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Re: [XTalk] Mary Magdalene as Jesus' Wife in the Gospel of Philip

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    ... I ve written Bart to see what he has to say about this. I ll forward anything I receive from him. Jeffrey -- Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon) 1500 W.
    Message 1 of 18 , Mar 13, 2006
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      "John C. Poirier" wrote:

      > How could Erhman, Bock, and Olson/Meisel all make such a big mistake? I
      > suggest that part of the reason is that they probably all rushed their
      > research, due to the need to be timely with their rebuttals.
      >
      > Of course, the need to make Mary Magdalene Jesus' wife arises from the
      > Gnostics' desire to make their figurehead apostle as close to "the Savior"
      > as possible.

      I've written Bart to see what he has to say about this. I'll forward anything I
      receive from him.

      Jeffrey
      --
      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
      1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
      Chicago, Illinois
      e-mail jgibson000@...
    • Jeffrey B. Gibson
      ... I ve passed the message along to Darrell as well. Jeffrey -- Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon) 1500 W. Pratt Blvd. Chicago, Illinois e-mail
      Message 2 of 18 , Mar 13, 2006
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        "John C. Poirier" wrote:

        > Thanks, Jeffrey. I look forward to hearing what he might have to say.
        > (BTW, I took Bart's course on NT textual criticism, way back when.)
        >
        > To be sure, I found more errors in Bock's book than in Ehrman's. E.g., Bock
        > apparently approves of classifying Gnostics as "intellectuals", which I
        > don't think is accurate (he does this to prepare for debunking
        > neo-Gnosticism in Pagels, etc.), and he also strangely claims that the
        > Montanists were considered heretics because (he claims) they proposed adding
        > new books to the New Testament.

        I've passed the message along to Darrell as well.

        Jeffrey

        --
        Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
        1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
        Chicago, Illinois
        e-mail jgibson000@...
      • John C. Poirier
        Thanks, Jeffrey. I look forward to hearing what he might have to say. (BTW, I took Bart s course on NT textual criticism, way back when.) To be sure, I found
        Message 3 of 18 , Mar 13, 2006
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          Thanks, Jeffrey. I look forward to hearing what he might have to say.
          (BTW, I took Bart's course on NT textual criticism, way back when.)

          To be sure, I found more errors in Bock's book than in Ehrman's. E.g., Bock
          apparently approves of classifying Gnostics as "intellectuals", which I
          don't think is accurate (he does this to prepare for debunking
          neo-Gnosticism in Pagels, etc.), and he also strangely claims that the
          Montanists were considered heretics because (he claims) they proposed adding
          new books to the New Testament.

          John C. Poirier

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
          To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, March 13, 2006 9:00 AM
          Subject: Re: [XTalk] Mary Magdalene as Jesus' Wife in the Gospel of Philip


          >
          >
          > "John C. Poirier" wrote:
          >
          >> How could Erhman, Bock, and Olson/Meisel all make such a big mistake? I
          >> suggest that part of the reason is that they probably all rushed their
          >> research, due to the need to be timely with their rebuttals.
          >>
          >> Of course, the need to make Mary Magdalene Jesus' wife arises from the
          >> Gnostics' desire to make their figurehead apostle as close to "the
          >> Savior"
          >> as possible.
          >
          > I've written Bart to see what he has to say about this. I'll forward
          > anything I
          > receive from him.
          >
          > Jeffrey
          > --
          > Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
          > 1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
          > Chicago, Illinois
          > e-mail jgibson000@...
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Bob Schacht
          ... Why strangely ? IIRC, the Montanists claimed that revelation was not dead; they were ascetic but charismatic. The orthodox parties in the church couldn t
          Message 4 of 18 , Mar 13, 2006
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            At 04:36 AM 3/13/2006, John C. Poirier wrote:
            >. . . Bock . . . strangely claims that the
            >Montanists were considered heretics because (he claims) they proposed adding
            >new books to the New Testament. . . .

            Why "strangely"? IIRC, the Montanists claimed that revelation was not dead;
            they were ascetic but charismatic.
            The orthodox parties in the church couldn't figure out whether the
            Montanists claims were bogus or not, so they just decided to declare that
            revelation had ceased, branding the Montanists as heretics. The Montanists
            were no trivial sect, because Tatian(?), one of the major scholars of the
            day, was one of them.

            So why "strangely"?

            Bob



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • John C. Poirier
            ... Bob, What I find strange is the inference (which I thought was implicit in Bock s book, and which is explicit in your message) that a belief in the
            Message 5 of 18 , Mar 13, 2006
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              Bob Schacht writes:

              > Why "strangely"? IIRC, the Montanists claimed that revelation was not
              > dead;
              > they were ascetic but charismatic.
              > The orthodox parties in the church couldn't figure out whether the
              > Montanists claims were bogus or not, so they just decided to declare that
              > revelation had ceased, branding the Montanists as heretics. The Montanists
              > were no trivial sect, because Tatian(?), one of the major scholars of the
              > day, was one of them.
              >
              > So why "strangely"?

              Bob,

              What I find strange is the inference (which I thought was implicit in Bock's
              book, and which is explicit in your message) that a belief in the
              continuation of prophecy somehow bears on whether the NT canon is closed. I
              would challenge you to find a modern Pentecostal or Charismatic who would
              accept that inference.

              Furthermore, there were plenty of non-Montanists patristic writers who
              believed in the continuation of genuine Christian prophecy into the second
              century, including Irenaeus himself (*Adv. haer.* 5.6.1).

              BTW, you were probably thinking of Tertullian, not Tatian.

              John C. Poirier
              Middletown, Ohio
            • Tony Buglass
              Bob wrote: The orthodox parties in the church couldn t figure out whether the Montanists claims were bogus or not, so they just decided to declare that
              Message 6 of 18 , Mar 13, 2006
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                Bob wrote:
                The orthodox parties in the church couldn't figure out whether the
                Montanists claims were bogus or not, so they just decided to declare that
                revelation had ceased, branding the Montanists as heretics. .... So why
                "strangely"?

                Interesing issue of the relation of orthodoxy/heresy to "history is written
                by the winners". As I recall (it being some years since I last looked at
                this) Montanus and his merry band were claiming ongoing revelation at a time
                when the church leadership was firming up the authority of the bishops as a
                defence against Gnostic gospels. That is, the Gnostics claimed that their
                gospels contained the secret teachings which Jesus had given only to the
                disciples, and the orthodox gospels were only what he had allowed as public
                teaching. The bishops were therefore presented as the guardians of the true
                teachings of the church, thus excluding the Gnostics. Montanus and co
                refused to knuckle under to the authority of the bishops, and therefore
                presented a threat which had to be suppressed. They were therefore accusd
                of heresy.

                Now, the interesting thing is that there doesn't appear to be any record of
                an argument against their alleged false doctrine. The majority of the
                accusations against them are that Montanus allagedly claimed to be the
                Paraclete (presumably arising from the usual prophetic technque of speaing
                in the 1st person), and that when they gathered, they got up to all sorts of
                immorality. This rings bells for me with reference to a much later
                controversy, in the early 19th C when British Wesleyan Methodist authorities
                wished to suppress the camp meetings which were to give birth to the
                Primitive Methodist movement. Allegations of immorality were the chief
                weapon - as if the kind of folk who went to prayer and preaching meetings
                were the kind who would slip away for a bit of slap-and-tickle in between
                the hymns and prayers. Character assassination rather than refutation
                suggests to me that no refutation is possible, and my memory of Eusebius'
                account of the controversy is that it is all character assassination and no
                refutation. Montanus allegedly became more extreme later on, but I suppose
                if you treat someone like an excluded heretic, eventually he will behave
                like one.

                So the real issue is what is the nature of heresy in this situation, and how
                it relates to the nature of authority within the Jesus movement. Was
                Montanus a similar sort of person to Simon Magus, with a completely
                inadequate understanding of the Holy Spirit? Or was he simply seeking to be
                as charismatic as those who feature in the Acts of the Apostles, and fell
                foul of the authorities in a similar way to Primtive Methodists falling foul
                of the Wesleyan authoirities of the day?

                Cheers,
                Rev Tony Buglass
                Superintendent Minister
                Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
              • John C. Poirier
                Below are my replies to Darrell Bock, Jeffery Hodges, and Bob Schacht/Gordon Raynal: Darrell, I know the main point of your discussion is about the historical
                Message 7 of 18 , Mar 14, 2006
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                  Below are my replies to Darrell Bock, Jeffery Hodges, and Bob Schacht/Gordon
                  Raynal:

                  Darrell,

                  I know the main point of your discussion is about the historical Jesus, and
                  I think we all agree that the *Gospel of Philip* is pretty much useless for
                  determining anything about that. But I would encourage you to take a more
                  objective view of the Montanists: beginning with Theophilus Wernsdorf in the
                  17th century and John Wesley in the 18th, virtually everyone who has studied
                  the Montanists in any depth has concluded that they didn't deserve the label
                  "heresy".

                  Jeffery,

                  The entry in Crum's dictionary allows two interpretations which make
                  excellent sense of the passage: *hotre* as "marriage partner" or as "twin".
                  Of course, "twin" brings to mind the Thomas/Jesus twinship found elsewhere,
                  so that interpretation would certainly fit from a religious standpoint. But
                  a female "twin" would also be a "sister", and so that interpretation would
                  involve a certain redundancy when saying that Mary is Jesus' mother, sister,
                  and twin. But perhaps "twin" isn't the exact sense that the *syzygos*
                  concept is supposed to have in Gnosticism. The whole question requires more
                  study.

                  Bob and Gordon,

                  The NT is not as anti-erotic as it is usually made out to be. Puritanical
                  blinders cause most readers to understand Matt 5:28 ("I say to you that
                  every one who looks at a *gune* lustfully has already committed aultery with
                  her in his heart") as a general censure of lustful thoughts, rather than a
                  censure of lustful thoughts toward a woman married to another man (i.e.,
                  *gune* = "wife"). The verse is about extending *adultery* into a thought
                  crime, so it presupposes that the woman in question is married. If a
                  monogamous standard is presupposed, it might alternatively allow that the
                  lusting man, rather than the object of his lust, is married, but that's hard
                  to make out. (The author of Timothy advises monogamy in a church office [".
                  . . the husband of one wife"], but even there we can't be sure if the point
                  is moral or merely practical.)

                  John C. Poirier
                • Gordon Raynal
                  ... Hi John, Thanks for the above. The Hebraic tradition is obviously very pro be fruitful and multiply and from the sayings of Jesus and such as what Paul
                  Message 8 of 18 , Mar 14, 2006
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                    > Bob and Gordon,
                    >
                    > The NT is not as anti-erotic as it is usually made out to be.
                    > Puritanical
                    > blinders cause most readers to understand Matt 5:28 ("I say to you that
                    > every one who looks at a *gune* lustfully has already committed
                    > aultery with
                    > her in his heart") as a general censure of lustful thoughts, rather
                    > than a
                    > censure of lustful thoughts toward a woman married to another man
                    > (i.e.,
                    > *gune* = "wife"). The verse is about extending *adultery* into a
                    > thought
                    > crime, so it presupposes that the woman in question is married. If a
                    > monogamous standard is presupposed, it might alternatively allow that
                    > the
                    > lusting man, rather than the object of his lust, is married, but
                    > that's hard
                    > to make out. (The author of Timothy advises monogamy in a church
                    > office [".
                    > . . the husband of one wife"], but even there we can't be sure if the
                    > point
                    > is moral or merely practical.)
                    >
                    > John C. Poirier
                    >
                    Hi John,

                    Thanks for the above. The Hebraic tradition is obviously very pro "be
                    fruitful and multiply" and from the sayings of Jesus and such as what
                    Paul wrote in I Cor. there's no sign of backing off from this. I
                    entirely agree that some of the Puritan heritage (but not all) did a
                    real number on this subject... and that on top of all the Roman
                    Catholic Augustinian high idealization of virginity and on to celibacy
                    the whole of the tradition in this regard got put into a very
                    un-Hebraic way of thinking. Certainly no need to lay all of that on
                    the historical Jesus or the historical Paul.

                    Gordon Raynal
                    Inman, SC
                  • Bob Schacht
                    ... Gordon and John, I was going to postpone my response until I had time to get my notes together, but your piling on motivates me to respond earlier (and I
                    Message 9 of 18 , Mar 14, 2006
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                      At 02:05 PM 3/14/2006, Gordon Raynal wrote:
                      > > Bob and Gordon,
                      > >
                      > > The NT is not as anti-erotic as it is usually made out to be. Puritanical
                      > > blinders cause most readers to understand Matt 5:28 ("I say to you that
                      > > every one who looks at a *gune* lustfully has already committed aultery
                      > with
                      > > her in his heart") as a general censure of lustful thoughts, rather than a
                      > > censure of lustful thoughts toward a woman married to another man (i.e.,
                      > > *gune* = "wife"). The verse is about extending *adultery* into a thought
                      > > crime, so it presupposes that the woman in question is married. If a
                      > > monogamous standard is presupposed, it might alternatively allow that the
                      > > lusting man, rather than the object of his lust, is married, but that's
                      > hard
                      > > to make out. (The author of Timothy advises monogamy in a church
                      > office [".
                      > > . . the husband of one wife"], but even there we can't be sure if the point
                      > > is moral or merely practical.)
                      > >
                      > > John C. Poirier
                      > >
                      > Hi John,
                      >
                      >Thanks for the above. The Hebraic tradition is obviously very pro "be
                      >fruitful and multiply" and from the sayings of Jesus and such as what
                      >Paul wrote in I Cor. there's no sign of backing off from this.

                      Gordon and John,
                      I was going to postpone my response until I had time to get my notes
                      together, but your piling on motivates me to respond earlier (and I hope
                      not prematurely.)

                      First, Gordon, thanks for detailing in your previous post the examples of
                      "pro-family" passages in the NT that I was having a problem recalling when
                      I first wrote. And indeed, my choice of "pro-family" was a bad label for
                      what I was trying to categorize, because one can write tons of stuff about
                      families without touching on the eros at its center. And I agree with you
                      that "The Hebraic tradition is obviously very pro 'be fruitful and
                      multiply'." But here we're writing about the NT in general and the Gospels
                      in particular. So when you wrote the following I could no longer remain still:

                      > I entirely agree that some of the Puritan heritage (but not all) did a
                      >real number on this subject...

                      FOUL BALL! One of my major points in my prior post was the utter lack of
                      any explicit reference to *eros* in the NT. YOU CANNOT BLAME THAT ON THE
                      PURITANS! After all, *eros* was not exactly a rare word in Greek literature.

                      >and that on top of all the Roman
                      >Catholic Augustinian high idealization of virginity and on to celibacy
                      >the whole of the tradition in this regard got put into a very
                      >un-Hebraic way of thinking.

                      All quite irrelevant, IMHO. It is precisely because of the earthiness of
                      the Hebraic tradition that I find the lack of attention to eros by the
                      Greek authors of the NT baffling.

                      You quoted a passage from Paul that said, in essence, if you must screw
                      around, by all means get married, and husbands, don't neglect the conjugal
                      rights of your wives (or words to that effect; I don't have your previous
                      message in front of me.) Why doesn't Paul use the word eros in this context?

                      So neither of you has really succeeded in satisfying my curiosity about why
                      the NT is so eros-averse. I continue to suspect that there was a
                      fundamental problem with eros at the heart of the Christian tradition that
                      was not resolved, and consequently was systematically expunged from the
                      traditions that survived. And with it, some essential info about Jesus'
                      relationship with Mary Magdalene was lost. Some time in the first century,
                      it seems that it was decided that eros represented a Pandora's Box on which
                      the lid was best left tightly closed.

                      Bob

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Bob MacDonald
                      Bob S wrote: NT is so eros-averse I thought you had written that it was silent on the subject Averse is not silent As to eros itself - what about the images of
                      Message 10 of 18 , Mar 14, 2006
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                        Bob S wrote: NT is so eros-averse

                        I thought you had written that it was silent on the subject

                        Averse is not silent

                        As to eros itself - what about the images of intimacy in Revelation (hidden
                        manna, white stone, unknown name) or what about the bridegroom imagery in
                        the NT?

                        Looking at 1 Corinthians 3 and 6 and the body as temple of the Spirit - is
                        not erotic satisfaction the reason a man becomes one flesh with a
                        prostitute? Why does Paul say that such fornication is a sin against one's
                        own body? Eros is perhaps hidden but not absent in the NT.

                        Bob

                        Bob MacDonald
                        Victoria BC
                        http://gx.ca
                        http://bmd.gx.ca
                      • Bob Schacht
                        ... You make a good point. I should have been more precise. Silent, certainly. Averse? How about taboo? I m searching here. For example, in recent times the
                        Message 11 of 18 , Mar 14, 2006
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                          At 03:52 PM 3/14/2006, Bob MacDonald wrote:
                          >Bob S wrote: NT is so eros-averse
                          >
                          >I thought you had written that it was silent on the subject
                          >
                          >Averse is not silent

                          You make a good point. I should have been more precise. "Silent," certainly.
                          Averse? How about taboo? I'm searching here. For example, in recent times
                          the four letter word for copulation beginning with "f" is taboo in polite
                          society, but that doesn't mean people are against it. They just don't want
                          to talk about it openly, and when they do, they use various
                          circumlocutions, like I just did. If a word is not used when it is
                          appropriate from a narrow lexical point of view, it seems worthwhile to ask
                          what is behind the avoidance that is preventing its use?


                          >As to eros itself - what about the images of intimacy in Revelation (hidden
                          >manna, white stone, unknown name) or what about the bridegroom imagery in
                          >the NT?

                          Indeed. These are some contexts in which it might seem quite appropriate
                          for eros to be discussed. But it is not. The concept lurks in the shadows.


                          >Looking at 1 Corinthians 3 and 6 and the body as temple of the Spirit - is
                          >not erotic satisfaction the reason a man becomes one flesh with a
                          >prostitute? Why does Paul say that such fornication is a sin against one's
                          >own body? Eros is perhaps hidden but not absent in the NT.

                          You make my point. In these passages, an explicit discussion of eros seems
                          quite germane. Indeed, in Greek literature, there seems no barrier or
                          reticence to discussing it explicitly that I know of. But in the NT, it is
                          never mentioned explicitly. Why?

                          There is another reason why it is deeply puzzling to me. In Plato, eros is
                          discussed as a pathway to the divine, isn't it? Wouldn't this make an
                          explicit discussion of eros in the NT virtually an imperative?

                          And it also strikes me as odd that it apparently strikes no one else as
                          being odd.

                          Bob Schacht



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • C. McKinney
                          ... It could be that eros per se is more substantial in the context of Greek philosophy than in Judean or Palestinian thinking. So while we who think in
                          Message 12 of 18 , Mar 14, 2006
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                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: Bob Schacht
                            > Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 10:33 AM
                            >
                            > There is another reason why it is deeply
                            > puzzling to me. In Plato, eros is
                            > discussed as a pathway to the divine, isn't
                            > it? Wouldn't this make an
                            > explicit discussion of eros in the NT
                            > virtually an imperative?

                            It could be that eros per se is more substantial in the
                            context of Greek philosophy than in Judean or
                            Palestinian thinking. So while we who think in Western
                            terms may see the concept lurking in the shadows in the
                            New Testament, the NT authors just may not have thought
                            in those terms. Perhaps this reluctance stems from a
                            more general Semitic tardiness or uneveness in adopting
                            a neo-platonist worldview.

                            Chris McKinney
                            Claremont Graduate University
                          • Gordon Raynal
                            Bob, ... I m glad this was a help. Back to my actual note to you, all I pointed out were key NT references to ask what you made of them in terms of your
                            Message 13 of 18 , Mar 14, 2006
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                              Bob,
                              >
                              > Gordon and John,
                              > I was going to postpone my response until I had time to get my notes
                              > together, but your piling on motivates me to respond earlier (and I
                              > hope
                              > not prematurely.)
                              >
                              > First, Gordon, thanks for detailing in your previous post the examples
                              > of
                              > "pro-family" passages in the NT that I was having a problem recalling
                              > when
                              > I first wrote. And indeed, my choice of "pro-family" was a bad label
                              > for
                              > what I was trying to categorize, because one can write tons of stuff
                              > about
                              > families without touching on the eros at its center. And I agree with
                              > you
                              > that "The Hebraic tradition is obviously very pro 'be fruitful and
                              > multiply'." But here we're writing about the NT in general and the
                              > Gospels
                              > in particular.

                              I'm glad this was a help. Back to my actual note to you, all I
                              pointed out were key NT references to ask what you made of them in
                              terms of your "speculation."

                              > So when you wrote the following I could no longer remain still:
                              >
                              >> I entirely agree that some of the Puritan heritage (but not all) did
                              >> a
                              >> real number on this subject...

                              This note was not a response to you, but an agreement with John about
                              later interpretive issues which have indeed profoundly affected the way
                              the obviously pro- human sexuality material that is found in the
                              Scriptures of both testaments.


                              > You quoted a passage from Paul that said, in essence, if you must screw
                              > around, by all means get married, and husbands, don't neglect the
                              > conjugal
                              > rights of your wives (or words to that effect; I don't have your
                              > previous
                              > message in front of me.) Why doesn't Paul use the word eros in this
                              > context?

                              I'd ask you to read those words in I Cor. 7 again. I'll simply
                              emphasize the opening of v. 5 (NRSV) "Do not deprive one
                              another...." That is clear enough and hardly fits your categorization.

                              Gordon Raynal
                            • Bob Schacht
                              ... But weren t all the authors of the NT texts we discuss here writing in GREEK? And weren t most of them fluent enough in GREEK to have received considerable
                              Message 14 of 18 , Mar 14, 2006
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                                At 05:55 PM 3/14/2006, C. McKinney wrote:
                                > > -----Original Message-----
                                > > From: Bob Schacht
                                > > Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 10:33 AM
                                > >
                                > > There is another reason why it is deeply
                                > > puzzling to me. In Plato, eros is
                                > > discussed as a pathway to the divine, isn't
                                > > it? Wouldn't this make an
                                > > explicit discussion of eros in the NT
                                > > virtually an imperative?
                                >
                                >It could be that eros per se is more substantial in the
                                >context of Greek philosophy than in Judean or
                                >Palestinian thinking. So while we who think in Western
                                >terms may see the concept lurking in the shadows in the
                                >New Testament, the NT authors just may not have thought
                                >in those terms. . . .

                                But weren't all the authors of the NT texts we discuss here writing in
                                GREEK? And weren't most of them fluent enough in GREEK to have received
                                considerable training in GREEK? Paul apparently grew up in a Greek city far
                                outside of Israel. He spent most of his missionary travels in Greece or
                                Greek-speaking cities among people taught in Greek academies and arguing
                                with people like Apollos who, being from Alexandria, was apparently trained
                                in Greek oratory and literature.

                                It would be a different story if we could trace the NT to Aramaic originals
                                in a cave in the Judean desert, but that's not what our evidence suggests.

                                Bob



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                              • John C. Poirier
                                Perhaps as a way of closing this thread--that is, if it s otherwise dead--I d like to mention that the direct responses to *The Da Vinci Code* aren t the only
                                Message 15 of 18 , Mar 15, 2006
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                                  Perhaps as a way of closing this thread--that is, if it's otherwise
                                  dead--I'd like to mention that the direct responses to *The Da Vinci Code*
                                  aren't the only scholarly works out there that are misrepresenting (or
                                  underrepresenting?) what Coptic/Greek terms underlie the English word
                                  "companion" found in the translations of the *Gospel of Philip*.

                                  I found this in James M. Robinson's recent book *The Gospel of Jesus: In
                                  Search of the Original Good News*: on pp. 105-106, Robinson gives the
                                  following passage from the *Gospel of Philip*:

                                  There were three women who always walked with the Lord: Mary his mother,
                                  [his] sister,
                                  and the Magdalene, who is called his companion. For Mary is his sister,
                                  and she is his
                                  mother, and she is his companion.

                                  Then Robinson writes:

                                  Much has been made of this designation of Mary Magdalene as Jesus'
                                  companion, since this
                                  word can be used of a spouse as well as a business partner or fellow
                                  believer. But when
                                  the *Gospel of Philip* wants to refer to someone's wife, it always uses
                                  a different noun, a
                                  noun that only means wife. This makes it very unlikely that the *Gospel
                                  of Philip* intends
                                  to designate Mary Magdaelen as Jesus' wife by calling her his companion.

                                  What Robinson fails to point out is that the word "companion" appears twice
                                  in the translated passage, and that each occurrence stands for a different
                                  word in the original. It is only the first appearance of "companion"
                                  (*koinonos*) for which the semantic range includes "spouse as well as a
                                  business partner or fellow believer". The second appearance is *hotre*,
                                  whose contextually acceptable meanings include "marriage partner" and
                                  "twin". I suggest that the functional meaning of both terms within this
                                  passage probably lies near the intersection of their acceptable meanings.
                                  It might be possible to argue that that's not the case, but then one would
                                  have to give specifics about narrative meaning.

                                  It's a bit disturbing, in my opinion, that even the editor of *The Nag
                                  Hammadi Library* can do this. This is the sort of oversight that I think
                                  appears far too often in works written by scholars but aimed at the general
                                  public. These are the sorts of errors (or, if you prefer, "inaccuracies")
                                  that probably would not have appeared if the book(s) in question had been
                                  aimed at an academic readership, but, for some reason, scholars tend to be
                                  somewhat sloppy when writing for the general public. I'm not sure why.

                                  I should also point out that Antti Marjanen, in his book *The Woman Jesus
                                  Loved*, devotes several pages to the meaning of *koinonos*, but no space to
                                  the meaning of *hotre*. Perhaps Marjanen's treatment partly contributed to
                                  others' oversights.


                                  John C. Poirier
                                  Middletown, Ohio
                                • C. McKinney
                                  ... It is possible that Paul thought primarily as a Greek rather than a Semite. Certainly he demonstrates some familiarity with Greek philosophical thinking
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Mar 15, 2006
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                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > From: Bob Schacht
                                    > Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 3:48 PM
                                    >
                                    > >It could be that eros per se is more
                                    > substantial in the
                                    > >context of Greek philosophy than in Judean or
                                    > >Palestinian thinking.
                                    >
                                    > But weren't all the authors of the NT texts
                                    > we discuss here writing in
                                    > GREEK? And weren't most of them fluent
                                    > enough in GREEK to have received
                                    > considerable training in GREEK? Paul
                                    > apparently grew up in a Greek city far
                                    > outside of Israel. He spent most of his
                                    > missionary travels in Greece or
                                    > Greek-speaking cities among people taught in
                                    > Greek academies and arguing
                                    > with people like Apollos who, being from
                                    > Alexandria, was apparently trained
                                    > in Greek oratory and literature.
                                    >
                                    > It would be a different story if we could
                                    > trace the NT to Aramaic originals
                                    > in a cave in the Judean desert, but that's
                                    > not what our evidence suggests.

                                    It is possible that Paul thought primarily as a Greek
                                    rather than a Semite. Certainly he demonstrates some
                                    familiarity with Greek philosophical thinking
                                    elsewhere. I firmly believe that the overall assumed
                                    context of the New Testament documents is very much out
                                    of balance in favor of the Hebrew Bible and against
                                    Hellenistic literature and culture. (That is, people
                                    tend to assume Old Testament parallels and canonical
                                    Israelite history while ignoring Hellenistic parallels
                                    and history, and this is not a good thing.)

                                    However, in pondering your puzzlement at the lack of
                                    the use of the word "eros" by New Testament authors, I
                                    considered myself as an analogy (though perhaps an
                                    inappropriate one). An American, I was raised in Asia
                                    from an early age. I have spent most of my adult life
                                    working in Asia. I speak two Asian languages. I have
                                    some formal training in anthropology. I have studied
                                    the culture, worldview, and religious world of the
                                    country in which I live. In some ways I think more
                                    like an Asian than an American; however, my thinking
                                    and worldview remain overwhelmingly American. Asians
                                    sometimes re-word what I am saying in a way that seems
                                    less accurate to me but more attractive to themselves;
                                    I do the same with what I hear, even when it comes from
                                    Asians with an extensive Western experience and
                                    education.

                                    Americans, for example, tend to think of "rice," and
                                    use modifying words to describe rice grain for
                                    planting, rice plants growing, rice stalks for
                                    threshing, milled uncooked rice, boiled or steamed
                                    rice, fried rice, glutenous rice, the rice that sticks
                                    to the pan when you cook it, and day-old leftover rice.
                                    In the Asian languages I know, there are distinct words
                                    for each of these rices. I catch myself often using
                                    the word for boiled or steamed rice when an Asian might
                                    use the word for uncooked rice, fried rice, or leftover
                                    rice.

                                    With this in mind, there remains sufficient Semitic
                                    patterns of thinking in Paul for me to consider that
                                    while he may have studied Greek philosophy, he may well
                                    have priviledged Hebrew ways of thinking at some level.
                                    Since he is capable of thinking both as a Hebrew and as
                                    a Greek, it would be just as wrong (without evidence)
                                    to assume he is intentionally avoiding a Greek concept
                                    as to assume he is unaware of it, particularly when we
                                    have reason to believe his religious vocabulary and
                                    training may have been more Semitic than other aspects
                                    of his worldview.

                                    Of course, my argument here is less strong if Paul was
                                    not actually a Pharisee, a Jew, or religiously oriented
                                    towards Jerusalem, if these are literary devices rather
                                    than the historical Paul.

                                    Chris McKinney
                                    Claremont Graduate University
                                  • Roger Pearse
                                    Pardon me if I come in part way through this discussion? Just a couple of points of detail, if I may. ... I know that this view is in circulation, not least
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Mar 16, 2006
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                                      Pardon me if I come in part way through this discussion? Just a
                                      couple of points of detail, if I may.

                                      --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@...> wrote:
                                      > IIRC, the Montanists claimed that revelation was not dead;
                                      > they were ascetic but charismatic.

                                      I know that this view is in circulation, not least among
                                      charismatics themselves. But I have begun to feel that it is risky
                                      to project modern pentecostalism onto this interesting but rather
                                      shadowy group. Such a process is how anachronism happens. I don't
                                      know what anyone else thinks, of course.

                                      > The orthodox parties in the church couldn't figure out
                                      > whether the Montanists claims were bogus or not, so
                                      > they just decided to declare that revelation had ceased,
                                      > branding the Montanists as heretics.

                                      The situation seems to be more complex than this. Consider the
                                      argument that Miltiades uses, as quoted by Eusebius, HE 5.17.4
                                      (http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-10.htm#P3208_1493635)

                                      And again after a little he says: "For if after Quadratus and Ammia
                                      in Philadelphia, as they assert, the women with Montanus received
                                      the prophetic gift, let them show who among them received it from
                                      Montanus and the women. **For the apostle thought it necessary that
                                      the prophetic gift should continue in all the Church until the final
                                      coming**. But they cannot show it, though this is the fourteenth
                                      year since the death of Maximilla."

                                      I.e. the church considers that prophecy should not cease, but in
                                      fact it *has* ceased among the Montanists. The uncertainty among
                                      westerners about Montanism is expressed in Tertullian, Adversus
                                      Praxean 1.

                                      > The Montanists were no trivial sect, because Tatian(?),
                                      > one of the major scholars of the day, was one of them.

                                      Tertullian, surely, as has been remarked.

                                      Was African Montanism the same as the Montanism in Phyrgia,
                                      necessarily? When we look at the material about the latter, and
                                      compare it with Tertullian's Montanist works, we seem to be looking
                                      at two different cultures.

                                      All the best,

                                      Roger Pearse
                                    • Bob Schacht
                                      ... Roger, Thanks for your more informed correction of my informal and less accurate summary. It remains an extremely interesting chapter in church history.
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Mar 16, 2006
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                                        At 05:21 AM 3/16/2006, Roger Pearse wrote:
                                        >Pardon me if I come in part way through this discussion? Just a
                                        >couple of points of detail, if I may.

                                        Roger,
                                        Thanks for your more informed correction of my informal and less accurate
                                        summary.
                                        It remains an extremely interesting chapter in church history.
                                        Bob


                                        >--- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@...> wrote:
                                        > > IIRC, the Montanists claimed that revelation was not dead;
                                        > > they were ascetic but charismatic.
                                        >
                                        >I know that this view is in circulation, not least among
                                        >charismatics themselves. But I have begun to feel that it is risky
                                        >to project modern pentecostalism onto this interesting but rather
                                        >shadowy group. Such a process is how anachronism happens. I don't
                                        >know what anyone else thinks, of course.
                                        >
                                        > > The orthodox parties in the church couldn't figure out
                                        > > whether the Montanists claims were bogus or not, so
                                        > > they just decided to declare that revelation had ceased,
                                        > > branding the Montanists as heretics.
                                        >
                                        >The situation seems to be more complex than this. Consider the
                                        >argument that Miltiades uses, as quoted by Eusebius, HE 5.17.4
                                        >(<http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-10.htm#P3208_1493635)>http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-10.htm#P3208_1493635)
                                        >
                                        >And again after a little he says: "For if after Quadratus and Ammia
                                        >in Philadelphia, as they assert, the women with Montanus received
                                        >the prophetic gift, let them show who among them received it from
                                        >Montanus and the women. **For the apostle thought it necessary that
                                        >the prophetic gift should continue in all the Church until the final
                                        >coming**. But they cannot show it, though this is the fourteenth
                                        >year since the death of Maximilla."
                                        >
                                        >I.e. the church considers that prophecy should not cease, but in
                                        >fact it *has* ceased among the Montanists. The uncertainty among
                                        >westerners about Montanism is expressed in Tertullian, Adversus
                                        >Praxean 1.
                                        >
                                        > > The Montanists were no trivial sect, because Tatian(?),
                                        > > one of the major scholars of the day, was one of them.
                                        >
                                        >Tertullian, surely, as has been remarked.
                                        >
                                        >Was African Montanism the same as the Montanism in Phyrgia,
                                        >necessarily? When we look at the material about the latter, and
                                        >compare it with Tertullian's Montanist works, we seem to be looking
                                        >at two different cultures.
                                        >
                                        >All the best,
                                        >
                                        >Roger Pearse
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
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