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Re: [Synoptic-L] Keramon

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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





            ---------------------------------
            Want to be your own boss? Learn how on Yahoo! Small Business.

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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 5 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 6 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 7 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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