Re: [XTalk] Josephus' Jesus-Ananias & Mark's Jesus
- This is a late reply to Ted Weeden's extensive, February 1, argumentation
re. Jesus ben Ananias in Josephus' Jewish War (see below). He argued Mark's
trial story was influenced by Josephus' rendition of ben Ananias' trial; I
argue the opposite: Josephus was slyly poking fun at Mark's story,
portraying a haranguing Jesus ben Ananias as representing Christian
preaching. Our respective approaches to Mark are certainly contradictory.
In research most of us, bible scholars pursue an argument, based on only a
few straightforward assumptions, re. Markan authorship, date and place, plus
the genre of the gospel. A large building of meaning is subsequently
constructed on these assumptions. Ted construed such a large building and so
did I. An exchange of thought may serve others for comparison's sake,
although an exchange like this rarely ends up in one party having convinced
the partner-in- dialogue his 'house of meaning' resembles Mark's message
best. The stakes (of research and
previous publications) are high for changing course amid stream and
objective criteria for deciding for or against the underlying ASSUMPTIONS
are not available.
Ted asked me below for proof why Josephus is an unreliable historian:
However, Ted, you seem to imply I referred only to the Jesus ben Ananias'
trial story as being unreliable, but more is at stake here. At any rate you
began with the admission that in detail the story may not be historically
true. But in your view Mark and John borrowed some of its features for their
own trial stories.
However, as is well known, Christian as well as Jewish scholars stress that
Josephus is not objective in his reports. My main argument on his
unreliability rests especially on his NEAR SILENCE on the fairly sizeable
reform movements launched by the Baptist and by Jesus. "Near" silence, for
next to the testimonia he does refer to these movements in a cryptic manner
and the Jesus ben Ananias' story probably is one of them. Through his
silence Josephus would leave the impression with his Hellenistic audience
that the "christianoi" were an insignificant sect with Zealotic tendencies.
His silence is therefore deliberate. While he himself and his fellow temple
priests were clearly responsible for the rebellion, - he was a general! -,
the consequence of his near silence leaves his readers no choice but to
believe that the Messianic movement were part of the zealots who started the
However, the Christian movement was certainly not a minor sect; it became
well known in the diaspora. It had spread fast in the land itself, in
Samaria and in far flung synagogues of the diaspora. However, they were not
revolutionaries. The ecclesia taught peace, not war: "blessed are the
peacemakers!.. ", "love your enemy".
We have documented evidence (the Gospels and Epistles) of ecclesia's in
such metropolises as Antioch, Alexandria, Corinth, Ephesus and even Rome
By the subtle means of silence he shifted the blame of revolt on the
'christianoi', who were persecuted under Nero. Josephus had himself much to
gain by putting on a show of pro Roman friendliness, thus also protecting
synagogues loyal to the Pharisaic party, while the ecclesia remained under a
cloud of suspicion.
Josephus was subtle. For slyly he poked fun at the Christians in a cryptic
manner for outsiders, but clear to the Jewish insiders.
In my interpretation I tried, for instance, to account for Josephus' story
of the three crosses as mocking Mark's resurrection story. Josephus knew
Mark's resurrection narrative (anno 72) very well, as I concluded at the end
of my analysis, and Josephus furnished a cryptic rebuttal while giving his
account of the Jewish war. Mine is not an argumentum e silentio; it is an
argument based on Josephus' conspicuous silence on the Christian witness.
Any exegete, who believes Mark didn't want his readers to think Jesus
literally disappeared from his grave, is obliged to interpret his opened
monument finale with all its details in this first century setting as well
as the variations of his tomb story in the other gospels. Bultmann didn't do
this; and you haven't done so either, Ted.
Let me put Ted's and mine positions side by side.
In the attempt to furnish an interpretation of Mark's tomb story, my
assumptions are that John Mark, a Christian Jew, born in Jerusalem, was the
first one (anno 72) to react to the fall of Jerusalem, mourned by all Jews,
Christian Jews and non-Christians alike. Mark's epilogue to the passion of
Jesus refers directly to the destruction of the temple by his citation of
LXX Isa 22,16.
I have asked various listers repeatedly whether or not Mark with the words
"tomb hewn from the rock" indeed referred to that verse from Isaiah. a
metaphor for the temple in Jerusalem, destroyed by the Babylonians. If he
did, Mark's testimony to the resurrection takes on a new meaning which thus
far has been ignored.
I picture Mark, a member of the Christian Jewish ecclesia in Rome, offering
a new contemporary interpretation of the Passover story. He claimed Jesus to
be Messiah; but his claim was opposed by the synagogue, which disclaimed
this testimony of their fellow Jews living in the same Jewish quarter,
Trastevere, of Rome.
Mark must have known the role Josephus had played in the rebellion. This
prominent member of the synagogue, Joseph bar Matthias, a turncoat priest-
general, now enjoyed in Rome a privileged position at the court of
Vespasian, the new Emperor. Mark accused the priesthood of the house of
Annas of being responsible for Jesus' execution and for the tragic ending of
the war and Josephus had been a prominent member of the priesthood.
Let is turn to Ted's argumentation, derived from Josephus' "War". He wrote":
>"I have been arguing in this essay for Mark having appropriated thehis passion > narrative hypertext. "'>
> story of Jesus son of Ananias as a hypotext he drew upon to help create
However, Ted, the main body of your argument rests on the Johannine passion
which was much later than Mark and Josephus ' War. I do find your argument
that JOHN may have borrowed certain features from Josephus' Jesus ben
Ananias story [as you put it the governor "asking (1) who he was and (2)
where he was from" ] to be a credible option. However, these features are
not found in Mark.
I believe Josephus with guile invented the ben Ananias story, who kept on
crying "Woe to Jerusalem", was arrested, interrogated and released, thus
giving a false impression of Christian preaching before 70 CE, thus mocking
in passing the Jesus' movement.
Your "Jesus-scourging motif", the "Jesus-non- reply motif" and the "release
motif" - as you put it - are better explained by Josephus' mocking Mark's
just published gospel than Mark copying (in the 80's !) from Josephus' .
Scourging was a current method of torture and Jesus not replying is coherent
with Mark's presentation of the passion. Moreover, Jesus was not released
Your other arguments deal solely with the Johannine version.
Indeed, our diverse approaches to Mark's Gospel can hardly be bridged.
However, I still think you ought to explain for the sake of clarifying your
1. Why Mark verbally cited the expression 'tomb hewn from the rock' of LXX
Isaiah 22,16 and applied it to the aftermath of Jesus' crucifixion.
2. Why Josephus observes a near complete silence on the Jesus movement,
which was widely known, and even in Rome after Nero.
Ted, in your long argumentation your first assumption is
>" And since Bookyour second assumption is:
>VI of the _Wars_ was published about 79 CE, I now do not think that > the
>Gospel of Mark is any earlier than the early 80's CE." I assume Mark must
>be written in the aftermath of the war.
> First of all, I place the Markan community in the village region ofI am not persuaded by your 'house of meaning'; I am troubled, for instance,
> Caesarea, but that is a subject for another thread. I assume Mark was
> written in Rome, a datum in line with early testimony of the Church
by your anti-Petrine/James deductions, which you defended elsewhere. Peter
is named first and last in the Gospel and Judas Iscariot, is the one that is
condemned. It is a Graecised name of 'iysh' and 'sheqer', 'man of the lie'
in the Psalms , Jeremiah and Qumran who oppose JHWH.
I will let your argumentation stand below to refresh the reader's memory.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Theodore Weeden" <Tweeden@...>
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 11:17 PM
Subject: [XTalk] Josephus' Jesus-Ananias & Mark's Jesus
> Karen Hanhart wrote on January 31:
>> The story of Jesus son of Ananias is certainly intriguing. You
>> that Josephus is completely reliable in his report and that Mark's trial
>> modelled after the trial of this person.
>> The same thing has been said of one of the last stories on the Fall of
>> Jerusalem in his Life 420 - 422. It concerned a supposedly historical
>> encounter of Josephus with three captives crucified, one of whom survived
>> the ordeal.
>> However, is Josephus completely reliable? Doesn't it make more sense to
>> turn the argument around. In that case Mark's gospel was doing the rounds
>> Rome, soon after 70 and Josephus in his Life mockingly referred to Mark's
>> crucifixion/resurrection narrative soon after the publication of Mark's
>> Likewise writing about Jesus son of Ananias in his Antiquities, he also
>> invented the trial scenes of this Jesus son of Ananias in his
> Where does Josephus refer to Jesus son of Ananias in his _Antiquities_?
> the index of the Loeb edition of the Antiquities, there is no citing of
> son of Ananias in the _Antiquities_.
>> The fact that Josephus nowhere refers explicitly to the sizeable Jesus'
>> movement, makes one wonder. Others have found mocking, cryptic references
>> the apostles and the gospel in Josephus.
>> Insiders in the Jewish quarter of Rome, including Christian ioudaioi,
>> have understood Josephus' mockery full well, while his Roman readers were
>> led by the nose.
> Let me address, in my judgment, the most pertinent issues you raise here.
> What follows is an extremely long essay, necessitated by the case I am
> making. First of all, I place the Markan community in the village region
> Caesarea, but that is a subject for another thread. Second, you raise
> question regarding Josephus' reliability. I am not quite sure what you
> by reliability. If you are asking about his historical accuracy in
> reporting the story of Jesus son of Ananias, I am not sure whether such a
> person ever existed. I reproduce here the story with a translation
> by Robert Funk. The text marked by astericks will be examined in the
> Johannine portion of my presentation here. Here now the Josephus story
> of Jesus son of Ananias in _War_, VI. 300-301.
> "§300 Four years before the war, when the city was at peace and enjoying
> prosperity, someone named Jesus son of Ananias, an illiterate peasant,
> to the feast at which it is customary for everyone to erect a temporary
> shelter to God [*the Feast of Booths*], and suddenly began to cry out in
> Temple: "A voice from the east, §301 a voice from the west, a voice from
> the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the Temple, a voice against
> the grooms and the brides, a voice against all the people." Day and
> through all the narrow streets of the city, he went about shouting this
> refrain. §302 Some of the elders became so enraged over the oracle
> forecasting doom that they arrested the fellow and assaulted him with
> But he, without a word in his own defense or under his breath for those
> striking him, just kept crying out as he had done previously.
> §303 Thereupon, the leaders of the Sanhedrin, convinced that he was
> the control of some supernatural power, as was the case, brought him
> the Roman governor. §304 Although *flayed to the bone with scourages*,
> did not plead for mercy nor did he shed any tears, rather, varying his
> in the most lamenting tone, he cried out with each lash, "Woe to
> §305 When *Albinus began interrogating him* --- Albinus, you will
> was governor --- *about who he was*, and *where he was from*, and why he
> kept crying out, *he did not reply at all to these questions*, nor did he
> stop repeating his dirge over the city. He kept this up until *Albinus*
> declared him a maniac and *released him*.
> §306 And up until the time the war began, he never approached any of the
> citizens nor was he observed speaking to any of them, but day after day,
> though it were a prayer he had carefully composed, he evoked his lament,
> 'Woe to Jerusalem!' §307 He neither cursed those who beat him every
> nor did he bless those who offered him food. To everyone he gave the
> reply --- the melancholy omen in his lamentation. §308 *His cries were
> most vociferous during the feast days*. So he continued wailing for
> years and five months until he saw his prediction fulfilled in the siege
> the city. Then he found peace. You see, as he was making his rounds and
> shouting in a piercing voice from the wall [of the city], §309 "Woe
> again to the city, and to the people and to the Temple," to which he added
> final word, "and woe to me too," a stone hurled by a catapult struck and
> killed him instantly. And so, with those ominous predictions still on
> lips, he died."
> I think parts of that story are clearly not historical. For example, who
> would have been concerned enough about the Jewish and Roman hearings of
> Jesus-Ananias (as I call him) to report the proceedings afterwards? I
> the content of those hearings is fictive. Moreover, whoever fashioned the
> story of Jesus-Ananias as we have it in Josephus used Jeremiah as a model
> for the type-casting of Jesus-Ananias in the story. I can provide
> support for Jesus-Ananias being depicted in the story as a latter-day
> Jeremiah. Josephus could have even made up the story, but I am doubtful
> about that. I think it was a story developed after the Roman-Jewish War
> (66-70 CE), and was produced, along with the other ominous signs of God's
> warning of judgment which Josephus provides prior to the story, to saw
> God's judgment against the Jewish rebellion against the Romans. What
> better OT prophet than Jeremiah to portray such a judgment in the
> form of Jesus-Ananias.
> Now with respect to the possibility that Josephus derived the material for
> his story from Mark, let me address that issue by reproducing here a
> from the a full-length manuscript of my thesis, "Two Jesuses: Provocative
> Parallels, Imaginative Imitation," which I presented at the 2003 fall
> meeting of the Jesus Seminar (see _Westar Institute: Fall 2003 Seminar
> Papers_, 1-122). On pages 42-43, I dealt with the issue of dependency
> under the following heading, and I quote myself.:
> "IX. The Intertextuality of Two Passion Narratives: Questions of Vector
> "I have been arguing in this essay for Mark having appropriated the story
> Jesus son of Ananias as a hypotext he drew upon to help create his passion
> narrative hypertext. Thus, I have taken the position with respect to
> intertextuality that Mark was directly dependent upon the story of
> Jesus-Ananias. In taking that position I have not, however, dealt with
> three important questions: (1) From where or whom did Mark gain access to
> the Jesus-Ananias story?, (2) Did Mark access the story in written or oral
> form?, (3) Is it possible that the vector of intertextuality is the
> of that which I have proposed?, i.e., Is it possible that Josephus was
> dependent upon Mark for his story of Jesus son of Ananias? I address the
> latter question first."
> "A. Was Josephus Dependent upon Mark?"
> "Could Josephus have been dependent upon Mark for the story of Jesus son
> Ananias? Since Josephus pays so little attention to Jesus of Nazareth
> the Christian movement (only mentioned twice and briefly in _Ant._, XVIII.
> 63-64 [with latter Christian emendations] and _Ant._, XX. 200), it is very
> doubtful that Josephus is dependent upon the Gospel of Mark for the
> inspiration to create his story of Jesus son of Ananias. I think that it
> highly improbable that Josephus would have composed such a story by
> through Mark for good material to make an interesting story about someone
> who harangued about the doom of the Temple, Jerusalem and the people seven
> years and five months before the siege by the Roman army actualized that
> doom prediction."
> "Furthermore, there is the issue of *Tendenz*. What tendencies does a
> such as Josephus reveal with respect to how he creates material to serve
> literary purpose? As I noted earlier, accomplished Greco-Roman writers,
> such as Josephus, often practiced MIMESIS in the course of developing a
> narrative or some other literary piece. And if they were mature writers,
> with refined literary skill in crafting compositions, they avoided
> practicing MIMESIS as a slavish imitation of motifs, details, vocabulary,
> grammatical and poetic constructions from the hypotext they chose to serve
> as the basis for their hypertext. Mature writers with refined rhetorical
> skills most often sought to conceal their imitation (a practice called
> "occulting"), lest their imitation be considered boorishly pedantic and
> be accused of plagiarism (see [Dennis] MacDonald, [The Homeric Epics and
> the Gospel of Mark], 5). With respect to Josephus, there does not seem
> to be any evidence that he was pedantic in his imitation, if he indeed did
> imitate other authors, as some scholars suggest. MacDonald states, for
> example: "The writings of Josephus display several possible imitations of
> the epics, and in some cases one suspects that he expected his readers
> to detect and appreciate his free adaptations" (5 [and 206. n.21]). But,
> my judgment, it is quite unlikely that Josephus would stoop to imitating
> an author, such as Mark, whose rhetoric, as scholars have often noted,
> is hardly in the class of those ancient authors most often imitated. For
> these reasons I find it implausible that Josephus was literarily dependent
> upon Mark."
> While in my presentation before the Jesus Seminar I did not think that
> was dependent directly on Josephus. I now think that he was. And since
> VI of the _Wars_ was published about 79 CE, I now do not think that the
> Gospel of Mark is any earlier than the early 80's CE.
> Additional support for the likelihood that Mark got the story from
> and not the reverse, is John's dependency on the story of Jesus-Ananias
> which he appropriated from Josephus for his own unique depiction of
> Jesus' Roman trial. If, as I argue both Mark and John drew upon the
> Josephus story directly, then it is hardly likely that Josephus was
> dependent upon Mark and John for elements of the Jesus-Ananias' story
> peculiar to their own depiction of Jesus' trials. I cannot imagine
> sorting through Mark and John looking for good material to create his own
> story of this character who harangued against Jerusalem,. its people and
> Temple from 62-70 CE. I present my case for John's dependency upon
> story of Jesus-Ananias from my public address on my thesis presented at
> opening of the Jesus Seminar in October 2003. In the manuscript
> to the Seminar attendees before the meeting, I give a fuller treatment of
> I now quote from the public address:
> "John's Dependence on the Story of Jesus of Jerusalem"
> "I turn now to what I propose is John's use of the story of Jesus of
> Jerusalem. To make my case for that it is important for me first to draw
> attention to the differences between the Johannine Roman trial of Jesus of
> Nazareth and the Markan and Matthean Roman trials of Jesus of Nazareth.
> And the differences are both striking and strange."
> "Unlike the Markan and Matthean one-stage Roman trial of Jesus, consisting
> three episodes --- namely, (1) Pilate's interrogation of Jesus (Mk.
> Mt. 27:11-14), (2) the crowd's request for the release of Barabbas and its
> demand for Jesus' crucifixion (Mk. 5:6-11; Mt. 27:15-21), and (3) Pilate's
> release of Barabbas, his scourging of Jesus and deliverance of Jesus to be
> crucified (15:12-15; Mt. 27:22-26) --- John creates two stages in the
> Johannine Jesus' trial before Pilate (18:28-19:16), two stages, each with
> episode in which Pilate moves from outside and disputative exchanges with
> the Jewish authorities who are insistent that Jesus be crucified to inside
> the praetorium where in privacy Pilate interrogates Jesus. That is
> strikingly different from the Synoptic versions of the Roman trial of
> And the strange thing about the Johannine Roman trial of Jesus is that
> has, as C. K. Barrett declares (_John_, 443), incomprehensibly and "oddly
> inserted" Pilate's scourging of Jesus and the soldiers' mockery between
> Pilate's two private interrogatory sessions, rather than having Pilate
> scourge him and the soldiers mock him at the end of the trial when Pilate
> had acquiesced to the demands of the Jews and delivered Jesus over to be
> "The "incomprehensible" fact that John has "oddly inserted" the scourging
> mockery of the Johannine Jesus in the middle of the Roman trial, as well
> John's structure of a two-stage trial can be explained in part by John's
> appropriation of elements of the Roman trial of Jesus son of Ananias and
> incorporation of those elements in the creation of his Roman trial. How
> I support such a position?"
> "It is clear that for John the two most important episodes in his Roman
> of Jesus are the two private sessions of the interrogation of Jesus by
> Pilate. It is there in those sessions that John frames certain questions
> for Pilate to ask the Johannine Jesus that allows Jesus then to expound
> theologically and christologically on two issues John wants addressed to
> own readers. Those issues are, as I see them, (1) the issue concerning
> the nature of Jesus' kingship, and (2) the issue regarding the origin and
> source of ultimate power. The two questions that John places upon
> lips to prompt Jesus' discourse on kingship and power are two of the same
> questions posed by the Roman governor Albinus to Jesus-Ananias. In the
> Jesus-Ananias story Albinus wanted to know from Jesus-Ananias (1) who he
> and (2) where he was from. I stated earlier that what Albinus was
> interested in, when he queried Ananias' son about who he was, was the
> socio-political identity that Jesus-Ananias claimed for himself. I also
> presented a case for Mark picking up on Albinus' socio-political-identity
> question and reformulating it as a socio-political identity question with
> messianic/christological role-specific orientation and placing it upon the
> lips of the high priest as a question posed to Jesus."
> "John, I propose, observing what Mark has done followed Mark's suit and
> Mark's framing of the question placed upon the lips of Pilate, namely, his
> question to Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews." By scripting that
> socio-political identity question for Pilate to pose to Jesus in the first
> session of his interrogation of Jesus, John enabled his persona Jesus to
> address John's kingship issue in response to Pilate's question and thus
> Jesus emphatically underscore that his kingdom was not from or of the
> In this manner, the identity question made it possible for John to deal
> the nature of Jesus' kingship in the first session of Pilate's questioning
> of Jesus."
> "In the second session, the issue which John wants Jesus to address for
> the benefit of his readers is the issue of the source and origin of
> power, i.e., the power manifested in Jesus, the power in John's cosmology
> which is from above, the only power that controls Jesus' destiny. To
> introduce that issue John appropriated the second question Albinus
> that Jesus-Ananias answer the question concerning "where he was from."
> Thus, John formulates that question borrowed from Albinus the Roman
> in direct discourse and with it placed on Pilate's lips has Pilate ask
> then, "Where are you from?" But John did not stop their in his borrowing
> from the Roman trial of Jesus-Ananias. He followed up Pilate's question
> with the same response that Jesus-Ananias had to Albinus' question. The
> Jesus-Ananias story depicts Jesus-Ananias as not replying to Albinus'
> questions. So likewise, John depicts Jesus as not replying to Pilate's
> "That tandem of motifs, the 'Where you from?'-question motif and the Jesus
> non-reply motif, which John derived from the Jesus-Ananias story and
> scripted into his Roman trial at this point provides the segue for John to
> have Jesus speak to the issue of ultimate power, the issue of the moment
> that John wants addressed. Thus, when Pilate asks the question of
> 'Where are you from?' and Jesus does not answer, John is able to advance
> exchange to the issue of power he wants addressed by scripting the
> dialogue between Pilate and Jesus at the dramatic moment when Jesus fails
> reply to Pilate's 'Where are you from?' question. I quote the Johannine
> 'Pilate therefore said to him, "Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you
> know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?" Jesus
> answered him, "You would have no power over me unless it had been given
> from above."' Once again, it is in this manner, via two motifs drawn
> the Jesus-Ananias story of the motif of a Roman governor asking a Jesus
> where he was from and the motif of a Jesus not replying to the governor's
> question, that John was able to introduce the issue of origin and source
> ultimate power in the second session of Pilate's interrogation of Jesus."
> [See the text of the story set off by astericks].
> "Besides the motif of the identity question, 'Where are you from?' and the
> motif of Jesus' non-reply to that question, it is important to draw
> at this point to two other motifs in the Jesus-Ananias story that also
> in the Johannine Roman trial of Jesus. They are the Jesus scourging
> and the Jesus release motif. In both of the respective trials a Jesus
> scourged and a Roman governor moves to release a Jesus. Of course only
> of the two Jesuses does get released. Nevertheless, the release motif is
> present in both stories. To push the parallels in motifs further, what
> interesting to me is that the four motifs, which have been in the
> focus of attention, appear in exactly the same sequence in the narrative
> patterns of both stories. If you turn to [the text of the Jesus-Ananias
> story set off by astericks] in section 304-305 the following pattern in
> which the four motifs are introduced. Jesus-Ananias is brought
> to the Roman governor Albinus, he is scourged (the Jesus-scourging motif),
> following the scourging he is asked by Albinus, among other things, where
> is from (the 'Where-you-from?'-question motif), to which question
> Jesus-Ananias does not reply (the Jesus-non-reply motif, and after the
> interrogation, Albinus releases Jesus (the Jesus-relief motif). In the
> Johannine schema, as the trial progresses from the first stage to the
> the Johannine Jesus is scourged (the Jesus-scourging motif); then in his
> interrogation he is asked where he is from (the 'Where-you-from?'-question
> motif), to which question he makes no reply (the Jesus non-reply motif).
> Then after his interrogation, Pilate is prepared to release him (the
> release motif). Thus, there is a parallelism between the two narratives
> the order of those four motifs."
> "What is striking about this parallelism in the narrative order of these
> motifs in the two stories is how radically different that pattern of
> narrative ordering is from some of the same motifs in the Synoptic trial
> narratives, in particular the Markan and Matthean versions, and the
> of order in which they are arranged. Both the Markan and Matthean trial
> versions have a Jesus-scourging motif, a Jesus-non-reply motif and a
> Jesus-release motif. But they do not have the 'Where you from?'-question
> motif. Instead they have a 'charges-question' motif. That is, in their
> stage, Roman trial of Jesus, Pilate, upon hearing the charges the chief
> priests have levied against Jesus, asks him, 'Have you no answer to make?
> See how many charges they bring against you?' (Mk. 15:4; Mt. 27:13). It
> in response to Pilate's 'charges question' that Mark and Matthew both tell
> us, that 'Jesus made no . . . answer' (Mk. 15:4). It is, then, to the
> 'charges question' that Jesus in the Markan and Matthean versions of the
> Roman trial makes no answer in contrast to the Johannine Jesus and
> Jesus-Ananias who make no answer to the 'Where are you from?' question.
> Consequently, the order of Mark and Matthew's four motifs is: a 'charges-
> question' motif, followed by a Jesus-non-reply motif, followed by a
> Jesus-release motif and then a Jesus-scourging motif, in contrast to the
> Johnnanine and Jesus-Ananias story order of a Jesus-scourging motif, a
> 'Where are you from?'-question motif, a Jesus-non-reply motif and a
> motif. It is clear from the comparisons of the Markan and Matthean
> with John juxtaposed with the Jesus-Ananias narrative pattern of the
> that John constructed his narrative from the final episode of the first
> stage of
> his Roman trial through the end of the second stage, using as a narrative
> template the Roman trial of Jesus-Ananias and not the Markan and Matthean
> Roman trial accounts. Luke is another matter. He only narrates the
> release motif."
> "Furthermore, it needs to be noted that the 'Where are you from?'-question
> motif plays a prominent role in John's Gospel prior to the Roman trial.
> Earlier, in the Gospel at various points in the Johannine Jesus' disputes
> with his Jewish adversaries the 'Where are you from?'-question motif is
> used to address the issue of Jesus' spiritual origin and his
> messianic/christological status. Thus, for example, in 7:27-28, people
> who encounter Jesus in Jerusalem state with respect to Jesus: "'Can it be
> that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? Yet we know
> where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where
> he is from.' Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, 'You
> know me, and you know where I am from? But I have not come of my own
> accord; he who sent me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for
> come from him.'"
> "It is quite striking, in my view, that none of the synoptic accounts of
> Roman trial of Jesus has the 'Where are you from?'-question motif, nor is
> 'Where are you from?'-question motif utilized with respect to Jesus
> in the Synoptics. Consequently, I posit that John appropriated this motif
> from the story of Jesus-Ananias and used it not only in the Roman trial of
> Jesus but also elsewhere in his Gospel to address theological and
> christological issues central to John's interest."
> "Finally, with respect to the 'incomprehensible fact that John has 'oddly
> inserted' the scourging and mockery of the Johannine Jesus in the middle
> the Roman trial, I am convinced that the thesis I have been articulating
> makes the incomprehensive quite comprehensible. How do I see that?
> John, in working with his two sources, Mark and the story of Jesus son of
> Ananias, to create his own unique Roman trial of Jesus, saw that the best
> way to connect the material he derived from the template of his two
> --- material which he transformed, transvalued and reconsituted --- was
> to connect the two respective templates by attaching the beginning of his
> transformed and transvalued Jesus-Ananias Roman trial account to the
> end of his revision of his Markan source Roman trial account. Since in
> John's Markan source Jesus' scourging took place after his trial before
> Pilate and in his Jesus-Ananias source the scourging of Ananias' son
> took place before his interrogation by Albinus, John saw, I reason,
> that the natural place to suture his two newly created two stages of
> the Johannine Roman trial together was at the point where the original
> source texts depicted the scourging incident. Thus, narratively, the
> scourging of the Johannine Jesus, by necessity of John's
> compositional procedure, occurs in the middle between two stages
> of the Roman trial, rather than at the end of the Roman trial, as is the
> case in the Markan and Matthean accounts of Jesus' Roman trial.
> This narrative splicing of his two sources, also, explains John's
> decision to ignore the Greek term for scourging which Mark used in his
> account and choose instead a cognate of the Greek term he found for
> scourging in the story of Jesus-Ananias."
> "Feasts in Jerusalem, An Intertextual Connection"
> There remains yet the need to draw attention to one more motif, which
> supports my thesis that John was dependent the story of Jesus of Jerusalem
> for his portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth. In the story of Ananias' son we
> are told that not only did Jesus-Ananias first proclaim his oracle against
> Jerusalem, its people and the Temple in the Temple itself, but also he
> to do so on the occasion of the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles in 62 CE.
> We are told in addition that after his release by Albinus, Jesus-Ananias
> continued to proclaim his lamentation of doom daily and most vociferous
> during the feast days. It seems that feasts in Jerusalem were
> important occasions for Jesus-Ananias to besiege observant Jews with his
> dirge of doom. [See the text set off by astericks in the story] What is
> striking to me in this regard is that John also has a fascination with
> in Jerusalem. He places Jesus there during six feasts (three Passover
> feasts [2:13; 6:4; 11: 55], the Feast of Booths [7:2], the Feast of
> Dedication [10:22] and one other unidentified feast [5:1]). In fact, the
> Johannine Jesus shows up in Jerusalem only at feasts. Andit is only at
> feasts that Jesus directly encounters his adversaries 'the Jews.'"
> John's apparent independent use of the Josephus story of Jesus-Ananias, a
> use inspired by John's awareness that Mark had used the same story for his
> trial scenes before him, convinces me that Mark and John were dependent
> Josephus for the story of Jesus son of Ananias --- and I could show the
> for :Luke--- rather than Josephus being dependent upon Mark or John (or
> :Luke for that matter) for material to create his story of Jesus-Ananias.
> Ted Weeden
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