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Judas again

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  • Bob Schacht
    The only response I got to this post was an off-list confirmation that the names Judas and Judea are indeed cognate. No one wrote to say that this was the
    Message 1 of 17 , Aug 27, 1998
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      The only response I got to this post was an off-list confirmation that the
      names "Judas" and "Judea" are indeed cognate. No one wrote to say that this
      was the dumbest idea ever posted on CrossTalk, or the best idea since
      someone figured out how to make beer, or anything in between. But my idea
      is the closest I've seen to explaining "Judas", or at least his name, as a
      post-crucifixion invention. I can add one additional note of irony: Would
      the use of this name automatically evoke memories of Judas Maccabeus? Or
      was the name so common that no such link would be perceived?

      I have an idea that the character of "Judas" was based on an actual
      historical character, probably with another name, and that Mark or Mark's
      sources couldn't resist giving him a new name so appropriate in the 70 C.E.
      environment. Maybe even this: That the name of Jesus' betrayer became taboo
      (something like, but for opposite reasons, the name YHWH was taboo?), so
      that when "Mark" wrote, he *needed* a name different from the actual
      person's name.

      Or am I just being delirious?

      Bob


      At 01:12 AM 8/26/98 +0000, Mark Goodacre wrote:
      >...But surely there were other options available for Judas if the notion
      of the
      >Twelve was a post-Easter invention....

      I have a linguistic connection: Is there any connection between "Judas" and
      "Judea"? Can there be any irony here of "Judas", as one of the Twelve,
      symbolizing "Judea", one of the Twelve Tribes and, not coincidentally, the
      name of the province which crucified Jesus (to personify a geographical
      entity)?

      If so, then Judas as one of the Twelve makes PERFECT sense. Judea, like the
      others of the Twelve Tribes, was "chosen", but in the end betrayed Jesus
      (by crucifying him), and in the end was dashed to the ground and killed
      (Field of Blood-- a reference to 70 A.D.?) Someone MUST have thought of
      this before, and there must be something wrong with the idea, or it would
      be more widely known. So what is wrong with this idea?

      Just another potshot,
      Bob
      "We all do tend to be hypercritical of the evangelists and take other
      texts at face value."
      --Stevan Davies, Wed, 14 Jan 1998 17:26:33
    • E. Bruce Brooks
      Topic: Judas Again From: Bruce In Response To: Bob Schacht BOB had said: The only response I got to this post was an off-list confirmation that the names
      Message 2 of 17 , Aug 27, 1998
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        Topic: Judas Again
        From: Bruce
        In Response To: Bob Schacht

        BOB had said: The only response I got to this post was an off-list
        confirmation that the names "Judas" and "Judea" are indeed cognate. No one
        wrote to say that this was the dumbest idea ever posted on CrossTalk, or
        the best idea since someone figured out how to make beer, or anything in
        between.

        BRUCE: Well, since in much vaguer form that same link had occurred to me, I
        am quite willing to go on record as thinking it the greatest thing since
        sliced bread. Thanks to Bob for having the nerve to put it out for
        verification (and to his anonymous and reclusive respondent for supplying
        same). Now that it is discussable:

        BOB: But my idea is the closest I've seen to explaining "Judas", or at
        least his name, as a
        post-crucifixion invention. I can add one additional note of irony: Would
        the use of this name automatically evoke memories of Judas Maccabeus? Or
        was the name so common that no such link would be perceived?

        BRUCE: Since it seems to be legal to speculate on this thread, I will put
        in four cents worth (Canadian, wasn't able to reconvert it at the end of a
        recent conference). (1) I am sure that the name was common, given the link,
        but it seems not unlikely that one of its associations was indeed Judas
        Maccabeus. That orientation - toward freedom from external domination -
        would be likely for a recruit to Jesus's Messianic movement, considered
        (perhaps wrongly; see next) as having those aims. (2) Note the Iscariot
        appellation: sometimes glossed as connecting the bearer with the
        dagger-wielding sicari group (the placename Kerioth is also invoked;
        neither side in this difference seems to have much use for the others'
        references). Taylor (who favors Kerioth) notes that GMk, often free with
        parentheticals, leaves "Iscariot" unexplained. As well he might if the
        meaning were politically sensitive. Not to delve into the matter here, I
        note that a disaffected revolutionary makes a psychologically plausible
        betrayer. This line of thought tends to support the view that Judas was
        historical rather than invented. (3) Hastings Dict of Christ and the
        Gospels sv Judas Iscariot notes that Mk has the name in a form closer to a
        Heb original (this on the Ish-Kerioth theory), namely ISKARIO#T* [t* =
        theta], also found in Luke; whereas the Graecized ISKARIO#TE#S (t = tau) is
        the only form in Mt, and also occurs in Lk. Apart from Lukan eclecticism,
        this difference would support Mk, not Mt, as closer to any Hebrew tradition
        or source text. This goes against the Papian identification of Mt in that
        role, but it supports recent thinking that for other reasons finds Mk more
        plausibly the earlier text. Just a pinprick, but every pinprick helps, as
        vs a hot-air balloon like Papias. This would be in the line of the
        placename theory, which would be equally comfortable with pre- and
        post-Crucifixion date of Judas. (4) Finally, on the latter option, and
        again considering Judas/Judah. I note, as implausible but still having to
        be worked into the scheme somehow, the exclusively Judean scope of the Acts
        narrative, in which Galilee is not merely subordinate, as one might expect,
        but totally blanked out as an area in which either Christian followers
        exist or Christian missionaries operate. It is possible that any early
        Galilean church would have been in tension with Judah, and at minimum have
        opposed in part any move of the church focus to Jerusalem, such as we know
        must have occurred, and indeed quite early. The Acts narrative is also
        conspicuous in its constant denunciation of the Jews (even in Petrine
        speeches supposedly preaching the Gospel to them) for having compassed the
        death of Jesus. Might not this theme of Jewish betrayal (overt in Acts,
        with possibly some sort of faint historical reminiscence behind it). This
        would perhaps permit conjecture of an intentional Judas/betrayer =
        Judah/Jerusalem/murderer of Jesus. Thinking along that line suggests a very
        early (Galilean) invention, perhaps expressing an early reaction to the
        death of Jesus in Jerusalem.

        It seems that only Judas is referred to, in the GSyn, as "one of the
        Twelve," emphasizing his betrayal, and perhaps at the same time validating
        the Twelve as an early church government generalization or development.
        These needs/desires are not logically connected, but they might have been
        synchronous, and both of them very pressing, for the earliest Church.

        Probably only institutional historians have the right to discuss early
        Christianity. Just thought I would get this in before they come. Thanks to
        Bob for the pretext.

        Bruce

        E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts
      • Jack Kilmon
        ... Apparently Yehudah was a common name during this period as wasits feminine equivalent Yehudith, both cognates of Yehud. ... I suspect that this is true
        Message 3 of 17 , Aug 27, 1998
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          Bob Schacht wrote:

          > The only response I got to this post was an off-list confirmation that the
          > names "Judas" and "Judea" are indeed cognate. No one wrote to say that this
          > was the dumbest idea ever posted on CrossTalk, or the best idea since
          > someone figured out how to make beer, or anything in between. But my idea
          > is the closest I've seen to explaining "Judas", or at least his name, as a
          > post-crucifixion invention. I can add one additional note of irony: Would
          > the use of this name automatically evoke memories of Judas Maccabeus? Or
          > was the name so common that no such link would be perceived?

          Apparently Yehudah was a common name during this period as wasits feminine
          equivalent Yehudith, both cognates of Yehud.

          > I have an idea that the character of "Judas" was based on an actual
          > historical character, probably with another name, and that Mark or Mark's
          > sources couldn't resist giving him a new name so appropriate in the 70 C.E.
          > environment.

          I suspect that this is true also but given another Yehudah among the
          disciples("Toma"), I tend to think his name was indeed Yehudah but his
          character has
          been embellished.

          > Maybe even this: That the name of Jesus' betrayer became taboo
          > (something like, but for opposite reasons, the name YHWH was taboo?), so
          > that when "Mark" wrote, he *needed* a name different from the actual
          > person's name.
          >
          > Or am I just being delirious?

          Nnah..just swimming around in the possibilities with therest of us.

          Jack

          > At 01:12 AM 8/26/98 +0000, Mark Goodacre wrote:
          > >...But surely there were other options available for Judas if the notion
          > of the
          > >Twelve was a post-Easter invention....
          >
          > I have a linguistic connection: Is there any connection between "Judas" and
          > "Judea"? Can there be any irony here of "Judas", as one of the Twelve,
          > symbolizing "Judea", one of the Twelve Tribes and, not coincidentally, the
          > name of the province which crucified Jesus (to personify a geographical
          > entity)?
          >
          > If so, then Judas as one of the Twelve makes PERFECT sense. Judea, like the
          > others of the Twelve Tribes, was "chosen", but in the end betrayed Jesus
          > (by crucifying him), and in the end was dashed to the ground and killed
          > (Field of Blood-- a reference to 70 A.D.?) Someone MUST have thought of
          > this before, and there must be something wrong with the idea, or it would
          > be more widely known. So what is wrong with this idea?
          >
          > Just another potshot,
          > Bob
          > "We all do tend to be hypercritical of the evangelists and take other
          > texts at face value."
          > --Stevan Davies, Wed, 14 Jan 1998 17:26:33
        • Lewis Reich
          ... I don t mean to be facetious - does George automatically evoke George Washington? We re talking about a time almost 200 years removed from Yehudah
          Message 4 of 17 , Aug 27, 1998
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            On 27 Aug 98, at 12:21, Bob Schacht wrote:

            > Would the use of this name automatically evoke memories of Judas
            > Maccabeus?

            I don't mean to be facetious - does George automatically evoke George
            Washington? We're talking about a time almost 200 years removed from
            Yehudah haMakabi (his Hebrew name).

            > Or was the name so common that no such link would be
            > perceived?

            Apparently there are studies of the frequency with which names appear,
            enough so that it seems to be common knowledge that "Jesus" was one of the
            most common male Jewish names in the first century.

            A more recent Judas was ca. thirty years before, the rebel Judas of Galilee,
            according to Josephus, if I recall correctly, the progenitor of the Zealots.


            Lewis
          • Bob Schacht
            ... I was dissuaded from my conjecture by Lewis s(?) comment that Judas was about as common then as George is now, and that when we hear George , how
            Message 5 of 17 , Aug 28, 1998
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              At 06:09 PM 8/27/98 -0400, E. Bruce Brooks wrote:
              >Topic: Judas Again
              >From: Bruce
              >In Response To: Bob Schacht
              >
              >....
              >BRUCE: Since it seems to be legal to speculate on this thread, I will put
              >in four cents worth (Canadian, wasn't able to reconvert it at the end of a
              >recent conference). (1) I am sure that the name was common, given the link,
              >but it seems not unlikely that one of its associations was indeed Judas
              >Maccabeus.

              I was dissuaded from my conjecture by Lewis's(?) comment that "Judas" was
              about as common then as "George" is now, and that when we hear "George",
              how likely is it that we will immediately think of George Washington?


              >...(4) Finally, on the latter option, and
              >again considering Judas/Judah. I note, as implausible but still having to
              >be worked into the scheme somehow, the exclusively Judean scope of the Acts
              >narrative, in which Galilee is not merely subordinate, as one might expect,
              >but totally blanked out as an area in which either Christian followers
              >exist or Christian missionaries operate....

              Perhaps you have forgotten Acts 9:31,

              Meanwhile the church throughout
              Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace
              and was built up. Living in the fear of the
              Lord and in the comfort of the Holy
              Spirit, it increased in numbers.

              And 10:37?

              37 That message spread throughout
              Judea, beginning in Galilee after the
              baptism that John announced:

              Not to mention also Acts 1:11 & 13:31?

              Perhaps the fact that Judas was a common name supports the imagery as a
              little covert: lending deniability in a hostile environment, but a wink and
              a nod in friendly environments as a reference to the rejection of Jesus by
              Judea.

              And I wonder about this factor in John as well. His frequent reference to
              "Jews" is to "Ioudai,wn" which could be translated as "Judeans," no? I
              wonder that if John was trying to make a point, not about Jews in general,
              but about *Judeans*. That must not be a defensible reading, because none of
              the translations I know of use it. But why not? Apparently, "Judeans" is
              ALWAYS translated as Jews. I realize that there was a common equation
              between the two, but must it be a relation of identity? Surely there were
              Jews in the diaspora; were they always "Judeans"? Surely there were
              non-Jews who lived in Judea; were they always called by their ethnic label?
              Was it impossible for a non-Jew to be a Judean citizen?

              Anyway, thanks for your thoughtful reply to my amateurish remarks.

              Bob
              Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
              (Where charity and love [are found], God is there.)
              -9th century latin hymn, revived by the Taize community
            • E. Bruce Brooks
              Topic: Judas and Galilee From: Bruce In Response To: Bob Schacht BOB (in re the Maccabean associations of the name Judas in Jesus s time): I was dissuaded from
              Message 6 of 17 , Aug 29, 1998
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                Topic: Judas and Galilee
                From: Bruce
                In Response To: Bob Schacht

                BOB (in re the Maccabean associations of the name Judas in Jesus's time): I
                was dissuaded from my conjecture by Lewis's comment that "Judas" was about
                as common then as "George" is now, and that when we hear "George," how
                likely is it that we will immediately think of George Washington?

                BRUCE: Well, I was too embarrassed to say so at the time, but since you
                bring it up, I must admit that my first association with the name "George"
                is in fact "Washington." There's a magazine out now (non-US readers
                presumably please ignore) called George. I have never opened it, but
                someone with time to read things in this century may wish to confirm: is
                that the association which the editors expect? What does a Scotsman think
                of when you mention the name "Robert?" It's not evidential, but I don't
                think that this line of thought is unambiguously refutational either.

                BOB (on the alleged exclusively Judean scope of Acts): Perhaps you have
                forgotten Acts 9:31 ("Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and
                Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in
                the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers") and 10:37 ("That
                message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism
                that John announced"), not to mention also Acts 1:11 & 13:31?

                BRUCE: Nope. But consider: 10:37 merely acknowledges that Jesus preached
                during his lifetime in Galilee (cf Lk passim), and is not relevant to the
                question of a post-Crucifixion Galilean church. 1:11 has "two men in white"
                address the disciples, immediately after Jesus's ascension, as "men of
                Galilee" (cf Lk 22:30, "certainly this man also was with him, for he is a
                Galilean"). What is striking to me about 1:11 is 1:8, where the
                apparitional Jesus's last words to them are "You will be my witnesses at
                Jerusalem, throughout all Judaea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
                No Galilee. Notice (1:4, "charged them not to leave Jerusalem") that even
                these appearances of Jesus have all been in Jerusalem. Not Galilee. Galilee
                is not on the list of sacred places, even though Jesus ineffaceably
                preached there, and all his followers admittedly came from there. The
                older commmentators (life has been a little different since, oh, 1951)
                recognized that the earliest tradition pointed to a Galilean climax, in
                appearances of the Risen Lord, to the Jesus story. Thus Lightfoot, Locality
                and Doctrine in the Gospels (1937) 42, of the ending of Mark: "For the
                manifestation itself, St Mark still looks to the future and to Galilee, the
                sphere, as he seems to have believed, of revelation, in contrast to
                Jerusalem, the city of destruction and of death." Any such future visible
                in and implied by GMk is compromised in GMt and obliterated in GLk.

                Lessee, that leaves 13:31, from a persuasion of Paul at Pisidian Antioch,
                here recounting the end of Jesus: "For many days he was seen by those who
                had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem." Exactly no more and no
                less than is conceded by 1:11 - the disciples were from Galilee. It also
                insists, with GLk, that all appearances of Jesus were in Jerusalem.

                So when all is done, we have passing acknowledgements of the Galilean
                provenance of Jesus and his followers, but as to a Galilean church, only
                9:31, and only the one word Galilee in even that. This is so stunning a
                departure from the otherwise complete Jerusalemization of the story in
                Acts, that the commentators feel compelled to say something. Thus
                Foakes-Jackson [1931] ad loc: "It is noteworthy that *Galilee* is here
                mentioned, though there is no allusion to any church in that district in
                the book of Acts. After the fall of Jerusalem Tiberias in Galilee became
                the great centre of Jewish legalism. It is strange that no Apostle is said
                to have gone back to preach in his native land, which had been the chief
                scene of the activities of Jesus, though Matthew places the great
                appearance of Jesus to his Apostles in Galilee, and in the supplementary
                chapter of the Fourth Gospel (John 21) Jesus reveals himself and gives St
                Peter his commission by the Sea of Tiberias. There were no early Christian
                bishoprics founded in Galilee, but from early times the Palestinian cities
                on the Mediterranean were active centers of Christian life."

                BOB (again on Judas = Judea): And I wonder about this factor in John as
                well. His frequent reference to "Jews" is to "Ioudai,wn" which could be
                translated as "Judeans," no? I wonder that if John was trying to make a
                point, not about Jews in general, but about *Judeans*. That must not be a
                defensible reading, because none of the translations I know of use it. But
                why not? Apparently, "Judeans" is ALWAYS translated as Jews. I realize that
                there was a common equation between the two, but must it be a relation of
                identity? Surely there were Jews in the diaspora; were they always
                "Judeans"? Surely there were non-Jews who lived in Judea; were they always
                called by their ethnic label? Was it impossible for a non-Jew to be a
                Judean citizen?

                BRUCE: I can't answer the questions, but I welcome their tendency. It seems
                to me that what this discussion needs is a little more "Why not?"

                Wouldn't you like to know what Galilean appearances of Jesus, and what
                subsequent Galilean doings of the witnessing disciples > apostles, were
                originally recorded in the now missing last leaf of GMk?

                Or its prototype. Concerning which, perhaps I should echo a recent inquiry
                on this list, and ask the experts: Never mind even Greek; is there a
                reputable and gettable Aramaic/English dictionary that could be recommended
                to the industrious tyro?

                Bruce

                E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts
              • Neil Godfrey
                ... And not only the progenitor of the zealots/the sicari, but specifically said by Josephus to have conspired with a Pharisee over the tax issue and whose
                Message 7 of 17 , Aug 29, 1998
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                  Lewis Reich wrote:

                  > A more recent Judas was ca. thirty years before, the rebel Judas of Galilee,
                  > according to Josephus, if I recall correctly, the progenitor of the Zealots.

                  And not only the progenitor of the zealots/the sicari, but specifically said by
                  Josephus to have conspired with a Pharisee over the tax issue and whose efforts
                  ultimately resulted in the destruction of the temple, the change of customs, the
                  fall of Jerusalem.... (speculations speculations....)


                  Neil
                • INTERPRES
                  ... Any postulated historical reminiscence must be seen against the background of the purpose for which Luke/Acts was written. The enmity of the author of Acts
                  Message 8 of 17 , Aug 30, 1998
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                    Bruce Brooks wrote:

                    >The Acts narrative is also
                    >conspicuous in its constant denunciation of the Jews (even in Petrine
                    >speeches supposedly preaching the Gospel to them) for having compassed the
                    >death of Jesus. Might not this theme of Jewish betrayal (overt in Acts,
                    >with possibly some sort of faint historical reminiscence behind it).

                    Any postulated historical reminiscence must be seen against the background
                    of the purpose for which Luke/Acts was written. The enmity of the author of
                    Acts with respect to the Jews is a function of this purpose, which was to
                    assist Paul, then in prison in Rome, in making his case before the Roman
                    authorities that by killing Jesus, the true Messiah and thus the culmination
                    of the Jewish religious tradition, the Temple authorities had disqualified
                    themselves as representing a religio licita, and that this legal status must
                    now pass to those who do recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Had the Roman
                    verdict been favorable, Paul would probably have been a good candidate for
                    the newly vacant post of High Priest in Jerusalem. (I even suspect that this
                    was his plan from the start after he realized, on the road to Damascus, that
                    Christian bashing was not going to get him the position he craved). The
                    stakes were high, and the motive was there for Paul's supporters to stress
                    Jewish betrayal at every opportunity, regardless of historical facts.

                    Back to your point: The theme of Jewish betrayal in Acts and in the NT in
                    general is not an indicator of historial facts but a position adopted in the
                    fifties for political purposes by the Pauline faction in its power struggle
                    against the Temple authorities. This of course does not rule out the
                    possibility of real Jewish betrayal, it only says we have no trustworthy
                    evidence of it.

                    Regards,

                    Jan Sammer
                  • Lewis Reich
                    ... I think that Bob s recollection slightly conflates my comments. I suggested first that since we often read that Jesus was one of the most common of
                    Message 9 of 17 , Aug 30, 1998
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                      On 28 Aug 98, at 21:18, Bob Schacht wrote:


                      > I was dissuaded from my conjecture by Lewis's(?) comment that "Judas" was
                      > about as common then as "George" is now, and that when we hear "George",
                      > how likely is it that we will immediately think of George Washington?

                      I think that Bob's recollection slightly conflates my comments. I suggested first
                      that since we often read that "Jesus" was one of the most common of first-
                      century Judaean names, there might be some data available about the
                      frequency of "Yehudah" as well. Second, that since "Yehudah haMakabi" is
                      about as far removed historically from Jesus as George Washington is from us,
                      that perhaps a useful analogy might be to consider how likely it is that when
                      we hear "George" today we would immediately think of George Washington.
                      It's also worth noting that that the first century also had a more recent and
                      notorious Yehudah, Judas the Galilean, who led a revolt around the time of
                      Jesus' birth.

                      Lewis
                    • Lewis Reich
                      ... It wasn t intended to be unambiguously refutational; more a demonstration that the name needn t necessarily have evoked the suggested association. Lewis
                      Message 10 of 17 , Aug 30, 1998
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                        On 29 Aug 98, at 4:38, E. Bruce Brooks wrote:

                        > I must admit that my first association with the name "George"
                        > is in fact "Washington." There's a magazine out now (non-US readers
                        > presumably please ignore) called George. I have never opened it, but
                        > someone with time to read things in this century may wish to confirm: is
                        > that the association which the editors expect? What does a Scotsman think
                        > of when you mention the name "Robert?" It's not evidential, but I don't
                        > think that this line of thought is unambiguously refutational either.

                        It wasn't intended to be unambiguously refutational; more a demonstration
                        that the name needn't necessarily have evoked the suggested association.

                        Lewis Reich
                        LBR@...
                      • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                        ... Lewis, Bob, and Crosstalkers, Though it s been some time now since I read it, I recall that the question of whether the disciple Judas was named after
                        Message 11 of 17 , Aug 30, 1998
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                          Lewis Reich wrote:
                          >
                          > On 28 Aug 98, at 21:18, Bob Schacht wrote:
                          >
                          > > I was dissuaded from my conjecture by Lewis's(?) comment that "Judas" was
                          > > about as common then as "George" is now, and that when we hear "George",
                          > > how likely is it that we will immediately think of George Washington?
                          >
                          > I think that Bob's recollection slightly conflates my comments. I suggested first
                          > that since we often read that "Jesus" was one of the most common of first-
                          > century Judaean names, there might be some data available about the
                          > frequency of "Yehudah" as well. Second, that since "Yehudah haMakabi" is
                          > about as far removed historically from Jesus as George Washington is from us,
                          > that perhaps a useful analogy might be to consider how likely it is that when
                          > we hear "George" today we would immediately think of George Washington.
                          > It's also worth noting that that the first century also had a more recent and
                          > notorious Yehudah, Judas the Galilean, who led a revolt around the time of
                          > Jesus' birth.
                          >
                          Lewis, Bob, and Crosstalkers,

                          Though it's been some time now since I read it, I recall that the
                          question of whether the disciple Judas was named after JMacc was taken
                          up and explored in William Farmer's (seemingly negelected) book,
                          _Maccabees, Zealots, and Josephuss, specifically in the chapter entitled
                          "Were the Maccabees remembered -- where incidently the question of
                          whether Simon, John, and other disiples' names honour others in the
                          Hasmonean clan is also expored.

                          Yours,

                          Jeffrey Gibson

                          --
                          Jeffrey B. Gibson
                          7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
                          Chicago, Illinois 60626
                          e-mail jgibson000@...
                        • E. Bruce Brooks
                          Topic: Judas Again From: Bruce In Response To: Jan Sammer Jan s note raised some questions of method, on which wider discussion might be useful: JAN (on the
                          Message 12 of 17 , Aug 30, 1998
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                            Topic: Judas Again
                            From: Bruce
                            In Response To: Jan Sammer

                            Jan's note raised some questions of method, on which wider discussion might
                            be useful:

                            JAN (on the possibility of "some sort of faint historical reminiscence" in
                            Acts): Any postulated historical reminiscence . . .

                            BRUCE: "Postulated" [established as one of the "givens" of a hypothesis] is
                            perhaps a little strong for what I was suggesting. And "historical
                            reminiscence" is definitely much stronger than the kind of "constraint by
                            or persistence of shared historical memory" that I was trying to suggest
                            may be present, and interfere with free authorial composition, in Acts.
                            Given that the subsequent discussion does not speak exactly to my model,
                            let's continue:

                            JAN: . . . must be seen against the background of the purpose for which
                            Luke/Acts was written. The enmity of the author of Acts with respect to the
                            Jews is a function of this purpose, which was to assist Paul, then in
                            prison in Rome, in making his case before the Roman authorities that by
                            killing Jesus, the true Messiah and thus the culmination of the Jewish
                            religious tradition, the Temple authorities had disqualified themselves as
                            representing a religio licita, and that this legal status must now pass to
                            those who do recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

                            BRUCE: It's often been suggested that Acts reads like a legal brief for
                            Paul before Roman authorities; I think I've flirted with it myself, on the
                            CrossTalk record, once or twice. That possibility requires that Acts have
                            been written, and circulated to Rome, by c62. Then GLk, which by fairly
                            wide agreement is at least a little earlier than its [supposed?] second
                            volume Acts, must date to the same year or a little earlier. That brings up
                            problems with supposed chronological pointers in GLk, which like all the
                            GSyn, is most commonly dated after c70. I don't think that's necessarily
                            impregnable, but it's certainly problematic, for this suggestion. The
                            numbers need to add up better than they seem to do.

                            Also, simply as a literarily sensitive reading of the document, are the
                            anti-Jewish elements in Peter's speeches and elsewhere in Acts so placed
                            that a Roman official reader would draw from them the conclusion that Jan
                            suggests was intended? Can Paul's own speeches in his defense be construed
                            as an intention to take over leadership of Judaism? Is the speech before
                            Festus, in particular, not more naturally construed as an invitation for
                            Festus to follow him outside the circle of approval, rather than a bid to
                            have Festus or another instal him at its center? Finally, if these two
                            groups of speeches are seen as pursuing the same agenda, how do we handle
                            the fact that they are so different in literary style? Is it because they
                            rest on separate traditions of Peter and Paul? Then what becomes of the
                            assumption of authorial uniformity? I don't want to suggest that nobody can
                            make a proposal about Acts without going through the philological drill of
                            verifying the literary homogenity of the text (and thus its availability as
                            something with an imputable single-author agenda); by all means let's
                            shortcut, and see if we can get a glimpse ahead. But having gotten that
                            suggestive glimpse, it then becomes proper to go back and fill in the
                            spadework. Is Acts literarily homogeneous? Can the seeming internal
                            barriers (the Petrine narrative, the Pauline narrative, the "we" journey
                            narrative within the latter) be shown to be, after all, linguistically
                            compatible with the inference of single authorship? Can that author be
                            identified with the imputed author of GLk? And if not, what does that do to
                            the authorial conjecture? I know that Acts has been shown (by Hawkins and
                            others) to be literarily more or less compatible with Luke, or anyway
                            moreso with Luke than with anything else, and that Hawkins was
                            methodologically aware of the possibly special character of the "we"
                            sections. Still, it would do no harm, at this point, to go over that (and
                            any other) foundational work on Acts, to see if by current standards it
                            will bear the hypothetical weight here put on it.

                            JAN: Had the Roman verdict been favorable, Paul would probably have been a
                            good candidate for the newly vacant post of High Priest in Jerusalem. (I
                            even suspect that this was his plan from the start after he realized, on
                            the road to Damascus, that Christian bashing was not going to get him the
                            position he craved).

                            BRUCE: I don't know; on my reading, Paul in his letters (and I'm not sure
                            what else there is to go on) is pretty sincere about his Judaism-distancing
                            policy. The High Priest motive thus seems to me counterintuitive as a
                            theory. It also seems unlikely as a hope in real life, since though I
                            readily grant that Paul seems to have been a man with a well-developed
                            faculty of ambition, I can't see him either proposed or accepted as High
                            Priest. However embroidered may be his incidents, Josephus gives a picture
                            of a Jewish community which felt very strongly about intrusions and
                            desecrations in the Temple. So this theory definitely loses me at that
                            particular turn. Unless, again, these seeming objections can be disposed
                            of.

                            JAN: The stakes were high, and the motive was there for Paul's supporters
                            to stress Jewish betrayal at every opportunity, regardless of historical
                            facts.

                            BRUCE: Life or death is sufficiently high stakes, all right; never mind
                            what Paul's goals may have been in the Life option. But again, on
                            chronology: The theme of Jewish Betrayal in Acts might easily reflect a
                            late stage of Jewish/Christian schism, but as a device in real time, at a
                            time on the way to but not yet arrived at that historical schism, I find it
                            harder to imagine as stated. I can see Paul (on those assumptions) wanting
                            to appear more orthodox than the Jews, but not wanting to foment opposition
                            and accusation toward the Jews.

                            As to "regardless of historical facts," I can't agree in principle. Writers
                            of books are somewhat constrained by what their audiences already believe
                            to be true. A slick author can put more over on an audience (or con more
                            assent out of it, which is what is here proposed) than a clunky author, but
                            both have to somehow cope with that mutual given. Again, if an author is
                            working against a trend of audience acceptance, that ought to show up in
                            the prose in demonstrable ways. To some, "literary" means "free to invent
                            any account of the text, as long as it is novel and ingenious." I don't
                            intend to surrender the term to that meaning. But in the primary sense of
                            "literary," I think we should be aware of the literary aspects of the text
                            (which blend into its linguistic aspects): where the weight is felt; where
                            the heat is higher; whether a point is dodged, finessed, merely introduced,
                            or vehemently asserted against expected disbelief; where the symbolism
                            gravitates; where the overall design points. Such care is not absent from
                            previous NT scholarship, as far as I am acquainted with previous NT
                            scholarship, but it isn't uniformly present either.

                            JAN: Back to your point: The theme of Jewish betrayal in Acts and in the NT
                            in general is not an indicator of historial facts but a position adopted in
                            the fifties for political purposes by the Pauline faction in its power
                            struggle against the Temple authorities. This of course does not rule out
                            the possibility of real Jewish betrayal, it only says we have no
                            trustworthy
                            evidence of it.

                            BRUCE: That's stated as an assured conclusion; I would like to see some
                            citation of Pauline statements that support it. I also sense a grouping of
                            the Temple authorities and the Jerusalem Christian authorities. Isn't there
                            rather a three-way power game here?

                            As to "trustworthy evidence:" If it existed, HarperCollins could fold up
                            this conversation; we would long since (circa 1783) have been home free. So
                            by definition we are working in the less substantial area (common in
                            ancient history, but not much easier for being common) where we have a
                            possibly incomplete set of texts, many questions concerning the character
                            of the extant texts, disputable interpretations of those texts, arguable
                            connections between those interpretations and supposed real-life events,
                            and a pall of chronological inexactitude hanging over all. The test of
                            "trustworthy" is one that cannot be met, much as we all would like to do
                            so, under those circumstances. All a theory can be asked to do, under those
                            circumstances, is to take reasonable care with the source texts, account
                            for their seeming inconsistencies of orthography and imputed authorial
                            intent, take note of equally reasonable inferences from other sources,
                            display logical self-consistency (though not to the point of requiring
                            omnisciently rational behavior from historical persons), and respect such
                            fixed points of absolute chronology as the historical matrix may make
                            available to us. I think the theory here proposed needs work on all those
                            points (see above), but I also think it worthwhile to say why I think those
                            *are* the points. If we could arrive at an agreed canon of presentability
                            for theory, then perhaps our theoretical discussions would be aided.

                            Other suggestions (or, as usual, refutations) welcome.

                            Bruce

                            E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts
                          • Tom Simms
                            ... Just to note how socially constrained this group, accented as it is today by the return of our famous Czech, Jan Sammer, let me note that when I think of
                            Message 13 of 17 , Aug 30, 1998
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                              On Sun, 30 Aug 1998 11:40:04 -0400, LBR@... writes:
                              >
                              >On 28 Aug 98, at 21:18, Bob Schacht wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              >> I was dissuaded from my conjecture by Lewis's(?) comment that "Judas" was
                              >> about as common then as "George" is now, and that when we hear "George",
                              >> how likely is it that we will immediately think of George Washington?
                              >
                              >I think that Bob's recollection slightly conflates my comments. I suggested first
                              >that since we often read that "Jesus" was one of the most common of first-
                              >century Judaean names, there might be some data available about the
                              >frequency of "Yehudah" as well. Second, that since "Yehudah haMakabi" is
                              >about as far removed historically from Jesus as George Washington is from us,
                              >that perhaps a useful analogy might be to consider how likely it is that when
                              >we hear "George" today we would immediately think of George Washington.
                              >It's also worth noting that that the first century also had a more recent and
                              >notorious Yehudah, Judas the Galilean, who led a revolt around the time of
                              >Jesus' birth.
                              >
                              >Lewis
                              >

                              Just to note how socially constrained this group, accented as it is today by
                              the return of our famous Czech, Jan Sammer, let me note that when I think of
                              George I think of George III and the two Georges under whom I lived, George
                              V and George VI, the second of whom I saw in the flesh.

                              George III and Queen Charlotte still reside at Fredericton in the Legislative
                              Assembly Chamber of the Province of New Brunswick, being on either side of the
                              Speaker's throne in portraits by, so I understand, George Romney, famous
                              portraitist of Lady Hamilton, Nelson's favorite. A similar pair grace the
                              same position on either side of the Speaker's throne in Province House,
                              Halifax, N. S.

                              Many of you look through rebels' eyes, thinking all are the same.

                              Tom Simms - whose father's people walked overland from the Chesapeake
                              to New Jersey to be taken by ship to Nova Scotia when the Peace of
                              Paris was signed.
                            • INTERPRES
                              ... up ... descent, ... Temple ... of ... is ... Judaism-distancing ... charge ... of ... be ... had ... it ... opposition ... NT ... in ... there
                              Message 14 of 17 , Aug 31, 1998
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                                >>BRUCE: It's often been suggested that Acts reads like a legal brief for
                                >>Paul before Roman authorities; I think I've flirted with it myself, on the
                                >>CrossTalk record, once or twice. That possibility requires that Acts have
                                >>been written, and circulated to Rome, by c62. Then GLk, which by fairly
                                >>wide agreement is at least a little earlier than its [supposed?] second
                                >>volume Acts, must date to the same year or a little earlier. That brings
                                up
                                >>problems with supposed chronological pointers in GLk, which like all the
                                >>GSyn, is most commonly dated after c70. I don't think that's necessarily
                                >>impregnable, but it's certainly problematic, for this suggestion. The
                                >>numbers need to add up better than they seem to do.
                                >
                                >JAN:There is an important reason why Luke/Acts cannot be post c70, and that
                                >is precisely the effort made by its author to show that the followers of
                                >Jesus were the true people of Israel. Luke/Acts and the Pauline corpus
                                >strives to prove that the followers of Jesus, even those of gentile
                                descent,
                                >were more authentically Jewish than the Jews. Being more Jewish than the
                                >Jews would only be an advantage before the Jewish War, and a distinct
                                >disadvantage thereafter.
                                >>
                                >BRUCE:
                                >>Also, simply as a literarily sensitive reading of the document, are the
                                >>anti-Jewish elements in Peter's speeches and elsewhere in Acts so placed
                                >>that a Roman official reader would draw from them the conclusion that Jan
                                >>suggests was intended? Can Paul's own speeches in his defense be construed
                                >>as an intention to take over leadership of Judaism?
                                >
                                >JAN: Not directly, no. Paul’s speeches in Acts do not reveal his real
                                >intentions or words, they are the words the author of Acts thought would
                                >gain Paul the most brownie points in front of the Roman authorities.
                                >Of course my assertion that Paul was aiming at the High Priesthood was
                                >somewhat speculative. We cannot really know that. I was merely following a
                                >certain logical development of thought. The claim that the true Jews are
                                >those who believe in the risen Jesus, the parable of the wicked husbandmen,
                                >the consistent efforts in the gospels to smear the Temple authorities with
                                >responsibility for Jesus' death, all point in the same direction: the
                                Temple
                                >in Jerusalem is in the wrong hands. As long as the followers of Jesus
                                >thought of themselves as the true Jews, they must have had the possession
                                of
                                >the Temple with all its riches as a principal objective. How could they not
                                >have? Now who was going to be High Priest, Peter, Paul, or perhaps James,
                                is
                                >not yet clear to me. But it does seem that the early church constituted
                                >itself as a kind of shadow government, ready to take over the Temple
                                >Hierarchy when the time was right. Paul missed the chance of being released
                                >and appealed to Caesar precisely because he wanted to force the Roman
                                >authorities to rule on this particular issue.
                                >
                                >BRUCE: (comments noted and appreciated)
                                >>
                                >>JAN: Had the Roman verdict been favorable, Paul would probably have been a
                                >>good candidate for the newly vacant post of High Priest in Jerusalem. (I
                                >>even suspect that this was his plan from the start after he realized, on
                                >>the road to Damascus, that Christian bashing was not going to get him the
                                >>position he craved).
                                >>
                                >>BRUCE: I don't know; on my reading, Paul in his letters (and I'm not sure
                                >>what else there is to go on) is pretty sincere about his
                                Judaism-distancing
                                >>policy.
                                >JAN: Here I quite disagree. Paul claimed to be following a more
                                >authentically Jewish line than the Jews. He was merely distancing himself
                                >from the Judaism that rejected the Messiah Jesus, end ergo rejected the
                                >message of the prophets. Paul saw himself as following the true authentic
                                >line of Judaism and tried to distance himself from the Messiah-rejecting
                                >branch of Judaism. Unfortunately, those rejecting the Messiah were in
                                charge
                                >of the Temple. Would those who saw themselves as the authentic inheritors
                                of
                                >Abraham’s Promise (read: Christians) reconcile themselves to the fact that
                                >the higest office in the land was held by false pretenders to Abraham’s
                                >promise? Paul in Galations 4:28-31 indicates that they would not.
                                >
                                >BRUCE: The High Priest motive thus seems to me counterintuitive as a
                                >>theory. It also seems unlikely as a hope in real life, since though I
                                >>readily grant that Paul seems to have been a man with a well-developed
                                >>faculty of ambition, I can't see him either proposed or accepted as High
                                >>Priest.
                                >JAN: See my comments above. Perhaps somebody else in the Christian movement
                                >was being groomed for the post, but as long as the Temple was standing, and
                                >the Christians claimed to be the true Jews, logically the Temple was
                                >rightfully theirs. Now since the Temple authorities were impervious to such
                                >arguments, the only option left was to appeal to a higher authority: Rome.
                                >And that's precisely what Paul did.
                                >But to make the case, you first had to explain to the Romans why Jesus was
                                >the Messiah, how his life was a fulfillment of the scriptures, and how evil
                                >the Temple authorities were in conspiring against him. That's where the
                                >gospels come in. Should those who conspired to kill the Messiah of Israel
                                be
                                >allowed to continue to hold the highest office in officially recognized
                                >Judaism? Should not that highest office naturally accrue to the true Israel
                                >constituted of the followers of Jesus? Those were the type of arguments
                                >which Paul and his defenders must have used in his trial in Rome. A
                                >pre-requisite for such arguments to prevail was absolute proof that Jesus
                                >was indeed the Messiah. The gospels have a single purpose: to prove that
                                >this is so. The impetus for writing the gospels in the first place was the
                                >urgent need at a specific historical juncture to marshall the arguments for
                                >Jesus' messiahship as convincingly as possible.
                                >BRUCE:> However embroidered may be his incidents, Josephus gives a picture
                                >>of a Jewish community which felt very strongly about intrusions and
                                >>desecrations in the Temple.
                                >JAN: Quite so. The gospels take pains to point out that the high priests
                                had
                                >acted contrary to the law and had blood on their hands. Conspiring to kill
                                >the Messiah of Israel was surely a serious enough crime to justify their
                                >removal from their posts.
                                >BRUCE: So this theory definitely loses me at that
                                >>particular turn. Unless, again, these seeming objections can be disposed
                                >>of.
                                >JAN: Are you with me now?
                                >>JAN: The stakes were high, and the motive was there for Paul's supporters
                                >>to stress Jewish betrayal at every opportunity, regardless of historical
                                >>facts.
                                >>
                                >>BRUCE: Life or death is sufficiently high stakes, all right; never mind
                                >>what Paul's goals may have been in the Life option. But again, on
                                >>chronology: The theme of Jewish Betrayal in Acts might easily reflect a
                                >>late stage of Jewish/Christian schism, but as a device in real time, at a
                                >>time on the way to but not yet arrived at that historical schism, I find
                                it
                                >>harder to imagine as stated.
                                >JAN: The schism was already in existence at the time of the fire of Rome
                                >under Nero, when Christians were singled out for punishment.
                                >BRUCE: I can see Paul (on those assumptions) wanting
                                >>to appear more orthodox than the Jews, but not wanting to foment
                                opposition
                                >>and accusation toward the Jews.
                                >JAN: The accusations are leveled principally at the Temple Hierarchy and
                                >their lackeys, not against the Jews as such.
                                >
                                >rest of your point is well taken.
                                >>
                                >>JAN: Back to your point: The theme of Jewish betrayal in Acts and in the
                                NT
                                >>in general is not an indicator of historial facts but a position adopted
                                in
                                >>the fifties for political purposes by the Pauline faction in its power
                                >>struggle against the Temple authorities. This of course does not rule out
                                >>the possibility of real Jewish betrayal, it only says we have no
                                >>trustworthy evidence of it.
                                >>
                                >>BRUCE: That's stated as an assured conclusion; I would like to see some
                                >>citation of Pauline statements that support it.
                                >JAN: Galatians 4:21-31 is a transparent allegory of how Paul saw the
                                >followers of Jesus as inheritors of Abraham’s promise. The theme of Jewish
                                >betrayal is omnipresent in the gospels.
                                >BRUCE: I also sense a grouping of
                                >>the Temple authorities and the Jerusalem Christian authorities. Isn't
                                there
                                >>rather a three-way power game here?
                                >JAN: Yes, the Christian shadow government-in-waiting experiences an inner
                                >power struggle, a jockeying for positions of leadership... Nothing strange
                                >about that.
                                >>
                                >Your point on "trustworthy evidence" noted and appreciated. I do agree that
                                >the theory needs to be presented in more systematic manner, something that
                                >I'm doing offline. Here I just wanted to point out some of its logical
                                >pathways.
                                >
                                >Jan
                                >
                              • Lewis Reich
                                ... I don t think that the notion that Christians were the true Israel rather than the Jews developed until well after the destruction of the Temple. Before
                                Message 15 of 17 , Aug 31, 1998
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                                  On 1 Sep 98, at 3:43, Jan Sammer wrote:

                                  >JAN: See my comments above. Perhaps somebody else in the Christian
                                  >movement was being groomed for the post, but as long as the Temple was
                                  >standing, and the Christians claimed to be the true Jews, logically the
                                  >Temple was rightfully theirs.

                                  I don't think that the notion that Christians were the "true Israel"
                                  rather than the Jews developed until well after the destruction of the
                                  Temple. Before that time, I would imagine that if there was any
                                  controversy, it would have been over whether they should be regarded as
                                  Jews or not, not whether they were "the true Jews".

                                  Lewis Reich
                                  LBR@...
                                • Tom Simms
                                  ... If the tale Eusebius (2: 1.1; 2:23.4ff.) tells about the death of James and quoting Josephpus (JA 20: 9,1) is right, then you re wrong. The episode as a
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Sep 1, 1998
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                                    On Mon, 31 Aug 1998 22:49:34 -0400, LBR@... writes:
                                    >
                                    >On 1 Sep 98, at 3:43, Jan Sammer wrote:
                                    >
                                    >>JAN: See my comments above. Perhaps somebody else in the Christian
                                    >>movement was being groomed for the post, but as long as the Temple was
                                    >>standing, and the Christians claimed to be the true Jews, logically the
                                    >>Temple was rightfully theirs.
                                    >
                                    >I don't think that the notion that Christians were the "true Israel"
                                    >rather than the Jews developed until well after the destruction of the
                                    >Temple. Before that time, I would imagine that if there was any
                                    >controversy, it would have been over whether they should be regarded as
                                    >Jews or not, not whether they were "the true Jews".

                                    If the tale Eusebius (2: 1.1; 2:23.4ff.) tells about the death of
                                    James and quoting Josephpus (JA 20: 9,1) is right, then you're
                                    wrong.

                                    The episode as a watershed in the development of both, should I
                                    say, "sects?".

                                    >Lewis Reich
                                    >LBR@...
                                    >

                                    L8R

                                    Tom S
                                  • INTERPRES
                                    ... LEWIS: I don t think that the notion that Christians were the true Israel rather than the Jews developed until well after the destruction of the Temple.
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Sep 1, 1998
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                                      >JAN: See my comments above. Perhaps somebody else in the Christian
                                      >movement was being groomed for the post, but as long as the Temple was
                                      >standing, and the Christians claimed to be the true Jews, logically the
                                      >Temple was rightfully theirs.

                                      LEWIS: I don't think that the notion that Christians were the "true Israel"
                                      rather than the Jews developed until well after the destruction of the
                                      Temple. Before that time, I would imagine that if there was any
                                      controversy, it would have been over whether they should be regarded as
                                      Jews or not, not whether they were "the true Jews".

                                      Luke’s parable of the Wicked Tenants was certainly understood by the
                                      Christians as an allegory of their being the rightful heirs to Abraham's
                                      promise, to the exclusion of traditional Jews. Of course that cannot count
                                      as evidence for my thesis as long as the date of Luke is not established.
                                      Still, most commentators would not date Luke "well after the destruction of
                                      the Temple" but rather not long after it. I would date proto-Luke to the
                                      late fifties A.D. and frame no hypotheses as to when our gospel attained its
                                      present form. We can be more confident of an early date (in the fifties) for
                                      Galatians, where in 4:21-31 Paul represents "the present city of
                                      Jerusalem" --i.e., the temple hierarchy and their followers, as "a slave
                                      along with all its people. But the heavenly Jerusalem is free, and she is
                                      our mother.".... "Now you, my brothers, are God's children as a result of
                                      his promise, just as Isaac was. At that time the son who was born in the
                                      usual way persecuted the one who was born because of God's spirit; and it is
                                      the same now. But what does the scripture say? 'Throw out the slave woman
                                      and her son; for the son of the slave woman will not share the father's
                                      property with the son of the free woman.' So then, my brothers, we are not
                                      the children of a slave woman, but of the free woman."

                                      The battle lines are drawn. The fledgling Christian movement will "throw out
                                      the slave woman and her son"--the Temple hierarchy and its lackeys--just as
                                      soon as it finds the means to do so. As I mentioned before, the means was to
                                      have been a ruling by the highest court in the land as to which brand of
                                      Judaism was the authentic one. Had Paul's version of Judaism been declared
                                      the official one, nothing would have stood in the way of the Christian
                                      movement putting this threat into practice.

                                      Regards,

                                      Jan
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