Sunday, May 17, 2020

St. John at Ephesus

This contains a generally helpful survey and analysis of witnesses in early church history to the Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel, §§III-V, although Bruce's discussion of Papias is fairly inconclusive. 

Also, in n3 on p346, Cross's interpretation/reconstruction of the anti-Marcionite Prologue to the Fourth Gospel is interesting. And even if we question whether that reflects an accurate memory of how John's Gospel was composed, it's a witness to the ancient practice of dictating an oral history. 

Bruce defends the accuracy of Polycrates by arguing that his statement about John's high-priestly vestments is figurative (343). A  figurative interpretation certainly makes the claim of Polycrates far more plausible. At the same time, that's consistent with a figurative allusion to John's priestly lineage–which would help to explain–assuming any special explanation is required–his access to the high priestly residence.

1 comment:

  1. The tradition that Augustine reports about the stones above John's tomb visibly moving is interesting. John 21 explicitly refutes the idea that the beloved disciple was not going to die before the parousia, whereas the tradition about the tomb seems to be based on the idea that John only appeared to be dead but was actually sleeping. It could be taken as an independent witness to the tradition attested in John 21.

    Regarding the petalon, I wonder if rather than being figurative it is an allusion to some arcanum of the early church in Jersualem, along with the statement that James the Just alone was allowed to enter the holy sanctuary. Maybe they had a liturgy modeled on the temple in Jerusalem. The explanation favored by Bauckham and others that it is based on an exegesis of Acts 4.6 does not make sense to me.