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RE: [Synoptic-L] Keramon

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  • Chuck Jones
    Bob, I believe the stairways or ladders to these rooftop patios were on the outside of the house, not the inside. Chuck Rev. Chuck Jones Atlanta, Georgia Bob
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 11, 2006
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      Bob,

      I believe the stairways or ladders to these rooftop patios were on the outside of the house, not the inside.

      Chuck

      Rev. Chuck Jones
      Atlanta, Georgia

      Bob Schacht <r_schacht@...> wrote:
      I find it interesting that the men and their invalid friend had no trouble
      getting up on the roof. Why should it be easy for strangers to get up on
      the roof, but difficult for people on the rooftop to get back inside?



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    • R. Steven Notley
      I will need to come back to this with a more full reply later. I am teaching today. However, in the meantime a few quick comments. As is well known, roofing
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 11, 2006
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        I will need to come back to this with a more full reply later. I am
        teaching today. However, in the meantime a few quick comments.

        As is well known, roofing tiles are not introduced into Judea until
        after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. They appear to have been
        introduced by the X Legion. In any event, we have absolutely no
        evidence of their existence either in urban or rural settings prior to
        70 CE.

        As for the comments on the position of the stairs, in the insula style
        house in Capernaum one can see that the stairs are within the larger
        complex of extended family dwellings.

        Finally (and I apologize for the brevity) one should note that in some
        witnesses to Luke's account DIA TWN KERAMWN does not appear in verse
        19. Thus,they read, "they let the man down into the midst before
        Jesus." The idea one gets is that the friends brought the man up onto
        the roof and let him down into the open air courtyard that was central
        to the insula style houses. No excavation was needed. From what we
        know of architecture of first century Galilean homes, this location for
        Jesus makes much more sense. Yes, I realize that these textual
        witnesses are poor, but I have always found it fascinating that these
        readings give us a description of the event that accords with what we
        would expect according to the archaeological remains.

        Blessings,
        R. Steven Notley
        Nyack College, NYC


        On Oct 11, 2006, at 10:51 AM, David Hindley wrote:

        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: David Hindley [mailto:dhindley@...]
        > Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 10:49 AM
        > To: 'No Reply'
        > Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Digest Number 133
        >
        > Emmanuel,
        >
        > All I can do is point you to a message on B-Hebrew that seemed to
        > link to some resources on the matters at hand.
        >
        > http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-hebrew/2005-January/022219.html
        >
        > You may need to consult authorities on Galilean archeology and/or
        > building practices in the ancient Mediterranean region.
        >
        > It looks to me like the author of Luke, by using the plural, is
        > referring to roof tiles, common in Roman or Greek influenced towns
        > and cities but relatively rare in the Galilean countryside, to
        > accommodate the expectations of his intended audience (Roman
        > administrators or the magistrates of the "free" cities). Mark on the
        > other hand just tells it like it probably was, with the men
        > digging through a part of a thatch and mud roof.
        >
        > Respectfully,
        >
        > Dave Hindley
        > Cleveland, Ohio USA
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From:
        > sentto-15623871-133-1160569424-
        > dhindley=compuserve.com@...
        >
        > [mailto:sentto-15623871-133-1160569424-
        > dhindley=compuserve.com@...] On Behalf Of
        > Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2006 8:24 AM
        > To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [Synoptic-L] Digest Number 133
        >
        > There is 1 message in this issue.
        >
        > Topics in this digest:
        >
        > 1. Keramon
        > From: Emmanuel Fritsch
        >
        > Message
        > __________________________________________________________
        >
        > 1. Keramon
        > Posted by: "Emmanuel Fritsch" Emmanuel.Fritsch@... archeboc
        > Date: Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:59 am (PDT)
        >
        > Hello,
        >
        > Arguing about technical details in Luke on a french forum, we deeply
        > disagree about "keramon" in Luke 5:19. It has been said that
        > "tiles"
        > were not present in Syria at the beginning of Ist century, so that it
        > constitutes an error of Luke.
        >
        > Since I was not convinced, I said it, and I have been sharply accused
        > for being a defender of inerrancy.
        > Hence I would like to look around the question.
        >
        > Even if "tiles" for "keramon" is the mainstream translation, in
        > french, english, german, we have other translation for this
        > "keramon". Segond translate "par une ouverture du toit".
        >
        > Bailly, the standard greek-french dictionnary, proposes "clay".
        > Greek online bible (http://www.greekbible.com) proposes :
        > > 1) clay, potter's earth
        > > 2) anything made of clay, earthen ware > 3) a roofing tile > 3a)
        > the roof itself > 3b) the phrase "through the roof", means
        > through the door in the
        > > roof to which a ladder or stairway led up from the street
        > > (according to the Rabbis distinguish two ways of entering
        > > a house, "the way through the door" and "the way through
        > > the roof". For Synonyms see entry 5858
        >
        > I would like to know :
        > - what is the source for this definition ? (and for the whole lexicon
        > of greek online bible)
        > - are there any other stuff about the translation of "keramon" I
        > should have looked at ?
        > - are there any other stuff about "keramon" in Luke ?
        >
        > Thanks in advance,
        >
        > a+
        > manu
        >
        > Messages in this topic (24)
        > __________________________________________________________
        > __________________________________________________________
        >
        > Synoptic-L homepage: http://NTGateway.com/synoptic-l
        >
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        >
        >

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Bob Schacht
        ... Thanks. What evidence is there for this? That s really the bottom line, isn t it? An ethnocentric thought that does not count as evidence is my feeling
        Message 3 of 13 , Oct 11, 2006
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          At 07:41 AM 10/11/2006, Chuck Jones wrote:
          >Bob,
          >
          >I believe the stairways or ladders to these rooftop patios were on the
          >outside of the house, not the inside.

          Thanks. What evidence is there for this? That's really the bottom line,
          isn't it?
          An ethnocentric thought that does not count as evidence is my feeling that
          if my bedroom was on the roof, I would not want to get there by going outside.
          Bob

          >
          >Chuck
          >
          >Rev. Chuck Jones
          >Atlanta, Georgia
          >
          >Bob Schacht <r_schacht@...> wrote:
          >I find it interesting that the men and their invalid friend had no trouble
          >getting up on the roof. Why should it be easy for strangers to get up on
          >the roof, but difficult for people on the rooftop to get back inside?
          ><http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Synoptic;_ylc=X3oDMTJmOHJnODM4BF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzE1NjIzODcxBGdycHNwSWQDMTcwNTA3NDA1NwRzZWMDdnRsBHNsawN2Z2hwBHN0aW1lAzExNjA1ODY3NjM->Visit
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        • Jim West
          ... Life in Biblical Israel- King & Stager, p 18, p. 29 (which shows the sleeping quarters on the second INSIDE story). I saw once somewhere but now can t
          Message 4 of 13 , Oct 11, 2006
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            Bob Schacht wrote:
            > At 07:41 AM 10/11/2006, Chuck Jones wrote:
            >> Bob,
            >>
            >> I believe the stairways or ladders to these rooftop patios were on the
            >> outside of the house, not the inside.
            >
            > Thanks. What evidence is there for this? That's really the bottom line,
            > isn't it?
            > An ethnocentric thought that does not count as evidence is my feeling that
            > if my bedroom was on the roof, I would not want to get there by going outside.
            > Bob
            >

            Life in Biblical Israel- King & Stager, p 18, p. 29 (which shows the
            sleeping quarters on the second INSIDE story).

            I saw once somewhere but now can't remember where- I may even have it- a
            reconstruction of a "4 room house" with the stairs on the exterior to
            the roof where mats were spread for sleeping. But sans evidence I think
            King and Stager are probably right on this.

            Best

            Jim



            --
            Jim West, ThD

            http://web.infoave.net/~jwest -- Biblical Studies Resources
            http://drjimwest.wordpress.com -- Weblog
          • Bob Schacht
            ... Thanks, Jim. Does this show entrance to the roof through an opening in the roof for the stairs? ... Evidence-- even archaeological evidence-- can be
            Message 5 of 13 , Oct 11, 2006
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              At 09:52 AM 10/11/2006, Jim West wrote:


              >Bob Schacht wrote:
              >>At 07:41 AM 10/11/2006, Chuck Jones wrote:
              >>>Bob,
              >>>
              >>>I believe the stairways or ladders to these rooftop patios were on the
              >>>outside of the house, not the inside.
              >>Thanks. What evidence is there for this? That's really the bottom line,
              >>isn't it?
              >>An ethnocentric thought that does not count as evidence is my feeling
              >>that if my bedroom was on the roof, I would not want to get there by
              >>going outside.
              >>Bob
              >
              >Life in Biblical Israel- King & Stager, p 18, p. 29 (which shows the
              >sleeping quarters on the second INSIDE story).

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


              >I saw once somewhere but now can't remember where- I may even have it- a
              >reconstruction of a "4 room house" with the stairs on the exterior to the
              >roof where mats were spread for sleeping. But sans evidence I think King
              >and Stager are probably right on this.

              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.

              Bob
            • Jim West
              ... Nope. Just a ladder on the outside wall where some industrious looking woman appears to be spreading grain to dry. ... I can t imagine constructing a
              Message 6 of 13 , Oct 11, 2006
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                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.

                Best

                Jim


                --
                Jim West, ThD

                http://web.infoave.net/~jwest -- Biblical Studies Resources
                http://drjimwest.wordpress.com -- Weblog
              • Emmanuel Fritsch
                Thanks a lot for all your stuff. Really interesting. I am still looking for information about the lexikon used in the greek online bible
                Message 7 of 13 , Oct 16, 2006
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                  Thanks a lot for all your stuff. Really interesting.

                  I am still looking for information about the lexikon used in the greek
                  online bible (www.*greek**bible*.com/).

                  What are its academic accreditations ?
                  How confident do you feel with it ?
                  About "dia twn keramwn" which may be translated by "through the roof",
                  do you have somes sources about it ?

                  Thanks,

                  Emmanuel.
                • Chuck Jones
                  Bob, 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
                  Message 8 of 13 , Oct 16, 2006
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                    Bob,

                    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.

                    Chuck

                    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.

                    Best

                    Jim

                    --
                    Jim West, ThD

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





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                  • R. Steven Notley
                    Gentlemen Perhaps I missed it, but I can not see that anyone responded or took note of my contribution to this discussion last week. Discussion has continued
                    Message 9 of 13 , Oct 16, 2006
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                      Gentlemen

                      Perhaps I missed it, but I can not see that anyone responded or took
                      note of my contribution to this discussion last week. Discussion has
                      continued unabated regarding "ladders" and whether the stairs were
                      inside or outside the houses.

                      I answered succinctly because of lack of personal time, but also
                      because the issues are not in question or difficult.

                      First, there were no tiles in Galilee or anywhere in Judea prior to
                      70 CE. It is universally attested that they were introduced by the
                      Roman X Legion after the conquest of Jerusalem and Judea. Mention of
                      tiles in most (but not all) manuscript readings of Luke 5:19 must be
                      explained otherwise.

                      Second, the style of houses in first century Galilee are well known
                      to those who are familiar with Roman period archaeology in Judea.
                      The courtyard styled houses are referred to by the term "insula
                      houses." Indeed we have many such fine examples in Roman period
                      Capernaum and Chorazin, including the so-called "St. Peter's house"
                      in Capernaum.

                      I refer you now to a brief excerpt from the Encyclopedia of
                      Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land (4 vols.; Jerusalem:
                      IES, 1993) 1:292, "The houses [i.e. of Capernaum] are characterized
                      by large courts surrounded by small dwelling chambers. The life of
                      an extended family centered around a communal court. In the courts
                      were ovens, staircases for access to roofs, and only one exit to the
                      street."

                      Having lived in Israel for 16 years, I have visited these
                      archaeological remains too many times to count.

                      There were no ladders. Stairs to access the roof were always within
                      the family dwelling complex. With few exceptions, homes were single
                      story. Capernaum is over 650 feet below sea level and in the summer
                      gets unbearably hot and humid. The stairs provided access in the
                      summers for a family to sleep where it might be cooler.
                      Nevertheless, as Josephus describes in the collapse of the roofs in
                      Gamla when the Roman soldiers tried to use them in their escape from
                      the Jewish onslaught, the roofs were not intended to bear much weight.

                      Typical roofing material was what is referred to in the US as a "sod
                      roof" that included larger branches, then small reeds and finally
                      covered with straw and mud. Primarily, these were intended to keep
                      out the weather. It is not unlikely that these had to be repaired
                      annually. One can even see today in Capernaum and elsewhere the
                      basalt rollers that were used to repair the roofs.

                      Hope this helps.

                      Blessings,
                      R. Steven Notley
                      Nyack College, NYC


                      On Oct 16, 2006, at 8:21 AM, Chuck Jones wrote:

                      > Bob,
                      >
                      > 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.
                      >
                      > Chuck
                      >
                      > 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.
                      >
                      > Best
                      >
                      > Jim
                      >
                      > --
                      > Jim West, ThD
                      >
                      > http://web.infoave.net/~jwest -- Biblical Studies Resources
                      > http://drjimwest.wordpress.com -- Weblog
                      >
                      >
                      > ---------------------------------
                      > Want to be your own boss? Learn how on Yahoo! Small Business.
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • R. Steven Notley
                      Shalom Synoptic-Listers I arrived back yesterday morning from Israel at 5:00 a.m. (in a NY snow storm) and was greeted with the hubbub over the purported Tomb
                      Message 10 of 13 , Feb 27, 2007
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                        Shalom Synoptic-Listers

                        I arrived back yesterday morning from Israel at 5:00 a.m. (in a NY
                        snow storm) and was greeted with the hubbub over the purported Tomb
                        of Jesus' Family. Over the last 24 hours in my jetlagged state I
                        have had the opportunity to review the inscriptional material. It
                        was already published by L.Y. Rahmani in A Catalogue of Jewish
                        Ossuraries (Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority, 1994) 222-224.

                        I have collated what I see as some of the fundamental problems with
                        the claims. As usual, the problem is that these folks do not control
                        the languages at the center of their claims.

                        Here are a few reflections, questions regarding the hubbub:

                        1. After looking at Rahmani's inscriptions, I think ossuary No. 704
                        does indeed read Yeshua bar Yosef (contra Stephen Pfann). However,
                        the collocation of these names certainly does not necessitate that
                        this is Jesus' ossuary. Indeed, even within Rahmani's own catalogue
                        there is another example of a Yeshua bar Yosef (cf. No. 9.1). The
                        limited pool of names means that the combination of Yeshua and Yosef
                        would have surfaced countless times.

                        2. While it is true that Yoseh (ossuary No. 705) is a diminutive
                        form of Yosef, I can not think of a single occasion where the NT
                        Joseph is referred to by this form either in the NT or later
                        Christian writings. Contrast the lack of the shortened form of
                        Yosef's name (i.e. YOSEH) with the diminutive form of Mary's name
                        (from MIRIAM) that does occur in the NT (i.e. MARIA). MARYA (the
                        Hebrew equivalent to the Greek NT name) appears on ossuary No. 706.
                        Rahmani even suggests that the similarity in the style of the
                        inscription of Yoseh and Marya's names suggests that they may have
                        been the parents of Yeshua and the grandparents of Yehuda son of
                        Yeshua. While speculative, it may be true. But to attempt to
                        identify this Yoseh as the NT Joseph (as done by Jacobovici et al)
                        lacks the needed connecting evidence that the NT Joseph was ever
                        called by the diminutive form YOSEH.

                        3. To my mind the most critical piece of the argument lies with
                        ossuary No. 701 which belonged to a woman and inscribed "Of Mariamne
                        [that is] Mara". [As Cameron notes, she is the "Ringo" of the names
                        in the tomb. In his analogy if you found a tomb with John, Paul and
                        George, you could speculate but not be certain it was the Beatles.
                        If you found also (the more rare name) Ringo, then the probability
                        would become almost certainty.]

                        There are two obstacles to identifying this woman as Mary Magdalene.
                        First, the NT routinely calls her MARIA or MARIAM, and never the form
                        MARIAMNE. The promoters attempt to sidestep this problem by citing a
                        4th century Gnostic text, the Acts of the Philip, in which we do have
                        a travel companion of Philip named Mariamne. There has been some
                        suggestion by Francois Bovon that she is to be identified with Mary
                        Magdalene, but my cursory glance at the the Acts of Philip indicates
                        she is to be identified with the Mary sister of Martha (from Bethany)
                        and not Mary from Magdala. Here is a snippet from the Acts of Philip
                        94: "It was she [Mariamne] that made ready the bread and salt at
                        the breaking of bread, but Martha was she that ministered to the
                        multitudes and laboured much."

                        Moreover, the inscription states that this Mariamne was also called
                        MARAH. In a real laugher which could only be conjured up in Zeit
                        Geist of our day, they have read MARAH as "Master" (i.e. the feminine
                        form of the Aramaic MAR). Thus, they are trying to reclaim (a la
                        Dan Brown) Mary's rightful place as head of the early Christian
                        movement which was taken from her by the chauvinist leadership of
                        Christianity. The charges of chauvinism in early Christianity
                        notwithstanding, the suggestion that Mary Magdalene was known as "the
                        Master" (MARAH) can not be supported by the appearance of MARAH with
                        her name on the ossuary. The feminine form of MAR (master) is
                        MARTHAH not MARAH. Instead, as Rahmani indicates the appearance
                        here of MARAH is the diminutive form of the proper name Martha (cf.
                        also Nos. 468.2 and 868). So, this Mariamne was also called by the
                        diminutive form of Martha (or MARAH). Once again, we lack a single
                        reference in the NT or any later Christian writing I know that Mary
                        Magdalene was ever called Martha (or MARAH).

                        So, it may be true that this Mariamne and Yeshua were married and
                        that they had a son named Judah, but I can find no compelling link
                        between these names and the NT figures.

                        It is worthwhile to restate that the challenge is to move beyond mere
                        speculative possibility to at least probability (if certainty
                        remains unattainable). I do not think the evidence that we have been
                        provided moves us beyond mere (and questionable) possibility.

                        As a final added note, I would point out that a similar clustering of
                        these names surfaces among the dynastic family of Hasmoneans. Of
                        course, I am not suggesting that this tomb belonged to a family
                        descended from the Maccabees. Only to draw attention to the limited
                        and popular pool of names at the time and that the collocation of
                        these names need not indicate that they are NT figures.

                        Shalom from snowy NY!

                        R. Steven Notley
                        Professor of Biblical Studies
                        Department of Biblical and Theological Studies
                        Nyack College
                        New York City





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                      • gentile_dave@emc.com
                        R. Steven Notley wrote: [As Cameron notes, she is the Ringo of the names in the tomb. In his analogy if you found a tomb with John, Paul and George, you
                        Message 11 of 13 , Mar 1, 2007
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                          R. Steven Notley wrote:



                          [As Cameron notes, she is the "Ringo" of the names
                          in the tomb. In his analogy if you found a tomb with John, Paul and
                          George, you could speculate but not be certain it was the Beatles.
                          If you found also (the more rare name) Ringo, then the probability
                          would become almost certainty.]



                          And later:



                          It is worthwhile to restate that the challenge is to move beyond mere
                          speculative possibility to at least probability (if certainty
                          remains unattainable).



                          Dave:



                          The first quote is a perfect example of an application of the Bayesian
                          formula, and the second is the general goal of Bayesian probability.



                          Thus it occurs to me that this might be an interesting way to try out
                          Bayesian statistics in this area. Of course much would have to be based
                          on knowledgeable estimates, so I think it would be still be a subjective
                          answer (in the sense that different people would get different answers).
                          Things like the frequency of Yeshua bar Yosef, and the number of tombs
                          from the period, and the chances that the family of Jesus is in one of
                          them, etc. would all need estimates.



                          Then, since Bayesian statistical results depend on the information
                          available, and since different individuals have different information to
                          draw on, consensus estimates are likely to lead to a better result than
                          individual estimates. Of course that requires an investment of time, and
                          I'm not sure how much interest this question has for those here.



                          But if nothing else the example shows at least one NT scholar working in
                          an almost explicit Bayesian fashion.



                          Dave



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