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Andrew of Bethsaida and the Johannine Circle

The Muratorian Tradition and the Gospel Text


James Patrick

This book is a reading of the text of the Gospel of John in light of a tradition of Johannine authorship represented by the Muratorian Fragment, Papias of Hierapolis, and the Anti-Marcionite Prologue, all which are taken to reflect the influence of a common tradition represented by Jerome, Clement of Alexandria, and Victorinus of Pettau. Taken together these suggest that the Gospel of John was the work of the late first- or early second-century John the Presbyter who mediated the tradition of a distinctive group of Johannine disciples among whom Andrew was most important.


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C H A P T E R F I V E: Brothers: The Anonymity of Love


 C H A P T E R F I V E Brothers: The Anonymity of Love I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. John 3:15 ohn’s Gospel tells an intensely personal story, beginning with one family and one town, kinship and geography being the ties that bind four Galile- ans. The narrative draws upon the witness of the disciples it names, among whom Andrew was chief, the disciple first called by Jesus: “He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’” (John 1:42). Andrew found Peter; and Philip, who was from Bethsaida, “the town of Andrew and Peter,” found Nathanael, who was from Cana, a town perhaps twenty miles southwest of Bethsaida (John 1:29–51). With Thomas, these are the disciples to whom the Gospel attributes significant actions and words, who would have witnessed the events the Gospel records and (the reader is told) many more that were not recorded (20:30, 21:25).1 Jesus of Nazareth, whom these four called Messiah as well as teacher, was the fifth Galilean, born in Bethlehem but reared in Nazareth, a town perhaps ten miles south- west of Cana. The temple familiares would perhaps have been faintly condescending to these Galileans, possessed as they were of politically dangerous, unrealistic messianic expectations, whose very speech attested their residence in the half-Greek borderland of upper Galilee and Gaulanitis (Matt 26:73). That “no great good was...

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