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Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
02-16-2010, 06:55 AM
Post: #1
Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
In a different thread yesterday I introduced a 4 hour PBS documentary, 'From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians.' Here is the link to watch part I on the internet:

http://video.pbs.org/video/1365214164/

I finished watching the Part I of the documentary yesterday and today as soon as I woke up, I started reading the transcript of Part II. Here is a part of it:

NARRATOR: The fourth and last Gospel now contained in the New Testament is the Gospel of John, written about 70 years after the death of Jesus. It is the story of a community where the relationship between Christians and Jews has become more virulent, almost to the point of breakdown.

READER: [John 8:12] "I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Prof. HAROLD W. ATTRIDGE: In the fourth Gospel, Jesus is a very serene figure who can speak at length about matters divine, a very different kind of speech than the speech which we hear in the synoptic Gospels, which is usually much more pithy, much more directed, much more witty. In John, it's reflective and revelatory.

Prof. MICHAEL WHITE: John's Gospel is different from the other three in the New Testament. That fact has been recognized since the early church itself. Already by the year 200, John's Gospel was called the "spiritual Gospel" precisely because it told the story of Jesus in symbolic ways that differ sharply at times from the other three.

Prof. JOHN DOMINIC CROSSAN: Let me compare Mark with John to explain how two Gospels do it differently. In - we call it "the agony in the garden." Now, there is no agony in John and there is no garden in Mark, but we call it "the agony in the garden" because we put them together. Mark tells the story in which Jesus, the night before he dies, is prostrate on the ground, begging God, "If this all could pass, but I will do what you want." And the disciples all flee.

Now that's an awful picture. That makes sense to me because Mark is writing to a persecuted community who know what it's like to die. That's how you die, feeling abandoned by God.

the ground in John. The whole cohort of the Jerusalem forces come out, 600 troops come out to capture Jesus, and they end up with their faces on the ground in John. And Jesus says, "Of course I will do what the Father wants." And Jesus tells them to, "Let my disciples go." He's in command of the whole operation.

You have a Jesus out of control, almost, in Mark, a Jesus totally in control in John- both Gospel. Neither of them are historical. I don't think either of them know exactly what happened.

Prof. MICHAEL WHITE: Jesus dies on a different day in John's Gospel than in Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus actually eats a Passover meal before he dies. In John's Gospel he doesn't. The Last Supper is actually eaten before the beginning of Passover.

So here's the scene in John's Gospel. The day leading up to Passover is the day when all the lambs are slaughtered and everyone goes to the temple to get their lamb for the Passover meal. In Jerusalem this would have meant thousands of lambs being slaughtered all at one time. And in John's Gospel, that's the day on which Jesus is crucified, so that, quite literally, the dramatic scene in John's Gospel has Jesus hanging on the cross while the lambs are being slaughtered for Passover.

READER: [John 1:29] "Here is the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world."

Prof. MICHAEL WHITE: Jesus doesn't eat a Passover meal; Jesus is the Passover meal.

I am stunned how in face of all this information, the Christian dogmas still prevail in the consciousness of a majority in the West. For the Trascript go to:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...ript2.html

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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02-16-2010, 09:20 AM
Post: #2
RE: Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
Post #29 on the Islam vs. Christianity board explains why it is futile to debate Ahmadi or Truthwon on these boards.
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02-16-2010, 09:39 AM
Post: #3
RE: Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
(02-16-2010 09:20 AM)biomystic Wrote:  Post #29 on the Islam vs. Christianity board explains why it is futile to debate Ahmadi or Truthwon on these boards.

Exactly. And here is the link to that post.

http://www.biblicaltraining.org/ --- http://www.ntwrightpage.com/
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02-16-2010, 12:10 PM
Post: #4
RE: Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
I never thought, it will come to this! Stereophonic afraid of discussing and bringing arguments and refutation. There were just a few lines from me in the above post and quotes from different professors of religion from notable universities, from a PBS documentary and Stereophonic with all his seminary education, and 714 posts under his belt in this forum, too reluctant to discuss the evidence!

I cannot believe it.

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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02-16-2010, 12:37 PM
Post: #5
RE: Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
I can only assume that people got sick of argueing about Muslim christianity.
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02-16-2010, 01:29 PM (This post was last modified: 02-16-2010 07:27 PM by Ahmadi.)
Post: #6
RE: Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
O.K.

I will not argue with your perspective, but I have mine. See you, on a different thread. But the contrast between Mark and John as described in the first post here is very revealing and that is not Muslim Christianity. Perhaps, people want church Christianity only and do not care for univesities' Christianity either!

Apparently the Muslim Christianity and univesities' Christianity are in agreement here. Can you believe that!

Jesus Christ was a noble prophet of God, his name appears more often in the Holy Quran than that of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, if that be a consolation. There is a chapter in the Holy Quran, named after mother Mary.

Time to follow in the footsteps of Joseph Priestly and President Thomas Jefferson, if you are not ready for Islam yet.

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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02-16-2010, 02:52 PM
Post: #7
RE: Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
If the very significant differences between Mark and John constitute an argument against Christianity, do the very close similarities between Mark, Matthew and Luke constitute areguments in favor of Christianity? Big Grin

You all know where I stand, that the early writings are very interesting records of the evolution of a new religion but I am in no way a Christian. But to single out Mark versus John, the widest gap there is, without consideration of the other Gospels and how they represent different messages delivered to different audiences is highly suggestive of there being an agenda behind it. And to apply the standards of modern historical record keeping to an era when the message was much more important than the details is simply inappropriate. Neither of these approaches is genuine, honest scholarship. I suggest reading the books of White, Pagels etc. to get a more balanced view of what they are really saying. (Pagels thesis that John is in fact a rebuttal to the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas is very interesting BTW.)

It is funny that both the bible thumpers and the bible bashers insist on literal interpretations of what were originally intended as stories with a meaning that were derived from oral traditions whose originators were mostly dead before any of it was committed to paper. (Except the missing but very likely Q document of course.)

Last words, from Elaine Pagels, one of the university professors on the special.

Quote:There are people who think that this kind of exploration is faithless, is antithetical, is damaging to God's truth. Of course, I'm not one of those people.

I realize that I cannot live without a spiritual dimension in my life. I mean, I was brought up to believe that that was some archaic relic that we could live without. I don't think that is true anymore. The sense of a spiritual dimension in life is absolutely important and the religious communities are also important. The question of believing in a set of creedal statements is a lot less important, because I realize the Christian movement thrived then and can now on other elements of the tradition.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethic...ofile.html
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02-16-2010, 07:46 PM
Post: #8
RE: Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
Robert Wright (born 1957) is an American journalist, scholar, and prize-winning author of best-selling books about science, evolutionary psychology, history, religion, and game theory, including 'the Evolution of God' also makes a fairly provocative contrast between Mark and John:

"The book of Mark is generally considered the most factually reliable of the four gospels. It was written around 70 CE, roughly four decades after the Crucifixion. That's a long lag, but it offers less time for the accrual of dubious information than the roughly five decades available for Matthew and Luke or the six or seven decades for John. What's more, during Mark's composition there would have been people sixty or seventy years old who as young adults had personally witnessed the doings and sayings of Jesus and knew his biographical details - and whose recollections may have constrained the author's inventiveness. This population would shrink during the decade or more before other gospels took shape, expanding creative freedom."

For additional details go to:

http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-ne...umbuyp/87#

I am second coming of Thomas Paine. If you are a Christian, have you read Age of Reason?
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02-16-2010, 11:56 PM
Post: #9
RE: Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
"(Pagels thesis that John is in fact a rebuttal to the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas is very interesting BTW.)"

Yes, it is, Parousia, especially in light of the Son of Man knowledge that ties humanity directly to God and vice-versa. The classical Gnostic position was that while God was everywhere around us and in us, God was totally Spirit and un-"contaminated" with bodily form that Gnosticism believed was a trap for the soul. The opposite position can be seen in John who challenges Thomas to touch the living body of the spiritual Jesus in order to show that body and soul are united as one and not the classical Gnostic separation where body and the material world is seen as something to be avoided in one's life as much as possible. I am a modern Gnostic who sides with John and the Creator in Genesis I while classical Gnosticism ignored Genesis I and attacked Genesis II's Yahweh as Demiurge making a mess of Creation. The classical Gnostics did not know of the difference between EL and Yahweh so they threw the baby out with the bathwater and thereby missed the Son of Man knowledge in my opinion.
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02-17-2010, 06:34 AM
Post: #10
RE: Evolution from Mark to John: let us talk about the garden and timing of crucifixion
(02-16-2010 07:46 PM)Ahmadi Wrote:  Robert Wright (born 1957) is an American journalist, scholar, and prize-winning author of best-selling books about science, evolutionary psychology, history, religion, and game theory, including 'the Evolution of God' also makes a fairly provocative contrast between Mark and John:

"The book of Mark is generally considered the most factually reliable of the four gospels. It was written around 70 CE, roughly four decades after the Crucifixion. That's a long lag, but it offers less time for the accrual of dubious information than the roughly five decades available for Matthew and Luke or the six or seven decades for John. What's more, during Mark's composition there would have been people sixty or seventy years old who as young adults had personally witnessed the doings and sayings of Jesus and knew his biographical details - and whose recollections may have constrained the author's inventiveness. This population would shrink during the decade or more before other gospels took shape, expanding creative freedom."

For additional details go to:

http://knol.google.com/k/zia-shah/the-ne...umbuyp/87#

John is writing much later and is (IMO) deliberately being different to underscore his specific message. The Synoptic Gospels would have been fairly well know by this time, and John chooses not to retell a more or less familiar story. Luke seems to give a similar message in his Gosepl. His inclusion of a genealogy and a nativity story echoes Matthew but the details are very different, as is Luke's message. Although not as different as John's of course.

Mark may have encountered actual eyewitnesses (the tradition is that he learned from Peter himself). But various clues suggest that his exposure to such would have been limited. Mark's mother tongue appears to have been Latin not Greek, his audience is not knowledgable about Jewish life and his knowledge of the geography of the Galilee is sketchy. This suggests that he is writing at some distance from where the events took place. (Again tradition places him in Rome.) There was indeed a communty of Jesus followers in Rome by that time - Paul writes to them a dozen or more years before Mark writes his Gospel. So it is possible that he spoke with actual eyewitnesses but apparently not within the context of the story's milieu.
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