Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Ian's Law and Bernard's Deli

Expand Messages
  • joe baxter
    The argument between Ian and Bernard has taken on a life of it s own. Indeed, it has reached comic proportions. Insofar as the date of JB s death is concerned,
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 31, 1998
      The argument between Ian and Bernard has taken on a life of it's own.
      Indeed, it has reached comic proportions. Insofar as the date of JB's death
      is concerned, Ian relies upon the following text to place JB's death circa
      35 C.E.:

      >If you read the text, you will notice that I have merely described what
      >Josephus says. He gives a statement of causes:
      >
      >"Aretas made this [the repudiation] the first cause of the strife between
      >him and Herod, who had (my text adds "also some")a quarrel with him about
      their boundaries at GamalikEi."
      >
      >The sentence immediately following the causes:
      >
      >"So they raised armies on both sides and prepared for war; and sent their
      >generals to fight instead of themselves;"


      Bernard, standing behind his Deli counter (a gracious gift from Tom Simm's)
      summarized Ian's argument :

      >You based your very late dating
      >on the assumption that anyone cannot have a long lasting (more
      >than "months") grudge against someone who murdered a very popular
      >figure. Let's call that "Ian's Law" from now on.

      Bernard's summary slightly misses it mark. Aretas's grudge was not about JB.
      Still, I understood his point, as I had nothing in else to do standing in
      the long line at the Deli. Indeed, the line was very long. With these two
      gents philosophizing, no one was getting served. (If this keeps up, Tom will
      have to foreclose on his mortgage.)

      Back to Aretas. Given how long lasting *this* argument has been, over a few
      lines of ambiguous text two thousand years old, and given the deepness of
      the emotional wounds probably created by Herod's divorce of Aretas'
      daughter, I think Ian's law has been disproved.

      In any case, most wars have financial and territorial ("who had a quarrel
      with him about their boundaries at GamalikEi")considerations behind them,
      and the cited grounds are usually pretextual. Since we are allowed to
      legislate in this Deli, I call this "Baxter's Law". I venture a guess that
      the territorial issue here (or something else associated with money) was the
      real issue here, and this old grudge was quite likely pretextual.

      Thus Josephus, by itself, does not provide any real evidence of the date of
      John the Baptist's death.

      Now about that sandwich, Bernard.

      Joe
    • Ian Hutchesson
      Regarding the perennial debate that may have petered out between Bernard and ... I wasn t following the silliness of such terminology. What was Ian s Law? ...
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 31, 1998
        Regarding the perennial debate that may have petered out between Bernard and
        myself, Joe thinks he can conclude:

        >Back to Aretas. Given how long lasting *this* argument has been, over a few
        >lines of ambiguous text two thousand years old, and given the deepness of
        >the emotional wounds probably created by Herod's divorce of Aretas'
        >daughter, I think Ian's law has been disproved.

        I wasn't following the silliness of such terminology. What was Ian's Law?

        >In any case, most wars have financial and territorial ("who had a quarrel
        >with him about their boundaries at GamalikEi") considerations behind them,
        >and the cited grounds are usually pretextual.

        Josephus is quite plain on the matter: he places the repudiation of the
        daughter of Aretas by Herod Antipas as the fundamental reason for the strife
        between Herod and Aretas. Why on earth are you now deciding he was wrong?

        >Thus Josephus, by itself, does not provide any real evidence of the date of
        >John the Baptist's death.

        Does this mean too that you believe that Josephus had no reason for
        connecting the death of John the Baptist with the war between Aretas and Herod?


        Ian



        This day past was the third anniversary of the death of Yizhak Rabin. A
        profound loss.
      • joe baxter
        ... To which I noted in my post: Bernard s summary slightly misses it mark. Aretas s grudge was not about JB. Still, I understood his point . . . . ...
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 1, 1998
          Ian writes:
          >Regarding the perennial debate that may have petered out between Bernard and
          >myself, Joe thinks he can conclude:
          >
          >>Back to Aretas. Given how long lasting *this* argument has been, over a few
          >>lines of ambiguous text two thousand years old, and given the deepness of
          >>the emotional wounds probably created by Herod's divorce of Aretas'
          >>daughter, I think Ian's law has been disproved.
          >
          >I wasn't following the silliness of such terminology. What was Ian's Law?

          Ian's Law is quoted in my post. Bernard hath written:

          >You based your very late dating
          >on the assumption that anyone cannot have a long lasting (more
          >than "months") grudge against someone who murdered a very popular
          >figure. Let's call that "Ian's Law" from now on.

          To which I noted in my post:

          Bernard's summary slightly misses it mark. Aretas's grudge was not about JB.
          Still, I understood his point . . . .

          My post continued:

          >
          >>In any case, most wars have financial and territorial ("who had a quarrel
          >>with him about their boundaries at GamalikEi") considerations behind them,
          >>and the cited grounds are usually pretextual.

          Ian replies:
          >
          >Josephus is quite plain on the matter: he places the repudiation of the
          >daughter of Aretas by Herod Antipas as the fundamental reason for the strife
          >between Herod and Aretas. Why on earth are you now deciding he was wrong?

          Josephus does not place " the repudiation of the daughter of Aretas by Herod
          Antipas as the fundamental reason for the strife between Herod and Aretas."
          Not at least in my Whiston translation. What he says is that "Aretas made
          this the first occasion of his enmity between him and Herod . . . ." What
          seems suggested is that *Aretas* may have declared this as his reason for
          going to war. Like wrapping himself in a flag.

          Now I ask you, Ian, is it your habit to believe the reasons which are cited
          by a country as the real reasons which the country has for going to war?
          Would you agree with me that most wars have financial and territorial ("who
          had a quarrel with him about their boundaries at GamalikEi") considerations
          behind them, and the cited grounds are usually pretextual? Are you in the
          habit of believing politicians? Do you still (or did you ever) believe
          America's cited reasons for going to war with North Viet Nam? How about
          Hitler's reasons for invading Poland? How about Russia's cited reasons for
          invading Czechoslovakia? How about Kenneth Starr's reasons for going at Bill
          Clinton? If Aretas' real reasons for going to war were abjectly territorial,
          would you expect him to declare his reasons?

          I recognize, Ian, that the cited passage is ambiguous. Still, it is my
          experience that gold, land, and self protection are behind most wars. I do
          not trust the reasons given by Aretas.

          My post continues:
          >
          >>Thus Josephus, by itself, does not provide any real evidence of the date of
          >>John the Baptist's death.

          Thus Ian asks:

          >Does this mean too that you believe that Josephus had no reason for
          >connecting the death of John the Baptist with the war between Aretas and Herod?

          One senses in Josephus that he may have believed that divine forces were
          somewhat ostensible. Thus he says:

          "It was also reported, that when Aretas heard of the coming of Vitellius, to
          fight him, he said upon the consulting his diviners, that it was impossible
          that this army of Vitellius' could enter Petra; for that one of the rulers
          would die, either he that gave orders for the war . . . ."

          Thus Tiberius died, Aretas received fate's protection, and Herod received a
          fate due him. That is the sense I get from Josephus. But you read far too
          much into this to suggest a date for JB's death. Fate has its way of
          catching up to people, but it works at its own inexorable rate.

          With kind regards,

          Joe
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.