Author Topic: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy  (Read 1768 times)

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Offline JLatimer

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Some people say Jesus never wrote anything down...but that's not entirely true. He did write once that we know of, in the dust of the ground, when the woman caught in adultery was brought to him. Some manuscripts say he wrote down the sins of the people accusing the woman.

There are several neat things about this episode. First, the text of John specifically mentions Christ's use of his finger (δάκτυλος). This echoes Exodus, where God wrote upon the tablets of stone with his finger. So what can we glean from this comparison? for example, about the purpose of the law? the tablets? sin? What is the significance of Christ writing on the ground (from which we were taken)?

I am also interested by how this episode parallels Socrates' (who also never wrote anything) instruction of the slave boy in Plato's Meno. The demonstration there, also done in the ground, concerns "irrational" (άλογος) quantities.

If anyone has any original and/or patristic thoughts or info on this, please share.

Also any other typological themes and examples that interest, puzzle, or inspire you!

1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline Sloga

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 02:57:25 AM »
I am also interested by how this episode parallels Socrates' (who also never wrote anything)

Whether Socrates even existed is sometimes questioned. It is no secret there is no documented work of his, other than projections made by Plato. Even these stories about Socrates and whatnot are heavily questioned because it is likely Plato did manipulate any truth to his benefit. Anyways, it's not true only Plato wrote about him. Xenophobe also wrote about a Socrates during the same time period apparently, depicting him not really as a philosopher but more so of a "prankster".
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 03:24:09 AM »
Whether Socrates even existed is sometimes questioned.

There have been people who have questioned whether anything exists. But I doubt you can find any consensus among Classicists who would take such a stand.

It is a rather outlandish statement.

The rest of your post is so weighted that it is incomprehensible (figuratively and literally).

Offline JLatimer

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 05:08:17 AM »
Quote
Whether Socrates even existed is sometimes questioned.

Whether Socrates existed or not (he did) is irrelevant to my question which concerned the literary parallel between a Biblical passage and a passage in the Meno.

Quote
Anyways, it's not true only Plato wrote about him.

I never said that. Read before you comment.

Quote
Xenophobe [sic] also wrote about a Socrates during the same time period apparently, depicting him not really as a philosopher but more so of a "prankster".

Your reading of Xenophon lacks insight.
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2010, 10:49:20 AM »
Some people say Jesus never wrote anything down...but that's not entirely true. He did write once that we know of, in the dust of the ground, when the woman caught in adultery was brought to him. Some manuscripts say he wrote down the sins of the people accusing the woman.

What manuscripts? I always thought that was an interpolation from Jerome (cf. Contra Pelagium 2.17).

As for manuscripts: This pericope has a contested transmission history. It's not in the earliest witnesses. Once it does start showing up in fourth century manuscripts, it is located here, as John 7:53-8:11. Even so, Augustine is aware that some manuscripts in his time do not include it at all, which he attributes to the influence of weak men (cf. Incomp. nupt. 2.7). Several fathers comment on how this is a difficult passage, since it makes it seem that Jesus allows adultery.

Later on, manuscripts from the 9th to 11th centuries have it earlier at John 7:36, or sometimes at the end of the Gospel of John, or even in the Gospel of Luke instead. If you want to know more, check out Metzger's A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, p. 219-20.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline JLatimer

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2010, 05:30:06 PM »

As for manuscripts: This pericope has a contested transmission history. It's not in the earliest witnesses. Once it does start showing up in fourth century manuscripts, it is located here, as John 7:53-8:11. Even so, Augustine is aware that some manuscripts in his time do not include it at all, which he attributes to the influence of weak men (cf. Incomp. nupt. 2.7). Several fathers comment on how this is a difficult passage, since it makes it seem that Jesus allows adultery.

Later on, manuscripts from the 9th to 11th centuries have it earlier at John 7:36, or sometimes at the end of the Gospel of John, or even in the Gospel of Luke instead. If you want to know more, check out Metzger's A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, p. 219-20.

I'm aware of the scholarly debate and the history. But it doesn't concern me here. Whether the text is 'original' or not is irrelevant to the question, which, again, was about literary parallelism.

Nevertheless, the fact is, this pericope is part of received Scripture, whether it was in the earliest manuscripts or not. Moreover, the very parallelism I'm describing between Exodus and this passage makes me wonder if the passage might indeed by Johannine.

So I guess no one wants to answer the question, eh? Just to quibble about it and/or try to invalidate it.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 05:33:03 PM by JLatimer »
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 06:16:16 PM »

I'm aware of the scholarly debate and the history. But it doesn't concern me here. Whether the text is 'original' or not is irrelevant to the question, which, again, was about literary parallelism.

Nevertheless, the fact is, this pericope is part of received Scripture, whether it was in the earliest manuscripts or not. Moreover, the very parallelism I'm describing between Exodus and this passage makes me wonder if the passage might indeed by Johannine.

So I guess no one wants to answer the question, eh? Just to quibble about it and/or try to invalidate it.

Please let me get this correct:

Are you asking us our opinion on the typology you highlighted in the Gospel of John?

 or

asking from us more examples for the typologies of a similar nature?
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Offline JLatimer

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2010, 06:26:52 PM »

I'm aware of the scholarly debate and the history. But it doesn't concern me here. Whether the text is 'original' or not is irrelevant to the question, which, again, was about literary parallelism.

Nevertheless, the fact is, this pericope is part of received Scripture, whether it was in the earliest manuscripts or not. Moreover, the very parallelism I'm describing between Exodus and this passage makes me wonder if the passage might indeed by Johannine.

So I guess no one wants to answer the question, eh? Just to quibble about it and/or try to invalidate it.

Please let me get this correct:

Are you asking us our opinion on the typology you highlighted in the Gospel of John?

 or

asking from us more examples for the typologies of a similar nature?

Either/or.
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 06:37:38 PM »
I'm aware of the scholarly debate and the history. But it doesn't concern me here. Whether the text is 'original' or not is irrelevant to the question, which, again, was about literary parallelism.

And my question to you was what manuscripts "say he wrote down the sins of the people accusing the woman," as you put it in the OP. That is very interesting to me, and, since this is a discussion forum, I get to ask questions too.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline JLatimer

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 06:47:17 PM »
I'm aware of the scholarly debate and the history. But it doesn't concern me here. Whether the text is 'original' or not is irrelevant to the question, which, again, was about literary parallelism.

And my question to you was what manuscripts "say he wrote down the sins of the people accusing the woman," as you put it in the OP. That is very interesting to me, and, since this is a discussion forum, I get to ask questions too.

No you don't. You have to slavishly answer my questions and be silent otherwise.
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline JLatimer

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 07:13:58 PM »
Taking a second look I see what I had mentioned as 'manuscripts' was actually 'authorities'. That's probably referring to St Jerome as you mentioned. So I was wrong on that. Please forgive, brother.

The question still stands though. Actually, it's better - because there are a number of other patristic interpretive variations. Usually, it's sins, names,or the 10 commandments. Lots of room for interesting thoughts on this.

The key is still the FINGER, echoing the Old Testament.

I read a commentary on Job once, by Bob Sacks, (http://www.archive.org/stream/RobertSacksACommentaryOnTheBookOfJob/JOB) (p. 268) that makes a case that the stone tablets actually contained the instructions for the tabernacle, not the 10 commandments.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 07:26:26 PM by JLatimer »
1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Typology in the Bible and extra-Biblical culture/religion/philosophy
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 03:22:20 AM »
Taking a second look I see what I had mentioned as 'manuscripts' was actually 'authorities'. That's probably referring to St Jerome as you mentioned. So I was wrong on that. Please forgive, brother.

The question still stands though. Actually, it's better - because there are a number of other patristic interpretive variations. Usually, it's sins, names,or the 10 commandments. Lots of room for interesting thoughts on this.

The key is still the FINGER, echoing the Old Testament.


I have also heard that what Jesus wrote on the ground was the sins of the religious authorities accusing the woman. After seeing Jesus write down their sins and hearing Him say: "Let the one with no sin cast the first stone", they had to leave in shame.

This traditional interpretation was so popular and dominant in the Medieval era that we can find it explicitly stated in the partly Islamic forgery named the "Gospel of Barnabas":

Jesus having entered into the temple, the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery. They said among themselves: 'If he saves her, it is contrary to the law of Moses, and so we have him as guilty, and if he condemn her it is contrary to his own doctrine, for he preacheth mercy.' Wherefore they came to Jesus and said: 'Master, we have found this woman in adultery. Moses commanded that [such] should be stoned: what then sayest thou?' Thereupon Jesus stooped down and with his finger made a mirror on the ground wherein every one saw his own iniquities. (Medieval Gospel of Barnabas 201)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 03:24:36 AM by Theophilos78 »
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