1986, Serial No. 00474

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.




Saint John

AI Summary: 





It's been given to us that we may learn to find our son, Jesus Christ, in all things. We ask this in his name. Let me explain these sheets. The first one that you've got today is Bois Mard's chiastic arrangement of the Prologue of John. Okay, put in the form of a chi, really, put in the form of a cross. Now let me explain the logic of that, and I'll leave it to you to see if it's convincing or not. You remember how he divided the Prologue, and he found the center of the chiasm to be verses 12 and 13 together, okay? And then, you see the two John passages, the two John the Baptist passages, they have been put on the slant as a kind of interruption in the poetic or hymnic form of the rest of it, the kind of prose passages. There's an interesting suggestion about that, by the way, that the original beginning of


John's Gospel went as follows. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. See, that would match very well with the pattern in the Old Testament, and also, I think, with the Gospel of Mark, for instance, where you start out with John the Baptist. And then that the hymn of the Prologue was put on the front of the Gospel, and then sort of interlaced with it, you see? So that the beginning of the original Gospel, the original beginning, is woven through the hymn, which is as if to keep it on there. And the hymn was also a whole, if you thought of it that way. Yes, and the hymn was also a whole, although they don't agree as to whether it was just the first five verses in the beginning, or the whole of the Prologue, you see, except for the John passages. Because the first five verses are the kind of unity and completeness of the Roman, and they're more poetic, it seems, than the others. So there are those who say that that was the initial unit of the Prologue, and then it was expanded from there. But, of course, that leaves out the word was made flesh, which is extremely important to us. I mean, theologically, that's, in a way, the center. But not according to the chiastic structure, where it falls back on, he gave power to become


children of God, either here in Beaumard's construction, or in the more sophisticated one of Culpeper, that we saw last time, which, to me, seems the most satisfactory, where it's just that expression, he gave power to become children of God, that's the absolute center. I don't know if you can diagram Culpeper's structure as well as Beaumard's. I suspect it won't work out quite as well. Let me show you the logic of this, why I put it on these dimensions, on the vertical and the horizontal. Starting from the top, the theory is that there's a movement downwards, and then that there's a movement back up. Many of the John scholars contend that there is also ground, that the movement begins at the top, as it were, in God, where the word is, comes down, the word becomes flesh, picks up man in the Incarnation, and then ascends back to the Father. Now, you can see that here, although not in extremely clear form at first. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, up at the top. Then you move around clockwise, no, it's counterclockwise, isn't it?


So at the end of verse 5, you go to verse 6, which is on the slant, because that's a John the Baptist passage. It looks like an interpolation. And then... Hi Milton, let me give you a couple of... We're working on the first two, and I'm afraid I'm so out of time, I'll explain it in a second. So, you go around counterclockwise from verse 5 to 6 through 8, the interpolation there, and then to 9. The true light that enlightens every man who is coming into the world. He was in the world when the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. Now, here you find, for the first time, this negative reaction to the word.


And so, what's over on the left there is darkness, as it were, and what's over on the right will be the reception, the positive reception of the word. Only trouble is that it looks like, verse 5, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome, it should also be over there. But in an approximative way, the shape seems to conform to the meaning. So rejection of the light tends to be on the left, acceptance of the light and the fruits of that acceptance tend to be on the right here. And then you move into the center, to those who received him, now this could be in the center or it could be on the right, and then finally down to the bottom, the word became flesh and dwelt among us. That's the bottom because it's the taking up of flesh, of matter, in the word, okay? And then you move back up, first of all with that other, what seems like, interpolation there of John the Baptist, and then around. From this fullness help we all receive grace upon grace, the law was given through Moses. No one has ever seen God now.


Actually, the print forces you to read downwards, because we read downwards in English, of course, and I guess any language does. But this should really read upwards, you're moving back up towards the top. And it concludes, the only son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known. So that works out pretty well. You can do this by turning the things around, so that you have a page. That's right, that's right. You'd have to then just rotate your page as you go. I'll leave that to another generation of mad men. Yeah. It fits when he comes back up again, the last sentence being, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. I mean, that's a finality, too, on the first, you know, after you come back up again, you realize the light has overcome the darkness. Yeah. And that sounds like a kind of eternal shining of the light, it's like a metaphysical statement Whereas you dip into history as soon as you start moving on the diagram. As long as you stay with that first hymn, you seem to be almost timeless, even though


things have been created. But it's before the incarnational dynamic starts. And the center makes it all possible. Well, the idea, the center is the reason for it all. Let's put it that way. The reason for it all. The reason for it all is to give man, the human person, power to become a child of God. Now remember, that moves the center of gravity from the incarnation itself, from the Christological center, to what we call the anthropological center, whatever. In other words, to the fruit, the importances in the fruit. That's the reason why Jesus became man, so that the human person might become God. Okay. I just offer these not as absolute proposals, but as possibilities. They kind of help to have a sense of centeredness and form as we move through the Gospel. Now, if this is so of the prologue, it's suggested also that it may be true of the Gospel. So we'll check on that as we go on. After we finish with the prologue, we want to talk about the structure of the Gospel.


Now, that's what this one is about, all right? Remember that Ellis, based on that thesis of a Jesuit, Gerhard, said that the whole Gospel of John is structured on the basis of chiasm. That it's composed of five parts. Remember, we looked at it very briefly, diagrammed it. Five parts. The first conforms to the fifth, the second to the fourth, the third is the center, all right? But it turns out that the third is very brief. The third is only five verses. It's John 6, 16 to 21. If you consider, actually, that the thing is a quaternity, and that that fifth is the middle, that third is the middle, then you can do this. You see, then you can make a cross diagram, a rectangular, quaternary diagram. Now, this turns out for me to work very well. I will puzzle over this as we go on, but there's some amazing symmetries that turn up if you do this with the Gospel. Let me point out just a couple, just to whet your appetite, if possible. The center is not convincing at all, at first.


The center is the place where Jesus, after the multiplication of the bread, is walking across the lake on the water, remember? The wind's blowing, they're having a hard time. The wind rises, the sea, and so on. And then they see Jesus, they're scared. He says, it is I. Actually, he says, I am. Do not be afraid. And then they were glad to take him into the boat. They willingly took him into the boat. And as soon as they took him into the boat, they were at the shore where they were going. Now, this is a weird thing. I mean, all of the other signs in John have a meaning. They have a fairly evident meaning. The healing signs, obviously, are telling you what the work of Jesus is. The sign at Cana, the first sign, obviously has a symbolic value for what Jesus is bringing in comparison to the grace of the Old Testament or the baptism of John, okay? They're very clear, the other signs. But this one's a mystery. Why would John put that seemingly meaningless sign in his gospel when his signs are so deliberate? Even the fact of having seven clear signs, the magical number of seven.


Now, why is one of them this... I've never been able to figure out why that sign was there. Another one that puzzled me was the healing of the official's son, because it seems to go past so quickly in chapter four. We'll talk about that. But the contention of Ellis is that that is the recalling of the Exodus, okay? So that that crossing of the sea actually is the center of the gospel, and it's Jesus bringing his people across into the new condition, into the new state, the new dispensation, okay? So we'll have to ponder that and see whether we can buy it as we go on. You may not find it very convincing. You'll find a lot of things that center in with it. But notice that square in the middle of the bread of life discourse. So you've got, as it were, one center inside another. The whole chapter six on the bread of life. First the multiplication of the bread, and then the long bread of life discourse of Jesus when he says, I am the bread of life. So what you've got there is a kind of sapiential Eucharistic center, sapiential sacramental


center, okay? Because first Jesus says, I am the bread of life, and he means it in terms simply of himself, not in terms of the Eucharist. He means as word, he is the bread of life. And then he says, he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. So he means it in terms of the Eucharist. So it's a sapiential, sacramental center, and inside of that center you've got this exodus event, and the strange I am statement, followed by this immediate arrival at the goal. Now I think there's a centering thing in all of that. I suspect that that I am statement, and that rather very strange statement of John that immediately when he stepped into the boat they were where they were going. I think that's the centering thing coming into operation too. I think that's why John has it there, but we'll check that out and see if we believe it as we go on. Let me point out a couple of symmetries here. Notice I put a circle in there which seems largely empty, and what justifies that circle? Well, first of all I should explain something else, and I don't want to get deeply into


this now because we have to go on with the prologue, but the bottom member of this is Ellicis Part 1, the right hand member is Ellicis Part 2, the left hand member is Ellicis Part 4, and the top is Ellicis Part 5, and the little center square there is Ellicis Part 3. Okay, so 1 balances 5 and 2 balances 4, 3 is in the middle. That's that short, as we said, Exodus passage about the crossing of the sea, the boat, Jesus coming, I am. Are those just the verses that you're writing down now? No. Are they chapters? These are the parts in Ellicis. Do you remember Ellicis' chiastic structure of counting? Oh yeah, I see. The part. 3, 4, 5.


One is, it's got five sequences, is it? I don't understand, I don't know. Yeah, okay. And this is in Chapter 6, and there's a strange disproportion here because this is about three times as big as this thing, all right? So we keep growing in. Actually, this looks symmetrical, but it's not, quantitatively. Yeah. Because this is about half the Gospel over here, all right? Yeah. In fact, the proportion is roughly something like this, 1, and then, let's see, 1, 1, 2, 4. The proportion is something like that, quantitatively. 1, 1, 2, 4. And in this distribution, is it well distributed? In this distribution, no. In this distribution, quantitatively, it still isn't well distributed. So we have to explain why John would do that, why you make it so disproportionate, if we do verify. The way that this works out, it verifies itself by symmetry rather than by quantity, okay? And if you look for the quantitative center of the Gospel, it would be somewhere over


here, way out, not clear. Okay, let me point out a couple of symmetries now. You notice, as you go up here, you have to go from here to here. Now, this is a reversal, because from this point here, as you move up, where do you go? You have to travel out here and begin your way back. In other words, here's your chapter 3, and chapter 4 is over here. That's your sequence 6, he calls it. You'll notice that the numbers up in the right-hand corner of the boxes are the sequence numbers for Ellis, and then the other numbers are simply chapters and verses in John. So you come up and then you have to come over to the right-hand side and move back to go all across here, and then you go up here. We'll have to see if that's justified. Because if you do it with this kind of figure, with a cross, it's the only way you can do it. You can't travel smoothly around a curve as you could in the other way. Now, notice where that ring meets the cross shape.


You have four squares, okay, or four episodes in John's Gospel. The one on the left, you can't read too well, but it's supposed to be Supper and Mary's Anointing, all right? Where'd you copy it? Well, the Supper and Mary's Anointing of Bethany in John chapter 12. Twelve? One, two, seven? Yes. Now, do you notice anything in common between those four? That's one of the strongest symmetries in this thing, huh? Really? The women, yeah. Those are the four episodes in which the women encounter Jesus in John's Gospel, except for the one at the cross where you have three women together, all of them named Mary, okay? Now, none of this is accidental, I think. And I think that's a deliberate symmetry on John's part, and that's one of the things that upholds this diagram. The thing, the whole dynamic, the whole journey is somehow enclosed within this circular figure formed by the women, which is a, that's a sacrilegious thing, it's a Sophia thing, really, as well as having other functions in John's Gospel.


Now, a couple of other, just arguments for the symmetry. Look at 8, look at 7 and 8, and 13, 14 and 15. 7 and 8 and 14 and 15, which have corresponding places, okay? Symmetrical places on the diagram. 7 and 8 are two healing signs. 14 and 15 are two healing signs. Now, all of the healing signs of Jesus lie along that horizontal line, okay? And they're in symmetrical relationship with one another. Two and two. In addition to which, there's a kind of symmetry in the signs themselves. Compare 7 with 14. In 7, the official says, who seems to be a pagan, by the way, the pagans are out in right field here, the strangers are out in right field, and as you move towards that field, you're moving toward the center, towards Jerusalem, okay? And you look to Bethany, to the intimate friends of Jesus, and so on. The official says to Jesus, says, come down before my son dies.


Look at number 15 over there, that's Lazarus, where Jesus has to go down, remember, to Judea to heal Lazarus, and he doesn't even wait. Then the paralytic and the man born blind, there's something in common between those two. If you notice, the sign and then the kind of dispute that Jesus has with the Jews, following both of those miracles, there's a lot in common between those. Now, we've got two healing signs out here, and two healing signs out here, and what have we got coming up here, where are our signs? Usually seven signs are attributed to John's Gospel, but there's one big sign, which is the resurrection, okay? The first sign, explicitly, is Canaan, that's down here in number three, no, number two, okay? Canaan, and then you've got two other signs there, both in that central square. The multiplication of the bread, and then the miracle at the lake, the strange miracle we were talking about at the lake, where Jesus walks on the water, and then he kind of transports them to the other side.


So, this one here, and then these two right here, neither of which is really a healing sign, okay? The multiplication of bread is a sign, a life sign, but it's not a healing sign. And then the other sign is up here. The resurrection, which is in 20 and 21. So, there's a good symmetry there with those signs, just as with the other signs. And there's a difference in meaning between those two axes, okay? The vertical axis is the axis, it seems, sort of the Christological axis, once again, of revelation of Jesus, and of his work, his own, going through his passion and death. From his first revelation, his baptism, and pointing out by John, up through his own passion and death. It became a sign to explain something very clearly. Yeah, yeah. There's a kind of a week there, too, I think.


Another symmetry is that we've got a week down here, because each of the disciples is in the next day, the next day, the next day, right in chapter one, and then on the third day. And then it's Cana, and it looks like that third day of Cana is a Sabbath. I don't mean in the actual week, but I mean that's the manifestation of glory, and of finality, which is a Sabbath. Then you've got a week up here, remember, on Easter, because the disciples are together. A lot happens on that first day. Mary Magdalene, the first two disciples, then the upper room, Jesus comes, all on the first day, and then a week later, okay? So the manifestations of Jesus up here are enclosed within a week once again. And of course what the week recalls is what? Creation, Genesis. There are a lot of Genesis allusions at the top here and at the bottom, as we'll see later on, at the beginning and at the end of John's Gospel. Why does it say there, 14, on the letter, sheep? Well, Jesus talks about the sheep, the sheep fold, the good shepherd, and so on.


So it's not just, it's not just the man who unbindeth the serpent. That's because it's the sheep pool that the sheep take. Well, it does, doesn't it? That is the sheep pool, isn't it? In fact, also there's a pool in each of those, because the paralytic, the paralytic, is next to the pool, the blind man has to go, and remember, and wash himself in the pool. So for some reason there's, and then the sheep connection, by golly. You'll find a lot of things like that in here, so stay with it. Isn't it kind of amazing? I have to excuse myself for the monotony of these squares that I throw at you, but there's that kind of structure in there, by golly, somehow. So, we'll get back to this later, and I want to see if we can use this in any way as we go through the Gospel. We'll have to go through it quickly, of course, but, for instance, for division in the Gospel. Well, I was saying something about those two axes. Okay, the vertical axis is the axis, actually, of Jesus' own revelation and his hour.


Everything over the top, practically speaking, on that vertical upper member, is Jesus' hour. Now, that's the center, really. That's the center where we're headed, but it's not the center of this figure. And it's not the center, not anything like the center, quantitatively, of the Gospel either. So there's a mysterious kind of dialectic of centers here. There's more than one center. The horizontal member, you can talk about in a couple of ways. One way is you move from right to left, you move from Samaria, which is the farthest hour. Remember, the Samaritans were heretics for the Jews. And so you're moving from the farthest reaches, and there you have a kind of a look towards universality, when Jesus says, neither on this mountain nor the other mountain. Remember, those are two centers, by the way, but in spirit and in truth. And you're moving towards Judea, towards Jerusalem, you're moving towards Jesus' final violent encounter with the Jews, and it gets more and more violent as you move from right to left across that horizontal member, okay?


So that's one very external dimension. Deeper than that is the fact that you're moving from faith and from positive reception towards more and more opposition until you get to the point where Jesus raises Lazarus and the Jews decide to kill him because of that. That's the climax of this. And then you have the tenderness of that anointing by Mary at the very end of that left-hand member. The other thing is that the vertical member tends to be along the cognitive line of recognition of Jesus and of his work also. It concerns him and it concerns the knowledge of Jesus, whereas the horizontal member is along the line of compassion and hatred, love versus hatred. We're going to see this, I think, verified as we look at the first letter of John. They're the two great dimensions, the dimension of light and the dimension of love. Now, they seem to be borne out geometrically here in some way. I should try to type up for you


the main symmetries that I see here so we don't have to go through it all together. The center, again, here, as in the other piece of work we've shown, the prologue, the center of love, it focuses on us rather than on Christ. I mean, Christ says, I am, but the point is, he brings us to shore. That's right, that's right. And in some way, they are allowing us to receive the power which comes from believing in him. The question of belief is assumed here because they were trying to... They take him into the boat. I forget what the Greek is, but it indicates... Which is really interesting. They wanted to take him into the boat, but instead...


Well, they do. No, it says they wanted to take him into the boat, but suddenly it came around on the shore they had been approaching. What translation have you got there? This is the New American. It's number 21. Then they were glad to take him into the boat. Okay, so the RSV has it that he got into the boat and immediately the boat was where they were going. The New American Bible actually differs on what happens. Sure. It's an interesting thing. They wanted to take him into the boat, but it suddenly came around on the shore. But did he run alongside it? I don't know. Some people... How do they translate walking on the sea?


How do they translate... No, verse 19. Finally, when they had rowed three or four miles they found Jesus approaching the boat walking on the water. Because I've heard some people say that they were fairly close to the shore and Jesus was walking in the shallow water by the shore. He's got to be walking on the water. He's walking on the water. Yeah. Well, there's this glad reception in many cases. And that seems to be a key here, symbolically, to what happens. And I think the miraculous part... I mean, it could be both. Let's see. The footnote here says that the Greek would permit a translation on the seashore by the sea. Oh, yeah. This would eliminate the miraculous from destroying even purpose. It is quite clear that Jesus walked upon the sea.


Now, if he walked upon the sea, it seems to me much more logical that he did get into the boat. Otherwise, he and the boat have to sort of move separately. Anyhow, I had a lot of trouble seeing this as the center of the Gospel, seeing any justification for putting this in the center. And it may be that that obscurity is part of what... part of the message, is part of what we're supposed to be working on. There's the need to penetrate that and see why that exodus event and that meaningless miracle, because Jesus never does anything for nothing. It's only to help somebody, all right? Either to manifest his own will or to help somebody. Why would he do a miracle just to speed their arrival at the shore, if they're not in danger of death? To me, the experience has to be powerlessness. The helplessness that we are in in the whole question of life and experience in the sea and so forth. And it's dark, and we're alone.


The whole business then is the power of Christ coming and turning everything around and bringing us immediately to shore. Well, that's effective. I believe that. But does it justify its central position in the Gospel? That's the question. That's got to be borne out. So we'll go into that later when we go chapter by chapter. I can see very well the whole Bread of Life chapter 6 being the center of the Gospel in a way, okay? Because you can consider that what the Gospel wants to tell you is that Jesus is the Bread of Life, Jesus is the Tree of Life. And that's it. So it works both sapientially and sacramentally, and has a kind of fundamental expression of what Jesus is for us. But this part is something else. Okay, so you've got the key to this now, so think it over a little bit, and we'll talk about it again. We'll come back to it I think next time. We've burned up a lot of time this morning just


on the handouts. The other two things I gave you one of them is called Dimensions of the Word of the Logos. Okay, that was meant to be a kind of a summary after we finish this thing about the Logos and John's Prologue. A summary of different dimensions of the Word, helping you to see how it's a kind of center that sort of pulls everything together around itself and into itself. The other one, centers and the center in John's Gospel. I started thinking about this movement towards a center in John's Gospel and reflecting on how many ways that appears. And it's quite surprising. So centering can be taken as kind of a fundamental approach in trying to understand John's Gospel. Now, realize it's a structural approach so it has to be complemented by the real power of the Word. What good does it do if we get to the center, if we're not listening to the Word


if we're not hearing the real message. But nevertheless it's in John's Gospel, there's no doubt about it. I keep rediscovering it one way or another. So those three pages are just my own reflections on, which you don't even have to read them but if it's of interest, if the centering thing intrigues you these are my own reflections on the different ways of seeking a center in John's Gospel. And we'll follow a couple of them. Now last time we talked about the prologue in general, we kind of ran through it we pointed out some of the problems in interpreting the prologue and understanding it, and then some of the theology of the prologue and the structure, the chiasmic structure which I gave you the diagram for today. I gave you a Walmart's diagram, not for Culpeper, which maybe is better.


And we've seen that we can go from a chiasm to an actual Chi, or a cross, with the prologue and possibly also with the Gospel. Let me say something about this centering business in John, which is turning out to be more and more important. I think it's deeply connected with the message of John's Gospel and the purpose. It's not just kind of decorative it's not just incidental, it's not just ornamental. There seem to be two movements as we've seen in John. One is towards the center and the other is outwards or forwards. There's a circular movement, a movement inward which we call a centering movement, and there's a movement outward and a movement forward. They seem to correspond to a couple of other things in John's Gospel. There's the reflection of the book of Genesis and of the whole Genesis creation theology of the Old Testament and a reflection of the Exodus theology. These in turn point us towards a kind of cosmic view a cosmic dimension of theology and a historical


dimension of theology, and to two great dimensions of the Word of the Logos we're going to find. The kind of intersection of the universal and of the particular historical revelation of which we are the heirs is found here, you see. But it runs throughout John's Gospel. Today I was hoping that we could do this centering thing in a kind of triple way. One way is looking at the Word, the Logos itself, as a center. Now you have that Xerox of that article by Cato in Catholic Biblical Quarterly from 1976. I read that a number of years ago and found it interesting and set it aside. I found that Schneider then picked it up in her class and made it kind of a central point. That John's Logos is a center in the sense that you find centers in the world religions. So here in the Logos then by virtue of this centering thinking we find


another intersection between the particular revelation, the Judeo-Christian revelation, and universality. God's universal revelation, if you want to put it that way, would be Griffith's cosmic revelation. We'll have to go briefly through what he says in order to verify that, to check it out but that's the thesis. A second centering procedure is that of the chiasm, as we've seen. The literary structure of the Gospel. The literary structure first of the prologue as we've seen it and then of the Gospel itself. This thesis of Ellis that it's chiastic in form. Which at first seems kind of marginal and interesting and so on, another scholarly curiosity, and then you gradually realize that it's very important. And yet there are faults with that, several defects. One then, the thing that was laid out in Ellis' book doesn't seem to have enough theological density. That is, the centers don't seem to be significant enough. The little centers especially in the smaller units don't seem to have that much meaning.


Nevertheless, basically I think he's got it right. And then the disproportion, the quantitative disproportion, the fact that you've got half of the Gospel in one quarter of the or one fifth of the structure. And then a third thing, which is to go through John's Gospel chapter by chapter and look for centers of various kinds. Look for symbolic centers. Obvious kinds are like Jerusalem. That kind of concentric movement that you have as you move from, say, the Holy Land the promised land being the center of the world in a sense. And inside that you've got Jerusalem. And inside that you've got the Temple. And inside the Temple you've got the Holy of Holies. And inside the Holy of Holies you've got the Ark of the Covenant. So there's a definite concentric thing there. Then there's a centering in time-wise. First of all, you've got important feasts for the Jews, and among those central the Passover.


You've only got three Passovers in John's Gospel. But then the key to the time-centering is the hour, is Jesus' hour. And then you've got a whole bunch if you just read almost any chapter of John's Gospel you start getting this sense of some kind of geometry there. Either he goes from Galilee back to Judea, or he goes into the center of the Temple or it's a question of being at a well or it's a question of is this the Prophet? Is this the One? Or where do you live? Every one of those things seems to refer to a central place, to a place of special importance. So you can draw a line through all of those things. I've gone through the Gospel and picked out a lot of them. Just look at a few. From first to last until at the end you have Thomas looking at Jesus' open side where he's been pierced with a lance and so on. All of that's deliberate. At the end of the Prologue, the only Son, the only One


who dwells in the bosom of the Father. That kind of thing. And then you've got the symbols the Bread of Life and the other things that Jesus identifies himself with and connected with the I Am statements because the I Am statements always are a centering device, I think. In other words, they bring us back to the person of Jesus at the center of it all simply by wiping out all the predicates. When he says in absolute fashion, I Am, before Abraham was, I Am do you see how even temporarily there he's centering himself in a center beyond time, in some sense. Before Abraham was, I Am. Similarly with the other I Am statements. Some have predicates, some don't. They all point towards the center. He's referring to the Father, I Am God always was and He always will be. That's right. And then that I Am statement comes from the Old Testament. It's connected with the very name of God, with Yahweh


and with his revelation in the Old Testament identifying himself in that way. Simply, I am the one who is. The exegetes differ on how exactly you should interpret that revelation in Exodus 3 where God says I am he who is. Whether I am he who is with you or will be with you or whatever. At the core of it is that. Okay, now something more about the Logos. It's been said that this is the window, this is the key for reading the Gospel of John. It's puzzling that John doesn't use the word Logos in that sense anywhere else in the Gospel. It's only in the Prologue that he uses it. It's easy to explain that if you say, well the Prologue is meant to be the guide for reading the Gospel. So once he gives you, as it were, the lens, the magnifying glass, he doesn't have to say it again. And if he did say it again, it might get in the way. He's given you the optic, the lens,


the window through which to read his Gospel. Then he goes on with the narrative. It's been said that the Prologue is the theology that interprets the history of the Gospel. The Gospel is the history which explicitates the theology of the Prologue. That's a rather beautiful way of putting it. And the theology of the Prologue is somehow summed up in the Logos. Now there's an extreme concentration here. So the Gospel can be boiled down to Prologue, Prologue can be boiled down to Logos. Not just the Logos in eternity, but the Logos as it becomes flesh, of course. Now, we have to see later on whether what I've just said can be also reconciled with the structural centers, like that center. To those who believe in him, he is the power of the theology of God, because our centers should correspond. Where does the Logos notion in John come from? Well, during the last hundred years there have been a whole flock of theories of places outside Judaism, outside the biblical sources, outside the Old Testament.


Brown, you have a Xerox of a little appendix of Brown, several pages on the word. And he talks about these. Bultmann and Dodd, the English scholar, are two who have done very powerful work on those. But ultimately the judgment seems to be that we don't have to go outside the Bible in order to explain the Prologue of John. But you should distinguish between saying, does the idea of the word of the Logos come from the Bible for John, or does it come from somewhere else? Does it come from Gnosticism? Does it come from Philo, from some kind of Jewish philosophy? Or saying, does the language that he uses possibly come from some extra-biblical source? Now, it may be that John wanted to use a language which was universal enough so that everybody could read it, even the people who didn't come from a Jewish background, and so that he chose Logos. Who knows what his personal motive was, but in fact


he's used a term which opens the doors to all of the other religious traditions. The various hypotheses here are on brown, page 520 there. He mentions Heraclitus first, a very interesting, very early Greek philosopher who seems to have been before a lot of the conceptual narrowing down that you get with Plato and Aristotle and the ones who followed them. So you've got a much more, what do you call it, a much more mystery-laden kind of speech in Heraclitus than you have later on. And Heraclitus talks about the Logos. He talks about his Logos. Martin has an article on Heraclitus the Obscure somewhere. It's in the Behavior of Titans Heraclitus study. This is what he says. It is true that the Logos of Heraclitus seems to have much in common with the Tao of Lao Tse as well as with the Word of St. John. Brown points out that Heraclitus was at Ephesus, and that's where John is reputed to have written his Gospel. And strangely enough, also


that's where Paul is writing when he gives us that kind of theology. He writes to the Colossians and to the Ephesians and gives us a kind of theology which is cosmological and mystery-related, much in the way that the Logos of John's Gospel is. I don't know how you explain that. I'll read just one or two quotes from Heraclitus here. Selections of Martin which obviously are selected because of their relevance to his Christian concerns. It is wise to hearken not to me but to my Logos, Word, and to confess that all things are one. Though this Logos is at all times true, yet men are as unable to understand it when they hear it for the first time as before they have heard it at all. For although all things come to pass in accordance with this Word this Logos, men seem as if they had no experience of them when they make trial of words and deeds. I didn't go through all of his fragments to see how many of them really talk about the Logos in an interesting way or relevantly. So we must follow the common.


Thought is common to all, so we must follow the common. Yet though my Logos is common the many live as if they had a wisdom of their own. There's certainly some kind of ring there with the general sense of Logos in Greek philosophy and then with the way that John uses it in his prologue. There's a kind of metaphysical and all-inclusive sense that Clytus uses. Do you remember that? Though my Logos is common, the many live as if they had a wisdom of their own. Eliot uses that in front of one of his poems, I don't remember which. Would John do this to to attract people who were of that of that mind? I mean, who are they exposed to this? I mean, in other words, if I hear you right, he's giving a universal or cosmological kind of concept. Whether he did it by his individual shrewdness


and I think he did, or whether it was simply in John's problems that he used a word which has this universal and cosmological connotation to it. I think he did it because he wanted to be understood in the world of the time, in the philosophical world of the time. Almost like Paul would use the language of the Bible. Yes. Only it's not just a kind of, what would you call it, a kind of dilution or a kind of adaptation. I think he perceived that the term Logos had been evolved, as it were, almost as a body for incarnating what had been revealed to him. That this word had been furnished some way as a kind of key vessel in human thought, into which the revelation that had been given to him could be vested and incarnated. Because it's quite a thing, the way that that word has been able to take on such power. The word Logos in John's Gospel. That's why I think he would draw a lot of


people who were interested in that kind of knowledge. I mean, that's why he had trouble afterwards with that. That's right. The Gnostic potentiality of the prologue and of the whole Gospel and of that word in particular. Some of the Gnostic literature of Nag Hammadi has that kind of language. I think the Gospel of Truth particularly talks about the word. And also this Mandaean literature that Brown mentions here. That was suggested as one of the sources for John's Gospel. But the trouble is, all that stuff was written much later. The texts that they have. So they'll never prove that. And much of it is influenced by Christianity, probably influenced by John's Gospel. So that's not a very promising suggestion. But nevertheless, it has the Gnostic personality The Gnostic soul has a great affinity for that particular kind of language. Which is not a negative thing, because there's a Gnostic dimension in Christianity. There's a valid Gnosis in Christianity. And that's the language for it.


The other suggestion there, this is Brown on top of 520. The use of Logos by Stoics, which is also a very rich use And then Philo. Philo uses the term 1,200 times in his writings. The term Logos. And he uses it in a way which sometimes seems very close to John, and sometimes doesn't seem close at all. Especially, of course, where John talks about the Logos and can't prove it by flesh. And several of our recent scholars, Dunne and also Dodd, have gone extensively into the interest in the connection between Philo's Logos. It's a complicated business. Philo, you know, is the intersection between the Jewish biblical tradition and Hellenism, right at the time right at the apostolic time. In other words, he's like the Christian synthesis with everything but Christ. He's like that synthesis that we often attribute to Christ, of the Greeks and the Jews, you know, as Paul talks about. Like that intersection, which we


usually place Christ at that intersection. Well, he's at that intersection without Christ, without Jesus having stepped into the picture and illuminated it. Philo. Philo, the Jew. He's an Alexandrian Jew who was a voluminous writer, philosopher, who wrote, I think he died about 50 AD, so he was right in the early apostolic time. Died a little before St. Paul wrote his letters. So all that was there, and all of that was in the mental world at the time, so no telling how it could have traveled into Paul, into John, and so on. He's trying to integrate the Jewish thing together and trying to make it all seem to be speaking the same language. But the Greek word was, has an incredibly diverse range of meanings in Greek. So that's another interesting thing. Also, it doesn't just, one of the important things is it doesn't just mean word, okay? It's word and it's reason, it's thought.


Yeah. Yeah. So that contributes to its richness, but it doesn't make things any clearer. The word in Hebrew and the word in Greek are two pretty different things. Yeah. See, the word of God is a very dynamic thing in the biblical tradition, the Old Testament tradition. The word of God is effective, the word of God does something. It's very personal. It comes from God and it carries God's presence and power with it. But the word for the Greeks in general is a much more intellectual and often abstract thing. Not always abstract, but it's intellectual. The speculative thing is not very much in the Jewish tradition at all, and especially with respect to the words. It's there with respect to


wisdom, but it's not there with respect much to the word. Later on it is when they start speculating about Torah. They intersect once again in a very interesting way, almost at right angles it seems. And John's word, if you try to say, is it simply the Hebrew meaning of word or is it rather the Greek? It's both. In other words, there's a synthesis there. It's not just that he has to be understood in the Old Testament way, in the Hebrew way. But with a kind of speculative and cosmological expanse of the Greek word is also meant to be the philosophical word. This is going to take forever if we go on at this rate. The Hermetic literature, that's Gnostic stuff of a later time. It kind of gets alchemical at a certain point I think too. Hermes Trismegistus. And then Gnosticism was the other candidate for the source of John's prologue and the kind of mysticism of John's Gospel


and for the Logos in particular here. But that won't really work because the influencing derivation from there both for John and for them as well as for the rest of the New Testament. Then the suggestions for a Semitic background. Now, he doesn't say Jewish and he doesn't say Biblical but basically that's the question. Does it come from the Old Testament Jewish tradition? John's notion of word. And of course his contention is that of Schneider's also is that it does. First of all, the word of the Lord in the prophetic literature and also in the historical books of the Bible that word of God which speaks to man, which creates history which moves things, which is the key to the whole history of the Old Testament. And the word which comes and challenges us and calls for a decision, that word is never personified really quite in the Old Testament, even though it comes pretty close. Remember in Isaiah 55 where it says


as the rain and the snow come down from heaven remember, and give growth and seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so is my word which comes from my mouth and shall not come back to me empty. Remember, it's going to go and it's going to do what I want and it's going to come back. It's about as close as you get to a personification of the word. Is that the first time you know this? Not really notice that? It's moving towards that in other places. In other words, the word will almost seem to be acting on its own. But it's always like the arm of the Lord. It's always really just an expression of God. You have a number of those expressions of God as we'll see. And then that place where the word of God comes down is the terrible, destroying angel remember. That's in Wisdom 1815. And then personified wisdom. Now these are the two great currents that seem to flow together here to explain John's word. Now here before I forget it let me state the central thesis here which is so important


is that for John, Jesus is personified wisdom. Now, Brown said that here in his book back in 1966. But it should be a kind of revolutionary saying. It should be able to make people find a new way of reading John's Gospel. It doesn't seem to have done that. Even though it's 70 pillars and John's seven signs. Yeah, seven pillars of wisdom. If you read the wisdom literature, it's very impressive actually the correspondences. And not just on the surface level. See here's one of those things. You can find all kinds of reflections in the Bible. It can be an entertaining game. But sometimes they lead you deep. Now these are the kinds of reflections that lead you deep. And they lead you to an identification of Jesus with that wisdom. And then you begin to read the Gospel of John in a different way, with a different ear. Because you're always listening for the voice from that center. And you're hearing in the voice of Jesus the kind of overtones of that wisdom literature with all its


fascination and tenderness. With all of the wonder, the mystery, the sweetness, the attractiveness that's in that voice of wisdom in the Old Testament. Which we usually don't pass by. It's just another Old Testament book. There's another section that I gave you, Xeroxed there, about the wisdom motifs, remember, from Brown. And that gives you a kind of rich harvest of those wisdom passages, which are influential, not influential, but actually alluded to, or picked up, reflected in John's Gospel, especially in the prologue. There he makes the statement a couple of times, which I wanted to accent. First, the evangelist is capitalized on an identification of Jesus with personified divine wisdom as described in the Old Testament. The fourth evangelist saw in Jesus the culmination of a tradition that runs through the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. In John, Jesus is personified


wisdom. Oh, there he said it. Now, remember, personified wisdom is feminine in the Old Testament. So there we have another puzzle, there we have another mystery. If wisdom is feminine, how can it be identified with Jesus? If Jesus is wisdom, why doesn't John say so instead of saying word? Well, maybe those two things are related. Maybe he chose Logos instead of Sophia, because Logos is masculine. And also because of the strong connection with the Word of God in the Old Testament, of course. I would suggest, though, that you've got a kind of... there's a potential synthesis, a potential integration of the masculine and the feminine there, which turns out, I think, later, manifests itself later in John's Gospel, especially as you move into chapter 13 and the following chapters. We'll see that later. Now, the chief wisdom texts that are relevant


with respect to the Gospel of John and this tradition, this kind of tradition we're talking about, of personified wisdom, are at the bottom of Roman 122 in Brown. That's in that introduction for the wisdom motifs that you have, as Eric said somewhere. Down at the bottom of this page, he lists the key passages, the key texts, which are also, of course, in the margin of the Bible of Jerusalem at one of the... in a place of any one of those texts, and in other places, the Dictionary of Biblical Theology. But that's a useful little summary. They're in one chapter of Job, 28, Proverbs 1-9, especially... This is not all personified wisdom here, but it's surrounding it. Baruch, Sirach, especially Sirach 24, and the Book of Wisdom, the Wisdom of Solomon, 6-10, and especially we'll see chapter 7.


And about three or four of those places we find the feminine personification of wisdom. Let me read you as well as I can struggle through translating the two columns from Dodd. Now, Dodd has, in his interpretation of John's Gospel, the fourth Gospel, he's compared lines from the prologue with lines from Philo and with passages from the wisdom books, these wisdom texts that I've just been listing for you, okay? In order to see what correspondences there are and what possible derivation there may be of the prologue of John from these two sources. So, here are the... And these are just some that he's selected now, he didn't do it exhaustively. Here are the ones that he has picked out from the prologue of John and the wisdom books. And the beginning was the Word, from the prologue. And the Lord created me the beginning of His ways. The Word was with God.


I was with Him. That's Proverbs 830. Wisdom, the companion of your throne. All things were made through Him. He who made all in His Word and in His wisdom prepared man, in His wisdom created man. I was with Him composing all things. The Lord in wisdom founded the earth. The worker, the maker of all, wisdom. In Him was life. My ways are ways of life. That's Proverbs 8. The life was the light of man. Wisdom, now here I'll get it out of the RSV. This is Wisdom chapter 7. Prologue. The life was the light of man.


Wisdom 7.26 For she is a reflection of eternal light a spotless mirror of the working of God an image of His goodness. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it. Wisdom 7.29-30 For she is more beautiful than the sun and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior for it has succeeded by the night. But against wisdom evil does not prevail. The darkness does not prevail against this light which is wisdom. He was in the world. Wisdom 8.1 She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other and she orders all things well. In the whole of the earth and in every people and every nation I dwelt. The world did not know him.


They hated wisdom. He came unto his own and his own received him not. Wisdom went forth to make her dwelling among the children of men and found no dwelling place. As many as received him, he gave them the power to become the children of God. This is now wisdom 7.27 Though she is but one, she can do all things. Remaining in herself she renews all things. In every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God and prophets. There you get that indwelling notion of wisdom too, which comes out later in the Gospel of John. It's not here in the Prologue. He pitched his tent among us, okay? Remember? He made his tabernacle among us. Eskinoson and Ameen. He who created me Sirach 24 24.8


24.8 24.8 Then the creator of all things gave me a commandment. The one who created me assigned a place for my tent. And he said, make your dwelling in Jacob and so on. And then it goes on about being established in Zion, the resting place in Jerusalem. That's pretty strong. Then glory as the only one of the Father, the only son of the Father. Remember that word monogenes? Now this is wisdom 7.22 and 25. For wisdom the fashioner of all things taught me. For in her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique. Monogenes. Same word. Manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted. And then it goes on to 25. For she is a breath of the power of God and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty. Therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God and an image of his goodness. Pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty.


That's it. So there's a lot of reflection there. In fact, Brown contends that you've just about put together the prologue of John from the wisdom text. How do we explain... Except for the word made questions. How do we explain that shift from the feminine image of wisdom to the masculine image? Or in one case... I wonder if it would be possible to say that Jesus is so much personified by wisdom You can't say that, yeah. I think... Here's one way of doing it. Consider that Jesus comes to live his life, as it were, in two phases, all right? And one phase is distinctly masculine and in the track of John the Baptist. And he comes as he has to come. He comes as a man. He can only come one way. He can't come two ways. Now that's the word made flesh who must be incarnate in a particular sex, let us say. And so he is.


And he follows the track of the prophets and so on. And then Jesus, through his passion and death, through his paschal mystery, in his hour, arrives back at the glory of the word, in which somehow he is no longer limited to one half of the human possibility, okay? He's no longer limited to expressing himself in one form, but can also pour himself out in the feminine form. Which happens with this indwelling wisdom, all right? That he bears wisdom, as it were, which is the feminine within himself, and then finally it's poured out in his hour, okay? As we get to that part of the Gospel, we'll see if we can read it in that sense. That's why, see, the strong feminine thing, that circle of feminine points, which you find around that kind of mandala diagram, I think is all tied in with that. The kind of embracing, the final embracing after the clear linearity


and contradiction of the cross, that rectilinearity of the cross, okay? It's all embraced within, as it were, that sphere of Sophia or something like that. It's one way of reading it. So, this would be the thesis. That even another kind of wild-sounding way is that, remember where John the Baptist says that the bridegroom has the bride, and at the front of the bride stands Well, the bride is the church, of course, okay? The bride is those who are going to believe in him. But maybe the bride is also wisdom in a sense. Maybe the bride or sister of the Word, the one who comes within the Word and with the Word and is concealed in the Word incarnate, but to be poured out later. Is this Sophia? Well, there's a point where Jesus seems to almost change his key from a masculine key to a feminine key, and that's in John chapter 13 when he washes the feet of his disciples. And remember how they pick that up and point that out as wiping out the patriarchal thing and so on? That's one overtone of it. But really at that point, Jesus seems to be no longer a man, a purely, simply masculine


person as he was before that moment. As soon as he enters into his hour as it were, that partiality and that what would you call it, half-humanity of being really one sex is released, and you see the femininity come pouring out. First it comes pouring out when he washes the feet of the disciples like a serving maid would have, okay? And then it comes out in that discourse where the words are of a new kind somehow, the discourse of the Last Supper. And even in the images that he uses. The final image, remember, in the Last Supper discourse is the image of the woman who's going to give birth? That's the image he leaves them with. There's the woman who is in labor and about to give birth. So, another fact, his first appearance in it is to Magdalene. It's intriguing, really, that thing, so we'll go into it as we go on. I think it's a key, actually. The fact of the matter of sexuality in John's Gospel is very important. One time I kind of fantasized that maybe you could paraphrase John's Gospel like this, call it this, call it the marriage of the Logos with Eros


in a sense, okay? Which means that sexuality is in the middle of it, and the sentiential and the matter of sexuality are always closely related. Remember the mysticism of Christianity built upon the Song of Songs? Now we're going to find something new developing in John in that regard. But that mystical tradition is the marriage of the Logos with the soul. So the soul is seen as feminine. I suspect there's something else happening too, though, and we'll find the key to it in John's Gospel. Getting beyond that partiality, let us say, of merely masculine. Well, there's that phenomena of dimension in all parts of human life. For instance, the hag, the gardener, how does that show itself? Which dimension, you said? The feminine? The feminine dimension? Like, can the hag and the gardener work with that? How does that come out? I think some people would say it comes out because there he's moving from


being active to being passive, okay? And the agony of the garden, by the way, isn't in John. It isn't in John. But look in John chapter 12. Look in John chapter 12 and you'll see what's equivalent to the agony of the garden, where Jesus speaks about his hour. Remember, he was troubled in spirit and groaned? And he said, what shall I say? Father, deliver me from this hour. Now, that's still outside of the hour, so I don't see the feminine in Jesus being really... It's right after then that it starts coming out, in the next chapter. It's there, but in some parts of your life it doesn't express itself until it passes through. That's right, that's right. Even, look at John 2, the Canaan wedding, okay? The wedding, and somebody said you could read the whole Gospel of John through the Canaan wedding, through the deeper symbolic meaning. Remember what Jesus says there. And the fact that there, that is a symbolizing of the wedding of the two sides of the human person, right?


As well as a bunch of other things. The Canaan miracle, for one thing, can be interpreted as the overcoming of the partiality of our human existence by the integration of the masculine and the feminine, or the transcendence of that split between the masculine and the feminine, okay? Now, remember he says, Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour has not yet come. Woman, what have I to do with you? Keep saying that to yourself. Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour has not yet come. When the hour comes, he will have to do with woman, he will have to do with femininity, and in a sense he will manifest the femininity that's inside of him, okay? That's inside of the Word, and his potential inside of every human being. Okay? Also, it has been suggested that this military pina is not necessarily the way it's described. We used to pass through the old, and then it wasn't the water that was in the jars that was transformed into wine, but after


the jars had been filled, he says, there's alcohol, and this new water was there. And so, at the point when he says, which perfectly parallels with the military pina you tried, when he says it's fulfilled, then he pours out his spirit. Good, good, yeah. Pours out as if it were the new water. The guests be transformed with the new water also. The guests get then what is gone after He has them fill these jars, and then when they are full, he says, you now draw, not from the jars, but from the water in the first place, and bring it to the guests, bring it to the stewards. But they also must have transformation to drink the new wine. Yes, that was then transformed, not from the jars, but when it was filled. Well, you're talking on two different levels there, because Manuel is asking about this in Bologna, about the guests being transformed.


Well, the guests' life of transfiguration and transforming into the life of the crops. Well, they drink the wine, whoever drinks the wine. But of course, at Cana itself, the guests were what they were. At Cana, that's a symbol. He made wine, but that was ordinary wine. It was real good wine, but it was still just wine at Cana. Now later on, on the cross, that's something else. But, you see, the spirit is feminine also. Well, it depends on the language, because it's neuter in Greek. But conceived as feminine. And I think it's right to see the spirit there as being feminine. It's being almost the same as Sophia, almost the same as wisdom. So this which is poured out, this which is fluid, liquid, or breathed out, mobile in that fashion, is feminine. Just as Sophia.


It's that mobile spirit which is quicker than anything and presses into all things. So the indwelling, fluid, mobile presence is feminine. I was really commenting on what you said about Jesus' incarnate life, global incarnate, is complete, and that's masculine. And then the spirit is poured out. But that's still the life of Jesus. What I really want to say is that there are two phases in Jesus' life. I'm referring not to Cana, but to his saying it is accomplished. That's in the hour. There are two phases in Jesus' life. This whole thing is called the John the Baptist section. And you could as well call it the Beloved Disciples section. The only trouble is that Beloved Disciples isn't a peer review. But first of all,


Jesus is limited, is solely masculine, and he experiences all the limitations of the incarnate being. Then here, Jesus is still present but in a new form. How should I say it? That which is poured out, that which they receive, the Paraclete which they receive, is still Jesus. Because the critics say that what the Paraclete is for John, what the Holy Spirit is for John, is just the indwelling presence of Jesus. So this is the glorified Jesus who dwells within. And his glory somehow is that giving of life by dwelling within. Now that's the feminine. It's not solely feminine. The Paraclete is very masculine for them. You know, he's going to convict, he's going to do all this. That's a masculine expression, a masculine personality. But on the other side is this whole Sophianic thing. And that only comes later in the Gospel. Yeah, it only comes in the hour. This is a kind of step-by-step walk in limited mortal shoes. And then you get to the hour and everything pours all at once. And that's where the feminine comes out.


And the so-called Book of Flora? That's what the Chronicle of the Book of Flora is. It starts as soon as you get to John 13. So the Spirit and wisdom and so forth, I mean, that all is somewhat interrelated. Very difficult to pull them apart. They do express different facets, though. That is, Paraclete expresses a different personality than wisdom. Because that certainly fits with the Book of Wisdom. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And notice how wisdom is a spirit there. In Wisdom 7, wisdom is a spirit. And I think it is in Ephesians, isn't it, where Paul says, the author of Ephesians, that the Lord is the Spirit. Yes, he says the Lord is the Spirit and the Spirit is freedom. Yes, that's again in Ephesians. It's the same thing. They get close to saying that the Holy Spirit is Jesus.


They don't quite say it, but they get close to saying that. Now, for John, this is what Brown says, and some of the others, the Paraclete is simply the presence, the indwelling presence of Jesus. So there you are. It's always Jesus. In John there's nothing but Jesus, it seems. And the dynamic of the Gospel is gradually the absorption of everything else in him. Not absorption so it doesn't exist anymore, but it finds itself in him. And in that temptation of the desert and so on, that's where the Spirit leads him into the desert. That's right. And causes an integration, I mean, the laws of integration take place as a result of facing the dark situation. Right. There, you don't see the integration much. Remember, that's not in John, okay? There may be something in John that corresponds to it, but it itself is not there. John starts out with the prologue and then with John the Baptist pointing out Jesus at the Jordan, okay?


And we're not given the baptism of Jesus, it's recalled, we're not given the temptation of Jesus. I think we could find something probably that reflects it, but I forgot what it is just now. See, we were talking about Old Testament precedents for the Logos, huh? Yeah, yeah. So Word is masculine and Logos is masculine. Dabar, I guess, is masculine too. It's certainly a masculine personality. And Wisdom, Sophia, is feminine. It's Chokmah in Hebrew, right, which is feminine. And then it's Sophia in Greek. And when we talk about John and the Old Testament, very often we have to talk about the Greek Septuagint, okay? Because you'll find that those that I was just reading from God, that's the Greek Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament, which John is probably using. And you see that the words are very close.


Like when he found that word monogamous in Wisdom 7 and in the end of the Prologue. That's the Septuagint. So that's the place to look for those correspondences. I think there are a lot of them in Isaiah from 40 to 55. Wisdom 7. Wisdom 7. Wisdom 7, 22. And the John line was, Glory as of the monogamous with the Father, monogamous of the Father, the only one. Since John has Jesus as the risen Lord, then is he assuming Jesus as I am? That's beyond masculine. That's speaking of God. That's right. Although it doesn't identify itself. And if you took it back to the Old Testament,


you'd find it was a pretty masculine sounding God who was saying it, okay? For instance, in Exodus 3, God comes across as being pretty... Those Isaiah passages, usually but not always. In 2 Isaiah there's a lot of that. When God, I am he, comes across like that. It usually sounds pretty masculine, but sometimes there's a feminine thing like, I'm like a mother. Something like that occasionally. But it's beyond the sexual thing by and large. Okay. Any other questions about all this as we go on? The thesis is, then, that all of this can be gotten from the Old Testament. You don't have to go outside the Old Testament, but yet it does open Christian theology


and open John's Gospel to the other religious traditions. And that's what we come to when we get to that Cahill article on the so-called mythic center. You may not like the word mythic, but I just prefer to use the word center. Let me express some of the problems of these Johannine theologies and of the theology of the Logos itself and the Prologue before we go on. And then we can move over to that other thing. I've skipped over two other Biblical or Semitic... You know what Semitic means. It means basically Jewish, Islamic. Or from the sons of Abraham. The sons of Shem. The sons of... But it's those Mid-Eastern people. It's not the Greek thing. So, in other words, there may be people who are not exactly Jews. They could be referred to as Semites. And the Arabs are Semites. Yeah, they are. Sure. Problems with this theology.


The realized eschatology is what brings up the problems, it seems. Because John will speak both in the Gospel and then in his letter. And you get some of this harshness in the Book of Revelation, too. As if everything was already here. Everything is now. So, it's like you don't have a chance. Either you're saved or you're lost. It sounds like that fundamentalist language sometimes. For instance, the idea that anybody that knows Jesus can't sin. That's okay as long as you're not sinning. But then, if you do sin, are you to consider yourself damned? Are you to consider yourself kind of predestinated to condemnation? And that you've never known Christ? So, there seems to be something missing there. It affects moral theology. And it comes out, as I say, through the eschatology. Through the considering of the last things. There's no room for mobility here. There's no room for growth. It seems like there's no room for pardon, at a certain point. A harshness which is also in that letter where he says, there's a sin that we won't pray for, you know.


And he talks about the people who are in the light. The sin we have to call it spiritual, not material. Does that come from John? No, I think it's in Hebrews, isn't it? But it's comparable, okay? It's comparable. The sin as if there were no forgiveness for that sin. So, I think we have to be careful about kind of universalizing everything that John says. He gives us a universal language, so it's very tempting. And then if we apply that to everybody, we're in trouble. Because obviously it's not true. You've got places in the Gospel where Jesus talks another language. Where he says, don't pull up the weeds lest you pull up the weed, okay? Now, John doesn't talk like that, you see. He says, get rid of the weeds. Then he didn't back up on himself in the letter. He said, look, you won't be sinned. But if you do have a sin, then you have an intercessor. That's right, that's right. He does contradict himself.


If we sin, we have a mediator. So that's a problem. And it goes along with the other thing. John seems to be ready for an in-group, okay? For a community which is very warm within itself and very convinced of its own identity and so on. But anybody outside of that community, it's almost as if they don't exist. So, if you don't belong to this group, if you're not in this group, you're not in the light. It took several centuries before there was a great reconciliation in California and so forth. Any serious sin after baptism was, I mean, for a while just considered it. That's right. So that's why people were brought in and made baptized. This got in our sense of things as that long development, and we can't project it back. We had a very, I mean, flawless, you know, we had a lot of shortcomings. People put off being baptized. That's right. Many put off getting married. Getting married is serious.


It's the same thing. I mean, in the academy, and they do it in the city. And see, we have ten children now who are married in twenty years. Do you think we're serious? We can get a lot less than the children. It's true. I've heard of that. It's really interesting. That's true. So you get the idea of a very perfect community, having a rich experience of God, and yet somehow the limits of that community, or the limits of the charity, let us say, or the acceptance of that community, are too narrow. Victor was talking about this a couple of weeks ago, a week or so ago. Remember those, in comparison anyway. All men are created equal. The gradual realization of what the word really means. The text being somehow, the word being somehow beyond the author of the words. And we can see that John was in some battles too. And when they get into a battle, there's a tendency kind of to demonize the opposition. As are those people who pulled out of John's community who were somewhat gnostic.


Especially if you're angry and hurt that they left. Yeah, sure. Who knows what they took with them. That's right. And there's danger of falling into gnosticism in John's Gospel. Otherwise he wouldn't have had to write the first letter the way he did. So the Christology of John affects everything else. There's also a tendency to see Jesus in John's Gospel as if it's just God walking around kind of with a human garment on. Something that you said before about John when he speaks the I Am words. Now when you hear that, it tends to blot out the humanity of Jesus. So you tend to look right through him, look right through the man Jesus and see only that divine light, as it were, power coming out. Now that's dangerous because that's not what Christianity is.


In other words, it's not just God walking around looking like a human being on the outside. You might picture the Jesus of John as almost like a center of light, of divine light, walking around but being invisible except to those who are given the grace to see through that clothing, that human clothing. And those who see through the human vesture see that divine light inside. But those who don't just see maybe an ordinary man. But that's not it. Faith doesn't do away with the humanity of Jesus. It doesn't do away with the incarnation. It doesn't do away with the fact that he's a real human being. And John's Gospel in ways never fully satisfies and fills the villain. So you have to go to the other Gospels to compliment and fill out the picture that John gives. And plenty of people have been able to read John's Gospel and think it meant exactly what they wanted it to mean. And that God did not really become human. You have to compare the others when they're in that problem and see what the others have to say about it.


John corrects the others, you see, with this marvelous notion of the divinity of Jesus, the pre-existence of the Word. Just the notion of the Word corrects so much of the inadequate Christology in the other Gospels. But then John needs the other Gospels to correct his view of Jesus on the human side, to fill in the genuine humanity of Jesus. The fact that Jesus could suffer, could seem to... My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Okay, that whole aspect of Jesus doesn't come out of John. And it's needed, it's badly needed. What about this scene in which John really related to faith? For John's insistence, if you read it very carefully, going awry in the Gospel is a lot of uncareful reading, perhaps, like the Gnostics did. Because the insistence of faith, the fact that it doesn't make it up, because I compare it with Sunday's liturgists thinking awry about it,


that, in fact, these signs that are being worked... For example, why a transfiguration? It's not really in John. Because he wants to make sure that you're always seeing the glory of God in Christ. It's always in Sardis. In other words, there's no unveiling of Sardis, really. It's always in this manner of bread, and wine, and man-born wine. Okay, let's consider that. It's always still involved in Sardis. It never really gets... Somehow the flesh gets taken off and just simply seen in immediate vision. I think it's true of vision, but it's not true of experience in other senses. Because if you limit yourself to the visual dimension of the experience of Jesus, I think that's true. But his language is so strong and comes across so absolute in other ways,


the I am statements, for instance. It's always I am something, though. Not always. Sometimes it's just I am. Or less and more, because... Well, no. Before Abraham was I am. There are several cases like that. Okay, Brown's got them listed there. Now, that's a case in which, if he really wanted to do that, he wouldn't talk that way. He wouldn't let Jesus talk that way if he wanted to have it always somehow in the Sardis. But in the Gospel itself, you never see Jesus like that. You're always seeing him involved in... You know, it's like... The only way he can really... It's like it takes faith to see the glory. That's true, that's true. It takes faith without faith, you can't see the glory. But a consecration scene can lead you, I think, to a synoptic, to a mistaken thing, that you can somehow just see this love, and it'll just kind of overwhelm you. And that's it. John is stressed on faith, that final beatitude.


The faith gets an awful lot of help in John, that's the thing. Because the signs of John, the signs in John are made very... given high relief, okay? And it's almost like... But there's no moving mind, or the crowd is never really... I'm trying to think if there is any. In some of the other Gospels, there's a lot of this astonishment. John doesn't give you much of that reaction, mostly because he's showing you the opposition, okay? We'll have to see. I'll have to keep that in mind, and see if we do find it in any places. I agree with what you say, but I'd like to express something similar, and see if it can stand up. I think that John suppresses the transfiguration because he wants it to be injected into the whole of his Gospel, into the whole of his presentation of Jesus, okay? You can say he wants to do it because he wants it always to be through the sarks, but I would also propose that you could say it this way, that he wants every part of Jesus' life to be radiant


with that which was visible in the Incarnation, okay? So he deliberately suppresses that, and then lets these glory statements and glory affirmations come through all the time. Something you said before about the risen Jesus always being in the Gospel of John. It's true and it's not true, okay? Because it is true that the Jesus of John, from the first moment when he's on the scene, has the qualities you'd expect to find in the risen Christ in the other Gospels. On the other hand, he has to go through that first phase before he can actually go into a phase of resurrection. So at the same time you find that the first phase of Jesus' life is very low-key and something is being suppressed, withheld, and unachieved, unrealized yet, until he goes through the center there and it comes out in the hour, okay? Through his hour. So it's both ways. It's nuanced. Could one say that in John's Gospel, what has been stressed in both these centers that you spoke about from these different people, it seems like Jesus is functioning as being very divine and powerful


in bringing us, from our human condition, to a place of power. Yes, yes. Being children of God. That's right. You know, the closeness, whether it's almost like taking us up and... That's right. That's not seen in the others so much, is it, in the other Gospels? No. It's a very... So when they put that in the center of the book... Okay, that's meaningful. If you take Ellis' book, okay, and you look at the centers that he gives to each of those sequences, those 21 sequences, about the first nine or ten make good sense. Because, just like in the prologue, he gave the power to become children of God, every one of those is like the water being changed into wine. It's a movement from one level to another, okay? It's a raising up of that kind. And it works out very coherently. Then you get to nine or ten and you get to, say... You get up to here and it breaks down. Around here somewhere it breaks down. And I think the reason is because it's moving... The transformation is being frustrated there by the opposition,


okay, as you go across here. So you don't get that movement from one level to another, you're getting the refusal. And something violent is happening. And so the centers come across differently. Then Paul seems to take up from there and really keeps focusing on the power being manifest in the weakness. Well, that's in his own life. Even in the opposition. Well, in his own life. What does he do? Usually what he does is he takes his own experience of weakness and so on and then puts it back into the life of Jesus, or finds the root of it there in the life of Jesus, okay? And he says, remember the stink for the flesh and I prayed three times and my power was made perfect in weakness. Then he takes you back and shows you how Jesus had to become weak and how he emptied himself and the whole thing. So it's like he's making a connection between his own experience and the life of Jesus. Maybe starting from here, too. And almost implying that the opposition makes...


The Jews and everything makes it possible for it to go to the Gentiles. Yeah, yeah, he does. He says that the Jews have been shut out so that the Gentiles can have Christ. I mean, in different words, but that's what he says. Through the disobedience of the Jews, the Gentiles are saved. And then vice versa. So I'm wondering, in general, whether the opposition and all that in some way has a similar theme of raising us up. Yeah, yeah. I think, see, in other words, the cross figure has to be fulfilled. And what happens is, as you move over here towards this center, you're moving towards Jerusalem, towards this kind of ultimate hard rock castle of opposition, okay, and of hard-heartedness, in a sense. As you move towards here, you're also moving towards the absolute center in some way. You're moving towards his hour. You're moving towards what he has to go through. It's as if, in order to get into the center of the human person, let's put it in a very prudent analogy, okay, you have to go through the center of that resistance. You have to go right to the hard core of the whole thing. And Jerusalem and the temple symbolize that, okay,


and the chief priests and that whole structure. So you've got to go through that to get to the real core. Once you get to the real core, which is in the hour, then the fullness can come, okay? The fullness of his work, and so on, can all be poured out, his glory. And that has very much to do with the cross thing itself. Well, maybe we should try to... It would be nice to leave this neatly in some place we can pick up next time. I apologize for being so elderskeletal this morning. There's no real pleasure in life. We don't know what's going to happen. Next time we can try to go through that Cahill thing, okay? If you get a chance to read that article, before next time. The Jomonide Logos as Mythic Center. Actually, it's rather important what he opens up. It's very far-reaching.


And then Victor will be done with the prologue, and we can go on. And you have a free page there, trying to sum up what's in the Logos there, what's in the work. Any questions? Unvoiced complaints? Oh, that's right.