1986, Serial No. 00480

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Saint John

AI Summary: 





This is a struggle for me too, because this is a lot of stuff that I've never dealt with before, this critical historical work. So I'm getting a lot of it from Sandra Schneider's tapes, which I've listened to, I've listened to them for you by golly, I would have done it on my own, but this material has all flowed into me now, and so it's there. But I've got also a kind of ulterior thing that I'm doing, which is to try to get all of this, to swallow all of this into a sapiential theology. In other words, to get it back out of the realm of raw historical or critical or scientific findings and bring it back into some kind of unified theology. So I'll keep recurring to this scheme of the four senses of scripture, which sounds kind of a school boyish, but by golly, it's capable of tying everything together, as we'll find as we go on. I mentioned before that Paul is very much on that line of the, what they call the, you


could call it the new historical sense, moving this way, and John is on this side, but moving up this way. But when we deal with what we're talking about today, which is the history of the Johannine community, the development of John's community and of John's gospel, we're talking about this aspect of John. This aspect of John. Now, it may seem very bewildering, and you have this panicky sense at first that it's all falling apart on you, and that you're going to prove that the gospel came from somewhere or everywhere else, for instance, than John the Apostle or the Beloved Disciple, or Jesus himself. It seems to be kind of a random accumulation, if this material remains half digested. So we'll try to digest it. So this time we want to talk about the development of the Johannine community, following very much Brown's book, The Community of the Beloved Disciple, which is here and available if anybody wants to deal with it. You have a few Xerox pages, which are a couple of his charts and then a couple of pages of exposition of those four phases of this.


He theorizes that there are four phases, and by golly it's complicated, because the first phase has at least three stages in it. So each phase is by no means simple, although the first one is the most complicated. And then, next time, I'd like to tackle what they call the hermeneutic question, if I can find out by that time what it is. The hermeneutic question seems to me to be... Well, obviously, hermeneutics means interpretation, so it's the question of how do you interpret John. But, by and large, it's the historical question in John. That is, can we interpret John's gospel as history, and if not, how can we interpret it? So, Teresa's question, a couple of weeks ago, is exactly this. That is, did Jesus say, I am the light of the world, or didn't he? And if the historical Jesus did not say that, then how are we going to deal with it? How do we deal with that in such a way that the value of John's gospel does not just flow away through our fingers, so that it doesn't drain away? We'll approach that next time. This time we're working on the development of experience. I'll follow Schneider's tapes, which, as I say, are available if anyone wants to listen


to them, and Brown, but try to integrate it into something else. We'll come back to that afterwards. Now, there are a couple of, as we've seen before, just reviewing and kind of getting things in a framework, there are a couple of approaches to John's gospel, a couple of basic approaches. There's the old, traditional, sapiential approach, where it's all one thing, and you assume it all came from one author, it all came from his internal inspiration, all right? God spoke to John through John. John experienced Jesus, he was a beloved disciple, he rested his head on the breast of Jesus, and somehow all is together there, and consequently you've got one big thing in John's gospel, one big revelation, which is like a pearl. And then there's the other way, the way of analytical, scientific criticism, which seems to find an aggregate of things from all different sources, all different causes. For instance, you seem to have an aggregate of different experiences of the community. In other words, the community runs into the Samaritans, it runs into the Gentiles, it


runs into the Jews, the unbelieving Jews, the ones who don't accept Jesus. Now, each of those impacts causes something, brings about something in the gospel, so in the end, the gospel looks like the result of a number of collisions, or a number of encounters at least. And then you have this other thing, that you're looking at different phases, you've got this redaction criticism. What that's trying to do is find out the sources that the evangelist, that John had, and then once you've got his sources, if you had a copy, for instance, of what they call the sign source, with the seven miracles in it, then you could tell what John was interested in, because you could tell what he did to that source, okay? You could take each of those miracles in its original form, and then see what John did with it, and therefore, exactly what John has in mind, exactly what he's trying to get across. That's redaction criticism. Now, unfortunately, we don't have any such source for John, so they postulate, they theorize about a sign source. That seems to be the one that is most convincing. Boltman said that there was also another source, a discourse source, because the signs, of


course, are the miracles of John, right? In fact, there are seven of them, if you exclude the resurrection itself. Seven in the first part of John's, we call that first part, chapters one through twelve, the book of signs. We'll get to that later when we talk a little bit about the structure. Boltman said that there was also a discourse source, and that each sign is connected to a discourse which follows it. Now, that's true, but nobody accepts that anymore, it seems, because the discourses are too well tied to the signs. They couldn't have come from a separate source. And it's too evident that they've been drawn out of the signs, and they're too clearly Jehoiachin, so that's disregarded. But most of the scholars seem to believe in the sign source. Now, did John know the Synoptic Gospels? We raised that question before. Nobody can prove it one way or another. One of the best views seems to me to be that maybe he didn't know the Synoptic Gospels themselves, as we know them, but he knew a tradition which underlay both the Synoptic Gospels and his own work. So they were drawn from a common tradition.


Which is logical enough, of course, if there is an apostolic origin for John's Gospel, which in some ways it really is. It all comes out of that immediate group around Jesus. Yes? It seems to me that we perhaps get hung up on the assumption that there must be some written document at the very earliest point. And the sort of oral tradition which was common and infinitely later than the Apostles would suggest that probably there wasn't any written document. That people would pass things down very accurately. Yes. Very accurately, but also in a kind of legendary way. The way stories are passed down in a family or in a town, something like that. So, Schneiders has been on that. She talks about how one person, one figure in the Gospels will wind up in several different ways, and you've got a kind of mixing. So, take the Marys in the Gospel. You've got Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, you've got, not the mother of Jesus, but


the sinful woman in Luke, and in Mark, I think. Okay? Now, all of these get mixed together so that the personalities begin influencing one another. You can't tell what's what after a while. You've got a mixed tradition, out of which they seem to draw. Now, no doubt there are two or three figures at the bottom of that, but then something happens in the tradition, which I think is partly done by the Holy Spirit, so that you produce a kind of myth, you produce a kind of body of myth, a corpus or a river of myth, into which the different writers can dip. And then they produce something, they bring something out which is actually intended by the Spirit. And these different characterizations are on one center. Now, Peter is like that, too. There are a number of figures, and Lazarus is like that. See, Lazarus, you've got two different things at least for Lazarus. One is in the story of Divas, as they used to call him, the rich man and Lazarus, remember? And the other is Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Now, they seem to have nothing to do with one another, okay? You can't get one out of the other, and yet they have something in common. Lazarus is the one who comes back from the dead, in both of them.


That's another example. So, I forget who it was, one of these writers has the elegant phrase that they were all spawned from the same pool of oral tradition. So you've got an idea of a teeming green pond there of all these sayings and stories. I'm in a class of poetry right now. So there we are. Those two alternative approaches, or more concretely, there's the sapiential approach and the kind of meditative approach I've been trying to take, and then the approach of Brown, which is a very respectful, historic, and moderate historical critical approach. And that's what we're going to be jumping into now. If you ask why we have to deal with this, well, you can't ignore it. Because if we ignore the results of this critical scholarship, after a while we find ourselves on a kind of cloud island somewhere. We can't relate to reality anymore. We can't relate to the fact that's crystallizing around us anymore. So we have to come to terms with it. And if we do come to terms with it, I believe that after a while there's a kind of re-emergence


of meaning. The meaning which seems to be fragmented at first and taken away from you is returned to you later on with greater depth and with greater confidence, with greater courage, because it's not afraid of confronting you. I think this will turn out to be true. It takes a lot of patience, though, because there's been about a hundred years when things just seem to be getting torn apart. A terrific chaos. When you just jump in, you enter any one of these fields of biblical criticism, it's like a library is falling down on top of you. A German library has collapsed on top of you. And they go round and round, and they prove one thing, and then ten years later they disprove it, and there are fashions, you know, and all these things. Possibility. What can you do with a possibility in your spiritual life? What's good as a possibility? No. But in the end, something is borne out. See, it's awfully important to Christianity to be able to come to terms fully with the forms of truth that don't seem to come out of itself, the forms of truth that dominate the world. Christianity has to be adequate to those.


The only way it can do it is by links like this, this kind of scholarship. Okay, there's this redaction criticism, and then this other work of Brown and so on goes a bit beyond this in trying to reconstruct not only the text, the history of the text, the author's intentions, the theology, but to reconstruct the situation, to reconstruct the community situation from the texts themselves, okay, by reading John to try to, and reading other things in the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles, to try to find out what happened in that community. Now, obviously, there's a lot of guesswork there, and so in the beginning of Brown's book, he says, I shall be very happy if 60% of what I have said here is received, is accepted, okay? He'll be happy with a 60% success, because there's a lot of guesswork here. Now, in his appendix to this book, he's got five other reconstructions, one by Kuhlmann, one by Martin, which, that's one of the best ones, it seems.


History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel. M-A-R-T-Y-N. He's a teacher back in summer, one of the theological schools. And he's influenced by each one of those, except the last one, I think. So he's in agreement with some of the features of each of those other reconstructions, and he derived from several of them. He got some of his ideas from several of them. There have been a lot of hypotheses of where it all comes from. Remember that big question of where does John's peculiar theology come from? Where does the notion of the logos come from? And where does the thing that's inside of that come from, what they call the high Christology? That Christ pre-existed the Incarnation, that Jesus is divine, first of all, which is not so obvious to the synoptics. And the problem I always have with this is that when we talk like this, we're abstracting from the experience of the Resurrection, which contained that intuition that Jesus is divine. But we have to, in a way, to read the text. Here's a list, for instance, of the different hypotheses that have been made for where


did the theology of John come from, the Hermetic literature, which is a kind of, not quite Gnostic, but it's a Hellenistic, Gnostic-flavored, esoteric literature from way back that time. I'm not quite sure when that stuff was written. Hellenistic Judaism, Philo of Alexandria. Philo has a whole doctrine of the logos, which at first sight looks a lot like John's. And see, Philo had it already written by the time John was running. Philo died in 50 AD. So you can speculate that he could have influenced St. Paul, he could have influenced John. He was at Alexandria, and Alexandria, of course, is this great beehive of high theology, also in patristic terms. Rabbinic Judaism, Gnosticism. A number of the German writers, and Bultmann most strongly in our time, has said that it comes from Gnosticism, or from a pre-Gnosticism, something like that. Now, we don't want to turn aside to talk about Gnosticism now. That's pretty well been pushed away. The reason is because Gnosticism basically is a second-century phenomenon, and John was


writing before that. You'll find that at the end of Brown's theory, he believes that some of the Johannine community became Gnostics. Now, what is there in common between Gnosticism and the theology of John? The Gnostics believe, first of all, that there's a spark of divinity in us, and so we get in touch with that inner spark of divinity, and through that we discover our true self, and that's it. So you ascend to your own divinity through an inner discovery, which is knowledge, basically, which is knowledge. And consequently, you can reject the external world. And first of all, the church and the external structure, but also even the natural world larger. And you'll also tend to reject, of course, the Old Testament, everything that goes with it, all the externals of worship and so on. So there's a real dualism built in there, and in radical Gnosticism, even the flesh, matter, and so on, are evil. Now, Christianity is diametrically opposed to that, but John, it seems, has to protect his people against it by writing that letter, the first letter of John.


Because the Gospel of John can be interpreted that way. Jesus not being fully human, not being fully real. And then there's Mandaism, for instance, another Gnostic sect. Here's Schneider's view of the sources of John. Several Old Testament traditions, or traditions that hover around the Old Testament, traditions of Elijah and Elisha, traditions of Moses, and when we talk about the Samaritans, that's going to come out very strongly, and then the wisdom traditions. An orthodox Jewish thought, a sectarian or heterodox kind of Jewish thought, Samaritan influence, and she puts a lot of weight on that, we'll see, Hellenistic Jewish influences, and finally some slight Gentile influences. At one point they would have said that Greek philosophy, that Plato and so on had been a big influence on John. Okay, let's go and attack Brown's Reconstruction. You've got chart one here, okay, which is the master plan.


It gives all four phases. And then you've got another chart, which we'll get to later on in the scheme, and you've got these few pages, you don't have these? These are pages 22 to 24? Okay, I'll read out from this, and then I'll get you a copy later on. One trouble with this diagram is that it kind of overwhelms you, and you can't pick out the things that are more important than the things that are less important, because it turns out that there are several very crucial, critical influences here, and then a number of other things that are less important. He's got four phases. First phase is the beginning, and that goes from about 50 A.D. to... from the mid-50s to the late 80s, all right? So 50 to almost 90 A.D., or 55 to 90, something like that. That's the beginning of the community and up to the time of the Gospel.


Now, a lot of stuff is happening in there, as we'll see, so he's got three different stages of action in that one first page. We'll spend most of our time on that. Phase two is at the time of the writing of the Gospel, and that's about 90 A.D. Phase three is at the time the epistles were written, about 100 A.D., and phase four is after the writing of the epistles, and just shows you how the community flies apart after that point, the final destiny, terminus of the two parts of the community. Okay, in the beginning, phase one, you start out... By the way, he says that there are several things that scholars are generally agreed on, and one of them is that there are two basic stages in the community, one early one of a low Christology and another one of a high Christology. And that right away bewildered me, because it seems to me that the high Christology of John, that is, Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus is the Word of God, Jesus is divine, Jesus pre-exists with God, and you realize that's the cornerstone of our Christian theology


now, okay, the doctrine of the Trinity, which comes out most strongly there in John. That seems to me to be the thing which is most essential to John, and therefore must have come from direct experience. So, it's very hard for me to see it kind of emerging later on by a process of theological development, okay, out of a lower Christology. So here I think we have to make a distinction. It seems to me that what you've got at the beginning is an integral and full experience of the divinity, and let us say the humanity of Christ, okay, the experience of the resurrection, let us call it that. And then gradually it finds its language, can we put it that way. Now, at first, all it has at its disposal is a limited language of titles from the Old Testament, including even Son of God, or Messiah, okay, or Son of David, things like that. Now, those are the titles of what they call a lower Christology, which don't necessarily imply that God is divine. Even to say that Jesus is divine, even to say that Jesus is the Son of God doesn't necessarily mean that he's divine in the sense that we understand it.


Because Son of God could be applied to a lot of servants of God in the Old Testament. Remember the book of Job, the sons of God who were all before him one day, well, those are the spirits sometimes, it doesn't necessarily, that's a more inaccessible notion than we may think it is. But we're born with the fact that the notion that Jesus is fully divine, fully the Son of God. It had to be come out in another way by then. Yet it was all in their experience of Christ, I'm convinced of that. That high Christology couldn't be developed intellectually, or somehow drawn out gradually, even by contemplation, from something smaller than itself. It had to be there, present, latent, in the original experience, and then it found its language gradually, okay. So, the first group was supposed to have contained followers of John the Baptist. You find this in the first chapters of John. And they accepted Jesus as the Messiah. Now, they may have experienced a lot more, we don't know, but that's all they could say. Among this group was somebody who was not one of the twelve, evidently, but who had


known Jesus during the ministry, and he is the beloved disciple. Now, he becomes the central figure in all of this, even though he's evidently neither the Apostle John, nor one of the twelve, nor at the end is he the one who actually writes the Gospel. It's a complicated picture, you see. And all our beloved syntheses somehow get blasted and split apart here. But it doesn't matter, they've all come together there. In all of this, what's happening is that we're being deprived of an objective, simple certainty in order that we be brought into immediacy with what's here by finding it in our own lives. Okay? That happens in two ways. It happens historically in that you discover that the history that was happening then is not something kind of out there, very simple and graspable, but something that leaks into your own life and actually, in the end, is in direct continuity with your own life. On the other side, it happens in that you discover that what you're being brought to is not a story about somebody who is very clear out there, but somebody who is very full


in here, in other words, somebody who is filling your life, who is in direct relationship with you. And that's along these two axes. The historical axis by which we discover that that history is really our history, because it is also the history of the community, okay? It's a continuing history in which we're involved. It's not just a clear, objective history. It loses its clarity, it loses its simplicity, it loses its objectivity, and then we discover it's our own history, and we get it all back. Here, we seem to lose the features of the historical Jesus, and even his exact words, so that we can be in contact with the risen Jesus, with the glorious Christ. That's what we're taking up next time, okay? I keep leaping ahead of the thing here. The second group that comes into this are Jews of an anti-temple bias, okay? There's this polemic between the temple people and the non-temple people. That may seem trivial and unimportant until you realize that the same thing is in our own church. The same thing has been there all the time, in that there's a structured, centralized


form of religion, highly clericalized, okay? With a priesthood and all this thing. And the Jews, that's what the Jews mean in John's Gospel very often, are the superiors, the operators, administrators of that central structure, Jerusalem. And then you've got another kind of religion, which is more charismatic, which is more free, less centralized, more pluralistic, more interior, more personal, a whole bunch of other things, okay? So that's a thing that's there in the Old Testament, and it's the thing that's with us now. And it finds a kind of concentration and violent confrontation in New Testament times, in the life of Jesus and in the life of the community. Then they made converts in Samaria. Now, when we talk about Schneider's review of this, we'll see how important that is. Brown just talks about it for a moment and then goes on, but it's extremely important. How do you explain that movement from Jesus as the Messiah to Jesus as the incarnate Word of God, Jesus as the divine Son of God? How do you even explain it? That's the big quantum leap. And that really doesn't do it.


I mean, what he says about it, even in the book, doesn't do it. In fact, nothing does it satisfactorily. That's the big gap, the big missing link in the whole story. But the Samaritan theology, the whole Samaritan thing, we're going to find is going to be very rich and suggestive in that respect. Okay, then the second group moves in. How complicated, how sophisticated this really is, you know? And how precarious, too. A lot of it, one or another part can come to Lisa. But the subtlety of this detective work. Just for understanding something in regard to their experience, our experience, and Jesus' own experience of his being who he was and our then experiencing who we are in relation to him and all that. That whole, when you mentioned the first phase, you know, being an integral whole experience of the Eucharist, the event of the Eucharist. Are you speaking of that in terms of how Brown or how John then saw these relationships after


or during, see I'm trying to get from right back to the beginning. Well, Brown doesn't say that, okay, because that short circuits the scholars' work, and so they don't talk about that. They abstract from it as if they didn't know anything about it. They tend to forget it, as a matter of fact, which is very unfortunate. But as if they didn't know anything about it, they have to abstract from it and then rely strictly on those objective facts. And that's what he's doing, okay? So that's, I was short-cutting and short-circuiting when I did that, but that's where we have to end up, okay, with that immediacy and that fullness. Because otherwise this is all... Yes, because that's what I mean. And ending up there is our faith. That's right. That's what he's building on. That's right. Without that. But then when we start thinking along his lines of trying to get into Jesus' mind and heart, saying how he thought of himself. Yes. He doesn't do much of that here. He doesn't do much of that. No. Some of the others do, you know. They'll say the whole question of when did Jesus know he was the Messiah?


When did he know he was the Son of God? When did he know he was divine? Yeah. But he's not doing that. I see. But he's doing that in relation to the community. He's doing that in relation to the community. When did the community become able to think of Jesus as being the Son of God in the full sense, okay, of the Word of God? That's what he's about here. The work here is all concerned with development in the community. Now, what he's saying very often is that something that we thought that Jesus said, Jesus didn't say. The community put it in there. Now, then we have a sinking field. Oh gosh, we've lost him. And then we discover afterwards, however, that there's something gained there, because that is an illustration of the fact that the life of Jesus and the life of the community are strictly linked together in parallel, and you can move from one to the other, which means that our life has the same relationship to the life of Jesus as the life of the community did. And after a while you find a symmetry there, so that the same struggles, the same pattern of struggle and of tension that was in the life of Jesus was in the life of the community and is in our life. So what we get is a greater continuity after a while, even though we lose the comfort of


it, having kind of Jesus clearly in our sights, having him kind of right there, you know, focused with sharp edges. Or what he said. Instead, we're left with a mystery. Just like the disciples were after the resurrection. They had the same frustration when Jesus wasn't there in the flesh anymore, and they had to relate to him in another way, and began mixing up his words. What exactly did he say? Because that was always beside the point, because the important thing was the direct relationship. Excuse me. So on one side you have an evolving and a continual growth in consciousness, and the other side thinks that this is it. You already know. On one side it's all there from the beginning. Yeah. And for us it's all there in the resurrection experience or the baptismal experience. Or in kind of the tradition of John, it's all there in the beloved disciple leaning on Jesus' breast, okay? He understands it all at that point, in the tradition, in the classical tradition. On the other side there's a gradual development. Now, what's developing? I think what's developing is the language.


Just like with, take the mystics, okay, or take the doctors or the fathers of the church. They, I think, have a full experience often of Christ or of God, but it doesn't offer its own language. It doesn't bring any language with it. They can have the greatest interior experience in the world, the newest thing in a sense, and they'll have to borrow Plato's language in order to talk about it. They'll have to borrow other languages, as they always do, no matter who they are. They never generate the language out of themselves. Suppose in our community in ten years from now, I would say, Father Friar, suppose you're done. Yes. Father Friar said, I have wisdom, why don't you listen to me? And you never said that, but you said that in action. So it's a way to, you really expressed it without saying it. So many, many things like that occur in the Gospel that, you know, were really expressed by Jesus without him saying it.


The analogy to John's Gospel is true, I think. Jesus maybe never said, maybe he never said, I am. But that is latent, is what we call it, virtual in what he does say and in what he does do. And then it comes out in the experience of the disciples. Then John's experience will lead him to search for the right language. And he looks around in the Bible, he looks around in his tradition, in the synagogue, and so on. He doesn't find the right language. Then along come the Samaritans who have a wild, mystical theology of Moses. And there's the language. Because for them, God is, I am. And for them, Moses is the light of God who comes from heaven and brings the revelation of God to man, okay? And so he picks that up as his language to express that original experience of Jesus, okay, as I am. So that's pretty plausible. I wish I had more on the Samaritans. I went to the GTU library when I was in Berkeley. And I got a stack of books that high with all this neat stuff on the Samaritans, okay? And I had my little piece of paper in the article. And then both copiers broke down.


And so I got one article. Isaiah had done a couple for me before that. Because there's something fascinating in that Samaritan theology. What is it that explains that quantum leap, huh, from the low Christology to the high Christology? The language has to be there somewhere. In fact, all his books by Brown and so forth, they were written by English and Jewish. It would help us to understand much more the tradition, histories and manners of Jewish in their way of speaking than to be written by modern men who cannot penetrate a race. Sure, there's a whole, you know, there's a tradition. There's a tradition of Samaritan scriptures, as a matter of fact, which are very secret. It's very hard to get into. But several people have written about them. It's pretty fascinating. There's a pretty good article in that Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, if anybody wants to read it on the Samaritans. In fact, I have a whole file of stuff on the Samaritans here, even though I was frustrated with mine. There's a book, a sizeable book on the theology of the Samaritans, with a lot of correspondences to John. Do we have it here?


I'll order it, but we haven't had it yet. I could also get Robert to borrow it. I didn't have time last night. By that time, we may have lost our interest in the Samaritans. Okay, here we are. We've got to follow this thing along before we finish it. The acceptance of the second group. Remember, the anti-Temple group, so you get the idea of these kind of Wild West people. Both the anti-Temple people and the Samaritans, okay? Samaritans were kind of heretics. The second group catalyzed the development of a high pre-existence Christology. Now, this is the thing that's hardest to swallow here, okay? And it really takes a lot of working through, that that could actually happen. That the encounter with a heterodox group, a kind of far-out group of Israelites, could bring about that quantum leap in theology, could catalyze it. But the catalyst must be a linguistic, must be a language catalyst, I think. The experience was already there. Which, now, this leads to another complication. It led to debates with Jews who thought the Johannine community was abandoning Jewish monotheism


by making a second god out of Jesus. So it was okay, as long as you talked about Jesus being Messiah, or being Son of God in a kind of metaphorical way. But as soon as you say that Jesus is God, you're in trouble with the Jews, and they'll throw you out of the synagogue, okay? This is the theory here. So, what's happening is that the Johannine community is caught on the boundary line between two Jewish traditions, it looks like. One of the North, and one of the South. I'm just putting it very quickly. But here's a Samaritan tradition which allows you to talk in a very lofty, mystical way. And here's Moses, okay? And there's this charismatic and more mystical kind of theology. And here's a Southern, Judean, Davidic, royal, temple theology, which is much more centralized, has things much more tied down, mediated, and so on. And which doesn't allow you, it's a very strict orthodoxy, which doesn't allow you to talk in those terms,


either about your own experience of God, or now, about Jesus, okay? So it's as if Jesus and the Johannine community are caught on the boundary between these two, drawn in this direction by the real experience of Jesus, and by that very reason, brought into conflict with this group, the orthodox group, who then expels them from the synagogue, okay? And so then they end up being not Christian Jews, but Jewish Christians outside the synagogue, see? Not Christian Jews inside the synagogue, but Jewish Christians expelled from the synagogue, and having to make it on their own. No longer Jews. No longer Jews, and having to find a new identity. And when they have to find a new identity, then that theology solidifies. They begin to complete it, they begin to elaborate it, they begin to, you know, those system types of things. So, that's maybe over-simple, but notice that you can map this. There's a map here, all right? There's a simple conflict between two kinds of Judaism, or two kinds of biblical faith, which goes right along through into our own church,


it was in the life of Jesus, it was in the life of the Johannine community, and it's in our own lives, okay? You can map it on this kind of thing. If we did, it would be more like this versus this. Here you have a low Christology, and a highly institutional, organized, centralized kind of worship, okay? So, organized, centralized, institutionalized orthodoxy. Low, non-mystical religion, or ultimately Christianity. Here you have the free, more charismatic, un-centralized, un-institutional, more prophetic kind of religion, and you have a high Christology, okay? Or a mystical kind of worship. So, the two result in these two vectors. Now, once again, I'm short-circuiting this, because we've got so much material here. But this is what I want to come up with at the end, actually, okay? And to show how it's in our own lives.


How it was in the life of Jesus, how it was in the life of the Johannine community, how it's in our own lives, and how it was in the Old Testament, even. Because the Samaritans represent the tribes of Israel that were separated from Judah. Remember, you had a big split, the two kingdoms? The northern kingdom, the southern kingdom. The northern kingdom was wiped out and carried off into captivity. And then they kind of drifted back. And they drifted back mixed with colonists who were sent from the Assyrians. Therefore, it's a very contaminated kind of religion. And in the south, you have Judah, the kingdom of David, which was also carried into captivity, but never quite eclipsed and wiped out the way the northern one was. And there's a very deeply theological dialectic happening between those two. Now, the Samaritans are a remnant of that northern kingdom, you see, which we tend to forget about. We think of Jews just as Jews. The mere word Jew, you see, means Judean. That's only the southern kingdom. So we forget all about those others in the Samaritans. Well, symbolically, the Samaritans represent that whole northern kingdom.


Hence, they represent symbolically a whole other theology, a whole other spirituality, a whole other world of worship. Now, it so happens that Jesus seems to be bringing the two together. And it's quite a coincidence of what, it's quite a happening, if this is true, that the coming together of these two worlds of worship, these two worlds of biblical worship, the northern and the southern, the Israelite, the Samaritans claim to be the true Israelites, the Israelite and the Judean, the Juden, the Davidic and the Mosaic, because the Samaritans have a theology of Moses. Moses is their central figure. They don't care about David. They're against David and Solomon, the whole royalty thing. That the coming together of these two should also be the point at which we have this leap from a kind of primitive, fumbling, low Christology to the fullness of Christian theology, which is the doctrine of the Incarnate Word. The essential truth of Christianity is that doctrine of the Incarnate Word.


Everything else kind of emanates from that, goes around it. The full divinity of Jesus, but also the full doctrine of infinity, and then everything that's involved in that Logos doctrine. The creative word which somehow contains everything, contains all of creation still within itself, and the potential for universalism that's there. That's where the kind of Christian theology locks into place, and the whole of it is complete. Now, isn't it something that that should happen just at the moment of the reuniting of these two worlds of biblical religion, the two hemispheres, as it were, of biblical religion in the Old Testament. Now, that's a kind of theory, that's a kind of possibility, but it's pretty exciting. Could we have the integration of the unity of Christianism? Yes, because we find the same thing. Look at our schisms in Christianity. Remember the apostolic story, we've got Peter down here, right? So there's the Roman Catholic theory.


What would you call the place of John? Orthodoxy. The Eastern Churches, huh? The Eastern Church is deeply Johannine. It's a contemplative church. I'd say not only Greek or Russian Orthodoxy, but also some of the early churches that were locked off and became a monotheistic or something like that, which we know very little about. Here you have, I think, both... We're supposed to be still united with Israel in some way. Both you have Judaism, call it that, and Semitic Christianity, like Syrian Christianity. What do we put over here? In the direction of St. Paul. Who is it that's made the most of St. Paul? In Christian Christianity. Yeah, and where did Christianity come from? Where did we get it from?


Protestantism. Protestantism was a Pauline movement in this direction. Now, every one of these kind of curls back and goes into other directions. So the Protestant movement can start out as a movement in the direction of the Spirit, and it can end up being Orthodoxy, of course. And that can happen with any one of these. And it moves back, it's very deeply attached to the words, very deeply attached to this set. But anyhow, I think the same thing is happening. For instance, here we have our centralization, okay? Here you have your highly clericalized institutional temple worship, and the temple here, Peter, papacy, temple, Rome, Vatican, even empire at a certain point, okay? The kind of fusion of church and empire that happens in the Western Middle Ages. It happened also here, but not quite in the same way. Not with the papacy, right? So it couldn't really become an imperial church in the same way that it did in the West. And consequently, you have a pull down here, for instance,


on the part of Roman Catholicism, and another one in this direction, on the part of Protestantism and Orthodoxy, which even join hands at a certain point. Certainly it's even sometimes, because they're both in opposition to Rome, on certain issues anyway. Now I'm making that very crude and confusing, but I just want to show that this thing is still happening. That this is the fundamental pattern of tensions, and the kind of framework that I think makes history what history is. It's the theological pattern of history, I think, that obtained both in the Old Testament, in the life of Jesus, in the life of the apostolic community, the community of John, in the early church, and even in our own church. It doesn't change all that much. The players change sometimes, but the game is the same. So, the Jews, the Orthodox Jews, reject this high Christology, hence there's this split.


Now, you may have noticed on these other pages, that there was a certain thing introduced in the synagogue at Jamnia. Remember, that was the place of Jewish Orthodoxy after the destruction of the temple in about 70 A.D. And they introduced what they called the 12th benediction. The 12th benediction that they introduced in the synagogue has a curse on the mini or the heretics. Martin has sketched out the way in which that was used to exclude the Christians, to detect and exclude those who professed faith in Christ. Now, they hadn't done that earlier, they did it at this point, and according to him and to Brown and the others, that's why, for instance, you have the man-born mind being expelled from the synagogue in John, in John chapter 9. That's why you find that black-and-white absoluteness about being a Jew or believing in Jesus at that point, and the absolute refusal of the Jews. The anti-Jewish polemic finds one of its points of crystallization, of hardening there. Here was the procedure.


For detecting heretics, the 12th benediction was employed in the following manner. A member of the synagogue does something to allow suspicion regarding his Orthodoxy. For instance, he gives some examples in John where somebody, his profession of Christ would begin to make the priests and the Pharisees suspect him. B. The president instructs the overseer to appoint this man to be the delegate of the congregation, that is, to lead in the praying of the 18 benedictions. C. Unless the man has a means of avoiding the appointment, he must go before the ark, where the Torah is, the scrolls, and recite aloud all of the 18 benedictions, pausing after each to await the congregation's amen. All listen carefully to his recitation of benediction number 12. What does number 12 say? It would involve a renunciation of Christ. Yeah, here it is. Here's the 12th benediction. For the apostates, let there be no hope, and let the arrogant government be speedily uprooted in our days. Let the Nazarenes, that is the Christians,


and the many, the heretics, be destroyed in a moment. So it would be a curse on the Christians that he would have to recite. Let them be blotted out of the book of life, and not be inscribed together with the righteous. Blessed art thou, O Lord, O God, blessed and proud. So if he flinches when he has to recite that, then he would be expelled from the synagogue. That is their reconstruction of the procedure. This happening about 70 AD, and accounting for some of the things we find in John's Gospel. If he falters on number 12, the benediction against heretics, he is removed from his praying. He is then presumably drummed out of the synagogue fellowship. Then, after they're expelled from the synagogue, the German-armed community begins to compensate theologically. They stress the realization of the eschatological promises in Jesus to compensate for what they had lost in Judas. That's just one line that he's able to put here. The disciple made this transition and helped others to make it,


thus becoming the beloved disciple. With a capital B and a capital D, but he must have been the beloved disciple originally. And that relationship must really have been that, with Jesus in the beginning. Now, that's all in phase one. Phase two, they turn to the Gentiles. And the Jonah community may have moved into the diaspora. They may have gone to Ephesus, which is a fascinating possibility, because if you look at the resonances between John's gospel, especially the prologue of the Logos, and Ephesians and Colossians, those two prologue epistles, it's as if there was something there at Ephesus which got into both of them. Or was brought there maybe by one of them. So they go to the diaspora maybe to teach the Greeks. This contact brings out the universalistic possibility in John, I thought, which are immense. I mean, the prologue of John contains the key, I think, to the integration of any other religious tradition with Christianity, and to the acceptance of any other religious tradition. The Logos, all the revelations of the Logos,


revelations of the Word. And yet one is the revelation of the Word incarnate, incarnate and having left a church amongst, having left a witness amongst in the gospel. And thus they're all linked through the Word. When they speak about community, about what size, what number... That's funny, they never seem to give numbers. It wouldn't be very big, I don't think. Maybe a few hundred, maybe a couple of thousand. Those, I would guess, but it's not. Now this is only one part of the Christian community, because you've got all these other churches. So the community of John is only one. You're right, it's separate. It's kind of separate from... That thesis is at the bottom of all of this, that the Jonah community was separate enough from the others to have its own development, okay, without a lot of mixing with the others. And then finally, part of it moves into the other church in a sort of absorbent, is dissolved into it. But up until then, it's growing a little bit apart, as if there was some kind of fence between them,


whether it be because of distance or some other reason. However, rejection by others and persecution by the Jews, and the Jews evidently put some of the Jonah community to death. So not only was there expulsion from the synagogue, but there was persecution even unto execution in some cases. Rejection by others and persecution by the Jews convinced Jonah and Christians that the world was opposed to Jesus. They said, is he going to get this theology of the world? They shouldn't say, get a very vertical theology. You're not from the world, you're not from the world. You're from God, okay, and everything from the world down here is of the flesh and of the devil and so on. So there's two-level vertical theology, two spheres. But as Schneider points out, it's not a metaphysical dualism. It's not like Gnosticism. It's a decision that's made there. The rejection of the light, the rejection of that which comes from above puts one in that lower world, which he often calls the world. A defensive concentration on Christology


against the Jews and the Jewish Christians led to a split within the Jonah community. So finally, at phase three, the time of the epistles, you've got some of the Jonah community turning towards Gnosticism, actually. Which means that Jesus is so divine that he's not fully human. He doesn't belong to the world. So notice the emphasis in the first letter of John on Jesus coming in the flesh. Anybody who doesn't confess that Jesus comes in the flesh is of the evil ones, of the Antichrist. Anybody who does, anybody who says that is of the foe, is of his. So that's where the distinction is, between a Gnosticism and a Christian possibility. And so they are swallowed up by Gnosticism and the others, who according to Brown, were probably the minority of the Jonah community, moved into the... The Apostolic Church is over here.


The Jonah community tends to be over here. The secessionists move out to a high Christology, which has no relationship to the flesh anymore, with matter, no real information. They go up and they go out. They go out with a kind of charismatic, free doctrine, which doesn't permit structure, doesn't relate to the external world. The Jonah community is split between the ones who go along with this and the ones who move back down to meet the Apostolic Churches over here, who have bishops, who have an organized center of authority and so on, but also have a certain pluralism. Now, it's not only this way, because this moves out and up to meet the Jonah community. Notice that the Christology of John's Gospel becomes the Christology of the Church. It becomes the cornerstone of Christian theology. And so it isn't just that the Jonah community gave, that is, gave up or moved,


it's that Christianity enlarged, Apostolic Christianity, as Brown calls it, enlarged to receive them, to incorporate them. So that flowed into Christianity and enriched it, measured it, and became part of the whole polarity. Maybe I should stop and see if there are any questions. I apologize, this is heavy going, but this is the only time I get to do this. You're lucky you don't have to do a PhD in biblical studies. In regard to that origin of Gnosticism, was that origin really in the Jonah community, or was it separate? Okay, no, the Gnosticism, or they call it pre-Gnosticism, because Gnosticism is supposed to have been mostly a creature of the 2nd century, okay, a little later on. But this existed already, and then the Jonah, part of the Jonah community was moving towards it. They were either influenced by it, or simply drawn to it by kind of natural resonance.


Because once you cut off the incarnational aspect of John's Christology, you can become a Gnostic very easily. Right, right. And I was just wondering, who were the leaders in that, and what made them so specific to the Jonah? Okay, the leaders of the Gnostic? Okay, we know a lot about that now. We don't know about the individual context, but we know a lot about the individual Gnostic teachers. The Nag Hammadi documents, which we have, a book that thick, which we have in the library now. There's texts that were dug up about, what, 30, 40 years ago, and now have been fully published. They give you abundant information. People like Cyrinthus, and Valachinus, and Basilidas, and there's a whole gallery of them. Irenaeus writes about them in the 2nd century. So they're very well documented now. So they began in the 2nd century, rather than... Yeah, that's right. So they weren't right... Some of those guys were around at this time. Like, I think Cyrinthus was a very early one. About Valachinus, I'm not sure. But some of them were already there at this time.


They were about 100 A.D., okay? So, they're there. But the whole body of Gnosticism, evidently, hasn't grown up yet. This is early Gnosticism. Gnosticism is largely influenced by Christianity. And at the same time, it has a kind of fatal magnetic effect on Christianity, on some Christians. Yes, it is. I'm not sure I'm right. Where would you put the Coptic Church? I'm not sure to tell you the truth. Because I... I don't understand what you're saying. Oh, I don't understand. How? What kind of a theology do they have? Do they tend to have a kind of contemplative Johannine theology? I think so. Yes, yes. Remember that a lot of that Gnosticism was in Egypt, okay? In fact, they found those Nag Hammadi texts right next to a Pacomian monastery. And so, they were trying to prove that the Pacomian monastery was partly Gnostic, but they couldn't prove it.


It's very unlikely, because they're just so different, the two. Yeah. So, there's a lot of that in Egypt. Remember, Alexandria is in Egypt, too. And that's where a lot of the highest Christian theology developed. Gnosticism, to some extent, descends from the Platonic school, doesn't it? I think it picks up some things from Platonism. It's a mixture. Only, it's different for Platonism. In a sense, it's pre-Platonic. It's more primitive, because it's purely right-brained. It's purely mythical, with very little reason in it. Whereas in Plato and Socrates, you've got a good deal of critical reason. In those dialogues, you know, Socrates kind of hammering away, so something else emerges there. In a way, Platonism is a more developed use of reason. And they say that Gnosticism is a kind of regression. It's like it takes the Christ fact and then regresses with it into a world of myth, in a kind of primitive religion. And yet, it can be very sophisticated and very beautiful in a poetic way.


There's something in it that is suppressed in Christianity, and I think that's the feminine Sophia figure. Because Irenaeus, for instance, in the 2nd century, makes such a magnificent defense of Orthodox Christianity against Gnosticism that the cut is made complete. The amputation is complete, and for instance, Sophia and those things can never quite creep back in. And so they live a kind of underground existence, even in the Middle Ages. A lot of little fringe movements in the Middle Ages, but they don't creep up. But they've never been able to come up into the light of day, really. This professor at Stanford, Eric Olson, he contends that modern Gnosticism is made up of Hegel and Freud and Marx. He studied these fields, and I guess the mythological element can show itself in different forms. That's right, that's right. He's transposing the term, too, okay?


Because a lot of people would call Hegel the great rationalist, right? So that's a Gnosticism because it's a doctrine that knowledge, or somehow the intellect, somehow can reconstruct it all. The intellect can recreate it all from within the human mind, something like that. Or that your way to a kind of salvation, which may be a secular salvation, as in Freud and Marx, is through understanding, is through reason, is through a scientific approach to the psyche, for instance, as in Freud, or a scientific, hard-nosed approach to society, as in Marx. And the two are strictly parallel, Freud and Marx, I think. But we've got a whole bunch of Gnosticisms around us. I mean, take Esalen for instance. Esalen is a kind of garden of contemporary Gnosticism and Gnosis. And I don't say that in a bad sense, because a lot of them, they have a lot of contribution to make. But it's a frank Gnosticism. Much of California is a garden of Gnosticism. A lot of the Eastern importations from Buddhism and Hinduism and so on


are really pretty Gnostic things. So the definition now then would be, if there is a definition, is a kind of knowing, sophisticated and so on, that's separate from a basic belief in, or a basic faith in Jesus, or how would you... Well, that's talking about Gnosticism as a Christian heresy, okay, or from a Christian center. If you were to try to define Gnosticism in the most general sense, maybe it would go something like this. Fulfillment or salvation through interior knowledge. Now if we use that, then Marxism is not so obviously a Gnosticism, right? Only in an extended sense, because through the head you're trying to reach a kind of eschatological fulfillment, social fulfillment. Remember that our culture is called the Faustian culture. Did that start with Spengler or was it earlier? The Faustian culture, okay? So the Western culture believes that through reason,


through reason, through knowledge, it can achieve everything, it can have everything, it can find fulfillment and salvation. Now, that's Gnostic, but it's not necessarily Gnostic in the sense of interior knowledge, of a spiritual fulfillment. It can go outside too, as Marxism does, you know, where it's simply science, not science, but scientism, the religion of science. Rather than experimental. It can be experimental. I mean, it's all reasoning rather than really having lived through. I feel what Jesus said, if you were a son of Abraham, you would have received me. Yes. And that is just cutting the matter, the sin matter in our days. I sent you prophets and you killed them. So I think it's about the same thing in our days. And also, I was very upset in the beginning when putting in doubt


that Jesus really said I am the light of way and the life. And, you know, unless you come to me, you will not find a father in all that. This magnificent discourse. Well, I've been thinking about that a couple of weeks. And I realized that Jesus said I came not for harmony but to give life. So this is divisions that are known in the world. And also that I think humanity was waiting so eagerly for someone to come. We knew it was coming. Someone would come and dare to say I am the light. We were expecting that. So I'm not surprised if it's true. And I still believe not as much as before, even more, despite this... There's only one thing that would be better than his having said it. And that is if he says it.


If he says it to you. Suppose that the Gospel of John is actually a hearing of the speech of the risen Christ in the sense that it's an exact interpretation of the meaning and the revelation of the risen Christ, of the glorious and inglorious Christ, okay? Because that's what we want in the end anyway. I'm not denying it. I'm happier if Jesus did say it historically. If they ever prove he didn't, I'm prepared to move to this other ground, which is higher ground. But Father, as far as Gnosticism, did you develop your own Gnosticism? Yes. Very strongly and influenced the Greek Gnosticism. Also the Kabbalah, for example. That's right. I think most of the Kabbalah is later on. Most of it, as far as I know, is in what we call the Middle Ages. It's a fascinating thing. Alexandria was the center of it. That's right. You've got Philo there. And I don't know if you'd call Philo a Gnostic, but he was a Platonist. And he may have influenced some of the New Testament, for all we know. He certainly influenced the Fathers a lot. Yes. Even their exegesis, their way of reading the Bible.


Yes. And on the historical side, one thing, you know, you said that the Jews put some of the Christians to death, and, you know, that sustaining the Acts was the Jews putting Stephen to death. But on the other hand, the Gospel of Mark, of John, in the Passion, the Jews did not have the right to put someone to death. So, it seems to me that there must have been a problem with the laws, and the people under them did not have the right to put people to death. And yet, they must have turned it into riots and so on. I don't know how that... It was sort of a rationalization when they went to Pilate. They might have killed themselves anyway if Pilate hadn't done it. But, that was in Jerusalem, and maybe things worked a little differently in Jerusalem than they did, for instance, up in Galilee. Because after Jerusalem, also remember, this is after all that tumult of the destruction of Jerusalem, maybe the Romans just walked away and left the shambles, the rubble behind


them, and weren't controlling it. Was it not Stephen that he was killed that day? No. No, not Stephen. Stephen was killed earlier. So, I don't know how to put that together. You're very right about that. I don't know if it's been explained. By the way, about Stephen, that's one of the places where the Samaritan thing comes in, by the way. Because Stephen's long speech is a whole Moses theology, okay? And then, immediately after, you have the dispersal into Samaria. Philip and the deacons, the seven or something, are sent into Samaria. So, that's one of the things that's brought forward. I could say a lot more about the Samaritans, which is interesting, but maybe we don't have time. I've got some stuff I was going to read to you, which I guess we didn't do. I was just curious. You said, like, the table marks, you've got that thing that's like reason. And then you have the reaction, kind of, the other reaction, which would be a kind of monastic, like a desolate. I mean, you can see that as a reaction. Okay.


Now, with Christianity, it's like a scientific, rationalistic, you know, reason. Could you say that again? Well, what I'm seeing, like, is the new Gnosticism as kind of a reaction against the rationalistic way. Yes, the rationalistic is a kind of... It's a Gnosticism in an objective, objectivized, rationalized way. There seems to be, like, an influx of, like, intuitional... Yes, the new Gnosticism goes in the direction of the ancient Gnosticism more. Away from our Western, over-scientific, externalized, left-brain Gnosticism, the new Gnosticism, is very much more like original Gnosticism. Gnosticism of the second century, which is mythical, more interior, more mystical, okay? But there's one way, at least, in which it differs sharply from that, and that is, it's a nature mysticism, very often. Because Gnosticism, original Gnosticism, tended to, remember that dualism, to put away nature, the body, and so on. Whereas our Gnosticism now, in reaction to Christianity, which is now disincarnate, is an incarnation of physical, earth-loving, holistic, and body-conscious Gnosticism, okay?


It's a different breed. Do you see any kind of, like... We seem to say that we have to incorporate the scientific ways of... What about, like, the intuitional? The intuitional is basic. Okay, the intuitional is our basic way of understanding Scripture, and even faith is intuitional, and it's very close to the other intuition we're talking about. Reason is kind of subordinate, but it's essential, okay? And intuition is the way that the Church and Christians have always understood the Bible. That's the way the Bible is written. The stories of the Bible, the images of the Bible, it's all intuitional material. And yet, with the Gospel, you find, also before, there's a certain hard reason in the Scripture and in the Gospel, but it's a very human reason. It's not empirical kind of physics or chemistry. It's a human reason of this kind. If your donkey falls into the pit and you pull him out on a Sunday, why won't you help your brother on a Sunday, okay? It's that kind of immediate reason.


Human reason. Now, that reason is very important. If you just allow yourself to dwell in intuition, it can turn into myth. So, when Jesus comes in the Gospel and cuts right through all of that with the kind of reasoning of the Sermon on the Mount, see, that's important. That's the essential kind of reason in Christianity. Sure. But notice that that itself is trying to incorporate the findings of science. For instance, Esalen is a mixing pot of that kind of Gnostic spiritual tendency and the findings of rational science, as much of it as they can accept. You'll have physicists going down there and so on and talking to these other people and trying to find a meeting place. A good example is Capra's The Tao of Physics, okay, where you have somebody taking the hard science of physics and trying to build a bridge between it and mysticism.


And eventually, in his other book, he tries to build a bridge between that and, say, the whole earth movement or the ecological movement or all these other things which are kind of on the intuitive and earth, you know, what we're talking about there, the more clearly intuitive Gnostics. I would say so, and a perfect religion also will be pluralistic in the sense that there'll be different people seeming to move in different directions and expressing different poles of their religion. And when Christianity finds itself, finds its power, it finds itself as pluralistic, as a whole garden full of different plants, as a community in which there are people expressing different gifts and so on, just like St. Paul says, okay? So there'll be the community of John, there'll be the community of Peter, there'll be the community of Paul, and so on. All in communion, and that's where the tension is,


to maintain the communion amidst those differences. Okay? But providing that whole involvement in the Church all the way along, and trying to be inclusive and pluralistic, but at the same time recognizing there's a fundamental binding reality that brings it all together, rather than going off. Because the more open a person is, which is beautiful, and the freer the person is, it can also then get... Sure, and it has lots of time, Jim. I mean, nowadays, you can see it all over the place. Since Vatican II, you can see lots of kind of planets that have gotten out of orbit and just gone off on a tangent. And you don't know whether they're in communion or not, basically. You don't know whether they're Christian or not in what they believe, or whether they're Catholic or not in what they believe. Now, I think maybe it's better that way than it was before, when everybody was locked into one room, all believing that they had to be uniform, that there was only one way to believe. There are lots of ways to believe.


You have to believe the same thing, basically, but there are different ways of believing, different ways of living. The trouble is, when we lose touch with the inner or underlying, or deeper unity, the communion, the koinonia that John talks about, the unity of the indwelling world, the unity of our baptism, when we lose touch with that and try to impose the unity from without, then we can't help but impose a uniformity, that my way, because I'm the bishop, because I'm the pope, my way of believing has got to be your way. There isn't any other way. Because you can't legislate that underlying koinonia, that communion in the mystery, that communion in faith. It's just there. It's just true. But if we don't experience it anymore, then there's nothing left but the organization. So in that map, that's the reason it goes this way, toward freedom. That's towards freedom and pluralism. And also a kind of mystical, immediate relationship with God, or with Christ. Whereas over here it tends to be mediated. Down here it tends to be mediated.


Thank you. Mediated by God, mediated exclusively by the sacraments, mediated by a hierarchy, all of those things. Whereas here it's immediate. It's a mystical call to Jonah. One comment about your statement that you feel it's a matter of language. I think you're really getting on something there because it's so hard to express what one has experienced. When one has an immediate experience of the divine mystic being, you've got to know a word. And then if you try to put it in language, you lose something. But if we do use words, we use the same old words that everybody else uses. And you can't tell whether it's a Valentine's card or a check on the mystical experience. Right. Right. Do you want to hear something about the Samaritans before we quit? Because this is an important thing and I haven't got it across sufficiently for you. I'll just read a little of what Schneider says about it.


Now, these people believe themselves to be the remnants of the tribes of Israel, okay? Of the tribes that were carried off by the Assyrians and so on. Whereas the Jews said that they're largely colonists that the Assyrians planted there, and so they're all mixed with pagan cults and so on. Now, that seems to be largely a splendor by the Jews, and they don't seem to be too much intermixed, actually. They didn't get anything from the Assyrians as far as their beliefs are concerned. They're pretty good Israelites. Now, there are only a few hundred of these people left around Shechem or Samaritan in the north. There are indications in John's Gospel several times that they're important to John, more so than the other disciples. John the Baptist is baptizing in Anon near Salem, which is close to Shechem, the center of the Samaritans. The Samaritan woman in John 4. Now, according to Brown and Schneider's, that was not in the life of Jesus. This could really throw it. That's not in the life of Jesus.


That's a later encounter of the Johannine community with the Samaritans, which is where this quantum leap happens here, and which is then put back into the life of Jesus. So we have to deal with that problem. How can that be? I've always been very much attached to that episode. The role of Philip in the Gospel of John, he doesn't have any role in the synoptics, but in Acts he's sent to the Samaritans. And a bunch of other things. Okay, the Samaritans were thought of as heretics by the Israelites. They thought of themselves as the remnant of Israel, as the twelve tribes carried away. They see themselves not as Jews, but as true Israelites. Every time that John talks about the Jews, how is it that he can talk about the Jews as if they were somebody else? He's a Jew. Jesus is a Jew. How can they talk about the Jews as if they were somebody else? It's as if they've adopted the point of view of the Samaritans, of the Israelites, who consider themselves as distinct from the Jews. Then remember when Jesus says of Nathanael in John 1, a true Israelite. Israelite, not a true Jew, but a true Israelite. The word Jew, very often in John,


is in this negative sense of the people who reject Jesus. And of course that gives rise to the possibility of all this anti-Semitism later on. So they reject the Davidic kingly thing, the royal thing, the monarchic thing, and they have a theology of Moses. So their messianic expectation is tied up with Moses and with the prophet. Remember in Deuteronomy 18, God promises a prophet like you, like Moses, that he will send to save his people. So that's their messianic expectation. The primary characteristic of God for the Samaritans is love. And they emphasize his love more than anything else. The primary name of God, I Am, there's John right there, you see. Now what trouble with all this is that most of the Samaritan documents are only in very late manuscripts, and you can't tell whether they were influenced by John's Gospel or whether John's Gospel was influenced by this. So there's a kind of seesaw with scholars on both ends.


Revelation comes primarily by God's two great acts, first creation and then exodus. Now if you read John's Gospel with attention to its symbolic depths, pretty soon you wake up to the fact that the biggest things there are creation and exodus. A genesis behind the first chapters and the last chapters of John, behind John 1, behind John 20, and then the exodus event. Extremely important to John. The messianic expectation completely centered around Moses. Now here's where it gets pretty wild. Moses pre-existed with God. God sent Moses into the world as the light of the world, literally, to reveal God's Word and will to God's people. Moses will return at the end of time as the Tahib, the Moses prophet of Deuteronomy 18, who will intercede for the people. He will call them forth from their tombs. Remember, as Jesus does Lazarus, as he says, the Son of Man will appear at the end of time. Okay, that's enough of that, I guess.


I wish we had a more complete treatment of the theology of Abraham. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, it is now, and it shall be, world without end. So stick with it for just one more week, and we'll get into the Gospel. Providing nothing gets in the way of it next week, I hope.