SBL 2001
Papers Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature
Denver, CO - November 17-20, 2001
Mark, John, and Answerability:
Aspects of Interfluentiality Between the Second and Fourth Gospels

Paul N. Anderson
George Fox University

Presented to the Joint Session of the "Synoptic Gospels Section" and the "Johannine Literature Section"
Session #S20-15  (Tuesday, Nov. 20, 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM)

[Copyright 2001, by Paul N. Anderson.  All rights reserved. This is a draft version of a work still in progress; please do not copy or cite anything from this paper without explicit permission of the author.]

Comprehending the relation between Mark and John has been an elusive endeavor, though an extremely important matter to assess rightly. Upon a fitting assessment of this relationship hinge oneís views of Johnís relationship to the Synoptic Gospels, the material from which to construct oneís view of the historical Jesus, the composition and tradition development of the Second and Fourth Gospels, and a host of other literary, historical, and theological issues. The Markan-Johannine relationship, however, is better approached as an investigation of intertextual analysis rather than source analysis. This is not simply a factor of preference Ė one critical school over another. Rather, it is the result of empirically-based judgment Ė the stylistic and linguistic facts that while these texts betray many similarities, there are not enough identical similarities to infer a particular source-dependent relationship.[1] Then again, strict independence theories also fail to account for the similarities and apparent points of contact between the Johannine and Markan traditions, so oneís approach must be more resilient than conventional literary dependence theories have allowed.

Intertextuality, however, affords a greater spectrum of possibilities from which to infer aspects of the Johannine-Markan relationship, and Mikhail Bakhtinís understanding of "answerability" provides an especially helpful set of ways forward.[2] For one thing, monodimensional literary theories of Gospel relationships are most certainly going to be wrong, or at least inadequate for explaining the multiplicity of variables involved. Contacts between the Second and Fourth Gospels likely included oral, written, and even editorial stages of both traditions, and theories of Gospel interrelationships must explore multiple venues of contact, not just one. These texts are far more polyphonic and dialectical than a singular approach can accommodate, and considering multiple levels and venues of dialogue serves the task of literary analysis well.

For another, we must find ways of thinking about gospel historiography as a literary and theological venture in ways that are not distorted by modernistic conceptions of rationalistic objectivism. Modern critical methodologies would not have been embraced by first-century Jewish authors in a Hellenistic culture, and inferences from narrative analysis also apply to historical work these evangelists sought to undertake. After all, these traditions were not disembodied sets of ideas, floating docetically from one piece of writing to another. No. Gospel traditions where persons, conveying impressions rooted in understandings of former events, but also rendered in settings where the past speaks to the present in timely ways. These vehicles passed through the integrative systems of human cognition, synthesizing perceptions with experience, and a literary theory must address the human component of how persons engage material, and vice versa.[3] In particular, Bakhtinís discussion of answerability offers at least two significant ways forward: first, we shall consider the relationship between art and life, each impacting the other; and second, we shall consider the relation of author to hero within each of these Gospels, replete with implications for interpretation. In applying this dialogical set of understandings to these particular texts the interfluential relationships of John and Mark Ė the Bi-Optic Gospels Ė are clarified.

Before getting to Bakhtin, however, an assessment of leading approaches to the composition of John and Johnís relation to Mark seems an important way to proceed. This discussion will summarize the findings of works found elsewhere, but in each case, identifying the limitations and assets of a particular approach provides the basis for further inquiry. It may also be the case that intertextual analyses most likely to withstand the test of time will have benefited from the interdisciplinary work they follow, and for this reason historical and theological considerations will be discussed alongside literary ones. This analysis will therefore assess approaches to the Johannine/Markan relationship, pose an extended theory of the interrelationships between these two traditions, and finally discuss aspects of answerability between Mark and John and their common subject: Jesus.

I. Critical Appraisals of Recent Approaches to the Johannine/Markan Relationship

Recent approaches to the Johannine/Markan relationship have been many, but several leading ones merit special consideration. In each case, general strengths and weaknesses of the view will be assessed in the interest of inferring stronger aspects of each theory as worthy material upon which to construct oneís hypothesis of relationship. Of course, a central value of intertextuality as an approach is that similarities and differences between texts can be analyzed meaningfully regardless of the degree to which oneís hypothesis of intertextual relations can be demonstrated. Nonetheless, what can be inferred from assessing evidence for the best of recent theories will help in pointing the way forward regarding the character and form of intertextual relations between Markan and Johannine traditions.

1) Not Three Against One, but Parallel, Bi-Optic Traditions. One of the leading fallacies regarding traditions underlying the four Gospels is to assume that because we have three Synoptic Gospels that are quite different from John, Johnís distinctive features are idiosyncratic and problematic as a minority report. If indeed Matthew and Luke were constructed upon the material in Mark, the Synoptic Gospels represent a largely singular perspective with a Markan foundation. It is also not clear that the Fourth Evangelist would have known more than one Gospel, Mark, by the time the earliest edition of the Johannine Gospel was completed. This being the case, Johnís differences with the other Gospels should be perceived first as differences with Mark, and given the fact that Johnís tradition speaks with its own voice, it should be regarded as an individuated perspective parallel to Markís. If there is any merit to the most basic inference of the Synoptic Hypothesis, it is the combination of Johnís and Markís perspectives that give us a bi-optic presentation of the ministry of Jesus.

A converse way of putting things has surfaced among several British and European scholars over the last couple of decades, which explain Johnís radical differences from the Synoptics as an indicator of Johnís primitivity. While John A. T. Robinsonís book, The Priority of John, sought to challenge directly the assumption of Johnís posteriority, the thesis has not caught on among critical scholars in America. In Germany and Austria, however, several scholars[4] have added their own contributions to this perspective, arguing that the reason that John is so different from the three Synoptics is that they were not yet written at the time that John was first produced. Especially if John was produced in an isolated region, it may be easier to infer that three traditions might have overlooked John than to believe that John has overlooked all three of the Synoptic traditions. While much of Johnís tradition does indeed seem to be early, theories which postulate an early finalization of John find themselves challenged by any material that seems even slightly later. Whatever the case, regarding John and Mark as two parallel traditions representing autonomous and sustained perspectives on the ministry and teachings of Jesus calls for their being regarded as the Bi-Optic Gospels.[5]

2) Not Dependence and Influence, but Engagement and Interfluence. A second fallacy is to assume that there was ever a singular, unitive perception of Jesusí provocative works and words Ė even within the apostolic band. In all four Gospels, narrators comment upon the fact that the disciples misunderstood Jesusí actions and sayings initially, only to understand them more fully later time, and they also portray the disciples as disagreeing with each other over what these things meant. Dissonance is portrayed as being even greater among those who did not become followers of Jesus, but it is highly likely that differences existed between first impressions, not just later developments. This being the case, similarities between John and Mark should not be construed as factors of Johnís dependence upon Mark or Markís influence upon John. Influence could have moved from the Johannine tradition toward the Markan, so an analysis of the history of Johannine/Markan engagement and traditional "interfluentiality" is a more fitting way to proceed.

This procedure is also bolstered by the textual facts. When John 6 is taken as a case study for demonstrating Johnís dependence upon Mark,[6] none of the contacts are identical. While as many as 24 similarities may be identified between John 6 and Mark 6, and while 21 may be identified between John 6 and Mark 8, none of them are identical similarities, making a theory of literary dependence incredible. Such facts, however, do not disconfirm the possibility of contact, or even tradition familiarity, but given the reality that all the similarities between John and Mark betray also at least some significant differences, theories of Johnís derivation from, or dependence upon, Mark must be abandoned. Then again, two other possibilities remain: first, some similarities could reflect traditional memories of actual events. This is not as much of a moral impossibility as some scholars assert. Second, it is highly likely that there was considerable contact between the early Johannine and Markan traditions, and many of the contacts between them show traces of orality. Graphic details, memorable exclamations, features of settings and other non-symbolic features seem to have been the sort of illustrative material especially characteristic of oral tradition.[7] By definition, these distinctive contacts between John and Mark also represent the types of material omitted by Matthew and Luke in their redactions of Mark. Further, if two oral traditions were to have run into contact with each other, the influence would likely have moved in both directions, heightening the likelihood of an interfluential history of engagement.

3) Not a Diachronicity of Sources, but a Diachronicity of Editions. The leading critical theory of Johnís composition during the 20th century is the inference that John was constructed on the basis of alien sources. The attraction of such theories is that they seek to account for several issues, including: where the Johannine material may have come from (if not from Mark, the signs material may have come from a signs source similar to Mark), theological tensions between the evangelistís material and his narratorial contributions (the signs appear to be employed dialectically, and the I-AM sayings seem to be in tension with the evangelistís incarnational christology), and they may account for some of the literary perplexities and rough transitions in John. While Bultmannís theory of three underlying sources (a semeia source, a revelation-sayings source, and a Passion narrative), the work of the evangelist, a major disordering of the material, and the reordering and addition of alien material by the redactor has been the most enduring of hypothetical reconstructions, only two aspects of his theory have endured. The signs-source hypothesis has been given sustained life by Robert Fortnaís reconstruction of a "Signs Gospel" thought to be underlying John, and most scholars still believe that an editor (someone other than the Fourth Evangelist) finalized the Gospel of John. Of these two views, however, only the latter is compelling.

When all three types of evidence for Bultmannís inferences of sources is analyzed using John 6 as a test case, the evidence not only shows itself to be non-compelling; it is largely non-indicative (Anderson 1996, 48-136). This is significant because Bultmann and his advocates put forward their views on the basis that they were corroborated by three major types of evidence: stylistic, contextual, and theological. Stylistically, Bultmann argued that the style of the signs-source material was "Semitising Greek," while the style of the revelation-sayings-source material was "Hellenised Aramaic." Such a set of features might be indicative of disparate origins, but when all the stylistic features used in detecting such sources are applied across John 6, the distribution is entirely random. There are more verbs in the action narrative and more abstract nouns in the discourse material, but this does not imply that some material was from Jewish and Greek origins, respectively. All of John is a Jewish form of Greek, and stylistically, the Fourth Gospel comes from a largely unitive cloth.

Contextually, John does have a variety of rough transitions, including: a difference in form between the poetic Prologue and the following narrative, odd geographical transitions between John 4, 5, 6, and 7 (Galilee, Jerusalem, Galilee, Jerusalem), the gap between John 14:31 and 18:1 (where Jesus invites his disciples to depart but does not arrive at the garden until three chapters later), and the following of John 20:31 (an apparent first ending) with chapter 21. A few other aporias exist, but these major perplexities call for some sort of composition theory to account for them. A source hypothesis, however, is not the best way to address these perplexities. A far more plausible approach is to infer a first edition to which supplementary material has been added by an editor.

Theologically, John does have a variety of tensions, but these are best explained on some other basis than inferring a literary dialogue between the evangelist and unconfirmed alien sources. First, Johnís agency Christology, rooted in the Prophet-like-Moses shaliach motif (Deuteronomy 18:15-22) accounts for most of the tension within the Father-Son relationship (Anderson 1996, 221-231; 2001). Second, the evangelist is clearly a dialectical thinker, and he works with issues conjunctively rather than disjunctively (Anderson 1995; 1996, 137-166). This being the case, rather than inferring that the evangelist must have been engaging an alien signs source, he could just as well have been engaging his own tradition dialectically. It is also plausible that he was interested in countering and affirming perceptions within his environment in the way he presents his material dialectically. Third, the Johannine situation was itself in a state of flux, and developing issues within the evangelistís audience and setting would have affected the theological inclinations of the Fourth Gospel. For instance, crises with local Jewish communities evoked emphases upon Jesus being the Jewish Messiah and Son of the Father, whereas slightly later tensions with Gentile Christians over whether Jesus suffered evoked incarnational emphases (Anderson 1996, 194-251). Fourth, a variety of literary features used to draw the reader into the Johannine Gospelís material may also have created theological and contextual tension. Such features as irony and the misunderstanding dialogue, for instance, would have created some of the tensions in John (Anderson 1996, 104-107, 221-226; 1997, 17-24).

The best way to explain Johnís perplexities with a minimal amount of speculation is to adopt a modification of Barnabas Lindarsí composition theory. A first edition of John appears to have been gathered around 80-85 CE, about a decade after the finalization of Mark. It apparently began with the ministry of John the Baptist (as did Mark) and closed with John 20:31, declaring why the Gospel had been written. John 5 originally went into John 7, as the healing of the paralytic on the Sabbath is still being discussed, suggesting the likelihood that John 6 was inserted during a later edition of the Gospel. Likewise, John 15-17 appears to have been inserted in between John 14:31 and 18:1, and this material especially shows signs of being later material gathered around the question of how Christ continues to lead the church through the Holy Spirit. Chapter 21 then appears to have been added by the editor, along with Beloved Disciple motifs and some eyewitness-appeal material.

Interestingly, the first-edition material contains virtually all the controversy material between Jesus and Jewish leaders (suggesting Jewish-Christian debates within the Johannine situation), and the supplementary material contains most of the incarnational material in John (suggesting debates with Gentile, Docetizing Christians within the Johannine situation). For these and other reasons, Johnís tradition should be considered not as diachronic with relation to the sources of its material, but it indeed appears diachronic internally in that a first edition seems to be followed by a later and final edition. John was likely finalized around 100 CE after the death of the Beloved Disciple, and the editor (plausibly the author of the Johannine epistles) apparently prepared this work as a manifesto of Jesusí original intentionality for the church. Rather than inferring a dialectical relationship between the Johannine evangelist and a Mark-like source (whose features had hypothetically been "de-Markified" and subsequently "re-Johannified"), the more likely inference is that the Johannine tradition itself was engaged in an intertextual dialogue with other Gospel traditions, and in particular, Mark. This dialogue between Johannine and Markan traditions can be plausibly inferred during the oral stages of Johnís tradition, and likewise within Johnís first edition and supplementary material. Conversely, engagements with Johnís tradition may be inferred within the pre-Markan material, and likewise within the Gospel of Mark and its second ending.

4) Not an Isolated Independence, but an Engaged Autonomy. Just as simplistic views of Johnís dependence upon Mark or any other source fail to account for the robust and autonomous way John tells its own story of Jesus, regarding John as isolated and independent likewise overstates the evidence. True, Gardner-Smith shows multiple cases in which John is pervasively different from Mark and the other Gospels, leading most scholars to adopt a view of Johnís thoroughgoing independence. Indeed, if the Fourth Evangelist was intimately acquainted with Mark, his multiple departures from Mark might imply not only a dialogue between the two traditions, but oneís disagreement, and even displacement, of the other. This is certainly one of the reasons some scholars have adopted an independent theory of John with relation to the Synoptics, but implications ought not to displace evidence in the selection and application of composition theories. Further, if dialogues indeed existed between Gospel traditions Ė including corrective as well as complementary ones Ė an authentic understanding of the intended messages of these works will clearly be enhanced. As a great number of contacts also exist between the Markan and Johannine traditions, autonomy should not be taken for isolated independence proper.

Another view that has come under recent criticism is the relegating of Gospels to particular communities thought to be isolated from each other. While Gospel traditions indeed betray features of the particular settings in which they emerged, including community issues and crises, this is not to say that they were necessarily isolated from other traditions. This being the case, if Mark were finalized first and were read in various meetings for worship, it is hard to imagine that it would have been long confined to a singular community. It may also be the case that written Gospel traditions were engaged more often as public oral deliveries rather than being read privately as written documents. While Matthean contacts with Mark offer the strongest evidence of a text-dependent relationship between the Gospels, with Lukeís Markan contacts being next in line, this is not to say that Johannine-Markan contacts emerged in the same way. Indeed, the first edition of John would have been the second Gospel produced in written form (assuming Luke and Matthew were written in the 80ís and 90ís), and it may even have had readers of Mark in mind. Both in the Markan-Johannine similarities as well as the Markan-Johannine differences, aspects of interfluentiality and intertextuality may to some degree be inferred. While the autonomous voice of a particular Gospel tradition merits its full weight, assuming either a basic or eventual isolationist appraisal of Gospel traditions is fallacious.

Despite its pervasive autonomy, the Johannine tradition was also engaged with each of the other Gospel traditions, but each of these contacts had its own history and character. Upon overly vague theories of Johnís "relation to the Synoptics" in general have many hypotheses foundered. While all the evidence for the following assertions cannot be listed here, a summary of inferences from the evidence is as follows: a) The relation of Johnís tradition to Markís was interfluential, augmentive, and corrective. During the oral stages of the pre-Markan and the early Johannine traditions, traditional stories were heard by the tellers of these traditions, and Mark and John show signs of contact during the oral stages of these traditions. This would account for many of the textual similarities between John and Mark, which characteristically represents details of places and events common to oral narration and illustration. 200 and 300 denarii, the much/green grass at the feeding, the name of the place of the crucifixion, and other details are common to Mark and John alone. For whatever reason, these details were omitted from Matthewís and Lukeís redactions of Mark, and if they had access to Mark as a written text, we may infer they are the sorts of details omitted from the use of a written text. Conversely, they resemble features characteristic of orality, and they may even represent the sorts of nonsymbolic detail employed within oral renderings of events in the ministry of Jesus. Given the fact that oral traditions would have received and given influence, the relationship is best considered an interfluential one.

When the first edition of John is considered alongside Mark, another set of insights emerges. First, this edition has only five signs in it (excluding John 6 and 21 as later additions), and strikingly, none of these are to be found in Mark. This suggests an augmentive function, which may even have motivated the organizing and selection of material in the first edition of John. If something like this were the case, many of the problematic aspects of Johnís differences and similarities with Mark cease to be as troubling as they might have otherwise seemed. Whereas Matthew and Luke eventually built upon Mark, John built around Mark. Given this likelihood, the first two signs done in Cana of Galilee serve to fill out the earlier ministry of Jesus, augmenting the events narrated in Mark 1. Likewise, the other three signs are Judean, and along with Jesusí many trips to Jerusalem, these narratives complement the limitedly Galilean provenance of Jesusí Markan ministry. In a somewhat different way, the Johannine rendering of the Passion narrative reaffirms the Markan presentation, while at the same time adding details and theological insights along the way. The fact of Johnís non-concentric overlapping of Markís Gospel narrative may even be inferred in the first part of Johnís original conclusion. As a proleptic assault upon a familiar criticism, this sentence may be rendered as a maker of intertextuality: "(Yes, I know that) Jesus did many other signs that are not written in this book (but are indeed written in the book of Mark), but these are written that you might believeÖ" (Jn. 20:30f.). In building around Mark, the first edition of John augments and reinforces it.

A third aspect of this relationship, however, must also be considered, in that John presents some events and themes in a radically different light than does Mark, and this suggests a corrective to some aspects of Mark. Most striking is the presentation of the Temple cleansing at the beginning of Jesusí ministry rather than at the end. While many scholars infer a theological reason for the Fourth Evangelistís having done so, such a view is problematic. The reference to Jesusí having done other signs before the healing of the officialís son reflects the perception that the Temple cleansing was indeed an earlier event (not just a theological construction); and, the fact that the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem are already willing to put Jesus after the otherwise innocent healing of the paralytic suggests that the Fourth Evangelist indeed had chronology in mind in locating the event early. Conversely, Markís arrangement of the early, middle and later Jesus material into a progressive narrative need not have been ordered by chronological knowledge or concerns. Mark presents Jesus as attending Jerusalem only once during his ministry, and he ministers for less than a year in Mark. Do such features of the Markan narrative betray historical knowledge and judgment, or are they factors of editorial clumping of all Jerusalem events and judgment teachings at the end? Since Matthew and Luke followed Mark, should these moves should be understood as results of redaction rather than corroborations of historiography against John? The skeptical regard for such a possibility might ask why, if Markís rendering was not ordered to chronology, did not a first-century voice seek to set the record straight? The point is that this is precisely what John appears to have done, and Johnís first edition may even have been the first written response to Mark. Such a likelihood is also corroborated by Papiasí citation of John the Elder, who opined that Mark got down Peterís testimony adequately and faithfully, but in the wrong order. If this person was also the Johannine redactor, his view would likely have been that the Beloved Disciple (whose witness is true) has set the record straight. Thus, John poses a corrective to Mark, and this inclination extends also to several aspects of theological interpretation.

b) Johnís relation to Luke is formative, "orderly," and theological. While many scholars have approached the particular Johannine/Lukan connections by inferring a common source between Luke and John, no such source exists, and neither are there any traits between the Third and Fourth Gospels suggesting particular evidence of a common source between them. Likewise weak is the view that because John is held to have been finalized latest among the canonical Gospels, contacts between John and Luke must imply Johnís dependence upon Luke. The lengthy sections of distinctively Lukan material (Lk. 1-2 and 10-18) have very few contacts with John, and such theories are notably weak on evidence. A much stronger thesis, however, is that Luke had access to the Johannine tradition, probably in its oral form, and in that sense, Johnís tradition can be said to have had a formative impact on Lukeís.[8]

Several sorts of evidence corroborate such a view: first, at least three dozen times Luke departs with Mark and sides with John. Many of these agreements reflect familiarity with the sorts of detail characteristic of the Johannine rendering of events: the "right" ear of the servant is severed, at the Transfiguration of Jesus they "beheld his glory," at the last supper Satan entered Judas, etc. Another sort of contact suggests Lukeís preference for the Johannine ordering of things: one feeding is mentioned instead of two, only once is the sea crossed, Luke moves the confession of Peter to follow the other feeding, and all of these moves betray a preference for Johnís rendering over Markís. At times Luke appears to add Johannine units of material, including the sisters Mary and Martha, a Lazarus figure with an after-death experience, a great catch of fish, and several other impressive similarities. One of the most striking similarities involves Lukeís departure from Markís presentation of the anointing of Jesus head, moving the action to the anointing of his feet. Why might Luke have made such a less likely move without traditional justification? The best answer is to infer that Luke may have had access to Johnís rendering of these events, and his adding of the much forgiven and indebted woman may even betray a mistaken association resultant from the contact being an aural one. Luke may have mistaken one Mary for another, a possible indicator of oral/aural access to the Johannine rendering. Because of the number of times Luke departs from Mark and sides with Johannine renderings of events, a specific source of Lukeís "orderly account" constructed upon reports of "eyewitnesses and servants of the Logos" may be suggestive of his use of the Johannine tradition as a conscious source.

Finally, the heightening of theological themes in Luke/Acts having particularly Johannine inclinations is worthy of mention. The prominent place given to women, Samaritans, and the work of the Holy Spirit may have had a traditional derivation for Luke, and given Lukeís apparent dependence upon the Johannine tradition in other ways, the same may have been a source of at least some of Lukeís prominent theological distinctives. The fact that some of these and other Johannine features carry over into Acts suggests a broader access to Johannine material than a text-specific relationship might have implied. Another feature demanding critical engagement is the fact that Luke cites a typically Johannine theme in direct association with John the Apostle (see Ac. 4:19-20; I Jn. 1:3). While this striking contact cannot be developed fully in this essay, it moves the association a full century before Irenaeus, and it has been completely overlooked in the secondary literature. Indeed, Luke may have been misguided or even wrong, but the connecting of a Johannine motif with an apostolic source in the late first century here approximates a fact. The point is that such an association, combined with multiple preferences for Johannine renderings over Markís, confirms Lukeís dependence upon the Johannine tradition for his "orderly" account.

c) Some of the contacts between John and the Q tradition also suggest Qís dependence upon the Johannine tradition. Of course, the contacts could have gone the other way also, but some of the particular contacts are more characteristically Johannine. In particular, the "bolt out of the Johannine blue" (Matt. 11:25-27; Lk. 10:21-22; Jn. 3:31-36; 13:3; 17:2) seems to bear particularly Johannine features of agency within the Father-Son relationship.[9] This contact is especially significant if Q were indeed an early tradition. It corroborates the view that Johnís tradition was early and engaged with other traditions within the first decade or two of the Christian movement. Another option, of course, is the view that this tradition in Q came from a non-Johannine source, but that would only confirm the likelihood that Johnís tradition was nearly identical to a parallel primitive tradition, thereby bolstering its own primitivity. The best inference to make, however, is that the Q tradition has incorporated particularly Johannine motifs, suggesting contact within the oral stages of their respectively early traditions.

d) Contacts between the Johannine and Matthean traditions suggest a variety of engagements that were dialectical, reinforcing, and corrective between the two traditions. In particular, the sorts of material added by Matthew to Mark show features of being organized for discipleship formation, convincing Jewish family and friends that Jesus was indeed the Jewish Messiah, and bolstering the formation of the emerging church. On these themes the Johannine tradition also shows similarities and differences with the Matthean tradition, and some of these intramural dialogues may have been reinforcing, while others may have been corrective. In particular, emphases upon Jesusí being the Jewish Messiah who was authentically sent from the Father is a common rhetorical interest of these two Jewish Christian traditions. Emphasis upon Jesusí authentic agency from God brings to bear the Prophet-like-Moses motif rooted in Deuteronomy 18:15-22, and such a motif was likely a topic of debate within Jewish/Christian discussions during the Jamnia period. Matthew and John also make use of common Scripture passages to explain the disappointing reception of Jesus as predicted by the Prophet. In these ways, they reinforce Christian witnesses to Jesus as the Jewish Messiah.

Another way in which these traditions appear to engage each other is in regard to the setting up of the church. Matthewís Jesus sets up structures for positional leadership and for accountability (Matt. 16:17-19; 18:15-20), while Johnís Jesus appears to engage these institutionalizing moves dialectically, and even correctively.[10] For instance, when parallels with the above passages are considered in John, an impressive set of alternative presentations emerge. a) Rather than presenting Peter as the only one making a christological confession, John presents Nathanael and Martha as making striking confessions (and Thomas too) while neither is one of the twelve, and Martha is a woman. b) Blessedness in John is not a factor of having made the correct confession, but it results from heeding responsively the word of Jesus and being willing to believe, even without having seen. These Johannine macarisms are connected with active discipleship rather than the correctness of a confession. c) Peter is portrayed as "returning the keys of the Kingdom" to Jesus in John 6, where he emphasizes that Jesus alone has the words of eternal life. d) Likewise, the Beloved Disciple becomes a model for authentic discipleship, and he is entrusted not with instrumental keys, but the mother of Jesus, as a marker of ecclesial authority that is familial and egalitarian rather than instrumental and hierarchical. e) Apostolicity in John is regarded as normative for all disciples, not just a narrow few, and in John 20:21-23 Jesus imparts the Holy Spirit to his followers, commissions them with the authority with which he has been sent from the Father, and gives them also the responsibility to be forgivers of sins. f) Finally, the risen Christ continues to lead the church through the Holy Spirit, available to all believers seeking to abide in Christ.

In these ways, the Johannine and Matthean traditions appear to have been engaged in a dialectical set of discussions, but it would be incorrect to assume that Johnís corrective thrust was aimed at the text of Matthew in particular. Indeed, Matthewís tradition shows signs of being familial and egalitarian, as well as institutionalizing, and it shows sensitivity to community relationships in ways that would not merit a Johannine critique. However, the emergence of structural leadership in the wake of Peterís charismatic authority may have been yoked to church-organizing ways that were experienced adversely by Johannine Christians. Apparently, Diotrephes who "loves to be first" (a claim to primacy rather than a factor of selfishness?) has not only rejected Johannine Christians but has also expelled from his own church those who would take them in (III Jn. 9-10). All it takes is one bad experience to evoke an ideological response, and while the first edition of John shows affinities with Matthewís Jewish/Christian concerns, the supplementary material in John address issues parallel to Matthewís organizational and ecclesial concerns. In these ways, the Johannine-Matthean engagements appear to have been carried on within the oral stages of their respective traditions and over a couple of decades or so.

These sorts of contacts imply levels of interactivity between the Johannine and Matthean traditions, perhaps even extending to Ignatian expressions of church organization and Johannine engagements of these developments as well. Again, Matthean tradition could have accommodated to Johannine critique at several places: for instance, note the way Matthew 18:15-18 is followed by verses 19-20, which emphasize the presence of Christ where two or three are gathered in his name; and this passage is followed by the parable of the unmerciful servant, where Peter himself (and any who would affiliate themselves with him) is required to forgive seven times seventy (Matt. 18:21-35). Whether or not these counterbalancings to structulalizing leadership forms were included as "dog bones tossed to the Johannine critique"[11] or whether they emerge more centrally within the Matthean tradition is impossible to ascertain. What is likely to have been the case, however, is that early Christian communities probably shared a fair amount of interchange, and the similar-but-non-identical contacts between the Johannine and Matthean traditions appear to display at least some level of interactivity, and in that sense, interfluentiality.

5) Not a Historicized Drama, but a Dramatized History. The most significant development in Johannine studies over the last decade or more has been the sustained attention given to literary aspects of Johnís dramatic artistry. Indeed, taking special note of Johnís plot, dramatic presentation of characters, rhetorical features, and literary devices has moved Johannine studies forward in significant ways. Especially significant have been the heightening of Johnís ironic presentations of events and characters and reader-response analyses lending valuable insights into how John communicates what it does. An overly common flaw, however, is the tendency to misconstrue the historical character of the Johannine witness. While Johnís literary attributes are well suited to fictive narrative analysis, more explicitly than any of the other Gospel traditions, canonical and otherwise, John claims to be rooted in events and history. Granted, John is highly theological and spiritualized, but to regard John foundationally as a work of fiction or theological construction is to misjudge its apparent genre. One may even argue that John is flawed in its presentation of Gospel material, but one cannot say that the editor claims his material is anything less than an apostolic tradition founded upon an independent witness to the ministry of Jesus. From the above analysis of the Johannine traditionís pervasive autonomy, especially given its likely engagements with other traditions, this seems a far greater likelihood for John than it would be, say, for Matthew, which stays so close to Mark. In that sense, the independent character of John appears to support the clear opinion of the redactor regarding its authorship.

But what of the non-symbolic, illustrative detail? Was it added by the evangelist to make the narrative more believable, or was it part of the oral traditionís rendering? The opinion of Bultmann and many other scholars is that the evangelist added names, details, and places as an attempt to make the material seem more lively and gripping for an audience more distant and removed from the events themselves. Fair enough; the assumption is also that this is what similar narrators did back then in contemporary, parallel situations. The closest parallels, though, are the three Synoptic Gospels, and here is what one finds upon analyzing Matthewís and Lukeís treatments of Mark: a) Mark tends to have far more graphic, non-symbolic detail than Matthew and Luke do, and in this respect, John is more like Mark than the other two Gospels. b) Further, this is the sort of material that Matthew and Luke tend to omit in their redactions of Mark. If it is held that the Fourth Evangelist added detail to an existing source, or simply has added detail for effect, this goes against the two closest examples where a later tradition is re-crafting an earlier tradition (Mark) for later audiences (Matthew and Luke). Matthew and Luke indeed add units of material, but by and large, they omit names and details, appearing to condense and summarize material, when incorporating a Markan unit. Therefore, if John indeed worked in ways similar to its closest literary parallels, the inference of Bultmann and others is dead wrong. Johnís graphic and illustrative features imply a narrative that is not a historicized drama, but a dramatized history (Anderson 1996, 170-193). In that sense, Mark and John are most similar, and the likely inference is that they betray proximity to oral stages of Gospel material narration rather than distance.

As the above analyses suggest, Johnís relation to other Gospel traditions is an important topic to address well, and yet our discussions have been poorly served by misappropriations of Ockhamís razor. The disjunctive forcing of a choice between one theory or another may be applicable with relation to a philosophical matter, but the Fourth Gospel was probably 70 years in the making, and its relation to other traditions was dynamic and interactive rather than static. Given the vast set of variables, even those suggested by the data contained in the Gospel texts themselves, a monofaceted theory of "Johnís relation to the Synoptics" is doomed to failure because of the complexity of life itself. Rather, Johnís relation to each of the Gospel traditions was interactive and developmental, between oral and written forms of traditions, including distinctive features within varying literary layers of these texts. This being the case, and intertextual approach poses the most helpful way forward because it is the most adequate way to account for the literary facts from a historical-critical perspective. This is especially the case when assessing the relationships between the Markan and Johannine traditions

II. Mark and John Ė A History of Multi-Dimensional Intertextual Engagement

When considering, therefore, the history of engagement between the Markan and Johannine traditions, we must inquire how the relationship emerged at different stages in these two traditionsí development. As mentioned above, this relationship appears to be characterized by three sorts of engagement: interfluentiality, augmentation, and correction. And, this history of engagement appears to have occurred not simply on one level of composition history, but on all three levels of both Gospels: oral development, the first edition, and supplementary material added later. This being the case, the history of Johnís and Markís intertextual engagement was multi-dimensional, and it may be inferred on at least six literary levels.

1) Bi-Optic Developments of Pre-Markan and Early Johannine Traditions. A prevalent flaw in many traditionsgeschichlich analyses is the notion that there was ever a time that the Jesus movement was characterized has having a singular and unified view about important aspects of Jesusí teachings and ministry. Upon such a shaky foundation many Gospel-relations constructs have been attempted (often only proceeding by eliminating Johannine tradition from the mix), but this approach is doomed to failure. While Gospel perspectives indeed evolved and developed in the course of early Christian history, significantly different perceptions and interpretations can be inferred between the Markan and Johannine traditions, and these parallel trajectories deserve at least a cursory mention. Indeed, outright differences abound, but what is most interesting is the number of similar-yet-different presentations of Jesus in Mark and John, which suggest alternative memories of Jesus, not disproving their connections with Jesusí ministry, but quite possibly suggesting them. While a thorough analysis is beyond the scope of the present paper, consider at least the following bi-optic parallels:

Intertextual Implications: Indeed, other parallel-yet-distinctive emphases could be outlined between the Markan and Johannine traditions, but these are some of the major categories of individuated perspectives suggesting two autonomous traditions. The fact that differences accompany similar themes and accounts bolsters, at least potentially, the authenticity of these traditions, although development within each of them is also beyond debate. Some aspects of these individuated perspectives may even have originated in differences of first impressions, and even among Jesusí followers his provocative words and deeds may have been perceived variously from the start. A strong likelihood also exists that the formation of traditional teaching about Jesus was patterned after the particular ministries of particular preachers, and material would have been crafted to address the needs of audiences and their contexts. While the pre-Markan material may have developed in form-specific ways (collections of sayings and collections of actions), the Johannine tradition appears to have developed with signs and sayings more thoroughly integrated. Some exceptions can be found, but this difference is a significant one to consider when interpreting the Markan and Johannine traditions. Regarding intertextuality, the relation of authors (in this case, preachers) to the hero (Jesus) is a dialogical one. Not only are they telling stories of Jesus, but they are furthering their own ministries and seeking to encourage later communities by means of their accounts.

2) Interfluential Engagement Between the Oral Stages of the Pre-Markan and Early Johannine Traditions. During the oral developments of these two traditions, there indeed may have been some contact between them. C. K. Barrett and other scholars have noticed the contacts between John and Mark on the level of many linguistic similarities, and yet none of them are entirely identical. The most feasible conjecture from these similarities is to infer contact during the oral stages of their respective traditions, and this being the case, influence could have traveled in both directions; hence "interfluence" as a critical consideration. At the very least, we probably have two preachers who are familiar with how the other tells stories of Jesusí ministry. Buzz words, memorable phrases, and graphic details characterize these contacts, and these are precisely the sorts of features that Matthew and Luke leave out of their redactions of Mark. Of course, it is also possible that these contacts simply reflect parallel renderings of recollected events and details in the ministry of Jesus, but some of them reflect later impressions or reflections. For instance, the introduction of Isaiah 40:3 and 6:9-10 serve interpretive functions, and sometimes they allude to later events in the life of the church, such as Jesusí baptizing with the Holy Spirit. Another possibility is the fact that details may have been passed on from, and received by, a multiplicity of oral sources, but these possibilities would still locate the contacts within the developing oral pre-Markan and early Johannine traditions. This being the case, several examples of likely interfluential contacts are as follows:

Intertextual Implications: Obviously, it is impossible to ascertain the particular origins of this similar-yet-different material in John and Mark, but it is likely that at least some degree of interfluential contact between these traditions during the formative stages of their development accounts for the contacts. Again, what is significant is the degree of difference despite the similarities, and for this reason, contact during the oral stages of their respective traditions seems the most plausible inference. Interestingly, this particular sort of detail is often omitted in Matthewís and Lukeís redactions of Mark, and given the fact that John and Mark share another striking distinctive between them Ė they translate Aramaic names and phrases into Greek Ė they betray not only traces of orality, but contacts with Aramaic renderings of the ministry of Jesus which are translated and explained for later, Greek-speaking audiences. Of course, contact may have emerged indirectly between traditions, and hearsay impressions would be engaged as readily as more direct contacts between preachers. Here, matters of answerability come into play. Life speaks to art and art speaks to life, and they have their integration within the life of the person. Even if a preacher or writer has his or her own story to tell, being confronted with other renderings of similar events evokes a dialectical process that is internal as well as external: how does one incorporate or reject alternative renderings within oneís own reality? In the above examples, contact may be inferred, and interfluence of detail may be inferred to have accompanied the polyphonic renderings of Jesus material at work within these early Gospel traditions.

3) The Compiling and Circulation of Mark: The Preservation of Apostolic Ministry. The prevalent opinion among scholars that Mark was finalized around 70 CE is a solid basis on which to proceed, and what can be inferred about this first completed Gospel is the innovative way it integrates stories about Jesus with his teachings, miracles, and deeds, culminating in the Passion events and Jesusí death and resurrection. In that sense, Mark has been organized in a way that has a clear beginning, middle, and end; but what sort of project was the gathering of this first Gospel? Hellenistic and Jewish biographies offer some parallels, but Mary Ann Tolbertís view that Mark is written to exhort those undergoing persecution and hardship, and to evangelize prospective believers, makes a good deal of sense in that it points to the central rhetorical concern of the narrative.[12] The Second Evangelist also deserves to be seen as a collector of Jesus traditions, crafting them into a narrative whole, probably designed to be read publicly in meetings for worship.[13] While the question of Markís sources cannot be addressed adequately within the present essay, a point deserves to be made: the oft-contested view of Papias, that Mark contains at least some of Peterís preaching Ė preserved in accurate-yet-disordered form Ė is not, in and of itself, contrary to the historical and literary critical facts as we have them; nor is it implausible that such a tradition should have been preserved in a collection such as Mark. Indeed, there are good historical-critical reasons for inferring a Petrine tradition behind the Markan project, and the considered judgments of such scholars as Martin Hengel and others on the matter are indeed weighty.[14] On the other hand, even if someone like Peter did play a role in forming the pre-Markan material, Mark undoubtedly gathered material from additional sources, so we are left, finally, with a text to be engaged, whatever its origins or destinations might have been.

One of the things that has been overlooked, however, is that the testimony of Papias is presented as the memory of John the Elder about the composition of Mark! He may have been misguided, or even wrong, but in the light of our intertextual interest, this connection to an even putative Johannine context merits investigation. Consider, for instance, the following explanation of Markís origin and development as representing a Johannine opinion on the matter (Eusebius, The History of the Church 3:39):

This, too, the presbyter [John] used to say: ĎMark, who had been Peterís interpreter, wrote down carefully, but not in order, all that he remembered of the Lordís sayings and doings. For he had not heard the Lord or been one of His followers, but later, as I said, one of Peterís. Peter used to adapt his teachings to the occasion, without making a systematic arrangement of the Lordís sayings, so that Mark was quite justified in writing down some things just as he remembered them. For he had one purpose only Ė to leave out nothing that he had heard, and to make no misstatement about it.í

Notice, from this outline, a second-century opinion as to the compilation of Mark which is replete with Johannine/Markan intertextual implications: a) A follower of Paul (not a follower of Jesus) and interpreter of Peter sought to preserve the memory of Peterís teachings about Jesusí sayings and works. b) Markís work was "conservative" in that he sought to preserve apostolic material, not wanting to leave anything out, and also wanting to represent it faithfully. c) Peterís teachings were adapted to the needs of the church, rather than representing a full and systematic rendering of Jesusí ministry. d) The arrangement itself, though, was Markís (not Peterís), and from this Johannine perspective, at least some of the material was written in the wrong order.

For some reason, scholars rejecting the Papias tradition because it is (in their view) traditional-and-therefore-suspect have failed to note the deconstructive aspects of the association: Mark is claimed not to have been a direct follower of Jesus (if Papias had been wanting to bolster Markís authority he could just as easily concocted a first-hand author as the source of the material); and, the non-systematic and wrongly ordered sequence of Mark would not have been concocted by a writer seeking to bolster this Gospelís authority upon para-traditional grounds. Conversely, conservative scholars happy to highlight the association with Peter completely overlook the fact that Papias poses three serious critiques regarding the Markan project: the material is second-hand, not first-hand; neither Peter nor his interpreter posed a systematic account of Jesusí ministry, but theirs is an occasion-evoked rendering; and while Mark preserved the material faithfully, it is out of the correct order. This being the case, consider the following schema for Markís preservation of Jesus tradition collected from the likes of Peter and others:

Intertextual Implications: As a compilation of Jesus material, Mark tells the story of Jesus powerfully and graphically, seeking to preserve material that was rendered before him. Much of the ordering of material appears to have been rooted in his own design for how the story of Jesus progressed toward the Christ events, and readers are invited to follow the way of the cross as it pertains to their emerging situations. Some of the most fascinating implications for intertextuality in Mark pertain to aspects of discipleship, especially when the Johannine tradition is drawn in as a partner in dialogue. First, Jesus invites people: "Follow me" (interestingly, the same invitation given to Peter by Jesus in John 21:19 and 22), and despite involving a cost, it is presented as the worthy choice to make. Second, disciples are challenged to serve one another Ė not seeking to lord it over others Ė and the sons of Zebedee are cited as targets of Jesusí deconstructive admonition. Third, the martyrdom of the sons of Zebedee is predicted in Mark, and they are labeled with the projective boanerges appellation (Mk. 3:17). Fourth, the role of "the Twelve" is heightened, with Peter serving as chief of the apostles, and he makes the primary confession and denials of Jesus. In these sorts of ways, not only are the situations of later Christians addressed, but the who and how of that addressing is developed intertextually.

4) The First Edition of John: A Bi-Optic Alternative to Mark. Not only does the Johannine tradition reflect an autonomous perspective on the ministry of Jesus, but the preparation of the first edition of John (probably around 80-85 CE) appears to have been crafted Ė at least to some degree Ė with Mark in mind. This is not a new view, but its development deserves attention in the light of the larger set of intertextual interests. Coming to his views independently from my own, Richard Bauckham recently wrote an essay on the Johannine/Markan relationship that is rife with implications. In raising the question of Johnís being rendered for readers of Mark, he thrust onto the platform for discussion the likelihood that inter-Gospel dialogism was built into the very fabric of Johnís design and circulation. In that sense, it is argued that John was crafted as public document rather than an intramural one. While other texts bear similar potential for exploration, Bauckham worked primarily with two parenthetical explanations suggestive of Johnís intentional complementarity to Mark. John 3:24 ("For John had not yet been thrown in to prison.") is thought to correct Mark 1:14, where Jesusí ministry is presented as beginning only after John had been imprisoned; and John 11:2 (Mary is identified as the person who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair) makes the connection with the anointing of Jesus by an unnamed woman who did similar anointing in Mark 14:3-9. Certainly, this approach to an intertextual complementarity fits the facts of the texts better than strict dependence or source-critical approaches. And yet, this relationship deserves to be developed further.

At least five features can be observed in the apparent relation of the first edition of John when considered with Mark in mind: following several patterns in Mark, augmenting Markís narrative with additional material, considered omissions, correctives in terms of order and sequence, and dialectical presentations in terms of theology and emphasis. Of course, every similarity and dissimilarity need not imply traditional contact, and given the earlier history of the Johannine tradition, the relationship could have moved from John to Mark at places, but the following outline seeks to make sense of the textual facts in the most plausible way possible. Hence the extensive background developed above and the following similarities and differences suggest several ways that John builds around Mark.

A) Following Markan Patterns Ė respecting the larger features of Markan priority. While it cannot be assumed with certainty that John followed particulars of Markís Gospel narrative, John does follow within the genre that Mark created. While considerable differences exist, the following similarities make one suspect that the first edition of John respects Markan patterns and that these may have provided something of a pattern for the Fourth Evangelist. Consider these similarities between Mark and John:

B) Augmentations of Mark Ė John apparently seeks to add to the Markan witness in ways that lead the reader to faith (Jn. 20:30-31). When the first edition of John is considered on its own, it becomes apparent that the five miracles therein presented are all non-duplicative additions to the miracles in Mark. Likewise, the major I-AM sayings of Johnís Jesus are notably missing from Mark, and other material seems to have filled out the Markan presentation of the Gospel. Especially at Johnís first two miracles do we see an explicit mention of the attempt to include earlier material than what was used to introduce Jesusí ministry in Mark, and John fills out Judean aspects of Jesusí ministry in ways that suggest an augmentive complementarity:

C) Considered Omissions Ė These are the sorts of things left out if one has oneís own story to tell. Deducing anything from silence is always a risky business. The Johannine Evangelist, however, must have left out some important material if he knew Mark. Certainly, he makes the point at times that something did not happen (despite the apparent emergence of teachings to the contrary), as it is emphasized in John 4:2 that Jesus himself did not baptize; only his followers did. Likewise, he clarifies that it is not Judas Iscariot he was speaking about, but the other Judas (Jn. 14:22). An awareness of the likely critique that he has left out some of the material familiar to readers/hearers of Mark is suggested by the proleptic gloss in John 20:30: "Jesus did many other signsÖwhich are not recorded in this bookÖ." Put otherwise, "Yes, I know Mark wrote about those things in his Gospel, but my intention was not to duplicate Mark; rather, I have written these things that you might believe that Jesus is the Messiah/ChristÖ." While the Passion events are covered fully in the Johannine rendering, the Johannine evangelist apparently built around Mark, omitting much of Markís middle section, a likely factor of intentional, non-duplicative complementarity. Consider the following apparent omissions:

D) Corrected Orderings and Presentations of Events Ė The Johannine evangelist seeks to restore proper order to Markís compilation of Jesus material. Such an opinion is attributed to the Johannine Elder by Eusebius, and the following correctives may reflect what he had in mind. Indeed, the presentation of some of these features in John is more realistic than the Synoptic renderings, and such considerations should give us pause before ascribing John to "theology" and the Synoptics to "history" categorically. Mark and John are historical, theological, and literary compositions, and in the light of intertextual considerations, Johnís striking differences with Mark on matters of order and presentation deserve special attention:

E) Dialectical Presentations of Content and Theology Ė John poses an alternative view to some of Markís theological points. Interpretations of Jesusí provocative words and deeds continued to progress dialectically from the moment of an eventís occurrence to the time and setting of the discussants. At times these dual presentations of theological perspective are quite insignificant and easy to overlook, but otherwise, some of them are far more striking. Consider these dialogical presentations:

While any number of the above inferences may be debated, the overall effort to assess the particular character of Markan-Johannine contacts yields considerable fruit. What simple source analyses and dependence theories cannot produce, an intertextual analysis of a multiplicity of conversations between these two traditions Ė on several composition levels Ė offers a much fuller range of possibilities regarding their cross-traditional engagement. It also is not the case that Johnís engagement with Mark was itself monological: either corrective or imitative only. The Johannine response to the Markan written project was more polyvalent than that, reflecting both dialogue and ambivalence (to use Bakhtinís polarities), and while wanting to further the good work Mark had done, the Johannine Evangelist sought also to set the record straight on several matters. Some of the Johannine additions were intended to augment and bolster the Markan narrative Ė filling it out and including alternative material Ė and some of the Johannine contribution appears to have intended to rectify particular aspects of the Markan compilation. This is what Papiasí citation of the Johannine Elderís opinion suggests, and it is borne out when regarding Johnís first edition as having been in dialogue with Mark: Peterís witness was preserved accurately by Mark, but the ordering was somewhat flawed. Whereas Luke, Matthew, and the later Markan interpolator all felt the need to add to Mark by building upon it, John does so by building around it, thus offering a bi-optic alternative.

5) Continued Preaching of the Beloved Disciple and the Finalization of John. While the first edition of the Johannine Gospel was probably finalized a decade or so after the finalization of Mark, the preaching/teaching ministry of the Beloved Disciple did not conclude at 80 CE. Rather, he continued to minister, and like the primary source of Markís tradition, he appears to have preached and taught in ways that addressed the needs of Christians in his region. Whereas earlier Johannine material had sought to address such issues as the place of John the Baptist with reference to Jesus and the relative dearth of the miraculous, later issues addressed include at least four crises that were largely sequential, but somewhat overlapping:

What can be observed in the material that appears to have been part of the earlier and later editions of John is that most of the intense Jewish-authority debates are found in chapters 5, 7-10, and 12 Ė the backbone of the first edition material. Indeed, the primary rhetorical thrust of the first edition of John was to convince Jewish family and friends that Jesus was the Messiah, the Prophet predicted by Moses (Deut. 18:15-22) and authenticated by his revelatory signs and fulfilled words. The emergent crisis with Rome is in the background (see the confession of Thomas as a defiance of Domitianís requirement that he be referred to as Lord and God), but it also appears acute in the later material as well (Jn. 15:18-19; 21:19). Interestingly, however, the supplementary material that has been included in the final edition of John has most of the incarnational motif in John (Jn. 1:14; 6:51-66; 19:34-35), and this should be understood as part of a larger anti-docetic thrust. The same sequence of a Jewish crisis followed by a Docetizing one can be inferred in the Epistles of Ignatius and in I John (see I Jn. 2:18-25 versus I Jn. 4:1-3), and this difference in rhetorical thrust can be inferred between the earlier and later editions of John. This being the case, the call in the earlier material invites the reader to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, while the later material exhorts the community member to remain with Jesus faithfully within the community of faith.

Between these two editions of the Johannine Gospel, the Johannine Epistles were composed by the Johannine Elder (plausibly around 85, 90, and 95 CE), who then served as the compiler and editor of the final edition of the witness of the Beloved Disciple. It is assumed that the Beloved Disciple continued to teach (and perhaps to write), and some of this later material (especially Jn. 6, 15-17, and 21) was added to the first edition along with eyewitness attestations and Beloved Disciple passages. Upon the death of the Beloved Disciple, however, the editor apparently felt it important to bind up the rest of his testimony (at least important parts of it) and to finalize a fourth Gospel to complement the other three. This material does not appear to be influenced by existing Gospel narratives, and this is suggested by John 21:14 (the third post-resurrection appearance of Jesus), which implies Johannine independence from considering other appearance narratives elsewhere. However, not all the material selected for the final supplementation was late-and-only-late. Some of it may have been available earlier but may not have been included in the first edition because of its proximity to Mark (John 6, for instance). This being the case, when considering some of the later material added to John, while some of it reflects later intramural dialogues, some of it also reflects earlier dialogues involving the Johannine and Markan traditions. Consider, therefore, these corrective and dialogical features in the supplementary material:

In the light of the material included in the finalized Gospel of John, the intextuality concerns of the Johannine writers and editors continues to be engaged with the Vorleben and the Nachleben of the Markan project. While some of the material included later seems to have addressed later issues within Johannine Christianity, it also shows signs of having been engaged with the pre-Markan material Ė a dialogue continuing during later decades as well. This is especially true of John 6, where earlier and later material appear integrated into a sustained narrative that may have been rendered over a long period of time. Still, like the rest of the Gospel, John 6 shows signs of an independent tradition that was also engaged with other traditions along the way. The sea-crossing narratives in John 6 and Mark 6 may even be inferred to represent differing sets of first impressions, not just later diverging developments, and such features bolster the view of Johnís autonomy as put forward by the compiler. Whatever the case regarding their historical origins, the literary features of Markan-Johannine intertextuality have continued to intrigue interpreters over the last two millennia, and the same is likely for the future. One more dialogic engagement, however, has yet to be noted.

6) Markís Second Ending and Intertextual Echoes of Johannine Material. The second ending of Mark (Mk. 16:9-20), of course, is not found in earliest texts, and it shows a distinctive style betraying another hand. What is interesting for the present study, however, is that the second ending of Mark, as well as containing some Lukan and Matthean features, also contains several Johannine features, suggesting that the finalized edition of John has now impacted the interpolated version of Mark. Notice these familiar Johannine features that have been used now to augment Markís first ending:

Aspects of Markan/Johannine intertextuality may accurately be inferred on at least six levels of their traditional contacts, and particular themes and concerns may be inferred on some levels more acutely than others. On the oral stages of their traditions an interfulential set of relationships suggests contacts evoked by preachers hearing ways that other preachers were telling the story of Jesus. Some of these details and phrases become utilized in other places and ways, but such "departures" suggest ways that oral/aural intertextuality functions. An impression leads to an association, which then becomes added to narration. Johnís first edition, then, demonstrates a pervasive complementary to Mark, and this set of engagements involved constructive and deconstructive intertextual dialogues. Such moves appear to reflect a dual sense of apostolic traditional origin, and this feature motivates at least some of the engagement from the Johannnine perspective. By the time the final editings have been added to John and Mark, interest in including intertextual material can be inferred. Nonetheless, long-term dialogues on important issues are also included in the finalization of John, for instance, and some of those engagements with the Markan tradition surface a couple of decades after the first edition of John had appeared.

In these and other ways, the above construct attempts a far deeper and extensive history of engagement between the Markan and Johannine traditions than standard source analyses have yielded. In the above analysis the transposition of ideas and semeiotic impressions can be seen as working back and forth between Gospel traditions, and also building bridges between the needs of later audiences and their subject: Jesus. Of course, many of the specific points may not be entirely convincing, but the evidence is at least worth considering, and even if the particular history of engagement remains a question, the intertextual character of the relationship may still be explored otherwise. As Julia Kristeva put it in her essay, "Revolution in Poetic Language" (1986, 89-136):

The term intertextuality denotes this transposition of one (or several) sign-system(s) into another; but since this term has often been understood in the banal sense of Ďstudy of sourcesí, we prefer the term transposition because it specifies that the passage from one signifying system to another demands a new articulation of the thetic Ė of enunciative and denotative positionality. If one grants that every signifying practice is a field of transpositions of various signifying systems (an intertextuality), one then understands that its Ďplaceí of enunciation and its denoted Ďobjectí are never single, complete and identical to themselves, but always plural, shattered, capable of being tabulated. In this way polysemy can also be seen as the result of a semiotic polyvalence Ė an adherence to different sign-systems. (p. 111)

III. Mark, John, and Answerability

In one of his early essays, "Art and Answerability," Mikhail Bakhtin describes the relation between art and life as a dialogical one wherein each reaches to the other, finding its integration in the perception and experience of the human being. Indeed, if art is too lofty, too unattainable, it fails to grasp the stuff of life and is, in turn, rejected by life. Conversely, if life becomes all there is without being inspired by the aesthetic and the transcendent, it remains tethered to the mundane and fails to attain its rightful actualization. The integration of life and art comes together within the perceived and experienced realities of the person, but a mechanical union, says Bakhtin, will not do. Only in answerability, wherein art breathes into life and life answers back to art is the integration authentic, and this dialogical process is part of what we have explored in the interfluential history of engagement between the Second and Fourth Gospels.

As the Markan and Johannine evangelists were engaged with the hero of their narratives in aesthetic activity, they had to integrate the art of Jesus traditions beyond their own with their own, and these domains had to be reconciled with lived experience, both prior and contemporary. From the very beginning, Gospel traditions were polyvalent, and their developments were polymorphic. Thus, the development of the bi-optic traditions evolved further into polyphonic renderings of the ministry and teachings of Jesus as forms of artistic renderings were tempered by life, and vice versa. These temperings, however, did not stop with the transmission from an oral art form to a written one, and this can be seen in the continuing development of the Markan and Johannine traditions toward the finalized pieces we have today. And yet, a first word is never first, nor is a last word ever last; for life continues to challenge art, and art becomes yoked to expressing life, leading to answerability. This being the case, the dialogic relationship between the Bi-Optic Gospels continues to evoke a history of answerability as these two narrations invite engagement between them, and of their subject: Jesus. And such is the interest of our present dialogue, as we too become involved in the making of meaning from these ancient texts and their dialogic character.


[1] For full critical analyses of modern Johannine source and composition theories, including Bultmannís composition theories and leading views regarding Johnís relation to Mark and other Synoptic traditions, see Anderson (1996, 33-136).

[2] I have applied several aspects of Bakhtinís philological and form-critical work elsewhere in my treatments of Johnís Christology, the history of the Johannine situation, and levels of dialogue regarding the Johannine text (1996, 195-220; 1997, 1-59).

[3] See my incorporation of James Loderís transformation model and James Fowlerís developmental model regarding cognitive factors in the development of theological content in the Johannine and Markan traditions (1995; 1996, 137-192).

[4] See especially Peter Hofrichterís text (1997). March 2000 an international Symposium was held at the University of Salzburg to discuss Johnís relation to the Synoptics, and three areas of convergence emerged: a willingness to consider Johnís tradition (and perhaps even finalization) as early (thee of the eleven papers placed it before Mark); a movement to see Luke as having used Johannine tradition as one of his sources; and an interest in exploring Johnís particular relation to each of the other traditions.

[5] See my recent essay on the topic: "Mark and John Ė The Bi-Optic Gospels" (2001).

[6] This is the fitting way to proceed, as other than the Passion Narrative, this is the place where the most contacts between John and Mark are found. See Tables 7 and 8 (Anderson 1996, 98-101).

[7] See Tables 10-15 (Anderson 1996, 187-190).

[8] A striking first-century clue to Johannine authorship is discussed in Anderson 1996, 274-277, and this otherwise overlooked detail moves the association of Johannine themes with the disciple John a full century earlier than Irenaeus in 180 CE. This early connection between the Apostle John and a standard, Johannine clichť (Ac. 4:19-20; I Jn. 1:3) approximates a fact and deserves critical attention.

[9] Anderson 2001. See also the emphases in John 13:16 and 20 on the servant not being greater than his master (Matt. 10:24; Lk. 6:40) and the receiving of the sender when one receives the agent (Matt. 10:40; Lk. 10:16) as Johannine passages found also in Q.

[10] See Anderson 1991 and Table #20 in Anderson 1996, 240.

[11] See Anderson 1997, 50-57; and 1999.

[12] Also helpful is Tolbertís inference of four main themes in Mark: Jesus as the sower of the word, good earth and the rocky ground, Jesus as heir of the vineyard, and the death of the heir (1989, 127-288). One wonders, however, if the role of sower is exclusively reserved for Jesus or whether the varied receptions of the Good News are designed to encourage faithfulness given the prospect of apparent failure of evangelistic work.

[13] Indeed, Eusebius (The History of the Church 2:16) proposes that Mark finalized his Gospel in order to perform it as a publicly read document during his ministry tour to Egypt. Beyond this opinion, Mark bears features similar to the presentation of Peterís sermons in Acts (especially Ac. 10:34-43, which relates to I Pet. 2:24; see also the use of Ps. 118:22 in Mk. 12:10-11, Ac. 4:11; and I Pet. 2:4, 7.). Also of interest is the fact that the ministry of Peter in Acts looks a lot like the ministry of Jesus in Mark.

[14] See especially Hengelís treatment of the Papias material in pp. 47-63.

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