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

Jesus' titles and Roman political decrees

Expand Messages
  • Gordon Raynal
    To all, It s political season in the United States and in many other places around the world. This note is a little thought experiment related to thinking
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
      To all,

      It's political season in the United States and in many other places around
      the world. This note is a little thought experiment related to thinking
      about the titles ascribed to Jesus in the early Christian literature. In
      this group we often talk about the titles in relationship to Jesus as a
      historical person. There is much discussion about whether Jesus thought of
      himself as a messianic figure, for example. Please correct me if I'm wrong,
      but I don't remember anyone entertaining that Jesus thought of himself as
      the high priest (as in the way he's spoken about in Hebrews). Such is a
      later attribution that is important theologically, but is not an indication
      that Jesus was after Caiaphas' job. But this leads to the second concern
      with titles and that is the whole subject of what they mean in relationship
      to Christian theology. Under the subcategory of Christology, the numerous
      titles (Son of God, Son of Man, Christ/Messiah, Prophet, Priest, King, etc.)
      are discussed in relationship to the larger category of theology in
      Systematic and Historical Christian Theology. This note, however, concerns
      the titles as political speech and how they related to/ responded to the
      Roman Imperial politics of the day. The other day I typed in a search
      engine "the dates of Augustus' titles," and sure enough a whole array of
      pages zipped right up. What follows is a list of the dating of those titles
      and honors and a suggested New Testament passage that relates/ responds to
      each title/honor. Folks might object to one or another parallel. You might
      sight better examples or more examples. But I thought this was just an
      interesting way to focus thought and attention on the political nature of
      early Christian speech. See what you think:

      (Scriptural quotes from the NRSV)

      January 1, 42 BCE: Julius Caesar was deified by the Roman Senate. By virtue
      of this Octavius became "the Divine Son."

      Mark 1:11 "And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved: with
      you I am well pleased."

      27 BCE: Octavius becomes Augustus and the Roman Empire is born.

      Mark 1:14b-15c "Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and
      saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near....'"

      19 BCE: The Senate declares Augustus sole supervisor of laws and morals with
      supreme power.

      Mark 1:22 "They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught as one having
      authority, and not as the scribes."

      17 BCE: Augustus heralds a comet's appearance as the visitation of the
      soul/spirit of Julius Caesar and a sign of a new age of peace and
      prosperity.

      Matthew 2:2 [Magi to Herod] "Where is the child who has been born King of
      the Jews? For we have observed his star rising, and have come to pay
      homage."

      Luke 2:14 (no star, but rather angels singing in the night sky) "Glory to
      God in highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors."

      13 BCE: The Senate votes to construct and altar to Augustan peace.

      John 14:27 (obviously no altar built, but "the WORD's words) "Peace I leave
      with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not
      let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."

      12 BCE: The Senate declares Augustus High Priest.

      Hebrews 4:14 "Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed
      through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our
      confession."

      8 BCE: The Senate declares that the 8th month in the Julian calendar be
      renamed "August" in honor of the emperor's birth.

      Luke mentions Augustus in the framing of the birth narrative (2:1) and
      eventually Luke-Acts will become the basis for the creation of a liturgical
      calendar.

      2 BCE: Augustus was declared "Father of the Fatherland."

      G. John emphasizes the role of Caesar's minion, Pontius Pilate, ordering the
      sign that derisively said, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." (Jn.
      19:19-22)

      14 CE: Augustus died on August 19th. On Sept. 17th the Senate deified him.

      Acts 2:32-35 Peter's sermon about 2 months in the Lukan calendar after
      Jesus' death:
      "This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being
      therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the
      Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured this out that you both
      see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself
      says, 'The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your
      enemies your footstool.'"


      Far from being decrees that were just tucked away in Rome, these Roman
      attributions were inscribed on the Roman coinage. There are common currency
      coins which depict the divine Julius crowning Augustus, many coins that
      celebrate Octavius' defeat of Antony and Cleopatra's forces at Actium and
      his gaining the title of Augustus, a lovely denarius with the comet on the
      back that proclaims "the Divine Julius," a coin with the Augustan altar and
      inscriptions that proclaim Augustus and his heirs "High Priest," "Divine
      Son," and "Father of the Fatherland."

      Anyway, in this political year I thought this might be interesting for folks
      to muse about. Thankfully our senators aren't in the business of doing such
      as this:)! But to the point, the early followers of Jesus responded to
      Imperial politics and theology with their own answers. I will be interested
      in any thoughts that this musing arouses.

      Gordon Raynal
      Inman, SC
    • Dr. Rikk E. Watts (Cantab)
      Gordon, Just quickly.. Craig Evans commentary on Mark has some good material on this, reflecting his early article on the Roman influence on Mark s incipit.
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
        Gordon,

        Just quickly..

        Craig Evans commentary on Mark has some good material on this, reflecting
        his early article on the Roman influence on Mark's incipit.

        Regards
        Rikk
        On 31/3/04 4:42 AM, "Gordon Raynal" <scudi1@...> wrote:

        > To all,
        >
        > It's political season in the United States and in many other places around
        > the world. This note is a little thought experiment related to thinking
        > about the titles ascribed to Jesus in the early Christian literature. In
        > this group we often talk about the titles in relationship to Jesus as a
        > historical person. There is much discussion about whether Jesus thought of
        > himself as a messianic figure, for example. Please correct me if I'm wrong,
        > but I don't remember anyone entertaining that Jesus thought of himself as
        > the high priest (as in the way he's spoken about in Hebrews). Such is a
        > later attribution that is important theologically, but is not an indication
        > that Jesus was after Caiaphas' job. But this leads to the second concern
        > with titles and that is the whole subject of what they mean in relationship
        > to Christian theology. Under the subcategory of Christology, the numerous
        > titles (Son of God, Son of Man, Christ/Messiah, Prophet, Priest, King, etc.)
        > are discussed in relationship to the larger category of theology in
        > Systematic and Historical Christian Theology. This note, however, concerns
        > the titles as political speech and how they related to/ responded to the
        > Roman Imperial politics of the day. The other day I typed in a search
        > engine "the dates of Augustus' titles," and sure enough a whole array of
        > pages zipped right up. What follows is a list of the dating of those titles
        > and honors and a suggested New Testament passage that relates/ responds to
        > each title/honor. Folks might object to one or another parallel. You might
        > sight better examples or more examples. But I thought this was just an
        > interesting way to focus thought and attention on the political nature of
        > early Christian speech. See what you think:
        >
        > (Scriptural quotes from the NRSV)
        >
        > January 1, 42 BCE: Julius Caesar was deified by the Roman Senate. By virtue
        > of this Octavius became "the Divine Son."
        >
        > Mark 1:11 "And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved: with
        > you I am well pleased."
        >
        > 27 BCE: Octavius becomes Augustus and the Roman Empire is born.
        >
        > Mark 1:14b-15c "Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and
        > saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near....'"
        >
        > 19 BCE: The Senate declares Augustus sole supervisor of laws and morals with
        > supreme power.
        >
        > Mark 1:22 "They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught as one having
        > authority, and not as the scribes."
        >
        > 17 BCE: Augustus heralds a comet's appearance as the visitation of the
        > soul/spirit of Julius Caesar and a sign of a new age of peace and
        > prosperity.
        >
        > Matthew 2:2 [Magi to Herod] "Where is the child who has been born King of
        > the Jews? For we have observed his star rising, and have come to pay
        > homage."
        >
        > Luke 2:14 (no star, but rather angels singing in the night sky) "Glory to
        > God in highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors."
        >
        > 13 BCE: The Senate votes to construct and altar to Augustan peace.
        >
        > John 14:27 (obviously no altar built, but "the WORD's words) "Peace I leave
        > with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not
        > let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."
        >
        > 12 BCE: The Senate declares Augustus High Priest.
        >
        > Hebrews 4:14 "Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed
        > through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our
        > confession."
        >
        > 8 BCE: The Senate declares that the 8th month in the Julian calendar be
        > renamed "August" in honor of the emperor's birth.
        >
        > Luke mentions Augustus in the framing of the birth narrative (2:1) and
        > eventually Luke-Acts will become the basis for the creation of a liturgical
        > calendar.
        >
        > 2 BCE: Augustus was declared "Father of the Fatherland."
        >
        > G. John emphasizes the role of Caesar's minion, Pontius Pilate, ordering the
        > sign that derisively said, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." (Jn.
        > 19:19-22)
        >
        > 14 CE: Augustus died on August 19th. On Sept. 17th the Senate deified him.
        >
        > Acts 2:32-35 Peter's sermon about 2 months in the Lukan calendar after
        > Jesus' death:
        > "This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being
        > therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the
        > Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured this out that you both
        > see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself
        > says, 'The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your
        > enemies your footstool.'"
        >
        >
        > Far from being decrees that were just tucked away in Rome, these Roman
        > attributions were inscribed on the Roman coinage. There are common currency
        > coins which depict the divine Julius crowning Augustus, many coins that
        > celebrate Octavius' defeat of Antony and Cleopatra's forces at Actium and
        > his gaining the title of Augustus, a lovely denarius with the comet on the
        > back that proclaims "the Divine Julius," a coin with the Augustan altar and
        > inscriptions that proclaim Augustus and his heirs "High Priest," "Divine
        > Son," and "Father of the Fatherland."
        >
        > Anyway, in this political year I thought this might be interesting for folks
        > to muse about. Thankfully our senators aren't in the business of doing such
        > as this:)! But to the point, the early followers of Jesus responded to
        > Imperial politics and theology with their own answers. I will be interested
        > in any thoughts that this musing arouses.
        >
        > Gordon Raynal
        > Inman, SC
        >
        >
        >
        > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
        >
        > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        > List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Ken Olson
        ... and ... Gordon, This one, at least, seems like a false parallel to me. Augustus is an actual contemporary title, but has no equivalent in the Markan
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
          On March 31, Gordon Raynal wrote:

          > 27 BCE: Octavius becomes Augustus and the Roman Empire is born.
          >
          > Mark 1:14b-15c "Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,
          and
          > saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near....'"

          Gordon,

          This one, at least, seems like a false parallel to me. "Augustus" is an
          actual contemporary title, but has no equivalent in the Markan passage
          cited. "Roman Empire" is a modern historians' term used to differentiate
          the pre- and post- Augustan periods. (Actually, "Roman Empire" was used by
          contemporaries at least as far back as Polybius to describe the sphere of
          Roman political power, but not to differentiate between the Republican and
          Imperial periods). Augustus was careful to maintain the traditional
          Republican titles and names of institutions even while he changed their
          functions and accumulated power to himself. He never said he was abolishing
          the Republic and establishing an Empire. Romans continued to call
          themselves a Republic right up to the fall. And Augustus certainly never
          used the kingship terminology found in Mark. That was the kind of thing
          that had gotten the elder Caesar assassinated.

          Best Wishes,

          Ken

          kaolson@...
        • Gordon Raynal
          ... Hi Rikk, Thanks for the suggestion. Will write the title down and once we get past this busy season, will take a look at that. Gordon
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
            >
            >Just quickly..
            >
            >Craig Evans commentary on Mark has some good material on this, reflecting
            >his early article on the Roman influence on Mark's incipit.
            >
            >Regards
            >Rikk

            Hi Rikk,

            Thanks for the suggestion. Will write the title down and once we get past
            this busy season, will take a look at that.
            Gordon
          • Gordon Raynal
            ... Hi Ken, Thanks for your response and clarifications. Talking this out is a help. What I had in mind is the connection of the inauguration of a new era in
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
              >On March 31, Gordon Raynal wrote:
              >
              >> 27 BCE: Octavius becomes Augustus and the Roman Empire is born.
              >>
              >> Mark 1:14b-15c "Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,
              >and
              >> saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near....'"
              >
              >Gordon,
              >
              >This one, at least, seems like a false parallel to me. "Augustus" is an
              >actual contemporary title, but has no equivalent in the Markan passage
              >cited. "Roman Empire" is a modern historians' term used to differentiate
              >the pre- and post- Augustan periods. (Actually, "Roman Empire" was used by
              >contemporaries at least as far back as Polybius to describe the sphere of
              >Roman political power, but not to differentiate between the Republican and
              >Imperial periods). Augustus was careful to maintain the traditional
              >Republican titles and names of institutions even while he changed their
              >functions and accumulated power to himself. He never said he was abolishing
              >the Republic and establishing an Empire. Romans continued to call
              >themselves a Republic right up to the fall. And Augustus certainly never
              >used the kingship terminology found in Mark. That was the kind of thing
              >that had gotten the elder Caesar assassinated.

              Hi Ken,

              Thanks for your response and clarifications. Talking this out is a help.
              What I had in mind is the connection of the inauguration of a new era in
              politics with the attendant new titling/naming and Mark's inauguration
              language here of "the Kingdom of God" and "Christos" from the Hebraic
              heritage given as a prime naming title for the inaugurator. That's sort of
              a jumbled way to see it, but I hope you see what I was after as a like sort
              of parallel. Perhaps there are other passages that might connect to this in
              a better way. Suggestions? Or is this an offbase sort of paralleling?

              At any rate looking across the whole of the listing what struck me is how
              the kerygma has a counter for the whole list. And as all of this was in one
              way or another inscribed on the pocket change of the empire, such Roman
              affirmations weren't distant abstractions, but there to be seen at every
              purchase of a loaf of bread, so to speak. What I also have in mind is that
              we are so apt to start our thinking about these titles in light of the later
              philosophical and theological work done on them, that the direct connection
              of this sort of language to the socio-political realities of the day gets
              shunted off to the side.

              Anyway, thanks again for your response and I look forward to other sorts of
              thoughts that grow out of this posting... pro/ con/ or other angles of
              reflection.

              Gordon Raynal
              Inman, SC
            • Jeffrey B. Gibson
              ... But good news does in the Priene inscrition about Augustus. Have a look at Craig Evans article on the incipit in Mk available at:
              Message 6 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
                Ken Olson wrote:

                > On March 31, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                >
                > > 27 BCE: Octavius becomes Augustus and the Roman Empire is born.
                > >
                > > Mark 1:14b-15c "Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,
                > and
                > > saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near....'"
                >
                > Gordon,
                >
                > This one, at least, seems like a false parallel to me. "Augustus" is an
                > actual contemporary title, but has no equivalent in the Markan passage
                > cited.

                But "good news" does in the Priene inscrition about Augustus. Have a look at
                Craig Evans' article on the incipit in Mk available at:

                http://divinity.mcmaster.ca/pages/jgrchj/JGRChJ1-5_Evans.pdf

                Jeffrey
                --

                Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

                1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
                Chicago, IL 60626

                jgibson000@...
              • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                These parallels are mainly of interest on the very general level of comparative religion. I used a similar one yesterday in my Freshman lecture on the
                Message 7 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
                  These parallels are mainly of interest on the very
                  general level of comparative religion. I used a
                  similar one yesterday in my Freshman lecture on the
                  Hellenistic period, noting that the divinization of
                  some Hellenistic monarchs provided part of the context
                  within which Christianity later developed, e.g., that
                  a king could be a sort of living god-man.

                  These sorts of parallels prove useful for making
                  connections at a broad, cultural level in the
                  presentation of Christianity's rise within the larger
                  history of the Roman Empire, for example, but they
                  don't usually provide much insight for a fine-grained
                  analysis, it seems to me.

                  But thanks for the list. I might try to integrate it
                  in my lecture on the beginnings of Christianity.

                  Jeffery Hodges

                  =====
                  Office:

                  Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges [Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley]
                  Department of English Language and Literature
                  Korea University
                  136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
                  Seoul
                  South Korea

                  Home:

                  Sun-Ae Hwang and Horace Jeffery Hodges
                  Seo-Dong 125-2
                  Shin-Dong-A, Apt. 102-709
                  447-710 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                  South Korea

                  __________________________________
                  Do you Yahoo!?
                  Yahoo! Finance Tax Center - File online. File on time.
                  http://taxes.yahoo.com/filing.html
                • Bob Schacht
                  ... But isn t this exactly the issue? That is, is this kerygma original with Jesus, or is it the creation of the Gospel writers, writing at a different time in
                  Message 8 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
                    At 12:12 PM 3/31/2004 -0500, Gordon Raynal wrote:


                    >Hi Ken,
                    >
                    >Thanks for your response and clarifications. Talking this out is a help....
                    >
                    >At any rate looking across the whole of the listing what struck me is how
                    >the kerygma has a counter for the whole list. ... What I also have in mind
                    >is that
                    >we are so apt to start our thinking about these titles in light of the later
                    >philosophical and theological work done on them, that the direct connection
                    >of this sort of language to the socio-political realities of the day gets
                    >shunted off to the side....

                    But isn't this exactly the issue? That is, is this kerygma original with
                    Jesus, or is it the creation of the Gospel writers, writing at a different
                    time in different places, in a different geopolitical context?

                    Bob

                    Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
                    Northern Arizona University
                    Flagstaff, AZ

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Gordon Raynal
                    ... Hi Jeffrey, Thanks for this citation. I hope everyone on the list will read it for all the sorts of connections it draws to gospel story telling and the
                    Message 9 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
                      >> This one, at least, seems like a false parallel to me. "Augustus" is an
                      >> actual contemporary title, but has no equivalent in the Markan passage
                      >> cited.
                      >
                      >But "good news" does in the Priene inscrition about Augustus. Have a look at
                      >Craig Evans' article on the incipit in Mk available at:
                      >
                      >http://divinity.mcmaster.ca/pages/jgrchj/JGRChJ1-5_Evans.pdf

                      Hi Jeffrey,

                      Thanks for this citation. I hope everyone on the list will read it for all
                      the sorts of connections it draws to gospel story telling and the Roman
                      imperial cult affirmations and practices. The story about Vespasian's
                      healings, I especially noted:)! I disagree with Evans on the dating of
                      Mark, but this is a fine piece of comparative study.

                      Gordon Raynal
                      Inman, SC
                    • Gordon Raynal
                      ... Hi Jeffrey, Hope it might be helpful. I already said it in my note to Jeffrey for all, but do check out Evans article because I think his work does move
                      Message 10 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
                        >These sorts of parallels prove useful for making
                        >connections at a broad, cultural level in the
                        >presentation of Christianity's rise within the larger
                        >history of the Roman Empire, for example, but they
                        >don't usually provide much insight for a fine-grained
                        >analysis, it seems to me.
                        >
                        >But thanks for the list. I might try to integrate it
                        >in my lecture on the beginnings of Christianity.
                        >
                        >Jeffery Hodges

                        Hi Jeffrey,

                        Hope it might be helpful. I already said it in my note to Jeffrey for all,
                        but do check out Evans article because I think his work does move from my
                        "broad" little piece to some very "fine-grained" analysis. But just one
                        other point, this list shows what was done right before and during the early
                        years of Jesus' life by the ruling power. Evans notes Herod the Great's
                        promotion of the emperor cultus in areas he could get away with it in his
                        realm. And then these imperial affirmations were repeated in terms of the
                        founder figure, Augustus, and taken up by the emperors who followed. And of
                        special note is the heralding of Vespasian's arrival as heralding "Good
                        News!" Evans article does a great job of showing the many parallels across
                        the first century.

                        Gordon Raynal
                        Inman, SC
                      • Bob Schacht
                        ... I think there was an old XTalk (or was it CrossTalk?) thread about the political overtones of the good news -- Ah! Here s one of them. Almost exactly a
                        Message 11 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
                          At 11:56 AM 3/31/2004 -0600, Jeffrey Gibson wrote:


                          >Ken Olson wrote:
                          >
                          > > On March 31, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                          > >
                          > > > 27 BCE: Octavius becomes Augustus and the Roman Empire is born.
                          > > >
                          > > > Mark 1:14b-15c "Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,
                          > > and
                          > > > saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come
                          > near....'"
                          > >
                          > > Gordon,
                          > >
                          > > This one, at least, seems like a false parallel to me. "Augustus" is an
                          > > actual contemporary title, but has no equivalent in the Markan passage
                          > > cited.
                          >
                          >But "good news" does in the Priene inscrition about Augustus. Have a look at
                          >Craig Evans' article on the incipit in Mk available at:
                          >
                          ><http://divinity.mcmaster.ca/pages/jgrchj/JGRChJ1-5_Evans.pdf>http://divinity.mcmaster.ca/pages/jgrchj/JGRChJ1-5_Evans.pdf
                          >
                          >Jeffrey

                          I think there was an old XTalk (or was it CrossTalk?) thread about the
                          political overtones of the "good news"--
                          Ah! Here's one of them. Almost exactly a year ago, on 3/17/2003, Ted Weeden
                          brought it up:

                          >2. Second Implication: The Priene Calendar as Hypotext for Mark's Superscript
                          >The second implication I draw from this sketch of the cultic importance of
                          >the Mt. Hermon area has to do with a certain hypotext which Mark drew upon
                          >for the creation of the superscript for his Gospel. What do I mean?
                          >I am struck by the correspondence of two significant historical events which
                          >help explain how and way Mark scripted his superscript the way he did. The
                          >first historical event is the fact that in a real sense Caesarea Philippi
                          >had its beginning, though not its founding as such, with Herod the Great's
                          >magnificent construction of a temple in honor of Caesar Augustus for the
                          >expressed purpose of worshipping Augustus and thereby rooting the imperial
                          >cult in the area of Mt. Hermon. Later, of course, as we have seen, Agrippa
                          >II extended the focus of worship at the Augusteum to all worshipers. But
                          >the tradition of the Augusteum began with the veneration of Augustus. That
                          >structure and its relationship to the imperial cult and the Empire must have
                          >made a profound impression upon the populace of Caesarea Philippi. So what
                          >has that got to with the introduction to Mark's Gospel? That leads me to
                          >the second historical event.
                          >It has long been recognized by Markan scholars, Joel Marcus being one of the
                          >most recent, that there is a suggestive relationship between the so-called
                          >"Priene Calendar Inscription" and the superscript Mark penned for his
                          >Gospel. The Priene Calendar Inscription is a reconstructed inscription, a
                          >composite text of parallel inscriptions found at Apamea, Eumeneia and
                          >Dorylaeum, which commemorated Caesar Augustus (63 BCE-14 CE) as savior of
                          >the world. The inscription is dated as 9 BCE. The inscription, in part,
                          >reads as follows:
                          >"It seemed good to the Greeks of Asia, in the opinion of the high priest
                          >Apollonius of Menophilus Azanitus: 'Since Providence, which has ordered all
                          >things and is deeply interested in our life, has set in most perfect order
                          >by giving us Augustus, whom she filled with virtue that he might benefit
                          >humankind, sending him as a savior, both for us and for our descendants,
                          >that he might end war and arrange all things, and since he, Caesar, by his
                          >appearance (excelled even our anticipations), surpassing all previous
                          >benefactors, and not even leaving to posterity any hope of surpassing what
                          >he has done, and *since the birthday of the god Augustus was the beginning
                          >of the good news [gospel] for the world that came by reason of him*' . . . "
                          >(emphasis: mine).
                          >Marcus comments (_Mark 1-8_, 146) on the connection of this inscription to
                          >Mark's opening verse --- "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son
                          >of God'--- thus: "This inscription is *especially close* [emphasis: mine] to
                          >Mark 1:1 because it speaks of the *beginning* of the announcement of good
                          >news" (emphasis: Marcus). It is my suggestion that Mark was conscious of
                          >this inscription because he was aware of it or something very close to it at
                          >the Augusteum in Caesarea Philippi. He also knew, I suggest, that his
                          >community at Caesarea Philippi was aware of the inscription. So he used the
                          >inscription as a foil for his own superscription. He drew upon the
                          >inscription, particularly the part which read, "the beginning of the good
                          >news for the world that came by reason of him," as his hypotext and
                          >transvalued it (see Dennis MacDonald, _The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of
                          >Mark_, 6f., 9) into a hypertext to introduce his Gospel (the good news; and
                          >understood: *Jesus' Gospel*) as the *real beginning* of the *good news* for
                          >the world that came by reason of *Jesus [not Augustus], the Christ, the
                          >*true* Son of the *only true* God, [not the false god, Augustus] (1:1).

                          Bob
                          Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
                          Northern Arizona University
                          Flagstaff, AZ

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Gordon Raynal
                          Hi Bob [I wrote] ... [Bob wrote] ... First, thanks for finding Ted s citation and bringing it back to the list. Second, I have to leave in just a bit to go
                          Message 12 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
                            Hi Bob

                            [I wrote]
                            >>Thanks for your response and clarifications. Talking this out is a help....
                            >>
                            >>At any rate looking across the whole of the listing what struck me is how
                            >>the kerygma has a counter for the whole list. ... What I also have in mind
                            >>is that
                            >>we are so apt to start our thinking about these titles in light of the later
                            >>philosophical and theological work done on them, that the direct connection
                            >>of this sort of language to the socio-political realities of the day gets
                            >>shunted off to the side....
                            >
                            [Bob wrote]
                            >But isn't this exactly the issue? That is, is this kerygma original with
                            >Jesus, or is it the creation of the Gospel writers, writing at a different
                            >time in different places, in a different geopolitical context?

                            First, thanks for finding Ted's citation and bringing it back to the list.

                            Second, I have to leave in just a bit to go and fill in for a friend at a
                            Wed. night Bible study, so I'm in a bit of a rush, but the answer to that is
                            that in individual affirmations that go into it and kerygma as refering to
                            whole letters and gospels and even early collections, then my answer is the
                            later folk. If one holds that Jesus does such as foretells his own death as
                            redemptive and resurrection and ascension, then one would say it at least
                            starts with HJ. But then you know what I think about such as Mark 8:31ff.

                            Gordon Raynal
                            Inman, SC
                          • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                            Thanks, Gordon, for the suggestion. I ll try to look into it. Jeffery P.S. Note the spelling of my name (to distinguish me from Jeffrey Gibson, a far better
                            Message 13 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
                              Thanks, Gordon, for the suggestion. I'll try to look
                              into it.

                              Jeffery

                              P.S. Note the spelling of my name (to distinguish me
                              from Jeffrey Gibson, a far better scholar than I).

                              =====
                              Office:

                              Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges [Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley]
                              Department of English Language and Literature
                              Korea University
                              136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
                              Seoul
                              South Korea

                              Home:

                              Sun-Ae Hwang and Horace Jeffery Hodges
                              Seo-Dong 125-2
                              Shin-Dong-A, Apt. 102-709
                              447-710 Kyunggido, Osan-City
                              South Korea

                              __________________________________
                              Do you Yahoo!?
                              Yahoo! Small Business $15K Web Design Giveaway
                              http://promotions.yahoo.com/design_giveaway/
                            • Ted Weeden
                              ... God, ... near.... ... an ... [Jeffrey Gibson] ... look at ... ty.mcmaster.ca/pages/jgrchj/JGRChJ1-5_Evans.pdf [BOB] ... Weeden ... Superscript . . . .
                              Message 14 of 19 , Mar 31, 2004
                                Bob Schacht wrote on Wednesday, March 31, 2004:

                                > >Ken Olson wrote:
                                > >
                                > > > On March 31, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                                > > > > 27 BCE: Octavius becomes Augustus and the Roman Empire is born.
                                > > > > Mark 1:14b-15c "Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of
                                God,
                                > > > > and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come
                                near....'"

                                > > > Gordon,
                                > > >
                                > > > This one, at least, seems like a false parallel to me. "Augustus" is
                                an
                                > > > actual contemporary title, but has no equivalent in the Markan passage
                                > > > cited.

                                [Jeffrey Gibson]
                                > >
                                > >But "good news" does in the Priene inscrition about Augustus. Have a
                                look at
                                > >Craig Evans' article on the incipit in Mk available at:
                                > >
                                >
                                ><http://divinity.mcmaster.ca/pages/jgrchj/JGRChJ1-5_Evans.pdf>http://divini
                                ty.mcmaster.ca/pages/jgrchj/JGRChJ1-5_Evans.pdf

                                [BOB]

                                > I think there was an old XTalk (or was it CrossTalk?) thread about the
                                > political overtones of the "good news"--
                                > Ah! Here's one of them. Almost exactly a year ago, on 3/17/2003, Ted
                                Weeden
                                > brought it up:
                                >
                                > >2. Second Implication: The Priene Calendar as Hypotext for Mark's
                                Superscript . . . .

                                [snip]

                                Thanks, Bob, for remembering my reference to the Priene Calendar Inscription
                                as part of my argument for the Markan community being located in the village
                                region of Caesarea Philippi. Since I submitted that initial essay on my
                                thesis that the provenance for the Markan gospel was the Caesarea Philippi,
                                I have revised and expanded the argument to fourteen reasons, internal to
                                the Markan text and external to the Markan text, for the strong suggestion
                                that Caesarea Philippi was the Sitz im Leben for Mark's gospel. Among
                                those fourteen reasons, I cite Craig Evans' article in _JGRCJ_ (to which
                                Jeffrey Gibson has drawn attention) on the relationship of the Priene
                                Calendar Inscription and the Markan Incipit. One of the most fascinating of
                                those reasons is a citation by Michael of Syria, Patriarch of Antioch in the
                                12th century CE, who in his Appendix of Book V of his _Chronicles of Michael
                                of Syria (vol. I)_ (Armenian Version), identifies *Mark the Evangelist* as
                                having preached in Rome and been put to death in the country of Paneas
                                (i.e., ancient Caesarea Philippi).

                                Since it may be of interest to listers to see this latter reference, along
                                with the other fourteen reasons why I think that Caesarea Philippi is a
                                strong candidate for the Markan provenance, I have raised the possibility
                                with Jeffrey Gibson of posting my revised essay for listers to engage and
                                offer their critical feedback. In an off-list post Jeffrey has suggested to
                                me that --- since the essay contains Greek and footnotes --- I send the
                                essay to him and he, then, will transform it into a PDF file, which he then
                                will post. I appreciate Jeffrey offering to do this. He also requested
                                that I send an abstract of the essay to listers after he has unloaded the
                                piece to the files--- which I will do.

                                Ted Weeden
                                Theodore J, Weeden, Sr.
                                Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University
                                Retired
                                Appleton, WI
                              • Gordon Raynal
                                Hi Jeffery ... Hope this does prove interesting for you. For your class paper that coin site that I put on the list has a search engine and many handy links to
                                Message 15 of 19 , Apr 1 5:07 AM
                                  Hi Jeffery

                                  >Thanks, Gordon, for the suggestion. I'll try to look
                                  >into it.

                                  Hope this does prove interesting for you. For your class paper that coin
                                  site that I put on the list has a search engine and many handy links to get
                                  to pictures of the coins that show all these inscriptions and even
                                  picturings related to the Imperial descrees. Easy to download a picture and
                                  use if for a class handout.

                                  >P.S. Note the spelling of my name (to distinguish me
                                  >from Jeffrey Gibson, a far better scholar than I).

                                  Sorry for my mis-typing. I did know who I was writing too:)! My typing
                                  skills... well they vary:)!

                                  Gordon Raynal
                                  Inman, SC
                                • Mike McLafferty
                                  ... I realize this thread has raveled in another direction (which I ve followed), and I acknowledge I m only a privileged layman lurker on this list, but if I
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Apr 1 11:30 AM
                                    Gordon Raynal wrote (#15536):

                                    > [...] Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't
                                    > remember anyone entertaining that Jesus thought
                                    > of himself as the high priest (as in the way he's
                                    > spoken about in Hebrews). [...]

                                    I realize this thread has raveled in another direction (which I've
                                    followed), and I acknowledge I'm only a privileged layman lurker on this
                                    list, but if I may, I'd recommend Margaret Barker. It is one of her central
                                    theses, running as a consistent thread through her eight books* spanning
                                    three decades, that a Hist J had a self-conception as Great High Priest in
                                    the ancient tradition of the first temple (and that Xianity was a
                                    survival/revival of the first temple cult). See most recently: *The Great
                                    High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy*, T&T Clark Ltd, 2003,
                                    ISBN 0 567 08942 8 (paper), 423pp. http://tinyurl.com/2e2hu

                                    (I'm not equipped to critique or defend Barker, just saw something I could
                                    respond to.)

                                    Michael McLafferty
                                    Portland, Oregon, USA
                                    no affiliation

                                    *Books by Margaret Barker:
                                    1) The Older Testament (1987)
                                    2) The Lost Prophet (1988)
                                    3) The Gate of Heaven (1991)
                                    4) The Great Angel (1992)
                                    5) On Earth as It Is in Heaven (1995)
                                    6) The Risen Lord (1996)
                                    7) The Revelation of Jesus Christ (2000)
                                    8) The Great High Priest (2003)
                                  • Mark Goodacre
                                    In addition to the work of Margaret Barker mentioned by Mike McLafferty, see also Crispin H. T. Fletcher-Louis, Jesus and the High Priest at
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Apr 1 1:39 PM
                                      In addition to the work of Margaret Barker mentioned by Mike
                                      McLafferty, see also Crispin H. T. Fletcher-Louis, "Jesus and the
                                      High Priest" at http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/jesus.pdf (quality of
                                      the PDF a bit poor).

                                      Mark
                                      -----------------------------
                                      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                                      Graduate Institute for Theology & Religion
                                      Dept of Theology
                                      University of Birmingham
                                      Elmfield House, Bristol Road tel.+44 121 414 7512
                                      Birmingham B29 6LQ UK fax: +44 121 415 8376

                                      http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/goodacre
                                      http://NTGateway.com
                                    • Gordon Raynal
                                      Hi Mark, Thanks for the citation. I went to it and after the first page it s basically unreadable on my computer. Any thoughts about this work? Gordon Raynal
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Apr 2 4:58 AM
                                        Hi Mark,
                                        Thanks for the citation. I went to it and after the first page it's
                                        basically unreadable on my computer. Any thoughts about this work?

                                        Gordon Raynal
                                        Inman, SC
                                        ----------
                                        >From: "Mark Goodacre" <M.S.Goodacre@...>


                                        >In addition to the work of Margaret Barker mentioned by Mike
                                        >McLafferty, see also Crispin H. T. Fletcher-Louis, "Jesus and the
                                        >High Priest" at http://www.marquette.edu/maqom/jesus.pdf (quality of
                                        >the PDF a bit poor).
                                        >
                                        >Mark
                                      • Bob Schacht
                                        ... Reviving an old thread... One of the interesting things about the Jennings special last night is that they spent some time on the extent to which Paul s
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Apr 6 11:26 AM
                                          At 11:56 AM 3/31/2004 -0600, Jeffrey Gibson wrote:



                                          >But "good news" does in the Priene inscrition about Augustus. Have a look at
                                          >Craig Evans' article on the incipit in Mk available at:
                                          >
                                          ><http://divinity.mcmaster.ca/pages/jgrchj/JGRChJ1-5_Evans.pdf>http://divinity.mcmaster.ca/pages/jgrchj/JGRChJ1-5_Evans.pdf
                                          >
                                          >Jeffrey

                                          Reviving an old thread...
                                          One of the interesting things about the Jennings special last night is that
                                          they spent some time on the extent to which Paul's language about Jesus was
                                          political. For example, most of his "titles" were political rather than
                                          religious (unless you count "son of man", I suppose). Tom Wright spoke to
                                          this point, as did several others, I think.

                                          Another interesting point re: early critical issues was that to begin with,
                                          salvation was perhaps not as much of an issue as who you could eat with
                                          (ref. to Galatians 2:12), according to a sound bite from Alan Segal.

                                          Bob

                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.