RE: [XTalk] Tomb of Christ?
- Don't be so bashful: Good evidence for a position does not necessarily
necessitate an 'if and only if' with regard to conclusions drawn for the
sake of other reasons here, if experience can be enough of a teacher!
From: J.E.F. Godesky [mailto:jef.godesky@...]
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2001 7:42 PM
Subject: Re: [XTalk] Tomb of Christ?
> I think a possible explanation is that the Roman authorities wereconcerned
> with keeping the peace during the Passover Festival. I recall readingthat
> the Jewish historian Josephus mentioned that the Roman authoritiesstationed
> extra guards in Jerusalem during the Passover festival because of concernsburial
> about possible insurrection or rioting.
> Thus, Pilate would have an interest in accommodating a request for a
> of Jesus by one of his followers or sympathizers. Providing for a decentfollowers
> Jewish burial in a guarded tomb would serve to definitely serve Roman
> interests in keeping order by placating possible outrage by the
> of Jesus, thereby mitigating the chances of an insurrection or riot.Presume my presumption, imposing myself, a mere student, into the discourse
learned, but I seem to remember a passage in Josephus which claimed that
Palestine were customarily buried, in compliance with the law in Deutoronomy
hanging bodies past sundown, as part of the general Roman policy of
to Jewish law. Or am I gravely mistaken in this? Unfortunately, I can't
find the reference again, so perhaps it was only ever in my head!
Returning to lurking,
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----- Original Message -----
From: FMMCCOY <FMMCCOY@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2001 9:31 PM
Subject: Re: [XTalk] Tomb of Christ?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jim Bacon" <jabacon@...>
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2001 4:34 AM
> Subject: Re: [XTalk] Tomb of Christ?
> > A far more interesting question than the ones raised in the PBS Web site
> > whether ANY tomb of Christ ever existed -- was Jesus, in fact, ever
> > in a tomb at all?
> On a more fundamental level, there is the question of whether Joseph
> of Arimathea is an invention of Mark. In The Historical Jesus (p. 193),
> John Dominic Crossan states, "Mark, once again, made the crucial
> step. He created and sent to Pilate, in 15:43, one 'Joseph of Arimathea,
> respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the
> Kingdom of God.' That is a perfect in-between figure, at once within the
> Jewish leadership elite as 'respected' and still connected to Jesus as
> I suggest that, rather, Joseph of Arimathea is a real historical figure
> known to us as Joseph Cabi: who is described by Josephus in Antiquities
> (Book XV, Chapt. IX, Sect. 3 - Sect. 4). He reigned as High Priest in the
> early 60s--perhaps 60-62 CE. Further, he was the son of Simeon bar
> Boethus--who twice served as High Priest--first from c. 23- c.5 BCE and
> for a brief period c. 41 CE (e.g., see Antiquities Book XV, Chapt. IX,
> 3 and Book XIX, Chapt. VI, Sect. 3).
> BOTH WERE POLITICALLY POWERFUL FIGURES
> Joseph of Arimathea was politically powerful: one of the members of the
> Jerusalem Sanheidrin who had enough political "clout" to demand and get an
> almost immediate audience with Pilate.
> Joseph of Arimathea was also politically powerful. He was a Boethusian,
> i.e., a member of the high priestly family founded by Boethus of
> Of the 22 high priests over Herod's temple from its founding to the onset
> the Jewish revolt in 66 CE, 7 (roughly a third!) had been Boethusians
> sons of Boethus named Eleazar, Joazar, and Simeon, two grand-sons of
> named Cantheras and Joseph Cabi, and two sons-in-law of Boethus named
> Matthias bar Theophilus and Jesus bar Gamaliel). His sister, Miramne, had
> been one of the wives of Herod the Great, so he had connections with
> of his day. Indeed, one of his nephews was Herod Philip: the ruler of a
> region to the north of Galilee. As a Boethusian, he almost certainly had
> seat on the Jerusalem Sanheidrin and had enough political "clout" to
> and get an almost immediate audience with Pilate.
> BOTH MIGHT HAVE BEEN (SECRET?) DISCIPLES OF JESUS
> According to Matthew 27:57, Joseph of Arimathea was a disciple of Jesus.
> According to John 19:38, he was a secret disciple of Jesus.
> According to Josephus (Antiquites, Book. XX, Chapt. IX, Sect. 1), when
> Joseph Cabi lost the high priesthood, one the first acts of his successor
> was to execute James, the brother of Jesus. The inference: Joseph Cabi
> been protecting James and, hence, had likely been a (secret?) Christian.
> Supporting this inference is a key piece of evidence: the tomb in which,
> according to tradition, James was buried. Robert Eisenman, in James the
> Brother of Jesus (p. 455), declares, "The names listed in the dedicatory
> inscription (of this tomb) appear to be from the family known as the
> This means that, most likely, James was buried in a tomb owned by the
> Boethusians. This, in turn, means that he was most likely buried after
> execution by a Boethusian. The most likely candidate: Joseph Cabi, the
> Boethusian who had recently lost the high priesthood. And if he is the
> likely candidate for being the one who buried Jesus' brother, then is he
> the most likely candidate for being the Joseph of Arimathea who buried
> BOTH MIGHT HAVE BEEN FROM ARIMATHEA
> Joseph of Arimathea, as his name implies, was from the town of Arimathea.
> According to the non-canonical Gospel of Nicodemus, the high priest named
> Simeon buried two of his sons, named Charinus and Lenthius, at Arimathea
> they were resurrected from the dead at the same time as Jesus. This
> suggests that Simeon, who was Joseph Cabi's father, raised his family at
> Arimathea. If so, then Joseph Cabi would have been known as Joseph of
> Indeed, how could this legend (which has two brothers of Joseph Cabi being
> resurrected from the dead at the same time as Jesus) have arisen unless,
> people knew, Joseph Cabi had been Joseph of Arimathea--the man who gave
> Jesus a decent burial?
> BOTH MIGHT HAVE AWAITED A WORLD FOR THE RIGHTEOUS
> According to Mark, Joseph of Arimathea awaited the Kingdom of God.
> Similarly, because he was a Boethusian, it is likely that Joseph Cabi
> awaited a world to come in which the righteous would dwell.
> Unlike most members of the high priestly aristocracy, the Boethusians were
> not Sadducees. Instead, they constituted a separate sect. So, the Talmud
> ('Erubin, 68b) states, "And so it was also taught: if a man lives (in the
> same alley) with a gentile, a Sadducee or a Boethusian these impose
> restrictions on him. Here, the Boethusians are differentiated from the
> Sadducees and they are characterized as, like the Gentiles and the
> Sadducees, not following all the ritual purification rites of the
> According to The Minor Tractates of the Talmud ('Aboth D'Rabbi Nathan,
> 20a-20b), the three way split between the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and
> Boethusians occurred because they disagreed over how to intepret this
> saying, "Be not like servants who serve the master for sake of recieving a
> reward, but be like servants who serve the master without receiving a
> reward; and let the fear of heaven be upon you, in order that your reward
> may be double in the world to come."
> According to this tradition, the Pharisees accepted this saying, but the
> Sadducees and the Boethusians rejected it on the basis that it is proper
> a laborer who has toiled all day to receive his reward in the evening.
> Since, according to this tradition, the Sadducees and Boethusians (1)
> that it is proper for a laborer who has toiled all day to receive his
> in the evening yet (2) split with each other over how to intepret this
> passage, it must be the case (if this tradition be correct) that (3) they
> had disagreed over the nature of the "reward" for pious toil--with one
> saying that it is life in the world to come and the other side saying that
> it is of a quite defferent nature.
> In this regard, we know, the Sadducees denied that people have immortality
> and argued that the rewards for piety come during one's lifetime and
> of things like wealth and respect.
> Therefore, if this tradition be correct, the Boethusians must have taken
> contrary position and, so, argued that the reward for pious toil is life
> the world to come. Hence, if this tradition is correct, then Joseph Cabi,
> as he was a Boethusian, presumably awaited a world to come in which the
> righteous would dwell.
> From what we know about Joseph of Arimathea and Joseph Cabi, it appears
> they are one and the same person. This casts doubt upon the hypothesis
> Mark invented Joseph of Arimathea. This also casts doubt upon the
> hypothesis that Jesus was not given a decent burial.
> Frank McCoy
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