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The Fourfold Gospel, Lecture 2 Durham University, U.K. John: The Word Made Flesh LECTURE 5.

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Presentation on theme: "The Fourfold Gospel, Lecture 2 Durham University, U.K. John: The Word Made Flesh LECTURE 5."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Fourfold Gospel, Lecture 2 Durham University, U.K. John: The Word Made Flesh LECTURE 5

2 John: The Word Made Flesh (1)THE MESSAGE OF THE APOSTOLIC GOSPELS (2)AUTHORSHIP TRADITIONS (3)JOHN AND THE SYNOPTICS

3 John: The Word Made Flesh (1)THE MESSAGE OF THE APOSTOLIC GOSPELS (2)AUTHORSHIP TRADITIONS (3)JOHN AND THE SYNOPTICS

4 Galla Placidia Mausoleum, Ravenna, Italy

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7 Mark, Luke: post-apostolic gospels Matthew, John: apostolic gospels

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9 Jerome: The Evangelist Symbols (1) “That the four gospels were long ago predicted is proved by the book of Ezekiel, where in the first vision it is said: ‘... And in their midst was the likeness of four living creatures, and the likeness of their appearance was the face of a human and the face of a lion and the face of a calf and the face of an eagle.’ The first face, that of a human, signifies Matthew, who begins by writing as of a human [de homine]: ‘The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ son of David, son of Abraham.’ The second, Mark, where the voice of a roaring lion is to be heard: ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!”’

10 Jerome: The Evangelist Symbols (2) “The third [face], that of a calf, prefigures the evangelist Luke, who takes his starting-point from Zechariah the priest. The fourth, John the evangelist, who, taking the wings of an eagle and soaring into the heights, discourses about the Word of God [de Verbo Dei]. Jerome, Preface to Commentary on Matthew “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1.1

11 Matthew and John: the Humanity and Divinity of Christ “The first face, that of a human, signifies Matthew, who begins by writing as of a human [de homine]: ‘The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ son of David, son of Abraham.’ The fourth, John the evangelist, who, taking the wings of an eagle and soaring into the heights, discourses about the Word of God [de Verbo Dei].”

12 John: The Word Made Flesh (1)THE MESSAGE OF THE APOSTOLIC GOSPELS (2)AUTHORSHIP TRADITIONS (3)JOHN AND THE SYNOPTICS

13 The Aged Apostle: A legend recorded by Jerome “The blessed evangelist John remained in Ephesus until extreme old age, when he could scarcely be carried to church any more in his disciples’ arms. When he was no longer able to utter many words, he used to say no more than ‘Children, love one another,’ at each of their assemblies. In the end the assembled disciples and brethren grew tired of always hearing the same thing, and they said: ‘Master, why do you always say that?’ John replied with the worthy statement: ‘Because it is the Lord’s commandment, and if that alone is done, it suffices.’” Jerome, Commentary on Galatians, 6.10

14 Papias: John the Apostle and John the Elder “If anyone came who had been a follower of the elders, I asked him about the words of the elders – what Andrew said, or what Peter said, or was said by Philip, Thomas, James, John, Matthew, or any of the disciples of the Lord, and about what Aristion and the Elder John, the disciples of the Lord, say.” Papias (early 2 nd century), Preface to his Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord, quoted by Eusebius, Church History, One John (Irenaeus) or two (Eusebius)? If Irenaeus is right, then Papias claims that the Apostle John survived until his own time. (But Irenaeus is probably wrong!)

15 The Elder John as Evangelist? 2 Jn.1: “The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth...” ↓ 1 Jn.1.1: “That which was from the begining, which we have heard, which we have seen...” ↓ Jn.1.1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jn.21.24: “This is the disciple who bears witness to these things and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.”

16 Why were evangelists’ names attached to gospels? The first full set of evangelist names: Irenaeus: “Matthew, among the Hebrews, among the Hebrews and in their own language, produced a written account of the gospel, while Peter and Paul were in Rome evangelizing and founding the church. After their departure Mark also, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, handed down to us in written form what was preached by Peter. And Luke, the follower of Paul, set down in a book the gospel preached by him. Then John the disciple of the Lord, who reclined upon his breast, gave out a gospel while living in Ephesus in Asia.” Names were attached to previously anonymous gospel texts not only to acknowledge their authority but also to differentiate them from each other and from non-canonical gospel literature.

17 Garima Gospels, 1 (Ethiopia, 6th century): end of “Gospel of Matthew”, beginning of “Gospel of Mark”

18 Gospel of Matthew (end) Garima Gospels, 1 (Ethiopia, 6th century) Gospel of Mark (beginning)

19 John: The Word Made Flesh (1)THE MESSAGE OF THE APOSTOLIC GOSPELS (2)AUTHORSHIP TRADITIONS (3)JOHN AND THE SYNOPTICS

20 Johannine difference: the “Cleansing of the Temple” An event in the final days of Jesus’ ministry (Mk ): “And entering the temple he began to throw out those who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the seats of the money-changers and dove-sellers... And the chief priests and scribes heard of this, and were seeking to destroy him...” An event in the early days of Jesus’ ministry (Jn ): “And in the temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and doves, and the money-changers at their seats, and making a whip out of cords he threw them all out of the temple... So the Jews asked him, ‘What sign do you show us, that you do these things?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it.’”

21 Origen on gospel differences: e.g. John and the Synoptic Gospels on the Cleansing of the Temple “… There are many other points at which the careful reader of the gospels will find that their narratives do not agree... Disturbed by this discovery, the reader will either abandon the attempt to find all the gospels to be true, and – not wishing to conclude that all our information about our Lord is unreliable – will choose at random one of them to be his guide; or he will accept the four, and will consider that their truth is not to be sought in the outward and material letter.” Origen, Commentary on John, 10.2 (3 rd century)

22 Augustine: John and the Synoptic Gospels (1) “These three creatures – the lion, the human and the calf – are all earthbound. It follows that the three corresponding evangelists are primarily concerned with what Christ did in the flesh, and with his instructions for the conduct of this mortal life, addressed to those who still bear the burden of the flesh. John, on the other hand, flies like an eagle above the clouds of human weakness, and gazes on the light of unchangeable truth with the sharpest and steadiest eyes, those of the heart.” Augustine, On the Agreement of the Evangelists, 1.6.9

23 Augustine: John and the Synoptic Gospels (2) “The first three evangelists present their diverse accounts of what Christ did in human flesh during his historical life, whereas John had in view above all the Lord’s divinity, in which he is equal to the Father, and strove to emphasize this in his gospel so far as he thought it necessary for his readers. He is therefore borne up high above the other three, so that you may consider these as remaining on this earth below in order to engage with the human Christ, but John as ascending above the clouds covering the whole earth and attaining that pure heaven where, with sharpest and steadiest intellectual vision, he sees the Word of God who was in the beginning with God, through whom all things were made, and knows him as the one made flesh to dwell among us... Augustine, On the Agreement of the Evangelists, 1.4.7

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