure of special importance and authority in Jewish religious tradition and theology, and hence it was only natural that he became an issue when Christians pondered about the supreme authority they had found in Jesus and argued about it with their Jewish fellows. The central role of Moses in early Judaism has two basic expressions. In the first place, Moses represents the Law, that is, both the core part of the Jewish Scriptures and the main organizing principle of Jewish religion.2 This characteristic of Judaism certainly gained its overwhelming importance after the catastrophic end of the Jewish war in 70 CE, but this development by no means brought about something entirely new.3 At the same time, the figure of Moses represented also a formative element in one strand of the eschatological-soteriological concept(s). The expectation of an eschatological prophet, which is markedly reflected also in the Gospel tradition,4 was mainly based on the scriptural promise, formulated as the words of Moses:  “The Lord your God will raise up to you a prophet like me from your midst and of your brethren,” who would be a mediator of the Lord’s speech

1

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Although Moses is not explicitly mentioned in every New Testament writing, there are eightyone references to Μωϋσῆς spread throughout the Synoptic Gospels, Acts, Pauline and Johannine writings, Hebrews, and Revelation. Philo of Alexandria characterized Moses for his learned pagan readers as the “legislator of the Jews” (νομοθέτης τῶν Ἰουδαίων), the “interpreter of the holy laws,” and “in every respect the greatest and most accomplished man” (ἀνὴρ τὰ πάντα μεγίστος καὶ τελειότατος) (Mos. 1:1). See Dieter Sänger, “‘Von mir hat er geschrieben’ (Joh 5:46). Zur Funktion und Bedeutung Mose im Neuen Testament,” in Von der Bestimmtheit des Anfangs. Studien zu Jesus, Paulus und zum frühchristlichen Schriftverständnis (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 2007), 91. When Paul in Rom 2:17–23 presents the Law as the first and foremost “identity mark” of “a Jew” (ἐπαναπαύῃ νόμῳ … ὃς ἐν νόμῳ καυχᾶσαι), it may be a tendentious simplification but hardly a misconception. While the Pharisaic movement quickly became the main integrating force in Judaism after 70 CE, it had already been an influential and established part of Judaism well before then. See the helpful survey in Ferdinand Hahn, Christologische Hoheitstitel. Ihre Geschichte Im Frühen Christentum (Göttingen:  Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1995), 351–404. For a more recent treatment, focused on the figure of Moses, see Brant James Pitre, Jesus and the Last Supper (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015), 53–56.

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(Deut 18:15–18).5 However distinct these two traditions about the “constitutional” and “eschatological” roles of Moses are, it is also not difficult to see that the characteristic of Moses as the agent of the word of God is common to both. This emphasis connects the references to Moses in both roles as they appear in the Fourth Gospel. The Gospel of John differs in many respects from the Synoptics. It has its own Christological agenda, or, more precisely, its particular literary method of presenting— in John’s terms, witnessing (μαρτυρεῖν)—a Christology that shares its main emphases with the rest of the New Testament. The figure of Moses is part of this Christological program of John. His special interest in Moses is quite obvious, not only from a relatively high number of explicit references6 but, more importantly, from the character of these references. As we will see, they occur in the passages of major Christological significance within the Gospel. In this study, we will leave out the questions about possible traditions and developments behind this concept7 and will concentrate on the function that the “Mosaic” motives have in the Johannine portrayal of Jesus—be it original or already taken over. Even so, this study can neither aspire at providing a full and in-depth treatment of the matter nor at pondering and scrutinizing the conclusions of those who have already paid it wide and careful attention.8 The main intention of the following investigation is to grasp a particular line of thought within Johannine theology, namely to draw an outline of one particular feature of its portrayal of Jesus. We will start with a key passage that does not contain any direct reference to Moses. 5

6

7

8

This is explicitly referred to in the Christological speeches in Acts 3:22 and 7:37. Still another concept of an eschatological prophet-like figure was based on Mal 3:1, 23–24 (MT), where the promised “messenger,” sent to “prepare the way” of the coming God, is later described as “the prophet Elijah.” This tradition is reflected broadly in the New Testament. See Markus Öhler, Elia im Neuen Testament. Untersuchungen zur Bedeutung des alttestamentlichen Propheten im frühen Christentum, BZNW 88 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1997). In John, both these concepts are mentioned separately in the episode about the interrogation of the Baptist (1:21–25). There are twelve altogether, which is more than in the Pauline corpus (where there are ten) or in each of the three other Gospels. An important contribution to this problem from the perspective of tradition criticism is still Wayne A. Meeks, The Prophet-King: Moses Traditions and the Johannine Christology, NovTSup 14 (Leiden: Brill, 1967). He shows that a specifically Johannine concept of Jesus’s rule, alternative to the Davidic messiahship, may have been inspired by the concept of a “prophet-king,” developed around the figure of Moses in early Jewish and Samaritan sources. It is, of course, also possible to ponder whether some sort of identification with the eschatological “prophet like Moses” was not part of Jesus’s own self-understanding. This is proposed, e.g., by Pitre in Jesus and the Last Supper. See Thomas Francis Glasson, Moses in the Fourth Gospel (London: SCM Press, 1963); Marie-Émile Boismard, Moses or Jesus: An Essay in Johannine Christology, trans. Benedict Thomas Viviano, BETL 84A (Leuven:  Peeters, 1993); Stan Harstine, Moses as a Character in the Fourth Gospel: A Study of Ancient Reading Techniques, JSNTSup 229 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002); John Lierman, The New Testament Moses: Christian Perceptions of Moses and Israel in the Setting of Jewish Religion, WUNT 2/173 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2004); Andreas Lindemann, “Mose und Jesus Christus. Zum Verständnis des Gesetzes im Johannesevangelium,” in Das Urchristentum in seiner literarischen Geschichte. Festschrift für Jürgen Becker zum 65. Geburtstag, ed. Ulrich Mell and Ulrich B. Müller (Berlin:  De Gruyter, 1999), 309–34; Stefan Schapdick, “Religious Authority Re-Evaluated:  The Character of Moses in the Fourth Gospel,” in Moses in Biblical and Extra-Biblical Traditions, ed. Axel Graupner and Michael Wolter, BZAW 372 (Berlin:  De Gruyter, 2007), 181–209; Carsten Claussen, “Die Gestsalt des Mose im Johannesevangelium,” in Mosebilder: Gedanken Zur Rezeption Einer Literarischen Figur Im Fruhjudentum, Fruhen Christentum Und Der Romisch-hellenistischen Literatur, ed. Erik Eynikel et al., WUNT 390 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017), 189–210.

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2. How to Judge Jesus? Pilate, the Jews, and the Law (John 18:29–32) Like the Synoptics, John also presents Jesus’s last stay in Jerusalem, during which he was arrested and eventually executed on a cross, as the climax of his whole story. John’s version of the proceedings after the arrest of Jesus is somehow less complicated. Instead of the two trials (the first one before the Sanhedrin),9 he relates just to the one before Pilate. This was, according to John, the process of Jesus: He was tried and finally sentenced by the Roman prefect. It was, nonetheless, not without the participation of “the Jews.” John lets the trial unfold on two stages that take place outside and inside of Pilate’s praetorium (probably formerly Herod’s palace on the western hill of Jerusalem). The Jewish leaders, who have brought Jesus to Pilate, do not wish to enter Pilate’s house, “so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover” (John 18:28). They remain outside, whereas Jesus is taken into the house and Pilate is depicted as shuttling between “the Jews” outside and Jesus inside. With a touch of irony, it gradually turns out that Pilate, who boasts of his ἐξουσία (John 19:10), is in fact no more than a mediator. Not being able to carry out his own will (cf. John 19:8, 12), he becomes instrumental—at least on the surface level—to the will of “the Jews.” They came with a predetermined decision that Jesus must die (cf. John 11:53; 18:31; 19:6–7, 15) and Pilate eventually “hands Jesus over to them to be crucified” (John 19:16). This note of irony, more evident to the perceptive reader, actually permeates the whole scene, which is common in John. In the first encounter with “the Jews,” Pilate asks them about the charge and, after their rather evasive answer, they suggest that Jesus is to be judged by their (i.e., Mosaic) law (John 18:31). Pilate offers Jesus to them, but they refuse because they were “not permitted to put anyone to death.” This rather simple—and probably historically correct10—detail, carries an important message. The evangelist makes it partly explicit in the explanatory notice (v. 32). By pressing Pilate to execute their will, the Jews make sure that Jesus will die in the Roman way, by crucifixion and not by stoning. Technically then, his death will be an exaltation, a significant metaphor in the Johannine interpretation of Jesus’s death. It is an indication that another will come to its inevitable fulfillment through all these events, as already described in Jesus’s words. He talked earlier about being “lifted up” (John 3:14; 8:28; 12:32, 34), which was on the last occasion explained by the evangelist as a prediction of the manner of his death (John 12:33). This word is now going to be fulfilled (πληροῦσθαι: 18:32) in accordance with the scriptural predictions. The other part of the message remains implicit but not difficult to uncover. It is not just the final sentence and the manner of execution that matter here but also the 9

10

See Mark 14:53–65; 15:1–15 and parallels. According to John, the arrest of Jesus was followed by an interrogation before the “high priest” Annas (John 18:13–14, 19–24), the purpose of which probably was to collect the charges against Jesus that were to be brought before Pilate. See the detailed discussion in Raymond E. Brown, The Death of the Messiah. From Gethsemane to the Grave. A  Commentary on the Passion Narratives in the Four Gospels, ABRL (London:  G. Chapman, 1994), 1:363–72; see also Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003), 2:1107–10.

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trial itself. At its very beginning, it is made clear that Jesus will not be judged by the law of Moses. The Jewish accusers declare their reason, but it again coincides with a deeper meaning. In the preceding story of Jesus, now coming to its climax, repeated references were made to the law of Moses—or to the Scriptures in general.11 Scripture and Moses, as its foremost representative, are invoked by Jesus’s opponents but more frequently by Jesus himself or by the narrator (the evangelist) with the claim that, in the controversy with Jesus’s opponents, the Law actually bears witness in Jesus’s favor (cf. especially John 5:39–40, 45–47). When the controversy now grows to a real trial, Jesus is denied the justice according to the Law of Moses (cf. also John 7:51 where this was pointed out by Nicodemus). This means at the same time, however, that Jesus will not be judged by Moses. The reader may understand that the accusers actually concede to Pilate that they are not able to bring Moses against Jesus, although they mean their reply otherwise. Further development of the story will show that Moses remains a witness for Jesus. Although not executed according to the Law of Moses, Jesus will die according to that Law, not as its offender but as its fulfillment. This will be made explicit by the evangelist at the very moment of Jesus’s death. The remark in John 19:36–37 refers to Exod 12:10, 46; Ps 34:21 and Zech 12:10. So in fact not just the Law but all three main parts of the scriptural canon are represented as witnesses in agreement. This was foreseen already when Jesus’s death was mentioned for the first time in the Fourth Gospel when it was joined with the metaphor of “lifting up.”

3. Like the Serpent in the Desert (John 3:12–16) The metaphor of exaltation (ὑψόω) was probably one of the first expressions used by the early Christians to capture the meaning of the “Easter event.” It is the key term of the old Christological hymn quoted by Paul (Phil 2:9) and of the Lucan feature use of the primitive apostolic preaching (cf. Acts 2:33, 5:31).12 In a rather provocative manner, John redefines this term by using it as an “indication of the manner” of Jesus’s death (John 12:33, σημαίνων ποίῳ θανάτῳ ἤμελλεν ἀποθνῄσκειν). The evangelist probably did not intend just to flatten the Christological term by degrading it to a mere “technical” description since “lifting up” still means “exalting” for him. He wants to point out to the reader that not only in resurrection, not only after the cross, but already on it, Jesus was “exalted.” But how should this be understood apart from a mere paradox?

11

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John 1:45; 2:17, 22; 5:39–40, 45–47; 6:31, 45; 7:19–23, 38, 42, 51; 8:17; 9:29; 10:34–35; 12:14–16, 34; 13:18; 15:25; 17:12. See, e.g., Petr Pokorný, Die Entstehung der Christologie. Voraussetzungen einer Theologie des Neuen Testaments (Berlin:  EVA, 1985), 128–30; Martin Hengel, “Psalm 110 und die Erhöhung des Auferstandenen zur Rechten Gottes,” in Anfänge der Christologie (FS F.  Hahn), ed. Cilliers Breytenbach and Henning Paulsen (Göttingen:  Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1991), 43–74. On the hymn in Philippians, see especially Ralph P. Martin and Brian J. Dodd, Where Christology Began: Essays on Philippians 2 (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998).

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This is explained when the motif is first used. It is its use at the climax of the passage that serves as a hermeneutic key to the whole theological concept of the Gospel, namely the dialogue of Jesus with Nicodemus in John 3. It is the first of Jesus’s speeches that contains characteristically a Johannine feature that, corresponding to the description of Jesus as the incarnate divine Logos (John 1:14), is John’s special device for presenting Christology. The theme of the speech—at first a dialogue—is set by Jesus’s correction of Nicodemus’ opening statement. Nicodemus, a Pharisee and perhaps a member of Jerusalem aristocracy (ἄρχων τῶν Ἰουδαίων), comes to Jesus with the pronouncement (or confession?), “we know who you are” (John 3:2: ῥαββί, οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀπὸ θεοῦ ἐλήλυθας διδάσκαλος). Such an opening statement might have been meant as a polite expression of respect, but at the same time it draws attention to the issue of high importance for the whole story of the Gospel, which is the question of Jesus’s identity. Nicodemus also points to Jesus’s “signs,” which are an important device for uncovering the true identity of Jesus. To the statement concerning his identity, Jesus reacts by talking about “how it is possible to see the kingdom of God” (v. 3: ἐὰν μή τις γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν, οὐ δύναται ἰδεῖν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, “no one can see the kingdom of God without being born anew/ from above”). This “correction” probably should not be understood as a change of topic but really as a correction since there is a connection between knowing the identity of Jesus and “seeing” (or “entering,” v. 5) the “kingdom of God.” We may note that this is the only place where John uses the traditional concept of βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ, which in the Synoptic Gospels and in Paul describes the summary or goal of Jesus’s mission. In this opening passage, it functions as a bridge to those traditions. The steps of the following dialogue are marked by Nicodemus’s repeated question, “how is this possible?” (πῶς δύναται, vv. 4, 9). It emerges that there are different levels of “possibility.” There is the “earthly level,” but it is itself quite understandably preconditioned on the “heavenly level.” These are the terms that John has Jesus use (v. 12: τὰ ἐπίγεια, τὰ ἐπουράνια). Together with the idea of “ascending/descending” (v. 13), they have wide associations in the religious and philosophical language of antiquity, including Hermetism13 and Jewish mysticism as expressed especially in the traditions of Enoch.14 John, however, uses this imagery in a “subversive” way, which is quite characteristic of his approach. The distinction between the “earthly things” and “heavenly things” most probably concerns the two parts of Jesus’s speech before and after this pronouncement in v. 12. Indeed, in the following sentence (v. 13), Jesus does mention “heaven” only to reject clearly the idea that it would be accessible by any sort of ascent. There is, thus, none who would have “gone up to heaven.” This, of course, contradicts the traditions, even biblical ones, about those exceptional figures who were thought to have been taken up 13

14

This was shown already by C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953), 307. 1 En. 14:18–20; 71:5–10; 2 En. 20:3A; 3 En. 1; T.Levi 5; cf. Rev 4:2; Isa 6:1; Ezek 1:22–28; Dan 7:9. See Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary. Vol. 1, 1st ed. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003), 1:560, n. 258.

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to heaven.15 Nevertheless, it is quite plain in the assertion that the “heavenly things” cannot be acquired through any kind of—perhaps mystical—upward movement. The “heavenly things” according to the Johannine Jesus consist solely in the movement downward from heaven, in the descent of the Son of Man. This is the “heavenly” narrative represented in the following part of the Gospel, which does, however, include an upward movement, a “lifting up” of the Son of Man. But this is an “exaltation” in the manner of the serpent being “lifted up in the desert” by Moses (John 3:14–15). The reference is to the rather mysterious story from Num 21:6–11 where the rebellious people of Israel who “spoke against God and against Moses” on their way from Egypt were punished by inflictions from the bites of poisonous serpents. When the people confessed their sins and made Moses pray to God, they were offered a peculiar rescue. The serpents were not removed from them as they asked, but Moses was commanded by God to make a bronze image of a serpent and put it “on a pole.” “Whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live” (Num 21:9). Considering the quite perplexing character of this story, it is no wonder that its effectual history (Wirkungsgeschichte) is not very abundant. The references to it are mostly attempts to explain some of its details16 and particularly to quench the suspicion that it promotes idolatry.17 Why did John (or his source)18 choose such an obscure passage for interpreting Jesus’s death, which was a core topic in early Christian thought? The reason may be the special soteriological model supplied by this story. In it, quite uniquely, the help is brought about by a depiction of the peril. The image of a serpent, created and “lifted up” according to the instruction of God, provides a cure of the deadly bites of the serpents sent by God to punish the people of Israel. This paradoxical model of salvation enables John to grasp the meaning of Jesus’s crucifixion in an original way, emphasizing the surface, “historical” value of that dreadful event. Historically, the execution of Jesus was in all probability a deed of distorted justice.19 At the very least, this was the opinion of his adherents, including both the author and the readers of the Fourth Gospel. We may guess that it was the perception of 15

16

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In the Bible, the brief note about Enoch (Gen 5:24) may be—and was—understood in this way. More explicit is the tale about Elijah (2 Kgs 2:1–11). Both of these figures are connected with heaven in later literature. Paul Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch, 2.  Band:  Das Evangelium nach Markus, Lukas und Johannes und die Apostelgeschichte (München:  Beck, 1924), 425–26. This tendency is recorded already in 2 Kgs 18:4. The effort for “non-idolatrous” interpretation is particularly noticeable in the Christian tradition, where it was harder to neglect the passage, because it was used by John. Cf. Barn. 12:5–7; Justin Martyr, Dial. 91. For more detail, see Jörg Frey, “‘Wie Mose die Schlange in der Wüste erhöht hat …’ Zur frühchristlichen Deutung der ‘ehernen Schlange’ unter ihrer christologischen Rezeption in Johannes 3,14,” in Schriftauslegung im antiken Judentum und im Urchristentum, ed. Martin Hengel and Hermut Löhr, WUNT 73 (Tübingen:  J.C.B. Mohr, 1994), 153–205. There are no reasons to suppose that the reference goes back to Jesus himself. This speech, as all others in the Fourth Gospel, is a theological composition of the evangelist. It is certainly beyond the scope of the present study to discuss this matter, but we can refer to a careful treatment of the issues related to Jesus’s process in Brown, Death of the Messiah, 328–97, esp. 383–86.

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Jesus’s crucifixion as essentially unjust that originally linked it with the issue of sin. By punishing an innocent person, the issue of guilt is turned over. When someone is exposed to injustice, the guilt that is absent on the side of the condemned appears on the other side. Already on this surface level, it can be said that Jesus “died for” (i.e., because of) the sins of others. His cross may be perceived as a reflection of their guilt. This perspective is extended by the event of the resurrection, which is from early on interpreted as the “exaltation” of Jesus. In this light, the execution of Jesus came to be understood as a demonstration of love to all those “others” who might be deemed guilty, directly or indirectly, for Jesus’s death—a love by which this guilt was overcome.20 In the perspective of John, this was the very work of God himself through his revealed manifestation of “glory.” The Johannine Jesus legitimizes his claim to have the closest relation to God as “the Father” by referring to the “deeds” (ἔργα) that he does, which should be credited to the work of God,21 fulfilling and thus revealing his “will” (θέλημα: John 5:30; 6:38–40). These “deeds” are Jesus’s miracles, which are presented in a series of “signs” (σημεῖα), pointing to the last and decisive “deed” that “completes” (τελειόω) the will of God, namely Jesus’s death on the cross (John 17:4, 19:28), which is the supreme act of love (John 13:1). In this sense, the cross may indeed be perceived as “exaltation” in the strictest sense.22 These are the “heavenly things.” Possibly, there may have been still another reason why John chose that peculiar Scripture passage as a matrix for his interpretation of the cross. The perspective of that passage makes it possible to perceive Jesus’s crucifixion as an event that took place “according to Moses.” The story about the bronze serpent does come from the Torah. Already this “forward” reference to Jesus’s crucifixion points in the same direction as the “backward” reflection of the accomplished event in John 19:36–37. Jesus will die “according to the Law.” In this case, however, the reference is made not to a legal text but to a narrative. This makes it clear that it is not only what Moses writes about Jesus but also what Moses does. What kind of relationship does the Fourth Evangelist present between Moses and Jesus? The way the scriptural text is used and interpreted here is clearly typological. But the typological relationship is not asserted between Moses and Jesus. The “prototype” of Jesus is not Moses but the serpent. For John, Jesus is not a “new Moses” as is probably the case in Matthew.23 In the story of Num 21, the bronze serpent is the means of delivery, provided by Moses according to the direct instruction of God himself. Moses is just a provider or a mediator. In John’s typology, Jesus is related to the saving image as the effective means of salvation, not to its assistant. These observations take us further back in the Gospel to a programmatic statement at its very beginning.

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This interpretation of Paul (Rom 5:6–11) has its counterpart in the saying of the Johannine Jesus about the supreme love of friends (John 15:12–17). John 4:34; 5:36; 7:21; 9:3–4; 10:25, 32, 37–38; 14:10–12; 15:24; 17:4. John is very consistent in this understanding of the relationship between the resurrection and crucifixion. This is apparent also from his description of the risen Jesus. Only in the Fourth Gospel is the resurrected Jesus, who still bears his crucifixion wounds, depicted as moving through a locked door (John 20:19–20). For John, resurrection does not remove the reality of the cross. Dale C. Allison, The New Moses: A Matthean Typology (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1993).

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4. Grace and Truth (John 1:17) The very first time that Jesus’s name appears in the Fourth Gospel, it is in close connection with Moses. It occurs in the third part of the prologue, a hymnic overture, which in three gradually focusing movements “preludes” the narrative of the Gospel.24 Its third part (John 1:14–18) presents an existentially engaged, confessional, view of the story of Jesus. The language of this confession is clearly reminiscent of the atmosphere of Exodus, which is the core salvation history of the Old Testament. The sojourn of the incarnate Word in the world is described as “tenting with us” (ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν). The encounter with it is characterized as “seeing his glory” (ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτου).25 And its existence is designated as “fullness of grace and truth” (πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας). The collocation “grace and truth” appears a little later (v. 17)  in a parallelism mentioning “Jesus Christ” together with Moses (“the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth occurred through Jesus Christ”). The problem of interpreting this statement is that the parallelism is not clear. Is it synthetic or antithetical? In other words, respectively does it convey analogy or contrast? It certainly has nothing to do with the opposition between the Law and grace in the Pauline sense. The phrase “grace and truth” has to be taken together as a hendiadys, a two-part expression of one thing. This is clearly confirmed by the singular of the verb (ἐγένετο). In all probability, it is a translation—independent of the Septuagint—of the Hebrew idiom ‫ חֶ סֶ ד ֶואֱמֶ ת‬that appears at several places in the Old Testament as a basic characteristic of God.26 Perhaps the most important of these occurrences is Exod 34:6, where the phrase is part of the “formula of grace,” which Moses “called out” when YHWH passed by him. This epiphany was part of the preparations for the renewed writing of the covenant. When “the Law” and “grace and truth” are put together in the Johannine phrase, we may quite safely suppose that its aim was to indicate their close correspondence. At the same time, however, it must be observed that the verbs in the respective parts of the parallelism are not synonymous.27 The latter one, ἐγένετο, may have the same force as it has in the introductory proclamation of this part of the prologue (v. 14, ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο). Indeed, it is probably meant as an allusion to this former phrase.

24

25 26 27

There is no clear consensus about the origin, structure, and function of the Johannine prologue. I do not see any convincing reason to deny its integral relationship to the rest of the Fourth Gospel. As for its structure, in addition to the clear break between vv. 13 and 14, a similar, though less apparent, change of mode can be observed between vv. 5 and 6.  This would result in a similar three-part structure. As for the function of the prologue with regard to the rest of the Gospel, I refer to Jean Zumstein, “Der Prolog, Schwelle zum vierten Evangelium,” in Kreative Erinnerung. Relecture und Auslegung im Johannesevangelium, AThANT 84 (Zürich: TVZ, 2004), 105–26. The term δόξα is a translation of the Hebrew ‫כבד‬, as is common throughout the Septuagint. 2 Sam 2:6, 15:10; Ps 25:10, 61:8, 85:11, 86:15, 89:15. This is somehow obscured in the English translations. As a rule, ἐγένετο is here translated as “came” or “have come.” The translation “was given” and “has come” does sound synonymous. However, the force of γίνομαι is rather “to come into being” or “to be made or performed.” For instance, the German translations read consistently “ist geworden.” I have attempted to capture the nuance by the somewhat clumsy “occurred.”

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The idiom ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια28 should be taken as a representation of God, analogous to the notion of Logos. The Law given “through Moses” represents the announcement of God’s will, while “the grace and the truth” realized “through Jesus Christ” represents the “fulfillment” of that will, and so it represents God himself. We may note that in fact all the metaphors used in the third part of the prologue are variant expressions or descriptions of the same reality of God’s “revelation,” so powerfully expressed in the first statement: “The Word became flesh.” They form a series of images describing the encounter with the presence of God who is “tenting among us” (which recalls God’s presence in the “tent of meeting” during the desert wandering of Exodus), “seeing the glory,” “receiving from the fullness,” and finally being provided the authorized “exegesis of God” by the one “who is in the bosom of the Father.” The “realization of the grace and truth” belongs to this series of images. This corresponds well with what we have observed before, which is that the relationship between Moses and Jesus in John is not one of typology. Moses belongs among the mediators or witnesses (often considered the greatest) who point to God. Jesus, however, is not a mediator; he is the very content of what God gives. The same “asymmetric” relationship may be observed in two other passages where Moses is mentioned.

5. Whose Word? (John 5) At the end of his speech following the healing of a paralytic in Jerusalem, Jesus refers to Moses as the accuser of his Jewish opponents. The disputed matter is the observance of Sabbath that was apparently breached by Jesus, who healed a lame man and then commanding him to work by carrying his mat. At the beginning of this passage, Moses and Jesus seem to stand in an open controversy. This is how John arranges the outcome of the healing miracle that has important features in common with the story in Mark 2:1–12. The core action that brings about the healing is Jesus’s word in the form of a command: “Stand up, take your mat and walk” (John 5:7). The paralytic is healed by obeying the instruction of Jesus. In an immediate reaction, however, he is confronted with another directive from an opposite direction: “It is the Sabbath; it is not allowed for you to carry your mat” (John 5:10). Although the precise wording of this ban may refer to Jer 17:21, it is clear that the formulation of the prophet prohibiting one to carry burdens on the Sabbath day is a restatement of the commandment of the Decalogue to keep the Sabbath rest.29 The other directive, of which the healed man is reminded by “the Jews,” refers to the word of Moses. The contradiction of the two commands is hard to reconcile. On the one hand he is commanded, “take your mat,” yet on the other, he is commanded, “you are not allowed to carry your mat.” The word of Moses is invoked against the word of Jesus.

28

29

The definite articles ἡ with both parts of the idiom may refer to its appearance in v. 14, where it characterizes the existence of the incarnate Logos as “full of grace and truth” (πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας). Exod 20:8–11; Deut 5:12–15.

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And yet, at the end of the passage, Jesus is invoking Moses (and Scripture in general) as the witness in his favor (John 5:39, 45–47). How does this transition occur? At first, Jesus shows no interest in attenuating the implicit contradiction. It quickly becomes clear that at stake is not the breach of the Sabbath law by the healed man but rather the authority of Jesus. The Jews start “to persecute” Jesus, “because he did such things on the Sabbath” (v. 16). Jesus then defends himself in a way that adds to the accusation and intensifies the opposition. So, the first round of the discourse following the healing ends with the resolution of “the Jews” to kill Jesus. It is the first time in John’s Gospel when this thought appears in the considerations of Jesus’s opponents and already here it is with the reason that Jesus “makes himself equal with God” (v. 18). The second round (vv. 19–30) is marked as Jesus’s “reply” (v. 19, ἀπεκρίνατο) and it introduces the motif of judgment. It connects well with the indication of Jesus’s impending death, anticipating what would become clear later at the “real” trial before Pilate that leads to Jesus’s execution, which is of paramount importance. It should become clear that “the Father … has entrusted all judgment to the Son” (v. 22) who himself challenges people to decide about his identity. The preceding healing story may serve as an illustration of such a decision. On the one hand, the collision of the two commands postulates the necessity to decide. On the other, perhaps quite ironically, it is clear that the decision had been already made. The act of healing was in this case identical with obeying the command of Jesus. It was not by the obedience to Jesus’s word that the paralytic was healed but surely in that obedience. This should reveal the real nature of Jesus’s word and thus of his authority: His command is at the same time a healing power. Jesus’s word is authorized by his deed. This is the first “witness” that he invokes in his defense (vv. 19–21). We have already noticed this scheme of Johannine theology and its binding to Jesus’s death on the cross as his supreme deed, completing “the work of God.”30 Here it is rather “giving life” (v. 21: ζῳοποιεῖ), which Jesus points out as the main deed of the Son in the commission of the Father. This, however, in the Johannine perspective remains in the same stream of thought. The story of Lazarus, the climax of the series of Jesus’s “signs,” shows both by its contents and by its placement within the story that Jesus’s power to “give life” is based on his own death. The narrative logic—in which Jesus “pays” for Lazarus’ life with his own (cf. John 11:46–53)—points to the theological logic in which Jesus is the giver of life because he “laid down his life.” This schema is hinted at already in John 5. It is a healing, reinforced by Jesus’s claim that it is a “work of God” that causes the consideration about killing Jesus to emerge for the first time. In the third round of the discourse (vv. 31–47), Jesus at last claims that the contradiction between his word and the word of Moses is false since his accusers misunderstand “what Moses wrote” (vv. 46–47) because they do not believe Moses. Related to the previous incident—as it probably should be—this sounds really provocative. The accusers’ strict regard for keeping the commandment of the Law is called “a lack of faith” (οὐ πιστεύετε). It remains an assertion since no clearer explanation is given. The conflict is not overcome by any kind of rationale. As we 30

See Section 3 above.

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have seen, this assertion is supported basically by referring to Jesus’s deeds both in the immediate context, where the fact of healing had decided the issue of which word has a stronger claim to be obeyed already before the issue was raised, and in the larger context of the Gospel where it points to Jesus’s performing “the work of God.” When Jesus mentions in v. 41 that he does not “receive glory from man,” he makes the nature of his claim clear. The obvious alternative to the “glory from man” is the “glory from God.” In the larger context of the Fourth Gospel, this is another reference to Jesus’s “deed” on the cross.31 With regard to the relationship between Jesus and Moses, the healing story and the following discourse in John 5 can serve as an elaboration of the statement in John 1:17. The emphasis on Jesus’s work corresponds to ἐγένετο in the statement and confirms that it should be read as “was realized.”

6. The Real Bread from Heaven (John 6) In accordance with that introductory statement in the prologue, and in most places where Moses is mentioned in John’s Gospel, he appears as the Law giver. Nevertheless, he takes on another typological function as a sign prophet who is the main acting figure in the foundational history of Israel. This reference to Moses is found in a passage of crucial Christological import, appearing in the aftermath of yet another sign of Jesus, namely the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:1–15). “On the next day,” after the feeding (and on the other side of the Sea of Tiberias), this next episode consists of a series of discourses between Jesus and the “crowd” (v. 22), later identified as “the Jews” (vv. 41, 52), and resumes after a break, with “the disciples” (v. 60). The series starts with a reproach by which Jesus greets the crowd who are finally successful in finding him on the day after the feeding. Jesus says to them, “You are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (v. 26). This raises the issue of what it means “to see a sign.” It immediately becomes clear that such seeing has to do with faith. The people ask Jesus, as if in a circular argument:  “What sign will you give us, so that we may see and believe you? What will you do?” (τί ἐργάζῃ; v. 30). Quite strangely, Jesus is asked for some “deed” shortly after the miraculous feeding. A similar connection is found already in the Synoptic tradition (Mark 8:11–13) when Jesus is asked immediately after the feeding of the four thousand to legitimize his activities and claims by producing “a sign from heaven.” The paradox is clearly intentional, and John only strengthens it by having the people mention an example of what they have in mind: “Our fathers ate manna in the desert” (v. 31). They ask Jesus to measure himself against Moses. As we have noticed, Moses is not recalled here as a giver of the Law but as a giver of the bread in the desert.32 It is clear, however, that these two functions are not so removed from each other. In Deut 8:1–6, the manna is interpreted as a pointer to the divine

31 32

John 7:18, 39; 8:50, 54; 12:23, 28; 17:1–5. Exod 16.

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instruction as a source of life,33 and the crowd in John 6:28 seems to be aware of the possibility of this symbolism. Jesus does not refuse the demand entirely but does correct the expectation behind it. He does not accept the comparison with Moses, pointing out that Moses was not the actual giver of the heavenly bread. This, in the first place, refers to the context of Ps 78:24, which makes it clear that the subject of the phrase, “he gave them bread from heaven,” quoted in v. 31, was God.34 At the same time, it is also clear that the correction fits the programmatic statement in John 1:17. In distinction to Moses, Jesus presents himself as the real giver. In this case, however, he does not identify himself with God but with the bread. He is the real giver because he gives himself. The pronouncement, “I am the bread (of life),” the first of the ἐγώ εἰμι sayings typical for the Johannine Jesus, is repeated no less than four times in this passage.35 The Eucharistic connotations of the metaphor of “giving bread” are quite probable, but its interpretive relationship to Jesus’s death on the cross is beyond doubt. Again, it is this “deed” that distinguishes Jesus qualitatively from Moses. Jesus’s act of giving is equated with “seeing” his “sign.” It is the perceiving of a reality to which the bread points. In this way, John 6 functions as a kind of “instruction manual” for all the other “signs” of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel. The instruction goes further. Jesus makes it clear that participation in this reality, pointed out by the “signs,” is not just a matter of seeing or understanding. He expresses it with rather unbearable cruelty. To “take” what he gives means “to eat” his “flesh” and “to drink” his “blood” (vv. 53–56).36 This phrase, repeated three times (vv. 53, 54, 56), carries a double offense. To “eat someone’s flesh,” taken at face value, has the connotation of cannibalism, a generally abhorrent thought. When Jesus’s opponents ask, “how would he be able (πῶς δύναται) to give us his flesh to eat?” (v. 52), they probably pose a rhetorical question whose only answer is: “impossible.” In addition, to “drink blood,” which does not necessarily refer to human blood, is also unacceptable for the Jews. Consuming blood was explicitly prohibited by the Mosaic Law (cf. Lev 17:10–12). Thus, Jesus’s demand is, on the literal level, in open contradiction to both the general idea of humanity and the specific commandment of Moses. This is a “hard speech” indeed, even for Jesus’s disciples (v. 60). Even when it is understood that Jesus does not urge literal cannibalism, the brutal force of the image does not fade. It makes it clear that to “receive” life as it is offered and “given” by Jesus means virtually to profit from his death—as is the case with all nourishment. 33

34

35

36

In the Synoptic version of the temptation story, this statement is quoted by Jesus as a reply to Satan (Matt 4:4; Luke 4:4). See also the formulations in the original story in Exod 16:4, 15, where the giver of manna is explicitly God. John 6:35, 41, 48, 51. The “absolute” ἐγώ εἰμι as Jesus’s self-identification appears earlier in John 4:26 and 6:20. Many expositors think that vv. 51–58 are a secondary addition to the chapter. See, e.g., the argument in Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John, Introduction, Translation, and Notes. Volume 1:  I–XII, ABC 29 (London:  G. Chapman, 1971), 285–91. See the summary of the discussion in Barnabas Lindars, The Gospel of John, NCBC (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1972), 249–53. We need not discuss this complex matter here, but it should be observed that the primary eucharistic meaning of this passage is by no means certain; cf. Hartwig Thyen, Das Johannesevangelium, HNT 6 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 368.

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This exposition of how Jesus “gives the bread of life” betrays specific comparison with episodes about Moses. The other sayings, suggesting that the life-giving nourishment consists in Jesus’s teaching, also invite analogy with Moses rather than a contrast (vv. 45–47 and 63).

7. Conclusions We have attempted to outline the way the Fourth Evangelist employs the figure of Moses in his elaborate portrayal of Jesus. It was not our intention to capture all the details but rather to detect the basic features. It appears that the Johannine depiction of Moses is consistently incorporated into the Christology, which is deeply imbedded within the narrative. This is suggested already in the initial reference to Moses in the prologue and elaborated further throughout the gospel story. Although Moses and Jesus are closely associated, the relationship between them cannot be understood as one of typology. Moses is not presented as a prototype of Jesus in any of the explicit references. In John, Jesus is not a “new Moses.” Rather, Moses is a witness to Jesus by virtue of his being a witness to God. In this, he resembles John the Baptist, with whom he shares also the desert milieu (cf. John 1:23). The figure of Moses, and his relationship to Jesus, serves as a representation of the Johannine conception of Scripture, particularly the Law. The evangelist asserts that Jesus is in full agreement with Moses and so with Scripture. This agreement, however, is presented in quite a provocative way. On the surface, the Johannine Jesus violates all basic “identity markers” of “Mosaic” Judaism. In Cana, ritual purity seems to be disregarded as the water for purification is changed into wine in a manner that resembles the practices associated with Dionysus (cf. John 2:1–11). Rejection of idolatry is contested by presenting the saving effect of Jesus’s death in the manner of the bronze serpent (cf. John 3:14–15). Keeping Sabbath is relativized by the healing of a paralytic (cf. John 5). And the condemnation of consuming blood is countered by Jesus’s invitation to drink his blood (cf. John 6:53–56). Through all of these provocative actions, however, John is navigating his reader to the recognition that, in precisely those aspects, Jesus actually fulfills the deepest intention of the Law by realizing God’s “grace and truth.”

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Part IV

Social Memory Perspectives

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11

Proclamation Rejected, Truth Confirmed. Reading John 12:37–44 in a Social Memory Theoretical Framework Sandra Huebenthal

Social memory theory provides a new approach to biblical texts. When I read New Testament texts in a social memory theoretical framework, I use social memory theory and its German equivalent kulturwissenschaftliche Gedächtnistheorie as a hermeneutical lens to clarify expectations of what kind of text I  am about to encounter. Once my expectations are clarified, I  read the text accordingly and aim to stick consistently to the established perspective taking into account what the text has to say about the processes of identity formation in its context of origin. After the reading is completed, I go back to my findings and evaluate them in order to see how they contribute to the understanding of the text. In this contribution, I will introduce a reading of the double quote from Isaiah in John 12:37–44 using this lens. Before I begin with the actual reading, I will (1) provide a brief sketch of the underlying theoretical basis in order to introduce the reader to social memory theory as it is used in this approach. As a second step, I will (2) clarify my expectations about the Gospel of John as a memory text and the possible role of intertextual references in this text. Then (3), I will conduct an exemplary reading of John 12:37–44 and finally (4), I  will reflect upon the outcomes of this reading in a concluding passage.

1. Social Memory Theory and Reading New Testament Texts: Hermeneutical Preliminaries The concept of collective memory was shaped by the French sociologist Maurice Halbwachs.1 In his work Les cadres sociaux de la mémoire, Maurice Halbwachs coined the idea that individual recollection is conditioned by its sociocultural environment. 1

For a comprehensive introduction into the underlying theory and general hermeneutical reflections, cf. Sandra Huebenthal, Das Markusevangelium als kollektives Gedächtnis, FRLANT 257 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014), 77–156.

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Halbwachs assumed that the personal memory of an individual interacts with the collective memory of its peer group. Accordingly, memory is a social phenomenon that grows into a person from the outside and forms, through the kind of encounter, the individual experiences with its environment, especially with close peer groups like the family and the religious community. Individual memory is formed by the language and concepts of the peer group but also by its communication patterns and evaluations. Individual memory therefore always takes place within a social frame. The socially mediated frame serves as a regulative factor for personal perception. This social frame is called “collective memory.” The individual locates his memories within this frame in order to be able to understand, interpret, and communicate them. The act of remembering is not transferred from the individual to the group. The group only provides the frame for perception and judgment. Halbwachs was further convinced that memory does not preserve the past as such, only parts in perspective. When recalled, these parts will not be refound but constructed anew according to the needs of those who recall them. This means that the construction of the past, regardless whether it is undertaken by an individual or a group, will not manage without creative elements depending on the social frame, within which it is actualized. As recollecting or memorizing also has a functional side, the past is always constructed according to the present. Halbwachs’ idea fulfills two goals. On the one hand, it explains how the existence of social frames and the necessity for interaction with these frames coins the individual recollection of events. This process can be described with the term “social memory.” On the other hand, it explains how social frames add to the (re)construction of events— namely how communities of commemoration semanticize events though their frames. This is collective memory. The placement of memories within social frames is shared by the two processes. When we read the Gospels according to these insights, they do not reveal who Jesus was but who Jesus is for a particular group and why it is important to remember him in a particular way. The categories in which Jesus is remembered are provided by the Old Testament—the Bible of the first generations of Jesus followers. In order to make sense of what they experienced, they turned to their Scriptures—or as Jan Assmann would say, to their cultural memory—as a frame of reference. Initially introduced by Egyptologist Jan Assmann, the concept of cultural memory expands Halbwachs’s hermeneutical approach. For our concerns here, we could start from the assumption that it tells the further story of the frames that are developed in collective memory. These frames, over time, develop further and become more and more stable. At some point, they are so stable that they become part of the shared experience of a larger group and refer to what the members of this group regard to be their foundational history or their culture. In this moment, we can, with Assmann, call these frames “cultural memory.” If we apply a circular movement, a new cycle begins: The frames that were newly developed in collective memory become cultural memory and thus the new cultural frame that a group uses to make sense of their own situations and experiences. Research about how groups develop and change on the basis of the stories they share has further contributed to the knowledge of the overall dynamics that applies to

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most groups. When groups move through time, they change and what they initially regard as something that has just happened a moment ago becomes “the past.” In the beginning, it is still perceived as a “recent past” and group members will have vivid and variegated memories of what was a crucial experience or a founding moment for them. Over time, these memories become more distant and will eventually move to the realm of the “remote past” and even “far remote past” to which they no longer have a living connection, only a mediated one. Individual group members will no longer have personal recollections nor will they know someone from the elder generation who has that, although everybody knows what the crucial moments in this past were. And this is not all: They also know why these moments were crucial and what they mean for the group today. This, too, is cultural memory. The road from a vivid connection to the founding events to a more conventionalized cultural knowledge about them is rather short. It does not take more than three to four generations. On the way from the vivid connection with the founding events to the conventionalized cultural knowledge, a group experiences two typical moments of crisis. The first moment is when the generation of those who have experienced these crucial moments (i.e., the grandparents) slowly hand over responsibility and retire. This usually happens thirty to fifty years after the events, and this crisis is called the “generational gap.” When the generation of the grandparents dies out and the second generation of the parents moves into retirement, handing over responsibility to their own children, a second moment of crisis arises. After roughly 80–120 years, the group moves into what is called the “floating gap.” Three generations have passed since the beginning when the grandchildren are running the business as adults. When this generation of the grandchildren takes over responsibility and raises their own children (the fourth generation) in the customs and traditions of the group, it will finally become visible how the identity of the group and their frames of reference have developed. Is it still the fire that is passed on or are we dealing with the ashes? It is easy to see that the floating gap is the most dangerous moment in the life of a group. One of the most interesting periods, on the other hand, is the time between the generational gap and the floating gap. This is the moment when most of the negotiation and renegotiation of the group’s history, customs, and values take place and when it is decided if and how this “common past” is treasured. When we apply Halbwachs’s categories, we can say that this is the time of fabricating new frames for understanding. In other words, it is the time of collective memory. The first generation might have initiated this process by passing on particular perspectives on their experiences informed by their cultural frame, but they might have done so in a more informal way and on a more day-to-day basis. There is no clear-cut model to describe this process and the different phases tend to overlap. Nevertheless, a rule of thumb is that the closer in time we are to the origin of a group, the more likely we are to encounter artifacts of social memory when examining the remnants of their discourses, while the further we proceed in time, the more likely we are to find artifacts of collective memory that usually occur in different media than the remnants of social memory. When I apply this overall framework to the New Testament, my question is what particular generation of Jesus followers will I  be dealing with and what kind of remnant of their discourse about the foundational events will I encounter when I read

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a particular text from the New Testament. Will I be confronted with artifacts of social, collective, or even cultural memory? What does that mean for understanding what is going on behind the scenes of these texts? What issues are at stake for the groups behind these texts, and how do the texts contribute to their own discourses of identity formation?

2. Expectations about John’s Gospel as a Memory Text General Expectations The majority of Johannine scholars locate the origins of the Fourth Gospel (FG) in the area of Syria/Asia Minor. Many from the early church point to the area of Ephesus, addressing both the identity of the beloved disciple and the question of the Baptist’s disciples who play a larger role in John than in the Synoptic tradition. The Gospel is assumed to have been composed between 90 and 110 CE and in temporal proximity to 1–3 John, although there is no consensus whether the Gospel was written before or after the letters. One can further learn from Johannine scholars that the Gospel’s addressees have, at least for some time, lived rather independently of the streams of the Synoptic tradition. For them, active mission to the gentiles can be presupposed (11:51– 52), and Jewish terms and customs are explained. It is also generally assumed that the group has already parted with their local synagogue (9:22, 12:42, 16:2) and that they are struggling to present themselves as legitimized heirs of Second Temple Judaism.2 When I  team these insights with social memory theory, I  expect John’s Gospel to be an artifact of collective memory that came about at some point between the generational gap and the floating gap and that it is a lot closer to the latter than the former.3 Thus, I assume a more advanced state of reflection about the founding events and how they have informed the group’s identity. With a further moving away from the temporal and local point of origin, which is the foundational events of Jesus, his life, death, and resurrection, I expect a more refined perspective and a more rounded overall narrative as well as a clearer and more tangible identity construction. In other words, the further the temporal distance, the clearer the interpretation and identity formation. The closer we get to the floating gap, the more I would expect authors and collectives to become visible as the carriers of tradition, which provide a particular perspective on the founding events. And finally, along with the progression of early Christianity, 2

3

Cf. Hartwig Thyen, Das Johannesevangelium, HNT 6 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 576. For a summary of the discussion, see Jörg Frey, “Das Bild ‘der Juden’ im Johannesevangelium und die Geschichte der johanneischen Gemeinde,” in Israel und seine Heilstraditionen im Johannesevangelium. Festgabe für Johannes Beutler zum 70, Geburtstag, ed. Michael Labahn, Klaus Scholtissek, and Angelika Strotmann (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2004), 33–53. If I apply these concepts to the foundational events behind New Testament literature, I am in a time span between 50 and 70 CE for the generational gap and between 120 and 150 CE for the floating gap. Cf. SandraHuebenthal, “Frozen Moments. Early Christianity through the Lens of Social Memory Theory,” in Memory and Memories in Early Christianity, ed. Simon Butticaz and Enrico Norelli, WUNT 398 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018), 17–43.

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I expect that texts on the brim of the floating gap would embrace or integrate traditions and approaches that may have been initially (or for a certain period of time) alien to their authors and representative communities. Just as Acts integrates a more “ecclesial” version of Paul into its account than the “maverick” Paul we encounter in his own letters,4 I would expect similar tendencies in John, given the fact that Acts and the FG share a similar production date. A later stage of identity formation can usually offer that. Once a group has clarified who they are and want to be on the basis of their foundational experience (“who are we?”), the question of drawing borders to other groups (“who are we not?”) comes into focus. The third step will be the shift of attention from the inside to the outside and to questions of openness and points of connectivity for interested outsiders or newcomers. In other words, once a group has reached a consensus about who they are and who they are not, they will eventually direct their attention to the outside world and how they will relate to it. It almost goes without saying that more often than not, these processes of identity formation require impulses from the outside world, which often have the guise of traumatic or catastrophic events. In short, with respect to John’s Gospel, I  expect to find a clear profile of those standing behind the text. I further expect a unique presentation of and a likewise unique perspective on the foundational events and attempts to integrate other traditions, social forms of the movement of Jesus followers and also other models of community, as well as clear boundaries separating the groups who do not follow Jesus. I expect the group behind the text to be looking back on a process of identity formation based on their interpreted memories about Jesus and I also expect to find traces of these critical moments and decisions that have left their marks in the group’s composition.5

Expectations about the Role of Intertextual References As mentioned above, Halbwachs’s concept of social memory implies that groups draw from the cultural frames—or their cultural memory—in order to make sense of their experiences. That they may understand what they encounter, they use the stories, motifs, metaphors, and patterns from their own environment. The same is to be expected for externalizations of collective memory in the medium of text. Thus, I  am not only prepared to find traces of these cultural frames in an artifact of collective memory but rather a direct interaction with and a discussion of these frames. As the dominant cultural frame for the Johannine group(s) is the Jewish Scriptures, concepts derived within late Second Temple Judaism, and the aftermath 4

5

Cf. Luke Macnamara, “Chosen Instrument:” The Characterisation of Paul in Acts, AnBib 215 (Rome: Gregorian Biblical Press, 2016). Similar approaches of reading John’s Gospel as a “two level drama” have a long tradition since J. Louis Martyn’s seminal work: History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, [1968; 1979] 2003). For a justified critique of this approach, see e.g., Adele Reinhartz, “The Johannine Community and Its Jewish Neighbors:  A Reappraisal,” in What is John? Vol II: Literary and Social Readings of the Fourth Gospel, ed. Fernando F. Segovia (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1998), 111–38; Frey, “Das Bild ‘der Juden.’ ” My own approach is, however, not aiming at a mirror-reading of the Fourth Gospel but at the question whether I  can find traces of typical processes of social negotiation of the past in the need of current identity formation in this text.

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of the Jewish-Roman War,6 it can be expected that John’s Gospel will engage with this cultural framework and especially use Scripture to make its argument. For my reading, this means paying particular attention to intertextual referencing and the use of Scripture. In other words, intertextuality is a crucial point to such a reading. From the perspective of social memory theory, however, intertextuality has to be about much more than the search for quotes, their provenance, and the question whether or not they are quoted correctly. It also has to go beyond questions of fulfillment schemes and proof-texting, which very often tend to project later theological questions into the biblical texts. In our case, the question is not whether John has used Isa 6:10 as a “proof text” to explain Jewish obduracy with respect to God’s revelation in Christ7 but how the Gospel makes use of Isaiah as a frame of reference to understand what happened to Jesus and how this affects the understanding or identity of the group. The examination of intertextual references in a social memory theoretical setting is thus interested in the questions about (a) the cultural framework from which these references originated, (b) why they are used, and (c) how that affects the (self-)understanding of the group. As I am expecting to deal with an artifact of collective memory in the case of John’s Gospel, it will be also important to analyze how the text uses intertextual referencing for the fabrication of new cultural frames for future identity constructions. In other words, I  am prepared to encounter intertextuality not only as a reading aid to the experiences of the group but also a thorough engagement with Scripture that inscribes the group’s experiences into the intertextual references and thus provides new frames. We can clearly expect differences in dealing with cultural frames and, thus, intertextual references in texts of social memory and texts of collective memory, recalling Halbwachs’s theory. Do the texts make use of existing cultural frames in order to understand their own situation, what would be expected in social memory, or do they begin to fabricate new frames for present and future understanding, namely frames that are increasingly different or detached from their context of origin and start to have a life of their own, which would help in building new or different and clearly distinguishable identity profiles? I  am expecting to see the latter in the way John’s Gospel deals with intertextual references to Isaiah as I  am expecting a text from collective memory. The test should be fairly simple: While Paul used references to Isaiah as a cultural frame in his letters to make sense of his own experiences and situation, John clearly moves a step forward and uses the references for the fabrication of new frames for identity formation.8 6

7

8

This is widely accepted among biblical scholars. Cf. Florian Wilk, “Die Geschichte des Gottesvolkes im Licht jesajanischer Prophetie:  Neutestamentliche Perspektiven,” in Josephus und das Neue Testament:  Wechselseitige Wahrnehmungen:  II. Internationales Symposium zum Corpus JudaeoHellenisticum, 25–28. Mai 2006 Greifswald, ed. Christfried Böttrich and Jens Herzer, WUNT 209 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), 245–64, or Catrin H. Williams, “Isaiah in John’s Gospel,” in Isaiah in the New Testament, ed. Stephen Moiyse and Maarten J. J. Menken, NTSI (London:  Bloomsbury, 2005), 106–16; Catrin H. Williams, “Seeing the Glory: The Reception of Isaiah’s Call-Version in Jn 12.41,” in Judaism, Jewish identities, and the Gospel tradition: Essays in Honour of Maurice Casey, ed. James G. Crossley (London: Equinox, 2010), 186–206. For a reading that goes into that direction, see Jonathan Lett, “The Divine Identity of Jesus as the Reason for Israel’s Unbelief in John 12:36–43,” JBL 135 (2016): 159–73. Paul uses the same quotes, Isa 53:1 (Rom 10:16) and Isa 6:9ff (Rom 11:8) as John 12:38–40, but in a completely different way. They are not used to understand Jesus but the situation Paul himself

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3. Exemplary Reading of John 12:37–43 Isaiah in John The prophet Isaiah and the book carrying his name were of particular interest not only in Second Temple Judaism in general but also for the different groups of emerging Christianity. Isaiah features prominently in the New Testament. For example, in the Gospel according to Mark, “Isaiah” is mentioned twice and is each time preceding a direct quotation, thus two of the five quotations from Isaiah are directly ascribed to Isaiah (Mark 1:2–3; 7:6–7). The trend continues in the other narrative texts of the New Testament. In Matthew, six of the ten quotations from Isaiah are directly assigned to the prophet (Matt 3:3; 4:15–16; 8:17; 12:18; 13:13–15; 15:8–9) and three of them are flagged as fulfilment quotations (4:15–16; 8:17; 12:18). In Luke two of the six quotations from Isaiah are directly assigned (Luke 3:4–6; 4:18–19), and one of them can be regarded as a fulfilment quotation (4:18–19). In Acts, two of five quotations are directly assigned (Acts 8:32–33; 28:26). In John, finally, three of the four quotations are directly assigned (John 1:23; 12:38, 40, the fourth, 6:45 is assigned to a prophet), and two of them are flagged as fulfilment quotations (12:38, 40). None of the quotations in the narrative texts are marked as a fulfilment quotation more than once and the only two passages from Isaiah that are quoted in all of the Gospels are Isa 6:9–10 (Mark 4:12; Matt 13:13–15; Luke 8:10; John 12:40 and Acts 28:16) and Isa 40:3–5 (Mark 1:2–3; Matt 3:3; Luke 3:4–6; John 1:23). Both quotations serve as fulfilment quotations in one of the Gospels, and the latter quotation is in all the Gospels directly assigned to Isaiah. John’s Gospel is similar to other New Testament texts. In addition to the four explicit quotes, thirty to forty allusions to Isaiah have been found.9 Based on a first round of observations regarding the use of Isaiah in the FG, one can safely say (a) that the text makes use of the entire book of Isaiah, not just particular parts,10 and (b) that references to Isaiah mostly occur in the Gospel’s first part (chs. 1–12) and seem to “frame the beginning and end of John’s narrative about Jesus’ public ministry (1:19– 12:50), and the unusually explicit naming of Isaiah on both occasions alerts attention to the prophet and his words.”11 One can further say that (c) some of the quotes reappear

9

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is in. See Florian Wilk, “Paulus als Nutzer, Interpret und Leser des Jesajabuches,” in Die Bibel im Dialog der Schriften:  Konzepte intertextueller Bibellektüre, ed. Stefan Alkier and Richard B. Hays, NET (Tübingen: Francke, 2005), 93–116; J. Ross Wagner, “Isaiah in Romans and Galatians,” in Isaiah in the New Testament, ed. Stephen Moyise and Maarten J. J. Menken, NTSI (London:  Bloomsbury, 2005), 117–32, 118. We are seeing an example of the difference between social memory (making sense of experiences by using existent frames:  Paul) and collective memory (fabrication of new frames: John). This is not to say that we do not encounter instances of Paul trying to make more general statements about the Jesus event and its impact on groups of Jesus followers. His approach is, however, still in the medium of everyday conversation. Paul uses Israel’s Scripture to make sense of his situation, but he does not usually try to make his own experience part of this tradition and, other than the narrative tradition, he does not use fulfilment quotations. See Stephen Moyise and Maarten J.  J. Menken (eds.), Isaiah in the New Testament. NTSI (London: Bloomsbury, 2005); Wilk, Geschichte des Gottesvolkes. See Jean Zumstein, Das Johannesevangelium, KEK II (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015), 466–67. Williams, “Isaiah in John’s Gospel,” 102.

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in John, which have already been used by the Synoptics and that they are developed further. Additionally, (d) new ideas are developed that are not necessarily based on the Synoptic tradition. A closer look at the structure of the text, building on the observation that intertextual references to Isaiah in general (not only the direct quotes but also the allusions) do mainly appear in the first twelve chapters of the text, further indicates that these references mostly appear either in testimonies, narrator’s comments, or words directed to or against the Ιουδαῖοι. Two of the direct quotes (1:23 and 6:45) are part of the direct speech of characters;12 the other two (12:38, 40) are part of a narrator’s comment and feature as a double quote. It is noteworthy in this context that John’s Gospel has two of these double quotes. The first one appears at the closure of the first part of the text in 12:38–40 (Isa 53:1/Isa 6:10), and the second one is found immediately after Jesus’s death is confirmed in 19:36–37 (Exod 12:10, 46/Zech 12:10). Both double quotes are the narrator’s comments and thus are part of the direct communication of the text, not a feature of the narrated world. The first double quote draws a conclusion about Jesus’s revelation to and time in “the world.” It explains both why Jesus’s message has not been accepted and why the testimony of the Johannine group is not accepted either. The second double quote follows up on that idea and recalls once more the importance of testimony in general. The marked positions of the quotes and their message clearly show their importance for the pragmatics of the text.

The Double Quote in John 12:37–43 I will start my reading with the usual analysis of the double quote in order to compare it with my own. 37 Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah: Lord, who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 And so they could not believe, because Isaiah also said, 40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they might not look with their eyes, and understand with their heart and turn— and I would heal them. 41 Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him. 42 Nevertheless many, even of the authorities, believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human glory more than the glory that comes from God.13 12

13

Although one could discuss whether καθὼς εἶπεν Ἠσαΐας ὁ προφήτης is part of the Baptist’s speech or the narrator’s comment. Unless otherwise indicated, all biblical quotes are taken from the NRSV.

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In her analysis of the double quote, Catrin Williams points out, John concludes the account of Jesus’ public ministry with summary reflections dominated by two explicit quotations from the prophecies of Isaiah (12:37–43), Isa. 53:1 in verse 38 and Isa. 6:10 in verse 40. Both passages were widely known and used as early Christian proof-texts concerning Jewish unbelief (Isa. 53:1 in Rom. 10:16; Isa. 6:9–10 in Matt. 13:14–15; Acts 28:26–27; cf. Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; Rom. 11:18).14

Williams assumes the existence and use of early Christian proof texts used for apologetic or explanatory purposes. A closer look at the texts exhibit, however, that it is a bit more complicated than that, as the different New Testament texts address different situations and different questions. While Paul for instance, in Romans, deals with the situation of his own preaching and teaching, John makes use of the texts to understand what happened to Jesus and how this affects the group of Jesus followers in his own time. Another important question is that of the originator of the double quote or, simply, who speaks? Again, Williams presents the typical approach: As to the identity of the speaker of Isa. 53:1 in its Johannine setting, the most likely contenders are Jesus or Isaiah himself. From the immediate context of these summary reflections it could be claimed that Jesus is envisaged as addressing God about people’s lack of belief in him. However, although the use of a quotation formula to mark the fulfilment of a word spoken by Isaiah does not necessarily mean that the prophet is the speaker of the quotation. In this particular case it cannot be ruled out that Isaiah is the one understood to be addressing “the Lord” and articulating the presently fulfilled unbelief in the message or report about Jesus.15

It is intriguing that Williams does not consider the most obvious solution, namely the narrator being the speaker of Isa 53:1 in its Johannine setting. Using the experience of Isaiah to understand what happened to Jesus’s proclamation also allows for the Jesus followers behind the FG to recognize their own situation in these terms and draw consolation from that. Just as the prophet Isaiah and his message were not believed, Jesus was not understood and likewise the group behind the Gospel is presented as not being understood. The power of the double quote, however, is even stronger. It assures the group of being right, while those who do not understand (regardless whether they are Jews or those who have left) are misguided. What is more, there is little point in trying to win them over or win them back, as this development fits the pattern of the rejected prophet. The second quote evokes this scenario as to be expected without resentment. On the other hand, the wider context of John 12:37–43 puts the situation in perspective 14 15

Williams, “Isaiah in John’s Gospel,” 108. Ibid., 108–9.

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when read with the whole of Isaiah. Just as Isa 6:8–10 should not be read without Isa 1:2–5, John 12:37–44 should not be read without John 12:20–36 and some Greeks coming to see Jesus.16 One crucial point for the understanding of John 12:40 is the notoriously difficult phrase καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς. Will the people be healed by God or not?17 To put it differently, is the idea of “proof ” and the apologetic interest of this passage more of a theological interpretation of later days than what the text has in mind? Hans Förster has recently asked whether we “are indeed dealing with a problematic text or whether the anti-Judaic translations and interpretations are caused by a problematic handling of the text.”18 He argues convincingly that the standard translation and understanding that God will not heal his people is both against the text and the theology of Isaiah. As indicated, the double quote from Isaiah is placed in the last scene of the first part of John’s Gospel (1–12), before Jesus completely withdraws from the crowd and directs his attention to his disciples (13–17). Johannine scholarship has rightly called 12:37–44 the epilogue of John 1–12, summarizing and commenting on Jesus’s words and deeds in the world.19 This epilogue links up with the prologue (1:1–18) and picks up and comments on themes introduced there.20 The prologue introduces the faith and the testimony of those behind the text, namely that Jesus was sent to enlighten the world so that all people should become children of God. The group confesses in no uncertain terms: 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.

The dynamics are clear:  The messenger has come into the world, but he was not accepted. This scheme appears twice, when the words about the Baptist are added, “He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him” (1:7). The prologue does not follow up on what happened to this testimony. This is told in the first (1:19–34) and third chapter (3:22–36). While the impact of John’s testimony is not 16 17

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As it happens in Lett, “Divine Identity.” In relation to the usual reading, note Menken, who writes, “Wer das finale Verständnis der Stelle sicherstellen will, muß mit ἵνα μή übersetzen. Und wer die Stelle anführt als ‘Beweis’ dafür, daß ‘sie nicht glauben konnten’ (Joh 12,39), kann sie nur final verstehen.” Maarten J. J. Menken, “Die Form des Zitats aus Jes 6,10 in Joh 12,40. Ein Beitrag zum Schriftgebrauch des vierten Evangelisten,” BZ 32 (1988): 189–209, 204. Hans Förster, “Ein Vorschlag für ein neues Verständnis von Joh 12,39–40,” ZNW 109 (2018): 51–75, 72 (my translation). Zumstein (Johannesevangelium, 464–67) notes correctly the different levels of the narrative and the structural location of this passage. Our text is not part of the narrative thread but a reflection about what has happened in the story so far in retrospect. The reader is directed to an understanding of what was happened with the benefit of hindsight and is informed about what this means for his own times. Wengst assigns the same division of roles in his commentary. Klaus Wengst, Das Johannesevangelium, THKNT 4, 2 (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2004), 80. Zumstein, Johannesevangelium, 466.

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explicitly addressed, the hint in 3:24 that he had not yet been thrown into prison (3:24) indicates that it did not end well. The speakers of the prologue also bear witness to another remarkable fact. Although they know that “no one has ever seen God” (1:18), they can freely confess that they “have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (1:14) and they know that their testimony is true. Although the messenger was rejected, the message is confirmed, not least by their view of his glory. Is there another way to prove that their position is right? In the first twelve chapters of John, the reader follows the narrative of how Jesus came into the world, proclaimed in words and signs, and how he was received. In the course of the events, Jesus meets different people and some encounters are shaped by longer exchanges with individuals about who he is and how salvation will come to “the world.” The narrator eagerly comments on the individual events lest the reader misunderstands the situations. From the beginning, Jesus’s proclamation provokes controversy, which is also narrated at length. There is an ever-growing distance between Jesus and the world, especially the Jewish authorities. People increasingly turn away from him and the Jewish reservation is carefully contrasted with Samaritans (4:1–42) and Greeks (12:20–21) who draw closer. There is no doubt that “salvation is from the Jews” (4:22);21 nevertheless, the tension between the claim and reality becomes ever more visible. Uncertainty increases among Jesus’s followers as well and initial separations occur (6:60–71). The question becomes more pressing: How can those who remain with Jesus be sure that they are on the right side, especially before they have seen his glory? The epilogue in 12:37–43 evaluates Jesus’s proclamation to the world with the comfortable bias of hindsight. After Jesus has spoken his last public words in 12:35–36, he departs and hides from his interlocutors, crowds, and most likely also some of the opponents. The narrator does not hesitate a moment to make use of the empty stage for his own explanation of “their” behavior. It is relatively clear that “they” are the crowds and the opponents from the previous scenes. The narrator summarizes that they did not believe in Jesus,22 in spite of all the signs he had performed in their midst. As the narrator has counted the signs, the reader knows what is referred to here. It is important to note that the text speaks of “signs” (σημεῖα), pointing out the deictic character of these deeds. Jesus works these signs as part of his mission, confirming that he is the one who was sent by God and is working by his authority. Within a Jewish cultural framework, this is instantly comprehensible since God’s prophets always proclaim his message and work signs. Part of God’s people believe them and change their ways, but in most cases, they do not. This is especially pronounced among the leaders and rulers who tend to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to prophets and their messages. More often than not, the sign that a prophet is really a messenger of God is that his message is not heard and his signs are not understood. 21

22

Thyen, Johannesevangelium, 572. The passage in John 4 is significantly underrated in the conventional analysis of the double quote in John 12:38–40, which might be due to the fact that they rarely include an overall (narratological) analysis of the whole text, but rather are approached as separate units. The use of the imperfect clarifies that this is not temporary, but final unbelief. Cf. Johannes Beutler, Das Johannesevangelium. Kommentar (Freiburg:  Herder, 2013), 367. Likewise Zumstein, Johannesevangelium, 467.

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The rejected prophet is a classic motif of Old Testament prophetic literature. The same pattern is now applied to Jesus. He, too, has proclaimed and worked signs in the name of the Lord and he, too, has not been believed. The same pattern is further transparent for the group behind the Gospel. Likewise, they have born witness and were rejected. The question which arises is:  What does “fulfilled” mean in this context? Isaiah 53:1 does not contain a promise but, rather, a question. Thus, “fulfilled” might not be understood in the sense that a prophecy of old is finally fulfilled here; rather, a pattern is once more repeated.23 This pattern is unbelief in God’s messenger, which has been witnessed already by the book of Isaiah. Once it is established that Jesus experiences something quite similar to Isaiah’s Servant (and many other prophets), the narrator turns to the question why this is the case. The crucial point is not that “they” did not believe in Jesus but why “they” could not believe in him. Again, the narrator turns to Isaiah and refers to another part of the book. The quote presented here refers to the prophet’s commissioning vision in Isa 6:1–13 and addresses a sign the prophet will work with the result that the people will not understand him—and God will heal them. When Isaiah’s assignment is seen in the larger context of the book, it becomes clear that he is not sent to cause obduracy among God’s people by his signs, but rather that the reaction of the people to the prophet’s words will exhibit what is envisioned in Isa 6:8–10: deaf ears and blind eyes. This behavior is not caused by the prophet, as God complains about his sons who have turned their backs on him, since they neither know nor understand already in Isa 1:2– 5. Isaiah is now sent to these sons to deliver God’s message. They do not understand, because they cannot understand, but—and that is important—this is not the end.24 There is a silver lining: God will come and heal his people. The vision depicts that some will stay true in faith, the exiled will eventually return, and in the end all nations will come to Zion. The way Isa 6:10 is introduced in John 12:39 might cause one to wonder whether the focus is on the obduracy of the people or rather that the blinded eyes and hardened hearts are the expected reaction to the proclamation. That is, they could not believe because this is the normal reaction to a true prophet.25 The passage uses varied forms of πιστεύω four times (vv. 37b, 38b, 39a, 42b), which is a clear sign for the reader to be attentive. The argument runs as follows. They did not believe since that is exactly what also happened to Isaiah’s Servant; and they could not believe because it represented the typical reaction to the words of the true prophet, which confirms that the prophet is sent by God.26 The true prophet, however, sees the glory and speaks about him. What does this mean? For the reader, δόξα is a familiar concept. The “we-group” has already given testimony in the prologue that they have seen “his glory” (1:14) and in 14:9 Jesus will 23

24 25 26

Wengst, Johannesevangelium, 82: “So, wie es dem geheimnisvollen Knecht JHWHs ergangen ist, so ist es auch Jesus selbst ergangen. In seinem Schicksal wiederholt, bzw. ‘erfüllt’ sich das des Knechtes.” Thyen, Johannesevangelium, 547. Förster, “Vorschlag,” 72. Ibid., 74: “Gerade dass er diese ‘Zeichen’ wirkt und ihm nicht geglaubt wird, erweist in nach dem Erfüllungszitat John 12,40 als wahren Propheten.” See also Zumstein, Johannesevangelium, 469.

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provide the Johannine lens that the one who sees Jesus also sees the Father. This idea seems to be applied to Isaiah, but the connection goes deeper. Building on observations by Craig Evans, Johannes Beutler demonstrated convincingly almost thirty-years ago that Isa 52–53 stands in the background of John 12 and emphasized the significance of our passage. He explains the “shift” to fulfilment language (12:38–39; 19:28, 36–37) to be of theological nature: as the signs in the first half of the Gospel point to the heavenly origin of Jesus, so the quotations from the Old Testament in the second half introduce the mystery of the suffering, death and glorification of Jesus. The first quotation, our text from Isa 53:1 in John 12:38, bears considerable weight. The very fact that it introduces the passion of Christ, makes it very probable, that its origin from the fourth Song of the Suffering Servant is not accidental.27

In later studies, Beutler develops the initial observation further and concludes that the FG has retained the title “Son of Man” and equipped it with attributes of Isaiah’s Servant, which in turn paves the way for the text’s unique Christology. This unique perspective on Jesus becomes for the first time visible in John 12:20–36 and is inaugurated by the connection of the concepts “glorification” (12:23, 28) and “exaltation” (12:32, 34).28 When John 12:20–44 is read as a whole, we are entering a field of intriguing intertextual references and theological reframing. By building on Isaiah, the text connects the concepts of Isaiah’s Servant and the Son of Man by making use of the motifs of the “light of the world,” “glorification,” and “exaltation,” which are also drawn from an Isaian framework. The language of lifting up (exaltation and glorification)29 provides links between both passages and can also be found in other parts of John’s Gospel (3:14, 8:28), so we are not talking about isolated occurrences. Williams has further noted that the same connection of “glorification” and “exaltation” can also be found in the two quotes from the Hebrew version of Isaiah: Isa 6:1 (MT): I saw the Lord sitting on a throne exalted and lifted up, and the hem of his robe filled the temple Isa 52:13 (MT): Behold, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up and shall be very high.30

This strengthens the argument, which allows Williams to safely conclude, John thus combines Jesus’ physical lifting-up on the cross with its interpretation as the moment of his exaltation. Where Isaiah speaks of the future exaltation and glorification of the Servant (53:12) before giving account of his humiliation and death (52:14–53:12), John interprets the exaltation and glorification of Jesus as 27 28

29 30

Johannes Beutler, “Greeks Come to See Jesus (John 12,20f),” Bib 71 (1990): 333–47, 337. Beutler, Johannesevangelium, 359–66; Beutler, “Die Berufung des Andreas und des Philippus nach dem Johannesevangelium (Joh 1.35–46)” (offered to NTS). Beutler, “La muerte de Jesús y su exaltación,” Revista de Cultura Teológica 92 (2018): 143–57. Williams, “Isaiah in John’s Gospel,” 113 (emphasis original).

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evident in, rather than following, his humiliation and death. Jesus’ death, for John, is the supreme disclosure of his divine glory.31

Once the Son of Man and the Servant are brought together, the new concept attracts more features from the Isaian tradition. Förster points out that it is the Servant’s voice that is not heard in Isa 53:1 and that, just like Jesus (8:12), the Servant is called “Light of the nations” (Isa 49:6, 51:4). The similarities go even further, as the Servant’s task is described to bring salvation to the end of the earth (Isa 49:6).32 Förster argues that the language used in John indicates that this is not a single instance, but that key elements of Johannine theology refer to the Isaian tradition. Another characteristic is that the Servant’s work was without success. The efforts of the prophet or rather the Servant do not result in faith but in the eyes going blind and the hearts hardening. Förster also reads the healing of the man born blind (9:1–41) in this light and sees an intertextual reference to Isa 6:10. While a miracle happens in front of their eyes, the Pharisees do not “see” who Jesus is.33 This is not the case for the prophet. He sees clearly. This passage seems to convey that Isaiah in his vision has seen the glory of Jesus. This is one way to read it34 but might distract from another possible reading, which links the motif to the prologue and sees a transparency for the Johannine group to relate to the prophet’s vision. In the prologue, they confess that they have seen Jesus’s glory and that they believe in him and bear witness. Approaching the double quote from this side makes it easier to understand the following words in spite of the notion that many, even the authorities, believed in Jesus.35 Obviously not all of “them” believed. It looks rather like the focus of the passage is not on belief but on what should naturally follow from belief: confession and testimony. This is the point in which the “many” fail. Their insight and belief do not become manifest in their words and deeds. Fear guides them, for they love human glory more than the glory that comes from God. Other than the prophet and the group behind the Gospel who have “seen” Jesus’s glory, they are interested in the mundane glory and do not want to be excluded from their local (synagogue) community.36 The members of the target audience are not those who cannot understand but are those who have understood and do not act accordingly.37 The FG has a large emphasis on faith, testimony, and remaining in Jesus as well as lengthy exhortations not to be afraid. Just as the disciples, the group should not be troubled or fearful (14:27) but should abide in Jesus as he abides in them (15:4). Incomprehension, even hostile 31 32 33 34

35 36

37

Ibid., 115. Förster, “Vorschlag,” 71. Ibid., 71–72. Williams, “Isaiah in John’s Gospel,” 108–15. I doubt the necessity for a historical reading like the one hinted at by Williams:  “Isaiah was already understood in the first-century Jewish context as a visionary prophet and foreseer of the future” (112). The connection between the passages is theological not historical in nature. The moment one subscribes to the Johannine perspective, Isaiah could not have seen anything else. On the level of the text, this might refer, e.g., to Nicodemus. Wengst (Johannesevangelium, 86)  writes, “Die Durchsichtigkeit auf die Situation in der Zeit des Evangelisten zeigt sich in der Erwähnung des Synagogenausschlusses und in der Weise, in der hier von den Pharisäern die Rede ist.” Thyen, Johannesevangelium, 575.

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incomprehension, from the outside is one issue. The larger threat comes from the inside, namely from those who turn their backs and leave. They are those who no longer subscribe to the understanding of the group nor to their foundational experience as it is mentioned in 1:14. This self-understanding is not so much challenged by those outside, who cannot understand it anyway, but it is largely threatened by those inside who dispense with it in order to have an easier life in the world. The second double quote in 19:36–37 supports this reading. For Johannine Jesus followers, the moment when Jesus’s glory becomes visible is the moment of his exaltation on the cross. This is already hinted at in our sequence, especially when 12:20–36 is added. In the very moment of “the hour,” when Jesus is exalted and his glory becomes fully visible, the narrator freezes the scene for a comment (19:35–37): 35 He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth. 36 These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, None of his bones shall be broken. 37 And again another passage of scripture says, They will look on the one whom they have pierced.

The structure of how the two quotes are introduced is parallel to 12:37–40. The first quote is introduced as a fulfillment of Scripture, and the second is introduced as “another passage of Scripture says.” The one who “saw” this moment like Isaiah and the group behind the Gospel bears witness and the goal is that “you,” the addressees of the text, believe. What is new in this passage is that the narrator explicitly states that this witness knows that his testimony is true and that he tells the truth. He knows both from experience and from Scripture, because the motifs from Scripture are repeated and thus fulfilled.

4. Insights from the Reading What do we gain from this reading? First, what I read in the FG is pretty close to what I expected to find in the text: There is a tangible social entity behind the text, a group that clearly becomes audible as “we” and has a particular take on the foundational events (cf. 1:14–16; 3:11; 4:22; 9:4; 21:24). This group has a clear and distinguishable profile and had to undergo processes of identity clarification connected to separation and loss that have become part of the group’s “genetic signature,” which is visible in the narrative.38 The group behind this text has undergone a long and painful journey that has led to a stable self-image based on their experiences with Jesus and his message. Suffering is a huge issue in the FG, and the “abiding in Jesus” plays a prominent role in the 38

I am thus not surprised to find attempts to “reconcile” or “integrate” other ways of following Jesus (cf. 21). Even if these other approaches are not fully embraced, this sketch should offer connectivity to interested newcomers or members from other groups.

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overall argument. Faith and testimony are the core themes in the text. They work in conjunction with the acceptance of Jesus’s glory as the only Son of the Father, which fuels knowledge shared by the faithful that Jesus prepares abodes for them in the eternal community shared with him and the Father in the Spirit. This is, in a few very coarse sketches, the new frame for identity construction that the FG offers to its community. The stability of the narrative, in spite of all the crises and insecurities, is built on the cultural frame of late Second Temple Judaism and Israel’s Scriptures. A  key insight that stems from the narrative is that rejection of the proclamation actually confirms its truth. Read within a social memory theoretical framework, one might conclude that the FG processes experiences from the very recent past of the Johannine Jesus followers. The painful exclusion from their local synagogue community that might have led to discrimination and isolation deprived the Jesus followers of an important part of their identity. The narrative restores their identity through the story of Jesus as the new foundation within which his followers now “abide.” The concept of abiding in the FG— as in the other Johannine writings—may refer to one’s personal relationship with Jesus or to membership within the collective of the Johannine communities. Self-assurance and stabilization of identity due to experiences of existential crisis lie at the heart of these writings. This implies a general reorientation that can be traced theologically in the merging of the Son of Man and Isaiah’s Servant, allowing for new perspectives. As Beutler writes, “The Servant has to pass through death, but he will be a source of salvation for all and hope (Isa 42:4) and light (49:6) for the nations. The coming of the Greeks to Jesus is the coming of those who had not seen, to behold the lamb of God.”39 The group has eventually opened for Jesus followers from a non-Jewish background and has also found a rationale for this step in Isaiah. Is the wish of the Greeks to “see” Jesus already granted in the narrative? This question is answered differently. With regard to the world of the characters and on the basis of the text’s understanding of Isa 52:15 (LXX), Beutler is convinced that their wish is granted.40 Daniel Brendsel, in his study on the use of Isa 52–53 in John 12, objects and it is worth citing the rationale for his conclusion. He writes, In John 12, however, Jesus does not answer the Greek’s request. Their request merely foreshadows the future. In order for those nations to “see” aright, Jesus must first be “lifted up” as Isaiah’s Servant. And in order for him to be “lifted up” thus, he must be rejected by “his own” (see John 1:11; 8:28). Therefore, John concludes the public ministry of Jesus with summary comments concerning the salvationhistorical necessity of Jesus’ rejection by many in Israel (John 12:37–43). Jesus’ rejection by his own people is the fulfilment of the Servant’s experience of rejection (Isa 53:1 in John 12:38). Moreover, it is the climactic fulfillment of the obduracy judgment proclaimed at Isaiah’s commissioning.41 (Isa 6:10 in John 12:40) 39 40 41

Beutler, “Greeks,” 345–46. Beutler, Johannesevangelium, 365. Daniel J. Brendsel, “Isaiah Saw His Glory”: The Use of Isaiah 52–53 in John 12, BZNW 208 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014), 213.

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Two points seem to be noteworthy. First, Brendsel’s reading lacks the servant’s “exaltation” that is equally important in this context. The second, and more crucial, point is that the rejection of Jesus is termed as “a salvation-historical necessity.” The wording reveals a Christian perspective in which the new frame for understanding, as it was introduced in John’s Gospel, has become canonized as a Christian frame of interpretation where Isaiah no longer stands for himself but is in the interpreted version part of Christian cultural memory. This “Christian” interpretation does not reflect what John is about but stems from a later theological perspective. In the same way, John 1:11 is not a promise that has to be fulfilled but an evaluation of what has happened to the Johannine “we-group.” This evaluation serves the needs of the Johannine group in order to stabilize their frail identity in a situation of crisis but backfires when seen as the only way of understanding both Isaiah’s prophecy and the recourse to it in John’s Gospel, where it is prone to pave a very problematic theological road. When the rejection of God’s people is seen as a necessary prerequisite of Christian salvation history, then the intertextual reference discussed here almost naturally becomes one of the key texts to “prove” that. A methodological insight from my reading is that investigations of Isaiah in John often suffer from scholars not taking into account the different levels of the narrative. It thus escapes the attention that the use of Isaiah in our case is on the level of narrator’s comments, which has to be taken into account for the interpretation. Is the passage using Isa 6:10 functioning as a proof text for the obduracy of Israel in the light of Jesus’s proclamation or for the final rejection of God’s people? Surely not. Förster rightly points out that “the disrespect for the original context of Isa 6:10 in the modern translations has laid the basis that the assumption of a change of subject in Isa 6:10 could become exegetical consensus and the locus classicus of Israel’s obduracy.”42 The perspective established in this paper leads to a reading that points in a different direction. The passage is first of all not a statement about those on the outside but a confirmation for those on the inside. As an identity-forming text, it is necessarily much more concerned with stabilizing the portrait of the Johannine group than conceptions about the identities of others. This neither neglects the major problems within the community’s environment nor does it present them as minor quarrels. Read from a memory perspective, the FG is a document that reflects a search for a stable group identity. The stabilizing foundational narrative, as Kenneth Gergen calls it, of the Gospel aims to achieve this.43 The Gospel bears all the signs of being written from a minority position of defense, which explains its emphasis on testimony and justification in the face of serious challenge. Read against the canvas of late first-/early 42

Förster, “Vorschlag,” 74–75 (my translation, emphasis original). Support for Förster’s evaluation also comes from the Rabbinic tradition, cf. Wengst, Johannesevangelium, 84, who mentions bRHSh 17b; bMeg 17b and MekhJ Jitro (Ba Chodesch 1). For a more detailed theological investigation of the use of Isa 53 in early Christianity and the danger of projecting back later dogmatic decisions into the biblical text, cf. Wolfgang Kraus, “Jesaja 53 LXX im frühen Christentum—eine Überprüfung,” in Beiträge zur urchristlichen Theologiegeschichte, ed. Wolfgang Kraus, BZNW 163 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2009), 149–82. 43 Kenneth Gergen, “Erzählung, Moralische Identität und historisches Bewusstsein,” in Erzählung, Identität, Historisches Bewusstsein, ed. Jürgen Straub (Frankfurt am Main:  Suhrkamp, 1998), 170– 202, 177–81.

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second-century developments, this challenge does not only come from the outside with a “Jewish” or “Pharisaic” majority position and the exclusion from the (local) synagogue but also from the inside, namely from a division of the group itself and an unknown number of members leaving. The crucial point is thus to address the need of the group to outline and stabilize their own identity first. This must not be forgotten when reading the Gospel as a foundational text of a particular group of Jesus followers. Otherwise, the FG can be subjected to later Christian readings that impose their own situation and dogmatic standpoint onto the text. As such, this creates the danger of evaluating the Gospel’s Jewish minority position in light of a Christian majority position instead of examining the Johannine minority position in relation to the Pharisaic majority position mirrored in the text. As an artifact of collective memory, the FG is the founding text of the Johannine group and thus is about the identity of this particular group and not a general theological statement about “the others.”

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Zeal That Consumed: Memory of Jerusalem’s Temple and Jesus’s Body in the Gospel of John Rafael Rodríguez

1. John as Commemorative Text Reading the Fourth Gospel (FG) has turned out to be a surprisingly difficult endeavor. In the nineteenth century, the Johannine Jesus came under increasing suspicion for being a second-century theological projection back onto the early first century, though early on John had its formidable defenders.1 John’s Gospel would largely succumb to that suspicion, at least during the twentieth century, and its varied “quests of the historical Jesus.”2 The new millennium saw a revival of interest in the historical quality (or qualities) of the FG, particularly in the work of the now-ended John, Jesus, and History Group of the Society of Biblical Literature and some of its participants.3 Much of this revival has tried to identify individual historical claims within the FG that have not been completely effaced by the Fourth Evangelist’s (FE’s) theological agenda, from the overlap between John’s and Jesus’s baptismal ministries4 and the emergence of Jesus’s earliest disciples from the circle of the Baptist’s followers,5 to the dating of 1

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See J. B. Lightfoot, The Gospel of St. John: A Newly Discovered Commentary, ed. Ben Witherington III, Todd D. Still, and Jeanette M. Hagen, The Lightfoot Legacy Set 2 (Downers Grove, IL:  IVP Academic, 2015). See the thoroughly negative evaluation of the Fourth Gospel in Robert W. Funk, Roy W. Hoover, and The Jesus Seminar, The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 1993); more recently, see Maurice Casey, Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian’s Account of His Life and Teaching (London: T&T Clark, 2010). Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just S. J., and Tom Thatcher, eds., John, Jesus, and History, 3 vols. (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007–2016); Paul N. Anderson, The Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus: Modern Foundations Reconsidered, T&T Clark Biblical Studies (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2008); Craig L. Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel: Issues and Commentary (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011). Mary Coloe, “John as Witness and Friend,” in John, Jesus, and History, Volume 2: Aspects of Historicity in the Fourth Gospel, ed. Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher (Atlanta, GA:  Society of Biblical Literature, 2009), 45–61; Robert L. Webb, “Jesus in Relation to John ‘the Testifier’ and Not ‘the Baptizer’:  The Fourth Gospel’s Portrayal of John the Baptist and Its Historical Possibilities,” in John, Jesus, and History, Volume 3:  Glimpses of Jesus through the Johannine Lens, ed. Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2016), 215–30. Andreas J. Köstenberger, “Who Were the First Disciples of Jesus? An Assessment of the Historicity of the Johannine Call Narrative (John 1:35–51),” in John, Jesus, and History, Volume 3:  Glimpses

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Jesus’s final meal and crucifixion relative to Passover,6 and everything in between. This perspective already cedes too much territory to the stark divide between theology and history, as though theology can only falsify history rather than clarify, motivate, or provide points of departure for recounting history. That is, reading John as a historical text does not depend first on subtracting Johannine theology; instead, we can see Johannine theology as the salt that cures and preserves—this metaphor breaks down quickly if pushed too far—“what we have heard from the beginning.”7 Of the numerous places in which John’s literary or theological goals have deeply impacted his representation of the past, perhaps one of the most striking is his account of Jesus in the Jerusalem temple in John 2:14–25. John’s fingerprints are all over this pericope, from its finer details (the quotation of Ps 69, the disputation between Jesus and “the Jews,” and the post-resurrection perspective that unlocks Jesus’s enigmatic saying) to its broader place within the overall narrative arc of the FG. Chris Keith has called the recovery of “what really happened” the “Rock of Gibraltar of historical studies.”8 If, in our quest to scale the Rock, we set out to subtract the Johannine contribution to the story of Jesus in the temple and, through this subtraction, reveal “the historical Jesus,” we would find that the historian’s zeal has consumed the body of the Johannine Jesus; nothing else would remain. (It hardly matters whether historical Jesus here means the Jesus who can be reconstructed by the methods of academic historiography or the real, flesh-and-blood man who lived in the 20s of the first century CE.9 According to most—though certainly not all—historians of Jesus, both figures have vanished nearly to absence from John’s Gospel.) Perhaps the FG tells us nothing about the historical Jesus in general or his actions in the temple specifically. This conclusion, however, would prove deeply problematic, not least because it would disconnect the much-vaunted Johannine community from the past by which it defined itself.10

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of Jesus through the Johannine Lens, ed. Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2016), 189–99. Mark A. Matson, “The Historical Plausibility of John’s Passion Dating,” in John, Jesus, and History, Volume 2:  Aspects of Historicity in the Fourth Gospel, ed. Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher (Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009), 291–312. See Rafael Rodríguez, “What Is History? Reading John 1 as Historical Representation,” JSHJ 16 (2018):  31–51. The phrase “what we have heard from the beginning” echoes 1 John 1:1 and provides the title for the collection of essays in Tom Thatcher (ed.), What We Have Heard from the Beginning:  The Past, Present and Future of Johannine Studies (Waco, TX:  Baylor University Press, 2007). Chris Keith, “Memory and Authenticity:  Jesus Tradition and What Really Happened,” ZNW 102 (2011): 155–77 (155). John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, 5 vols. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991–2016), 1:21–40. For a striking expression of revolt, see Luke Timothy Johnson, The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1996). See Rodríguez, “What Is History?” 8; Gary M. Burge, “Situating John’s Gospel in History,” in Jesus in Johannine Tradition, ed. Robert T. Fortna and Tom Thatcher (Louisville, KY:  Westminster John Knox Press, 2001), 35–46.

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The present chapter begins from a basic axiom:  “The absolutely new is inconceivable.”11 Every moment is embedded in a world it neither chose nor created, and this is the basis for the assumption that strong lines of continuity bind present moments—even present moments that seem especially new or revolutionary—to the past. In his classic study on embodied memory and the cultural transmission of knowledge, Paul Connerton argues, “In all modes of experience we always base our particular experiences on a prior context in order to ensure that they are intelligible at all.”12 Connerton’s language is absolute; note his use of all and always. There is never a moment in which our apprehension of the present is free from the constraint of the past that got us here; neither are we ever unsupported by knowledge of the past. We never remember the past alone, and we never remember the past for the first time.13 Memory of the past, including representation of the past, is unthinkable except in concert with previous acts of memory and representation.14 To affirm every moment’s “strong lines of continuity” with the past does not deny the innovative, transformative, and adaptable qualities of memory. If the past is going to speak to the questions and crises of a present that is always in motion, it will need to be adaptable to new situations, able to appeal to new generations, and capable of answering previously unasked questions. Change and innovation—in other words, discontinuity with previous mnemonic forms—are (or can be) part of the phenomenon of tradition rather than corruptions or betrayals of tradition.15 The present chapter engages the question of “what really happened,” though it is not directly concerned with the “authenticity” or historical veracity of John’s representation of Jesus in the temple.16 It begins with John 2:14–25 as a late first century CE commemorative account of Jesus’s most dramatic confrontation with “the Jews” and the Jewish authorities centered in the temple, and it explores how the Johannine narrator performed that tradition, actualizing latent potentialities within and navigating the constraints of the Jesus tradition. In keeping with the theme of the present volume, it pays special attention to the narrator’s aside in v. 17—“His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me’ ”—and the marked quotation from Ps 69 (LXX = 68:10). 11

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Paul Connerton, How Societies Remember, Themes in the Social Sciences (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1989), 6. Ibid., 6. Perhaps the closest we get to remembering alone or unconstrained from the past would be in our dreams, though even here we should not be surprised to see social structures—language, relations, etc.—represented, even if in fragmentary forms. See Maurice Halbwachs, On Collective Memory, trans. Lewis A. Coser, The Heritage of Society (Chicago, IL:  University of Chicago Press, 1992), 41–42. Rafael Rodríguez, Structuring Early Christian Memory: Jesus in Tradition, Performance, and Text, European Studies on Christian Origins, LNTS 407 (London:  T&T Clark, 2010), 50–64; see also Michael Schudson, “The Present in the Past versus the Past in the Present,” Communication 11 (1989): 105–13. Edward Shils, Tradition (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1981). The aims of this chapter differ, in this way, from Steve Moyise’s aim, in Jesus and Scripture: Studying the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker, 2011), which attempts to reconstruct Jesus’s use of Scripture as distinct from the representation of that use in the Gospels.

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2. Oral-Derived Texts as Performances of Tradition But first, we need to clarify some nomenclature. The present essay conceptualizes the evangelists’ accounts of the temple incident as performances of the temple incident tradition rather than as discrete, bounded versions of that tradition. In other words, we will approach Mark 11:12–33 and its parallels not as fossilized texts or frozen forms whose features are fixed, as in amber. Even written, chirographic expressions of tradition maintained a performative, adaptable quality that permitted multiforms and variability.17 Our written Gospels are instances of the tradition, actualizations, or, as we said, performances that deploy a system of potentialities and constraints, a system that was in place long before our authors sat down to write (or dictate) their stories. This has the perhaps counterintuitive effect of applying the dynamic language of “event” to static “objects” (viz., written manuscripts). A (live) performance has obvious differences from a (handwritten) text. This counterintuition is at the heart of John Miles Foley’s typology of oral-derived texts, texts that have some salient relationship (whether as source, context, contestation, or whatever) with oral tradition.18 Consider the multiple events in which our written-texts-as-objects are implicated: ●





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The traditions contained within our texts (including the temple incident) developed and were expressed and transmitted in various performative events, from informal conversations about past events to ritualized communal performances of an increasingly sacred tradition. The earliest Christian tradents were mostly anonymous (i.e., the identities of nearly all of the oral-traditional performers have been lost to us; obviously, they were not anonymous to their original audiences). The Gospels bear some relation to the earliest Christian oral expressions of the Jesus tradition. A subset of these earliest, oral actualizations of the tradition would include performances by the authors of our written texts. Theoretically, any of the written Gospels (and/or their sources, to the extent these are recoverable) may represent the first time their respective authors “performed” (wrote) the Jesus tradition. But as an a priori assumption, this seems unlikely. More likely seems the assumption that our evangelists were already experienced tradents with the Jesus tradition, that they had an established history of performing the stories of Jesus before they set about writing the story of Jesus.19 The Gospels bear some relation to the evangelists’ previous performances of the Jesus tradition. Once written down, the written manuscripts of the Gospels would have been read within communal ritual activities, whether as catechesis/instruction, worship, The now-classic study is D. C. Parker, The Living Text of the Gospels (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1997). See Rodríguez, Structuring Early Christian Memory (esp. Chapter  4); Rafael Rodríguez, Oral Tradition and the New Testament: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: T&T Clark, 2014), esp. 83–85. For Foley’s seminal discussions of oral-derived texts, see John Miles Foley, Immanent Art:  From Structure to Meaning in Traditional Oral Epic (Bloomington:  Indiana University Press, 1991); John Miles Foley, The Singer of Tales in Performance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995). Rodríguez, Structuring Early Christian Memory, 129–31.

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disputation, or any number of other communal events. Not just the contents but also other aspects of the earliest Christian manuscripts would have played a part of early Christian worship, including those texts’ form (codex), the distinctive representation of nomina sacra, the staurogram, and others.20 The written Gospels bear some relation to actual reading events, where the words inscribed on the page were read aloud to an audience, and the audience received the words it heard as verbalizations of signs written on the manuscript before the lector. Despite being available in written texts, the stories recorded in the Gospels continued to be recited, echoed, invoked, performed, and discussed in communal gatherings without specific recourse to their written expression.21 In his justly famous statement of preference for oral over written information, the secondcentury bishop Papias preserves evidence that writing down the Jesus tradition did not silence, freeze, or fossilize the tradition.22 Instead, the written texts—including the oral/aural reading of those texts in communal contexts—exist within a larger traditional milieu (or biosphere23) in which they are examples or instances of the tradition. The Gospels bear some relation to other, consequent performances of the Jesus tradition.

With all of these performative events behind and around our written texts, perhaps it should not be counterintuitive to think of the Gospels in performative terms, as related to dynamic events rather than simply as static objects.24 “No, the manuscripts are not performances, not experiences; but yes, they not only retain the linguistic integers

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For seminal discussions, see Harry Y. Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early Christian Texts (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997); Larry W. Hurtado, The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006). Media-critical scholars (e.g., Werner Kelber and Richard Horsley are among the most important media critics, and as such they are representative rather than aberrations of media criticism as a whole) have often overemphasized the cultural gulf between “oral cultures” and “print cultures.” Even if these were helpful categories (I do not think they are), “print cultures” such as Western Christianity continue to compose, perform, and receive biblical traditions without the compulsion of reproducing verbatim forms found in printed resources. Sure, any copy of the NRSV—barring some error in the printing process—will be identical with every other copy of the NRSV. But the version of, say, the temple incident taught in any given Sunday school lesson or preached in any given sermon will be a multiform of the temple incident tradition rather than merely a reproduction of the “frozen” NRSV version of the temple incident. Indeed, the printed NRSV does not even have a “frozen” version of the temple incident; it contains four different multiforms of that tradition. The temple incident tradition, even in a culture as reputedly print-based as Western Christianity, resists essentialization into one and only one—or even four and only four—form(s). Rodríguez, Oral Tradition, 4–5. Werner H. Kelber, “Jesus and Tradition: Words in Time, Words in Space,” in Orality and Textuality in Early Christian Literature, ed. Joanna Dewey, Semeia 65 (Atlanta, GA:  Scholars Press, 1995), 139–67 (151–62); see my discussion of this model of tradition in Rafael Rodríguez, “Betwixt Past and Present:  Jesus and John in Tradition, Text, and History,” in Bridges in New Testament Interpretation:  Interdisciplinary Advances, ed. Werner H. Kelber and Neil Elliott (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2018), 97–117, esp. 100–102. Larry Hurtado (“Oral Fixation and New Testament Studies? ‘Orality’, ‘Performance’ and Reading Texts in Early Christianity,” NTS 60 [2014]:  321–40) notes—objects?—that my conception of performance is “so broad as to encompass practically any conveyance of Jesus tradition in any form” (322, n. 1). His comment misses the point: I am reframing what the text is, both as a scribal product (the author/scribe as performer) and as an instance—rather than a fossilization—of the tradition.

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that constituted the meaning-laden idiom of the actual events in oral tradition, but, even more crucially, they hold open the possibility of access to the implied array of associative, metonymic signification that such a medium or register is uniquely licensed to convey.”25 Whether or to whatever extent performance continues to be the “enabling event” that brings the Jesus tradition into expression when written texts are near to hand, the tradition qua tradition continues to be the “enabling referent” within which the written versions become meaningful communicative moments.26 The temple incident pericope in Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John are thus performances rather than fossilizations of the temple incident tradition. They are akin to four distinct, autonomous actualizations of an encompassing system of potentialities and constraints, not unlike distinct utterances (parole) that actualize the potentialities and constraints of a system of language (langue). With this understanding of the written accounts of the temple incident in hand, we are ready to describe the temple incident paroles we find in the FG and its Synoptic counterparts.

3. The Temple Incident in the Four Gospels: A Description We start by noting a macro-level difference within the canonical Gospels. The Synoptic Gospels link Jesus’s arrest and execution with the incident in the temple. Readers encounter threats—even lethal threats—against Jesus much earlier in their narratives. Mark mentions a conspiracy to destroy (ἀπολλύειν) Jesus between (some) Pharisees and Herodians (Mark 3:6). Matthew, famously, has Herod the Great order the slaughter of Jewish boys under two years of age in an attempt to kill Jesus (Matt 2:16–18). The inaugural scene of Jesus’s Galilean ministry in Luke climaxes in the Nazarenes’s attempt to throw Jesus from a cliff (Luke 4:28–30). None of these early efforts to kill Jesus, however, will bear any fruit. Ultimately, the disruption in the temple on the eve of the Passover provokes the confrontation between Jesus and the authorities in Jerusalem— both Jewish and Roman—that will prove lethal. “The chief priests and the scribes were looking to kill him (ἀπολλύειν), along with the leading figures of the people” (Luke 19:47; see also Mark 11:18). The Synoptic Jesus, as is well known, ends up on the cross because of events in the temple. John’s Jesus is different for two reasons. First, the Johannine Jesus runs afoul of Jerusalem’s ruling classes primarily because of the raising of Lazarus. When the report of Lazarus’s resuscitation and of Jesus’s reputation arrived in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin in order to consider their options. The high priest that year, Caiaphas, “prophesied” that Jesus would die to preserve both Judean Jews and Jews of the Diaspora, saying, “Do you not reckon it would be better for you if one person were to die for the people than if the whole nation were 25 26

Foley, Singer, 64–65. The language of tradition as the enabling referent and performance as the enabling event comes from Foley, Singer. See also John Miles Foley, How to Read an Oral Poem (Urbana:  University of Illinois Press, 2002), 130–33.

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to perish?” (ἀπολλύειν; 11:46–53). The fatal confrontation between John’s Jesus and the authorities in Jerusalem is repeatedly linked with the raising of Lazarus (see also 12:9–11, 17–19). Conversely, nothing about his arrest, his various questionings before Annas or Caiaphas or Pilate, or his execution is linked to the disruption. Second, the incident in the temple does not close but rather opens the Johannine account of Jesus’s public activities. The temple incident follows on from the miracle at the wedding in Cana (2:1–11), though the water-into-wine—this “beginning of the signs” (v. 11)— does not really function as a public event. The servants who draw the water-becomewine know whence it came, and perhaps Jesus’s mother also knows. Other than that, only Jesus’s disciples appear to have witnessed “his glory,” which the wedding miracle revealed (v. 11). Not until Jesus is in Jerusalem for the Passover, immediately following John’s temple incident, do we read that “many believed in his name because they saw his signs, which he was doing” (2:23). If in the Synoptic Gospels the temple incident inaugurates the end of Jesus’s public ministry, in John that incident inaugurates its beginning. Despite this macro-level difference between the Gospels’ overall narrative arcs, the Johannine account of the temple incident is largely similar to its Synoptic cousins at an intermediate level. In all four accounts, Jesus “enters the temple” (εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὸ ἱερόν in the Synoptics; in John, Jesus ἀνέβη εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα) and “finds” there (εὗρεν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ in John; implied in the Synoptics) the objects of his anger. He “casts out” (ἐκβάλλειν in all four Gospels) the offending entities, whether “those selling” (τοὺς πωλοῦντας in the Synoptics; cf. John 2:14) or, in John, the livestock being sold. In all four, the temple incident evokes scriptural tradition—whether directly through Jesus’s own agency (so the Synoptics) or indirectly through the disciples’ retrospective memory (= John)—as well as the consternation of Jesus’s opponents. These latter are referred to differently; the Synoptics specify both “chief priests and scribes” and “chief priests and elders” while the FG refers, as is typical, simply to “the Jews/Judeans” (οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι).27 The opponents in all four Gospels question Jesus about his authority (ἐξουσία in the Synoptics; implied in John) to disrupt commerce in the temple, and in all four Gospels Jesus responds with a riddle.28 Finally, all four Gospels agree that the Jewish crowds who witness the temple incident marvel at Jesus’s words and/or deeds, to the point that “many believed in his name, because they saw his signs, which he was doing” (John 2:23). At the micro level of textual details, the differences between the Synoptics and the FG are more striking than their similarities. We can quickly catalog those similarities, beginning with John’s similarities with one other Gospel. John shares with Mark alone a form of the verb εὑρίσκειν with Jesus as subject, but the thing Jesus “finds” differs dramatically (only fig leaves in Mark; in John, sellers of oxen and sheep and doves). Both mention memory, though again the differences are more striking than the similarities 27

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The proper translation of hoi Ioudaioi is a live question in New Testament and Second Temple Judaism scholarship. For a recent and nuanced position, see Daniel R. Schwartz, Judeans and Jews: Four Faces of Dichotomy in Ancient Jewish History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014). Tom Thatcher (The Riddles of Jesus in John: A Study in Tradition and Folklore, SBLMS 53 [Atlanta, GA:  Society of Biblical Literature, 2000], 234–38) discusses John 2:16, 19 as riddles within a larger “riddling session.”

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(cf. Mark 11:21 and John 2:17, 22). A  closer—but more trivial—similarity between John and Mark: Both specifically identify the disciples as being “of him” (αὐτοῦ). The only similarity between the FG and Matthew alone is the accusative plural πάντας that Jesus casts out of the temple. Again, however, there is a significant difference between these two; in Matthew, the “all” modifies “those selling” (τοὺς πωλοῦντας), whereas the FG uses πάντας substantively and only later clarifies that the “all” refers to “the sheep as well as the oxen.” John has no similarities with Luke alone. When we consider John’s similarities with two Gospels, he has more in common with Mark/Matthew than with either Mark/Luke or Matthew/Luke (= Q?). John and Mark/ Matthew make common reference to five distinct details of the temple incident: “those selling doves,” “seats” (or “sitting”), “money changers,”29 “tables,” and the “disciples.” Again, these similarities occur mostly in quite dissimilar contexts. In John but not in Mark/Matthew Jesus speaks directly and specifically “to those selling doves” (τοῖς τὰς περιστερὰς πωλοῦσιν). Another difference: In Mark/Matthew, Jesus upsets the seats (καθέδρας) of those selling doves, while in John Jesus finds the money changers sitting (καθημένους) in the temple courts. Perhaps the most significant difference among these verbal similarities concerns the disciples (οἱ μαθηταί). The Markan disciples “hear” (ἤκουον) Jesus curse the fig tree; the Matthean disciples “see” (ἰδόντες) the tree wither (“immediately” in Matthew [παραχρῆμα], pace Mark). There is no withered fig tree in the FG; the Johannine disciples’ role is to “remember” (μιμνῄσκεσθαι; 2:17, 22). Of the five possible parallels between John and Mark/Matthew, only one is substantively similar:  In all three Gospels, “the tables” (τὰς τραπέζας) belong to “the money changers” (τῶν κολλυβιστῶν) and are upended (Mark/Matthew  =  καταστρέφειν; John  =  ἀνατρέπειν) by Jesus. The only parallel between John and Matthew/Luke (= Q?) is the use of ἀποκριθῆναι, “answer,” in John 2:19 (indicative verb) and Matt 21:24/ Luke 20:3 (adverbial participle); the parallel in Mark 11:29 does not use ἀποκρίνεσθαι to narrate Jesus’s response to his opponents. There are no similarities between John and Mark/Luke that are absent from Matthew. Finally, I count eight (perhaps nine30) verbal parallels between all four accounts of the temple incident. These include the opening conjunction καί (“and”), the location of the incident “in the temple” (ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ), mention of “those selling” (τοὺς πωλοῦντας) in the temple courts,31 use of ἐκβάλλειν for Jesus’s expulsive act, the double reference to the temple as “house” (οἶκος), the appeal to what “is written” (γεγράφθαι), the opponents’ question with the phrase, “you are doing these things” (ταῦτα ποιεῖς), and the introduction of Jesus’s response to his opponents with εἶπεν αὐτοῖς (“[he] said to them”32). Half of these are too general for a controversy pericope set in the temple to be

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The Fourth Gospel and Mark/Matthew mention οἱ κολλυβισταί. John also mentions οἱ κερματισταί, as well as τὸ κέρμα, both of which are hapax legomena in the New Testament and so not among the micro-level similarities between the Gospels. We should nevertheless acknowledge the thematic— or intermediate-level—similarity between this varied vocabulary. I am ambivalent about reckoning εἶπαν αὐτῷ (John 2:18) as a parallel to ἔλεγον αὐτῷ (Mark 11:28), εἶπαν … Πρὸς αὐτόν (Luke 20:2), or the even more distant αὐτῷ … Λέγοντες (Matt 21:23). The reference to τοὺς πωλοῦντας in all four Gospels is distinct from the reference, in John and Mark/Matthew, to οἱ πωλοῦντες περιστεράς that we discussed above. Luke 20:3 = εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς (“he said to them”).

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of much interest (καί, ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, ἐκβάλλειν, and εἶπεν αὐτοῖς). The other half deserve brief comment. The Johannine reference to “those selling” differs from its Synoptic parallel; in the Synoptics οἱ πωλοῦντες are the object of Jesus’s expulsive act, whereas in John they are the object of Jesus’s discovery in the temple courts.33 Jesus’s double reference to the temple as οἶκος also differs strikingly; in the Synoptics it occurs in Jesus’s quotation from Isa 56:7 (LXX), but the Johannine Jesus’s exclamation, “Do not make the house (τὸν οἶκον) of my Father a house (οἶκον) of commerce!” (John 2:16), is not drawn from Scripture. This previous difference leads to the next: When the Synoptic Jesus says (or, apud Mark, asks) “it is written” (γέγραπται), he then cites Isa 56:7 and Jer 7:11. The Johannine Jesus, on the other hand, never cites (or echoes or alludes to) scriptural tradition. Instead, the narrator adds an aside that the disciples, as they witnessed Jesus’s outburst, recalled that “it is written” (γεγραμμένον ἐστίν), followed by a quotation from Ps 69:9 (ET; LXX = 68:10).34 The final verbal parallel between all four Gospels is the interlocutors’ question about Jesus’s authority (so the Synoptics) or for a sign (so the FG) to legitimate “these things you are doing” (ταῦτα ποιεῖς); this seems the most interesting and suggestive of the parallels between John and the Synoptics. The usual arena of investigation that concerns itself with this level of detail regarding the patterns of similarities and differences between Gospels attempts to untangle the sources of the Gospels: Which of our Gospels are earlier? Which are later? Do the later Gospels depend on the earlier? Do any of our Gospels share a common source behind them? And so on. Our description of the various expressions of the temple incident tradition serves a different purpose. We are not asking source-critical questions; we are attempting to flesh out the shape of the temple incident tradition (= langue) that finds expression in our texts (= paroles). Consider the Matthean performance of the temple incident, which most nearly resembles its Markan parallel.35 Even here, where we are most 33

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“And he found in the temple those who were selling (εὗρεν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τοὺς πωλοῦντας) oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting” (John 2:14). On the question whether the Fourth Evangelist cites the LXX or a Hebrew tradition, Michael A. Daise (“Quotations with ‘Remembrance’ Formulae in the Fourth Gospel,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 [Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015], 79) leans toward the former without excluding the latter, arguing, “With regard to John 2:17/Ps 69:10, the LXX of the line cited by John follows the HB closely, having the grammatical (but not necessarily the semantic) difference of reading an aorist (κατέφαγέν με) for the Hebrew perfect (‫)אכלתני‬. The Johannine rendering, then, could just as well reflect an independent translation of the HB as it might a re-presentation of the LXX. That its word choices match the LXX (given other options) tilts the balance toward the latter; but that the evangelist elsewhere cites from the former … Bids restraint from too clear-cut a conclusion.” Using the NA28 text as a basis, Matthew uses 56 percent of the Greek words (212 of 378) in the Markan temple incident (Mark 11:12–33). These 212 Greek words comprise 64 percent of the Matthean temple incident (331 Greek words). This relatively high rate of verbal similarity masks a significant difference between Matthew and Mark. Whereas Mark sandwiches the temple incident within the account of Jesus’s curse of the fig tree, Matthew tells the story of the fig tree after the temple incident, along with appropriate but still significant changes (e.g., the fig tree withers “immediately” [παραχρῆμα]). Of the 179 Greek words of the NA28 text of the Lukan temple incident (Luke 19:45–20:8), at least 117 (65 percent) occur also in Mark. Although Matthew and Luke have nearly identical percentages of vocabulary in common with Mark (64 and 65 percent, respectively), Matthew includes a significantly greater portion of the Markan tradition than does Luke (56 versus 31 percent, respectively).

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confident a later author is influenced by a written source, the patterns of similarities and differences do not support the assumption that Mark provides the standard against which we should evaluate and/or interpret Matthew. We see this, for example, in Matthew’s disruption of Mark’s “sandwich structure.” Matthew preserves six of the nine so-called “Markan sandwiches.”36 Of the three Markan sandwiches that Matthew does not preserve, the temple incident is the only one Matthew retells completely without preserving Mark’s sandwich structure.37 In other words, Matthew shows no compulsion to disinterpolate stories that Mark intertwines, but here he accents the efficacy of Jesus’s curse by disentangling the temple from the fig tree and having the latter wither “immediately.” The Matthean performance is not a variant or redaction of Mark’s temple incident. It is not “the Matthean version” of a tradition that evolves linearly from one performance to the next, from Mark’s to Matthew’s and on to Luke’s and John’s. The search for an original “temple incident” is chimeric because “the original” does not exist and did not exist as a basis of our authors’ accounts. If Matthew could retell, or reactualize, a story without any compulsion to reproduce a previous performance, then we lose any rationale for interpreting the Matthean performance as a variant of an earlier source (i.e., Mark’s temple incident). Every time Matthew tells the story of Jesus in the temple, it simply is the story of Jesus in the temple. And it is the same story found in Mark and Luke; it is perhaps even the same story found in John. That “same story,” as langue, incorporates within itself an element of fluidity, of multiformity, between individual performances, as paroles, and this incorporation obviates any quest for an original form.38 This distinction—between tradition and performance, or between langue and parole—is akin to the distinction Albert Lord makes between “songs and the song.”39 If we are most confident that Matthew, as he performs/tells/writes the story of the temple incident, is familiar with a source, we are the least confident that the author of John has access to a source. We have already noted the macro- and micro-level similarities and differences. Of the 209 words in the NA28 Greek text of John 2:14–25, only 40 (19 percent) have a claim to any parallel in at least one of the Synoptic Gospels.40 36

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James R. Edwards, “Markan Sandwiches: The Significance of Interpolations in Markan Narratives,” NovT 31 (1989):  193–216 (see 197–99). According to Edwards, Matt 27:55–28:8 does not preserve the Markan sandwich of Mark 15:40–16:8, presumably because Matthew adds the note about securing Jesus’s tomb. I  read this as an expansion rather than a disruption of the middle part of Mark’s sandwich (the burial of Jesus; Mark 15:42–47). Matthew does not have a parallel to the notice that Jesus’s family (οἱ παρ’ αὐτοῦ) attempted to arrest/restrain him for concern that he was insane (Mark 3:20–21), which opens the first Markan sandwich. Similarly, Matthew does not have a parallel to the notice that the disciples returned to Jesus and reported to him their experiences preaching, healing, and exorcising (Mark 6:30), which closes the fourth Markan sandwich. “We find it difficult to grasp something that is multiform. It seems to us necessary to construct an ideal text or to seek an original, and we remain dissatisfied with an ever-changing phenomenon … In a sense each performance is ‘an’ original, if not ‘the’ original” (Albert B. Lord, The Singer of Tales [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1960], 100–101). See also Kelber, “Jesus and Tradition,” 151. Lord, Singer, 99–123. John 2:14–25 has thirty-five words parallel with Matt 21:12–27, thirty-eight words parallel with Mark 11:12–33, and eighteen words parallel with Luke 19:45–20:8. Seventeen of these words are common to all four Gospels (καί, ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ, τοὺς πωλοῦντας, ἐξέβαλεν, τὸν οἶκον, οἶκον, γεγραμμένον, εἶπαν αὐτῷ, ταῦτα ποεῖς, and εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).

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If John is aware of the Synoptic accounts of the temple incident, he is reperforming the story in such a way that we cannot confidently identify the influence of the Synoptic accounts except in the most general of senses. There is, however, one place where we can have confidence the Johannine temple incident refers to a written source: the quotation of Ps 69:9 in John 2:17. John’s use of Scripture here is a species in the same genus of source usage we have traced in this section. The Synoptic performances of the temple incident tradition are multiforms (= paroles) of a system of traditional potentialities and constraints (= langue) rather than redactions of earlier, more primitive versions. In the same way, the disciples’ memory of Ps 69:9 as they observe Jesus in the temple is the memory of a tradition rather than of a text.41 That is to say, the traditions both of the temple incident and of Ps 69—rather than any of their textual expressions—enable the Johannine expression of both in the present context. The rest of this essay aims to substantiate this claim.

4. Consuming Zeal for Your House As we have already seen, the Johannine Jesus does not quote Scripture during the temple incident. Instead, the narrator offers an interpretive aside that links Jesus’s words in 2:16—“Take these things away from here! Do not make the house of my Father a house of commerce!”—with what “is written” (γεγραμμένον ἐστίν). As others have noted, the link between Jesus’s words and the citation from Ps 69 is not entirely clear.42 The only verbal link between John 2:16 and the entirety of Ps 69 is the word οἶκος (“house”). This one word does not seem sufficient for explaining why the FE should invoke this psalm to explain Jesus’s actions, unless the tradition of the temple incident already included some connection to Ps 69. None of the Synoptic performances of the temple incident echo, allude to, or quote from Ps 69, so we are confronted by the possibility that the FE is the innovator who brings together this psalm text with the temple incident.43 This would not be terribly surprising, given how innovative is John’s overall account of Jesus’s life and teaching vis-à-vis the Synoptics. Further consideration, however, suggests that this particular Johannine innovation retains a thoroughly traditional quality. As we already noted, in the Synoptics the temple incident kicks off the events that lead to Jesus’s arrest and execution. Despite his transposition of this pericope from one end of Jesus’s public activity to the other,

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Daise’s discussion (“Quotations,” 78–80) fetishizes the textualization of the tradition in distinct documents, though the ambiguity of his conclusion as to which textual tradition John draws upon (noted above, see n.  34)  ameliorates the consequences of this fetishization. Catrin H. Williams (“Patriarchs and Prophets Remembered:  Framing Israel’s Past in the Gospel of John,” in Abiding Words:  The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 [Atlanta, GA:  SBL Press, 2015], 187–212) exhibits a more sophisticated and appropriate conception of tradition and communicative media. See Jill Hicks-Keeton, “John Makes a Way: A Narrative-Critical Reading of Psalm 69 in John 2:17,” in The Ways That Often Parted: Essays in Honor of Joel Marcus, ed. Lori Baron, Jill Hicks-Keeton, and Matthew Thiessen, SBLECL 24 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2018), 265–82 (272–74). Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John, 2  vols., AB 29–29A (New  York:  Doubleday, 1966–1970), 1:119.

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the FE preserves the link with Jesus’s death and gives that link a Johannine hue by clothing it in a riddle: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it … But he was speaking about the sanctuary of his body” (2:19, 21). John even strengthens the link with the end of Jesus’s story by looking back on the temple incident from a perspective after the resurrection: “When, therefore, he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he was saying this, and they believed in the scripture and in the word which Jesus spoke” (2:22). The FE’s quotation of Ps 69:9 provides yet further underscoring of the temple incident tradition’s function in explaining Jesus’s execution. Already in the pre-Johannine Jesus tradition, the memory of Jesus’s death, like a fundamental frequency, sets Ps 69 to vibrating as a harmonic frequency.44 The most conspicuous correspondence between the two, of course, is the offer of “vinegar” (or “sour wine”; ὄξος, Mark 15:36; Ps 68:22 LXX [69:22 MT = ‫ )]חמץ‬to Jesus as he hangs on the cross.45 The echoic allusion to Ps 69 in Mark becomes an explicit fulfillment of Scripture in the FG: “so that the scripture would be fulfilled (ἵνα τελειωθῇ ἡ γραφή), he says, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jug filled with sour wine (ὄξους) was there, so they set a sponge full of sour wine (ὄξους) on a hyssop branch and offered it to his mouth” (John 19:28–29; see Ps 69:21).46 The psalmist’s dismay at the gathering strength of his enemies and his cry to God (“Save me, O God!”; σῶσόν με, ὁ θεός [68:2 LXX; see also vv. 15, 36]) provide an especially apt context within which to regard Jesus’s suffering. So also is the psalmist’s plea, “Do not turn your face from your servant (μὴ ἀποστρέψῃς τὸ πρόσωπόν σου ἀπὸ τοῦ παιδός σου), for I am afflicted; hear me quickly!” (68:18 LXX), especially in light of Jesus’s cry, citing Ps 22:1, in Mark 15:34. Psalm 69’s compelling portrayal of “the Righteous Sufferer” provides a strikingly fecund context for understanding Jesus’s execution, and this despite some important differences between the psalm and Mark 15.47 As we turn from Mark 15 to John 2, the citation of Ps 69:9 in John’s performance of the temple incident is fruit of the conjunction of Ps 69 and Jesus’s execution. The Jesus tradition beyond the Johannine community already exhibited strong connections between the temple incident and Jesus’s execution, on one hand, and between Jesus’s execution and the Psalter (including Ps 69), on the other. The transposition of the temple incident in the FG from the close to the opening of Jesus’s story threatens

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See ch. 4, “Christ the Crucified: Christian Interpretation of the Psalms,” (pp. 89–117), in Donald H. Juel (ed.), Messianic Exegesis: Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1988). Juel, Messianic Exegesis, 96. J. Ramsey Michaels (The Gospel of John, NICNT [Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2010], 962–63) rejects that ἵνα τελειωθῇ ἡ γραφή refers to the fulfillment/completion of Ps 69:21; Leon Morris (The Gospel According to John, rev. Ed., NICNT [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995], 719) is ambivalent. The fact that Ps 69:21 has been invoked in the interpretation of John 19:28 suffices to demonstrate how traditional connections are made, whether by authors/performers in the act of composition or by readers/audiences in the act of reception. Holly J. Carey, Jesus’ Cry from the Cross: Towards a First-Century Understanding of the Intertextual Relationship between Psalm 22 and the Narrative of Mark’s Gospel, LNTS 398 (London: T&T Clark, 2009), 88–90. On the eve of the crucifixion, the Johannine Jesus cites Ps 69:4 to the disciples gathered in the Upper Room: “But now they have seen and they have hated both me and my Father; but [this has happened] so that the word written in their Torah would be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without provocation’ ” (John 15:25).

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to disrupt these connections. Once John disconnects the temple melee from Jesus’s execution, he rewires the latter so that it is connected instead to Jesus’s many signs— culminating in the raising of Lazarus (see John 11:47; 12:18, 37)—as the spark that ignites lethal opposition to Jesus.48 Yet even here, where John is most thoroughly reconfiguring the Jesus tradition, we can see the grammatical structures that enable that tradition to generate meaning. Even as John pulls apart the ruckus in the temple and Jesus’s execution, he nevertheless capitalizes on their connection by importing the already-resonant Ps 69 into his performance of the temple incident.49 The Jesus tradition also forged connections between the Scriptures—including the Psalter—and Jesus’s resurrection. Interestingly, the link between the Scriptures and the resurrection—as distinct and following on from the crucifixion—appears to be a distinctively Lukan theologoumenon that extends themes found in Mark and Matthew (see Luke 18:31–33; 24:44–48).50 Scholars have noted at least since Albert Schweitzer that notions of resurrection are insufficient to explain why the earliest Christians attributed messianic significance to Jesus.51 It is an irony of historiography that the most compelling evidence we have that Jesus accepted or was accorded messianic status during his lifetime is his crucifixion as a messianic pretender, as “king of the Jews,” perhaps the least messianic (or most intentionally anti-messianic) moment of Jesus’s public activity.52 Claiming to be or being acclaimed as the anointed “king of the Jews” could get one killed, but no one expected an actually executed Messiah to rise from death. John’s performance of the temple incident weaves together the disparate themes of messianic status (implied53), the temple, and Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection. One way to read John 2:14–25 sees Jesus’s frenetic expulsion of temple merchants in terms of his acquiescence to “zeal” (ὁ ζῆλος), as prophesied in Ps 69.54 According to this reading, Jesus, consumed by righteous indignation at what he finds in the temple, scourges the temple merchants for profaning his Father’s house. The psalmist, as

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As we already mentioned, the slot filled by the temple incident in the movement of the Synoptic Gospels’ plot toward Jesus’s arrest and execution is filled in the Fourth Gospel by Lazarus’s raising and its effect on Jesus’s reputation and popularity. “The psalmist’s zeal for God’s house (Ps 69:9, 68:10 LXX) led to his suffering, and thus provides a model for Jesus’ zeal. As this zeal ‘consumed’ the psalmist, so Jesus would be ‘consumed’—bring life to others by his death (6:51–53)” (Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary, 2 vols. [Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003], 528). For fuller discussion, see Rafael Rodríguez, Jesus Darkly: Remembering Jesus with the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2018), 61–66. See Juel, Messianic Exegesis, 25–26, citing Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus, trans. W. Montgomery (New York: Macmillan, 1968), 343. Dale C. Allison Jr., Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2010), 233–40. Even apart from the explicitly messianic references in John 1:20, 25, and 41, the messianic theme is brought into the temple incident through the reference to Ps 69. Already in the passion tradition, tradents of the Jesus tradition regarded the speaker of at least certain psalms (e.g., 22, 31, and 69) as the Messiah (Juel, Messianic Exegesis, 103); see also Richard B. Hays, Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2016), 312. Morris, Gospel According to John, 172; George R. Beasley-Murray, John, 2nd ed., WBC 36 (Nashville, TN:  Nelson, 1999), 39. For a forceful expression of this reading, see Marianne Meye Thompson, John: A Commentary, NTL (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015), 72.

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remembered by the Johannine disciples, anticipated this day when he wrote, ὁ ζῆλος τοῦ οἴκου σου καταφάγεταί με, and his words are fulfilled in Jesus’s actions. Steven Bryan and Benjamin Lappenga, however, have helpfully complicated the narrative referents for both the “zeal” and the “consumption” found in John 2’s temple disturbance.55 Although Jesus’s actions are presented as a demonstration of zeal for the purity of the temple, the passage is crafted so that the focus falls on the Jews’ ζῆλος that ultimately, but not inevitably, leads them to pursue Jesus’s death … It is at the end of [Jesus’ trial], when Pilate hands Jesus over to the Jews to be crucified (19:16), that the Jews’ “zeal for the temple” comes to full expression.56

Just as the referent of ζῆλος is ambiguous, so also is καταφάγεται’s. Beyond Jesus losing control of himself and being “consumed” within the temple courts, it is universally acknowledged that καταφάγεται refers also to the crucifixion.57 Of course, within just a few verses Jesus will legitimate his actions in the temple with a riddle that promises the resurrection (see 2:19, 21), and the narrator will assume as given the event of the resurrection and appeal to it as the fulfillment of both Jesus’s riddle and “the scripture” (τῇ γραφῇ καὶ τῷ λόγῳ ὃν εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς; 2:22).58 Therefore, there really cannot be any doubt that Jill Hicks-Keeton is right: “The quotation [of Ps 69:9] must be read as a reference not only to Jesus’s crucifixion, but also this resurrection.”59 The inclusion of Jesus’s resurrection within the ambit of the memory of Ps 69:9 in John 2:17 is not merely a function of “a Johannine hermeneutic of postresurrectional remembering,” per Hicks-Keeton. It also reflects broader—and so not peculiarly Johannine or even peculiarly Christian!—ideas about a king’s function as one who builds a temple.60 “It is well known that Jewish Scriptures and traditions often 55

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Steven M. Bryan, “Consumed by Zeal: John’s Use of Psalm 69:9 and the Action in the Temple,” BBR 21 (2011): 479–94. Benjamin J. Lappenga, “Whose Zeal Is It Anyway? The Citation of Psalm 69:9 in John 2:17 as a Double Entendre,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015), 141–59 (142, 147); emphasis in the original. Lappenga argues that the ambiguity of John’s use of ζῆλος in 2:17 encompasses Jesus’s as well as the Jews’ zeal. See, e.g., Brown, Gospel According to John, 1:124; Urban C. Von Wahlde, The Gospel and Letters of John, 3 vols., ECC (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2010), 2:107; Jo-Ann A. Brant, John, Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2011), 71. Jaime Clark-Soles (Scripture Cannot Be Broken: The Social Function of the Use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel [Leiden:  Brill, 2003]) argues that Jesus’s word replaces the Scriptures as the divine warrant for the community’s sectarian existence. “Through subtle and less-than-subtle means, the author empties Scripture of its usual authority and instead transfers that functional authority to the words of Jesus. Jesus’ word is God’s word, and Scripture is useful only insofar as it witnesses to Jesus” (294; my emphases). Contrast Hays (Echoes of Scripture, 283), who notes “a fateful circularity here: reading the writings of Moses should lead to believing in Jesus; but in order to understand Moses’ words, one must first come to Jesus to receive life.” Hicks-Keeton, “John Makes a Way,” 267. Joshua W. Jipp, in the Conclusion to his study on “ancient kingship discourse” in Paul (Christ Is King:  Paul’s Royal Ideology [Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 2015], 273–81), suggests this as a topic in need of further exploration: “Further studies might examine with profit Paul’s use of priestly metaphors (Rom. 12:1–2; 15:14–29) and his depiction of the church as sacred temple (1 Cor. 3:16,

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connected royal-messianic figures with temple-building. … If there was any truth that Jesus had claimed to rebuild a temple, then the implication would seem to be that he was indeed the Messiah, the Son of David.”61 The sign Jesus offers his interlocutors in John 2:19 (λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερῶ αὐτόν) and the narrator’s aside in 2:21 (ἔλεγεν περὶ τοῦ ναοῦ τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ) converge to identify Jesus’s resurrection with the cultural expectation of the rightful king as one who builds (or rebuilds) the temple.62 When, therefore, the Johannine narrator presents Jesus’s disciples as those who understand and remember that it is written, “Zeal for your house will consume me,” he taps into larger traditional ideas such as the opposition of “the Jews” to Jesus (including the implied prediction [in Ps 69:9] that they would destroy the temple of Jesus’s body), the son of David/Son of God who would build the temple of YHWH (see 2 Sam 7:12–16),63 Jesus’s ambiguous identity as the son of David (and his less ambiguous but perhaps more complicated identity as Son of God), and the well-known role of the temple incident in Jesus’s arrest and execution.64 John’s innovative framing of the temple incident in terms of Ps 69:9 highlights peculiarly Johannine themes even as it renders those themes utterly compatible with the broader (= non-Johannine) Jesus tradition. But what about the temple incident’s pre-Johannine connections with “what is written”? Framing the temple incident in terms of Ps 69:9 is a striking innovation away from the Jesus tradition’s association of the temple incident with Isa 56:7 and Jer 7:11. Isaiah and Jeremiah are, of course, eminently appropriate for a critique of the operation and leadership of the temple, both its sacred space and its cult. The Isaianic prophetic corpus dramatizes YHWH’S wrath against Judah (and the Jerusalem temple) and anticipates its restoration via a New Exodus.65 The anticipated restoration of Jerusalem’s temple is a sign of YHWH’S return to Zion and his regathering of the exiled people back to the land of Judah. In the wake of disappointment at that restoration, the prophet counterbalances the negative of continued wickedness among Israel with the positive of expansion of the YHWH cult to envelop both “the foreigner” (Isa 56:3, 6) and

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6:19; 2 Cor. 6:14–7:1; Eph. 2:19–22) in light of the notion of the king as priestly figure and temple builder” (275; emphasis in the original). Jipp, “Messiah Language and Gospel Writing,” in Writing the Gospels: A Dialogue with Francis Watson, ed. Catherine Sider Hamilton and Joel Willitts, LNTS 606 (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2019), 126–44 (139). Jipp is discussing the trial scene in Mark 14:55–65, but he explicitly notes the link between Mark 14:58 and John 2:19. Herod the Great conspicuously sought to capitalize on the temple-building function of the king of the Jews in his own efforts to bolster his legitimacy; see Josephus, Antiquities 15.385–87, 421–23. It should perhaps surprise us that Richard Hays does not discuss John 2:14–25 in his treatment of echoes of David in the Fourth Gospel (see Echoes of Scripture, 293–94). Clark-Soles (Scripture Cannot Be Broken, 237–41) demonstrates that the temple incident also performs a peculiarly Johannine sectarian function, contrasting the disciples with οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι: The former “know the Scriptures, believe them, and therefore believe (πιστεύω) Jesus,” while the latter “[search] the Scriptures but [come] up short even though the Scriptures testify to Jesus’ identity” (238). Her emphasis on the sociological functions of Scripture is a significant advance, but she overinterprets Johannine dualism and overlooks places where the boundaries between the Johannine community, as “sect,” and outsiders are blurred. Unfortunately, we cannot follow up this point here. The discussion of this Isaianic theme is vast. For a seminal contribution to that discussion, see Rikki E. Watts, Isaiah’s New Exodus and Mark, WUNT 2/88 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1997).

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“the eunuch” (56:3–4). The Synoptic Jesus, however, associates the temple leadership (and the nation?) with Jeremiah’s audience, whose conduct outside the temple does not match their worship within, and so the prophet asks incredulously, “Has my house, over which my name is invoked, really become a den of bandits before you?” (Jer 7:11 LXX). All of this, as we have noted, is appropriate for framing Jesus’s prophetic condemnation of the temple structure and ministration, which makes it all the more surprising, perhaps, that none of this appears in the Johannine temple incident. What explains these radical differences? Why should the FE abandon the eminently understandable framing of the temple incident in terms of Isa 56:7 and Jer 7:11 and introduce an apparently unusual framing in terms of Ps 69:9? The explanation posited by the present discussion appeals to the Jesus tradition as an abstract—but in no way unreal or inconsequential—phenomenon contextualizing the temple incident as well as the entire Johannine performance and presentation of Jesus’s life and teaching. Omitting Jesus’s quotation of Isa 56:7 and allusion to Jer 7:11 in no way negatively affects John’s story of the ruckus in the temple. In fact, anyone within John’s audience already familiar with a more Synoptic-like account of the temple incident can easily supply the themes of those verses—expanded access to the temple cult to outsiders, critique of the temple administration for frustrating that access, and so on—in their reception of the Johannine performance that omits them.66 Johannine omission is not the same as Johannine denial. The more serious change is not from Isaiah/Jeremiah to the Psalter. The more serious change is the pulling apart of temple incident from Jesus’s arrest and execution. As John moves the temple incident from one end of the narrative to the other, he introduces tension into his performance of the tradition, like two ends of a spring being stretched apart. The temple incident is too thoroughly embedded within and connected to Jesus’s death simply to serve as the inauguration of his ministry without further ado. This pulling apart threatens to pierce through the integrity of the “biosphere” within which the Jesus tradition sustained those who lived under its circumambient, enveloping cover.67 Whether or not John felt this tension and intentionally set out to ameliorate it, the effect of his citation of Ps 69 within his performance of the temple incident is precisely this. The temple incident, now relocated to the opening scene of Jesus’s public ministry—recall that the Cana sign, despite revealing Jesus’s glory, did so only to the disciples and perhaps the διάκονοι at the wedding—continues to serve its function in connection with the end of Jesus’s ministry.68 For Johannine auditors familiar with any of the Synoptic texts, this new performance of the temple incident loses none of its traditional referentiality even as it is relocated to the other end of the story.69 But even 66

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In other words, for the readers “prepared to receive the [textual] signals in something approaching their fully coded significance” (Foley, Singer, 93), John’s failure to cite explicitly Isa 56:7; Jer 7:11 does not prevent those texts from contextualizing their reception of the Johannine performance of the temple incident. Kelber, “Jesus and Tradition,” 151–62. This concept is not dissimilar from Clifford Geertz’s notion of culture as “webs of significance,” webs that individuals and groups themselves have spun and in which they find themselves suspended (Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures [New York:  Basic Books, 1973], 5). Similarly, see Brown, Gospel According to John, 1:124; Hays, Echoes of Scripture, 311. John’s familiarity with the Synoptic Gospels (and/or tradition) is a hotly contested topic. For one instance specifically focused on John’s knowledge of a Synoptic written text, see Richard Bauckham,

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for auditors completely unfamiliar with the Synoptic tradition, the Johannine temple incident maintains its traditional associations with the end of Jesus’s story: Jesus’s death and his resurrection.

5. Telling an Old Story Again We began our discussion with a basic axiom: “The absolutely new is inconceivable.”70 Even strikingly innovative moments in human culture and history—the French Revolution, post-Great War theology, the rise of smartphones, and so on—betray the truth of Connerton’s observation:  “The world of the percipient [i.e., the person perceiving a figure or event], defined in terms of temporal experience, is an organized body of expectations based on recollection.”71 Memories of the past do not act as a cast or a mold restricting the shape of future memories of the same past; instead, they provide a system of expectations constraining and enabling future memories. That system of expectations cannot prevent major reconceptions of previous mnemonic forms, but it does persist as part of the context within which new and innovative mnemonic forms are composed, performed, received, and interpreted. A clear and striking example of this persistence occurs in the narrator’s quotation of Ps 69:9 in John 2:17: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” So “what really happened”? What do we see as we stand atop “the Rock of Gibraltar of historical studies” and look toward the horizon?72 First, we should appreciate that the FG does not preserve evidence that Jesus overturned furniture and drove merchants out of the temple on two separate occasions. The relocation of the temple incident is a feature of John’s handling of the Jesus tradition and not a claim to a separate historical event.73 Second, we should recognize that John’s appeal to Ps 69:9 to frame the temple incident augments but does not displace other traditional locations (viz., Isa 56:7; Jer 7:11) in contextualizing Jesus’s critique of the temple. Third, all four canonical performances of the temple incident follow up that incident with a confrontation—or “riddling session”—between Jesus and the temple authorities.

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“John for Readers of Mark,” in The Gospels for All Christians:  Rethinking the Gospel Audiences, ed. Richard Bauckham (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 1998), 147–71. For rebuttal, see Wendy Sproston North, “John for Readers of Mark? A Response to Richard Bauckham’s Proposal,” JSNT 25 (2003): 449–68. Connerton, How Societies Remember, 6. Ibid. My emphasis. Recall Keith, “Memory and Authenticity,” 155. Pace E. Randolph Richards (“An Honor/Shame Argument for Two Temple Clearings,” TJ 29 [2008]: 19–43), who tries to explain the Synoptic Gospels’ omission of a first “temple clearing” but dismisses the question of John’s omission of the second clearing by begging the question. “The fact that John omits a Temple clearing during Passion Week is no more difficult to explain than his omission of Jesus’ baptism, the Sermon on the Mount, or the Transfiguration, or his inclusion of the hearing before Annas” (25–26). The obvious difference between Jesus’s baptism, the Sermon on the Mount, or the Transfiguration, on one hand, and a second temple clearing is simply this: “The Synoptic Gospels actually refer to the former and never to the latter.” Pace also Bauckham, “John for Readers of Mark,” 159–60, who sees only one temple incident but prefers Johannine chronology to the Synoptics.

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But the really interesting conclusions regarding “what really happened” do not center on Jesus of Nazareth. Our discussion has highlighted the FE as a tradent within the circumambient Jesus tradition, drawing upon the resources of that tradition to do something both interesting and new while also exhibiting a concern for the integrity of “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes” (1 John 1:1). Transplanting the temple incident from the proximate cause of Jesus’s death to the opening moment of his public ministry pulls against features of the Jesus tradition at both the macro and the micro levels. The appeal to Ps 69 to interpret the disruption at the start of Jesus’s ministry eases the tension that results from this pulling and is part of the complex of features that enables the FG to complement rather than compete with its Synoptic counterparts.

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Memory and Method: Theorizing John’s Mnemonic Use of Scripture Thomas R. Hatina

Since the time of C. H. Dodd’s seminal works, scholars have probed John’s embedded scripture quotations, their citation formulas, abundant allusions, and underlying biblical and early Jewish themes in countless studies in order to explain the provenance and construction of John’s Christology.1 The perennial appeal for explaining John’s distinct construction of Jesus’s identity has generally been approached from diachronic inquiry that is rooted in linear conceptions of text production, which have prioritized reconstructions as a means to meaning. I join this long-standing discussion by proposing a conception of text production that is rooted in social memory theory, which impinges on exegetical method. By “text(s),” I mean both the written Fourth Gospel (FG) as we have it and the embedded references to Scripture in it. Since our conceptions of texts affect what we do with them, I argue that viewing embedded Scripture hermeneutically within the theoretical bounds of social memory seamlessly steers the exegete to synchronic methods. One of the looming problems that I address is the relationship between social memory theory and its exegetical capital. This heuristic paper is divided into three parts. The first part briefly describes diachronic conceptions of texts as a point of departure. The second part provides an introduction to social memory theory and explains how its conception of texts not only challenges historical-critical methods but also provides a hermeneutical foundation for synchronic methods, particularly narrative criticism. The final part theorizes the exegetical enterprise by arguing for the prioritization of narrative criticism but not at the exclusion of diachronic inquiry. All of the canonical Gospels contain numerous direct citations of Scripture, abundant allusions, and underlying biblical and early Jewish themes, but John is particularly interesting because it presents the reader with explicit scriptural keys at the early stages of the story for unlocking the process of Jesus’s identity construction. As interpretive keys, they encompass all of the individual embedded scriptural references in the narrative. From one angle the Scriptures interpret the literary figure 1

For a recent overview of studies on the function of scripture in John, see Alicia D. Myers, “Abiding Words:  An Introduction to Perspectives on John’s Use of Scripture,” in Abiding Words:  The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2012), 1–20.

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of Jesus, yet from another they are interpreted by him. Both function symbiotically and are next to impossible to bifurcate since the narrative blurs the distinction between past and present.2 Three of the most explicit interpretive keys are 1:45 (“Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ ”), 5:39 (“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf ”), and 5:46 (“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me”).3 When these interpretive keys are read alongside programmatic statements identifying the purpose of Jesus’s mission (10:10, 19:35) and the purpose for writing about it (20:30–31) as the generating of eternal life through belief that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, then we are confronted with a text whose process of identity construction is multidimensional, with the most explicit dimension being scripture. John’s sweeping hermeneutical claim is not unusual in early Christian literature, particularly in relation to the resurrection of Jesus. The earliest is Paul’s general statement in 1 Cor 15:3–4 that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.” Luke similarly writes in his post-resurrection account that Jesus explained/interpreted “the things about himself in all the scriptures” (Luke 24:27, 44–47) to the disciples on the Emmaus road. So how do John’s interpretive keys function within a social memory model? In answering this question, it is important to step back and view John’s scriptural keys as contributions to an overall process of identity construction that is captured and preserved in the product of the text. Hermeneutically, text production and identity construction are inextricably linked when we are dealing with the medium of written texts, such as the FG. How we view texts determines what we do with them. In other words, a given hermeneutic determines one’s method, which impinges on how we answer the question about the function of embedded scripture texts. Explaining social memory theory and its impact on what texts are and what we can do with them as products of commemoration is best achieved in contrast to diachronic approaches, to which I first turn. Since the literature is too vast to adequately represent it here, I can only summarize the underlying conceptions of texts and their related exegetical principles.

1. Diachronic Conceptions of Texts In widely appropriated diachronic approaches—often associated with historicalcriticism—texts, like the Gospels, are assumed to contain an archival character 2

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Some advocates of a social memory approach tend to only focus on one part of the symbiotic process, which implies a linear direction. For example, Catrin H. Williams, “Patriarchs and Prophets Remembered: Framing Israel’s Past in the Gospel of John,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2012), 187–212. Other similar keys include 2:22; 8:56; 10:34–36; 12:41; and 20:9.

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or quality that allows them to be dissected and anatomized into layers of tradition that can yield distinctions between past and present, fact and fiction, continuity and discontinuity, memory and redaction, and even (for some) objectivity and subjectivity. Texts are viewed as products of prior influences whose layers can be archaeologically excavated as opposed to media that capture or freeze existential realities in the author’s present that may or may not preserve past influences, as is the case in social memory conceptions. To put it differently, diachronic conceptions are epistemologically optimistic about reconstructing the text; whereas social memory conceptions are not, as is explained below. The proverbial peeling back of the layers of the textual onion does not lead to an unmediated historical core of meaning. Every layer is also subject to the same problem because it too is never without mediation. As processes of recovery, diachronic approaches are well suited for data mining among the layers, akin to archaeology, but not for reconstructing their meanings or the internalization of the data by its varied recipients. Moreover, in diachronic conceptions, the text production process assumes transmission principles that tend to be linear whereby traditions build on one another like geological sediments. In many cases, practitioners of diachronic approaches fail to advance a theory of transmission or simply assume one that is consistent with their emic framework. Consequently, for diachronic exegetes, the meanings of texts tend to be determined by their underlying causes or influences. Methodologically, this understandably leads to prioritizing reconstructions of communities, their social conflicts, their opponents, and even authorial intentions. The aim is to retrieve a single meaning since the process is oriented toward a coherence between the text and a single point in time and space prior to the formation of the text. The derived meaning is often analyzed in relation to either preservations or distortions of a conceived “original” reality in the past or a continuity of a “static” tradition. The theological concepts in the Gospels have been particularly targeted for diachronic analysis. While John has not undergone as much form-critical analysis as the Synoptics, the locus of its theology has been subject to the sedimentary probing of source and redaction criticism for a very long time. From the early part of twentieth century until the rise of narrative criticism in the 1980s, John’s theology was largely investigated in relation to external underlying circumstances that the author or his community were supposedly experiencing. Once a plausible reconstruction of the events was achieved, it was believed that the distinctive theological agenda and message could be retrieved. The aim was to arrive at influences that could explain the early Church’s recognition of Jesus as Messiah after his resurrection, despite the supposed nonmessianic character of the pre-Easter tradition. Consider six ways in which meanings of embedded scripture texts are most often determined in relation to contexts assumed among diachronic practitioners. While some of these can overlap, they are helpful for drawing attention to reconstructions that are imposed onto the narrative. Perhaps the most common context that is proposed is the alleged Sitz im Leben of early Christian communities. In this approach, which is often associated with form criticism, the aim is to reconstruct the socioreligious setting within which the Gospel or some part of it was written. The resulting kerygma and its

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setting then serves as the context for reading embedded Scripture texts.4 Second, and closely associated with the first, is the redaction-critical approach that reconstructs the context on the basis of the sum of the redactional units. In other words, if a given quotation or allusion is deemed to be a redactional unit, in contrast to a traditional unit that has been preserved, it is read in light of a theological theme expressed through the editorial activity of the evangelist.5 The third context is a reconstructed Leben Jesu. Since most critics do not attribute many of the scriptural quotations and allusions directly to Jesus, this context is not proposed as often.6 A fourth context that is assumed, though rarely explicitly stated as a context, is an embedded text’s Jewish exegetical tradition. When approaching quotations or allusions in the Gospels, some critics turn all too quickly to the function of a given Scripture text in early Jewish literature—ranging from the beginning of the Second Temple period to the late Tannaitic period. Once a common function is observed, it serves as the interpretive key for reading the same scriptural reference in a given Gospel. More cautious adherents to this approach try to pick an interpretive tradition, if there are several options, that might best fit the immediate context of the Gospel in which the Scripture text is embedded.7 Fifth, a handful of critics have focused on the “original” context of the scriptural quotation or allusion, that is, the literary context of a given biblical book. In this approach, the function of a given text in the original biblical book becomes the interpretive key for understanding the function of the same embedded text embedded in the Gospels. The key point is that despite its change of location, the meaning of the text is assumed to remain constant.8 Finally, some critics view the context in relation to broader theological concepts that attempt to preserve the unity of the Christian Bible which are influenced by doctrinal interests, such as a salvation history, while at the same time adhering to historical-critical practices.9 4

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Form-critical approaches to the study of the Jewish scriptures in the New Testament have often pointed to C. H. Dodd’s little book According to the Scriptures (London:  Nisbet, 1952) as its chief catalyst. It could be equally argued, however, that the catalyst was the prior work of James Rendel Harris, Testminonies, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1916–1920), who argued that most of the Scripture quotations in the New Testament were based on a list of proof texts that he called a “Testimony Book.” Of particular influence was Krister Stendahl, The School of St. Matthew and Its Use of the Old Testament (Lund: Gleerup, 1954; repr., Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1958). Notably influential studies include, Bruce D. Chilton, A Galilean Rabbi and His Bible: Jesus’ Use of the Interpreted Scripture of His Time, GNS 8 (Wilmington, DE:  Michael Glazier, 1984); Richard N. Longenecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1975). Again, see Chilton’s influential work, Galilean Rabbi and His Bible; Bruce D. Chilton, God in Strength: Jesus’ Announcement of the Kingdom (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1987); Donald H. Juel, Messianic Exegesis:  Christological Interpretation of the Old Testament in Early Christianity (Philadelphia, PA:  Fortress Press, 1988). A considerable amount of attention has also been paid to John’s pesher type of exegesis. See the discussion in Stephen E. Witmer, “Approaches to Scripture in the Fourth Gospel and the Qumran Pesherim,” NovT 48 (2006): 313–28. In varying degrees, one can point to Walter C. Kaiser Jr., The Uses of the Old Testament in the New (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1985); F. F. Bruce, This Is That: The New Testament Development of Some Old Testament Themes (Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1968). E.g., N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God, Christian Origins and the Question of God, vol. 2 (Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 1996); Rikki E. Watts, Isaiah’s New Exodus and Mark, WUNT 2.88 (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1997).

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When John’s scriptural interpretive keys (1:45; 5:39, 46) are read from within the various contexts, then their provenance, meaning, and function as vital components of Jesus’s identity construction are affected accordingly. Contexts and reconstructions impinge not only on the specificity of Scripture texts, their events, figures, and symbols but also on their connection with specific aspects of Jesus’s identity.10 What is evident from each one of these approaches is the lack of consideration given to the narrative as the priority context within which the quotations and allusions are embedded because the underlying conception of the text is archival. Certainly, any one (or all) of the Scripture meanings in each of the six contexts can find their way into the host narrative, but it cannot simply be imposed. Two examples help to explain the problem. First, if we find that the Jewish exegetical tradition of Isa 40:3 is uniformly linked with an expectation of a new exodus, it cannot by default be imposed onto John’s use of it (1:43). The methodological problem is that individual pericopes are often read in light of an external and prior context before they are read in light of the host narrative.11 Arguably, both contexts are important, but the order of inquiry in my estimation should begin with the latter if we are concerned with the meaning and function of embedded scripture texts instead of their potential prior and/or external meanings. I see the problem akin to the one raised in the study of semantics. The questions posed about the meaning of words, be it their derivation, etymology, or semantic range, can also be posed of embedded Scripture. As with individual words, the meaning of quotations is controlled by the user, determined largely by the context in which the Scripture texts are embedded and partly by the choice of referent. If meaning is largely affected by context, then any reconstruction of the narrative or overzealous appeal to comparisons transfers the meaning of the embedded scripture text outside the narrative. At this point, the diachronic critic becomes the “new narrator” who gains control of the function of the speech insofar as he or she embeds the Scripture text in a foreign context. Sometimes the sense of the Scripture text is little affected, but usually the referent varies dramatically. The second example of imposition is found in exegetical works that operate with hermeneutical principles expressed in meta-narrative frameworks that stem from concepts about the Bible as a whole, which function as the “ultimate” context.12 As a reception process, this approach is understandable, but all too often it is presented in the guise of exegesis instead of reception. Texts are conceived as expressions of 10

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For a summary of diachronic approaches to the function of scripture in John, see Jaime ClarkeSoles, Scripture Cannot Be Broken: The Social Function of the Use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel (Leiden:  Brill, 2003), 1–8. In addition, other examples include, Anthony T. Hanson, The Prophetic Gospel:  A Study of John and the Old Testament (Edinburgh:  T&T Clark, 1991); M.-É. Boismard, Moses or Jesus: An Essay in Johannine Christology, trans. B. T. Viviano (Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 1993); Gary T. Manning Jr., Echoes of a Prophet: The Use of Ezekiel in the Gospel of John and in Literature of the Second Temple Period, JSNTSup 270 (London: T&T Clark, 2004), 1–19. For example, Martin Hengel, “The Old Testament in the Fourth Gospel,” in The Gospels and the Scriptures of Israel, ed. Craig A. Evans and W. Richard Stegner, JSNTSup 104, SSEJC 3 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994), 380–95. For example, N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, Christian Origins and the Question of God, vol. 1 (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1992).

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an underlying unified reality instead of an author’s construct of reality through the medium of language, which is more consistent with social memory conceptions. It has become common among scholars to speak of the Scriptures as being interpreted Christologically by the New Testament writers. In other words, the Jewish Scriptures are usually assumed to have been interpreted in light of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection. However, if the Scriptures (as they are understood through exegetical traditions) are memory frames that shaped how the present was perceived, then they are no longer relegated to being the objects within the hermeneutical process. Instead, they function as the drivers of the hermeneutical process. The embedded texts, which symbolically point to the underlying myths (or segments of them), open a window into a world of perspectives that helps us to see how and why Christian identity was constructed in competing ways. Today the reach of social memory theory is slowly extending beyond historical Jesus research to other areas in early Christian studies, such as Pauline literature and the FG, which is particularly well suited for attempting to test the waters since it invites the reader to reflect on both its underlying scriptural lens (1:45; 5:39, 46) and the process of remembrance (2:17, 22; 12:16; 15:20; 16:4, 21) from the perspective of the evangelist’s post-resurrection, post-glorification, and Parakletosinspired understanding.13

2. Social Memory Theory and Synchronic Conceptions of Texts Over the last decade, forays into social memory theory in Jesus studies have concentrated on the indissoluble relationship between the past and present, which has challenged approaches to historical Jesus research and how we understand the production of texts and the construction of identities in them. Alongside postmodern conceptions of texts in the works of, say, Derrida, Foucault, Barthes, Deleuze, and Genette14—who blur the lines between narrations of the past and imaginary narrations—social memory theorists pose an epistemological challenge to conceptions that are optimistic about diachronic reconstructions of layers of tradition and their ontological pasts and contexts. Not all social memory theorists can be painted with the same brush, but the majority would certainly align products of commemoration with conceptions of texts that have emerged since the linguistic turn and the rise of perspectival history. For instance, as Roland Barthes would attribute the existence of the past to language, so Aleida Assmann would attribute it to memory, both of which create a paradox for conceiving

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John Painter, “Memory Holds the Key: The Transformation of Memory in the Interface of History and Theology in John,” in John, Jesus, and History, Volume 1: Critical Appraisals of Critical Views, ed. Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher, SymS 44 (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 229–45. Painter well counters James Dunn’s claim that a stable core of tradition tended to preserve a continuity between pre-Easter and post-Easter perceptions of Jesus, but he does not ground it in social memory theory. To this list can be added contemporary historians, such as Hayden White, Keith Jenkins, and Frank Ankersmit.

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historical discourse.15 With respect to John’s Gospel, there simply is no way to adjudicate “fact” and “fiction” on the basis of the evidence we have despite its purporting to be a historical account (21:24–25). It can be viewed as rhetorically oriented fictive narrative whose fictionality is contingent on the audience’s reception, perception, and response to the story and should not be confused with a fictitious narrative that exists only in the author’s imagination. This does not imply that texts are no longer useful for the practice of history. The past is, however, conceived as a representation through the language of the text, whose function is no longer simply referential or descriptive but rather a means and mode of representation that can generate wide-ranging responses, affecting perceptions of genre. When the focus of inquiry addresses the function of language, new questions emerge about the relationship between the past and the text that addresses it. The questions, however, are not unbiased either. From a historiographical perspective, one can ask:  Is there nothing outside the text that can govern conceptualizations? Is it an autonomous whole? In other words, is representation found in the text or made by the text, as Frank Ankersmit, for example, would argue?16 From a narratological perspective, which is governed by rhetorical effect, one can point to the imbalance of texts and readers, as Michael Kearns does, and ask:  Do texts even have significance if situational contexts and effects on audiences are not paramount?17 Are conceptions of texts determined by reception? The point is that on the level of the narrative, there is no intrinsic differentiation between narration of the past and narration that is also imaginative and rhetorical, which by the way is a widespread characteristic of ancient writing.18 This etic conception of the text destabilizes the traditional archival one and the related reconstructive approaches that stem from it. The French sociologist Maurice Halbwachs (1877–1945), who was influenced by the philosophy of Henri Bergson and the sociology of Emile Durkheim, is often credited for expanding the study of memory as a psychological or individual phenomenon to a social phenomenon. Halbwachs advanced two main proposals. First, while he did not reject psychological (or individual) memory, he argued that it is never independent from social frameworks.19 Second, he argued that memory is always oriented toward the present, which influences how the received past is continually (re)shaped and (re)collected. At the same time, the received past is influential for meaning-making in the present, especially if the tradition is older, is adopted by a large number of adherents and is widespread. Since the past serves the present, the present determines how the past is remembered.20 The past for Halbwachs, however, was not what we

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Roland Barthes, “The Discourse of History,” Comparative Criticism 3 (1981):  7–20, here 19; Aleida Assmann, Cultural Memory and Western Civilization:  Functions, Media, Archives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 23–29. Frank Ankersmit, Historical Representation, Cultural Memory in the Present (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002), 36. Michael S. Kearns, Rhetorical Narratology (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999). Michal Beth Dinkler, “Narratological Historical Jesus Research: An Oxymoron?” in Jesus, quo vadis? Entwicklungen und Perspektiven der aktuellen Jesusforschung, ed. Eckart David Schmidt, BiblicshTheologische 177 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2018), 187–228, here 202–5. Maurice Halbwachs, On Collective Memory, trans. L. A. Coser (Chicago, IL:  University of Chicago Press, 1992), 43, 50–51. Originally published as Les cadres sociaux de la mémoire (Paris, 1925). Ibid., 183.

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might call “the actual past,” but rather it was the past as it was variously remembered. Contemporary theorists who have become influential in biblical studies, notably Jan and Aleida Assmann in Germany and Barry Schwartz in the United States, have revived and modified Halbwachs’s insights, especially in giving critical attention to diachronic processes whereby the present assumes earlier stages of reception. Nevertheless, memory is understood as a fluid process by which groups and individuals reframe the past to make it intelligible in the present with an aim to control the future. Put pragmatically, social memory theory functions as a medium of power, acknowledging that a writer’s control of the past is correlated to his or her control of the future.21 As a distinct model of text production, social memory theory collapses tradition and reception into an integrated process whereby constructs of the present and the anticipated future are shaped by culturally significant remembrances of the past. Texts are products, analogous to film and art. When tradition and memory are conflated, we can assume a past, but it is always a past that has always been received. To clarify, the object for social memory theorists is not the storage or recitation (Erinnerung) of select data from the past but rather involuntary acts of internalization and identity construction (Gedächtnis) where remembering and forgetting are inextricably bound in the service of relevance.22 Social memory theory challenges linear models of transmission and proposes that traditions, as products of memory, are more pliable, situational, temporally conditioned, and disconnected from some underlying reality that serves as a standard. In brief, its capital lies in its explanatory value for making sense of why and how reception works in constructing Jesus’s identity and the text productions that variously recapture it. Consistent nomenclature has been a problem in recent appropriations of memory. I  use social memory as a generic designation and adopt Jan and Aleida Assmann’s distinction between collective memory and cultural memory for differentiating acts of commemoration in relation to differing temporal frameworks that impinge on the relationship between the past and present in the transmission process.23 Recently, Sandra Huebenthal has perceptively appropriated the Assmann’s temporal frameworks that include gaps or temporal partitions that divide generations.24 While her focus is on the diversity of identity construction within early Christianity, her attention to temporality is particularly useful for understanding John’s conceptions of Jesus as a synthesis of two commemorative frameworks, one of which being Scripture. More than prior models that insist on rigidity of dating, this approach allows for more flexibility and indeterminacy in the development of early Christian thought. I turn first to collective (or short-term) remembrance that is formed over two generations, each lasting thirty to fifty years. If the next generation appropriates the 21

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Jeffrey K. Olick, “Products, Processes, and Practices:  A Non-Reificatory Approach to Collective Memory,” BTB 36 (2006): 5–14, here 7. Assmann, Cultural Memory and Western Civilization, 19–20. As an example of different nomenclature, note how Huebenthal’s use of social memory differs from my own in this volume. She uses it to refer to the earliest period of remembrance, to which I would assign the category communicative memory, though I do not use it in this paper. Sandra Huebenthal, “‘Frozen Moments’—Early Christianity through the Lens of Social Memory Theory,” in Memory and Memories in Early Christianity, ed. Simon Butticaz and Enrico Morelli, WUNT 1.398 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018), 17–43.

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remembrance, usually after the passing of the first generation, it does so in different times and different contexts, facing entirely different issues. Within this framework, if John is finalized at the close of the first century, we can situate its appropriation of the Synoptic tradition (be it one or all three of the Gospels) or its prior expression.25 The point is that John’s frame of reference is not the actual past of the late 20s of the first century, but the receptions that are represented in the Synoptic tradition emerging around 70, if not sooner, yet despite their stable essence as a perception of reality within their communities, their reception is nevertheless pliable and subject to selection and change in the service of the present, often within socially imposed constraints apart from individual ideological interests. Unlike the orthonymous letters of Paul during the first generation, which refer back to the original followers of Jesus and the event of Easter in a more experiential or direct way, John and pseudepigraphal letters of the second generation refer back to the perceptions of reality in the first generation. It is generally agreed that the second generation marked a necessary transition that led to substantial shifts in early Christian thought and structure. After the death of the original followers of Jesus in the early 60s CE (namely James, Peter, and Paul), which marks a generational gap, the continuation of the emerging movement required answers to new questions in a way that maintained legitimacy by means of a continuity with the authoritative voices of the past, one of which may well be represented by the character of the Beloved Disciple.26 At this stage, remembrance is, and indeed must be, much more pliable and constructive in the shaping of potential frames of identity formation in the service of relevance that is open-ended, lest it is lost in the past and forgotten. Prevailing iconic mental images (such as receptions of the resurrected Jesus) appear to override temporal factors such as the truth of their origins, which results in reducing events to mythical archetypes that primarily function to persuade so as to control the future. Since the meanings of Jesus during the first two generations are not yet standardized or institutionally sanctioned at the level of cultural memory, they are necessarily entangled with imagination and forgetting because prevailing bits of phenomena require order and connectivity, like a picture image akin to the Platonic theme of the presence of the absence, all in relation to ever-changing social contexts and networks.27 By comparison, within the temporal framework of cultural (or long-term) memory, shared group identities stem from inherited remembrances that are framed within a larger cultural system or web of significance. Barry Schwartz has called this plotting of present experiences onto an inherited template of the past “keying.” In his words, 25 26

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Assuming John’s dependence on the Synoptics proposed by the “Louvain School.” For purposes of comparison, Paul’s iconic image, so to speak, is Easter, which is the crisis impetus that initiates the Christian movement and can also be understood as a kind of generational gap within Paul’s life. Whereas for the author of James, it is the death of the leaders of the centralized authority of the Jerusalem church, especially (the historical) James. See Thomas R. Hatina, “Social Memory Theory and Competing Identity Constructions: The Function of Genesis 15:6 in Romans and James,” in 500 Jahre der Reformation in der Slowakei, ed. Maros Nicak and Martin Tamcke (Münster: Lit Verlag, 2019), 35–56. On the relationship between imagination and memory, see Paul Ricoeur, Memory, History, Forgetting, trans. Kathleen Blamey and David Pellauer (Chicago, IL:  University of Chicago Press, 2004), 5–55.

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“Keying defines social memory’s function, matching the past and present as (1) a model of society, reflecting its needs, interests, fears, and aspirations; (2) a model for society, a template for thought, sentiment, morality, and conduct; and (3) a frame within which people find meaning for their experience.”28 Schwartz argues that this is frequently observed among the evangelists’ use of Scripture. He writes, “The Gospels key the activities and fate of Jesus to statements in the Hebrew Scriptures an estimated three hundred times, which affirms both the Gospel writers’ mastery of Scripture and their listeners’ identification with the history the sacred texts describe.”29 What needs to be emphasized, however, is that keying, which usually highlights a patriarch, prophet, or event, is concerned with memories themselves and not the texts on which they are cited.30 The citations are symbols that point to existentially experienced myths. As a result, otherwise unrelated texts that refer to a common past (event or figure) can be merged into coherent and simplified plotlines that renarrate the past in a relevant way.31 In comparison to the generational gap that divides the first and second generations of remembrances, Jan Assmann’s concept of the floating gap divides collective memory from cultural memory. The central point of the floating gap is that it takes approximately 80–120 years to stimulate text production and media change that results in the standardization or canonization of formative stories that affect a group’s identity. If we use the death of Jesus as a starting point, then the floating gap would be dated between 110 and 150 CE. By the middle of the first century CE, the biblical portrayals of past events like the exodus and the great patriarchs (e.g., Abraham, Moses, and David) were well established in the formation of Jewish identity. They were particularly constructive during the Seleucid Period when threats to Jewish identity intensified. Even at that point, they well postdated the floating gap in the history of reception. Their fixed rendition in the medium of the Scriptures of Israel standardized the essential plot lines and narrated events, but their appropriation varied, resulting in streams of exegetical traditions that prioritized select aspects of the overall ethnic/national myth. Variations were essentially affected by needs for new meanings usually in periods of crisis and trauma, such as the war with Rome, which resulted in change of media and genre (e.g., Gospels), expanding the applicability of culturally significant myths.32 This same process occurs in John when the evangelist identifies Jesus as the objective of Scripture (5:39), Moses, and the Prophets (1:45, 5:46). The evangelist is not simply relying on inherited Scripture frames as analogies or proof texts to make his case. Nor is he constructing his portrayal primarily from the influence of his reading of Scripture as prophecy.33 While important, this practice only explains part 28

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Barry Schwartz, “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: Memory and History,” in Memory and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity: A Conversation with Barry Schwartz, ed. Tom Thatcher, Semeia 78 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2014), 7–37, here 16. Ibid., 15–16. Williams, “Patriarchs and Prophets Remembered,” 189. Eviatar Zerubavel, Time Maps:  Collective Memory and the Social Space of the Past (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2003), 13–14. Jan Assmann, Religion und kulturelles Gedächtnis: Zehn Stuien, 2nd ed. (Munich: Beck, 2004), 82. For example, Hengel, “The Old Testament,” 380–95. Hanson’s (The Prophetic Gospel, 19–20) thesis that part of John’s purpose is “to show that scriptural prophecies justify his picture of Jesus” is helpful in addressing the problem of historicity, but it does not address transmission or reception processes.

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of the production since it does not press the process of memory as Gedächtnis. Rather, the evangelist is using the archetypal status of Scripture as a selective filter or “key” for identity construction. So, as a mnemonic device, embedded scripture functions on the principle of identification that recasts cultural memories by collapsing the temporal distance between the past of “scriptural time” and the evangelist’s present. But identification, which is not a simple concept, should not be viewed in terms of a static system of thought whereby the product of memory, say Jesus or an embedded Scripture text, is assumed to conform with some predetermined meaning that has its roots in one group/individual instead of another. Rather, identification and identity should be viewed as a derivative of difference and not the other way around. Categorizations, meanings, and new identity constructions can only be derived from the ongoing process of relevance and potentiality, as it is expressed in postmodern philosophers from Nietzsche to Deleuze. In the same way, there is no such thing as set memories, as if they are ontological things. Instead, we can only speak of memories as acts that are always in flux. Identification as an effect of remembering is determined by its new intertextual connections that are always in motion.34 If acts of remembering challenge static identifications, then we can no longer speak of the identity of Jesus or the Scriptures but only of changing identities in a moment in time and space in relation to another. An approach to identification from the perspective of difference as opposed to likeness, which has been the predisposition in Gospels studies, can dramatically impact how we view the varied conceptions of Jesus and the Scriptures in early Christian thought, especially theologically and historically. It challenges the search for an underlying “truth” (in the way things are or should be) and replaces it with a search for possibilities of new connections (the way things can be), for the interesting, and for new calls of action if the only constant is flux. I think that this conception of difference as a basis for identity better represents the evangelist’s approach to Scripture and Jesus than the traditional conception that bases difference on identification. The FG clearly prioritizes difference as the root of existence, even if the evangelist may not have thought so. Temporally, what we find in the FG is Scripture that is newly remembered, bridged seamlessly from one era to another. Social memory theory has come to challenge the modernist sense of temporal distance by bringing attention to the fluid intertextuality of meaning-making, which leads to a better representation of the prophetic framework of antiquity where events are viewed as symbols of renewal that always lead to a prescribed telos.35 Catrin Williams captures the temporal assimilation well in reference to Moses by explaining that “the Sinai event becomes the archetypal-theophonic model for articulating the significance of the revelation of the incarnate Word.”36 Prophetic miscalculations do not require containment because they can always be renewed 34

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I regard intertextuality as an ideological concept used by poststructuralists who attempt to point out contradictions and fissures within all structures exhibiting apparent unity. Intertextuality discloses every text’s dependence on and infiltration by prior codes and concepts. It is not the same as “influence,” which refers to the embedding of texts within other texts. This is one of the key points in Jeffrey K. Olick, V. Vinitzky-Seroussi, and D. Levy (eds.), Collective Memory Reader (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Williams, “Patriarchs and Prophets Remembered,” 194.

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within a framework that is fixated on a religiously conceived telos and not subject to time.37 While as an ethnic Jew, the evangelist cannot but use Scripture to legitimize Jesus, he is also pressured by the synchronic context, which is only accessible to us through the “final” narrative. Certainly, Scripture was the primary cultural framework, but it was symbiotically integrated with a collective framework, both of which determined the retrieval of recollections and affected what was forgotten about Jesus. In this sense, no other memories would have been possible.38 The range of scriptural frames open to the evangelist, the selection process, and rhetorical aims are more fluid and subject to his imagination in light his experiences since they are phenomenologically driven in the present. In short, we are confronted with memory expressions through religious language that expresses the evangelist’s experiences and conditions of the so-called “limits of humanity,” to use Paul Ricoeur’s phrase. In reference to “limits,” Ricoeur argues that religious language tries to give expression to the very meaning of our existence and to the recognition that every person’s final dimension is beyond his or her own control.39 Religious language, in essence, expresses the confrontation between everyday human experience and the transcendent, always in the present, whereby “ordinary life is ruptured; the unexpected occurs; a strange world of meaning appears which disorients our everyday perception by showing us the limits to the ordinary and by projecting a sense of the whole that grounds our existence.”40 From a social memory perspective, the text is a product of a symbiosis of at least two commemorative temporal frameworks that accounts for the evangelist’s manufacturing of the Messiah within the context of his social present. Texts are not archives or products of prior influences that can be effectively mined and epistemologically verified. They are instead products of both Erinnerung and Gedächtnis, though the latter may or may not preserve its underlying influences.

3. Theorizing Exegetical Priorities The Ascendancy of Narrative If the FG is the product of mnemonic processes, then attempts to understand the function of Scripture can no longer be grounded in diachronic exegetical practice. This does not mean, however, that there is no place for diachronic inquiry, as is explained below. What it does mean is that the exegete requires a method that seamlessly aligns with the synchronic conception of texts. One of the obvious options is narrative

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Reinhart Koselleck, Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time, trans. Keith Tribe (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1985), 14–16. Halbwachs, On Collective Memory, 43–50. See Paul Ricoeur, “Biblical Hermeneutics,” Semeia 4 (1975):  107–35; Paul Ricoeur, “Philosophy and Religious Language,” JR 54 (1974):  71–85; Paul Ricoeur, “Philosophical Hermeneutics and Theological Hermeneutics,” SR 5 (1975): 14–33. Lynn M. Poland, Literary Criticism and Biblical Hermeneutics: A Critique of Formalist Approaches, AARAS 48 (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1985), 192.

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criticism, since it focuses on the text as a unified literary whole that conveys its own narrative world, people, places, events, plot structures, characterization, and points of view, all of which fix the social situation of the evangelist’s existential present. This integration was observed at the outset of narrative-critical approaches to the FG by Alan Culpepper, though the memory component was undeveloped.41 Synchronic interpretations are more open-ended because they are oriented toward a coherence within the perimeters that the text itself sets up. Even if a narrative is presented as a history (e.g., John 21:24–25), the events, structure, and formal features are not arbitrary but have a teleological purpose. While the narrative approach acknowledges polyvalence, it operates within a set of contextual limits, which allows for some testability that can curb otherwise insatiable exegetical desires.42 Umberto Eco, who by no means excludes the role of the reader, argues that on a practical level all critics, sooner or later, also find their limits. Using a far-fetched example that clearly conveys his point, Eco states that “if Jack the Ripper told us that he did what he did on the grounds of his interpretation of the Gospel according to Saint Luke, I suspect that many reader-oriented critics would be inclined to think that he read Saint Luke in a pretty preposterous way.”43 While I would propose casting the interpretive net more widely than Eco, his attention to a range of “signifieds” in his semiological system provides an important note of caution. My casting of the net can be aligned with cultural webs of communication that are foundational for understanding why and how a range of commemorations arise while others do not and indeed cannot. If we think of the evangelist’s use of the Synoptics (or some part of them) and his use of the Jewish Scriptures in his identity construction of Jesus, then his divergences should not be evaluated on the basis of either accurate or inaccurate representations but as one product within a possible range of options within the confines of its cultural web of significance.44 By redirecting attention to the narrative as the “controlling” context of John’s scriptural interpretive keys (1:45; 5:39, 46), we are able not only to see how these keys can be understood in relation to the story as a coherent whole and its constituent components but also in relation to the whole as a product of reception that is derived from a commemoration process. What exactly is intended by the evangelist’s references to “Moses and the Prophets” (1:45), “the scriptures” (5:39), or “Moses” (5:46) is not initially determined by mining for underlying Scripture texts or prior exegetical traditions. Rather, it is determined by the narrative that not only contains numerous quotations and allusions that can be linked with the interpretive keys but ironically presents the Scriptures as a counter-memory against the “Jews,” who do not comprehend that the entire testimony of the Scriptures is about Jesus.45 When the text is viewed as a product of memory, then it dramatically impacts what texts are and 41

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R. Alan Culpepper, Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel:  A Study in Literary Design (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1983), 30. Umberto Eco, “Overinterpreting Texts,” in Interpretation and Overinterpretation, ed. S. Collini (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 65. Ibid., 24. See the semiotic concept of culture in Clifford Geertz, Interpretation of Cultures (New York:  Basic Books, 1973), 5. Colleen Conway, “New Historicism and the Historical Jesus in John: Friends or Foes?” in John, Jesus, and History, Volume 1: Critical Appraisals of Critical Views, ed. Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher, SymS 44 (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 199–215, Thomas R. Hatina, “Intertextual Transformations

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what we can do with them. In a simplistic sense, it turns the exegetical inquiry away from what happened to how it happened, redirecting linear perceptions of history to John’s phenomenological perception of history. The rise of narrative criticism in biblical studies, with its concerns grounded in formalism and its attention directed to inner textual meaning and technique, as theorized primarily in the work of Seymour Chatman, has created an uneasy atmosphere among critics who, in their quest for ascertaining the text’s meaning, advocate the importance of those elements that are external to the text.46

The Complement of History That narrative criticism is a viable method that stems seamlessly from a hermeneutical conception of texts rooted in social memory theory is well and good, but does it have to limit the exegete to the parameters of synchronic inquiry? I argue that it does not. Diachronic inquiry still remains necessary for a fuller contribution to exegesis, but it does so in the service of the synchronic. Werner Kelber, like an increasing number of Gospel critics, regards both the historical and narrative approaches as “mutually enriching and corrective enterprises” since the Gospels are not only working out of and responding to tradition but in the process form their own related tradition in narrative form.47 Both methods are inherently complementary because, as Leander Keck observes, “a text is both an event in time (thus eliciting inquiry into genetic relationships—diachronic or historical-critical study) and an internally coherent work with a life of its own (thus eliciting inquiry into internal relationships—synchronic, structuralist or literary study).”48 On the one hand, an analysis of the internal textual dynamics of a narrative can provide formidable challenges to conjectural reconstructions, especially of John’s sources and community, based on stylistic and formalistic features. On the other hand, a knowledge of the external dynamics can certainly illumine the narrative. While the internal integrity of the narrative must be maintained, we need to be cognizant that at

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of Jesus: John as Mnemomyth,” in The Gospels and Ancient Literary Criticism: Continuing the Debates on Gospel Genre(s), WUNT 1, ed. David P. Moessner, Tobias Nicklas, and Robert M. Calhoun (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming). Chatman not only drew attention to the categories of narrative criticism but raised questions about how a narrative is communicated or, more specifically, how the implied author communicates the story to the implied reader. For Chatman both aspects of narrative, the story and the discourse, serve as the objects of analysis. The story is the content of the narrative that includes events, characters, and setting, while the discourse is the rhetoric of the narrative. The former asks, “What is narrated?” and the latter asks, “How is it narrated?” Seymour Chatman, Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1978). Werner H. Kelber, “Narrative as Interpretation and Interpretation of Narrative:  Hermeneutical Reflections on the Gospels,” Semeia 39 (1987): 107–33, here 124–25. Leander E. Keck, “Will the Historical-Critical Method Survive? Some Observations,” in Orientation by Disorientation: Studies in Literary Criticism and Biblical Literary Criticism Presented in Honor of William A. Beardslee, ed. R. A. Spencer, PTMS 35 (Pittsburgh, PA:  Pickwick Press, 1980), 115–27 (123). To these voices can be added Mark W. Stibbe, John as Storyteller:  Narrative Criticism and the Fourth Gospel (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1992); Udo Schnelle, “Historische Anschlußfähigkeit:  Zum hermeneutischen Horizont von Geschichts und Traditionsbildung,” in Kontexte des Johannesevangeliums, ed. Jörg Frey and Udo Schnelle, WUNT 175 (Tübingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2004), 47–78, here 58–59.

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every turn the diachronically derived supplement may in fact distort the very integrity we want to preserve and hermeneutically have to preserve. It is, in the end, potentially the problem that David Hoy and other literary theorists call the “critical circle.”49 The possibility of its escape, however, is a long-standing issue that will undoubtedly continue to be debated by philosophers and literary theorists for some time to come. While there is a tendency to advocate for narrative criticism in contemporary Gospels studies, the traditional weight of diachronic inquiry is still dominant, even for some advocates of social memory.50 So, how might we conceive of diachronic inquiry complementing narrative inquiry? Viewing texts as products of memory leaves the exegete with more limited parameters since priority is given to synchronic inquiry. Diachronic inquiry still remains necessary, but it does so in the service of the synchronic. There is no doubt that the narrative world of the FG is dependent on the real world, but the two should remain distinct, even if just temporarily separated until the narrator has had his final say. The determination of the exact relationship between the two worlds demands a method (and a conception of texts) that is beyond the scope of synchronic inquiry since the narrative is always a fiction resulting from a literary imagination that is integrated with commemoration. The narrative is a representation of a reality that cannot be reconstructed. Adele Berlin compares the representational role of narratives to a painting of an apple. The painted apple is not a real fruit but only a representation of the real fruit. The representation, however, is not a statement about the existence of apples.51 Berlin’s analogy stems from the perennial and unyielding problem of literary characters in contemporary characterization theory. Michal Beth Dinkler has well summarized the problem by explaining the divide. On one side are those who advocate for a referential or mimetic view that treats “literary characters as extratextual beings who somehow exist outside the text (e.g. in the authors’ or readers’ minds or in the actual ‘real world’).” On the other side are those who advocate for a formalist or non-mimetic view, claiming that “characters can actually only exist in a text, even if they are based on actual flesh-andblood people.”52 Persuaded by the narratological work of Alex Woloch who attempts to resolve the problem that unnecessarily creates a theoretical contradiction for literary characters, Dinkler proposes that we see figures like Jesus in the Gospels as occupying a character space whereby the implied persons behind the literary figure can only be partially reflected because the identity construction is radically dependent on the narrative, which in terms of process overlaps with commemoration. In Woloch’s words, “Our sense of the human figure (as implied person) is inseparable from the space that he or she occupies within the narrative totality.”53 The space to which Woloch and Dinkler refer is the interaction of the main character with all of the other characters in

49

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E.g., David C. Hoy, The Critical Circle:  Literature and History in Contemporary Hermeneutics (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1978). For example, Mary B. Spaulding, Commemorative Identities: Jewish Social Memory and the Johannine Feast of Booths, LNTS 396 (London: T&T Clark, 2009). Adele Berlin, Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative (Sheffield: Almond Press, 1983), 13–14. Dinkler, “Narratological Historical Jesus Research,” 211. Alex Woloch, The One vs. the Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), 13.

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the narrative. Whatever knowledge or constraints about Jesus the evangelist may have been assuming are unfortunately lost to us.54 The main reason why I address the problem of representation from a characterization perspective is that it may be useful for conceiving anew the function of John’s scriptural interpretive keys (1:45; 5:39, 46)  within a narrative-critical approach. Since the Scriptures and their assumed authors (i.e., Moses and the Prophets) play a significant role in the identity construction of Jesus,55 can we treat them as a character group and subject them to the same kind of analysis? Might they even represent the already ubiquitous “Father” as a character in the rhetoric (8:19, cf. 5:39)? If so, then they occupy a character space whereby their implied meaning and function behind their literary representation, which may even be present in part, is only accessible in the rhetorically constructed narrative. The Scriptures become inseparable from the space they occupy in the narrative, interacting and developing both Jesus as the protagonist and the “Jews” as antagonists. While historical critics usually take a referential approach to the function of the Scriptures in John and post-structuralists take a mimetic one, Woloch’s narratological approach, which admittedly comes closer to the mimetic, may be useful in the narrative-critical exegetical enterprise that is rooted in a mnemonic conception of the FG. What this means is that the function of Scripture is derived from its interactions with other characters, which requires the exegete to explore how the story world—in comparison to other Gospel story worlds that appropriate Scripture— creates a specific context and contingency. The effect of the comparison is that the function of Scripture and its meaning is never determined apart from its reception. In other words, how the evangelist remembers the Scriptures in relation to Jesus as the story’s unifying figure is potentially different from other evangelists and certainly different from how the antagonists (implied and literary) remember them. While the FG’s story world is the primary determinant, it is also the location for the convergence between the implied Scriptures, which is the vast intertextual web of early Jewish and Christian exegetical traditions along with their contexts and the rhetorically shaped function of the Scriptures in the FG. The convergence opens the door for historians who are interested in the function of Scripture in the FG vis-à-vis intra-Jewish or Jewish-Christian conflicts that are expressed through a variety of literary modes and depictions of the past. Since Scripture is always exploited from the side of the narrated protagonist, we cannot escape its rhetorical function, which likewise opens the door for the historian or diachronic critic. Since rhetoric requires representation, it steers the exegete to a holistic approach—incorporating narrator, text, and audience—that might be fruitfully developed through a rhetorical narratology as proposed, for example, by Kearns, who views narratives as socially constructed products that interact with situational contexts and receptions.56 If the FG is at least a conversational product, then the lines of connection between narrator, his cultural location, and his construction of history

54 55

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Dinkler, “Narratological Historical Jesus Research,” 212–14. See, e.g., Stan Harstine, Moses as a Character in the Fourth Gospel:  A Study of Ancient Reading Techniques, JSNTSup 229 (London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002). Kearns, Rhetorical Narratology.

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and identity converge in the text.57 Temporally, the text is also the locus of convergence where the received past and an anticipated future create a fixed present. In its complementary function, diachronic inquiry can pose further limits on exegetical options. Just as the overall coherence of the narrative serves as a limiting criterion on the synchronic level, so also the sociohistorical background and its symbolic system in which the narrative is grounded serves as a limiting criterion on the diachronic level but only as a range of data points that are perspectival and discriminatory products of scholarship. In short, backgrounds are also constructs. For example, while an interpretation of Jesus’s confrontation with Jewish religious authorities over the aim of the Scriptures in John 5:39–47 must first consider the inner connection of the narrative world, it can subsequently benefit from a constructed social and rhetorical dynamic of communal power struggles and the significance of its shared symbols and rituals, which can intensify the conflicts and sharpen identity constructions. Here is where I would engage methodologically with the work of Jaime Clarke-Soles who rightly invites further dialogue on John’s use of Scripture from a sociological angle.58 While her focus on the sociological dimension is laudable, it is not clear where her comparative/reconstructive approach to a sectarian Johannine community intersects with the narratology.

4. Implications I conclude with three related implications. First, and more to the point of the paper, if the FG is viewed as a synthesis of collective and cultural memory, then it forces us to engage in a conversation about its implications for exegesis. Since the conversation to date has been sparse, at least in the literature, my aim is to stimulate it. In so doing, I have argued that the FG as a mnemonic text preserves a narrated and rhetorically shaped world wherein the Messiah is constructed. A  key component in that construction is Scripture (1:45; 5:39, 46), whose function is determined by prioritizing a synchronic exegetical approach, such as narrative criticism. Only secondly should it be complemented by a diachronic inquiry that does not undermine the story that is the preservation of the memory. Second, viewing the FG as a memory text provides a window into how protagonists and antagonists (especially the “Jews”) were constructed. The mnemonic process reveals that group identities and their interactions were not based on assumed realities that can be reconstructed or some standardized meanings of the Scriptures but always in light of their reception(s). In the FG, for example, Scripture ironically condemns the Jewish leadership. The process of interpreting new events in terms of preexisting ones has a reciprocal effect: Not only does the new event become intelligible by means of the old, but the old itself is given a new understanding and becomes meaningful in

57 58

Dinkler, “Narratological Historical Jesus Research,” 207. Jaime Clarke-Soles, “Scripture Cannot be Broken: The Social Function of the Use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel,” in Abiding Words: The Use of Scripture in the Gospel of John, ed. Alicia D. Myers and Bruce G. Schuchard, RBS 81 (Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2012), 95–117.

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light of the new. Questions like “What really happened?” or “Who really was Jesus and who were the ‘Jews’?” give way to “Why did the evangelist think it really happened that way?” or “Who was Jesus and who were the ‘Jews’ for the evangelist?” While sometimes certain interpretations of Scripture developed in postbiblical Judaism governed the way some passages were read for centuries well into the early medieval period,59 more often than not new situations led to innovative results and changed past meanings forever.60 Third, while collective memories can lead to cultural memories, it is never predictable. Many of these convergences in the first century do not seem to endure to the status of cultural memory beyond the floating gap. Jesus’s identity in John, as informed/confirmed by Moses and the Prophets, seems to be of less importance in subsequent generations of the second and third centuries. The Scriptures are re-remembered, bringing its figures and events from one era to another in a juxtaposed fashion, but in the process any residual meanings from the “old era” are forgotten in Christian allegorical practices and recapitulations that reformulated biblical figures and events into cultural memories of Jesus as the new frames for Christian identity formation. A case in point is Justin’s construct of human achievement, which he claimed is unattainable apart from the divine logos (the Christ). For him, great figures, like Socrates, Heraclitus, and Abraham, must have been Christian (Apol. 1.46.3). Further to the point, he claims that study of the “prophetic scripture,” namely the Septuagint, led him to Christian faith (Dial. 3.1).61

59 60

61

See, e.g., Geza Vermes, Post-Biblical Jewish Studies, SJLA 8 (Leiden: Brill, 1975). Michael A. Fishbane, “Torah and Tradition,” in Tradition and Theology in the Old Testament, ed. Douglas A. Knight (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1977), 295. See also the second-century apologists Tatian (Or. Graec. 29.2) and Theophilus of Antioch (Autol. 1.14–15).

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Index of Authors

Achtemeier, P. J. 5, 106 Alkier, S. 15, 16, 19, 46–7, 114 Allison, D. C. 173, 213 Anatolios, K. 93 Anderson, P. N. 6, 26, 57–61, 63–6, 68–9, 72–3, 76–80, 111, 201 Ankersmit, F. 224, 225 Archer, G. L. 125, 129, 130, 131 Ashton, J. 11, 31 Assmann, A. 224–6 Assmann, J. 23, 184, 226, 228 Attridge, H. W. 9 Auerbach, E. 17 Aune, D. E. 38, 107, 110, 117 Avigad, N. 49 Barrett, C. K. 46, 57, 59, 86–8, 116, 118 Barthes, R. 19, 224–5 Bauckham, R. J. 59, 72, 216–17 Beasley-Murray, G. R. 88, 133, 135, 213 Becker, E.-M. 156 Belle, G. van 98 Berlin, A. 233 Bernard, J. H. 46, 122 Beutler, J. 31, 46, 144, 160, 193, 195, 198 Beyrouti, F. E. 92–6 Billerbeck, P. 172 Black, C. C. 9, 160 Blomberg, C. L. 201 Boer, M. C. de 26, 31–4, 44, 61, 108 Bogel, F. V. 139, 140 Boismard, M.-E. 40, 73, 168, 223 Booth, W. 14, 113 Borgen, P. J. 7–8, 38, 40, 59, 69, 73 Boyarin, D. 37 Brant, J.-A. A. 214 Brawley, R. L. 15 Breed, B. W. 91 Brendsel, D. J. 198–9

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Brickle, J. E. 20–22 Brown, R. E. 7, 14, 32, 46, 48, 58–61, 79, 85–6, 88–9, 91, 133, 145, 153, 169, 172, 178, 211, 214, 216 Bruce, F. F. 222 Brunson, A. C. 15, 18, 141–2, 144–5, 147 Bryan, S. M. 214 Bühner, J.-A. 73 Bultmann, R. 6, 7, 26, 34, 42, 45, 51, 59, 78, 83–4, 86–7, 90, 91, 97–100 Burge, G. M. 202 Bynum, W. R. 5, 6, 121, 147, 149, 150 Cameron, A. 105 Campbell, C. R. 134 Carey, H. J. 212 Carson, D. A. 1, 58 Carter, W. 26, 47, 48, 50–2, 56 Casey, M. 201 Cassidy, R. J. 59 Catchpole, D. R. 141 Chatman, S. B. 107, 112–13, 116, 232 Chennattu, R. M. 121–2, 160–1, 164 Chilton, B. D. 38, 222 Chirichigno, G. 125, 129–31 Cho, S. 73 Clark, K. 66 Clark-Soles, J. 10–11, 69, 214–15 Claussen, C. 168 Cockburn, B. 83, 100 Collins, J. J. 72 Coloe, M. L. 77, 201 Connerton, P. 203, 217 Conte, G. B. 14, 106 Conway, C. M. 12, 231 Court, J. 166 Crawford, S. W. 165 Culler, J. D. 14, 19, 47, 107–8 Culpepper, R. A. 11–12, 27, 60, 84, 231

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266

Index of Authors

Daise, M. A. 77, 152, 209, 211 Daly-Denton, M. 15, 16, 18–19 Danby, H. 144 Daube, D. 9 Davies, P. E. 73 De Lubac, H. 93 Dillery, J. T. 159 Dinkler, M. B. 139, 140, 225, 233–5 Dodd, B. J. 170 Dodd, C. H. 2–3, 6, 7, 17, 116–18, 132–3, 170, 171, 219, 222 Dormeyer, D. 112, 113 Dubrow, H. 140 Duff, P. B. 141 Dumbrell, W. J. 87 Eagleton, T. 111 Eco, U. 113, 231 Edwards, J. R. 210 Ellens, J. H. 7 Epp, E. J. 37–38, 41 Estes, D. 109 Evans, C. A. 4, 26, 37, 89, 122, 124, 132–3, 135, 195 Fanning, B. M. 134 Farmer, W. R. 144 Faure, A. 2, 12–13 Fishbane, M. A. 89, 236 Foley, J. M. 204, 206, 216 Förster, H. 192, 194, 196, 199 Fortna, R. T. 42 Freed, E. D. 2–5, 57, 68, 80, 121, 125, 144–5, 149, 160 Frey, J. 159, 172, 186–7 Frier, B. W. 52 Friesen, S. J. 50–1 Frye, N. 108, 110–13, 116 Funk R. W. 201 Gamble, H. Y. 105, 205 Garnsey, P. D. A. 51–2 Gathercole, S. J. 62 Geertz, C. 216, 231 Genette, G. 113–14, 156, 224 Gergen, K. 199 Gillingham, S. 91 Glasson, T. F. 40, 73, 126, 168

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Goldin, J. 43 Goodwin, C. 4, 5–6 Gordley, M. E. 37 Goulder, M. 108, 109 Graetz, H. 39 Gray, V. 158 Gundry, R. H. 145 Haenchen, E. 45, 48, 85, 88, 92, 118 Hahn, F. 73, 167, 170 Halbwachs, M, 22–3, 183–5, 187–8, 203, 225–6, 230 Hallback, G. 14 Hamerton-Kelly, R. 77 Hanson, A. 52 Hanson, A. T. 8, 62, 144, 160, 162, 163, 223, 228 Hanson, J. S. 55 Hanson, K. C. 49, 55 Hanson, R. P. C. 93 Harris, J. R. 3. 222 Harstine, S. D. 41, 73, 126, 168, 234 Hatina, T. R. 16, 17–18, 22–4, 28, 227, 231 Hays, R. B. 15–19, 21, 46, 57, 66, 68, 80, 213, 215–16 Hebekus, U. 106 Heckel, U. 105 Heil, J. P. 77 Heine, R. 93 Hengel, M. 7, 108–9, 112, 170, 123, 128, 223, 228 Hezser, C. 105 Hicks-Keeton, J. 211, 214 Hock, R. F. 104 Hofrichter, P. 34 Holquist, M. 66 Hoover, R. W. 201 Horsley, R. A. 55, 205 Hoskins, P. M. 77 Hoy, D. C. 233 Huebenthal, S. 22, 24, 27, 183, 186, 226 Humble, S. E. 66 Hurtado, L. W. 205 Hylen, S. 15 Ilgner, J. 157 Isaacs, M. E. 67 Iser, W. 106

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267

Index of Authors Jaeger, S. 155–6 Jauss, H. R. 14, 18 Jipp, J. W. 214–15 Johnson, L. T. 202 Jonge, M. de 72 Juel, D. H. 1, 7, 212–13, 222 Kaiser, W. C. 15, 222 Kanagaraj, J. J. 56 Kannengiesser, C. 94 Kearns, M. S. 225, 234 Keck, L. E. 232 Keener, C. S. 46, 48, 88, 104, 111, 115, 169, 171, 213 Keith, C. 105, 117, 202, 217 Kelber, W. H. 20, 205, 210, 216, 232 Kennedy, G. A. 9, 104, 106, 108, 111 King, L. A. 53 Kinneavy, J. L. 105 Kirk, A. 24 Klauck, H.-J. 160–1 Klein, C. 155–6 Koch, S, 162 Koester, C. R. 115 Koselleck, R. 230 Köstenberger, A. J. 46, 121–2, 125, 128–30, 133–4, 210 Kozowski, M. 16 Kraus, W 162, 164, 199 Kristeva, J. 16, 18, 47 Kuyama, M. 93 Labahn, M. 20, 159 Lambrecht, J. 104 Lang, M, 159 Lappenga, B. J. 214 Lategan, B. C. 157 Lausberg, H. 106 Le Donne, A. 19–20, 22–3 Lenski, G. E. 50, 54 Leon, D. M. 37 Lett, J. 88–9, 188, 192 Levinson, M. 139 Levy, B. B. 37 Liebermann, S. 9 Lierman, J. 168 Lieu, J. 12 Lightfoot, J. B. 201

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267

Lindars, B. 1, 7, 16, 46, 60, 88, 178 Lindemann, A. 168 Loisy, A. 3 Longenecker, B. W. 50–1 Longenecker, R. 7, 222 Lord, A. B. 210 Lukeš, J. 27, 105 Luther, S. 27, 155–8, 166 MacDonald, M. C. A. 104–5 Mackay, I. D. 59 Macnamara, L. 187 Mann, M. 49 Manning, G. T. 15–17, 223 Manns, F. 8 Marincola, J. 158 Martin, R. P. 170 Martínez, M. 155–6 Martyn, J. L. 1, 10, 14, 59, 69, 73, 76, 187 Matson, M. A. 202 Mattingly, D. J. 51–2 McGrath, J. F. 79 McGuckin, J. A. 93 McNamara, M. 37–8 Meeks, W. A. 10, 40, 73, 168 Meier, J. P. 202 Menken, M. J. J. 3–5, 57, 68, 88, 121, 125, 144, 147, 149, 151, 160–1, 164–6, 192 Merkle, B. L. 134 Michaels, J. 212 Moloney, F. J. 13, 46, 48, 64, 77, 88, 108, 164–5 Moore, S. D. 139 Morgan, R. 57, 68 Morris, L. L. 46, 212–13 Moyise, S. 15–17, 203 Munslow, A. 156 Mussner, F. 78 Myers, A. D. 1–2, 5, 7, 8–10, 12–14, 104–5, 151, 219 Neirynck, F. 159 Neusner, J. 68 Neyrey, J. H. 10, 112, 143 Nicholson, G. C. 66 Norden, E. 106 North, W. S. 217

27-Nov-19 12:47:44

268

268

Index of Authors

Oakman, D. E. 49, 55 Obermann, A. 12–13, 145, 147, 161–2, 164–5 O’Day, G. R. 48 Öhler, M. 168 Olbrechts-Tyteca, L. 12 Olick, J. K. 226, 229 Oliver, W. H. 92 O’Neil, E. N. 104 Ong, W. J. 104 Painter, J. 38, 88, 224 Pamment, M. 77 Pancaro, S. 73 Parker, D. C. 204 Parker, P. 34 Paroschi, W. 31 Parsenios, G. L. 9 Patte, D. 7 Perelman, C. 12 Peterson, N. R. 12 Phillips, P. M. 31, 113–14, 122 Pitre, B. J. 167–8 Pitts, A. W. 158–9 Plummer, R. L. 134 Pokorný, P. 105, 170 Poland, L. M. 230 Porter, S. E. 27, 42, 122, 131–2, 134–5 Powell, M. A. 139 Pryor, J. W. 77 Purcell, N. 51 Rabbinowitz, P. J. 14 Reim, G. 2–3 Reinhartz, A. 67, 107–9, 187 Resseguie, J. L. 139 Reynolds, B. E. 77 Rhoads, D. 139 Richards, E. R. 217 Ricoeur, P. 2, 227, 230 Riess, W. 55 Robinson, J. A. T. 31–2, 34, 76 Rodríguez, R. 24, 28, 202–5, 213 Ronning, J. H. 38, 89–90 Roskovec, J. 27 Ruckstuhl, E. 34 Sanders, E. P. 66 Sandmel, S, 17

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Sänger, D. 167 Schahadat, S. 113 Schapdick, S. 168 Scheffel, M. 156 Schnackenburg, R. 88 Schnelle, U. 232 Scholtissek, K. 161, 164–5 Schuchard, B. G. 4–6, 10, 57, 121, 125, 146, 149, 151, 160 Schudson, M. 203 Schwartz, B. 24, 226–8 Schwartz, D. R. 207 Schweitzer, A. 213 Scott, M. S. M. 93 Segal, A. F. 39 Shaw, B. D. 55 Sheridan, R. 5, 10–14, 18, 20, 121, 148, 151–2, 160 Shils, E. 203 Shiner, W. T. 21 Shrimpton, G. S. 158 Sidebottom, E. M. 77 Smalley, S. S. 77 Smith, D. M. 3, 64, 149 Spaulding, M. B. 259 Spencer, A. J. 26, 94 Staley, J. L. 12 Stamps, D. L. 9 Stendahl, K. 222 Sterling, G. E. 159 Stibbe, M. W. G. 12, 108, 232 Stinespring, W. F. 89, 143 Subramanian, J. S. 145 Swancutt, D. M. 15 Tabb, B. J. 57, 62 Talbert, C. H. 14 Tenney, M. C. 57, 68 Thatcher, T. 11, 19–20, 22–5, 109, 139, 202, 207 Theile, V. 140 Theobald, M. 164 Thomaskutty, J. 57 Thompson, M. M. 213 Thyen, H. 178, 186, 193–4, 196 Tilborg, S. van. 49 Tobin, T. H. 35 Todorov, T. 107–8 Toner, J. 52

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269

Index of Authors Torjesen, K. J. 93–4 Torra, E. 103–4 Townsend, J. T. 39 Twelftree, G. H. 117 Vermes, G. 236 Visotzky, B. L. 39 Vogt, H. J. 94 Vouga, F. 110, 112 Wagner, J. R. 189 Wahlde, U. C. von 49, 214 Watt, J. G. van der 154 Watts, R. E. 215, 222 Way, K. C. 151 Wead, D. W. 64 Webb, R. L. 201 Weixler, A. 157 Wengst, K. 192, 194, 196, 199 Weren, W. J. 152 Westcott, B. F. 46

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269

Wheaton, G. 77 Wiles, M. F. 93 Wilk, F. 188–9 Williams, C. H. 15, 19, 24–5, 118, 146–7, 149, 151, 188–9, 191, 195–6, 211, 220, 228–9 Williams, P. J. 33 Wise, M. O. 105 Witherington, B. 105–6 Witmer, S. E. 7, 8, 222 Woloch, A. 233–4 Wright, N. T. 222–3 Yee, G. A. 77 Zerubavel, E. 24, 228 Zimmermann, R. 158, 160–1, 164–5 Zipfel, F. 156 Zumstein, J. 111, 154, 164–5, 174, 189, 192–3

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270

Index of References Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Genesis 1 37, 61 1:1 21, 35, 38, 39, 122–3 1:3 35 1:26 39 2:6 117 5:24 172 6:7 39 12–17 77 15:1 148 19:19 41 21:17 148 26:24 148 28:11–13 77 28:13 LXX, 148 29:1–14 27, 103, 113–14, 120 33:18–19 116 49:10–11 142 49:11 LXX, 151 Exodus 3:14 9:35 12:3–6 12:10 12:16 12:46 16 16:4 16:4–21 16:14 16:15 17:6 20:8–11 32 33–34 33:18–20 33:21–23 34:6

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78 42 40 70, 160, 161, 170, 190 40 70, 131, 160, 161, 170, 190 76 69, 78, 178 40 40 178 40 69, 175 41 41, 43, 87 41 42 174

34:6–7 35:29

41 42

Leviticus 10:11 17:10–12 19:18 24:14–16 24:16

42 178 112 69 40

Numbers 9:12 20:8 20:10–11 21 21:6–11 21:9 27:17 35:30

70, 131, 161 40 40 173 172 40, 66, 71, 76, 172 40 40

Deuteronomy 5:12–15 6:4–5 6:6 8:1–6 8:3 17:6 18:15 18:15–18 18:15–22 18:18 18:19 18:20 18:20–22 18:22 19:15 31:14

175 112 69 177 78 40, 124 74, 118, 124 40, 168 59, 68, 73–5, 81 74, 124 74 75 69 75 40, 71, 124 41

Joshua 24:32

116

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271

Index of References Judges 6:23

148

1 Samuel 8:7

150

2 Samuel 2:6 7:12 7:12–16 12:1–15 13:29 14:4 15:10 18:9

174 124 215 68 151 145 174 151

1 Kings 1 1:17 1:30 1:32–34 1:33 1:33–40 1:38 1:44

154 151 151 142 151 151 151 151

2 Kings 2 2:1–11 4:1–7 4:8–27 4:8–37 4:42–44 5:1–19 6:26 18:4

76 172 76 68 76 76 68 145 172

1 Chronicles 22:12

40

2 Chronicles 16:14

163

Ezra 7:25

40

Esther 2:9 2:17

41 41

9780567684158_p270-286.indd 271

Job 19:25–26 Psalms 3:52 21:19 22 22:1 22:15 22:18 22:19 23 24:10 25:10 31 33:6 33:9 33:21 34:10 34:19 34:20 34:21 35:7 35:19 40:10 41:9 41:10 45:9 56:10 61:8 68:2 68:5 68:10 68:15 68:18 68:22 68:36 69 69:4 69:5 69:9 69:10 69:21 69:22 77:24 78:23–25 78:24 78:70–72

271

78

71 LXX, 130, 161 213 212 124 70, 130 160 46 LXX, 41 41, 174 213 61 61 LXX, 131, 161 131 LXX, 130 70, 131 160, 170 71 130, 160 LXX, 129 129 160 163 162 174 LXX, 212 LXX, 130 LXX, 203, 209, 213 LXX, 212 LXX, 212 LXX, 212 LXX, 212 28, 202, 211, 212, 213, 217 130, 212 160 70, 125, 209, 211–17 160, 209 212 212 LXX, 126 69, 78 40, 126, 160, 178 78

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272

272

Index of References

81:6 82:6 85:11 86:11 86:15 89:15 90:5 100 105:8 105:40 109:6 117:25–26 117:25 113–118 118 118:25 118:25–26 118:26 118:27

LXX, 127 69, 71, 127, 160 174 79 174 174 39 46 39 40 162 LXX, 127 LXX, 145 144 141–2, 144 145, 160 68, 127, 154 145 145, 154

Proverbs 1:1 8 8:22–23 8:22–30 8:27 8:30 18:4 31:26

145 35, 37, 43 35 62 35 35, 39 124 40

Song of Solomon 3:4 4:14–15 5:5–6 7:1

163 163 163 160

Isaiah 1:2–5 5:7 6:1 6:1–13 6:8–10 6:9 6:9–10 6:10

7:4

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192, 194 79 89, 171, 195 194 192 188 70, 80, 86–8, 90, 189, 191 70, 87, 160, 188, 190, 191, 192, 194, 196, 198, 199 148

7:14 9:6 10:24 11:10 35:4 40:3

53:1 53:11 53:12 54:4 54:13 55:1 56:3 56:3–4 56:3–8 56:6 56:7 58:11 60:3

124 124 148 163 148, 149, 160 4, 5, 21, 68, 80, 124, 160, 223 LXX, 125 189 148, 149, 160 71 148 148 69, 71 198 78 148, 149 148 148, 149 145, 146 196, 198 196 195, 198 89, 195 89 195 LXX, 198 199 70, 86–8, 90, 128, 160, 188, 190, 191, 194, 195, 196, 198 LXX, 86–8 163 195 148 71, 126, 160 124 215 216 46 215 3, 209, 215–17 124 78

Jeremiah 7:11 7:11 10:12

3, 209, 215–17 LXX, 216 35

40:3 40:3–5 40:9 41:9 41:10 41:13 41:23 42:4 42:6 43:1 43:5 44:2 44:6 49:6 51:4 52–53 52:13 52:13–53:12 52:14–53:12 52:15 53 53:1

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Index of References

273

17:21 21:8 23:2 26:28 51:15

175 79 78 148 35

Amos 9:23

71

Micah 2:12 5:2

78 69, 124

Lamentations 3:57

148

Zephaniah 3 3:14 3:14–16 3:14–17 3:15

Ezekiel 1:22–28 8:31–59 11:23 34 34:1–10 34:2 34:2–3 34:3 34:4 34:8 34:10 34:11–13a 34:11–22 34:13 34:13b–15 34:14 34:16 34:17–24 34:18 34:19 34:23 34:23–24 34:25–30 34:25–31 34:27 34:28 34:29 43:2

171 56 146 26, 45–8, 53–6 56 53, 78 53 53 53 53 53, 54 56 53 53 56 53 54, 56 56 53 53 53, 124 53 53 48, 56 53 53 53 146

Daniel 7:9 7:13 8:17 10:12 10:19

171 77 77 148 148

Hosea 10:15

145

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3:16 Zechariah 9–14 9:9

146 148, 150 148 146 77, 145–6, 153, 154, 160 149, 154

12:21 13:7 14:3–4 14:8 14:21

150 65, 70, 77, 80, 128, 143, 148, 149, 150, 151, 154, 160 151–2, 153, 154 46 5, 70, 131, 160, 161, 170, 190 160 46 146 124 3

Malachi 3:1 3:1–4:6 3:23–24

168 73, 76 168

New Testament Matthew 2:16–18 3:3 4:1–11 4:4 4:15–16 6:44 8:17 9:37–38 12:18 13:13–15 13:14–15

206 189 69 178 189 120 189 119 189 189 191

9:10 11:4–11 12:10

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274

Index of References

15:8–9 21:1–7 21:9 21:12–27 21:23 21:24 27:42 27:55–28:8

189 147 127, 145 210 208 208 145 210

Mark 1:2–3 1:4 1:17 1:20 2:1–12 2:14 3:6 3:20–21 4:12 6:14–16 6:30 7:6–7 8:11–13 8:18 8:28 8:34 9:1 9:1–8 9:9–13 10:21 11:9 11:12–33 11:17 11:18 11:21 11:28 11:29 12:1–12 12:26 12:28–34 13:13–15 14:53–65 14:55–65 14:58 15 15:1–15 15:32 15:34 15:36

80, 189 32 64 64 175 64 206 210 189, 191 72 210 189 177 80 72 64 64 72 72, 80 64 127 204, 209, 210 3, 147 206 208 208 208 73 78 112 189 169 215 215 212 169 77, 145 212 212

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15:40–16:8 15:42–47

210 210

Luke 1:1–4 1:5 3:2 3:4–6 4:1–13 4:4 4:18–19 4:28–30 6:27 8:10 10:2 18:31–33 19:28–35 19:45–20:8 19:47 20:2 20:3 24:27 24:44–47 24:44–48

159 32 32 189 69 178 189 206 120 189, 191 119 213 147 209, 210 206 208 208 220 220 213

John 1 1–12 1:1 1:1–5 1:1–12:38 1:1–15 1:1–18 1:3 1:4 1:5 1:5–8 1:6 1:6–8 1:6–18 1:7 1:7–19 1:9–14 1:9–17 1:9 1:10 1:11

72 99, 189, 192 34, 42, 61, 74, 122 26, 33, 37, 40, 42, 43–4, 61 13 110 31–4, 61–2, 84, 111, 124, 192 38 38, 42 36, 38, 42, 174 61 32, 33, 44, 174 72 40 192 92 61 81 61, 192 38, 192 85, 86, 192, 198

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275

1:12 1:13 1:14

1:14–16 1:14–18 1:15 1:16 1:16–17 1:16–18 1:17 1:17–18 1:18 1:19 1:19–28 1:19–34 1:19–42 1:19–6:71 1:19–12:50 1:20 1:21–23 1:21–25 1:23

1:23–12:16 1:24 1:25 1:29 1:35 1:41 1:43 1:43–51 1:45

1:46–51 1:49 1:50 1:51 2 2–11 2–12 2:1–11 2:1–12 2:1–12:36

9780567684158_p270-286.indd 275

Index of References

275

2:4 2:4–5 2:11 2:13 2:13–16 2:13–22 2:14 2:14–25

142 111 85, 207 142 125 66 207, 209 28, 202, 203, 210, 213, 215 3, 209, 211 2, 70, 125, 126, 132, 133, 135, 160, 162, 164, 170, 203, 208, 209, 211, 214, 217, 224 69, 208 66, 208, 212, 214, 215 75 212, 214, 215 66 70, 164, 170, 208, 212, 214, 220, 224 207 88 89 89 88 171 85 171 171 111, 171 171 118 171 74, 197 165, 171 170 77, 171 71 75, 77, 124, 142, 165, 169, 195 40, 76, 172, 179 41, 153 74 42 192 193 74

74 112 36, 42, 44, 74, 108, 171, 174, 193, 194, 197 197 174 40, 61, 72 34 40, 41, 42 61 38, 118, 174, 177, 178 41 40, 43, 193 49, 80 49, 72 124, 192 61 115 189 213 125 74, 168 2, 4, 21, 24, 68, 80, 124, 127, 132, 134, 160, 164, 179, 189, 190 132, 133 49 213 40 124 213 223 110, 125 68, 73, 74, 124, 132, 165, 170, 220, 223–4, 228, 231, 234, 234 117 77, 142, 146, 150 142 77, 162 212, 214 42, 125, 127 100, 132 54, 56, 76, 125, 179, 207 53 83, 84

2:16 2:17

2:18 2:19 2:19–22 2:21 2:21–22 2:22 2:23 2:36b–37 2:37 2:41 2:44–46 3 3–11 3:2 3:3 3:4 3:5 3:5–7 3:9 3:11 3:12 3:12–16 3:13 3:13–15 3:14 3:14–15 3:16 3:16–18 3:17 3:22–36 3:24 3:32

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276 3:34 3:36 4:1–6 4:1–7 4:1–42 4:7 4:7–15 4:9 4:10 4:11 4:11–12 4:13–14 4:13–15 4:14 4:15 4:16 4:17–18 4:18 4:19 4:19–20 4:21 4:21–24 4:22 4:23 4:25 4:26 4:29 4:31 4:31–38 4:33 4:34 4:34–38 4:38 4:41 4:42 4:43 4:46 4:46–54 4:48 4:50–53 5 5:1 5:1–18 5:2–15 5:3 5:5–9 5:7 5:9

9780567684158_p270-286.indd 276

Index of References 42, 74 74 109 117 27, 103, 109, 113–15, 120, 193 117 117 117 42, 117 111, 117 117 117 92, 95–6 36 117, 119 118 118 118 68, 74, 118 54 118 67, 118 193, 197 118 68 78, 118, 178 68, 119 119 119 119 54, 71, 173 65 119 119 116, 119, 153 109 67 51 70, 99 53, 175–7, 179 142 56, 69 54 51 51 175 54

5:10 5:14–18 5:16 5:18 5:19 5:19–21 5:19–30 5:21 5:22 5:24 5:27 5:30 5:30–32 5:31 5:31–47 5:36 5:37–38 5:37–47 5:39

5:39–40 5:39–47 5:41 5:42 5:43 5:44 5:45–47 5:46

5:46–47 6 6:1–13 6:1–14 6:1–15 6:2 6:11–13 6:14–15 6:14 6:15 6:20 6:22 6:22–58 6:22–59 6:25–26 6:25–66 6:26 6:27

175 111 75, 176 69, 75, 142, 176 74, 176 176 176 176 54, 74, 176 74 75, 77 74, 173 69 178 176 42, 173 74 73 25, 152, 165, 176, 220, 223–4, 228, 231, 234, 234 170 68 177 69 74 70 170, 176 74, 124, 132, 220, 223–4, 228, 231, 234, 235 176 53, 60, 81, 177–9 76 53, 54, 126 56, 177 51 40 68, 74, 147 40 143, 150 78, 148, 178 177 7 126 70 69 177 42, 77

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277

6:28 6:29 6:30 6:30–34 6:31

6:31–58 6:32 6:32–33 6:35 6:38 6:38–40 6:39 6:41 6:41–42 6:44–45 6:45

6:45–47 6:46 6:48 6:48–58 6:50–63 6:51 6:51–53 6:51–58 6:52 6:53 6:53–56 6:54 6:56 6:60 6:60–66 6:60–71 6:62 6:63 6:64–65 6:68 7:1 7:1–52 7:4–5 7:4–6 7:7 7:7–10 7:10 7:12

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Index of References

277

7:16–18 7:18 7:19 7:19–23 7:21 7:21–23 7:22–23 7:25 7:28 7:30 7:31 7:32 7:33–34 7:33–36 7:34–36 7:34 7:35 7:36 7:37–38 7:37–39 7:38

74 70, 177 75 170 173 69 75 75, 142 74 75, 142 68 49, 75, 111, 142 75 109 66 78 66 78 36 40 2, 21, 124, 132, 146, 162, 164, 170 75 67 177 68, 74 69 75 56, 124, 132, 152, 162, 164, 170 75 142 49 75 170 69, 152 109 33 36, 42, 78, 196 111 69, 75 66, 71 75 40, 71, 124, 132, 164, 170 234 75 75, 78 66, 109

178 42 177 40 2, 69, 78, 126, 132, 133, 135, 146, 148, 160, 162, 164, 170, 177 7 24, 69 42 178 56 173 67, 124 177, 178 109 71 2, 133, 126, 132, 135, 160, 162, 164, 170, 189, 190 179 74 178 76 78 75, 178 213 178 111, 177, 178 77, 178 36, 178, 179 178 178 177, 178 70 193 77 74, 179 75 74 75, 109 115 111 70 54 112 142 75

7:38–39 7:38–40 7:39 7:40 7:41–42 7:41–52 7:42 7:44 7:44–45 7:45–49 7:47 7:51 7:52 7:53 7:53–8:11 8:12 8:12–30 8:13 8:14 8:15 8:17 8:19 8:20 8:21 8:21–30

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278

278 8:22 8:24 8:26 8:28 8:28–58 8:30 8:31–32 8:31–59 8:37 8:38 8:40 8:43–45 8:47 8:50 8:53 8:54 8:55 8:56 8:58 8:59 9 9:1–16 9:1–40 9:1–41 9:3–4 9:4 9:5 9:6–7 9:13 9:15–16 9:15 9:16 9:17 9:18 9:22 9:29 9:35 9:39–41 9:40 10 10:1–5 10:1–15 10:1–19 10:1–21 10:1 10:4–6 10:5 10:6

9780567684158_p270-286.indd 278

Index of References 66 78 74 74, 75, 77, 78, 124, 142, 169, 195, 198 77 68 70 112 75 74 74, 75 70 74 177 75 177 74 89, 220 42, 78 75, 142 48, 56, 69 69 45 51, 196 173 197 36, 42, 78 56 48, 49 49 48 48, 75 68, 74 48, 49 36, 48, 49, 67, 186 170 77 88 48, 49, 54 26, 45–8, 50–1, 54–6 70 40 67 45, 47 48, 54, 55 70 48, 56 48

10:7 10:8 10:9 10:10 10:11 10:11–14 10:12 10:12–13 10:14 10:15–18 10:16 10:18 10:19 10:21 10:22–39 10:24 10:25 10:25–27 10:28–29 10:31–33 10:31 10:32 10:33 10:34

10:34–35 10:34–36 10:35 10:37–38 10:38 10:39 10:41–42 11 11:1–45 11:4 11:8 11:23 11:25 11:25–26 11:45 11:45–46 11:45–48 11:45–53 11:46–53 11:47 11:47–53 11:49–50 11:51–52

78 48, 49, 54, 55 78 48, 54, 220 48, 54, 75 78 48 48, 49, 54, 56 48, 54 75 78 74 48, 49 50 127 49 173 70 74 40, 69 49, 75, 142 74, 173 39, 75 2, 69, 71, 127, 132, 133, 135, 160, 162, 165 170 220 164 173 74 75, 142 68 53, 85 76 75 75, 142 75 78 42 68 152 65 50, 64 176, 207 213 49 65 65, 142, 186

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279

Index of References 11:52 11:53 11:57 12 12–19 12:7 12:9 12:9–11 12:10 12:11 12:12 12:12–15 12:12–19 12:12–26 12:12–36 12:13

12:14 12:14–15 12:14–16 12:15

12:16 12:16–19 12:16–20 12:17–18 12:17–19 12:18 12:19 12:20 12:20–21 12:20–23 12:20–36 12:20–44 12:23 12:23–26 12:24 12:24–26 12:27 12:28 12:29 12:31–36 12:32 12:32–33

9780567684158_p270-286.indd 279

153 75, 169 75 26, 27, 85, 90, 141–3, 148, 149, 195, 198 42 142 86, 152, 153 143, 207 75 153 146, 152, 153 143–6 65, 128 66 77 2, 68, 74, 77, 128, 132, 133, 143, 146, 148, 150, 152, 153, 160, 162 132, 133, 135, 147, 151, 152 70, 127 170 2, 80, 143, 145, 146, 148, 149, 151–4, 160, 162, 164, 165 70, 89, 132, 152, 224 152 143 152 207 213 86, 152 153 193 65 192, 195, 197 195 77, 177, 195 65 66, 75 65 142, 162 74, 177, 195 66 75 142, 169, 195 66, 75

12:33 12:34 12:35 12:35–36 12:36 12:36b–43 12:37 12:37–38 12:37–40 12:37–41 12:37–43 12:37–44 12:37–50 12:38

12:38–39 12:38–40 12:38–41 12:38–19:37 12:39 12:39–41 12:40 12:41 12:41–42 12:42 12:42–43 12:44 12:44–50 12:46–48 12:47 12:48 12:49–50 13–17 13–20 13–21 13:1 13:1–3 13:1–19:42 13:1–30 13:7 13:8 13:13–15

279 124, 169, 170 77, 164, 169, 170, 195 33 193 80 26, 83–5, 91–2, 98, 100 85, 95, 97, 99, 194, 213 93 197 80, 90, 93 83, 84, 97, 100, 189, 190–1, 193, 198 27, 183, 192 85, 133 2, 70, 86, 89, 160, 162, 162, 189, 190, 194, 195, 198 195 24, 128, 131, 132, 133, 135–6, 188, 190, 193 70 132, 134 87, 132, 192, 194 70 2, 86, 160, 164, 189, 190, 192, 198 89, 220 70 36, 67, 111, 186, 194 90 74 74 74 74 75 74 84, 192 85, 100 132 142, 173 56 13 129 70 129 66

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280

280 13:18 13:18–19 13:19 13:20 13:21–30 13:31 13:31–16:33 13:33 13:33–35 13:34 13:34–35 13:36 13:36–38 13:38 14:2–3 14:3–5 14:5 14:6 14:6–7 14:8 14:9 14:10–12 14:15–26 14:18–20 14:21–24 14:22 14:23 14:24 14:27 14:27–30 14:28–29 14:31 15–17 15:1–17 15:4 15:5 15:8 15:10 15:12–17 15:13 15:15 15:18–19 15:18–25 15:20 15:24 15:24–25 15:25

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Index of References 2, 71, 133, 135, 160, 162, 164 75, 132, 170 78 74 67 77 109 75 66 112 109, 112 109 67 75 75 66 109 79 70 109 194 173 67 75 74 109 75 74 196 67 75 74 60, 81 130 196 79 36 74 67, 173 75 74 67 130 224 173 71 2, 129, 132, 133, 135, 160, 162, 164, 165, 170

15:26 16:2 16:2–4 16:4 16:5–6 16:5–15 16:8–11 16:11 16:16 16:16–30 16:18 16:20 16:21 16:28 16:29 16:32 16:32–33 17:1–5 17:4 17:6–21 17:11–12 17:12 17:14 17:21 17:24 18–20 18:1–11 18:3 18:5–8 18:6 18:7–9 18:8–9 18:9 18:12 18:13–14 18:15–27 18:19–24 18:28 18:29–32 18:31 18:31–32 18:31–34 18:32 18:33 18:36 18:37 18:39 18:40 19 19:6–7

67 36, 67, 186 75 67, 224 66 67 75 75 75 66 110 75 224 75 112 75 67 177 173 67 74 67, 132, 162, 170 67 74 78 84 67 49 78 162 67 75 75, 124, 132 49, 75 169 67 169 169 169 169 66 75 75, 124, 132, 169 150 143 150 150 55, 56 27, 160 169

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281

Index of References 19:7 19:8 19:10 19:12 19:13–14 19:14 19:15 19:16 19:17 19:17–30 19:17–37 19:19 19:21 19:23–24 19:24 19:24–36 19:28 19:28–29 19:31–36 19:31–37 19:34–35 19:35 19:35–37 19:36 19:36–37

19:37 19:39 20 20:9 20:14–18 20:16 20:21–23 20:24–25 20:29 20:30 20:30–31 20:31 21 21:18–19 21:19 21:22 21:23–24 21:24 21:24–25

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75 169 169 50, 169 151 150 50, 75, 76, 150, 169 169, 214 162 130 160, 161 150 150 161 2, 70, 130, 132, 133, 135, 160–3 164 2, 124, 132, 162, 173, 195 212 40 131, 161 60, 63, 81 220 197 2, 70, 130, 160, 161, 162, 164 132, 133, 135–6, 161, 162, 163, 170, 173, 190, 195, 197 2, 5, 70, 130, 132, 160, 161, 162 163 90 70, 109, 220 163 111 67 42 70, 99 99 42, 58, 81, 220 36, 42, 70, 93, 164 42, 60, 81, 97 67 64 64 63 197 225, 231

281

Acts 2 2:33 3:22 4:13 5:31 7:37 7:56 8:32–33 10:34 28:16 28:26 28:26–27

67 170 168 33 170 168 76 189 33 189 189 191

Romans 2:17–23 5:6–11 10:16 11:8 11:18 12:1–2 15:14–29

167 173 188, 191 188 191 214 214

1 Corinthians 3:16 6:19 15:3–4

214 215 220

2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1

215

Ephesians 2:19–22 3:18

215 33

Philippians 2:6–11 2:9

61 170

Colossians 1:15–20

61

Hebrews 1:1–4

61

1 Peter 5:1–4

67

1 John 1:1

218

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282

282 1:1–3 1:1–4 1:2 2:7 2:24 3:11 4:1–3 4:13 4:14 5:6–8

Index of References 61 61 63 61 61 61 63 63 61 63

Baruch 3:29 3:37 4:1a 40 4:1b 37 4:2b 37

37 37

1 Maccabees 13:51

144

2 Maccabees 10:7

144

2 John 6 7 9

61 63 61

1 Esdras 8:23

40

3 John 12

63

2 Esdras 6:38

37

Revelation 1:13 4:2 14:14

76 171 76

Pseudepigrapha 1 Enoch 14:18–20 27:2 71:5–10

171 146 171

2 Enoch 20:3

171

3 Enoch 1

171

2 Baruch 29:5–8 72:5–6 73 77:11–16

52 52 52 50

4 Ezra 7:112–115 8:52–54

52 52

Jubilees 17:21

124

Testament of Levi 5

171

Apocrypha Wisdom of Solomon 7:26 37 7:30 33, 37 Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 1:1 40 7:33 41 19:20 40 21:11 40 24 36, 43 24:1 36 24:3 36 24:8 36 24:9 36 24:16–17 36 24:21 36 24:23 36 24:30–31 36 24:32 36 34:8 40 39:1 40 40:17 41

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283

Index of References Testament of Naphtali 5:4 144 Philo De confusione linguarum 146 36 De fuga et inventione 101 35 Legum allegoriae 2:86

36

De vita Mosis 1:1

167

De opificio mundi 20 24

35 35

De posteritate Caini 127 117 Quaestiones et solutiones in Genesin 2:62 35 2:68 36 De somniis 1:230

283

15:421–23 17:271–7 18:33–35 18:90–95 18:95 19:1 19:81 20:5 20:6–14 20:106 20:121 20:215 20:249 20:255 2:581–82 2:595–98

215 55 50 50 50 55 55 55 50 50 55 55 50 55 55 55

Jewish War 1:88 2:224 2:235 2:56 3:401–2 4:135–39 4:160–61 5:244 6:43 7:100

50 50 55 55 55 55 55 50 55 141

The Life 21 77–79 126–31

50 55 55

35

De specialibus legibus 4:7–19 54 De plantation 56–57

54

Targums

In Flaccum 1:104

55

Targum Neofiti Genesis 1:1 37

Legatio ad Gaium 1:141 1:44

55 55

Targum Pseudo-Jonathan Isaiah 6:1 89–90 6:9–10 90 53:1 90

Josephus Mishnah Jewish Antiquities 11:332–36 15:385–87 15:403–8

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140 215 50

‘Abot 3:15

39

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284

284

Index of References

Sanhredrin 4:5

39

Sukkah 3:1 3:9 4:5

144 144 144

Talmud

Berešit/Genesis Rabbah 1:7 38 8:2 39 28:4 39 Midrash Mishle 8:30

39

Midrash Psalms 90:13 105:3

39 39

b: Berakot 6b 33b

39 39

b: Ḥullin 87a

39

Midrash Tanḥuma Qedoshim 4 39

b: Megillah 25a

39

Midrash Tanḥuma Yitro 3 39

b: Pesaḥim 54a

39

Pesiqta de Rab Kahana 12 39

b: Sanhedrin 38b

39

b: Shabbat 88b

Sipre Deuteronomy 305 41 379 39

39

b: Zebaḥim 116a

Midrash Tanḥuma Bereshit 5 39

Sipre Zutta on Numbers 15:30 39 39 Apostolic Fathers

y: Berakot 9:1 12d–13a

39 39

y: Megillah 4:10 4:75c

39 39

Barnabas 12:5–7

172

Didache 10:6

145

Classical Authors and Writings Tosefta Sanhedrin 8:7

39

Other Rabbinic Works

Aristotle Rhetorica 92–3

106

Poetica 24:15

116

‘Abot de Rabbi Nathan 31:3 43

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285

Index of References Juvenal Satirae 4:51–55 4:83

54 55

Philostratus Vita Apollonii 7:3

55

Plutarch Antonius 24:3–4

140–141

Statius Silvae 4:1:17–37

52

Virgil Aeneid 1:278–82 6:788–93

52 52

Justin Apologia 1:46:3

285

236

Dialogus cum Tryphone 3:1 236 89:1 42 90:1 42 91 172 Origen Commentarii in evangelium Joannis 10:27–28 95, 97 13:3–42 95 Tatian Oratio ad Graecos 29:2

236

Theophilus Ad Autolycum 1:14–15

236

Christian Ancient Authors and Writings Eusebius Historica ecclesiastica 3:39:4 106

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286

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