The Muratorian Tradition and the Gospel Text
C H A P T E R T H R E E: Another Tradition
C H A P T E R T H R E E Another Tradition The same night it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles, that with the acknowledgment of all John should write down everything in his own name. Canon Muratorianus, ca. 190 ry as we will, it does not seem possible to go behind Irenaeus.”1 But it is worth a try; even Dodd believed that a distinctive Johannine tradition existed: “Behind the Fourth Gospel lies an ancient tradition independent of the other Gospels, and meriting serious consideration as a contribution to our knowledge of the historical facts concerning Jesus.”2 Raymond Brown, although tending to the traditional view that the Beloved Disciple was John the son of Zebedee, wrote: If these are his memories, they survived even though they were quite often unlike the memories that went into the Petrine kerygma that underlies Mark, and through Mark influenced Matthew and Luke. In other words, John’s historical tradition is something of a challenge to the general tradition shared by the Synoptics. Does it not seem likely that the man behind it would have been a man of real authority in the Church, a man of status not unlike Peter’s?3 There are indeed glimpses in the literature of another tradition that relies on a witness of status not unlike Peter’s. Traces of this tradition are found most clearly in three documents the authority and provenance of which are widely contested: the Muratorian Canon; the early gospel prologues...
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