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[XTalk] Joseph of Arimathea

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  • Sam Gibson
    I am mid-debate on the subject of J of Arimathea and since this is a down time for the group, I thought that I would put the subject to the list. In _Jesus: A
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 5 11:55 PM
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      I am mid-debate on the subject of J of Arimathea and since this is a down
      time for the group, I thought that I would put the subject to the list.

      In _Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography_ [pp. 156-158] Crossan makes the claim
      that Joseph of Arimathea is a Markan invention. On pp. 159-161 of _The Acts
      of Jesus_ the Fellows report the same conclusion.

      Now, I am 95% in agreement with this conclusion, but I do see some problems.

      #1 - Paul mentions Jesus' burial at 1 Corinthian 15:4. Does anyone have any
      speculation on how the earliest Christians envisioned Jesus getting from the
      cross to the tomb if they did not have a Joseph of Arimathea to do the deed?

      #2 - Why would Mark completely invent a name and a town that could be
      checked? Granted, a fair amount of records would have been destroyed in
      Jerusalem (if we place GMark post-war), but wasn't this really shaky ground
      to walk on? Further, it has been said to me that Arimathea is not invented
      but is the Jewish town of Ramatha. Search as I might, I could find nothing
      on this. Does anyone have any idea where I could find something on this name
      or is this a dodge?

      #3 - GJohn also knows the name of Joseph of Arimathea. If this is a Markan
      invention, does this mean that the hypothesized Signs Gospel would be
      dependent on GMark? It is late and I may not be thinking this all of the way
      through, but am I seeing this correctly?

      Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

      Sincerely,

      Sam Gibson
      ==============
      cygnus@...
      http://www.cygnus-study.com
      ==============
      "Give me the young man who has brains enough to make a Fool of himself!"
      -Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Daniel Grolin
      Hi Sam, Thanks for bringing this thought provoking question to the group. ... I think that Theissen is right in postulating that the Passion Narrative is from
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 6 2:05 AM
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        Hi Sam,

        Thanks for bringing this thought provoking question to the group.

        On Fri, 6 Aug 1999, Sam Gibson wrote:

        > #1 - Paul mentions Jesus' burial at 1 Corinthian 15:4. Does anyone have any
        > speculation on how the earliest Christians envisioned Jesus getting from the
        > cross to the tomb if they did not have a Joseph of Arimathea to do the deed?

        I think that Theissen is right in postulating that the Passion Narrative
        is from the 40 or earlier. I too agree that Joseph is a constriucted
        charecter that fills a need. But honestly I see no reason to believe, that
        Mark was the first to find the burial to be problematic. To me the whole
        resurrection question (particularly in an apologetic environment) requires
        a burial which in turn requires a Joseph. When this reasoning started to
        take place, however, is difficult to determin.

        > #2 - Why would Mark completely invent a name and a town that could be
        > checked? Granted, a fair amount of records would have been destroyed in
        > Jerusalem (if we place GMark post-war), but wasn't this really shaky ground
        > to walk on? Further, it has been said to me that Arimathea is not invented
        > but is the Jewish town of Ramatha. Search as I might, I could find nothing
        > on this. Does anyone have any idea where I could find something on this name
        > or is this a dodge?

        Nope, I am afraid I haven't heard anything to this effect. Sorry.

        > #3 - GJohn also knows the name of Joseph of Arimathea. If this is a Markan
        > invention, does this mean that the hypothesized Signs Gospel would be
        > dependent on GMark? It is late and I may not be thinking this all of the way
        > through, but am I seeing this correctly?

        My understanding is that Signs Gospel does not contain a PN, though I
        believe that the post-resurrection stories are probably adapted from it.
        If I understand Crossan correctly, however, this is not the issue. Crossan
        believes that John is partially dependent on Mark. That is to say that
        John is dependent on Mark's PN, but not other sayings and narratives.

        Regards,

        Daniel
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