Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Bible Study First Impressions

So last night was the first study as you read yesterday.  I didn’t know which version to take so I brought the blue Ignatius Bible with me, figuring it was the safest.  Our leader is a religious brother and a very affable guy.  Even though it isn’t my parish I felt comfortable being there.  I walked in 1 minute late and they had already begun.  He had pre-written out some notes on the board such as Authorship, Christology, Sources, etc.  At that point I knew what to expect and we did get a rundown of why John did not write his Gospel.  My Navarre commentary vehemently disagrees with him and cites Church Fathers attesting to John publishing it himself in Ephesus.  Of course, if you doubt the Bible why not doubt the Fathers as well?  All you have to say to put down the Church Father theory is “Well, we’re not sure if the fathers actually wrote their own works.”  Ok, then we just move on.


Johannine Community…

A disciple+redactor…

“The Elder”…


But not John!  Anyone but him!  After all, we’re not fundies, right?


He also broke out the Gospel into a whole list of themes and topics. (Which is really what I want to learn about)  At that point I raised my hand and said how interesting it was that the Gospel, the Apocalypse, and 1-3 John carry many of the same themes and reflect each other so well.  He said, “Yes, but John didn’t actually write Revelation!”  *sigh*  I said I knew that was one theory and just said, “Well it is very interesting that the works which are at least attributed to John match up so well.”  He agreed with all smiles.  It wasn’t a contentious moment in the least.   I’m not there to be controversial. 


He seems to very knowledgeable and can at least read Greek.  His version was the interlinear Greek-English New Testament.  For us, he recommended everyone have a different version so as we go along different word choices in the text will help us understand the Gospel better.  So…I will be bringing my Douay-Rheims with me from now on.


At the end he was discussing how scholars are aware/impressed at how John has other sources than the Synoptic Gospels.  To which I commented that anyone who lived with Our Lady for 10 or 20 years would have a deeper theological perspective.  I believe Mary was his “extra source.”  He would know who Jesus was better than the others, his Gospel would be more mystical.  It would have to be.


I’m really excited for next week as we begin to delve into the Gospel of John.  These little controversies don’t much bother me as we move forward. (as far as the class is concerned)  He mentioned that this week would be the only one like it.  The rest is content.


Moonshadow said...

Introductions and background are always awkward, on top of the typical uneasiness of coming together for the first time. Once you all get to the text, it's easier to defend positions from the text itself.

I'm thinking of getting the Navarre commentary for the John study ... or studies ... I'm taking this fall.

Matt said...

Well if you get the Navarre and hate it, there is always eBay!

I have the Gospels and Acts volume which is a little bulky but nice.

Moonshadow said...

I don't expect to hate it.

The Kostenberger book, otoh, I've already threatened to burn. :-)

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton