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Re: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT

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  • Jack Kilmon
    ... From: Ronald Price Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2011 5:24 AM To: CrossTalk Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT I had asked about the
    Message 1 of 73 , Dec 3, 2011
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Ronald Price
      Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2011 5:24 AM
      To: CrossTalk
      Subject: Re: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT

      I had asked about the evidence for Jesus having two cousins called James.

      JK: -->
      Let's start with Ya'qub Bar Zebediy or "James the Greater"

      Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the
      [mother] of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come
      and anoint him.

      John 19:25 writes it as ....Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his
      mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Cleophas, and Mary
      Magdalene. ...

      The parallel quotes identifies Salome as the wife of Zebedee and mother of
      James and John and John calls her the sister of Jesus' mother. This makes
      James and John Bar Zebedee cousins and makes more sense of the Zebedee
      brothers' request of Jesus at Mt. 20:20

      RP: -->
      Your identification relies on the historicity of a part of John's gospel. I
      date the original 'edition' of John as ca. 105 CE, and don't think it can be
      relied upon when treated as an independent witness to the history of the
      Jesus movement as it was 70 years earlier.

      As far as Mk 16:1 is concerned, it should surely be interpreted in the light
      of Mk 15:40, which also refers to "Mary the mother of James" then adds TOU
      MIKROU. This qualification has caused much puzzlement among scholars. My
      take is that Mark means "the lesser", a derogatory reference to James the
      brother of Jesus. This would explain the similarity of the Mary, James and
      Joses in Mk 15:40 with the Mary, James and Joses of Mk 6:3, together with
      their identical mutual relationships.

      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK

      It is so difficult, my friend, to place a debate with a knowledgeable
      scholar in short snippets in an e-forum and do it justice. First let me
      answer your rebuts and then we'll chat a bit about historiography in this
      case. If you date 4G to 105 CE you are claiming p52 an autograph or 1st
      generation copy. I place P52's paleographic mean at 117 CE. I claim, after
      many years of work and study, canonical 4G was written in the latter rule of
      Domitian (95ish CE) in Greek but using as a template (much as Matthew and
      Luke used Mark) an early Aramaic narrative in translational Greek. This
      "proto-John" is still embedded in the larger Greek opus. Proto-John
      pre-dated Mark and as early as the 40's CE.

      Ya'qub Bar Halfy ("James" the Lesser) was so called simply because he was
      younger than Ya'qub,the "Greater/Elder" and even the Talmidda had to keep
      their "Jameses" straight for Ya'qub Bar Yahosef. John Mark (if he was the
      author) would never had "dissed" Ya'qub haTsaddiqa because he WAS Jesus'
      brother as well as having been one of the more revered pious men of the
      time, pretty much why he went unmolested for 30 years until a dipstick like
      Ananus saw an opportunity when Festus died and Agrippa's back was turned and
      it still got him fired and exiled.

      Alphaeus/Clopas (Halfy)'s wife was also named Maryam. Both brothers, Joseph
      and Alphaeus, married Marys and this "other Mary is mentioned throughout so
      there is Mary the mother of James, the Lesser and Mary, the mother of James,
      the Just (and Jesus). The awkward Greek syntax, particularly regarding
      conjunctions, fades away on Aramaic reconstruction. I NEVER rely on the
      Greek for a narrative or a saying of Jesus that was originally rendered, or
      written, in Judean Aramaic. For the many reasons why, I recommend Casey,
      Black and Fitzmyer....unless or until I get to the UK again and you can put
      on the coffee and clear your schedule.

      Now to my method. If we want to study Mark himself (whoever he was), the
      only primary material we have is his Gospel in his words, written originally
      in his Aramaic stilted Greek. We study his vocabulary, syntax, vocabulary,
      style and content. That gets us as close to this author as we can get and
      the stories related by the Patristics are all secondary sources. When we
      study Paul of Tarsus, we come off a bit better because he enjoyed talking
      about himself more than he talked about Jesus. His first language was Greek
      and we can study his style.

      Jesus and his Talmids, on the other hand, spoke Judean Aramaic. Even as a
      child I refused to believe in Bronze Age myths, talking snakes, virginal
      conceptions, men as gods, etc but was fascinated with Jesus of Nazareth on
      the only level that I or any other HONEST person could relate....as a human.
      That meant that I had to learn his language, the social and cultural
      anthropology of his time and place and, since it was Roman occupied, the
      same for these people who killed him and would later run the Church. Trying
      to learn Judean Aramaic in the 50s was daunting. Everything was in German.
      Fortunately, Johns Hopkins was nearby and a kindly professor in Semitics
      there didn't mind spending some after hours time with a kid. I considered
      this background essential...no, critical to understanding the Historical
      Jesus, and still do. Aramaic is the ONLY way to get to near-primary source
      material regarding Jesus. I consider arguments against this, which I often
      get, as downright silly and often chauvinistic-based because some scholars
      are trained in Hebrew and Greek only. They cover by claiming Jesus spoke
      Hebrew, a language that had not been the "language of the land" for several
      I discovered also that those who do profess the importance of Aramaic are in
      the Syriac based Churches and claim Syriac was "Jesus' language" which it
      definitely was not. Some claimed the Peshitta was the "original" New
      Testament, equally silly.

      Even in this forum, one of the most respected, for which I have the honor as
      serving as a moderator, when I bring up the Aramaic card, when appropriate
      to a discussion, I can sense the eyes rolling and often never receive a
      So all I can do, Ron, is continue to beat the "follow the Aramaic" drum.
      Fortunately, the material is available in English now. As a kid I had to
      sneak off in the evenings to Baltimore Polytechnic for German classes just
      so I could read about Aramaic. This is my way of letting you know that I am
      not merely talking through my...uh....



      Jack kilmon
      Houston, TX
    • 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.
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