Is the Gospel of John reliable?

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Re: Is the Gospel of John reliable?

Post #41

Post by Goose »

marco wrote:
Goose wrote:
marco wrote:
Goose wrote:One reason is that we can make a solid historical case that the Gospel of John has the authority of an eyewitness standing behind it.
That's a curious thing to say. Someone pretending to be John would give details that suggest he was an eye witness.
Pure speculation. And circular speculation to boot.
You do realise we are all deep in speculation when discussing John.
Not necessarily. How deep one has wandered off into speculation would depend upon what one has argued. When asked about why I think the words attributed to Jesus in John are generally reliable I gave a reason which is consistent with an objective historical methodology. A reason that can be backed by a substantial amount of historical evidence. That’s not merely speculation. You, in turn, countered my reason by saying it was a curious statement and then asserted the idea some unknown person pretending to be John would give details suggesting he was an eyewitness. An assertion without any evidential support whatsoever. An assertion that can’t even be evidentially supported without circularly assuming the conclusion.
If John is John, then perhaps we will note the artlessness of his writing and, as you say, we might find elements that suggest he was an eye witness. If he was not John we will find elements that cannot, barring miracles, have been written by him and we would speculate - dread word! - that the writer wishes to add local colour. If the colour is lurid, as is Lazarus, we might speculate that the other writers would certainly not have overlooked that story with its ghastly details of resurrection.
Haven’t the foggiest idea how this has any bearing on John’s authorship.
Hardly good grounds to infer John was an illiterate peasant.
It is likely that John the fisherman was a simple soul.
Simple soul as in an uncomplicated person? Or simple soul as in a simpleton? I’m guessing the latter. If so, present your evidence.
If we have people not in the biased fellowship of the apostles expressing this view also, it adds to our conviction.
Expressing what view? And who expressed it? Evidence please.
You have no reason to suppose otherwise except that you have a thesis to support.
I gave you a reason from Mark 1. You ignored that bit I noticed.
This is circular, the word you erroneously used earlier.
No circularity on my part. You don’t think your earlier statement was circular? Okay, go ahead and make the argument with supporting evidence that the author of John was pretending to be John would give details that suggest he was an eye witness without assuming the given details that suggest the author was an eye witness was given by someone pretending to be John.
The statement in John: "This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true." does not indicate (a) who the beloved disciple is nor (b) that this disciple is the writer. The writer is basing his account on what the beloved disciple allegedly wrote down. And he is anonymous unless we wishfully wish. Of course it is attractive and cosy to believe the man Jesus loved is really writing. Lions and tigers and bears, O my!
I haven’t argued that statement at John 21:24 indicates (a) who the beloved disciple is. As for (b) I suppose that’s one way of interpreting John 21:24. But I do think that interpretation is strained. There seems to be no point in simply making some vague statement that the aforementioned disciple wrote some stuff down. The writer says nothing about basing his account on those writings. You are having to read quite a bit into the text to make that argument. I think the easier interpretation is the aforementioned disciple testified to these things and is the one who has written them down (in this account) and we are verifying his testimony to be true. Why make that statement at all if not to affirm the aforementioned things were written by a disciple? In any event, the case for John having the authority of an eyewitness doesn’t hinge on this verse.
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Re: Is the Gospel of John reliable?

Post #42

Post by 1213 »

Elijah John wrote: ...
3) Without the Gospel of John, how can a person make a good case be made that Jesus claimed to be God?
I think without John it would be more difficult to say Jesus is not the one and only true God, because it is John who says:

This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
John 17:3

...the Father is greater than I.
John 14:28

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Re: Is the Gospel of John reliable?

Post #43

Post by Elijah John »

[Replying to Mithrae]

It's all the language of missionary evangelistic propaganda, and myth making. John is an inspiring read, and agreed, the Synoptics hint at the Divinity of Christ without coming out and saying "Jesus is God". Granted, even the Synoptics are not immune from Supernatural and superlative Christology. It's theology, not reality. Or should I say not provable reality.

And those hints of incarnate Divinity are at odds with Jesus native Judaism. So which is it, was Jesus a Jew? Or was he God?. He cannot be both. Judaism only prepared it's adherants though the years for absolute Monotheism..NOT Trinitarianism. How can any Jew ever be blamed for not accepting Jesus as their God, and Lord and Savior? After all they have repeated the Sh'ma in their daily prayers for centuries BC.

At least the Synoptics preserve some of Jesus Jewish sounding teachings regarding the Father, and how to love God and Neighbor. John? Not so much. Again the quote from Thomas Paine comes in very handy when applied to John.(and Trinitarian Christianity in general) "Instead of God, a man is preached".

Johannine and Pauline Christians (today's Trinitarians) pluck Jesus from his Jewish context, and impose a Greco-Roman one on him.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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Re: Is the Gospel of John reliable?

Post #44

Post by Elijah John »

1213 wrote:
Elijah John wrote: ...
3) Without the Gospel of John, how can a person make a good case be made that Jesus claimed to be God?
I think without John it would be more difficult to say Jesus is not the one and only true God, because it is John who says:

This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
John 17:3

...the Father is greater than I.
John 14:28
I agree, that even the GoJ contains passages which contradict the notion of Jesus' Divinity. Yet this is where many apologists turn to prove it. They cite passages such as the prologue, and the "I AM" statements to make their case. But those passages do not harmonize too well with the verses you cite and many others from the fourth Gospel.
My theological positions:

-God created us in His image, not the other way around.
-The Bible is redeemed by it's good parts.
-Pure monotheism, simple repentance.
-YHVH is LORD
-The real Jesus is not God, the real YHVH is not a monster.
-Eternal life is a gift from the Living God.
-Keep the Commandments, keep your salvation.
-I have accepted YHVH as my Heavenly Father, LORD and Savior.

I am inspired by Jesus to worship none but YHVH, and to serve only Him.

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Was the Apostle Jojn the Beloed Belioved

Post #45

Post by polonius »

John's Gospel

This is what the soldiers did. 25 [j]Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 26 When Jesus saw his mother[k] and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.� 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.� And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

RESPONSE: Lets observe exactly what is said in the above.

The "beloved disciple" took Mary to his home within the hour. The Apostle John and the other apostles lived in Galilee, a three day's journey from Jerusalem.

Thus the "beloved disciple" wasn't the Apostle John but someone who lived very near Jerusalem. (Clue. He is identified in John's Gospel).

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Re: Was the Apostle Jojn the Beloed Belioved

Post #46

Post by Goose »

polonius wrote: John's Gospel

This is what the soldiers did. 25 [j]Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 26 When Jesus saw his mother[k] and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.� 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.� And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

RESPONSE: Lets observe exactly what is said in the above.
Good idea. Let’s observe exactly what is said in the above.

1. John 19 says: “And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.�

2. polonius quite blatantly changes John’s meaning when polonius says: �The "beloved disciple" took Mary to his home within the hour.�

These two statements imply different meanings:
  • (1) From that hour means something like from then onward. It implies a starting point with an open ended undetermined finishing point.

    (2) Within the hour means something like no more than an hour. It implies a starting point and a somewhat fixed upper limit finishing point.
The Apostle John and the other apostles lived in Galilee, a three day's journey from Jerusalem.

Thus the "beloved disciple" wasn't the Apostle John but someone who lived very near Jerusalem. (Clue. He is identified in John's Gospel).
Let’s look again at what John 19 says exactly.

“And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.�

You’ve mistakenly assumed John meant took her to a physical house. It’s an understandable mistake as many translations render ἴδια as home/house. The English word home/house here is used in a metaphorical sense to mean something like family. The words typically used for physical house (οἰκία, οἶκος) are not present here in the Greek text.

�καὶ ἀπ᾿ ἐκει�νης τῆς ὥ�ας ἔλαβεν ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτὴν εἰς τὰ ἴδια�. – John 19:27

The word John finishes with here is ἴδιος. It means something like, one’s own. In other words, John meant from that time onwards the believed disciple took her as his own; that is, took her into his own family. If John had meant the beloved disciple took her to his physical house he would have used one of the words for house as John does elsewhere in his Gospel.
"And it is the case that torturing and killing babies for entertainment is immoral." - Goose, Christian

"Is it the case with child torture? Prove it." - Bust Nak, atheist.

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Re: Was the Apostle Jojn the Beloed Belioved

Post #47

Post by polonius »

polonius wrote: John's Gospel

This is what the soldiers did. 25 [j]Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 26 When Jesus saw his mother[k] and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.� 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.� And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

RESPONSE: Lets observe exactly what is said in the above.

The "beloved disciple" took Mary to his home within the hour. The Apostle John and the other apostles lived in Galilee, a three day's journey from Jerusalem.

Thus the "beloved disciple" wasn't the Apostle John but someone who lived very near Jerusalem. (Clue. He is identified in John's Gospel).

ANSWER:
John 11:25 [j]Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 26 When Jesus saw his mother[k] and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.� 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.� And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

RESPONSE: Lets observe exactly what is said in the above.

The "beloved disciple" took Mary to his home within the hour. The Apostle John and the other apostles lived in Galilee, a three day's journey from Jerusalem.

Thus the "beloved disciple" wasn't the Apostle John but someone who lived very near Jerusalem. (Clue. He is identified in John's Gospel).


Note: Lazarus is the brother of Martha and Mary. The family lives in the village of Bethany, about two miles east of Jerusalem on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. Less than an hour walking distance.


John Chapter 11
5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
35And Jesus wept.m 36So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.�

ALSO: John is an "Apostle" Lazarus is the beloved "Disciple" not an Apostle.

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Re: Is the Gospel of John reliable?

Post #48

Post by Mithrae »

Elijah John wrote: [Replying to Mithrae]

It's all the language of missionary evangelistic propaganda, and myth making. John is an inspiring read, and agreed, the Synoptics hint at the Divinity of Christ without coming out and saying "Jesus is God". Granted, even the Synoptics are not immune from Supernatural and superlative Christology. It's theology, not reality. Or should I say not provable reality.

And those hints of incarnate Divinity are at odds with Jesus native Judaism. So which is it, was Jesus a Jew? Or was he God?. He cannot be both. Judaism only prepared it's adherants though the years for absolute Monotheism..NOT Trinitarianism. How can any Jew ever be blamed for not accepting Jesus as their God, and Lord and Savior? After all they have repeated the Sh'ma in their daily prayers for centuries BC.
Judaism's daily prayers, weekly observances, annual remembrances, commands for utmost respect of one's parents and their traditions, and ostracism or extremely harsh penalties for straying (fortunately many no longer enforced) certainly represent a powerful and highly effective system of indoctrination and thought control - many aspects of which Christian sects have mimicked - but nevertheless substantial changes in perspective have occurred both for some individuals and over time the religion as a whole.

It's worth noting that of the various Jewish laws which Jesus is recorded as contradicting or radically 'reinterpreting,' the command to honour one's parents is one of the clearest and most shocking examples according to Luke - telling his disciples that they must "hate" their father, mother, spouse, children and siblings in order to be his disciple (Luke 14:26) - and according to the other evangelists also (Mark 3:31-35, 10:29, 15:40, Matthew 8:21-22, 10:37, 12:46-40, 23:9, Luke 8:19-21, 9:59-62). Even granting that much of the gospels' contents are unreliable I'd say these teachings are very likely based on genuine Jesus material, but if so why would that be unless he wanted to break that cycle of indoctrination and introduce something new?

But perhaps not all that new or unique. For example it's hardly an original point that John's idea of the Word or Logos is probably based mostly on the writings of the Jew Philo of Alexandria, who himself seems to contradict that absolutist dogma of strict monotheism:
  • Philo used the term Logos to mean an intermediary divine being, or demiurge.[13] Philo followed the Platonic distinction between imperfect matter and perfect Form, and therefore intermediary beings were necessary to bridge the enormous gap between God and the material world.[14] The Logos was the highest of these intermediary beings, and was called by Philo "the first-born of God."[14]

    Philo also wrote that "the Logos of the living God is the bond of everything, holding all things together and binding all the parts, and prevents them from being dissolved and separated."[15] . . . .


    There are, in addition, Biblical elements: there are Biblical passages in which the word of Yhwh is regarded as a power acting independently and existing by itself, as Isaiah 55:11;[17] these ideas were further developed by later Judaism in the doctrines of the Divine Word creating the world, the divine throne-chariot and its cherub, the divine splendor and its shekinah, and the name of God as well as the names of the angels; and Philo borrowed from all these in elaborating his doctrine of the Logos. He calls the Logos "second god [deuteros theos]" (Questions and Answers on Genesis 2:62), the "archangel of many names," "taxiarch" (corps-commander), the "name of God," also the "heavenly Adam",[18] the "man, the word of the eternal God."

    The Logos is also designated as "high priest", in reference to the exalted position which the high priest occupied after the Exile as the real center of the Jewish state. The Logos, like the high priest, is the expiator of sins, and the mediator and advocate for men: ἱκέτης,[19] and πα�άκλητος.[20]
Elijah John wrote: At least the Synoptics preserve some of Jesus Jewish sounding teachings regarding the Father, and how to love God and Neighbor. John? Not so much. Again the quote from Thomas Paine comes in very handy when applied to John.(and Trinitarian Christianity in general) "Instead of God, a man is preached".

Johannine and Pauline Christians (today's Trinitarians) pluck Jesus from his Jewish context, and impose a Greco-Roman one on him.
Is it possible that you are exaggerating the "Jewish context" in which Jesus lived? He traveled around during the recorded years of his public preaching; perhaps even further afield in the decade and more prior to that. Noting some similarities with Buddhist ideas, some have suggested that he (like the apostle Thomas afterwards) might have traveled to India; pure speculation but surely possible (it's also worth noting that the first three verses of John's gospel bear a striking resemblance to a passage from Indian scripture). There certainly seems to be some influence from Cynic philosophy in his teachings, which trade and fairly local travel alone could easily account for.

But in particular, we should remember that our information about Jesus' milieu is so limited that outside the NT the only credible source for his existence is a coincidental reference in passing to his brother's death in Josephus - and in the case of Hillel the Elder, reportedly far more important at the time of his death 20 years before Jesus', we have nothing. Major streams of Jewish thought were essentially wiped out in the two wars and presumably a great deal of historical information about the period's culture. Philo and Paul may have been "hellenized Jews," but I suspect that it's a mistake to assume any kind of stark dichotomy between them and all Palestinian Jews. Palestinian Jews were certainly not uniform in their beliefs and theologies by any stretch of the imagination, nor were they an isolated population, and I think it's highly probable that some/many shared fairly similar ways of looking at the world with other folk from the wider levant. And I don't think that's a bad thing.

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Re: Was the Apostle Jojn the Beloed Belioved

Post #49

Post by polonius »

Goose wrote:
polonius wrote: John's Gospel

This is what the soldiers did. 25 [j]Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. 26 When Jesus saw his mother[k] and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.� 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.� And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

RESPONSE: Lets observe exactly what is said in the above.
Good idea. Let’s observe exactly what is said in the above.

1. John 19 says: “And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.�

2. polonius quite blatantly changes John’s meaning when polonius says: �The "beloved disciple" took Mary to his home within the hour.�

These two statements imply different meanings:
  • (1) From that hour means something like from then onward. It implies a starting point with an open ended undetermined finishing point.

    (2) Within the hour means something like no more than an hour. It implies a starting point and a somewhat fixed upper limit finishing point.
The Apostle John and the other apostles lived in Galilee, a three day's journey from Jerusalem.

Thus the "beloved disciple" wasn't the Apostle John but someone who lived very near Jerusalem. (Clue. He is identified in John's Gospel).
Let’s look again at what John 19 says exactly.

“And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.�

You’ve mistakenly assumed John meant took her to a physical house. It’s an understandable mistake as many translations render ἴδια as home/house. The English word home/house here is used in a metaphorical sense to mean something like family. The words typically used for physical house (οἰκία, οἶκος) are not present here in the Greek text.

�καὶ ἀπ᾿ ἐκει�νης τῆς ὥ�ας ἔλαβεν ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτὴν εἰς τὰ ἴδια�. – John 19:27

The word John finishes with here is ἴδιος. It means something like, one’s own. In other words, John meant from that time onwards the believed disciple took her as his own; that is, took her into his own family. If John had meant the beloved disciple took her to his physical house he would have used one of the words for house as John does elsewhere in his Gospel.

RESPONSE:

Wouldn't John's family reside in Galilee where John lived? Are you then claiming that Mary spent her final years in Galilee?

I'm afraid the Catholic church teaches otherwise.

"Following the resurrection and the Pentecostal mention in Acts, tradition asserts that Mary lived either in Ephesus or in Jerusalem and that she may have been buried in Ephesus (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., III, 31; V, 24, P.G., XX, 280, 493). On the other hand, the Bishop of Jerusalem asserted that Mary's tomb resided in Jerusalem"

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Re: Is the Gospel of John reliable?

Post #50

Post by Tart »

Elijah John wrote: 1) Is the Gospel of John a good, reliable account of the historical Jesus?
2) Did Jesus say everything in that Gospel that was attributed to him?
3) Without the Gospel of John, how can a person make a good case be made that Jesus claimed to be God?
Well that depends if you believe the Bible or not... Maybe the Bible is wrong? It formed by chance accidentally by men. Or maybe God is real, but made a mistake in his plan of destiny, or let the Devil put things in the Bible that arent true. But then, maybe "though shall live by every word of God"~Jesus was put in there by the Devil?? Maybe the Devil made the entire book and God did something else (this is sarcasm)....

The question is, is some things in the Bible wrong, and others not wrong? If so, we could just pick and choose what we want to believe (like many atheists say so).. In which case i could believe the parts about murdering homosexuals, and disregard the part about giving to the poor, and whos to say im wrong? You disregard John, but not other parts.

Why believe anything at all?

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