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Re: [Synoptic-L] Keramon

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • 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 4 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 5 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





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • 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 6 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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