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Re: [XTalk] Tomb of Christ, or Historicizing prophecy?

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  • Gordon Raynal
    ... Furthermore, it is not just ... Bob and all, I don t think this is a matter of irony or personal selectivity or deux ex machina. Rather I think it is a
    Message 1 of 62 , Aug 1, 2001
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      Bob Schacht wrote:
      >
      Furthermore, it is not just
      > one prophecy that is historicized in this case, but fragments of about six
      > of them that have been patched together. Ironically, these things make his
      > argument look a bit like a deus ex machina.

      Bob and all,

      I don't think this is a matter of irony or personal selectivity or "deux
      ex machina." Rather I think it is a matter of plumbing the Hebraic
      Scriptures to reflect upon a complex weave of ideas which folds into a
      powerful narrative. This is not about "lying," as some have wondered
      about, nor about writing history. (The author of Jonah was not "lying"
      by producing that powerful parabolic narrative, nor was he recording a
      historical account!) It is about **producing theological proclamation
      and affirmation**. Much argument about historicity by many seems to be
      really from the narrative realism and repetition of this in the
      Synoptics. As I have stated here before I have less confidence than Dom
      Crossan and the JS that we know very much about the events of Jesus'
      ministry as so many of the stories are just laced with either direct
      reflections on stories and themes from the TANAK or can be seen to be
      creative narratives... exactly out of the same creativity that gives us
      such stories as Ruth, Jonah, and many others. And again, from my
      perspective, this lack of knowledge does not undo the value and the
      power of the kerygma, but should make us very cautious about what we
      claim as **historical**.

      Gordon Raynal
      Inman, SC
    • Jim Bacon
      ... From: FMMCCOY To: Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2001 9:31 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Tomb of Christ? ... preliminary
      Message 62 of 62 , Aug 16, 2001
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: FMMCCOY <FMMCCOY@...>
        To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2001 9:31 PM
        Subject: Re: [XTalk] Tomb of Christ?


        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Jim Bacon" <jabacon@...>
        > To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        > 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
        > is
        > > whether ANY tomb of Christ ever existed -- was Jesus, in fact, ever
        > placed
        > > in a tomb at all?
        >
        > INTRODUCTION
        >
        > 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
        preliminary
        > step. He created and sent to Pilate, in 15:43, one 'Joseph of Arimathea,
        a
        > 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
        > 'looking.'"
        >
        > 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
        then
        > for a brief period c. 41 CE (e.g., see Antiquities Book XV, Chapt. IX,
        Sect.
        > 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
        Alexandria.
        > Of the 22 high priests over Herod's temple from its founding to the onset
        of
        > the Jewish revolt in 66 CE, 7 (roughly a third!) had been Boethusians
        (Three
        > sons of Boethus named Eleazar, Joazar, and Simeon, two grand-sons of
        Boethus
        > 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
        Royals
        > 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
        a
        > seat on the Jerusalem Sanheidrin and had enough political "clout" to
        demand
        > 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
        had
        > 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
        > Boethusians."
        >
        > 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
        his
        > execution by a Boethusian. The most likely candidate: Joseph Cabi, the
        > Boethusian who had recently lost the high priesthood. And if he is the
        most
        > likely candidate for being the one who buried Jesus' brother, then is he
        not
        > the most likely candidate for being the Joseph of Arimathea who buried
        > Jesus?
        >
        > 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
        and
        > 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
        > Arimathea!
        >
        > 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
        Pharisees.
        >
        > According to The Minor Tractates of the Talmud ('Aboth D'Rabbi Nathan,
        > 20a-20b), the three way split between the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and
        the
        > 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
        for
        > a laborer who has toiled all day to receive his reward in the evening.
        >
        > Since, according to this tradition, the Sadducees and Boethusians (1)
        agreed
        > that it is proper for a laborer who has toiled all day to receive his
        reward
        > 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
        side
        > 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
        consist
        > of things like wealth and respect.
        >
        > Therefore, if this tradition be correct, the Boethusians must have taken
        the
        > contrary position and, so, argued that the reward for pious toil is life
        in
        > 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.
        >
        > CONCLUSION
        >
        > From what we know about Joseph of Arimathea and Joseph Cabi, it appears
        that
        > they are one and the same person. This casts doubt upon the hypothesis
        that
        > 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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