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Author Topic: Was St John aware of the letters of St Paul?  (Read 397 times)
eschator83
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« on: February 02, 2020, 04:24:28 PM »

From my cellar full of old books, one that I have struggled with many times keeps re-emerging and puzzling me.  The Problem of Jesus, by Jean Guitton, states on page 111 that John would seem to know nothing of Paul; was it possible John was unaware of Paul's existence.  Can anyone comment or suggest something published on this question?  It seems clear Paul had extensive notoriety, first negative, then positive.  But I can't think of any echoes in John of Paul's letters.  I know their intent and topics were very different.  But John was reported to have spent time in Ephesus.   
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Benedict
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 04:36:21 PM »

This is an interesting point, furthermore we can see the difference in emphasis from John's epistles and Paul's. John emphasizes the confession of sins to God in order to be forgiven, where as Paul emphasizes confessing that Jesus is Lord for salvation.
I would say that both John and Paul do emphasizes the primacy of love, and I believe that is where we would see that Apostolic Truth that they both received from Jesus. John and Paul both are against judging one's brother or neighbor, which Jesus Himself taught, Judge not lest ye be judged by the same measure you shall judge.
Saint John, presumably lived in Ephesus with Mary during the time and was the recipient of the Letter to the Ephesians of Saint Paul.
Saint Paul in that Letter to the Ephesians that
17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

I believe that Saint Paul was praying that Saint John would receive a Revelation from Jesus Christ, and this is what we see in the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to Saint John on the Island of Patmos later on.
But this is just a theory that I believe.

Furthermore, we have Paul's witness of John in Galatians 2:9
9  And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

So John and Paul knew of one another and interacted with one another, the Apostles James, Cephas and John committing the Apostle Barnabas to be the companion of Paul, given that Jesus ordered Apostles to operate in two's in order to bear witness fully according to the testimony requirements of the Law.

So while John's Letters do not mention Paul by name, they do not disagree in any particular doctrines or in any way that should concern you.
John the Beloved, James the Just and Peter the Rock are the three most authoritative Apostles, with Paul claiming equality with the "super apostles" probably referring to these three.
Furthermore, as Paul founded Churches that made him a Bishop, and John in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, was commanded to write letters to the 7 Churches in Asia Minor which I believe had been established by Paul.
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eschator83
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2020, 09:54:44 AM »

I am very grateful for your reply, and apologize for not seeing it until just now.  I think St John's Gospel wouldn't very likely reflect St Paul's letters,  but John's letters might, if he was the author, although most of Paul's letters focused on specific church issues.  I think it is generally believed that John was writing more than 50 years after Paul, so common specific issues would probably diminish.
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Benedict
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 11:00:05 PM »

Actually Saint John's Gospel in Chapter 1 9-14
9 That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name.
13 Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


1 Timothy 3:16
And evidently great is the mystery of godliness,
God was manifested in the flesh,
was justified in the spirit,
appeared unto angels,
hath been preached unto the Gentiles,
is believed in the world, is taken up in glory.

1 John 3:23-24
23And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ: and love one another, as he hath given commandment unto us.
24And he that keepeth his commandments, abideth in him, and he in him. And in this we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 Ephesians 3:19
To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge, that you may be filled unto all the fulness of God.

John 1:16
And of His fulness we all have received, and grace for grace.

Colossians 2:9-10
9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporeally;
10And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and power:

Ephesians 1:10
In the dispensation of the fulness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in Him.

1 John 5:13-15
13These things I write to you, that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.
14And this is the confidence which we have towards him: That, whatsoever we shall ask according to his will, he heareth us.
15And we know that he heareth us whatsoever we ask: we know that we have the petitions which we request of him.

Philippians 2:5-11
5For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man.
8He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.
9For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names:
10That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:
11And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

1 Corinthians 1:10
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment.

Galatians 3:14
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus: that we may receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.

1 John 5:1-7
1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. And every one that loveth him who begot, loveth him also who is born of him.
2In this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy.
4For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith.

5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
6This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth, that Christ is the truth.
7And there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one.
8And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one.

Romans 12:21
Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

John 16:33
33These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.

1 John 2:12-14
12I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.
13I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him, who is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one.
14I write unto you, babes, because you have known the Father. I write unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

Romans 3:21-26
21But now without the law the justice of God is made manifest, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.
22Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe in him: for there is no distinction:
23For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God.
24Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus,
25Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins,
26Through the forbearance of God, for the shewing of his justice in this time; that he himself may be just, and the justifier of him, who is of the faith of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:3-10
3Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ:
4As he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in his sight in charity.
5Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will:
6Unto the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he hath graced us in his beloved son.
7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins, according to the riches of his grace,
8Which hath superabounded in us in all wisdom and prudence,
9That he might make known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in him,
10In the dispensation of the fulness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in him.
11In whom we also are called by lot, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel of his will.

Colossians 1:12-14
12Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light:
13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,
14In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins;

Colossians 3:12-15
12Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience:
13Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also.
14But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection:
15And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.

Colossians 2:12-15
12Buried with him in baptism, in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him up from the dead.
13And you, when you were dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh; he hath quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences:
14Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross:
15And despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open shew, triumphing over them in himself.
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eschator83
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2020, 09:46:36 AM »

This is a great list, thanks very much. 
For most of my life I've tried to avoid skepticism, or at least subdue it, by trying to focus (particularly in Scripture) on the concepts I thought I understood and felt comfortable with, moving past difficulties and concerns hoping that on another day I might be wiser or more receptive.  The skepticism arises immediately as I read these selections, but I would like to comment positively even if I must reflect some of the skepticism.  Please do not take offense, and let's consider Shin's recent quotation from St Ignatius of Loyola (to the effect not to dispute, but only to share what appears to be true).
My first observation/interpretation is that St John's surprising statement about all men seems to reflect a similar outlook and excessiveness of expression in Paul.  I don't understand the concept that something has happened to all men, and I wonder why St John and Paul wrote similarly about this (enlightenment comes to every man).  I understand that Jesus' Passion is understood to have provided freedom to try to escape from slavery to sin/emotion/devil, yet most people do not consistently choose to escape, do not consistently repent nor convert, and thus do not receive salvation even though it is said they were saved.
I'm torn between pausing in hope you will comment, or proceeding with further comment.
John's phrase the world knew him not seems stylistically excessive and thus ambiguous.  No one understood Jesus?  very few did?  It seems contradictory to Paul's phrase is believed in the world.
I suspect that you see similarity in these verses (because you listed them in sequence), but I am missing the similarity.
I do see the common thread of "fulness".  I will keep reading, thanks again.
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Benedict
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2020, 10:12:18 PM »

From the Greek for John 1:9 we get
to alethinon phos ho photizei panta anthropon En erchomenon eis ton kosmon
The True Light, who gives light (to) every human, was coming into the world.
In Latin
Erat lux vera, quæ illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum.
Which is rendered roughly
(There) was the Light of Truth, that illuminates all (of) humanity, coming into the world.


Saint Bonaventure, Seraphic Doctor of the Church writes in his commentary on John
John 1:9-14a
THE ADVENT OF CHRIST
It was the true light, that enlightens every person coming into this world.
John now determines the advent of the King and does so by spelling out its characteristics and circumstances. SO he describers the advent of Christ in this order.
First, he notes the reason for [His] coming.
Second, the disdain shown the one coming.
Third, the usefulness or fruit of the coming itself.
Fourth, the manner of the coming [of Christ]
(verse 9). So the reason for coming in the flesh is first mentioned.
The reason is that God himself before the incarnation, although God was the greatest light present for all, was not recognized by the world.
Therefore, the visible effect was that he might become known.
Thus, the text says; "It was the true light", namely, in its essence.
"That enlightens every person coming into this world."
John 8:12 below reads: "I am the light of the world. The person who follows me does not walk in darkness."
This light was present to the world.
Wherefore, the light was in the world by this presence. Wisdom 7:24 SAYS "He reaches everywhere by reason of his purity."
(Verse 10) "He was in the world", which was his effect. For the text continues: "And the world was made through him".
Thus, he could be known through the world.
Wisdom 13:5 states "By the greatness of the beauty and of the creature the Creator of these could be seen as to be known thereby."
But nevertheless, "the world knew him not".
"The world", that is, people of the world, is metonymy.
John 17:25 reads "Just Father, the world has not known you."
This is the reason why Christ came.
Thus Chrystom comments: "Since He was not thought to exist in the world because He was not yet known, He deigned to take on flesh."
(Verse 11) "He came unto his own". Here the Evangelist mentions the disdain shown the one coming, and especially from those who should honor him and from whose nation he assumed flesh.
"He came to his own", that is, he assumed flesh from the nation of the Jews whom he had chosen above all others.
"And his own", that is the Jews, "received him not".
That text does not mean no Jew received him, but that only a few did.
Isaiah 1:2 says "I brought up children and exalted them, but they have disdained me."
The Jews are said to be "His own", because he was from their nation according to the flesh and because he was a descendant of David, who was king in Israel forever.
Another interpretation is "His own" by special election, according to what Deuteronomy 26:18 has: "The Lord has chosen you as a special people."
(Verse 12) "But to as many as received him" This verse treats of the the third point, namely, the fruit or benefit of his very coming, which is the reception of divine sonship.
Since this benefit only extends to those who have received him and believe in him, the text continues: "But to as many as received Him, He gave them the power of becoming children of God."
And this is a great benefit 1 John 3:1 states "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called children of God and such we are."
And there is a great advantage in this Romans 8:17 "If we are sons, we are heirs also: heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ."
So He gave this power of becoming sons of God "to those who received Him."
And since this reception is through faith, he gives this further explication: "To those who believe in His name."
So "He gave to those who received, to those who believe in in His name", that is, in the reality behind His name.
His name is Emmanuel, that is, God with us.
So the person who "believes in His name" is the one who believes that Christ is God and man and is the son of God.
1 John 5:1 states : "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, is born of God."
Now since the children of God only come into existence through spiritual, not carnal, generation,  the text continues
(verse 13) "Who not of blood", that is, by the mingling of seminal fluids.
"Nor of the will of the flesh", that is, of a woman.
"Nor of the will of man", that is, from pleasure and prurience.
"But were born of God." For John 3:6 below says "That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
And 1 Peter 1:23 states "You have been reborn, not from corruptible seed but from incorruptible, through the word of God who lives and abides forever," that is, always.
(Verse 14a) "The Word was made flesh" In this fourth point the Evangelist touches upon the manner of Christ's advent, which was through the assumption of the flesh, in which there was the highest union.
Therefore, the text states "The Word became flesh", that is, united to flesh.
Philippians 2:7-8 reads: "He humbled Himself, taking the form of a slave."
Since this union was without confusion, it was also without division.
Therefore the text continues: "and dwelt among us," that is, in our nature.
"He dwelt"; so he was not transformed.
"He dwelt"l so he was not separated.
About this dwelling Leviticus 26:11 says: "I will place my tabernacle in your midst, and my soul will not cast you off."
And Psalm 75:2 states : "His place has been fashioned in peace and His dwelling in Zion."
"And we saw His glory" Earlier the Incarnation of the Word was considered. Now comes a consideration of the knowledge or manifestation of the incarnate Word.
Now the knowledge of the incarnate Word that the Apostles and believers had, was of both natures.
In their name the Evangelists says: "And we saw His glory", that is, we recognized it: "glory", relative to His divinity.
Wherefore, the text continues: "Glory as of the only-begotten of the Father."
Of this glory 2 Peter 1:17 says : "He received from God the Father the honor and glory, when from out of the majestic glory a voice came down to him..."This is my beloved Son."
Now with regard to His humanity the text says "full of grace and truth".
One should supply "Him" and then read : "we saw Him full of grace and truth."
Now He was "full" since in Him, as Colossians 2:9 reads, "dwells the fullness of divinity in bodily form."
"Full of grace", to blot out sins.
"Full of truth", to fulfill the promises.
Sirach 24:25 states "In me is every grace of life and truth."
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Benedict
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2020, 10:23:14 PM »

Saint Bonaventure also includes Questions which in fact include your question
Question 1 (of 5) concerns John 1:9 "It was the true light, which enlightens every person coming into the world."
For it was said above that some men and women are in darkness.
Therefore, he doesn't enlighten all men and women.
If you say: In so far as He is considered as the light by Himself, then it is asked: If no one can resist God's will, then it is necessary that all be enlightened.

To this Augustine responds thus: "He enlightens every person, that is, no one is enlightened except by Him.
For example If there were in a certain city one sole instructor who taught children, it would truly be said:
He teaches all the children of the city, not all are taught but all of those who are taught, are taught by him."
Bede answers that "[He enlightens] every person, who is enlightened, either by natural genius or by divine wisdom.
For just as no one exists by his own efforts, so too no one can be wise of his own accord, but through the one who illumines, about whom it is written: Sirach 1:1 'All wisdom comes from the Lord God'"
Chrysotom, however, comments : "So how does He enlighten every person? In as far as He is what He is. If those who close the eyes of their minds of their own accord, they do not want to see the rays of this light.
It is not from the nature of the light that it happens that they remain in darkness, but of their own iniquity and of their own accord they deprive themselves of this gift."
Relative to your objection: If He wills it, He does it, it has to be said that absolutely He does not want to enlighten people unless they want to be enlightened.
But He wants all people to be enlightened with His conditional will, as in the case of 1 Timothy 2:4 :God wills that all people be saved."
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 06:25:43 PM by Benedict » Logged

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CRUX SANCTI PATRIS BENEDICTI
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All Glory Be To God!
All Praise Be To God!
For God Is Greater Than All Things!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
Alleluia!
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