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Re: [XTalk] Jesus, James et al and Their Observant Parents

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  • Ted Weeden
    ... (snip) ... Ron, your caution here is well taken with respect to the use of the term basic fact. ... You are correct. A very high percentage of JS
    Message 1 of 16 , Nov 1, 2002
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      Ron Price wrote on Friday, November 01, 2002:

      > Ted Weeden wrote:
      >
      > >I. Jesus' Family: Basic Facts
      > > .....
      > >(1) Jesus had a mother ...

      (snip)

      > > whose name was Mary (Mk. 6:3; ...
      >
      > But we only have Mark's word for this. In first century Judaism the
      > usual identification of a person was in the form "x son of y". So I
      > doubt whether Mark would have known the name of Jesus' mother, in which
      > case he could easily have invented a name. You may think it *probable*
      > that her name was Mary, but I don't see how you can label it as a "basic
      > fact".

      Ron, your caution here is well taken with respect to the use of the term
      "basic fact."

      > >(5) Jesus, at one point, severed ties with his family or at least
      > >disassociated himself from his family (Mk. 3:31-35; GTh 99; voted pink by
      > >Jesus Seminar [FJS, _Acts_, 73]; ...
      >
      > Most of the Jesus Seminar folk appear to be under the impression that
      > GTh was independent of Mark, and no doubt their pink vote reflects the
      > consequent belief that the disassociation is multiply attested. I have
      > challenged GTh's independence on this list (3 Aug 2001). If GTh is
      > discounted, we only have Mark's word for the disassociation. Also there
      > is a clear motive.

      You are correct. A very high percentage of JS Fellows do hold to GTh's
      independence of the canonical Gospels. I have printed out your post of
      8/3/02 and plan to examine your argument. If you are right, it would
      remove one of the sources used in the consideration of multiple attestation
      of a Jesus saying. I am increasingly drawn to the position that Mark knew
      Q
      directly or indirectly, and if that be the case, we would have to remove yet
      one more source used for gaging multiple attestation. We shall soon have
      no basis upon which to make any judgment with respect to multiple
      attestation.

      > Mark was a supporter of Paul, and Paul had been at
      > loggerheads with James, Jesus' brother.

      I do not think that Mark was a *supporter* of Paul. I do not think that
      the writer of Mark knew Paul, though there are similarities in their
      theological orientation, though Mark departs radically from Paul in Mark's
      view that the risen Jesus is absent from the earthly stage until the final
      eschatological event when, and only then, is Jesus exalted into
      transcendental glory (see my _Mark-Traditions in Conflict_, 124-37).

      > >(6) Jesus' family, at one point, thought that he, because of his conduct
      in
      > >his public ministry, was out of his mind, i.e. demon-possessed (Mk. 3:
      21;
      > >voted pink by the Jesus Seminar [FJS, _ Acts_, 73]; and see Werner
      Kelber,
      > >_The Kingdom in Mark_, 25f., and Steve Davies' XTalk post, "Mk 3:21"
      > >[Crosstalk2, April 19, 2002]), and moved to intervene against him. Mahlon
      > >Smith ("Israel's Prodigal Son,"453, n. 63) cites the fellows of the Jesus
      > >Seminar voting pink on the issue of "Jesus' brothers . . . not [being] in
      > >sympathy with him." That particular dimension of the family's view of
      > >Jesus, however, may perhaps be a Markan motif created by Mark as part of
      > >Mark's polemic against the family .....
      >
      > Yes, Mark conducted a polemic against Jesus' family. What baffles me
      > is why, having seen this possibility, you seem happy to take material
      > which plausibly belongs to this polemic (see the paragraph below), class
      > it as a "basic fact", and build an intricate argument on top of it.

      I am ambivalent on this issue. It is not clear to me, as I stated in the
      section of my developing monograph which I posted, whether Mark capitalizes
      on a historically accurate datum here to push his own anti-family polemic or
      creates his anti-family polemic out of whole cloth.
      >
      > > ..... It does appear that Jesus' family,
      > >for whatever reason, chose not to be associated with Jesus or have
      anything
      > >to do with his public ministry, at least there is no indication in the
      > >Synoptic Gospels that the family aligned itself with Jesus' vision or
      > >kingdom-cause;
      >
      > The other synoptic writers were strongly influenced by Mark. They toned
      > down Mark's polemic, e.g. by omitting: "When his family heard it they
      > went out to restrain him" (Mk 3:21), but they stopped short of writing
      > Jesus' family back into active involvement in his ministry. This would
      > have introduced a fundamental and blatant contradiction of Mark which
      > would have undermined the reliability of the synoptics in the eyes of
      > their first century readers. Instead Matthew and Luke rehabilitated
      > Jesus' family in more subtle ways such as presenting birth stories in
      > which Mary and Joseph are heroes.

      I do not find Matthew or Luke concerned about contradicting Mark for fear of
      undermining Mark's reliability or credibility. Just consider how Matthew
      and Luke, independently, completely rewrite the ending of Mark, particularly
      16:8, and turn a negative ending of "silence" and "disobedience" into a
      positive ending of "proclamation" and "obedience."

      >
      > > and the evangelist John, if his comment is historically
      > >accurate, states explicitly that Jesus' brothers did not believe in him
      > >(7:5).
      >
      > I don't believe this comment is historically accurate. The
      > 'Evangelist' John (though not the author of John 21) was, in Goulder's
      > terminology, an "ultra-Pauline". He followed Mark in painting a negative
      > picture of the original disciples.

      I do not think that one can place much confidence in the Gospel of John as a
      reservoir of historicity. I did qualify my reference to John with "*if*."

      Thank you, Ron, for your helpful feedback.

      Ted
    • DaGoi@aol.com
      In a message dated 11/01/2 5:59:40 AM, Ron wrote:
      Message 2 of 16 , Nov 2, 2002
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        In a message dated 11/01/2 5:59:40 AM, Ron wrote:

        << This would
        have introduced a fundamental and blatant contradiction of Mark which
        would have undermined the reliability of the synoptics in the eyes of
        their first century readers.>>

        Come again? undermined what? Do you think the percieved reliability of one
        of these would have reflected on the others, or that they were seperate?

        Of course, the others of the four have rather fundamental and seeminly
        blatant contradictions of Mark that evidently did not seem to matter in this
        regard.

        Bill Foley
        Woburn
      • Ron Price
        ... Bill, So do you think that, say, Matthew was completely uninhibited in his rewriting of Mark? If so, then why did he merely shift the implied greed from
        Message 3 of 16 , Nov 2, 2002
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          Bill Foley wrote:

          >Of course, the others of the four have rather fundamental and seeminly
          >blatant contradictions of Mark that evidently did not seem to matter in this
          >regard.

          Bill,

          So do you think that, say, Matthew was completely uninhibited in his
          rewriting of Mark?
          If so, then why did he merely shift the implied greed from James and
          John to their mother (Mt 20:20ff.) rather than replace the request for
          special places in the kingdom by something much more honourable? Why
          didn't Matthew, who obviously had such a high regard for Peter (Mt
          16:15-19), omit the story of Peter's denial altogether?

          The fact is that some contradictions are more major and more blatant
          than others. There was surely some limit beyond which Matthew was not
          prepared to go.

          Ron Price

          Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

          e-mail: ron.price@...

          Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
        • Gordon Raynal
          ... Hi Mark and Ted, Just a couple of cents worth on this point:)! I think Painter is correct about this. The disbelieving, rejection, and name calling
          Message 4 of 16 , Nov 3, 2002
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            ----------
            >From: "Mark Goodacre" <M.S.Goodacre@...>
            >To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: Re: [XTalk] Jesus, James et al and Their Observant Parents
            >Date: 3, Nov 2002, 5:19 PM

            >
            >(2) What do you make of John Painter's claim in _Just James_ that we
            >should be wary of accepting at face value the Gospels' negative
            >portrait & distancing of James (and the family of Jesus) during
            >Jesus' ministry? In other words, perhaps the family were much more
            >closely involved with Jesus' ministry and much more sympathetic to it
            >than we assume when reading the Gospels.

            Hi Mark and Ted,

            Just a couple of cents worth on this point:)! I think Painter is correct
            about this. The "disbelieving," "rejection," and "name calling" surely is
            important as a theological motif consistent with the utter abandonment of
            Jesus by ALL (rooted in the midrash of the Servant Songs of Isaiah), but I
            don't think it tells us anything about family dynamics. I disagree with my
            Jesus Seminar friends on this and that "the Prodigal" is "autobiographical."
            To HJ and the family saying about "who is my...," such a verbal ploy is
            consistent with "the shock value" of parabolic speech. But that it suggests
            "actual feelings" about HJ and his family? I don't think so. Indeed, I'd
            suggest that such a saying as Thomas 12, James being also known by a
            nickname, what Paul says of his leadership in Galatians all go to suggest
            that James was "a part of" the Kingdom Movement all along.

            Gordon Raynal
            Inman, SC
          • John Lupia
            From: Robert Eisenman  | This is Spam | Add to Address Book To: John Lupia Subject: Fw: Summary of my position
            Message 5 of 16 , Nov 3, 2002
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              From: "Robert Eisenman" <reisenma@...>�|�This is
              Spam�|�Add to Address Book
              To: "John Lupia" <jlupia2@...>

              Subject: Fw: Summary of my position
              Date: Sun, 3 Nov 2002 16:28:12 -0800



              > Please answer your correspondent in the following
              > manner:
              >
              > "I say 3rd-4th centuries because by that time the
              > Gospels had a chance to reach their final form and
              become widely known. Paul only calls James "the
              brother of the Lord", whatever he means by this. By
              the way, you might note that Paul does not know a
              second James, or at least never mentions him. But I
              have spent some thousand pages trying to answer these
              questions, how can I answer them in one-two sentences,
              or 'on one foot' as it were? As George H. W. Bush
              said, 'read my lips' or rather, 'read my book.'

              Best, RE"
              >
              >
              >P. S. Thanks for your notes on "biovermiculation" and
              all other consulatios.

              Bob Eisenman


              =====
              John N. Lupia, III
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            • Ted Weeden
              Steve Black wrote on November 02, 2002: (snnip) ... Thank you, Steve. ... I think such an apologetic is evident in Q. I think that Lk. 12:53 is closer to the
              Message 6 of 16 , Nov 4, 2002
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                Steve Black wrote on November 02, 2002:

                (snnip)
                > Firstly, I want to thanks you Ted for a fascinating essay!

                Thank you, Steve.

                > I have been wrestling through Mt's use of some of Q's "family"
                > material, Namely that found in the "missionary discourse" of Mt 10.
                > It strikes me that this material is best explained as a post-Easter
                > creation. The divisions which in 10:35 are not just the result, but
                > the *purpose* of Jesus' coming sound to me like a (desperate?)
                > attempt to make theological sense of the serious divisions created
                > from a radical decision to accept Jesus as God's eschatological
                > agent.

                I think such an apologetic is evident in Q. I think that Lk. 12:53 is
                closer to the original wording of Q than Mt. 10:35, however (see _CEQ_).

                (snip)

                > I think of other times of
                > unrest and social chaos where family turned against itself. (This
                > might be anachronistic, but I try to make sense of what I don't know
                > by way of connecting it to things that I do know) I think of the
                > American civil war - of Nazi Germany where children betrayed parents,
                > of the Civil war and genocide in Cambodia (in the 70's?). The point
                > of this anachronistic list is to suggest that this social breakdown
                > often happens in the context of larger social/political breakdown. In
                > Mt's case this would be obvious - the destruction of the temple and
                > the loss of a whole way of life and world view with it. In such a
                > context where everything becomes instable and insecure, religious
                > symbols begin to take on an all-consuming importance. As Xn's were
                > proclaiming symbols that undermined the symbols being uses by other
                > non-Xn Jews it is not surprising that this would result in harsh
                > mutual polemics. Thus the imperial powers are forgotten - the ones
                > actually responsible for this situation, and those closest become the
                > targets of battle - and this is because of the total significance
                > placed upon the religious symbols on both sides of the debate. The
                > point being that all this makes sense in the context of a society in
                > turmoil and destruction. This makes most sense in the 67-100CE range
                > - namely the time of the evangelists.

                Is it just a clash of symbols or is it the substantive content, meaning and
                claims being made which the symbols represent? (You may have had
                substantive issues in mind). Let me briefly put how I see this clash within
                family with respect to Jesus' substantive critique and adament opposition to
                the Judean cult of his family (both nuclear and the extended family of his
                hometown and Judean heritage, perhaps even a case, as you suggest, in which
                "the imperial powers are forgotten - the ones actually responsible for [the]
                situation, and those closest become the targets of battle."

                As N. Timothy Wright has stated (_Jesus and the Vistory of God_, see
                383-390) and its the purity codes, circumcision, Temple, Sabbath, as well as
                other festivals, were the distinctive and crucial identifying marks of what
                it meant to be Judean (I intentionally use the term "Judean," rather than
                "Jewish" to distinguish between Galilean Israelites of the first century CE
                and Judean Judahites) in the second Temple period. In a time when the
                Judeans, since they were not an independent nation, had no other way to
                establish boundaries that distinguished themselves ethno-religiously from
                Gentiles (i.e. other nations)---and particularly at a time when the Roman
                occupation and the incursion and imposition of Greco-Roman culture upon
                Palestine of the first century CE were blurring those ethno-religious
                boundaries and threatening the survival of the inherent integrity of what it
                meant to be Judean--- the observance and preservation of these distinctive
                Judean identity marks was considered by the Judean cultic establishment to
                be absolutely indispensable. As Joseph Klausner put it fifty-five years
                ago (_Jesus of Nazareth_, 376): "The Judaism of the time . . . had no other
                aim than to save the tiny nation, the guardian of great ideals, from sinking
                into the broad sea of heathen culture "

                It was this insistence of the Judean establishment upon the strict
                observance of its cultic observances, rules and practices that incensed
                Jesus and drove him to attack the cult at its heart. He challenged the
                purity codes, Temple practices, the literal application of certain
                commandments (the Sabbath commandment and the honoring-parents commandment)
                when those distinctive ethno-religious marks were employed to exclude the
                unobservant (the so-called "unclean")---unobservant by virtue of life
                conditions or whatever--- from being considered acceptable by or worthy of
                God. Jesus' opposition to the Judean cult made him a threat, minor though
                it may have been, to the survival of the Judean establishment in a world
                where it was fighting for survival against Roman occupation and the
                replacement of its ethno-religious distinctiveness with Greco-Roman culture
                (e.g. Herod Antipas' founding of Tiberias, his Greco-Roman resort center).
                Klausner---after summarizing Jesus' idealism, which included his disregard,
                even contempt, of the Judean Temple establishment (its Torah interpretation
                and ceremonial laws of purity which defined what and who was clean and
                unclean: Klausner 369-72)--- concludes (376), "the nation [Judea] as a whole
                could only see in such public ideals as those of Jesus, an abnormal and even
                dangerous phantasy; the majority, who followed the Pharisees and Scribes
                (*Tannaim*), the leaders of the popular party in the nation, could *on no
                account* [emphasis:Klausner] accept the teachings of Jesus. This teaching
                Jesus had imbibed from the breast of the Prophetic and, to a certain extent,
                Pharisaic Judaism; yet it became, on one hand, the negation of everything
                that had vitalized Judaism; and on the other hand, it brought Judaism to
                such an extreme that it became, in a sense, *non-Judaism* [emphasis:
                Klausner]. Hence the strange sight:--- Judaism brought forth Christianity
                in its first form (the teaching of Jesus), but it thrust aside its daughter
                when it saw that she would slay the mother with a deadly kiss.:" I will
                spell out my own perspective on Jesus' challenge to the Judean cultic
                establishment in the next installment of my developing monograph.


                > What might this have meant for "Q"? Turmoil preceded the actual
                > destruction of the temple by many years would think, So I guess this
                > same turmoil could be seen as religious symbols are being questions
                > earlier in the century. Religious symbols are always touchy things to
                > question in any event, but when they are "all you have" (as it were)
                > it results in full on in-fighting. However these passages might be
                > construed in "Q", it still makes sense to think about two communities
                > battling it out, and the Xn one projecting that battle back in
                > history upon Jesus.

                > With this theme in place, I wonder if the other family in-fighting
                > stories (ie. "Who is my mom, and bro, not those outside but those who
                > do God's will..."etc) might not be literary creations designed to
                > illustrate in narrative form the division that Jesus "came" to create
                > mentioned in Mt 10.

                I place Q in Galilee, north of the northern rim of the Sea of Galilee, as
                does Bill Arnal, John Kloppenborg-Verbin, Jonathan Reed (to name a few).
                I think Bill is correct that the final recension of 3Q was completed by 66
                CE (see _Jesus and the Village Scribes_ , 166). Thus the completion of
                3Q antedates the actual war, which then rules it out as the eternal *Sitz
                im Leben* behind your Q text. Besides, Bill dates 2Q, the first
                recension of Q, in which your text occurs (Q 12:53), in the time frame
                of the 40s-50s (172). That is long time before the war.

                It is noteworthy that the text speaks of intergenerational
                conflict--- father against son, son against father, mother against daughter,
                daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law,
                daughter-in-law against mother-in-law--- but does not speak of
                intragenerational conflict as in the case of Mk. 13:12, i.e. brother against
                brother. My take on this is that a situation has occurred, as a result of
                the evangelization of the Q people, in which sons and daughters, etc.,
                have responded to the "Jesus message" to the horror of their parents,
                a situation similar to the case in Jn. 9:1-41, the blind man, who once
                healed of his blindness, becomes a follower of Jesus, much to his
                parents' chagrin.

                I am not sure how much Roman oppression or the imposition of
                Greco-Roman culture on the section north of the Sea of Galilee
                would account for the hostile division between the generations of
                the various Q communities located there, though certainly, as Bill
                Arnal has made the case, the oppressive conditions and
                discombobulation of local communities' autonomy, as a result of
                Herodian intrusion in their lives via the rebuilding of Sepphoris and
                the founding of Tiberias, the centralization of power and authority
                there, and the resultant exploitation of the communities north of the
                Sea of Galilee, may have been a factor. Perhaps Bill has some
                insights on what is behind the Q text.

                You have raised a very interesting question, Steve.

                Ted
              • Ted Weeden
                ... Thank you, Mark. (snip) ... Are your referring to Wright s theory that Jesus was launching, symbolically anyway, a new Maccabean campaign (_Jesus and the
                Message 7 of 16 , Nov 4, 2002
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                  Mark Goodacre wrote on Sunday, November 03, 2002:

                  > Many thanks, Ted, for sharing your interesting piece with us.

                  Thank you, Mark.

                  (snip)

                  > I
                  > particularly enjoyed the case for linking Judas and Simon with the
                  > Maccabeans of the same name, and of preferring this to Meier's thesis
                  > that the names are simply patriarchal. If you didn't already know,
                  > I'm sure you'll be delighted to hear that in this you are aligning
                  > yourself with Tom Wright -- see his _Jesus and the Victory of God_!

                  Are your referring to Wright's theory that Jesus was launching, symbolically
                  anyway, a new "Maccabean" campaign (_Jesus and the Victory of God_,
                  490-494), and not my theory that Jesus' brothers, Judas and Simon, were
                  named after Judas Maccabeus and Simon Maccabeus? I do not find
                  Wright speaking to the naming of Jesus' siblings. Have I missed
                  something? If you were referring to Jesus launching a Maccabean
                  campaign to cleanse Judea, including the Temple, from pagan influence,
                  and establish himself messianically, I do not buy that. I think Jesus was
                  adamantly opposed to the Judean cultic establishment. He was not out to
                  reform it. I will address my position on this in a forecoming piece which
                  is the next section of my developing monograph.

                  > One or two additional thoughts on the piece:
                  >
                  > (1) Your alignment of James with Pharisaic interests ties in closely
                  > with Michael Goulder's exposition of Mark's Gospel, in which he sees
                  > the scribes and Pharisees as cyphers for followers of James in his
                  > (Mark's) Church. See Goulder, Michael D. "A Pauline in a Jacobite
                  > Church." In The Four Gospels 1992. Festschrift Frans Neirynck. Volume
                  > II, ed. Van Segbroeck, F. and u.a., , 859 - 875. Bibliotheca
                  > Ephemeridum theologicarum Lovaniensium 100. Leuven: Univ. Press,
                  > 1992. I'd strongly encourage you to have a look at Goulder's work if
                  > you haven't yet had a chance to.

                  Thank your for bringing Goulder's essay to my attention. Unfortunately with
                  all the theological libraries in the state of Wisconsin only two libraries
                  (two hours from my home) have the festschrift, and one of them is just
                  processing it. I have ordered the available one on interlibrary loan.
                  >
                  > (2) What do you make of John Painter's claim in _Just James_ that we
                  > should be wary of accepting at face value the Gospels' negative
                  > portrait & distancing of James (and the family of Jesus) during
                  > Jesus' ministry? In other words, perhaps the family were much more
                  > closely involved with Jesus' ministry and much more sympathetic to it
                  > than we assume when reading the Gospels.

                  It is possible that the family may not have been as antagonistic toward
                  Jesus and his ministry as Mark, for example, portrays it. But I think
                  the evidence, as I interpret it, suggests that Jesus opposed the
                  Judean cultic establishment (its purity laws and practices and its
                  interpretation of Torah), an opposition that I think placed Jesus at odds
                  with his family and his hometown Nazareth. Consider, what I think is an
                  authentic saying, GTh. 31: "No prophet is accepted in his own village," a
                  saying which reflects, in my judgment, the parting of the ways between
                  Jesus and his family and his hometown.

                  (snip)

                  > I am concerned that you are simply avoiding the evidence from the
                  > Protevangelium altogether, particularly in relation to its
                  > identification of James & the brothers as sons of Joseph from a
                  > previous marriage. Of course the narrative in the Protevangelium as
                  > a whole is fiction, but there are interesting questions over what
                  > elements of the fiction are based on authentic or reliable
                  > traditions. And one of the major candidates here is the idea that
                  > James and other brothers were sons of Joseph by a previous marriage.
                  > I mentioned that I am not yet convinced on this, but let me be a
                  > little bolder and argue in favour of this tradition by drawing
                  > attention to the following points:

                  Mark, I am not biased against the Protevangelium possibly reflecting some
                  authentic information about Jesus. The issue of credibility here, with
                  respect to authentic memory, is the same as the case of the Markan negative
                  portrait of Jesus' family: namely, is what the author in point reports
                  based upon a reliable historical tradition or is it his own bias being
                  reflected in his fictive presentation?

                  > (a) The brothers never appear to be called sons of Mary, even on
                  > occasions when they are mentioned alongside her (e.g. Acts 1.14).
                  > They are either sons of Joseph or brothers of Jesus.

                  Only Mk. 6:3; Mt. 13:55 and Acts 1:14 mentions both Mary and Jesus' brothers
                  in tandem. I would argue that Matthew is clearly dependent upon Mk. 6:3,
                  though he rewords Mark, and Luke is dependent upon the information he has
                  before him from Mk. 6:3 (having rewritten Mk. 6:1-6 to present his own
                  version
                  of Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth). Given Luke's agenda in Acts, I am
                  increasingly doubtful that anything that Luke presents as historical in
                  Acts can
                  be trusted as reliable historicity. Papers presented at the most recent
                  meeting of the Jesus Seminar have increased my doubts about Luke's
                  reliability on this matter.
                  >
                  > (b) The author of Protevangelium does not appear to be grinding an
                  > axe on this one. The identification of the brothers as sons of the
                  > widower Joseph is rather taken for granted -- the implied reader is
                  > not expected to be surprised by it. This suggests that the fictional
                  > narrative is built up around a tradition "known" to the readers.

                  It is clear to me that the focal concern for the writer is to prove beyond a
                  doubt that Mary was a virgin, before and after Jesus' birth. Thus, for his
                  case to be indisputable, if Jesus had brothers, as the author knows is
                  well-grounded in tradition, the "brothers" have to be Jesus' step-brothers,
                  sons of Joseph (or whatever Jesus' father's name was-- see below) from a
                  previous marriage. I am not sure how you get behind the apologetic to any
                  germ of historicity.

                  If my theory that the naming pattern for the sons in the family incorporated
                  symbolically the two great epics of the Judean heritage--- (1) initial
                  settlement in Canaan, sojourn in Egypt and the conquest/resettlement in
                  Canaan [thus: James, Joses, Jesus] and (2) the reclamation of Judea from
                  Seleucid tyranny and the reestablishment of a Judahite nation by the
                  Maccabees [thus: Judas and Simon]--- then your suggestion that Jesus'
                  brothers were actually the sons of Joseph by a former marriage undermines my
                  theory. I am not wedded to the theory, however, it does help to explain
                  why and how a pious Judean husband and wife named their sons.

                  > (c) Mary outlives Joseph and Jesus in spite of the fact that, on the
                  > assumption that she mothered James et al, she has given birth to a
                  > substantial number of children in an age when death in childbirth was
                  > high.

                  That is true, but do we have any statistics for the number of women who died
                  in childbirth in antiquity vis-a-vis the number children they bore, or
                  statistics
                  indicating the number of children women characteristically bore in
                  antiquity?
                  >
                  > (4) Finally, let me briefly press you in a somewhat different
                  > direction and toy with something else that arises. Our earliest
                  > sources, Mark, Paul etc., do not tell us the name of Jesus' father.
                  > We hear of Mary, the names of the brothers and the existence of
                  > sisters. The earliest reference to the name of Jesus' father is in
                  > Matthew, whose birth narrative you see as "for the most part
                  > fictive". So did Matthew really know the name of Jesus' father or
                  > did he, in the process of describing this dreamer of dreams who
                  > journeys to Egypt, give him the predictable name "Joseph son of
                  > Jacob" (Matt. 1.16)? If the rest of Matthew's birth narrative is
                  > unconvincing as history, why accept this feature?

                  That is a very good question. It is interesting that the Fellows of the
                  Jesus Seminar voted "red" with respect "Joseph" being the name of Jesus'
                  father (_Acts of Jesus_, 500f.). Yet, as you point out, there is no
                  multiple attestation for the historicity of the name, unless one shoehorns
                  the Protevangelium into the "equation." And, of course, you would not
                  allow me, as we say in America, "to have my cake and eat it too," would you?
                  Perhaps, your suggestion that "Joseph," the name that is, was the fictive
                  creation of Matthew is correct. But of course, then, we only have assured
                  multiple attestation for one of Jesus' brothers, namely James. If the
                  Gospel
                  of Thomas traces its literary lineage to a brother of Jesus, namely Judas,
                  that
                  would offer multiple attestation for him. Again, interestingly enough,
                  the Fellows of the Jesus Seminar voted "red" on all the names of Jesus'
                  brothers (_Acts of Jesus_, 84f.). There does not appear, from what I can
                  tell, any rationale provided in _Acts of Jesus_ for this vote or the
                  "Joseph"
                  vote.

                  Thank you, Mark, for your helpful feedback.

                  Ted
                • Ted Weeden
                  Gordon Raynal wrote on Sunday, November 03, 2002: ... Gordon, you are correct with respect to the midrash of the Isaianic servant songs, but the Gospel of
                  Message 8 of 16 , Nov 4, 2002
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                    Gordon Raynal wrote on Sunday, November 03, 2002:

                    (Mark Goodacre to Ted Weeden):
                    > >
                    > >(2) What do you make of John Painter's claim in _Just James_ that we
                    > >should be wary of accepting at face value the Gospels' negative
                    > >portrait & distancing of James (and the family of Jesus) during
                    > >Jesus' ministry? In other words, perhaps the family were much more
                    > >closely involved with Jesus' ministry and much more sympathetic to it
                    > >than we assume when reading the Gospels.
                    >
                    > Hi Mark and Ted,
                    >
                    > Just a couple of cents worth on this point:)! I think Painter is correct
                    > about this. The "disbelieving," "rejection," and "name calling" surely is
                    > important as a theological motif consistent with the utter abandonment of
                    > Jesus by ALL (rooted in the midrash of the Servant Songs of Isaiah), but I
                    > don't think it tells us anything about family dynamics.

                    Gordon, you are correct with respect to the midrash of the Isaianic servant
                    songs, but the Gospel of Thomas has an authentic saying (31), in my
                    judgment, in which Jesus speaks of himself, I gather, as a prophet who has
                    been rejected by his hometown, and Thomas is not under the influence of the
                    servant songs.

                    > I disagree with my
                    > Jesus Seminar friends on this and that "the Prodigal" is
                    "autobiographical."
                    > To HJ and the family saying about "who is my...," such a verbal ploy is
                    > consistent with "the shock value" of parabolic speech.

                    I will post soon one of my sections of this developing monograph on the
                    topic
                    "Jesus, the Cultic Prodigal," in which I draw upon Mahlon Smith's article,
                    suggesting that the Prodigal Son is an autobiographical parable, as well as
                    add my own further support for his theory. I will look forward to your
                    feedback on that piece.

                    > But that it suggests
                    > "actual feelings" about HJ and his family? I don't think so. Indeed, I'd
                    > suggest that such a saying as Thomas 12, James being also known by a
                    > nickname, what Paul says of his leadership in Galatians all go to suggest
                    > that James was "a part of" the Kingdom Movement all along.

                    If James was a part of the movement, I have difficulty understanding how he
                    ended up advocating the very things that Jesus repudiated. What I have
                    reference to is Jesus' dismissal of the Judean cultic establishment, its
                    purity
                    codes and its interpretation of Torah. I will post my piece on that
                    shortly,
                    also.

                    Thank you, Gordon, for your critique. I look forward to further dialogue.

                    Ted
                  • Gordon Raynal
                    ... Ted, Thanks for your note. This is one of those BUSY weeks, but I ll get back with you soon. Hope to see you at SBL. Gordon
                    Message 9 of 16 , Nov 5, 2002
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                      ----------
                      >From: "Ted Weeden" <weedent@...>
                      >To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
                      >Subject: Re: [XTalk] Jesus, James et al and Their Observant Parents
                      >Date: 4, Nov 2002, 9:32 PM
                      >

                      >Gordon Raynal wrote on Sunday, November 03, 2002:

                      Ted,

                      Thanks for your note. This is one of those BUSY weeks, but I'll get back
                      with you soon. Hope to see you at SBL.

                      Gordon
                    • Gordon Raynal
                      ... Hi Ted, a bit of time free now for a few brief responses... ... First, I think this saying is from HJ, but I have my doubts that it is self referential
                      Message 10 of 16 , Nov 5, 2002
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                        ----------
                        >From: "Ted Weeden" <weedent@...>


                        Hi Ted,

                        a bit of time free now for a few brief responses...
                        >
                        >Gordon, you are correct with respect to the midrash of the Isaianic servant
                        >songs, but the Gospel of Thomas has an authentic saying (31), in my
                        >judgment, in which Jesus speaks of himself, I gather, as a prophet who has
                        >been rejected by his hometown, and Thomas is not under the influence of the
                        >servant songs.

                        First, I think this saying is from HJ, but I have my doubts that it is self
                        referential either. It surely is in the way it is framed in the Markan
                        story... no doubt about that. But a). I don't think Jesus thought of
                        himself as a prophet, b.) I also disagree with the JS majority that Jesus
                        was a healer (I like that little section in Hal Taussig's book on prayer on
                        this for a nice little summation), and c. I think this, like the rest of the
                        tart aphoristic and parabolic speech works in the direction of arousing
                        response in the audience... if you will... via "a huh/ what did he say" kind
                        of reaction. For those in hearing distance who knew their Nevi'im... all
                        sorts of connections might run through their minds. For those who thinking
                        about JTB... this might raise some response to what was going on down their
                        by the river. For those who had their own thoughts about "what's gonna
                        happen" and their favorite authorities to back it up... this might arouse a
                        double take. I'm simply presenting 3 sorts of responses that might be
                        aroused via that barb.

                        >I will post soon one of my sections of this developing monograph on the
                        >topic
                        >"Jesus, the Cultic Prodigal," in which I draw upon Mahlon Smith's article,
                        >suggesting that the Prodigal Son is an autobiographical parable, as well as
                        >add my own further support for his theory. I will look forward to your
                        >feedback on that piece.

                        I was in Santa Rosa when Mahlon presented the paper and I think this
                        metaphor provides a provacative metaphor for **us** to think about HJ. I
                        also think Jesus in the ditch from Good Sam is another. But this is for
                        **our** hermeneutical play and I can't figure out any justification for
                        selecting this over say "the Sower" or "the Unjust Judge" for being
                        "autobiographical." (And hey... wouldn't that be interesting in
                        implication... Jesus, a former Judge who changed his ways after dealing with
                        a woman who wouldn't let him alone:)!) Just for a bit of provacative fun...
                        for us... in ruminations about HJ.... it might be some interesting fodder to
                        think of **him** as the elder brother who seeing his father's dealing with
                        rascally younger James or Simon or Tom(Jude) or Joe, Jr. had to "learn
                        forgiveness" the hard way. The point being... as ways for us to enter the
                        play of parabolic speech... such mental play and associations is a valuable
                        exercize. But to impute to a wisdom saying "autobiographical content" is
                        something that I don't think we have historical evidence for.
                        >
                        >> But that it suggests
                        >> "actual feelings" about HJ and his family? I don't think so. Indeed, I'd
                        >> suggest that such a saying as Thomas 12, James being also known by a
                        >> nickname, what Paul says of his leadership in Galatians all go to suggest
                        >> that James was "a part of" the Kingdom Movement all along.
                        >
                        >If James was a part of the movement, I have difficulty understanding how he
                        >ended up advocating the very things that Jesus repudiated. What I have
                        >reference to is Jesus' dismissal of the Judean cultic establishment, its
                        >purity
                        >codes and its interpretation of Torah.

                        A few points here...

                        It being election day... let me borrow an analogy from the political
                        parties. Dems, Repubs, Indeps, etc. as parties have defining
                        characteristics common to and LARGE ranges of differences among each
                        constiuency... thus we talk about liberal dems... to moderate... to
                        conservative... etc. In the case of the original crowd associated with
                        HJ... by looking at the earliest sources we have (I judge them to be: the
                        Common Sayings Tradition between Q/Th... on to Q1 and "Early Thomas"... the
                        Two Ways section found in the Didache... a bare narrative frame found in
                        Mark... the Signs Source... and I actually think Ep. James 1-3... and the
                        authentic Pauline stuff (which I count to be Galatians, Philippians, Romans,
                        Philemon and the Corinthian Correspondence... although I think All of these
                        as we have them are redacted texts)... all of this produced somewhere
                        between the mid 30's to the mid-60's) these writings show "diverse takes,"
                        "diverse references," "diverse paradigms/ emphases" for communicating the
                        theology/ ethics/ social praxis of the original circle of
                        friends/associates. Therein there is a common affirmation base, but also
                        differences. From this I'd suggest that "the Way" (just to borrow that Acts
                        title) was a pretty diverse crowd. I'd suggest that there were some major
                        core agreements... some particular differences in affirmation patterns...
                        and some wonderful arguments that just sort of go with religio-social
                        involvement.

                        And we are talking about brothers... and family! My eldest brother is a
                        Barthian theologian through and through. I rather like these Jesus
                        studies:)! We're both Presbyterians... but we don't always agee!

                        Third... you use the language of "repudiated" and that's a bit strong for
                        me. Surely a whole set of authentic aphorisms push the envelope on the
                        purity issues. But as for "the center of the defining markers of this group
                        of friends and associates... the common language is about "a ministry of
                        reconciliation" (Paul)/ "Saying peace to this house" (Q mission speech)/ "if
                        two make peace in a single house...
                        mountains move" (G.Th.) "salt and peace" (from that core in Mark)/ "a
                        harvest of righteousness is sown..." (Ep.James)/ "The Way of Life"
                        (Didache). As harsh definitions of purity were used to divide people off...
                        yes... the tart barb from Jesus! But "repudiate?"... I don't think so at
                        all... thus this group brought folks together who were peasants/ destitute/
                        retainers/.... apocalyptically oriented/ wisdom oriented/
                        "spiritualist/mystically" oriented.... pious in observance... some half
                        pious and some not at all!/ some Judeans/ Samaritans/ Galileans/ folks from
                        Herod Philips domain....
                        Indeed I think this accounts for the verve "of the original time"...
                        accounts for the multiplicity of "framings"... accounts for all the
                        rowdiness as time went along... accounts for why "standard proclamations"
                        were so needed after the war (and reactions against them blew up!)... and
                        accounts for the early moves towards collecting what would fit together
                        (yes, Galatians and Ep. of James could be saved, but not some of the wilder
                        Gnostic stuff). [Just one side-bar here... I think this also accounts for
                        Luke-Acts which I have to place circa 110 to 120 trying to "get the story
                        straight].

                        So... back to HJ... as you may remember from earlier postings here or when I
                        used to post on the Westar group... I'm confident about a collection of
                        aphorisms and parables from HJ... confident about the dining milieu and that
                        the above mentioned "center constitution" for Jesus and friends. Beyond
                        that I just don't see the data for such as historical assurance that Jesus
                        was being self referential in this parable as opposed to that one. A dandy
                        sage... after all... is quite able to cast himself fictionally... if that's
                        part of the twist... to arouse the dialogue and thought!

                        Lastly... James... like Jesus is going to be cast in a number of ways. The
                        Thomas and later gnostic trajectory will claim him. He will be right in
                        their with the apocalyptic oriented folks. He will be remembered as
                        concerned about Purity. He will be remembered for his wisdom. I don't
                        think we know too much about HJ. I think we know less about HJames, HPeter
                        and even HPaul!

                        Thanks for your interest in "another sort of angle" on the Prodigal, issues
                        of Purity and what this all has to do with the late 20's among a group of
                        provacative friend and family! My susupicion is that James and Jesus could
                        probably argue quite healthily, but I see no reason to think that even such
                        disputes as over certain purity rules would divide them away from common
                        interest.

                        Gordon Raynal
                        Inman, SC
                      • Ted Weeden
                        ... (snip) ... Frank, there could have been others besides the Pharisees who took exception to Ananus execution and moved to have Ananus removed from office.
                        Message 11 of 16 , Nov 5, 2002
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                          Frank McCoy wrote on Sunday, November 03, 2002:

                          > Ted Weeden)
                          (snip)
                          >
                          > The fact that James' death could have been made part
                          > of the Pharisees' power play against Ananus and the
                          > Sadducceans suggests, Crossan posits (_Birth_, 464),
                          > that James must have had some favorable standing
                          > publicly and have been of sufficient importance for
                          > Josephus to chronicle his death. I would go even
                          > further and suggest that James must have been
                          > favorably looked upon by the Pharisees, i.e., his
                          > ideological bent must have been in some concert with
                          > the Pharisaic orientation (cf. Theissen, _The
                          > Gospels_, 232, who suggests that James probably
                          > facilitated a "rapprochement" between the Pharisees
                          > and "Palestinian Jewish Christians."). Otherwise, it
                          > is difficult to account for why it was that the
                          > Pharisees would have chosen to use James' death as a
                          > cause celebre against Ananus.
                          >
                          > (Frank McCoy)
                          > That the opponents of the younger Annas had been
                          > strict in their observance of the Law doesn't
                          > necessitate that they had only been the Pharisees.

                          Frank, there could have been others besides the Pharisees who took exception
                          to Ananus' execution and moved to have Ananus removed from office. My point
                          is that James came close to being Pharisaic in his version of the Jesus
                          movement he led in Jerusalem.

                          (spin)

                          > So, ISTM, it is reasonable to conclude that the people
                          > who were strict in their observance of the Law and
                          > protested the execution of James constituted an
                          > anti-Annasite and anti-Sadducic coalition of the
                          > Pharisees and the Boethusians Further, their
                          > contention was that James hadn't broken any ordinance
                          > of the Law calling for death as a punishment: meaning
                          > that Annas had unjustly executed him. Possibly, James
                          > had been executed on a provision of Mosaic Law *as
                          > interpreted only by the Sadducees* and the Pharisees
                          > and Boethusians protested because their own> interpretations of that
                          provision of the Law were
                          > quite different.

                          I have difficulty with your aligning the Boethusians with the Pharisees in
                          protest against James' execution by Ananus. As Anthony Saldarini points out
                          (_Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees in Palestinian Society_, 227-228, cf.
                          305-306), we know virtually nothing about the Boethusians, they are a
                          "knotty problem" to gain clarity on, their "origin and nature is uncertain,"
                          they had "no known significance fo rabbinic authors" and what little we do
                          know indicates that they were identified with the Sadducees. If we know
                          virtually nothing about the Boethusians, much less their position on Torah
                          vis-a-vis James or Ananus, if the little we do know identifies them with the
                          Sadducees, how is it that they could be in coalition with the Pharisees
                          against the Sadducean Ananus for his interpretation of the Torah that led
                          him to execute James?

                          > In GJohn, after his arrest, Jesus is brought to the
                          > senior Annas. So, in GJohn, it is the senior Annas
                          > who initiates the events that culminate in the
                          > execution of Jesus. Further, in it, a Pharisee,
                          > Nicodemus, helps Joseph of Arimathea to symbolically
                          > protest the execution of Jesus by giving him a decent
                          > burial.

                          Here is where we just see things differently. I consider Joseph of Arimathea
                          to be a literary creation of Mark, as do the Fellows of the Jesus Seminar
                          (_The Acts of Jesus_, 159). Of course, just because I or the Jesus Seminar
                          consider Joseph of Arimathea to be a Markan invention does not make you
                          wrong and "us" right. I think that John, who was dependent upon Mark,
                          appropriated Joseph of Arimathea from Mark and combined that literary
                          character with his own literary character, Nicodemus, for the Johannine
                          burial story.

                          > I suggest that all this reflects knowledge of a later
                          > reality when the younger Annas was responsible for the
                          > execution of James and when a coalition of Pharisees
                          > and Boethusians, led by the recently deposed Joseph
                          > Cabi, protested the execution of Jesus' brother by the
                          > younger Annas--so that, in GJohn, on one level of the
                          > narrative, the senior Annas represents the younger
                          > Annas, Nicodemus represents the Pharisees, Joseph of
                          > Arimathea represents Joseph Cabi and, perhaps, the
                          > other Boethusians, and Jesus represents James.

                          Again, we see things in radically different ways. I am sorry, but from my
                          perspective to argue that the senior Ananus=the younger Ananus, Joseph of
                          Arimathea=Joseph Kabi, and Jesus=James in the Johannine text is imposing
                          equations on the Johannine text that turns exegesis.
                          (snip)

                          > However, that James was known to be obedient to the
                          > Law doesn't tell us *how* he interpreted the
                          > Law--whether this be in a Pharisaic fashion, a
                          > Boethusian fashion, an Essenic fashion, or some other
                          > fashion. So, I do not think that we have sufficient
                          > evidence for concluding that James interpreted the Law
                          > in the same fashion as did the Pharisees, much less
                          > that he had been in alliance with them.

                          You are correct that we do not have any indisputable evidence for how James
                          interpreted the Law. But I do think that we have some clues. First, of all
                          his family seems to have been an observant Judean family (see my post of
                          10/31). As N. Thomas Wright has observed (_Jesus and the Vistory of God_,
                          383-390), and as I pointed out in my 10/4 post to Steve Black, what was most
                          critical for defining and preserving the Judean heritage in the first
                          century CE was the cult's purity codes, circumcision, Temple, Sabbath, as
                          well as other festivals, which were the distinctive and crucial identifying
                          marks of what it meant to be Judean in the second Temple period. In a time
                          when the Judeans, since they were not an independent nation, had no other
                          way to establish boundaries that distinguished themselves ethno-religiously
                          from Gentiles (i.e. other nations)---and particularly at a time when the
                          Roman occupation and the incursion and imposition of Greco-Roman culture
                          upon Palestine of the first century CE were blurring those ethno-religious
                          boundaries and threatening the survival of the inherent integrity of what it
                          meant to be Judean--- the observance and preservation of these distinctive
                          Judean identity marks were considered by the Judean cultic establishment to
                          be absolutely indispensable.

                          Consequently, since the maintenance of those identity markers was so crucial
                          to the Judean establishment's survival, I cannot imagine the strict
                          observers of the Law, whoever they were, would have come to the defense of
                          James if he did not support those identity markers himself. Had he not been
                          observant of those identity markers, and we know from Paul that he was at
                          least adamant about "circumcision" and apparently about the circumcised not
                          eating with the "unclean" (purity code) circumcised, it is difficult for me
                          to understand why James would have been made the cause celebre of the strict
                          Torah observers in having Ananus deposed from the priesthood for his
                          execution of James, as Josephus tells us (_Ant._, 20. 197-203)..

                          Furthermore, given the fact that James, and perhaps other members of his
                          family, chose to go to Jerusalem, the very heart of the Judean establishment
                          and the focal point of the Judean way of life (identity markers, etc.),
                          rather than staying in Galilee to organize a Jesus movement, suggests to me
                          that James saw the Jesus movement which he headed as one that must be
                          modeled after the Judean Torah (the post-exilic priestly rendition,
                          including purity codes, etc.) and cultic identity, including Davidic
                          messianism.

                          (snip)

                          > (Frank McCoy)
                          > That James personally observed Mosaic Law is so well
                          > attested that I see no reason to doubt it. The big> question, though, is
                          whether he thought that the
                          > observance of Mosaic Law is necessary for one to be
                          > saved. Here, the evidence is not clear-cut.

                          What do you mean by "saved" from James perspective?

                          > What does Crossan say about the traditions making
                          > James a priestly figure and, in some of these
                          > traditions, even a high priestly figure? For example,
                          > according the Hegesippus, James entered the Holy
                          > Place, into which only priests are permitted to enter,
                          > and wore linen at the temple--where only priests could
                          > wear linen.

                          Crossan has a fairly lengthy section on James in his _The Birth of
                          Christianity_ (462-468), as well as a section on the Jerusalem church
                          (469-476).

                          > Many of the ascetic traits ascribed to James are also
                          > found in the practices of the Therapeutae. Does
                          > Crossan see any Egyptian Jewish influence on James?

                          Not that I am aware of

                          > (Ted Weeden)
                          > How is it, then, that James turned out to be so ultra
                          > conservative in his advocacy and obedience of the
                          > Judean Torah, such an observant Judean, so Pharisaic
                          > in his orientation and so favorably considered by the
                          > Pharisees, when Jesus, his brother, was almost
                          > diametrically the opposite in his orientation to the
                          > law and the Judean cult, and was so critical of the
                          > Pharisees and the Judean cultic establishment (see
                          > below for a full discussion of Jesus' challenge to and
                          > controverting of Judean cultic regulations and
                          > practice)?
                          >
                          > (Frank McCoy)
                          > Was he really "so Pharisaic in his orientation and so
                          > favorably considered by the Pharisees"?

                          See above.

                          > In Acts 15, Luke narrates, certain followers of Jesus
                          > who were also Pharisees argued that Gentiles need to
                          > obey Mosaic Law and be circumcised to be saved.> However, James rejected
                          their contention. If Luke is
                          > correct, than James and the Pharisees apparently were
                          > diametrically opposed on the issue of whether one must
                          > obey Mosaic Law in order to be saved.

                          I have strong doubts about the reliability of Luke as an accurate reporter
                          of any actual historical events, particularly since he has created his own
                          fictive history of the early church. Thus I discount the entire Acts 15
                          narrative as Lukan fiction. A recent paper presented by Dennis Smith,
                          chair of the Acts section of the Jesus Seminar, at the meeting of the Jesus
                          Seminar this fall states the issue well, as I see it, with respect to Luke
                          making up the Jerusalem council preceding he reports in Acts 15, along with
                          a lot of other so-called historical events in the life of the early church.
                          I quote here snippets of Smith's unpublished paper ("The Acts of the
                          Apostles and the Rewriting of Christian History: Toward an Introduction to
                          the Critical Study of Acts Today").

                          "[T]oday the historicity of much of the story Acts tells can be challenged.
                          Part of that challenge derives from a new awareness of the complex diversity
                          of Christian origins --the story in Acts simply cannot successfully account
                          for that diversity. But the most significant challenge to the Acts story of
                          Christian origins derives from a critical study of Acts itself. Today we
                          know that Acts is a work of imaginative religious literature exhibiting the
                          characteristics of other such literature of its day. When critically
                          examined, it is unable to support the high level of trust that Christian
                          interpreters have traditionally placed in the accuracy of its story" (2).

                          And with regard to Luke's fictive creation of the Jerusalem council meeting
                          for which creation Luke used Gal.2: "William O. Walker has posed in a recent
                          series of studies ["Acts and the Pauline Corpus Reconsidered," _Journal for
                          the Study of the New Testament_, 24 (1985); 3-23; "Acts and the Pauline
                          Corpus Revisited; Peter's Speech at the Jerusalem Conference," in _Literary
                          Studies in Luke-Acts: Essays in Honor of Joseph B. Tyson_, ed Richard P.
                          Thompson & Thomas E: Phillips (Macon, GA; Mercer University Press, 1998),
                          77-86] . . . that the primary, if not only, source for Acts 15 was Paul's
                          account of the Jerusalem meeting in Galatians 2: 1-10.19. He notes
                          especially the "transfer of roles" in the two accounts. Paul presents
                          himself as the "apostle to the Gentiles," and presents Peter as his
                          detractor, as the "apostle to the circumcised. " Yet in Acts, Peter presents
                          himself as the primary apostle to the Gentiles. This point is buttressed by
                          a close analysis of Peter's speech in Acts 15, where Peter uses arguments
                          and even phrases that can be seen to be derivative of Paul himself in
                          Galatians. Walker points out that Luke had a theological, rather than
                          historical, reason to retell Paul's story as he does here in Act 15. He
                          argues that Acts is attempting to "rehabilitate" Paul and bring him more in
                          line with a more acceptable tradition. Thus, whereas in Galatians Paul is
                          opposed by Peter, James, and finally Barnabas, in Acts 15 Paul is warmly
                          joined in his mission by both Peter and James, and Barnabas only splits with
                          Paul over a minor issue."

                          "Walker's argument provides a helpful corrective to much previous
                          scholarship on Acts 15. As a working hypothesis, it has enormous
                          implications for our reconstruction of the Paul sections in Acts, for if
                          Acts uses Paul's letters as a source, then Acts would offer little if any
                          independent, and therefore potentially reliable, data on Paul" (8).

                          And now with regard to Luke's fictive history: "Lucian reminds us [_How to
                          Write History_, 47-48, 50-54] that the standards of history in the ancient
                          world were not what we might think. The ancients were clear on this.
                          Thucydides, for example, who wrote an extensive history of the Greeks, used
                          the motif of speeches by his primary characters, much as does the author of
                          Acts. Thucydides admits that he composes these speeches. He saw it as his
                          responsibility to reconstruct what he thought would have been appropriate to
                          be said on that occasion. Thucydides was one of the models for good
                          history writing, and, just as Lucian suggested, he saw it as his job to
                          freely create details of the story so as to make 'history' come alive.
                          What we are dealing here [Luke-Acts] at its best is more like what we might
                          today call a 'historical novel'" (11f.).

                          "Recent study now suggest that Luke-Acts may not be that closely related to
                          the genre of history after all but rather may be more closely related to the
                          genre of the ancient novel. In his book _Profit with Delight_, based on his
                          Harvard dissertation, Richard Pervo, the leading proponent of this view, has
                          amassed extensive examples of parallels from ancient novels to virtually
                          every story in Acts. He points out how the basic form of Acts is to
                          present the "adventures" of the apostles, who endure mob violence, trials
                          and hearings before the authorities, imprisonments, and shipwrecks, often
                          with miraculous escapes in the nick of time. Such stories are common in
                          ancient novels in such works as Apuleius' _The Golden Ass,.Cbariton's
                          _Chaereas and Callirhoe_, and Achilles Tatius' _Leucippe and Cleitophon.
                          This is the most
                          important new proposal about Acts in scholarship today and deserves our
                          close attention!" (12f.)

                          After a full discussion of Smith's paper by the Fellows present at this fall
                          's Jesus Seminar meeting, a number of issues Smith had introduced were put
                          to a vote. One of the issues voted on was the following: "The burden of
                          proof rests with those who claim that particular stories in Acts are
                          primarily history rather than fiction." The Jesus Fellows voted that ballot
                          item "red" (i.e., strongly agree).

                          > Also, in GThomas, where the observance of the Law is
                          > rejected, James is viewed as a holy and almost
                          > super-human figure. This is strange if James had been
                          > demanding that all followers of his brother must obey
                          > the Law.

                          That is a good point. My guess is that the writer of Thomas shaped his
                          image of James to conform to his own theological perspective.

                          > Too, according to Paul, the three pillars told him
                          > that he needed only to consider the poor--which,
                          > again, indicates that James did not think that one
                          > must obey the Law in order to be saved.
                          That is not what I gather from Paul. James remained adamant in his
                          position regarding Judaic Christians conforming strictly to the Judean or
                          Judahite Torah, and Paul remained just as adamant in his position with
                          respect to the conversion of the Gentiles to the new Jesus movement (Gal.
                          2:1-7). They did agree that Paul would sent an offering for the poor in the
                          church at Jerusalem (Gal.2:10)..

                          > I think that we need to consider the possibility that
                          > James thought that the Pharisees, particularly those
                          > who were also Christians, were misguided in their
                          > contention that one must obey the Law to be saved, but
                          > that he sometimes caved in to them, e.g., the incident
                          > at Antioch, for political reasons. In this case, he
                          > chose to obey Mosaic Law for personal reasons(e.g.,
                          > perhaps out of a zeal to "go the extra mile" in piety)
                          > rather than because he felt it necessary to obey
                          > Mosaic Law in order to be saved.

                          That is a possibility, but I do not picture James as being so duplicitous:
                          Peter, yes (a la Paul in Gal. 2), but James, no.

                          > (Ted Weeden)
                          > Williams finds the following frequency in their use in
                          > Palestine at the timeof Jesus.
                          >
                          > (1) Mary: Mary (MARIA[M]) of all women's names was the
                          > most frequently used in first-century Palestine in
                          > contrast to the Diaspora of the time where the name
                          > was not particularly popular (91).
                          > (2) Jesus: Jesus (IHSOUS) was a very popular name in
                          > first-century Palestine (87).
                          > (3) James: James (IAKWBOS) is less frequently used in
                          > the first-century Palestine than it is in the
                          > Diaspora, particularly Egypt and in the Patriachate
                          > (86f.).
                          > (4) Joses: Joses (IWSHS), the hypocoristic form of
                          > Joseph (IWSHF), occurs only occasionally, though the
                          > name Joseph itself was a popular choice for a son's
                          > name everywhere (89).
                          > (5) Judas : Judas (IOUDAS) was quite popular in
                          > first-century Palestine and only minimally used for
                          > the most part in the Diaspora, third-century Jews in
                          > Rome being an exception (90).
                          > (6) Simon: Simon (SIMWN/SIMEWN ) was the most widely
                          > used of all male names in first-century Palestine and
                          > a favorite elsewhere (93).
                          > What Williams finds most striking is the frequency of
                          > the use of Hasmonean associated names in Palestine in
                          > the later part of the second Temple period. For
                          > example, the name Mary or Miriam is seldom found in
                          > Palestine until after Mariamme was put to death by
                          > Herod. "From then on, there was an explosion in its
                          > popularity." Likewise, the same is the case for
                          > Hasmonean male names, such as Judas and Simon, names
                          > which are associated with the revolt against the
                          > Seleucids, the securing of Judea's political
                          > independence

                          > (Frank McCoy)
                          > I am skeptical of the hypothesis that Mary was named
                          > after the Hasmonean Mariamne and that she named two of
                          > her sons after the Hasmoneans named Judas and Simon.

                          > Not long after Herod executed Mariamne, he married
                          > another Mariamne who was reputed to have been the most
                          > beautiful of women. In order to make her an
                          > aristocrat worthy for him to marry, Herod elevated her
                          > father, Simeon (Simon), to the high priesthood and
                          > removed a man named Jesus from the high priesthood.
                          >
                          > This was the moment when the Boethusians became a
                          > major aristocratic high priestly family: for Simon
                          > (Simeon) had been a son of Boethus.
                          >
                          > This raises the question as to whether Mary suddenly
                          > became a popular name about this time because of
                          > sympathy for the executed Hasmonean Mariamne or
                          > because parents wanted their infant daughters to grow
                          > up to be as beautiful and as successful in snagging a
                          > prestigious husband as the Boethusian Mariamne.

                          Frank, are you serious in presenting this as an alternative proposal for the
                          "Mariamme" after whom Mary was named? Do you really think that first
                          century mothers and fathers were concerned that "their infant daughters . .
                          . grow up to be as beautiful and as successful in snagging a prestigious
                          husband as the Boethusian Mariamne." If you will pardon me for saying so,
                          that sounds like some kind of pitch from Madison Avenue to appeal to
                          contemporary American culture for all young girls to grow up beautiful and
                          snag the most desirable, handsome, wealthy bachelor. What evidence do you
                          have that first century pious Judean parents were focused on having
                          beautiful young daughters to snag a prestigious husband?
                          > Also interesting is this statement by Jerry Dell
                          > Ehrlich in Plato's Gift to Christianity (p. 192), "I
                          > shall designate the names as such: H = Hebrew, HH =
                          > Hellinized Hebrew, G = Greek, and L = Latin. There
                          > are six names of members of Jesus' family available in
                          > the Four Gospels. Joseph (H) and Mary (Mariam and
                          > Maria are the Hellenized forms of Miriam, a Hebrew
                          > name: thus HH). The names of Jesus' four brothers
                          > are: Jacob (H - IAKOBOS - translated James in
                          > English), Joses (in Mark, and it is a Greek form of
                          > Joseph: in Matthew the Hebrew Joseph is used), Judas
                          > (H) and Simon (G - SIMON was a Greek name that was
                          > popular in Israel after 200 BC--after 100 years of
                          > Hellenistic influence--and became also a popular Greek
                          > form of the Hebrew name Simeon). Jesus is a popular
                          > name that replaced Joshua (H) or Jeshua in the Aramaic
                          > after the year 200 BC: again after Hellenistic
                          > influence for one hundred years and can be considered
                          > the Greek form of Joshua (Yahweh saves) along with the
                          > popular name of Jason."
                          >
                          > As respects the two brothers with Hebrew names (i.e.,
                          > James and Judas), the question arises as to whether
                          > they were blood brothers of Jesus. The author of the
                          > Epistle of James does not state that he is a brother
                          > of Jesus. Even more striking, the author of the
                          > Epistle of Judas identifies himself as being a brother
                          > of James rather than as being a brother of Jesus. If
                          > these epistles be genuine, then James and Judas did
                          > not deem themselves to be true brothers of Jesus--even
                          > though they were habitually called brothers of Jesus
                          > by others. If they be forgeries, they appear to
                          > reflect a knowledge that James and Judas did not deem
                          > themselves to be true brothers of Jesus.

                          I do not consider these epistles to be genuine and their failure to reflect
                          James and Judas' relationship to Jesus tells us nothing. Unless we can know
                          who those pseudonymous authors were, how can we know what they knew and did
                          not know about James and Judas' relationship to Jesus? Do you consider the
                          author of James to be more trustworthy than Paul who calls James "the Lord's
                          brother" (Gal. 1:19)?

                          > This raises the possibility that they were
                          > step-brothers of Jesus: leading others to call them
                          > brothers of Jesus, but leading them to not think of
                          > themselves as being true brothers of Jesus. Since> Joseph is a Hebrew
                          name, perhaps, then, they were his
                          > sons by a previous marraige.
                          >
                          > If the two "brothers" with Hebrew names were sons of
                          > Joseph by a previous marraige, then the three brothers
                          > with Greek names in Mark's list were, presumably, the
                          > sons of Mary and Joseph--with Mary, in this case,
                          > being a highly Hellenized individual who chose the
                          > names for them.
                          > The one brother named Joses could have been named
                          > after his father Joseph.
                          >
                          > However, why were the other two brothers named Jesus
                          > and Simon?
                          >
                          > Well, possibly Mary was named after Mariamne the
                          > Boethusian by her parents and Mary, in turn, knowing
                          > the circumstances under which her namesake became the
                          > wife of Herod, named two of her sons Jesus and Simon
                          > in memory of how, at that time, one High Priest named
                          > Jesus was replaced by another High Priest named Simon.

                          I could see the possibility that James and Joses were Joseph's sons by a
                          former marriage (see Mark Goodacre's post on Jesus siblings being Joseph's
                          sons by a former marriage, a la the Protevangelium of James) and that Jesus
                          was Mary's firstborn in her marriage with Joseph, and that Judas and Simon
                          followed in birth order. But just because the name SIMWN is a Greek names
                          does not make Mary a Hellenized woman. You note above that Erhlich points
                          out that SIMWN is a Greek name and that after 200 BCE SIMWN was a popular
                          name, albeit via Hellenistic influence, in Israel. If it was popular in
                          Israel two hundred years before the likely birth of Jesus' brother Simon,
                          why does Mary have to be Hellenized to have chosen it as a name for her son?
                          It has been suggested that Jesus may well have been bilingual, speaking
                          Aramaic and Greek. I see no reason not to think that, if Jesus spoke Greek,
                          his family did not also. And that would not be surprising given the
                          family's
                          proximity (about four miles) from Sepphoris, a cosmopolitan, Greco-Roman
                          city, thanks to Herod Antipas who rebuilt it into "the ornament of all
                          Galilee" (see Josephus, _Ant._ 18.27). An archaeological discovery of
                          Greek writing on a lead weight, dated from the first century CE, and used by
                          Sepphorean markets (see Jonathan Reed, _Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus_,
                          121), indicates that the inhabitants of Sepphoris in Jesus' time knew Greek.
                          It is, therefore, quite likely that the villagers of Nazareth, in order to
                          sell and buy in Sepphoris' marketplace had to know some Greek. So for
                          these reasons, the fact that Mary named one of her sons SIMWN, does not
                          necessarily make her a Hellenized woman.

                          > To the best of my knowledge, Herod Antipas did not do
                          > anything about Jesus. Further, even Herod Agrippa I,> although he did
                          execute James bar Zebedee and arrested
                          > Peter, did not molest James the Just--even though he
                          > had been in Jerusalem at the time (Acts 12:17).

                          Again, unless the Acts account can be shown to be historically authentic, I
                          consider it, based upon what I have shared above from Dennis Smith's paper,
                          to be Luke's imaginary, fictive creation.

                          > Finally, judging by what Josephus states, Annas
                          > executed James on his own. If so, then Herod Agrippa
                          > II had not been behind the execution of James.
                          >
                          > This evidence suggests, ISTM, that Jesus and James
                          > were known to be pro-Herodian rather than
                          > pro-Hasmonean.

                          I find the logic here to be strained and without evidentiary support. I do
                          not see how Agrippa II's non-participation in James' death makes James
                          pro-Herodian? What evidence is there to draw such a conclusion except via
                          an argument from silence, and Agrippa's silence at that? For me, that is
                          too much a logical non-sequitur.

                          Thank you for engaging in dialogue regarding my theses. We do see things
                          differently.

                          Ted Weeden
                        • Ted Weeden
                          ... servant ... has ... the ... self ... Gordon, I agree with you that Jesus was not self-referential. I do not see him pointing directly to himself. But I
                          Message 12 of 16 , Nov 7, 2002
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                            Gordon Raynal wrote on Tuesday, November 05, 2002:

                            > a bit of time free now for a few brief responses...
                            > >
                            > >Gordon, you are correct with respect to the midrash of the Isaianic
                            servant
                            > >songs, but the Gospel of Thomas has an authentic saying (31), in my
                            > >judgment, in which Jesus speaks of himself, I gather, as a prophet who
                            has
                            > >been rejected by his hometown, and Thomas is not under the influence of
                            the
                            > >servant songs.
                            >
                            > First, I think this saying is from HJ, but I have my doubts that it is
                            self
                            > referential either. It surely is in the way it is framed in the Markan
                            > story... no doubt about that. But a). I don't think Jesus thought of
                            > himself as a prophet, b.)

                            Gordon, I agree with you that Jesus was not self-referential. I do not see
                            him pointing directly to himself. But I think it is possible that, in the
                            case of the aphorism of GTh 31, he could have been repling to his critics
                            in his hometown (family included) by quipping with a poverbial retort.
                            To paraphrase only slightly: "Yea, and no prophet is accepted in his own
                            village." In this case Jesus would not be calling himself a prophet but
                            merely stating that his rejection by hometown or family is not a surprise.
                            Even prophets aren't accepted in their own hometown (see essentially the
                            same rationale presented by the Fellows of the Jesus Seminar (_The Five
                            Gospels_, 31). Of course, this is a conjecture and only moves out of the
                            range of speculation to being more likely characteristic of Jesus if it can
                            be shown that he was really in conflict with the ideological bent of his
                            family and Nazareth. I will be interested in your response to my case for
                            that when I post it.

                            > I also disagree with the JS majority that Jesus
                            > was a healer (I like that little section in Hal Taussig's book on prayer
                            on
                            > this for a nice little summation),

                            Hal, at the end of his section on healing (_Jesus before God_, 31) seems to
                            equivocate on the issue of Jesus not being a healer since he was a
                            teaching sage, namely, "In any case Jesus either *performed* or inspired
                            healing in relationship to his uncovering of hidden wisdom and God's
                            surprising domain." I also think that too much emphasis is placed by Hal
                            and others on Jesus teaching "hidden wisdom." The Thomistic Jesus, yes, but
                            the historical Jesus, I do not think that characterization of his teaching
                            is quite correct.

                            > d c. I think this, like the rest of the
                            > tart aphoristic and parabolic speech works in the direction of arousing
                            > response in the audience... if you will... via "a huh/ what did he say"
                            kind
                            > of reaction. For those in hearing distance who knew their Nevi'im... all
                            > sorts of connections might run through their minds. For those who
                            thinking
                            > about JTB... this might raise some response to what was going on down
                            their
                            > by the river. For those who had their own thoughts about "what's gonna
                            > happen" and their favorite authorities to back it up... this might arouse
                            a
                            > double take. I'm simply presenting 3 sorts of responses that might be
                            > aroused via that barb.

                            These are, of course, possibilities. If we only knew the context in which
                            Jesus uttered the saying, n'est pas?

                            > >"Jesus, the Cultic Prodigal," in which I draw upon Mahlon Smith's
                            article,
                            > >suggesting that the Prodigal Son is an autobiographical parable, as well
                            as
                            > >add my own further support for his theory. I will look forward to your
                            > >feedback on that piece.
                            >
                            > I was in Santa Rosa when Mahlon presented the paper and I think this
                            > metaphor provides a provacative metaphor for **us** to think about HJ. I
                            > also think Jesus in the ditch from Good Sam is another. But this is for
                            > **our** hermeneutical play and I can't figure out any justification for
                            > selecting this over say "the Sower" or "the Unjust Judge" for being
                            > "autobiographical." (And hey... wouldn't that be interesting in
                            > implication... Jesus, a former Judge who changed his ways after dealing
                            with
                            > a woman who wouldn't let him alone:)!) Just for a bit of provacative
                            fun...
                            > for us... in ruminations about HJ.... it might be some interesting fodder
                            to
                            > think of **him** as the elder brother who seeing his father's dealing with
                            > rascally younger James or Simon or Tom(Jude) or Joe, Jr. had to "learn
                            > forgiveness" the hard way. The point being... as ways for us to enter the
                            > play of parabolic speech... such mental play and associations is a
                            valuable
                            > exercize. But to impute to a wisdom saying "autobiographical content" is
                            > something that I don't think we have historical evidence for.

                            I take the position in my forthcoming piece that James was the elder brother
                            in the family. I would be interested in your response to my case, when I
                            post it, for Jesus fashioning the "Prodigal" via the interdynamics of his
                            family.

                            > >
                            > >> But that it suggests
                            > >> "actual feelings" about HJ and his family? I don't think so. Indeed,
                            I'd
                            > >> suggest that such a saying as Thomas 12, James being also known by a
                            > >> nickname, what Paul says of his leadership in Galatians all go to
                            suggest
                            > >> that James was "a part of" the Kingdom Movement all along.
                            > >
                            > >If James was a part of the movement, I have difficulty understanding how
                            he
                            > >ended up advocating the very things that Jesus repudiated. What I have
                            > >reference to is Jesus' dismissal of the Judean cultic establishment, its
                            > >purity
                            > >codes and its interpretation of Torah.
                            >
                            > A few points here...

                            (snip)

                            > In the case of the original crowd associated with
                            > HJ... by looking at the earliest sources we have (I judge them to be: the
                            > Common Sayings Tradition between Q/Th... on to Q1 and "Early Thomas"...
                            the
                            > Two Ways section found in the Didache... a bare narrative frame found in
                            > Mark... the Signs Source... and I actually think Ep. James 1-3... and the
                            > authentic Pauline stuff (which I count to be Galatians, Philippians,
                            Romans,
                            > Philemon and the Corinthian Correspondence... although I think All of
                            these
                            > as we have them are redacted texts)... all of this produced somewhere
                            > between the mid 30's to the mid-60's) these writings show "diverse takes,"
                            > "diverse references," "diverse paradigms/ emphases" for communicating the
                            > theology/ ethics/ social praxis of the original circle of
                            > friends/associates. Therein there is a common affirmation base, but also
                            > differences. From this I'd suggest that "the Way" (just to borrow that
                            Acts
                            > title) was a pretty diverse crowd. I'd suggest that there were some major
                            > core agreements... some particular differences in affirmation patterns...
                            > and some wonderful arguments that just sort of go with religio-social
                            > involvement.
                            >
                            > And we are talking about brothers... and family! My eldest brother is a
                            > Barthian theologian through and through. I rather like these Jesus
                            > studies:)! We're both Presbyterians... but we don't always agee!

                            I follow your point. I think there can be vastly opposite positions held
                            by persons in families without those differences leading to hostile
                            division. I have also known of many families were differences, not even
                            unbreachable differences, have led to the severing of relationships and the
                            unwillingness to reconcile.
                            >
                            > Third... you use the language of "repudiated" and that's a bit strong for
                            > me. Surely a whole set of authentic aphorisms push the envelope on the
                            > purity issues. But as for "the center of the defining markers of this
                            group
                            > of friends and associates... the common language is about "a ministry of
                            > reconciliation" (Paul)/ "Saying peace to this house" (Q mission speech)/
                            "if
                            > two make peace in a single house...
                            > mountains move" (G.Th.) "salt and peace" (from that core in Mark)/ "a
                            > harvest of righteousness is sown..." (Ep.James)/ "The Way of Life"
                            > (Didache). As harsh definitions of purity were used to divide people
                            off...
                            > yes... the tart barb from Jesus! But "repudiate?"... I don't think so at
                            > all... thus this group brought folks together who were peasants/
                            destitute/
                            > retainers/.... apocalyptically oriented/ wisdom oriented/
                            > "spiritualist/mystically" oriented.... pious in observance... some half
                            > pious and some not at all!/ some Judeans/ Samaritans/ Galileans/ folks
                            from
                            > Herod Philips domain....

                            As I see it, Jesus repudiates the cultic purity codes, the cultic boundary
                            markers, which distinguish who is in and and who is out of God's favor
                            (read: the cult's favor), in keeping with his egalitarian orientation toward
                            the unqualified acceptance of the clean and unclean together in his
                            kingdom vision. Again, I plan to present my case for this in the near
                            future.

                            > Indeed I think this accounts for the verve "of the original time"...
                            > accounts for the multiplicity of "framings"... accounts for all the
                            > rowdiness as time went along... accounts for why "standard proclamations"
                            > were so needed after the war (and reactions against them blew up!)... and
                            > accounts for the early moves towards collecting what would fit together
                            > (yes, Galatians and Ep. of James could be saved, but not some of the
                            wilder
                            > Gnostic stuff). [Just one side-bar here... I think this also accounts for
                            > Luke-Acts which I have to place circa 110 to 120 trying to "get the story
                            > straight].

                            I am not sure how much the war caused the need for "standard proclamations."
                            I doubt the war was that much of an issue among Gentile Christians, and I do
                            not detect in Luke-Acts the war being the motivating factor in Luke's
                            formulation of his Heilgeschichte. I do agree with you that Acts, at
                            least, was written in that time frame. Richard Pervo argued for the same
                            time period for Acts (110-120) at the fall meeting of the Jesus Seminar, and
                            settled on the mean, 115 CE.
                            >
                            > So... back to HJ... as you may remember from earlier postings here or when
                            I
                            > used to post on the Westar group... I'm confident about a collection of
                            > aphorisms and parables from HJ... confident about the dining milieu and
                            that
                            > the above mentioned "center constitution" for Jesus and friends. Beyond
                            > that I just don't see the data for such as historical assurance that Jesus
                            > was being self referential in this parable as opposed to that one. A
                            dandy
                            > sage... after all... is quite able to cast himself fictionally... if
                            that's
                            > part of the twist... to arouse the dialogue and thought!

                            Quite so, and what better material for such parabolic casting than his own
                            family experience, a la "the Prodigal"?
                            >
                            > Lastly... James... like Jesus is going to be cast in a number of ways.
                            The
                            > Thomas and later gnostic trajectory will claim him. He will be right in
                            > their with the apocalyptic oriented folks. He will be remembered as
                            > concerned about Purity. He will be remembered for his wisdom.

                            Agreed.

                            > I don't
                            > think we know too much about HJ. I think we know less about HJames,
                            HPeter
                            > and even HPaul!

                            Agreed

                            > Thanks for your interest in "another sort of angle" on the Prodigal,
                            issues
                            > of Purity and what this all has to do with the late 20's among a group of
                            > provacative friend and family! My susupicion is that James and Jesus
                            could
                            > probably argue quite healthily, but I see no reason to think that even
                            such
                            > disputes as over certain purity rules would divide them away from common
                            > interest.

                            To be continued!

                            Thank you, Gordon, for taking time to respond in a thoughtful and helpfully
                            provocative way. I apologize for the delay in my reply. My schedule in
                            the
                            last two days has prevented me from getting back to you before now. BTW,
                            you had indicated in your post of Sunday, 11/3, that you hoped to see me at
                            SBL. I will not be attending SBL this year. I am sorry that I will miss
                            the opportunity to see you there.

                            Ted
                          • Gordon Raynal
                            Hi Ted, Thanks for the good discussion. Of course, this is a conjecture and only moves out of the ... I appreciate your response here. I ll take a look at
                            Message 13 of 16 , Nov 8, 2002
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                              Hi Ted,

                              Thanks for the good discussion.

                              Of course, this is a conjecture and only moves out of the
                              >range of speculation to being more likely characteristic of Jesus if it can
                              >be shown that he was really in conflict with the ideological bent of his
                              >family and Nazareth. I will be interested in your response to my case for
                              >that when I post it.

                              I appreciate your response here. I'll take a look at your proposal when it
                              arrives. From further on this original post you obviously see my
                              reservations about inter-family conflict.

                              >Hal, at the end of his section on healing (_Jesus before God_, 31) seems to
                              >equivocate on the issue of Jesus not being a healer since he was a
                              >teaching sage, namely, "In any case Jesus either *performed* or inspired
                              >healing in relationship to his uncovering of hidden wisdom and God's
                              >surprising domain." I also think that too much emphasis is placed by Hal
                              >and others on Jesus teaching "hidden wisdom." The Thomistic Jesus, yes, but
                              >the historical Jesus, I do not think that characterization of his teaching
                              >is quite correct.

                              I would state the teaching part differently as well, but it was his view
                              about healing I was after. As I've said before, I don't have anything
                              against Jesus being a healer, I just don't see those "healing stories" as
                              being any different from the rest of the wonder stories. (namely...
                              theological affirmation stories rooted out of midrash and imagination).
                              That the effect of "a ministry of reconciliation" (to just borrow Paul's
                              phrase) brought social healing... yes. That this had biological benefits
                              for those involved and "touched by" this movement... yes. That the movement
                              attracted "healers/ exorcists"... yes. I do find it fascinating in this
                              regard that when Paul lists "spiritual gifts" in the Corinthian
                              correspondence... there is no "like Jesus did" reference at all to the role
                              or place of "healers." But again the center of my difficulty is lack of
                              evidence. (BTW... a few years ago... Dom and I spent an hour on the phone
                              haggling over this!)
                              >
                              >> d c. I think this, like the rest of the
                              >> tart aphoristic and parabolic speech works in the direction of arousing
                              >> response in the audience... if you will... via "a huh/ what did he say"
                              >kind
                              >> of reaction. For those in hearing distance who knew their Nevi'im... all
                              >> sorts of connections might run through their minds. For those who
                              >thinking
                              >> about JTB... this might raise some response to what was going on down
                              >their
                              >> by the river. For those who had their own thoughts about "what's gonna
                              >> happen" and their favorite authorities to back it up... this might arouse
                              >a
                              >> double take. I'm simply presenting 3 sorts of responses that might be
                              >> aroused via that barb.
                              >
                              >These are, of course, possibilities. If we only knew the context in which
                              >Jesus uttered the saying, n'est pas?

                              Oui!


                              >I take the position in my forthcoming piece that James was the elder brother
                              >in the family. I would be interested in your response to my case, when I
                              >post it, for Jesus fashioning the "Prodigal" via the interdynamics of his
                              >family.

                              Maybe, but I just don't know for sure how we can know that considering the
                              resources we have. But in this regard... you'll guess my comeback:)!...
                              namely this is a family with 5 boys, not two... and Jesus could have
                              referred to himself as the older brother in this dyad... say in relation to
                              one of his younger brothers:)! But here again... I have to differeniate
                              between searching out the meaning of parables by robust hermeneutical play
                              and making historical claims.


                              >I follow your point. I think there can be vastly opposite positions held
                              >by persons in families without those differences leading to hostile
                              >division. I have also known of many families were differences, not even
                              >unbreachable differences, have led to the severing of relationships and the
                              >unwillingness to reconcile.

                              Surely, but I'll be interested about how you'll posit the turn around such
                              that Paul will mention "the pillars" as being James, Peter and John. And
                              his standing was such that he would be claimed by multiple trajectories of
                              theologizing thus I'll be interested in your rationale for choosing one of
                              those over the others as a part of this.

                              >As I see it, Jesus repudiates the cultic purity codes, the cultic boundary
                              >markers, which distinguish who is in and and who is out of God's favor
                              >(read: the cult's favor), in keeping with his egalitarian orientation toward
                              >the unqualified acceptance of the clean and unclean together in his
                              >kingdom vision. Again, I plan to present my case for this in the near
                              >future.

                              I will look forward to it. I just don't see "purity" per se, in quite the
                              same way you do. A question... and maybe I missed it in your presentation:
                              Do you think Jesus was circumsized?


                              >I am not sure how much the war caused the need for "standard proclamations."
                              >I doubt the war was that much of an issue among Gentile Christians, and I do
                              >not detect in Luke-Acts the war being the motivating factor in Luke's
                              >formulation of his Heilgeschichte. I do agree with you that Acts, at
                              >least, was written in that time frame. Richard Pervo argued for the same
                              >time period for Acts (110-120) at the fall meeting of the Jesus Seminar, and
                              >settled on the mean, 115 CE.

                              I'm just one of those folks who thinks that Luke-Acts comes after John and
                              circa 120. In Luke's case... ne'ertheless... there is continuing concern
                              about Jesus' relationship to the Temple religion of the past... expanded
                              story about Zechariah and Elizabeth... the telling of the circumcision...
                              the old "prophets" and that little ditty about Jesus at 12, of course.
                              Luke-Acts really "fills out" both Mark and Matthew's proclamation. And as
                              for being "an issue among Gentile Christians"... I'm still wondering about
                              the mix in those farflung congregations, namely those of Hebraic/Jewish
                              background and former "pagans." With politics in Palestine so up and down
                              until the final quenching of Hadrian versus Bar Kochba... I do think this is
                              not the only factor, but a key one.

                              A
                              >dandy
                              >> sage... after all... is quite able to cast himself fictionally... if
                              >that's
                              >> part of the twist... to arouse the dialogue and thought!
                              >
                              >Quite so, and what better material for such parabolic casting than his own
                              >family experience, a la "the Prodigal"?

                              ... again... a "but":)! Were that the case... one can also posit a faux
                              conflict or a tease or that Jesus and James just had a big argument over "x"
                              and he used those as motivations. Or perhaps he was thinking new thoughts
                              about another brother story... Isaac and Jacob... and/or just using his
                              creative genius to take a story form (father/ brother... brother conflict)
                              and spinning a new yarn whole cloth??? There can be speculations aplenty...
                              what I will note is that Luke will place this in the context of one who
                              embodies reconciliation... one who will weep over Jerusalem and say "Would
                              that you knew this day the things that make for peace." As you can obviously
                              tell... this whole business of identifying motivations/ background is very
                              dicey business to me:)! But the last thing I'll guestimate about here is
                              that if there were a huge conflict... and you're right... then the parable
                              seemed to work on old James:)!
                              >>
                              >> Lastly... James... like Jesus is going to be cast in a number of ways.
                              >The
                              >> Thomas and later gnostic trajectory will claim him. He will be right in
                              >> their with the apocalyptic oriented folks. He will be remembered as
                              >> concerned about Purity. He will be remembered for his wisdom.
                              >
                              >Agreed.
                              >
                              >> I don't
                              >> think we know too much about HJ. I think we know less about HJames,
                              >HPeter
                              >> and even HPaul!
                              >
                              >Agreed

                              Nice to end on agreements!!!

                              >Thank you, Gordon, for taking time to respond in a thoughtful and helpfully
                              >provocative way. I apologize for the delay in my reply. My schedule in
                              >the
                              >last two days has prevented me from getting back to you before now. BTW,
                              >you had indicated in your post of Sunday, 11/3, that you hoped to see me at
                              >SBL. I will not be attending SBL this year. I am sorry that I will miss
                              >the opportunity to see you there.

                              And thanks to you. I'm helped by seeing the fresh ways in which the
                              hermeneutical task is taken up. I'm just a very cautious historian about
                              all of ancient history.

                              Sorry I'll miss seeing you in Toronto. Maybe next year in Hotlanta!

                              take care,

                              Gordon
                            • Ted Weeden
                              ... Frank, might is not did. I do not find any evidence to suggest that Josephus thought the Boethusians were among those who took offense over Ananus
                              Message 14 of 16 , Nov 18, 2002
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Frank McCoy wrote on Saturday, November 09, 2002:

                                > (Frank McCoy)
                                > First of all, Annas (Ananus) was an Annasite and the
                                > Boethusians and the Annasites were rival high priestly
                                > families. Indeed, in the general time-frame of James'
                                > execution, rivalries between the high priestly
                                > families were at a fever pitch, even leading to some
                                > pitched battles between them. So, under the dictum
                                > "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" the Boethusians
                                > might have joined with the Pharisees in opposing the
                                > Annasites for purely political reasons.

                                Frank, "might" is not "did." I do not find any evidence to
                                suggest that Josephus thought the Boethusians were among those
                                who took offense over Ananus having James stoned..

                                (snip)

                                > So, ISTM, the hypothesis that the Boethusians had been
                                > Sadducees is unlikely to be correct. And, if (as
                                > seems most likely) they had not been Sadducees, then,
                                > ISTM, they could have, at times, temporarily allied
                                > themselves with the Pharisees against Sadducees.

                                Perhaps.

                                > (Ted Weeden)
                                > Furthermore, given the fact that James, and perhaps
                                > other members of his family, chose to go to Jerusalem,
                                > the very heart of the Judean establishment and the
                                > focal point of the Judean way of life (identity
                                > markers, etc.), rather than staying in Galilee to
                                > organize a Jesus movement, suggests to me that James
                                > saw the Jesus movement which he headed as one that
                                > must be modeled after the Judean Torah (the
                                > post-exilic priestly rendition, including purity
                                > codes, etc.) and cultic identity, including Davidic
                                > messianism.

                                > (Frank McCoy)
                                > Could you expand on what you mean by "the Judean
                                > Torah"?

                                > I am aware that the Samaritans had their own unique
                                > Torah: in which Mt. Gerizim was substituted for
                                > Jerusalem. However, I am not aware of any uniquely
                                > Judean Torah,
                                >
                                > How does this uniquely Judean Torah differ from the
                                > Septuagint Torah of the Egyptian Jews?
                                >
                                > Do you think that there was a Galilean Torah? If so,
                                > in what respects did it differ from the Judean Torah?
                                >
                                The only Torah that Judaism possesses is a Judahite or Judean Torah composed
                                by Ezra and the priestly contingent in the century following the Judahites
                                return from Bablylonian captivity to Jerusalem, etc. The northern
                                Israelites, prior to the Assyrian conquest, did not have a "Torah" as we
                                conventionally understand Judaism's Torah. The northern Israelite
                                tradition included the Decalogue and elements of the Mosaic Covenant. The
                                ancient Israelite tradition can be found in Deuteronomy 1-11 and was
                                transmitted to Deuteronomists in Judah by northern Israelites who fled south
                                after the Assyrian conquest of Israel. Richard Horsley, for one, uses the
                                same term "Judean Torah" in his _Archaeology, History and Society in
                                Galilee_, e.g., 111. The Galileans at the time of Jesus who traced their
                                ethno-religious tradition back to Israel resisted, as I see it, the
                                imposition of the Judean Torah upon them from the time of Aristobulus I
                                (104/103) on. Horsley does not think, and I basically agree, that the
                                Judean cultic establishment "mounted a serious program to 'resocialize;'
                                Galilean villagers in order to bring Galileans into conformity with the
                                "official Judean Torah" (111).
                                >
                                > > (Frank McCoy)
                                > > That James personally observed Mosaic Law is so well
                                > > attested that I see no reason to doubt it. The big>
                                > question, though, is whether he thought that the
                                > > observance of Mosaic Law is necessary for one to be
                                > > saved. Here, the evidence is not clear-cut.
                                >
                                > (Ted Weeden)
                                > What do you mean by "saved" from James perspective?
                                >
                                > (Frank McCoy)
                                > To come near to God.

                                And what does that mean, specifically with respect to James' theological
                                orientation?
                                >
                                > (Ted Weeden)
                                > After a full discussion of Smith's paper by the
                                > Fellows present at this fall's Jesus Seminar meeting,
                                > a number of issues Smith had introduced were put to a
                                > vote. One of the issues voted on was the following:
                                > "The burden of proof rests with those who claim that
                                > particular stories in Acts are primarily history
                                > rather than fiction." The Jesus Fellows voted that
                                > ballot item "red" (i.e., strongly agree).
                                >
                                > (Frank McCoy)
                                > Will Smith's paper be published? I'd like to read it
                                > and don't want to comment on it until I've read it.

                                I think it will be published eventually. You may wish to call the Westar
                                Institute (the Jesus Seminar) at 707-523-1323 to find out.

                                > In any event, the question is hand is not the over-all
                                > credibility of Luke's narrative in Acts, nor even the
                                > over-all credibility of Luke's narrative in Chapter
                                > 15, but, rather, the credibility of what Luke
                                > attributes to James in 15:13-21.
                                >
                                > The core of the statement attributed to James by Luke
                                > is given in 15:16-18, "'After these things I will
                                > return and will build again the tent of David which is
                                > fallen; and the ruins of it I will build again, and
                                > will set it up, so that the remnant of men may seek
                                > out the Lord, and all the nations upon whom as been
                                > called my Name upon them' says the Lord who does all
                                > these things.' Therefore my judgment is that we
                                > should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to
                                > God,..."
                                >
                                > Here, I suggest, the LXX version of Amos 9:11-12 is
                                > interpreted in terms of 4Q174, "'He is the Branch of
                                > David who shall arise with the Interpreter of the Law
                                > [to rule] in Zion [at the end] of time. As it is
                                > written, 'I will raise up the tent of David that is
                                > fallen (Amos ix, 11)'. That is to say, the fallen
                                > tent of David is he who shall arise to save Israel."
                                >
                                > In this case, in 15:16-18, Jesus is the Branch of
                                > David. He fell, i.e., he died. However, he was
                                > raised up/rebuilt by God, i.e., he was resurrected
                                > from the dead by God. He was set up by God, i.e., he
                                > has been given a lofty position in heaven by God.
                                > This has been done so that people, even those who are
                                > Gentiles, who seek out God can find Him. So, since the
                                > death and resurrection of Jesus, coming to God is the
                                > result of seeking God rather than of being obedient to
                                > the Law. Therefore, Gentiles who seek out God should
                                > not be be forced to obey the Law.
                                >
                                > The postulated line of thought in 15:16-18 comes from
                                > a person who had been strongly influenced by the
                                > Essenes. Luke was not such a person, nor, for that
                                > matter, was Paul.
                                >
                                > However, James might have been strongly influenced by
                                > the Essenes, particularly if he had been responsible
                                > for the Jerusalem Church Council being led by a group
                                > of three (i.e., the Pillars) and a group of twelve
                                > (i.e., the Apostles): for the Essenes' Council of the
                                > Comunity was led by a group of three and a group of
                                > twelve. See, for example, The Community Rule (1QS)
                                > (VIII), "In the Council of the Community there shall
                                > be twelve men and three Priests, perfectly versed in
                                > all that is revealed of the Law, whose works shall be
                                > truth, righteousness, justice, loving-kindness and
                                > humility."
                                >
                                > So, I think it more likely that 15:16-18 is based on a
                                > reasonably accurate tradition concerning James than
                                > that it is a piece of fiction invented by Luke out of
                                > thin air.

                                I have to give your interpretation here some thought.
                                >
                                > (Ted Weeden)
                                > Frank, are you serious in presenting this as an
                                > alternative proposal for the "Mariamme" after whom
                                > Mary was named? Do you really think that first
                                > century mothers and fathers were concerned that "their
                                > infant daughters . . . grow up to be as beautiful and
                                > as successful in snagging a prestigious husband as the
                                > Boethusian Mariamne." If you will pardon me for
                                > saying so, that sounds like some kind of pitch from
                                > Madison Avenue to appeal to contemporary American
                                > culture for all young girls to grow up beautiful and
                                > snag the most desirable, handsome, wealthy bachelor.
                                > What evidence do you have that first century pious
                                > Judean parents were focused on having beautiful young
                                > daughters to snag a prestigious husband?
                                >
                                > (Frank McCoy)
                                > Oh, even though I have no evidence, I would think that
                                > parents in first century CE Judea would have wanted
                                > their daughters to grow up to be beautiful and get
                                > decent husbands rather than to grow up to be ugly and
                                > unable to get decent husbands.

                                Frank, Bruce Malina states the following in his _New Testament World_, 154:
                                "[I]n Israelite tradition, a man's getting married because of *the beauty*
                                or wealth of the bride *is equivalent to immorality*, the offspring of such
                                marriages are almost tantamount to bastards, the symbolic opposite of holy
                                seed" (my emphasis). Note in this regard, Sirach 25:21: "Do not be
                                ensnared by a woman's beauty and do not desire a woman for her possessions."
                                Contrary to your supposition that "parents in first century CE who were
                                observant of the Judean cult would have wanted their daughters to grow up to
                                be beautiful and get decent husbands rather than to grow up to be ugly and
                                unable to get decent husbands," a daughter's beauty, as a mark of her
                                desirability as a wi fe, such would not even be on the radar screen of
                                cultically observant parents looking for a desirable wife for their son, or
                                on the
                                radar screen of a cultically observant male looking for a desirable wife.

                                (snip)

                                > Ted, as I see it, one major hurdle you face in
                                > establishing the credibility of the hypothesis that
                                > the many baby girls were being named Mary or Miriam
                                > after the Hasmonean Miriamme is to demonstrate that it
                                > is superior to the hypothesis that the baby girls were
                                > being named Mary or Miriam after the Boethusian
                                > Miriamme--who was not only famous herself, but had a
                                > famous son and a famous grand-daughter as well.

                                I think that Bruce Malina and the Sirach quote, noted above, have shown that
                                the last thing that Mary's pious Judean parents would have been concerned
                                about when Mary was born was that she grow up to be a beautiful woman like
                                the Boethusian Miramme and for that reason they named her "Mary." As pious
                                parents, and perhaps descendents of Hasmoneans (so Marianne Sawicki,
                                _Crossing Galilee_, 133) their concern would more likely have been the
                                future restoration of the Hasmonean dynasty and thus they named Mary after
                                the Hasmonean Miriamme, wife of Herod the Great (killed by Herod, along
                                with her two sons, the last descendents of the Hasmoneans), not because
                                they were concerned about their daughter's and her desirability to some
                                future
                                husband.Besides how would their naming of their daughter ensure that she
                                would grow up beautiful? I do not follow your logic.

                                > (Ted Weeden)
                                > I do not consider these epistles to be genuine and
                                > their failure to reflect James and Judas' relationship
                                > to Jesus tells us nothing. Unless we can know who
                                > those pseudonymous authors were, how can we know what
                                > they knew and did not know about James and Judas'
                                > relationship to Jesus? Do you consider the
                                > author of James to be more trustworthy than Paul who
                                > calls James "the Lord's brother" (Gal. 1:19)?
                                >
                                > (Frank McCoy)
                                > IMO, it is not a question of who is more trustworthy.
                                > Rather, it is a question of what is meant by "brother"
                                > in Paul's, Mark's, and Josephus' characterizations of
                                > James as being a "brother" of Jesus
                                >
                                > That "James" does not identify himself as being a
                                > brother of Jesus and that "Jude" identifies himself as
                                > being a brother of James rather than as being a
                                > brother of Jesus is a red flag IMO.
                                >
                                > If the epistles of James and Jude are forgeries, then
                                > I am puzzled as to why, to gain credibility for them,
                                > the forgers didn't emphasise that they were written by
                                > brothers of Jesus. Perhaps I'm reading too much into
                                > what you are saying, but, ISTM, you appear to be
                                > implying that this is because the forgers were unaware
                                > of the relationship of James and Jude to Jesus. Why
                                > though falsely attribute an epistle to a person about
                                > whom you know so little? Too, in the case of Jude,
                                > why would the forger expect the epistle to be taken
                                > seriously when the only explicit claim its alleged
                                > author has to apostolic authority is a relationship to
                                > a person named James?
                                >
                                > If they are forgeries, I think it more likely that,
                                > the forgers and their intended readers knew, James and
                                > Jude did not deem themselves to be true brothers of
                                > Jesus.

                                We just see things differently here. Why would the authors
                                of James and Jude think that sibling relationship was of any
                                importance to mention or not to mention if the names
                                "James" and "Jude" in and of themselves denoted
                                apostolic authority?

                                > Too, Luke (to the best of my knowledge) nowhere
                                > identifies James as being a brother of Jesus. There
                                > is no Lukan parallel to Mark 6:1-6. James the Just is
                                > simply called James in Acts. Perhaps, then, Luke also
                                > knew that James did not deem himself to be a true
                                > brother of Jesus.

                                To argue that Luke cited James as "James" without
                                further attribution suggests that Luke did not consider
                                James a "true" brother of Jesus is a conjecture
                                dependent upon an argument from silence to make the
                                case.

                                > Again, in GThomas, James is called "the Just" rather
                                > than "a brother of Jesus". Might not this be the case
                                > because, the author of GThomas knew, James did not
                                > deem himself to be a true brother of Jesus?

                                Again, anything is possible. But I think to argue that Thomas called James
                                "the Just" because he chose not to call him "incorrectly" (from your
                                viewpoint) the "brother of Jesus" is again an argument from silence.

                                > In addition, there is the Second Apocalypse of James
                                > (50), where James tells the people of Jerusalem, "The
                                > one whom you hated and persecuted came in to me. He
                                > said to me, 'Hail, my brother; my brother, hail.' As
                                > I raised by [face] to stare at him, (my) mother said
                                > to me, 'Do not be frightened, my son, because he said
                                > 'My brother' to you (sing.). For you (pl.) were
                                > nourished with the same milk. For he is not a
                                > stranger to us. He is your [step-brother...]."

                                (snip)

                                > ISTM most likely that James was a only step-brother of
                                > Jesus rather than being a brother in the fuller sense
                                > of having the same mother and father. In this case,
                                > many called James the brother of Jesus because he was,
                                > technically, a brother of Jesus, but James did not
                                > believe himself to be a true brother of Jesus because
                                > he was not a brother of Jesus in the fullest sense of
                                > the term.

                                I think the Protevangelium of James, as Mark Goodacre suggests, is a better
                                and explicit reference to the fact that James was Joseph's son by an earlier
                                marriage. I do not rule out the possibility that James was Jesus'
                                step-brother, either because he was Joseph's son by an earlier marriage, or
                                because Mary was a victim of a rape (a la Jane Schaberg, _The Illigetimacy
                                of Jesus_).

                                > (Frank McCoy)
                                > > To the best of my knowledge, Herod Antipas did not
                                > do
                                > > anything about Jesus. Further, even Herod Agrippa
                                > I,> although he did execute James bar Zebedee and
                                > arrested
                                > > Peter, did not molest James the Just--even though he
                                > > had been in Jerusalem at the time (Acts 12:17).
                                >
                                > (Ted Weeden)
                                > Again, unless the Acts account can be shown to be
                                > historically authentic, I consider it, based upon what
                                > I have shared above from Dennis Smith's paper, to be
                                > Luke's imaginary, fictive creation.
                                >
                                > (Frank McCoy)
                                > There is other evidence that James was living in
                                > Jerusalem at the time, e.g., Paul's narrative in
                                > Galatians about having seen James on each of two trips
                                > to Jerusalem--one before this time, the other after
                                > this time.
                                >
                                > Too, in Jesus and the Zealots (pp. 93-94), S.G.F.
                                > Brandon states, "On analysis, however, the Acts
                                > narrative is found to contain many problems. For
                                > example, while it gives the briefest possible
                                > statement about the martyrdom of James, it relates the
                                > escape of Peter at length. Yet, despite the detailed
                                > description of Peter's delivery, the place to which
                                > this leading Apostle afterwards withdrew is left
                                > unnamed as 'another place' (eteron topon). This
                                > curious vagueness follows the surprising introduction
                                > of another James, who is a person of such importance
                                > that he has to be specially informed of Peter's
                                > deliverance and departure. The identity of this James
                                > can only be deduced: he was James, the brother of
                                > Jesus, who quickly emerged as the head of the
                                > Jerusalem Chruch, but about whose identity and
                                > antededents the author of Acts is strangely silent.
                                > *These indications of the unreliable nature of the
                                > record of Acts at this point, although they counsel
                                > caution and raise many other questions, do not compel
                                > doubt about the presentation of Agrippa as hostile to
                                > the Church.*" (my emphasis)
                                >
                                > The awkwardness of Luke as respects the place to where
                                > Peter went and as respects the identity of the other
                                > James suggests that he is relating a tradition that
                                > has elements to it that are embarrasing to him. For
                                > example, it likely contained an element emphasising
                                > that James was the head Honcho--which, if explicitly
                                > admitted by Luke, would have made hash of his
                                > presentation of Peter and Paul as the two leading
                                > figures. Again, ISTM, it likely contained an element
                                > about how Peter fled to Rome--which, if explicitly
                                > admitted by Luke, would have made hash of his
                                > presentation of Christianity gradually moving from
                                > Jerusalem, with Peter being the chief spokesperson
                                > there, to Rome, with Paul being the chief spokesman
                                > there.

                                > So, I think it more likely that Luke is giving us a
                                > highly biased account of a tradition whose accuracy he
                                > could not deny, even though he found some elements of
                                > it highly embarassing, than that he is giving us some
                                > fiction he dreamed up out of thin air.

                                I think that Luke was just finished with all he needed of
                                Peter at that point and his real interest was to get on with
                                Paul, the real hero of his historical novel which, as Dennis
                                Smith suggest in his paper, is what Acts is at best---
                                a theologically slanted historical novel at that. I
                                do not think that Luke is embarrassed by anything
                                here. Luke briefly lets his reader know that James has
                                assumed leadership in the church at Jerusalem so Luke
                                can deal with that issue later in Acts 15.and it not become
                                a surprise to the reader when the reader reaches Acts 15.

                                (snip)

                                > Still, that no Herodian apparently ever tried to
                                > imprison and/or execute either Jesus or James is a
                                > problem for the hypothesis that Mary was named after
                                > the Hasmonean Mariamme and that she named two of her
                                > sons after the Hasmoneans named Simon and Judas.
                                >
                                > If this hypothesis is true, the expectation is that a
                                > second hypothesis (i.e., the hypothesis that the sons
                                > of Mary named Jesus and James were pro-Hasmonean and,
                                > therefore, anti-Herodian) is also true.

                                > However, that none of the Herodians apparently ever
                                > tried to imprison and/or execute either Jesus or James
                                > suggests that James and Jesus had not been
                                > pro-Hasmonean and anti-Herodian. This brings into
                                > question the truthfulness of the second hypothesis
                                > which, in turn, brings into question the truthfulness
                                > of the first hypothesis.
                                >
                                > In order to give greater credibility to the first
                                > hypothesis (i.e.,the hypothesis that Mary was named
                                > after Mariamme the Hasmonean and that Mary named two
                                > of her sons after the Hasmoneans named Simon and
                                > Judas), I suggest that you address this problem area
                                > to it.

                                I have trouble following your logic here. First of all, because
                                Herod the Great murdered the Hasmonean Mariamme and
                                Mary's parents named her after Mariamme, and Mary in turn
                                named two of her sons after Hasmoneans, that makes Mary
                                anti-Herodian and her sons anti-Herodian? How does that
                                follow? And even if it did, does that mean that all the
                                daughters named after the Hasmonean Mariamme and all the
                                sons named with Hasmonean names in this period (as I
                                indicated in my earlier post, Margaret Williams has made the
                                case for the sudden increase in Hasmonean names in this
                                period being due to pro-Hasmonean sympathy), does that
                                mean that all these parents and their off-spring were
                                anti-Herodian?

                                And if children were named with Hasmonean names, and if
                                the Herodians did not imprison or execute them because
                                they had Hasmonean names, does that mean they must have
                                been pro-Herodian and that the names then could not have
                                been Hasmonean to begin with. Furthermore, are you
                                suggesting that the enmity of Herod the Great towards the
                                Hasmoneans in his day was the same enmity that drove
                                Herod Antipas, Agrippa I and Agrippa II in their day?

                                Finally, by extoling his mother's Hasmonean ancestory in his _Vita_ (2),
                                does that make Josephus' mother anti-Herodian and, therefore, by the logic
                                you applied to the sons of Mary being pro-Hasmonean, and thus anti-Herodian
                                because of their mother, does that also make Josephus anti-Herodian, perhaps
                                even more so because Josephus brags about his Hasmonean royal blood, whereas
                                James and Jesus never mention their family's pro-Hasmonean sympathy? And
                                were is it that we find the Herodian Agrippa II trying to imprison or
                                execute Josephus because he has the royal blood of the Hasmoneans and brags
                                about it?

                                Ted Weeden
                              • Frank McCoy
                                ... The only Torah that Judaism possesses is a Judahite or Judean Torah composed by Ezra and the priestly contingent in the century following the Judahites
                                Message 15 of 16 , Nov 24, 2002
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                                  > (Ted Weeden)
                                  The only Torah that Judaism possesses is a Judahite or
                                  Judean Torah composed by Ezra and the priestly
                                  contingent in the century following the Judahites
                                  return from Bablylonian captivity to Jerusalem, etc.
                                  The northern Israelites, prior to the Assyrian
                                  conquest, did not have a "Torah" as we conventionally
                                  understand Judaism's Torah. The northern Israelite
                                  tradition included the Decalogue and elements of the
                                  Mosaic Covenant. The ancient Israelite tradition can
                                  be found in Deuteronomy 1-11 and was transmitted to
                                  Deuteronomists in Judah by northern Israelites who
                                  fled south after the Assyrian conquest of Israel.
                                  Richard Horsley, for one, uses the same term "Judean
                                  Torah" in his _Archaeology, History and Society in
                                  Galilee_, e.g., 111. The Galileans at the time of
                                  Jesus who traced their ethno-religious tradition back
                                  to Israel resisted, as I see it, the imposition of the
                                  Judean Torah upon them from the time of Aristobulus I
                                  (104/103) on. Horsley does not think, and I basically
                                  agree, that the Judean cultic establishment "mounted a
                                  serious program to 'resocialize;' Galilean villagers
                                  in order to bring Galileans into conformity with the
                                  "official Judean Torah" (111).
                                  >
                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  Ted, this is an intriguing line of thought. Do you
                                  think that the Galileans rejected major sections of
                                  the Pentateuch used by the Judeans, the Alexandrian
                                  Jews and (with some exceptions) the Samaritans? If
                                  so, can you list these major sections of the
                                  Pentateuch they rejected?

                                  > (Ted Weeden)
                                  > What do you mean by "saved" from James perspective?
                                  >
                                  > (Frank McCoy)
                                  > To come near to God.


                                  (Ted Weeden)
                                  And what does that mean, specifically with respect to
                                  James' theological orientation?
                                  >
                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  While I doubt that the Epistle of James is genuine, I
                                  do think it gives us a Jacobian perspective on
                                  salvation.

                                  As I perceive the Epistle of James, it posits that
                                  creation is unstable and that one who draws near the
                                  to the world gains a share in its instability,
                                  wavering between opposities in thought (i.e., being a
                                  facer both ways), and hangs on the body--becoming,
                                  thereby, one who is led by the desires, practices
                                  inequality, and accumulates a suplusage of material
                                  goods. Such a person finds death.

                                  On the other hand, God is absolutely stable and one
                                  who draws near to God gains a share in His stability
                                  and, so, has a faith without doubt. Such a person is
                                  unstained by the world and does not rely on the body
                                  and bodily concerns: refusing to heed the desires and
                                  giving any material surplusages to the needy.
                                  Further, such a person is a friend of God, and his/her
                                  soul remains steadfastly in a married union with God
                                  without any adultery with the world. The King's
                                  Highway/Royal road that enables one to draw near to
                                  God is the Word/Memra as the Law,--which Law, then, is
                                  the Royal Law. This Royal Law, being the utterance of
                                  God, is a perfect unwritten Law, of which the written
                                  Law of Moses is an imperfect copy--and its guiding
                                  principle of justice to men = love of men is summed up
                                  in Lev. 19:18. Traversing down this Royal road,
                                  veering neither to the left or the right, doing all
                                  that is enjoined by this perfect Law, one comes near
                                  to God and, so,is saved. This is the Law by which the
                                  Cosmos is governed, so that one who thusly obeys it
                                  lives in accord with the Cosmos and, as a result, is
                                  free--meaning that this Law is the Law of Liberty.

                                  > (Frank McCoy)
                                  > Oh, even though I have no evidence, I would think
                                  that
                                  > parents in first century CE Judea would have wanted
                                  > their daughters to grow up to be beautiful and get
                                  > decent husbands rather than to grow up to be ugly
                                  and
                                  > unable to get decent husbands.


                                  (Ted Weeden)
                                  Frank, Bruce Malina states the following in his _New
                                  Testament World_, 154: "[I]n Israelite tradition, a
                                  man's getting married because of *the beauty* or
                                  wealth of the bride *is equivalent to immorality*, the
                                  offspring of such marriages are almost tantamount to
                                  bastards, the symbolic opposite of holy seed" (my
                                  emphasis). Note in this regard, Sirach 25:21: "Do
                                  not be ensnared by a woman's beauty and do not desire
                                  a woman for her possessions." Contrary to your
                                  supposition that "parents in first century CE who were
                                  observant of the Judean cult would have wanted their
                                  daughters to grow up to be beautiful and get decent
                                  husbands rather than to grow up to be ugly and
                                  unable to get decent husbands," a daughter's beauty,
                                  as a mark of her desirability as a wife, such would
                                  not even be on the radar screen of cultically
                                  observant parents looking for a desirable wife for
                                  their son, or on the radar screen of a cultically
                                  observant male looking for a desirable wife.

                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  You quote me as stating, "parents in first century CE
                                  who were observant of the Judean cult would have
                                  wanted their daughters to grow up to be beautiful and
                                  get decent husbands rather than to grow up to be ugly
                                  and unable to get decent husbands,"

                                  However, what I said is, "parents in first century CE
                                  Judea would have wante their daughters to grow up to
                                  be beautiful and get decent husbands rather than to
                                  grow up to be ugly and unable to get decent husbands."

                                  The change you make from my phrase "parents in first
                                  century CE Judea" to "parents in first century CE who
                                  were observant of the Judean cult" radically changes
                                  the meaning of my sentence.

                                  So, what you evaluate above is a misunderstanding of
                                  my actual thinking.

                                  Before I respond, I would like to know your evaluation
                                  of my actual thinking.

                                  (Ted Weeden)
                                  I think that Bruce Malina and the Sirach quote, noted
                                  above, have shown that the last thing that Mary's
                                  pious Judean parents would have been concerned about
                                  when Mary was born was that she grow up to be a
                                  beautiful woman like the Boethusian Miramme and for
                                  that reason they named her "Mary." As pious parents,
                                  and perhaps descendents of Hasmoneans (so Marianne
                                  Sawicki, _Crossing Galilee_, 133) their concern would
                                  more likely have been the future restoration of the
                                  Hasmonean dynasty and thus they named Mary after
                                  the Hasmonean Miriamme, wife of Herod the Great
                                  (killed by Herod, along with her two sons, the last
                                  descendents of the Hasmoneans), not because they were
                                  concerned about their daughter's and her desirability
                                  to some future husband. Besides how would their
                                  naming of their daughter ensure that she would grow up
                                  beautiful? I do not follow your logic.

                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  It is, ISTM, highly speculative to think that Mary'
                                  parents had been pious Judeans and possibly
                                  descendents of the Hasmoneans: for, outside of some
                                  legendary material, we have no information on them.

                                  Further, this legendary material does not support this
                                  line of thought.

                                  See, for example, the beginning of the Gospel of the
                                  Birth of Mary, "The blessed and ever glorious Virgin
                                  Mary, sprung from the royal race and family of David,
                                  was born in the citty of Nazareth, and educated at
                                  Jerusalem in the temple of the Lord. Her father's
                                  name was Joachim, and her mother's Anna. The family
                                  of her father was of Galilee and the city of Nazareth.
                                  The family of her mother was of Bethlehem."

                                  Note that, this indicates, only her mother was born
                                  and raised in Judea. Even she moved to Galilee after
                                  her marraige. As for her father, he was Galilean
                                  through and through.

                                  Further, note that, this indicates, Mary was
                                  descended from David and, so, was of the tribe of
                                  Judah. The Hasmoneans, though, were of the tribe of
                                  Levi.

                                  Too, note that, this indicates, Mary was educated at
                                  the Jerusalem temple--where the High Priest from the
                                  opening of the temple until 5 CE was Simeon bar
                                  Boethus, the father of the ravishingly beautiful
                                  Mariamne. So, if there is any basis for this, then
                                  her parents had left the responsibility for the
                                  educating of her to Simeon and, so, had high regard
                                  for him and, so, had more likely named Mary after his
                                  daughter rather than after the Hasmonean Mariamne.

                                  Yes, you are correct in stating that there are
                                  weaknesses to the hypothesis that Judeans named many
                                  of their daughters Mary because they wanted these
                                  daughters to grow up to be as beautiful as the
                                  Boethusian Mariamne.

                                  There also is an alternative hypothesis that the
                                  Judeans were proud to have, in the Boethusian
                                  Mariamne, the reputedly most beautiful woman in the
                                  world.

                                  See, for example, the Jewish text, Joseph and Asenath:
                                  where, Asenath, appears to be modelled after the
                                  Boethusian Mariamne.

                                  The relevant passage (I), reads, "And there was a
                                  certain man in that city by name Pentephres, who was a
                                  priest of Heliopolis,...And he had a virgin daughter,
                                  by name Asenath, of eighteen years, tall and comely,
                                  and beautiful to behold exceedingly beyond evey virgin
                                  on earth. Now Asenath herself bare no likeness to the
                                  virgins of the daughters of the Egyptians, but was in
                                  all things like the daughters of the Hebrews, being
                                  tall as Sarah and comely as Rebecca and beautiful as
                                  Rachel, and the fame of her beauty spread abroad into
                                  all that land and unto the ends of the world, so that
                                  by reason of this all the sons of the princes and the
                                  satraps desired to woo her, nay, and the sons of the
                                  kings also, all young men and mighty, and there was
                                  great strife among them because of her, and they
                                  essayed to fight against one another. And Pharaoh's
                                  firstborn son also heard about her, and he continued
                                  entreating his father to give her to him to
                                  wife....And his father Pharaoh said to him: 'Wherefore
                                  dost thou on thy part seek a wife lower than thyself
                                  when thou art king of all this land?''"

                                  Note these features regarding Asenath:
                                  (1) she is the daughter of a priest whose home is in
                                  an Egyptian city, i.e., Heliopolis)
                                  (2) she is the most beautiful woman in the world and
                                  she is beautiful in a way that only a Jew can be
                                  beautiful
                                  (3) the ruler of the land (who is the firstborn son of
                                  Pharaoh rather than Pharaoh!) desires to marry
                                  Asenath, but is frustrated in his desire because she
                                  is of inferior status to him.

                                  Similarly, the Boethusian Mariamne had been the
                                  daughter of a prest--who, before moving to Jerusalem,
                                  had his home in an Egyptian city, i.e., Alexandria.
                                  Further, according to Josephus, Mariamne, a Jew, "was
                                  esteemed the most beatiful woman of that time"
                                  (Antiquities, XV, IX, 3). Finally, Josephus goes on
                                  to relate how the ruler of Judea, Herod the Great, had
                                  greatly desired her, but was initially afraid to marry
                                  her because she was of inferior status to him (which
                                  problem he "solved" by making her father High Priest,
                                  thereby making her a member of the high priestly
                                  aristocray and, so, of sufficiently high status for
                                  him to marry).

                                  These parallels are so strtiking that, ISTM, the
                                  Boethusian Mariamne was the model for Asenath: the
                                  heroine of Joseph and Asenath.

                                  This tells us, ISTM, that even many pious Judeans
                                  were proud that such a ravishing beauty as the
                                  Boethusian Mariamne was one of their own. If so,
                                  ISTM, it would only have been natural for many of them
                                  to have named their daughters after her.

                                  > (Frank McCoy)
                                  > That "James" does not identify himself as being a
                                  > brother of Jesus and that "Jude" identifies himself
                                  as
                                  > being a brother of James rather than as being a
                                  > brother of Jesus is a red flag IMO.
                                  >
                                  > If the epistles of James and Jude are forgeries,
                                  then
                                  > I am puzzled as to why, to gain credibility for
                                  them,
                                  > the forgers didn't emphasise that they were written
                                  by
                                  > brothers of Jesus. Perhaps I'm reading too much
                                  into
                                  > what you are saying, but, ISTM, you appear to be
                                  > implying that this is because the forgers were
                                  unaware
                                  > of the relationship of James and Jude to Jesus. Why
                                  > though falsely attribute an epistle to a person
                                  about
                                  > whom you know so little? Too, in the case of Jude,
                                  > why would the forger expect the epistle to be taken
                                  > seriously when the only explicit claim its alleged
                                  > author has to apostolic authority is a relationship
                                  to
                                  > a person named James?
                                  >
                                  > If they are forgeries, I think it more likely that,
                                  > the forgers and their intended readers knew, James
                                  and
                                  > Jude did not deem themselves to be true brothers of
                                  > Jesus.


                                  (Ted Weeden)
                                  We just see things differently here. Why would the
                                  authors of James and Jude think that sibling
                                  relationship was of any importance to mention or not
                                  to mention if the names "James" and "Jude" in and of
                                  themselves denoted apostolic authority?

                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  Since Jude is only 26 verses long, the fact that its
                                  alleged author takes the pains to explicitly state he
                                  is a brother of James means that he did consider it to
                                  be a big deal.

                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  > ISTM most likely that James was a only step-brother
                                  of
                                  > Jesus rather than being a brother in the fuller
                                  sense
                                  > of having the same mother and father. In this case,
                                  > many called James the brother of Jesus because he
                                  was,
                                  > technically, a brother of Jesus, but James did not
                                  > believe himself to be a true brother of Jesus
                                  because
                                  > he was not a brother of Jesus in the fullest sense
                                  of
                                  > the term.

                                  (Ted Weeden)
                                  I think the Protevangelium of James, as Mark Goodacre
                                  suggests, is a better and explicit reference to the
                                  fact that James was Joseph's son by an earlier
                                  marriage. I do not rule out the possibility that
                                  James was Jesus' step-brother, either because he was
                                  Joseph's son by an earlier marriage, or because Mary
                                  was a victim of a rape (a la Jane Schaberg, _The
                                  Illigetimacy of Jesus_).

                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  You make a good point here. I would only add that
                                  James the Just might have been a step-brother of Jesus
                                  by some third means as well.

                                  For example, let us look at the beginning of the
                                  Second Apocalypse of James, "This is [the] discourse
                                  that James [the] Just spoke in Jerusalem, [which]
                                  Mareim, one [of] the priests wrote. He had told it to
                                  Theuda, the father of the Just One, since he was a
                                  relative of his. He said, '[Hasten] Come with [Mary]
                                  your wife and your relatives."

                                  The text is somewhat corrupt, but it appears to
                                  envison that James was the son of a man named Theuda:
                                  who married Mary *after* the death of Joseph.

                                  Further, it envisons that Theuda was related to a
                                  priest named Mareim. If so, then Theuda and, hence,
                                  James, had likely been priests themselves.

                                  Indeed, there are a number of early Christian legends
                                  in which James acts as a priest or, even, a High
                                  Priest.

                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  > The awkwardness of Luke as respects the place to
                                  where
                                  > Peter went and as respects the identity of the other
                                  > James suggests that he is relating a tradition that
                                  > has elements to it that are embarrasing to him. For
                                  > example, it likely contained an element emphasising
                                  > that James was the head Honcho--which, if explicitly
                                  > admitted by Luke, would have made hash of his
                                  > presentation of Peter and Paul as the two leading
                                  > figures. Again, ISTM, it likely contained an
                                  element
                                  > about how Peter fled to Rome--which, if explicitly
                                  > admitted by Luke, would have made hash of his
                                  > presentation of Christianity gradually moving from
                                  > Jerusalem, with Peter being the chief spokesperson
                                  > there, to Rome, with Paul being the chief spokesman
                                  > there.

                                  > So, I think it more likely that Luke is giving us a
                                  > highly biased account of a tradition whose accuracy
                                  he
                                  > could not deny, even though he found some elements
                                  of
                                  > it highly embarassing, than that he is giving us
                                  some
                                  > fiction he dreamed up out of thin air.

                                  (Ted Weeden)
                                  I think that Luke was just finished with all he needed
                                  of Peter at that point and his real interest was to
                                  get on with Paul, the real hero of his historical
                                  novel which, as Dennis Smith suggest in his paper, is
                                  what Acts is at best--- a theologically slanted
                                  historical novel at that. I do not think that Luke
                                  is embarrassed by anything here. Luke briefly lets
                                  his reader know that James has assumed leadership in
                                  the church at Jerusalem so Luke can deal with that
                                  issue later in Acts 15.and it not become a surprise to
                                  the reader when the reader reaches Acts 15.


                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  Let us look at Luke's introduction of James in Acts
                                  12:17, "And (Peter) said, 'Report these things to
                                  James and the brothers.'"

                                  This does not even inform the reader the identity of
                                  James, much less inform the reader that this James is
                                  the head of the Jerusalem Church. If Luke isn't
                                  enbarassed at all, then why does he fail to identify
                                  James and fail to tell us that James is Peter's
                                  superior?

                                  As respects both Acts 12:17 and the hypothesis that
                                  Acts is a fictional work, Robert E. Eisenman states in
                                  the Brother of Jesus (p. 121), "Acts is not *simply*
                                  pure fiction. There is real truth lying behind its
                                  substitions or overwrites and the key often is *the
                                  family of Jesus*, particularly James, and how they are
                                  treated....The reference in Acts 12:17 to 'brothers'
                                  is interesting as well. One can take these 'brothers'
                                  as brothers in the generic sense, that is, communal
                                  brothers or the like, which is how it is usually
                                  taken. Or, since we are following the traces of 'the
                                  brothers' in this work, it is possible to take them as
                                  'brothers' in the specific sense, meaning James and
                                  the other brothers of Jesus. The first is more
                                  likely, but one should always keep in mind the
                                  possibility of the second, since Peter has gone to
                                  'Mary the mother of' someone's house to leave a
                                  message 'for James and the brothers'--otherwise
                                  unexplained."

                                  In any event, the vagueness and awkwardness of Luke in
                                  Acts 12:17 as respects James and the "brothers" is,
                                  ISTM, a red flag that he is not writing fiction but,
                                  rather, relating a tradition with highly embarrasing
                                  aspects to it he wishes to hide by using deliberate
                                  ambiguity.

                                  (snip)

                                  > Still, that no Herodian apparently ever tried to
                                  > imprison and/or execute either Jesus or James is a
                                  > problem for the hypothesis that Mary was named after
                                  > the Hasmonean Mariamme and that she named two of her
                                  > sons after the Hasmoneans named Simon and Judas.
                                  >
                                  > If this hypothesis is true, the expectation is that
                                  a
                                  > second hypothesis (i.e., the hypothesis that the
                                  sons
                                  > of Mary named Jesus and James were pro-Hasmonean
                                  and,
                                  > therefore, anti-Herodian) is also true.

                                  > However, that none of the Herodians apparently ever
                                  > tried to imprison and/or execute either Jesus or
                                  James
                                  > suggests that James and Jesus had not been
                                  > pro-Hasmonean and anti-Herodian. This brings into
                                  > question the truthfulness of the second hypothesis
                                  > which, in turn, brings into question the
                                  truthfulness
                                  > of the first hypothesis.
                                  >
                                  > In order to give greater credibility to the first
                                  > hypothesis (i.e.,the hypothesis that Mary was named
                                  > after Mariamme the Hasmonean and that Mary named two
                                  > of her sons after the Hasmoneans named Simon and
                                  > Judas), I suggest that you address this problem area
                                  > to it.

                                  (Ted Weeden)
                                  I have trouble following your logic here. First of
                                  all, because Herod the Great murdered the Hasmonean
                                  Mariamme and Mary's parents named her after Mariamme,
                                  and Mary in turn named two of her sons after
                                  Hasmoneans, that makes Mary anti-Herodian and her sons
                                  anti-Herodian?

                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  That's not what I was trying to say. I apologize for
                                  being unclear and will now make a revised argument
                                  that, I hope, will be clearer.

                                  To put the Hasmoneans back into power would be to
                                  remove the Herodians from power. So, if you wanted
                                  the Hasmoneans back into power, you wanted to remove
                                  the Herodians from power. That is to say, ISTM, to be
                                  pro-Hasmonean was to be anti-Herodian.

                                  Also, the Hasmoneans and the Herodians governed in a
                                  radically different fashion. The Hasmonean rulers
                                  were simultaneously King and High Priest. The
                                  Herodian rulers were never also High Priests.

                                  In this regard, the internal debate, between Essenes,
                                  over whether there would be one Messiah who is both
                                  King and High Priest or two Messiahs, one royal and
                                  the other priestly, is significant.

                                  In particular, ISTM, it indicates that the Essenes
                                  were divided into a pro-Hasmonean/anti-Herodian group
                                  and a pro-Herodian/anti-Hasmonean group.

                                  Parents play an important role in shaping the
                                  political opinions of their offspring. So, if Mary
                                  was the mother of Simon and Jude, and if Simon and
                                  Jude were named after the Hasmonean Simon and
                                  Hasmonean Jude, then she and her husband were
                                  pro-Hasmonean/antii-Herodian and, therefore, the
                                  expectation is that most, if not all, of their
                                  offspring would also be pro-Hasmonean/anti-Herodian.

                                  However, there is no evidence that any of the "sons"
                                  of Mary got into trouble with the Herodians--not even
                                  the two, i.e., Jesus and James, who came to the
                                  attention of one or more of the Herodians.

                                  Possbily, this is because they were really were
                                  pro-Hasmonean/anti-Herodian but didn't dare speak
                                  about this publicly for fear of imprisonment or
                                  execution.

                                  However, neither Jesus nor James appears to have been
                                  the type of person to let fear silence his lips.

                                  So, ISTM, it is unlikely that Mary and her husband had
                                  been pro-Hasmonean/anti-Herodian.

                                  (Ted Weeden)
                                  How does that follow? And even if it did, does that
                                  mean that all the daughters named after the Hasmonean
                                  Mariamme and all the sons named with Hasmonean names
                                  in this period (as I indicated in my earlier post,
                                  Margaret Williams has made the case for the sudden
                                  increase in Hasmonean names in this period being due
                                  to pro-Hasmonean sympathy), does that mean that all
                                  these parents and their off-spring were
                                  anti-Herodian?

                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  Did the names of Mariamne (Mary), Simon, and Judas
                                  increase in popularity because they were Hasmonean
                                  names?

                                  Certainly, this is likely. However, it could also be
                                  that other reasons were at least partially
                                  responsible, possibly even wholly responsible, for the
                                  increase in popularity of these names.

                                  For example, as pointed out above, there is reason to
                                  think that that the Boethusian Mariamne might have had
                                  something to do with the increasingly popularity of
                                  the name Mary.

                                  Again, it might have been that her father, Simeon
                                  (Simon) bar Boethus, played a role in the increasing
                                  popularity of the name Simon.

                                  It was he, not Herod the Great, who constructed the
                                  true temple--the Holy Place and the Holy of
                                  Holies---for only priests could build the true temple.
                                  So, he was one of a literal handful of people in all
                                  of Jewish history to construct a true temple. Further
                                  enhancing his prestige and authority was his long
                                  reign of almost twenty years as High Priest. Also,
                                  judging by the Essene texts, there were many Jews who
                                  believed the office of High Priest carries more
                                  prestige than the office of King, and these Jews would
                                  given more respect to Simeon (Simon) than to Herod the
                                  Great.

                                  Too, perhaps Judas bar Saripheus had something to do
                                  with Jude (Judas) becoming a more popular name. In
                                  Antiquities (XVII, VI, 2), Josephus relates, "There
                                  was one Judas, the son of Saripheus, and Matthias, the
                                  son of Margalothus, two of the most eloquent men among
                                  the Jews, and the most celebrated interpreters of
                                  Jewish laws, *and men well beloved by the people,* (my
                                  emphasis) because of their education of their youth;
                                  for all those that were studious of virtue frequented
                                  their lectures every day."

                                  These possible other reasons for the increased
                                  popularity of these three names have a bearing on the
                                  hypothesis that Mary, Simon, and Jude were named in
                                  honor of Hasmoneans. To the extent that there other
                                  reasons for the increased popularity of these three
                                  names, the hypothesis is weakened.

                                  (Ted Weeden)
                                  And if children were named with Hasmonean names, and
                                  if
                                  the Herodians did not imprison or execute them because
                                  they had Hasmonean names, does that mean they must
                                  have
                                  been pro-Herodian and that the names then could not
                                  have been Hasmonean to begin with. Furthermore, are
                                  you suggesting that the enmity of Herod the Great
                                  towards the Hasmoneans in his day was the same enmity
                                  that drove Herod Antipas, Agrippa I and Agrippa II in
                                  their day?

                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  There was wide-spread dissatisfaction of the
                                  Herodians, not just because they displaced the
                                  Hasmoneans, but also because of their Edomite ancestry
                                  and because of their staunchly pro-Roman stance and
                                  because of the socio-economic consequences of their
                                  urbanization schemes. The Herodians, faced with
                                  wide-spread dissatisfaction to their rulership, rarely
                                  resorted to imprisonment and/or executions except when
                                  opposition to them became overt and explicit. John
                                  the Baptist, for example, aparrently got imprisoned
                                  and executed for publicly criticising Herod Antipas'
                                  marraige to Herodias.

                                  Under the circumstances, I seriously doubt that merely
                                  possessing a name that had Hasmonean connotations
                                  would have gotten anybody imprisoned or executed.

                                  I'm reasonably certain that, during the reigns of the
                                  two Agrippas, if there were any people of Hasmonean
                                  descent with legitimate claims to rulership still
                                  alive (a big if), any such claimant would have been
                                  summarily executed if he had ever dared to openly
                                  criticise the Herodians and/or challange the
                                  legitimacy of the Herodian rulerships.

                                  (Ted Weeden)
                                  Finally, by extoling his mother's Hasmonean ancestory
                                  in his _Vita_ (2), does that make Josephus' mother
                                  anti-Herodian and, therefore, by the logic you applied
                                  to the sons of Mary being pro-Hasmonean, and thus
                                  anti-Herodian because of their mother, does that also
                                  make Josephus anti-Herodian, perhaps even more so
                                  because Josephus brags about his Hasmonean royal
                                  blood, whereas James and Jesus never mention their
                                  family's pro-Hasmonean sympathy? And were is it that
                                  we find the Herodian Agrippa II trying to imprison or
                                  execute Josephus because he has the royal blood of the
                                  Hasmoneans and brags about it?

                                  (Frank McCoy)
                                  We have no information on the political thinking of
                                  Josephus' mother: although, I agree, her Hasmonean
                                  ancestry is a strong indication that she probably was
                                  pro-Hasmonean/anti-Herodian. However, it is perhaps
                                  significant that Josephus is not a Hasmonean name. If
                                  nothing else, it indicates that his father was not
                                  pro-Hasmonean and nixed giving their son a Hasmonean
                                  name. Further, it is likely that Josephus' father had
                                  more influence on his political thinking than his
                                  mother.

                                  The purpose of Josephus in this section of Vita is to
                                  establish his pedigree. To have blood that is not
                                  only priestly, but high priestly and royal as well, is
                                  to have a prestigious pedigree.

                                  I can think of no reason why Agrippa II would have
                                  wanted to imprison and/or execute Josephus. Because
                                  Josephus' links to the Hasmoneans were only through
                                  his mother, while descent was reckoned through the
                                  father, ISTM that Josephus could not claim to be a
                                  rightful heir to the rulership previously held by the
                                  Hasmoneans. If so, then he was not perceived by
                                  Agrippa as being a potential rival claimant to
                                  rulership. Further, Josephus was quite sympathetic
                                  towards Agrippa and even named one of his own sons
                                  Agrippa.

                                  Frank McCoy
                                  1809 N. English Apt. 17
                                  Maplewood, MN 55109





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