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[XTalk] Re: re: nekkid jesus a la steve davies

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  • Robert M Schacht
    On Sun, 7 Nov 1999 23:32:47 -0500 Liz Fried ... the fact ... garment. ... their ... Liz, I want to pick on the words was derived, as
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 7, 1999
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      On Sun, 7 Nov 1999 23:32:47 -0500 "Liz Fried" <lizfried@...>
      writes:
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Jim West [mailto:jwest@...]
      >
      > >... that jesus had on multiple garments when arrested is attested by
      the fact
      > > that the soldiers divided his undies and gambled for his outer
      garment.
      > > that he was arrested shortly after the supper with his disciples and
      their
      > > stay in the garden is also attested....
      > >
      >
      > Hi Jim, I have no ax either way, and have no ideas on the subject, but
      > I had always heard this division of his clothes was derived from Psalm
      > 22:18.
      > I don't know if it can be considered a fact about HJ.
      >
      > Liz

      Liz,
      I want to pick on the words "was derived," as this type of logic is one
      of my pet peeves.
      Yes, it *might have been* derived from Psalm 22:18, but what is the
      evidence that it was? Certainly, Jim fell into using the locution "the
      fact that" for something that was attested but that has not been
      established as fact. You go too far in the other direction by jumping
      from the reasonable "might have been derived" to the bald assertion that
      it "was derived."

      This is part of the "prophecy historicized" argument that Crossan has
      popularized, but that is by no means original with him. This type of
      argument carries more weight when the reported event is fabulous; but in
      this case, it is merely concerned with what the soldiers did with Jesus'
      clothes. Would it have been so unusual for the soldiers to have dealt
      with this clothes in this manner? So in this case, it becomes merely a
      matter of preferring one mundane interpretation over another, on the
      basis of nothing more than that the author of the report is suspected of
      using the same literary device elsewhere.

      The preceding is part of a general phenomena among scholars to attack the
      credibility of our sources, if necessary with weak arguments like "it
      might have been, therefore it was." If apologists are accused of
      accepting the text at face value unless proven wrong, some critics might
      be accused of rejecting the veracity of the text unless it is proven
      right.

      Please don't take offense; my argument is not with you, but with overly
      glib statements that jump to conclusions that don't appear to be
      justified by the evidence presented.

      Bob
    • Roger L.. Kimmel
      ... While I am certain Liz can defend herself, it struck me that she never baldly asserted anything, but merely conveyed that she had heard that this was a
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 7, 1999
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        On Sunday 7 November 1999, 11:15 PM Robert M. Schacht said:

        >>Liz Fried said:
        >>
        > > Hi Jim, I have no ax either way, and have no ideas on the subject, but
        > > I had always heard this division of his clothes was derived from Psalm
        > > 22:18.
        > > I don't know if it can be considered a fact about HJ.
        > >
        > Liz,
        > I want to pick on the words "was derived," as this type of logic is one
        > of my pet peeves.
        > Yes, it *might have been* derived from Psalm 22:18, but what is the
        > evidence that it was? Certainly, Jim fell into using the locution "the
        > fact that" for something that was attested but that has not been
        > established as fact. You go too far in the other direction by jumping
        > from the reasonable "might have been derived" to the bald assertion that
        > it "was derived."

        While I am certain Liz can defend herself, it struck me that she never
        baldly asserted anything, but merely conveyed that she had "heard' that this
        was a popular derivation, and, further that she didn't "know" therefore if
        it "can be considered a fact". It seems there are a lot of modifiers here,
        certainly too many for the characterization of her remarks as a "bald
        assertion". In fact, she prefaces her remarks with:

        > > Hi Jim, I have no ax either way, and have no ideas on the subject

        I think, perhaps, a bit of overreaction to her words. What do you think?

        Roger L. Kimmel


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Robert M Schacht <bobschacht@...>
        To: <crosstalk2@egroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, November 07, 1999 11:15 PM
        Subject: [XTalk] Re: re: nekkid jesus a la steve davies


        >
        >
        > On Sun, 7 Nov 1999 23:32:47 -0500 "Liz Fried" <lizfried@...>
        > writes:
        > > > -----Original Message-----
        > > > From: Jim West [mailto:jwest@...]
        > >
        > > >... that jesus had on multiple garments when arrested is attested by
        > the fact
        > > > that the soldiers divided his undies and gambled for his outer
        > garment.
        > > > that he was arrested shortly after the supper with his disciples and
        > their
        > > > stay in the garden is also attested....
        > > >
        > >
        > > Hi Jim, I have no ax either way, and have no ideas on the subject, but
        > > I had always heard this division of his clothes was derived from Psalm
        > > 22:18.
        > > I don't know if it can be considered a fact about HJ.
        > >
        > > Liz
        >
        > Liz,
        > I want to pick on the words "was derived," as this type of logic is one
        > of my pet peeves.
        > Yes, it *might have been* derived from Psalm 22:18, but what is the
        > evidence that it was? Certainly, Jim fell into using the locution "the
        > fact that" for something that was attested but that has not been
        > established as fact. You go too far in the other direction by jumping
        > from the reasonable "might have been derived" to the bald assertion that
        > it "was derived."
        >
        > This is part of the "prophecy historicized" argument that Crossan has
        > popularized, but that is by no means original with him. This type of
        > argument carries more weight when the reported event is fabulous; but in
        > this case, it is merely concerned with what the soldiers did with Jesus'
        > clothes. Would it have been so unusual for the soldiers to have dealt
        > with this clothes in this manner? So in this case, it becomes merely a
        > matter of preferring one mundane interpretation over another, on the
        > basis of nothing more than that the author of the report is suspected of
        > using the same literary device elsewhere.
        >
        > The preceding is part of a general phenomena among scholars to attack the
        > credibility of our sources, if necessary with weak arguments like "it
        > might have been, therefore it was." If apologists are accused of
        > accepting the text at face value unless proven wrong, some critics might
        > be accused of rejecting the veracity of the text unless it is proven
        > right.
        >
        > Please don't take offense; my argument is not with you, but with overly
        > glib statements that jump to conclusions that don't appear to be
        > justified by the evidence presented.
        >
        > Bob
        >
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      • Sukie Curtis
        Ramon Garcia wrote: While we re on the subject of garments, what do any of you make of the naked man in Mark who ran away when Jesus was arrested? Does this
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 8, 1999
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          Ramon Garcia wrote:

          While we're on the subject of garments, what do any of you make of the
          naked man in Mark who ran away when Jesus was arrested? Does this tie in
          with the naked man in secret Mark. Was this an indication of any
          initiations in early christianity? Was there any other literature on said
          subject-naked men & initiations/ baptisms?

          Sukie Curtis (new cross-talk-listener) responds:

          Crossan makes just that kind of connection in _Four Other Gospels_ in the
          section on Secret Mark. His proposal, in brief, is that there's evidence
          (as in Hippolytus) for early baptismal liturgies' being done both naked and
          at night, and that there would therefore have been nothing unusual or
          "shocking" about the scene in Secret Mark. Once the Carpocratians began to
          interpet it erotically and homosexually, someone saw the need to amend the
          text to the form of our current canonical Mark, which "took the phrases and
          expressions of that [Secret Mark] story, both small and large, and scattered
          them over the rest of the gospel" (p. 76). He cites Koester as holding a
          similar view: that "'canonical' Mark was a purified version of the 'secret'
          Gospel, because the traces of the author of Secret Mark are still visible in
          the canonical Gospel of Mark". And, from Crossan again, those scattered
          pieces of Secret Mark have often been something of a probelm for readers of
          Mark, in that they don't seem to fit easily in their present contexts.

          Sukie (Susan B.) Curtis
          Cumberland Foreside, Maine
          sbcurtis@...

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        • Willi Braun
          ... There is the take of your clothes saying in Thomas 37 and the article by J.Z. Smith, The garments of shame History of Religions 5 (1966): 217-38, where
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 8, 1999
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            Ramon Garcia wrote:
            >While we're on the subject of garments, what do any of you make of the
            >naked man in Mark who ran away when Jesus was arrested? Does this tie in
            >with the naked man in secret Mark. Was this an indication of any
            >initiations in early christianity? Was there any other literature on said
            >subject-naked men & initiations/ baptisms?

            There is the "take of your clothes" saying in Thomas 37 and the article by
            J.Z. Smith, "The garments of shame" History of Religions 5 (1966): 217-38,
            where Smith adduces rather wide-spread evidence of what he calls "cultic
            nudity".

            On the "eunuch" theme: I take it that this type was commonly sneered at in
            Greco-Roman times generally. E.g. Lucian, The Eunuch 3: "they are neither
            man nor woman ... but hybrids (syntheton), mixtures (mikton), freaks
            (teratodes) outside the bounds of human nature." About on the same level of
            regard as the androgynos. I am not suggesting there is a link between
            Matt's eunuch, Mark's naked guy, and Thomas' androgyne, except that the
            folks in these times seemed to think that whatever redemption meant it also
            had something to do with bodily surfaces and gender.

            Willi
          • omcguire@wlu.edu
            robert m schacht wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2/?start=3070 ... but ... that ... in ... Jesus ... Bob,
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 8, 1999
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              robert m schacht <bobschach-@...> wrote:
              original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/crosstalk2/?start=3070
              >
              > > Hi Jim, I have no ax either way, and have no ideas on the subject,
              but
              > I had always heard this division of his clothes was derived from Psalm
              > 22:18.
              > I don't know if it can be considered a fact about HJ.
              >
              > Liz

              >Liz,
              >I want to pick on the words "was derived," as this type of logic is one
              >of my pet peeves.
              >Yes, it *might have been* derived from Psalm 22:18, but what is the
              >evidence that it was? Certainly, Jim fell into using the locution "the
              >fact that" for something that was attested but that has not been
              >established as fact. You go too far in the other direction by jumping
              >from the reasonable "might have been derived" to the bald assertion
              that
              >it "was derived."

              >This is part of the "prophecy historicized" argument that Crossan has
              >popularized, but that is by no means original with him. This type of
              >argument carries more weight when the reported event is fabulous; but
              in
              >this case, it is merely concerned with what the soldiers did with
              Jesus'
              >clothes. Would it have been so unusual for the soldiers to have dealt
              >with this clothes in this manner?

              Bob,
              I share your skepticism, if not your 'peeve', with automatic and
              general application of the "prophecy historicised" criterion of
              (non)historicity.
              But the case for its application here is stronger than you have made it
              seem.

              In answer to your rhetorical question: No, it would not be unusal for
              Roman soldiers to gamble for the clothes of a condemned criminal. What
              is unusual, for a historian at least, is that this is just one of
              several correspondences in detail (and often LXX word) between Psalm 22
              and gospel accounts of the crucifixion scene: "...why hast thou
              forsaken me?"; "... they wag their heads"; "...he committed his cause
              to God, let him deliver him"; etc. These are already more coincidences
              than a historian ought to be expected to swallow. Why swallow the one
              about casting lots? Also, John aknowledges directly that the 22nd Psalm
              is being 'fulfilled' by this detail. And the historian can no more
              accept as genuine a specific, remote prescience in prophecy than
              considerable set of textual coincidences.

              All of which is to say that the soldiers may or may not have thrown
              dice for the clothes, but the textual evidence is overwhelmingly
              against any of the gospel accounts being based, however remotely and
              indirectly, on a material witnessing of the event. Historically
              speaking, Liz is accurate. The account is derived from Psalm 22.

              Best, Odell
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