Re: [XTalk] Pantera question
- The Pantarces reference intrigues me. Combine this with the Priene
inscription's parallels with Mark and we get the shade of Augustus. Do you
think the non-Roman enemies of early Christianity would go so far as to
accuse Jesus of being the illegitimate son of a Caesar or at least be
snidely comparing Mark's "good news" to the "good news" propaganda of the
cult of Augustus? Also, apart from the Imperial cult, Augustus' worldly
reputation, particularly with young virgins, was not stellar. Add to that
the fact that Augustus' "friend", the infamous Herod the Great, was on the
verge of being demoted to "client" sometime around 8 BCE, a short time
before Jesus' birth and Herod's death. What better way to bribe your way
back into favor with your Emperor - send him a few gifts? Herod was not a
Jew and an absolute pig in non-Jewish standards, so pretty Jewish virgins,
Temple dedicated or not, were more of a commodity to him than something to
be revered. This would be fertile ground in which to plant anti-Christian
propaganda. Your thoughts?
Lisa A. Spataro
Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
>From: John Lupia <JLupia2@...>_________________________________________________________________
>Subject: Re: [XTalk] Pantera question
>Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 13:29:25 -0700 (PDT)
>On Wed, 30 May 2001 11:54:08 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
> > Lisa A. Spataro asks:
> > >>I have heard that Jesus is called the son of Pantera in the Talmud.
> > Is Pantera actually described as a Roman soldier/archer or is the name
> > Pantera a symbolic one?<<
>To answer your question directly, the answer is NO.
> Dave Hindley wrote:
> > That seems to be the question of most interest to Christian
> > researchers. Generally, "Pantera" is seen as a word play on
> > "Parthenos" (Greek for virgin) or to the Panther, often depicted as a
> > sexually lascivious animal.
>A. Panthera a corruption of Parthenos
>Another explanation is that PARQENOS (parthenos) was taken as a noun
>signifying the father's name by the Jewish Rabbinic counter-movement
>Celsus cited by Origen, Contra Celsium 1,32 and 69. (cf. Francis L. Filas,
>SJ, Joseph: The Man Closest to Jesus (Boston, 196) 47.
>B. Pantera a word-play on Pantarces
>Pantarces was a surname of Jupiter in his cult which was also active in
>Syria, and also a proper name.
>C. Pantera a variant of the Latin panthera
>Roman used to introduce panthers into their combats with wild beasts (cf.
>Cicero, Fam. 2,11,2. Perhaps the Pantera tombstone was an archer who also
>fought in such games.
>D. Pantera as a famous Philanderer
>Keep in mind the socio-cultural backdrop of a Roman occupied Judea/Galilee.
>Just as today when US military troops occupy foreign countries, for
>during the Gulf War, the people felt uneasy having foreigners near their
>women. Rumors spread about military personnel having sexual relations with
>their country folk. The same was true 2000 years ago in Israel. Romans
>were known to engage in sexual relations in all occupied lands. So among
>the Jews 2000 years ago there was already talk, stories, jokes, fights,
>as part of their cultural history regarding the Romans and Jewish women,
>married and unmarried. Now all of this is as I say a socio-cultural
>backdrop prior to the birth of Christ. Now after Jesus preached, died and
>rose, the Church declared his was a Virgin Birth (cf. Luke). This was an
>easy target for Jews opposed to Christianity to poke fun at. There may
>been already existing as I suggested nasty jingles about Jewish girls that
>got pregnant out of wedlock as "She slept with Pantera" who was a real
>figure as the Bingerbr�ck, Germany tombstone (found October, 1859)
>indicates. There may be much more to the history of Pantera having sex
>Jewish women than we know. Just as we use the name "Judas" as a nasty
>to call someone who betrays us, or better yet a "Romeo" or "Casanova" for a
>philanderer, so too the name Pantera may have been used similarly about a
>real historical philanderer named Pantera. Now all of this being a
>preexisting background; after Luke's Gospel was published the anti-Jesus
>propaganda among the Jews drew from their culture and said that Pantera was
>the father. Unfortunately we can only make theoretical frameworks about
>this using analogies drawn from culture, since no other evidence exists to
>prove what I am saying. But it goes with common sense that such cultural
>sayings or background were existing at the time, since analogy
>reconstructions have a long respected history among archaeologists.
> The Jewish writers apparently were
> > suggesting that Jesus was a "mamser" (child of an unlawful
> > relationship, regardless of circumstances that led to it). In the
> > Talmud it is usually implied that his mother had voluntary sex with a
> > Roman soldier or paramour, but in the Toledoth stories she is usually
> > portrayed as the victim of a rape. The man is often called Pantera or
> > some variant, but not always.
>The Jewish book is called the "Toldoth Jeschu" sometimes spelled Toledoth
>Jeschu" , or Toldoth Jeshu", or Toldoth Jeshu" In each case the double
>meaning of Jesus' name, is an acronym for the words of imprecation:
>Scheme Vezikro" (May his name and memory be blotted out!). So, Although
>Jeschu may have been a Galilean nickname or regional use of the proper
>but I avoid it because it has a stigma with the Jewish anathema. This
>declares Jesus was a mamzer (mamser) a bastard child of Pantera. This IMHO
>fits a cultural type that I suggested. If the girl next door has an
>illegitimate child the saying goes "She has Pantera's child".
> > There is very little likelihood that Pantera the archer is the actual
> > father of Jesus, >
>I think this is an understatement. It is an obvious anti-Christian
>propaganda slur typical of other writings like Celsius, and the Gospel of
> >but it does show that such an explanation on the part
> > of the Rabbis was at least plausible.
>Yes, of course. They drew from a real figure who was famous enough so that
>the accusation would stand the test of time. A famous archer of the first
>cohort would have a tombstone made. ?There are hundreds of similar Roman
>tombstones all catalogued. That's the way good propaganda works. Who
>killed JFK? Regardless if it was or was not a government plot, Lee Harvey
>Oswald is real, and creates confusion, doubt, and suspicion throughout
>Peacxe in Christ,
>John N. Lupia
>501 North Avenue B-1
>Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA
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