Friday, March 02, 2007

What A Small Remark Can Do

Two days ago, i was thinking through New Testament scholarship, in a nutshell (katak punya tempurung), with NT Wright's short remark on the synoptic problem. He said that the differences among the gospel narratives should not be a problem in current scholarship. Given the fact that now we have the techonology to be more consistent in our speeches but still we express our ideas differently at different meetings/places. If that is true for now, it is definitely prevalent (if not more) in the past. It is certainly plausible for Jesus to say the same thing with different way of saying it, at different places throughout his ministry.

That simple remark prompt me to think 'out of the box' on current New Testament scholarship. It shows that it is possible to go away from the flow of the scholar guild but yet remain credible. Of course Wright has more than a small remark that makes his scholarship outstand (for eg. his double similarities criteria), if that remark has any significance, it definitely has boasted my confident and creativity. Because of this i've thought of a criteria to actually argue for a very early date for the gospel of John (or at least some sort of 'primitive' John). If that method is right, and God willing, John's gospel could dated to be pre-synoptic and pauline, if not pre-pauline. That means a mature and comprehensive (substantially) written Christological tradition was already in existent within the early Church, say between 4-18 years after the crucifixion. This written tradition is some sort of Q, which i call 'PJ' (Primitive John). If Q is the source for Matthew and Luke, then PJ is the source for John. Of course, this is based on the assumption that John is independent from the synoptics, or i should say the synoptics are independent from John.


alwyn said...

keep reading the Wright's so awesome it get dangerous after a while (grin)

The Hedonese said...

An early date for John? Kam Weng believes tat too, though its minority report... I cant recall his arguments though.

With all due respect to Wright, sometimes his exegesis on some particular passages from an "return from exile" grid seem forced. But I have benefited greatly when he talk about big picture stuffs, esp on the third quest

The Hedonese said...

btw if memory serves me right, its katak di bawah tempurung, isn't it? :D

Sze Zeng said...

YES!! thanks for correcting!
It's katak di bawah tempurung!