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745Re: [Synoptic-L] Keramon

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  • Chuck Jones
    Oct 16, 2006
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      I'm embarrassed to admit that the most vivid recollections I have of the external staircase/ladder are from illustrations in Sunday School literature when I was a youth (and we all know how accurate that is!).

      I do think it's important to make a distinction between the courtyard homes of the wealthy and the tiny homes of merchants and craftsmen in towns. These, I understand (from Seminary, not Sunday School!) were quite small--basically one room. The stairs/ladder were outside for reasons of space, cost and construction (the flat roof served basically a patio). Also, it was not uncommon for a small room to be added on the roof to be rented out.

      So one approach is to read the story details and then imagine which sort of house Jesus is pictured as teaching in.


      Jim West <jwest@...> wrote:

      Bob Schacht wrote:

      > Thanks, Jim. Does this show entrance to the roof through an opening in
      > the roof for the stairs?

      Nope. Just a ladder on the outside wall where some industrious looking
      woman appears to be spreading grain to dry.

      > Evidence-- even archaeological evidence-- can be confusing unless one
      > knows more about the context. For example, consider a common courtyard
      > house-- that is, a rectangular compound in which there are walls all
      > around the outside, and access limited to one (or more) door(s), but
      > open to the air in the middle. This has been common in many parts of the
      > Middle East, and many archaeological commentaries on standard house
      > plans take note of it. Then imagine a stairway leading from the
      > *interior courtyard* to the roof. If all you have is a remnant of the
      > compound consisting of the stairway and adjacent parts of the house--
      > but not the other three sides of the compound-- it might look as if the
      > stairway is on the outside exterior, i.e. public side, of the house,
      > even though it was on the inside (courtyard) side, and therefore
      > private. So here we need to know whether "exterior" means the public
      > side, or the internal courtyard side.

      I can't imagine constructing a house within a courtyard and then
      building the stair to the roof on the outside of the compound. That
      makes no sense. If such a stair existed, then it would have been inside
      the compound but outside the house.



      Jim West, ThD

      http://web.infoave.net/~jwest -- Biblical Studies Resources
      http://drjimwest.wordpress.com -- Weblog

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