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Re: [Synoptic-L] The James Nonsense

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic In Response To: Jeff Peterson On: James From: Bruce There is probably no great profit in exploring differences of taste and opinion. As the Romans
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 16, 2009
      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: Jeff Peterson
      On: James
      From: Bruce

      There is probably no great profit in exploring differences of taste and
      opinion. As the Romans were among the first to notice. I was amused, though,
      to see the point at which Jeff takes up a defense of the prevailing
      English-language way with Iakobos:

      JEFF: I've seen some value in retaining the traditional terminology because
      it disambiguates the two persons for seminary students (meaning one doesn't
      need to say "Jacob, the son of Isaac" or "Jacob, the brother
      of Jesus" to make clear whom one is talking about).

      BRUCE: And how often do sentences come up, which are really ambiguous in
      this sense? My guess would be, Never. The presence in immediate context of
      Esau (or Abraham, or any of that crowd) on the one hand, or of Jesus (or
      Judas, or the rest of them) on the other, is probably going to do any work
      of disambiguation that needs to be done. Handsomely, and without any help
      needed from the speaker of the moment. Nor do our friends at Halle and
      Heidelberg seem to be falling all over themselves in helpless confusion
      between one Jakobus and another. They seem to be getting along OK, the last
      I heard.

      After all, even after we have eliminated the patriarchal Jacob from the
      picture, there are something like six Jacobs left in the NT, to be
      distinguished by a careful speaker. And do we find ourselves constantly
      required by the interest of clarity to say "Jacob [by which I mean, the
      brother of Jesus, not the disciple and son of Alphaeus]?" I would venture to
      guess not.

      There was a second point:

      JEFF: Retaining this usage of course obligates one to be sure students are
      aware that the names are identical in Greek, but if that responsibility is
      discharged I can't see that any great offense has been committed.

      BRUCE: It's not necessarily a matter of offense. And if not, it is a logical
      error to judge the case at the bar of offense. I would see the "James"
      problem more as a subtle undermining of our sense of difference, vis-a-vis
      Jesus and his movement. To say it once more, I think that the recent trend
      toward restoring Jesus's Jewish identity is all to the good (by which I
      mean, all to the historically accurate, insofar as present scholarship can
      judge), and I am pleased to feel that I am myself moving, with the modest
      means at my command, in that direction.

      THE METAQUESTION

      Never mind us: was Jesus himself concerned to distance himself from Judaism?
      Not Paul, whose inner world we have down on paper in more detail than some
      of us need, but Jesus? I think the whole early record goes to show that
      Jesus saw himself as a reformer and a revitalizer within Judaism, not as a
      defector from Judaism. That being so, have we really any business redeciding
      that issue for him?

      Nor, if for some reason we choose to think of "offense," is "Jacob" all that
      offensive to the English-reading public. Ask any literate person (of course
      there may be some problem, these days, in locating one) what line of English
      prose, barring the Biblical, comes most readily to mind when the word
      "Jacob" is mentioned, and odds are you will get

      "In life, I was your partner, Jacob Marley."

      There you are. If the popular writers find that the name "Jacob" may
      suitably be borne by an emblematic messenger of Christian hope (albeit a
      slightly singed one) from another world, who are we to think otherwise?

      ADVERTISEMENT

      I take this opportunity to issue a second call for precedents for "Epistle
      of Jacob" (or equivalent) in English-language scholarly usage. Me and David
      Noel Freedman, the former here standing in for the latter, lately deceased.
      Any responses?

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Dennis Dean Carpenter
      Well, if we look at the Christian Testament as using, as does the Tanakh, cue names, we would not worry about the James nonsense, since Jesus would have been
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 17, 2009
        Well, if we look at the Christian Testament as using, as does the Tanakh, cue names, we would not worry about "the James nonsense," since Jesus would have been (roughly) "God is salvation" and Jacob/James as the one who "followed after." Nah, that would never work! Then, we'd have Simon (hearing) renamed Peter (rock) since he didn't seem to hear or understand Jesus. At that point, the history would become the writers' creations.

        Dennis Dean Carpenter
        Dahlonega, Ga.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • archeboc
        ... What is Judaism ? After your point against James , we should be urged to avoid Judaism . Sure Israel is more accurate, and should be prefered. I agree
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 20, 2009
          > THE METAQUESTION
          >
          > Never mind us: was Jesus himself concerned to distance himself from Judaism?

          What is Judaism ?

          After your point against "James", we should be urged to avoid "Judaism".

          Sure "Israel" is more accurate, and should be prefered.

          I agree that "Jesus, a marginal Israelite", sound less. But why does the other one sound it more ? Does not its cooler flavor come from the confusion about judaism ?

          As a matter of fact, we may even state, with all disclamers due to uncertainties on his actual position, that his deprecation of temple places Jesus amongst the precursor of Judaism.

          a+
          manu
        • E Bruce Brooks
          To: Synoptic In Response To: Emmanuel Fritsch On: Judaism From: Bruce I have the impression that this topic is wearing a little thin. Is anyone doing anything
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 20, 2009
            To: Synoptic
            In Response To: Emmanuel Fritsch
            On: Judaism
            From: Bruce

            I have the impression that this topic is wearing a little thin. Is anyone
            doing anything interesting in NT studies, that they would care to report on?
            However:

            BRUCE (Previously): Never mind us: was Jesus himself concerned to distance
            himself from Judaism?

            MANU: What is Judaism? / After your point against "James", we should be
            urged to avoid "Judaism". Sure "Israel" is more accurate, and should be
            preferred.

            BRUCE: I had somehow received the impression that "Israel" is a geography
            struggling to be a polity, and that "Judaism" is a nexus of beliefs and
            practices associated with, but not analytically identical to, "Israel." It
            is not a question of translating A by B (or not) - both A and B are present
            in the untranslated record.

            I don't think that anyone disagrees that Jesus is to be geographically
            associated with Israel. The question, seemingly raised by the earliest
            relevant materials, is what relationship Jesus has with the abovementioned
            nexus of beliefs and practices. Matthew and Luke, in particular, seem to be
            aware of this question, and they also seem to take somewhat different stands
            on the answer to the question. No?

            Bruce

            E Bruce Brooks
            Warring States Project
            University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          • Bob Schacht
            ... Of course, it depends on what you mean by Judaism . Since the term is both a gentilic and a geographical designation, the issue is compounded from the
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 20, 2009
              At 08:12 PM 4/16/2009, E Bruce Brooks wrote:
              >THE METAQUESTION
              >
              >Never mind us: was Jesus himself concerned to distance himself from Judaism?

              Of course, it depends on what you mean by "Judaism".
              Since the term is both a gentilic and a geographical designation, the issue
              is compounded from the beginning.
              If you identify "Judaism" with the territory of Judah, especially
              Jerusalem, and most especially the Temple, then the Galilean Jesus of
              Nazareth is already marginal. Note, for example, the Judean attitude
              towards Samaritans, their neighbors, and the common supposition that
              Samaritans had distanced themselves from, or were distanced by, Judeans.
              Note also the Biblical, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John
              1:43) Whether Galileans returned the disrespect one doesn't know for sure,
              but there are clues in Josephus and, after all, Galilee was a politically
              separate jurisdiction from Judea.

              So if you mean by "Judaism," that version of Yahweh -worship centered on
              Judah, Jerusalem, and the Temple, as practiced by the High Priest and his
              followers, then I think a case can be made that Jesus had a problem with that.

              But if you are asking whether Jesus concerned to distance himself from
              Yahwehism, as embodied in the Pentateuch, the Prophets, and the Psalms,
              then I would say No, no, no, a thousand times No!

              Bob Schacht
              University of Hawaii

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • stephanie fisher
              Bruce Brooks: Never mind us: was Jesus himself concerned to distance himself from Judaism? Not Paul, whose inner world we have down on paper in more detail
              Message 6 of 10 , Apr 20, 2009
                Bruce Brooks:

                Never mind us: was Jesus himself concerned to distance himself from Judaism?
                Not Paul, whose inner world we have down on paper in more detail than some
                of us need, but Jesus? I think the whole early record goes to show that
                Jesus saw himself as a reformer and a revitalizer within Judaism, not as a
                defector from Judaism. That being so, have we really any business redeciding
                that issue for him?

                end of Bruce Brooks

                It's surprising then that our earliest source, Mark, portrays Jesus as never breaking written Jewish law, with disputes being with the authorities over their expansions of the written law. As Geza Vermes pointed out 'repentence' in the teaching of John the Baptist and Jesus is grounded in the Semitic teshubah concept - about 'turning away' from sin or 'returning to' God.

                It was more about 'returning' than 'reforming' I think.

                Stephanie Fisher
                Nottingham / Napier

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Jack Kilmon
                ... From: archeboc To: Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 3:42 AM Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] The James Nonsense
                Message 7 of 10 , Apr 20, 2009
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "archeboc" <Emmanuel.Fritsch@...>
                  To: <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 3:42 AM
                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] The James Nonsense


                  >
                  >> THE METAQUESTION
                  >>
                  >> Never mind us: was Jesus himself concerned to distance himself from
                  >> Judaism?
                  >
                  > What is Judaism ?
                  >
                  > After your point against "James", we should be urged to avoid "Judaism".
                  >
                  > Sure "Israel" is more accurate, and should be prefered.
                  >
                  > I agree that "Jesus, a marginal Israelite", sound less. But why does the
                  > other one sound it more ? Does not its cooler flavor come from the
                  > confusion about judaism ?
                  >
                  > As a matter of fact, we may even state, with all disclamers due to
                  > uncertainties on his actual position, that his deprecation of temple
                  > places Jesus amongst the precursor of Judaism.
                  >
                  > a+
                  > manu


                  There is a prevalent mindset that "Judaism" in ancient Palestine was a
                  monolithic, solid set of beliefs not unlike modern Judaism, less temple
                  sacrifice. The few totally disparate examples given by Josephus may be the
                  tip ofthe iceberg. There is also an automatic tendency to link Jesus with
                  the temple-based Mosaic Judaism of the Pharisees. We are familiar with two
                  subsets of Pharisaic Judaism represented by the Beyt Hillel and the Beyt
                  Shammai. I think there are a number of not very subtle clues that Jesus was
                  a certified card carrying member of another subset of Pharisaic Judaism
                  based on the Daniel-Enochian literature corpus, non-Mosaic and, if not
                  anti-nomian, very liberal.

                  Forgive me for the length of this but I consider it important and also, as
                  the "follow the Aramaic" guy,
                  for use of "Yeshua" instead of "Jesus."

                  There is a ton of literature on Yeshua's use of his self-description as the
                  bar nasha (Son of Man) and disagreements on what that meant. If the Dead
                  Sea Scroll corpus is a good barometer, the late 2nd temple period saw an
                  emergence of Daniel-Enochian fervor. In both Daniel and the Enochian
                  literature, the "son of man" plays a central role.

                  Yeshua himself, NOT ONCE, refers to himself with certainty as the Messiah
                  but instead refers to himself as the bar nasha/ben adam of Daniel and
                  Enoch..."coming on the clouds, etc." It was Paul of Tarsus...hostile to the
                  Nazarenes, who conferred the name of XRISTOS on Yeshua in his reconstruction
                  of Yeshua as the Pauline "Christ Crucified."

                  The cradle from which both Jewish and Christian "mysticism" arose was
                  Enochian apocalypticism, the same cradle from which post-destruction Ma'asei
                  Merkavah (which would eventually develop into Kabbala) and the Hekhalot
                  literature arose which deals with "mystical" ascents into heaven.

                  Anyone pursuing the ancient Jewish sources from which the Nazarenes arose,
                  should read the considerable Enochian literary corpus now available thanks
                  to the Qumran texts. The Books of Enoch and their related texts, Jubilees,
                  Giants, Weeks, Parables, Watchers, Testimonies of the 12 Patriarchs, Dreams,
                  etc. Enochian apocalypticism is a reflection of a Mesopotamian alternative
                  to Mosaic" Judaism with its focus on Enmeduranki, the 7th antediluvian king
                  of Sippar in the Sumerian Chronicles and a counterpart (or model) for Enoch.

                  There was a considerable influence by Zoroastrianism on Judaism as a result
                  to the Babylonian Captivity after which they brought the Enochian traditions
                  to Jerusalem upon the return. The Jerusalem priests at that time hated the
                  Enochian Jews (and it is my position that Jesus was an Enochian Jew) who
                  supported the Maccabees thereby gaining favor with the Hasmoneans. These
                  Enochian Jews became, IMO, the Essenes who subsequently developed serious
                  issues with the Hasmonean priest-kings. I don't think anyone would argue
                  that the Dead Sea Scrolls are not strongly Enochian.

                  The Jewish Nazarenes ("branchers") were heirs, IMO, to the Enochian
                  traditions but Gentile Christianity imported a constellation of influences
                  from Graeco-Roman sources. That Enochian Judaism was alternative to Mosaic
                  nomian Judaeism can explain why Paul appears anti-nomian and why Enoch was
                  not included in the Rabbinical canon.

                  Quoted in the Book of Jude:

                  "And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones To execute
                  judgement upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh
                  of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And
                  of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
                  (Enoch 1:9)

                  Other references to the SON OF MAN in Enoch:

                  "And there I saw One who had a head of days, And His head was white like
                  wool, And with Him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of
                  a man, And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels. 2
                  And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden things,
                  concerning that 3 Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, (and) why he
                  went with the Ancient of Days? And he answered and said unto me: This
                  is the Son of Man who hath righteousness, With whom dwelleth righteousness,
                  And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden, Because the
                  Lord of Hosts hath chosen him, And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before
                  the Lord of Hosts in uprightness for ever." (Part 8 Chapter 46:1-3)

                  1 And in that place I saw the fountain of righteousness Which was
                  inexhaustible: And around it were many fountains of wisdom: And all the
                  thirsty drank of them, And were filled with wisdom, And their dwellings were
                  with the righteous and holy and elect. 2 And at that hour that Son of Man
                  was named In the presence of the Lord of Hosts, And his name before the
                  Ancient of Days. 3 Yea, before the sun and the signs were created, Before
                  the stars of the heaven were made, His name
                  was named before the Lord of Hosts. 4 He shall be a staff to the righteous
                  whereon to stay themselves and not fall, And he shall be the light of the
                  Gentiles, And the hope of those who are troubled of heart. 5 All who dwell
                  on earth shall fall down and worship before him, And will praise and bless
                  and celebrate with song the Lord of Hosts. 6 And for this reason hath he
                  been chosen and hidden before Him, Before the creation of the world and for
                  evermore. 7 And the wisdom of the Lord of Hosts hath revealed him to the
                  holy and righteous; For he hath preserved the lot of the righteous, Because
                  they have hated and despised this world of unrighteousness, And have hated
                  all its works and ways in the name of the Lord of Hosts: For in his name
                  they are saved, And according to his good pleasure hath it been in regard to
                  their life. (Part 8 Chapter 48:1-7)

                  The Book of Daniel, like Enoch, was written originally in Aramaic. It
                  contains the most famous reference to the SON OF MAN.

                  Daniel 7:13-14 (WEB)
                  13 חזה הוית בחזוי ליליא וארו עם־ענני שׁמיא כבר אנשׁ אתה הוה ועד־עתיק יומיא
                  מטה וקדמוהי הקרבוהי׃ 14 ולה יהיב שׁלטן ויקר ומלכו וכל עממיא אמיא ולשׁניא לה
                  יפלחון שׁלטנה שׁלטן עלם די־לא יעדה ומלכותה פ

                  13 I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of
                  the sky one like a son of man (כבר אנש [kibar 'anash]), and he came even to
                  the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 There was
                  given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations,
                  and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
                  which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be
                  destroyed.

                  Yeshua spoke of himself, just as above in Daniel, at Matthew 24:30 And
                  then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all
                  the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in
                  the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

                  .....and at Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said:
                  nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting
                  on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

                  As you can see, Yeshua refers to himself as the SON OF MAN (Aramaic bar
                  nasha) of Daniel and Enoch andnot, IMO, as simply the bar nash/a idiom for
                  "just a guy."


                  Now let's see how many times Yeshua calls himself the bar nasha (son of
                  man)...he never referred to himself with certainty or non-cryptically as
                  the Messiah.

                  Matthew 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds
                  of the air [have] nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay [his]
                  head.

                  Matthew 9:6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to
                  forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy
                  bed, and go unto thine house.

                  Matthew 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into
                  another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities
                  of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

                  Matthew 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold
                  a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But
                  wisdom is justified of her children.

                  Matthew 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

                  Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall
                  be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not
                  be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come.

                  Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's
                  belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart
                  of the earth.

                  Matthew 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed
                  is the Son of man;

                  Matthew 13:41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall
                  gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do
                  iniquity;

                  Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked
                  his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

                  Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with
                  his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

                  Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which
                  shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his
                  kingdom.

                  Matthew 17:9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them,
                  saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from
                  the dead.

                  Matthew 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew
                  him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also
                  the Son of man suffer of them.

                  Matthew 17:22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son
                  of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:

                  Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

                  Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye
                  which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in
                  the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the
                  twelve tribes of Israel.

                  Matthew 20:18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be
                  betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn
                  him to death,

                  Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
                  minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

                  Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even
                  unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

                  Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:
                  and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son
                  of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (this is
                  right out of Enoch 7)

                  Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of
                  the Son of man be.

                  Matthew 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so
                  shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

                  Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think
                  not the Son of man cometh.

                  Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour
                  wherein the Son of man cometh.

                  Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy
                  angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

                  Matthew 26:2 Ye know that after two days is [the feast of] the passover,
                  and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

                  Matthew 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto
                  that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man
                  if he had not been born.

                  Matthew 26:45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep
                  on now, and take [your] rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of
                  Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

                  Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto
                  you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of
                  power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

                  Yeshua is reported by Matthew alone to have claimed to have been the SON OF
                  MAN (bar nasha) of Daniel and Enoch THIRTY TIMES....so why don't we believe
                  him? Why do we believe Paul of Tarsus instead?

                  An Enochian Jew, in the late second temple period, is one who believed in
                  the Enochian apocalyptic such as the Essenes and Yohanan haMatbil.

                  Jesus/Yeshua was indeed, IMO, an apocalyptic herald of the imminent malkutha
                  d'alaha (Kingdom of God) in the Enochian tradition and, as such, outside of
                  "normative" Mosaic Judaism. I think there are other indicators that this
                  "Son of Man" from the ancient of days could be "Lord of the Sabbath" as well
                  as the Mosaic laws (seen in the formula "It is written" or "You have
                  heard"...ABC "but *I* tell you"...XYZ).

                  So yes, he was apocalyptic but, in his mind, just not a "sage" but THE bar
                  nasha that was expected by Yohanan/John (Matthew 11:3), the apocalyptic
                  redeemer of Daniel 7:13-14.

                  Jack

                  Jack Kilmon
                  San Antonio,TX
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