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  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    Hi Richard,
    I'm asking about James, the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They are prominent throughout the three synoptic Gospels, and they are both entirely absent from the fourth Gospel except perhaps a single mention as "those of Zebedee" in the last chapter:
    Here is another instance of a name not being mentioned.

    Matthew 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping [him], and desiring a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

    To my mind, John is simply giving as much centrality and thereby glory, to Jesus.

    There is an interesting study to be done on all the times 'greater than' appears in the NT. It shows up the argument amongst the disciples as to who would be the 'greatest', as somewhat inglorious.
    Hi Charisma,

    I don't see how that solution could work. Our attention had been drawn away from Christ by the apparent inconsistency between John and the synoptics. It simply does not make sense to me that John was talking about the same Jesus without any mention of two of the central characters that were so closely associated with him in the other Gospels.

    And besides, if you suggestion were true, why would John introduce the new characters - Philip and Nathanael - into the very place where James and John had been in the story of the calling of the first disciples?
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  2. #72
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    Hi Richard,

    It simply does not make sense to me that John was talking about the same Jesus without any mention of two of the central characters that were so closely associated with him in the other Gospels.
    First, I can't imagine how you can read John's gospel without seeing that Jesus Christ is central to the whole narrative.

    Second, which other characters are you looking for (apart from James) who are not mentioned?

    And besides, if you suggestion were true, why would John introduce the new characters - Philip and Nathanael - into the very place where James and John had been in the story of the calling of the first disciples?
    What is to stop him, if He was being led by the Holy Spirit?
    Last edited by Charisma; 11-30-2011 at 01:21 PM.
    16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Ephesians 3

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    First, I can't imagine how you can read John's gospel without seeing that Jesus Christ is central to the whole narrative.
    I couldn't see how I could do that either. What makes you think I could?

    My point is that it makes no sense for John to leave out central characters to "make Jesus more prominent." That's just don't find that argument convincing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    Second, which other characters are you looking for (apart from James) who are not mentioned?
    The Apostle John. There is a strong (but not conclusive) case to be made for the beloved disciple being Lazarus.

    And the narrative is so different than the synoptics that it doesn't seem to be describing the same "Jesus." When I was a Christian I just swept these problems under the rug. I don't have any reason to do that now, so I am looking at them. It's not really a big deal to me since I already know that the Gospels cannot be "literal" and probably were never intended to be interpreted that way. The modern "Newspaper" mentality - where folks want and expect "nothing but the facts, ma'am" is not how the ancients thought. So it might be that we have created a lot of problems with the NT that never should have existed. But then again, the early church fathers struggled to "harmonize" the Gospels, which indicates that they were reading the "literally" to some degree at least. But they might have been wrong ... they certainly were wrong about a lot of things, and they were just humans like you and me, no reason to think they had any special knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    What is to stop him, if He was being led by the Holy Spirit?
    The Holy Spirit would have led him to write the truth, and his story does not cohere with the synoptics if it is interpreted literally. For example, try to write a coherent account for the Passion Week using all four Gospels and leaving nothing out. It can't be done. Rose struggled for over a month to harmonize the account of Christ's visit to Bethany. She tried with all her might. It couldn't be done.
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

    Check out my blog site

  4. #74
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    This may be a "clue" why James is not mentioned in John and why John does not refer to himself in the first person. He only refers to himself, indirectly.

    But read about the situation with the two brothers in Matthew.

    Mat 20:20
    Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

    Mat 20:21
    And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

    Mat 20:22
    But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

    Mat 20:23
    And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

    Mat 20:24
    And when the ten heard it,
    they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

    That must have been quite a tenuous situation when the other 10 were moved with indignation (very angry) at John and James. This is something they did not forget and their humility is reflected in their writings.

    John's name is never mentioned in any of his epistles, in the last two he just refers to himself as "the elder". In the his gospel he refers to himself indirectly. In Revelation he is mentioned 5 times and not once is he mentioned with any additional dignity or honor. Very unlike today.

    Rick


    There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  5. #75
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    Why is James missing from the Gospel of John?

    Rick, thank you for putting that last post together.

    Hi Richard,

    When you said:

    The Holy Spirit would have led him to write the truth, and his story does not cohere with the synoptics if it is interpreted literally. For example, try to write a coherent account for the Passion Week using all four Gospels and leaving nothing out. It can't be done. Rose struggled for over a month to harmonize the account of Christ's visit to Bethany. She tried with all her might. It couldn't be done.
    I don't see that as a problem. The others are called 'synoptic' because they record similar stuff - which helps us to believe them. Once there's triangulation, one doesn't really need a fourth point for accuracy.

    There is a brother (in the Lord) I know, who is an artist. When asked whether he has 'free' time for something not on his schedule, he is thinks in shapes. If he can find 'free' time, he calls it 'asymmetric time', and then translates it back into normal English for the rest of us. In this, he reminds me of John's asymmetric perspective, for which we have to find the proper translation.

    Regarding Philip and Nathaniel, I absolutely love that insight into how Jesus 'was' with people - how Jesus operated 'when you were under the fig tree I saw you' - as if this is how a normal human being should be able to 'see' (what the Father is showing them), and that He appreciated Nathaniel's childlike honest expression of his thought. Then, He makes Nathaniel a promise which is so rooted in revelation and Hebrew history, that it's irresistable to a man whose disconsolate because he's been waiting for the Messiah with all his heart for years (my paraphrase).

    This is beautiful insight to what it was to be living in those days, yet again in captivity, but this time on their home turf. You will notice that it was John and Andrew who had 'heard' was John the Baptist was saying about 'the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world, and taken the offensive to leave following John, so they could start following Jesus. Again, that's a beautiful example of how our hearts are capable of guiding us into greater truth, even though our hearts still need changes to take place for truth to be established in them.

    I was reading the end of Luke recently - the Emmaus road portion, and it seemed to me that what happened was almost John's account of hearing of Jesus for the first time - but in reverse. They knew what they were doing when they chose to go with Jesus. Jesus was leading. Jesus was openly revealing Himself to them. They knew who He was (according to John the Baptist). They had asked, 'Rabbi, where do you live?' and He had said, simply, 'Come and see'. In Luke, it's all the other way round. The men are leading (walking along the road) when Jesus finds them and goes with them to where they are going. He tells them things they didn't understand - things they didn't know they didn't understand - and then has to be persuaded (it appears) to stay the night where they are going to be spending it. Then, He reveals Himself by doing something they had seen before, and they 'get it'. Now they know 'who' He is, and that the women's report of Him being alive, are true. Note, Jesus had gone the long way round with them, to bring them to that understanding. When they had mentioned the women on the road, He had said 'O slow of heart to believe what the prophets had written'. He hadn't said, 'O slow of heart to believe what the women told you'. His point seems to have been something they should have known already - which is a challenge to us in our own day -

    Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

    (This verse now reminds me of yesterday, coming across Deuteronomy 29:29 in a thread (which I cannot find now, to comment). Do you recall where you had mentioned it?)

    Jesus words on the Emmaus road also agree with, 'If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.' Luke 16:31

    So, going back to the perception that it's necessary for John's gospel to record everything which the others do, to be believable, it seems to me that believability is a separate issue from knowledge. There is so much to be gained by adding what is not similar between the synoptic gospels, that John's gospel seems to many as a goldmine of new inisight and information about both Jesus Himself, and His teachings, and His preparation of the disciples for their future after He had ascended. For Jesus fans, it's a treasure trove. For those following Jesus in life, and into death, those explanations are most comforting. It could be said that John captured the confusion of the disciples before Jesus' death, and the confidence with which Jesus faced persecution and death, for the most necessary edification of His followers. Questions like 'where are you going?' and, 'how can we know the way?' are imperative, modern questions, even though two thousand years old.
    16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Ephesians 3

  6. #76
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    1. Neither is name of John found in the Book of James.

    2. The name "Didymus" used 3 times in John's Gospel -- never in the synoptics.

    3. I see Nathanael as a contrast to Thomas. He believed on basis of very little evidence..

    Sorry didn't get here sooner (wasn't born in Texas, but made it ASAP)
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by duxrow View Post
    1. Neither is name of John found in the Book of James. :winking0071:

    2. The name "Didymus" used 3 times in John's Gospel -- never in the synoptics.

    3. I see Nathanael as a contrast to Thomas. He believed on basis of very little evidence..

    Sorry didn't get here sooner (wasn't born in Texas, but made it ASAP) :thumb:
    John 1:45 KJV - Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
    John 1:46 KJV - And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
    John 1:47 KJV - Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
    John 1:48 KJV - Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
    John 1:49 KJV - Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
    John 1:50 KJV - Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
    John 1:51 KJV - And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
    Jacob's ladder; Jacob who is Israel. Jesus put some faith in the Israelite by saying that he saw him under the fig tree.

  8. #78
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    Fig tree logic?

    Doubt if I'd be impressed with a peeping-tom story, but agree it's probably a fig. of speech that meant somethiing to Nathanael -- altho the words of Jesus seem surprised, doncha think?
    Dux allows: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out the matter". Pr25:2

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charisma View Post
    Rick, thank you for putting that last post together.

    Hi Richard,

    When you said:

    I don't see that as a problem. The others are called 'synoptic' because they record similar stuff - which helps us to believe them. Once there's triangulation, one doesn't really need a fourth point for accuracy.

    There is a brother (in the Lord) I know, who is an artist. When asked whether he has 'free' time for something not on his schedule, he is thinks in shapes. If he can find 'free' time, he calls it 'asymmetric time', and then translates it back into normal English for the rest of us. In this, he reminds me of John's asymmetric perspective, for which we have to find the proper translation.

    Regarding Philip and Nathaniel, I absolutely love that insight into how Jesus 'was' with people - how Jesus operated 'when you were under the fig tree I saw you' - as if this is how a normal human being should be able to 'see' (what the Father is showing them), and that He appreciated Nathaniel's childlike honest expression of his thought. Then, He makes Nathaniel a promise which is so rooted in revelation and Hebrew history, that it's irresistable to a man whose disconsolate because he's been waiting for the Messiah with all his heart for years (my paraphrase).

    This is beautiful insight to what it was to be living in those days, yet again in captivity, but this time on their home turf. You will notice that it was John and Andrew who had 'heard' was John the Baptist was saying about 'the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world, and taken the offensive to leave following John, so they could start following Jesus. Again, that's a beautiful example of how our hearts are capable of guiding us into greater truth, even though our hearts still need changes to take place for truth to be established in them.

    I was reading the end of Luke recently - the Emmaus road portion, and it seemed to me that what happened was almost John's account of hearing of Jesus for the first time - but in reverse. They knew what they were doing when they chose to go with Jesus. Jesus was leading. Jesus was openly revealing Himself to them. They knew who He was (according to John the Baptist). They had asked, 'Rabbi, where do you live?' and He had said, simply, 'Come and see'. In Luke, it's all the other way round. The men are leading (walking along the road) when Jesus finds them and goes with them to where they are going. He tells them things they didn't understand - things they didn't know they didn't understand - and then has to be persuaded (it appears) to stay the night where they are going to be spending it. Then, He reveals Himself by doing something they had seen before, and they 'get it'. Now they know 'who' He is, and that the women's report of Him being alive, are true. Note, Jesus had gone the long way round with them, to bring them to that understanding. When they had mentioned the women on the road, He had said 'O slow of heart to believe what the prophets had written'. He hadn't said, 'O slow of heart to believe what the women told you'. His point seems to have been something they should have known already - which is a challenge to us in our own day -

    Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

    (This verse now reminds me of yesterday, coming across Deuteronomy 29:29 in a thread (which I cannot find now, to comment). Do you recall where you had mentioned it?)

    Jesus words on the Emmaus road also agree with, 'If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.' Luke 16:31

    So, going back to the perception that it's necessary for John's gospel to record everything which the others do, to be believable, it seems to me that believability is a separate issue from knowledge. There is so much to be gained by adding what is not similar between the synoptic gospels, that John's gospel seems to many as a goldmine of new inisight and information about both Jesus Himself, and His teachings, and His preparation of the disciples for their future after He had ascended. For Jesus fans, it's a treasure trove. For those following Jesus in life, and into death, those explanations are most comforting. It could be said that John captured the confusion of the disciples before Jesus' death, and the confidence with which Jesus faced persecution and death, for the most necessary edification of His followers. Questions like 'where are you going?' and, 'how can we know the way?' are imperative, modern questions, even though two thousand years old.
    Hi Charisma,

    Really excellent insights. I always appreciate the time and effort you take to break things down.

    The Lord teaches by omission quite a bit, I have noticed. We do the same thing in our relationships sometimes without knowing it. I think the Lord always knew what He was trying to get across either by inclusion or omission. It took me awhile in my walk to start looking for what was "missing" in the scriptures and to learn, that it is only missing on paper. As you walk the Word out and prove the Lord, He fills in the blanks so that one sentence in scripture becomes a book to us.

    Thank you so much and may the Lord continue to use you,
    Rick

    There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.

    Answering the Skeptics Bible

  10. #80
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    Why is James missing from the Gospel of John?

    Hi Richard,

    In answer to your question:
    I couldn't see how I could do that either. What makes you think I could?
    My comment (quoted next)
    First, I can't imagine how you can read John's gospel without seeing that Jesus Christ is central to the whole narrative.
    was the answer to this comment from you:
    It simply does not make sense to me that John was talking about the same Jesus .
    I hope that's cleared up now.
    16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

    Ephesians 3

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