Daily Archives: 2011-06-27 22:34:46 GMT+0000

Lifting the rug on heresy in the Gospel of John

sweep-under-rugRoger Parvus has published a fascinating study of the letters of Ignatius and proposes that they originated from one who belonged to the breakaway group from Marcionism that was led by Apelles. Towards the end of his book (A New Look at the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch and Other Apellian Writings) he addresses the similarities other scholars have observed between the Johannine and Ignatian communities, and suggests that some of those “little contradictions and oddities” in the Gospel of John may also reflect an Apellean origin. (Hopefully I am not stealing too much of his thunder with this post, since I am hoping Roger will be able to argue his case for himself. But a touch of eagerness to write up at least little bit of one facet of his book has got the better of me here.)

I won’t write up much of the detail in the book in this post — just enough to share with others some of the details one can easily read over in John’s Gospel yet fail to notice the contradictions, and the implications of the contradictions, in some of the most familiar passages. Familiarity has a lot to answer for.

This is not an attempt to argue for a particular reading or redaction history of John. That would require much more serious depth. The point of this post is simply to show the possibilities of questions, of alternative understandings, relating to the origin of the Gospel of John from a not widely encountered perspective. read more »

Unsettled, settling

I’m at the blue dot — Darwin

I have recently moved (again) to take up a better position, still in the field of making research publications, cultural and other resources available online to the widest target audiences possible or appropriate into the long-term future, his time at the top end of Australia. So recently blogging has been much more of an ad hoc distraction than usual. My job is one of those new fangled types that can never be really explained to those not in the know, and I have been very lucky to have been in the right place at the right time, and to have met the right people, to have a forefront seat in the way everything is moving with digitized research and cultural collections globally. And some exciting directions are being initiated up north here in Australia. But my professional life has nothing to do with my Vridar hobby-horse so I maintain quite distinct online accounts.

Once I’m settled (again) I hope to resume more systematic blogging following through coherent themes. If others kindly contribute with a post or two to this blog, then of course they do so without implying they concur with any other topics I blog about here, in particular those with a political or social commentary.

A Darwin local told me that this region is one of the most egalitarian in Australia. If so, I wonder if the geography has something to do with encouraging that. Where there are no hills, where the landscape is flat and the same dry in all directions, and where one cannot help but sense a vulnerable isolation from the major cities amidst green hills and rivers, where all 119 ethnic and cultural groups here feel the same heat and humidity, and prepare annually for the same cyclone season, how much room can there be for class conscious uppitiness. This is one city where rich and poor can be found alongside each other in the same neighbourhoods, even the same streets.