12261Re: [XTalk] Historical Joseph? (was: Bethlehem, Galilee?)
- Jan 2, 2003
----- Original Message -----
From: Gordon Raynal <scudi1@...>
Cc: Michael Ensley <mensley@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 31, 2002 4:29 PM
Subject: Re: [XTalk] Historical Joseph? (was: Bethlehem, Galilee?)
Dear Sakari and Gordon,
Like many before us, I too have pursued the Celsus legend
that historically Jesus was a 'mamzer' and that his begetter
was a Roman soldier.
However, I abandoned the idea, because in Mark
6,3 persons HOSTILE to Jesus use the derogatory
epithet: 'son of Mirjam'. In the East, if the mother is
named, the implication is that the father is unknown.
It is simply a swearword used in nearly all cultures:sob
The epithet is repeated in the Mishna.
The Markan version was too short and too ambiguous
for christians to be underrstood. Hence Matthew's
ironic opening 'begetting' story of his Gospel,
spelling out and elaborating what Mark also proclaimed in
'son of God (1,11; 9,7).
In exegesis it is important to establish who is saying what
Missed seeing you at SBL this year.
To this post... 'tis the tekton biz... like father/ like son... and the
number of siblings that push me in favor of Joseph as "dad" (whether
biological or not). Personally I think all this "fatherless"/ "mamser"/
"rape" stuff, and all the rest of this sort of speculation which soars into
anachronistic psychological profiling is the stuff of modernity/
post-modernity. Such as this is **so** popular these days, but it reeks of
our psychologically obsessed world. Looking at the parables and aphorisms
and at the essential nature of the mission discourse there is no necessary
reason to suppose that Jesus was neurotically driven:)! I'm with you as to
the stories... storied elaborations from the Hebraic heritage. My best guess
is that Joe was Mary's husband and father of the whole lot of this large
family... at least 6 (Jesus, 4 brothers and sisters #??) who were alive with
mom when he was parabling. Considering the general morbitity/ mortality
rates of the era this had to be a pretty healthy and at least adequately fed
family. But then again... not much of a shock that "Dad" died before his 30
something son came to be well known.
Anyway... good to hear from you.
>From: Sakari Häkkinen <sakari.hakkinen@...>
>I am a bit surprised what comes to the suggestions of Joseph's marriages.
>Was he even a historical figure? The earliest evidence comes from Matthew,
>Paul, Mark and Q do not mention him. Much depends on whether Luke and John
>could be regarded as independent sources what comes to Joseph. I think
>Andries van Aarde makes a good point in his _Fatherless in Galilee_ when he
>connects the story of Joseph to contemporary reverence of the Patriarch
>Joseph, especially in Galilee. It is worth comparing Matthew's story of
>Joseph (especially Matth. 1:18-23) to the novel Joseph and Asenath, which
>was quite a popular writing at the time Matthew wrote his story. Naturally,
>if the figure of Joseph in Matth. is based solely on the Hebrew Bible and
>other Jewish literature, it does not automatically follow, that Joseph
>never existed. If I recall right, it was about a half of the JSem fellows
>who regarded Joseph as the real father of Jesus. The vote would almost
>certainly give other results if it could be convincingly argued that 1)
>Matthew's story of Joseph and Mary is based merely on literature and 2)
>Luke's and John's knowledge on Joseph is based on Matthew's story. What do
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