Re: [XTalk] James, brother of Jesus
- Stephen Goranson wrote:
> It is something less than edifying to read from Mahlon Smith that anyone
> who disagrees with him must be deluded, a non-historian, an apologist.
>I stand charged with character defamation. If anyone can show me where I
> So if I am accused of being an apologist deluded non-historian, can I be
> read the full charge, M. Smith--apologist for what?
have accused the author of these statements with the alleged charges, I
will be only too happy to retract such accusations. But unless I am
deluded it is he who has regularly challenged my expositions of the
textual evidence ever since my initial mention of Josephus in commenting
on Odell McGuire's summary of the TV special "Real Jesus" (7/23).
He has found occasion to fault my careful analysis of Josephus'
statements & protested dismay when I pointed out that Josephus did not
exactly say what he claimed. When he objected to my use of contemporary
political analogies I apologized for an unintended offence. When he
protested my general reference to *a priori* impressions as criticism of
his own presuppositions I again apologized & explained that the
statement that was not directed at him personally (7/28). When I failed
to respond immediately to his initial invitation to consider his
speculative reconstruction of the motives of those who appealed to
Agrippa, he protested that I had "dismissed" it. When I took time to
review it & explain my reasons for not regarding it as the the "most
plausible" historical explanation of the the situation that Josephus
described, he chose to ignore my reply.
In none of those posts did I claim that he was himself an apologist, a
non-historian, or deluded. If anyone would care to review the history of
this thread I am confident that they will not find the slurs he charges
me with in any of my posts addressed to him. On the contrary, I
explicitly stated that I respected his scholarship despite our
disagreement on this issue (7/24). Instead he seems to have interpreted
general statements of principle of critical historiography in my posts
addressed to others on this list [R.S.Benchley (7/29) & Jack Kilmon
(7/31)] as personal attacks upon himself. I invite the moderators &
other list members to decide for themselves who has initiated unedifying
*ad hominem* accusations in this thread.
In the meantime I have been effectively silenced. In more than 40 years
of academic debate I have never consciously or intentionally slighted
the integrity or competence of any adversary. I have publicly argued the
interpretation of historical data with many of the brightest & best
biblical scholars (including Crossan, Borg, Chilton, Luedemann, Fortna,
Culpepper, Weeden & my own teachers Funk & Kee -- not to mention most of
the long-time participants in this list). And those debates have only
served to increase a sense of mutual respect for the integrity,
intelligence & scholarship of minds that draw divergent conclusions from
the same evidence. So I am totally at a loss of how to respond to those
who takes personal offense at analyses that differ from their own. I
cannot participate in an atmosphere where I have to worry that anything
I might say will be misinterpreted as an attack upon someone else.
Therefore, henceforth I choose silence.
Mahlon H. Smith, http://religion.rutgers.edu/mh_smith.html
Department of Religion Virtual Religion Index
Rutgers University http://religion.rutgers.edu/vri/
New Brunswick NJ
Into His Own: Perspective on the World of Jesus
A Synoptic Gospels Primer
Jesus Seminar Forum
- OK, break it up -- action like this are what caused the last problems at
Anyway, my question: What about James brother, Jude did this person ever have
anything to say, about his half-brother, Jesus? If so what was it? who
recorded it and where can it be read it?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 4:45 AM
Subject: Re: [XTalk] James, brother of Jesus
> OK, break it up -- action like this are what caused the last problems at
> Anyway, my question: What about James brother, Jude did this person ever
> anything to say, about his half-brother, Jesus? If so what was it? who
> recorded it and where can it be read it?
Jesus\Y'shua is recorded as having 4 brothers and at least 2 sisters. Among
his brothers, we know more about James/Ya'akov than any of the others. The
other brothers were:
Shymeon appears to have succeeded Ya'akov as head of the Jerusalem
N'tzarim after Ya'akov's death. We know nothing about them nor have
anything that they may have written or said. Whhether the Epistle of
James contain origional Jacobian material is a matter of conjecture...the
same for the Epistle of Jude.
The family of Jesus...as well as most of his Talmuddaya..seem to have
been personae non gratae to the early gentile Christian church and the
Desposynoi continued to be outside the mainstream for a couple of
centuries. It is interesting to speculate why...perhaps because the
family and eyewitnesses would have been hostile to the virgin-born
god/man stuff...what ya think?
taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon
sharing a meal for free.