And imbued them with a rather specific interpretation such that the statement "There isn't any inconsistency here" is rendered true. Maybe that's the right interpretation, but it doesn't seem to be easily derivable from the text itself.
Perhaps I'm an idiot, but as far as I can tell my original point is still unresolved: within the context of "a single (putative) event described in John chapters 13-17," Jesus receives multiple queries, after which he indicates that he has not received any such queries.
John 13:36 and 14:5 indicate that (grievingly or not) the questions are asked -- those are definitely question marks -- and John 16:5 indicates that Jesus doesn't recognize that the precise question asked of him in 13:36 was in fact asked of him (notice the single quotation marks in Jesus' words, indicating a use-mention distinction, a crucial difference from if Jesus had simply said, "Why isn't anybody asking me where I'm going?").
We may presume in advance the continuity and consistency of the text and thus artificially constrain the set of possible answers here (a nasty habit of most Christians*), but needless to say that wouldn't be a principled move -- plus, it disallows far simpler explanations that are on offer.
Almighty Gnome be with you
*Most atheists have nasty habits of their own, of course
Let me just start by saying that I do not think you are an idiot LOL!! I welcome the questions regardless of the motivation behind them. Sometimes I have answers at my fingertips, other times I have to study. Iíve read these passages a number of times in the past (and again when you questioned them) and never questioned them because I saw nothing to question.
Although not impossible, it's hard for me it imagine that John would not catch an obvious mistake or contradiction in his writing. I have to consider the inspiration and intent behind the writer and give John the benefit of the doubt. Yes, John was a normal guy so I acknowledge the potential for human error regardless of divine inspiration.
I also have to consider the intent of the reader. Is the scripture read by the unbeliever through the lense of "seeking God's truth and purposes for his/her life" or is the unbeliever reading through the lense of "I don't believe this bible crap from the get go, but this bit of text will really stump for those sorry theists". I pray for the first, but most often I'm confronted with the latter.
On the other hand, has the believer read the text at all? If so has the believer truly questioned confusing passages or asked questions about the material? Has the believer prayed over the material, consulted with more mature believers, etc.....about confusing material?
Subjecting material to questioning is a good thing IMHO. Often forces me to deep dive into the material and get to the roots, but sometimes those deep dives arenít necessary. Iíll reach out and see if theologians have any comments on these passages. Iíve never encountered this particular objection before.
I read John 16:5-6 and donít see a contradiction with previous chapters. I see Christ saying, ďFellas, itís time for me to go. A little while back you repeatedly asked where Iím headed, but now youíve stopped asking me that. Now you understand where Iím headed and youíre upset that Iím leaving and that you canít come with me now.Ē Certainly I see the question and the question mark repeated in the verse, but that bit of extra context in the chapter clears up confusion. I think we can agree that it is possible to say someting 3, 4 or 5 different ways and mean the same thing.
Sure, today I read scripture and Iím confident in itÖ.Iím confident in it because of Christ. That wasnít always the case thoughÖ.there were many years of doubt and frustration. The revelation of the Holy Spirit in my life has made all the difference. Iím not suggesting that my opinions are always correctÖ..certainly not the case LOL!! Still, I have confidence in Christ and Christ alone.
And may flying spaghetti monster be with you too!