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RE: [XTalk] Sonship

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  • Secher
    ... appended to John as the prologue (sometime in the 2nd century) was a credal response to them thar heretic Ebionites. ...Jack, I would dearly love any
    Message 1 of 27 , Nov 15, 2000
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      Jack wrote:
      > >I suspect that the antiphonal hymn that was
      appended to John as the prologue (sometime in
      the 2nd century) was a credal response to them
      thar heretic Ebionites.

      ...Jack, I would dearly love any references, preferably on the Internet,
      you might have for me to study this.

      ...#1 "antiphonal hymn that was appended to John"
      ...#2 "was a credal response to them thar heretic Ebionites"

      You or someone else mentioned this on the old list a couple of years ago
      and I could not locate the post. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

      Talk to you later, Howard ~&~
      Kindly overlook contextual errors, I use speech recognition software.
      ^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^




      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Robert M. Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
      To: <crosstalk2@egroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 9:28 PM
      Subject: [XTalk] Sonship


      > GJohn alone of the canonical gospels asserts that Jesus alone was the son
      > of God (John 1:18).
      >
      > First question: is this common understanding of John 1:18 correct? Or is
      it
      > based on a misunderstanding of the Greek text?

      I think it is an accurate translation of this last line of the prologue but
      not
      necessarily contemporary with the auJohn who probably began his Gospel
      at the next line (1:19).


      > I have long thought that, if stated correctly, this must be in response
      to
      > a claim of sonship that the author of GJohn took exception to. But who?
      The
      > who could be either a particularly important someone, or perhaps a whole
      > bunch of people claiming sonship and using this status inappropriately.

      Well, the Jewish "originals" in Jerusalem believed Jesus became "Son if
      God"
      at his Baptism. Paul moved it to his crucifixion, Luke to his birth and
      GJohn to
      the beginning of time. I suspect that the antiphonal hymn that was
      appended
      to
      John as the prologue (sometime in the 2nd century) was a credal response to
      them thar heretic Ebionites.

      >
      > Second question: Assuming that the answer to the first question is yes,
      who
      > might have been a particularly important someone that the author of GJohn
      > might have had in mind? Two names leap to mind:
      > 1. James, "The brother of the Lord". However, I cannot recall any
      instance
      > of his claiming such a title, or of such a title being applied to him by
      > someone else.
      >
      > 2. Paul. Long before GJohn was written, Paul had already written about
      the
      > faithful as children of God (Galatians 3:26; 4:6-7; cf. Romans 8:29;
      9:8).
      > But as with James, I can't recall any instance of Paul laying claim to
      his
      > own Sonship, nor of anyone else attributing it to him.

      But wasn't it Luke who was the first to conflate the Messiah with the "Son
      of God?"


      > Second question, part b: If the author of GJohn had no one person in
      mind,
      > did he have specific groups in mind? e.g.,
      >
      > * Paulinist Christians, who considered themselves Sons of God on the
      basis
      > of Galatians, etc.;
      > * The Desposynoi, who regarded themselves as relatives of Jesus;
      > * Others?

      As I stated above, yes..I think the post-Pella "Ebionites."

      >
      > I note with regard to the above that
      >
      > * the synoptic gospels make no claim for the unique Sonship of Jesus
      > * Two of the synoptic Gospels Matthew & Luke, contain a Lord's prayer
      > addressed to "Our Father", perhaps implying sonship for all the faithful
      > * Even GJohn, in 1:12-13, seems to grant widespread status as children
      of
      > God.
      >
      > So this leads me to another question:
      > Given the underlying Greek, is there a significant difference between
      being
      > "children of God" and being a "son of God"? Are these qualitatively
      > different? Or does one imply the other? Is there an important difference
      in
      > this regard between being *adopted* as sons (Galatians 4:5-7) and being a
      > son in some other sense?

      In the case of 1:18 and the different culture that produced it, I believe
      yes.

      Jack


      -----
      ______________________________________________

      taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

      Jack Kilmon
      North Hollywood, Ca.
      jkilmon@...

      http://www.historian.net

      sharing a meal for free.
      http://www.thehungersite.com/





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    • Thomas A. Kopecek
      ... Son if God ... and ... appended ... response to ... Couldn t they have started by claiming that Jesus became Lord and Christ at his resurrection (Acts
      Message 2 of 27 , Nov 16, 2000
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        --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@h...> wrote:

        >
        > Well, the Jewish "originals" in Jerusalem believed Jesus became
        "Son
        if God"
        > at his Baptism. Paul moved it to his crucifixion, Luke to his birth
        and
        > GJohn to
        > the beginning of time. I suspect that the antiphonal hymn that was
        appended
        > to
        > John as the prologue (sometime in the 2nd century) was a credal
        response to
        > them thar heretic Ebionites.

        Couldn't they have started by claiming that Jesus "became" Lord and
        Christ at his resurrection (Acts 2) and even Son then (if the first
        few verses of Romans are pre-Pauline, reflected then in the sermon
        attributed to Paul in Acts 13 and also the western or D ms of Luke)?

        Tom Kopecek
        I'm aware that in later Ebionite tradition it was the baptism that w
      • Thomas A. Kopecek
        wrote in response to Jack Kilmon ... became ... birth ... that was ... credal ... Lord and ... sermon ... Luke)? Let me annotate myself, in
        Message 3 of 27 , Nov 17, 2000
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          <kopecekt@c...> wrote in response to "Jack Kilmon"

          > > Well, the Jewish "originals" in Jerusalem believed Jesus
          became
          > "Son
          > if God"
          > > at his Baptism. Paul moved it to his crucifixion, Luke to his
          birth
          > and
          > > GJohn to
          > > the beginning of time. I suspect that the antiphonal hymn
          that was
          > appended
          > > to
          > > John as the prologue (sometime in the 2nd century) was a
          credal
          > response to
          > > them thar heretic Ebionites.
          >
          > Couldn't they have started by claiming that Jesus "became"
          Lord and
          > Christ at his resurrection (Acts 2) and even Son then (if the first
          > few verses of Romans are pre-Pauline, reflected then in the
          sermon
          > attributed to Paul in Acts 13 and also the western or D ms of
          Luke)?

          Let me annotate myself, in part because the new software my
          college just installed is still giving me trouble, and I saw that my
          message from yesterday was cut off.

          I am obviously willing to entertain the possibility that the
          speeches in Acts include some ancient material that may go
          back to the earliest stages of the Jesus movement, even to
          Jack's Jewish "originals" in Jerusalem. Acts 2:36 and 3:19-21
          may be at the very earliest stage, with Jesus "becoming" Lord
          and Christ at his resurrection and then being expected to act as
          Messiah when he returns to "restore" all things--the restoration
          of a Jewish or even Davidic kingdom? Given that Psalm 2 is a
          "coronation" psalm, it perhaps wasn't much of a stretch to
          interchange Psalm 2:7's Son of God with Messiah, especially in
          light of 2 Samuel 7:12-16. That's what may well have happened
          in the pre-Pauline Romans 1:3-4, which is reflected in Acts
          13:33. Apparently Paul expected the Roman church not to be
          surprised by Romans 1:3-4, and it is pretty clear from Romans
          7:1 (and chapters 14-15) that there were Jewish Christians in
          the Roman church in the 50s: was Paul bouncing off of an old
          Jerusalem church view of Jesus as God's Messiah and Son of
          God, one who had become so at his resurrection?

          To turn to what I think may be a later Jewish Christian tradition of
          associating both Messiahship and Son of Godhood with Jesus'
          baptism (compare Acts 10:37-38), it is interesting that the D ms
          of Luke employs Psalm 2:7 at Jesus' baptism, just as does the
          Gospel of the Ebionites (quoted by Epiphanius at the end of the
          fourth century). What is fascinating about this is that Justin Martyr
          (someplace around Dialogus cum Tryphone 100) quotes the
          Lucan Psalm 2:7 version of the heavenly voice at Jesus' baptism
          in his "Memoirs of the Apostles," as do Clement of Alexandria,
          Origen, and Augustine. Whatever the broader NT manuscript
          tradition, there was a preservation of the use of Psalm 2:7 at
          Jesus' baptism among some of the Catholic Fathers, not just
          among the Ebionites.

          Tom Kopecek
        • Sakari H�kkinen
          Having also returned from the SBL meeting I saw some interesting issues on the list. 1) ... alone was the son ... correct? Or is it ... To be accurate: there
          Message 4 of 27 , Nov 23, 2000
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            Having also returned from the SBL meeting I saw some
            interesting issues on the list.

            1)
            > From: "Robert M. Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
            > Subject: Sonship
            >
            > GJohn alone of the canonical gospels asserts that Jesus
            alone was the son
            > of God (John 1:18).
            >
            > First question: is this common understanding of John 1:18
            correct? Or is it
            > based on a misunderstanding of the Greek text?

            To be accurate: there are variations in the manuscript
            tradition. Some of the manuscripts in John 1,18 read [O]
            MONOGENHS QEOS (the only-begotten God), as some of them read
            [O] MONOGENHS hUIOS (the only-begotten Son). Nestle-Aland
            (27th ed.) gives preference to the first mentioned. If
            original, this reading is really a lectio difficilior - it
            doesn't fit to the first part of the clause: "No one has
            ever seen God: the only-begotten God that exists by the
            Father has made him known." This reading might have been the
            reason to correct the original text so that the word QEOS in
            the latter part of the clause was replaced by hUIOS. If this
            is so, what do we have to think of the original text?

            > I have long thought that, if stated correctly, this must
            be in response to
            > a claim of sonship that the author of GJohn took exception
            to.
            By the author of GJohn, do you mean the final redastor(s) of
            the canonical text or someone else? This is important to
            know before exploring any further.

            > 1. James, "The brother of the Lord". However, I cannot
            recall any instance
            > of his claiming such a title, or of such a title being
            applied to him by
            > someone else.

            Nor is James opposed to in GJohn in any remarkable way, so
            he seems not to be the likely implied opponent here.

            > 2. Paul. Long before GJohn was written, Paul had already
            written about the
            > faithful as children of God (Galatians 3:26; 4:6-7; cf.
            Romans 8:29; 9:8).
            > But as with James, I can't recall any instance of Paul
            laying claim to his
            > own Sonship, nor of anyone else attributing it to him.

            The same fits here as above: Where is Paul opposed to in
            GJohn? I find it more probable that the clause, whoever
            wrote it, was not directed against any individuals, hardly
            not even against any sectarian group. Although it might have
            at some earlier time been a reaction to some claims, it is
            that no more in GJohn, where it simply reflects the worship
            of Jesus as the God. I mean that before the hymn became a
            part of the 4thG, the passage 1,18 quite likely was a
            reaction to some people, who claimed to have seen the God.
            But even then the point was not in Jesus divinity, but in
            the impossibility to see God.

            > * Paulinist Christians, who considered themselves Sons of
            God on the basis
            > of Galatians, etc.;

            I am not a specialist on the 4thG, but somehow I find it odd
            if Paulinist Christians were opposed in this Gospel.

            > * The Desposynoi, who regarded themselves as relatives of
            Jesus;

            Actually the Desposynoi regarded themselves as descendants
            of king David, and claimed for aristocracy for their
            movement. It is probable that they were not even
            "Christians".

            > So this leads me to another question:
            > Given the underlying Greek, is there a significant
            difference between being
            > "children of God" and being a "son of God"? Are these
            qualitatively
            > different? Or does one imply the other? Is there an
            important difference in
            > this regard between being *adopted* as sons (Galatians
            4:5-7) and being a
            > son in some other sense?

            I think the difference is cultural. When Judaic authors used
            the term "son of God", it referred always to a status that
            Israel or some remarkabe representants of it had as children
            of God. The idea of childhood was symbolic and referred to
            the close relationship of Jahwe and his people. But when
            Gentile authors use the term, they allude implicitly to the
            Greek stories where gods have physical sons and daughters.
            In my opinion the passage in question, although textually
            obscure, belongs to the latter cultural context and the
            meaning of the MONOGENHS is to deny the existence of other
            sons of Gods, i.e. other divine mediators who reveal the sec
            rets of the divine world to people on the earth.

            2
            > From: "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@...>
            > Subject: Re: Sonship

            > Well, the Jewish "originals" in Jerusalem believed Jesus
            became "Son if God"
            > at his Baptism. Paul moved it to his crucifixion, Luke to
            his birth and
            > GJohn to
            > the beginning of time. I suspect that the antiphonal hymn
            that was appended
            > to
            > John as the prologue (sometime in the 2nd century) was a
            credal response to
            > them thar heretic Ebionites.

            Could you explain this a bit further? I wrote my
            dissertation on Ebionites, but I do not know what you mean
            here. Was the whole hymn a credal response to Ebionites? How
            do you date it? How do you date the Ebionites, of whom the
            earlies preserved mentions come from the late second
            century?

            3
            Re: Sonship
            From: "Thomas A. Kopecek" <kopecekt@...>

            You message was of interest to me also. Like you I believe
            that there are some ancient material in Acts that may go
            back to the earliest stages of the Jesus movement.

            What comes to the quotation of Ps 2,7 in the story of Jesus'
            baptism, I am inclined to believe that the original written
            version of the story had a combination of two OT passages,
            Ps 2,7 and Is 42,1, for following reasons:
            1) I consider Mark's version of the story as the oldest
            preserved version of the story of Jesus' baptism. Mark's
            manuscripts have no alternate readings in the quotation.
            2) The Gospel used by the Ebionites is a harmonized Gospel.
            Its editor(s) has changed the text in several passages in
            order to fit it better to his own community. Replacing the
            combined quotation by a plain verse of Ps 2,7 is fully
            understandable when the Gospel was used by Ebionites, since
            it fits perfectly to their christology. By this I am not
            claiming that the editor was an Ebionite. On the contrary,
            it seems to me that the Ebionites used a Gospel that was
            used also be other communities.
            We find the same reading of the story with quotation of Ps
            2,7 and not the combined one from the texts written by
            Justin, Clement Alexandrian, Methodius, Hilary of Poitiers
            and Augustin (and, of course, Epiphanius). It is also the
            reading of the Bezae -manuscript of Luke (D) and several old
            Latin translations. None of the Church Fathers regard it as
            a corruption. So, the text of Luke had two versions. Which
            one of them was original in Luke is another question. The
            first version is that of Mark 1,11.
            At SBL meeting this year Jeffrey A. Gibbs presented a paper
            on the Baptism of Jesus in Matthew's Gospel. According to
            him, Matthew alluded to Jer 31,20 in stead of Ps 2,7 and Is
            42,1. It seems that there was much fluidity when searching
            the connections of this story to the Scriptures.


            Sakari Hakkinen, PhD
            University of Helsinki
            Department of Biblical Studies
            sakari.hakkinen@...
            http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/hyel/henkilo/henkilo.html
          • Thomas A. Kopecek
            Hi Sakari: I hope you are well. Tom In crosstalk2@egroups.com, Sakari Häkkinen ... I m not sure there is a problem with understanding
            Message 5 of 27 , Nov 23, 2000
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              Hi Sakari: I hope you are well. Tom

              In crosstalk2@egroups.com, "Sakari Häkkinen" <sakari.hakkinen@s...>
              wrote in response to Bob Schacht:

              > > First question: is this common understanding of John 1:18
              > >correct? Or is it
              > > based on a misunderstanding of the Greek text?
              >
              > To be accurate: there are variations in the manuscript
              > tradition. Some of the manuscripts in John 1,18 read [O]
              > MONOGENHS QEOS (the only-begotten God), as some of them read
              > [O] MONOGENHS hUIOS (the only-begotten Son). Nestle-Aland
              > (27th ed.) gives preference to the first mentioned. If
              > original, this reading is really a lectio difficilior - it
              > doesn't fit to the first part of the clause: "No one has
              > ever seen God: the only-begotten God that exists by the
              > Father has made him known." This reading might have been the
              > reason to correct the original text so that the word QEOS in
              > the latter part of the clause was replaced by hUIOS. If this
              > is so, what do we have to think of the original text?

              I'm not sure there is a problem with understanding the text the way
              Nestle-Aland print it in their 27th ed IF one decides to follow
              Origen's lead in his Commentary on John. Rather than going first to
              modern scholars to sort out the meaning of ancient Greek Christian
              texts, it seems to me to be a good idea to check out how those ancient
              Christians whose native language was ancient Greek understood NT
              passages.

              Origen makes a distinction in the prologue to the 4G between
              God-with-the-article and God-without-the-article. Who knows? Maybe
              this was what the original author of the prologue meant. It makes
              sense to me. I'm not, of course, suggesting that the person
              responsible for the original version in Greek of the prologue would
              agree with everything Origen says, but perhaps he might agree with
              Origen's linguistic distinction. Below is the relevant passage from
              Origen's commentary. For convenience's sake I reproduce the text from
              the English of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.

              "We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He does
              not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the
              niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article, and
              in some he omits it. He adds the article to the Logos, but to the name
              of God he adds it sometimes only. He uses the article, when the name
              of God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when
              the Logos is named God. Does the same difference which we observe
              between God with the article and God without it prevail also between
              the Logos with it and without it? We must enquire into this. As the
              God who is over all is God with the article, not without it, so "the
              Logos" is the source of that reason (Logos) which dwells in every
              reasonable creature; the reason which is in each creature is not, like
              the former called par excellence The Logos. Now there are many who are
              sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great
              perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods, and
              their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked.
              Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own besides
              that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God all
              but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a
              separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence fall
              outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each
              other. To such persons we have to say that God on the one hand is Very
              God (Autotheos, God of Himself); and so the Savior says in His prayer
              to the Father, "That they may know Thee the only true God; "but that
              all beyond the Very God is made God by participation in His divinity,
              and is not to be called simply God (with the article), but rather God
              (without article). [There's a bit of Platonism here that probably
              could not have been intended by the author of the prologue.] And thus
              the first-born of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and
              to attract to Himself divinity,is a being of more exalted rank than
              the other gods beside Him, of whom God is the God, as it is written,
              "The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth." It was
              by the offices of the first-born that they became gods, for He drew
              from God in generous measure that they should be made gods, and He
              communicated it to them according to His own bounty. The true God,
              then, is "The God," and those who are formed after Him are gods,
              images, as it were, of Him the prototype. But the archetypal image,
              again, of all these images is the Word of God, who was in the
              beginning, and who by being with God is at all times God, not
              possessing that of Himself, but by His being with the Father, and not
              continuing to be God, if we should think of this, except by remaining
              always in uninterrupted contemplation of the depths of the Father.

              Tom
              ____
              Thomas A. Kopecek
              Professor of Religio
            • Bob Schacht
              ... Tom and Sakari, Thanks much for this interesting exchange. It is exactly the kind of dialogue I was hoping for. ... My question is, who are the they to
              Message 6 of 27 , Nov 23, 2000
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                At 12:44 AM 11/24/00 +0000, Thomas A. Kopecek wrote:
                >In crosstalk2@egroups.com, "Sakari Häkkinen" <sakari.hakkinen@s...>
                >wrote in response to Bob Schacht:
                >
                > > > First question: is this common understanding of John 1:18
                > > >correct? Or is it based on a misunderstanding of the Greek text?
                > >
                > > To be accurate: there are variations in the manuscript
                > > tradition. Some of the manuscripts in John 1,18 read [O]
                > > MONOGENHS QEOS (the only-begotten God), as some of them read
                > > [O] MONOGENHS hUIOS (the only-begotten Son). Nestle-Aland
                > > (27th ed.) gives preference to the first mentioned. If
                > > original, this reading is really a lectio difficilior - it
                > > doesn't fit to the first part of the clause: "No one has
                > > ever seen God: the only-begotten God that exists by the
                > > Father has made him known." This reading might have been the
                > > reason to correct the original text so that the word QEOS in
                > > the latter part of the clause was replaced by hUIOS. If this
                > > is so, what do we have to think of the original text?
                >
                >I'm not sure there is a problem with understanding the text the way
                >Nestle-Aland print it in their 27th ed IF one decides to follow
                >Origen's lead in his Commentary on John. Rather than going first to
                >modern scholars to sort out the meaning of ancient Greek Christian
                >texts, it seems to me to be a good idea to check out how those ancient
                >Christians whose native language was ancient Greek understood NT
                >passages.

                Tom and Sakari,
                Thanks much for this interesting exchange. It is exactly the kind of
                dialogue I was hoping for.
                Tom, thanks for the Origen quote. One question about it:


                >Origen makes a distinction in the prologue to the 4G between
                >God-with-the-article and God-without-the-article. Who knows? Maybe
                >this was what the original author of the prologue meant. It makes
                >sense to me. I'm not, of course, suggesting that the person
                >responsible for the original version in Greek of the prologue would
                >agree with everything Origen says, but perhaps he might agree with
                >Origen's linguistic distinction. Below is the relevant passage from
                >Origen's commentary. For convenience's sake I reproduce the text from
                >the English of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.
                >
                >"We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He does
                >not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the
                >niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article, and
                >in some he omits it. ... Now there are many who are
                >sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great
                >perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods, and
                >their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked.
                >Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own besides
                >that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God all
                >but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a
                >separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence fall
                >outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each
                >other. To such persons we have to say ...

                My question is, who are the "they" to whom Origen refers? Are they the same
                persons to whom the author of the Prologue addressed John 1:18?

                Thanks,
                Bob


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Bob Schacht
                ... I ll defer to Tom Kopecek s discussion of this, following Origen. ... I m not sure why this is important to you. I don t want to get into the issue of when
                Message 7 of 27 , Nov 23, 2000
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                  At 01:24 PM 11/23/00 +0200, Sakari Hakkinen wrote:
                  >Having also returned from the SBL meeting I saw some
                  >interesting issues on the list.
                  >
                  >1)
                  > > From: "Robert M. Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
                  > > Subject: Sonship
                  > >
                  > > GJohn alone of the canonical gospels asserts that Jesus alone was the
                  > > son of God (John 1:18).
                  > >
                  > > First question: is this common understanding of John 1:18 correct? Or is
                  > > it based on a misunderstanding of the Greek text?
                  >
                  >To be accurate: there are variations in the manuscript
                  >tradition. Some of the manuscripts in John 1,18 read [O]
                  >MONOGENHS QEOS (the only-begotten God), as some of them read
                  >[O] MONOGENHS hUIOS (the only-begotten Son). Nestle-Aland
                  >(27th ed.) gives preference to the first mentioned. If
                  >original, this reading is really a lectio difficilior - it
                  >doesn't fit to the first part of the clause: "No one has
                  >ever seen God: the only-begotten God that exists by the
                  >Father has made him known." This reading might have been the
                  >reason to correct the original text so that the word QEOS in
                  >the latter part of the clause was replaced by hUIOS. If this
                  >is so, what do we have to think of the original text?

                  I'll defer to Tom Kopecek's discussion of this, following Origen.

                  > > I have long thought that, if stated correctly, this must
                  >be in response to
                  > > a claim of sonship that the author of GJohn took exception
                  >to.
                  >By the author of GJohn, do you mean the final redastor(s) of
                  >the canonical text or someone else? This is important to
                  >know before exploring any further.

                  I'm not sure why this is important to you. I don't want to get into the
                  issue of when the Prologue was added to the Gospel, but I'd suppose it was
                  either the author of the Prologue, or the final redactor. At any rate, I am
                  supposing that either way, John 1:18 was written after the Synoptic Gospels
                  had been written.

                  >... I mean that before the hymn became a
                  >part of the 4thG, the passage 1,18 quite likely was a
                  >reaction to some people, who claimed to have seen the God.

                  But who were those people?

                  >But even then the point was not in Jesus divinity, but in
                  >the impossibility to see God.
                  >
                  >...> So this leads me to another question:
                  > > Given the underlying Greek, is there a significant
                  >difference between being
                  > > "children of God" and being a "son of God"? Are these
                  >qualitatively
                  > > different? Or does one imply the other? Is there an
                  >important difference in
                  > > this regard between being *adopted* as sons (Galatians
                  >4:5-7) and being a
                  > > son in some other sense?
                  >
                  >I think the difference is cultural. When Judaic authors used
                  >the term "son of God", it referred always to a status that
                  >Israel or some remarkabe representants of it had as children
                  >of God. The idea of childhood was symbolic and referred to
                  >the close relationship of Jahwe and his people. But when
                  >Gentile authors use the term, they allude implicitly to the
                  >Greek stories where gods have physical sons and daughters.
                  >In my opinion the passage in question, although textually
                  >obscure, belongs to the latter cultural context and the
                  >meaning of the MONOGENHS is to deny the existence of other
                  >sons of Gods, i.e. other divine mediators who reveal the sec
                  >rets of the divine world to people on the earth.

                  So, then, do you think that 1:18 was written with reference to Hellenists
                  who were predisposed to the idea of a multiplicity of divine mediators,
                  rather than a sectarian dispute, as suggested by Kopecek's Origen quote?

                  Thanks for your other interesting comments to Jack and Tom, as well.

                  Bob


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Sakari H�kkinen
                  Tom K: Thank you for quoting the Commentary of John by Origen. It was interesting, though I am not yet sure that Origen did find the original meaning of the
                  Message 8 of 27 , Nov 24, 2000
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                    Tom K:
                    Thank you for quoting the Commentary of John by Origen. It
                    was interesting, though I am not yet sure that Origen did
                    find the original meaning of the text. The quote makes
                    clear, however, that 1) Origen had the text which does not
                    in 1,18 read hUIOS, but QEOS and 2) the text in front of him
                    was somewhat difficult to explain just because there was the
                    QEOS which could easily be mixed with hO QEOS. That is the
                    reason he had to give this rather lengthy explanation of the
                    niceties of Greek language to his Greek readers. However, if
                    you have a look at the whole Prologue, Origen's
                    argumentation does not work. Of course Origen had not
                    Nestle-Aland's 27th edition at hand, but there are not
                    enough evidence in manuscript tradition that the word God
                    when meaning God was written with definite article and when
                    meaning Jesus/Logos was written without article. What I
                    still find difficult here is the use of QEOS instead of more
                    clear hUIOS. If the author wanted to say Son, just why
                    didn't he use the word? Now, in the Prologue the word hUIOS
                    is never mentioned (other than in the GJohn elsewhere!). For
                    some reasons the author does not introduce Jesus as the Son
                    of God. Further, 1,18 is the end of the prologue. In the
                    beginning of the Prologue Jesus is referred to as hO LOGOS
                    and QEOS without article. So, it might be that the author
                    has used MONOGENHS QEOS without article in 1,18 for
                    aesthetic reasons: it is a suitable end for the Prologue.
                    (BTW, if the Prologue was not at first a part of 4thG, how
                    do we know it was a Prologue? What was its genre? Why was it
                    written?)

                    Bob:
                    > > > I have long thought that, if stated correctly, this
                    must
                    > >be in response to
                    > > > a claim of sonship that the author of GJohn took
                    exception
                    > >to.
                    > >By the author of GJohn, do you mean the final redactor(s)
                    of
                    > >the canonical text or someone else? This is important to
                    > >know before exploring any further.
                    >
                    > I'm not sure why this is important to you. I don't want to
                    get into the
                    > issue of when the Prologue was added to the Gospel, but
                    I'd suppose it was
                    > either the author of the Prologue, or the final redactor.
                    At any rate, I am
                    > supposing that either way, John 1:18 was written after the
                    Synoptic Gospels
                    > had been written.

                    If you want to know who is/are the imminent opponent(s),
                    you'd better know whether they were opponents of the
                    community of 4th Gospel or some earlier stage of tradition.
                    I am asking for the Sitz im Leben of the "Prologue".

                    > >... I mean that before the hymn became a
                    > >part of the 4thG, the passage 1,18 quite likely was a
                    > >reaction to some people, who claimed to have seen the
                    God.
                    >
                    > But who were those people?

                    I would rather regard them as some Greeks than Ebionites.

                    > So, then, do you think that 1:18 was written with
                    reference to Hellenists
                    > who were predisposed to the idea of a multiplicity of
                    divine mediators,
                    > rather than a sectarian dispute, as suggested by Kopecek's
                    Origen quote?

                    Definitely so. Having sent the message yesterday I started
                    to unpack the stuff I brought from SBL and recognized an
                    article by Adela Yarbro Collins in Harvard Theological
                    Review 93:2, April 2000: "Mark and His Readers: The Son of
                    God among Greeks and Romans". Having now read the article I
                    am even more convinced that John 1,18 opposed rather some
                    Greek ideas than sectarian Jews. Naturally these Greek ideas
                    were not necessarily supported only by outsiders, so you
                    might as well call them sectarians, if you want to.

                    Best wishes,

                    Sakari Hakkinen, PhD
                    University of Helsinki
                    Department of Biblical Studies
                    sakari.hakkinen@...
                    http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/hyel/henkilo/henkilo.html
                  • Stephen Goranson
                    Aplologies for crossposting, though I think these respond to issues on both lists. Dr. Hakkinen asserted that desponsynoi referred to David relatives and not
                    Message 9 of 27 , Nov 24, 2000
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                      Aplologies for crossposting, though I think these respond to issues on both
                      lists.

                      Dr. Hakkinen asserted that desponsynoi referred to David relatives
                      and not Jesus relatives or both. May I merely note that that is not agreed
                      upon.
                      If I may, a question for Sakkari. You have noted that Christian
                      heresiologists first mention "Ebionites" in the second century. Earlier
                      than Irenaeus, I assume we can agree, are mentions of "Jewish-Christians,"
                      the poor in NT, and the edat ha-evionim. Also, the Greek for "heresy" had
                      not yet taken on a negative sense in the first century; evidently that was
                      probably a second-century (or at least post 70) development (cf Hebrew
                      minut). And G. Strecker's statement (appendix to W. Bauer Orthodoxy and
                      Heresy. 1971, p. 279), "the designation Ebionaioi...probably originated in
                      a concrete [yet unspecified by GS] situation and was not a general
                      label..." mystifies me. Here's my question: Dr. Hakkinen, are you actually
                      affirmatively asserting that Ebionites originated in the second century
                      without continuing the practices and beliefs of some earlier
                      Jesus-followers? If so, what can you say about the when or where or why or
                      how of such second-century proposed origin?

                      I find "excavating Q" a process that seems very tenuous to me. But
                      I admit that I am not up-to-date on that discussion. What I really wish to
                      note is the excellent article by Prof. Kloppenborg in the Fall J. of Jewish
                      Studies, in which he shows that the Jerusalem synagogue inscription is
                      indeed most probably pre 70 in date and refers to a synagogue building, as
                      well as congregation. For my two cents worth, I wish Dr. K would spend more
                      time on such fine studies as this, which deal more with realia. Well done!

                      Previously, I noted that the article by Eric Laupot entirely
                      avoided the excellent discussion by Menahem Stern in Greek and Latin
                      Authors Jews and Juadaism (1980)--a standard work whhich should have been
                      cited. Stern gave references to Origen, Paulus Orosius, and Sulpicius
                      Severus himself (on Hadrian's destruction of Jerusalem) which make Laupot's
                      proposal exceedingly improbable. I am no expert on Sulpicius Severus. But I
                      made a quick tour in the library of several recent works on him--including
                      works more recent than most cited in the article--and found yet more
                      counterindications. E.g., the uncited volume, G. K. van Andel, The
                      Christian Concept of History in Sulpicius Severus (Amsterdam, 1976), with a
                      long discussion on Tacitus.

                      best,
                      Stephen Goranson
                      goranson@...
                    • Thomas A. Kopecek
                      ... from ... from ... does ... the ... and ... and ... besides ... all ... fall ... the same ... I have no idea who was being addressed by the author of the
                      Message 10 of 27 , Nov 24, 2000
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                        --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...> wrote:

                        > Tom, thanks for the Origen quote. One question about it:
                        >
                        >
                        > >Origen makes a distinction in the prologue to the 4G between
                        > >God-with-the-article and God-without-the-article. Who knows? Maybe
                        > >this was what the original author of the prologue meant. It makes
                        > >sense to me. I'm not, of course, suggesting that the person
                        > >responsible for the original version in Greek of the prologue would
                        > >agree with everything Origen says, but perhaps he might agree with
                        > >Origen's linguistic distinction. Below is the relevant passage
                        from
                        > >Origen's commentary. For convenience's sake I reproduce the text
                        from
                        > >the English of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.
                        > >
                        > >"We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He
                        does
                        > >not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with
                        the
                        > >niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article,
                        and
                        > >in some he omits it. ... Now there are many who are
                        > >sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great
                        > >perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods,
                        and
                        > >their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked.
                        > >Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own
                        besides
                        > >that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God
                        all
                        > >but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a
                        > >separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence
                        fall
                        > >outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each
                        > >other. To such persons we have to say ...
                        >
                        > My question is, who are the "they" to whom Origen refers? Are they
                        the same
                        > persons to whom the author of the Prologue addressed John 1:18?

                        I have no idea who was being addressed by the author of the prologue.
                        How could one determine that? People who burrow around in first
                        century Christianity don't have enough data to do anything besides
                        speculate. It's bad enough in the second and third centuries. One has
                        to wait for the fourth and fifth centuries to have relatively
                        adequate
                        data to answer such questions. That's what keeps so many earning
                        their
                        livelihoods in NT studies: there is always room for another
                        speculation. :)

                        But I think Origen's "they" is tolerably certain. He has in mind
                        so-called Modalistic Monarchians and some sorts of so-called Dynamic
                        Monarchians or Adoptionists. The former simply identified Father and
                        Son and said the difference was only in mode--read "name". The second
                        affirmed that the line between the Father and Son was the
                        creator/creation line, though there was wide disparity between where
                        in the spectrum of creation the "Son" fell, from an angel (see some
                        passages in the Shepherd of Hermas) to an adopted human being (see
                        the
                        followers of Theodotus of Byzantium, Paul of Samosata, etc.).

                        Tom

                        ___
                        Thomas A. Kopecek
                        Professor of Religion
                        Central College, Pella, Iowa 50219
                        kopecekt@...
                      • Thomas A. Kopecek
                        Since we have an Ebionite expert in Sakari Häkkinen, let me (1) pose a couple of questions to him and (2) ask for further clarification re: his take on the
                        Message 11 of 27 , Nov 24, 2000
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                          Since we have an Ebionite expert in Sakari Häkkinen, let me (1)
                          pose a
                          couple of questions to him and (2) ask for further clarification re:
                          his "take" on the "Lord's people" in Julius Africanus.

                          (1a) I'm interested in the claim made both by Irenaeus (perhaps) and
                          Epiphanius (certainly) that the Ebionites did not use wine in their
                          eucharists but rather water. Do you think this tradition is to be
                          trusted? If so, what might be the reason for it? If not, why not? If
                          the Ebionites were really "Jewish" followers of Jesus, why did they
                          abandon wine? Did they somehow become attracted to encratism, and if
                          so, is there any evidence of why? (Might there have been Jewish
                          followers of Jesus already in Rome whom Paul addressed in his
                          "Romans"
                          that did not drink wine in the way they did not eat meat but engaged
                          in vegetarianism? See Romans 14:1-3 and 21.)

                          (1b) Furthermore, I've been revisting the Didache and stumbling--as
                          everyone stumbles--over the odd expression "the holy vine of David"
                          in
                          the Eucharistic liturgy. Like everybody else I have no idea what it
                          means and have trouble with Betz' global interpretation. I first
                          thought maybe "vine" might not mean "grapevine" and that the liquid
                          presupposed might be water and not wine. But the word AMPELOS or vine
                          surely does mean grapevine and not any old vine in nearly all the
                          passages I found using my TLG disk to search the LXX (the branch of
                          the stump/roots of Jesse in LXX Isaiah 11:1 has another Greek word
                          for
                          branch, not AMPELOS).

                          (2) I'm curious about your interpretation of Julius Africanus apud
                          Eusebius' Historia Ecclesiae 1:7. For those not familiar with the
                          passage, Julius is worrying about the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew
                          and Luke. At the end of his passage he writes the following:

                          "But Antipater having been slain by those who were envious of his
                          great good fortune was succeeded by his son Herod, who was afterward,
                          by a decree of the senate, made King of the Jews under Antony and
                          Augustus. His sons were Herod and the other tetrarchs. These accounts
                          agree also with those of the Greeks. But as there had been kept in
                          the
                          archives up to that time the genealogies of the Hebrews as well as of
                          those who traced their lineage back to proselytes, such as Achior the
                          Ammonite and Ruth the Moabites, and to those who were mingled with
                          the
                          Israelites and came out of Egypt with them, Herod, inasmuch as the
                          lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and
                          since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own ignoble
                          extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he
                          might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the
                          public
                          registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes
                          and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae. A few of the
                          careful, however, having obtained private records of their own,
                          either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way
                          from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their
                          noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called
                          Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the
                          Savior. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other
                          parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and
                          from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible. Whether
                          then
                          the case stand thus or not no one could find a clearer explanation,
                          according to my own opinion and that of every candid person. And let
                          this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony in its
                          support, we have nothing. better or truer to offer. In any case the
                          Gospel states the truth." (NPNF)

                          The third from the last sentence of this quotation concerns Julius'
                          explanation of the different genealogies in Luke and Matthew, not, as
                          far as I can see, the connection of the Desposyni with the family of
                          Jesus. So on what do you base your interpretation in your previous
                          post?

                          Tom

                          ___
                          Thomas A. Kopecek
                          Professor of Religion
                          Central College, Pella, IA 50219
                          kopecekt@...
                        • Sakari H�kkinen
                          ... Desposynoi ... be out of ... does not ... even ... I wonder ... the ... because ... churches, which ... both ... aristocrats ... aspiration for ... Figure,
                          Message 12 of 27 , Nov 26, 2000
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                            Tom Kopecek wrote:

                            > Were the relatives in question actually Christian, then
                            Desposynoi
                            > meaning "belonging to the Lord" as "possessions" would not
                            be out of
                            > the question. Taylor and you rightly point out that Julius
                            does not
                            > specifically say that the relatives were Christians. Yet
                            even
                            > granting
                            > Taylor's argument that the term Desposynoi means "lords,"
                            I wonder
                            > about her central contention, which I'll quote in its
                            entirety:
                            > It would seem likely that they travelled around
                            the
                            > country reciting their Davidic genealogy not
                            because
                            > they wished to claim authority over the
                            churches, which
                            > are not mentioned, but because they vainly (in
                            both
                            > senses of the word) wanted to be considered
                            aristocrats
                            > in Israel: truly this was a high-minded
                            aspiration for
                            > a group of lowly villagers from Galilee. (p. 34)
                            > As E P Sanders has pointed out on p. 86 of Historical
                            Figure, "David
                            > doubtless had tens of thousands of descendants who were
                            alive" at the
                            > time of Jesus, let aside at the time of the Desposynoi.
                            Does it
                            > really
                            > make sense that the relatives of Jesus were claiming
                            aristocratic
                            > background UNLESS they were making some sort of claim for
                            authority
                            > among the followers of Jesus? Where else is it likely that
                            "lowly
                            > villagers" who were among tens of thousands of living
                            descendants of
                            > David could exert some influence as "lords"?

                            You are right at pointing out the importance of Jesus'
                            Davidic roots in some Christian circles. This does not,
                            however, prove that the Desposynoi were Christians. It only
                            supports the view that there were such communities that
                            claimed for aristocracy because of their heritance. Some of
                            them were "Christians", like those responsible for the
                            genealogy of Jesus in Matth. 1, but not necessarily all
                            believed that Jesus was the Davidic king.

                            > Furthermore, do we know that being a physical descendant
                            of David was
                            > that important among non-Christian Jews at large during
                            the Second
                            > Temple period, to say nothing of the period afterward?

                            No, we don't. But we can quite safely assume that it was
                            important. If it was important for some Christian Jews, why
                            not non-Christian Jews? Perhaps not at large, however.

                            > Of course some Jews after 70 looked for the coming of a
                            Davidic Messiah, but that is
                            > a different matter from simple physical descent from
                            David. Indeed,
                            > for that matter, do we know that it was people of Davidic
                            descent who
                            > played the central roles in the 66-74 revolt or in the
                            132-135 revolt
                            > (I'm here deferring to those expert in such matters: *I*
                            don't know)?

                            In my view, in those years, especially before 70 there were
                            dozens of different groups claiming for authority over the
                            temple/Jerusalem/Israel as a whole. We don't know that the
                            people of Davidic descent played central roles, but who has
                            even argued that? The Desposynoi, whoever they might have
                            been, played no central role either geographically or
                            theologically in the second temple period or thereafter.

                            > Among followers of Jesus, on the other hand, because Jesus
                            was
                            > claimed
                            > to be descended from David, it would make sense that
                            Jesus' relatives
                            > might want to claim not only relation to Jesus but also,
                            as Taylor
                            > puts it, 'aristocratic' relation to David. That would give
                            them some
                            > status, wouldn't it? They could be "lords" in the
                            Christian synagogue
                            > if they were lords nowhere else.

                            I am not arguing against the hypothesis that Jesus' kinsmen
                            had a remarkable status in earliest Christianity. I would
                            count on that myself. Davidic roots might have well been
                            useful when there were questions on restoring Israel and
                            discussions on authority in Jesus-movement. I simply do not
                            equate Desposynoi to these Judaic-Christians for the lack of
                            evidence.

                            > In other words, although Julius doesn't specifically say
                            that the
                            > Desposynoi were Christians, isn't it easier to imagine a
                            scenario to
                            > explain Julius' passage if one argues they were than if
                            one argues
                            > they were not?

                            You can imagine it, but it is then imagination and
                            speculation, which cannot be used as a fact in scientific
                            scholarship.

                            > In the last analysis I would prefer what Taylor herself
                            calls "the
                            > general consensus" that Desposynoi means 'belonging to the
                            Lord',
                            > 'belonging to a lord/master', 'the Master's People', or
                            'kinsmen of
                            > the Lord' " (p. 32).

                            As Taylor points out, both the meanings are possible.

                            All the best,

                            Sakari

                            Sakari Hakkinen, PhD
                            University of Helsinki
                            Department of Biblical Studies
                            sakari.hakkinen@...
                            http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/hyel/henkilo/henkilo.html
                          • Thomas A. Kopecek
                            ... We are agreed that our evidence disallows us from proving anything in this case. ... Well, because we KNOW Davidic descent was asserted for Jesus in Mt
                            Message 13 of 27 , Nov 26, 2000
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                              --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, "Sakari Häkkinen"
                              <sakari.hakkinen@s...> wrote:

                              > You are right at pointing out the importance of Jesus'
                              > Davidic roots in some Christian circles. This does not,
                              > however, prove that the Desposynoi were Christians. It only
                              > supports the view that there were such communities that
                              > claimed for aristocracy because of their heritance. Some of
                              > them were "Christians", like those responsible for the
                              > genealogy of Jesus in Matth. 1, but not necessarily all
                              > believed that Jesus was the Davidic king.

                              We are agreed that our evidence disallows us from "proving" anything
                              in this case.

                              >
                              > > Furthermore, do we know that being a physical descendant
                              > of David was
                              > > that important among non-Christian Jews at large during
                              > the Second
                              > > Temple period, to say nothing of the period afterward?
                              >
                              > No, we don't. But we can quite safely assume that it was
                              > important. If it was important for some Christian Jews, why
                              > not non-Christian Jews? Perhaps not at large, however.

                              Well, because we KNOW Davidic descent was asserted for Jesus in Mt
                              and
                              Lk. What evidence do we have of non-Christian Jews playing up Davidic
                              descent for a "founder" and/or family in their branch of Judaism?

                              > In my view, in those years, especially before 70 there were
                              > dozens of different groups claiming for authority over the
                              > temple/Jerusalem/Israel as a whole. We don't know that the
                              > people of Davidic descent played central roles, but who has
                              > even argued that? The Desposynoi, whoever they might have
                              > been, played no central role either geographically or
                              > theologically in the second temple period or thereafter.

                              Of course I agree with this. I was merely pointing to the obvious,
                              that is, only the followers of Jesus (to my knowledge) actually made
                              something religiously out of a particular *historical* personage
                              being
                              a descendant of David. Therefore, it makes sense that the family of
                              Jesus--just BECAUSE he was claimed to be a Davidic Messiah (in some
                              sense at least)--would have a religious reason to play up Davidic
                              descent for themselves. One can ALWAYS be skeptical about this kind
                              of
                              historical argumentation, and since I usually work on topics for
                              which
                              we have far more data, I'm very uncomfortable with the kind of
                              argument I've forwarded.

                              >
                              > I am not arguing against the hypothesis that Jesus' kinsmen
                              > had a remarkable status in earliest Christianity. I would
                              > count on that myself. Davidic roots might have well been
                              > useful when there were questions on restoring Israel and
                              > discussions on authority in Jesus-movement. I simply do not
                              > equate Desposynoi to these Judaic-Christians for the lack of
                              > evidence.

                              I've simply allowed myself to slip into the speculative and
                              imaginative mindset of NT scholars, who make a little bit go one heck
                              of a long way. Look what has happened to a posited document like Q
                              :).
                              I happen to like Goodacre's life without Q, so I'm surely not going
                              to
                              push the speculation I've forwarded. But I DO think that Taylor is
                              being a bit hypercritical.

                              > You can imagine it, but it is then imagination and
                              > speculation, which cannot be used as a fact in scientific
                              > scholarship.

                              Agreed, but then most NT scholarship ain't "scientific," right?

                              It has been good discussing these matters with you, Sakari. BTW, when
                              I get through my teaching for this semester, I'd like to find time to
                              follow up your excellent initial analysis of the food and drink of
                              the
                              Ebionites, because I'm having trouble understanding why persons of
                              Jewish descent might have gone in any sort of encratite direction, as
                              the evidence MAY suggest.

                              And what's happening with your dissertation? Is it going to be
                              published sometime soon? As I recall, you said something about that a
                              couple of years ago.

                              Tom

                              ___
                              Thomas A. Kopecek
                              Professor of Religion
                              Central College, Pella, IA 50219
                              kopecekt@...

                              ___
                            • Sakari H�kkinen
                              Tom K. I have also enjoyed the discussion we have had. It seems to me that we are finally not so far from each other. ... Jesus in Mt ... up Davidic ...
                              Message 14 of 27 , Nov 27, 2000
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                                Tom K.

                                I have also enjoyed the discussion we have had. It seems to
                                me that we are finally not so far from each other.

                                You asked:
                                > Well, because we KNOW Davidic descent was asserted for
                                Jesus in Mt
                                > and
                                > Lk. What evidence do we have of non-Christian Jews playing
                                up Davidic
                                > descent for a "founder" and/or family in their branch of
                                Judaism?

                                Here Ken seems to come to my help. See his message. Thank
                                you, Ken!

                                > Agreed, but then most NT scholarship ain't "scientific,"
                                right?

                                I hope not most. In this kind of list it is quite easy to
                                let imagine flow. I prefer such discussion that builds more
                                on facts than probabilites and possibilities. We do,
                                however, have at least the texts and archeological evidence.

                                > It has been good discussing these matters with you,
                                Sakari. BTW, when
                                > I get through my teaching for this semester, I'd like to
                                find time to
                                > follow up your excellent initial analysis of the food and
                                drink of
                                > the
                                > Ebionites, because I'm having trouble understanding why
                                persons of
                                > Jewish descent might have gone in any sort of encratite
                                direction, as
                                > the evidence MAY suggest.

                                I would like to dig more to these things myself.
                                Pseudo-Clementines offer a good starting point. See for
                                example the figure of Peter as a vegetarian - quite opposite
                                to Acts 10.

                                > And what's happening with your dissertation? Is it going
                                to be
                                > published sometime soon? As I recall, you said something
                                about that a
                                > couple of years ago.

                                I got it published a year ago in Finnish. I would be
                                interested to rewrite (not just translate) it in English,
                                but that seems to be too difficult as I am a vicar, the only
                                pastor in a little parish. So, if someone out there has any
                                possibilities to invite me for a year or so (even half a
                                year could be for help) to do some scholarly work on
                                Ebionites in your university, college, institute or
                                whatever, I would be more than pleased.

                                All the best,

                                Sakari Hakkinen, PhD
                                University of Helsinki
                                Department of Biblical Studies
                                sakari.hakkinen@...
                                http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/hyel/henkilo/henkilo.html
                              • Bob Schacht
                                ... Sakari, I would love to be able to help, but all I have to offer is a guest room in the remote town of Flagstaff (Can anything good come out of....?) In
                                Message 15 of 27 , Nov 28, 2000
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                                  At 08:15 PM 11/27/00 +0200, Sakari Häkkinen wrote:
                                  >Tom K.
                                  >
                                  >I have also enjoyed the discussion we have had. It seems to
                                  >me that we are finally not so far from each other....
                                  > > And what's happening with your dissertation? Is it going to be
                                  > > published sometime soon? As I recall, you said something
                                  >about that a
                                  > > couple of years ago.
                                  >
                                  >I got it published a year ago in Finnish. I would be
                                  >interested to rewrite (not just translate) it in English,
                                  >but that seems to be too difficult as I am a vicar, the only
                                  >pastor in a little parish. So, if someone out there has any
                                  >possibilities to invite me for a year or so (even half a
                                  >year could be for help) to do some scholarly work on
                                  >Ebionites in your university, college, institute or
                                  >whatever, I would be more than pleased.

                                  Sakari,
                                  I would love to be able to help, but all I have to offer is a guest room in
                                  the remote town of Flagstaff (Can anything good come out of....?) In one
                                  way or another, I hope your dissertation will be available in English. How
                                  about writing an English condensed version for JBL or a similar journal?

                                  Anyway, before we leave the subject of Ebionites, would you please evaluate
                                  a piece of dialogue I had with Eric Laupot? Eric Laupot's post in question
                                  was dated 10/24. First, I'll quote the exchange, and then attempt to
                                  provide some context.

                                  >...Next, consider the one or more Gospels referred to under the names
                                  >Gospel of the Hebrews (translated by Jerome into Latin); the Gospel of the
                                  >Ebionites, and the Gospel of the Nazoreans, all considered to be the work
                                  >of Jewish Christians of the first few centuries C.E. and known primarily
                                  >from patristic sources.

                                  To which Laupot responded,

                                  >My view is that these are largely Pauline Christian fragments, and it is
                                  >not surprising the Patristic
                                  >sources would have liked them. But it is possible they were passed along
                                  >by Jews. It is possible, for
                                  >instance, that the Christiani weren't the only Jewish followers of Jesus.
                                  >Unfortunately, our
                                  >knowledge of these groups is very fragmentary and, as I have said, does
                                  >not detract in any way from
                                  >the reality of the existence of the Christiani. Nor would the existence of
                                  >these Patristic
                                  >fragments change the way we should define our terms.

                                  Perhaps Eric will oblige by providing the reasons why he thinks the Gospel
                                  of the Ebionites, etc. are Pauline Christian fragments, a claim which I
                                  found rather surprising.

                                  Perhaps you recall the posting of Eric's article. On the same day as the
                                  above exchange, Laupot, responding to Richard Anderson, claims to have
                                  proven Brandon's Zealot hypothesis in his article.
                                  His article begins with this definition of terms:

                                  >Here as elsewhere in this paper I am using "Christians" (as opposed to
                                  >"Christiani"), "Christianity," and "the Church"to refer to the Pauline
                                  >version only.

                                  In other words, he declares all other Jesus-followers (Ebionite, Nazorean,
                                  Gnostic, etc.) as insignificant ("Negligible as far as our written records
                                  are concerned") and not worthy of consideration. Of course, this is useful
                                  in his analysis because if there were a variety of Jesus movements, he
                                  might have to evaluate the possibility that one of them might have been the
                                  "Christiani" of the Tacitus fragment. This reminds me of Kriman's criticism
                                  of Laupot's article, that reasonable alternative hypotheses are not considered.

                                  If the "Christiani" of the Tacitus fragment are not a late insertion, other
                                  possibilities than Laupot's are at least interesting. You mentioned in your
                                  post of 11/26 that

                                  >In my view, in those years, especially before 70 there were
                                  >dozens of different groups claiming for authority over the
                                  >temple/Jerusalem/Israel as a whole. We don't know that the
                                  >people of Davidic descent played central roles, but who has
                                  >even argued that? The Desposynoi, whoever they might have
                                  >been, played no central role either geographically or
                                  >theologically in the second temple period or thereafter.

                                  But before going any further, it may be useful to quote the fragment here
                                  from Laupot's article:

                                  >(2.30.6) It is reported that Titus first deliberated, by summoning a
                                  >council of war, as to whether to
                                  >destroy a Temple of such workmanship. For it seemed proper to some that a
                                  >consecrated Temple,
                                  >distinguished above all that is human, should not be destroyed, as it
                                  >would serve as a witness to Roman moderation; whereas its destruction
                                  >would represent a perpetual brand of cruelty.
                                  >
                                  >(2.30.7) But others, on the contrary, disagreed - including Titus himself.
                                  >They argued that the destruction of the Temple was a number one priority
                                  >in order to destroy completely the religion [per Severus. Tacitus or
                                  >another classical author would have used the word superstitio (alien
                                  >religious belief). Compare Hist. 5.8 and Ann. 15.44 (exitiabilis
                                  >superstitio)] of the Jews and the Christiani: For although these religions
                                  >[i.e., superstitiones] are conflicting, they nevertheless developed from
                                  >the same origins. The Christiani arose from the Jews: With the root
                                  >removed, the branch [stirps] is easily killed.(1)

                                  It strikes me that even though this putatively is a military council, the
                                  text does not necessarily imply that the Christiani were themselves a
                                  direct *military* threat, despite Laupot's assertion. What the fragment
                                  does say about the Christiani is:
                                  * The Christiani arose from the Jews; and
                                  * The Temple was judged sufficiently important to the Christiani that
                                  destroying the Temple would be tantamount to destroying the Christiani.
                                  The best prima facie label for any such group, it seems to me, is "Jewish
                                  Christians."

                                  Again let us assume for the moment that this document is authentic and not
                                  a late re-write (which is in doubt). It would seem to me that there might
                                  be several groups of people for whom the Temple was central. Since you
                                  wrote that

                                  >dozens of different groups claiming for authority over the
                                  >temple/Jerusalem/Israel as a whole

                                  What groups might these have been, and would any of them qualify as the
                                  "Christiani" of the Tacitus fragment (again, assuming its authenticity)?

                                  Thanks,
                                  Bob









                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Sakari H�kkinen
                                  Bob Thank you for your kind offer of a guest room. Could I come next Monday and stay for a year? :) Seriously, I have promised to myself that the dissertation
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Nov 29, 2000
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                                    Bob

                                    Thank you for your kind offer of a guest room. Could I come
                                    next Monday and stay for a year? :) Seriously, I have
                                    promised to myself that the dissertation will be available
                                    in English some day, and perhaps even in near future
                                    (meaning a couple of years ahead). What I am looking for is
                                    a little bit more than a guest room.

                                    Now to your questions to me (which Eric Laupot seems to have
                                    already answered to).

                                    > Anyway, before we leave the subject of Ebionites, would
                                    you please evaluate
                                    > a piece of dialogue I had with Eric Laupot? Eric Laupot's
                                    post in question
                                    > was dated 10/24. First, I'll quote the exchange, and then
                                    attempt to
                                    > provide some context.

                                    I noticed the discussion on the list. At that time I was too
                                    stressed to take part of that and I thought that the theory
                                    of Laupot contained so many difficulties and speculations
                                    that I was not even very interested to comment it.


                                    > >...Next, consider the one or more Gospels referred to
                                    under the names
                                    > >Gospel of the Hebrews (translated by Jerome into Latin);
                                    the Gospel of the
                                    > >Ebionites, and the Gospel of the Nazoreans, all
                                    considered to be the work
                                    > >of Jewish Christians of the first few centuries C.E. and
                                    known primarily
                                    > >from patristic sources.
                                    >
                                    > To which Laupot responded,
                                    >
                                    > >My view is that these are largely Pauline Christian
                                    fragments, and it is
                                    > >not surprising the Patristic
                                    > >sources would have liked them.

                                    The so called Jewish Christian Gospels are usually
                                    considered as just the opposite than Pauline Christianity.

                                    > >But it is possible they were passed along
                                    > >by Jews.

                                    sic!! Jews - meaning what? Christian Jews or non-Christian
                                    Jews? I suppose E.L. means the latter. If so, it is more
                                    than possible, since these Gospel fragments are clearly
                                    claimed to belong to Judaic Christianity by the Church
                                    Fathers.

                                    > >It is possible, for
                                    > >instance, that the Christiani weren't the only Jewish
                                    followers of Jesus.

                                    Certainly not and in my opinion they were not necessarily
                                    Jewish at all.

                                    > Perhaps Eric will oblige by providing the reasons why he
                                    thinks the Gospel
                                    > of the Ebionites, etc. are Pauline Christian fragments, a
                                    claim which I
                                    > found rather surprising.

                                    So did I. The Ebionites rejected Paul.

                                    > His article begins with this definition of terms:

                                    It was just at those lines that I noticed that I wouldn't
                                    waste my time to reading the article.

                                    > If the "Christiani" of the Tacitus fragment are not a late
                                    insertion, other
                                    > possibilities than Laupot's are at least interesting. You
                                    mentioned in your
                                    > post of 11/26 that
                                    >
                                    > >dozens of different groups claiming for authority over
                                    the
                                    > >temple/Jerusalem/Israel as a whole
                                    >
                                    > What groups might these have been, and would any of them
                                    qualify as the
                                    > "Christiani" of the Tacitus fragment (again, assuming its
                                    authenticity)?
                                    >

                                    I think we have some firm evidence of these groups before
                                    and during the Jewish war claiming for the authority of
                                    either the temple or Jerusalem or Israel as a whole: (the
                                    groups are mentioned by the name of the leader)
                                    1. The Qumran community (DSS)
                                    2. Eleazar ben Dinai and his followers (Ant. 20.160-161;
                                    Bell. 2.253).
                                    3. Tholomaus with his brigands (Ant. 20.5)
                                    4. Theudas (Ant. 20.97-98)
                                    5. "The Egyptian prophet" (Ant. 20.169-171; Bell.
                                    2.261-263).
                                    6. Jesus son of Sapphias and his peasant followers (Vita 35,
                                    66, 132-148)
                                    7. Jesus son of Hananiah (Bell. 6.300-309)
                                    8. John of Gischala (Bell. 2.587-594, 4. 84-127; Vita 43-45,
                                    71-76
                                    9. Menachem son of Judas the Galilean (Bell. 2.433-434)
                                    10. Simon bar Giora (Bell. 2.652-653, 4.503-513, 4. 529-534)
                                    11. The Zealots (Bell. 4.147-156)
                                    12.The Sicarii (Bell. 2.254-256)

                                    To these should perhaps be added the Samaritans. Of the
                                    above mentioned it is not sure that all of them were
                                    politically orientated. E.g. Eleazar ben Dinai might have
                                    been just a leader of a bandit group, Jesus son of Hananiah
                                    might have been only a harmless prophet without any
                                    revolutionary thoughts. I think the list gives a hint that
                                    there were many groups, most certainly much more than
                                    Josephus or any other author have mentioned. I think none of
                                    these could be designated as Christians or "Christiani" of
                                    the Tacitus fragment. In my opinion the early followers of
                                    Jesus did not form any unified coalition of their own. It
                                    might have been so that some of them joined to the Zealots
                                    or some other groups, but most of them avoided the war and
                                    fled to the mountains (Mark 13, 14).

                                    BTW, what prevents to assume that Tacitus simply meant
                                    Christians by Christiani?

                                    All the best,

                                    Sakari Hakkinen, PhD
                                    University of Helsinki
                                    Department of Biblical Studies
                                    sakari.hakkinen@...
                                    http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/hyel/henkilo/henkilo.html
                                  • Stephen Goranson
                                    Dear Sakkari Hakkinen and list, Thanks for your excellent response to Bob. I am pleased to see and say that we agree on much. And I, too, hope you can publish
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Nov 29, 2000
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                                      Dear Sakkari Hakkinen and list,

                                      Thanks for your excellent response to Bob. I am pleased to see and say that
                                      we agree on much. And I, too, hope you can publish your research in
                                      English. (The chief mystery of the Laupot article is why some perhaps
                                      sleepy editor at VC, ordinarily a good journal, accepted it.)

                                      As I understand it, your dissertation concerns Patristic references to
                                      Ebionites, and I assume you will illuminate various aspects of those
                                      passages, and conjecture about Justin, etc.

                                      Let me attempt to restate a concern. What writers such as Irenaeus knew was
                                      limited, and not always accurate; he didn't know Hebrew, I guess. It would
                                      be a mistake, IMO, to assign Ebionite origins to the earliest extant
                                      Patristic heresy condemnation by that name. Such only provides a
                                      time-by-which they must have existed. Nor, necessarily, did all use that
                                      name to the same effect. Any study of Ebionites must consider Nazarenes,
                                      and vice versa, IMO, as they overlap in some usages, rightly or wrongly.
                                      Plus, the fact that heresiology and condemnation of minut was basically
                                      itself invented after the time of Jesus fundamentally affects the calculus
                                      of this name use.

                                      Plus, Epiphanius, in effect, said that Jerusalem Christians were divinely
                                      led to Pella in the 60s--and then found Pella was a hotbed of
                                      heresies--Nazarenes and Ebionites! He may be wrong, of course, but I think
                                      the calculus is not impossible to interpret, especially when one factors in
                                      rabbis relatively prefering Ebionites and Epiphanius Nazarenes.

                                      G. Strecker presuming Ebionites began at some concrete time is second
                                      century seems to me an unhelpful assertion. And not considering NT and
                                      Qumran on the poor.

                                      R. Pritz wrote (p. 8) that Ebionites were "...at best third generation...."
                                      That's exactly wrong and backwards. Whatever date he accepts as attestation
                                      is the date-before-which they existed, not the date-after-which.

                                      Working with the calculus of differing and changing perspectives, and with
                                      limited data, may be difficult, but, in my view, it is not "impossible."

                                      best wishes,
                                      Stephen Goranson
                                      goranson@...
                                    • Eric Laupot
                                      In response to today s comments from Sakari Hakkinen and Kriman, I can only add that nothing in their comments addresses, either directly or indirectly, the
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Nov 29, 2000
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                                        In response to today's comments from Sakari
                                        Hakkinen and Kriman, I can only add that nothing
                                        in their comments addresses, either directly
                                        or indirectly, the substance of the argument
                                        in my article. Dr. Hakkinen seems to be moving slowly
                                        towards some sort of vague counter-argument, but I
                                        refuse to attempt to "divine the intent" of his
                                        thinking. He repeats some of the same vague and muddled
                                        arguments and relies on the same confused
                                        terminology involving "[Jewish] Christians" that
                                        I have addressed on this list, only as recently
                                        as this morning (though apparently to no avail).
                                        Only today I asked for more specifics, which
                                        we're still not getting. What Dr. Hakkinen did instead
                                        was supply us with a list of facts about alleged
                                        Jewish splinter groups in the Second Temple period.
                                        What is missing from Dr. Hakkinen's comments,
                                        however, is any sort of hypothesis or conclusions
                                        attached to these facts. This is what I meant by
                                        specifics.

                                        I would add also that even though we are not
                                        dealing here with a problem in statistical mechanics,
                                        the bizarre statistical conclusions previously endorsed
                                        by Kriman apparently indicate, as I have suggested
                                        before, that he is no longer qualified in statistical
                                        mechanics or any other branch of statistics (assuming,
                                        with regard to the other branches, that he ever was).
                                        For those with a real love of knowledge, I suggest you
                                        do as I did and consult a real statistician and get a
                                        professional opinion. I am reasonably confident that
                                        my argument will stand up to this, and only a
                                        statistician is qualified to evaluate a statistical
                                        argument, rhetoric aside.


                                        Eric Laupot
                                        PO Box 286510
                                        New York, NY 10128
                                        USA
                                        elaupot@...
                                        Tel. (212) 744-9450

                                        ____________________________________________________________________
                                        Get free email and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com/?N=1
                                      • Sakari H�kkinen
                                        Stephen Goranson wrote ... references to ... aspects of those ... That s it. Have you read it? ... Irenaeus knew was ... guess. It would ... earliest extant
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Nov 29, 2000
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                                          Stephen Goranson wrote
                                          > As I understand it, your dissertation concerns Patristic
                                          references to
                                          > Ebionites, and I assume you will illuminate various
                                          aspects of those
                                          > passages, and conjecture about Justin, etc.

                                          That's it. Have you read it?

                                          > Let me attempt to restate a concern. What writers such as
                                          Irenaeus knew was
                                          > limited, and not always accurate; he didn't know Hebrew, I
                                          guess. It would
                                          > be a mistake, IMO, to assign Ebionite origins to the
                                          earliest extant
                                          > Patristic heresy condemnation by that name.

                                          I agree.

                                          >Such only provides a
                                          > time-by-which they must have existed. Nor, necessarily,
                                          did all use that
                                          > name to the same effect.

                                          Again I agree. This is important to notice.

                                          > Any study of Ebionites must consider Nazarenes,
                                          > and vice versa, IMO, as they overlap in some usages,
                                          rightly or wrongly.
                                          > Plus, the fact that heresiology and condemnation of minut
                                          was basically
                                          > itself invented after the time of Jesus fundamentally
                                          affects the calculus
                                          > of this name use.

                                          As I understand it, Ebionites and Nazarenes were not equal,
                                          but close to each other. I thought it was good to first
                                          concentrate on the evidence of Ebionites. While doing this I
                                          had to consider Nazarenes, but I would like to some more
                                          research on them, too. The evidence of them is older than of
                                          Ebionites.

                                          > Plus, Epiphanius, in effect, said that Jerusalem
                                          Christians were divinely
                                          > led to Pella in the 60s--and then found Pella was a hotbed
                                          of
                                          > heresies--Nazarenes and Ebionites! He may be wrong, of
                                          course, but I think
                                          > the calculus is not impossible to interpret, especially
                                          when one factors in
                                          > rabbis relatively prefering Ebionites and Epiphanius
                                          Nazarenes.

                                          What do you think about the historicity of Pella-legend? As
                                          you know there are several difficulties to suggest that
                                          Pella really was the goal of those Jesus-followers who fled
                                          from Jerusalem. IMO Pella as a hotbed of heresies is much
                                          more plausible than Pella as a new living place of the
                                          "Urgemeinde".

                                          > G. Strecker presuming Ebionites began at some concrete
                                          time is second
                                          > century seems to me an unhelpful assertion. And not
                                          considering NT and
                                          > Qumran on the poor.

                                          L. Keck has pointed out that in NT and Qumran texts there is
                                          no evidence that "the Poor" was used as a self-designation
                                          of any group.


                                          > R. Pritz wrote (p. 8) that Ebionites were "...at best
                                          third generation...."
                                          > That's exactly wrong and backwards. Whatever date he
                                          accepts as attestation
                                          > is the date-before-which they existed, not the
                                          date-after-which.

                                          I was not very impressed on R. Pritz's book on Nazarenes,
                                          although many scholars quote him with great respect.

                                          > Working with the calculus of differing and changing
                                          perspectives, and with
                                          > limited data, may be difficult, but, in my view, it is not
                                          "impossible."

                                          Well... not impossible, but often quite useless. It is quite
                                          difficult to determine at what time some sect originated.
                                          They all have their histories. I see all this as a process.
                                          Ebionites at the time of Eusebius were not the same than at
                                          the time of Origen and Irenaeus.

                                          All the best,

                                          Sakari Hakkinen, PhD
                                          University of Helsinki
                                          Department of Biblical Studies
                                          sakari.hakkinen@...
                                          http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/hyel/henkilo/henkilo.html
                                        • goranson@duke.edu
                                          Briefly: no, I haven t read the Hakkinen dissertation; I don t read Finnish, or even Swedish (my father s parents were from Sweden). I think a flight of some
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Nov 29, 2000
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                                            Briefly: no, I haven't read the Hakkinen dissertation; I don't read
                                            Finnish, or even Swedish (my father's parents were from Sweden).

                                            I think a flight of some Jesus-followers (and others) to east of the Jordan
                                            in the 60s is quite likely, and not likely an invention of the Pella
                                            chamber of commerce.

                                            Keck's article did no such thing as to show irrelevance of NT and Qumran
                                            usage of edat haebionim. I am not alone in thinking this. E.g., Michael
                                            Goulder NTS (1999) p. 333.

                                            I do not agree it is "useless" to explore this history earlier than the
                                            patristic texts your work concentrated on.

                                            Of course Ebionites and Nazarenes were different in some usages (after all,
                                            Nazarenes and Nazarenes are different in some usages!); hence my comments
                                            on some rabbis and Epiphanius having inverse appreciations of them. But
                                            there is some overlap in use in the texts. And little clarity in the
                                            evolutions of one term is likely, IMO, without considering both--and
                                            hairesis, and minut. (I discuss the latter two a little in an article in
                                            DSS After 50 years v. 2 ed. P. Flint).

                                            There was, IMO, an evolution from generic to specific names in some cases,
                                            including Ebionites (Psalms--> Qumran type use--> heresiological
                                            appearances--these not being the only factors, but showing a class
                                            self-designation becoming a "tag." Cf. Shiites, meaning the party--we
                                            assume partisans of Ali. Or Amoraim--a name from a common Hebrew verb, and
                                            a transitive one.).

                                            Joan Taylor's book on archaeology (and cf. the J. Baptist one) is learned
                                            but also an excessive minimalist reaction to Franciscan male religious.

                                            Qumran discoveries can aid in history of Jesus followers.

                                            Not, IMO, by claiming they were Christians, as Margoliouth, Teicher, Baer,
                                            Eisenman, Theiring, et al. do with chronologically impossible scenarios,
                                            since the teacher predated John the Baptist, et al.

                                            Nor, IMO, by the ostrich head-in-sand knee-jerk rejection (OK, poor
                                            metaphor mix :-)) of the ineluctable Essene-Qumran connection, rejections
                                            which frequently misunderstand the history of scholarship, as well as the
                                            texts and archaeology. A recent proposal suggested Essenes were non-Jewish
                                            Buddhists(!). For other Essene denial literature, the Qumran Chronicle is
                                            lately providing a large dose of such nonsense.

                                            (Nor by Laupot's "Christiani"/zealot mix-up.)

                                            Essenes, the self-designated 'ose hatorah did, in my view, have influence
                                            on Christianity, or on portions of what eventually was called Christianity.

                                            best,
                                            Stephen Goranson
                                            goranson@...
                                          • Eric Laupot
                                            It was reported by Josephus, I believe, in his Antiquities that James was executed about 2-1/2 years before the outbreak of the Jewish War in 66. Tacitus
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Nov 29, 2000
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                                              It was reported by Josephus, I believe, in his
                                              Antiquities that James was executed about 2-1/2
                                              years before the outbreak of the Jewish War in
                                              66. Tacitus' Christiani in his fragment 2 were
                                              most likely named after Tacitus' Christus
                                              (who was executed by Pontius Pilate), according to
                                              Tacitus Annals 15.44.

                                              Eric Laupot

                                              ____________________________________________________________________
                                              Get free email and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com/?N=1
                                            • Bob Schacht
                                              ... Good! ... What about the followers of James the brother of Jesus aka James the Just? Is there some reason that he does not appear on your list? His resume
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Nov 29, 2000
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                                                At 02:07 PM 11/29/00 +0200, Sakari Häkkinen wrote:
                                                >Bob
                                                >
                                                >... I have promised to myself that the dissertation will be available
                                                >in English some day, and perhaps even in near future
                                                >(meaning a couple of years ahead). ...

                                                Good!

                                                >Now to your questions to me (which Eric Laupot seems to have
                                                >already answered to)....
                                                > > ... You mentioned in your post of 11/26 that
                                                > >
                                                > > >dozens of different groups claiming for authority over the
                                                > > >temple/Jerusalem/Israel as a whole
                                                > >
                                                > > What groups might these have been, and would any of them
                                                >qualify as the
                                                > > "Christiani" of the Tacitus fragment (again, assuming its
                                                >authenticity)?
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                >I think we have some firm evidence of these groups before
                                                >and during the Jewish war claiming for the authority of
                                                >either the temple or Jerusalem or Israel as a whole: (the
                                                >groups are mentioned by the name of the leader)
                                                >1. The Qumran community (DSS)
                                                >2. Eleazar ben Dinai and his followers (Ant. 20.160-161;
                                                >Bell. 2.253).
                                                >3. Tholomaus with his brigands (Ant. 20.5)
                                                >4. Theudas (Ant. 20.97-98)
                                                >5. "The Egyptian prophet" (Ant. 20.169-171; Bell.
                                                >2.261-263).
                                                >6. Jesus son of Sapphias and his peasant followers (Vita 35,
                                                >66, 132-148)
                                                >7. Jesus son of Hananiah (Bell. 6.300-309)
                                                >8. John of Gischala (Bell. 2.587-594, 4. 84-127; Vita 43-45,
                                                >71-76
                                                >9. Menachem son of Judas the Galilean (Bell. 2.433-434)
                                                >10. Simon bar Giora (Bell. 2.652-653, 4.503-513, 4. 529-534)
                                                >11. The Zealots (Bell. 4.147-156)
                                                >12.The Sicarii (Bell. 2.254-256)
                                                >
                                                >To these should perhaps be added the Samaritans. Of the
                                                >above mentioned it is not sure that all of them were
                                                >politically orientated. E.g. Eleazar ben Dinai might have
                                                >been just a leader of a bandit group, Jesus son of Hananiah
                                                >might have been only a harmless prophet without any
                                                >revolutionary thoughts. I think the list gives a hint that
                                                >there were many groups, most certainly much more than
                                                >Josephus or any other author have mentioned. I think none of
                                                >these could be designated as Christians or "Christiani" of
                                                >the Tacitus fragment. In my opinion the early followers of
                                                >Jesus did not form any unified coalition of their own. It
                                                >might have been so that some of them joined to the Zealots
                                                >or some other groups, but most of them avoided the war and
                                                >fled to the mountains (Mark 13, 14).

                                                What about the followers of James the brother of Jesus aka James the Just?
                                                Is there some reason that he does not appear on your list?
                                                His resume is abundantly documented in Acts (12:17; 15:1-20; 21:18; etc.),
                                                Galatians (1:19; 2:1-10, 12), I Cor 15:7, Josephus Antiq. 20.200 & Hegesippus.

                                                Gillman, in the article on James in the ABD, writes that these passages
                                                imply that he played a significant leadership role in the Jerusalem Church.
                                                If the testimony of Hegesippus is reliable and refers to the same man
                                                (James "the Just"), he was also a significant figure in the Jerusalem
                                                temple, and Josephus considers him important enough to mention.
                                                Furthermore, James apparently lived until shortly before the destruction of
                                                Jerusalem in 70 C.E. Thus, if the Tacitus Fragment is genuine and not
                                                edited by a later hand, James might well have been alive and in active
                                                leadership at the time of the military council depicted in the Tacitus
                                                fragment. Therefore, it seems that if the label "christiani" in the Tacitus
                                                fragment is genuine, it seems to me most likely that it referred to James
                                                and his followers. (Robert Brenchley made this proposal in his 11/10 post
                                                to XTalk.)


                                                >BTW, what prevents to assume that Tacitus simply meant
                                                >Christians by Christiani?

                                                Laupot tries to argue against this, so I'll have to refer you to his
                                                article. In brief, he wrote to me on XTAlk on 10/24 that
                                                >Based on Tacitus' description of his Christiani in
                                                >fragment 2 and Annals 15.44, there is no evidence
                                                >whatsoever that his Christiani were the jolly
                                                >fishermen who trudged around Gaililee as
                                                >described by Pauline Christianity.

                                                Best regards,
                                                Bob


                                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              • Sakari H�kkinen
                                                ... I am sorry, but I do not understand what you mean by my _attempt to divine the intent _. ... I was actually responding to Bob s message, not yours. The
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Nov 30, 2000
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                                                  Eric Laupot wrote:
                                                  > In response to today's comments from Sakari
                                                  > Hakkinen and Kriman, I can only add that nothing
                                                  > in their comments addresses, either directly
                                                  > or indirectly, the substance of the argument
                                                  > in my article. Dr. Hakkinen seems to be moving slowly
                                                  > towards some sort of vague counter-argument, but I
                                                  > refuse to attempt to "divine the intent" of his
                                                  > thinking.

                                                  I am sorry, but I do not understand what you mean by my
                                                  _attempt to "divine the intent"_.

                                                  >He repeats some of the same vague and muddled
                                                  > arguments and relies on the same confused
                                                  > terminology involving "[Jewish] Christians" that
                                                  > I have addressed on this list, only as recently
                                                  > as this morning (though apparently to no avail).
                                                  > Only today I asked for more specifics, which
                                                  > we're still not getting. What Dr. Hakkinen did instead
                                                  > was supply us with a list of facts about alleged
                                                  > Jewish splinter groups in the Second Temple period.
                                                  > What is missing from Dr. Hakkinen's comments,
                                                  > however, is any sort of hypothesis or conclusions
                                                  > attached to these facts. This is what I meant by
                                                  > specifics.

                                                  I was actually responding to Bob's message, not yours. The
                                                  list is a response to his question whether I know what kind
                                                  of groups there were before 70's. On an e-mail list I would
                                                  rather offer the facts than hypothesis. BTW, I have found
                                                  one of the weaknesses of this list, that there are much more
                                                  theories based almost solely on speculations than
                                                  interesting discussions on facts, for example the texts.

                                                  In another message Laupot wrote:
                                                  > -------- (EL) That's right. Furthermore, I never
                                                  > use the term "Christian Jews," because I was unable to
                                                  > define it. How would you define it?

                                                  Briefly: By this term I meant those Jews, who believed in
                                                  Jesus.

                                                  > ------- (EL) Could you explain this? The Christiani
                                                  > were *very* closely connected with the Second Temple,
                                                  > and Gentiles weren't even allowed into the Temple. If
                                                  > the Christiani were non-Jewish, did they have
                                                  > a long distance relationship with the Temple?

                                                  No, this is not what I meant. It just came to my mind that
                                                  we are discussing on Tacitus' view of "Christiani", not
                                                  historical facts. How well did Tacitus know what were the
                                                  differences between Jewish sects? Could it be that he shared
                                                  the common knowledge of the time that the Christians were
                                                  separated or at least had their origins in Judaism and that
                                                  the temple was the center of Jewish religion? It seems to me
                                                  that his words are quite understandable on this
                                                  presupposition, but I must admit I am not an expert on
                                                  Tacitus.

                                                  > -------- (EL) Well, why are you wasting our time
                                                  > critiquing an article you haven't read?

                                                  I apologize having wasted your time. However, I was not
                                                  criticizing your article, which I did not find interesting
                                                  enough, but responding to Bob's message. The same must be
                                                  said on your comments on the list I presented. The list was
                                                  not meant to disprove Tacitus or criticize your article,
                                                  which I still haven't read.

                                                  Finally: I did not want to refute your conclusions nor
                                                  attack to you personally. Sorry, if you misunderstood me
                                                  that way. I have noticed that on this list things tend to
                                                  get personal and the main issue is often quite far from the
                                                  original one, that stands in the title of the message. That
                                                  is wasting time.

                                                  Best wishes,

                                                  Sakari Hakkinen, PhD
                                                  University of Helsinki
                                                  Department of Biblical Studies
                                                  sakari.hakkinen@...
                                                  http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/hyel/henkilo/henkilo.html
                                                • Bob Schacht
                                                  ... Tom, I ve been wanting to follow up with you on this ever since you wrote it. ... Such as Ignatius? or who else (or what other texts) did you have in mind?
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Dec 1, 2000
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                                                    At 01:45 AM 11/25/00 +0000, Thomas A. Kopecek wrote:
                                                    >--- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > > Tom, thanks for the Origen quote. One question about it:
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > >Origen makes a distinction in the prologue to the 4G between
                                                    > > >God-with-the-article and God-without-the-article. Who knows? Maybe
                                                    > > >this was what the original author of the prologue meant. It makes
                                                    > > >sense to me. I'm not, of course, suggesting that the person
                                                    > > >responsible for the original version in Greek of the prologue would
                                                    > > >agree with everything Origen says, but perhaps he might agree with
                                                    > > >Origen's linguistic distinction. Below is the relevant passage
                                                    >from
                                                    > > >Origen's commentary. For convenience's sake I reproduce the text
                                                    >from
                                                    > > >the English of the Ante-Nicene Fathers.
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > >"We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He
                                                    >does
                                                    > > >not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with
                                                    >the
                                                    > > >niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article,
                                                    >and
                                                    > > >in some he omits it. ... Now there are many who are
                                                    > > >sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great
                                                    > > >perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods,
                                                    >and
                                                    > > >their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked.
                                                    > > >Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own
                                                    >besides
                                                    > > >that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God
                                                    >all
                                                    > > >but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a
                                                    > > >separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence
                                                    >fall
                                                    > > >outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each
                                                    > > >other. To such persons we have to say ...
                                                    > >
                                                    > > My question is, who are the "they" to whom Origen refers? Are they
                                                    >the same
                                                    > > persons to whom the author of the Prologue addressed John 1:18?
                                                    >
                                                    >...I think Origen's "they" is tolerably certain.

                                                    Tom, I've been wanting to follow up with you on this ever since you wrote it.

                                                    > He has in mind so-called Modalistic Monarchians

                                                    Such as Ignatius? or who else (or what other texts) did you have in mind?

                                                    > and some sorts of so-called Dynamic Monarchians or Adoptionists.

                                                    = Jewish circles within Christianity, as well as (see below) the Shepherd
                                                    of Hermas, Theodotus of Byzantium, & Paul of Samosata? And maybe the Didache?

                                                    Of course, I'm trying to see your categories in late First Century terms,
                                                    if not in terms of Origen's immediate predecessors and contemporaries.

                                                    Bob

                                                    >The former simply identified Father and
                                                    >Son and said the difference was only in mode--read "name". The second
                                                    >affirmed that the line between the Father and Son was the
                                                    >creator/creation line, though there was wide disparity between where
                                                    >in the spectrum of creation the "Son" fell, from an angel (see some
                                                    >passages in the Shepherd of Hermas) to an adopted human being (see
                                                    >the followers of Theodotus of Byzantium, Paul of Samosata, etc.).
                                                    >
                                                    >Tom


                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  • Thomas A. Kopecek
                                                    ... mind? Yes, Ignatius is the earliest. Noetus of Smyrna is another. The language in Melito of Sardis often appears rather modalistic as well, but on a more
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Dec 2, 2000
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                                                      --- In crosstalk2@egroups.com, Bob Schacht <r_schacht@y...> wrote:

                                                      > > He has in mind so-called Modalistic Monarchians
                                                      >
                                                      > Such as Ignatius? or who else (or what other texts) did you have in
                                                      mind?

                                                      Yes, Ignatius is the earliest. Noetus of Smyrna is another. The
                                                      language in Melito of Sardis often appears rather modalistic as well,
                                                      but on a more popular and liturgical level.

                                                      >
                                                      > > and some sorts of so-called Dynamic Monarchians or Adoptionists.
                                                      >
                                                      > = Jewish circles within Christianity, as well as (see below) the
                                                      Shepherd
                                                      > of Hermas, Theodotus of Byzantium, & Paul of Samosata? And maybe
                                                      the
                                                      Didache?

                                                      Yes.

                                                      >
                                                      > Of course, I'm trying to see your categories in late First Century
                                                      terms,
                                                      > if not in terms of Origen's immediate predecessors and
                                                      contemporaries.

                                                      I think Ignatius is the first of the outright modalists, but he
                                                      probably got some of his modalism from his particular "take" on the
                                                      Gospel of John.

                                                      I find myself more hard pressed to sort out what was going on in the
                                                      late first century: relative to the later period, there are so few
                                                      data and so many different reconstructions of how to put the data
                                                      together.

                                                      Best, Tom

                                                      ___
                                                      Thomas A. Kopecek
                                                      Professor of Religion
                                                      Central College, Pella, IA 50219
                                                      kopecekt@...
                                                    • Thomas A. Kopecek
                                                      ... Century ... Perhaps now that I have a bit more time I should clarify what I said ... Although we have a number of what seem to be genuine letters from
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Dec 2, 2000
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                                                        Bob Schacht wrote:

                                                        > > Of course, I'm trying to see your categories in late First
                                                        Century
                                                        > terms,
                                                        > > if not in terms of Origen's immediate predecessors and
                                                        > contemporaries.

                                                        Perhaps now that I have a bit more time I should clarify what I said
                                                        about Ignatius and the Gospel of John, that is:

                                                        > I think Ignatius is the first of the outright modalists, but he
                                                        > probably got some of his modalism from his particular "take" on the
                                                        > Gospel of John.

                                                        Although we have a number of what seem to be genuine letters from
                                                        Ignatius, there are two other sets, one an interesting (to me)
                                                        interpolated set from the fourth century, with a number of new
                                                        letters appended. In what are generally regarded as his genuine
                                                        letters Ignatius never quotes from NT documents but rather "echoes"
                                                        many of them, yet never in such a way as to convey that he thinks
                                                        them
                                                        to be scriptural in the way the Jewish Bible was scriptural. Which
                                                        letters are echoed are a matter of some dispute. I, for one, am
                                                        convinced Ignatius knew the Gospel of John, for the following reasons:

                                                        In his letter to the Magnesians 8:2 he seems to be echoing the Gospel
                                                        of John when he says, "...there is one God who revealed himself
                                                        through JC his Son, who is his Logos who came forth from 'silence',
                                                        who pleased him who sent him in every way." In his letter to the
                                                        Romans 7:3 he seems to be echoing Gospel of John 6 when he says, "I
                                                        take no pleasure in corruptible food or the pleasures of this life. I
                                                        want the bread of God, which is the flesh of Christ who is of the
                                                        seed of David; and for drink I want his blood, which is incorruptible
                                                        love (an allusion also to I John 4?)." In his letter to the
                                                        Philadelphians 7:1 he seems to echo John 3:8 when he dictates, "For
                                                        even though certain ones wished to deceive me according to the flesh,
                                                        the Spirit is nonetheless not deceived, since it is from God, for it
                                                        knows whence it comes and where it is going, and makes clear the
                                                        hidden things."

                                                        Whereas Ignatius asserts at least a verbal distinction between the
                                                        "Father" and "Jesus Christ our God" (see To The Ephesians, Inscr.)
                                                        and in Ad Eph. 4:2 says one ought in worship "to sing with one voice
                                                        through Jesus Christ to the Father," unlike people like Justin, who
                                                        calls the Son/Logos "another God" who is "under the Maker of all
                                                        things," Ignatius has moved the traditional language which
                                                        distinguishes between Father and Son in a modalistic direction when
                                                        he doesn't say that God "raised Jesus from the dead" but rather that
                                                        Jesus "truly suffered just as he also truly raised himself" (Ad
                                                        Smyrn.
                                                        2:1).

                                                        This is not to say that Ignatius is as systematic a modalist as
                                                        Noetus, for example, who was able to say that "Christ was the Father
                                                        himself" and that "the Father himself was born, suffered, and died"
                                                        (Hippolytus, Noet. 1). Ignatius is closer to the sermonic language of
                                                        Melito of Sardis' Homily on the Passover, where Melito too
                                                        distinguishes between God and the Logos in #47 but also can in #8-9
                                                        preach:
                                                        For as Son he was born . . . , as human being he was buried.
                                                        He rose from the dead as God, being by nature both God and a
                                                        human being. He is everything, . . . Father inasmuch as he
                                                        begets, Son inasmuch as he is begotten, . . . human inasmuch
                                                        as he is buried, God inasmuch as he rises.
                                                        Indeed, Melito comes pretty close to Noetus when he says in #96, "God
                                                        is murdered."

                                                        Of course, you are interested in the latter part of the first
                                                        century, about which I can add nothing to the normal speculations of
                                                        NT scholars.

                                                        Tom

                                                        ___
                                                        Thomas A. Kopecek
                                                        Professor of Religion
                                                        Central College, Pella, IA 50219
                                                        kopecekt
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