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Critical scholarship Paper

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Paper type: Essay , Subject: Scholarship

Introduction

In recent history, critical scholarship has approached the magnus reus as the source-critical putsch de grace. It proves, in the heads of many, that non merely is the farewell discourse a composite papers, but so is the whole of the Fourth Gospel. This, nevertheless, is a recent phenomenon in the annals of scriptural reading. From the first century to the mid 1800s virtually cipher interpreted it in this manner. C. H. Weisse may hold been one of the first to comprehend it as such in 1856, but he fails to lucubrate. It was, in fact, non until much later that it became common to construe the magnus reus as a literary seam, and even subsequently until this became an maxim of modem reading.

Before the morning of the 20th century beginning divisions were driven more by theological motivations than by a perceptual experience of literary seams. German rationalism was the impulsive force for dividing narrative from discourse. The attempt was, for the most portion, to divide the meat of the discourses from the chaff of the narrations, as rationalism rejected the marvelous. But there was no in agreement methodological analysis or consequences. Merely after the Gottingen revolution ( i.e. , the plants of Schwartz and Wellhausen ) did Johannine beginning unfavorable judgment seem to be on a firmer methodological foundation. With the debut of an aporia as grounds of a literary seam, the changeless drum-beat of critical scholarship was that John 14:31d is the proto-typical aporia and that it clearly belongs next to 18:1.

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Yet, to happen a manner to do these texts neighbours once more has been the thorny issue for scholarship. Throughout the 20th century the solution offered to the instance of the magnus reus has taken four basic signifiers ( with a dizzying array of substitutions ) . In wide classs, the text has been seen as a converse, interpolated, taken, or authored text.

In several fluctuations, John 14:31 originally followed on the heels of 18:1. Spitta and Wendt considered it the heterotaxy of an Ur-Gospel, and Bultmann at mid-century, saw a assortment of beginnings, but in general, the best account for the magnus reus was heterotaxy on the evidences of manner. M. Lattke was possibly the last to hold defended this position in 1974. In general, most observers today regard the position as indefensible, because the shamble of the deck seldom leads to general understanding beyond the posteriority of 14:3 1.

Many today see 14:31 as grounds of an interpolated text. The inside informations of this proposed insertion are greatly varied. Some believe that it is the work of a foreign manus inserted into the step ining sweep by the revivalist. Others regard the insertion to be one or more discourses written by the revivalist and later added by either a reviser or the writer himself. Others ( like Wellhausen ) considered the add-on to be wholly foreign and held that it must hold been added by a reviser. At any rate, once more the premise is that 14:31 belongs next to 18:1 in the “unimproved” discourse.

Dettwiler ‘s Relecture Theory

A speculation that is quickly deriving land on the continent and traveling into North America is Dettwiler ‘s relecture theory. Here the premise is that instead than merely any interpolation or even a 2nd bill of exchange of the farewell discourse, much of the step ining sweep of text between 14:31 vitamin D and 18:1 is really an enlargement and re-application of 13:1-14:31. This reading and enlargement for a new epoch is non an effort to warrant the interpolation but to explicate the consensus already reached. The text is inserted to run into the demands of a ulterior coevals of the Johannine community. Again, the over curving templet is that the magnus reus creates such an crying aporia that it can merely be solved by proposing editing.

The consequences of the structural probe leave the exegete with somewhat of a riddle. If the text is an emended mosaic, it has been wonderfully done. The reviser has chosen stuff from disparate contexts ( perchance of the same genre ) and wedded them in such a manner as to bring forth a consistent macro-structure that across the first two units of the text ne’er leaves the bid construction built-in in exhortative discourse and in the 3rd efficaciously reviews and passages to the high priestly prayer. Furthermore, the reviser may hold incorporated some synoptic traditional stuff ( 15:1-11 ) but has done so in a manner as non to go against the bid construction of the text and at the same time has marked it as the extremum of the text without a viing subdivision besides therefore marked. In this column chef-d’oeuvre, the reviser has besides efficaciously produced a text that is coherent in non merely organic ties but componential ties as good. In short, the text is wonderfully edited. But herein lays the riddle: this attractively and masterfully edited text has a glaring defect. A defect so crying, so obvious, that it is seized upon by beginning critics as the archetypal illustration that proves the farewell discourse and the Gospel are the consequences of multiple custodies. But, how could this fake pas be the consequence of an editor of such fantastic ability?

What compounds the job is that it could hold been so easy solved before it of all time started. All the reviser needed to make was do his interpolation fifth part of a poetry earlier. This is such an easy and reasonable solution to the job that a reasonably skilled editor could hold seen it, but the reviser of the farewell discourse did non. Brodie sums it up nicely in his most recent commentary. He states,

In discoursing the perplexing “Arise, allow us travel… ” ( 14:31 ) the first thing that needs to be said is that the column hypothesis is non satisfactory. Not that the redacting thought is inherently unattractive ; there is, in fact, an huge credibleness to the general thought of an editor who, given hard stuff, makes the best of it. But this general thought does non suit the instance ; the stuff ( in 14:3 1 ) is non hard. In fact, one could barely conceive of an easier column undertaking than traveling “ Arise, allow us go…” to the terminal of fellow. 17… But any editor who felt free to infix three chapters is improbable to hold had scruples about traveling half a poetry. In fact, it would non been have been necessary to travel “Arise and allow us travel… ” If, as is sometimes said, it instantly preceded the history of Jesus traveling out ( 18:1 ) , so, peculiarly since there were no chapter divisions at the clip, all the editor had to make was take the right topographic point for the insertion-in other words before “Arise, allow us travel… ” The logic of the column hypothesis leads to the thought that in some unusual manner the editor was both careful and bungling, free and scrupulous. Therefore, it is a hypothesis which lacks internal coherency.

This “lack of internal coherence” is displayed in the literature by the proliferation of theories that attempt, in one manner or another, to put the magnus reus next to 18:1.

The truth is, if history can be our usher that the proliferation of theories will go on.

Older theories will be tweaked ; and callings will be built upon “new” and “inventive” attacks to the farewell discourse. At the bosom of this province of personal businesss is the interaction of three premises. First, that an aporia in the Fourth Gospel is, foremost and first, grounds of a literary seam ; 2nd, that it fits better next to 18:1 ; and therefore, 3rd, the magnus reus is the proto-typical aporia. However, these premises are far from proven.

An Aporia Must Indicate A Literary Seam

The usage of aporias in the word picture of beginnings has been the trademark of Old Testament higher unfavorable judgment for about two hundred old ages. The contention is that a non-sequitur or a unsmooth passage is by definition grounds of the amalgamation of beginnings by a reviser. This is, of class, a reductionistic ( if non simplistic ) attack that assumes merely one valid reply to a trouble. Yet, this is now so self-evident in higher critical circles that the philosophical underpinning for it is merely assumed as fact. Wellhausen ne’er explained why an aporia must be a literary seam. In fact, it is non until Otto Eissfeldt that Pentateuchal unfavorable judgment ‘s standards of separation are clearly delineated. Schwartz, who coined the term aporia in relation to the Gospel of John, ne’er defends its usage ( or even defines its significance ) in the now-famous series of articles. Bacon besides made this premise when he remarked that “ the indicants point to what a geologist might name a ‘fault ‘ in he literary strata, and, as the critic good knows, it is these ‘faults ‘ which reveal the literary history of a papers ” ( accent added ) . Therefore, by 1894, Bacon sees no demand to support the deduction of a “ literary mistake, ” but merely cites its self-evident standing among critics. All this is to state that the current reading of aporias as, by and big, bespeaking literary seams is an old premise that is non, and has ne’er been, a proved rule but an premise.

That is non to state that at that place have non been efforts to make so in the literature. One brief effort at demoing verifiable standards for beginning separation is the monograph by David M. Carr. Carr ‘s treatment is, in many ways, a breath of fresh air from source-critical circles. He is careful and cautious in his claims and clearly recognizes the troubles in defining between a “ seam ” caused by a reviser or by an writer. Carr attempts to demo recoverable beginnings from ancient plants like the Diatesseron, the Gilgamesh heroic poem, comparings in Jeremiah from the LXX and the Masoretic Text, et Al.

Carr makes the instance that repeat is a cardinal signal in beginning separation. However, he does non do a conclusive statement for know aparting between a redactional component and an auctorial device. For illustration, he cites the usage of “resumptive repetition” as grounds of a literary seam. However, he readily acknowledges that “To be certain, writers can themselves utilize such resumptive repeat to restart the train of idea after their ain digression” Carr concludes that terminological and ideological indexs must besides be present. However, even in his treatment of these devices he concludes that “there is ever the opportunity the writer… consciously altered the nomenclature… to hold a certain consequence… ” However, it is dubious that a certain Reconstruction of the examples like the Diatesseron could be executed without anterior cognition of the beginnings. So so, while the illustrations of emended texts that are produced may demo certain traits, these traits are non sole to redacted texts.

Another job is the nature of the “redacted” texts. The Diatesseron was an wholly new genre of literature: the Gospel harmoniousness. It is an improper measure to compare its “redaction” to the type proposed for the Pentateuch ( or the Fourth Gospel ) . In the same vena, some of Carr ‘s Old Testament examples sum to text-critical enquiries instead than the weaving of beginnings to bring forth a new text. The lone similar illustration could be the Gilgamesh heroic poem, but it excessively has its jobs. In other words, the illustrations so far cited by Carr do non look to be comparings of similar redactional procedures. But, even so, there remains no lingual point that needfully points to a literary seam that could non hold been produced by an writer. An aporia, so, as grounds of a literary seam is still an premise.

A revealing indictment of this premise comes instead unwittingly from an improbable beginning: the antecedently cited work by Otto Eissfeldt. He states,

Alternatively of these [ traditional ] divisions, we must at any rate for the older content of Gen. to Josh. , and likely besides for that from Judg. to Sam. and into Kings, think in footings of strata. Merely so can we acquire a image of the literary beginnings which were used in their undertaking by the compilers or more properly revisers of the older basic stuff …

So, so, the separation of beginnings is impossible unless one begins with the premise of strata.

Then, upon this premise, literary beds are delineated instead than clear, undeniable grounds that can merely be explained in footings of strata. Eissfeldt ‘s observation is stating in that without the premise, the grounds does non oblige one to presume literary strata. It sounds really much like a theory in hunt of back uping grounds. But does the grounds support it? Many would reply negatively. In fact, among Pentateuchal beginning critics the now-traditional JEDP theory still holds sway to a grade, but today, due to the assortment and deepness of the statements against it, it must be smartly defended. Wenham characterizes the temper of scholarship as “looking for a fresh and converting paradigm.” Therefore Johannine beginning critics who defend the usage of an aporia as grounds of a literary seam on the footing of success in Pentateuchal unfavorable judgment do so at the hazard of being out of measure with the current province of the job.

So, so, what does a Johannine aporia prove? In fact, small or nil solid.

Carson notes that in utilizing Ross ‘s graduated table of grounds ( conclusive, persuasive, implicative, impersonal, and irrelevant ) , aporias constitute no more than impersonal grounds. Carson goes on to propose that aporias should non be seen as cut-and-dry grounds for a literary seam for two grounds. First, an aporia may merely be an accident. He refrains from placing an inadvertent aporia in the Fourth Gospel. However, his point is that they are non unnatural phenomena, but built-in in composing. Most authors have, in fact, produced many of them without the benefit of faulting a 3rd party. Thus, an aporia is every bit likely created by an writer as an editor. In fact, the instance could be made that it is less likely in the instance of an editor who would be looking really carefully at the text.

The following footing for cautiousness is that an aporia may be generated by some factor other than the gawky interpolation of a beginning. This 2nd ground for avoiding the designation of an aporia as a literary seam is likely the most weighty. The literary seam is merely one option for placing the ground for an aporia. There may, in fact, be many plausible grounds for an aporia. Sometimes the designation of an aporia is merely exaggerated. Is a poetic beginning to the Gospel so unlikely that the prologue could non be original? Do the enumeration of marks and their expiration needfully bespeak a literary seam? At 7:3-5 does the demand of Jesus ‘ brothers that he travel to Judea to execute marks truly indicate a trouble? True, he had already been in Jerusalem and performed marks ( see, e.g. , 5:1-9 ) , but should we truly name this an aporia when any figure of accounts can be offered ( including the writer ‘s purpose to demo that Jesus ‘ brothers did non follow his motions and made the natural adequate premise that the Messiah should make marks in Jerusalem ) ? These and many other alleged aporias do non look excessively implicative of a existent job, much less a literary seam.

The step of “ turbulency ” or “ clumsiness ” appears to be modem western criterions. Could it be that merely these modem esthesias perceive the above-named aporias? One must state that if the Gospel is edited, the editor ( s ) of the Gospel saw no sufficient ground to presume that the text was dreadfully inconsistent. If he or they did non believe so, why are we at strivings to presume that an original author would hold operated under different premises? Would they non both operate under the same literary conventions? Consider Whybray ‘s reaction to a similar phenomenon in Pentateuchal unfavorable judgment. In depicting a defect in the current Documentary Hypotheses of the Pentateuch, he states, If the paperss postulated by the hypothesis possessed some sort of integrity and consistency-and it is this which is held to give them plausibility-then the revisers were the individual who wantonly destroyed that integrity and consistency-and once more, the hypothesis depends on believing that they did. But this is simply to bear down the revisers with mistakes of logic and sensitiveness of which the advocates of the Documentary Hypothesis are at such strivings to shrive the writers of the paperss. If the revisers were unconcerned about these things, it is hard to understand on what grounds the advocates of the hypothesis maintain that the writers of the paperss were concerned about them. It seems more logical to reason that ancient Israelite thoughts of consistence were different from those of modern western adult male: that the Israelites were in fact to a big extent indifferent to what we should name incompatibilities.

Weisse, Evangeliumfrage, 116.

Buttmann, John, 459.

Lattke, Einheit im Wort, 131-246.

See, e.g. , Fortna, Predecessor, 151.

See, e.g. , Barrett, John, 454-55.

See, e.g. , Wellhausen, Erweiterungen and Anderungen, 8 and Schnackenburg, John, 3:89-90

Dettwiler, Gegenwart, 51-52.

Brodie, John, 437. Note besides Robert Kysar ‘s review of Fortna. He states, “It is this inquiry [ gawky redacting ] which most earnestly plagues Fortna ‘s admirable attending to the aporias of the text as the key to the solution of the literary mystifier of the book. How can one believe, on the one manus, that the revivalist was an sharp plenty theologian to feel the failings of his marks Gospel and subtly rectify them and yet, on the other manus, was such an inferior editor that he left glowering defects in the simple readability of his papers? Until that contradiction can be resolved, it seems that the value of the contextual standards will be earnestly impaired” ( Robert Kysar, The Fourth Evangelist and His Evangel: An Examination of Contemporary Scholarship [ Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1975 ] , 36 ) .

For an English interlingual rendition of the German 3rd edition, see Otto Eissfeldt, The Old Testament: An Introduction, trans. Peter R. Ackroyd ( New York: Harper & A ; Row, 1965 ) , 182-88.

Bacon, “Displacement, ” 66.

David M. Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approachs

( Louisville: Westminster, 1996 ) , 23-40. Carr is to be commended for trying to set the word picture of beginnings on empirical evidences. However, the trouble of such a proposal is shown in that his major grounds for empirical grounds comes from a individual beginning. See Jeffrey H. Tigay, ed. , Empirical Models for Biblical Criticism ( Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985 ) .

This has frequently been brought into Johannine beginning separations as good. See Urban C. von Wahlde, The Earliest Version of John ‘s Gospel: Recovering the Gospel of Signs ( Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1989 ) , 27.

Carr, Reading the Fractures, 26.

Ibid. , 32.

See, e.g. , Carr ‘s major work cited in this subdivision, Emanuel Tov, “ The Literary History of the Book of Jeremiah in Light of its Textual History, ” in Empirical Models, 211-37. It seems that the type of editing offered by the book of Jeremiah is an extended alteration and non the same originative nuptials that is under consideration for the Pentateuch and Johannine surveies.

See Jeffrey H. Tigay, The Development of the Gilgamesh Epic ( Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982 ) . For brief responses californium. W. G. Lambert, reappraisal of The Evolution of the Gilgamesh Epic, by Jeffrey H. Tigay in Journal of Biblical Literature 104 ( 1985 ) : 115-17 ; but particularly see Joan Goodnick Westenholz, reappraisal of The Evolution of the Gilgamesh Epic, by Jeffrey H. Tigay in Journal of the American Oriental Society 104 ( 1984 ) : 370-72.

Eissfeldt, Old Testament, 135-36.

The Documentary Hypothesis as expressed by Wellhausen came under onslaught from its really beginning, but particularly in recent old ages. In Wellhausen ‘s clip the authoritative rebuttals were by William Henry Green and James Orr. See William Henry Green, The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch ( New York: Scribners, 1895 ; reissue, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978 ) . See besides James On, The Problem of the Old Testament Considered with Reference to Recent Criticism ( New York: Scribners, 1906 ) . In more recent old ages several have expressed terrible unfavorable judgments against the cogency of the hypothesis. See, e.g. , Umberto Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch, trans. Israel Abrahams ( Jerusalem: Magnes, 1941 ; reissue, Jerusalem: Magnes, 1961 ) ; Rolf Rendtorff, The Problem of the Process of Transmission in the Pentateuch, trans. John J. Scullion, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

Supplement Series 89 ( Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1990 ) ; R. N. Whybray, The Making of the Pentateuch: A Methodological Study, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement 53 ( Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1987 ) ; R. Norman Whybray, Introduction to the Pentateuch ( Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995 ) , 12-27 ; Gleason L. Archer, Jr. , A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, rpm. and exp. erectile dysfunction. ( Chicago: Moody, 1994 ) . For a recent survey of Pentateuchal beginning unfavorable judgment see Gordon J. Wenham, “ Chew overing the Pentateuch: The Search for a New Paradigm, ” in The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches, erectile dysfunction. David W. Baker and Bill T. Arnold ( Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999 ) : 116-44.

David M. Carr, “Controversy and Convergence in Recent Studies of the Formation of the Pentateuch, ” Interpretation 23 ( 1997 ) : 22.

Wenham, “ Chew overing the Pentateuch, ” 119. Cf. R. N. Whybray ‘s statement, “ … despite the huge sum of scholarly work which has been published – particularly during the past century – refering the writing, day of the month, and history of composing of the Pentateuch, these are fundamentally side issues. The existent involvement for readers of the Bible does non lie here. If it did, the present coevals of readers would see merely defeat. For although it may be true that recent bookmans have succeeded in exposing many of the mistakes of earlier critics, it must be admitted that every bit far as assured consequences are concerned we are no nearer to certainty than when critical survey of the Pentateuch began ” ( Whybray, Introduction to the Pentateuch, 12 ) .

See, e.g. , von Wahlde ‘s justification of his methodological analysis. He does non warrant the usage of an aporia beyond its usage in Pentateuchal unfavorable judgment. He states, “ The success of Pentateuchal analysis indicates that such standards will supply a solid footing for analysis of the marks besides ” ( von Wahlde, Earliest Version, 28 ) .

J. M. Ross, “ The Use of Evidence in New Testament Studies, ” Theology 79 ( 1976 ) : 216-17.

D. A. Carson, “ Current Source Criticism of the Fourth Gospel: Some Methodological Questions, ” Journal of Biblical Literature 97 ( 1978 ) : 428.

Ibid. , 424.

The likely event that the elusive 7th mark in John ‘s Gospel is the Temple cleaning of 2:14-17 could make some aporias for those who see an original beginning that has been reordered. For those who see this pericope as a Johannine mark see Beasley-Murray, John, 42 ; Carson, John, 181 ; Dodd, Interpretation, 300-303 ; Ridderbos, John, 121.

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