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

Re: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT

Expand Messages
  • Jack Kilmon
    ... From: Ronald Price Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2011 2:16 PM To: CrossTalk Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT ... Jack, Well it s not
    Message 1 of 73 , Nov 28, 2011
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Ronald Price
      Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2011 2:16 PM
      To: CrossTalk
      Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT

      Jack Kilmon wrote:

      > What evidence do you have that Ya'aqob Bar Yahosef was among the
      > Talmidda prior to the crucifixion? Although my opinion from collective
      > circumstantial evidence is that Jesus' ministry was a family supported
      > enterprise (at least half his disciples were relatives), all I have to
      > hang
      > my hat on for Ya'aqob is Thomas #12.


      Well it's not based on GTh, for I take this to have originated in the second

      JK] The extant Oxyrhynchus fragments are 2nd century but the basic anthology
      of sayings that resulted in GoT is, IMO, 1st century (60s CE) and perhaps
      earlier. That's another discussion for another time.

      Firstly the introduction of James the brother of Jesus in Acts is very odd.
      In Acts, even the apparently obscure Matthias is carefully introduced (Ac
      1:21-26), yet James the brother of Jesus and leader of the Jesus movement in
      Paul's time appears suddenly in Ac 12:17 with not a word of introduction in
      Acts. Another oddity is the demise of "James the brother of John" in Ac 12:2
      conveniently in time for the other James to appear in the narrative as
      "James" without qualification.

      JK] Luke, the author of Acts, thought Mark more authoritative than Matthew
      and it is no secret Mark was anti-family. He mentions the names of Yeshua's
      four brothers once and only mentions His sisters but not their names. The
      top two most common second temple names were Shymeon and Ya'aqub so it is
      not surprising we have THREE Ya'aqubs in this Galilean family. That two of
      them are patrilinear is the best evidence we have that the Matthean
      genealogy is at least partially accurate (at least to three or four
      generations) so I will use the sources to start with Yeshua's grandfather
      who would likely have been Ya'aqub Bar Matthan who had at least two sons,
      Yahosef Bar Ya'aqub and Halfy Bar Ya'qub, BOTH of whom are mentioned in the
      NT. Following Jewish naming praxis each of these brothers would have named
      a son after their father resulting in Ya'aqub Bar Yahosef (who would acquire
      the sobriquet "Tsaddika") and Ya'aqub Bar Halfy (known as "Zaora" or
      "Lesser"), the brother of Mattaya (Matthew). The first Ya'aqub is a brother
      and the second a cousin of Yeshua. The third, Ya'aqub Bar Zebediy ("Gadol")
      is a son of Maryam's sister Shalomzion and also a cousin. Both of the
      cousin Ya'aqubs were Talmids. "James the Greater" (Zebedee) was beheaded by
      Agrippa in 42. "James the Rightous" (Jesus' brother) was murdered by the
      High Priest Ananus in 62 (and likely John Zebedee as well). The fate of
      "James the Lesser" is not known but he may also have been among the
      "companions" of Jesus' brother killed by Ananus.

      JK] The "Matthias" (Mattaya) of Acts was elected by the qehal of talmidda to
      replace Yehudah Ish-Kerioth after the crucifixion and could not have been
      Mattaya Bar Halfy (Matthew), the tax collector, cousin and disciple for
      three years prior to the crucifixion.

      Secondly there's the fact that in both Paul and Mark the three leading
      apostles were named James, Peter and John. If the James mentioned by Mark
      had been replaced by the James mentioned by Paul, this would be a strange
      coincidence of names.

      JK] Not at all. As I said, Ya'qub was a very common name. Ya'aqub and
      Yohanan Bar Zebediy (both cousins) and Shymeon Bar Yonah (Kefa) were the 3
      disciples that conforms similarly to the leadership of the Yahad of the DSS.

      We know that Paul was critical of Peter (Gal 2:11-12),
      and we can be reasonably sure that he would have been even more critical of
      James the brother of Jesus. We also know that Mark portrayed Peter in a
      rather unflattering manner, and that he was also indirectly critical of
      James (Mk 3:21). Did Mark deliberately omit this James from his stories of

      JK] The NT works are very Pauline in nature. Paul never knew Jesus and
      appears to be jealous of those who knew him and were taught by him so Paul
      invented his own Jesus. Of course there was tension between Jesus' brother
      and Paul, a tension that continued between Paul's gentiles and the original

      Thirdly, in the lists of apostles in both Luke and Acts, James and John
      appear without being identified as the sons of Zebedee, and indeed in the
      Greek, they are not identified as a pair, let alone as brothers. Was Luke
      correcting the information he had got from Mark's list?

      JK} Since all of the NT works, other than about 7 Pauline epistles, are
      secondary sources and each with an agenda, I don't think Luke writing near
      the end of the 1st century could be "correcting" anything. The original
      Markan source and the internal "proto-John" may be the closest sources to
      primary information.

      Suppose that Mark knew that James the brother of Jesus was the leading
      apostle from the beginning, but disliked him and what he stood for so much
      that he left him out of the Markan stories of Jesus.

      JK] One possibility I have entertained is that Jesus' brother, a pious
      Mosaic Jew, may have stepped in after Jesus' death to "rehabilitate" the
      non-Mosaic Enochian Jesus posthumously. This may be why Jesus was thought to
      be "beside himself" during his activity. On the other hand we have Jesus'
      uncle and aunts supporting his work and perhaps his siblings did as well and
      need not have been "students" of Jesus. We have no idea what was going on
      in the early years but during his mission he is followed and assisted by his
      mother, his aunt Mary, his aunt Salome, his uncle Halfy/Alphaeus/Clopas and
      we do not know what relationship Joanna and Susanna were. The Gospels are
      such poor sources we have to model an historiography that makes us most
      comfortable with our conjectures.

      Suppose further that
      Mark substituted the 'sons of Zebedee' for the leading apostles James and
      John. In this way he could criticize them indirectly (e.g. Mk 10:35-40).

      JK] By the time Mark wrote that, around 70ish CE, BOTH Zebedee boys were
      dead. I don't think that exchange between Jesus and his two cousins took
      place but they may indeed have been on the Right hand and the Left hand
      after the crucifixion, positions which had meaning in leadership status.
      Paul places them there with Kefa at the head, much like the organization of
      the Community Rule.

      This would explain why the author of Luke-Acts appeared embarrassed in Acts
      12 by having two leading apostles called James. If we further suppose that
      the 'sons of Zebedee' were fictional, there would then be no coincidence of
      names, for Mark would simply have put James and John the sons of Zebedee in
      his stories as a direct replacement for James the brother of Jesus and the
      John of Gal 2:9 respectively.

      JK] This is kind of why I dislike using the name of a nutty English king
      and I see no "coincidence" that there are three "Ya'aqubs" given the
      commonality of that name in the 1st century. I am surprised there were no
      more Yeshuas. The only place I see the name close to the story is for a
      fictional insert, Barabbas and then early texts at that.

      Painter, "Just James", pp.269-72, makes the case with no mention of the sons
      of Zebedee.

      JK] I have always been amazed at the confusion over a mere three Ya'aqubs"
      in a 1st century family. With less than a dozen prenominae in Roman naming,
      I am surprised there is not much more confusion over the multiple Gaiuses.


      Jack Kilmon
      Houston, TX

      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


      The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/

      To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to:

      To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

      List managers may be contacted directly at:

      Yahoo! Groups Links
    • David Mealand
      This topic ran for a while back in January. I have just seen a review of a book on Philo which gives particular attention to Philo s use of some passages from
      Message 73 of 73 , Feb 16, 2012
        This topic ran for a while back in January.

        I have just seen a review of a book on Philo
        which gives particular attention to Philo's
        use of some passages from the haftarot which, it is
        argued, match part of a later cycle of such readings.
        Naomi Cohen, Philo's Scriptures ... (Brill 2007) is
        the book, and a very interesting and detailed review
        of it by Tzvee Zahavy is in Review of Rabbinic
        Judaism 15 (2012) 133-136.

        David M.

        David Mealand, University of Edinburgh

        The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
        Scotland, with registration number SC005336.
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.